Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Come and visit

I'm featured on Jenny Turner's blog today as part of the VBT Writers on the Move tour. I hope you all enjoy finding out what's coming up for the JGDS series.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guest blogger - Shelby Patrick

Today, my guest is Shelby Patrick, author of When Angels Sing, a supernatural thriller, and other titles. Thanks for being my guest today. E :)

Act The Part

By Shelby Patrick

Publishing is a business and like it or not, being an author is a job. It may be a creative one but it's no less important than being a plumber, a banker, or a lawyer. Just as in any business, authors must put on an air of professionalism at all times

Never miss a book signing event, and if possible, show up early. You wouldn't want to be known as an unreliable author with bookstore owners; however, there may be times when an emergency happens (illness, death, accident) and you just can't make it to the signing. Don't leave the bookstore and your fans hanging. At least have the courtesy to call and explain the situation. Most likely, the bookstore personnel will understand and hopefully postpone your event.

During and after your book signing, you should be gracious with your host. They are under no obligation to hold a book signing in your favor. Knowing that they went through all the trouble, you should be appreciative. Don't get upset with the bookstore if no one shows up to your event. A thank you goes a long way.

Don't have certain expectations from your family and friends. Just because they are related doesn't mean they are obligated to purchase your book. In fact, most family and friends probably expect a FREE copy. Don't be skimpy here. If you really want them to have a copy, give them as gifts. Unfortunately, in my case, if my family or friends hadn't bought copies of my latest book, I wouldn't have sold hardly any. Marketing isn't a strong suit with me, especially since my budget is very small, so I was lucky to have sold the 30 books I did so far.

Also, don't expect everyone to be as excited about your book as you are. This is your dream, not theirs, so don't push it on them.

Finally, authors should have realistic expectations. Unless you're Stephen King or John Grisham, don't expect that huge royalty check to be in the mail. You have no assurances of success here and no guarantees that you're writing the next bestseller. All you can do is try your best.

Thank you!

Shelby has self-published two creative writing exercise books, Dark Recesses of the Mind and Forbidden Knowledge, a short horror and science fiction collection entitled The Fear Within, and a supernatural thriller, When Angels Sing.

WHEN ANGELS SING came out in December 2010. The main male character, Blaze Kerrigan, is a typical young guy (with sex on the mind most days), but with one peculiar problem - he has a psychic link to a serial killer. So when Jenna Michaels shows up at his door unannounced and bears an uncanny resemblance to his dead fiancée, it's Blaze's job to keep her safe, especially when the body count starts to rise.

When Angels Sing video
All of Shelby's titles can be purchased on the amazon website.
Shelby's website
Shelby's blog
Shelby Patrick may also be found on Twitter and Facebook

Don't forget to visit Mari Taylor tomorrow when she hosts Debra Eckerling.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kindle update

A week after receiving my Kindle (okay only five days in but still close enough), I have had a chance to read some books, Jim and Joyce Lavene's two latest in both series I enjoy - Deadly Daggers (a Ren Faire mystery) and Touch of Gold (a Missing Pieces mystery), two short stories (Tea Time at the Baltimore and Emails: A Maeve and Kate mini mystery by Maureen Mullis). I started reading Deadly Daggers Monday after receiving the Kindle and getting everything situated, charged and what not. I completed it Wednesday night. If this had been a regular book, I would have probably just finished it last night or tonight. I started reading A Touch of Gold Thursday sometime between working, picking up the girl, et cetera and finished it last night. Of course, I worked a short bit yesterday and read most of the afternoon since I had to run here, there and everywhere so figured I would just read.

I read both the short stories the same day - while the girl was at the doctor's office - I'm thinking Tuesday - sat in the parking lot and read. The first one - Emails was about 30 or so page flips (so in book format that would have only been about 10 or 15 pages really) and the second one was only 5 page flips (not counting all the introduction stuff) - so this was a very short story - my guess less than 500 words or no more than 750.

I still like holding books and reading them but there are some great advantages reading on the kindle. 1) it is lightweight; 2) feels like a book and reads like a book; the screen looks like a page in a book - it's that clear as far as the sharpness of the letters go; 3) reading is quicker or at least I feel I'm going through books quicker (proof being that I've read two full length novels in less than a week's time already); 4) Kindle isn't cumbersome like books are, especially when reading in bed at night - I don't have a headboard and sleep on my side and usually lie on my side to read and holding a book like that is kind of cumbersome and if it's thicker than a normal paperback, I tend to drop it while reading (Kindle I don't worry about that since I've found a comfortable position to read while lying in bed, not on my back).

The disadvantages to the Kindle are not many but there are some: 1) when lying in bed reading holding the kindle, have to position my hands so as not to hit the page forward buttons which are on both sides of Kindle so you can actually flip pages with either hand; 2) battery life is not as amazon states. After a week and not using it every day or even for hours on end every day, I'm down to just below half a supply batterywise, and this has been with minimum use of my wi-fi feature which is supposed to be the biggest battery drainer.

I have uploaded the PDF files of three of my books so am still wondering if uploading them as ebooks would be the same since the PDF file is pretty set in the format, I wonder if the pages would look right as an ebook. I also have to wonder if my readers would actually find having my books available in ebook format would be a good thing. I'm considering putting the books in ebook format using but am only considering it. Until I have enough feedback, I can't really say that they will do well as ebooks or not. It may be the future of the books but there are some things that are still best as printed books.

Monday, March 07, 2011

It's Here!!!

On the 28th of January after attending a Sisters in Crime meeting and upon returning home and joining a chat, I was the winner of the Kindle giveaway (yeah, that's how long ago it was - see posting on my JGDS blog). So last Friday, I emailed the Dorothy again saying I didn't have my kindle after being told the week before I should have it in a couple of days since the check from the publicist had cleared and she needed my phone number. I figured a week of waiting after giving my phone number to her was long enough. So anyway, she was kicking herself saying that she forgot to order the Kindle so how about her paypaling me the funds and letting me order it myself. Works for me. So Friday afternoon, after the funds had been transferred, I ordered my Kindle and by the confirmation email, I figured I would have my Kindle sometime between Wednesday and Friday, the 9th and the 11th. Well Saturday I got an email from amazon stating that my Kindle had shipped - woohoooo!!! -

I don't check my post office box on the weekends but try to at least check it every day when I pick the girl up from school (she has early dismissal, getting out at 1:35 every day and doesn't have much to do before play practice at 3:30, so side trips to the store or gas station or post office are a normal thing now). So I opened my box and there was the yellow slip indicating I had a package. I went inside to get my package and guess what I had? My Kindle. Now it's only Monday, March 7th so consider me surprised to be receiving my Kindle 2 to 4 days earlier than expected.

I had ordered some books (the latest two Jim and Joyce Lavene books - the one in the Missing Pieces Series that just came out a week ago, and the last one in the Ren Faire series that came out last fall that I hadn't read) early this morning (payday) so that I would have books on my Kindle ready for me to read after I explored it a bit. As soon as I got home and turned on the Kindle and started charging it and got the wi-fi turned on, I had books available to me. How cool is that? I also loaded some freebies and a few from (had to send those to my computer and save them to upload to the Kindle). I explored and read most of the Kindle guide on the Kindle and charged my Kindle up - says it has about a 3-week battery time, will have to see about that. I started reading the latest in the Ren Faire series - Deadly Daggers - after getting set up.

I took some pictures of my new toy. I'll post later in the week about the reading on the kindle, and all - stay tuned - E :)

Here is the box the Kindle comes in - as you can see it's not too big.

This is what the kindle looked like when I opened the box - I thought this was one of those plastic covers on the screen to protect it but this is actually one of the screens that pops up as you shut down the Kindle - this is the first one - it is the definition of kindle.

This is my favorite of the screens that comes up - too bad it isn't in color since the birds would be so colorful - it would be an explosion - lol.

This is a comparison shot of the Kindle and the two boxes - the one it came in and the one the accessories came in (I had ordered those a couple of weeks after winning the Kindle - it's an extra charger, car charger, screen protector, and earphones). I wish I had my ruler up so you could see how thin the Kindle really is but I think you can tell from this picture

Will share more later this week after I've really started using my new toy - E :)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Almost Ides of March Educational Buzz

It's almost the Ides of March (okay it's only the beginning of the month) but let's see what's buzzing around so far:

MacKenna Stevens presents Our Kids, Our Future: Top 50 NonProfit blogs that Benefit Children posted at Masters in Social Work

Pat presents Children with Autism in the Classroom posted at Successful Teaching.

Marino Dixon presents The History of Online Education in America: The Ultimate Web Guide posted at Sir Learnalot's Knowledge Blog.

Sage presents The Next Big Thing in Digital Education posted at Free the Sage.

Susan Riley presents Why I Can?t Keep Up ? And My Students Can posted at Education Closet.

dragana presents Pictures with straws posted at Every Child is an Artist.

Denise presents Math Teachers at Play #35 posted at Let's Play Math!.

London Jenks presents The Search for Student Feedback in a Paperless Classroom posted at digitalteach.

Liam Goldrick presents The Tide Will Rise posted at The Education Optimists.

Mathew Needleman presents Close the Computer Lab posted at Creating Lifelong Learners.

The next Education Buzz will be back at Carol's blog on March 16. To submit an article for the education buzz carnival, please click here. If you would like to host an edition of the education buzz, please contact Carol at her email - If you find any broken links, please let Carol know also.