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Posted: 28 October 2011 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In 1996 I self-published my mother’s autobiography, “Dancing On Mara Dust”.  I knew that no publisher would be willing to take a risk on a non-celebrity’s biography in this day and age, hence the self-publishing, but the hurdles put up by the major bookstores and my tiny profit sadly prevented me from ordering another print run, even though the book was very well received and sold out very quickly.

Amazon’s Kindle has come to my rescue, so five years down the line, I’ve finally been able to put “Dancing On Mara Dust” into Kindle format, and you’ll find it for sale at £1.15 (including VAT) in the UK, and at whatever that translates into where you are (probably about $1.60 in the States).  When I heard about Kindle, it seemed an incredible opportunity for people like me to make a book available to everyone.  I bought a Kindle reader, and I must say I read it as much as I do physical books now, but I realise it’s not a format that appeals to everyone.  However, it does mean that well-written books with something to say that the larger publishers won’t ever consider are now on equal footing with the mass market leaders.

“Dancing On Mara Dust” by Nancy Mathews and Vivien Smith is my mother’s autobiography, co-written by me, and spans the period from Victorian England when my grandfather was born, through the war years in England to the 1990s in South Africa.  In between there are snapshots of famous people (including royalty) who flit in and out of the story, a six-month trek in a donkey-wagon, bushveld adventures, scenes from African tribal life, incredible encounters not seen anywhere else with baboons, leopards and other wildlife, and above all, the tale of a pioneering family and their life in the bushveld.  And it’s all true!

I would say it’s a good read, wouldn’t I, but others on this forum who have read Dancing On Mara Dust have been very kind in their comments:
Dave Wilton who also emailed me: “What a wonderful book!”,
languagehat: “I highly recommend it”,
lionello: “It’s a fascinating read - hear, hear”.  Thank you all.

Here’s where you can find the book on Kindle:

Dancing On Mara Dust by Nancy Mathews and Vivien Smith

A last word - I was very close to my grandmother who died when I was seven.  I made a little promise then that one day I would tell her story to the world.  Granma, I’ve kept my word.

Many thanks to Dave for allowing this post.

edit: updated link

[ Edited: 02 November 2011 05:29 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 29 October 2011 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’d just like to repeat my recommendation, and point out that at that price it’s a real steal. A fascinating look at a distant place and time.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you for that, lh.

Someone asked if you had to buy a Kindle and the answer seems to be no, but you’ll still have to pay for the books.  There’s a free download from amazon here.

And just to avoid confusion, my link above to Dancing On Mara Dust has been edited to what you see here.

Further edit in support of the above: I know of at least one person who’s downloaded my book to an iphone, this one for reading on a hiking trip through Nepal!

[ Edited: 02 November 2011 06:09 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 02 November 2011 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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There’s also a free Kindle app for iPad, and I assume other e-readers. Amazon’s primary goal is to sell books, not readers.

(They’re happy to sell you Kindle reader, of course, but they really want you to buy the books regardless of the device you use.)

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Posted: 02 November 2011 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I might add that I’m totally in love with my Kindle; I was very hesitant to get one, being a dyed-in-the-wool printed-book man, but when they added Unicode capability and I realized that I could read much of Russian literature on it, I bit the bullet, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Posted: 03 November 2011 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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ElizaD - 02 November 2011 05:25 AM

Thank you for that, lh.

Someone asked if you had to buy a Kindle and the answer seems to be no, but you’ll still have to pay for the books.  There’s a free download from amazon here.

And just to avoid confusion, my link above to Dancing On Mara Dust has been edited to what you see here.

Further edit in support of the above: I know of at least one person who’s downloaded my book to an iphone, this one for reading on a hiking trip through Nepal!

Got it! $1.60 US it is! It’s on my PC now. Thanks Eliza!

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Posted: 03 November 2011 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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:(

The Kindle Reader for Mac app requires OS 10.6.

Soon…

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Posted: 04 November 2011 12:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks to all.  Here are the Kindle links to free downloads for iphones, laptops etc.

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Posted: 27 January 2013 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks, “ElizaD”,for a very enjoyable read. It was the third book I’d read on Kindle.

I wonder if your grandfather ever felt that he had in fact incurred some kind of bad luck because of the grave shifting.

EDIT: just got the Kindle for Christmas. I’d rather curl up with it than with a book. It’s pretty much exactly like reading a book except that it is easier to hold and to turn the pages.

[ Edited: 27 January 2013 05:03 AM by OP Tipping ]
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Posted: 27 January 2013 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thank you, OP.  If he ever mentions it, I’ll write another book.

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Posted: 27 January 2013 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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(My grandfather died in 1937).

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Posted: 27 January 2013 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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(so I gathered from the book)

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