Working Away Writing an eBook

Bad things happening at Bubblews has inspired me to get busy on other projects. I’ve started a second ebook. The first one still languishes unfinished.

Feeling all gung-ho, I’ve transferred the content from 5 of my Hubpages’ articles over to a Microsoft Word document. The last few days, I’ve been formatting and organizing it.

I have someone lined up to give me format editing advice on the layout, font size, sections of the book. Later that same person will copy edit it for grammar and spelling and readability.

I need to get a cover done for it. Maybe I’ll use a Fiverr artist for that or I might contact someone who’s made banners for my Squidoo niche pages.

In the past, I’ve downloaded a number of ebooks on publishing with CreateSpace and Kindle Direct. I need to read those.

I dread that part of submitting the book, but have several friends who’ve been through the process. I can call them if I get stuck.

Wish me luck!


My Blogs

I probably diversify too much and end up not giving any of my blogs proper attention. The one you’re viewing now is my catch-all. I might promote one of my niche topics from Hubpages or write about a trip I took.

Here are my other blogs:

Discovering Mom is my blog about facets of my mother’s life. She died in 2013 and I’m working my way through the loss.

Discovering Mom Gail Lee Martin… gone but not forgotten

Finding My Civil War Ancestor follows the searching I’m doing on my great-great grandfather’s life. Hopefully, my search methods will help others in their family history project.

Summer in New Hampshire extolls the joys of summer at the lake and in the woods in that beautiful state.

Then and Now shares the family history of the Martin, Joy, Vining, McGhee family lines. My distant cousin and my sister are helping me with it.

I’ve recently started a photo blog on Tumblr called My Solivita. It gives me a place to share my Florida photos and to tell about the lovely retirement community we live in.

In December 2014, I created my first stand-alone website. The topic is Florida Decorating Ideas. I hope you’ll check it out too.

Another site where I journal is called Niume. It gets all the bits and pieces that are too short, too personal or somehow don’t fit elsewhere.

Following the Transfer Crisis at Squidoo

Lensmasters were dismayed by Squidoo Headquarters’ announcement that lens transfers were suspended. Actually dismay is a euphemism for pissed off. It was most unsettling news. There were dire warnings of locked lenses and even locked accounts. The problem seems to be spun content that moves around Squidoo via the transfer process.

Discussions are fast and furious on the HQ forum and on the Facebook groups devoted to Squidoo. Some perceive it as the end of the world, while others say “it’s just for a month, no big deal.” Well, it is a big deal since there’s been a thriving business in creating and selling lenses. That has come abruptly to a halt. Some top lensmasters are hastily moving their content to another site. Word is filtering around that a major lensmaster had his account locked.

Is buying and selling lenses a bad thing? No, HQ has stated in the forum that it is OK to do that.

What to do? I choose to sit tight and ride it out. What seems to be the trigger for this heavy-handed crackdown? Recent HQ postings and quests place more and more emphasis on quality and lots of personalization for lenses. It appears that “thin” lenses, such as a starter sales lens, may be getting more scrutiny.

My response is to plump up my slimmer sales lenses with polls, talk bubbles, sticky notes, black boxes, text arrows, etc. spaced at intervals to break up long stretches of products. In addition I’m adding more descriptions of the featured products. This is something I try to do with these lenses anyway, but sometimes it is more fun to make a new one than to keep working on existing ones. Now I must buckle down and do the basic improvements that I know they need.

The other hot button is keyword stuffed introductions. Since I’ve bought lenses from a variety of lensmasters, some arrive that way. Cleaning those up requires using some synonyms instead of the main keyword. Try to make it flow in a more natural way like a conversation.

You would never say, “I bought this blue dress because I love blue dresses. The blue dress has short sleeves and the blue dress has a blue dress sweater to match the blue dress.” Don’t write like that either. Make sure your keyword is in the first sentence of the introduction, then sprinkle it another time or two in the following paragraphs.

It’s been fascinating to see the reactions to this and you’ll want to read Squidoo Content and Traffic Woes in SquidLog. Don’t miss GreekGeek’s thoughtful post, Thin Content on Squidoo Is NOT a New Problem; Something Else Is. Take a look at BoutiqueShops’ blog on The Squid Zone. Her topic is Squidoo Rant: It Never Fails–Who Let The Boss In?

For a different angle, check out what Seth Godin has to say in his blog post, All Boats Leak.

Headquarters is asking for feedback on how and why lensmasters need to transfer lenses. Please fill out the form with your reason or reasons and give your suggestions for fixing the problems raised.

Spring Lenses on the Rise

It’s good to see the upswing of spring and summer topics. Winter may be on the way out. Here are a few that are climbing for me. The first one moved into tier one already. I’m hopeful that it will stay there for April, May, June, July, August and September at least.

Create a Tuscan Patio Create a Tuscan Patio
Do you love a sunny space, edged with rustic planters spilling over with lush flowers? Can you picture yourself in Tuscany with stone pavers underfoot and …
Ten Humane Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks
Ten Humane Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks
If chipmunks are making you crazy, consider these ways to protect your plants and property without actually killing the cute crittters. Maybe they’re digging…
Cottage Names: Ideas Cottage Names: Ideas
You want the perfect name for your vacation home. It isn’t easy to find just the right phrase for a cottage or cabin that expresses your creativity and suits…

My Diverse Topics – Getting Ideas for Web Pages

People sometimes ask me where I get my ideas for my web pages on Squidoo. I grabbed a sampler here of new and old pages. Let’s look at where the ideas originated. The first one on anime wigs was inspired by my niece.
Pink Anime Wigs Pink Anime Wigs
Momisms - Sayings from Moms Momisms – Sayings from Moms
This one was inspired by sayings on Zazzle products. I was looking for graphics to use with my Writing Triggers for Family Memories. The Momisms intrigued me, so I figured others would enjoy the trip down memory lanes as well.
The Valentine Birthday Boy - Owen Lee Martin The Valentine Birthday Boy – Owen Lee Martin
This page was in honor of my brother on his birthday. It includes a request for a card shower to brighten his days in the nursing home.
Make Doll Clothes without Sewing Make Doll Clothes without Sewing
I recently treated myself to a Toni doll like one I played with in the 1950s. She arrived from the eBay seller with only one dress to her name. While whipping up a few outfits for her, I took photos to make this page and a second one.
Seadrift, Texas Seadrift, Texas
This page was inspired by my aunt who loves this tiny coastal town north of Corpus Christi.
Long Overdue Library Books Long Overdue Library Books
I recently saw a news article about a book returned to a library after 127 years. That started me digging to find what the longest overdue book might be. Find the answer here.
Newbie Lens-Making Mistakes on Squidoo Newbie Lens-Making Mistakes on Squidoo
I was spending a good amount of time giving tips to new lensmasters on Squidoo. Finally wised up and made this page to help them get started.
Old Time Gumball Machine Old Time Gumball Machine
This one came from a writing friend, but I’m adding more nostalgia topics like this.

Does Your Whole Family Write?

I have a web page called A Family of Writers: Handing Down a Writing Tradition. It celebrates all the writers in my family. Five generations so far.

My family is filled with writers, going back to my grandmother in 1924. Actually I have a great-great grandfather who kept a diary during the civil war, so maybe it goes back even further.

Vintage Typewriter mousepad
Vintage Typewriter by JuJuGarden

It would be great to pass along the tradition of writing in your family. I’m fortunate that almost everyone in my family writes so it was a natural activity for me to pursue. I’ve included in this lens some books to foster writing in the family. Maybe you can start a writing tradition in your family. Start them off right by encouraging your children to write.

If you write, it’s a good idea to have a writer’s business card to hand out. Mine includes the web page addresses for the online sites where I post my writing.

The Ups and Downs of Squidoo Mentoring

I’ve encouraged a number of eHow pals to migrate over to Squidoo with their content or to become more active on Squidoo if they were already there. At times they get discouraged and I feel responsible for luring them to a site that might not work out for them. I have to remind them that the first 3 to 6 months on Squidoo can be long ones while waiting to see results, but their hard work will pay off over time.

Actually they’ve made amazing progress in the few months since eHow pulled the rug out from under the writers. Here are some of the remarkable achievements of my eHow writing buddies:

  • Frischy won Lens of the Day with From Ugly Shed to Trendy Chicken Coop. It is currently ranked at 5,000 but I think with some backlinks and occasional updating she could make some sales and achieve tier one earnings too. She has 25 lenses already.
  • Wordstock created over 100 lenses on Squidoo and is a Rocket Mom. Congrats to her on these achievements. Her lens, A Little Extra Courage, won a purple star for excellence. She has several niches going, but sometimes comes up with something quirky like How to Escape from Godzilla.
  • ChrissJ had a good start on Squidoo on her own, but I bugged her into making lenses about storytime themes. With that niche and her former eHow articles on dog care, she has rapidly reached 86 lenses. Her Diary of a Puppy Fashionista recently made Lens of the Day.
  • NancyCarol dragged her feet about making Squidoo lenses, but suddenly got the Squidoo spirit and made a lens about My Best Friend, My Pug. Now she has three purple stars and quite a few angel blessings on her 53 lenses. Her Story of the Women’s Army Corp is one of the purple stars.
  • Gottaloveit at first gravitated to List My Five and I finally cajoled her into giving Squidoo a try. She quickly built two impressive niches with a variety of lenses on Dessert Shooters and caregiving lenses like Helping a Hospitalized Senior Citizen.

To keep this post from getting too long, I’ll make a separate one to feature more of the eHow writers who are making their mark on Squidoo. Here’s a directory of eHow Writers on Squidoo.