Teach a Child to Read
by Bill G. Graham
Do you take reading for granted? If you are
a good reader, consider the impact on your life is the opposite
were true. What if you only gleaned a dim understanding
from reading newspaper and magazine articles? What if you
were afraid to take tests of any kind if they involved reading?
What if you didn't read for enjoyment because it was too
painstaking? This is the situation in which more than a
few adults find themselves today.
Each adult with reading deficiencies started
as a child in school somewhere, unless for some reason they
never attended school. As a child, maybe they had an undiscovered
mental processing problem, such as dyslexia, that made learning
to read difficult. Maybe they were hyperactive and couldn't
sit still long enough to read. If you know of a child who
struggles with reading, especially if it's your child, consider
getting him or her tested for dyslexia. If diagnosed and
treated early, dyslexia need not be a major obstacle to
becoming a good reader.
Some adults may have had marginal reading
skills, but never got much encouragement and never were
stimulated by reading good books. For many reasons, children
sometimes just don't learn to be good readers and they never
realize what they are missing. In these days of too much
TV, instant messaging, Ipods, etc., there's a lot that competes
for time that could be better spent reading a book.
We all have occasions where we need to buy
a child present, typically a birthday present. Instead of
giving a gift card to the local electronics or game store,
why not give the child a book? There is a whole world of
books out there for children. As a child I taught myself
to enjoy reading by reading comic books. I loved to read
Superman comics. Not the best literature, perhaps, but it
was reading and I enjoyed it. If you know the child pretty
well, chances are that you have some idea of what kind of
story they would be interested in. For my son, anything
about soccer would be a good bet; he also enjoys stories
about the Civil War. My daughter loves the Harry Potter
books and The Princess Diaries series. Many children enjoy
personalized books in which they get to be the main
character of their own story.
A child's success in the education system
depends heavily on reading skills. Reading comprehension
is built primarily by doing a lot of reading, so a life-long
habit of reading gives any child a distinct advantage when
they get to high school and college.
There are many volunteer opportunities aimed
at helping children learn to read and to enjoy reading.
Reading is Fundamental
is one such program. They have a website that lists volunteer
opportunities by state, and a simple internet search will
reveal even more opportunities to get involved. Each one
of us has the ability to make a positive impact on a child's
life by helping them develop a love of reading. Whether
it's your own child or a child at the neighborhood school,
take the time to make a difference in that child's future.
Personalized Books as a Home Based Business
by Bill G. Graham
Personalized books have been around for a
long time. They have lasted too long to be considered a
fad. Parents and grandparents like to buy them for kids
because they encourage reading and enjoyment of books. Today
personalized books can be found in such diverse places as
mall kiosks, church fundraisers, flea markets, and on the
Almost since the dawn of the personal computer,
systems have been available to enable people to operate
home businesses producing personalized books on home computers.
If youre interested in operating your own home based
business selling personalized books, just type in personalized
book business into Google and youll see that
there are several companies that offer systems for producing
their particular line of books.
Before purchasing one of these systems, however,
it pays to do a little homework. First, know what youll
be selling. Get a sample book or two from each company so
you can see the actual product. If you like the product,
investigate a little further. Does the company give you
potential sales figures that seem almost too good? If so,
they probably arent realistic. How much will it actually
cost to get started?. The company should be up front with
all the costs involved. How do reorders work? Can you order
supplies over the internet, or do you have to call to place
orders? How soon are orders shipped? What happens if you
need some technical help?
Another very important consideration is the
production method you will use to print and bind the books.
Some companies provide pages with preprinted color illustrations
which you run through your printer to print out the story.
You then bind the printed pages into a preprinted hard cover.
This method requires that you have on hand sets of preprinted
pages and covers for every title that a customer could ever
order. Additionally, if a page jammed when going through
the printer, you have ruined a complete book.
There is another method of producing personalized
books that does not require any preprinted inventory.
Using generic (blank) materials, this method lets you create
from scratch any title that your customer wants. This is
possible because it employs an all-digital method in which
you print the illustrations and the text all at once on
blank paper. There are large adhesive-backed labels on which
you print the cover illustrations, so the covers dont
have to be preprinted, either. With such a system as this,
you would always be able to produce whatever titles your
customers want, so long as you have the generic materials
Selling personalized books can be a fun and
rewarding business. Youre selling a product that customers
want and that they will buy again and again. It doesnt
take long to get started in this business, but it pays to
do some research before you buy.
The Benefits of Personalized Books
by Sally Graham
A personalized book is a unique creation in
the world of children's books, simply because the child
who reads the book is the main character of his or her own
story. For generations parents have told stories to children
in which their child was the star. Why? Because children
love for the story to be about them.
Today's personalized books take this idea
a step further in that the child now gets to be the hero
in a fully illustrated story that they can hold in their
hands and read over and over. Their book has their friends
and family members in the book, too.
A quality personalized
book encourages a child to read partly because his or
her name is in the book. For such a book to be truly worthwhile,
however, it must have a good story and good illustrations
as compared to non-personalized children's books. In other
words, a well-crafted personalized book should be more than
just some story with the child's name in it. It should first
be a good story without the personalization. It should further
be an affirming story, enabling the child to see himself
or herself doing something positive, possessing noble qualities,
being a friend, etc.
Personalized books have a keepsake value.
It's not unusual for a young adult to still have their personalized
book that was given to them years ago as a child. It's seen
as something personal and special because it is 'their'
book. The aunt, uncle, or grandmother who gives a personalized
book, is always remembered because their name is printed
as the gift giver.
Sally Graham has a Masters of Eductation degree
and nearly 30 years' experience in business. A mother of
three, she is president of Jiff-e-Books Personalized Children's
Books, found on the web at www.jiff-e-books.com.
Saving Money on Inkjet Printing
by Bill G. Graham
Modern inkjet printers are truly marvelous
devices. For a small cash outlay you can get a fast printout
with excellent quality. The main downside to them if you
do a lot of printing is the cost of the ink cartridges.
The printer manufactures make the purchase price of their
printers attractively low, then sell you replacement ink
cartridges at high prices. It's the same concept as razors
- you can get a razor at a low price, but watch out when
you need to buy new blades for it.
In their efforts to thwart consumers from
being able to use 3rd party cartridges in their printers,
some printer manufactures have gone to great lengths to
force consumers to buy their ink. A printer company could
probably do very well by building a solid printer and selling
replacement cartridges at a more reasonable price. They
would likely make up what they lose in profit margin by
selling more cartridges, plus they would definitely build
up a lot of consumer loyalty.
So what are the alternatives to expensive
cartridges? Refill your factory cartridges? Buy 3rd party
cartridges? The first option, refilling cartridges, is not
a very good one. It can be messy, even if one is careful,
and the results are inconsistent. However, some of the national
office supply stores have recently started refilling cartridges
for customers. This may turn out to be a good way to save
on ink. 3rd party cartridges are a good choice, if you have
the right printer. Each cartridge is new and is filled and
sealed properly. You won't have the mess associated with
refills, and the quality will be very good at a much lower
price than you would pay for factory cartridges. Printer
companies can't void your printer warranty if you use 3rd
party cartridges, unless the cartridges actually cause damage
to the printer. Having used 3rd party cartridges for years,
I have never seen a printer become damaged by using them.
How do you know if your new printer will accept
3rd party cartridges? One way is to search for web sites
that sell aftermarket (3rd party) cartridges and see what
models are listed on their sites. For instance, some models
of Canon printers will accept 3rd party cartridges and some
will not. If you need to buy a new printer, it would pay
to investigate before you buy so you will know if you can
use aftermarket ink cartridges.
Another factor to consider if you're concerned
about the cost of inkjet printing is this: what am I going
to be printing? If you're going to print a lot of photos,
it makes sense to buy a 6-color printer. If you're mainly
going to print text and illustrations, as in general business
applications or books,
a 4-color printer will do just as well and will cost less
to operate. Also, is each color contained in its own cartridge,
or does the printer use a multicolor cartridge? It doesn't
make sense to replace an entire color cartridge when only
the yellow has run out.
Build a High-Ranking Site the Right Way
by Bill G. Graham
This article is intended to get people to
take a step back before they jump into building their new
web site, to take a little time to learn before they begin
to code. It will save time in the long run, and may save
you some costly mistakes, as well. The most natural thing
to do when creating your first web site is to fire up your
new web page editor software and start building pages. Later,
after the site is finished, you try to figure out how to
get good search engine results. That's the way that a lot
of people approach putting a site up on the web, but it's
a little like building the car first, then trying to figure
out how to make it get good gas mileage. It can be done
that way, but it's a lot easier if one does some basic seo
research before creating web pages. I know this because
I did it backwards when I built my first site.
There are many companies that would like to
help you with your seo. Some of them are good, and some
probably don't really know what they are doing. All of them
will take your money, however. Instead of paying someone
to do it for you, why not do it yourself? You'll be happy
that you know the nuts and bolts of your site. There is
enough information available at your fingertips for you
to achieve good search engine positioning through your own
So what should happen first? I think the first
thing to do is search the internet for help with seo (search
engine optimization). If you take the time now and read
all you can on this subject, you will learn not only how
to optimize your site, but you'll also find out about a
lot of must-do's and some no-no's when it comes to building
your site. Reading about search engine optimization isn't
like reading a good page-turner, I'll admit. It is exciting
to think, however, that doing the required reading will
pay off when you have a high-ranking site much sooner than
you otherwise might have had. If you're going to be selling
a product, you'll get orders coming in much sooner and you'll
get more of them.
The main search engines in which you need
to be listed are Google, Yahoo, and MSN. You'll also want
to be listed in the DMOZ.org directory. You'll want to get
it right the first time when submitting these listings.
In other words, make sure the descriptions you put in for
your site are on target for what your site is about.
One very important consideration in good search
engine positioning is keywords. I have found it very helpful
to purchase software that will help you to analyze popular
sites in your category to see what keywords they are using.
There are several inexpensive software packages, such as
that are available online to help you with this. They help
you by analyzing the top-ranking sites in your category
and show you why they rank so high. Additionally, by purchasing
the software you also get access to their newsletters, which
can help keep you up to date on what the search engines
expect from a high-ranking site. If you do this first, you
can build the right keywords into your site from the start.
Another important issue is links, especially
inbound links. Google, which enjoys about 50% of the search
market, relies heavily on incoming links to a site to determine
its ranking. These links should be keyword rich. If you're
going to be selling a personalized product, then the word
should be in the link text for some of the inbound links
to your site. When you get your site up and running, it
is time to begin pursuing inbound links. Make this a part
of your daily routine and in time you will have more and
more inbound links and better and better positioning. Stay
away from link farms and other gimmicks and build your rankings
with naturally-acquired links.
Remember, it really is easier to do it right
the first time.