Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
  Books, Books and more Books! February 27, 2004  

in this issue

In the News and More

Recipes and Jokes

Book Reviews

For Aspiring Writers

For Screenwriters

For Authors


In the News and More

INSTANT KARMA -- John Lennon got in some hot holy water when he once proclaimed that his one-time garage band had grown "bigger than Jesus." Now, nearly 40 years after Lennon's infamous sound bite, it seems that Jesus-to- recording-industry- icon comparisons have devalued greatly.

Failed "American Idol" contestant William Hung has parlayed what should have been only 15- minutes of out-of-tune fame into instant celebrity status that put him in the No. 26 spot - with a bullet - on the Lycos 50 for the week ending Feb. 20. While that does not make Hung "bigger" than a major Jesus-related story circulating among the searchers last week - the debate surrounding Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ" - it does put Hung within striking distance. Searches related to the film ranked No. 10 for the week, up from No. 37 the previous week. Still, that put the Jesus film behind such search perennials as (in this order from No. 1) Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson, Anna Kournikova, Britney Spears, KaZaA, Neopets, Pamela Anderson and Brooke Burke. Despite all the hype surrounding Gibson's film, it's clear what online searchers are really passionate about. And it doesn't seem to be religion, or music either.

Univision Reports Sharply Higher Sales Riding the momentum of a rapidly expanding audience and strength in adults 18-34, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc. reported sharply higher revenues and profits in the fourth quarter.

The Los Angeles-based media company's most recognized property is the Univision Network and it's owned and affiliated TV stations from in Hispanic centers around the United States. But it also owns two other TV networks, TeleFutura and Galavision, along with the 68 stations of Univision Radio, a record division and Univision Online. Univision reaches 98 percent of U.S. Hispanic households and has by far the leading market share of U.S. Hispanic viewing.

Some of the revenue - $76.2 million - came from its radio unit, the former Hispanic Broadcasting, which was acquired near the end of the third quarter.

SPEAKING OF SEARCH ENGINE SMUT --, the racy parody of Google, says while Google's legal team is challenging its right to use the Booble trademark, it's simply not going to play tit-for-tort, er, make that tit-for- tat. "We stand by our response to Google's demands three weeks ago," said Booble's first-name-only founder Bob. "The law recognizes that intelligent people can disagree on what's funny." Apparently, the naughty search engine believes parody is the best defense against trademark parity, and has taken the joust one step further by launching, a Web site devoted to Google's legal challenge of Booble's trademark. "Goliath wants to bind our boobs," proclaims the page, which asks users to vote whether they are "amused" by Booble's allusion, or "confused" by its likeness to Google. The site also posts a sub-link that should help raise Booble's legal defense fund. Users are encouraged to show their support by purchasing Booble trademarked t-shirts, coffee mugs and thongs.

SPACKLE THE WALLS, MOVE AHEAD TWO SPACES -- One can never say that HGTV isn't creative when sending out press releases. To promote its latest show "Designed to Sell," launching March 28, what did we get in the mail but a board game. A board game resembling our favorite game growing up, "Clue." In the series, real estate experts and interior designers on how simple, inexpensive changes can boost their home's economic value give homeowners advice. The game is no different. Complete with game pieces and cards, the player either chooses to be the host or the designer featured in the TV show. The object is to reach the end of the game first, along with making minimal repairs along the way. "Replace that '70's wallpaper with a fresh, neutral color coat of paint."

On Eve Of Kids TV Upfront, Advertising To Children Comes Under New Attacks-- Marketers in two major advertising categories - food and tobacco - were challenged in two separate developments Tuesday related to their advertising to children. In one effort, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released a report summarizing a series of well-regarded research studies on the impact that media - including television advertising - have on the eating habits of children and childhood obesity. The main focus of that allegation was a just-released study from the American Psychological Association, which said children under the age of eight are not able to make cognitive judgments concerning advertising claims of any kind and therefore are being unduly influenced by food marketers, now the largest children's television advertising category.

The report comes just as marketers and kids TV programmers prepare for 2004-05 kids upfront TV negotiations, and the increased sensitivity could cast a new light on deal-making - especially if food marketers opt to cutback on their kids advertising outlays. Separately, a federal judge Tuesday ruled that the Justice Department could proceed with a $289 billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry, which charges that tobacco marketers such as Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, and Brown & Williamson intentionally targeted their advertising and marketing efforts at underage consumers. The suit cites such advertising campaigns as Camel cigarette's Joe Camel.

ROBIN KENT GETS RED FACE OVER GREEN CARD -- Where's Robin? If you're among those who are wondering where Universal McCann chief Robin Kent is these days, you're not alone. Kent has gone MIA, but it has nothing to do with his job - only his work visa. It seems the Brit's U.S. visa has expired, and Kent, who normally commands UM's worldwide operations from its Manhattan headquarters, will be operating remotely from the agency's U.K. base until he can get an audience with American immigration officials to clear matters up. "We've gotten used to things like this happening, because we have a lot of international employees here," says UM spokeswoman Erica Wren. "Especially now, the immigration officials are getting particularly picky about things."

Ad-Free Internet? -- Just when you thought the online advertising sector was picking up (and it is), there's a radical proposal advanced. This, from Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel, who proposed that one day (perhaps soon), Yahoo!'s subscription-only services could be ad-free. Semel, speaking yesterday at a Commonwealth Club event in Santa Clara, Calif., said ad-free services on Yahoo! are being contemplated but offered few details.


The Passion of the Christ

5 out of 5 points

This is a story of unparalleled substance told with unprecedented style. Perhaps the most powerful-and violent-depiction of Christ's final earthly hours ever put to film,

The movie's prevailing tone is one of respect and adoration. It's not excessively preachy, yet it never downplays the eternal significance of his identity and actions.

There's no denying the bloody violence is often excruciating to watch. Although its because Gibson isn't shy about showing the physical abuse much the way it is described in Scripture, but also because it happened not to a man, not to a revered historical figure, but to our Lord and Savior.

The Passion of the Christ is arguably the most controversial Bible movie in years. A number of religious leaders have enthusiastically endorsed it; others condemn it as a tool to promote anti-Semitic violence and revisionist history.

Gibson has created more than a respectful biography, though. There's a vivid spiritual dimension here. The anthropomorphic portrayal of Satan as a player in these events brilliantly pulls the proceedings into the supernatural realm-a fact that should have quelled the much-publicized cries of anti-Semitism since it shows a diabolical force at work beyond any political and religious agendas of the Jews and Romans.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

Rating: 3 out of 5 points

Mary Cep (she prefers to be called Lola) thinks her life is over when her family moves from the hustle and bustle of New York City to a laid-back suburb in New Jersey (a place she refers to as a "new planet"). She really thinks it's over when she finds out her favorite rock group is disbanding.

Although Lola has a bit of a wild side, she doesn't usually take things to extremes. There is no alcohol use, no drugs, no nudity, no sexual inappropriateness. She genuinely cares for her mother and father (who are divorced) and is not afraid to compliment and hug her mother. (She does, however, shirk her parents' rules whenever she feels the need to.)

It's disappointing that Lola's biggest goals in life are so small (she wants to be popular and she wants to be a famous actress). It would have been nice if she had, had the realization that there's a lot more to life than living for what others think.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen would seem more at home on the Disney channel than on the big screen-it's strictly after-school special material.

Welcome to Mooseport

Rating: 4 out of 5 points

Handy Harrison runs the local hardware store in tiny Mooseport, Maine. His long-time girlfriend, Sally, is a strong-willed veterinarian waiting impatiently for him to propose. The couple and their tranquil townsfolk get a jolt of pomp and circumstance when a popular American President retires full-time to a summer home in their midst.

Hackman is one of the premiere actors of his generation. He proves it again as the former U.S. President who can be despicable one minute and noble the next without it seeming like a huge contradiction. Surrounding him are Harden as his trusted advisor and moral conscience, the elegantly shrewish Baranski as his greedy ex-wife, and Torn as a conniving campaign manager. Once again, Tierney (Liar Liar) is good as the frustrated love interest loathe to put up with her leading man's immature shenanigans. Even Fred Savage is fun to watch as the presidential aide punished like a child for bearing bad news.

Is Welcome to Mooseport brilliant cinema? No. But it's a comely comedy that campaigns hard for personal integrity. By today's PG-13 standards, families could do a lot worse. Had it reined in the profanity and sexual intimations-and eliminated the streaker altogether-it could have earned a PG and a recommendation.

Against the Ropes

Rating: 3 out 5 points

Having grown up around boxing, Jackie Kallen knows a jab from a hook from an uppercut. And she knows knockout talent when she sees it. But knowledge can take a woman only so far in a boys-club industry. So she resigns herself-for awhile-to secretarial duties for a sexist and demeaning man.

When on a whim, a top boxing agent offers her the contract of a fighter for a dollar, she accepts. But her new charge turns out to be a drug addict!

Boxing is violent. Hence, movies about boxing are violent. Included here are not just the punches above and below the belt, but swollen eyes, and bloody noses and mouths (their depiction isn't excessively violent or gory).

This is Jackie Kallen's story, inspired by her real life. It contains all the expected clichés of a boxing movie, albeit without the sense of style that often characterizes the best entries into the genre. The film also suffers from a split personality syndrome. How accurate it is, is anybody's guess. Meg Ryan's Jackie comes across as a schmoozing self-promoter who has a problem with modesty and boundaries (until she makes a sacrificial decision near the movie's close-a clear case of too little, too late). Omar Epps' Luther has only one thing going for him-he knows how to box. Outside of that, he's just a hothead with a checkered past and a sexually involved present. A few limp lessons in selflessness and female empowerment don't make up for that.


Broken Lizard's Club Dread

Starring: Bill Paxton, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Tony Amendola, Julio Bekhor, Brittany Ann Daniel, M.C. Gainey, Jordan Ladd, Samm Levine, Elena Lyons, Daniel Montgomery, Lindsay Price, Tanja Reichert

From the guys who brought you "Super Troopers"...Broken Lizard is back, surrounded by limber, wanton women on a booze-soaked island resort owned by Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton), a rock star has-been. But the non-stop party takes a turn for the weird when dead bodies start turning up faster than you could drink a rum punch. Everyone begins to look suspicious. Could it be Sam (Stolhanske) of the Fun Police brigade, who is quick on the trigger with his tequila loaded super- soaker; Jenny (Daniel), the over-sexed, fitness instructor; Juan (Lemme), the flamboyant diving instructor with a secret third-world past; Putman (Chandrasekhar), the bratty-British tennis coach/fanatic; Dave (Soter), the ecstasy-crazed, adopted nephew of Coconut Pete; or the burly masseuse (Heffernan) blessed with a creepy 'touch' that can render anyone into instant Jell-O? Can the inhabitants of Pleasure Island unite, solve the mystery and restore happy hour to this tropical bacchanal?

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Starring: Mika Boorem, Polly Cusumano, Patrick Swayze, Sela Ward, Romola Garai, Diego Luna, January Jones, René Lavan, Jonathan Jackson

Set against the decadent glamour and escalating danger of revolution-eve Cuba, "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" re-imagines the 1987 film phenomenon from an exciting new perspective. "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" tells a timeless story of a young woman's discovery of love, sensuality and independence - but with a sizzling style and rhythm all its own. Based on producer/choreographer JoAnn Jansen's real life experiences as an American teenager in Cuba, "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" plunges us into world of bright color, vibrant sound and intense emotion.


Starring: Ashley Judd, Samuel L Jackson, Andy Garcia, David Strathairn, D.W. Moffett, Mark Pellegrino, Russell Wong

Newly-promoted police detective Jessica Shepard (Judd) is after a serial killer with a penchant for murdering men she has recently dated. But things get even more complicated when Jessica begins blacking out right before each murder, leading her partner, Mike Delmarco (Garcia), and the police commissioner (Jackson), to believe she is the prime suspect.

Good Bye Lenin! (NY, LA)

Starring: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Maria Simon, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas, Alexander Beyer, Burghart Klaußner, Michael Gwisdek

October, 1989 was a bad time to fall into a coma if you lived in East Germany - and this is precisely what happes to Alex's proudly mother. Alex has a big problem on his hands when she suddenly awakens eight months later. Her heart is so weak that any shock might kill her. And what could be more shocking than the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of capitalism in her beloved East Germany? To save his mother, Alex transforms the family apartment into an island of the past, a kind of socialist-era museum where his mother is lovingly duped into believing that nothing has changed. What begins as a little white lie turns into a major scam as Alex's sister and selected neighbors are recruited to maintain the elaborate ruse - and keep her believing that Lenin really did win after all!



Based on the true story of the greatest long-distance horse race ever run, "Hidalgo" is an epic action- adventure and one man's journey of personal redemption. Held yearly for centuries, the Ocean of Fire - a 3,000 mile survival race across the Arabian Desert - was a challenge restricted to the finest Arabian horses ever bred, the purest and noblest lines, owned by the greatest royal families.

Starsky and Hutch

In "Starsky & Hutch," the origins of the charismatic crime-fighting duo David Starsky and Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson are explored when these undercover Bay City detectives are partnered for their very first assignment. Ben Stiller plays the tightly wound Detective David Starsky who is thrown together with Owen Wilson's easygoing Detective Ken Hutchinson on a high-stakes case. Platinum-selling rapper and actor Snoop Dogg plays their savvy street informant Huggy Bear. Vince Vaughn also joins the cast as Reese Feldman, a smooth-talking entrepreneur with an eye towards the future.

The Reckoning (limited)

In 14th Century England, this powerful tale of redemption follows a fugitive priest (Bettany) who falls in with a troupe of travelling actors (led by Dafoe). As they arrive in a small town, the actors encounter a woman being sentenced to death for witchcraft and murder. Discarding the expected bible stories, the actors stage a performance based on the crime. Through the performance of the play, they discover that the townspeople know the woman did not, in fact, commit the murder. The stage becomes a place where vital human truth is told.

Copyright by Betsie, 2003 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!

   Greetings Friends!

I was awakened this afternoon by my friend Kenny who had graciously picked up my mail. A new batch of books to read ^_^ he was surprised I was still in bed. Its due to the recent late nights of working on the site, writing articles and sifting through new promotional ideas.

Well as many have learned - we've added much information to our web site. Any additions will be posted in our newsletter for our subcribers to take advantage first.

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

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  • Recipes and Jokes

    Horchata de Almendra

    Real Horchata from Valencia is made with Chufa (Tiger Nut). Unfortuantely, Chufa is not available (that I know of) in America.

    A suitable substitute for the Chufas are Almonds, which give the Horchata the same texture and similiar taste. Horchata is not a dairy product and contains little fat, so it is often refered to as "the drink of the gods" for it's rich but lowfat flavor.


    1/2 kilo (1 pound) Almonds
    1/2 kilo (1 pound) Sugar
    1 Lemon
    1 Cinnamon Stick
    1 Pinch of Salt
    2.5 liters Water (warm)

    * The first step is to remove the skins from the almonds. The best way to do this is to simply buy them already skinless. If none are available, you will have to boil the skins off. Put the almonds in a pot of boiling water and let sit until the skins become very soft. With time, the skins will dissolve or slide off easily when stirred. Boiling the almonds is a pain. It is much easier to just buy them without skins.

    * Crush or otherwise pulverise the almonds into a coarse powder. If you boiled your almonds to get the skins off, then smash them (or put them in a strong blender while adding some water) into a mush.

    * In a large bowl/container add the 2.5 liters of water with a pinch of salt. Slice and add the lemon.

    * Now mix in the almond powder (or mush). Cover the container and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

    * When the two hours are up, add the sugar and cinnamon stick. Stir until sugar is completely dissovled.

    * Strain the liquid with a fine cloth. This removes all of the larger particles of almond. Strain until texture is smooth (twice should do it).

    * Enjoy!

    Keep the drink in your fridge and it will stay good for at least five days.

    For a truly divine experience, put some in your freezer until it is an icey slush!

    The Birthday Present

    It was the second grade teacher's birthday. So every child in the class was giving her a special gift.

    Anna's mother owned a flower shop, so Anna gave the teacher some beautiful flowers.

    Robert's parents owned a candy shop. Robert gave the teacher a wonderful box of assorted candies.

    Then it was little Johnny's turn. Johnny's dad owned a liquor store! So Johnny brought a big box for his teacher.

    When little Johnny handed the box to his teacher, she noticed that the bottom of the box was wet. So she put her finger on it and tasted.

    "Is it wine?" the teacher asked.

    "No, it's not wine!" Johnny replied.

    She tasted it again. "Hmmmmmm. Is it some sort of liquor?"

    "Nope, it's not liquor!" said Johnny.

    She tasted it again and was puzzled. "Well, Johnny, I give up. What is it?"

    Johnny was excited, and said with a big smile. "It's a puppy!"

  • Book Reviews
  •   Title: The Motivator
    Author: Tim Moore
    Publisher: Wasteland Press (September 2003)
    ISBN: 097443681X
    Genre: Self Help
    Paperback; 143pp

    Rating: Highly Recommended

    February 22, 2004

    Guaranteed Instant Motivation!

    Have you ever read a book that made you stop and think? I just did. And how many of you have applied the positive thinking and mind power theories in your life only to be frustrated. I know I have, and more than once.

    Personally, I've encountered many people who admit they want to change, but are still controlled by a negative mindset: The type that traps a person right where they are, even if they are begging to make change. The difficulty most people have is in "how to" control their thoughts and beliefs to influence their subconscious minds.

    The Motivator is a great little book. Not only will it raise your self-esteem and motivate, but change your mindset, your outlook, and your life!

    Moore brings together real-life examples from business, as well as historical leaders, including his own techniques through a series of short essays. In a step- by-step process, readers will learn how to apply some of these concepts into their current lifestyle so easily, no one will even know. Readers will also learn how to draw on inner creativity, develop self-leadership, set goals, take risks, and sell ideas.

    Making sure our goals are properly aligned with our passions only makes sense.

    Whether you are self-employed, an employee, parent, student or business leader - by the time you finish reading The Motivator, you'll have a vision of a new and better you with a fulfilling future in all other areas of your life. Either way, if you want instant motivation, I highly recommend you read this book.

    Reviewed by Betsie

    To read the interview or purchase your very own copy click here

    Title: After the Fall
    Author: Monica Y. Russell
    Publisher: Publish America; (November 2003)
    ISBN: 1413705863
    Genre: Horror
    Paperback: 134pp
    Price: $19.95

    Rating: Highly Recommended

    February 21, 2004

    Horror at its deepest level, unleashed from within. Read the words, visualize the scene and be scared!

    When I read the back cover of After the Fall, as I do every time I begin reading a book, I was immediately drawn into the plot. I had the pleasure of reading an excerpt back in July 2003 and I thought that I knew where the story was going. I visualized this to be a story about love lost and obsession. I assumed that the plot would unfold to reveal a horrific scene brought on by jealously or mistrust. However, by the thirteenth page, I discovered that I was wrong.

    This book goes deeper than any simple obsession. Jayce Paul, the main character, needs her ex-boyfriend King Brown in many ways. He was the one that kept her grounded. He was the only one that she wanted in her life. He was the only one that could pull her back from the demons that were obsessed with Jayce literally. Jayce Paul had many demons that struggled to keep her within their realm and those demons had grown tired of King Brown and his constant heroics. Therefore, as he pulled her back from their grasp, they sent more demons to punish him for his interference.

    Through vivid description the author explains the chaos, the pain and the blood that is spilled in this power struggle. If you visualize this as if watching a horror movie, you will be scared as surprises wait in the shadows and leap out at every corner. Monica Russell has just begun to tell the stories that play out in her mind and roam the plains of her dark side. I am confident that with each and every book that follows, she will continue to live out her dream of giving you nightmares.

    Reviewed by: Tyrone Banks

    To purchase a copy click here

    Title: Revolve
    Publisher: Nelson Bibles (July 2003)
    ISBN: 0718003586
    Genre: Inspirational
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Paperback; 384pp

    Rating: Highly Recommended

    February 22, 2004

    A Magazine that raises Awareness!

    Revolve is a powerfully inspiring magazine. I chose to review this magazine with the understanding that its target audience was teen girls. However, I discovered that not only does it thoroughly discuss issues, which concern teen girls, but also crosses cultural boundaries. Revolve provides data on world issues, community services, family problems, it teaches self-reflection and ultimately helps to center life around God.

    This refreshing magazine accomplishes all of the above in brilliant format. Each book of the New Testament is divided into sections and questionnaires that when answered truthfully, reveal characteristics about one self and relationships. Uplifting suggestions for change are also provided.

    Revolve has caused self-improvement in this reviewer. Reawakening my spirituality, to focus on doing something to help others, by donating time to clothe/feed the hungry and help the elderly. Moreover it has inspired me to reflect on my relationship with God, and how and what I must do to fulfill God's purpose for me.

    Like the Bible itself, the Books of the New Testament in Revolve are like Daily Bread for the Spirit. Revolve is a great teaching tool for not only teens girls, but women as well.

    I plan to use Revolve as a consortium. Much like the blank pages provided in the magazine for reflection. Reviewing this magazine has left me with blank areas waiting to be filled spiritually. I look forward to the next magazine, and pray that I use Revolve, as wisely as it has been written.

    Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds

    To purchase a copy click here

    Title: Fractured
    Author: Ryan Mayers
    Publisher: PublishAmerica; (October 2003)
    ISBN: 1413703097
    Genre: Mystery
    Paperback: 122pp
    $17.95 Rating: Highly Recommended

    February 23, 2004

    Storyland run amok!

    When I agreed to review this book, I assumed something else, but what I read was absolutely brilliant.

    In author Ryan Mayers first literary work, John Monroe is a detective in Breco and Humpty Dumpty's partner. For the Kingdom corruption becomes much more, and what erupts goes beyond what anyone expects. During their investigation of a cannibalistic pig (Mr. Waddles), Dumpty is murdered (pushed off a bridge).

    Monroe determined to find Dumpty's killer follows a perilous trail of conspiracy that leads him to a plot to murder the king.

    Ryan Mayers brings a new perspective to fairy tales of old. In a twisted form familiar storybook characters are depicted in modern daylight - such as prostitutes, serial killers, thugs, etc. Crime is widespread within Breco.

    Fractured is witty, and well written. Mayers has done an excellent job of combining these tales with contemporary life.

    This is an intriguingly dark colored novel sprinkled with a dash of comedy, and an ending guaranteed to astonish! Fractured is a sure to entertain. This is one book this reviewer would love to see on the big screen.

    **This book is absolutely not for children!

    Reviewed by Betsie

    To read the interview or purchase your copy click here

  • For Aspiring Writers

    Publishing Priorities

    If you were to ask 10 people what the most important thing about writing a book was, you'd probably get 10 very similar answers. Most people would say that the book would have to we really good - well researched and written. Would you agree?

    Unfortunately, that isn't the most important thing about publishing a great book - it's not even close. Of course your book should be well written, but if your intention is to write a book that will sell, the first thing you've absolutely got to do is determine who would want to buy your book. You can write a fantastic book about the skills, strengths and abilities of hybrid worker ants in Venezuela, but the question is, would there be enough of an audience to make it worth your effort?

    I realize there are people who aren't interested in the commercial potential of a book - they simply want to write. And that's fine. But we're not talking to them in this message.

    If you're going to go to the trouble and expense of writing and publishing a book, you'd better be certain that there are people interested in buying and reading it. And you actually need to sit down and put a pencil to paper coming up with an extensive list of possible reader/buyers. Why is this so important?

    Even if you plan to write on a topic with wide appeal, understanding your typical reader will not only help you to write directly to him or her, but it will also help you in the eventual marketing of your book. Consider these points:

    * Does your title appeal to a business or social group? Is it possible that such a group would be in the market for several hundred (or thousand) copies?

    * Might you be able to include a deep-pockets company or expert of some kind who would buy massive quantities of your book and distribute them to their customers or associates? For example, if you were writing about holistic healing, might it be wise to mention your favorite supplier of nutritional supplements or another related product? The goal might be to have the company endorse or even give your book away as a premium or promotional item.

    * Would your book appeal to financial club members, home and garden types, computer enthusiasts, gourmet cooks, parents of pre-school children-- The list can go on. Each of these niche groups can be marketed to in special and unique ways. When you sit down to decide who your market really is, you open up TONS of possibilities you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

    FACT: More than 40 percent of total yearly book sales in the US and Canada are through vendors other than bookstores.

    Does your book fit one of these alternative possibilities?

    *Sales to government
    *Sales to social or church groups
    *Premium sales to business or industry
    *Sales to schools or educational groups
    *Sales to sports enthusiasts

    If your title doesn't appeal to one of these or hundreds of other categories, might it be wise to see that it somehow does? You decide.

  • For Screenwriters

    ------- 1) MAVERICK FILMS ------- One of the industry's hottest companies is looking for the next great, undiscovered film. Like all great architecture, screenplays require vision, mechanical understanding, and skillful execution. If you think your script is the best-undiscovered film out there, you may have a chance to win huge prizes - including an option with one of the hottest production companies in Hollywood.

    The potential is limitless - if you are ready to write for Hollywood, you need to enter this contest. This one is just too important to skip! - visit --

    ------- 2) Sterling Entertainment ------- I am looking for a completed contemporary, urban- themed dance film, with a strong love story that is scripted for young, sexy lead actors (male and female). Examples of such films would be 'Save The Last Dance', 'You Got Served' or even 'Dirty Dancing'.

    Budget range will not exceed $15 million.

    Sterling Entertainment is an independent production company run by Blake Thomas. Blake has worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years, and has established strong relationships with the studios and networks.

    Please email a logline followed by a synopsis to: Blake Thomas

    ------- 3) Footsteps Productions Company ------- I am looking for completed script that clearly FEATURE a mature woman (50-60) as the lead or as a MAJOR character. I am producing as a means of showcasing my talent as an actress. I want my role (the lead or a key role), to be complex, having many layers and colors to show the depth of character I am capable of portraying.

    I prefer character driven stories. I want a script that does not contain foul language, cursing, graphic violence, graphic sex, or raunchy situations. This will likely be a low budget production.

    The story should have simple location requirements, minimal special effects, smaller cast size, etc. The writer must be thinking like a producer as well as a writer, since budgetary issues are key as to what I will be able to choose to produce and still maintain high production values for a quality product.

    I want the story to contain an uplifting, positive, message, leaving the audience with hope. This is not to say the film should be Pollyanna or there cannot be difficult issues addressed. I believe people always have choices, even if they are terribly difficult ones, and there are always consequences to the choices people make, good or bad. But I never want to leave the audience without hope.

    Some classic examples that randomly come to mind: 'Places in the Heart', 'Driving Miss Daisy', 'Steel Magnolias', and a little more recently 'Central Station', 'Chocolat', etc. There are plenty of movies featuring mature male leads/major characters that are written this way, and some for younger female leads. I want to make films like this for mature female leads.

    It can be a comedy or drama, feature length. If the piece can act as a MOW/backdoor pilot for a TV series, I would consider that as well. The budget for this will not exceed 1 million.

    I recently produced the short 'Doria,' which is now being sent to the festivals and has already screened in one festival and WON at another festival here is Los Angeles. In addition to having a background in producing stage plays and public events, in the last few years in Los Angeles I have had lead or supporting roles in the following stage plays, each of which were 'Picks of the Week.' They are: 'As it is in Heaven,' 'The Seagull,' 'For Sentimental Reasons,' 'To Have and To Hold,' and 'The Long Christmas Dinner.' I've also appeared on ER, 7th Heaven, Unsolved Mysteries, The Others, The Tonight Show, Red Dragon, Intolerable Cruelty, and Topanga.

    If you have anything that you think fits my criteria, I would be happy to read a log line/one sheet synopsis of it. Please email your logline and synopsis to Barbara Kerr Condon at:

    ------- 4) Romano Productions ------- I am looking for a broad (able to communicate to a large audience) comedy about meter maids (parking enforcement personnel)

    Budget range is 5-7mil.

    Credits include 'Only in Venice' and 'You Never Know' for Paramount. More info can be found on

    Please email a logline followed with a synopsis to Mario Romano at:

    ** 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!

  • For Authors


    Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    You wake up screaming!

    Your spouse calms you down; reassuring you it was just another nightmare.

    Even as you settle back and start drifting into slumber again, you wonder why the only dreams you have nowadays are bad ones.

    What happened to your once fertile imagination that was able to conjure exciting, almost always enjoyable dreams; pleasurable mental movies you could play against the screen of your inner eyelids day or night, awake or asleep?

    The problem so many of us face in daily life is one of encroaching walls; figurative rock faces that creep toward us inexorably, leaving us with less and less room to maneuver.

    If you remember the trash compressor scene in Star Wars where Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker are trapped, we'll be on the same wavelength!

    When we were younger, it seemed our imaginations allowed us to roam the world, making it our stage or better yet our playground.

    But we allowed ourselves to grow up - and not always in the right way. Many of us have lost the ability to dream big, great dreams that fuel mental excursions.

    And that's tragic, because those exciting journeys within our skulls are the only things that permit us to grow beyond the normal confines of our too often drab lives.

    Thankfully, none of us has totally lost that ability to dream and imagine. I can prove it!

    When you're stuck behind a desk that seems to have grown shackles that attach themselves to your ankles and wrists, don't you readily dream of a better place, a better way of life?

    The problem is those dreams tend not to last too long. Someone or something is always crashing into our reality, bringing us back to earth with a rather hard bump.

    But if we want to lay claim to a life that is bigger than the one we now live, we must recapture that long-lost childhood facility to dream good dreams for sustained periods.

    You see, being able to see beyond things as they are now, through rosy mists of future probability and then perceiving them as they might be, is the common denominator of life's big winners.

    If they can do it, so can you, because all of humanity shares that God-given endowment. As Stephen Covey puts it, "In addition to self-awareness, we have imagination - the ability to create in our minds beyond our present reality."

    If you use your ability to imagine properly, it will expand into one of the most potent time management tools at your disposal - your capacity to idealize and dream of a better future.

    Of course, we all know people who do nothing but dream. I'm not asking you to become such an airhead. I'm saying you need to give yourself permission to look beyond perhaps the grey, drab walls of your existence and ask yourself if this is the rich, abundant life God created you for.

    Most people would have to say NO.

    That would be a great first step.

    The second is to grant you permission to daydream actively for short spells at a time - even if it is only for 30 seconds while stuck in a traffic jam. (Of course, if you commute to work using public transport, you have even more time at your disposal.)

    So, get a dedicated little notebook and jot down whatever comes to mind during these brief, but precious mental excursions.

  • Marketing

    Authors are faced with a giant challenge. We have to change the book buying habits of the public.

    So, how do you lure potential customers to your website business?

    I've tried many types to see what works and what doesn't. While there are countless ways to get visitors to your site, most include more time and effort than I want to devote myself to, and the yield was disappointingly low.

    Here's some best advertising methods I've found so far are:

    Purchased traffic for affordable, mannerly advertising on the web.

    Book review sites. This is always great exposure and it's free. Got a bad review? Post it! Yes, that's right. A long list of glowing reviews doesn't necessarily sell a book. Controversy sells even more. How rich is Monica Lewinsky now?

    Links. Most authors have a links page. I've had many a visitor come from other author sites that I'm a link on. It's free, so I'm always happy whenever someone offers to link my website.

    Banners on major websites. This is most effective, and expensive way to advertise. Putting your banner on a busy site like Yahoo costs thousands a month, far more than the average author can afford. Visit Yahoo some time and price it. Bring a box of tissues so you'll be prepared when you start quietly weeping.

    Use the free press releases and announcements in newspapers to market yourself and your publisher. Announce any new releases, yes - even other author's books at your publisher. The more people you can lure into the bookstore, the higher your chances are of making sales, right? Especially when people shop on line for the first time and have a positive experience, they tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends. Word of Mouth advertising has been one of the best marketing staples for hundreds of years, too.

    'They' say, or it's an old marketing adage, a person must see an ad 7 times before they remember the product. So get those 7 times in where ever you can in your community. Take out a small block ad in a newspaper or magazine for your publisher, or a short classified just so people will see the URL's. Encourage your relatives in other states to send your announcement to their local papers. It costs a stamp. That's almost next to free advertising.

    **Advertising is a highly competitive business and I don't rule out any marketing as useless. Whatever gets website exposure is worth investigating.


    "If I can't figure it out in three sentences, I throw it away," - a veteran editor who throws away a lot of press releases said.

    The above quote is so true it's almost disturbing. If you can't get the point across quickly, your press release is dead meat.

    *The first rule of trashcan avoidance is don't send trash. That is why it is worth taking the time to do a good job.
    *Don't bury the recipients in a paper blizzard. Use releases only when you have something worth taking an editor's time. There is no quota to be met. An editor who receives too many releases with too little news value soon learns to ignore everything that comes from the same source. News organizations are trying to interest an audience. If your release will help them do that, they will use it. If it won't, trash it yourself.
    *Honor the role -- include a title in every address. In general, use the following titles to address your releases, unless you know a particular organization uses a different title that would serve better:

    Daily newspapers: City Editor
    Weekly newspaper: Editor
    Shoppers: Editor
    Magazines: Editor
    Radio Stations: News Department
    Television Stations: News Director

    *Almost every state has a few newspapers that are circulated over much of the state and that have small bureaus outside of their base city. If such a bureau is near you, put it on the mailing list. Address the releases to "Bureau Chief" (even if it is a one-person bureau). Don't try to save postage by putting more than one release in the same envelope either. Since different stories are likely to be assigned to different reporters, this may cause one release to be ignored. If you use e- mail, the same principle applies: send separate releases separately.


    How can I make my Web site stand out and be memorable?

    People tend to remember the first and the last item that they see in a sequence better than the content they see in the middle. From a Web standpoint that means consumers will be more likely to remember the first and last page they visit on your site than any of the other intervening pages. So, if you want customers to remember your site, and come back, make your home page fun, interesting and memorable.

    Engaging in jingles and slogans may be useful means of inducing recall. This might be challenging in a Web context, but the increasing use of sound makes its use increasingly possible. Think about how McDonalds got us to remember all the things that they have on their Big Mac: "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, etc. The information that is re- circulated when it goes through the same pipe again and again. In the same way, information is re-circulated through your short-term memory when you encounter it again and again. Re-circulation explains why repetition affects memory.

    A long-standing finding in psychology is that people remember things better when they are represented as pictures. Picture memory decays less rapidly than memory for words. So use pictures wherever you can. But more importantly, try to say important things using both pictures and words. This is called "dual coding," and gives consumers two ways to remember. Being in a good mood generally helps us remember things, so if you can make your site fun and interesting that will affect people's mood.

    FREE ADVERTISING offers Free Classifieds Advertising All free classified ads are posted instantly! No waiting for approval. No confusing or time consuming sign up process. Just register and select your personal username and password, then login and go from there. action=addetail&adid=252293

    Quantum Barbarian
    An open forum for writers to advertise their books.


    "Some books are so good and meaningful that you read them again and again. Primarily because you know the substance and content is so important that you need to be reminded of what it has to say. As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen is just such a book."


    CNNfn's "Dolan's Unscripted"
    * The Dolans, a husband and wife team who are known to millions of radio listeners, have a new TV show which brings a mix of free- wheeling dialogue and viewer call- in. The show presents "pocket-book" issues, which are pegged to the news, and issues of the day. The show features a selection of guests who present a provocative look at today's financial markets, in order to help viewers in their saving plans for the present and the future. Mia Haugen serves as the show's executive producer. CNNfn is reached at Five Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001, (212) 714-7800.

    Their two-hour daily radio show is syndicated to over 200 radio stations nationwide, and is produced by Roy Fredriks, who can be reached at WOR-AM, (212) 642- 4552.

    Cigar Aficionado Magazine
    * Cigar Aficionado, the bi-monthly upscale magazine for cigar lovers, is not only interested in cigar smokers, they are also interested the entertainment, gambling, and leisure industry, and the latest in news about deluxe resorts. Also of interest is news of the wine industry, and sports vehicles, and active sporting equipment. Keep them informed about new fashion trends and name designers, and other information on technology, luxury accessories, and collectibles. Gordon Mott is their executive editor. Cigar Aficionado is at 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016, (212) 684- 4224; Fax: (212) 684-5424;

    Figure Magazine
    * Figure is the newest addition to the group of fashion magazines for plus sized women. Figure differs from the competition in its unswerving dedication to showcasing women who are truly full- figured, not just by the standards of the fashion industry. Their models will never be less than size 14 or 16. Figure is published by Brinsights, with the contacts either Geri Brin or Elizabeth James. They are reached at (212) 706-2346; E-mail:

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