Hi – remember me?
I started this blog in April 2008 on blogspot- it moved to WordPress and this url in November 2008. I’d had the odd month-long break over the years but the 3 months since I last posted here is a personal record, and not in a good way!
Well to be honest I never intended to blog in November as I was away in Burma for the entire month, and I was a bit busy before I went away – but the whole of December and half of January is a bit unacceptable.
So, to all of you, and particularly those who got in contact to say variations of “are you dead/got a job/decided to start a pyramid scheme” – sorry.
I’m still working out the future for this site – but it does have a future – don’t worry! I feel like I’m straddling two worlds at the moment:
Which is not to say I’m an expert in either: but I think I probably better in both than most i.e. I write better than the average SEO and I know more SEO than the average author.
There may be a niche between the two – I’m going to find out.
What Have I Been Doing
I still struggle with writing, there is still far too much time-wasting. But I did get the third book out for my Non-Boring Travel Guides series live before I went to Myanmar. It’s not selling well yet, but to be fair I’ve done little promotion, except for a few free days recently, which has given me a few sales.
I also put together a picture book of some of my best Myanmar photos – to encourage people to signup for my mailing list on LisTravelTips.com – pictures don’t look so good in black and white – so I went with pdf for this one.
I have a number of 1/2 finished projects including how-to guides for travel in Myanmar (parts of which will be posted on LisTravelTips.com ) and a travel memoir from an earlier trip around Australia. I’m starting to get quite angry at how the success of Eat, Pray, Love now means that no trad published travel book has much travel content on the places visited, rather just a little window-dressing before we get to the internal angst, and insecurities of the author/friend/partner/dog plus their love-life (or lack thereof). I’d like to put the travel back in Travel Memoir …
I’m getting a consistent stream of formatting jobs, from a mix of people I know and people who found me either from my formatting book or via random searches they’ve found this site.
The biggest change in the last year or so is – that, finally, as of 31 December, Smashwords is accepted ePubs direct, so you no longer have to go via the awful Word formatting step. I’m still playing with this – so I will be writing more about it shortly.
I’m also beginning to wonder about the continuum of eBooks to web apps. I don’t actually see much difference, apart from the technology, and I see a way to get more mileage from my content. As Windows 8 rolls out I see apps stopping being just a toy for iPad users, and are on the way to becoming mainstream. EBook formats aren’t great for a lot of travel content, better than paper, but not great, it could be that the app space is where I should be. Anyone doing this already?
Yup I’m still making less money than this time last year, and lot’s less than the previous year, but onwards and upwards. I’m not about to get a JOB or anything defeatist like that, and frankly, I’m enjoying doing more client work. It’s good to hear about other people’s ways of working and ideas, and I have a several of my own.
Frankly when I started on-line I really didn’t see why anyone would ever buy anything that I created. I’ve changed my ideas on that, the more I look at what’s available in the travel niche, the more I think I can add value! Plus, and this is a surprise, my Kindle Formatting guide sells steadily, predominantly by world-of-mouth, so I will be considering writing some more books that help out the technically terrified author.
And This Blog?
I made my “reputation” here for calling it as I saw it and bad language and grammar. I’m working on the grammar and the proof-reading – the rest of it probably won’t change much. I know the “A-listers” still say you shouldn’t rock the boat – and I still disagree. There are plenty of scams in publishing, just as in Internet Marketing. Buyer beware – but I’m happy to help 🙂
I see a niche of where writers meet marketers , I’ve seen absolutely awful books do well because they are well promoted, and I’ve seen great books die because no one can find them. I’d like to get the two sides talking to each other.
I’ve seen plenty of people start blogs talking about their often multi-year journey to publish (self or trad) a fiction book. This is my journey to publish and make money from a range of non-fiction books.
Plus I’m not American – so there are some quirks about doing the ebook thing – starting with getting an ITIN (coming soon).
So yes I will be posting more often, stick around 2013 is going to be an awesome year, both for me and for anyone else who is willing to put the work in to being a successful entrepreneur online (that’s shorthand for a writer who markets, or a marketer who who writes).