"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Smashwords Forum - Founder, Ted Summerfield,Profile

Ted Summerfield is a former member of the Radio Television News Directors Association. He started writing as a teenager and over the years has written poetry, news stories, sports stories, stories for children, puzzles, plays for puppets, fiction and non-fiction works.

As Ted tells his story, "my parents and grandfather were great role models and inspired me in many of my lifelong interests. My grandfather was wonderful. He always ended our conversations with a problem to solve or an opinion requiring some thought. My brother and I would have a week to think about it and tell him our answers the following Saturday. My answers were simple as a 6 year old, but I was providing more reasoned answers when I was 15. It was grandfather who got me thinking about law, business, relationships, and the mathematics involved in those areas.

My mother got me hooked on games when I was 4 years old, by showing me how to play Chinese Checkers and telling me if I studied the logic of the game well enough I could soon beat my older brother at the game.

My family was middle-class, business people who raised me with the concept of social capitalism. They contributed much of their income anonymously to various charities and non-profit organizations as well as no-interest loans to a few low-income families who had an idea for a business and just needed a start or in some cases a place to live. My father insisted we help others not out of religious beliefs or image-improvement but because it was the right thing to do. "That could be you" was an early instruction from my father on the importance of helping others.

He and my grandfather were businessmen and made a good living for their families, but looking out for the other person was paramount because 'it could happen to you'. My grandfather and father instilled in me the notion of  'favourable agreement', where both parties are happy with the result.

I’ve enjoyed a business life comprised of property management, property development, real estate sales, puppetry, and broadcast journalism.

As a property manager, one of the dumbest moment I ever had while I was leasing properties was when I offered a generous time-frame for repayment to a tenant who was behind in payments, ensuring they wouldn't be financially strapped, but they refused and left me no choice but to go to court. When the smoke had cleared they'd been forced to pay far more than the originally sought amount. That was truly dumb on their part. The lesson, I hope they learned, was don't try to cheat people.

After writing and performing several puppet plays, and traveling to storytelling conventions in the United States, I discovered there is not a lot of money in the arts business. But, the most wonderful aspect of puppetry was seeing children react to the story, get involved with the story, be really excited and laughing. Those moments were worth millions.

My first puzzle eBook was published in 2010, and I have published over 40 eBooks, comprised of picture eBooks for children, a variety of puzzle eBooks, fiction and non-fiction works.

As a new Smashwords author, I was unable to find an online community for Smashwords authors, so I created Smashwords Forum (SWF) in 2011.

SWF has become a place where new and seasoned authors can find a variety of information about self-publishing and traditional publishing.

With over 900 members, SWF members ask/answer questions regarding publishing, formatting, marketing, promoting their eBooks, and meet other authors from around the world.

I also do a lot of research and provide the results to SWF members about the ins and outs of self-publishing and help other authors and forum members by providing guidance and details about self-publishing policies, royalties, various eTailers, formatting, making book covers, and more.

In addition, I encourage SWF members to try new ideas.

The Smashwords Forum Writers Anthology is one of those ideas.

The forum has proven itself popular and valuable to new and experienced authors."

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