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Sandra Parker

How to Self-Publish an eBook – KDP, Smashwords & PubIt! Comparison

By Sandra Parker

reading an ebookAbout a year ago, I finally decided that it was time to quit dreaming and start writing fiction. As with most of my endeavors, I learned as I went: I honed my writing skills, and learned how to edit my own work as well as utilize graphics programs, such as Photoshop and Gimp. Eventually, I published my own ebook.

The ebook market is constantly shifting, and many publishers now offer e-publishing as part of their print marketing packages, which adds a whole new layer of complexity to the process. However, if you forgo the print market, creating and publishing an ebook can be quite simple.

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Cell Phone Buying Guide – Carriers, Features & Contract Specs

By Sandra Parker

choose the right cell phone for your needsChoosing the best cell phone is largely a matter of personal preference. Of course, you need a phone that performs the tasks you want, but there are many handsets with very similar capabilities. More importantly, you must choose a carrier before you simply decide that you need an iPhone or a Blackberry. And since features vary between carriers – such as contract length and available technology – it’s crucial to first determine your needs.

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Flat Screen TV Buying Guide – Specs & Comparisons

By Sandra Parker

shopping for a flat screen tvBuying a new television is not a decision to be made lightly. There are so many makes and models that even the most careful, selective buyer can have a hard time deciding which features are necessary, and which ones are merely frivolous.

Fortunately, many features can be categorized and quantified to help determine which model is right for you. Then, once you’ve narrowed down your list of possible purchases, you can visit a local big box retailer and research the one feature that is harder to quantify: picture quality. TV picture quality is a very subjective measurement, and can only be assessed in the eye of the beholder.

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Digital Camera Buying Guide – Features & Comparisons

By Sandra Parker

digital cameraBefore you ever step foot in an electronics store, it pays to know exactly what you’re looking for in a digital camera. Otherwise, you’re likely to leave the store empty-handed – or, even worse, having selected a camera entirely unsuited to your needs.

However, you can avoid this situation by first determining what kind of a camera user you are, in addition to researching the various features and specs of a variety of digital cameras.

What Kind of Picture Taker Are You?

To select the best camera for your needs, first determine your user profile:

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Top 5 Must-Have Electronic Gadgets of 2012

By Sandra Parker

electronic gadgetsOut of the thousands of new consumer electronics products that are introduced into the market each year, many are simply a drain on your wallet. However, there are ample amounts of gadgets that are very enjoyable, and can even make your life easier.

But how do you choose? You may feel overwhelmed, even intimidated, by the options available; conversely, you may be tempted to overspend on every enticing device that you come across. Regardless of where you stand, here are the best electronic products that you can buy this year.

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Top 5 Best Printers for the Money 2012

By Sandra Parker

printer photosOne printer is as good as another, right? The idea is to be able to transfer your electronic media to paper, and one machine can do it as well as any other.

Unfortunately, it’s not this simple, and this idea couldn’t be any further from the truth. In actuality, computer printers perform all sorts of functions, in addition to simply printing. And, of course, there are printer-specific functions to keep in mind before deciding which device to buy, including power consumption, ink consumption, printer speed, and quality.

There are numerous printers that can fit into just about anyone’s budget, providing excellent quality for a great price.

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Top 5 Best Headphones & Earbuds for the Money 2012

By Sandra Parker

headphones listening musicRegardless of whether you are jamming on the subway to your favorite tunes on your MP3 player or listening to music in the house, getting the best audio quality out of your device largely depends on the headphones you choose. But with all the options on the market today, how can you make sure that you are getting the best headphones for your money?

Here are the top headphones and earbuds that provide great sound at prices that should fit just about any budget.

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Top 5 Best Video Devices for Home Theater Systems 2012

By Sandra Parker

watching videos at homeYour television may be the heart and soul of your home video system, but it is only as good as the programming you display on it. There are tons of options for getting quality video programming, but which ones give you the best bang for your buck?

The answer to this question lies in what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay for. Whether it is streaming media, high-definition playback, or an all-in-one machine that can handle a variety of media, there is a something out there that will fit your budget.

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Best Home Audio Sound Systems & Speakers of 2012

By Sandra Parker

sound system girlHome audio encompasses a broad spectrum of gadgets designed to help you do one thing: Get the best sound quality out of your home entertainment center.

Whether you’re looking for a great set of surround-sound speakers to enhance your home movie experience, or an  iPod docking station/speaker combination, you can usually find an exceptional device at a reasonable price. Here are some of the best available.

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Top 5 Best E-Reader Devices of 2012 – Comparison

By Sandra Parker

e-readerAre you on the fence about getting an e-reader? There is no time like the present. There are more devices available today than ever before, though only two manufacturers really stand out in terms of quality versus affordability: the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

There are two basic types of e-readers: the black and white e-ink-only readers, and the color LCD models. Both have pros and cons that you’ll want to understand before making a choice. The e-ink versions generally have a longer battery life and offer the best paper-like reading experience. These e-readers are usually less expensive than their full-color counterparts.

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Top 5 Best Wireless Routers of 2012

By Sandra Parker

wireless routerWith all the wireless capable devices available, you simply have no option but to go wireless by adding a router to your home network. The wireless router is arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment you will ever buy when it comes to your network, as it is what interconnects all of your devices, as well as keeps you connected to the Internet. Picking the wrong device can compromise the security of your personal information or subject you to an extremely slow Internet connection.

Fortunately, there are a wealth of great wireless routers available – and most are available for $200 or less.

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Top 5 Best MP3 Music Players Under $100

By Sandra Parker

best mp3 playersLong gone are the days when your only choices for portable digital music devices were limited to iPods and a select few competitors. Also gone are the days when you could expect to pay $200 or far more for a good quality model.

Penny-pinchers, listen up: There are tons of MP3 players available for less than $100, from those that simply offer basic music replay, to video-capable units with expandable memory. Here are the five best affordable models.

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4 Things You Can Do With Your Expired Groupon Deals

By Sandra Parker

groupon photoWe’ve all seen some of the amazing deals we can get from Groupon, but many of us end up buying deals we simply don’t want or have time to use. According to Yipit, a site that collects data regarding the purchase and use of Groupon deals – as well as those from other daily deal sites – the percentage of Groupons that expire before they are used by the buyer is as high as 15%.

So, what happens to those unused Groupon deals after they have expired? Are you out the money you spent altogether? In some cases, you may be able to recoup the money you spent or extend the life of your Groupon deal by employing a few simple strategies.

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Top 5 Best Video Game Consoles of 2012

By Sandra Parker

video gamesGaming systems have come a long way since the days of Pong and the Atari 2600. The graphics are high–definition (practically photo-quality), the processor speeds create smooth, realistic animation, and the controls require the dexterity of a contortionist to access all of the functionality loaded into these software powerhouses.

However, there are a multitude of consoles for sale, all offering various perks. It can be tough to know exactly what to buy. Understanding how the top consoles stack up against the competition will help you know exactly which console is the right one for you.

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Top 5 Best Desktop Computers of 2012

By Sandra Parker

desktop computersDesktop computers may seem passe, but for some people, there is just no substitute for a good desktop. Whether you choose a Mac or a PC, there are some truly exceptional machines out there ready to take on your toughest computing needs.

While some of these systems are expensive, not all of them will require a large investment to get a truly remarkable computing experience. Here are the five best desktop computers that give you the most bang for your buck.

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The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers.
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