Sunday, August 13, 2017

are you ready to take a break?

Here’s how this week’s goals panned out:
1) Contact the media person and then three more places for book signings and / or readings. Emailed the media person. Twice. I think I am going to just relax and not worry about it until I get my own supply of books to sell. All the experts will say that is the wrong approach, that you and your book have to hit the ground running. But  - bleah – I’m just going to take a break anyway.  
2) Email everyone (within reason) on my contact list, reminding them about my new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, and asking them to write a review for it on Amazon if they’ve had a chance to read it. And offering to email them a free copy of it if they would write that review. Have emailed 32 people, only up to the K’s. Have gotten two responses. Only one review yet on Amazon, but someone did praise it on Faceebook and she got two responses to that.  
3) Write 1,000 words on the new novel. Wrote 1,495 words!
4) There are three places I’d like to submit to in the next few months, so I should work on those. Nope, didn’t write any of them.  
5) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned sixteen.  
b. Wash five of my house’s windows. Washed two, but they were the biggest ones! (The attached pictures of those windows are from years ago.)
c. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King. I am going to count this as done. I couldn’t sleep last night, so got up and read the last real chapter. I had already read Furthermore #2 and Furthermore #1 is too technical to rush through.  
d. Repack all our Kenya merchandise. Done.   


This coming week, as already mentioned, I am going to take a break. It’ll have been a month since “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” has been available on-line. Perhaps I could be doing more here at home to promote it at this point, but I think it may be time to let it rest, wait until I get my copies in my hot little hands. Give this whole marketing thing a fresh start by the end of the month.

So what will I do this week: 
1)    Continue monitoring the situation on “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” – returning emails and Facebook messages from interested parties and naturally jumping if I hear from a venue which I have already contacted.
2)    Stop checking the book’s ranking on Amazon several times a day. Stop beating myself up if it continues to slip. It will jump back up once the paper version is out.
3)    Write three thousand words on the new novel.
4)    Pick a better working title for the new novel. I have waffled between “The Novitiate” and “The Abbey” and “The Big House”, but none of them does anything for me. In my head, sometimes I call it “Where the River Runs Red”, but not only has that already been done, it’s almost too close to my first novel. I will think on it.
5) There are three places I’d like to submit to in the next few months, so I should        work on those things:          
a) poem using book titles, Aug 15 deadline, which I need to write today if I’m going to
b) reflection for work calendar, Sept 15 deadline
                         c) poem on aging, Oct 20 deadline
6) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Wash four more of my house’s windows. Have washed only two of them and have a total of nine left by the end of the month. Physically, I can’t wash more than a few a day.  
c. Find a relaxing book to read and read it!
How are your goals coming along? Swimmingly? Or is it time for you to take a break too?

Have a great last few weeks of summer.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

how did my goals fare?

Yesterday, we had a sale for our nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. It was quite successful. Rain had been in the forecast, but it turned out to be a warm, sunny day. We were in a town where we’d never had a sale before, so it was good to meet lots of new people, hand out lots of business cards, make over $300 and be invited back for next year.

How did the rest of my goals fare?

Once again, the reason for writing down my goals and highlighting my progress. I really felt that I did nothing this week, yet look at this. Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1) Print out another copy of my Press Kit. Done.
2) Contact three more places for book signings and / or readings. No, but here’s why. Early in the week, my publisher sent me the email address for the company’s media person. I emailed her, telling her what I’ve done so far and asking what help she can give me moving forward. I have not heard back from her. That seems to be the modus operandi of this publisher – not returning emails in what I consider a timely fashion. Or it could be how most publishers operate and I was just spoiled by my first publisher who returned any email within hours, even on weekends.
3) I’m gonna try writing 1,000 words on the new novel this week. I wrote 1,053 words. Wow, I didn’t realize how close that was.
4) Continue posting a plug for the new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, on all my social media. Have a little bit. Want to quit before I become annoying.
5) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned 13 of them.
b. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King. Looking at where the bookmark is, it doesn’t appear that I’ve read much of it this week, but I swear that I opened it every day.
c. Host a sale for the nonprofit. I forgot to write down this goal last week, so thought I would take credit for it now.

Last night, an old friend sent me one of those stupid “thinking of you, sending love and electronic flowers” impersonal crappy things on Facebook. So I messaged her back, saying we need to get together, so without thinking we made plans for today. Life is way too short to worry about some list of goals. People gotta come first.

But this is what I am gonna do in the coming week:
1) Contact the media person and then three more places for book signings and / or readings.
2) Email everyone (within reason) on my contact list, reminding them about my new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, and asking them to write a review for it on Amazon if they’ve had a chance to read it. And offering to email them a free copy of it if they would write that review.
3) Write 1,000 words on the new novel this week.
4) There are three places I’d like to submit to in the next few months, so I should work on those things:          
            a) poem using book titles, Aug 15 deadline
b) reflection for work calendar, Sept 15 deadline
            c) poem on aging, Oct 20 deadline
4) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Wash five of my house’s windows. I have a picnic here the end of the month and all the windows (just 12 of them) need to get washed before then!
c. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King.
d. Repack all our Kenya merchandise. After a sale, it always gets packed up in a disorganized rush. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Whoot-whoot

Well, here we are, another Sunday and another update on my goals. Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1) Print out my Press Kit in anticipation of handing it out. I printed one out and actually mailed it to a book store.  
2) Contact three places for book signings and / or readings. I mailed the media kit to that one book store and sent emails to two other bookstores and two college organizations. I should have earned some extra green for that.
3) Update my website, with the new book. Yes, finally.    
4) Non-writing things to do:
a. Secure another venue for a craft sale for the Nonprofit. Nope, but I emailed the other board members asking them to each secure a venue. Nothing yet from any of them, except for the one who is leaving next week going out of the country, so I will cut her some slack.  
b. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Yep. I hadn’t been counting as I was doing them, but apparently, I scanned 12 right on the head.
c. Wash four windows in my house. Don’t know what I was thinking here. That sounds pretty ambitious. The hubby did power wash the whole house and I cleaned out his coat closet, so I guess something got done.   
d. Read half of “On writing” by Stephen King. I am really close to half-way through it, so I’m counting it.
**** Super extra points – I actually even spent an unscheduled evening working on the next novel. Wrote 559 words. Not a breath-taking number, but a number nonetheless.

Holy cow. I guess that’s why I do the color-code thing. Look at all that green and no red. Whoot-whoot. I might have to pace myself this coming week. I have to work all five days, not going to get my usual Friday off from the day job. Also, the hubby’s former co-worker is going to be in town and wants to go out Wednesday night. I also have the craft show on Saturday. Wow, and it’s going to be August this week. Where has the summer gone???

So, for the upcoming week:
1) Print out another copy of my Press Kit. This really shouldn’t be a big deal, but I am having problems with my printer, so it’s anybody’s guess if or when it will print anything.   
2) Contact three more places for book signings and / or readings. I have a few more on my list to contact, but it’s starting to get thin.
3) Since I was such a rock star last week, I’m gonna try writing 1,000 words on the new novel this week.
4) Continue posting a plug for the new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, on all my social media. Did you see I have one review for it? Whoot-whoot.
5) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King. 

Wishing you all a productive upcoming week. 
The last old picture I scanned. Dad at the kitchen table in 1955. We had that table and chairs til after I graduated from high school, but the rest of the kitchen took a major remodel before I was born. 
Oops, let me add one more goal. I see I need to update my Facebook author page with the new book! How could I have forgotten that!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

really have a lot going on now

First off, here is what I accomplished on my list of goals. Green highlights are goals achieved, yellow highlights were worked on, red print were not even looked at.
1) Write 500 words per night for five nights on the new novel. Nope. And I have to say, that with the first novel coming out soon, I need to concentrate all my efforts on that, and put the second novel away for a bit.
2) Polish the Press Kit. Yep.
3) Start contacting places for book signings and / or readings, only after I get the release date from my publisher.  So, this is why nothing else got done. I got the release date. Yeah! September 1. Yet, I didn’t contact anyone.
4) Non-writing things to do:
a. Secure one venue for a craft sale for the Nonprofit. Yep. August 5 at the next town over.  
b. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Only did seven pictures. They were all of my cousin who passed away this last Monday. After looking at all the pictures of her which I had, I was kind of whipped.
c. Clean out one box of my mom’s other stuff. Nope.
d. Finish reading “Wild”. Yeah! Finished it and started reading “On Writing” by Stephen King.
My cousin, who passed away last week, at her bridal shower in 19070.
That's me on the right and my sister Pat behind me looking sneaky. 

As you already know, I discovered my novel listed on Amazon last Sunday. I spent a frantic week promoting it on my social media. I also updated my other blog, the Dino Chronicles, with the new book listed. Today, I have to update this blog as well.
Here’s what else I need to do this week:

1) Print out my Press Kit in anticipation of handing it out. I don’t know who that might be, but I think it’s nice to have it on me.  
2) Contact three places for book signings and / or readings.
3) Update my website, with the new book. I’ve been trying to do that all week, but am locked out of my account, so I need to call customer support.   
4) Non-writing things to do:
a. Secure another venue for a craft sale for the Nonprofit.
b. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
c. Wash four windows in my house. They all have to get washed by the end of August, so I need to start.  
d. Read half of “On writing” by Stephen King. I don’t know how people read a book or two a week. That is one goal I won’t have on this list.

Just a reminder, to any readers out there. Amazon.com currently has the market on book sales. Sad fact, but true. The other fact is, as with anything else, the more books which are sold, the more books will sell. As more books are sold, that book’s ranking goes up, so that more random people just looking at random books, and not necessarily searching for yours, might stumble upon your book. The same is true with reviews. With each review, the book is also pushed higher up the ranking chain, and I believe that is the case whether good or bad reviews. I could be wrong on that. But as we all know, bad press is still press and will get you noticed.

All that being said, if my book sounds like something you might like, download it, read it and write a review for Amazon. But don’t just do it for me. Do it with other books and authors you like and want to support. Advertising is expensive, and hardly any authors can afford to do it. Free word of mouth is what sells books these days.

 Thanks! And have a great week. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Book Release!!!

I’m going to make this quick, as I have to get ready for the day job. I was there til after six last night, but still left so much work to do that I need to get in early today.

I just wanted to let you know, though, that my novel is now available on Amazon.com as an e-book and available for pre-order as a paperback. Through today only the e-version is only 99 cents, in an attempt to promote its release and start getting reviews.

I’ve been plugging it as much as I can the last two days on social media. Tonight I need to start working on setting up some book signings and such. I know a lot of authors host a release party, but in my tiny little town, I’m afraid that would be more work than it would be worth. There’s also promoting it through a blog tour, but as much as I’ve read on that, I still don’t understand how it works.


I will keep plowing through with what I’ve done in the past, I guess, until I come up with some other clever ideas.
 Sick of seeing the cover yet? 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

when taking time isn't enough

I think I did pretty good this week. This is the most I’ve accomplished in a week in a very long time, and it doesn’t even feel like I did that much. I finally asked my nurse practitioner if she would put me on an antidepressant. I don’t feel depressed, I more just feel numb and I think that’s what's keeping me from getting anything done. I went on an antidepressant about a year after my sister died for the same reason. It all seems compounded now as I’ve lost my dad, my sister, my favorite aunt, and now my mom. It has been over the span of 24 years, but it still feels like the hole in my heart just keeps getting bigger. I can’t power through it on my own anymore. I’ve talked to people and I’ve tried doing things that are good for me (time away and time for myself and time not worrying about silly goals), but I think I need a pharmaceutical nudge.

So here’s those goals. As usual, highlighted in green is goal achieved, in yellow is at least worked on, and red print is not even looked at.

2)    Polish the Press Kit. Didn’t work on it.
3)    Finalize list of venues for book signings and / or readings. Email them if I get a release date from my publisher. I worked on it a little, but really can’t do much more til I get that release date. Argh. I’ll have to email my publisher tomorrow and start bugging them about it.
4)    Non-writing things to do:
a.     Contact one venue about a speaking engagements and / or craft sale for the Nonprofit. Yeah, I found out about a craft show the first weekend in August, so will apply for that as soon as they mail me the application.
b.     Sew that scrub top which I cut out last week. Ok, I’m gonna cheat a little and say this is done. I only have to hem it.  
c.      Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Done.

Since that seemed to work pretty well for me, maybe I won’t change it much.  
1) Write 500 words per night for five nights.
2) Polish the Press Kit.
3) Start contacting places for book signings and / or readings, only after I get the release date from my publisher.  
4) Non-writing things to do:
a. Secure one venue for a craft sale for the Nonprofit.
b. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
c. Clean out one box of my mom’s other stuff. Taking out a dozen pictures a week isn’t making much of a dent in the six or so boxes of junk in my spare bedroom. I gotta get on this.
d. Finish reading “Wild”. Yeah, it seems like a long time since I picked up a book and read it beginning to end. 

Hope you are doing well and that you are balancing being productive with enjoying the summer.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Taking Baby Steps

All right, here I am, trying to get back on track and actually plot my goals each week and reach some of them. Here’s what I had hoped to accomplish this week. As in the past, highlighted in green is achieved, in yellow is at least worked on, and red print is not even looked at.

1)    Write 500 words per night for four nights. I wrote 751 words one night and 418 another and that’s it.
2)    Finalize the Press Kit. I can’t say it’s finalized but it’s pretty close.
3)    Research venues for book signings and / or readings. I reviewed the venues I had previously researched and did write up a tentative email to them. I just need to get the release date from my publisher and then I will contact them.  
4)    Non-writing things to do:
a.     I need to secure some speaking engagements and / or craft sales for the Nonprofit. Notta.
b.     I’d like to sew at least half of the new scrub top. Nuts, all I did was cut it out. That really shouldn’t count for much, but I seem to be on a yellow roll.  
c.       Scan another dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. So very close, but I have to stick with yellow on this one too as I only scanned nine of them.

Yikes, that is way too much yellow and not much of anything else. Let’s try this again.
1)    Write 500 words per night for five nights.
2)    Polish the Press Kit.
3)    Finalize list of venues for book signings and / or readings. Email them if I get a release date from my publisher.
4)    Non-writing things to do:
a.     Contact one venue about a speaking engagements and / or craft sale for the Nonprofit.
b.     Sew that scrub top which I cut out last week.
c.      Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.


I’m not going to add to that short list. I need to take baby steps. 
My newest grand-baby taking those baby steps with a really big toy.