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International Literacy Day

September 6, 2013

Man Reading

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Every September, the world celebrates International Literacy Day. Originally created by UNESCO, it has been celebrated for almost fifty years and is now observed by all 193 UN member states.

 

Here in the United States, we celebrate with workshops at community centers and schools, author readings at bookstores and libraries, and by reading in our homes, sprawled on the couch with a well-worn paperback whose pages are soft underneath our fingertips. Reading is something we do to relax, but also something we do every day as we commute to work, send emails around the office, or take notes in class. Literacy is fundamental to our ability to learn and communicate, and to find confidence, success, and fulfillment in our lives.

 

While reading may seem basic for many Americans, 774 million adults worldwide cannot read or write—that’s 16% of the adult population.1 Ten years ago, the United States had a similar illiteracy rate: 15% of adults were functionally illiterate, unable to perform everyday activities like reading street signs.2 The Department of Education is currently surveying adults again and we hope that the percentage of Americans who cannot read has decreased.

 

Being unable to read is a life-defining disadvantage. Illiteracy causes adults to rely on others to stay politically informed; renders them unable to make simple health care decisions; and drives a wedge between them and the other members of their communities. Adults who cannot read have little chance to be critical or learn beyond what they are told by others, and, as a consequence, have difficulty developing a sense of self. Illiteracy restricts a person’s abilities and limits his or her accomplishments.

 

Illiteracy is curable, but cannot be reversed without help. Learning to read is tough work. It requires serious brain training that, for adults, can be frustrating and embarrassing. Having people to cheer you on at the end of every page, like they would from the sidelines if you were running a marathon, is key.

 

For those of us fortunate enough to be reading this right now: Today is the day to be someone’s support system. There are a number of organizations that make a profound impact on the lives of adults and children who are learning to read for the first time. Cheer on the new readers from the sidelines by donating books, time, or money. Your ROI here is great: You will empower someone. You will help them gain confidence and find opportunity. You will make a difference.

 

 

Below is a list of national literacy charities. There are hundreds of charities nationwide, some which may be focused on helping areas near you! A quick Google search can help you get involved with local and national initiatives. 

 

ProLiteracy - ProLiteracy is one of the largest adult literacy charities in the U.S. They established the National Literacy Directory, which is the go-to resource for adults looking to improve their literacy skills.

 

Books to Prisoners - BTP believes wholeheartedly that books have the power to radically transform the lives of those in prison. They appreciate donations of all kinds, but particularly educational materials like dictionaries, almanacs, vocational and technical manuals, and textbooks.

 

Reading is Fundamental - Provides free books and literacy resources to children and families who need them most. They believe that books can “launch a life” and motivate children to dream (and achieve!) big. Books are distributed through schools, homeless shelters, and community centers.

 

Milk and Bookies - There are hundreds of youth literacy charities, but this one is unique in that it encourages kids to give to other kids. They help your children put on “book-raising” events as part of their birthday party, class project, or scout troop meeting to start a life-long cycle of reading, giving, and growing.

1UNESCO
2National Center for Education Statistics

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Happy Pub Day!

September 5, 2013

happy pub day

We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this September.

Amaze Every Customer

Amaze Every Customer Every Time by Shep Hyken

Baby Santa & Missing Reindeer

Baby Santa and the Missing Reindeer by Dr. M. Maitland Deland

Noah's Rainy Day

Noah’s Rainy Day by Sandra Brannan

POWER

POWER by Sarah Morgans and Bill Thorness

small change

Small Change, Big Gains by Thomas H. Stoner, Jr.

Alumni Factor

The Alumni Factor by The Alumni Factor

 

Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.

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Happy Pub Month!!

August 9, 2013

Happy Pub Day

We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this July and August.

 

Win By Not Losing by Dean Harman

theNewerYork: Book 0 edited by Joshua S. Raab

theNewerYork: Book II edited by Joshua S. Raab

Gracianna by Trini Amador

Creative Grieving by Elizabeth Berrien

National Speakers Association: Celebrating 40 Years of Conventional Wisdom

Outside In by Doug Cooper

C.A.R.E. Leadership by Peter van Stralen

Fresh Passion Leadership by Michael D. Brown

 

Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.

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An Intro to Crowdfunding for Your Book

August 6, 2013

 Crowdfunding is well known as a buzzword, but many people still struggle to grasp the concept. So here’s a quick definition: crowdfunding is a means for artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures.

In even simpler terms, it’s a way to generate financial backing from people who believe in your project—your family, friends, peers, and audience.

If you’re a writer who’s thinking about self-publishing, crowdfunding provides an opportunity for you to diminish out-of-pocket expenses while gauging and connecting with the audience for your book. There are many steps to conducting a successful crowdfunding campaign, but if you’re a crowdfunding newbie, here are a few tips you’ll want to know before getting started.

  1. The most important thing to keep in mind: crowdfunding requires work. A successful campaign takes motivation and determination. A majority of supporters of a crowdfunding campaign are generated by the crowdfunder through aggressive marketing.
  2. Pre-campaign planning is essential. The duration of a typical crowdfunding campaign is 30–60 days, so it’s imperative that you’re 100% ready to go on day 1. Devise a detailed marketing plan before the launch of your campaign and set targets for weekly outreach. Creating weekly objectives will help you more easily manage your outreach efforts and overall goals.
  3. Research and know your goals. It is essential to know the costs of publishing before launching your campaign. The publishing process can be extensive and the costs can range drastically depending on your publishing goals. For example, a full-scale publishing effort (hiring an editor, hiring a cover designer, formatting the book, printing the book, securing ebook distribution . . . and the list goes on) will require much more funding than simply selling ebooks on Amazon. To determine your funding goal (the amount you hope to raise) and your reward levels (incentives you offer for various levels of financial support), you’ll need to know your overall publishing goals. Helpful hint: Keep in mind you will have to ship the rewards to your supporters, so factor in shipping costs when determining your funding goal and reward levels.
  4. Having a pre-existing network is key. Although marketing to your general audience is very important, a majority of the support for your campaign will come from your pre-existing network, so it’s very important to reach out to these people first. Take the time to send each person in your network a personalized email informing them of the launch of your campaign and asking them for support. Note: You have to be direct. Ask people in your network for support and provide a link to your campaign, making it as easy as possible for them to follow through.
  5. Keep the momentum going. If you lose interest in your campaign, what makes you think others won’t do the same? You need to have as much enthusiasm on the last day of your campaign as you did on the first day. Also, it’s very important that you continue to engage with your supporters during and after the campaign. They’ve made a financial investment in your book, so keep them updated with your progress.

If you’re seriously considering conducting a crowdfunding campaign, start building your audience now. Organically grow your social networks and make genuine connections so when it’s “go time” for your campaign, your network will already be in place.

Ask anyone who has conducted a crowdfunding campaign and they’ll tell you it’s hard work. You will have to market and promote your book, but in the end, you’ll have the funds you need to bring your book to life and a network of supporters who are interested in your upcoming publication.

These are a few basic tips that will help you conduct a successful crowdfunding campaign. There’s so much more information available, so if you’d like to learn more, visit Pubslush 101.

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Written by Justine Schofield, communications coordination at Pubslush. Justine Schofield is the communications coordinator of Pubslush, a global, crowdsourcing publishing platform for authors to raise funds and gauge the initial audience for new book ideas. Pubslush also operates an independent imprint that acquires books from the platform, and for every book sold, donates a children’s book to a child in need. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA, with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations and has held various freelance editing and writing jobs, and her work has been published in many online and print publications.

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Registering Copyrights

July 31, 2013

Of all the complicated and tedious stages of the book compliance process, copyright registration may be the most confusing. Between deciphering weird terminology like “claimant” and “limitations of claim,” establishing reasonable timelines, and dealing with legal intricacies, registering copyright claims can be mentally exhausting.

 

Fortunately, the Greenleaf staff is very familiar with the copyright process and can break down the basics. Below is a quick but fairly thorough look at the process.

 

Once a book is published, its author or claimant (we will deal with the distinction between author and claimant later) must apply for a copyright. Every US copyright application must be submitted to the Library of Congress Copyright Office. Although technically an author’s original work is protected under US copyright law from the moment it is created, we highly recommended that authors officially register their work to ensure additional statutory protections under the U.S. Copyright Act (which can be significant). A registration application can be submitted up to five years after the work has been created, but it is best to apply for registration soon after the book is published. (We recommend no more than 1-3 months). It is important to note that registration may only be submitted after the book is published.

 

The registration process consists of a series of questions regarding the nature of the work. The basic questions address the type of work (usually “Literary Work”), the number of authors involved, and the publication date of the book.

 

One of the more confusing questions is whether the author is registering as an author or as a claimant. The author of the work is simply the individual responsible for its creation; the claimant is the copyright owner. Regardless of who created the work, the claimant will own all of the rights to it. If the author and the claimant are different, the claimant must have written proof that they are indeed the owner of the work (through “work for hire” or assignment agreements etc.). So if you are registering your work, make sure that you understand these requirements and that you give the registration process the proper attention as not doing so may cause your registration to be delayed or rejected or even have legal implications for you down the road. 

 

Once the copyright application is completed, two copies of the work, along with shipping slips from the website, must be sent to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The LOC may take several months to complete and file a registration, but this proactive measure ensures that the book is registered and protected.

 

If you get overwhelmed with copyright registration, there are informational tools available on the LOC website that give a detailed explanation of the process. 

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