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How Much Freedom Do the Grown Little Girls Get?

Written by   |   Tuesday, 18 March 2014 15:31

teenage freedomMay be your grown little girls hit you by surprise, you knew they’d grow, but not this fast. At least you didn’t think soon you’d have to do a balancing act in giving your 14, 15 or 16 year old daughter freedom. Yet, it reaches a time when your kids need to leave home and start a life of their own, meaning you just can’t cage them and wait to ‘let them loose’ at once, when they’re 18.

So when do you decide it’s the right time to give your rapidly growing little girl freedom? Honestly, many parents know that deciding when to hand their 15-year olds freedom is not an exact science. Thus, there will be a lot of times when each freedom issue has to be considered on its merit before deciding on when to put your little grown girls on the driving seat.

But, it’s agreeable that any child who’s 15 or even 16 needs some level of boundaries. Parents don’t expect their teenage kids to take all the restrictions lying down, but part of good parenting includes having these types of fights with kids without giving in to unreasonable demand.

At the end of the day, any parent will want to measure the amount of freedom they extend to their kids depending on whether or not the kids can handle it maturely. For instance, being overly concerned about a teenage involved in a party where only soda and pizza are being served would be uncalled for.

There’s a 15-year old you can trust with the Kitchen, yet there’s another who would need supervision while executing the same tasks. This means that parents need to know their kids perfectly well to be in a position to accord them freedom they can handle.

Thus, based on what a parent has observed about their grown little girls, it would make more sense to express a commensurate level of trust in their capacity to handle freedom in a mature manner, while always keeping the ground rules clear.

Balancing freedom and restrictions when raising a teenager includes letting them experience realities of the outside world. It includes letting kids enjoy activities of their peers without sending them into conditions where parental control cannot be effectively exercised.

So, what if you give your 12, 13, or 14 year old son or girl freedom and they’re somehow not able to cope with it? Some parents even allow their 12 year olds to fly on their own and trust that they’re going to be safe. Sometimes, it’s all about taking a leap of faith, where several outcomes are possible, provided that the kid is not to be exposed to extreme danger. Freedom can work they way you need it to or not; but parenting being not an exact science, parents need not always blame themselves when they don’t achieve favorable outcomes with their teenage kids.

All said done, raising your  grown little girls is a question of both skill and experience. But learning how to balance between freedom and supervision can make parenting a little easier.   


So, How Great is Booktango for Self-Publishing Authors?

Written by   |   Friday, 14 March 2014 14:11

booktangoThe ‘e-reading’ culture is gaining momentum at unprecedented rates and bigger players in the self-publishing industry are showing immense interest in grabbing a sizeable share of the market that’s created. On the other hand, self-publishing authors are not giving up on the pursuit of online platforms that make it easier to meet standards of book formatting and layout, eBook formatting and cover design.

A case in point, Author Solutions, which is one of the leading self-publishing firms, created Booktango to tap into the eBook market. It promises to offer much of what self-publishing authors are looking for these days. So, what’s in it for independent authors and is there a catch?

No doubt, Booktango has created an easy to use system, which speeds up the process of getting your title in the market. One of the most unique aspects of the platform is that it allows authors to manipulate their documents online. You can edit your manuscript within the Booktango website before publishing it.
The site provides online formatting capabilities for authors who don’t want to deal with the hassle of alternating between offline and online working until a properly refined product is achieved. But you’ll still need to find professional eBook formatting services to ensure you submit a high quality manuscript.

The platform is easy to use and not only distributes your eBook on its website, but also partners with major distributors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo and Sony. But it would not be difficult to understand a new author trying to figure out how it is that Booktango provides all these great services and simplicity, while taking nothing off their royalties.
Yes, Booktango says on its website that an author gets 100% of all royalties. In addition, the platform gives you 100% royalties on net earnings if you’re going to distribute via a third party. That sounds great, considering that Smashwords takes 15%, Lulu 10%, and Amazon 30%.

However, before you can decide to self-publish with Booktango, you should be aware of the fact that the platform charges for every book you sell. Actually, the site takes 30% of the list price, every time you sell a book. As you can see, the rate is pretty much the same as that for your other options such as Amazon.

Thus, if you’re making your self-publishing decision based on the proportion of royalties you can earn, definitely the criteria doesn’t draw quite a clear line between Booktango and other self-publishing firms.
As an author, weighing your options includes considering whether or not going through a third party makes economic sense. For instance, could it be far better to solicit a professional book formatting service and then submit your title directly to Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble?

Other factors to look at would include price flexibility and if you can set your prices low enough to maximize sales. With many eBooks for sale existing online, being able to set the price as cheap as 0.99 cents can make a huge difference.

Whatever your final decision is, the Fast Fingers book formatting service will help you create a high quality title.


Mistakes to Avoid When Parenting Teens

Written by   |   Thursday, 13 March 2014 04:01

parentingRaising your grown little girls can be challenging especially when doing it for the first time. But parents who have successfully raised their kids into responsible members of the society know that the job is not ‘mission impossible’, despite it calling for a good level of skill and experience.
It can all start with getting familiar with the mistakes to avoid when dealing with your grown little girls.

Avoiding negative expectations
Every parent wants their kid to have a bright future ahead. That’s why kids are given optimal support in every noble venture they might show interest. However, when kids show signs of straying from a parent’s expectations, it’s easy to resign to the possibility that they might change for the worst.

However, parents should never expect the worst of their kids because the attitude may end up accelerating deterioration of bad behavior. The best approach would be not to give up on a child while focusing on their bright side. This includes supporting teenagers with their harmless interests and hobbies.

Relying too much on external advice  
Sometimes, dealing with your grown little girls can be so overwhelming that seeking parenting help may seem an effective way around it. When everything you try with your young teenage girl doesn’t seem to work, it’s easy to feel that there’s something you’re not doing right.

As such, many parents seek help in parenting magazines and books. Well, parenting books are not the problem, as many are written by persons with experience and voice of authority. However, the problem is when parents treat the books as a manual to raise their kids, while downplaying their own innate skills.

If it was possible to raise a kid strictly following a ‘manual’, it would be possible to have the same outcome for kids brought up the same way. However, reality has it that kids are different and have unique individual needs. Thus, parents should still seek help, but be confident enough to utilize their own instincts, experience and skills while raising their teenage girls.

Reading too much into little matters
Your kid will most certainly do something that’s totally harmless but that does not please you. It could be that she’s no longer the teacher’s favorite kid and you’re worried about it. But it’s okay to let her be.
Parenting experts believe many parents don’t like to expose their kids to any kind of pain or failure, but stepping in to cushion kids denies them an opportunity to learn important life lessons. That’s why parents do well to avoid being involved when their kids make life choices that have no far-reaching repercussions.
Ignoring real problems

Maybe president Obama said marijuana is safer than alcohol and your kid has not only bought the approval, but she also thinks it is okay to smoke it and cool to hang around friends who do. Ignoring that kind of behavior can be a real problem, as use of marijuana can pave way to abuse of harder substances such as heroin and cocaine. Thus, parents should not downplay signs of real trouble when they see them.

By learning mistakes to avoid when raising your grown little girls you can become a very successful parent.

Books like Grown Little Girls by Shelley Darby  can be a good read especially to those parents with teenage daughters.

Some Top Companies Shaping the Self-publishing Industry

Written by   |   Wednesday, 12 March 2014 10:15

selfpublishing companiesIf you’re planning to take the plunge into self-publishing industry, there are more companies than you can imagine that can help with your writing aspirations. Of course, you will want to learn about their book formatting requirements, although any book formatter will tell you that eBook design standards are increasingly being harmonized for application in wide array of displays and e-reading platforms.

But, it’s in the best interest of an author to decide if they’re going for a paperback format or eBook, because not all self-publishing platforms support both. Another determining factor of the company you can rely on to accomplish your self-publishing dreams is price. With some companies, it won’t cost you a thing to publish your book, although there are royalty rates to consider.

Other self-publishing platforms will charge for an array of services such as eBook formatting and distribution.

Below is a list of the companies you may want to engage to publish and distribute your story.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

KDP is operated by Amazon and allows you to upload your eBook for distribution and sale online. Amazon lets authors keep 70% of royalties generated from the sale of titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Supported formats include mobi, ePub, PDF, RTF, HTML, Doc/Docx.

CreateSpace is also run by Amazon but is meant for paperback formats. CreateSpace pays royalties based on book prices and channel of distribution. If you’re distributing through Amazon.com and Amazon Europe, the company will make a 40% deduction on the list price. For CreateSpace eStore, a deduction of 20% will be made. On the other hand, CreateSpace royalties’ deduction for Expanded Distribution is 60% of list price.
Note that CreateSpace facilitates the selling of both eBook and paperback formats.


Smashwords says it’s the largest global distributor of eBooks from independent authors. The platform makes your eBook available for sale on the Smashwords website as well as partners such as Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble and others.

The platform encourages independent authors to only prepare and format eBooks in MS Word for simplicity, which was initially the only format the platform accepted. The website provides capacity to covert MS Word files into formats supported by a wide array of e-reading devices.

However, in 2012 SmashWords introduced the Smashwords Direct upload option. The option makes it possible for authors to upload professionally formatted eBooks in ePub files.
If you’re selling your eBook from the Smashword website you’ll be earn 85% of royalties from its sales. Distribution with Smashword partners will cost you between 40% and 60% of royalties earned.


Lulu facilitates the publishing of eBooks for free. The platform pays royalties of up to 90% if you’re publishing directly. It also partners with likes of Amazon and Apple for further distribution of self published books. The site also supports print on demand.

The need to work with professional eBook and paperback formatter such as The Fast Fingers book formatters cannot be overemphasized for self-publishing authors. Professionalism ensures an author avails the best standards of cover design, interior design and eBook conversions.



The Do’s and the Don’ts When It Comes to Raising Teens

Written by   |   Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:21

mother daughterIt’s sometimes not easy to understand how parents forget what their interests were during teen age. Where all those teenage fantasies, madness and memories go when parents face the challenge of raising their own kids can make you wonder. Yet, all the interest scrutiny, probing and yelling a parent directs to their grown little girls stems from nothing short of sincere love. The problem is most teenagers don’t see it that way.

But there are always ways to work out a practical relationship between a parent and their ‘semi-adult’ kids.

Giving your grown little girls independence  

It can break a parent’s heart to come to terms with the fact that their kid doesn’t seem to cherish their company anymore. But it helps to realize that kids need some level of leeway to express themselves in absence of adult supervision. So, you need not worry when you all over sudden-grown little girls seem happier and in positive mood when in the company of their friends than when you’re around. The bottom line is you’re still their rock and the person they know they can count on all the time.

However, don’t let the kid stretch their limits of independence.  This means your voice should be heard when your child strays into bad company or unacceptable behavior such as substance abuse.
Carefully “pick your fights”

You did a great job raising your kid and teaching them how not so ‘cool’ or safe it is to have a tattoo. In that case it’s alright to quarrel you kid for trying to have one. However, it’s not wise to fight over things that have no consequence whatsoever, just because your generation doesn’t identify with them. Small things such as hair cuts are not worth drawing battle lines for.

Balance between self-esteem and guilt

Self-esteem is important for your grown little girls. However, the need to make your kids feel good about themselves should not defeat the urgency to instill discipline in them. Thus, whenever they cross clearly drawn boundaries, you should let them experience their guilt.

Draw your boundaries clearly and early

It’s always proper to have an understanding of what the limits are, in terms of what your little grown girl can and can’t do. This gives you a basis to seek explanations when boundaries are crossed.

Give your child options
A dreadlock between kids and their parents can’t be a good thing. That’s why parents do well to leave doors open for dialogue when there is a thorny issues going.

Lead by example

Raising a teenage girl can be extremely difficult for parents who adopt the “do as I say and not as I do” attitude. The kids need a role model at home who sets a fine example. This ways, kids will learn from watching their parents.

The job of raising your little grown girls needs not be rocket science if you can learn how to handle them in a loving way. Defining clear boundaries for your kids and not overstepping your own limits will go a long way.

Reading the book Grown Little Girls by Shelley Darby relates some experiences and lessons parents can learn as they go through raising their teens.


1Children are very visual creatures and enjoy reading books that feature pictures or illustrations predominantly. But, kids are a special kind of audience and that’s a factor to consider when illustrating a children’s book. To an adult, the pictures or illustrations in a book meant for kids may seem plain simple, but these call for a great deal of premeditation on the part of the children's book illustrator.
An experienced children’s book illustrator knows that certain works can have pictures telling the entire story by themselves. In other types of children's book, each and every single page has a picture or an illustration. Thus, pictures in a book meant for kids can serve one or more of the functions below:

(1) Illustrations can tell an entire story by themselves: In this case, the book may have very little or no text at all.
(2) Extend the story line: In this case, pictures may add a new dimension to the story covered in the text.
(3) Shed more light on the story line. Pictures used this way expound on the story line, giving words more significance.

What’s in a High Quality Children’s Picture Book?

Relevance to a young audience: When illustrating a children’s book, it’s important to take into consideration topics that can capture a kid’s imagination. For instance, a story that gives animals human attributes such as capacity for speech or even interaction with humans can keep kids captivated.
Also, pictures that can carry some element of fear, fantasy and humor will appeal to kids. However, gross images or illustrations that convey horror in graphic detail should be avoided for younger minds.

Relevance to the story line: If you’re an author of children’s books and wish to incorporate illustrations into your story line, it’s important that the illustrations match your story. The pictures must be positioned within the right context.

Illustrations positioned out of context can be confusing to kids. That’s why pictures should match the setting and plot of your book. Also, character illustrations should match descriptions provided in your story to make sense to kids.
Avoid stereotyping: An illustrator of kid’s book should avoid stereotyping or brainwashing kids. The pictures should be in such a way that they allow kids to think on their own and draw logical connections between facts.

Lessons to learn: Any kind of literature for all sorts of audience should attempt to offer a specific message. Illustrations for children’s book should also try to communicate a specific message and a moral lesson.

Illustrations can be effective in conveying lessons such as bravery, justice, peace, faithfulness, truth etc. Also, an illustration can be used to enhance a story line, by bringing out a message that’s not very clear in words.

Color: Kid’s like colored illustrations more than black or grayscale images. However, black and white illustrations can also appeal if created professionally.

If you’re writing a story for children, there’s a high chance you’re considering ways to make it as appealing as possible to kids. Professionally created illustrations can help your objectives.

The Fast Fingers offers affordable children's book illustration services.

Grown Little Girls by Shelley Darby

Written by   |   Thursday, 06 March 2014 04:04

Tff Cover"Grown Little Girl" is a term commonly used to describe a disrespectful, sassy-mouthed, misbehaved, promiscuous teen or pre-teen. These girls are most often involved in various life situations that they are not prepared to handle; and with little to no understanding for the traumatic outcome these situations produce; several teens and pre-teens are becoming mentally and emotionally damaged. "Grown Little Girls" is a book written to tell the story of the "grown little girl" and identify key issues that contribute to the behavior displayed from these troubled young women. Experience this epic novel of revelations that seek to inspire families to come together and allow the healing process to begin.

Grown Little Girls is available in Kindle and Paperback format


Grown Little Girls paperback $12.95

Grown Little Girls Kindle Store

The Difference between Paperback Formatting and eBook Formatting

Written by   |   Monday, 03 March 2014 06:00

ebookUpon making your mind about entry into self-publishing, one of the key points to consider is format of your eBook. For the most part, the decision to go for an eBook or paperback is made from a business perspective. That’s to mean many authors are looking at the market prospects if they decide in favor of one book format as opposed to another.

However, the person who does the actual book formatting knows there are more significant differences between eBook formats and print formats.
One of the most significant differences between a paperback format and an eBook format lies in the way text is presented. For paperbacks or print formats, the text has a fixed layout. Thus, readers won’t have an opportunity to manipulate the text or images to enhance appearance.

So, a paperback formatter knows that readers can’t resize text, change font and that’s why he or she ensures the final copy to send for publishing meets the highest of industry’s book formatting standards. In other words, there’s more weight of responsibility for a paperback formatter than an eBook formatter, since the former has the final say on how words, fonts and images appear on the printed copy.

An author is equally responsible for the final appearance of the text and other elements of their paperback. This makes it essential for a self-publishing author who specializes in paperbacks to ensure text on MS word appears on screen exactly as wanted on paper. Once that manuscript goes through CreateSpace, there won’t be room for readers to fix any legibility or presentation issues.

However, most eBook formats are reflowable. Reflowable text is that which the end-user can tweak certain aspects to make it more appealing or legible. Thus, if you’re publishing with Kindle, you should have in mind the fact that potential readers might want to change the layout of text, appearance of text and other eBook formatting features.

Other self-publishing firms that support reflowable text include Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. Reflowable text is a concept that meets the demands of ever evolving eBook-reading technology and devices. It makes it possible for readers to enjoy all the features and elements in an eBook with total disregard to the devices they are using.

As an author, you may want to consider reflowable text for your eBook so that readers on different platforms such as iPhone, KindleFire, iPad or PC screen won’t have trouble reading.
Other common differences border on features such as page numbers and links. While readers of paperbacks rely on page numbers to identify and reach specific sections of a book, eBook readers utilize hyperlinks.  

Yet, capacity for eBook text or layout to reflow does not mean that both the author and eBook formatter have no responsibility at all over how the final copy appears. There are still formatting requirements for most self-publishing platforms, which authors should be familiar with when designing both the exterior and interior of their eBooks.

Get in touch with The Fast Fingers to have your paperback or eBook formatted in line with the finest standards.


How Parents Can Deal with Common Teen Behavior Problems

Written by   |   Thursday, 27 February 2014 22:46

Tff CoverReading the book “Grown Little Girls” by Shelley Darby, you can’t help identifying with the issues a modern day parent has to deal with when raising their teenage or pre-teenage daughter. If you’re a teenage girl yourself, reading the book may shed light on some aspects of your character, behavior or personality that you may never have looked at closely.
Yet, the “Grown Little Girls” relates experiences and lessons families can learn as they go through challenges when raising their teenage daughters. But what are some of the common teen behavior issues a parent may have to deal with?

Your grown little girl expresses disgust at you

A girl at teenage or pre-teenage may at times treat her parents in a way that suggests hatred or disgust. Such a girl downplays what you say or even rolls her eyes in a way to show contempt. Yet, this kind of behavior happens unpredictably and irrationally, because a lot of times the girl will still express need and love for her parents.

However, your girl will always calm down and communicate if you can prove supportive all the time. It can be a parenting mistake to withdraw if a teenage girl withdraws or return disgust with disgust. Thus, a good strategy would be not say anything if at the moment you don’t have any inspiring ideas.

Wrong company

It’s very common for your grown little girl to want to stick around kinds you don’t like. Sometimes the kids look so bad to your eyes that sometimes you get that chilly spine feeling as though you’ve witnessed a little baby playing with a sharp knife.

However, behavioral experts advise parents not to be too quick to judge or criticize friends of their kids, especially by their looks or the way they dress. But when there is real danger, such as when the friends are doing drugs, skipping school, or involved in bad behavior, a parent can make a point of communicating their concerns to the “little girl.”

But the best way to approach a teenage girl who keeps wrong company is not to put her on the defensive or harshly criticize her friends. You can let her know you’re just trying to look out for her and not against her.

Staying out late

Any teenage kid who habitually comes home as late as 10:30 can be a reason for parental concern.  She keeps defying your curfews for no apparent reason.
Yet, it’s important you set limits so that your teenage daughter does not run into trouble. It’s advisable to do your own background check and find out what time other kids go home and if their parents are fine it. Here, you’re trying to be cautious without coming off too unreasonable.

Of course, behavioral issues with teenagers cannot be exhausted in an article. Actually, the evolving society as well as technology continues to introduce new fronts along which teenage kids and their parents may conflict. That’s why only reasoning and understanding can help “grown little girls” and parents learn to settle differences and stay united as a loving family.

Grown Little Girls is available in Kindle and Paperback format


Grown Little Girls paperback $12.95

Grown Little Girls Kindle Store


todoYou may have had these brilliant novel ideas in mind for a while, but finally decided to “put pen to paper.” Thanks to CreateSpace, you can have your paperback published in no time if you follow their paperback formatting guidelines on the dot.

You’ll definitely need a word processor to do a splendid job, though CreateSpace needs you to convert your manuscript to PDF to be considered for publishing. Most authors like to use MS Word because it’s sophisticated enough to help prepare a professional document, yet simple enough to learn and grasp.

Create Space will need you to accomplish a few book formatting tasks within MS Word before your submission can be accepted. The first thing CreateSpace highlights as an interior formatting requirement is page size. The self-publishing platform cautions against using 8.5” x 11”, which is the default page size for many Ms Word versions.
Thus, you’ll need to access the Page Layout tab, if you’re using MS Word 2007. Clicking on “Margins” gives you the option of custom margins, which can take you to the Page Setup dialog box. Alternatively, you can click on the arrow to the right of “Page Setup”, still on the Page Layout tab, to go directly to the Page Setup box.

The Page Setup dialog box has three tabs, Margins, Paper and Layout. Click on “Paper” to set a custom size for your paperback. Take into consideration your book’s final trim size while setting the correct size.

You also don’t want live elements of your book running over the edges. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it also compromises reader experience. It will also beat your efforts to acquire stunning graphics, images or pictures only for parts of them to bleed to the edges.

That’s why CreateSpace paperback formatting guidelines recommend a .125” provision for bleed. Thus, if your paperback has a size of A x B, allowing for bleed means you should set a size of (a+0.125) x (b+0.125).

When it comes to margins, it’ll all depend on the number of pages of your book. The setting is available under the margins tab of the Page Layout box. The number of pages of your book will determine the margin you set for gutter area. It follows that; a book with more pages will have a bigger gutter margin.

Remember to select Mirror margins for your book’s gutter area. This will make sure the settings you keep do apply uniformly for pages on the left as well as those on the right. The option is available under multiple pages section of the Page Setup dialog box.

Outside margins are also an essential aspect of page setup. CreateSpace recommends outside margins of at least .25” for any page count.
You can visit CreateSpace for Gutter margin specifications depending on page count.  

You can add any other stunning features to your book’s interior, but the above are essential. Once done, a PDF converter can come in handy in conversion of your document to eBook.

The good thing is you can rely on The Fast Fingers book formatters to offer professional paperback formatting services at reasonable prices.

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