Sunday

Amazon Finally Roll Out KDP Pre-Order Facility


The Independent Publishing Magazine


In what will be a very welcome move by Amazon, KDP authors have begun reporting that a pre-order option now appears on their dashboards for new e-books. This has been one of the biggest requests from independent authors using the online retailer's self-publishing platform. Until now pre-ordering of e-books was only a facility available to big publishers and leading best-selling authors.

I can't help feeling—in light of Amazon's current dispute with Hachette—that it's no coincidence this has happened now. It had been rumoured in recent months that the full roll out of a pre-order option was in the pipeline.

As yet, Amazon has made no official statement, though the following appears on its KDP help pages.


Kindle pre-order
You can make your new books available for pre-order in Kindle Stores worldwide. Setting a pre-order allows customers to order your book as early as 90 days before your book's release date.  When you make your book available for pre-order, customers can order the book anytime leading up to the release date you set and it will be delivered to them on that date.

One advantage of pre-order is that you can start promoting your book before launch to help raise awareness. You can promote your book's pre-order page on Author Central, Goodreads, your own site, and elsewhere. Also, pre-orders will contribute toward sales rank and other Kindle Store merchandising even before your book is released, which can help more readers discover your book.

How it works
You'll list your book as you would with any other KDP book. When you're adding a new book, on Step 4, "Select Your Book Release Option," you will choose “Make my book available for pre-order” and set a date in the future. That's it.

Though your book isn't available for download yet, we'll still publish a product detail page for it within 24 hours of approval. Customers can order the book anytime leading up to the release date you set and it will be delivered to them on that date. However, customers won't be able to download sample content for pre-order books.

You can list pre-order books in all marketplaces except Amazon.com.in, where pre-orders are not currently available. Your book will release at midnight local time in each marketplace.



Keep Reading!





-CYM




(The above article is re-posted from The Independent Publishing Magazine. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)

Friday

Read an Exclusive Excerpt of Paulo Coelho’s New Book, ‘Adultery’

Speakeasy


Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho photographed at home in Geneva, Switzerland.
 
Niels Ackermann/Rezo for The Wall Street Journal

Paulo Coelho’s new novel, “Adultery,” follows the story of a woman who, faced with the monotony of her life, unexpectedly reconnects with her high school ex-boyfriend. “Adultery” will be released Aug. 19 by Knopf. For more on Coelho and the book, click here.
Read an exclusive excerpt.
* * *
“I WAKE up and perform the usual rituals — brushing my teeth, getting dressed for work, going into the children’s bedroom to wake them up, making breakfast for everyone, smiling, and saying how good life is. In every minute and gesture I feel a weight I can’t identify, like an animal who can’t quite understand how it got caught in the trap. My food has no taste. My smile, on the other hand, grows even wider so that no one will suspect, and I swallow my desire to cry. The light outside seems gray. Yesterday’s conversation did no good at all; I’m starting to think that I’m headed out of the indignant phase and straight into apathy.
And does no one notice?
Of course not. After all, I’m the last person in the world to admit that I need help.
This is my problem; the volcano has exploded and there’s no way to put the lava back inside, plant some trees, mow the grass, and let the sheep out to graze.
I don’t deserve this. I’ve always tried to meet everyone’s expectations. But now it’s happened and I can’t do anything about it except take medication. Perhaps today I’ll come up with an excuse to write an article about psychiatry and social security (the newspaper loves that kind of thing) and find a good psychiatrist to ask for help. I know that’s not ethical, but then not everything is.
I don’t have an obsession to occupy my mind — for example, dieting or being OCD and finding fault with the cleaning lady who arrives at eight in the morning and leaves at five in the afternoon, having washed and ironed the clothes, and tidied the house, and, sometimes, having even done the shopping, too. I can’t vent my frustrations by trying to be Supermom, because my children would resent me for the rest of their lives.
I go off to work and again see the neighbor polishing his car. Wasn’t he doing that yesterday?
Unable to resist, I go over and ask him why.
“It wasn’t quite perfect,” he says, but only after having said “Good morning,” asking about the family, and noticing what a pretty dress I’m wearing.
I look at the car. It’s an Audi—one of Geneva’s nicknames is, after all, Audiland. It looks perfect, but he shows me one or two places where it isn’t as shiny as it should be.
I draw out the conversation and end up asking what he thinks people are looking for in life.
“Oh, that’s easy enough. Being able to pay their bills. Buying a house like yours or mine. Having a garden full of trees. Having your children or grandchildren over for Sunday lunch. Traveling the world once you’ve retired.”
Is that what people want from life? Is it really? There’s something very wrong with this world, and it isn’t just the wars going on in Asia or the Middle East.
Before I go to the newspaper, I have to interview Jacob, my ex-boyfriend from high school. Not even that cheers me up. I really am losing interest in things.
I LISTEN to facts about government policy that I didn’t even want to know. I ask a few awkward questions, which he deftly dodges. He’s a year younger than me, but he looks five years older. I keep this thought to myself. Of course, it’s good to see him again, although he hasn’t yet asked me what’s happened in my life since we each went our own way after graduation. He’s entirely focused on himself, his career, and his future, while I find myself staring foolishly back at the past as if I were still the adolescent who, despite the braces on my teeth, was the envy of all the other girls. After a while, I stop listening and go on autopilot. Always the same script, the same promises — reducing taxes, combating crime, keeping the French (the so-called cross-border workers who are taking jobs that Swiss workers could fill) out. Year after year, the issues are the same and the problems continue unresolved because no one really cares. After twenty minutes of conversation, I start to wonder if my lack of interest is due to my strange state of mind. No. There is nothing more tedious than interviewing politicians. It would have been better if I’d been sent to cover some crime or another. Murderers are much more real.


-CYM

(The above article is re-posted from WSJ-SpeakEasy. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)


Tuesday

More Amazing Reviews on Jaspar's War #bookreview #goodreads



From Kathyk21
"Jaspar's War goes beyond entertainment, although it does that very well. Jaspar's War forces the reader to look at accepted cultural values and practices. It mandates the re-evaluation of what it means to train a young person to carry out the activities of a soldier, and when the war is ended, to return to "normal" society. Jaspar's war is a very engaging adventure/mystery, full of action and surprises and suspense and hope. But by the time the reader closes the book, they may be besieged by compelling questions that demand discussion. Jaspar's War is one book to be sure to add to your "to be read soon" list."




From My Book Addiction and More MBA's Reviews 
"JASPAR'S WAR by Cym Lowell is an exciting Thriller/Suspense/Mystery set in Greenwich, Connecticut, Italy and other international areas. Fast paced, action thrilled adventure and one with lots of drama and mystery. With high finance, terrorists, kidnapping and the rescue of two innocent children, you will be on the edge of your seat with suspense. A great read! Very interesting and intriguing. Received for an honest review."

Source


Thank you!
-CYM


Monday

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch (repost from buffer social)

by Kevan Lee


When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there.
I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.
If you’re starting from square one, it might feel equal parts thrilling and overwhelming. You know what you want to do and why. You can see that others have climbed the social media mountain; you’ve got few ideas how to get there yourself.
It’d help to have a plan.
We’ve shared before about different parts of a social media marketing plan—the data and research and personal experience behind what works on social media. Now we’re pleased to put it all into a cohesive, step-by-step blueprint that you can use to get started. If you need a social media marketing plan, start here.

Social Media Marketing Plan

Starting at the ground flour and building up, here is our overview of how to create a social media marketing plan from scratch.
Keep CLICKING

-CYM

(The above article is re-posted from Buffer Blog. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)

Friday

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books (repost from NPR)


by ALAN GREENBLATT   

Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames




Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books.
The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.
Among the artists participating are Ralph Steadman, who re-created illustrations from his 1973 edition of Through the Looking-Glass; Rae Smith, the set designer for the stage version of War Horse; and How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell.
In addition to the benches, which will be auctioned off in October, the project will include several literary-themed events, "such as an attempt to break the world record for the most number of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes, next to the Arthur Conan Doyle-inspired bench outside the University of London," according to Time Out.
Here are some of our favorites: Check out the REST here.
How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."

-CYM

Wednesday

Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay, Part 1 (re-post from Storyfix)



A guest post by Art Holcomb

Part 1 of 2.
In June, I’m speaking at the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Conference on how to adapt a novel into a screenplay and I’m really looking forward to it. A good part of my practice, both with students and professionals, comes from taking a story from one form and telling it in a different form so as to increase both its sales potential and the fan base of my writers. This is the nature of a burgeoning field called transmedia, which offer writers like you a multitude of possible ways to get your stories out there.
Since most of you are novelists and want to find a greater audience for your ideas, I wanted share the highlights of my talk and experiences with you.
So, today, let’s go over the things you need to know before you start screenwriting – and next time, we’ll dive into the actual process of adaptation.
#1: Basic Understanding:
• A screenplay is a VERY DIFFERENT THING than a novel. First of all, screenwriting is a minimalist form, taking roughly 5000 word to tell a two-hour story. The main challenge of adaptation lies in the fact that novels contain between 5 -20 times more information on theme, mood, setting, plot and character development than a film ever could (regardless of what Peter Jackson, director of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings might have you believe). Your job as an adapter is to find the gems moments and quotes within the story that bring forward the real voice and essence of its characters and plot.
• Movies are very much a VISUAL MEDIUM and screenwriting really only has dialogue and description as tools to tell any story. The exciting part here is that film has so many ways of communication your message even within those constraints– through visual action, sounds, music, and cinematography – that you can actually discover new ways to bring your story to life.
• Structure is paramount – so learn all you can: Here is where you, as reader of StoryFix, have an incredible advantage: the principles of structure that Larry teaches in Story Physics, Story Engineering and the great posts here online, contain everything you need to know to get started. Learn and embrace Larry’s concepts of plot points, pinches, set-up, confrontation and resolution and you’ll be farther along than 99% of other adaptors at this point.
• Invest in some good screenwriting software: The film industry currently likes the FINAL DRAFT and MOVIE MAKER products, but you can find others to your liking as well. These programs make the screenplay form easy to emulate and many have apps built-in that make the process simple. They can cost a couple hundred dollars but are well worth it, because bad or incorrect format – usually found when writers try to use programs like WORD to write their screenplays – can get your work tossed out by script readers after the first few pages.
• Read lots of scripts: Just as reading novels makes you a better novelist, reading scripts will incredibly improve your chances of success as a screenwriter. Learn as much as you can about the art – I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. A great place to start is at Scott Myer’s site gointothestory.blcklst.com which not only has more than 80 free screenplays for you to download and study but also many hundreds of pages of great advice on the craft.
• Watch lots of movies: A love of movies can be the single most important part of being a good screenwriter. It always comes out in the writing! A good practice: watch any single movie a couple of time: once for pure enjoyment and then again with a critical eye for structure and content.
#2 – Securing the Rights:
• I suspect that most of you are interested in adapting your own novel into a screenplay. If so – no problems. US Copyright laws grant you the right to do so, no different than your right to write the novel in the first place . But if you want to adapt someone else’s novel, you’ll need to execute an OPTION or PURCHASE AGEEEMENT with them to do so. They’re not complex documents and I can write about in another post if there’s interest, or you can contact me directly at alh.andromeda@gmail.com for more information.
#3 – Do Your Prep Work:
When I get ready to do an adaptation, I start with the following:
Part 2 can be found here.
(The above article is re-posted from Storyfix. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)

-CYM

Monday

The Last Man by Vince Flynn *Book Review*




The Last Man 
by Vince Flynn 
(Emily Betsler Books/Atria 2012)

The Last Man is, perhaps, a fitting title for the last book published by Vince Flynn before his early death. Like his other works, it is beautifully written, easily read, intense, and blends Mitch Rapp into an intriguing, current storyline. In this episode, a dangerous assault on the integrity of the CIA is underway with roots in Afghanistan. Rapp is implicated as a bad guy. Can he save the CIA and, secondarily, find his way out way into the clear?

I am an aspiring thriller writer. I find it instructive to synthesize the critical elements of the work of the masters of our craft in the hope of finding keys for my own success one day. In this quest, I have identified elements that I believe to be critical for such success (for me or, probably, a writer in any genre though my focus is on thrillers in their broad scope), as follows:

1. Readable Style: regardless of the presence of other elements, the story must be
easily read and digested. If it is dense, hard to follow, scattered, or otherwise not readily readable, it is not likely to succeed. The Last Man certainly gets a √ here.

2. Early Hooking: the reader needs to be hooked by about the first 20% of the story,
when the elements should have been established. √ as I was certainly hooked by a story framed right about at this point.

3. Sympathetic Characters: readers want and need to be able to identify with the
lead character or characters in the story. Again, Vince Flynn earns a √ here. Mitch Rapp is a fascinating hero. In the Flynn style, there is little development of his emotions or feelings beyond action and nose for reality. I, for one, enjoy understanding the underlying emotions of the characters. How does Flynn really feel about the murder of his wife and child? How about the murderer who he intersects with in this story? A new love?

4. Plot: the story needs to be intriguing in and of itself. In The Last Man,
Flynn and the CIA are being set-up as fall-guys for a global conspiracy that has drawn in senior FBI, CIA, and foreign folks. When it was published in 2012, these elements were the stuff of reality, as well as today. Another √.

5. Engaging: these elements need to be connected in a manner to make a 
page-turning bestseller. In his previous 13 stories, Flynn certainly demonstrated this skill, which receives another √ in The Last Man. The action is intense, chapters short, and connection among characters and twists in story are tight! 

Onward!


Warms, Cym