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Breaking News: Cost of Shipping Will Be the Same for All 50 US States

After sending copies of Battle of the Band and the Prophesied Band to various US states including Hawaii (but not Alaska, yet), I have discovered that basic rates for shipping to the various contiguous 48 states and Hawaii (by boat, that is–by plane it would be more expensive, and I do not want to add $3 or $4 more to the shipping cost…the packages they would be shipped in cost a little over a dollar)–that various shipping rates are basically the same, roughly $4.50 whether to Texas, Oregon, New York, or Hawaii.

Note: I was shocked to find how cheap it was to send a book to Hawaii! But it did take a while before the recipient got the book. Volcanoes, maybe?

Therefore, as one will see on the Bookstore page, all shipping costs for one single book will be $4.50 as long as it is being shipped within the US, and costs for shipping for both books will be $5.00 (since two books are being shipped in the same package).

Overseas costs will not change until I determine what the shipping cost to Canada or Europe would be. Keep in mind, both books are in the English language only.

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If I Can Start Self-Publishing With Almost No Money in the Age Before Online Self-Publishing and Social Media, Almost ANY Writer Can Do It Today

I have been on the WordPress Writer/Author scene since mid-February, 2018, and have read dozens of posts by newbies and established writers-authors and bloggers who have advice on writing and self-publishing. Read the advice, but, folks, you have to figure this one out yourselves, even if you lose money in the process. I am what one would call a “tactile learner,” that is, I learn by doing.

For instance, I learned by foolishly trying to transfer a domain from BlueHost, who claimed to be ICANN registered but aren’t (or else why would they send me an e-mail stating I needed to go through whois@BlueHost.com, when Whois is part of ICANN? WHOIS LOOK-UP is indeed part of ICANN), that transferring a domain is a fool’s errand unless you already have done such a thing in the past and succeeded. So, all I could do was withdraw my complaint against BlueHost. BlueHost can throw my domain I paid for in the trash, or hand it over to some whatever for free. When the domain comes up for renewal I will not be renewing it.

Back to the original storyline.

In 1995, I completed my first book for print—there was no online e-book platform back then that I could access since we didn’t have internet until 1998 anyway. The novel is called Battle of the Band, and, in those days if you didn’t have one of the Big Publishers as well as a literary agent, you either spent thousands with a vanity publisher (a very bad idea…paying them thousands, while you STILL had to market the books yourself! And you also had to sell the books yourself!), or you spent your own money on setting up your own indy self-publishing company, getting your ISBNs, sending your book to the Library of Congress for registration (usually two copies), and paying to get the book printed. No problem—unless you unwisely got more copies printed than you knew you could sell on your own. In fact, I believe that was truly the only mistake I made: I got 1,000 copies (and over-copies besides) printed when I probably should have gotten only a few hundred.

By 1998, when I had completed the second novel in the trilogy, The Prophesied Band, I only ordered a hundred (plus over-copies), and because of that, actually made a small profit. Lesson learned. And, when we got the internet—dialup—I got with a company called BookZone, was interviewed by some BookZone woman, and sold some copies through them. But mostly, I sold copies on my own.

But here is the beauty of it: ALL copies of these two books were sold with NO ADVERTISING COSTS (at a very to cost to BookZone…they got minimal take from their sales, but that’s it)! The only advertising I did besides BookZone was showing up at buy-sell-trade events like the local Fourth-of-July festival or the Writer’s Conferences held by a local writer’s group called the Texas Mountain Trail Writers, or doing press releases in the local papers.

So I didn’t make much money with OmegaBooks back then. But I did get the experience of self-publishing through my own indy publishing company. And I did it when I was mothering and home schooling two young children. And other motherly and wife-ly chores. And not earning any money in the process other than some book sales.

Fast forward to today. After working five years as an office manager for the local Property Owners Association, I retired what with the kids in or out of college on their own. In 2016, I got serious and began on the completion of what has been posted, the FREE PDF novel, The Prodigal Band (which tells the whole story from beginning to end), here. Because I had been working and saving money for this effort, I now have the funds at my disposal (and am on Social Security and Medicare—most of the savings I have made will go toward medical expenses, which are outrageous in the USA…and dammit if I need to I’ll get it done in Mexico! I don’t live far from the border). But OmegaBooks will get what is needed.

As I’ve said in other posts I had been rejected by big publishers and literary agents, so I had no other recourse but to do it myself. But now? Writers and authors, you do not even need a big publisher and you certainly don’t need a literary agent unless you’re a “celebrity” or something who likely doesn’t even write the thing! And don’t literary agents take a big swipe out of your take? Let alone big publishers? Go back to read here my post on how Stephen King got screwed before he became a celebrated author.

If you have the time to write, you have the time to set up your own company, your own website, your own Amazon or whatever account, your own PDFs (using Word or WordPerfect—both can now be immediately exported to PDF), get your own ISBNs and Library of Congress registrations for $55 (which guarantees your copyright against Adobe Acrobat-owning pirates who download your book, then steal from it trying to ‘copyright’ what they have stolen!) and DMCA-documentation as well for a measly six bucks! Also, copyright anything you put online or any portions of your online books on your sites. Put your book on a Cloud format (such as Adobe Acrobat DC Cloud or Google Cloud or whatever)? Make sure you copyright it for real and submit to the Library of Congress.

If a 65-year-old non-tech-savvy person can do it, so can you.

If you are Christian? As the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus says, ‘Never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.’

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Good News! This Site Is Succeeding!

Sorry about the lack of posts here and on my Omega Books blog. But it has been a very busy last couple of weeks. For one thing I have been ‘re-hired’ by the local POA board to help mentor the new POA office manager, about ten hours a week at 15 an hour.

Plus I am  mentoring a Christian writer who is working on his first fiction novel, and has a WordPress blog as well.

Finally, a couple who run a news website   that may be one of the few ‘non-click-bait’ alt-news sites out there, and consider me a friend of sorts, have posted FREE ADVERTISING for my two printed books and my FREE PDF e-book! Because of these free ads, I am now getting at least one or two and sometimes more DOWNLOADS of my free e-book as well as now book sales, daily! I recently sent a copy of Battle of the Band to Hawaii! The book buyer lives on the ‘Big Island’ where that volcano is, so prayers for her are in order. Keep safe my friend, and God be with you!

Hopefully soon I will be putting up a PayPal button link so one can buy my books using e-checks, which is a lot easier payment method than sending cash or check. Further, it will allow me to post more exact shipping charges. The book I sent to Hawaii was shipped a lot cheaper than I thought it would be shipped, so I’ll owe the buyer a refund of sorts. I would rather have gotten it right the first time!

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Spiritual

Moving on to the spiritual aspect of why I wrote these books…

In the fall of 1993, at night with the myriad of star-shine visions outside the house at night in the mountains, a view of the heavens, thinking some divine entity was hovering above, a thought came into my head, in my own voice, telling me that now was the time to begin to compile all the character and theme and setting and story and all the stuff I had carried in my head since the mid-60s. The time to write the novel was nigh….

Since I was raising a toddler daughter at the time, I had limited time to do this work, but I managed to get the rough draft manuscript done by the summer of 1994 only to have to go back to work teaching secondary math–in El Paso, in what was then a ‘gang land high school’ and put up with not only gangster students but a principal that couldn’t handle gangster students (the ONLY time I noticed serious discipline in the hallways was the one week this so-called principal was at a conference in Washington, DC! During that week, the assistant principals and security guards were actually able to do their jobs, and not one student of mine tried sneaking out of class or wanted to roam the halls…the only time this happened!) After the kids went to bed at night, when I wasn’t grading tests or whatever, I edited the rough-rough-rough draft. I quit the teaching job in June, 1995.

That summer I began the actual rough draft on someone else’s Macintosh computer, from 6 am until 8 am, when I had to go back home to home school my kids. In fall of 1995 I bought my own Mac computer with System 7.5. When I had time, I finalized the first novel, Battle of the Band, which was completed in 1996–after a writer/retired teacher friend of mine Beta Edited the novel twice.

And what she told me through her proof-reading/editing caused me to think maybe divine intervention WAS at work in this first book:

Read the rest here.

Download the FREE The Prodigal Band PDF e-book here.

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Get the Word Out About Your Books? Start with Your Neighbors

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As I have said in previous posts about how I began selling my first self-published novel, Battle of the Band, in 1996 WITH NO MONEY SPENT ON ADVERTISING, I was able to sell between 200 and 300 books within the first two years of its publishing and printing SOLELY by selling at the following:

  1. Local writer conferences (I belong to Texas Mountain Trail Writers)
  2. Neighborhood stores on consignment
  3. BookZone, an early indy book publishing platform that did charge a small fee.
  4. Just talking about the books to neighbors
  5. Local events such as the Fourth of July parade and vendor fair, again paying a small fee to set up a booth.
  6. “Press releases” in local papers.

And this, folks, happened in far west Texas, the Big Bend area, in which the largest town, Alpine, has a population of about 5,000 people! The closest town to me is Fort Davis, population about 800. The POA I live in had a population at that time of about 200, now it is closer to 400 full-time residents. And, while there were folks in other towns such as Alpine that bought my books, the book store in Alpine refused to sell them on consignment. The book store in Fort Davis sold a couple; the local store in my POA sold a few. BookZone sold a few, but not enough to cause me to keep paying their fee, so I closed that account in 1999.

As to sales of Battle of the Band, at least 90 percent of sales came through three sources: the writer conferences, the local vendor events, and getting with neighbors. As for the second book, The Prophesied Band, with about 60 copies sold (I only got 100 printed…I learned my lesson about getting too many copies printed), most of those sales were again due to the conferences, vendor events and getting with neighbors.

Small indy publishers and self-published authors MUST be smart about spending money on advertising, on-line and off-line, even if you are just creating e-books for sale on Amazon or your own store. At some point you are going to want to get your books printed—don’t forget, there are still people out there who either don’t have internet or spend little time on the internet or don’t buy stuff online.

My suggestion (because for me it works)? Either print your books (if the books are fiction, I’d say no more than 250 books on your first printing) or create e-books, then sell them at local events or writer conferences you attend and among your local writer’s group AND create cards and flyers with some kind advertising with links to your e-books you sell yourself (or give away) or through Amazon or other platform, and do whatever you have to do to get the word out to your neighbors. If I can do this in a very rural remote area of only 400 people and still sell some books myself just by telling them about the books, then anyone can.

Note: This past Saturday our local POA had a “spring fling” vendor event—buy/sell/trade/swap/garage sale—with donations to the local volunteer fire dept., sponsored by the local non-denominational church. About 100 people showed up, and I sold ten books! I’d say my method works!

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Read the Privacy Policy!

Especially if you want to buy my OmegaBooks novels and download the FREE The Prodigal Band PDF e-book AND you are a citizen of any European Union nation including the English-speaking UK and Ireland (since my products are exclusively in English!…and my main novel characters are English!)

Here is the link to the OmegaBooks Privacy Policy.

This Privacy Policy is new, just formed on May 21, 2018 to COMPLY with the new GDPR rules of the European Union regarding data policy as well as private information necessary for OmegaBooks to sell to European Union nation citizens my printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band, as well as give away my FREE PDF e-book, The Prodigal Band.

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BOOKSTORE Is Set To Go!

I just added a Book Store link so one can purchase one of the printed Prodigal Band Trilogy novels, Battle of the Band or The Prophesied Band, or BOTH! When you purchase BOTH in the same order you save $5.00 on the cost of the books as well as saving on shipping costs!

To purchase either or both books at once, click here!

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 5

In Part 1, I stated why I became a writer-story-teller. In Part 2, I stated why the characters I made up were a gang and then a rock band. In Part 3, I stated why the rock band morphed into one from England, and in Part 4, why they were from northeast England, where the initial setting would occur. Now is Part 5, discussing the various changes I made over the next twenty or so years from 1970 until the final version of the first novel in the series, Battle of the Band, was published, that set the stage for the next two books, including the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band.

Read the rest here.

Download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band here.

 

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 4

Continued from Part 3 , the four of us—my friend and I and two college students—parked the van we rented in the overnight parking lot next to the ferry dock for the Isle of Wight to head for the Isle of Wight Rock Festival the following morning. Next to our van was another van, and next to us in front of that van were three men likely in their twenties that really only I spoke with, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Of the three, I could only really understand one of them; the other two had much thicker Geordie accents. No matter, the accent was fascinating (and, in fact, most English accents are somewhat fascinating).

Read the rest here.

Download the FREE The Prodigal Band PDF e-book here.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 3

Continued from Part 2:  I said my boy diary characters became a gang, but not a drug gang or s violent gang. Just a close knit group of boys, and all these teen boys had girlfriends. Remember, this was fantasy stuff in my fake persona diary that I kept, basically, because I loved writing and writing about a persona that was very popular among boys literally kept me sane (even if it seems as though making up fantasy personas seems insane! I will say this: I am sure any friends I had did think I was a bit on the weird side because I was such a non-conformist. And love of rock music was almost the only way I knew I could fit in with ‘the crowd’).

But, as rock music went psychedelic beginning with the 1967 ‘summer of love’ in San Fran’s Haight-Ashbury district, hippie central, and the release of the landmark Beatles’ album, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—you know, the one with Aliester Crowley on the cover—I suddenly found myself absorbed in this music and decided I wanted to learn guitar.

Read the rest on the OmegaBooks Blog: The Prodigal Band Trilogy, the Why, Part 3 here.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, here, no boy would dance with me in the public school gym on rainy days, so I pretended they would using a fictional diary character, a “new persona” so to speak, just to make myself feel like I was okay and not the ‘D-lister’ I imagined everyone else thought I was. I didn’t even think my neighborhood friends thought I was up to snuff (and I don’t mean “snuff film snuff” either! If this happened to day I’d have been called a “geek” or “emo”). Four of the fictional diary boys later became four of my Prodigal Band fictional characters.

But in late December, 1963, before school was let out for Christmas vacation, I noticed a magazine picture on a shelf along the blackboard wall headed out the door….

Read the rest of this blog post here.

 

Download the FREE Prodigal Band PDF here.

 

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New Blog Post May 4, 2018 on Omegabooks Blog

Want to know why I got this entire Prodigal Band project started in 1962-1963? At the age or 9?

Click Here to find out what led me to begin this adventure!

Download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band here. Or read the Prologue here.

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On This National Day of Prayer

I just have a few minutes left to pray to ask my Father God and His Son my Lord and Savior Christ to turn the hearts, minds, and souls from evil and accept Jesus Christ as Savior. And to thank God for giving me the writing “mission” He gave me which, I pray, will turn hearts, minds, and souls to Good,  His will be done. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

The Prodigal Band FREE PDF download by clicking here

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Finally! The Prodigal Band FREE PDF Download is Available!

Again, FINALLY! After working for a month thanks to BlueHost’s screw-up and my own pissy reaction to this screw up, and a week of setting up this site having almost no tech background at all (since html went by the wayside years ago), I, by, indeed, the Grace of God, have finally gotten my finalized The Prodigal Band FREE PDF registered at the Library of Congress yesterday (April 30, 2018) and the site set up yesterday afternoon and evening.

Further, I “cleaned up” the manuscript text some. Thanks to Allyson Kennedy of Authoring Arrowheads  I was motivated to get rid of SOME of the cussing through my characters (but not all of it…I want my characters I created as a teenager to be seen as real people, and don’t most folks cuss every now and then, including Christians?), and wanted to clean up some of the “sex scenes” because, after all, someone under the age of 21 might want to download the book–I really don’t want to be sued by their parents for ‘indecent exposure’! So that, instead of “so-and-so” did “such-and-such” to “so-and-so”  in a more graphic way, I changed it to “so-and-so” “made love” or “had sex” or “lit into” or some other much less graphic type language.

Why? “Edify” as the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29. It’s in the Bible.

Generally I do not assign a “genre” to my books. Allyson Kennedy, for instance, writes Christian fiction. Now, anyone can read Christian fiction, but I assume mostly Christians read Christian fiction. I am Christian, but my “mission from God” (and I cam NOT stealing from the movie Blues Brothers here!) is to write to NON-Christians. Thus, I would call this e-book (and my two printed books Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band) within the “spiritual” genre if there is such a thing. It was GOD, not me or my parents or ancestors, that gave me the talent and motivation to write these books.

Here is the link to the page from where one can download the FREE PDF (I could link directly to the e-book for download, but below the link is the entire Prologue to read, and then one can decide if they want the FREE e-book or not):

The Prodigal Band FREE PDF

 

 

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Just for Fun: Country Name Words Used Often, or Sometimes, in the English Language (with usually different spellings)

Can you name five or six nations that have names that are also common (or not so common) to the English language?

Rules:

  1. They cannot be names of people UNLESS the word is also used to describe an item or thing. Names like Israel, Jordan, Georgia do not apply.
  2. They must be commonly referred to by a single word only. Names like Czech Republic do not apply.
  3.  They must be single words, not country names that in English would contain two or more words. Names like Denmark (den and mark), Iceland (ice and land) do not apply.
  4. They must be independent nations, not colonies, overseas territories, commonwealths, or groups of islands forming a nation, such as Micronesia.
  5.  They must be defined as English words with proper pronunciations that are English. Meaning Chile is out…while many still pronounce Chile as “chilly” or “chili” the proper dictionary pronunciations is CHI-LAY (the Spanish e being a long a sound) Other names like Ecuador, which is Spanish for “equator” are out. Also, Qatar, which is often pronounced “cutter,” is also out; it is pronounced “cotter” or “cot-tar.” (and not “guitar” either!)

I will provide one example just to make sure folks know what I mean:  Greece. Because Greece is pronounced like the word “grease.” The example of Greece ought to give you a hint as for two more nations with English word names. The other two won’t be so easy.

Have at it in the comment box below.

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Welcome to Another Fine Adventure With OmegaBooks! This Could Be It, Folks!

After NOT BEING ABLE to transfer my ‘omegabooks.net’ domain from BlueHost, as if they were stealing my paid for domain just because they could–maybe they didn’t and maybe I screwed up but I’ll never know the truth of it…BlueHost employees work for BlueHost, not their customers….I mean, isn’t that the mindset these days?–because when I unlocked the domain on BlueHost, then got a “secret code” called an EPP after I removed Privacy from the domain on BlueHost (it was the “privacy” thing that got me into trouble in the first place, but I am 65, am not a techie, so what did I know?), I got an e-mail from WordPress about “following instructions on an e-mail from ‘whois@BlueHost.com'” and, since BlueHost DELETED my domain site, I could NOT access any e-mail at ‘whois@BlueHost.com’! And no techie help at BlueHost solved this issue, so now basically BlueHost controls my paid for domain, ‘omegabooks.net.’

So this is what I am doing. WordPress, for some reason–good for WordPress–gave me a free domain, namely, what you see in the URL location atop your browser, ‘omegabooksnet.wordpress.com’ that is a FREE DOMAIN that I can turn into an actual ‘omegabooks.net’ website on WordPress WITHOUT having to pay for the domain again! But I will have to pay the $96 for the Premium plan. Fine. I was going to do this anyway if BlueHost would have done the right thing and allowed the domain to be transferred.

So it is this site on where I will either post the FREE PDF version of The Prodigal Band, or a link to it on a cloud server or whatever. Plus, I will be selling, either using PayPal or Amazon or some other platform my two already printed first two novels of the Prodigal Band Trilogy, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band. I will also be linking back and forth from my other Omega Books site