Does your way of handling your money amount to crossing your fingers and hoping your checks and debit card purchases don't bounce before your next payday? Or do you have a large amount of money sitting in a basic savings account or low-interest CD? If so, you're giving up control of your future by not understanding and effectively managing your finances. If the very word "finances" makes your eyes roll, my new book – released today – is designed to get past that aversion and get you started on the road to financial education. Assets, Budgets, and Credit: A Financial ABC is in the format of a children's ABC book, but it was written for adults and teens who could use a jump start toward effective money management.
Writings of Stuart Whitmore
The artwork for your book can be created in any medium you prefer, as long as it can eventually be digitized if it doesn't start out that way. When I collaborated with the illustrator for my children's book (Two Boys, Two Planets), she created the illustrations using watercolor pencils on watercolor paper. However, if we were going for a different look then the artwork could have been done with chalk on the sidewalk, or oil on canvas, or wood carvings, or dry-erase markers on a white board, or... well, you get the idea. Basically, you can use anything that can eventually be scanned or photographed to become a digital file. Naturally, that also includes working entirely with digital tools like GIMP or Inkscape right from the start. As long as you are comfortable with the tools and it gives you the look you're going for, you should be fine.
As I expected it to be, September has been insanely busy around here. Lots of task switching (almost none of it optional) has left me little time or mental space for work on my main novel project, which is something I started in 2006 for my first NaNoWriMo and has grown substantially since then. This has not put a stop to my writing, however, as I've managed to sneak in some writing time in much the same way I did for the first novel I ever wrote, and its sequel.
If you ask most authors, I expect they would readily agree that they've thought about many more story ideas than they've written down, and started writing many more stories than they've finished. Perhaps they have a collection of first drafts that have never been edited, too, and maybe some third and fourth drafts that also never made it to the point of being finally done. That's a lot of unrecorded ideas and incomplete stories, when you think about how many writers there are in the world!
I should not have to defend myself from pseudo-anonymous attacks on the Internet in which people are posting false statements about my participation in "taking down" the LendInk site and/or accusing LendInk of piracy. I had no involvement (and still have had no involvement) with LendInk at all. I have also avoided making statements regarding any "piracy" on that site because, from what I understand, there was none, and (more importantly) I have zero experience with LendInk. According to everything I've read, it was a meeting place to initiate legal transactions, so (if that is true, which I have no reason to doubt) I would have had no reason to speak out or take action against that site. For the easily confused, I will state clearly: I have not had, nor do I have now, any complaint against LendInk.
Many indie authors I know maintain blogs like this, and those blogs almost always have comments enabled, where other indie authors (or random passers-by) can put in their two cents on the topic at hand. This is no surprise, right? You've surely seen plenty of them. Blogging is another way to get your writing out there, and to share your views, and to promote things (like books) that you want to promote. Whether you like it or not, though, your blog is another way to affect your reputation, both positively and negatively. It depends on how you write and how you behave. If you write poorly, or behave poorly, your reputation will suffer (especially if you have a solid reading audience for your blog).
Integrity is a value we like to see in others, and hopefully we aspire to demonstrate it in ourselves. Integrity, according to the dictionary, is a firm adherence to a code of values. It does not condone hypocrisy or falsehood; integrity implies honesty, trustworthiness, and so forth. Integrity can be demonstrated in your behavior online as well as offline; certainly, it can be demonstrated in how you behave on your blog or that of others.
This all comes to mind today because, amid a discussion with a blogger who posted in anger about something – a matter where her information was wrong and where she might not have been as angry if she understood the facts – the blogger deleted my comments where I was trying to inform her of the facts. Did she acknowledge any value in my responses, or re-evaluate her position? No, she just deleted my comments, and blamed my commenting for disabling future comments. It's not like my comments were advertising herbal cures or get-rich schemes, nor was I promoting my books or Web projects. They were on-topic comments specifically addressing her post, with the intent of informing her and her readers of some easily-demonstrated facts. But because she didn't agree, she deleted my comments and the valid, easily-proved information in them.
You have spoken! Well, mostly you have written. My earlier blog post — How To Format a Children's Book for the Kindle — has generated more interest than any other post in this blog, or probably any of my blogs. The message is pretty clear: A step-by-step process is handy, but the process is still daunting. So, I'm going to offer to simplify it for you, down to one shortcut step. That shortcut? Let me do it for you. (Despite the focus of the earlier blog post, this is not limited to children's books.)
Sometimes "simple" ideas escape our notice. It might be from having too many distractions, it might be from not being presented with the right circumstances, or it might be due to one of countless other reasons. These are the ideas that prompt us to ask ourselves, "Why didn't I think of that before?" Often it's so simple — after finally realizing it — that we assume everyone else already knows and we're just late to the party. This blog post is about a simple idea like that. Maybe you've already discovered it and will think "no kidding, that's obvious." But I'm writing this for everyone else. ;)
As explained below, this blog post is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0.
When you've made it past the writing, the editing, the cover design, and all those other preparatory steps, you'll be faced with a curious question when you go to release your book for e-readers like the Kindle or NOOK. The setup steps for your new book will include a prompt for whether or not you want to apply "DRM" to your book. This is not a trivial question, even though it's just a yes/no question (unlike most other parts of the setup form). If you have never really given much thought to the DRM issue and assumed it was a simple choice, please read on.