Category Archives: E-books & E-publishing

Every Child is Entitled to Innocence

Every Child is Entitled to Innocence

Every Child is Entitled to Innocence will be the first publication of the newly-formed Orangeberry Publishing Group. Due to release on February 14th, profits from the sales of this e-book will be donated to Child Helpline International.

Says initiator of the project, Dr. Niamh Clune, “I met many writers through the Internet that experienced difficult childhoods yet have overcome their brutal beginnings. I wanted to make the first Orangeberry publication a celebration of creative imagination. This powerful friend of damaged children plays an essential role in an abused child’s recovery. Gathering this series of stories was a joy. Orangeberry Books has developed special, vibrant relationships with contributors and has forged many lasting friendships.

We encouraged happy stories that reflected the innocence of childhood when infants feel wrapped in the warmth of loving arms. We wanted to contrast these with the sad ones, making them stand out in relief against a bright backdrop. We felt this comparison would demonstrate, without explanation, what happens when innocence is stolen. In this book, the reader will find many wonderful, heart-warming stories, whilst the sad ones demonstrate the magnificence of the human spirit as it triumphs against all the odds.”

Executive Editor, Karen S. Elliott stated, “While I looked at all the stories in the Every Child anthology, I edited only a few. I thought it was important, for this tome, that the writers be able to express the heartbreak and joy of childhoods past without censorship.”

Spokesperson for Orangeberry Books, Niamh Clune, explained how The Orangeberry Group is at the vanguard of a new wave of Internet publishing companies. Orangeberry aims to put quality first and bring exciting, exceptionally talented authors to the reader’s attention. Its focus is not on commercialism, but on quality, beautifully written, well-told stories. Orangeberry will also publish poetry. A further aim of the publishing company is to bring a collection of exceptional artists from across many different art disciplines to collaborate on projects in a personal, hands-on, mutually supportive manner.

The motto of the company is, ‘Paying it Forward.’ The company relies on a well-developed social network, the dedication of the core team members, and their talent and enthusiasm coupled with a socially entrepreneurial spirit. Supporters and members of this group will also benefit from on-line mentoring, a book-club, the Youth Tube Channel, and the OBBlog.

To buy the book

please visit

All proceeds benefit Child Helpline International

Introducing the core members of The Orangeberry Group –

Niamh Clune

Niamh Clune 

Founder, Coordinating Programme Executive and Artistic Director of Orangeberry Group

London, England

Niamh Clune is the founder of The Orangeberry Group. During her lifetime, she has been a spiritual psychologist, award-winning social entrepreneur, environmental campaigner, and award-winning writer of songs. Her song, “We Are the Voice,” was chosen to promote the 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg (she performed it with her daughter, Aleisha, at the opening concert). She has lived and worked in Africa for Oxfam, UNICEF, and World Food Program. Previously, Niamh penned, The Coming of the Feminine Christ and The Angel in the Forest. She has been described as an Irish mystic; a doctor of the soul. One reviewer described how The Coming of the Feminine Christ “puts us in mind of Anglo-Irish visionary writer AE, better known as George Russell.” Niamh has been a prolific writer about environmental issues for international magazines and newspapers. The Skyla McFee Wisdom Stories are Niamh’s latest fiction project. Orange Petals in a Storm is the first in the series.

Click here to visit Niamh’s websiteClick here to follow Niamh on Twitter 

Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson

Operations Executive Manager of Orangeberry Group

London, England

Doug Johnson worked in overseas aid and development for most of his working career. He specialised in emergency programmes such as the Mozambique floods, the Ethiopian drought, and the wars in Sudan and Liberia. Doug has vast experience in management and consultancy for agencies such as Oxfam, UNICEF, and Action Aid. He has also been published by Oxfam having written the Seeds and Tools Guide for those working in emergency situations. Doug has also been involved in publishing, built an eco-house, loves gardening, lives on a boat on the River Thames and is the proud grandfather of three little girls.

Click here to follow Doug on Twitter  – Click here for more Tweets from Doug 

Karen S. Elliott

Karen S. Elliott  

Executive Editor at Orangeberry Group

North Dakota, U.S.A.

Karen S. Elliott was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun. Her favorite book is the dictionary. Karen’s favored genre is horror, although she also enjoys reading and writing memoir, historical fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Recent publications include Delaware Shores Losers Club and The Devil’s Passing on and From the Frying Pan Into the Freezer on North Dakota Ambassadors. Karen’s foray into experimental fiction produced The Garden which appeared on She has a story in the anthology Every Child is Entitled to Innocence. Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, writer, and grandmother.

Click here to visit Karen’s website  – Click here to follow Karen on Twitter 


Filed under E-books & E-publishing, Editing & Proofreading, Special Events

Do bad reviews make you go boom?

Bad Reviews, by Wendy Reis, from her blog of August 11, 2011 –

Don’t slit your wrists, heave your laptop into the dumpster, join a convent or drown your sorrows.

If the review is downright nasty it is not really about you. I know, but trust me. If, on the other hand, some of the points have merit (and you may be in no frame of mind to acknowledge that for a week or two), let them aid you in honing your craft and grow from the experience.

We can’t all like the same things. That’s not simplistic, but it is simple. There would be only one writing style, one genre, one boring world if tastes didn’t differ.

Book reviewers have preferences but those should not interfere with the assessment of writing style or character development.

Overall impression is, yes, highly subjective, but a good reviewer will clearly differentiate between that and the general merits of the material.

I get paid to read books and write reviews. I don’t get paid to sugar coat anything or lie. There is not enough money on the planet. But there are gentle ways to convey the message that a book didn’t leave an unforgettable impression.

I won’t write a scathing review of anything. People who do that have other issues and get their jollies out of grinding writers to bits. They go through life, in general, fangs first. If one of those rabid reviewers does a number on your book, try to stay calm.

How should you take it if you ever get a bad review?

Excellent advice from Neil Marr of BeWrite Books
Best policy is to stay mum, Wendy. Ignore nasty reviews, respond quietly and privately to genuine and well-worded criticism with thanks, and take those positively negative reactions to heart. Praise is wonderful. Thoughtful and constructive criticism, though, is rare and invaluable. It should be used to effect and the reviewer merits appreciation for insight.”

Wendy Reis

Wendy Reis has been asked to proofread and edit things since she was in grade 6. She eventually succumbed to the obvious calling to make this her full time pursuit in 2006. She now addresses the problems of fractured or incorrect English in everything from novels, websites, and advertising copy to reports, speeches, presentations, and correspondence. Visit Wendy at her website, Twitter, Facebook.


From Karen –

I have gathered a few additional articles about dealing with bad reviews. Here they are.

From Elizabeth S. Craig at Mystery Writing is MurderCommenting On Reviews: A Different Type of Author Intrusion.

By Lisa Yarde at Best Damn Creative Writing Blog – A somewhat disturbing baby photo made me laugh out loud. The article is good, too. Sorry, Your Baby Is Ugly: Advice for Handling Critical Reviews.

By Marti Talbott at Marti Talbott Stories blog, “Get your writing advice from someone who has already done everything wrong.” See her How to Handle a Bad Book Review.

See a very simple plan at Nathan Bransford’s blog, including a reference to Oscar Wilde – How to Deal With Bad Reviews.

What is your take on handling bad reviews? Respond? Ignore? Shot of bourbon?

Explosion photo


Filed under E-books & E-publishing, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Publishing

Pros and cons of the e-reader – should you have one?

1955 Chevrolet Dashboard

I was born in ’57. I learned to type on a manual typewriter. When I needed to spell a difficult word I picked up a dictionary. We used an atlas to look up foreign countries and to figure out if Milltown Road intersected Kirkwood Highway. The encyclopedia weighed about 200 lbs., without the bookcase.

When this new-fangled craze – e-readers – came along, I was skeptical. I gave it a shot (albeit a small shot, but I gave it a shot!). I read part of a book on my d-in-law’s Kindle. I downloaded a book to my computer.

I don’t like e-reading. For now, I’m sticking with paper. I like to hold a book in my hand; I like to turn a paper page. I can’t see curling up next to the grandkids with a Kindle or a Nook.

Let’s face it – it’s the wave of now and the future. Often, e-readers are a cornerstone for new writers and can lead to overwhelming success. E-readers can also propel successful writers into a whole ‘nother dimension.

Fully aware that my negative opinion on e-readers may not be shared, I queried fellow writers at Writer Unboxed on Facebook. Here are their responses:

Ray Anderson – I just bought my wife a Kindle, and she loves it. I’m still not sold. I have a collection of 6,700 books (and counting). I love books as physical books. Nevertheless, I’ll probably get my own Kindle before the year is out. Why? Convenience! On a trip, I don’t have to lug half a dozen books. And if I want something new, I can download it from anywhere.

Karen Kenney Smith – Maybe it’s the economy or the lack of storage space but I had been buying fewer and fewer print books the last few years. I have my prized collection of favorite authors, especially the signed editions. I started with the Kindle app for my PC as a test drive, then bought one. I went with the Kindle primarily due to the ability to read outside. I also like the ease with which I can carry around several “books” at the same time. I am reading C. C. Humphreys’ *Vlad, the Last Confessions* in print, just finished Steve Umstead’s *Gabriel’s Redemption* on my Kindle and will start R. A. Evans’ *Asylum Lake* next. I also dip in and out of Donald Maass’ new book, *The Breakout Novelist* on my Kindle. Without having to lug 3 or 4 books around or find shelf space. I haven’t tried loading one of my mss on it yet. Some love that ability; it seems too
cumbersome to me. I have a SONY e-reader that I won. I haven’t figured out the benefits of it over a Kindle, yet.

David Michael Prosser – Though I can see the obvious advantages of an e-reader when packing for the holidays, especially if you’re staying in a hotel room 24/7 reading non-stop, I prefer the feel of a real book in my hands. Maybe having the author sign it (which I guess messes up the screen on the e-reader), or perhaps just having a full collection on your shelves which  friends can borrow from. I do have kindle for pc and do have two books on Kindle but I have the paper copies on Amazon too.

Shelley Souza – For the same reasons as Ray, I love books as objects, but I started reading books on my iPad a year ago. From there, I decided the latest Kindle was advanced enough to invest in it (sometimes I’m an early adopter of technology, sometimes I wait for a later generation). I only use the Kindle when I’m outside. It’s lighter than my iPad and fits in most of my bags. At home, I continue to read print books and books on my iPad. Like Ray, I enjoy the convenience of instant samples and/or purchases.

Rachel Grow Law – My favorite feature of the Kindle is that no hands are necessary (aside from the occasional click of a button). Whenever I’m completely engrossed in a book and don’t want to stop reading to dry my hair or feed the kids lunch I can just lay the Kindle on the counter; my hands keep busy with one thing and my eyes with another (admittedly the kids look much messier than usual). My least favorite feature of the Kindle is the amount of time it takes to flip back 50 or 60 pages. If I’m at a book group and we’re discussing a particular section, oftentimes the ladies have moved on to a different subject by the time I’ve found the page. I guess the bottom line is that there are things I like and dislike about each. Neither book nor Kindle is so amazing that it makes the other obsolete.

Penny Epel – I have apps on my iPad – Kindle, Nook, iBooks. I use all three 🙂

Amy Mueller – My husband purchased a Nook for me and I was apprehensive about it at first. I’ve now come to love it and read much more from my Nook than I do physical books. We have a rather large library as it is, and I am a ferocious reader. I read a book every couple of days, a week for a thicker volume. Space is becoming limited. I will still by first editions or autographed editions of my favorite authors and favorite books, but I do buy everything in e format first. My use started when I was doing research and would have to carrying several large texts around with me. It just made it easier. It went from research to leisure, though, when I read a book and was so blown away by the author that I wanted to read everything else she had written. I was able to buy it and have it immediately available.

Jess Lane – My husband just got a Kobo Touch and I checked it out yesterday. I like the portability. Not being able to just flip through pages to get to where I was in the physical book was a bit irksome, but I can completely see where the convenience of having something small for trips would be a great improvement on packing books along. (I remember when I studied abroad, half my suitcase was full of books I couldn’t live without. An e-reader would have made that suitcase a LOT lighter.)

Susan Vigilante – I like e-books best for things like current affairs. “Game Change” was a great and exciting read when it came out; now it’s just old news. By getting it on an e-reader I a) saved half the price and b) don’t feel guilty about it sitting on my already overcrowded bookshelves now. For a while I thought e-readers might be great for things like new mysteries, too. But I found I just didn’t feel comfortable bringing my Kindle to the beach!


How do you feel about the e-reader? What are the pros and cons for you? Do you own one or will you buy one?

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” ~Attributed to Groucho Marx

Sources – Genealogy In Time (photo), Quote Garden


Filed under E-books & E-publishing

Proofreading Tid-Bit

Read the piece backwards. For short stories and magazine articles this is relatively easy. Read backward line by line. If you are pressed for time, read backward paragraph by paragraph. You will be surprised what you discover!

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Filed under E-books & E-publishing, Quick Editing Tips