How To Write Your First Book

Good points by Gary North on how to market yourself as an author and the basic steps of getting your first book in to print:

Book publishing is getting expensive. Profits are way down. Readership is declining for printed books.

Ebooks, yes. POD books, yes. But books published by a profit-seeking publisher are limited to low-risk authors. High-return authors are best.

If you have something to say, blog it. After a few years of blogging, write your first book. You will have an audience.

If your blog does not attract an audience, neither will your book. Publishers know this.

Bottom line: Start a blog and prove you can attract an audience… If you’ve got traffic, you are infinitely more likely to get your book published.

Gary’s full post is, So, You Want to Write Your First Book. Here Is How to Do It.

Flickr + Twitter integration via – How to




It was April 6th, 2008 that I posted How to post images to Twitter and Flickr at the same time from an iPhone. It has been one of the more popular posts on this blog.

Flickr now makes it possible to post to Twitter directly via an emailed photo AND via Blog This. Their integration removes the need for TwitPic, and arguably SnapTweet too (though SnapTweet is faster than using Blog This and can be used for multiple images at once).

Images are posted to Twitter with Flickr’s new URL shortener.

Here’s how to get set up:

  1. Visit Flickr’s beta testing group’s page (actually, this step isn’t necessary, but if you run in to problems, their page is the best resource).
  2. Associate your Twitter account with your Flickr account here. It leads you through the process and uses OAuth, a safer mechanism than providing your password.
  3. You will be provided with a second special email address to send images to. If your main Flickr image email address is, your Flickr+Twitter email address will be
  4. Send away!

Photos sent to your primary Flickr image address will be processed as normal (not submitted to Twitter). Photos sent to your new 2twitter version will be processed and then immediately posted to Twitter. Your tweet will consist of [subject_line] [url], with the [url] being Flickr’s shortened url.


After signing up for the Twitter integration you also get a new Blog This addition when viewing a single image. Clicking Blog This brings up the option to post an existing image directly to Twitter. You can post your own, as well as other Flickr users, images via this feature. Very powerful.

Lunchtime mobile test post, nothing but water to see here…

Twitterlike post…

Grabbing a late lunch and testing a blog post via email. Early this morning I finally set up a cron to check for posts via email.

This post traveled from a Blackberry Bold to Gmail, then the cron ran and the email was pulled by Postie and imported as a post.

Along the way, I ran in to the following problems: – Postie Gmail support – Hosting provider had outgoing ports 993 and 995 blocked – Cronless Postie vs standard (now running cron rev)

A couple WordPress blogs over the weekend

Heartsong Studios Earthsea Pottery

Over the weekend I created two blogs for my parents, Heartsong Studios and Earthsea Pottery. I’ve used my own hosted server for sites in the past (and do with I used WordPress as the host this time… Their distributed servers and pricepoint (free.99 + $10 for DNS name server hosting) is better and cheaper than a personally hosted solution.

Each site, soup-to-nuts took less than six hours and were fun weekend projects. The blogs themselves took less than an hour, really, with image editing for Earthsea and the audio cleanup for Heartsong taking the real time.

I need the ability to modify the source of my blog, but if you’re looking for a clean and hosted solution that lets you personalize, WordPress was a good experience.

iPhone 3.0 Test Copy and Paste Post

So far, pretty neat. Ran in to some trouble copying more advanced HTML, Apple’s announcement page worked well.

“On March 17, Apple presented the blueprint for iPhone OS 3.0, the next version of the world’s most advanced mobile platform. In addition to previewing its innovative features, Apple gave members of the iPhone Developer Program immediate access to the iPhone OS 3.0 software beta and an updated Software Development Kit (SDK) with over 1,000 completely new APIs.”

The announcement page is here (C&P’d, too):