Posts filed under announcements

Happy International Book Giving Day

[reblogged (and expanded) from the Libreleft Books blog]

Happy International Book Giving Day

February 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day, it’s also the International Book Giving Day, a wonderful initiative to promote literacy. The idea is to get new, used and borrowed books in the hands of as many children as possible. They have many suggestions of things to do on their website.

I only learned about this today (thanks for sharing Petra!) so I’ve been caught unprepared. Next year I’ll be sure to have something planned for February 14th, but this year I’ll have to pursue my own initiatives on another day.

UPDATE: You can print these wonderful Book Plates to use when you give a Book!

Two ideas for 2014

Next time my adult child is home from college, we’ll go through the picture books and decide on some that we can donate to a local nursing home for the benefit of the seniors losing their language skills as part of ailments such as Alzheimer’s Disease etc.

I will also make a point of donating some young adult books to a fifth grade teacher I know. She has her class hold an annual “Reading Auction.” The kids keep track of the books they read through the school year, and earn points for each book they discuss with a parent volunteer as a kind of verbal book report. The students also approach local businesses and artisans to get donations of prizes. At the end of the school year, there is an in-class auction where the kids bid on the prizes they want.

Libreleft Books

Another friend runs an increasingly popular book club for adults with literacy issues. She has trouble finding suitable books written at the right reading skill level. Maybe for next year I could look into writing a short novel for adults seeking to improve their literacy levels.

So far my own publishing imprint, Libreleft Books, has published only my debut novel, “Inconstant Moon.”  My first novel is certainly not a kids book, but adults need to read too!  So Libreleft Books is celebrating International Book Giving Day by giving away “Inconstant Moon” eBooks to the first 5 people who wish me a “Happy International Book Giving Day” via email or comment below.

Have a good one!

Image Credits:
International Book Giving Day badge by Priya Kuriyan

My Button Heart digital greeting card is by me, it’s available under the CC attribution license indicated in the sidebar.

Happy Saturnalia

ay the ginger cat in the window

I’ve been catching up with life and working on other media projects this month, and family stuff necessarily trumps all at this time of year, even for secular celebrants.

The problem is that “The Girl In the Blue Flame Cafe” is still a WIP. That must be my priority after Christmas.

I don’t generally do New Year’s resolutions, but I’m thinking I might this year. Clearly it is far too easy for everything else to interfere with both my writing and my self publishing. Self Publisher’s set our own deadlines. The downside is that it is far too easy to change them when encountering unchangable deadlines for other things.

So I need to reinvest myself in my real work, so I think my New Year’s Resolution is that 2014 will be my Year of The Book.

Happy Holidays!

Greetings from the Internet

Over the past few years I have come to understand the importance of free culture and digital accessibility.   The Internet didn’t even exist for the general public as recently as my college days, and now we’re in the midst of a digital revolution. Everyone is trying to figure out how best to do things online.


Some say “Real Life” only happens “away from keyboard”. There seems to be no end of discussion about how the Internet isn’t “real life.”

But the truth of the matter is that the Internet is a growing part of our real lives. We read news, watch videos, exchange correspondence, download software, buy gifts, do research, form opinions, pay bills, learn things, visit family, listen to music, exchange photographs, and a whole lot more  online every day.

In the real world, people don’t have to show identification to window shop, or even to walk into a retail store. Why, then, should we be required to hand over identification to window shop online? It isn’t any of the retailer’s business who we are, what our postal code is, or even what country we are from. They are certainly not entitled to our private information without good reason.

The rules we live by shouldn’t be magically different online. Law enforcement agencies shouldn’t be allowed to read our private correspondence without a search warrant, just because it’s in a digital format.

There are two opposing schools of thought about how we should do things online.


The first is that everything should be open, and access should be free.  Hyperlinks exist to allow visitors to access the original source material, and possibly learn something more.  The amount of time I spend including hyperlinks in blog posts and web pages is not negligible, but I do it because it is important. It also allows me to credit my sources, and give something back.  The more links leading to your website, the better your “Google Juice” ~ which means the higher up your page appears in search engine results.


The second and opposite view, is that systems should be closed.  Proprietary systems exist in an attempt to control our access, while accessing as much of our personal information as possible. Sites of this type discourage “window shopping” by preventing people from seeing the content without signing in. Some sites have a “paywall” that requires your paid subscription before you are allowed to see the content, on others the only payment required is your personal information through registration. Once we’ve gone to the trouble of signing in, making and remembering a password, we’re more likely to return.

Some go even further, and make an effort to limit the user’s options once inside, by making it difficult or impossible to share external links. The fear is that if visitors can leave, if they have options or choices, they will leave and not return. These sites are trying to generate a captive audience.

walled gardens

Gone are the days when anyone could just go and read Twitter, these days the Twitter stream is locked down. It is possible to see inside if you have a direct link, but without one, the default is the registration page.  Which is why my own preference is the microblogging service. Anyone can read anonymously, without having to give up their privacy and pay with personal information. Although I use both services, because of this policy, I generally post directly to and what I say there is rebroadcast on Twitter.

Facebook is even more closed than that; you must register and pay for the “free” service with your personal information. Even if you have a link to most Facebook pages, unless you are logged in you can’t see the content. Google+ is following Facebook’s lead in trying to connect everything under its own brand and keep its users inside its own walled garden.

privacy vs sharing

Why shouldn’t people be able to surf the web anonymously, just as they can surf in the ocean without first being made to furnish a name, rank and serial number?  Many people refuse to use the walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter, no matter what’s inside, because they feel the price in privacy is too high.

Although people need privacy,  the same is not true for websites.  The Internet was created to make sharing easy.   Although some sites discourage sharing, I myself want people to be able to read my words.  Everything I put online is there to be shared.  The Internet loses value if we wall up the connections.   We should be making life easier for people, not harder.

As an independent self publishing author, I’m trying to make it easier for readers already using those walled gardens, by creating a Facebook Author Page, and experimenting with a g+ Author Page.

laurel L. Russwurm, Author

But for those who would rather avoid Facebook and g+, anything I put in those walled gardens will be mirrorred here on the open web.  This is where you’ll be able to see everything l share without having to buy anything, or worse, to pay with your privacy.

Welcome to my new and open Laurel L. Russwurm, Author Page.