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John Joyce "Author - Masterpiece" (Dublin, Ireland)
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Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies (For Dummies)
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies (For Dummies)
by Jennifer Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple enough to be readable - detailed enough to be useful, 27 Jun. 2008
Having been overawed by the sheer volume of printed material that came with the version of Adobe CS3 I bought to create my 'Virtual Trilogy' and 'Captain Cockle' websites, I turned in desperation to my natural comfort zone - the 'For Dummies' series . . .

I was not disappointed. The manual is easy enough to be user friendly and yet detailed enough to be useful in actually gaining enough mastery of the programmes in CS3 to operate them efficiently (and to summon up enough courage to dive into the commercial manuals that accompany the product.

Anyone who has invested the (not inconsiderable) amount of money that CS3 costs, would do very well to invest in the (very reasonable) price of this book so that they can get the best out of this very formidable suite of software.


Perfect Pages: Self Publishing with Microsoft Word, or How to Design Your Own Book for Desktop Publishing and Print on Demand (Word 97-2003 for Windows, Word 2004 for Mac)
Perfect Pages: Self Publishing with Microsoft Word, or How to Design Your Own Book for Desktop Publishing and Print on Demand (Word 97-2003 for Windows, Word 2004 for Mac)
by Aaron Shepard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE essential starting point for all Print On Demand authors, 27 Jun. 2008
This was the first book I bought to assist me in publishing my 'Virtual Trilogy' on Amazon and one that I would highly recommend to anyone thinking of publisheing their own work on a POD service provider.

The instructions are clear enough to follow as a DIY manual (although you will have to take it slow and easy to get it right first time) and they style is easy to read. While setting up a book for POD using MS Word is a complex enough operation and will require a great deal of patience and concentration, this is THE best book on the market right now (perhaps the ONLY one) that comes close to guiding you through the process in a step-by-step fashion.

Congratulations Mr Shepard, and many thanks - not just from me but (I suspect) from many hundreds of authors who would have found Print On Demand too technical and inaccessible until your book came along.


Search Engine Optimization For Dummies
Search Engine Optimization For Dummies
by Peter Kent
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential introduction to the SEO mindset, 27 Jun. 2008
I've found the "Dummies" guides essential reading for all the various programmes I've used in creating websites for my 'Virtual Trilogy' and 'Captain Cockle' books and this one was no exception.

Beyond the easy-to-read style and the humorous cartoon illustrations the start each chapter there is a wealth of impressively detailed information on improving your Search Engine Optimisation. This ranges from an explanation of search engines and the way they work, to the simple choice of appropriate keywords and the more elaborate (and expensive) pay-per-click systems.

Don't be fooled by the name and the cartoon cover, this book is a seriously useful manual on the art and science of SEO. Essential reading for anyone interested in website development.


James Bond 007: Death Wing
James Bond 007: Death Wing
by Ian Fleming
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great graphic novel in the style of a James Bond film, 27 Jun. 2008
Taken as a graphic novel representation of a James Bond film, I think the "Death Wing" collection of stories is great fun. Not up to the standards of the most discerning James Bond expert perhaps, but very entertaining for all that. I can particularly imagine Roger Moore playing 007 in the "Sea Dragon" episode, which is very 1970's Bond.

Take it as an entertaining comic book within the 007 brand and you'll have great fun with it.


The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't
The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What every author needs, 27 Jun. 2008
The big question mark with Print On Demand publishing these days is "How on earth can I publicise my book once I have it up on Amazon?" One way to answer that question is to buy Carolyn Howard-Johnson's book and use it as a checklist of activities to promote your work personally.

This book is a very valuable list of cut-price activities that any author can carry out to put their book in public view. I have found it of great assistance in promoting my 'Virtual Trilogy' and the list of web addresses she gives have gone straight into the 'favorites' database.

Well worth the money and essential reading for POD - and offline publishers alike.


Space Race [DVD] [2005]
Space Race [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Richard Dillane

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and entertaining documentary over a vast canvas, 27 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Space Race [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I purchased this DVD as research material for a novel, not so much for the technical detail (which I accept is flawed in places) but for the "atmosphere" around the US and Russian space programmes following the second world war.

Here I was not disappointed. The scripting, acting and special effects were all well up the the BBC's high standards and the epic struggle between Werner Von Braun and his Russian nemesis Korolev was well depicted.

I particularly liked the human touches that brought a realistic touch to this truely stratospheric drama - the allegations against Von Braun as a war criminal because of his involvement in the concentration camp near Nordhausen, the indifference he faced to his ideas in the US during his early years in America, the fact that Korolev was a prisoner in the Gulag before being released to run the Russian programme (he died prematurely of health problems that started there in the labour camps), the tragedy of Yuri Garagin and the way Korolev's successor drank himself to death under the strain of trying to complete the great man's work - all made this a very human drama.

Technical innaccuracies aside, I found this an immensely engaging and informative movie and would heartlily recommend it to anyone interested in what life was like during this period in space history.


POD People - Beating the Print-On-Demand Stigma
POD People - Beating the Print-On-Demand Stigma
by Jeremy Robinson
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great energy - but more detail please!, 27 Jun. 2008
As someone researching the POD scene I was naturally drawn to this book by its excellent cover and very catchy title, but was somewhat disappointed by the content. While I had been looking for a practical manual on POD similar to Aaron Shepard's books, I found instead a book dominated by an account of the author's own (well-deserved I am sure) success.

Nevertheless, even if it fails as a DIY manual on POD, this book is good value for money as an inspiring story of someone who DID make it in the POD game.

Now, if someone will only tell me how to crack the marketing and promotion business!


The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
by Stephen R. Covey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some valuable cherries of wisdom in this fruit cake of a book, 27 Jun. 2008
Having found Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" an extremely useful tool for organising my life, I really looked forward to what might lie in store with this "8th Habit" volume.

In many ways, I found reading it very much like eating a fruit cake - insofar as the pearls of wisdom and practical advice that were so densely packed in the "Seven Habits" - (I have my MS Outlook organised into Covey's "Urgent and Important, Important and Not Urgent . . ." system) were still there, but they were mixed more thinly through the dough of the fruit cake.

The subtitle of the book is "Finding Your Own Voice and Teaching Others to Find Their's" and indeed it does have some extremely valuable lessons to give about empowerment and about delegation. But perhaps it's most important message is that we are now in the age of the "knowledge worker" in which everyone, from the most menial worker to the highest paid executive, is an expert in their own field and must be treated with the respect they deserve in order to get the best results.

For me, that insight, and the change it has brought to my own work practices, is easily worth the price of the book and therefore I have no problem in recommending it as an accompanying volume to Covey's other excellent works.


The Philadelphia Experiment [1984] [DVD]
The Philadelphia Experiment [1984] [DVD]
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: £8.35

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Science Conspiracy Legend Gets the "B-Movie" Treatment, 27 Jun. 2008
As an author of a number of books about dimension-hopping - one of which actually deals with the USS Eldridge and the 'Phillidelphia Experiment' - I was anxious to check out this movie on DVD. While the premise of the film (which is based on a well-known conspiracy theory that Albert Einstein had been funded by the US Navy to develop a 'cloaking device' for ships to make them invisible to radar that then went horribly wrong)has huge potential for a really great movie, the film itself was spoiled by cheap special effects and a rather corny script.

The film starts well, with our two heroes embarking as seamen on the USS Eldridge to take part in the experiment. Generators hum, lights flash, tension builds . . . and then some very cheap special effects kick in and the plot - like the USS Eldridge - vanishes in a puff of smoke.

Our two heroes find themselves in the 1980s, in the middle of a top secret experiment of their future, the world is falling apart, there is local love interest etc. etc. etc. and the result is a rather disappointing film.

Full marks for the cast for making the best silk purse they can out of this sow's ear, but a bigger budget and a tighter script would have worked wonders.

Perhaps, as another reviewer has suggested, someone will take this story and throw some real finance behind it so that it can be properly told.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2012 6:14 PM BST


Sphere [DVD] [1998]
Sphere [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Dustin Hoffman
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Micheal Crichton adaptations I've seen, 27 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sphere [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
As an author who's penned a number of childrens' books around submarines, and a great fan of Micheal Crichton, I rushed to see this film when it first came out and was not disappointed.

For once, the filmakers have stuck pretty much to Crichton's novel (perhaps at the expense of having to cram in too many detailed conversations explaining different aspects of the plot?)which does give the film a momentum that carries it through to the climax.

The performances from the three principal actors are excellent, particularly as their attitudes change in the cramped conditions of the underwater habitat - from indifference, through antagonism, to paranoia and finally to the realisation that they need each other to survive.

The identify of the "alien" and its chilling computer message "I WILL KILL YOU ALL" is a very clever plot twist and the special effects are excellent.

The last few minutes of the movie and the final scene are about the best in the film.

One of the best film adaptations of a Crichton book that I've seen and well worth a visit.


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