Book of the Week: Tax Reform with the 20/20 Tax (James C. Tanner)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent (aka self-published) literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights a wide variety of titles reviewed on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s (very timely) pick.


http://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/tax-reform-with-the-2020-tax/

About Author

tanner

 

James C. Tanner is a certified public accountant with over 40 years of experience. He earned his undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University and his Master’s in Accounting and Taxation from the University of Denver. He currently lives with his wife in Colorado. Tax Reform with the 20/20 Tax is his first book.


 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Project Gutenberg, public domain titles free to be read and re-distributed in the U.S. (but not necessarily throughout the world)

Project Gutenberg

Our tour of open reading sites begins at the beginning, with Project Gutenberg. The oldest (1971) of such collections, it currently has a collection of 53,000+ volumes. This number is expected to grow significantly in 2019, when changes in the copyright law allow more books to become available. Originally, founder Michael Hart’s intent was to focus of the collection was books in English in the public domain.  Recently, though, several European languages have been added. The history of the project is available at Wikipedia and on Project Gutenberg’s site.

Continue reading Project Gutenberg, public domain titles free to be read and re-distributed in the U.S. (but not necessarily throughout the world)

Knowledge Unlatched announces plans for 2017

 

Knowledge UnlatchedNSR (supporter of all initiatives bringing open and free access to books and knowledge), is always glad to hear from the folks at Knowledge Unlatched. They shared some news in an email yesterday. Here is an excerpt from the email and the news article on their site:

Knowledge Unlatched’s Plans for 2017

The year is already off to an exciting start as we see pledges come in from libraries all over the world who wish to support KU Select 2016; our HSS e-book collection featuring books from 54 publishers on 5 continents, curated by 40 acquisitions and collections librarians in 12 countries. The outcome of the library pledging period will be published in February.

Knowledge Unlatched is very active in developing Open Access. Our goal is clear: we want to make KU a platform for different Open Access initiatives to allow them to focus on developing their models whilst broadening the funding structure.

1. With JSTOR, KU is testing an experiment on usage. All KU Pilot and Round 2 titles will be hosted and fully available as Open Access on JSTOR, without cost to users.

2. We will soon be ready to add geolocational usage data to the COUNTER-compliant stats libraries are already receiving for unlatched books.

3. In summer we will help OAPEN, one of our hosting partners since the beginning of KU, to distribute their institutional repository version to libraries. This will be an important step to also help “green” OA to advance within institutions.

4. Together with Language Science Press, we are exploring opportunities to gather funding for Open Access from a larger variety of organisations. So far we’ve sought support exclusively from libraries. Now we will be testing a new multi-stakeholder model, including other funders in support of OA.

5. We recently announced that we will be adding journals to KU. We are already receiving very promising submissions from publishers, and a number of esteemed presses are participating in this effort to flip existing subscriptions into OA.

6. We’ve also been working on a project which we are currently calling ‘KU by Request’, with a library consortium and a few publishers in Germany. If all parties agree, we will be offering German-language titles selected by libraries in a particular discipline.

7. Finally, we are working on an idea with title ‘KU Club’. This model would allow smaller libraries to benefit from both networking and information resources as well as governance opportunities.

Book of the Week: The Lethal Equation (Jacquel Clark)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent (aka self-published) literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.

http://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/the-lethal-equation/

About Author

Jacquel Clark

Jacquel Clark is a retired accountant from a Fortune 500 company who spent more than 25 years working for corporate America before becoming an independent consultant. Clark earned her undergraduate degree in accounting and her masters degree from Stetson University. She currently lives in Florida where she teaches finance and accounting courses at a local college. This is her first book.

 

 


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

What readers want (and what we are not giving them)

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[Article 1 in the “Lessons from Croatia Reads” series]

This is Article 1 in the “Lessons from Croatia Reads” series, which aims to describe the experience of turning the country of Croatia into a Free Reading Zone in December 2016. The series is not meant to be a standard academic case study of all that various numbers and figures prove and don’t prove about the future of books and reading. It is an attempt to draw from the experience in a way that highlights all that is missing but within our reach. Croatia Reads was/is meant to give us a glimpse of a future that holds so much promise for the written word. In this future things look radically different than they do today, but the possibilities (and opportunities) for all who work with books are endless.

* * *

For the past many months, I’ve had the privilege of stepping outside the confines of the publishing and library industries (as well as the borders of the United States) to engage in non-profit projects and initiatives that bring books and knowledge to people. There comes a point in every person’s career when we crave to turn our professional jobs into missions, and it simply isn’t enough to earn a paycheck, even amidst the most challenging circumstances. We take a leap of faith and jump.

And jump I did, from New York all the way to Croatia, where I would (not immediately upon arrival but soon thereafter) embark on the project of my life and turn an entire country into an open virtual library (available to all its people without a card and access code and regardless of status, geography, background, citizenship, etc). In early December 2016, Croatia (the country of my birth) became the world’s first Free Reading Zone for one entire month. Continue reading What readers want (and what we are not giving them)

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 89th birthday to William Kennedy, Born January 16, 1928 in Albany, NY. Possibly my favorite living writer, I think this guy is one of the all-time greats. The Joycean “Ironweed” is a 20th-century masterpiece. I’ve interviewed him twice (I think), and he’s a good guy as well as a brilliant writer.

He’ll never will the Nobel Prize because he’s not political enough, but he deserves it.

Kennedy Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Book of the Week: The Vivisection Mambo: 125 Poems of the Neo-Realist School (ed. by Lolita Lark)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.

http://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/the-vivisection-mambo-125-poems-of-the-new-neo-realist-school/


About Author

LolitaLolita Lark has been editor of The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities (RALPH) since 2000. She has published an earlier collection of poetry, and an anthology of reviews, articles and readings from RALPH that was cited by Kirkus as “One of the best books of 2014.” Lark currently lives in San Diego, CA.

 

 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

 

Heads up. Independent writers, we salute you!

15978226_350610718665328_615968930_nIf we are going to fully democratize the written word (which is the core mission of No Shelf Required), then we have to support independent writers courageous enough to publish their own work.

There is a sea of self-published literature out there, and much of it is admirable. No Shelf Required is thrilled to reaffirm that it will continue to support independent writers and highlight their work. Each week we select a self-published book and writer to honor (in partnership with Blue Ink Review). It’s our way of saying: thank you for daring.

Click Book Highlights to see the works we’ve highlighted so far and stay tuned for more picks in the coming weeks and months.—Ed.

 

Book of the Week: Under the Pong Pong Tree (by Hal Levey)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.


http://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/under-the-pong-pong-tree/

About Author

LeveyHal Levey is a Boston native and graduate of Harvard University. He spent a year as a visiting professor on the medical faculty at the University of Singapore. This experience gave him some of the background for his novel Under The Pong Pong Tree.

 


 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Wanna write (to make a difference)?

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Friends and colleagues, I have marched into 2017 eager to continue using No Shelf Required as the ultimate outlet of expression for all who advocate free reading and support projects and initiatives that get us a little closer to that world in which we all have equal access to knowledge and the written word. That world in which knowledge flows freely in all directions to all who want and need it — on their own terms (not the terms of those who think they ‘own’ it).

I am in the process of recruiting various contributors (some of whom will become regular columnists) to write about the ways in which we can ALL do our part in making the world a slightly better place by making it possible for people everywhere to read and learn how and when they want to. And not just read and learn, but also write, listen, teach, and watch. Those of us who have the privilege of working with books and other media (this includes writers, editors, teachers, educators, librarians, and publishers, among others) have that responsibility, I believe.

So join me. Let’s put our heads together and educate each other. No shelf is required, but passion is mandatory. Email me at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com with ideas. Start date: NOW.

MR

Croatia is the world’s first country to become a Free Reading Zone

croatia-map-books-teal-wide

No Shelf Required is thrilled and honored to announce:

Croatia is the world’s first country to become a Free Reading Zone

No Shelf Required and Total Boox join forces in turning the country of Croatia into an open virtual library accessible via a free application—to residents and tourists alike—without a library card or an access code. The growing collection boasts 100,000 titles by top publishers in several languages.

Zagreb, Croatia — Croatia has just made history by becoming the first country in the world turned into a Free Reading Zone (FREZ), i.e., an open virtual library accessible to all people free of charge regardless of their location. This includes not only Croatian citizens but millions of tourists from around the world who visit the country each year, who may download a free reading app, called Croatia Reads. The app is powered by Total Boox, an ebook service known to publishers and librarians for its revolutionary model which makes ebooks instantly available—with no restrictions—while paying publishers for reading and affording readers a seamless and uninterrupted reading experience.

“As a web site advocating free access to books and knowledge for all people, No Shelf Required is honored to be the first sponsor of this historic project,” said Mirela Roncevic, editor of No Shelf Required and manager of the project. “NSR’s mission is to make access to books a right of every citizen, not a privilege tied to institutions and corporate interests, so it is fitting that we stand behind it. It also holds a special meaning to me personally because this remarkable story of books escaping the confines of book stores and library walls is taking place in the country of my birth.”

Readers in Free Reading Zones may browse Total Boox’ collection of 100,000 titles, which includes books in all categories of fiction and nonfiction; from popular to academic, from professional to practical. Over 250 publishers are participating, including an array of world-class brands, among them, Lonely Planet, Workman, Sourcebooks, Berlitz, Oxford University Press, F&W Media, O’Reilly, Other Press, Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, New World Library, Marshall Cavendish, Berrett-Koehler, Lerner, and many others.

The goal of the FREZ initiative is to spread reading to public and private spaces and endow them with culture. The ‘zones’ may be sponsored by private and public institutions, corporations or government entities and can be as small as single-buildings (e.g., hospitals, cafes) or as big as entire cities and countries (as in the case of Croatia).  “With all due modesty, this is really a world’s first,” said Yoav Lorch, Founder and CEO of Total Boox. “It’s a general open invitation for all people to follow their interests and curiosities, wherever they are, at no cost and with no limitations. It’s not just about saving money. It’s about making culture and knowledge prevalent, about closing the digital divide, and about allowing the people to enjoy the fruits of the digital revolution.”

“With the launch of Croatia Reads, we have created a circle in which all segments of Croatia’s society benefit: culture, education, and tourism,” added Roncevic. “We have begun the next big revolution in the story of the book—the one where the potential of the digital medium is finally used to disperse knowledge to all who want it, when they want it, and how they want it. Croatia today stands as an example of what is possible with the book in the 21st century, and what is possible looks a lot like the democratization of the written word we’ve never seen before—the kind that will finally give books in digital format the chance to show their true potential.”

See also

Book of the Week: The Solution: Repairing Our Broken Political System by Michael M. Stockdell

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.

https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/the-solution-repairing-our-broken-political-system/


About Author

stockdellMichael M. Stockdell was born in Richmond, VA, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English. He has worked as a systems analyst, data processing manager and management consultant, including three years in the federal government. Stockdell spent years researching politics and considering viewpoints from both sides of the political spectrum in order to write The Solution.

 


 

 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen; Volume II by Collins Hemingway

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.


https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/the-marriage-of-miss-jane-austen-volume-ii/

 

About Author

collins-hemingwayCollins Hemingway notes that his approach to fiction is to “dive as deeply into a character’s heart and soul as possible, to address the root causes of their behavior rather than to describe superficial attitudes and beliefs.” He also notes that “his sentiment regarding the importance of literature is only slightly mellower than that of Jane Austen, who observed that the gentleman or lady who fails to find pleasure in a good novel must be ‘intolerably stupid.’” Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and has a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Oregon.


 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

 

This week in Literature and Arts

November 13, 1850 — Birthday wishes to novelist, poet, traveler, and musician Robert Louis Stevenson, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, this day in 1850. In addition to his literary endeavors, Stevenson was an accomplished musician, playing numerous instruments and composing more than 100 scores. Too brief a life; he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 44 while living in Samoa.

If it’s been a few years since you read Stevenson, take a break from the cookie-cutter mysteries and NY Times bestseller-list crap and reread Kidnapped or Treasure Island. Read them aloud to your kids; you’ll have as much fun as they do.

stevenson

 


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Ebook sales continue to decline in 2016. That’s good news (for those who advocate free reading).

read-876536NSR is not big on sharing statistics and reports on its site, since numbers released in them are often used to promote and encourage the status quo as opposed to encourage publishers (and all who work with books) to transform and go beyond traditional sales and marketing methods; to take the lead as opposed to rely on reports to justify reinforcing old practices. This report, just released by the Association of American Publishers today, in and of itself isn’t all that surprising (or newsworthy), telling us that in the first half of 2016 book sales were down ‘slightly’ when compared to book sales in 2015. We do, however, want to draw  attention to one statistic in this document: that in the first half of 2016 vs. 2015, sales of ebooks were down 20 percent (to 579.5 million).

This is actually GOOD news. At least for those of us advocating free reading and free access to books online, regardless of geography, status, and membership. Why? Because numbers like this do not confirm that people don’t want to read and access content in digital format. Instead, they confirm that they simply do not want to pay for it. Readers are already used to consuming massive amounts of information for free online, and their expectations will gravitate in the direction of ‘free’ even when it comes to books (including fiction and all types of nonfiction).

It may sound odd, but it actually makes sense. If ebook sales continue to decline, it just may be the signal publishers need to consider opening books online for free consumption while still being able to gain from it (by relying on ebook models that support free reading through sponsorship, like Free Reading Zones, instead of opting for business models that require people or ebook services to purchase publishers’ ebooks in advance). Publishing industry has always been reactive to change, rather than proactive in its efforts to transform itself. Seeing ebook sales decline year after year will not make ebooks go away—their power to eliminate unequal (and unbalanced) access to knowledge (in all forms) is too real to be denied—but it may lead publishers to consider (and reconsider) other options. We look forward to that. Below full press release.—Ed.


Washington, DC; Nov. 16, 2016 – Publishers’ revenues (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) were down 3.4% for the first half of 2016 vs. the same period in 2015. The greatest percentage gains from the first half of the year came from Religious Presses, up 10.4%.

While revenue for Trade Books grew 6.7% in June, the gains were not enough to counter declines from earlier in the year, and the overall category declined 1.1% in the first half of 2016.

“After a tough first quarter — with trade sales down 7.4% from the prior year — second quarter sales have bounced back with 4.6% growth. Sales of adult, children’s and religious books all increased in the second quarter due to a mix of factors including movie tie-ins, a diversity of titles from small and midsize presses, and religious presses recovering from a tough 2015,” said Tom Allen President and CEO of AAP.

Overview

  • For the first half of the year, sales in all tracked categories were down 3.4% to $5.37 billion vs. the same six months in 2015. Tracked categories include: Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.
    • Publishers’ book sales for June 2016 in all tracked categories were $1.46 billion, down 4.7% from June 2015.
  • In the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015, trade sales were down 1.1% to $3.03 billion:
    • Adult Books had $2.11 billion in sales, down 2.8%
    • Childrens/YA Books had $689.3 million in sales, up 0.9%
    • Religious Presses had $222.4 million in sales, up by 10.4%

Trends for Trade by Format

  • In the first half of 2016 vs. 2015:
    • Paperback books grew 8.8% to $1.01 billion
    • Downloaded audio grew 32.3% to $126.7 million
    • Hardback books grew 0.9% $989.7 million
    • eBooks were down 20.0% to $579.5 million
  • Interesting trends in June:
    • June 2016 had an unusually high percentage of growth in religious presses’ Paperback Books, which are up 54.6% compared to June 2015; the whole category has grown 16.8% over the past half year vs. 2015.
    • June was also a month of incredible growth for downloaded audio, with 51.7% more revenue than June 2015.
    • In June eBooks had their slightest monthly decline in over a year, down only 9.7%.

Below is a chart that shows the market share of various Trade Book formats for the first half of the year from the past six years. Of note, eBooks have around the same percent of market share in 2016 as they did in 2011, while audiobooks doubled their share. The most consistent category has been hardback books, which has ranged from 33.0% to 36.4%.

20161115aappressreleasechart

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had a revenue loss of 2.1% for K-12 Instructional Materials and 5.9% for Higher Education Course Materials, in the first half of 2016 vs. 2015.
  • Professional Publishing was down 23.1% in the first half of 2016 vs. the first three months of 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 1.7% in the first half of 2016 vs. 2015.

 

Book of the Week: Hesterwine, Texas 1943 by Dot Ryan

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.

https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/hesterwine-texas-1943/

About Author

dot-ryanDot Ryan is a fifth generation Texan. Her first novel, Corrigans’ Pool, was named a finalist in the prestigious Indie Book Awards, The International Book Awards and was the winner of Foreword Review’s 2011 Book of the Year,  judged by the American Library Association.

 


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

 

Just Listen

A

Almost all of us know a kid whom we recognize as an inveterate reader, and some of us were that kid or grew up to be litaholics as adults. When you think of such a person, regardless of age, is your image limited to that someone who reads silently, eyes focused on text strewn pages?

A variety of expert groups now are on board with audiobooks both as “acceptable” for supporting literacy attainment efforts.  That has placed them in a kind of literacy medicine cabinet, where the format is simply means to an end that must be in a different format, the silently consumed text on paper page.

Listening well can help us understand concepts and feelings—and thus our world and the others in it, as well as ourselves—that escape our notice when we listen poorly or apply only our own interpretation to a printed page’s text. Audiobooks aren’t a booster chair to get kids to the table of text literacy; they are a rich means of offering the opportunity to build a skill just as valuable and necessary as that: the skill of feeling at home in a world where others are just as real as we are. Continue reading Just Listen

Portal on all aspects of ebooks and digital content and for all creating, reading, publishing, managing, curating, and distributing the written word and other content in digital format, including publishers, writers, editors, content developers, distributors, educators, librarians and information science professionals. With contributions from book and library professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.