Category Archives: paid ebooks from the Wizard of Eutopia

“If you’re So smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich?” – a money handbook strictly for the Nerds

My fellow-nerds: it’s here already! Very short, very punchy (IMHO), very free: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/270995

if your so smart copy

I went to bed about 3.30 AM, but I basically did it according to Fladlien’s Formula: one problem, one solution, one sitting. The last would have seemed a problem, but with that last cup of tea at dinner, the time flashed by, and I hardly noticed until it was ‘done’ – good enough for a first edition, to get some feedback, some FAQs, and some encouragement to go on and write Letters Two Three and beyond. All at the one sitting (each).

I recommend it as a way to break potential writer’s blocks, get stuff out there, and find out if it’s worth doing more.

I will now tweet it, and retire to the land i guess to edit the 2000-page epic.

oh, yes overnight (from 3.30ish to now, about 7 hours, it has had over 100 views and 26 downloads on Smashwords. Not bad… It will be interesting to see what it does when it ‘hits’ Barnes & Noble, which happens when it is approved for ‘premium distribution’.

I have no idea what the nerds will think of it. Or their mothers. I hope they take it to heart, bitter though the message may be. It might just save some from a lifetime of beating their heads against the glass wall of an unrecognised Social order.

Also on Amazon (when they process it – always slower!), at 99cents, their minimum price apart from KDP Select free days, but you have to make it exclusive to do that, and that is just wrong, I think, and if too many do it they will be creating a monopoly for Amazon. Serve them right!

So, consider, if you hve a strong simple message burning in you and you want to get it out there, do as I have done. One problem, one solution, one sitting. Then upload that sucker, fearlessly.

 

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Three up, one to go – how to make an epic end

In between duties which I could not neglect (and some which I did), I’ve collected the graphics, edited the ebook bits, and uploaded three of the four volumes of the Apples of Aeden. Today the all-new illustrated (well, partially) volume 2, the Rebels of Aeden, went up on all known platforms via smashwords and kindle. This makes three colourful ebooks of the epic, the first of which is FREE at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243499 until the end of 2012 (coming up fast!). The others are $3.99, pretty good for quality ebooks such as these!

But what about IV – the capstone, the end of the line, the culmination of the Fourth Age and the Doorway to the Fifth?

I was at our land on Sunday mowing the neglected grass with raewyn and remembering the writing of the others, and of the final volume which nearly pushed me over the edge when I finally stopped at the end of draft one. I thought, ‘Must push through, fall over that finish line… then I can really say, I followed it through to the end.’ What if something happened and I never had the mental capacities to do the last edits? Someone, a stranger might be paid to do them, and guess at what I was going to say or correct or omit or add… eek! Or it would remain forever unfinished, unpolished… ugh!

So, how to fit in the important and hopefully non-urgent and treat it as if it might become urgent too late for me to action it? This is of course a recurring problem in any creative life – how to fit in the ‘BIG ROCKS’ into the only-too-full jar of life… the fact that according to the ancient Mayans a 20,000 – something-year cycle is possibly meant to end on the 21st of this month adds just a little to the gravity and timeliness of this question…

Here are the covers of all four – the Volume IV cover being there to spur me on to the magical ‘threshold’ of the finish line:

Before you rush off to download the Apples of Aeden for holiday reading:

What, friends who have followed this tortuous blog path through 2012, is your important but hopefully non-urgent BIG ROCK at this time? What little pebbles can you chuck out to fit the bog one in? What dregs of the past can you tip over the side?

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At last, what (a tiny select proportion of) the world has been waiting for!

Volume three of the Apples of Aeden saga, by me, backed by brother John, the Blue Knight.

http://applesofaeden.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/apples-of-aeden-iii-out-of-edartha-is-now-an-ebook/

I did a few new graphics for it too.

Here’s one. There’s more about the philosophy of the five sectors of process and the tree of life:

 

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How to be a wizard – for 99c

Well after the quick dashing off came some picking up pieces and tidying –  some rewriting, a late-night uploading, and re-formatting and reloading.

‘How to be a Wizard – how life is magical and we are too’ is now OUT.  Scary! the short blurb:

This short book is not about ‘pointy hats‘. Instead, I outline the foundations of the True West, and list the ‘Wizard’s Desiderata’ – what is needed to live a life which is truly powerful, truly magical, truly mythical, and truly possible. It always has been possible to be a ‘wizard’ of one’s life, though never perhaps with as little danger of being burned at the stake! 

I made a short version of the book to give to customers as a free passport book if they spend $10 at Cafe Eutopia and leave their email address. The full (colour) printed version is $9.99, but only 99c as an ebook.  Now on Smashwords, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/236770

and Kindlehttp://www.amazon.com/How-Wizard-life-magical-ebook/dp/B009C977K6/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1348351169&sr=1-5&keywords=how+to+be+a+wizard

The cover:

How to be a wizard. The passport book.

It does raise the bar for oneself, writing a guide to something. Can I live up to it? Certainly one doesn’t always feel like whatever it is one is claiming to be (For example, right now I have a slight nausea – a symptom that can make anything feel like bleah. I wonder, did Gandalf have a stomach ache on the bridge of Khazad Dum? We’ll never know.)

But that isn’t any reason to back off declaring oneself. Or raising the flag of some ideal or idea. If we wait until we know we are perfect, or feel we are, no flags would ever be raised, or they’d be pulled down again at the first stomach ache or flu or migraine or domestic meltdown, and then where would we be?

Certainly those with something to share whether paid or not need to raise a flag. It’s called marketing. It’s a bit scary! Or for the sensitive Cancerian artist or contemplative, terrifying.  But part of being in the world. Which clearly, we are. We can’t be passive observers. At least now on the threshold of the digital age we can put out something like an ebook and people can sample it for free, and only spend 99c (Amazon’s minimum price) to have our best offerings on their ereaders forever, weightless and maintenance-free.  So the risk for book maker and book reader is way lower, and everyone benefits. And it is great news for the voluminous writer – it costs no more to produce my 2000 page epic as an ebook than to put up this little passport.

What condensed wisdom could you write up one inspired weekend and upload? The power is there for anyone to do it. (If you want help uploading, I do that too see my www.ebookuploader.com)

What about the shingle I put out at the front? Well, the wind kept blowing it over, the corrugated polycarb protecting the printout dims it down, I printed it too small…

So that also need tidying up. So many opportunities to back down and give up! But I will redesign and put it out again.  All part of the process. the dreaming, the Idea, the working out, the following through. Wonderful synchronicities and synergies do happen, bringing things together, but there’s no magic wand when it comes to actually building the things. That’s where the ‘law of attraction’ has to be balanced with a ‘law of Processing’. That’s in the How to be a Wizard guide too, of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ebook Goldrush – yeehah!

‘There’s gold in them there hills’…  I’ve always liked the idea of goldrushes – the manic excitement, the gleam of gold in the eyes of believers in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… the shouts of joy as great nuggets or veins of the timeless metal are unearthed and held by a man hoping for a better life… Yes I know, all so easily corrupted and turned to greed and folly and idolatry of Mammon. Yet… don’t we all yearn for SOMETHING to really hit the jackpot in our lives, something really good? Like, having the power to get our little or big dreams and words out to their natural readers. Like finding our tribe and finding that they LOVE us… Well, look at this 21st Century goldrush story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/novel-rejected-theres-an-e-book-gold-rush/2011/04/09/AFZdqb9F_story.html

an exerpt:

“A thin, pretty brunette who majored in economics at Stanford, Belleville had been a singer in her 20s, but that career died, and now her writing career was so flat line that one of her old publishers had even given her the rights to her first two novels.

So, out of sorts and feeling blue, she sat down one morning and figured out how to self-publish one of those novels, “Authors in Ecstasy,” on Amazon’s e-reader, the Kindle, just to see what would happen. It was a pain. She had zero graphic-arts skills. She had to create a cover, write her jacket copy, figure out formatting and set a price. She did it and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, she checked her account. She had sold 161 copies. She’d made $281. She was astonished.”

It gets better. Much much better… read the article! And go to my Ebook conversion services page for a simple Quickstart ebook upload service. https://wizardgifts.wordpress.com/ebook-conversion-services/ I will shortcut you to them there hills!

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The Long-Awaited School of Wisdom and Wizardry

As promised in the last post, I will now jot down what i have glimpsed so far of the ‘once and future’ school of the perennial wisdom.

I was walking in Albert park by the university while raewyn did her psychology seminar. It is a mythic place, with great trees and a fountain in the middle. And lots of potential wizards walking and talking in it and sitting on the grass. Poppy the doglet loves it too. (Note to self: make sure it isn’t highly ‘illegal’ to walk doglet in said park.) I was intending to read ebook on ebook publishing, on my phone (how cool is that? Smartphones are like libraries too). But the trees seemed to trigger the inner conversation about the school. That and the flashcards Rae was talking about for concept learning in autistic children. We are all autistic, sleepwalking through life, part or nearly all of the time. To awaken, we need to see our life (and all life) as a limited whole, like a tree, with a beginning a growth flourishing and fruiting, and a death.  So, i got that the school can be simple. it can be like what it teaches: that life is a tree. So the school and the curriculum is a sign of itself, displayed fractally as a tree of process. But wait, said my higher self, there’s more! I saw how the tree of life Staff, the vertical axis of all humans, made in the image of the tree of life, gives us the two remaining pieces, added to the Five Aspects of all process, of a simple Diagram of  Everything:

1 THE STAFF  The vertical axis, trunk of the Tree of Life,  rests in the Earth, the Immanent actual divine unfolding. The Universe. Gaia.

2-6 THE ‘TREE OF LIFE’ ROUND TABLE  (and Game, aka the Wheel of Wisdom). The five aspects of the unfolding entity (ourselves, societies, all life) grow from and within it, and are of course part of it. the roots go into the Earth (Love and receptivity), the branches form the beautiful framework (Beauty, novelty), the leaves diversify and articulate the potential of the tree (truth, logic and planning), the fruit (Freedom, action, output, fulfillment) is the output of the tree and its reproduction and defense against extinction; and finally the Fifth Element is the sum of all these four dynamic phases – the status quo, growing and thriving in balance.

7 The staff, at its ‘crown’, links the tree with the Sky, the infinite Continuum of Possibility, possibility space. And that itself is contained within the Absolute Infinite (Cantor’s phrase) of the Neccessary Reality, which is logical and ethical truth. (As Wittgenstein says in the Tractatus, ‘Logic is transcendental… Ethics is transcendental.)

The curriculum simply traces these seven aspects of Reality, and can be drawn as a simple diagram of a staff and a table of five sectors. Then each sector and level can be explored in depth, as suits the individual. The Red individual will focus on the Red phase, the Green on the Green, and so on. Thus there will be five main Houses in the school.

LOVE: Blue House.

BEAUTY: Green House.

TRUTH: Yellow House.

FREEDOM: Red House

THE BALANCE: Purple House.

The other two, EARTH and SKY, I see as serving a minority:

Earth for the true empaths/poets/intuitives of the immanent divine, Gaia, the Goddess.

Sky for the natural mystics, the visionaries and prophets.

But all these must know and experiance that we are ALL needed, the Tree of Life needs all seven. That is why the school is a Wisdom school – it is about the Balance, all present and in right order, so that it actually works as life is meant to work, unfolding powerfully and creatively, not at war with itself, but synergising at all times in a constant flow of creation, love and beauty.

If such a Tree is to be demonstrated at this time of threatening chaos and the downfall of the West, it will surely be a School. A tree that the birds of the air and can shelter in and build their nests and weather the storm. And carry the seeds to the four corners of the Earth. Perhaps then there will be a new vision of civilisation, and the True West may return – or emerge from the ashes of the false. We have never yet really seen a true Renaissance. As C.S.Lewis says in That Hideous Strength (Christian but respectful of much pagan wisdom too i feel, and well worth reading), all lands are ‘haunted’ by their true potential natures. In the case of Britain, he calls that haunting ‘Logres‘. It almost broke through at the time of Arthur and Camelot (in his story), and when it does break through in any land, then Spring will have come at last…

If you are moved by this vision of the school, contact me! or comment here. Or come to the Story Ark and see me. Also, see my epic which has a lot of the vision in it, including (as I see clearly now!) the model of the school. In the Apples of Aeden it is called the hidden faery refuge and school of Urak Tara. The ebook of Volume one, the Girl and the Guardian, is now only 99 cents at the Kindle store: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Guardian-Apples-Aeden-ebook/dp/B003FMUXPM/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

As to the How of it, at the WOW  gathering I had a great lesson from young Adam, who expounded the Why What Who When Where and How sequence. (and challenged me to state my Why and What there and then. It was Be a real wizard, know the wonders of it all and my own place in it,  and Teach others to be the wizards of their own lives…)

Note that the How comes last, and is not reachable at first. We have to go through the other stages first… I have got my Why and What, I think. And the Who in a way – ME! But there have to be others, of course! And I don’t know Who you are – yet.  As I say, if you want to go to this School, or help build it, or just follow it, help name it, donate books, whatever, do get in touch! For a start, subscribe to this blog. I will start another one for the School when I know what to call it… So meanwhile, this is where to come! (Now it is the 8th of May, and happily I have a name AND a logo.  And a website: Eutopian School of Wisdom and Wizardry http://www.schoolofwisdomandwizardry.com

here is the logo:

and my PJH ‘stamp’ for good measure

Peter Harris    wizardgifts.wordpress.com.

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An offer to upload YOU

Well this is a draft but it’s basically good to go [note at 14th Mat 2012: now updated in the page titled ebook conversion services https://wizardgifts.wordpress.com/ebook-conversion-services/ ]:

excitement re ebooks:
I can convert and upload ebooks for you, with velocity and enthusiasm, to one or both of Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Need an email from you with the details i wld need to get your account set up. See my own author profile on smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/wizardofeutopia
(i am very keen on the mix i’ve used for three of my books so far, which is to go standard AMAZON Kindle (not their anti-competitive kindle ‘select’ which has to be exclusive) plus SMASHWORDS. This means you cover all main ebook retailers and their various ebook readers (eg apple ipad, kindle, the nook etc). Each different platform increases the chances of a ‘breakout’ in sales. these breakouts often happen for no known reason in a small segment of the market, then they can spread to the others. so the kindle exclusive deal (‘Select’), while the royalty rate is good, is really not necessarily the best overall – and sucks ethically i think!)
What to do next:
You need to email me:
1 a bio of you, and picture
2 One or two  descriptions (synopsis or ‘blurb’) of the book for the web pages of the online retailers – short one of 400 word or less, one para, and an optional long one up to 4000 words.
3  to get on apple you need an isbn, but as long as you let smashwords be named as the ‘publisher’, they assign a free one for you. You are still the author, and they take no money or rights for this free service. Can’t use the same one as print book.

4 a (new) password of your choice, (can change later), and user name.
5 will get back to you with full details on what payee info they need.
6 a price for ebook. from free to probably $9.99 US.
7 how much of book you will allow readers to browse for free. 20% is usual.
The book file and cover if any:
the upload preferred for kindle and required on Smashwords, is Word, specially cleaned up etc for clean conversion to the 10 or so different platforms. So if your final version is available in word, great; otherwise i can convert your PDF back to word, clean it up, and make that the ebook version. You would get the word file for future edits, too.
Why go this way? Often the book has been in publishing software like Indesign, and there are various versions, etc. The safest way may be to use the final pdf  you or your printer used to print your physical book, and convert that final pdf to Word.
Ebooks are different. It is worthwhile to convert as they are the Coming Thing, but there are many little and big differences from print books. So for example the cover is just one page, needs to be a certain lower resolution, as do all the graphics, with a ceiling of 5meg. for total file size in Word on Smashwords. And the good news is you can go to town with FREE Colour. Now charge for colour so you can have your ebook in beautiful colour on any reader that has a colour screen, while greyscale ones just display in greyscale. So as long as your graphics look ok in both, it is all good.
Odd fonts also need to go, usually. And page numbers. Hyperlinks are a great bonus but need to be put into the Word file of course.
Cost to you:
Depending on the state of your file, how many pictures and graphics, the length etc., and how many changes you want for the ebook version. Send your file and i can estimate or even quote.  I am still offering my (low) $30/hour rate plus gst (this will change when i am really up to speed!).
Ownership:
All material is in your name and you wld be able to log in to smashwords and kindle and change things at will, and the royalties wld all go direct to you. I just do the setup for a fee, and any revisions you ask for later. No residual charges or ownership transfers!
Promos and SEO stuff for not much cost as I am doing this anyway for my own books and want to practice and will only do for you what is working for me:
– I can (soon) offer Youtube video trailers, some backlink magic, and links to best practice advice on promotion of ebooks.
– I can (instantly) make you a WordPress blog/website linked to a Facebook page. You then can go there and write in it, upload images etc, all easy and mostly – big claim – intuitive for writers! i like WordPress, and have several blogs 🙂
– i LOVE making covers and can do yours. So important, the biggest selling tool of all for a book, online as well as in print.
– i love copy writing, for blurbs, and editing these vital pieces of IP, second in importance only to covers as sales tools. I can do, or redo, yours. With enthusiasm, velocity and (I believe) flashes of verbal inspiration and insight.
as i say, that’s a draft of my offer but basically its all true and i am ready!
Do you want to dip a toe in the water? I dare you!
ps: email me now with any questions not covered by the above: wizardofeutopia@gmail.com.
pps: i can’t actually upload YOU, but your book baby is the next best thing 🙂

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ebooks uploading now at Ark!

Well the learning curve continues as right-brained visionary writers jump nervously through virtual hoops. I am of course assuming there are others out there like myself doing it, or trying to in between actually writing…

I’ve persevered with Smashwords and Kindle in tandem for full coverage, and now have put 4 up on Kindle and 3 of those at Smashwords. (The extra one is the Girl and the Guardian, which was put up ages ago on kindle and is awaiting one last edit before we re-upload it. You can re-upload at any time, new covers etc too.)

The Icon of Ainenia, a favourite book ‘baby’ which I birthed in a particularly rightbrained visionary mode about seven years ago, is the latest:

Before that I did the new version of my perennial ‘Fantastic Ferrocement’ complete with dozens of coloured photos and dozens of diagrams.

 

Both Smashwords and kindle handled it fine, and it seems like a kind of miracle that all that is (or will be soon in the case of kindle which takes a few hours to appear) out there for instant download anywhere at any time of day or night. No printing or binding worries, no financial outlay, just time and a bit of agony in the left brain department. It gets easier though, and i am now about to offer the service to other even more techno-wary brothers and sisters of the writing kin.

see and sample up to 20% for free,  and with one click buy( ! 🙂 ) – the ebooks on offer from the wizard of eutopia on these two alternative author pages, on amazon and smashwords:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SZAGA4

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/wizardofeutopia

Well, now, what are you going to upload? (or pay me a small fee to?) It truly is free for the taking, and for the finding through google, and even if the books don’t sell for a year or three, they are still out there until the web falls or western civilisation, or you decide to take’em down…

 

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how I put an ebook up on all known platforms

Well i think i did! In two simple (not really but sort of if jumping though hoops plus a bit of seat of pants joining the inexplicably not prejoined dots in the instructions with the help of the kindle user forum) steps i uploaded ‘How to be Creative – A Passport to Creativity’ onto:

1 SMASHWORDS – nice, almost intuitive, encouraging. Went ‘live’ almost straight away. here it is on smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/150062#longdescr

2 AMAZON Kindle – sometimes confusing to newbie, but basically clear, given willingness to jump through hoops and various web pages. It was with Amazon i had to look up newbie questions on the forums they have. Will wait till the morning to see if live and all ok – takes up to 12 hours.

 

WHY these two? well amazon kindle apparently currently has maybe 65% of the ebook market, and smashwords doesn’t (yet) have a deal with them, but does get you into all the other main platforms/ebook retailers, in one FREE hit.

So between the two the net is spread wide. I’m told this is good as you never know which retailer or platform your ebook may ‘break out’ – go viral 🙂 – in. Assuming it does, it can then spread to the others. IF we stick with Amazon’s monopolistic KDP ‘select’ program to get the 70% royalty rate (less their ‘delivery’ charge whatever THAT is!) then we are forgoing the ‘dark horses’ of the 35% of the market, and helping Amazon in anti-competitive practices, which i think is bad. So i used their ‘standard’ (really LOW!!!) 35% royalty to remain free and of good conscience. Smashwords give good rates, from 85% for their own bookstore, down to 60% for  the others they get you into, including apple, kobo diesel sony etc.

here is the cover of the ebook i uploaded. (based on my free pdf which is still on this blog and free, but this new edition is better, of course, and is only $2.99 US)

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