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Amanda Hocking, the writer who made millions by self-publishing online

A couple of years ago, Amanda Hocking needed to raise a few hundred dollars so, in desperation, made her unpublished novel available on the Kindle. She has since sold over 1.5m books and, in the process, changed publishing forever When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam. What the historians may omit to mention is the crucial role played in her rise by those furry wide-mouthed friends, the Muppets. To understand the vital Muppet connection we have to go back to April 2010. We find Hocking sitting in her tiny, sparsely furnished apartment in Austin, Minnesota. She is penniless and frustrated, having spent years fruitlessly trying to interest traditional publishers in her work. To make matters worse, she has just heard that an exhibition about Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, is coming to Chicago later that year and she can’t afford to make the trip. As a huge Muppets fan, she is more than willing to drive eight hours but has no money for petrol, let alone a hotel for the night. What is she to do? Then it comes to her. She can take one of the many novels she has written over the previous nine years, all of which have been rejected by umpteen book agents and publishing houses, and slap them up on Amazon and other digital ebook sites. Surely, she can sell a few copies to...

WTF?

I’m really enjoying using the VideoMakerFX program. Here’s a video I made for my WTF Kindle Book.

When life gives you lemons…

  http://barbieyoungbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/When-life-give-you-lemons-Handbraked.mp4 'When life gives you lemons'. It's such a negative saying, isn't it? Getting 'a lemon' means getting a bad version of what you expected to be a good thing, for example, a car or appliance that keeps breaking down.  I found a way to put a positive spin on the saying and made a little video to show that when life gives you lemons, or anything at all, just say, "Thank you!"...

McTiny Loos

Hands up if you've ever used a toilet at McDonald's. In my line of work I have to use them often, and I've become accustomed to doing a little sideways shuffle just to fit through the tiny doorways. It's not that the doors are particularly small, but that the doors are so close to the seats and the toilet paper dispensers. The architects sure do trim off every excess millimeter from the toilets when they design the buildings. It's not that I'm a large person. I'm average size. Even one of my colleagues who is very small has to do the sideways shuffle to get in to the cubicles. We travel a lot with our work, so we see the insides of many McDonald's toilets. I've always wondered how big people manage to use their toilets. I always imagined that an obese person would have to use the Disability toilets, rather than risk getting wedged and needing help to get out of a tight situation. I had the opportunity to discuss the toilets with a large lady today. She raised the topic and was surprised that even I had trouble fitting in to the toilets. She'd been thinking that it was a problem just for big people. I guess the toilets are just a service Maccas offer their customers, but isn't it ironic that the multinational that takes the most heat for causing obesity, has such teeny weeny toilet...

Writers Centres – support centres for writers

Whether you are just starting out or are a published professional, Writers Centres support you to achieve your writing goals. The type of support writers centres offer include: Professional advice and courses in writing, publishing and editing Pathways to publication Industry knowledge and contact with publishers and literary agents Referrals to specialist services, including copyright and legal advice Literary events, professional networks and a supportive community Promotion of books to readers and markets Membership is inexpensive and worth the small investment. Here is a list of the writers centres in Australia: ACT Writers Centre: www.actwriters.org.au NSW Writers’ Centre: www.nswwriterscentre.org.au NT Writers’ Centre: www.ntwriters.com.au QLD Writers Centre: www.qwc.asn.au SA Writers’ Centre: www.sawriters.on.net TAS Writers’ Centre: www.tasmanianwriters.org VIC Writers’ Centre: www.vwc.org.au WA State Literature Centre:...

Publishers of Children’s Books – Australia

This is a list of Australian publishers who publish children’s books. While it’s true that they publish them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be interested in looking at your manuscript. Many are inundated with more offerings than they can handle, and others already have a list of preferred authors and illustrators. To begin your search for possible publishers, browse the books they have already published and find one that prints the type of book like yours. Check number of pages, style, language… Don’t worry if you only have the story and have not illustrated it. Most publishers will use their favourite illustrators to complete your book if they like it. Don’t send off manuscripts to publishers without checking their submission guidelines. They each have different preferences and if your manuscript arrives in a fashion they don’t accept, it will be put straight into the recycle bin. List of Australian Publishers Allen and Unwin – www.allenandunwin.com Not currently accepting children’s books Balboa Press – www.balboapress.com.au You pay for publishing Benchmark publications – Phone: (03) 9779 6891 Black Dog Books (A division of Walker Books) – www.walkerbooks.com.au/Black-Dog-Books Not currently accepting childrens picture books Blake Publishing/Education – www.blake.com.au Educational books Boolarong Press – www.boolarongpress.com.au Offers several ways to publish Brolly Books – shop.brollybooks.com Submissions page under construction Celapene Press – www.celapenepress.com.au Not publishing childrens picture books East Street Publications – Phone: (08) 8390 1697 Era Publications – erapublications.com Educational books Ford Street – www.fordstreetpublishing.com Educational Freemantle Press – www.fremantlepress.com.au Western Australian authors only Funtastic – Phone: (03) 9213 0100 Hachette Children’s – www.hachettechildrens.com.au No unsolicited submissions Hachette Livre (Lothian) – www.hachettechildrens.com.au/about Hardie...

It’s Challenge Time

New Blog – Day 1 This is day 1 of my new blog. I’ve always liked the idea of writing a blog, but I’ve always found that I’m too busy living life to write about it. I mean, my life is crammed. I don’t know if I can actually sit down and sum up the events of a day into a short post. Too much happens in my days! But I’m doing “The Quick Start Challenge,” a four week program via webinar, hosted by these guys who reckon they can show me how to create a successful internet business. Well, I’m up for that. Who doesn’t want a successful online business? It would be great to log into my banking account and see the money just rolling in. Right now I’m in a situation where if I don’t go to work, I don’t get paid. I only get paid for the hours I work, and that’s it. But I have regular bills to pay – rent, power, phone, food…. My car is getting old and I’m worried that I’ll need to spend extra money on it soon. I’m virtually working to live right now, and I don’t like it. I want life to become a little easier. So here goes. I’m going to do what these guys say to do, and creating a blog was the first step. Challenge accepted, guys. Bring it...

A Guide to Publishing an Ebook on Amazon Kindle and Noble

In this post I’m going to try and demystify the eBook publishing process. I’ve been through it and lived to tell the tale. So here goes. Stand by for a fun ride. It’ll be worth the trials and tribulations along the way! Ingredients: Book (preferably in.doc format) – see detailed formatting guidelines below Cover picture (in JPG format, max 1200 pixels high) Short book description (400 characters max) Proper book description (up to about 2,500 characters) About the Author summary Book categories (i.e. Young Adult, Fantasy, etc.) Decision on selling price of book Method: Do not attempt to publish your book without ALL the above ingredients. Delay or disaster could occur Ensure you have full publishing rights to the book you are publishing (I know this sounds odd, but if you have signed a contract with anyone, check and make sure…) Log in to Smashwords.com and create an author account if you don’t already have one (trust me, there is method in my seeming madness) – complete your author profile Select ‘Publish’ on your dashboard and complete the page, copying and inserting the various ingredients from above as requested Press ‘publish’ and wait while SmashWords processes your book (this could take several hours. SmashWords uses a queue which will update to inform you of its progress) When SmashWords has published your book, go to its page (click on book title) and download it to your PC / iPad / eBook reader. Look carefully at the results and decide whether anything needs reformatting. If so, reformat and resubmit book to queue. PLEASE NOTE – This step is really important and...

Publishing an eBook

As opposed to conventional books, publishing an eBook has become the latest trend, gaining in popularity each day. The market has evolved for both print and electronic books, but publishing an eBook has been given priority nowadays. The market for printed books still remains strong, but there are many writers, who do not receive the luxury of getting their books published and printed by a good publisher. Thus, they opt for a method of self-publishing, where they published their book online in the form of eBook. This is all due to the revolution of the internet, that these authors can have their works recognized by the public. Electronic Publishing Publishing an eBook is not an easy task. If you are interesting in publishing your writing, you would need to search on the web for different eBook publishing sites. You can use keywords such as “eBooks” and “electronic publishing” in your search engine to find a good publishing site to put your content in. Through this method, if you find a good publishing website, you can earn some serious money, if your content is good enough. eBook Demand There are many eBooks provider websites who hire writers to write books on a specific topic and provide a great deal of money and recognition to the writer. It is understandable that people tend to go for conventional books rather than eBooks, because they do not feel comfortable sitting on the computer to read the entire book. With the advancement in portable technology, people now have small notebooks, on which they can easily view the eBooks. eBook readers are generally expensive in...

Top 5 Sites Where You Can Get Kindle Books for Free

If you are a happy owner of an ebook reader (as am I), there will be moments when you’ll need something new to read but not necessarily will be prepared to pay for it. Fortunately, there are many sources of free kindle books in the web. These are top 5 best places to get free ebooks for your kindle (or other ebook reader device): 1. Amazon Best Sellers The first place to go is simply the Amazon Best Sellers page. There you will find two columns: first one with top 100 bestselling paid kindle books, and the second one with free ones. It is the primary and best source of great kindle books, sorted by popularity so you know what is currently most popular among other kindle readers. After you check amazon bestsellers, you should subscribe and visit best sites which find and deliver news about free kindle books. It might be an easier way, as they often offer email newsletters with freebies and facebook or twitter notifications. 2. Pixel of Ink A site which presents free and discounted books daily. It has got a large group of fans and followers, however currently accepts only chosen “Picks” so it is worth subscribing to and visiting other sites too. 3. Freebooksy Neat and pretty popular site with free ebooks. What is worth noticing, they are often running free giveaways (they offer free promotional copies of books which otherwise aren’t free). Again, because they are currently quite popular, they publish only chosen ebooks, so you should check out other sites too to not miss other good titles. 4. Project Guttenberg A...

How to Get Free eBooks for the Amazon Kindle

Whether you own an Amazon Kindle, Kindle DX, or Kindle DX Graphite, you are probably on the search for a few free eBooks to add to your collection of readable material. If you are on a budget or simply like getting something for free, you’ll be happy to know that there are actually close to two million titles of free eBooks that are available to those who wish to download them to their Amazon Kindle, Kindle DX, or Kindle DX Graphite. Many of the free eBooks can be obtained without a discount retail coupon or discount code. These titles include books that have fallen out-of-copyright, many of which were written before 1923. Since these eBooks come from older titles, the quality of some of them is often questionable due to the fact that the books have often been scanned in order to create digital versions of them. A great number of classics are also available to readers who want to receive wireless delivery directly to their Amazon Kindle, Kindle DX, or Kindle DX Graphite. Where Can You Get Free eBooks for Your Amazon Kindle? Each site that offers free eBooks provides a set of easy-to-follow instructions detailing how to obtain your copies. In most cases, wireless delivery is quick and painless. Considered public domain books, most of the free copies arrive in ePUB format, necessitating the need to obtain special software from Amazon (Stanza) to convert the files for reading. Here is a sampling of the online sites where avid readers can obtain free reading material. The Amazon Kindle Store: While many of the eBooks offered free at the...

eBook Publishing

An ebook is generally known as an electronic book. Today, most publishers always have an ebook publishing plan in mind. Of course, ebooks are the books that have text images and these can be read on the electronic devices like mobile phones, laptops, computers, and so forth, through the internet. There are certain formats of ebooks that you should be aware of when making your ebook publishing plan. Digital books have become the best way for book readers to read, because of their portability. You also do not have to always buy the books; there are some websites that provide free ebooks to any visitor. The market is increasing at a very rapid rate. Today, a lot of books are being converted to ebooks. ebooks are very helpful for libraries, as they does not need any physical space. In place of one book, you can store thousands of ebooks in one computer that can be accessed by multiple people at a time. Planning an ebook Before thinking of your own ebook publishing plan, you should always have a core strategy. Planning will give you a complete idea about the appearance, look, feel, and use of images and videos. Planning will give you an overview of the material that you are looking for. You should keep in mind of to whom you are targeting, because if you are making an ebook for adults, then you should give your ebook a complete look and feel according to that. You should know the interests of the people for whom you are making the ebook. Making an ebook If you know the website...

eBook Publishing Is So Easy

Ebook authors are thriving with many authors making money. Ebook publishing is the easiest and cheapest way to get your writing in print today. Ebook publishing is a very lucrative business. Ebook publishing is the fastest way to get published now. You can stop procrastinating and start eBook publishing. Where do you start, and why should you want to self publish anyway? Let me explain. I put off writing my first eBook because I didn’t know how or why to start. You could start your own website marketing eBooks and software or start your own eBook publishing business with reprint rights from an-ebook. Publish your first eBook on a free blog from Word Press © or Blogger,© sign up for a free Pay Pal ® and start accepting credit card payments instantly. Why an e-publishing business? Self-publishing your own eBooks and information products has never been easier than with the many different eBook compiler software programs that are available today. (We review several alternatives on the eBook Instructor site.) Digital publishing is a secure alternative in publishing your next masterpiece. Self Publishing Print on Demand and eBook publishing have created a whole new model for self publishing. There are many resources within the eBook Instructor site to help you learn how to profitably produce, market, and deliver eBooks. One simple way of marketing your eBooks is to utilize article writing to market your eBook products. Ebook Marketing Marketing a book is a multi-task project that requires several different types of solutions. We discuss many in or article and Information sections. Many authors consider eBooks a new, and different marketing...
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