03
Jul
15

Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class Lesson 4: Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

In celebration of the impending Independence Day, this week Professor Petit turns his attention to the writings of one of America’s founding fathers, and the man known to far too many of you as “The President on the 100 dollar bill,” Benjamin Franklin!

26
Jun
15

Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class Lesson 3: Romeo and Juliet

This week the Professor turns his attention to William Shakespeare’s timeless saga of love, murder, and teenagers who don’t know enough to listen the to their parents: Romeo and Juliet!

20
Jun
15

A word about giving support

We live in a day and age where a lot of content creators put their work — some, if not all — online, often for free. We do this to build an audience. We do this to create a community. We do this because we have ideas that we want to share, and social media has given us a chance to reach to a larger potential audience than ever before. And it often works. There are several people who are fans of this page who I’ve never met or interacted with in person, so they almost certainly found me online in one way or another. And that’s great.

People don’t always get how to support a creator whose work they enjoy. Not just writers, but filmmakers, musicians, artists, etc. They see them and they see their material, but for a lot of people, they don’t conceive of what the next step would be to help this person make more of what they enjoy. And let’s face it, creators – especially those who aren’t tied to a major studio, publisher, or media empire – need that support to survive. So I’m here today to tell you the three things you need to do to thank the people whose work you enjoy.

First, and you’d think the most obvious, is to pay for their work. Buy that book you want to read, buy the Blu-Ray or digital download, buy their album, buy their poster, buy their toys. You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but it’s astonishing to me how many people don’t get it. And I’m not just talking about piracy here. (I’m talking a LITTLE about piracy, but not a lot. One quick anecdote then I’ll drop that subject: a while back someone on my Facebook page casually mentioned that she torrents all the books she reads, in such a way as to indicate she thought she was clever. I bit my tongue at the time, but it was all I could do not to ask her which writers weren’t going to receive any payments for their books that she’d read, and how many of them had to work a day job because their books hadn’t made enough money.)

I’m talking about seeking out the work of people you appreciate in order to support them. Scott Sigler gives away all of his books as audio podcasts for free, but I still buy them when they come out. I became a fan of directors Adam Green and Joe Lynch not through their films, but when I discovered their podcast The Movie Crypt. So when their movies Digging Up the Marrow and Everly were released, I made it a point to seek them out.

And if a creator’s main work is free, such as a podcast, what ancillary merchandise do they offer? T-shirts? Special edition downloads? Just a Patreon account? Look for it. Not only does spending money on these works help the people involved, but by purchasing these things, you also help improve their sales ranks on sites like Amazon and iTunes, which helps other people find them. Which brings me to point two…

Spread the word. If you like something, tell people about it. Got a blog? Got a podcast of your own? Got a Twitter account? Use it to talk about the stuff you like and tell people where to find it. Word of mouth is still a terribly powerful thing, and it’s directly related to the third and, perhaps, most important thing you can do…

Rate and review. I don’t think most people understand just how important this is. When you buy something on Amazon, that influences its ranking in their wacky algorithm. But when you post a review or give it a five-star ranking, that influences it as well. Those things help items rise in internet searches and make it more likely that somebody who’s just browsing will run across these items. This goes right back to spreading the word. A creator may love their audience, but if that audience never grows, then it feels like you’re just treading water.

I apologize if this sounds self-indulgent in any way, but this is something that I’ve been rolling over in my mind for a while now, and I don’t know if most people understand it, so I think it’s worth talking about. I’m talking about my own work, of course, but not just my work. If you like a movie, a book, a comic book, a song, a podcast – whatever – then take these steps. Even if you can’t afford to buy anything else, the other two steps cost nothing but a little bit of time, but can make an enormous difference to the people you want to support.

For what it’s worth.

19
Jun
15

Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class Lesson 2: The Divine Comedy

Professor Petit returns in the second lecture intended to teach you everything you need to know to survive English Class. This time, he walks you through the many levels of the afterlife in the classic piece of Italian literature, “The Divine Comedy.” Heaven. Hell. Texting in a movie theater. It’s all covered here!

11
Jun
15

Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class Lecture 1: F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

The first lecture from “Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class” is now online! In this lecture, we discuss F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby.

And don’t forget, the book is available from Amazon.com!

31
May
15

Thanks for reading “Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class!”

Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class

Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy of my new book “Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class,” in its first month of release. As the summer begins and the school year ends, I’m setting an eye towards which books to cover in the sequel. (Come on, you didn’t think one book was really going to tell you EVERYTHING you needed to know, did you?)

But that’s a while off yet. In the meantime, I hear there are still a few of you out there who haven’t bought the book yet. I know, right? MADNESS!

And there are still some of you who’ve got the book, but who haven’t posted a review at Amazon or Goodreads. Come on, guys! I’m telling you, when school starts again next fall, if you haven’t posted your review, you’re not going to get to sit at the cool kids’ table at lunch. Fix it now, guys. While there’s still time.

30
Apr
15

A free English lesson for teachers!

2015-04-30 18.21.14So by now you’ve all heard about my new book, “Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class.” This new effort is a satirical, witty look at all of the classics, a few not-so-classics, and some stuff in between. It’s the book the New York Times calls “a comedic tour de force in league with the greatest works of Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and Dave Barry.” Well, at least according to string theory it’s possible that the Times has said that in SOME alternate dimension.

And that’s the thing, guys — a little, self-published writer like myself? I need reviews. And that’s why I’m about to make a special offer.

This book is for everyone who loves literature, but I wrote it from the perspective of a teacher, and teachers especially will know where I’m coming from. I also know the end of the school year is rapidly approaching and, at this moment, teachers especially can use a good laugh. So I’m offering any teacher who wants it a FREE copy of the eBook. Yep. Free. Any teacher, any subject, any grade level, from preschool to college. All you need to do is email me at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com, tell me where and what you teach, and whether you prefer an epub, MOBI (Kindle version), or PDF version of the book.

That’s it. And what do I ask in return? Reviews. After you’ve read the book, please post your honest review of it Amazon.com or at Goodreads.com — or better yet, BOTH. The more reviews, the more places it pops up, the better.

Oh — and spread the word. Tell your other teacher friends about this remarkably generous offer, which is good until the day before the official release of the eBook on May 11.

Thanks!




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