New Release: UNG The Gold I See: The Legacy of UNG Dahlonega (Children’s Book)

The University of North Georgia Press is pleased to announce the release of our first children’s book entitled UNG The Gold I See: The Legacy of UNG Dahlonega written by Dr. Bonita Jacobs and out November 27, 2018.

While written for readers at Level 4, UNG The Gold I See engages readers of all ages, reflecting its multi-generational main characters. Benjamin Brown, his daughter Jamie, and grandson Tommy each have a different goal during UNG Dahlonega’s Visitor’s Day. The grandfather wants to recall the memories of his years in the Corps of Cadets. The mother wants to remember her years in the Nursing program. And the grandson wants to find UNG Dahlonega’s treasure: the gold hidden somewhere on campus. He has Nigel and a treasure map; his grandfather and mother have the memories. What do you have?

The author, Dr. Jacobs, is president of the University of North Georgia. Among her many initiatives at UNG, Dr. Jacobs’ scholarship support for students has been a major priority. All profits from UNG The Gold I See will be used to provide scholarships to UNG students across all five campuses. This is the first book in a series about each UNG campus. UNG Gainesville will be the second book in the series, out in 2019.

Dr. Jacobs took office as the 17th president of North Georgia College & State University in July 2011 as the University’s first woman president and only the second to lead one of the country’s six Senior Military Colleges. In 2014, Jacobs was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine and as one of the “Top Education Leaders in Atlanta” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2013 and 2014.The University of North Georgia Press, a scholarly, peer-reviewed press, is an extension of our sponsoring university, the University of North Georgia. Our primary function is to promote education and research with a special emphasis on innovative scholarship and pedagogy.

Successfully Marketing a Book: An Author’s Role

An important part of finding success as an author is marketing. Though book publishers help create positive buzz, authors must take on the primary responsibility of marketing their book.

Marketing combines elements of publicity, promotions, and public relations to generate interest from an audience and create sales. A marketing plan is a detailed plan that establishes the steps authors will take to successfully market their book. Common practices to promote the upcoming book include press releases, reviews, giveaways and contests, and sharing accompanying works.

While these practices are great and will guarantee some level of success for authors, there are other ways in which they can generate positive buzz. Essential to the marketing of a book is social media. While the publisher handles other aspects of the plan such as creating and distributing press releases, authors can take charge with their social media accounts.

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Why should authors use social media?

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are widespread platforms where millions of people interact every day. These platforms are free forms of publicity in which authors can directly engage with their audiences and promote their books. If authors create strong relationships with their readers first, they will likely already have loyal customers when their book is released.

How can they use social media?

To promote their books, authors can use social media sites to post writing advice, small excerpts from their books, and cover reveals. Creating these small promotions and linking to their author website or book page generates the elusive positive buzz authors seek.

Authors can easily engage with their audience by creating a conversation. They might ask “What is your favorite book?” or “What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?” This allows people to respond and create a connection with their favorite author. It also shows the audience that the author isn’t just trying to make a sale—they care about what their loyal readers think and feel.

For authors and their upcoming book, creating a positive image is also critical to generate positive buzz. Authors can do this by associating with prominent organizations that are appropriate to their field.

Why should authors care about their public image?

When readers think about an author, they unconsciously associate them with what they’ve seen or heard in the media. To make sure people view them positively, authors should present themselves in favorable ways. However, their presentation should still show an authentic image of themselves and their work, especially when seeking industry connections or when presenting to an audience for the first time.

How can authors create a favorable, authentic image?

Authors can join organizations that are specific and related to the genre of their works. For instance, a romance author may join the Romance Writers of America, an organization for writers of romantic fiction, to connect with people in their writing genre. This creates an opportunity for authors to reach potential customers and befriend other authors who can provide advice and support for the rest of their career.

To promote their book directly, authors can often participate in speaking engagements at organizations’ events. At these speaking engagements, authors may become “experts” on the topic of their book and relay valuable, interesting information to audiences. This creates more positive buzz and will likely result in book sales later.

Conclusion

Though publishers work closely with authors to ensure their books find success, publishers are not responsible for all of the marketing. Authors must take initiative to create a plan that will benefit their upcoming book release and their career. Social media and public image are paramount parts of the process.

This is the second post in a three-part series on navigating book marketing. Read “Know Your Author Rights” now and check back on September 21 for “Literary Agents: Finding the Best Fit”.

Interested in more great content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and find our complete catalog on our homepage.

Classroom Grammar: An Introduction to the Reed-Kellogg System

The Reed-Kellogg system is a method for diagramming sentences that was commonly taught in grammar classrooms in the past. The system was introduced in the 1870s by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg. Previous methods of diagramming focused solely on teaching proper word order to students. The Reed-Kellogg system offered an alternative: Foregoing traditional word order in order to highlight the function of each word in a sentence. These grammarians believed that it would be most beneficial for students to discover the logical order of words in a sentence, so they could understand how to write effectively.

This system’s primary purpose is to break a sentence down into easily identifiable parts. Because it is intended for students, the method is simple and uses a minimal amount of symbols or jargon. You do not have to know every single grammatical term in order to diagram a sentence using the Reed-Kellogg method, nor do you have to focus on retaining a sentence’s original word order. For those who have no background in grammar or who are learning English as a second language, the Reed-Kellogg diagram is a great way to jump into sentence diagramming.  To start things off, here is a sample sentence that is simple in structure, as represented by Reed-Kellogg.

In a Reed-Kellogg diagram, you always start by drawing a horizontal line. You then divide it with a short vertical line. The subject of the sentence is located on the left of the vertical dividing line. In this case, the subject is “the topic”. Any sentence modifiers, such as adjectives and articles, are placed on a diagonal line below the noun or verb it is modifying. As seen here, the indefinite article “the” is situated on a diagonal line below the noun “topic”.

The predicate of the sentence is located on the right side of the dividing line. Here, the predicate is the verb phrase “was sentence diagramming”. The verb “was” is situated in the middle of the diagram as a linking verb, which simply connects the subject “the topic” to the predicate “sentence diagramming”. This is reflected by a slanting line between “was” and the rest of the predicate. Since “diagramming” is a modifier of the noun “sentence”, it is given on a diagonal line below what it modifies.

Now, let’s move onto a more complex Reed-Kellogg diagram. This one will show you how to diagram a sentence that contains a transitive action verb and a single direct object.

As you can see, this diagram is slightly different from the previous example. As the extremely simple subject of the sentence, “Joe” is on the left of the dividing vertical line. The predicate is where the meat of the sentence is. Since the verb is transitive, the line between the verb “kicked” and the direct object “ball” is straight rather than slanted. This indicates that Joe is performing an action with the ball. “High” and “in the air” are, respectively, an adverb and prepositional phrase that modify the verb “kicked” so they are given on diagonal lines below.

Although a Reed-Kellogg diagram has many positive aspects, it does have some drawbacks. Some sentences can be especially long and complex, especially if they’re taken from a piece of classical literature. Diagramming these sentences using this method can be intimidating and time-consuming. Unfortunately, the end result can be difficult to comprehend for anyone who is unfamiliar with the Reed-Kellogg system.

Additionally, while it is effective in illustrating general function within a sentence, it is not nuanced enough to show how each word in a sentence is connected to and dependent on the words around it. For example, look at the phrase “a beautiful woman”. A Reed-Kellogg diagram would list both “a” and “beautiful” as words that modify the noun “woman”. However, each of these words have different functions in the sentence. While “beautiful” modifies only the word “woman” as an adjective, “a” modifies both “beautiful” and “woman” as an indefinite article.

I hope that this post has given you a good idea of just what a Reed-Kellogg diagram is and how it is an effective (albeit traditional and therefore limited) tool for diagramming sentences. Although it is not commonly used or taught in classrooms today, I would strongly advise that any aspiring author try diagramming at least one or two sentences in this style. I’m willing to bet that it will give you a greater understanding of grammar and improve your writing in the process.

 

Know Your Author Rights

It’s an exciting time when a publisher accepts an author’s manuscript. However, with the celebration comes a contract that discusses ownership rights. Authors and potential authors may wonder what rights to retain and what rights to grant to publishers. Before you make any hasty decisions, you first need to know a little more about ownership rights.

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Copyright laws legally protect original works from being reproduced and credited to other people. When you create a new work, you automatically own the rights to it. These rights include the right to distribute, reproduce, publicly display, and modify the original work.

When you begin a partnership with a publisher, these rights will shift around a bit. Ideally, a publisher will specify the rights they intend to buy. Sometimes, though, the contracts are ambiguous or unclear, often with stipulations for rights muddled by intimidating legal terms. Have no fear! If you do your research about ownership rights, you will be in a better position to retain certain rights to your manuscript and create a beneficial partnership with the publisher.

There are a variety of rights you may negotiate to retain for yourself or grant to your publisher. These rights include first serial rights, one-time rights, and second serial rights.

First serial rights mean the publisher can publish the manuscript for the first time, but all other rights remain with the author. One-time rights mean the publisher purchases the right to publish the manuscript one time. There is nothing stopping the author from selling the work to other publications at the same time. Second serial rights mean you grant a publisher the right to publish the manuscript after it has already appeared in another publication.

The most important rights to be wary of are “all rights.” The publishers’ contract may stipulate that authors sign over all rights to their works. This means your work no longer belongs to you; instead, the publisher owns it and you can’t use it again without their permission. Try to avoid signing contracts with these “all rights” clauses. Instead, negotiate with the publisher for serial rights or one-time rights, which are more beneficial because you may want to revisit your work later.

It’s important to know what ownership rights are available to you, but you may have the daunting task of picking apart the contract to make sure you’ve received a fair deal. You don’t want the experience that many others have unfortunately had. They find themselves in a sticky situation with no rights to their books, a poor relationship with their publisher, and very little success. It’s beneficial to seek assistance from authors who have already worked on contract agreements and can offer insight. It is also recommended to seek legal counsel or someone certified in copyright law to offer advice.

As an author, it’s important to research ownership rights so that you understand what rights will fit your manuscript best. Once you’ve received advice about contracts and picked the contract apart, try to negotiate with your publisher before signing. If you can’t agree on the terms, it may be best to find another publisher who can better meet your needs.

Remember, publishers want your book to be successful, so work with publishers that make you feel comfortable and confident in where your partnership will take you!

This is the first post in a three-part series on navigating book marketing. Check back on September 14 for “Successfully Marketing a Book: An Author’s Role” and September 21 for “Literary Agents: Finding the Best Fit”.

Interested in more great content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and find our complete catalog on our homepage.

Our Lingua Franca: The Importance of Learning a New Language as a Tool for Writing

Globes of various sizes sit on a desk.
“Globe Collection” by João Silas

In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, it is more important now than ever that we learn to develop a common tongue. There is no greater area for this than in literature. However, many writers tend to speak only in their own language when weaving their stories. I believe that this is limiting and ultimately detrimental. If you truly want to grow as a writer and have your work reach the widest number of people, I strongly recommend that you study at least one other language.

As any student of language knows, it is an extremely intimidating endeavor to step outside of one’s linguistic comfort zone. A new mode of grammar, a cryptic alphabet, and a challenging writing system—all of these are formidable obstacles. However, the greatest reward for a writer can be found in the phrases and stories that are specific to certain cultures.

For example, let us delve into the Russian language. Many Russian idioms are visually descriptive and oftentimes have an entertaining meaning. Here are two particularly interesting ones: Вешать лапшу на уши (which literally means ‘to hang noodles on one’s ears’) and Очки втирать (‘to smear eyeglasses’). Both of these phrases deal with lying or speaking nonsense, in a way that is new and unfamiliar to a non-native speaker. In exploring and learning different languages, we come across many phrases such as these that can add some spice and variety to our writing by simply changing our perspective.

In addition to idioms, many languages also bring with them a rich bounty of stories usually related to a cultural heritage. Russia, in particular, is a country that is well known for the unique figures of its folklore and mythology: the fearsome Baba Yaga, the devilish Chernabog, the bright and shining Zorya sisters, and the merry Father Frost are only a handful. When it comes to creating the setting (backbone) of a story, some of the best writers draw their inspiration from a variety of cultures. If you dedicate yourself to learning a language, you will be able to draw from and contribute to their stories in an ethical and enjoyable way for all parties.

As writers, our primary goal is not only to tell a good story but to do so in a ‘lingua franca’—a language that is commonly used as common ground between two speakers with different native tongues. Your books, poetry, poems, and music may reach further across the world than you think and, if that is the case, you want it to be in a language and voice that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone. To that end, I encourage you to write a piece that reaches out to someone in their own language and culture. Who knows? Perhaps they’ll reach out and do the same.

[Unable to add picture in with content. Please attach the picture and align it to the left of the introductory paragraph. Here is the link to the picture I used: https://unsplash.com/photos/-03UAJK6-w8 ]

How Sustainable are Books?

When you hear sustainability, you might think of hot topics like sustainable energy or sustainable fishing, but what does sustainability mean in the publishing industry? To fully understand sustainability in the publishing community, it is necessary to understand how publishing is not only culturally impactful but also environmentally impactful. Understanding these two factors will reveal the symbiotic relation between publisher and consumer, as well as their obligations to one another for a stronger, more supportive reading community.

A small, dark-colored ereader and a larger, white-colored ereader, both displaying text on their screens.Culturally, publishing influences the books people read and the way those books are read. There has been an ongoing debate whether the rise of e-readers, tablets, and online publishing will eventually kill the print book. There seems to be a push from consumers towards technology, while publishers seem to focus more on print. In an interview with Jenn Webb from Tools of Change, Dennis Stovall from Portland State University remarks about the common publisher attitude towards e-books. “Every medium exists with constraints and opportunities, and the new frontiers of digital publishing have hardly been opened. Meanwhile, we’ve pushed many of the limits of the old technologies.” As technology shifts, so do people and the reading culture surrounding them. E-readers and online prints are gaining ground due to their accessibility and portability. For books to stay culturally relevant to a modern reading audience, publishers must embrace this cultural shift towards technology to create a stronger reading community.

A dark forest scene. Moss and fungi are clearly seen growing on the ground. A canopy of tree branches is overhead.By now, I can hear at least one person screaming, “There’s nothing like the smell of a real book!” And you’re right, but environmental concerns loom over any industry whether it be mining, fishing, or agriculture. Publishing is no exception. Print books take their toll on the environment by using paper and ink. Sustainability in this aspect is concerned with a publisher’s ability to print books in an economical fashion while reducing the environmental strain of manufacturing books. And this side of sustainability is more of a concern for the consumer. To explain, let’s talk about recycling. Many publishers attempt to manufacture books with recycled paper, but the accessibility of recycled paper is limited. Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly explains, “The biggest challenge unearthed by the study is the lack of availability of recycled paper. In 2014, the average amount of recycled content from reporting manufacturers was 12%, down from 22% in 2012.” Milliot then goes on to suggest the move towards is the cause for the lack of paper.

This is where we, the consumers, hold responsibility. Single-stream recycling is good for many aspects, yet it is terrible for paper. Typically, paper becomes wet when it is collected for single-stream and becomes unusable for recycle. While single-stream recycling is more convenient than other methods, it greatly decreases the yield of paper products. This is why the reading community must make changes and recycle in different ways, such as dual-stream recycling. By using alternate recycling methods, consumers help recycled paper become more accessible to publishers, making print books more environmentally viable.

For publishing to be truly culturally and environmentally sustainable, it must be an all-around effort from the publisher and consumer. This shouldn’t be difficult for either side, since we both love reading and understand its importance. Here at the University of North Georgia Press, we strive to give students access to free downloadable textbooks to aid in the endeavor of sustainable publishing.

Back to School Prep: The College Survival Pack

It’s near the end of summer and school time is drawing near. You probably had plans to learn a new skill or read a library’s worth of books (so did I), but alas! All your time was squandered on Netflix, a part-time job, and worst of all—maintaining family ties. And now, you’re going to spend all your time reading textbooks or learning mathematical equations. But it’ll all be okay! We’ve compiled a list of items to help you survive the next semester and maybe even do a little reading for fun.

1) The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction – Ann Charters

Cover of "The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction"by Ann Charters.
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Okay, I know. Why suggest a short story anthology when you’re already reading for classes? Hear me out. Short stories are great because they’re accessible. Only have 30 minutes to read? Good. You can read a short story while you eat, giving yourself just enough time to get to class for once. Plus, there are case studies in the back to help you become a better writer if that’s your thing.

 

2) A Scream Pillow

College can be stressful at times. When it’s too much, try screaming into a pillow to destress. Just warn your roommates beforehand!

 

3) Walden – Henry David Thoreau

Cover of Walden by Henry David ThoreauHaving night sweats about the frigid fall and winter weather? It might actually be a side effect of the heat. If that’s the case, be glad for the approaching cold. If not, try to hold on to the last of nature’s summer goodness with Walden by Thoreau.

 

 

4) A Lunch Box

A divided food container sits in front of a laptop. The container is full of rice, vegetables, and potatoes. Tired of stale cafeteria food or overpriced leftovers from the night before? Start packing your lunch and save some money (and your taste buds). Now, you can spend all that extra cash on something important. A certain short story anthology comes to mind. . .

 

5) Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

Cover of lood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.Is daily life becoming tedious? Do you want some action in your life? Look no further for the solution! Blood Meridian is a western which will take you back to cowpoke days and save you from the ailments and comforts of modernity.

 

 

6) An Adult Coloring Book

Cover for Adult Coloring Books: Cats from Laluna Books
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Coloring is a great way to destress. Whether you prefer crayons or pencils, carry this cat coloring book around with you and color the stress away. It’s a lot better than some alternatives. Warning: This is not permission to procrastinate like you did last semester.

 

7) Tea or Coffee

Coffee beans package for Death Wish Coffee
Death Wish Coffee

Whether you need the comfort of tea or the power of coffee, there is no doubt you should stock up on both. A warm beverage will help keep the creeping cold out of your bones, and it might even make you productive. For those caffeine fiends out there, could I recommend Death Wish Coffee? If you’re like me and prefer tea, Yorkshire Gold is my go-to for a pick-me-up.