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A couple of years ago, Amanda Hocking needed to raise a few hundred dollars so, in desperation, made her unpublished novel available on the Kindle.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...
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...
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...
Top 5 Sites Where You Can Get Kindle Books for Free

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...
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