Thursday, January 21, 2010

Publishers Weekly Update on Subsidies

I've given some thought to my response to PW's article on Author Solutions ("Change Maker: Kevin Weiss" 12/ 21/09,) and its misuse of the word "self-publishing" to describe the subsidy press.

Publisher's Weekly is a trade magazine aimed at publishers and bookstores. It is not in business to serve small independent publishers, self-publishers or authors.

That said, the book publishing industry is hurting. (As are all publishers. Last year, Publisher's Weekly laid off employees including their editor-in-chief, Sara Nelson.)

Enter the subsidy publishers...they are kicking butt. Now Harlequin joined forces with Author Solutions and many of the traditional publishers are following.

Since the subsidies have already hijacked the self-publishing term, PW is going to run with it. It sounds better than "subsidy" or "vanity" and what do they care? They are reporting on the sector that is making money and that can potentially save traditional publishers.

Think about it--instead of publishers risking their money on authors, they charge them to provide services and a product. If the book actually sells, even better!

Who wants to guess when we hit 1 million books published in a year?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Applying Harmonious Adjustments™

  • Decide what changes you wish to make in your life and in designing your home or workspace and write them down.

  • When a room does not “feel right,” but you cannot figure out what is wrong, take an inventory of the contents of that space. Note what is yin and yang, what the colors and elements are in the room and record them. Include the color and materials that comprise the walls, ceiling and floors. Does the room feel light or dark? Is it small or large? Once your inventory is completed, you will probably notice a predominance of either yin or yang, warm or cool colors, or a predominance of one or two elements. Moreover, a pattern of overwhelming yin with cool colors and Earth and Water elements, or overwhelming yang with warm colors and Fire and Air elements may emerge. Once you see a pattern, it will be easy to decide what should be removed or rearranged.

  • Another common problem is drastic change in the décor from one room to the next, with the result being an uneasy feeling going from one room to the next. Rooms with very different themes, colors, patterns and the like can be very disorienting as one walks from room to room. The energy becomes scattered and does not flow smoothly. This is not to suggest that you should decorate your house with a single theme or color. Just be cognizant of how a room interacts with the one adjacent to it and use colors, themes and patterns that will allow each room to flow into the next.

  • Assess your environment for objects that are unconsciously perceived as unintended symbols. For example, a photograph of a desert in the Wealth Gua, would symbolize dried–up cash flow. A single figurine in the Love Gua symbolizes solo living. A disorganized pile of paperwork in the Knowledge Gua symbolizes (and can cause) confusion.

  • While windows and doors add nourishing light and can provide great views, an abundance of them can result in the chi moving too quickly to properly nourish the home. Use screens, crystals hanging in windows, plants, furniture, curtains and artwork to slow down the fast-moving energy.

  • Place furniture to allow chi to flow unimpeded. If you have to sidestep or contort your body in any way to avoid a piece of furniture, it is blocking the proper flow of energy, move it. If a small room is overloaded with furniture and objects, the chi is going to stagnate in that room. Conversely, if a large room has minimal furniture and large windows, chi is going to enter the room and go right out through the windows, as there is nothing to stop its exit.

  • Your intuition will guide you when assessing how chi is flowing through your spaces. When furniture and objects are placed correctly, the space will look and feel right. Likewise, the proportion of belongings versus the size of the room should be apparent—again, when it feels and looks right, it most likely is. When in doubt, use dowsing rods to determine the pathway of energy, as described in Chapter Five.

  • The use of rounded or soft edges encourages energy to flow through each room in a meandering fashion. Sharp edges “shoot” chi, while rounded edges allow chi to continue to flow at a gentler pace. Corners can be softened with plants, chimes, mobiles and artwork.

  • In addition to the aesthetic appeal of one-of-a-kind works, objects that are handmade contain the energy of the craftspeople or artists in addition to the energy of the pieces themselves. Compare that to a mass-produced item made on an assembly line: the energy of the piece simply cannot measure up to the handmade object. As you become more comfortable with feeling the energy in objects, the difference between handmade and mass-produced will become obvious. Try closing your eyes and holding in one hand a mass-produced item and in the other, a handcrafted one. Feel the difference for yourself.

  • Even better than displaying the work of others is displaying art or handcrafted goods that have been made by you or your family. Your energy—or a family member’s—has gone into creating something that you love. The displayed piece both exudes your personal energy is are a powerful reminder of the positive aspects of you. The piece will literally vibrate with your life-force energy.

  • When you are ready to make changes in your life, add appropriate elements to the Guas in your space.

  • As adjustments are being made, visualize and feel the changes you would like to see coming to life.

  • Harmonious Adjustments™ is based on the belief that if it feels and looks good, it is good.

  • Finally, enjoy the process, relax and have fun. When decorating and applying Harmonious Adjustments™, use your inner wisdom and intuition and then sit back and enjoy the feelings of peace and harmony in your life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Publisher's Weekly Should Get Publishing Terms Straight

Is it too difficult to ask that a magazine about publishing get the terms of its business straight? The article on Kevin Weiss, “Change Makers” in the December 21, 2009 issue of Publishers Weekly is teeming with semantic misnomers. These errors surround the usage of the word “self-publishing.”

Self-publishing, by definition, means that the author publishes their own work. It means that the author forms a publishing company and owns the ISBN. The author/publisher chooses what services they want—editors, cover designers, copyeditors, etc. Finally, they chose a printer—either POD or offset.

Throughout this article, Lynn Andriani incorrectly uses the word “self-publish.” For example, Andriani writes: “It’s been an eventful few weeks for Weiss, thanks to the controversy that erupted last month from writers over Harlequin’s partnering with Author Solutions to launch a line of self-published books.” Let me make this clear: Author Solutions is a PUBLISHING company. They are, specifically, a subsidy or vanity press and hijacked the word “self-publishing” because vanity and subsidy have bad connotations. Subsidy presses own the ISBN and are the publisher; therefore, the author is not self-published.

According to Andriani: “This year, nearly 250,000 people inquired with [Author Solutions] about self-publishing their books…” The article then says “Author House, iUniverse…have published more than 120,000 books.” If the books are “self-published”, why does the article state that the publishing companies published the books?

These so-called “self-publishing publishers” prey on the naïve wannabe author. Writer’s Digest magazine is filled with advertisements from the subsidy presses; they promise the aspiring author to “self-publish” their book for them. Readers of that magazine would never know that real self-publishing exists!

Subsidy publishers are making money, while traditional publishers are hurting. This is why all the traditional publishing houses—like Harlequin—are clamoring to join the bandwagon. It’s a beautiful thing for the subsidies—instead of having to pay royalties and advances to the author, the subsidies collect money from the author! Every subsidy works differently, but they collect fees for all kinds of things, including jacket design, editing, and promotion. So, before a book is sold, the publisher has made money! If the books actually do sell (and the vast majority sell less than 100 copies) then the publisher makes even more money!

This is a win-win for the subsidy publisher.