September 28

EBook Formatting Choices: MOBI

EBook Formatting Choices: MOBI

If you are familiar at all with Amazon’s proprietary eBook device: the Kindle, then you are likely familiar with the MOBI format as well. The .mobi format is the most common format out there for Kindle books. There are a few third-party applications that can read the .mobi format, but for the most part, if you have a .mobi file, you have to have a Kindle to read it. The ironic part is however, that if you get a .mobi file that wasn’t downloaded from Amazon, it can be rather difficult to get it to load up into your Kindle. Still, if you want to have the format that is recognized by Amazon Kindle, such as being placed in the Kindle Select Program where people can borrow your books and where you can do free book promotions, then you want to have the .mobi format.

Where the MOBI Format can be used

So, where exactly can the MOBI format be used? Unfortunately, it can only be used with Amazon devices like Kindles. The Kindle device is one of the most advanced electronic readers out there, and publishing your book in this format is going to give you a ready-made audience and system is already set up for you to promote your book; that does not always mean that it is the best option out there. There are a lot of things to consider before you decide to place your book in the Kindle Select program, including whether or not you want to give your book exclusivity and conform to Amazon’s pricing models.

The Kindle Select Program

There are definitely some advantages that come with the Kindle Select Program. You are able to price your book at least $2.99 and be able to earn a 70 percent royalty on those books. But that also means the need to keep your book exclusive to Amazon. When the company set up those rules, they knew what they were doing. If you make your book exclusive on Amazon, and it becomes extremely popular, they are going to be the only ones that carry it for a certain period of time. That means all of the sales will come to them. If you go to other retailers, then you’re not going to get the benefits that joining the Kindle Select program offers.

One of those advantages is the ability to price your book to zero for five days out of every 90 days. What that means is that for those days that the book is on promotion it will be promoted for free on Amazon. If you have a series, people will buy the first book in your series for nothing; and there is a decent chance that they will buy the second book as well – as well as any other additional books – because they read the first one and became intrigued. You also are able to take advantage of certain programs like the Kindle Singles program. You can also enlist your book in the borrowing service that Kindle offers – Kindle Unlimited. This service pays you for each page that someone reads.

September 26

How to Use the Hero’s Journey as a Writing Exercise

How to Use the Hero’s Journey as a Writing Exercise

 

Image result for Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell introduced us to “The Hero’s Journey” a writing outline that describes many of the popular works of fiction currently on the shelves or in the movie bin. Some of the best known pieces of writing or motion picture magic have most, if not all, elements of the Hero’s Journey including Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. But you can actually use the Hero’s Journey as an exercise if you want. Here are some ways to do just that.

Ordinary World: Write a page about the ordinary world that a character might live in. If you don’t have a character, just make up a name and then describe their world.

Call to Adventure: Take your character to the moment when they are faced with a choice, and write the internal dialogue that they experience when trying to make that choice.

Refusal of the Call: Heroes often refuse the call-to-action at least once. Remember when Obi-Wan told Luke he must become a Jedi and Luke refused? Write your character’s refusal.

Meeting with the Mentor: Sometimes, these steps appear out of order. For example, Luke Skywalker met with his mentor before he refused the call. You can write it however you like.

Crossing the First Threshold: This is where you can write the hero embarking on his or her adventure.

Tests, Allies, Enemies: Choose a confrontation with an enemy, a first meeting with an ally or a test that your hero must face and write about it as an exercise.

Approach: Write about how your character approaches the main quest. Think about what they might have learned and how prepared they are for it.

Ordeal: Now, write a scene where your character is in the thick of the action. They are accomplishing the goal of the quest. They are overcoming the obstacles that stand in their way.

Reward: When your character finally defeats the enemy and gets the reward, how will they react? What will they do next? Most importantly, how has the experience changed them? Write a scene where your character has won the day and think about what sort of things they might be saying to themselves and how they might be feeling.

The Road Back: This is the very beginning of the last stage of your climax. Your hero is on a journey and has accomplished the goal of that journey. But there is still some loose ends that need to be tied up. They have to be written a clear and accessible exit from the world of the quest to the real world.

Resurrection Hero: The final scene in your climax should show the character changing drastically so that they are finally able to accomplish the tasks that are required to complete the final encounter – even if it is with themselves.

Return with Elixir: Finally, write about your character’s reception, all of the people who didn’t believe they could do it, and the celebration that ensues from them saving the world.

For more writing exercises, check out Reedsy