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Archive for January, 2011

My little granddaughter is twelve years old right now and entering her teenage years. She already has a group of girl friends that mean the world to her. I remember raising my own girls and learning that when in the full bloom of adolescence, their friends meant more to them than their parents.

I got to thinking about the fact that most people want to be liked … throughout their lifetime. But the intensity of that desire seems to change in a bell-shaped curve during a person’s life span.

Think about kids in nursery school who relate to one another in terms of playing with a toy or fighting over the possession of a toy. They ususally want to have things going their way … at all costs without worrying about how the other might feel about them. Forget about being liked.

As the years pass, they begin to start wanting to be both liked and respected. They want their classmates to think of them as “nice” or “smart” or “good athletes” or “good at the trombone,” etc. etc. In adolescence being liked is linked to being “cute,” “beautiful,” “a hunk,” “popular,” and “part of the in-group.” Being respected has not yet become a big deal. The most brilliant kid in the class could be a “nerd.”

Then in adulthood, being respected is as important as being liked. It involves ones success in whatever career they may have, as a breadwinner or homemaker/stay-at-home-mom. One alone is not enough to achieve happiness. The most brilliant, respected doctor who is disliked by his patients isn’t going to get very far. And the “nicest” guy in the neighborhood who can’t keep a job to support his family also has a problem.

Then there is old age. Of course, if you haven’t enough money to retire and take care of yourself, you aren’t in very good shape, no matter how “nice” you are. But if you are are okay financially, you probably don’t give a hoot if people like you or not. Take a look at all the “grumpy old men” out there who are forgiven their behavior because of their age. Or, the “old biddies” who are accepted as they are.

I guess the lesson learned is that if you are lucky enough to make it into old age, it doesn’t really matter if others like you or not. Hope I get there someday!

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About ten days ago I wrote a blog entitled To Kindle or Not to Kindle based on my own experience on having received a gift of a Kindle over the holidays. Since then I am happy to say I have mastered the technology required to actually use that device.

I am so glad I did. Two days ago I received an email telling me about an article written by Dan Poynter about the changing face of book publishing in 2011. His predictions include: 1) brick and morter stores, including book stores, will continue to close; 2) ebook publishing and reading will continue to grow; 3) the book publishing business will change.

I am being made aware of the fact that everything I have learned in writing and publishing Becoming Alice will no longer be of any help to me in the future. Perhaps what I write now will not be effected by the explosion of the popularity of ebooks, but everything else I know about publishing and marketing is now becoming obsolete.

I will have to learn how to publish an ebook, who to chose as the publisher of my ebook, and how to market my ebook. I will have to read all the reviews written by those who have gone ahead of me to help me make these decisions.

When I think back to my own experience with my paperback Becoming Alice and how long each step took, I am overwhelmed. It took me three years to write my book and another three years to get it published. After that, my time went into marketing the book. Nine years! I don’t think I will be doing that again any time soon.

I have about twenty-two pages of my new work written so far. I think I will make it a novella. That should cut down a couple of years. Then I should just pick any old ebook publisher and not worry so much about whether or not I made the right choice. And lastly, I think I’ll just put it on Amazon and see what happens.

I have no idea how anyone can market an ebook. Surely I’ll have to do more research on the subject. And that would take time away from my writing the thing in the first place. Who knows, by the time I finish my ebook, ebooks might be obsolete.

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It is already January 2011 and I am still cleaning up from left-over bits and pieces of information that I wanted to address from 2010. One of them was an email received from a site that I watch. It is http://www.shewrites.com and I think it is worthwhile to stay tuned.

The email gave us the Gender Stats in Publishing for 2009. Please note:

Amazon Top 100 Editor’s Picks 2009:
77 Men/23 Women

LA Times Favorite Fiction 2009:
16 Neb/9 Women

LA Times Favorite Nonfiction 2009:
19 Men/6 Women

The Ntional Book Awards 2009:
4 Men/o Women

Publishers Weekley Best Books 2009:
10 Men/0 Women

Washington Post Best Books 2009:
69 Men/17 Women

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1948-2009:
40 Men/16 Women

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1950-2009:
44 Men/16 Women

U.S. Poet Laureate 1937-2009:
36 Men/10 Women

I give up! I can’t believe women are so far inferior to men!

Give me a break!

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I’ve been watching the Kindle, Nook, etc. explosion in the book market with great interest these last few months. Being one who enjoys holding a book while curled up in an easy chair by the fireplace, I haven’t been tempted to buy one. However, knowing that many of my friends have purchased a Kindle and are enjoying using it, I jumped at the chance to have my memoir Becoming Alice formated into a kindle book to give those who would prefer that a chance to purchase it.

I have read that the ebook market is quickly catching up to the paperback market. Perhaps it has already surpassed it. I haven’t researched it just yet. I have been curious to see how the sales have been going for the Kindle verson of Becoming Alice and I am sorry to say that only one kindle has been sold so far.

Fast forward to the holiday season and, lo and behold, my daughter bought me a Kindle as my holiday present. Okay! I shall play the game. Lucky for me, my grandson took charge of registering me for the use of the Kindle and when he finished, he said, “You’re all set. You can go ahead and buy a book.”

I thanked him and took my present home to do just that. I read my instruction booklet, clicked on the Bookstore line and was stopped in my tracks. I was told I needed a Wi-Fi connection. What is that? I didn’t want to call my computer guy for umpteen zillion dollars, so I asked anybody I could find to help me out. They took me to a place I didn’t want to be, that is to routers and modems and signals and Wi-Fi availabilities.

At this point in time, I have finally mastered the purchase of my first book and am now on page two. I still don’t know how to enlarge the font size or what will happen if I move more than twenty feet away from my router … or is it the modem?

I’ve put all that on hold for another day. I think I’ll just pick up my paperback and finish ready Verghese’s Cutting for Stone.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 105 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 203 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 12mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 29th with 38 views. The most popular post that day was Nerds-Our Social Misfits.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were alicerene.com, linkedin.com, shewrites.com, en.search.wordpress.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for self assurance vs self confidence, allintext:leave a reply your name (required) your email(required)-, jewish book world magazine, alice rene,, and imagine if your grandfather would have written *.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Nerds-Our Social Misfits September 2010
6 comments

2

About October 2008
6 comments

3

Would-be Writers of Memoir, Beware the Pitfalls February 2010
1 comment

4

Relationships May 2010
3 comments

5

My Book’s Life Expectancy September 2010
13 comments

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I haven’t posted but one or two blogs this past month for one of two reasons. One is that I’ve untaken a move from one house to another of monumental propotions. This is not meaningful to anyone but me.

The other is that it seems that this blog isn’t going anywhere. I often feel that I’m talking to myself. If that is the case, then I might as well be writing a journal and should get off the internet altogether. What little connection I have established online has been with fellow writers who have many of my same aspirations and are experiencing many the same frustrations I have had.

Many of those who do find me online are so often interested in teaching me “how to” do things. These experts very often are others who have had no more background in writing, editing, publishing, marketing, etc. than me.

Therefore I have decided to take a new direction in 2011. Much as I like, admire, and often envy other writers, I plan to change the relationship I have had with them in the past. I am going to branch off and try to engage the readers of our material. I am going to try to understand what they like or dislike in our work. What are they reading? Why? What do they look for when they spend time reading? Were are they coming from? Do they prefer to read a book that is a paperback, or do they prefer the Kindle, or like product?

There is so much to know. I may even start a new blog, going down an entirely different route.

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