Sunday, August 31, 2008

Outskirts Press to Publish 2009 Writer's Digest Contest Collection

For the fifth year in a row, Outskirts Press, Inc. and F+W Media, Inc. are teaming up for the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition. The companies jointly announced today that Outskirts Press will sponsor and publish the printed anthology for the 78th Annual Writer's Digest's Writing Competition, one of the nation's oldest and most respected contests.

"Writer's Digest expects the same from its publishing partner as it does from contest hopefuls--you've got to be the best," states Outskirts Press CEO Brent Sampson. "That's why we are so excited and honored to have been selected to publish this important collection for the fifth year in a row."

The collection will include the Grand Prize manuscript, the First Place manuscript in each category, and the names of the top 100 winners in each category. The prestigious annual competition, which drew 16,000 entries in 2007, honors writers in everything from short stories to screenplays. When published in November 2009, the collection will benefit from the same level of attention and wholesale distribution bestowed upon all Outskirts Press Diamond Book Publishing packages, with worldwide availability via Ingram and Baker & Taylor wholesalers, along with automatic online availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.

Copies of this year's 77th Annual Writing Competition Collection, also published by Outskirts Press, become available in November 2008.

To learn more about all the offerings at Outskirts Press, visit More information on Writer's Digest writing competitions is available at

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Book Sales in Decline as U.S. Economy Contracts

As consumers seek to compensate for budgets threatened by spiraling fuel costs and the rising cost of essentials such as food, one of the discretionary budget areas where they're cutting spending is on books.

The book business in the United States in 2007 registered $29.93 billion in sales, producing 2.377 billion units, about the same as 2.383 billion in 2006, according to the Book Industry Study Group.

While the book business has been relatively stagnant in recent years and even months, it now appears to have turned the corner downward.

Net sales of books in April fell 3.5 percent to $472.7 million, based on data from 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers.

Not all sales were down. Among the book categories registering increased sales were inexpensive e-books, up 19.9 percent to $3.4 million; university press hardcover sales, up 12.1 percent to $5.6 million; adult mass market sales, up 4.7 percent to $53.2 million; adult trade paperback sales, up 4.5 percent to $118.3 million; and audiobooks, up 1.7 percent to $12.6 million.

The categories showing sales increases were offset by those declining. Among the book groups registering decreased sales were higher ed, down 30.5 percent to $8 million; religious books, down 21.5 percent to $34.2 million; children's/YA hardcovers, down 19.9 percent to $39 million; university press paperbacks, down two percent to $2.7 million; the important adult hardcover sales category, down 4.6 percent to $110 million; and children's/YA paperback sales, down 3.1 percent to $39.3 million.

According to Great American Bargain Book Show organizer Larry May of Knoxvile, Tenn., one of the strategies bookstores and other book retailers might pursue in the wake of declining sales is to acquire inventory at lower cost.

"Most bookstores buy stock for 20 to 40 percent off suggested retail," May said. "But they can buy remainders and other bargain books for as much as 90 percent off retail price. That means they can sell the books for less in a time when consumers are spending fewer dollars on books, and still make a higher profit margin."

May said an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 bargain book titles will be offered to buyers at bargain basement prices at the Great American Bargain Book Show, held at Atlanta's Cobb Galleria Center. "It's a great opportunity for bookstores and other retailers to stock up for the winter holiday season, which accounts for a disproportionate part of annual book sales," May said.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why An Exciting Book Is Just As Thrilling As A Hair-Raising Movie

Watching Keanu Reeves walk along the ledge of a skyscraper and lose his footing in The Matrix can make us skip a heartbeat or sweat, as if we were risking our own life. This sharing of other people's emotions in movies has been shown to depend on the fact that observers the same brain regions are activated in the observers when they feel an emotion and when they see someone else experience a similar emotion. We all know, however, that reading a book describing the same scene can be similarly gripping. This week, in a paper published in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, Mbemba Jabbi, Jojanneke Bastiaansen and Christian Keysers show us why.

At the NeuroImaging Center of the University Medical Center Groningen of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), Jabbi and colleagues compared what happens in our brains when we view the facial expressions of other people with the brain activity as we read about emotional experiences.

"We placed our participants in an fMRI scanner to measure their brain activity while we first showed our subject short 3s movie clips of an actor sipping from a cup and then looking disgusted," said Christian Keysers. "Later on, we asked them to read and imagine short emotional scenarios; for instance, walking along a street, bumping into a reeking, drunken man, who then starts to retch, and realizing that some of his vomit had ended up in your own mouth. Finally, we measured their brain activity while the participants tasted unpleasant solutions in the scanner."

"Our striking result," said Keysers, "is that in all three cases, the same location of the anterior insula lit up. The anterior insula is the part of the brain that is the heart of our feeling of disgust. Patients who have damage to the insula, because of a brain infection for instance, lose this capacity to feel disgusted. If you give them sour milk, they would drink it happily and say it tastes like soda."

Prof. Keysers continued, "What this means is that whether we see a movie or read a story, the same thing happens: we activate our bodily representations of what it feels like to be disgusted– and that is why reading a book and viewing a movie can both make us feel as if we literally feel what the protagonist is going through."

In a world that is increasingly dominated by visual media, added Keysers, this finding is good news for the written media, in particular: reading a good book or an exciting newspaper article really can feel as emotionally vivid as watching a movie.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

21st Century Best-Selling Authors Unite to Save 19th Century Treasure

It's the house where Huck, Tom, Jim and dozens of the most beloved characters in American literature were born. And it's in trouble.

To save the historic house where Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Jon Clinch, author of Finn, the "prequel" to Huckleberry Finn, Tom Perrotta, Tasha Alexander and eight other nationally-bestselling authors will host a benefit event on Tuesday, September 23, to prevent the Mark Twain House & Museum from imminent demise.

The House & Museum has recently fallen upon critical financial difficulties, causing the management to announce the potential closure. After reading about its fundraising issues, Clinch set in motion an effort to save this important marker in Twain's literary journey.

"It turns out you don't really have to press very hard to get authors to volunteer on Twain's behalf," said Clinch. "In the course of only a few weeks, an incredible network of writers has banded together in a grassroots effort to save this historic treasure. This event will be nothing short of spectacular."

The benefit, to take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23 at the Mark Twain House and Museum, Hartford, Connecticut, will include a reception, Twain readings and a unique group book signing. Participating authors include: Tasha Alexander, Elizabeth: The Golden Age; Philip Beard, Dear Zoe; Andrew Carroll, Operation Homecoming; Jon Clinch, Finn; David Gates, Jernigan; Robert Hicks, The Widow of the South; Phillip Lopate, Against Joie De Vivre; Amy MacKinnon, Tethered; Stewart O'Nan, Last Night at the Lobster; Tom Perrotta, The Abstinence Teacher; and Arthur Phillips, Angelica.

Admission to the reading and book signing is $40. Admission to the reception, reading and book signing is $100. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 860-280-3152, 860-247-0998 ext. 241 or

A national historical landmark, The Mark Twain House & Museum is open year-round and attracts more than 60,000 visitors a year. Called "a marvel of whimsy and craftsmanship" by The Boston Globe, The Mark Twain House Museum seeks to foster an appreciation for Twain as one of America's defining cultural figures. For more information, visit

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Book Divas Relaunches Website for Young Adult and College Readers

Book Divas, the leading online book club for young adult and college readers, has relaunched its website, which can be accessed at

After months of careful research and planning, the new and improved design will continue to offer quality information about the world of literature in a more organized and interactive way that will benefit the young adult book reading community. New social networking tools such as profiles, video sharing and ratings are among the new features. A Book Divas e-commerce store will be launching as well. The community will continue to host author visits, its long time feature service for connecting authors to audiences.

Book Divas is a free online book club and literary community that has grown from its small start in 2002 to over 6000 members and more than 1 million hits per month. The majority of members are female between 14 and 24. Book Divas features upcoming book releases, guides for aspiring writers, and forums for various book discussions. Past author visits have included Meg Cabot, author of the Sisterhood of the Pants series, and Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon.

Since 2002, Book Divas has provided a safe environment revolving around thoughtful engaging book discussion. Furthermore, Book Divas aims to inspire and empower young adults not only to find their love for literature, but also develop their own creative insight.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gay & Lesbian Authors Take Part in a Publishing Revolution

With the multitude of self-publishing companies to choose from, gay and lesbian authors finally have a publishing site devoted to their work,, a Chances Press LLC website, powered by Wordclay, gives gay and lesbian writers the opportunity to take control of their writing careers and publish independently. Numerous a-la-carte choices to publish, edit, design, publicize, and distribute their books, including a free publishing and sales option, are offered. All publishing packages utilize Wordclay's breakthrough user-friendly (DIY) do-it-yourself publishing technology.

In order to provide additional support to its authors, also offers free publishing and resource links specific to marketing a gay or lesbian title. Also, a partnership with provides authors with an additional possible promotional opportunity.

Novelist and founder, Michael Holloway Perronne knows what it means to take chances. Back in 2004, he developed a detailed marketing plan and self-published his debut novel, A Time Before. The book went on to sell thousands of copies, won the Bronze Award in Gay & Lesbian Fiction in the ForeWord Magazine 2006 Book of the Year Awards, and the Italian rights were picked up by a publisher in Rome, Playground Libri. It was his success with self-publishing that inspired him to start

"I realized that through my own publishing experience I had begun to build a valuable database of publishing contacts for gay and lesbian authors," Perronne said. "It was then I began to think about providing other gay authors who were looking to go "indie" with a publishing outlet tailored to their needs. A partnership with Wordclay proved to be the perfect opportunity."

"Gay authors may have access to fewer traditional routes to publish their writing, and provides another format for these important voices to be heard," Perronne added.

In addition, writers may register by 9/30/08 via the site for a chance to win a one year Wordclay ISBN and Channel Distribution package for their book.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Way to Write & Publish Online

Aspiring authors have a new resource that will make online publishing more accessible and affordable than ever before, according to Cindy Grady, managing director of, a unique website that caters to fiction and non-fiction writers.

" is a new, interactive way for writers to create, share, publish and market their work," said Grady.

She said the company is dedicated to everyone who has ever thought they had a book inside them waiting to burst out. There are no hidden fees for publishing a book, and the site is free to use. Site members may choose to buy copies of their own book or purchase books by other WriteLife authors. There are no purchase requirements. Members may also take advantage of the free, integrated social networking tools in the WriteLife Coffee House.

"The creator and founder of WriteLife had been working on a book for 10 years and finally decided that it was time for a web community to be created where everyday people can write and publish their own books while getting peer advice on editing and revisions," said Grady. " will provide people with the proper tools and a growing community of fellow writers to publish their own book for free." features writing tools for adults and young writers. Any age will feel comfortable navigating the site. With school starting in a few weeks, WriteLife is sure to be a useful tool both in and out of the classroom.


Alibris Launches New Services to Grow Sales for Independent Sellers

Alibris has launched new services that make it easier for independent sellers of books, music, and movies to increase sales profitably.

"As a privately owned business itself, Alibris is committed to helping independent sellers grow their own businesses," said Brian Elliott, President & CEO of Alibris. "We've driven sales growth of more than 25% to our sellers this year. In a tough economic climate, we are bolstering impressive sales numbers by delivering superior value to sellers through new services, new business partners, and lower fees." Elliott elaborated that the company's most recent enhancements were focused on three important areas.

Collectibles Improvements.

Alibris has made recent changes that benefit sellers and buyers of rare, out-of-print, and collectible books, music, and movies. Alibris capped seller commissions at $60, including all credit card fees and fraud-protection expenses. The company maintains that it is now the least-expensive major marketplace on which to sell collectibles. Alibris also now allows sellers to upload images of unique items, and buyers can directly contact sellers with questions about their inventory.

Alibris Integration Services.

Alibris has created a set of standardized, XML-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allows online retailers to search through its sellers' vast inventories and offer Alibris items for sale on their e-commerce sites. Used in recent new business partnerships with sites like Blackwell U.K., Alibris Integration Services enable retailers to dramatically extend their selection and to offer incredible deals on used books, music items, and movies.

"Partners like Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Chapters/Indigo in Canada, and others have always been an important part of our business," said Liz Derr, Chief Operating Officer of Alibris. "Our new Integration Services allow us to help our sellers to dramatically extend their reach to retailers looking for a ‘Long Tail' solution."

Alibris Seller Storefronts.

Seller storefronts enable buyers on Alibris's branded Web sites ( and Alibris U.K. at to find more items from each independent seller, and to save on shipping and handling charges. Storefronts now allow sellers to also merchandise items to their buyers, to describe and personalize their businesses better, and to gain more direct access to buyers.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How to Open the Doors to the Publishing and Film Industry by Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D.

Today, almost everyone is using e-mails, and e-mails have become a great way to open the doors to further communications. They are particularly useful if you are outside of the center of the industry, so it is difficult for you to meet people through personal contacts and networking events. If you have family, friends, or business associates already in the business, that is an ideal way to get in by using those contacts to make personal connections -- especially true in the film industry. But if you don't have those ins -- and don't have the time to come to a city to personally develop those relationships, then using an initial e-mail can be an efficient way to smooth the way to getting in. In fact, an initial e-mail can often be better than a cold call, because people commonly don't want unsolicited pitches by phone because they are busy and don't know who you are. But if you write a good e-mail pitch, that can help start the process.

I know, because I have been sending out e-mail pitches for myself, for co-writers, and for clients for over 6 years now, and I can personally testify that they work. In my own case, I have sold a dozen books through using an e-mail query (most recently ENJOY: 101 LITTLE WAYS TO ADD FUN TO YOUR WORK and WANT IT, SEE IT, GET IT! to AMACOM), optioned a TV game show based on my book, game, and Website DO YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR DOG? to several producers, and several of my scripts were optioned by producers. I also lined up directors for three scripts I am doing. And dozens of clients sold their own books this way, including Suzanne Hansen, author of YOU'LL NEVER NANNY IN THIS TOWN AGAIN, who scored a six figure deal. The U.S. Government's Export Division in Los Angeles used queries several times to set up meetings for senior TV executives from Hong Kong seeking film production deals and venture capital investors.

So what's the secret of using an e-mail query successfully? I have found certain approaches have the best results, whether you are pitching a book, script, completed film, or other project.

- Start with a good specific subject line in which you indicate the type of book or film (ie: mystery novel, self-help book, suspense thriller, action adventure). Think of this like a mini-log line in which you highlight what your query is about in around 10-20 words and note anything that makes you special – such as if you have previously published a book, have a Website with thousands of visitors each day, have produced film, or are an optioned or award winning writer or producer. Avoid vague lines or hype. These may sound like an ad or spam, and will remain unopened or get quickly discarded.

- Include a sentence or two in which you expand on your subject line to summarize what the book or film is about. Add in anything that makes you stand out, such as awards you have received and previously published books or produced films. But save any details for a short bio at the end, so you can focus on what you are pitching.

- Include a paragraph or two where you provide a mini-synopsis for your book proposal or story, and be clear the main topics covered or what happens in the plot. Though you might write a pitch for an audience that leaves people hanging, such as a question about whether the protagonist will survive the dangers faced, editors, producers, distributors, and others who review your book or script want to know. Again and again I've heard book editors and agents express disappointment when they hear a writer talk about why this book or film will have great appeal or who will especially like it, without clearly explaining what it is all about. In the film industry, producers, agents, and distributors repeatedly complain at conferences that they get frustrated when they get pitches that leave them with a mystery or asks a question such as: "Can the protagonist successfully evade the dangers he faces," without describing these dangers or how he or she is able to overcome them..

- Include a sentence or two about yourself, highlighting what is most relevant for the industry. Avoid extensive bio information from another field, such as academic or scientific awards, which can be turn-offs to people in the industry. They are interested in book or film related achievements, unless these outside achievements are related to the subject of the book or film (such as if you have written a murder mystery about a victim poisoned by a snake and you are an expert on herpetology).

- Conclude with a call for action, where you offer to send more information by e-mail or regular mail, and you indicate what you can send (ie: a synopsis, a complete manuscript, a script, a treatment, a DVD, etc.)

- Finally, put your contact information, including your address, city, and state, phone number, website if you have one, and e-mail at the end. Usually, people will call or e-mail you, but it's good to include your address for credibility.

As for how to send the e-mail, a simple text message, which can include links to a website, generally work best. If you try to send attachments or graphics, people often will not open your e-mail. And if you try to send a fancy letter, with bold and italics type, embedded illustrations, and the like, your letter may look more like an ad.

Once you are ready to send out your letter, you can send these out individually, using industry directories, cards you have collected at industry events, and the like. Or a service like PublishersAndAgents ( for books or the FilmConnection ( for the film industry can save you hours of time in putting this information together and sending out individual e-mails. One of the writers at the service can also review your letter to help you make sure you have written a good, powerful letter which is more likely to be received and read. After that, your success will depend on your book, script or film. But a good e-mail letter can be your first very important step to getting through the door.

* * * * * * * *
Gini Graham Scott is a writer who has written over 50 books for major publishers including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Sourcebooks, and AMACOM and has written 15 scripts. She is also a film producer, who is producing one of her scripts UNBALANCED with an award-winning producer. She has sold over a dozen books and optioned numerous script and TV show proposals using PublishersAndAgents and the Film Connection which she founded over 5 years ago. She is Creative and PR Director for Making Connections (

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Publisher Launches Sinister Landscapes, a Gothic Anthology

Pixie Dust Press, a new publisher of dark fiction founded by author of Bitternest, Alan Draven, releases its first book, a 260 page gothic anthology entitled Sinister Landscapes.

Boasting 14 chilling stories from previously published and recognized authors, 4 from talented new writers, and a foreword by bestselling author, Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, Sinister Landscapes sports an impressive contributor list. The anthology is a compilation of dark, moody tales inspired by classic gothic horror but with a modern twist.

In addition to his first novel, Bitternest, Draven has written hundreds of film and book reviews, dozens of short stories, and an extensive amount of poetry.

'Sinister Landscapes was an idea that stemmed from my love of Gothic horror both in films and literature. We seldom see anthologies celebrating Gothic horror these days, so it occurred to me that it was about time I remedied that. We took a classic theme and put a new spin on it. Since I'd wanted to publish an anthology of short stories from various authors for a while, this was the perfect outlet,' states Draven.

Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, bestselling and award winning sinisteria author, also shares her enthusiasm for the project, 'Sinister Landscapes was the perfect outlet for my dreams, my wicked fantasies and a welcome walk in the world of my darkest desires. With this project I was taken to the mists of my mind's eye where things are a little more shadowed than what everyday life has to offer. I am so proud to be a part of it...a part of shadows and shade and paths a little less trod...'

The book will be released in mid-September of this year to many online retailers including and as well as selected bookstores. Visit for more information.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Reader Digital Book By Sony Opens a New Chapter on eBook Formats

Sony's Reader Digital Book will be the first eBook reading device to support the EPUB format, the International Digital Publishing Forum's XML-based standard format for reflowable digital books and publications.

Starting next month, new Readers model PRS-505, will be able to access and accept secure and non-secure eBooks in the EPUB format. EPUB has gained acceptance among major trade book publishers, many of whom have committed to begin publishing forthcoming eBooks in the format.

Additionally, the device will support Adobe eBooks with digital rights management and have the capability to reflow standard text-based Portable Document Format (PDF) eBooks for improved flexibility and readability. These enhancements are now made possible with the support of Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 software, which is available as a free download at

"The Reader is an open device and we will continue to explore formats that will provide the widest variety of content for Reader users," said Steve Haber, senior vice president of consumer product marketing for Sony Electronics. "This upgrade opens the door to a whole host of paid and free content from third-party eBook stores, web sites and even public libraries."

Reader users can transfer these documents to their devices using Adobe Digital Editions software, or via the updated Sony eBook Library software that comes packaged with new Readers. Current owners of the PRS-505 model can upgrade their units now from the Sony support site:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The World's Most Expensive Book Will Remain Under Lock and Key Until the March 2009

Author Tomas Alexander Hartmann will present the world's most expensive book, "the task" to the public one last time at the Art Dubai in March 2009. After the exhibition, the book will never again be accessible to audiences. Hartmann justifies this decision with the statement that he is tired of the many questions he finds himself confronted with. The book's price tag of EUR 153 million is considered the highest in history and it comprises only thirteen pages of written copy. The author claims to have answered the three final important questions of humankind in less than three hundred sentences: Where do we come from? Where are we going? And: What is the real task we still have to take on?

Despite the extreme price tag, the book is remarkably simple in appearance.

Hartmann argues that the price of EUR 153 million is based on the value of the book's contents. This is likely the reason he has foregone the diamonds that would otherwise be expected in this price segment.

The author: "The high price of a book stands for the deepest insight, which makes the value of the book priceless indeed." Nevertheless: The record breaking book is allegedly a masterpiece of German book binding artistry - made by a former purveyor of the Court of a Weimar duke. By the way, the copy is actually written in the language of the buyer. The text will ultimately be translated into one hundred and fifty languages, and, using a special technique, will be inserted into a cover made of the finest gold. At that point all licensing rights will be assigned to the buyer.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2008, at a price of merely EUR 1.53 million, the author plans to offer "only" his poem, which is nominated for the Lyrics Award.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oceanview Publishing Needs Your Help: Help us Name the Genre

What do you call a series of books, geared towards male readers, that is similar to the "chick lit" genre? Unfortunately, there's no punchline, because we have no idea.

Here's the quandary: We released a book last fall, Stuff to Die For by award-winning novelist Don Bruns. Stuff to Die For received some phenomenal reviews, and it seems the novel's protagonists, James Lessor and Skip Moore, twenty-something slackers/would-be entrepreneurs/ amateur sleuths, really struck a chord with reviewers and readers. Numerous readers and reviewers described James and Skip as the Hardy Boys grown up, and Deadly Pleasures magazine said Stuff to Die For was "written with both the wit and the wisdom that seems to leave the actions, but not the minds, of most men once they hit thirty."

But one article really got us thinking. Jay MacDonald, book reviewer for the Ft. Myers News-Press, wrote this: "Bruns may have stumbled upon a goldmine: a legitimate male counterpart to the hugely successful chick lit novels."

A legitimate male counterpart to the hugely successful chick lit novels? That's good stuff.

But, what on earth should said genre be called? We put our heads together and made a few feeble attempts at coming up with a name. Male-o-drama (ugh), Histery, as opposed to mystery (double ugh), and one other idea that is just too unpalatable to print. Frankly, we're stumped.

Got an idea, a suggestion, a thought you'd like to share for this as-yet-to-be-named genre? Then kindly drop us an email at If your entry is chosen, Don will gladly include you as a character in book three of the Stuff series. Entries will be accepted until August 31, 2008.

Stuff to Die For has been awarded the Gold Medal in the Mystery Category of the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards, and won top honors in the mystery/suspense category of the 2008 National Indie Excellence Awards. Book two in the Stuff series, Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, will be released on September 1, 2008.


Stephenie Meyer's 'Breaking Dawn' Sells Over 250,000 Copies

Borders and Waldenbooks stores throughout the U.S. and its site sold more than a quarter million copies of Stephenie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" in total on its first day of sales, Saturday, Aug. 2. The book was so hotly anticipated that the number of pre-orders the retailer received for "Breaking Dawn" was second only in its history to the Harry Potter books.

"Breaking Dawn" is the fourth and final installment in Meyer's "Twilight" saga. It officially went on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and was snapped up by eager fans, hundreds of thousands of whom attended special midnight release parties to get the book the moment it became available. The first-day "Breaking Dawn" sales total is nearly 10 times what the retailer's first-day sales were for "Eclipse," the third book in the series, illustrating the saga's fast-growing popularity.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Hear Us Roar!" Book Project Seeking Stories

A woman's ability to overcome obstacles, solve problems and nurture others has been a source of both awe and ridicule for years. Today's society calls upon those skills more than ever as women are seen more and more in key leadership roles.

"Hear Us Roar!" is an auto-biographical collection of stories from women around the globe that celebrate the vitality, strength and power they realized as a result of their experiences during the most challenging moments in their lives.

The goal of the "Hear Us Roar!" project is to collect stories from 100 women by July 31, 2008, publish them in a book by the end of the year, and raise $100,000 from book sales to be donated to charity by June 2009. The first 25 stories that are contributed will qualify to be entered into a "Hear Us Roar!" grant drawing. Every woman is invited to share their story via the website at

Andrea Howe, a founding member of the "Hear Us Roar!" project, says "Even while women are making remarkable strides in the world to fully step into our natural leadership role--as Moms, Best Girlfriends, Politicians, CEOs, and everything else in between, we still diminish and under-represent our abilities and accomplishments. This is an opportunity for women to stand in our power and contribute to the world by letting ourselves be known as generous leaders whose sharing transforms lives."

"Hear Us Roar!" is a project created by a small and mighty group of entrepreneurial women living throughout the U.S. They receive their inspiration from Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist who said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."