Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Processed Food and How it Impacts Our Wellbeing

Why food firms should be told what – and what not – to put in their products

Forget advertising, reformulation is the way forward. Judy Baxter, CC BY-SA

When it comes to illnesses linked to poor health choices, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the rates at which people die from them have been falling for some time. The bad news is that these diseases are still by far the most common cause of death. Cancers, heart disease, diabetes and the rest are still responsible for 89% of total deaths in the UK and other countries.

Neither is it just about mortality rates. It is also a question of wellbeing. With most of these ailments the result of tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and too much alcohol, the effects will undermine the quality of life of sufferers well before they kill them.

There is also the economic impact. A report published last month suggested that obesity costs Britain £47bn a year, generating an annual loss equivalent to 3% of GDP.

UK mortality rates from lifestyle illnesses


On the food side of the equation, governments combat these problems by pursuing policies to change consumers’ habits and lead them to healthier dietary choices. This includes advertising campaigns like the UK’s 5 a Day, which has for years been used to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables. It can be through food labelling, such as nutritional information or traffic-lights systems to warn people about foods that are bad for them; or by imposing taxes on ingredients like fats (“fat tax” in Denmark – since abolished) or sugars (refined sugar products tax in Norway) or on whole ranges such as soft drinks (“soda tax” in Mexico).

The trouble with public health campaigns

None of this has been very successful, of course. Proposed healthy diets might often be cheaper and even more environmentally friendly, but it is an uphill struggle getting consumers to follow them. Obesity rates are still a major problem. I recently attended a presentation by a speaker from the Food Standards Agency that said that we were making very little progress in reaching our goals to improve nutrition in Scotland.

One complication is that there are several factors that affect food decisions beyond price. Governments are up against our eating habits and arguable addictions to fat, sugar and salt; the little time we invest when choosing what to buy, and therefore reading labels; and the fact that we like to change consumption patterns to avoid boredom – eating habits often get worse at weekends, for example.

Yet in the face of these difficulties in shifting consumer behavior, governments have until recently been far less willing to focus on the manufacturers instead. Manufacturers can make their products healthier in broadly two ways – launching new products into the market or reformulating existing ones.

Opportunities knock

Obviously, food manufacturers have been in the business of developing new products to improve nutrition for many years. Companies will spot opportunities of the sort that Coca Cola clearly thinks it has found by presenting milk in the form of Fairlife.

Sometimes the benefits can be debatable or misleading, such as low-fat yogurts with lots of extra sugar added. But even if we ignore these kinds of problems and take the health improvements at face value, new “healthy” products will only improve nutrition if they replace “unhealthy” products.

Fairlife is unlikely to make you live longer. Tarasyuk Igor

And unfortunately, these kinds of products comprise a much smaller share of the market than you might think. As the chart below shows, even in the soft drinks category, where diet soft drinks are a multi-billion-pound industry, they still comprise less than 50% of total sales.

And in the categories of savories and confectionery, they amount to under 5%. This strongly indicates that there is a low limit to the size of the market that you can reach by introducing healthier product alternatives in most categories.

What actually works

As for reformulating products, a recent analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) indicated that people’s salt consumption was falling because manufacturers were removing salt from their products and not because consumers were choosing products with lower amounts of it (other groups have echoed these findings).

Indeed, the IFS found that some consumers responded to lower-salt products by switching to equivalents with higher levels of it. This highlights a limitation with product reformulation – the fats, sugar, and salt are in the product to maximize their appeal in the first place, so some consumers will just switch brands. Unappealing products will also be discontinued if nobody buys them. Then there is the question of what is scientifically feasible – you can remove added sugar from fruit juice, but removing the sugar from a dessert is another matter.

All the same, this study does point towards a strategy that governments ought to take far more seriously. Since firms will be reluctant to risk losing their customers by reducing the bad stuff, forcing change across the board will often be the only way to make it happen. Governments are taking steps in this direction.

For instance the UK government set voluntary salt targets per serving for a number of categories of consumer foods earlier this year for the first time, echoing efforts elsewhere including Australia.

Reformulation by diktat: policy direction is finally changing. John Lees, CC BY-SA

The UK government has also used voluntary agreements to reduce saturated fats in products. But this was criticized for missing big-name manufacturers and not being ambitious enough.
But what has been missing so far is mandatory action. It is not about scrapping public health campaigns since they keep consumers aware of the issues and signal to the industry what sort of products to offer.

Instead, it is a recognition that after many years of shiny campaigns that do not seem to work well, and unilateral pledges that have a habit of coming up short, this new approach is the best way forward. If you can’t change consumers’ choices, the only sensible option is to make those choices healthier.The Conversation
Cesar Revoredo-Giha, Senior Economist and Team Leader of Food Marketing Research, Scotland's Rural College

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

How to Get Your Book Into a Talk Show

Getting on talk shows to chat about and/or promote your book is an absolute dream come true, think of all the free promotion!  But as you can imagine, it is not easy to land a radio and TV interviews.  Being on television or a radio show is one of those rare milestones that can boost your value, strengthen your reputation, and maybe even increase your book sales.  But how can you achieve this?
  • When you’re pitching to a national television show, your job is to add value, not to sell your book or be the star - while also delivering a stellar on-air performance - can take you a very long way. Let your sense of humor shine through.
  • Given editors’ attention spans, the length of your pitch definitely matters. Shorter is better, try to hook with 3-4 sentences. And: Follow up, often multiple times, by email and phone.
  • Your initial point of contact at a TV show is typically the booking department. Approach them first, but remember also to pitch the show’s producer(s). The more points of contact you have, the better your chances of getting on air.
  • Before you write your pitch, you “need to know the audience, the people watching the show you’re pitching.” If you’re pitching a morning show, for instance, your story should appeal to stay-at-home moms and seniors, who are most likely to be home during the day.
  • To truly stand out from the masses, start by building relationships with hosts and producers of the shows you’re interested in. Fostering relationships first is an essential part of the pitch.  Being a LinkedIn member (with lots of TV show producers, editors, radio show hosts, etc. on your follower list) and also to join HARO (Help a Reporter Out) are essential.
  • The shows you are pitching want to offer their viewers fresh stories, so listing all the other shows you have been on can be “a real turn off”.
  • Rejection: A “no” can mean “not right now” or “not for this show.” It’s just a matter of how it’s pitched and if the content you’ve written is the right content for their particular outlet.
  • Timing is everything: Never pitch at the end of summer when shows are starting up. You will end up in an email list of a thousand and get lost or forgotten. The holidays, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, are also a dangerous time to pitch.
  • Sad but true. In visual media, visual matters. In daytime television particularly, your looks are important. People have to really be presentable and articulate in a compelling and attractive way. While we can’t all look like a top model, we can always put our best face, hair, and wardrobe forward. Be a good listener and remember that you are having a conversation.
  • If you don’t have quality tape, either online or as a DVD, don’t bother contacting major shows.  Unless you can show them a video of the previous on-camera experience, they won’t be interested.
  • Don’t expect the interviewer to have read your book before the show. Be able to explain what’s the readers benefit in reading your book in one or a few sentences.

Prepare, Prepare, and Prepare Even More:
Write down and practice your talking points ahead of time so that you don’t freeze when the cameras are on.  Remember, your goal is to have a natural dialogue with the host and not sound robotic.  Rehearse your talking points to reflect a natural back-and-forth conversation.
Not only on TV but also on a radio show: be enthusiastic.  Even though the audience can’t see you on the radio, they can hear and feel your energy.  It’s perfectly acceptable to provide your own list of questions for the host.  Also, identify all the questions you possibly could be asked. Then write three to four talking points in response to each question.  But keep your answers brief and to-the-point.

Non-Fiction Author Experts
Having already a career as an expert, where you get paid to appear on shows and to offer expertise is a chance for seasoned writers/professionals.  If your goal is to become a “professional expert,” someone making money by appearing on talk shows and reality shows, you’re best served by getting an agent, someone who has professional contacts in the world of talk and reality and has a roster of expert clients.

Conclusion: Remember that the show is not about you. You are not the star of the show. The host is and most of all: the audience is. You are there to keep them interested in the topic - your topic. Refer listeners subtly back to your book. This is the art of a soft-sell. 

Hope these tips will help you to successfully promote your book longterm. They are small steps of building your author brand and reputation and to get your name out there – one step at a time.

Read also:

How to Get Radio Interviews

How to Promote Your Book During your Radio/TV interview

Preparing for a TV/radio interview


How to Get Interviews on Radio and TV Shows
One of the chapters of  BOOK MARKETING ON A SHOESTRING

Get radio interviews and podcast publicity guests interview bookings
http://copalche.rssing.com/chan-1135339/all_p1.html for free! Free radio, Internet radio, satellite radio, talk radio, podcast, and TV talk show guest experts interviews booking service


Monday, June 17, 2019

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting

Most site owners shop their web hosting by price.  A budget might be certainly an important thing to consider, but since the differences in hosting prices are negligible, there are other features and more important factors when choosing the perfect hosting.

Many web hosting services let you choose from several types of packages, each with a different price and slightly different range of offerings. Prices can range from $4.25/month to over $40/month. These price differentials can be attributed to the different features included within each plan and to the eagerness of some newer hosting companies, to grow their brand by offering extremely low rates. 

Customer support in a web hosting service should be efficient and effective, as well as polite and responsive. Your hosting service should quickly answer when contacted and be able to solve your problems right away. 

Do you have all the access you need, and can you find all the functions you require for running your website?  Is there proper documentation and help articles?  Do you have a user-friendly control panel? 
The situation is ideal if you have full control of your site and can manage it on your own – most of the time.

A good hosting service offers both Linux and Windows servers and enables you to move between when necessary.

Choose a hosting service that backs up your web content regularly.

Even if your site is small at the moment, you should look for a minimum of 5 GB of disk space and 250 GB of bandwidth from your web hosting plan. Many web hosts are offering an unlimited amount of both at a very favorable price. 

Choose a web host who‘s control panel is easy to use. 

Look for hosting services that guarantee uptime, and will tell you exactly how they implement this promise.

Four Popular Hosting Services:
Best for: Small business owners and bloggers looking for a low-priced, feature-rich service to get their sites up quickly and affordable.
Best Value: $4.50/Month
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Disk Space: Unlimited
Just Host 
Best for: Inexperienced webmasters looking for a hosting provider with a well organized, easy-to-use user interface at an affordable price.
Best Value: $4.45/month
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Disk Space: Unlimited

Best for: Webmasters looking for instant website setup, an intuitive control panel design and the option to purchase additional professional-grade site builders.
Best Value:$6.95/month
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Disk Space: Unlimited
Host Monster 
Best for: Professional or novice webmasters who require speedy customer phone support and are looking for a plan offering unlimited email accounts.
Best Value:$5.95/month
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Disk Space: Unlimited
The features offered by each provider, as well as the cost of their services, changes over time, so it is important to do your own vetting before deciding which service works best for your business.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Pilot Jobs Snapshot June 6

Captain DHC8-Q400 - Flybe - Multiple Locations in Europe
Salary starts at GBP 70,037
- Valid UK CAA issue EASA ATPL
- 2,500 hrs Minimum including 1,000 PIC
- Operated in this capacity within the last 12 months
Job reference: REQ01289

Citation 550 Captain - Fresno, CA -  for Part 91/135 operation
- ATP and CE500 Type Rating
- 3,000 hrs Total Time
- 1,500 hrs Multi-Engine time
- 1,000 hrs Turbine or 200 hrs Jet

GV Captain - Sun Air Jets - Camarillo, CA
- 3,000 hrs TT
- GV type rating
- 500 hrs GV

DA-2000 Falcon Captain - Sun Air Jets - Camarillo, CA
- DA-2000 type rating, 100hr in type
- Previous 135 experience desired
- 3,000 hrs TT
- 1,500 hrs turbojet
- 500 hrs turbojet PIC

Flight Training Instructor - Part-Time Position - Delta - Atlanta, GA
pilot training and evaluation for pilots of Delta Air Lines & other carriers
- 2,000 hrs flight experience
- computer-savvy


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Welcome to the Cannabis-Campus

Anyone 19 years of age or older has been able to legally buy marijuana in Canada since October 2018.  Legalization has brought a boom to Canada, and new companies are emerging everywhere that specialize in the cultivation or distribution of cannabis, among other things.
A New Industry
Anyone over the age of 19 can buy marijuana in licensed shops grown by officially licensed producers, many of whom are even listed on the stock exchange. New companies emerging everywhere specializing in the cultivation, distribution, the development, and research of cannabis.
Universities are also Responding to this Trend
Universities are afraid of losing the connection if they don't bring cannabis to the campus.
Where to Study Cannabis Production:

Niagara College, for example, offers a course in commercial cannabis production. Among other things, it teaches lighting concepts, legal aspects, pest management, cost analysis, and proper fertilization.  "There is a new and overwhelming need for qualified and well-trained professionals in the booming cannabis industry," says the university's homepage.  The first courses started in autumn of 2018, even before cannabis was officially legalized.  There were 300 applicants at that time, for 24 places, also the spring course is already full and for autumn 2019 there are only chances over the waiting list.

Ryerson University is currently running a course entitled "The Cannabis Business", which deals with sales, marketing and regulations, among other things. 

Durham College, on the other hand, is aimed at students with a degree in business administration and offers them an advanced course on the cannabis industry.  If you want to know more about medical marijuana, you need to enroll at McGill University.  If you want to deal with legal issues relating to cannabis, Ottawa University is the place to go. They advertise that students can also visit the facilities of Canopy Growth, Canada's largest cannabis producer.  The company is run by a graduate from Ottawa.

But hardly any university can keep up with what Niagara College offers: In several freight containers there is a highly secured plantation. In this building, which students only call a "cannabis bunker", cannabis plants grow under bright LED lights and industrial conditions. Students can practice what they have learned in theory.  But one downside remains: at the end of each course, the plants are destroyed instead of consumed.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Subduing and Controling Women in Alabama

An Abhorrent Law - Let's vote Republicans out...
Why you all want to control our bodies, I will never ever know.Alabama state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures (D)
Figures, one of just four women in the Alabama Senate, told her Republican counterpart that there isn’t a single law in the country that decides “what a man can or cannot do with his body.” She also acknowledged she isn’t sure whether she would get an abortion herself, but said she believes it should up to women to make their own decision. 
“I will have to be honest with you: I praise God every day that I was never, ever put in that situation to make that choice,” Figures said. “I don’t know what choice I would have made. I really don’t. And that is why I so firmly believe that it should be a woman’s choice, that a woman knows what she’s up against, she knows what she has to do ― whether she can or cannot provide for that child.”
“You are playing God, in my opinion, because you’ve already decided what needs to be done,” she added. “You all don’t rule the world. I mean, you may think you do, but you don’t.”
Read the whole story in the HuffingtonPost:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Monsanto’s Roundup, Alzheimer's, and Autism

The Horrific Truth about Roundup:  Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide May Be Most Important Factor in Development of Autism and Other Chronic Diseases.

Dr. Mercola: "In recent months, we have learned some very disturbing truths about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, which is generously doused on genetically engineered (GE) Roundup-Ready crops."

GE crops are typically far more contaminated with glyphosate than conventional crops, courtesy of the fact that they are engineered to withstand extremely high levels of Roundup without perishing along with the weed.

A new peer-reviewed report authored by Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, and a long time contributor to the Mercola.com Vital Votes Forum, and  Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health.

In the interview above, Dr. Seneff summarizes the two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Systemic toxicity

Their findings make the need for labeling all the more urgent, and the advice to buy certified organic all the more valid.

The Horrific Truth about Roundup
In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of lying; falsely advertising its Roundup herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean."

Mounting evidence now tells us just how false such statements are. I don’t believe that Monsanto is one of the evilest companies on the planet for nothing.  The company has done absolutely nothing to improve its worldwide influence on human and environmental health.

In a video, Jeffrey Smith, author of the bestseller Seeds of Deception, says Monsanto, during some reflective moment, must have asked: “What would Darth Vader do?” Because what they have come up with is a way of pretending that they’re beneficial and then insinuating themselves into the food and agriculture industry, and now it turns out that what they have is very, very dangerous.

Indeed, according to Dr. Seneff, glyphosate is possible "the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies,” including but not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, 
  • chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease
  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • ALS, and more

How Glyphosate Worsens Modern Diseases
While Monsanto insists that Roundup is as safe to humans as aspirin, Seneff and Samsel’s research tells a different story altogether.  Their report, which was published in the journal Entropy1, argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”

Interestingly, your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.
Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals.  However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.

The bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by 10 to 1. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds, and all of them have the shikimate pathway, so they will all respond to the presence of glyphosate!

Glyphosate causes extreme disruption of the microbe’s function and lifecycle. What’s worse, glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow and take over. At that point, your body also has to contend with the toxins produced by the pathogens.

Once the chronic inflammation sets in, you are well on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating diseases. In the interview, Dr. Seneff reviews a variety of chronic diseases, explaining how glyphosate contributes to each condition.

The Overlooked Component of Toxicity
The research reveals that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, a large and diverse group of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances. This, the authors state, is “an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals.” One of the functions of CYP enzymes is to detoxify xenobiotics—chemical compounds found in a living organism that is not normally produced or consumed by the organism in question.
By limiting the ability of these enzymes to detoxify foreign chemical compounds, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of chemicals and environmental toxins you may be exposed to.

But that’s not all. Dr. Stephanie Seneff has been conducting research at MIT for over three decades. She also has an undergraduate degree in biology from MIT and a minor in food and nutrition, and I have previously interviewed her about her groundbreaking insights into the critical importance of sulfur in human health. Not surprisingly, this latest research also touches on sulfur, and how it is affected by glyphosate from food.

“We show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport,” the authors write.

“Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.  ...

The Roundup-Autism Connection
For the past 30 years, Dr. Seneff has been passionate about teasing out potential causes of autism, after seeing what it was like for a close friend whose son was diagnosed. She points out the clear correlations between increased glyphosate use over recent years (the result of genetically engineered crops causing weed resistance, necessitating ever-larger amounts to be used) and skyrocketing autism rates.

The rate of autism has risen so quickly, there can be no doubt that it has an environmental cause. Our genes simply cannot mutate fast enough to account for the rapid rise we’re now seeing. The latest statistics released by the CDC show that 1 in 50 children in the US now falls within the autism spectrum 2,3, with a 5:1 boy to girl ratio. Just last year the CDC reported a rate of 1 in 88, which represented a 23 percent increase since 2010, and 78 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, I remember when the incidence of autism in the US was only 1 in 10,000—just short of 30 years ago!

Dr. Seneff identified two key problems in autism that are unrelated to the brain yet clearly associated with the condition—both of which are linked with glyphosate exposure (starting at 10 minutes into the interview, she gives an in-depth explanation of how glyphosate causes the many symptoms associated with autism):

Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance) disrupted sulfur metabolism/sulfur and sulfate deficiency...
Interestingly, certain microbes in your body actually break down glyphosate, which is a good thing. However, a byproduct of this action is ammonia, and children with autism tend to have significantly higher levels of ammonia in their blood than the general population. Ditto for those with Alzheimer’s disease. In your brain, ammonia causes encephalitis, i.e. brain inflammation.

Another devastating agent you really do not want in your body is formaldehyde, which a recent nutritional analysis discovered is present in genetically engineered corn at a level that is 200 times the amount that animal studies have determined to be toxic to animals. Formaldehyde destroys DNA and can cause cancer.

Other research backing up the Roundup-autism link is that from former US Navy staff scientist Dr. Nancy Swanson. She has a Ph.D. in physics, holds five US patents and has authored more than 30 scientific papers and two books on women in science. Ten years ago, she became seriously ill, and in her journey to regain her health she turned to organic foods. Not surprisingly (for those in the know) her symptoms dramatically improved. This prompted her to start investigating genetically engineered foods.

She has meticulously collected statistics on glyphosate usage and various diseases and conditions, including autism. A more perfect match-up between the rise in glyphosate usage and the incidence of autism is hard to imagine...

When Food Is Poison...
What the biotech industry, spearheaded by Monsanto, has managed to do is turn food into poison... quite literally, and in more ways than one. Here, we’re just talking about the effects of Roundup. There are plenty of indications that the genetic alteration of a crop itself can pose significant health concerns. So with the vast majority of GE crops, you have no less than two potentially hazardous factors to contend with, glyphosate toxicity being just one part of the equation.

As discussed above, glyphosate has a number of devastating biological effects. So much so that it may very well be one of the most important factors in the development of a wide variety of modern diseases and conditions, including autism.
In summary, these detrimental effects include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies, as glyphosate immobilizes certain nutrients and alters the nutritional composition of the treated crop. 
  • Disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (these are essential amino acids not produced in your body that must be supplied via your diet).
  • Increased toxin exposure (this includes high levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde in the food itself)
  • Impairment of sulfate transport and sulfur metabolism; sulfate deficiency
  • Systemic toxicity—a side effect of extreme disruption of microbial function throughout your body; beneficial microbes in particular, allowing for overgrowth of pathogens
  • Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)
  • Enhancement of damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins as a result of glyphosate shutting down the function of detoxifying enzymes
  • Creation of ammonia (a byproduct created when certain microbes break down glyphosate), which can lead to brain inflammation associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from This Systemic Poison

It's important to understand that the glyphosate sprayed on conventional and genetically engineered crops actually become systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off.  It's inside the plant.

For example, genetically engineered corn has been found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. At 13 ppm, GMO corn contains more than 18 times the “safe” level of glyphosate set by the EPA. Organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm. If that’s not reason enough to become a label reader to avoid anything with corn in it, such as corn oil or high fructose corn syrup, I don’t know what is.

Stop using Roundup around your home, where children and pets can come into contact with it simply by walking across the area.

Until the US requires genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled, the only way you can avoid GE ingredients is to make whole, fresh organic foods the bulk of your diet, and to only buy 100% USDA certified organic processed foods.  Meats need to be grass-fed or pastured to make sure the animals were not fed GE corn or soy feed.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Do You Really Need a Literary Agent?

Many writers ask whether they need a literary agent. It truly depends on your unique circumstances – and the quality of the agent. And it is much more important for an author in the US and UK to have representation than it is in Canada or Australia. This is partly a reflection of the market size and also partly a reflection of culture.
Don't Send the Manuscript
Sending your (partial) manuscript into the online slush pile is a waste of time. Most writers with a finished manuscript don’t mind too much whether they get an agent before a publisher, or skip straight to the publisher. They just want to see their book out in the bookstores of the world. So the tips that follow apply equally to finding an agent as they do to finding a publisher.
Research, Research, and Research Even More
There’s a lot of information hiding in plain sight if you know where to look. Start with your own library: what have you read that has something in common with your manuscript – such as genre, subject, historical time period?
The Imprint page
. This is the page at the very beginning of the book that details the publishing house that has produced it. It’s useful to note down the different imprints that belong to the same publishing house. For example, Penguin Random House is the huge behemoth publishing house, but within its universe, you will find imprints such as Viking and Michael Joseph. Familiarise yourself with which books are published under which imprint because these are conscious commercial decisions publishers make. Agents and publishers need to feel that your manuscript would be a great fit with a particular imprint.

The publisher’s website will contain numerous pages devoted to each of its imprints. Study these to determine which imprint/s your work aligns with. You will be amazed at the education this gives you (or at least the number of fresh questions about the publishing process you’ll have), and at how impressive you will be to a prospective agent or publisher.
Literary agent website submissions guidelines. I feel this needs to be listed separately because unpublished authors regularly feel free to ignore submission guidelines posted on literary agents’ websites. Those guidelines are there for a reason...
Find a lot more tips by Virginia Lloyd, a former literary agent:



Sunday, April 21, 2019

TODAY ONLY - Sunday, April 21 - 82% OFF

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up 

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing 
The #1 New York Times bestselling guide to 
decluttering your home and the inspiration for the hit 
Netflix show: Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

get the eBook for only $2.99 here: