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Newsletter Dated: 10/31/2005 8:22:12 PM
Subject: Soup*s On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, professional friend of Andrea*s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input. This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
In this issue:
* From the Author*s Desk
* Trash Talk Author Interview
* Washington Post Wordsmithing
* Radio Interviews For Fiction
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
This issue presents an interview with authors Dave and Lillian Brummet. I found myself totally engaged with their book Trash Talk. From the scary statistics on how much we over-consume and create waste to the tidbits about how to recycle household items from stockings to plastic rings, hanging rods to video tape labels, this book is a fascinating primer on what we have done and, more importantly, what we can do to protect our earth.
My friend Pam remembered to send me one of my favorite items, the results from the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational, always a fun read.
And some advice for my fiction-writing friends—finally, you say—ideas from radio expert Bryan Farrish on how to best get the attention of radio producers and hosts for promotion.
*** Trash Talk Author Interview ***
Q.: Can you tell readers how this subject came to your attention?
A.: Both of us come from families with inventive parents whose reuse ideas were part of everyday life. We do what we can to reduce and reuse our own household waste and as writers felt a need to share these ideas.
As a society, we’re bombarded with negative information about the environment and resources. Feeling powerless because we cannot afford to donate cash or time, we begin to feel overwhelmed. Psychologists know that simply performing one positive action helps to define a positive outlook and will inspire further participation.
Trash Talk endeavors to provide ideas for the individual interested in making small changes. We encourage readers by showing how their efforts make a difference to their community and their pocketbook.
Q.: Will you mention just a couple of the more astounding statistics that you located for your research?
A.: Each and every human being is responsible for the creation of 4.3 pounds of waste every single day. Studies show that lack of a positive attitude leads to complacence and 66% would do more if they knew it had a measurable impact. Recycling alone can reduce solid waste by 49%, reduce energy consumption by 43%, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and slash the emission hazards of air pollutants by as much 90%. This is because new materials are not dug up or cut down and very little processing is needed to create a product out of recovered materials. Composting can reduce waste a further 30%. Our financial consultant tells us that if people could find a way to save just $7 a day they could contribute to their retirement monthly.
Q.: Could you explain how the book is organized and why you decided on this methodology?
A.: Part One provides reuse ideas for common items formally destined for the landfill. Arranged alphabetically it covers everything from bags to carpets metals, tires and Styrofoam. Part Two deals with ways of decreasing waste and discusses resources around the home such as water and electricity use. Part Three explains the need for the non-wasteful use of trees, enhancing their invaluable roles in oxygen production, air-pollution control, water protection and prevention of erosion. Part Four cites some large-scale industrial and commercial successes in waste reduction to emphasize the good news. We felt it was important to start with small ideas and changes as old habits are hard to break.
Q.: Do you get discouraged when you see how much waste is created?
A.: Of course we get discouraged. There is far too much packaging and non-recyclable materials, despite the fact that technology exists to do otherwise. The amount of waste in our waterways and harm to wildlife due to indiscriminate waste disposal is disheartening.
However, we are making changes and society is now aware of the effects of pollution, landfills and dwindling resources. The more we learn, the more we can regulate and manage waste and resources in a responsible manor. Consider the recycling movement. A growing number of cities now have curbside pick-up of recyclable and compostable materials.
Q.: I know this next question will be difficult, but can you tell us some things we might do to aid in creating less waste or can you share a particularly helpful tip(s)?
A.: Consider the kitchen sink, rather than running the tap when cleaning vegetables, use a bowl of water. Later, reuse it to water outdoor plants. Reusing water from rinsing out the coffeepot for outdoor plants, the compost or lawn is something we do all the time. Rich in nitrogen as well as some trace minerals, it should be diluted by filling the pot with water before using. Cooking water (i.e. noodles) can be used in the same way – just let it cool first. Or, to kill weeds, pour the hot liquid directly on the unwanted plant.
After meals, scrape dishes into the compost bucket before rinsing. While rinsing, place other soiled dishes, jars and utensils underneath while you work; it will begin the presoaking process – reducing labor and water use. Anything caught in the sink basket can be contributed to the compost, too.
Save about 5 gallons of water per washing by doing dishes in a few inches of hot soapy water. It may seem funny to do this -- but by turning the hot water tap on to rinse the dishes into the sink; the level will slowly increase and will maintain a hot temperature. No second sink needs to be filled for rinsing.
Very hot water is not necessary for all washing and rinsing needs. Usually, by the time we are finished washing our hands, the water is just beginning to warm up -- so really, all we have done is heat up the pipes. When washing hands, turn off the tap while lathering and choose cold water instead.
If you measured the amount of water saved each day by those simple methods -- there would be dozens of gallons of pure, drinkable water every week left untouched in the reservoir. By reducing hot water consumption, our energy bills are a little bit smaller. All this, just from the kitchen sink!
Q.: Can you tell us a little about your experience with Publish America (PA) and why you did not opt for a traditional publisher?
A.: PA is a publisher that uses Print-On-Demand (POD) technology. Instead of paying higher costs of storage and warehousing on books that may or may not sell, POD offers publishers the option of printing the copies as the orders come in.
PA offers a standard contract with a decent royalty payment that escalates according to the number of sales. This is meant as incentive to the author because it is a reality that authors must market their books like crazy for years and years. Some authors expect the world to come knocking at their doors just because they wrote a book. It doesn’t work that way… and so they look for someone to blame.
We have found PA to be professional -- they live up to, and sometimes exceed, their contract obligations. They’ve displayed teamwork for both Trash Talk and Towards Understanding. Publish America provides a free marketing guide, e-postcards and send out notices to 100 of the author’s contacts along with press releases to local media.
They offer an excellent discount program for retailers and have now implemented a return policy that will be fully active within the next few months for all of their books.
Q.: What do you want readers to come away with after reading your book?
A.: We hope Trash Talk inspires individuals to participate in better waste management. Families that struggle financially will find relief in this book, which reveals hundreds of money saving techniques for home and office. We want readers to feel less overwhelmed with the negativity in the world and confidant that their choices do matter.
Trash Talk: An Inspirational Guide to Saving Time and Money through Better Waste and Resource Management, Dave & Lillian Brummet, ISBN: 1-4137-2518-X Web site: http://www.sunshinecable.com/~drumit
*** Washington Post’s Wordsmithing ***
Here are this year's winners from the Washington Post’s Mensa International where readers take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, supplying a new definition.
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
12. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
14. Glibido: All talk and no action.
15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
*** Radio Interviews For Fiction ***
Traditional PR firms often shy away from fiction because of the perceived difficulty in obtaining mainstream press. Well, I am not speaking for other mediums, only for radio, and I'm glad to say that fiction interviews can be done as well as anything else on radio. This is because: It's not the topic that matters... It's the person.
Here's a radio technique to consider: Instead of focusing on the work of fiction itself (presumably, a book), focus instead on what was in the author's head, and what happened to the author that caused her to write such material. Thus, the book then simply serves as a reference or as a credibility item (the author must have gone through a lot in order to put everything into a book). Also, the book can be used for the ubiquitous on-air-giveaway during or after the interview. (Not to mention, listeners may want to purchase the book after hearing the author mention the book's website and toll-free order number.)
If this seems far-fetched, remember that the people who host the radio shows can be considered…good at speaking (regardless of the "topic") and the stations pay them to continue talking, show after show. Also, you may have noticed some well-known hosts who write their own books, and do quite well. Isn't radio just great!
So, what does it mean to talk about the author instead of the book? Here's an example: If the book is about a fictional business scandal, what did the author experience, or even OBSERVE, that caused him to write this book? Was the author a victim of a real scandal? The real-life experiences can be interesting, but even more so the conclusions or opinions that the author draws from the experience itself. Also in this category is plain old "observation"... the writer has simply observed what everyone else has observed, and is now rendering her opinion about it.
Such opinions can be used even for seemingly-impossible works of fiction as a love novel. Almost every work of fiction has some type of unique place, time, or event mixed in it. You simply take this unique item and twist it into something "Suzy secretary" or "Joe six pack" would care about hearing during the drive to work. Yes, it's the author's opinion that people want to hear about. Not the book itself.
Lastly, how do you build your sales list with fiction? Make your free, top 10 give-away points something about the unique time, place or event. They may not be the top 10 points that you'd do for nonfiction (those are more "how-to"), but they still work great because listeners will still want to obtain the 10 free points about the topic, since that is why they listened in the first place. Once listeners request your free top 10 list, you'll have your fiction sales list.
Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio publicity company. 310-998-8305 www.radio-media.com
*** Poetry Contest ***
Brady Magazine's running a poetry contest; link for information: http://www.bradymagazine.com/contest.html
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2005 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.