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The Musings of Peter Wetherill

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This is the website for Peter Chase Wetherill. It is the center of information about the creative happenings in his life.

What will be posted on this site?

Posts will be about a number of different topics such as the writing process, money earned, publishing books and articles, video uploads, and musical activities.

How often will posts be published?

The minimum regular post will be a weekly progress blog. Other posts will fall in between these posts such as important events or achievements, or original articles.

Why should you read and subscribe to this website?

This is a blog about how the creative process works as well as the life of a creative person. The life of a creative person can be strange, but interesting, and reading about this process can inspire other creative people, and advise others on how to develop their own creative process.

This web page is not commercialized.

Past Due Post: Tribute to my Mom and My First E-Book Sales Report

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On a Personal Note

September 15 is a date I will never forget. On September 15 2006 I was playing a gig with the Lisbon Swingers Big Band just south of Lisbon. As we were waiting to start our performance I received a call from my step father, Jim. He told me that my mom had lost her battle with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. I was devastated. I walked away from where we were waiting and found a wooded area away from everyone. I gained my composure but could not talk to anyone, and then we played the gig. This was the most difficult performance of my life. My mom was the most influential and special person in my life. Last year I wrote this article on Bubblews about her:

The Most Positive Person in My Life

Today is the 7th anniversary of the passing of the most positive person in my life: my mom. She was born Hendrika Charlotte Hilbers and despite many hardships in her life she always had a positive attitude. At an early age her and her family survived the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. My mom endured bombings (she never liked fireworks displays because of this) and severe food rationing. My mom always made me finish all of my food …

A New Trick

I am a person who is always trying to learn something new. You may notice that I have a link to download my e-book on the right. I didn’t know that this could be done on WordPress until a fellow writer, Ana Spoke, blogged about how she figured out how to put a link to download her first e-book on her WordPress site. I posted her blog before this one, so check it out if you want to do the same. The link to her post is at the bottom of this page. I also did this because at my age my memory might fail me the next time I publish a book, so if I forget I have her post to remind me.

“Resveratrol: Just the Facts” Earnings Update

So here is what everyone is waiting for. Did my book “Resveratrol: Just the Facts” make me a millionaire? Not even close but some people have downloaded it. I offered it for free for the first five days and 68 people took the bait! Since then I have sold 5 more copies; 3 in the US and 2 in Great Britain. I have made $1.05 and .58 GPB. The Kindle select program also pays royalties for pages read and so far 122 pages have been read in August, but I have no idea how many pennies that will total.

YouTube

My YouTube revenues are continuing to trickle in but I have not posted many videos recently. So far I’ve accumulated $7.16 in revenue. Here is my most recent video from when we owned a gym:

Other Pay Writing Sites:

I am still a member of Bubblews but do not post there anymore. I will start to post more of my writings there like the article above. I have a balance of $28.33 and need to get to $50.00 before I can redeem my money. I don’t count on it since my earnings have only gained about $.05 in the last six months. Bubblews is considered a micro blogging revenue sharing site as well as another site Persona Paper which I also belong to. They both suffer from lack of ad revenue. So far I have earned about $.17. I have published one article there about how micro blogging sites don’t make any money:

Why Micro-Blogging Sites Don’t Make Financial Sense

Revenue sharing writing, and blogging sites are rapidly being started, copying the idea of Bubblews. I think these sites are a great idea but some are doomed to fail…

What I’m Working On

My newest project “The Vitamin D Conspiracy” is started but I have been doing some more research on the subject. I have a rough draft of the outline finished and will start filling in the chapters soon. I got some good marketing advice recently. The learning curve on marketing books and e-books is even steeper than self-publishing a book. One tip I got was to make a cover first before the book is written and start using social media and e-mails to create a buzz about the upcoming book. This sounds like a good idea. I think I will hire the cover design of this book out. I found a site called Fiverr.com that does this kind of work and comes highly recommended. Five bucks is not a lot to spend. They also have many other services for a fiver.

As far as promoting a current title I am at a loss other that social media. I have checked a few paid advertising sites. One seemed like it was OK until I did the math. They wanted something like $350 for an ad campaign that would average about 1000 sales. Each one of my e-books makes $0.35. That would only just break even! If anyone has some suggestion my ears are open.

Photo credit: Three family photos of Hendrika Charlotte Hilbers Wetherill and her son Peter Chase Wetherill taken by his father Frank Doster Wetherill.

My First E-Book is Now Published!

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Yes, I finally pulled the trigger and self published my first e-book. It will be offered for free until August 4th on Amazon for world wide distribution at all Amazon locations. Her are some direct links for downloading:

US and Portugal

UK

Spain

Netherlands

Brazil 

If you download my book I would love to hear from you and your opinions. It would be even better if you left an Amazon review.

Now on to my publishing update. I did not post for a while for a few reasons: 1. I was working on my book, 2. I wasn’t feeling well, and 3. I just got lazy with the summer heat. I think the main reason was the last one. The final additions to the book were just tedious. Adding an index of the conditions that resveratrol has been studied was tedious but adds to the reading value of the book. This was all a learning process for me since this is my first e-book and using Word to write the book.

The uploading process to Amazon was a bit more complicated. I had a e-guide that is a bit outdated. It stated that I had to convert my Word file to HTML to upload to Amazon. After finally figuring out how to do this on Windows 8, I uploaded the file successfully, I thought! After uploading there is a way to review your book on all the e-book formats. I started to check and found all of my bullet indents were a total mess. I went back to the original HTML file on my computer and tried to make all of the bullets consistent, then upload the file again. No go, still a mess. After many hours of fiddling I decided to try an see what advice the Kindle help section could offer. I was shocked to find out that it was not necessary to convert my file to HTML and I could upload the Word file directly. I did this and wah la, everything looked great. I did find a few glitches and corrected them in Word and uploaded again, then hit the publish button.

I am now a bit more inspired to write and I am finishing the research part for my second book tentatively titled “The Vitamin D Conspiracy”. This subject is more involved and I feel that it is a very important one for everyone’s health on the planet.

I have failed to keep you updated on my YouTube progress. I have posted a few more videos and actually have earned more money than I thought. I keep on studying YouTube techniques like how to craft an interesting title. This is one of the most important things to get people to watch your videos. If you title your video with something bland like “What we did on Our Summer Vacation” you won’t get much response. Better is “How we found the perfect vacation spot” which creates value to the watchers or “We had a crazy fail on our trip to Safari Land” which creates curiosity for the watchers. I am currently changing some of my titles.

So far I have accumulated $6.33! Maybe if I change a few more titles I’ll get that video that attracts a million views! Here is a link to my playlist.

Update on Publishing my First E-Book: Tedious Work!

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On my previous post I mentioned writing my first e-book and giving up on Textbroker. Textbroker has since notified their writers that they are changing their terms of service. The one thing that stood out after I read this is that they set no time period for review of assignments. This means that there is no way to know when I might be reviewed and possibly moved up a star rating.

I have been on vacation this last week so I have not done much to get my e-book ready for publishing. The writing part is finished but the publishing part is not. Self publishers have to do all of the stuff that the editors and publishing houses normally do. Things like fonts, links, covers, legal disclaimers, indexes, advertising, and  proof reading, have to be done by the author or the author has to hire the work out.

I am writing this first book more for the experience and gaining knowledge on how to self publish than trying to get rich. At this time I have most of the above things done. Just fixing the fonts for consistency was a chore. I am now working on an index that automatically links the words to the place in the book that they are located. In future books I will do this as I write each chapter which will make things much easier. Learning to streamline this process is a main goal and will speed up publishing future books and e-books. Social media is also very important in promoting for self publishers. I have set up a Facebook page which is linked in the right hand column. I will have to explore more ways to promote my books.

Hiring an editor is an option for future books and highly recommended by many self published authors. I have more involved book ideas that this would be advantageous. Here are some tentative titles that I am considering and I would love to have any comments on which one you think I should start next.

In the health category:

“The Vitamin D Conspiracy”: Similar to my first e-book “Resvaratrol: Just the Facts”. This book talks about the history of vitamin D and how the US government bungled the recommendations for this essential nutrient, as well as the effects on my health and how vitamin D deficiency is being studied for many health problems.

“Bipolar Disorder: The Caregiver Experience”. This is a tentative title about my families dealings with bipolar disorder and how the medical profession failed us totally.

Family and genealogy category:

“The Autobiography of Emilie Jane Butterfield Loyson”. This is an unpublished autobiography of my great great grandmother that I discovered in a library. It was being edited by my great-grandfather who died before he completed it. She was famous in her time because she married a French Carmelite Monk. This is very topical today because of the Pope’s mention that discussion should be opened about the marriage of priests. I will edit this work or try to find a publisher.

“The Widow and the Monk”: This is the true love story of my great great grandparents Père Hyacinthe Loyson and Emilie Jane Butterfield. I have been researching this for more than seven years. This is a story of personal sacrifice for true love against all odds. Both of their biographies are more than 900 pages each and his is all in French. A real challenge but such a great love story.

Fiction:

“Our Crazy Downstairs Neighbor”  A story based on real events in my life but fictionalized. The basic plot is how a downstairs neighbor, who at first seems OK, turns out to be a destructive force in the main characters life.  Here is a video of the main inspiration for this book: 

Science Fiction:

“The Ants of the Galaxy”. The story of humans from an extraterrestrial point of view. How naive we are to assume that extraterrestrial’s would act with any similarity to us.

“Warped Into the Future”. The story of a test pilot who volunteers to test the first light speed space ship and upon his return finds a much changed world.

Personal journal category:

“Encounters with Greatness and not so Greatness”: My personal and professional encounters with famous people.  Stories that are inspirational, amusing, but not necessary all positive, about the famous people who I have met because of my music career or just by random encounters.

That’s all for now and I’ll post more ideas as they pop into my head. Please help me to decide.

Week Three and Four and I have had Enough of Textbroker!

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I have lost my desire to write for Textbroker. After spending most of my free time writing for people I don’t know and for subjects that are not interesting to me, I have decided to take the plunge and start publishing my own writing. My earnings were increasing at Textbroker only because I got better at selecting the best assignments to take, but I was still making slave wages. The week of May 14, I made a whopping $19.79. The next week I did better, $30.07, mostly because I took an assignment of 1200 words. This turned to be very time-consuming because it required a lot of research. I spent my free time for a whole weekend finding facts about the latest smart phone cameras, zzz…

Another reason I am not happy with Textbroker is that they still have not reviewed my assignments so that I can advance from a three star to four star writer. I was under the impression that this would happen on a monthly basis but I was led astray. When no review happened after a month, I searched the forum and found out many other writers were complaining about the same thing. Some four star writers had a review, then were only given a three star rating. They then continued to write at the three star level but did not receive any further reviews. Some had been writing for six months and others had completed 600 or more assignments with no reviews.

I have a theory why this is. When the site does not have enough three star writers to quickly complete the jobs that are on that level they simply give some tough reviews of four star writers so they get reduced to a three star writer. That seems logical, but it is not fair. I have done a time study of my work and I am working for about $3.00 per hour! One cent a word seems OK but most of the assignments require some form of research or reading which takes time. Imagine a 400 word summary for an article that has 3000 words. It takes time to read the article then try to include the main points into a blog of 400 words, spell check, proof read, and submit the article on the site. This would take me at least an hour and a half to complete.

I can write 1000 words an hour fairly easily, but not complete a writing assignment of 1000 words in an hour. This is why I will be spending my time publishing my own material.

The Image below is the screenshot  of the cover design of my first e-book that I am currently working on. I made this myself using Word. Any help or suggestions will be appreciated. Hopefully my next post will be announcing the release of this e-book!

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Week Two and Three Earnings Update

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I did not post last week due to time consideration. I am considering only posting every other week to help. I have been busy with family matters such as my son’s fifth birthday. He is a joy and we had a great family celebration. Textbroker has also kept me busy.

I explained in my last post about my writing journey. I am continuing writing for Textbroker but I would like to find another site that pays better. Last week I made a whopping $17.93. This was up from the week before of $17.51. I wrote more articles than the week before but a couple of them did not go through before the pay date. This week was better $23.71 due to the hold overs from the week before. This is common and I have two jobs that I completed from the week before that are waiting to be paid next week.

I am completing the jobs faster now and I hope with equal quality. The editorial team reviews and rates all completed jobs but there is a month delay. None of my latest jobs have been rated yet but should be starting sometime this week. They rate five assignments at a time and base the average of these five to qualify for a promotion to the next level. I am hoping that they will move me from a three star writer to a four star. My rating last August was 17 out of 20 not enough to move up (two four star and three three star ratings). I have 16 texts waiting to be rated. If they do increase my rating, this means a 40% increase in pay and the ability to join writing teams that pay even more. The four star writing assignments are also more plentiful.

My last post I forgot to mention my other muse that is earning some money. I have been posting videos to YouTube that are monetized by Google AdSense. The theme of my posts is “Life in Portugal”. This is the play list:

These videos are from my smartphone so some are a bit rough. At first I had no idea how to edit them but now I am learning. I am using Windows Movie Maker which is quite simple to use but very basic. I have another editor that came with a USB analog to digital video converter but it is much more difficult to use. I have been transferring videos from my camcorder and they look great. The biggest part are from our second honeymoon to Tahiti in 2008. I will have to edit these videos and start another playlist with a title like “Tahitian Paradise Dream Vacation”.  This will probably be more popular than my first list.

The reason that I didn’t mention this is that I have not reached the payment threshold of $100 yet. This doesn’t seem like a big figure but at the rate of pay, it is. My first 1000 views have racked up an incredible $3.75. This has accumulated since January, but now I am receiving more traffic so I hope the next thousand comes quicker. Of course if I keeping adding videos the views will increase. At this time I average about 300 per month. If this rate were to stay the same this is not very profitable. If I receive $3.75 per 1000 views I will need about 27,000 views to reach $100. At 300 views per month that comes out to 90 months or 7 1/2 years before I get to collect!

Some people are getting large amounts of money with YouTube but it is a more than full time job to do this. I barely have time to write a few hours a day. My son loves YouTube and I spy on what he is watching and the views that are registered for the videos he likes. Some videos receive millions of views like the balloon popping dogs, and destroying washing machine videos, that he loves. Our dogs run and hide every time a balloon pops so that is out of the question, and our washing machine cost too much money to destroy! Maybe our Tahiti videos will go viral!

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