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Tag Archives: Publishing

Still Writing: New Blog

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Readers and other Dirty Laundry Followers! 

 

I’ve just begun a new blog, Still Writing, with a primary focus on writing, books, and most particularly, my books.While the site is still under construction, I’d be delighted to get some visitors, commentary, followers, and feedback. The construction is going slow, but there’s a hefty number of posts up that I transferred from another old blog, BookBuster, soon to be permanently shut down. In fact, I just put up a Dirty Laundry post from last year about the wide world of publishing, so come on over.

 

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Read An EBook Week March 3-9

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It’s the annual READ AN EBOOK WEEK, People, so get thee to Kindle or Smashwords or my Book Publications page and start checking them out—not only my books, but the hundreds, nay, thousands (millions?) of ebooks out there.

I have a ton of insights, complaints, and huzzahs I could say about the Ebook indie publishing explosion, but I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade just bookmannow, and besides, I hardly have time to get this short information up here. I promise, however, I’ll be back just asap to write something more HTTSsubstantial. Meanwhile, you can get my book HALFWAY TO THE STARS this week on Smashwords ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Use the code RW100 at checkout to get this book for free during  site-wide promotion.

 

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Interview with Marcy

I’ve just been interviewed at Smashwords by myself! A tough reporter, but somehow I handled me! If you’d like to read it, just click right here. You can read an excerpt from my book, Halfway to the Stars, here as well. Or buy it! Enjoy!

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Book Marketing

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Linked In deposited a note in my email box this morning, “182  Quotes About Book Marketing.” Quote freak that I am, I immediately clicked over. Below, some of the fruits of my labor–or rather, the authors’ labors, and a link to read all of them yourself.

Some day soon when I have more time and motivation I’ll write about my own terrible resistance to marketing. Meanwhile, I’ve commented a bit on some of these quotes.

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“Do something every day to market each of your books for three years.” – John Kremer (Three years I can handle!)

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” – Hunter S. Thompson

“Sometimes we are limited more by attitude than by opportunities.” – Origin Unknown

 “Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.” –  Henry Van Dyke

 “To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.” – William Zinsser, WD

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  “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Origin Unknown

  “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

 “Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.” – Al Ries

“Don’t be constantly selling and shilling. Figure out how you can help others, tell them stories, and share openly everything you know so that people will recognize you as someone that they can trust, who won’t turn them off by constantly trying to sell them something.” – C.C. Chapman

“Don’t reduce yourself to a cheesy book hawker.” – Rob Eagar

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“In a way, the Web is like your Hollywood agent: It speaks for you whenever you’re not around to comment.” – Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

“Watch what other authors do, especially in your genre or area of expertise. Follow them via Facebook or Twitter, study their websites, and build a relationship with them.” – Barbara Techel

Winding Down

For most of my life, no matter what was happening in it – including sickness, death, bankruptcy and heartbreak – I almost always opened my eyes in the morning glad to be awake and excited to be alive. I could have been stuck in a job I detested, or facing the anxiety of getting my kids back from their father, or going to the hospital to see my post-operative son – yet I would open my eyes, jump out of bed, and begin my morning routine of coffee, straightening up the house, and stretching exercises (in some years even yoga). This excitement, this glad-to-be-alive feeling didn’t last all day: gradually it would fade, but by tomorrow I’d have forgotten whatever disappointments took it away, and be poised for excitement again.

Now that I no longer wake up this way, I’ve come to realize what it was about: ANYthing might happen! It’s a new day! Another batch of mail will arrive, in it an acceptance of my novel. Maybe a poem will be published (this actually did  sometimes happen). Perhaps I’ll fall in love. Or J. will show up, back from his travels. Maybe I’ll meet someone new. Even better – I’m in love and he or she is here with me. Or I can’t wait to get to my desk. Or I’m performing with my theater group tonight, or the kids are coming, or I’m going to a job I love (there were a few), or seeing M. later on…I don’t think I actually ran down a list of realities and possibilities, it was just that I knew they existed. In my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, even into my early 50’s, life was on the upswing. I was headed somewhere. Things could only get better.

This morning I dragged myself out of bed with no hope of anything new and wonderful happening. Two years ago, after 40+ years of daily stretches, rarely missing a single day, I stopped doing them because out of nowhere they started making me dizzy. I can barely manage to make the bed. It takes me two hours and three cups of coffee just to wake up. I tried tracing my life backwards to determine when the excitement stopped. It was within the past six years: I recall that I inwardly articulated to myself that life was no longer heading in an upwards direction. Physical energy began diminishing at the same time. Nothing wonderful is likely to occur today, tomorrow, or ever again. I’ve given up on the kind of publishing success I tried so hard and so long to achieve. Having loved and lost as many times as Elizabeth Taylor, I don’t expect – or even want – to fall in love again. Life’s cheerleaders will protest “But it can happen! You can make it happen!” Bear in mind that you can’t be published if you don’t submit anything — and I haven’t the motivation to go through that process anymore. Nor can you fall in love if you don’t go anyplace to meet potential partners — and I don’t want to do that either. When you give up your dreams, they can’t come true.

It’s supposed to be a tragedy of some magnitude to give up one’s dreams, but sometimes it’s a rational act. A lot of writers I know are flabbergasted when I tell them how long I hung on to the naïve best-seller fantasy, how old I was when I finally let myself see how the publishing business works (or worked back in the Dead Tree Era). I clung to the fantasy of love as fairy tale even after gaining an acutely raised feminist consciousness. It’s not so much that I gave up on my dreams as that I grew up.

Besides, I’m not talking only about writing and falling in love: these are just the big, obvious areas we all point to when talking about life ambitions. When I awoke excited, it wasn’t always over something major; I could’ve been looking forward to something as mundane as trying out a new soup recipe.

I don’t know if my aging peers are experiencing this kind of thing, since nobody talks much about getting older. They don’t address these issues on Facebook either. Maybe what I’m going through is unique, just more of being me: the negative, neurotic, obsessive me that we all know and tolerate.  Also, since I lived unconventionally, my daily life was fairly unpredictable, so in fact anything really could happen, and frequently did — and not always positive.

What I’m going through seems like a logical aspect of aging, not some new quirk of mine alone. It seems logical that our lives would feel and be on an upswing, until, at some point, things slow down. Maybe it’s not sad for everyone — if I’d managed to achieve half of what I wanted, it might not be. For those who do get what they’re after, I can see how slowing down would mean reaping life’s rewards.

While writing this, I suddenly remembered that two days ago I was walking along, singing to the music on my iPod, when I spotted a dollar bill on the ground. I rarely find money, and don’t recall ever finding a bill. Instead of being thrilled, though, I worried that whoever lost it might have needed it. Ten or fifteen years ago I would have interpreted the dollar as a “sign,”   a message from the universe that exciting surprises can occur at any age.

Now, remembering the girl who used to think that way, I can’t help but smile with compassion at her optimism. She didn’t know. She just didn’t know.