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First, I’m Late …

Hi! My apologies for not being around very much over the past few weeks. This blog’s first anniversary was on November 4, and I had planned to publish this post on that day. However, another unexpected medical situation arose in late September and then accelerated through October. Long story short, I was in surgery again on November 3 and wasn’t able to work for the next several days. During that time, things piled up … and, well, here we are. This new medical “thing” is unrelated to the breast cancer, which is going to be fine. But there will be some sort of further “something” required to totally flatten this new one, and I’m supposed to know what that “something” is by the 19th.

Meanwhile, I’m celebrating the first anniversary of this blog in a number of ways. Right off the top, I’ve added a blog roll to the site where I’ve listed the blog/Web site addresses for all of the wonderful acquaintances I’ve made over the last year. Everyone on that list is going after the same dream in one way or another, and re-reading the comments from everyone has been fascinating and heartwarming at the same time. I can’t believe how many lives have intersected with mine over twelve months through this medium, and I’m unbelievably grateful for each one!

Another way that I’m celebrating the blog’s first anniversary is by reflecting on the original mission (established in the November 4, 2009 Blog Launch Posting). There were several goals:

  1. Complete and publish my second novel, Separation of Faith, and that objective was gloriously met in mid September (a little behind the original schedule, but met nonetheless).
  2. Completely re-edit my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon, and then publish the shiny new Second Edition. We’re about two weeks away from the fulfillment of that objective. All of the edits and reviews are complete, so we’re just waiting for the book to go live everywhere. I’ll let you know the moment that happens.
  3. Share through the blog all of the steps involved to accomplish the first two objectives, including the things that went wrong as well as the things that went smoothly. (And some of those steps where things went wrong turned into full-blown stories themselves, if you have time to check out the posts sequentially.) Throughout the process, the subject of editing and the critical importance of that element emerged as a fourth goal.
  4. Ensure the highest quality possible in terms of both editing and writing, especially for Separation of Faith. After a huge amount of effort and about five additional months that I hadn’t calculated in the plan, that second novel earned the Editor’s Choice designation from my publisher (iUniverse), a level achieved by fewer than 10% of books they publish. The Second Edition of The Truth About Cinnamon wasn’t submitted to as much rigor, but I cut out 20,000 words and tightened things up substantially without changing any of the original story.
  5. Share tips, articles, other bloggers’ posts, and any relevant/interesting information I might come acoss to help fellow writers on the same path. Toward the end of this anniversary post, there will be another list of things to share that I’ve been collecting.

Highlights

As I was reviewing the November 4, 2009 post, several points and passages stood out as being major reasons behind my starting this whole thing in the first place:

  1. I was close to finishing my second novel, but I had no idea which publishing direction I wanted to pursue. Then I attended the first annual Writer’s Digest Conference in September 2009 where the realities of the publishing world today were painted very graphically for us. (All of that is covered in detail in the November 4, 2009 lauch posting.)
  2. In the opening address of the conference, the speaker (Mike Shatzkin) told us that, in today’s publishing environment, our books, no matter how fabulous, are completely irrelevant if we don’t already have a clearly defined platform and a foundational readership/following in place before we ever submit a query letter. In the same address, Shatzkin also let us in on a little secret: The first thing that happens now in the agent’s/editor’s office is that someone (a staffer, most likely) Googles the name of the writer sending the query letter. If nothing shows up that demonstrates some sort of following or platform already in place–one that’s relevant to the author and the book being queried–a rejection letter/postcard is generally sent out immediately, with no further exploration of the writer’s actual writing. WELL … since I was one of those writers who’d been resisting the all-time-consuming entry in the land of social media, the fact that I had a problem was rather obvious–thus the launch of this blog and everything else that’s happened over the last year, all chronicled herein for the perusal of interested parties.

As an aside–and as I mentioned in a posting a couple of weeks ago–the second Writer’s Digest convention is happening in January (21st-23rd). If you’re only going to attend one conference in your life (or if you haven’t been to one in awhile), this is the one. Check out the details at: http://www.writersdigest.com/conferences-events/. If you decide to attend, let me know. I’d love to connect with you while we’re there!

How’s Separation of Faith Doing?

Great, I think (especially since I’ve had two major surgeries in the seven weeks since the novel was released). Amazon rankings go up and down. (I can follow them hourly on my Amazon author site, but that can really drive a person nuts, so I don’t do that anymore.) I won’t know the exact number of books sold for awhile, since all I get at the moment are rankings, and I won’t receive my first royalty statement until the end of this quarter. But the reviews coming in, from both individuals and review sites, are all wonderful. If you haven’t been there yet, I invite you to check those reviews out at http://www.amazon.com/Separation-Faith-Novel-Cheri-Laser/dp/1450232183/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1289665738&sr=1-1.

At first, the hard cover was outselling the paperback, and then that reversed. So far, the best ranking has been 60,963 for the paperback at 2:00 pm on October 31. And to show you how fast the numbers can change, the hard cover had crept up to 1,707,759 on the morning of November 9. But at 3:30 that afternoon when I checked again, the hard cover was at 152,959. I don’t know yet how many books that represented, but the change was stunning (and very exciting).

One of the things I’ve learned in the last seven weeks of promotion is that if I don’t prime the pump every single day through some combination of activities–blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, tag surfing, etc.–absolutely nothing–zip, zero, nada–happens. And since we’re all responsible these days for the promotion of our books, regardless of whether we publish traditionally or otherwise, building that sales record is a huge challenge.

There is supposedly a point–if we’re putting a great story out there that’s meticulously edited, and if we’re promoting that book in some fashion seven days a week–where the momentum will become somewhat self-propelling, at least for awhile. But everything I’ve read and heard from the experts says that a minimum of six to eight months of concerted effort (and probably longer) is required before any sort of buzz can become self-sustaining for any period of time.

So, we march forward! Things like this posting by Glenda Bixler (a reviewer) on Facebook today can be incredibly uplifting when you start thinking that you’re never going to get “there”: http://gabixlerreviews-bookreadersheaven.blogspot.com/2010/11/cheri-lases-latest-is-separation-of.html.

When I look back through all the postings on this blog over the last year, though, I realize that an enormous amount has been accomplished, and I’m very grateful to be where I am (which is a millenium further than I was when I walked into that 2009 Writer’s Digest conference).

Some Information to Share with You

I’ve been accumulating these links for a few months now. Because, in addition to promoting Separation of Faith, bringing out a new edition of The Truth About Cinnamon, and being stuck in a surgical revolving door, I’m also trying to get started on my third novel, I’m drawn more to articles about writing now than I am to those about publishing and promoting, for the moment anyway. And I realized that I’d unknowingly been collecting lists, which I’m putting in numerical order for you, just for fun. Hopefully, one, some, or all of these links will prove useful to you as well:

  1. Five questions to ask yourself before you start revising: http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/2010/08/questions-to-ask-yourself-before-you.html.
  2. Six personality types who will succeed as writers: http://victoriamixon.com/2010/07/13/6-personality-types-who-will-succeed-as-writers/.
  3. The ten commandments of fiction writing: http://www.writersdigest.com/article/The_10_Commandments_of_Fiction_Writing/.
  4. Janet Fitch’s 10 rules for writers: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2010/07/janet-fitchs-10-rules-for-writers.html.
  5. 11 plot pitfalls and how to rescue your story from them: http://www.writersdigest.com/article/rescue-your-story-from-plot-pitfalls/.
  6. 12 dos and don’ts for making the first page of your novel more compelling: http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2010/08/act-first-explain-later.html.
  7. Secret emotional triggers for your writing: http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/07/18/SecretEmotionalTriggersForYourWritingCapitolCityWritersRecap.aspx.
  8. You can learn as much from writing friends as writing experts: http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/08/24/YouCanLearnAsMuchFromWritingFriendsAsWritingExperts.aspx.
  9. How to write the ending of your novel: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/08/09/how-to-write-the-ending/.

Then, because the editing of our books is so unbelievably important (poor or inadequate editing will eliminate a book from contests and consideration by agents/editors, and will cause readers to put the book down, just to name a few things that will happen), I’m including a couple of links to articles about editing:

  1. The myth of the evil editor: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2010/07/myth-of-evil-editor.html.
  2. A 4th of July lesson in the value of editors: http://writingfordigital.com/2010/07/04/a-fourth-of-july-lesson-in-the-value-of-editors/.

And lastly, for those of us intent on pursuing the traditional publishing path through agents and editors, here are two enlightening links:

  1. What writers wish they’d known before pitching: http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/07/29/WhatWritersWishTheydKnownBeforePitching.aspx.
  2. How to ensure 75% of agents will request your material:  http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/08/16/HowToEnsure75OfAgentsWillRequestYourMaterial.aspx.

Hopefully, you’ll find these tips as interesting and useful as I did/do/will.

In Closing

As I wrap up this first anniversary blog posting, I want to thank everyone I’ve encountered over the last year for the wealth of information and the generosity of spirit I’ve come to know in the writing community. As significant as this year has been, I have great hope that the next year will be even better for each of us. And I’d like to close with the last passage from my November 4, 2009 blog launch posting:

“I believe very strongly that there’s enough room in this dream for all of us, but we need to get our arms around the realities of the publishing world and then take control of our own destinies. Here’s to the journey!”

Have a great weekend. I’ll look forward to talking with you soon.

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Hello from California!

Yesterday (which also happened to be my birthday) I flew to California for an eclectic week of events. First, my dearest friend in the universe (Elaine, aka E-d-E) lives in the San Francisco area, so I’m staying with her and her family. Haven’t seen her in four years, and so far today, we’ve had a joyous (and basically, totally unproductive) morning of talking and catching up. The hours have been wonderful, and I’m so excited that I’ll be here an entire week, because we seem to have a bottomless reservoir of bottled-up things to tell each other.

Tonight I’ll be attending a reunion of folks from my former corporate/marketing life, which filled up nearly three decades prior to launching my reinvention as a writer and editor. Close to twenty years have passed since I’ve seen these folks, and I’m anxiously awaiting the event, which is due to start in just a few hours.

Then, next Tuesday night, Elaine and her husband Don will host a party for several old friends (all girlfriends except for one fellow–the husband of one of the girlfriends). We’ll be working a book signing for Separation of Faith into that evening. Everyone who’s coming that night also read my first novel (The Truth About Cinnamon–Second Edition version coming by the end of October). But what I’m looking forward to most that night are the hugs and catch-up conversations with so many people who’ve been so dear to me for such a big part of my life!

Speaking (as I was momentarily) about Separation of Faith, I would like to proudly direct you to the latest review posted on Amazon. Three reviews were written prior to yesterday by individuals, and I am incredibly grateful for the time they took to post their comments. This newest review, however, is from one of the official review sources (Readers Favorite) to whom we’ve been forwarding copies of the novel–and I’m sort of over-the-moon about the posting, made even more special by the fact that it was posted on my birthday. 🙂

Here’s the link to the review, in case you’d like to take a look: http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1SLHI58I09T1K/ref=cm_cr_dp_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

Meanwhile, I’ll pop in again with another post as the next week in California unfolds. But I have to tell you that this week is proving to be just what the doctor ordered, in the most literal of ways.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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At Last! The Next Iteration of the Writer’s Conference that Changed Everything for Me! (http://www.writersdigestconference.com/)

If this is the first time you’ve stopped by this blog, I invite you to check out the November 4, 2009 blog launch posting (https://cherilaser.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/hello-world/). That original post (and the decision to start a blog in the first place) was a direct byproduct of my attending the first annual Writer’s Digest Conference held in New York City in September of last year (2009).

When I checked into the hotel on the first day of the conference, I had not yet finished my second novel (Separation of Faith, released last month, September 2010), nor did I have a clue about the realities of the publishing business/world today–a reality that changes almost moment-by-moment. Like so many other writers I’ve met over the years, I still believed that continuing to write and send out those “carefully crafted” query letters would eventually get me where I wanted to go on my publishing Journey.

But since I didn’t understand the new realities of the world I was trying to enter with my novels, I also didn’t understand what would be the best way for me to proceed with my second novel, given my personal goals and my stage in life. Well, the blog post on November 4, 2009 outlines the revelations and shifts in my Journey’s direction after I’d spent three days at that conference.

In a nutshell: 1) Everything I’d been thinking/planning changed, and 2) I was shot out of a cannon when I left the conference, with a clearer direction about what I wanted and needed to do than I’d had in decades. I reordered absolutely everything I was doing the day after I returned home.

This blog has followed every single step of those changes and the subsequent unfolding of the Plan, including the things that went smoothly and those that didn’t. In short, though, the second novel is not only finished and released, but there’s already been recognition for editorial excellence, which emerged  in the process of that conference as one of the keys–if not the key–to a successful book. Getting to that level of editorial quality took almost a year, but there wasn’t an option, as far as I was concerned. You can read all about that whole editing struggle, if you feel like perusing the posts in this blog since last November.

You’ll also read about how I started blogging in the first place, a process about which I knew absolutely nothing, but something else that wasn’t optional for me after that conference. The same was true for my entire approach to the whole social media thing in general. (Again, the November 4, 2009 post will lay everything out for youhttps://cherilaser.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/hello-world/.)

The New Conference–January 21-23, 2011  

Writer’s Digest did not have their second annual conference this year due to scheduling issues, much to my disappointment, but delayed the event until January 2011. I’ve been watching for registration to open for the last month–and needless to say, I’m already confirmed. (Not packed yet, but soon … 🙂 …)

After more than fifteen years of trying to find my way through the publishing morass, and after attending dozens of conferences, I can honestly tell you that this one is differentIf you’re a writer going after the same Dream we’re all chasing–and if you’re ready to hear/learn what it really takes to even have a shot (with an open mind to the realities that will quickly open your ears and eyes as wel)–this conference will leave you a changed person/writer at the end. And by this time next year, perhaps your own Journey will be a lot further along as a result.

If I had not attended the Writer’s Digest Conference in September 2009, none of this would be a reality for me right now:

  • This blog–www.cherilaser.wordpress.com
  • All of my social media connections (see the right hand column of the blog).
  • www.Amazon.com (Separation of Faith under Books)
  • Video Book Trailer for Separation of Faith: www.YouTube.com/cherilaser
  • By the end of October, we’ll also be releasing a Second Edition of my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon (on Amazon.com too), because of what I learned about the importance of quality editing (as important, if not more so, than the quality of the writing) at the WD 2009 conference.  

If you want the conference experience of your writing life, check out the January 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference at: http://www.writersdigestconference.com/. If you decide to attend, please let me know! I’d really love to meet you there and have some great conversations in person!

Have a Great Weekend!

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A Great Place to Start Organizing Your Thoughts

This will be a quick note to share a post published by Jane Friedman (Writer’s Digest) this morning. If you’re just beginning to consider publishing options for your work, her piece is extremely helpful in organizing thoughts and direction.

There are several “sidebar” links that take you to sub-categories, and I highly recommend that you read each of those as well, in order to get the full picture of what she’s presenting. The link on self-publishing is of particular interest and really points out the realities quite succinctly.

If you’re trying to figure out which way to go on your Journey, or if you’ve already gone one way and would like to consider going another, spend a few minutes exploring Jane’s post in depth: “I Want to Publish My Book. Now what?” http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/10/05/IWantToPublishMyBookNowWhat.aspx

Hope your week is off to a good start!

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WSJ Article Merits Rleading by All Writers with the Dream

Hi! I’m just popping in with a quick post because this new Wall Street Journal article is so relevant, important, and sobering for all of us. While I’m running around in a frenzy of promotion for Separation of Faith (www.amazon.com/Separation-Faith-Novel-Cheri-Laser/), this sort of revelation could be discouraging. But somehow I just feel more fired up.

Take a look at the article and let me know what you think: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748703369704575461542987870022-lMyQjAxMTAwMDIwODEyNDgyWj.html

Hope you’re all having a terrific week!

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Book Launch Party–September 23, 2010

Thanks so much to everyone who took time from their busy lives to attend my Book Launch Party for Separation of Faith–available on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Separation-Faith-Novel-Cheri-Laser/dp/1450232191/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1286991323&sr=1-1), as well as all other online and traditional book retailerson Thursday evening. We had a great time, rolled out the novel in fine fashion, and had some fun raffles for T-shirts, book bags, lunch with me, and then a special 50-50 for my Rotary club’s scholarship fund.

I’m including a few highlight photos–setting up, mingling, signing, etc. You’ll also note one photo with an elderly gentleman and a small girl. That’s my father Jim (who will be 90 in February) and my granddaughter Natalia (who is three), representing the opposite ends of four generations in our family. Pretty amazing for me.

For those of you who are visiting this blog for the first time, the whole mission of the blog since the launch on November 4, 2009, was to follow the progess of Separation of Faith, through the last stages of the writing, through all of the editing and revision phases, through all of the publishing steps and missteps, and now into the promotional phase. Eventually, this blog will become a book too, chronicling the how’s and how-not-to’s of bringing a novel into the world. There are all sorts of tips and links throughout the postings that I’m told are proving helpful to other writers pursuing their own dreams. So if you’re visiting for the first time, I’d love to hear from you.

Amazon Stats–Separation of Faith

This has been sort of a kick so far. For a brief time yesterday morning (about five minutes), the paperback version of Separation of Faith was ranked 95,000 in Amazon. After checking the graphs I’m able to see as an author, I’m also noticing that the hard cover version is actually ranked higher than the soft cover version, which means that more people are opting to buy the hard cover (an absolutely beautiful product, if I do say so myself 🙂 …). Overall, both versions are consistently hovering in the 100,000s and 200,000s, creeping up higher periodically. The numbers have stayed well under 1 million to date, a range that at least keeps me on the playing field.

I don’t know (and won’t know until the end of next quarter) exactly how many copies this all translates into, and there are other factors involved with Amazon’s rankings, such as how well other books are doing that compete with Separation of Faith. But overall, I’m pretty excited about what’s happening up to this point. Now I just need to keep getting the word out. Thanks so much to all of you who’ve already taken a chance on the novel. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, although I would love to hear from you one way or another.

Cinnamon Update

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the final Cinnamon galley proofing should be completed this weekend. Hopefully that will mean the newly edited Second Edition version of my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon, should be available for purchase sometime next month (October). I feel like I’ve been talking about this (and working on it) for a millenium, and I’ll be so very happy when it’s ready for you. You’ll know as soon as I do when that moment arrives. Meanwhile, the original version (which will soon become a First Edition) is still available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/TRUTH-ABOUT-CINNAMON-Novel/dp/0595299733/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285426568&sr=1-1).

Thank you all again for continuing to be a part of this Journey and for letting me be a part of yours. Have a wonderful weekend! 

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Separation of Faith Happily Selling Today

Just wanted to pop in with a quick update on the Amazon stats for Separation of Faith. Over the last week, the ranking kept creeping up (or actually down), which was hard to watch but part of the world we’re in now. This morning, the number was approximately 1,110,000.

But I’ve been working on getting the word out to more on my list (and in the world) every day, learning that the process is not only slow but must be continuous in order to be effective.

Tonight I just checked the Amazon stats, and Separation of Faith is currently sitting at approximately 127,000. This number can fluctuate almost by the minute. But clearly, several someones have been taking a chance on the novel and making a purchase. And my heartfelt thanks goes out to each one, hoping that I’ll hear from people who do read the book.

Once again, here are the key links:

So, this has been a really good day. Hope it has been for you as well.

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“It Was All So Different Before Everything Changed.”

Last night I was scanning through the posts written last spring and in the early summer. At that point, I was deeply focused on edits–doing them myself, waiting for the results of someone else doing them, blogging about the importance of submitting our work to professional editors, reviewing the edited proofs, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera–for both Separation of Faith and the re-edited version of The Truth About Cinnamon (which is still in the final proofing stage, by the way). And my words were directed a few times to the fact that I was growing tired of that part of the writing process and feeling anxious to move on to the next stage.

Well, here I am, in that next stage. And with my book launch party less than a week away (Thursday, September 23), this is what I’ve been doing this week:

  • On Monday, I met with the printer about the T-shirts and shopping bags I’m having made for the book launch party and subsequent book events currently being scheduled in the area. The shopping/book bags (canvas) will have Separation of Faith‘s cover printed on one side. The T-shirts will have the cover on the front and the following excerpt on the back (except the paragraphs will be properly formatted, single spaced, indents on first line, no extra line space between paragraphs, none of which can be done in this blog format): 

… “Chronological order, huh? Well, that might not be as easy as you’d think. But I guess the front end musta been on Saturday, October 23, 1948.”

Isaiah put his fork down on his plate and studied Zeke’s face. “You remember the date and the day of the week?”

“That’s what I said. You got a hearing problem?”

“Is that when you met Abby?”

“Yup. Everybody’s got a fork-in-the-road story, you know. And that was mine. Got up that morning, just like always. Ate breakfast just like always too. Didn’t wear my overalls, though, ‘cause we was going into Charlotte. Put on my go-to-meeting jeans and a clean shirt that I even ironed. Guess I should a seen it coming, but I didn’t. All I know is that nothing ‘bout my life—and I mean nothing, not even the color of the damn sky—was ever the same after that day.”

  • The T-shirts and bags will be for sale at a very nominal fee, but I’ll also be giving a number of them away in raffles at the book launch party. And anyone who buys three or more books will automatically get a book bag. (I’ll also be giving away a lunch with me, so we’ll have to see whether or not that’s a particularly exciting prospect for anyone. 🙂 …)
  • At the local Party City store, I bought rolls of raffle/50-50 tickets. In addition to the T-shirt/book bag/lunch giveaways, I’ll also be holding a special 50-50 at my book launch party to benefit my Rotary club’s scholarship fund.
  • While at Party City, I picked up a helium canister to fill the 50 balloons that will be anchored at each table. So, of course, I also had to buy the balloons and balloon anchors. The anchors are sort of a sea blue, shiny with ribbon fringe on top. The balloons are powder blue, cobalt blue, and white, all of which coordinate with the book’s cover. Three balloons (one of each color and secured with white ribbon) will be tied to the anchors on the eleven round tables plus the reception table, the book sales table, the T-shirt/bag table, and the table where I’ll sign autographs. (There will also be a podium where I’ll do a couple of quick readings at some point.)
  • I picked up a big container of glitter too, to sprinkle over the white tablecloths. At the book launch party, which will be from 4:00-7:00 on the 23rd, we’ll be serving cocktail appetizers. There will be a cash bar, but every book purchase will get a free drink. The video book trailer (www.YouTube.com/cherilaser) will be playing in a loop on a huge laptop screen at the book sales table. There will be other music as well throughout the room. My current music phase is doo wop, but we’ll see how I’m feeling on the 23rd. 🙂 Pictures and videos of the event will be posted on this blog by the 25th or 26th.
  • About seven hours this week were spent sending out announcement emails containing links to the video trailer and this blog. Because I’ve lived and worked all over the country and have only been here in the New York Metro area of New Jersey for ten years, the majority of people that I know personally all live somewhere else. And they’re all getting their own announcement emails, because that’s what the “experts” suggest is the best and most appropriate approach (versus a blanket email that goes out to everyone at once). Guess we’ll learn eventually if that approach turns out to be the most effective. But I must admit that it’s been giving me an opportunity to say hi to lots of folks I don’t get to talk with very often.
  • Today I have to meet with a new client about an editing job (oh yeah, that make-a-living thing too) that I’ll be doing for her, and then I’ll come back to my home office to do more emails. I also need to make several signs and posters for the book launch party–and I want to make them generic enough to use at other book events. Then there will be a few phone calls to managers/proprietors of various local establishments where I want to hold events over the next month. And, finally, I’ll need to start booking my travel arrangements for the trip to San Francisco and Kettle Falls, Washington that I’ll be making in October (the first stop for an IBM reunion, and the second tied in for a book event, because Kettle Falls is a key locale in Separation of Faith).

So, last spring I’d grown itchy about moving on into the promotional elements of publishing a book, impatient with the seemingly endless process of shepherding a book through production and into print. But you know what? I haven’t even held my first event yet, and my next book is clamoring to get out of me.

True, as writers in this new age of publishing, we are all responsible for promoting our own books whether we publish traditionally or not. But, in the end, the process of writing–the nuts and bolts of our craft where we pull ideas from our imaginations and weave them into stories that bring hours of reading pleasure (hopefully) to those who take a chance on us–simply will not accept second billing beneath promotion for very long.

The next challenge will be figuring out how to create a balance than enables me to create a brand new book from scratch while selling another (actually, while selling two others) at the same time. And you’ll be in the front row while we see how all of that works out. 🙂

Have a terrific weekend!  

 

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New Posting on Scribd.com

As many of you know, I’ve been using Scribd.com for some time now to post my short stories, articles, and a serialized ten chapters of The Truth About Cinnamon (original version), all of which are available for free viewing and downloads. This is a terrific site for all writers to use to get their work “out there” and to get a feeling for how something you’ve written will be received, in a competely penalty-free environment. I encourage you to give the site a try.

Meanwhile, a few minutes ago I uploaded a pdf of the opening credits and the first chapter of Separation of Faith, for those of you who might be curious. Enjoy. http://www.scribd.com/doc/37208052/Separation-of-Faith-A-Novel-1st-Chapter-for-Free-Download.

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Separation of Faith Is Going Live Today!

Yes, my friends, the day has finally arrived! Hallelujah! The next post (#65) following this one (which should happen between 10:00 & 11:00 this morning, September 9) will actually be coming from the social media group at iUniverse. At that time, you’ll see all of the ordering and social media pages in the blog’s right-hand column as you hover over the links. Each of the sites will become fully active at different times over the upcoming days. For example, Amazon’s availability might not be at 24 hours for awhile. The title is just beginning to feed into all the sources.

The novel will also become available directly through me (with customized autographs) on my Web site’s book store (www.SeparationOfFaith.com) as soon as I receive my initial supply (in a few days). Once I have my copies of the book in hand, I’ll need to get photos posted to my Web site and also add the ordering information to the book store. I’ll publish a blog post once that avenue is open.

If you encounter any problems trying to secure a copy of Separation of Faith anywhere, please let me know right away.

VIDEO BOOK TRAILER FOR SEPARATION OF FAITH AVAILABLE NOW FOR VIEWING AT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy60sDqkEbs. Be sure to have your volume turned up so you can fully hear and appreciate the original melody. 🙂 This one-minute forty-three second project took months to complete. Enjoy.

Book Launch Party

My official Book Launch Party for Separation of Faith will be on Thursday, September 23, at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, 650 Terrace Avenue, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, from 4-7 pm. If, by some chance, you’re going to be in this neck of the woods on that day, please let me know so we can hold a spot for you. There will be food, drinks, fun, and lots of celebration that I’d love to share with you.

What a Day, Right?

I can hardly believe that this is actually happening at last! We’ve juggled a bunch of issues during the past five weeks, and I want to publicly thank the staff and management at iUniverse/Author Solutions once again for all the hoops they’ve jumped through to get this thing back on track. I was already a big fan of that company, but I’m an even bigger one now. If you’re a writer who’s considering an alternate path for publishing your book, I highly recommend the iUniverse route.

Of course, I also recommend that, whatever route you choose for your Journey, you make certain that your selection places a substantial emphasis on the editing of your manuscript! If you scan through the last ten months of my blog posts, you’ll see why I believe that the editing component of our publishing journeys is so critical.

Update on The Truth About Cinnamon

The proof of the re-edited version should be finalized by this weekend. Those changes will then need to be implemented by the publisher’s design team. Based on my recent experience with getting Separation of Faith back into the queue, I’m guessing that the Second Edition version of Cinnamon will be available by the end of this month, approximately. I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, the original version is still available everywhere and will remain so until the new one goes live. There won’t be any gap.

Photos

As soon as my initial supply of Separation of Faith arrives, I’ll take and post pictures so you’ll have a more three-dimensional view of what’s going on in this crazy place. Photos and videos of the September 23 Book Launch Party will follow shortly thereafter.

Surgery Update

This time last Thursday we were at the hospital. Everything went well, and I was home that night. My drains were removed yesterday, so I feel bit like a new woman today. Perfect timing, right?

Squeezing breast cancer into all of this has become my biggest challenge. But I’m incredibly blessed that we found this early, that the type of breast cancer is one we believe we can bring under control, and that I’m being cared for at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, one of the best (if not the best) places I could be in the entire world. Prayers of gratitude are said many times each day for all the things that are going well.

Stay Tuned for the Social Media Post Marking the Official Launch of Separation of Faith–and Have a Perfectly Fabulous Day!

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