Posts Tagged ‘Homelessness’

What are you looking forward to this month? My January TV Schedule…

What are you looking forward to this month? My January TV Schedule…

Am I the only one that reads the last chapter of a good book slowly because I don’t want it to end? I also hesitate to watch the season ending episodes of my favorite shows. As fast as those shows end, the new seasons of other favorites start. My theme phrases for 2017 are to Always have Something to Look Forward to and Always Expect Something Wonderful to Happen.

For January I am looking forward to presenting my first seminar for SCORE: http://www.delcochamber.org/events/SCORE-Workshop-Components-of-Marketing-Your-Business-55877/details

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The Stranger In My Recliner…

For the month of April I am participating in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. To learn more about the challenge:

A to Z Badge 2016

My theme for this year is Keep Moving Forward.

Last year at this time it seemed SO far away but I kept writing and rewriting and editing and then hurrying up and waiting and hurrying up and waiting some more and now here it is:

High Res Stranger In My Recliner

The Back of The Book:

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Night Falls…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

A-Z 2016 badge

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is Keep Moving Forward ! Todays letter is N and is based on my newly released book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie. She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book is out now!

Night Falls

It was cold. The sharp pains in her back and hand reminded her. Trying not to move anything but her eyes she scanned. She saw him and felt relief and fear. Getting up was painful but she had to make sure he was breathing. They both had to get out of there before the school kids walked by, saw them and got scared. The mothers would call the police. She did not want to scare the kids and she definitely did not want to go to the hospital or even worse, jail.

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Its Release Day for The Stranger In My Recliner!

Its release day for The Stranger In My Recliner! I am overwhelmed and filled with gratitude for all of the kind words about Sophie’s story. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

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To Agent or Not…

WRITING WEDNESDAY

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

To Agent or Not and How the Heck do you Find One…

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The Storm Before The Calm…

Insecure Writers Support Group

IWSG badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

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Media Kits…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

Media Kits

Once you become a published author you have no idea who may be stalking visiting your website. If a member of the media visits looking for information on you and/ or your book what will they find? Professional bloggers should have media kits too.

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Elevator Pitches…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up along my journey to being published, marketing my first book, editing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then…

If you like the information I hope you will share it!

Elevator Speeches/Pitches

At a recent workshop, one of the presenters challenged us to stand up and give a 30-second elevator speech or pitch on our writing, business etc…

I volunteered and my speech was awful. It was time to come up with a new one.

People conversing

 

Imagine stepping on the elevator at a large writers or blogging conference and standing next to you is one of the most sought after literary agents in the business. It would be normal to feel tongue tied and nervous but these opportunities are few and far between so you should be prepared.

Elevator Pitch

 

An elevator speech is a 30-60 second summary of your book or your blog. The point of the speech or pitch is NOT tosell anything; the point is to get the recipient to want to know more, to start a conversation with you and to ask you for more information and a submission.

Have you ever stumbled for words when someone asks you what you do, what do you blog about, what is your book about? I have and it always leaves me feeling so unprofessional.

Coming up with 30-60 seconds that answers who, what, when, why and where is not easy. As uncomfortable as it can be you must practice it out loud until your pitch feels and sounds natural not rehearsed. You also want to have two or three versions so you can adjust for the audience and practice, practice and practice.

Keep in mind that 9 out of ten times while you are trying to sell someone they are not listening to you. They are trying to come up with a way to sell something to you, so you have about 5 seconds to make enough of an impact so they actually listen to you.

not listening

A few tips:

Don’t give spoilers

Don’t go into plots or characters

Give the title and genre

Be enthusiastic

What do you offer?

Present a call to action towards the end

End with a question that requires more than a yes or no to answer

Avoid buzzwords ex: out of the box, streamline, awesome etc…

Try to come up with a word or a phrase that will help the recipient remember your name and the title of your book or blog.

Practice, practice and practice

And finally, smile and be prepared to answer follow-up questions after you give your speech.

Do you have an elevator speech and if so do you have any tips?

If you give me your best pitch in 140 characters and your twitter user name I will tweet them out throughout the month.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

My elevator speech for The Stranger In My Recliner [Fall 2015]

My husband brought  home an 80-year-old homeless woman one night. She stayed with us for 2 1/2 years. What happened was so ridiculous, heartbreaking, frustrating and hysterical I had to tell the story.

Sophie Book Cover

 

 

 

Self Publishing?

WRITING WEDNESDAY- Rerun

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

SELF PUBLISHING

I am not an expert in Self-Publishing but I know a lot of self-published authors and I am planning to self-publish myself, in the future so I have been taking notes.

There are a lot of advantages to Self-Publishing:

  • The Author has total control
  • The time frame. Your book can be published in a few months vs. 18 months-2 years
  • Royalties of 20-80% vs. 5-15%

The disadvantages of Self-Publishing are evaporating quickly. The success stories are mounting. Like any business venture (yes writing is a passion but publishing is a business) it will take research, investment, hard work and most importantly a great product to have any chance at success. No matter which publishing choice you make it will be difficult at times and will take time and patience but it will be so worth it. I cannot even describe how amazing it feels to hold your first book in your hands.

Bristol boyz stomp Louie

Once your manuscript has been critiqued and professionally edited by a literary editor and you are planning to self-publish on your own, you will need an ISBN number [International – Standard Book Number] for your book. This is a social security number for the book. There are a lot of company’s out there that will be happy to sell you an ISBN # but BOWKER is the International clearing house for these numbers so you might as well skip the middleman and get it from them. The cost is $125.00. If you are using a company to assist you with self-publishing they may offer to get the ISBN# for you. Deep discounts are offered to companies that buy multiple #’s so they may offer it to you for less or include it in their package. If they charge more than $125.00 you can easily apply for it yourself.

Quote You are Amazing today!

You will need a business plan/proposal or an outline for fiction

If you are planning to self-publish 100% than Amazon is the place for you. Smashwords is One of the Amazon companies for e-books and Create-Space is used for print books.

If you use Amazon for publishing your book will never be available in an actual book store. This is because Amazon Publishers will not process returns. You will have to design all of your marketing around online booksellers. Amazon offers a KDP (Kindle Direct Program) a program that offers some marketing opportunities.

amazon_200x200

Lightening Source is a company you can use if you want your book to be available in book stores. They process returns, for a charge. All publishers, even traditional ones charge you for your returns.

To have any chance at having your book in a book store, your publisher has to be willing to offer your book to them at a wholesale discount price of at least 55% off the cover price. The books must be returnable if they do not sell within the stores allotted time-frame.

All print books are delivered through a book distribution center. The two major distributors are Ingram and Baker & Taylor. If the publisher you are planning to use does not use one or both of these distributors, move on from that publisher.

Here is a list of random Self Publishing Boutiques that offer a variety of packages to authors and come with some good references. As always never sign a contract unless you have had it reviewed by an attorney.

  • Blue Lobster Book Company
  • She Writes Press
  • Book Locker
  • Turning Stone
  • Lucky Bat Books
  • Assisted Publishing

Tate Publishing and Enterprises- Tate offers a publishing package that includes editing, formatting, cover design, ISBN#, copyrighting, marketing assistance and they handle returns. They deal with Ingram so your book will be available to any store, school or library that wants to stock it or make it available for order. Once your book sells 1000 copies, Tate refunds your investment. They basically operate like an Independent publisher. There are many other companies out there like this one and new ones are being started every day.

I cannot stress enough for you to have any contract reviewed by an attorney and ask for and check references. It is also a good idea to order books from several authors of any company you are considering, so you can check the quality of the printing etc…

A good book to read is Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur/ Guy Kawasaki

*FYI-Tuesday is the only day of the week that new books are released

Traditional Publishers make their money selling 100’s of copies of only several titles verses other publishers that make their money selling 100 copies of thousands of titles.

If you have any experience with self publishing it would be great if you could leave tips in the comments. Did you work with a company that you were thrilled with, please share.

If you have any questions please leave those in the comments and I will do my best to answer or find someone who can.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

This Saturday August 1, 2015 (Can you believe it is almost August?) I will be at The Big Blue Marble Bookstore (7pm) with author friends, Maria Casale and Dylaan Rhea. We will be reading from our books and talking about writing and women under pressure. We are bringing snacks…

Big Blue Marble Book Store

551 Carpenter Lane /Philadelphia, PA 19119

I am SO excited and such a nervous wreck because I am going to be co-hosting (for the first time) The Insecure Writers Support Group for August! Next Wednesday right here!

Coming Soon!!

Sophie Book Cover

 

Threat Level Elevated

One of my biggest complaints about VA medical centers is the unsafe feeling I have whenever I am in one. Am I crazy for thinking that here in United States any facility attached to our military should be the safest property in the country?

Weapons not permitted sign

Was Jack Nicolson’s character in A Few Good Men correct when he said, “We live in a world of walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.” He went on to say, “You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.”

Last week we had another attack on homeland military properties and four Marines and one Navy sailor lost their lives. These are no longer random attacks. The bodies are piling up and before more are added it is time we rethink the decision to unarm our armed services.

For the past nine-years whenever we pull up to the guardhouse at the VA Hospital in Philadelphia more often than not the sign on the post reads ‘Threat Level Elevated.’ There is a guard there who is either smoking, talking on a cell phone or sleeping. The sight would immediately cause me to feel overwhelmingly frightened. These guards aren’t even military which if you ask me is ridiculous. Is our nation that short of MP’s that we have to hire security guards to protect (or not) our armed forces, our veterans and their families?

Threat Level Elevated

Once past the guardhouse the parking garage is dark and unattended.

Inside the building the first thing I notice is the dingy, dirty floors, windows and walls. I don’t want to touch anything. The next thing I notice are homeless people sleeping on garbage bags filled with their belongings. Are they homeless veterans?

You never know who you will be riding in the elevator with. It could be a veteran fighting with his wife, someone having a severe PTSD episode or someone under the influence of something or all of the above.

I was thrilled last week when we pulled up to the guardhouse and were asked for ID, finally!

It lasted only a few days. Last night we drove up to and right past the guardhouse where the guard was sitting inside the house with his eyes on his phone. He never looked up as we drove past. My heart sank and my anxiety rose.

I want to know there is a man or woman on that wall, behind the camera or in the guard house protecting us, all of us.

Marine

What has more impact on our feeling of safety and security and what has more impact on someone with criminal intentions, a sign that says no weapons permitted past this point or a Marine in full uniform with a handgun on his hip?

 

 

 

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