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Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
   April 23, 2004  

in this issue

In the News & More

Rebeca's Recipes & More

Book Reviews

For Aspiring Writers

For Screenwriters

Bookstores 101 & POD Titles

Publishing News

In the News & More

McDonald's Breaks Anti-Obesity Effort - McDonald's Corp., the world's largest fast-food marketer, launched an anti-obesity education campaign. The move comes as pressure mounts to regulate food-related advertising.

PAX TV's Got Game - Shows That Is - PAX TV is launching two new half-hour primetime game shows this summer, "On the Cover," a fast-paced pop culture trivia contest and "Balderdash." PAX TV has placed initial orders for 26 weeks of each of the strip series.

HAS THE SUN SET ON NETWORK EVENING NEWS? - It may just be a coincidence that the same week Tom Brokaw announces plans to retire as anchor of the "NBC Nightly News" the researchers at Ball State University have unleashed a new study showing the dramatic migration from network evening news to other news dayparts, especially early morning news shows, but we think Tom may have seen something coming. "Morning television news programs are growing more popular with viewers, possibly signaling the end to the dominance of early evening newscasts," concludes the Ball State study, which was conducted as part of the university's Center for Media Design's so-called Middletown research effort, a project that followed 101 people around to see what and how much - media they actually consume. The findings suggest that media fragmentation and consumer choices has finally caught up with the network news business.

Where Multi-taskers Focus - Completed in the Fall of 2003, the BIGresearch SIMM Survey provides interesting insights not only into "the fact of" multiple media usage, but what they're doing in each case. The survey shows that over 70% of consumers, at one time or another, use media simultaneously. The study poses the ultimate challenge for media companies and marketers...who's paying attention to what?

When listening to radio, 57.3% simultaneously go online, 46.9% read newspaper and 17.7% watch TV. 51.2% of radio listening multitaskers say they pay more attention to one medium more than the other. Newspapers are a TV watcher's best friend, as 74.2% of people who watch TV regularly or occasionally read the newspaper simultaneously. 66.2% say they go online and that documentaries are the preferred TV programming for those who watch TV and go online simultaneously. Documentaries lend themselves to listening, perfect for the simultaneous media using TV watcher. Movies are the preferred programming for 64.3% of the people who read newspapers and watch TV, followed by 56% watching police detective shows and 51.5% watching situation comedies. The 18-34 year old television viewers are playing video games while watching TV. Listening activities seem most agreeable to newspaper readers as 52.4% say they watch TV and 49.6% say they listen to the radio when reading the newspaper. Likewise, 52.4% of women and 49.6% of men prefer reading the newspaper and listening to the radio simultaneously. When waiting to download something online, 52.1% say they listen to a favorite tune or talk radio. 61.8% say they watch TV, 20.2% read the newspaper.

BK Serves Up Chicken On The Web - Burger King's garter-clad chicken has hooked millions of Webheads who accessed a dedicated site to see the bird strut its stuff. The burger giant set up a dedicated Web site and a viral promotion at: on April 7. The site and promotion were designed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, to tout Burger King's chicken sandwiches.

The hilarious Web campaign features a person dressed up as a chicken. Web surfers can command the chicken to perform various activities, ncluding dancing and jumping; a visitor can also type in a custom command and the chicken will obey the direction. An order to "come hither" resulted in the chicken walking toward this writer's screen.

The subservient chicken campaign, part of a TV effort for BK that broke last weekend, is shot in a GenY apartment in the style of an amateur porn film. Clad in a garter belt, the chicken waits for directives from the viewer. Other features of the site include the "tell a friend" email option, a chicken mask for printing and wearing, photos, and "subservient TV," where viewers can access the campaign's quirky/hipster-esque TV spots.

Crispin reported a staggering number of hits to the dedicated site, which began life as a test site link that was sent to 20 individuals who are friends of the agency. On Thursday, April 8, just one day after the site went live, Crispin reported 8.2 million hits, with the average viewing period hitting 8 minutes and 52 seconds. The traffic hit a whopping 12.4 million hits on April 14, with an average viewing period of 6 minutes and 56 seconds.

And the survey says -- Consumers Respond Favorably To Product Placement Of Brands In TV, Movies

About half of consumers surveyed say they've noticed brands involved in product placements in movies and television, according to a recent Media edge: CIA study. The study finds that 60 percent of those consumers are willing to try the brands advertised, with the percentages a little higher for TV than movies.

DoJ Goes Pirate Hunting - Attorney General John Ashcroft announced yesterday the most far- reaching and aggressive enforcement action ever undertaken against organizations involved in illegal intellectual property piracy over the Internet. Beginning yesterday morning, law enforcement from 10 countries and the United States conducted over 120 searches worldwide to dismantle some of the most well-known and prolific online piracy organizations.

Celebrity Gossip Column

J. Lo and Marc? - It's rumored that Jen has a new Bo - Marc Anthony. On Sunday night, Jen, 33, created a frenzy at the Los Angeles premiere of "Man on Fire," which co-stars her rumored beau, 34. Ok the pit is open bets are now being accepted - how long do you think it will last?

Madonna's Label Tagged Unprofitable - As part of an ongoing feud between Madonna and Warner Music Group, unsealed court documents revealed that the singer's record label, Maverick Records--which handles not only the Material Girl but Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch as well--has lost $66 million since 1999, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Last month, Maverick sued Warner Music for $200 million, claiming breach of contract and fraud, but Warner retaliated by filing a preemptive claim asking a judge to find that the company had fulfilled its commitment to Maverick. The latest documents show that in order for Maverick to get out of its joint venture with Warner Music, which is up at the end of the year, Maverick will have to pay $92.5 million, in addition to the value of Warner's interest in the label. The price tag includes the $66 million in losses, a $20 million loan and $6.5 million in unrecouped fees, the trade paper reports.

Royals Shocked at Dying Diana Photos - LONDON (AP) -- Princess Diana's family said Thursday they were "sickened" by CBS-TV's broadcast of photos of the dying princess taken moments after the crash that killed her. Two black-and-white photos were shown on Wednesday night's "48 Hours Investigates" program. They were taken by paparazzi at the scene of the Aug, 31, 1997, accident in Paris that also killed Diana's companion, Dodi Fayed, and chauffeur Henri Paul. The U.S. network insisted the pictures - which showed an unconscious Diana being treated by a doctor as she lay slumped in the back of a car in the Alma road tunnel - were not graphic or exploitative.

Basinger Auctions Off Engagement Ring Cha-ching! - Actress Kim Basinger sold a 3.7-carat diamond engagement ring given to her by ex-husband Alec Baldwin to a Beverly Hills jewelry dealer for a hefty $59,750 at a benefit auction, Reuters reports. The Oscar-winning actress, a noted animal rights activist, auctioned the modern Tiffany & Co. ring and some other jewelry at Christie's to raise money for The Performing Animal Welfare Society.

Gamer News

More Game Movies -A new trailer is now available from Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle- earth called "Inside the Battle, Volume One." Here's the description from EA: "It includes both a Q&A and video with VP and Executive Producer Mark Skagg explaining the concept of unit emotion. It's a great demonstration of how we're taking the RTS game to the next level. Also, this video is a first in a series of eight 'inside the Battle' videos that break down specific game features." The clip comes in three different renditions, ranging from 41 to 177 MB, available on NVIDIA's nZone. Also, has posted a new Silver Wings trailer, a 33 MB promo movie for a "Raptor- style arcade game" announced today at Computers & Electronics Romanian Fair, 2004.

DAoC Account Splitting - Mythic Entertainment announced today that their flagship massively multiplayer game "Dark Age of Camelot" will be offering a new service to their subscribers beginning on April 27th. Known to players as "account splitting," it allows players to transfer one or more characters from an existing account to a new account. Because separate characters on one account cannot be played simultaneously, households that share accounts often want to move a character to a new account so the two characters can adventure together.


The Punisher - 4 out 5 points

As with any comic book adaptation, the most important factor is how aptly the actor portrays the superhero, or in this case, antihero. Jane, who last appeared in Dreamcatcher but had a more memorable supporting role as a stringy cocaine addict in Boogie Nights, pumped up for the role of the Punisher, making him a good physical representation of the comic book character and a convincing military combatant. Travolta's performance as Frank's foe, Howard Saint, is slightly derivative of the Gabriel Shear character we saw in the 2001 actioner Swordfish: a cold-blooded, fanatical underworld villain. It's interesting to note that Howard Saint was not introduced in the comics but is an original character created for the big-screen adaptation. But the addition of Travolta to the cast brings much-needed bigwig star power to this otherwise lesser-known cast. Also introduced in the feature film are Frank's three neighbors, Mr. Bumpo (Pinette), Spacker Dave (Foster) and Joan (Romijn-Stamos). These three quirky outcasts add a bit of comic relief to an otherwise grim storyline, although the attempt at a love connection between Romijn-Stamos and Jane doesn't ignite any sparks. Look for an entertaining cameo appearance from professional wrestler Kevin "Big Sexy" Nash as "The Russian," sent to reduce Frank to a pile of flesh and broken bones.

Bottom Line - Director Jonathan Hensleigh's feature adaptation of the comic book super-antihero The Punisher has just the right mix of comic book poeticism, violence and comedy and the story is a compelling one, whether you are familiar with the comic book or not.

Kill Bill Vol. 2 - 5 out 5 points Uma Thurman proves her calm, cool, collected mettle once more as The Bride (aka Beatrix Kiddo, aka Black Mamba), plucking out eyeballs, bloodying her fists punching wood, exploding hearts, and the like. But we also see her completely vulnerable during flashbacks to the time she spent in a coma after the attack (some gnarly stuff happens in the hospital, but no spoilers forthcoming from this reviewer). And there's a softer side to Black Mamba when she's awake, too. In another flashback, we see The Bride on her last assignment before she quit the assassination business to become a wife and mom--the stick in her EPT has just turned blue when a rival assassin comes knocking through the door, and it's a poignant moment (with a Tarantino edge) as she tries to protect her unborn child. Carradine's Bill is somehow less menacing than one might have expected, but there's enough creepiness in the character for an audience to imagine what a real hard case he must have been in his glory days. Hannah enjoys a splendid comeback role as The Bride's fellow assassin, and she's regal in her adherence to the warrior code they share. Madsen wears Sidewinder's cowboy hat and slouchy jeans like he was born to them and swills whisky like a ranch hand, yet he still captures the wistfulness of the once-great fighter, if somewhat ironically.

Bottom Line - One of the most entertaining movies of the year so far, Kill Bill Vol. 2 is twice as good as its predecessor and about half as violent.

Ella Enchanted -4 out of 5 points

Based on the best-selling, prize-winning novel by Gail Carson Levine of the same title, Ella of Frell (Anne Hathaway) lives in a magical world where ogres, giants, fairies, elves and such live together in relative harmony. athaway, who was a breath of fresh air in the 2001 sleeper hit The Princess Diaries, solidifies her reputation as a natural comedienne in Ella Enchanted. The sassy, forward-thinking medieval lass, forced to obey every command despite herself, gets into some precarious situations (watch how her nasty stepsisters make her steal stuff from the medieval mall, "Galleria of Frell"), and Hathaway's endearing qualities--the expressive face, the affinity for physical comedy--accentuate the charming story. As her love interest, Prince Charmont, Dancy (Black Hawk Down) clicks with Hathaway and has the looks and personality Teen Beat readers (or, as the magazine's called in the film, Medieval Teen) drool over. But it's the rest of the cast who truly complete the film--including Minnie Driver as Ella's fairy nursemaid, Mandy, who isn't very good at dispensing magic; Mistry (The Guru), as Benny, the boyfriend Mandy accidentally turns into a talking book; Elwes, who does a complete turnaround from his hero in Princess Bride; Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) as the greedy stepmother; Heidi Klum (yes, the model), as a fetching giant; and especially newcomer McArdle, who, as an elf supposedly destined to only make merry and sing songs, really wants to be a lawyer.

Bottom Line - Although Ella Enchanted will certainly captivate fairytale lovers and romantics alike, it's the MTV, Teen Beat-lovin' teenage girls who will sing its praises the loudest.

For Authors

Looking to get reviewed? Here's a few places to get you started.

Allbooks Reviews
Professional reviews and great promotional packages for authors, publishers and distributors. Our clients are our best advertising so check out the website:

-and read the Author's comments today. Chosen one of 101 Best Websites for Writer's by Writer's Digest (May 2004) For review requests contact:

(Hey how come no one voted for me? *Just kidding!)

Send information about your book to:
who will route it to the appropriate reviewer for the site

Scribes World
Reviews print books and ebooks. For more information contact Lisa Ramaglia

It's Only Ink!
A children's book review email newsletter by Jennifer LB Leese. If you want to have your book reviewed write and tell her about your book:

For Autograph Seekers!

There is plenty of time to contact your favorite star!

Robin Williams
'The Big White'
c/o Man It's Cold Prod Inc.
599 Empress St
Winnipeg MB R3G 3P3
"filming 4/12 - 6/7"

Elijah Wood
Odd Lot Entertainment
368 North LA Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-1925
"Filming started: Apr 01, 2004"

Vin Diesel
'The Pacifier'
c/o Spyglass Entertainment Group, LLC
10900 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90024
"Filming starts: Apr 30, 2004"

Johnny Depp
'Charlie & The Chocolate Factory'
c/o Pinewood Studios Ltd.
Pinewood Road
Iver Heath
United Kingdom
The film is in pre-production (April 2004). Johnny is to play the role of Willy Wonka. Filming supposed to begin June 2004

Morgan Freeman
Batman Begins
c/o Shepperton Film Studios
1 Studio Road
Shepperton Middlesex
TW17 0QD
United Kingdom
"Filming started: March 16, 2004"

** We appreciate and hope you continue to send us your comments, opinions, articles and suggestions. Remember if you submit anything to our newsletter - include a link back to your site.

Betsie's Literary Page is where readers are respected, books are cherished, aspiring writers are encouraged and authors are adored.

Copyright by Betsie, 2004 All contents of this email are for the use of Betsie's Literary Page subscribers and may not be reproduced in any way and/or posted on websites without prior express written permission. If you would like to have friends or associates receive our emails, rather than forwarding this, please have them subscribe.

Thank You for reading, see you next week!


Hello Everyone!

Hope your week was a good one, as well as productive! Mine certainly was. Since announicing my new project "The Author's Companion," it has grown from a few pages to 270 in just 1 week! Didn't realize I had so much to say and share LOL

OK so last night I decided to stick the newly acquired young pup in his kennel. The reason being - he likes to sleep in bed - and usually when I wake up I feel as if I've just survived a battle.

He was cooperative, raising no fuss - I even gave him his stuffed bunny to cuddle with. Although when I returned to my bedroom -- I found the cat sprawled out in my spot. It was then that I knew dark forces were against me!

  • Rebeca's Recipes & More

    Antojitos (Filled Mini Tortilla Cups) for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

    Ingredients :

    4 lrg Flour tortillas
    2oz Crumbed goat cheese
    1/2x Tomato, minced
    1x Jalapeno, minced
    2oz Grated queso blanco
    2tbl Minced red bell pepper
    2tbl Finely chopped cilantro
    1/8 tspHot chili powder
    2oz Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
    2x To 3 tb cooked black beans

    ˇUsing a cookie cutter, cut 6 rounds out of each tortilla and make a 1/2 inch cut at opposite sides of each one. Press the 24 rounds into mini muffin tins.

    ˇPreheat oven to 440 degrees F.

    ˇFor the Goat Cheese antojitos: Place crumbled goat cheese in the center of each of 8 tortillas cups.

    ˇArrange tomato on one side and the jalapeno on the other to replicate the bands of color on the Mexican flag.

    ˇFor the Monterey Jack antojitos: Place a small slice of cheese in the bottom of 8 tortilla cups, cover with black beans and top with the remaining cheese.

    ˇFor the Queso Blanco antojitos: Mix together the queso blanco, cilantro, red bell pepper, and chili powder and divide among 8 tortilla cups.

    ˇTo finish the recipe: Place the muffin tins on the middle rack of the oven and bake 3-4 minutes or until the edges of the tortilla cups begin to color. Serve at once.

    BLP's Weekly Joke - Did You Ever Wonder?

    Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?

    Why is it that no matter what color of bubble bath you use - the bubbles are always white?

    Is there ever a day when mattresses are NOT on sale?

    Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with the hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

    On electric toasters, why do they engrave the message 'one slice'? How many pieces of bread do they think people are really going to try to stuff in that slot?

    Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give their vacuum one more chance?

    Why is it that no plastic garbage bag will open from the end you first try?

    How do those dead bugs get into closed light fixtures?

    Considering all the lint you get in your dryer, if you kept drying your clothes would they eventually just disappear?

    When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'Its all right." It isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"

    Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

    Is it true that the only difference between a yard sale and a trash pickup is how close to the road the stuff is placed?

    In winter, why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

    How come we never hear any father-in-law jokes?

    Letters to the Editor

    Hi Betsie,

    My name is Jacnique (pronouced "Zha'nique") and I am a vocalist & songwriter. I was very impressed with the information that I found on your site and I am sure it will be of great help to me in my pursuit of fame & fortune. Thank you so much for the information you offered. I am hoping to get one or more of my songs into film or television.

    Jacnique, everyone at BLP wishes you much success! For anyone who would like to listen to some of Jacnique's music please visit

  • Book Reviews

    Title: The Diary of Alice Mary
    Author: Alice Mary Connally Fisk
    Publisher: 1stBooks; (November 2003)
    Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography
    ISBN: 1410798860
    Softcover: 412 pages
    Price: $19.95

    Rating: Highly Recommended

    April 15, 2004

    A daughter's tribute to her father's love to be shared with your family.

    Joe Connally kept a diary in which he faithfully recorded the daily activities of his young daughter, Alice Mary. Joe lost his wife and Alice Mary lost her mother on December 31,1943. During this time, although surrounded by family, Joe and Alice Mary shared a special bond that was created by Alice Sr.'s untimely death. This diary chronicles the daily events as they unfolded during the World War II era as seen through Joe's eyes and Alice Mary's memories.

    This book is definitely a touching tribute to the love between a parent and their offspring. As I read through the pages I felt as if I lived during that era and experienced the turmoil and tranquility firsthand. I could see a lot of my daughter's characteristics in the young Alice Mary and this book touched my soul in a special way.

    Alice Mary has paid tribute to her father and she has created something that will live on forever in print. The diary entries are separated by quotes, anecdotes and even the last words of famous personalities. It is a very entertaining and smooth read that you will definitely enjoy. The plot is just as uncertain as life itself and as you read the pages you experience the spontaneous emotions and feelings that have always been a part of human life, but from a unique standpoint.

    What I take from this book is this. Love your loved ones and cherish them as if they will be gone tomorrow. No one's time on earth is promised and each moment is a precious entry in the diary that chronicles your life experiences. I commend the author for committing this work to print and I thank her for sharing this personal experience with us.

    Reviewed by: Tyrone Vincent Banks.


    Title: Poison at the Pinnacle
    Author: Hawk MacKinney
    Publisher: Turnkey Press;(April 2004)
    Genre: Murder Mystery
    ISBN#: 0974466867
    Paperback; 248pp


    April 18, 2004

    Lethal doses of power and prestige in rural USA

    In a small rural town in South Carolina bank president Royce Sedgewike falls dead at a banquet dinner. The official cause of death is listed as a heart attack. Terri Stanley, a widow of less than 6 months re-enters the work force securing a job at that same bank as a department trustee officer. Craig Ingramme is the trustee of the McGriffin trust that Terri is auditing. The figures in this portfolio don't add up and Terri must decide which direction to take. Is someone in the bank skimming funds from this account and has she been hired as the patsy?

    Terri decides to go to Craig with her suspicions. Together they secure the original forms to prevent any document tampering. Craig is an ex-seal PI with connections and quite wealthy. Craig launches into an investigation that inadvertently places Terri and her son in danger. As the proverbial body count rises, Craig along with ex-seal buddy, Lt. Grason MacGerald, scramble to smoke out a killer or killers.

    The motives and possible suspects begin to form an unending roadmap with all roads leading to dead ends. Terri and her son come up missing. Will Craig be able to locate them before the killer moves in or will this snooping cause their deaths?

    This authors story, about high-level corruption and greed is filled with colorful characters ranging from filthy rich, high society "hob-nobs" to penniless bag ladies. There's romance, depraved sexual acts, strange friendship, along with a modern day "Hatfield McCoy" rivalry.

    I highly recommend this novel filled with the pitfalls of power at the top. The ending will surprise you!

    Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds


    Title: Seriously Dark and Disturbed
    Author: Nora Weston
    Publisher: Publishing; (January 2003)
    ISBN: 1589393341
    Paperback: 144pp


    April 22, 2004

    Journey through the dark side

    This book is a series of short stories and poems that reads like a peep show into the dark side where there is a never-ending struggle to battle against evil. This author uses fantasies, science fiction, dimensional portals and time warps as a means to portray how desires and greed's can put a soul in mortal danger. Also, if an individual is not careful about how he or she interacts with others, his or her soul may be forsaken and become lost in the world of the damned.

    These short stories and poems depict murder, deceit, greed, lust, jealousy, adultery, fame, fortune, loss, and survival through intense morality struggles. Seriously Dark and Disturbed contains poems that plunge the reader into self-insight distinguishing darkness and light with vivid descriptions. Ending with flash fiction that delves into death, despair, hope, and narrow escapes.

    This author's horror trip is a great journey into the unknown.

    Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds

    **** Books NOT yet Released ****

    Title: The Dark Princess
    Author Donna J. Schmidt
    Publisher: Publish America
    Genre: Gothic/Romance/Fiction
    ISBN: 1413713289

    Rating: Highly Recommended

    April 17, 2004

    The story begins with 15 year-old Cassandra; only daughter of Duke Eton is accompanied by her Irish-born maid named, Becca, who herself is but 10 years older. Together the trio journey's to Russia. Duke Eton having promised a virgin bride to his longtime friend, Lord Davenport, but Eton desires much more. Upon their arrival an agreement is struck and Duke Eton intent on having his way invades Cassandra's bedchamber.

    Cassandra struggles against both men when she is struck down unconscious. Simultaneously the door flies off its hinges! The shape of a man is visible in the darkness.

    When Cassandra comes to, she soon discovers she is no longer at Lord Davenport's lavish estate, instead now resides within the walls of a castle called Dragon Bluff. To further amazement, she also learns that her savior and new benefactor is Prince Dimitri Donskey.

    Time passes peacefully until the disappearance of a potential suitor, a horrifying event ensues, and a knife plunges into and fatally wounds Cassandra.

    Given a choice between death and eternal life as one of the undead, Cassandra chooses the latter. Everlasting life and eternal youth, promised to her, a plot swirling of animal instincts combined with intellectual prose.

    The tale becomes riveting as Cassandra confronts her father, the Duke after a number of years.

    The Dark Princess is a strong, rich, and original piece of writing. The blend of the erotic and the horrific is true to the spirit of the original Dracula.

    Vivid descriptions easily carry the reader, as I soon found myself traveling through another time dimension. It was a dimension of not only sight and sound, but of mind.

    Someone please take the sign down, I do believe we found a new and improved Ann Rice! The author, Donna J. Schmidt has done a superb job of storytelling - setup the radar, this is certainly one author to keep an eye on.

    Reviewed by Betsie

    For comments or questions about reviews - please direct them to:

  • For Aspiring Writers

    Writing Outside the Box - by: Sherry D. Ramsey

    Quick! Grab something to write with (I mean it!) and finish this sentence: "What I really want to write is..." Did you say, "better poetry," or "travel articles," or "4000-word short stories," or "meaningful novels about cats?" It doesn't matter what you wrote. Whatever you answered, that's your box.

    Most writers start out inside a box. The box is of our own making, because the box is what we want to write, what we feel qualified to write, what we need to write. If we could make a living writing that one thing, we'd be satisfied. There's nothing wrong with that; the contents of your box can be your ultimate writing goal. By staying inside that box all the time, however, you may be missing a lot of opportunities to gain experience, improve your writing skills, and actually make money. The things you can write about, the way you can write them, and the places you can sell them, are almost limitless. Don't ignore ideas that don't fit inside the box.

    Had a great idea for a novel but realized after you began it that there wasn't enough plot? Maybe you can turn it into a short story. Started a story and realized it would work better set fifty years in the future? Maybe you can write it as science fiction. Did you keep a written account of that great vacation you had last summer? Write a travel article.

    Do you garden, fish, paint, craft, run, cook, read, take photos, do carpentry, or anything else? Do you have an area or areas of expertise connected to your work? Are you a parent? You can probably write about it. Can you write greeting card copy? Create puzzles? Make up a quiz? Write a cartoon gag? Explain how to do something? You can write it. And, if you write it well, sell it.

    Don't believe me? The subtitle of the 2001 Writer's Market is "8000 Editors Who Buy What You Write." That's eight thousand places to sell your writing. Some of those editors are buying the kinds of things that fit inside your writing box, but most of them are buying other things, too.

    When you're just starting out, you might find it easier to concentrate more on what you're immediately comfortable writing. That's fine. But as you gain confidence and proficiency, don't forget to look around at what else you might write. There's a whole world of possibilities waiting for you to explore them.

    Sherry D. Ramsey is a fiction and nonfiction writer, editor and Internet publisher.

  • For Screenwriters


    -------- 1) Anthony Vasto --------

    I am looking for unique and daring writers with completed coming of age, psychological drama scripts. Examples of what I am looking for are along the lines of 'Ordinary People' and/or 'Donnie Darko'.

    Budget range will not exceed 30 mil.

    I was the creative exec for 4 years at Weed Road Pictures (Akiva Goldsman) and have recently departed to pursue management/production on my own. My partners and I have valuable relationships with production companies/studios and have many strong contacts in the industry.

    Please email a logline followed by a synopsis to: Anthony Vasto

    -------- 2) Hackett Wells Films --------

    I am looking for a completed quirky teen comedy script.

    Budget range is 2-5 mil.

    WG and Non-WG both welcome to submit

    I am an experienced producer. Some of my credits include: 'Sensitive Johnson' (Winner of Gold Medal in Park City Film Festival), 'Animal Kidding' (Winner of Gold World Medal at New York Festival for Family Program), 'Spy TV' (NBC) and 'A Baby Story' (The Learning Channel).

    Please email a logline followed by a synopsis (no email attachments will be read) to: Wayne Hackett


    ** Once you are certain the listing is legit, submit material through an attorney or agent. Never, never, never send your complete script to anyone over the net. A half page synopsis is all that should be expected via email, the requestor should supply full postal details for anything more. Unless you intend to make more money from the potential lawsuit than selling your script, make sure your script is registered with the AWG/wga-west or east. Best of luck!

  • Bookstores 101 & POD Titles

    For many your book will be listed on,, Barnes &,, as well as in the Bowkers Books In Print database. As part of Ingram's catalog your book will be available to independent bookstores and many other online outlets*.

    There is extremely fierce competition to get books onto the limited bookstore shelves. In the current bookselling climate, it is difficult to place any books on bookstore shelves. This is an industry-wide statement, but applies to print-on-demand books particularly because they are normally non-returnable. If a book does not sell, booksellers can return the book to the publisher at any time, in any condition. Books spend between 6 weeks and 6 months on bookstore shelves before they are returned. The business model of the traditional printing and bookselling industry (dating back to the Great Depression) is so wasteful and costly and that's why traditional publishers rarely take a chance on unknown authors.

    Periodically an author will meet with some resistance or stubbornness dealing with bookstores.

    Assure them if the book quantity needed does not show as 'in-stock' with Ingram, then the books can be backordered and are available very quickly since they are print-on-demand.

    POD titles ARE available on and at the brick and mortar stores themselves. Borders takes the greatest amount of time to update their order processing systems, but your books are available and listed. Borders uses a 2 tiered ordering process. Tier 1 are the traditionally published titles. Tier 2 or "Sleuth Titles" is where POD titles can be found.

    Barnes & Nobles:
    They like to buy from local authors, and the whole chain has a special buying program for self-publishers. They're trying to attract POD titles, for some reason."

    Some things to remember, it does take about 30 days for retailers to receive the complete retail feed from Ingram once the book goes live. By 'complete retail feed' I mean cover pics as well as retail/text information. So, if a cover isn't there as an initial part of the retail listing there is a good chance that at the end of 30 days it will be there. There are times when the cover is not added by the reseller. We can upload the covers manually at the point that we pass 30 days. Once uploaded manually it usually takes Amazon 10 to 15 business days to add to listing.

    For readers - even when you see "none in stock or out of stock" don't be shy go ahead and add to cart - your copy will be delivered!

  • Publishing News

    You're invited to a MoveOn book event!

    The event will include Amy Goodman, host and producer of "Democracy Now!"; Robert McChesney, author and host of "Media Matters"; and MoveOn volunteer Joy Ward on behalf of the MoveOn book.

    WHEN: Thursday, April 22
    6:30 PM - reception, book signing
    8:00 PM - readings

    WHERE: Left Bank Books will host this event at: Sheldon Concert Hall
    3648 Washington Blvd. (near Grand Blvd)
    St Louis, MO
    Tel: 314.367.6731

    Author, Feather Schwartz Foster will be discussing her new book "LADIES: A Conjecture of Personalities" at the following events:

    Thurs. 5/3: 11 a.m.
    Monroe Twp. Senior Center
    Monroe Twp., NJ

    Thurs. 5/6: 7 p.m.
    Piscataway Seniors
    Piscataway, NJ

    Mon. 5/10 - 7 p.m.
    Dunellen Library
    Dunellen, NJ

    Tues. 5/18: 7:30 p.m.
    Friends of the Fanwood Library
    Fanwood, NJ

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    Betsie's Literary Page · 9975 Lorraine Ave. · St. Louis · MO · 63074

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