Sunday, 18 November 2018

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The Weekend Edition

Good morning,

You probably recognize the name Dr. Carl Sagan, the brilliant astronomer. Many historians regard Sagan as the most important planetary scientist of our generation.

His accomplishments ranged from directing daring, ambitious satellite projects that explored our solar system—Pioneer, Mariner, and Galileo to name a few—to theorizing about moons orbiting Saturn and Jupiter possessing liquid, life-giving compounds, including water. (Later space missions proved these and many more of Sagan’s cosmic theories to be correct.) He even briefed NASA Apollo astronauts about the challenges they would face on the moon.

Back on earth, Sagan co-wrote and narrated the award-winning 13-part PBS television series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television.

He had a rare combination of skills: A brilliant theorist who could also skillfully communicate his mind-expanding ideas to fascinated audiences around the globe.

While most will remember Sagan’s work in helping humankind solve some of the mysteries of space, today I’m more grateful for how this intellectual giant expressed his sense of wonder about another human achievement:

“What an astonishing thing a book is,” marveled Sagan. “It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.”

“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

I used Dr. Sagan’s quote last night at the opening gala for our Independent Authors Conference (IAC18). The conference officially opens today. If you’re reading this email before one of our sessions, track me down and let me know what you thought of Sagan’s statement.

I think it sums up the power and potential of the written word, and self-publishing is its newest and most ambitious experiment to bring more books into the marketplace. Our research continues today at our IAC18.

If you couldn’t make it to the event, you can live-stream my keynote address on Facebook.

All the best,

Steven Spatz

Steven Spatz
President, BookBaby












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Set your priorities and write your book




You have the time to do the things you want to do if you make those things a priority. Make writing a priority and write your book. Read more.



Using writing snippets to exercise your creative mind




Writing snippets are practical, creative exercises that let you work on specific elements of your writing and explore styles outside your comfort zone. Read more.



My 20-step plan to writing a book: Part 2




In this post, I’m following up on the first entry and giving you the last 10 steps in my 20-step process to writing a book you can be proud of. Read more.









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7905 N. Crescent Blvd., Pennsauken, NJ 08110






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