I enthusiastically endorse http://www.Booklinker.net.  It’s a great service for authors with books on Amazon.com because it creates links that automatically redirect to the appropriate website.

Here’s how I’ve implemented it on http://www.Monbed.com:

Booklinker.net is a great service for helping the readers of the Monster on Top of the Bed and My Monster on Top of the Bed books to be purchased from the home country of a visitor.

 

So, why would I do this?  Well, I want them to make money, but I also want my readers in the USA not to have to face an advertisement, benign as it may be, when they place an order, and I also give up the small 4% commission that I get when someone clicks on my widget directly.  Now, that may not sound like a lot, but I have eight years and over $20,000 invested in this series of books if you go back to the CD/booklet version and count all of the direct costs associated with the production and marketing of the various books. So, I’m being frugal.

Also, there’s one other reason.  I expect Bookliner.net to succeed, but suppose they don’t, or suppose that are hacked. What happens then if all of my links are dependent upon them.  Bad news, and I can visualize it happening on a day when hundreds or thousands of orders are being placed. (Murphy’s Law.)

I urge you to implement this service.  I truly want them to succeed. Implement it with discretion.

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Help Children Prosper

by Alan

Why Children Deserve to read
The Monster on Top of the Bed

The Monster on Top of the Bed and My Monster on Top of the Bed (the book where children write the story on top of existing artwork) will benefit your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, students, neighbors and young friends.

The books were written for children between the ages of three to seven, but it turns out that many older children are secretly afraid of monsters. Also, teenagers enjoy reading the story to their younger siblings.

  • Children discover three important messages:
    1. It’s possible to banish the fear of bedtime monsters on demand;
    2. Each person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity
    3. The best way to make friends is to use the principles of The Golden Rule
  • The books encourage children to learn these things in a variety of ways that include
    1. Characters that model behavior–children do not feel taught–they discover these truths
    2. A variety of different formats are used, which allows children who learn in different ways to “get” the books’ message: audio, visual, participatory, electronic, large paperback, small paperback, CD/booklet.
    3. There is superb artwork; and most importantly
  • Kids love it.

How you can help

You can be a part of making these books best sellers by buying a copy and then writing a review on Amazon.com. This places a “Verified Purchaser” tag on Amazon.com.

Call to Action #1: Purchase copies for the children in your life.

Your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, students, neighbors and young friends will thank you.

To “look inside” the book or get your copies, click on one of these widgets:

Kindle edition
Features pop-up text and
text-to-speech.
Paperback edition
Filled with gorgeous
illustrations. 36 Pages.
Children write their own story
and put their names on
the cover and title page. 34 pages
My Monster & The Monster combined in one book. 72 pages.

OR

  1. Give a book as a gift to someone you love.

Call to Action #2: Please review the books

Please post a review on this page at Amazon. If you have purchased them and are reviewing them, you have my most heartfelt thanks. . Please use this contact page on my author website to contact me if you have any questions, thoughts or comments.

Why I’m Requesting You Buy and Review a Book

The main reasons that people buy books are:

  1. Someone recommends the book as being good; and
  2. There are good reviews on the site where they are buying the books.

Therefore, I want to motivate people to buy the books, and write a reviews. If you’re not a big publisher with an extensive infrastructure and a big marketing budget, one proven way to get reviews is by offering free copies for review on sites like Goodreads.com. Giveaways for The Monster on Top of the Bed are popular. It’s not unusual for me to have five or six hundred people request a copy. Some of the people who win review the book, but others save the books to give as gifts to children and grandchildren, and will not get around to writing a review for months.

I’m seeking honest reviews by people who have bought my books.

Shoppers believe reviews more when they have a “Verified Purchaser” tag next to the name of the person who reviewed them. You don’t need to rate the book five stars. (Click the graphic to see the review full size, and look at the second line to see the “Verified Purchaser” tag.)

Note: You may purchase the Kindle version of The Monster on Top of the Bed for $.99 if you buy the paperback book first and take advantage of Amazon’s Matchbook deal; and the paperback version of My Monster on Top of the Bed…

These books are really worthwhile.

Call to Action #3: Please forward this page to a friend

Just copy and paste the web page address at the top into an email.

Call to Action #4: Help me Locate Bulk Purchasers

If you like the book, and you know of a book club, or one of the types of business or organizations below, I request that you tell them about my books, and ask them to contact me about bulk purchases at deep discounts. Please use this contact page on my author website. (I’ll give book clubs and companies the same discount as bookstores. They need to use my contact page to ask for a special code. After they order from this page, and they go to check out, they enter the code to get their discount, which is at least 40% off.

These are the types of organizations and businesses, to which I’d like an introduction, and why:

  1. Day care centers, public and charter schools, gymnastic schools, and gyms with day care centers built in – They have many students who would like the books, and I can visualize the teachers using the books in their curriculum.
  • Insurance agents and real estate agents – They have many clients who would benefit from receiving copies of my books–in either digital or printed editions, and every time they give a client or prospect a copy of one of my books they increase the chances that they’ll get a referral, and hence more business.
  • Companies that want to buy gifts for their employees, or want to help their employees stretch their purchasing power by giving them access to books at a deep discount. (Details)
  • Automobile dealerships – They often have a need to entertain children while parents are doing a test drive. Also, they can give out digital copies of my books as gifts and get referrals.
  • Doctors and dentists – The books are great to put in waiting rooms, and as gifts to valued patients
  • Hospitals – The books are great for hospital gift shops and for presents to some patients.
  • Bookstores and Libraries – To sponsor an event in their store where children actually create their own story in My Monster on Top of the Bed.
  • Any other type of business that you think would benefit.

Thank you very much for your support, for helping me to help children prosper.


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Categories Techniques

My Monster on Top of the Bed, a companion book to The Monster on Top of the Bed, empowers children by making them the author. Literally. Here’s how:

  • Children write their name on the cover of the book
  • Children write their name on an inside page that says, “This book was written by…”
  • Children write the story that they want to tell on each page, on top of the artwork (and words that feature sounds–like “blip, blop, blimp, bloop.”

If children don’t know what story to tell, they can read The Monster on Top of the Bed first, to get many ideas.

I keep saying “children,” instead of, “a child.” Here’s why. The book can be authored by:

  • One child;
  • Several siblings;
  • A child and his or her friends;
  • A child that’s being tutored;
  • A class of students; and/or
  • A group of children in a workshop.

In fact, I visualize this book stimulating creativity in many different places such as:

  • Classrooms;
  • Libraries;
  • Bookstores;
  • Book club meetings; and
  • Religious education classes.  (The book reinforces the concept of The Golden Rule.)

Let’s talk about why I created My Monster on Top of the Bed.  Let me start by explaining that I have a background in programming as well as writing. When I develop a computer program, most users have only a vague idea of what they want. I create a program that I know they will not like right away (a prototype) and then we keep refining it until it is exactly what they want. The point is that adults are most likely to be able to express what they want when they have something to react to, something that gets their imagination going. Children are the same as adults. If you give them something as a model and then tell them to change the story to the way it should be, they love it.

What’s the first thing a child learns about a book? Sadly, it’s often, “Don’t write in it.” Well, this book is different, each child is given express permission, and is encouraged to write in it–to use their imagination and create a story.

When they are done writing their story, they can read it to others. When they are done writing their story, they can write another one. To do this, they be decide to read more, so that they can get ideas!

I know that some children will work well together collaborating on a story, and that’s a great life skill. I know that some children will want to do it themselves.

I know that some parents may not have a lot of money, and find it difficult to buy two printed books, so there’s a Kindle version that’s very affordable, and there’s also a video on YouTube that plays the story, so a child can see and hear it without the need for their parents or teachers to buy The Monster on Top of the Bed.

There’s also a number of videos, like this one by Sandy Musser, that discuss The Monster on Top of the Bed.

I’m excited about this concept, and I’m willing to visit classrooms and bookstore using webinars and share my enthusiasm with students and teachers. Here’s a widget that let’s you look inside The Monster on Top of the Bed.

Schools, book clubs, bookstores who want to purchase quantities are eligible for quantity discounts. Use this form to find out more information.

Comments and Questions

I would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you shortly.
  • These attachments will *not* be opened if they fail our virus scan.

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Many public and private sector employees are starting to think about what to give as presents for the holidays. Here’s an opportunity for you to help your employees buy a beautiful children’s book for 50% off the list price.

Step One: Check out The Monster on Top of the Bed on Amazon.com. Amazon has a “Look Inside” feature. (You may prefer to buy a copy of so you can examine it at your leisure.)

There’s also a companion book, My Monster on Top of the Bed, which allows children to be an author. It’s the same story, but without the words.

Step Two:

Fill out this form, and I’ll send you all the information you need to allow your employees to buy these books for 50% off the list price.


Your employees will thank you!

 

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Categories Press

How To Publish and Sell 100 Copies of your Kindle Book with No Money Down: Detailed Step By Step PlanHow To Publish and Sell 100 Copies of your Kindle Book with No Money Down: Detailed Step By Step Plan by Diana Heuser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review is from: How To Publish and Sell 100 Copies of your Kindle Book with No Money Down: Detailed Step By Step Plan (Kindle Edition)

I believe that if you have a good book, and you follow the advice in this book, you’ll sell many more than 100 copies of your book.

I’ve been reading many different books on marketing lately, trying to develop a strategy that I will actually be comfortable implementing. This book points out the reality of publishing–just putting a book out there is no guarantee of it’s success. However, putting a bad book out there is almost a guarantee of failure. Diana’s book provides lots of detailed info on the HOW of how to prepare your kindle book and how to publish it.

There’s a section that helps you to understand how to format your Kindle books that will save you a lot of time, and it is especially valuable if you need to understand the concept of “styles”, which will save you a ton of grief when you’re putting together your book.

Likewise, there’s great advice on formatting pictures and tables — in fact, she advises converting tables into pictures so they stay stable, and even provides a link to a free screen capture utility.

There’s a discussion of how to build a cover, using Kindle’s tools that is helpful.

Once you’ve got your book, Diana shares some really good strategies for marketing. They’re well worth reading. Some points are
* Book trailers
* Setting up a store that includes your books and other similar books, earning your money and increasing the value perception of your books by associating them with other high quality books.

I learned a few things about Facebook Groups and I learned something new about MailChimp–they have a template that links directly to an Author Central Account. I have yet to try that out, but I love to learn valuable things about tools that I use.

The book is filled with illustrated step-by-step instructions. Well worth the investment.

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Categories Book Reviews

I’m relatively new to using Goodreads, and I’ve discovered that one of the things that confused me also confuses other members.

When I go to enter a review, I struggle with the procedure.  It turns out to be simple, but it’s confusing because the link for creating a review is titled “Edit Review.” If it were titled “Create or Edit a Review,” I would find the process to be much easier.

 

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Categories For Readers

The Chase: A Novel (Fox and O'Hare, #2)The Chase: A Novel by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like action-packed stories that feature interesting characters and plot twists and pure escapist thriller reading, you’ll like this book.

I enjoyed listening to Scott Brick’s presentation, which has excellent pacing and elocution.

This is the second (or maybe third story if you count the teaser short story) in the Fox and O’Hare series. Kate O’Hare, an FBI agent who might be considered a lethal weapon and Nick Fox, a super-handsome thief are forced to pair up to steal a work of art and make sure that it is returned to the Chinese government. They also have to take down Carter Grove. Grove a former White House Chief of Staff, now heads up Black Rhino, a black ops version of Pinkerton Detective Agency.

It’s fun escapist reading, with a cast of characters that were originally developed in The Heist. I enjoyed it. I found myself hoping that the series allows the characters to grow.

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Why Children Love The Monster on Top of the Bed

Once upon a time, there was a critter who was scared every day by a little girl named Suzy who loved to jump up and down on her bed. One day a critter who lived under her bed, Karrit, got up the nerve to visit Suzy and become her friend. Because Karrit did that, he discovered that Suzy was also afraid of him.

Because Suzy did not want the critter to be scared, she treated him the way that she wanted to be treated. She even told him a mantra that her Grandmom had used as a child, “You’re welcome to stay until I say, ‘Nay’, then it’s time to go and you can’t say, ‘no.’ After working through a series of humorous misunderstandings and fears they became best friends, and neither of them were ever afraid of monsters again.

Bloggers Say:

By Macaroni Kid:

The Monster on Top of the Bed” is such a fantastic story and so well written that my daughter literally went to bed on her own the first night I read it to her! Seriously! Score!”

TheSuperMom.com:

A fear of monsters under the bed is common with children of all ages, starting with a vague sense of the unknown with younger toddlers and graduating to perhaps a more solid image in the minds of older children.

The Monster on Top of the Bed flips the idea around, like the famous Disney Movie Monsters Inc., and bases the story on the concept that it’s the monsters that are actually afraid of the children.

Karrit, the actual monster under the bed, is very scared of the monster on top of the bed, who happens to be Suzy, the little girl who of course, sleeps on top of the bed. Karrit has heard that Suzy eats “hot dogs” and strange things like “cakes made out of pans”, and horrors of all horrors……Karrit has heard that she eats carrots!

2Wired2Tired.com

Last week a new book arrived in the mail… The Monster on Top of the Bed by Alan Jordan.

Since then we have read it so many times that I have lost count. It is now one of those books that you somewhat memorize and can recite without actually reading the pages!

All 3 of my kids, aged 18 months, 5 yrs, and 7 yrs, have brought the book out to read either independently or for me to read to them, without suggestion or prompting! …The book was good and that is not an understatement. There is nothing like a good book, but it was the silliness of the monster’s interpretation of Suzy and the illustration that really makes the book a winner!

The graphics are great! Bold colors reminiscent of Pixar’s Monsters Inc. I also have to give the author props for adding free downloaded recorded readings of the book with multi-lingual capacity that can even go on your iPod! … Overall I have to say that the book was a huge success… especially since all the recent purchases at the school book fair have been totally ignored since this book came in the mail!

Overview

Children, parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians and reviewers love The Monster on Top of the Bed! It empowers children to discover (1) How to banish monsters; (2) that friendship conquers fear; and (3) that the key to making friends is The Golden Rule.

Special Features

Gorgeous Artwork

The ice-cream parlor delicious artwork automatically displays in two-page spreads. The words scale to whatever size device you are using. Plus, the book includes pop-up text so that the words can easily be read even on small devices like phones.

Keep children occupied while you are on the run

One mother said, “I was in a long line at the supermarket and my four-year old daughter was bored. I whipped out my Droid, pulled up the Kindle app and showed her the book. She reads the same book at home on a Kindle Fire HD and she was immediately captivated.”

Grab a copy now, or give The Monster on Top of the Bed as a gift. Your children or grandchildren will thank you!

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Brothers and BonesBrothers and Bones by James Hankins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brothers and Bones pulled me in from the first sentence, “I sometimes feel like my own little world is encased in a souvenir snow globe, the kind you shake so you can watch fat white flakes swirl around a miniature Eiffel Tower.”

Immediately, I knew that I’d get to know this character intimately, and I was not disappointed.

A little later Charlie, the main character, gives a homeless man some money. The man says, “Thanks, Wiley,” and stuns Charlie because the only person ever to call Charlie that was his brother, Jake, who disappeared thirteen years ago. Is the homeless man his brother? This question haunts Charlie and causes him to go through so much personal angst that he’s in jeopardy of losing his job, his fiancee’ and his life, as he knows it.

To be honest, suspension of belief is required in some places, but that’s something that Hankins has in common with other bestselling authors.

If you like to read a story where you get to know, really know a character that is constantly placed in fear of death–psychological, physical and career, and you enjoy a plot that’s filled with twists, you’ll enjoy this book, and it’s priced right.

If that’s not enough, check out the sheer quantity of reviews on Amazon. Most New York Times best selling authors would envy the number of people who have chimed in their thoughts. It takes a lot of time to write a review, and to have so many people review a book is fantastic.

View all my reviews

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Before Publishing Your eBook: a 3-Month ChecklistBefore Publishing Your eBook: a 3-Month Checklist by Pepper Wu, Laura

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
View all my reviews

It’s rare that I find a marketing book that delivers <I>exactly</I> what it claims. This book does. It starts with a short intro and then gets into the meat of the subject, which is planning a book launch.

I have to tell you that I have been particularly bad about planning book launches. I tend to want to just get my book out there, and as a result I cheat myself and my readers. This has been true for the books that I’ve published traditionally and through self publishing (not vanity press–real self publishing) options.

Recently, I’ve been reading a number of books on marketing because it’s time for me to change and to start doing what is necessary to sell my work. As such I’ve read one of Laura’s other books, and found it helpful. When I saw this one, I grabbed it–didn’t even bother with looking for a preview, and I was not disappointed.

There’s much material in this book that I already know: The value of proofreading, formatting and “brilliant book covers,” for example. And, there’s a lot of material that I sort of know. How to build an awesome auto bio, and soliciting blurbs, for example. I still need to hone my efforts in these areas, and Laura Wu’s advice is extremely helpful to me.

I read this book on my Kindle Fire HD, and that’s a great device for reading it, it’s easy to make highlights and notes, and then to go back later to my Amazon Highlights page and quickly review the high points, but don’t read this book exclusively on a Kindle–also read it on a PC or Mac and click the links to some of the checklists. In that way you’ll be able to print them out.

Now that I’ve given you that advice, perhaps I should talk about the type of links that Laura Wu uses. This book is filled with links to resources that are valuable. Some may, in fact, be self serving, but it does not feel that way. I truly get the impression that she is doing everything she can to provide all of the information that you need to benefit from this book. As a result, I think very highly of Ms. Wu.

  • Let’s get on the value of some of the advice provided:
  • Building our mailing list – Good information and a link to a reputable, relatively easy-to-use mailing list provider.
  • Host content that you own – Too many people invest all of their effort writing for Facebook, etc. When they get banned, or the rules change, all of that investment can go down the tubes. Ms. Wu explains this in an easy-to-understand and friendly way.
  •  Dedicated media page – I’m still working on mine.
  • Engage and interact with readers – She provides a link to an example that you might emulate.

Just download a sample and look at the Table of Contents–it’s filled with helpful topics, but in my opinion, the most helpful information is what to do and when for our book launch. There are checklists for three months before, two months before, one month to go, two weeks to go, one week to go and launch day.

Ms Wu (I keep wanting to call her Laura because she writes in a conversational way and imparts valuable information) has overdelivered, and I recommend that you immediately purchase and read this book. Then, implement it’s advice. I’m going to implement much of it.

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