Friday, July 25, 2014

Mailman Dog Biscuits Anyone?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tidbit: Endorsements

You know those sweet little this-is-the-best-book-I've-ever-read kind of comments that are usually found on the first few pages of a book? Or sometimes highlighted on the front or back cover? Yeah, those are endorsements. Marketers figure that if famous people have something nice to say about a book that it will sell like crazy-go-nuts. So . . .  guess what I'm doing this week.

Yep. I'm knocking on cyber doors with my puppy dog eyes and fluttering lashes trying to scare up some big names to endorse Brentwood's Ward. It's not as tough as it sounds.  I simply sent out email queries to authors that write in the same genre. Some of them I know. Others not at all. I've had years of experience with rejection, so a big fat "No" or a "Get lost" doesn't make me all teary eyed.

The thing that really ramps up my emotions is when someone asks me to read their book for endorsement, I do, and then I discover I really don't like the story. That's tough. Should I put my stamp of approval onto mediocre writing? How will the author feel if I admit I think their book is a stinker? Why is it easier to take rejection than to dish it out?

Here's a word of advice next time you have to humbly ask someone for potential words of praise: let them know ahead of time that it's okay if they don't want to, even after they've read it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Psst . . . hey buddy! Want to win a hundred dollar gift card to Half Price Books? No need to slip into a trench coat or hang out in dark alleys. All you have to do is snap a pic of your bookshelf with our without a selfie. Here's mine:

Okay, so that wasn't really a selfie. Cut me some slack. I only have a stupid phone so I had to yank a teenager off the street who had a phone with a real camera.

So the deal is that you show off your bookshelf anytime between now and August 4th, 2014 by submitting your "shelfie" on social media. Here are the full details:
  • Follow Half Price Books on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram
  • Upload a photo of your bookshelf, (with or without self-portrait) showcasing your collection (books/music/movies/collectibles)
  • For Twitter & Instagram users, entrant must mention @HalfPriceBooks and use the hashtag #MeMyShelfandI within a photo caption
  • For Facebook, users must post photo directly to the Half Price Books wall, using the hashtag #MeMyShelfandI within the photo caption
If you'd like to know more, you can always go directly to Half Price Books.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just Because You're Buddy Buddy With Oprah . . .

I recently read in a HuffPo article that New York publishers don't really give a flying rat about the crafting of words inside a book but are more interested in the crafting of a marketing plan for the dang thing. That it's not really about how great of a writer you are, it's about how big your tribe is and how much moolah they'll pocket because of your potential to reach out to that tribe.

Yeah. I get it. They're corporations and making money is why and how they stay in business. But should quality suffer because of that? Do the ends justify the means? Is it fair to shove fourth-class books down readers throats just because the author has a first-class media presence?

Uh . . . a big fat resounding unh-unh. I don't think so, Hoss. Leastwise not in the perfect world I want to live in.

I submit that great writing, consistently put out in the public realm, will eventually rise to the top. It may take 10, 20, 40 years or more for that to happen. The author may well be mouldering in his grave before it happens. But it will happen.

As for the other writing, that which is pumped out because of a current market, I doubt that any of those books have the potential to become classics.

Time will tell, of course. But I'm confident enough to bet an iced caramel macchiato on this issue. Any takers?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cue the Twilight Zone Music

Why are there still wood ticks out? I thought they were rampant in spring. My calendar says it's summer. Clearly the little blood suckers are not able to keep track of time. Other than that, my camping extravaganza in the north woods this past weekend was great. Here are a few pix to prove it. . .

The newlyweds, Ryan & Callie, my hubby Mark & I, and that furry little wiener dog is King Arthur.

Princess Ada Clare, Queen of the North Woods
So on the drive home, the conversation turned to publishing. One of my friends had the brilliant idea of creating something like Netflix but for books. We thought it could be viable, especially for ebooks, but the cost of mailing out paperbacks could make the service a little pricey. Maybe it wouldn't work after all.

When I got home and plugged my life back into cyberspace, lo and behold, but what to my wondering eyes did appear? Nope. Not a fat man in a red suit or a haloed angel.

The big news is that Amazon just launched Kindle Unlimited, an eBook subscription service that's like Netflix but for books (just like we'd been talking about in the car). It runs around $10 a month for an unlimited access to their full library of over 600,000 titles, but you can try a trial run for 30 days for free. Best of all, you don't need to own a Kindle to partake of the reading feast. It works for any electronic device, even a laptop. Plus they've got audiobooks as well.

Sounds rather intriguing, eh? Might be worth checking it out for a month for free. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fun Friday, No, Really, I Swear it's Working This Time

So sorry for the technical difficulties with this weekend's Fun Friday. I couldn't scare up a teenager to help me. Apparently they disappear to amusement parks and beeches during the summer.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Who's Going to Gannah?

And the lucky winner is. . .

Sorry. Stupid technical difficulties. You'll have to click over to: