The House of Sand by Terrence Douglas

The House of Sand

Witness The House of Sand trickle down in this allegorical novel, replete with humor, about those consumed by self-interest, greed and ambition who rule a fictional desert, located in the middle of the Empty Quarter.

Follow Aziz as he reluctantly agrees to lead a caravan across the treacherous sands at the village merchants’ urgings, anxious to capitalize on a royal wedding. The journey is as difficult as Aziz predicted and the travelers nearly lose their lives, but for the sudden eruption of water from the empty sands. And it is this water that serves to finance the future Kingdom of Aquifia.

Proclaimed unanimously king by the survivors of the near tragedy, Aziz abdicates as soon as possible, turning power over to Sultan, his self-absorbed son, upon the latter’s return from Clatterbush Military Academy in the U.S. which he has been studying. Accompanied by a respected alumnus, the now-King Sultan begins his reign. Foreign businessmen rush to the kingdom, anxious to satisfy the king’s every whim—agreeing to build at exorbitant cost the vessel dubbed the boat that would not float, organizing a safari in the bush to include dancing girls for Sultan’s pleasure, to recreating a water park in the desert for his entertainment as well.

As the Kingdom approaches its demise, Aziz, the once-king, retakes the reins of power from his son, and leads the citizens and businessmen across the desert to safety just as a huge sinkhole swallows up what was once the Kingdom of Aquifia.

“…Sharp satire with crisp, intelligent writing and spot-on characterizations.” – Kirkus Reviews

You can purchase a copy of The House of Sand through these online bookstores:
iUniverse
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Book Marketing Ideas You Should Apply

Book Marketing Ideas You Should Apply

Writing a book and being one of the famous authors in the world do not only happen because you’ve accomplished and published your craft. It happens because people get to know you and your work and that brings you to that fame. Therefore, to simply write a book is not enough because in order to get that name in the literary world and be popular would mean that your book or books should in return, give you that prize you deserve. These are in the forms of book sales and profits, which are acquirable only when you take the risks and do whatever it takes to attain that goal.

Book marketing is simply an absolute and a must for you to get out of your way and to slowly grab and gain these profits. Though authors have different book marketing ideas, there are strategies that are commonly seen and done by top-selling authors of today.

Advertise your book

You need not to just sit there and wait for the results because it is essential that you do your own way to sell your books. It doesn’t matter how. So long as you know you are featuring your books in all activities in your life. Perhaps, you can talk about your book in local forums in your community or you can write a blog about your book online—that is still advertisement without necessarily hurting your pocket.

Use the Internet

I agree with the fact that authors, especially self-published authors, find it challenging to understand the kind of marketing effort that can surely fit their books. But the Internet has created an environment in which everyone can compete on a much more level playing field. Just be savvy on how to gain the readers’ interest and study the different skills that can be useful online because your prospect buyers might just be there, waiting.

Build your platform

You can build your platform even when you start the advertising campaigns for your books. In most cases, you can do it using the social media because you can be sure that through making some noise in these sites can gain attention from their thousands and even millions of visitors and viewers.

Reach out to your readers

Know who and where are your interested followers. Among the proven effective ways to communicate well with your readers so as to know their needs is to build a mailing list. This enables your readers to be informed of your new blog posts, book signings, and all other activities you plan to do. According to Lori Culwell, founder of BookPromotion.com, it is important that you, as author would develop an audience of people who like your writing to boost book sales even on the first day you are selling your book. In most cases, the word-of-mouth promotion from the readers and buyers follow.

Communicate with your fans

It is also a way of saying you are reaching out to your readers but to make it more personal is proven effective book marketing idea. Never ignore your fans or readers who write comments on your blogs or advertisements online because they can be your future purchasers. In a recent online survey of 141 people about what and why they buy books, 78% of the respondents said they buy self-published books and 42% of those who buy self-published books have claimed that they buy the books because they know the author and/or illustrator and so, they want to express full support. So, appreciate every reader/fan’s comments and their ideas by saying thank you through a personal e-mail.

Get influence from popular authors

There are these popular names such as James Patterson whose book earned $91 million between June 2012 and June 2013, Suzanne Collins, whose book, “The Hunger Games” has put her on the top 3 best-selling authors recognized by Forbes. These authors are just among the many who have earned millions because they have come up with the right book marketing ideas for their books at the right time. Find out more popular names in the market and study their distinctive techniques to acquire the same fame. Examine how these authors reach their fans online and how their books have put them in that place of fame.

Make it a personal commitment

Start committing yourself the moment you just start thinking about writing a book. Know your objectives as to why you plan to write and what makes you so eager to be an author. Doing that can help you create a focus on every single campaign you do for your book—one step after the other. Make sure that every correspondence you make for your readers doesn’t only revolve around the profits you can get from them. It is always important that you build their trust towards you which can lead to a better branding for yourself and your book.

Myths on Self-Publishing: The Truths and Consequences towards Book Marketing

In the vast and mostly challenging world of publishing, there are hundreds and even thousands of contradicting stories as to why the number of authors today who decide to self-publish their crafts is increasing. Why not? They have found a lot of reasons and advantages especially with the word “control” for their books.

We can dig dipper unto the usual reasons why do authors shift into self-publishing. Let’s find out what are mainly the myths and the truths behind them which affect self-published authors’ successes.

Myth #1: Self-Publishing only fits for Bad Writers.

“Very Bad Things” by Ilsa Madden-Mills

“Very Bad Things” by Ilsa Madden-Mills

With the increasing popularity of self-publishing among authors, they now have that option to wait for two years or six months before their work can be considered for publication. Two years is the standard waiting period when an author chooses the traditional publishing while six months for self-publishing. When an author doesn’t want to wait that long in order for his book to be published, that doesn’t mean he is a bad writer. If it means that way, then the self-published book, “Very Bad Things” by Ilsa Madden-Mills can’t be featured as bestselling book by Goodreads, Amazon, and anywhere online.

The truth is that self-publishing used to be the place of an uncertain gamble for some authors who would pay a huge amount of money to print his book and fulfill his own orders. But today, things have changed with the Internet, digital readers, and the concept of print-on-demand (POD). Authors have also gone out with their own ways to promote their books and the fact that there are self-published books that sold millions of copies prove that these authors do not shift into self-publishing because of their quality issues as writers.

Myth #2: Readers are not interested with self-published books.

The truth is that all readers in all walks of life choose to read good books no matter if they are published traditionally or self-published. The reading public are, on the whole, also consumers like us who want to get the worth of every penny we spend. And so, even if a book is self-published yet good, informative, and interesting; people would love to purchase and read it.

As of the 3rd week of August 2013, self-published books, “Wicked Firsts,” by six independent authors: Elisabeth Naughton, Alexandra Ivy, Cynthia Eden, Laura Wright, Katie Reus and Joan Swan and “Ruin,” by Rachel Van Dyken are the first and second best-selling books featured at USA Today. In fact, this is not the first time that these authors have topped the list. This shows that when they were able to grab the readers’ interest towards their books from the very beginning, then the next time around would be easier for them to sell their books to these people. People would simply find them and buy their books because there is already trust built towards the quality of their work.

Myth #3: Standard quality of self-published books’ production is vividly low.

In the earlier period of self-publishing evolution, there might have been a visible inconsistency between the huge conventional publishing houses and self-publishing companies. But that is no longer true today.

Through the Print-on-Demand (POD) and e-books, and the power of the Internet, self-published authors are now having a lot of options that they can do for their books—professional editing, formatting, and cover art designing so that the quality of the books they want to self-publish can equal the quality of those that are traditionally published.

Myth #4: Most self-published authors can’t get their works into big chain book stores and that hinders their successes.

Long time ago, huge book stores were the only primary places where people can buy their favorite books and where students can purchase their textbooks. But that is no longer true today. In a recent poll about book buying habit of the readers conducted online in August 2013 by “Drowning in You” author, Rebecca Berto, 74% of her 104 respondents said that they prefer buying books online while 49% choose to read e-books.

This only shows that people nowadays buy books where they are comfortable of doing so without necessarily driving away from their homes just to look for bookstores. Further, younger generation of today generally prefers the comfort downloading and reading books through their computers and through the use of any other downloading program they are comfortable with.

Myth #5: Self-published authors are doing their own ways of promoting their books and that hinder their success.

Fact is that even the traditional publishers do ask authors to do tours to promote their books, interviews through newspapers and television, and book signings. Those writers who are going the traditional way of publishing their books are also asked to submit their book marketing plan.

It is therefore a must for every author to come up with a strategic book marketing plan because for any author, book promotions are important to drive book sales.

Many believe that all self-published authors only self-publish because they were rejected over and over again by big publishing houses and book agents from the traditional companies. Some have continued to think that way but these successful self-published authors I’ve mentioned prove that anyone can be successful when you choose to believe in yourself and the story you intend to unfold. Success in self-publishing doesn’t count on how many times you were rejected but rather what book marketing strategy do you do in order to achieve it.

Whisper of the Flame A Book of Rev. Kemi Nahal

It’s time to hear the Whisper of the Flame. Let Rev. Kemi Nahal open the door for you to discover once again the illuminating inner flame that shines ceaselessly within your heart and soul. Find your infinite connection to the source of your existence – your Creator, God the Almighty.

How? By embarking on this magical inner journey deep within the core of your being… There is an enchanted place there that’s waiting to be explored.

Based on the author’s personally experienced countless spiritual events and conversations with the Flame, this book hopes to enhance and help readers become aware of and reconnect to their Essence Life. As we walk our Sacred Journey on this Earthly Plan, we must keep in mind that this journey is not just on the physical level, it is an Inner Journey, unseen, yet can be seen and reached, and be fully connected with, where indeed, it exits on the higher realms and the higher dimensions. It is ‘Only A Whisper Away’… for us, to the true meaning of our life – To become aware of God’s omnipresence and consciously Live with God.

Rev. Kemi Nahal

Rev. Kemi Nahal

Rev. Kemi Nahal was born and raised in Israel. She started to play the Classics Piano from the Age of 4, and studied Classic Piano for 12 years at the ‘SHOR’ music school. When she became a teenager, she started to study Jazz piano with Professor Ztvi Karen in Tel Aviv and 5 years with Pisi Osherovitz. She also underwent Vocal Training for over 10 years with a great Opera Tenor Mr. Antonio Cohanov and a much known Soprano Singer who sang with Placido Domingo– Mrs. Judith Taylor Alexandrovitz.

When she graduated from the Academy of Music, she produced and released her original 11 music CD and in the midst of recording her 3 new CDS and about to release her 2 new books with A Rose and The Bridge of Light.

She lives in New York and performs her spiritual works. All her service works are dedicated to God and every time she writes; she asks HIM to be that voice that carry her on and write her words. Her desire to help, heal, and open the hearts of the people for them to breathe God in themselves is her inspiration to have been able to write her spiritual books, especially with her Whisper of the Flame.

Author Jean Jacobs Fort shares A Slice of Life and Trouble

Jean Jacobs Fort

Jean Jacobs Fort

Born in big family of eight siblings, Jean had an abundance of inspiration for writing. Jean’s stories are mostly about her family.

Jean just turned 75 but her age was never a hindrance to fulfill simple and heartwarming dreams like publishing two books. Her first published book entitled “A Slice of Life” is a compilation of Jean’s stories and poems. On the other hand, her second published book which she titled “Trouble” was dedicated to her great grandchildren. He wrote those two books after taking a class in creative writing.

On her free time, Jean loves to read and solve crossword puzzles. She believes that these creative activities will make her mentally alert.

Married to Bill for 57 years, they are blessed with three sons, four grandchildren, and three greatgrands.

Author Jean Jacobs Fort shares A Slice of Life and a little Trouble along the way to give some color in your reading time.

A Slice of Life

Enjoy A Slice of Life as you get to know the author in this collection of short stories, essays and poetry about rural Arkansas where she was born, raised and lives.It will bring back memories of yesteryears before there was electricity, modern plumbing, television, computers, cell phone or McDonalds. There are stories about families of now and then. There is humor, a little of the whimsical and the grief that touches all of us one time or another.

Smile, laugh and shed a tear as you follow her down this road we call life.

You can purchase a copy of A Slice of Life from these online bookstores:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author House

Trouble

Meet a little calf named Trouble and his friends, a little calf named Rosie and crow named Jake. They live on a farm, Shady Acres, owned by Mr. Fort who is forever getting the little calves out of the trouble their curiosity gets them into. Not only does Trouble try Mr. Fort’s patience, he also tries his Mother’s. In spite of all his good intentions and promises to be good, curiosity wins and Trouble is in trouble again.

What trouble will Trouble get into? Find out in this engaging fable.

You can purchase a copy of Trouble from these online bookstores:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author House

Print vs. Digital: Advantages and Disadvantages

Print vs Digital: Advantages and Disadvantages

The Print

Printed books revolutionized the world nearly 600 years ago and since then, they have influenced every part of the world specifically in cultures, science, inventions, imaginative thoughts and every person’s intellect through these materials’ power to share ideas and information.

Tangibility
Choosing print copy of a book is opting for prolonged existence and tangibility. It has the ability to be seen forever in the shelves with your other books.

Readability
The fact that print books are professionally printed and bound in the standard 8.5”x5.5 easy-to-hold book format, for the devoted print book readers, these books are much easier to read compared with those electronic forms.

It’s for everyone
Even the non-computer literate readers and members of the family will find no worries when they want to read. They can always opt for print books.

Understandability
Printed books can help you understand more easily. Readers reading printed book can put mark and can take notes so that they can easily understand what the writer wants to say.

No batteries needed
What you only need is your print book and you can start enjoying whatever the book has to offer you. Print books don’t require you to charge the battery of your device so you can start gaining the information and benefits they offer.

No need for an e-reading device
Of course you need an electronic device for you to read an e-book. With print books, you don’t need it. If you find yourself stuck in a place and want to read but you can’t download a new title through your device, you can just drop by the nearest bookstore and buy the book that interests you.

Reading print books is to keep the traditional zone—the comforting smell of paper or the weight of a good book. However, if you are a fast reader and want to read more books, you might need more space in your shelf. And when you are travelling, you can’t bring the whole shelf with you. Print books are printed the standard way so when they are at your hand, there is nothing that you can adjust for your convenience, such as the fonts’ color and sizes.

It turns out that e-books have these certain advantages.

Some years earlier, Bob Brown has come up with the idea of the e-reader through his book, The Readers. But it was in 2010 that e-books boomed and continued to gain sales along with the increasing volume of e-book readers. Some authors who were rejected by publishers have started to offer their works online so that they can be heard and be seen by the reading public despite their failures with the traditional publishing.

Convenience
In a recent survey of 300 American readers, 80% of the respondents have claimed that they need to own an electronic reader for convenience. For instance, if you are a traveler and at the same time a book lover, e-books allow you to bring a whole library with you anywhere.

No limit on storage
If you own a lot of books, you tend to have limits on the number of books you want to store in your shelf. With e-books, you can read as many books as you because you can save a lot of storage space on your device. You can even have backup online if something happens to your books unexpectedly.

Cheaper
Because there are no printing fees associated with e-books, they seem to be often cheaper compared with the print books. In fact, you can find and read free e-books in the Internet.

Speed
The moment you decide to read an e-book, the fun begins and it is quicker than waiting for your ordered print book to arrive at your doorstep.

You can adjust the fonts
Your reading materials can have too small fonts for you to be able to enjoy your reading moment. With an e-book, you can instantly adjust the fonts’ size, or change their darkness so that they will be so clear on your end.

Print copies of books do not fade despite this challenging matter with electronic books. They remain to be playing a vital role in the way people experience books despite the continuous increase of online popularity. In a recent survey of the 300 American readers, around 60% of them have shown the same interests of buying both e-books and print books in the last 12 months up to the present.

Both forms of books have many advantages and choosing which a better option is depends only on you. You may find convenience using the technology or to continue experience the comfort of traditional reading zone. However you decide, it is a matter of your own convenience. What is important is to know that despite a lot of changes in the market, there is nothing that has changed the peoples’ interest to read.

Self-Publishing Royalties: Self-Publishers Need to Know

Book royalty is just a fancy word for book sales’ profits. It’s the money that authors get after their books are sold and normally varies on a specific calculation charts of different publishing companies. Huge publishers normally pay authors advance amount, plus compensation through a pre-determined royalty on book sales.

Tucker Max, author of self-published book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, has made it on top of best-selling authors at New York Times. He claims that when he was able to triple his book royalties; that made him succeed.

The calculation of royalty differs from the formula of every publishing house and generally is not as simple or as straightforward as it seems. If an author doesn’t understand how royalties work, this lack of knowledge can cost him a lot more of his money. So, it is essential that authors will have this basic and general information before going further into self-publishing.

What is a book royalty?

A royalty is the percentage of a book’s price that gets credited to an author’s account. It is the money that authors get after their books are sold.

What is an advance?

An advance is a sum of money upfront to you with the promise of more royalties should the book sell well.

How much are royalties per book?

It completely depends on the cost of the book and your contract with the self-publishing company bound by the company’s formula in calculating book royalties.

How much royalties are given to self-published authors?

Royalties differ from each self-publishing company. Some offer 70%, 75% up to 100% royalties. Of course, a smart author will always look for a self-publishing company that offers 100% royalties to authors.

What is 100% royalties?

Instead of receiving a certain percentage of royalties, some self-publishing companies give it full. It means that an author receives every penny of his e-book sales and receives 100% of the net payments if sold through another channel.

Do I earn royalties when I buy my own books?

In most cases, you do. It depends on the policy of the self-publishing company you are partnering with. Some are exempting all author purchases for royalties and rather give them discounts. It is then so important that you research them thoroughly before taking your next steps.

On what types of book sales do I earn royalties?

You will earn royalties on all books sold regardless of what genres.
Why is the price of my book higher in other countries than in my own?
There are several reasons that this happens from region to region and that includes taxes in a specific area or country, delivery costs, and other operating costs.

How long does it take to receive payment?

It certainly depends on the self-publishing company you are partnering with. Generally, these companies prefer quarterly mode of sending authors their royalties. There are some companies that wait for two months after a quarter closes.

When writers self-publish their books, the expenses towards the entire process must be covered by them including the printing, distribution, and marketing costs. In the end, they are likely to profit more on their works as self-publishing companies are either giving a huge percentage of royalties for the authors while some offer 100% royalties instead of the authors receiving a 25-cent or 50-cent royalty for each copy of the book sold as how traditional publishing royalty policy works.

Self-published authors tend to be paid with their royalties a lot faster especially on copies of the book they sell directly to customers. You earn more money for every copy of your book purchased. Though it is vividly seen as a challenge for self-publishers to get distribution in major bookstores, it remains reachable. Hence, it is indisputably necessary that before going further, you need to research about how royalties work in different self-publishing companies. Since you are self-publishing, make sure that at the end of the day, you are getting every penny that is supposed to be going to your account as a payoff for your hard work.