Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A little known factor in marketing your book through Amazon.com is signing up for an author central account for each country Amazon has a site for. For example, my book is available at all these links, depending on where you are in the world. US http://goo.gl/3dPAm ebook US http://goo.gl/kK13W paperback UK http://goo.gl/NHYMc ebook UK http://goo.gl/RZ6cj paperback de http://goo.gl/3xCea ebook de http://goo.gl/WFtBo paperback ca http://goo.gl/3Oo1g ebook fr http://goo.gl/2i5yQ ebook fr http://goo.gl/NfXiZ paperback es http://goo.gl/dQ5WT ebook es http://goo.gl/QLmaV paperback it http://goo.gl/8W81q ebook it http://goo.gl/rQNSi paperback jp http://goo.gl/aJECU ebook br http://goo.gl/oNaju ebook So first get yourself an Author Central for the US/India then follow these links for to the other countries available https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/help/contact-us/english-speaking-customer.html Germany: https://www.amazon.de/gp/help/contact-us/english-speaking-customer.html France: https://authorcentral.amazon.fr/gp/help/contact-us Note that there isn't an Author Central for Canada. You may have to use google translator to figure out what's going on. I recommend starting with the US and UK sites so you are roughly familiar with the layout.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Hanging out on the beach sometimes doesn't consist solely of, well, hanging out. A true beach bum knows that having to get up to get a drink or having to leave the beach altogether because of sunburn is just not acceptable. A new chair called the LoungePac is aimed at keeping those things from proving necessary. The LoungePac is a 22-pound (10-kg) chair that is packed with all kinds of gadgets and goodies for loungers. To start, it transports on wheels in a fashion similar to that of rolling luggage. It folds out from its transport state in about ten seconds, and is then ready to go. A 360-degree umbrella mount is installed, and the umbrella slides right into the slot when the chair is unfolded. The chair also features a cooler with cup holders for keeping drinks close at hand. The chair's leg support can be removed, plus it features a pillow on the back for some added comfort. Last but not least, the LoungePac also comes with a removable tote bag. The back of the chair is adjustable from straight up to laying down. The aforementioned pillow can be removed to allow loungers to read a book while looking through a face hole. The retail price of the LoungePac is US$259, and it is available now through Amazon. Info found at Gizmag.com and LoungePac The video below demonstrates the process of unpacking the chair.
Friday, March 15, 2013
I'll be posting more soon. I've been crazy busy for awhile, and actually I continue to be, but I think things are settled into a new normal. So here's a small down payment on cool things to come. http://www.nieuweheren.com/products/beauty-and-the-geek/
Sunday, March 10, 2013
We don’t get old AND stuck in our ways. We get stuck in our ways, which causes us to grow old instead of growing mature. With age comes experience so we should become better, faster, and more efficient. We also gather baggage along the way. When we should be able to take more risks, because we’ve eliminated what doesn’t work. We allow the fear of repeating failures to bring caution. We compliment ourselves for being prudent when our hearts call us timid. We are not so much frail as afraid. The irony is that our fear causes us to repeat our failures. When you get the same results time and again the chances are good that you are responding to baggage. Anxiety occurs when we stress over taking a path our conscious mind wants to take and our unconscious mind resists. We start off toward our goal and end up in a familiar mess. The baggage we most need to be rid of is buried deepest because we have carried it the longest. Every experience we walk away from leaves its mark on us. We must unpack and examine everything we’ve taken away from our like travels or be ruled by baggage instead of guided by experience. Of course without the image of Christ in us we’ve no context to interpret our experience. Take no step alone and you will go boldly no matter your age. If you are interested in more by this author check out "On Becoming a Man" http://goo.gl/3dPAm
Friday, March 8, 2013
Mike spoke at Wild Branch 3/2/13, on the topic of Godly wisdom vs worldly wisdom. I think I’m still unpacking it. God has often brought my attention to Proverbs 1:7 “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Worldly wisdom is grounded in knowledge, but we really don’t have perspective to interpret our knowledge. So as with most things in a relationship-based Christianity, it all returns to our willingness to walk in intimacy with God. Walking in wisdom is walking in faith. There is an element of mystery. We simply don’t have a formula for making a right decision apart from our ability to hear God. We can, however, spot the difference between worldly wisdom and the wisdom of God. James 3:15-17 gives a list. “This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. Human wisdom is never devoid of personal gain. That is our default perspective. Wisdom from above is pure (unmixed), it is peaceful (to facilitate drawing close to each other), gentle (sympathetic), reasonable (simple to comprehend), merciful, and it bears good fruits. God’s wisdom can seem counter-intuitive but it doesn’t waffle back and forth and it doesn’t pretend to be something its not. There’s a difference between something hidden in mystery for us to search out and something hidden in deceit so that we won’t go looking for it. This is why, I think, God always reminds me about Prov. 1:7. Wisdom is something God longs to cascade onto me, in abundance, without ceasing, but I do have to get over myself to embrace it. All this stuff in my life that I’m so concerned with, it isn’t about me. On days I’m really smart, I realize that it’s not even my life to preserve. My life was forfeit from day one. I’m here because of mercy and grace. I don’t have anything that wasn’t given to me by God, and there’s nothing expected of me that I’m not first empowered to do. There’s an invitation from God before each one of us. It’s an invitation to adventure and mystery. Wisdom isn’t about what you say, or having the right answers. It’s a lifestyle. What we need is eyes to see and ears to hear and to get that, we start by getting over ourselves. For more inspiration try the book "On Becoming a Man: Training the Spiritual Warrior Within" http://goo.gl/3dPAm while it's still free on kindle today.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
This month’s meeting was great. After the business portion concluded several of us stayed on to socialize. Our collective tiredness came up several times; prompting me to write a post about a topic I’ve meant to cover for a while now. I call it writer self-care. Pam has written an article about all the hats that a writer must wear. Hopefully, she can share some or all of it with us soon. It’s not a laundry list of why you’re burnt out, but an eye-opening look at all the stuff we do. That’s part one of being an Indie—being willing to ‘do it yourself’ when you may have no experience and no idea what you stepped into. One of the big reasons NIWA leadership past and present took the time to get our feet under us and birth a sort of NIWA 2.0 is that we needed to spread it all around more effectively or we were going to burn out. NIWA events are awesome and we’re making headway at changing people’s minds about Indie publishing, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Let me cover just one more angle about avoiding burn out. If you ask most people to close their eyes and think of a writer they probably don’t think of someone joyously tapping away out a keyboard with sunlight streaming through a large window beyond which children and pets romp with quiet abandon. No. Their vision is probably closer to a prematurely-aged person wearing rumpled clothes, chain smoking while they pace a one room loft over a martial arts studio, muttering to themselves, “downstairs their always kicking and screaming.” When I was six, my parents asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. They said I could pick anything I wanted, they would be proud of me even if I was a garbage man. I said, “I want to be a writer.” As I recall with vivid detail, they said, “…but you could be a garbage man or anything. Just pick something you can make money at.” Well, that was my first introduction to “reality.” As years went by, I collected more impressions of writers. “You’ll only be famous after you die.” “You have a better chance of winning the lottery than becoming a writer. That’s even if you don’t buy a ticket.” That little gem was from a teacher who first diagnosed my dyslexia. My favorite was, “writers are second only to dentist for suicide…they’re also big drinkers. Do you have a drinking problem? Because writers are drunks.” That one was said to me in an interview. I didn’t get the job. So…I’m starting this thread hoping to leverage the creativity of the NIWA community to compile ideas for writer’s self-care. What good is it if NIWA erases the stigma of Indie publishing as vanity press, if the reputation of a “real” writer is a destitute, suicidal drunk? So what are your favorite ways to fight off funk, control the creative chaos, obliterate obligations, crowd out criticism, etc. I’ll start out by saying, I’m a huge believer in vitamin D (consult a physician blah blah) and walking. Also lots of water. At least those are my basic first steps to keeping a good attitude. Toward organizing my chaos, I currently favor “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I strongly recommend that book. I personally don’t write at home, though I have an office type space. I prefer a coffee shop, because I like to leave the house every day. I’m trying to teach myself to write in bursts of 20 minutes and then get up and walk around. I’ll let you know if I get that worked out. LOL. Okay, so what are your ideas? It could be anything that makes your life as a writer better, richer, or less stressful. Let’s make writing one of the happiest, healthiest, most well-balanced professions. Check out the book "On Becoming a Man" while its free on Kindle this week.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
When I was in high school, I sat through a sermon from a pastor on the topic of mountaintop experiences. His point was that it’s easy to believe in God and live out your faith when you are having a mountaintop experience, but it’s in the valley that we struggle. He then proceeded to compare the valley to our everyday life saying that some valleys are lush fields where the crops are planted and the work must be done to fund future adventures to the peaks. I had some heartache with that at the time but I didn’t have the time to analyze what might be behind that. I’ve recently run across the book, “The 4-Hour Work Week,” by Tim Ferriss, in which he suggests that hate is not the opposite of love. He suggests that hate and love are two sides of the same coin and their opposite is actually apathy. I’ve heard this sentiment before and can see the logic in it. Ferriss goes on to say that sadness is not the opposite of happiness. Again they are two sides of the same coin. He suggests that happiness is too vague and when people pursue it they often settle for the least risk or temporary lifestyle gain. The true nemesis of happiness/sadness is boredom. This follows my understanding of depression. I’ve had depression off and on over the years. It’s been described as numbness resulting from repressed rage. That sounds right. When you’re angry about something and you believe that you can’t or shouldn’t do anything about it you have to go numb in order to avoid dealing with it. You either drink, or do something else to raise the level of white noise in your life in order to drown out your issue but it doesn’t go away. At some point, you shut down and go numb. I’m participating in Noble Heart’s calling intensive with Gary Barkalow and his crew. While doing some of the homework for the retreat, I encountered the strange realization that some of the most difficult, painful, risky, exhausting, and even sad moments of my life are the times that I felt most alive. Those times were also filled with moments of triumph, community, adventure, and joy. They were also times I felt closest to God via his provision over my life. So my mind instantly connected the idea Ferriss brought up with spiritual experiences and I realized that Mountaintop experiences and valley experiences are two sides of the same coin. The valley does not represent the average day, but the terrible fall from attempting something great. The opposite of the spiritual Peak/Valley coin is the rut. The rut is that monotonous place we find ourselves when we’ve too often chosen the safe thing instead of the great thing. We let fear of the valley keep us from climbing the mountain. Here’s why God hates the rut as much as we do. If we climb the mountain, we call on God’s grace and we pursue an experience (intimacy) with God. If we fail, we call on God’s mercy and forgiveness and our intimacy with Him also grows. God can use situations when He needs to bail us out. If we spend our time trying not to need God, intimacy is reduced. I began to wonder why the old preacher’s expectation was that we should return home from a mountaintop experience to a rut and then try really hard to avoid sin until the next opportunity came to climb a mountain. Seriously, why shouldn’t our goal be to stay on the mountaintop? My hunch is that his answer would be, the risk. I say, risk of what? The worst that could happen is that you fall into a valley and God grows you. I don’t think coming down to a midpoint, or mediocre altitude is a good compromise in God’s eyes. The biblical support for my theory comes from the verse ?? that says we can abide in Christ. How do we abide in Christ if our concern is to be safe? So here’s what it looks like to stay on the mountain top. Well, like the pastor pointed out, it’s a lot easier to do the right things when you actively pursue Christ. I tried to fast and made it two days. I bet if I were in a situation where there was no food I’d survive much longer. It wouldn’t be fun, but it might make me a better man. Either way, living life in a way that I never miss a meal has made me fat. I detest exercise for the sake of exercise. I love to walk, but not on a treadmill or even in a circle track. There has to be a reason I’m going from point A to point B. If these two physical things could benefit my health and would be much easier if I were in a situation that forced my hand, then basically a contributing factor to my fatness is a lack of hardship. I’ve dieted, joined a gym, none of it engages my heart. I’m just not built to deprive myself of things. Now I acknowledge that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. God provides us restraint. What I’m saying is, I’ve lived a lifestyle of avoiding discomfort and not risking to achieve greatness and I need to start living a lifestyle of pursuing God at all costs. I suck at mediocre. I can’t compete on the middle ground. I’m designed for something more.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
A Christian Inspirational book I co-authored with Janice Seney is free on Kindle this week. This is my first non-fiction so I'm really excited. You don't have to own a kindle to read it. I'd love to have you review it, but every download helps. I'd love to give away 1,000 books this week, so between now and Friday please go here: http://goo.gl/3dPAm and take advantage of this opportunity. Feel free to share this link with your network and help me get to 1,000 downloads.
PS If you are plagued with this announcement on Facebook already I'm sorry. It's hard to know who is seeing your updates and who doesn't.
A. R. Bunch
No one succeeds without great effort, but many people work hard and don't get what they want. The first key to success is deciding what you want.
No one succeeds without great effort, but many people work hard and don't get what they want. The first key to success is deciding what you want.
My UNYK ID is: SAJ 281