BOOK the BUSINESS ISBN: 9781599324074 Advantage Media Group, copyright and written by Adam Witty and Dan Kennedy.

Sub-titled How to make BIG MONEY without Even Selling a Book, contains 13 chapters beginning with The Big Idea of making Money with your Book, No B.S. There follow chapters describing the Best Customers; why a book is a fine marketing tool; how to use it to build an authoritative position; as the Ultimate Lead Generation Tool; to gain Speaking Engagements; to obtain Free Publicity/media coverage; in Personal Selling; as the Ultimate Referral Marketing Tool; to boost your direct mail; for Fast Product Creation and Additional Income Streams; to Get others to pay for your Marketing; Fast Action Implementation Resources; and finally the One Secret Nobody Tells You and Putting Your Plan into Action specifically contributed by Adam Witty. An Afterword by Dan Kennedy follows and Resources, and About the Authors conclude the presentation.

Discussion: This book is based upon the long accepted, and probably largely correct, assumption that writing a book elevates the author to a position of authority providing he/she has presented verifiable material. Its authors are eminently positioned to set forth suggestions that this premise positions a pertinent book’s author to employ it as a powerful marketing tool that will provide far more than any compensation he/she could gain by providing it simply as a book for sale. Adam Witty is the Founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group that publishes self-improvement and Professional Development books. Dan Kennedy is author and/or co-author of twenty books on the subject, a leader in marketing, copyrighting and business building who has established a worldwide organization to which individuals pay monthly for membership. Thus, when they explain how your authorship of a book on the subject about which you are most knowledgeable can produce what they refer to as “Invisible Income Streams”, their suggestions appear to stem from a superior understanding of the situation. Specifically, your book “provides name recognition in your chosen niche”. As presented in the pages of this book, their suggestions with respect to how your omnipresence offers ways of having others market for you, to promote you without ‘selling’, obtaining speaking engagements, media coverage and more. From this reviewer’s perspective the authors have quite thoroughly, and quite adroitly covered their subject. However, it would seem necessary to provide a small caveat so as to mitigate any confusion for a budding author with respect to writing fiction and non-fiction. Having written and successfully published (as well as taught a university level writing course) in both areas, I believe their expressed opinion that the simple difference between the two is that fiction requires talent and creativity and can be arduous whereas non-fiction is what you know and what you’re willing to research may require a few more words. Fiction does require talent and creativity and can be ’arduous’ in the amount of research required to provide credibility to your plot and the activities included (unless engaged in the fantasy genre). This is why fiction writers usually are told ‘to stick to what they know’. Non-fiction also is described correctly as a collection of what you know and what you are willing to research. However, the newbie by no means should overlook the importance of creativity and talent. They first must have the creative spark that allows them to ferret out the fact(s) that others miss AND the talent to weave them into a single unit that supplies a usable tool to supply answers to the discovered ‘niche’.

5* Highly recommended with small caveat suggested.

Will to Die

The Will to Die ISBN: 9780985957681 Z Squared Media, copyright and written by Joe Pulizzi.

Will Pollitt, the protagonist, along with his partner Robby are attempting to sell a new marketing proposal to a prominent Cincinnati, OH company that markets an extremely popular type of ice cream product. They really need it to be accepted because their own organization’s bank account is a little shaky and Will’s personal one non-existent. In fact his numerous credit cards are maxed out and he just had received a final note from his daughter Jess’s university that he either pay her next tuition installment or she would no longer be a student. He was five hundred thousand in debt and struggling with a gambling addiction that finally had led him to Gamblers Anonymous. His wife, whom he still loved dearly, had left him when, after telling her he would never do it again, she had found out he again was involved. Added to this, Denise, his older sister informs him that his father, owner of one of the two funeral homes in Sandusky has passed away. He returns to his home and discovers that the business was in a rather bad financial state and his dad’s attorney and closest friend who always had been almost a family member and known as ‘Uncle Dan’ says that he, William, has been left the business with a suggestion by his father he try it for a year. Among attendant ensuing complications are an offer for more than twice the worth of the business from the other funeral home in the city, the son and co-owner of which had been his closest friend growing up; the fact that he desperately needed the money; his ex-wife worked as the embalmer in his father’s business; incongruity  in ‘vibes’ he was receiving from Dan as well as others; Janet, his father’s office manager who also had a close relationship to the family and her position; Jack, long-time ‘man  Friday’ for the business and Will’s friend; discovery of a set of daily journals his father had left secretly for him; a gradually evolving understanding of the existence of a widely distributed plot to eliminate anyone who deviated from the beliefs set forth by a ‘white supremacists-like group. This later complicated even further by the fact that Robby, Will’s partner and friend, was of mixed parentage and his sister Denise was a lesbian. The ensuing action masterfully is blended into a tale of suspense, mystery and excellent investigative work presented in a highly convoluted manner to culminate in an exciting and until then, quite well-hidden agenda.

Conclusion: This story is a little slow developing but provides a most engaging tale of combined mystery and suspense generated by greed and white supremacy well-hidden through deceit, treachery, betrayal and modern technology in an agenda entirely possible with today’s technology.  One that is revealed only by astute observations combined with revelations conjured up from the mental acuity of an individual who instinctively was of a highly empathetic nature with an excellent memory and recall ability. These abilities combined with a high level of investigative activity ultimately reveal this well-hidden clandestine activity. And, as a pertinent and amusing aside, this first book of fiction was written by a well-known/respected author of non-fiction “because I wanted the love of my life and best friend, Pam, to read one of my books (my other five published books are business marketing books, which she doesn’t care for)”.

5* Captivating, highly recommended ‘different’ mystery/suspense.

Aligning the Dots

Aligning the Dots ISBN: 9781734208719 Seward (?) Business Press copyright and written by Phillippe Bouissou, PhD.

Sub-titled, the new paradigm to grow any business, this book, like most in the genre, opens with “Additional praise” by prominent business leaders, list of trademarks, Photograph and Art Credits and the book’s Contents that contains a statement on “How to read this book” followed by a another “Why you should read this book”. Next listed, 9 chapters, most including detailed pertinent studies; 1. The Growth Imperative, one case study; 2. Alignment of Everything. 3. Introduction to the A4 Precision Alignment™ Paradigm, one study; 4. First Axis: Pain vs. Claim, three; 5. Second – Perception vs. Message, four; 6. Third – Purchase vs. Sale, three; 7. Fourth – Delight vs. Offering, two; 8. Building your Growth Playbook, four; 9. Internal alignment, two studies. A Summary, Index, Acknowledgements and About the Author conclude the book. The content begins simply with an explanation of “How to read this book” describing that it has been written “so that you can maximize the return on the time you invest in it. Skip around and read it in a non-linear fashion if that suits you. Or read it cover to cover.” Accompanying are suggestions for reading the material if you have 3 minutes, ten minutes, thirty or “more time or can’t fall asleep”. A more detailed explanation of “Why you should read this book” then provides an opening to the substantive material of the chapters as listed above.

Discussion: An interesting summary of “What we have learned” after one chapter/section’s presentation. “It’s the beginning of a quiet revolution I call The Reverse Movement, It is a profound change with lasting effects, where products and services and ease-of-transaction are delivered to the customer, not the opposite as it has been up until now.” Another highly interesting section is set forth in the fourth axis of alignment in the A4 Precision Alignment™ methodology which explains the concept presented by the somewhat perplexing title “Delight vs. Offering”; viz. “between the delight the customer is expecting after the acquisition of the product and the experience he or she receives using the product”. Further admonishment is provided to the effect that there is only one business regardless of whether it offers farm machinery, beauty products or anything in-between and that is the delivery of delight at a level the customer wants and expects. The author further reduces a company’s effectiveness to a simple formula: “Growth Contribution = Experienced Delight – Expected Delight.”  Further provided are steps required in taking what he titles the “Delightfulness Journey”. From replies to a questionnaire, numbers are gained which provide further information. Importance of asking pertinent questions, gaining necessary date, aligning them properly, gaining critical insight from them and finally applying them properly are stressed. The importance of Internal Alignment, as well as external, is critical for growth to occur. The Summary amusingly includes material “For those who want a quick reference … or are one of those readers who skip to the end.” The last 15% of the book are devoted to a most helpful Index, a sizable number of Acknowledgements and a modestly short About the Author.

5* Somewhat ‘different’ approach to initiate/continue business growth.

Reclaiming our Own

Reclaiming our Own ISBN: 9781733497626, self-published, copyright and written by Christopher Irons,

The book opens with Brett Moore, oldest of 3 brothers complaining to his wife Riley about having to meet with his brother and sister-in-law and their twin 4-yr-old daughters Adrianna and Brooklyn and 2-yr old son at a local mall at the beginning of a three-day week-end. Ethan and Kathy Moore are a typical American family – he is a 65 hour per week accountant while she is stay home mom. Riley reminds him that he loves kids and should spend less time on his computers anyway. The story quickly moves into a suspense/thriller. The two-year-old, who they had decided would be better off left with Kathy’s friend at the mall’s childcare center while they shopped, was kidnapped. Brett manages to see the kidnappers, chases, reaches and ends inside the van entangled with the kidnapper. There are two more inside however, and he is knocked out. He finally revives chained in an unknown building and the plot gradually evolves. An apparently sizable ring of kidnappers of small children for adoption or release for large ransom because some who are children of wealthy/prominent families, is functioning throughout much of the country. Little knowledge of the organization has been learned because of the involvement of dirty government agents, and the apparent abduction of a child of someone highly placed in the organization. Wade Scott, a government agent with whom Brett served 10 years in the 75th Ranger Unit enters the picture, more is learned of Brett’s typically appropriate activities as a ranger, other members of the old unit assemble and the pace accelerates even more. Further detail obviously would be a disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: The author has provided an interesting scenario of deceit, deception, treachery, betrayal, and cruelty aptly met with courage and well-orchestrated response. A perhaps minor feature of the tale that a few words of explanation might clarify for those knowledgeable enough to question some of the results of combatant activity. Long accepted procedure in a gun fight was to dispatch two shots to the body (the greatest bodily mass) and is employed here. Today’s point of aim has been altered if possible however, to more difficult head shots because almost universal use of tactical vests/body armor. It is assumed that head shots were not feasible in some cases and that some type of tactical vest or body armor mitigated the effect to a manageable degree. Thus, the one most questionable portion of the story is explicable, so as a whole, the tale as set forth should be of great appeal to aficionados of thriller/suspense and actually for anyone who enjoys reading of justice dominating in this time when the country’s judiciary seems to appear involved in questionable activities.

5* Enjoyable thriller/suspense apropos discussion.

Evolution Tested

Evolution Tested, Library of Congress #2019905164 Outskirts Press, copyright and written by CS Stephens,

(Reviewer’s apology for length of review seemingly required.)

Sub-titled “Evolution & Empiricism Viewed through Engineering Standards”, this book presents a treatise resulting from the observed fact that although skepticism of Darwinian claims continue and some highly placed scientists and even a legal judgement support the claims, religions provide mixed reviews and a large number of physicians, dentists, and engineers repute them. Here, after some opening discussion of various claims in the Preface, the author offers a theme adopted by engineers as the Salem Hypothesis, which briefly assumes the existence of more than one type of skepticism – the irrational Pyrrhonian or radical view that refuses to believe anything because even evidence of the highest quality cannot be believed, and two types of scientific skepticism; 1. No one knows anything about anything, and 2. We know only the contents of our own minds. And because both can exist in the same person, empiricism or evidence-based results, are required. He follows with what to expect in the ensuing ten part discussion. Each, subdivided to a varying degree, follows with his application of the Hypothesis to evolution; its claims; aspects of DNA/evolutionary hypotheses; complexity of ‘First Life’ formation; Problematica (little known outside the “evolutionary practitioners” who study creatures “which have nothing in common with either known modern or deep time phyla”); analysis of evolution theory as a unifying concept; specific claims for evolution and treatment of coherent dissent by the evolution community. A Final Analysis recalls: “Darwin presciently outlined the failure zones of his theory. His failure criteria have been met, yet evolutionary theorists press on, regardless”. Further, a Condensed Summary of 12 falsifiers for evolution and five appendices conclude the book; A. discussion of knowledge in general and the essential disciplines of rational thought; B. movement from Aristotelian destructive logic, to the steps required for, and application of, objective thinking; C. examines when probabilities actually are impossibilities; D. “Understanding Life”; E. Validating Aristotle’s First Principles of Thought mathematically.

Discussion: This is one of the more thorough evaluations of a subject I have read. It also is quite literalistic, precisionist and in large part scholastic. In many ways it is reminiscent of PhD theses I’ve read.  According to the author, “The first purpose of this investigation is to analyze the purported scientific practice of evolutionary professionals compared to both the Enlightenment definition of Empiricism and the actual practices required of engineering disciplines. The second purpose is to determine whether there is sufficient cause to designate evolution as a pristine, disciplined source of objective knowledge. There will be no references or inferences to design, because this work is solely focused on evolutionary theory and its relationship to objective knowledge and truth. (But design will (be) mentioned – as above – when quoting evolutionists who falsely attack it as a concealed aspirational cause when it is not, rather than proving their own assertions. That’s a Red Herring Fallacy.)” He also states that because “evolution is a milieu of hypotheses” both complementary and contradictory, even interim ones that have expired exist so “It is an interesting task to attempt to organize the personal “theories” of many evolutionary ‘experts’ into reasonable form in order to analyze their content for applicability to the general knowledge base as containing either objective knowledge, or subjective knowledge.” Objective knowledge being defined as “inductive-reductive-hypothetico-deductive-objective-demonstration-falsification. Subjective knowledge – “inductive-extrapolative-hypothetico.” His stated goal – “decision to decide and emphasize that evolutionary pursuit can be shown to be a generator of objective knowledge”. Discussions of varying length ensue apropos all of the above-listed subjects.

From this reviewer’s perspective, two of the more interesting inclusions are the dating of fossils where he quotes Willian Durant, author (with his wife) of the eleven volume The Story of Civilization: “Most history is guessing – the rest is prejudice.” Because it is impossible to link chains of cause and effect in any valid way, his deductions “are sustained more in our minds than in reality and are informed and conditioned by our prejudices, which will tell us NOT what happened, but what we think OUGHT to have happened” and explores the numerous ways of dating fossils and what successively has been learned and concludes. Thus: “There is no hard, material, empirical, contingent fact which grounds any of the many molecular clock hypotheses.” The second subject should be of interest to religious leaders involved in the discussions – Molecular Biology, the composition of DNA, the importance of the function of mRNA as messenger thereby securing the fact that random proteins can NOT be the origins of life. Also, the more recent information that human genome’s nucleotides may play more than a single role.

Summary: The author has provided a thorough, scholarly treatise of a rather esoteric subject that elicits thoughts of PhD theses. Fundamentally it is well done, beautifully referenced and substantiates his conclusions. Most regrettably, however, the author projects a third, unlisted agenda – proposal of a belief that engineering provides a superior quality of investigation to that of other ‘scientists’: “Engineering is completely secular and materialistic; no deities are summoned and no chickens are sacrificed in the process of engineering. Engineering requires disciplined adherence to Enlightenment values: objective knowledge through thorough testing is both required and valued by engineers…” These and other quotations denigrating members of other scientific disciplines and reporting of their activities follow. Granted engineering deals with hard structures; e.g. wood, concrete, steel, while other ‘science’ more usually focus on less ‘concrete biological entities’ Also granted is the existence of rivalry between scientists in other disciplines that occasionally and sadly may degenerate into ugly situations. Injection of such puerile thought/activity does NOT belong it science.

Conclusion: This reviewer believes this book deserves: 5* as an Erudite examination of Empirical data on an esoteric matter for the semantics aficionado; 4* for the religious devotee because once again the ‘spark of life’ has NOT been proven to ignite without a ‘higher power’; 0 – 1* for distasteful material included.

3* 5*Erudite, esoteric treatise descending to 1* for distasteful material included.

A Coin for a Dream

Coin for a Dream published, copyright and written by Mae Adams.

This volume presents a series of short stories, the first fifteen of them told to the author in her early childhood growing up in Korea. They are simple tales, the significance of some perhaps even a little unusual for the uninitiated to absorb. Included are tales of egg ghosts, water ghosts, angels of death, servants of the underworld, a 9-tailed dragon shape-shifter and its nemesis, a 3-legged dog, also of the monstrous part lion, sheep and unicorn haechi with scales, feathers and horns who actually seek justice by punishing the wicked. Other tales, some provided a little later, detail the legends and folktales along with historical explanations of Korean beginnings, religions and practices. Included are tales of how shamans, these mediums between this and the spirit world are created, fascinating explanations of the differences among the Chinese, Japanese and Korean Dragons, discussions of their zodiac, and more. All of these later features gradually and ultimately fade into and join material of a bio- and autobiographical nature.

Discussion: This is the second book by the author of “Precious Silver Chopsticks” which I had reviewed approximately a year ago and stated “This autobiography/memoir is written by an eighty-four-year-old Korean woman of considerable intelligence, fortitude and an amazing ability to survive and prosper” and concluded: “Certainly a relieving catharsis for the author and a book of considerable interest for a diverse reading public.” Because I had witnessed the conditions and people of  Korea during the U.S. involvement, my conclusion with respect to this second book retains my admiration for the author and personally find considerable material she has provided to be quite interesting. But regrettably and in all honesty, I must narrow the scope of those for whom I believe this book will have appeal. There is much redundancy in her presentation and repetition within the body of the work as well as a considerable amount from her first book. Thus, I strongly recommend this book to readers who are interested in learning more about other people, their history, cultures, religions, activities, habits, individual beliefs, and their personal abilities to adapt and especially as depicted here, to survive. For readers with these interests, the subject matter most assuredly requires a 5*. The rating unfortunately must be reduced by 2 because of matters that judicious editing would have removed, plus the most regrettable fact its level of interest for others than those mentioned; i.e. general readership, probably would not be extensive.

3* 5* story regrettably reduced by 2 as explained in the discussion.