Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snippet Sunday 12/8/2-13

On Top of the Rainbow

Five year old Gabe runs away from home. While in the forest he meets Lep and Elita and climbs a rainbow. On Top of the Rainbow he must make the decision to cross over to a land of delight or go back to his family that he loves. 

Come and visit with Gabe, Lep and Elita as they discover the importance of family love.


Click here to purchase from Amazon


Excerpt:

Gabe crept up to take a closer look. He noticed the critter had purple shoes, blue pants that stopped at the ankle, and a brown shirt with orange suspenders. Its arms were long and had bony fingers. Beside the critter sat a huge black pot filled to the brim with shiny gold coins. Gabe's eyes grew large at the sight. Curious to see more, he tiptoed towards the pot. 

The critter's eyes popped open. One was red and the other yellow. He stood up, placed his hands on its hips, and bellowed, "Halt! Who goes there?!" 






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Free Saeed Abedini #feesaeed #savesaeed

*** This is a blog post by Phil Naessens. I happen to stand in agreement and am sharing this to help free Saeed. Please share -

http://www.philnaessens.com/apps/blog/show/38530296-free-saeed-abedini-feesaeed-savesaeed

Free Saeed Abedini #feesaeed #savesaeed

Greetings Sports Fans!

I haven’t blogged in about a week or so. With all the extra writing assignments and such I haven’t had very much time to keep at this like I planned. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men I guess.

Free Saeed Abedini.

Since last Friday’s show that’s been the subject of plenty of your emails, voicemails, tweets and so forth. I’m glad this has your attention and I hope it keeps it until the day Saeed Abedini is reunited once again with his family.

One thing that I’m happy about is how the organizers has avoided turning this into another political fiasco and kept the focus (rightly) on what it actually is; a humanitarian effort to free a man whose only crime seems to be that he is a Christian. The Iranian Government claims Abedini was “undermining National Security” and in January of 2013 locked him away for eight years.

The best I can tell Abedini returned to his native Iran, with the countries permission no less, to help set up an orphanage. I fail to see how setting up an orphanage undermines national security but that’s for the Iranians to explain. Maybe they thought he was up to his old tricks which were setting up house churches.

I dunno but either way something just doesn’t pass the sniff test does it?

I can only imagine what must be going through Abedini’s mind these days. In search of a better life he and his wife Nagmeth left Iran and eventually found their way to America where they became naturalized citizens. His love for his people brought him back to Iran to set up an orphanage and now he finds himself being beaten and tortured daily by the very people that he tried to help.

There’s an irony in there somewhere I’m sure of it.

I do find it interesting that the American government can, and will, at the drop of a hat, intervene in other countries business in the name of freedom. Often times our young people spill their blood on foreign soil for that to happen yet this same government can’t seem to negotiate the release of an American citizen whose freedom to believe in a faith and practice of his own choosing has been denied.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

So why Free Saeed day on December 4th, 2013? I guess the simple answer is to give this man and his family now currently living in Idaho some hope. To let this man and his family know that he’s more than just a negotiating chip in the poker game known as foreign relations. To let this man and his family know that we care and we are going to do everything in our power to see that he is released and reunited with his family.

There’s more to this campaign my friends.

We also need to let our elected officials know that we are outraged by this miscarriage of justice by using every platform we can find. These elected officials work for us and are supposed to be working for Saeed Abedini. We need to remind them that this American citizen and taxpayer needs them to get behind him and to use all their political power and persuasion to get this man released from the hellhole he currently resides in and back where he belongs; On American soil in the loving arms of his family and friends.

Here’s where you come in. (from the Free Saeed Facebook Page)

On WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4, every Christian with a platform, great or small, will feature Saeed on it with the demand that our government use it’s God given power for good to secure his release.

If you have a Facebook page, you have a platform.
If you have a Twitter account, you have a platform.
If you have a Blog, you have a platform.
If you have an Instagram account...you get the idea!

Use the hashtag: #freesaeed and/or #savesaeed on all your platforms.

Our scattered voices can be ignored, but if we can come together across denominational and political lines as one voice the church may break prison chains once again.

We need every single Christian to spread the word to friends, family and any media outlets.

Pastors, feature this on your websites and blogs.

Bloggers, we need it on your front page.

Brothers & sisters, we need your Facebook status & even your profile pic.

We welcome any ideas to further this cause and we encourage your participation and promotion.

This is an historical moment for the church to come together for something that’s close to God’s heart - human life and dignity.

Please feel free to copy this content or modify this content, and post it as your own on your own media!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Snippet Sunday December 1st 2013


Snippet from Journey to Freedom

It was dawn as the Cherokee tribe prepared to leave their home. A place the white men called Georgia, and they were being moved to a new place called Oklahoma. His father, the Chief, was married to a black woman. The battle waged inside him as the two heritages collided. All his life he had learned of the Indian ways as well as the white men’s ways. He was ten years old and for the first time he was about to disobey his father’s command. He was not going to Oklahoma with them. He was not going to leave the only place he had known. He spit on the ground and stared angrily at the creek as it flowed by oblivious to the tormented kid.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


Nothing Else - Just have a wonderful day celebrating with your family and friends! 


H
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                                           !

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snippet Sunday 11/24/2013


The Knight of the Dixie Wilds


As these romantic sentences flowed from her smiling lips, she snuggled closer to Buck. Her voluptuous breath came warm against his cheek as she kissed his lips. Dreamily, speechless, and resistless, he felt himself yielding to the hypnotic spell.

Suddenly, a flock of jaybirds nearby sounded a sharp warning. Buck knew the alarm signals of these feathered rangers of the forest.

Quickly disengaging himself from the girl’s arms, he stepped on top of a high log, listened, and looked. A deer came bounding from the thicket in the vicinity of the jaybirds. Beyond the low brush, Buck saw brass buttons sparkling in the sunlight. Negro soldiers were approaching fast from three directions.

With fire in his eyes, he shot a look at May Castle and uttered one word, “Traitor!”




Question and Answer

Recently when I told a coworker that my passion is writing, I was asked these questions. To be honest, I stumbled over the answers when talking to him. So I thought that I would share them here with a little more thought process involved in the answers. Next time I am asked these questions, I hope to be better prepared. 

1) What are you working on right now?  

I have three works in progress right now. The Inner Chamber is a Christian Suspense full-length novel. Release date is still in negotiation.


I am breaking into the children's genre by writing for my grandchildren, Jasmine and Gabriel. On Top of the Rainbow will be published in December 2013 and Melting Butter is planned for January 2014. 

2) How does it differ from other work in the genre?


With The Inner Chamber being a Christian suspense thriller, it brings in variables of the Christian faith, and, of course, evil vs. good. I think it is different because it brings in elements of an unseen world into the physical. Interwoven with angels vs. demons, and evil vs. good, this story is testing my ability to write well and bring each scene to the level of intensity it demands. 



3) Why do you write?

I write because I love to create. I can't draw or paint, and I love to read. I like to get all of the thoughts out and writing allows me to do that. The only regret is I am unable to do it full time at this point in my life. 

The first time I wrote was for a high school project and the story was called, "No Way Out." I earned $15.00 for winning first place. 


4) How does your process work?

First, with a small nugget that filtered into my crazy mind. Then it expands. I usually know the beginning and the end of the story. The challenge is filling in the between. As I go along, characters I didn't know was going to appear, materialize. This is the fun part about the process. I am sometimes surprised at where my characters take me. Editing takes the longest - up to three times the amount that I spend writing. Then comes the marketing. 


5) Do you design your covers?


 Unfortunately, I am not talented enough to design my own book covers. My friend and business owner, Cheryl Casey Ramirez, designs most of my book covers and she has done one book trailer for me. In addition, she helped me with my website, www.authorkmeador.com, and she is doing the illustrations for both my children's books. If interested in her work you can visit her at: http://www.ccrbookcoverdesign.com/

Because she is awesome here is, A Little About CCR:

My name is Cheryl. I studied art at Texas State University and earned a Bachelor of Art degree. I design book covers, illustrate children's books, draw and paint, and build things for my home. I have to have disco music playing in order to clean my house (my mom's fault).

I love to read and have definitely bought books because the cover attracted me and hoped it delivered on the inside. Every time I see a low-end cover that is probably hurting the author's sales, I wish I could give it a makeover.

I'm just like you. Making the most of the talents God blessed me with. Making the most of the opportunities in this crazy, awesome online world.

A few years ago I married my high school friend Johnny. Between us we have one college kid and two teenagers.

If you're curious about the stuff I make for my home (with Johnny's help usually), dig around over on my blog Mama's Got a Chainsaw.

Have a great day and remember: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." -Yoda

.






Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gab Time with Author K Meador, November 2013 Edition


Gab Time with Author K Meador

November 2013 edition of Gab Time, Author K Meador takes a moment to introduce you to Author Ngarie Elder and gives an update on her works in progress. 



Author Spotlight:            

Ngaire Elder, Author of The Adventures of Cecilia Spark novels, is a natural storyteller whose love of animals is reflected in her work. Ngaire was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, where she spent most of her childhood playing with her brother and her imaginary friends. As a child, she wrote plays, just for fun, but it would be years before her first book was ultimately published. She has participated in reading events at primary schools in County Derry, Northern Ireland, and has taught English to young children participating in the Spanish school system's extracurricular activity program. She has been interviewed extensively by European and American bloggers, and her work has been featured in Indie Author News, British Indie Fiction, and the Coleraine Times. Ngaire resides in Spain with her husband and four children.

Amazon     Website:  www.ceciliaspark.com     Email: info@ceciliaspark.com

Book 1: The Brimstone Forest (Kindle 1.99/Paperback 4.95)
Book 2: The Mystical Mountain of Terra (Kindle 1.99/Paperback 4.95)
Book 3: Dragon’s Star to be released January 2014

My Writing:

Congrats goes out to Bethany Parker, Tom Dunn and Alan Hilburn who each won a free book for contributing character names to The Inner Chamber, my work in progress. The Inner Chamber is going through a complex and extensive line editing.

On Top of the Rainbow, my first children’s book, is written and at the illustrators desk right now!  This story features Gabe, a Leprechaun, and a Unicorn. Look for it soon!

Melting Butter, my second children’s book, is in work now.  This story features Tater the mouse, Disaster the rival cat, and Jasmine the accomplice. Coming soon!

For more information on K Meador, click on the following links:

My Books on Amazon     Website     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     Linked In

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gab Time with Author K Meador - October 2013

 Gab Time with Author K Meador

In this edition, (October 2013), of Gab Time, Author K Meador will reveal a bit about Planes, Scuba Diving and Books. What a diverse set of topics!


Planes:
I have been in the aviation industry for 14 years. I started in Abilene, Texas then moving to Greenville, Texas. After ten years with the past two companies, I went contracting and held jobs in: Savannah, GA, North Charleston, SC, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tracy, California. I am currently residing in Oklahoma City, OK. With all my travels, I have made new friends to blend in with those of the past.
Last week, I left the maintenance side of aviation and entered into the quality control department.  This is an exciting new chapter in my life outside of books!

Scuba Diving:
When my two boys, Devon and Logan, were teenagers we took the PADI Open Water Diving Course one summer. It was a fun filled and busy few weeks as we learned about diving. Along with the awesome videos of diving we also learned about the dangers. A few years later, I got to dive in Hawaii. Unfortunately, my underwater camera didn’t work and I missed out on some wonderful photo opportunities.
Devon, my older son, is now pursuing a career in diving. He is a Master Scuba Diver with Instructor Rating. He spent a year in Mexico, and when he came back he went to Indiana for a short term job. He is now looking at potential jobs located in California, Oklahoma City and The Virgin Islands.

Writing:
Congrats goes out to Mary Dunn and Scarlett Harrell who won a free gift of The Knight of the Dixie Wilds for contributing character names to The Inner Chamber, my work in progress.
The Inner Chamber has approximately 40,000 words written and is going through a complex editing rehashing right now. With my aviation workload easing, I see the completion of this book to come soon.
Over the summer, I entered a short story into the Cisco Writing Club 37th Annual Writing Contest. You can view the short story on my blog and would love to read your comments about it!

For more information click on the following links:
Website                              Blog                       My Books on Amazon                    Facebook

Friday, October 18, 2013

Freed by K. Meador

K. Meador has participated with distinction in the 37th Annual Cisco Writers Club Summer Writing Contest, receiving Honorable Mention in the Combined Category presented on this 19th day of September 2013. 

FREED
The moment she made the choice, her fate was sealed. When finally able to face herself for who she was, when she found the courage to stand for herself, it is in that moment that cost her dearly. This is her story.
She approached the building with hesitant steps. She checked the address written down against the numbers on the building. She had the right place. She stood on the sidewalk oblivious to those around her scurrying from place to place and they oblivious to the young girl staring at the building. She shuddered and took a breath as she saw her reflection in the mirrored walls of the building. The wind picked up and blew her long hair into her face. Her face, once pretty, was now devoid of emotion, was pale and was not so pretty anymore. She should know, he told her often enough.
He watched her stand there and thought for a moment she would not go in. He had to make sure she was taken care of properly. He had his chance but it was her decision. He hoped she would go in. He dominated her and knew finding another to take her place would be difficult for she was eager to please and cause little trouble – ‘till now. He breathed a sigh of relief as she walked forward and strode through the doors. He crossed the street, waiting for her return. It would be hours but he was patient man. He lit a cigarette, breathed deeply, and exhaled.
She squinted into the fluorescent lights, too bright for the place that she referred to as a tomb in her mind. The lobby was furnished nicely with plush carpet, deep couches, art d├ęcor but the trappings were just that and nothing more. She approached the woman behind the front desk and realized she was on the phone and typing systematically. She turned away and walked to the art. Such beauty to be found in this place, she thought, that was just wrong, just plain wrong.
She stared at the painting yet she began to see past the painting and into the reflection it was sending out. She lifted a hand to her hair, which was long and stringy. Once, it was shiny and kept. She touched her face that was void of makeup and remembered a time when she was pretty. The too baggy clothes, the ugly brown clogs that he made her wear made her feel ugly and unkempt. When had she allowed him to do this to her? Why did she let him? Her hand dropped from her face to her stomach. He was making her do this too.
The room was quiet. The woman was off the phone. She was calling to her but she wouldn’t listen. She was absorbed in her own thoughts. She could leave she told herself. She could walk right out those doors. She could make that collect call which her parents would be overjoyed to accept. She could….couldn’t she? The woman called to her again and then again as she stood quietly staring at the girl in the reflection.
She turned, in a split second, before she could change her mind. As she left the building, turning left would take her to him, turning right would lead her to nowhere but going straight, yes, going straight would lead her back home. She felt good as she opened the door and strode out to wait patiently for the light to change so she could cross the street.
He could not believe what he was seeing. Not ten minutes was she there and she had walked out. He was beyond anger. She defied him. She could not get away with that. He moved up behind her. He watched the traffic. He raised his hand to her back without touching her. Timing was everything. He pushed. Perfect.
She saw the drivers eyes grow wide, his mouth formed in a scream, the brakes screeched, the horn blared but she knew it was of no use. Her body impacted with steel, she tumbled off of it as the car stopped and she hit the pavement. People shouting, crying, sirens were being heard. Blood was everywhere. A police officer, who was on horse patrol nearby arrived and knelt beside her as she opened her eyes, pointed at him and whispered his name.
No way, he thought to himself, she did not just do that. He turned and walked quickly away. A glance backward showed the police officer talking into his radio.


            

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Underdogs take on the big dogs...

Too Much Information by David Haskell 

Underdog takes on the big dogs..., September 17, 2013
Reviewed By K. Meador
Rating 3.5 stars out of 5

This is a story of an underdog fighting the big dogs in a world where civilians are hit the hardest. Rob, the lawyer, enters into a fight for survival, truth and justice for his client. With many scratches, bumps, bruises and hard earned education along the way, there will be a day in court.

With modern equipment installed, certain companies manipulate the public without their consent, knowledge or giving any reason why they were declined availability to a flight. The author takes you on a plight to right the wrong that has been done to innocent people who genuinely just want to help others by large companies and the government itself. Lawyers, late night comedy stations, and talk shows all get in on the hot subject of how much is too much information and battling for which side they believe is right.

The author has weaved a tale that is detailed and intricate to the plot. The pace moves at a comfortable rate; the writing is well done. The author did a good job on characterization. I found that some characters were just there...to be there. In my opinion they didn't really add value to the story but added length to the story. I noticed a few out of place point of view shifts and the word "lead" was used instead of "led". Sometimes, I felt, that the story itself had too many details slowing it down.


Amazon US Link


Monday, September 9, 2013

Truck Stop Paradise


Truck Stop Paradise by Celia Yeary
5.0 out of 5 stars 
Short, but good
Reviewed by K Meador on September 8, 2013 

This is the second book I have read by Author Celia Yeary and I was surprised at the length - shorter than the other book, Texas Promise - that I read but Truck Stop Paradise kept the same quality of Texas Promise.

This book keeps you in suspense of the real conflict but not in a bad way. The suspense helps keep the interest. And the fact that this author touches on a very difficult subject that I think every family, in one way or another, has to deal with. Sometimes it is close to home and sometimes further away but the hurt, and agony that is described here is felt in various degrees of the people who loves one with this issue.

I just wished the story was longer. I would have liked to see Leigh respond to counseling for the enabler part of the story. But I did not rate this book down for that because it is just personal opinion.

The writing is well done, the pace moves forward at a constant speed and their is a feel for the characters that authors everywhere strive to deliver. Well done Author Celia Yeary.

Click here to purchase from Amazon US 



Hardship, Hope and Survival; A tale to be told

The Night I Danced with Rommel by Elisabeth Marrion
4 out of 5 stars
Hardship, Hope and Survival; A tale to be told 

9 Sep 2013, Reviewed by K. Meador


Children wearing gas masks, concentration camps near towns without German resident's knowledge, hunger and poverty running rapid and the constant fear of bombs and the uncertainty of tomorrow are the underlying connotations of this story. The struggle to survive, the power to love and the despair of grief involve all the characters in this book.

With much of WWII stories that I have read focused on either the actual war events or the concentration camps, it was a fresh perspective to read this account of history from the perspective of a single young woman and then later, as a married woman with young children. Sacrifices were made and the struggle to know the real truth from the propaganda German residents were bombarded with when communication was limited to radio, limited telephone and mail that would take months to reach the recipient, if it ever did.

This is a book that is deftly woven around this woman and her family. Beginning with her parents, siblings and her dreams and then continuing with her husband, friends, and children.

It is a story worth telling and is told well. The reason for the four stars is the errors in grammar and punctuation towards the end of the book. If those mistakes were not there I would give this book a five star rating.

Click here to purchase from Amazon US
Click here to purchase from Amazon UK 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jolly Green Giant

I do my best not to envy fellow authors who have the means to stay at home and concentrate on their writing career, but every once in a while I see the jolly green giant - jealousy - rear its ugly eye.



I just finished a 65 hour work week and the previous week was 70 hours for a company who doesn't seem to appreciate the long hours, hard work, or the physical strain the long hours put on their employees. The bottom line. That is what is important to them. 



And I was thinking...that is what I need to be focusing on too. Juggling my aviation career with my writing career is very difficult. Because aviation is what pays my bills, I make that career priority when in actuality my love is putting words together to create something special. 

I love meeting the people that I have met on line and developing these into interactive relationships. Some of the relationships has endured for over a year, some has fizzled out, and some are just beginning, but all are important to me. It is part of the writing business that I am missing as my social networking is dwindling due to my long hours in aviation. 


Therefore, I am going to put together an email newsletter to send out to my family, friends, and followers. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter via email, please let me know by contacting me at K_Trina_3@yahoo.com. It will be a monthly newsletter geared to updating you on my writing projects, letting you know about the books I have read and what I would recommend to you. 



I hope that you would enjoy this newsletter without it being a burden. 

Sincerely,
Author K. Meador

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Its that time of year again...

Fourth of July,


A time for family and fun in the sun. A time of remembrance and celebration. A time to mourn and honor those who gave their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

A time for work for nurses, doctors, aircraft mechanics, military personnel, etc who will miss out on the rockets red glare and the perfectly cooked hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, sausage and steaks due to duties at work.

So what are your plans for the holiday? Mine not a whole lot. Play with the pups. Eat good food. Watch the sky light up with fabulous colors and loud noises. I might write some.

But the most important thing I am going to do is... be happy. All might not be perfect in my life but I am healthy, I have income, I have clean clothes to wear and good food to eat. Yes, I am going to be happy in who I am, what I have and where I am going.

It is my wish that remembrance, joy, peace, love, and kindness will be found in your home and in your life always...

God Bless You



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Continuing...

Its been about a month since my last post. Wow, how time flies. Guess this one is going to travel a more personal note than a "writing" note.

The Oklahoma City area received four very destructive tornadoes. All is fine with my area. As I travel through the path of the storms, I am overwhelmed at the devastation they caused. I am recovering from surgery. All is fine. I took two classes to advance my aviation career this month. And that brings me to this.

How many writers take continuing education classes on writing? I have to be honest, I don't. But I am not sure why I don't expect for: time, money, etc. But if I will make time to take classes that further my aviation career wouldn't it stand to reason to take classes that make you a better writer? Oh yes...I think I will be looking into college creative writing classes or maybe back to the basics with editing... lol. The good news is, these classes can be done either online or at a college campus.

In the meantime, how do you get readers feedback on the writing that you do? Do you have a critique group to help you along with the edits, or the story line? I have joined a critique group that does very well in this area. It is helping me generate a more believable and authentic story for the readers although responses are sometimes slow.

What do you think? Are continuing classes for writers helpful?


Monday, May 27, 2013

New Book Blogger: Knight of the Dixie Wilds by K Meador

My New Released is released on the popular New Book Blogger hosted by a dear friend, Glynis Smy. Check it out and afterward check out her guidelines to get your book featured!

New Book Blogger: Knight of the Dixie Wilds by K Meador:

 No period in the history of the United States of America forms a field so rich with chivalry, romance and drama as the years between 1865 and 1870...

Monday, May 20, 2013

35 Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an Event!! by Larry James

Note: This is not me. I saw this and thought it was great ideas and wanted to share. Credit goes to Larry James and his contact info is at the bottom of this Blog Post. Thank You. 

35 Ways to Make Your Next   Book Signing an Event!!

By Larry James 

Here are some tips and suggestions that have helped me increase the number of books sold at a book signing. Many are my own, and some were suggested by other author friends. Each book store has its own distinctive personality. Although I do not attempt to do all of the suggested tips at every signing, it is important to adapt as many as you can to fit each store's personality. Believe me, doing so will increase the opportunity to sell more books.

DO - Write your own announcement for the book stores intercom. Make it short and brief. Give them several versions, because they usually announce that you are there several times. Don't hesitate to remind them to make the announcement again if it's been awhile since the last announcement. They will often get busy and forget. Every half hour should do it. If you do lectures or give speeches about your book and are in town for a keynote or seminar that is open to the public, include information about that too. Let the book store choose to include it in the announcement or not.

DON'T - Don't just sit at the table they have for you. Most authors do that. Be different! I always tell the person booking the signing not to worry about putting a chair behind the table. This will always get their attention. Let them know you will be the store's official greeter while you are there. Walk around the store with several copies of your book and introduce yourself to everyone.

If those you introduce yourself to show the least bit of interest, hand them a book. They will almost always take it. Tell them to look at it and bring it back to the table when they are finished. On average, I more than tripled my book sales at signings by implementing this tip!

DO - Have an attractive two color or four color book mark designed by a graphic artist and print thousands of them. You can give one to everyone who comes in the store. List a few endorsements on it as well as a brief paragraph of what the book is about. Leave your address off. Put the price and the ISBN on the bookmarks. Book stores often have their own book marks and are reluctant to have you give yours out if they think their customer is going to you directly.

I often will sign a book mark for someone who lingers at my table but does not buy my book. Remember your mission: "Spread good will!" Many people will come back to the store to buy your book after you have left. Send the book store several hundred book marks, and suggest that they include them in the bags of people who buy books before your book signing.

  • BONUS TIP: I include book marks for all three of my relationship books plus a business card in every piece of correspondence that leaves my office. The utility companies send statement stuffers to you, so why not send one back? When paying bills, slip in one of your book marks with your check.
DO - Get to know the "Community Relations" person. They are the ones who will book you again if they like you. I've been back to the same Barnes and Noble store three times in the last 9 months in the Phoenix area.

DO - Remember to call at least two months in advance if you want to be included in their in-store flyer.

DO - Go to Kinko's and have your book covers enlarged in color to an 11 x 17 poster, laminate them and have them put them on a poster type board with a stand up thing on the back. Always bring them with you to the signings! Anything else you can think of to call attention to your table is also GREAT!

DO - Ask them for a media list (radio, TV, etc.). Some don't have them, but the ones who do will usually share it or tell you where to get it. It makes calling the radio and TV stations easier. If they don't have a media list, ask them which stations they would recommend that might be interested in an interview. When they know you are also doing stuff to promote the signing, usually they do more too!

DO - Ask for a community list, i.e., Chamber of Commerce, Society of the Arts, etc. Send them a news release about your book signing (and seminar or keynote, if applicable). You never know where your speaking engagements may come from. Check first with your meeting planner to get permission, then add a personal note to the news release inviting them to come and hear you speak.

DO - Although the stores send news releases, send your own as well. This increases the chance of getting coverage.

DO - Call the radio and TV stations no less than a month in advance and request an interview the week of the signing. Send them a news release about your book signing. Give them a special invitation to attend your book signing, and if you are in town to do a keynote or seminar, invite them to attend at no charge. Remember to send them a promotional copy of your book.

DO - Put several of your books "face-out" when they aren't looking! I often will also put the books of my author friends "face-out."

DO - Send them your endorsements. Print them in an attractive large font and on a white piece of paper. They will often use them on posters, etc. Also send several book "covers." Request that they put up a special display, including poster, at least a week in advance of the signing. Most do, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Send your picture (color is best) to join the book cover on the poster. Sometimes they use it, some times they don't. At least it gives them an option. Offer to send any additional information they may need.

DO - Talk to people. Many people think because you wrote a book, you are unapproachable. Prove them wrong. It builds relationships. Be exceedingly FRIENDLY! Booksignings are no place to be shy.

DO - Ask the manager how many books they would like for you to sign before you leave so they will have some on hand. NOTE: Generally speaking, they cannot return any books you sign, so always ask! If the signing went well or even if it didn't, and you impressed the manager, they will usually have you sign a bunch before you leave.

DO - Bring a camera and have your picture taken with the manager and other key people in the store. If you want to call attention to yourself, pay attention to other people. Most people don't do this. You may want to use several of the photos in publicity in the future.

DO - Have a Polaroid camera handy at your table. When someone buys your book say, "Let's have our picture taken together!" Have someone from the store take a picture of you and your new customer. Give it to them and sign and date the back of the picture. Suggest they use it for a book mark. This increases the odds that your book AND the picture will become more of a conversation piece.

DO - To help call attention to my book Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers, I put a crystal bowl on the table and fill it with small, individually wrapped packages of "Red Hots." Dove chocolates are another favorite. People will stop and read the book poster (while they are unwrapping the candy) and look over your book marks and books. Ask them if you can take the wrapper. . . Contact!

DO - Especially in your own home town, take a sign-up sheet (name, address AND phone number) for those who may be interested in being on your mailing list. Don't have a mailing list? Start one! You'll be glad you did.

DO - If you are in town for a keynote or seminar, bring some seminar flyers to hand out. It doesn't have to be fancy, just who, how, what, when and where will do! Invite the Community Relations person to attend your seminar for free. Many won't take the time to come, but it's a nice touch!

DO - Call the local newspaper and request that someone come and take pictures for the "feature article" you will also request. Suggest that they interview the book store manager or community relations person. If they like you, they will almost always say great things you and your book.

I did this at a signing in Topeka, KS (my former hometown) and even though the article came out after I left, it was great PR, the store loved it, and follow-up sales were great. Remember to send them a promotional copy of your book.

DO - Get there no less than 15 to 20 minutes early and if you can, stay late. At a signing in Tucson, I sold more books in the extra 30 minutes after the signing than in the previous two hours.

DON'T - Don't complain if you don't sell lots of books. Signings make those who bought your book feel good, but they really don't sell lots of books while you are there, UNLESS you create a presence WHILE YOU ARE THERE!

I've sold as few as none to as many as 56 in a two hour period. According to book store managers, on average, book sales for a non-celebrity author will range from about 4 to 7. If you sell more, you're doing great!

DON'T - Don't show your disappointment if you don't sell very many books. It only creates bad will. Nuff said!

DO - Send the person who booked the signing a brief "thank you" note. I'm told that authors seldom do this. I've had several people call me to thank me for sending the note.

DO - Talk about other authors books; authors you know. I have a story in A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup For the Soul and always ask the manager to put those books on the table too. I sign on page 18 under my name. I know my friends Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, the "Chicken Soup" guys, don't need my help, but the customers love it! My dear friend, Greg Godek's book, 1001 Ways to Be Romantic often shows up on my table. He mentions one of my books in his book.

DO - Come bearing gifts! Give the community relations person (or the person who booked the signing) a rose, small bunch of flowers or a tiny box of chocolates. They will not forget YOU!

DO - If you are coming from out of town, always call to let them know you have arrived.

DO - Talk to the community relations person and request a brief meeting with their employees prior to the signing to very quickly give an overview of your book so they can be aware and help sell it when people ask for that kind of book.

DO - I am a professional speaker as well as an author. If there is a book publishing association or National Speakers Association chapter or similar organization in the city of the signing, let them know you will be in town. Attend their meeting. If you know enough ahead of time, request to be on the program.

DO - When people stop by your autograph table, as you are introducing yourself, hand them a copy of your book. Many people will not pick up your book, but most will take it if you hand it to them. If they begin to read it, that's your cue to keep quiet. My book sales at back of the room and at book signings have increased significantly since using this tip.

DO - If you have a laptop computer, make arrangements with the book store for a phone line to the book signing table. Often a 25 foot phone extension wire from Radio Shack will work. (I bring my own). Display your computer in a prominent area and invite customers to interact with your website while you sign their book. ALWAYS hand them something with your URL printed on it. This is a sure-fire attention getter!

DO - Communicate with the bookstore by writing on postcards that show your book cover OR have numerous extra book covers printed and use the front part of the cover as an oversized postcard. While they do require extra postage, they keep your book in front of them as a constant reminder!

DO - MOST IMPORTANT: Have FUN! Let people know you are there to have fun, even if you don't sell any books. The manager of the store often feels worse than you do, because they are afraid you won't come back. Have fun! Create attention!

Some final words: It is important for you to understand that the purpose of book signings is not necessarily to sell books, but to make the book store customers AWARE of your books.

Another important point to understand is that books DO NOT sell themselves! People SELL books! It's equally important to spend some of your time at your signing to smooze with the people who take the money from the customers who buy your books. Get to know the staff at the book store. THEY can help you continue to sell your books LONG AFTER you have gone!

Book signings are an opportunity to build relationships with the book sellers. I consider book signings as an opportunity to SELL the book sellers on recommending MY books when someone asks for a good relationship book!

On several occasions, after handing the booksellers my 4-color book marks and telling them a little about myself and my books, the booksellers have actually bought signed copies of my books. If I happen to sell and sign a few books to their customers while I am there. . . I am grateful! I consider that a BONUS!

Several more things. . . as an author you should ALWAYS sign your books. Some people are too shy to ask for your autograph. Sign it anyway! Simply ask, "Here, let me sign that for you. Whose name would you like in it?" Always ask.

Never assume the book is for them. In the beginning, I wasted several books by assuming that the book was for them. I also always ask for the correct spelling. Even John can be spelled, "Jon, "Kelly: Keli, Kellie, Kelley, etc." If you sell your book by mail order be sure to include a blank on your order form for the person's name to whom the book should be signed. Remind them to PRINT the name. I also ask if they would like for me to write a date under my signature. Many people like to remember when they met you.

Authors often trade books with other authors. Remember to sign your books to them and ask them to return the favor.

DO - Ask the Community Relations Coordinator to make up some "Author Personalization Slips" (1/4 page sheets of paper with your photo and/or book cover on them with a message that says: "If you would like for (the author's name) to personalize your book for you, please PRINT the name you would like inscribed below." This will speed up the process and help keep you from having to ask, "What name would you like in the book?" or "What is the correct spelling?"

Come up with a special way of signing your name everytime you sign your books. For many years, I have signed books, "(their name), Celebrate Love! Larry James." Adding something special like, "Happy Birthday," or "Happy Anniversary," etc., will also make them very proud to show the book to their friends. Signed books are treasured much more than non-signed books!

Larry JamesCopyright © 1999 by Larry James. All Rights Reserved.Larry James is a professional speaker and author of How to Really Love the One You're With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love RelationshipLoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing! and Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers. In February, 1996, Larry joined the staff of Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He was Dr. Gray's personal choice to host the popular "Mars & Venus Chat Room" on America Online for nearly three years. He is a personally trained facilitator of Dr. Gray's "Mars and Venus Seminars." Larry has appeared on ABC TV's "The View" with Barbara Walters and more than 400 radio talk shows. He can be reached at: Larry James, CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. 800-725-9223.
E-mail: LarryJames@CelebrateLove.com.
WebSite: www.CelebrateLove.com.
 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

On Track Writing

In an earlier blog post, I discussed marketing strategies. But what do you do about staying on track for releasing your stories?

I have been bad about that. Very bad, really. Until recently. 


I have developed an excel spreadsheet that tracks my progress through my novel. For example, if I wanted to write 50,000 words in 60 days, I would need to write 833.33 words each day. I find that I work better with a daily goal that is attainable. How about you?

I have also taken this one step further and made a chart of it. So now when I enter my daily word written amount, it posts my progress and lets me know if I am ahead or behind of my target goal.

Now, some of you may have already known about this nifty idea but it didn't come to me until I realized I wasn't making as much headway as I wanted to with my work in progress. I liken this to when you sit down and put a budget down to your finances. It becomes an eye opener. And then it becomes a goal tracker. 


So what do you do to keep your writing on track? 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Golden Nugget Within the Family


Holding a piece of fragile history, I held the torn and scarred book affectionately. Written by my grandmother’s uncle and published in 1930, my pulse races as I am enraptured by the significance of what I hold in my hands.

My hands shake as I gently turn the fragile pages lined with typed words. Not computerized where if you had an error all it took was a touch of a backspace key but typed by an old fashion type writer. Hours upon hours of typing and rewrites. 

Truly a treasure.  

Here is a look at the story behind the story. 

Walter E. Taylor, my great-great uncle, penned a story titled: THE KNIGHT OF THE DIXIE WILDS. The tale is about the Texas Reconstruction after the American Civil War was over and all the challenges and changes they faced in direct regards to their lives.

Walter E. Taylor was a lawyer in Lubbock, Texas and lived through this time period. In the pictures you will see below you will see a hand written note inside the book. His Law Office and where he kept the majority of his books caught on fire and he was only able to salvage one with some damage to it. I am sure there are other books out there in America and I wonder who has it and did the story touch them? 

Interestingly enough it was published by:
Meador Publishing Company
27 Beach Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Hmmmm, and now his great-great-niece, K. Meador, has penned a story of her own about the American Civil War. Do you believe in coincidences? I don’t either. In fact, at this point I would think that God has a great sense of humor. I didn’t know this book existed until yesterday, April 19,2012, some 82 years later!



                                                                  






Thursday, April 18, 2013

Part Two: Let's Talk Research

Hiya Folks,

Me, again, here to talk about my book Journey to Freedom in a series of Blog posts. In case you missed Let's Talk: Part One click here to go read it! :) Resourceful, yes? Yes. :)

So without further ado lets get on with Let's Talk: Part Two which is all about research!  I have been asked about the research I had to do for this historical novel and can you imagine that I have actually had people say that I probably didn't have to do much research. Wow, yes that floored me too.

What are the topics that I had to research?

  1. Medicine in the 1800's
  2. Herbs used for said medicine
  3. Sanitary conditions
  4. Slavery
  5. Slave Auctions
  6. Geography
  7. Underground railroad
  8. How cabins were built
  9. How ships were utilized in the Civil War
  10. Indian lifestyles
  11. Indian torture techniques
  12. Piracy
  13. Spirituality
  14. Inter-racial relationships 

And with all of this research, I still made some mistakes in the historical genre. One of the mistakes I was able to fix in the e-book edition but I still have the error in the printed book until I sell the ones I currently have. It will be fixed in the second printing of Journey to Freedom. The mistake was aspirin used for fever when in reality it was a herbal remedy that was used during that time.

Because this book travels, I also used modern day states as a reference even though at that time many of the states weren't defined. I stretched this just to be able to keep the reader up to date of where the characters were. I had one reader who didn't like this.

How about an excerpt from Journey to Freedom?

Back at the village, Greggory was telling the chief, “White men came to my tribe. They spoke to us about relocation. Nobody wanted to go, but I realize now they weren’t given a choice. We were taken many days’ walk from the village to a white man’s town. Many of the old ones and the babies died on the trip. We were given little to drink and even less to eat. There were many other tribes there. It was like it was a huge collection area of us.

“We were taken to a big building where we were to wait ‘til morning. There we sang songs and prayed to our gods to keep us safe. The next morning, in the chaos, I escaped. I was ten years old, and I was not going to be made to move from the only area I knew. I survived for two years on my own, and then I was captured when I was found sleeping in one of the plantation owners’ barns. I was taken to the nearest town and was chained in a building with many others.

“The next morning we were given water and were made to line up. Many men came to look at us like they would if they were buying a horse. They commanded us to do various things, but I was defiant of their wishes. One man got angry and shouted, but I still did not give in. The next thing I knew, he struck me across the face. I leapt at him. A man had come up behind me with a whip while the other man was yelling at me, and when I had leapt at the man, he struck me with the whip.

“The man left, and one by one I saw the men, women, and children around me start to disappear. I heard a large crowd outside but did not understand what was going on. I heard the cries of babies, and still I was confused. And then it was my turn. I was led up on a big, wooden deck. My hands and legs were bound in chains. Then a man started talking very fast. When he stopped talking, the man that had struck my face earlier came to me, grabbing me roughly. He almost threw me down the stairs. The man took me to a wagon and tied me to the back of it. I walked while he and the others rode. I later learned that he called us slaves, and I was supposed to be his. I did his work because I had no choice. Whipping was what I received more than once for not obeying. They would not let me practice any of my Indian ceremonies. When I tried, they used the whip on me. 

“I only stayed because I was a boy; I did not know anything, but as a man, I have found escape and am determined to reach freedom.”
****

Thank you for taking the time to visit and learn a bit about the story behind Journey to Freedom. Please visit my website to see more about me and my books. 

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