Work Freedom Summit

Next week the Work Freedom Summit will be live and you can watch for FREE from October 24-26. Little ol’ me has done a video segment on eBook publishing and I’d love for you to check it out! 

Other great topics include: 

Sign up anytime to reserve your FREE spot!

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Blog to Book Project — Dedication

A dedication is a high honor you as the writer are bestowing on a person or small group of people. This page follows the copyright page although I have seen some books where the dedication is included on the copyright page. 

You can dedicate your book to anyone you want. Consider family members, close friends, people featured in your book or impacted by it, or the readers of the book. I’ve even seen books dedicated to God. 

I watched a movie once where an author had two dedication pages in his final draft. The dedication that would finally appear in the printed book depended on which girl took him back. Another author had a contest and randomly choose someone to dedicate his book to. While I think that both of these examples lack genuiness, it’s up to you who you ultimately make the dedication to.

Remember, everyone who reads your book will see the dedication. If you want to write a personal inscription to a lover, for instance, it might be better to send him or her a copy of the book with a handwritten sentiment on the front end page.

On the other hand, the dedication can be used to genuinely interact with both the honored recipient and the audience. It can be used to set the tone of the book. It can be witty or irreverent or politically charged.  

The dedication is typically set apart from the book with a distinct text. It often appears around the middle of the page and is the only item on the page. It should be on a right-hand page, recto.

Assignment: Write your dedication.

Wow! You look fantastic: Your Journey to a Happier, Healthier Life by Nancy N. Wilson

If you are looking for some practical encouragement to create a healthy way of life, then Wow! You look fantastic: Your Journey to a Happier, Healthier Life by Nancy N. Wilson is the book for you. While the author acknowledges the temporary power of fad diets, she emphasized that real weight loss will only occur when you make consistent lifestyle adjustments. 

With suggestions for apps to use, methods that have been proven to work and a list of questions for self-analysis, this book goes far beyond most diet books. I thought the introspective evaluation was especially useful in crafting an eating and activity plan that will benefit each individual the most. 

I would have liked to see these questions at the end of each chapter, however, instead of tucked away at the end in an addendum. While grouping all the questions together in one section might make sense in a printed book, on an e-book it was cumbersome to jump back and forth between the text and the questions. 

The author placed a lot of emphasis on the health benefits of the Medittearan diet as she summarized various eating plans. It would have been nice to have a little more information about this diet and others such as the flexitarian. Instead, the author suggested the reader look into these diets more on his or her own. A comparison of the eating plans might have been useful to distinguish the differences. Perhaps a sample menu for one day for each diet plan could have been included. 

In general, I found the book a good overview of healthy living habits that everyone can realistically incorporate into their lives. I thought the ideas that the author discussed about manifesting your own success to be an important aspect of healthy living and one that is often overlooked in diet and exercise regimens. 

So if you are ready to start healthier habits, pick up your copy of Wow! You look fantastic: Your Journey to a Happier, Healthier Life by Nancy N. Wilson today.  I received an ARC copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. You can ready my review here.

Blog to Book Project — Amazon Author Page

After your book is published, there’s a whole new set of things you should be doing to promote it. Even if you are using other self-publishing sites, your presence on Amazon is essential to your future as an author.

Once your book is live on Amazon, you can set up an Author Page. It serves as an index of all your books so that people who enjoyed one book know where to look to find more from you by clicking on your hyperlinked name under the book title.  Now when people see your book, they are given the option to follow you. Followers are good!

All editing done to your Author Page is done via Amazon Author Central

You can edit your blog feed, photos, videos, and biography under the Author Page subheading. If you have a blog, you should link it so that updates appear on this page. This adds credibility and might earn you some new blog followers. 

You should include a compelling biography under your photo. Between the two, readers have the option to follow you. When they do, they will receive updates when you release a new book. Neat, huh?

You can add videos, which is something I haven’t done yet, but is as straightforward as the other options. These videos should focus on a specific feature of your books or your personal author experience. Videos should be in avi, wmv, flv, mov, or mpg formats, no more than 10 minutes and smaller than 500 MB. 

You should also edit your Author Page URL and add it to your email signature. Make is something related to your blog, book topics or just your name.

As you write more books, make sure all versions (ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook) appear in your book list. You can check the current list under the Books subheading.

You can add more information to your book listings as you go. If you click on one of your books in the listing and choose a version, you have the option to add information under editorial reviews. These categories must be added separately for each version. 

You can add reviews about your book that are published from reputable sources giving credit to the source. Reviews should be 1-2 sentences and less than 600 characters per review. You can add a total of five reviews no more than 3000 characters. 

Your product description should already be in place since you entered it when you listed your book at Amazon but if not, you can add or edit it here.

From the Author is a message from you to your readers about this particular book. You could write about the experience you had writing it and how it relates to your other books. This section can be up to 8000 characters which is about 1600 words. 

If your paperback or hardcover book has something on the back cover or an inside flap, you can choose to include this in you book listing as well. You can not make any changes to this content, but must transcribe it as it appears, and it must be less than 8000 characters. If this is the same as your product description for your book, and it just very well may be, don’t duplicate the information. 

You can include more biographical information in the About the Author section. This section can be up to 2000 characters which is about 400 words. Don’t include phone numbers, addresses or URLs in this sections. You should also not request reviews or helpful votes. 

You can check your sales and author rankings under the Sales Info subheading. At the beginning of your career as an author, I wouldn’t worry too much about these figures except for comparative purposes. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t reached best seller status the first week after publication. 

More importantly, at least in my opinion, is the customer review page. Here you can see how readers are responding to your book and if there is something you should do to improve their experience. Constructive criticism is extremely helpful in many instances. For example, if a reader points out a gap in the information timeline, get into gear and fill that hole so that the next reader has all the facts. 

Amazon has four international markets where you can create additional Author’s Pages. Go ahead and reach readers worldwide!

Assignment: Create your Amazon Author Page!

Feral: Returning to the Wild by Kyle Cooper Shrivastava

The concept of Feral: Returning to the Wild by Kyle Cooper Shrivastava is that we have become too domesticated to be truly happy. Numerous comparisons were made throughout the text between animal and human behavior. This book is a call to action to escape from existential suffering that civilized societies inflict upon their members or rather individuals in civilized society inflict upon themselves.

Delightful parables introduce each section of the book. The Runner and The River Turtle set the stage to talk about mindfulness. The Author and the Ants broaches the topic of connection. Distant Family and Deep-Water Fish shows us the truth about adventure. And Finally, The Caged Accountant illustrates the concept of freedom. 

I found the section on bias especially illuminating. Because I live in an area populated by my own culture, I find I get frustrated with the closed society that surrounds me. By taking a moment to examine the biases I have and those of my neighbors, I was able to see that prejudice is a natural, but limiting mindset. Becoming “feral” in this context would mean learning how to accept the presence of other “species” in my environment as a potentially beneficial relationship. 

It may have been a case of preaching to the choir, but I found myself drifting off in certain sections. I definitely wasn’t present and needed to take some time away from the book. Maybe some of the information was a bit repetitive or maybe I had already incorporated some of the lifestyle and attitude changes and didn’t need to be convinced. 

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed Feral: Returning to the Wild by Kyle Cooper Shrivastava. It was a great reminder that we are meant to live life a bit on the edge, focus on connectedness, and be mindful in our actions to be truly alive.

I received an ARC of this book. You can read my review at Reedsy Discovery here.

Blog to Book Project — Suggested Reading

If you feel that certain articles or texts should be read in their entirety by the reader, then you might include a list of suggested reading. The order may be alphabetical or thematic. It should list the full title and author of the text being recommended in either MLA and APA format. 

If you want to add commentary, add it to the end of the entry like you would for an annotated bibliography. An annotation describes the text, summarizing the major theme. The description isn’t usually written in full sentences, but rather parsed phrases. 

You may list a link to the article or website or a way to purchase the book via a landing page on your website. Remember, Amazon doesn’t allow direct links to products for sale on Amazon from your ebook.

This is a good section to include if the topic you have written about is complex and is worthy of further reading. It is also a great way to highlight resources that would benefit the reader in some way. So if your book is about turning your blog posts into a book, you might list several books and websites that would help with that process like the Chicago Manual of Style, EasyBib, Grammarly, Hemmingway App, and Evernote.

Assignment: Compile a Suggested Reading list for your book topic.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

I went into reading this book believing I had been hardened by history, Hollywood dramatizations, and my own studies to not be affected by the tales from yet one more survivor of the Holocast. I was mistaken. While the book does not dwell on the horror that imprisoning a human for an indefinite period of time with the threat of death looming constantly, it could not peel away the layers that we wrap ourselves protectively in without this setting. 

The concept of logotherapy, while new in terminology, was not a new concept to me. Humans have made it nearly a pastime these days to seek out happiness these days. Life coaches have taken the place of psychologists in an effort to help their clients find meaning in their existence. And yet, the truth is lost to them. We aren’t meant to “find” happiness but to be endlessly striving for it. A purpose, rather than a completed action. 

Logotherapy says the meaning can be uncovered by:

  • Creating a work or doing a deed
  • Experiencing something or encountering someone
  • The attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering 

The actualy work, deed, experience or attitude is left to the individual to discover.

The author shares his own experiences as a concentration camp survivor, experiences of others he met while he was imprisoned, and examples of people he came in contact with whose lives were changed by logotherapy. Although originally written in 1922, the problems we have finding meaning have not changed one iota. There is still a headlong tumble into new experiences, new loves, distractions, and numbing through meaningless work or substance abuse, that keep so many from finding true purpose. 

There was much to ponder in Man’s Search for Meaning, so much so that I believe I’ll give it another read through. As should you.

Blog to Book Project — Back Matter

Similar to front matter, back matter includes the things that are found at the end of the book. The sections in the back matter are often supplementary to the main book. Which sections are found there often depends on the type of the book and what, if any, additional information a reader might need. 

You might these sections in the following order:

Epilogue or Conclusion

An epilogue is found mostly in fiction books. This is a short section that concludes the end of the story. It might take immediately after the events of the story or there could be a leap of years or decades. It can also be used to segue into another series of events that are covered in a sequel to the book. 

This section could be called a conclusion. A conclusion is an epilogue for mostly non-fiction books. It wraps up any loose ends the book doesn’t address. It might talk about what happened to the people mentioned in the book later or if the events in the book predated or caused other historically significant occurrences. 

Afterword or Postscript

An afterword can be a discussion on how the book came to be written It might talk about a specific event that triggered the author to begin writing or the inspiration behind the topic, or even how the information was researched. 

If the book has had previous editions, the afterword might be a commentary on why the book is being reissued. There might also be commentary about the cultural or historical impact this book made, especially if this is a public domain book. 

A postscript is an informal afterword, often directly addressing the reader. Similar to a P.S. in a letter, a postscript will give just a little bit of information that wasn’t included in the main body of the text. This term comes from the Latin post scriptum which means “written after.” This section might also be called an Author’s Note. 

Acknowledgements or List of Contributors

If the acknowledgments are not at the beginning of a book, they may be found at the end in the back matter. Here’s where the author can sincerely thank anyone who helped, inspired, or financially assisted the writing and publishing of the book. 

If anyone contributed to the book, this is where their information would be listed in a section entitled List of Contributors. This section is more than a simple thank you. Professional information about the contributor should be included, such as books or professional articles authored as well as educational or professional experience. 

Permissions or Credits

If permission was needed to include, song lyrics, poems, quotations or even entire chapters, this is the section where an author gives credit where credit is due. 

Discussion or Reading Group Guide

If the book was designed for use in high school or college courses, the author may choose to include a section that lists questions about the book for group discussion. This might include questions about the theme, historical significance, characters or symbology.

Suggested Reading

If the author believes that certain articles or texts should be read in their entirety by the reader, then he or she might include a list of suggested reading. The order may be alphabetical or thematic. It should list at least the full title and author of the text being recommended. It may list a link to the article or a way to purchase the book. 

Appendix or Addendum

Additional information about the book might be contained in the appendix, also known as addendum. Updates to information, corrections to earlier material and references for further reading could be found here.  

Notes or End Notes

If there were references in the book marked by a superscript or number in parenthesis, the additional information is found in the end notes section. These are arranged by chapter in the order they appear.

Glossary

The glossary is a collection of terms from the book. It is sort of like a small dictionary designed specifically for the book that it is in. The words are alphabetized and defined. This section is sometimes called an idioticon, vocabulary or clavis. 

Bibliography

A bibliography can also be called works cited, resources, sources or references. This is a list of books, articles, web sites or other sources that have been consulted in the creation of the book. An annotated bibliography gives publishing information, a text description, and how it is relevant to the book. A bibliography can be alphabetized or organized by theme, topic, or chapter. 

Index

The index is also an alphabetized list of terms, similar to the glossary. However, instead of giving a definition, the location of the words in the main text is indicated. This is especially useful in reference books since it provides a single spot that lists every place the specific term is used in the text.

About the Author or Biographical Note

Written in the third person, About the Author highlights information about the writer that readers would find interesting. It is usually just a paragraph or two. It can be serious and establish the credibility of the author on the book’s topic or it can be whimsical and make a personal connection to the reader. 

If the book is a reissued version of a public domain book, this section could be entitled Biographical Note. Here there would be information about the life and work of the original author, not the person republishing it.

Other Books by the Author 

In this section, books by the same author under the same name and those written under pen names can be mentioned. This section could be done in list format or could include a synopsis of each book. 

Colophon

The colophon appears at the very end of the book. It gives information about the printing and publishing process. It might mention the type of paper, ink or binding used to create the book. The section Note on the Type could be included in this section or separately. It gives information about the font/typeface used in the book, possibly mentioning its characteristics and history.  

Assignment: Determine which back matter sections your Blog to Book project needs.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

An incredible amount of research went to the writing of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. The intricate description of the Akha people of China, their traditional beliefs, clothing and the tea harvest made this novel come alive.   

The story revolves around the traditional saying “No coincidence, no story.” Li-yen’s life in the remote mountain village in the Yunnan Province of China is changed by the arrival of a stranger and his son. Three generations of women are forever changed by the coincidences that create the story told in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

Without giving away the ending, in my opinion, the book capitalizes on the coincidences that become a little too convenient for a happily every after tale. Despite this, it’s a riveting story, full of sorrow, triumphs, loss and love.

You are sure to enjoy The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See !