Tag Archives: E-book


Effective immediately (6/8/11), the subject blog has moved to its new site: http://www.ViewsfromSandhausen.com/ The blog will be but one element in a larger site that I  self-host, and that will give you a significantly richer experience. Items of significance for you … Continue reading


FlaAuthor blog has moved to http://ViewsfromSandhausen.com/blog/ Continue reading

www.ViewsfromSandhausen.com: New Site Going Live

Our main website, http://ViewsfromSandhausen.com will go live this Thursday, June 9, 2011.

The blog currently found at http://FlaAuthor.wordpress.com will be transferred as of that date.   There will be a link pointing to the new site, for some period of time.

Please add the http://ViewsfromSandhausen.com to your address book and watch for our first post on that site will appear this Friday.

Meanwhile, our book is available for purchase at Amazon USA and Amazon
, plus Barnes & Noble, and if I may say so, is doing well.  I’ll
see you in the book and on the new site.


What Makes This Man So Smart?

Final http://www.ViewsfromSandhausen.com Design

Before I launch into today’s post, I’ve put up a stand-alone server for “Views from Sandhausen” on GoDaddy.com.  The work on Smart Author Sites is nearly complete, with only several hours of consulting assistance pending.  I have received our webpage design (shown here) and it is only a matter of my time to get it assembled and turned on.  The most precious thing that I currently have is time! 

By the way, please send me comments on our informal expose called “My Name is Helina; Can I be your Girlfriend?.  Three posts are up on my blog FlaAuthor.wordpress.com (soon to be moved to the VFS main site), and I have written two more. Isn’t life fun?

I’ve just completed a course of training that is the foundation for a new part-time job that I recently landed.  This will cut back on my free time, and as a result, I will be issuing more guest posts, such as todays.  The post comes from my good friend, John Alanis ~ Thanks John!

“I know a guy who has a reputation for being very, very good at putting together infomercials.  He’s had some big hits, but he’s had way more failures.

In fact, 7 out of 8 are real flops, dead on arrival.

The answer is simple:  the industry average for a hit is 1 in 16.

When you look at it in that light, he’s pretty darn smart.

What, then, makes this man so smart?

People who aren’t that smart think that being smart is getting everything right all the time.  That, however, is not reality.  While you should certainly strive to do so, you have to measure it up against the real world.

The most successful people “fail,” in an absolute sense, way more often than those who do not succeed.  But in a relative sense, their success to failure ratio is much higher.

The reason they have so many more failures is because they do so much more, undaunted when something they do doesn’t work.

Really smart people, Like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, understand that most things you do don’t work, and that the real key to success is to do a lot of things, killing the ones that don’t work as soon as it becomes obvious.

Then, when they hit upon something that does work, they focus on it completely until it’s time to move onto the next thing.

So, if you want to be smart, do what the truly smart do, not what the guys who pretend to be smart do.  For instance, if you want to be smart with women, meet a lot of different women and try a lot of different things.  Most won’t work out, but the ones that do will be well worth it.

Then people will remark upon how smart you are with women… while you secretly think how dumb they really are.

Just don’t tell them they’re dumb…that’s not very smart.

On with the fun…”

~ John Alanis

Phenom: Amanda Hocking

Today’s blog will be shorter than usual but we will discuss a truly remarkable author, Amanda Hocking.  She may be only 25 years old but in that time, she has accomplished more than a dozen of her talented peers.

During the course of the last few years, with determination and all the intensity that she could muster, she has published four Young Adult paranormal romance novels, and has more than a dozen finished books ‘on the shelf’ and ready to go.  So you say, “OK, she is prolific – what else?” As of March 2011, she has sold about a million copies of nine books and earned two million dollars from sales, something previously unheard of for self-published authors.  The great majority were self-published as eBooks.  She set a low price point and the cash and admiration rolled in.

The lesson for us all is that we too can achieve a measure of her success.  Admittedly, her genre of ‘Young adult paranormal romance’ is probably the hottest niche today.  Through hard work, laser-like focus, untiring effort, and a lot of time spent on other things than writing, Amanda made it happen!

Please read on for more of her remarkable story.  Amanda Hocking summary.


Spring Cleaning and the Tablet Explosion

Explosion in ‘Gadget’ Growth – 5 Years

I’m sorry that I’ve been missing in action the last two days; I’m in the throes of that dreaded annual event, Spring Cleaning.  I’ve been power washing the Lanai deck and pool area.  As we are in the middle of pollen season, the green goop is everywhere!  By the time I wheeled away my 2,000 PSI power washer, the only survivors were a silk palm tree, the stainless steel grill, the cat and assorted reconstituted earthworms…  The carnage was very satisfying.

OK, back to the real world.  The proof copy of the hardcover Views from Sandhausen has arrived, as well as the company seal.  Now that I have my TB test behind me, the only mission is to get the two print books proofread and accepted on the Lightening Source site.  They should be available by this weekend.

The physical books are a little smaller in size that I wanted.  As a result, I’m lowering the price on all formats.  I had in mind a Nelson DeMille-sized book.  The final versions of “Views’ are slightly smaller.

The eBooks are available here: Kindle and Nook

On this “Announcement Tuesday” (iPad2) I thought that I’d take a look at the portable devices landscape.  While you and I think about Kindles, and Nooks, and iPads and Xoom’s, businesses are seeking competitive advantage without compromising security.  This corporate move onto these devices is both inevitable and HUGE, in terms of numbers of devices purchased and deployed.

Morgan Stanley released a major report on the tablet market earlier this week. Its essential message — the tablet market is going to be a lot bigger than anyone thinks.  There are a series of charts that graphically demonstrate my assertion, one of which is today/s graphic.

In an optimistic case, Morgan Stanley thinks hardware makers will ship 100 million tablets in 2012, up from 16 million in 2010. Considering Apple has a lock on touch screen displays this is pretty good news for the Apple bulls.” If you take a look at the “Being Adopted in Companies” chart you begin to get a feel for how really big tablet devices are!  In any measure, table devices will be a Huge part of the 2011-2013 IT spend, along with support staff and application development to ‘incorporate’ these devices into the corporation.

Adoption by 2/3 of Large Firms in 2011

We will incorporate tablets into our lives, just as we did cell phones, and then smart phones.  Just as the smart phone is replacing land-line phones in our homes, tablets will replace notebooks (for light use) and net books.  Whether we like it or not, and many don’t, just as the river pushes the rafter, this technological trend will push this migration.  Today, as 32MB Wi-Fi & 3G iPad is $729 at my local Walmart.  This is too rich for my blood but I’m looking forward to today’s Apple announcement, and the subsequent price drop of that tablet!

What does this mean for you and I?  As authors and publishers, the impact will be an epiphany to the paradigm that Books = Paper.  As stated in a previous post, physical books will endure.  We like the portability, the heft, and the smells of paper and glue.  We will always value a (physical) book as an object; it just won’t be the media of choice, as tablets and like devices become ubiquitous.  Do you agree with me?  Post a comment and let’s get a conversation going…

Read more: http://tiny.cc/ugg3e

Photo Credits: http://tiny.cc/iy949 http://tiny.cc/i9ydx


Information Delivery: Times Marches On

There has been a lot of discussion about the future of books. 

Views from Sandhausen Website - First Draft

As we look back at the Record, Movie, and Entertainment systems evolution, we see a shift of media; content reigns and delivery system evolves.  Since the same things are happening to all of these information delivery systems, it tells us that it is not about these ‘Information Niches’; it is more about how we are evolving as a species.

As an abject Lover of books, it has been of concern to me personally. As I strive to move forward in my writing and publishing efforts, I feel like I felt in my 30’s when White Water Rafting meant so much to me.  The analogy is not only solid, it is absolutely fundamental to what we are experiencing.  We avoid the rocks (new ideas), are sucked into whirlpools (when we bet on an innovation that proves to be a dry well), and are relentlessly pushed by the overpowering force that we feel (Time) to our greater glory – or total destruction.

As said by Julius Wiedemann in his recent (excellent analysis) post The Book Is Dead. Long Live The Publishing Industry! , “We are moving toward an ever-growing differentiation between the book as object versus content delivery system. As this occurs, we cannot ignore the fact that our lives are shifting dramatically toward a digitalized experience. This shift is happening not just for the sake of technology; it is happening because we–as in, society–are changing, as is our behavior.”

My lifelong desire was to write and publish a book.  I love to write so it was just a matter of time.   I published Lynn’s Story in a hardback version only.  It went to close family and friends who intimately loved and shared joys with Lynn and me.  I am publishing Views from Sandhausen in all formats less audio.


The paperback proof copy of Views from Sandhausen was just delivered!  It is Brilliant!!!  I may sleep with it tonight.  WOW!!!

 As pointed out in Mr. Wiedmann’s post, I expect that people will still buy a physical copy of the book, if they liked the eBook that they have read.  If this comes to pass, it is VITAL that eBooks have the same pagination as does the hard or soft cover edition.  The current practice of paginating eBook’s as ‘screens’ will make it slightly more difficult to read the eBook on your commute, the PC version in the office (whoops, did I say that?), and the hard/soft cover version whilst trying to fall asleep.  Not impossible mind you, just more difficult.

I intend to leverage that trend by offering book bundles Hard + eBook, or Soft + eBook, on my personal sell site, ViewsfromSandhausen.com.  OF course, pricing breaks will be offered.

Other happenings: (things are moving very fast) over the last two days, include my sending the first round of comments back to Smart Author Sites on the look and feel of the site that they are currently designing. Today’s photo will give you a quick look at the first draft of the site Home Page.  Please feel free to comment on what you see!  (You always are welcome to leave me comments: it makes both you and I better!)

The Twitter following continues to grow; I am weeding out the ‘chaff’ and adding people who are ‘movers and shakers’ in this business.  If I’ve learned something from you (and I know that you don’t care) – I’m following You!  Lastly, I’m continuing to work with PhotoFunia and their very clever software that produces images like this:

What a great tool for subtle advertising!!

Views from Sandhausen Advertising

Now take a further few moments and read Julius Wiedmann’s insightful post The Book Is Dead. Long Live The Publishing Industry!

What Really Happened at Borders?

Borders - Signs off the Building

I LOVE bookstores as much as I love to read.  There is nothing like browsing through sections that held my interest, seeing what these talented authors had crafted out of a little ink, a few thoughts, and a stack of paper.  We bought a lot of books, almost exclusively from Borders, and their poorer cousin, Walden Books.  Walden’s tended to be located in lower-traffic areas while Border’s was found in the ‘The Big City’.  We lived in the sticks…

And then the Internet emerged, and web browsers were offered, and Google tied it all together.  Suddenly, we did not have to pile in the car to find a book.  Have a credit card?  You could have your book on your doorstep in 36 hours.  What could be better than that?  NO more searching the ‘stacks’, no more waiting for Borders to order the same book that YOU could order.  To be sure, I still counted myself as a browser, when Lynn and I went shopping.  Something like icing on the cake, you met some really wonderful people, doing the same as you.  To sit in the coffee bar, thumbing through a recent best-seller, while you drank rich, Colombian, coffee – nirvana!!  My default process had become, “find an interesting book, write down the details, and order it from Amazon”.  Not good for bricks and mortar!  The last time that I was in Borders was six months ago, while I was researching the cover and interior design for Views from Sandhausen. (How are we writers going to perform that particular type of design research in the future)?

We all saw it coming, modeling on my personal general shift away from ‘big box’ bookstores.  Additionally, we saw that:

  • No bookstore moved fast enough in the eBook Space
  • No bookstore could survive the huge investment in the music business – and the subsequent tanking of that business
  • No bookstore could have a supply chain that was measured in weeks, once you order a book through them, before you get your book
  • No bookstore could survive the economy tanking (Borders should have quickly divested itself of all Walden stores in the 2007 timeframe)
  • No bookstore could survive the deep discounting that has been growing in the retail book market
  • And many other reasons that were not as obvious

I have been holding off on writing this post because I wanted to write it once, to include the real reasons why Borders collapsed, unlike Barnes & Noble, and Books a Million (although I wouldn’t rank either as ‘investment grade’ properties) survive.  Well, I think I have finally unearthed the ‘real believable’ story.

I constantly strive to expand my social presence and I was looking at a site called Quora.  I’m still learning about it, but as fate would have it, I Immediately ran across an article on the subject, written by the former Borders Merchandising Strategy & Analytics Director, Mark Evans.  If there is anyone that should know, it is he.  Here is what Mark said in his piece, “Why is Barnes & Noble performing well as a business while Borders is near (or has even reached) bankruptcy?

Photo Credit: NewsFlux

Digital Book World: Book-Buying Behavior in 2010 – Extract

IRex iLiad ebook reader outdoors in sunlight. ...

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, Verso Advertising, the industry leader in book advertising, published the results of a very interesting survey.  It is called, BEA Survey of Book-buying Behavior.  This study highlighted, presented last month at Digital Book World, current trends in book buying behavior today.  I am re-publishing the findings to illustrate the growing acceptance of eBooks.


Digital Book World: Book-Buying Behavior in 2010

Verso Digital’s 2010 Survey of Book-Buying Behavior, presented last week at Digital Book World, the new version of the same survey that Jack McKeown presented at the Winter Institute a year ago in San Jose, Calif., is available online in a “mini-slide show” version. This survey was conducted last November and December and focuses on e-readers and e-books. Among the findings:E-reader ownership has nearly tripled in a year, to almost 8%, and is likely to reach 13%-15% this year.There is huge chunk of readers who don’t want to use e-readers: 49% of respondents said it was unlikely they would buy an e-reader.Some 90% of e-reader owners will continue to buy print books.E-reader owners are splitting purchases almost evenly between e-books and print books, with an average of 7.2 a year.

80.7% of respondents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to buy e-books from independent booksellers if titles are priced competitively.

Some conclusions:

A “robust, hybrid (print and e-book) market will endure for many years.”

Predictions of 50% e-book penetration by 2014 are “highly inflated and ignore the persistence of consumer preferences for print.” (I put it at 25%)

Predictions for the demise of 90% of bricks-and-mortar bookstores within 10 years are “grossly misleading.” (I personally disagree with this finding)

Independent bookstores have “a significant opportunity to convert mind share to market share in the e-book space.”

I am planning to bundle my book on:  Views from Sandhausen.com.  I will offer a hardcopy version and an eBook (in Kindle and ePub formats), for a discounted price.  Now I just have to get the website done!

From my Designer Walt, at Five Rainbows Services:

In terms of shutting off your book endorsements, “I will extract what I think are the best bits from the endorsements and send those along for your review by Feb 4. I might send two versions, since we will have room for longer ones on the hardcover’s jacket. Then I will work those into the cover layouts and send proofs of them to you. I will also add the full text of the endorsements to the interior by adding two pages ahead of the half-title.

We can hold off on finalizing the printer files until 18 February, no problem. If you get any new endorsements that you like better, we can substitute extracts on the covers up to Feb 16.

Jumping on LSI’s free setup promo is definitely the way to go.  You can set up the title right now up to the point of uploading the files, as long as you place at least a 50-book order so that it can ship before March 17.

You’re getting close to having actual printed books in your hands. I still find it exciting when we have a new book of our own hot of the press and almost as exciting when a client does!

Hope your eBook sales are meeting your expectations!”

Tip of the Day

I have signed up with Backupify.com.  They provide a back-up solution that you can use to recover most of your Social Media Channels (SMC) that may become corrupted.  The content of most of my SMC’s is rather banal, but I’m building a Fan Page on Facebook for Views from Sandhausen that I would hate to lose.  The other element is all of my contact and friends; losing them would really Hurt me.  Due to life’s events and our many moves, I have few enough friends to risk losing any of them.  I like it because it is free, it is automatic, and it has the potential to save this old fool’s butt, for actions taken while I am in the ‘ether’.

How often have you heard, or (worse) said to yourself, “Yes, I clicked the delete button. Yes, I regret it now. Yes, I belatedly realized why the Backupify service makes sense.” Backupify is an all-in-one archiving, search and restore service for the most popular online services including Google Apps, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

PostAWeek 2011

I committed to posting a blog post at least once a week to an ongoing blogging movement started at the beginning of 2011.  There is a PostaWeek2011, and a PostaDay2011 contest.  I did not feel that I could keep up the pace for PostaDay2011.  So far I have published 21 blog posts this year.  I guess I can sit back and do nothing until the third week of May, but that kind of defeats the purpose.  So, I blog on – getting very excited that I’ll actually hold a book soon!

A handy beginner’s guide to e-book formats, apps and devices

Originally Posted by: Piotr Kowalczyk

Date January 23, 2011

With credit to Piotr Kowalczyk, the first poster of this chart, originally presented by BookBee.net, and to Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn for reposting this essential guide for all eBook authors,.  When you have time, please take a look at Joanna’s soon-to-be-released novel, Pentecost, available on February 7, 2011.  I have read all of her excerpts so far and the book is just Brilliant!

As I started down the journey of writing Views from Sandhausen, I knew in my gut that I wanted it to be released as soon as possible in eBook format.  My depth of knowledge about eBook formats was essentially the same as yours, nil.  Once I started work with my book’s designer, Walt at Five Rainbows Services, I soon started to see that this evolving standard was both complex and much in a state of flux.  Therefore, this chart is a snapshot in time, the status of eBook formats on this date.  Formats will come and go but all authors, and indeed customers that read on their shiny new eReaders, need this information.

The next Big Thing is Enhanced eBooks.  These books will be sold as applications for your Smartphone, or as eBooks that you either download to your computer/phone, or “lease”, as you do in the Kindle model.  I’m not as big fan of ‘leasing’ my books but it is the only way that company’s like Amazon and Kindle can guarantee that, “If you buy it once, you can read it on any of your devices”.  This can be compelling when you read part of the eBook on the bus or train, during your commute.  Then you can pick up your tablet or PC, and be at the exact same place in your book as you were when you closed your Smartphone on the way home.

Enhanced eBooks.  This is a whole topic in itself and will be the subject of a future post.

Lastly, Views from Sandhausen is receiving GREAT reviews and yesterday we saw the greatest audience that we have seen to date.  Thank you kind readers and I will be focusing on additional topics, in addition to my little project.

Stay warm, and Go Steelers!!!!