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

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A couple of years ago, Amanda Hocking needed to raise a few hundred dollars so, in desperation, made her unpublished novel available on the Kindle.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?

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…

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

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

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

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

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

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...
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