Friday, April 21, 2017

My New Website!




To all my readers: I'm moving to www.authorkevinrhill.com. The site should be up and running in a couple of days.

I have enjoyed blogger, but the limitations of this framework have made it necessary to relocate. I hope you will come and visit once the site is up and running.

Free suspense novel and a free short story.
As a grand opening gift, I will be giving away a couple of titles.









 I hope you will come and enjoy my soon to be released book, Escape from Mexico as well. Do you dream of selling everything and moving to a simple Caribbean village? If so, I did it for real, and I have included a memoir about it.

Or, would you like to be footloose in Europe, roaming from country to country, soaking up the history and the culture, the food, the fascinating people? Well, you guessed it: I did that for ten years! And in the book I have a memoir about life in Europe, as well as several short works of fiction set in Europe. You get a glimpse of the author with the memoirs, followed by works of fiction from the same locale.

Don't miss it! If you'd like to get a free copy to review on Amazon, leave me a note on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-R-Hill/100011790198532

Thursday, February 9, 2017

In Love--day two!




Find Love. Day two.
I found it painful to hold my thoughts in the positive. At work everyone wants to talk about how terrible the job is, how rude our retail customers are, etc. And usually I contribute my negativity to those conversations.
Part of me really wants to shovel the crude with coworkers. Now I had to change the conversation to a joyful topic. And for that I learned a trick: Just interrupt the person with a compliment. It works. I just jump in with, “wow, what’d you do to your hair?” or, “Dude, have you been working out?”
That flatters the person and they are thrown for a loop. I see a sudden change come over their face, a smile.

Feeling Love ... on Bornholm, Denmark
The practice of just sitting silent in the morning and saying thank you, really feeling it, started making me high. I found a trick for this too. I’m a trickster. First, I begin with a list of things I’m grateful for: my car, wife, heater, fat rescue cat named Dude, and my health. One by one I mention them to the silence.
At first I don’t want to be there, right. But it is mental exercise. And that exercise is just like a physical exercise. My muscles won’t grow unless I lift the weights, or unless I pursue Love. So, to get things rolling of a morning, my hair messed up, not really wanting to do the work of sitting on the pillow and speaking gratitudes, I used this trick: I think about the time in my life when I was crazy in love. I mean ‘walking on air, can’t eat’ in love. Just thinking about it brings back the elation, the joy, the amazing happiness, and that’s what I used to get me into the mindset of doing my gratitudes.
We decide what enters our minds. We are the gatekeepers. What a change it was for me to feel amazingly in love, full of joy and bliss, instead of filling my mind with all the woe and troubles of the world spewing from a radio or the net or television. Those news sources only filled me with fear. Give me Love any time.
Memories arouse Love
Then I realized something life changing. I didn’t need the experience to allow myself Love. I didn’t need to relive being with that beautiful blonde I knew in Paris. Ha! I control my thoughts. I chose, right there, to give that Love and joy and bliss that I had experienced while being with that woman, each morning. All I had to do was imagine it.
Was it really that simple?
It seemed to be. That morning I sat there with tears of joy running down my cheeks.

Yes, I did see a change when I got behind the wheel. One moment I was full of Love, mentally blessing my fellow man. The next moment some driver cut me off and anger erupted out of my mouth. That made me laugh.
I saw the mistake, the habit. I couldn’t control that driver, but I could control how I reacted to him. I had a choice. Ha! I learned another life changing lesson. At every moment I decide how to be, how to react. And I wanted to be in love, to spread that Love. What a responsibility.

Nope, I didn’t reach enlightenment on my second day of love, but I believe I learned some life changing truths.
I was looking forward sitting on my pillow the third morning.

And during the day I felt like a kid in grade school that has a wonderful candy in his pocket that none of the other kids know about. That candy was the memory of Love. During my shift I took it out chose to feel the joy, the bliss and happiness. For eight hours I was walking on clouds. Maybe that was levitation. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

How To Make an Ebook



My goal is to make a living with my books. After years of study and practice, that goal is slowly coming into focus.

If you follow my pointers, you too will begin to see an income arriving each month from Amazon.

First of all, let me say: Quality is the key. Get your manuscript edited. Polish the thing until it shines. If you have a poorly written novel, it is poison to your sales.

Another vital aspect for success is the Cover. Study the best sellers. Emulate them. Google premade book covers if you're on a budget. Get an amazing cover. It is your first flirt with readers. Spend what you need to on the cover. Make it professional.

Title is also paramount to sales. You want it to grab the readers, make them pause while scanning other thumbnail cover images on Amazon. That's another clue. Thumbnail size. Design accordingly.


To the right is a sample of a cover, for a soon-to-be-released book, that my designer is still working on. Changes are being made. Often, when working with a cover designer, they require an image they can work, change, add to. I use Dreamstime.

I show this image because it stopped me while I was shopping images for the cover. It made me laugh. It said what I wanted to say in a new, amusing way. If it stops readers long enough to make them read my amazing description ... job well done.

The process of publishing an ebook is a marathon, if you want lasting sales. Prepare for it.

Next: Description. Each of the items I have mentioned are absolutely critical to sales,as is description.
If cover and title are your first flirt, then the description is the cleaver, quick, amusing, exciting first words to a passerby that makes them stop and take another look.

Spend a week on this. Yes! A week. Grab the reader with your words. Amaze them. Hook them. They want to be hooked. They are in the single's bar of the Kindle book store. You got one shot to take them home. Plan your seduction.

If you need to learn all the amazing details and strategies, look up Adam Houge, a best-selling author who teaches an eye-opening online course.
http://thefanbaseformulaforauthors.teachable.com/p/thefanbaseformulaforauthors

One thing I should mention is that you must have a fairly new Kindle to be an ebook author. You need to see how your book looks to readers, BEFORE it goes out to the world.

Keywords that you fill in on the publication form for Kindle, should be planned and well thought out. There are ebooks devoted to this. Read one. If you want sales after your new release promos are finished, and your book drops off the 'Hot New Release' list on Amazon, you get them via keywords, or you fall into no sales oblivion.

Categories is another part of the kindle form. As stated above, Again, read about them. Spend $0.99 on an ebook covering the subject. If you don't, you are falling off the pace of the other marathon runners. Do it.











Thursday, January 5, 2017

First Day of Love



 
Making a choice to stay in love seemed the intelligent thing to do. After the election I felt my mind was dirty with anger and distorted facts.  I wanted to find peace and truth.

  I believe that love is truth, and our natural state. I needed a way to release all the anger and fear within me. How could I do that? By sitting and staying, with my thoughts, in gratitude. Nothing else for 10 minutes.

   Over and over I simply named all the things I was grateful for.
 
And during the day left the television off, the radio as well. When I spoke to someone who went negative, I changed the conversation to positive, or walked away.

  As an adult, I am the gatekeeper of my mind. I am responsible for what enters my thoughts, so I began to pay attention. It was like being on a diet. Fear and anger was the belly fat I was carrying with me.

   I found the commercials on tv and radio were either trying to sell with fear or sex. They put forth the premise that I was not good enough.

  "Ha!" I was beginning to say. Not only was I trying to stay in gratitude, but I was shifting to the mental knowing that I am good enough. And, I'm abundant.

   I don't need a blonde on my arm, or a new Lexus in my garage, or a fabulous blender, to be happy. Because, I knew, happiness is not derived from possessions. It is derived from the messages I tell myself when I have those things.

   But, you see, I am the one giving myself those messages. So why not give myself the messages all the time, or any time, or when I want to, with or without the possessions.

  It is tremendously liberating to realize that we are in control of our happiness. We can't control the things that happen to us, but we always control how we react to them.

  Try a simple experiment to show you the power that is available to you: Think about how you felt when you were with the great love of your life. Imagine holding that person again, how you smiled and laughed, how you were walking on air. Continue imagining, remembering, until you feel fantastic.

   Now, understand that you do not need person to feel that way. Simply tell yourself you feel that way, that happy, that you are so wonderful that you deserve to feel that good. Play the memory if you need to. Soon your mood is elevated, and you're in the clouds. You did it. And, you can do it any time!

   That was how I tried to flow love all day. The first day.

   Was it easy? Heck no. I wanted to go to the junk food of woe is me, of believing that getting something or someone would better my life. It was my habit. That first day I'd be in joy and love consciously, and then shift to my old habit.

   But I had made a choice, and after a short time in fear in anger, I'd set down that delicious fear, and get back to my short list of ten things I was grateful for. That was my fall back list. I went to it when I needed it. It was my bag of washed and chopped veggies I carried with me to appease the cravings.

   I even went into gratitude as I lay in bed, and let that joy carry me into dreams. And the dreams were bursting with color and love.

   I hoped the next would be easier.

 



 



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Three days of LOVE

I've been wanting to try something: Pure love, consciously flowing feelings of love to all I see and think about--for three days. A mental cleanse.

How will it change me? Will it change me?

After a particularly vile presidential election, fear seems to have overtaken me. How better to right my boat than to fill it with love?

Fear is of the imagination. Love is in the here and now, and that is where I want to be, here and now, in the light.

Years of study and reading of Lynn Grabhorn, Maryanne Williamson, Napoleon Hill, Michael Beckwith, The Law of Attraction, and The Course in Miracles, have brought me here. I feel I am at a crossroads. My truth, my road, has to be with love.

How will I do this? By not speaking or thinking negatively. If I do I will try to immediately counter with a visualization of that person or situation being in goodness and fortune. It is easy to say and consider.

But? Can I do it?




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Kindle Kid's Book Creator

Kindle Kid’s Book Creator—

For authors who are not aware of this new program, Amazon has a new system to help you publish children’s books. It is called Kindle Kid’s Book Creator,https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002979921

It is designed to make your ebook legible and nicely displayed on all readers. To do this they have added pop-up windows for text. Your image is displayed, and when the reader is given the option to display the pop-up where you have included your text for that page.

This, to my knowledge, greatly improves the reading experience for those viewing it on a mobile device.

I had a children’s book in the unpublished section of Kindle, due to formatting problems. When I learned of KKBC, I pulled it up and decided to publish it with the new program.

I watched several tutorials on YouTube, and read a bunch about it on blogs, with tips, etc.


Then I downloaded the program, after resizing all my images, according to their guidelines. Great!

The program is very simple. So, I was frustrated when I could not make it work.

I consider myself reasonably computer literate. I can format a novel and work with Photoshop. But try as I did, for two frustrating weeks, I could not get the program to accept my text.

I was able to upload all my images as pages for the ebook. And, I loaded each pop-up with text. But, when I clicked SAVE, and checked the pop-ups, several were blank.
Panic.

I watched more vids about the program, read more articles. I went to Amazon and read their recommendations.

I must have tried to create the book seven times. I typed the text into each pop-up. I copy/pasted it in—several times. Days passed. Two weeks passed. I was consumed.

Finally, I tipped my king. I gave up. I was beaten.

I will say there are certainly many authors out there who have used KKBC with great success. I would love to hear from you.

Note: By writing the above post, I got curious again and could not let the sleeping dog of my failed attempt at KKBC alone. 

I went at it from another angle. I placed my text on a blank page, in a pop-up, for each illustration. That way the viewer can look at the drawing, then go to the corresponding text. 

It worked like a charm, but I wrote the text in size 14 font, and that was a mistake. I will have to upload a new adjusted copy once it goes live. At least #18 so the reader does not have to enlarge the text on their device. Oh well. krh

P.S. One thing I should mention: When I typed in my text I used font size #14, thinking that should be about right when reading on a Kindle. But using that size showed up tiny in the preview. I know that Kindles allow the user to adjust the font size, but, I reasoned most readers will preview the book on the Amazon site as they consider whether to purchase it. If they can't read it, I lost a sale.

So, I bumped up the size to #20. That was too small. I tried #28, and then #36. Both were too small!  At last I settled on #48, just to make the preview legible for would be buyers! That is wrong.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

A New Christmas--At Home Depot

A New Christmas
Kevin R. Hill

   It was the day before Christmas and I was stuck with an eight hour shift at Home Depot, or Home Cheapo, as the laborers in the parking lot called it. I hate it. Why I was still working there.

   My Little Hitler boss, a bean pole of a lesbian, with tatts across her neck, met me and right away assigned an aisle for me to straighten. I mean I wasn’t even on the floor yet, and she found me. She must have been waiting for me.

   Man, I wanted to tell her what I thought of her. But I just nodded as she dished out my chore.

   That’s what a job is, right? They pay us to pretend we care about the work.

   I was on my knees in the tool corral, surrounded by power tools, wondering if the tweeker up the aisle was going to run out with Milwaukee combo kit, and add some excitement to my day.

   Then the man spoke behind me. “Excuse me sir, can I barrow a hammer and some nails?”

   I laughed and climbed to my feet. “I’m sorry, buddy, but we don’t—

   It was his smile that silenced me. He stood about six foot four, with wide shoulders and jailhouse tatts on his hands.

   “The guys in the Christmas tree lot gave us these pieces of wood to make a stand for our tree.” He held up two pieces of wood.

   I’ll tell you. I help a lot of people during a shift. But this guy stopped me in my tracks. His eyes had the look of a soldier after a horrible battle. This guy had nothing left, but was asking, so softly, for help.

   Beside him stood a Somoan woman and three boys. One of them carried a three foot tall tree that was dropping needles on the floor. The branches on one side were bare, but that boy held it like it was life raft.

   Something touched me. I don’t care what you say. As I looked at that family I knew that tree was what made them gather. It was something they shared. It wasn’t something to be controlled with Home Depot’s stupid rules.

   I took the wood strips from the man. “That’s a nice tree. Let’s lay it down right here and I’ll see about making a stand for it.”

   The boy looked at his father. “In the aisle?”

   The father smiled and nodded.
  
   Several customers stood about waiting for help, but I rushed away and grabbed a framing hammer off the shelf, along with a box of nails. Home Depot could afford it.

   Most of the kids I see with family are busy laughing and playing and running around the aisles. But these three boys stood silently and watched as I crossed the planks into an X, and hammered.

   When I finished, the smallest boy, about five years old, picked up the tree and let it stand. A little smile came to his lips as he touched it.

   “We want to thank you, Sir,” said the man.

   I raised my hand to shake his.  But the man caught my forearm in a firm grip. “Thank you,” he whispered.

   The boys walked away with the tree. Behind them walked the man and woman. But they stopped before leaving the tool corral, and the woman hugged him and buried her head in his chest.


   That was why I was here, working at the Depot.