Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Intelligence Book Review: Balancing Three Personas in "Son of Hamas."

It is important to understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, for it is at the literal and figurative center of religious and political strife today.  Son of Hamas give the reader a ground view of this conflict from 1987 to 2007 through the eyes of its author, Mosab Hassan Yousef. His perspective is a unique one, for not only is Yousef the first born son of one of founders of Hamas, he became an intelligence asset of the Shin Bet - Israel’s internal security service.  Balancing these two whether patrolling the streets of Ramallah or incarcerated in the Israeli prison system was daunting and dangerous. Keeping up his two personas became even more complicated when Yousef was introduced to, and eventually converted to Christianity.

Son of Hamas is an important book for those who are interested in intelligence, particularly human intelligence, and an imperative for any studying international relations or security issues. A well written account with Ron Brackin, it is a quick read and will provide invaluable anecdotes of the human condition that can be referred to again and again.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Publish an eBook in Four Easy Steps

Proximity is now available as an eBook for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook platforms. It is self published in both formats.

There are four simple steps to self publish an eBook.

1. Obtain an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) through Bowker via the their website myIdentifiers. Details on pricing, etc. are contained there. A separate ISBN is needed for each eBook format, so I recommend buying a block of 10 if you plan to publish more than one book or any single book in more that one format.

2. Format your book for the eBook platforms it will be distributed on/through. The two most common formats are ePub, which is used by iBooks (Apple), the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Kobo, and others. DTP is used by the Amazon Kindle.

   a. You can format from MS Word and other common formats using tools available online. I was unable to find any that produced a product that met my expectations for quality.

   b. There are many companies that will format a manuscript in MS Word or other file types into ePub/DTP. I used and thus recommend eBook Architects.

3. Establish an account with the online distributor. To date I've used Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks. they can be found at:

   a. Amazon Digital Text Platform.

   b. Apple iTunes Connect. (Requires a Mac computer to download iTunes producer software).

   c. Barnes and Noble PubIt!

4. Follow the steps in each to upload and distribute your files. Make sure you note the following:

    a. Read the directions and agreement in each carefully.

    b. Ensure that you have all the necessary rights to publish the work.

    Good luck!

Proximity Now Available for Nook Platforms

Proximity is now available for Nook platforms.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Proximity Now Available for Kindle Platforms

Proximity: A Novel of the Navy's Elite Bomb Squad is now available for Kindle platforms. Visit the Kindle Store on Amazon.com.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dedication for the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bronze Relief

There are several bronze reliefs at the Navy Memorial commemorating various aspects of naval service. The EOD plaque was added on April 18, 2000. For this event the Reverend M. Cary Kauffman gave the invocation. It was:

"Divine Spirit -

In a world that contains turmoil and chaos, conflict and evil, the world and especially its children are bless that some men and women are and have been willing to risk their lives to make the world safer.

We are blessed by their example of courage and talent and commitment.

We are blessed by their believe that they can out-think the enemy and outwit the surprises that nature can provide.

We are blessed by their kindness and generosity.

We are even blseed by their sometimes outrageous sense of humor; for without it, they probably could not do what they do.

We are blesses by those who train and support these women and men through their long arduous and continual training.

We are blessed by those who lead them, helping to keep them motivated, trained, and in good order.

Divine Spirit, we are also blessed by those who have come before them, who then, as now, often had to dispose of dangerous explosives - as much through intuition and luck, as through skill, knowledge, and teamwork - and who then tired to understand and pass on the skills and knowledge that produced that intuition and luck.

We are blessed by the staff, the alumni and the families and the friends who rpovide the support and environment in which these men and women can do their jobs,

and - we are blessed by the talents of the sculptor and those who produced the sculpture and the efforts of those who enabled this event to happen today.

May we who are here and those who see this memorial be touched by the example of these men and women and inspired to live out lives more fully and more committed to bettering this world.

Amen, Shalom, Salaam...May it be so."