The Journey of Love and Healing

The_Journey_Cover-BlogI’m pleased to announce that the ebook, The Journey of Love and Healing, is now available online. If you want to skip the following article and get right to your free download, click on this link.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286739

This announcement is somewhat amazing. For one thing, I am not exactly a techie, and for another, it was only a few short weeks ago when we started the ebook project.

The story really began just over a year ago. When my parents, Clarence and Olga Boudreau, left Prince George to return to their home in Penny on December 27, 2011, they couldn’t have known how radically a head-on motor vehicle collision would change their lives. This true story is a compilation of communications that reveals how miracles arise when individual resolve is matched with love and support from family and friends.

For Christmas 2012, we compiled our email communications and a few photos, and bound them into a spiral-bound booklet as a gift for my parents. Though they were the stars of the story, it was like they had been absent for the journey due to the fact that they were a bit preoccupied with survival. On receiving an absolute avalanche of accolades (well, Mom and Dad and one other person said they liked the book), we decided to make it available as a free ebook to those who were so supportive of our family during the long, challenging months of 2012.

As some of you may not be familiar with ebooks, it seems appropriate to share a few points here. I’ve been dabbling in ebook production since 2006 and the publishing of my first ebook, Business Plan or BUST. Back then, ebooks were just emerging and those that existed were sometimes awkward to use and usually devoid of meaningful content or value.

Since then, ebooks have become more popular; there are a number of ebook reader devices on the market (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc.) and ebook production has surged forward. The number of options is growing—for authors, publishers and readers. Of course, many readers resist the ebook boom, vowing never to give up good old printed books. While I enjoy the feel and experience of reading printed books, it’s impossible to ignore the comparative cost and immediacy of ebooks. I can literally buy, download and be reading a book in less than 2 minutes (actually, Amazon claims you can do it in less than 1 minute). Lovers of printed books can relax though; printed books are likely to be around as long as we love to read and own them.

The world of ebook publishing is a bewildering mess of shifting sands. With the introduction of the Kindle, Amazon probably did more than any other single entity to raise the profile of ebooks. Today, several heavyweights (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple) are vying for market share and the ebook industry is expanding wildly as more and more authors publish ebooks, and increasing numbers of customers buy and read them. While ebook buyers enjoy the benefits of convenience, instantaneousness, and low cost – publishing can be a boondoggle for authors because each ebook reader device uses a different platform.

I’ve chosen to use Smashwords to publish the book because it appears to me to be the most intelligently positioned ebook publisher. Smashwords makes it easy to publish ebooks by enabling the author/publisher to upload manuscripts in just 2 file formats (a simple word .doc and a .mobi file for Amazon’s Kindle version) and publish to several different platforms. This is important because it means the reader will be able to download a format that works for you no matter what type of device you have. So, when you click on the link to The Journey page at Smashwords, you’ll find the following list of options, each with its own download link.

  • Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)
  • Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)
  • Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)
  • PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
  • RTF (readable on most word processors)
  • LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub)
  • Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)
  • Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)
  • Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)

I haven’t mentioned the best point of all for author/publishers – Smashwords publishes your ebooks at no cost; they earn their revenues by keeping a portion of the monies earned from books sold.

I guess I should close this off before this begins to sound more like a Smashwords ad than a simple invitation to download your free copy of The Journey of Love and Healing ebook.

Publishing this ebook has been a bit of an education for us.

  • We’ve learned that Amazon is the best market for Kindle ebooks (no surprise there).
  • We are on a learning curve with pricing. Amazon doesn’t allow us to offer ebooks for free. Smashwords does, but I’m not sure for how long.
  • Smashwords and Amazon are working to iron out the wrinkles, but so far they aren’t able to play nice.
  • Smashwords publishes a Kindle version, which we can offer free.
  • Amazon Kindle version of The Journey is set at the lowest possible price – $0.99 US.

So, the upshot is, if you want a free copy of The Journey of Love and Healing, go here:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286739

If you’d rather get your Kindle version through Amazon at a cost of $0.99, go here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BIKPX1W

On behalf of those who helped to make this ebook possible, we hope you enjoy reading it and send the above links to anyone you think might be interested.

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The Day After the World Ends

I’ve been cheerfully enjoying life; working, holidaying, eating, exercising, and writing.

Imagine my deep sense of abandonment on learning that the world is about to end. Apparently the Mayan calendar completes its current Great Cycle of the Long Count, causing a lot of folks—roughly ten percent—to believe the world will end on the 21st of December 2012, at 11:11 UTC.

After a bewildering flurry of Internet research, I’ve come up with these predictions for December 22, 2012, the day after doomsday.

  1. You’ll awaken as you have each day since birth. The world will be intact, as it has for the past four billion years. No axis flips. No attacking asteroids, no careening comets, and no malicious meteors. No galactic alignment between the Earth, the Sun, and the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. Just business as usual.
  2. You’ll sport a massive hang over, having put an impressive dent in your cask of medicinal moonshine the night before. Waiting for the Earth to collide with a rogue planet turned out to be a bit of a yawner. Secure in your underground bunker, safe from flesh-eating Zombies, there’s no incentive to tackle a task like that sober. Your head will throb until your hair hurts.
  3. At 5:00am you’ll awaken to what sounds like a low flying Gootan spaceship, only to discover your neighbour is testing his prototype 1200cc Harley Davidson snow blower by blasting a hundred-foot rooster-tail of fresh snow from his driveway onto yours..
  4. You’ll brew a pot of coffee, as you do every morning. You’ll recall that you’re on the hook for $50,000 dollars in credit card debt racked up in the countdown to Armageddon. It will seem appropriate to splash a couple dollops of moonshine into your morning coffee.
  5. Six am. You will note a palpable absence of marauding bands of refuges, raiders and flesh-eating zombies. Somebody’s Dad will capture your teenage son and cart him off to hockey practice. Somebody’s Mom will kidnap your other kids and drive them to school. A clever drive-by manoeuvre will result in your wife being coerced, against her will, to go shopping with friends. You’ll discourage her from using the credit card.
  6. You’ll ponder the future of your meticulously chosen genetically diverse post-apocalyptic 25-person gene pool. The nine-foot Black Ops commando from across town will call, wondering if the scheduled group meeting is on and if it’s still ok to procreate with your wife. Your wife selected him.
  7. You’ll want to prostrate yourself before the divinely-inspired prophet and leader of the Church of All Known Galaxies, to whom you donated all your worldly assets in order to secure an elevated status in the post-apocalyptic boondoggle. Given that the world didn’t end as predicted, you’ll hope the Divine Prophet will be pre-disposed to returning your rightful belongings. Your optimism will wither when the inspired one fails to respond to your calls, messages, emails, texts, and Facebook shout outs.
  8. You’ll login to Craigslist and advertise your arsenal for sale; the armory, the weaponized baby stroller, the bicycle generator, a lifetime supply of Kool-Aid, and the random pallets of camouflage gear.
  9. You’ll exchange the sweaty apocalypse survival gear you wore to bed last night for fresh work attire and head off to the office, praying that your pre-Armageddon boss has forgotten that he fired you at the Christmas party three days ago. His outburst may have been triggered by your candid expression of contempt for him and all his ancestors dating back to the beginning of the Mayan Long Cycle. Although, it might have been your insightful critique of his leadership and social skills, or your unsophisticated attempt to seduce his wife by the punchbowl.

Is it possible that the Mayan calendar ended abruptly because the funding stopped, the union wobbled, or the stone mason was committed to an asylum after too many years spent chipping away at calendars?

On December 22nd three things will be certain; the days will start getting longer, you’ll be paying down a mountain of credit card debt, and it’ll definitely be time to kick your Christmas shopping into gear.

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The World of Business

Dan Boudreau Author and Business Plan CoachWelcome to my world. I’ve been a small business owner since 1980. My business, Macrolink Action Plans Inc., provides practical business planning solutions for folks who want to develop their business ideas.

Until I started my own business, I was a flight risk as an employee. It’s not that I didn’t I can imagine no greater waste of precious life than time spent working at hated or boring jobs.enjoy some of the jobs, but inevitably I got restless and moved on. I can imagine no greater waste of precious life than time spent working at hated or boring jobs, nothing sadder than plodding in to punch a time clock to count the minutes and seconds until the shift ends.

Where we have any influence whatsoever, our lives are to be enjoyed. For those of us who must work, that work will consume more than a third of our time on this planet. Surely there is no greater opportunity to change the flavour of our existence than to take control of our work life, and to work at something we are passionate about. For many people, the best way to do this is to start a business.

From the first moment I stepped onto the business roller coaster, I’ve been enthralled with it. It is very satisfying to live by your wit, to sustain yourself and your family by doing work you love. There are a number of reasons to be excited about owning a business:

  • The thrill of shouldering the risk and being 100 percent responsible for your outcomes.
  • The potential and anticipation of greater rewards than any hourly job can bring.
  • The joy of loving what you do and enjoying your work each day.

In addition, your business can be a platform from which you can make a difference to the world around you. You can build your business to be whatever you want it to be. If you so desire, it can become a vehicle through which you contribute to your community and make the world a better place. That is a whole lot of opportunity!

The primary tool for building a business is the business plan. Had I discovered business planning sooner, I might have avoided some painful and costly disasters earlier in my business life. The business plan is the ultimate learning opportunity.

My mission is writing business planning books is to provide solutions for do-it-yourself entrepreneurs who wish to write their own start up business plans. I want to help you avoid repeating the same mistakes I made. If my books help you achieve your dream, you will be helping me to full fill my mission. If you win, I win. That is good business.

My books and tools are for anyone who might one day start a business. They are also equally helpful for seasoned business owners who have discovered the need for a business plan but have never previously written one or simply need a new business plan. Ultimately, my purpose is to make business planning achievable for novices.

I hope you find many helpful hints both in my books and at my website, and I wish you great success in your business pursuits!

The rewards of owning a business.

 

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