LULU vs Amazon – Smashwords (Part 1)


If you think that this article is about the singer LULU surviving in the Amazon jungle & having a smash (hit) with her words, then either you are in the wrong place, or you are really a complete NEWBIE to self-publishing.

…If you are the latter, and/or you know what the title of this article is about, then read on and stay tuned.


Click on the image above to see previous & full article on this blog:

‘Amazon vs Lulu vs Smashwords: A Beginner’s Guide’ (it’s all about self-publishing and all you need to know to get started and to keep going)

In this full article you will find tons of help to get your started and to keep you going once you start; including a free e-book that will show you all that you need to know to publish your own e-book successfully with any of the major distributors of e-books to sell in online bookstores ranging from Amazon to Apple itunes/ibooks and from Barnes & Noble to Nook (it’s all about the formatting).
Please share the full article widely, so that others may discover it too!

Thanks a Million


Amazon vs Lulu vs Smashwords: A Beginner’s Guide


If you think that this article is about the singer LULU surviving in the Amazon jungle & having a smash (hit) with her words, then either you are in the wrong place, or you are really a complete NEWBIE to self-publishing.

If you are the latter, and/or you know what the title of this article is about, then read on, view on – as there is a short video preview of a very informative presentation to begin with and then the presentation in full slideshow with clickable links  to look at or to view in the pdf book (also with clickable links) to find out all the options for beginning your self-publishing journey or expanding your existing one. There is a very generous freebie that should help significantly further on. So stay tuned.

Now you can view the full presentation in either slideshow (PowerPoint) format or open the PDF below (you should be able to download the pdf to keep and view at another time).

If you have neither of these viewing options at the moment, I’ve made a gallery of the slides below. I had intended for this to be a complete written article, but it turned into a visual display instead. I hope you get something from it whatever way you chose to view it. Enjoy! and don’t forget to share this valuable info with others.

click to open & download PDF book


click to open in slide presentation view

FREE KINDLE BOOK – Extended Preview version with all the formatting know-how you’ll ever probably need to self-publish


THE SLIDES WITH LOTS OF USEFUL INFO TO GET YOU STARTED & KEEP YOU GOING ARE BELOW:(if you had difficulty opening the slideshow and/or pdf)








Anybody out there? “Sometimes it feels like the internet was invented just to make the world a better place for self-publishers…”

Below is an article on the experiences of an established writer venturing into the world of self publishing: Pat Fitzpatrick who has several other ariticles on his experiences listed at the end. (taken from the complete writing

I found this article particularly interesting as it is about getting creative as a self publisher and I thought I would share it.

Below is an excerpt from Pat’s article which should link you to the rest:

“Sometimes it feels like the internet was invented just to make the world a better place for self-publishers…”

Adventures in Self Publishing: Getting Creative


Amazon Kindle Book on How to Publish E-Books for Free



Pre-Launch FREE Kindle E-Book which teaches everything you ever need to know about publishing E-Books. Available on request by messaging Creative Self Publishing Ireland directly on Facebook (Click Link Below)


Or request your copy on this site or by Email:

Offer ends on launch date 22nd September 2016 – and all I ask is for some feedback and if you felt so inclined: an honest review on Amazon would be fantastic. Or, simply share the free e-book with those who you think it might help.

I really hope that you enjoy the adventure !


PS: I’ve copied the press release below which will give you a bit more info about the book and myself as its author.

RELEASE DATE 22nd September 2016

1st September 2016| Galway Ireland

Please e-mail for review copies of book, bio, photos etc.

INDEPENDENT (Indie) author reveals insider secrets so that other struggling writers/researchers can now FREELY & CREATIVELY publish their own books –
This is a unique ‘Book inside a Book’ concept that shows the reader how the book was made so that they can create their own

Maria B. O’Hare, living in Spiddal, County Galway with her partner and son, is the author of the soon to be published e-book How This Book Was Made & How You Can Make Your Own, the e-book version (to be launched initially on AMAZON Kindle) with the physical version with its step-by-step guide to producing and successfully publishing in any format and with complete independence, is to follow shortly thereafter:

 “A paperback book that can sit proudly next to traditionally published books in real ‘bricks & mortar’ book shops”

The e-book version shows the would-be self-publisher, how to conceptualise, design and create their own high quality book cover (even if they have no prior knowledge of design), embed suitable quality images and to do the very particular formatting for the successful uploading and publication of an e-book to be made available globally. It assumes no prior expertise, technical know-how, or access to specialist software. Indeed, the author demonstrates, by showing how the e-book itself was created, how anyone with a desire to publish their books probably already has the basic tools at their finger-tips to do so. The idea of this e-book is to essentially empower anyone with an interest in publishing their writings (particularly struggling writers/researchers) to be fully creative and ultimately, achieve a high level of independence in their self-publishing adventures. In a nut-shell: this e-book offers readers a choice of tried and tested tools to experiment with; to basically have fun while doing it and perhaps best of all: to do it all: ‘virtually’ for FREE.

The author’s background is the research and publication of more scientifically focused topics (M.B. O’Hare has a PhD in archaeology and worked for a number of years as a freelance archaeological analyst – mainly pre-historic stone tools within Ireland). With the economic climate, plummeting drastically, Maria began related, but more independent research which in turn, led to several independently published books  See more on nature of research at website  Maria eventually  formed an independent imprint DiG-Press and in more recent years began to synthesise her self-taught wealth of knowledge on how to become a fully-fledged published author with little or no previous knowledge and to do it all basically: “on a shoe-string”. She now teaches courses on Creative Self-Publishing and How This Book Was Made & How You Can Make Your Own (e-book version) is a treasure-trove tool-kit to help anyone who has a desire to publish their own e-books and have full creative and financial control.


3D Book Covers in minutes – for Free

Below is a 3D image of some recent books nearing publication, bearing in mind that I’m finally, now, a fully independent (Indie) Publisher (DiG-Press) and I pride myself in doing it all for virtually nothing and with very little techie knowledge – learning everything as I go along and sharing the best tried & tested ways with others like myself…


3D book covers evolution

..therefore, I’m excited to share with you my most recent discovery: Making your books come alive and tangible before your readers hold the real thing in their hands, by presenting them in 3D. It doesn’t matter if your book is virtual (e-book) or will also be in 3D paper form, the result is the same: real books that interest your readers.

After a long search for the right site to make my books into 3D graphics for free, with no strings attached and simple to use, I came across this site:

Membership is required via simple and direct email and offers 5 free downloads and you can experiment with a wide range of templates which include CDs, box-sets, single CDs and books, upright, stacked, open, laying down etc. They have an old and new (beta) system. I used the old one. Just follow the online instructions. I experimented and used my own image from pics in JPEG, but you can design this on the site.

However, I didn’t at first see the merits of this method and site, which I will explain below: You see, I made a mistake (nothing new there) and chose a CD pack and as nice as the cover looked, the graphic was not a stack of books as intended, but a pack of CDs instead. So you can play around and see what works and what doesn’t. Next I chose a template that looked awful as my image was a bit broader and the text was all wrong on the left (spine) edge. When I was presented with the image with their watermark all over it and was being charged $4.90 or thereabouts as a one off fee to download and remove watermarks, I thought: here we go: there is always a catch. I went off back to my old haunts searching for a way.

I went to the following site which covered one that I had used previously, but this is now unfortunately defunct and its equivelent (lets you do back and spine – so you have to have whole cover layout for wrap around if you want this effect), but my browser doesn’t support 3D graphics – apparantly – too antiquated like myself. There is another option noted in the article and finally, I came across the idea of skewing your image in a free online photographic editor called: Pixlr, where you can skew the angles enough to fit on any image of a 3D book that you can download from web. It was very like photoshop and I can’t use such tools – so I didn’t find it easy. However, if you want to try it, the article at  this is a great site for self publishers (UK based mainly) and deals with all sorts of book, not just novels. They show you how to use this feature for photoshop and you can apply it to online free editor. Anyway, I do all my images up to high quality resolution without photoshop etc (too expensive) and use Powerpoint instead for everything and a bit of Picasa (all Google, Microsoft stuff I’m afraid).

The long and short of it all: I  went back to and as I already had the image uploaded and signed up etc, I created another 3D book. I chose the type illustrated above and was delighted when I narrowed the whole image from the right hand side to fit better, that it looked great. Better still, there were no watermarks or propts to pay for download. I just downloaded it and there it was. Simple. And I can make 4 more before paying and the small amount would be worth it if it came to it. And, finally, they do cool e-book devices and i-pads to show your book off as well.



Please share and I hope you got something useful from this article.

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Using Kindle Cover Design- being creative for free

You don’t need to publish with Amazon to play with their creative cover design tools to begin imagining what your published book could look like. All you need to get started, is to sign up for an amazon account, if you don’t already have one and go to and follow the simple steps to creating an ebook. You just come up with a title (but you can change this at any time); fill in your name as the author and then just begin being creative. You never have to actually publish it – just play and get ideas on KDP (kindle direct publishing) and then find a  high quality equivalent type image that you really like (300 dpi and as large as possible for under 10 dollars – that will be good enough to produce a physical book cover), from for example, where you can  directly download it and it is yours – no licence, no royalities, no subscriptions etc. Below is a great little video to show you how to create covers on kdp.

You Tube video

‘How this book was made’ (e-book) is under construction: a step by step guide to creative & pain FREE independent publishing

HOW THIS BOOK WAS MADE under construction

       This e-book is currently under construction and will be available soon at Dig-Press and all major e-book channels. It was inspired as a way to teach a one day workshop here in Ireland (Spiddal, Galway) for those seriously interested in producing a book in any form, physical or digital. I was also inspired by the question: well how do you actually make a book? This came after the recent introduction to creative self-publishing given in the local library here in Spiddal. It got me thinking. OK, so then I thought well, I could construct a book and actually use it to show how it was made. A book within a book concept came to mind.  So basically, I’m letting you know that I am working on this creation so I can teach ye in a day and/or a single book what I took years to learn – the hard way. So this is just to let you budding authors out there know, that I’m feverously working on this and doing the usual free-lance work on-line i.e trying to earn a little money and creating more books physical and e-books for others and I’ll be back with you all soon and ready to get stuck in.

Anyway, as you can see by the big image of the e-book cover under construction: it does exactly what it says on the cover (or it will do when finished).  It explains HOW THIS BOOK WAS MADE (e-book in this case and a physical of the same will follow) and it should give you all you need to know of how to make your own.

        The simple step-by step guide examines each part of the book you are actually reading and how it was done. It is a bit sore on the head after a while -thinking fractally (scales within scales). I am a visual learner – sorry for anyone who isn’t – it’s my way and I have used it here. I use the actual images of the screen I am working on and what I’m doing – (screen shots), a type of picture book  learning guide for grown ups.

          Essentially, whether you read the books when they are created or come to the actual workshops, you should be able to make your own book/s and make the e-book version available to upload painlessly to kindle (Kindle direct publishing KDP) on Amazon, and Smashwords dedicated e-book platform and from there out to all the major distributors: Apple store (i-tunes/i-books); Barnes & Noble (Nook); KOBO (anagram of books-a dedicated e-book platform) and many more. You can upload to your own website and give away e-books for free to create interest in other books or product or causes that you have. You might even make money in the process. Obviousy, the physical book will show you how to make a physical version and how to upload and distibute to global online bookshops as well as real bricks and mortar shops and libraries etc.

        Basically, this book concept is about being creative as you follow the visual steps of literally making your e-book from virtual cover to virtual cover. I will keep you posted on this website of its progress and in the meantime, sign up for info on workshops in your region here in Ireland by contacting me on facebook or directly by e-mail – all the info is in the menu ‘About Me’– the workshops will be very inexpensive and quite intensive, but you will learn everything you need to know to publish your own book/s your way – hence I am going for small numbers and have got a few very keen beginners already and we will work on your specific project together. If you don’t make one workshop session, you can catch the next one by letting me know you are interested.

Otherwise, you can check in occasionally and see the progress of this book in the making and get almost everything that you get if you attended the workshop by reading the book/s HOW THIS BOOK WAS MADE.

Don’t forget to share – thanks for reading and showing an interest.