Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Poetry and Prose Corner October 2012

Dance of the Leaves

by Rita Janice Traub

We watched you dancing in the gales
that ushered in the cold,
frenetically, yet gracefully,
you leaves of green and gold,
the sunlight on you crimson leaves
breathtaking to behold
as jauntily you danced all day
to celebrate the cold.
Your young trees, barely trembling now,
look prematurely old.
They could not match your whirling pace,
and swiftly lost their hold.
Like tropic birds you streaked, your plumage
crimson, gold, and green.
Short was your flight. In frigid night
you lie dark and unseen,
tomorrow to be swept away
without a backward glance.
But life and death met yesterday,
embracing in a dance.

I Am

I am
the piece that
no longer fits;

the single note
that won't complete
your song.

An exquisite
gem in the simplest
of settings;

it was never
your reflected light
that made me shine.

Pamme Boutselis is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. She offers personal reflections on life and family at Along the Way. A collection of her poetry can be found at Beachtowel Press.


By Yamkela Sigwili

If I could wake up in a world of poetry
Never would I have to compare and complain For it is plain clear That we share the words of writing

If I could wake up in a world of poetry
Never would I fear
For I tear the history of my past
Without a tear touching my delicate cheeks

If I could wake up in a world of poetry
Mystery wouldn't be history
For we would be dancing to different
Rhythms of misery

If I could wake up in a world of poetry
The words would define peace
From those broken pieces
Of our vases
That holds together lilies

Yamkela Sigwili is a young poet, who is passionate about life. A writer, always willing to learn. Loves to read (believes that it gives knowledge). Does drama at school. Words are my universe, for I define. www.yamkyfunkychaz.blogspot.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple Genius Manual: What Authors Can Learn

By Scott Lorenz

Apple is a category killer in computers, mobile phones, tablets and is playing an increasingly important role in publishing and selling ebooks on iTunes for the iPhone and iPad. We can all learn a lot from Apple so when their ‘Genius Manual’ was revealed recently, I found ways the info contained was applicable to authors.

The Genius Bar is the name of Apple's in-store tech support station, which is located in Apple retail stores. The Genius Bar is the one-stop-shop for Apple users who have questions about or are having trouble with their Apple hardware or software. Can’t get your iPad to connect to WiFI? Apple’s one-on-one tech support session with a trained Apple Genius can help you fix the problem on the spot or simply better understand a product. Tech support from The Genius Bar is free of charge, but repairs and more in-depth support usually has a fee, unless your Apple product is still under warranty.

Until now, it has been a well-kept secret how Apple employees are trained and what is expected of them. Gizmodo published a portion of Apple’s "Genius Training Student Workbook,” which sheds light on how to walk, talk, and behave like the perfect Apple Genius.

Authors can take notes from Apple’s Genius Training Manual and put them into practice when promoting their work.

According to the Gizmodo article “How To Be a Genius: This Is Apple’s Secret Employee Training Manual” by Sam Biddle, “Selling is a science, summed up with five cute letters: (A)pproach, (P)robe, (P)resent, (L)isten, (E)nd.” Simply put, you should allow fans and readers alike to open up to you about their literary wants and needs, offer them choices, open lines of communication, and seal the deal with the book of your choice. Keep abreast of what people are posting on your website, social media outlets, and forums that are in keeping with your writing style or genre. You’ll be more in tune with what people want to read and you can start a dialogue with them. Reply to their comment or mention them on Twitter. This open dialogue will draw more people to your website and earn you more publicity. Once you suggest your latest book for them to read, you will have opened the door for a new fan and a new string of publicity for yourself.

Apple Geniuses “strive to inspire” so you should be doing the same. Inspire people with your work! Especially if you are an author of the self-help or lifestyle genres, you should be inspiring people with the words you write and publish. Publicize how your book has inspired people. Put quotes or stories from readers on your website, blog, and Facebook page. This will help people see that your work stands out and makes an impact on people and their lives.

As an author, you’re no stranger to critique or criticism. So there is bound to be, or more likely has already been, a time when a disgruntled reader expresses their feelings on your work. Not everyone is going to love your work, but you knew that going into writing. So, when someone sends you a negative Tweet, comment, or letter in the mail, have empathy. Do not apologize for anything you’ve written. Instead, express regret that the person is experiencing a particular emotion. Something along the lines of, “I’m sorry you did not enjoy My Book as much as you were hoping to” or “I’m sorry you felt frustrated with the relationship between Him and Her in My Book” should suffice. You could also encourage the dissatisfied reader to give your work a second shot and suggest another book of yours that you feel is completely different from the piece they did not enjoy. However, tread lightly and be respectful of his or her opinion.

In a Forbes article titled “The Psychological Tricks Behind Apple’s Service Secrets,” author Sebastian Bailey wrote, "Give fearless feedback. Geniuses are told to engage in ‘open dialogue every day’ with ‘positive intent.’ They’re encouraged to listen to their colleagues’ interactions and give them a friendly piece of advice if they spot something going wrong." As an author, listen to your colleagues when they give advice or constructive criticism about your writing. Also, follow Apple’s suggestion and give advice in a polite and friendly manner.

The Apple Genius Training Manual has a section titled “Emotion Portrayed through Nonverbal Gestures” which could come in handy at book signings or speaking engagements. This section of the training manual is broken down into “positive” and “negative” columns, respectively. The manual goes on to explain nonverbal gestures and their meanings. For example, a blank stare is a sign of boredom and a smile indicates openness. So, if you’re at a book signing, reading, or other speaking engagement and you notice people staring blankly or crossing their arms, change-up your speech. It’s important to keep your audience (and fans!) interested in you and your work. Keep an eye out for nonverbal gestures and keep your audience engaged. If you notice a sea of smiling faces and people nodding, you’re on the right track.

According to a CIO Magazine article titled "How Genius Is Your IT?" the Apple Genius Bar is successful because it is organized, personal, and focused. The article explains, "When you show up to a Genius Bar appointment, there is a staff member waiting for you. For the duration of your time there, that staff member is focused only on your problem. They may not be able to fix it, but you see firsthand that they’re working on the problem. Also, they generally attempt to educate you on common solutions so you’ll be better prepared if you have the issue again in the future.” Keep your website, blog, and social media outlets organized. Make sure to have links to your work as well as areas for reviews or comments. Engage with your readers and fans because it will give them a more personal experience. If you’re focused on your work and your readers, they will feel a closer connection to both you as an author and your work.

According to Biddle’s article, “Negativity is the mortal sin of the Genius.” So whatever it is, a bad review, a tough critic, or an argument with your editor, stay positive. As frustrated and wronged as you may feel, fight the urge to take a trip to Negative Town. Take everything in stride and keep your work at the center of it all. Remember that all the criticism and speed bumps are there to help make your book the best it can possibly be.

The Bottom Line: Apple has the world’s largest market cap for a reason; they know what they’re doing! So, take a few notes from their Apple Genius Training Manual and use them to your advantage when promoting your work and interacting with your readers, you’ll be glad you did.

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, The Huffington Post, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Friday, October 26, 2012

Make Your Dreams Come True

Are you a dreamer? If you are, that's a good thing. Do you want to realize your dreams? That requires action on your part.
What can you do? The most important thing is to remain in a consistent place of joy. From that place, abundance will manifest in your life. It cannot happen if you focus upon your discontent. You need to remain thankful for whatever is positive in your life.

That can be a challenge. If you are stuck and stay fixated on what is wrong in your life, you will not move forward. How can you do that? Realize that you are free to take a different path at any point. You need to claim your freedom.

If you keep doing the same thing and expect different results, you will keep spinning in circles. That's why it's important to try new things and break free of your past. History repeats itself.

Take a look at how you have always managed to get by. Perhaps you have been through difficult times. We all have. The point is that you survived and prevailed.

If you are in a difficult place at this point in time, see how you have managed to get through them before. Be grateful for that. Keep the faith that you will manage to do so again. Just don't be afraid to ask for help. None of us needs to do it alone.

One of the best remedies is to just talk about your troubles with a friend. Then you will be able to let them go, if only for awhile. Keep talking. The more you do so, the better you will be able to discharge whatever might be bothering you.

If you are a person who has found the pathway to freedom and joy, I don't need to tell you how to do it. The important thing is to share that joy with another so your own joy will be multiplied. Pass it on. That is the spiritual principle of the universe. The more you give, the more you will receive.

Dream those dreams and keep the faith. Just don't be surprised if your manifestation is even greater or different than you had envisioned. Life is a mystery, but there are some simple principles at work. You will attract whatever you put out at a thought level.

That is why it is so important to remain aware. Thoughts are powerful. What you need to do is to take charge of them. Think positive. It will only result in more of the same.

I have had many challenges in my life and have often had the experience of remaining stuck. The way I have broken free has been to take a new path. What I can now see is that it was my faith in myself that attracted my dreams.

Such has been the case with my series of novels. Once I began to write them, I realized I had many more ideas. I had faith they would keep on coming. That's how I managed to write nearly a dozen books in my Sister Mary Olga Fortitude series. The first two books are published. The next one is ready to go.

I encourage each of you to realize that the door is open if you but knock. Your desires will manifest if you but believe. Just remember to keep reaching for more moments of joy. That's the answer that will bring you your dreams. Dreams do come true.

Written by Davis Aujourd'hui http://bestsatireseriesofthedecade.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Calling for Submissions for November 2012 WITS Newsletter!

It's time for us to start putting together the next fantastic and information-filled e-zine for November 2012. That means I need you to send me your articles, poems, contest announcements, and brags to be included in the next issue.

Read our guidelines for submitting. Remember, the better your piece is written, the better attention and credibility it receives.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book with a View October 2012

Title: The Door is Open
Author: Andrew Cort
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 19, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1477461242
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry

Happiness is to Be Found in the Perfection of the Soul

Before we are willing to really change and make the decision to begin our spiritual path in earnest, we have to reach the end of our own rope, which usually means suffering from the consequences of our futile pursuits of material (external) pleasures. This misery comes as a result of seeking happiness outside of union with the divine spirit within us.

As Andrew Cort writes, “We have to reach a point psychologically where we realize there is nowhere left to go.”

And this event is what causes one to begin to personally awaken. For if one does not know he is asleep (spiritually unconscious), he will make no effort to awaken. I know of very few people who have come to an awakened perspective of life without having gone through a dark night of the soul.

Spiritual attainment begins with thinking in a different way and allowing the light of consciousness to enter the dark, negative qualities of our mind and emotions. This is what it means to “know thyself.” Unless our mind and attitude change nothing else in the world will change.

With a great discussion on the sacred feminine aspect of the divine, Cort shows how the human soul has been shattered and must be put back together again by getting the three parts of the soul (mind, emotions, body) back into proper order (chain of command) and alignment. Using the analogy of the captain of a ship being drugged by his crew who want to take over the helm, he describes how our minds have been taken over by our emotions. Purifying the emotions and learning to manage mental energy and physical desires is part of the process of arousing the captain or mind.

I like the way the author uses mythology and the story of Demeter and Persephone to compare our descent into the underworld (third dimension). And, at the end of each chapter, the author offers actions and exercises that encourage the reader to look within by asking questions such as “Are you angry with God? If so, tell him/her. Don’t be afraid s/he’ll be angry or offended. S/He can take it.”

Not many religions will encourage you to do that!

The book is an enjoyable and great read with beautiful allegories that help one understand the need to awaken.

Title: The P.I.G. Mantras: How a working girl deals with five bosses in the corporate world of Silicon Valley
Author: Romina Wilcox
Publisher: Outskirts Press (August 22, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1432792903
ISBN-13: 978-1432792909
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

I’m always thrilled—and a bit surprised--when an author I love can successfully step outside their genre comfort zone. After all, it is such a daunting challenge that most novelists don’t even attempt it (or, if they do, they don’t show it to anyone!). In the case of Romina Wilcox, however, it came as no surprise. With her new novel, The P.I.G. Mantras, Wilcox makes the seamless transition from murder and mayhem to the equally cutthroat world of the modern-day job seeker.

Maite Etcheneasses Burns is determined to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, and she has the smarts to do it. The problem is, she doesn’t have any of the “official credentials” employers are looking for. The P.I.G. Mantras chronicles her attempts to get ahead despite crippling self-doubt and a series of “suits” who seem determined to keep her in her place. Along the way, she is guided by the wisdom of everyone from Oprah to Nancy Regan, Eleanor Roosevelt to Pope John Paul.

Maite is quite a departure from the cool, self-possessed genius of Joanne Gravtiz (the star of Wilcox’s cybercrime novels); however she is just as powerful a heroine. If Gravitz’s story is about a successful female executive navigating a man’s world, Maite’s is the story of how one gets there: with guts, ingenuity, and a refusal to accept the status quo. Wilcox does stick home in one respect: geography. All of her novels take place in the trenches of Silicon Valley, of which Wilcox is a longtime veteran.
Although The P.I.G. Mantras could be classified as a “woman’s novel”, it speaks to anyone—man or woman—trying to reinvent themselves in this difficult job market. Who among us has not been tortured by a nasty, narcissistic, or neurotic boss (or all of the above)? With the tight prose that has become her trademark, Wilcox delivers a powerful message of inspiration, faith, and perseverance.  The best part is that we get to laugh as we learn the lessons.

Title: C’est la Vie: A Collection of Poems and Song Lyrics
Author: Mr. King Cage
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1470105187
ISBN-13: 978-1470105181
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

Poetry gives us a unique insight into the soul of its creator, and I found this to be especially true of King Cage’s collection of poems and song lyrics, C’est la Vie. The book chronicles Cage’s eclectic experiences across the globe, and as I read it I felt like I was travelling right along with him. With the turn of every page I was able to jump into an entirely new world; each with its own sights, smells, emotions, and energy.

One minute I was in Amsterdam, with “Another cup of coffee, another cigarette. One more day gone by and I ain’t seen daylight yet.” The next minute, I felt the loneliness and despair when, “I retreat to my room. It imparts the security of a mother’s womb. I sit here in my tomb.”

Cage has lived about five lives in one--including that of a world-traveling engineer and a passionate conservationist—and they all show up in his work. But more than anything, he is a seeker of life’s answers. “Or shall I numbers crunch; the time clock punch. Work the assembly line, or perhaps listen to John Prine.” By sharing pieces of his own life, King Cage has made it possible to us to escape our own. And that, in my opinion, makes it a must-read.

Friday, October 19, 2012

If You Remember… It’s Time to Write Your Memoirs

By Kathleen Shaputis

You play hard and/or work non-stop—some chase grandchildren, others the stock market. Who has time to write anything down? You do. Think writing memoirs is only for the old? Think again.

If you remember when Julia Child was the only chef on television, it’s time to write your memoirs. If you remember when movie theaters came with a cartoon or newsreel and double features were common, it’s time to write your memoirs. If you remember rotary telephones… well, you know the phrase.

Today we have email, texting and cell phones to keep in touch. These are the fast foods of communication. Using fast food does save time and energy. Even microwavable frozen foods let you make a meal in minutes. If email and cell phones are fast food, writing your memoir is a savory home-cooked meal. It takes longer, yet incredibly satisfying. You can read the stories again and again or share it with others. Tuck it away and bring out another time, any time.

Think of writing your memoirs like creating a celebration meal—with lots of side dishes and trimmings—the kitchen extravaganza reserved for holidays or an important occasion. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “Gee, I think I’ll have thirty people over for dinner tonight.” No, you plan, you shop, prepare dishes ahead of time and freeze them. When the meal comes together, everyone around the room compliments your hard work.

Cooking not your forte? Think about restoring an old classic car. Let’s say you find a 1953 T-bird to bring back to mint condition. It’s not going to happen overnight or even in a single weekend. The process is part of the fun. You tinker through the engine, transmission, the interior and the chrome piece by piece. Some days you’re up to your elbows in grease, other days you’re researching for just the right replacement parts. Until one day you’re gently polishing the cherished completed project in your driveway for friends and family to admire.

This is what it is like writing your memoirs, a little planning, a lot of preparation. Bring back your memories, write them down and use short-run book printing to make copies of your treasured volume. Imagine having twenty-five or thirty soft cover books designed and printed in only six to eight weeks. Hard cover books may take up to twelve weeks for binding.

The joy of sharing memories and genealogy with family and friends has kept short-run book printing companies like Gorham Printing busy. Celebrating over thirty-five years, Gorham Printing is located in western Washington with a talented staff of designers and production personnel. Go to their website www.GorhamPrinting.com and request a free copy of A Guide to Book Printing and Self Publishing.

If you remember what 33, 45 and 78 stand for, it’s time to write your memoirs.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Write your NaNoWriMo novel with Now Novel

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and what better time to finally start – and finish – that novel you’ve been wanting to write? Now Novel (www.nownovel.com) is an online novel writing course that leads aspiring authors through a step-by-step process to finishing their novels.

Through a series of in-depth question and answer sections, Now Novel helps you find your central idea, develop your plot and setting, create in-depth character studies, and put it all together with a custom-made skeleton that tells you what has to happen, and when. They also have a weekly emailer, a blog, Facebook page and forum, all tailored towards keeping you motivated and getting you to finish your novel.

Bridget McNulty is one of the co-founders of Now Novel, and a published author herself. Her first novel, Strange Nervous Laughter, was published in South Africa and the USA, and she was quickly inundated with queries about how to write a novel. “People kept emailing me and asking how to start their novels,” she says, “But it’s not really a quick answer. Now Novel is the result of all the knowledge I gained from studying creative writing in South Africa and the US.”

Now Novel is running a special on their course for NaNoWriMo. For this month only, you can get the course for only $9.99 – find out more here: http://www.nownovel.com/home/nanowrimo

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Editor's Corner October 2012

Fall has always been a magical time of year for me, a time of new beginnings and unlimited potential for growth. Maybe it’s the cooler temperatures, the changing light, or the first whisperings of “the holidays.” But it also brings back the days when I had no responsibilities except going to school. This was sometimes a chore, (particularly when math was involved), but when it came to books it was never anything but a joy. I could lose myself for hours at a time in the inspiring words and ideas of my favorite authors, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Alice Walker. They became inexorably linked in my mind with the colorful trees, the crisp air and the smell of burning leaves.

Every writer, at some point in their book, faces some sort of crisis: they may be stuck on a scene, a title, or maybe they just don’t know where it is “going.” If you’re finding yourself short on inspiration, take a step back from what you’re working on, breathe deeply, and consider those who have inspired you. How would he or she approach this problem? You may not get an answer right away, but you might find your mind becoming unstuck, “taking the road less travelled,” and ultimately, discovering new solutions there.

If nothing else, remember this: every writer, no matter how brilliant, has gone through these growing pains; they have all stared at a blank page, fumbled around for the perfect word, and heard harsh criticism, just or unjust, about their work. They had to get past it in order to create their masterpiece, and so will you.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Dana Micheli
Writer and editor, Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Next Big Thing Week 17

Author Blog Share. Tag, You’re It!

Today, I’m sharing some insight about my personal writing process of a book that I recently published. At the end of the post, I will tag three people, who will answer these same questions on their blogs next week. We will also feature their interviews here on this blog.

Read last week’s post from Doreen Pendgracs, who helped start this simple marketing endeavor that links our blogs and makes search engines smile upon us. It also gives our readers some valuable information about the writing process of several writers/authors.

Where did the idea for your book originate?
I was discovering that more and more people were experiencing compassion fatigue from trying to help others. Many empathic or highly-sensitive people (HSP) take on the burdens of those they care for as well as the afflictions of total strangers they meet in public. For that reason, many sensitive people tend to become hermits, isolating from others and limiting their exposure to detrimental energy in the environment.

I felt I needed to share my story about how I operated as an untrained empath (until it took its toll on me) to give people an idea of how and why many HSPs could be misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and other psychological illnesses. There is such a lack of understanding about how empathic people process energy. Whose Stuff Is This? ~ Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You has more than two dozen methods to help empaths set boundaries and clear/protect their electromagnetic field from the onslaught of energy in the collective consciousness of humanity. The book is meeting a huge need as it connects with a market that is hungry for this information. The information it contains has also provided practitioners with new tools to help their clients manage the thoughts, feelings, and energy they pick up from others. See http://whosestuffisthis.com for more information about being overly sensitive and how to manage compassion fatigue.

What genre does your book fall under?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Since this is a non-fiction book and I’m the only character (and quite a strange one at that!), I can’t see this book becoming a movie. Then, again…maybe the drama that permeated my life prior to learning how to manage emotional energy might make a good horror movie!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A guidebook to help highly-sensitive people learn how to avoid picking up the thoughts, feelings, and energy of those around them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It was published in 2011 by CreateSpace, a publishing company owned by Amazon.com.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months. Then, several more months of editing, proofreading, formatting, and garnering endorsements and reviews to prepare for public release.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Amazon shows that people who buy my book also consider these titles by Rose Rosetree: Become the Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment; Empowered by Empathy: 25 Ways to Fly in Spirit; Cut Cords of Attachment: Heal Yourself and Others with Energy Spirituality; and Spiritual Clearings: Sacred Practices to Release Negative Energy and Harmonize Your Life by Diana Burney. However, my latest book, Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience, takes the HSP a step farther in understanding how their intuitive gift of empathy can be used to help humanity shift as the Earth is raising her vibration. Information about that book may be found at http://shiftingintopurerconsciousness.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Dr. Caron Goode and I had been doing some joint venture projects together and both of us were seeing the need for highly-sensitive people to have a better understanding of how the energy of others adversely affects us. She and I collaborated on the book; she wrote the forward and the chapter on the psychology of empathy. It was her urging and encouraging me to write the book that helped me stay on track with the project.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Here are the authors I’ve tagged for the She Writes “Next Big Thing” project for the upcoming weeks. I invite you to check out their websites and come back here to read their interviews in the upcoming weeks. 

Barbara Techel, the owner (mom) of the late Frankie the Walk ‘n’ Roll Dog now has a new love to write about. Learn about her work with disabled dachshunds and meet Joie at http://joyfulpaws.com/

Lisa Barretta is the author of The Book of Transformation and the executive producer of Surviving Death: A Paranormal Debate. 

Julie McIntyre is the author of Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart, published by Destiny books, a division of Inner Traditions - Bear & Company.

WITS Announcements

As a subscriber to Writers in the Sky Newsletter, you are entitled to share your announcements with our readers. See guidelines at http://writersinthesky.blogspot.com/p/submit-your-material.html and send your material to us before the 24th of each month to make the next month’s issue. Anything posted in WITS Newsletter is also shared with our blog readers at http://writersinthesky.blogspot.com.

WITS client Tiago Bernal has released Messages from the Future Part I, the first instalment of his three-part interactive game book. The human race is facing extinction in the very near future, unless a few brave individuals are willing to stop it. Are you one of these people? We dare you to find out. If you decide to accept this challenge, you will find yourself in the midst of an adventure that will take all of your wits and courage to survive. To check out the trailer and buy Messages from the Future, visit: http://www.amazon.com/Messages-Future-Part-1/dp/B008R9QYW4
Read the first chapter for free and then decide if you want to download the 3-hour-long mp3 audio book of More Than Meets the Eye ~ True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife for only $7.00 http://deathdyingafterlife.blogspot.com/p/chapter-1.html
Need a Video Trailer for Your Book?

Recently I had the privilege of working with Daniel Harker (Dharkerwv Multimedia Productions) in the creation of a video trailer for my latest book. Not only did Daniel do an excellent job as you will see in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTYiT3HtP_w, he was great to work with—very conscientious about the message as well as the audio-video component. He was also prompt in responding to my emails.

If you are interested in querying Dharkerwv Multimedia Productions, please contact Daniel at dharkerwv@msn.com. Place "Query for Book Trailer" in the subject line.
Each story in The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children focuses on life skills such as environmental awareness, helping others, being true to one’s self, overcoming fear, and following inner guidance. http://TheSidSeries.com
We Are One in Spirit Podcast allows people of all walks of life to discuss their spiritual journey and life-transforming experiences that remind us that we are all ONE IN SPIRIT. Uplifting, enlightening, and insightful topics include healing, empathy, intuition, spiritual/psychic gifts, metaphysics, soul development, afterlife, spirit communication, and more. This interactive teleconference offers listeners a chance to chat directly with Yvonne Perry and her guest experts about spiritual matters of soul development. This interactive podcast has with a question and answer session at the end of each guest presentation. To participate on the phone call/Webinar or listen to the free replays, please subscribe to our blog so we can send you a reminder with the call-in info.
Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You is a guidebook for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at http://whosestuffisthis.blogspot.com/p/purchase-book.html.
State of Appreciation is a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization. Offers empowering articles, gifts, and free contemporary and classic empowerment downloads free at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com
While taking a metaphysical class, WITS team member Dana Micheli met an amazing illustrator. If you are looking for someone to create an original piece for your book cover, you may want to connect with Diane Daversa on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Diane-Daversa-Fine-Art/109782219119036
Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience is about how to embrace multidimensional frequencies, lessen physical and emotional symptoms of rapid spiritual ascension, and offers tips to make the ascension process easier and quicker.

If you missed Shifting into Purer Consciousness Ascension Training Telesummit and would like to listen to the replays, the collection of audios is now available for purchase at http://live-spirit.com/shifting-into-purer-consciousness-with-yvonne-perry/.
Write your NaNoWriMo novel with Now Novel

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and what better time to finally start – and finish – that novel you’ve been wanting to write? Now Novel (www.nownovel.com) is an online novel writing course that leads aspiring authors through a step-by-step process to finishing their novels.

Through a series of in-depth question and answer sections, Now Novel helps you find your central idea, develop your plot and setting, create in-depth character studies, and put it all together with a custom-made skeleton that tells you what has to happen, and when. They also have a weekly emailer, a blog, Facebook page and forum, all tailored towards keeping you motivated and getting you to finish your novel.

Bridget McNulty is one of the co-founders of Now Novel, and a published author herself. Her first novel, Strange Nervous Laughter, was published in South Africa and the USA, and she was quickly inundated with queries about how to write a novel. “People kept emailing me and asking how to start their novels,” she says, “But it’s not really a quick answer. Now Novel is the result of all the knowledge I gained from studying creative writing in South Africa and the US.”

Now Novel is running a special on their course for NaNoWriMo. For this month only, you can get the course for only $9.99 – find out more here: http://www.nownovel.com/home/nanowrimo

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Podcast Schedules October 2012

WAO Podcast

We Are One in Spirit Podcast allows for people of all walks of life to discuss their spiritual journey and life—transforming experiences that remind us that we are all ONE IN SPIRIT. Uplifting, enlightening, and insightful topics include healing, empathy, intuition, spiritual/psychic gifts, metaphysics, soul development, afterlife, spirit communication, and more. The metaphysical shows are archived at feed://nashvillewriter.audioacrobat.com. You will also find us on iTunes.

On October 18, Kenji Kumara will join Yvonne Perry to discuss the benefits of meditation. Kenji is the visionary and messenger of a unique body of work that is easily taught and received in a climate of loving support, trust, and openness. Kenji has devoted his 40+ years of research and study to help you move to the next level of acceleration and evolution. http://quantumlightweaving.com/

WITS Podcast

Writers in the Sky Podcast is a Nashville-based talk show about writing, publishing, and book marketing. An educational tool for people who want to learn more about the craft and business of writing, this show offers interviews with authors and writers, as well as the latest news about books currently on the market. You will also learn about publishing methods and marketing techniques as we interview publishers and publicists. Listen to archived shows via RSS Feed. Download WITS Podcast on iTunes for your iPod or iPad.

On October 26 join Sola Olu as she discusses her first book, The Summer of Angel: A Story of Hope on the Journey through Prematurity. This heart-wrenching memoir chronicles Sola's battle with preeclampsia and the struggle to save her children after they were born prematurely.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Biggest Secret of Book Marketing Success

by Joel Friedlander

I love the enthusiasm of authors who are new to book publishing. After months or years of work on their book, many are rightfully proud of what they have created.

It’s no easy thing to finish writing a solid, salable book. Pretty easy to start, not so easy to finish, and you should be proud of that accomplishment.

The problem comes in when, after publishing the book, authors start to wonder why they have sold so few copies. Don’t other people realize how great the book is?

Well, the fact is that most authors don’t intuitively understand why books sell. This leads them to start thinking about:

• Buying advertising
• Hiring publicists
• Printing bookmarks

Or other things that usually mean you’ll end up with a lot less money in your pocket than when you started, and no guarantee of any book sales, either.

There’s nothing wrong with ads, publicists or bookmarks when they are part of a plan you have for marketing your books. But all too often we feel like we just have to do something.

There’s a Secret

Here’s the secret that savvy book marketers understand, and that most authors don’t:

No one knows in advance which books will sell and which won’t sell.

Of course I’m not talking about books by niche-market publishers who research and test their products before publication. But by and large, most trade publishing happens with absolutely no guarantee of what the sales of any particular book will be.

This is just as true for big traditional publishers with huge marketing departments as it is for huge Hollywood movie studios and big conglomerate television channels, so don’t feel too bad about it.
All the advertising, promotion and marketing in the world cannot guarantee that real actual people will buy your book.

For example, a long time ago Donald Trump, the real estate investor and television reality show host, published his first book, The Art of the Deal. It was a huge hit.

Of course Trump wanted to follow that up with another blockbuster. A book was created and rolled out in anticipation of huge sales. Books were stacked in huge pyramids of expectation in bookstore display windows.

Problem was, nobody bought the book. The return rate must have been shocking, because they all went right back to the publisher.

No Guarantees

Why is is that no one can guarantee a book will sell? I bet you can find the answer in your own book-buying habits.

It’s because most people buy books based on the recommendation of someone they know and trust. And you can’t buy those recommendations, can you?

This is the holy grail of book marketing, the “word of mouth” influence that travels directly from one individual to another.

By extension, it can also work for trusted book reviewers or others in the media who have earned readers’ trust, but it rarely extends past that.

For instance, I just read Lynne Truss’ Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a fantastic and very funny book about punctuation that I had known about for years but never read. It hasn’t been on television, I haven’t seen a book trailer about it, nor have I seen an ad for it anywhere.

But a friend mentioned it recently and told me I “just had to read it.” Doesn’t that happen to you all the time? And don’t you recommend books exactly the same way to people you know? I know I do.

What Next?

This leads to a big question for authors, and that is how do you get that word of mouth marketing working for you?

Of course, if I had scientifically worked out how to do that, I’d be selling it to some big publisher for a gazillion dollars, wouldn’t I?

But there are things we, as self-published authors, can do to get word of mouth started. You might boil it down to this:

Write the best book you possibly can, and get an editor to make it better.

Make sure the book speaks to the audience you wrote it for, and let readers judge whether you’ve hit your target.

Get your book in front of enough people who don’t know you to get the ball rolling.

Figuring out how to do this is why people hire professional book marketers, and that’s a smart move.

It also pays to really understand how to match up what you have to say with what readers really want to buy. Whether you call it “marketing” or “thinking deeply about the people who read my books” doesn’t much matter.

What does matter is getting the best book you can create in front of the largest number of people who are likely to love it. As an author and a publisher, you can’t do any less.

Because then at least you’ve put it where word of mouth can take over.

Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at TheBookDesigner.com. He's also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read.

The Next Big Thing week 16: Interview with an Author

by Doreen Pendgracs

This is a special, unscheduled post about The Next Big Thing, an author’s Work In Progress project from SheWrites. When I read A.K Andrews’s blog last week, I immediately thought what fantastic questions for any author to ask themselves. So I was thrilled when A.K. invited me to participate. A big “Thank You” to A.K. Please take a moment to check out the insights about her upcoming book, “Under the Bed.”

Here are the insights into my own upcoming book:

What is the working title of your book?

“Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate”
back-cover-chocolatour I’m planning on using this image on the back cover of the book as it epitomizes chocolate travel.
Where did the idea for the book originate?

I’ve always been an avid traveller and a lover of fine food and wine. But there have been many books written about culinary travel and wine travel, and none on chocolate travel. I love writing profiles, and so being able to profile the chocolatiers and chocolate makers I visit helps the chocolate-loving reader connect with the chocolatier/chocolate maker best suited to their own likes and personalities. And helps them plan their upcoming travel to places that specialize in chocolate events and services.

What genre does your book fall under?

Memoirs. Chocolatour is a travel narrative that is filled with lots of opinion. I’m sharing my thoughts on various chocolate places and products. It’s not my intent to influence the reader into liking or not liking something. But rather, to let them know what’s out there, what to watch for, what are some good pairing options and recipes, etc.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The question is not really appropriate for my book as it’s definitely an ongoing journey of chocolate discovery. I’d be open to hosting a television series stemming from the travel in the book and will be leading chocolate tours around the world. I’m happy to have a leading role in those! If, by the time I’ve finished the research for the third edition and am too old or too fat to continue, it will be fun holding auditions to see which actress could consume the most chocolate and still smile and hold her own without getting too high from the caffeine in the chocolate.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate” takes the chocolate-loving reader around the globe on chocolate filled journeys that are satisfying, informative, and enticing whether you choose to participate as an arm-chair traveller, or you decide to take on some chocolate travel of your own.
cacao-harvest-in-Peru Doreen (left) with friend, fellow writer and chocolate researcher, Virginia Heffernan on a cacao harvest in Peru
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I may be interested in partnering with an agent or publisher who can help bring Chocolatour to a global audience. But I have decided to self-publish the first edition as it is important to me to have full artistic control by choosing the right cover and which photographs will be included in the book, and determining the ultimate tone and flavour of the book.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This is a work-in-progress, so I can’t really say for sure how long it will take to complete the chapters I intend to include in the first edition.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There have been many books written about chocolate, but none about chocolate travel. There have been many books and memoirs written with travel in mind. Everyone knows about Eat, Pray, Love. It really resonated with women at a certain stage in their lives, and I think, motivated many of us to travel more and seek richer experiences from it. The purpose of Chocolatour is to get chocolate lovers to realize that there is a whole world of chocolate out there waiting to be experienced and visited. It’s a fun book intended to make the chocolate lover feel good and experiment a bit more in her/his chocolate discoveries.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The chocolatiers and chocolate makers I have met have been my inspiration. The world of chocolate is filled with passionate people who want to share their passion through their chocolate creations. What an amazing journey this has been and continues to be!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The world of chocolate discovery is a never-ending one as there are always new chocolate creations, new chocolatiers, new trends, new chocolate festivals and services. I have spent the past three years completely immersed in the world of chocolate and I have barely scratched the surface! I don’t plan to quit until I have made my way around the world of chocolate and sourced out the best and most unique offerings there are on the planet. That is why the book will be published in three editions and will be continually updated. I guarantee that if it’s worth knowing about, it will be mentioned (either briefly or in detail) in Chocolatour.

Here are the authors I’ve tagged for the She Writes “Next Big Thing” project. Check out their websites and you’ll be able see their interviews posted there next week. The interesting thing is that I met each of these ladies online over the past couple of years and each has carved out her author’s career in a unique and inspiring way.

Liz Palmer is writing a book about the best champagne houses of the world. Find her at: http://liz-palmer.com/

Yvonne Perry is a spiritual writer who has self-published several books. Find her here: http://whosestuffisthis.com

Irene Levine is a travel writer and specialist in the world of friendship. Find her at http://www.moretimetotravel.com/

I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know these talented ladies, and that you’ll enjoy reading their profiles next week on their own sites. Then please join us back here the week of Oct 15th for our next new post.

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". You can follow my travels on "Travel Diversions with Doreen".

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

She Writes the Next Big Thing

I have an opportunity for authors who have recently published books or have one in progress to be featured on a high-traffic blog owned by a writer/author friend of mine, Doreen Pendegracs.

For the past 16 weeks she has interviewed 16 different authors and next week is my turn to share. Part of the assignment is to tag three authors in my post who will share their stories with Doreen's readers in the upcoming weeks.

See this week's featured author at http://doreenpendgracs.com/the-next-big-thing-week-16-interview-with-an-author and let me know if you would like to be tagged in my post next week. Hurry! I need to hear from you as soon as possible so I can incorporate the link to your work into my post on She Writes.

Contact Yvonne now.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Calling All Memphis-Area Bookworms!

We are pleased to announce that author and WITS client Dr. Steve Brannon will be participating in the Bookstock Authors' Fair this Saturday, October 6. The one day event will take place at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, located  at 3030 Poplar Avenue in Memphis. Steve will be there to discuss  his book, The Two Agreements.

This all day free family event will also include:
n Over 40 Memphis area authors, who will showcase their books.

n  Keynote speaker, Kristen Iversen will speak on “A Passion for Story: From Book Idea to Finished Manuscript.”

n Live Music, Cooking Demos, Author Talks, Food Truck, Author Book Signings and an Author Scavenger Hunt for prizes! People can also learn how to make sushi.

n Want to know Who is Who in Memphis and about stories set in Memphis? Come and meet our fiction and non-fiction authors in the program: “It’s all about Memphis --Truth or Tales about Memphis.”

n  Practical tips on how to enhance your outer beauty and how to embrace and strengthen your inner beauty.

n Need a motivational boost? Be inspired, be invigorated, and how to be personally and professionally fulfilled.

n  Activities for Children and Teens include: Mural Creation; Magician; Book Making

n It’s all free. Call 415-2700 or visit memphislibrary.org for more information.