Digital Marketing, eBooks

How to buy and read eBooks from Smashwords

English: A variety of laptops, smartphones, ta...
English: A variety of laptops, smartphones, tablets and ebook readers arranged. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few of my readers have been confused about how to purchase and read eBooks from Smashwords, and I can understand why. How can you know which book format to choose if you don’t know that your Kindle reads .mobi files? One aspect of eBook marketing that I believe Smashwords has failed to recognize is that not all readers are as familiar with our publishing jargon as we publishers are. So, I’ve decided to provide my readers with a quick Smashwords buying guide to help you download and read mine and other indie books with as little frustration as possible.

Formats

The first thing you need to know when downloading eBooks from Smashwords is what format your particular device uses. Of course, you can choose to read online, but a dedicated eReader often offers a more seamless reading experience. The following are a few eBook formats that are available for most Smashwords books. I have listed each of them with their corresponding device/app. Continue reading “How to buy and read eBooks from Smashwords”

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Memes

Why varying word choice should not extend to #dialog tags

As writers, we all know the importance of varying our word choices. However, regardless of what your middle school language arts teacher might have taught you, this concept should not extend to dialog tags.

writing meme
Your dialog tags should never be more interesting than your story!

If you’re like me, you have probably had at least one English teacher admonish you for overusing the word, “said” when writing narrative. That teacher probably asked that you instead switch it up and use dialog tags such as, “he replied,” “she moaned,” “he argued,” and “she admonished.” While this might have been appropriate for a middle school English class, it is absolutely incorrect for a novel. Continue reading “Why varying word choice should not extend to #dialog tags”

Novel Writing, Writer's Block, Writers on Writing

Writing the boring: How to write transitional material between novel chapters

I struggle to set up each new chapter in my novel. I want to jump right into the dialog and action and keep the story moving along. While writing the first installment of Valley of the Bees, I did just that. I wrote the story in the throes of momentum and didn’t slow down for anything as uninteresting as setting up my chapters properly. When all was said and done, my story came out to around 25,000 words and was in desperate need of transitional material between chapters. Imagine how I felt when I realized that I was going to have to sit down and write all of that boring stuff at once.

back to basics - writing with the five senses

Lesson learned. Continue reading “Writing the boring: How to write transitional material between novel chapters”

Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Setting goals and reaching them late… one way or another

I always plan to write over winter break, but somehow it never happens. I work at a University that closes for almost two whole weeks the end of December. Perfect time to get some writing done, right? Apparently not!

So then January came along, and I buckled in and started writing regularly. I have been scheduling it into my day, but not giving myself too much grief if I occasionally get off track. And I must say, it has been going pretty well for me. I am writing at least three days a week (while working a full-time job and single-momming two rowdy boys in the process) and hacking out the first draft of book two of my Valley of the Bees series a few pages (and sometimes a few sentences) at a time.

My goal was 20,000 words by the end of January. Of course, that didn’t happen, but I did get close. And today – three days into February – I ALMOST made it finally. Of course, I typed the final word of the chapter I was working on, looked down at my word count, and saw this:

19,999 words toward my 20,000 word goal. Seriously?
19,999 words toward my 20,000 word goal. Seriously?

Of course! I was one word shy of my goal! Seriously? Continue reading “Setting goals and reaching them late… one way or another”

book cover
eBooks, Publishing, Short Story

Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber

book cover
My new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents.

I am giving myself a sweet birthday present today and announcing that my new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents!

It feels great to get back on the fiction-writing horse. I wrote this 4,000 word story in one day! (Don’t worry, I edited it before I published it! Although, if you do find any errors, please let me know so I can fix them!)

Description

Amber is finally forced to deal with her dysfunctional marriage while mourning the death of her teenage daughter. Meanwhile, an even bigger disaster looms near as the outside world struggles with its own uncertain fate. In this prequel to her upcoming novel, Valley of the Bees, author Amanda L. Webster introduces you to the matriarch of what is destined to become a powerful – yet still dysfunctional – family in a not-so-distant dystopian future.

Buy your copy of Her Name was Amber on Kindle today! Continue reading “Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber”

a corn country rendition of van Gogh’s Starry Night.
Illinois, Places to Write

Places to Write | Eli’s Coffee Shop; Tremont, Illinois

It’s been a while since I posted in my Places to Write series. I guess I just haven’t had much time for writing in new and interesting places since I got a “real job.” I finally have a new place to add.

I’ve been helping my sister put together a website for her small business. She has also started a new beauty blog as part of her website. Samantha had no previous website or blogging experience, so there has been a bit of a learning curve for her. We’ve been talking about the project for months without getting much work done, so we finally got the idea to get together at a coffee shop once a week (kids not invited!!) to work.

a corn country rendition of van Gogh’s Starry Night.
A corn country rendition of van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Continue reading “Places to Write | Eli’s Coffee Shop; Tremont, Illinois”

Corbin, Memoir

Before and after life turns on a dime

before the accident
My handsome son before the accident.

It’s true what they say about life and dimes. Two weeks ago, plus one day, my life was turned into a violent tailspin when my sixteen-year-old son was hit by a semi-truck while riding his bike.

So many things went right that morning, despite the great and horrible wrong that landed us where we are today. The driver of the truck stopped and helped my son rather than hitting him and driving away. Local first responders arrived on the scene in record time and rushed my son to the closest emergency room. A helicopter crew then took my son quickly to another hospital in a nearby city where a first-rate neurosurgeon literally saved his life.

I was later told that my son would be dead if everyone hadn’t reacted so swiftly. If even one person had faltered that day, I might be in mourning right now rather than living in a hospital, watching my son make miniscule yet amazing improvements each and every day. Continue reading “Before and after life turns on a dime”

Essays, Writing Prompts

Call for submissions: As Good as a Feast

I am currently seeking submissions for an essay/poetry anthology that I am compiling titled, “As Good as a Feast.” I will be paying for up to ten of the essays that will appear in this collection. Any additional accepted submissions will still be eligible for publication in the anthology. However, there will be no monetary compensation for these.

typewriter

I am currently accepting submissions via eLance through July 25, 2015. If you miss this deadline, you may still submit via the Elderfly Press website through August 30, 2015. However, monetary compensation is available only for those essays submitted via eLance.

Submission Requirements

Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie book series will no doubt be familiar with the expression, “Enough is as good as a feast.” Ma Ingalls often uttered this phrase as a reminder to her children that as long as they had “enough,” they had all they needed. Continue reading “Call for submissions: As Good as a Feast”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox

writing prompt meme
I got mugged this morning. He snatched my lunchbox right out of my hand.

Write on this prompt, then share your work on your blog or website. Post a link to the comments below. Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox”