J.C. Everett

Writing. Still.

Revive A Washed Fitbit One

Killing a Fitbit One

So this post has nothing to do with writing. Directly.

If you’ve been writing for any amount of time, you know how important it is to keep things around you out of crisis mode. Especially your significant other.

My wife washed her Fitbit One. Again. She loves her Fitbit. This was not good.

It’s Alive!

The first time she washed it we put it in rice for a few days. It didn’t come back on. She had heard stories about Fitibit’s awesome customer service replacing damaged fitibits so she sent them an email. Before we had to find out if Fitibit would replace her One I had revived it. Here’s how:

1) Open the fitbit. The Fitbit One had a metal back that’s glued on. I use a guitar pick to pry it open with damaged.

2) Remove visible water. Even after days in a bag of rice there was still visible inside.

3) Gently pull up the battery. The Fitibit One had a small lithium ion pack that’s held in place with what appears to be double side foam. Again gently pry the battery free. Don’t break the tiny wires that connect the battery to the board.

4) Get a hair dryer turn it on low and proceed to dry. If you see any visible water or dark spots on the screen keep drying.

5) Plug the Fitibit One into its charger and see if it turns on. If not return to step 4.

These steps worked the first time she washed it.

Dead Fitibit One. Again.

Ok. She washed it again. I mean the thing is little. It really should be waterproof.

This time I popped the back off immediately after pulling the Fitibit One from the washer. It was soaked.

I dried it as best it could and went to town with the hair dryer. No luck.

Looking at the front under the light revealed some discoloration. My guess was there was still water between the screen and the case. So I built the Fitbit its own little wind tunnel. Here’s how:

1) Get a roll of toilet paper.

2) Place the Fitbit in the tube of the toilet paper roll. (The back is off of the Fitbit)

3) Set the hair dryer about six inches away pointed at the tube. Turn it on low and let it go. I let it run for about 15 minutes.

4) Plug the Fitibit into its charger. It should work. If not check for dark spots around the screen (indicating there’s still water inside) and try again.

Here’s proof of life:fitbitproof

Disclaimer: I do not guarantee that you won’t kill your fitbit doing this or burn your house down. Do this at your own risk and use your own judgement.

Have you washed your Fitibit (or other electronic device)? Were you able to revive it? Share in the comments.

 

 

 

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Blah.

I’ve been working on a post about my writing process and how its changed over the years. So far I’m not happy with the results.

Somedays life just doesn’t leave any energy to get the words out in the correct order.

Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow.

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Kindle Publishing Royalties 35% vs 70%

Whether you’re an aspiring author or an author with cold, hard sales under your belt you’ve probably wondered about Kindle Publishing. Maybe you’ve gone so far as to check out the information pages. If you’re like most people you probably clicked right through to the link that describes the two royalty options: 35% and 70%.

Chances are that’s where you stopped. Why would anyone choose the 35% royalty option? Well, let’s take a look.

How Does the 35% Royalty Option Work?

The Kindle Publishing royalties for the 35% option are fairly straight forward: You tell Amazon what price you want to sell your book for and you get 35% of that price when it sells. Of course there are a few exceptions:

  • If your book is sold at a reduce price (e.g., price match or sale) you only get 35% of the sale price;
  • If your book is sold for zero you get nothing (Ok, you get a warm fuzzy feeling deep inside).

Did I mention the pricing requirements? No matter how great your book is you can’t price it above $200 and the minimum price is based on the file size of your book:

  • 3 megabytes or less -> $0.99 minimum;
  • Between 3 megabytes and less than 10 megabytes -> $1.99 minimum;
  • Over 10 megabytes -> $2.99 minimum.

A straight up novel of 100,000 words will result in a  file of around 1 megabyte. So, for most novels you’ll be free to price your masterpiece between $0.99 and $200.

How Does the 70% Royalty Option Work?

The Kindle Publishing royalties for the 70% option are a little different. The two big differences are:

  • The author is charged a distribution fee based on file size, and;
  • The list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99.

To simplify things I’ll only be considering sales and fees in the US (other areas have different rates or are handled as the 35% option).

For distribution in the US the current fee is $0.15 per megabyte.  As stated above, the typical novel will probably weigh in around the one megabyte mark, so the charge would be $0.15, per sale. The Kindle Publishing royalty formula for this option works like this:

(The list price of your book – The distribution fee) x 0.70 = Your Cash

How does this affect your bottom line? Let’s run some examples. (Assume file size is 1 megabyte and the list price is $4.99)

  1. ($4.99 – $0.15) x 0.70 = $3.39
  2. ($4.99 x 0.70) – $0.15 = $3.34

By taking the distribution fee off of the sale price before applying the royalty rate Amazon is helping you out (Hey, that 5 cents is going to add up when you sell millions).

So we see now how the final payment is calculated, but what if my novel is larger than 1 megabyte? I’m glad you asked. Check this out:

Kindle Publishing Royalties

The royalty you’d receive for a book priced at $4.99 is on the left and the file size, in kilobytes, is on the bottom (Hey, what gives? You said the distribution pricing is based on megabytes). 1024 kilobytes is 1 megabyte; therefore, this chart starts at 1/4 of a megabyte and goes all the up to 10 megabytes.

Takeaway: The 70% Kindle Publishing royalties option is going to pay more than the 35% option until some point out past 10 megabytes, for a book priced at $4.99.

We’re Done Now, Right?

We can’t forget that the example above is only applicable for a book priced $4.99. This is what happens if your book is priced at $2.99:

2.99

If you price your book at $2.99 the Kindle Publishing royalties for the 35% and 70% options pay the same at a file size of about 10 megabyte.

Takeaway: If your file is larger than 10 megabytes you will be losing money by selecting the 70% option.

(I know your head is starting to hurt.) This is what happens if your book is priced at the max, $9.99:

999

Takeaway: You could include every single cat picture ever posted to the internet in your book and you’d still be better off selecting the 70% option. (I’m exaggerating, really don’t self publish a book of internet cat pictures)

 Wrap Up

There are a few other oddities to the Kindle Publishing 70% option. As mentioned above, certain regions have their own delivery costs and for some reason if your book is over 10 megabytes it gets distributed in Japan for free.

Unless your book is very large or you want to charge more than $9.99, the 70% royalty option is probably what you want.

Have you had any experience with Kindle Publishing? Which option did you choose? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Chickens Be Here!

20140802-150959-54599242.jpg

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Writing Techniques You Need To Know

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain was not one of the first books about writing that I read and that sucks.  I wrote my first novel (collection of loosely related words mind-barfed onto the electronic page) for NaNoWriMo. To say that I didn’t know what I was doing is an understatement.

First Steps Writing A Novel

I thought my first attempt at writing a novel was awesome. It was work, but not too bad. I followed the advice I found scattered in writing forums and on blogs. If you’ve ever done a google search for “How to write a novel”,  you know what I’m talking about. Here are a few that I came across:

  • Your first draft is supposed to suck;
  • Just write, everyday;
  • You can fix it in re-write;
  • It’s your story, there are no rules, and;
  • Show don’t tell.

I know there are some that I missed, feel free to share your favorite (or the one that frustrated you the most) in the comments.

 Awesome Is Just Around The Corner

I’m happy to say that I won my first NaNoWriMo and I’m not going to lie, reaching that 50,000 word mark is pretty awesome. I mean that was it, I had finally accomplished my goal. I had written a novel. If you spend any time on writing forums or perusing writing blogs you’ll soon learn that agents absolutely hate the month after NaNoWriMo. Some agents even go so far as to stop accepting submissions for the entire month of December. I didn’t immediately box up my shiny new work-of-awesome and start spamming it through the postal service (or email). I did what every good author-to-be does (more advice from forums and blogs) and let my novel sit and stew in its own juices for a while. I even used the resting period to read up on editing and rewriting. At last the fateful day came and sat down to begin the rewrite. Of course the process was just a formality, after all I had done the impossible. I had written the best story ever on my first try. Until I started reading it.

Things I Wish I Had Known About Writing A Novel

The writing that I had been so happy with was disjointed and often times confusing. That’s not to say there wasn’t the occasional surprise, that one perfect stringing together of words. Of course you’re supposed to murder your darlings, so that took care of those perfect sentences. Rewriting wasn’t even an option (no really, a fiery death was too good this collection of words). At some point in the writing process I distinctly remember thinking that it would be great if there was some sort of guideline behind how sentences, dialogue, and paragraphs should be put together, at least most of the time (Hey, you can always break a rule if it works). Techniques presents the guidelines for constructing readable fiction that feels like it’s moving. This isn’t a formula. It’s the code for the world we live in, distilled into easy to understand language: Action and Reaction. Of course once you get into the details it’s a little more complicated than that. One of the first things I did after reading Techniques was to pick up a book to see if published authors do anything remotely close to what’s presented in Techniques. They do. Every book I’ve read since follows the same guidelines presented in Techniques. Action and Reaction. Once I applied this to my own writing I found that not only did my stories keep moving forward, but issues related to point of view and showing vs telling took care of themselves. So here’s my challenge to you: Get this book. Read it. Then pick up one of your favorite stories and see if that author uses the Techniques of a Selling Writer. I bet they do.

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