Jean Houston, co-author of The Power of Yin, Celebrating Female Consciousness, hosted a free online event called “The 3 Keys to Discovering & Living Your True Purpose”. Over 75,000 people from across the globe joined Jean’s worldwide online seminar. They listened to Jean as she shared powerful insights about how to discover what you are truly meant to do with your life and how to create changes that last. Her lesson could profoundly affect everything you do and are. The audio event can be downloaded for free here.
Starting on February 13, 2012, Jean will be teaching a follow-up course titled “Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose: Discover the Essential Tools and Techniques to Activate Your Unique Destiny Code and Live Your Highest Calling”. The course is 7 weeks long. During this time Jean will guide her students through the 7-step “Purpose Activation” process. A process she’s been developing for over 50 years that has worked for many people. With the guidance of Jean and her 7-step program you will be able to dive deeper into the process of self-discovery. New capacities will awaken in you, even if you feel that it’s too late for a dramatic change. It’s not. Jean’s 7 week course will ensure that you change your life in a dramatic and profound way. Get more information or sign up here.
To is Charles Dickens’ birthday! He is still considered one of the greatest English novelist in the Victorian Period, was born in Portsmouth, England. His writings are timeless classics that continue to enthrall readers years after their initial publishing. Dickens novels are often satires about life in London during the Victorian era. He was an instant success with his novel The Pickwick Papers written in 1837 and continued to have a successful writing career up until his death in 1870.
What I love about Charles Dickens is his ability to completely transport his reader from present day to Victorian England. The details, language, and characters he has created are so vividly painted that there is no way to remain in a modern mindset while reading it. His books are easy to become completely engrossed in, no matter how challenging the read.
Everything changes, everything grows, everything evolves. We’ve seen it with technology, the internet, food, jobs, houses, social etiquette, clothes, etc. Just like everything else books and the book business have to evolve, despite any resisters. In the near future the publishing business will change from being mostly reliant on the sales of print books to being equally reliant on digital and print book sales. The evolution is inevitable and in some ways necessary. There is no reason to fight it, books haven’t always resembled the books we know today, and I’m sure many would say the past changes have been for the better. So even though many of us are resisting the e-book, there may come a time, if it’s not here already, when people believe an e-book is a superior alternative to the physical book.
Books started on wood, stone, or clay tablets. Could you imagine walking around with a chunk of clay to read in your down time? Definitely not. And at the time, books were mostly not used for this reason. They were generally kept as historical and daily records. Eventually, with the invention of paper, books evolved into something that is a bit more recognizable to today’s readers. Scrolls of paper were folded to create a butterfly effect. The production was still a slow process and books were not accessible to everyone. With the invention of the printing press, things became more streamlined and books were soon readily available to anyone who could read.
The publishing business started out as a mess for authors, mostly because it didn’t really start out as a business. There were no copyright rules, so people could copy a story and alter it as they wished, which, I suppose, is ideal for a reader who is unhappy with an ending, but not fair to the author’s intentions. Authors usually received some sort of fame for the stories they wrote, but their pockets remained bare as people copied the stories themselves. Those who wrote the stories down for others, scribes, made the money. Books, at this time, were beginning to be used more and more as entertainment. So there was significant value placed on being able to create a story, but authors lacked gate keepers to control the flow of production, demand, and revenue. If authors were going to continue writing, they would have to fight the exploitation their stories faced.
With advances in the printing press came the formation of book publishing as a business. There were many crossroads from the beginning of books to this point. And there have been more since then. Currently, books and the publishing business are at another crossroads. The e-reader has grown in popularity. I can’t help but note how the e-reader, an electronic tablet, pays homage to the way books started out on clay tablets. You couldn’t imagine walking around and reading from a clay tablet, but the e-reader resembles this in some ways. Instead of flipping through butterflied pages you simply read from the same slate. Granted the clay tablet had some space issues that the e-reader doesn’t have since it’s digital, but the resemblance is comparable.
What’s the point? Books evolve we know that. Advances in technology were made and, therefore, changes to books and book production. The same exact thing is happening right now. We are entering the digital era. Fighting tooth and nail to avoid it is not wise. There is no escape. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t matter, you, as a book publisher or author, have to embrace it (the reader still has a choice). The point though, is that all this talk about the impending doom of books and book publishing and how sooner or later the entire industry will seize to exist is nonsense. The format of books and the business of publishing have changed many many times before, but change doesn’t mean the end. As long as the businesses evolve with the format, there is nothing to worry about. Books and stories will always exist in some form or another. Readers, writers, and publishers will adjust as necessary to keep this amazing form of art and entertainment alive, but if they don’t, then extinction will become inevitable.
Books-A-Million has chosen CoverCake to help them track book talk over a variety of social media networks. The effect social media has on sales has long been a mystery to publishers. Sure there could be a lot of people talking about a book or topic or author on twitter, facebook, etc. but that doesn’t mean anyone is buying it. CoverCake is offering a solution to that and Books-A-Million, one of the few big bookstore chains still standing, is taking full advantage.
This news doesn’t seem too surprising based on the New York Times article yesterday that said Barnes and Nobles was about to enter the fight for its life as well as the life of the brick and mortar bookstore, or based on the idea that it is only a matter of time before print media as we know it, and print media in general, become completely obsolete. Books-A-Million is hoping to thwart that notion, at least for a while, if not forever. Even with the help of CoverCake, it may not be possible, but who knows. Maybe it can be done. Maybe, despite Amazon’s best efforts, there will always be a place in this world for bookstores.
With the invention of e-readers and therefore e-books, e-magazines, and e-newspapers, the trees are rejoicing, but are some of America’s most steadfast print/paper companies nearing their end? Barnes and Nobles, The United States Postal Service, Verso Paper, and Quad/Graphics are/were some of the largest companies in the US. Their influence, power, and success seemed endless, but times are changing and the more things change and become digital the more companies that thrive off of print media suffer.
In a recent post on Dead Tree Edition the current predicament of each company is explained. The prediction being that one of these four companies will go bankrupt in 2012, but which one will it be? If we’re talking about the extinction of print media we have to consider which form of print media is still absolutely relevant.
Personally, of the four companies, Barnes and Nobles is the most relevant to me. I don’t have an e-reader and I have no intention of investing in one, so a store like Barnes and Nobles still holds significant value to me. But my opinion and outlook on physical books is most likely the minority. Most people enjoy the efficiency, light-weight, and purchasing opportunities that e-readers and e-books offer. So while it stands to reason that physical books may never become extinct (pretty please?!), the necessity of a big bookstore chain like Barnes and Nobles may diminish.
So what do you think? Which one of these companies will file for bankruptcy in 2012? Or do you think none of them will? Is there hope for these companies to adjust and remain standing? Or will we see a gradual decline of print media, until everything is digital and the trees throw a party?
Break out the Candles and Cakes, The 200th Birthday of Celebrated Classics Author Charles Dickens is coming up in two weeks
On February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens, one of the greatest English novelist in the Victorian Period, was born in Portsmouth, England. His writings are timeless classics that continue to enthrall readers years after their initial publishing. Dickens novels are often satires about life in London during the Victorian era. He was an instant success with his novel The Pickwick Papers written in 1837 and continued to have a successful writing career up until his death in 1870.
Most of his novels were written in episodic installments in magazines and newspapers, meaning people would get a chapter or two a week. This was, in many ways, the first form of television. Week after week people would read about the characters they had grown to love, living in suspense until the next week when they could read more. This wasn’t typical for the era, but one could argue it was what made Dickens so popular.
Cosimo offers the entire collection of Charles Dickens’ writings in a 30 volume set, which can be bought in full only from Cosimo’s book store. Charles Dickens was without a doubt a one of the greatest writers . With a cinematic and compelling style it’s no wonder that people continue to enjoy and love his work.
We all know who those classic authors are: Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Virgil, Lewis Carroll, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bronte Sisters and many more. Some have read their works, others maybe not, but no doubt their names are well known to even those who are not familiar with their work. Personally, I think it’s important to read the classics. Though they can be more difficult to get through than a newly released book written with modern language, I think they’re worthwhile.
To me, reading the classics is about taking a glimpse at history. Not only because the story may accurately depict social mores of the time period, but because the way they told stories was different, than the way stories are told now. There are similarities of course, but ultimately what was entertaining to readers in the past, is not necessarily how I current author would choose to entertain their readers. Readers will also get a taste of what everyday language was like back then.
Whether you’re an avid reader or a timid one, I think that everyone should try and read one classic at least. You may not get through it. It may not be your cup of tea, but at least you could say you tried. Check out some of the classics that Cosimo offers.
Benjamin Franklin is remembered for a lot of things. He is one of the founding fathers of America. He discovered electricity. He was an author, musician, diplomat, statesman, scientist, and inventor. The first library and fire department were both started by him. His face adorns American coins and the fifty dollar bill. He is known as “The First American” because of his campaign to unite the colonies. He is an asset to American history and today is his 306th birthday.
Among some of his publications are Poor Richards’ Almanac, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and his Autobiography, which many think is one of the best autobiographies ever written. Though he began it in 1771, it wasn’t published until after his death.
His life work is fascinating and intricate to read about. This is a man who wasn’t satisfied with being just any one thing. He had to be everything. Curiosity drove him and there is no doubt that you will find his biography to be an interesting and page-turning read.
On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. It couldn’t have been known on that day the impact Martin Luther King, Jr. would have, not only on civil rights, but on America as a whole, but an impact was made. And from 1986 on, Americans would honor Martin Luther King, Jr. by observing his birthday on the third Monday in January. The holiday pays tribute to the man famous for starting and gaining the most momentum for the civil rights movement and for the speech that no one, not even those who weren’t alive to hear it, will forget.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister who became active in the civil rights movement early in his career. He led many demonstrations and boycotts, including the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1957 he founded, and was appointed president of, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The famous “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered during the 1963 March on Washington. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination. He was the youngest person to receive the award.
His untimely and tragic death came in 1968 after including an end to poverty and the Vietnam War in his activist efforts. On April 4, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee while standing on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In 1977, nine years after his death he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award and in 2004, the Congressional Gold Medal.
Who knows what greater good Martin Luther King Jr. could’ve accomplished had his life not been shortened. The impact he already had was great and I’m sure much more could’ve come to pass had he been able to continue his efforts. Still, we must honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and all he has done for America and recognize his exceeding greatness.
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