Scrivener! The Writer’s Best Friend

17 Apr

I suppose one of the advantages to the new reality of first-time authors having to self-publish is that it forces us to learn so much about writing and publishing in general. For example, to learn more about marketing self-published books, I turned to Michael Hyatt’s modern classic PLATFORM – Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I learned that Mr. Hyatt uses Scrivener as his exclusive writing software / app.

Mr. Hyatt lists five reasons as to why he made the switch to Scrivener:

1. It provides a hierarchical file structure. I like this aspect of Scrivener, too, as I naturally tend to organize documents this way. For a simple example, think of a book, with its underlying chapters forming a hierarchy. The file structure of Scrivener can be exactly matched to your book’s structure, which, hopefully, has already been flushed out in the process of writing your book proposal. I’ve done this with Scrivener for my nascent Book Two:

My 2nd "child," in utereo

My 2nd “child,” in utereo

2. It has a distraction-free composition mode. Ultimately, a writer has to write. Scrivener’s composition mode is about as close to having nothing but a blank sheet of paper in front of you as you can get:

No distractions, so just write

No distractions, so just write

3. It was created with writers in mind. Scrivener has so many useful features, and you can use as few or as many as you would like. Some of these are:

- It organizes each project (i.e., a book) as a separate binder.
- It has helpful views besides basic writing, such as a cork board with file summary notes or an outline view.
- You can keep research articles (text, photos, etc.) together in a binder. For a non-fiction writer such as I, this is a significant feature.
- You can split your screen. Thus, I can view a research article (maybe a newspaper article, for example) while I am writing about it in the other half of the screen. Or, I can view footnotes in the 2nd screen as I peruse the main document.
- It has the stats a writer would want access to (e.g., word counts).
- It has an “inspector window where I can keep notes, track status, link to articles, or even create custom meta data.” (Hyatt)

What a great way to organize your writing

What a great way to organize your writing

4. It supports multi-markdown. According to Hyatt, this feature allows us as writers to separate the content creation phase (i.e., the writing) from the formatting, with Scrivener doing much of the work for us.

5. It allows for a variety of export options. This is potentially exciting for self-published authors, as Scrivener allows you to export directly to Kindle, iBooks Author, ePub, or PDF formats. This alone might make Scrivener worth its price of admission.

Hyatt mentions that he still uses Evernote as his main information warehouse, but that he does all his writing with Scrivener. I use both Evernote and Pocket for writing-relating information storage, and, as I am still relatively new to Scrivener, I am going to have to see how to work the relationship between these apps.

Think you might be interested in Scrivener? Check out the 10 minute An Introduction To Scrivener video.

If you’re interested, also note that Hyatt’s article says you can get a 20% discount by using his affiliate code MICHAELHYATT when purchasing it. Since it is now on sale for $45, the MICHAELHYATT discount code would reduce the price by $9, for a cost of $36. My preliminary use of Scrivener suggests that it is the real deal for serious writers, and I think that $36 is a fair price for a useful piece of software.

I’ve heard of other writings apps, such as the $100 Snowflake for the Snowflake Method, but have not used them.

From what I’ve seen so far, I wish I had had Scrivener to write Book One with, and I am certainly glad that I have it for Book Two. I’ll keep you updated as I get more familiar with Scrivener. For the record, I have no commercial interest with Scrivener; I bought my copy. (Scrivener is available for both Mac and Windows.)

The Superiority Of Patriarchy

13 Apr

navigator1965:

Another winner by Violet. If she keeps this up, I may switch from a blogger to a reblogger. Please note her disclaimer at the start.

Originally posted on Serendipity:

(Disclaimer: Please don’t take this too seriously, this is not a serious argument against feminism. It’s just funny.)

Quite a few years ago, I had the pleasure of watching the Dutch version of Survivor with my feminist roommate. That particular season would have two islands, one populated by men and one populated by women. My roommate had been promoting that particular series to me and the other students in the house for weeks because it would show us, according to her, what a society run by women – free from the evils of patriarchy – would be like.

And it did. Oh it did.

Here is what happened: initially both groups were dropped on their respective islands, given some supplies to get started and left to fend for themselves. In both groups there was some initial squabbling as people tried to figure out a local hierarchy. The men pretty much did…

View original 489 more words

The Big Lie of a “Rape Culture” by Wendy McElroy

12 Apr

navigator1965:

A rampant “Rape Culture” crisis on Canadian university campuses is the latest women-victim cause célèbre du jour for Canadian feminists and their toadies. This brilliant post by Violet at her blog Serendipity spells it out rather nicely:

Originally posted on Serendipity:

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and it will be used to promote a big lie — namely, that we live in a “rape culture.”

The term “rape culture” was coined by politically correct (PC) feminists in the 1970s. It refers to attitudes, beliefs, and values that allegedly normalize sexual violence against women and encourage the act of rape by men. America is called a “rape culture” because sexual violence is deemed to be so pervasive that all women live in constant danger from all men. The violence or threat of it occurs on a continuum running from sexual glances to physical rape. The fact that so many people are unaware of the rape culture surrounding them only points to its omnipresence; that is, the rape culture is supposed to be as common as air and taken as much for granted.

The solution proposed by PC…

View original 1,216 more words

Sanctuary for the Restless Male Mind

7 Apr
Sublimely beautiful

Sublimely beautiful

Made by the modern day Stradivarius

Made by the modern day Stradivarius

This is a short post to introduce a new series of posts on music and its reproduction: audio.

Genius

Genius

Which one is navigator1965? The chap in the middle?

Which one is navigator1965? The chap in the middle?

Stradivarius performs Hendrix

Stradivarius performs Hendrix

Announcement: Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune is available now!

7 Apr
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first three installments of this high fantasy series.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” — Momto4Booklover

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies:

“One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” – BarbBookWorm

“Let’s talk about action. The author creates interesting action sequences with believable use of fantasy elements. He is very creative. There are also good sections where the characters stretch out and we get to know them better.” – Donald L. Mitchell “Music Lover”

Charles author photo B&WAuthor Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter- @cyallowitz
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

How Should I Price My New Book?

5 Apr
Gare Metz. Credit: Archimatth, Wikipedia.org ("book store")

Gare Metz. Credit: Archimatth, Wikipedia.org (“book store”)

 

For better or for worse, revisions to The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood are done. I doubt that the text is 100% error-free, but if it’s 99% or, better, 99.5%, that’s good enough for this first-time independent author. My friesenpress.com account manager has informed me that the next step is to identify the prices for the hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats. This sounds like a great topic for a post.

My ultimate goal with the book is to maximize sales, and thus maximize the book’s social impact. Having said this, I am not immune to author royalties, as I’d like to recover at least the ~ $10,000 investment in the book. Even better would be getting out of the rather significant personal debt hole that fighting court-ordered child abuse has put me in.

For those not familiar with my forthcoming book, it is a non-fiction work that is consistently reported to be a gripping read that compares favourably to quality fiction. It has strong elements of: autobiography, human interest, abnormal human psychology, scandal, cover up, intrigue, and fascinating new ideas. You can read more about it here, including what test readers are saying.

Having done some preliminary background digging, I’ve come up with some interesting information. First, however, this is what the default recommendations (based on page count) are on my author account page at the friesenpress.com website:

e-book: Recommended “Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price” (MSRP) was $2.99, which would net me a generous royalty of $2.10, if purchased from the friesenpress online bookstore. Any price above this at the FP bookstore nets me 70% royalties. For other online sellers, this would vary from 30% to 55% royalties. (See this link for some detailed information on e-book pricing and royalties. Generally, $2.99 appears to be the floor for the highest rates.)

paperback: Recommended MSRP is $21.99. For sales at the FP bookstore, this would net me a tidy $11.81 in royalty for each book. For normal distribution channels, this would net me a $1.76 royalty for each book sold, an order of magnitude less! The minimum MSRP is $20.49, at which my regular distribution channels sales would net me $0.00 in per-book royalty.

hard cover: Recommended MSRP is $35.99, which would net me a handsome $19.79 royalty if bought from the FP online bookstore. I feel like I am going to swoon at the very thought of such a sum! Through normal distribution channels, this drops to a $3.60 royalty per book sold. The minimum price is $32.02, at which I make a $0.00 royalty through normal distribution channels sales.

Since I make killer good royalty rates via the FP online bookstore, I can discount the price of the physical books there and still make a buck or two. However, before identifying actual prices, there is still more to consider. As it turns out, physical books don’t really matter that much for the independent author.

Kudos to blogger LindaGHill for bringing this one to my attention. Authorearnings.com describes its purpose being as “… to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.” From their superb “The 7k Report” post, I pulled the following information:

Wow. E-book is, by far, the dominate format of Amazon.com bestseller sales. Watch what happens when we look at only the top 100:

Even more Wow. The dominance of the e-book format becomes more pronounced. It was this information that lead me to conclude that physical book sales and pricing are relatively unimportant for me as a new independent author.

I should note that these data are for fiction, whereas I have written non-fiction. I suspect that physical books are more important in non-fiction, especially if the books can be reused often (e.g., cookbook), will be a frequent reference to other works, or it has some emotional / sentiment value to the reader. Thus, I temper my expectations of the e-book format a bit.

However, given such dominance, I suspect that e-book will still be the most important format for my book, but not quite to the degree of significance shown here.

For the hardcover and paperback, then, it’s a no-brainer: I’ll go with FriesenPress.com’s recommended MSRPs. I might ask for their recommendations as to the discount offered at the FP online bookstore–25%, 33%, 45%, etc.–, but this too is nothing to lose sleep over. To be honest, I do like the idea that my book will be available in physical form. Perhaps I am old-fashioned.

Next, let’s consider the Forbes online article “Mark Coker: Indie Authors Are Underpricing Their Books.” These are the main points I pulled from this article on self-published e-books:

- Free e-books “sell” the most copies (not surprisingly).

- We sell fewer e-books as the price climbs: $.99 sells more e-books than $1.99, $1.99 sells more e-books than $2.99, etc. However, absolute $$$ per book author royalty goes up with price.

- $2.99 to $5.99 is the “sweet spot” band that produces optimal indie (i.e., independent) author income.

- Lower prices have the advantage that more readers, due to greater sales volume, will get to know you and your work (i.e., may help for future books’ sales or greater social impact if that is a goal, which it is in this case).

- Best selling e-books tend to be longer ones (e.g., 120,000 words or more), contrary to “conventional” book wisdom (mine is 94,000 words, with a sequel in progress).

- Top 30 selling e-books worked out to price at between 3¢/1000 words and 5¢/1000 words. (With my 94,000 words, this would range from $2.82 to $4.70, or $2.99 to $4.99 with standard $.99 price rounding.)

- One exception was a popular novella, which, at ~40,000 words and $2.99, worked out to 8¢ to 9¢/1000

Thus, The Mirror, Book One would seem to naturally fall into the “sweet spot” band, somewhere between $2.99 and $4.99. If it’s as good as the test readers seem to be saying, then it might be able to command 9¢/1000 words, or $8.49, rounded up a few cents.

This might be feasible were I a known author. However, I suspect that, as a new author, the e-book wouldn’t necessarily sell well at that high a price. Thus, $8.49 appears to constitute a price ceiling for the e-book form of The Mirror, Book One.

Successful author Tim Ferriss recommends 99¢ to $2.99 for e-book pricing. Even more interesting is his recommendation to initially set the price to $0, to drive “sales” and build a following with feedback for the book.

Let’s say that I follow Tim’s advice and initially give away the e-book as a marketing strategy. The hardcover and paperback prices will be as per FriesenPress’s recommendations, as they won’t be driving the book’s success bus, so to speak. After the free book giveaway period, assuming that it has the desired effect, what do you think the e-book price should be set to?

How To Write A Book That Malcolm Gladwell Would Be Proud To Have Written

31 Mar
My child is soon to leave home

“The Mirror” – Table of Contents

When I set out to write what will become The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood, I had certain goals in mind. I wanted to introduce a new gender-based way of interpreting narcissism theory. I wanted to show how this explained literally EVERYTHING about hard core feminism. I wanted to expose the fundamentally biased and malevolent feminist family “justice” system–The Matriarchy–, how it acts to harm children and men, and, more importantly, why it does so. I wanted to expose the scandal that was my divorce case, and the government cover up that ensued. I wanted my experience to be a catalyst for positive change.

I had one major advantage in all of this: I had never written a book before.

My inexperience permitted me to approach the problem of writing to achieve my goals with a fresh and innovative mind. I needed The Mirror to be a gripping read for as many people as possible, so that the book would be commercially successful and thus influence public opinion to a meaningful degree. Since the book would be introducing fascinating new concepts and exploring how these apply to society, I immediately thought of best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. I thoroughly enjoyed his thought-provoking books.

What I needed to do was write a book that Mr. Gladwell would be proud to have written.

Author Malcolm Gladwell. Photo Credit: Kris Krüg, wikipedia.org

Author Malcolm Gladwell. Photo Credit: Kris Krüg, wikipedia.org

No small order for a first time author, obviously. To achieve such a lofty aim, I employed test (or beta) readers. Have someone read the manuscript, then consider their comments. I had no ego investment in the book; I just wanted it to be the book that it needed to be. I let the test readers know that there were no expectations, and that negative feedback was at least as helpful as positive feedback, if not more so. I’d consider a reader’s thoughts, make adjustments as necessary to things like tone and controversial statements, and then find another test reader. Repeat.

The Manuscript

The Manuscript

I knew The Mirror was something special when my 1st test reader, an old high school buddy, stayed up reading until 02:45 a.m. to finish it and then emailed me his preliminary thoughts. It’s been highly refined in the numerous iterations of the test reader cycle since then.

Have I written a book that Malcolm Gladwell will admire? Time will tell, I suppose. Here are the test reader comments; what do you think?

* * * * *

Test Reader Feedback [NOTE: Significant majority are women]

“I spent the past weekend with your book. It is excellent: your patient and blow-by-blow recounting of the hell you endured makes for a very gripping reading experience.” Professor of English Janice Fiamengo, Ontario, Canada

Absolutely love Book One. You captured my interest, my support and my heart.” S.F., U.S.A.

“In the beginning I felt as though I was reading “This Boys Life: A Memoir” written by Tobias Wolff, in addition to reading Follett or Le Carré filled with conflict and intrigue. I was on the edge of my futon. I will admit, this is my second reading. I want to buy it when published, you just have to autograph it so the book can sit in my book case along with my hard copy of my favorite authors. Definitely an awesome and honest story. It is terribly hard to believe the circumstances and that there are women out there like that “Mommy Dearest” comes to mind. Thank you for letting me read your story.” J.M., Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

I really, really enjoyed it! It was so real and personal that it actually made me cry at times. Most of the time it was empathy, sometimes sympathy… I truly enjoyed reading this. I feel as if you were talking to me over coffee at times and the read was in person. Although I’ve never met you, I feel like I understand and respect you as if I did. Thank you so much!” J.C., Ontario, Canada

“I have just finished the book….to be quite honest, it’s left me speechless. I have been through a range of emotions, realizations, and was especially challenged by the last few pages regarding the rejection of ‘feminism’ as defined by Michael. What a story…It made me think about my own upbringing and how the qualities of narcissism show up differently within the masculine and feminine paradigms (as Michael suggests). Feminist or not, this book is a page-turner.” J.K., U.S.A.

“The Mirror is eloquent and it’s human. You told your story with passion, with confidence and with conviction. You’ve done brilliantly at keeping it coherent and you’ve paced it out as well as any good work of fiction I’ve ever read. Your writing style is that of a true storyteller, and it was only on very rare occasions as I read that I didn’t feel you were sitting beside me, telling of the joys and the trials, the triumphs and the frustrations. I felt your losses and your significant wins, few and far between as they may have been. You should be very proud of your work… it is awesome.” L.G.H., Ontario, Canada

The Mirror is every parent’s worst nightmare—your children stolen from your life by a vindictive ex and a corrupt, incompetent and unjust system. Sit up and take notice, because this compelling and heartbreaking story will continue to happen to others until an outraged public demands social change.” K.H., Ontario, Canada

“I honestly struggled to keep this short, because I cannot speak highly enough of the book, and how and why it was written–and what reading it instilled in me. It was an intriguing, honest and at times humorous telling of the devastating injustice inflicted on one man. I was drawn intellectually and emotionally into the story of a father whose three children were alienated from him WITH the help of the judicial systems in place in Canada. I felt present with him through each encounter, unable to stop reading. Seeing and feeling not only his pain – but the indisputable truth he conveys with evidence to back up his words – caused me to rethink various aspects of my views on society as a whole. A must read for everyone who wishes for a fairer and better world.” B.B., U.K.

“I sat down intending to read the first twenty or so pages and was became so engrossed in the details that mirrored much of my own experience – I read it right to the end in one sitting. The Mirror reveals exposes a broken system that has punished many for no good reason.” B.C., Ontario, Canada

I am so grateful you wrote this book, on so many levels. You just nailed it all so perfectly. My mother was quite a narcissist. She took me from my father when I was 3, allegedly to protect me. I never could quite figure out, protect me from what? Thanks to your book, I think I get it now. Thank you so much for letting me read your book. It was powerful. I’m quite impressed.” G.G., Seattle WA, U.S.A.

“With respect to the book, if I may say so, it has been very well structured and your dry humor runs throughout. As you had mentioned at the end, it sure is an ordeal to go through it again to put it down, but you have done a very good job of it to have it neatly segregated… I was wondering, ‘how is he going to handle the aftermath of this tornado once it gets published and recognized?’ Feminists all over are going to be so over him. And I got the answer at the last chapter. ‘Damn them,’ you say. I say the same.” K.G., India

“Just finished your book! Your passion for the dire need of the courts to return to the unfeminized Rule of Law is palpable and well-defined.Your personal experience will resonate with millions of men, and not just betrayed fathers, but any man who has been unfairly subjected to any influential female “authority” figure’s misguided decision-making process, whether she be part the judiciary, business community, government, academia, military, organized religion or politics. They will suddenly realize that it was not just bad luck that produced their negative outcomes, but a full-blown concerted conspiracy to denigrate them for being men.” K.Q.D., U.S.A.

I found your book to be extremely interesting and very well written. You’ve also done your research, so it’s very well quoted, which I think is a plus for a book like yours. It is essential to read the experience of a man, so your book needs to be out there, needs to be read. Maybe it will help to make a difference and to help the system change.” V.B., Ontario, Canada

Never have I seen the pain and horror resulting from the gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated against fathers (and men in general) in today’s society so clearly portrayed. ‘The Mirror’ is a rare, inside look at just how impotent the modern-day father is rendered by the current justice systems of North America. It exposes the insidious underbelly of feminism in a raw, unapologetic account of one man’s struggle to save his children, and his refusal to give up, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition.” – A. Taylor, VA, U.S.A.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 425 other followers