#writering: Hey Harper Lee Estate, Why Care Now?

#writering is an occasional column by Beth Wareham, co-founder of Lisa Hagan Books.

 

I’m calling bullshit on the Harper Lee estate. I know some of the actors – and I choose that word carefully and correctly – and their greed at the end of Harper’s life took Atticus Finch away from us.

Let me explain. Harper Lee published one book in her lifetime – To Kill a Mockingbird. She did not publish – nor would publish – another book. She also never allowed another film version of the book because she loved the Gregory Peck one so much.  When she died, her estate whipped out To Set a Watchman, the prequel to Mockingbird, and Harper Collins raced to publish.  It was a multi-million dollar deal, big by publishing standards.

The problem? To Set a Watchman was about the racist, unconscious Atticus Finch. (And God knows, we have plenty of those characters, imagined and real.) When her editor at Harper Collins read it all those years ago, the editor said, “go back home and try again.” Brilliant words, it turned out. A wonderful couple in New York City paid Harper’s expenses for a year and she wrote her masterpiece. America now had Atticus and he is an important figure in all our imaginations, a morality that goes where we do.

So now, the estate is swooping in to control the Broadway play that Aaron Sorkin is mounting.  That’s all fine and good – it’s their property – but don’t come to the aid on Harper’s behalf. You already sold her and Atticus out for money, something she managed to avoid in her lifetime. The play was produced everywhere by school children because again, money wasn’t her thing.

Because Harper was a great artist – she took a huge societal cruelty and fought it with a story – and her “estate” is a bunch of moist-handed “businessmen,” I’m going to skip the Broadway play – if it happens. I skipped the second book and To Kill a Mockingbird is here on my beside, where it will stay.

How about this, everyone. Stop messing with To Kill a Mockingbird and let future generations discover To Kill a Mockingbird by reading it. Let the Atticus feng-sui cover them like warm caramel as they begin to feel their own moral center, a world based on fairness, kindness, and the idea we are all innocent until proven guilty.

More Atticus, I say. Less everything else.

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#writering: Forget Coal, It’s Publishing

Photo: A group of editorial assistants strike out for lunch at Chipotle, New York City, 2018.

#writing is an occasional blog about writing, editing and publishing by Beth Wareham, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books.

Yup, we’ve gone down the rabbit hole. No longer is a complete sentence of value to much of anyone. Shouts, blurts, name-calling and a general idiot wind are the order of the day. And everywhere, glorious coal waves as they chip away at the cilia in our lungs. (Land in Beijing and their coal dust-saturated air triggers a chest infectionin in MINUTES. Wow! That’s coal!  Let’s also celebrate what coal does to our drinking water too. Yummy!)

As coal spreads out, the “John Q Editor has left the company” email rebounds across the electrified universe at an alarming rate. Agents, writers and editors stare into space and murmur, “does ANYONE still work in publishing?”   An actual publishing company seemed to disappear overnight and everyone was left holding every kind of bag. Heck, everyone I know left except the ones that weren’t any good at it.

I feel bad for coal miners. They were made obsolete through technology. So was the steel worker. You can make a ton of steel in an hour with just one person because of automation. I feel bad for the publishing worker too; but less bad because he or she is supposed to be smart — and I’m not talking about the ability to talk about Henry James.

Technology has overrode much of publishing too. Get rid of that ridiculous office and layers of nonsensical workers and take to the machines. That’s all you need to make a book. Focus on the language, strengthening it for future generations. Focus on subjects the world NEEDS, rather than your idiotic and vague suppositions about what you think will sell. Develop GOOD and it will sell. Take the time you spent in manufacturing and join the 21st century. Make the writing as good as it can get.

That’s the hard part; great writing. “Fire and Fury” is not going to do it. Something big, meaningful, profound. Just because so many great stories have gone visual doesn’t degrade the imagination; images enhance it. Watching Netflix is not the enemy; focusing on it as the enemy is the enemy.

No, you’re not a coal miner. You’re a writer or an editor or a publisher. Work harder on your words. Delight someone. I swear, words burn hotter and longer than coal and don’t give you a lung infection.

You’ll be writing and dreaming years after the last vein has been tapped out and the last miner rips off his Davey Lamp, enters the cage and rises up. Coal will truly be over – as it should be – and publishing will still be okay because our need to learn and connect through stories will never go away.

I am hopeful that coal will pass (it’s not healthy for human or planet!) and publishing will finally ride those machines and be of interest to many.  Then, the publishing overlords (not cool ones like in Game of Thrones, believe me) might let some of these workers live. Publishing could use the extra hands.

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Stop Chatting and USE IT #LinkedIn

 

by Bill Humbert, RecruiterGuy.com

You have heard from almost every job search and recruiting blogger on the LinkedIn topic. This blog is different because the author is both an expert recruiter with 37 years of professional and corporate recruitment experience; and an expert career transition consultant with 20 years of career consulting while being the published author of 2 books on finding a job.

Why develop your LinkedIn profile? In today’s world order, LinkedIn is more valuable than internet job boards to identify and network into your next exciting position. The job boards provide you with the names of companies that are searching for your ideal position.

Then, it is wise to write the name of the company in the search box of LinkedIn. Click on people instead of jobs. As you page through people, search for leaders of your area of expertise in the targeted company to invite to link with you.

With every new profile you uncover, look to the right column under People Also Viewed. Are there people in that column who are interesting to you for your networking purposes? If so, find something you have in common with them – and invite them to link directly with you.

For instance, did they mention they are interested in education? Mention one of your education interests where you volunteered in your invitation. Then ask if they would like to link with you. Adding your phone number creates an opportunity to speak with them in person and a sense of sincerity.

Sales and marketing professionals in your industry or field are great to add to your LinkedIn network because they typically know many people in higher positions – and who those leaders would like to hire next.

Once someone links directly with you, most times you have their direct phone number in the top right of their profile under Contact Info. Click on Show More. If they do not list their phone number? Not a problem! You know their company. Call the company number. Many times, their voicemail system has a directory – fewer and fewer gatekeepers!

Hint! Work building your LinkedIn profile and connections during non-Prime Time – after or before hours when you can network directly with your LinkedIn connections.

Create an interesting profile for your new potential connections and recruiters. What is interesting? Include accomplishments with their metrics. Most people like to connect with other people they feel are top performers – and you just proved you are a top performer!

Add blogs to your profile under your articles about the length of this blog on the topics in your field where you have demonstrated expertise. This is a great way to build the perception of topic knowledge – in other words that you are an expert.

Interesting people are the ones who are offered interesting positions. You are on the road to becoming more interesting – and someone others want to network.

This is the best way to link up with LinkedIn. Intelligent, thoughtful linking will build the network you want — and the network you will go to time and time again in the course of your career.

Remember, it is your career and no one else’s.  Reach for what you want and let LinkedIn help you build it. It’s just another tool in a world filled with them.

To receive job offers in 90 days, order Humbert’s new book, Employee 5.0, and use his 12-step program, sure to bring offers if the plan is worked hard and true.

Follow Bill Humbert, Recruiter Guy on Twitter @BillHumbert

To subscribe to Humbert’s YouTube Channel for a series of job search tips, click here.

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A SIZZLING DIVORCE PARTY: 5 HOT TIPS

Mark Famiglietti and Lane Garrison are Hollywood actors, producers and screenwriters who, though happily married, chose the divorce party to explore what we are together and, perhaps more importantly, who we are apart, as individuals. Their first book – a movie-tie in, of course – is The Divorce Party: 12 Steps to Celebrate the New You! (Lisa Hagan Books , $7.99 pb, $4.99 ebook). The movie will debut in June 2018 and the book is available on amazon now.

Currently, trash-the-dress parties are all the rage. Some brides do it immediately after the wedding. But it’s a great centerpiece for a divorce party so, here are some ideas for your version:

  1. Light it afire. As the photo above shows, a large body of water should be at your back. For putting out the dress.
  2. Invite your guests to spray paint their names all over your dress. Or, use a different medium – say Sharpies or acrylic paint – and add a message!
  3. Jump off a high wharf or dock into water. (Make sure to divorce in summer!) Snorkeling and diving are also encouraged. Pools are good if it entails an afternoon of swimming. A river float is best. (Imagine the Selfies!)
  4. Remove sleeves of wedding dress. Cut the skirt into a mini and hem. (A hi/lo hem might be nice.) Lose the veil and find some platform pumps in any color but white. Turn the sacred into the profane and party, girl. It will cheer you up.
  5. “Dye” your wedding dress by tossing drinks on it all night long. See the pretty colors and shapes, just like Jackson Pollack.

 

Whatever happens at this stress filled-time in life, remember to pause and be grateful. A new life begins. Celebrate it. Smile and laugh with your friends. You’ve earned it.

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The Key? An Engaged Boss. Find One.

By Bill Humbert, Recruiterguy.com

As a professional Recruiting Consultant with 37 years of expert recruitment experience, employee engagement is important to me, my business and my clients’ businesses. The 2017 State of the American Workplace by Gallup (http://news.gallup.com/reports/199961/7.aspx) produced some eye-opening results.

According to the Gallup study, only 29% of frontline managers were engaged in their jobs in 2016. Consider the impact of 71% of frontline managers who were NOT engaged in their jobs. According to the same study, only 34% of American professional workers are engaged in their positions. This should not be a surprise, given that most of their managers are not engaged.

People can love their company, its goals, and social brand yet hate their job because they are managed by someone else who does not want to be there. Many times, that person exhibits passive/aggressive behavior towards their direct reports. They may take credit for the successes of their direct reports. These behaviors take initiative away from the staff. Politically, those managers know how to play the game to remain as a manager while professionals in positions below them leave one after another. Worse yet, are you an employee of a company that forces you to resign your position and reapply for the same position with fewer benefits?

This is where you come in. Are you one of the 66% of American Professionals who are unhappy in your position? Do you realize there are good companies out there with top managers? Are you willing to work to find one of those companies? Do you want to earn more than 0% to 2% annual raises?

The answer is to become Employee 5.0 and leave that job! No, not until you identify and accept an offer for your new position where you will accept a new challenge, where you can have fun at work; and report to someone who is building a team of top performers.

Both women and men experience these poor managers. It is amazing how many people feel trapped. Employee 5.0 is empowered to make a positive change in their lives. There are jobs in the world (even in your town) where you make impacts; and enjoy your work so much that you cannot believe you are being paid.

Learn more by reading Employee 5.0 Secrets Of A Successful Job Search In The New World Order. This book is one of a very few written by an expert recruiter and expert career transition consultant. You Deserve Better! Take Charge of Your Career!

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To order a copy of Employee 5.0, click here.

To subscribe to Humbert’s series of free videos, click here.

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Divorce: Don’t forget the cake!

Two Hollywood guys, both young and happy, did something odd: They wrote a screenplay about divorce. The film debuts in June 2018 and Lane Garrison’s and Mark Famiglietti’s  The Divorce Party: 12 Steps to Celebrate the New You!  is now available on amazon! 

With 12 short chapters, Garrison and Famiglietti lay out all the elements of a perfect end to anyone’s marriage — a really great bash done the exact way you want it to be. After all, it’s about you now. Let ‘er rip.

Here’s some of the many details you must consider:

Location Location Location – Don’t just have this in your living room like every other evening ever. You are announcing to the world a new you, complete with new energy and a new outlook. This about booking a private room in a a restaurant, or its entire bar.  Love to bowl? Reserve as many lanes as your budget allows and have a blast. Book a spa weekend with your bestie or chase tiger fish across Africa.

Confection Selection – You’d have to be in a coma not to notice the amazing divorce cakes in the pages of glossies and lifestyle websites. Pastry chefs say this divorce dessert business is growing exponentially every year. It’s your chance to make a profound statement and eat it too. Pinterest is a great place for design ideas.

Make a Break-Up Playlist – Every party is about great music and yours will be no exception.  The end of love enthralls songwriters and you have a vast library to choose from. Here’s mine:

You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt

Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyonce with Jack White

You Outa Know – Alannis Morrissette

It Ain’t Me Babe; Idiot Wind – Bob Dylan

We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals

No More I Love You’s – Annie Lenox

Get Back – The Beatles

Love the Way You Lie – Eminem with Rhianna

I Feel Free – Cream

Bye Bye Love – The Cars

So Cruel – U2

I Need A Lover – Pat Benatar

I Can See Clearly Now – Jimmy Cliff

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

 

If you are divorcing, celebrate the ending and beginning of a new you. If you have a friend or family member uncoupling, slip them a copy of The Divorce Party and help them start planning a bash and fun and hopeful as their future. Gather together and make a little lemonade.

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THE CREEPS ARE FROM AROUND HERE

Nick Redfern has a remarkable career. He’s written over 20 books on everything from Slenderman to Bigfoot and he’s not stopping anytime soon. In addition, he travels the world hunting down monsters and appears regularly on The History Channel and SyFy, reporting on his findings. He also writes for the London Daily Express, Fortean Times, Fate, UFO Magazine, and Mysterious Universe. Nick is a busy guy.

Lisa Hagan Books is proud to publish this wunderkind’s series of men, women, and children in black, a bone-chilling look at dark entities that show up at the door and start knocking. Don’t open it;  they have an agenda and it isn’t nice.

Some folks like the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones M.I.B. characterization, but it could not be further from the truth. The M.I.B. are often threatening and always deeply weird.  (We’re talking a lot worse than Stephen Miller and his awfully large forehead.).Their legs jerk and their suits flap off their bodies, five sizes too large. They use equipment from the 1930s and 40s and can’t taste food.  They’re everywhere.

Why? Redfern, in his final yet-to–be published book on the MIB, WIB, and Black-Eyed Children phenomenon (Lisa Hagan Books, April 2018) introduces the idea of the tulpa, the Tibetan belief that thoughts can become real.  No longer will you be safe if you just stay away from strange activity; you can be a victim by just having a thought! 

As you read these books, you’ll have more questions than answers at the end and that’s the point. Nothing is ever wilder than our wildest imaginings, as Redfern has repeatedly pointed out.

Order Nick’s MIB series and plan to stay up late. The shadows will move and the floorboards will groan because just picking up one of these books invites them in to your head and your house. Be prepared for creepy all around.

To order Men in Black (ebook on sale for $2.99)

To order Women in Black (ebook on sale for $2.99)

To order 365 Days of UFOs (ebook on sale for $2.99)

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The KEY to Great Job Interviews

Bill Humbert, dba recruiterguy.com, is a corporate recruiter who has dedicated much of his life to matching talent with employer.  In Employee 5.0, he tells the job seeker what it takes to get into managerial roles and corner offices, all in an organized sales system sure to generate job offers in 90 days.  If you’ve been spit out of your corner office during downsizing, Humbert shows you how to dust off the uniform and get back on the field.

After a career of reading thousands of resumes, conducting thousands more interviews, and negotiating on every side of the table, Humbert says that one element of a job interview launches it from good to great:

Storytelling

In the book, Humbert asks you to make a list of your “impacts” and create stories around each one.  The people who interview you don’t say, “remember her great skirt?” They say “remember that woman who told the great story about doubling walk-up business with her phone?”

Which of the following would you remember?

“I sold 233 units in the first quarter, 233 in the next, 275 in the third and 299 at year’s end.”

“Last year, my final sales were up 33%. so I bought my wife a boat.”

Learn how to sharpen your professional career search skills while creating a warm, human approach to all you encounter on the hunt with Employee 5.0: Secrets of a Successful Job Hunt in the New World Order

The first step to getting that offer is getting them to remember who you are: Tell stories.  Not only will stand out from the crowd, you’ll soon be employed.

 

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/by Beth Wareham, editor in chief   @giantsweettart 

 

 

 

 

He’s left me. Let’s party!

It’s true; you’re divorcing. Whatever signaled the end – a loud booming fight or a harrowing lawn mower flight – it’s time for you to gather yourself, think about the future, and throw a damn great party to show the world you know how to take it on the chin with style.

Enter two young filmmakers, Mark Famiglietti and Lane Garrison, and their movie tie-in THE DIVORCE PARTY: 12 Steps to Celebrate the New You!.  In one nifty little book, they dish on marriage – and it’s dissolution –  factoids as well as history’s great divorce parties. In twelve clear steps, they show anyone how to plan and execute a divorce party that proclaims, “I’m an individual and here I am!”  It’s an ending, sure, but it’s a great beginning as well.

All over the world, reports of life-changing divorce parties are rolling in. Here’s just a sampling:

1. A woman in Cornwall, England rented a hot tub for her divorce party. It was so much fun she started a business renting and installing hot tubs all over Cornwall.

2. “Take It Back” ceremonies abound. Sometimes called a “reverse wedding”, a divorcing “bride” or “groom” walks through the marriage vows in reverse order, undoing their promises and releasing themselves – and their former partner – to the greater world.

3. “Never Scared” parties include skydiving, pole dancing, surfing and hang gliding. Many use the divorce as a moment to try a risky sport. Why not? Nothing more dangerous than marriage.

4. “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My…” parties usually take place at a spa or retreat-like setting where women can symbolically exfoliate an ex and come home radiant and ready to rock and roll.

Pick up a copy of The Divorce Party:  12 Steps to Celebrate the New You! and start planning. Better yet, buy a copy for a friend and jump-start their joy. Today really is the first day of the rest of your life. Meet it with a smile on your face and an open heart. This time is for you.

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Divorce Parties Make Marriage Worth It

Ever been to a divorce party? Often times,  they’re much more interesting than the marriage whose ending they mark.

In The Divorce Party: 12 Steps to a Celebrate the New You , filmmakers turned first-time

authors Mark Famiglietti and Lane Garrison give every divorcing person 12 simple steps to creating the most fabulous, funniest party to mark an end and celebrate a beginning.  And why not? Everyone who has made the finish line KNOWS they deserve a party.

Publishing right into the heavy divorce time (it starts up every year the day after Valentine’s Day) and in plenty of time for the companion film’s summer release, The Divorce Party is sheer how-to with a wink and a smile, a reminder to make that lemonade in the face of struggle.

While this party has many of the aspects of other parties, it is unforgettable in most other ways — invites, dress, decorations, and mood.  The “ex” might be a part of the scene or never mentioned. A Las Vegas party went on for three days and included countless changes of clothes. Another divorce party was on a fishing boat (aluminum fishing boat).

Any spot can be the site of a great divorce party. All it takes is the will and imagination. And, if you can go to all the trouble of getting married, put some effort and get unmarried with style.

Grab a copy of this nifty little book or buy it for a friend and help them start planning. It will take their mind off of who gets the house.

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