Mark Coker to Guest on Cover to Cover

August 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Book Publishing, Radio Show | Comments Off on Mark Coker to Guest on Cover to Cover
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This Saturday, August 29th, Mark Coker will guest on the “Book Publishing Rocks!” segment of my radio show “Cover to Cover” on wnzf.com at 11:30 AM Eastern.

Mark is the founder and president of Smashwords, Inc. And, in case you’re not familiar with Smashwords, here’s how Mark describes it on his web site:

Smashwords is a publishing platform, online bookstore and ebook distributor for indepedent ebook authors, publishers and readers. We offer multi-format, DRM-free ebooks, ready for immediate sampling and purchase, and readable on any e-reading device.

At Smashwords, our authors and publishers have complete control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their written works. Smashwords is ideal for personal memoirs, novels, short fiction, non-fiction, essays, screenplays, newsletters, poetry, or other written forms that haven’t even been invented yet. It’s free to publish on Smashwords.

For readers, Smashwords provides an opportunity to discover new voices in all categories and genres of the written word. For registered members, the site offers useful tools for search, discovery and personal library-building, and each week we add new features based on feedback from Smashwords members.

So, I am excited about having Mark on the show this Saturday and look forward to asking him lots of questions of interest to my listeners who are authors, publishers, and others interested in the exciting world of books.

Join us Saturday morning, August 29th, at 11:30 ET/8:30 PT on www.wnzf.com.

Media Personality Cynthia Brian to Guest

August 10, 2009 at 8:53 am | Posted in Radio Show | Comments Off on Media Personality Cynthia Brian to Guest
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Cynthia Brian, often referred to by the media as “The Renaissance Woman with Soul” and “The Oprah of the Airwaves!”, will be a guest on “Cover to Cover” next Saturday morning, August 15th at 11:30 ET/8:30 PT, on www.wnzf.com and WNZF AM1550/106.3FM in northeast Florida.

Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian

Show host Frank Gromling says, “Having Cynthia Brian on my show is one of the most exciting possibilities because she brings so much talent, enthusiasm, and love to whatever she does! I am thrilled that Cynthia will share her new book and offer suggestions for how authors can be better at media interviews.”

Cynthia’s newest book is Be the Star You Are! for TEENS.

BTSYAteens-goldcover

Gromling adds, “Cynthia’s dynamic life is an example for every person, just not those who want to be authors or publishers. She’s the living demonstration that a single person can have a positive effect, not only on those immediately around them, but the larger world, as well.”

www.wnzf.com/cover-to-cover.asp, www.star-style.com,

www.ocean-publishing.com

Associations and Economic Downturns?

August 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Posted in Book Publishing, Perspective | Comments Off on Associations and Economic Downturns?
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Unless you’ve been in a cave for the past two years, you know that our economy, and that of the world at large, is in a very bad place. As the US Government ratchets up its spending and borrowing for a multitude of programs that are supposed to save us from economic disaster, the book industry continues to suffer along, greatly affected by cunsumers’ fears about spending what little discretionary income they may still have.

As an independent book publisher, I know what is happening out there in the economy. I see it every day when I look at sales results and wholesale orders. The numbers are down sharply.

Customers who formerly bought large quantities of books with each order are buying fewer copies and ordering less frequently. Individual orders on our web site are off by 50%. People are afraid to spend. This is a very tough time for everyone, well, maybe not so much for those we read about still getting big bonuses paid for from stimulus money. But, that’s another story for another time.

During this tough economic time I believe it is more imporant than ever to belong to a professional association. It’s not the time to save the little amount possible by not paying the membership dues. It’s time to spend it and get the most out of it you can!

I’m an independent book publisher and I belong to two professional associations, one at the state level and one at the national. I insist on getting as much from both of them that I can in order to maximize my company’s potential for success. Florida Publishers Association has a dynamite monthly newsletter that I devour voraciously. Its tips, leads, hints, contacts, how-to’s and more are worth the price of membership alone.

Then there’s the Independent Book Publishers Association, what I consider to be the penultimate in professional associations. This organization has given me more support, education, direction, friendship, advice, counsel, and yes, love, than any other organization I have ever joined.

So I say again to those of you who think you’re being smart and not renewing your association memberships or not joining a professional association so you can save a few dollars, you are making a major mistake that will cost you thousands of dollars and untold hours of labor. Smarten up. In stormy waters it’s the wise captain who refers to charts, the wisdom of seasoned sailors, and always has time to plan, prepare and execute a proper course. I know. I am both a sailor and a publisher, and I know the value of my association memberships. Every day.

Hand Crafted Books

August 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Book Publishing, Radio Show | Comments Off on Hand Crafted Books
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Next Saturday morning, August 8th, radio audiences across America and  around the world will have an oportunity to hear about an old artform that is alive and well in today’s high-tech world of book publishing.

Tom Tolnay, publisher/printer at Birch Brook Press, will join host Frank Gromling on “Cover to Cover” at 11:30 ET/8:30 PT on www.wnzf.com to explain how he is using historical printing teqhniques to make high quality books.  As taken directly from the Internet site for Birch Brook Press, Tom describes it this way:

Our goal is to help sustain the craft of antique bookmaking in the age of the Internet, enabling readers and publishers to have access to books that are beautiful to behold, satisfying to hold, and wonderful to read. Despite the remarkable speed and versatility of computer-generated typesetting and computer-controlled offset printing, when it comes to a work of literary value or a personal treasure, speed is not the most important consideration. More important is close personal care. Letterpress production requires continuous human involvement at every stage, resulting in books that have the look and feel of life, not the flash and noise of hype. Although Letterpress books are much more costly to produce, we keep our prices competitive with much cheaper-to-produce computer-driven books to give readers more value.

So, tune in next Saturday, August 8th, for an entertaining and educational half-hour about book publishing the way it used to be done and, in a small town inupstate New York, it still is.

http://www.birchbrookpress.info/

Lloyd Jassin on “Cover to Cover”

July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Book Publishing, Radio Show | Comments Off on Lloyd Jassin on “Cover to Cover”
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This Saturday morning I am pleased to have Lloyd Jassin as a guest on my radio show “Cover to Cover” at 11:30 ET/8:30 PT and streaming worldwide at www.WNZF.com.

Lloyd is one of the best, brightest, and most experienced lawyers in the challenging world of entertainment and intellectual property law. He and Iwill talk about important steps book publishers must consider when organizing and running their businesses. We’ll talk about the types of legal errors new publishers make and what they should have done.

Lloyd will tell us about the importance of copyright and permissions for using copyrighted material. We’ll look at the changing publishing industry and the emergence of e-books.

So, if you are thinking of starting a book publshing house or already have, tune in for an informative interview with Lloyd Jassin. More information about Lloyd is available at www.copylaw.com.

Helping a Friend with His Memoir

July 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Posted in Perspective | Comments Off on Helping a Friend with His Memoir
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It’s hard to believe, but almost eight years ago I helped a long time friend write and produce a memoir about his life up through retirement from the Air Force in 1966. We’re talking about someone born in 1918, so he was a young 48 years at retirement and a spry 83 when he wrote the book.

My role, beside bugging the hell out of him to write the manuscript, was to edit and arrange layout, typesetting, and printing. Even though this memoir was strictly for family and friends, it was my first effort at making a book, and I loved it.

I had met Manny when I was a young Air Force captain in 1970, and we’ve been best friends ever since, despite the 26 year age difference. We’re peers; having had some of the same military and life experiecnes, believing in God and country, and knowing that good always trumps evil. Manny and Bernice, his wonderful wife of 66 years, are my best friends.

Manny’s first memoir (and I say first because we just finished his second) was a huge hit with everyone. But, they lamented, “It stops in 1966 and you’ve had so many exciting experiences since!” Well, now they can read about Manny and Bernice, and their family, from 1966 through 1987, when Manny retired again. I bet you’re thinking, “What about the period from 1987 to the present?” Manny assures me that, if the Good Lord is willing, he’ll pen the final phase.

I have to tell you, working with Manny to produce these two memoirs for his family and friends has been a cherished experience for me. We worked hard and long to make two good stories, but one of the most interesting parts of these times has been that he and I have never disagreed over a single item. Just as we have in life, our work together on his memoirs has been a time of respect and admiration. What more could one ask? A fun experience and a great time!

Thank you Manny and Bernice for sharing so much with me. I am better for it!

Radio Show Builds An Audience

July 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Book Publishing, Radio Show | Comments Off on Radio Show Builds An Audience
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Now that I’ve finished seven broadcasts of my radio show “Cover to Cover,” I’m hearing from folks across the country who say they have been listening in each Saturday. People as far away as California and Colorado have written in to comment about the show. Folks closer to my home base of Florida have also said they like the combination of information about books and book publishing. Some like the humor I try to blend in and others report the interviews with authors, publishers, marketers, and others have been really informative.

So far, guests on the show have been authors Steve Berry and Victor DiGenti, publishers Rudy Shur and Rod Colvin, book marketer Brian Jud, and social media expert Deltina Hay. My guests for the next four weeks will be intellectual property attorney Lloyd Jassin, publisher Tom Tolnay, media sensation Cynthia Brian, and IBPA’s new leader Carlene Sippola.

Anyone interested in books and book publishing should tune in every Saturday morning on the Net at www.wnzf.com at 11:30 ET/8:30 PT for loads of information, news, and fun. Those who have a guest or subject idea should email me at publisher@ocean-publishing.com.

Flying for Manta Rays

June 20, 2009 at 8:59 am | Posted in Nature, Perspective | Comments Off on Flying for Manta Rays
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I recently had an opportunity to fly along the northeast Florida coast to to do surveys of manta rays. The aircraft flown, an AirCam, is a rather unique bird designed originally for Nat Geo to do herd counts in Africa. It’s a twin-engine, high wing, tandem seat lightweight aircraft that takes off and lands on postage stamps and can cruise at 50-70 knots.

Flying east from our grass strip home base, the view of the coast line was spectacular, with Matanzas Inlet, residences, Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic all in sight at once.  Then we were out over the ocean and banking north a half mile offshore.

Immediately I could see cownose rays below as they moved around as singles or groups of 10 or more. But no mantas. Then I saw an occasional sea turtle, lending hope that this nesting season would improve from the low nest numbers I knew were being repported by the Turtle Patrol.

At the entrance to St. Augustine’s harbor we banked right and headed back south, this time toward our southern end of the survey plot, Flagler Beach Pier. As we approached Matanzas Inlet I spotted the first manta rays of the flight. Three mantas were headed north, right under our right side, on our course line a half mile offshore.

Then, it was as if a gate had been left open and there were manta rays everywhere. We saw singles, threes and fours, and larger groups. We marked their locations on the GPS and recorded them by size and number so we would could submit a report of our findings. As we approached Flagler Beach the mantas gave way to large numbers of cownose again.

Heading back from Flagler Pier, this time one mile offshore, we encountered less cownose and a fair number of mantas, especially as we neared Matanzas Inlet. North of the inlet we did not see any mantas and only a few cownose, with an occasional sea turtle. We turned south at St. Augustine channel and flew direct to Matanzas Inlet at 1.5 miles offshore.

With the weather building to the south, we decided to close out the survey and return to base. One thing I didn’t explain is that this aircraft is an open cockpit, no canopy. While this makes for fantastic photography, it isn’t fun when the weather turns wet or cold.

Just another fun day in this adventurer’s life on the coast.

BookExpo America 2009

June 1, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Posted in Book Publishing, Perspective | Comments Off on BookExpo America 2009
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Well, once again I proved that I can’t be everywhere and do everything at once. BookExpo America (BEA) proved that, after all, I am human.

I had planned to blog every day at BEA so we would have a running commentary about my activities, but a hundred different interruptions, mostly in the form of human beings, changed all that good intention stuff. Reality was that I had so much to do and so little time that I hardly had a chance to eat and go to the bathroom. In fact, the first two days of BEA I didn’t do either of those things until the show was over for the day!

Here’s my typical day during BEA: out of the hotel room at 6:30, breakfast by 7:00, work on office stuff until 8:00 when associates from IBPA arrive, depart for BEA by shuttle at 8:30, work the IBPA membership booth or members’ book display all day until 5:00 (My role was primarily to enlist new members and assist people to find and consider books in our display.), dinner with associates, work til 11:00, crash.

I had very little time for my own planned activities of seeking out potential sponsors for my radio show about publishing and visiting with distribution types to increase Ocean Publishing’s national exposure. Only on Sunday, the third and final day, did I have the opportunity to move around the floor a little.

Overall, BEA was pretty good for IBPA and me. We took in a bunch of  new members and I met with a distributor with whom I likely will sign on. I visited the Arabian Pavilion and was impressed by the size and sophistication of some of their booths. I met with representatives from the Arab Publishers Association, which I think should be considered as an affiliate candiate of IBPA, and with spokespersons from Sharjah, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. With publishers from around the world wanting access to the US markets, IBPA could be of assistance, and those worldwide interests might help US publishers gain access overseas in new markets. An interesting possibility.

One of the best benefits of being at BEA is the opportunity to visit with friends from around the country. I had a chance to meet up with Rudy Shur (Square One), Victoria Sutherland (ForeWord Magazine), Lloyd Jassin (Copylaw.com), Norman Goldfind (Basic Health) and a plethora of other folks too numerous to name.

One more person I visited with was Kathleen Go, a former intern who now works for a NYC publisher as an editor. She worked with me for over four months two years ago and it was so enjoyable to link up, even for a few minutes.

Now, it’s back to the realities of business: dealines, meetings, telephone calls, emails, yada, yada, yada. There’s always next year, though!

Publishing University Wrap-up

May 29, 2009 at 5:47 am | Posted in Book Publishing, Perspective | Comments Off on Publishing University Wrap-up
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Yesterday was the third and last day of the 2009 Publishing University presented by IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. And what a great day it was!

For me, there were two highlights: the luncheon program with industry pros talking about e-books; and the evening dinner and presentaion of the Benjamin Franklin Awards.

Speakers at the luncheon session described their respective company’s activities in the rapidly expanding e-book sector of the book industry. Neelan Choksi, whose company had just been bought by Stanza, Daniel Albohn, of Sony, and Mark Coker, owner of Smashwords, provided a clear picture of the exciting world of e-books. This is obviously a segment of the industry that is undergoing tremendous advances and growth. I am moving all of Ocean Publishing’s books into this format as rapidly as I can in the next few weeks.

The Ben Franklin Awards were great fun for me, especially, and a crowd of several hundred IBPA members and guests who filled the Grand Ballroom of The Roosevelt Hotel. The post-dinner presentation of awards for the best books in 54 categories was my highlight because I love the excitement of the evening. IBPA board members, along with Executive Director Terry Nathan and Assistant Director Lisa Krebs Magno, served as presenters.

Big winner of the night was Palace Press International, which took home five individual awards! Congratulations!

Today I move over to the Jacob Javits Center to attend BookExpo America, the biggest book publishing event of the year. For the next three days I will be working in the IBPA Booth(#2955) to help with IBPA’s membership campaign. If you are attending the show, please stop by and say hello.

More to come…

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