A Triple Threat Sing-A-Long

Hey.  Rey here.  Got a treat today—all three of us are posting.  The Boss is in a bit of a funk this week.  She’s missing “home” (H-a-w-a-i-i) and can’t find a way of getting here any time soon.  But she’s keeping the faith.

To boost her spirits, we decided to do what she calls “an aside”—we’re sharing about our time on Oahu.  We’ve already posted about our life as P.I.s and our likes and loves about this place, but we haven’t really talked about why it’s so near and dear, how it’s shaped and influenced us.  So, here’s a sum-up from each of us, including what we consider the quintessential mele (that’s Hawaiian for song) from our favorite Hawaiian artist.  . . . Have to laugh.  Linda’s eyes bugged out when she saw me use “quintessential”.  But as I often say: I’m not just a pretty face.

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Reynalda Fonne-Werde

Life here has softened me a bit.  Yeah, my colleagues think I’m melodramatic and sometimes reckless and self-centered.  I am, I admit it.  When I want something, I go for it.  And I think this is perfectly all right when working a case—a private eye needs to go with her gut.  On the human side, I’ve learned to like animals (a lot) and have taken to saving the monk seals (a cause dear to my heart).  I tend to listen to people more and can be sympathetic and feeling.  So yeah, I’ve definitely softened.  Damn.  I hope I don’t turn into a mush-ball or anything like that.  My quintessential song is by the very talented, and greatly missed, Iz.  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

JJ Fonne

I’m loving that Rey’s become proactive in different ways.  Life here has changed her.  It’s changed us all.  We’re happily ensconced in burgeoning careers and personal crusades.  My cousin and I have bonded.  Sure, we have our tiffs and life’s not always rosy, but I can’t complain about anything.  It may be a cliché saying, but it’s true:  it’s all good.  This is going to sound cheesy, but my quintessential song is “Tiny Bubbles” by Hawaiian pop icon Don Ho.  (Even if I sound like sound like a frog that’s barely been missed being run over by pick-up truck, I have no prob singing his signature song in the shower—with absolute gusto.)

Linda Royale

Contrary to what JJ’s posted, I can’t say I’ve changed a lot since moving here, but I’m certainly grateful and count my blessings for having the opportunity to live and work here.  I have to confess, when Rey suggested becoming professional private investigators, I didn’t take her seriously.  In fact, I humored her—for weeks.  When it became obvious she was totally serious, I attempted to talk her out of it.  But she’s strong-minded, among other things, so P.I.s it was.  I don’t regret it.  At all.  As for Hawaii, the aloha spirit does exist—it’s almost tangible—and it’s infectious.  And on that note, my quintessential song is Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk/Formation”.  Talk about infectious.  It makes me want to dance every time.  . . . And maybe, just maybe, it will “up” The Boss’ “funk”.

Aloha from Rey, JJ, and Linda!

E-Book Ca$h-In$

It’s Linda on post duty today.  The Boss asked me to do the post—more like ordered, actually.  She claimed JJ and I should do our share; Rey can’t take over every time some other “duty” calls her away.  Fine.  So I miss a day of surfing on the North Shore.  <sigh>

Continuing with the theme of making money via your blog, let’s touch upon selling e-books as a potential way.  Given The Boss has three, with a fourth coming out soon, I thought this might be worth discussing.

There are two options re selling e-books on your blog.  #1: look for ones to sell.  #2: write your own and sell.  Let’s opt for the latter and touch upon the other another time.  As JJ might [like to] say: easy-peasey.  In theory, it is.  Create your e-book.  Proofread/edit.  Format it.  Create an appealing cover.  Convert it.  Add the e-book to your blog.  Promote it.

Writing an e-book is super easy.  Writing a great e-book is not.  Depending on what you’ve been writing/blogging, your e-book could serve as a diary or journal, how-to guide, the chapters of a book or work of fiction,  or a “package” of your posts, among other things.

Determine what you’re going to write.  Maybe a popular genre or about a popular topic?  If you don’t know much about either, be aware: you’re going to have to commit a lot of time and effort, and research.  If you’ve got all three to give, have at it.  If you don’t, consider writing about something you know or are comfortable with.

A how-to guide or instructional manual can certainly prove profitable—if it’s of value to your readers/viewers.  Fiction, unless you have a name and/or large following, could prove more difficult, but again, as JJ often asserts: never say never.

If you have a reasonable number of followers, you may want to ask what they’d be interested in.  Get a feel for what direction to take and take it.  Do an outline.  Follow it.  Finish it.

Once completed, consider hiring an editor or proofreader; some are very reasonably priced.  You can also hire someone to design your cover, but give thought to creating your own; there are good, easy-to-use tools out there and many are free!

The world of e-books is different from that of traditional publishing.  There won’t be an agent or a publisher to provide insight or advice, but with some due diligence, you can learn all that’s necessary to carve out an e-book niche—like marketing and promotion, two vital components.

Think about sales: how are you going to make them happen?  The Boss would likely say this in itself is a full-time endeavor.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  But definitely, you will have to dedicate a substantial amount of time, so determine a set schedule (this will enable you to remain committed and focused).

An e-book launch is part of the equation, so contemplate how you’d like to handle that.  (I’ll let The Boss post more on this.)  Price?  Yes, it will make a difference.  Take a look at what other e-book sellers/writers are asking. download (2)

If I’ve tweaked your interest re e-book selling on your blog, I’ve accomplished my mission.  Truly, an e-book could be written solely on e-book selling, there’s just so much information to share.  It’s really about determining what you want to do and then assembling the “building blocks” to make it happen.  Nothing comes easily . . . for most of us.  The success of any endeavor is a result of trial and error, learning what works and what doesn’t.

Look at Rey, JJ and I—we’re still fairly new to the private-eye game.  Our methods can be clumsy, brash or rash, and sometimes quite ineffective.  Ultimately, though, we accomplish what we set out to do.  Blogging and making money at it—through whatever forum you ultimately choose—is no different.  It’s all about gaining knowledge and acquiring experience.  Nobody need be a newbie forever.

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Huh? Can’t Hear Ya

Okay, audio probably isn’t that important when it comes to a blog post—but then it depends on what your blog’s about, doesn’t it?

I got so stoked about succeeding with video embedding last time, I felt a need to attempt the audio counterpart . . . and now sweat beads are beginning to trickle.

One day, when The Triple Threat Investigation Agency series becomes a full-time blogging-writing-promoting venture, the plan is to utilize auditory effects.  The crucial phrase: one day.  <LOL>  Everything in its time.

The reasoning behind the plan to use audio: to make my private-eye gals come alive . . . share Hawaiian sounds (coz JJ, Rey and Linda would love for you to hear “aloha” as much as see it) . . . for me to talk to you as a blogger/writer.  Maybe I’ll even include a P.I. playlist.  The sky’s the limit.  It’s easy to envision; it’s merely a question of finding the time.  That crucial phrase again: one day.

Evidently, adding an audio file or music to a blog post is super easy.  They’d said that about video, and they were right (relatively).  I won’t list the steps here, but there’s a quick vid at the end of the post on how to accomplish this [another pat on back to moi].

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So, that doesn’t look too appealing, does it?  Poop.   . . . Ah, okay.  Looks fine in Preview.  Whew.  Awesome!  Yeah, the sky’s the limit.  I’m loving this.

Ya know . . . maybe I’m not so technically challenged, after all.

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