Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ideas From a Busy Bee: Recruiting Authors/Illustrators and a Challenge!

Calling authors and illustrators - if you are interested in interviewing with students via the web and/or participating in school visits via the web, please pop over to Busy Bee's blog and fill in the information to be contacted to participate in the CARE day 2013 - hope to see you all there - E :)

Ideas From a Busy Bee: Recruiting Authors/Illustrators and a Challenge!: Last year I moved schools.  With every school there are changes and new activities.  One of my FAVORITE new things is CARE day!  CARE Day yo...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Kind of Pi(e) Day?

Today is PI day and I totally forgot until I received the clickschooling email.  So today, eat a piece of pie in honor of PI day.  Me, it will probably be a berry cherry pie from Banquet (a small pot pie type thing) but I'm also having a "pizza pie".  Go enjoy some PI(e) today - E :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

This and That

I haven't really posted a This and That posting in a while - mostly because I haven't had many sales and I've kind of been doing other things, trying to get my writing back on track.

Imagine my surprise when I was looking at my createspace dashboard, just kind of thinking of how many of each book I needed to order and noticed on my royalty bar at the top that I had some royalties from March.  The month is still young but to see 4 books sold off amazon on the same day, something big is coming my way - lol.  This was one of each of the four state books I've published.  Of course, I wouldn't know if the other two sold or not since the second book is actually out of contract and hasn't been republished yet and the third is still under contract for a couple more months with 4RV and I don't know when books are ordered from amazon.  I guess I should check with Vivian to  see if there had been an order for Reservations from Amazon or if she is aware of any sales. 

I also hope to get some more books written in the near future.  I'm anxious to get back to writing the state books.  I've got a campaign going on IndieGoGo to try to raise money to pay Heather so that I can get the state stories going again.  I'd really like to complete the series.  If you  are interested in helping fund my campaign, you can find it here and please pass the word on to your friends.  Ten days into the campaign and no funds yet.  Don't let the number scare you since the campaign is long-term -it will be used to fund the complete series plus allow me to do a few more events in addition to print the books as needed.  I do hope that some funds will come in so that I can at least get book 2 republished and work on book 3.  Paying Heather is the biggest expense for me to get the books published.  I wish I would see thousand print runs for each of the title at a time. That would at least verify me as an author and having a useful tool for classrooms. 

Check out the Writers on the Move blog tomorrow for an followup on ACX and my experience.  For now, signing off and will see you all in the postings.  E :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Audio Books and KDP Select

I'm in the process of having Finally Home narrated as an audio book.  I contracted Sienna Beckman as my narrator; the minute I heard her sample narrations, I felt connected and hoped she would be one of the ones who auditioned and would be able to do the book justice.  Looking at her pictures, she almost looks like what I had pictured in my mind of what Kelly looks like, so I think definitely a good fit.  I'm supposed to have the final version around the 2nd of April.  I've already  received the first 15 minutes, which turned out to be about 11 minutes' worth of narration and covered the first two chapters.  I've listened and made notes following the manuscript that I sent the narrator and sent her a message with all my notations.  I don't mind if she's not exact word for word but there are some places where she changed the wording slightly and it actually changed the context of the sentence.  Sienna also has a podcast via her twitter

Once I get the full narrated copy, then it is back to listening, but I'm sure that will be a several day process as the final version is supposed to be roughly 6 hours' worth of narration, and making notes and hoping that there won't be anything major and can be fixed quickly.  The process of going from print book or ebook to audio book reminds me a lot of that old Heinz Catsup commercial - "Anticipation - it's keeping me waiting" - I know if I want it done right I have to sit on my hands and wait it out. 

In honor of going audio, I've taken Finally Home off Smashwords and Nook and placed it in the KDP Select program and have set up my first free day promotions in honor of tax day - April 15 and 16.  I've also set up the second free days, May 31 through June 2.  Hopefully this will help get the word out about the audio version of the book and that will lead to more sales. 

See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, March 08, 2013

SinC Meeting Guest Speaker

We had our monthly Sisters in Crime meeting last night and I felt so wanted and popular when I walked in the door.  First, I had to make my usual greeting to Barbara Williams who has been spurring me on with Words With Friends games - we've been pretty good about having a new game going about once a week or so.  I also chatted with our guest speaker, Chris Roerden, who remembered me from my volunteer time at the SC Book Festival eons ago, and who said that she didn't have my email address or she would have kept in touch.  We talked about what I've done since the volunteer time.  While I was talking with Chris, Tony came in and asked if I had a minute to answer some questions.  I finally got my stuff put at my seat and was going to chat with my good friend, Faye Tollison, trying to get her to listen to the auditions for the audio book as well as some of the first 15 minutes but the sound on the tablet was very low so that didn't work.  On my way around the tables to chat with Faye, Chris introduced me to her tour manager, Pat Meller, and was talking about my state series.  At the mention of children's books, Pat immediately asked for contact information and said she would come over to my seat and get the information when I was finished chatting with Faye.  She asked me what I was doing to get the books in schools and at the moment I'm not really in the schools which is where I want to be; she also mentioned that her niece was a "literacy coach" in Northern Alabama and so she was interested in getting the information so that she could pass it on to her niece.  When we were leaving, everyone tried to get me to talk again - Tony, Phoebe, and Pat - unfortunately, I was riding with Anita and we had to pick her DIL up from the airport.  So I do apologize to those who needed my wisdom - lol - for not sticking around and chatting.

The topic of discussion was voice and some other things crept in there including some questions about POV.  It was interesting that the these two topics came up in conjunction with each other as the past week and a half, I've been teaching POV to Mr. Hughes' 6th graders.  I'm glad I didn't get to go to the SCASL conference, although I really would have loved to have been there since that is right into getting my books in the schools, but Chris's presentation was worth it.  She gave me some new writing related thoughts to share with the class.  I can't wait for Monday's class session to share a bit of what I learned last night.

If you are interested in having Chris speak to your group or hearing one of her presentations, click here to see what she has to offer and where she will be; you never know when she will be in yourr neck of the woods. 

Off topic -  Last Saturday was the spelling bee at our local county library and Tuesday when I was just looking at my createspace dashboard trying to figure out what I needed to order and when I noticed my royalty bar showing over $15 in royalties for March.  I was surprised since I haven't had very many amazon sales or other online sales since going the route of self-publishing.  I think I've had maybe 6 books total in 2+ years sold through amazon or createspace's expanded distribution and Monday, someone ordered one of each of the four state books from amazon, which was like the moset in one sitting from a not in-person sale.  So who knows - maybe this will be the year I start gaining some attention with my books.  We shall see - for now, see you in the postings - E :)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Fairy May Review/Spotlight

Today I'm participating in Jo Linsdell's book tour of her newest children's book, Fairy May.  Here are the details for the book:

SUMMARY:  Fairy May dreams of one day becoming a tooth fairy but she struggles at school and always seems to get things wrong. With hard work and determination she prepares for her test. Will she realise her dream and become a tooth fairy?

Release Date: 1st February 2013

Product details:
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481951424
ISBN-13: 978-1481951425
Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.1 inches

Purchasing links:

Video Trailer:
Fairy May trailer
Jo's Inspiration for writing this book:  This book is dedicated to my niece who, after seeing that my last book Out and About at the Zoo was dedicated to my two sons, asked if I'd write a book for her too.

It needed to have fairies in it and so I brainstormed on ideas and came up with Fairy May. I wanted her to be a little girl fairy and to show that it's OK to not be perfect. I wanted young children to be able to relate to her and to encourage them to go after their dreams.

The tooth fairy part came about because several of my 5 year old's friends have recently lost their first tooth and he has been full of questions on the subject. My 17 month old is also teething at the moment and so the topic of dental hygiene comes up a lot in our house at the moment.

My Review:  This book teaches children that if they have the desire and perseverance, they can achieve anything.  Don't give up on your hopes and dreams just because you seem to fail at first, keep on trying and work hard and you will see your dreams come true.  

In Fairy May, we follow the little fairy who dreams of becoming a tooth fairy through her hard work and practice to becoming the best tooth fairy she can be.  Fairy May is a bit discouraged because she feels the teacher of the class doesn't like her but she perseveres and eventually that pays off.   The illustrations are colorful and just right for following our fairy around.  We see the teacher; we see Fairy May's disappointments and mess ups; and we eventually see Fairy May's achievements.

If you are looking for a book on perseverance and hard work to help  your children achieve their dreams, I would recommend Fairy May as a book to get started.   

About the Author: Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator, award winning blogger and freelance writer. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Rome, Italy with her husband and their two young sons.

Jo is busy with several projects at the moment. "The Bedtime Book" which is another rhyming children's picture book. "The Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media" and "Virtual Book Tours" which are two non-fiction books.

Where to find Jo Linsdell on the web:
Google +