July 17, 2011

Twitter for AuthorsTwitter for Authors: Book Marketing and Publicity with Social Media [Kindle Edition]
Author: Todd Rutherford
File Size: 201 KB
Publisher: Afterword Marketing Group, LLC (May 31, 2011) 
ASIN: B0053R0S48 

I’ve been tweeting for a while. Mainly, I signed up for Twitter as a research tool. Experts and prominent people in areas of interest to me post short tweets about what they are doing. Sometimes they mention bumping into Aunt Sally at Uncle Sid’s funeral, but they also mention important breakthroughs in the field I would like to learn more about. They mention meetings with colleagues and peers about topics and issues I care about. These are people and issues I might want to “follow” or learn more about.

They also mention books and articles they’ve read or written. These are books and articles I probably want to read and possibly buy. Not surprisingly, I learned about Todd Rutherford’s book from a tweet by the author.

Are you getting the picture? Twitter is a soft sell medium in which people simply share what’s going on in their lives with people who care about that sort of thing. A funny anecdote about Aunt Sally tossed in on occasion with more substantive comments makes you more real to your reader.

Todd Rutherford explains briefly and effectively what Twitter is and how to use it. He shares Twitter language and symbols, useful to even a veteran tweeter such as myself. He also shares how to integrate Twitter with your blog, Twtter ettiquette, tools, services, and of course what an effective tweet looks like and how to get followers.

May 9, 2011

Wish List (A Donovan Creed Crime Novel) [Kindle edition]
Author: John Locke
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 316 KB
Publisher: Telemachus Press, LLC (September 6, 2010)
Language: English
ASIN: B00427YUH6

Buddy Pancake is a pathetic toad of a man. But his late sister Lauren was an extraordinary hooker. So when Buddy calls Creed, pleading for help, he reluctantly agrees, for Lauren’s sake. It seems Buddy and his friends had come across a website that suggested if they typed in four wishes, the website owners might make them happen. But as they soon find out, these guys are not the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And when they grant wishes, the recipients repay … with their lives. As Creed goes about getting to the bottom of things in his characteristically ruthless, and sometimes hilarious, way, he discovers an old associate has been conducting another one of his macabre social experiments. But by then, there is much more at stake than Buddys life alone.

March 27, 2011

Roof of Hell [Paperback]
Author: Roger Alidade
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Trafford Publishing (July 6, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1553695747 
ISBN-13: 978-1553695745

It’s 1978 and Eric and Naomi are struggling separately with their identities, their searches for self. Eric is a brilliant geophysicist with dreams of running his own crew in a search for historical treasures but he is trapped in a dry cubicle under buzzing flourescent lights in a San Francisco high-rise drawing maps for the field crews. Naomi is a successful attorney torn between her Japanese heritage and the expectations of a successful American woman in New York City.

When a mysterious package arrives for Naomi, she and Eric are thrown together in a quest for buried treasure and buried secrets in the cargo of a lost WW II Japanese submarine off the coast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Frigid sub-arctic waters, a volcano, and the sadistic billionaire Seth Madigan are just some of the obstacles that stand in their way.

Roger Alidade, a geophysicist for over twenty years, paints an exciting and beautiful picture of the beauty and danger found in and around the Aleutian Islands. We are also treated with some fascinating, uncommon and sometimes unpleasant history about the lives of Japanese under post-WW II American occupation.

February 24, 2011

Fortune Favors the Bold from SmarterComics [Paperback]
Author: Franco Arda
Illustrator: Anjin Anhut
Publisher: SmarterComics (October 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1610829956 
ISBN-13: 978-1610829953

Former investment banker Franco Arda, along with talented illustrator, Anjin Anhut, have distilled the wisdom of dozens of top inspirational writers and historical figures from Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki to George Patton and Babe Ruth into 25 pithy chapters beautifully illustrated with exciting and entertaining drawings that make this an easy and fun read. Ten pages of annotated end notes and reference citations will aid the reader in learning even more about the subject of each two-page illustrated chapter. Written to inspire Arda’s daughter’s success in life, Fortune Favors the Bold from SmarterComics would make a great guide to have handy in your briefcase, top desk drawer, night stand or glove compartment. It would make a great gift for a tweenager or almost anyone interested in some basic rules to live by and succeed.

February 7, 2011

The CSQ3 Solution [eBook Edition]
Author: Frank Koczwara
Publisher: CSQ3 Corporation (September 17, 2010)
ASIN: B00452V80U
ISBN-13: 9780981587714
ISBN: 0981587712
Lending: Enabled

Throughout his career, Frank Koczwara has traveled the world for large corporations and witnessed first-hand the challenges in trying to reduce costs, shorten project schedules, and improving quality. He found that departments often acted like little kingdoms, more interested in being centers of individual power than centers of organizational knowledge.

The CSQ3 Solution is a system that teaches how costs can be reduced, schedules can be shortened, and quality can be improved. This is achieved by implementing a standardized system focused on key organizational work efforts. Work effort teams are comprised of personnel from multiple departments and answerable to management throughout the lifetime of the work effort. This includes defining the objective, the start and end points, and measuring the results.

To make this easy to understand, Koczwara takes the reader to the mythical Land of Near. Near is plagued by inefficiency because the nobles (department heads) are in competition with each other rather than in collaboration. Each province has its own ways of doing things, takes credit for successes, and blames the next province for failures. Costs are too high, schedules are out of control, and quality is a joke. The Supreme Leader (CEO) is troubled greatly. He charges Loyal Subject with the task of implementing the CSQ3 solution. Loyal Subject takes up the challenge but is unsure of himself. Fortunately, Loyal Subject has the power of “future sight” that allows him to see how things work after implementation. Additionally, well-timed tests (review quizzes for the reader) put to him by Supreme Leader, and help from Tavern owner, Good Friend, who is much better with numbers than he, ensure that Loyal Subject wins the day and organizational excellence is achieved throughout the land.

While CSQ3 was designed to improve the efficiency of large for-profit organizations, it is also applicable to profit, non-profit and governmental organizations of any size, and can even be used by individuals or households to cut costs, reduce time spent on projects, and improve the quality of outcomes.

January 22, 2011

Circle of Lies [Kindle Edition]
Author: Douglas Alan 
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (December 7, 2010) 
Language: English
ASIN: B003P8Q5R6 
Lending: Enabled

Ted Jordan is in big trouble. He’s accused of embezzling from his law firm, torturing and murdering one of his partners, and then torching the victim’s house in an attempt to cover his tracks. The District Attorney wants to fry him and nobody believes he’s innocent. He turns to his friend since childhood, ex-cop, lawyer, and forensics professor, John Delaney. As the clues and evidence mount and continue to stack against his client, Delaney refuses to give up on his friend. Jordan insists he’s being framed; but as suspicious as the characters who turn up may be, Delaney and his tough and sexy smart wife and partner, Katherine just can’t make the connection.

During the investigation, Delaney gets his car blown up, almost with him in it, one of his closest friends is shot five times in the back, and he gets beat up and thrown in a cell by a crooked Fed. When Jordan disappears just as the murder weapon is discovered, Delaney discovers the limits of his loyalty and doggedly stubborn need to finish whatever he starts. He’s ready to quit, friend since childhood notwithstanding. Then the bad guys make the biggest mistake of their lives.

Douglas Alan puts his years of experience as a trial lawyer, his degree in Psychology, and his familiarity with the Atlanta landscape and landmarks to take us through a riveting, real and frightening look behind the scenes of our criminal justice system. Politics, intrigue, and a touch of domestic humor sprinkled in, make this an exciting read. Well worth the time.

January 17, 2011

Write Your First Book [Paperback]
Author: Peter Biadasz 
Paperback: 114 pages
Publisher: Total Publishing And Media (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0881444243 
ISBN-13: 978-0881444247

Author, speaker and publisher Peter Biadasz wrote Write Your First Book as a practical how-to manual to serve all the authors and aspiring authors out there with a dream. As a writing coach, Biadasz has counseled many writers over the years and has helped them put their ideas into print and put those printed words before a buying audience. Author of 15 books, Biadasz shares his roadmap to success with the reader. Follow the roadmap from beginning to end, and you will retrace his steps to success.

Taking an idea and turning it into a book may seem impossible at first, but Biadasz shows you how to break a seemingly impossible challenge into smaller manageable tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. He tackles issues like generating and expanding on ideas, identifying and studying the right target audience, and dealing with procrastination. After devoting the first six chapters to writing your book, he devotes the next two chapters to publishing and marketing it. As a publisher, he helps you identify the qualities to look for in a full-service publisher; and as a speaker and author, he helps you prepare for, and overcome the seemingly impossible process of marketing your book.

Chapter Nine is a straightforward guide on how speakers, pastors and teachers can transform their speeches and presentations into books, while Chapter Ten offers practical solutions to the question of how to look at your writing as a business. Outstanding tools include worksheets for Goal Planning, Marketing and Overcoming Procrastination, and a handy index to help you find and review specific steps quickly.

January 10, 2011

The Golden Rhythm: Righteous and Empowered Living [Paperback]
Author: Byron A. Love
Paperback: 108 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (February 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432750739 
ISBN-13: 978-1432750732

The Golden Rhythm, by Byron Love, MBA, PMP, introduces readers to a “framework for accomplishing your goals and dreams”. This framework is comprised of four practical steps for daily living that become the core of an action plan to be repeated and modified as readers achieve increasing levels of success.

Love puts his skills and experience as a MBA, PMP (Project Management Professional) and military officer into writing this easy to read book that introduces readers to the Empowered Living Model (ELM) framework and breaks it down into exceedingly practical and easy to follow steps.

The key to the Golden Rhythm is focus and repetition. To do that, Love encourages readers to keep a success journal and to keep this one journal with them at all times. In this one journal, readers should place all their notes about his book, about their goals, and about their activities. Organization is critical and keeping everything in one place allows readers to reference their notes quickly. Having notes scattered in various places is counter-productive.

It should be noted that while Love is a devout Christian and states that his book will help you be “more righteous in God’s sight,” he also says that, “It all begins and ends with you,” establishing a cycle of self-leadership. This last is sound advice for everybody, regardless of their attitudes toward religion.

January 9, 2011

The Flip: The True Life Story of How a Successful New Tract Home Investor Went from Zero to Hero, Back to Zero [Kindle Edition]
Author: D. Sidney Potter
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 264 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (November 30, 2010) 
Language: English
ASIN: B004D396I2

I have read a few books on real estate investing and on the art of the flip, but most of these books deal with buying previously-owned homes, remodeling them, and then selling them. Find the worst house in the best neighborhood, etc.
But that’s not Potter’s strategy.

Potter buys undeveloped lots in new developments, waits for 10 to 14 months for the properties to be built and appreciate in value, then resells the newly-built homes. The cash upside and downside are the same in that he risks losing the earnest money he puts down when the property contracts are signed, but if the properties have not appeciated as much as his targeted goal, he can walk away with minimal loss.

But he does not buy just any lot in any development in any market. He does his research and knows what he is looking for. In The Flip, Potter shares his 11 criteria that define a good market; three tips for making sure your credit gives you the best chance for getting a high LTV non-owner occupied loan; and six essential criteria for selecting the best property.

I would not recommend this type of investing to anyone, but if you have the temperament to do adequate research to find the best property and the best loan (“leverage is the eighth wonder of the world,” says Potter), patience to wait for the property to appreciate to your target level, and aren’t afraid walk away from a property after all that effort when you see it’s not going to work out in the end, then you should read this book and follow Potter’s advice.

January 9, 2011

Saving Rachel (A Donovan Creed Crime Novel) [Kindle Edition]
Author: John Locke
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 196 KB
Publisher: Telemachus Press, LLC (March 5, 2010) 
Language: English

Saving Rachel (A Donovan Creed Crime Novel) (Kindle edition) by John Locke was my first Creed/Locke book, but it won’t be my last. Except for a few pages here and there which I felt went into a little bit more detail than necessary to move the story along, this was an exciting, fast-paced read. And I know it’s a cliche to say, but once I started reading, I couldn’t stop until the end. Now I’m hooked and can’t wait until I get to the next novel in the series. If you like the classic good guy defeats evil story, you’re going to be very confused by this novel. The fact is, the only good guys in this novel end up dead, and not all the bad guys get away either. Locke describes a world populated by complex, multi-dimensional characters out to get what they can, but who are still sympathetic enough to care about, or at least synpathetic enough to want to know what happens to them next and how they will fare in the end. If you like to match your wits against the author, this book will keep you on your toes!

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