Monday, April 30, 2007

My Latest Reads

Here are a few of my latest on going theme of conspiracy, which involves Freemasons, Illuminati, Catholic Church, Mary Magdelen, Templers, etc.

I find the "Di Vinci Code" theme style very interesting, and I suspect they contain some truth!

They are available at and most major bookstores.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Original Art

Locating Top Book Agents

Finding a competent book agent that will actually work diligently for you to help you reach your goals can be a lot tougher than you may think. Because there are so many different kinds of literary agents out there, it is important to be careful when picking one for your own needs.

The first thing you should do when looking for an agent to represent your work is to familiarize yourself their area of expertise. Not all agents focus on works of fiction, some are only interested in technical books, while on the other side of the coin others enjoy pursuing works of poetry. After finding the ones that fit your field, you now have to locate the agent who has your best interest at heart and not theirs. Many book agents get caught up with their own agenda.

Locating book agents who are legitimate is nowhere near as easy as you think it is. In reality, there are a great deal of quality agents in the business. Now, if you are looking for people who claim to be book agents but are instead scammers, bad at their job, unhelpful, or in it only for themselves, there are more than you could ever handle. But to locate one relief trust or the than some of that has your best interest at heart in it is to get the job done as a full-time job on itself.

A first-rate book agents work diligently, and have a real good idea of how to do their job by working for a reputable agent. After learning hopes by talking to publishers and authors on their own and understanding the way in which the business truly operates, that they usually start up the presence of their own it are to competently manage it.

They will work for you and never ask anything of you that has to do with money. They will edit books as needed without a charge, as that is part of their job.

Dishonest book agents will be looking for money up front before a book is even sold. Quality book agents wouldn't do that. They realize that the real money is made as part of a percentage of the amount you are paid on a book that is sold so this is the first true way to tell scamming agents from real ones.

Scammers will also try and hide their client lists as confidential, but it is usually because these dishonest book agents will have a clients because of their shoddy work. Unlike legitimate book agents, scammers will not offer book revisions for free and will usually try to get you to go to an outside source to have your book edited. As book agents, it must have the skills to edit the books themselves as a part of the service they render to you.

It all comes down to doing your homework and checking out the various book agents and being sure you are comfortable with the way they run their businesses. If something doesn’t seem right to you, it probably isn’t so don’t hesitate to move down the list of possible book agents until you find one that meets your needs perfectly. Remember this is about you and your book and they are there to service and help you, not the other way around.

About the Author:

Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning books. Get the information you are seeking now by visiting

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Self Publish Your Book - You Will Need to do Most of the Work Yourself Anyway

Not too many years ago the only way to get your book published was to send a manuscript to a large publishing house and hope they liked it enough to publish and distribute it. Even then, there was no guarantee of success because the publishing houses did little or nothing to promote a book unless it was written by a well known author or likely to garner some impressive sales. Whether it might have been in the best interest of the publishing house to promote a book did not seem to matter, advertising dollars were only pumped into those works most likely to return multifold returns for the publishing house.

Another drawback to having a large publishing house publish your book that is still true today is the distribution of revenues from sales of YOUR work. If you are "lucky" enough to have a major publisher "accept" your work and publish it, you are on your way to receiving pennies on the dollar for each copy they sell. Did you ever wonder why you are given such a small percentage of the sales revenues - maybe as little as 2 percent? Well, it boils down to corporate profits and shareholder dividends. Almost all of the large publishing houses are publicly held stocks, and like any other stock, shareholders expect double-digit growth on their investments. That, combined with huge CEO and executive salaries, corporate inefficiencies, and a need to show profits, means that they can only pay you - the author, the one that did all the real work - a few cents for each copy of YOUR book that they sell.

There is an alternative, Print on Demand, POD. Several POD printing firms have sprung up in the last decade, making it easier for an author to get their work published. With the Internet online bookselling marketplaces growing as they have, it is even possible to market your own book alongside those published by the biggest publishing houses out there. Other than a marketplace commission of about 15% on the sale of your book and the price of printing, you do not have to give anyone a penny to publish your book. On top of that, you do not give up any of your rights to your own work.

It no longer makes much sense to beg a big publishing house to publish your book. Of the hundreds of thousands of books they publish each year, few make the authors rich anyway. Why not take the entire matter on yourself. You will need to do most of the marketing yourself anyway, and setting up a website to promote your book, writing some articles to draw attention to it, and mailing it to customers that buy it will secure the profits for you instead of some corporation.

About the Author

Michael E. Mould is the author of "Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed Explanations and Insightful Tips," [Paperback ISBN 1427600708, CD-ROM ISBN 1599714876] and the developer of "Bookkeeping for Booksellers" [CD ISBN 1427600694], you can learn more about online bookselling at: , or by emailing .

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Sony E-Book Reader

Sony Reader PRS-500 reader
Written by Marcus, New York (USA) on March 31, 2007

The screen is amazing and looks so much like paper; reading from it is a delight and very easy on the eyes. I use it primarily for reading books and newspaper articles downloaded from the web (FT, NYTimes, .). I wanted to be able to take many books with me and also read on the go hundreds of newspaper articles and it's perfect for that.

Regarding content: I have a lot of books in PDF format and had planned to use this reader for reading those but have found that RTF is the most convenient and versatile format so that's what I use most of the time. The screen is 7" so it is not practical for viewing large US Letter / A4 documents with graphs and pictures since they appear scaled down. However, it's perfect for reading material that's primarily text and if you use RTF it will "scaled" the text perfectly. There are a variety of programs out there that will convert PDF to RTF and Word con convert it's own documents to RTF so that's easy.

There is a document available on the web that explains how you can configure Acrobat Professional to create PDF for the Reader's screen size so that it looks perfect, worth considering too if you have the complete Acrobat application.

The screen is beautiful and the battery life is amazing! Admittedly it does not have a backlight option but I personally don't think it's that important. The screen is quite robust too, compared to laptop screens.

The PC program is not great but it's simple which is not a bad thing. I only use t to transfer documents over to the Reader and it does this well.

Hope this helps!

Marcus M27

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ebooks: The Only Books?

Way back when the internet first learned to walk there was a famous aphorism encouraging it as it took each unsteady step: “Information wants to be free.” Well, while the internet is not old by any stretch of the imagination, it is now upright, sturdy, and racing ahead, two legs strong and insisting: “Information wants to be on the internet!” The resounding boom of this proclamation initially caused other information-related industries—namely print media and publishing—to backpedal or just plain shake. Newspapers, luckily understanding the ramifications of the internet, quickly steadied their nerves and appeared online, first as supplements to their printed versions, then vice versa as their primary mode of distribution. Books, on the other hand, appeared slowly, initially at a crawl, but seemingly overnight are like the internet itself, already running.

In increasing numbers, books are now digitized; i.e. becoming eBooks. Though industry numbers vary, some sources already place eBook sales at 35% of the overall total of yearly book sales.

Book reviewers, likewise, increasingly shift their critical gaze away from traditional hardbound and soft-cover books to eBooks, which either appear solely in digital format, or as alternatives to their tangible world counterparts. And not only do eBook reviewers now regularly give resoundingly influential thumbs up or down to specific eBooks, but entire websites are available to review, catalogue and otherwise provide information on eBooks in an increasing number of categories. In fact, the breath of reading materials contained within an eBook’s pages already exceeds traditional (and at present most sought after, and thus lucrative) self-help eBooks to encompass even literature’s canon (formerly only found gold-leafed and leather-bound) from Homer to Shakespeare.

Monster search engines, with Google™ of course leading the charge (and Yahoo!, Microsoft’s MSN, and bookseller in tow) are years into developing systems that will digitize the printed word. Despite copyright infringement lawsuits hurled like spears from traditional book publishers, steps have been taken to digitize several large libraries whose collections presently exist in the public domain (thus not subject to copyright law). Microsoft, for instance, is digitizing 100,000 such books from the British Library. Additionally, Random House recently became the first of the traditional publishing behemoths to realize their future, in part, relied upon selling eBooks, and began digitizing portions of their catalogue. Finally, is setting up a cheaper alternative, a “pay-per-view” system not much unlike checking books out of a library for a nominal fee.

In the future, many experts predict, if we read something, it will be read online and online only. Trusted offline information will be digitized to replace currently less trusted online information. Access to information will even be available for purchase piecemeal to accommodate specific needs and interests. Examples include a chef’s recipe without his or her entire cookbook, a Bible verse without both testaments, a single chapter relevant to a student’s research, and access to the foreign city a traveler will visit without lugging the guide for the entire country abroad.

But what is wonderful for the average Joe and Jane, Smith or Jones about the digitizing of information being but in its most nascent stages, is that opportunities abound for them to become primary movers and shakers, pioneering and (thus) profiting from this revolution. Now is the time to digitize the stores of information and know-how that you already possess. Don’t know what I mean? Check out the wealth of information accumulating daily on eBook review websites to read how hundreds of others did exactly this: turned what they were good at or what interested them into an eBook now sold to and shared with likeminded people wanting to learn or benefit from another (and perhaps former!) Joe or Jane, Smith or Jones’ expertise.

Otherwise, not interested in entrepreneurship? No problem. eBook review websites are still a wonderful place to begin your search for information. There are links to not only individuals selling eBooks they wrote, but to eBook exchanges and sellers promoting libraries worth of eBooks in an astounding number of diverse categories. Either way, you’ll be onboard, running ahead with the knowledge that not only does “information want to be free” but it “wants to be online!”

Copyright 2006, Robert K. Blanc. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author:

Robert Blanc is a frequent traveler and writer, covering current events, niche markets and subjects of personal interest for online and print publications. Enamored by the eBook phenomenon, he regularly turns to to search the latest information and eBooks on the market.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Audible Books: The Evolution Of Story Telling

In the days of old, stories were usually told orally from a tribal storyteller or one of the wise elders or chiefs. The next progression in storytelling came with the first hieroglyphics and visual representations of actual and mythical events. After that came the evolution of written languages and alphabets, eventually culminating in the printing press that appeared only a few hundred years ago. Books have become the main medium for people to tell both tales of fiction and reality and they literally (no pun intended) have taken over the world. Millions and millions of books have been written, read, stuck in huge libraries, worshipped, banned, censored, and even burnt because of their perceived potential and powerful effects on societies. The previous century saw the advent of film that brought 'life' to many books and subsequently have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in our world. Now however, with the Information Age have come E books, and a very exciting new arrival: audible books. Audible books have ensured that books will still be one of the main storytelling mediums for generations to come.

The Internet has brought so many new ways for us to communicate with each other, but here I will focus mainly on the area of literature. If you aren't good at typing, or have some kind of illness that prevents bodily movement, there are now voice recognition software packages that turn your voice into words on the monitor and thus the sheet of paper. On the other hand, there is now technology that uses voice synthesis to convert text into spoken audio for audio books.

Recently I went on a trip by car with my parents for the first time in many years as I had the opportunity to get to visit my girlfriend as she lives in the same city as they were visiting. The reason why I haven't travelled with them for so long is that our personalities often clash and in a confined space over a length of time it can become unbearable for all those involved. I was still a little dubious of the trip ahead but my Dad said that he had an audible book that we could listen to on the way through his Apple Ipod. He has a connection called Itrip that you connect from the music device to the cigarette lighter and then the book is heard through any unused radio frequency. This particular story was meant to be a science fiction novel called 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card. I hadn't read Sci-Fi in a long time so I wasn't really looking forward to it, but my Dad assured me that his friend had told him that it was very good.

Well, let me tell you the story was very engrossing indeed. All three of us were hanging on every word from the multiple narrators (an interesting way to hear a story told) that meant that we couldn't even discuss our opinions on what we thought was happening (the story wasn't very straightforward) until we made it to food, gasoline, and rest stops. This meant none of the arguments of old as well as friendly conversation when communication was possible. The coolest part of all was how the time of the journey just seemed to flow by. Usually the eight hour (each way) trip could be quite tiring with one becoming impatient at the monotony of the landscape; farms and pastures can become one huge blur after a while. This time however, story unfolding gradually mile after mile, the climax of the plot building slowly, we almost didn't want the trip to end as it would mean the end of the storytelling experience.

This could have great ramifications for the humans of the future, don't you think? Imagine what it could mean for keeping children happy, calm, and even the added educational opportunities. There are many places to find audible books but the most famous is There are thousands of texts there separated by genre as well as having 'book club' and 'award winning' lists. They cost money of course, but if you become a member you receive discounts that mean that most are no more expensive than paper books. A lot of the classics are there as well as children's books and recently published texts. There are probably a hundred different genre categories and sub-categories altogether. If you've got a book of your own that you want to turn into an audible, check out

Maybe you've never been much of a reader but you've always enjoyed it when people have weaved magical tales that cause you to fly away to other realms and realities. For whatever reason, go check out audible books, they may just open another door of perception.

About the Author:

Jesse S. Somer, M6.Net,

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Visit Some Excellent Museums In Illinois

For travelers an excellent destination is Illinois which offers a variety of options. The best option is to visit Chicago and enjoy the many museums and cultural scenes it has to offer. The Museum of Science and Industry is one option travelers should always go see along with the Brookfield Zoo. If you travel to the small historic town of Galena you can take an old fashioned Mississippi River cruise on a riverboat. The beautiful Lake Shelbyville can be found in the city of Champaign along with the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Reserve. The Lincoln Home National Historic site for history buffs can be found in the city of Springfield.

Visitors can find a multitude of attractions in Chicago and are bound to find something that attracts them since Chicago is a major cultural center. Many choose to visit the Sears Tower while in Chicago, but visiting the shores of Lake Michigan will allow you to see the impressive skyline of downtown Chicago. In addition, Chicago offers many beaches and outdoor water activities for those who like outdoor attractions when they travel.

There are many options when it comes to accommodations in Chicago and the Illinois Travel Guide at will give you an excellent selection while helping you to find the right accommodation for your travel needs. However, the newest option in Chicago is the Conrad Hotel on Rush Street which just took over the Le Meridian property in 2006. This hotel offers excellent amenities such as five hundred threat count sheets, Molton Brown bath products, wireless computer access, plasma televisions, docking stations for ipods and if you are traveling with kids there is free cotton candy when you check into the hotel.

When visiting Chicago the best option is to visit the many museums the city has to offer. The best place to start your trip is at the Metropolis which is a replica of the city in the Superman stories. This not only features statues of Superman but also has details down to the Metropolis Planet newspaper. The place also has the Super Museum which features every Superman related memorabilia possible.

Another option for the movie buffs is the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum. This museums features many of the original artwork and photos of the Dick Tracy comic strip and the move. There is even a Crimestopper Club Room where you can stop to relax after a long day of visiting the museums. The museum also offers a wing where kids can have hands on experience with forensic tools and practice their comic drawing techniques. Chicago is one of the few cities where you can find a museum that the whole family will love and has a unique approach and subject.

About the Author:

Greg Chadwick owns and operates the Illinois Hotel Finder website. Please visit our website to find great deals on Illinois Hotels.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Welcome to "Literary Culture", an information site on books, culture, museums of note, art, writing and writers, and related topics!

Literary Arts & Culture was originally on Wordpress in 2005, but in 2007 was moved to Blogger.

We may include best sellers, new books, museum openings and related events, not only in Colorado, but anyone in the world may submit timely content!