To Be a Good Writer…

Sage advice from the man himself –

To be a good writer, I believe that one has to read a lot of books. Fifty a year would be a good place to start, but twenty five would work... Stephen King.

I shall be putting this good advice into practice over the holiday season.

Merry Christmas everyone x

The Best Present Ever!

When I was young I desperately wanted a doll for Christmas. Not just any doll, a special Tiny Tears doll. It’s quite profound to think the doll I was taken with was a doll that cried.

We never had much money, and the doll was expensive. I prayed Santa would make it happen. I didn’t hold out much hope, I had not been the perfect child!

Christmas came, and low and behold, the baby was born – I had obviously behaved better than I gave myself credit for! Alongside my treasured Tiny Tears, I was given books by my grandfather – Ant and Bee, and The Cat in the Hat. I was 5 years old. I named my doll Trudy. I washed her, played with her and read her bedtime stories. I was in Christmas heaven.

My euphoria lasted all of about 3 days. My naughty little sister decided it was time for dolly to have a ‘makeover’. She poked out her eye and gave her a nasty red pen rash! It was time to take dolly to the hospital – the prognosis was not good. After my initial hysteria, I grew accustomed to my unsightly doll, who was now rocking a funky eye patch, and freshly cut hair. I would sit for hours reading books to her. I even took her to the library! Over the years my love of reading increased – my doll playing not so much!

I loved that doll, but I loved reading more. It was the year my love affair with books began.

I couldn’t tell you what happened to Trudy, but the books are safely here with me and always will be.

Giving a book for Christmas is so much more than giving a present. Books have staying power, you don’t discard them for the next best something or other – they are the best. Sometimes you re-read them, sometimes you pass them on. Books hold so much power, sometimes I think we forget just how amazing they can be. They have the power to change our opinions, the power to make us feel, the power to open up new worlds, the power to teach, they can make us laugh and cry… I could go on and on, but you get the idea – books are powerful!

Giving a book is as personal as it gets. You are giving over a piece of yourself and saying ‘this speaks to me, I hope you enjoy it.’

This Christmas I challenge you to think about a book you wished more people knew about, then gift it to a friend. It is the season for giving after all.

If you’ve read a book you wished more people knew about, please pop a comment in the box below and share the love…

Have a Spare 10 Minutes? Do Something Amazing For an Author….

How do you choose which books to read ? For me, it is a combination of word of mouth and checking out the books reviews.

As a indie author, it is hard to get your voice heard in a world of ‘buy me’ noise. Trying to raise your lone voice above the big publishing houses and their vast budgets is an uphill struggle. Some days it can feel as if all I’ve done is beg people for reviews – How many times can you ask readers to leave a review before you feel as it you’re stalking them? It can be very disheartening!

Some sites won’t even let you advertise your book unless you have a certain number of 4/5 star reviews. Did you know that over 85% of Kindle readers use reviews to ascertain if a book is suitable for them? The importance of reviews can not be overstated. It’s great publicity and helps like minded readers to connect. Ever seen those ads along the bottom of your Amazon screen ‘recommended for you’ or ‘based on your history you may like this’? These are not random choices put there by chance. They are cleverly calculated algorithms, based on reviews. It is all too easy to leave a review for something you didn’t like, I know I’ve done it! But… what about the things you enjoy, the things that exceed your expectations? How many of us leave reviews for the books we’ve enjoyed?

The more reviews a book gets, the higher its visibility and ranking. The higher its visibility and ranking, the more people will read it. The more people who read it, the higher the sales. More sales = more reviews. So you see, it really is not rocket science!

In an effort to redress the balance ever so slightly, I challenge you to do two good things this week. If you have recently read a good book – tell someone else about it. Secondly, leave a review on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be war and peace, just a few lines about why you enjoyed it. You don’t even have to use your name it can be anonymous. Your good deed will be gratefully received by all authors so go on be brave… you can do it! Do something amazing for an author this week.

 

hearts

The January Sales Just Got Better….

My first post of the New Year. No I’m not going to look back at 2016 (ever). What I am going to do is treat you to something lovely. From January 2nd through to January 8th the Kindle edition of Forbidden Colours is only £1.99 in the UK and $2.46 in the USA. Happy New Year lovely people.

Tuesday Spotlight – Keri’s Christmas Wish by Pamela S Thibodeaux

This is my first Christmas post of the season. To get us rolling I’d like to introduce my author friend Pamela S Thibodeaux. Welcome Pamela :). Pamela’s new release  Keri’s Christmas Wish is a wonderful romantic tale which will leave you wanting more. Here Pamela tell’s us about her journey to writing Kerri’s Christmas Wish. Over to you Pam –

“I am 100% panster so when I sat at the computer with one scene in mind, Keri scrolling through her newsfeed and grumbling “bah humbug” over the ‘Christmas in July’ propaganda, I had absolutely NO idea where the story was going or what would happen.

I was introduced to Energy Medicine a couple of years ago and find the whole concept of healing the body – or actually the body healing itself by correcting energy imbalance–fascinating. Along with EM, I’ve discovered the power of positive thoughts and prayers (see: You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay). Add to that, my belief in the afterlife and the books & movies affirming those beliefs, and well, this story practically wrote itself. What is so amazing and encouraging for me is that Keri’s Christmas Wish is the first romantic story I’ve written in its entirety since my husband passed away in 2009. Oh, I’ve had things published that were already in the works, but other than a couple NF pieces, it is the only thing written from start to finish. Hopefully this means I’m in a much better place emotionally and other books/novellas/stories are sure to follow”.

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For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

 A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

 

Thanks Pam, a wonderful tale which is perfect for the Christmas season. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite… Continue reading “Tuesday Spotlight – Keri’s Christmas Wish by Pamela S Thibodeaux”