Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Internet Your Way to a New Job

Internet Your Way to a New Job, Alison Doyle, Happyabout.info, 2008

This book gives a number of examples of how to conduct your job search using all the new Internet tools that are constantly being developed.

Do a Google search on yourself to see what the Internet says about you. If there are drunken or racy photos of you on Facebook, for instance, restrict their availability or delete them, now. You can count on a potential employer doing the same search.

Learn how to create an online presence. If you are seeking any kind of professional position, join LinkedIn and create a profile. Next, sign up on Facebook, but leave the bells and whistles off your page; for professional networking, keep it simple. The number of networking sites is rapidly growing; pick a couple of sites for your profile, and stick with them.

Before you start your job search, be very clear about the sort of job you are seeking, and make sure your resume targets that type of job. Start a new email account just for job searching. Store everything in a separate folder on your computer. Start an Excel spreadsheet that includes the company name, contact person and the date the resume was sent. If you find an interesting opening, apply immediately. Check your email, and your telephone, several times a day for messages. If you get an expression of interest, or request to call for an interview, respond immediately. Obviously, if you are job searching while employed, do not use your company email or telephone; be very discreet about telling colleagues you are job searching. No doubt, word will reach your supervisor.

It's not enough to post a couple of online profiles, monitor a couple of the major job sites, and expect the jobs to come to you; you have to constantly go and find them. The author also looks at resumes; a good review for those who suddenly find that they have to wipe the dust off of theirs.

This book is short, easy to read and is full of information for all job seekers, whether a "veteran" job seeker or a first-timer. It is a gem of a book.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer

Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer, Jeff Vandermeer, Tachyon Publications, 2009

Writing used to be all about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). In the 21st Century, there are so many other things for a writer to consider. This book aims to answer some of those questions.

Every published writer needs some sort of Web presence. Will yours be a static website to which you post every week or so? Will yours be an active blog to which you post every day, along with daily Facebook updates, and a couple of tweets daily? Choose which is best for you; every minute blogging or tweeting is a minute taken away from writing. Isn't writing the most important part of all this?

Create checklists and stick with them. For instance, write an entire short story, edit it, and get it ready for mailing, every month. As soon as a story is returned from Magazine A, get it in the mail to Magazine B as soon as possible (the next day, if possible). How do you juggle a full-time job with a writing career? Few writers can make a living from writing. If writing is important enough to you, you will make time for writing (even just an hour a day).

Most writers will have to handle their own marketing and publicity. How good are you at reading a selection from your novel (no more than 15 minutes long), then answering questions from a live audience about it? If you have a hard time with that, then concentrate on podcasts and posting to other people's blogs. Again, choose which is best for you. Along with seemingly every other business book written in the 21st Century, the author stresses the power of networking. That person you casually meet at a literary convention may be a popular blogger, or know a magazine editor who would be interested in a submission from you.

On the personal side, the book looks at the process of editing and revising your stories, and how to re-charge your creative batteries.

This book will not help you get that first novel sale (there are plenty of other books available for that). But when you get that first check from a publisher, one of the first things you should do is buy a copy of this book. It will be of immense help in answering that eternal author question, "How do I get people to buy my book?"