Books

I am a Psychology Today Blogger!

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I'm a Psychology Today Blogger -- my First Post!

My New York publicist for Concussion Is Brain Injury: Treating the Neurons and Me has been working hard to acquaint various media outlets with my book and persuade them to review it. Psychology Today was one of those media. But they decided against reviewing my book — sigh. Instead, on April 17th, they wrote my publicist to invite me to become a Psychology Today blogger! They ended their request with, “Thanks again for reaching out and we hope we can launch this blog here quickly.” Whoa! They want me right away?! What a total self-confidence boost!! The best part: PT pays a stipend per 1000 views. So many blogs and media want people to write for free. PT’s stipend — if I blog at least monthly and achieve more than 1000 views — not only helps my incredibly stressful and awful financial situation, but makes me feel valued, my ideas validated. I could never have become a PT blogger on my own. All kudos to my publicist!

First things first. I had to gather up all the material for a profile, including a new profile picture, and send it directly to my assigned PT editor who then passed it on to the web team. Waiting for it to be set up was so hard! I feel like my brain injury recovery is just one waiting period after another. But unlike waiting to see or hear back from health care professionals, this wait was only a few days. While I waited, my publicist advised me on my first two posts. I whined then acquiesced at the idea of making my first post an intro: how I came to write my book and become a PT blogger. I chose an excerpt for my second post, following his guide on how to choose one, and drafted the two posts up so that once I received my login information, I could charge on and publish my first post.

Uh, not so fast. PT is very particular about posting. I not only had to select a title but also a subtitle for my profile. That was brain-wracking enough. But I have to do that for every single post I publish, too. Gulp. Writing a title is hard enough! I also have to choose an image. Luckily, I have thousands to choose from on my Flickr site. Unluckily, I have thousands! Next, I have to draft teaser text that will appear on the home page. This is seriously challenging my writing skills, I thought.

I discovered that my synopsis — teaser text — title and subtitle writing skills, have improved tremendously since the last time I had to write a synopsis, years and years ago. All this brain biofeedback seems to be improving my working-writing, things like summaries as opposed to books or essays, in addition to my cognition. Nice surprise!

And lastly, for every post, I have to choose topic(s). Not so simple since PT doesn’t have anything related to brain injury. No concussion. No traumatic brain injury. No stroke. No brain hemorrhage. I decided on Resilience and PTSD for my first post and ran them by my editor. He suggested trauma for future posts. That made sense since my brain injury was from trauma. PT has discussed adding concussion to their list of topics. I hope they add it soon! In the meantime, please check out my profile where you’ll find a list of my posts, books linked to Amazon, and online presences. And you can click here to read my first post.

News

Saying Goodbye to @MyABI_byRH

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@MyABI_byRH

I started this a few years ago to open up about living with a brain injury. The brain and emotions something people are scared to talk about” – @MyABI_byRH 18 June 2016

I hope by being open and honest other people can feel less alone and be comfortable that it’s ok to talk.” – @MyABI_byRH 18 June 2016

At 0700 hours BT, July 21, 2016, a fellow traveller on the brain injury journey died from a fall caused by a seizure.

Ppl not on social media talk about relationships on here not being real. @MyABI_byRH died this morn; it feels very real to me. #braininjury” – me on Twitter

I don’t remember how I, a Canadian, first met in the virtual world @MyABI_byRH aka Richard, a young Scotsman. This is why Search was invented: to help us remember that first contact, that first chat.

Memory like a misty ribbon emerges as I search back in time for our first exchange.

Back in the day, @BrainworksRehab was active on Twitter. Weekly, they thanked various tweeps for RTs of their tweets. I decided one day to look for people to follow not just react to those who followed me; so I used to check out the tweeps Brainworks Rehab thanked. I looked for anyone with a brain injury whose personality and thoughts came through their feed, whose tweets were worth reading. That’s how I found @HammondsHead, what Richard used to call himself on Twitter. Seven days later I responded to one of his tweets about getting on with kids better than adults because I so related to that. Boy, did I relate!

I followed him. And he followed back.

At some point, he changed his Twitter handle to @MyABI_byRH – that stands for My Acquired Brain Injury by Richard Hammond

A year later in 2013, his openness about his brain injury, his desire to get better, and him trying mightily yet not quite knowing how to overcome obstacles, sparked in me a desire to create a chat community for people with brain injury similar to Twitter chats I saw for people with diabetes. Because of a recent experiment in enhancing gamma brainwaves, I had become loads better and so felt I could do this.

I created #ABIchat, and Richard participated. But even when he couldn’t, his upbeat vibe for it encouraged me.

Unfortunately, he suffered another head injury only a few months after we got #ABIchat off the ground, and I did not have the energy nor the ability to keep it up (a typical brain injury problem, which I really wish would go away).

I’ve been made aware of this account by my sons. My son Richard uses this to post about his experiences as a (cont) http://tl.gd/n_1s0arc4” – 6 Feb 2014

I had to drop #ABIchat.

But I kept following Richard, although for a long while, his brother Scott or his Mum tweeted on his behalf after his second head injury – keeping up his tweets about his brain injury journey was so important to him that his family tweeted for him though they were not as into Twitter as Richard was. It was my first glimpse at how unconditionally his family rallied round him. I honestly didn’t expect to see him recover to his former baseline. But he did! And I believe it was the daily, active, loving support of his family that made such a diff.

It’s something too many of us don’t have. And I believe it gave him the bedrock he needed to keep tweeting and persevering after such a devastating setback.

It was a delight to see him sneak on to Twitter and begin to write his own tweets again when he was supposed to be resting. And it was a bigger delight to see his written language skills return and to see his thought processes begin to sharpen and mature.


But though the re-injury set him back, Richard never lost his genuine positivity. He invented his hashtag #adaptandovercome not as some sort of feel-good motto I see too often on Twitter but as a natural outflow of the way he viewed himself in the world. It wasn’t just a phrase, it reflected his thoughts, his essence of innocence, his determination and drive to improve, his desire to nurture and his compassion for others suffering from brain injury – well, anyone really, including remarkably, people who misused his trust. His compassionate-forgiving spirit flowed through his tweets to all of us who read them.

This past Spring, he unexpectedly became a father. Though scared, he didn’t hesitate to be there in every way for his daughter, even before she was born. He loved her like crazy; in only a few weeks, she changed his focus. She became, for him, the reason to redouble his efforts to #adaptandovercome.

I have such a fantastic life right now, and such a beautiful daughter. Luckiest man on earth.” – @MyABI_byRH 20 July 2016

Never thought I could love someone so much. She’s my reason for being now. My reason for pushing myself. https://t.co/3swIeGEkCg” – @MyABI_byRH 19 July 2016

Our last exchange was about his daughter, naturally.

There are few like Richard on Twitter or in “real life,” and his spirit is what I will miss the most.

Brain Health

Growing Social Media Divide Leads to Bad Advice

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I’m not often told it might be good to avoid Twitter or to give it a break, but when I am — and when others with brain injury are — it’s by people not on Twitter or who have a lurking-only account. And who don’t know or understand how I use it.

They’re unhelpful.

They’re unhelpful because they don’t understand how Twitter works. And so they advise the blunt instrument of total avoidance instead of helping me or anyone with brain injury avoid the “negative” while allowing us to still play in the fun social sandbox.

One reason us people with brain injury are told to stop is because of “oversharing.” This is part of a larger discussion about our cultural shift to emoting more in public, to creating closer ties even with people we’ve never met in real life, to the trolls among us and how to protect ourselves from them. But the oversharing I’ve seen people with brain injury are criticized for is nothing compared to what some non-brain injury people do. I think the advice to us in this case smacks a bit of the patronizing attitude so systemic towards people with brain injury. Talking out consequences but leaving it up to the individual to decide if they can handle it is way more respectful than telling them stupid stuff like, “what will your daughter think?” Maybe their child will realize their parent is a suffering human and learn some compassion.

Another reason given to avoid it is when we’re bothered by tweets from a certain individual. In that case mute block report that individual is the better option, and I’ve written about that before.

Another reason can be overload. This is a valid concern. We people with brain injury are prone to sensory and informational overload. Couple that with impaired ability to stop, and you have massive energy drain. Years and years ago, I began to turn off the computer and go offline Saturday night and not turn anything back on until sometime on Monday (very occasionally Tuesday). That broke any addictive cycle that had been building up over the week. It also gave me the rest I needed.

The iPhone has complicated things for me because it has apps on it that I find restful or distracting. It is a computer but not a computer. It’s my second brain; it helps me function and relax. But the iPhone has the ability to connect to the online world through its data connection, and with the phone plan I have, I don’t worry about data costs. Deadly!

Worse, brain injury tends to kibosh self-control and habits are hard to keep.

But I’ve held this habit for so long that I don’t forget it, like all my other ones. And if I do sneak online, this habit keeps me from not participating. One complicating factor is I do need a data connection to message people — messaging is the new phone calling and, frankly, a lot easier to keep in touch with others no matter one’s schedule. But I’m not exactly a social butterfly anyway.

And sometimes no matter who you are, just like we all need a vacation from work or from family, having an annual or every-four-months week-or-two-week-long vacation from Twitter or Facebook is a good way to recharge the social batteries.

But for day to day, instead of wholesale avoidance, the health care provider should be suggesting:

  • Focus on your Twitter list of close friends.
  • Just look at your hobby list.
  • Muffle the political tweets that are sending you ballistic until you’re ready to get back into the game.
  • Follow your favourite Twitter chat and then turn Twitter off till the morning.

But they cannot unless they use social media. Just another reason why the divide is growing and causing friction between the patients on social media and the health care providers and friends and family members who are not — to the detriment of the patient’s social and emotional health.

Brain Power

Announcing the Launch of #ABIchat on Twitter

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One of the great things about Twitter is the way it fosters conversations, the way people support each other. One of the things the brain injury community is lacking is a place to chat regularly on Twitter. And so I am launching a regular Twitter chat I’ve given the moniker “#ABIchat.”

After seeing other medical communities holding supportive chats, I’d been thinking about getting a brain injury chat going for several months, but it took a conversation with @HammondsHead to kick my butt into gear. And then @BrainworksRehab was so enthusiastic, I knew it was the right time to do it.

I want #ABIchat to be an inclusive community. Those of us with brain injury too often sit outside society, and sometimes we feel isolated even from the people who care for us, whether health care and rehab professionals, caregiving folk, family, or friends. And so I want #ABIchat to be a place where we build bonds between us as individuals and us as members of different groups, where we learn about each other, where we support each other, and where we learn more about brain injury and how to heal it and us. Lofty goals, I know! But you can’t get places without lofty sometimes!

I called it #ABIchat because it is about more than traumatic brain injury; it is for any kind of acquired brain injury, from traumatic to concussion to stroke to anoxia to aneurysm and all in between.

After much hemming and hawing in true brain-injury style, I will launch the inaugural one-hour #ABIchat on Twitter on Monday, August 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM ET (Toronto time). For people in the UK, that will be 9:00 PM; for people on the west coast, that will be 1:00 PM. I hope you will join us! And please spread the word. More details will follow as I set up a web page.

Update 17 Aug 2013: Web Page is set up for #ABIchat and live in the header bar above.

Concussion is Brain Injury

BiblioCrunch and Twitter

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When having trouble with a company, go to Twitter. So it was with BiblioCrunch when I had a tiny problem: no response to my support request email within the 24-hour window they had promised on their site. I tweeted my plaint and expected nada, for it was on Saturday, usually when all but the largest companies are off.

Within a very few minutes, I received a reply — an apology and a request to email her directly. And I received a DM with the email address and another apology. I hopped to it and sent an email. But as swiftly as I emailed, they were swifter in reply and in helping me sort out my problem.

And then they went further: they offered to post my book cover and links on their Facebook and Pinterest pages, and they had noticed my book launch tweets for my soon-to-be-released book Concussion Is Brain Injury and offered to send some tweets my way too. Now that's a company that understands customer service! No wonder they sponsored National Novel Writing Month and were one of the NaNoWriMo winner goodies (yup, I had another winning November; though for the first time ever, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this novel). I now look forward to using their site!

 

Marketing

Joined LinkedIn

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I joined LinkedIn. It was inevitable. It just took me awhile to succumb.

LinkedIn is the “world’s largest professional network, helping people find and share opportunities every day.

I don’t know exactly how it’ll work for me, but I hear many authors find it useful. In the coming days, I’ll explore more how it works, but for now I have most of my profile completed. If you’re on LinkedIn, please join my network — you may find my public profile here.

Internet and Computers

Prepping Manuscript for Smashwords: Tedium Personified

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In an attempt to get the eBook version of Lifeliner out to more markets without paying iUniverse a fortune, especially since they are non-responsive to author concerns other than filling up the inbox with marketing e-mail, I’ve decided to use Smashwords.

Smashwords will take your MS Word document and convert it to many eBook formats, such as HTML, Java, PDF, ePub, Mobi, etc. They will make your eBook available on their own website as well as distributing it to Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and eReading apps for all mobile devices from iPhone to Blackberry to Android. The cost to do this is zilch. Author royalties range from 85% of net sales on Smashwords; 70.5% elsewhere. The catch: you have to go through the extremely tedious process of ensuring your manuscript conforms to Smashwords style guide. I am just about comatose from the process. Chocolate helped revive me, sort of, by this afternoon.

Although my brain injury necessitated reading and rereading the style guide over a period of weeks in order to absorb it, reviewing the steps and writing down which ones apply to me, setting SMART goals to get it done, being methodical in making each change, the process is a good one for anyone to follow because the task is tedious, and tediousness can lead to errors. I used to do this back in my consulting days when programming databases and debugging them. I’d look for one type of error or do one formatting thing at a time. For Lifeliner, I went through and fixed the double paragraphs and spacing (that is, look for double spaces, spaces at end of paragraphs) all at one time, then changed all the paragraphs as per the style guide, then worked on the exceptions, then changed the headings, and lastly changed the style of each chapters’ first paragraph. Because I used the NUCLEAR OPTION — I had only a PDF as the final version with all the proofing changes done, which I had to convert to basic text — I had to put back in all the italics and bold and centring. I did italics first, bold second. That way you don’t lose track of what you’re doing if you try to do italics and bold all in one go. The last thing I did was follow the steps for creating a linkable Table of Contents. My head hurt doing that, but the links worked when I tested them!

I have absolutely no idea if my methodical way has produced an acceptable DOC, I have yet to acquire a new eBook ISBN for it and submit it to Smashwords Meatgrinder, but at least I know the errors should be small (I hope!), I understand the process a little bit now, and I am one step closer to being able to create my own ePub. I will no longer be at the mercy of publishers when it comes to eBook versions of my work. Also, I used to do desktop publishing pre-injury; this is a natural extension of that work. I am not as interested in it as I was (in fact, not), but being able to do it is a good skill for an author to have.

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News

Publishing in Transition: Amazon, Apple, Macmillan Duke it Out

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There’s been much talk about Amazon, Macmillan, and Apple’s iPad in the last couple of weeks. Amazon has been increasingly aggressive towards publishers. First they forced companies that support self-publishing and that use POD (print on demand) technology to give them more piece of the pie — at the expense of the author. Second, Amazon came out with the Kindle to sell eBooks in formats that only the Kindle can read; then they set the price to $9.99, and no more, whether publishers liked it or not. And third, when the mainstream publisher Macmillan balked, Amazon did to it what they’d done so successfully to the POD publishers: remove the Buy button until the publisher falls in line.

But Macmillan didn’t fall into line, insisted on being able to set their own eBook prices, and Amazon conceded and has been slowly restoring the Buy buttons. The battle is not over yet and it isn’t that simple, for Apple has brought out the iPad, Sony and other companies produce readers with eInk technology, and unlike the Kindle, they all can read books in many different formats. Amazon has competition. Apple and Sony Reader bookstores allow the publishers to set the price for eBooks, as does Chapters eBookstore, Kobo. Publishers are more likely to supply these eBookstores than they are Amazon’s kindle library.

Several people-in-the-know have opined on this issue, so I thought I’d toss in my penny, all that I have left after publishers and retailers take what they consider they’re entitled to, after all I’m just the writer, the author, the kind of person without whom there’d be no books. Ahem.

As a reader, I prefer mass paperbacks. They’re light, portable, and affordable. I really resent publishers who quickly follow the Canadian dollar down and raise the price, but take way longer to lower it as the dollar increases in value dramatically. I usually buy trade paperbacks for non-fiction books or maybe when there’s no mass paperback version available. They’re less affordable than mass paperbacks, and so I restrict my purchases of them or wait until they hit the remainder table. I only read hard covers either when someone gives me one as a gift (can’t remember when that last happened), or I want a particular book as a keepsake, or for straight pleasure reading when I find an interesting one on the remainder table. eBooks I’m new to. I received the Sony Reader for Christmas, and I’ve been dipping my toe into the eBook market and the virtual library. As a person with a brain injury, I find it much easier to read eBooks as there’s no visual distractions, which can seriously affect my reading, retention, and learning. With eBooks, I can zoom in and see just the text I’m reading. The Sony Reader also allows me to write notes and bookmark pages. My grandmother used to fold her paperbacks and turn down pages; made me cringe. I like my books pristine. But with eBooks, I don’t have to worry about it. There’s no beauty or art to spoil, and electronic notes and bookmarks can easily be wiped clean.

So as an author, I think about these things when thinking about the current book publishing war and how to sell my book (soon to be books). And so I’m not so sure that Macmillan’s attitude of setting a high price for eBooks is the right way to go.

My first book Lifeliner: The Judy Taylor Story came out in trade paperback, hard cover, and eBook all at the same time. I figured no one was going to buy hard covers except those who wanted a keepsake. Boy, was I wrong. People are still buying hard covers of Lifeliner. True, not nearly as many are buying them or eBooks as they are trade paperbacks, but what it says to me is that we all have preferred formats. Some like hard covers and won’t buy paperbacks; some will only buy paperbacks (like me); and some are on the cutting edge and buy eBooks. iUniverse’s SOP of releasing all formats at the same time left it to the readers to decide which format they wanted to buy, and I had no quibble with that. When marketing Lifeliner, I did not consider format an important factor. All I cared about was how many I could sell. And if someone bought a hard cover, with its slightly higher royalty because of its higher price, I considered that a bonus. But whether I was able to recover my costs had nothing to do with whether I could sell enough hard covers, but whether I could sell enough books, period.

On the other hand, publishers are convinced that they can only make money by selling hard covers. They believe that income can only come from a big profit margin, not from volume sold.

Publishers also ascribe to the odd method of flooding the marketplace with a new book and hope not too many come back. That means you don’t really know your earnings until the return period is ended, however many weeks or months that is. It’s also environmentally wasteful, and in the age of good-quality POD and the burgeoning espresso book machine, there’s no reason for it anymore. eBooks also get around that entire problem because eBooks don’t need paper and it’s not likely they’d be returned.

That old-fashioned thinking is why publishers want to (1) price eBooks high, (2) gyp authors on the royalty rate, and (3) release eBooks and paperbacks only several months after hard covers. They believe that anyone who buys eBooks has money to burn and will buy hard covers if they weren’t buying eBooks. I assume they have market data to prove their point, but frankly hard covers are big and heavy, and as a previously voracious reader, I find them too expensive to feed a reading habit unless you get them out of the library. However, I would buy an eBook. I see eBooks as not only satiating the need of voracious readers but also as a way to create a new reading market, a market of people who find books not to their taste, being physical objects and all, expensive, and not cool. Anything digital is cool though. The iPad is cool. The iBookstore will be cool. Coolness is great marketing bait.

The other problem publishers have with realistically pricing eBooks is that in their minds, an affordable price diminishes the value. Huh?

The value of my work is not in how much it costs per copy, but in the copy itself. The value is reflected in the number sold. People pay attention to bestseller status, as determined by sales numbers, not by how much a book costs. Bestseller status usually denotes that this book is good. Purchase price does not.

On the other side, some people say that the price of an eBook is almost zero and the digital revolution means creators should put their work out there for free. Excuse me. But my work is not zero value. My imagination and creativity and ability to think, without which there would be no book, is not of zero value. If you want a free book, write one yourself, and then decide if all that time you spent was of no value.

I believe Amazon’s bully tactics are starting to backfire. It should be up to the publisher and author to set the price of the book, not one elephant-sized retailer who insists that they should be determine price and be given such a huge discount that it will allow them to sell for less than anyone else. It also cuts the author’s royalties. Frankly, I think it borders on anti-trust what Amazon has been doing. But that’s for US courts to decide.

I think publishers are still watching the glaciers recede, and like Amazon, don’t remunerate authors fairly, without whom there would be no books. I think publishers in the US are a bit ahead of their Canadian counterparts, but neither seem to see the possibilities that the iPad and eBook Readers offer, the possibilities of creating a different kind of product and a larger market of readers.

In the past, publishers were essential to authors to getting their books out to the marketplace. But that’s changing for two reasons: (1) publishers more and more expect authors to market their books. The one expertise publishers truly have that authors need — marketing — they are no longer offering except to a few. Since publishers have withdrawn the single biggest asset they offered to authors and since authors now have to pay for publicists and a marketing program, why should authors continue to accept the same low royalty rate? If the author is expected to do what used to be publisher work, then the author should get a bigger piece of the pie. (2) POD, espresso book machine, freelance editors and designers, supported self-publishing companies, all offer alternatives to publishers. These services replace everything publishers do, from editing to book design, allow an author to get a book out much faster than a traditional publisher (and waiting for a book to hit the public is not easy!), and gives an author greater control over the title, cover, and back cover copy. For a Canadian author, these alternatives also mean one can publish using Canadian English.

For mainstream publishers to stay in the game long-term, they need to provide authors that old value or offer a bigger royalty, they need to offer authors a higher royalty for eBooks and other digital media, and they need to provide readers affordably-priced and exciting alternatives. They need to focus on moving books out the door, not on what format those books come in. I haven’t even talked about eBooks beyond the text model, but the iPad will start that revolution too, and publishers and authors ought to start preparing for that. I also haven’t talked about agents. Some believe that the digital revolution will bring about their demise; but it seems to me that authors will need smart agents to help them navigate the minefield of the different kinds of digital rights, in addition to traditional rights like movie and spoken word.

Instead of hanging onto the old model, authors, publishers, and agents need to work together to ask themselves how they can use these new technologies to produce books faster, better, and affordably so as to expand the book-buying audience.

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Internet and Computers

Imagining “Lifeliner: The EBook” on the Apple iPad

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Back in the late 1990s when I was envisioning the different ways of publishing Lifeliner: The Judy Taylor Story, I had an idea for an electronic version. Back in the computer middle ages, the only way I could’ve does this was on a CD, a bit clunky as a medium I had to admit. But with Apple’s announcement of its new iPad, I have the perfect medium to execute my idea. Too bad it’s a bit late and I don’t have the energy or many of the raw materials anymore — though I did make a few attempts with a Flickr slideshow and YouTube video — to make it happen. Still, it’s nice to revisit my imagined Lifeliner: The EBook.

Back then, I didn’t think of it as an eBook, as simply an electronic version of the printed book. I imagined it as an interactive experience with photographs and videos, interview excerpts and audio, and of course the text itself. I imagined that in one package one could read, listen to, and watch Judy’s story.

For background research on Lifeliner, I had interviewed over 60 people, all of which I had taped (except when my recorder decided to act up or batteries gave up, having less stamina than humans deep in question and answer). I had borrowed and watched videos of Judy having a good time in her community or shilling for Toronto General Hospital. I had a plethora of Judy’s personal archival material, school records, family photographs, and my own photographs that I’d taken of her home. And I had medical records up the whazoo. I felt that seeing and hearing this material, judiciously edited, would bring Judy and her personal and medical experiences to life in a way that was different from reading a book or seeing a movie. The reader could decide what they wanted to watch or not, what they wanted to listen to or not. I don’t remember all the details, but I have a memory of it being like a game where the reader determined the path they took. Some would be more interested in the medical side, while others in Bobcaygeon life. Some would want to see the family side more, while others her doctor and fellow lifeliners. All would be possible.

With the Apple iPad, it’s at last doable.

Many are talking about eBooks as just electronic versions of printed books. In that form, eBooks, I believe, are best read on eInk technology because reading is more than just the cognitive act of processing words and sentences, it’s also the physical act of keeping one’s eyes sharp. And a bright screen isn’t always the best for long periods of straight reading. But I believe that one can do so much more with a digital book than just putting text in bits and bytes, particularly in the field of biography, and that’s where the iPad shines. Several decades ago, biographers really only had printed materials like letters, which could readily be photographed and reproduced on the printed page. But today, with modern subjects, we have video and audio, photographs and e-mails, as well as letters or articles. You can’t see those in books. But a well-edited choice of all of these could be shown to readers through the Apple iPad. When they’re reading about a television interview, they could click on a still shot and watch the interview. When they’re reading a letter, they could click on the letter and hear it being read in the author’s voice (author of the letter, that is, if still alive). They could read the book as the book author wrote it or perhaps follow a game format where they focus on one particular aspect of the subject’s life. Really, with digital media, only the author’s imagination and publisher’s innovation is the limit.

It’s too bad this technology came too late for me and Lifeliner, but perhaps if I find the right agent and publisher, we can work on a way to bring video and audio and photos to my newest book for the Apple iPad.

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