Kindle Top 100 Paid Bestseller Cracked
is a new product for Kindle authors recently launched by UK author Mavis Amouzou-Akue
(aka Jenny Collins
I reviewed Mavis's other (excellent) guide, KDP Select Cracked
, in this blog post a few weeks ago
Mavis was kind enough to offer me a review copy of Kindle Top 100 Paid Bestseller Cracked
, so here's what I found...
The main manual is a 17-page PDF. It sets out a seven-step strategy for writing, publishing and marketing a Kindle e-book (fiction or
non-fiction) so that it gets into the Kindle Top 100 Paid Bestseller lists in at least one category.
Like KDP Select Cracked
, the manual is well written and illustrated with screen captures where appropriate. Don't expect vast amounts of detail in 17 pages, though. For each of the seven steps, Mavis provides concise advice together with hyperlinks to online videos and articles for more information.
The product consists of a main manual and an accompanying case studies document, both of which are contained in a compressed Zip
Possibly the most useful section is where Mavis sets out her recommended strategy for getting your e-book into the Amazon Kindle Top 100 Bestseller lists (as promised in the title). She has two specific recommendations, both of which do involve some expenditure. But the longer-term benefits (and sales) generated by raising your book's profile this way will hopefully repay your investment many times over.
The accompanying case studies manual consists mainly of screen captures demonstrating the success of Mavis's strategy in boosting her own books into the Top 100 lists. It's hard to argue with success, although you won't learn too much new just by reading it.
I think that of the two guides by Mavis I have reviewed, KDP Select Cracked
is probably the better one, as the advice it provides is more specific and detailed, and you get more useful bonuses with it as well (e.g. her 40-page Kindle Marketing and Publishing Newbie Guide
In fairness, KDP Top 100 Paid Bestseller Cracked
does set out a good general strategy for making money as a Kindle publisher (although you have to fill in the details yourself by following links to the resources provided). And I do definitely intend to check out the promotional tools and resources recommended. For under $10 it's a decent enough resource, but to me not as strong a product as KDP Select Cracked
If you have any comments or questions about Kindle Top 100 Paid Bestseller Cracked
(or KDP Select Cracked
), as always, feel free to post them below.
Labels: resources, reviews, writing
is a UK-based educational initiative that offers short online courses from British and international universities free of charge
There are dozens of courses currently on offer on the FutureLearn website
, but one that particularly caught my eye was Start Writing Fiction
from The Open University
(a well-respected UK distance learning institution).
Start Writing Fiction is intended for anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or
improving their fiction writing. It doesn't require any previous
experience of studying the subject.
On the website, it says:
This practical, hands-on course aims to help you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters.
You will listen to established writers talk about how they started writing and consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal. You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.
You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.
The Start Writing Fiction course will be run by Dr Derek Neale
and starts on 28 April 2014. It will run for eight weeks, and require a commitment of around three hours a week.
The course is free of charge and open to anyone anywhere in the world. For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Start Writing Fiction information page
of the FutureLearn website.
Don't forget to leave a message below if you sign up for the course, by the way, so that other readers who are also enrolled can look out for you.
Happy fiction writing!
Labels: creativity, fiction, writing
In this series of articles I'm highlighting my experiences upgrading some of the technology in my office.
In my first article
I discussed my smallest purchase, a TeckNet wireless mouse
. In my second article
I featured another piece of kit I bought at the same time, a wireless keyboard (the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K360
). And in my third article
, I looked at my Kangaroo adjustable worktop
In this final article, I'm looking at my most expensive buy this year, a new desktop PC (shown above). This is not a purchase I would ever make lightly, but my previous PC was around seven years old and showing its age. In particular, a series of ever-more alarming crashes suggested to me that the hard drive was about to fail (and indeed, soon after I had set up my new computer, that is exactly what happened).
I chose to buy my new desktop PC from one of the various online suppliers who build computers from scratch according to your specifications. I bought my last computer that way as well, and wouldn't use any other method now. Pound for pound (or dollar for dollar) you will almost certainly get a better computer for your money, but more importantly you can have it made to your precise requirements, including the specific hardware and software you desire.
The company I bought my computer from was the UK-based Dino PC
(not an affiliate link). They target the gaming market, but obviously you don't need to be an enthusiastic gamer yourself to buy from them (I'm certainly not, though I've been known to enjoy the occasional round of Solitaire or Minesweeper when inspiration is lacking).
The way the ordering process works on Dino PC
and similar sites is that you start with a standard model (there will probably be a choice here) and customize it as you require. The price then changes to reflect your selections. In my case, for example, I thought I would upgrade from the standard 500 GB hard drive to 1 TB. This cost me the princely extra sum of £8.50 (about $14).
Once you have placed your order, you then sit back and wait for your computer to be assembled and shipped. Dino PC quoted one to two weeks for this, but it actually took three. I understand that they were very busy at the time, though, so I won't hold it against them!
I have been pleased with my new computer, which came with a handy 'Welcome Pack' containing cables, connectors and manuals for the various components. I set it up in twenty minutes and it worked perfectly straight away. I was also impressed by how quiet it was compared with its predecessor!
In this series I'm aiming to share useful tips based on my experiences, so here are a few regarding this purchase...
* The one thing that wasn't clear to me from the Dino PC website
was how many USB ports would be at the front of the case. My last PC didn't have any, and I wanted to avoid that scenario again. I emailed the vendors, and they told me I would have four (two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0), which was fine. I understand that what exactly you get depends on the motherboard and case you choose, so if this is something that concerns you, I would definitely ask about it before ordering.
* Dino PC gave me the choice of ordering Windows 7.0 or Windows 8.1 as the operating system. Although I'd heard bad things about Windows 8, I felt I should bite the bullet, as mainstream support for Windows 7 is apparently going to end in January next year. I can see why desktop PC owners don't like Windows 8, as it is clearly designed for tablet/touchscreen users. I have managed to configure it to work in a way that is more convenient for me, although this is still a 'work in progress'. I will write more about this on my blog at a later time.
* I ordered Microsoft Office Home and Business Edition 2013 for my computer. I find that many writers don't realize that Microsoft Word does NOT come free with the Windows operating system. If you don't order MS Office as well, for your word-processor you will have to make do with the much inferior MS WordPad and/or download something like Open Office
. The latter is a free and perfectly acceptable substitute for Office for many purposes, but it is not as good for creating Kindle e-books (for example).
* With Microsoft Office Home and Business Edition 2013, as well as MS Word, you also get the spreadsheet program MS Excel, the presentation software MS PowerPoint, the email and information management application MS Outlook, and the digital notebook application MS OneNote. If you want other Office products such as MS Access, you will need to order the Professional edition. There are also home and student editions of Office which can be cheaper, but you are not supposed to use them for commercial purposes.
I hope these comments and notes will be of some help to anyone else who may be in my position and thinking of buying a new desktop PC soon. If you have any comments or questions, of course, please feel free to post them below and I will do my best to answer them!
Labels: resources, reviews, technology
The Writers' Greenhouse
is a new range of writing games and activities launched by UK writer and writing teacher Megan Kerr
The products sold from The Writer's Greenhouse
are described as writers' seed packets. They are basically downloadable activity packs on different aspects of fiction writing. Most can be used by individual writers, but they are especially suitable for writers circles and creative writing teachers (including writers in schools).
The range currently consists of nine seed packets, with new ones being released fortnightly. They all concern fiction writing and are in twelve colour-coded categories, as follows: Premise, Characters, Place, Time, Plot-Layering, Tension and Stakes, Beginnings, Theme, Symbols, Subplot, Detail, Endings.
Megan was kind enough to offer me review copies of some of her seed packets. I left it to her to choose which ones, and the three she sent me were Find Your Theme, On Location, and Premise Circles.
I have to say I was impressed with the smart, professional design of all three packets. The first two were seven pages long, and the third was ten.
What you get is typically a page of instructions and tips, followed by worksheets and cards to be printed out and handed to participants. Many of the packets also have alternative versions of the instructions for individuals, groups and/or NaNoWriMo
The exercises would all be of interest and value to aspiring fiction writers. For example, the On Location seed packet encourages writers to devise more interesting settings for common scenes (e.g. a murder or first kiss) than the usual office, kitchen or bar. The next time I'm invited to run a session for a writers group, I will definitely consider using one of these exercises.
I thought the seed packets were very reasonably priced at between £1 and £3 (that's around $1.50 to $5 USD). You can find out much more and place your order from The Writer's Greenhouse website
In fact, though, if you're a fellow blogger, a writing teacher or a writers group member, you can try at least one seed packet for free. See this page of The Writers' Greenhouse website for the terms and conditions
. Don't worry, you won't have to jump through too many hoops!
If you have any comments or questions about The Writers' Greenhouse, as ever, please do post them below.
Labels: fiction, Inspiration, writing
Today I'm delighted to bring you a guest post from Terrance Bramblett,
runner-up in my recent Guest Blogging Contest
(you can see the winning entry by Sally Jenkins here
, another runner-up article by Sharon Boothroyd here
and one by Mary Cook here
In his thoughtful article, Terrance reflects on what writing means to him personally, and what motivates him to keep on writing in the face of rejection letters and worse...
* * *
If you are visiting Nick's blog, you probably are a writer, or have dreams of becoming one. You are somewhere between a newbie and an old timer, between unknown and famous, and between earning nothing and getting unspeakable wealth from your writing. Welcome, stranger, to the club. There appear to be millions of us now, spouting words like a oil well blowout.
Part of the reason is the gear: it is far easier to sling words using a word processor with spell-checking and autocorrect than with an old manual typewriter or pen and paper. Each day, more potential Mark Twain's enter the field.
As a writer, you are probably a member of some writing forums. I have joined and moved away from at least eight over the years, and belong to two now (including myWritersCircle
). At the forums, you can read others' work and post your own for review. Many times new writers are told how much they have to learn. The mechanics, the SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar) mistakes that nag at all writers will draw some fire.
But you also get good advice, and are told not to become discouraged by the occasional troll or bad review. For every weasel on the forums there are ten helpful people, writers themselves, offering invaluable advice. There seems to be very little selfishness among writers. No one resents another writer's success.
Do many of us get rich? Hardly any. Famous? About the same number. So why do we do it?
Personally, I do it for both fun and catharsis. I have been reading and writing since I could. I have read countless thousands of fiction and nonfiction books on nearly every subject, and during my 36 year career in digital control systems, I wrote many instructional and technical manuals. But I only started writing for (potential) sales after I retired.
In the past ten years I have written and self-published thirteen e-books, and I have total sales of twenty-three copies. I might add that when I first started, I tried writing articles for regional magazines, US Southern life mostly. All were rejected. I switched to fiction and self-publishing and am happy as a bivalve now.
So I fit nicely into the not famous/not rich group. But I am still doing it. I am halfway through number fourteen now, and fifteen is tugging at my brain. It seems to be something I must do. I will get an idea in my head and it refuses to leave until I put it in a book.
You will probably ask the question of yourself at some point: Why do I write? On a per hour basis, the pay stinks, and few of us make it to the red carpet. But we keep struggling along. Must be something in it for us.
Anyway, when you get disheartened by rejection letters or mean critiques, remind yourself why you write. If you are doing it because you love mashing warm words up against each other, then you are fine. And who knows? Your next book may hit it big.
* * *
Thank you to Terrance for an inspiring and thought-provoking article. Do check out his quirky and original "Writing and Other Stuff" blog at terrancebramblett.wordpress.com
If you have any comments or questions for Terrance (or for me), as ever, please do post them below.
Labels: guest blog, Inspiration, writing
Today I'm delighted to bring you a guest post from Mary Cook,
a runner-up in my recent Guest Blogging Contest
(you can see the winning entry by Sally Jenkins here
, by the way, and another runner-up article by Sharon Boothroyd here
Mary's article focuses on writing and submitting true-life stories to anthologies such as the very popular Chicken Soup for the Soul
series. There is a steady demand for this type of story from various publishers, but as Mary says you need to be able to sift out the genuine ones from the scammers and the bumbling amateurs.
Over to Mary, then...
* * *
A proposed anthology of true stories can be a great opportunity for the
writer or a big fat con. Sadly, it's not always clear which. Hunter-gatherer
publishers - compilers of anthologies - come in various guises.
The more reputable hunter-gatherers have an insatiable appetite for personal
experience stories. In order to satisfy an international readership, they
will gather amazing and uplifting stories. But they spit out anything that
doesn't get their juices flowing. They only want the best and will pay
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the amateurs looking for a fast buck.
or the outright con merchants.
If you want to make money from your true story, you need to be able to tell
Why should you submit to anthologies?
The more popular publications are good places to be seen.
- The more reputable publishers offer fair remuneration.
- You get your work seen by a wide readership.
Anthology guidelines can be seen as an open invitation to think outside the
box. Study the topics and you will almost invariably come up with an idea
that will fit the proposed project. You may have something you have already
written which will fit the bill with a little tweaking. Some publishers even
Why should you avoid anthologies?
Some publishers take so long to compile an anthology that you might be dead
by the time it's published. For example, I had a piece accepted for a travel
anthology. During two years' waiting time, I was asked for additional
information, updates and rewrites only to have a new editor take over and request a totally different approach. The book was finally printed about
three years after I submitted my article.
Vanity publishers are always on the prowl for free content. If a publisher
offers as sole payment a share in the profits, it's a sure sign he doesn't
expect the project to make much money. Don't bother with those that offer as
"payment" a free copy in which your work appears or, worse still,
publication full stop. These publishers are out to make money and don't want
to share it with their contributors.
Some individuals with little or no experience of publishing regard selling
other people's work as an easy way to make money. Be wary of projects which
have no deadline. It's a fairly clear indication that the would-be
editor/publisher has no focus or game plan.
If you're asked for a reading fee, don't go there! The same applies if
submissions are treated as competition entries with payment only for
Markets and resources
Among the best paying and most professional set-ups is Chicken Soup for the Soul
. Its website offers e-mailed
newsletters and submission updates. You can read their current guidelines for authors here
and a list of forthcoming anthologies for which stories are required here
The Writer's Relief website
is also worth a visit for its tips, as well as its market
My own tips for success
• Search your memory for a story so personal to you that no one else could
possibly have written it.
• Use a conversational tone as if you were talking to your closest friend
• Always end on a positive note.
Remember: if your story is worth telling, there are hunter-gatherers out
there waiting to scoop you up.
* * *
Thank you to Mary for an interesting and inspiring article.
I would just comment that personally I wouldn't automatically exclude publishers who pay a share of profits only, as this is becoming common practice nowadays. However, you should research any such company carefully to ensure that it has a decent track record, and for longer stories especially consider if you wouldn't be better off publishing them yourself, maybe on Kindle
Incidentally, I don't have a blog or website address for Mary, but if she would like to send me one, I'll be more than happy to add it to her byline.
If you have any comments or questions for Mary (or for me), please do post them below. And I'd also be very interested to hear about your own experiences of submitting true stories to anthologies and how this worked out for you.
Labels: guest blog, Inspiration, opportunities, writing
Today I'm reviewing a manual just launched by South African Kindle author and publishing expert Diana Heuser
How to Publish and Sell 100 Copies of Your Kindle Book With No Money Down
is an 80-page PDF which is currently on sale as a Warrior Special Offer (WSO) on the Warrior Forum.
It may take the record for the longest-ever title for a WSO, so I'll refer to it simply as How to Sell 100 Kindle E-books
from now on!
I was keen to see Diana's manual for myself as it's been getting some rave reviews, so I paid the modest asking price for a copy. Much as I like many of the products and courses that are hosted on WordPress membership sites these days, it is quite nice for once to have one that it is just a single, downloadable PDF!
The first thing I noticed about How to Sell 100 Kindle E-books
is that it is beautifully produced, and the second is that it is very well written. It is illustrated with plenty of screen captures where relevant.
The manual is divided into 22 short chapters, along with an Introduction and Conclusion. Chapters 4 to 9 cover the formatting and production of your e-book, while 10 to 22 are about marketing. There isn't very much about choosing a niche for your book or actually writing it. Of course, there are plenty of other guides that cover these topics, including my own Kindle Kash
For many would-be Kindle authors their biggest concern is formatting, and the manual explains this clearly and concisely. The assumption is that you will be working in Microsoft Word, so if you aren't using this software you will have to adapt the advice somewhat.
The advantage of this assumption, however, is that Di can provide detailed instructions (and screen captures) on exactly what you need to do to avoid blank lines, insert page breaks, format pictures, prepare a table of contents, and so on. She also has a clever tip on the subject of formatting tables, which I hadn't seen before.
The greater part of the manual concerns marketing your Kindle e-book, and again I would rate this highly. It covers all the main methods such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, setting out a recommended strategy to follow in each case. Di also looks at how you can harness the power of the popular Goodreads website, along with Amazon Author Central, building your own mailing list, and much more.
I was particularly impressed with the chapter that provides step-by-step advice on creating a video trailer for your e-book using free software. This is something I will definitely be trying myself in the near future.
Overall, I was very impressed with How to Publish and Sell 100 Copies of Your Kindle Book With No Money Down
. Indeed, I think the title undersells it really, although on the sales page Di does explain that once you have sold your first 100 e-books, you can go on to sell many more. Just rinse and repeat, as the popular slogan has it!
How to Sell 100 Kindle E-books
is on a slowly rising dimesale, so if you think you could benefit from it, I recommend buying now (at the time of writing it is still a very reasonable $14.29 or about 8.50 UK pounds). You also get some worthwhile bonus products, including Barb Ling's Kindle Pinning Profits
(which was once a WSO itself).
If you have any comments or questions about How to Sell 100 Kindle E-Books
, as ever, please do post them below.
Labels: Kindle, reviews, writing