Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes ~ New eBook Serves Cooks & ‘The Walking Dead’ Fans

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

It’s almost a month until The Walking Dead returns for a seventh season. There are six seasons where no one’s seen Daryl bathe or shower. Of course, when we left him back in April in the episode “Last Day on Earth”, he wasn’t thinking about cleaning up. In fact, with the introduction of Neagan and Lucille, Daryl wasn’t looking too good. 

While I’m looking forward to the return of the show on October 23, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to know who Lucille’s going to meet up close and personal. Yes, I’ve read the rumors and have visited some sites that have leaked photos and other news. However, I’ve been too busy making soap [and French macarons] to do more than glance at the information. I’ll find out for sure next month. I’ve waited this long, what’s another four weeks?

I received a wonderful gift from a friend who’s also a fan of the show and of the Daryl Dixon character. I was so pleased with how appropriate it was that I used it in this photo:

espressosoapwatermark

As many chefs know, coffee removes strong odors such as onions, garlic, fish, and meat. It’d probably be great for a guy like Daryl after some run-ins with zombies…and maybe a few of Neagan’s unpleasant companions. People who probably don’t have access to hot and cold running water and soap. If they did, I have a hunch they’d all like some Espresso Coffee Kitchen Soap.

So, I’d like to introduce my latest soap crafting eBook. Naturally, I made all the soaps and took photos of them. I was running low on soap. Now, my soap dishes and soap cabinet are full again.

Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes

It’s easy to create chef’s soap in your kitchen. Quickly cook up a batch of soap that will wash away strong kitchen odors. Now you can make excellent smelling and deodorizing soaps with four classic and carefully tested recipes.

For less than the price of a cup of coffee you’ll get:

  • Original, kitchen-tested recipes
  • Photographs of all recipes and soap bases
  • Fragrance and essential oil information
  • Types of soap molds
  • Where to buy links
  • FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Kindle link: Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes

Kindle UK link: Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes

optimized-kitchensoapmelt-2

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Activated Charcoal Soap Benefits

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015

Activated charcoal is the type of coal you want to use any time of the year! Here’s an excerpt from my eBook, Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes

Nope, it’s not found in your outdoor gardening section in lumps of coal that’s coated with lighter fluid. Charcoal is very porous and is known for purifying water. Activated charcoal has been used as an antidote for poisons. It’s often used in hospitals to help with drug overdoses. There are various types of activated charcoal that you can buy for only a few dollars per ounce. The main types are: activated bamboo charcoal, activated coconut shell charcoal that has a neutral pH, and activated hardwood or willow bark charcoal.

Activated charcoal from coconut shells is a natural body deodorizer that also has cleansing and exfoliating properties. As it’s highly absorbent, it may help draw dirt from the pores, so this is a handy soap for very active/athletic people or those who live in urban areas.

Storage Tips: Activated charcoal should be stored in a container [NOT a bag] with a securely closed lid. By keeping it airtight, charcoal will not attract pollutants. Well-stored charcoal has an indefinite shelf life.

Also, when opening the container of charcoal, do so slowly and carefully due to the fineness of this ingredient. If you open it too quickly, you might spill some. If so, clean the surface right away!

charcoalcherry
Activated Charcoal Soap

As you can see, the color is jet black yet the suds are nice and white. Using any type of clear melt and pour glycerin soap base is recommended if you want this dramatic color. Another advantage to this type of soap is that you don’t have to be concerned about a fragrance or essential oil changing the color.

In my eBook I include two [2] different recipes for soap that contains activated charcoal. Yes, I love the stuff!

Read more about activated charcoal and other wonderful additives in this one of a kind eBook! Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes

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Oatmeal + Honey + Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2011-2016

 

labreatarpitssoap
Oatmeal + Honey + Goat’s Milk Soap

This is my favorite soap to make as it’s so good for one’s skin and is gentle enough to use for a facial soap. the following recipe is from my eBook, THE JOY OF MELT AND POUR SOAP CRAFTING.

 

Oatmeal + Honey + Goat’s Milk Soap

Ingredients:

16 ounces white soap base
1/4 cup ground oatmeal [rolled oats, not instant oatmeal]
1 teaspoon organic honey
1 teaspoon powdered goat’s milk
1 teaspoon vanilla fragrance
OR oatmeal, milk & honey fragrance [optional]

Mold:

4 four-ounce molds

Instructions:

Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. If not using goat’s milk base, add the powdered goat’s milk. Just before it’s fully melted add oatmeal and honey. Stir well. Add fragrance and remove from heat. When soap is just starting to form a layer, pour into molds. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from molds. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label. 

the joy of melt and pour soap crafting by lisa maliga
Click for link

Oatmeal Note: The above method will create a soap bar with oatmeal on one side only. To make Oatmeal+Honey+Goat’s Milk with the oatmeal suspended throughout the soap, you must stir in the oatmeal, turn off the crock pot OR double boiler, and stir occasionally for approximately 5-10 minutes while the soap mixture thickens. 

eBook link: https://lisamaliga.wordpress.com/nonfiction-books/the-joy-of-melt-and-pour-soap-crafting

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soap base

Is Melt and Pour Soap Handmade or Handcrafted?

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2015-2016

oatmeal cream & honey rebatch soap
Oatmeal, Cream & Honey Soap

I’ve heard and read the argument that any soap that’s made from scratch using oils, liquids and lye is handmade soap. I agree.

There’s the other side of the debate where soapers think that melt and pour soap isn’t handmade. I agree.

Some claim that it’s not handcrafted. I disagree.

I appreciate what made from scratch soap entails. Whether made for personal use or sold online or at crafts fairs, homemade soap is true soap. Those who are new to it may make some mistakes. Fragrances and colors morph, they’ll encounter science-fair worthy lye volcanoes, and they might inadvertently discover DOS [dreaded orange spots] that can appear days or even weeks later. Handmade soap can have a high learning curve for some people. That’s why melt and pour soap crafting is more appealing as crafters don’t have to work with lye and it’s generally considered easier. That may or may not be true as some melt and pour soap crafting techniques are more difficult to master, especially swirling and layering. Yes, even melt and pour soap crafting can be quite time consuming.

Melt and pour soap crafting is a legitimate craft. It’s not just slicing up soap, popping it into the microwave, and getting a perfect bar of soap each time. There are color and fragrance considerations. What, if any, skin-loving additives will you put in your batch? What type of mold will you use? How will you wrap and label your soap?

Nor is it buying a log of soap, cutting it up into a few bars, and wrapping and labeling them. 1. That would be an unscented and uncolored bar of soap. 2. It wouldn’t be handmade or handcrafted — it would be handcut!

Genuine melt and pour soap crafters use the best type of soap base available as they’ve learned what ingredients to look for – and what ingredients to avoid. As I’ve been hand crafting melt and pour soap since 1998, I’ve seen the two standard types of soap base [transparent and opaque] multiply into dozens of different bases such as: shea butter, honey, goat’s milk, avocado oil, yogurt, carrot oil, mango butter, SLS free, etc. I’ve also seen some highly talented crafters out there who make soap in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Handcrafting melt and pour soap has so many wonderful possibilities. Just go to Pinterest and type in the term “M&P” or “melt and pour soap”. You’ll be amazed – and inspired!

Let’s get visual. Here’s a photo of two different types of soap base, transparent and Castile. [Click to enlarge images]. 

soap base
blocks of soap base

A crafter will see this soap base as the raw material. How does it go from nicely wrapped blocks of soap to much smaller and more colorful [and fragrant] bars of soap?

There are several steps from slicing the soap base, melting it, adding colorant and fragrance and pouring the correct amount into a special soap mold.

charcoal cat activated coconut charcoal made by lisa maliga
Black Cat Soap

Here’s the end result. 

See how a raw base can be handcrafted into a dramatically colored and scented bar of soap?

To learn more about making this recipe and other soap crafting information, check out my eBook Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes

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fragrances

Looking for a Soap Crafting Supplier?

By Lisa Maliga copyright 2015

soap base
Soap Bases

This is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of my latest eBook, Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes.

I used to buy my herbs, soap bases, molds and oils from suppliers in buildings rather than online. Nowadays, I order online because I make soap part time and don’t sell it. Over the years, I’ve learned what makes a good supplier — one that you will order from repeatedly.

Website:

It helps if the site is visually appealing, showing photos of their supplies. How well laid out is the site? Does it have a prominently placed search feature? Can you find the type of soap base you need? Are the soap base’s ingredients listed? What other products are available from fragrances to molds to packaging?

Prices:

fragrances
Fragrances & Essential Oils

This is where you’ll want to shop around to compare where you can get the best value. Do they sell their soap by the pound, two-pound container, or only in larger quantities? Keep a list either on a computer document or on a pad of paper and write down the amounts that a given supplier charges. Do they have a sale page; a closeout section/discontinued products area? Perhaps they have a customer rewards program that will help if you plan to purchase a lot of soap. Do they offer coupons, discounts or free shipping? Is there an order minimum? By scrutinizing the site, you may end up saving money. If you’re a newbie to soap crafting, it’s practical to order the smallest sizes available so that you don’t end up with products that you never use or have to sell/give away.

Variety of Products:

Large suppliers like Brambleberry.com carry an array of products. This is the ultimate convenience in one-stop-shopping. If you’re just starting out and have to buy most of your soap bases, scents, molds, colorants, etc. you can also fill your shopping cart with way more than originally anticipated, so be careful.

Types of Payment:

Do they accept PayPal, major credit cards, eChecks, money orders, cashier’s checks, C.O.D. or other payment options? Can you snail mail them a check? Do they accept international orders? Do you need to register to make a purchase or can you bypass registration? Can you order online, via phone, fax, snail mail or email?

About the Company:

How long have they been in business? Are they online only or do they have a storefront? Do they provide free soap making/soap crafting resources? Does the owner or owners make soap and have an extensive background in soap/bath and body products crafting? Do they have a blog? If so, how frequently is it updated? Are they on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc? Do they offer discounts or coupons? Are there free video tutorials, and/or recipes? Do they sell eBooks and books?

Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes lisa maligaFind out more about suppliers and soap crafting here: Organic and Sulfate Free Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Crafting Recipes

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70% of Nothing: The Reality of Indie Publishing

By Lisa Maliga, Copyright 2015

computerscreenI barely passed basic math in seventh grade, but I’ve learned a lot about numbers, percentages and book rankings since 2010.

On October 21, I released my $2.99 novel, Notes from Nadir, which I had serialized via my blog of the same title. The price was chosen because I would earn a 70% royalty rate. I sold four copies the first month, the same number in November, and soon the book was ignored.

By February 2011, I had five novels on Amazon and a few other stores. The titles were previously published online and I had regained my full rights. Sales in the dawn of e-publishing [2000-2004] were minimal and I noticed nothing had changed, except that I was now doing all the work.

I self-published my nonfiction titles as I had extensive experience making soap and bath and body products. Over time, my eBooks were available on 12 other Amazon marketplaces like the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, etc. I uploaded titles to B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, CreateSpace [paperbacks], iTunes, and Draft2Digital. I joined AuthorsDen, Manic Readers, Twitter, Face Book and WordPress. I’ve had my own website since 2001 and this year I launched a newsletter and offered free eBooks. I have two instructional videos and two book trailers on YouTube, and I joined Pinterest because I like photography.

When it comes to nonfiction books, I’ve discovered that it’s exceedingly difficult to get linkbacks/mentions from companies/sources that are listed. I revised one of my titles to include several photos and interview some suppliers. While I provide their links and contact information, they won’t add a link to my eBook on their website, nor mention it in a newsletter/blog.

Why are those listed suppliers unable to provide a link? I’m asking for no money and in many cases have even spent money on their product[s]! I offered them a free copy of my eBook in their preferred format.

Don’t these suppliers realize that they can make money from eBooks? Should a consumer read it and want to buy supplies, that supplier has just picked up some biz? Also, if a supplier has an Amazon or B&N affiliate link, they’ll get money for each copy sold from their website. [I realize that not all websites sell via Amazon/B&N].

Indie writers are easy to ignore. They have no agents, managers or publicists to get the word of their eBooks out there. Ironically, while many of the bath and body suppliers are fond of the term FAIR TRADE, they won’t do a simple link exchange which would actually benefit their own company!

But I kept writing until my titles increased from 1 to 32, almost evenly divided between fiction and nonfiction. Contrary to the myth that more books equal more sales, I’ve found the opposite to be true. As of August 2015, I have 7 more titles yet I’ve earned 30% less than I did in June 2014 on Amazon.

Approximately 90,000 eBooks are released on Amazon every month. The chances of any book being seen are in the league of unlikely to very unlikely.

How does a writer earn a decent living by writing eBooks? Four years ago, I saw a pattern. They wrote an eBook or two, especially a series or serial, blogged, went to other authors’ blogs and left comments. Those other authors had a larger following, so the neophyte eBook author sucked up to the “bigger authors” and dished out excellent book reviews, hoping to get the same treatment for their books. Even after that exhausting circle of writing, praising other writers, and occasionally having other writers praise you, they still hadn’t seen an increase in book sales. Others have speculated that at the start of the self-pubbing boom, some authors bought dozens of good reviews on Fiverr, thus launching their careers.  A self-published author/blogger exhorted their followers to write a book, write a second book, a third, and repeat indefinitely. Unsurprisingly, that author wrote a book about how to write and market books.

After releasing my twentieth title, I thought there would be more sales. I uploaded a horror novella that had small blocks of white spaces appearing randomly throughout the book. No one contacted me about it because I never sold a single copy of the aptly titled An Author’s Nightmare.

Since then, I’ve changed how I perceive indie publishing. Whenever I upload an eBook, or even a paperback edition, it’s not publishing, it’s uploading a manuscript. I also uploaded three freebies; hoping readers would discover my other titles. Occasionally, they did.

So, how does an “indie” author get noticed? By advertising?

Advertisers are popping up all over the place like psychedelic mushrooms. They’ll send your book’s links to the best potential customers — readers. Sometimes grand promises are made of thousands of readers willing to download or buy your book. I tried getting a $2.99 novel out to 106,000 Face Book fans. The result? Zip. I could have done that myself, as I’m a member of more than 50 book-related groups. In fact, I have. The result has been similar. With some advertisers, you’ll get a few sales or a few hundred downloads for a freebie. Then what? Not much. Your book plummets in rank, maybe you get a review or two, and the title rests in obscurity with hundreds of thousands of unread eBooks on Amazon, B&N and other online bookstores.

Getting lots of downloads of freebies is meaningless if no one buys your other titles. There’s another myth about more reviews attracting more sales. Sometimes it’s true, especially if they’re legitimate reviews by readers. Yet how many people actually read and review those freebies?

After my years in indie publishing, I’ve learned that only a few authors can make a lot of money. I’ve earned far less than I did when I was temping.

Being an author isn’t unique any more. Self-publishing is for anyone who can process some words, design a book cover or have one made for a few dollars. Many books aren’t even proofread, let alone edited. With the glut of available reading material, it’s almost impossible for an author’s book[s] to stand out. Most eBooks will plunge to the murky depths of internet bookstores far, far away from the best sellers. They’ll wind up with six or seven-digit rankings, doomed to obscurity.

Most people don’t read. Most people don’t buy eBooks or prefer downloading freebies. And most readers don’t review books.

And that’s what I’ve learned about selling eBooks [and paperbacks] for almost half a decade.

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happy birthday melt and pour soap recipes mini soap cake

Melt and Pour Soap Presentation

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015

happy birthday melt and pour soap recipes mini soap cakeThere are several eBooks on melt and pour soap crafting available online. This is wonderful news for those of you who wish to learn this rewarding hobby because you’ll be able to glean many helpful tips and recipes. I’ve written 11 titles, mainly concentrating on the basics that you’ll need to know, along with lots of additives that can customize your sudsy creations in many ways. Soap crafting was once a business for me, but now it’s a necessary hobby. I can’t be without soap!

I test each recipe and include photos of the process, along with the finished soap. So far, I’ve concentrated on recipes that contain a variety of additives, rather than on fancier soaps such as: swirled, 3D, stained glass, multiple layers and/or embeds. I’ve made these soaps in the past, and intend to do so again, but to effectively show such examples, that requires lots of photos. As I’m working on book #4 of the Yolanda’s Yummery series, I unfortunately don’t have time to make AND photograph any intermediate or advanced soap recipes.

However, I’d like to share a very basic presentation tip for packaging your finished soap. Here’s a brief excerpt from my latest soap crafting eBook, Happy Birthday Melt and Pour Soap Recipes.

Be creative! The best part about your soapy gift is that once it’s properly wrapped in cling wrap, you can decide how to present it to the birthday guy or gal. Since it’s not for sale, you don’t have to concern yourself with INCI terms and labels. You technically don’t even have to label it unless you want to. It’s up to you to list the ingredients as a courtesy so that if someone may be allergic to an ingredient they can regift your soap. To give you some ideas, I’m including the same soap with three different labels in the next section.

One of the simplest ways of presenting your soapy gift is to add it to a gift bag. Gift bags are easy to find in any discount store and they’re inexpensive. They come in such a variety of colors and sizes.

Ribbons also help make a lovely handcrafted creation stand out, whether wrapping the soap or a gift bag or box. If giving a gift bag of soap, you can line it with colorful crinkle cut shred or tissue paper—also available in a wide array of colors.

Say Happy Birthday with hand crafted soap! This unique book contains eight original recipes for all budgets along with melt and pour information and birthday soap presentation tips. Includes 30+ color photos.

LINKS: 

AmazonAmazon UKB&N NOOKKobo, Scribd

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Tropical Paradise Melt & Pour Soap Recipe

By Lisa Maliga, © 2015

tropicalsoapgroupWhen I go to a party store and see the vibrant luau section, I always want to buy the tiki lamps, hula skirts, leis, colorful napkins and paper plates and throw a big party. Doesn’t matter what time of year, it represents that perpetual summer—which can be good if you like warm weather and tropical scenes.

I decided to create a fun recipe to share with you. When the soaping bug hits, it hits hard and this’s the result. Tropical Paradise is a little more involved than a basic single pour method, but not much. Plus, the results are more 3-D!

I chose white soap base as that’s what I had on hand and I wanted a pastel colored theme rather than neon colors. Of course, you can use clear soap base and have a more dramatic looking contrast between clear soap and bright green or whatever color you choose mini palm tree embeds.

Both molds came from the discount store and cost $1 each. One is a storage container; the other is a plastic ice cube tray. Pictured here are the ingredients including, from left to right: containers of mica, white soap base, ice cube tray, and storage containers. The colorful tropical themed napkin is sold in a package of 20. The napkin can be used for wrapping but only after the soap has first been wrapped in cling wrap–otherwise the colors will run.

Ingredients:

1 pound white or clear soap base

Green mica

Pink mica

1 teaspoon tropical type fragrance oil [mango, coconut, pineapple, orange, tropical blend, etc.]

Molds:

3 oval or rectangular molds [4 oz each]

8 cavity mini palm tree molds [approx. 2 oz total]

tropicalsoaptreesInstructions for Palm Tree Mold:

Slice the soap base into small cubes. Just before the soap is fully melted, add the colorant. Adding fragrance to them is optional. Stir well. Slowly pour into the molds. Spritz away bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from molds. This soap will solidify within minutes. Remove and set aside.

NOTE: If you live in an area with low humidity, it’s best to allow this soap to freeze so that it’ll be even easier to keep the little soap inserts/embeds from melting when pouring the second layer.

Instructions for Oval/rectangular Mold:

Prepare your molds by placing one to three of the mini palm trees on the bottom.

Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. Stir well and add colorant. Add fragrance. Don’t pour it when it’s too hot, make sure it’s cooled down so it won’t melt the mini palm tree embeds. Then pour a small amount into molds, about half the size of your intended soap bar [2 ounces or so]. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden slightly. Test this by touching it gently with your finger. The surface should be firm but you’ll feel a little give as it won’t be completely solid. Now add more of the mini palm trees. Pour the rest of the soap so that it covers them, although you can have it so the palm trees stick out! Allow to solidify. Once it’s hardened remove from the mold. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label.tropicalsoapbars

Learn more about soap crafting! Check out my book titles and articles here: soapmaking stuff

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Don’t Buy or Borrow Kindle Unlimited Rip-off eBooks

Copyright 2015 by Lisa Maliga

 bookscomputerJust after the July launch of the Kindle Unlimited program an author of a soap making eBook emailed me asking for a review. After reading it, I got the impression that everything within the 50 pages was regurgitated information. There weren’t any resource links. The recipes weren’t coherent—add some of this oil with some of this water and this amount of lye. Instead of getting a review, the author received an email asking about her soap making experience. Unsurprisingly, there was no response.

That was my introduction to a Kindle Unlimited eBook.

Books in Kindle Unlimited, KU for short, are only found on Amazon’s website. None of the titles are available at Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Oyster, Scribd, Smashwords or other online bookstores.

While free for authors, readers pay $9.99 per month for the service that “…allows you to read as much as you want, choosing from over 700,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks. Freely explore new authors, books, and genres from mysteries and romance to sci-fi and more. You can read on any device.”

kindle unlimited logo Read this title for free and get unlimited access to over 700,000 titles.

Authors with books in the KU program generally price their titles from $0.99 to $9.99. They can also give a title away for up to 5 days during each 90-day period their title is enrolled in the KU program. If free, anyone can download the book whether they are KU members or not. Another huge benefit for the KU author is the borrowing part of the program. Whenever a KU member borrows a title, the author receives up to $1.40. The amount varies every month but it’s always more than one dollar. Even if the book is priced at 0.99, the author still gets $1.40 [or whatever the amount is that month] PER BORROW. That’s why every single rip-off title is enrolled in this program.

There are many excellent titles in the KU program. But I’m going to concentrate on the rip-off titles that are often plagiarized from websites, blogs and Pinterest. By reading this article, you’ll learn how to avoid downloading rip-offs.

[For the record: I won’t tackle fiction because that’s a lot different, especially with series, serials, billionaire romances, erotica, and alphas, etc.]

A rip-off title is usually less than 50 pages in length. Of course, regular nonfiction titles may also be brief, so I’ll point out the many red flags that boldly signal a rip-off. Again, this is only for nonfiction books, as that’s where I have the most experience as I write about soap crafting. I’m going to expand it to include all bath and body/bath and beauty books. However, even if you read and write about real estate or farming, you still should find this article helpful.

 redflagThe Formula

Soap making books begin with the history of soap making. For other bath and beauty books, the opening pages will let you know how toxic commercial lotions, lip balms, sugar and salt scrubs, bath bombs, etc. actually are.

redflag LONG titles with up to 30 words. This is called keyword stuffing.

Example title: Homemade Body Butter: 25 Natural Body Butter And Lotion Recipes To Keep Your Skin Smooth And Feeling Moisturized! (How To Body Butter, DIY Body Butter, Natural Body Butter And Lotion Recipes).

I’ve only changed a few words, but this is how some rip-off books are marketed. It’s not necessarily wrong but it’s clumsy!

redflag Nonexistent book contributors

Every author credits him or herself, but there are also other contributors that can be added like editor, foreword, photographer, illustrator, introduction, preface, translator and narrator. I’ve found books that have ‘body butter’ as an editor, ‘lotion’ as a foreword, and ‘soapmaking’ as an illustrator. Doing this exploits the entire Kindle publishing program and if found should be reported.

redflag Not crediting stock images.

redflag No author biography

Interested in learning about the author? If there’s no bio, there’s no way of knowing how much knowledge they have pertaining to the subject they’ve written about. There won’t be any sort of email address, website, Etsy page or social media information such as Twitter or Face Book. They have no blog or newsletter.

The lack of an author bio may indicate a new to KU author who is unaware that Amazon offers this free promotional tool. Alternatively, it might be a deliberate omission.

An author bio should indicate the author’s experience in making the products they are writing about, as they should be an expert in the field. Do they include their company name and contact information? Whether or not they own a business, or have owned a business in the past? How long have they been making B&B products? If they don’t make and sell their products, what qualifications do they have to write their book?

redflag Common American surnames

This is another way to lure borrowers and buyers—by using familiar surnames like Thomas, Brown, Mitchell, White, etc. It’s also how those from other countries make names seem more acceptable than their own. Authors who use several pseudonyms may do so to avoid detection. It’s also a way of using a name like a keyword – to attract more borrows and sales.

redflag Reviews

If a book has dozens of reviews, that might mean it’s often borrowed/sold. All of the reviews may be legitimate ones, especially if the reviewer indicates that they received a free review copy. To find a rip-off title, look beyond lots of 5-stars or 1-stars, or even no reviews.

eBooks may contain numerous 5-star reviews with only a smattering of bad reviews. Suggestion: read the bad ones. For example, a one star review written by a soap maker noted the amount of lye in a recipe in one of the rip-off titles was incorrect and the author had confused percentages and ounces. In other words, some “author” with no knowledge of soap making is presenting potentially harmful information. If a reader follows the instructions, that soap would burn their skin. Additionally, they would have wasted their time in reading the book and trying to apply the instructions, and money on buying ingredients and equipment. The responsibility of the author of any type of DIY book is to offer correct and accurate information. Sadly, the author of the questionable amounts has also written a dozen other titles in related fields.

A rip-off title may have garnered many positive reviews based on review swaps. I’ll go on record and state that I did a few of them from September to December 2014. Since then, I have completely stopped reviewing books due to the numerous rip-off titles I was getting.

redflag Proofreading problems

If the author is someone who is fluent in English as a first language, the quality of authorship ranges from excellent to riddled with grammar and “spell checkitis.”

redflag Poor translating

Foreign authors may have run the manuscript through an online translator resulting in unintentionally hilarious reading. My favorite was the one about heating your soap over a “weak fire.”

redflag Offer FREE bonus or gift in the beginning of the book.

redflag Enticing cover photo of the product[s]

All book covers should be enticing, of course. However, a rip-off will be revealed if the featured product[s] recipe and photo aren’t included inside the eBook. For example, a stack of oatmeal soap on the cover, yet there is no oatmeal soap recipe in the rip-off title.

redflag NO sample other than a table of contents or a legal disclaimer. The reader has to purchase or borrow the book in order to read more because there’s no actual writing sample.

redflag If recipes are included, they may be in a mixture of ounces, grams, tablespoons and teaspoons, which is very confusing for the reader.

redflag No medical or legal disclaimer. No safety precautions.

redflag The name on the cover may be spelled differently than the name on the book’s Amazon page.

redflag Rip-off titles can be heavily promoted and reviewed by bloggers. Unlike non-KU titles that only earn 4% commission on each title sold, bloggers may get up to 8.5 % on KU titles sold and/or borrowed.

In order to avoid being ripped off, please use this article as a checklist.

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?

sigline

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

LINKS:
Amazon, Amazon UK, B&N NOOKKobo, Scribd

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purple24kgoldsoap
24K True Gold Soap~what a gift!