This post is for those of you who are thinking of starting the New Year doing a weight loss regime. I want to take this opportunity to say – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. The scale tells you nothing of importance. It doesn’t tell us if you are a good person if you’re talented, and most importantly it does nothing to describe the music in your soul.
Increasingly doctors are starting to realize that your BMI (Body Mass Index) is not a good indication of health, especially for women.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my own weight loss journey started when I was diagnosed with bone loss and was advised by my doctor to consume 1200 mg of calcium daily. I’m allergic to dairy, and although I take a supplement for 600 mg of calcium (the maximum safe dose.) consuming the remaining 600 mg was a challenge. Eventually, after many allergic hives, I figured that drinking two glasses of soymilk was the most calorie efficient way to go. Fast-forward six months and I were 10 lbs. heavier and none of my clothes fit.
I’m not a great fan of weight loss fads or New Year’s resolutions for that matter, but I have always had success with Weight Watchers. Plus, I needed to figure out how drinking two cups of soymilk would fit into my daily regime.
As I mentioned in my September blog post, I joined Weight Watchers on 19th August 2018.
A month later I had lost a total of 3.5 lbs. and I had stalled, which was disheartening considering I stuck to my daily total of 23 points. I used my weekly allotment of 28 points at the weekend, never going over. I religiously weighed myself every Friday morning, hoping the scale had budged just a little. I wanted to have something to show for all my hard work and sacrifice, but it had stopped moving.
To make matters worse, I was always hungry, and a hungry me is a cranky me. I seriously thought about giving up. Then one Friday evening I broke down. I ate everything. I didn’t count points. I didn’t work out, and I didn’t stop until Saturday night. I just relaxed, enjoyed the flavors, and the feeling of a full stomach.
Come Sunday morning I was ready to get on with counting points and sticking to the Weight Watchers plan. I dreaded my weigh-in the following Friday believing my weekend indulgence would have ruined all my work. Imagine my surprise to discover I had lost 2 lbs.
After some researched I discovered I had stumbled onto Cheat Day. This is a concept outlined in a post from Dr. Oz’s blog Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight
Here’s a quote:
“Tons of dieting experts agree that you should build in “cheat days” since too much deprivation can actually lead to more cravings, causing you to break from your diet. In addition, going off your diet once in a while stimulates the thyroid gland and can “wake up” your metabolism. Cheating in a sensible way will help steer you toward success in the long-term.”
I have now reached my goal. A week before Christmas I was down 10 lbs. I’m not slim, and I most definitely do not weight the same as I did twenty years ago, but I do fit into all my clothes, and that was my goal.
If you are planning to diet think about incorporating a cheat day into your week.
As we race towards the holiday season I thought it might be fun to do another sale, and take part in another exciting multi-author giveaway.
With that in mind I enrolled in a holiday 99 Books @ 99 Cents fair. This three-day event is a fun way to find bargain books, win free ebooks and enter to win daily free prizes.
So if your wallet is feeling the pinch during the holidays, but you’re looking for some awesome new reads, you’ve come to the right place. As the name suggests, there are 99 books on sale December 12-15 for 99 cents each. Less than a buck for hours of amazing storytelling!
Plus, check in daily for a chance to win Amazon gift cards or play instant ebook giveaways for one of 12 books being awarded to lucky winners each day.
Look for Books from Your Favorite Authors!
Alathia Paris Morgan • Alexia Adams • Alicia Street • Allyson.R.Abbott • Angel Lawson • Angie Wilder • Ani Gonzalez • Aubrey Wynne • Bethany Strobel • Cara Marsi • Cate Tayler • Cornelia Amiri • Crisanne Marz • Crystal Dawn • Debbie White • Debby Conrad • Dena Garson • Denise Jaden • Donna Fasano • EG Manetti • Eli Lang • Emily Leigh • Gary Guinn • Gayle Parness • Honey Phillips • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Faye • Jody A. Kessler • Julie Brookman • K.A. Servian • Kat Drennan • Kate Rudolph • Katherine Gilbert • Katie O'Sullivan • Kris Pearson • L.E. Harrison • Laura A. Barnes • Lily Bly • Linda Nightingale • Lisa Chalmers • LJ Swallow • Lucy Naylor Kubash • Margaret Daley • Maria K. Alexander • Marilyn Peake • Marlow Kelly • Mary Gillgannon • Mary Vine • Melissa Belle • Mila Young • N.D. Jones • Nicole Casey • P.J. MacLayne • PG Forte • PJ Fiala • R.M. Gauthier • Regan Walker • Rose Pearson • Selena Kitt • Simone Leigh • Soraya Naomi • Stacey Joy Netzel • Stephanie Queen • Sydney Jane Baily • Tamara Ferguson • Tanya Dawson • Tara Lain • Aileen Harkwood
If you don't want to take part in the giveaway you can still buy
Sun Storm for 99¢
Fire Storm is also on Sale for 99¢ from 13th December until 16th December.
I wish you and your family a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season.
I’ve spent the last week formatting my books files for IngramSpark. This was a pain in the butt, and took a lot of time and patience, but I believe it was worth it in the end for the expanded distribution.
When I published my first book I paid someone to format the eBook for me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I would want to update my books to include information on my latest release.
I have to admit formatting is not my favorite thing to do, but like all other aspects of the publishing industry it is necessary.
I don’t believe you have to pay for expensive software to do the job, especially when it comes to eBook fomatting. All you need is Microsoft Word and the right attitude.
Here are some of the websites and software I have used to format my work. All of them are free or can be used on a free trial.
Interior files for eBook
Free course in eBook formatting from Book Reality
I can’t say enough good things about this course. This course teaches you to use styles in Word to format your work. You progress at your own speed, and can redo a lesson if you need clarification. Best of all, it’s free.
I’ve never used this service because after doing the Book Reality course I can format my work as I go, but they claim to format your book for you. You can also download copies of your book in mobi, epub, and pdf for your own use.
Amazon - Kindle Create
My full-length novels are published exclusively on Amazon through their KDP Select program. You can download Kindle Create software free to format your eBook for KDP.
This program works really well with the formatting principles I learned in the Book Reality program.
I use this because it’s Amazon. They know what they want and by using their software I can create a book that works well on their platform.
One thing to note; you have to make all your hyperlinks for your front and back matter live before you upload your book to Kindle Create. This software is not capable of creating a hyperlink.
Interior Files for Print
Personally, I find formatting for print much more demanding. There are a lot of variables that you just don’t have to consider when formatting for an eBook; such as page size, trim, margins, page numbers, headers, and gutters. Urgh!
To help with all these variables I found these handy-dandy templates on a Createspace forum.
I suggest you check them out. I have found them to be invaluable.
IngramSpark are a little fussier about formatting and cover art. In fact, my cover artist won’t work with them.
If you decide to publish your books with IngramSpark, all your documents have to be saved as PDF/X-1a:2001. This means you can’t use Word’s save as function to create your PDF. You actually have to convert the file. To do this I used Adobe. My computer didn’t come with any Adobe software so I downloaded Adobe DC on a 7-day free trial. Then I googled the instructions for converting the file, which worked well.
As I said before, my cover artist only makes paperback cover art for KDP / Createspace and I can see why. The cover art I have been successfully using for the last eighteen months was rejected. It seems that the letters on the spine were too close to the edge.
There was a fix.
IngramSpark will send you a template to use with InDesign, which is another Adobe program. Once again, you can download a 7-day free trial for InDesign, and then google the instructions.
I had to play around with the image to make it work. I didn’t use InDesign for this. That was way too complicated. I just uploaded my work to Canva, and then downloaded the altered image.
If you want to save yourself some time and effort you can transfer your paperback file from KDP Paperback to IngramSpark. Here are the instructions.
You can transfer your files from KDP Paperback to IngramSpark. Here are the instructions they sent me:
- Make sure your IngramSpark account is fully setup first.
- If transferring a title from an existing IngramSpark or LSI account, please copy in original publisher or let us know publisher name so we can get their approval for the transfer.
- If you are transferring from Create Space the title has to first be in expanded distribution so it arrives in our system. If in expanded distribution, please remove it. If not, please add it. We will communicate on our end with CS to transfer the title. We also recommend that you reach out to CS yourself to expedite the process. You must notify us BEFORE we move title over if you need to update price or return status. We only send pricing to retailers once a month.
- Complete attached transfer form. The form is to be completed by the person taking over ownership of the title. Current publisher does NOT complete the form. If you already have submitted a form to us, do not send another one. Just notify us that you have one on file.
- Reply back to this same email with your ISBN/s you would like to transfer and the completed form. Do NOT write the ISBN/s on your transfer form.
How to complete form: (Please read this to make sure your form is completed correctly. This will help avoid delays. )
- Enter your COMPANY NAME in top line and in bottom client field. Do not enter your name in the fields (unless your name is name of your publishing company)
- Enter your FULL address in the second line. This includes your zip code.
- Physically sign the form at the bottom of the signature field (or use Adobe's digital e-sign option).
- Enter your IngramSpark account number.
- Enter the current date
- Your form will be reviewed and approved by our support and finance teams.
- Once approved and once we receive confirmation from the current publisher/Create Space then we will transfer title to your account.
- You will be notified when the title is listed on your account via email.
If you follow these steps it will eliminate delays so you can start ordering and managing your book.
Please allow up to 30 days for confirmation and transferal.
I take no responsibility for the transfer instructions. I just copied and pasted them from an email IngramSpark sent me, but if they're helpful to you...great
I hope these links have been useful. If you have questions about any of the programs or courses mentioned in this post just comment below and I will get back to you.
As some of you may know, I occasionally write historical romance. So for all of you who love a dashing duke, a brave Scot, and a clever maiden I decided to take part in A Love That’s Forever Giveaway
Join thirty authors of historical and time travel romance as they celebrate these genres. Will you take home a Kindle or a pack of your favorite ebooks from Amazon? Enter now! You might be one of 7 lucky winners!
Plus, stop by and shop our awesome sale on Medieval, Regency, Victorian, Western, and time travel romances. We even have a bonus giveaway for a stunning porcelain teapot!
If you would like to enter the Giveaway without going to the book fair. Here's the rafflecopter
(Sponsored by the 30 authors listed below)
Alexa Aston • Amanda Roberts • Angelique Armae • Annie Boone • Aubrey Wynne • Cheri Champagne • Cherie Mitchell • Christine Sterling • Dawn Marie Hamilton • Deborah M. Hathaway • Emilee Harris • Ginny Sterling • Heidi Kimball • Jennae Vale • Joanna Barker • Johanna Evelyn • Jen Geigle Johnson • Joyce Alec • K A Servian • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kari Trumbo • Kate Cambridge • Kristy Tate • Laura A. Barnes • Marie Higgins • Marlow Kelly • Natalie Dean • Rose Pearson • Sally Britton • Victoria Saccenti • Aileen Harkwood
On 19th August I joined Weight Watchers. To date I have lost 3.5 lbs. Its not a staggering amount, but I’m a firm believer in the saying “start as you mean to go on.”
Which in this case means any fool can loose weight if they don’t eat carbs and sugar, but can you keep the weight off long term, or will you fall back into your old eating habits and undo all your hard work.
For me personally, enjoying food is part of enjoying life. With that in mind, I’ve been experimenting with some low fat recipes.
One of my family’s favorites is low fat brownies. They aren’t as moist as a brownie made with butter, but one serving is only 7 points.
Low Fat Brownies
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons 50% fat margarine
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
½cup all-purpose flour
If you want to make these even lower in fat you can use 2 egg whites instead of whole eggs.
Feel free to add ¼ cup of walnuts. I’m not a fan of nuts in brownies that’s why I left them out.
99@99 BOOK FAIR