Two Hot New Releases!

My two latest photography e-book guides, Canon 7D Experience and Ten Steps to Better dSLR Photography are both “Hot New Releases” in the Amazon Kindle Photography Equipment category!

book photography dslr learn guide manual digital slr camera for dummies

Of course, I’m always second fiddle to Bryan Peterson…

Each of these guides can help you to learn more about the functions, settings, and features of your camera and assist you in improving your photography.

Take control of your camera and the images you create!

Please visit my Full Stop e-book site to learn more about my guides, preview them, and purchase them.

Why You Shouldn’t E-Publish on Google Books

It was recently announced that the Harry Potter books will finally be made available in e-book versions, and offered in an arrangement with Google Books.

While this option will provide e-book formats for virtually every e-reader out there, I find this choice for the e-book platform incredibly disappointing due to Google’s unfavorable treatment of all other, independent e-book publishers.  Google Books has, by far, the worse royalty rates of any major site.  They assure you the author receives the majority of revenues.  Yes:  52% and a whopping $100 minimum payout.  Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer 70% and 65% royalties respectively, and a small minimum payout amount, if any.

Google also gives authors no control over previews and by default display an excessive 20% of your content.   The 20% will be the first 20% (plus front and back covers).  For some e-books, it may serve to get the reader interested and they will be compelled to purchase the entire book.  But for other types, this may show too much important content that you don’t wish to share for free.

And the real kicker:  although Google Previews provides purchasing links to your e-book listing on your website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others, you have no control over these links other than your own, and unfortunately they probably won’t work.  As Google explains, they convert your 13 digit ISBN to a 10 digit ISBN, and then use that to locate your book on the retail sites.  But Amazon and Barnes and Noble use unique identifiers anyway and not either ISBN, so your book is not correctly linked to.  Although the issue is known by Google, they choose to not fix it nor manually correct the links.

With other cooperative and responsive major retailers available, this is one more reason that I choose not to use Google Previews and Google eBooks (beyond research purposes for writing my latest e-book).

Learn more about how to create, publish, market and sell an e-book with my e-book about e-books, called The E-Book Handbook.

The E-Book Handbook e book ebook how to create format publish market sell Amazon Kindle Nook iPad for dummies


Publish Your E-Book at Over 20 Sites and Publishers

I came across an e-book service that promises to distribute your e-book to 25 stores, all for a reasonable price of under $50.  While that is a great price for that service due to the time and careful effort that must be put into the process of uploading and entering information to several sites, you should also know that you can do it yourself, in an evening, for free.  My new e-book guide to creating, publishing, marketing, and selling e-books called The E-Book Handbook explains exactly how to publish yourself to all the same sites.

The E-Book Handbook e book ebook how to create format publish market sell Amazon Kindle Nook iPad for dummies

One doesn’t actually have to individually upload the text and info to 25 sites, but rather to just a few and then they distribute your e-book to the other sites.  Once your e-book is complete and properly formatted for the various sites and e-readers like the Kindle and Nook, this publishing process merely involves typing in all your info, adding a description that you will use for all the sites, and uploading your cover and e-book document.  It is a simple step-by-step process that the publishing sites all walk you through pretty well, especially Amazon’s KDP and Barnes and Noble’s PubIt (now Nook Press).  But there are a few additional steps and some follow through, such as getting into Smashword’s Premium Catalog, that you need to be aware of.  And knowing to use Amazon’s Author Central to turn your unformatted e-book description into a nicer formatted description is an example of one of the important tips you might not realize (and that you can learn about in my e-book!).

But don’t be mislead into thinking that getting into 25 stores will exponentially increase your sales and you will become an instant e-book success.  Your goal may be to sell a reasonable 5 books per month at most of the sites for a total of over 100 a month, but the reality is:  all your sales are likely to come from 3 sites, and most of them in the US.  While Smashwords distributes your book to Diesel and Sony, plus to several sites for Kobo and Apple in multiple countries, you will likely achieve few-to-no sales on 80% of those sites.  Hey look, its the 80-20 rule!  The Pareto principle – 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort.  This turns out to be exactly true with e-book sales, according to my experience.

I have sold over 4,500 e-book camera guides in less than 9 months so far, and the combined number of sales from Sony, Diesel, Kobo’s US and 7 international stores: ZERO.  (2013 edit – Kobo sales have increased to about the same level as B&N sales each month. That being said, B&N sales have steadily dropped over the past year, as I suppose people are hesitant to invest in the Nook reader). Sales from Smashwords: not enough to make it worthwhile (4 per month) to undergo their stringent formatting rules and fickle conversion meatgrinder – except that they distribute to Apple.  And due to the iPad and iPhone I believe selling through Apple is a major part of the future of e-books and thus critical.  But as soon as I can distribute to Apple on my own or through someone else, it’s good-bye Smashwords. And come to think of it, it’s been months since I submitted some of the books to Smashwords and they are still nowhere to be found on Sony or Kobo. (2013 edit – You can now easily publish directly to Apple and Kobo, so I stopped publishing on Smashwords and never looked back.)   Submit directly to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (2013-and now Kobo) and your e-books are up for sale in 1 to 3 days. (2013-With Apple, it takes a week or more for the book to be approved and up for sale)

So you really just need to focus on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, (2013: and Kobo, and Apple) and then Smashwords for getting to Apple (plus your own website and blog) to make 100% of your sales.  Mostly really just Amazon and Apple.  I would barely lose any sales if I just used these four sites plus my sites.  Here is a handy chart from my e-book guide The E-Book Handbook to demonstrate this fact:

ebook e book sales distribution apple amazon barnes and noble smashwords nook kindle ipad e-reader
My e-book sales, in terms of percentage of “units” sold, at each of the sites where they are available. (2013-Apple sales have increased to perhaps 3x the B&N sales shown here, and Kobo sales are similar to the B&N level.)

The E-Book Handbook – Now Available!

My latest e-book, The E-Book Handbook, is now available!

The E-Book Handbook – A Thoroughly Practical Guide to Formatting, Publishing, Marketing, and Selling Your E-Book is a comprehensive guide that will help you create, publish, and market your own e-book, and sell it online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple iTunes and iBooks – all easily and inexpensively.

The E-Book Handbook e book ebook how to create format publish market sell Amazon Kindle Nook iPad for dummies

It explains how to properly format and convert your text for PDF, tablet, and e-reader versions (such as the Kindle and Nook), create interactive bookmarks and table of contents, and include a book cover and images.  It includes step-by-step instructions for easily uploading and selling your e-book on major retail websites including Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes and Noble through PubIt!, and Apple’s iBooks and iTunes through Smashwords, plus setting up the e-book’s descriptions and author pages – all at no cost.  And it describes how to set up and automate sales and digital delivery from your own website and blog using reliable, low-cost services like E-Junkie and PayPal.

This instant download e-book explains multiple ways to market your e-book to increase sales, including detailed instructions for setting up a website and blog, marketing through various channels on the Internet, optimizing search engine results so that your e-book and sites are found, and monetizing your website and blog through advertising and affiliate programs. The E-Book Handbook also explains how to keep track of and evaluate sales, income, and expenses and offers a detailed spreadsheet to record and monitor this information.  Throughout the text, the guide contains links to every website and retailer discussed, as well as comprehensive lists in the Appendixes.

The E-Book Handbook will provide you with the knowledge and tools to successfully create, publish, market, and sell your own e-book. It includes tips and straightforward information from the author’s experiences as a best-selling e-book writer and publisher, in order to make the process as low-cost and efficient as possible.

The E-Book Handbook is a 112 page, illustrated PDF document that can help turn you into an e-book author and publisher.  This PDF e-book can be read on your computer and printed on your printer, or transferred and read on an iPad, Android, or other tablet, Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader.

Author: Douglas Klostermann
PDF – Instant Download
Page Count:
112 pages, illustrated
ISBN #:  978-1-4524-0474-5
Price: $9.99
secure payment with PayPal or Credit card (via PayPal)
(plus 6.25% sales tax for residents of Massachusetts)

or   Buy Now


Other versions of The E-Book Handbook are available:

The Kindle edition is available on
The Nook edition is available on
The iPad and iPhone version is available through iTunes or through the iBooks App


Doug Klostermann is a travel, culture, and humanitarian photographer and successful, best-selling e-book author and publisher.  He has sold over 4,000 e-book camera guides which are regularly at or near the top of the Kindle and Amazon bestseller lists for Photography Equipment and Reference.

Doug has photographed for numerous organizations in Latin America and the United States, been recognized by the United Nations Development Programme for his humanitarian photography, and been published in magazines and books including Conde Nast Traveler, Sherman’s Travel, South American Explorer, and Viva Travel Guides. Doug is a member of the National Press Photographers Association. View his images at  Learn more about e-books and photography equipment and techniques on his blog Picturing Change at

Most Well-Read City in America

Amazon has released a list of the most well-read cities in America, based on the data they have compiled from book, magazine, newspaper, and e-book sales.  And it only seems appropriate that my e-book empire is headquartered in the number one well-read city:  Cambridge, MA!  Here is a preview of the list:

  1. Cambridge, Mass.
  2. Alexandria, Va.
  3. Berkeley, Calif.
  4. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  5. Boulder, Colo.

Here is some of the other data and fun facts that they shared:

  • Not only do they like to read, but they like to know the facts: Cambridge, Mass.–home to the prestigious Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology–also topped the list of cities that ordered the most nonfiction books.
  • Boulder, Colo., lives up to its reputation as a healthy city by topping the list of cities that order the most books in the Cooking, Food & Wine category.
  • Alexandria, Va., residents must be reading a lot of bedtime stories – they topped the list of the city that orders the most children’s books.
  • Summer reading weather all year long? Florida was the state with the most cities in the Top 20, with Miami, Gainesville and Orlando making the list.


Nikon Instant Savings on Cameras and Lenses

Buy a Nikon dSLR including the D5100, D7000 or D3100, with one of the selected lenses, and save up to $250 on the purchase!  Here is a page on Amazon with the complete instructions.  It involves putting both items in your cart – camera and lens – and then using the proper coupon code:

Instant Savings Amount by Lens
$250 off Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens. Enter code 33YES67Y at checkout.
$200 off Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens. Enter code JSZW7NC9 at checkout.
$100 off Nikon 85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX ED VR Micro Nikkor Lens. Enter code TG5D8MXL at checkout.
$100 off Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens. Enter code V8DLU4TK at checkout.
$100 off Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens. Enter code ESZBSIIK at checkout.
$100 off Nikon 55-200mm f4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens. Enter code ZRB9VW8Y at checkout.

Head over to Amazon by clicking here, and save!


The instant rebate is also going on with other retailers such as B&H.  B&H has an informative page with visually spells it all out nicely (click the link or the image):

Nikon dslr camera sale savings rebate b and h B&H


The Heart of Dampness

The Ucayali section of the Amazon, somewhere between Pucallpa and Iquitos
The Ucayali River, somewhere between Pucallpa and Iquitos.

I once visited Istanbul, reaching it by ship, and realized that was by far the best way to enter the city.  One slowly floats past the bustling city, with exotic minarets poking up from the skyline, and then disembarks in the manner travelers had for centuries.  The city of Iquitos is accessible by only plane or boat, and so the same romantic notion overtook me.  What better way to enter this one time rubber boom town carved out of the jungle than by boat down the Amazon?  You can’t understand this city without experiencing the river, I figured, so I flew to Pucallpa, and found my way onto a lanca, a passenger and cargo boat heading down the Ucayali section of the Amazon River to Iquitos.

I then spent the next four days on the equivalent of a Peruvian Greyhound bus, albeit in boat form, with hammocks instead of seats (bring your own), a hundred passengers in one big open deck, 2 trucks, 3 moto-taxis, 1000 kilos of salt, several thousand bananas, a few hundred eggs (hey guess what, you really don’t need to refrigerate them!), 8 pigs (they don’t actually squeal, they cry in a manner disturbingly similar to a very loud toddler), 2 cows, and a crate of chickens.  I also discovered, to my shock and disgust, that while the civilized world is trying to save the Amazon, the Peruvian boat passengers are using it as their garbage can, throwing their empty 2 liter Inca Kola bottles right into the water.  One Peruvian man decided that the boat ride was a good time to consolidate his cd collection, so after he emptied the plastic cases, he frisbee’d them, one by one, into the river.  Luckily, after about a dozen, a couple kids begged him to give the cases to them rather than to the river dolphins.  I think they were more entrepreneurs than environmentalists, but hey, same result.

Early into the first day, we were cruising along and hit bottom. Sudden dead stop! One of the moto-taxis on the top deck went sliding 15 feet across the deck towards me. Then there was the night we got stuck for 2 hours in the pitch dark. The procedure for that is to gun the engines for 2 straight hours as you turn the wheel back and forth and shine the spotlight around on the shore – i dunno, maybe looking for a crocodile who can help.

I did discover the greatest Peruvian invention since the potato: bathrooms that are also showers. That way they are always clean!  And then finally, after 4 full days of a 3 day trip, we reached Iquitos. Everyone just stood on the front deck staring. Maybe out of habit, maybe out of shock. Maybe they had all died, in place, out of boredom. There was no mad rush for dry land as I expected. I thought, hmm, is this just a cargo port and we get off somewhere else? But no, it was over! And I lost another 15 minutes of my life until I figured this out.

At some point, I think it was towards the early afternoon of day three, I discovered I’d had enough of Peru and decided to return to the US.  I spent a few days somewhat enjoying the frantic energy of Iquitos, and am now back in Lima for a long week before flying home.