Time For a Spring Reset!

Spring often signifies new beginnings in literature and poetry, a rebirth, if you will. All that which lay dormant in winter now slowwwly stretches its limbs, lets out a big yawn and sigh of relief and comes back out to bask in the sun. The trees are budding, the deer are grazing, we now awake to the calming sounds of birds chirping, the sun stays with us well into the evening, it’s finally warm enough for sandals and everyone seems to be in generally better spirits because of those things aforementioned.

spring stretch

The charm and warmth of spring should not only put a pep in your step in your day to day life, but it should also be a time to pep up your writing and marketing efforts!

 

  1. Let spring be a new beginning for you. Make a list of things you’d like to begin with a fresh start. Do you need to begin editing, creating a marketing plan, blogging, etc? Now’s the time to do it!
  2. Use some springtime writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to help you “reset” after winter. Write about how the sunshine affects your mood and creativity, write about spring as a symbol of birth/life, write about the your sensuous experience wandering around in the natural world in springtime, etc. etc.
  3. Host an outdoor reading event in your community. Pick a nice sunny afternoon to encourage members of your community to get outside and share their love of the spoken and written word. This is a great way to network, to connect with other writers in your area and to have some fun in the sun!
  4. Start being more active on social media! Take pictures of the beauty around you, toss in a quote from a work of yours or of your favorite author’s and share with your audience! Blog, post about new developments in your publishing process, connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Now that the butterflies are back, why not be a little social butterfly?
  5. Spruce up your website. Who knows more about you than…well, you? Write up a fresh author bio that includes recent accomplishments, publications, life developments and so forth.
  6. Join some forums, join Goodreads! These are both terrific venues for marketing your book and they help you connect more intimately with your audience.
  7. Host a drawing contest for the cover of your next book! The winner gets a free copy of your book and gets featured on your website and social media pages!
  8. Add a “Store” page to your website. This is a great way to increase sales and to have your readers buy directly from you rather than some third party website.
  9. Do some spring cleaning of your writing space and bookshelves. See our last few blogs for tips on how to “declutter” as a writer!
  10. Take advantage of this nice weather! Try writing outside, even if it’s just brainstorming. A little vitamin D and time in nature can go a longgg way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

Conversations: 12/15/2017

‘TIS THE SEASON TO SMELL THE CHESTNUTS ROASTING

Have you had the opportunity to quietly observe any of your favorite authors? Maybe you’ve met one or two at writer’s conferences, or genre-specific clubs, or the primer opening of a movie made from one of their novels. The majority of my favorite authors I’ve “met” through their biography or autobiography. However, I have had the pleasure of meeting a few at conferences where I’ve also been able to observe them from a respectful distance. Much to my personal delight, what I’ve noticed most often is their ability to tap into what I’ll call their child-likeness. By that I mean they have developed a wide-eyed, adventurous attitude that gives them a sweeping perspective of all the elements in the moment they’re experiencing whether it is an intense conversation with an agent or listening to jokes over coffee and muffins. Bottom line: authors are people, too; which makes their writing richer. And almost without exception, each published (successful) author I’ve met has given me HOPE, encouraging me to continue my own writing journey.

There are, however, two genres of writing that seem to produce authors who go above and beyond to encourage every writer they meet: The Biography/Autobiography/Memoir authors, and the Faith/Religious/Spiritual Growth authors. I find myself collecting more of their books all the time, because as I turn each page I’m encouraged and challenged to keep backside of hope connie eldridge and timothy wimberlygoing and never give up on the gift of writing that tickles my thoughts every day.

One such book is The Backside of Hope by Connie Eldridge and Timothy Wimberly, which speaks volumes to me as I face daily decisions that will affect my path toward my achieving my “big dreams.” Eldridge and Wimberly wrote this true story about Wimberly’s life that had become devoid of hope—until his life became the story that moved him forward in forgiveness, restoration, and receiving the love of the Heavenly Father.

Another book on my shelf is, Revealing Divine Mysteries of the LORD of Mercy by revealing divine mysteries of the lord of mercy Mary Johnson-GordonProphetess Mary Johnson-Gordon. This author’s writing style is dynamic and dramatic. Although I’ve read it several time, I still find myself randomly opening to a chapter and re-discovering the amazing Truth of God’s extreme love of each and every one of us—His very real, constant and unconditional Love!

The experiences of this author (who is a Native American of the Haliwa Saponi Tribe) also reveal how God has set up a support-system for us which includes the angelic hosts of heaven, the saints of heaven (like Mary, the mother of Jesus, Paul the apostle) and the Holy Spirit, Who is intimately available to us. “Life” has an amazing Supernatural element to those who are willing to accept it no matter what our vocation might be.

wings of hope survivor lailah gifty akita

Authors of these two specific genre categories write with great passion and that desire for excellence is passed forward to us as we “catch their fire.” One young author who caught the fire of Hope and Faith is Lailah Gifty Akita (from Ghana) who is quoted saying, “Write your dreams in journal, notebook, card or on a cork. When you pen down your dreams, an inner strength and divine power is activated for you to work towards the fulfillment of your dreams.” Her book, The Wings of HOPE: Survivor is also a self-published book that will inspire generations.

SO, during the two days I’ve set aside for the me/writer this week, I’ll be reaching for an inspiring book written by authors who reveal the passion in WORDS. Of course, there is no way I’ll be able to read the whole book, however, catching just a glimpse of their “fire” will help be ignite my own. I hope you’ll do the same. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. This is Royalene’s last month writing for Self Publishing Advisor.

Becoming an Amazon Bestseller

Not long after on-demand self-publishing hit the mainstream, and Amazon started putting every other company out of business (like Borders, CompUSA, etc.), a “marketing strategy” began circulating about a sales technique whereby a book could (at least momentarily) skyrocket to #1 on the Amazon bestsellers list.  Before this technique started becoming saturated, authors closely following this strategy often saw their books reach an overall Amazon bestsellers ranking of #1.  Then, as more and more authors followed the same steps, it became acceptable to call oneself a “#1 Amazon Bestseller” simply if the book reached #1 in a very specific genre-category on Amazon (which is still nothing to sneeze at).

Most of you have probably seen about or read about this strategy before, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick run-down of how it works and why it works.

HOW IT WORKS 

  1. Pick a specific day in which you will strive for “bestseller status” on Amazon. Make it far enough in advance to accomplish the rest of these steps.
  2. Create Joint Ventures with other authors and/or online marketers. A “Joint venture” is a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby you partner with another writer/entrepreneur to trade something of value (an eBook, for example) with one another in exchange for something else of value (each other’s mailing lists, or word-of-mouth publicity).  Many authors and entrepreneurs are open to being Joint Ventures on Amazon Bestsellers programs because they know you will actively promote it (which is necessary for success). Through that promotion, their eBook, or “product” will receive additional exposure they would otherwise not be able to achieve.  The best and easiest way to find possible Joint Venture partners is by looking at other Amazon Bestsellers campaigns (perhaps you’ve received an email), and following up with the same people.
  3. Contact each of your Joint Venture partners and introduce yourself and your book and ask if they’d like to help you with your marketing campaign.  Ask if they would be willing to give away something of value to your customers in exchange for some publicity, and/or a free copy of your book.  Some will say yes. Others may say no.  It rarely takes much of their time, since you are handling almost all the details, so this is a nice time when you receive more “yes’s” than “no’s”. All they have to do is donate the “free bonus” and offer to email their mailing list on the specific date you decided upon in Step #1.
  4. Once you’ve collect 10 or so Joint Ventures, you need to make a “Sales Page” on the internet.  There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, depending upon your proficiency with HTML.  The purpose of the “Sales Page” is to “sell” your book and, as extra incentive, offer your customers “Free Bonuses”, the combined value of which exceeds the cost of your book.  These free bonuses are compliments of all your Joint Partners; so your sales page also identifies and “sells” each of the Joint Venture products, too.  If your book costs $19.95, but you are giving away $200 worth of “free stuff” anyone with even a passing interest in your book may pony up the twenty bucks just to get all the extras.
  5. At the bottom of the Sales Page is the Buy Button. There are a variety of ways to do this, also, depending upon your HTML proficiency.  You can send them directly to Amazon and ask them to forward you a receipt (the manual process), or you can provide a Promotion Code which entitles them to automatic downloads of all the free bonuses (the automatic process).  Whichever method you choose, make sure your instructions and directions are very clear for them, so they know they’ll get everything you are offering.  If you go the “manual” route, be prepared to deliver upon your promises, even if thousands of orders come in (what a great problem to have!)
  6. Alternatively, you can create the “sales page” within the body of your email that you are sending out. The email still ends with the Amazon Buy Button directing each recipient to your Amazon Sales Page.  You must send your customers to Amazon, rather than selling the book directly yourself. After all, the whole point is to reach an Amazon bestsellers ranking, and that only occurs if your book sales are going through Amazon.
  7. At the date and time determined in Step #1, send your email to your mailing list.  Send out a quick reminder email to your Joint Partners to do the same thing. Provide them with the same email so they don’t have to write anything themselves.  Theoretically, the same email will therefore go to thousands upon thousands of people (when you combine your mailing list with the lists of all 10+ of your Joint Partners) all at roughly the same time, all promoting your book, and all offering hundreds of dollars in “bonuses” to your new readers.
  8. Depending upon the size of the combined lists, even if only a small percentage of people buy your book, it is often enough to “trick” Amazon’s algorithm into skyrocketing your book’s Amazon Bestsellers campaign.

WHY IT WORKS 

Well, that’s why the word “trick” is in quotation marks.  Amazon’s Ranking algorithm tabulates quantity of sales within periods of time. So a book that normally sells 1 book a month that suddenly sells 10 books an hour will “trick” Amazon’s algorithm into thinking it’s selling like hotcakes (because, relatively speaking, it is!).  This is why it’s important for the sales email to be sent on the same day by all the Joint Partners, and ideally all within the same short period of time.  Recipients who act upon the email, and buy your book, will do so within a condensed period of time, which will probably catapult your Amazon Sales Ranking.

Will your ranking last?  No (so be sure to watch Amazon throughout the day and take screen shots). But “#1 Amazon Bestsellers” have never worried too much about divulging the fine print.

amazon bookstore


brent sampson
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing solution that provides a cost-effective, fast, and powerful way to help authors publish, distribute, and market their books worldwide while leaving 100% of the rights and 100% of the profits with the author. Outskirts Press was incorporated in Colorado in October, 2003.
In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Tuesday Book Review: “17 Hours: Tracking Down Our Runaway”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

17 hours diane bassett

17 Hours: Tracking Down Our Runaway

by Diane M. Bassett

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478774891

Synopsis*:

Don’t wait until you need it to read it! No family is immune to the dangers of sex trafficking, as our family discovered on May 25th, 2015 when our daughter Sam jumped from her second-story window and disappeared into the dark. As we scrambled over the next 17 hours to discover what had led to her jumping, who was involved, where she was, and what we needed to do after finding her; we discovered a dark world operating in local parks, drawing in girls and putting them in a no-win position, until jumping out the window seems the best option for survival. Join us on our journey to save Sam in just 17 hours. Includes: Quick Tip Guide for anyone helping to locate a runaway child. Resources for those with runaway children.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: “FEED MIND, IMAGINATION AND SPIRIT”

This True Story is getting a lot of attention because of the “eminent threat” all young women must be aware of in the world we live in today. As the book cover states: “No family is immune to the dangers of sex trafficking.” The author, Diane Bassett, is one of many Moms whose beautiful daughter had been drawn into a dark world operating in local parks, a world that pushes naive girls into such no-win positions. Bassett’s story details their 17-hour journey to save their daughter’s life. The book also places a Tip Guide in the hands of every reader with resources that will help locate a runaway child.

This non-fiction genre of True Stories holds many teachable-moments for writers of every genre.

– Review by Royalene Doyle of Self Publishing Advisor

You will not put this down once you start. It’s a quick, fast-paced, absorbing true story about a parent’s worst nightmare-your child runs away and goes missing. Diane and Gary’s determination, smarts and fierce love for their daughter pulls you into this harrowing experience. The photos she has placed throughout the book are amazing – helping you see why this beautiful young girl had so many people across the country trying to help her parents find her. A story of innocence lost, the horror that can happen to anyone and what a parent/friend/neighbor can do if this should happen to anyone you know, love and care about.

– reviewed by Barb Shillingford

My heart was in my throat while reading this book. I’ve always considered myself blessed with my children but realized that I was just lucky. We’re all the same, mother’s, children, fathers and family, here by the grace of God. Life is so fragile and so special, love is all that matters in the end. Well done Diane, thank you for sharing your deepest pain in hopes that one more child will be saved.

– reviewed by Sheryl Brown

 wrote it, so reviewing it would be pointless… Of course I love it! What I want to express is that this book is not a pretty story; its raw, it’s real, and it’s an over-the-shoulder kind of approach to bringing you along for our journey to save Sam from sex traffickers in just 17 hours. We weren’t and aren’t perfect parents, but we used some pretty unique tricks to get her to safety in less than a day, and they are listed throughout the book. You can learn more at the Facebook.com/17hoursbook page, or at my own website dianembassett.com.

– reviewed by Diane Geister

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 12.11.2017 – The Interviews!

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

Wait–what? A colonoscopy? We don’t normally advertise those in our book titles. And yet, on the other hand, it did grab our attention. So … well done, David Gilmore. Well done. Gilmore’s book, How I Went to Asia for a Colonoscopy and Stayed for Love: A Memoir of Mischief and Romance, serves as the locus for this article by a different David–David Henry Sterry, and the eponymous “Book Doctors”–for HuffPost. This interview tracks everything from how Gilmore got his start, which influential works have inspired him through the years, his “long and winding” path to authorship and publication, his recommendations and tips for self-publishing, and some of the challenges he faced while gathering the information and stories collected in his book. (There really was a colonoscopy in Thailand, which reported came off rather well and significantly more affordably than it would have Stateside.) This interview is substantial, comedic, sincere, and thoroughly entertaining. We highly recommend you read the full piece at the link!

The Daily Telegraph doesn’t always dive deep into profiling authors, but this week we landed a gem in Daniel Stringer’s piece on Matthew Reilly, one of Australia’s most beloved authors (with a thoroughly American list of inspirations: Tom Clancy and John Grisham top the list, with William Golding coming in at the tail end as a token British mention). He found inspiration on his daily commute in the kind of mass-market fiction which was then and remains now such potent material for thought and action; but while the authors he read are all household names now, he himself struggled to find an audience at first. Reilly self-published his first book after having been rejected by traditional publishers, whose response to his manuscript he describes as “soul-crushing.” Well, he may not be catching the bus so often these days, but he is still publishing, with more than fifteen books already on the shelves and many more to come. You can read the full article on the Daily Telegraph website.

Rose Bingham is everything you need to cheer you up on this dreary winter Monday morning (we’re assuming it’s dreary everywhere since it’s dreary here, which is rather convenient, and indefensible of course). This enterprising eighty-year-old from Wisconsin has done something magnificent and significant: she’s published her memoirs. One might argue that hers is an act of reversal; in chronicling the disappearance of her own mother and her experience in an orphanage, her determination to keep track of her siblings, and what came after. Bingham’s memoirs, published under the title Buy the Little One a Dolly, are not self-published. Why? The answer is telling. The price, Bingham reports, was “quite hefty.” We know this is not an uncommon take on self-publishing in the year 2017–that the confusion of vanity presses with genuine self-publishing companies has done the exact opposite of what self-publishers set out to do (democratize the publishing process). Bingham’s story is inspiring and uplifting on so many levels, but that telling little note–that gentle aside from a woman who ought to have been able to pursue whatever path to publication she wanted–strikes a discordant chord. A reminder to stick to our principles.


spa-news

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Conversations: 12/8/2017

‘TIS THE SEASON TO SET THE STEEL OUTRIGGER

Have you ever had the feeling, just as you’re finishing a novel, that the whole premise is collapsing? Be assured you are not the first writer to experience this, nor will you be the last. I firmly believe that this excruciating moment in every author’s life is qusteel outriggerite simply just part of the process of creating an excellent novel. So, how can we avoid that moment? Here we are in the 2nd week of December and the holiday activities are increasing. However, I’ve set aside two days (well, a day and a half) prepare the foundation for my work in the coming year. I call it my scaffolding agenda.

I’ve been listening to so many ideas floating in my head that will eventually fit into my actual story. But it’s the premise—the very core concept (or “take-away”) that I hope my Readers will discover, that will be my basis and to secure that solid foundation I must ask myself two important questions.

  • WHY do I want to write this story?
  • Why will Readers buy this book?

My answers will lead to the Theme (premise) of the story which I’ve learned to write out in one sentence (even if it’s a paragraph long) and post it on the wall next to my desk. Then, later, I re-write that Theme Statement from the perspective of each of my characters and, again, tape those to the wall. These two steps keep me grounded throughout every stage of writing the novel.

Now, back to the scaffolding illustration. If you’ve ever noticed the scaffolding beside new buildings, or the steelwork of a bridge you’ve probably seen the individual triangle shapes utilized throughout. From the base of scaffolds (called steel outriggers), to the steel supports in raised bridges, these triangle shapes have been selected because of their extreme strength due to the rigidity of its sides which allows them to transfer force more evenly through their sides—or “balance” the pressure.

I don’t believe it is a coincidence that Plot Outlines are often illustrated as triangles because their foundation begins with a specific character or problem (with the world) that must be resolved. Upon the shoulders of this character and the challenge he/she faces rests every other element of the story.

plot diagram

Here are the quick and easy steps I’m taking to lay the foundation for the new novel I’ll start—and finish—in 2018.

  • When I answered the “Why do I want to write this story?” question I discovered that one rather unusual character has been telling me his story—so he will be my main character and the basis for this story’s foundation. My goal during this week will be:
    • Discover his name.
    • Describe his general physical appearance/condition,
    • Write one short paragraph about his back-story.
  • Answering the question, “Why will Readers buy this book?” provided me with the problem this character faces—which will resonate with a large portion of the Reading world. My additional task for this week is to: r
    • Do a quick Internet search to learn more about this challenge in people’s lives and…
    • Start a list of the resources I’ve discovered.

Accomplishing these tasks will, I know, tweak my need to write until sunrise. However, I will remind myself that I have permission to rest—more than I work—and relax (and reconnect) with my family and friends. THIS is the Season to regenerate and let Love and Laughter Ring! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. This is Royalene’s last month writing for Self Publishing Advisor.

In Your Corner: A Soulful Christmas

happy holidays

This is the time of the year when there’s snow on the roads in my part of the world, the days are short and dark by five in the evening, and everyone’s going a bit stir crazy.  Tensions are at a fever pitch, but so too is that special brand of optimistic cheerfulness which washes over and around the people I care about.  Some people may not celebrate the religious aspect of the Christmas holidays, but you can’t help but love some of the perks they bring with them: hot cocoa and cider to drink, quilts and kittens and friendships to keep us warm, generosity to celebrate in giving and receiving.

It seems almost callow, perhaps, to talk about marketing in the midst of all this good-feeling.  What does the commercial machine have to do with empathy and generosity?

Here’s the thing: What’s good for you as an author and what’s good for your relationships is also good for business.  

I’m not just talking about the “family-friendly” or “family-owned” propaganda issued by big businesses like Starbucks or Chipotle or REI; I’m talking about your relationships on a personal level, and starting from the ground up.  The real revolution in how we do business has to start with actual human connection rather than the cold and soulless opportunism that we’ve been taught is the marker of successful companies and their high-level officials.

So this Christmas, I’m not going to encourage you to break out a couple of new strategies for self-promotion success for several reasons–including the fact that we’ve already done so in past Christmases: here, here, and here––but rather to refocus on what you consider the most valuable and worthwhile aspects of your relationships.  I guarantee you this: if you put your friendships and your loved ones first, the rest will fall into place.  Friends want to hear about what each other do and love and are working on, and when your relationships are in tune you’ll know instinctively when it’s a good and natural and 100% organic moment to do so.

Who you are as a writer fits within a broader framework of who you are in connection to the other people in your life.  Authenticity isn’t just nice; it’s imperative.  It just makes sense that what’s good for your relationships would be good for spreading the word about your book, and the ingredients for a joyful and happy holiday season would also be the perfect recipe for a productive time for you as a self-publishing author!

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Tuesday Book Review: “When Love Never Ends”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

when love never ends j alec keaton

When Love Never Ends

by J. Alec Keaton

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478770626

Synopsis*:

When Love Never Ends is the love story of Sam and Sara, once separated, then reunited, then lost to each other again … unless Sam can find a way to change their destiny. As with many young couples, Sam and Sara meet at a dance, start dating, and soon fall in love. Sam is a college man; Sara only a junior in high school-but for Sam, the age difference doesn’t matter. Sara is the girl of his dreams. He wants to be with her, and she with him, and they look forward to a future together. Plans for that happy future, however, are squashed when Sara’s bigoted father, Ralph Henderson, finds out about Sam’s mixed Japanese-Caucasian heritage. Henderson refuses to allow his daughter to date a “breed,” and devises a cruel scheme to separate them for good. Years later, Sara seeks legal help, and the lawyer she contacts is Sam, now a partner in a prestigious law firm. Though she’s in a difficult personal situation, Sara’s feelings for Sam are easily rekindled, as are his feelings for her. Just when it looks like they will be able to have a future together after all, catastrophe occurs.

After months of crippling grief and depression, Sam develops an interest in his friend’s pet project dealing with time travel. Though Sam once scoffed at the idea, the improbable now seems his only hope: to travel back in time and change the order of events-to change their destiny. When Love Never Ends is a rich saga of a love that endures beyond all bounds. J. Alec Keaton’s evocative images, true-to-life characters, and clever plot twists are exactly on point. He deftly maneuvers the complex concept of time travel in a manner that is both satisfying and convincing. As his main character comes to realize, “Time goes on forever, and life is just a fleeting moment.”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: A Book & A Dish

AVOCADO BREAD
(A J. Alec Keaton Favorite)

3 eggs
1 cup Imperial margarine (microwave to soften)
½ cup of nuts (optional)
1 cup diced avocado
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups of sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup allspice

Soften margarine and mix with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat well. Add dry ingredients, nuts and avocado. Spray 3 loaf pans with PAM and pour mixture evenly.  Bake at 350 in oven for 45 minutes. (the time may vary slightly depending on the exact temperature of your oven)

Double recipe to make 5 loaves.

 

Review

Sam never uttered the words “I love you” to any woman with whom he had a sexual relationship.  He had said those three words only to Sara, who was the love of his life. Threatened and intimidated by her father, Sam had walked away from her a long time ago. That happened in 1966 and now, thirteen years later, he was still in love with her.  Sam tried not to think of her, but in the deepest reaches of his heart, he could never forget her.  A man never forgets his first love.  Sam’s ultimate desire was to correct the one mistake he’d made long ago.  His friend, Dr. Jeremiah Ebenezer Pike, always talked about the possibility of time travel.  If it was possible to travel back in time, then I’d correct the mistake I made in leaving Sara, Sam thought.

It was only since the loss of his wife four years ago that Ebb had been obsessed with the concept of time travel.  On a Wednesday, Sam met Ebb for dinner.  “Ebb, tell me more about your project of time travel.”

Sara’s father was a bit of a bigot.  When he found out that Sam was part Japanese he forbid Sam to see Sara.  With there being a 5 year age difference he threatened Sam with statutory rape, along with threats regarding Sam’s parents as well as Sara herself if he didn’t break it off with her immediately without allowing her to know that her father had intervened.  Sam had always wanted to be an attorney and this dream would be destroyed if he went to jail. He also worried about what would happen to his parents if his dad lost his job and how Sara would thrive with her father controlling her every move.  He had no choice but to break it off, hurting both of them more than either could imagine.

Sam saw his dream and became a graduate of Harvard University.  He met Elliot Benson who was the controlling partner in an exclusive law firm that represented some of the more wealthy clients in Seattle.  Benson took an immediate liking to Sam and offered him a position within the firm.  Sam was impressed but had committed to work for Senator Kennedy in Washington for four or five years.  After completing this he would return to Seattle and if Benson still wanted him he was his.

After returning to Seattle, Sam’s life was still incomplete.  The missing element was Sara so when she walked into his office one day asking if he would represent her in her divorce against an abusive husband, Sam felt the missing pieces of his life coming back together.  Until……

This book is so beautifully filled with love and commitment.  It also holds hate and disappointments.  But then it holds the possibility of everything being corrected and happiness falling upon everyone within Sam and Sara’s lives.  This was a truly enjoyable book with a surprise around every corner.

– Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds

“When Love Never Ends” is a wonderful portrayal of young first love. In the summer of 1965, Sara Henderson, a junior in high school, attends a college dance with her best friend Becky.and her sister Rose. At the dance, she meets her “Prince Charming”, Sam Stephens, a senior and a quarterback.at the college. For Sara, Sam is all that a girl could ever want in a man, handsome, tall, charismatic, and intelligent. Sam and Sara date throughout the summer and fall madly in love.

Sara’s father, Ralph Henderson, upon meeting Sam immediately dislikes Sam, because he looked a half breed. He had his buddy, Detective Frank Sorenson to investigate Sam. Ralph and Frank are members of the Mountaineer Club, consisting of men with similar racist & bigoted views. Upon learning that Sam is half Japanese and half Caucasian, they derive a scheme so Sam would never see his daughter Sara again.

Years later, Sam graduates from Harvard Law School and becomes successful lawyer/partner with the top law firm in Seattle but he never stopped loving Sara, One day, she walks into his office seeking his council and the love that they had for each other is rekindled, but tragedy does not elude them.

The author, J.Alec Keaton, superbly writes about young love and what their life could have been if we could travel back in time and change the course of action in our lives. He reminds us that wrong decisions we make today can adversely affect our future. It is book of fantasy of “What ifs”.

– reviewed by Donald M. Hashiguchi

“When Love Never Ends” is a very touching love story which combines some sad, hurtful events with racial overtones that tug your heart. Keaton portrays the intense power of first (and forbidden) young love with skill and sensitivity, but also with some intense and tantalizing erotica that makes the pages turn fast and furious.

– reviewed by Joanne

A story of love and caring. Sam is able to travel back in time with the help of his friend Ebb and right the wrongs of the past so that he might live a happier life. He also changes the past for Ebb so that they both share happiness in their future.

– reviewed by Julia Miyakawa

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