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Paperback Is Not the Only Casualty of the Rise of eBooks

Written by   |   Friday, 24 January 2014 01:54

ebookMay be the computer is not close to replacing paperback entirely, but eBooks have gained significant grounds towards that. However, those who thought that eBooks threatened only paperbacks may have to think again.  What’s this all about and how can you cash in as an eBook writer? Read on to find out…

The internet has been a major source of information (credible info) all over the world since its inception. Today, people go online to find information on pretty much everything from how things work, health issues, sports and politics to science. This information is searchable online at remarkable convenience.

However, more and more people looking for comprehensive information are turning to eBooks. Yes, eBooks are now competing with websites as reliable sources of information. This can only mean one thing to non-fiction writers - there’s a huge opportunity to stamp authority offline by producing high quality eBooks.

The considerations below can help you as a non-fiction writer compete effectively with websites:

Establish a voice of authority
 
You should aim at convincing your audience that you offer expert info based on facts that are verifiable. To add weight of authority to content of your eBook:

a. Use references and citations: it’s important that you provide well researched information and mention credible sources such as peer reviewed journals, government websites, or scholarly sites.
b. Be specific: avoid generalization by providing examples.
c. Be unique: Try an approach or structure that you haven’t seen elsewhere. Make sure you content sounds unique and has not been presented the same way elsewhere.  

Be comprehensive

Any reader who’s choosing an eBook to learn about say, how to deal with a gambling addiction, is not looking for a short or quick fix, because that’s already available online. That’s’ why you should consider going for broader topics and refining these step by step to offer a comprehensive solution. Aim at providing value that a general internet search can’t.

Establish a brand

Write more and more to establish your brand as a reliable source of information. You can choose to curve a niche in human health or cover as many areas of interest as possible. Remember to research extensively or outsource in fields for which you lack expertise.

Package your eBook as a book

Although, the internet replaced physical libraries as a main source of information for many, people haven’t forgotten about the conveniences that go with books such as, turning pages, table of contents, keeping books, ability to refer to sections in terms of chapters or page numbers and many other benefits.

Don’t forget to format your book as per expected standards. That’s why you should consider the platform on which you’ll be delivering your eBook to offer appropriate formatting. The good thing is that you can engage the Fast Fingers book formatters for any issues you may have with book design. We will help with eBook conversions, cover design and interior design to the standards of your self-publishing platform. 

A Self-Publishing Lesson from Dave Ramsey - An NYT Best Selling Author

Written by   |   Thursday, 23 January 2014 02:00

daveramseySo much has already been said about self-publishing, and for the most part it has inspired aspiring authors to plunge into the industry. Almost everyone interested in self-publishing has heard a thing or two about how easy it has become to get a story published and presented in the market.  But for many successful authors, the journey to self-publishing success has been everything but a walk in the park.

For sure, you won’t have to focus much on paperback formatting, as there are book formatting professionals out there who will help you in this regard for a reasonable fee, if you’re self-publishing. You won’t have to know much about what’s involved in eBook conversions and stuff such as embedding of fonts, as you can always avail these services over the internet. However, even New York Times bestselling authors know that the self-published author has to toil and moil to make significant breakthroughs in the industry.

During an interview with Mediabistro, Dave Ramsey shared some insights on what it takes to make it as self-publishing author. Of course, just as many unpublished today, the NYT bestselling author wasn’t considered to be good enough by mainstream publishers. Nevertheless, he went ahead to write his first book titled, “Financial Peace”.

Quite obviously, when self-publishing firms rejected a story, the reality that went with financial constrains reared its ugly head. If you had to go ahead and publish, somehow you needed to raise sufficient capital to get your title off production lines.

Another major obstacle with some of most successful early timers in self-publishing was distribution. With mainstream publishing being out of the picture, it was extremely challenging to present a title in the market and distribute it. Ramsey had to do it from the trunk of his car! Fortunately, his efforts bore fruits, and in about 5 years, his title became an NYT bestseller.

Today, the situation is much more favorable for authors who have been rejected by mainstream publishing houses. Actually, most authors today are not going for self-publishing after having explored all other possible options. Rather, self-publishing has gained a life of its own and is now being seen as a priority as opposed to last resort. Yet, as Ramsey noted, a lot more is required of the modern self-published author.

Today, no one is telling self-publishing authors that it’s going to be easy just because CreateSpace, Lulu, Barnes & Noble and other self-publishing will readily accept scripts from unpublished authors. However, the nature of self-publishing is that everyone with story to tell can give it a shot and make it in the business.

For starters, it takes no genius to mount a meaningful online marketing campaign for your book.  A consistent presence in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google visibility are a must for any serious self-publishing author. As Ramsey noted, all this takes a bit of planning.  You’ll have to be involved every step of the way and consult where necessary.

Here at The Fast Fingers book formatting service, we will address all your book formatting and design needs at reasonable fees.



<source: mediabistro.com, image: www.daveramsey.com>

childrens bookWith self-publishing gaining momentum day by day, children’s interests have not been left out. Many authors have already mastered the art of paperback formatting to meet interests and tastes of young minds. However, communicating with children is quite a challenging affair, more so when you’re trying to impart knowledge.

Thus, before you can even begin to think of cover design, book interior design or eBook conversion for your children’s book, you might want to ensure the content you offer meets the criteria below:

Universally interesting topic  
 
To win children’s attention, it’s necessary that you address their core interests. That’s why it does help to identify interesting concepts such as the solar system, marine life, computers etc to address in your book. Since kids may find it difficult to understand deeper concepts, it makes perfect sense to refer to standard school curricula to align your content’s difficulty levels to targeted age groups or school grade.

Children’s language

Your language should be easy to follow and as less formal or scientific as possible. With difficult terms, providing phonetic spelling aids can help a great deal. This is because children are mostly learning language and scientific concepts at the same time. Unlike adults, who may already know how certain terms are spelt or pronounced, children will be hearing scientific terms for the first time and it is important that they get everything right from the word go.
 
Picture/text ratio

Children are more fascinated by pictures than text. As such, it makes perfect sense to produce books that feature pictures, drawings and other forms of graphics predominantly. You should have more pictures and fewer words, as much as possible. If you don’t know how to draw, paint or produce graphics, it can help to solicit children's book illustrator or graphic design services from a professional.

Humor/fun

A little fun and humor can make a children’s book very interesting and easy to follow for kids.

Style

Children like narration a lot and don’t easily forget facts or concepts imparted this way. Thus, you can choose to deliver your story in a narrative form if you want to keep a longer attention span for your young audience. Some writers find comic strips as effective ways to deliver scientific knowledge to kids.

eBook or Paperback?

You should probably consider both eBook and paperback formats for your children’s book. However, there is more chance of reaching out to more kids if your book is available more on eBook than paperback. Remember that more kids can access devices that read eBooks such as e-Readers. More kids use devices that can read eBooks more than they visit physical libraries.

Thus, the better gamble is to produce an eBook, but make it available through print on demand. This way, you hit two birds with one stone!

If you’re indeed planning to write a children’s book, it’s essential that you make sure that children will not only want but also be in a position to read it, have fun and learn. If you experience any difficulties with affordable book illustration, book formatting or book design to meet children’s tastes, The Fast Fingers book formatting service is on standby to help.

Join the 2014 SCBWI Winter Conference!

Written by   |   Wednesday, 22 January 2014 04:16

scbwiAre you a children's book writer or illustrator? If you're interested to attend the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) 2014 Winter Conference, it's coming up on February 22 and 23, 2014. Find out the newest happenings in the world of children's literature from top writers, illustrators, agents, editors and authors.

To register, visit www.scbwi.org. See also the full schedule of the workshop here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

<image cr: scbwi.org>

Some of the Notable Developments in Self Publishing So Far

Written by   |   Saturday, 04 January 2014 02:57

thefastfingersIn the year 2013, more authors have entered the self publishing industry. We are yet to reach point where authors have to think twice before taking the plunge into the self-publishing business. You can’t blame such authors as mainstream publishing houses have not been that attractive to the unpublished author. Several trends define the circumstances under which self-publishing continues to thrive and the prospects of individual self-publishing authors out there.

eBooks Gain More Popularity  

There are plenty of reasons for the rise in popularity of eBooks over the years.  For starters, eBooks are easier to produce. They are cheaper to distribute, and hence possible to offer at relatively cheaper prices than paperbacks or other forms of prints.

From the perspective of an author, eBooks are the easier way into the publishing world. Considering readers, eBooks are the more convenient option. These are easily portable, readable and sharable.

Book-Making is Becoming Lucrative e-Business   

Many firms have moved to the internet to aid self-publishing. Authors themselves have also set shop online to market and sell their titles. This has moved book production processes online. There are plenty of support services for any author in the self-publishing business. From book formatting, to cover design and eBook conversions; you can have your book designed and tweaked to meet expected standards.

Book marketing itself is increasingly relying on online channels. More authors have been involved in article/blog writing as they endeavor to popularize their titles online. On the other hand, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter have become critical tools for marketing of titles within social circles.

Self-Publishing Authors are Out-Selling Traditionally Published Authors

There is less hesitation in authors who want to enter the self-publishing industry, and this is for the fortunes the industry presents. Publishers such as Smashwords (a self-publishing firm) continue to dominate the eBook market, with top selling titles coming from their production lines.  The New York Times also has best-selling lists that feature self-published authors significantly.

All this indicates that self-published authors are actually serious in what they do. They demonstrate expected standards and readers continue to reward them handsomely. The old perception of self-publishing as a short-cut to “fame” for people who can’t write holds water no more.

Print is No Longer a Priority
 
Self-publishing authors are no longer concerned with paperbacks as a priority. Since eBooks are easier and cheaper to produce, many authors are focusing on these first. However, clever authors have preferred to hit both birds with one stone by going for Print-on-Demand services. This makes self-publishing platforms such as CreateSpace a very appropriate choice for many authors.
     
eBooks Have Become Cheaper

With buyers preferring lowly-priced titles, many authors have been compelled to sell at prices as low as $2.99 to beat competition. The focus is more on overall sales as opposed to pricing of titles.

If you’re planning to venture into self-publishing this 2014, The Fast Fingers book formatters have what it takes to have your book designed as per industry standards. If you’re already writing but would like a more professional appeal from book design, The Fast Fingers won’t disappoint.

Common Book Formatting Mistakes

Written by   |   Thursday, 26 December 2013 02:36

Preparing a manuscript for submission to a self-publishing firm such as CreateSpace can be tricky and calls for a good level of expertise and experience in book design. Submitting poorly formatted manuscript has its own disadvantages. For instance, your submission might be rejected by a self publishing firm. In case some mistakes pass unnoticed and your book ends up getting published, you could have trouble presenting it to your audience as a professionally prepared product. Thus, it helps to avoid common mistakes such as the ones outlined below:

Application of section breaks and page breaks

If you’re not very proficient in MS Word, Adobe InDesign or your favourite word processor, it may be difficult for you to apply section breaks and get desired results. You need section breaks so that you can split your book into several sections for purposes of applying distinct formatting and styles. For instance, if you want to add page numbers to your table of contents, you need to put the table of contents in its own section. This way you can add page numbers and format them differently without tampering with how you treat page numbers in other sections of your manuscript.

Justification

It’s common for authors to left justify text and leave text on the right unjustified. While this may appear normal in academic or other forms of writing, it’s not acceptable for novel writing. Unjustified text looks amateurish at best and should be corrected before a manuscript is send to a self-publishing firm for consideration.

Failure to Embed Fonts

If you’re self-publishing with Lulu or CreateSpace, you’ll need to convert your Ms Word document into PDF before submitting it. However, if you convert without embedding fonts, the fonts may not display as desired upon conversion. That’s why it helps to embed fonts in Ms Word before converting your manuscript into an eBook. There are elaborate ways to do embed fonts and a professional book formatter can help you if you don’t know how to go about it.

Having Odd Page Numbers on the Left

It looks odd and unprofessional to have odd numbered pages such as 1 on the left. To avoid this mistake, you should start your Chapter 1 on a page on the right. This will make it possible to have your first page (odd numbered page) on the right. For chapters that end on an odd number, you should skip the even numbered page so that you can start your next chapter on an odd numbered page.

Wrong use of Copy and Paste

Plain use of copy and paste can lead to introduction of unwanted formatting and other features of the text or objects being pasted. However, use of formatting options allows you to choose exactly what you need pasted into your word document. This way, you may discard or keep source formatting.

Book formatting involves a lot, and to get things right, a good level of book design expertise is needed. That’s why The Fast Fingers book formatters won’t hesitate to help with all your book design, paperback formatting and cover design needs.

The Eat to Live Cook Book by Joel Fuhrman

Written by   |   Tuesday, 24 December 2013 02:56

Do humans eat to live or live to eat? Well, that’s a debate for another day. In the meantime, a cook book that continues to cause ripples across the globe is packed with useful suggestions towards preparation of foods that can enhance health and prolong life. The book is titled “Eat to Live Cookbook: 200 Delicious Nutrient-Rich Recipes for fast and sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health.

The cookbook will prove useful to families that hope to enjoy a healthy living and satisfying eating without having to give in to deprivation.  From the title of the book, it’s evident that the author hopes to help readers achieve more than one objective with their cooking.

Firstly, this Eat to Live Cookbook describes easy-to-grasp recipes that can help with quick achievement of weight loss. Thus, this is the manual any reader who has been struggling with excess weight or obesity would find useful.

Secondly, Joel offers invaluable gems on how to alleviate symptoms or effects of certain diseases. His recipes include the popular anti-cancer soup, which can prove critical to someone struggling with management of any sort of cancer.

Thirdly, Joel focuses on recipes that can enhance longevity. He covers tips that can help chefs, cooks and families adopt certain cooking standards to ensure a sustained healthy living. Thus, this is not just a cook book; it’s a lifestyle-changing manual that can a have a far-reaching implication on the way families eat and live.

Plus, you’ll also get useful shopping tips for your favourite healthy ingredients.

The author uses several strategies in his book to drive the point home. For instance, his book covers success stories by persons whose lives have been changed after following healthy cooking tips. From what the author says and the covered stories, the proposed recipes or diets are by no means fads. This is because the recipes are meant to offer life-long health benefits, including sustained weight loss.

Of course, readers who love to eat would find it tricky to accept certain dietary proposals. The good thing is that Joel has got that covered by offering tips and practical formulas to overcome certain cravings. For instance, the “Eggplant Cannelloni with Pine Nut Romesco Sauce” is a practical suggestion for readers who seek to prepare delicious diets without risking overeating.

So, who exactly is Dr. Joel Fuhrman and why do his recipes always become New York Times bestsellers. For starters, Joel has a well-founded reputation as a certified nutritionist. He provides research-based dietarian solutions for problems such as overweight, blood pressure complications, high bad cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular complications.

Other books by the author include Super Immunity, the End of Diabetes, Fasting and Eating for Health and several others.

Evidently, writing recipes is not exactly an art. Dr Joel relies on science to provide dietary plans that can have traceable effects. You too can also provide useful healthy cooking tips, provided you go the extra mile to research and practice. Here, at the Fast Fingers book formatting service, we are on standby mode 24/7 to help with all your paperback or eBook design needs.

Michael Connelly

Written by   |   Saturday, 21 December 2013 00:09

Do the names Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller ring a bell? Well, if you’ve read Michael Connelly’s novels, Harry features predominantly as an LAPD Detective in Connelly’s crime fiction novels. Mickey is, on the other hand, a criminal defense attorney who’s also featured in Connelly’s novels.

Connelly has written 25 novels in a span of 20 years. Most of his works are best sellers and very popular that one time U.S. president Bill Clinton was spotted stepping out of a bookstore with a copy of Connelly’s “The Concrete Blonde”. But at this moment, the American author is basking in the warm afterglow of the success of his latest release titled “THE GODS OF GUILT”. The book is already a New York Times best seller.

Mickey Haller is at the center stage of the story of “THE GODS OF GUILT”. In this murder mystery, Mickey is called in to help a pimp who’s accused of murdering a woman who worked for him. Mickey takes up and the case but ends up ruffling feathers within the DEA. But the story climaxes at the courtroom as Mickey defends his client. This is a mouth-watering thriller that cannot be described sufficiently in 500 words.

Michael ConnellyMichael Connelly’s journey into this level of literary success strikes resemblance with many struggling authors out there. For instance, did you know that Connelly was once told by a ranking Times editor that he couldn’t write? Yes, the young aspiring author was told he wasn’t good enough to become an author.

Of course, many self-publishing authors have been turned away by prospective publishers at some point. But the most successful ones have always had faith in their creative abilities and pressed on till breakthrough. Nevertheless Connelly took the plunge into the world of writing. Despite negative criticism, the author wrote his first novel titled “The Black Echo”.

What are the incidences or events that inspire Connelly’s writing? Connelly once worked as a police reporter and says that his writing is influenced significantly by his line of work those days. Interestingly, he claims to never have experienced writer’s block! Of course, you can’t argue with that, considering the author has been able to churn out 25 novels in 20 years. This means that at least one novel must come off Connelly’s production lines every single year.

Sometimes, basing a story on real life events goes with its own challenges. Remember the 2012 Connecticut shooting of 20 harmless school children? Connelly told Bookish.com that he had considered writing a novel on the incidence. Actually, he had started out writing but stopped at the story’s 100th page. He considered the story too tragic.
 
Connelly’s other works include THE BLACK BOX, THE SAFE MAN, THE DROP,  MULHOLLAND DIVE and many more bestselling novels.

If you’re starting out as a self-published author, you can get great help here at The Fast Fingers book formatting service. We can design your novel (both in the interior and exterior) to meet publishing standards for Kindle, Lulu, CreateSpace and other self-publishing firms.



<image credit = imdb.com>

 

The New Year 2014 - Ways to Trigger Writing Ideas

Written by   |   Friday, 20 December 2013 13:42

Quite a number of people will be writing something down come New Year 2014. Most of the writings will most certainly border on New Year resolutions. But as an author, you’ll most probably be thinking about what to write for your next novel. If you haven’t got an idea yet, there are ways to trigger your creative powers, of course depending on what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be around the New Year 2014. What are a few ways to get your thoughts flowing?

Listen to Conversations, Make Observations

Many writers like a peaceful and quite environment to generate ideas for their books. However, you may consider exposing yourself to some level of “noise” during this festive season. Whether in a family gathering or a public night event during the New Year’s Eve, take time to listen to conversations and make observations. What people say and how they say it can give you invaluable creative gems.

Read Something You Haven’t Read Before

There is definitely a newspaper column you consider highly overrated. Or that humor columnist you struggle to catch their brand and style. The New Year gives you an opportunity to find out why such pieces of writing resonate well with others. You might catch a new angle of looking at things and begin to write from a newly acquired perspective.

Trigger Conversations

This is the time to take the initiative and start a conversation with your plane seatmate. Consider a trendy or topical issue to discuss. You can pick tons of ideas from a 30 minute conversation with a fellow passenger.

Do Things Differently

Albert Einstein is quoted to have referred to as insanity the habit of repeating a way of doing things and expecting different outcomes. Well, if you’re experiencing writer’s block, the need to start doing things differently cannot be overemphasized. For instance, you could decide to drop your car and use the train or bus.

You could also use an alternative route home or to the shopping center, even if it’ll take a little longer. Here, you’re trying to gain exposure into strange circumstances that might trigger new thoughts in your mind. Plus, if you use the train or any other form of public transport, you have the opportunity to interact and converse with other people.

Take Note of the Most Interesting Ideas  

Of course, a lot of things will happen during this festive period. This means that if you’re keen for creative ideas, you’ll have plenty of those by the time you welcome the New Year 2014. After everything, you should be able to sit down in a serene place and go through all interesting ideas you may have.

It may help to research a bit on the internet, to find out about other related ideas, dimensions or topics. You may then employ your creative genius to put flesh to the skeleton you just built.

After all is said and done, talk to The Fast Fingers book formatting service for professional book design, paperback formatting, cover design and ebook conversion services.

Christmas Themed Writing - Ideas to Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing

Written by   |   Thursday, 19 December 2013 03:33

ChristmasThe festive season is on and the entire world is preparing to celebrate Christmas. December the 25th is a day when people forget about all their worries to come together and have the greatest of all times. As an author targeting a “Christmas audience”, you may have plenty of options to think about. Below are some of the ideas to keep your creative juices flowing.

Christmas Cooking

Do you love to write recipes or cookbooks? Well, many people have no idea of how to go about with the preparation of special meals for special occasions such as Christmas. Thus, you can take this opportunity to offer tidbits on recipes of your interest such as how to bake the sweetest Christmas cookies. Offering unique recipes is a great way to inspire Christmas cooking during this festive period.

Attractions and Fun Activities  

Are you a travel writer? If yes, you definitely like to travel. Many families also like to visit new places during this festive destination. You can take this opportunity to offer first account experiences on the destinations you’ve visited and attractions you’ve found most exciting. Remember to include important observations alongside interesting photos that can give a glimpse of the destinations you’re covering in your writing.

Also, when people are travelling to a new tourist destination, they find information on distances, time, short cuts, maps etc very useful. Thus, don’t hesitate to let in your readers on the easiest ways around specific areas of tourist interest.

Get-Together Parties

If you’re experienced in party or event planning, your expertise can prove very useful to a wide array of readers during the Christmas festivities. Many people like to get together as families or friends. Similarly, many corporate organizations like to organize Christmas parties for their employees before the end of the year. Thus, you may share your knowledge on how to plan such events while including details such as security arrangements, Christmas decor, assignment of duties etc.  

Philanthropy

Christmas is not a day for self-indulgence. Many families around the world take advantage of the December festivities to share with the less fortunate in the society. Yet, many people may not have an idea of the most life-changing philanthropic activities they can get involved in. The good thing is that, as a writer, you can take time to research on unique ways that families can show love to the less fortunate in the society.
Donating money or food is a good thing, but you may consider covering more ways such as humanitarian travel. Some people find it very fulfilling to travel with humanitarian organizations to distant places to offer assistance to the needy in the society. You could offer tit bits regarding how families can make travel arrangements for this kind of charity work.

Remember to have your paper back or ebook formatted in line with the Christmas theme. This is very important in all aspects of book design, including the cover. Also, don’t forget to include photos that resonate well with Christmas, where applicable. For all your book formatting needs, let The Fast Fingers book-formatters offer you a professional service.   

 

 

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