Nina Simone and me: An artist and activist revisited

(CNN)I was surfing online when I stumbled upon a mural in Baltimore painted by artist Ernest Shaw. It’s a three-headed portrait of civil rights icons: James Baldwin, Malcolm X and, of course, Nina Simone. Even within the boundaries of my computer screen, the painting on the side of a building at 401 Lafayette Street was powerful. Curious that the artist had chosen Simone as part of the trifecta, I dialed Shaw, a 41-year-old teacher at the Maryland Academy of Technology & Health Sciences. He’s taught kids at Baltimore city schools for 14 years and is keen to mentor inner-city youth…

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The Salad Oil King – New Book

So just had the Salad Oil King book cross my desk. Story about Alfonso Fravenese who grew up to a life of crime. Starting early, he worked his way from scamming kids in grade school to international scams during WWII. From the book: Alfonso “Fonso” Gravenese had the DNA of a natural born scam-artist. Deceit was his adrenaline. Money was just a way to keep score. He honed his formative business skills during grade school at St. Patrick’s off Hester Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy — “among his kind,” as he would say so many times in later life. He never…

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Fee-For-Review Versus Vanity Reviews

Fee-for-review versus vanity reviews book reviews

Probably one of the most controversial topics still in the book publishing industry is the idea of an author (or publicist) paying for a review of their book. It’s an offshoot of the self-publishing versus publishing industry argument that comes from the old vanity presses of the past. A vanity press, for the younger readers, was a publishing company that would charge an author for the entire print run of a book. The publisher might make attempts to sell the book, but their profit had already been taken in the print run of the book (and sometimes ongoing storage fees…

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From Syria to Black Lives Matter: 3 ways WWI still shapes America

(CNN)He stood 5-foot-4 and weighed 130 pounds. An angular, baby-smooth face made him look even less intimidating. Henry Johnson was at first just another railroad porter who toted luggage and smiled for tips. Johnson was a US sergeant standing sentry one night in a French forest when a German raiding party attacked. The swarming Germans shot Johnson in his lip, head and side. Yet Johnson kept shooting back. When his rifle jammed, he grabbed it by the barrel and clubbed more Germans. Then he used the bolo knife to stab and disembowel another enemy soldier. He kept throwing grenades until…

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The Device Trial by Tom Breen

5 stars from the San Francisco Book Review Finalist in the 5th Annual Beverly Hills International Book Awards Story Summary: New York attorney Brian Bradford was severely injured and hospitalized after the violent confrontation at the end of the first novel, The Complaint. Having not learned his lesson from the first litigation against ZeiiMed, he decides upon his return to work to commence a second lawsuit against the billion dollar health insurance company. He agreed to file the suit after meeting the elderly Martha Dudley and learning that she was dying from a defective hip replacement device manufactured by a…

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So, you have your first review. Now what?

By Maryglenn McCombs One of the most rewarding parts of my job as a book publicist is delivering that first review of a new book to an author, and in some cases, the first ever review to a new author—especially when said first review is a good one.  Getting that first review is a momentous […]

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Press Kits: Separating the Amateurs from the Professionals

By Mari Selby Marshall McCluhan said, “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” Your press kit – or media kit ­– is a tool. It’s your chance to shape how you want to be perceived and received. Media kits are sent out along with your book to reviewers, interviewers, for possible speaking […]

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How To Make Your Book Appeal to a YA Audience

Originally posted to City Book Review on 3/23/17   By Morgan Rath You’ve finally done it! That young adult novel you’ve been working on for what feels like forever is finally finished and ready for print! So, now what? How do you make your book stand out amongst the crowd? Here are some tips of […]

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Reaching out to Book Bloggers—Part Two

Article originally appeared on City Book Review. By Bethany Brown As we all know—authors, publishers, marketing professionals and book coaches—reviews matter. Any time you can get your book reviewed; participate in an online interview, podcast or webinar; write a guest post or article or even provide an excerpt on a well-trafficked site, it’s good for […]

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The Ken wants to fix business journalism in India with a subscription model

Four formerreporters and entrepreneurs are attempting to fix Indias broken business media landscape and simultaneously prove that theres an audience and business for paying for quality journalism in the country. Subscription-based media is thriving in the West. The New York Times has seen its digital subscription base swell following the election of President Trump. In tech, The Information, founded by a former Wall Street Journal editor, has thrived with a mix of trend-based reporting and news scoops, while Stratechery, an analysis-focused newsletter/blog from Taiwan-based writer Ben Thompson, has also shown the model to be lucrative. Butthis is India, a country…

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