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Showing posts from March, 2013

Free Content Online? CC License Explained

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Looking for free downloadable content you can use for your blog, website, book promotional materials, etc.? Have you found media (music, images, etc.) that has a Creative Commons (CC) license? Did you know what it meant? Was it confusing? If so, I'd like to help shed some light on this useful (and generous) niche of downloadable materials.

From their website:
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.
There are a variety of CC licenses availab…

I Feel Stupid! (Google Play sells eBooks?)

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So, I'm a big Google user--Blogger, GMail, Sites, Calender, Drive, Player, G+, Music, Book store . . . wait, what?  Books on Google Play?

I can't believe I haven't investigated Google's book store page sooner--hence my feeling stupid.  Again, like most of my posts, if you already know all about Books on Google Play (formerly the Android Market, not to be confused with the infamous Google Books, though it appears they are curiously connected) you might as well check back next week.  But if, like me, you've somehow been oblivious to this Google endeavor, more info lies within.

From Google's own support page, you can learn that Google Play is yet another way to buy books online.  What's a little different is that Google Play stores your ebooks in the cloud, so you can read them (and shop for more!) from just about any 21st century device (i.e., PC, phone, tablet, eReader) that connects to the Internet.  Google Play currently touts over 5 million books to choo…

Editing Software Everywhere, Savoir Faire!

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In last week's post, I compared two online editing tools. Since then, I've learned a bit more on editing/grammar software and discovered the pool is quite full with a variety of options and capabilities. Because I'm in the process of self-editing Book II of the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, I've got editing on the brain. But before I continue, I want to throw out a few disclaimers and clarifications.

1.  I'm not endorsing any (or all) of these self-editing tools and am not suggesting they replace human editors, proofreaders, copy readers or copy editors.

2.  The basis of my blog is to provide insight to the indie author, do-it-yourself, self-publisher, who is looking to minimize costs (and maximize free resources), while still striving to produce a quality product.

3.  I'm not an expert at fiction writing or self-publishing, but I have edited hundreds of technical documents in my 20 years as an environmental engineer and am acutely aware of the damage that typos and c…

Online Editing Software: Pro Writing Aid vs. AutoCrit

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Last August, I posted about my experience with AutoCrit Editing Wizard. Since then, a member of one of my Google+ writing communities recommended Pro Writing Aid, which is very similar to AutoCrit. Both tools allow you to paste a block of text and analyze it for a variety of potential problems. Both have free online versions and expanded subscription packages for purchase. This weekend, while editing Book Two of the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, I gave them a side-by-side test drive using a chapter from this work-in-progress.

As you may recall, last year I signed up for AutoCrit's $77/year premium package. I compared Pro Writing Aid's free tools against the AutoCrit premium package, and discovered my $77 was probably not well spent. Don't get me wrong--I like AutoCrit. It has some excellent tools and I probably got my money's worth out of it a long time ago. However, the free version of Pro Writing Aid does virtually everything AutoCrit does, and more.

I'm not going to bo…