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real estate tax lien certificates...the Rogue Real Estate Investor Book and Course.

MIND LIKE WATER MONTHLY
Dedicated to helping the ebook community.
Issue #16: July 24, 2003
Publisher: Mind Like Water, Inc.
http://www.mindlikewater.com 
newsletter@mindlikewater.com 

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Hello everyone,

Thanks Diane, Bryan, Jeff and Greg for taking care of things while I was gone on vacation. What a great time we had! We drove from KC to Colorado, Utah, Vegas, Death Valley, LA/Hollywood and back -- all by car. Our trip could be the greatest contrast in vacations ever. One day we were in a national park camped at the top of a mountain and worried about growling sounds near our campsite, while on another day we were lounging at the Treasure Island pool in Las Vegas.

Here in the U.S., our two-week vacation was considered extraordinary. Meanwhile, my good friend J.P. in France is starting a month-long vacation. It's interesting that not too many years ago, both Europe and the U.S. had roughly the same amount of vacation days: 2 weeks. In the 60s, 70s and 80s, Europeans (especially labor unions) pushed for more vacation, while Americans pushed for higher salaries and less vacation. I believe the average vacation in America now is somewhere between a week and a long weekend. Maybe we need to quit taking ourselves so seriously and join our European friends in a little fun.

Have you noticed the new look on our home page? If you haven't, go ahead and take a quick peak: http://www.mindlikewater.com.

You also may have noticed that we've begun promoting several directories on our web site. We call them directories, but others call them niche, theme or topic web sites. In this issue's feature article, I'll tell you why we're doing this.

Until next month,

Michael Williams
Co-President
geoguy@mindlikewater.com
 

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Table of Contents
1. Feature Article: Building Niche Web Sites
2. eBook Author/Publisher Interview: Jennie S. Bev
3. Library Initiative Update
4. eBook Author Profile: Patricia Crossley

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Feature Article: Building Niche Web Sites
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Perhaps I've said this before, but I believe that many ebook authors, publishers and Internet businesses still don't get it. I say that because it took me a few years to really get it.

Niche content is King!

The entire Internet was built on the principle of sharing information. Nothing has changed. Society increasingly relies on the Internet as the information source for the world. Internet customers continue to need and demand highly current information that they can't easily get anywhere else and that helps them in some way.

Opening up one's Internet browser and typing a keyword in a search engine is the modern day equivalent of the encyclopedia, dictionary and friend who knows everything, all wrapped into one.

What is hard to remember is that most Web surfers are looking for information. Even a jewelry shopper wants information before he or she buys.

Last Friday, Mind Like Water was invited to give a discussion on Internet marketing for musicians at the International Guitar Music Festival in St. Joseph, Missouri. Bryan rose to the occasion and gave a great presentation. I mention this because musicians are like ebook authors in many ways. They are extraordinarily talented, motivated and intelligent, and they should be making a decent living -- but most are not.

Our advice to the guitar musicians is the same as our advice to you: Find your niche online or don't even bother trying.

Stop right now and write down what makes your ebooks or small business unique.

Once you know that, then it's time to determine what people want within your given niche. Next month I'll discuss how you can use a few inexpensive tools to find what people are searching for, what is in demand, and the type of content you need to provide.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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eBook Author/Publisher Interview: Jennie S. Bev
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Diane: Accomplished author, columnist, instructional designer and business consultant are some of the terms I've seen to describe what you do. You were named 2003 EPPIE Award finalist for excellence in electronic publishing under the Non-Fiction How-To category, for your book FABJOB.COM GUIDE TO BECOME A MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT (http://www.fabjob.com/managementconsultant.asp). Tell us a little about the EPPIE Award, and its significance in the ebook industry. What has receipt of this award meant to you personally?

Jennie: EPPIE is the highest award -- "the Oscar" -- given in the electronic publishing industry for non-subsidy and non self-published e-books. This means all entries must be published by industry publishers (mostly royalty-paying), which must be proven by an agreement between the author and the publisher.

EPPIEs are awarded by an organization called EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection), a professional organization for authors who have published electronically. Authors who have at least one book published electronically may join. Their web site is http://www.epicauthors.org.

Being named a finalist in this highly prestigious event is very humbling and provided me with the boost I need to move forward in my writing career.

Diane: You are the Managing Editor of BookReviewClub.com (http://www.bookreviewclub.com). What sets this web site apart from others that provide book reviews, in terms of readers looking for books and writers wanting their books reviewed?

Jennie: We review all books received and chosen to be reviewed (including e-books) professionally. We'll tell you like it is. This might sound a bit harsh, but that's why book reviewers are badly needed: to honestly tell the world about what we think about your book so the readers can decide whether they want to read it or not. We, of course, cannot guarantee a good book to become a best-seller.

Another thing that sets our services apart from other reviewers is our "Three Paths to Get Reviewed." While it is basically a free service, we give two other paid options to guarantee the book to be reviewed. These two options are the Expedited Review, in which a title will be reviewed within ten working days, and the Guaranteed Review, in which a title is guaranteed to be reviewed. Too many reviewers accept unsolicited review copies only to have them placed in the slush pile.

Our professional "Three Paths to Get Reviewed" guarantees unbiased review. This means regardless of whichever path you choose, we will tell you like it is. No sugar coating. Our web site is http://www.bookreviewclub.com/get_reviewed.shtml.

Diane: More recently, you became the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of StyleCareer.com (http://www.stylecareer.com), an epublisher specializing in ebooks that help fashion job seekers break into their dream careers. Tell us about your interest in this niche ebook market, and how this publishing business came into being. What is your long-term vision for StyleCareer.com?

Jennie: I see a huge demand in niche publishing and this is something I'll be focusing on in the long-term. StyleCareer.com is my first manifestation as there are a few more coming, which will focus on different topics.

As a writer and journalist, I have published numerous articles about the apparel industry and have interviewed dozens of fashion professionals. Therefore I have this vast amount of knowledge about the insider information, which is pretty difficult to gather for an outsider. This sparked an idea to write books that actually prepare fashion, image and beauty job seekers break into and succeed in this highly lucrative and competitive field.

All titles published by StyleCareer.com thus contain the insider tips not available elsewhere that actually prepare job seekers for the job or to start a business. For only a tiny fraction of most professional workshops, readers of our eGuidebooks will learn everything they need to know to get started and eventually succeed in their chosen career.

Diane: Several new titles are scheduled to be released by StyleCareer.com (http://www.stylecareer.com) between now and October, including eguides on becoming an image consultant, fashion photographer, and model. Besides the fashion career eguides, are there other writing projects you are currently involved in or planning? If you had unlimited time and wanted to challenge yourself, what book would you write?

Jennie: StyleCareer.com forthcoming titles include image consultant, interior decorator, fashion photographer, stylist, model, hair salon owner and nail salon owner. A few more titles are now being considered, so I am pretty occupied in the next few months. For 2004, I will focus on more business-oriented and educational titles.

My biggest goal is to eventually write a self-empowerment book. I have had a column on this topic and enjoyed it very much. I think everyone must be able to empower him or herself to survive in this highly competitive and, oftentimes, stressful world. To be able to help people to help themselves is my simple wish. Hopefully, after all 2004 goals are accomplished, I will be able to find some quality time with my innermost to produce a good self-empowerment book.

Diane: What are the biggest challenges you face as an epublisher, and what are your strategies for meeting them?

Jennie: Promotion. Half of my working day is spent on promoting StyleCareer.com eGuides. This takes a lot of time, money and patience. Only with well-planned marketing strategies can a new epublisher survive in this harsh dot-com environment. Both online and offline promotional methods must be executed smartly to ensure the expected result. I'm still honing my skills on this as this kind of stuff takes some time to master.

Bottom line is if you have an excellent product to sell online, there must be a way to get the words out. Without a good product, you've got nothing at all.

-- Jennie S. Bev
Author, Columnist, Instructional Designer and Business Consultant
Principal, WritingGigs.com
Editor-in-Chief, StyleCareer.com
Managing Editor, BookReviewClub.com

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Library Initiative Update
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I'm still keeping track of what's going on at the Open eBook Forum (http://www.openebook.org). For those of you who are not aware of it, in May 2003 the OeBF set up a Library Special Interest Group. According to a press release, the group was formed to enable publishers, ebook resellers, DRM, software and hardware companies to communicate directly with librarians to better appreciate the opportunities and challenges of service for libraries and their patrons.

Librarians are beginning to respond to posts on the list and we are hopeful that authors, vendors and librarians can be brought together.

Meanwhile, Mind Like Water continues to promote its library catalog through Internet marketing and search engine optimization efforts. I am happy to say that I just checked Google for the keyword phrase "ebook catalog" and we are ranked number 3 and 4 -- right below netLibrary and Microsoft. Not bad, huh?

For those authors who have signed up, your small investment is paying off in targeted traffic coming to your site or your publisher's site.

For more information and to get your ebooks in our catalog, visit https://www.mind-like-water.com/library_offer.html or email dino@mindlikewater.com.

More next month,

Michael Williams

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eBook Author Profile: Patricia Crossley
http://www.mindlikewater.com/ebook_catalog.html 
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Patricia Crossley is a multi-published author who lives with her own romance hero in Victoria on Canada's Pacific Coast. An educator and transplanted Brit, she has lived and worked in six different countries. Patricia and her husband recently spent six months working in rural Kenya and plan to return later in 2003. With a foot on both sides of the Atlantic, Patricia feels she can draw what she needs from either well of information. In nearly all the places she has lived she has been a "stranger" either by birth or language. This creates a new mindset and way of observing life. It gives her a wealth of experience to draw on, enriching her own life as well as her writing.

All of Patricia's books are about two lovers "finding" each other: across time, after betrayal, through history. Love allows them to triumph over past mistakes and open their hearts and minds. There is nothing as emotionally satisfying as a story of two people making room in their lives for a committed, loving relationship against all the odds.

Visit Patricia's web site for excerpts and reviews at http://www.patriciacrossley.com.

Title: DANCING WITH THE DEVIL
genre: Romance: romantic suspense
In this romantic suspense novel, Jazz Hargrove has a brilliant career as a globe trotting news reporter. She believes the secrets in her past are well hidden, until she's called home for her father's funeral. Together with a man she does not wish to trust, she must face her worst fears to save a child drawn into the web of danger. An EPPIE awards finalist for 2003. "Dancing With the Devil word-weaves suspense and romance into an intricate tapestry of terror and desire...a three-dimensional tale of love, conflict and blood-chilling suspense. Highly recommended."

Four and a half daggers: Howard Hopkins for "All about murder"
http://www.atlanticbridge.net/publishing/dancing.htm 
ISBN: 1-931761-50-7 (electronic)

Title: BELOVED STRANGER
genre: Romance: paranormal romance
An old house in the Ontario woods, a mysterious stranger who seems eerily familiar, an ancient murder that must be solved in this paranormal romance novel....

Disappointed and disillusioned, Sarah gives her life new direction, renovating an old house, intending to build a new business and make a home for her brother. When she rents a cabin in the woods to Pierre, a business man from Toronto, she finds herself overwhelmed by the immediate and sizzling sexual tension that leaps between them. In addition, mysterious forces gather strength, bringing nightmares of cold and death. What messages is the past sending her? Why does Pierre seem to be connected with her dreams? 
http://www.novelbooksinc.com/authors/patricia_crossley 
ISBN: 1-59105-023-3 (electronic)

Title: JOURNEY'S END
genre: Romance: time travel romance -- Tudor England
A time-travel romance novel with a difference....

As she makes ready to leave London at the end of the twentieth century in order to fulfill her dream of practicing medicine in the third world, Dr. Kari Lunne and her dog are catapulted four hundred years into the past....

Can a doctor from the twentieth century find love and happiness with a maverick historian from the future when they meet in Tudor England?

"Four Stars!... Romantic Times Magazine
http://www.patriciacrossley.com/books/Journey/journey.htm 
ISBN 1-58608-166-7 (electronic)

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7419 Metcalf Ave., #321, Overland Park, KS 66204
Phone: 913-381-4520 / FAX: 240-368-5664
newsletter@mindlikewater.com 
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