Self-Published Book Review: “The Magic of Christmas – The Magic of Love”

ook 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:

the magic of christmas the magic of love by susan brougher

The Magic of Christmas – The Magic of Love

by Susan Brougher

ISBN: 9781478737612

Synopsis*:

Susan writes of adventures common to children, and fondly recalled by many adults. Her rhymes flow sweetly along with the illustrations and are written in a format easy to read to children or for helping a child beginning to read for themselves. Cat lovers will relate to Stealthy Cat that climbs, and then descends the Christmas tree, and they will be tempted to adlib sharing experiences of their own.

Susan’s poems display loving family relationships. Growing up, many of her days were spent playing with her sister, two brothers, and neighborhood friends. Being outdoors in nature gave Susan the inspiration she needed to express her feelings through writing. Winters brought lots of snow and the making of snow angels as she swished her arms and legs while looking up at the sky dreaming, snowflakes falling, melting on her face. Like many little girls then and now, she loved dolls. She recalls having only a few, her favorite being Tinker Bell, who sprinkled fairy dust as she flew.

Susan writes in her first book, The Strongest Bond, that while growing up she believed in the magic of love that could wave a wizard’s wand, and change her from a scullery maid into Cinderella. In this book of beautifully illustrated poems for children, she looks to captivate imaginations with Christmas memories of when she was a child. She shares them in the spirit of the magic of Christmas.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

A Christmas Story for All Seasons

–  Reviewed by Micki Peluso on Amazon

Other Reviews

Delightful Poems, Great Artwork, Fabulous Choice for Parents & Grandparents for Christmas Gifts

– reviewed by Andy Anderson on Amazon

Heartwarming poems with great illustrations

– reviewed by LASeoulGuy on Amazon

 

 


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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: 12.18.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

“The other day at lunch, my friend — a writer and former journalist — raised a palm toward me to stop my monologue and said: ‘I don’t get it! Why would anyone self-publish a book?'” So opens the latest Press-Enterprise contribution from Marj Charlier, in which Charlier, a self-publishing expert who routinely hosts workshops and seminars on the subject, defends the choice to go indie. First she addresses the quality of self-published books: “The belief that all self-published books are poorly written, unedited and poorly designed is pervasive. And, yes, many of them are. Way too many. But some self-published books are great — as fine as those distributed by the big traditional New York publishers and better than some.” Then, she goes on to state that the reasons for going indie are as varied as the authors themselves, including, of course, the speed and responsiveness of self-publishing. Says Charlier, “One of the main reasons that authors self-publish good books is that they have too few years left in life or too little patience to go traditional.” Charlier goes on to describe the hurdles that face even authors who successfully make it through the traditional publishing path, and notes that with the proliferation of self-publishing the process has been democratized. With that proliferation, too, it can become difficult for readers to identify and locate the kind of reading material that they love best–and Charlier has tips and tricks for them to assist in doing exactly that.

If you’re looking for a creative application of self-publishing tools, you can’t look past this project by The King’s English, a beloved bookseller in Salt Lake City, Utah that has survived the rough waters of Amazon’s debut as a major market force in bookselling and is now, in putting together this anthology of community stories, celebrating the people who have kept its doors open and its shelves stocked. As Salt Lake City Weekly contributor Scott Renshaw records, store marketing manager Rob Eckman described the origins of the projects as being rooted in that community-consciousness: “As we approached our 40th birthday, we discussed different things we could do to involve the community, to really be able to celebrate that community aspect of what bookstores are. Finally, we decided to publish a book.” The book in question, which was published under their own imprint using self-publishing tools, invited submissions from the community of 500 words or fewer from both youths and adults. The result has been such a success that The King’s English has decided to make Turning Pages an annual tradition and series, so you can look for more from them in the coming years.

Speaking of creative applications of publishing, consider the work of editor Michalis Pichler, whose latest art book anthology sets out, in the words of Brooklyn Rail Art Books Editor Megan N. Liberty, to “celebrate and archive ten years of the Berlin-based art book fair Miss Read, asks two central questions: what is the function of art fair catalogues and what can they be?” The answers are many and varied, as Liberty describes:

Publishing Manifestos takes this challenge head on, including not just documentation about the past decade of fairs (which have included over 200 exhibitors and a day of programming called “Conceptual Poetics Day”), but also over forty essays and excerpts of texts related to self-publishing, publishing as performance, and other artist’s book practices, making it an invaluable anthology that charts the complex history or artistic bookmaking. As Pichler puts it, “Another way to deal with the habit of printing a catalogue is to produce a discursive publication.”

We’re glad Pichler did exactly that; Publishing Manifestos is not just an important book for those of us whose creative journey included a stop at the intersection of art and self-publishing, but it’s a beautiful publication to hold in the hand. Authors excerpted include everyone from Gertrude Stein to “more contemporary practitioners of experimental publishing, like Pichler, Paul Chan, Alessandro Ludovico, and Paul Soulellis.” Well worth a look, this project is available for pre-order and will be released in hardcover in March 2019.


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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The Alchemy of Holiday Marketing (Part V)

My gratitude list - file cabinet label

It’s a fashionable thing to limit our conversations about gratitude to the time around Thanksgiving, when all the stationary and gift displays and card racks at Hallmark all feature gratitude as their main theme. But I’m here today to advocate for extending that period of gratitude to include the Christmas and New Year’s holidays—because while Thanksgiving is lovely and wonderful and should definitely have its own marketing space, there are things we are grateful for closer to the end of the year that have their own nature, their own set of qualities, that makes them both poignant … and a potential platform for further holiday marketing, as I’ll get into here today.

I would also note that one can be an entrepreneur—a self-starter, a self-published book author—and carry the burden of marketing lightly, and carry it without being obnoxious, or dissembling, or insincere, even in the midst of a world crowded with half-baked promotions and kitschy products designed to capitalize on people’s sentimental holiday nostalgia.

Yes, you can be both a person who needs to market your book around the holidays, and utterly sincere about the messaging you send out into the universe around the holidays.

This holiday season, a friend of mine who happens to be an author (among other things) set about thanking those authors who were foundational to his development and evolution as a wordsmith on social media. Once a day, he has been tweeting about and to the authors who helped make him who he is. He hadn’t intended this to be anything other than a fun little project unconnected to anything else going on in his life, but it ended up putting him on the radar of a number of fantastic, high-profile authors who subsequently re-tweeted his tweets. In doing so, they broadcast his gratitude far and wide, raising his profile in the literary community and exposing numerous new readers to his name and brand.

I propose that we all do something similar. Having seen what has happened in my friend’s case, I can without reservation state that doing so will not only put your name in front of new potential readers, but it’s also a fun and worthwhile exercise to do on a personal level. It’s the gift that gives back, as expressing gratitude so often builds both giver and receiver up.

It’s the simplest thing to put together a quick social media campaign. If you decide to move forward with something similar, keep in mind a couple of our top tips here on the blog for successful posts:

  1. Rinse & Repeat: Repetition, and routine, are the keys to growing your social media presence. Make sure to time your tweets and Facebook posts (and you can use a third-party scheduling app, like Hootsuite or Twitter & Facebook’s extant scheduling options to do so) for high-traffic times of day, and to tweet or post to Facebook regularly.
  2. Attach Images. Analytics clearly and definitively prove that attaching images (that you have the rights to, of course) to your tweets, Facebook posts, and blog posts boost the visual impact and increase the “clicks” those posts receive. Snap a quick picture with your camera or grab a picture from online to accompany every post, and watch those clicks roll in.
  3. Tag People. Both Twitter and Facebook (as well as Instagram and other social media platforms) allow creators to “tag” or “@” or “mention” or otherwise direct their posts to specific individuals. Doing so creates notifications which will make people aware that you are talking about them, which boosts the likelihood that they will respond or re-post your material, thus raising awareness about it.
  4. Authenticity Matters. Social media is the best lie detector in existence. Twitter and Facebook users are highly attuned at present to inauthentic material (and will only continue to grow moreso as the conversation around “Fake News” becomes more advanced and nuanced) and are unafraid to call people out on it. The way to ensure that you put social media to work for you rather than against you is to treat your followers like you would your coworkers and your friends all at once. You have to be honest, and authentic, and you have to be able to stand behind every post you make in the years to come. (The Internet forgets nothing.)

Think of all the authors and creators who have influenced your journey. Who would you like to thank this holiday season? What are their footprints in your life? Whether you choose to mount a quick social media campaign around your gratitude list this holiday season or not, thinking of how far you’ve come and the people who have helped you along the way is just one more way to enjoy a bright and beautiful Christmas.

christmas gifts

You are not alone. ♣︎

Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to feature your thoughts and respond to them in my next post!

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.

 

Self-Publishing News: 12.11.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Forbes continues to keep us in rich and useful content this year with the latest contribution from Brandon Stapper of the Forbes Agency Council. Stapper, the “CEO of Nonstop Signs & Graphics, which has risen from humble beginnings to become a printing powerhouse” (according to the article) offers up three suggestions to those looking to break out into what he calls “thought leadership”–essentially, getting ahead of the curve in business through nuanced and effective brand management tied to future thinking of the highest order. Stapper’s first suggestion? Publish an ebook to boost your credibility in talking about industry-specific expertise.

Many readers will be most familiar with self-publishing as a vector for publishing fiction and memoir, but nonfiction books about specific niche industries are a rising star and market force. “Having a published e-book (even if you’ve published it yourself) signifies that you really know what you’re talking about,” writes Stapper. “Writing your thoughts on a particular aspect of your industry or a couple hundred pages on a how-to can easily establish you as an expert within your field. And people trust experts and are more inclined to follow them and even purchase their products.” It’s not a challenge to be undertaken lightly, he advises, but the potential benefits may just prove rewarding enough to make it a worthwhile venture.

In this week’s Post-Journal, Michael Zabrodsky breaks down the ins and outs of self-publishing versus taking the traditional publishing route in the “Write Now” podcast–an audio clip of which you can listen to at the link, where an extended written version is also available. If you’re at that tipping point where you’re still considering your options and you have a manuscript in hand, this episode of the “Write Now” podcast may just provide you with the information you need to make a decision. It’s worth noting that Zabrodsky, who self-published an ebook himself, makes note of but does not allow his personal decisions to influence the information he shares. This podcast makes for a straightforward look at what options are available, and the main questions you need to ask before moving forward. “It’s that easy,” he writes, but also: “It’s that hard.” He’s definitely onto something there!


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Published Book Review: “Christmas Secrets”

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:

christmas secrets by uncle pappy

Christmas Secrets

by George R. Kuper AKA Uncle Pappy

ISBN: 9781478799108

Synopsis*:

Secrets of Christmas Revealed! This edition of Christmas Secrets is a first in a series of Christmas books. This book allows adults and children alike to enjoy discovering the secrets of the holiday season together. Many of the children’s questions about Santa Claus and the Christmas season are answered. The stories are interactive with prompts and questions to encourage children to think, analyze and become involved in the adventure

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Adorable Throughout – Great for Interaction with Kids

–  Verified reviewed on Amazon

Other Reviews

Interactive Christmas Story Focused on Entertaining Discussion

– reviewed by Al on Amazon

Wonderful Christmas Story

– reviewed by Greg on Amazon

 

Book Trailer

 


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: 12.4.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

One of our favorite sources for international news regarding digital publications, The Bookseller has come through for self-publishing authors again this week. Contributor Emmanuel Nataf digs into the nitty-gritty of how to reconcile publishing with the nascent entrepreneurial start-up model popularized in recent years, and this article breaks down his findings into three critical tips. At the risk of spoiling what they are, we recommend you check out his full article at the link!

One of the great and ongoing overarching stories of self-publishing has been its emergence from the dawn of the Internet age and its evolution into a market force worth respecting–and yes, admiring–and yes, perhaps even pursuing if you’re an author. The word “stigma” is bandied around a lot, but the good news is that today’s self-publishing author has so much less of it to contend with than authors who chose to go indie in the 1990s. This article, courtesy of the Press-Enterprise contributor Marj Charlier, chronicles this emergence as well as the implications for current authors of its absence–or abolition, as the case may be. Authors today can build upon the shoulders of greats, of those who have gone before to pave the way and who worked tirelessly to improve the playing field and services offered. Charlier’s article is well worth a second reading, especially if you’re looking for suggestions in getting started searching for the right self-publishing home for your next book.

On that note, Entrepreneur‘s Chandan Sen Gupta has arrived on our radar this week with this fabulous list of tips and tricks for authors looking to set out on their self-publishing journeys. Writes Gupta, “There is no doubt that self-publishing has arrived and is here to stay, but setting one’s book up for sale is only half the job done. Marketing, to reach out to the readers, is equally important and with its success, an author’s battle is won.” To that end, he dives into ways in which you can take advantage of self-publishing tools as well as your skills in marketing your book to build a successful sales strategy.

Looking for a little bit more of the history behind self-publishing and its evolution? We return to one of our longstanding favorite pairings: Adam Rowe’s commentary and Forbes magazine. In this week’s valued addition to this delightful tech team-up, Rowe writes–like Charlier–on the legacy of self-publishing, its origins, and current trends within the digital self-publishing industry. Rowe investigates several case studies, including that of maven David Gaughran, whose work has long been respected as an exemplar of the form, and whose self-publishing guide Let’s Get Digital has now officially reached its third edition. Rowe investigates just what it is that Amazon has done to and for the industry, and the ever-evolving ways in which it treats its authors. Always a byline to watch, Rowe’s article provides useful insights into just where we might be headed as we prepare to exit 2018.


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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The Alchemy of Holiday Marketing (Part IV)

We all know how wonderful it is to have holiday traditions, those things we do year after year and never tire of because they bring us nostalgia for our youth or for holidays in general. However, in book marketing, tradition in the holiday season might mean stagnation. So this year, when you’ve finished your traditions of decorating your Christmas trees, drinking egg nog, wearing tacky sweaters, caroling and hanging your stockings by the chimney with care, let us help you brainstorm some new ways to market your book.

christmas holiday fire book

The trees have shed their colorful fall foliage, the air has grown crisp, the kids are back in school, and you know what that means? The year’s final holidays are just right around the corner. This is a time of year to celebrate, not only because it means the return of pumpkin spice lattes and apple crisp, but because it is a time of year devoted to giving thanks, sharing delicious food and thoughtful gifts, and it is a time to gather with and spend time with those we love and cherish.

You can further celebrate this time of year as an author by innovating your marketing strategies, as there are certain advantages to marketing this time of year that aren’t available to you on just any summer day.

With an increased amount of shoppers trying to fill stockings and fill out the base of their Christmas trees, it is imperative that you’ve nailed down who exactly your audience is. Is your book a children’s book? Make sure your book is made available in local toy stores and maybe put some flyers up in local day care centers, libraries, and schools. Also, think of how great your book could be as a stocking stuffer for family members; being generous with your book this time of year could lead to more readers not only within your family, but whoever your family ends up sharing it with as well.

This is also a great time of year for holiday giveaways online. Vamp up your blog with relevant tags, and host your giveaways there! Post on pages relevant to your story–this could be anything from a Facebook page of the state your book takes place in, a Facebook group of readers that your book might appeal to, or maybe even to a Facebook event in your area that fits the theme of your book.

Remember that Christmas stockings are often full of Amazon gift cards; do you have an ebook to offer all these new potential buyers? Going digital means that there were literally be MILLIONS of people who will have access to your book, who never would’ve come across it otherwise. If you already have an ebook version, ask your readers for a priceless holiday gift: a good review online.

christmas stack of books coffee holidays

The Christmas holidays is an especially important time to be thinking about helping to preserve your family’s history and legacy by self-publishing a book.  That’s because Christmas, perhaps more than any other holiday, is rich with oral storytelling traditions, baking traditions, and narrative traditions of all kinds.  You can both collect new material for your book and enjoy the rich conversations that will inevitably collect around the news that you’ve got a book in the works.  And sometimes, at Christmas as at other times of year when our relationships with the past are the hinge upon which our lives turn, we can all do with a little reminder:

You are not alone. ♣︎

Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to feature your thoughts and respond to them in my next post!

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.