Kepler's Coffee House

The Toynbee Convector by Ray Bradbury

Toynbee Convector

Spoiler alert! Spoilers are in this review!

I first read this collection of short stories in 1992.  It includes a reprint of the 1983 story, “The Toynbee Convector” that appeared in the January 1984 issue of “Playboy.”  

Here is the story plot/summary.  The story’s protagonist claims to have returned from the future.  He has tapes and films of a miraculous technological wonderland.  Humankind has solved all its major problems – no cancer, no world hunger, etc.  This energizes the world with confidence.  People believe that their dreams will come true.  They proceed to build that future.  

They have no idea that future is all a lie.  The lie pictures a wondrous future.  It describes this future in breath-taking detail.  There is almost an action plan with hints as to how to get there.  The world’s brain trust of scientists, economists, and politicians take the clues and make this future a reality.  

Then comes the day when we are at the time and place where the protagonist is to appear from the past in the created future.  A major deflection occurs.  You have to read the story for the conclusion.  It is worth reading.  

The book has twenty-two other stories.  While the other stories in the collection are good and “worth the read,” none match the opening story.  The majority are reprints from magazine articles.  

I nominate the short story of “The Toynbee Convector” for the best fantasy/science fiction short story ever written.  It is that good.  

 

Signature RB

 

Photo Sources: The cover of the hardbound first edition along with Ray Bradbury’s signature inside the first edition.

The Copyright Page

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Fiction and nonfiction contain a copyright page. The copyright page’s purpose is to help protect and identify your intellectual property. The copyright page contains specific information.

The Copyright Page Contains

  • Your Declaration of Copyright
  • Other Credits
  • Copyright Acknowledgements
  • Disclaimer
  • ISBN Number
  • LCCN or CIP Number
  • Where Printed
  • Edition Number
  • Published By

In the next few sessions, we will look at each part in detail.

Photo Credit: Pixaby

 

Your Book’s “Front Matter”

Today I’ll take a quick look at the front matter of your book. Wh there is no industry standard of front matter for your book, most books will have up to eight items. Only the title page and copyright page are found in all books.

Front Matter:

  • Endorsements / Praise for the Book
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface / Acknowledgements
  • Introduction

The Endorsements or Praise Page:

The endorsement page is where you tell the world how good you and your book is. You are letting your potential audience know not through your own words but rather by sharing the comments of other. Here is where you list lines from endorsements and pre-publication reviews for readers to view what others are saying about the book. Not everyone will have The Endorsement or Page Page.

Next is the Title Page.

Title Page:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Author
  • Illustrator
  • Publisher (even if you are an indie author you let the reader know it is an independent or self-published book)
  • Publisher Location (Don’t give them your street address! There are people who may be stalking you. You can use your city or a post office box plus your city)

The title type and design elements should match your front cover. Look at how the traditionally published books do it and replicate what you see.

Next time we will look at the copyright page.

Photo Credit: Pixaby

 

Dark Voyage of the Mittie Stephens by Johnny Boggs

A Page Turner

Dark Voyage of the Mittie Stephens is a wonderful book. Warning Spoilers follow – Master storyteller Johnny Boggs had my attention from the shootout in the New Orleans cemetery.

Great Characters

The transient amnesia professional gambler Bobby Randow and southern belle (with a past) Laura Kelley journey from New Orleans to Jefferson, Texas. A great story where Laura runs from her past and the enforcement officers after her. Bobby has ghosts from his past onboard as well. They seek the Mittie Stephens concealed gold payroll.

Engaging Story

It’s a wonderful book that kept me turning the page from my favorite western writer. If you like westerns and thrillers you’ll love Dark Voyage of the Mittie Stephens as much as I do.

How to Get Your Manuscript Ready for Publishing

Screenshot 2017-07-04 at 8.04.21 AM - Edited

Assumptions

You must write the book to have something to prepare for publication.

I know what you are thinking. Your thoughts are everyone knows you have to first write the book. I’m assuming you have taken the time to finish your first draft. After you’ve written you can move to this step.

Today I am giving you a general overview of the parts of a manuscript and how to get the manuscript ready for publication, that is, how to really polish your work.

The Parts of a Manuscript

A manuscript has three basic parts. They are:

  • Front Matter
  • Content
  • Back or End Matter

Once the manuscript is written it is time to begin polishing it. Here are the basic steps on how to polish your manuscript. They are:

  • Using Beta Readers
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Interior Layout and Design

Photo Source: Pixaby

Next time I’ll look at the parts in more detail.

Use Video and Audio to Engage an Audience.

Using audio and video on a regular basis is one great way to build an audience. Below are a few thoughts on how to do it.

Consistent Schedule

  • Published on the same day of the week
  • Published at the same time

Specific Subject or Themed – Examples are:

  • Marketing your book
  • Self-publishing helps
  • How to use a specific software like Scrivener
  • Your hobby or passion. Examples are:
    • Travel
    • Dining
    • Book reviews
    • Coffee houses

Start Your Own YouTube Channel

  • Create informational videos
  • How to videos
  • Interviews

Create a Live-stream Channel and Stream Videos Using Google Hangouts

  • Create informational videos
  • How to videos
  • Interviews
  • Create a podcast

Reminder – Three Things to Do Before You Publish Your Book:

  • Brand Your Book
  • Obtain Endorsements
  • Develop an Audience

Next, we will look at preparing your manuscript for publishing. Remember, you must write the book to have something to prepare for publication.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Podcasts and Videos

Use Video and Audio to engage an audience.

  • Create a YouTube channel and create informational videos.
  • Create informational videos.
  • Start a live-stream channel and stream videos.
  • Create a podcast.

Video and Audio Resources:

Podcasting Resources:

Podcasting is an effective way to generate content for your website. Many inexpensive and relatively simple tools are available to capture and edit audio and video. The tools allow even a podcasting novice can produce high-quality content with very little expense.

Podcasting Tools.

  • Podbean. Podbean is a podcasting platform with publishing, management, syndication, and analysis tools.
    • Publish and share your podcasts, and even sell them with no transaction fees.
    • Price: Plans start at $5 per month.
  • PodOmatic. PodOmatic is a platform with customizable embedded players and promotional tools.
    • Its directory contains over two million podcasts from independent podcasters.
    • Create a mini cast, combining audio and images to share on social media. 
    • Price: The Basic account is free. Contact them for pro support pricing.
  • Audcacity. Audacity is a free and open-source application for recording and editing audio.
    • It features simple tools for splicing and mixing sound.
    • Edit a variety of sound files and apply multiple effects, including changing speed or pitch.
    • Audacity also features a podcasting forum for community support.
    • Audacity is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. 
    • Price: Free.
  • SoundCloud. SoundCloud is a social audio platform to create and share the sound.
    • Share audio privately or publicly to blogs, sites, and social networks.
    • Share audio directly to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Foursquare. Access anywhere using the official iPhone and Android apps, as well as hundreds of creation and sharing apps built on the SoundCloud platform. 
    • Price: Free.
  • Libsysn. Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) is a podcast network to create, host, publish and promote your podcast.
    • It has over 10,000 podcasts delivered to more than 18 million monthly audience members.
    • With four different kinds of content accepted by its app, you can offer your audience extras, blog posts, transcripts and more all in one place. 
    • Price: Plans start at $5.
  • GarageBand. If you own a Mac, GarageBand is a full-feature tool to record and edit your podcast audio.
    • Create and mix up to 255 audio tracks.
    • GarageBand comes with a complete sound library of software instruments.
  • Ecamm Call Recorder. Ecamm Call Recorder is a tool to record audio and video calls with Skype or FaceTime.
    • Get high-quality HD recordings. Easily convert into MP3 files for podcasting.
    • Call Recorder’s multi-track recording lets you split tracks after a call.
    • Available for Mac OS. 
    • Price: $29.95.
  • Audio Hijack. Audio Hijack is a tool to record audio from apps like Skype or from an audio device, with customizable recording options for podcasts.
    • Audio Hijack is also an ideal backup tool to record your source audio, in case there’s a problem with a guest’s audio track. 
    • Price: $49 for a license.
  • Simple Podcast Press. Simple Podcast Press is a player that will also grow your audience.
    • Automatically add Opt-in Forms to all your existing and new podcast episodes to grow your email list.
    • Add a sidebar widget that automatically showcases your latest podcast episodes.
    • Works with all podcast feeds including Libsyn, SoundCloud, PodBean, and Blubrry. 
    • Price: $47 single license.
  • Smart Podcast Player. Smart Podcast Player is a customizable podcast player sleek enough for your website.
    • Display your podcast artwork, and use your brand colors.
    • Your library updates automatically anytime you publish a new episode to your feed.
    • The mobile-responsive Smart Podcast Player is compatible with any podcast RSS feed from any podcast hosting service, including Libsyn and SoundCloud. 
    • Price: $97 per year.
  • ScheduleOnce. ScheduleOnce is a scheduling assistant app that’s useful to book guest interviews.
    • It integrates with a variety of calendar apps, including Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Outlook.
    • Guests click your booking page and choose from available time slots.
    • When booked, the appointment is automatically added to your calendar and confirmation is sent the guest. 
    • Price: Plans start at $5 per month.
  • SqueakPipe. SqueakPipe is a voice messaging tool.
    • It’s useful if your podcast utilizes Q&As with questions submitted from listeners.
    • Install a voicemail widget on your website and start interacting with your audience.
    • You can use a custom button or the SpeakPipe side button. 
    • Price: Plans start at $7 per month.
  • Spreaker. Spreaker is a podcast platform to create, host, and distribute your podcasts.
    • Pre-record or broadcast live via the studio console, from desktop or mobile device.
    • Mix voice with tracks and effects on the fly.
    • The application also allows easy sharing across all the major social networks, as well as providing embeddable players for any website. 
    • Price: Plans start at $4.99 per month.
  • Buffer. Buffer is a tool to manage the sharing of content — including podcasts — on social media.
    • Use Buffer to schedule your podcasts, and then analyze rich statistics on how your posts perform.
    • Schedule your sharing in advance, and manage multiple social media accounts at once. 
    • Price: An individual account is free.
  • Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is a video and audio conferencing tool that can be used for interviewing guests.
    • Google Hangouts is for broadcasting live conversations.
    • Take audience questions in advance and answer them live.
    • Schedule broadcasts and go live in HD on Google+, YouTube, and your website.
    • It will be recorded and automatically saved on your YouTube channel. 
    • Price: Free.
  • Blubrry PowerPress. Blubrry PowerPress brings the essential features for podcasting to WordPress.
    • PowerPress offers iTunes support, media URL verification, six audio player options, three video player options, multiple format and media file types, category podcasting capabilities, platform migration tools, and more. 
    • Price: Blubrry basic is free.
    • Premium plan is $5 per month

Example Video created for free by Jimmie Aaron Kepler using Animoto free version.

Some content is sourced and adapted from Practicalecommerce.

 

Engage on Social Media

Social Media Sites:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google+

Social Media Sites for Book Lovers:

Social Media Sites Have Become Mainstream in People’s Lives:

  • Surveys reveal that 78% of the U.S. population has a social network profile.
  • Using social media to connect with consumers is now an essential part of any good marketing
    campaign.
  • In fact, 91% of retail brands use two or more social media channels to connect with consumers.

Social Media Site Content is Bite-sized.

  • People are using micro-moments to check their social media feeds.
  • Facebook says that readers spend only 1.7 seconds on a Facebook post when using a mobile device to access the site.

Next, we will look at using video and audio to engage an audience.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Starseers: Fallen Empire, Book 3 by Lindsay Buroker

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast was my introduction to author Lindsay Buroker. Beware – spoilers follow!

Okay, I have to begin by saying I’m hooked on the series. The characters are awesome. Lindsay Buroker does a world-class job with the characters. I love Alisa’s irreverent humor. The constant danger the Star Nomad keeps finding itself in keeps the tension going. The sexual tension between Alisa and the cyborg Leonidas keeps building.

We see Alisa growth as her faith in the Alliance diminishes. She sees the Alliance isn’t as wonderful as she once imagined. We clearly see her Alliance views and the counterpoint of Leonidas the cyborg’s personal honor that becomes more apparent. We learn more of who he is. The more I learn about him the more we like and the more human he is.

Maybe like me, you will feel empathy for Yumi. And we learn more of the Starseers. I’m committed to the entire series. I am on board to see where the adventures take us and to learn more of the wonderful characters.

Blog on a Regular Schedule

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Blogs Influence People:

  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • 87% of blog readers are book buyers.
  • Blogs rank third (behind family and friends) in influencing purchasing decisions.
  • 61% of consumers have made a purchasing decision based on a blog post.
  • A blog helps you develop trust with your audience

Blogs require new content:

  • New Content

You want to add new material on a regular basis to keep your readers engaged.

  • Post Often

A good goal for blog posting is once or twice a week. You really should go longer between blog posts than two weeks or you will have trouble building an audience.

Statistics show that 68% of bloggers blog less than daily, but more than monthly.

It takes nine months of regular posting for a blog to develop a strong, loyal readership base.

Next time we will look at Social Media Engagement.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Winner Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Categories

Available on Amazon


THE REBUILDER
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Available on
Amazon Kindle Version
Available on Amazon Print Version

MISS SARAH'S SECRET
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Available on Amazon Kindle Version
Available on Amazon Print Version

Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Gone Electric
Available on Amazon

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Jim Kepler

Jim Kepler

Jim Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in Christian publications like Altarworks, Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, and Poetry & Prose Magazine. He is honorably discharged at the rank of Captain from the US Army. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. He is both an ordained minister and ordained deacon. His books and collections are available on Amazon. He writes his fiction under the name Jimmie Aaron Kepler and nonfiction under the name Jim Kepler.

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