Friday, December 20, 2013

Under The Training Book: Depression, Religion, and Smashwords Changes

     Just some thoughts on a couple things that entered my brain this morning,
     I hate it when people say "But they were successful?" when a talented person commits suicide. Like success takes away depression like a cure all pill. And it really pisses me off when they say "They had so much" as if the feelings that drove them to suicide aren't valid if the person wasn't a down and out failure living in a gutter.

     I could pull out The Book of the Law, The Book Of The Still, or The Crime Bible and then try to get society to follow it as the law of the land. But that would be silly wouldn't it. See, that's how I feel and a good deal of a lot of other people feel when others pull out Christian Bibles or other like text and try to dictate my life, excuse bigotry, and oppress others. Don't impose your fiction on me please and I'll try not to do the same.

     Unto something completely different.

     I'm going to get into some new updates at Smashwords; which is where you will find all of my published works. I need to start doing this on my blog. When I find out new information about what the service offers I need to pass that along to my readers and also possible readers or those who might be sitting on the fence about using Smashwords. The details in italics I'm about to talk about come from the Smashwords newsletter. My comments are after.
     A new global distribution agreement with Scribd, an online reading community that boasts 10 million readers visiting their site each month. Smashwords will distribute books to their subscription ebook service, where readers pay $8.99 to read an unlimited number of books
     I don't know much about SCRIBD but the idea of a Netflix like service for books I think is a good one and I'm glade my projects have the chance to be part of something like this.
     Smashwords unveiled first major web site redesign since founding nearly six years ago.  Hundreds of updates, large and small, all designed to make books more discoverable and more desirable to customers.  Best of all, we've laid the groundwork to add many new features in 2014.
     Notable Highlights:
     * The Smashwords home page – We doubled the number of books listed on the Smashwords home page from ten to 20, added 27 new book category filters to increase discoverability, added live stats for the number of books published and the number of free books, and organized the navigation elements around logical categories.
     * Responsive design – We adopted what’s called a “responsive design,” which among web designer circles refers to a design approach that optimizes the user’s experience across different browsers, devices and screen sizes.  View the site on your desktop computer and then resize your browser to see how every page’s content resizes and reorients as you make the width narrower or wider.
     * Dramatically enhanced mobile support – Our previous mobile version of the site was, to put it kindly, limited.  The new mobile experience – whether you’re accessing the site from a smart phone or tablet – is darn near beautiful.  Our improved mobile support is enabled by our responsive design.  It preserves user access to nearly all the same features you’d expect from a large browser on a desktop computer, making it easy for mobile users to browse and discover books without pining for a larger screen.
    * Redesigned book pages – The new book pages make it faster and easier for readers to discover, sample and purchase books.  The download links have been moved to the top section of the page to minimize scrolling.  New slider bars display book covers of other books in the same series, other books by the author, and other books by the publisher.
    * Updated Dashboard – The Dashboard features that once occupied the vertical left navigation column have now been moved into grids at the top of the page, organized under categorizes of Sales Reporting, Metadata Management and Marketing & Distribution Tools.
     One of the few things I didn't like about Smashwords was the sites website design. I think this is a good first step into making it more in line with other modern sites. While I think there are more they should do to improve it, I do also hope they always keep in mind making it a simple shopping and publishing experiences.
      Among the many great benefits of ebooks compared to print books is that ebooks can contain clickable intra-book navigation links and enhanced back matter. The intra-book navigation helps make your book's content more accessible to readers, and can help you direct the reader's attention to important sections.  Your back matter, which you can evolve and update over time, helps you sell more books, engage deeper with the reader, and build your author platform.
     Even if you write fiction, your book can and should take advantage of a linked Table of Contents that points to your enhanced back matter. Every book should have enhanced backmatter organized under separate section headings.  At a minimum, recommended backmatter sections include "About the Author," "Other books by this Author," and "Connect with the author."  If you want to go the extra mile, you can also add sections with sample chapters of other books or even develop and add a reading group guide.
     I'm really looking forward to books in the future being more multi-media creative. Sure there will be over whistle and buzz crap but like with websites the creative ones will see moderation and skill is better.

     Speaking of which. Now for some shameless self-promotion.
 From the Tin Universe Store:

     I already ordered one of these notebooks for myself for writing future books in the middle grade series. There are also a lot more Tin Universe materials in that store, many featuring the covers to my new book coming out on the 22nd of this month. It will be available for download on my Smashwords store for $1.00 per download. Like I've said before if you buy something from one of my stories I'll email you a PDF of Tin Universe Middle Grade Series #1 for free. All you need to do is put STORE ORDER RECEIPT in the subject box of an email with a copy of your order confirmation attached and send to

     If you are interested in being part of the street team to get the word out go here and learn more.

Mildred Betbeze, Tin Universe Middle Grade Series #1
“Zombified people make me itch so I’d rather not touch.”


No comments: