Weekly Catch Up

I was going to sacrifice one of my rare days off to painting the trim and base boards in my house. But since it turned out overcast, gray and slightly muggy I decided that you all would benefit from my distraction and I would share a few things I've seen this week.

The first thing is from a post from Jen Talty at Write It Forward Blog. She posted about Promoting your book in iBooks and offered up tips to make it easy for your prospective readers to jump on over to iTunes and download you latest. Thanks to her post, I now have a nifty little button to help me offer Three Truths to my readers.

See...
Three Truths - Teagan Oliver

Isn't it lovely? I wish all the ebook stores had these nifty little gadgets. It would make my life so much easier. There is also another gadget that can be added in case you have multiple books that you want to offer in a scrolling box. Very lovely and handy! I would suggest that if you have a book to sell on the iBookstore that you go grab a gadget for yourself and put it on whatever spot is needed on your blogs, websites... etc...

The second thing that I wanted to post about was an online posting from PJ Media on 10-reasons you should skip the traditional publishers and self publish ebooks instead. I got to this through my link up to J.A. Konrath's blog. It makes some interesting arguments for doing it yourself. I would advise anyone wanting to go it by themselves to take the time to research and to limit your expectations. We all can't be the J.A. Konraths or the Marie Forces and sometimes new authors enter into the field expecting the same big sales. These huge sales are the exception, not the rule. But that doesn't mean that you can't make this way. It just takes time and a whole lot of effort and the ability to multitask... a lot!

Off to stick some widgets on my sites! Enjoy the day everyone!

Teagan

Modeling and Master Groups



I have very little time to actually read, so I'm usually apt to grab something on a whim that appeals enough to me to carry me through a 30 minute lunch break and maybe my 2 15-minute breaks (if I'm lucky). Anyway, the pick this week is a book I've had on my shelf for some time. It's Writing For The New Age Market by Richard Webster (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2003). For some time now I've been working on the idea of writing non-fiction. As if I didn't have enough on my plate I thought I'd add something else to the mix. But I have a desire to share some of what I've learned and to help "pay it forward" when it comes to what I've had the opportunity to experience. I'm a firm believer that we are here to learn some very important lessons during this lifetime and part of those lessons includes passing along what we know so that others can be helped. I'm by no means some know-it-all-expert intent on bringing followers to some cause. But I think there could be a definite benefit to helping others.

So, (getting back off my soapbox) I thought I'd share some interesting insight that Mr. Webster shared in his book. The first is MODELING. No, I have no intention of posing for pictures or finding my face plastered to the side of a wall or bus. But what he talks about is using your observation skills to model your experience after someone you admire. If you want to write prolifically, perhaps you'd model your writing behavior after someone like Nora Roberts. Or if you wish to create a following of loyal readers you might want to consider modeling your career after your favorite author.

WHAT MODELING IS: Observing, creating skills and practices for success, and instituting traits and behaviors from people you admire in order to achieve results similar to what you have observed.
WHAT MODELING ISN'T: Stalking, plagiarizing, creating an expectation that is outside of your own karmic identity.

I never really understood that there was a name for this until I read his passage in the book. I'd been doing it for years. I started out wanting desperately to teach classes on writing, but lacking the confidence it took to stand in front of strangers and put myself out there. For years, I watched and waited and when the opportunity came to present to a regional and then a national conference I knew it was going to take a gigantic leap of faith and a whole lot of preparation in order for me to give the workshop without running for the door. I watched how other presenters offered up their pearls of wisdom and I practiced how I wanted the workshop to come from me. I actually practiced visualization in order to convince myself that I could do what needed to be done. In the end, I modeled myself against every presenter that had ever made a lasting impression on me and it worked.

MASTER GROUP  

Master group is the idea that we should surround ourselves with like-minded individuals with whom we can share experiences and offer support. This is usually a smaller group than perhaps a RWA regional chapter, usually limited to enough members that can be counted on one hand. But the idea is that even if you don't talk trade or critique work, you do find support in being around other writers (or whatever is your goal).

When I read this I immediately thought about the group of us that met after the Maine RWA's recent Writer's Retreat last weekend. In the time after the retreat we all gathered together in the lobby for conversation, fun and relaxation. Yes, there was some talk about shop, but it was more a moment to commiserate, celebrate and just enjoy each the company.

If a Master Group offers nothing else, it should offer you a chance to recharge your creative batteries. A chance to relax away from those who don't understand what you do at that computer each day and to feel at home with those who do understand it. It's important.

Do you model your career or your writing practices after someone who inspires you?

Where Have I Been?

Life Stuff...
Where have I been? My first answer would be to tell you that I'm not really sure where I've been. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but things are finally starting to wind down around here. I haven't given up on talking about Independent Publishing and getting the word out to those that have questions, but since I'm a mom as well as a writer there are times when the "mom" part needs to take over. This was one of those times.

Happy "late" Mother's Day to all the moms out there! We spent Mother's Day weekend making a flying trip to Pennsylvania to retrieve my daughter from her first year of college. I find it hard to believe that it's been an entire year. Parts of it went exceedingly fast and, at times, they felt as if they crawled. I've lost track of how many trips I made to Pennsylvania in the last year. I know it was a lot. But it was worth it for her to be at a great college and have wonderful first year experience. She didn't just do the "experiencing" part. Daughter made Dean's list both semesters, so this was a worthwhile endeavor on all our parts. Her father and I can't be happier.
After the multitude of rain that Maine has been experiencing, Pennsylvania was gloriously warm and green. The fields were verdant and the warmth a comfort to our cold bones. Hubby and the kids took me to Lancaster County and we went to a market and a more touristy area that had beautiful antiquey and vintage finds (not to miss the great food!) We got to have pet some animals at a small animal farm and the kids fed them and petted them and cooed over them. Over all the trip was fast, but great fun. If I could live anywhere else it would be Pennsylvania.

Book Stuff...
But what about the books? They haven't been forgotten. I'm still working on the editing of the second in the DARKNESS PARANORMAL NOVELLA SERIES. This one is STEALING THUNDER and takes place in the Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina. Another place that I adore. I'm also at work on a cozy mystery series set around a little murder and my love of vintage everything. This has been in the works for awhile, but I'll let you know as it progresses.

STEALING DARKNESS has been out just a little over one month. I'm both amazed and awed by the response that it got. It was much darker than anything I'd written before so I wasn't quite sure the response I'd get. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of my readers (including my boss. Thanks, boss!) The sales are still coming in, but it's slowed a bit. I'm told that the average a book will sell well for about three months before another books should really be put out there. That should be just about right getting STEALING THUNDER to market. I'm looking for a couple of beta readers who are willing to do a read through of it. Free books are always a good thing.

Want a teaser for STEALING THUNDER? Here's a little something to peak your interest...

Straddling the line between modern reality and ancient wisdom, Graham Wolfe struggles to fulfill the dying wish of his Cherokee grandfather as a fierce legendary spirit threatens to extract an unwilling soul. Unable to fight the battle on his own, he enlists the help of Grace Sterling, a psychic dream weaver with a secret past and a warrior heart to help him in a mythic battle that defies his beliefs, shatters his memories, and opens both of their hearts. 

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