Author Archives: Manuel

Ebooks news digest: nonfiction writing prompts, best photos of 2016, breakthrough of remote work

2017-01-01

Ebook news digest January 1, 2017

laptop on table with papers and pen
Plan Your Year: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #52
(Write Nonfiction Now!)

Writing a nonfiction book or article requires planning. Often, the hard part is to decide what to include and what to exclude, even though sometimes, a writer has already processed it at the back of his or her mind before the actual writing starts. The article has many other good tips for writers.

Best Photos of 2016
(National Geographic)

A gallery of National Geographic’s 52 best images of 2016. It was curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs. Amazing images – if someone can afford to take more than two million frames, some of them better be really good.

Get to the point! Avoid these words and keep readers happy
(Articulate)

An excellent list of today’s hype words that are forgotten tomorrow. Avoid them and avoid yesterday’s empty phrases as well, such as “don’t get me wrong”, “fast forward to…”, “like … on steroids”.

What Does a Literary Agent Want to See When They Google You?
(The Write Life)

Yes, literary agents will search you on the Internet. The interesting thing is what they are looking for. An agent is not required in many countries outside the U.S., but writers can approach publishers directly. Many publishers have instructions for book proposals on their web pages. Nonetheless, the publishers are more than likely to do the same as agents do: Google the writer. More in this article.

The number of news stories on digital nomads in news sources was so high this time that I decided to list a few articles about the topic alone (it looks like remote work and digital nomad concepts have been discovered by major media companies now):

Why I quit Yahoo and Gmail when I started traveling (Klaava)

Figuring out “Remote Work” Is Figuring out “Work” (Accidentally in Code)

100 Little Things That Happen When You Become a Digital Nomad (The Sweetest Way)

6 Difficult Countries to Be a Digital Nomad (The Nomad Guru)

The 10 Best Cities for Digital Nomads (TransferWise)

Ebooks news digest: dealing with a big publisher, writers conferences, tips from Hemingway

2016-12-21

Ebook news digest December 21, 2017

book conference, frankfurt, publishing perspectives
Why I still won’t review for or publish with Elsevier–and think you shouldn’t either
(Tal Yarkoni)

Scientific publishing is a vast business sector within the publishing industry. The biggest publisher of the sector is Elsevier that has been often accused of acting like a monopoly. Tal Yarkoni highlights so many issues with Elsevier that it is almost scary. In many countries, published authors can join an association (non-fiction and fiction may have separate associations) that can represent authors when they feel they have been mistreated by publishers. In many European countries, associations employ intellectual property rights/copyright lawyers who know how to deal with often complex cases. Tal Yarkoni’s strategy, however, is crowdsourcing: using the power of the scientific community to pressure the publisher.

Which Writers’ Conferences are the Best to Attend?
(The Write Life)

An introduction to writers’ conferences in the U.S in 2017. Whatever the conference, it is good for a writer to occasionally mingle in real life among real people and talk – not just write.

My 5 Top Complaints about Being a Digital Nomad
(Julie Ewald)

If an article or a book manuscript includes the phrase “don’t get me wrong” or even worse, it starts with that useless phrase, it is not a good sign about the quality of the story. Julie Ewald’s blog post, however, features so much valuable practical information for traveling digital workers that it makes an exception. Read the article if you are planning to hit the road with a laptop.

Hemingway’s Advice on Writing, Ambition, the Art of Revision, and His Reading List of Essential Books for Aspiring Writers

(brainpickings)

Hemingway was a strong character who had his own ways of enjoying his success. A Norwegian youngster managed to make friends with Hemingway. The master himself gave the young man writing advice that was later published in the book With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba. The article highlights some of Hemingway’s tips from the book and shares the background for what happened.

Gift Guide: Books Most Recommended By FORBES In 2016
(Forbes)

Business magazine Forbes recommends both nonfiction and fiction books as gifts for 2016 season. Ebooks can be gifted by purchasing a gift card to an online bookstore. First, you buy the gift card from an online store. Then, you give it as a gift to someone. When the person who got the gift wants to enjoy it, he or she logs in to the same bookstore, finds a book, and enters the code printed on the gift card instead of paying for the book.

Here is our recommended book list.

Ebook news digest: co-authoring tips, Estonia citizenship for nomads, websites for writers

2016-12-06

Ebook news digest: December 6th, 2016

Smiling woman holding books
10 Great Tips on How to Write a Book With a Co-author
(Writer’s Digest)

Many travel guidebooks, non-fiction books, textbooks, and scientific publications are written by more than one author. A collection of articles is relatively easy to compile into a book if you compare it to a real book that reads like it was written by one author. The really difficult thing in multi-author projects is to get the writers’ team truly to co-operate and collaborate. Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown know what they are talking about when they list 10 tips for co-authoring a book. My favorite tip: editing other writers output (acknowledging that someone will edit yours).

Why are so many digital nomads becoming “e-Residents” of Estonia?
(LeapIn Blog)

Estonia is a small country on the shores of the Baltic Sea, located between Russia and Latvia. The capital Tallin has one of the most beatiful medieval old towns you can find in Europe. In 1991, when the nation managed to separate itself from Russia, it started building its telecommunications infrastructure from scratch. The leaders of the country were and still are very modern people who realized high tech is the way go for a small nation. Many innovative digital services have been developed (for instance, Skype) in Estonia. One of the latest is e-citizenship. Practically anyone can become a digital citizen of Estonia.

The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016
(The Write Life)

No one really needs 100 websites to start writing a book, but if you can find even two or three sites that help you, it has been worth the time to check out all the listed web pages. Most of the listed web sites provide tools and advice for writers who are starting out their pursuit of independent work. That’s when you need help the most – published authors have usually learned the tricks of the trade during the years. One more web site for writers: travel writers and photographers who want to publish a book, read this.

Meet the photographer taking stunning drone images from around the world
(Brisbane Times)

Amos Chapple is a travel photographer, but not one who is going from place to place with a large SLR camera hanging from his neck. He is a travel photographer who uses drones to take pictures from an angle that has been unavailable for photographers until recently. He got a dream gig from Unesco that hired him to travel and photograph on a drone World Heritage Sites. He has plenty of insight on what travel photography really is all about.

European Union lifts the VAT burden on ebooks
(roger packer)

EU has been consistent with its VAT policy: printed books have a low VAT, and ebooks have a high VAT because digital media products are services. Luxembourg and France have fought this principle and lowered the VAT for ebooks, but EU told them it is not allowed. Finally, all the necessary steps have been taken in the EU, and the VAT for ebooks can be set as low as it is for paper books. The new regulation will become effective in 2017.

Ebook news digest: tools for writers, amazing travel photography, experiences of a business nomad

2016-11-09

Ebook news digest November 9, 2016

woman drinking coffee, thinking what to write
Top 10 Tools To Develop Your Novel Writing Skills (Lifehacker)

Every author has his or her favorite tools, but a good author never stops looking for better tools that can make the work faster, easier or more efficient. The article features some good tips that we never thought of, but we would like to add a couple of tips of our own: a voice recorder, mobile data access and a camera. They help you get something done when an inspiration strikes.

Top 27 Travel Photos in the 2016 SIPA Contest Out of 50K Entries (Resource Travel)

The Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) is an international photography contest for professional and amateur photographers. SIPA claims to have the “highest international participation,” with nearly 50,000 images from photographers in 130 countries. There are many big photography contests with great prizes and great winning images, but as far as travel photography is concerned, the selection of travel photos presented in this article is absolutely magnificent.

Understanding How To Thrive As A Digital Nomad (Uproxx)

Real experiences from a digital nomad who is running a business with his partners and traveling the world. Naturally, they are not constantly on the road, but stay in one place for months, at least. As it happens, these nomads are running a travel-related business Triphappy. In any case, the article features tips and information from a digital nomad that has really experienced the nomad life.

Travel Tips: How To Turn Snaps From Your Smartphone Into Terrific Travel Photography (Travelers Today)

What do you see in the vicinity of a globally renowned sight, like Pisa, Eiffel or Big Ben? Lots of smartphones, tablets and cameras raised at eye level, taking pictures. The article highlights a few very simple tips how to improve your travel photos. We would like to add one tip: be quick to take advantage of a moment. The moment can be anything: a boy on a skateboard with Eiffel tower as the background, or an old lady walking along a narrow alley in the old town of Nice.

PayPal study finds two-thirds of eBook buyers prefer format for price and convenience (Talking New Media)

PayPal has conducted a survey where the payment company asked consumers of digital products about their behavior and reasons for their behavior. The survey focused on ebooks and games. We are not convinced that it makes sense to compare ebook buying behavior against digital game purchases, but that’s what the report does. Nonetheless, you may find valuable nuggets of data from the report. The survey was conducted in a number of major markets across the world.

Ebook news digest: writing tips, movie industry shows example, the business of writing

2016-11-01

Ebook news digest November 1, 2016

tavira, a non-digital nomad in a park
Is Writing For Free Ever OK? There’s A Fine Line Between Exposure And Exploitation (Bustle)

Today, it is easier to publish a book or an article than ever before. Tomorrow, it is going to be even easier than today. Ebook publishers, online news and magazines, blogs, self-publishing services and social media provide everyone a channel to publish. Naturally, a channel is more prestigious than other one. That’s when it gets complicated. If you want to publish in a respected channel, you have to know what you are doing.

How the Film Industry Could Change Book Publishing (Digital Book World)

Digital media is profoundly changing book business – only the pace of change is the difficult factor that no one can predict. As the article argues, the world of books has been slower to adopt new technologies than music or movie businesses. Still, book subscription services and audiobook services are something new in publishing. Lessons from movie industry could benefit book publishing because movie studios have finetuned release timing to perfection in order to maximize revenues from one product.

Here’s Why You Never Get Around To Writing That Book (Huffington Post)

If you have never written a book, you probably think that you can’t do it. Either your writing isn’t good enough, or there is too much work, or no one is interested in the result. In her article Cheryl Muir says: “So if there is a story burning inside of you, write it.” We believe writing is a skill that can be learned and the more you write, the better you get.

Windows 10 Tutorials ebook available for free through Nov. 3 (Windows Central)

Especially those PC users who start using Windows 10 right after Windows 7, may be surprised how different everything is. The desktop is different, the menus, the toolbars … well, everything. Windows 10 is a major overhaul of the Windows operating system, but for the better. Apple Mac OSX (MacOS Sierra) users can only envy the modern new Windows. Even writers will eventually move to new Windows (unless they are stuck with a Mac or Linux computer). A free Windows 10 ebook tutorial is available for download until November 3rd via a link in the article.

How to write a cover letter people will actually read (The New York Times)

The article discusses cover letters written specifically for job applications, but the tips are valid for any letter, report, message that you want the recipient read and perhaps re-read. Although templates are available for any type of letters, and it is vital to know what elements a good message must include, the thing is to be noticed. And it requires personal touch.

Ebook news digest: ever-important editing, ebooks from grocery store, tools for digital nomads

2016-10-19

Ebook news digest October 19, 2016

aldi logo on bag, tablet
As American editors sharpen their pencils, some advice on writing short (Poynter)

We still have great difficulties in understanding how Stieg Larsson’s mega-successful Millennium series books escaped the publishing editor’s wordprocessor. There is a lot of meaningless writing in those books, although the excitement always returns, and again is a pleasure to read. Books and articles usually improve when an experienced editor reviews them. Poynter has some good tips on how you can review your own writing.

Aldi starts e-book service in Germany (Ecommerce News)

Aldi is a large grocery store chain that has expanded from its home market Germany to many other European countries, Australia and to the US. The store concept gives shopppers a simple, no-frills, almost warehouse-like feeling. But the prices at Aldi stores tend to be very competitive. In Germany, Aldi already has a digital music subscription service, and it is now expanding its service selection to ebooks as well. Aldi will offer one million ebook titles in Germany on October 20th. A 7-inch Medion tablet for 129 euros is marketed as well by Aldi.

The best apps and tools for digital nomads (BestTechie)

Not everyone, but many digital nomads are entrepreneurs or freelancers who run their own businesses. Being a nomad means moving from one place to another a few times a year, or even monthly. Time is the most precious resource for a freelancer, and that’s why most of them have understood the importance of having the best tools for the job. Tools for time management, budget management, travel management and even relationship management are valuable. BestTechie’s article has listed a few key apps for digital nomads, but if you want more, see this article.

10 Writing Prompts To Get You Started On Your Next Manuscript (Bustle)

Writing is a creative process – although Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts say that soon machines can write news reports that are as good as humans usually write. Nonetheless, writing starts from an idea about the theme. What to write, from which angle, and what is the message? Bustle introduces 10 prompts to get started on a manuscript, but we would like to recommend them for article writing instead. Writing a book is such a large project that authors think, re-think, and review several times the ideas and concepts what the book will be about. If you have a plan for a non-fiction book, maybe we can help you to take the next step.

Bus driver caught using e-reader on the job (CTV News)

Talking or texting on a mobile phone while driving is not news anymore, but it still is a dangerous thing to do behind the wheel. When a driver is caught reading an ebook on an ereader, that’s news. Even more so because the driver was the chauffeur of a bus full of people. A passenger discovered the bus driver’s reading habit and took a photo to prove it. We have a question to the police: would it be all right for the bus driver to listen to audiobooks while driving?

News report on the bus driver’s ebook reading habit:

Ebook news digest: the unbreakable rule in writing, YouTube stars as authors, learning about privacy

2016-09-29

Ebook news digest September 29, 2016

woman leaning on pile of books
The One Unbreakable Rule in Business Writing (Harvard Business Review)

You’ll have to read the article to find the answer, because the reason we wanted to feature this story is that it presents three valuable questions that every nonfiction author must be able to answer. If you are planning to write a nonfiction book, can you answer these simple questions: Why are you writing this? What audience do you want to reach? Why will they care? If you can, and you are planning a book on travel, culture, history, technology or business, we publish books in these genres.

Top Tips From 5 Digital Nomads (Fox News)

Realistic tips from nomads who seem to have experience and knowledge of what they are talking about. Nomad life is for people who know what they are doing and have the willpower and skills to do it.

The age of self: the strange story of how YouTubers saved publishing (New Statesman)

The generation that grew up watching YouTube regards it perfectly normal and even exciting to to follow someone else play videogames on YouTube. That’s only one popular video genre, others are, for instance makeup tips, pranks or fashion talk. Some book publishers have leveraged the brand power of the most popular YouTube stars and produced books that, at least, have names of YouTubers under the titles. Some publishing experts believe YouTube will save books, but we must wonder: if the brand value of YouTube stars is so great, why haven’t Hollywood or music industry endorsed them?

We Asked Our Favorite Travel Photographers How To Take Better Pictures On The Road (Uproxx)

This article gives plenty of valuable tips for travel photographers and writers who take photos for their own books. First, you should master the mechanics and basic techniques for framing images, since most of these tips are inspirational and travel- or people-related.

Why I am publishing all my private emails, messages and phone calls to the internet in real time (The Telegraph)

A journalist worried about the disappearance of privay is conducting a fascinating experiment. First, he gave away his password to all online services to anyone who wanted them (there is still someone using his original Twitter account). Then, he tried to stay anonymous by using encryption technologies, pre-paid phones and avoiding revealing his location. Both methods had serious shortcomings to his personal and professional life, so he tried yet another approach: he publishes everything he does to the Internet.

Ebook news digest: publisher follows TV business model, reading apps, startups for nomads

2016-09-22

Ebook news digest September 22, 2016

North Portugal, office of a digital nomad on kitchen table
Best ebook reader apps (Which)

Downloading and reading ebooks on a tablet or on a smartphone is easy once you have discovered the right reading app for your needs. Do you only search for books on the Kindle Store, Apple iBooks, Google Play, or Kobo store? If the answer is yes to any of the previous alternatives, it is best to stick to the store’s own reading application. If you shop around for ebooks, you should also try independent reading apps, such as Bluefire or FBreader.

This Ebook Publisher Doesn’t Have Authors. It Has Writers’ Rooms (Wired)

We have been expecting new business models and innovation to book publishing ever since ebooks started to become popular. Wired magazine introduces an ebook publishing startup ReMade that has drawn inspiration from TV industry. A lead writer writes a pilot book (episode) that defines the style and characters for the series. A group of writers collaborate to write the rest of the books for the whole season after that.

How the startup world is bringing digital nomadism closer to reality (TechCrunch)

Life and work of a digital nomad is not all about song and dance and beautiful tropical beaches, but hard work without a place most people would call home. A digital nomad must trust his or her skills and capability to survive to make the nomad life worthwhile. Fortunately, there are startup businesses that can take some of the load off the shoulders of busy nomads. TechCrunch introduces a few startups that provide services for digital nomads.

Tracy Chevalier: ‘Writing is a magic trick that still surprises me when I perform it’ (The Guardian)

“Research is easy. It’s sitting down to write that’s hard.” This encapsulates the essence of writing: it is pretty hard work. Seasoned author Tracy Chevalier shares her tips for writers. She writes historical novels which means her research is mostly done in libraries, and only occasionally in the field. Travel writers may disagree with her view, though. In the business of travel writing, research tends to be hard, and writing can offer a welcomed period of relaxation and calming down after an exhaustive journey.

Amazon has cornered the future of book publishing (Quartz)

Amazon is the pioneer of online shopping, ebook business, online computing services for enterprises, and many other things. It also happens to be the market leader in the mentioned businesses. Quartz boldly argues that Amazon would already have taken the lead in the whole book publishing business in the US. The reason would be the rapid rise of self-publishing along with ebooks that Amazon has carried over to printed books with its CreateSpace service.

Want to publish a nonfiction ebook that gets distributed via all major sales channels? Read this.

Ebook news digest: the birth of travel photography, ereader still rules, Lenovo’s new keyboard for writers

2016-09-04

Ebook news digest September 4, 2016

an office for a digital nomad in Bordeaux, France
Why I like my e-reader better than my smartphone (TNW)

Although the days of quickly growing the user base are over for ereaders, many book lovers still make the magic discovery how easy and convenient it is to read on an ereader. Here is a tech reporter’s story.

New European publishing rules could cost Google and Facebook (IT Pro Portal)

News publishers in some European countries, like France and Germany already have tried to get a piece of the revenue that online services, such as Facebook and Google generate from the publishers’ content. Some methods have failed, whereas in some cases Google has agreed to pay something to the publishers. Now, EU has taken the topic seriously and is planning a legislation titled Neighboring Rights that would give full control to the publishers to determine who can loan or reference their content. If this initiative moves forward, it is a dramatic change. It will mean big business model reconsideration for many online services.

Meet the Mother Daughter Duo Changing the Face of Digital Nomads
(The Huffington Post)

An exceptional proposition to become a digital nomad: mother with her nine year old daughter. One year in four locations, each on a different continent. Hopes are high at departure, so we would love hear from them after six or twelve months.

Lenovo launches Yoga Book: A tablet with touch keyboard, stylus that turns written ink into digital notes (CNBC)

A good keyboard is what most writers require from a laptop. You get the feel and the sound of the keys that are clicking and cracking. Perhaps it simply means that something is being done, but it can be satisfying. Lenovo has introduced another option for a physical keyboard: a touch-sensitive keyboard. The Yoga Book is a tablet/laptop hybrid that has a display where laptops usually have a display, but instead of a physical keyboard, there is another touch sensitive display that is used as the keyboard. We can’t wait to try this one.

The birth of travel photography (Daily Mail)

Never thought of it, but of course, images taken in exotic places were among the first photographs people wanted to have for themselves as memories. All right, perhaps selfies and portraits came first, but travel photography must have been a close second. Rare photos taken 170 years ago in Egypt have been discovered, and they were auctioned to the highest bidder. These pictures shown in the article may have started the whole travel photography hobby and business.

If you travel, write and photograph, perhaps you have a book in you that is seeking a publisher?