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Messages - juan2machado

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I think it's a nice clean layout. Thing to consider: Once you have a bunch of published books it'll be a chore to scroll through. Smaller thumbnails, grid layout, etc. might be more practical--viewer could in one glimpse take in all your works. Then clicking on a book could lead to individual page with blurb, excerpt, buy link. Like one of these:

Hi, Lou.

Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

As a matter of fact, it is something I have in mind. The part I'm showcasing here is how a single book would look like inside the "website". So books in general will be listed on a grid-like mark up. Just haven't finished that part yet. I'm going to post it later for you to see.

Nothing wrong with it, but its pretty generic.  Nothing really stands out.

Edit to add: If it's a template, it's fine.  Obviously a lot can be done with CSS and design afterwards.

Hey Rick. Thanks for your thoughts.

I'm on the sketch phase. So not exactly a template. Just a PSD concept. I want to hear some feedback to improve it before taking it to code.

Writers' Cafe / Author Website Concept. Can you give me some feedback?
« on: January 21, 2017, 11:11:40 AM »
Hey guys.

Its me once again :)

This time I want to show you an Author Website concept I'm designing.

What do you think guys? Just want to get some feedback from you.


Writers' Cafe / Re: Almost done with my first book and getting scared
« on: January 20, 2017, 02:44:29 PM »
Thanks guys. I'll keep trucking.

I just might puke a few times before I'm done with this book.

Hey there.

Cheer up. You'll feel a great relief once you get this phase done.

But firstly, get on track and finish your book!

This is completely normal to happen. Just try to breathe it out once in a while. I don't know you very well, but go for a walk, get a nice tasty drink, whatever. It will help you to relax a bit. There's also a good method for relaxation called "Buteyko Breathing". Just google it and see if it feets for you.

Everything's going to be Ok.

BTW, Keep us posted on your progress :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Corn Questions for our non US members
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:26:19 PM »
I'm from Venezuela, and corn in spanish is said: "Maíz".

Now, sweetcorn here is called "Jojoto" (pronounced like hohoto). Very tasty treat inside red meat and chicken soup.

A popular item here associated with the word "corn" is "Corn Flakes" and is an US product... lol

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author related facebook groups. Any?
« on: January 20, 2017, 12:43:14 PM »
This is a list of Facebook groups that you can use to promote your author brand or market your books.

Hey, Steven.

Thank you very much. That's a very good list.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Suggested Wordpress plugins for author website?
« on: January 20, 2017, 07:00:06 AM »
Great thread!  Thanks for asking the question.  I'm just getting started on my own site, so this is very useful right now.

Thank you for your detailed reply!  I have lots to look into now. Especially the 'no user with ID "1"' part which isn't something I've come across before (not that I have bucketloads of experience). Something for me to Google  ;)

No problem. You're welcome anytime :)

The "no user ID" thing is related to database security. The typical way is that Wordpress save users with a consecutive numerical 'ID', e.g. 1,2,3,4,5... This is optimal for querying the databse, but it allows external user enumeration, which is dangerous, because a hacker can obtain the full users list. So, it is recommended to replace ID system with alphanumeric IDs to make it harder for malicious guys.

Just as you say, Google it and you'll see.

Is there an alternative to Wordpress you'd recommend?

There are several alternatives for every user.

If using a CMS is imperative, I recommend using BoltCMS. Its admin panel is super easy to use, very similar to Wordpress's. However, it can be a bit complicated for installing.

There are other options like Grav (from Rocket Theme), which is very easy to install, very easy to use and works with no databases. Is a databaseless CMS. All data is saved in safe flat files. The cons here is that it lacks a lot of functionality that Wordpress has amassed already.

Last but not least, I recommend using pure HTML/CSS website, with very little to no PHP, to avoid any hacking attempt as much as possible.

A lot of the important plugins have already been mentioned in this thread.

I have my own plugin which is just for fun.

It's nothing new, a word/page tracker progress bar (I didn't like any of the one's that were already out there, so had my own plugin made):

Hey, Alan.

Your plugin is looking good. Did you make it all yourself?

It'd be useful to add a feature for users to subscribe to updates on the WIP progress.

I want to point out that too many plugins can slow down your website considerably and make it frustrating for readers to access. Try to limit yourself to the ones that you absolutely NEED. Attention spans are short these days--if your site doesn't load in a few seconds, I (and others) will likely just close it and give up.
I second this. Often, it's better to just handcode stuff a plugin would do, if you know html/css/php well enough.
It's a little bit of additional work, but it makes the site work faster and gives you far more control over its behavior.

This is why I mentioned before to use the least amount possible of plugin. The least, the better.

I've seen a lot of call for security plugins. For the .com site where you can't use plugins, how secure are those sites? Is there anything that can be done about that?

Well, it all depends on what you are using.

In the case of sites, these are secured by Wordpress development team already.

The cons are the lack of functionality and customization. Also that if they servers go down for maintenance, so will your site.

All you can do is utilize a strong password.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Suggested Wordpress plugins for author website?
« on: January 19, 2017, 03:56:54 PM »
I use and like Author Wordcount....bottom of my right hand sidebar if you wanna peek....



Just checked it out. It is a the very very bottom. haha...

Just wanted to ask. Why is your website loading so slow?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Suggested Wordpress plugins for author website?
« on: January 19, 2017, 01:40:56 PM »
Setting up my author website with Wordpress and was wondering if there were any plugins (esp. those that are author-specific, as opposed to more general plugins). Or other plugins that people found really helpful. Thanks!

First of all, I recommend not to use wordpress. If you can avoid using it, the better.

Now, if there's no way of avoiding wordpress, I recommend you a few tips:

* Lock your site very well against hackers.
* Try using the least amount of plugins possible (just the essential ones).
* Plugins you install, keep them updated.
* Use strong passwords with mixed lowercase/uppercase letters, numbers and special characters like @#"+/&%, etc.
* Avoid free themes/plugins you find outside of the official Wordpress Repository.

Due to its popularity, Wordpress has become a major target for hackers and malicious users to test their expertise.

I know this because I'm a Web Designer/Developer myself.

To answer your question: I recommend you "W3 Total Cache" plugin, which will help you to boost your SEO ranking, optimize your website code and images for faster loading.

My book table creates a nice page for your book list. You can see the paid version on my website.

Anne. What a beautiful website.

I took the time to do a basic scan and there are a few things you should keep into consideration too:

* Your Wordpress Core needs to be updated to latest version.
* You have no user with ID "1". This is good. But I can see the username and database ID for your main user account, which is not good. (I don't want to disclose it here due to ethical reasons).
* I can see all plugins you got installed plus the versions you got installed. Most of them are up to date. Good. Even though, you have installed the free and pro versions of the "mybooktable" plugin simultaniously. Only thing is that this should not be easily obtained for an external (non-registered) user.

My two cents.

Writers' Cafe / Author related facebook groups. Any?
« on: January 19, 2017, 12:22:07 PM »
Hi there.

Isn't there any author-related, kindle related or kboard related Facebook Group?

I was browsing Facebook looking for author-related groups, but couldn't find any serious option. All I could find were groups with irrelevant content or with very little activity.

If there isn't an option, what if we start one?

Disclaimer: Before posting this, I read through the forum rules to see if this question is against the rules, but couldn't find any specific rule prohibiting any comment/question around the topic I'm exposing above.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are book links in the back still worth it?
« on: January 19, 2017, 10:21:57 AM »
I dutifully update the book links in the back of all my books every time I publish a new book...but I'm wondering if it's worth it? Do readers even get to this page to look at the links?
Is it a case of "well, it can't hurt and might help?"

There are readers that do check them.

I as a reader can confirm I do. I'm not saying that every reader does, but there maight be fraction of them.

You could put a script on one of your links to track activity, if it is clicked at all, what does the user do after clicking, etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Finally bit the bullet and bought some new covers
« on: January 17, 2017, 07:59:21 AM »
I'll give them a couple more days then (I'm just really impatient).

I'm glad you like the new cover. I had them done by Plumstone Book covers

Can totally recommend them, their communication was excellent, they were really efficient, and they charged a very reasonable price.

I'm checking your books listing on Amazon.

Looks like the thumbs were updated at last. Looking great!!

Good luck with sales. Can you share in the future how your downloads improved?


Writers' Cafe / Re: Benefits of an email list..
« on: January 09, 2017, 04:47:10 AM »
It's worth saying for anyone considering hosing their own email list:

One of the main reasons to go with Mailchimp or Aweber or any of the big providers is deliverability.

Your self-hosted emails will probably have a much higher chance of hitting spam/junk filters.

Not to mention the extra time and effort to maintain. Mailchimp is pretty simple. That's time you could be writing!

Honestly, I've looked at it a few times, and it is just not worth the hassle to me.

Also, if your mailing list isn't making you back the cost of an email service, you're doing something wrong!  :)

Yes and no.

It depends on your service provider and the posibilities you are allowed. There are providers that allow you a higher send rate. If you start running out, they will not take it down right away. Instead, they will offer you to increase or to keep it on the limits your actual plan has. You have the choice of keeping up with your plan or just increasing the send rate limit. In most hosts you don't need to upgrade your plan at all.

About the maintenance, your hosting provider support can handle this for you. So you won't be waiting that much time.

On the other hand, if your hosting package includes massive email service, it is guaranteed that it is very well set up to reach inbox folders. Not to mention that if a subscriber gives you permission to email them, your messages will arrive to the right folder. Now, if you are cold emailing without permission, of course there is a higher chance of you going to junk folder.

I rate being hacked 3 or 4 times a year as a bigger problem.

Timothy. That's terrible :(

Looks like you are a hacker-magnet... lol.

However, there are alternatives that don't go installed in your website, but in your hosting cPanel.

Can you please explain what you mean by preloading also boughts with a mailing list. I understand all the other stuff you mentioned, but I don't understand that one.:)

Mark. Same question here :)

The reality is, your hosting company could do this just as easily. I don't see this as being a compelling reason for hosting on your website vs hosting via a service like mailchimp. I'd say both have the same level of risk of going out of business.

Yes, Rinelle. You are right.

Every service provider could just dissappear tomorrow.

However having more power over your business is priceless.

And you have a wide range of backup/migration options.

The biggest risk of self-hosting on your website is that you violate a rule of your ISP by sending too many emails and have your account shut down. Every ISP has numbers they allow. They're in the smallprint in the T&S that no one reads.

For the larger companies, the numbers are known. They vary from a number per hour to a number per day. One to two thousand emails per day is a good ballpark. When your list is 12k and you want to send a weekly newsletter, this is not enough.

I also don't sing the praises of Mailchimp. Depending on what you do with your list, they're pretty damn expensive.

They're fine if your list consists of just people who have signed up in the back of a book and who are fans who will buy your next book.

It's way too expensive if you're recruiting from Facebook and competitions. Those peeps are not your fans yet, and you both have to send stuff to them regularly and weed out the non-openers after a process of six months, but meanwhile, Mailchimp is charging you through the nose for them.

There are ISP that offer you to increase the limit.

Now, I agree with you that on MailChimp they go very expensive to send massive emails to your list.

On the self-hosted way, you can have email capabilities plus the option of having an Author Website, at a lower cost, and lower risk.

I use free google docs to make a simple "notify me" form which automatically ads the readers email and comments if any to a spread sheet. You can view mine here. I also use a free Google site. I'm cheap that way. (scroll down)

Just like on a previous reply of mine, it is a matter of choice.

You can even use Gmail Contact Groups capability to build a "list" and send them emails.

In fact, there's a Google Spreadsheets integration that allows you to personalize the emails with the name of the list member respectively. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Benefits of an email list..
« on: January 08, 2017, 01:56:49 PM »
Can't you backup or save your list regularly? Then move to another provider if the Chimp - or whomever - dies?

May be it is possible. However it is still time and money you've got to invest.

Instead of depending upon them, you'll prefer to prevent than to say sorry later.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Benefits of an email list..
« on: January 08, 2017, 09:31:27 AM »
cool! Any suggestions for exiting apps?  Or is this from the ground up, code the .asp/.php endeavor?

There are a few ways. The easiest and most cost effective is using Wordpress + Any Newsletter Plugin.

Other option is getting a Newsletter script online.

Lastly, you can have a custom solution built (but this one is a bit expensive).

I dont use php on my site anymore. Especially with free apps.

Php is too full of holes now. I got sick of being hacked through them, even though they were up to date. Even the bought stuff is vulnerable unless you keep paying to keep it up to date. The last time I was hacked, I found every php thing I had, was corrupted. Removing them completely was the only solution.

I'm using Mailchimp partly for this reason. Its not on my site, and not my problem to keep up to date and hack free. In terms of paying for it, I'm not there yet, but its still going to be cheaper than paying for the constant updates to the one paid system I used to have.

Well, it is a matter of choice.

I understand that MailChimp takes care of "everything" on a Done-for-you model, and I agree with you that it is a good time saver.

However, IMHO, it is better to have full power over your business. In this case, content is your business.

Let's say, Mailchimp decides to close down tomorrow (just like All Romance Ebooks, LLC recently did), What are you going to do?

I'm not telling you not to use them, but IMO you shouldn't risk your business on someone else's business.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Benefits of an email list..
« on: January 08, 2017, 04:33:47 AM »

Sales is the very end purpose.

If you have a decent-sized mailing list, you can do swaps with authors of similar genres and try to cross-pollinate sales.

I'm wondering, though, if this method actually generates sales, because so much of my mailing list growth came from giveaways. So many of these readers are looking for freebies, and since the lists are shared, they are getting emails from so many authors.  Based on tracking, my mailing list of about 2000 yielded two sales at 99 cents.

In any case, at the very least, the mailing list swaps raise awareness of your books.

This is the quantity over quality relation. Even though the ideal thing is to have a "balance", you want to have a bit more weight on quality over quantity. Here you got a 0.1% conversion rate of the total size. You have to analyze your open rates too, so you can have a clear picture of the bounce rate.

What about doing swaps with uncomplete freebies? The idea would be to get the audience excited about the "What is in it for them", then when they are craving to get the full thing make them pay for it.

On the overall, what do you do with awareness if no one takes the next step?

First day Sales - to be more precise.

The rank your book debut's at, is defined by the first days sales and reads. The reads take longer to happen than the sales, so its mainly sales on the first day.

The higher the sales, the better the rank of the book when it appears in the ranks the first time, including the new release ranks for each sub-category.

Initial rank defines visibility, which defines day 2. Day 2 is usually well down on day 1, but how well you do defines how well day 3 happens. The next few days hang on how much visibility day 1 gave you, until the Amazon algorithms kick in and emails start going out with your book on it. It also seems to determine the gap between release and followers email being sent. Those with a really good launch get the follower email sent quite soon. Those who dont make it high enough on day 1, might not get a follower email for 2 or 3 weeks.

Day 1 is critical.

Its the email list which primarily determines how good day 1 is, followed closely by Facebook group (where you dedicated fans are), and then Facebook Page. There is overlap across all 3, but a lot of people dont use Facebook.

An email list with 500 addresses, can give you a day 1 sales of 150-200, which is good enough to boost you to the top 20 in some sub-categories, and into the top 5 on the new release lists. This kind of boost is what you need to kick start a book launch.

I know an author with a 2000+ mailing list, and his day 1 sales put him in the top 20 of Sci-Fi immediately. It doesn't last, but that kind of boost is what its all about.

The higher your rank on day 1, the longer the release tail wags.

This highlights the quality of the mailing list. You can have a large list, but it generates very little, stemming from where the list came from. Freeby sign ups aren't going to boost your not discounted book launch.

On the other hand, 2000 fans of your specific books who dont care what you price at because they are hanging out for your next book, is worth a lot, and is very effective at boosting you up the ranks with each release.

Timothy Ellis is completely right. Day 1 result can be a game changer.

A list of very qualified subscribers, will definitely help you boost your Day 1. And this outcome will define Day 2 and Day 3. You can improve this numbers with the help of a Facebook Group (just like Timothy says. This advice alone is pure gold). Additionally, I'd recommend heavily posting on Instagram and hang out a bit around Reddit (depending on your genre).

Last but not least, its important to build a relationship with the list on the long run.

Yup, I agree. I had about 200 organic sign-ups for the first 5 months, then grew the list rapidly through freebies and raffles.  In the grand scheme of things, the sales performance of the list hasn't changed much between those first 200 and the current total. I ended up removing over a thousand of the 2-star subscribers to avoid paying Mailchimp's monthly fee.

You can build your email list on your own website, without size limits, and avoid Mailchimp's fee.

Writers' Cafe / Benefits of an email list..
« on: January 07, 2017, 03:18:41 PM »
Hey guys.

Let's get to the point: In your opinion, What is the benefit of an email list?

In my opinion, an email list can help you tell your fans about any new book you are releasing, or to ask some feedback.

Just want to hear some thoughts.

Hey kboarders.

I hope you all had a great Christmas.

It has been something like 6 weeks
since my latest post.

This time, I want to share with you a
small tip to increase your email list.

There's nothing new here whatsover.
In fact, most of you use a similar
method. But hold on, there's a twist.

The science behind the method

In order to get something, you have to
give something. So, in this matter,
you'll give value to the reader, and
motivate them to give you their email.

How you ask? Keep reading...

Let's say you have a book series of
2 or more books.

At the very ending of the first book,
you'll be adding a sample chapter of
the second one.

Just after the chapter ends, add a
polite invitation: "If you want to
get notified of the second book release,
sign up for the waiting list..."

That's it. You gave them a taste of
what the sequel will be, got them excited
and ready to get going on your series.

Another approach you may want to use,
if you have published the series already,
instead of placing a sign up link to your
list, you could put a link to buy the
sequel right away. It may help you increase
you sales numbers.

That's it for this post.

Now is your turn.
Do you have any idea, tip or method to
boost sign-ups? Share them in the comments.

- Juan José.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Free Giveaway. 24 hours only.
« on: November 01, 2016, 08:20:56 AM »
This is just to thank early participants of the offer. Even though nobody has answered the thread yet, there has been a constant flood of candidates. This one will be a bit difficult to choose. Remember, you'll get a full Author Website for FREE. Contest is closing today at 5pm PST. We are just 9 hours away, so hurry up and Sign Up Now!.

Writers' Cafe / Free Giveaway. 24 hours only.
« on: October 31, 2016, 04:13:21 PM »
Hello everyone.

My name is Juan José Machado. I'm new around KBoards, and to have a great start, what a best way than to offer a giveaway!!!

I'm a full time web developer. In this opportunity, I want to provide you with an Author Website at zero cost to you. Sure you know that a professional website may cost you +$997. So for 24 hours only, I'm offering a full Author Website for free for only one lucky winner.

What is included?

You will receive:

* A full Author Website. ($997+ value)
* One on one evaluation to define your site goals. ($497 value)
* User Manual ($197 value)
* Full personal communication. ($497 value)
* 12 months Support. ($97+/m value)

What are you waiting for? Sign up now to get an Author Website for free.

How it works?

* Sign up!
* Wait 24 hours for the offer to close. (Tuesday - Nov 1st, at 5pm PST)
* After closing the offer, the winner will be randomly chosen.

Hurry up! The offer is closing in just a few hours. Sign up now.

To your success,
- Juan José Machado.
P.S. Got questions? You can ask by replying to this thread or Send me a PM.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What I need to get my website working?
A: You'll need a domain name and hosting service. Don't worry, as you'll be advised on how to get around this quickly.

Q: How long does it take to get my website done?
A: This depends on complexity. It normally takes 7-21 days.

Q: Who will manage my website after completion?
A: You can manage your website by yourself, or you can have it done for you.

Q: How may we communicate?
A: We may communicate via Email / Skype / WhatsApp.

Q: Can you show me past projects of yours?
A: Yes! In fact, check some below:


Introductions & Welcomes / Re: Glad I found you guys!
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:06:16 AM »
Welcome Juan.
Glad you found your way to the KB.
Hope you find friends here.

My friend Intinst used to post this info, hope it helps:
       Greetings and Welcome!! We are so glad you found KBoards, an independent resource for people who own or have interest in Kindle, whether readers or writers.(Really, there are many members who are not writers!) We have many areas that you probably will like. Have you been to The Book Corner yet?  That's the area for Reader discussions - share your book reviews and recommendations, and new discoveries. That's also where you will find threads about books Recommended by our Members and a Book Lover's Link Threadipedia designed to help both Newbies and Oldbies find some of the various resources, suggestions and recommendations available in the Book Corner and on the internet in general.
      Then there is the Book Bazaar where our member/authors post about their books and the Writers' Cafe that has discussions about writing, publishing and many other topics from the writers point of view. The Bazaar is also where you will locate Bargain Books and even Free Books threads where you can get reading material at low or no cost! The Cafe also has the New KBoards Yellow Pages -- for author (and reader) services.
      If you have a question about your Kindle or it's usage, check out the forum about Tips, Tricks and Trouble Shooting . Or, just ask your question. We have many helpful and knowledgeable people here at KB and we feel there is no such thing as a "dumb" question. Questions about KBoards may be answered at  Forum tips. If not, once again, ask away! To keep everything running smoothly, we ask that everyone read Forum decorum. There are a few points there particularly for authors.  Further questions from authors concerning KB may be answered here: Tips, FAQs and Useful Threads for Authors
      Another popular place is Let's Talk Kindle, where all things in the Kindle world are posted about. Be sure and check out the Photo Gallery, where pictures of members, pets, flowers, landscapes or just almost anything interesting can be found. Also, the Accessories area can be fun. There you will see information about covers, skins, lights, bags, stands and many other items to allow you to personalize your Kindle.
      Looking to just kill some time while you are waiting for your Kindle or if you have your kindle, want to try something different? Try INFINITY Game - Word Association or The "INFINITY" Thread: KEEP POSTING...Ready, Set,... GO!!! in the Not Quite Kindle area.

Hey Geoff.

Thank you for your warm welcoming and your insightful reply!

Introductions & Welcomes / Re: New Indie Author
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:05:19 AM »
Hello there.

Welcome. I'm new around, just like you. I'm checking your website and it looks great. Very minimalistic-beautiful design and straightforward information.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: The Good Morning Thread
« on: October 30, 2016, 08:53:35 AM »
Good Morning and Welcome Juan !!

Partly cloudy and breezy 70s in San Diego...

...I am sailing on the Tall Ship CALIFORNIA today....should be a thrill

Hope everyone is having a restful Sunday.

Hey NapCat. Thanks!
Be Excellent to Each Other

Forum Decorum / Re: Forum decorum
« on: October 29, 2016, 09:34:37 AM »
Hi all! I'm just wondering about the three verification fields I need to fill out each time I reply to a post. Have I missed a step in registration somehow, or is this one of those things where you're a filthy newbie and the fields go away once you've made a minimum number of posts? It's just that I'm getting a little weary of once again confirming that Ms Christie is, in fact, the author of Murder on the Orient Express.

TL;DR: I'm really human, I promise! rubs tentacles

Hmmmm.... You shouldn't have to do that.  Did you get the registration email?  You should have received an email asking you to verify your account.



This was happening to me too, but after a few posts I'm able to keep posting without the confirmation.

- Juan José

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