Weekend for spending time with family

What a great summer weekend! Jim and I spent Saturday together at a local Raspberry Festival and my dad and I spent some time together at an air show being hosted at a local airport on Sunday.

It was a nice weekend. I enjoyed just being at these events and in the moment with the ones I love. It was a nice break from all of the stresses with work and writing right now.

As I worked on my book marketing this week, I came up with some ideas for a flyer. I am finding the need for one not only to post in places, but to be a part of a press packet for The Hard Way and other books in the series once they are published. As I thought about it more, it would be a nice item to have when I am giving copies of books to libraries, schools or reviewers. A little something including a blurb about the book, a little bit about me, and where to buy additional copies.  They would be left with something to refer to later or to hand off to someone else. That will definitely be worked on in the writing house this week.

A few more of my book marketing cards went out with personal notes to family, friends and contacts last week. It doesn’t cost much to do it, and I get to send a personal note to keep in touch with people I care about. I already have one sale and a Facebook post from doing it. I am so honored that my friends and family want to help me promote my book. I’ll be sending another batch this week.

Here is a fun quote from Dr. Seuss about books.

So, if you are looking for a book, be sure to check out The Hard Way. Here is the link to it!

It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Keep an eye out for next week’s post. I am planning for a book review. Not sure what book it will be yet. Making that selection tomorrow. Have a great week!

This week’s thoughts from the Writing House

I finally found some time to work on my writing goals this weekend. Some time was spent on updates to the manuscript for The Bully’s Way and some on adding resources to my author’s marketing platform.

My editing of book two became a change of direction with the story. Can’t say any more without giving it away, but I am happy with the new direction it has taken. What I do know is there is going to be a lot of rewriting going on in the Writing House this week.

I signed myself up for an Instagram account yesterday. Be sure to come and visit or even follow me. I am @SelmaPVerde.

It is a lot of work to be a self published author. I worked really hard to get the book published and now I am working even harder on marketing it. Trying to get the book into the hands of the right readers is not as simple as just putting it on the internet and expecting it to take off. It is about building followers of your brand and networking to get an opportunity to hand a copy of your book to the right people.

We all want the way we market to fit what works best for us. I like to do a note with a personal touch to my followers. Or talk to someone who is eager to take a chance on my book. I may not be able to do it my way if it doesn’t work in the world of book promotion. It may mean stepping out of my comfort zone a bit to make it happen.

Even my blog, for example, really needs to be catered to what you, the followers, are interested in. I think my updates about where things are in my writing world are interesting to you. I try and share my experiences to inspire you to take action or to see others are struggling to do what they want to do too. I also do book reviews of middle grade novels which seem to do well with your views. But my material really needs to motivate you to stop back and check the blog every week. At the end of the day, it needs to be catered to you. Please let me know if there is something you would like to see.

This road was never going to be easy. I knew it going in. I am learning a lot about the process. I didn’t know how much other things in my life were going to get in the way of me doing this though. Maybe it has been about those other things or maybe it has been about the choices I am making.

All of this is making me realize changes need to be made. Not only when it comes to my writing, but also when it comes to priorities between my home life and my work life. Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Need to make a small change to make the result come out a little different so I can make my writing time more successful and productive.

Of course, I will need to do a plug for The Hard Way. If you haven’t had a chance to take a look, check out the link below.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Hope every one is able to celebrate our country’s independence this weekend. That is what the 4th is all about. I think the meanings of holidays are sometimes lost in all of the festivities. Also, be sure to find sometime with your family. It is important to make time for them. I’ve been finding that out a lot lately through my struggle with the work life balance.

What a different weekend this is. When the 4th of July winds up on a Tuesday, it extends the weekend. Good for family time, a little crazy for the work schedule. Wind up having to take a vacation day to get the extended weekend.

I am still struggling to find time to promote The Hard Way. It has been difficult for me to make time for my projects lately. Part of the problem is work, but I believe part of it is me. Work has made a lot of demands for my time and energy while the home life continues to be busy. But, I like to take on the challenges at work and work hard to make things happen.

If I could work as hard as I do for others to get their stuff done on my own projects, I know I would be successful. My constantly putting everyone else’s priorities first, makes it feel like my goals are so far off. I am so thankful my fiancee helped me to make my first book get published. He said it needed to be done and I needed to do something for me.

A work and life balance is a hard thing to strike, especially in the age of cell phones and the internet. You can pretty much get in touch with anyone at any time via either the phone or social media. However, thanks to the internet and modern technology, I am able to be up north with my family for this 4th of July. Otherwise I would be at home working this weekend.

I don’t want to be whining about where I am at. There are a lot of good things going on for me. But striving for a balance between work and home has been way lopsided towards the work side lately. And it has been affecting not only me, but my family as well. So, I am glad that I get to be at the cabin with my family this weekend, but I am going to have to work on my own priorities more important and make more time for my projects and my family.

Speaking of family, have any middle grade readers looking for a good read? How about checking out the link to my book! (Come on, you knew that was coming!)

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

I like readers

It is one thing to write the book. But it is the reader who breathes the life into it. They give us their time to experience the story we spent many hours to create.

As a reader myself, I enjoy the experience of reading a food book. I love being able to go on the adventure the author created, see the places they created and meet the charcters telling the story.

As writers, don’t we imagine an endless number of readers loving our book? One of my dreams was to write and publish a novel, but the other dream was for many middle grade readers to read it and gain bits of advice to help them navigate the ups and downs of growing up.

While I was writing it, I had to remember this one thing, I was ultimately writing for myself. Couldn’t bank on having the dream of hitting the best seller list just out of the gate. Ultimately, I hope my story is one a reader can relate to and enjoy. If I sell a million copies, that would be great, but having it read by those middle grade readers means more to me than the money. Here is the link, in case you want to check it out for that middle grade reader you know.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Father’s Day and random thoughts

Happy Monday! Hope you got to spend some time with your dads yesterday, either in person or in thought. It is interesting to me that both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day happen on Sundays, which was traditionally a day of rest. When I was growing up, a lot of places were closed on Sundays so people could spend time with their families. I’m sure that is why Sundays were picked for those holidays.

For some people close to me, Father’s Day isn’t a happy day. Their dads aren’t the best people. I know we say, ‘he is still your dad,’ but sometimes it doesn’t make it any better for them. But I am proud of my second cousin. She is making it a positive day for herself by focusing on the father of her three month old baby instead of her own dad.

As I look through my Facebook posts, I see all the different ways my friends and contacts celebrate their dads. Each celebration is as unique as the dad is. Some families have their traditional activities. Some will have picnics today, some will visit their favorite bakery for breakfast, or some will just stop by for a few moments just to say hi.

For us, it is a day about pie. Jim is making his dad an apple pie, his favorite, for us to bring over. Then we will meet up with my dad for an after dinner slice of pie and chat for a bit. When I ask the boys what they want to do for Jim, they aren’t sure. I know he would like to hang out with them and have dinner together, or maybe even go fishing. Since the boys have busy teenage lives and work schedules, I think we will be working towards a weekend at the cabin in July to spend time together and celebrate him.

From the writing house, I was offered an opportunity to have my book announced at a work related luncheon last week. It was neat to have the shout out done with my colleagues. Many didn’t know I was a writer much less published a book. I handed out a few of my book business cards there.

Part of my marketing plan is to donate a couple of my books to libraries next month. I’m learning marketing the book is going to cost something whether it be in time or a book. The focus of this cannot be about making money.  Most authors don’t make a lot of money at first, if at all. It is the reason why a lot of us have day jobs to support the habit.

I have heard the same advice over and over from authors who have walked the path before me. You have to love it to do it. It is a lot of hard work to get the book out there for the world to see.  I was thinking about doing a 30 day writing and marketing challenge next month to help promote my book. I did a lot of soul searching yesterday and decided that the timing isn’t good for me right now. My day job is going through major transition and will demand a lot of my time for the next couple of weeks. And wanting to spend time with my family too doesn’t leave enough time to take that on right now. I really want to do it, but I also don’t want to stress myself out. Will just have to take it on when timing allows. Just one of the many hard decisions to make to balance the day job with writing. One day, I hope to just be able to write, but I’m not quite there yet.

Enjoy your week.

Now, I will take this opportunity to plug my book, The Hard Way.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Update from the Writing House

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

This week brought me back into working on the manuscript for The Bully’s Way, the second book in The Way Series. I figured if I have time to read another book for a review, then I should reading and working on my own.

I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) in November of 2015. It is a world wide online writing project where you commit to write 50,000 in 30 days. The goal is to have completed a manuscript for a novel by the end of the month. If you make the 50,000 word goal, you do what they call “win”. My “win” was I created The Bully’s Way.

So, last week I started my first read through of the manuscript since I originally wrote it. I learned a lot since then about editing and how my own writing quirks. I saw many of those quirks in this rough draft, and made the appropriate changes. With all that I have learned so far, I’ll be able to make this manuscript a cleaner read for my editor than the first one was. My increased knowledge about the editing process will not replace my editor though, just make things easier for her and make my writing better for me.

The other part of my work this week is the promotion of The Hard Way. I have been doing some reading about good places to market my book. Even with the number of people on social media, there is a lot of additional networking that needs to happen inside and outside social media. The other part of marketing success is a luck. any random answer or question can lead to making connections. You may be in a thread of one of your social media profiles about publishing and see someone who works with the audience you are writing for. Do you take a chance to ask that person a question? I’m the type of person who will ask, in a nice way of course, and let that person make the choice to help or not. You just never know where it will go if they say yes.

Networking is about putting yourself and your book out there.  I’m learning not to be afraid to ask. It is ok of the answer is no. Just need to keep trying and see what happens.

Enjoy your week. I will take this opportunity to plug my first book, The Hard Way.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

Book Review – White Fang by Jack London

This is the third book written by Jack London I have read in the last month. They are all well written stories about people and animals and their struggles against their environment. White Fang is no exception. I read an adapted version of this one, since it was sitting on our book shelf right next to The Call of the Wild. I enjoyed all three books.

White Fang

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

White Fang

Author

Jack London

Type of Book

Adapted version would probably be a good middle grade read. I would caution sensitive readers there is some violence depicted in this story. It is in line with what actually happens in nature, but some readers may get upset by it.

Background

Just like The Call of the Wild, it was first published as a serialized story. According to Wikipedia, it was featured in Outing Magazine, which was published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century under many different titles. Its tagline “the outdoor magazine of human interest”, ceased publication in 1923.

It was published as a book in 1906 and is said to be a companion book to The Call of the Wild, which focused on a domestic dog becoming wild while White Fang was a wild wolf/dog becoming domesticated. When two stories do this, it is called a thematic mirror. Disney also made a movie of White Fang in 1991.

Summary of Story

Story takes place in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s. A she-wolf has been living with a wolf pack. They have been foraging for food. When food becomes scarce, the she wolf and another wolf named One Eye, leave the pack. She gives birth to five pups. Due to the lack of food in the Alaskan tundra, only one pup survives. It is White Fang. This is his story of growing up as a wolf/dog.

Reactions to book

I liked the story. As an animal lover, I really got into the character of White Fang. The violence of nature in the book did get to me at points, but London was just telling the story from his experiences in the Yukon. And it was a hard and violent environment. It was neat to see the parallels and mirror images between this book and The Call of the Wild. I didn’t expect it, but glad that I read the other book first to be able to experience it.

If you are interested in picking up a copy, you can find it here White Fang

To learn more about the author, be sure to check out his website Jack London.