Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Liebster Blog Award



Heather's Book Chatter was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award! This award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers. Here are the rules to receive the award:

1. Each person must post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you tagged.
3. Choose 11 people and mention them in your post
4. Tell them you've tagged them
5. Remember, no tag backs.

Part 1: 11 Random Facts

1. My favorite movie is White Christmas. I know it word-for-word and every lyric to every song.
2. I just turned 35.
3. I have given birth to 5 children - 4 boys and 1 girl.
4. It's very difficult for me to let it go when someone uses the wrong word in text or e-mail.
5. I do yoga. My favorite is Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown (yes, it's brutal).
6. I'm probably the most understanding person on the planet and am not fond of those that judge others.
7. I'm a bit of a coffee snob. I grew up in Louisiana drinking only Community coffee. That's all I like.
8. I am an amazing illustrator.
9. I remember learning to read when I was four.
10. I have an almost photographic memory.
11. I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers. I am the youngest.

Part 2: Answer 11 Questions

1. City or country?
Both. I live in the city now and love it but lived in the country (WAY in the country) for a long time and loved that, too!

2. What's your favorite part about blogging?
Putting my words, thoughts, and advice out there and having people read it and gain knowledge. I'm a hard advocate of learning.

3. What's your dream vacation spot?
Stratfordshire. If you don't know why, google it :)

4. What writer do you admire the most?
Oh my... Jane Austen? I read her book Pride and Prejudice at least once a year.

5. What's your favorite book of all-time?
The Chronicles of Narnia - all of them.

6. What's your favorite social networking site?
Twitter. I love the brevity of it.

7. How many books do you read on average per month?
2-3, depending on the length.

8. What book genre do you avoid the most?
I don't avoid much of anything, really. I read the back of shampoo bottles...

9. What's the last movie you watched?
Lockout. It was really good.

10. What's your favorite snack to have on hand when writing or reading?
COFFEE

11. What's the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Treat it like a job, because that's what it is.



Part 3: My 11 Questions


1. Where did you grow up?
2. What is your earliest childhood memory?
3. How many pets have you had throughout your life? Names/Breeds?
4. What stirs your soul?
5. Do you have any other interests/talents beyond blogging?
6. If you could be trapped on a deserted island with any author (past or present) who would it be and why?
7. Are you an advocate for anything? If yes, what?
8. What's the most embarassing thing that's ever happened to you?
9. Why do you blog?
10. Where do you write?
11. How do you find your flow?

My 11 nominees:

Passionate Ramblings
The Hungry Freelancer
An Average Woman in a Superwoman World
Ramblin' With AM
Imagine! Create! Write!
throwing up in an IKEA bag
moonpreneur
Crystal Lee - Author
Melissa Writes
Ellie's Blog

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, July 30, 2012

Winners and Recaps

Hello all!! Welcome to the recap page for my blog party!! Happy UNbirthday to the following people:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now it's time for a few thank yous from me to the authors who participated. After that, I will do a quick rundown of all the blogs I listed.

Chazz: Thank you for allowing me to promote your book The Dangerous Kind and Other Stories for my blog party.
Lisa: Thank you for your generosity in donating a copy of your book Soul Journey for my blog party.
Randi: Your beautiful gift was much appreciated. I hope many people received your message. Thank you for taking the time to create something so special. I wish your book Awaken From Life much success.
Dorothy: Thank you for allowing me to promote your book God Placed Her in My Path on my blog party.
Dee: Thank you for Kindlegraphing your book How to: Build a Profitable Niche Blog and providing a copy as a giveaway for my party.
Kebba: Thank you for allowing me to promote your book Peace Within on my blog party.
Ashley: Thank you for allowing me to promote Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist for my blog party.
Linda: Thank you for Kindlegraphing your book INZARED Queen of the Elephant Riders and providing three copies for my party.
Crystal: Thank you for providing a printed, signed copy of your book Canopy for my giveaway. I hope it does well over the months to come.

On to the blogs!!
A Dead Good Blog
Booketta's Book Blog  On Twitter: @bookettajane
The Hungry Freelancer  On Twitter: @bethythewriter
Have You Heard Book Review  On Twitter: @Kissablysweet1 
Ann Marie Walker  On Twitter: @AnnMarie_Walker
Chazz Writes  On Twitter: @RChazzChute
Family Bugs Blogging  On Twitter: @Family_Bugs
The Misadventures of Chelsea Black  On Twitter: @chelseablack
Rachelle Gardner  On Twitter: @RachelleGardner
Ramblin' with AM  On Twitter: @ RamblinGarden
Libertys Yarn  On Twitter: @LibertysYarn
Imagine! Create! Write!  and Chapter Book Challenge  On Twitter: @moonduster
Ghostnapped!  On Twitter: @AshleyHowland
The Arkside of Thought  On Twitter: @SahmAtaineKing
Passionate Ramblings  On Twitter: @_LisaCherry
Doug Turnbull  On Twitter: @dturnbull2
God Placed Her in My Path
Judith Cassis C.Ht.  On Twitter: @telesuccess
An Average Woman in a Superwoman World  On Twitter: @AverageWomanSJ
Love Your Life!  On Twitter: @RandiGFine
throwing up in an IKEA bag  On Twitter: @jenchatwrites
Writer's Block Admin Services  On Twitter: @JoHarris0n
the art of possibility... discovering new pathways to success  On Twitter: @klaughman
You Are What You Write  On Twitter: @rachelhwrites
Caro Ayre
Danielle. Wife. Author. Mother.  On Twitter: @danielle_lise
Heather's Book Chatter  On Twitter: @woodtop255
Depression Cookies  On Twitter: @Tia_Bach_Author
Helz-Design  On Twitter: @HelzDesign
moonpreneur  On Twitter: @deeankary
Marcie Brock, Book Marketing Maven  On Twitter: @phxazlaura
The Book Designer  On Twitter: @JFbookman
Faith Develops in the Dark
Ellie's Blog  On Twitter: @EllieMendez
UpBeat Spiritual Living   Twitter: @kebbabutton
Darci Cole Wife. Mommy. Writer.   Twitter: @darci_cole
Christian Writers Downunder   Twitter: @CWDownunder
Denise DeSio    Twitter: @TopBee
Peter Faur    Twitter: @PeterFaur
Ghostnapped blog  On Twitter: @AshleyHowland
Bonnie R Paulson  On Twitter: @bonnierpaulson
Diapers, Bookmarks, and Pipe Dreams  On Twitter: @KirkusMacGowan
JD Stockholm  On Twitter: @JD_Stockholm
Beauty and Books  On Twitter: @LazenBeauty
The Book Smugglers  On Twitter: @booksmugglers
L. Leander Books   On Twitter: @lleander11
Illustration Junky    On Twitter: @illustrationbee
Michael R. Hicks   On Twitter: @KreelanWarrior
Melissa Writes    On Twitter: @MissieK
T.L. Bodine   On Twitter: @tlbodine
Crystal Lee ~ Author  On Twitter: @CLeeAuthor
Gavin Mountford's Productive Entrepreneur  On Twitter: @gavinmountford
Diamond Panes    On Twitter: @Latticewindows
Writer, of sorts.   On Twitter: @tdhurst
Jackie Bledsoe Jr   On Twitter: @jbledsoejr


And there's the rundown. Lots of great new folks to follow on twitter as well. I hope you have all enjoyed participating in my blog party! Congratulations to the winners! If your name is there, you will be contacted shortly for shipping info!!

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Blogs Part 10 of The Blog Party

Today is day TEN and the last day of my blog party :( I'm sad it's over but it's been great fun and we're gonna go out with a bang!! First and foremost, go see the winner of Dee Ankary's giveaway announced here.

I will do a recap post on Monday for anyone that missed anything and to announce the winners of the contests over the ten days.

I would like to present to you all, the final rafflecopter giveaway for my blog:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Yup, it's a big one. I've really enjoyed having you all participate and look forward to having more fun in the future. Perhaps in September. Keep your eyes open for that.

Time to tell you a little about Crystal Lee and her book Canopy that's on the giveaway block today. If you prefer, you may purchase a copy here.

Bio:
Crystal Lee can best be described in one word: passionate. She has many hobbies in addition to writing, such as being an avid organic gardener, which can be challenging in the Desert Southwest. It doesn’t stop her though. She grew up in a family where her dad wrote all the time, and it kind of became a part of her.

She is currently a La Leche League leader and a licensed International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.For ten years she taught the Bradley Method, natural childbirth classes, and was involved with the natural birthing community by having a birthing tub rental business. Her goal is to someday be a lay midwife and help families have a positive birthing experience in the peaceful and private environment of their own home.

She is a native Arizonan, and lives with her husband and four young children, not far from their extended family members in Tempe, Arizona. Being active in her community is important to her, along with helping out with her children’s education. She’s been known to volunteer and teach segments of their classes on childbirthing and breastfeeding. It always garners lots of embarrassing giggles—the highlight of her day. Until they invite her back, she enjoys writing her unique stories on her Netbook at home.

Synopsis:
As Earth’s pollution problems increase in the year 2042, Jash Lepitt has decisions to make. Does he take the responsible route, fusing by inhaling DOOGS: specialized alien species of gnats that will genetically enhance him? Or does he remain flawed; be discriminated against by a society rewarding fused people? Desperate to win over Lissy Darrish, he questions it because she’s a Danat—a purist opposed to changing the body. In addition to her convictions, she’s also falling in love with a Danat, Tryst Navar. Devoting his time to protecting her from Tryst is harder than it seems for Jash. Tryst witnessed a friend of his being attacked by aggressive DOOGS while on the job building houses in the treetops. What will happen when all three of them become involved in the secrecy of the canopy’s DOOGS? And will Lissy risk being with Jash when being intimate can possibly contaminate her?



I know!! I want a copy too!!

As usual, I will begin with the author listed above for my blog list before continuing on to give you the last of the blogs I love.

Crystal Lee ~ Author  On Twitter: @CLeeAuthor

A very informative and instructional blog for anyone looking to build a platform:

Gavin Mountford's Productive Entrepreneur  On Twitter: @gavinmountford

A writer with a spiritual journey:

Diamond Panes    On Twitter: @Latticewindows

Always a fun read and very entertaining:

Writer, of sorts.   On Twitter: @tdhurst

A guy who talks about family, parenting, and Christian values:

Jackie Bledsoe Jr   On Twitter: @jbledsoejr

Well, that's all for today, folks! Come back on Monday to see if you won anything and for the recap! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Blogs Part 9 of The Blog Party

Welcome to day NINE of The Blog Party! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE! This is the last day to enter Dee Ankary's giveaway for her book How to: Build a Profitable Niche Blog. Go enter here.

How exciting! There's still time to win great stuff on my blog. You can enter every day in one way or another. You have until Sunday at midnight to enter this great giveaway for TWO books. Two lucky winners will each receive copies of The Abigale Chronicles - Book Two AND The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. Go enter now (or again) here! Tomorrow, we start a giveaway for a printed, signed copy of Canopy by author Crystal Lee. You don't wanna miss that!

And a hearty GOOD LUCK to everyone from me!

Check out today's contest!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

As you can see, we will be talking about Linda Leander over at www.lleander.com and her book INZARED Queen of the Elephant Riders. If you choose to purchase this book instead, you may find it here. On to details!!

Bio:
L.Leander is an author who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ralph, during the summer months but spends the majority of the year in Mazatlan, MX. Ms. Leander is an award-winning singer/songwriter who has also won awards for her needle arts. As a child, Ms. Leander loved the circus, hence, her debut novel, INZARED Queen of the Elephant Riders. The book follows the adventures of an Appalachian girl in 1843 who runs away to join a Gypsy circus and becomes a famous elephant rider.
Synopsis:
Bertha Maude Anderson has no inkling of how famous she will become. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in the year 1843. She is sixteen years old, hates her name and the hill community she was born into and yearns to explore what lies beyond the small ramshackle farm she has grown up on. Often forgetting to do her chores and putting the old plow horse, Aggie, in danger by trying to do tricks on her instead of plowing, Bertha is often chastised by her Ma and called a “lollygagger.” Close to her brother Ezra, but misunderstood by her parents, her world changes forever when an opportunity arises and she is enticed to join The Romanoff Brothers Circus.

Her name is changed to INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders and the young girl discovers her true calling while learning to live with the nomadic Gypsies.  From the hatred shown by some of the performers to the love she finds along the way, Inzared finds herself immersed in the rich folklore and customs of the misconceived performers who make up the show.

Her one constant is Cecil, the elephant, and together they form a bond that no one can break while they learn to perform amazing tricks together, becoming the headline act for the circus. Inzared finds herself lured into the world of the Gypsies while clinging to her own roots and trying to break free of the chains that keep her from her destiny.  Inzared and Paytre, the elephant trainer, fall in love and plan for their future as the troupe wends its way through the pre-Civil War south.

Someone is trying to sabotage the Romanoff Brothers Circus and Cecil may be in danger. Together, the two lovers search for answers as to who may be the culprit. Lileth, the trapeze artist, hates Inzared and is spiteful at every turn, thinking she has taken Paytre away from her. Vadoma, the old Gypsy fortune-teller, teaches Inzared her craft, although she admonishes the girl to be wary, that danger lurks nearby. Mala, Inzared’s friend and part of the famous “Zelenka Bareback Riders” resolutely protects and stands by her and Shandor and Udo Romanoff, owners of the circus, reluctantly give her the sought-after position of elephant rider in the show.

Inzared learns Gypsy customs, and finds the people she has grown to love misjudged by her own kind, even as she tries to become one of the colorful tribe. Finding life on the road no easier than on the farm, Inzared is ridden with guilt for running away and young woman wonders if she should go back to her family or continue on her unpredictable journey with the Gypsy Circus she has come to call home.

Now doesn't that sound like an amazing book? Well? What are you waiting for? Enter to win a copy!

I will start my lovely blog list with the author above before moving on to give you more AWESOME blogs to follow.

A blog all about her books and her person:

L. Leander Books   On Twitter: @lleander11

If you like illustrations, you'll love this blog. Cute stuff to look at and a lot of talent!

Illustration Junky    On Twitter: @illustrationbee

Useful information for authors and a whole lot of talking about everything, this guy has something for everyone:

Michael R. Hicks   On Twitter: @KreelanWarrior

This little lady shares interesting finds on the web and thoughts. She's a writer of children's books:

Melissa Writes    On Twitter: @MissieK

Inspiration for writers and a lot of everything to keep your brain a workin' on this blog:

T.L. Bodine   On Twitter: @tlbodine

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Blogs Part 8 of The Blog Party

Welcome to day EIGHT of my Blog Party!

Lots of really super great stuff going on this week! Come back every day to see what I'm going to give away next! Tomorrow, I am giving away Kindlegraphed copies of Linda Leander's book INZARED Queen of the Elephant Riders. Come back to see how many we have available and how you can win one!

Make sure to enter this contest for two printed, signed books, this contest for a book on how to make money with your blog, and to get your free gift here.

Today, my contest goes like this: If you will comment on ANY post on my blogger blog with your twitter handle and go add Ms. Ashley Howland's book Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist to your Wish List on Amazon, I will enter you in a drawing to win a copy of the book. When the winner is chosen, I will order you a copy via your wishlist. Like always, I will use random.org and a numbering system (based on your order of comments) to choose the winner. You can enter more than once in this way. You have until 11:59pm ET on 7/25/2012 to enter. GOOD LUCK!

If you would like to purchase a copy on your own, please go here. Check out YouTube videos of Ms. Howland's books! Ghostnapped! and Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. Very cool! Connect with Ashley on LinkedIN as well or like her FaceBook page.

Now, some information about Ms. Ashley Howland and Obi the Super Puppy!

Bio:
Ashley Howland lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She and her dogs, Obi and Stitch, work for Labs ‘n Life, a nonprofit organization that works with youth at risk to train Labradors as autism assistance dogs (www.labsnlife.com). She is inspired to write by her husband Ross, her daughters, Maddy and Aijay, and of course, Obi and Stitch. They are a constant, endless source of material and happiness. She is also the author of Ghostnapped! Her next two books are The Homework Goblin, for young children, and a novel for teenagers titled It’s What You Do Next That Counts.
Synopsis:
Obi is a yellow Labrador who loves adventure, helping people and solving mysteries. He also loves his kids, Maddy and Aijay. This is the story of his first adventure, his new family and how a mysterious red mist entered into his life. The evil red mist has many scary abilities, it can possess animals and toys, but who is behind it? Obi and some new friends must save the day before it is too late. Maddy and Aijay listen patiently as Obi relives this amazing tale and they learn how their faithful friend became a real super puppy.





On to our regularly scheduled list of AWESOME blogs. As always, I will begin with Ms. Howland, my promo for today:

Her blog is filled with great author interviews and great information about being published as well as how she came up with her ideas for her various books:

Ghostnapped blog  On Twitter: @AshleyHowland

Another couple of author blogs:

Bonnie R Paulson  On Twitter: @bonnierpaulson
Diapers, Bookmarks, and Pipe Dreams  On Twitter: @KirkusMacGowan
JD Stockholm  On Twitter: @JD_Stockholm
Beauty and Books  On Twitter: @LazenBeauty

And a blog about books. I love reading this blog because it's full of useful reader information for writers. Go check out their smuggling ways:

The Book Smugglers  On Twitter: @booksmugglers

That's all for today, folks! Come on back tomorrow for more great giveaways and blogs! Until then, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Blogs Part 7 of The Blog Party

Welcome to day SEVEN! I do hope you go check out yesterday's post and enter the rafflecopter drawing to win a Kindlegraphed copy of Dee Ankary's book How to: Build a Profitable Niche Blog. Contest ends soon! There's still time to get a gift from Ms. Randi G Fine as well. Go check out Day 4 to see how. On to the excitement for today! Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see what else I'm giving away this week!

I'm going to give, to TWO lucky winners, a printed, signed copy of each of my books: The Abigale Chronicles - Book Two AND The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. Enter the rafflecopter drawing below for your chance and GOOD LUCK!! I'm running the contest through Sunday and you can enter EVERY day in one way or another.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTVkMTU4NjQ4Yzg3MWYwZDU0MWRjMTAwM2NlZWFjOjQ=/   To invite your friends to enter.

Today, I bring you inspiration from a great lady, Ms. Kebba Buckly Button before I get to our hot blogs to follow. Enjoy!!

Bio:
Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer, holistic health educator, and pain-solutions therapist, who teaches people how to "trade in" their fatigue, stress, and pain for vitality. She sees stress as a sure route to illness, now or later, and energy- and stress management through personal balance as the primary key to wellness. Kebba is known as The LifeTools Ladysm. She gives people tools for feeling energized and wonderful instead of tired, tight, or in direct physical pain.   Kebba’s award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, offers many ways for people to trade in their stress for energy.

Kebba works with groups and with individuals, teaching practical, memorable techniques for satisfied living: physical movements, breath techniques, emotional methods, mental processes, and spiritual approaches. She sees personal responsibility and choice of state as vital components of personal energy management.

Kebba has both Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees in sciences. She spent sixteen years in both government and consulting engineering. A workaholic manager during those years, she discovered a number of health issues that medical doctors had no answers for. She thus became an energetic researcher of methods for managing the stress/energy balance and its impact on health. A certified instructor of Jin Shin Jyutsu for self-help, Kebba has had a Jin Shin Jyutsu practice and has offered personal-growth seminars since 1985. She was ordained in 2000 and now teaches meditation and spiritual direction seminars.  Her latest book is Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core.

Kebba's columns, UpBeat Living and StressTips!, have appeared in One Planet magazine, ec Magazine, and Much Ado About Mensa. She is the creator of the Half-Minute Stress Management Methodsm, the UpBeat Living Energy Equationsm, and the RELF YourSelfsm technique. She has given seminars for such diverse groups as the American Association of Public Welfare Attorneys, American Mensa Ltd., American Business Women’s’ Association (ABWA), Business Networks International (BNI), Desert Christian Fellowship (Phoenix, AZ), IMPACT for Enterprising Women (Phoenix, AZ), Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church (Paradise Valley, AZ), Unity Business Network (Phoenix, AZ), Unity of Phoenix, and the law firm of Brobeck, Pfleger, and Harrison (San Francisco, CA). Connect with Ms. Button on LinkedIN here or on FaceBook here.

Her book Peace Within can be purchased here.

Synopsis:

This is the little carry-with-you book for people who want to grow their inner peace. If you have stress, it’s crucial to develop for yourself a solid core of Peace Within to go “home” to whenever you are stressed. Even if you have never found your peaceful inner core—yet—this book will help.  It’s full of inspirations, quotes, poems, song lyrics, and photographs that take you directly to Peace Within.  A deer nibbles snacks in Colorado.  A Presence floats across a frozen pond.  Waves play in Bermuda. Ripples of the Divine are everywhere, and so can be your Peace Within.

Peace Within, when you cultivate it inside yourself, has a dimension of connection to the Universal Divine, by whatever name you call it.  When you go to this level, not only will you feel relaxed, clear, and peaceful, you will also draw to yourself more of what you want in your life experience.  Your mind will be more and more clear, your blood pressure will balance, and those other nagging stress symptoms will fade.  Yes, you can feel true serenity!  Why not start the exploration NOW?

Like most of the authors I have spoken about on my blog, this one is also a blogger. On to today's AWESOME blogs to follow:

If you need daily inspiration and uplifting, visit Ms. Button's blog:

UpBeat Spiritual Living   Twitter: @kebbabutton
UpBeat Living

Ever been curious how a mom manages to write and write and still take care of her kids? Ever wonder what goes through our heads? Visit this blog for information:

Darci Cole Wife. Mommy. Writer.   Twitter: @darci_cole

Are you a Christian? Do you like following like-minded people? Give this blog a read:

Christian Writers Downunder   Twitter: @CWDownunder

This lady intrigued me so much, I couldn't help but follow her blog on musings, publishing, and writing:

Denise DeSio    Twitter: @TopBee

You'll get some great writing tips from this guy's blog. I love Grammar Friday posts and you will too!

Peter Faur    Twitter: @PeterFaur

Well, that's all for today, folks!! Until next time, WRITE ON!!

Jo

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Blogs Part 6 of The Blog Party

Welcome to day SIX of the Blog Party!

First and foremost, the winner of the contest I ran on Friday 7/20/2012. I had three entries for a free signed, printed copy of The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book and the results are below.


Congratulations to: Jen!! Jen was commenter number 2. Now, on to our regularly scheduled program!!

I'm excited to announce some wonderful things that will happen this week. You have the chance to win many great books this week, some printed and some digital and Kindlegraphed! Today, Ms. Dee Ankary. Tomorrow, Ms. Kebba Buckly Button! Later stuff will be announced later. Bwahahhahhhaaaa! So, check back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let's talk now about Ms. Dee Ankary. The giveaway above is for a Kindlegraphed copy of How to: Build a Profitable Niche Blog. If you prefer to purchase a copy, you may find one here. If you'd like to purchase Dee's other book Blog Transformation Secrets you may find it here. Each just $4.99 on Kindle.

I have read the book that's being given away today and, let me tell you, it's worth every penny of the $4.99. It has great information about blogging and being successful. Highly recommended! I'm an Ankary fan!

On to the information!!

Such a pretty lady!!
Bio:
My name is Dee Ankary, and I'm an author, online business coach, and slightly geeky blogger. As the founder of Moonpreneur, a product creation and marketing resources blog, I'm constantly seeking to morph life and business experiences into profitable digital assets in quick, and relatively, painless ways. 

After a lifetime in corporate technology solutions, I discovered that software for the brain is way more fascinating, and now use my tech, NLP and coaching experience to help myself and crazy busy individuals create a more interesting sequel to the 9-5, salary-junkie time of our lives.

    I write in English, dream in Italian and have an unwavering belief that enthusiasm will conquer all.

Synopsis:
The road to a profitable niche website is not as ridden with difficult obstacles as you might imagine. The right keywords, great content and some judicious promotion. The key is focus, both in terms of targeting a specific niche, and consistently moving forward until your site is thriving.   How To Build A Profitable Niche Blog will show you the way, step by step, right from picking the right keywords, to the most appropriate monetization strategy.








And now, on to today's list of GREAT blogs to follow. As usual, I will begin with my gracious guest!

Are you at a loss but you want to write a blog? Learn a lot about blogging as a business:

moonpreneur  On Twitter: @deeankary

Are you struggling to find ways to market your book? Do you need a professional editor? This lady does it all:

Marcie Brock, Book Marketing Maven  On Twitter: @phxazlaura

Do you have questions on how to build a better book? Visit this guy's page for practical advice:

The Book Designer  On Twitter: @JFbookman

Need some faith? Do you like hearing things people see that make them passionate enough to talk about it? Visit this blog:

Faith Develops in the Dark

Visit this blog for pure fun reading and interesting snippets:

Ellie's Blog  On Twitter: @EllieMendez

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Blogs Part 5 of The Blog Party

Hello everyone and welcome to day five of The Blog Party! Make sure you come back on Monday (day six) for yet another great giveaway! This time, from Ms. Dee Ankary. Dee is the author of How to: Build a Profitable Niche Blog and Blog Transformation Secrets. Ms. Ankary has agreed to give away a digital copy of How to: Build a Profitable Niche Blog that she will Kindlegraph for the winner!!

Please remember that the rafflecopter drawing for Ms. Lisa Cherry's book Soul Journey ends today. Go here to enter now.

Today's giveaway is going to work like this: Comment on my blogger blog (any post) today and I will give you an entry to win a printed, signed copy of my book The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. I will do this by spreadsheet. In the order of comments, you will be entered on the list and I will use random.org to choose a random winner. So, get to commenting and GOOD LUCK!

I am also giving a nod to a very wise lady today, Dorothy Ruppert. Here's a little bit about the lady and her book God Placed Her in My Path - Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bipolar Disorder. You can purchase it here or on Dorothy's website here.

Isn't she just lovely?!
Author Bio:

Dorothy Ruppert has spent 43 years advocating for the mentally ill and their families. She is a retired Chief Executive Officer of a non-profit organization and the former owner of three small businesses. Dorothy now spends her time as a writer and an inspirational speaker. She is currently working on her second book, a collection of short readings to inspire people who cope with situations that are beyond their control.






Synopsis:

God Placed Her in My Path - Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bipolar Disorder by Dorothy Ruppert is an inspirational, heart-wrenching true story of a mother advocating for her daughter during a time when doctors did not believe a child could suffer from bipolar disorder. This book will speak truth and bring hope to those who experience a brain disorder and to those who walk alongside them. It serves to educate and break the stigma of mental illness, which is rapidly increasing in the world today.
God Placed Her in My Path is strongly recommended for all who want to learn more, but especially for educators, social workers, and extended family members of persons coping with a brain disorder.



Now, on to the blog party and our regularly scheduled post of blogs you'll love!

You can read daily bits and pieces from Ms. Dorothy on her blog:

God Placed Her in My Path

Here's a blog that discusses writing and the process:

Caro Ayre

A couple more blogs that talk books (you can never get enough of those):

Danielle. Wife. Author. Mother.  On Twitter: @danielle_lise
Heather's Book Chatter  On Twitter: @woodtop255

A blog by a mother/daughter team who wrote a book together (I know, I know, I couldn't do it):

Depression Cookies  On Twitter: @Tia_Bach_Author

A blog by a designer and writer:

Helz-Design  On Twitter: @HelzDesign

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Blogs Part 4 of The Blog Party

Today on my blog party, I'm happy to talk about Ms. Randi G. Fine, author of Awaken From Life: Lessons for Discovering Your Personal Truths and happy to announce yet another giveaway for all you loyal readers! It just keeps getting better and better, huh?

Pssssssst: Check back tomorrow for information about Ms. Dorothy Ruppert's book, God Placed Her in My Path - Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bi-Polar Disorder and I may be giving away something super cool to go with it!! Just because I like you all so much, of course. If you haven't already, go enter the rafflecopter drawing for Lisa Cherry's book Soul Journey. Winner will be announced Saturday morning! Now, onward!!

Ms. Fine has also agreed to give readers the following: If you like her Randi G. Fine Facebook page from your personal page, you'll receive an inspirational picture quote exclusively designed for this promotion.  Send her a message referring to the promotion, include your email address, and she will email you the gift. How freaking awesome is she? 

Now, a little about the author and the book:

She is just gorgeous, isn't she?
  
Biography:

Randi G. Fine is an accomplished Ft. Lauderdale writer, radio show host, and published author. She tells the spellbinding story of her life in her 2010 memoir, Fine…ly: My Story of Hope, Love, and Destiny, inspiring others with messages of courage and hope. Her inspiring new spiritual/self-help book, Awaken from Life: Lessons for Discovering Your Personal Truths, was published in June 2012. As the producer and host of her provocative podcast radio show, A Fine Time for Healing, Randi revives the emotional and spiritual well-being of world-wide audiences.






Synopsis:

In this evocative, illuminating book, Randi Fine encourages you to free yourself from the inhibiting obstacles in your life, embrace the conscious power of your intent, and awaken your unrealized potential. Travel on an introspective journey into the heart of your personal realities where your perceptions, truths, and desires lie. Distinguish the thought processes that enhance your life experience from those that stand in the way of achieving all you desire. Reflect on perspectives never before considered. Experience the powerful impact of revelations brought on by your newfound self-awareness.
The path to greater fulfillment awaits your discovery. The only thing required is your deliberate choice to “Awaken from Life.”

You may find her book for purchase here.

Now, on to our regular post!  I will, of course, begin with my guest for today.

Randi G. Fine's blog is about getting the most out of life. It's inspirational and heartfelt. If you need a pick-me-up, check it out. But wait! There's more! She also has a radio show! Be sure and give her a listen.

Love Your Life!  On Twitter: @RandiGFine
A Fine Time for Healing radio show

Looking for a hip way to stick it to the mass produced man? Look no further. Get honesty and straight-forward opinions on everything:

throwing up in an IKEA bag  On Twitter: @jenchatwrites

A very cool blog that helps with all those annoying e-book formatting issues and gives some great tips on tools to help you build your platform (author or otherwise). As a bonus, this company does e-book formatting as well:

Writer's Block Admin Services  On Twitter: @JoHarris0n

This next blog is all about success and how you put your know-how and knowledge of the world to work. She doesn't preach at you, and she uses a lot of humor and real-world examples to get her message across:

the art of possibility... discovering new pathways to success  On Twitter: @klaughman

A wonderful blog that covers darn near everything you can imagine. Handy for writers and a fun read too!

You Are What You Write  On Twitter: @rachelhwrites

Well, that's all for today, folks! Come on back tomorrow for more! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Blogs Part 3 of The Blog Party

Today, I'm excited to bring you news of a wonderful kind. My blog party is going to run for two weeks! This is my birthday present to myself!

I have a lot of great giveaways still to come so follow me and stay in the loop! Also, Ms. Lisa Cherry has generously offered a copy of her book Soul Journey for a rafflecopter drawing. Everyone say thank you to Ms. Lisa. You can find the book for purchase here for you folks in the UK or here for you folks in the US. You can find her on FaceBook here and LinkedIN here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's a bit about the author and the book:


Isn't she super pretty?!

Author Bio:

Who is Lisa Cherry? To those who meet her, it’s impossible to define her in a single sentence. At first glance, she’s a successful business woman running an holistic massage practice. However, if you spoke to her clients you would discover that she doesn’t merely relieve stress or pain, but empowers women to make positive lifelong changes.

Lisa herself has overcome adversity despite facing many challenging life experiences. Her teenage years were symbolised by hurtling from one foster home to the next seeking stability and love. School exclusions, care homes, alcoholism and homelessness made their mark, before Lisa found the inner strength to break free from a spiral of self-destruction and chose life instead.

After getting sober at the age of 20, steely determination drove her through a university degree, after which she devoted 18 years to the social services sector helping children and families through difficult times – whilst still battling her own inner demons.

It was though pursuing an holistic approach to life that Lisa found the roots of her true recovery. With a holistic massage diploma in the bag, her thirst for life was unleashed. Far from being a mere survivor, Lisa’s passion for life, change and personal development now inspire others to follow their dreams.

In fact, upon discovering blogging, she rapidly connected with an audience hungry to listen and, like Lisa, confront tough challenges in their own past. Through her encouragement, many women embarked on their own journey of discovery, sharing their achievements with Lisa on her blog.

What makes Lisa so compelling is her selfless ability to openly share her soul, reflecting upon life with complete honesty and integrity. Imbuing others with a vision for change, she empowers others in their own healing. Such is the affect that Lisa’s boundless energy and incredible positivity have on all those whose lives she touches. In this her first book, Lisa reveals her own mantra for living and shares other women’s celebratory journeys over adversity.


Synopsis:

When it seems impossible to free yourself from a life spinning out of control or from a cycle of emotional pain, it’s incredible to imagine how words on a page can change your life completely…
They can. Such is the power behind Soul Journey.
Soul Journey draws together a unique collection of real-life stories featuring extraordinary everyday women. I share their journey through life’s challenges and how personal discovery led to profound change.

Unlike other self-help books, the different journeys combine to show how connecting with your own healing can have an astonishing impact on how you bond with the world beyond. That need to feel part of others’ lives is something we all crave. As you explore the book, you can find new ways to feel part of life’s bigger picture.
The book is shaped from real life – a tapestry of poignant and enlightened moments. Weaving my own personal insight gained through being in care, homeless and a recovering alcoholic – to my holistic therapy work – every shared experience is rooted in naked truth… in honesty. Find the courage you need to take the first step…

Finally, this book is about you – and what connects us together. Seize the chance to reflect on you, your life, your aspirations. Learn to share pain, share the journey and share the celebration of self-recovery. By walking this pathway together, you can truly thrive – and be the person you want to be.

On to our regularly scheduled post for today! Such exciting things happening, I almost can't sit still!

First and foremost, Ms. Lisa Cherry's blog. She has a great book group on her blog as well, that just makes it more interesting!

Passionate Ramblings  On Twitter: @_LisaCherry
Passionate Ramblings Book Group

If you are sci-fi passionate, you'll love this guy's blog:

Doug Turnbull  On Twitter: @dturnbull2

Are you battling depression? Do you have a family member who's battling depression? This blog is from a woman who's dealt with it all, and it's a hub of information on the topic:

God Placed Her in My Path

Would you like to know how to get the best marketing ideas to build your platform? Check out this blog written by a woman who has the know-how:

Judith Cassis C.Ht.  On Twitter: @telesuccess

Now, the lady I'm about to mention doesn't just write a blog, she also has a radio show. She is:

An Average Woman in a Superwoman World  On Twitter: @AverageWomanSJ

Don't forget to enter my Goodreads giveaway for your chance at a copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book Two! If you have young readers, you NEED the series. Go enter!

Well, that's all for today, folks!! Come back tomorrow for more great blog reads and more great gifts! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Blogs Part 2 of The Blog Party

Today on my blog party I have some exciting news to share!! Tomorrow, I will be hosting a giveaway of the book Soul Journey by a fellow writer and blogger named Lisa Cherry. Check back here to enter the Rafflecopter drawing!

Thursday, I'll be talking about a book written by Ms. Randi Fine titled Awaken From Life: Lessons for Discovering Your Personal Truths (don't miss that). You can read a little about it or buy it here.

A surprise for you all today, I am happy to tell you about a great FREE book by Mr. Robert Chazz Chute titled The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories. Get it at Amazon before tomorrow night! I've read his book titled Bigger Than Jesus and am a huge fan of his work. I am delighted to help him announce his giveaway.


A brief synopsis:
Small-town claustrophobia and the psychological horror of living with other people at its best.This is a real deal with all these stories now in one package: two brothers must decide if murder is the answer to all of their problems; a psycho psychologist directs a serial killer who to kill; a crazy young woman insists she stay on as the psychologist's patient; a divorced dad learns to deal with loss through the power of hypochondria; a starlet meets her high school lover again for one last conversation about dire secrets; and a DJ argues against God only to discover that there are some arguments you definitely don't want to win.

Revamped and reloaded, my novella, The Dangerous Kind is available again, but now it's bundled with six short stories that are the precursors to the (coming!) Poeticule Bay series of novels. Two new stories are in this collection, including The Sum of Me, a story anyone with credit card debt will appreciate. I read The Sum of Me at a writing conference to thunderous applause and it won an honourable mention from a Writer's Digest competition.

Now, on to our regular post! Aren't you all excited? What a great week this will be! Welcome to a few more of my favorite blogs.

Here's a blog by a literary agent that asks thought-provoking questions for authors of all kinds:

Rachelle Gardner  On Twitter: @RachelleGardner

Do you like ramblings? How about ramblings that have a purpose? Follow this blog for great photos and discussion:

Ramblin' with AM  On Twitter: @ RamblinGarden

Get some wonderful marketing advice and some helpful tips about setting up FaceBook or branding your own blog with Liberty:

Libertys Yarn  On Twitter: @LibertysYarn

A couple of blogs for all you children's chapter book lovers:

Imagine! Create! Write!  and
Chapter Book Challenge  On Twitter: @moonduster
Ghostnapped!  On Twitter: @AshleyHowland

If you're interested in poetry, thought-provoking posts, or to see the world through someone else's eyes, check out this guy's blog:

The Arkside of Thought  On Twitter: @SahmAtaineKing

That's all for today, folks! More great blogs and that awesome giveaway tomorrow! Until then, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Blogs Part 1 of The Blog Party

If you haven't had the pleasure of stumbling across any of these blogs, I beg you to go check them out. I'll also give you links to their twitter handles. Many of them are great fun to follow and will keep you laughing until your sides hurt. It's a blog party!! All week find links to great new blogs right here.

What happens when you put a bunch of poets together and give them webspace? Find out here:

A Dead Good Blog

Give a lady a book and what does she do? She writes a review! Here are a few lovely review sites:

Booketta's Book Blog  On Twitter: @bookettajane

The Hungry Freelancer  On Twitter: @bethythewriter

Have You Heard Book Review  On Twitter: @Kissablysweet1 

This lady is quite something and talks a lot about popular books, movies, and trends:

Ann Marie Walker  On Twitter: @AnnMarie_Walker

If you like satire and a blog about marketing, this guy will give you the lowdown and a ton of links:

Chazz Writes  On Twitter: @RChazzChute

Are you a crafter? Do you like patterns and cute stuff? This lady does some amazing work and gives great crafting marketing tips:

Family Bugs Blogging  On Twitter: @Family_Bugs

Do you like personal blogs with deep thought about the opposite sex? Confessions of a serial dater? You'll love this blog:

The Misadventures of Chelsea Black  On Twitter: @chelseablack

Would you like your blog to appear here? Let me know on Twitter!! @WriteJoMichaels

That's all for today, folks!! More tomorrow! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Journey

Any of you that have been following my blog know how I came up with the ideas to write the various books that I have written: Yassa was born of a 'what if?' question, The Abigale Chronicles are for my daughter, and The Indie Author's Guide was created to help those I saw in the most need.

But my life is what shaped me into the person that could write those books. Let's get real for a minute or two, shall we?

I grew up with scads of books. They were everywhere, all the time. My mother and my siblings were all readers, and our collection of books was huge. When I was little, my sisters were all in school and liked to play at teaching me. By age two, I knew my alphabet and could tell you which letters you showed me out of context. By age four, I could read passably well and by age five, I could tell what people around me were spelling aloud. I wrote my first story in Kindergarten.

I consumed books like they were my life-force. Once I started reading, I was lost to the world until the story came to an end. I took a book to bed with me every night and read myself to sleep. This dedication to reading got me a huge award in the third grade when I read over 300 books. When I started a new school year, the most exciting thing was being issued my reading book. They were always stuffed with stories that I hadn't read and I usually read through them in a day or two. I know, what a nerd.

But, oddly, I wasn't a nerd. I hung out with 'that' group of people. I made Cs on my report card unless I needed an A or B to pass the class. I always flew under the radar; never in trouble but never the shining star.

High school was boring me to tears so I dropped out. I got accepted into college at age fifteen and chose Commercial Art as my major. That lasted two months. I got my GED at age sixteen and swore off school.

As life progressed, I never lost my love of books though there was a very long dry spell where I didn't read much of anything because life got in the way and I was too busy living it.

I got married and had two kids. Then I got divorced. After that, married again and three more kids. Finally, another divorce. My second marriage drove me to do a number of things: read as an escape, go back to school, and start a business.

I dove back into my books to escape life. Everything in life sucked but what I could see, do, and experience in a book was limitless. Reading caused my Great Depression. Believe me when I tell you, there's nothing great about a Great Depression. I would read about this journey or that love or his success in a book and compare it to my own life. Down, down, down I would go into a spiral that caused me to pick up yet another book and repeat my cycle. I ended up seeking professional help because I was so depressed.

A wise man told me, "You need to change your life if you ever expect to feel better. No one else is going to do it for you. It's up to you. If you don't, this cycle won't ever be broken."

I reeled from his words, pondered, rolled them around, and took them to heart. Fall of that year saw me as an enrolled student. When I tested in, I was placed in Composition I for my first English class. My major? Secondary Education English & Theater. I signed up for twelve credit hours - full time.

Nervous as hell, I bought my backpack (that I used for all five years) and a number of notebooks and the pen (it's my lucky pen and I've had it since day one - read my story on book signing to see it debuted on my blog). On the first day of classes, I dropped my son off at Pre-K and headed out. I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and found I wasn't the oldest person in class. I developed the idea for Yassa at that time. Best of all, I was no longer depressed. I was doing something with myself and felt good about it.

Two years and over sixty credit hours later (I took over twenty credit hours a couple of semesters), I was forced to quit. I was pregnant with my daughter and found out I had a problem. They weren't sure how bad it was but my OBGYN watched me very closely throughout my pregnancy. I was in extreme pain and oftentimes found myself unable to move much at all.

Not one to sit around being bored, I enrolled in an online course and got a certification, while chained to my bed, in nine months with a program that's supposed to take two years. They couldn't ship my books fast enough. I was a certified bridal consultant. Yay! Huh?

I gave birth to my daughter and went in for a biopsy. When the results came back, it was a grim prognosis: I had pre-cancerous cells of a very aggressive form of the disease.

Treatment didn't go so well so I had to have surgery. At last, I was free of the dreaded disease!

I got a camera for Christmas that year and it launched my business. I'd always been fascinated by the photographs in the back of Discover magazine and would sit and look at them for hours at a time. I set out to learn everything I could about depth of field, shutter speed, and ISO. What I gained was a wealth of knowledge about all of the above topics and lighting. I consumed books on the subject and was rarely without a camera in my hand. I launched a portrait and wedding photography business and enjoyed wild success. See some of my photography work here.

When I began to offer albums as wedding package inclusions and as bonuses for senior portrait packages, I realized there was a lot I needed to learn about the printing process (bleed, gutter, CMYK - the dreaded subject). I looked through my previous college's brochure and found a Graphic Design program that delved into the printing world. What the hell? I signed up.

It took me three years to get through the program because I came back to school in the spring and it's designed for a fall start. What I gained by doing that was the ability to take classes that weren't required to complete my program. I already had sixty credit hours going in, and classes like life drawing, composition II, business management, and color theory were bonuses I indulged in. I was in heaven! My photography business hit the back burner (I refused to try and do that along with school because my grades and focus would have suffered) and I worked my butt off to maintain my 4.0 GPA. I developed a digital painting/drawing style that is totally unique to me and used it often in my projects.

Looking back, I realize the reason I took a lot of those classes was so I could keep writing. I wasn't the most creative in my class but my attention and skills were in the details and the briefs. I could polish like no other and write briefs that were concise and grammatically correct. I took on a tutoring job that fit between my classes and tutored Calculus, Composition I & II, and Graphic Design.

In 2011, I graduated Summa Cum Laude and as the graduating designer who had the honor of designing the cover for the commencement program. Yay!

Another wonderful surprise in 2011 was The Best Boyfriend in the World. He's changed my life in profound ways and given me the encouragement I needed to be my best.

My book was still begging to be written and I felt a lot more confident in my writing abilities. I had the skills I needed to create the interior and exterior of a book and had heard of the recent boom in self-publishing. I made a very difficult decision and dropped my photography business. I researched like mad and read every book I could get my hands on that concerned writing a novel, crafting a plotline, creating dialogue that didn't suck, and Genghis Khan. I re-wrote my prologue four times.

Finally, in January, 2012, I decided that the darned book wasn't going to finish itself so I sat down and banged it out. My relationship with Mike (TBBITW) shaped every scene in the book. When I say I couldn't have done it without him, that's the 100% truth. If you've read it, I know you understand how powerful it is.

Yassa went through five rounds of edits. I added scenes the first time, cut scenes the second time, removed filler words the third time, and edited for grammar the fourth time. For edit number five, I sent it out. There are still errors in the text here and there but nothing overwhelming. Those errors will be fixed as I read through the printed version and make my own notes.

I have since begun a series of chapter books for my daughter titled The Abigale Chronicles and I have written The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. Best of all, I'm not depressed anymore. I'm doing things for me and my life. Without my journey, I wouldn't be where I am and I wouldn't be the person I have become. I appreciate life because I have been threatened with death.

I intend to add illustrations to my chapter books at some point. They will all be done by me because I find drawing to be as cathartic as writing. I don't just write for me, I write for you. I write to give you that escape we all so desperately need sometimes. I do hope you escape into my books now and again.

I hope you've all enjoyed my story. It's crazy, but it's my mad mad world! Now you know. I'm a writer, photographer, certified bridal consultant, and designer all wrapped into one tiny little package. Trust me, it's not that I don't know what I want to do, it's that I want to do everything. I thirst for knowledge in every form. I think all writers (and readers) are great students.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Come Join the Party!

Okay, folks, in celebration of my books publishing, I'd like to invite you all to a party! It's a party online that will take place right here on my blog! I'm getting a decent number of hits here per day and an astonishing number per month. I'd like to share the wealth!

Next week, I'm willing to promote your new book or your blog topic right here on my blog. If you've written a review and would like to see it posted here, send me a message via FaceBook. While I would love to slap my personal e-mail address down here to make it easier, we all know about spam-bots and the irritating way they seek and spam. Yuck!

So, if you're interested in some free self-promotion, message me.

Don't forget to pick up a copy of one of my books in the meantime! :)

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Biting and Chewing

We write like we eat: plan the book (idea), write an outline, write chapter-by-chapter, plan the meal, cook the meal, eat the meal bite-by-bite.

We can't really get to the last part unless we do the first two parts. Even if we eat a lot of fast food, we still have to decide where to go and what to order. You can't skip parts.

Seasonings are the feelings and settings you put into your book. I could write a lovely few lines like this:

I walked to the fridge and pulled out hot dogs. I popped one into the microwave and heated it for a minute, then added ketchup and sat down to eat. When I was done, I cleaned my place and headed to get out of my pajamas so I could go to the store.

You get the idea of what I'm doing but I certainly seem like I'm a zombie and have zero emotion, right? Let's try again:

I felt hunger pangs for the first time since the incident occurred so I shuffled over to the old fridge that looked like something from 1972 (much like the kitchen it was in) and jerked the door open to peer inside. I scanned the contents and let out a heavy sigh before I settled on hot dogs. I slammed them down on the counter and slit open the package with a knife from the block nearby. Digging out one of the dogs, I grabbed a paper towel and wrapped it up like a caterpillar in a cocoon before popping it into the microwave and pressing the button that would get me thirty seconds of nuke time.

While the appliance whirred, I stuffed the remaining hot dogs into a bag, zipped it closed, and reached for a paper plate. Tears filled my eyes again as I thought about what happened and my head screamed How could this happen to me? Haven't I endured enough? I got a less-than-satisfying ding, opened the microwave, and grabbed my breakfast. After I plopped it on the plate, I stuffed the leftovers back into the fridge and grabbed the ketchup. I squirted a squiggly line next to my dog and popped the bottle back into the still open fridge; slamming the door.

Shuffling to the two-person table that was situated under the naked bulb in my sparse dining room made me feel like all my energy was suddenly being drained from my body. I sat down and ate my meal while fat tears rolled down my face and plopped into my already-watery ketchup. Sighing, I stood and took my small mess to the over-full trash can before heading to change out of my pajamas for the first time in a week so I could go to the store.

Now, even though you have no idea why I feel the way I feel, you have more emotional response than with the first section, right? You know something is troubling the poor soul that's being spoken about, right? Would you read on to find out what's wrong?

I'm building suspense to my plight by letting you into my thoughts and emotions before telling you what's going on. It's a useful trick to pickup and also useful to see the opposite way and realize how you can pare down and remove emotion and scenery. All I did was add a few spices to your meal.

If you haven't picked one up yet, go get a copy of one of my books. There's something for everyone there!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why?

I have announced the release of my book, The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book and I'm sitting on pins and needles hoping that someone, somewhere gets some use out of the darned thing. This is the simple answer to why I wrote it. Let me explain further for those of you that don't understand what the book is about. I'll start with the ToC page...

Section One – Branding Yourself
Choosing an Identity
Creating a Logo (or having one created for you)
Color Scheme Dos and Don’ts
Consistency is Queen – Because Kings are controlled by Queens!

Section Two – Formatting Your Manuscript
Dos and Don’ts when Writing Your Book
Quick Tips for Better Legibility
Building Your Save System
Different Formats for Different Platforms

Section Three – Building a Digital Cover
Size IS Important!
Images
Font Choices – Why does it Matter?
Using Layers

Section Four – Final Checks
Uploading and Proofing

Section Five – Business Considerations
Choosing your distributor(s)
Places to Sell and Market Your Book

Section Six – If Your Book is a Print Version
Your Book’s Guts
Orphans and Widows
Pesky Page Numbers
Running Headers
Cover Considerations
Explaining Bleed and Safety
Conversion to CMYK for print
Math Involved

As you can see, I cover a lot of things in the book related to design and personal branding. Both of these considerations are important, so I give you tips and tricks to put into action that will help you along the way. I use all of my own advice and the print version of The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book is not telling you, but showing you how things look when properly formatted according to the guide.

I had a couple of indie authors look over the ToC and had The Best Boyfriend in the World look over the content (he's not an author and I thought that was best because I wanted someone totally unfamiliar with the whole process). What you see is the result.

I have my own personal brand and am working on a personal logo that I can display here on my blog and on every copyright page for every one of my books. Why? Because consistency is queen. I already use the same font and put my name in the same position on every book, but I need more.

I wrote the book because I saw with my own eyes how many indie authors were struggling with cover design and formatting their print and digital versions. I listened to complaints coming out of the mouths of designers who thought only to criticize the quality of print work emerging from indie authors but not bothering to do anything to help them besides venting on YouTube videos or on blogs.

My personal horn-tooting: I hold a degree in graphic design and graduated at the top of my class (Summa Cum Laude), something that is rarely done in that program. I tutored Graphic Design, English, and Calculus. I won the right to design the commencement cover at my school. The president loved it so much, he used it a second time this year. I got many kudos from my business professors for thinking outside the box and understanding the need for branding. I led creative thinking groups in my composition classes. I taught classes for a number of my professors throughout college when they were absent for one reason or another.

But I'm not so pompous as to put down those that know less than I do about things I went to school for.

I listened to those videos and got angry at the designers spouting their ideals about a utopian society where every indie author has gone to design school and produces a perfect product every time. What do they say? Pay me and I'll help you. But not peanuts or pocket change because they don't want to bother taking the time to put together a guide, they just want to yell at indies for not having $400+ dollars to pay them to do the work. That's part of what drove my price of $2.99.

$2.99 is something the mother who is struggling to write her book and raise her kids alone can afford. $2.99 is what we can find in the cushions of our couch. $2.99 is what the guy with the limited budget and the need for a quality product can afford. $2.99 also says I care about my work and value the information I'm selling to you.

For $2.99 we can change the way indie authors look to the world. We can give the big publishing houses less to criticize us over without breaking the bank or going into hock.

I'd be willing to bet those designers who talk about indie titles sucking eggs in a print version can't write a novel. Most of the designers in my classes could barely write a brief. It's easy to criticize others when you hold a skillset they don't. Just remember, they have skillsets of their own, just in different areas.

Instead of allowing your prejudices to take over and calling out people for not doing things the "proper" way, think of how you might be able to improve the lives of those people. By doing so, you may improve your own life as a bonus. I know the more indie authors that read and follow my book, the more beautiful print versions and beautiful covers I'll have to look at. I will no longer sit and stress wondering how I can help; because I did.

Here's a peek at the cover for my book, The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book












I don't want you to look like the poor lady on the cover there. It lessens productivity when you bang your head or sit slouched in a chair doing nothing but being stressed. Go get the book today and know that I built this book for you and me.

Here are the links:

Kindle version - free for prime users, $2.99 for everyone else. There will be NO free promotions for this one except over on Goodreads, where I'll giveaway two copies of the printed version to two lucky winners.
Paperback version - $6.99. Again, NO free promotions except on Goodreads. Check back here for the link that will appear in the sidebar sometime this week.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo