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Fun Fridays – October 25, 2013

Too cool. Playing a piano and a cello on the Great Wall of China!
The music is a combination of the song “Oogway Ascends” from the “Kung Fu Panda” film soundtrack and Frederick Chopin’s Prelude Op. 28 No. 20 in C minor. (The music really builds starting at the 1:07 mark.)

Creative genius.

[I apologize in advance for any ads that may pop up. I cannot control how YouTube monetizes these things.]

I is for Indemnification

by Steve Laube

open-book banner

Publishing is not without risks. Plagiarism, fraud, and libel by an author are real possibilities. Thus within a book contract is a legal clause called indemnification inserted to protect the publisher from your antics.

The indemnification clause, in essence, says that if someone sues your publisher because of your book, claiming something like libel (defamation) or plagiarism etc., your publisher can make you pay the fees to compensate for their losses. This is to “indemnify” which is defined as “to compensate (someone) for harm or loss.” Bottom line: The publisher has the right to hire its own attorneys (at the author’s expense) to defend against these claims.

Doesn’t sound like a happy clause does it? But you can understand why it is there. This clause and the Warranty clause are notoriously difficult to negotiate. (The Warranty clause is where the things the author guarantees or warrants are listed; i.e. the book is original, it is not libelous in content, etc. This clause will be more fully covered by me at another time) The language has been written by the publisher’s attorneys and are usually set in stone.

Handling Disappointment

by Steve Laube

Businessman looking at his laptop

I do not like to experience disappointment. I do not like rejection, even when it isn’t my personal project being turned down. I do not like to be the bearer of bad news.

And yet I do experience disappointment, rejection, and the telling of bad news…every week. That is the nature of the arts.

The arts (meaning music, writing, dance, and painting) is comprised of thousands of hours of practice; long days of solitude; truckloads of self-doubt; in a world where everyone is a critic.

Sunday Worship – September 29, 2013

Listen and be blessed.

Two Mistakes Made in Some Recent Book Proposals

by Steve Laube

Businesswoman having headache on a white background

Putting together a great book proposal takes a lot of work. I suggest writers look at them as if they were a job application, and they are. You are trying to get someone to pay you to write your book via a stellar “job application” or book proposal.

But every once in a while we get something that is not going to work, for obvious reason. Here are two mistakes:

1. Divine Attribution. Also known as the claim, “God told me to write this.” Recently we received a proposal which claimed, “I literally hear from GOD,JESUS, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.” (Capitalization and punctuation left intact.) One of the most widely read posts from our blog is titled “God Gave Me This Blog Post.” Please read the post and please avoid this mistake in the future.

I also see authors write or hear authors say, “I know you don’t like it when we say it, but I really felt inspired by God while writing this.” Trust me, I understand. In fact I believe you and don’t deny the validity of inspiration. But try not to make it sound like your book idea or sample writing is extra special because of it.

Fun Fridays – September 20, 2013

Yesterday was “Speak like a Pirate” Day. Can’t believe I missed such an august occassion! It is beholden to me to be on top of the various cultural events that lift our hearts and minds to greater heights.

I be flummoxed and have b’come a scalawag.

Watch th’ movin’ picture below ‘n learn how t’ do i’ yersef. Ya scurvy cur what deserves the black spot!

National Constitution Week

by Steve Laube

Textured American Constitution with US Flag

September 17-23 is National Constitution Week in the United States.
September 17th is National Constitution Day.

“It was officially enacted on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from a congressional resolution petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The purpose of the observance week was to promote study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787.” (Quoted from the Apples for the Teacher web site.)

If it has been a while since you read it, consider fixing that this coming week. Click here for an easy to read online version.
Click here for a very good audio edition read by David Currie who was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School at the time. Also available for free download.

For even more information and to view four video lectures on the Constitution visit Justin Taylor’s incredibly informative blog “U.S. Constitution 101.”

Fun Fridays – September 13, 2013

Incredible piano skills. Watch Yuja Wang play “The Flight of the Bumble Bee.”

I’ll bet she can play “The Minute Waltz” in 30 seconds!… (below this first video see another pianist play “The Minute Waltz”… in 30 seconds).

Make Today Count

by Steve Laube

Colorful jelly beans

This past week was my mom’s 91st birthday. When we talked she spoke about the possibility of doing a Bible study with other members of her retirement community. She is making every day count.

This coming week marks one year since the death of my father. Many of you have experienced similar loss. It is a reminder that our time on earth is finite.

Below is a great video that creates a visual reminder of the “number of our days.” (Psalm 90:12) Watch the video now and then rejoin my thoughts after the jump.

The jellybean makes for a rich metaphor. When you eat them do you separate them first by color, discard the ones you don’t like, and save the favorites for last? But, to carry with the metaphor, in life you can’t grab a handful, you only get one, and you cannot pick only your favorite. You have only that single jellybean each day.

The impulse is to interpret this to mean you should do something productive now. While that may be the outcome it would be wiser to look at each day as an opportunity to rest in God… to be.

Today is National Buy-a-Book Day

by Steve Laube

buy a book day

 Philip Athans had a marvelous brainstorm and, together with other like-minded people, established September 7th as the annual Buy a Book Day. From their web site is the following explanation:

The National Buy a Book Day Foundation’s primary activity is educating the American people on the importance of books to our culture and community by encouraging citizens to go to any bookstore on September 7th of each year, which we hope to establish as National Buy a Book Day, and buy a book. By buying a book, as a community, every year on the same day, we come together in support of books, booksellers, authors, and publishers alike. This is the exclusive goal of the organization, and it is funded entirely from public and corporate donations.

Take up the challenge! Buy a book today either online or by visiting your favorite store.

Thanks for the tip and the above graphic: Sarah Bolme from her blog Marketing Christian Books

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