Thursday, December 29, 2011

The NDEs of Ben Breedlove

Death has always held a certain fascination for me. At the age of ten I pored over Elisabeth Kubler-Ross books on the subjects of death and reincarnation and near death experiences, or NDEs. I was sure I'd lived before, sure there was something else beyond, sure a thread existed connecting us all.

When I joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates as an associate agent, early on Kimberley passed a manuscript to me on the subject of NDEs written by a researcher/expert named Rene Jorgensen. I knew before reading that this was something I wanted to work on, be connected with.

Yesterday, I watched a video on Yahoo! posted by an inspiring 18-year-old young man by the name of Ben Breedlove just a week before he died. Ben died on December 25, 2011 of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In the video Ben talks about his three NDEs and an interesting guide (Rapper Kid Cudi) who helped him through one of his NDEs. To watch the videos, click the links below:

Video Part 1

Video Part 2

After watching the videos, I sent the links to my client, Rene Jorgensen, and encouraged him to put together a press release and video response giving people information about NDEs. To see Rene's video response to Ben Breedlove's NDEs and videos, watch the video below (the press release follows):

Ben's video is proof enough for me that real magic exists in this life and beyond; he was living proof. And working with Rene Jorgensen not only gives me the chance to be connected to this unwavering theme in my life--in all of our lives--but also serves as a marker and reminder to live the best life possible while still alive and to let go without fear when the time comes.

To see Rapper Kid Cudi's response to Ben's videos, click here.

For media inquiries into NDEs, please contact Rene Jorgensen at (613) 255-7543 or

Saturday, December 3, 2011

eBooks For Everyone Else Conference

On November 2nd, I had the opportunity to attend the Publishers Launch eBooks For Everyone Else Conference held at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco at Union Square. The conference was well attended by authors, publishers, literary agents, vendors, and others in the publishing industry committed to staying informed as the publishing climate and definition of "traditional publishing" changes.

The conference was organized in forty-five minute segments for the first half with such presenters as host Michael Cader of Publishers Marketplace (all authors should subscribe to this online publication to keep current on the "business" of writing); Mark Coker of Smashwords; Michael Tamblyn of Kobo; Kelly Gallagher of Bowker; Iris Blasi (social-media maven) of Hilsinger-Mendelson East, among many other industry heads and companies.

One of many speakers I enjoyed was Iris Blasi of Hilsinger-Mendelson East. She spoke on the importance of social media. She had great suggestions for authors, reminding them, "You are advertising the best version of yourself. Please be real, but not too real." She suggested, and I second, the importance of authors building their social-media platform. If you aren't on Facebook, Twitter and writing a blog on Blogspot or Tumblr, you should be. I also suggest taking a look at HARO (Help A Reporter Out), especially if you are an expert writing nonfiction. One author I work with has been interviewed more than 15 times in the four months she has been a member of the site! Get your name out there.

Other sites of presenters worth looking at are those such as Bowker (link above), Copyright Clearance Center, PubIt by Barnes & Noble, Vook, Book Country by Penguin, and WAE Network. I sat next to a couple of board members of the Independent Book Publishers Association, who assured me there are plenty of resources for literary agents and authors as part of a non-publisher membership they offer.

The eBooks For Everyone Else Conference was a boon for those of us who attended. It was a day packed with information. Although Kimberley doesn't see focusing the Agency as a full-service eBook publisher, she wants to make sure that we are up-to-date on the most current information and are able to present the best perspective on the publishing climate when called to do so.

Click this link to see the list of presenters as well as their presentations: