Archives for April 2017

Why it’s Smart to Sell Books via KOBO

Book-Reviews

Many writers I am talking with are still selling their books via Amazon only. It is hard to understand why they “put all their eggs into one basket only”.  During the last years, I wrote more than a dozen of articles, and explaining in detail how authors can diversify – a commandment in any business!  So why not sell your books at Apple’s iBooks, on Barnes&Noble, on Kobo, and many other retailers in and outside of the USA?

I showed on my blogs all the avenues an author can go, up to selling their e-books and print versions from their own website.  For example herehere, and here.

Sure, being on KDP Select has some small benefits, but there is an exclusivity rule, although there are ways to opt out for a while (or forever).  Yes, and the majority of books is still sold by Amazon.  But if you want to have more sales, more readers around the world, and most of all: to get into the libraries it is essential to spread your books in more markets.

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Good News: Kobo and OverDrive
OverDrive, the library ebook vendor was bought by Rakuten, the parent company of Kobo last year.  OverDrive is the major supplier of books and ebooks to libraries.  See the connection and the Benefit for authors who have their books sold through Kobo too?

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Readers Can Borrow Library Titles using Kobo’s Aura One e-Reader.
There is an enormous benefit for readers – and certainly authors: Kobo’s latest and greatest e-reader the Kobo Aura lets you borrow library titles. The Digital Reader reported:
“Aura One features close integration with Overdrive, the library ebook vendor bought by Rakuten/Kobo last spring. However, the feature only works in the USA, UK, Canada, NZ, and Australia so far.”

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How Readers Can Borrow Kobo Library Books
The way it works is that once you have entered your OverDrive info in the settings menu, you can simply search the Kobo store on the Aura One and the e-books you see will list their price as well as whether they are available to be checked out of your library.
You can check out an ebook on the Aura One, and you can also place a hold for an ebook. Any borrowed book will indicate how long until the library loan expires.”
A tip from a reader: It is faster and simpler to first browse OverDrive’s website from your PC and borrow an e-book, and only then pick up the Aura One and tell it to sync.  This borrowed library e-book will show up on the Aura One’s home page as a “New” title which can be downloaded and read.

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About OverDrive
eBooks, audiobooks, and more are delivered to over 34,000 libraries, including your local public library. Information for publishers can be found here where a presentation shows every step of the “OverDrive Connect” platform.

OverDrive partnered with more than 5,000 publishers to build a catalog of more than 2 million premium titles available for retail.

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But There’s More:
If you offer your own books on your website as an author, you can also include two million! other book titles via OverDrive and earn a sales commission.

“Offer our entire retail catalog or select from our vast inventory of popular digital eBooks and audiobooks in more than 50 languages. We deliver titles to your customers directly from your online bookstore, device or app. OverDrive distributes titles in virtually every subject from more than 5,000 publishers.”

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Lots of Possibilities for Authors
Using eBookPartnership, Draft2Digital or any other distributor or submit your books directly to the online retailers will spread your book to new markets, and makes you more independent as a self-publisher.  And now with the added bonus of Kobo and their OverDrive company you are one more step up to have your books included in library catalogs.

 

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POD Services & Distributions Compared

Expanded Distribution


Now as Amazon Create for print books is coming into the picture – and hopefully soon out of the Beta version – Authors get even more choices to get their print books on to the Amazon market – but maybe not much else. Bookstores are not eager to deal with or to carry books, produced an Amazon company, such as CreateSpace or AmazonCreate.

Did you choose Extended Distribution for your print book version on CreateSpace? This option at CreateSpace on their distribution page offers to make your book available to bookstores and libraries.

However, bookstores are often not willing to order from Amazon-owned CreateSpace – as Amazon is their biggest competitor, and the discount offered through Extended Distribution is so low that stores won’t accept it. Plus, these CreateSpace print books are non-returnable.
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What is the Solution?
If you did not opt for Expanded Distribution you are fine and you can just go ahead and use IngramSpark for bookstore and library use and CreateSpace for distribution to Amazon. Uncheck the Extended Distribution option and contacted CreateSpace to request that they don’t use (or remove the book from) their IngramSpark account. They also offer hardcover books which are not available at CS. If your title contains lots of inside color images – it is also a benefit of working with IngramSpark. They are widely seen as the better print quality provider, that also offer a wider bookstore and library distribution, although check out their 35-page guide on how to properly upload your book – a bit more effort than with CreateSpace – and their FAQ’s.
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Title Transfer Information
The Title Transfer Addendum needs to be completed by the publisher receiving the title transfer. A transfer form can be found here. Their requirements are:

  • “We need written permission from the publisher who currently owns the title stating that the title is released and can be transferred to a new account.
  • The account receiving the transfer must be fully active, i.e., all account set up tasks on the Dashboard must be completed.
    CreateSpace Transfers
  • The Title Transfer Addendum needs to be completed by the publisher receiving the title transfer.
  • If CreateSpace owns the ISBN or if it is CreateSpace exclusive, it cannot be transferred.
  • If the print service company owns the ISBN, it can be transferred once Expanded Distribution is removed and CreateSpace confirms the transfer with Ingram.
  • If the title has never been in Expanded Distribution, it can be set up as a new title on the Spark account without transferring.
  • The account receiving the transfer must be fully active, i.e., all account set up tasks on the Dashboard must be completed.
  • Once a title is transferred to the new publisher’s account, the publisher will be responsible for the title moving forward. This includes invoices, returns, and compensation (royalties). The new publisher will have the ability to update metadata, submit new files, and make alterations to the title.”

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Lightning Source International
Many micro-publishers and indie authors use both CreateSpace and IngramSpark simultaneously for effective distribution of print books. There is another (the parent-) company in the picture: Ingram offers two services for publishers: Lightning Source International (LSI) for “real” publishers and IngramSpark. LSI’s contracts are sometimes called daunting, its interface is a bit clumsy, and communications are a bit slow and sometimes difficult to understand due to the trade publishe jargon.  LSI is a business-to-business operation, and its clients are all book publishers—not authors.

If you are hiring professionals, have a real plan for publishing and marketing books to a definable audience, and plan to grow your business, consider Lightning Source as an invaluable strategic partner in your growing business.

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Behind Closed Doors…

Charlayne-Grenci

Dr. Charlayne Grenci

You might have read the prequels Last Curtain for a Stripper or A Politician EXPOSED but now the new, completed ebook Behind Closed Doors with twenty-one chapters is available. 
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Decadence, Sex, and Crime
Did you ever wish to get a peek behind closed doors – or you imagined you would be a tiny fly to get access and find out what’s really going on in the lives of celebrities or your neighbors?  Experience this fictional investigation of a detective “fly on the wall” – your narrator – the shocking, uncensored stories about the private lives and double lives of people we think we know.
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Get the fictional story BEHIND CLOSED DOORS on all Amazon sites around the world, such as Amazon for the US, Australia, NZ, South Africa or on Amazon.de, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr or at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Gardners, Scribd, Story- Tel, OverDrive, Bookmate, just to name a few of the many retailers and distributors that carry her books.
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Take a peek behind the masks of hypocrisy and the walls of deception that lurk and thrive in the mainstream; the secret, desperate lives of sinners, perverts, and criminals that remain usually well hidden in posh mansions from the wrath and condemnation of our society.

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BEHIND-CLOSED-DOORS
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Reading BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Detective Fly On The Wall, you will likely agree that author Charlayne Grenci bluntly wrote bizarre, fictitious tales with sinister, violent, gruesome and highly emotional plots. Her purpose was to expose and dramatize the true reality of what goes on in the private lives of people in suburban America.
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Follow the Author:
Website and Blog
Author Page
Amazon Book Page

Connect with her on social media:
Facebook
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter: @CharlayneGrenci

More books by Dr. Charlayne Grenci:

Queen of Domination: My Secret Life
Marcel Proust EXPOSED
SECRET CINEMAS
Last Curtain for a Stripper
A Politician EXPOSED

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Good News for Your Ebook Conversions

Bridge

The worst experience I ever had with ebook formatting was last year when I commissioned – my usual professional ebook builder was ill – a manuscript to let it format by a person in South Africa which I had “met” on social media. She promised to deliver within days.
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I paid in advance for .mobi and epub, and received both versions after a wait of almost two months! and dozens of emails.  I immediately transferred it to our distributor. He refused the epub version as it contained 63 !!! technical errors – which they offered to fix for just $50. When I reported this to the “formatter”, she emailed me after a couple of days that she charged only for .mobi – and the epub version was only a complementary version… which was certainly not true, according to my order and her invoice. In the end, she wrote me an email and called my inquiries “nasty”.  Well, I should have been warier of her work, as in her first attempt she even did not know how to hyperlink the TOC’s.  My own fault – cannot blame anyone else!
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Ebook formatting is a never-ending topic in writer circles, forums, and blogs since the dawn of self-publishing.  And many authors have their fair share of hit-and-miss, and of experiences with so-called “professional” formatters.
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Popular DIY programs to format ebooks are:

  • Calibre
  • Sigil
  • Jutoh
  • Vellum (for Mac)

Read also Author Alex Hallatt shares tips on how to produce ebooks using the Mac-only Vellum software, including books with lots of illustrations.  Many authors need formatting for their new books only two or three times a year at the most.  However, the more they use the software, the more competent they will become.
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The New Kindle Create:
Amazon Kindle recently launched a new free app, called Kindle Create, which provides a simplified conversion process for formatting Kindle e-books from Microsoft Word.  When you finish your manuscript and upload it, Kindle Create (Beta) automatically converts the file into a Kindle-compatible file. Then it will help you format it. A rich illustrated conversation instruction will help you.  For example, building a TOC manually can be time-consuming. Kindle Create automatically scans your file for chapter headings and builds a table of contents for you.
You can download the software for Mac or for PC. 

Beta Limitations
The program is still in Beta, which means it will take a while to perfect it.
Some features are not available yet warns Amazon early users:
Limited support for lists and tables: Kindle Create (Beta version) will allow you to import your document, but you may not be able to edit the lists and tables. Lists and tables are marked as ‘un-editable content’, however, you can still publish the eBook and the list or table will display as depicted in the previewer.
Limited support currently also for modifying images.  Kindle Create (beta) will import documents that include images and will place them as block images. Re-sizing, re-positioning, and deletion of images is not supported.
If your document includes hyperlinks (external to the World Wide Web, or internal to other locations in the document), those hyperlinks will be preserved, but can’t be edited in Kindle Create (Beta).
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Editing Lists, Tables or Images is Difficult.
Under “Beta Limitations,” it states that you may not be able to edit lists or tables for example – you need to go back to Microsoft Word and start the whole Kindle formatting again.  Upload a Word .docx or .doc file. Open your file in the previewer on all devices to see if they format well enough for you in the previewer, before you go ahead with your file in Kindle Create.
Same with images: you can’t reposition, or delete them. Preview these right away or go back to Word and get them right before proceeding with Kindle Create.  Hyperlinks cannot be edited too.  Test them in the previewer after loading in Kindle Create to make sure that you’re happy with the links before you do anything else in Kindle Create. These are just a few, read more technical tips on Chris Mullen’s blog post.
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Previewing is Important!
Kindle Create Has its Own Previewer. Or you can download the Kindle Previewer 3.0 that shows books with enhanced typesetting.
Please, give your input to help with beta testing and to improve the program, visit the Kindle Create page, use the Feedback link, complete the survey or email KDP.
If you’re looking for a simplified conversion process, and if your ebook formatting is not too complex, this tool may be worth exploring. If you visit the Kindle Create page, click the link called, “So how does it work?” You will find some important information.

BTW: Another, relatively new offer is KDP Paperbacks, that might retire CreateSpace soon. Check out this article by John Doppler.
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Even Better: FREE Formatting
Another route for authors is to use the conversion services offered by certain distribution platforms, for example, the FREE service at Draft2Digital. They are one of the most author-centred and customer-friendly distributors I have ever encountered: they answer emails and calls promptly, manuscripts are formatted in hours, corrections are made immediately – and they deliver .mobi and epub.
They do not work with Amazon, even they deliver you a free .mobi version, so you can upload it yourself – which has its benefits: it makes it easier to create your Amazon author page and your sales page. Or if you decide to switch in and out of KDP Select and their associated perks, you don’t need to go through the distributor, which may be a pain or not work at all.

Draft2Digital distributes your book for free to Apple, Kobo, as well as to Barnes&Noble (good for non-US authors) and many other online retailers.  You receive immediately the direct link to your ebook’s sales page – something that is not common or even possible at other aggregators.

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Why is Critical Thinking Important for Writers?

Critical-Thinking

When I studied Investigative Journalism in college, it was a basic requirement.  For journalists in general, the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW are the tools of the trade.
But everyone, especially writers, should use these question words all the time: when researching background information for a book, when questioning and editing their novels or non-fiction books, when participating in a writer’s critique group and most important: when looking for publishing possibilities.

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Global Digital Citizen Foundation 
Luckily I found this organization that set up the ultimate cheat sheet for critical thinking – showing a fantastic list of critical questions.  I get so many emails from authors, who are approached in emails or social media from businesses of all sorts – including the dreaded Vanity companies, trying to steal their publishing rights or trying to fleece them in any other way.  Now I will not answer anymore in lengthy emails with lists of tips, rather send the GlobalDigitalCitizen organization’s graphic (above).

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Questions to Ask:
Before you spend any money or time on people, businesses, organizations, try to answer these questions:
WHO benefits from this the most? WHO would be the best person to consult?
WHAT is an alternative? WHAT is the best /worst outcome?
WHERE can I get more information? WHERE are areas of improvement?
WHEN and HOW will I know I have succeeded? HOW can I measure success
WHY is this a problem? WHY is there a real need for this today?
HOW is this similar to …? HOW does it really benefit me / others?
HOW can this harm me or others?
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The Internet Helps a Lot!
If you see offers to publish your book, to help you with author platform (I am not talking about advertising!) or offers a new phone plan for example – don’t jump on the offer and sign up or pay.  Your first step needs to be to research the offer, the person or the corporation. Many companies are very good to swamp the internet with dozens of websites/blog.  They use bots to inflate views and to get on page one at Google.  Scroll down to page 10 or 20 to find other websites that report on them. Use the keyword: “complaint”.  Go to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) site, or to the Ripoff-Report.  Add the word “forum” to the name of the company, and find all the forums where people talk about it.  You might be in for a surprise!

Make a long list of questions, and watch if and how they answer your questions as a potential customer.  Get it in writing, don’t trust any call center employees (who might be on commission).

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What Can Critical Thinking Help You With?

  • Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas
  • Recognize, build and appraise arguments
  • Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning
  • Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way

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How Critical Thinking Will Help You
… to stay out of trouble – in business and private life. It will save you not only time but also money and happiness. Children are often better than adults in this aspect. Don’t be annoyed when children frequently ask “why”.  Applaud them rather for asking questions.  Critical thinking is often misjudged as criticism, but rather it focuses on the ability to follow logical steps.  Critical thinking is an incredibly important skill. Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value.

Read more:
https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/critical-thinking.html
http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-in-everyday-life-9-strategies/512

 



Short Story: A Politician EXPOSED

A-Politician-EXPOSED

A prequel for
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS:
Detective Fly on the Wall

Dr. Charlayne Grenci

Decadence, Sex, and Crime BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Experience the shocking, uncensored stories about the private lives and the double lives of people we think we know.  Take a peek behind the masks of hypocrisy and the walls of deception which lurk and thrive in the mainstream.  The secrets and desperate lives of sinners, perverts, criminals, and even politicians remain well hidden from the wrath and condemnation of our society.  A POLITICIAN EXPOSED is a short but telling a fictional story, a prequel of the upcoming book BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

Available in North America and in Europe at AmazonKobo, Barnes&Noble, Tolino, and Scribd – get your copy for only $0.99.

ISBN: 978-1-988664-09-5
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Charlayne-Grenci

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlayne E. Grenci, Ph.D. is a clinical sexologist and clinical professor, an author and a relationship expert; a graduate from Maimonides University, an affiliate of The American Academy of Clinical Sexologists and a Diplomat of The American Board of Clinical Sexology.  She has a private practice in Southern Florida and is also a guest lecturer.

Dr. Grenci specializes in life coaching, sex education and instruction for individuals, couples, or groups who are seeking advice, info, and support for improving sexual relationships, alternative lifestyles, or sexual issues. Charlayne E. Grenci, Ph.D. has inspired, entertained and educated thousands of people for over thirty-six years with her knowledge, experience, and amazing life’s story.

Dr. Grenci is available for book-signing presentations, guest speaker presentations and seminars, private office sessions and special educational courses.  Dr. Grenci is also a specialist in relationship and marriage issues and pre-marital coaching.
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Follow the Author:
Website
Amazon Page
Facebook
LinkedIn
GooglePlus
Twitter: @CharlayneGrenci

Readers can also order signed print books by Dr. Grenci
directly at the author’s website:

Queen of Domination: My Secret Life
Marcel Proust EXPOSED
SECRET CINEMAS
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

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Short Story: Last Curtain for a Stripper

Decadence, Sex, and Crime Behind Closed Doors…
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last_curtain2_72DPI_opt

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Tolino, and Scribd  – in North America and in Europe – get your copy for only $0.99.
ISBN:  978-1-988664-07-1

Experience the shocking, uncensored stories about the private lives and the double lives of people we think we know. Take a peek behind the masks of hypocrisy and the walls of deception which lurk and thrive in the mainstream. The secrets and desperate lives of sinners, perverts, politicians, and criminals remain well hidden from the wrath and condemnation of our society.
The LAST CURTAIN FOR A STRIPPER is a short story, actually two, and is a prequel for BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Charlayne E. Grenci, Ph.D. is a clinical sexologist and clinical professor, an author and a relationship expert; a graduate from Maimonides University, an affiliate of The American Academy of Clinical Sexologists and a Diplomat of The American Board of Clinical Sexology. She has a private practice in Southern Florida and is also a guest lecturer.
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GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Dr. Grenci specializes in life coaching, sex education and instruction for individuals, couples, or groups who are seeking advice, information, and support for improving sexual relationships, sexual issues or alternative lifestyles.
Charlayne E. Grenci, Ph.D. has inspired, entertained and educated thousands of people for over thirty-six years with her knowledge, experience, and amazing life’s story.
Dr. Grenci is available for book-signing presentations, guest speaker presentations and seminars, private office sessions and special educational courses. Dr. Grenci is also a specialist in relationship and marriage issues and pre-marital coaching.
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Follow the Author:
Twitter: @CharlayneGrenci
Readers can also order signed print books by Dr. Grenci directly at the author’s website:
Queen of Domination: My Secret Life
Marcel Proust EXPOSED
SECRET CINEMAS
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
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Why It’s Important to Edit, Edit, And Edit More

Comma
You might have read the story of the missing Oxford comma, which had changed the outcome of a court case in Portland, Maine.  What readers (and also TV viewers) heard or saw, was the outcome of an appeal case between dairy drivers and their employer. But what has an Oxford comma to do with this labor case?

The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of things. For example: “Please purchase a gallon milk, two yoghurts, and a pound of butter.”

Grammarly.com states: “Use of the Oxford comma is stylistic, meaning that some style guides demand its use while others don’t. Unless you’re writing for a particular publication or drafting an essay for school, whether or not you use the Oxford comma is generally up to you. However, omitting it can sometimes cause some strange misunderstandings.”
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“Use commas wherever necessary to prevent possible  confusion or misreading.” – owl.english.purdue.edu
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What Has the Oxford Comma to Do With Winning Court Cases?
The comma drama has raised eyebrows—and not just in Maine. The National Public Radio commented: “The Oxford Comma: Great For Listing, Pontificating, And Winning Court Cases.
Oakhurst Dairy, the milk- and cream company based in Portland, Maine, likely never appreciated the serial comma — also known as an Oxford comma — so much as it did on Monday when the lack of that little-curved stroke cost the company an appeals court ruling that centered on overtime rules for drivers.”

Specifically, the ruling in favor of the Oakhurst delivery drivers came down to Maine state law, which dictates that the following activities are not subject to overtime protections: Read the whole story about the appeal case at the NPR article or at the Smithonian Magazine.

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Unfortunately, the Case is Not Over:
With the district court ruling, the case can now be heard in a lower court.  The lawyers will be laughing all the way to the bank… NPR wrote: “A reminder that every punctuation mark deserves a fair hearing, a glimpse into the glories of grammar.”
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And the Smithonian Magazine writes: “You probably have a strong opinion one way or the other.  It turns out a United States Court of Appeals has opinions about Oxford commas, too.”

The irony is that the court ruling came “despite the fact that Maine’s own legislative style guide discourages use of the serial comma…”

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Read more at Buzzfeed:
15 Reasons Why You Should Use the Oxford Comma.

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