Amazon Tablet 7-inch Coyote Released Sept 28th, Hollywood Coming Soon

Amazon tablet Jeff BezosIt’s official after months of speculation. Amazon just announced on Wednesday, September 28th the release of its first tablet, a 7-inch iPad and Nook competitor nicknamed Coyote that will… hey wait, today is just Sept. 23rd. The thing on Wednesday is merely a press conference where select members of the media were invited with no other details given, so nobody really knows what it will be for.

Alright, so it’s highly speculative the rumors are all true, thanks to conspicuous leaks coming from… Amazon? The 7-inch tablet will run a forked version of Android OS and connect to Amazon’s ebooks, TV, music, movies, app store and everything else available in their galaxy of cyberspace. It’s priced below cost so Amazon makes up the difference and more on future services and products.

Will it really be priced at $249 or less? Seems likely, since the Nook Color is priced at $249 with updates coming soon. $249 is also half the price of the iPad at $499, another nice round figure for shoppers doing math in their heads.

Will the 10″ tablet be nicknamed Hollywood and be priced far less than the iPad and come out well before Christmas? Uh, probably yes, unless Amazon’s rumor mill isn’t working properly to line up shoppers in anticipation. My guess is the rumor mill works perfectly fine.

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Add a TOC Table Of Contents Bookmark to Kindle Ebooks

Table of ContentsYou may have run into slightly complex methods for formatting ebooks. Mobipocket Creator and HTML files are common, but I’ve found great results can be had by uploading a well-formatted Microsoft Word Doc (.doc) to Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple iPad.

Save 87% Format MS Word for Kindle

For non-fiction titles and books with a Table of Contents section, one extra thing readers will appreciate is the inclusion of a TOC link. This isn’t just a page at the beginning with Chapter headings and hyperlinks to places within the document, but also a TOC bookmark, which the e-readers (like the Kindle) will automatically recognize and add to their Menu option. It’s quite simple if you’re familiar with adding a bookmark in Word.

All you need to do is place the cursor at the beginning of the page for the Table of Contents. Then click Insert and choose Bookmark. When the Bookmark tab opens, type in “toc” without the quotes and Add it. Once saved and uploaded to Kindle, for example, that will become a Menu option for Kindle readers to go to the Table of Contents from anywhere in the ebook.

This method also works for the Cover image by bookmarking it with “cover” and also where the book really begins (like the intro or prologue) by bookmarking that with “start.” (Again, do not actually type the “quotes” as I have for the demonstration, but type the words: toc, cover and start.)

Obviously these are just little things that make it nicer for readers, especially for books with TOCs. How will you know if you’ve done it correctly? Download the Kindle Previewer from Amazon, It will accept MOBI, EPUB, HTML and OPF files under the File tab to Open. I use Calibre or to convert my Word Docx to MOBI and then open them on the Kindle Previewer. All of the hyperlinks and TOC elements and menu options should work perfectly. The same is true for my books on people’s Kindles, even when directly uploading Word Doc files in the way explained above.

If it’s not right, make the correction and try again. One of the best aspects of e-publishing is the ability to make changes quickly and easily.

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How to Get Reviews for Your Ebooks and Paperbacks?

how to get book reviewsReviews are (in my opinion) far more important than covers. Most people read books that were referred to them. When first starting out, it can be quite a task to accumulate reviews of your book. In fact, one of my recent titles has been out for a few months with decent sales, and it currently hasn’t received even one posted review. Yikes! Great thing that it’s selling, but I sure would love to see some reviews for it.

Part of the reason is that I haven’t been overly active seeking reviews. This may be a lazy and stupid effort on my part; we’ll see in time. However, you may want to make a real effort to generate reviews, and this is often easier said than done. Here are suggestions for getting the reviews ball rolling:

1. Ask friends and family to read and write one (friends are better choice than family, and beware of family with the same last name). It’s likely some of these people have already read your book and would be happy to continue helping. Caution them not to write overly sweet and gushing reviews that might be met with skepticism from other readers. Nothing annoys an unhappy customer more than finding out a pack of misleading reviews were left by zealous friends and family. Ask them to be candid and encourage them to list items they didn’t particular enjoy to keep it realistic, not like one big pat on the back.

2. Ask members of forums to write a review. Offer a free book in exchange or offer to give a review for another author as a fair trade. Amazon Kindle discussion groups do this frequently as well as forums like It’s easy to meet people at Goodreads and make offers like this to avid readers of any genre.

3. Dan Poynter of ParaPublishing has a newsletter with a monthly reviews wanted section. It’s how I got many reviews that ended up on my website for How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free. Just sign up for the free newsletter and follow the submission advice at

4. There are plenty of people who can be found with a Google and forum search. Some charge money, some don’t. Many have a long waiting list while others might be available right away. Because this field is constantly in flux, you’ll need to do some searching. A member of Red Adept’s staff at did a review of The Little Universe, but I had to apply for it and the posting came out 6 months later. (That site no longer exists, an example of how quickly this industry changes.)

5. Make a mention to readers at the end of your book that it would be greatly appreciated if they would be so kind as to leave an honest review. Let people know it’s okay to include elements they didn’t like as well as those they did. In fact, I encourage readers to do the same for my books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or anywhere else for either the ebook or paperback versions. And if you didn’t like it, that’s okay too. I am sorry if that’s the case, but not everyone will like the same book.

6. This post was referred to me on this subject and has a list of new places that are continually looking for books to review – (that site no longer exists either, but plenty of new ones do).

Now comes the scary part. What if a lot of readers have complaints or simply don’t like it? Maybe they mention poor formatting, errors with grammar and typos, or that the story just didn’t work for them. Unfortunately, it’s happened to me plenty of times. I can report with good conscience that not everyone likes my books and that’s okay. This will possibly be the case for you too.

However, there is a beautiful thing about ebooks that’s not true with paperbacks (depending on the printer). Ebooks can be regularly edited and updated. If a dozen typos are discovered by readers (or you), then those can be fixed and updated immediately. Amazon usually takes about 2 days to publish a newer version, Smashwords sometimes a week or more, and these updates can happen as many times as you want.

Content of the story and other narrative issues can be harder to work out. For authors who sense that the book simply needs to be better, it will probably be wise to join some writing critique groups and work on improvements. I mentioned earlier a few forums for writers which is a good place to start, and there are plenty more with a Google search for “writing critique groups.” – a place for readers and authors to connect. – all about books. – where the writers are. – where writers become authors and more.

What are your thoughts?

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Get On Google Front Page, 2011 SEO Tips

Get On Google Front Page has just been released for 2011. This is my 5th book, and I’m really excited as it has potential to help a lot of people.

Get On Google Front Page by Jason MatthewsIt’s been a long road learning the business of ebooks and self publishing. At first this was something that had to be done for my novels, but then the whole endeavor became something valuable to share with others. Hence the last three books have been all about learning how to make and sell ebooks, how to make your own free website, and now this topic of rising in search engine rankings with White hat, free, organic SEO methods.

What’s fantastic about the search engines is that they keep space available at the top for ordinary people with no money to spend on advertising. That means any website can make it to the first page of search results or even to the very top spot. All that matters (in Google’s eyes) is that the website is extremely relevant to the terms of a given search. By having relevance to the subject and by using smart methods of helping the spiders see that relevance, anyone can do this.

The book talks at length on how to discover the keywords that will work best for a given website. Your very best keywords are relevant to your site, are being searched by lots of people and (hopefully) don’t have high competition from other advertisers. The book discusses in-depth how to use the Keyword Tool External program to really hone in on those best choices and then how to implement.

It’s just come out as an ebook for Amazon Kindle, so new the description isn’t currently listed yet (that takes up to 4 days though I can’t understand why). It’s also available as a pdf and epub formatted ebook at, and also at Smashwords which will get it into Apple iBookstore and many other retailers. The paperback won’t be available for a few weeks, so watch for an update if that’s what you’d prefer.

For great 2011 SEO tips on keywords, meta data, direct submissions, alternative text, social media, creating thousands of back-links, building platform and visibility plus much more… this is a great guide. Please check out Get On Google Front Page if rising in search engine rankings is something you’d like to know more about.

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Ebook Wars Heating Up

Recently Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, announced that Kindle ebooks sales had surpassed hardcover sales for the world’s largest bookseller. He said for every 100 hardcover books sold, approximately 143 Kindle ebooks have sold during a three month period and 180 Kindle ebooks last month alone. He also said Amazon has sold three times as many Kindles in the first half of this year than for that of 2009. Some people doubt the accuracy of these numbers but it’s hard to doubt ebook sales are taking off much faster than paper sales.

We also hear that the iPad is selling by the hundreds of thousands. Steve Jobs certainly has a winner with Apple fans as the iPad is capable of doing many things. Web-browsing, email, watching movies, playing games and other activities make the iPad the popular choice for people who want to do much more than read.

Barnes & Noble has recently cut the price of its WiFi only Nook to $149 and the WiFi plus 3G Nook to $199. These numbers are lower than Amazon’s Kindle at $189 and Kindle DX for $379. Barnes & Noble appear to be taking aggressive actions now that they’ve fully entered this battle (a bit late in my opinion). They still are the largest brick and mortar bookseller and may have finally realized their chance for survival could depend on successfully selling ebooks by the boatload.

Additionally, Sony has the Reader, Borders has the Kobo, Google Editions looms on the horizon and many other devices including one coming out from Sharp are in contention here to sell ebooks. So with all these sellers and products in a crowded marketplace, is there room for everyone?

I doubt it. But at least a few things are clear:

1. No one can stop Apple. Because the iPad does so much more than just read books and because they have a large and loyal fan-base, that product is a shoo-in for the future. Some of my questions for the iPad is whether Indie authors will do better by selling ebooks through their iBookstore or by creating an App.

2. Amazon has been doing more of this longer than anyone. The Kindle is still the most preferred device among customers who strictly want to read. One interesting thing I see with the Kindle is its .mobi format, which is basically unique to Amazon and not compatible with the vast majority of other devices. But since Bezos is committed to lowering prices of ebooks as well and Amazon’s financial success isn’t limited to just selling ebooks, it appears that Amazon will be around for the duration.

3. Barnes & Noble stands to lose the most as it absolutely must do well in this ebook battle. Because they didn’t take the bull by the horns I’m wondering if that delay may cost them. Those gigantic physical stores must be incredibly expensive to run, and all B&N does is sell books. Perhaps they’ll find a way to stay afloat but it will probably mean making the Nook incredibly awesome and selling ebooks for as cheap as possible. To me, this situation seems the most dire and interesting to watch.

4. As for the rest of them, there may or may not be room for a dozen other sellers and devices. Google Editions will certainly be a hit because… well, because they’re Google and they’ve already got gillions of dollars. For the others it will probably come down to who can make the best device that sells for the least amount of money. We saw Sony lose a battle with Betamax versus VHS many years ago, but we also know that Macintosh can thrive in the midst of the PC. The possibilities for mergers/acquisitions also looms large here, so who might team up? Google and Barnes & Noble perhaps? Seems like a possible pairing.

5. The only absolute certainty… it’s never been a better time to be a writer, Indie author or a self-publisher. Of course the odds are against success, but with persistence and a good product the chances improve dramatically now that there are so many means of making a writing career into a reality.

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