Father’s Day Photo Caption Contest

Father’s Day is a time to honor our dad, step father or the male figure in our lives. Someone that did something for you. Gave you advice. Free-ebooks.net wants to celebrate that man with you!

Submit a caption for the Tadao Cern photo below. The top 5 captions [determined by the most ‘Likes’] will be posted on June 13th on a Poll where you can vote one more time on your favorite. We’ll announce the Top 3 winners 12pm ET Friday, June 14th.

3rd Prize is a 30-Day VIP membership to Free-ebooks.net

2nd Prize is a 6-Month VIP membership to Free-ebooks.net

1st Prize is a 1-Year VIP membership to Free-ebooks.net and a $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Winners will be based on votes so invite all your family and friends to vote for you!

NOTE: Thanks Tadao Cern for the use of the image, please visit his Facebook Fan Page at http://ow.ly/bswSN … for more fantastic images. You’ll LYAO!

 

Who’s your favorite author and why?

I have a favorite author. Even when I say that I don’t because I like styles and genres more than I might like a particular person’s writing, it’s not true. I discovered this about myself in the last few weeks as I picked up Stephen King’s On Writing again. This time I am reading it and digesting it in small savory bites instead of in one big gulp. I am learning to slow down and savor rather than feed my need for instant gratification. It’s a slow and painful process because instant gratification is the very basis of the information age, isn’t it?

We have Kindle and Nook devices because it allows us to find a book on the internet and be able to read it within minutes. In earlier days, we would either have to wait until the next trip to the library, or hope we would get a chance to visit a friend who has a hopefully larger or more diverse collection than you do. I still remember the glee at being allowed to get a novel off the supermarket shelves when Mom condescended to take me with her grocery shopping. In those days, you read what you could find. Now, we seek out what we want to read and get it – instantly delivered wirelessly to our eReading device.

Yet, even in the days when I knew my next book was likely to be months away, I still tried to gobble the whole book down in as short as time as possible. One weekend, during my school end examinations, I spotted Stephen King’s It on a gift store shelf and begged my mother to get it for me. I don’t even know why it appealed to me beyond the fact that it sat large and imposing on the book stand, promising 800+ pages of pure, horrific thrills.

I was supposed to have been studying that weekend. I had an examination on the Monday morning one week following. Yet, the minute the book landed in my hands on Thursday afternoon, I opened it and did not put it down until two Sunday nights hence. I read all 800 horrifying pages in exactly 10 days, give or take a few hours each day to do menial things like sleep, and eat.

It was my first Stephen King and I remember how impressed I was with his writing, even as ignorant and naive as I was about writing style. He managed to both scare me silly and make me burst into bouts of uncontrollable laughter all within the confines of one book. That, to my young and inexperienced self, was truly skilled writing.

I swore off King after he had his accident – purely out of selfish reasons. His Dark Tower series was still unfinished at the moment he was hit by a car and I realized with a shock that had he died, the story of Roland and his katet would never be finished and it left with me such a feeling of despair, that I swore to never get that invested in another writer.

Well, a few weeks ago, I started reading From a Buick 8 and realized that no matter how much swearing off I had done, Stephen King is still my favorite writer. He writes with a unique ability that I have yet to find in another writer. This could be just my biased opinion, but I haven’t found another author who consistently writes about the most horrific things the mind can imagine with such humor and ease that you find yourself wondering whether monsters do, in fact, exist. The man is a modern day genius.

I invite you, the Free-eBooks.net community, to tell us here in the comments, or on our Facebook fanpage: Who is your favorite author? What is it about them that makes you return to them over and over, no matter what else is happening in life?

The difference between a good book review and a bad book review

As editor at Free-eBooks.net, book reviews come across my desk daily. Sometimes there are such good reviews that our authors respond to them personally. Sometimes there are some really bad ones and our authors end up asking us to remove them because they detract from the overall experience. It got me thinking about what makes a review good, or bad.

You may not be a writer yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go with me on this journey.

Creating is something we can all relate to. We all do a little creating every day within our daily routine. Whether it be that little deviation in tonight’s dinner recipe or the job we did mowing the lawn yesterday afternoon. There is creativity in everything we do. Creativity is simply injecting a little of your own taste or preference into an inanimate object or process. When you do insert that bit of you into what you’re doing, it’s gratifying to hear those around appreciate it. If you are experimenting and are still unsure whether you need to tweak your recipe or your lawnmower blade height some more, you want some constructive criticism as well.

When your daughter tells you last night’s dinner was “Yuck!”, that doesn’t much help you determine how to un-“Yuck!” it. Even if she says it’s “Yummy!”, you want details about what makes it work or not work. If it’s bad, you want to know how to fix it and if it’s good, you want to know that too. Constructive criticism is commentary that tells you exactly what is wrong or right with your creation so you can make it work again and again and again, or you can fix it so that it works.

Loved it” is nice to hear when you’ve written a book, but “Loved how the hero is always struggling with his morality while trying to find the killer. It gives the whole story a rounded feel.” is much better. “There were so many characters in this book that it was hard to keep up with all that was happening.” is good too because now you know what you need to fix.

When reviewing books, keep other readers in mind too: “If you like mind-bending horror, this book is for you. Every page turn was like waking up from a new nightmare.” or “This story tore at my heart. Romance novels always do. This one had me crying and laughing all through it.” are reviews that are likely to draw a new reader in as well as letting the writer know what worked for you in the story.

So the next time you want to write a review, think about what works for you and what doesn’t and tell us (the readers and the writers) a little bit about both: “I loved this book. Every page turn was a new nightmare for me. Detective Brandon was either fighting with himself and his demons or he was finding something new and horrific left by the killer. An entertaining read for horror lovers.”

Publishing at Free-eBooks.net? Here are some best practices for you!

Are you thinking of publishing with us and wondering what we advise on how to get listed in our library? There are a number of things to keep in mind when publishing with Free-eBooks.net.

The first thing to consider are the editorial guidelines outlined in detail here at http://www.free-ebooks.net/editorial.html. To briefly summarise:

  1. You must be the legal copyright owner of the work and all material contained in it and be prepared to offer up proof of same to us should we require it.
  2. If you have a non-fiction work that is less than 60 pages, and it has really good content and isn’t stuffed with affiliate links, you are a shoe-in. (Note: This rule may be waived for certain non-fiction works, such as religious essays, or medical treatises.)
  3. Absolutely no articles, presentations, reports, press releases, sales letters, or brochures.
  4. No pornography, obscene, or defamatory content.
  5. Must be grammatically sound.
  6. No overly promotional content; i.e. affiliate links, advertisements, etc. **
  7. No excerpts, previews, or incomplete works. **

** Regarding points 6 and 7, we do have specialised sections for excerpts and for marketing-related eBooks, but there is an additional fee associated with being listed in those sections.

Aside from those rules, there are some unwritten guidelines that we may not have been as clear about before.

Please do submit .DOC files. We love .DOC files because it means we can convert to PDF, Mobipocket, and ePub formats far more easily and cleanly. Using PDF files notoriously gives us badly formatted Mobipocket and ePub formats and we want to have the very best conversions for you.

Want to submit your own Mobipocket and ePub formats? That’s great too! You can upload them along with your initial submission:

SubmitYourOwnConversions

Please do give us a cover image with your eBook. Don’t have one? We will gladly create one for you, but please keep in mind that we are going to do so of our own volition and the image we produce may not match your vision. And if you don’t like the cover we envisioned for you work, that’s ok too – we welcome your own re-submission via your Author area within your account:

SubmitNewCover

If your work is written in Spanish, please be aware that we do now have a separate Spanish library and the submission process and guidelines for the Spanish site are different from those of the English site. Our editors are sometimes good enough to be able to shift Spanish works to the Spanish library, but we can’t guarantee that this will happen all the time.

Finally, our editors are always willing to lend guidance and assistance too, so please feel free to contact us via our help desk with your questions and requests. We’re looking forward to working with you!

All you ever wanted to know about ISBNs.

ISBNAndBarCode Oddly enough, today the idea of getting an ISBN for my floundering novel entered my mind. In the same way that all other ideas of its kind occur to me, a fleeting thought that never sticks around long enough to take hold. In this case, the trail it left as it raced through my mind made me think about the process of getting an ISBN for a book and what it entails.

My first stop was actually to search Google for ISBN to see what turned up. Interestingly, the first few results were quite relevant: a wikipedia reference page, and pages that linked to isbn.org, bowker.com (an ISBN broker) and several international links to ISBN organisations ( isbn.nu, internationisbn.org, etc.)

The next thing I found, was that I needed to know exactly what an ISBN is because although I was peripherally aware that it is a number used to uniquely identify books. As it turns out, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

The letters ISBN are an acronym for International Standard Book Number and uniquely identifies a book based on it’s “national, geographic, language, or other convenient group, and its publisher, title, edition, and volume number” (Britannica, 2012). It is only a part of the International Standard Biobliographic Description (or ISBD) which was adopted in 1969 and is distributed by central authorities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. Bowker.com is the agency responsible for distributing ISBNs in the United States.

So off to bowker.com I went. It took a few minutes, but I eventually found the page for ISBNs for authors here: http://www.bowker.com/en-US/products/servident_isbn.shtml They explain the benefits of purchasing an ISBN in clear terms: it’s a global standard, all retailers and libraries are required to index items by ISBN, hence it makes your book easily identifiable and searchable.

Bowker.com maintains a separate website to manage ISBN supply: https://www.myidentifiers.com/isbn/main And it is here that we get into the meat of the matter.

The most startling fact I found out in my reading is that each ISBN is limited to a particular edition or format of a book. So if you as the author intend to publish a digital, paperback, and hardcover versions of your book, you will need 3 ISBNs – not 1. Remember, the ISBN identifies on many facets, one of which is “edition” and that implies a particular format. If you have ever paid attention to the copyright page in a book, you will notice that among the text is a line that looks similar to this:

Copyright Page Example

If you notice the line that says “This edition published by Barnes & Noble, Inc.,” – that refers to the particular binding that I was holding in my hands. This means that when I search for the ISBN 0-76070-478-3, I will find a reference to this particular binding and no other printings of this book. This same book published in paperback actually has an ISBN of 0-29781-104-5.

The other startling piece of information I found is that ISBNs are not cheap. A single ISBN is priced at $125. This tells me that unless you are serious about publishing your work, it is probably best to just leave the acquiring of an ISBN alone. The good news is, though, that bowker.com have a bundle of 10 ISBNS for the price of 2. That makes it real easy for you if you are planning to produce all formats for your book.