Monthly Archives: January 2013

How To Get Your eBooks Published On Apple iBookstore

When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a musician, producing my own songs for the world to listen. I’m sure many people have similar dreams, and we are lucky to live in this technology era where there’s Youtube. It makes many people’s dreams come true. (BTW I’m still doing my songs recording).

Later in life, I have a different dream. This dream of mine is to publish books. As you know, I’m a big bookworm. I read everyday without fail. I’ve set my own target to read at least 30 books in 2013. I always believe that through reading, I can shorten my path towards my goals. For example, if I want to learn how to trade successfully, I’ll read financial books. If I want to start a business, I’ll read entrepreneurs books. If I want to beat a game, I’ll read the game’s walkthrough. You can find books of any niches without fail. There are books that will excite you for sure!

After reading for years, I’ve wanted to have my own books. I know it’s very tough and expensive to publish a hard-cover physical book. The profits for physical books are shrinking these years. Authors are dying of hunger before they succeed. I definitely don’t want to be one.

Luckily, things changed. Books became digital and people gladly accepted them. eBooks are gaining its popularity exponentially. In 2008, Amazon, the largest ebook seller reported that ebook sales surplus physical books, and going strong. I know ebooks will be the future how people do their reading. Just look around and you will notice how many people are reading from their mobile phones and tablets these days.

With that in mind, I set my path clearly towards ebooks. Advantages are plentiful, such as:

  • Easy and convenient – I do my own publishing and do not depend on others.
  • Home based – Totally work from home.
  • Small name – Anyone can do it.
  • High commission – Earnings can be from 50% – 70% per sale.
  • Exposure – Selling to the whole world instead of local bookstore.
  • Tests – Easy spilt tests and tracking for prices.
  • Environmental friendly – No paper, no trees involved.

These are just some of the advantages. There are plenty more. The most important reasons for me to do it are mainly for the convenience and high commission. I’ve tried to set all my businesses to run from home passively. Publishing eBooks definitely fit into that category.

Having my ebook ready for publishing, I have to look for a merchant (market place) that can publish my ebook digitally. The 2 largest market places for ebooks are of course Amazon and Apple iBookstore. I believe Amazon is still the number 1 ebook market place currently, but Apple is catching up with the tremendous sales of iPad mini. I find that iPad mini is designed for reading more than working and playing games. If more people are carrying iPad mini, or any Apple’s products, ebook sales will piggyback on its success. I want to tap on Apple’s success as well!

I’ve found a site – Lulu.com that can publish ebooks to Apple iBookstore and other major merchants such as Barnes and Noble for free. This totally excites me. All I need to do is to register for an account, and follow the steps inside. The steps are pretty straight forward, except for a part where you need to have proper text and headings for your document.

I’m using MS word for my ebook, and was rejected many times for wrong fonts used, titles, etc. You have to take note of this. Apple is very strict about the format of your ebook, with the title, content pages and fonts. One simple tip I learned was to select all (Ctrl A) and click Normal font under Home tab in MS Word.

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After changing all your fonts to normal, all you have to do is to start a fresh page for every new chapter, and select Heading 1 for the Title of your new chapter. This will map your title to page number at the content page automatically.

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I always get this step wrong. But after being rejected for over 10 times and resubmitted 10 times, my ebook is finally approved. Although it was approved by Lulu, It’ll still take a few weeks for my ebook to go through the screening by Apple before appearing “live” on Apple iBookstore. All I have to do is to wait patiently. There’s nothing much I can do now.

Finally after the long wait, I finally got the final approval and my ebook was live! When you see your very first self published ebook went live, no words can express that kind of feeling. It’s great!

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So now, I’ve cleared 1 more to-do item. I’ll continue to self publish more ebooks along the way, and at mean time, I’ll explore ways to deliver my ebook through Amazon Kindle.

So do you want to self publish your ebook too? Let me know through the comments below.

SGX Trading in 2013 – Yield And Dividends

I’ve been an active investor, always finding ways to beat SGX market. I started trading when I started working. With the influenced of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, I’ve been telling myself my money has to work harder than me. Thus, I started my POEMS account.

Like most Singaporean, I started trading Singapore Stock Market, or SGX. I still remember at a point of time I was so crazy over the prices movement I was calling my broker almost every hour. Ever since internet trading was introduced, I started to trade online by myself.

Fast forward till today, I’ve invested over $100k into stocks. Previously I purchased shares for prices movement. I did not know much about trading and purely just looking at charts and prices. Now, though I’m still learning, I started to invest in dividend stocks.

I always prefer to make passive income, rather than 1 huge sum of money. I like stability, with endless stream of money coming in every month. After reading Warren Buffett Way, I started to search for high yield, high dividend counters to invest. I’m going to re-organized my portfolio and rebuild them into a solid dividends-based portfolio. So how to pick the best dividend stocks in SGX?

Some of the criteria I’ve set for myself are

  • Must not be a cheap stock ($0.40 and above)
  • Must give consistent dividends for the past 5 years.
  • The yield must be as high as possible, preferably over 7%. (Meaning if I invest $10,000, I must get $700 every year).
  • Must not be in Manufacturing Sector. (I’m an Engineer myself and I know manufacturing sector in Singapore is dying).
  • The share prices must not fluctuate too much as I’m looking for long term dividends growth, rather than prices fluctuation. I’m not going to sell these counters and plan to hold for life.
  • The PE ratio must be below 15.

Sad to say, with over $100k invested, my current portfolio is bringing me around 2% yield, which means I’m getting only $2000 back per year. My 2013 target is to bring my yield to 5%, drawing back $5000 this year, then roll the money back into stock market. This is called compound interest. Warren Buffett is able to compound his income to USD45B within 50 years! I’m just looking for $1M 🙂

I’ve set these criteria and the next job is to filter out these gold nuggets. Though I can simply buy STI stocks, the yield are usually not that great. So far only Starhub is inside my watchlist. I’ve found a good book called Shares Investor. It’s a bi-weekly book. The first few pages will share the top dividend counters, sort by sector. With that, it makes my work easier.

After filtering out the cheap stocks, I’ve list out several good counters. Further homework is to check the past 5 years dividends and make sure the dividends keep rising and not falling. Lastly, the yield has to be right. I’m calculating how much I will get if I’ve invested $10k to this stock. Different counters will have different yields.

In order to hit my target of 5% yield, I’ve to sell off some of my counters and reinvest in high yield stocks, plus pumping in several more capital. I’ve offloaded 1 of my losing counter (Raffles Edu) and 3 winning counters (Triyards, Golden Agri, Tiong Woon) to offset the balance.

Since these counters’ dividends sucked, my idea is to sell them away, collected the money and reinvest in high dividend counters. I’ve waited for the right chance to sell off these 4 counters as I did not want to lose any money. I want these 4 counters to break even. And finally, today, STI shot up over 30 points. All these 4 counters went up and I offloaded them happily!

With cash in hand, I’m now sitting on the side waiting for the next recession or bad news to happen. I know it’s bad to say this, but to win is not when you sell, it’s when you buy. During 2008 recession, I’ve threw in tons of money and making tons back. I’m sure I won’t get this chance anymore, so I’ll just wait for a dip to go in.

By doing so, I can almost guarantee a nice dividend return, plus some allowance for the stocks to go down. I’m looking at 20-30% drop. Some of the counters I’m monitoring are: SATS, MIIF, Sim Lian, CapitalRChina, 2nd Chance. These counters easily can give over 8-10% yield. Recently I’ve purchase Sabana, giving me 8% yield as well.

So do you trade too? What’s your strategies and counters to recommend? I’ll like to hear from you.