If you are an author looking to get your book out into the world, getting an independent review is one of the best things you can do for yourself. An independent review can be a great way to get honest feedback and build credibility among readers. Here’s why having an independent review can be so beneficial for your work.
Credibility and Trustworthiness
In today’s digital landscape, it is increasingly difficult to establish trust with potential customers. When readers read reviews from a reliable source, that adds trust in your product or service. Having an independent review on your book gives readers a sense of assurance that they are reading something good, and it builds trust in your book and its content.
Another benefit of having an independent review done is that it gives you professional feedback on how well your work is being received by readers. Having unbiased opinions from experts in the field allows you to make sure that the message you are trying to convey with your book is coming across clearly. Professional feedback also helps you understand what areas need improvement or further development before releasing the book.
An independent review can also serve as a great marketing tool for promoting your book. Once published, you can use the endorsement from the reviewer to reach new audiences who may not have heard about it otherwise. You can also use quotes from reviewers in ads or promotional materials, which adds more credibility and visibility for your book than just relying on word-of-mouth alone.
Independent reviews should be part of any self-published author’s marketing strategy. From building credibility with potential customers to providing professional feedback on how well your work is being received, there are many benefits to having an independent review done on your books before they hit shelves or online stores. With an honest opinion from experts in the field, authors will gain insights that could potentially improve their works before they publish them and help market their books after they release them into the world.
Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
In nearly every chapter of The Candy House, characters are in disguise or turn out to be connected to other characters in unexpected ways, or are seen from different perspectives, or are simply strangers to themselves. Talk about Jennifer Egan’s exploration of knowability: how we know ourselves and how others know us.
In the first chapter, Bix, disguised as a graduate student, tries to re-create the kinds of discussions he remembers having as a college and graduate student. Why are these dialogues so hard for him to have in his adult life? And how essential is his disguise to the revelation and discovery that follow?
The Candy House is made up of stories written in distinct narrative voices and styles. How do these different approaches affect your reading experience? Did you feel a kind of spark when you recognized where the characters’ lives intersected?
The Candy House is broken into four sections—”Build” (twice), “Break,” and “Drop”—mimicking the structure of Electronic Dance Music. How do the events of each section fulfill its role in this structure, and how do the sections relate to each other? Discuss why the author might have chosen to organize her book this way.
Seeking authenticity is a core theme of The Candy House. According to Alfred Hollander, authenticity requires “violent unmasking” (page 30), which is why he uses disruptive behavior, such as screaming in public, to produce unfiltered reactions. What do you make of Alfred’s philosophy? Does technology like social media lead to less authentic communication and experience? What are the limitations of Alfred’s solutions?
If the “Own Your Unconscious” technology were real, would you use it? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Are elements of Own Your Unconscious already present in the Internet? Would you externalize your memories to the Collective Consciousness or would you become an eluder … or something in between?
Goodman, the “radically honest therapist” behind the Instagram account “sitwithwhit” makes her debut with a sharp takedown of “toxic positivity,” which she considers dismissive regardless of its often better intentions. Goodman doesn’t mince words as she runs through the basics—what toxic positivity is, why it’s harmful, how to combat it—opining that “talk is cheap and platitudes are even cheaper.” She goes on to argue that relentless encouragement to look on “the bright side” can be a form of gaslighting, and even that toxic positivity perpetuates oppressive systems and prejudice (“discrimination with a smile”). She backs it all up with copious amounts of research, examples from clients she’s worked with (unfortunately, though, too few of them), and her own life experiences. Goodman promises fulfillment via balancing happiness and pain, complaints and gratitude, and empathy and boundaries.
Improve all areas of your health from your weight, sleep and cravings to your mood, energy and skin – and even slow down ageing – with easy-to-implement, science-based hacks to manage your blood sugar levels while still eating the foods you love.Glucose, or blood sugar, is a tiny molecule in our body that has a huge impact on our health.It enters our bloodstream through the starchy or sweet foods we eat. In the past five years, scientists have discovered that glucose affects everyone – not just people with diabetes.
If we have too much glucose in our system, we put on weight, feel tired and hungry all the time, have skin breakouts, develop wrinkles, and our hormonal balance suffers. Over time, too much glucose contributes to chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer, dementia and heart disease.
Olympics fans aside, meritocracy doesn’t have many friends these days. Social-justice advocates view the meritocracy as a swindle, giving white people an excuse to hoard their privilege and leaving minorities only crumbs. On the right, populists look at a recession, forever wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a globalized economy that has taken away their jobs and destroyed their towns and regard the designated experts with disgust. Crème-de-la-crème meritocrats such as Harvard professor Michael Sandel and Yale law professor Daniel Markovits decry the smugness, entitlement, and soul-draining rat race promoted by our machinery of higher education, the very system that gives them their own prestige.
The great virtue of The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, by longtime Economist editor and writer Adrian Wooldridge, is that while acknowledging the harsh truths of these critiques, it forces us to ponder the next question only tepidly addressed by others on this beat: If not meritocracy, then what? How should societies allocate status and the power to make the big decisions?
Scour Wooldridge’s expansive history of the conundrum, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find satisfying alternatives. In fact, from his telling, you might conclude that raw evolutionary psychology rather than studied political science or ethics best explains how most societies have operated. Families and clans, not individuals, were “the basic unit of society,” he writes. Sons inherited land and titles, daughters were bartered for more, and both passed their unearned privileges onto their own children regardless of their progeny’s character, intelligence, or interest in doing certain jobs. Likewise, serfs grew their superiors’ food, and servants dressed their masters in silk breeches for no reason other than that they were born to do so. If a peasant was blessed with Einstein’s brains or Lincoln’s political wisdom, it would make no difference in his or her life path; “tillers tilled and thatchers thatched,” as Wooldridge writes. No doubt the hoi polloi grumbled about their masters, but the arrangement was widely accepted as natural and just. It was individual ambition that represented a danger to what was thought to be a God-given social order.
Of course, the powers-that-were had every reason to advance the idea that inherited privilege was divinely ordained—but the truth is, for many centuries favoring kin was about the only game around. Plato was the first to imagine a system that would give power to those more worthy. The guardians of his Republic would be “men of gold”: those with natural talents, pedigree be damned. Notably, he believed the family was the biggest threat to the just polity; kin would always embrace kin. To short-circuit this stubborn fact, he proposed taking future guardians of each generation away from their parents in order to prepare them for leadership through intensive physical, intellectual, and philosophical training. (Plato doesn’t specify how he would locate the prodigies.)
The only other proto-meritocratic social order came from Asia. As early as the tenth century, the Chinese developed their famous exam system that, with many modifications, continues to sort the wheat from the chaff today. A grueling, multiyear preparation, it allowed farmer’s sons the chance to escape the dead-end bleakness of village life and become “mandarins” in the Forbidden City. Still, the emperor inherited his position.
In other parts of the world, a few exceptional low-born strivers could bypass the ancient barriers of entrenched hierarchy. England had an unofficial system of “sponsored social mobility,” in which a lord or church worthy would take notice of a clever plebian and mentor him to prominence. Cardinal Wolsey, the son of a wool seller, groomed Thomas Cromwell, who later became Henry VIII’s consigliere and fixer—a stunning rise for the son of a blacksmith. Noblemen lent support to talented artists and thinkers from undistinguished backgrounds. The Duke of Buccleuch was patron to the philosopher Adam Smith; ironically, his protégé was part of the Scottish Enlightenment, which would weaken the logic of inherited nobility that had given the Duke his riches. Wooldridge speculates that the emergence of larger and more complex states also challenged the ancien regime as states found themselves in need of more capable bureaucrats than a pampered, inbred aristocracy could produce. After all, kings and dukes needed shrewd minions to administer and collect taxes to support their palaces and wars.
• The prominent technology company Cisco launched one of the first systematic remote work programs in Silicon Valley in 1993. • I have been deeply involved in the issues of remote work and global organizations for nearly two decades. (this book had in fact been well under way). • Remote Work Revolution provides evidence-based answers to those pressing concerns as well as practical guidance for how you can, together with team members, internalize and apply the best practices that matter the most. • In the first few weeks of 2020, a microscopic agent turned the world’s workforce into remote workers seemingly overnight. …Digital tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Slack went from useful supplements to the primary enablers for daily interactions with coworkers. These rapid changes were unprecedented. • McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the global labor workforce will reach 3.5 billion people by 2030. Remote work is increasingly here to stay. The future is in remote work. • We will not remain a 100 percent remote world. Instead, we will see virtual, distributed, and global work become significant parts of work arrangements that expand our repertoire, skills, and performance, promising to make us and our organizations that much better. Tsedal Neeley, Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere
These are just some of the terms we read constantly about work realities these days.
There is such enormous upset and uncertainty.
But, as both John Kotter pointed out in Change, and now Tsedal Neeley points out in Remote Work Revolution, COVID only accelerated what was already happening. And among the workplace practices that have been accelerated is the remote work revolution.
I presented my synopsis of Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley at the September First Friday Book Synopsis. It is a good book! And, it is a book about two things:
#1 — what constitutes good/effective work period. And then, #2 — how does all this translate into the remote work arena.
The author had begin working on issues of remote word long before COVID realities hit. But, COVID added an urgency to her research and findings.
As I always do, I begin my synopses presentations asking What is the point? Here it is for this book: Remote work requires the same goals and practices as any collaborative work effort; including leadership practices and team best practices. However, specific steps have to be added in a remote context.
Inspired by Brown University’s beloved course – The Entrepreneurial Process – Danny Warshay’s See, Solve, Scale is a proven and paradigm-shifting method to unlocking the power of entrepreneurship.
The Entrepreneurial Process, one of Brown University’s highest-rated courses, has empowered thousands of students to start their own ventures. You might assume these ventures started because the founders were born entrepreneurs. You might assume that these folks had technical or finance degrees, or worked at fancy consulting firms, or had some other specialized knowledge. Yet that isn’t the case. Entrepreneurship is not a spirit or a gift. It is a process that anyone can learn, and that anyone can use to turn a problem into a solution with impact.
In See, Solve, Scale, Danny Warshay, the creator of the Entrepreneurial Process course and founding Executive Director of Brown’s Center for Entrepreneurship, shares the same set of tools with aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. He overturns the common misconception that entrepreneurship is a hard-wired trait or the sole province of high-flying MBAs, and provides a proven method to identify consequential problems and an accessible process anyone can learn, master, and apply to solve them.
He has transformed Daniel Craig into the formidable James Bond for five blockbuster films, shaped Chris Evans into superhero Captain America, trained Chris Pratt for Guardians of the Galaxy and prepared actors such as Thandiwe Newton and John Boyega for the recent Star Wars films.
Sharing his practical and highly accessible approach to reimagining your body and transforming your fitness, Simon encourages you to focus on training, recovery and nutrition to build on your performance, rather than aesthetic. This is a training manual for any age and any fitness level, packed with expert advice and achievable goals that will motivate you to reboot your body.
‘Without Simon Waterson’s help and guidance, I literally wouldn’t have made it through fifteen years of playing James Bond … It’s been an honour working with him.’ Daniel Craig _________________________ ‘Working with Simon is the nearest you get to actually being a superhero, in the sense you are at your absolute peak of physical health. That makes you feel incredibly robust in these challenging times.’ Benedict Cumberbatch _________________________
Drawing on his vast experience as the elite trainer who transformed Daniel Craig’s physique for five James Bond films, Simon Waterson reveals how to enhance your energy, sleep and confidence with his intelligent approach to fitness.
A former marine, and now the film industry’s most in-demand fitness trainer, Simon Waterson’s client list reads like a who’s who of A-list actors.
Hoffman, the former chief marketing officer of Nike, teaches readers how to unleash creativity and innovation within a team—to stir emotions and connect to one another. All organizations, big and small, rely on innovation to move the company forward; particularly in these uncertain times, innovation is even more critical. Hoffman draws on his own career, including 27 years crafting Nike’s brand, for success stories of innovation through teamwork. The book’s last chapter, entitled “Leave a Legacy, Not Just a Memory” epitomizes the work and will inspire readers, driving home the point that with teamwork and creativity, the sky is the limit.
Bill Hayes is a journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the New York Review of Books. He’s also the author of seven books, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction.
Below, Bill shares 5 key insights from his new book, Sweat: A History of Exercise.
1. Exercise is not a modern phenomenon.
The very idea that exercise is good for you—that it improves your overall health and well-being—has been a presumption, even a truism, going back to ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and China. More than two millennia ago, the Indian physician known as Suśruta advocated exercise to maintain “equilibrium” in the body. In the Western world, an Athenian wrestler-turned-physician named Herodicus prescribed exercise to his patients. But it was one of his students, Hippocrates—now commonly known as the father of medicine—who fully articulated the tenets of exercise in the 5th century BCE. “Eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise,” Hippocrates stated, “for food and exercise, while possessing opposite qualities, yet work together to produce health.” Hippocrates is credited with writing two treatises on healthful living, covering diet, exercise, rest, and other matters. He emphasized that one must pay careful attention “to proportion exercise to bulk of food, to the constitution of the patient, to the age of the individual,” and so on. In other words, an exercise regimen must be customized to the person and, by definition, incorporated into daily life.
It is no stretch to say that our modern notion of a workout plan derived from these ancient sources.
2. Gyms and naked exercising were common in antiquity.
In ancient Greece and in the early Roman Empire, there was at least one gym in every town. The gym was as much a part of culture and society as the theater and marketplace, albeit a place where only upper-class men and boys were welcome. Women were not permitted into gyms, even just to watch.
“The word ‘gymnastics’ comes from the Greek term for ‘exercising in the nude,’ the standard practice in ancient Greece for hundreds of years.”
While it’s true that Plato (who, by the way, was a competitive wrestler) says in his treatise The Laws that “women, both young and old, should exercise together with the men,” it wasn’t until the 19th century when a whole confluence of events—the impact of the Industrial Revolution, for example, and the burgeoning women’s rights movement—made it possible, at long last, for women and girls to sweat, too.