What’s So Great About Nilotica Shea Butter?

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015, 2016

Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1 lisa maligaI took 178 photos over the span of three days. It’s what I do to make sure I get the right photo. Shea butter is very sensitive to heat and sunlight – two things that I needed to get photos of my star ingredient. A hot sunny day provided awesome lighting conditions but the melt threat was on red alert. Photographing shea butter at noon is akin to taking a photo of a bowl of ice cream. I found a sunny corner indoors but the light was too intense even after a nice improvised background.

Braving the 87 degree heat, I placed the two containers on top of a tray table. I got the shot, and now it’s on the cover of my latest eBook, Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1.

Click images to enlarge. I spent quite a while making the recipes and taking the pictures. I tested the Nilotica shea butter. I tested it raw, right out of the container. I tested it midway through the whipping process and afterwards. Ever since I first tried it back in 2009, I adore Nilotica shea butter. And I hope you want to learn more about this marvelous and versatile nut butter.

Here’s the official blurb:

Learn the quickest and easiest way to whip Nilotica shea butter. Each recipe is easy to follow and includes the time it takes and amount it yields. Find out the secret to getting that incredibly light and airy texture. Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1 is written by the author of Nuts About Shea Butter and How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars.

niloticacover 004
Nice shea, not so nice lighting!

This ebook also contains:

* Original, tested step-by-step recipes
* Aromatherapy and your skin
* Recommended equipment
* Supplier resources
* Color photos
* Special care and storage tips

Nilotica whipped shea butter is so lightweight it almost floats!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nilotica-East-African-Butter-Whipped-ebook/dp/B017WJCRT8

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nilotica-East-African-Butter-Whipped-ebook/dp/B017WJCRT8

B&N NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nilotica-east-african-shea-body-butter-recipes-lisa-maliga/1123394756
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1083060832
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/nilotica-east-african-shea-body-butter-recipes
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/298861008/Nilotica-East-African-Shea-Body-Butter-Recipes-The-Whipped-Shea-Butter-Series-1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/614536

Excerpt from an Amazon reader review: “She states in the introduction how many years she’s been working with nut butters and it shows. Good information that is presented in clear language. She provides factual information on the properties of Nilotica Shea Butter.” 

whipped nilotica shea butter
Whipped Nilotica Shea Butter — standing up to the test!


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Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes

Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes lisa maligaBy Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2015-2016

When I first began crafting melt and pour glycerin soap, I was always more interested in what went into the soap rather than how creative or unique it looked. I still like to make a variety of shapes and colors, but I’m more intrigued by what additives improve melt and pour soap. I think I’ve succeeded in using the best types of soap bases on the market that are good for all skin types and don’t cost much more than standard melt and pour soap bases. Best of all, none of them contain sulfates!

What’s it about?

If you want to make the most natural soap without using lye, here is a way to craft organic and sulfate free melt and pour glycerin soap at home. In less than an hour, you can craft lovely organic, sulfate free and eco-friendly Castile soaps with these carefully tested recipes.

This eBook contains:

* Organic, sulfate free and Castile melt and pour soap bases: facts and tips

* How dangerous are sulfates, surfactants and propylene glycol?

* Is your fragrance phthalate free?

* Original, tested step-by-step recipes

* Photographs of all soap recipes and soap bases

* Melt and pour mishaps

* What to look for in a supplier

* Where to buy links

* African black soap information

eBook Links

Amazon version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes
Amazon UK version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes
B & N Nook version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes
iTunes version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes
Kobo version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes
Scribd version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes
Smashwords version: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes 

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Give the Gift of Hand Crafted Soap!

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015-2016

I don’t ordinarily change book covers one week after launching a new title. In fact, changing a book cover is something I don’t like to do unless it’s necessary. After all, it takes quite some time to upload it to the bookstores, my blogs, website and places like Face Book, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.

The first time I saw the baby pink Happy Birthday Melt and Pour Soap Recipes cover objectively was on my Kindleboards signature line after updating it. Checking to see if the titles were in correct order, I scarcely noticed the new title. In other words, it was too subdued to attract my attention  due to the pale background and white font. Then I wondered how many others had overlooked the cover?


Clearly, I needed a brighter cover. I carefully scrutinized other books and eBooks on Amazon in the crafts section, not just the soap and candles area, and found more inspiration. I wanted a cheerful cover, as birthdays are generally joyful events.

After receiving the new cover, I posted both book covers on two different Face Book pages to get peoples’ opinions ranging from authors, readers and cover designers. I’d also posted it in a small cover size, similar to what’s seen on most online bookstores. Most people chose the second book cover.

So, here it is – a new book with a newer cover!happy birthday melt and pour soap recipes lisa maliga ebook

Amazon, Amazon UK, B&N NOOKKobo, Scribd

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24K True Gold Soap~what a gift!

Plagiarism Isn’t Cute!

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2014

My eBook, Matcha Green Tea Melt & Pour Soap Recipe, had been plagiarized. This free 23-pager is available on Amazon, B&N NOOK, Smashwords, Kobo, and many other places online.

I burst out laughing when I saw that someone named Jay Cute had disfigured the cover: plagueMatcha

Wow, great job of hiding my name! I think children in the lower levels of grade school could do better work.

Also, this individual had the nerve of whittling the eBook down to 15 pages and charging $2.50. Mr. or Ms. Jay Cute also took the time to enroll it in the Kindle Unlimited program, which the original is not.

The person who emailed me about this theft also included an Amazon link to report the problem. I saw the faux eBook had acquired a few one-star reviews, all warning people not to purchase it as it was plagiarized.

On December 7, there were 37 eBooks attributed to the busy Jay Cute: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JAY%20CUTE&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

But by the early morning hours of December 8, they had vanished into cyberspace.

I also want to thank fellow author Glynis Smy for posting this information on my Facebook page – helping to warn others about this not-so-cute thief who stole people’s eBooks. Before the eBooks vanished, I noticed that one of the stolen books had a ranking of about 567,000. Unfortunately, that meant that at least one copy had been sold.

At least the problem was taken care of once it was made public. Thanks to those who care about plagiarized works and take the time to do something about it.

NOTE: If you discover a plagiarized book on Amazon, here’s the link to report it:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/infringement

Starting a Crafty eCommerce Business Website

By Lisa Maliga, Copyright 2014

I’m sharing some basic tips on how to launch a crafty eCommerce business website.

Your website is your storefront. Will you design your own website or hire a professional? Another option is to get a predesigned virtual store at Etsy, eBay, Artfire, WordPress, etc.

Buy Your Domain Name

Usually it costs less than $10 per year.

More than a decade ago, I bought the domain name everythingshea.com which I still own. Although people from China wanted to own it, I said no, you can use whatever you want in Chinese but in good old American English it’s still EverythingShea.com. After all, I started this company because I love shea butter, and all my products contain shea butter.

Internet History: Archive.org

If you’re not already familiar with http://www.archive.org you might want to be. If you start an online website, whether you’ll be running it as a store, or just as a nice online display case of your product[s], it’s a helpful site to visit. You can see just about any website’s history or find out if the website ever existed and/or what it looked like years ago.

PayPal Shopping Cart

I used PayPal as my shopping cart. It’s free and all you pay is a small percentage for each sale. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, PayPal is an option you’ll want to consider. Also, PayPal is the payment of choice on Artfire, Etsy, eBay and many other online shops.

It’s All About You!

the soapmaker's guide to online marketing, lisa maliga, ebooks, soapmaking, soapcrafting, online marketingAside from having an eye catching, keyword-friendly main page, I recommend having an About page on your website. Visitors can get to know about you and your products. This increases customer confidence, tells us how long you’ve been making your products, and what inspired you to make them.

This page should feature information about the origins of your company. Share photos of your products—even if it’s only one. You can also have pictures of you and/or your workplace. If you have a soap site and sell soap bars or shampoo used for animals, show a picture of a dog being bathed in your soap. For an author’s website, display your picture, book cover, and/or workplace.

Expanding the WWW

The WWW is like the universe – expansive! It grows page by page, picture by picture, and video by video–every day and night. Like authors writing more books and uploading them onto Amazon, B&N NOOK, Kobo, iTunes, etc., the more titles you have, the more web pages you have, the more likely you are to be noticed.

Each page should accurately represent your product and not use any tricks. I’m a firm believer in quality versus quantity. Show and tell the audience why they need to buy your product. Be creative. Use photos and videos. Make it a visual feast that engages even a casual surfer. Lovingly describe your products, attracting people in such a way that they want to learn more—and become your customers!


Testimonials – Ask for them. Get them. Use them with the buyer’s permission.

Free Samples or Paid Samplers?

shea butter sampler everythingshea.com

As I was running an online only store, I didn’t offer free samples. However, I sold samplers containing several varities of shea butter and handcrafted soap. I always included a sample with any PAID order.

However, for authors, offering a free eBook will attract more readers. And there isn’t any mailing fee!

Learn more about online promotion here:

Promoting Your Website ~ An Excerpt from “The Soapmakers Guide to Online Marketing”

Notes from Nadir ~ The Second Edition ~ Plus Excerpt

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2013

This second edition has been updated and expanded.

It’s 2009. Lisa Hansen is impacted by the great recession and can’t focus on her writing career. She has to make the tough decision to stay in Los Angeles or return to her former Midwestern home. Not having seen her mother in over a decade, she moves back in with her in a suburban semi-retirement community. Confronted with long forgotten memories, Lisa finds it difficult to adjust to life in Nadir. She works a couple of dead end jobs, and meets Gordon, a sexy British bakery owner. An opportunity to freelance for him and work as a writer/photographer at The Factory ensures a better income. But how long will she be confined in a lifestyle that she has long outgrown? “Notes from Nadir” is an alternatively poignant and amusing story of life’s unforeseen journeys, sorrows, and rewards.

Notes from Nadir is approximately 88,000 words/292 pages. 

Here is an excerpt from the Mom’s Garden chapter:

Mom definitely had that proverbial green thumb. Even when she lived in a small apartment with only a second story balcony to tame, she managed to fill it every spring with flower pots and flower boxes and the plain cement slab was transformed with her favorite shades of pastels and brighter colored floral bouquets. She loved petunias, especially the striped ones. I was a gawky teen when we moved to that apartment in a large complex filled with bare naked balconies. Mom’s stood out so much since she wrapped the black iron bars with aqua and white webbing like a Longaberger basket. She also covered the concrete slab with a fitted rectangle of golf course green indoor/outdoor carpeting.

In her Hampton Lake home she had a large garden surrounded by a tall wooden fence. She loved her creation and when I noticed it perking up in the warming days, I shared her joy. A winding path had been created from carefully placed white stones. Evergreen bushes covered one side. A few hanging plants contributed lush orange red and bright pink to the corners. Along the wall facing Hampton Lake was a petunia paradise. There were several potted begonias, red and pink geraniums, and even some chives and basil. Mom had comfortable furniture and of course yours truly had to bring it out of the garage and set it up. But I didn’t mind really, it made her happy to be out there. She had a mini storage compartment that held all her gardening gear. She wore her big floppy flowered sunhat, green patterned gloves, and had a garden kneeler, the double foam rubber cushion giving her a few minutes of comfort as she did her gardenly tasks.

My entertainment consisted of the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel [Dead & Gone book #9] and for a snack there was a pint of Ben & Jerry’s strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Unless Mom got all revved up about some project that involved planting more flowers or moving something. If that happened, I knew that book would go unread and my ice cream would turn liquid as I’d be drafted into helping out.

So much time had passed since I last lived with her and had to endure all the bookish interruptions, “Lisa, you’re strong, could you help me dig a hole for the new evergreen.” The old pay me a compliment and get me to work trick. But it was far worse for my uncle whenever he visited as he was kept hopping doing plumbing and electrical repairs. Now, I was able to enjoy my ice cream and cool off in a shady spot while she sat in her chair and rested. 

If you are a book reviewer and would like an ARC of Notes from Nadir, please email me at: lisa_maliga@msn.com

notes from nadir paperbacknotes from nadir lisa maliga ebook cover

Out of the Blue ~ Behind the Novel

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2013, 2014

Out of the Blue was a unique book for me to write as much of the story takes place in England. It involved a little jaunt across the ocean. I took some time off from work and traveled around England for several months. Staying in London was too expensive so I went north – to the Cotswolds. There I stumbled upon a small village inn that served as a model for the Windrush Arms Hotel.

The village did boast a “television personality” a man nearing retirement age who had once upon a time been in two long-running British telly shows. I’d never heard of him but the way he was treated by the locals clued me in that he was “a somebody.” The barmaid was a young Italian woman who was also traveling around and improving her English. I later learned that she took up with the “television personality” but I never learned of their fate.

I wondered what if the actor was a little more known internationally? And what if the young woman who was interested in him was American? Thus, the beginnings of “Out of the Blue” were born.

Much of the action takes place in a small, scenic village in the U.K. It’s the late autumn of 1981, and the Princess of Wales was expecting Prince William. You’ll find no mention of cell phones, Prince Harry, i-anything, 9-11 … back then people actually smoked in pubs and ashtrays were even provided.

OK, without any more of an intro, here’s the official blurb:

out of the blue a novel by lisa maligaIt all began in the summer of 1979 …

Sylvia Gardner is a naïve library clerk who lives with her dysfunctional mother in Richport, Illinois. Vivian tells her daughter not to trust men because they only want to use her. After being dumped by her first boyfriend, Sylvia falls in love with an English actor after watching him on a PBS drama. Researching Alexander Thorpe’s life and career for two years, she saves her money so she can visit him in his Cotswolds village. She stays at the Windrush Arms Hotel, soon discovering they share a secret connection.

Complications ensue when Harry Livingstone, the hotel’s drunken proprietor, takes a fancy to the young American. As in her dreams, Sylvia and Alexander get together – but with unexpected results.

Out of the Blue is available in eBook and paperback formats.
Ebook links: Amazon, Amazon UK, B&N NOOK, Smashwords