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A Kindle-ization Update, and Bonus "Furry" Reads
Amy Shojai. Learn first aid for wasp, bees, spiders, scorpions, snake bites and more

The news about my Kindle journey continues to be positive, with Complete Kitten Care continuing to sell well, now into the double digits in less than a month. I'm told (by them-thar experienced E-authors) that the key to sales is tags-tags-tags, and reviews-reviews-reviews. Well, that's one part of the key, anyway, but the sales puzzle has a combination lock that challenges the most savvy biz people. I'm still learning. In the weeks ahead, I plan to set up a paypal for offering the PDF (full color!) version of the book via my website. 

Anyway, the Kindle Boards has been extraordinarily helpful. One of the ongoing threads supports authors with tags, each poster encouraged to tag all the other posted books in order to garner the same courtesy. One of these kind souls also posted a link to a similar Facebook-Amazon-Tag group which offers a similar service. For those who missed the explanation in a previous blog, the tags describe the content of a given book and are suggested by both the author/publisher and by readers. Then visitors to that amazon book page have the option to vote and agree the tag accurately describes the book. Those books with large numbers of tags in a given subject theoretically rise in the amazon rankings so that should a visitor to amazon search for a book with that content, YOUR book so tagged will be high on the list and get the attention it deserves.

Thus far, my Complete Kitten Care has garnered 30-58 "votes" on the various tags that include cat, kitten, breed and the like. I'm also grateful to Fran Pennock Shaw, Carol Shenold, Dena Harris and others for their glowing reviews. Note: I will happily give you and your books a shout-out should you happen to review my book. *s*  Hey, as with cat training, bribes are legal, right?  I'll keep you posted on when the other books are kindle-lized. 

Breaking news--I just learned that Barnes and Nobel will offer pubit! coming this summer. This is their version of the Ebook, with a free self publishing platform similar to the Kindle model, to publish on the Nook.  Smashwords is another option which can be downloaded on the Sony reader (and yes, I'm looking into all of these option).

Meanwhile, on the article-writing front, I've been typing my fingers down to the claws.  So as promised, here are some free "furry reads" as a thank you to all the folks following this blog. Please share with your other pet-loving friends.

For cat lovers--do you understand what she's saying? Cat language stymies even the most loving cat owners. Did you know, for instance, that wetting on your bed (ew!!!) actually might be a cat compliment? Understanding felinese...cat talk...can help owners solve behavior problems and enrich the relationship you have with Kitty. Here's how to understand cat communication.


            On-the-go dogs delight in outdoor adventures, but too often they sniff out pesky bugs that prove aggravating or even dangerous. Recently my happy-go-lucky German shepherd pup Magic morphed into a miserable crybaby, courtesy of “something” that bit or stung. His eyes swelled shut, muzzle inflated, and hives made fur stand off his body in an itchy checkerboard pattern that prompted nonstop scratching.

            Fur offers some protection but paws and sparsely furred tummies are at risk especially in areas that host fire ants. Dogs who play with bees, wasps, spiders or scorpions suffer stings on the face, head or even inside the mouth. Bites and stings beneath the fur may be hard to see or treat, but first-aid usually is all that’s needed to relieve any minor swelling, itching or redness.

·         Bees leave behind the stinger, which may continue to pump venom into the skin. Use a credit card or similar rigid tool to scrape it free.

·         A cold pack or compress applied to the bite helps reduce the swelling. A bag of frozen peas or corn works well, and molds against the pet’s body.

·         A baking soda and water paste works great to soothe the sting, but it can be messy when applied to fur so use only on exposed tummies.

·         Ammonia works great to cool the pain of fire ant bites. Moisten a cotton ball and dab on the stings. Calamine lotion also soothes ant bites.

·         For stings inside the mouth, offer ice cubes or ice water for the pet to lick and drink.

·         You can also mix a teaspoonful of baking soda into a pint of water, and squirt the solution into his mouth with a turkey baster or squirt gun, if he’ll allow you to do this.

·         As long as your dog continues to breathe with no problem, a veterinary visit may not be necessary even if the face swells quite a bit. Benadryl, an antihistamine, counters swelling and itching. A safe dose is one milligram for every pound your pet weighs or a Benadryl ointment can be used directly on the sting.

            Hives usually go away on their own after a day or so, and sooner if treated with an antihistamine. Magic felt better within only twenty minutes of the first dose of Benadryl but it needed to be repeated when it wore off. Benedryl also causes drowsiness as a side effect so the pup slept through the night and recovered by the next morning. Today he gives fire ant mounds a wide berth.


3 Comment count
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Love the tech posting


Thank you for these posts about how authors can get their books directly into readers' hands.

I would like to self-publish my next book in Kindle format first. Is this just a question of typing in MS 2007, which is XML compatible and uploading it to Kindle?

Thanks so much again for sharing this information, which should be of interest to all authors.

Ruth :)

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BTW, XML is the track that the Internet rides on. It's the code of the Internet.

I studied XML at San Jose State in library and information science school. I really liked the Peach Pit Press book that our professor recommended to us to read. Don't know the author's name offhand, but I like those Peach Pit books in general, because they simplify and demystify a lot of things. I have one that I bought on Java, too, that is good.

Thanks again Amy,

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MS 2007

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for the encouragement! As far as I know, the DTP (kindle program) will translate MS Word files into the proper HTML readable text, but the format may not be exactly what you want.

I type my manuscripts in MS Word, but before uploading, I "save-as" an HTML file. That way I can check the format before uploading. It's an extra step but important for the images, etc. that are in my books.

Peach Pit Press does have some good how-to techie books (for folks reading this you can go to http://www.peachpit.com for more info). I'm just happy that my MS-Word programs have a number of dummy-proof ways of doing things. When it comes to dogs and cats, I want to know everything. But when it comes to the computer techie stuff, just knowing the on-off button works for me, LOL!

Your milage may be different. *s* Best wishes on success of your books as well.

Amy D. Shojai, CABC
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
Author, 23 nonfiction pet care books