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How to Build Your Personal Development Library

One of the secrets of highly successful people is that many of them digest huge volumes of information in the form of books, audio courses, and videos. Most of these successful people have fairly extensive personal development libraries that they rely upon for guidance and solutions. I suggest that you model this habit and start developing your own personal development library. Brian Tracy says that you should invest approximately 3% of your income into your own personal development and growth. So if your income is around $4,000 a month that means you should spend approximately $150 in personal development products and seminars to promote your own self improvement. Here are some tips to help you build a useful personal development library of your own:

o Binder your information. While books are great resources, I have found that many books contain only a few noteworthy gems of information in them–if even that. I have read many articles, on the other hand, that contain equal amounts of informational gems without all the fluff. These articles are of high value to me and are worth saving for future reference. You should make it a habit to archive these articles for future reference by punching holes in them and placing them in a 3 ring binder. Make sure you clearly label your binders, so that you know what is contained within them. Also, at the front of the binder, you should create a table of contents so that you can find the information more quickly. In this way, you can begin to build your personal development library with information that is of high value to you and get rid of the low-value stuff.

o Purchase bookshelves. One of the first things that you must do when developing your own personal development library is to begin by purchasing bookshelves to hold your collection. Start with one or two bookshelves to begin with and eventually purchase as many bookshelves as you can afford and as your space allows in your home because your subconscious mind will seek ways to fill those bookshelves with books.

o Write in your books. Don’t be afraid to write in your books. Use your books as working documents. Highlight, underline, and leave notes in your books so that you can come back to it later and go straight to the points that are of key interest to you.

o Organize your books. Organize your personal development resources according to subject and by how valuable the book is to you. This will make it very easy for you to retrieve information later.

o Check out your own books. On the inside of the cover of each of your books, write the date when you last reviewed that particular book so that you know how often you refer back to that book.

o Rank your books. Unfortunately, a good majority of books out there are of little or no value, but occasionally, you will come across books that have some very useful gems of information in them. The best way to organize your books is to give them a rank from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most value to you. Purchase small circular yellow labels from your local office supply store and on the spine of the books and write a score from 1 to 10. By doing so you will know exactly which books have the most value to you when you revisit those informational products.

o Get rid of low-ranking books. Books that have received a low review score from you, according to the above-stated tip, should be discarded as these bring little value to your library and only serve to use up precious shelf space. I suggest you photocopy or transcribe your notes from those books onto your computer and then discard, give away, or sell those books.

o Purchase audio books. Audio books are a great time-saver because you can learn while not investing any extra time during your day towards learning. You can transform your car into a university classroom on your daily work commute. Listen to them over and over again to reinforce the teachings and concepts. When you have finished with an audio book, then archive it in your library just like a book. Now with the popularity of ipods and other portable music players, you can actually store your whole personal development audio books onto your portable music device and take it with you anywhere you go.

o Treat yourself to videos. Some people are visual learners, so it therefore becomes necessary to supplement your library with personal development related videos. Videos are a great source of learning and you should dedicate some shelf space solely for these videos.

Remember that your personal development library is your reference guide to life. It will contain all the solutions to struggles that others have gone through and overcome. It contains the mind gems from all the greatest experts in personal development that have lived or are living right now. As your own level of personal development matures throughout life, so should your personal development library grow with you.

A Guide to Black Library Book Formats

Black Library is a company by Games Workshop Limited (GW). It exclusively publishes fiction set in and on the fictional universes of GW’s renowned tabletop miniature games: Warhammer Fantasy and its science-fiction cousin Warhammer 40.000. These miniature games are highly popular with teenagers and young adults, especially in the UK and the USA.

Despite its narrow focus, Black Library has grown from humble beginnings in 1997 into a highly prolific publisher. As of 2013, it publishes between 5 and 10 new, original novels, short-story anthologies or audio-dramas each month. Its catalogue includes a many hit novels, many of which topped the New York Times bestseller lists for weeks.

As this publishing company grew successful, its catalogue of publications grew ever more extensive. The following provides a guide on the main formats offered by Black Library. It also provides a short discussion on some of the alternative formats, including the Horus Heresy audio dramas and the upcoming graphic novels.

In summary, all newer formats strongly indicate an explicit and decisive efforts by Black Library to move into a more up-market, premium segment with their products.

1. The mass-paperback format

Without a doubt, Black Library built its success on inexpensive pulp novels in a budget paperback format. Since the company’s founding 15 years ago, these well-thumbed 10-dollar volumes detailing the heroics of medieval Knights or trials of far future Space Marines have become an ever-present mainstay among fans of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40.000 universes.

There are literally several hundred full-fledged novels, as well as a great range of short-story anthologies available in this format. Today, the public image of Black Library is closely linked to these books.

2. The hard-cover novellas

More recently, Black Library added a selection of shorter novellas in a premium hard-back format to its catalogue. Typically these stories are 120 to 130 pages long, bound in a glossy hard-cover format without dust-jacket. Occasionally, they come with interior art or a map in the centre of the book.

Originally, this smaller and, relatively, more expensive format was used to publish stories tying directly to specific product releases, such as the Dark Vengeance Novella published to go with the boxed set of miniatures of the same name. This set the novella apart from the regular novels, which tie into the fictional setting on a broader level, but not to any specific product released for the game.

The format has since been used more liberally.

3. The Black Library Premium Hard-covers

A big step by Black Library to upgrade their products (and its company image) from budget pulp-novels to a more upmarket publishing enterprise was the introduction of premium, or collectors, hard-cover version for their novels in mid-2012.

These novels resemble hard-cover books published by more mainstream publishers of fiction. They are larger in length and width than both the soft-cover and the novella publications, bound in a hard carton-cover, wrapped with a dust-jacket featuring the cover art.

These new collectors’ hard-cover novels were introduced first in Black Library’s most successful, New York Times bestselling Horus Heresy series of novels. This multi-author exploration of the fictional history of Games Workshop’s dystopian sci-fi gaming universe has been available since 2006.

2012, Black Library started re-releasing older titles of the Horus Heresy series for Warhammer 40.000, such as the James Swallow Horus Heresy Novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, in this premium format. It also now publishes all new novels to this series in the premium format first, with the soft-cover version usually delayed by several months.

It should be noted that these premium hard-covers, unlike their soft-cover counterparts, are not available through retailers or e-commerce sites such as Amazon.

Summary

Overall, the variety of new products from Black Library tell the story of a new emphasis in branding, marketing and selling the fictional works that go with the Warhammer and Warhammer 40.000 universes as premium products.

However, given that the “budget-formats”, which were and continue to be the foundation of their success, remain in print and in production, this trend only provides variety to the customer. And judging by the seeming success of the new formats, many of them crave their Warhammer and Warhammer 40K fiction in a premium format.