A Vital Option: e-Books in 2016

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The freedom to move forward to new opportunities and to produce results comes from living in the present and not the past.” ~ Brian Koslow

Shopping-CartIf you are ready to publish your manuscript, there are many choices to consider. Offering an electronic version of a book has become a necessity if you are an author who wants to reap the benefits in the digital marketplace. More often than not, potential book buyers want to know if a title “is available as an e-book?”

According to this article from Author Earnings, in February 2016, readers downloaded one million sixty-four (1,064,000) paid e-books PER DAY!

In my opinion, there will be more technological developments coming that will blow away any remaining doubts that e-books are just a passing trend. Especially as digital publishing becomes integrated into more classrooms and library catalogs.

Authors don’t miss out on a stream of income by failing to offer an e-book version of your title. And remember “if you are selling over the internet, you must be marketing over the internet” because that is where your potential book buyers hang out!

Speaking of hang-outs, thanks for frequenting this website. Do return tomorrow.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Check out her e-books, audio book and books in print!

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Typography for Independent Publishers

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Since this original blog was posted in February 2013, there have been more advances in e-book typography and layout. It’s an exciting digital world we live in.

All Things Fulfilling

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning,” ~ Benjamin Franklin

With each new generation of publishing software for e-books, options for typography, continues to expand. And as with any industry, there is language specific to that technology in the field.

AuthorMichael N Marcus book TypogrTypography for Indie Publishersaphy for Independent Publishers is a reference book that helps authors understand language such as fonts, serifs, outlining, embossing and other words that may be unfamiliar to those who are new to the publishing world.

Typography for e-books is quickly becoming an art. Since the initial offerings of e-books, readers are becoming more discriminating in what they want to see in e-books. Good layout, formatting and cover design is important for hard and soft cover publications and also for e-book buyers. Understanding typography terminology will help authors determine what they want to incorporate in…

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A Whip Stitch Character

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The basic quality that any great story must have is a story that illustrates the human condition.” ~ William Shattner

Who is your favorite audio book narrator?

What’s that you say? “You’ve never listened to an audio book yet?”

What is you, crazy?

Audio books are on the rise and are greatly appreciated by those who are on the run. They allow for multi-tasking – while driving in the car, exercising or cooking dinner. You need not do a thing, only listen.

Here’s a list of some of the favorite audio book narrators of all time. Narrators like Maya Angelou and Garrison Keillor and others are well liked because their voices are so memorable.

Valentines 2016It was a fulfilling experience narrating my own audio book because the central character, Fanny, had a dialect I could emulate so well.  It is what many readers say “drew them into the story in the first place.”

If she were here today, “she say, you oughts to put dem earplugs in yo’ ears, and listen to a story. You don’t knows what you is missin’.”

Oh, how I miss that lady who was the heart and soul of my story. She was some kind of special. One might even call her a “whip stitch.” Just thinking about her makes me smile. And she sowed my heart in more ways than one.

If you are looking for a fun, memorable experience listen to the audio book version of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected through Audible. It’s downloadable within a few minutes. Any one of the formats – the award-winning audio book, e-book or paperback makes for a great Valentines gift for yourself or for someone in your family.  After all, it is a love story from several different perspectives!

Also available are 10 short stories cut from the EVVY award-winning manuscript, Gift of a Lifetime. Lessons of Heart & Soul gives readers a humorous and touching glimpse into the love of a family, just like the first publication. .

Summer is Not Over Till It’s Over

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I am so happy you returned to All Things Fulfilling today. Perhaps you are like me, not quite ready yet to step into the third season.

Today’s multi-media look back at summer is brought to you through a video from Carl’s Old Record Club. Their You Tube channel has a number of other videos that you will enjoy viewing. They are nicely produced – syncing music with images.

Aren’t we fortunate to be living in the digital age whereby we can easily share all types of media, such as independently published films, music and e-books with others?

Enjoy the creative entertainment of others frequently because it will enhance your own personal fulfillment!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Check out her EVVY award-winning audio book! It is also available in paperback and e-book as well.

Strength Comes with Setbacks

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The beautiful thing about setbacks is they introduce us to our strengths.” ~ Robin Sharma

A large population of the  American people were thrown into an unexpected financial “dither” when the economy came to a nearly screeching halt some eight years ago or so. “The crash” forced the American people to look at sustainability in different industries. Economists and “the think tank” has been studying how to creatively deal with a whole new economy and how best to survive it ever since.

The publishing industry looked long and hard at environmental issues associated with books in print. More sustainable ways of publishing, such as e-books and print-on-demand have been developed. The way music and audio books is now distributed is also more sustainable. Downloading digital files rather than shipping product has brought new ways of doing business to the industry.

Thankfully hardback and paperback books have not completely disappeared from the planet. I like reading from a paperback book as much as my neighbor. But with print-on-demand, huge warehouses full of large inventories of  books have been reduced, as have the numbers of books being discarded in landfills. Thats good news!

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life is a great read for those who doubt that living with less is the key to happiness. The book may help you to adjust your thinking and put balance back in your life.

balance

As the economy rebounds, it will be interesting to see whether the American citizens will return to their old ways of being or whether a true “renaissance” has taken place. Have people fully realized that in order to live a fulfilling life, we can do it with less stuff? Will we continue to put our energies into finding sustainable ways of doing business? If so, there were great gifts in the downturn of the economy.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Rise and Meet the Moment

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Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take many small steps. – Helmut Schmidt

I’ve had memoir writing on my mind lately since I gave a presentation on the topic on Monday. When you think about it, our whole life is comprised of stories we tell.

The internet has changed the way we tell our stories. Words and images are now so easily shared through digital platforms, such as by publishing e-books. If you know how to use social media effectively, marketing e-books is made easy.  If properly “indexed,” finding your target market is no longer like taking a shot in the dark.

To further explore my path of thinking, the other day I was looking in our kitchen cabinets for something portable to put in my backpack to stuff my mouth with. I came across a box of Blueberry Crisp Clif ® Bars that I didn’t know we even had.

Hiking ArtistI noticed the verbiage on the packaging “No. 14 Adventure Challenge ‘Embrace the Uphill’ then followed the words “Share Your Adventure #MeettheMoment.”

The point is, we all have dreams, adventures and challenges in life and careers. If you are working on an  independent publishing project and don’t know how to use digital platforms effectively to draw people who are truly qualified leads, social media can be a big time waster.

There are companies who specialize in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. “Embrace the Uphill,” as Clif ® Bar suggests. Don’t shirk away from challenges. Get help if you need it in order to finish your writing and publishing project. There is no shame in that!

I can tell you as a published author that the feelings of accomplishment that come with having a published book far, far exceeds what having unfinished manuscript feels like. Every step, big and small, was well worth the effort in feelings of personal fulfillment.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

Time with the Girl Scouts

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Children are our most valuable resource ~ Herbert Hoover

It’s been said that spending time with children heals the soul. Yes, indeed, it does. Friday was a splendid afternoon spent sharing “One Day in the Life of a Writer” with  Junior Girl Scout Troop #12622, ages nine and ten.

Writing desk in GS meeting room

Photo: My writers desk in the Girl Scout meeting room

I asked each of the girls to bring a question that they’ve always wanted to ask a writer but have never had the opportunity.  I gave them my Girl Scout promise that I would do my best to serve them further by sharing their questions and my answers today on All Things Fulfilling:

Is that you in the photo on the book? ~ Alison

Yes, it is me, thirty-five years ago on the day I got married.

Do you write on weekends? ~Ella

Sometimes I get brainstorms and write a whole bunch in one day so I won’t have to write on weekends. And I try not to write on weekends to take a break. But, sometimes I get ideas and can’t help myself.

Are you writing a new book right now? ~ Margaux

Yes, actually I am working on two. I have the goal of publishing one in time for Valentines Day 2016. It is fiction, an imaginary story. The other is about independent publishing. That will take more time because I want to share the knowledge a little differently, and I am trying to decide how that might be. I have some ideas…

What are the names of the books? ~Molly

I only have working titles for them at this time, but nothing final.

When were you born? ~ Caroline

1953, I am not quite 62. (Another little girl piped up and graciously said – “Oh! Then you’re not old at all!” To which I smiled and replied “Thank you for saying that!”)

What kind of fiction book are you writing? ~ Jade

One of the awards I won for Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was in the Young Adult category – for ages 12 and up. I like writing for young girls, so this is the genre I’ve decided to write this next book for also. My first book was a memoir. A real life story. This new publication I am working on is not based on real characters but it is based on things that girls sometimes face in life.

Do you think we could read your book even though we are not 12? ~ Caroline

That would be up to your parents. The dialect of the character of Fanny is written a little differently than the way some people talk but there is no bad language such as swear words in it or anything else a nine or ten year old should not read. Since I just read you a chapter and you heard how the star character Fanny talked, you probably wouldn’t have trouble reading it.

What inspired you to be a writer? ~ Margaux

Back in 1998 I started working for an artist who has won every major art award in America. He independently published his own books and videos on painting. Back then very few people did that and I very inspired by it. When I started my own business, I started a blog called All Things Fulfilling and started writing daily. I realized how much I loved to write. I had a story I’ve wanted to tell all my life, and decided to write and publish independently. It’s won several awards.

Where can we buy your books? ~ Alison

On Amazon.com and it is available in paperback, e-book and audio book. By selling it over the internet, anyone from all over the world can purchase it. The real treasure is in the audio book because I narrated it and you can hear me speaking in Fanny’s voice. It won a 2nd place award in the audio book category.

Could you teach me  how to make those flowers? ~ Margaux

Absolutely! I would love to. But, I’ll have to come back and spend more time with you Girl Scouts.

Note: I read aloud the chapter from Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected called Paper Roses. I surprised each girl with one of my own paper flower creations that I learned to make when I was a Junior Girl Scout. After my presentation, the girls worked on a project that will give them a firm foundation to write on in coming days. You’ll learn more about Girl Scout Troop #12622’s  art project when you return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling.

GS1

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard author of Gift of a Lifetime Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.