Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Once again I’m still engrossed in a current longer read so I’m sharing a movie review today for Markus Zusak’s #1NYT Best Seller – The Book Thief. The movie was so well done, I can only imagine how much more engrossing this book is to read.
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
When Death has a story to tell, you listen.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
“The kind of book that can be life-changing.” —The New York Times
“Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.” —USA Today
My 5 Star Review:
Tenderness among war.
The story opens with narration from the grim reaper himself – death. The movie begins with young Liesel Meminger and her brother being brought by their mother on a train to a small town outside of Munich, fleeing persecution for their now dead father’s crime of being accused of being a communist. The mother, fearing for hers and her children’s lives is traveling with her children to give them up for adoption to spare their lives. The brother dies of an unmentioned illness while on the train, and the narrator, death, continues to tell the story of the pitstop LIesel and her mother made to a shallow grave near the train station where her brother’s body was buried. As the grave digger walks away, a book drops out of his pocket to the ground – The Grave Diggers Handbook, which Liesel sneakingly picks up and puts in her pocket.We are now in the thick of Liesel’s newly adopted life by a poor, childless German couple, Rosa and Hans Hubermann.
Liesel warms up quickly to her new compassionate step-father, and endures a bit of tough love, harsh treatment from her new mother. It is a time of the human condition when children too become part of and aware of the landscape in early 1940s Germany with severe rationing, limited access to food, frequent roundups of neighborhood Jews, and many basic freedoms, and many fearful nights hiding out in bomb shelters.
Liesel is taught how to read by her new father Hans, who discovers Liesel struggling to read a hidden book she keeps under wraps – The Grave Diggers Handbook, the only book she ever had. And once she learns how to read, her appetite for reading more books only grows. Later in the story, a young Jewish man, Jacob, is brought in the basement to live in hiding, as a debt owed by Hans to Jacob’s father for once saving his own life while fighting in WWI. Jacob continues to teach young Liesel more about books, reading, and ignites her passion to write her own book when he gifts her an empty book – one he had in his possession written by Hitler himself that he painstakingly took the time to paint every page over in white paint to both cover the horrors off the pages and to offer a clean writing slate for Liesel.
LIesel becomes best friends with her neighbor Rudy Steiner. They spend a lot of time together, and Liesel must be very careful not to let on that Jacob is living in hiding in her basement. One day, Liesel and Rudy were outside when they caught sight of a Nazi book burning event while inside the center of town. They watched as a mountain of books were lit aflame, and once the fire began to smoulder, the onlooking crowd dissipates. Liesel see this as her only chance to save one book. She runs to the sizzling book pile and grabs one nicely charred, but still readable, hides it under her coat and runs home with it. All the while the mayor’s wife Ilsa Herman is watching her from inside her parked limo on the dark, dingy street.
Rosa Hubermann does laundry for the mayor’s wife for extra income. One day Liesel delivers her cleaned laundry, and Ilsa invites her into her library to look at her book collection. Liesel is in awe, and this library becomes a place where Liesel occasionally ‘breaks into’ to snatch a book to read. Liesel later becomes ‘the reader’ at the many neighborhood gatherings in the bomb shelter to shield from the air raids, keeping the people engrossed in her storytelling instead of focusing on their fears.
I am not going to go into spoilers of this beautiful, yet, heart wrenching story, but suffice it to say, Jacob eventually leaves from hiding on his own volition because he feels he can longer risk the lives of his saviors, and as in most war stories, there are a lot of fears, violence and loss of life – and the bombs continue to fall, taking more away from Liesel’s young life.
This story is a most beautiful telling about a horrendous time of the world. Despite the subject matter, Zusak manages to get in, not only the horrors about war, but focuses his story on how that war affected people and their everyday lives, instead of taking us directly into the action of horrifics of the actual prisoners of the holocaust.
Last poignant line by the narrator: “I am haunted by humans.”
Welcome to this month’s edition of #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest, where writers and bloggers are invited to participate by sharing a post that resonates with them on good deeds going on around the world to focus on some of the good things good in the world. In light of Climate Change and the recent fires in the Amazon, I’m sharing this wonderful effort to help the Amazon Rainforest.
Ways That we can Help the Amazon Rainforest
“Organizations, communities, and individuals have been coming together over the past two weeks to mitigate the current fires burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The Amazon is an amazing ecosystem that everyone depends on for the health of the planet
This year, there has been an over 80 percent increase of fires throughout the country; that means that every minute about three football fields are destroyed. Although the situation on the ground is complicated, there are some important ways that we can help.
While it’s hard to be so far away from a crisis, in today’s globalized society we have more power than ever. By changing our consumption and empowering communities on the ground, we can reduce deforestation and show solidarity.”
“A way that we can consume more consciously is by purchasing coffee and chocolate that are Rainforest Alliance certified. This certification ensures us that the food we are consuming did not cause forest destruction and that workers are paid a livable and just wage. Plus, Rainforest Alliance chocolates and coffees are delicious!
Unfortunately, many of the fires around the world are happening around farmland . . .Please Continue Reading to find more ways to contribute to saving the rainforest.
The last Friday of each month #WATWB celebrates good things happening around the world. If you’d like to participate, please follow this link. Your hosts for the month are: Sylvia Stein (@sylvia_stein07) Eric Lahti (@ericlahti1) Shilpa Garg (@shilpaagarg) & Lizbeth Hartz (@LizbethHartz)
Welcome to the second of my new interview series, this week featuring women’s fiction author Stevie Turner. Stevie has a vast selection of books to her credit, and I’m happy to share that I’ve read a few of them and look forward to reading many more awaiting me on my Kindle. So today we’re going to get to know a little more about Stevie and her writing.
About Stevie Turner:
Stevie Turner grew up in the East End of London and was fortunate enough to attend an excellent primary school which encouraged creative writing. After winning an inter-schools’ writing contest, Stevie began to keep a diary and often added little stories and poems to it as the years went by. However, she did not take up writing seriously until 2013. By this time her two sons had left home and she had more time to herself.
Stevie has now written 11 novels, 6 novellas, 1 memoir, and 18 short stories, winning a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her third novel ‘A House Without Windows’. You can find details of all her books on her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk
Stevie still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). She has also written an article ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’ which was included in the 2016 book ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ which are articles about mental illness, proceeds of which go to the charity MIND. Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from an independent film production company based in New York.
Let’s get down to some Q and A with Stevie:
Do you agree with the consensus that writers are loners?
Absolutely. I was definitely not born to be part of a team, lol! We write sitting on our
own, and that suits me just fine. My mother, who constantly needed people to talk
to, could never understand why I was such an unsociable child. She would talk to me
non-stop and I had to listen. She would also take me out shopping and I’d ask to be
allowed to wait outside so that the shop keepers couldn’t talk to me. Oh dear,
perhaps I’d be referred to a shrink these days…
As I grew, nothing changed. An only child, I’ve always had no problem with being
alone and have only ever cultivated a few friends throughout my lifetime. These
friends I still have, and we meet up from time to time. I don’t really enjoy being in a
noisy room with a lot of people. I’m quite happy being with my husband or sitting at
my computer tapping away. At work I sit on my own quite a lot of the time, and this
is through choice. I could sit with another woman if I wanted to, but she talks
constantly and it irritates me. Oh dear, perhaps I really do need to see a shrink…
DG– Lol Stevie, I don’t think that constitutes needing a shrink. Perhaps it’s just your independent nature, and being an only child. There are many writers who are content in their solitude. Me, I need total silence when I’m creating, but when I’m not, I adore the social interaction – which I’m sure you already knew, lol.
If you had the chance to re-do your childhood or teen years to enhance your future in writing, what would you have done differently?
I had the urge to write in early childhood, and won an inter-schools’ writing
competition aged 11. I wrote a lot of poetry as a teenager, and always received top
marks in English for my essays. When I was 17 my mother told me that ‘people like
me’ do not go to University, and so I never went. If I could do it all over again, I’d go
to University and get an English degree and then try to gain employment as a
journalist to hone my creative writing skills. I would have therefore learned much
about writing when I finally started to create novels (it has taken me at least 6 years
to grasp the basics in my late fifties and early sixties), and hopefully I would have
made the kind of contacts necessary for advancement.
DG– Um, once again we are so eerily similar!
What’s your opinion on self-publishing?
When I first started writing novels in 2013 I was after the literary agent and the big
publishing deal, especially after a London agency kept me on tenterhooks for a
whole week whilst debating whether or not to represent me with ‘The Porn Detective’
(later re-written on said agent’s advice, and re-published as ‘Mind Games’). They
didn’t in the end, and so I sent it off to what seemed like every agent in the world.
Many said the same thing; re-write it. I re-wrote it and sent it off again to every agent
in the world, but hey…
After about 3 years of trying unsuccessfully to find an agent, it dawned on me that
self-publishing actually wasn’t too bad at all. I had control over the content and
covers of my books, and could market them how I wanted to. There were also no
deadlines to work to, as I hate working to deadlines.
Another 3 years went by and I learned that I should have bought my own ISBNs in
the first place so that I could publish a book on any site I wanted to and not just
Amazon. I now sell more books via Ingram Spark than I do on Amazon, and this is
good, because Ingram get the books into actual bookstores and libraries.
Okay, an agent can submit your book to all those wonderfully just-out-of-reach
genuine book competitions that aren’t just there to grab your money like the majority of Indie contests are. They can get your book printed with one of the big 5
publishers, but they cannot, I repeat cannot, guarantee that your book is going to sell
thousands or even hundreds of copies. Some Indie books sell more copies than
traditionally published ones. It’s all gravy baby, as my son would say. Until the big
deal comes my way, I’m happy to self-publish!
DG– As you already know, I’m totally on board with everything you just said! My gawd, even 2013 is the same year I published my own first book.
Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books that you’re working on?
I worked for a year as an examinations administrator in a college that catered for 16
– 19 years olds back in 1999. I was glad of the experience, as I learned much from
the time spent there, and not all of it was good. When I wrote a letter of complaint to
my local newspaper about something I found out there, they would not print it. I did nothing else about what I found. I’m now working on ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards’, a fictional suspense story where protagonist Jill Hayes works as an examinations administrator in a college for 16 – 19 years olds. When she writes a letter to her local newspaper (which they would not print) about something she hasfound out, things start to take a downward turn for her…
DG– Wow, now that sounds like it will be an intriguing read! And you get to say what they would not publish for you back then too!
If you could have any of your books made into a movie, which one would you choose and why?
I was contacted last year by a lady from the development department of a New York
media production company regarding my novel ‘A House Without Windows’. She
had read the book and was eager to present it to the director for his opinion. After
some consideration the director told me the market wasn’t right for the kind of film
they would have to make, as the main female character would need to be portrayed
as a victim, and apparently that’s not PC anymore.
However I’m getting many positive remarks about my paranormal short story ‘Finding David’. I’d love to see what a film producer would make of it, and how they would go
about doing the ghostly special effects. Here’s the latest review and the first few
paragraphs for you:
I found this book so interesting I had a job to put it down until I reached the end of the story. It is a fact that clairvoyants have been known to assist the police in their inquiries. All in all a great read.
SHORT EXCERPT FROM ‘FINDING DAVID’ BY STEVIE TURNER
She risked a sneaky peep around the curtain; every seat in Croydon’s grandly
named Athaneum was taken. Desperate for a miracle, rows of overweight middle
aged women waited impatiently. A cacophony of chatter filled the air. Women
laughed nervously or threw a few words to the odd unsmiling husband sitting in stolid
disbelief with arms crossed as if to ward off evil spirits.
The usual high-pitched buzz of anticipation echoed off the walls. Rae
Cordelle patted her black bobbed hair into place, stepped back into the wings, and
took a deep breath.
“There’s a good crowd tonight.”
Medicine Horse, six foot seven inches of calm serenity in loincloth and full
Apache feathered headdress, emitted a comforting presence as he stood in quiet
contemplation by her side.
“I am here to guide you, as always.”
Rae gave a nod of approval.
“Many thanks. May God be with us tonight.”
Peter Jones, Spiritualist Preacher, raised a water jug towards her in salutation
as he slipped through the curtain. All at once Rae heard silence from the discordant
hell of many raised voices.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a remarkable and gifted clairvoyant medium
here with us tonight. I want you to give a big hand to … Rae Cordelle!”
The stagehand pulled back the curtains. Rae, already desperate for the
soothing balm of water, walked towards the table to polite applause as the preacher
ceased his theatrical posturing and sat down beside her.
“Thank you Peter.” She filled a glass and took a refreshing sip. “It’s lovely to
Arms folded and his features inscrutable, Medicine Horse stood sentinel at the
back of the hall. Rae felt the burning stares of at least two hundred pairs of eyes.
“Has anybody seen me work before?”
A couple of hands shot up while a gabble of deceased spirits jostled for first
position in a queue behind Medicine Horse.
“Well, for the others here that haven’t attended a demonstration of
clairvoyance before, don’t worry. If you see anything scary I’ll be the first one out of
the door, ahead of you all!”
Rae felt the tense atmosphere lighten a fraction, as a titter erupted amongst
the cauliflower heads and bald pates. She took another sip of water, and carried on.
“And if your relative was a miserable old bugger in this world, you can bet your
bottom dollar he’ll be just as miserable in the next!”
Thank you so much for visiting here today Stevie. It’s always a treat for me to learn more about my writing friends and acquaintances. I look forward to reading your newest book – Examining Kitchen Cupboards!
You can find Stevie and her books below with all her social links:
Note: Please forgive the weird spacing and lack of white space between paragraphs on this post. As my blog was recently, finally, upgraded (meaning you readers shouldn’t have to wait so long to load my posts), I am facing new glitches. Thanks for putting up with. 🙂
I shared a post last week on our Sisters of the Fey blog on Automatic Writing. If you’re not familiar with this process, you may want to read on.
Are You Familiar with Automatic Writing?
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND FIRST BEGAN LEARNING ABOUT ANGELS AND SPIRIT GUIDES, I BECAME QUITE CURIOUS ABOUT ‘AUTOMATIC WRITING’. I THOUGHT IT WAS SO INTRIGUING TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE FROM THE SUBCONSCIOUS WITH A GUIDED WRITING FROM A HIGHER POWER.
So what is automatic writing?
The formal name for automatic writing is psychography – the ability to produce writing from the sub-conscience through divine guidance, and spiritual or supernatural source while under a calm, trance-like state. This isn’t to be misconstrued with ‘free writing’. Spirit is invited in with an unconscious mind – a gateway to our higher selves.
How to prepare for automatic writing:
First we must clear our minds. Sit in a place free from distraction. You can use meditation to obtain this calm, or whatever method most comfortable to bring ourselves into a calmed mode to enable us to receive the messaging.
Next, call on an entity – your spirit guide or an angel to to help you channel whatever it is you are focusing on in your thoughts that you hope to write answers for. You may ask, “Who is here?”
Close your eyes, breathe deep till you feel relaxed (or meditate to get there) then think about a topic or question you hope to be given divine guidance to write about. Have a note book in front of you and pen in hand. Focus on your topic, put pen to paper, and let your hand guide the pen – almost in a similar way a Ouija board works.
What do you want to write about? Maybe it’s a problem that’s been on your mind, a recurring dream you’ve been having and wanting to make some sense of, even a story-line idea you may be wanting to write about can be your focused writing intention.
Preparing for the writing:
You should set a timer for this exercise for anywhere from 10 minutes (recommended minimum) to a half an hour. This helps with not being distracted by wondering how long you may have been writing, because with closed eyes to keep from distraction, you won’t be checking your watches.
Closing our eyes helps to keep the focus on our intent so the mind doesn’t get caught up in what is actually being written. This prevents edits or cross-outs from diverting our train of thoughts. Remember, if your mind does drift off topic, keep writing whatever it is that comes to mind – even if it’s whatever thought came to mind that threw off your original thoughts. Our minds entered this state with a clear mind, if jungled thoughts should interrupt the stream of consciousness, then perhaps that’s what was needed to be written.
After the timer goes off, relax for a few moments. You should close the session with thanking the spirit who guided your writing. Then go ahead and read what you’ve written. What you wrote may not make immediate sense and you can highlight thoughts from the writing that may potentially lead to further writing. You may not have received what you were hoping for as this process may take you a few times to get comfortable with. The object is to keep trying this method when you feel inclined, and look back on prior writings of earlier attempts to see if you find a pattern in what your writing is trying to convey to you.
Purpose – Using automatic writing to seek guidance from the soul. The channeling helps to guide us to pull from our soul. With the mind still and empty, we can focus solely on our question or topic. This exercise helps us tap into something greater than just our ‘thinking’ mind.
When Assessing what you’ve written, and haven’t yet decided on what the message was that has come through your writing, you can feel free to do this again by asking another question, now regarding what you have previously written that previously didn’t make sense to you. How do you know you’re channeling from your soul? – If your words give you clarity and a direction to continue forward with, as opposed to vague or disjointed writing, the process is working for you.
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Have you ever written something in the quiet, wee hours of the night, looked at it later and wondered, ‘did I write that?’. If so, there’s a good chance you were writing from a higher state of consciousness.
Have you ever tried automatic writing? I’d love to hear in comments, some of your experiences.
*Sue Dreamwalker was gracious enough to add a link in her comment below to an older post she’d written about just one of her experiences with Automatic Writing. Please feel free to take a look at Sue’s experience HERE
The short video below will demonstrate a concise explanation on the process of automatic writing.
Today, for my Sunday Book Review, I’m sharing my review of John Dolan’s – Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim. This is a very short read that I chose for getting a taste of Dolan’s work, who is known for his page-turning thriller/suspense books, which I’ve read rave reviews from ace reviewer Olga Nunez Miret. This book gives us a snarky sampler of one of John’s characters, Jim Fosse, in his series books. In this short story, Fosse has an email back and forth with his HR department over trying to claim back over inflated expenses for a questionable business trip.
Once you’ve met Jim Fosse you’ll never feel quite the same about opening your e-mails …
A darkly humorous short story of obsession from John Dolan, author of ‘Everyone Burns’.
My 4 Star Review:
This book is a very short read at just under 40 pages – more like an ongoing email banter, back and forth between Jim Fosse and the person responsible for HR in his fictional power company he works for, as Fosse demands to be paid back for ‘odd’ travel expenses for his recent trip to South Asia.
Jim is trying to recoup his business expenses from what seems like a tawdry trip – sans expense receipts. The emails become snippy and politically incorrect by Fosse with each response from Ortiz of HR and his refusal to compensate for Fosse’s outlandish claims for compensation. Such requests include, and are not limited to – hookers and massages required to lure in potential clients.
A fun and humorous dark read listening to Fosse’s struggle to win his argument, with a twisted and vengeful ending.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Writer’s Tips. In this edition I’m featuring a 3 part series that Ace Promoter of Indie authors – Sally Cronin, has written to inform authors of key things we should be doing to help gain exposure for our books, how to make the most of our Amazon author pages, and ‘Watering Holes’ where authors can congregate online to gain readership. These posts have great information for both new writers and seasoned writers alike, as there’s always something we may overlook.
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Attracting your readers, Covers, Book Titles, Tag Lines and Key Words by Sally Cronin
Attracting your readers, Covers, Book Titles, Tag Lines and Key Words
Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.
One of the jobs that gave me some perspective on marketing and promotion, was the several years I spent as advertising sales manager for a free paper in London and then a holiday publication company.
One of the key elements of marketing and selling is to attract the right customer for your product and in book marketing this is your readers.
Part of my job was writing copy for clients who could not afford to spend a fortune with an agency. This was quite an interesting challenge because most companies, whatever their product wanted to put their name in large letters front and centre. So for example: Continue reading at the Smorgasbord
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Setting up your Amazon Author Page by Sally Cronin
I began promoting authors and their books back in 2001 and then it was all about splashy book launches, press releases and getting local coverage. Indie authors had it tough in those days trying to break into the establishment and get the attention of national press, but could do very well locally.
It is very different today in many respects, but certainly you can still make a big splash in your own local area, especially if our books are relevant to the history of the area. Press releases and going door to door to established businesses such as bookshops, cafes, art galleries and holding book signings can certainly launch a book and possibly get the attention of a wider audience and the national press.
Six years ago I began promoting my own books (particularly Ebooks as I tend to still go local for my print books) and a handful of authors here on Smorgasbord, which over the next two years developed to become The Cafe and Bookstore. This celebrated three years of book promotions earlier in the year and there are between 150 and 175 active authors with new releases and reviews at any given time.
Taking my experience of the ups and downs of book marketing over the last 18 years I feel that if I can give a helping hand to other authors, it might help them navigate the marketing process a little more effectively. Especially when we have a global marketplace at our fingertips.
I am delighted that I am in a position to showcase authors here on my blog and on social media. And for me it is important to provide this FREE as I know how tough it was back when I started, and even more so now, to get noticed.
However, I have over the years found some stumbling blocks that are common to many authors.
It would be lovely to think that we write a book and readers will then flock through the doors on the online bookstore and grab a copy. Unfortunately today you are in competition with the many thousands of other books that are published that week, particular in a popular genre on a worldwide basis.
So everything you do online has to have one clear goal, and that is to encourage readers to buy your book. But all the promotions in the world with wonderful blurb and reviews are not effective unless they address one very important question.
Where do you want potential readers to end up?
Somewhere they can buy the book immediately.
For most of us, whichever publishing path we have taken, Amazon is our primary bookseller. Some of you will publish through Amazon’s own Kindle and Print publishing services, others like myself are independent and do our own formatting and design before signing up for a seller account.
But, you do need to meet the technology and worldwide opportunities at least halfway and one of the most effective tools at your disposal, even with one book, but certainly with multiple releases, is the Amazon Author Page.
There are a number of book promotional sites available, mine included, who will promote your book, but we need to put a buy link for your book so that readers can head over and purchase. That link is usually Amazon as it is the largest online bookstore in the world. More importantly it is where those who live online, such as other authors and bloggers have set up accounts to buy their books.
That being the case, I always put the Amazon author page in the bookstore so that when the potential buyer heads over they can see the authors bio, photograph and more importantly, not just one book, but all of them. They can then choose which book to select, but you never know, they might just pick up another one or two at the same time.
The majority of authors that are promoted here have an Amazon author’s page, but you will be amazed how many do not who ask me to promote their books.
This is one of the most important book marketing tools that you can use as the link should be on all your correspondence, from the signature on your emails to your profiles on all the social media sites you are using. Certainly on your business cards and also at the back of your books, along with the covers of the other books you have written.
From the perspective of a book promoter, it makes it very difficult when an author has five or six books and no author page.. I have to spend considerable time tracking them down and I then do not have one central link to put them under.
This loses you sales.
Amazon is your bookstore, your bookshelf and your author page needs maintenance from time to time.
When was the last time you checked your bio. I see many that are at least a year and a couple of books out of date.
Would a new profile photo give your author page a new look too?
Have you added your blog link so that your posts will show up on the page encouraging readers to visit you there.
Are all your books, including your latest listed on your author page?
Is all the information correct about your books?
Ensure that when your books are uploaded all formats are available on the book selling page. Otherwise you will lose sales from readers looking for either print or Ebooks and not finding it on the same page.
Even if you only have one book, it is a good idea to set up your Author Page and you can do so on both the UK and the US sites as when they list your books on one they might not carry over your bio or other information, including the photograph. Often if you do not manually update your author page on the other country’s site, you will find there is not bio or the photograph is missing so you do need to keep an eye on both.
Even if you have not been the person who uploaded the book, as the author you can sign up for the Author Central or as many of you are a KDP author you can use that identity to log in.
I have taken some screen grabs to illustrate the process… Continue reading at the Smorgasbord
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Marketing – Online Watering Holes for Authors – Part One – Is your Blog book marketing ready? – Sally Cronin
So far in this series, I have focused on Amazon Author pages, Goodreads and the book marketing potential of your covers, titles, tag lines and key words:
In the next three posts I am going to look at the online social media platforms that are helpful in your efforts to market your books. None of them are perfect, not least of all because of the amount of personal data that is collected, but you are in business as an author and advertising is a key element of your strategy.
This week I am going to focus on blogging which in my experience over the last seven years is the one that offers the most options when it comes to book marketing, as it is combined with another crucial element… the marketing of you the author.
Blogworld is probably the most effective watering hole for writers.
There are an estimated 60 million bloggers on WordPress alone, and I recognise that it can take time to establish your own community of writers and readers. I started my own blog in 2012 but it was not until September 2013 that I really began building my brand consistently.
I wanted to promote my previous books which were just converted to Ebooks, and this gave them a new lease of life. New covers, updated and previously only sold in print at local outlets, I was finally after 14 years able to take advantage of the global Kindle and Epub market.
Seven years later, this platform and my social media, not only offer me an opportunity to promote my own books but also to promote other authors. Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore has 150 + active authors (recent reviews and releases) at any given time and passed its third year anniversary in June this year. . .Continue reading
Today I’m sharing an interview I did with Sally Cronin at the Smorgasbord Invitation. Sally has opened a new interview series for authors, and I am thrilled to be kicking off the series with her.
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New Series – Sunday Author Interview – #Non-Fiction #Memoir – D.G. Kaye
Welcome to the first in the new Sunday Interview series, exclusive to the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.. details of how you can participate and join the other authors in the cafe can be found at the end of the interview.
Delighted to feature D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) as the first author and whilst if you are regular visitor, you will have met Debby before as a contributor with her Travel Column, and the Laughter Lines, you will find out a great deal more about her writing and her selected book today.
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Thanks so much for your most generous invitation Sally. I’m delighted as always to be here sharing my thoughts and experiences as a writer, and of course, a bit about my book – Twenty Years: After “I Do”
Always a pleasure to have you as a guest and contributor Debby and time for you to reveal which questions you have selected…
Looking back on your life, what key elements such as childhood, education, inspiration, motivated you to write?
My childhood inspired me to write at a very young age. I was a curious child who loved to learn by whatever means, be it reading, watching TV or just observing people. I had a voice and was quite inquisitive but had no confidence to use my voice. So, at a young age, I’d craft love notes and amateur poems for people I loved to demonstrate my affection because I didn’t feel comfortable saying ‘love words’ to anyone, mostly, because they were unfamiliar words to me.
My voice was through my writing. As I grew up, love notes turned into letters, a frequent method I used to communicate to people what I was feeling in order to avoid one-on-one confrontation and nervous fluster, which would have me forgetting all the points I wanted to cover.
From my teens onward, I began observing my mother closely, and journaled my discoveries. Then after years of being a victim inside my mother’s web, as I neared mid-life I felt compelled to start writing my first book compiled from all my journaling.
If you’re a nonfiction writer, please tell us about the inspiration behind your books, and if personal, how you feel it has benefited you to share your life experiences.
All my books are written about experiences I encountered through my life, from growing up emotionally neglected with a narcissistic mother to living out my life with a narcissistic mother, low self-esteem issues, living through menopause and staying sane, to snippets of some of my travel discoveries, sharing first-hand advice gathered through my stories. My featured book here – Twenty Years: After “I Do”, is about how I navigated my marriage happily, despite the challenges of what life can throw our way. Many of the issues I write about are also other people’s issues, this is why my readers can relate, and perhaps through reading how I manage to plow through these events, I can lend some encouragement for someone else’s circumstance.
As for myself, I’m a storyteller and a big believer that if I find something useful, I feel compelled to share with others who appreciate learning something that may enlighten or encourage them. It’s a wonderful feeling to write and share my stories.
Sometimes I wonder, who am I that someone would want to read my books? I’m a girl who experienced a lot since her young life who just wants to share her stories so that others can take something from my words, and hopefully, enjoy the read along the way.
Where did the inspiration for your featured book come from?
As some here know, I’m married to a man a generation older than me. I share about what it takes to keep a marriage going strong despite the pitfalls of life that happen, and that could potentially tear apart a relationship.
When I accepted my husband’s wedding proposal, I replied. “Yes. But you have to promise me 20 years Mister!” My sarcastic humor was really my fear of the distant future, knowing we wouldn’t have the luxury of growing old together, but if I was somehow promised 20 years, I would accept that as a good amount of time together. We’re now 20 years married this year.
As this anniversary was approaching, I wanted to commemorate my 20 wonderful years of marriage and share in story that life will always present its ups and downs and dilemmas, but it’s about how I keep my marriage thriving despite our age difference and obstacles presented to us along the way. I wanted to share some of my situations to pass along some learned wisdoms.
Love has no age or time limits.
What is your editing process, and do you use any software you’ve found particularly helpful?
Editing for me begins with first round revisions. For those who aren’t familiar with my prehistoric method of writing books, all my books are written in longhand. Once I’m finished writing my first draft, I enter each chapter into the computer and in doing so, I begin the editing process – revision round one begins. Once the chapters are entered, I begin round 2 of edits. By the third round is where I’ll turn on my ProWritingAid program, installed on both my website and my Word docs, to do further edits and discover inconsistencies and typos overlooked through that program.
Next, I like to leave my manuscript alone for a period of time – from a few days to a week, so I can distance myself from it for a while and go back with fresh eyes. While my MS is marinating, I’ll work on other things which are part of the book, such as the blurb, and cover art images I find that represent the book’s essence so I can send to my book designer to help her get a feel for what I’m after. Then when I’m ready to go back to my MS, I print it out to do a paper edit. It’s amazing what our eyes pick up on paper as opposed to on the computer screen.
The next round of edits, I turn on the ‘text to speech’ feature in Word, make myself a coffee and a comfy spot on the couch, and listen to my book being read back to me. This helps me to discover any other typos, missed punctuation, or weird sounding sentences my eyes may have missed. When I hear something wonky, I just pause the reading and highlight the issue to fix later and continue reading so as not to stop the story flow.
After listening to my book and editing . . . continue reading at the Smorgasbord