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woman readingLike most writers, I am a voracious reader and have been most of my life. While I do tend to gravitate toward certain genres, I usually enjoy reading anything well written. And, like most readers, I have favorite authors. (more…)

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sigh-in-relief

Whew! I’m glad that’s over. Ever have one of those weeks? My last week was jam packed with inn guests, meetings and special events. I mean jam packed!! (more…)

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beach-writer

Lots of people think authors live a glamorous life; sitting in a beach chair, toes in the sand, large floppy hat, cool beverage with little umbrella in the glass with a laptop or tablet on their lap, just tap, tap, tapping away on the keys until – BAM – 90,000 words later, a best-selling masterpiece appears. The next day someone slaps a gorgeous glossy cover on it and plasters it all over the Barnes & Noble front window.

bookstore-window

Then, after several hours of tap, tap, tapping, said author dons oversized dark glasses and some sparkly flip flop sandals, gets into their luxury sports car and dashes off to some posh restaurant for lunch with their editor, agent, and some movie producer from Hollywood to discuss the details of turning your latest masterpiece into a Hollywood blockbuster.

power-lunch

Spoiler alert – that NEVER happens. Oh sure, JK Rowling probably does that NOW, but not when she first started. Steven King is a household name and James Patterson’s name gets tossed around a lot on movie sets and such, but seriously, that didn’t happen overnight.

So, how did it happen? I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I knew what secret, besides hard work and perseverance would shoot me straight up that ladder to the beach chair in the sun because God knows I would love love to dig my toesies into some white sand right about now. Not to mention that little umbrella drink.

Here’s what I do know, those people spent many, many long days and sleepless nights fussing over the right words, the parts they deleted and maybe shouldn’t have, the opening scenes that should work but for some reason don’t, a reviewers harsh comment, hours of endless re-writing.

working-woman

In other words, they worked hard and they didn’t quit. They didn’t let disappointment ruin their vision.

And, despite how it seems to authors most days, they didn’t reach a certain level of fame alone. What? You’re saying others helped along the way? Absolutely. A lot of people probably helped and didn’t even know they helped. Strangers can help strangers. Readers can help writers. Here’s how:

helping-hand

Buy books, read books, talk about awesome books.

A great way to take it up a notch, is to leave a review. It’s easy, it’s free, it doesn’t take that long, and it goes a long way in helping authors’ careers. Here’s a few places where you can leave a review: https://www.goodreads.com/https://www.amazon.com/; or http://allreaders.com/.

Go to book signings if you can and BUY THE BOOK, even if you gift it to someone else.

Spread the word on social media. A “like,” a “share,” a comment, helps boost that author’s visibility. It seems trivial, but like election time, every vote matters. (Please don’t make this political people. God knows we don’t want to go there again.)

book-with-bowGift a book. A great way to help authors is to buy books for someone else. Especially in this day and age of electronic gadgets, almost everyone has an e-reader of some fashion. If not, you can download a free app to most smart phones. Heck, you can read books on your home computer. What better gift for a person who has everything or no longer wishes to “collect things?” Again, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Some e-books are less than a dollar. Gifting an e-book is super easy through Amazon or other on-line e-book retailers. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address. What a lovely surprise for the recipient to open their e-mail and discover a gift! And it won’t clutter up a closet or shelf.

 

comment-boxHere’s how I’m going to help some authors this week: Every person who posts a comment on this blog between now and Friday, February 24th, will be gifted an e-book of my choice. Simply leave a comment and mention your favorite genre so I can choose an appropriate book for you from one of my favorite starving authors. Some of you I can wager a pretty good guess about genre, but others not so much. If I don’t already have your e-mail address, send me an e-mail at jansen.schmidt@yahoo.com so I can make sure your e-book arrives. (Caveat: I will only be gifting from Amazon so you’ll have to have a Kindle in order to participate. Sorry to those who prefer other e-reader methods.)

You in turn can help the author of the book I gifted to you by posting a review and I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m acting on good faith here that you will leave a review. If you do not wish to write a review and post it on any or all of the sites I listed above, please let me know if the comments. (Caveat: If you absolutely hate the book I gift you, please do NOT leave a bad review. An honest review yes, but not a scathing one.) Remember, the purpose of this week’s blog is to help each other out. I’m helping readers, you’re helping writers.

trust-quote

That’s it. Easy peasy. You can pass the word to your friends if they want a free book all they have to do is leave a comment and their e-mail address. I’ll do the rest.

So, thanks in advance to all who post a comment and enjoy your books!

How do you help starving authors? Do you routinely leave reviews? Do you attend book signings? Do you have an e-reader?

Word of Day: Acroter

Fun fact about me: I have 3 e-readers but I prefer paper books.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2017. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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1sts and lasts 1

Two or three or fourteen weeks ago, I posted some opening and closing sentences from my manuscript entitled On Hallowed Ground. That book is the second in a series (the Grounded series) that has been professionally edited and is nearing its final phase of production before presentation to the world. Stay tuned for more info on that. (more…)

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My friend Suzanne Vince, awarded me with the Sunshine Award, for no apparent reason. While I am honored to receive this prestigious award, Suzanne is the one who deserves the award most. You see, Suzanne is able to find the silver lining even under the toughest circumstances. You can read about Suzanne’s brave decision regarding breast cancer and the choices a woman must make when faced with the possibility of already having or probably contracting this horrible disease here: http://suzannevince.com/2013/06/russian-roulette-or-mastectomy-my-personal-journey/

Sunshine AwardThe Sunshine Award comes with a set of written rules and is best enjoyed when sharing with others. If you choose to play along, and I encourage you to do so, the rules of the Sunshine Award are:

Include the award’s logo (and rules) in a post on your blog. Simply cut and paste the photo to the right into your own blog post.

Link to the person who nominated you.

Answer the 10 questions below with your answers instead of mine.

Pass the award on to a bunch of “Sunshine Inspiring” bloggers. The rules say 10 people, but choose however many you’d like.

Here are the questions:

Favorite Color:  Red

Favorite Animal:  I guess I’d have to ask domestic or wild. Domestic would be dog, in particular puppies. Wild would be, probably monkeys.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Favorite Number: Four.

Favorite Non Alcoholic Drink:  Unsweetened iced tea.

Favorite Alcoholic Drink: Champagne.

Facebook or Twitter:  Neither. I hate social media. It is a necessary evil.

Passions:  Reading and traveling.

Prefer Getting or Giving Gifts:  Both. Hey, I want it all.

Favorite City:  None. I hate cities.

Favorite TV Show:  There’s too many to pick just one. I like Dancing With the Stars, Blue Bloods, Justified, Hawaii 5-0, the list goes on.

And now, here are nominations for the Sunshine Award:

Because her blogs always make me smile, Tameri Etherton: http://www.tamerietherton.com

Because I love her outlook on life: Pat O’Dea : http://www.rwrambling.blogspot.com/

Because she’s always smiling and spreading sunshine whenever I see her, Suzanne Lilly: http://www.teacherwriter.net/

Because her blogs are always on point and useful: Emma Burcart : http://www.emmaburcart.com/blog/

Because she is Little Miss Sunshine, my Pollyanna friend, Cindy Sample:  http://cindysamplebooks.com/my-blog/

Because she has a wicked sense of humor, Mertianna Georgia: http://www.mertianna.com/

Because she rides a Harley and she’s really cool, Jennette Marie Powell:  http://www.jenpowell.com/content/blog/

Because she always looks up my word of the day, and that makes me smile, Colleen Patrick:  http://coleenpatrick.com/

I leave you with this little bit of sunshine courtesy of YouTube. Yes, I’ve finally figured out how to post videos to my blog. Old dog, new trick. It takes a while. (P.S. I now have a YouTube channel. Check me out if you’re so inclined. But, I’m still learning how to create videos, so don’t expect much right away. http://www.youtube.com/user/JansenSchmidt)

Word of the Day:  Appui    (yes we’re back to the A’s)

Fun fact about me: I can wink both eyes at the same time. This trick just sort of came naturally to me. (Tee hee)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt (June 2013) – Video courtesy of YouTube (Polished Life). Photos courtesy of Google Images.

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