Caring Enough to Try

It has been one of those weeks. This and that and some other thing goes wrong. Then some wackadoodle goes off in a Facebook thread, sets up a fake account and starts attacking everyone who disagreed with her, and extends the venom to include members of their families. That sort of thing leaves a bad taste in your mouth and puts you in a crappy mood.

Then I got a message from my friend Catherine Mahoney. She’s asking for a little help to draw attention to some authors who are out there trying to do a little good.

Indies Unlimited does not support or endorse any specific charity or cause. This isn’t just about that though. This is about people who see others suffering and decide to do something about it.That deserves to be applauded, and it reminds me of the greater good in this wonderful community of indie writers.

So, here are three projects aimed at extending a helping hand to those in need. You can click on those covers and buy the books.

Angels Cried – 40 authors and artists who contributed to create the anthology “Angels Cried.” This inspiring collection is a wonderful way to make a difference for those who truly need it the most. The proceeds from this book go to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, managed by the United Way. Thank you for sharing hope. http://indiesinaction.blogspot.com

April Rains benefits victims of the West Texas plant explosion and the donations go to the United Way of Texas which will distribute them to the first responders, their families, and others injured in the explosion.

United We Stand – This anthology was created by compassionate individuals who desired to assist the victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon Tragedy. All the proceeds will be donated to Wounded Warriors.

I know there are lots more examples of this kind of goodness in the community, like our own K.S Brooks heading up the Indie Authors for Hurricane Sandy Library Relief, and Matt and Danielle Drake, who established Kourageous Kids Storybooks for children with cancer. So, if you’re involved with an effort to help others, or know of an author who is, go ahead and slap a link in the comments. We salute you.

Make Me Believe the Unbelievable

Guest post
by Walt Morton

There is a pact between every author and every reader. The pact goes like this: “I, the author, will tell you a story with characters and events so interesting and true you’ll enjoy every word to the very end.” But sometimes, good intentions fail and the story stinks. The betrayed reader throws the book into the trash and swears never to read the %&$*$ writer again.

The worst offense is when the pact between writer and reader fractures because the writer presents something false, unbelievable, or inconsistent with real life experience. Among Hollywood screenwriters, the relevant tenet is called “suspension of disbelief.” The concept originated with the poet Coleridge in 1817 who said if writers put “human interest and a semblance of truth” into stories then readers would not be put off by any implausibility of the narrative. But what are the three big violations of plausibility that most frequently send books into the trash? Continue reading “Make Me Believe the Unbelievable”

Buy Links Simplified

Purchase links can be hideous, long, octopi-like disasters.

What happens on sites like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and others, is that the path you take to get to the link becomes attached – part of the “history” of the link. The next thing you know, you have something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Postcards-Mr-Pish-Cross-Country-ebook/dp/B0072YXQGC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370798259&sr=1-1&keywords=postcards+from+mr.+pish+by+k.+s.+brooks. Ugly, for certain. What this tells anyone who takes the time to look at it is – the person providing the link didn’t have a dedicated link saved or bookmarked somewhere, so they searched on Amazon.com using the keywords “postcards from mr. pish by K. S. Brooks” to get to the book they wanted. Sure, sometimes doing a search is faster than pulling up a bookmark, but the results do not look professional. The only part of that link that you actually need to give someone is: http://www.amazon.com/Postcards-Mr-Pish-Cross-Country-ebook/dp/B0072YXQGC/. Much better, right? Continue reading “Buy Links Simplified”

Using Animoto to Make a Thirty Second Book Trailer

[NOTE: this is a repeat of a previously published tutorial by IU Special Agent Carol Wyer. She is currently away on secret assignment, teaching homeless dolphins to dance, or possibly something else. I’m a little fuzzy on the details. I have it written down here somewhere. Please also note Animoto has added some new templates and features. Below is a video K.S. Brooks made just this week using one of the new templates.]

I have been researching book trailer videos for weeks for my post next month when I discuss whether or not we should employ experts to produce book trailer videos. I have watched so many trailers that I have started buying popcorn to eat while I browse them all. Some are brilliant. Sad to say, mine is not in the ‘brilliant’ category and I have spent hours fooling about with Windows trying to make a reasonable video.

Imagine then my pleasure when I stumbled across www.animoto.com. I am still a bit of a Luddite when it comes to technological mysteries but Animoto is very easy to use. Now, remember I am a ‘numpty’ and I am also very old, so be patient as I attempt to explain how to use this great site. Continue reading “Using Animoto to Make a Thirty Second Book Trailer”