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Thursday, November 20, 2008

WhatTheyThink Blog » Blog Archive » Getting press operators more involved at PrintPlanet

Patrick Henry Says:
August 6th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

How about a webinar featuring a panel of PrintPlanet’s most knowledgeable regular posters on press-related topics? Gordon Pritchard and Offset Guy come immediately to mind, and there are others. Give them some provocative talking points, and they will do the rest. I volunteer to moderate.

PrintPlanet is a tremendous resource. I wrote about it years ago, not long after Dave Mainwaring launched it, and its forums have been gems of inside information ever since. PrintPlanet is the place to go for the kinds of straight talk and unvarnished opinions that can’t get an airing anywhere else in the graphic arts trade media. A press-focused webinar will encourage other press operators to add their voices as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop

WhatTheyThink Environment & Sustainability Section » Blog Archive » New Book: Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop
By Gail Nickel-Kailing on November 12th, 2008

 Lean manufacturing principles are also green manufacturing principles; here is a book that tells you not only what to do, but how to do it.

Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop, Second Edition, Gary Conner, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (2008)

Thousands of people at hundreds of companies have used the Shingo-Prize-Award-winning first edition of “Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop” as their how-to guide to shortening delivery times, eliminating waste, improving quality, and reducing costs.

Monday, November 10, 2008


From: Ivan Hoffman

Publishers and authors alike (and other parties with "copyright interests") need to be aware that this is only a settlement *among the publisher-author classes and Google*. The settlement itself leaves some parties apparently uncovered, such as perhaps some illustrators for example, and significantly, leaves authors and publishers to resolve many questions between them that are contractual in nature. Given that you are all using or have signed agreements that were drafted before this settlement including author-publisher agreements as well as illustrator agreements and perhaps other agreements, it is likely that those agreements need to be substantially revised to cover issues presented by this settlement. These should all be reviewed by an experienced publishing attorney to have them comply with the issues left unresolved by the settlement and as to which, the settlement agreement expressly refers the parties to their respective agreements.

In this regard, I have written a brief overview of some of the contractual problems presented by the settlement and you can read about these at http://www.ivanhoffman.com/settlement.html

**Please feel free to forward this notice to your associates and colleagues if you feel they may be interested in this.** Thanks.

This posting and any articles referred to in this posting are not legal advice and are not intended as legal advice. This posting and any articles referred to in this posting are intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This posting and any articles referred to in this posting do not create any attorney client relationship and are not a solicitation.

If you no longer wish to receive these educational mailings from me, you have the right to be taken off my list by simply replying to *me* (DO NOT REPLY TO "ALL") and asking not to receive such further mailings from me and I shall be happy to comply. If you are receiving this posting as a member of any other list, you should contact the administrator of that list.

IVAN HOFFMAN, B.A., J.D. Attorney at Law Lawyering With Integrity. Proudly in my 35th year of practice. Entertainment Law, Publishing and Writing Law, Copyrights, Trademarks, Internet Law, Web Design Law, Intellectual Property Law. *A Winner of 8 Prestigious Web Site Awards.* http://www.ivanhoffman.com

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fwd: [PUBLISH-L] Jim Cox Report: November 2008

From: MWBOOKREVW@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008
Subject: Jim Cox Report: November 2008

Dear Friends & Family:

Some people write and publish because they seek to make money at it.
Others write and publish because they have a cause to promote.
Personally, I've always felt that it was the best of all possible
worlds if I could do what I wanted to do while improving the world a
bit and supporting my family at the same time.

I'm turning 66 on November 6th and have now been at this business of
being editor-in-chief of the Midwest Book Review for what amounts to
half of my life time. Therefore I count myself among the truly
fortunate in having been able to do something that I really have
enjoyed doing on a daily basis for a living, and that this work is
adequate to my creative and practical needs, and, judging from the
responses of what now has cumulatively amounted to thousands of men
and women over the last three decades of my life, has been generally
perceived as being of genuine service to aspiring authors, novice
publishers, conscientious librarians, struggling booksellers, and
grateful members of the reading public.

I'm now semi-retired with my daughter and her two stalwart associate
editors taking over more and more of the daily chores of running the
Midwest Book Review. I've even received my first Social Security
check this past month. Nevertheless, I will continue in my role as
Editor-in-Chief for as many years as I have the health to permit it.
It's clear to me now that I will always have the interest and the
motivation to do so. I find that life as the editor-in-chief of the
Midwest Book Review -- even in these troubled times -- is a good one.

But enough of my personal musings. You folk who read the "Jim Cox
Report" are really looking for writing and publishing "tips, tricks &
techniques" to help you accomplish your own literary and professional
goals in the wonderful world of publishing.

I've followed a recent discussion thread about how to deal with malicious
reviews when they are posted on Amazon.com with great interest. I
have some very
firm opinions about the Amazon review system. These opinions are based upon my
being among the first to post reviews on Amazon back when Amazon
originally made it
possible to do so. The practice of posting reviews on Amazon now stretches over
many years and includes tens of thousands of reviews from the Midwest Book
Review and our freelance publicists.

Opinion #1: The five star system is completely arbitrary, and because it is,
the value of such a system is both defective and dysfunctional. A quicky
rating system, whether in the form of stars, thumbs up or down, or any of the
other commonly employed symbols, actually serves as a disservice to
authors and
publishers because it acts as a kind of visual short-cut for the public so
that they don't have to read through the reviews themselves to determine
whether the reviewers are competently providing a positive or negative
recommendation. Unfortunately Amazon requires their stars, therefore
almost all of our
reviews get five of them on the basis of the books in question being able to
survive our selection process and receiving positive recommendations from
their assigned reviewers.

Opinion #2: Posters of reviewers are not held to any kind of standard with
respect to competence or civility. This is reflected in how so many positive
reviews and so many negative reviews are presented without a foundation of
cited justifications. All too often reviewers confuse nastiness with
in panning a book, with others confusing platitudes with justifiable (and
justified) praise. Therefore anyone who relies on reviews as part of their own
book selection process should remember that reviewers, like authors and
publishers, fall into three basic categories: The Good, The Bad, and
The Mediocre.

Opinion #3: There simply are not enough places where authors and publishers
operating with limited budgetary resources can present their books to large
masses of the reading public -- especially in the sheer numbers that
Amazon can
turn out -- and therefore those authors and publishers of limited means must
invest in time and effort what they lack in financial capital to take
advantage of Amazon as a marketing tool to bring their titles to the
attention of
customers. Simply boycotting Amazon is ultimately self-defeating as a
marketing strategy for most authors and publishers.

As to how to handle a truly nasty review? My advice is to drown it out with
positive reviews. Take advantage of Amazon blogs, and all manner of
other online
guerrilla marketing strategies and techniques. Among those remember to include
utilizing the "Other Reviewers" database housed and maintained on the
Midwest Book
Review website at _http://www.midwestbookreview.com_

Incidentally, this "Other Reviewers" section of my website includes all of
those MBR freelance and volunteer reviewers that have book review websites of
their own and who utilize the Midwest Book Review as a secondary forum for the
purpose of expanding the readership of their reviews.

Finally, I want to close with what I feel is the central and critically
important role of the book reviewer. A book reviewer should have as his or her
"mission statement" the task of helping writers to write better, publishers to
publish more effectively, bookstores and libraries to stock their shelves more
successfully, and readers to read with greater satisfaction.

Now here are some reviews of the latest 'how to' books for writers
and publishers to have recently crossed my desk:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

A Book Inside
Carol Denbow
Plain & Simple Books
PO Box 1506, North Bend, OR 97459
9780615199245, $18.95, www.amazon.com

It seems that every season there are more and more 'how to' books
being published for aspiring writers yearning to be published. One of
the latest is also one of the best. "A Book Inside: How To Write,
Publish, And Sell Your Story" is a succinct 104-page compendium
packed from cover to cover with practical, real-world information,
strategies and techniques dealing with the necessity for completing a
saleable manuscript, compiling its pages into book form, identifying
and selecting an appropriate publishing option, selling the book in
traditional and non-traditional markets, and publicizing, promoting,
and marketing the book without significant capital expense. Carol
Denbow writes with a particular, experienced-based expertise as the
author of three books and the editor of nine websites including 'A
Book Inside' online. Especially appropriate for, and recommended to,
the novice author needing to master the 'learning curve' for become a
successfully published author in today's highly competitive
marketplace, "A Book Inside" is a welcome and highly recommended
addition to personal and professional Writing/Publishing reference shelves.

Writer's Block Busters
Velina Hasu Houston
Smith & Kraus, Inc.
PO Box 127, Lyme NH 03768
9781575255972, $17.95, <http://www.smithandkraus.com>www.smithandkraus.com

'Writer's Block' is the term used to describe the condition of being
unable to come up with any ideas -- and well articulated ideas are
the core source of any professional writer's livelihood! Drawing upon
her many years of experience and expertise, Velina Hasu Houston
(author of more than 20 plays, and who is the Professor of Theatre,
Director of Dramatic Writing, Resident Playwright, and Associate Dean
of Faculty at the University of Southern California School of
Theatre) offers "Writer's Block Busters: 101 Exercises To Clear The
Deadwood And Make Room For Flights Of Fancy". This compendium of
succinct 'things to do' will break through this often encountered
author's nemesis and trigger the flow of creative ideas. Superbly
organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' in form and format,
"Writer's Block Busters" should be considered a high priority
addition to the reference shelf of anyone seeking to make their
living through the written word.

Time To Write
Frank Milligan
Quill Driver Books
1254 Commerce Avenue, Sanger, CA 93657
9781884956768, $16.95,

As we grow older, one of the best ways to create an enduring legacy
for future generations is to record in writing our own life stories,
our experiences, observations, values, the products of our
imaginations and our perspectives. Frank Milligan draws upon his
experience and expertise in publishing fiction and nonfiction, as
well as teaching creative writing and business writing in "Time To
Write: Discovering The Writer Within After 50", a comprehensive and
'user friendly' instruction guide that will take aspiring older
writers with an initial concept or idea and walk them through each
stage to crating a finished, ready-to-publish manuscript. "Time To
Write" is a 304-page compendium of practical tips, techniques,
insights and shortcuts that will enable the reader's writing, talent,
desire and drive to crate a written document with a minimum of
distraction. Although specifically intended for older readers, "Time
To Write" has a great deal of value for younger writers seeking to
put their own ideas and stories down in a publishable form.

Maralyn D. Hill & Brenda C. Hill
Infinity Publishing.com
1094 New Dehaven Street, #100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
6322 South Sky Court, Gilbert, AZ 85298 (author)
0741448483, $14.95, <http://www.BooksByHills.com>www.BooksByHills.com

It isn't necessary reinvent any wheels when it comes to the writing
and publishing of books. Not when there are so many experts in the
field who have produced so many notable, practical, informative,
reality-based instructional guides for aspiring authors seeking to be
published, and novice publishers seeking to produce commercially
viable works in the highly competitive marketplace. Expertly
co-authored by Maralyn and Brenda Hill "Success: Your Path To A
Successful Book" is a combination seminary and do-it-yourself
workshop that covers cogent information on writing, marketing, and
publishing. Of special note setting "Success: Your Path To A
Successful Book" apart from other instruction manuals are the
sections concerning journaling, writing in tandem, and understanding
target markets with respect to book sales. The section focusing
specifically on publishing covers agents, traditional publishing,
print-on-demand options, ebooks, and the 'vanity presses'. Enhanced
for beginners with additional material dealing with contact
information and experience based tips by Maralyn and Brenda,
"Success: Your Path To A Successful Book" features workbook pages for
notes and notations by the reader. "Success: Your Path To A
Successful Book" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' and strongly
recommended addition to personal and community library
Writing/Publishing reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Autobiographer's Handbook
Jennifer Traig
Holt Paperbacks
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780805087130, $15.00, <http://www.henryholt.com>www.henryholt.com

It has been said that everyone has one good book in them. "The
Autobiographer's Handbook: The 826 National Guide to Writing Your
Memoir" is a collection of tips and advice from masterful writers on
putting down one's life story onto paper, and in a format that would
be appealing to read for your audiences. A basic writing course with
a focus on memoirs, "The Autobiographer's Handbook" is a must for
someone who wants the world to read their story.

The Art of The Personal Letter
Margaret Shepherd
Broadway Books
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780767928274, $16.00, <http://www.randomhouse.com>www.randomhouse.com

The personal letter is a lost art in this day of quick e-mails and
instant messaging. "The Art of the Personal Letter: A Guide to the
Connecting Through the Written Word" is a guide to bringing back this
lost skill and putting it to its best use, and doing what the
internet can't do, provide personality and feeling through the words.
With advice and tips to making one's letter something to be cherished
and loved, "The Art of the Personal Letter" shows that snail mail
isn't dead yet
and still has quite the value in the world of fast communication.

{snipped by Dave Mainwaring}

All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on
the Midwest Book Review website. If you'd like to receive the "Jim
Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to
be signed up for it.

So until next time, goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575

My thanks to Jim Cox for permission to share his reviews on the blog.

Dave Mainwaring