Baltimore Book Festival school fundraiser

I plan to attend the 2009 edition of the Baltimore Book Festival ... as a customer, though, not as a vendor. But I still feel as if I should be more a part of the action. So, for the rest of September, I decided to give away a few copies of my workplace humor novel, "The Developers," in conjunction with raising money for Southwest Baltimore Charter School.

Publisher List

As a knockoff of my literary agent list, I have decided to supply you with the short list of publishers I have contacted for my latest book venture. After querying agencies for a few months, I started contacting more mid-range publishers with the hopes of avoiding agencies altogether. This is not to say that bypassing an agent is beneficial to everyone; I think it's worthwhile in my case for a few reasons:

Woman wins after being fired for 'confrontational' email

There are numerous ways to get people's attention in an email, although, let's face it, people would rather watch YouTube videos than read emails. But if you work at the New Zealand firm ProCare, you may want to avoid anything other than basic black text. Two years ago, the company fired Vicki Walker for sending an email that highlighted a specific date and time in red, as well as an important message in all caps.

Mapping the reviews

I meant to do this a long time ago, but I wanted to determine how many states I've covered with "The Developers" reviews. By this count, it looks like 18 plus Washington D.C. It would be pretty cool to hear from someone in every state, but let's face it, how many copies of my book are lying around in South Dakota?

Keep people out of your workspace

It happens to everyone ... you're trying to finish some work, but that crazy guy/boss/stalker chick/cougher/obnoxiously loud lady keeps pestering you every five minutes. How do you solve this crisis?

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to CubeGuard. It's essentially a banner you stretch across your cube entrance to keep out unwanted souls, which enables you to "Protect Your Productivity." Choose from a few standard messages or even create your own custom message?

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Random News

Two new locations selling 'The Developers'

The Bookshelf in Cincinnati and A Reader's Corner in Louisville now have "The Developers" in stock. The Bookshelf is located at 7754 Camargo Road, Cincinnati, 45243, while A Reader's Corner can be found at 138 Breckenridge Lane, Louisville, 40207. You can visit A Reader's Corner online at areaderscorner.com.

Celebrate something every day

The holiday season is upon us again. Then again, what if every season, or even every day, was the holiday season?

Now's the time to become a pirate

There are a plenty of new careers and opportunities these days, yet you rarely see anyone entering the piracy field. Some people have invented their own versions of a shipwrecked pirate - stealing stereos, hacking into computer files, playing baseball in Pittsburgh - but few take their chances on the high seas.

On the other hand, the Assocated Press said pirates killed more people in 1998 than the year before. The International Maritime Bureau reported Malaysian pirates, who killed 67 crewmen last year, are "getting increasingly violent."

Pirates? Violent?

Cyber war came before the real thing

What better way to cripple a nation your trying to topple than to take down key websites in the country.

Are those computers actually being recycled?

You've probably seen the signs hanging around your place of business, or maybe you've seen ads in the newspaper promoting a way to get rid of your old computer. "Donate your computer to a third-world school!" or "We recycle your old monitors!" Those seem like noble ideas, but they also beg the question: What is actually being done with your trash?

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