Both SoftCover and E-Book Versions of The Prodigal Band Trilogy are Now Available for Purchase on Lulu.com and iBookStore!

Both the softcover and e-book version of the Three-Books-in-One The Prodigal Band Trilogy are now available for purchase on Lulu.com and iBookStore, by clicking on my Lulu Spotlight Author Page here.

The E-book is easily downloadable once the purchase is made, and is in the EPUB format which is what Lulu (using the Calibre E-book Management e-Reader tool, a FREE download), Barnes and Nobel Nook, Kobo, iBook, and other readers use. Simply add the e-book your device or e-Reader library.

The e-book is not yet available on Amazon Kindle which uses the MOBI format, but it should be available soon assuming Amazon agrees to distribute the book.

As the printed softcover and e-book becomes available on Amazon and other sites for purchase I will let the reader know.

You Can Now Buy The Prodigal Band Trilogy on Lulu.com! Will Be Available on Other Platforms Soon!

See the “buy now!” button from Lulu near the top of the page.

I will be posting this same information on the Bookstore page shortly, but I am posting this “buy button” now just for the heck of it! Plus I now have a Lulu Author Spotlight page for more information about this ‘three-novels-in-one’ e-book (printed book to be made available once I check on the look and formatting; Lulu is sending me a copy to check it out). One can purchase off the Spotlight page as well. But for right now I am trying out this button:

 
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
 
One more thing: Lulu publishes e-books in the EPub format and the easiest and cheapest way to view their EPubs is to download, for free, the Calibre E-book Management software. It is so simple I didn’t even have to read the manual that comes with the software!

1. Download Calibre according to what your operating system is (see buttons on page).

2. Once you download the software, simply click “Add books” in the top menu and then find the downloaded e-book you (hopefully) have on your computer or device, and then your book is added.

3. Finally, click the “View” button in the menu to view the book (first, click on the book in your book list.)

4. After reading whatever in the book, bookmark where you are in the book to pick it up where you left off. To do this, there is a Table of Contents menu to the left of the book page you are on, and one of the menu items is a blue “bookmark” looking pix. Simply click on that menu item.

For easy page “turning,” there are two purple “arrows” right above the blue bookmark menu item. The arrow facing left is to go back a page, and the arrow facing right is to go forward to the next page. This is a lot easier than trying to scroll, but at the top menu is a button where you can “flow” the book text. I think the arrows are easier, though. One can scroll using the scroll thingee on the right side of the e-book, but it could scroll too quickly.

And remember also, there are no page numbers within e-books.

‘The Prodigal Band Trilogy’ Print Version in Production Now

While the main purpose of getting with Lulu Publishing was to have them create and distribute the e-book version of my Prodigal Band Trilogy as three-books-in-one for anyone wanting to read the books on a Kindle or Nook or other e-book reader device and not have to deal with EPUB publishing errors many have had to deal with (sometimes, ‘pay-to-play’ makes more sense when there are several e-book platforms one can sell the book on, not just Amazon, which offers a poor royalty pay-out IMHO compared to Lulu), for no extra fee, Lulu is also going to produce soft-cover books for purchase from said distribution outlets. While the distributor gets to set the price for sale, the list price will be between $35 and $40 for this 676 page three-novels-in-one (which costs about $15 each to produce, and where Lulu and myself can earn a bit of money on). I will also purchase books I can sell at a considerable mark-down (about $20 to $25 per book) having to just purchase the books at cost (that is, about $15, plus shipping.)

Now, if you as a self-publishing author have the funds available to let Lulu “do the heavy lifting” so-to-speak and not have to concern yourself with EPUB errors or Kindle policy and formatting changes (because over the span of a couple of years Kindle has completely changed their Kindle-Create/Kindle Desktop Publishing/Kindle whatever formatting app that, upon doing research, I found was confusing and causing publishing errors by various authors, not to mention the low payout for self-publishers. Plus Barnes and Noble Nook is having issues as well. And Walmart now uses Kobo, and then there is Mac’s iBook and several other platforms–all of which have different formatting styles. Why go through the hassle when Lulu can accommodate all these various platforms at once? And, as I said, their payout is higher.

And their various teams have, IMHO, done an excellent job, from the initial team which found several possible copyright or privacy issues (especially since my books mention so many celebrities and media outfits), to the team handling the revisions, to the team handling production. All have done well and a great big thank you!

Again, if you have the funding for your e-book or print book or both, I’d go with Lulu Publishing. It is worth the money you’d pay them, and they always give discounts anyway.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy E-book to be Uploaded to Lulu.com Tomorrow or Monday

All I have to do now is the “Afterword” or something at the end of the book to explain how this book and the three trilogy original books came about. By Monday the latest, the e-book The Prodigal Band Trilogy–the three-books-in-one e-book that should be available on Amazon Kindle, Kobo (now including WalMart), Barnes and Noble Nook, Lulu and other platforms in a few months, after all the formatting by Lulu’s “team” and cover art is done, and I, the author, gives my okay.

When the e-book is being distributed on various platforms, I will likely reduce the price of both printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band, but shipping, between four and five dollars, will remain the same.

The FREE PDF The Prodigal Band will remain available for download for Free here.

Above is another possible piece of cover art, based on a photo I took in 2009 at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. As much as I like Pexels.com, someone I know is now sued by a photographer for “copyright infringement” for using a “free stock photo” from Pexels! Not blaming Pexels here, but apparently that photo he or she posted there was removed by the photographer later so the bogus “suit” could go through. So from here on in, if I need cover art, I’ll just do it myself. And Getty images charges too damned much for the rights to a license over a photo! If Lulu wants to change the cover art that’s up to them.

E-Book Almost Complete. Now for the Hard Part–Cover Art

Having not posted since December and revising the parts of The Prodigal Band that will be included in my forthcoming e-book, the all-inclusive The Prodigal Band Trilogy, I have completed the proofread and edits using large PDF printing through Word’s export mechanism. One final read-through is on the way and I’ll be sending the completed manuscript to Lulu later this week.

Because I just completed the hardest part of the job–the cover art.

Now I used to be an artist of sorts: I’ve done paintings, silk-screens, airbrush including t-shirts, and drawings, and created the covers for Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band print editions in 1996 and 1998.

The cover art for the FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band uses a free stock copyright-free and royalty-free photo from Pexels.com. But I have read about some bloggers and others getting sued for “copyright infringement” when using what they thought were copyright-free photos including a site that is advertising my books for free, and this site has provided hundreds if not thousands of free book downloads as well as book sales. Just knowing a site I trust is being harassed just because law firms love to make money off of phony “copyright infringement” suits brought to bare by shyster photographers and lawyers has turned me away from Pexels and other free-stock-photo sites–at some point, photographers just might want to remove their photos from these sites or the site might remove the photos at photographer request…and then the photographer can sue the user of the once-free stock photos! (In this case, the photographer would have to notify me so I could remove the photo from the e-book cover within a certain time frame.)

In a day and age when “it’s all about the money,” this is not a good time-frame to be using photos or artwork one did not create oneself.

So I went through my entire “pictures” folder of photos taken by me or a loved one on various vacations from cruises to boat rides to graduations to camping trips to whatever and I finally found a photo I took in summer of 2009 at San Antonio’s Sea World at night during a fireworks display. Since the ‘three-books-in-one’ book is about a rock and roll band’s journey to righteousness and victory over evil, I wanted my cover art to feature a bright and overwhelming light above the darkness, and what better image than a fireworks display? Plus there is a pond or water at the bottom of the photo, which represents the “sea” in the Book of Revelation which stands for “the nations.” So, I chose my photo.

Then the problem happened. The photo I chose had 180 dpi, or dots per inch. Lulu’s book packages, as well as self-publishing, requires 300 dpi or greater! Now I had two photos from Pexels (I think) on my computer with 300 dpi, and ALL of my self-produced or family-produced photos were or 180 dpi or less. Most were less than 100!

So, what was I supposed to do while NOT using a Pexel stock photo, or PAYING Getty Images over 100 dollars for ONE STINKIN’ PHOTO? (Because Getty Images requires one to get the usual “premium” pay-to-play account and pay them about 100 dollars when all I needed was one photo! Heck, I have already paid Lulu 800 dollars to assure my book would be distributed over several markets! Because I hate to say it, but if you want results more often than not you must “pay to play.” Because “pay to play” is becoming SOP on the internet!

But then I became the “me” I am and figured–why can’t I turn some photo I am editing in Microsoft Paint into a 300 dpi photo? Believe it or not, one can use Microsoft’s free Paint accessory program to turn any photo in your photo library into a 300 dpi cover art.

Here is how.

And here is what I did. First I recording the pixels for height and width for the photo I wanted to increase the dpi on. One can find this info out by right-clicking on the photo in question, left-click on “properties,” at the bottom of the menu, then left-clicking on details, which shows the pixels for height and width as well as dpi. Jot down the width and height pixel numbers, then open the photo you want to increase dpi for, in Paint, by clicking “Open with” and then choosing “Paint.” Make sure the photo is saved in JPEG or .jpg format! And, while that file is still open, do the same with any file you have in 300 dpi, any 300 dpi photo you have in your library (if you don’t have one, go to Pexels and download one!). Before the edit, though, make sure the 300 dpi photo you will edit has the SAME PIXELS, width and height, as the photo you will paste into it! If not, it won’t work! And what you are going to do is “edit” that 300 dpi photo by copying the photo you want to increase the dpi for and then pasting it in the 300 dpi photo file! Now your original less-than-300-dpi photo (with the same number of width and height pixels) is a 300 dpi photo! All you have to do after that is change the file name when saving it.

To make sure you did it correctly, go here and check their instructions.

And you don’t have to be a good photographer to create your cover art. I should know–I am not a good photographer!

Note that I should have everything for the e-book ready by the end of the week.

Forthcoming: The Prodigal Band Trilogy-Combined E-book for Sale! And Happy New Year to All Downloaders of My FREE PDF “The Prodigal Band”!

Just checked the stats for the first time in 2019. More downloads of my FREE PDF E-book “The Prodigal Band” than I expected! Thanks for downloading this book! Happy New Year to you all!

But here is why I have no posted since around Christmas when I had been posting articles about my books and the characters: Since late December, I have been working on formatting ALL of the three Prodigal Band Trilogy books, printed and PDF, into ONE E-BOOK, mainly for the sake of those folks I know who simply cannot read the FREE book on their E-Readers (Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, etc…folks, it won’t even work on the free Caliber e-reader that Lulu recommends!), and also for those who would rather pay for the two printed books by credit card–I am NOT taking credit card payments, period, because of privacy issues and also hackers…in the last five years our credit card account has been hacked numerous times! All a hacker would have to do is hack into my (possible) PayPal account to screw up a customer–or PayPal could–as has been done to other free speech advocates, for I am a free speech advocate–simply close my (possible) PayPal account, for no reason other than “it’s personal”… So I figure, since I am re-typing the two printed books into Microsoft Word format (that is, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band), why not re-format the PDF The Prodigal Band as well? All I have to do is re-format the most important parts and “tell” over parts I am not including (the revisions will mean the book section will be about half the size of the original PDF). By the end of January, I will submit the “three books in one” The Prodigal Band Trilogy to Lulu Publishing, the will finish the formatting and whatever else needs to be done, and then distribute the e-book to various e-book sellers (Lulu, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Kobo (that is, WalMart and others), etc. and I will link to the sites on my Book Store.

When the project is completed, I will let everyone know! Thanks for your support! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

To Heck With the ‘Consensus’: Try it Anyway

There are Blogs or Sites within the writer-author community here on WordPress doing great, and there are those not doing great, just as there are authors mega-selling and those who aren’t. I’m not going to get into the reasons for that (except to say that if you aren’t a ‘celebrity’ you’re likely not going to be a ‘mega-seller’ until you become one!)

And how does one become a ‘celebrity’? I’ll sum it up in one word: consensus.

Here is how the consensus works, for examples.

The consensus ‘greatest rock band of all time’ is the Beatles, and nothing any other rock band does is going to change that, even if some band comes along in five years to revive this music genre that has–mainstream, anyway–fallen by the wayside somewhat as ‘everyone’ (according to the consensus) has now made rap, hip-hop, or ‘pop’ music their favorite (again, I’m not going to get into why this has happened, but I think it’s obvious why this has happened. The proof? Guitar companies like Gibson have declared bankruptcy, and guitar seller-outlets have also…because rock music isn’t THE popular genre it once was). Remember, this is the consensus, not necessarily the truth. And another thing: this is only true ‘consensus-wise’ in the US. In Europe it is still likely number one, and it has been growing in Asia for years.

The consensus ‘greatest guitar player’ in rock history is Jimi Hendrix.

My opinion? Hendrix IS the greatest guitarist in rock history, while I DISAGREE that the Beatles are the greatest rock band in history. While NO ROCK GUITARIST could play like Hendrix could back then, or in the 70s, 80s, 90s or today–could Page or Clapton or Walsh or Vaughn play his guitar like Hendrix played the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock? I  doubt it! So then why would the consensus claim the Beatles are the greatest rock band in history? Influence. Not talent, not music-writing, not stage performances (and the Beatles stopped touring in 1966 anyway! Too much Maharishi?), or personality (though John Lennon certainly tried here). Influence? Basically, as I’ve already states on other posts, the Beatles revived the genre that was already fading by 1963-64 what with most ‘Billboard’ chart-toppers being ‘boy meets girl’ tripe (and enough one-hit-wonders to make it tripe…thanks, American Bandstand!). Then came the Beatles and the so-called ‘British Invasion,’ which also revived the best of the American groups including the Four Seasons, Jay and the Americans, Bob Dylan, and a host of mostly Afro-groups and pop-soul stuff such as by the Supremes and the Four Tops and others.  Add to that the Beatles influence in the ‘psychedelicizing’ (as the Chambers Brothers would put it in their monster hit, ‘Time Has Come Today’) during the late 60s, new age stuff contrasted to Lennon’s huge faux pas in denigrating Christ in 1965 which nearly led to the out-casting of the Fab Four in the US on radio anyway, and Lennon’s ‘anti-war’ stances, again contrasted to George Harrison’s support for the Bangladesh ‘independence’ movement from Pakistan (and dependence on India…some even claim Harrison was a proxy agent for the Indian government under the Maharishi’s guidance!) and his crapola ‘My Sweet Lord’ nonsense supporting Hari Krishna’s cult (I had a friend who was victimized by this cult, and I do NOT appreciate Harrison’s promotion of this cult!)

Whether or not the Beatles are the greatest band ever by the consensus and whether or not you believe this (I don’t) doesn’t matter. What matters is how the consensus influences one’s thinking, one’s conformity (as I am someone who prefers non-conformity), and one’s buying habits. And one’s writing habits or creative habits, as well.

Don’t write something just because ‘the consensus’ would prefer that you do. Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut–two of America’s greatest fiction writers IMHO, to heck with ‘the consensus’–wrote what they wanted or were inspired to despite what a so-called ‘consensus’ wanted. In the 1990s virtually nobody self-published with printed novels (and only James Redfield of “Celestine Prophesy’ fame made it big in this business!), but I did so anyway because I was inspired to despite NOT having lots of money to do this. Today, anyone can self-publish, including in print (Lulu.com has some really affordable print-e-book programs if you want to check it out). I’d like to say these days ‘the consensus’ is meaningless, but I won’t, because it is only meaningless for me, a non-conformist and proud of it.