MOZART, A Life of Genius

MOZART, A life of Genius, Fritzen Media, an e-book by Alexander Kennedy.

The author has provided a highly detailed listing of this celebrated musician’s life activities. Included are his amazing accomplishments beginning as a child of three and extending to his early death at thirty-five years of age. It details his virtuosic abilities with several instruments, his incomparable ability to sight-read any musical score set before him, his establishment of unique musical themes admired by and influential in the lives of subsequent musical greats and his production of six hundred musical compositions ranging from religious to comedic that still are as lovingly enjoyed throughout much of the world today as they were in his highly acclaimed but tragically short life. A most interesting read.

5* Interesting, detailed biography.

Top 5 Cheat Sheet

TOP 5 Cheat Sheet, The unofficial Author’s Guide, an e-book by Richard McCartney.

An introduction details why “self-publishing authors are not playing on a level playing field against the traditionally publishing houses.” Specifically: 1) Indie author presence in actual bookshops (except for a few small ones) is negligible to zero even if reaching ‘best-seller’ status – unfortunate because many readers still prefer printed books; 2) Their titles are not included in the online catalogues from which most libraries and bookstores order; 3) They receive little to no coverage by traditional media – known book reviews (Kirkus and 1-2 other exceptions) rarely cover them and most ‘better known’ reviewers seldom, if ever, publish their reviews in other than traditional papers/magazines. Reasons stem from: 1) the large number of new titles published; 2) a lingering belief that they are poorly written/produced; 3) also amusingly perhaps, because of an unrecognized underlying discomfort about the reviewer’s ‘stature’ being affected if they should deign to review one of these ‘lesser offerings’. If this statement appears absurd to the reader, consider that basically in everyone’s psyche is the belief that accomplishment depends upon attainment (doing) as described by a very old adage: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach.” If a reviewer has not personally successfully ‘published’ but has attained a certain ‘status’, he unconsciously may be less secure in departing from the ‘traditional’ track – a track most regrettably remaining from the early days of POD and the many inferior publications that followed. Fortunately, this really no longer applies. This reviewer recently has read many excellent ‘indies’ and conversely, some quite inferior offerings by well-known authors and/or publishers. Thus, as McCartney suggests, indie authors may counteract this regrettable ‘loss of recognition’ situation and achieve a well-elevated position close to that derived from being published and/or reviewed by the establishment. You can join the new age of publishing where “online position visibility rapidly is approaching that held by appearance in brick-and-mortar stores” and you can achieve this if you “sell within the Amazon universe, “the biggest online store in the world.”

The author previously provided a book for Indie authors, “Self-Publishing: The Secret Guide to Becoming A Best Seller”. Now, he has added a most useful marketing ‘Cheat Sheet’ of “some of the lesser-known facts about buying and selling books on Amazon”. In five chapters he explains how to work your way through the Amazon jungle to best market your book AND does so in explicit, detailed steps. Chapter one explains how to circumvent the fact that “Amazon hides most of the best categories for your particular book”. The second chapter explains how to reduce the extra charges Amazon places on international buyers of your book. The third provides a detailed method “to get your book into the Amazon Hot New Releases”. Four, an opportunity for linking “a Best Seller book in your genre to your own book”. Chapter five explains “How to remove bad reviews of your book”, with an important caveat. The author then sneaks in a sixth chapter because, as he bluntly states: “What is the point of a cheat sheet, if it doesn’t provide a cheat itself?” AND this chapter describes a real treasure for the author struggling for recognition. It describes how to manage to have your book exhibited “alongside Best Seller and other famous books”.

Discussion/Conclusion: McCartney has set forth a book which is a boon to the indie author. It provides exactly the ammunition required to market a self-published book at the top level of competition. It presents explicit directions in a clearly understood, step-by-step manner that the reader easily may follow to gain top exposure in the rapidly exploding online market. In this reviewer’s opinion, this is a remarkable book that can place the indie author almost immediately on an equal footing with those in the ‘establishment’ group. It is a must read for any self-publisher or author whose work has been published by any other means.

5* A must read for indie authors.