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Mel Hopkins

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Everything posted by Mel Hopkins

  1. Yes, that was it @richardmurray ! I mistakenly identified audio with musical but this is what I was referring to when I mentioned you had extensive experience with Kobo. Thank You for the update!
  2. Hahaha! Get it together, @Troy ! But quiet as kept, I always go back and edit my comments for the same reason! 😄 Agreed! But you can see how enticing it must be. Amazon always provides the Easy Button. So, we independent authors/self-publishers must include an “Easy Button” in our sales repertoire. Now what would that “Easy Button” look like - is the question we need to answer and act on.
  3. @Troy Did you mean "work with ePub"... that's how I read it. So, I hope you did. And the truth in that statement makes the amazon deal bittersweet. And here's why. Again Amazon.com /Jeff Bezos really understands his market. He helps writers help him become even more wealthy - - Now, the following indictment may not be true of all writers but it must be true of most of us self-published writers or we wouldn't even bother with Amazon. Case-in-point. The last time I was in my KDP account was about two years ago when I decided to unpublish my stories on Amazon. So, today, I sign into my KDP account (long story - but I decided to remove my digital assets from most outside vendor digital platforms) and I delete two of the manuscripts I forgot about. And since there was no option to delete the other two, I thought, at least I could remove the files so CreateSpace couldn't print my book. (Not saying that they would, but "lead us not into temptation.") Anyway, as I was about to delete the file - I noticed KDP offers a free book formatting file. I emphasize "free" because most things free in commerce - come with a hidden cost. But I digress. Once you download this "free" formatting guide to your PC it promises to do the heavy lifting to design a beautiful book. See Images and the link https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GYVL2CASGU9ACFVU Now, this format only works for .mobi . So, you have a beautifully formatted mobi file for an eBook that only works on Kindle readers. So once again, if you're writer with limited tech skills this is a godsend. All you have to do is upload your manuscript, manipulate the template and now you have a mobi file ready for publishing and distribution. All this to say, we writers/independent publishers must make it as easy for our readers to get our books; as Jeff makes it easy for us to publish them.
  4. @richardmurray thank you! I remember when you first mentioned Kobo to me awhile back. It takes me some time to digest all the information I take it - but I rarely forget who shared the information. This is excellent background on Kobo and now I see why Walmart joined them. I did sign up with Kobo using my walmart account. I'll be sure to share how the program works for me too.
  5. @Troy I'm sure you've seen this already - but I just checked my google alerts and saw this https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/81153-aalbc-cuts-buy-links-to-amazon.html "AALBC Cuts Buy Links to Amazon By Calvin Reid | Sep 12, 2019" 😳
  6. I recently updated a short story for digital readers called "Classified" - The political thriller is the first in the series of the small-town reporter Nicole Jettison aka Nicky Jett.  Nicky developed her supernatural gift during the first year in college.  Nicky's prophetic dreams transported her to the netherworld.  Once there, she gained abilities to see and battle shape-shifting drug dealers and a sorcery-wielding obeah priestess. She also recognizes nothing is as it seems.  When Nicky recovers, she hides in a journalism career.  She breaks news stories thanks to her all-seeing third-eye.  Nicky's gift is well-suited for news reporting but awful for her personal life.  Nicky morphs into a full-blown space-cadet once those preternatural abilities gain control. Check out Nicky Jett's riveting back story in the page-turner "Sleeping with a D-Man" available at theleadstorydotorg.


    1. richardmurray


      will share in my newsletter and about the everse:)

    2. Mel Hopkins

      Mel Hopkins

      You are so good too me! Thank you so much!!!

    3. richardmurray


      always the village

  7. @Troy Exactly! We continue to tell authors not to let AMAZON use them, so this is the logical next step. I think sharing my book publishing journey and asking questions like this well help all of us. I do know, once I formatted my eBook for mobi (kIndle) I was able to read it in my kindle for pc. So I didn't need to publish through amazon to use its digital reader. It is literally a standalone file on my pc. I created the mobi file and the ePub file two different ways. I uploaded (import) my manuscript (microsoft word docx) to pressbooks.com. I formatted with front matter(copyright page and introduction), chapters and back matter (about the author, about the series). Export the document in .mobi, .epub, and pdf (for digital). There's a pdf format for print but I didn't use that one because its a short story. downloaded those formats to my pc. I opened the mobi file in my kindle for pc and it was perfect. I open the epub file in my microsoft edge browser - and it was perfect! I created a ePub file of my eBook by: first formatting my microsoft word docx - for ePub/Mobi conversion. This time I used lulu.com to convert my microsoft word document. Because I formatted the word doc correctly, the conversion was successful. You can see by checking out the preview <-This is the ePub file. When I launch it - it opens in microsoft edge. Others might have different results. I haven't used Kobo but I know who is an advocate - @richardmurray ! I believe RM's books and music are available on Kobo. EDIT | A little more about Kobo... "In January, Walmart partnered with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten on online grocery in Japan, as well as the sale of audiobooks, e-books, and e-readers in the U.S. Today, Walmart is capitalizing on that relationship with the launch of a full e-book and audiobook catalog on Walmart.com, alongside its assortment of physical books. The new site, called Walmart eBooks, includes a library of over 6 million titles ranging from NYT best-sellers to indie titles and children’s books. And similar to Amazon’s Audible, Walmart will also now offer a monthly audiobook subscription service. However, Walmart is undercutting Amazon on pricing. While Audible subscriptions start at $14.95 per month for one audiobook, Walmart’s subscription is only $9.99 per month for the same." From TechCrunch - Walmart and Kobo launch Walmart eBooks, an online e-book and audiobook store August 18, 2018
  8. @Troy Correct! On this eBook, I have a standard copyright notice - "all rights reserved." All copies should come from me. Yes, the eBook is created in a EPUB format.
  9. @Troy thank you! Ok 1. A shopper decides to buy a digital book from my woocommerce website store. 2. She completes the purchase. 3. Now can access her purchase (digital book) through the download radio button. 4. When she executes her download she can now save an ePub or .mobi copy on her pc. This now means unlimited distribution. How do I DRM (digital rights manage) my ebooks?
  10. They are so evil lol! Fixed it! https://theleadstory.org/newsroom/ I really have to get better at remembering when I move stuff around! Thank you for the heads-up! In other news, I just re-edited a short story for mobi and ePub format and it worked! The only reason why I direct to lulu is because I haven't figured out where to the store the file for download. Anyway, I'm so excited because I have a lot of manuscripts I put on-hold because I wanted to to teach myself how to format properly. By the way, I also learned that lulu charges for hosting now. I rank it right up there with amazon charging a delivery fee for digital books. smh. Anyway, like I mentioned, now I have to figure out how to store my ePUB or mobi files for one time download without saving a copy. Can you help @Troy ?
  11. @Troy Agreed! I tried to explain - but he seemed to believe that Amazon could stop bootleggers from stealing his book. But with Amazon taking 30- 65% sales commission and charging a delivery fee on digital books. I think he’d do better with bootleggers. At least , the bootleggers would have to pay for copyright infringement. - Here’s a snippet of the law -for all copyright holders “the copyright holder will be entitled to seek statutory damages of $750 to $30,000 for that infringement (as op- posed to having to prove actual damages, if any), and will also be entitled to seek an award of attorney fees. “ I’m on a writers’ rights crusade, It’s our time - and we shouldn’t be “starving!” Thank you for supplying the additional website information. Every writer needs to have eCommerce platform.
  12. I sold a book on Sunday (Sept 15, 2019). No promotion. No strong-arm selling. Simply, PayPal notifying me I had cash. Here's how it happened. A LinkedIn acquaintance messaged and asked if I would consider purchasing a short story he was selling on Amazon dot com. It would cost me .99 cents. But he'd know if there was activity on his amazon kindle account. I messaged him back and asked if he had one available in print. He said he'd have to do a collection of stories for the minimum print pages. I told him I understood. I want to make a short story available for sale on Lulu.com, too. But I need to do some creative packaging to make it 32 pages. He asked where was my story on lulu.com. I told him I believe in direct sales. But I'd also consider working with distributors who give me the best deal. Amazon doesn't qualify. So, I shared with him a link to my website store to show him how easy it is to sell a digital book direct...and bam he buys one. I thought more about the transaction when I read Seth Godin's blog post, "The relationship with the customer." (Sep 1, 2019) It's worth a read. But here's my takeaway. My associate and I met through a professional networking site, providing us a way to connect. I prepared my digital platform (a website) for such interactions allowing people to engage with me and buy directly. My associate asked me to buy his book. I did. Sadly, the request reinforced my commerce relationship with Amazon dot com. BUT his book-buying relationship, with me, is direct. He said dealing with amazon means they have "skin" in the game. Ultimately, amazon dot com's skin in the game allows them to benefit the most from an author's copyright license. Amazon dot com takes a 65% sales commission on books priced lower than $2.99 and above $9.99 Bottom line: I offer independent author-publishers this insight for their revenue model. If an author-publisher maintains their own basic wordpress website complete with security certificate from godaddy; it would cost less than $200 a year. A WooCommerce plugin and MailChimp mailing list plugin is free (for a small customer list). [not an endorsement - for description purposes only] My royalty was $4.99; which is the price of my digital book. PayPal took .44 cent in transaction fees. I purchased his book for .99 cent. I gained a new customer while he sold a book and earned .35 cents royalty.
  13. I thought it only fitting to leave a departing message since I've contributed a lot comments to the culture, race & economy forum. It appears the conversations here have deteriorated into hateful and fearful rhetoric, zero-sum comparisons and nothing good comes from those ideas. So, I bid this forum adieu. I'm signing off here but not AALBC's readingblack.com ✌️
  14. @Troy no. I thought I already mentioned, I'd have a problem with children on a steady diet of violence; bullying, name calling, "cursing" (not to be confused with cussing), consumerism, especially Cardi B & Nicki Minaj and most new school emcees videos because they promote consumerism, spectator sports -(unless it awakens the child's warrior spirit and inspires them to discipline their minds and bodies), and proselytizing any religious beliefs. There's probably a few other social engineering activities that I haven't mentioned that would inspire a teaching moment too. BUT there's no way I'd have a problem with children watching performers express themselves through music, dance, song, and acting. I like Normani's music video. She gave a good performance at the recent MTV music awards too.
  15. Oh snap! This has FEAR written all over it! Even the example you gave about police in the black community is a result of fear. Not fear like “punk” “scaredy cat” but a deep-seated fear that the “ruling” class, those who have a lot of riches, must control certain groups or they will lose wealth. They are fearful and have a need to control everything so they can keep themselves safe. For those types everyone/thing is a possession they must control for their own survival. This describes the “ruling class” of the United States in a nutshell.
  16. @Pioneer1 No. I find that behavior repulsive in humans period. I will never understand nor want to understand why humans have this desire to control anyone but themselves. This trait is the main flaw in humans. A lot of types of men exist. Like isn't a strong enough emotion to be bothered; there also has to be a desire. Still there's only one kind of man with whom I've ever found sexy enough to get naked. A brutish man would never make my list.
  17. Aggression is the number 1 trait of a bully. Animals, including the human species are usually ostracized or put down when they show aggression. They can't be trusted. This dude sounds like a bully. And from what you wrote, this woman saw you , @Pioneer1 put him in his place. That requires confidence and confidence is a hella sexy trait. Most women (and men) are attracted to assertiveness and confidence. Intuitively, we know we can trust people who exhibit confidence.
  18. Ok, authors-publishers I've been playing around with AMP stories. The app is currently in beta WordPress (open source content management systems). If you have a WordPress website and activated the plugin AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), try it! AMP stories allow you to introduce your book succinctly. Think of it as a way to make a trailer for a book without video production. If you don't have an open-source WordPress site, then try Makestories.io. According to its creator, it's free to use until 2020. Here's a link to the travel story I made on the makestories site [ https://onl.st/miraflores-1/ ] I didn't install the Makestories plugin for WordPress because there's no recent update. But here's the same story I made on my website. https://theleadstory.org/stories/peru/ There's a call-to-action (CTA) link that you can add to lead your viewers to where they can purchase your book directly from you AND not AMAZON DOT COM!
  19. @Troy this line made me laugh out loud! I'll have to do some soul searching to figure out why - but for now; it's tickling!
  20. The first 24 hour Black News Channel is expected to launch November 15, 2019 @6:00 AM. The cable network is the brainchild of J.C. Watts, Jr., former U.S Representative (R-Oklahoma) now BNC chairman and Veteran Journalist Bob Brilliante who will serve as the cable network's CEO. BNC Newsroom management made their rounds at the National Association Black Journalists Job fair in Miami, FL earlier this month. The news channel, headquartered in Tallahassee, Fl, will broadcast to 33 million households nationwide with a major presence in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York. ~MH You can read the release here: https://blacknewschannel.com/wp-content/uploads/BNC_NABJ-Press-Release_2019.pdf
  21. 😆 @Pioneer1 Yes Kim Coles also graduated from Brooklyn Tech with me and Troy. Best. High. School. Ever. And yes - haven't you noticed we fight about and agree with each other on the topics dealing with the subject of "Social Engineering"... It's as if you and I both believe that we humans are consistently being programmed and hacked to behave a certain way. Sexuality goes right to the top of the social engineering ! Early Anglos found out how to harness and supress sensuality, sexuality and sensuosity and use it to create super soldiers /killing machines . In short, suppress sexuality you kill creativity and then you can create monsters. @Troy In a way, I agree but how we use our experiences is what's at odds. As a woman, I learned sexual boundaries in the safety of my parents home. When you are under a watchful eye of your caregivers - they let things go but so far. We've seen on social media where at some of parties teenaged boys and girls have gotten drunk and some boys have gone as far as gang raped girls. A lot of times these parties were not chaperoned - and what's worse those children didn't learn boundaries and popped like corks under pressure. Now the girls are scarred -and the boys have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their life. My friends and I played RCK (run catch and kiss)- as young as 11... by the time we were teens - we knew boundaries. Boys knew sexual contact in varying degrees wasn't off limits because girls liked it too - but we all learned no means no. As society progressed - I guess some parents didn't have time for children anymore. But when I was growing up we all had parents to consult in the absence of our own (for the moment). It did take a village. Most of the kids I grew up with - played kissing games, bump and grinding when we were teenagers, and none of us ended up as sexual predators. When the child learns how to exercise their personal agency it will later serve them as adults. My body and persona doesn't belong to my parents - it's mine. My children's bodies doesn't belong to me or their dad. They learned this from the time they were toddlers. While they were under our care we had to let them determine their boundaries or they would never learn. Or worse, learn when they were older. If you wonder why some women exist in abusive relationships while some women NEVER experience that life;-it's all due to learning. We all have to learn - it just depends on when.
  22. @Troy I never censored how my daughters dance or what they wore. Even when my youngest was going through her goth phase - I just sucked it up. lol - Today, the twins barely wear clothes but that's their self-expression. My oldest daughter is more conservative and that's her style choice. I had nothing to do with it. Anyway, I'm not prudish ... And neither did my parents censor me. EDIT: I had a lights off rub-em-up sweet-sixteen party in my basement. It was great! Also Do you not remember this? This was our senior fashion talent show - I was 17! Kim Coles, Vicki and I dressed like this and even the high school administration allowed us free expression! And yes, this was a one-night only performance - but still creative arts require raising the Serpentine fire/Kundalini! In fact, if we see more of those performances like in Normani's video and less gang-banging - our current "drive-by - mass shooting" culture will change for the better.
  23. The dancing in this video is beautiful! And look at all those chocolate young women and men!~ They are beautiful! Thank you for sharing! It reminds me Janet Jackson's "IF" video but with a majority of beautiful black people. And @Troy don't you remember how sensual we were as a teenagers and young adults? Google can't promote what comes naturally - Young people are sensual, curious and carefree with each other. This choreography just communicates this age but with pure athleticism mixed sensuosity and grace.
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