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Offer a Variety of Materials at Book Fairs

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Frog who would stop winter

Sketch for The Frog Who Would Stop Winter one of the children’s stories that I will be offering to publishers at the Frankfurt and Miami Book Fairs.

If you are an author and have only one book, or one variety of books to offer, you have a fairly simple choice as to how to plan your attendance, finding who to see, etc. Because I am writing and have written a variety of fiction and non-fiction materials, I need to  contact a wider variety of publishers. I have, for example, a group of children’s stories that I self-published in the 1980s that never went anywhere. Below is one of four that I am working up for the Frankfurt and Miami book fairs.

The general plan is to take one printed copy of the four stories and take an additional copy on a thumb drive. If a publisher wants to read them…

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Written by hoveysmith

October 6, 2018 at 4:52 pm

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If I Don’t Read Books, Can I Write One?

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Stonewall Press author with book and plackard

Variations on this headline are the most common Google search item by would-be authors. To those of us who have been in the game for decades and seen the sales of our books steadily decline, this is a disappointing reveal. The rise of screen devices has made us increasingly a nation of non-book-readers. Yet many in this same population who will go to extreme lengths to avoid reading a book, or will at best skim it, want to write a book.

The straightforward answer to this question is, “Yes you can.” A book is mechanically a collection of words on paper, and if you work at it, you can put 40-50,000 words on paper, self-publish it and have a book. The next question is, “Will it be worth reading?” followed by, “Can I sell more than a half-dozen of them?” However, before getting to these  questions the decision has to…

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Written by hoveysmith

September 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm

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Create Own Job Security to be Shown at Two of World’s Largest Book Fairs

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Create Your Own Job Security

Ben's front cover Create Job Now available on Amazon and other sources

My new business book designed to show workers how to become business owners, rather than employees, to secure their own economic futures has been accepted for exhibition at the Frankfurter Bushmesse in Germany and the International Book Fair in Miami. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest such event for publishers and last year attracted 278,000 visitors and 7,000 exhibitors from all over the world.

The Frankfurt fair takes place in six multistory buildings arranged around a central square with each building and floor dedicated to a different function. For example, English language publishers are in Building 6. The first three floors have exhibits from publishers from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and the U.S. while the fourth floor is for literary agents and scouts.  Building 5 is dedicated to publishers in other European languages with…

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Written by hoveysmith

September 20, 2018 at 8:11 am

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Using a 12-Gauge Stevens Long Tom Single-Shot Shotgun as a Muzzleloader

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Stevens 94A with split stock

 

My working with the 12-gauge Model 94 Long Tom 12-gauge shotgun came about in a back-handed way. Last year I requested a Dixie-Pedersoli Scout flintlock 12-gauge shotgun for field testing and had a very brief time with the gun before small-game season closed in February. No turkeys cooperated during turkey season, so I was less than satisfied with my work with the gun. It still needed to kill a turkey or deer or something!

Wet Scout with Muel's knee

As a muzzleloading smoothbore the Scout is an unusual gun. First it is small and weighs only 5 1/2-pounds – this is very light for a 12-gauge gun. Secondly, it does not have an attached ramrod, or any provision for mounting one – this is not unheard of for muzzleloaders in cased sets designed for use on the target range, but is for hunting guns.  The rational behind these features was that this gun was designed for use in Boy Scout shooting programs who wanted a small, no frills, light-weight gun for use on shooting ranges at an affordable prices. O.K., but…. historically muzzleloading guns for training young shooters have been in smaller gauges – like 28 and 32 gauge; not 12-gauge. True, you can load muzzleloaders with whatever charge that you like and 12-gauge components are less expensive than those for other gauges, but what about the recoil?

I was less concerned about breaking clays with the gun than trying to hunt with it. My initial load was 78 grains of Olde Eynsford FFg black powder and 1-ounce of shot which generated enough recoil to set me back half-a-step when I fired it as may be seen in the my videos such as: https://youtu.be/swICAhs5TGU.

For comparison, I shot a 1 1/8 ounce 12-gauge cartridge from the Long Tom, also on the video,  with less felt recoil. The single-barreled Long Tom at 6 1/2 pounds is a pound heavier than the Scout and was more comfortable to shoot. For the 2018-19 hunting season I cut back on the Scout’s charge to 70 grains of FFg and salvaged number 6 lead shot from some old Remington shotgun shells that I had bought decades ago in Alaska.   This left me with some cut-off 12-gauge primed hulls, which were not unlike the brass cartridges used to prime the .50-caliber Remington Ultimate Muzzleloader rifle.  If the brass cases could be used to prime a rifle, could not the cut-off plastic cases be used to prime a shotgun and make a muzzleloader out of it? The answer is that yes, they could and can; if for any reason you wanted to make a muzzleloader out of a drop-barrel 12-gauge, single-shot shotgun or any other 12-gauge gun.

I would not be the first to think of, and do, such a thing. I filled this back in my memory bank to investigate at some stage and saved the cut-off cases as I continued to hunt with the Dixie Scout. I had a functional failure with the lock, which resulted in my returning the gun to Dixie. I then decided to employ the same components in the Stevens to make a muzzleloading shotgun. Using those components, I loaded the Stevens with a cut-off hull containing the primer, 70 grains of Olde Eynsford, a quarter-inch card and a half inch fiber wad. On top of that I put a plastic shot cup containing a scrap of torn plastic-bag material, filled it with 1-ounce of salvaged no. 6 shot and capped it off with a cut-in-half fiber wad. The fiber wad would compress enough to let me load it through the gun’s full choked barrel and expand enough to hold the shot in the gun’s chamber.

Comparing patterns between this load and the original cartridge, they both shot a little beneath the point of aim, but both gave squirrel killing patterns at 25 yards. Surprisingly, the recoil from my black-powder load was a little more pronounced than with the cartridge load, and I decided to stick with the 70 grains of FFg and 1-ounce of shot for my squirrel load. The extra 1/4-ounce of shot that the shotgun shell held resulted in more hits on the paper for the shotshell, but the shape of the pattern and strike of the shot on the paper were very similar.  With either load I needed to hold over the squirrel to more nearly center the animal in the pattern.

After I published the video one of my correspondents replied that someone was making an adapter to allow the 12-gauge to be converted into a muzzleloader. This turned out to be a $30 plain or $35 coated 209-primer holding unit that fitted into the chamber just like a 12-gauge shotgun shell, but with a rubber sealing gasket in the front. This is an identical concept to that employed by H&R when they first introduced the Huntsman in 1958 and used a knock-out breech plug that was identical in function, but slightly different in design. I immediately ordered one and will try it out in a future video.  It will be interesting to see how they compare.

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

September 6, 2018 at 9:19 am

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Problems with Product Naming

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Create Your Own Job Security

Types of insects eaten worldwide

Insect eaters want a new name for their activity.

Sometimes you have a product/activity that you wish to promote that has an existing name, but it is derived from difficult to pronounce or remember Greek or Latin root, and you need to come up with something else that is more user friendly. The case in point is “entomophagy” which relates to eating insects.

I can imagine some of you thinking, “Good. The more obscure the better. I am not going to eat any bugs, anywhere, anytime, anywhere and the less said about that subject the better.”

Like it or not, insects are intentionally consumed as a regular part of the diets of millions of people worldwide and accidentally by nearly everyone else as a minor contaminant in grain-derived products. Eating Insects Athens, 2018, held at the University of Georgia was the second conference sponsored by the North American Coalition for…

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Written by hoveysmith

August 31, 2018 at 11:10 am

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New Business Opportunities for Eatable Insects

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Create Your Own Job Security

Insect Larve on lobster.

Insects are a commonly consumed food item in most of the world except in Europe and North America. They may be found cooked with salt and oil and sold as crunchy street snacks in South America, Africa and Asia.  Their flavors may be used to enhance the taste and texture of otherwise bland, soft foods. Protein powders made from cooked and ground insects can also be incorporated as a nutritional supplement in breads or used as a meat substitute in pastas, soups and stews.

Where insects are eaten as a significant food element.

Indigenous cultures who have migrated from their home countries will often attempt to buy their favorite snacks in the new countries and will pay a premium price for them. Additional interests have also been expressed by extreme-sports athletes who are interested in obtaining significant nutritional input from plant-based snack bars which often contain nuts, dried fruits, grains, sugar and salt. Insect-derived protein powder also contains available…

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Written by hoveysmith

August 25, 2018 at 9:32 am

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Eat More Bugs

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Logo Eating Insects Athens

I have just attended the second conference held by the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture at the University of Georgia. Eating Insects Athens, 2018, brought together participants from academia, industry and the social sciences to promote the use of insects for human and animal food. There were about 200 participants, a small group as international conferences go, but the information that they presented high-lighted the historical incorporation of insects as a significant part of man’s diet, their use as food in many parts of the world, the relatively sparse consumption of insects in North America and Europe and the considerable environmental and health advantages of  eating bugs on a regular basis.

My personal interests comes at this topic from three different directions. In my E-mail new cover backyard deersoftcover outdoor books, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting Deer to Dinner for Pennies Per Pound, Practical Bowfishing, Crossbow Hunting and Extreme Muzzleloading, I have chapters featuring cleaning, cooking and eating game and fish, including the organ meat and other parts that many throw away. So it is not much of a reach to consider chomping on a few bugs now and again. Willingly or not, we Southerners have been doing this for generations either by direct consumption or eating  them as a minor fraction of meal, flour and vegetable products.

Insect culture and consumption is a business that is emerging in North America and provides room for innovation in supplying equipment and supplies to growers; producing a high value product anywhere, anytime under weather controlled conditions; marketing a product to a public that has been conditioned to hate and fear insects; and making a product that taste good with an enhanced nutritional aspects that a person might want to consume. These are all challenges that offer considerable profit to those who seek to meet and overcome them.

My new business book, Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife, promotes individual entrepreneurship including identifyingBen's front cover Create Job potential growth opportunities that others may not have seen, and the commercial raising and selling of insects for human and animal food certainly qualifies as an emerging opportunity. Speakers during the conference identified two types of market. The first, as evidenced by Armstrong Crickets, is the large-scale commercial rearing of insects, like crickets. Armstrong, as a company is much more diversified, and food-grade crickets is just one part of their operation which includes raising and selling live crickets for fish bait and reptile food as well as producing meal worms and earthworms for fishermen. The second is for the smaller grower who produces specialized insects for a local market, like a maker of artisan cheese. So, insect rearing and consumption interested me because of its business possibilities in addition to insects’ potential appeal to survivalist.

I cook. In my persona as the Backyard Sportsman, I often conceive of new dishes using wild game and throwing in a few insects is no big deal. In my cooking videos I Hovey's Knife Banneralso frequently use my own knives which are derived from ancient Chinese and other ancient world patterns and made under the Hovey’s Knives of China brand in my own shop here in Georgia. At the conference there were several occasions where Chef Joseph Yoon cooked a variety of insects, including ants,  meal worms, silk worms, crickets, grasshoppers, bees and scorpions.  My third interest in this conference was to see what opportunities there were to derive insect dishes where the insect component was used as more than the sprinkle or garnish that Chef Yoon served on some high value product like shrimp or lobster as may be seen in the following video:

This is one of two videos that I have produced from the conference thus far. The other one features interviews with David M. Gracer of the Community College of Rhode Island about the history of entomophagy (insect eating), Jack Armstrong about the large-scale raising of crickets for bait and human consumption in his family’s 70-year-old business, Bill Broadbent with his operation packaging and selling insects from his factory in an old textile mill in Lewiston, Maine, and with Chef Joseph Yoon of Brooklyn Bugs in New York who does demonstration cooking events in New York and elsewhere. Incidentally, Yoon was quite impressed with my new knives. This is a 25-minute video and may be seen at: https://youtu.be/B6WotfCQ-8o .

This latest expression of entomophagy has grown beyond the novelty stage because of the increasing doubling rate of the human population and the enourmous drain on the earth’s production resources to produce protein by conventional grazing and feed-lot rearing of animals. Insects can be grown indoors, in unused factory spaces, stacked vertically, reared on materials that humans cannot consume, converted into easily shipable products and sold worldwide. Presently these are high-cost, high value prducts and offer conventional farmers a chance to recover crop-rearing costs by feeding their crops to higher-value insects that may be raised less expensively that beef, sheep or poltry because of the insects’ more efficient food to product production ratio.

Challenges are to reduce the product costs of insect rearing while maintaining high food safety standards. It is an unrealistic proposition that insects can be made to be absolutely safely eatable at all times under all conditions. Any food product can somehow, someway be rendered to a conditions where it will be dangerous or deadly to eat. This applies to meats, dairy products and even vegetables, grains and nuts. Accidents in the food-supply chain will happen. In the arena of eatable insects adverse health impacts be expected to be at no greater rate than any other foodstuff, like peanuts, lettice and shellfish,  as the worldwide daily consumptions of insects by millions of people attest.

Help the planet. Help our fellow men. Eat more bugs.

Create Your Own Job Security

Pre-publication orders received a signed copy of the book and free shipping.

$19.95

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

August 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

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