The Author Next Door: The New Reality in Book Publishing

<b>The Author Next Door: The New Reality in Book Publishing</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In recent years, the entire landscape of the publishing industry has changed, and now thousands of authors whose books might otherwise never have seen the light of day are getting published. Following in the footsteps of film and music, publishing is undergoing an “indie” revolution whereby authors invest in their own work to bring their books to the marketplace.

“The indie publishing revolution is all about providing opportunity and expanding the options for both writers and readers,” says Kevin Weiss, CEO of Author Solutions, whose imprints include AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris and Trafford. “You no longer need to wait years for the chance of being published; becoming an author is no longer a privilege, and the literary world is now accessible to everyone.”

Indie book publishing has also expanded the reasons people write and publish a book. Books are now being used in genuinely new ways — from raising awareness of important social causes to adding to a businessperson’s marketing arsenal and providing significant leverage to attract the attention of a major publisher — books are now multi-faceted “tools.”

Reg Green is an example of the wonderful power of a book to raise awareness of a pressing social issue. After his son Nicholas was tragically murdered, and he and his wife chose to donate his organs, Reg became a leading advocate for organ transplantation. He turned to the pen, too, publishing “The Gift that Heals” through AuthorHouse, which chronicles inspirational stories about organ donation.

Another example, Lisa Genova, was told that nobody would want to read her book “Still Alice,” a novel about a 50-year-old Harvard professor’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

After repeated rejections from traditional publishing houses, Genova chose to self-publish through iUniverse. A literary agent told her she would be basically committing literary suicide if she self-published, and that no publisher would touch her book once she published it independently.

To put it mildly, the agent was wrong.

After a few months and positive reviews, “Still Alice” was picked up by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller.

“If you believe in your book, I think you should give it a chance,” Genova said. “Still Alice was a book that people already identified with, and a major publisher saw the book’s potential in a very real way.”

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The American Revolution, Who cares?

<b>The American Revolution, Who cares?</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When you say the Pledge of Allegiance, do you know what values you’re swearing to uphold?

Most Americans would say that they know their nation’s history. In fact, according to the first national survey of adult knowledge of the American Revolution, 89 percent of Americans said that they could pass a basic test on their nation’s founding. But only 17 percent of those same adults actually managed to do so.

The American Revolution secured our nation’s independence and established its enduring form of representative government. Many of the everyday freedoms that most Americans exercise without a second thought — including the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, or not to worship at all — were established by the American Revolution.

Only in understanding the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will Americans know how to preserve them. As Dr. Bruce Cole, president and CEO of The American Revolution Center, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, says, “Knowledge of the ideas on which our constitutional system is built is essential to maintain the relevance and vibrancy of our government that is of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Everyday Americans do not disagree — 90 percent think that U.S. citizens should know the history and principles of the American Revolution, even if they vastly overestimate their own knowledge.

To help future generations remember America’s legacy, The American Revolution Center plans to construct The Museum of the American Revolution in historic Philadelphia, just steps away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It will be the first national museum to tell the entire story of the American Revolution.

“Through The Museum of the American Revolution, we hope to engage rising generations in the ongoing story that is America’s democracy,” says Dr. Cole.

Think that you could have passed the quiz? Maybe some of the survey’s findings will surprise you:

* More than 50 percent of Americans wrongly attributed the quote, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” to George Washington, Thomas Paine, or President Barack Obama, when it is in fact a quote from Karl Marx, author of “The Communist Manifesto.”

* Sixty percent of Americans can correctly identify the number of children in reality-TV show couple Jon and Kate Gosselin’s household (eight), but more than one-third do not know the century in which the American Revolution took place (the 18th).

* Nearly 50 percent of Americans believe the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation or War of 1812 occurred before the American Revolution.

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