Saturday, February 25, 2012

Keeping up with Technology

I was at an event recently that several 30- and 40-somethings attended. I commented that I had bought "iPhone for Dummies." A young woman responded, "And you admit it!"

Those under 50 may not want their peers to know they aren't up on all the latest functions on every device available, but I'm not embarrassed to admit I'm jogging to keep up with modern technology. The number of devices a functioning adult is expected to learn and know how to use can be overwhelming. I've had my iPhone for ten months and up until now used it to make phone calls, send text messages, check the weather and use the calculator. I knew there was more to it, but since companies, including Apple, believe three sentences of instruction is more than enough to learn the device and no longer give instruction manuals, I put off learning the full extend of my smartphone. What a lifesaver the "Dummies" book is.

I have a great time reading a chapter each day. I play with the phone as it is meant to be used: as a modern adult toy.  I synchronized my itunes album with my iphone for the first time since I got the phone. I logged appointments on the calendar. I wrote "to do" lists in the Notes menu. I flipped to the end of the book and downloaded new apps I didn't know existed.

It isn't work. It's my avocation!

How can you get excited about technology?

* Admit that it's here.
* Choose a device or topic that you feel you should learn.
* Look up the "Dummies" library. There are a multitude of subjects covered.
* Enjoy the experience.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Gold Beneath the Waves," self-publishing your way

Jim Brouwer of Myrtle Beach, S.C.  had an idea. He searches for gold and other metals on the beach with a metal detector and wanted to share his ideas with other gold seekers by writing a book. He was leery of the traditional publishing route so chose to self-publish. He went about his quest in a methodical way. He studied how to accomplish his goal, and the result is "Gold Beneath the Waves: Treasure Hunting the Surf and Sand."

He recommends other self-publishers read about how to do it. "The Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit!" by  C Pinheiro, Nick Russell and Cynthia Sherwood, "Perfect Pages"  and "Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing," both by Aaron Shepard, are tops on his list of how-to books.

He recommends a self-publisher becomes a "Word Nerd" because you have to do everything: format, choose font and size, do page layout and understand the entire spectrum of getting a book published.

He recommends to get on your road to self-publishing.
"This is very hard work! This is rocket science," he says.

For those who are determined to get a book published, Bouwer's route is the means to an end. Check out his suggestiions. And by the way, if you don't really care about writing a book but want to find gold, read his book. His suggestions work.