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What are the top-five books that changed your life and why?
I LOVE this question because it really made me think. I have read lots of awesome books and that list would be easier to delineate. But in terms of books that actually CHANGED me; changed my thoughts or behavior in some waythat is more difficult to answer. Especially because reading one book may lead to you reading another book and it all of them inbination that change you. How do you separate the events and experiences in your life that made you you anyway? But here are the books I cane up with with some spoilers. You have been warned Where the Red Fern Grows italic by Wilson Rawls . My 5th grade teacher made us read this over our winter break from school. The short synopsis is that it takes place in Oklahoma back when it was even more wild that it is now. The book is about a young boy and his two dogs who be raccoon hunting champs. The book starts with a Native American legend in which a couple of American Indian children die and are buried next to each other and a red fern grows up between their bodies. At the end of the book the boy dogs die defending him from a mountain lion and he buries them on a hill. When his family moves the next spring he visits their graves one last time and a red fern has grown up between their bodies. I bawled for our whole winter break and cried straight through Christmasthanks a lot Mrs. Williams! My family was living in Germany at the time and I had never had a dog and didn really have any exposure to dogs. Most military families didn bother keeping dogs because in the 198s it was so difficult to move them from country to country. But after I read that book I asked my parents if they would get me a dog when we got back to the United States and they agreed. That began my lifelong love affair with dogs. My dogs have been my friends and mypanions when I had no one else. They were my children before I had children. They needed me and we all need to be needed. And they were an endless source of entertainment. My life has been endlessly bettered simply because my 5th grade teacher thought it would be a good idea to make us all depressed over winter break in 1987. The Jungle italic by Upton Sinclair . Anyone who has read my posts on Quora knows that for an American I lean pretty far left. There are many reasons for that especially including the fact that I am the daughter of a German mother and I grew up in Germany and therefore was exposed to a wider worldview than most Americans from a very young age. But my European background mostly exs why I am socially liberalnot always so much why I am fiscally liberal. The Jungle italic takes place in Chicago sometime around the turn of the last century (I.e. 19) and tells of a family that scrimped and saved to own a home and ended up losing everything because of the way the robber barons and their ilk made home loans and ran the industriesin this case meat-packingthat the family worked for. The book also exposed some of the horribly unsafe working conditions those in the meat-packing industry faced. The Jungle italic (which I read in high school as well) while not to be taken as a bookit is also a novel after allwas basically a 4-page example of how a family can be ruined by a system that is stacked against them. Does one example a rule make? No. But it showed how those things can happen and again it made me think about all of the possibilitieswhich I might not have considered otherwise. It also made me feel italic the utter unfairness and despair of it all. Bright-Sided italic by Barbara Ehrenreich . So far I have mentioned only novels. I actually read mostly non-fiction. But novels have a power to make you feel and think that is rarely matched in non-fiction. Barbara Ehrenreich on the other hand mostly does investigative journalism. In Bright-Sided italic she writes about the culture of optimism and positive thinking in America and how it is actually a BAD thing. And she is absolutely right. It was always something I suspectedI consider myself neither an optimist nor a pessimist but a realistthe glass is neither half-full nor half-empty but both at the same time. Duh. That is reality and the world would be a better place if more people lived in reality. Barbara Ehrenreich proves that point with aplombfrom the way positive thinking led to the mortgage crisis to the pervasive social pressure in breast cancer circles to think positive which makes people who actually die of breast cancer feel like failureslike they just weren positive enough. Like Beloved italic this book didn really change how I act or how I think but it gave me better tools to understand and ex my own attitudes. ordered-list
I've finished writing and editing a 90k word young adult fiction novel. What is the best course of action to take for publication?
Resign yourself to the fact that you are not done editing it yet. By your question I think it is reasonable to assume that you are the only person who has looked at this book yet. You now need apletely fresh pair of eyes on it. If you don know someone who is already a professional writer that would be willing to work on it for free I would suggest you hire an editor. If you cannot afford to hire an editor I suggest you find someone who works with words for a living (perhaps a college English instructor) who is willing to look at it. And when they give you your critique and it may be a harsh one don react with anger as if they had insulted your child. It is not your child. It is the product of your hands but you are in the position of someone who has learned basic carpentry getting a critique on the first thing he has ever built. The odds of it being perfect are pretty low. I did 17 rewrites on my first book at the hands of the great C.J. Cherryh. Then once your editor is satisfied this is the process of sending your book to a publisher or agent. Most genre publishers (science fiction fantasy horror romance western thriller mystery) still accept unsolicited manuscripts for review. Go to the publisher web page and look for information on Submissions. Let me ex the process here. See this? This is an actual slush pile (where unsolicited manuscripts go) Generally someone like a secretary goes through them and rejects certain things automatically. (Believe me I am not making this up) Things like manuscripts with illustrations manuscripts handwritten written in crayon written on a yellow legal pad written on one long continuous scroll or basically manuscripts that don conform to the formatting. Also automatically rejected are books based on someone else creation italic whether that be a movie aic a TV series or another book or book series. No one will ever italic buy your book based on someone else creation. Then they sit there until the First Reader gets to them. There may be more than one First Reader. They are generally someone the editor trusts who shares the editor taste. This by the way is not a job you can apply for. The First Readers are all salaried people who look at manuscripts in their downtime. The First Reader reads the synopsis and the first page. That weeds out a lot. Then he reads the first chapter. That weeds out more. Then he reads the first three chapters and the last chapter. If the manuscript passes all that he takes it home and reads the whole thing. If it still passes muster it goes to an assistant editor where it goes through the whole process and finally to the editor. Always remember this mantra Publishers are not in the business to publish books; like any other business they are in this business to make money. Thirty or forty years ago editors could italic publish niche books they really believed in knowing that the others would make up for the losses on the oddball books. Not any more. Publishingpanies are now owned by media conglomerates and editors are under incredible pressure to make every book pay off. You have two options here if you get a rejection letter. You can rewrite your book or you can try somewhere else. If you keep getting the same reaction then your only option is going to be a rewrite or self-publishing. But I can absolutely guarantee you that if your writing is any good it will always take about a year for you to get an answer. italic And never ever say Ill never submit to X again! italic That just cutting off your own foot. Admit gracefully that you didn write a book that fit what they were looking for at the time and move on. They didn insult your firstborn child. The book just wasn what they were looking for and they had the courtesy to give you a short answer why. italic Remember when ites to sending an unsolicited manuscript this is not you THIS italic is you- And there is an entire room full of people like you just waiting for their manuscripts to be read.
What's a good self-publishing company?
Hello there Disclaimer First I am one of the founders @ Notion Press Publishing. The most important thing before you need to check before you decide to go with one of the platforms is the quality of their publishing distribution and marketing services. With over 2 million titles on Amazon alone the book industry is an extremelypetitive space for new authors. Your book needs to be well written edited positioned designed distributed and marketed properly to stand any chance of success. Free to publish platforms like Amazon's Createspace is basically a Do it Yourself Platform where you provide everything from cover design to a formatted manuscript and theypile it as a book and distribute through Amazon . It is a good idea to publish with Createspace if you have experts working on all the aspects I've mentioned above or if you are convinced that you can manage all of these aspects on your own. Your other option is to approach a self-publisher who will take care of the entire publishing distribution and marketing process for you . Again there are plenty of options for you here. Notion Press is a pioneer in the self-publishing industry and is known for providing quality publishing services for more than 6 years. We started with an aim of democratizing the entire process of publishing and making it accessible to everyone and 6 years down the line we have ensured that more than 4 authors have realised their dream of getting their book published . As far as publishing is concerned We follow a ged publishing format where you will be assigned your own dedicated team of book experts who take care of all your publishing needs from start to finish . We offerplete set of publishing distribution and book marketing services and have you covered on all fronts so you don't have to worry about any aspect of your publishing process. With Notion Press you retain 1% of the rights to your book an also take home 1% of the profits from book sales . We also set you up with your own dashboard to track live sales reports. Transparency in sales flexible pricing innovative tools and dedicated support is some of the reasons why authors prefer Notion Press . Here is a report of how we've fared in the last month Based on actual customer surveys with respect to our authors. Notion Press Feedback
What self improvement books have changed your life?
You only need to take one to your heart. An example from my lifen 212 I was going nowhere. No surprise because I had no plans. I was living day by day crossing my fingers and hoping everything will going to be all right. Usually it wasn. (The Slight Edge chart) italic Our financial situation was stable. Both I and my wife had jobs. We paid our bills and credits on time and I was even able to save about 4.5% of our ie. So it took about two years to save one salary. It didn look like the best formula for getting wealthy. My wife dreamed about a house but we had just several thousand dollars on savings account and no perspectives for significant change in our ie. I was frustrated because I was not stupid. No matter how much I anesthetized myself with entertainment I realized that my life is going nowhere. It was a constant struggle to keep our expanses at bay. We couldn afford good vacations we couldn afford renovation of our apartment and we couldn afford a new car. My wife had more ambition and dreams than me and that caused some tension between us. I felt I was doing all in my power to sustain our lifestyle and she put more and more pressure on me to realize her wishes. That was not fair! 217 After a few years of my online hustle it finally became real. Almost every month I get money from several sources my Kindle sales s my eBook sales from Draft2Digital paperback sales from CreateSpace audiobook sales coaching and affiliate sales. My personal ie grew by 31% mostly because of increased book sales but those additional ie streams had something to do with this as well. I stacked away about $1K in my peace-of-mind fund (aka rainy days fund for most of the world). My wife saved most of her bonus salaries from my royalties for house renovation. The rest she already spent on renovation and she funded our vacation trip to Bulgaria in July. I paid off early about 1.6% of our mortgage in one year. I tithed more. Our recurrent payments fund is fully stacked up. We have a year worth of recurring bills for water and waste. We have funds prepared for car insurance coal for the whole year ahead books for kids unexpected car repairs or replacement of white goods. Consistency brings growth and results. I had been showing up for a long period of time in my authors group and that created networking opportunities. It worked for me as good as or even better than setting big goals and pursuing them. For two years I tried in vain to grow my email list to 1 people . In 217 one offer of participating in a giveaway resulted in more than 1 subscribers. I had set goals of selling hundreds and thousands of books in the past and I didn reach those numbers. In July I sent a single email to Steve Scott inquiring if he could inform his email list about my free promo. He couldn. He did something betteru2au2ahe sent an email when four of my books were on Buck Books promo. I sold over 13 copies of each! (my journej on The Slight Edge chart) italic The fundament of those successes wasn goal setting; it was merely showing up. horizontal-rule PS. The book that changed my life was The Slight Edge by Jeff OlsonnI copied parts of my story from my second and fifth anniversary progress report after reading this book.
Which platform is best to publish an eBook, Amazon KDP or Lulu?
My preference is to publish on Amazon directly and several other sites BN Kobo Google Play and itunes mostly through aggregators such as Smashwords or Draft2Digital. I know Lulu as a paperback publisher and have never looked to them to publish ebooks. You get higher royalty rates when you publish directly with a retail platform but I find using an aggregator means you have fewer sites to deal with. Personally I prefer Smashwords - Ebooks from independent authors and publishers . Amazon publishing is via Kindle Direct Publishing. All sites have instructions for formatting and loading books as well as general info. Im sure you know you will have to provide a way to be paid (bank account or PayPal) and tax information. Good luck! Elaine L. Orr Home
Is there an easy way to convert Kindle e-books to a paperback format?
Sorry. There is no easy way to convert an e-book to a paperback. The words might be the same but the coding for the presentation of each format is different and serves different functions. An e-book is designed for the to flow and fill any size screen whether a small smartphone via an app a Kindle or other tablet or a largeputer screen. The code is simpler because the app and user decide the presentation. The app the ebook is read on has a limited number of fonts often just eight and the ability to change to your preferred font the size to suit your eyesight and the screen brightness. E-book code is simple written essentially in XHTML language with some very basic CSS as much of the presentation is orchestrated by the device it is read on. The device organises the actual font the size of font etc. You need to code to create italics subscript lists and various headings but the device works out much of the look. Flowable and user changeable to some degree. A book on the other hand is fixed. All the reader does is turn the pages. Book design is considerably moreplex. All decisions about the look of a paperback are made by the book designer and publisher. Actual book dimensions font and its size margins gutters are all decided and then fixed before it's sent off to the printer. horizontal-rule To convert a paperback to an e-book is relatively easy. The initial digital file gets all its coding converted from Classes in XHTML to Styles in your word processing program and most of the remaining formatting such as page size page numbers etc are stripped out. Paperback to e-book conversion works as it goes from that rigidity andplexity to flity and relative simplicity. horizontal-rule Going from e-book to paperback isn't easy. You need to add rather than subtract and all those additions are crucial to the look of the book. A lot of work in book design goes into developing a coherent look such as avoiding orphans ie one line or even word on a page at the end of the chapter. Chapters starting on the right-hand page avoiding excessive hyphenation and 1 other design issues all need to be decided and added. These are not trivial. horizontal-rule So rigidity andplexity to something more fl and simple? Paperback to e-book? Yeah that works easily enough. The opposite? E-book to paperback? Nope a lot more work. And to do it right you require a high level of design skill. Book formatting is not an easy task.
What are some genuine self-publishing house at really affordable rates?
Here you may need to define what you mean by self publishing and also what you what to publish. For fiction you should look to Kindle Direct Publishing at the moment. They don charge anything up front and if you follow their basic rules they only take 3% off the sale. That about as good as it gets for digital self publishing these days. KDP also allows you to publish hard copies now slightly different pricing deal there. Now if youre talking about making a family book or a custom order of yearbooks or some other limited project then were talking a different game and outside my personal experience.