Monday, July 30, 2012

ESPRESSO (Book Machine), ANYONE?

A while back, I read an article in my local newspaper that talked about a printing press for the digital age. There, in black and white, was a photo of an independent bookstore in our nation’s capital where a store employee was using a new-fangled, self-contained printer called the Espresso Book Machine.
It really isn’t a simple copier. The Espresso Book Machine will print paperback books of various sizes, thickness, in color or black and white. The best part? It does it while you watch.
To say I was intrigued is an understatement. I immediately wondered how this would help me sell more books. I just proofed the first print copy of my Scottish Time Travel, My Honorable Highlander, so I soaked up every word in the article. I was more than eager to locate the machine and watch it in action.
Guess what? N.C.State has one! Nestled beneath the library on Hillsborough Street is the copy center called Wolf Xpress Print and Copy Service. Better yet, they planned to host a group of local writers with a demonstration. I snuck in and was welcomed by Teri Hellmann, the manager of Wolf Xpress, and her associate, Anthony. (I was actually invited by a member of the group)

The machine is no bigger than a good-sized office copier, but the sides are clear! You can watch the pages as they are printed. You can smell the glue as the cover is attached. Terri printed a approximately 9 by 7” book, of about 300 pages, in less than 5 minutes. When all was said and done, and they answered all the questions I could think of, they printed several copies of the Wolf Xpress Espresso Book Machine Manual and passed them out. Free!

The booklet states that N.C. State (my sister Kim Beegle’s Alma Mater) plans to produce:

·         Custom Textbooks

·         Course packs, lab manuals, & study guides

·         Student thesis & research projects

·         Novels and poetry collections

·         University or corporate reports

·         Comic Books & Graphic Novels

·         And more

Wow! Here is an opportunity for me to print my own books. It looks similar to the on-line publishing I am currently trying at Amazon’s Createspace. You choose the size you want the book, then download the template. Terri and her staff will even sell you an ISBN. They also have designers on staff who can create a book cover for you.
The demonstration was awesome, and I can see why colleges and independent bookstores might want these Espresso Book Machines. I paid a fee to Createspace to make my book available for sale to libraries and colleges, so I should be able to see more sales as these machines pop up. The newspaper article mentioned that this machine turns independent bookstores into places to get books published. It can potentially allow them to have as many books as Amazon, available within minutes to their in-store customer.
For the voracious reader (like me) NOT having to wait for the book to get shipped, is great. Also, for self-published authors whose books are not available at bookstores, hurray!
Nancy Lee Badger

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm From ANOTHER WORLD (the soap opera)

Nancy & Joe Rothenberger with an EMMY
I have been traveling back and forth from my home in North Carolina to help out with family in Florida, and I recently made a side trip to visit an old friend. Not that he is any older than me, of course, but he did live two doors down from me back in Huntington, NY and we graduated elementary, junior high, and high school together.

Joseph Rothenberger had a special man for a dad...Joe Senior...and the older Mr. Rothenberger took pity on an eighteen-year-old neighbor. I hadn't yet found a summer job, that summer after my freshman year of college. He said he could get me a day's work at NBC, where he was a producer.

Now I had not, until that point, been much of a soap opera watcher (if you don't count Dark Shadows) but even I had heard of Another World. So, off we went in his chauffer-driven car toward New York City. Don't ask me where the studio was, but I enjoyed the lovely neighborhood since I walked around it with other actors during our lunch break.

Other actors? Yes, I was hired to work as an on-air actor in a non-speaking role! I played a hospital Candystriper, and pushed open the double doors in a fake hospital corridor. Two 'real' actors followed right behind me.

It took all day to record the one-hour show. I received a check for $50, which was a fortune (later that summer I earned $25/week as a camp counselor) I could work no more than one day since I did not have an actor's card, but that was okay.

I still have the script for the show with various hash-marks and I amazed other dorm mates when I sat and read along with the script when the show aired in early 1972. (Yeah, I'm an oldie but goodie)

What has any of this to do with my life? I never wanted to act, but found that a one day stint on a popular television show helped me when I worked in retail, served in a restaurant, or fielded emergency calls as a 9-1-1 operator. Each job, over the years, went smoother because I became what they wanted of me. Today, I am who I want to be, which is why I write books.
Kathleen & Nancy

Getting back to Joe... I drove the 80 or so miles across Florida to his home in Ocala and finally met his lovely wife, Kathleen. She has helped edit several of my books, and it was great to put a face to the voice. When she and Joe gave me a tour of their studio (they create advertising videos and the like) I spotted from the corner of my eye something large and gold.

A close up of the EMMY

"Is Emmy?" I asked.

When he brought it closer, my eyes widened. I held an Emmy his dad had been awarded for...GET THIS...
Another World!
Eerie considering all the shows the man produced. I got Kathleen and Joe to let me take photos to remember a small, ancient part of my life that made me the bullsh*tter I am offense.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cats, Dogs, & Veterans...Oh MY!

Dad is out of the hospital and back among his veteran buddies at the Daytona Beach VA Home, and we enjoyed several opportunities to visit him. Among the delights of the place, beside the areas available to the residents to play cars, watch TV, or stroll around the grounds are the special guardians of the group home.

Cats, dogs, birds, and fish.

The birds live in a huge birdcage near the main entrance and chirp and sing when you walk by (or, in the case of the majority of the residents, wheel by). The gigantic fishtank is also there in the main drag.

The cats and dogs are another issue. They run free! Well, run is not the term I would normally use. The few dogs we see when we visit are small and have minds of their own. The cats are more friendly. One, in fact, fell in love with my sister's purse! He was happy to sit on it or lie beside it while we played cards with my dad.

Dad is a Navy veteran and the home is a Godsend for Mom. He is cared for and fed VERY well. Love you, Dad!