Friday, February 17, 2017

EZ ebook formatting!

I've wanted to learn to format my own ebooks for a couple of reasons:

1. I can put a book on Amazon without waiting for a formatter to work me into their calendar.

2. I can revise a book or cover whenever I want to re-upload the book for sale.

I've gone to classes, but didn't have the time to invest in learning the process--until now. Introducing...


This product is for Mac users, and it's so easy that it literally took me 20 minutes to format my book and have files to upload for Amazon and Smashwords (Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and others.)

It has a simple tutorial, and the program is super intuitive.

It costs less than $200 for unlimited use. That is about 4-5 times paying a formatter to do it. Vellum also has other pricing plans for fewer uses.

For me, this has increased my freedom of being indie. 
I have more control over my book production than ever before!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More about Endings

I've posted in the past about the importance of writing a great ending. I thought I'd expand on those thoughts a little bit by sharing more snips from movies, since talking about Somewhere in Time in my last post was so much fun. 

As we have discussed before, an ending is like the dessert at the end of the meal. It's the payday after all the hard work. The ending should feel satisfying to the reader. If it's an action/thriller/suspense, we should feel that we're safe now. If it's a romance, we should have a happy sigh and feel like they'll be together forever. Unsatisfying endings make irritated readers, and irritated readers don't recommend your book, they don't buy more of your books, and they might leave ornery reviews.

Let me share with you some examples from the movies.

This first one comes from Emma, a version I quite liked except for this ending scene. She's being carried off on her honeymoon by the wonderful Mr. Knightly.

WATCH ME!

Okay, they're holding hands ... but .... that's it? We've been watching them fall in love for this whole movie, and that's all we get? There was a nice proposal scene, but this is just flat. We might as well have ended the movie with the proposal because this just has no point.

My next clip is the ending of How I Met Your Mother, the television show. I have to tell you, I found lots of aspects of this show hysterical, and lots ... morally questionable. But that's neither here nor there. The point is this. The character of Ted has been presented as someone who really wants to get married, who really wants a family, who really believes in having that ring on his finger. And yet, when he meets the girl of his dreams at long, long, long last? They live together for years (totally breaking character) and have two kids before they finally tie the knot.

HERE'S THE ENDING SCENE

What the scriptwriters were hoping for was that we'd be all happy that Ted and Robyn are finally together, but here's the thing ... at least for me, that ship has sailed. They're not the same people they were years before. They've made too many choices that took them away from their original characters for us to have that same emotional investment. This ending would have been a ton better if they'd gotten together ten years earlier and the whole thing hadn't been dragged out forever and ever with so much water under the bridge.

Now, lest you be all sad and glum, I want to show you one of my favorite endings of all time. You're going to need to forgive the stupid music - hate the music - but oh, well. This is from The Accidental Husband. She's a radio talk show host who has always believed that marriage and love is just stupid and that no one can really be as devoted and committed as they pretend to be. But then he comes along and convinces her otherwise. This scene made me cry and cry and cry. He's a fireman, by the way, which is why she asks him about saving cats. 

HERE YOU GO

Waah! Waah!!! Where are the tissues?? He has come down to her office in the middle of the day just so he can say hi to her pregnant tummy! Holy cow ... if that's not so romantic you can't stand it, you have no heart! This is romance. This is a happy ending. This makes you want to run out and find a guy just like this. You know that he's in this thing forever.

These are just my thoughts, and of course, you'll have your own as you watch these clips. The point is, the ending should leave the reader/watcher with a sense of closure or satisfaction. Most of the time, when I hear someone say why they didn't like a book, it had to do with the ending. So take a look at what you're writing and make sure that whether you're writing a romance, a thriller, or a drama, when the reader closes the book, they feel as though the trip they've just taken was worth it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Is Listening to Audiobooks Reading or Cheating?


Finding time to read print books became a real chore for me about three years ago. I got to the point where I was simply dying to read books, but had no time. My stack of to-be-read print books were piling up like crazy and my Kindle and Nook were jam-packed with thousands of eBooks to read too.

My type A personality was going crazy because those books represented a to-do that I was never accomplishing and we all know how type A's love to cross things off their to-do lists.

That's when I decided to try audiobooks. At first, I felt like I was cheating and not reading. I laugh about that now looking back.

Now I would never turn back. I actually read more than ever. I tuck my reading into every nook and cranny of my life. When? When I cook, clean, wash dishes, garden, do yard work, laundry, shower, drive, anytime I have I have mindless things to do.

How do I get my books? I use Audible on my phone for the most part.

Sometimes I'll download from my local library using their online site and sometimes I'll get disks to listen to in the car or a mini walkman (I simply plug in my headphones to device which is about the size of my phone and listen away) from the library. You can even listen to them through your computer. The advantage to me, though, is having them be portable on my phone. Anywhere I go, I can listen.

Why listening isn't cheating but smart!
1.  it helps struggling readers
2.  increases intensity of absorption of the story
3.  increases emotion grip of the story
4.  helps readers use imagination
5.  helps readers think critically
6.  increases understanding
7.  you choose your pace
8.  saves time
9.  uplifts my spirit
10.it's so darn convenient ***
Why do you listen to audiobooks or why don't you?

Audible is running a special right now and instead of only getting one book for FREE for trying Audible, you get two. 
Can't beat that!
Go ahead and give it a try. See if you like it and get two free books. 
Just click HERE or on the banner below.

Many of my books are on audio with more coming all the time. Check them out here.



Cindy M. Hogan
Read my latest novel-Redemption Lost 
Join mybook club here.
Catch my deals here- just click follow

My books! Amazon, iBooksNook, Kobo