Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Sell your writing Online as an eBook and in Print

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Please, the time has come when I need your help SERIOUSLY. I just want to find out some things and knowing your wealth of experience, I am sure you can help me. As you know, the book I am working on is almost ready and I intend to sell some e-copies before going to print. It is about selling my books online.
This was an email I received recently and I have reproduced the questions and my suggestions below.


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MWP - Mama Efon's Last One by Gboyega Otolorin

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This is the second in the series of short stories that were submitted for the recently concluded Naija Stories Christmas Nostalgia Contest. The Contest Judge, Ikhide Ikheloa, rated this entry by Gboyega Otolorin 3rd out of ten shortlisted stories, and it was one I found quite evocative. What do you think?
This is how I remember it. This is the image of my grandmother that sticks; that Christmas of 2005, the Christmas before she died.

She is sitting at the dining table, in her customary chair. She has a bowl of Bournvita in front of her. Yes. A bowl. Apparently, this is how she likes to drink her Bournvita. Lots and lots of it in a large blue plastic bowl, a souvenir from somebody’s wedding. So-and-so weds so-and-so courtesy so-and-so’s family. I am surprised at the Bournvita because this is the first time I have seen Mama drink it. Cocoa beverages weren’t her thing. My grandfather? Yes. Definitely. But not her.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Love or Marriage - What are you Settling for?

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A blog I usually frequent published a story recently which seems to have gone viral. In recounting a fictional tale of heartbreak and new beginnings titled If you call it ‘settling’, then yes, I have settled, a lady explains how even though her new boyfriend, now fiance does not 'get' her or give her butterflies, she was happy to be marrying him. Please read the excerpt below and let's discuss.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Bouari Weight Loss Experience - Day 4

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If you haven't, please read my Day 1 post for starters.

What's my report? It's been good so far. I started the first two days, known as the fat load days, with slightly larger portions of what I would usually eat. For breakfast, I had a couple of slices of toast and omelette (2 egss). I had jam on the toast, with some grapes and oranges and a cup of hot chocolate. BTW, forgive my food photography skills, I will try to improve. So why did I have to eat so much, you ask?

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

90% of what Nigerians learn in School is Useless

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This article was written by Atala some years ago when he was still a blogger, but he revived it in response to the indictment of Lazy Intellectual African Scum. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click on the link to read the tongue lashing given to us over-degreed Africans by a fictional Bwana Walter as transcribed by Zambian author, Field Ruwe. Well, after I received my share of the reproach, I sent a link to Atala at work and from emails, we continued the discussion when he came back.

Because his article is on the longish side, I won't go into our discussion except to say that while Ruwe made some valid points, as is the case with such tirades, the strength of the argument was lost in over generalization. Read Atala below and let's discuss in the comments. Are African intellectuals lazy, or are they indifferent and satiated by personal comfort? Do you consider yourself an intellectual, do you see yourself in Ruwe's article? What of Atala's, of how much use has been your schooling to your life goals so far?

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Thandie Newton in Half of a Yellow Sun - I see Oscars not Race

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Things are definitely looking up for Nigerian Literature in Film with the recent news about the adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie into a movie. It is heartening that the financing is majorly from Nigeria (private equity), though the British Film Institute is also providing some funding.

Film Bloggers are reporting that the movie will be a directorial debut for another Nigerian talent, Biyi Bandele, playwright, stage director and author of Burma Boys. (If you have not read Burma Boys, you should look for it, I also hope that would be made into a movie someday.) While these roles have not been confirmed, Thandie Newton is billed as Olanna, with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Dominic Cooper for the roles of Odimegwu and Richard respectively. I wonder who will act Ugwu, he was one of my favorites in the story, and of course Kainene, Olanna's twin.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lessons I learnt from my Mother - Bamidele Kehinde (Guest Author)

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I met Bamidele Kehinde on Facebook and decide to conduct this interview after I found out about her first book titled, Lessons I learnt from my Mother. I loved the idea of wanting to honor one's parents through a book and had Bamidele answer the following questions for me. Bamidele describes herself as a full blooded Nigerian, and from Ekiti state – one of the states in the south-western part of Nigeria. After primary and secondary education in Oyo state, she later moved on to the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun state where she bagged a degree in History and International Relations and a Masters degree in Public Administration.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Bouari Weight Loss Experience - Day 1

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Yesterday, I went to the newly opened Bouari Clinic in my area to meet with a health consultant and my contact on the corporate side. You see, I had been accepted to blog about their weight loss programme in exchange for taking part in it. The program normally costs $599 per month, but in exchange for blogging about my experience with it, I will receive all the supplements and unlimited support for free. I have done some research myself and I don't think these supplements are harmful in any way. There are mixed reviews online but in this case, I want to find out myself. This is the official blurb;

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New Beauty Secret Revealed - Fotoshop by Adobé

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This is the perfect option for people like me who don't want to watch all those make-up tutorials on youtube. And much more, not stick to that exercise and diet plan, LOL...Perfect!

Seriously though, look at these recent pictures of Beyonce, do they even look like she's the one? Hmmmff!






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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Causes Couples to Grow Apart?

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Last week when I first heard the initial reports of the impending separation of Heidi Klum and Seal, I was so surprised that I had to tweet about it. It wasn't as if they had been married that long, six years plus, but they had always been open about their relationship, renewing their vows regularly, doing stuff together, and popping out children every other year. So it seemed they had been a fixture for a longer time. Their official statement read in part;

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Monday, January 23, 2012

MWP - Cowards and Christmas Chickens by Seun Odukoya

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I mentioned in the post about what to expect here in 2012 that I will be featuring some writers from Naija Stories. So starting this Monday, I will be posting some of the short stories that were submitted for the recently concluded Christmas Nostalgia Contest. The Contest Judge, Ikhide Ikheloa, rated this entry by Seun Odukoya 4th out of ten shortlisted stories, and it was one I really enjoyed. Hope you like it too.
The first time I killed a chicken by myself was in 1993 December, in my parents house in Lagos. I nearly kill myself join.

Thanks to my early love for horror movies the sight of blood did not scare me, but I was appalled by the idea of killing something that actually lived and breathed. Besides, I hated the shrieking of the chickens and would not have volunteered that year had it not been for Peju.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Picture Weekend - For those who like my Braids

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As you can see, I can never be a Fashion Blogger so be gentle with me. I already know there's no sense of style or color coordination. As for the postures, I'm shaking my head at myself this time. What of the Poncho and Sneakers combination? My only excuse is that I'm still looking for a stylist, lol. All credits for any nice shots go to the photographer, Atala. The setting is the Redmond Town Center sometime last year. Continue for more pictures, and do have a great weekend, mwah!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm really scared for Nigeria - Multiple Bomb Blasts in Kano?

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What is really going on in Nigeria? Somebody said on my TL that Boko Haram {alleged to be responsible for the blasts} is certainly not working for Islam. And I totally agree. This is more like political terrorism. It's unfortunate that the Government wasted 2 weeks on an ill-thought out reform on the oil sector that had the masses up in arms. Not only were the government ministers and the police distracted, the president equally channeled military resources unnecessarily to Lagos, a perfectly peaceful city. All these while several northern states were still in a state of emergency.

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Naija4life Launches the "Give a Book" Campaign

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The Give a Book campaign aims to collect educational books which will be sent to Nigeria. The chief driver is Naija4life, the blogger behind A Pen and a Heart, a teacher and someone with a deep passion for education. Education has made a huge difference in his life and he says he will regard his life’s journey as unfulfilled if he fails to give back to society in any way he can. According to him, "we can be quite critical about the many wrongs in our society and most times rightly so. But I also believe we can take action by making small contributions that can only help improve our society. I’m a firm believer that whatever change we seek will only happen if we take action to accomplish them."

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bald and Beautiful Barbie in 2012 - What do you think?

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I saw this on the news over the holidays and when Facebook sent a notification that a friend joined the Bald Barbie page, I visited and decided to post on it. The campaign was started by a group of women who have either battled with cancer or Alopecia or they have children who are going through chemotherapy and have therefore lost their hair. The women want there to be a doll the affected children can relate with, and since I have come to realize that Barbie is a role model for a lot of American girls, this makes perfect sense.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Seattle Whiteout as Major Websites Blackout against SOPA

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This picture should give you a good idea of what I mean by whiteout. Yeah, it's been snowing and snowing and snowing some more in this part of Washington, and it has been the same since Sunday. On Monday, we got about 4 inches of snow and it was enough to go out on our decking and throw snowballs at each other.
More snow is expected today, up to 10 inches in some places, and it has been labelled the no-school Wednesday in majority of the School Districts. That wouldn't usually have concerned me, except it also means that Atala will be working from home. Hehehe...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Knowing your Partner's Personality Type in a Relationship

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I'm the laid back one, chill and relaxed. With age, I've learnt to accord things and situations the necessary seriousness, but most times, I'm happy to go with the flow. Atala on the other hand is more 'do-things-according-to-plan-and-schedule type. I do not see our personality types as opposites, but as complimentary to each other. Still, we've had some adjustments to make. February will be our third marriage anniversary, and Atala and I keep discovering each other and working on a balanced relationship.

This was echoed in an interview by author Dicey Grenor in Woman's Essence Magazine. When asked what attributes she thought a lady should look for in a husband, she replied,

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Blogger now supports Nested or Threaded Comments

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According to Blogger Buzz, this "means that it is now much easier to differentiate between whether someone is making a general comment on the thread, or responding to another comment on the thread." Who said Blogger was not a listening platform? As you can see, I've changed my template to take advantage of this development. I can now respond to individual comments without doing the whole omnibus thing with @this or @that. And what do you know, you can too! I mean, you can respond to me, or ask someone else to explain their comments. LOL...I look forward to interesting roundtable discussions going forward.

What do you have to do to enable this on your blog? Maybe nothing. Simply check your comments system and you may already be set. If the reply function is still not available, do the following;

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Picture Weekend - Christmas Eve at the Seattle Center

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Like I said last week, we didn't really get snow in our area last Christmas. However, there are some ways to experience a white Christmas without real snow. On Christmas Eve, we decided to wander into town for a  movie and some sightseeing. I wanted to see the City Center xmas decorations at the Pacific Science Center, and Atala also wanted us to catch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol at the IMAX Cinema there.


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Friday, January 13, 2012

The 2012 Bloggies - Twelfth Annual Weblog Awards

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Hello Everyone, This is short notice, but I hope you'll be able to join in. Last year, as part of the Nigerian Blog Awards promo, I asked what is blogging all about? it was a very busy time for me then and I didn't feel up taking part in the process. This year, I'm more like "Bring it on!" I've just heard about the Weblog Awards, one of the oldest blogging awards out there - it started in 2000. A few years ago, the organizers added the African Region to the already wide range of categories covered by the awards, and this is me asking for your votes in that, and any other category you see fit.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

What Book are you Dreaming of? International Giveaway

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AND THE WINNER IS STACIE RUSSELL! CONGRATS!

The dreaming of Books giveaway hop is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer with several blogs taking part - Check the full list of participants. I am as much a reader as I am an author, and I'm dreaming of reading several books this year. After sometime of reading mostly Romance and Literary fiction, I enjoyed both the Hunger Games and A Song of Ice and Fire series in 2011. My reading will definitely be more versatile this year.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who should be taller - The Man or the Woman

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Of course I know there are no shoulds here. We are all born with our different heights and our hearts will find love where they will. But let's just discuss this in a spirit of fun and no offense to anyone. Most women want a guy who is taller than them, and the reverse is the case for men, they want petite women, at least compared to them.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What to expect from Myne Whitman Writes in 2012

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Hi everyone, how are you doing? It feels strange to post knowing that some of my readers may be affected by the events in Nigeria. Things are not settling down but are becoming even worse and that makes me worried. I urge everyone to try to remain safe during this period, and hopefully the country will stabilize soon. My heart goes out to those who have lost friends and family in either the subsidy removal protests or in the Boko Haram attacks. May the soul of the dead rest in peace.

By the way, that's my new look for the 2012 by the left. It's also my first weave since I did the big chop. What do you think?


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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Picture Weekend - Leavenworth Lighting Festival 2011

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To my disappointment, we didn't get any snow last December, even up to now. Yes, disppointment, because I still like snow even though from my experience in 2010 when I had a book reading cancelled and almost missed my flight to Naija due to snow days, I still just like the idea of falling snow and everything being coated by the white stuff.

Anyway, as if a friend knew, she invited us to this festival in a city several miles from Seattle where she was certain there was snow. Not only that, they also have weekly Christmas Lighting Festivals where the town lights are switched on each evening. Leavenworth is a peculiar town in that it is mostly a tourist destination, and is patterned after a Bavarian Village. They have this to say on their website;

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Now that we're in 2012

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I can't help looking back to last year and examining the events that took place. I am also looking forward to all the rest of the days and weeks of this year. In the process, I got this list of questions from an author I follow on Linkedin - Dawn James (Raise your Vibration; Transform your Life) as a way to take stock.

1. What are you most proud of from 2011? My relationship with Atala, a new book published in March; A Heart to Mend and A Love Rekindled becoming Bestsellers in July/August.
2. What are you grateful for from 2011? For life and love, for my family's health, for the support from friends known and unknown.
3. What are 3 things you will leave behind in 2011? Those extra pounds that I have yet to shed. :)

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

On the Fuel Subsidy Removal Protests

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To say I am appalled by the current events in Nigeria is an understatement. It is unfortunate that the government has remained insensitive to the feelings of the general population on the issue of the fuel subsidy removal. The press statement has gone out from the FEC meeting that the goverment decision put in effect on Jan 1, 2012 would not be rescinded. What a pity.

Even more upsetting is the police brutality recorded in several cities where spontaneous protests sprung up lamenting the subsidy removal. In Kano, 42 people were wounded, and a young man was shot in Ilorin some days ago. I understand that Nigerians are aggrieved, and with the memory of the Arabian Spring, a lot of youths are fired up. But remember that it is not one or the other, it is not death or success. We can have a peaceful boycott that achieves our goals.

What am I saying? This is to those in Nigeria, please stay safe and urge everyone to do the same. For those already protesting, let them do so in a peaceful manner. To those outside Nigeria who are influential via the social media and other means, exercise your influence with caution. Do not ask of others what you are not prepared to sacrifice. Even if the masses succeed, it won't bring back dead protesters. So if possible, let's wait for the NLC organized protests or industrial action starting on Monday Jan. 9th, 2012. They will likely be police approved with less chances of violence.

Aluta Continua, but safety first.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm included in the 50 Nigerians who made a Difference in 2011

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Who would have thunk it? :)

Now I don't know who Our Reporter is, but I'm certainly grateful that they noticed and appreciate my work. When I got the email from Google alerts over the weekend, I couldn't believe it till I checked the website. In a list of notables and celebrities which included Goodluck Jonathan, Chinua Achebe, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Sanusi Lamido, Pastor Adeboye, DonJazzy, Dbanj, Mercy Johnson and Babatunde Fashola, I was tickled pink to see my name and the following citation;

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

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Hey Everyone,

Welcome to 2012!

May this year be accompanied by success, progress and happiness in all we do.

And may God continue to protect and provide for us all. Amen.
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