Media & Communications
How To Write A Happy Ending PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:45
By: Joe Thomas of Left Brain Digital

I can't even fathom the number of conversations I've had with new clients suffering from a severe case of "I Just Don't Get It!" disease. The stories of why they wrote their books or developed their products are all different, but the endings are the same: They're not selling diddly. Squat. Nada.

Before we get too far into the whys and why nots, let me warn you, I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. There's no magic form for you to fill out to get instant access to my "Special Report," nor is there a download of secret “For Your Eyes Only" information designed to get you on my mailing list. (My next rant is going to be about buying into the web marketing trap.)

Instead, I’ll go straight to the “why,” which is as complicated as it is simple: People can't buy what they can't find.

Most web marketing gurus will tell you that Search Engine Optimization can help direct potential customers to your book or product, and why you should hire them to get you listed front and center. I am not that guy. Oh, I believe in the power of Google, but there are major caveats:

1. Search engines are great if you know what you're searching for. Type in your name and/or book title into Google and look at the results. You may be at the top of page 1 and even have 22 different listings on the first and second pages. You may get the same results on Bing and other search portals. You might even show up first on, where your book is right there, for sale to the masses. But you're still not selling many books are you? Here's the tricky part: YOU know your name and your book title, don't you? But, people can't search out your name and book title if they don't know them.

2. People can search for my incredibly, fantastical keywords, can't they? Well sure they can – and they do. Let's assume for a second you have a book and it’s about Politics, Money, Religion, Employment or any number of topics. Now go to Amazon and type in your keywords – you know, Politics, Money, Religion, Employment … You just discovered there are 672,481 books using your Incredibly Fantastical Keywords, right? Now type in those same keywords along with your name and/or book title. Eureka! There you are. I now direct your attention to No. 1 above.

3. Your website is totally gorgeous but it's not getting you sales. The first part of this quandary is, LOOK AT No. 1, above. Are people actually visiting your site? Have you checked out your server logs to see what your traffic data looks like? You're probably thinking your webmaster takes care of all that, right? Unless your webmaster is getting a piece of the profits from every item you sell, odds are he/she doesn't really care. Let's be honest here, you're paying your webmaster whether you sell or not. Now, if your traffic data is showing that you’re getting a boatload of traffic but no sales, maybe you need to be more realistic about how gorgeous your site really is. Looking good and converting visitors into buyers are two different things. But before you start blowing up your site, go back and LOOK AT No. 1, ABOVE.

Here’s a bit of free advice: If your marketing plan to reach 100,000 book or product sales is based on people finding you without a clue who you are, keep your day job and forget about buying the fancy car with your profits. You need exposure. You need to get your name and the name of your book, product or business in the news – in newspapers (they all put their content online nowadays), magazines and e-zines and blogs. Get yourself interviewed on talk radio and TV, if you can. Get your social network sites up and active and build a following.

Plenty of people do it themselves. If you find that too difficult or time-consuming, hire professionals to do it for you. There are 5 hundred million thousand books and products for sale online. If you want folks to know what to search for, they have to know that you exist and what you have to offer.

And the happy ending will come.

About Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas is the founder and owner of Left Brain Digital (, a web development company. He’s an award-winning web designer/developer with more than 18 years of experience in print and web design and development. Thomas' work became a major influence in graphic and web design in the "Y2K" era of the Internet's dot-com explosion.

Rock Island Library Lines Week 8 Summer 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Rock Island Public Library   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:38
Books are Brain Food for Adults

Join us this week for our LAST Recipe Club and Swap event for adults!


chocolate bars Monday, July 23 at 6:00 pm in the Main Library Community Room. Chef Rachel Doumia will demonstrate a dessert and offer chocolate cake samples. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite dessert recipe to share in the recipe swap portion of the event. (Admit it: We had you at chocolate.)


Are you reading to win? Entry forms and boxes at all Rock Island locations for the Adult summer reading club. Top prize is a new Sony® eReader. Entries due by July 27. Winners will be notified by phone Friday, August 3.

Reading is So Delicious for Kids

Egyptian fruit bat photoWednesday, July 25 is BAT time! Join us for the Incredible Bats Show, 10:00 am, Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.

Licensed USDA Class C exhibitors Sharon and Daniel Peterson have presented multimedia shows on bat education for the past 15 years. The show offers facts about the diet, living habits and many benefits of an often misunderstood and feared creature. Attendees will also meet the couple's live Egyptian Fruit Bats. The bats were born in captivity, and are one of a sub-order of Old World fruit bats, Rousettus Aegyptiacus. (Native species of bats cannot be captured, sold or traded. Most are protected by state and federal laws.)  Details here.

One week left to read! The Reading is So Delicious summer reading logs are due back July 27, so keep reading!


All programs are free. No library card required. Questions, call the Children's Room at 309-732-7360,


Teens: Feed your Mind - READ!

Teens have two program choices this week (and two more next week.) Sweet!


illustration of a round pizza The Great Pizza Taste Test, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, July 24. Blind taste tests of area pizzas. You pick your favorite! Rock Island Main Library, ages 12 to 18.


Teen Movie/Food Event, 5:30 pm, Thursday, July 26. Come see Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Johnny Depp, and make a food craft you can eat. (Nothing too gross, we promise!) Sweeney Todd is a musical about a murderous barber, so the content may not be suitable forSweeney Todd movie poster younger or more sensitive teens. (Better for ages 16 and up generally, but use your own judgment.)


And here's a heads up for next week:


Final Teen Iron Chef contest, 4:00 pm, July 30, Main Library.


Mark your calendars for the Teen Summer Wrap-up Party, Tuesday, July 31! It starts at 5:30 pm in the Main Library Community Room. Teens can pick up their prizes, play Wii and other games, eat snacks, and just generally bask in their summer reading success.



Keep reading! Teen summer reading prizes include books, DVDs, gift cards, or the grand prize, an Amazon Kindle® eReader!

Like Audiobooks? Try OneClickdigital!

One Clickdigital advertisement

Rock Island Library has added OneClickdigital, a new service that allows you to download thousands of audiobooks for enjoyment on a portable listening device. All books are iPod compatible. To learn how to use it, sign up for a free online webinar to be offered on July 24, or click the link on our website to create a user name and get started. Details:


OneClickdigital subscription made possible by funding from the Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District.

Week 8 of Summer Reading

Our thanks to:

Summer Reading events and prizes sponsored by Friends of the Rock Island Public Library, Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District (Southwest Branch events) and the Rock Island Public Library Foundation (summer art and drama.)

More Ways to Stay in Touch!
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Rock Island, Illinois > 309.732.7323 (READ) > Rock Solid, Rock Island.

Batman Exec Producer Earns Comic-Con’s Highest Honor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 20 July 2012 13:42
Uslan Joins Ranks of Industry Legends

Michael Uslan, Originator and Executive Producer of the Batman film franchise, joined industry giants Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Charles Schultz when he received Comic-Con International’s highest honor: the Inkpot Award.

The award recognizes lifetime achievement in the comic book and film arts industries. It came as a surprise, says Uslan, who was presented it during the recent San Diego Comic-Con International, the largest such event in the world.

“I am beyond thrilled!” he says. “I did not know that I was to be awarded with The Inkpot, and to be included with so many of the industry’s heroes is truly humbling. I particularly want to congratulate my fellow 2012 winners!”

In a manner of speaking, Uslan grew up in the Gotham Universe and, since childhood, his dream was to have the world see his favorite superhero as he saw him. Despite many obstacles, Uslan held fast to his dreams as he methodically worked toward his goal, including teaching the first accredited college course on comic book folklore in 1972 and earning his law degree four years later.

His journey is documented in his new memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman (

“I was just a kid from the suburbs who loved comic books, but I had a dream and I wasn’t going to stop till I made it come true,” he says.

Now busy leading the charge on what may be the most critically-acclaimed comic-book movie to date, The Dark Knight Rises, Uslan was featured this week on The CW Television Network special “The Batmobile.”

The Dark Knight Rises, the third movie in the Batman trilogy, opens July 20.

About Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan ( is the Originator, and Executive Producer, along with his partner Benjamin Melniker, of the Batman franchise of motion pictures. In his 36 years in the film and television industry, he has been involved with projects such as “National Treasure,” “Constantine,” and countless animated films. His work has earned Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. An authority on comic book history, he is the author of several books including his autobiography, “The Boy Who Loved Batman,’’ now in bookstores and at

Senator Grassley to be on WOC Talk Radio 1420 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 16 July 2012 14:09
Monday, July 16, 2012

Here is information about Senator Grassley’s schedule this week.  The Senate is in session.

Senator Grassley will meet with Iowans from the Conservation Districts of Iowa, Cedar Valley Hospice, Christians United for Israel, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the National Downs Syndrome Congress, and  the National Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals.

He also will meet with Iowa students from Waverly, Spirit Lake, and Carroll.

Senator Grassley will meet with Iowa families visiting Washington from Ankeny, Treynor, Pella, Nevada, Cedar Rapids, Oskaloosa, Knoxville, Pella, Randalia, Auburn, Waukon, Goose Lake, Altoona, Waterloo, and West Des Moines.

Senator Grassley will be a guest this week on public affairs programs hosted by Mike Savage on KBUR Radio in Burlington, Jim Fischer on WOC Radio in Davenport, and Fred Hoffman of KCPS Radio in Burlington.

On Tuesday, July 17, at 10 a.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate in an Agriculture Committee oversight hearing regarding the Dodd-Frank financial reform enacted two years ago.  Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the Commodities Future Trading Commission is scheduled to testify.  Senator Grassley will question the Chairman about the CFTC’s oversight of Peregrine Financial in Cedar Falls, which has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, with $215 million in customer funds missing.  The CFTC is responsible for regulating commodity markets, and the Agriculture Committee has legislative and oversight responsibility for the CFTC.

On Wednesday, July 18, at 10 a.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate in a Judiciary Committee hearing on Improving Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System.  Senator Grassley is Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.  In 1997, Senator Grassley took on the cause of Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, a whistleblower who exposed problems with the FBI crime lab, which had lost accreditation due to its shortcomings in forensic science and led to landmark reform recommendations from the Inspector General for the Department of Justice.  Today, Senator Grassley is questioning the FBI and the Justice Department to obtain more information about what has led to the present-day largest post-conviction review ever done by the FBI due to flawed forensic work in federal and local cases nationwide.

On Wednesday, July 18, at 10 a.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate in a mark-up by the Finance Committee of international trade legislation, including the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Customs Evasion (ENFORCE) Act; Citrus, Cotton and Wool Trust Funds; amendments to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), technical corrections to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) ; Burma Sanctions; and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Russia and Moldova.

On Wednesday, July 18, at 2:30 p.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate in a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control about Responding to the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic.  Senator Grassley is co-chair of the drug caucus.  According to a recent survey by Monitoring the Future, a University of Michigan study of U.S. students and young adults funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs after marijuana.

On Thursday, July 19, at 10 a.m. (ET), in Dirksen 226, Senator Grassley will participate in the Judiciary Committee’s weekly executive business meeting.  The nomination of Frank Paul Geraci Jr. to be United States District Judge for the Western District of New York, Fernando M. Olguin to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California, Malachy Edward Mannion to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Matthew W. Brann to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and Charles R. Breyer to be a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission may be considered.  In addition, S.285, a bill for the relief of Sopuruchi Chukwueke, and S.3276, the Federal Aviation Administration Sunsets Extension Act of 2012 may be considered by committee members.

Iowa wins! State notches top spot with #TopStatesIA in CNBC’s “Top States Twitter Battle” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Friday, 13 July 2012 12:23

(DES MOINES) – Iowa is the victor in CNBC’s “Top States Twitter Battle,” garnering more than 35% of the vote using #TopStatesIA.

Tweets using the #TopStatesIA were sent from a broad spectrum of businesses, individuals, news organizations, public officials, associations, schools, and other interested parties. The #TopStatesIA Twitter stream was displayed multiple times this week on CNBC as part of their coverage.

“This week was a great exercise in Iowans coming together for a common cause and is a really positive way to showcase Iowa,” said Gov. Branstad. “We saw thousands of Tweets from all across the state promoting Iowa, and it’s clear that Iowans are proud of their state. The lieutenant governor and I are happy that we won this Twitter battle, and the credit goes to all Iowans who took part.”

CNBC made the announcement immediately following today’s closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

In addition to engaging on Twitter, CNBC offered each governor the opportunity to record an “elevator pitch” video and submit it as part of the campaign.

As of the stock market’s closing bell today, Gov. Branstad’s video was the most-viewed of any video submitted in the contest.

Produced in the Iowa governor’s office, the brief video explains why Iowa is a top state for business. The video is found here:

The Twitter battle and video were a part of the CNBC “Top States for Doing Business” annual rankings show. This high-profile, yearly ranking of all 50 states on 43 measures of competitiveness was developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness.

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