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Shiny Things . . . and Bright Lights

Aren't we all attracted to shiny things and bright lights to some extent. They arrest your attention and either you get drawn in further or you try to block them out.

Then there's the shiny things and bright lights of all those neat offers from people you've let into your email address. Your home for communications from family, friends and newsletters and such from people you follow.

I don't get many emails from friends and family. They all use Facebook for that and Messenger. Over the years, I've abandoned a few addresses because some of the newsletters I signed up for just seemed to come every hour. What? In a lot of cases, I just wanted the freebie. In others, I really liked the author/artist who's site is full of tips and encouragement, and some of these I've contacted.

Then, comes the day I BUY something from someone. And my inbox is inundated from day one with other offers which also come by the hour. More shiny things dangling before my eyes. And they look pretty cool.

But, how many shiny things do I really need? Will I actually use these little gems?

Maybe. Sometimes. Not all that much. What was the point of draining my wallet?

I've tried to unsubscribe to a bunch of them, but some of them don't listen. Ohh, a real live person tried to unsubscribe! Let's keep this going! So then, I begin abandoning the address. I make a new account, switch my preferred contacts to the new address and start afresh. So easy to get back into that flood stage though! All it takes is signing up for something . . . or buying something. Especially buying something.

Okay, I was pretty happy with Alinka's Goodreads course and I will give that a shot . . . when I carve out 15 minutes to work at that. It was an affordable price and much better done than some I've gotten from WritersLife. I get those only on sale, because some of them really are not worth the full price. And after getting Alinka's I've decided to skip over WritersLife. To be fair, their guides are okay for beginners, complete newbs. But in one manual, I was really disappointed in how little was actually covered for topics everyone has questions about . . . like pricing . . .

I'd have to go check PayPal for how many shiny coins I've dropped for that stuff. I know I've spent hundreds, possibly thousands. Don't I wish I had that money now! But I rarely ask for it back.

The other shiny thing I use all the time is my book layout templates from theBookDesigner.com or BookDesignerTemplates.com. The first URL is all about what Joel Friedlander does and offers. Lots of shiny, shiny stuff. Most I can't afford, but I wish I could. I wait for his sales for stuff, and if the sale is deep enough, I'll jump in.

In the past, I've bought a bunch of Kindle related products from the folks at the Warrior forum - of which I'm an infrequent member because of my social anxiety. The place overwhelms me big time. Some of that was useful and some was definitely not. Again, I didn't ask for refunds because usually the price was deeply discounted. I need to find all that old stuff and organize it. See if any of it is relevant today.

So, my inbox still gets stuff from these guys. I ignore. I have one address for all that stuff and visit it from time to time. Some people I have sending me stuff into more than one of my accounts. I need to decide which one I want them on and unsubscribe from the others.

Okay, shiny stuff of June . . . oh my goodness! Soooo bright the lights! And the pull is stronger this time because I actually can afford to get this stuff as I came into some cash. But if I buy into all these things, that cash will disappear if I'm not careful.

Two expensive courses I jumped on because they offer a payment plan. Thank you guys for that!!! Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors and Carla King's Self Publishing Boot Camp. Both are closed until next year, I believe. I chose Carla's course for SP over Mark's because it was cheaper and offered training in areas Mark's didn't. Like setting up your business as a self publisher. I need that so badly! I have a business name and all that stuff, ISBNs which I need to buy again soon, but I really don't know much else I should be doing. I'm only publishing my own stuff right now, although I'll be publishing a story for my sister in a bit. Not sure I want the headache of publishing others, although it would certainly look good on site!

And Heaven knows, I need to learn marketing and writing targeted ads and such, and Mark is really detailed in doing that for authors. I've joined both his Facebook groups and I'm sure I'll get some great feedback there when I finally get the courage to do an ad and post it for feedback. Maybe I'll do a thread here and document my progress.

NOW, today, I check my main email addresses, and HERE's another SHINY object of the same caliber. Debbie Drumm's product. I've been following her for years, and have bought a few of her products. Good stuff too. But she does send a few emails too many, I feel. Still, I've liked her stuff, so I put up with it. She and another person had put out an app for creating ebooks back a few years. It was great! I loved it. So easy and the finished ebook was pretty. Only thing was - you could use it only for the Kindle and only for new books. If you wanted to revise a book, you were out of luck. I emailed her to give my feedback, and she said they'd look into that for an update. But I don't think it ever happened. Too bad, it really was an awesome app otherwise.

What's her newest offer. An amazing way to find targeted reviewers for your books. There are two options, Basic and Pro . . . of, course, what else would they be called, eh? They are subscription based, priced annually. Sigh . . . I'd so love to be offered a monthly plan. But anyway, the Pro is the best deal, naturally. But - should I go for it?

Reviews!!!!! I mean, I really need them! Although, someone from AuthorsDen finally asked to review Joleigh-Anna's story. I believe Alinka has methods as well, for about the same price . . . but this product seems shinier to me. What to do, what to do. I've had my books up on Amazon and elsewhere for years with just one review on Amazon and none anywhere else. Seems a no brainer, right?

So, you have to know I've written all this out to help me decide what to do. And I think I'll go for it. If I ain't happy, I would definitely get my money back as it's not just a $20 deal. (Thinking I should ask for a refund on a video translating program that after looking at it more closely, I probably won't use much.) In any case, this Review tool has been in use since 2014 and has worked amazingly, so the testimonials say. If it would generate a list of potential reviewers for me as quick as advertised, I'd be thrilled. If those reviews, in turn, generate tons of sales, I'll be snoopy dancing!!! It'd be worth the price.

All of these programs are investments in my business, I can write off the cost at the end of the year. Like a real business would. I want to run my writing endeavors like a real business and not like a hobby. However, I haven't written off much of what I've spent through the years. Why not? The business didn't feel real enough to me, even though I have a business certificate and my ISBNs. Maybe if I were selling more books . . .

What can I say? I am a software junkie!!! I haven't even mentioned the photo editors and other such things I've collected. Those do get used, but I have my favorites.

Well, I will end this bit of musing here. I'm being summoned to clean out the fridge . . . Oh joy. Just toss it all!

We also buy shiny food things that become awesome science projects after processing a while in the "lab" . . . . .


I wasn't impressed enough with Joel Friedlander to buy anything. I can make you a template, if you want.

I know what you mean about some not letting you unsubscribe!! I just got an email from one place saying, "It's been too long. We miss you." Yeah. Miss my money, you mean. I haven't bought anything in five years! Give up, already.

My experience is even when you pay, it's mostly advertising. Advertising what the founder did or is able to do, but not really sharing info. It's a lure. And we're the fish.
Yeah, and they dangle such shiny lures in front of us. Here's the latest from WritersLife.org.

Dear Friend,

Could it really be true?
Our records show that you haven’t yet purchased

the ultimate guide on writing a novella that readers will love...

...but I’m convinced there must be some mistake.
After all, if you’re a writer who loves to write but can’t
bear the thought of writing pages and pages, then this is the perfect solution.

I just responded to this one saying I didn't purchase because I DO write pages and pages and my novels are upwards of 200000K . . .

The romances anyway. Middle grade and YA are a little more reasonable. I have more trouble writing stories of a few pages most of the time. But again, I found their stuff to be rather light for the price. Of course, for this there's the shiny bright 80% discount. But still, I'm not interested.

Not sure I need another template, but we can talk about it. I use D2D as my aggregator and they support only Garamond for a font and they now have templates, which makes me wonder if I need one now, anyway. You can upload a epub file directly to them, but I'm not sure I want to struggle with conversion. I would if I could find a program that would do it with a minimal amount of effort. Because I would like to use something other than Garamond. Definitely would like to use two different fonts. But, as they let you use the converted files anyplace you want to, and the ebooks look pretty nice if you've formatted well, I don't kick about it.

Since I have multiple books out and to be put out, I don't want to pay for each one to be converted. Rather do it myself if I can. Of course, I could get WordPerfect again and use their ebook publisher plugin. They've got configured to make epub files now, as well as mobi, and It works fine; but I'd have to make up a template as I doubt there are any out there. I should search for that. I let it go when I moved to Windows 10 and the plugin at the time didn't work with it. I'd try it with a trial version of the newest version . . . but I've already used that option up without having tried it. DUH!!!

So, for now . . . I continue as I am and try now to head for those shiny objects and bright lights!


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Anita M Shaw
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