African Hearts E-Book

African hearts e-book

African hearts e-book

I've been on a big learning curve. This is good. I'm someone who likes to learn something new every day, and if I don't, I feel I've wasted my day.

During the past few weeks, I've been preparing African Hearts for Amazon and Smashwords, including an e-book cover. I hope you like this version. As I explained in a previous blog, I have changed and re-edited this work to make the work similar but stronger. Preparing the manuscript for uploading to the internet was the hardest part and it took longer than I'd planned, but the uploading was easy. Both e-publishers have easy to follow instructions. If you're a logical thinker, it's easy. Just follow the directions.

Let me tell you about the process. I used a word .docx file which was the orginal document I wrote for this work. As I revised the work and made the necessary changes, I turned on the paragraph markings and other formatting symbols so that I could see where the extra spaces and other formatting problems were. I changed the formatting issues as I revised and ended up with a document to be uploaded that cleared Amazon and Smashwords formatting guidelines the first time. I was thrilled the uploading was so quick, but realised it was the quality of the formatting that got me through fast. I recommend when preparing your manuscript for the e-book publishers make sure you take the time to check the correct formatting.

I outsourced the cover to a cover designer. I have no skills in this area. The cover designer was very patient with me, in fact she was an angel. We worked together to-ing and fro-ing many times as we tweaked it to get exactly what I wanted. I hope you like the ebook cover here.

Now, I'm waiting to see how the sales go and from there I will decide whether I want to continue with ebook publishing or continue with traditional publishing. These are exciting times for writers. Never have there been so many options available. The most important point to remember though, is that our books have to be of a high quality with no obvious errors, otherwise our readers will be disappointed.

If you have any questions about e-publishing, leave a comment. I'd be happy to help.


Achieving The Dream

Have you ever come to your latest project and no matter how hard you try to get started, you can't?

Many authors and aspiring authors have signed up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is into day six as I write this blog. For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo, the challenge is to join an online community of writers all striving for the goal of writing the number of words they want to write in November. Most writers strive for 50,000 words, which means 1,667 words per day to be written for the full thirty days. This sounds easy until you have to find the time to sit in front of your computer; ensure your creativity is going to kick in when you want it; and giving time to your spouse and family. When taking all these factors into consideration, you suddenly discover writing a novel of 50,000 words in a month is a major project. A project of this size tests your creative ability; your discipline to sit at the computer each night, especially if you have a day job that takes all your energy; and your patience with your family who love you to be with them after dark. However, NaNoWriMo is great way of getting started on a project and creating the habit to get the work done.

What if you're someone who has a dream to learn to play a musical instrument, to invent a device that will make human life simpler and easier in the future, or paint a masterpiece that's going to hang in the National Gallery of Australia, or any other project that's imprinted on your heart you want to achieve. There's no such thing as NaNoWriMo to keep you focused. So what are you going to do?

Firstly, let me talk about an attitude that can destroy any dreams you have as quick as thinking of them if you let it sneak into you psyche: perfection. Perfectionism will cramp your style and strangle any hopes or ideas you might have in achieving a dream.

I speak from experience: when I first started writing I thought every word I typed into my computer or wrote on a piece of paper had to be perfect. This ridiculous attitude delayed the publication of my first book for years. I thought every word I wrote was rubbish and wouldn't mean a thing to a reader. My work sounded so different to all the other published writers' work. I tried to emulate the great authors, but still my work wasn't getting published. It wasn't until I realised every author had their own distinct voice and that they wrote from their hearts that I understood where I was going wrong.

Achieving my dream wasn't about perfectionism, it was about understanding who I am as a writer and writing about issues that are important to me so that my writing style and voice began to develop.

Walk the path and see where it will lead you.

Walk the path and see where it will lead you.

So, it is for anyone achieving the dreams they have in their heart. Be yourself and take hold of the dream and never let go of it. Forget that the word 'perfect' has ever existed. This is your time in history, take hold of the life given to you and step forward to achieve your dreams.

Toss this word out of your vocabulary now, practise the skills that will enable you to fulfill your dreams and in little steps reach out and take all that's meant for your life.

Have you let perfectionism cripple your life and your dreams? Let me know how you overcame this attitude that has the power to destroy the person who we were meant to be.

Trusting The Small Voice

Do you like the excitement of the unknown, meeting new people, discovering strengths within yourself you didn't know you had? Welcome to life.

Exploring life needs confidence. In a recent post I briefly touched on gaining confidence. Confidence is believing in ourselves and our abilities. Most people gain self-confidence from the affirmations received from our parents or caregivers since birth, and this continues until adulthood when we branch out on our own to try new activities.

Sometimes, when we attempt a new activity we may feel defeat and lose heart. The next time we take on a new challenge it becomes harder to step out, and after a few stumbles we consider ourselves a failure.

I see failure as an opportunity to get up and have another go, except the next time I'll learn from my mistakes. I go and find more information about the new activity; I read how to books; I search the internet for information and most importantly I approach others who are already involved in that line of work or hobby and find out how they do it. Why re-invent when I can tap into the experience of others who have been before me? This saves time which can be hard to find in our busy lives. It's important we make the most of our time because our days on this earth are numbered. Many people will go out of their way to help you if they know you're genuinely interested.

Stepping out to do a new activity takes a certain amount of faith. Faith is what keeps me looking for new and interesting experiences so that I can learn about myself. Faith for me is knowing my God is in control of my life. God gives me peace, strength and perseverence to do projects I might not attempt in my own strength. Faith is listening to the soft small voice, trusting its guidance and stepping out obediently. Faith and action are partners. Faith without action brings inactivity and action without faith becomes unfulfilling and meaningless.

For me, a life without faith would mean living in a dark place afraid and alone. Faith gives me the courage to pursue my dreams, to build relationships, and to know myself the way God knows me. God's holy spirit is within me, and because it is I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

Do you draw your strength from the small voice that prompts you every day? He'll be the best friend you'll ever have.