Monday, 31 March 2014

Productivity and the Self Published Author

By Colin Dunbar

Another productive week!

I was mainly tied up with two book design projects. These are 2 PDF ebooks, one is a web site that was turned into an ebook, and the other is an original ebook. I also designed the e-covers.

On the writing side, I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. Mainly outlining and planning. On the plus side, I feel a lot more motivated to write again. This is actually something that intrigues me: ever since I posted about having writer's block, I've not once had a problem with writing (including posting here in my self publishing diary).

I have a new site planned, and have been wrestling with the site concept. I turned to a good friend of mine and asked for his help. His feedback put a new light on my ideas, and I'll be finalizing the site idea - it should go live soon. Thanks Ian.

Overall, it was a good week... until Saturday night, that is. We received one of "those" phone calls, you know, the kind that you don't ever want to get. My in-laws were attacked and robbed on Saturday. Even though they're traumatized (tied, kicked, jumped on, cut, burnt with a clothes iron), we are VERY grateful that they're alive. We now have to trust that the barbarians won't return.

Last week there was not a shortage of reading. I'm still busy with Writing Fiction for Dummies. Enjoying every word, and learning a lot! And, as usual, I read a load of articles.

Here's something I hope you'll like...

More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language...try it!

No word in the English language rhymes with month.

Shakespeare invented the words 'assassination' and 'bump'.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand, "lollipop" with your right.

The name of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with.

The words 'racecar' and 'kayak' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left.

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters from only one row of the keyboard.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which occurs five times: "indivisibility."

The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable".

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

If you have anything you'd like to share, or maybe a question you have, let me know in the comments.

Monday, 24 March 2014

This is my Self Publishing Diary. Right?

By Colin Dunbar

I'm really excited.

I made a decision, and I hope it's something you'll find interesting, valuable, and hopefully sometimes useful. This is my self publishing diary, and I decided to treat it as a "diary". Instead of just posting about my self publishing efforts (which can be far and few between), I'm going to share a bit more about me: what I'm reading, what I write, and also when I come across something that I think is useful, I'll share it here (if I find something that really excites me, I'll post or write a post about just that - ummm, maybe that's a bit of a cop out).

I got some of my mojo back. A week ago I was booked off for the whole week (nothing life-threatening), and I ended up writing a lot: outlined a long article, wrote a section of my memoir (2nd revised edition), wrote a short article, wrote three posts for my blog,, PLUS I wrote draft Press releases and pages for a new web project my son and I are working on.

Not bad for someone who was hit hard with writer's block.

What I'm Reading

I'm presently reading Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson. It's been (too) many years since I wrote fiction (short stories), and that's the reason I got this book. And wow, am I glad I did? Writing Fiction for Dummies is ideal for someone like me: it takes me from the very basics, all the way to writing a query letter. One of my good investments, this was.

I read every single day of my life, and in addition to the Dummies book, I read a heap of articles on a variety of subjects.

Snippets on the Web

Last week I went through my archives, and thought it'll be useful to sahre the following with you...

Great News from Lulu

Lulu have expanded their ebook services. This is an extract from the news article:

Great news! has opened up Kindle, Kobo and many more eBook retailer sites to you, so readers on all devices can buy your eBooks.

And there's even more good news: Our print book distribution service is free.

With, you have a single, free and simple method for getting all of your books into as many distribution channels as possible. No more need to publish your books in multiple places. Now, you can sell what you love everywhere.

I'd really like to hear what you think of my decision: good, ok, bad. Drop me a line in the comments.

Have a great writing week, and ALWAYS believe in yourself.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My first encounter with writer's block

By Colin Dunbar

For many years I heard and read about writer's block, but I couldn't relate to it.

And that changed...

Writer's block was something "out there" - something that I passed off as a lack of focus, or procrastination, or even laziness.

Sheesh, did that change when I encountered writer's block in a big way!

There was never a shortage of ideas (and writing) in my life: articles, short stories, outlines, non-fiction books, etc. I cannot recall a time that I was not writing (as my wife will attest too).

And now?

All gone. I have several books at various levels of completion. I've regularly tried to revive my writing, but no luck. One thing I did manage to get going is my new blog:, and I'm going to try and focus on just this one project (and hopefully my self publishing diary).

Friends have said I have a valid reason for this block in that I have been focusing on my daughter, wife, and granddaughter - to be honest I have no regrets about my change of focus, but it still doesn't reduce the feeling of frustration in not being able to write.

The question I have for myself: Will I get through writer's block? And how will I do it?

The answer to the first question is a categorically YES! The answer to the second question is not exactly clear right now (but I do have some ideas).

In trying to find a solution for my writer's block, I read a few articles, and watched some videos, and found this one to be quite good.

If you are experiencing it, or have had writer's block I would love to hear from you.