Friday, August 23, 2013

How The Status of the Press Affects Scholarly Reputation in the Job Market

"Does The Status of Press Matter?" For those in graduate school with the job market and tenure in mind, when seeking to create a scholarly reputation the importance of the status of the press which publishes their first book cannot be overstated, according to Karen, creator of The Professor Is In blog, and former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rasana Atreya Describes How She Helped Her Youngsters Publish Their First Book

When I learned how this amazing mother helped her two young children publish a delightful book they'd written and illustrated I invited her to write a guest blog to share their inspiriting story.
"This summer I helped my children get published," by Rasana Atreya.

Since I’m a published author myself, it is quite common for us to do story telling/writing related activities. On a long car ride we might try a story-building exercise. The key is to make it sound like FUN.

We start off with a random sentence, the wackier the better. Something like, ‘the rat got into the autorickshaw’ (open three-wheeler Indian taxi.) The second person builds the story by adding just one line to it. The line has to be connected to what came before, and it has to move the story forward.

Each person gets a turn, then we circle back to the first person. The kids have learned to mine for lines that get them the most laughs. This has helped them in creative writing at school, as well. Given a prompt, they know how to take a story forward creatively.
My daughter’s journey to being a published author started when we were on a long train ride from Hyderabad to Chennai, India. Aamani, then six-years old, was done reading her books. Since I limit the amount of time my kids can play electronic games, she was bored.
Happily, I also carry notebooks and pencils on long trips, so I suggested she write stories. She agreed, but wanted writing prompts with two characters – one living thing and one non-living thing at a time. That’s how she ended up writing about the mosquito and the teapot; the window, the curtains and a person (technically that’s three characters, but we’ll let that go.)
Almost three years down the road my daughter decided it wasn’t fair that I was published, and she was not. So I decided to help them get published on Amazon. My eleven year-old wanted a shot at illustration so I downloaded and showed him the tutorials. Not only did he do the illustrations, but also designed the cover for the ebook.
My daughter’s stories have also gotten great reviews:
"The Mosquito and the Teapot" by Aamani Gurajada is an astonishing short book written and illustrated by two very young and very talented artists. The stories are short pieces in which usually two or three people, animals or things meet and resolve the conflicts between them. The simplicity of their form is disarming and there is a potentially very wise head behind the writing. The illustrations however are not second to the writing but a clear equal. I was amazed at their beauty and professionalism, not at all what I had expected from a young illustrator. They are simple, full of character and masterly executed."
 Joel Friedlander, a book cover designer, had this to say about the cover Sunaad Gurajada designed and created for "The Mosquito and the Teapot":
"Absolutely charming and appropriate. Tell him to keep going!" 
Our writing-illustrating-publishing experience has been a heady one. My daughter is tickled that she might possibly be the youngest author ever. And it has helped build my son’s confidence. After all, he’s now a professional illustrator.
If you’re looking to help your child self-publish, you might want to check out my blog post: FAQ. 
The ebook, The Mosquito and the Teapot,  is available on Amazon Kindle, and in the UK\Amazon at The Mosquito and the Teapot
Rasana Atreya is the author of Tell a Thousand Lies . Her novel was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia prize.

Guidance plus a wee bit of story-editing was Mom's contribution to her children's successful publishing endeavor:
"My daughter wrote seven stories, under 500 words total. My eleven year old illustrated the book, including the cover. I downloaded for my son. I then pointed him to the YouTube tutorials. He drew up the cover and did the illustrations."
As always, your comments are welcome.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Strays of Rio" Gets 3rd in Thriller Category to Win the Bronze Medal in Dan Poynter's 2013 Gobal Ebook Awards

Congratulations to Edith Parzefall! Her book, "Strays of Rio" placed 3rd in the thriller category of Dan Poynter's 2013 Global Ebook Awards.

UPDATE: February 22, 2014

Cinderfella Conspiracy , the sequel to Snow White's Slide is now available via at Amazon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Publicity Value of Q. & A. Author Interviews

When it arrived, Editor Trish Gannon's request to do an e-mail interview was a welcome response to a press release I e-mailed to several magazine and newspaper editors. The River Journal  is one of my favorite publications, and therefore I knew her magazine taps into markets hard for me to attract, such as, environmental, literary, and ecology, to name a few.

The Question &Answer interview resulted in "The Montana Scribbler has History at her Fingertips,"  in The River Journal's May 2012 issue -- a story about me and my current writing project.

The River Journal hit the stands May 8th, and the online story, in full color, appeared on the Internet the next day. It's a classic example of, "What You See Ain't Always What You Get."

The feature in The River Journal  is a prime example of glorified advertising.

Although not appearing to be the feature's focus -- paying tribute to an author who excels at the project she's currently passionate about -- the article links my website Behind These Mountains.
It is Advertisement.

Trish's introduction to the Q &A interview is so flattering, I blush from remembering her glowing words. However, the feature, while being most flattering to me, is a prime example of glorified advertisement -- terrific advertisement for my books AND Trish's magazine.

 Gannon is a smart publisher. She knows the publicity value of stories she publishes -- the Q & A interview about Behind These Mountains broadens her prospective audience by attracting history buffs, as well as readers of The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast. Articles published in that online newspaper are tapped into by readers worldwide.

Trish knows I'm professional, so I'll use her feature article in my newspaper to promote The River Journal. In addition, the story will reach several hundred writers who are members of Internet Writing Workshop, of which I am a member. And because I'll "Yahoo" this kudo to that exemplary list, it will also reach countless other readers through IWW's blog,
Authors have to keep broadening their "Platform." Whether they like taking the time away from writing or not, it's essential. On the other side of the equation, publishers also must continuously broaden their circulation.
Always be respectful of the publisher who honors you, and reciprocate in everyway possible to help them achieve their circulation goals.

Another facet of advertisement lies in images.
"Image" is an important aspect of publicity, and in the publishing industry today, images can be crucial. Keep genre and topic in mind when  selecting images. Don't be unduly misleading.
The .jpg I supplied Trish to accompany the interview story was a picture taken during a fairly recent Christmas holiday. Gathered with our family, a grandson's girlfriend, who worked in the makeup\perfume department in an upscale department store, "did our makeup" for all us gals.

Because it looks like a studio portrait, I knew the .jpg would reproduce well in both the print and online editions of the magazine because the background is uncluttered. The photograph portrays me as the professional I'm proud to be.

However, there's truth in the old adage, "What you see ain't always what you get." My website profile has a more recent picture, taken during another role I enjoy equally -- being a contented great-grandma.

It's a Win-win for both of us!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How and When to Use en and em dashes

For the best, most comprehensive understanding of how and when to use en and em dashes visit

En Dash -- An en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to. It is also used in place of a hyphen when combining open compounds.

Most authorities recommend using no spaces before or after en or em dashes. To form an en dash with most PCs, type the first number or word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0150 on the numerical pad on the right side of your keyboard. Then type the second number or word.

The em dash is the width of an m, and should be used sparingly in formal writing. However, for informal writing, you may wish to use em dashes to "replace commas, semicolons, colons, and parentheses to indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought," according to Be sure to study the examples for each.

To form an em dash on most PCs, type the first word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0151 on the numerical pad on the right side of your keyboard. Then type the second word. You may also form an em dash by typing the first word, hitting the hyphen key twice, and then typing the second word. Your program will turn the two hyphens into an em dash for you," according to  instructions.