December to Remember



Hello world,

There are a number of things to pay attention to in this month of December.  Here are a few of them worth paying attention to for yourself or somebody you know:

  1. Medicare open enrollment period ends on December 7, 2011.  If you have elderly relatives or friends check to see if they need to change their prescription plans (Part D), or whether they are now eligible to enroll.  The age is 65 unless disabled for a year, then they can enroll before age 65.
  2. NYS Unemployment extension ended – no extension spoken of as yet, and we are smack in the middle of the holidays.  December breaks with no money for millions out of work.   Unemployment rate is down to 8%.  Really!  The Presidential candidates need to be talking about putting Americans back to work instead of worrying about who is going to get Cain’s supporters.
  3. Hanukkah is December 20.
  4. December 22 is the first day of winter.  Are we in for a white Christmas?
  5. December 25, Christmas Day  (for those who celebrate it) is on a Sunday this year.   Perfect!
  6. December 26 is Kwanza
  7. December 31 is New Year’s Eve.  Isn’t it interesting how New Year’s Eve is almost bigger than New Year’s Day?

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Self-Publishing 101- Part 3


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E-Readers Are Here To Stay

Hello world,

Nowadays almost everyone has an E-reader of some sort, whether it be a kindle, or an iPad or Sony reader, Nook or another devices. Despite Borders closure, people are still reading and people are still buying books and things to read. The shift though is to e-readers and so you have to create something for people to download. Gone are the days of lugging around a big book. We are all looking for that one gadget that can do it all and when we find it we put our trust in it. So this brings me to self-publishing and what to do as an author. The big news is about the EPub platform, but print is not out. People still love the feel and smell of a book. The key to being successful in the self-publishing business as an author is to make your material available in all formats.

EPUB versus PDF

Yesterday I wrote about two self publishing companies that I was working with for these series of blogs. I am going through the process to see how you would benefit from self-publishing. In other words should you look into it or keep praying and hoping for a cal from a big traditional publishing house. Go read it now and come back here. Alright, now we can move on. Today’s blog is about Epub format. Simply put Epub is a format that has flowing text. When the text flows it means the reader using a Nook or any reading device is able to adjust the size of the text and they can flip the pages like a real book. They differ from PDF files which are static. With the popularity of Nook and Kindle and now Kindle fire you want your work in the EPub format. It does not mean you cannot do PDF format, but just remember that you will be limited to a few devices. Lulu will convert your document to EPub file and Createaspace (part of Amazon) will allow you to do that also. Again, there are other companies out there that do this, but it would not be fair to write about them because I have not used them. I want everything here to be what I have gone through myself, so I can tell you the real deal. My suggestion to you is, self-publish until you don’t have to anymore.

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Self-Publishing 101 (Part 2)


The Journal
By Heather Francis

Hello world,

Book Publishing 101 Part 2


If you have followed me on twitter
you will see me publicizing my books that I have published through Blurb mostly. I am doing that because I am testing how effective self-publishing is.  Let me start by saying that it is not hard to get your book online.  Most of the self-publishing companies are pretty good. The results you will get comes down to how much money you have, and that is really the cost of doing business. So far, I have tried Blurb and Lulu.  Here is the difference. Blurb gives you magnificent quality books.  The paper is bright and it is rich and smooth., but their base price is high.  In order to make any money you have to charge a lot.  Until they find a way to lower their base price, just be ready to lay out a lot of cash.   Also, at this time they do not do Ebooks but it is coming.  back with Blurb is that you do not get an (International Book Standard Number) ISBN, so you need your own.  That means your book cannot be sold in bookstores, but you can sell your books in Blurb’s bookstore.  You can also sell them from your website.

Print Books versus E-Books and EPubs

The other company I am working with is Lulu.  The main advantage of dealing with Lulu is that if you do not have an ISBN number they will give you one for your book and your book can be sold in bookstores. I must say that I was not happy with the book I got from Lulu.  The print was so small I needed a magnifying glass to read it.  Luckily, it is in Ebook form so maybe that explains the small print. It did not make sense to leave half the page blank and have the writing so small. May I missed something, so we will leave that alone. One major plus with Lulu is they also covert your document to EPub and PDF files.  The news nowadays  is all about EPub and I will explain EPub tomorrow, so make sure you subscribe today so you don’t miss it. I had one book converted to EPub and it will soon be in the iBookstore and on  We will see how long that takes.

The idea here is to be creative.  While your waiting on the big publishing company to offer you a million dollar contract you can help yourself.  Your beginning might be small but your latter shall be greater.  Steve Jobs died a billionaire, but he started small in his parents garage.  Mark Twain self-published Huckleberry Finn, and he walked door to door and sold it.  Self-publishing companies have come along and leveled the playing field.  Let’s go out there and play.  If you enjoyed this blog please share it.


Medicare and You


Medicare Open Enrollment Moved Up


Hello world,

Maybe you know someone who is 65 years and over and they are eligible for Medicare. Well, the enrollment period has been pushed up to October 15. It used to be November 15, but not too many seniors knew about it, and with the holidays sometimes they missed the deadline. Pushing it up a month is a good thing. Please read the article below for more information.

Medicare open enrollment: Navigating plans – Business –