Book Review Magazines

This site is a good resource for magazines to send review copies of your self-published masterpiece. Here’s a sample:

BookForum, 350 Seventh Avenue, New York NY 10001; 212-475-4000; Fax: 212-529-1257. Web: A quarterly book review publication with a focus on literary fiction, serious nonfiction, and photo/art books.

  • Chris Lehmann and Michael Miller, Editors
  • Albert Mobilio, Fiction Editor
  • David O’Neill, Assistant Editor
  • Alfredo Perez, Editor

Book Links: Connecting Books, Librarys, and Classrooms, Laura Tillotson, Editor, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago IL 60611-2729; 312-944-6780; 800-545-2433; Fax: 312-337-6787. Email: Web: This magazine is designed for teachers, librarians, library media specialists, booksellers, parents, and other adults interested in connecting children with books. It publishes bibliographies (book roundups), author profiles, and other articles.

via Book Review Magazines: Editors and Book Reviewers.

Argybargy Printing for your custom printing on random things needs


Argybargy is a screen printing company based out of Buffalo, New York.  We specialize in providing our customers with professional printing at an affordable rate and prompt turnaround.  T-shirts, stickers, patches, pins / buttons, posters, flat stock, record covers, bass drum heads, record player slipmats, and any idea you throw our way we will figure out a way to print it for you.  Our reputation for quality service is important to us.  Feel free to call, fax, email us with any questions you may have.

Thank you!


How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores


More self-publishing advice…

Bookstore Resources for Self-Published Authors

How To Get Your Book in Barnes & Noble Stores: “Each year, we review more than 100,000 submissions from publishers of every size and background.  Our buyers review publishers’ catalogues, marketing materials and galleys or sample copies to help them make their decisions.”

The Written Word: This Colorado Springs bookstore will take self-published books on consignment: “We usually ask for 5 copies minimum. The percentage is decided by the writer as the cost and percentage varies so much for the author and we don’t want writers to lose money putting books into bookstores. We also set up launch parties, signings, readings, and even speaking engagements at no charge. We’re happy to serve the community how we can. We don’t limit ourselves to Colorado, but will take books from anyone, and if someone with a book out would like to use our venue while traveling to this area they only need ask.”

via How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores – GalleyCat.

Photo from Flickr user Michael  Femia

Want to publish an ebook for iOS?

I’ve been doing some research into self-publishing The Hopeful Romantic onto the iPad. Conclusion? Sell it like a magazine, by creating an app on the iOS store. This company agrees…

The App Store sells way more books than the iBookstore

Open Air sells 10 to 30 times more books through the App Store than through the iBookstore. Open Air started out only publishing its titles as iPad apps and selling them in the App Store. Then, when Apple launched its publishing platform iBooks Author, Open Air decided to adapt its titles for the iBookstore and for Kindle.

via Want to publish an ebook for iOS? Surprising tips from iPad publisher Open Air — paidContent.

Music: Golden Shoulders

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 9 years since I first saw the band Golden Shoulders play The Dusty Bookshelf in Manhattan, Kansas. I was instantly hooked and have seen Adam Kline and his crew every time they’ve come through town.

They’ll be coming through this way real soon – next week in fact! Playing Monday, April 15 at the Dusty Bookshelf in Manhattan and Tuesday, April 16 at the Dusty Bookshelf in Lawrence. There are a few other dates on this tour, so check ’em out if you can.

P.S. This song dates from the 2002 album Let My Burden Be. Do you recognize the female singer accompanying Adam? Yep, that’s none other than Joanna Newsom.


Meaningful Quote – Carlos Castaneda


“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”

Carlos Castaneda from The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

This quote ties in with yesterday’s post about the Philosophy of Happiness. When I came across this in my early college years, it really set the tone for the decisions I was about to make – about school, about my prospective career, about my romantic relationships. I may have been something of a heartbreaker during those few years, and for that I am sorry; that was not my intention.

By following my heart, and learning from my mistakes, I became who I am today. I wasn’t doing things just because someone told me, or because I read it in some book, or that is what I thought was expected of me. Like Napoleon Dynamite, I followed my heart. And it eventually led me to finding and attracting Melissa – so that was definitely the right path.

Photo from Flickr user jrodmanjr

A Philosophy of Happiness

Napoleon Dynamite Follow Your Heart That's What I Always Do Just Listen

So much of my identity and self-worth in high school and into college was based on having to be with someone romantically in order to be happy. From what my research revealed about love, and based on my (failed) personal experience, I realized that I needed to be happy on my own before I could find someone to be happy with. In order to meet this requirement, I developed a personal philosophy of happiness.

The basic tenant of my philosophy is this: Each and every moment, each and every person is doing what they most want to do – what makes them the happiest, or really what they think will make them the happiest. Take someone who hates their job. They still put up with it, because they need the paycheck. They know that they will be worse off if they didn’t have the money that this bad job provides. And every decision, no matter how important or insignificant, is driven by our desire to be happy.

It should be noted that people don’t always make obvious decisions (to the external observer) that improve their happiness. Some people might sacrifice to make others happy. This helping of others makes them happy, even if that might not seem the case to the outside observer. Still others might engage in self-destructive activities like drugs – they might be drawn to the instantaneous happiness (high) that the drugs provide, maybe they are looking for something to cure their boredom, or even just looking for attention from their family or friends. Whatever the reason(s) may be, on the most fundamental level their decisions are based on their personal happiness.

At some point in college, I took ownership of my decisions. I realized that I alone decide what to do next in order to increase my personal happiness. My family and friends may think they know what is best for me, but I make my own decisions. I’m allowed to follow any path my heart desires. Once I knew I was working towards the goals and dreams that I truly wanted to pursue (especially in regards to education and career aspirations), I was free to be happy in the moment – because I knew that at every single moment I am right where I most want to be.

If the path you are on is not your path, or if that path is not making you happy (or if you don’t know if it will make you happy once you get to the end), consider changing paths. It’s why so many kids in college change their major so many times. You’ve got to find something that is right for you, because you alone are responsible for your own path and your own happiness. Get on the right path, and you’ll be surprised how soon the right person comes along.

Edit: It looks like there is already a Philosophy of Happiness. Cool!

Money Management for the Happy Couple


Money – the cause of, and solution, to all of the world’s problems. For the long-term relationships, where the couple has moved in together and is sharing expenses, money then becomes a major point of contention.

Melissa and I try as hard as we can for equality in our marriage, especially when it comes to chores and money. Don’t get me wrong, we still argue from time to time about these things, especially our finances. That is why it is so important to talk about money with each other so you have the same expectations as each other.

Here are just a few tips that help Melissa and I keep money from ruining our lives and our marriage:

  1. Non-essential expenses are evenly split between us. Melissa likes new clothes, I like seeing concerts. These expenses essentially off-set each other. On pay day, I don’t immediately go to the casino and drop $200. And all major purchases and investments are made by committee.
  2. Learn the lessons from Dave Ramsey. For $79, you can gain access to the online version of his course; they send you a bunch of supplemental material, too. Make an hour appointment each week to go through an entire lesson. It’s 14 lessons long, I think. One of the basic tenants he teaches is that you have to do a budget every single month. And you should allocate every single dollar before you spend it. It may be tough to stick to it the first few months, but you should eventually get the hang of it and hopefully you’ll soon get to start saving and/or paying down your debt.
  3. This is kind of a meld between #1 and #2 – both of you should know how to pay every bill. That includes keeping track of website log-ins, knowing where the checkbook is, and how to pay the rent or mortgage. From a functional standpoint, what happens if the usual bill payer needs emergency surgery and is in the hospital for a month? But there are other reasons, too. When one person is always responsible for paying the bills, not only does it get stressful when there isn’t enough money from month to month, it’s too easy for the other person to blame the bill payer for any money problems. The budget for each month must be created and then approved by both parties. It can typically be made by one person, but then the other person needs to review it and make at least one change – otherwise they can still blame the bill payer when the budget doesn’t work out. (This is another tip from Ramsey’s program.)


All in all, it pays to stay ahead of any money problems that will develop. Ramsey, among others, advocates having an emergency fund – $500 to $1000 for those in significant debt, and then saving up to 3 to 6 months of living expenses as you can afford it. This does two things. First it helps you cover unexpected expenses that pop up from time to time that you can’t afford in your monthly budget. And secondly, it helps take away some of the worrying and stress about money. Struggling to pay the bills from month to month is one of the most stressful things any of us will have to go through. Having even a little emergency fund goes a long way to help relieving that worry.

Bottom line – Hopeful Romantics make healthy money decisions together so money doesn’t cause any unnecessary stress or arguments.

Photos  by Flickr user Tax Credits and Images_of_Money


Movie Review – Sabrina (1954)


For the next Hopeful Romantic movie review, I reach back to the 1954 version of Sabrina. It stars Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina, and Humphrey Bogart and William Holden as the well-to-do brothers Linus and David Larrabee. I certainly hope everyone has seen this movie, but if not, please stop reading and go out and rent or buy it immediately, as I will include many spoilers in my review.

Sabrina is the daughter of Linus’s chauffeur and grew up around the Larrabees, falling in love with David along the way. David is somewhat of a playboy, falling in and out of love with every girl that comes along – and has had three failed marriages to boot! Sabrina witnesses David from afar, and fantasizes about being one of those girls that David falls for. In this respect, Sabrina is very much a hopeless romantic  – she has fallen in love with David in a completely one-sided affair.

After realizing that David won’t give her any romantic attention, Sabrina runs off to culinary school in Paris. During her exile, she learns a bit about herself and high society, changing her looks and demeanor to someone that can gain the attention of David. She returns, but there is only one problem – David is engaged to someone else.

Not even recognizing Sabrina at first, David picks Sabrina up from the train station to drive her home… his home, in fact. Well, he soon figures out this is the same girl that he grew up around, but how has she changed! So much, in fact, that he now wants to call off his pre-arranged engagement to run off with the chauffeur’s daughter.

Linus, the brains behind the Larrabee empire, is about to see his multi-million dollar deal go out the window if David runs off with Sabrina. So he intervenes, trying to “keep it all in the family”. He entertains Sabrina after he incapacitates his brother, trying to get her to fall in love with him instead. He feigns wanting to get away from the boardroom and to run off to Paris to experience the city. And he convinces Sabrina that he wants her to come with him. And the hopeless romantic that Sabrina is, she falls for him. And just when Linus almost has her convinced of their budding love (and has her booked on a one way ticket back to Paris), Linus drops the truth of his whole charade.

linus and sabrina

For the Hopeful Romantics out there, this seems like an awful lot of deceit, with an extra dose of falling in love too soon. And indeed it is. But there are some shining points in this story.

  1. Sabrina figures out how to gain David’s attention. Simply fawning over him and expressing her one-sided crush isn’t enough. She had to go to Paris and become a whole new person – new clothes, new attitude, new haircut, etc. The lesson here is that if you are attracted to someone (or a certain type of someone), you’ve got to look the part. And Sabrina does that transformation exceptionally well.
  2. A funny thing happened to Sabrina and Linus both. While they were out on the town while David was holed up, they connected. Perhaps a little too quickly for Hopeful Romantics like us, but nonetheless they connected. Sabrina was eager to go to Paris with him and show him around, and Linus was honest enough to admit to his deception. Excitement and honesty are two solid ways to start a relationship.
  3. At the end, David realizes his foolishness and tries to set things right. He doesn’t know if his brother was really faking it with Sabrina, or if Linus fell for her too. So he eggs Linus on, essentially calling Sabrina a gold digger. Boom! Linus punches David right in the kisser. At that point, Linus realizes how much he likes (loves?) Sabrina and runs off to catch her on the boat to Paris.
    Sometimes, even Hopeful Romantics need friends and family to help us realize how we truly feel about someone or what we should do in a given situation. And it is our responsibility as Hopeful Romantics to help out our friends and family when they need a little encouragement to head down the right path with (or without) someone.

So the moral of the story is, don’t fall in love too soon. And if you do, at least have the good fortune of it being Humphrey Bogart’s character.