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eBook review: Aunt Phil’s Trunk by Laurel Downing Bill

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Our popular culture has thrown away decades talking to us about the Wild Wild West: we can find it in movies and TV series; we can read about it in books and comic books; we can sing songs and ballads about those brave cowboys and vaqueros. And, like Sienfield would say, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But up north there is another magical place full of stories about adventure, hardship and courage: Alaska.

I have found little references to Alaska, until now.

“Aunt Phil’s Trunk” is a series of books written by Laurel Downing Bill and her own story is also magical: Laurel inherited a treasure of information about Alaska from her aunt Phyllis when she died. Phyllis had been a librarian and historian and she had researched her native state, Alaska for many years. Laurel was lucky enough to receive this information.

But luck goes a short, short way. To truly succeed you also need determination and Laurel had tons of that too: at 50 she returned to school to become a journalist and then she started reading, classifying and preparing all the information for a new publication.

Today, thanks to this generational effort, we have not 1, but 5 books about Alaska. And what books they are! Filled with entertaining short stories and packed with photographs, these chronicles will keep you entertained for months and months to come.

In volume 1, with more than 300 pages, Laurel takes us thousands of years back to show us the first migrations to Alaska and she finishes at about the year 1900. I was amazed at all the black and white photographs that Laurel managed to pack in her book and was moved by the stories of all these brave men and women that took a challenge that I could never do.

The second book focuses more in the 20th century. Again, it has more than 300 pages and hundreds of photographs. I have never found such an extensive research about Alaska anywhere else, and to me, Laurel Downing Bill is the definite source to learn the captivating story of this land.

My author friends, Susan Keefe and Barbara Ann Mojica have also written very good reviews about these books.

I recommend these books, not only to the people who want to learn about Alaska, but also to anyone who has doubts about the capacity, the courage or the compassion of the human race.

Here are some resources to learn more about Laurel:

Best,

Joe

My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

 

 

Translate your eBook as a serial

Translate your ebook as a serialYou have written your eBook and you have promoted it in English. Since sales are good, you are interested in having your work in other languages; perhaps Spanish. But when you look at different prices, you get discouraged because you are not ready to make the investment. But, maybe you don’t need to translate all of your book at once: you can translate your eBook as a serial in Spanish.

I am not talking here about the Kindle Serials Program that Amazon announced some time ago, since I understand that Amazon is not taking new entries anymore.

Although Amazon is not publishing anything new in their “serial” format, nothing prevents you from breaking your eBook in installments and sell them in Amazon, or any other portal, separately.

Advantages if you publish your eBook as a serial

  • The main advantage of this approach will be, of course, that you can break the cost of your translation over the course of many months. Because translations are priced depending on the number of source words of the original piece in English, the price of the translations of your installments will depend on how many you have and how big they are.
  • You can use this format to grow expectations and build a fan base. This trick was tried by Daniel Handler, of “Lemony Snicket”  fame, for his book “Why We Broke Up,” and was done again for the Spanish version of the book, “Y por eso rompimos.” The serials in Spanish are published by Editorial Alfaguara, a very prestigious publisher in Latin America. Part of the marketing campaign included a tumblr site where people could tell why they broke up. Some reasons are rather stupid such as “we broke up because you never held my hand as tight as i (sic) held yours.”
  • If, after some installments, you find out that your eBook is not going anywhere, you can stop the publication (and the investments in the translation) for some time, until you find out how to approach the market better.

Some other considerations

  • If you want to translate your eBook as a serial in Spanish, evaluate if you need to change the text a little bit; tweak it so that you have the proper cliff hangers or anything else that this particular style may need. According to C. R. Myers  and this book “How to Write Serial Fiction & Be Ready to Publish In Less Than 24 Hours”, serial fiction is not simply cutting up your book, but a different style that requires serious consideration.
  • Finally, keep in mind that Amazon may not be the only place in cyberspace to translate your eBook as a serial. There may be many other portals to explore in this adventure.

Have you ever published a fiction eBook in small pieces? Was it a good or a bad experience? If you can, please share your experience with us!

Best,

Joe

My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

 

 

 

Sales of eBooks in Spanish are up! Is it time to jump in?

ebooks in spanishAccording to Publishing Perspectives, Amazon carries today 70,000 eBooks in Spanish, or more than double of what they had when they opened their Spanish-Language Kindle Store, back in 2012, with only 30,000 titles.

As time passes, the contribution that the Spanish versions are making to the total sales of eBooks is increasing considerably.

According to Publishers Weekly, the trilogy of “Fifty Shades of Grey” has sold more than 100,000 units in Spanish so far; At $ 9.99 per book, that would amount to 1 million dollars! Clearly, this is not a market to ignore.

Why is the market for eBooks in Spanish increasing? 

There may be a couple of reasons for the current success of this market.

  • The Spanish market seems to be following the English speaking segment, with a delay of 3 to 5 years. If this is true, then the Spanish market is enjoying the grow that its equivalent in English had some years ago.
  • The Latino population in the US not only has increased the use of Cell Phones, Smart Phones and the Internet in general, but it is more likely today to go online using a mobile device than the white Internet users!

How big is the market for eBooks in Spanish in the US?

Publishers Weekly states that there are about 50 million people speaking Spanish today in the US, but for some reason, puts the market for Spanish book readers at only 12 million, a quarter of the total Spanish population. Nevertheless, it argues that those numbers still put the U.S. at the 10th most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

But, once you have your eBook in Spanish you are not selling only to the US; you are also selling to potential readers in all Latin America, including Mexico and Brazil, the  two economic giants of the region.

If you already have one or several eBooks in the market, this year can be an exciting time to get into some new markets with your products. Is it time to ride the wave?

Best,

Joe

My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

I can’t seem to sell my Children’s eBook character!

You have created a lovable Children’s eBook character who is both tender and funny, perhaps inspired on someone you knew once, or made up totally from your imagination.  Yet, no one seems to get it: the publishers don’t want to publish the book or even if it is self published in Amazon as an eBook, the readers are not buying it. You thought maybe your creation needed more time, but some months have passed now and still, there is no action!

Is there something terribly wrong with your characters? Not necessarily. Maybe they just need a little tweaking, or maybe they are just fine!

We’ve all heard the stories about Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling: how they got rejected time and time again and how they were ready to quit when they finally got their break. Just the other day, I was thinking about another amazing pair of creators who had to endure some tough times before their invention got approved. Do you remember Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster? They created a man dressed in blue called Superman.

Granted, Superman is not a Children’s eBook character, but he is the most famous superhero. And many many years ago, superhero adventures were meant to be read by children.

What most of us don’t remember is that the first version of Supes was created in 1933, five years before he was finally published by DC! The funny thing about that first Superman is that it was totally different from the man we know today. He was a bald villain trying to conquer the world and it was published as a short story in a small magazine the two kids had, simply called Science Fiction. The piece was written by Siegel under a pseudonym and illustrated by Shuster. Take a look at it below:

The Reign of the Superman

But it was clear even to the two young fellows that a villain would have a limited lifespan. What they needed was a good guy. After some time, they created The Superman, a dude with good intentions and some amazing powers.

The Superman

It is reported that this guy, now in a comic book format,  had no uniform and that he was just walking around in a T-Shirt and some pants. The Superman almost got published by a real comic book publisher… but he didn’t. Joe Shuster was so frustrated that in a fit, he destroyed all the art of his creation and only the cover depicted above was saved by Siegel.

Close, but still no cigar.

Sometime would pass before the pair finally came up with all the features that distinguished Superman from all the other characters that had come before him: the powers, the alien origin, the suit, the S on the chest, the secret identity, the girlfriend and a very long etc.

And was he an immediate, incredible success? Well, no…

Already in his final and most known form, Superman started doing the usual publisher rounds that the Children’s eBook characters probably do today. Some people said he was “too incredible.” Some other said he was “not incredible enough.” He was called an “immature creation” by yet some others and he ended up in somebody’s drawer in a company related to a publisher called “Detective Comics”.

By now, several years had passed and the two creators had been forced to take up on several odd jobs. These were difficult times, but Siegel and Shuster never stopped believing Superman was “The Most Astounding Fiction Character of All Time”.

Then, in 1938, when DC wanted to publish a new book called “Action Comics” and they had no material, someone said something like “Well, we do have Superman,” and they thought that Superman was better than nothing. This is Superman we are talking about, here. And someone thought that it was better than nothing. 

Good ol’ Supes appeared in Action Comics No. 1. As they kept pushing new numbers out, Action Comics became a success, but nobody at DC seemed to know why. Legend has it that, to find out, some executive went to the nearest place selling the comic book and asked a kid buying Action Comics why was he getting it. The kid turned around and said “Because it is the one that has Superman in it, mister.”

From then on, nobody doubted the Big Blue Boy Scout. He has been going stronger everyday since day one.

So, what does that have to do with your Children’s eBook character? I see some teachings here:

  1. Don’t quit if your story or your character don’t become instant successes. Sometimes, all they need is an extra month, an extra year, or an extra five years.
  2. Sometimes, you do need to do some little adjustments. But, not necessarily what others are saying, but what your heart tells you to do.
  3. Never, never lose faith in your own creations. Always believe that they are the most fascinating children’s characters since Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Have you had a similar experience? Are your characters struggling to find success? Have you made some small or major changes? We would love to hear about you and your Super story! Do share!

Best,

Joe

My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

eBook review: “The Girl Who Couldn’t Draw”, written by Rosemary Rivera and Illustrated by Mario J. Menjivar

the girl who couldnt draw

 

A Tale of Optimism

Sometimes in life, if you are lucky enough, you will meet someone who will bring light into your life; a person who has an unbeatable smile and an easy laugh, even in the worst circumstances. If you are even luckier, you will be able to keep that star around you for some time, to shine some light into your path.

Myra, the girl who couldn’t draw, is just like that: a portable sunshine hiding behind the biggest and most beautiful smile; a tiny treasure with pony-tails.

Myra’s teacher has decided to run a contest for the best drawing on what to do on a sunny day, and she is sure she will win. You see, one of the most wonderful treats about Myra is that she will never concede that she is the girl who can’t draw. And to tell you the truth, I don’t really care if Myra wins the competition or not; she has already won my heart with her happy smiles, her funny ideas and her crazy fantasies. And you know what? I don’t think she cares much about winning that school contest either…

This book is really a delight to read from the first to the last page; the text by Rosemary is funny and cheerful and the illustrations done by Mario are wonderfully polished and hilarious.

I declare myself a Myra Fan and I demand a second book about her.

Pick up your copy now: It will surely improve your mood and make your kids laugh with Myra´s adventures.

Here are some useful links for you:

My mission is to help English writing authors reach the Latino Market by translating their eBooks to Spanish. Contact me at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

eBook review: “The Girl Who Couldn’t Draw”,
escrito por Rosemary Rivera e ilustrado por Mario J. Menjivar

 

the girl who couldnt draw

 

Un cuento de optimismo

A veces en la vida, si tienes suerte, te encontrarás con alguien que traerá luz a tu vida; alguien con una sonrisa invencible y una risa fácil, incluso en las peores circunstancias. Si tienes aún más suerte, podrás mantener esa estrella a tu alrededor por algún tiempo, para que le dé un poco de luz a tu camino.

Myra, la chica que no podía dibujar, es como eso: un sol portátil escondido detrás de la sonrisa más grande y bella; un pequeño tesoro con colitas de caballo.

El maestro de Myra ha decidido realizar un concurso para premiar el mejor dibujo que muestre qué hacer en un día soleado, y ella está segura de que va a ganar. Porque sabrás, que una de las cosas más maravillosas acerca de Myra es que ella nunca va a admitir que ella es la chica que no puede dibujar. Y la verdad, a mi no me importa si Myra gana el concurso o no; porque ya ha ganado mi corazón con sus sonrisas de felicidad, sus ideas raras y sus fantasías locas. ¿Y sabes qué? No creo que ella se preocupe mucho por ganar ese concurso escolar tampoco…

Este libro es realmente una delicia para leer desde la primera hasta la última página; el texto de Rosemary es divertido y alegre y las ilustraciones realizadas por Mario están maravillosamente pulidas y divertidas.

Yo me declaro un fan de Myra y exijo un segundo libro sobre ella.

Compra tu copia ahora: Seguramente va a mejorar tu estado de ánimo y hacer que tus hijos se rían con las aventuras de Myra.

Aquí hay algunas ligas interesantes para ti:

Mi misión es ayudar a los autores que escriben en inglés llegar al mercado latino traduciendo sus libros electrónicos al español. Ponte en contacto conmigo en http://www.publicatuebook.ca  o en joe@publicatuebook.ca 

 

Gabriel García Márquez in Amazon today

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

Gabriel García Márquez holds now the first 4 positions in the top 100 kindle best sellers in Amazon Mexico. The list starts, of course with “Cien años de soledad,” sold for 79 pesos, less than 8 dollars.

It has been said that “Cien años de soledad” has sold more than 50 millions copies in more than 40 languages, since its original publication in 1967.

“Gabo” as he was affectionately known, was deeply loved in Mexico, where he spent his last years. He was 87 years old.

Some of his most celebrated books include:

Rest in Peace, Gabo.

 

 

Thinking about one single Spanish won´t give you a suitable eBook translation

Spanish is the primary language of 20 countries and is spoken by over 406 million people in the planet. Because of that, there are many different Spanish dialects, and not taking these variations into consideration when translating your eBook, may result in a big headache for you.

Many words have very diverse meanings in different countries in Latin America:

  • The word that is used to designate a baby diaper in some regions of Cuba is a terrible insult in Mexico, yet in the drug dealing slang, that same word is used to describe a very specific type of criminal.
  • The word originally used for a kitchen assistant in Spain, constitutes an insult in most Latin America.
  • When you are talking about computers, people in Spain will say “ordenador,” while people in Latin America will say “computadora.” When you talk about a file, you will hear “fichero” in Spain and “archivo” in Mexico.
  • If you want a cigarette and politely ask for a “pitillo” in many countries of Latin America, people will look funny at you and you probably won’t get anything at all.

The examples are endless and will always produce funny or awkward situations.

Using the wrong term in the wrong country will only give you a blank stare, if not an offended person, although you may think you are speaking “Spanish.”

Some other common words have to be used carefully always, as the playful nature of the Latino makes them find a double meaning in many sentences. Yet, this way of thinking may seem totally strange for someone who didn’t grow up in this culture.

The regular Spanish spoken in Argentina can be very different from the Mexican equivalent and that is the reason why many global companies create different Spanish versions for all their products. Disney, for example, has been creating at least two different versions of their movies for decades now. I remember buying “The Incredibles” in Spanish: you could listen to it in Mexican Spanish, in Argentinean Spanish and in Neutral Latin American Spanish. We all had a wonderful time listening to the Mexican version, but laughed like crazy when we watched the Argentinean version. I imagine people in Argentina do the same when they listen to the Mexican version. The Neutral Latin American Spanish version was beautiful, since it was perfectly understandable for all countries and featured neutral accents in all the voices.

On the other hand, listening to Darth Vader tell Luke Skywalker that he was his father, in a Spaniard Spanish, was probably one of the worst experiences in my life and totally ruined the movie for me.

So, when you choose a translator for your literary work, I would give you the following advices, based on my experience:

  • Don’t choose someone who “studied Spanish at College and got great notes at it” if they are not natives of a Spanish speaking country. They probably won´t know the subtleties of the language and will give you a mediocre or boring product.
  • If you have a specific country in mind, pick someone who was born and/or spent a long time in that particular country. I have turned down clients who wanted a Venezuelan translation because, although I can produce a Neutral Latin American Translation, I am not an expert on the Spanish spoken at Venezuela. Keep in mind too that the Spanish spoken in Spain is incredibly different from anything spoken in America.
  • If you don´t have a particular market in mind, choose someone who can produce a Neutral Latin American version.
  • Translators are specialized professionals: if you have a literary work, do not select a legal, medical or in general, a non literary translator.

You have spent countless hours crafting your story and painstakingly selecting every word in English. Do not sacrifice the quality of your book and your name in a casual selection for a translator. Go for the gold!

Read some other tips that we have given on the past about translating your eBook into Spanish here.

  Our mission is to help English writing authors reach new markets in other languages. If you have an eBook in English we can help you reach the Latino community, translating your work to Spanish. Contact us at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

eBook review Talon, Come Fly With Me by Gigi Sedlmayer

talon

There was once a small, small girl and a big, big bird.

Her name was Matica and his name was Tamo and “Talon” is the book that tells us all about their unlikely friendship and adventures.

It was through these adventures that Matica (and I, too) learned that no one is too small in the eyes of God and that He has a grand plan for each one of us.

Read “Talon” to your very young ones to teach them that they are in God’s thoughts and intentions; that life can and will get better; that our own problems and shortcomings can become our greatest allies and advantages; that nature is not lost yet, that it is our right and our home and that this planet belongs to all of us… and to none of us.

Read them “Talon” to help them learn to fly.

Godspeed, Matica.

“Talon, come fly with me” is the first of five books written by Australian author Gigi Sedlmayer and it tells about the adventures of tiny Matica and her pet condors Tamo, Tima and Talon.

Here are some links about Gigi Sedlmayer and Talon:

Our mission is to help English writing authors reach new markets in other languages. If you have an eBook in English we can help you reach the Latino community, translating your work to Spanish. Contact us at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

eBook review “Talon, come fly with me” por Gigi Sedlmayer

talon

Hubo una vez una pequeña, pequeña niña y un gran, gran pájaro.

El nombre de ella era Matica y el nombre de él  era Tamo y “Talon” es el libro que nos cuenta todo acerca de su improbable amistad y de sus aventuras.

Fue a través de estas aventuras que Matica se dio cuenta (y yo también) de que nadie es demasiado pequeño a los ojos de Dios y que Él tiene un gran plan para cada uno de nosotros.

Lee “Talon” a tus más pequeños para enseñarles que están en los pensamientos y las intenciones de Dios; que la vida puede y va a mejorar; que nuestros propios problemas y deficiencias pueden ser nuestros mejores aliados y ventajas; que aún no hemos perdido a la naturaleza, que la naturaleza es nuestro derecho y nuestra casa y que este planeta nos pertenece a todos nosotros… y a ninguno de nosotros.

Léeles “Talon” para ayudarles a aprender a volar.

Buena suerte, Matica.

“Talon, Come Fly With Me” es el primero de los cinco libros escritos por la autora australiana Gigi Sedlmayer y habla de las aventuras de la pequeña Matica y de sus mascotas cóndores Tamo, Tima y Talon.

Estos son algunos enlaces sobre Gigi Sedlmayer y Talon:

La misión de Publica tu ebook es ayudarte a que tu libro electrónico alcance mayores mercados a través de nuestros servicios de traducción, asesoría, mercadotecnia, edición, diseño gráfico y otros. Búscanos en www.publicatuebook.ca o en joe@publicatuebook.ca 

 

 

Hearing back from old friends

private

 

God blessed me with Publica tu eBook. Although it is not my full time job just yet, it has fabricated wonderful things for me.

I have met wonderful and interesting people and I have made friends from all over the planet.

I keep regular contact with the authors that are creating the future of literature today; we are interested in the same things, the same technologies and the same issues.

I get sent eBooks every week and I get to read them for free!

I can write about these books and both authors and the public in general actually read and comment my stuff.   

And I even make some bucks out of it! And soon enough, I will be making enough to make it my full time job.

What a dream!

I was thinking about all these things today as I read the kind email that my friend Bill Jenkins, from Your ESL Story Publishers Ltd., sent me this week.

I reviewed the first book from Bill back in March. You may read my review here. Bill writes really nice books for children trying to learn English as a Second Language, and he gives his books away for free! If you are interested in downloading his free eBooks, you can do so here.

Well, Bill, like most of my friends, does not know how to take a break: he has been writing and writing and writing since March and putting out new books. It turns out he was recently interviewed by the paper and he sent me his interview.

And he let me know that his books have my review on it!

For that and for all my friends, I can only say thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for the books and the friends and the reviews and the money and the translations and all of it.

So I was not planning on making a Thanks giving post, but Bill made me do it!

Next Saturday we will get back to the reviews and there are some interesting books coming up!

In the meantime, again, thanks for reading me and being with me on this wonderful trip that is Publica tu eBook.

Joe

 

 

Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells

brother in the land

Does anyone know how many novels has Robert Swindells written? When I last tried to count them, they were more than 50.

His first novel “When darkness comes” was published when he was about 34; he was writing full time by the time he was about 41 and he was still writing when he was 71, some three years ago.

If you are older than 40 years you will surely remember the cold war and the fear of an atomic war. I don´t understand why this fear seems to have gone away, when the bombs have clearly not. The danger is still there, and perhaps it needs more publicity.

“Brother in the Land” was not published in the fifties, the sixties or the seventies: it came out in 1984. I don´t remember the eighties being particularly paranoid about atomic bombs, but I do remember reading the book several years later: it left me cold.

The book follows Danny, a kid unfortunate enough to survive the atomic war. The story does not try to give any explanation on why there is such a catastrophe, it just starts with it. For some dumb reason, Danny lives through the short war that only lasts some hours; his real problems begin later. There is no food; diseases caused by radiation do not respect people, animals or plants; robberies, murders and violence in general abound in a territory that is no longer a country or a safe place to live.

Travelling with Danny is his brother, Ben and a girl they meet, called Kim.

Danny is trying to get his small group to Holy Island, where he thinks all of them will be safe.

Be warned: this is not an adventure book where a cool kid vaguely resembling Harry Potter, saves the day and everybody too, while playing soccer or a similar game; this is not a story where you will feel exhilarated and enthusiastic, while pretending to effortlessly kill post-apocalyptic zombies at the same time that you romance the girl next door.

The book does not have a happy ending.

The book will leave you tired, hopeless and disappointed of the human race.

Still, it is one of the most beautiful and strong books I have ever read and I would not only recommend it on heartbeat; if it was up to me, this book would be a mandatory reading on high school.

I wish all the leaders of this planet read this book; I wish everybody read this book. It would teach us all to fear and hate war and defend peace at all costs and above everything else.

This is just how strong this book is.

If you have not read it yet, run to get your copy and prepare to suffer and to learn from one of the most prolific authors of our time: the wonderful Robert Swindells.

Buy your copy at amazon today.

Our mission is to help English writing authors reach new markets in other languages. If you have an eBook in English we can help you reach the Latino community, translating your work to Spanish. Contact us at http://www.publicatuebook.ca or at joe@publicatuebook.ca