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Sunday, October 27, 2013

What Is Best Digital Format For Your E-Book? Hmmm, Let's Take a Look

Due to some responses I received from a post I made yesterday on my other blog, Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue, titled 'IDEAlliance (The International Digital Enterprise Alliance) Seeks Standardization for Mobile Magazine Publishing', I have come to the conclusion that others may be as confused as I once was RE the exploding mobile digital publishing arena.

Did I say "once was" confused? Let me clarify; actually I was born confused and have stayed confused all my life :) I just get patches of clarity from time to time --- It doesn't mean I'm an expert in anything, except perhaps as a journeyman in confusion --- and I'm not even a master in that.

Anyway, some seem to be a little discombobbled about what PDF, MOBI and ePub digital formats are all about and what the benefits of each are.

So tonight I'm offering a 3.5 minute YouTube video link that explains some differences and two text links that will fill out your understanding of the three main digital formats and digital and electronic publishing in general.

ePub vs. MOBI vs. PDF: Which format should you use for your eBook?  --- A great text link.

Electronic Publishing --- A great overview text link.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Unique, Ageless, Creative and Very Private Artist Comes To Light

Janet Ruttenberg paints in Central Park
Tonight's post delves into a truly unique and timeless artist with scads of stamina whose very life provides a lesson for writers, publishers and ALL creative people --- can you discern what it is?

Just imagine an 82 year old woman leaning over a 15' by 15' canvas, spread out on the grass in New York's Central Park, wielding a 40" long brush as she 'dabbles some yellow paint and describes the curious pull of the vast lawn, with its tableaux of couples, families and single New Yorkers, all set beneath the elegant skyline of Central Park South.'

"Central Park is really like a cathedral," she says --- 'She' in this instance is Janet K. Ruttenberg, the 82 year old, very rich widow of former industrialist and philanthropist, Derald H. Ruttenberg.

Just imagine, if you will, an elderly lady wearing a battered straw hat, pushing a shopping cart with art supplies into Central Park. A bag lady? One worth millions plus, yes. This is just so deliciously dripping with real life drama, but, with a very unique twist --- Janet K. Rittenberg has never intended her work for public view. She painted only for her self- enjoyment and private viewing of close friends AND as she, herself, said "I'm interested in working. It's like cracking a code."    

"Sarah M. Henry, the chief curator and deputy director of the Museum of the City of New York, called Mrs. Ruttenberg’s work 'a major discovery.' "
“To see someone who has worked in a career that long, who has made work on such a large scale, who is so accomplished and unique and who has never done it for public view — that’s just very unusual,” she said.
This wonderful real life story holds many life lessons and I just could not NOT post about this marvelous 82 year old dynamo --- a newly discovered, very accomplished artist--- Oh, the irony of it all :)

From The New York Times by Lisa W. Foderaro:

A Private Artist Goes Public

The Painter Janet Ruttenberg Likens the Sheep Meadow to a Cathedral

Janet K. Ruttenberg hovered over a 15-foot-long piece of paper that was spread across the grass in Central Park. It was an unusually balmy October afternoon and she was painting one of her favorite subjects: the Sheep Meadow. Wielding a 40-inch-long brush, she dabbed some yellow paint and described the curious pull of the vast lawn, with its tableaux of couples, families and single New Yorkers, all set beneath the elegant skyline of Central Park South.

“It’s really like a cathedral,” said Mrs. Ruttenberg, who has spent the past 15 years documenting Central Park in watercolor and oil paints. “People come and take pictures of the frieze of buildings, just like they would if they were in a great cathedral.”
At 82, Mrs. Ruttenberg is the grande dame of park portraiture in New York City, though until recently no one would have known it. She has refused to sell a single painting and has never exhibited her work until now — 17 of her paintings are on view at the Museum of the City of New York in a show called “Picturing Central Park,” which runs through Jan. 5.
Janet K. Ruttenberg with a Lance of an artists brush
“I’m just not interested,” she explained of her decision to ignore the art market and paint only for herself. “I’m interested in working. It’s like cracking a code.” After a lengthy disquisition on the tricky composition of a group of nearby picnickers, the interrelationship of individual leaves and the elusive skin tones of a bare-chested man, she asked: “Who the hell can think of selling and galleries when there’s all this drama going on?”
And the truth is, she never had to: Mrs. Ruttenberg belongs to a class more likely to underwrite museum shows than to appear in them.
She lives in a grand duplex apartment on one of Manhattan’s most rarefied blocks — Beekman Place. It is where she raised four children with her husband, Derald H. Ruttenberg, a prominent industrialist and philanthropist who died in 2004 at age 88. She now shares the apartment with her maids and original works by Picasso, Matisse, Goya, Ingres and others, as well as clay sculptures by her daughter Kathy Ruttenberg, a successful sculptor and painter.
The crowd at her museum opening included Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as well as Oscar and Annette de la Renta — old friends of the Ruttenbergs from when the two couples had neighboring houses in the Dominican Republic. Mr. de la Renta even lent his voice to the exhibition, recording a song for one of Mrs. Ruttenberg’s most striking works, an oil painting of tango dancers on which video of actual Central Park dancers is projected.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Successful Self-Publishers Are More Than Writers - They Are Business Owners

Self-Publishing movement
bouncing upward and onward
That's right! The old stereotype of a reclusive, sometimes intelligent but socially shy or inept personality that shuns interaction and only lives to write and has no other life or purpose will never be a successful self-publisher --- Unless some streetwise, third party recognizes his/her talent and helps him/her in this endeavor (sort of like agents in the TP system).

So, it appears that only entrepreneurs should apply for self-publishing. This is probably more true than not --- ACTUALLY, it's probably more true than not for writers wanting to be successful in the old traditional publishing model with agents and big house publishers, etc.

Anyway, the self-publishing movement is enticing more of these entrepreneur-writer types out of the woodwork because the movement is definitely MOVING forward.

Let's look at some insider, statistical numbers that prove more what I've said above - These numbers provided by Bowker (the world's leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries) in this piece provided by Digital Journal:

Self-Publishing Movement Continues Strong Growth in U.S., Says Bowker  

2012 ISBNs show nearly 60% more self-published works than in 2011

A new analysis of U.S. ISBN data by ProQuest affiliate Bowker reveals that the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011 and 422 percent over 2007. Ebooks continue to gain on print, comprising 40 percent of the ISBNs that were self-published in 2012, up from just 11 percent in 2007. 

"The most successful self-publishers don't view themselves as writers only, but as business owners," said Beat Barblan, Bowker Director of Identifier Services. "They invest in their businesses, hiring experts to fill skill gaps and that's building a thriving new service infrastructure in publishing."

The analysis shows the growing prominence of a handful of companies that offer publishing services to individual authors.  More than 80 percent of self-published titles came to market with support from just eight companies, including Smashwords and CreateSpace.
Bowker's research on self-publishing includes surveys of authors that provide insight into where the market is going and services required by these writers. Those who intend to self-publish most often plan to bring fiction to market, followed by inspirational or spiritual works, books for children and biographies. The majority cite finding a traditional publisher as an obstacle. They also feel challenged by marketing – a hurdle that becomes bigger with increasing numbers of books in the market.

Original article continues here

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