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 February, 2009

Blind Faith
 by Michael Levy, Professional Optimist

How many people ruin their lives by blind faith in one way or another. It could be blind faith in a financial adviser or manager who has a super track record..... (continued below...)


Publishing Trends 2009

by: Bruce L. Cook

This month Time Magazine reported that the book industry has changed, utterly.

In the same week, the National Endowment for the Arts (USA) reported research showing markedly increased levels of reading, especially among the young and among certain minority populations.

Something is changing.

Nine years ago this newsletter speculated that e-books would do for publishing what Napster did for music. Wrong! E-books did not do this. But now Print of Demand Publishing (POD) has begun.

Basically, Napster undermined the music publisher’s monopoly of musical talent. A band or vocalist could not achieve success without being anointed by a publisher. However, when it came to books, the new e-books failed to achieve enough popularity to undermine book publishers. Instead, today, Print on Demand publishers have begun.

For example, in the 1990’s, a writer from Nigeria could only dream of publishing a novel, no matter how talented he or she was. “Vanity publishers” like Vantage Press were available, but these were charging thousands of dollars and, of course, the marketplace did not take their products seriously.

Enter LightningSource (later Booksurge), spearheading the effort to allow authors to publish their own books and sell them one at a time, without having to print multiple copies, store them somewhere, and arrange for them to be mailed out. Today Booksurge seems to be working to establish its own monopoly in the new system, which is called Print on Demand (POD).

Today many POD publishers are competing. If a writer is careful, she or he can learn basic elements of composition and computers, obtain art, and actually upload and publish a book in a half hour. The book will be immediately available in an online store. (If you are interested, I can provide a free PowerPoint file from a conference presentation where I explained how to do this on Lulu. Just write me at cookcomm@gte.net.)

Now the problem is for the author to market and publicize the work. Here the author misses the publisher who has an ongoing marketing campaign that can produce sales. Typically the POD author makes few, if any, book sales.

Meanwhile, the reading audience grows, and we hope that new readers can browse and buy products from many emerging writers who the publishing industry, for its own valid reasons, has been unable to consider.

Now, with a combination of POD and e-books, there is a new world of opportunities for writers and independent book marketing professionals. Hopefully, the books they write and promote will become a literary asset worth reading.




Blind Faith.. (continued)

The Madoff ponzi scam fooled many clever rich people who never questioned how their money was invested. They were attracted to  regular high interest gains and never questioned how it was achieved.

Another example of blind faith is allowing the medical processionals take full responsibility for an individuals health. The third leading cause of death in the USA is staff infections in hospitals, therefore taking charge for ones own health and well being seems the most sensible approach.

Having blind faith means not questioning why you believe something is true. It means relying on what you are told by other people or ancient holy books written by folks who thought they had a handle on true facts. Maybe some of what is told by past generations is true and then again maybe most of it is fallacies posing as truthfulness. Some of the most likable and credible people turn out be the biggest scoundrels and swindlers because the more believable they seem, the more people they can cheat. If it is only money the swindles take then it is just a hard lesson leant.

Unfortunately, when people are indoctrinated at an early age with blind faith, their whole lives can be ruined by the fear of rebelling against the erroneous reference point built up in their minds. The suicide bombers in the Middle East are a prime example of how blind faith can be the cause of death and destruction. However, that is only the tip of a much larger iceberg of unquestionable trust people practice to delude themselves.

Delusions start early in life with parental guidance that has been handed down from generation to generation. Once born into a religious belief system or a non-religious belief system the conditioning of the brain is seldom challenged. As a person extends their convictions the more entrenched they become.

The educations system in the main helps to dumb down the human brain by limiting the way students are taught. Most schools and universities do not appreciate free thought that questions the judgements of those who hold the power to formulate the curriculums. The few teachers who do question the system are quickly dispatched outside of it. A few do try and bring some kind of meaningfulness into the classroom however, most students minds contain conditioned thinking so the authentic teachers role is limited for fear of going too far in an valid direction.

When fresh truthfulness occasionally tries to apply itself to the education system, greater resistance will formulate from people in power, who cannot grasp how the delusions of their brain are holding the keys to their thinking functions. It becomes a catch 22 situation where the blind lead the blind into deeper recess of blind faith in every area of human existence.

So much so, the mainstream media, the financial markets, and large corporations are all being brought to heel by their own deluded intellectual understanding of how to think in a truthful manner. Truthful thoughts bring genuine results whereas delusory thoughts induce the results we read in our daily newspapers. The word delusion means something that is believed to be true or real but that is actually false or unreal. So, how real or true is the belief systems of most people? If anyone say’s that they hold the truth then at best it is just one persons perspective of what they believe truth to be. However, in the final analysis, truth will always speak for itself and the results will also follow.

Good, bad or indifferent, a persons life can be summed up on their deathbed and they will know then if blind faith has lead them on a merry or miserable path. A few people will question how their mind absorbs information and the wise ones will work out the answers that very few others will accept ... The question yet to be answered is how much longer can humanity survive in a world of blind faith filled with so many intellectual experts?

Michael Levy is the author of nine inspirational books and an international radio show host. Michael's poetry and essays now grace many web sites, newspapers, journals and magazines throughout the world. He is a prominent speaker on health maintenance, stress eradication, wealth development, authentic happiness and inspirational poetry. His new book-Paradise Graces A Simple Mind - is available at all good book stores and Michael's web site:

In Love & Joy
Michael Levy. Professional Optimist
PO BOX 7, 3032 East Commercial Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL 33308

About the Author
Michael Levy's philosophy of life is one of joyful optimism. He is an international radio host and the author of nine inspirational books.
Michael was born in a poor district in Manchester, England on the 6th March 1945. After many life experiences and a very successful business career he retired to Florida in 1992.
In 1998 Michael established Point of Life, Inc., as a vehicle to project his philosophy. The website www.pointoflife.com and the associated newsletter (Point Of Life Global Newsletter) are visited and read by thousands of people around the world every month.
Michael is a frequent speaker on radio, television and at seminars where he shares and discusses his views about the purpose of life, finance and stock market investments, also living a healthy, stress-free life. His new book; Paradise Graces A Simple Mind, is now available from all good bookstores.


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Publishing New Writers,

February, 2009 (no. 1002)


Publisher: Bruce L. Cook, 6086 Dunes Dr, Sanford, NC 27332.

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