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Amazon Published My First eBook! Follow My Progress As I Navigate Kindle Publishing

Updated on November 27, 2013

Your Life As A Painting

I know what those of you who know my writing are thinking: Hey Ben what's with all the exclamations!

These sentences are exclamations of joy kind reader!

I finally tied my first eBook together and published on the Kindle format of Amazon.Com. The book is entitled:

Your Life As A Painting

If you are a writer (as so many of us on HubPages.Com are) please write a review of the book, I will forever be in your debt! (Yet another nefarious "!")

Okay I'll stop yelling. I've been thrown out of the fry pan and into the fire recently, as I was laid off from my day job a few weeks ago. So to borrow yet another saying, the mother of invention shoved me into finally publishing something on Amazon.Com, tempting to mark this sentence with yet another "!" of enthusiasm but I'll hold back.

I have worked on this book for the last year, it is one of three that I have been rewriting. Your Life As A Painting is the only one out of the three that is nonfiction. My aim with the book is to give someone a brief guide to living life in a new way, in a way that is as unique as an oil painting or other art. In some ways, it's been my attempt at trying to help others live a creative life in much the same way people from my past have helped me to see the universe in a unique and endearing way.

I hope you enjoy my book, and thanks again to all the HubPages folks who have encouraged and helped me along the way!!!

Here is a sample from the beginning of Your Life As A Painting:



My first attempt at an eBook is a nonfiction inspirational book!

Original cover art for YOUR LIFE AS A PAINTING by Ben Zoltak
Original cover art for YOUR LIFE AS A PAINTING by Ben Zoltak | Source

Chapter 1

 Who are you? What does your painting look like?

If you could take your life out of a box, and unroll it like a canvas to look at from beginning to end, how would it appear? Whether it is long or short, big or small, it is important to see your life in this way, encapsulated with a beginning and an end. That way, you can make the most of what is happening in your life right now, by learning from your past.

Is your life colorful? That is, have you had many different types of experiences?  Have you done a lot of traveling? Have you met different kinds of people? Have you worked at various kinds of jobs during your career?

Everyone has something in their life that lends definition and flavor to it.  No matter what your age, you have experienced something rich and unique in your life that no one else has.  You have seen events through the uniqueness of your perspective.  Value this perspective; hold it close to your heart.  It is what makes you whole.  It is what no one can ever take from you.

 

If your life is a painting, then your different roles in it are the colors.  What roles do you play in your life?  Are you a Parent?  A leader? A dedicated follower? Are you the one who asks questions?  Are you the one who gives answers? Do your friends call you to have someone to listen to? Do your neighbors see in you, someone who they can trust?

The roles you have played in life need not define you for the rest of it, unless you want them to! But whatever it is that you have been in the past, never forget that you can grow into something else in the future.  In my own life, there have been many times that I have fallen into a rut, where I don’t like the role that I’ve been playing.  It’s easy and obvious to just say, change your life! Change your role in it! But I know, as I’m sure you do too, that to make those changes is a lot tougher than just saying it.

 

If you like who you are, why change it?  As the old cliché goes, if ain’t broke don’t fix it! Many people that I have met who enjoy who they are do so because they are in a constant state of reinventing themselves.  Even if they maintain the same roles, a mother, a letter carrier, a teacher, a counselor, they change up their routines, or they change up their methods to constantly inject some newness into what they do day to day.

If on the other hand, you are like me, you have needed to change your entire role in life by necessity or chance. I find catharsis by going outside, always. It helps me to change even if just a little bit, to breathe in a bit of fresh air, to collect your thoughts.  For example, gardening is good for your body, because wild microbes in the soil interact with your constitution physically, as well as mentally and spiritually. I feel it’s the same for just going outside and getting some air.  It recalibrates your body. Our bodies didn’t evolve to sit in a house all day with stagnant air and a near motionless existence. Sometimes even opening a window or sitting in the sunniest room in the house can let some life in and instigate some changes in your mood.

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

When you’re trying to figure out who you are, there’s no easier way than to look at your strengths and weakness’.  Just as an artist must decide how they create best.  Are they good at realistic rendering? Are they masters of color? Are they more sculptors than painters?

You must find whatever it is in your life that you are good at and run with it! Just as you must find whatever you don’t do so well, and either do less of it, or practice and do it better!

UPDATES

12.25.2010

For what it's worth, I am going to try and update this hub article more than any I've done before, in part for tweeking my approach to Kindle, and in part to allow maximum feedback from peers.

Amazon says the book was published December 22, 2010 but I didn't find it available until Christmas day, a little after midnight December 25. I also wanted to thank my old friends Rob Stolzer and Marie Updegrove for their help in putting this little chapbook together. Right off the bat, one of the first things that threw me for a loop, was how "contributors" can only be labeled as one of about five or six categories. So I felt like I may have overreached a little by labeling Rob Stolzer as an editor since he only previewed a page or so, but Amazon didn't provide any other credit label close enough! I say that out of respect for Mr. Stolzer as he wasn't privy to the entirety of my first draft. Regardless I'm grateful for his contribution!

Also I need to thank our HubPages writer who goes by the handle: booksoverdue. He's written a few succinct hub articles on the subject of publishing and formatting on Amazon's Kindle.

So far the number one misconception I've come across, is that people think you need a Kindle pad to read these eBooks. But of course, you can use a regular PC or Mac, an Android or iPad or a regular Kindle device.

12.26.10

I realize more than ever the miscommunication about Kindle books immeditealy!

YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY ANYTHING EXTRA TO DOWNLOAD A KINDLE READER!

This is a bigger obstacle than I first thought! Even my wife thought you needed a kindle pad or a Smartphone or something, but you can read a Kindle eBook with any computer. You have to pay for the book of course, but the reader is free!

ALSO! I need to thank my lovely daughter Isabella, who offered an edit to the title a few day before publishing, originally the book was entitled: Your Life Is A Painting

But Isabella and I agreed it sounded too pushy, as if to say, your life is a painting whether you want it to be or not! Haha! Anyway, I am grateful for daughter's insight!

12.28.10

Just to spell it out clearer as now I've hinted to the fact above and below...Amazon says it takes 24 hours to process English books. I made an initial error which it took a day for Amazon to figure out, after I corrected that, they ok'd the book for publishing, but then it took another day to have it "live" and running on the site. Hope that helps everybody! Basically, it seems more realistic that most books will take 2-3 days to be up on the site, non-English books even longer.

1.07.11

Well I have now gone ahead and printed up, that's correct, on actual paper! I've printed up some PR to send to various media outlets, a magazine, newspapers and at least one smaller morning news show. We'll see how it goes. I've been thinking of writing up some and targeting the "O" network, nobody moves books like Ol' Oprah! I'm still stewing on that one though!

9.24.11

Well it's been nearly a year and no huge sales to report! Ah, what can you do but go on right? Still, I feel happy to have had the experience of getting feedback from a genuine cadre of believers, truly a priceless gift. For anyone who took the time to read my observations, thank you kindly and I hope your walk with Gitchie Manitou is a kind one.

Update 10.29.13

Well it's been a few years, still no critical review of my book! Ah well. I've learned a lot, and I look forward to rewriting this eBook, and having it whatsovered by a new editor I have become reaquanted with. I am also interested in finding out if anyone has had some luck publishing anywhere else besides Amazon? I have heard recently that they haven't been treating their employees too well (no source though, unsure of the veracity of that...) but I have seen abissmal sales not only on my eBook but also on the ads I place on my blog articles of theirs.

So I look forward to publishing my next ebook, I have been working on a partly farcical, partly serious yoga book, hang tight!!!

You can use a regular PC, Mac, iPhone, Android or iPad too, but, here's the Kindle Device if you'd like to try one of these!!!

Comments

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    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Congratulations! And Merry Christmas too.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you Suzie and Merry Christmas to you too! Lots of miracles around me today!

      Ben

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      Congratulations and wish you best of luck.

    • ambikac09 profile image

      ambikac09 6 years ago from UK

      Congratulations Ben!!! :) Wishing life brings to you many more miracles...Merry Christmas & a Happy new year!

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 6 years ago from the Web

      Wow, congrats for achieving that milestone!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      What a idea for a book...and a great first chapter. I think you have a winner here! Congratulations and have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      That's wonderful, Ben. Congratulations !

      It's interesting how you help others see Life as a Painting in your book.

      For me, a perfectionist who matures into middle age, I think my painting would be neat, not too colourful, but soothingly beautiful.

    • li smith ion-eco profile image

      li smith ion-eco 6 years ago from Hermanus, South Africa

      Congratulations, Ben! Your Life as a Painting has my curiosity aroused from the start. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you kindly katrinasui! I see you are someone who admires art!

      Continue guide your life with your eyes!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      ambica, thank you for your well wishing, and so many miracles around us both everyday eh?

      Top O' the morning to ye!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Spider Girl, it has been just that, a definite milestone.

      Ben

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Great news Ben, you are one of my favorite hub writers. I am looking forward to seeing your book. Thanks for the tip on using the Kindle for PC. I downloaded it and successfully downloaded the sample from your book. I wish you well and hope this ebook does well, you are a great writer. So far so good. And I love the !!!!!!!'s.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Yay! Oh, I like and like the cover. You have inspired me - thanks a million$$$!

      Rated up!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Green Lotus, especially for the compliment about my idea, it's been rolling around upstairs for awhile. Thinking back to your experience, I'd love to hear your opinion about any marketing ideas.

      Always good to see you on my words!!!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Ingenira I enjoy your honesty and description of your life's painting straight from your heart.

      Ben

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 6 years ago from Australia

      congratulations,

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Congratulations and good luck with the book. I'll be popping into this hub to see how you get on. (Promise not threat!!!)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Well done and congratulation. You must be so proud of yourself. I wish success and prosperity for 2011. I am itching to do it but hadn't the courage yet.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations and I wish you luck. It is great to know that you don't have to purchase so much to enjoy your book. I will have to look it up.

      Thanks again for the important information. Good luck with future books.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks li smith ion-eco! Glad I could pique your interest! Keep reading!

      Ben

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ben - what a shame you did not get the book out there before Christmas as this sounds like a wonderful gift book! Congratulations on this splendid endeavor and I will be following your progress. I shall (if it's okay with you) link to this on one of my Kindle hubs. I am not buying the book because my husband is out of work too and the purse strings are tight.

    • rwelton profile image

      rwelton 6 years ago from Sacramento CA

      Congratulations! Looking forward to many more.

      rlw

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      SteveoMc thanks for doing me a solid here, good to see you consistenly Steveo. I hope in the future, I own some wildly eccentric estate filled with gadgets and gizmos whereupon I can take even more of your writing to task!

      Happy New Year Steveo!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Brooklyn! Any suggestions on marketing I'm all ears. So far it's been like swearing in the woods, yeah you can do it, but who hears you? Haha.

      Cheers!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you warmly nighthag.

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Merci Les Trois Chenes !!! (What is a Chenes? I stumped my wife with that one) thank you and please do check back, or feel free to offer suggestions.

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Hello, hello, I know what you mean about the courage! I hemmed and hawed on it for months, until finally, in part due to a recent lay off, I figured, what do I have to lose? I would love to publish a regular print book, but first I am so happy to give this a try, thank you for the recognition!

      Ben

    • profile image

      Mike Fitzgerald 6 years ago

      Ben,

      All the best with your new book! You will do well. Enthusiasm is fatal to failure.

      Mike (aka booksoverdue)

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Dolores, true shame, which I guess I alluded to above (that I submitted a few days before Christmas, but that it takes Amazon a few days to finalize) either way, I was hoping I might catch the Amazon Gift Card wave after the holidays! Alas, maybe not. We'll see, meanwhile, that reminds me I should probably enter some of the keywords above.

      Happy New Year D!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      rwelton, thank you kindly! If you are so inclined, please be the first to write a review of my book!

      Ben

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Congratulations on your first book. Do you think you will read another one in 2011?

      ;)

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Haha, that's about the speed I'm at nicomp. I'm a writer not a reader.

      ;oP

    • Flightkeeper profile image

      Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast

      Hi Ben, you've been through a whirlwind in the past few days! Congratulations on your first ebook. It'll open the doors to many more opportunities, I'm sure.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you Flightkeeper, for recognizing my hike through words. I hope it does indeed open doors. I've had some aquantences say they'd rather see a paper print book from me (me too!!!) but believe it or not that's still in the works, and costs just a bit more so I have to wait for awhile on print. I've had my articles printed in a small hipster paper called "The RedStreak" which was inserted into the SunTimes in Chicago, doing art reviews, so I know the feeling of seeing my words printed on paper!

      Ben

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

      Congratulations Ben! You are really an inspiration!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks jill, means a lot for you to say so!

      Ben

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 6 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Well, isn't this wonderful! I will be following your progress.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you Silva, still working on promoting my book, it's a learning process!

      Ben

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      This is really great ...Hope you will get success with it

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you htodd, publishing on Amazon has been exciting, I enjoy the potential, the possibilities for those of us not necessarily in the mainstream is palpable to me.

      Best,

      Ben

    • viveresperando profile image

      viveresperando 5 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      I loved this, I love journaling and it is a nice of you that you continued making notes and keeping us posted. :) I hope to put a book on Amazon soon. You have inspired me.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      viveresperando ! Thank you for your kind words, journaling is wonderful and I should certainly get back to more of it myself, it's the workout gym of the writing world eh?

      I wish you well in your writing and eBook!

      Ben

    • HikeGuy profile image

      Bryce 5 years ago from Northern California Coast

      A belated huge congrats. The book looks wonderful. I wish you an enormous readership.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Hikeguy, I have been thinking of entering Amazons borrowing program as they seem to be having goodluck there.

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