Boomers worry about their skills being outsourced overseas if they're in technical, media, or creative fields from math and computer science to journalism and animation art. Boomers were hit harder than their parents, the silent generation seniors, since the seniors have access to social security retirement, with some women who raised families at home instead of working for pay relying on spousal retirement social security which usually amounts to a pittance of their husband's social security check if he's still living, usually low three figure monthly incomes. See, "Baby Boomer Diet: Body Ecology's Guide to Growing Younger." On the other hand, more older women are living in poverty this year than in the past. See, "How Financially Secure Is Your Mother? More Older Women Live in Poverty."
Boomers in the media or in geek culture worry about the same insecurities as boomers in other occupations, whether they'll be able to make ends meet. Notice how many articles (and ads) talk to people addressing the older woman as "your mother" rather than talking directly to the older person.
If you're the parent of a boomer, often you're invisible or ads talk to your children. (This author is the mom of two boomers born in the early to mid 1960s.) And parents of boomers bought their homes when the price of a home was cheaper than most private college educations are today. Check out the book, "The Freelance Writer's E-Publishing Guidebook: 25+ E-Publishing Home-based Online Writing Businesses to Start."
How financially secure are most boomers in the media or in geek culture jobs?
Numerous parents of boomers supported themselves life-long on the one touch typing course they took in the 7th grade, even if they graduated from high-school, college, or liberal arts graduate schools, if they chose not to teach, couldn't get a contract, or got tired of the typing pool as it was in the 1960s through the 1980s.
Boomers hit hardest by 'Great Recession' have chosen the most unhealthy nutrition choices because they aren't able to afford higher quality nutrition. Boomer poverty and poor dietary choices go together. A new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research looks at California data on the uninsured between 2007 and 2009 and finds that of the approximately 700,000 Californians to lose health insurance during this time, a majority were between the ages of 45-64.
Who loses his or her job first: boomers, recent graduates, or the children of boomers?
In addition, a new study shows what many middle-aged Californians privately suspect: They are the first to lose their jobs and the health benefits that come with those jobs when hard times hit. They also may be the first to live on burgers and fries, chips and sodas similar to middle school students choices, instead of organic vegetables and fruits, the first choice of many of their parents who are now in their seventies and older.
Some Boomers crave sweets, comfort foods, and exotic ice cream varieties when they feel stressed. Meanwhile many of the parents of Boomers are taking up laughter yoga, qi gong healing, or tai chi for seniors, in lifelong learning programs, at senior centers and in various university programs for those "active in retirement." Instead of senior moments, many of the parents of Boomers are having senior movements on bikes or hiking and traveling, if they can afford it. That may leave a lot of Boomers uninsured, unemployed, and poor.
Meats may include meat stuffed in various types of bread, where the meat may only be 35% meat and the rest textured protein fillers, as one example of many more affordable choices. It's not only boomers. Low income seniors living solely on social security retirement income also may be choosing the same types of diets. See, "Boomer Nutrition: Preventive Medicine - Today's Geriatric Medicine."
With fresh salmon more than $16 a pound in some stores, more boomers are shopping at stores that sell food at the lowest prices because they don't have enough to pay for quality produce. An example might be a constant diet of pasta, melted butter or margarine, and ketchup, sometimes with the ketchup or other condiments collected from fast-food eateries, if more than one packet is available free. Check out, "Many baby boomers at risk of poor health,according to new study."
The analysis by the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Health Policy Research looked at California data on the uninsured between 2007 and 2009 and found that of the approximately 700,000 Californians to lose health insurance during this time, the greatest increase was among residents between the ages of 45 and 64. The seniors in poverty would be the parents of the 45 to 50 year old adult children, and the parents of Boomers would now be in their seventies and eighties or older.
Or check out, "Health Behaviors Among Baby Boomer Informal Caregivers." Many Boomers are caregivers for frail parents with dementia and at the same time are worried that they may develop early onset dementia and are determined to eat to prevent it, but eat what if they're not able to afford the healthiest foods?
The answer may be affordable, sliding scale, or free urban gardening. The issue is Boomers were hit hardest by the last recession which didn't resolve itself like their grandparents or great grandparents hit hard by the crash of 1929. For Boomers, growing food in a garden may be the answer, but not when they live in tiny urban apartments, unless they have access to urban gardening at affordable rates. See, "Grow A Garden - Boomertrip to Healthy Aging."
"Whether because mid-career workers are viewed as too expensive or because there is a deeper bias against older workers, the data suggests the axe is first to fall on the baby boom generation," explains Shana Alex Lavarreda, lead author of the study and the center's director of health insurance studies, according to the July 31, 2013 news release, Boomers hit hardest by 'Great Recession'. "This might open the door for policymakers to question the fairness of hiring and firing in the next economic cycle."
The findings are part of a larger study that looks at the staggering job losses during the "Great Recession" and their impact on individual California counties
Between 2007 and 2009, the number of people in the state without health insurance surged by more than 10 percent, to 7.1 million, the researchers found. During that same period, the jobless rate in the state more than doubled, from 5.5 percent to 12.3 percent, causing a steep drop in the number of people receiving health insurance through their employer.
Using data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the study's authors examined economic variations by county, creating a "recession index" that takes into account increases in unemployment and decreases in household income. They then divided the state's 58 counties into four categories that gauge the impact of the recession: low, moderate, medium and high.
This index found at least one silver lining in the economic clouds: The "high impact" counties, such as Imperial, Merced and San Joaquin, saw a modest 1 percent decline in the number of uninsured people (ages 0), from 22.5 percent in 2007 to 21.5 percent in 2009. This was attributed in large part to the safety net provided by public programs such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.
"The safety net did its job during the Great Recession," Lavarreda noted. "Programs such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families kept the problem from getting worse and demonstrated once again the importance of public programs during economic downturns." Paradoxically, wealthier counties that were less impacted by the recession, such as Marin and San Francisco, saw a 1.7 percent increase in the number of uninsured, from 19.1 to 20.8 percent.
The hardest hit were the "medium impact" counties, which saw a significant 5.4 percent increase in the number of uninsured people, from 20.8 percent in 2007 to 26.2 percent in 2009. These counties include Monterey, San Bernardino and Tulare, among others
These "medium" counties were likely "not poor enough to tap into public programs yet not wealthy enough to survive the economic storm," Lavarreda noted. Statewide, the uninsured population became older on average following the start of the recession, with significant growth in the number of uninsured individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 in three of the four county groups examined.
Much of the growth in the uninsured was the result of job loss and a subsequent decline in job-based coverage. Between 2007 and 2009, the percentage of Californians who were uninsured, unemployed and looking for work more than doubled in all counties. For example, in the "medium impact" group, this category grew from 6.6 percent in 2007 to 21.9 percent in 2009.
The state's uninsured population also grew poorer, on average
The authors say that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medi-Cal expansion may help a larger number of people than was initially anticipated. Many post-recession workers make minimum wage, making them eligible for Medi-Cal under health care reform legislation. Enrollment in public health insurance programs will likely grow even as jobs return and California climbs out of recession.
The study used data from the 2007 and 2009 California Health Interview Survey, as well data from the California Employment Development Department. Development of the study was supported by The California Endowment and the California Wellness Foundation. You can read the policy brief: "The Effects of the Great Recession on Health Insurance: Changes in the Uninsured Population from 2007 to 2009."
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The California Wellness Foundation's mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.
The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) is the nation's largest state health survey and one of the largest health surveys in the United States. The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is one of the nation's leading health policy research centers and the premier source of health-related information on Californians. The question remains, how healthy are boomers compared to their parents or their children?
Writers as independent contractors using print-on-demand or publishing their works using online tools
Check out the August 9, 2010 article in the Sacramento Bee newspaper by Allen Pierleoni, "Make me an author you can't refuse: Any writer can publish using online tools--and no more rejection letters." Read the online version of that article, Self-publishing gets easier with online tools. Also browse the book, Writing What People Buy: 101+ Projects That Get Results or How to Open a Business Writing and Publishing Memoirs, Gift Books, or Success Stories for Clients: Make Hand-Crafted Personalized History.
That's right you can publish any book of various sizes using publishing tools online and at once be put of the media and its culture. If you're looking for resources such as writing associations and companies of interest to writers in the media, check out this writer's resource list.
Basically, you see below a list of my books, all published print on demand from online sources, where you send your Microsoft Word manuscript for a book to a publisher online, and the publisher turns your manuscript into a book and posts it with most online booksellers.
You have your choice of a paperback book, like my 91+ books are, or you can upload your book as an e-book, suggest a distributor such as Amazon.com to offer it to Kindle to be read as an e-book, keep it as a paperback, or make an audio or video recording of any part of your book or all of it and send it up to the web (for free) at Internet Archive (if it's free) or if you're charging, to any sites offering audio books that you can make your own price for, such as lulu.com. A mainstream media newspaper reporter also can promote your book if someone in the national media or with a large urban daily newspaper interviews you.
It's about the whim of the reporter on a national newspaper who has or is writing a story related to the topic of your book. For example, if the Wall Street Journal writes an article on the plight of low-income senior citizens and your memoirs are about that topic, that reporter, if the individual chooses to interview you or write about your book, could make a difference. Sometimes it's a writing instructor at a senior center who sends your book or information about your writing to a national newspaper reporter writing on a topic similar to what you're researching or writing.
You set a price. If you want a distribution, you can pay a small fee. Otherwise, you set your own price and sell your books online
You only pay when you order one book, and that's the price you set plus a small commission to lulu.com or other print on demand publishers you choose, each with different costs and rules. There are several sites online where you can publish your book using the web's tools and make a paperback book, buy a copy of it at the price you set, and have people order books online at your price (plus a small commission for lulu.com). There are other similar sites at Amazon.com, for example, such as Create Space. Also see, Amazon.com: How to Get Published Free: Best in Self-Publishing. See CreateSpace - Free Setup, and also CreateSpace: Self-Publish and Distribute Your Books, Video and Audio. Basically, what you want to look for online are free publishing tools to publish your own book, either paperback, on CD, DVD, audio, or video, or an e-book, or all of these, which I've done on lulu.com.
Other books from the print on demand company, iUniverse, for example, ask for a fee to publish your paperback book and distribute it online with most online booksellers. If you belong to the American Society of Journalists & Authors, you can get a discount on an iUniverse.com-published print-on-demand paperback or e-book.
You can use online self-publishing, or rather print-on-demand publishing companies such as CreateSpace, Lulu, and Digital Text Platform). You also can pay a fee to have your paperback (and/or e-book) published at Author Solutions (parent company of AuthorHouse, Xlibris and iUniverse), (PubIt!), iBookstore, Smashwords, Scribd, and Fastpencil.
With many mainstream publishers your book eventually goes out of print when the publisher says, not when you say. With print-on-demand publishers, you more or less control when your book goes out of print, gets simply unpublished until you want it on the lists of online booksellers again, or stays up there. Since you paid to put your book there, you control what happens to it to a large extent with the self-publishing tools. For example, you manage what kind of distribution you want and will pay for. Some distributions run about $100 to have your book listed on the websites of most of the online book sellers.
Usually, your book won't be in bookstores, but available in paperback at the online booksellers' sites, such as Amazon.com if you pay for a distribution. Otherwise, you get a storefront with the publisher's site where people can order your paperback book, CD, or DVD online. Or with Lulu, you can have people download your book in e-book form or buy it in paperback and have both on your free storefront website hosted by Lulu or other publishers offering similar situations to authors.
Some writers like the the print-on-demand publishers, especially after their book goes out of print with the brick and mortar publishers
For example, before 1998, this author had a dozen books published by mainstream publishers between 1978 and 1998. The paperback books would go out of print when the publisher determined. In 2007, this author had one book published by a mainstream publisher and the rest by print-on-demand online publishers. You can compare the books. The mainstream publisher may have reporters contact you from a major magazine.
The print-on-demand publisher leaves that up to you to promote your book and arrange interviews with the media. Usually, a print-on-demand or self-published book stays in print longer than those published by mainstream publishers, unless you're a celebrity or sell many copies of your books for the publisher, usually above the publisher's quota or 'midlist' number.
With print on demand you can pay for a press release to be written or write your own press releases and contact media personally. Some print on demand publishers offer a service where you can pay for public relations services or have the publisher write your press release for a fee. Since the publisher has no idea what niche or ethnic publishers would be most interested in your book, you'd have to provide a list of where you'd want the book to go to. Usually, you'd write your own press releases and contact magazines and other media related to your topic.
As the media asks for review copies, you'd have to pay for a copy of your book and then send it to the media with a print-on-demand publisher
That doesn't pay. With unknown writers, most of the time, the book would not get reviewed. You'd lose your money. Most mainstream media may not like you emailing a copy of your manuscript to them. They want to see the published book to review. Some might accept a PDF file of a published book, but not many in the mainstream media would consent to read a book online. And some just review parts of the book.
That's why sending a reporter an electronic PDF file copy of your book to review would be free, but chances are unless you asked the reporter in advance, no one is going to read a book online because eyes get tired much faster looking at a computer screen than at a large-print paperback. But if you ask for a large-print paperback, your book will cost more to the consumer for the added pages if you're publishing print-on-demand.
With most print-on-demand (P.O.D. publishers, the publishers get 80 percent of the profit on your books, and you get a mere 20 percent. But that's better than the average 5 percent you'd get in royalties from mainstream publishers. Some P.O.D. publishers give you a 30 percent royalty. Other publishers give writers 70 to 80 percent profit and the publisher only takes 20 or 30 percent royalty on your book. They earn more than you just for hosting your book image and summary on their website. You get less for doing all the writing, research, editing, and promotion.
Self-published authors can have their books downloaded as e-books to a variety of e-readers (including Kindle (Amazon) and iPad (Apple). You can have your book downloaded to a variety of mobile devices and computers or stick with the paperback or hardcover. Most people will buy paperback because it's light to carry in transit for easy reading on the beach, in bed, or in a lounge chair.
The R.R. Bowker Company put together bibliographic data. In 2009, 764,448 self-published titles appeared in print. That's up 181 percent from 2008. Compare print-on-demand books with the mere 289,729 titles from traditional publishing houses. Hardcover books are not selling well this year. Paperback books are. There are so many people writing for the joy of it that you can guess self-publishing tools are going to increase the number of people writing and publishing books, hopefully at no or low cost to the author.
The profit should go to the writer, not the publisher when you print books online because you're not getting any publicity unless you pay for it or arrange it yourself
Few reporters are going to review your self-published or print-on-demand books, so you have to find ways to promote your books at no cost to you. Otherwise, you're stuck paying fees to have the company that printed your book write your press releases and send them to generic media, missing perhaps the niche media you want to learn about your book.
Unless you have a national radio talk show, the chances of selling a lot of copies of your book are not there unless you pay. And most authors don't have the money to pay for publicity or to invest heavily in books that usually are not heard from much after a year on the market. If you write for teachers, contact teachers, for example.
The Internet has a lot of ways to promote your media in a niche culture that relates to the topic of your book. Fiction competes with the entertainment industry. Nonfiction is read for the value of its information to help people solve problems and make decisions such as choices.
You have to go out and speak about your book on public Internet radio, national radio, and sometimes on TV. A celebrity can send your book to the best-seller list, if the celebrity interviews you as an author on a national TV show.
This leaves out the person who is not able to talk in public for physical reasons or for shyness or fear of judgment. The alternative is to promote your own print-on-demand published book online on your own site or continue to write for a variety of outlets or blogs read by a national audience, unless your book is local. There are success stories. Your books could be picked up by a mainstream publisher who might pay you an advance.
With publishing experiences, this author had published about a dozen books with mainstream publishers before turning to print-on-demand as a way to write the novels, plays, and nonfiction books that had niche markets that most mainstream publishers would find too narrow, such as time-travel novels set in exotic ancient or medieval locations.
Print-on-demand published books have their own audience and following. Mainly certain novels appeal to women like myself in the age 70-90+ age group looking to expand their horizons. The nonfiction books are informational and focus on resources and ways to solve problems, measure results, and make better choices. Check out the success stories in today's Sacramento Bee article.
If you think about it, many authors with mainstream book publishers get about $1,500 or less in advance for nonfiction, how-to or informational books. The books go out of print within two years or don't sell enough to earn royalties. But at least the online tools for publishing your book yourself offer you hope. That's the hope your book won't go out of print for generations. And that hope might motivate you to keep writing and letting the world know through your online writings that you continue to write more books as long as it's the joy of writing.
Also, most mainstream newspaper reporters will interview the print-on-demand published authors who have had their books picked up by mainstream publishers or who have made money
You won't see many interviews in the mainstream media about authors who have printed books that never sold more than a few copies, if any. Mainstream brick-and-mortar publishers may promote books by celebrities (even if written with a co-author, ghostwriter, or 'with' another author) more than they promote books written by full-time book authors of informational, how-to, popular books meant for general audiences. For example, if you have no day job and write books for a living, and hold a liberal arts degree, your book may not be publicized as well as a book written by a celebrity, even if the celebrity (or famous doctor) writes the book with a co-author.
Worse yet are 'unreadable' books written by educators where the mainstream-published books remain on university shelves and are rarely read, even by students. But what about the popular book author whose books are never read because the author is too old to have the energy required to speak to the public about the book or is a low-income person who writes because the individual is not offered other work, for example tutoring or teaching creative writing, or working as a manuscript 'doctor'?
Writing a book that nobody buys is worse than writing a screenplay that never gets read and competes with the entertainment industry
In Hollywood, for example, there are more than 50,000 scripts floating around that rarely are read by the people who can option the screenplay. One way to salvage that script is to expand it into a novel and publish it print-on-demand as a thriller, humorous novel, or for a particular niche audience. So promote your book to niche audiences that would be interested in the topic, including classrooms if the topic is of interest to teachers and students working on projects or research of historical times related to your book, script, play, or other writing.
The bottom line is if your book isn't promoted, few will know about it. Your job is to find out how you can launch your book in the media without it costing you money, particularly if you're a low-come senior who isn't about to go on a book tour, speak to a live audience, or pay to promote your book. You have to rely on the material in the book to promote itself by reaching the niche market where your marketing research and audience is at in a specific time frame.