Authors Talk About It

Book Award Contest & Indie Support

Category: advice (Page 1 of 11)

Weeds in Nana’s Garden – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Kathryn Harrison

Sometimes a story comes along that touches your heart so much it’ll move you to tears. Kathryn Harrison’s children’s story, Weeds in Nana’s Garden is one of those stories. A young girl enjoys spending time in the garden each summer with her grandmother. They sing songs, create bouquets, hang out with the fairies and simply build a special bond with one another. Unfortunately, Nana begins to show signs of dementia, which the young girl’s mother gently explains to the girl. Over the next few years, the young girl grows into a beautiful young woman as she tries to help her nana move through the continual decline gracefully. Harrision also includes a wonderful Q & A section at the end of the book to help parents, guardians, etc. talk to children about the disease.

Weeds in Nana’s Garden is gloriously depicted with full-color illustrations by the author. Readers will likely feel like they’re spending time in the garden right alongside the gently aging grandmother, her granddaughter, the fairies, the birds and the colorful blossoms. Kathryn Harrison has a gift that she shares not only through her illustrations but her poetic words. A teeny-tiny error here or there could stand to be fixed, but the overall eloquence and importance of Weeds in Nana’s Garden aren’t distracted from at all.

Every library, every doctor’s office, every child’s home bookshelf and every counselor’s office should have a copy of Kathryn Harrison’s Weeds in Nana’s Garden. This is a disease that everyone encounters in one way or another, and Harrison has done such an absolutely beautiful job of shining a light on it, explaining it in a way that children can grasp and yet, still gripping the heart of any reader who peruses the pages of Weeds in Nana’s Garden. Highly recommended.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Reclaim Your Happiness – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Jacqui Letran

Jacqui Letran’s 5 Simple Questions to Reclaim Your Happiness is a straightforward self-help guide to, well, reclaiming your happiness. In it, Letran prompts the reader to ask themselves these five questions: What am I feeling? Why do I feel this way? Is this emotion useful? How can I see this differently? And, would I rather be right or happy? Letran also includes the accounts of three of her clients to illustrate how effective addressing those five questions can be. Along with a ton of helpful writing prompts for the reader, 5 Simple Questions to Reclaim Your Happiness is a tool with which its readers can get their lives – and happiness – back.

Though they illustrate her point well, the supposedly real-life examples that Jacqui Letran used in this book seemed far too fictionalized; all of them toed the line of believability, sometimes even seeming to cross that line. Whether these characters really were clients of hers – and whether some of the details in their stories have been embellished – remains to be seen. Also, 5 Simple Questions was a bit too short and vague. In some respects, it wasn’t exactly a revolutionary self-help book; some additional detail and fresh ideas would help here.

There were some truly excellent qualities about this book, though – one of them being Jacqui Letran’s straight-to-the-point style of writing. She doesn’t waste time trying to be the reader’s best friend, but rather, lays out her ideas and evidence and lets the reader use them however they see fit. Not only was this an interesting approach, but it was also an effective one. Also, the use of detailed questions and writing prompts is a fantastic way to keep readers interested and actively engaged – in the book and in their own lives. 5 Simple Questions to Reclaim Your Happiness is a short and quick self-help book, but lives up to its genre and gives the reader the tools they need to help themselves – and it certainly pays off.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Join Author Groups on Facebook [10 of 105 Ways to Promote Your Book]

Join Author Groups on Facebook

[10 of 105 Ways to Promote Your Book]

There are hundreds and hundreds of author and book focused groups on Facebook. Believe it or not, they really can help you promote your book.  But, there are different ways to use the various different types of groups.

Not all author Facebook groups are alike

Without a doubt there are different types of Facebook groups.  Some are pretty much focused on being a drop-and-run group.  Others are very content oriented sharing helpful tips on writing, marketing, publishing, and so on.  While others are focused mainly on connection and mutual support. *This is not a comprhensive list of the varies types of FB groups out there, but it gives you an idea how some can be very different from others.

Drop-and-run groups

The types of groups are the ones in which members pop in long enough to drop a post about their book or one of their books.  Often it ends up only being an Amazon link and whatever FB pulls from Amazon for the image.  Some of our clients are good about adding their own creative images in some of the drop-and-run style groups, and sometimes these do get some sales.

Why be in these groups if people don’t pay much attention to other posts?  Well, because some do pay attention.  And, if you’re running a free campaign or a sale, you just might be a number of people to pick up a copy.

Content focused groups

These groups share a lot of posts about marketing advice, writing tips, publishing tips, or how to create the best book cover.  And, a lot of other pieces of information. They are a great place to learn, ask questions and share your wisdom.  They’re especially helpful for Indie Authors!  Of course, in some of these, you are not allowed to promote your book, so make sure you follow the rules.

Review exchange groups

Amazon frowns on exchanging reviews (and I believe it is still against their policies to allow them – so if they find out, you can have the review taken away or even risk having your account shut down).  However, to get reviews for feedback, and so that you can share the review on your website, on the cover of your book (a quote from one) or in other places, these might be of interest to you.

Join one or all of our Facebook groups for authors

Many different ideas when marketing your book

There are so many ideas when it comes to marketing your book.  If you’d like to see all 105 Ways to Promote Your Book, grab the free pdf of it now! Click here.

Get creative with the possiblities! And, have fun with your marketing!!

 

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The Disabled Workforce – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Rachel Shaw

Rachel Shaw’s The Disabled Workforce: What the ADA Never Anticipated is a useful guide aimed at helping readers understand the American Disabilities Act and its implications. On the foundation of a background in Human Resources, Shaw outlines how to determine if and how disabled people can return to or join the workforce, as well as how to regard and manage their accommodation requests later. She shares her own four-step Disability Interactive Process Hallway to help employers fulfill their obligations to their disabled employees. With the inclusion of helpful management techniques and real-life stories from her own experiences, Rachel Shaw has created an invaluable resource for employers and disabled employees alike.

The Disabled Workforce is written in a straightforward, professional manner. While this is not at all detrimental to the book, there were several instances where there was a bit too much of a textbook vibe. Perhaps, it could have been written in a more casual style to be more reader-friendly; however, The Disabled Workforce certainly serves its purpose: sharing information.

Much of this information was certainly as helpful as it intended to be. Many aspects that previously may have been gray areas for employers have been laid out in a clear, precise manner. Rachel Shaw’s description of each concept and technique is profound and clearly based on a wealth of education and personal experience. The Disabled Workforce: What the ADA Never Anticipated may be a bit of a dull read for the average reader, but it is certainly an invaluable resource for employers of all kinds.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Speak at Book Clubs – [9 of 105 Ways to Promote Your Book]

Speak at Book Clubs:

in-person or via Skype or Zoom

[9 of 105 Ways to Promote Your Book]

Connecting with book clubs and offering to speak to their group in-person or via Skype or Zoom is a wonderful opportunity for both you, as the author, and the group members.

Bring discussion questions to the table

Create a list of four of five powerful questions that you can pose to the group in regards to your book.  You can share these with the group leader when pitching the group to read your book and then have you join them for a discussion at some point.  This doesn’t mean that group members can’t pose their own questions, but it gives everyone a place to start.  You can also share your typical media kit questions, in case they want to ask questions about you as an author and not just discuss the content of your book.

Consider offering your book for free to the group

When pitching a book club leader/cooridinator consider offering to give your book to group members for free.  You can’t necessarily do this for tons and tons of groups, but if can offer some copies for free it gives you a chance at feedback, getting more people interested in your work and a chance the book club members will buy other books of yours or recommend you to their friends.

Give them your one sheet

Offer to send copies or at least a downloadable version of your one sheet to share with the group members.  This gives them a chance to get a quick overview of you and any other books you’ve written.  *Need help creating your one sheet? Send us a message here info@AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com

Make it as easy for the leader or coorindator as you can to say, “Yes!”

Many different ideas when marketing your book

There are so many ideas when it comes to marketing your book.  If you’d like to see all 105 Ways to Promote Your Book, grab the free pdf of it now! Click here.

Get creative with the possiblities! And, have fun with your marketing!!

 

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Living in Italy: The Real Deal – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

Click here to get your copy!

Stef Smulders

In Living in Italy: The Real Deal – How to Survive the Good Life, Stef Smulders details how he, his partner, Nico, and their dog left their lives behind to start a new life in Italy. Once there, they aspired to start their own bed and breakfast, Villa I Due Padroni. However, as Dutchmen, Stef and Nico were completely out of their comfort zone in the eccentric Italian landscape. Thrust into the midst of a difficult restoration project and a sea of quirky characters, Stef and Nico struggled to find their way. They needed to discover, as the title suggests, “how to survive the good life.”

At first glance, Living in Italy seems to be a sort of travel guide or emigrant’s handbook. However, it is nothing of the sort. In fact, it is primarily a memoir about two immigrants and their hilarious escapades in Italy. Although there are bits of advice sprinkled throughout, there is not nearly enough to fully commit to the genre it appears to be. Aside from its misleading first impression, Living in Italy has a few other quirks, as well. It’s poorly organized in some areas, jumping around a lot in focus and setting. Some chapters seemed entirely disjointed because of this. Other times, there seems to be errors in the translation of the book; abundant grammatical errors and untranslated Italian phrases can lead to a fair bit of confusion for readers. Much Stef Smulder’s writing was quite abrupt, too; chapters seemed to end as soon as they started and the storytelling was not as strong as it could have been. 

Despite its lack of organization and clarity, Living in Italy was certainly an interesting read. The characters that Stef and Nico encounter during their exploits are humorous and entertaining, as are their stories about acclimating to Italian culture. Also, for fans of home renovations and DIY projects, this book has plenty to interest you. Living in Italy: The Real Deal – How to Live the Good Life could use a bit of renovation itself, but is still a fascinating read for anyone considering moving to Italy and starting anew, as Stef and Nico did.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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How Mommy Got Her Groove Back – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Rebecca Undem

How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is Rebecca Undem’s touching memoir about her departure from and eventual return to her rural upbringing. Raised in Oakes, North Dakota, Rebecca cherished growing up in the country with her loving family. However, she yearned for a more exciting life in the city. After a series of corporate jobs in big cities, though, Rebecca began to feel like her heart wasn’t really in it. She and her husband, Jeremiah, returned to Oakes to help her parents with the family business. Once there, she struggled to balance her desire for a successful career, her familial role as a farmer’s wife, and her new, most important job as a mother to their three young children. A long, zig-zagged road of trial and error later, Rebecca found herself and her calling in the one place she least expected to do so: her own hometown.

How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is a true gem in a dozen different ways. The most significant is that it is so easy to relate to; at times, it feels so very personal. Although it is a memoir of her own life, Rebecca Undem’s trials and triumphs are ones that we all, as human beings, have faced at one point or another. She is all of us, in that she is a determined woman who is just trying to do the right thing for herself and her family. Her words are poignant, yet casual; witty, yet friendly; humorous, yet so strikingly hard-hitting. It is sometimes difficult to become so wholly invested in the life of another, but Rebecca Undem achieves that captivation immediately and maintains it until her last page.

This book is anything but just a memoir. How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is an epic adventure, full of love, sadness, faith, and above all, life. Also, perhaps without intention, it is brimming with friendly advice and confident support. All in one short book, How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is a shoulder to lean on, a picture of nostalgic love, and a beacon of light to lead its readers to their own callings, serving to cement Rebecca Undem as a forever “Nestie” for all of us.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Scott M. Graffius

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is a manual written by Scott M. Graffius for business owners looking to improve their management and development. It details how to use the Agile Scrum method to plan, execute, and track the development of a business’s products. Each step in the cycle is broken down, point by point, so that business owners can quickly learn how to efficiently use this method to further enhance their business’s production model.

Agile Scrum is straightforward and to the point; it gets straight down to business from the very first page. While its information is useful and certainly helpful to owners of any sort of business, it’s a bit dry. There’s no doubt about it; this is a textbook, and not a particularly exciting one, either. Perhaps, interjecting some humor or real-life examples would serve it well. It’s short and sweet and gets the job done, but it lacks a certain flavor that would make it memorable. Instead, Agile Scrum is the sort of study guide that business owners might need to keep going back to, which isn’t necessarily something negative.

However, Agile Scrum certainly has everything it needs to be an essential handbook for any business owner. Scott M. Graffius included lots of helpful, colorful infographics to supplement his text, which makes the content easier to understand. Each point is broken down into easy-to-follow bullet points, so that even the most inexperienced business owners will have no trouble learning the method. Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is a no-nonsense, concise manual that will surely help any sort of business owner improve their business with the Agile Scrum production cycle.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Why Authors Shouldn’t Proofread Their Own Work

Authors Shouldn’t Proofread

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Written by: Sarah Davies

Main Purpose of Writing is to Communicate

The main purpose of writing is to communicate a message. In order for this message to reach its intended audience as clearly as possible and with maximum impact, it is crucial for the document to be succinct, ordered correctly and error-free in terms of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Many Layers to a Well-written Document

Producing a well-written document should be viewed as a complex process with many layers. Creativity, research and the formulation of ideas and arguments is one part, but the technical side of writing is quite another. If the technical side is neglected in the overall process the risk of mistakes increases. The upshot of submitting an error-strewn document is that the reader will lose confidence in the author and the message will be lost. For this reason the writing process should be approached as a ‘tag-team’ relationship between the author and the proofreader/copy-editor.

Authors Should Never Proofread Own Work

Authors should never proofread their own work. Being so close to the material creates a dangerous situation of not seeing the wood for the trees in terms of spotting and correcting mistakes. It is at this stage that the proofreader/copy-editor must be ‘tagged’ in to provide that vital final polish and quality check.

As trained professionals, proofreaders and copy-editors have the expertise required to enhance the author’s vision and message; ensure that the text flows in a structured, organised way; and to correct any errors.

Retaining the services of a professional proofreader/copy-editor should never be viewed as an unnecessary expense. It is a sound investment for ensuring success.


Sarah Davies is an experienced freelance proofreader and copy-editor offering services to businesses and students. This includes thesis proofreading and dissertation proofreading.  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4895474

editing

*We do NOT edit guest or shared posts.

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Cherokee Wisdom

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Cherokee Wisdom:

12 Lessons for Becoming a Powerful Leader

Click to get your copy!

Book Description:

In this book, Leadership Expert Cynthia M. Ruiz taps into her Cherokee roots to share profound advise on developing your unique Leadership Style. Everyone is different yet has the ability to be a powerful leader in many aspects of their life. These twelve lessons are powerful reminders of what attributes are needed to become a leader, which benefits yourself and others.

Cynthia is proud to come from blended cultures and feels she takes the best from both worlds, Latina & Native American. She has been know to say “ I get my passion for life from my Mexican side and my spiritualty and respect for the environment from my Cherokee roots”

She has received over 50 awards and accolades for her Leadership and philanthropy. Hollywood Chamber has named her a “Women of Distinction” and she appeared in the Discover the Gift with the Dala Lama, Michael Bernard Beckwith and Jack Canfield.

Cynthia has a Masters Degree in Counseling and has worked with people her entire life. She lives in Los Angeles where she enjoys the diversity of a metropolitan city. 

“Sometimes we complicate our own lives, ancient wisdom can remind us to keep it simple. One simple lesson many leaders miss the mark is humility.”


Cynthia M. Ruiz

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Cynthia M. Ruiz is an Author, Professor, Inspirational Speaker and Leadership expert. Receiving over 50 accolades and awards for her leadership and service to Los Angeles.  She currently serves as a Los Angeles City Commissioner overseeing a multibillion-dollar pension portfolio for City employees.

 She has received the prestigious Hollywood Chamber “Women of Distinction Award, the HOPE “Ray of Hope” award and the Weingart, “Women Building LA Award.  Twice the California Apparel News has listed her on their renowned List of Influential People and LA Weekly showcased her in their people addition.

Cynthia has over twenty years of experience teaching and public speaking. She is the author of two books , “Cherokee Wisdom- 12 Lessons for Becoming a Powerful Leader” and “Finding Sane Relationships in a Crazy World”. She appeared in Discover the Gift (movie/book) with such notables, as is Holiness the Dala Lama, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Jack Canfield and many more. 

Her career has placed her in many leadership roles including President of the Board of Public Works for the City of Los Angeles where she had oversight of 5,000 employees and a billion dollar per year budget. She has worked as an Executive at the number one container Port in the US and has successfully run her own business.

Coming from blended cultures (Latina and Native American), she enjoys a passion for life and an appreciation of the gifts of Mother Nature.

Cynthia knows the importance of giving back and always strives to stay humble. As a Latina she has a passion for women empowerment and started the Wise Latina Network.  Her Cherokee values have inspired her to teach others with her lessons.  She has does this through her books and workshops.

She lives in Los Angeles where she enjoys the diversity of a metropolitan city. 

http://cynthiamruiz.com

 


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Cherokee Wisdom.

Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 


Doors are open for the 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest! Deadline is 9/30/17

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

2016-grand-prize-winner-jpeg

You get more than just an entry into a contest!  All entries that earn at least 3 Stars get promotion, too!

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!


Authors join our Creative Author Marketing Facebook group

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A place to share tips, advice and wisdom about marketing your book. Ask for advice. We’re here for you!

Traveling entrepreneurs, Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. share a wealth of knowledge and info with authors all over the world.  

We help you develop 3 key things you MUST have to gain success with your book.

Your Mindset
Your Tool Set
Your Skill Set

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