Category Archives: Books

Books

The Dangers of Telling “Truth” to “Power”

Since I was a journalist before I became a creative writer, my heart has always been fixed on the purpose of “telling truth to power.” That means that no matter how seemingly offensive or politically incorrect some words are, I must use them if they are true.

I have been criticized by authors, mainstream publishers and readers because of my adherence to this philosophy. Let’s face it. We live in a unique point in history when both sides of the political spectrum have their “sacred cows.”

To some on the Left, the proper use of English grammar rules can be a “political weapon of discrimination against people of color and the LBGQT community.”  To some of the Right, anybody who doesn’t speak English in public, or who wears “ethnic clothing,” becomes a suspected terrorist.

I want to give three examples of my work that would never be published in today’s mainstream press because the contents would offend some audience out there and thus would reduce sales.  Who cares if it’s historically accurate and/or the truth?  It’s the almighty dollar that matters.

You Can’t Use That Title!  It’s Offensive!

Here’s an exchange I had with a fellow historical fiction author.  I had approached her in a friendly attempt to have my novel Chinawoman’s Chance reviewed by her on her website.  I thought it would be appropriate because she was living in China, and this would help me widen my audience.

Right away, she refused, simply because of the title I used, which, to her, was completely offensive to readers.  I had to give her a brief history lesson as to why I would never change my title, and how my entire purpose for writing the Portia of the Pacific series was to expose the racism, sexism and prejudice that existed in the 1800s of the United State of America:

Hello A:

Respectfully, the title “Chinawoman” was used in the 1800s quite regularly, as well as “Chinaman.” In point of fact, the expression “Chinaman’s chance,” came from the practice of the railroad owners, like Leland Stanford, who would send the coolies out with explosives to blow-up the mountains to make tunnels for the trains to use. Until dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel, they were regularly killed doing this dangerous act. Ergo, the racist term, which was used down through the years until it became a common expression for “having little or no hope.”

If my readers don’t appreciate the “facts” of discrimination and racism that existed in the United States in that period (which is one of the main purposes that I wrote my series), then they should never read my fiction at all. I use the latest research (I was a college professor for over 25 years) which shows the terms and denigrating treatment of the Chinese in vivid ways.

The narrator for my audio book is also of Chinese decent and she lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and she did not find the title offensive in the least. I used other terms that were constantly being used at the time, including chink, coolie, Yellow Peril, pagan idolaters, and demons. Chinawoman is the least offensive of the lot.

At any rate, I bought your book, and I am enjoying it. I will write a positive review, no doubt, unless your mystery takes a plunge for the worse.

Take care, and thanks for your opinions.

Jim

My next example comes from a novel I wrote that received quite favorable reviews from readers and from fellow authors.  However, some people were “offended” because of two reasons:  1.  I was writing as a Black narrator and I was white.  2.  I was “making light” of people with disabilities.

Freak Story: 1967-1969Everybody’s a Freak?  How Dare You Say That!

With the recent death of “new journalism” author, Tom Wolfe, I don’t pretend to be carrying his prestigious mantle.  However, since my novel was compared to Tom’s work by another prestigious author, Dr. Jacob M. Appel, I must explain that my work is an exploration into the 1960s and its range of emotional experiments into revolutionary thoughts and actions.

My “theme,” if you will, is that we are all freaks under the skin, and we are also subject to the same pressures to conform.  My little exploration does not translate well in these times of “political correctness” and “fake news,” however, and I will live with that.

The readers who can see through the defense mechanisms of the present “new journalism” will understand why we must all realize our “freakishness” in order to survive.

My final example is a novel I wrote quite some time ago.  Like my hero, Thomas Harris, I dared to make a serial killer somebody who had an existentially “noble purpose.”  We all know serial killers must be all bad, all the time.

Russian Wolves

You Can’t Show Children Being Killed!  Serial Killers Can’t Be Noble!

I based my thriller upon a real-life serial killer of the 1980s, Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo.  Like me, he was a teacher.  Like me, he came from a dysfunctional background.  Unlike me, he had a psychotic breakdown after seeing his family eaten by fellow “comrades” during the Ukraine’s worst winter on record.

This novel breaks a lot of commercial fiction’s taboos.  However, since most of the murderous descriptions are based on fact, I stand my ground.  The book was never published in the mainstream, but it does have, if you’ll excuse the expression, “cult following” by readers who enjoy historical thrillers.  The same goes for another, even earlier novel, I wrote called Sins of Darkness, about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

In fact, SOD was so realistic, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan’s lawyer called me on the phone to ask about “the evidence I had found concerning Sirhan’s being hypnoprogrammed to kill.”  Such are the dangers of writing truth to power.  I enjoy it one hell of a lot.  I hope you do to.

What to Do After Your Book is Published

Post-Publication Book-Marketing Actions

Below is a checklist of things you can do after your book is published, and a suggested sequence
in which you can do them. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive or exact time line, but a general
guide to help you market your books more successfully. For more information on any topic contact
jamesmusgrave2122@att.net

  • Continue to prospect for and contact buyers in non-bookstore markets
  • Update your website
  • Continue eCommerce activities
  • Monitor search-engine ranking (SEO)
  • Get active in APSS and your local chapter (www.bookapss.org)
  • Continue social networking
  • Update your strategic marketing plan (http://tinyurl.com/l4zyabe)
  • Compare actual results to budget quarterly
  • Obtain additional endorsements from readers and industry leaders (add to literature)
  • Contact other syndicated columnists
  • Contact magazines with long lead times
  • Plan more tradeshows and book fairs to attend (http://tinyurl.com/b8tk5t5)
  • Create new sales-promotional items
  • Send to niche and post-pub book reviewers
  • Apply to award competitions
  • Send books to post-publication reviewers
  • Rewrite and update your literature
  • Create podcasts
  • Participate in chat rooms, forums and discussion groups online
  • Direct marketing – snail mail and email
  • Build your “pitch pack”
  • Send a proposal package to retail distributors
  • Take media training (http://tinyurl.com/mxgvzm2)
  • Contact associations for cause marketing; membership premium (www.weddles.com/associations)
  • Phone call follow-up media
  • Mail brochures/flyers to prospective buyers
  • Phone follow-up to all prospective customers
  • Conduct a mobile marketing campaign (Apps, texting, QR codes, etc)
  • Conduct virtual tours
  • Participate in book fairs and trade shows (BEA, ALA: http://tinyurl.com/b8tk5t5)
  • Sell foreign rights
  • Continue marketing on sites such as www.shelfari.com, etc.
  • Line, brand and author extensions
  • Prospect for corporate buyers on www.manta.com
  • Work your personal networking lists
  • Conduct retail-store events
  • Conduct virtual media tours
  • Blog regularly
  • Conduct library tours
  • Create contests and/or sweepstakes
  • Write a script to use in telephone marketing
  • Update your elevator pitch and voice-mail message
  • Start a regular newsletter
  • Create a package insert
  • Use creative sales-promotional items (guy@msgpromo.com)
  • Purchase counter displays (www.bookdisplays.com)
  • Back-of-the-room sales at speaking events
  • Update metadata for online retailers
  • Conduct seminars and webinars
  • Sell your books as premiums and ad specialties (www.premiumbookcompany.com)
  • Have associations use your book as a fundraising item (www.premiumbookcompany.com)
  • Write and present proposals for large-quantity sales (www.premiumbookcompany.com)
  • Start and participate in affiliate programs
  • Support all distributors and wholesalers
  • Monitor your attitude
  • Change your strategies for life-cycle stages
  • Bundle various products
  • Market at local craft fairs and events
  • Appearances on more TV and radio shows
  • Start own fan club (Facebook or other)
  • Evaluate discounting strategies
  • Evaluate unit sales, revenue and profit relative to goals
  • Create new hooks as attention getters
  • Practice the 3Vs of media events (Verbal, Vocal, Visual)

  • Experience with Kindle Scout (an Independent Publishing Perspective)

    The above chart shows the final results of my 30-day campaign at Kindle Scout.  My novel was the first in my historical mystery series: Portia of the Pacific Mysteries.  It is called Chinawoman’s Chance.  As a publisher, I was using this campaign as a way to promote my novel to new readers of my work.  The experience was less than beneficial, from this publisher’s perspective.

    First of all, the editors at Amazon told me they would publish my Thank You Message that I wanted to include in the mailing that goes out to all those readers who nominated my book (Amazon never tells you the exact numbers of these people–which should be a warning to self-published or independent publishers).  I was including in my message a link to my publisher’s website where I would be collecting the email address of these folks, who were kind enough to nominate me, but who did not receive a free copy of my eBook because Amazon chose not to publish it.  If they joined my mailing list they would, indeed, receive a free copy when I self-published the book following the campaign.  Lo and behold, these nominating readers never received the thank you mailing that Amazon told me they would include!  Therefore, from my perspective, all of the promotional money I spent to get these excellent numbers in my campaign was totally wasted.  Of course, Amazon is able to collect all these emails for their purposes, but this publisher has nothing to show from it, and it was my intellectual property that Amazon used.

    Not that I didn’t learn from the experience. I did.  I received some average critical comments from the editors, as I was one of the “hallowed short-listed finalists.”  They had, you see, guaranteed that authors who were short-listed would receive “free critiques,” so I suppose they felt obligated.  The email comments they sent me demonstrated that Amazon editors do not do what they promise, and they have no real understanding of the genre categories of the novels listed on their own eBook distribution website (store).

    Here are their exact comments:

    Dear James,

    Thank you for submitting Chinawoman’s Chance to Kindle Scout. Unfortunately, we have decided to pass on publishing, but we wanted to share with you some feedback on the book. We hope you find it useful and encouraging!

    General comments:

    We’re very impressed by the depth of the historical backstory, but in the first half of the book you too often and too lengthily interrupt the main murder-mystery plot with historical asides, and this makes the book sometimes read more like a nonfiction biography than a plot-driven murder-mystery. The main plot does begin to feel fully immersive until chapter 5, but we think readers will enjoy the first half of the book better if it likewise focuses more on the murders and investigation. We also feel that the narrative prose tends to reveal necessary important plot and character details too belatedly, and that the dialogue is over-loaded with background narrative details, which often makes the characters’ speech sound forced and expositional. We recommend that you put the manuscript through another round of developmental editing, focusing on making sure that at least 80% of the content in each chapter relates directly to the murder-mystery – which is what readers of this genre are mostly interested in. We provide more specific observations and recommendations below.

    Developmental feedback:

  • Particularly in the beginning of the book, the reader is expected to divine vital story details by reading between the lines rather than having them stated them directly, and we found this disorienting rather than compelling. Here are a few representative examples:

  • It’s not at all clear in the prologue that Andrew Kwong owns a newspaper or that George works for the newspaper. You hint at these facts, and eventually the reader reads enough hints to make pretty accurate guesses, but I can think of no reason why it wouldn’t be better to simply tell the reader when Andrew is introduced that he owns a newspaper and that George works for him, for example. It’s also not clear enough how the mayor’s background as a newspaper publisher factors into his pressuring the Kwongs to not publish the news story about the murder, and yet George seems to go out of his way to shoehorn this fact into his explanation to Clara.
  • The reader doesn’t have enough context to understand this sentence in the prologue: “Clara knew this information agreed with what Isaiah Lees had told them at the Italian restaurant.”
  • You do a great job of developing the chaotic and colorful San Francisco setting, especially the way you interweave the complex social and civil rights developments and organizations. However, you introduce “holy roller ‘Kid’ Cook” to the story at about the same time as you explain the Vigilante Committee, which strongly implies that Cook is a leader of the Vigilante Committee. As such, it was jarring to me when it clarified later on that Cook is a cop, so I recommend clarifying Cook’s profession when he’s first mentioned.
  • I misunderstood what “tongs” were for longer than was ideal – I inferred that they were specific people rather than organizations. This may well be my own fault, but I think it would be better to tell the reader what tongs are more immediately and directly.
  • We found the prologue very hard to follow and we had the sense that the chapter may have appeared later in the story (sometime after chapter 4 when the Italian restaurant is mentioned again) but was later moved to the beginning and wasn’t edited to account for having been moved. Ideally, we think the novel should open with chapter 1, which would start the book with a great first line, as well as start the story with its inciting event.
  • The narrative relies too much on “telling” and not enough on “showing.” For example, the most exciting scene in the beginning of the book is when Clara is kidnapped and brought before the Chinese business leaders, but this scene feels more like an abstract summary than a gripping action scene because there’s no dialogue and the narrative is more focused on expositing Clara’s personal history than it is on describing the action in progress. Another example: the narrator summarizes Lees’s planning for questioning the suspects in the case, but this would be a lot more compelling if you had Lees meet with his subordinates and explained his plan to them through dialogue.
  • It’s not believable that Clara would be so cavalier about what she believes is the strong likelihood of her being raped by her kidnappers, simply because she has a “keen legal mind” and uses effective modern birth control. Perhaps you are trying to achieve a kind of Sherlock Holmesian mental detachment in the way you’re portraying Clara here, but this was not executed effectively, in our opinion.
  • The dialogue sounds unnatural when the characters explain things to each other that they already know, such as when Dutch gives Lees a history lesson on the Exclusion Act and explains who Cook and Connolly are: all of which the reader knows that Lees already knows. Granted, the reader probably doesn’t know these facts, but it’s primarily the narrator’s job – not the characters’ job – to explain things like these so that the characters’ dialogue can sound believably organic. Therefore, we recommend taking another pass through the manuscript specifically with the objective of moving most of the expository historical background content out of the dialogue and into the narrative prose.
  • Cameron’s general description of pimps seems out of place in his description of Mary McCarthy’s lifestyle. If Cameron’s point is that witnesses would have noticed if Mary had a pimp because pimps are so easy to notice, then he should phrase the observation that way.
  • The transitions between the main plot and the historical background content sometimes feel forced or random. For example, the transition from Clara’s meeting with the leaders of the Six Companies in chapter 2 into the background about how and when Clara learned the law feels disjointed because the reader doesn’t require more background information about Clara’s legal experience at that moment. Providing occasional interesting plot-irrelevant details do help to lend a novel a sense of depth, but you are devoting too much word count to such details, and it has the effect of reducing the main plot’s sense of importance. Regarding the background historical details, I recommend following the old writing advice of “kill your darlings” so that the reader’s attention is never drawn away from the main murder-mystery plot for more than a paragraph at a time, and not more than once every thousand words or so.
  • End of comments from Amazon Press editor(s).

    The greatest objection I had to these comments was the fact that they obviously didn’t read the complete novel.  It’s strange because my complete mystery is only a little over 50K words, as I always write mysteries of shorter length, and I publish them that way because my readers like to read the work in one sitting.  All of these Amazon Press editorial comments take place in the first two chapters.

    Also, they seem to have no understanding of readers who enjoy historical fiction, even mysteries.  These fiction readers of history expect the author to do careful research about the people and times of the novel, and they will call you on any inaccuracies they find, which they have done in the past in my other novels.  The editors at Amazon, however, seem to relegate that research into the “distracting, non-fiction biography department.”  Anything that didn’t show them “action and mystery plot” was not fit to be included.  If I had done that, believe me, my historical fiction readers would have complained!  The reason they select historical fiction, in the first place, is because they want to learn more about the people and times in which the mystery is set.

    Thus, I am, obviously, not deleting my work that took many hours to research just because an editor who has not read the entire novel can go on about “killing your darlings.”  Including the realities of racism, female harassment, and political corruption were part of those times and cannot be deleted.  Also, the “suggestion” that the title Chinawoman’s Chance is racist, was not in keeping with 1884 San Francisco.  Being called a “chinawoman” was the least of the problems of Asian women living in Chinatown.  The Chinese, in point of fact, were seen as sub-human, and the United States Government’s “Chinese Exclusion Act” of 1882 was the most racist legislation (other than slavery) to be allowed as official policy in the history of our country.  These were some of the “darlings” I cover so painstakingly in my book so that my readers can know what kind of political realities women and minorities had to endure.  Taking them out would mean gutting the entire purpose for writing my mystery in the first place.

    I learned a lot from this experience, but I can’t recommend it if you are publisher.  Perhaps self-published authors might get something out of the experience, but if you can’t know who nominated you, and you can’t write to your genre’s very specific audience, then how much will you need to compromise in order to get your small $1,500 advance (which must be paid back before you can even begin to collect your 50% royalties).

    I give my virtually published authors complete remuneration for their hard work.  I am not their publisher (in the sense that Amazon is).  I am their fellow author, eBook consultant, and international distributor.  There are big differences, and until Amazon understands this, I suppose they will keep trying to put the financial burden on the authors who join these scouting expeditions.  Sadly, from a publisher’s perspective, I give Amazon a grade of “C-.”

    New Publishing Paradigm at EMRE Publishing

    New Publishing Paradigm at EMRE: WAR STORIES ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

    Enhanced War Stories

    Readers and artists will be able to get together by supporting the new method of publication at EMRE Publishing, LLC in San Diego.  Raising funds for its first digital and print anthology, the supporters will be able to help the authors protect their intellectual property and create a new way of enjoying enhanced creative material.

    The topic of the first anthology is war.  The title of the anthology is WAR STORIES ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. The method of the artistry will be to create stories that have an element of speculation in each one.  Therefore, they will categorized as fiction, although we will be soliciting stories by authors who have experienced war, whether while in the military or as a civilian living in a war-torn country.  These stories can be in the genres of Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery, Alternate History, and Fantasy.

    Each anthology will be separately financed by raising funds at Indiegogo, so we hope you can join us in this bold new experiment in publishing.

     

     

    Outlets Don’t Mean More Sales for eBook Publishers

    Outlets Galore.  Microsoft to Open Online eBook Sales Website

    If you’re a publisher or an author, the first impression you might have when getting the news of another eBook sales portal opening is, “Wow, now I can make even more money through these new sales outlets!”  Microsoft’s announcement that it will be selling “hundreds of thousands of frontlist and backlist eBook titles” comes as no surprise to me.

    Most sales go through only 5 major eBook outlets

    However, if you’ve been paying attention, sales of eBooks have not increased in conjunction with these new outlets opening.  On the contrary.  eBook sales are actually going down at a very fast rate if you believe the reports.  Also, sales are not easily tracked when you spread your eBook distribution to all these outlets.

    Not so fast.  Please notice the last line in that Fortune article.  One of the biggest reasons why eBooks seem to be going down is the fact that the Big Five online retailers are “allowing content creators to do an end-run around incumbents and sell directly to consumers.”

    Also, if you notice, nothing is mentioned (except at Book Fairs) about the increasing rate of eBook piracy taking place.  Therefore, the news of new sales outlets should be a sign to publishers that they need to circle the wagons and put their distribution dollars into B2C (business to customer) sales.

     

    We at EMRE Publishing have developed a B2C sales platform that is secure, user-friendly and ePub3 compliant.  We leverage this direct to reader sales model because of the “writing on the wall.”  Readers use their mobile devices, especially their SmartPhones, to read, and they don’t want to hassle with all the logins and rip-offs required of conventional online book sales like Microsoft, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Readers want speed, convenience and, most of all, they want to be able to follow the authors they want to follow and be informed immediately when that author comes out with a new title.  Our system does all of this–and more.

    I’ll be giving a webinar on May 15, 2017 that explains how you can cash-in on this new paradigm of eBooks sales.  You don’t even have to have ISBN numbers to sell using our platform.  We’ll also be giving away a free installation on your server so you can see how it increases your eBook sales if you follow our plan.  We hope you can attend to learn how to cut your losses and protect your investment by selling direct to your readers.

    EMRE Publishing Makes Life Easier for Authors and Publishers

    The Underside of Reality

    When I worked with engineers at Caltech’s Industrial Relations Center, the challenges were immense when it came to communicating how these technical people could do the job for the marketing and sales people who had little to no technical knowledge.  The problem is that even though authors and creators can envision possible uses for technology (in this case, digital technology), the people who actually implement the code to bring about these “visions” have a vocabulary and genius all their own.  Therefore, most of my job at EMRE Publishing is to make certain my authors and publishers are able to work closely with my genius computer programmers to create the best possible rendering of their vision on the pages of their ePub3 books. Wouldn’t you want the flexibility to design an eBook that looked like the one in the above video?

    I like the metaphor that the late Alan Watts shared concerning reality.  On the surface, we can see the beauty of society in all its glory.  For example, a well written novel is like the top-side of an elaborate quilt;  it reads smoothly and doesn’t seem to make the experience of reading difficult.  However, if we turn this wonderful reality quilt over, we can see the underlying, seemingly chaotic reality that went into making this surface reality so beautiful.  We are therefore surprised to see a complex sequence of geometric patterns and trial and error sequences that go into making such a wonderful pattern on the top-side.  This is the world of creating an excellent eBook for the viewer.

    I’m proud to introduce you to two of our computer developers at EMRE who are the weavers of the complex patterns beneath the resultant beauty of your creation, your ePub3 book.  Bas Van Stein, a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the prestigious Leiden University, the Netherlands, worked with me for over five years to develop our flagship product, the Embellisher (TM) ePub3 Mobile Publishing Platform.  I was able to communicate my vision to Bas, and he was able to explain to me how it could be done.  The final result is a revolutionary platform that makes the display of ePub3 a much more satisfying and secure experience for the publisher and the reader.

    Today, I am proud to announce another member of our team who can work with you to see your vision become reality.  Ric Wright is the Engineering Director at the Readium Foundation.  Aha, you’re saying, what does that mean to me, an author or publisher of eBooks?  Well, since our entire platform was coded using the open source Readium eReader as a starting point, which Ric helped develop, it means when you get a project done with us, you’re getting the wizard behind the miracle of what Readium can do for you and your creative ideas.

    For example, what if you wanted to design a hybrid video game and eBook? Well, since Ric actually teaches how to create 2D and 3D graphics and animations and place them inside ePub3 eBooks, he can do the coding you would need to implement your game inside the eBook!  He is, in fact, a software consultant, so working on such a project would be the proverbial “piece of cake” for him.

    Aha, you’re saying.  Why can’t I just go to iBook and create my ePub3 with them?  After all, they provide all the tools I need to do it.  The “catch” is that since Apple is one of the greediest companies on the planet, you end up having to pay them once your creation is ready for distribution.  As this author found out, after reading the “fine print” of the legal agreement, he was basically turning over all publishing rights to Apple!  As any publisher or author can tell you, this is the kiss of death to owners of intellectual property.

    Therefore, when you work with Ric, you’ll be working in complete confidence that your creation will remain yours to publish freely using our Embellisher (TM) system.  In fact, we’ll be contracting with you using an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), so when your ideas become a reality, there can be no untoward “rip-offs.”  We use Github and Dropbox to securely keep all your developmental files.  In addition, your final product, the embellished eBook, will be inside one of the most secure eReaders available today.

    Take a look at what genres we are working with to create ePub3 titles.  If you think your project fits, and you want to make the most money possible from your creation, then get in contact with us today.  You can also look at what Melcher Media has done for its clients.  If you have an idea for an interactive or embellished project, chances are you won’t have to pay what you’d have to pay Melcher because our overhead is a lot less!  Ric will be happy to make your acquaintance in order to start weaving your quilt from the underside of reality.

    Samples of What We Can Do for You

    Authors are Becoming ePub3 Creators with the Embellisher (TM) Platform

    EMRE Publishing, LLC for authors

    Authors and/or publishers who want to develop an eBook in the latest ePub3 formatting work with us daily to see their creations come to life.  In this article, you can see the nine things you need to know about using ePub3 formatting.  In these three free books, you can learn about how ePub3 works in a hands-on, practical way.

    Now, what if I told you that you don’t have to be technically able to do all the tricks listed in these books?  In fact, we have developers and coders who’ve spent many thousands of hours working on projects that accomplish these feats of daring do, and unless you are a computer engineer, chances are you won’t learn the skills needed to do what you want.

    That’s where EMRE Publishing can step-in and relieve the stress from you.  Although we do suggest you first become familiar with what you can and cannot do with ePub3, it is not a total necessity.  If you’re an author who wants to experiment with a new writing project that can make your work have a lot of extra “pop,” then ePub3 is right for you.  I am specifically suggesting that ePub3 will be most beneficial to authors who write in the following genres:

  • Education textbooks.
  • Self-Help and Inspirational non-fiction.
  • Historical non-fiction and Historical fiction.
  • Children’s interactive books.
  • Choose-your-own adventures and mysteries.
  • Interactive Romance and Erotica.
  • Adventure non-fiction and fiction.
  • Military non-fiction and fiction.
  • All of these types of books lend themselves to incorporating the cool applications in ePub3 technology and interior design.  If you have an idea for adding this technology to your next project, in order to create a professional-looking enhanced (or, as we like to call it “embellished”) title, then contact us today.

    Here’s how we’ll work with you:

  •  First, we’ll get a general idea of what your project is about and what you want to do inside the book.
  • Next, we’ll put you in touch with an experienced ePub3 developer and designer who can create the specific “look and feel” of your project.
  • After our developer gets an idea of what kind of time frame he/she would need to complete your project, we will get back to you with a cost estimate.
  • Finally, the developer will discuss your project’s workflows and how to submit the details of what you want your project to do for reader in a very linear way.  Our computer engineers are very literal minded, so they will need to know exactly what you want the page to do (thus, the “suggestion” that you first become familiar with ePub3 techniques).
  • You pay 1/2 of the cost, and the second 1/2 payment will come once you are satisfied the project is meeting your requirements.  We require a paid fee for work accomplished, based on the time spent by the engineer on your project, should you wish to terminate the project.
  • If you’re interested in getting your next writing project done using the latest ePub3 formatting and technology, just ePub3 technology for authorscontact us.  We’ll discuss it with you in detail to get you enthused about what kinds of things you can do.  Your creative wheels deserve a nice “hard body” running under them, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the way we can make it happen.

    And, if you happen to be a computer engineer or developer, then our Embellisher (TM) platform, for $40, should be enough to get you going!

    Encouraging Collaboration in Learning

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    Are you preparing students for job skills required in 2020?

    Attend our webinar to see how the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing, Training and Education platform can give you  a way to move your organization’s mobile collaboration and publication systems to a powerful new level.

    Whether you are in the public or the private sector, you can benefit from learning how to use VR/AR as well as seeing how multimedia (ePub3) and live streaming technologies can enhance your collaborative and publishing skills.

    Student-Centered Instruction Webinar
    Nov. 8, 2016 | 1 PM (UTC-7)

     

    We will be covering:

    1.  How to use live streaming video to collaborate on projects and assignments.

    2.  How to use AR and VR to create “empathetic” point-of-view.

    3.  How to give each author/teacher a publishing platform to feature live broadcasts of new books, book trailers, live chat with readers/students, and even “casting” a virtual book tour to bookstores and libraries as patrons can view on their mobile devices.

    4.  A guided tour of our three ePub3 Creator Studio Templates that are used for collaborative work inside our web app.

    Bonus! All attendees will receive a free copy of Professor Jim Musgrave’s book, Running with the Big Dogs: A Creator’s Guide to Using Electronic Media. Also, if you teach online classes, he will give you an Insert-text Grammar Template to use when grading your students’ papers.

     

    Join our free webinar on November 8, 2016 at 1 PM (UTC-7). Register today.

    Virtual Reality (VR) Technology Coming Soon to the Embellisher (TM) Publishing and Training Platform

    vr

    Only the Open Source EMRE Publishing Platform Allows for Seamless Integration of VR

    After speaking with my lead developer, Bas Van Stein, we will be doing a webinar on the addition of Virtual Reality programming in our ePub3 Creator Studio.  The positive implications for publishers and educators in the private and public sectors are obvious.  Whether our clients develop materials on their own or hire us to create these eBooks for them, the amazing possibilities are there for both publishing and training/education.

    The reason we can quickly integrate the VR technology into our platform is because our system was developed from open source code.  That means that the new aframevr/aframe tool that uses JavaScript can be easily used in our platform to create awesome virtual reality effects.  All the user will need to experience such effects inside the eBook created in our studio, would be the conventional VR hardware headset.

    Since all the other ePub3 delivery platforms, including Apple and Amazon, don’t allow for the use of JavaScript inside the publications created inside their ePub studios, we at EMRE will have the only eBook Creator Studio that can add Virtual Reality seamlessly into eBooks.  Look at these samples of some of the effects which can be added to your eBook using the aframevr/aframe tool.

    We Will Be Presenting our System at a Webinar for the USDLA and OLC

    We will be rolling out the possibilities for utilizing VR technology inside ePub3 eBooks at a webinar through the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), of which we are a member, and the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), as a co-sponsor.  Please contact us if you’d like to attend these webinars, and we’ll forward information to you.

    EMRE Publishing Welcomes the Gould Bar Review

    Gould bar review (outlined)

    Patrick Gould, Esq.
    Patrick Gould, Esq.

    Our new client, Patrick Gould, Esq., was very interested about working with somebody who could get him into the mobile publishing delivery of his law school bar review business.  When I met him at the Chicago Book Expo America, we had a good conversation about what he does and what he wanted to do.  I really appreciated Patrick’s approach to getting the best possible app for his needs.  In fact, I wanted to write this article so that other prospective clients can see how one should go about finding a mobile application developer with whom you can do business.

    First of all, Patrick hired a technical person to interview prospective app developers to see which one did exactly what he needed done for his needs.  After I talked with this person, Patrick was pleased with the information he got about us, and we moved into the specifics of his business needs.  Any good business person always knows the competition, and Patrick was no exception.  The other deliverers of bar training materials, including some multi-million dollar outfits like Kaplan, had some very poor ratings for their apps.  Most of the problems had to do with the syncing problem and the video loading problems inside the apps.

    Therefore, I explained to Patrick that this was an excellent time for him to move into the market with the best app to deliver his materials to the students in the best way possible.  Social marketing is vital to the life of a business predicated upon technology and the delivery of educational content.  I told Patrick that his new business app would not have a problem with the syncing of materials to the user’s mobile device because our app doesn’t allow local access of files.  The user must be connected to the Internet to use the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing app.  This provides the user with instant syncing with the educational materials, and, most importantly, the materials cannot be stolen.  Our product is not strictly an app, it is a so-called “web app”. In other words, users do not install the app from a Playstore but instead visit a website which is optimized for mobile phone usage.  The user must be logged into the app and connected to the Internet in order to be able to use the materials.  The video problems are alleviated with our app by installing the videos on Vimeo and then embedding the video inside an eBook using our ePub3 Creator Studio.  Whenever the video is uploaded into the app, it will have a problem with loading when the user tries to view the video.  Because we “stream” the video from Vimeo’s server, there is no loading needed.  Also, we don’t use YouTube because of the advertisements that get placed inside the videos and interrupt the viewing enjoyment.  Hackers do this to increase revenue, but we don’t want our users being side-tracked by some other company’s ads.

    Patrick purchased our Turnkey Installation for $250.  He also needed a Php-enabled website, so we sold him that also, with the domain name of GouldBarReview.com included, for $100.00.

    Finally, we worked with Patrick to show him how to use his new app and the creator studio that comes with it.  We set-up a one-on-one webinar to show him the steps required to create a simple ePub3 eBook, embed a video, and include other teaching materials for his students.  In addition, we instructed him on the use of the Administrative side of the app where he can price his courses and even include coupon discounts.  Finally, we explained to him that because he has licensed our top-of-the-line installation, he will be able to expand his business in the future by allowing other instructors to have their own courses to sell inside his app.  In other words, each instructor can have his/her own Administrator login and creator studio account, and Patrick can collect a fee from the instructor for using it.  In other words, only the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing platform allows for expanding into the publishing and education business.  In fact, entire school districts use our app to do this, allowing each teacher to have his/her own Administration account.

    ATTY. PATRICK G. GOULD
     
    Patrick G. Gould, Esquire, is a Member of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Wisconsin Bar Association (WBA), the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA).  He earned a graduate degree in the Learning Sciences, from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, in 2009, and employs a blended learning approach in teaching basic learning skills to law students.

    Before I schedule your installation, and a webinar to instruct you about how to use your new app and studio, we need the following from you:

          1.  Final approval on the logo you want to use.
          2.  A photo of you to be used on the welcome page.
          3.  A short description of what you want the student to know on the welcome page.

    Also, I wanted to get more technically into why your app will be far superior to the ones that are downloaded from the Google Play and iTunes websites.

    • The syncing problems come about because Google and Apple require certain coding that prohibits video and interactive Javascript from functioning well.  Therefore, the big companies’ apps cannot sync well across platforms being used by the user, especially when not connected to the Internet.
    • Since our product is not technically an “app” (meaning it requires all the proprietary coding of the big companies), it is better streamlined into what’s called a “web app.”  A web app allows our developer to create a platform that syncs content smoothly across all mobile devices, including cell phones.  Most importantly, because our web app requires a connection to the Internet in order for the student to use it, it has a security system far superior to Google Play, iTunes or Amazon apps.  eBooks inside the Embellisher™ cannot be copied or downloaded to a local file, and only a single page loads inside the eReader at a time.
    • In addition, the videos and other interactive content will instantly stream inside your web app because you’ll be embedding the code from a superior streaming service:  Vimeo.  Vimeo is a better streaming service than YouTube because hackers aren’t able to insert their ads inside your video to distract the viewers.  This is why your videos will load immediately, as opposed to the instructional videos inside the Kaplan or other big company bar review apps.
    • Finally, because you’ll be social or what’s called “pull marketing,” you need a content delivery platform that is the most flexible.  Having a web app is the best way to keep your students coming back to a place that will keep a complete database of their materials, and their personal information remains secure and in one location.

    Please let me know about the three items, so I can schedule our installation on your new web app domain, GouldBarReview.com and our online instructional “show and tell.”

    Thanks,

    Jim Musgrave

    Owner
    EMRE Publishing, LLC
    San Diego, CA 92159
    Cell:  619-750-7360
     
    Gould is open to requests for speaking engagements, related to learning in general, and legal learning in particular.