Archive for January, 2012

The first Facebook chat/interview was such a success that we’re doing it again tomorrow! Go to CBR’s Facebook page, post a college-related question on their wall, and you’ll be entered to win an iTunes gift card. Not only that, but I’ll also answer your question! *g*

The Q&A will be tomorrow, Tuesday, between 2-3pm Pacific Time (5-6pm Eastern). See you there!

I decided to give away my e-books for 24 hours (give or take), but if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve just finished reading them and decided to follow the link at the end. (Thanks for that, by the way.) If you liked the e-book(s), I’d really appreciate it if you left a quick review over here for the “Go to college without going broke” book and over here for Atheism-101. If you hated them, please leave a comment here or send me an email with your suggestions, and I’ll do my best to implement them. 

Thanks for stopping by!

This Tuesday, January 17, from 2-3pm Pacific time, I’ll be doing a live Q&A session on’s facebook page to promote my “Go to college without going broke” e-book and help even more people save money. If there’s anything at all you want to know about making college more affordable and less stressful, head over yonder on Tuesday and I’ll do my best to help. Better yet, if you submit your question on Tuesday (just post it on CollegeBookRenter’s wall), you’ll be entered to win an iTunes gift card! If that’s not a win-win, I don’t know what is. See you all there!

When I get bored, I doodle… In Microsoft Paint. Haven’t seen anything like this on the Net before, so who knows – maybe it’ll become the next big thing. Or not. *le shrug*

Seeing as my “Go to college without going broke” book keep climbing up the ranks (it’s currently ranked #1,549 out of about a million Kindle books!), I figured I’d post this on the off chance anybody wants to hire me. I would love nothing more than to become a full-time contributor/blogger/columnist/whatever on the topic of personal finance, especially if it’s aimed at young people (students and recent graduates). Leave a comment on this post or go to my “contact” page if you’re interested. I also do birthday parties. *g*

The 3-day-long giveaway of my “Go to college without going broke” book worked even better than I’d expected: as of right now, it’s been downloaded 14,747 times – and no, that’s not a typo. I can’t even visualize that many people… When I wrote my first book, Atheism-101, I used to get anxiety attacks after I sold a few hundred copies. After all, scores of strangers around the world would get a glimpse of my mind, and my creation would live on forever in all those Kindles, smart phones, computers or whatever it is people use to read their books these days. In a way, it’s kind of like Tom Riddle’s diary in the second Harry Potter book: when you write a book, you create a hard copy of a certain part of your mind, a snapshot of yourself that will never change or grow older.

I find it funny now that I used to worry so much about “only” a few hundred sales. Now that my “Go to college” book has been downloaded almost fifteen thousand times, I’m not even sure what to think. I’m nonplussed. A bit nervous and quite impressed. This giveaway was a win-win idea: if the book sales didn’t take off after the giveaway’s end, I still would have helped thousands of people save millions of dollars on their college degrees. If, on the other hand, the book became a bestseller, I would have helped others and earned some money. Looks like it’s the latter: according to the most recent statistics, my book is ranked #2,315 in the Kindle store (out of about a million books out there) and it’s the 12th most popular personal finance book on the web. With any luck, it’ll go a bit higher, make its way into the top 10, and I’ll be able to add “bestselling personal finance author” to my long, long list of achievements.

Life is good…

Holy cow…

A week or so ago, I enrolled my e-books in Amazon’s KDP Select program. Long story short, it allows Amazon Prime users to borrow my books for free and (supposedly) results in more sales. It also lets me give my books away for free for five days every three months. The logic is simple: give your books away for free, get higher sales ratings, more reviews, and so on, and after the giveaway ends, your book will start making you a lot more money. Also, fame and/or glory. Maybe. Who knows.

Aaaanyway, I decided to give away my “Go to college without going broke” book today and tomorrow just to see what would happen. I just woke up and logged it into my KDP menu to see what the sales are like and, well, let’s say it’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking my morning tea because HOLY COW, 614 DOWNLOADS!!!! The number grows every time I click “Refresh,” so it’s probably a safe bet that it will reach several thousand by tomorrow midnight. Just to give you a rough idea, my other book, “Atheism-101,” never sold more than 320 copies a month. And the truth is, whatever happens after the sale ends, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t care if “Go to college” will plunge back into the depths of Amazon’s ratings, with hardly any sales save for on occasional bored reader. Sure, the money would be great, but what matters the most is that 639 people (just got 25 new downloads in the past two minutes!) will have read my book and learned my money-saving secrets.

Even if only 10% of them actually follow up on my advice, that’s still 64 people that will end up saving time and money and beating the system. It’s such an odd feeling – knowing that right now, over 600 people are reading something I wrote months ago, essentially tapping into my mind and learning about the college shortcuts I’d come up with years ago. It’s an odd feeling – odd but not unpleasant. I wonder what will happen next. Right now, at 8:04am Pacific Time, there have been 681 downloads, and the book is currently ranked #3,195 Free in Kindle Store. Eight hours down, 40 more to go!

And to all those who found my site from the blurb at the end of the book – welcome! Leave a comment, say hello, and I hope all that atheism-related stuff doesn’t scare you away. *g*