May 2015

Coinciding with the surge of awareness around the killings of unarmed black men, Pamela Newkirk (pictured), author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, and author Sherilynn Ifill (On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century), a regular political and election night commentator on both national and local television, will discuss America's history of race perception and its impact during the Harlem Book Fair on Saturday, July 18 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The discussion will be televised live on C-Span's BookTV.

During the height of Baltimore’s recent unrest, a New York police officer placed what was considered a racist post on Facebook. The photo juxtaposed a picture of blacks on a minivan protesting the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson with one of baboons jumping all over a white woman's car.

As discussed in Ms. Newkirk's Spectacle, in 1904 a young Congolese man of petite stature was captured in Central Africa and brought to the United States.  First, he was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Garden displayed him in its Monkey House with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, attracting thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. This discussion will trace America’s history of race perception, and connect its impact and escalation from slave culture to prison culture to what some consider blatant disregard of life.

About the Harlem Book Fair:
The Harlem Book Fair (HBF), the nations’ largest and most-respected African American literary festival will take place this year in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues from Friday, July 17, to Sunday, July 19. Attended by over 20,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span's BookTV, the Harlem Book Fair stands as the nation’s flagship African American public literary event. Exhibitor applications are available online at www.harlembookfair.com. The presentation of the QBR Wheatley Book Awards will open the Harlem Book Fair on the evening of July 17th. The program blends awards presentations into an entertaining evening of music, letters, and stellar performances. The Harlem Book Fair Sunday Author Brunch completes the ‘literary heaven’ weekend. The Harlem Book Fair is a family event that is free and open to all.

About C-SPANs BookTV:
Book TV covers established and upcoming nonfiction authors, featuring programs in the format of interviews with writers as well as live coverage of book events from around the country. Approximately 2,000 authors are featured annually, and in one year may cover as many as 60,000 titles. Check your local listing
www.booktv.org for viewing in your area.

New book takes readers through ‘Jack's Wild Ride’

Author Mark C. Michelson blends humor, tragedy to create one gripping tale of love, loss, second chances

May 2015

Author Mark C. Michelson reveals to readers a story of humor and tragedy through the pages of “Jack's Wild Ride” (published by Xlibris). This book follows Jack’s journey through ups and downs, laughter and pitfalls.

Living the world of a rock star with his wealth and good looks, Jack take on a wild ride he never thought existed, at least for him. After all, he worked for a belts and suspenders law firm at one time. The ride is filled with ups and downs. When money is unending, so is the tragedy and his world is crumbling. Jack will take readers into a journey of a boy turned to man, of an upstanding man turned to a drunk and strung-out promiscuous narcissist who only cares about himself and then him coming back to earth later in life. His is a story of wine, money, women and drugs. For all his flaws, will Jack be able to turn his life around and become the man he is supposed to be?

An excerpt from the book:

One day, several years ago, I woke up to find that I didn’t love my wife Rita anymore, and I think I was finally willing to admit to myself that I never really had. We had an open marriage, and I tried my best to seek a common ground, but at fifty-four years of age and after having and raising one daughter together, Rita and I simply couldn’t agree upon much of anything at all. There was no romance, and it felt like we lived in two different worlds. She cheated on me, and I returned the favor. The process of coming to terms with my losses, my choices, and my victories constituted a wild ride. That’s what this story is about.

Compelling, moving and heartwarming, “Jack's Wild Ride” imparts to readers a hard lesson taken with a bit of humor.

“Jack's Wild Ride”

By Mark C. Michelson

Hardcover | 6x9in | 214 pages | ISBN 9781503557888

Softcover | 6x9in | 214 pages | ISBN 9781503557895

E-Book | 214 pages | ISBN 9781503557901

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Mark Michelson is a trained paralegal. He decided to move on to writing in his 50s. He is a lifelong San Francisco Forty Niners fan and San Francisco Giants fan as well. He grew up in Los Altos Hills CA and now lives in Eagan, MN.  He has a daughter named Samantha. Mark Michelson is currently writing “Drug Mule” which will be about a Viet Nam veteran who comes back and decides he wants to fly drugs in for the mafia.

May 2015


2015 BOOKS

Top Book Stores Around the U.S.

Asian Book Store
 (617) 822-9996
1392 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02122

Africa World Press Inc. & The Red Sea Press Inc.
41 West Ingham Avenue Suite B
Trenton, New Jersey08607
(609) 695-3200

Kaboom Books
3116 Houston Avenue
Houston Tx. 77009
Phone: 713.869.7600

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka #205
Los Angeles, CA

The Americanist (ABAA)
113 Creeks Edge
Chapel Hill , NC 27516

Mahogany Books
37 Western Hill Mall
Fairfield, AL 35064

Latin American Book Store
204 N Geneva St
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-2418

Frank's Hebrew Bookstore
14425 Cedar Road (Near Green)
South Euclid, Ohio 44121
Phone: 216-291-9847
E-Mail: franks@apk.net

Amazon Web Services Announces AWS Educate to Accelerate Cloud Learning in the Classroom

For a complete listing of our news releases, please click here

AWS Educate delivers real-world cloud technology to the classroom with AWS credits, training, course content, and an educator community forum

May 2015

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the launch of AWS Educate, a program that helps educators and students use real-world cloud technology in the classroom to graduate students ready to enter the cloud workforce. AWS Educate is designed to make it easy for educators to quickly and easily find cloud-related course content, incorporate cloud technology into their teaching curriculum, and provide students with hands-on experience with cloud technology - with AWS credits to make the cloud more affordable than ever. AWS Educate is free for educational institutions, educators and students to join, following AWS's approval of their application. To learn more about AWS Educate, visit:http://www.awseducate.com.

Cloud computing has rapidly transformed the way businesses and organizations across industries operate and innovate, such as researchers using the cloud to study genomics, non-profits using data analytics to better target donors, startups creating disruptive new applications, or established companies bringing new innovations to market faster. Cloud computing has become the default environment not just for building and deploying applications, but it has also become a key driver for transforming organizational innovation and business operations. As such, there is a growing demand for developers, information technology (IT) professionals, and forward-thinking business leaders with demonstrated knowledge of cloud computing. AWS Educate empowers educators with training, tools, and technologies to help students develop the skills to design, deploy and operate applications on the AWS Cloud.

"For years, the AWS educational grants program has put cloud technology in the hands of educators and students, giving them the ability to put big ideas into action. We've seen students develop assistive computer vision technology in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind, and aspiring entrepreneurs take a web startup from conception to launch within 60 hours," said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. "Based on the feedback and success of our grant recipients and the global need for cloud-skilled workers, we developed AWS Educate to help even more students learn cloud technology firsthand in the classroom. We're pleased to offer AWS Educate to educators, students and educational institutions around the world."

By joining the program at http://www.awseducate.com, educator and student members receive several benefits, including:

  • AWS credits: Educators and students can apply for and redeem AWS credits for eligible services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon CloudFront, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Glacier. While students and educators at any educational institution may join the program, those affiliated with an institution that becomes a member may receive additional AWS credits.
  • Web-based training and self-paced labs: Access to self-paced labs can help educators and students gain hands-on experience working with AWS technologies; additionally, educators receive online access to AWS Essentials courses for a thorough technical overview of AWS products and common solutions.
  • Collaboration forums: Educators and students can attend in-person and virtual events designed to help the AWS Educate community incorporate cloud technology into coursework; additionally, educators have access to a forum in which they can join discussions with other AWS Educators.
  • AWS resources: All AWS Educate members have access to a wide library of learning materials they may use in their classrooms, including webinars on best practices, instructional videos on AWS services, and customer case studies.
  • Educator content: Educators can access and share professional development materials to help them incorporate cloud technology into their coursework. Currently, AWS Educate houses over 100 educator-uploaded materials from many of the top computer science universities around the world, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and Cornell Tech. Materials include a wide range of full courses, syllabi, lectures, and homework assignments, for example: lectures, videos, and assignments from University of Pennsylvania Professor Zack Ives' Scalable and Cloud Computing class; University of Toronto's Eyal de Lara's Introduction to Cloud Computing class; and University of Washington's Magdalena Balazinska's Introduction to Data Management class.

Dr. Majd Sakr, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said, "Three years ago, I began incorporating AWS services into my cloud computing courses. The cloud resources AWS provided me has allowed me to really challenge my students to develop real-world solutions to problems they might face in their careers. One such project involves giving students 1.2 terabytes of Twitter data and asking them to compete against other students by building a tweet query web service that meets correctness, budget and throughput requirements. So far, we've had over 770 students complete this course, and as an institution, we are committed to expanding our use of AWS technology in the classroom over the next several years through AWS Educate."

Professor Zack Ives at the University of Pennsylvania shared complete course materials and assignments (jointly developed with his colleague, Professor Andreas Haeberlen) from two classes with AWS Educate. Professor Ives said, "I am a big believer in course projects that fully exercise what the students are learning in the class, and simultaneously demystify the popular services they use every day. We give them realistic projects, such as a full-fledged social network with friend recommendation, or building a Web crawler and search engine. AWS Educate completely changes the scope of the resources we can make available for the project -- even in a large class, they see what it takes to truly harness Hadoop, cloud key-value stores, and clusters of virtual machines. This experience is imperative to giving them the ability and confidence to succeed in their future careers. I'm happy to share my coursework with the AWS Educate educator community, and look forward to learning from fellow computer science professors."

The Los Angeles High Impact Information Technology, Entertainment & Entrepreneurship, and Communications Hubs (LA HI-TECH) is a regional consortium of eight community colleges with a mission of building and sustaining a skilled and competitive workforce that contributes to the economic growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). "By providing content, training resources, and access to AWS credits for students, AWS Educate helps us create clear career pathways in IT for almost 2,000 community college students," said Dr. Patricia Ramos, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, Santa Monica College and West Regional Hub Chair of LA HI-TECH. "Our regional consortium of eight Los Angeles-area community colleges, LA Unified School District, and four other school districts and charters, relies on access to new technology and knowledge sharing between educators to equip our students with the skills needed to succeed in a competitive workforce."

For more information or to join AWS Educate, visit

New features and enhancements--including tiered administration, group management, and premium customer support--make it easier for organizations to use Whispercast at-scale

Whispercast supports devices using the free Kindle reading app, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and phones, Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs

May 2015

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched Whispercast 3.0, an update to its free, self-service platform for organizations to easily discover, procure, manage and distribute digital content to nearly any device. Since launch, Whispercast has been adopted by more than 130 of the 250 largest school districts in the U.S., including Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Prince William County Public Schools. Over 2,400 higher education organizations--including 24 of the 30 largest in the U.S.--also use Whispercast, including The University of Texas at Austin, Santa Barbara Business College, and Seton Hall University.

Whispercast distributes eBooks, eTextbooks, apps, documents, and eTextbook rentals to hundreds or thousands of devices already deployed in schools, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, iOS, Android, Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs.

"Amazon launched Whispercast to help make it stress-free for organizations of any size to easily and quickly deliver digital content, in addition to helping manage fleets of devices--and we're excited so many schools have chosen to adopt Whispercast over the years," said Rohit Agarwal, General Manager, Amazon Education. "These customers have given great feedback to inform our roadmap, and many of the features are rolling out today with Whispercast 3.0, including tiered administration and group management, an easier-to-use UI, added payment options and premium customer support."

With Whispercast 3.0, Amazon launches a number of new features to make it easier for education institutions to transition to digital learning, and scale their deployment of technology for every student. The features include:

  • Tiered Administration and Group Management - Whispercast administrators now have more control to easily setup organizational hierarchies and permissions, enabling scalable, centralized or delegated control--as well as organize into structures that make the most sense, whether classes, grades, groups, or other.
  • Digital Transition Services - Amazon will now offer Digital Transition Services tailored for K-12 and higher education organizations with named service representatives to assist with onboarding and implementations at-scale, based on best practices.
  • Easier-to-Use Interface - The updated design includes a new step-by-step setup wizard, making it possible for educators to create groups, add and move users, procure digital content and distribute to their organization, without requiring technology training.
  • New Purchasing Options - Whispercast is expanding the payment methods accepted to procure digital content with purchase orders and purchase cards, in addition to credit and gift cards.

"As a long-time customer of Whispercast, we were excited to test out the new features early," said AJ Phillips, Supervisor of Instructional Technology Director at Prince Williams County Public Schools. "The updated user interface and tiered administration has made it easier than ever to onboard staff using the tool--we have more teachers now using it and they are able to add user groups and individuals more quickly and distribute content in minutes."

"Supporting an accelerated Ed.D. program of K-12 school administrators from across the country has its logistical challenges, but Amazon Whispercast enabled us to instantly distribute digital textbooks and course materials to all students simultaneously," said Jan Furman, Ed.D., Program Director at Seton Hall University. "Whispercast removes logistical concerns associated with traditional course material distribution. The benefits from both the student and program operations perspectives are tremendous."

"Our team evaluated several options when researching how to digitally engage our students," said Matthew Johnston, President of Santa Barbara Business College. "Without a doubt, Amazon's Whispercast solution and device selection aligned best experientially and financially with our requirements and student needs."

With Whispercast, educational institutions can access the Kindle Store's unmatched collection of over 3 million books, textbooks, newspapers, and magazines, from thousands of publishers. The selection includes over 6,000 standards-aligned titles from National Geographic, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, Lerner Publishing Group, Cherry Lake Publishing, Sleeping Bear Press and Penguin Random House, including leveled readers, chapter books and literature classics. Institutions using Whispercast also have access to the Amazon Appstore with over 400,000 apps, including popular education apps like Duolingo: Learn Languages Free, BrainPop, PBS Kids, Starfall and Quizlet.

Whispercast also makes it easy for educational institutions to manage fleets of devices--organizations that have deployed Amazon devices can register and seamlessly manage the settings on all their devices using Whispercast, including adding password protection, centrally configuring wireless connectivity to their organizations' private networks and restricting individual purchases.

To learn more about Whispercast, visit


-- QBR Wheatley Awards, Friday, July 17, 2015 --

-- The Harlem Book Fair, Saturday, July 18, 2015 --


May 2015

The Harlem Book Fair (www.harlembookfair.com) has selected "Reading the World" (#readingtheworld) as the theme for its 17th year celebration of Black writing and authors. Attended by over 20,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span’s BookTV, the Harlem Book Fair stands as the nation’s flagship African American literary event.

The Harlem Book Fair (HBF), the nations' largest and most-respected African American book festival, is supported by Columbia University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the New York Public Library, Barnes & Noble, the national bookseller; and First Book, the social enterprise that distributes new books and educational resources to educators and program leaders serving children in need.

The presentation of the QBR Wheatley Book Awards will open the Harlem Book Fair on the evening of July 17th."This annual award, named for the first published African-American female writer, is given for literary work that ‘transcends culture, boundary, and perception". The program blends awards presentations into an entertaining evening of music, letters, and stellar performances.

Wheatley Legacy proposed nominees include Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni and Edward P. Jones. Prizes in eight writing categories will be awarded " Debut Fiction and Non-fiction, Best Fiction and Best Non-Fiction, Best Poetry, and Best Children's and Young Adult Book. The Wheatley Book Award presentations will take place on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. The Wheatley Awards are open to industry professionals, independent authors and publishers, media, readers and the general public. To reserve seating for the QBR Wheatley Book Awards, visit the Harlem Book Fair website or EventBrite.com.

The Harlem Book Fair, an all-day indoor and outdoor festival, will take place on Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The outdoor festival takes place on West 135th Street from Lenox Avenue (6th Avenue) to Frederick Douglass, Jr. Boulevard (8th Avenue) in Harlem, New York.

The HBF will host five indoor venues, the Schomburg Center's Hughes Auditorium, where our Author Talks are broadcast on C-Span's BookTV; the Countee Cullen library, which hosts author discussions, and author and publishing-related workshops and seminars; the luminous gallery space of Harlem Hospital, which hosts Authors Readings and discussions; our single author readings, presented at the Barnes & Noble Reading Stations; and the outdoor HBF Author MainStage, which features Spoken Word poets, dance, music and other performances.

The Harlem Book Fair invites publishers, independent authors, book vendors, and artists to exhibit, promote and sell their work to its receptive audience. Applications are available online at www.harlembookfair.com. The Harlem Book Fair is a family event that is free and open to all.

Energy Healing Through Writing

By Carla Wynn Hall 

Mau 2015

Energy Healing

Women writers may find HEALTH benefits from putting pen to paper.

Everything is Energy. Energy is the life force which beats our heart and creates happiness in life. Many times women have what is called blocks in their energy field. These blocks show up during her day to day affairs.

A good way to measure energy is to simply gauge on a daily basis how you are feeling. For example, during a funeral or painful life event, energy feels low, hard and heavy. In contrast, the birth of a baby creates a very positive and happy energy. We are all simply manifestations of energy in human form.

Writing is a PROCESS of release.Releasing stuck emotions is one of the very best methods of healing. When we have encountered trauma so intense that it wakes us in the night with panic attacks and anxiety, it is time to do something to raise our energy up.

Little by little when we start to write a story, we start to heal our life. Now, I don't mean we have to write our entire story of pain and trauma. In fact, writing nearly anything can start the energy healing process.

Here are some good ways to write YOUR story and BEGIN to heal your energy field.

I PRACTICED EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique to help release old emotions.

Start with Gratitude. The most profound and powerful word in the English language, gratitude is magical. Using your pen, start to write what you are grateful for. This can be for a person, place, thing, time or event. You can even begin to heal when you are grateful for the negative events in life which teach us very valuable lessons.

Secondly, write about you. Who are you? Where did you go to school? What is YOUR favorite ice cream? These little things help you to feel good about yourself. By GOING BACK into your past, you can empower your present and fortify your future.

Finally, you may want to start to write a blog. Writing a blog allows you to write daily about anything you like. Each time you write your energy heals a little.

How do you know when your energy begins to heal?

One of the best ways to recognize your energy field healing is happening, is to observe the way you feel inside. You know the feeling? It's like being BACK into the happiest time in your life.

Simply BEGIN to write your story. It will help you heal.

Find me on Facebook "Carla Wynn Hall"

What Do Ghostwriters Charge?

By Karen S Cole 

May 2015

What do ghostwriters charge? Or, what do ghost writers charge? Well, a set amount of money, as signed to through contract, is the general method. Some ghost writers or ghostwriters work without a contract, but it's not the best method. When you do things that way, the client forgets they have begun the project and starts waiting around for "free work" to be performed. Meanwhile, a boiler plate contract where only the ghost writer or ghostwriter benefits is not one of the best methods either. This is because the client may feel "gypped" and not like his or her ghost after that. A contract shouldn't be slanted one way or the other; it should cover the rights and responsibilities of both the writer and his or her client. Their clients, in other words.

So... you must sign a contract between you two. The writer and the client. It must lay out what's needed in legal language between two people, including any companies involved. Next, it should be understood that the contract is held legal in whatever venue it's signed in or under. If the Internet, that changes the rules. If written up by the ghost writer or ghostwriter (this is usually the case, not by the client, but sometimes it is indeed that other way around), it is in the venue of the state of residence (or country) of the ghost writer or ghostwriter. If by the client, it is under the jurisdiction of the state and/or country of the client. Or clients. Or company of the client or clients. It's that simple, but if under Internet venue, it's a different situation.

Anyway, the contract will lay out what do ghostwriters charge... in other words, what the ghost writer is going to charge. This may be any amount from say $250 USD to $250,000 USD, depending on the nature of the project, the amount of expertise and experience of the ghost writer or ghostwriter, etc. It definitely also depends on the budgetary needs of the client, each and every time. So a 200-300 page book ghost writing project (whether or not it's a book ghost writing project is up to you and your ghost) may cost between $1,000 to $50,000 USD for example, paid upfront all at once or in installments. It's flexible and loose. But remember, your book ghost writer, affordable or otherwise, needs to be paid.

The ghost is a professional ghostwriter, such as a professional book ghostwriter or affordable book ghost writer of some stripe or other... you need to sign a contract with said person before starting on said job. If you don't, and let things fall through the cracks, it can end said job. Make sure there is a contract each time, and sign it with your partner, whether it is the client or the ghost writer. That said, all book ghostwriters should pay careful attention to the fact that if you don't sign a contract and have that on your side legally, and also just let the client pay you after the work is completed... you are asking for trouble.

They may not ever pay you. You must collect your pay in advance. It's not a "on spec" world anymore, for either clients or writers. It is now a world where payment must be made in advance, in spite of on spec books. Those are by celebrity clients for celebrity purposes, not ordinary and business oriented people. Regular and business folks, please do bear that in mind. On spec is out of reach nowadays. Sign that contract, and make those payments in advance.

That's all you need to know. As to setting the price, you have a wide range to choose from. And most manuscripts can be written out in advance, and just book coached or rewritten or edited. So if you want to save money, write out your book and have it edited. Or, if you need it mostly ghost written, you must spend more money. Ghost writing an affordable book nowadays requires somehow finding an affordable book ghost writer. So do this, while remembering you will need to have a decent budget set aside, such as $2,000 to $20,000 for a 200-300 page book (range is editing up through ghost writing/rewriting) in order to hire a decent, professional affordable book ghostwriter. If you go lower than that, you might as well hit up a third world country and see what you can get. They might not give you anything but a poorly written, poorly edited book manuscript.

That said, yes, Virginia and Virgil, it is a matter of what you can afford to pay. Keep that in mind, set aside the most you possibly can for such a long-lasting and significant important project as a book or other ghost writing work, and stop thinking you can get away with arranging percentage payments. That said, the book publisher will arrange percentage payments for you. It is a long struggle to figure out how to get a book publisher in line with your own thinking, and to get paid the right way through percentages. It's a whole other business, one which you will have to work like sixty to figure out. A whole other story than what do ghostwriters charge.

Good luck with it, because it is still doable to make your own percentage payments that way. By the publishers paying out to you. But you will not get pay in advance, except for a book advance. It's the best thing to try for to begin with, if you can lay out your ideas and get a book advance from a book publisher. If not, hire a good affordable book ghostwriter to help you create something professional that will get a publisher's attention.

GHOST WRITER, INC. - ghostwriter, copy editor, proofreader, rewriter and book author - and our team of 130+ writing field related workers, many of which are NYT best selling authors. We have contacts with literary agents, commercial publishers and literary/film field professionals.

We are an online writing services agency with an experienced team of professional freelance and contracting book authors, ghostwriters, copy editors, proofreaders, manuscript rewriters, screenwriters, scriptwriters, graphic artists, digital photographers, analysts, film producers and other film, movie, TV and video industry pros - who may help you get your book manuscripts made into movies, films, videos or TV shows.

GWI is at http://www.rainbowriting.com - write us at karen@rainbowriting.com for swift help on your worthwhile writing project.


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