9 things you should know … if you ever want to become a manager: The New Manager series

There’s nothing as energizing as the terror of the first day after you’ve been made a manager. So much to do – so few skills!

The New Manager series answer those questions that only you and Google and the midnight hours before your big presentation know about. A little bit like a mentor-in-a-book with lots of detail and step-by-step guidance through the corporate swamps. Oh, and “new” has nothing to do with age, of course!

Please note: this series of books were previously advertised as the “Can you Manage” series and linked to a Facebook page. In order to clarify any confusion with psychology self-help books, and to ensure that the focus is seen to be on business management and leadership, these have now been rebranded as “The New Manager” series under the brand name “New leader, manager” as can be seen at this website: New Leader, Manager and indicated on the author website on this post here. The Facebook Page will be rebranded accordingly.

This series will be become available online in the course of 2018/9 and here’s the first one:

9 things you should know … if you ever want to become a manager: The New Manager series

9 things you should know ... if you ever want to become a manager_COVER_Lalien CilliersAre you a ready for management? Ready for that promotion?
Maybe new to management? Maybe even new to the business world as a whole?
Or just with a few gaps in what you should know before you aim at that promotion?

Then you will need a simple, basic guide to show you how to fill the gaps quickly and start on your road to success!

There are many ways to stand out from the crowd, and you’re going to learn a lot of strategies in the course of this book. Some of them you might instinctively follow already – and that’s great! But some could be new – and might even feel a bit strange at first.

So, what are those nine things you should know if you ever wanted to make it as a manager?
1. Know what you want
2. Know what matters
3. Know how to look and act
4. Know your job
5. Know your numbers
6. Know how to pitch
7. Know your company
8. Know the competition
9. Know the market

Interested in being getting promoted to management? The click here to buy the ebook on Amazon!


Amazon KDP: The Planet of the Snake People


Planet of the snake people_LalienCilliers_BookCoverSo, since there’s been no movement of this short dream parable eBook, I removed it from Smashwords and moved it to Amazon KDP Select. I priced it at 99c (USD) and chose some Christian and insipirational categories for it.

Will let you know how it goes.

If you’d like to support me (disclaimer – it’s a Christian book, just thought I’d make that clear!), you can buy a copy here: The Planet of the Snake People.

If you like it, please rate and review – it makes a huge difference to the visibility of the book on Amazon.


Progress: A Guy’s Guide: New Home


Hi there …. how do you like my “A Guy’s Guide” series logo? Did it myself … the long way: using Word, then exporting to PDF, then converting to JPG.

Sigh. The joys of not being trained in design – something I am thinking more and more should be on the to-do-list for all indie authors.

Anycase, I created a Facebook page for the series. You can have a look (or hopefully join enthusiastically!) here: Facebook Page: A Guy’s Guide series.

I also ran a short, cheap(ish) Facebook ad campaign on the page just to get it going. Cost me about R700 (that’s USD50) and I got 1800 page likes – which I think is great for such a niche topic.

Trying to decide what to run on the Facebook page was another kettle of fish! In the end I just kept picturing my brothers and trying to think what they might enjoy. So I added lots of links to “how-to” type online articles and funny memes.

Will see!

If you bought the book (hint!), you’ll know that that I also created a playlist for it on my regular YouTube channel. You can go and check it out here: A Guy’s Guide YouTube playlist.

But sales are not coming yet. I opted for a Amazon KDP Countdown – you can only do this thirty days after joining, so it’ll happen sometime in January 2018. Will let you know how it went.

Have fun writing!

Published: A Guy’s Guide: New Home

A Guys Guide_New Home_Lalien Cilliers_cover.jpgIt’s here: the first in the short series: “A Guy’s Guide: New Home (How to Find and Furnish Your Own Place)“.

I’m happy to tell the world that I am now published on Kindle! … Yes, and at the glorious Amazon Best Sellers Rank # 459 413,  I am pretty sure that the world could care less. 🙂 But I do, and my friends do and my family does. And I published the little book that has been begging for a swim in the big pond for way too many years between work and DVD-marathons.

And I feel GREAT!

So, I’ll let you know what I find out – because this book is first and foremost all about learning how Amazon ebooks work.

One of the things I wanted to figure out was the categories. This is an extremely niche ebook, so it was really hard to choose the categories – and you only get two! I will play around with these in future and let you know how it changes. At the moment I am rated #1473 in Kindle Short Reads, #8274 in Kindle eBooks>Crafts, Hobbies & Home, and #9808 in Kindle eBooks>Cookbooks, Food & Wine. As you can see, there is a lot of competition in the Cookbooks category, so I am going to give it another week or so and then change that one to a different category.

I have also looked at the promotions options. You could give the ebook away for free, and I have read other authors saying that’s a good way to launch a series. However, it is not good for your paid ranking when you revert to the paid option.

So the other option that looks interesting is the Countdown – but you can only do that if you haven’t run a free giveaway, and if you have been on KDP Select for 30 days … so I will bide my time until I can give that a shot.

Oh, and I’ve sent a query about the Kindle Unlimited lending option – I need to have an active thing-a-ma-jig to get that going. Duh. I just noticed that I didn’t enroll in KDP Select (which means that I am selling this ebook exclusively on Amazon) … just did that now. The customer services guy will think I am as green as I am. But – that’s the way you learn, I suppose!

In the meantime I am hard at work writing the first of the “The New Manager” series. I want to alternate writing an ebook for the “A Guy’s Guide” and the “The New Manager” series – hopefully every few months (if life doesn’t catch up to me too badly in the next few months).

Will keep you all up to date – have fun writing your own stories!


The KDP journey

bank-check-amazon-affiliates-associates-payment-options… and so the journey starts.

As usual, I first read up everything I could find – including some great eBooks. Also looked around on forums and discussion boards what all the potential problems could be.

So, first of all, it seems as if I belong to the interesting country called “Other”, and that makes it really interesting to receive royalties: it’s going to be by check, baby! Oh my goodness … the anticipation … must be about a decade since I have last touched a check. Cannot wait.

But no, wait I will have to wait … because it gets sent through our beloved Postal Services … which is the home for a whole generation of small businesspeople who have been self-appointed to first check for checks – and gifts – and money – and whatever could be sold. Sigh.

So, we’ll see what happens. Such a shame that @KDP doesn’t realise that @Amazon does electronic transactions with me, so the authors in this developing country might be able to handle getting their royalties in the same way without freaking out too much.

But I live in hope.

Although I have to give credit where credit is due. The tax interview went well and was not too hard to do. And the rest looks pretty smooth as well.

I am going to be uploading an ebook sometime soon, and will let you know how it went.

In the meantime … happy writing!

Kobo, baby!


… and I’m on Kobo. Great work, Smashwords!

Click here to have a look at “Planet of the Snake People”!

The Planet of the Snake People


Have a look at my new ebook, “Planet of the Snake People” at Smashwords, by clicking here.



Book Descriptions for eBooks


(This photo is by Tante Tati and is available on Pixabay)

I am publishing my first ebook today. It has been traveling with me for many years, haunting me perhaps. It’s short. Too short, possibly.

But then … it’s all I wanted to say.

So I didn’t write more.

But that is (not quite) the purpose of this post. Because this post deals with book descriptions.

You see, I had polished this little nugget and was raring to go, opened the “Publish” page on Smashwords … and then they asked me for a book description.

I quietly closed the browser tab and opened a fresh one … and searched for “book descriptions”.

I found a few, but thought I would recommend this one for anyone else looking for some guidance on writing a book description. It’s a blog post written by Mark Edwards for Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog with the byline “She turns coffee into books so that she can afford to buy more coffee, and more books” … 🙂

It’s from 2012, and she has marked it up as a “Really Old Post”. But old is sometimes better than good … so here goes.

The post is called “The 11 Ingredients of a Sizzling Book Description” and you can read the full post here, but allow me to summerise just enough to make you click the orange hyperlinked “here” in this sentence:

  1. Make it clear.
  2. Write in your genre.
  3. Don’t be afraid to reference other books or writers.
  4. The book is more important than you.
  5. The first line is the most important.
  6. It should be as long as it needs to be.
  7. Don’t be boring.
  8. Make them laugh, cry, cower.
  9. Use testimonials.
  10. Make your characters live.
  11. Make the reader desperate to know what happens.


Well, I definitely found it inspiring. (I think.) And this is what I came up with for my debut:

Something stirred in the tall grass field.
Something big. Something low.
In dreams the primordial fears rule.

This simple dream parable asks some of the hardest questions a believer will have to face: are you seeing things that are not? Are you seeing things that should not be? Or are you willing to take God at his word?

What do you think?

I would love to put the Amazon link to the book, which is called “Planet of the Snake People” in here, but unfortunately it isn’t on Amazon … well, not when I am writing this post. You see, I live in South Africa, and Amazon doesn’t understand that you cannot send a royalty check (“cheque” for us non-Americans) by post (really, Amazon? Post? I haven’t been inside a post office in years!) to a developing country. Because it’s not going to get here. Ever. And if, by some  miracle of miracles it bypasses the hot sweaty hands of a cheque-grabber, the banks don’t believe that it’s real, so they send the check BACK to America so that Amazon can confirm that it’s real before they pay it out.

… yeah. The joys of living in the developing world.

So, once Amazon allows EFT payments to South Africans, I’ll be first in the queue to upload and link and share … but until then Smashwords is gracious enough to allow Penpal royalty payments, so I’ll happily publish there.

I think I might have gone off on a bit of a rant … I actually just wanted to talk about this brilliant post on creating book descriptions for your ebooks. Do remember to click on the orange “here” a bit higher up in this post so that you can go read Catherine’s blog and Mark’s post.

Have fun y’all!




The eBook Saga


I have been reading and listening to a lot of Steve Scott’s stuff lately. I am really impressed with him. I like the way that he shares information freely and how he is brutally honest about how much work goes into being an “overnight success”.

(And my little cynical voice of course wants to congratulate him on creating a brilliant brand while I really  hope that he is as good as he sounds. But enough of that.)

If you want to find out a bit more about him, you can go to his website or watch him on one of several interviews on YouTube. I have bought a number of his books off Amazon and they are just chockablock with handy info. This one is a nice bundled special containing three of his books. Please note that the way he writes is mostly in the field of affiliate marketing, niche and authority sites. Although I find it fascinating how you can earn such a tidy income in these fields, the reason why I enjoy listening to him, is not so much mentoring in this field, as it is being inspired by his willingness to through himself into a specific field (ebooks are a new field for him) and trying out different strategies.

And, of course, his work ethic.

Which is scary.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, the fact of the matter is that I have two books that I have chopped into bits. At the moment I am working on the bits and I hope to flesh out each of the bits into a short book which I want to publish via Smashwords. For those of you who don’t know Smashwords, which is an ebook self-publishing and distribution platform, here is and interview by Joanna Penn with Mark Corker, and here is a video in which the owner, Mark Corker, explains how to publish your book.

… So, even if you are “serious about writing”, maybe learn a bit from Steve about self-discipline (he uses a pomador app to help structure his writing sessions) and a maybe have a look at Smashwords for that great novel you are writing. They distribute on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, and lots more.

But, let’s get writing. I will keep you up to date on my progress.

Indie writing vs Big-5 publishing.


Have a look at this great report by authorearnings.com – really worth a read!

Favourites, anyone?


I like reading about the process of writing. To be honest – I might like it a bit too much. It is SUCH a handy excuse for not writing … *blush*

That being said, I really enjoyed Jeff’s list in this link: http://goinswriter.com/best-writing-books/

I am a huge King fan and fully agree with Jeff about King’s On Writing. Another favourite for those of you writing novels, was The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass. Really helped me understand the bigger picture.

What would YOU like to add to the list?

“On Not Writing” by Bill Hayes

"Silence" by Johann Heinrich Füssli
“Silence” by Johann Heinrich Füssli

Have you ever found yourself in the deep end of “not writing”?

Have a look at this great blog post by Bill Hayes in The New York Times:    “On Not Writing”

%d bloggers like this: