Smashwords Author Interview

Yesterday, I submitted to an in-depth Q&A session for a Smashwords Author Interview. You can read the interview at

It was fun to do, took me down a bit of Memory Lane and gave me a few interesting things to think about. I hope you enjoy reading the interview!

We can engage in a similar interview right here on my blog!

Simply ask me questions about my work and my writing, and I’ll be happy to answer. Ask me about publishing through Smashwords. Perhaps you think to write and publish independently too–we have a lot in common, then!

Come on–challenge me! Ask whatever you want to know about Dena Crain: Artist/Teacher in Kenya.

All comments are moderated, so if there’s something that comes up I feel is inappropriate for this venue, I can always reply to you privately.

Otherwise, I’m pretty open about my life’s work, and will be pleased to chat with you about it!

Writing an e-Book

Writing an e-book is no easy task!

Writing an e-book is a job! I tend to think like a mind-map, all over the place, and in a circular way that makes it hard for anyone else to follow. It takes a long time to develop the content, writing it all in a way that is linear and makes sense to others.

mind map photo
Photo by zipckr

Building the content into something legible is only one part of the job. Then, you have to grapple with the photos, something I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out!

People read e-books in a variety of formats: ePub, pdf, rtf, lrf, mobi, and text. They appear on a range of devices–on generic tablets, Kindles and iPads, directly online on your laptop or desktop computer–even on smartphones!

Photos and text both, not to mention hyperlinks, all behave differently in the different formats and on different devices. One document has to serve them all. What a mess!

For an author who wants only to write and convey a message, e-book indie publishing proves a real quagmire!

Anyway, today I uploaded yet another proof of my new e-book, Bind Quilts by Machine to Smashwords, my truly wonderful and so easy-to-manage indie publisher. I checked all the versions it will appear as, and there are only a few small tweaks remaining:

  • Pngs do not work in some formats, showing an ugly black background. I’ll have to change a few of those!

Bind Quilts by Machine, e-book from Smashwords

  • Then, I used a couple of different versions of one quilt that show color in a variable way, so I have to make those consistent.

Bind Quilts by Machine, e-book from Smashwords

  • Finally, I need to add text for all hyperlinks because hotlinks don’t work in some formats. Cumbersome, but necessary!

QuiltEd Online

After fixing all these little things, the e-book Bind Quilts by Machine will be ready for release, and that’s going to happen well before my deadline of July 18!

As soon I as make these corrections, I can authorize release of Bind Quilts by Machine!

I will release the e-book as soon as I upload the final, corrected version. Time is running out–if you want to take advantage of the chance to pre-order the e-book with a hefty discount!

Now, for those of you who have not yet pre-ordered your copy of Bind Quilts by Machine:

  • Pre-order now and get the e-book for the DISCOUNT price of $9.99, about 23% off the full retail price of $12.99!
  • The e-book includes a FREE PATTERN and links to other patterns illustrated in the e-book!
  • There’s an UPGRADE option in the e-book, so you can join the online quilt class in progress for only $7.00 more. You receive full credit for the retail price of the e-book against the class fee!
  • If you pre-order now for $9.99 and later upgrade to the online quilt class for $7.00, you receive both for a total of $16.99, a DISCOUNT of 15% off the $19.99 class fee alone!!

So, how’s that? Have I got a deal for you?!

Pre-order the e-book Bind Quilts by Machine from Kobo, Barnes&Noble, or AppleQUICK!

Africa Quilts! on Facebook

There is a new group on Facebook called Africa Quilts! Here is the group description and welcome message:

Welcome to Africa Quilts! If you have a love of Africa and a passion for quilting, you are indeed most welcome here–karibu sana! 

Perhaps you’re a French Canadian ex-pat living in Namibia, a Cape Town suburban housewife, or a township dweller from Kwa-Zulu Natal. You might be an attorney in Morocco, a diplomat in Togo or a missionary in Kenya.

Maybe you’re African American and have traced your roots to the Ivory Coast. Quilting in Zimbabwe, or shopping in Timbuktu–if you have a passion for both Africa and patchwork quilting, please make this your new home away from home!

Show us your stuff. Share your African adventures. Tell us what you do and how you do it. Sell, swap or give away your quilts and whatever else you have to offer that is quilt-related.

Observe all customary rules of etiquette, stay “on point,” and have loads of fun! Here, we’re all about showing the rest of the world that Africa Quilts!

If this sounds like you, come and join us for Africa Quilts! on Facebook on Facebook!

Bind Quilts by Machine e-Book

With great embarrassment and many apologies, I had to announce that my new e-book, Bind Quilts by Machine, was not yet ready for pre-order.

But guess what?!

It IS available for pre-order now!

Find Bind Quilts by Machine, the e-book, at Barnes and NobleKobo and Apple.

Go to any of these e-book retailers and place a pre-order for the book now at the discounted price of only $9.99. The e-book is to be released on July 18, when your credit card is charged and you receive notice that you can download the e-book. Upon its release, the cost of the e-book goes up to $12.99, so act now to reserve the lower price!

Want to know more?

For far too long, I’ve been doling out these important tips and techniques in little bits and spurts. Not so any more!

When I figured out how to sew double-fold quilt bindings entirely by machine, I knew the time had come to pull all my information and photos together into one resource–an e-book. This way, EVERYONE will have access to this important information!

Hands hurt? Find it hard to hold a hand-sewing needle? Just to busy to bother? Prefer, as I do, spending valuable quilting time putting patchwork together or quilting it rather than finishing off hand-sewn bindings? Well, now you need never hand-sew a quilt binding again!

Take the drudgery out of finishing your quilts with the knowledge and insights you find in Bind Quilts by Machine. The e-book includes fully illustrated, step by step instructions for how to sew by machine:

  • Fuss-Free Single-Fold Quilt Binding by Machine
  • Seamless Quilt Binding by Machine
  • Double-Fold Quilt Binding by Machine
  • Perfect Piping
  • Mock quilt bindings
  • Bagging a quilt
  • Facing a quilt
  • Machine-sewn raw edge finishes for quilts

But wait! Bind Quilts by Machine is also useful for those of you who LOVE doing the hand sewing to finish a binding!

The same principles apply–just sew all your bindings on the face of the quilt, rather than on the back. Learn the easiest way to make beautifully mitered corners and an indistinguishable final join, how to apply and close double-fold binding with a neater final join, as well as all the other great ideas in Bind Quilts by Machine.

Published by highly reputable and popular Smashwords, Bind Quilts by Machine, the e-book, comes in a format to suit any reader.

Download it for your computer as a pdf, then for your iPad or other tablet as an ePub file, and put it on your Kindle or your mobile phone! You can have it in as many formats as you like, and download it as often as you please!

Eventually, the book will be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and many other online book retail shops. Right now, it’s only available here (see the sidebar!) and at Smashwords. But here’s the best part!

Bind Quilts by Machine is available now for “pre-order” at a 25% reduced price of only $9.99!

Place your pre-order for free today. When Bind Quilts by Machine is released on July 18, you will be charged only $9.99 and you will receive notification that you can download the e-book at that price. If you wait to buy the book until July 19, the full retail price of $12.99 will be charged.

Check it out at Barnes and NobleKobo and Apple. You can download FOR FREE the first 15% of the book as a sample, just to get a taste of what it offers!

What’s that you say? An e-book is not a real book?

You can’t smell it and fondle it? So what? Are you going to read a book like this for the sensual experience? Or for the top quality technical information you can gain from it?

Bind Quilts by Machine is an e-book, not a hard copy book, because I cannot publish and sell hard copy books from Kenya. Why, the mere cost of shipping is prohibitive, not to mention the storage hazards of potential fire, flood and tropical termites!

Bind Quilts by Machine is the kind of book you read in order to learn some technical information. Once you’ve learned how to finish your quilts by machine, you won’t have any use for a hard copy book. You also won’t have to waste valuable storage space to keep that hard copy book. Owning Bind Quilts by Machine means you will never lose your book because you can download a fresh copy at any time. You OWN it!

And, it never gets dirty!!

You can’t spoil an e-book by spilling coffee on it or dropping it in the mud. I don’t advise these actions for your devices either, but you know exactly what I mean. What you can do is highlight sections you find important and want to revisit later. You can make notes about what you think as you read the e-book. And, you can conveniently bookmark your place!

So, come on–place your pre-order now! Get in on this great deal to gain not only super information about how to finish your quilts entirely by machine, but also to take advantage of the 25% price reduction that is only good until July 18.

Oh, and here’s a tip for you: You can find patterns for a couple of the quilts shown in Bind Quilts by Machine. Keep watching that page–more patterns are coming!!

Smashwords Holdup

Gosh! Am I red-faced!

Yesterday I made a formal announcement that my new e-book, Bind Quilts by Machine, was available for pre-order from Smashwords, the publisher.

Was I ever wrong about that?!

Like any novice, I failed to read the fine print. It turns out the process is different from what I understood, so there’s going to be a little delay before the e-book will be available for pre-order.

I misunderstood the process, mistakenly thinking Smashwords would immediately make pre-orders possible. What actually happens is this:

  • The author uploads the e-book, sets a date for its release and waits for what is essentially an acceptance notice from Smashwords. I did all that and got back an automated report that the e-book contained some minor formatting errors–a silly thing having to do with automatic list formatting. I thought I had more time to sort those out, but in fact the process stopped, waiting for my corrections. BIG mistake!
  • When the corrected e-book is uploaded, Smashwords reviews it again to make sure all is well. If the e-book is still not ready for publication, they notify the author to make further corrections and try again. If the e-book is publication ready, they ship it to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, the retailers who offer pre-order facilities.
  • When these three retailers receive the e-book, they make it available to their customers at the pre-order discounted price. It is not Smashwords that takes pre-orders, but Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

OK, so where are we now?

This morning, I corrected the formatting errors and uploaded a fresh version of the e-book.

As I write this post, I wait for a response from Smashwords that everything is a go for granting Premium Status, which means the e-book goes out to all Smashwords retailers–and there are a ton of them!

After that happens, you will be able to place a pre-order at Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble or Kobo. You receive the 25% lower discounted price of $ 9.99, charged to your credit card on July 18 when the e-book is released to the public in general and the price goes up to its full retail value of $12.99.

On July 19, Bind Quilts by Machine should, if all goes well, be found in all major e-book retail shops including Amazon and on Smashwords.

I most sincerely apologize for getting the cart before the horse!

This is not the first e-book I’ve published, but it is the first time I used the pre-order option, wanting to give my followers and good quilting friends the gift of a discounted price. You all know what that feels like–doing something for the first time–I know!

I am both embarrassed and sorry for causing problems due to my lack of experience as an e-book author.

The flip side is that this has been a great learning experience for me. I won’t make the same mistake again. You all know my favorite quote comes from Rocky: “No pain, no gain!”

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. Please sign up for the QuiltEd Online News, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ for the next announcement that Bind Quilts by Machine truly is available for pre-order!