Monday, 30 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Kindle Formatting

I'm fully familiar with issues around Kindle formatting, but the issue I got last night was beyond me. I've got a simple Word document using Arial fonts of 12 and 11, but no matter what I tried I ended up with a double space between a heading and some text, rather than single. I even deleted all of the text and retyped it, setting the font before or afterwards or even both! Anyway, its only in one minor place in the document so I let it go. I may resolve it before the final edition goes out. I've set the price at $1.99 which should be attractive.

Better news of Createspace. Mmm...No1...Cookbook is ready for review so I ordered 2 proof copies. I've already done the editing and checked the layout, so although I could have used the Createspace electronic proof I much prefer getting the hard copy of the book. It gives you so much more to go on, for instance when I see the finished article I may change the colour scheme or even the entire design! I opted for expedited delivery so it should arrive by Thursday which is pretty amazing, and it was only just over $32.

Working on High Peak Review article and guest blogs today, plus planning our annual boys Trip to....now that would be telling!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Final preparation

Today has been a good day! Stayed in bed until 11am, mainly because I was reviewing the Cookery Book on Createspace on my laptop. Createspace has improved a lot, and the interior review feature is fantastic. I am not expecting to sell many paperbacks (this is essentially a Kindle venture), but for those of you that are interested the price has been set at $4.99.

Just waiting for approval before ordering a proof, and I'm hoping to get round to uploading the text for Kindle later this evening.

Ive also dug out an old fantasy manuscript that I penned some 25 years ago. The thing with fantasy is that it doesn't really age (think Lord Of The Rings). I may well polish it up, type it all in again (I have it on a diskette that is probably corroded with age, even if I could find a computer old enough to read it, and the correct version of the word processing software), and get it out there on Kindle to see if there is any interest.

I must also get round to speaking to a Rockabilly acquaintance of mine as I am supposed to be writing his bio, constructed around his 50 favourite songs to commemorate his 50th birthday.

Got a nice response from the British Library detailing where I need to go and what to look for as I start my research on the career of the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as seen through the press. This is a huge piece of work, but I have set myself a six month target to complete the research, and another three months to complete the book.

Will I ever get round to completing my works in progress that include a children's poetry compendium, a scifi short story and a ghost story?

I'm also trying to get guest blog spots as well as maintaining the Whaley Bridge Cricket Club website www.whalyebridgecc.co.uk.

If only I didn't have a day job!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Goodreads

Ive managed to complete the addition of 50 books on Goodreads which gives me "Librarian" status. This means Ive been able to upload the UK version of Stags! as well as Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle.

The number of followers on my blog is increasing, and I seem to have friends emerging from everywhere. I hope people are enjoying the Rocky Road recipe, I've got some great variations to this including the addition of hazelnuts and almonds, and I've also create The Rocky Road Of St Patrick, a green version made using white chocolate. Hopefully I'll get round to completing Mmm...No1...Cookbook tomorrow. Weather forecast is not great so I should have plenty of time for this.

Incidentally, if you have not thought about all of the books you have read, something I did whilst posting reviews on Goodreads, you must try it. It brings back some fantastic memories.

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Rocky Road

Its been a hectic morning

Went for a peaceful stroll around a very wet Fernilee reservoir, and returned to a full inbox. Spent an hour or so responding to requests and comments, and now I'm ready to start something new. Might tackle my Goodreads page, post a few more reviews (which was your favourite book in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy? Mine was The Fellowship Of The Ring), and then get back onto Digital Book Today to push the May Stags! promotion. So much for a relaxing weekend, Ole wants me to go up to the cricket nets with him this afternoon.

Anyway, as promised here is one of the 50 recipes from Mmm...No1...Cookbook. Enjoy.

PS I would be particularly interested to hear non UK views on this recipe, as plain or dark chocolate is very popular over here but I'm not so sure about elsewhere, and do you know what Crunchies or Matchmakers are?!


50. Rocky Road Bars

There must be a million and one recipes for Rocky Road, and probably the best that I have found is Nigella’s. However, with a little bit of experimentation this one is better, and the variations are endless!

Ingredients

75g/3oz butter
300g/11oz dark chocolate (not cooking chocolate or sweet chocolate – minimum 70% cocoa solids)
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 Crunchie bars
120g/5oz Ginger nuts
100g/4oz large marshmallows
Icing sugar

Method

1. Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a saucepan.
2. Crush the Crunchies and Ginger nuts into crumbs (don’t worry if you still have some larger chunks).
3. Slice each marshmallow into 8 pieces (this can be a bit fiddly but if you have a straight edged, sharp knife and a cup of very hot water to dip the knife into it is much easier).
4. Stir the crumbed mixture and the marshmallows into the melted ingredients.
5. Line a 20cm/8 inch square dish with tin foil and pour in the mixture.
6. Allow to cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
7. Turn out onto a worktop and remove the tin foil.
8. Slice into however many pieces you like (a pizza cutter can help with this – but watch your fingers).
9. Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Variations

You can use milk or even white chocolate for this but it ends up incredibly sweet, and you have to keep a close eye when melting the chocolate to ensure it does not separate. You can put whatever biscuits you have to hand instead of Ginger nuts, and the same goes for the chocolate bars. Kit Kats are good, as are Toffee Crisps. Finally, after pouring the mixture into the dish to set, you can finish it off with orange or mint Matchmakers arranged neatly on the top.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Progress!

Sally has finished the proofread. Only 5 errors in 118 pages! I've got a lazy weekend (inevitable with all of this rain) so should get chance to make the changes and sort out first proof from Createspace. Might get some feedback from my trained chef, but then again might not.

It rained one two and it rained three four
It rained five six then it rained some more
It rained five six, six five and then
It rained on past the count of ten
(Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle)

In other news, my Goodreads author page has been set up, so I'm about to start modifying that. Should I blog on there, or just update this blog? Who knows? But thats for the future. Also concentrating on reviewing many of the books I read in the near and far past. Dennis Wheatley, John Wyndham, Tolkien, memories come flooding back. Lots of Stephen King too, and some sports autobiographies and some humour. And, of course, The Cat In The Hat!

You can pay it a visit here:-

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5021995.Michael_Anthony_Madden

It should look very different by Sunday! Need to get to 50 books to get librarian status and then I can add the UK and Kindle version of Stags! and Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Goodreads Reviews by Michael Madden

Spent loads of time tonight reviewing books on Goodreads. Didnt realise I had read so many. Covered off most of Stephen King and Frank Skinner, now moved on to Dennis Wheatley. I read dozens of his in the 70s/80s - I think I bought a set of 56. Didnt get through them all, and cant remember some of them. Maybe I'll dust them off and start again.

Up to 10 reviews for Stags! on Amazon, but there's only the Createspace version on Amazon and no sign of "Tumbattle". I'm planning to add them when I reach Librarian status.

Not much time for Mmm...No1...Cookbook today - but there's all weekend for that.

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Google Friend Connect

I've heard from more than one source that I should encourage people to follow my blog using Goggle Friend Connect (GFC), but Ive also discovered that GFC is about to be discontinued. What this means for my existing follows, that were almost all done by GFC, I have no idea! Anyway, Ive added the Bloglovin icon to my blog to add more choice.

Any thoughts on this?

In other news - theres no cricket againthis weekend so I should definitely make good progress on the recipes, whilst I am also hoping to get some publicity for my KDP Select giveaway for Stags! from 17th to 21st May on Digital Book Today. Just need a few more reviews but Ive handed out a few paperbacks recently so that shouldnt be a problem!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stags-ebook/dp/B004PLNO8A

I've also just discovered the benefits of Goodreads, even though Ive been following on Facebook for ages.

Its Gabi's wedding anniversary party in two weeks - so I'm going to make lots of different versions of Rocky Road. I'll put the original recipe on here in the next day or so.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wonderful Read Of The Month

Check out this monthly newsletter blog. Its well worth a read.

http://wonderfulreadofthemonth.blogspot.co.uk/

Hoping to have something featured in the coming months.

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Blog Layout

I've looked at hundreds of blogs over the last couple of days, and followed a lot of them too (come on guys - where are the follow backs?). The majority of them look extremely professional, so I've started to make mine a little better. I need to upload some more photos to polish it off, but just in the space of a couple of days I've made vast improvements. Yes, I know I've still got a long way to go!

The final proofreading and editing should be done today - I will then need to complete the cover notes and its off to Createspace (metaphorically speaking).

Still found time to pen the bulk of my next article for High Peak Review, which was quite easy really as it is about my son's visit with his friend to Derbyshire CCC as the 999th and 1,000th junior members.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Blogging

Spent a lot of time trying to look at the power of blogging and engaging with other authors. Its great to meet you all, but a little overwhelming at first. Its amazing how much free stuff there is out there. Not just books to download, but also great advice. Hopefully get myself sorted out by the end of the week, then it looks like a full time job keeping up with it all!

Ive been on Twitter for ages, with over 700 followers, many of whom have Manchester United as a common interest. My next book could well be on that subject, and hopefully it will be a real eye opener.

The problem with all of this blogging and social media is that I am struggling to find time to do any actual writing.

Got a visit from a friend today who is a qualified chef. He thinks the idea of a cookbook on Kindle is a great idea, and I am going to use him to verify my recipes.

Still expecting Mmm...No1...Cookbook to be out before the end of May.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - The Video!

Final draft editing well under way. May need to touch up the paella photo to make it acceptable for the Createspace cover, even though I'm not really gearing up to sell the paperback. This really is a Kindle only venture. The paella video still needs to be uploaded and edited before it is fit for Youtube, then I will start recording some of the other recipes. I'm going to start putting some of the recipes on here, so keep watching this space.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Ready For The Next Steps

Finally finished proofreading and editing the first draft. Reprint tomorrow, then I will pass it onto an independent "editor" for final checks. Should be able to finish that within a week, then I need to write the cover notes. After that I will be ready to use Createspace for a proof. Should be available on Kindle by the end of May.

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Proofreading & Tasting by Michael Madden

Still going through the drafts of each recipe, and when I'm not sure about ingredients, quantities or steps there is only one thing I can do - make the dish again! Could be quite fat by the time this goes to "print". Hoping to have the final version ready to proof by the end of this week, then available on Kindle 1-2 weeks later.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

MMM...No1...Cookbook - Fun With Fonts

Fonts are not something that I normally concern myself with, but when I published Stags! I realised there was a whole world of pitfalls waiting out there. For text such as that in a book I chose Garamond, but for Mmm...No1...Cookbook there are a lot of figures that wouldn't necessarily show up well in Garamond, but there are also descriptive paragraphs. In the end I opted for Arial, with a mixture of 11, 12 and 14 point for the bulk of the text. The reason is simple, the book is really meant for Kindle - and that has its own font!

Going through the tedious task of proofreading and editing the recipes. Done 4, another 46 to go. And its making me hungry.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

MMM...No1...Cookbook - A Gap In The Market

If you do a search for "Cookery Book" in the Amazon.co.uk Kindle store there are 724 matches. If you do the same search in all departments there are over 90,000 matches. I suspect a gap in the market, but I also suspect that the public may need the advantages of a cookery book on Kindle explaining to them. Here are my top 3, I would be interested to hear yours.
1. Ready made shopping list for your ingredients
2. All of your recipes in one place
3. No more pages splattered with ingredients!

Its not that people would be less messy using a Kindle, but they would probably take more care of it than newspaper cuttings, cookery books, magazine cards, etc.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook by Michael Madden

Take your pic of these photos of Paella! One of them will form the background of the cover of Mmm...No1...Cookbook. You may have noticed that I have changed the title. Still not what I wanted but Sally was insistent. The book will be made available on Kindle - the cover is so that it looks like a real book on Amazon.















Monday, 16 April 2012

Extra copies of the High Peak Review delivered today, thanks James. Ole joined Derbyshire CCC last week, and is the 1,000th member. For that he gets a full day of hospitality for him and his family this Saturday at the County Ground. Unfortunately I will be playing cricket at Charlesworth, or at least holding an umbrella to shake hands. Anyway, Sally will take him and we should get enough material for the next HPR.

Reconsidering the title. Sally wants MMM because its almost like mmmmm showing approval, however I believe it should have Home Cooking in the title as that what it is all about!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

MMM Number 1 - Pictures Of Paella Available


The first pictures of the paella have now come through - unfortunately they are on Sally's laptop. I'll transfer them across and then you can have a look at them.

Obviously the pictures are only for the cover - the Kindle edition of MMM Number 1 will just be the recipes themselves. I don't see this as a problem, as most people should know what the finished dishes will look like.

I have been at Tabley races today, sharing my latest article with its subject Steve Evason. You can read the full article at http://www.michael-madden.co.uk/cheshire-farmers-drag-hunt

Saturday, 14 April 2012

MMM Number 1 - A Cookery Book By Author Michael Madden


This is the home of my latest project, "MMM Number 1". My wife Sally came up with the name - I'm not convinced. The project was originally started to allow me to keep all of my recipes in one place, but then it sort of grew. I have selected 50 for this volume (hence Number 1), but I already have dozens awaiting future volumes. Further issues could well contain guest recipes, so please feel free to email me your favourites to Mikemadden3@gmail.com.

I will post a couple of recipes here in the near future.

Today, April 14th, I prepared, cooked, filmed and photographed my signature dish, paella. The video will appear on Youtube in the near future, and the photographs will form part of the cover. I am going to create a paperback edition through Createspace, but this is really only to provide me with a decent cover for the Kindle edition on Amazon.