Tom, who is about 2 years old, is particularly fascinated by stickers. He often tears the small patterns on the stickers off and sticks them on the refrigerator or on the wall. He tears the stickers, sticks them, and tears them. He enjoys it.
In order to exercise the fine movements of his small muscles and make him have something to play with so as not to be bored, Tom’s mother began to seriously study the sticker book and wanted to choose a suitable set of Sticker Books for her child.
Sometimes it’s not that children like sabotage, but that parents don’t guide them. In fact, as long as parents are good at using teaching aids, they can give full play to their children’s energy.
Sticker book is such a teaching aid. Sticker is a great game project that can be a parent-child companion.
So, how to choose the right sticker book?
- See the quality of the sticker
For children, stickers should be easy to tear off with a little skill, instead of spending a lot of effort to find the torn interface. This is very important.
Babies like to do it by themselves. They enjoy the process of “tearing” and “pasting”. However, if “tearing” becomes difficult due to quality problems, it will greatly damage the baby’s self-confidence. In this way, the baby’s interest in playing stickers will disappear.
The stickers should not only be easy to tear, but also the edges of the torn stickers should be smooth and tidy without affecting the beauty of the stickers.
As a sticker book, if the two most basic requirements of “tearing” and “pasting” cannot be met, is it still necessary to exist?
- Pay attention to the texture of printing
The paper texture of the sticker book should feel comfortable, the picture should be clean and tidy, and the color matching should be harmonious. Taken together, the whole book should have a sense of beauty.
If you look at a sticker book that is ugly, dirty and of poor quality, you don’t want to take it home.
There are so many Sticker Books on the market, and the price difference is not big. Why not choose one with good quality?
Those ugly and dirty Sticker Books may affect children’s aesthetics. Because children’s aesthetic ability is cultivated and accumulated bit by bit in life.
- Focus on the substance of the sticker book
This should be the most important. Many Sticker Books are marked with “thinking training”, “left and right brain development” and “advanced mathematics”. They sound very professional, tall and eye-catching. We can’t say that they are swaggering, because their content design is really a little professional.
However, it is also easy to mislead mothers to regard it as a book for learning and education. If this is the case, they will lose their original intention of playing with the sticker book.
Therefore, when choosing the sticker book, mothers should put aside these gimmicky slogans for the time being and choose the baby’s favorite, interesting, fun and interesting sticker book. Only by satisfying the children’s play first, can the mothers’ plot succeed.
Research has proved that only in a relaxed and pleasant environment and atmosphere can the brain absorb learning like a sponge, and all children’s learning is effective. This is why play is the most important way for children to learn.
As a lover of reading for many years, I believe that there is indeed a method for reading. A good method can make the actual content we read more intuitive. I myself have been adhering to the six rules of reading that I have summarised: overview – itemisation – creation of associations – diversion – recall – communication.
This is a complete chain of reading for me, so that I can use a book as a source and in the long run find more realted content, which form my own reading system over a longer period of time.
I. General overview
1, preface – learn to read the preface of a book and form a preliminary framework for the subsequent scattered reading of the book’s sub-chapters. This will be of great help.
A qualified book’s preface will be the author’s years of research position, system, direction to do a basic overview. This is a relatively complete overview of the author of the book and the text is generally concise and short, with few qualifiers, making it a relatively efficient read. Each of the subsequent chapters is summarized and the overall scholarly direction of the book is outlined from the standpoint of the author and publisher. Some of the more rigorous scholars who publish will also state directly the immediate uncertainties of their own research direction and the possible intellectual limitations of the research itself due to the limitations of their existing knowledge. So the preface, which most of us read and ignore, has a very important role to play. These short sections often allow us to establish a relatively clear framework of knowledge at the outset of our reading, in order to create a direct link to the scattered chapters later on in the book. To a large extent, this can directly improve the experience of reading a new book without a framework of knowledge to guide the discrete and uninformed control of the book.
2, the table of contents – the table of contents is a distillation of the book’s sub-chapters. It is the book’s knowledge for the first time scattered statement, but extremely concise.
This is the most important part of the book in my opinion. The table of contents is actually the most simple knowledge of the book written content stratification. The table of contents is in fact the simplest way of layering the knowledge of what is written in the book. Generally from chapter 1 to the last chapters and how many sections, etc. An important problem when reading the table of contents is that when reading unfamiliar books it is often difficult to identify or understand the contents of each chapter in the table of contents. Even if many of the key words are unfamiliar. In this case I usually keep a slightly stronger impression in my head. It is very effective for me to read the rest of the book with these keywords in mind. Especially after reading a whole book and then going back to remember the first time I read the table of contents. It’s a stark contrast to the enlightened clarity I feel now! At first, when I was figuring out my own way of reading, I couldn’t say one, two or three things about reading the table of contents! Now I think I can do this
The overview method is to use the preface to establish an understanding of the basic background of the book’s position, research direction, and academic views, and to use the table of contents to understand the basic subsections and chapters of the book, so that the subsequent chapters can be read within a framework, which will greatly reduce the feeling of newness when reading a new book.
1, to trim – the content of the body of the book one by one reading is a necessary process for readers. When faced with a thick book, the main text often consumes most of the reader’s time. Removing the trim will make the thick book thinner, lighter and more efficient.
I often do a brutal thing when reading a more technical book: I erase all meaningless metaphors, modifiers, prose and other things that have nothing to do with the technology itself with a stylus as I read. This has the remarkable result of reducing an otherwise thick book to a third or even less than a third of its content. Of course for many novels, literature, etc. These crossed out things may be the most important part of the contextual rendering and may be somewhat inappropriate, but in my own case I have actually accumulated some selective methods of removing useless content from texts. Relatively it is inconvenient to share here how to remove useless statements in the book, modifications and other approaches to different books and different readers. I just only advocate as a specific reader of each individual that we can be in the usual reading to experience the summary of their own refinement of the reading method!
2, against the table of contents – in the process of reading the body of the text is very recommended to compare the table of contents twice, locate the reading nodes in the book general description of the chapter location, and relatively clear before and after the text of the connection relationship.
Once the habit of thinking has been formed, an unexpected effect of reading in this way is that you begin to anticipate the reading process. You will unconsciously start to anticipate the next chapter or the next section. Instead of a boring, passive intake, the reading becomes a conscious or unconscious active anticipation. This shift has transformed the subjectivity of reading from a passive waiting to an active conception. The reader will begin to interact with the author’s silent mind, and only then will we be in the process of being surprised by the reading process, possibly by various other ideas that completely disagree with the author, and even more likely to finish a book and decide that it is a piece of crap! — so it’s important to note that reading needs to have a global structure!
Third, the creation of links
1, chapter links – chapter creation link is more the overall connection of the book chapter, in the process of reading which can be repeated.
Faced with a new book, the most difficult thing is always the elimination of the unfamiliarity of the new knowledge, and how to do with their own existing knowledge system to effectively connect. The many chapters, the scattered arguments and the divergent areas of each book all pose a challenge to the readers. The first thing we need to do is to build up a deep knowledge of a single book. The process of deep plumbing requires repeated self-connection backwards and forwards again and again. This creation of connections goes beyond the creation of a link between the previous section of a chapter and the one after it, and gradually crosses over into an effective leap between any of the previous chapters and any of the chapters after it. This kind of argument and association is multi-directional and multi-dimensional, and it is this kind of creation that will deepen the reader’s control of knowledge again and again.
- Cross-book creation – making connections with other texts beyond the book.
This approach poses a high challenge to the reader himself, and is more difficult for readers who have not been reading for a long time. But for those who have been reading for a long time, it can significantly deepen their objective knowledge of the book. They are able to place the ideas and content of the book in a timely manner in the context of many other books, so that they can quickly judge and establish their own judgement of the quality of the book’s content, the correctness of their position, the newness of their ideas and the depth of their thinking. Readers who have read enough can even make direct inferences about what the book is likely to say in the future at this stage. Not every book has to be read in its entirety from beginning to end, and this external creation of a link can be a timely reminder to make a decision about whether to read the book intensively or extensively. The implication is that there are some books that we can put down after reading just one beginning, and others that we can chew over and over again and still have meaning.
1, knowledge dispersion – that is, for the knowledge expressed in the book to do possible dispersion of thinking, we can find more interesting content. And we can build a deeper understanding of the book’s original knowledge in these connected divergent contents.
To read a book but not just one book is a realisation of reading. You must be able to disperse the knowledge in the book and in the process of doing so, you must be able to build up a self-knowledge of the knowledge itself, to accept information that is useful, and to have the courage to reject information that is not useful. And you must be good at the book content to understand the knowledge of the integration of your own understanding of the system, so that the knowledge of the book comprehension can reach a degree of self-use.
2, text dispersion – text dispersion means that through a book to discover more books. Thus, over a long period of time, gradually build up their own empire of book categories.
Recall is actually one of the rules of memory. In short, it is through the constant knowledge of repeated recall to achieve the brain’s forced memory of reading content. This is a method taught to me in junior history and has been used ever since. Getting into the habit of reviewing what you have read in your head before you take a break or go to bed, can be very helpful in slowing down the forgetting of knowledge. A review on the same day is usually the most effective, and can triple the retention of knowledge in the mind. If you consciously recall the books you have read in a structured way, with intervals increasing from short to long, you can greatly increase your effective memory of the books you have read. As the habit of reading develops, the time consumed by such memory itself will become shorter and shorter, and more and more knowledge will be accumulated, so that quantitative and qualitative changes will occur.
- Self-communication – this is the first communication of reading, which arises from within oneself. It arises from the collision with one’s own previous knowledge.
This is a process of learning to apply, including the previously mentioned book to be read and their own knowledge constitute the first connection is in fact a kind of communication. This is the exchange, in such self-communication , slowly newly reading content gradually become their own control of knowledge. This is a sublimation, a typical process of applying what we have learned. Only through such a process can we claim that the books we read are meaningful! Only in this way can reading be truly meaningful to the reader, rather than reading a million books and ending up as a nerd, with all the knowledge simply remaining in theory and on the paper.
- The exchange of others – this is the second exchange of reading, arising from the intellectual discourse and mingling of others.
How to Read a Book for Maximum Learning gives Matt Morris’ strategy for becoming a business leader, speaker and author.
These are some of the lessons I have learned from reading over the years, and even now I am still using them and improving them over time. Although I have said a lot of things about the method, for me personally I still believe that reading is a very personal thing. So other people’s way of reading should not be copied wholesale, but should be adjusted appropriately and timely in accordance with their own actual situation. At the same time, reading is also a very emotional thing, and for those who love to read, it is possible to devote oneself to reading in a more timely manner, regardless of the time, place and circumstances. I hope that those of you who read this answer will try the various reading methods I have tried over the years. May every book lover gradually establish his or her own way of reading, and may every book lover be able to swim in the sea built by books!
I’m proud to say that all 25 of the original novels in John Norman’s Gorean saga are together for the first time in decades, plus his 26th and penultimate novel, WITNESS OF GOR. The journey of the series from Blockbuster to Can’t Give Them Away and back to Blockbuster (they are among E-Reads’ biggest sellers) is a saga in itself and sheds some interesting sociological light on the publishing industry.
The first novel, TARNSMAN OF GOR, was released by Ballantine in 1966, and over the next fifteen years or so another 24 were published by Ballantine and then DAW. The books were enormously popular and sales were tremendous – until, one day it all ground to a halt, mysteriously, like that scene at the end of War of the Worlds where a seemingly invincible alien catches cold and drops dead. What happened? Tastes in reading habits change but usually they evolve rather than fall off a cliff as Gor did.
The answer may lie not in what readers like to read but what editors like to edit. The Gorean Saga’s epic sales were fueled by the kind of red-blooded male readers that consumed cowboy books, Executioner and Destroyer action-adventure, Spillane-type thrillers and space operas by the carton. And many of the editors who acquired them were red-blooded males themselves (with notable exceptions like Judy-Lynn Del Rey, the diminutive titan who gave her name to Random House’s science fiction line).
Then came the Feminist movement, and with it a revolution in editorial viewpoint. And Feminists had a lot to say about the morality practiced by the masters of Gor on their female slave subjects. As Feminists occupied more and more significant editorial positions at major publishers including the science fiction and fantasy divisions, hard-line Feminist thinking influenced decisions on all kinds of books, especially the kind that guys cherished. A lot of Feminist ire focused on Gor – many female editors passionately hated Norman’s world and all the decadent male chauvinism it seemed to stand for. (Not surprisingly, the author takes a very different view of all of this!) In any event, yes, by the 1990’s you couldn’t give Gor away.
The books were all out of print when I started E-Reads around 2000, but I discovered something very interesting when I went online. Not only was there a huge cult revolving around Gor (some of his hard to get editions sell in the used book market for well over $100), but many of those involved in Gorean role-playing games were women who were into fantasy slavery or simply took the stories in with a large dose of good humor.
Gor is once again alive and thriving on E-Reads, I’m happy to report. And as for Feminism in the publishing industry, I’m also happy to report that it’s here to stay. But it still unnerves me when female editors refer to the literature men like to read as “Boy-books.”
In order to celebrate his two awards nominations, announced in a previous post, E-Reads has declared October to be Dave Duncan month. We start off the celebrations with an interview.
E-Reads: Although you’re clearly a genre writer in the sense that your books use elements of typical fantasy settings, magic, strange creatures and so on, my sense of your work is that you’re creating from more classical models than Tolkien and everything that flows from that. If I had to guess at influences, I’d suggest Alexandre Dumas, Rudyard Kipling and Rafael Sabatini, among others. I also see indications of the real classic literature (Greek and Roman sources) in your work. Am I on the mark or way off? If the latter, who are among your influences?
Dave Duncan: My “literary” background is a little off-beat because when I was child in the UK there was a war on and a shortage of new books. So, yes, the old “classics” like Kipling, Dumas, (no Sabatini, that I recall) R. M. Ballantine, Rider Haggard, Bram Stoker, John Buchan, Dean Swift, and so on—most not being regarded as “literature” nowadays but all great storytellers. Only when I came to Canada in 1955 did I plug in to North American writers like Heinlein, Philip K Dick, and Fred Pohl. I was not a “fan” in the usual sense—I did not know that fandom existed until after I had sold a novel and was invited to a be a guest at a con.
ER: Were you an established reader of genre writing (Fantasy, Science Fiction and/or Horror) when you first started writing or did your own ideas and the work you produced lead you to discover the field?
DD: My decision to write speculative fiction was partly personal taste (write what you want to read) and partly commercial. The Canadian market is very small. My preferred reading was and still is, non-fiction history or science, and in fiction was mainly SF or murder stories. Whodunnits must be set within specific legal jurisdictions, historical novels require a lot of work, but SF has a universal appeal, so I could aim for the U.S. market. Lately, with my The Alchemist’s Apprentice and its forthcoming sequels, I am combining fantasy, history, and murder mystery in the same book.
ER: Do you read widely within the field and, if so, who are among your favorite writers and what are some of your favorite books?
DD: I spend my days driving my keyboard around in my own imaginary worlds, so I don’t read much in others’. Apart from wanting a change of scenery, I find them distracting, because I tend to read them as if I were editing my own work—the characters, the pace, the vocabulary &c &c. That’s not much of a holiday! I do have a few favorite authors, but I prefer not to name them and thus exclude all the rest.
ER: A lot of your work comes in the form of multi-volume series, which, for the current fantasy market, makes a lot of commercial sense. However, I’m inclined to perceive your individual volumes as carefully-formed episodes in a tightly-structured story arc in a way
that many other writers don’t seem to work. A lot of their stories seem to be open-ended in a start-writing-and- see-where- you-end-up way, whereas you seldom seem to return to a world and a setting once you’ve delivered the exact number of titles that you promised from the beginning. How do you plan your books/series and how well developed are your story ideas when you start writing?
DD: When I talk to aspiring writers I tell them to begin at the end. There’s a lot of truth in the old cliche, “A good opening sells a book and a good ending sells the next one.” Besides, the way a story is written must depend on whether the lovers are going to live happily ever after or die in a tomb like Romeo and his wife.
I do not make summaries. I plan a good opening, and then lay course for whatever ending I have in mind. The ties and rails I lay down as I go, and that way I have many months to polish the plot. If I wrote out a summary I would have it all set in stone within a few weeks, so I would miss a lot of good ideas. OK, once in a while a story will swerve away from me and head to an unexpected conclusion, but not often.
A well-written series has a minor ending at the end of each volume and a big one at the end of the last episode. When I was starting out I was writing mass market originals, and Del Rey published them every 3 or 4 months, so those were true serials and I could end each book in a cliffhanger. (The worst example being Magic Casement where everybody jumps out a window.) In hardcover you have to lay out the story arc more carefully. And series can suffer from dinosaur disease. I could name more than one where I found the first few books very gripping, because of the richness and complexity of the world, but lost interest when the plot expanded endlessly or the gaps between books became so long that it felt like waiting for Halley’s comet.
ER: If you had your druthers, would you be delivering and publishing much longer single-volume novels rather than instalments?
DD: Yes and no. The huge cast and landscape of a series are a wonderful challenge, and only the first volume requires the writer to invent all that afresh, so the effort per book is less. On the other hand, I am slowing down and becoming aware of my age. My “Dodec” series for Tor was a duology and the “Apprentice” series for Ace consists of complete novels, not episodes. Alfeo, the hero, never gets older. My next for Tor is a standalone, Ill Met in the Arena, but I hope that another two-book series will follow it. So I am still writing series, but not as ambitiously as before. It would be unfair to my readers and myself for me to undertake anything colossal now.
ER: Have you published many works pseudonymously? Your biography at E-Reads mentions an historical novel but doesn’t reveal the title. Are you committed to keeping a totally separate existence for your more mainstream work or are you willing to let your genre fans know what else they should be looking for if they want to be Duncan completistreaders?
DD: You are modest, John! Don’t tell me you have forgotten “The Years of Longdirk.” (An example of a series that never got finished, by the way.) Apart from those 3 and Daughter of Troy, I have always been me.
(Editor’s Note: Some years back, I worked on the “Longdirk” series with Dave Duncan, writing as Ken Hood. Daughter of Troy was published as by Sarah B. Franklin. The E-Reads bio has been revised to include this information.)
ER: You’ve published quite a few books in a relatively short period of time and seem capable of producing at least three books a year on a regular basis. What are your writing habits/disciplines? Do you set yourself a daily target output? Do you work on more than one book, or series, at a time?
DD: Your estimate is too high. I had no new book at all in 2005. In my youth (my fifties, that is) I averaged two-and-a-half books a year. Now I’m down to two or less. My first was published in 1987 and my thirty-ninth and fortieth will come out in 2008.
The time between starting a book and seeing it in print may be as long as seven years. I work on one book at a time, but I almost never finish it in one continuous spurt. I may be interrupted by deadlines or editorial duties or just plain loss of interest. If I’m on form, I work obsessively. I used to run off 2500 or more words a day (although that ignores later revision time) but now I find 1500 is ample. By then I’ve run out of words and pictures and I go off and do something else. At the time of writing this I am expecting the page proofs for The Alchemist’s Code (March 2008) shortly, am making some amendments to Ill Met in the Arena (August 2008) in response to my editor’s comments, have completed another story (working title The Alchemist and Honeycat: 2009?) that I will be submitting in the new year, and am anxious to get back to three partly-written MSS on the shelf.
ER: Since you have produced a lot of books and publishers have a tendency to keep only the most successful titles in print, you end up with a fair percentage of your catalog not readily available except as used titles. How much of what you have written has fallen out of print? How much of that have you made available as ebooks and POD titles? (Note to Readers: Some titles are available from E-Reads, with more on the way soon in both ebook and POD formats.) How happy are you with the results of your ventures in less traditional book channels such as I’ve mentioned?
DD: By my count I have eleven books (out of thirty-eight) still in print. I am very happy to see so many of the others available in download or POD format. The web helps in another way, too, in that it has made possible the free exchange of secondhand books through ABEbooks and Amazon.com. I don’t see any money from those, of course, but they help keep my work alive.
ER: Are your mainstream publishers making your newer titles available as ebooks at the same time they print and distribute them in the more traditional forms?
DD: HarperCollins put the “King’s Blades” series up on line right away. Tor and Ace do not. The publishing industry, like everyone else, is still adapting to the global village.
ER: In the spirit of making sure that our readers have more information than they might have expected and also making sure that good publications get some worthwhile exposure, I should also mention that you did an interview for Locus in January 2006 an extract of which they can link to here.
DD: You could also mention a scholarly critique of my oeuvre linked from the last paragraph on my website. It’s very flattering.
Of the thousands of books I have represented, there are very few about which I can say it was an honor to be associated with them. On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is one of a handful that occupies a very privileged place in my heart. That it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize validates my contention that it is an extraordinarily significant work.
By the time Col. Grossman submitted his manuscript to me in the mid 1990s, the Viet Nam War, from which he had drawn so many poignant lessons for his research, had been ostensibly over for two decades. I say “ostensibly” because, for the traumatized veterans that he worked with as a combat psychologist, the war raged on in their tormented memories. Even as he comforted and helped heal countless men in veterans’ facilities, he was also asking questions of them that few had had the courage to ask, and formulating insights that enabled him to understand the experience of killing in ways that historians and social scientists had seldom grasped. I remember his telling me that killing was the last intimate act between humans that had not been explored scientifically. How odd, that an evil to which humankind has forever been exposed, should be a black hole in our understanding.
Out of his intensive studies, observations and interviews Grossman formulated a science he calls “Killology.” It’s a disturbing term but it pins us to his topic like a bayonet and forces us to gaze, eyes wide open, at an act that is both obscene and profane. Yet at the heart of his thesis is the contention that humans have an innate aversion to taking life. Given the sad history of our race that’s a large pill to swallow, but if you suspend skepticism and grant him this assumption your journey into the heart of darkness will be rewarded with a note of hope. Whether you are willing to extend to perpetrators a fraction of the sympathy that you extend to victims is a question only you will answer when you finish the book, but you will certainly appreciate the torment of men in war and war’s aftermath better than you do now.
What makes On Killing doubly significant is its extension of the experience of war to that of peace. Are children who are exposed to violent movies and video death-games more susceptible to murderous hostility? Are they stimulated to killing rage? Do they become more tolerant of mayhem?
Interview with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman by E-Reads
E-Reads: As you’ve grown older and wiser, have you modified your views about the nature of killing? About human nature?
DG: No, not really. I’ve expanded the model a little, and have placed that in my latest book, On Combat.
E-Reads: In your dealings with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, is there a material difference between the nature of their stress and the stresses suffered by Vietnam veterans?
DG: Today we are rotating units into combat (as opposed to individual replacements in Vietnam) and they are all wartime volunteers. They enlisted or reenlisted in time of war. This makes for a significant reduction in psychological trauma and incidence of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
E-Reads: You tour extensively. Who is your main audience? What are some of the most often-asked questions?
DG: Roughly 50% of my audiences are law enforcement. Another 30% are military units, and 20% educators.
The most commonly asked questions revolve around the incidence of PTSD in Iraq and Afghanistan. My best answer to that is in the 2nd edition to On Combat, which was released just this year. I’ve included a clip from On Combat (below) that addresses this issue.
“Sadly, it is not difficult to find people in the mental health community to support the thesis that anyone who kills, experiences combat, or witnesses violence (or any other fill-in-the-blank ‘victim du jour’) is doomed to lifelong PTSD and, consequently, needs lifelong mental health care. Too few mental health professionals communicate to their patients that 1) they can recover quickly from PTSD and that 2) they will become stronger from the experience. Yet that expectation must be there if there is to be hope of anything other than a lifetime of expensive counseling.
PTSD is like being overweight. Many people carry around 10, 20, or 30 pounds of excess weight. Although it influences the individual every minute of every day, it might not be a big deal health wise. But for those people who are 500 pounds overweight, it will likely kill them any day now. There was a time when we could only identify people who had “500 pounds” of PTSD. Today we are better at spotting folks who carry lesser loads, 30, 40 or 50 pounds of PTSD.
I have read statistics that say 15 percent of our military is coming home with “some manifestation of psychological problems.” Others claim it is 20 percent and still others report 30 percent. Well, depending on how you want to measure it, 30 percent of all college freshmen have some manifestation of psychological problems. Mostly what is being reported on today are people with low levels of PTSD (30, 40 or 50 pounds of PTSD) who in previous wars would not have been detected. We are getting damned good at identifying and treating PTSD and, when the treatment is done, most people are better for the experience.
PTSD is not like frostbite. Frostbite causes permanent damage to your body. If you get frostbite, for the rest of your life you will be more vulnerable to it. PTSD is not like that.
PTSD can be more like the flu. The flu can seriously kick your tail for a while. But once you shake it off, you probably are not going to get it again for the rest of the year. You have been inoculated. PTSD can kick your tail for a while (months and even years). But once you have dealt with it, next time it will take a lot more to knock you off your feet because you have been stress inoculated.”
E-Reads: Do you feel your approach to killing has had a positive effect on our understanding of human behavior? Do you think human nature can be changed for the better?
DG: I don’t think that our basic, underlying, innate nature can change much, but we can do a better job of warning and preparing people. And my books, On Killing and On Combat have proven themselves to be very valuable resources to help warn and prepare or GIs and their families.
On Killing and On Combat are both on the USMC Commandant’s Required Reading list. (I think I’m the only author to have two books on the list.) Both books are also required reading at West Point and many other military and law enforcement academies. We have been at war for 6 years now, and we have learned a lot. All nonessential ideas and material have been jettisoned in the unforgiving ‘acid test’ of war. For these books to still be held up as required reading indicates that that they have something valuable and timeless to contribute, and it is a good feeling to be of service.
Perhaps most important of all, On Killing‘s final section (on media violence) has been supported with important new research. Sadly, that section has been validated by many tragic incidents of juvenile mass murders in the school.
Lt. Col. Grossman continues the research that let to the writing of On Killing, does regular public speaking engagements on the subject and maintains a website, Killology Research Group, which constantly adds new information on the topic.
Harper Collins announced a pilot launch of the Author Assistant program, designed to help authors build and maintain personal websites to promote their books. This web-based toolset will allow authors to create a website and include biographical information, blog posts, coming attractions, Q&As, photos, links to other articles and posts, browse inside widgets, and even a map of other Harper authors that fans have in common. Authors own any content they create for their pages.
The initial launch involves 40 Avon Romance authors but the program will roll out through all HarperCollins U.S. imprints by mid-2008.
The current feature set “reflects the basics of what authors need to publish content on our site,” according to SVP for Global Marketing Strategy and Operations Carolyn Pittis, who says they plan to add numerous other features, driven in large part by “what authors want.” One of the most likely additions is a video component, as well as feeds to provide third-party syndication. They expect to be adding more two-way features.” In general, the program is intended to be a way of matching up author-generated content with marketing know-how.
Sounds like a great way to help everyone sell more books. That’s another idea we like a lot.
There’s a lot of e-book buzz about Jeff Gomez and his new book, Print Is Dead. From the introduction to Print Is Dead:
“While print is not yet dead, it is undoubtedly sickening. Newspaper readership has been in decline for years, magazines are also in trouble, and trade publishing (the selling of novels and non-fiction books to adults primarily for entertainment), has not seen any substantial growth for years. More and more people are turning away from traditional methods of reading, turning instead to their computers and the Internet for information and entertainment. Whether this comes in the form of getting news online, reading a blog, or contributing to a wiki, the general population is shifting away from print consumption, heading instead to increasingly digital lives.”
I may be an e-book evangelist but I wouldn’t dream of saying print is dead. For now and the foreseeable future the handheld reader of choice is called the book. Or p-book (p for print) as opposed to e-book. Or, as some refer to it, “book-book” to distinguish it from virtual versions. For all our valiant endeavors to produce an electronic reader, nothing matches the elegant form and functionality of the printed book. E-Reads’ sales confirm it: despite the ease of downloading our titles, fifty percent of our revenue comes from the sale of print copies.
What is dead is the old way of distributing books, in mechanical vehicles to brick and mortar vendors. Bookstores, even the fabulous giant Barnes & Noble chain, are dead stores walking. The day that the print on demand press was introduced (summer of 1998), the bookstore beast took a shot to the gut. Boast though they may about sales B&N and other book chains are mortally wounded and it’s just a matter of time before they hemorrhage to death. The good news? Before you can say Rest in Peace, a new, healthier, more profitable and infinitely more efficient distribution model will take its place. I’m happy to say I prophesized it in 1992. Nobody listened then. Maybe they’ll listen now.
To put you into an appropriately squeamish mood for Halloween, E-Reads offers a selection of horror fiction designed to traumatize you for life or at least make your night’s sleep a living torment. Among our featured authors for the season are:
Sean Costello: In Eden’s Eyes, The Cartoonist and Captain Quad, Costello demonstrates the full range of terror, rage, anger and madness that the horror genre can encompass. In the process, he also creates memorable characters while blending the real and the supernatural in ways uniquely his own.
Rex Miller: Miller’s bestial antagonist, Chaingang, is four hundred pounds of brute rage who feasts on fresh hearts and is not too delicate about how he extracts them from his victims. Miller’s genius is that he makes Chaingang sympathetic, a villain you hate to love, unless you happen to be with him in a pitch-dark room.
Ray Garton: Recently made a Grand Master by the Horror Writers of America, Garton’s characters populate a Grand Guignol of depravity. Live Girls, his masterpiece, portrays ravishing pleasure girls who seduce a lovesick man into a world of irresistible fantasy and ecstasy. (The book is being developed as a movie as I write this.)
Melanie Tem: We have four strikingly original and suspenseful horror novels by one of the most masterful storytellers working in the genre, plus The Ice Downstream, a marvelous collection of stories.
Poppy Z. Brite: Are You Loathsome Tonight? Join horror master Brite as she explores the outermost regions of murder, passion, death and religion in twelve extraordinary short stories.
– Richard Curtis