MIND LIKE WATER MONTHLY
Dedicated to helping the ebook community.
Issue #10: December 10, 2002
Publisher: Mind Like Water, Inc.
Holiday greetings everyone!
Welcome to another issue of our newsletter. If you want
to catch up on back issues of
the Mind Like Water Monthly, please visit http://www.mindlikewater.com/newsletter.html.
Thank you ebook authors, publishers and directories for
coming through on our Library
Initiative. I am overwhelmed by the positive
response. For those of you who have your listings in, you
have secured your spot in our ebook catalog and Diane Faile will
be working her heart out to make this marketing effort a success.
For anyone still considering the offer, it's never too late,
but we are getting started without you. So hurry up and don't
miss out on a single library.
For more information and to get your ebooks in our
catalog, visit https://www.mind-like-water.com/library_offer.html
or email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout 2003, Diane will be updating you each month on
our progress with the library
initiative. The updates will appear in a
new section of this newsletter titled Library Campaign.
As you know, we recently released our Collection Creator
which allows ebook authors, publishers,
or anyone else who manages electronic files to create compilations.
Greg, our programmer, has done a fantastic job of creating
and maintaining the software. If you have any questions about
the software, feel free to contact Greg at email@example.com.
Enjoy our feature article, "Trading Links."
Table of Contents
1. Feature Article: Trading Links
2. eBook Publisher Interview: Nicki Chodnoff, On The Go
3. Library Campaign
4. eBook Author Interview: Paul Cutright, Straight From the
Heart: An Essential Guide for Developing, Deepening
& Renewing Your
own or operate a website, I'm willing to bet
that you have, or that you do
it yourself. Even if you just surf around and happen to
see other links, it's interesting to know what all the fuss is about.
Feature Article: Trading Links
Perhaps you've heard about website owners who trade links. If you
In other words, why trade links?
I suppose we can trace the roots of trading links back to
the original architecture of
the Internet itself, which is decentralized
by nature. If one computer server goes down, communications
continue around the problem.
The World Wide Web and hyperlinks also allow information
to flow in a decentralized
manner. The normal bottlenecks of front doors were
eliminated by allowing web surfers to go straight to the information
that they wanted. In essence, the true power of the Internet
is in hyperlinks that take us easily from one page on one
site in one country to another page on another site in another
country in a matter of seconds.
Taking this one step further, it makes sense to think
that some of the most important
and relevant sites online contain many inbound
links. That is, website owners and operators often place hyperlinks
to these important sites. For example, a financial website
might contain links to websites of the New York Stock Exchange
and Wall Street Journal.
This process has not gone unnoticed by search engines,
especially by today's most
important search engine -- Google. In fact, Google
built its whole Page Rank process around the importance of links.
Links are so important today that merely submitting your
website for listing in a search
engine can be useless unless a search engine
can find your site and index it. Search engines index popular
sites continuously, checking for links to other sites of relevance;
therefore, you need links to your website from other sites
that are already indexed.
Now you're starting to see the importance, I hope.
What many websites are missing is what to do with the
links. Usually, a website owner
just creates a Trade Links or Link Partners'
page. These pages are fine, except that search engines want
relevance of topics, or content. A mish mash of links is not relevant
content. However, breaking up all of the links into manageable
information pages with relevance to your site's theme can
be a huge boon to creating traffic.
Here is an example of what I'm talking about. Let's say
you have an ebook entitled How
to Buy a Computer Without Getting Ripped Off.
Your website is called The Savvy Computer Buyer. Set up a section
in your website and call it "Resources." Create informational
topic pages that can be accessed from here, such as computer
monitors, computer manufacturers, software, printers, ink
cartridges, office supplies, etc. Find, for example, websites that
sell ink cartridges and put links to their sites on the page you
have dedicated to ink cartridges. Then contact these websites and
offer to trade links with them; if they agree, leave their links
up and give them your information for your site (your website
address, your website title and a small description).
Target sites that are related to your topic for
relevance. Soon you will be
contacted by owners of other websites who want to trade
links with you.
Approximately a year ago, we implemented a link trading
strategy and the results were
impressive. Now I am contacted every day by other
websites that want to trade links, which I am happy to do.
Until next time, trade a few links.
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reporter for a radio program, and your more
than 500 travel articles have
appeared in leading publications such as Better Homes
& Gardens, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, Home
& Away, and others. You also are the former online travel editor
for Better Homes & Gardens. Before we talk about On the
Go Publishing, tell us how you arrived at becoming a travel writer.
What appeals to you the most about this genre of writing?
eBook Publisher Interview: Nicki Chodnoff, On The Go Publishing
Diane: You are an award-winning travel writer, a roving travel
Nicki: Travel writing fuses two of my passions,
writing and travel. As with
many people, I didn't set my sights to be a travel
writer. It was a long, circuitous route that brought me to travel
writing. In the process of finally arriving at travel writing,
I wrote about the computer industry, wrote technical reviews
and served in a communications/public relations capacity for
a number of nonprofit agencies.
Diane: On The Go Publishing (http://www.onthegopublishing.com),which
you established in 1995, publishes your travel-related books,
newsletters and guides that provide consumers with travel information.
What else can you tell us about On The Go Publishing?
Was establishing this site a natural progression from what
you had been doing? What were the challenges for you in moving
from writing for magazines and newspapers to writing for the
Nicki: On The Go Publishing (which was born in
1991 but went on the Web in
1995) was primarily the result of frustration with the mainstream
publishing industry and a desire to help people get more
from travel. I wrote one title for a mainstream publishing company
that produced a lot of travel titles. Even with a good book
contract, unless you are a superstar who can sell more than 100,000
books in a month, your royalties will be a pittance. From that
time forward mainstream publishing companies began doing less
and less for authors. Unless you generated buzz for your book
and did most of your own marketing, your book would hardly sell.
If I had to do most of my own marketing for a book, I thought
I should reap most of the profits, so I started self-publishing.
The other reason for creating On The Go Publishing was
sharing my deep knowledge of
travel with consumers. OTGP started around 1991 with
our first newsletter, Cruise Views. Travel is one of the most
puzzling industries around. The person in the next hotel room,
cruise ship cabin or plane seat may have paid hundreds if not
thousands of dollars less than you. And the closer to the day of
departure you come, the more expensive an airplane seat becomes.
To share these insider viewpoints and strategies with the
general public and tell them
about the many deals and discounts that go unused,
I started the Value-Season Traveler Newsletter. It was a hard-copy,
through-the-mail newsletter that was sold through subscriptions
with no advertising. Two years ago we integrated the
Value-Season Traveler into our Travel Savings Alerts electronic
newsletter. Printing, paper and mailing costs skyrocketed
so hard-copy newsletters couldn't compete against free
electronic newsletters. Since so much of the Internet is "free,"
our strategy changed from a newsletter supported by subscription
to an electronic newsletter supported by advertising.
As far as challenges in moving from hard-copy media such
as newspapers and magazines to
electronic media, the challenges are the
same as writing for newspapers and expanding to magazines. As a
writer, you need to learn about and understand your market -- whichever market
it happens to be at that time. Writers must be chameleons,
changing and adapting with each article we write and always
focusing on the audience we are writing for. I still write for
magazines and newspapers and I was in the forefront of writing
for web sites on the Internet. It's a balancing act that I
chose when, early on, I saw the Web as a media that would have a
profound influence on writing and publishing.
Diane: Your books are offered both electronically
and as paperbacks, and prices
are the same for each. Which format tends to
sell better? Many ebook publishers price print versions of their
ebooks differently. What is the philosophy behind your pricing
Nicki: Since our books are non-fiction and require
a lot of research time, we
price paperbacks and electronic products the same
since the same amount of research time is needed for both. The
printing costs for paperbacks, because we get them printed in considerable
volume, isn't really a factor in their pricing. And as
non-fiction, we update and sell the same titles over many years.
It's not like a romance novel or a mystery -- non-fiction travel
books have a much longer shelf life. Ebooks get a price break
as no shipping and handling is charged. We offer nearly all of
our books in both formats for the reader's convenience. This is
something we've done since we set up a web site in 1995. Over the
years we've noticed a shift. At first, very few people ordered
ebooks, it was 90 percent paperback. Now, we sell more ebooks
than paperbacks (about 60 percent ebooks). I see that trend
continuing. We will always publish a few paperback books as some
people just like the feel of holding a book in their hands.
Diane: You began publishing your travel-related
guides as ebooks in 1995. In
the years since then, what have been the most significant
changes in how you publish and market your ebooks? If you
could offer one suggestion for moving the ebook industry forward,
what would it be?
Nicki: Since we headed to the ebook
bandwagon right at the beginning,
what we are changing is the different formats ebooks will
be available in. Right now we offer text and pdf versions. We
are looking to add electronic versions for PDAs and electronic book
As for marketing, the biggest change is the shake-out in
the dotcom world. Many sites
selling ebooks no longer exist so we've been
more dependent on sales from the survivors. We always want to
share information on what's happening in travel, and as a by-product that
information promotes our web site and stimulates book
and product sales. My guess as to what will move the ebook industry
forward is selecting a common standard. Once a single protocol
wins out, such as when VHS beat out BETA in VCRs, consumers
will be less confused and more apt to try an ebook. That
standard may also spur the big boys such as Amazon and Borders
to embrace ebooks. Once Amazon and Borders get in the picture
in a bigger way, ebook sales will increase dramatically.
Diane: You have self-published several travel
ebooks, including Acute Mountain
Sickness Overview, Rule 240 Guide and Round-Up of Traveler's
Diseases. What can those of us who travel look forward
to next from you?
Nicki: As boring as it sounds, travelers can look
forward to more of the same.
Our approach and motto is helping make travel cheaper,
safer and more rewarding. So in 2003, we will update our two
best sellers: The Airline Consolidators Quick Reference
Chart and the Volunteer Vacations
Guide. We're also going back to
our roots. We're reformatting what was our Cruise Views Newsletter
into stand-alone Cruise Views ship reports. And of course,
these ship reports will be available as ebooks (perhaps ebooklets
would be more appropriate).
We continually monitor the pulse of the travel industry
for new trends and topics. When
warranted, you'll be sure we'll write a book
In addition to our travel guides, we also offer
travel-related products. For
years (way before 9/11), we talked about security when
traveling. Our Baggage Guard Seals, Luggage Stretch Film and Face-It
Luggage Tags reflect our security concerns. Other products
such as Insta-Cold Handy Paks and a first-aid kit address
safety and injuries. We also know that people love to shop
when traveling, so we offer select pieces of jewelry we have found
in our travels that are particularly good buys.
In short, with our links, guides, free
advice and products, we want to
be a one-stop shop for travelers.
-- Nicki Chodnoff, editor Travel Savings Alerts
For a free subscription, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TSA is a publication of On The Go Publishing, bringing you unique
travel-related products and publications
including the Airline Consolidators
Quick Reference Chart, Hotel Consolidators Quick Reference
Chart, Volunteer Vacations Guide, Cheap-Tix Chart, Face-It
Luggage Tags and Luggage Stretch Film.
Today marks the start of Mind Like Water's Library Campaign. We are
dedicating one person for a full year to market a free ebook catalog
to over 1,000 public libraries. In this section of the newsletter,
we will be providing monthly updates of our progress. As
the momentum builds, so will this section. More next month...
For more information and to get your
ebooks in our catalog, visit https://www.mind-like-water.com/library_offer.html
or email Diane Faile at email@example.com.
eBook Author Interview: Paul Cutright, Straight From the Heart:
An Essential Guide for Developing, Deepening &
Renewing Your Relationships
Diane: You and your wife Layne have been professionals in the
human potential field since 1976, and
together you founded The Center
for Enlightened Partnership. The Center provides coaching, education
and consulting for people who want practical solutions for
everyday challenges in their personal and professional relationships
How did you get into this
field, and what aspect of your work do you enjoy the
Paul: Layne and I met at a seminar
and personal development center
in San Francisco in 1976 called Theta Seminars. We worked together
and had a collegial relationship until one day when we shared
a spontaneous mystical experience. There's just no other way
to describe what happened. It occurred in the presence of about
six or seven people, including Layne's mother! Well, that turned
out to be a defining moment for both of us as our lives changed
dramatically soon afterwards.
We discovered that we were deeply in love
and neither of us had a positive
relationship history. We determined to use our relationship
as an experiment to find out what it takes to keep the
love alive in a romantic partnership over time -- and to use our
relationship for our personal and spiritual development.
Due to a fortuitous series of events, we
became trainers for a relationships
training organization and spent the next couple of years traveling around the
country teaching workshops on relationships.
We had the unique opportunity to be teaching what we
were learning, which tremendously accelerated our own growth. We
have been teaching and exploring the possibilities of relationship
The aspect of our work that we most enjoy is
watching our students' and clients'
relationships and lives transform.
Diane: What is an "enlightened
partnership"? If you had to offer one
piece of advice for attaining such a partnership, what would it
Paul: An enlightened partnership is
one in which both (or all) parties
recognize that relationships are a co-creation and are able
to take responsibility for their part of the relationship. The
relationship is seen as a space of possibilities for learning and
growing, not a thing to be manipulated or controlled through blame
or guilt. Enlightened partners are able to inspire cooperation
and find mutually beneficial outcomes.
The most important thing to understand
about this is that lasting success
in partnerships is the result of knowledge and skill that can
be learned and mastered. And, since life is all about relationships,
learning how to consciously create successful relationships
is one of the most important things we can do.
Diane: The online bookstore of The Center for
Enlightened Partnership offers
ebooks co-authored by you and your wife Layne. Tell
us about your ebook Straight From the Heart: An Essential
Guide for Developing, Deepening &
Renewing Your Relationships, and
the accompanying audio program.
Paul: Straight From the Heart
teaches a communication exercise called
Heart to Heart Talks. One of the biggest mistakes partners make
is not talking about things that need to be talked about, especially
difficult things. We've seen in our private practice over
and over again that it is often the things that people cannot
talk about that end up destroying the relationship. There is
a direct relationship between intimacy and honesty, trust and communication.
We say in our book that "truth is love's doorway," yet
many people have the experience that the truth hurts. Straight
From the Heart teaches the reader how to tell the truth,
how to hear the truth and how to deal with the truth in a way
that produces more safety, trust and intimacy in relationships.
Heart to Heart Talks are a tool that can be used in
personal, family and business relationships. The audio program that
accompanies the book consists of three audio files (MP3) from
a live workshop we did in which we teach how to do Heart to Heart
Talks, so the reader has the advantage of actually hearing how
Heart to Heart Talks are done.
Diane: When did you begin incorporating ebooks
into your business model, and
what was the thought process that led to this decision?
How important are the ebooks to your business?
Paul: Straight From the Heart
was originally self-published and distributed
by Ingram and Bookworld in 1996. We did a small book tour
and promotion, all of which was very expensive. We launched our
website in 1998 and began learning about the world of online business
and virtual learning. We experimented with small, free e-books
before creating *Straight From the Heart* as an e-book earlier
this year. We used the original Quark Express files for the
book to create a PDF file for the e-book version, thus maintaining
the original layout and design.
Our plan is to turn all of our
intellectual properties into digital
products -- e-books, audio programs, e-courses, etc. It allows
us to inexpensively have world wide marketing and distribution
that is affordable for us, affordable for our customers
and ultimately more profitable for us. We do not have the
costs associated with printing, inventory or shipping, yet we can
deliver a quality product to our customers. So, I would say that
e-books are very important to our business.
Plus, we now have an affiliate program in place that
allows our customers who have
websites and e-zines to offer our e-books to their
visitors and readers and share in the profits. You may read about
our affiliate program by clicking on the following link: http://www.enlightenedpartners.com/affiliateinfo.html.
Diane: What is your strategy for
choosing an ebook topic that will
compliment your business and enhance its success? Are you currently
working on another ebook?
Paul: We have a lot of material
from our workshop manuals and handouts
and audio programs that lend themselves perfectly to e-books.
The great thing about digital products is that we can enhance
the e-book experience with audio files, included as an optional
feature for an additional price, or as a free bonus. We use
a digital mini-disc recorder to record original content or digitize
workshop cassette tapes to produce the audio files on our
computer desktop. We are also seriously looking at digital desktop
video for instructional and promotional videos.
Our next e-book is entitled You Are
Never Upset for the Reason You
Think - The CURE for the Common Upset. The CURE is an acronym
for Conscious Upset Resolution Exercise, which is a 13-step process of
self-inquiry. This book teaches a method of conflict
resolution that is grounded in what we call "radical personal
responsibility." We are in the final stages of copy editing
now and hope to release this book before Christmas (crossing
our fingers!). This book will also include audio files demonstrating
how to use the process and will have an optional five-hour
teleclass based on the book.
-- Paul & Layne Cutright,
The Center for Enlightened Partnership
Life Strategy & Partnership Coaching|
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