Why We Need A (New) Generation Of Readers in South Africa

Reading is linked to empathy, self-esteem and academic success, by Patricia Furstenberg
Reading is linked to empathy, self-esteem and academic success, by Patricia Furstenberg

“Readers are leaders”, said one great teacher; leaders of their own lives. Being able to understand what is expected of us beyond our job description or mastering those psychometric tests in a job interview could be life changing situations. Turning that first date into a success or having the ability to understand (and survive) our partner’s emotional needs are, definitely, lifesaving situations. What all of these occasions call for are our wits and… empathy. So relax; you’re not the odd one out if, at times, you feel for your boss. You should be celebrating instead.

Here’s when and why reading comes into our lives.

Read further on the Huffington Post South Africa, a post by Patricia Furstenberg.

Huffington Post SA

South African Oscar Winners & Nominees Over The Years

South Africa’s official submission to the 89th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film category was Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief) directed by AFDA Alumni Daryne Joshua and his film debut as well.

View the Noem My Skollie Official Trailer.

IFrameThe 89th Academy Awards ceremony took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, on February 26, 2017 and honored the best of the films of 2016.

Throughout the years many South Africans have won or been nominated to an Oscar, proof that this nation has plenty of deep-rooted talent as well as a good eye for the arts.

Proud South African Oscar wins, nominations and submissions throughout the years

1936 (the 9th Academy Awards Ceremony) – Basil Rathbone (South African born British actor) – Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Romeo and Juliet

1938 – Basil Rathbone – Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, If I Were King

1971 – Janet Suzman (University of the Witwatersrand’s Alumni) – Nominated for Best Actress, Nicholas and Alexandra

1985 – Caiphus Semenya (South African composer and musician)Nominated for Best Music, Original Score, The Color Purple

1987 – Jonas Gwangwa (important figure in South African jazz for over 40 years) Nominated for Best Music, Original Score, and Best Music, Original Song, Cry Freedom

Watch the Cry Freedom Official Trailer.

IFrame1989 (the 62nd Academy Awards Ceremony) Mapantsula (Zulu, Afrikaans, Sesotho, English), Director Oliver Schmitz – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film. It appeared on the official AMPAS ( Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ) press release in 1989 but not on the 2007 updated list. Therefore Paljas is considered as South Africa’s official first submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category. It is possible that Mapantsula, although submitted,has not been screened for the Foreign Film committee for some reason.

1997 Paljas (Afrikaans) – Director Katinka Heyns – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2003 – Charlize Theron (a Benoni born South African and American actress and film producer ) – WON Best Actress, the first South African to ever win an Oscar, for Monster

Charlize Theron’s 2003 Oscar Win acceptance speech.

IFrameI’m going to thank everybody in South Africa, my home country… And my mom.

2003 – Ronald Harwood (Cape Town-born playwright) – WON for Best Adapted Screenplay, The Pianist Harwood’s love for the theatre and films started when he was a child and his mother took him to the theatre in Cape Town.

2004 Yesterday (the first ever feature-length isiZulu film), Director Darrell Roodt Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film

2005 – Charlize Theron – Nominated for Best Actress, North Country

2005 (78th Academy Awards Ceremony) – Tsotsi – WON Best Foreign Language Film. It was the first non-French-language African film to win in this category

View Tsotsi Official Trailer.

IFrameGavin Hood’s Oscar acceptance speech for Tsotsi, which he directed:

Nkosi sikelele Africa. God bless Africa.

Our stories … are about the human heart and emotion.

2008 Jerusalema (Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Sotho), Director Ralph Ziman – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2009 White Wedding (Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English), Director Jann Turner – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2010 District 9, Director Neill Blomkamp (South African–Canadian film director, film producer, screenwriter, and animator) – Nominated for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay (Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell)

2010 Life, Above All (in Northern Sotho), Director Oliver Schmitz – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film, made the January Shortlist. Life, Above All received 10-minutes standing ovations at its world premiere at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival.

2011 Beauty (Afrikaans), Director Oliver Hermanus – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2012 – Herbert Kretzmer (South African-born English journalist and lyric writer) Nominated for Best Music, Original Song for Les Misérables, song “Suddenly” (together with Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg)

2012 Little One (Zulu), Director Darrell Roodt – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2013 Four Corners (Afrikaans), Director Ian Gabriel – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2014 Elelwani (Venda), Director Ntshavheni wa Luruli – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2015 – Margaret Sixel (South African-born, Australian film editor )WON Best Film Editing, Mad Max: Fury Road

2015 – The Two of Us (Zulu), Director Ernest Nkosi – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film

2016 (89th Academy Awards Ceremony) Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief), (Afrikaans), Director Daryne Joshua – Submitted for Best Foreign Language Film.

Noem My Skollie producer, Moshidi Motshegwa, said referring the support the cast and crew received at home :

The greatest affirmation an artist can get is from their own tribe. We are ecstatic to have this affirmation!

The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film was first awarded in 1956. For its 89th edition there have been 85 submissions from all over the world.

Although South Africa hasn’t brought an Oscar home this year what really matters are the passion and dedication of each actor, director, make-up artist, costume designer, editor, of the entire crew backing-up a motion picture which puts South Africa, proudly, on the Academy Awards map once again.

Waiting for Snow

Waiting for Snow

Waiting for Snow Image courtesy Unsplash
Waiting for Snow
Image courtesy Unsplash

Dad cheerful said: “We’ll have Snow tomorrow!”

So my human pup and I, brave Eskimos,

Early before breakfast went down below

And sat by the window, waiting for snow.

 

It must be someone special, went through my head,

Since we could, this morning, and quite by chance,

Not eat at the table. “Toast! Can I have some more?”

“On one condition: not a crumb on the floor!”

 

I’m looking left, towards the deep, dark woods.

I’m looking right, towards the town with goods.

Where will she come from, Mrs. Snow?

Will she take the bus? Will she arrive by noon?

 

There’s a little bus station right by our house,

It’s busy in the morning, you couldn’t spot a mouse.

Buses stop here often throughout the day.

But Snow doesn’t get off. What’s causing her delay?

 

Maybe she’ll ride a bicycle, red and bright and shiny.

Like the postman does each day, even when it’s rainy.

Maybe she’ll come by yellow taxi, honking any minute.

Like the doctor does; arriving in an instant.

 

But what if Snow will just walk here, like grandpa likes to do.

“Exercise is good for you, I’m never sick with flue!”

He always tells my human pup and winks at her some more.

Grandpa’s old and wrinkled; his exercise advice might work!

 

What if Snow arrives at tea time? Mom always sais to us:

“It’s fashionable to do so, but always come announced!”

Aunts and quite so many Ladies visit once a week.

And tea, cookies and cakes, so yummy, they always like to eat.

 

Who is this Snow? Nobody mentioned her before!

Why is she coming? Did Mom even agreed?

My human pup expects her to play games;

I just want to know: will she throws sticks, twice in a row?

 

Will she tell bedtime stories and like pups like me?

Is she a stern or friendly Lady? I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Will she share crumbs? And mostly,

Where will she sleep, if feeling lonely?

 

It’s way past lunch, we waited for sooo long.

My human pup is restless, Mom even hums a song.

I’ll tell Snow, when I’ll meet her, whenever that will be,

That being late is a no-no, please Ma’am, excuse me.

 

She didn’t come at all and it’s already time for bed.

Pajamas on, the story read, my human pup still sad.

“She’s here!” shouts Mom, so excited. “Hurry, get dressed!”

Get dressed? Go OUT? Why everyone’s so restless?

 

Is Snow a President?  What do I say, maybe she’s the Queen!

For all I know, from what I’ve seen, she’s a most expected being!

I won’t mention being late, but offer her some tea.

I only hope she brings presents, a little bone for me?

 

by Patricia Furstenberg

This is an edited version of the poem initially written for mypuppyclub.net

 

10 Enchanting Christmas and Bedtime Books for Babies and Young Readers

Redtricycle Spoke Contributor
Redtricycle Spoke Contributor

10 Enchanting Christmas and Bedtime Books for Babies and Young Readers

When my daughter was six month old I began reading to her “The Little Duckling.” We would cuddle together every day and enjoy the little bird’s adventures of bravery. It was a magical time for me and for my daughter as well. Later on she would look excited just seeing this book!

My son loved the touch and feel story of a puppy. It was a board book and, no matter how hard I tried, he would always put it in his mouth. I guess that’s what board books are for! He loved the touch of the puppy’s fur on the cover and, mostly, having his family around him at story time.

Later on I would read to both my children Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway Tree” and to this day my teen children remember the warm, fuzzy evenings and the big book we shared and delighted in together.

Continue reading Pat’s article on the Redtricycle website.

The newly adopted puppy: Time Out (Puppy Story – part 4)

The newly adopted puppy: Time Out

Dog digging
Dog digging? Oh no!

I’ve got to be quiet; I’ve got to lie still. They didn’t put me in a corner, but they did give me… time out. Only inside…

It was because of shredding the newspaper to bits on Sunday morning… and bumping over the trash can in the kitchen, which spilled the garbage…

I only tried to clean up!

Oh, and for scratching Mom’s bedroom door. But I tried to get in! It was a matter of life and death! It was past breakfast time and everybody was still sleeping!

I’m in the hallway now, on the carpet. This one is a rough carpet, not soft like the one in our bedroom. It tickles my tummy. I’ve got to scratch.

But I’ve got to sit still.

Oh, the carpet itches. My tummy itches.

“Sit still, puppy!” Mom had said…

But I’ve got an itch. Just one scratch?

Quick, while nobody’s watching.

Thump! Bang!

“Puppy!”

“The umbrella stand?! Whatever next?!”

I lay flat on the carpet. I wish I could melt in it and disappear.

I really didn’t, didn’t, didn’t want to bump it over!

It was just an itch.

A big itch and I’m a small puppy.

I’ve got to be quiet; I’ve got to lie still.

Now I’m outside.

Time out SHOULD take place outside? It only makes sense.

Mom hasn’t told me to sit still; she just opened the door and pointed outside. But I want to. To show her I’m a good puppy.

What does a good puppy do? I wonder if my friend Mole knows. He seems to know so much… There he is! He’s always busy digging. He’s such a good digger, he keeps all the plants fresh, Mom’s flowers pretty.

Mom loves flowers.

Maybe that’s what I should do! Pick some flowers for her. Dad brought her flowers last week and she was so happy she danced!

If I should make her so happy she’ll forget all about being upset with me!

I’ll do it! For Mom!

Here, a mouthful of flowers for Mom; freshly picked!

Flowers for Mom
Flowers for Mom

They did got a bit squashed in the process, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

“Mom, my puppy’s barking outside the door! Can I please let him in now? I’m sure he learned his lesson.”

“Puppy!! My flowers! And LOOK at ALL this mud! PUPPY!”

by Patricia Furstenberg

Initially wrote for mypuppuclub.net.

It is my first Sunday in my new home (Puppy Story – part 3)

It is my first Sunday in my new home

First Sunday Morning
First Sunday Morning

It is my first Sunday

In my new home

I open my eyes,

My human still sleeps.

 

I’m hoping for some bacon smell,

For the kettle to hum.

No flavor coming up,

No noises at all.

 

The house is quiet,

What could be the matter?

Surely IS the right time

For food on the table?

 

My human pup snores,

Sounds just like a baby kettle.

I lick her ear;

She doesn’t budge.

 

I jump off the bed,

I am on a mission.

To wake everyone

Before it’s too late.

 

I grab at her blanket;

It is a pup’s play

To pull it off the bed

And onto the floor.

 

But this puppy is small

And the blanket is heavy.

I try my best

And head for the door.

 

I listen for noises:

Where is Mom’s room?

That is the only room

I haven’t been into.

 

“No puppies in here.”

I remember the rule.

But surely for emergency

We can bend it a bit?

 

The door is closed

But I push with my nose.

I push with my paws,

I push with all my might.

 

I’ve got to get it open.

I’ve got to get inside.

They have to wake up,

It’s well past their time.

 

I can’t open the door.

It’s too heavy for me.

My paws slide off,

I even hurt my snout.

 

I whimper, I cry.

As quietly as can be.

Surely they will hear me,

Open for me?

 

A thump at the door!

Someone’s outside!

I’ve got to protect them!

Stand up for my pack!

 

I run down the stairs.

It was a big mistake;

My paws slide,

My bum gets ahead.

 

Thump! My bottom hits the floor

Then my head hits the carpet.

I need a second

To regain my balance.

 

No time to spare,

Someone’s at the door!

I’ve got to protect my family,

I’m heading ahead.

 

I’ll bark and I’ll fight.

I’ll tear them apart!

This is my home!

It’s under my guard!

 

Silence.

Whoever it was,

It got scared.

I am sure.

 

Such a vicious pup

Got them on the run!

They got so scared,

Didn’t even come inside.

 

They left just one thing,

Small item behind.

A paper! I’ll show them!

I grab it right away.

 

I’ll fight and I’ll bite

And if they dare come back,

They’ll see what’s waiting for them.

And be scared of me!

 

Good, now the paper is gone.

What did Father said?

Garbage belongs with garbage.

I’ll clean up in a sec.

 

Such a big mess

And such a small pup.

I’ll do my best,

Let me find the trash.

 

It’s easy to spot it,

My nose takes me straight.

There’s the trash can,

Hidden in the darkest place.

 

Sooo big,

Me, so short.

But I’ve got to clean

The shreds from the floor.

 

I jumped. It fell.

BUMP!

Its lid came off.

More trash rolled onto the floor.

 

Footsteps upstairs! Coming down the stairs!

I’ve got to hide,

But where? Where?

Sorry about the mess!

 

I had to protect…

I had to protect
I had to protect

by Patricia Furstenberg

Initially wrote for mypuppuclub.net. Images courtesy Unsplash

The newly adopted puppy: The Worm. (Puppy Story – part 2)

The newly adopted puppy: The Worm

Looking for my doggy treasure.
Looking for my doggy treasure.

I love my new place.

I love it during my sleep for I can smell my human pup cuddled tight against me. She smells of milk and of love, the stuff sweet dreams are made of.

I love my new place in the moments just before I wake up, when the aroma of freshly cooked breakfast creeps through under the door and through the keyhole, conquering our bedroom. What better way to start the day but knowing what sorts of scraps will fly off the table? And if I catch the titbits before Mother ever sees us I get a pat and a scratch behind my ear for showing such super skills! For it is against the house rules to feed me like this, but my human pup loves me so much she shares everything with me.

I share with my human pup too.

My new place comes with a big yard, so big that if I run all around once my tongue spills out of my mouth in search of water, so tired I am. It took me a few whole mornings to sniff all around it and learn it off by heart.

At its far end, by the corner of the fence, my new friend lives, Mr. Mole. He likes to dig tunnels through the ground and to share his wiggly worms with me. Nobody seems to feed him so I share some of my tasty morsels with him. I hope he likes them; he keeps on burying them into his tunnels.

It was here that I found the biggest, juiciest worm!

It made me remember my human pup and her toes. Mother calls them wiggly worms and she keeps on counting them each night at bedtime. I thought how she would laugh to discover an extra one! Would she be able to tell the difference? I thought not; they smelled the same to me.

That night I found out that…

Mothers can scream VERY loud.

I still want to make my human Mother laugh; when she does so she smells so much more of love. I’ll have to find something else to share next time.

How much is that doggie in the window? (Puppy Story – part 1)

How much is that doggie in the window?  (Feelings of a stray dog)

Dogs have feelings too.
Dogs have feelings too.

I like my new place. It is dry and I have water and food. Last night I fell asleep with a full tummy, on a soft blanket! It isn’t much, but it was dry and it kept me warm and I was out of the wind and the wet streets and nobody kicked me. Yesterday a friendly lady even gave me a cuddle. Her cheek was soft and warm; it felt good on the inside.

I like my clean water the most and my food, it’s the best I had in a very long time. I didn’t eat it all last night, I was too afraid that I’ll have nothing left for the morning. But, guess what, this morning they gave me fresh food and water! The man who came to feed me was very quiet so I stayed away in my corner. He didn’t seem interested in me, so I left him alone. Maybe the loving lady I saw yesterday will come to see me later.

This week I haven’t been hungry and I haven’t been cold or hurt.

I have food and water. My blanket smells like me, it is my home. It isn’t a big home. I have a patch of grass fenced with a high metal mesh, but it keeps me safe. Someone brings me food and water twice a day. There are a few other kennels like mine, but their occupants are much bigger than me and very noisy, especially at feeding time.

Today some people came and they looked at each one of us. They picked the occupant of the kennel to my right because she had long, silky ears. Mine are short, but they help me hear; very well. I know what happened to the occupant of the last kennel, the one in the corner. I heard him cry last night and then he was silent. They cleaned his kennel this morning and now it is empty.

Now people come and visit the kennels every day and each time another one of us leaves to a new home. I am happy for them because they used to cry every night. Now they would have found a family of their own.

I don’t cry. I am brave. My mommy told me to be brave when she last licked me goodbye. She had soft brown eyes and short ears just like mine. She had a loving owner too, who loved her for her sweet nature and big heart.

One day someone just like that will adopt me and take me to my new home.

One day.

Maybe today.

“How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie’s for sale.”

A dog's heart is full of hopes.
A dog’s heart is full of hopes.

 

 

 

How to self-publish an eBook and become an Indie Author on a ZERO budget in ten steps

I wrote this blog post based on my own experience as an Indie Author, having illustrated and self-published my children’s book “Happy Friends” in March 2016. I advise you to bookmark and return to this page often as I intend to update it regularly.

You wrote a book or you’re almost done writing it.

What’s next?

You could go two ways. You could submit your manuscript to mainstream publishers and wait … then wait some more OR, with eye wide open and a dry mouth, you could take the road “less traveled” and become an Indie.

What does Indie means? Indie is the abbreviation for “independent”, a term first used in the 1920s with reference to film production.

Join a 100 years long industry. If they succeeded, so can YOU, you and your MS Word manuscript.

Self-publish your e-book on a ZERO BUDGET.

  1. “Stop wishing. Start doing.”

HOW TO PROOFREAD / EDIT your work for FREE.

This is crucial to your work, to good reviews and customers.

Search Twitter or Facebook for emerging proofreaders / editors willing do it for free in an exchange for a reference from you. Or find a student in the field looking to broaden his experience. If you don’t have social media accounts create them now, they’re FREE.

Proofreading means correcting spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation or formatting errors.

Editing looks into depths. It will consider the way you present your ideas, making your manuscript easier to read.

When on a zero budget you have to do what best works for you in order to move forward on your self-publishing road.

 

  1. “Don’t watch the clock. Do what it does, keep going.”

HOW TO get a FREE BOOK COVER.

Don’t worry about a book cover at this stage as Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP (Amazon’s own publishing platform) provides FREE templates you can edit and use.

 

  1. “Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit.”

HOW TO get your book ON AMAZON for FREE.

One of the best places to first publish your eBook is on Amazon, using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s eBook publishing platform. Publishing here will take a few minutes and subsequently your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours, available for all Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps. Publish once and sell worldwide on all the Amazon sites.

What is great about self-publishing an eBook is that you can make changes even after publishing your book. You just upload the new file!

Step 1.Sign up for a free KDP account on www.kdp.amazon.com

Step 2.Format your book for FREE.

To publish your eBook on Amazon your manuscript must have specific formatting.

I recommend you read and use “Building Your Book for Kindle, Kindle Edition”. It is a VERY easy to follow, FREE step by step guide on how to format your book to easy self-publish it on Kindle found here.

If you’re a MAC user, then you might want to download “Building Your Book for Kindle for MAC, Kindle Edition“.

Your book cover will be taken care of at this step, during the uploading process.

Step 3.Enroll your book in KDP Select. It is a FREE PROMOTIONAL program.

At least for the first three month (as enrollment in KDP Select is renewed quarterly) I advise that you do enroll your book in KDP Select. You will be able to run promotions (list your book for FREE for up to five days over each three months or run a Kindle countdown deal, also for up to five days over each three months). Read more here.

 

  1. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

HOW TO get your own, FREE Amazon AUTHOR PAGE.

Create a FREE account on Amazon Author Central.

On your Amazon Author Page you can add a short biography (keep it short and sweet. Include something funny about yourself. Look at what other authors wrote about themselves). You can also include a photo of yourself and have a blog (more about this later). Include links to your social media accounts for your readers to follow and get in touch.

Have a look at my Amazon Author Page.

If you don’t have your own website, then your Amazon Author Page can be your home online.

 

  1. “Stay focused. Never give up.”

HOW TO create a FREE Goodreads ACCOUNT for yourself and a get a FREE BLOG.

Step 1.Create a Goodreads account for yourself. Goodreads is a free website for book lovers. You can see what everyone is reading, their reviews and you can post your own books and meet like-minded authors, make connections.

Search for your book on Goodreads and add yourself as the author. Now you can request Goodreads to upgrade your account to a FREE Author Account. This is important because it will give you a BLOG. Blogging increases your visibility online, where your eBook is.

Step 2.LINK your Goodreads blog to your Amazon Author Page by using RSS feeds. This way your blog posts from Goodreads will be pulled into your Amazon Author Page, thus giving your readers more information about you, the Author, and giving you more credibility.

Have a look at my Goodreads Author page.

  1. “Action is the foundation key to success.”

HOW TO get Book REVIEWS for your book for FREE.

Step 1.Search Twitter and Facebook, there are great Book Reviewers there. Keep in mind that they will have a pile of books already awaiting their review so you might have to wait for your turn.

Step 2.When your book is on a free promotion on KDP Select ask family and friends to download it for free and post a review on Amazon.

Step 3.Do a review exchange with another emerging author.

Keep in mind that each reviewer has his / her own requirements for submitting your work. Follow them and respect their time as they do give out of the goodness of their hearts and love for books. For free.

 

  1. “When you feel like quitting think about why you started.”

HOW TO self-publish for FREE on Barnes & Noble and Apple. And get a FREE ISBN.

Step 1.If your three months subscription on KDP Select has ended (and do make sure it is), you can put your eggs in more than one basket.

Smashwords (eBooks for Independent Authors and Publishers) distributes to: Barnes and Noble (a Fortune 500 company, the largest retail bookseller in the United States), Kobo (Canadian company which sells e-books, e-readers and tablet computers), Amazon (but you’re here already so you can opt out for this one retailer), Apple, Inktera (selling the most popular e-book titles, formerly Page Foundry), Baker & Taylor Blio, Baker-Taylor Axis360, Library Direct, OverDrive, Scribd (digital library and e-book, audio-book and comic suetail, Yuzu, Tolino, Odilo, Gardners Library.

Create a FREE Smashwords account then edit your Smashwords Author page. There is even an interview that you can do there and, voila, you’ll have your very own Author Interview on your Smashwords Author Page. For FREE!

Have a look at my Smashwords Author Page.

Step 2.Format your manuscript for Smashwords as they have their own formatting requirements. You can download the Smashwords Style Guide for FREE.

Be patient and follow their requirements to the letter and soon enough you will be able to upload your eBook on Smashwords too.

Step 3.Now you will need a book cover. Smashwords does not provide a free book cover template.

 

  1. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

HOW TO create your own book cover for FREE, all by yourself.

This is your last push. You’ve come so far, you can do it. And you can do it in Paint! Remember, you want to design a book cover that looks good as a thumbnail, the way it would look on a webpage.

Step 1.Find a background picture that suits your book genre. Look at Unsplash, FREE high-resolution photos, as they have amazing pictures.

Step 2.Open the picture in Paint and include Title and Author Name only. This is important as what appears on your Smashwords Book Cover has to match 100% the info you include under title and author when you upload your eBook file.

Step 3.Save your cover. Follow the Smashwords Style Guide’s requirements for cover size. To edit your pictures you can download IrfanView for FREE.

Step 4.Upload work and cover onto Smashwords and patiently wait for their confirmation emails. You want to hear from them that your book made it into the Smashwords Premium Catalog. If they tell you there are things to be fixed, then fix them and upload again.

You can now upload your new book cover onto Amazon too, to keep your eBook’s appearance uniform on the internet.

 

  1. “Nothing great ever came that easy.”

Pricing your eBook.

Again, less is more. Books between $2.99 to $5.99 bring the most profits due to higher sales. Search similar books to yours to get an idea.

 

  1. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

HOW TO MARKET your eBook for FREE.

Step 1.Marketing your book means creating awareness. This will require all the social platforms you’re on. You can create your own book promos by using pictures and text.

Step 2.Remember, Twitter and Facebook are great platforms to establish connections with like-minded authors and learn from them; they hardly sell your books. But you could land a few author interviews here, hosted on other author’s blogs – which will increase your exposure as an author, thus increasing your chances to sell more books.

Step 3.Use your blog. Write about what you like or what you know. It will create awareness about you, the Author.

Well done, now you’re a published eBook author!

by Patricia Furstenberg

REMEMBER: bookmark this page and return often to check for new updates as self-publishing and marketing are continuous activities.

This article was first published as a Guest Post on O.D.BookReviews on 15 October 2016.