Category Archives: ebooks

Networking, Cyclones and Fiction Writing or Why I Committed A Caridinal Blogging Sin


As most of you would know, there are a lot of other “cyber tasks” (apart from actually writing blog posts) that fill up a busy bloggers day ie visiting other blogs, editing and emailing guest posts (my first to go up soon at WriteAnything), researching ideas, cyber networking and leaving comments on other blogs.

What can I say, I like to keep busy!

Anyhow, due to all of the above (and a few other things that I will go into in a moment) last week I happily committed the venial sin (I just downgraded it!) of ‘reposting’ a previous post.

Personally I don’t think there is anything greatly wrong with that.

After all readerships may grow over time and what’s wrong with a little resharing of some relevant and perhaps interesting facts about a particular topic?

Nothing Monica, except I’d read it before, I hear you say. 

Inside The Confessional Box

Yes, well, as I am now in the confessional box, I may as well mention to you another significant factor that affected my (blogging and all other aspects of) life last week. It was called CYCLONE YASI.

You’d have thought that the weather gods may have had enough fun with us Queenslanders lately (with the recent floods and all) but apparently that was just a test run. Just weeks later we found ourselves again under threat, this time from a category 5 cyclone (which had the dubious honour of being the most severe cyclone in our country’s history) . 

I don’t wish to turn this post into a news report about the event as I’m sure there have been plenty of them, worldwide. Suffice to say however that this second disaster did once again, hit heart and home quite badly.

Our relatives in North Queensland experienced a horrendous night (but all are safe) and are now enduring a second week of no electricity and a diminishing city water supply.

Hardship and adversity also hit the many  (sugar cane, banana and dairy) farming communities for the second time in just a few years, so these guys are all doing it tough.

They are all in our thoughts and prayers here in Queensland and please keep them in yours, as well.  I know from my previous post about the Queensland floods, that there are some very compassionate and caring people out there in cyberspace and I thank you in advance for remembering us in this part of the globe.  🙂

Writing Opportunities

Okay, well, moving on to something different now as I also wanted to mention to you a few great writing sites and projects I have recently become aware of. This also involves sharing with you:-

Some Stuff You Didn’t Know About Me

I’ll make these points briefly (because there’s only a few of them!) :-

1) Apart from my own e-book, I also love to write non-fiction.

2) I am always on the lookout for magazine’s and other places, to submit my short stories to.

Anyhow, this all leads me to explain why I was so excited to discover a project called #FridayFlash, which as you might have guessed by the hashtag is a fantastic, twitter born, opportunity for writers. Basically, this project involves uploading your own fiction each Friday and participating in the online community of writers bought together by Jon Strother.

Jon has already published a ‘Best Of #Fridayflash” and is currently considering producing a volume 2. If you yourself are interested in joining in with this project you can do so here.

I myself will be uploading stories  (the stories are already written and on my computer files) as soon as a few hitches with my Microsoft office program are fixed!!

So there you have it friends – a confession, a heartache and some new writing ventures, shared.

How’s your week been?

Have you any writing opportunities or publishing stories of your own to share?

 

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Networking, Fiction Writing and Why I Committed A Cardinal Blogging Sin


As most of you would know, there are a lot of other “cyber tasks” (apart from actually writing blog posts) that fill up a busy bloggers day ie visiting other blogs, editing and emailing guest posts ( my first soon to go up at WriteAnything ), researching ideas, cyber networking and leaving comments on other blogs.

What can I say, I like to keep busy!

Anyhow, due to all of the above, and a few other things I will go into in a moment, this week I happily committed (perhaps not a cardinal, but rather just a venial sin) of ‘reposting’ a previous post.

Personally I don’t think there is anything greatly wrong with that.

After all your readership may have grown over time and what’s wrong with a little resharing of some relevant and perhaps interesting facts about a particular topic?

Nothing Monica, except I’d read it before, I hear you say.

Yes, well, as I am now in the confessional box, I may as well mention to you another significant factor that affected my (blogging and all other aspects of) life last week. It was called CYCLONE YASI.

You’d have thought that the weather gods may have had enough fun with us Queenslanders lately (with the recent floods and all) but apparently that was just a test run. For just weeks later a category 5 cyclone, which had the dubious honour of being the most severe cyclone in our country’s history, began approaching off the coast. 

I don’t wish to turn this post into a news report about the event. I’m sure there have been plenty of them, worldwide. Suffice to say that this second disaster did once again, hit heart and home.

Our relatives in North Queensland experienced a horendous night (but are all safe) and are now enduring the second week of living with no electricity and a diminishing city water supply. Hardship and adversity has also hit the many  (sugar cane, banana and dairy) farming communities for the second time in just a few years, so these guys are all doing it tough. So please keep them all in yours thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Okay, well apart from sharing this event with you from my own personal perspective, I also wanted to mention a few great writing sites and projects I have recently become aware of. This also involves sharing with you:-

Some Stuff You Didn’t Know About Me

I’ll make these points briefly (because there’s only a few of them!) :-

1) Apart from my own ebook, I also love to write non-fiction.

2) I have written a 50,000 word romance novel (that currently sits at the bottom of my filing cabinet) that one day, I will dust off and send to a publisher!

3) I am always on the lookout for magazine’s and other places, to submit my short stories to.

4) Last year, I had a story accepted for publication in a national parenting magazine;

5) Then, after a few months of back and forth email contact with the magazine’s editor, it was er….non-accepted (with many sincere and genuine apologies from the very lovely editor. I learnt two things from this experience. One was that  these people all work in editorial teams and as such, what one says, doesn’t always go. And two, they are very busy people and subject to constant changing circumstances about which content is appropriate to produce and which isn’t.

Arghh, all a big learning curve for aspiring writers!! Still, I am an optimist and can not feel anything but gratitude for the little bit of ‘foot in the door’ I was permitted (even if that foot is still just a little bruised and sore from it’s experience!!)

Anyhow, this all leads me to explain why I was so excited to discover a project called #FridayFlash, which as you might have guessed by the hashtag usage, is a fantastic, twitter born, opportunity for writers. Basically, this project involves uploading your own fiction each Friday and participating in the online community of writers bought together by @JMStoth.

If you yourself are intersted in joining in with this project you can do so here.

I myself will be uploading stories  (the stories are already written and on my computer files) as soon as a few hitches with my Microsoft office program are fixed!!

So there you have it friends – a confession, a heartache and some new writing ventures, shared. 

 

  

Becoming A First Time Author Using Web Tools or The How’s and Why’s Of The New Publishing Model (Part One)


 

The Book (as we used to know it)…

Okay, so like me you want to be an author. Correct? For whatever reasons of your own – perhaps it was a childhood dream or it is an unfulfilled wish you now have –whatever the reasons and background, you are now madly and passionately in love with the idea of seeing your book in print (although there are other options, too, which we’ll discuss soon) with a glossy cover and your name on it.

I don’t blame you. It is my wish too and I am part way there.  I am still learning though and don’t profess to knowing or doing it all,  (if I had already put it into practice everything I’ve learnt you would be reading these words on a much more ritzy looking author page!!). I am however, more than happy, to share with you, as I learn.

So This Is What I Know

Right now, the publishing industry is going through big changes. Large bricks and mortar stores are closing. Whilst some put this down to the impact of the Global Financial Crisis, there is another phenomenon effecting traditional publishing. It’s called the internet.

New technologies, such as the Ipad, the Iphone, the Kindle and similar e-reading devices are thriving. Predictions from experts in the field, are that the growth of ebook technology will eventually save the book, but not in its original format.

One day not too far away, school children will be using tablets and netbooks, not just in their ‘computer classes’, but as a complete replacement for print textbooks. They will be doing their homework online and emailing it to their teachers. Traditional school classrooms will ‘go global’ and connect with other classes across the world.

A big revolution in the way we read and learn is happening and if we want to be authors, it’s a great idea to get on board now and embrace these new technologies.

You’ve Already Begun

From my own research, one of the most important things for an author using this new technology to do is – start a blog – so, you can tick that one off!! An online presence is important not just for the connections you make and the audience you may begin to develop, but it is also valuable for off line sales as well. It is somewhere to direct a potential buyer or reader to, where they can find out more about you. 

You can also get feedback from your audience sooner this way and improve as you go. This is probably not new information to you, if you have been blogging for a long time, but I mention it here, to give the newbie bloggers a little nudge and let them know that if they want to be published authors, then they are certainly heading in the right direction with blogging. It gives you a platform to build from and although I am still building that platform myself, I am also learning heaps about writing both online and off, at the same time.

Blogging Matters

As I mentioned in my last post, many bloggers have already turned their passion for blogging into a book. An example of this can be seen here. To make the importance of blogging clearer, here are also a few more examples here and here, of famous authors who yes, still blog everyday.

Self Publishing Options

Stay with me now, I’m getting to the good stuff!!  I don’t want to miss or skim over any of the options though, so I have decided to make this a two part (at least) series post. Over this 2 part series, I will cover the following three areas.

#Affordable Self Publishing
#Print On Demand and
#Digital Publishing/Ebooks

Ebook Self Publishing

Since my own experience has been with ebook publishing, specifically with www.smashwords.com, I will talk about it first. 

The ebooks on Smashwords can be read online using our online readers, or they can be downloaded to other reading devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader or IRex Iliad, or to other ereading devices. Smashwords also offers generous sampling options to readers so they can try before they buy.

I published about four months ago at Smashwords and this is what my own book page at Smashwords looks like: –

What Smashwords Offers Authors

Smashwords offers distribution to major online ebook retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple iPad iBookstore, Kobo (and Borders) and the Diesel eBook Store, and to all major smart phone platforms via app providers such as Stanza, Aldiko, Kobo and Word-Player.

They also offer free author pages with bios, headshots and lists of works; the industry’s broadest range of sampling options; embedded YouTube videos (I’m working on mine ) for video book trailers and virtual author events; reviews from readers; ebook downloads in multiple ebook formats; a coupon code generator for custom promotions (I’ve used this and it’s great) and more tools in the works. 

Smashwords does some of the marketing for you but, most of the promotion and marketing is up to you and thus, how many sales you make is also, up to you. In effect, being a Smashwords author is no different in this regard to being a mainstream published author. Although traditional publishers will do some of the work for you, most traditionally published authors find that a large part of the book marketing is up to them. This is why you will find so many of them on Twitter and Facebook. Yes, I’m there too.

If you would like to have obtain more information about marketing your Smashwords ebook, then you can do so for free by downloading the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.

I do thoroughly recommend Smashwords, as any easy (if you use their guides) to follow ebook publishing platform.

However there are also other options such as www.scribd.com.

Part Two of this series….

So that’s about it for Part One of this series on Becoming A First Time Author, Using Web Tools. Stay tuned however…..because I will be back with as much information about the current publishing options open to new authors, as I can find. More links and useful information to come…….

And if I was a real clever bunny like Tristan, from The Blogging Bookshelf, I would also work out how to offer you the entire two posts as a download PDF ebook, but I’m not sure if the functionality of this blog allows that. I’ll let you know next time…..

You Should Comment Because….

1. I’d love you to !!

2. You can let me know if this information is of any help to you and your endeavours.

3. Even though I don’t have that great plug-in called Comment Luv, you can still link to or mention your own blog or latest post!

4. I will drop by your blog and leave a comment too! 🙂

As usual, I really would like your feedback, comments or suggestions. I am open to all thoughts and ideas, I won’t be offended if you didn’t like something I wrote and I am keenly interested to learn from you, too. 🙂

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, PLEASE RETWEET IT OR SHARE IT.  THANKS. 🙂