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Because the end is sometimes the beginning: Wide Awake Asleep

Is she awake or is she dreaming? Reality or nightmare? Julie Compton can’t believe she’s escaped a terrible car crash… it’s impossible, in fact. A tree branch had impaled her to her seat, yet here she was, unharmed and looking … Continue reading

Enjoy books like Dallas or Dynasty? Then check out @KFJohnsonbooks #AfricanAmerican

They say good girls finish last…but when they’re bad, they’re better! K. F Johnson presents   Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in this present-day drama, neither was the façade four cousins spent a lifespan constructing: Valerie’s just recovered from … Continue reading

The Relationship Between the Internet, Technology and Books


Sara Dawkins 

The addition of the internet and technology into the world of books has been a strange one. On the one hand you are able to bring multiple books with you wherever you go with minimal bulk thanks to e-readers and tablets. You can access any book anywhere with a few clicks of a button due to the prevalence of the internet. And buying books has become as easy as just clicking “purchase” and waiting a mere 10 seconds for it to download. However as beneficial as this relationship may seem there are some worrisome downsides to this burgeoning relationship.

  1. E-Books are everywhere. You can go to just about any website these days and they likely will have a link where you can download their e-book, whether it’s a free download or being sold for a nominal price. This doesn’t mean that the book is good by any means, but that hasn’t stopped people from downloading them at alarming rates. Most e-readers also have a section of cheap or free e-books that you can download that are being sold for next to nothing just so the author can get a little name recognition, not because the book is actually good. The novelty and value of a book being something worthwhile is wearing thin with e-books being so readily available.
  2. Anyone can be an author. Everyone is an author these days. Bloggers who have never had any formal training in writing or editing are approached for book deals on a regular basis because of large followings, politicians have books out, and any actor or actress who qualifies as a celebrity can write a book, all without any type of background in writing. This poses a problem for those people who are actually trained in writing because it doesn’t take much to be considered worthy of being a published author anymore, and actually picking an author from the talent pool is becoming overrated, with the focus instead being on who can sell books based on name recognition.
  3. Writing is a by-product of publishing. The internet has produced a mindset of “publish now, publish first!” in regard to any and all avenues of writing. Because of this new mindset the focus has shifted from who wrote something of quality on a particular subject to who wrote about the topic fastest and got it published first. This has caused writing to become a by-product of publishing, instead of being the focal point of getting something published. As a result, a shocking number of poorly edited material is being published, with spelling errors, grammatical inconsistencies and storylines that don’t flow becoming acceptable and even normal. 
  4. Editing is a lost art. When it comes to self-publishing, a lot of aspects of traditional publishing are lost. The author is largely responsible for the editing and proof-reading of the material and, in an effort to produce content quickly, a lot of editing and proof-reading is skipped.However, since it’s unlikely that any professional editor will look over the book before it’s published, poor editing doesn’t seem to matter, which means that low-quality books are becoming a regular, expected occurrence. 

Now that the relationship between the internet, technology, and books has been formed it’s unlikely that we’ll ever revert back to the days of high quality print publishing and hard copy books, newspapers, and magazines. But hopefully, over time, the novelty of being able to allow anyone to be an author will wear off, and we’ll start to put some stock in the type of material that we’re reading, focusing on high quality instead of ready availability. 

Sara Dawkins is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.

Ever think that mainstream publishing isn’t for you?

Hi! I’m Kathy Cecala, author of The Raven Girl. I’m a newly
self-published author, but not a new author: Years ago, I had an adult novel
published by a huge publisher, and the experience was not as wonderful as I
hoped it would be. I’m not ungrateful for the experience, but unfortunately,
because that book did not sell very well, I was not able to get any other books
accepted for publication afterwards. (Of course, my big-time publisher did
little to publicize it, but that’s an old story, isn’t it?)  Every time I queried an agent, or editor,
about a new book, the question would always come up: What were the sales
numbers on that first book? Why didn’t it sell? It was all very discouraging,
and I feared my career as a novelist was over just shortly after it had begun.
When I started The Raven Girl–originally as part of a much, much larger
book, spanning a number of centuries in Irish history–I found myself dreading
the marketing process. But I continued writing it with some feeble hope that it
might one day get into print, despite the odds against me. My first marketing
attempts were as dismal as I feared: Agents I contacted praised the writing,
but, oh, there was that first book failure…Others thought the subject matter
was too arcane, even for young history students. “Historical novels about the
Tudor Era and US civil war do well,” one told me. “Anything else, forget it!”
Discouraged, I stuck the manuscript away, and forgot about it for awhile…though
every so often, I’d hear an Irish tune or see a picture of Ireland’s rocky west
coast, and I’d feel a wave of sorrow and regret, for the novel I’d written that
would never be published.
Then, earlier this year, I read a newspaper article about Kindle Books
and e-publishing, and it was my moment of epiphany. My Irish novel was meant to
be self-published! I pulled it out (never destroy anything!), decided to cut it
down into a series of books, starting with my tale of the 15th
century and the Galway scholar Aedan. Two months later, The Raven Girl made its
debut on Amazon.com. I also had a print version published with the help of
CreateSpace, and was quite pleased with the results.
Yes, sales have been slow–I did not sell a single book in the month of
June!–but they are beginning to pick up. And I’ve since gotten some great
reviews, which reinforce my gut feeling that the book was worth publishing.
I’m hoping to see the stigma once attached to self-publishing continue
to fade, and would urge mainstream publications, such as the NYTimes Book
Review, to consider reviewing and publicizing more self-published books. I am
convinced this is the future of literature, and I think all those
readers out there voraciously devouring 
Kindle and Nook books are showing us the way.

Kathy Cecala 

Kathy Cecala is a former editor, researcher and
English tutor, currently a full-time freelance writer living in Northern New
Jersey with her husband, graphic artist Frank Cecala. She has a grown daughter,
an aspiring dancer and choreographer in New York City.

The Raven Girl is a
historical novel for young adults, set in 15th century western
Ireland during the Age of Exploration. A mysterious golden-skinned girl with
raven-dark hair washes ashore on a remote Connemarra island, and the primitive
islanders fear she is a supernatural being, a witch or mermaid. A young scholar
journeys to the isle from Galway city to investigate and falls under her spell.
This book is part of a series of novels spanning 1000 years in Irish history

Ireland, 1488: An unusual young woman washes ashore on a remote Connemarra isle. Astonished by her golden skin and raven-dark hair, the primitive islanders set out to capture her. Resourceful and intelligent, the girl–called Marra, or mharra, by the islanders–manages to elude her pursuers, while struggling to understand the strange land she has been thrown into. Meanwhile, Aedan, a young scholar from Galway city, journeys to the isle with his mentor to investigate, but is unprepared for what happens when he finally encounters her, Her very existence challenges his education and notions about the world and its peoples; and the powerful love he comes to feel for her will change his life forever. Who is she, and where is she from? Mara’s tale of her own strange journey from the other end of the world merges with Aedan’s efforts to win her freedom and her love. The Raven Girl is a novel inspired by actual historical events and explores the clash of cultures that will emerge with the European discovery of the New World and the Americas; and a temporary escape from the 21st century–even if human nature has not changed so much in 600 years.

How to build an Amazon author page and other information.

by Cassander Carr
author of contemporary adult fiction
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004DI7PQM&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrFellow writers, I am pleased to have author Cassander Carr to talk to us about marketing today. Cassander Carr is a member of the leading professional association for romance novelists, Romance Writers of America, and also serves as Vice President of her local chapter, newsletter editor for Passionate Ink, and as a member of ESPAN.
She will specifically be talking about providing direction for setting up your Amazon.com and Goodreads author pages, along with advice for book signings. So let’s get on with the show!
How do I set up an author page on Amazon.com? 
(Use this advice for Amazon.co.uk as well)
  1. Read the text and follow the directions.
  2. Click on the button on the bottom that says “Join Author Central”.
  3. Look at the “Terms and Disclosures” thingy on the next page and accept it.
  4. Follow the directions to find your books on Amazon to link them to your account and to fill out your profile and VOILA! – you’re done!!!!
 How do I set up an author page on Goodreads? 
  1. Sign up with Goodreads
  2. Click on the “Explore” tab and mouse down to “Authors”
  3. On the author page you’ll see a link toward the top right that says “Author Program”. Click on that. Read the directions. They will tell you to search for your own name and then click on it. That will take you to the basic author profile.
  4. Fill in the information on the author profile.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on “Is This You?” to send a message to Goodreads that you want to join the Author Program. They will contact you when you’re ready to go! Now that wasn’t that hard, was it?

And what about those pesky book signings?
Don’t be scared to do them!
Just follow some of my easy directions and hopefully the process will be a lot more fun!
  • Write your own announcement for the store’s PA system if you can. Give them a couple of versions since they’ll be repeating it.
  • Remind the store personnel to make an announcement if it’s been a while. They get busy and might forget. Every half-hour is good for making a new announcement.
  • Offer to make the announcements yourself if they’ll let you and you feel comfortable enough to do it. You will show more enthusiasm and it’ll sound more personalized.
  • Make a nice name tag for yourself so visitors know who you are.
  • Don’t just sit there behind the table waiting for people to approach. Get up and greet people as they enter the store or the area. Have something to hand out – people will usually take it.
  • If people show any interest, hand them a book/promo item and tell them to check it out.
  • Be willing to sign the promo item if the person doesn’t buy the book itself. Remember – you’re spreading good will!
  • If you’re unsure about traffic, invite friends and family to create buzz. However: It is important to not use these people as a crutch to keep you from talking to new people.
  • Leave bookmarks or other promo products for the store staff to stuff into purchase bags if they are willing.
  • Bring candy. People will stop to take some – use that opportunity to greet them and talk to them.
  • Get to know the Community Relations Coordinator. They’re the ones who will invite you back/talk you up to management.
  • Send a personalized thank you note to whoever you worked w/at the store to set up the signing.
  • Send a thank you note to the store’s manager praising whoever help set up the signing.
  • Have your book cover made into a little easel sign w/its own easel that you can bring to book signings.
  • Encourage attendees to bring their ereaders so they can download the book right there. If they go home they’re far less likely to buy it. You can also ask store staff to make sure one of their computers has someone nearby to assist customers w/buying your book if they don’t have their reader with them.

 You have the tools, now go forth and prosper!
 Or write!
Or promote!

Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. For more information about Cassandra, check out her website, “like” her Facebook fan page at or follow her on Twitter.

Radio producer Jamie MacMahon is in over her head with ex-hockey player-turned host Drew Milan. She’s attracted to the man who earned the nickname “the Beast” during his playing days from the moment they meet, but he’s her boss and she loves her new job. She’s made plenty of mistakes with men and loathes the thought of being yet another plaything for Drew, a man who sleeps with women but doesn’t date them. Drew doesn’t want to lose a great producer and knows Jamie deserves a real relationship, but can’t stay away from the sizzling chemistry they create every time they’re together. Jamie’s insecurities and the very real prospect of having to leave a great job if this thing doesn’t work out, coupled with Drew’s fears about opening his heart and the possibility of losing his first competent producer clash.

Uniform Behaviour, out now from Andrews UK!

Writer website: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cassandra_carr
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CassandraCarr
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cassandra-Carr