Pull up a log by the campfire and enjoy some original creations by Stuart J. Whitmore, including photos, fiction, software, technical solutions, video, and more.

Collaboration and Success

Collaboration is a wonderful thing. Yesterday, I participated in a collaborative promotion effort with other indie authors who, together, made a total of more than 60 books available as free downloads for one day. The title that I decided to make free was No Fanfare, which is a very short story that does not get a lot of download activity. In fact, it gets almost no activity at all. That briefly changed yesterday, as the story reached over 200 new readers.

This burst of activity would not have happened, at least not without monetary cost, without all of the participating authors working together to promote the promo. Unfortunately, some people don't understand the value of collaboration, as some of my earlier efforts demonstrated to me rather bluntly. Read on for a few examples.

What Can I Say?

Third time’s a charm, right? This is my third attempt at writing this blog post. Writing isn’t technically the correct word, because I’m dictating it. This is my first blog post since I upgraded to Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 13 Premium Edition. The first attempt at writing it was lost when Dragon crashed. The second attempt at writing it was lost when I got frustrated and planned to quit using Dragon. But here I am again, dictating this post again. There are many things that went wrong with this upgrade, read on to find out what they were.

Bitcoin and Selling Directly to Readers

Within minutes, you could prepare yourself to sell books directly to readers and accept payment in Bitcoin. The "how" is addressed in my latest book, Selling Books With Bitcoin. In this blog post, I will focus on the "why" (or "why not"). The technology is in place, but is this something you should consider doing? As with many things in life, "it all depends…."

First, I want to clarify a few relevant things about myself and how I see, and use, Bitcoin. I'll skip the stories of frustration about missed opportunities, but if you understand my thoughts on Bitcoin it will help you evaluate my comments on accepting Bitcoin payments for your books. Read on for details!

Can You Cover Me?

I fully intend to publish the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo this year, but before that can happen there are quite a few things I need to do. One task of critical importance is getting a good cover for it. I've made all my other covers, but let's face it, I'm not much of a designer and my books aren't served well by my meager design skills. For this reason, I decided to enter a contest for NaNoWriMo winners, where the prize is a Scarlett Rugers Book Design Agency book cover package. (If you also won NaNoWriMo, you can enter to win too.)

Read Your First eBook

Ebook, e-book, eBook... however you like to write it, you don't need a Kindle to read one. I find myself telling people this fairly often, so I decided to make a short video to demonstrate how to read your first Kindle book without owning a Kindle. In less than three minutes, you can watch Read a Kindle book without a Kindle on YouTube. That video mentions using a free book for your first book, and today through Sunday the book shown in the video (No Fanfare) is a free download.

Of course, as I've written about recently, there is more to reading e-books than the Kindle ecosystem, and now that I have a Kobo e-reader (the Glo HD) I have become more familiar with the Kobo platform as a reader experiences it. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that Rakuten (the parent company of Kobo) should do in order to make the Kobo line more competitive with the Kindle line. I published my Open Letter to Rakuten Kobo on Medium if you'd like details on that.

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