MIND LIKE WATER MONTHLY
Dedicated to helping the ebook community.
Issue #11: January 21, 2003
Publisher: Mind Like Water, Inc.
Hi ebook community, and welcome to another exciting year for ebooks! As usual, we have a number of
initiatives going on. I guess we just can't help ourselves.
Mind Like Water recently kicked off its 2003 library
initiative, and offered ebook authors and publishers the
opportunity to participate. I am happy to say that
75 authors have taken us up on our offer so far, and will be
featured in the ebook catalog we are creating to market to public
libraries. The first edition of the catalog should be done this
month, but for anyone still considering the offer it is never
too late to sign up. We will be updating the catalog quarterly so
that others can join and current participants can update their
Each month we will provide you with a progress report on
our library marketing effort, in the Library
Initiative Update section of our newsletter. Please see
below for the latest update.
**For more information and to sign up, visit: https://www.mind-like-water.com/library_offer.html
or reply to this email for more information.**
As you may know, we recently released our Collection
Creator software (http://www.collectioncreator.com),
so that ebook authors or really
anyone who manages electronic files can create compilations.
Greg, our programmer, has done a fantastic job of creating
and maintaining the software. If you have any questions on
the software, feel free to contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am excited to announce that we have put together our
first collection using this
software, entitled Passion On Parade. This
collection offers romantic reads from 17 contemporary authors
and 6 classic authors. You'll find novels, poetry and short
stories in Passion On Parade, as well as author biographies,
cover art wallpaper, and more. Our thanks to the authors
who contributed to this collection.
For more information or to purchase Passion On Parade,
please visit http://www.mindlikewater.com/collections/romance.
Enjoy our feature article, "Froogle," and
interviews with author Ruth
Marlene Friesen and publisher Deron Douglas.
Table of Contents
1. Feature Article: Froogle
2. eBook Author Interview: Ruth Marlene Friesen, Ruthe's Secret Roses
3. Library Initiative Update
4. eBook Publisher Interview: Deron Douglas, Double Dragon Publishing
Feature Article: Froogle
Do you recognize that name? It sure sounds like Google, but with a
cute play on the word "frugal." Well, Google has done it again. They've created a new shopping search engine
that is free to both advertisers
What more could you ask for?
Ebook authors, here's how you can take advantage of a
Froogle listing. First, Google
crawls billions of web pages every month, so
you may already be included. Be sure to visit http://froogle.google.com
and check to see if your ebook is already
If your ebook is not listed, you or your publisher may
need to submit a data feed.
Doing so will ensure that your entire product catalog
is included in Froogle. It's also the best way to ensure accuracy
in your listing.
Here are some instructions to submit a data feed:
Email Froogle at email@example.com.
Include the following in the email: name, title, phone number, email address, name of store, URL of store's website, and a
brief description of the types
of products for sale. Froogle will send you instructions
on how to submit the feed. The first step is to create,
in Froogle's feed format, a tab-delimited text file, which
can be updated daily, weekly, or monthly.
Froogle points users to sites where they can buy actual
products from the merchants
that sell them. Therefore, to be eligible to submit
a feed, you must sell products through a website and ship them
to the buyer. If you sell services or custom products that do
not have fixed prices, are only promoting an offline business, or
are an affiliate marketing site, you will not be qualified to use Froogle.
Finally, to submit a data feed you must allow Google to
crawl your website by removing
any robots.txt files that disallow the Googlebot
** Don't Forget Valentine's Day **
Tired of giving your lover the same old boring gift? You need passion...
Passion On Parade, that is.
Passion On Parade is a complete romance collection
on CD Rom. Ignite your romance
eBook Author Interview: Ruth Marlene Friesen, Ruthe's Secret Roses
Diane: You worked on your first novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses (http://www.booklocker.com/books/642.html),
for 30 years, starting with an
old Underwood typewriter and finishing with a new
Pentium III computer. This is the story of a Mennonite girl on
the Saskatchewan prairie in Canada who commutes to work in the city,
where she has "a special mission to be intentional in her friendship,
and to share her secret of how to have intimacy with God."
The conflict that arises comes from Ruthe keeping her city friends
a secret from her family. You were born into an evangelical
Mennonite family living on this same prairie, and have
been active in the church and children's ministries throughout
your life. Would you share with us some of the history behind
the writing of this novel? How much of who you are has been
written into the character of Ruthe?
Ruth: Quite a lot! The first plot came from gazing
at a postcard of the Rocky
mountains when I was about 12. It involved a young girl
coming out of an obscure life up the mountain side to work in
the resort. Her very character began to influence people and made
for the adventures. As I grew older I brought the setting closer
to home, by placing it in Saskatoon, our nearest city. I looked
forward to leaving our small town after graduation and working
there, so I began to put my fantasies into the story.
However, I was also reading a lot of books from the library
on writing, and trying to follow every
suggestion. That was my learning
to write phase. When I finally thought the book was ready
I sent it to publishers, only to get rejections and to be ignored.
I'd let the book rest a few months, and then by January 1
I was ready to look it over and
see where it could be improved. Usually things
would jump out at me, and I'd throw myself into a rigorous writing
schedule -- but in secret, because I thought my family and
friends would somehow convince me I couldn't pull it off.
These annual cycles went on for 4 years in Saskatoon, and
then when I moved to London, Ontario
(Canada), another 12 years. Then I
went home to care for my parents, and decided to hide the manuscript
in a deacon's bench with a deep drawer, and not take it
out until I just had to write again. I honestly thought it couldn't
be improved any more.
For eight years I didn't touch it. But as I'd be washing
floors for instance, I'd
suddenly get vivid visions of how that book ought
to be written if I were to enjoy it myself. Gradually I realized
that I could dump all those formulas other writers used, and
write the perfect book I would love to read.
It took eight years to actually work on it again because
Mom got sicker and was dying,
my Underwood couldn't type a straight line, and
I had to pray for a year for funds to get a computer, and then
I had to honor a promised translation job! Like Mom, I persevered
against all odds.
Once I could write the book over again, I freely gave
Ruthe, the main character, my
personality, interests, and attitudes. The only
difference is that she got to have the experiences I had fantasized
about as a teen and young woman.
Diane: Ruthe's Secret Roses is described as
Christian fiction. I've read
that Christian readers want such things as renewal of faith,
action without sex and profanity, or simply something they will
feel safe in reading. What are you trying to provide to your target
audience? Do you view your novel as a tool for ministry, or
are you just telling a good story?
Ruth: I like all those things myself. We readers
vicariously become what we
read, and learn a lot from fiction, but I'd noticed
that many Christian novels were on the shallow side. There
wasn't a lot on the nitty-gritty part of living out our faith.
I remember how I longed for someone to teach me to pray effectively
when I was a teen, and how to discern the whispers of
God in a crisis; what to do next. So my target audience are those
lonely people, mostly girls and women, who also crave an intimate
friend to show them by example, and to fulfill them in their
You know, years ago I tried to get into street ministry,
but I quickly discovered that I
didn't have much to offer them because I'd
never been a street person, on drugs or in an ugly lifestyle. Then
I discovered that I do have something valuable to say -- to the
lonely, the spiritually starved people who wish God would answer
them. I can also identify with responsible oldest sisters who
end up raising their siblings, and with those who have creative
energies that need outlets.
Yes, I trust Ruthe's story is a good story, but I confess
to loading it with comfort and
counsel to those who can find and accept
Diane: You have a page on your web site for
Frequently Asked Questions
about your novel (http://ruthes-secretroses.com).
While some of the questions are about you as
the writer, there are answers
to such questions as "What is the main conflict or theme
in this story?" and "What are the secret roses in the title?"
Given the popularity of reading groups, have you ever considered
offering a reading group guide for your novel? What do you
think about this idea as a marketing strategy for ebooks?
Ruth: Tell me more! I haven't seen this done yet,
and I've spent the last four
years online teaching myself how to be a business woman
marketing my book. That sounds great.
I have expected that as my novel grows in popularity, I'll be
able to go into schools and have fun
analyzing all the sub-plots and
imagery in the book with students. (I discovered some myself after
it was done).
The main comment I hear from readers now is that they are
surprised at how many people are in the book.
I just shrug and tell them,
"But I'm a people-person; what else could you expect?" To
counteract and help them get acquainted with the novel's characters,
I'm planning an interactive game on my web site with drawings
of the characters, and clues that show only when you put your
mouse over them.
Diane: Tell us about the one-of-a-kind children's
books that you create and give
as gifts. How did you get started doing this?
Ruth: This is where my playful
imagination has so much fun. After my
niece Jalise was born I sat at my reception desk and visualized
having her on my lap and having a conversation with her
about kisses. (I was projecting for when she'd be about two.) I
picked up some water color markers and sketched gauzy donuts and
stars, and cinnamon hearts flying between us. Suddenly I knew what
to do. I added some lines of text to each page, and made a booklet.
To keep her from chewing this booklet up too soon, I had the
pages laminated and then sewed them together down the middle. I
called it a Whimsical Textbook on Kisses.
Jalise is now going on 22, and has a one-year-old son of
her own, but she still loves
that book and wants to know when I'm going to get
it published. Others have said the same thing, but I haven't had
time to pursue a publisher willing to take on an unknown, and picture-books
are a little expensive for self-publishing.
I did one for her brother Jasel too, who always loved to
help me with washing dishes
when they came to visit. That one is in an odd
poem format where he goes around asking Auntie Ruth, Grandma, and
Great-grandma about how they did dishes, going back to when pioneers
had to rub dishes with sand and wash them in a brook. "The
Song the Dishwasher Sings" has full-page charcoal sketches, and
is laminated too, with a home-made hardcover.
Another one I did was for an elderly friend in her 80s,
who had many friends, and had
for years babysat almost all the kids of our
town, but as her memory slipped, she kept complaining that she
had no friends. Margaret had often told me stories of how she had
polio at age 2, and her siblings had pushed her to school and around
the village in a wicker carriage and included her in everything.
So I did up a picture book for her of her own life story,
proving that "Yes, Margaret, You have Friends!"
Meantime, Jalise has just asked for a Hobbs book for her
son Calvin, who is named after
that cartoon character. I've got an idea
for the book but haven't started it yet.
Diane: I read that there will be a sequel to Ruthe's
Where will the sequel take Ruthe, and us, and when can we look
forward to reading it? Do you have any other writing projects
Ruth: [Giggle]. Oh yes! I have ideas for books
almost the way some people drop
dandruff. I really don't think I can write them all
in my lifetime. But I decided a few years ago that starting a
new book every time I have an idea buzz by my nose means I'd get
none done. I resolved to make Ruthe's Secret Roses my main thrust until it began to sell itself almost,
or at least I could afford to
leave that in others' hands.
In my head, and in my older computer downstairs, are
notes and outlines for several
sequels to this novel. In the next one, Dew on
the Roses, Ruthe finally has the romance of my dreams, but
she will also have serious health problems and grapple with whether
or not she may pray for and expect a complete healing. Instead
of a whole book leading up to marriage, it will start with
marriage, and go with them on their honeymoon, and as they settle
at home, and learn to know and love and work together. People
will accuse me of being too idealist (not for the first time!),
but that's okay. I'm sick and tired of broken marriages and
dysfunctional families. I bet other readers would love to live
with a happily married couple for a while too, and watch how
they solve problems creatively.
The one after that will be called something like, "A
Great Big Wonderful
Family," and will have an adventure in each chapter as this
ideal couple vows to adopt and take in anyone who comes to their
mansion and wants to be part of their family. Some of those characters
have already made themselves so alive and interesting in my imagination that
they'll call for spin-off books of their own!
[Big Grin! Don't you wish you were me? I get to read all these
fun books in my mind, and you can't get a peek yet.]
It's just that I have an agenda of goals or stages to
pass through first.
I'm also trying to sneak in little blocks of time to
update and re-publish my family
history and genealogy books. I'm converting them
to e-book format for easier sales at much less expense.
Teaching myself HTML and getting an e-book compiler means
there's nothing to stop me from
churning out books of all types, both fiction
and non-fiction. This year I plan to turn the following on
my computer into e-books, and set some up for sale, and some perhaps
as free gifts to attract new friends:
-- Spiritual Warfare (Bible study of Joshua)
-- Speak, Lord (Bible study of Luke)
-- Journal of God's Provision (out of my online journal, 1999-2000)
-- A Godly Inheritance (family history publ. 1988)
-- A Network of Neudorfs
-- Our Friesens & Assorted Friesens
I also have the following plans for gift books:
-- write Hobb's book for (gr.nephew) Calvin
-- finish book on Uncle John, our Black Sheep
-- compile Mom's & Grandma's recipes into cookbook.
Oh, and I also write an original short Christmas story
every year and that small
booklet is my card and gift to my friends. Some friends
send me cards just to be sure they don't get dropped from my
list. (It was 100 paper, and about 80-100+ as an ebook in 2002).
Tired yet? [grin] You probably are, and I'm just
revved up! But I'll stop there
so as not to overwhelm you.
Blessings & Thanks,
When you meet Ruthe and her Friend - You've got Friends!
P.S. Buy it and it's on its way to you within 48 hours!
Read it in daily 5-minute emails. Sign up for a 16-day serial.
P.P.S. Get Refreshing Dew in my RoseBouquet
** What You're Saying About Us **
Author Georgina Stath emailed us, "Your site is one of the best ebook directories I have come across. No.
That's not entirely true. It is
Library Initiative Update
We are well underway with the construction of beautiful ebook catalog
pages. Many of you have already been contacted to review your
profile page, and the rest of you will be contacted soon.
For an example of an ebook catalog page, please visit
this link: http://www.mindlikewater.com/library_catalog/profiles/abbott.html.
We have secured contact information for over 1200
libraries, and are finalizing
our strategy for approaching them with our library initiative.
Michael spoke with the library directors of the two
largest libraries in our
metropolitan area, and both were very interested in
what he had to say about our initiative. Michael and I will be meeting
with both directors to learn more about their needs and how
we can best work with them and other libraries to For
more information and to get your ebooks in our catalog, visit https://www.mind-like-water.com/library_offer.html
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
eBook Publisher Interview: Deron Douglas, Double Dragon Publishing
Diane: You founded Double Dragon Publishing (http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com)
in 2001 with "the goal of building
a Canadian-based publishing venue for the growing number of
good but unpublished fiction writers around the world." How did
you arrive at this enterprise? What do you find exciting about epublishing?
Deron: I've been involved in the publishing
industry in one form or another
since 1978. I was a graphic artist at first, then photographer,
sales representative, computer programmer, and then different
levels of management. In addition, I've always been a voracious
reader, someone that truly loves books. It seemed like a
natural step for me to start DDP. It's a good mix of skills coupled
with the love of the printed word.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about
epublishing is its inherent flexibility;
as a publisher I'm not restricted to specific forms and
ideas. The Internet is like the Wild West of old, and I like to
think of myself as a "gunslinger" or maybe a "samurai."
In addition, this industry is determined by the technology
that drives it...the reading devices
and delivery systems. I'm something
of a "techo-nut" myself, so this ever-changing technology
excites me. In general publishers forget that an ebook is
first and foremost "software" for a reading device and as such, the development (or lack of
development) of this technology will
determine the direction epublishing travels.
Diane: Double Dragon Publishing won a Best
Performance by a Publisher in
2002 award from KnowBetter.com. In announcing the award,
the following was stated: "With sales stacking up at Fictionwise,
books available in five popular formats, a catalog of
unbelievable talent and Deron Douglas at the helm, look for DDP
to be a major literary force to be reckoned with in 2003. Note
to other ebook pubs: you should probably be taking notes from
these guys." What do you believe sets Double Dragon Publishing
apart from the rest of the crowd? If we were taking notes,
what would they read?
Deron: Frankly this statement surprised me. I
didn't think that DDP was doing
anything different from the other publishers. DDP follows
traditional business practices, strongly promotes its authors,
titles and itself; and we don't over extend ourselves. We're
here for the long term and are just now building the foundation
for a successful publishing business. This takes time, I
understand this, and I have patience above all else.
I also believe in treating people fairly and honestly. I try
to treat them as I would want to be
treated myself. I've been stepped
on enough to know that it hurts <g>. I think that my authors
and business partners appreciate this. Too many publishers
put themselves above their authors, when in reality the
publisher is working for the author.
Diane: I understand that Double Dragon Publishing
makes a special effort to
publish a specific number of works written by North American
Aboriginal authors each year. What compelled you to focus
on this group? Do you believe Aboriginal authors in general are
underrepresented in literature?
Deron: It is true that they are underrepresented,
but it is more of a personal
thing for me. I am half Mohawk of the Iroquois Nation
and I'd like to help these authors when I can. It's the way
I was raised; you help your neighbor if you can. I get maybe 300
submissions per month. I'm lucky if I get one submission per year
from a Native author. While these submissions excite me, I still
evaluate their work fairly. If it were lacking, I would not publish
them because they were Native. We still have our level of quality
But it is my hope that the above statement will attract
more Natives to our little
Diane: I've read that reading
groups have skyrocketed in popularity,
and am aware that more and more reading group guides for
print book titles are becoming available. As an epublisher, are
you aware of any similar trend for ebooks? What is your opinion
of using reading group guides as a marketing strategy for ebooks?
Deron: We haven't explored this possible
ourselves. But reading group
guides have the potential to reach the audience, i.e. readers.
Too many publishers are "preaching to the choir." By this
I mean advertising and promoting within the writing community
rather then the "reading" community.
Diane: If you were giving a "State of the
eBook Industry" address,
what would your main speaking points be? In what areas do
you envision Double Dragon Publishing moving forward/being innovative
Deron: That's a difficult question.
The ebook industry is in its infancy; the technology is
still developing and there are
no industrial "standards" as a result. Many
companies, big and small, are jostling for a position within the
industry. It's very much like the 80's when Microsoft first appeared
on the scene. These companies will be setting the rules and
forming the basis for a new industry. And as publishers we are
also determining the way people will communicate within this new
The "Open eBook Forum" is trying to arrive at
"standards" for the electronic
publishing industry, but that will be determined in the
end by technology. If someone can manufacturer a reading device
that addresses all the needs of the market (price, size, reading
comfort) and the public embraces it... THAT will be the standard.
Today the two popular formats are PDF and Palm Doc. Why?
Adobe PDF files have great
clarity and flexibility, while the Palm Doc can
be viewed on any PDA device available today. And with the sale
of 6,000 units per day around the world, you have a huge market
for the epublisher to sink their teeth into. But Palm Docs and
PDAs are not the answer in my opinion; there will still be a new
level of technology that will emerge. I'm still hoping for the
"Star Trek" style reading devices to hit the market!
As far as Double Dragon Publishing is concerned? We will
continue to publish quality
ebooks and paperbacks. Unlike the publishing mammoths, we're small enough to
move quickly when the technology changes.
And roll with the punches depending on market temperament.
In 2003 we will sponsor an award for unpublished or
self-published works in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres.
I call it "The Draco." All entries will be judged by 10 preliminary judges including myself, with
three finalists from each genre
being forwarded to the Finalist Judges. Each year we will
invite renowned authors in the field to act as Finalist Judges.
This year we were lucky enough to have Piers Anthony, Mike
Resnick and Mike Arnzen. The winners within each genre will receive
"The Draco Award," and a hard cover and ebook contract with DDP. In addition, all entries will have their score sheets
to them. We feel that this is an important method of helping
the writer improve their craft.
You can find more information about The Draco at:
We're also advertising in more magazines, addressing the
"collectible book market," and
expanding operations in ways I can't
divulge at this time. In addition you'll also be seeing a lot
more big names appearing under the DDP imprint in 2003 and 2004.
So far it's been a exciting ride, and it's going to get
Publisher, Double Dragon Publishing
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