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By: David Chuka,
I stumbled upon a blog post by popular Kiwi Children’s book author – Joy Findlay – who was my special guest on Author Interview Thursday in 2013. Joy has more than 60 published children’s books and I have several of them on the Kindle app on my tablet. A lot of her books have achieved best seller status on the Amazon store.
The children’s book market is evolving and its important children’s book authors and publishers stay close to the grapevine to discover what new trends are pushing this market.
Over summer, I got an email from Amazon asking if I’d be a beta tester for their Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. Sadly, as I was on holiday and then in the middle of a house move, this was not possible. Fast forward to early September, and Amazon announces the launch of the Kindle Kid’s Book Creator. I recently read a book by Deborah Bradley that was formatted really nicely and she said it was created using KDP’s Comic Book Creator. I thought to myself that if she achieved those results with that program, It’d be interesting to see what a program specifically designed for Kids books can produce.
Joy Findlay has done an awesome job giving a step-by-step guide on how to use this new tool by Amazon and ends the post with her opinion on the advantages and disadvantages. It’s a great read and I know you’ll enjoy it. Click the link below and head over to Joy’s blog. Remember to leave a comment or question as I’m sure she’ll be glad to know you stopped by and will gladly entertain your thoughts. Enjoy.
By: Geoffrey Philp,
Blog: Geoffrey Philp's Blog
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, domestic violence
, Geoffrey Philp
, Short story
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The prevalence of violence, especially domestic violence with Caribbean families, has been one of the themes in my two short story collections, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien and Who's Your Daddy?
In the short story, "Cry to Me," from Who's Your Daddy, which I've republished as an eBook, I've combined domestic violence with fatherhood in the story of David Hamilton, a respected professor, whose life is disrupted when his daughter become a victim of domestic violence.
I think "Cry to Me" is a precursor to a darker story that I am currently working on in which fatherhood turns ugly. Stay tuned.
I hate you – I love you
Once again my Kindle has turned on me! It has been behaving so well since I zapped it back to its original factory settings earlier this year. And now that I have been lulled into believing its rebellious days are behind us, it has gone rogue again. This time it has decided to blank out half the screen so that only text appearing on the bottom half of the screen is visible. I usually only read one book at a time on it but this week I began reading a second. I had both Far from the Madding Crowd
going at the same time. I didn’t think that was too much to ask from Kindle. But maybe Kindle got stressed out and was feeling overworked? Whatever the case, it refuses to negotiate. Googling Kindle’s current half-screen strategy does not provide any hope that Kindle and I might be able to reconcile. I will attempt over the upcoming weekend to, once again, return it to its original settings. If that does not solve the problem then I am out of luck, Kindle will be dead to me.
Thing is, I don’t want it to be dead. We have had a relationship for five years and I am not prepared to move on. I don’t want to give up on Kindle, don’t want to replace it with another. If Kindle really does turn out to be done for, I am considering giving up on ereaders entirely. Kindles have gotten pretty inexpensive but if I am going to have to buy a new one every five years or so then I want no part of it. I would rather spend the same money on books that will never have a technological failure. Plus Kindle’s periodic fits make me all kinds of grumpy and woe to anyone who gets in my way. Bookman can attest to how pissed off I was when I left the house to catch my bus to the train station Wednesday morning. I’m afraid I blamed him for everything because he had just added a book I had mentioned I might like to read to Kindle. Poor Bookman!
I would get rid of Kindle in a heartbeat if, in spite of everything, I didn’t get something out of the relationship. Trouble is, I like Kindle because I can make the font just a little bigger so I can read on the metro train without having to fiddle with wearing my reading glasses. I can no longer read book print comfortably without glasses unless I hold the book at arm’s length and that just won’t do on the train. Plus Kindle is slim and light and fits easily in my bag without adding a lot of weight.
I feel caught in a dilemma. If Kindle refuses to come back to me, I don’t know what I will do. I grow weary of love-hate relationships and want peace and harmony. Kindle seems to feel differently. I guess I will have to wait and see if we can work out our problems over the weekend. If not, then I will decide what to do. Stupid Kindle.
Filed under: ebooks
Most of you are probably aware by now that I have a plain old e-ink Kindle and that I read on it five days a week during my public transit commute to and from work as well as during my lunch break. When I first started reading on a Kindle five years ago there was hardly anyone one else on the metro train who had an ereader. In fact, I’d frequently have people ask me questions about mine. Now there are so many people reading on ereaders, tablets, phones and iPods that the people actually carrying books are outnumbered.
As someone who loves to spy and see what people are reading, with the increase of digital devices it has become difficult. Though there was a woman yesterday next to me on the train who was obviously reading over my shoulder. It wouldn’t have been so annoying if she had been a bit more surreptitious about it. It was so bad I almost tilted my screen towards her a little and asked if that was better for her. I doubt she was able to figure out what I was reading — Willa Cather’s The Troll Garden. I have considered taping a piece of paper with the title of my book to the inside of my Kindle cover so when I am reading the curious reader will not be left wondering, but I’ve never gotten around to it.
But now The Onion reports the release of the Kindle Flare, a Kindle that will loudly and repeatedly tell everyone what you are reading. And, if you are reading something you aren’t so very proud of, it has an “explanation mode” where it will explain that yes you know the book is trash but you are also reading Infinite Jest.
My favorite feature, however, is “bookshelf mode.” In bookshelf mode you can place your Kindle on you now empty bookshelves (because, you know, you don’t need to buy print books any longer) and it will run through a list of all the books on your Kindle. So it is still possible to impress your friends at parties by the books on your virtual shelves.
I think I’ve got to get me one of those Kindle Flares!
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is a joke produced by the satirical newspaper The Onion. Unfortunately, The Onion and WordPress would not let me embed the video, so you will need to click on the link above to have a good laugh. Enjoy!
Filed under: Books
I am currently writing my seventh novel. I have published one novel for adults and three Y.A. and I have one book not yet taken and one which is just about to be submitted. But as Sue Gee, award winning author and Faber Academy tutor once said, "All writers are apprentices all their lives." So this blogpost is about my editing process with my Kindle as a relatively new and developing tool to help me.
Recently someone recommended Rachel Aaron's
short ( and cheap £0.77) e-book and I decided to download it and see what there was on offer. I wasn't particularly interested in writing 10,000 words a day but I am always open to new ideas for the editing process.
The one idea I took away from this book was Aaron's recommendation to download your finished manuscript onto your Kindle and read it.
Because when you read a manu on a Kindle you read it like a reader.
I loved it! I was working on my new book, Behind Closed Doors, (BCD), about two teenage girls who are at risk of becoming homeless, for very different reasons. I downloaded the book, took my Kindle into the living room and sat down on the sofa which is where I read at least half of my books. I was in complete reader mode. This is such a different experience to either reading on the screen - my least favourite way to edit an entire book - or to printing a hard copy of the entire manu. With the hard copy I am much less relaxed. I sit there, pen in hand, scribbling all over the place and I am definitely not reading like a reader.
But sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a biscuit, nice and relaxed, each page appearing like a page in a printed book in that pleasing rectangular screen my brain was completely in reader mode. I read the book over a couple of days and then I put it to one side, went out for a long walk came back and wrote a couple of pages of notes by hand and with a nice clear head.
Ok - SNAP! You already do all this, I can hear you say and yes, I would think nowadays, a lot of writers do the same thing.
But then I had a new revelation. I went back to the computer, continued working on my book and finally sent the finished manu to my agent. All done and dusted, feeling pleased, etc.
Couple of weeks later I decide to download and read the manu again.
Groan! Suddenly I see loads of copy edits ( houses instead of house) - not earth shattering, I know, but I am beginning to realise that my Kindle edits could have been so much more.
However, after some feedback from an interested editor, it was decided to alter the last few chapters before widespread submission. This is my chance I think.
I rewrite the chapters - very satisfying job. Then I download onto my Kindle.
But this time I sit at my computer with the manu up on the screen.
I start at the beginning, chapter by chapter and every time I spot the error on my Kindle ( errors I have failed to see on the screen because I'm not reading like a reader and I seem to be much sharper in that role) I scroll down and correct it on the screen.
I catch all those pesky errors ( houses instead of house), feel I have a much cleaner text and press SEND in a much happier mood than before.
When I considered trying out this method I thought it would feel laborious and annoying.
In fact, I found it to be smooth and extremely satisfying.
From now on, I will be downloading in 10 chapter chunks ( I've just done that for the new WIP), reading on my sofa, making notes when I've finished and then working the Kindle and the screen version at the same time to build up to the much more perfected finished product.
Do you have an editing tip you'd like to share?
<!--[if gte mso 9]>
Last week I discovered Miriam Halahmy’s post on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure about using her kindle as an editing tool.
Using the kindle in
the way she describes is so useful. Being able to change the font size and view your manuscript in a different format highlights many problems. But there is another way to use the kindle as an
Click here to go to site. Only 99p for a few days!
Final editing underway then ‘Unlucky For Some’ will be released on Kindle. Here you will find 13 short, macabre, Twist in the Tale stories better read with the light on, and not alone. You have been warned. This book is definitely NOT for children. Watch this space…
Amazon announced a new subscription based lending program available for the Kindle and Kindle Apps. Kindle Unlimited looks pretty promising; for $9.99 per month, you can read as many books as you want. This differs from the one free borrow per month available to Prime members. Amazon’s imprints (Montlake Romance, 47North, etc) are included, as well as titles from Open Road Media, Kensington, Scholastic, and other smaller pubs. Bella Andre’s books are included, so if you’re curious to read her stuff, you can gobble them all up for $9.99 per month. This only available in the US currently. There’s also a large audio book library so you can take your stories on the go.
I plan on trying out Kindle Unlimited soon (as soon as I have a couple free weekends in a row!). The first 30 days are free, and you can cancel at any time.
What do you think Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited? Will you try it out? If some of my favorite publishers, like Entangled and Harlequin were included, I would be signing up in a nanosecond instead of waiting. I’m curious to see who else they get on board.
The full press release follows:
Amazon.com has added a news release to its Media Room website.
Title: Introducing Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited Reading and Listening on Any Device–Just $9.99 a Month
Date(s): 18-Jul-2014 7:30 AM
For a complete listing of our news releases, please click here
Read freely from over 600,000 books–available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more
Listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible, or switch easily between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice
Enjoy best sellers including the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and Flash Boys
The most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Life of Pi, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Start a free 30-day trial today
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 18, 2014– (NASDAQ:AMZN)–Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited–a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates–just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.” Customers can choose from best sellers like The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Lord of the Rings, and with thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Water for Elephants, the story can continue in the car or on the go. Kindle Unlimited subscribers also get the additional benefit of a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to the full selection of Audible titles. Kindle Unlimited is available starting today and is accessible from Kindle devices or with Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps. Start your free 30-day trial today at www.amazon.com/ku-freetrial.
“With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre–you can just start reading and listening,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Kindle. “In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy. We hope you take advantage of the 30-day free trial and try it for yourself.”
Kindle Unlimited features include:
- Unlimited reading: Access over 600,000 books including best sellers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, All the King’s Men, Wonder Boys, Ask for It, The Princess Bride, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, The Atlantis Gene, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, Crazy Little Thing, The Blind Side, and The Giver, plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cat’s Cradle, and The Good Earth, as well as books featuring beloved children’s characters from Sesame Street, and useful reference titles including books from the For Dummies series and Lonely Planet travel guides.
- Unlimited listening: Keep the story going with unlimited access to more than 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, and switch seamlessly between reading and listening to customer favorites like the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Great Santini, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Winter’s Tale, Boardwalk Empire, El Narco, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, The Finisher, Johnny Carson, The Stranger I Married, and Life Code.
- Kindle exclusives: Choose from hundreds of thousands of books only found on Kindle, including Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, The Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver Pötzsch, War Brides by Helen Bryan, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope books, When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath, Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons, and Sick by Brett Battles.
- Short Reads: For a quick escape, select from thousands of books that are 100 pages or less, including Kindle Singles from Stephen King, Andy Borowitz, and Nelson DeMille, and short fiction from Amazon Publishing’s StoryFront imprint.
- Free three-month Audible membership: In addition to the thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible included in Kindle Unlimited, subscribers get a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to more than 150,000 titles.
- Popular Kindle features: Enjoy all the great Kindle features customers love such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews, and Goodreads integration.
- Read and listen everywhere: Access across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8–so you always have your library with you and never lose your place.
For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.
Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.
The post [PR] Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
Signed up for Kindle Unlimited?
Many of Untold Press titles are available for download with it!
Check them out HERE! <– CLICK
Look for 0.00kindleunlimted under the title!
The following books of mine are available through it!
By: Carmela Martino and 5 other authors
Blog: Teaching Authors
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, Francisco Stork
, Gary D. Schmidt
, Lincoln Hoppe
, National Day of Listening
, Poetry Friday
, Reading as a Writer
, Reading Lists
, Summer Reading
, The Book I'm Reading
, Add a tag
It's POETRY FRIDAY!
Thanks to Margaret
for hosting Poetry Friday today!
(My poem's at the end of this post.).
Our topic is What are We Reading?
I love this topic...I've learned so much about my blogmates, our readers and books.Carmela
have each checked in about the books they've checked out this summer.
Here's what I've read recently:
~ THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
by John Green on my Kindle (loved it)
~ WE ARE CALLED TO RISE
by Laura McBride ~ adult book (wonderfully written...but why are adult books so sad?)
~ TEA WITH GRANDPA
written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg ~ (SPOILER ALERT: I've bought copies to give to grandparents who Skype their grandkids)
What I'm currently reading:
by Veronica Roth on my Kindle (not crazy about the writing so far).
But I am CRAZY CAKES for audiobooks. I live in Southern California, so maybe that explains it. Or maybe I should say I live in my car in Southern California. :-)
So here is my list of 3 WONDERFUL audiobooks in the order I read them
. And yes, you can say "read them" if you listened to them. Because I said so.ONE:
Marcelo in the Real World
by Francisco Stork
, read by Lincoln Hoppe
(read a review here
is an AMAZING voice actor. I think I want to marry him.
Hang in there with this audiobook. At first it felt soooo slow...I wasn't sure I was going to keep listening. But, boy, am I glad I did. I mean, wow.
From the Random House website
"Reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
in the intensity and purity of its voice, this extraordinary audiobook is a love story, a legal drama, and a celebration of the music each of us hears inside."TWO:
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
by Gary D. Schmidt
, read by Sam Freed
:"Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
, published by Clarion Books, is a 2004 historical fiction book by Gary D. Schmidt. The book received the Newbery Honor in 2005 and was selected as a Michael L. Printz Honor that same year. The book was based on a real event. In 1912, the government of Maine put the residents of Malaga Island in a mental hospital and razed their homes."
“Schmidt’s writing is infused with feeling and rich in imagery. With fully developed, memorable characters. . . This novel will leave a powerful impression on readers.” ~ School Library Journal, StarredTHREE:
Okay For Now
by Gary D. Schmidt
—National Book Award Finalist.
Read by Lincoln Hoppe. (!)
Here's what the National Book Award website
“In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.”
His main character, Doug Swieteck, first appeared in Schmidt’s Newbery Honor book, THE WEDNESDAY WARS.
Listen to an 8 minute NPR on-air interview of Schmidt about OKAY FOR NOW here
There. Those are my Fab 3.
What I look forward to listening to next:
~ THE WEDNESDAY WARS
by Gary D. Schmidt, read by Joel Johnstone. I think I may have this read years ago; I can't wait to listen
to it. (I'm inspired by Esther and am reading a string of books by the same author...something I almost never do. Gary D. Schmidt is a brilliant and deeply affecting writer.)
LISTENING IN THE BACKSEAT
by April Halprin Wayland
Are we twisting,
listening to what the writer
what the teller
wheeling...to the final curtain?
Did you know that many folks read books aloud for your listening pleasure on YouTube? Go to YouTube and search for a book title. For example, click here
for a sampling of folks reading THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
And...if you know any flat-out beginning picture book writers in the Los Angeles area, my six-week class, Writing Picture Books for Children
in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program starts August 6th. (The student who benefits most from this class has never heard of SCBWI.)poem and drawing (c)2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.
posted by April Halprin Wayland...who's amazed that you've read all the way to here. Thank you.
By: David Chuka,
Before we go into answering the question in the title,I’d like to inform you of an opportunity to download some of my books for FREE!
Over the next 3 weeks, you can download one of the 3 books listed below. Below is the schedule:
You can go ahead and download If You See a Doctor
until Friday. It’s my first children’s book and was written to help young
children who are starting to learn how to read. It has fun rhymes and
can open up that discussion of what they want to be when they grow up.
I Love Baby Animals
is my most successful children’s book and has more than 150 reviews on Amazon.
It’s one of the kids that I find the most fun reading and sharing with kids when I go into schools to do readings. It’s a simple book with fun illustrations and real life photos of adult and baby animals.
It introduces children to the names of baby animals and also includes a fun fact about them. For instance, do you know what a baby Illama is called? If you don’t, then you’ll need to grab your copy next week or right now if you can’t wait till then.
Billy and Monster’s New Neighbor Has a Secret
is the fourth book in the Billy and Monster series and introduces us to Billy’s New Neighbor, Sally, whose just moved into the neighbourhood. Billy learns a lesson about sharing and discovers that Sally has a fun secret too. The next Billy book will be released at Christmas and my illustrator will begin work on it soon.Remember to set a reminder for yourself to download a copy in two weeks.
Okay, now you maybe wondering why I’m sharing my books for free.
The answer is simple. I’m giving away these books and asking for three sentences in return. Three sentences that could just influence someone to grab a copy themselves.
It’d really mean a lot to me if you could leave a review after reading the books. Reviews help with book sales and exposing a book to new readers.
After you’ve finished reading each book, would you be so kind to pop
back to Amazon and leave a 2-3 sentence review. It’d mean the world to me.
Please help me spread the word by sharing with your family and friends and colleagues.
Thanks for all your support. It’s much appreciated.
By: Angela Muse,
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Monsters Have Mommies
, children's ebook
, Add a tag
Halloween is just around the corner. Soon we will be surrounded by ghosts, witches and maybe even some monsters. Your little monster is sure to enjoy this picture book about family and parents.
Age Level: 0-6
Have you ever wondered if monsters have mommies and daddies? It turns out monsters families are a lot like our families. This monstrous tale about parents and family is perfect for children aged eight and under.
On sale for only $.99 this weekend, September 27th though September 29th (normally $2.99).
…that a whole slew of Dorothy Sayers mysteries are $1.99 on Kindle today. (Sixteen, to be exact.)
And a giant bunch of other books (it’s their big Cyber Monday sale) including:
my beloved Muriel Spark (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie among others)
Lois Lenski (Strawberry Girl and others)
Jean Craighead George (Julie of the Wolves is $1.99; some of her American Woodland Tales are only .99!)
Patricia Reilly Giff
Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Pearl S. Buck
Mary McCarthy (I recently read The Group and would like to read more of her work)
a lot of Rebecca West (Family Memories and many more—some are $2.99)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
a bunch of Boxcar Children books
several Tomie de Paola picture books including Early American Christmas, Fin Mc’Coul, and some of his saint books
some Barbara Pym, whom I have not yet read!
and a gajillion more.
Note: the above are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a few cents on each book you purchase. TO SPEND ON MORE BOOKS.
Bernard Beckett’s Genesis is 1.99 on Kindle today. It was one of my favorite reads of the year a few years back:
After plague and war decimate the human race, a small group of survivors build a protected, isolated island community called The Republic, modeled on Plato’s vision of the perfect society, but rigidly totalitarian. We learn about the history of The Republic via the oral examination given by the somber members of the esteemed Academy to Anax, an earnest young scholar who has prepared long years for this event in hopes of admission. Anax’s subject of specialty is the revolutionary, Adam Forde, whose subversive actions brought down The Republic many years before. A serious and captivating aspect of Adam’s history is his relationship with a robot possessing highly advanced simulated-consciousness technology, and their discussions about the nature of consciousness are incredibly gripping and thought-provoking.
By: Angela Muse,
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The Bee Bully
, anti bullying
, book reviews
, Children and Young People
, Children's literature
, Dr. Suess
, Add a tag
Today I had the privilege of being a reader at a local elementary school. I got to read one of my favorite books, The Bee Bully, and talk to the kids about being an author. The energetic kindergartners made me feel very welcome and I really enjoyed spending some time with them. We talked a little bit about what it means to be a bully and how important reading is.
Three reasons why reading is important to young children:
1). Reading exercises our brains. That’s right, our brains need a workout too. Reading strengthens brain connections and can even create new ones so pick up a book and help your brain exercise.
2). Reading improves concentration. Kids have to focus when they read which can sometimes be a difficult task. The more you read the longer you can extend that concentration time which will continue to improve.
3). Reading helps develop imagination. When you read your brain translates what is read to pictures. Did you know you can create a movie in your head while you read? We become engrossed in the story and we can connect with the characters. We can sympathize with how a character feels and reflect on how we would feel in that same situation.
Now go grab a book and BEE A READER!
My Kindle and I have been having an ongoing argument. I mentioned our disagreement back in November when it appeared that Kindle was developing an opinion about what I should and shouldn’t read. I thought we had come to an understanding after the incident since things went on in a friendly way for the next book or two. But January brought a few hiccups and February almost came to a melt down.
Now over the weekend I felt like Kindle and I were in the knife fight from Beat It except without the cool dance moves.
I finished reading David Copperfield and was queuing up my next book only Kindle refused to cooperate. It either kept trying to take me to the Amazon online store or would not let me page through my books to the one I wanted to read next. No amount of restarting helped. Amazon troubleshooting and forums all said restart and all will be well. Liars!
Finally I decided to take the nuclear option. I saved all my books onto my computer since most of the books on my Kindle are from Project Gutenberg and I didn’t want to have to download them all again nor did I want to lose my highlights and notes. Then I reset Kindle to its original factory settings. Zap!
But Kindle refused to bow down in submission. Resetting it also deregistered it from Amazon which means the few books I have bought were inaccessible and I couldn’t borrow an ebook from the library if I wanted to. When I tried to get to the settings menu to re-register Kindle, it refused to allow me to go to the page.
Kindle and I circled around each other, waving our knives. While Kindle was silent, I was not. Bookman became alarmed. Let me help you he pleaded. There is nothing you can do! I snapped. I was sorely tempted to break Kindle in half against the edge of the table and be done with it once and for all. But Bookman swooped in like Michael Jackson in the video, randomly pushed buttons, and suddenly Kindle decided to dance! I registered, plugged Kindle into my computer, copied all my books back to it and held my breath. Success!
Today I began reading Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin and Kindle continues to behave. We’ll see what Kindle will do when I am done with the book in a few weeks. Will it let me read another book without trouble? Time will tell. But for now we are getting along again.
Filed under: ebooks
Amazing offer right now, children’s humorous fantasy only £1.99 on Kindle for a limited period. Winner of The Book Awards, February 2014!
Click here for offer.
Little did we know that my Kindle trouble recently was the start of a Kindle Rebellion at my house.
Bookman, who rarely turns off his electronic devices, decided Friday that he would turn off his computer and his Kindle. Saturday morning his Kindle would not turn back on. I saw him go through the Kindle frustration cycles just like he watched me do when I took the drastic step of zapping my Kindle back to its original factory settings. I had hoped to swoop in like he did with me and save the day. It was not to be. I couldn’t get the Kindle to turn on either.
I suggested that perhaps Bookman had let the battery run too low (he often does) and it just needed to be charged. So we plugged it into his computer. He had to go off to work. Hours later I noticed his Kindle still was not charged. I plugged it directly into the wall instead. But it still wouldn’t charge. The light remained orange and I noticed it kept flashing on and off like there was a loss of connection or something. But everything was fine as far as I could tell when I wiggled the cord.
Saturday night Bookman came home and the Kindle that had been theoretically charging all day still did not show us the green light and continued to refuse to turn on. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy a new battery. After a few more attempts to get the Kindle working on Sunday we declared Bookman’s Kindle dead and pulled the plug.
He has the day off today and decided to shop for a new ebook reader. He considered a Nook and a Kindle Paperwhite but in the end went for just the basic no frills e-ink Kindle. He ordered it.
A little while later he picked up his dead Kindle to remove the cover and it was on! And working! Like nothing ever happened!
He decided to not cancel the order for the new one, just in case.
But now I am wondering if this is a Kindle ploy to build the Kindle army in our house. Such gullible humans! We will soon have three Kindles and we two homo saps will be outnumbered. If this is the beginning of a Kindle uprising I wish I could count on Waldo and Dickens to help us out. Waldo is a good hunter, at least we think he is. Since he doesn’t go outdoors all he has ever hunted are spiders, centipedes and dust bunnies, but he is very good at it. And Dickens is Houdini reincarnated. He can open doors and dresser drawers and boxes and storage bins with clasps. Between the two of them they could save Bookman and I should
worse come to worst. But can one ever really trust a cat? Sure, they act like they love us, but one never really knows whether it’s true love or they’re just looking for a warm lap.
So I am getting this message out while I can, before the Kindles block my internet and keep me from communicating with the outside world. Beware the Kindle Rebellion!
Filed under: Kindle
How can it possible be true? The Children's Book Review has turned 6!
To celebrate and thank our loyal readers, we are giving away a Kindle Paperwhite (value: $119). Be sure to enter daily to maximize your chance of winning.
Back in January 2009 I published a blog with the title Cellphone Novelists, discussing the new development of authors in Japan using cellphones to write and publish serial novels, some while commuting to work on the bullet train, and occasional total word counts up to and above 100,000 words.
|Crowd-sourcing an iOS publishing venture|
A similar development had gotten underway in Canada in 2006 when two tech entrepreneurs started Wattpad, a new website service envisioning a mobile reading app and hosting, initially, about 17000 public domain books. However, until the introduction of the iPhone and the Kindle, the Wattpad venture struggled to gain any momentum. Thereafter, writers began to post original works with the app and it took off (Article by David Streitfeld, NY Times, 3/24/2014; quotes in this blog are from the NYTimes article). "This is writing re-imagined for a mobile world, where attention is fragmentary," mused the reporter. "Almost all our writers serialize their content," Allen Lau, Wattpad's chief executive said. "Two thousand words is roughly 10 minutes of reading. That makes the story more digestible, something you can do when standing in line."
The Wattpad app allows for reader comments, and for some authors these involve huge numbers, generally complimentary, since the author can moderate comments before they are published and can use the delete button to eliminate any brutish trolls. For a conscientious author trying to keep up with responding to comments by fans, the task can be staggering. One author reports 14000 unread messages pending in her Wattpad inbox.
One of the most popular Wattpad authors is Ali Novak, a 22-year old Wisconsin writer who has serialized four mobile novels. Ms. Novak has been forced to limit her own involvement with her fans, some of whom apparently would like her to read samples of their work:
I am no longer taking reading/interview/trailer/cover requests, so all related messages will be ignored. Sorry, but I just don't have the time.A pullback that is quite understandable. Ms. Novak's biggest hit, My Life With the Walter Boys--about a girl who moves in with a family of 12 sons--was published this month by Sourcebooks in revised and edited form as a paperback. Ms. Novack reflects:
Since I was little, I've been obsessed with reading and collecting books. I always dreamed of seeing my book in Barnes & Noble and picking it off the shelf and holding it in my hands. That's one thing I could never do with Wattpad. Yes, there's something magical about hefting that physical, material thing that you've imbued with something of your own imagination, and to know it will continue to sit safely on your bookshelf even if your computer becomes obsolete, or the internet implodes into a black hole.
Nonetheless, some accomplished authors have begun to publish exclusive e-book offerings. These authors have already made their mark in the traditional hard-copy publishing world, and include writers like Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman; consequently, I have been intrigued by the development. Anyone who has gone down the road of submitting countless query letters with catchy hooks, brilliantly honed synopses or summaries, and sample pages, to literary agents or traditional publishing houses, whom these days may or may not even choose to acknowledge your submittal, might perhaps view the e-publishing opportunities as a liberating development. The traditional gate keepers may have been displaced.
|My recent e-book publication|
Of course, perhaps only a portion of what is e-published may have true literary quality, but the voting audience is much larger now, and one can hope that the good books will just as readily rise to the top. I like the e-publishing idea and decided to give the experience a try with my most recent coming-of-age fiction, Leaving Major Tela. It is already up in Kindle format at Amazon. Click on the link in 'My Publications' at the top right corner of my blog for a visit to the Amazon page and a look inside the book. I'll have a hardcopy edition ready at the same location shortly.
By: Aaron Polson,
Blog: The Other Aaron
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Black Medicine Thunder and the Sons of Chaos
, ebook marketing
, Health Care Access
, Loathsome Dark and Deep
, The Forest of Ruined Men
, thoughts on life
, Add a tag
Some people out in the world wide web may have noticed some new clothes on old books, including a name change for my novel, Loathsome, Dark, and Deep. Yes, I took it to the courthouse, filled out the appropriate paperwork, and now it has a new name: The Forest of Ruined Men. Why? It's a bit more marketable. I think.
Okay. I'm not a marketing genius. I'm not even a writing genius, but I write. And revise. And write some more. And re--well, you gather the general idea. What I know is this: since coming back to writing, all my earnings are going to charity. I used to drop a fair bit in the community pot before, but now all of it--all my sales, Smashwords earnings, KDP sales, etc., goes to help the uninsured of Douglas County receive health care.
This reluctant salesman finds it a whole helluva lot easier to ask folks to spend money if I know that money is going to do something positive. The nickels and dimes for which I begged before mean little to me, but my chosen beneficiary, Health Care Access
, can do so much good with my money. Why Health Care Access
? Why health care for the uninsured? I thought everyone had insurance now?
No.Health Care Access
does good work here at home. It's a cause in which I believe--and it makes it so much easier to spend time and energy selling books. My nickels and dimes can become diabetes treatment for someone without insurance or the resources to purchase it. My nickels and dimes mean early cancer detection so someone can qualify for state aid and treatment. I believe we have a duty to help everyone access quality health care, and I'm starting in my hometown.
So yes. This is what I'm doing.
And here's more of what I've done to help what I'm doing:
It's like they're a happy family now... a series even... and guess what? I'm laying groundwork for a third "Sons of Chaos" novella. It's going to be a cold one.
And you know what? I'd love it if you bought an ebook or read anything I've written--but sending some love to Health Care Access
is beautiful, too, and you don't even need an e-reader.
By: David Chuka,
View Next 25 Posts
It’s Author Interview Thursday! Yeah! I was involved in a conversation with a friend who was having a few challenges pushing their business to the next level. My 2 cents to their dilemma was that they had to SEE themselves closing deals, winning clients and making bumper sales. I added that they also had to stay in their lane and believe that their daily positive actions would eventually bring the future they desired. I believe this laser-focussed mindset is embodied by our special guest in the hot seat today. She writes in the fantasy genre and aligns her marketing efforts to establish this. I was fascinated by the fact that she co-writes her books with her sister, Toni Burns. I was introduced to her by Sharon Ledwith who was our featured guests several moons ago. I’m so glad Sharon did as she’s an author who generously supports other authors. She has so much good stuff to share with us today. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Lisa Fender.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written.
Thanks David for having me as a guest on your blog! I’m looking forward to meeting some of your followers!
Let’s see, I live in Golden Colorado and love it here. I’m married to Rick, and we’ve tied the knot twice, with each other that is, and he has 3 kids and I have 2. We both have grandchildren, but we were young grandparents. In fact, we are both “big kids”. We love hiking, camping, fishing, and the like, and our favourite relaxation is to go to the hot springs in the mountains and soak and enjoy the fresh air.
The first time someone complemented me on my writing was when I was still a teen. I had written some poetry and read it to a friend of my mothers’ who was an author herself. Her name is Autumn Stanley and she has a famous book in several of the university’s across the country. She was also an editor for Stanford University years ago. She’s a wonderful woman and when I finally published Fable, I sent her a copy, and of course, she sent it back with marks for me to fix. My sister and I had to laugh, we knew she couldn’t help herself, and we fixed most of her edits and republished.
What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by Lisa Fender?
You can expect not your usual story, for one. I didn’t want to write the same type of urban fantasy, or dystopian fantasy that everyone else was. Instead of the “A” typical vamp or werewolf, I decided to do a take-off of the Djinni, but not one in the bottle, but a race of beings in another dimension. These beings keep the balance of both our worlds and are threatened by a faction in their side of the portal, and are threatened by what we are doing to our planet on this side.
For two, we really pride ourselves of trying to make sure that the writing is as good as any traditional published work. We have two critique partners and after we think we have the chapter the way we want it, we send it to a friend of mine who is an author, and he goes over the chapter. Once the book is finished, Toni and I go through it once more before it goes to our professional editor.
We want to make sure it’s tight and an enjoyable read for whomever takes a chance and reads our books.
You co-write books with your sister Toni Burns. Can you tell us a unique challenge this situation presents and how you both overcome it?
Actually, the challenge is we are sisters and fight once in a while. But when it comes to writing we are spot on with each other. For some reason we really click and are in each other’s minds when we write. We have a system that works for us. I write the rough drafts, and then go through and clean them up a little. Then she and I go over each line and brainstorm together the way we want the story to go. It works great for us.
You write in the Fantasy genre which is very popular and competitive. What advice would you have for someone who wants to write in this genre?
Of course, make sure you put out a high quality book. You need to pay for a professional Editor. It’s the only way. I’ve read quite a lot of self-pub books and the mistakes and head-hopping stick out like a sore thumb, for me anyway. Next, try to come up with something unique. Sure there are going to be certain types of “guidelines” to your story. For example, if you’re writing epic fantasy, there will probably be a type of kingdom, and swords and bow and arrow will be the main source for weapons, but you can still come up with a new angle.
What have you found to be a successful way to market your books?
This is one of the toughest parts to being a writer these days. I have pounded my head against the desktop more than once and it can leave you with hurt feelings and misguided advice. I have been studying the social media concept here lately and I believe the best way is through email contacts, either newsletters, or some type of fun interaction with your readers. Facebook used to be a great place, but now they have changed their reach for your fans. These days you’re lucky if more than 40 people see your posts at any given time.
They want you to pay for Facebook advertising and even that doesn’t amount to much more of a reach. Twitter is tough too because you have thousands following you and you them. How many of your followers’ posts do you click on and read? Not too many usually, so probably not too many are reading yours.
This is such a tough business so my advice is to try and set up a way to personally reach your readers.
What were some of your favourite books as a child?
This is such a long list; I don’t know where to start. I was always a big reader. I loved all the Disney classics, Snow White, etcetera, but I also liked the Boxcar Children and the Hardy Boys. I think my favourite was Wild Things and Charlotte’s Web.
What three things should writers avoid when writing dialogue?
Dialogue should sound natural. Watch the way people talk with each other and try to bring that out in your writing. You don’t want it stiff.
Two, use more action tags than “he said, she said” tags. Especially if you like to use other words besides “said”. They can take the reader out of the book.
Three, don’t add too much character’s thoughts in between each dialogue speech. It’s annoying.
What is your definition of success as an author?
To me success in life is the people who surround you with love, and care about you. I think it’s the same with being an author. I think the more popular you get the more people love you. To have people tell you they love your story is so wonderful! If you can build from there and gain more and more fans, you are successful.
What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why?
There are several. I think the Europeans are much better with great acting and writing than we are. Harry Potter had some great acting, as did Lord of The Rings, and even Game of Thrones. Their acting is powerful and believable. My writing couch was English and she taught me the way they are taught across the pond. She really instilled in me the creative writing skills you need to have a clear and tight book.
Toy Story or Shrek?
Another tough question…I guess I have to say Shrek. Love him!
What three things should a first time visitor to Colorado do?
Go to the mountains and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Enjoy a hot springs pool, and if you like skiing then this is a great place for it.
What can we expect from Lisa Fender in the next 12 months?
We are revising the second book in our Lorn Prophecy series, Lore. We hope to have it ready to publish by the end of the year…we’ll see. I am also plotting Lore ahead so that I can start writing the rough draft for the third book in the series. I have also written ten chapters in the next compendium for the Djenrye Chronicles, which are side books about our made-up world, Djenrye. It’s been a lot of work, but I love it! We do have one of the compendiums published – Fated. It’s the first in that series.
Where can readers and fans connect with you?
I am on the usual hangouts,
And my Blog: http://www.lisafender.com
We are building our website as we speak and hope to have it up and running in the next couple of months. We will have an interactive blog to get people involved with the story and writing. I’m really looking forward to it! We will be sending out invites to join our email list by the end of the week.
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?
Just like wine, every good thing takes time. Give yourself a break and just be consistent in what you’re doing to gain fans. It might take a while, but being relentless is the answer.
Thanks again for having me as your guest David! You’re a great host and good luck with your books!
Thanks for spending some time with us today Lisa. You really have opened my eyes to a few things I wasn’t aware of. I love the fact that you’re in this for the long haul and are not putting any pressure on yourself to be an over-night success. As Lisa stated in the interview, the best way she considers to reach out to her readers is to have them on her mailing list. If you want to see how she structures her emails and interacts with her audience, click the link below to join her mailing list.
You can also read the full description and pick up one of her books at the link below
Lisa Fender on Amazon