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<<March 2024>>
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Viewing Blog: Amsco Extra!, Most Recent at Top
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A behind-the-scenes look at an education publisher written by editors from the English Language Arts, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies departments.
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1. If You Believe In The Extensions You Are Selling, Why Don´t You Say So?

If you own a hair extensions business, you are used to spend a big portion of your time to look for the best possible quality of hair at the best price your clients can afford. You know if your clients are happy with the hair, they will come back to you and even better they will tell their friends about your products and shop also! But, if you offer the best hair there is, why don´t you tell the world about this? If you do everything you can to offer the best hair extensions, then you will have confidence in your product because you know exactly what you are selling. And it is exactly this confidence your clients need to have to decide to buy from you, especially if they are first time buyers from your extensions. So, if you have confidence in your products, you can offer them a fair return policy also. Not because it is consumer protection law in some countries, but simply because a fair return policy shows to the client how much confidence you yourself have in the products you are selling. But mostly if we visit a hair extensions web shop, the return policy is hidden away, written in small letters and composed from the point of view of the seller. The only text they write in capitals is WE WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY RETURNS. Why? If you want to buy something and the sales person is telling you how great the product is, but they will not accept returns, how much comfort does this give to you? Are they really offering the best there is? How much different if the return policy is changed into a WE BELIEVE IN OUR PRODUCT statement, Tell your clients they can always return the extensions if they are not happy. Of course you need to have rules with respect to the conditions under which you can accept these returns, because you do not want to end up with used, dirty and modified hair. But, there is nothing wrong to show you believe in your extensions and to use this confidence to promote your hair. In fact it´s the best way to sell the hair. Try it! Put your ¨we believe in our products statement¨ at your home page and publish a policy that is written to help the client to decide to buy and you will see your confidence in you own products will boost your sales

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2. Leadership Branding Review: Putting A Face To Your Financial Future

You are reading this article today because you’re interested in a Leadership Branding review. I fully intend on answering any questions you may have on this product in the following paragraphs. Leadership Branding for Direct Response is a unique internet marketing product developed by Mark Hoverson. An integral aspect to becoming a successful internet marketer is establishing relationships with your customers. You may have heard the saying before that “people don’t join businesses, they join people”. By establishing a strong and accessible web presence, you can build firmer and more efficient relationships with both existing customers and future customers. A major aspect of this process is referred to as Branding. And if you couldn’t deduct this from Mark Hoverson’s product title, Leadership Branding focuses on that exact aspect. What is this thing? Each Leadership Branding review requires a basic explanation of that the product offers. So let’s get to it. Leadership Branding for Direct Response is said to be a fresh new take on the branding process. The product’s goal is to help internet marketers build their own unique brand and implement that into their email marketing strategy. Doing this effectively can do wonders for your marketing campaign. Like many skills, strategies and techniques in the marketing world, the leadership branding process can be successfully duplicated. Mark Hoverson is certainly aware of this and is helping marketers from all over brand themselves as a leader. Keep reading this review to learn about Mark Hoverson’s formula: (you + branding) + marketing= success Branding Yourself as a Leader Mark Hoverson is actually credited with inventing the phrase “leadership branding” himself. Mark’s success has been built on his ability to position himself as an authority in his niche. He recognizes that this combined with an effective email marketing campaign has done wonders for his own personal business. The goal of this product is teach others to do the same. One of the most intriguing aspects of Mark Hoverson’s product is the video marketing course. This is definitely necessary for any review of this product to mention. While written content still plays a role in the marketing process, video is most definitely a more effective marketing tool today. This is a pretty simple concept to comprehend. Would you rather read a whole bunch of bland content or watch an†entertaining and informative video? If you’re similar to most, you prefer a video presentation most every time. By learning the psychology of sales, you can begin making videos that convert at an incredible rate. What are You Doing with Your List? When sharing a Leadership Branding review, it is important to highlight the importance of email marketing. At this point in your internet marketing adventure, you surely recognize how important building a contact list is. Building a large list consisting of qualified leads obviously sets you up to be†profitable. That being said, the largest email list in the world will fail without a solid follow-up campaign. Mark Hoverson’s Leadership Branding is geared towards helping you get the most out of your contact list! I hope this Leadership Branding review has provided you with sufficient information regarding the product.

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3. Residual Income Streams: Can I Build One?

In some sense, those who have established passive residual income streams are living the dream. The ability to continue to earn money on work done in the past is really an ideal situation. Anyone who has the luxury of multiple streams of income has effectively turned themselves from employee to entrepreneur. I'm not sure about you, but I classify this as success. I could go on and on about how fantastic this sort of income is, but I doubt that's necessary. Of course you are aware of the freedoms this sort of income allows. You're certainly more interested finding out HOW to build passive residual income streams. Let's take a quick look at a few prominent ways in which you can paid for work done in the past. Books and Music? In case you aren't quite sure what residual income streams are, let's consider the most notable and simplest example; an author. An author writes a given book one time. Although he only technically produces one unique product, he will continue to earn money on each copy sold in the future. Products that can be easily duplicated often result in residual income streams. For example; recording artists also have this income luxury because their music can be sold infinitely. I know exactly what you are thinking right now. And the answer is "yes". There are in fact many other ways in which passive residual income streams can be built that do not require you to be a world-renowned artist or author. In fact, the internet has created a vast amount of residual income opportunities. Routes to Profitable Streams of Income for Everyone Affiliate Marketing Pay-Per-Click Advertisement Website Subscriptions An Investment Portfolio Selling Videos/Photographs Online Building a Business and Hiring Others to Run it Network Marketing Passive Residual Income Streams: Most Profitable? When I look at this list of residual income streams possibilities, a few opportunities stand out and they all have something in common; they're web-based entrepreneurial opportunities. So why is this so appealing? In the grand scheme of things, the internet really hasn't been around for very long. We, internet entrepreneurs as a whole, are still learning how to maximize the profits of this incredible technology. The internet allows businesses to appeal to consumers world-wide. Although it is cliche, the possibilities truly are seemingly endless. Network Marketing in 2013 To many of you, the network marketing business model is familiar. For numerous decades, network marketing has been one of the most accessible routes to residual income streams. Network marketers earn their pay by distributing products and enrolling new distributors. Although the success rate is low, there is a ton of money to be made by those entrepreneurs who are serious about their network marketing business. These success stories are becoming more and more prevalent in the age of the internet. The world-wid- web essentially allows network marketers to promote their products/business opportunity to people globally. This is obviously a marketing opportunity that would not be possible without going online. If you are truly interested in passive residual income streams, I hope you consider the previously mentioned opportunities.

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4. Vitamist: Vitamin Spray And Pay?

Everything about VitaMist is extremely unique. From their product line to their distribution model, the company is anything but conventional. Not only does it distribute unique products, but they also offer product users an opportunity to earn a legitimate income. If you read this article entirely, all of the questions you may have about VitaMist will be answered sufficiently. What exactly is it? Like many other young companies today, VitaMist is a health and nutrition company. Because obesity and diabetes have evolved in to epidemics many people have made the decision to become more health conscious. Because of this shift, the health and wellness industry us one of the fastest growing business niches today. As I said before, there are a seemingly countless number of companies in this specific niche. While that may be true, VitaMist is quite a bit different than the average vitamin and supplement distributor. It's health products are sprayed directly into the consumers mouth. This is a really intriguing attribute for those who hate downing multiple bulky pills or sipping a lest than desirably flavored drink. Not only does the spray technique make the vitamins simpler to consume, but it has also been proven to be more efficient for absorption. This unique approach is assuredly a primary reasons for VitaMist's recent success. Starting with the Company VitaMist Spray Vitamins is located in Arizona. The company distributes its unique nutrition products through a team of independent distributors. These people are considered to be independent business owners and are refereed to by the company as VitaMist Team Members. So what is this business opportunity exactly? Many of you are reading this article today because you are interested in the VitaMist business opportunity. If this applies to you, it's time to listen up. VitaMist distributes it's products through the multi-level marketing (network marketing) business model. Within this unique business structure, members of VitaMist can earn some money in a couple of different ways. The first of the money-making opportunities is obviously product sales. VitaMist members make about 25% of their product sales. Like I said before, the health and wellness niche is pretty profitable right now. This is definitely an intriguing aspect for those of you looking to build a passive residual income stream. The second way to make money with VitaMist is definitely the most profitable. When a member/distributor with the company personally enrolls a new member, he or she will begin to earn a percentage of the sales volume generated by that person. This essentially means that you can build a substantial stream of income by enrolling team members for your VitaMist business. You Can REALLY Earn If you take a look online, you will find countless stories about successful network marketers. Many of them who have even found success with this specific company. The one thing that all of these success stories have in common is the ability to recruit. If you're considering the VitaMist business opportunity, it is vital that you focus your marketing efforts on enrolling distributor. To really maximize your marketing efforts, I highly recommend learning to market online. Doing so can do wonders for your VitaMist business!

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5. Advocare International: Can I Really Make Money?

Advocare International is a network marketing company that sells health and nutrition products. The company is based out of Plano; a Dallas, Texas suburb. Advocare International was created in 1993 by an entrepreneur named Charles Ragus. Interestingly enough, Ragus was actually an independent distributor for Herbalife before starting his own company. To this day, Herbalife and Advocare are rival companies. This is a pretty interesting way for a company to get started! Keep reading to learn more about Advocare products and the business model. The Network Marketing Model Since its inception back in 1993, Advocare International has grown considerably. The network marketing company now has more than 100,000 global distributors. If you are not familiar with the network marketing business model, distributors are independent marketers that are paid to promote a company, such as Advocare or Mary Kay, and their products. Assuming a given company produces quality and marketable products, the network marketing business model can be very profitable. Advocare International certainly meets these requirements. Perhaps that most appealing aspect of this model is that anyone can try to build their own business using it. Regardless of education, race, creed, or color, any motivated entrepreneurial minded individual can build an income in network marketing (also known as multi-level marketing. Marketable Product Line? A Product line’s marketability is definitely an aspect that needs to be researched an addressed before enrolling as an independent distributor with any MLM company. That being said, let’s take a quick look at what exactly Advocare has to offer. As I mentioned briefly, Advocare International distributes health promoting products. Are they marketable though? It was recently reported that the health and wellness industry is actually one of the quickest expanding industries globally. Judging by product reviews and this statement alone, it is safe to say that Advocare distributors market an intriguing product line. Advocare distributes products in the following categories: Trim (for weight loss), Active (athletes), wellness, performance elite, and definite difference. If you’re reading this today because you are interested in the business opportunity, please keep reading. The Business Opportunity You may be reading this today because you’d like to learn some more information about potentially earning a passive residual income with Advocare International. Advocare independent distributors earn an income in a few different ways. First of all, distributors earn commission on any products they sell wholesale. It’s essentially like owning your own online nutrition store. Secondly, distributors can earn by recruiting new distributors. When you enroll a new distributor, you will then earn additional income based on that individual’s production. While many people have built massive streams of income using this model, most people fail because they don’t learn to market or they simply put no effort in. If you’d genuinely like to make a living working with Advocare, you need to adopt some internet marketing skills. This will allow you to expose your business to countless people worldwide. I hope this review answered any questions you may have about Advocare International.

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6. Reviewing Mike Dillard's Building On A Budget

Building on a Budget is an internet marketing product developed by Mike Dillard. The product is designed to teach average internet marketers with a small marketing budget how to succeed online. This product focuses on showing marketers how generate their own leads and consistently build a prospect lead list. Doing so efficiently is definitely a much cheaper alternative to other popular marketing techniques; such a PPC. The foundation of Mike Dillard’s Building on a Budget product is the idea of magnetic sponsoring. If performed accurately magnetic sponsoring will result in people coming to you instead of you aggressively marketing your products to them. The goal of magnetic sponsoring is to quickly build a level of interest and trust with potential leads and have them contact you. Let’s take a closer look at Mike Dillard’s product. How Much Does it Cost? As you may have guessed from reading the name of the product, Building on a Budget is fairly inexpensive. The internet marketing course is 55 pages long and costs only $30. The course is a book that focuses on helping young internet and network marketers build a business on a budget of $500 or less. Considering Mike Dillard’s well-known success, it seems incredible that you can obtain his entire lead generation system at such an inexpensive rate. While I say incredible, it’s definitely not unbelievable. Due to the structure of the internet, it is possible to dramatically increase the exposure of any given business on a small budget. Those who take the time to learn how to do so will definitely see it pay off. Education and effort can be far more efficient than a massive marketing budget. As they say, “it’s better to work smart than hard. Free Marketing Does Exist For those who are new to the marketing industry, you may think that becoming a profitable marketer requires massive overhead investment. Even though you’ve sought out more information on “Building on a Budget”, free marketing still seems like a bizarre concept to you. Mike Dillard’s product is filled to the brim with all of the information you will need to market inexpensively in today’s internet dominated business realm. The free marketing techniques shared by Mike Dillard in this product are sure to generate a profit if carried out efficiently. By learning a few basic internet marketing strategies, you can increase your business’s audience exponentially. The key is in education. Considering how inexpensive the product is, it is one heck of an investment. This is YOUR Business It is important to note that Building on a Budget spends a considerable amount of time preaching the importance of self-branding and attraction marketing. All successful network marketers and internet marketers have mastered these techniques in one way or another. Mike Dillard’s Building on a Budget explains exactly how to build these necessary attributes without breaking the bank. If you are intrigued by the idea of becoming a successful online entrepreneur, it is always important to take the time to learn from experienced and proven marketers. “Building on a Budget” is one of many great pieces of training material available online today.

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7. Understanding Network Marketing Advertising: An Introduction

Understanding network marketing advertising is essential to grow your home-based business. Naturally, advertising your network marketing business will cost money at some stage – how else could you possibly effectively market your product without it? Many network marketing consultants fail to even budget for advertising and consequently they miss out on the chance to earn money. Advertising really is an investment, but only if you advertise in the right places and these places should be selected sensibly and monitored continually to see if they work. Ineffectual advertising can put you into bankruptcy! Just like any business online and off, network marketing advertising is one of the keys to success. It can be confusing online particularly with the other millions of internet sites, blogs and advertisements all competing against you. Set a Budget Unless your product is completely new and unique, you’re going to have to learn where to place your advertising to get sales and recruit distributors. If you have not already put aside a budget for advertising you should do so right away, and figure realistically how much you are able to afford on a once per month basis. Don’t go over that amount – if you notice that your advertising in a certain area is bringing results, you can always raise your budget later . Most new network marketing specialists only have a little budget, but that should not be an issue. There are many effective places to run ads on the internet for free. You need to experiment with them, and after a set period of time, drop the ones that aren’t working for you. Pay extra attention to where you are going to publicize your business, because advertising in the wrong place can damage your image, and accordingly lose you money. The following are the results that you should attempt to get by looking at advertising your network marketing business: 1. It should be bringing you a flood of leads 2. It is going to be a medium for you to advertise your product or service 3. It will be a strategy for branding your company and growing brand visibility 4. It should be a route for you to effectively close sales. Social Media By a long way the best ( and cheapest ) sort of advertising is recommendation by friends. Online creating a buzz about your service or product can pay enormous dividends, but it will be up to you how you do this. Social networking sites, particularly YouTube, are fantastic places for getting masses of eyes on your product. Although this method could be free, you should plan everything you do carefully or it can back-fire. Twitter has certain rules. You cannot just jump on there and start screaming about your product. No one will take any notice of you. Posting on Twitter every 5 minutes will also get you ignored and you will be branded as a nuisance. It’s better for you to build a following first. In the real world you would not go to your best friend’s marriage and start shouting about your product in the reception. The idea is to build relationships in any social media situations. In the beginning you may have to rely on others for referrals, which is also an extremely valuable method of getting leads both online and off-line. Make a point of forming a relationship with the individual who gives you these referrals. No one is going to hand you what’s basically a bowl of money, without getting something in exchange. Direct Mail Local bricks and mortar businesses often choose to send out direct mail. Though this seemed to die-out in the 21st century this can method can be effective in network marketing advertising. What many enterprises don’t do is collect valuable info from these mail-outs and consequently they do not build a list of potential clients. The other downside using direct mail outs is they can be quite expensive. An effective off-line strategy is to get folks to fill in a card, or leave an e-mail address when they come into your shop or business. Time should be taken to compile these e-mail addresses into a list for future marketing campaigns. The best way is to give something of value in return for their email address or other contact details, which could be a coupon or a free dessert whatever’s suitable. It’s hard to run a useful network marketing advertising campaign if you really do not understand how it all works. There is a great quantity of psychology behind selling effectively and if you do not understand the principle of network marketing now is a good time to learn.

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8. Keeping An Mlm Journal For Achieving Good Results

Can you keep a secret? What might you have in your MLM journal? Do you even have an MLM journal? A smart man once said that a life worth living is actually a life worth documenting. Does a fact like this apply to you once you start developing your MLM business? What advantage may you acquire by documenting what you will be undertaking and what you hope to accomplish? What can determine whether you succeed or fail after struggling long and hard? Can the difference between reaching your objectives and failing in a horribly tragic way actually come down to keeping an MLM journal? Lets see. Objectives Do you understand that the most important step in your MLM business could be the next one you take? Perhaps you conceived the idea and then your journey began. Now what destination did you have in mind? Think of it. Imagine your deepest targets and desires, and choose a precise destination. Now you’ve your goal. (MLM Journal Entry #1 – My Objectives). Draw a Map Now you’ll be able to chart a path for your destination, and call this map a plan of action. All along your way you will pass certain resting stops, small objectives achieved. Celebrate your successes, and do not forget to constantly reassess your route. You might have the option of taking a quicker mode of travel… the fast-track. (MLM Journal Entry #2 – Draw a map). After you begin on your path, document your journey with videos, photographs, and obviously more MLM Journal entries. Do not forget to enjoy the process and celebrate even the smallest successes. Dance all of the way! Whatever events the day may bring, write them down. Add them to your MLM Journal and come back and read the entries. (MLM Dairy Entry #3 – My daily activities & their consequences). Everyone wants to see the important moments from your journey – and so you’ll have videos, a photo album, and a written history in your journal. You’ll be able to establish where the grass is greener, and what areas are best avoided. In this way you can share which pitfalls to avoid, as well as what rest-stops are worthwhile. (MLM Diary Entry #4 – Record what works! Record what doesn’t!) Good Results Tips Get pleasure from every area of your life, and perhaps you’ll want to model the good results of someone who is having the life you would most appreciate! Discover what THEY did to reach success, and adapt their model to your current circumstances. This is one way of taking the fast-track to your destination, by following a proven route. Guidance is being offered in various forms. Many successful network marketers will share their MLM Journal’s with you, and help you draw-up a strategy of your own. Within the pages of their journal is a proven model for achievement, so appreciate the step-by-step training procedure. Duplicate his/her results. Find a single entry, read it, study it and then follow through with action! One particular day a person new to the industry will ask to your MLM Journal. What will be in it? Give yourself and the future generations of network marketers the greatest chance at success and begin creating an MLM Journal today.

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9. Mike Dillard's Magnetic Sponsoring: Can It Help Your Home Business?

The first version of Mike Dillard’s Magnetic Sponsoring was released about 5 years ago. It came complete with a manual and audio CD which pitched his primary network marketing opportunity. It also contained a full size blueprint of a funded proposal system along with an attraction marketing course as well . In the manual Mike talked about the history of network marketing and gave some general ideas about the current state of the industry. He also discussed what he thought to be the major challenges that most people encounter when they are attempting to build a successful MLM business. He saw the main challenges as being lead generation, absence of credibility and the shortage of adequate funds for folks to be well placed to run a significant advertising and marketing campaign. In the beginning the Mike Dillard’s Magnetic Sponsoring manual was a proprietary tool which Mike and his team used as an to offer for those joining their downline to get them off to a fast start. He’s changed all that. Does is Still Work Today? In the latest edition the pages of the manual has been reduced down to only fifty six pages. It is still packed with all sorts of million-dollar insider methods and tips about the way to build a successful network marketing business quickly . From what he asserts in his shortened manual you may learn everything there is to know about multi-level marketing and also why having the right approach and perspective is essential if you want to achieve real success. Mike then goes on to pull the covers off of the industry, and lays out some facts. Below is a quote: “Unfortunately, this is an industry of business ownership pursued by folk who haven’t ever been business owners for the main part, the disciplines and skills necessary for success are completely foreign to them.” This hits the nail right on the head and sadly it is correct. Most of the people who come to a decision to start a home business actually have no idea about what that truly means, what’s really required in building a money-making business. They hope and pray that they can really just sponsor 3 or four people and get rich in just a few weeks. When things don’t work out out the way they hoped, they just give up because they really don’t know what to try next. They haven’t any idea about the way to build a home business and there are many individuals who are just plain lazy and expect things to happen on auto-pilot without putting in the initial hard work. Working Online In Mike’s Magnetic Sponsoring manual you will get the ground rules to what it takes to build a lucrative multi-level marketing business quickly . You’ll walk off with a good education in starting a home based business from someone that has done it all. You’ll have information, but will you have anything discernible that may help you get your present home based business into profit and be in a position to produce leads effectively . The great news is that the Magnetic Sponsoring online has a system in place with high converting squeeze pages where you can drive traffic and capture their contact details. You can then contact these potential prospects and see if they are interested in joining your business. If they are not interested in your home based business they may be interested in one of the many products that magnetic sponsoring now sells to assist people in becoming successful in network marketing. In this way you can earn a commission as an affiliate and these commissions will help to off-set any paid methods used to drive the traffic. This is called a funded proposal. Online Marketing Systems to Grow you Business If you really are serious about building a rewarding multi-level marketing business quickly Mike Dillard’s Magnetic Sponsoring is certainly one of the systems that will help. There is also another program called My Lead System Pro (MLSP) that has in-depth training and all the tools that you’ll need including tools which will aid you in generating leads and bring swarms of traffic to your website. and pitch your business as well . MLSP offers a strategy, much like Mike Dillard’s Magnetic Sponsoring, to earn some much needed cash initially, so that your business can get into profit fast. It doesn’t matter where you are at with your online promotional efforts you and your team can use these systems to get your business off to a flying start.

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10. Affordable Home Based Business Opportunities With Prospects

Take a look on the Internet and you will find plenty of affordable home based business opportunities. Many of us dream of working from home. After all those who run an online business can be their own boss and work when they choose to. So running a business from the comfort of your own home sounds pretty idyllic. But anyone who works from home in order to earn their living will tell you that home based business owners probably work twice as hard as anyone else. If you are trying to locate a legitimate way of making money online then begin by starting a small home based business. Small Opportunities Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow. There is no point in investing huge amounts of money in an online business if the return is minimal. When we talk about starting up an affordable online business we should consider ideas that require little or no investment. Take an overall look at the area that you live in and consider supply and demand. Do residents in your locality need cleaners or gardeners? If you are an accomplished gardener or a cleaner then you could set up a website and advertise your services. You may not be physically working from home but your operating costs will be low so you should be able to maximise your profits. Businesses that Allow You to work within Your Own Home Every entrepreneur had to start somewhere and all of us have hidden talents that we never bring to the forefront. Maybe you make wonderful gift cards, handmade jewellery or cute hand-crafted goods. If that is the case then use your skills to make an income. Accomplished cooks could try their hand at baking and selling celebration cakes, hence you make money from working at home doing a job you enjoy. The Home Party Business Industry is Booming If you are a great host and you have the gift of the gab then you should try earning a living from home party plan systems. This is one of the many affordable home based business opportunities that can be profitable. A high percentage of firms that claim to have the ideal way of earning an income from home ask for a substantial start-up fee. Run a home party business and you may well have to purchase a party plan starter kit but that is usually relatively affordable. Are There Any Internet Business opportunities? Anyone who has access to the Internet and a few hours to spare has the potential to earn cash from home. Look online and you will see that many companies are advertising for customer service handlers, article writers and data entry workers. Listed above are a few ways of earning money from home and all of these ideas are affordable. The majority of people seek online work to boost their income and it is up to you to find a business opportunity that matches your skills and interests. There are many affordable home based business opportunities in this world and some of them will bring great personal and financial rewards.

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11. amscoextra

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12. hello

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13. The "Noir" Scene

What is noir? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, it’s “crime fiction featuring hardboiled cynical characters and bleak, sleazy settings.”

You could say that. But being a noir writer, myself, I see it as a state of mind. A character’s bad attitude. Nice people doing bad things that turn around and bite them back. A bad guy getting what he deserves. Noir isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. And I’m not alone.

On Sunday, June 3rd, I was pleased to be among “my own kind,” at Shade, in the West Village. The “Noir at the Bar” reading/gathering lasted from 6–9:30 P.M. and was hosted by Todd Robinson (“Big Daddy Thug,” editor of Thug Lit) and Glenn Gray, another noir great.

As editor of the cutting edge ezine Yellow Mama, I enjoyed meeting YM alumni Gray, Thomas Pluck, and Richie Narvaez. In person, they were as charming as their gritty works promised.

I was up first, with “Dishes, Dishes, Dishes,” a story that appeared in A Twist of Noir back in July 2011. What an audience! A few minutes earlier, the crowd was talking loudly and laughing. But the place was dead quiet when my colleagues and I read our stuff.

When Narvaez read the excerpt from his story "Unsynchronicity," I shut my eyes and saw the whole story play out, like a film. It was that beautiful and visual. "Unsynchronicity" is part of his collection Roachkiller and Other Stories.

Other readers included Pluck (“Black-Eyed Susan”), Jason Starr (Tough Luck), Justin Porter (“The Headstone”), Jonathan Hayes (A Hard Death), Jen Conley (“Metalhead Marty in Love”), and Todd Robinson (Dirty Words), himself. Robinson sported one of the coolest T-shirts, ever (an ax-wielding bunny rabbit), and presented us with Thug Lit tees (Wish I could wear mine to work!). Readers also got copies of the original story collection Noir at the Bar. Other noir collections were raffled off.

I was proud to be part of this event and delighted that so many noir fans came to meet us. Hope we can do it again real soon.

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14. Amsco's New Physical Science Text

Looking for an up-to-date physical science book? Look no more—Amsco has it. Ideal for middle school or high school students, this text carries a © 2012 copyright date.
From the chapter opening to the Science, Engineering, Society, and Technology boxed feature at the end, students will be engaged in learning science. Each chapter of INVESTIGATING PHYSICAL SCIENCE begins with focused reading questions followed by an Inquiry Investigation that requires simple equipment. The text utilizes English and metric systems of measurement, involves students in problem-solving activities while carefully balancing the unity and integrated nature of science.
The Chapter Reviews offer a “Test-Taking Tip” and a variety of questions of varying difficulty, which often provide Internet research opportunities. In line with the Literacy Standards of the Common Core, the “Think Critically” questions stimulate students to think.
Investigating Issues in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Society features provide students an opportunity to explore current controversial topics in a nonjudgmental manner. “Think About It” and “Extend It” give readers the chance to evaluate and decide science issues for themselves.
Electronic ancillaries include the Teacher’ Guide, Answer Key, and Interactive Quizzes.

Paperback: 496 pages; Ordering Code R301W
ISBN: 978-1-56765-950-4
E-book available

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15. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Later in 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I recently reread the Thomas P. Whitney translation of this book that was published in 1962 by Fawcett Publications. However, I wish I had read the later version by Ralph Parker (E. P. Dutton, 1963) because it is a better translation.

I recommend  this short novel since it is a seminal document in Soviet history as well as a “good read.” One Day is the first piece of Soviet literature to reveal the horrors of the Gulag (system of prison camps of the Stalin regime). Solzhenitsyn himself was a prisoner in the camps for eight years, beginning in 1945. After Stalin’s death, he was released but had to serve three more years in exile in Central Asia. He was rehabilitated in 1957. Solzhenitsyn then became a high school physics teacher while secretly working on the manuscript for One Day. He was considered a very good teacher by his students for presenting topics of physics in an interesting way.

One Day is fiction, but it is based on the author’s experiences in the Gulag. Solzhenitsyn submitted his manuscript to several Russian literary journals, and was at first rejected. Finally, the journal Novy Mir (translated as "New World") agreed to publish it, but government censors refused to allow that. In 1962, however, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev personally intervened and called for the publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in Novy Mir. This intervention is sometimes compared to Khrushchev’s 1956 denunciation of Stalin at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in a speech in which he talked of Stalin’s abuse of power and cult of personality.

The New American Library edition (2008) of One Day has a useful Introduction by the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko and a less scholarly Afterward by Eric Bogosian, the American actor and novelist. Bogosian’s contribution should have been edited since he said that One Day was first published in 1961 instead of 1962, which is the year given in the Introduction. And he implied that the Gulag was all in Siberia, yet parts of the Gulag were in European Russia as well, in the north.

Why is One Day a great work of fiction? Though it follows one character during just one day, this character and that day represent all the prisoners in the Gulag and the total experience of those who lived and/or died from the late 1930s through the mid 1950s. Some 1 million people were released from the Gulag in the 1950s. However, forced labor camps and political prisoners still existed in the Soviet Union until the Gorbachev era.
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16. The Great Bat Die-Off

A few years ago, I wrote about the great bat die-off that had started in the Northeastern U.S. The problem was first noticed during the winter of 20052006. By 2007, biologists discovered caves that had thousands of dead and dying bats. According to a news article in 2008, surveys showed that bats in upstate New York caves were “mysteriously dying off by the thousands,” and scientists were not sure why. The only tell-tale sign of illness appeared to be what they called “white-nose syndrome”a condition marked by a white fungus on the bats’ faces. The wildlife experts were not sure if the fungus caused the bats’ illness and death, or was just a symptom of their as-yet-unknown illness. By 2008, scientists had confirmed that this was a new species of fungus and named it Geomyces destructans.

The biologists at first thought the die-off might be caused by any number of other factors—bacteria, a virus, changes in weather, a toxin, or some contaminant brought in by a cave explorer from another region. But by 2011, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey had performed numerous experiments and gathered enough information to be certain of the cause of the huge bat die-off, which by then had spread 2,000 kilometers across the eastern United States and into Canada. More than five million bats have died across this area. The cause was indeed the Geomyces fungus, which attaches to living bats in the middle of the winter when they are most vulnerable during hibernation. 

The bats typically gather in groups of hundreds and thousands, in areas known as hibernacula, where they cluster for warmth as their body temperatures decrease. The fungus thrives in the cold and is passed between the closely packed bats. It attacks the wings and other tissues of such species as the little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus, digesting and replacing the healthy tissue with fungal cells. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, the little brown bat has had a more than 90 percent drop in its population since it was hit by the fungus. There are five other bat species that have also been affected in North America, but not to the extent of the little brown bats. 

What had puzzled scientists at first is that the same white-nose fungus condition

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17. Happy Pi day!

Pie?  Pi?
We all know what pie is, but what is pi ?

Ancient civilizations must have asked themselves the same question (though I don’t know whether they knew what pie was).  They did figure out that  that there was a fixed ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of the circle that was approximately equal to three.  That ratio is represented by the Greek letter pi (π), which was first used by William Jones in 1706 and later adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.
Today, Pi Day is celebrated by math lovers around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535….  This number goes on and on and never repeats its digits in order or comes to an end.  People have used computers to calculate its value to more than a trillion digits.
Is pi useful?  Of course it is.  Why would people make such a fuss about it unless it had practical applications.  Pi is used in formulas to calculate information about circles, as we mentioned above, and other figures.  Several formulas depend on pi to get a close approximation of the area of a circle and the volume of a cylinder.  The formulas are:
            Area of a circle = pr2 where r is the radius of the circle.
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18. Tick Tock

Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2 A.M. This is a reminder from the editors at Amsco to set your clocks ahead one hour.

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by Dana Henricks

Think the Dolphins will win the Super Bowl next year?

Maybe. But right now your goal is to pass the Florida Reading Retake 2.0.

Florida students must pass the Florida Reading exam to receive a high school diploma from a public school. Students who have failed the Grade 10 Reading test can meet this requirement by passing the Florida Reading Retake 2.0 exam. The “Retake” assesses the same Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, but with only multiple-choice questions. Students can retake this exam as many times as they want, and can even enroll for a 13th year of public high school, if they need more instruction! (Hey! I’ll make it next year!)

Amsco’s Mastering the Florida Reading Retake 2.0 includes a Diagnostic test with Analysis Table, nine chapters, and two full-length Practice Tests. Each chapter includes benchmark explanations, instruction and review, literary and informational texts with graphics, guided practice, and independent practice. New information is provided e.g., narrative and descriptive writing and text features. All multiple-choice questions are aligned to the new Test Item Specifications

Special features include Understanding the Benchmark (which introduces the content of each benchmark and suggests activities for in-class or at-home practice), Making the Assessment Connection (which lists types of multiple-choice questions that will assess the benchmark and the kinds of reading selections found on the test), FLORIDA FLASH (which provides important information about the exam), RETAKE EXTRA (which gives helpful hints about strategies to use when reading a selection and answering test questions), Try It Out (Practice makes perfect!), and On Your Own (Go ahead, challenge me!)

Reading selections consist of a high-interest mix of informational and literary texts aimed at upper-level high school as well as adult students (No kid stuff!). Readings are accompanied by visual texts such as diagrams, graphs, illustrations and photos aimed to prepare students for what they’ll find on the actual test.

So don’t let the Dolphins’ antics distract you from the Florida Reading Retake. Whether or not they win the Super Bowl, you’ll still need that diploma!

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20. More Amsco in the News

The following article was published February 21, 2012 by fivecentnickel.com.

Teens and Money

Written by Jeffrey Steele
The last 10 to 15 years have seen unprecedented numbers of Americans doing wacky things with their money, and paying big time for their mistakes.

About 12 years ago, for instance, a lot of folks bought into the tech bubble just before it became a tech wreck. Two years later, having seen their nesteggs decimated by the stock market plunge after dot.com went dot.bomb, many sold out of stocks in the trough, only to watch the markets suddenly rocket higher. Then, having licked their wounds and assembled a bit of cash, many couldn’t resist buying into housing at the top of that bubble, only to be wiped out again.

But why should such miscues be any surprise here in the good ol’ United States, where personal finance seems the most taboo of scholastic subjects?

I mean, this is a land where in our 12 years of elementary, middle, and high school, we learn obscure tidbits about the Magna Carta, far-out geometric algorithms, factoids about the flora and fauna of Tanzania, and other insights we’ll never use again, but are shut out of any kind of lessons on the one thing we’ll need to do every minute of the rest of our lives, which is manage money.

Those Awkward Years

No wonder the only group more prone to bonehead cash maneuvers than American adults is American teens. The University of California reported a few years ago that American teens were spending at about a $179 billion annual clip. Yet, when given a national standardized money management test, high school seniors tallied an average grade of 48.3 percent, a failing score.

“High school seniors have little knowledge of money management, savings, investments, income and spending,” the UC system reported. “A vast majority of students 16 to 22 have never taken a class in personal finance, with two-thirds admitting they could benefit from more money management lessons. Alarmingly, nine percent were rolling over credit card debt each month.”

Today, only nine states have any type of program to assess students’ financial literacy, and fewer than one in five teachers feels he or she is equipped to teach classes in financial literacy, according to a recent study by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

That report found financial literacy on the part of both the population as a whole and on the part of teens was low, which may have to do with increasing legions of folks being “unbanked,” and having higher levels of indebtedness, as well as lower rates of wealth accumulation and financial planning.

I can certainly attest from personal experience to the comparative lack of personal financial skills by American teens. Why, I recall that as a teen-ager, my own main interest in life was blowing as much money as possible on eight-track tapes.

And this was in 2004.

New Initiative Needed

Just kidding, of course. But it’s clear we need a new initiative to tackle teen financial illiteracy. And it’s being provided by Amsco School Publications, Inc., a 75-year-old New York City-based family-owned company that publishes textbooks and supplementary materials for students in grades 7 through 12.

Amsco School Publications has recently created Personal Finance, a textbook designed to teach American teens what they need to know to live fiscally responsible lives. That includes setting financial goals, researching and planning careers, understanding banks, knowing where to save and invest, using credit wisely, and comprehending why insurance is needed, even at young ages.

I recently had a chance to talk to Amsco’s vice president of sales and marketing Irene Rubin, and asked her why her company decided to tackle teen literacy. “We knew there’s a problem, because of the credit card debt

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21. Getting Techie with Biology

Amsco has published Biotechnology. It is designed for use as a text at the middle-school level, for either a one-term or two-term course in biotechnology, or as a supplementary text for a middle school life science course, where a teacher could incorporate some “hot topics” such as genetic engineering, cloning, and stem cells into their curriculum. The book also can be used at the high-school level as a supplementary text in a biology class, in alternative high schools, and for a special education science class.

The book contains six chapters, each comprised of several numbered Lessons (followed by a set of review questions), followed by one Student Mini-Lab, one Graphing Skills exercise, one Student Activity, and completed by a Chapter Review section of questions and a vocabulary review crossword puzzle. (Note: In some cases, there will be two versions of a Student Activity, to facilitate differentiated instruction.) Also includes a Glossary and an Index. A CD edition of the text is bound in, so that students can use it on a computer or eBook reader, as well as print the numerous hands-on student activities.

To see samples of the book visit our Web site and they can be found in the Free Downloads section.

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22. Amsco in the News

Over the past few months, Amsco School Publications, Inc. has been mentioned in several national publications, blogs, and on educational Web sites. We think that our blog followers might be interesting to see what is being said about us.

E-Commerce News.com January 24, 2012
The iBooks Profitability Puzzle
By Erika Morphy
MacNewsWorld Part of the ECT News Network 01/24/12 5:00 AM PT

Apple's new iBooks textbook market saw lots of activity over the weekend as users downloaded 350,000 copies of books, according to Global Equities Research. If iBooks catches on in a big way, it'll certainly be profitable to Apple. But whether it will be a good deal for authors and publishers has yet to be determined.

Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iBooks textbook initiative, launched just last week, has clearly struck a chord in the market. Ditto its accompanying textbook authoring tool, iBooks Author. Both have taken off at a significant pace, according to a report by Global Equities Research.

More than 350,000 textbooks have been downloaded via iBooks over the past three days. In addition, there have been more than 90,000 iBook Author downloads. iBook Author is a free authoring tool to create textbooks for Apple iBooks.

A Big Impact
The numbers seem to indicate many students and educators at least interested in seeing how Apple wants to break into the market. However, as the ramifications of the textbook store and authoring tool become clearer, some industry observers are having second thoughts as to whether this would be a good thing.

For starters, textbook publishers could find their margins squeezed, perhaps uncomfortably so. As Global Equities notes in its report, more than 50 percent of textbook industry revenues come from the sales of introductory books.

Then there is the lock-in for authors that use Apple's authoring tool. Migrating to other platforms is simply not an option, at least with this current platform.

Global Equities Analysis
Global Equities' initial take on how publishers will fare in the system is that they will in fact make more money selling an iBook textbook priced at US$14.99 versus a traditional printed textbook priced at $125.

That is because 50 percent of the textbook industry consists of used books, which deliver zero revenues to publishers. Also, the textbook supply chain is a complicated one, consisting of distributor, wholesaler, retailer and finally student. At each step the markup is between 8 percent to 15 percent, for a total of between 33 percent to 35 percent -- excluding actual distribution costs.
Conversely, the cost of an iBook production is 80 percent less than a print product. Global Equities declined to provide further details.

Some publishes of textbooks, though, disagree with Global Equities' assumptions, not to mention its math. Larry Beller, president of Amsco School Publications, told MacNewsWorld the firm has been offering its own e-books for roughly a year and a half. Pricing for the two products -- print and e-book -- must remain roughly the same in order to provide revenues for the authors, he said, which are compensated differently than authors of fiction or non-fiction books.

"With Apple's platform coming out we will have to rethink some of the numbers, but it won't be a significant difference. It can't be." He added that there is still an important print market for college students -- and especially elementary and high school students -- that won't go away even if this platform becomes popular.

An iOS-Only Tool
For others, the authoring tool is the one that raises the most concern. For instance, writers who use iBooks Author to write books they intend to sell may only distribute them through Apple's services.

"There is a lot about this tool that I don't think authors will realize at first," Br

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23. One small step for schools, one giant leap for education.

AMSCO School Publications, Inc. and ECTACO, Inc. are excited to announce their joint decision to become partners in the educational field.   This innovative partnership will make AMSCO products more accessible to the modern marketplace. Students will be able to use AMSCO ebooks with the jetBook Color eBook reader, the only color e-Ink educational eBook system developed specifically for schools.
For over 75 years AMSCO has helped  educate millions of students with their course texts, review, and test prep books in mathematics, language arts, science, foreign language, and social studies.  ECTACO, known as the preeminent handheld language source, has developed and distributed devices and linguistic software in over 200 languages since 1990.  AMSCO and ECTACO decided to unite their products and technologies when ECTACO developed a dedicated eBook reader – the ECTACO jetBook Color – which makes the reading of eBooks easier and more vision friendly, that is, it promotes “healthy reading.”  

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Valentine’s Day is a “hit or miss” event.

If you’re happily involved, it’s a hit. If you’re alone, and don’t want to be, it’s a miss. Couples don’t need Valentine’s Day to rub in how deliriously happy they are to others. Still, how can they resist?

According to Chad Brooks’s article, “Men Will Spend Twice as Much as Women for Valentine’s Day,” total spending for this year’s holiday may reach $17.6 billion, with the average person spending more than $126. It went up almost 10% since last year.

That’s a lot of rubbing in. Brooks’s article also says that the average guy will probably spend $168.74 on Valentine’s Day gifts. That’s a lot more than the average woman.

Meaning men love more than women do?

In the Amsco anthology Short Stories, there are three stories that make me wonder . . .

In Herman Wouk’s “The Party” (1948; from The City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder), eleven-year-old Herbie is madly in love with his red-haired classmate, Lucille. He’s lost in his fantasies, where she’s his underground queen. In reality, he’s scared to speak to her.

He and his family get invited to a housewarming party at Lucille’s house. Herbie keeps changing the part in his hair, then combs his hair straight back, tries to appear older, more sophisticated. “Isn’t that silly?”His sneering older sister Felicia tears him down, makes him doubt himself.

At the party, Herbie is in his glory. “He was in Lucille Glass’s home,” Wouk writes. “He had shaken her hand. He had sat beside her on a sofa for ten minutes, eating corned-beef sandwiches and no more aware of taste than if he had been chewing straw. The girl . . . seemed not of this world, but a changeling fallen from a star.”

To his delight, Lucille takes Herbie to the garage. In the Glass family Chrysler they sit, eating chocolate ice cream, and talking about . . . everything! He exaggerates his knowledge of astronomy (What boy wouldn’t?) and claims he won’t marry till he’s fifty-five, and then only to a red-haired woman.

Poor Herbie. He thought she was his, after that. Till his new hairdo had a meltdown. Lucille howled with laughter. Even worse, his sister Felicia and her guy Lennie had seen the whole thing. “What’s the matter, Fatso?” Lennie says. “Got cooties?”

Of course, Herbie loses Lucille, but to . . .

For an hour, he tried to rebuild the ruins of the underground palace, but it was wrecked forever. Nothing was left but its queen, and she no longer wore crown and robe, but a white bow and a party frock. And he could not even compel her to sit by his side. Her faithless majesty went on and on dancing with Lennie.

In John Collier’s 2 Comments on LOVE ME DON'T, last added: 2/10/2012

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Do We Really Speak the Same Language?

I was talking to my friend Eva the other day, and I realized that sometimes it feels like we speak completely different languages although we both speak Spanish. E is from Barcelona and I am from Argentina. The interactions with my friend made me think of the differences between the Spanish spoken in Argentina and in Spain, and how distressing it could be for Spanish students visiting Argentina, for example if they learned Castilian Spanish, or the other way around. Below are a few distinctions that come to mind.
Grammar: Tú or Vos?
If you are an English native speaker, and you are planning to travel to Argentina, and to make use of your almost perfect Spanish, you will need to learn how to use the second informal pronoun vos instead of tú. Vos is more or less the equivalent to thee in English. Conjugating vos is actually simpler than since there are no irregular verbs to deal with other than ser, which changes to sos instead of eres. For instance:
Volver: tú vuelves –> vos volvés
Dormir: tú duermes –> vos dormís
Ser: tú eres –> vos sos
In Argentina, people utilize vos all across the country. It is perhaps the difference most noticeable to foreigners hearing it for the first time. Argentineans will not be surprised by your use of . If you really want to fit in though, you should practice using 0 Comments on as of 1/1/1900
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