6 Common Book Launch Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs: Guest Post by Desiree Villena

6 Common Book Launch Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs:
Guest Post by Desiree Villena

Launching your book is arguably more challenging than writing it. After all, you’re a writer, not a marketer, and there’s a massive to-do list of tasks:
—sending offers to your email subscribers
—deciding on price promotions
—possibly even planning a launch party!
Publishers will lend you a hand if you’re going the traditional route, but when self-publishing, you’ll do most of the work yourself — and that’s where mistakes can happen.

On that note, let’s talk about six of the most common book launch mistakes and how not to make them, so that you have a smooth(er) launch. We’ll be focusing on the digital aspect because online marketing is essential whether you are a novelist or nonfiction writer and regardless of how much experience you have.

Mistake #1:
Not Investing in a Strong Book Cover

(Covers, above, by Isabelle Arné, Jason Anscomb and Patrick Knowles, from the gallery of book cover art)

Unfortunately, despite the overused idiom, people do tend to judge books by their covers — at least when they’re considering whether to buy them. Even when buying classic books that have been reprinted numerous times, we already more-or-less know what’s inside, so our decision to buy often rests on how the volume looks.

And for lesser-known books, the group to which yours likely belongs, a visually unappealing cover can lead to readers’ disregarding it altogether. Unless they’re first compelled to click on your book cover, they probably won’t even make it to the first line.

Many self-publishing authors, especially those working on their first launches, are tempted to cut costs by making their own covers. However, unless you are very familiar with design tools and artistic styles, this decision is bound to backfire. Now’s not the time to skimp! A professional cover will pay for itself once you launch your book.

On a separate but related note, your book’s interior design should also be perfected (and, yes, this is crucial, even if you’re only selling ebooks!). Regardless of medium, reading is about more than just enjoying a book’s content; you also need to facilitate a smooth visual experience, and interior design is a huge part of that.

Mistake #2:
Failing to Utilize Back Matter

Speaking of what’s inside your book, let’s talk about back matter, or end matter. This comes after the main contents of your book and often includes an epilogue, acknowledgements and an appendix. But don’t limit your back matter to just these things — instead, try to tap further into the interests of your readers while they’re still thinking about your work!

Consider providing some personal information about yourself and your book — perhaps its conception or charming stories about the writing process. You might include a Q & A from yourself, ideally led by another author, to shed light on certain details. If this is a nonfiction book, include a guide or a link to your website for more useful information.

Indeed, encouraging readers to visit your primary landing page helps you build a rapport with them. It also increases the chances of their buying your future books.

Marketing has to be continuous if you’re building a career as an author, so don’t make the mistake of passing over this opportunity! Not only will you be adding readers to your leads, you’ll be taking them one step closer to a platform where they can buy and review your book.

Mistake #3:
Rushing Through the Book Description

Once you’ve ensured your book is optimally designed and structured for its launch, it’s time to return to Amazon and construct a perfect product page. Amazon self-publishing can be your best friend, if you know how to do it efficiently, and that means writing a stellar book description!

But make no mistake, your book’s blurb is not its description, and you can’t just stick it on your product page and call it a day. Ideally, a blurb summarizes the book’s content in a way that makes the reader curious about it, while a description does more than that — it addresses the reader more directly. Think of your description as a sales pitch; if you’ve cranked out an attractive blurb, you’re about one-third of the way there.

The other two-thirds include the parts that sandwich your blurb: a first-line hook and an encouraging ending. The hook should be short but impressive, while the end can be more elaborate.

One effective technique is to let readers know what to expect in terms of genre by mentioning well-known similar books or comparable titles. You could also include a review or two to boost the credibility of such comparisons:

(above, from the Amazon product page for This Changes Everything by Sally Ember, Ed.D., The Spanners Series, Volume I)

Make sure to put your “grabby” bits at the beginning! Amazon only displays the first couple of lines of your description by default — the buyers will have to click “read more” if they’re curious — so this book description structure can really make a difference in terms of converting traffic into sales.

(Note that these tips also apply to your Amazon Author Page, but that’s less crucial to sales than your book product page itself.)

Mistake #4:
Planning for a Short Launch

Setting your book’s presentation aside for now, let’s dive into actual marketing strategy. As mentioned, book marketing is an ongoing task for most authors, although many believe it’s only a one-time thing. As a result, a lot of authors start their marketing campaigns too close to their launch dates and end them too early.

To combat this, consider dividing your campaign into pre-launch, soft-launch, and the final move in order to generate a constant flow of new buyers. Given that the Amazon algorithm tends to favor books with steady sales over a longer period of time, you should definitely plan for a process that lasts at least a month, from pre-launch to finally letting your book sell on its own.

There are plenty of strategies and tools you can use to fill up this month. For example, for the pre-launch, it’s generally good practice to provide free previews for people who are already following you before the release date, so you can attract reviews as soon as possible.

For the soft launch, consider making your book free or deeply discounted for several days, especially if you are a new author and have limited preexisting reach. Otherwise, just be ready to sell the book cheaply for a week or so to gain traffic and reviews!

The final phase of this gradual process is to increase to the standard price. Maybe do one last round of email marketing to those who haven’t responded to your previous calls to action.

Mistake #5:
Not Optimizing Your Ads

One cannot talk about launching a book without advertisement — but optimizing your book’s ads can be tricky. There are three main platforms to choose from when it comes to advertising your book: Facebook, Amazon, and BookBub. If you are publishing through Amazon, it’s handy to use its advertisement tool as well, since you’ve already done most of the work by creating the perfect book description with good keywords and category tags.

Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple when it comes to advertising on other platforms. The audiences on Facebook and BookBub are very different, since Facebook is obviously a much less book-focused community. Consequently, advertising on each requires different practices (you can learn more about that from Mark Dawson and David Gaughran, respectively). It may seem harmless to ignore these subtle differences, but you’ll save yourself a world of stress and money if you can adapt specifically to the algorithm of each platform.

Mistake #6:
Disregarding Professional Help

So you need to maintain an online presence on several platforms, refine your Amazon product and author pages, create extra promotional materials, and get your Facebook and BookBub ads going. Despite all there is to do, most authors simply roll up their sleeves and take it on — because how hard can it be, right? On top of that, doing things yourself means cutting costs.

But of course, the day-to-day responsibilities of promoting a book can really add up. On any given day, you could be researching anything from Amazon algorithms to Facebook ads. The five mistakes previously covered should give you an idea of how much can go wrong when you don’t have the expertise. Also, even if you can handle each small task individually, it’s unlikely that you can give 100% to all of them at once.

The result may be that nothing will be of high quality. What’s worse, you won’t be able to keep track of how each part of your campaign is working, i.e., what is most effective in increasing traffic and fostering conversion. Consequently, it’ll be hard to know how to revise your strategies for maximum success.

The truth is, you’ll do much better with professional help. Most authors have at least one weak spot where they could use some assistance: a fiction author who writes in a popular genre may want advice on how to narrow down the vast market, while a nonfiction writer may want help dealing with metadata and website optimization. No matter what your situation, rest assured that hiring the right marketers will not be a waste. If anything, it’s a valuable investment not just in your current launch, but in your next launch, too.

*******************************

Launching a book can sometimes feel like launching a rocket. It may be a bumpy journey from here, but don’t be discouraged; at least now you can avoid making some common mistakes (and you can access even more tips through the guide linked here). With the right help and mindset, you’ll be able to get through it all.

Good luck, and happy marketing!

***********************************************
Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories. She’s very passionate about indie publishing and hopes to help as many authors as possible achieve their dreams!
Connect with Desiree Villena:
https://www.instagram.com/reedsy_hq/
https://twitter.com/ReedsyHQ

#selfpublish #selfpublishing #selfpublishingtips #indiepublishing #indiepub #authormarketing #bookpromotion #authorbrand #pubtips #authoradvice

2019 “Gloria Awards: Salute to Women of Vision”: 5/8/19! Please attend, donate, sponsor, support!

2019 “Gloria Awards: Salute to Women of Vision”: 5/8/19!
Please attend, donate, sponsor, support!

New York City, NY 6 – 11:30 PM

2019 MS banner awards

Join Gloria Steinem and Teresa C. Younger at the

Ms. Foundation for Women’s 31st Annual Gloria Awards

A Salute to Women of Vision

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

6:00 PM ET Cocktails

7:00 PM ET Awards Presentation and Dinner

9:00 PM ET Gloria Awards After Party

At Capitale Bowery • 130 Bowery • New York City

The Gloria Awards is the Ms. Foundation for Women‘s largest annual event, celebrating activists, innovators, and philanthropists who ignite policy and culture change on behalf of women and their communities nationwide. Named after Ms. Foundation Co-Founder, Gloria Steinem, the event pays tribute to the remarkable achievements of feminists whose courage and leadership move us toward our shared vision of a just and inclusive democracy.

Across generations, across the nation, women and girls are standing together to demand change that is overdue. More than ever, women and girls are vocal and mobilized. Generations of women are empowered to create social, political, and economic equity for all genders.

The 2019 Gloria Awards theme—Looking Back on Our Future—honors intergenerational wisdom, courage, and success.

https://forwomen.org/gloria-awards/

Women of Vision Honorees, 2019

dream hampton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer from Detroit. Her most recent work, “Surviving R. Kelly”, Lifetime Television (2019), broke ratings records and had wide and far-reaching impact.

Grassroots activist and Latinx advocate Angeline Echeverría, Executive Director of El Pueblo, Inc., specializing in leadership development for Latinx youth and adults in the Raleigh, North Carolina community.

Human rights defender and advocate Deon Haywood, Executive Director of Women with a Vision in New Orleans, improving the lives of marginalized women, their families, and communities through advocacy, health education, supportive services, and community-based participatory research.

Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Honoree

Sana Amanat, Vice President of Content & Character Development, Marvel Entertainment. Her past editorial credits include Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and Miles Morales. She is most known for co-creating a Muslim-American female super hero named Kamala Khan – the new Ms. Marvel – which gained worldwide media attention and sparked excitement and dialogue about identity and the Muslim-American narrative. 

Peggy Charren/Free to Be You and Me Honorees

Layla Bagwell, Jessica Hernandez-Garcia and Charlotte Iradukunda--15 year-old members of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, who created a Facebook campaign to support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during her Supreme Court testimony. In addition, their letter writing campaign garnered over 117,00 signatures, including hundreds of women who disclosed their own experience of sexual assault as teenagers.

Ms. Foundation for Women
https://forwomen.org/

MS foundation logo.png

Questions?

https://e.givesmart.com/events/c8Z/

2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS (reblog)

2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS (reblog)

national Book Awards Foundation logo

The National Book Foundation has announced its shortlists for the 2018 National Book Awards: 25 finalists in total in five categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. The winner in each category will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 14. The ceremony will also be live-streamed online in its entirety.

#bookawards #nationalbookaward #finalists #authors #writers #fiction #poetry #nonfiction #YAlit

Mazel Tov to all finalists!

FICTION:

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf)

Florida by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Soho)

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking)

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead)

The other shortlists are found here:

https://bookriot.com/2018/10/10/2018-national-book-award-finalists/

“40 Writers’ ‘Rules for Writing'” from Emily Harstone at AUTHORS PUBLISH (reblog)

40 Writers’ ‘Rules for Writing’
curated and annotated by Emily Harstone at AUTHORS PUBLISH (reblog)
August 26, 2018

What a great compendium of ideas about writing in the form of “rules,” so that we can argue with, agree/disagree, utilize, benefit from, whether we’re experienced or newbie writers or an interested readers/fans of some or these authorial rule-givers!

BTW: KUDOS for including a lot of women, writers from different eras, and various types of writers.

Saved the best one for last, IMO, from Phillip Pullman:

40. Phillip Pullman’s One Rule for Writing

“My main rule is to say ‘no’ to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.”

http://www.authorspublish.com/40-writers-rules-for-writing/

“4 Ways Music Can Enhance Your Writing”: Guest Blog Post by Dan Buri

4 Ways Music Can Enhance Your Writing

by Dan Buri

If you find your writing is becoming stale—and let’s face it, we all find our writing is stale from time to time—sit back and enjoy music. I mean that quite literally. Lean back in your writing chair, turn on a song you love, close your eyes, and enjoy the music.

Music has a way of seeping into the soul more viscerally than any other form of art. Let music inspire the words you are writing.

In my recent book, 40 Tips on Creative Writing, I provide an inspirational guide for writers aiming to write their first, second, or even twentieth book.

In any creative endeavor, we all have moments of keen inspiration and moments where our well of creativity seems all but dried up. I wrote the book because of reader requests to consolidate some of the tips and tricks I use to continue to find daily motivation in my writing.

Music is a tried-and-true way for me to find my motivation on days when I find it might be lacking. When I’m not listening to music I’ve purchased and downloaded on my devices, I gravitate toward a couple of different streaming services, including Pandora and Spotify. Here are 4 Ways Music Can Enhance Your Writing.

1. Music Taps Into Our Creative Mind-Wandering Mode.

In Daniel J. Levitin’s book, This is Your Brain on Music , he describes the brain as having two primary modes: (1) paying attention closely and (2) mind-wandering. It is believed that most creativity happens when we are in mind-wandering mode.

This shouldn’t be surprising. When do you usually stumble upon your best ideas? If you’re like me, it’s not when we are laser focused on a task, but instead, when we’re in thoughtful, unorganized contemplation. It’s during these times that our brains will connect two seemingly disparate things and a spark of creativity will occur to bridge them.

There are plenty of ways to get yourself into mind-wandering mode, but as Levitin says, “Music is one of the most exquisitely effective ways of allowing you to enter the mind-wandering mode.”

If you’re looking to inject a spark of creativity into your writing, listen to music you enjoy. You will find your mind entering a realm of creative ideas.

2. Music Increases Verbal Intelligence

In a 2011 study published by the Department of Psychology at York University, researchers found that 90% of children had a significant increase in verbal intelligence after only one month of music lessons. Sylvain Moreno proposed that there is a transfer effect that happens in our ability to understand language from music training, particularly for kids.

What writer wouldn’t like to have a better grasp of language? I know my writing could use a boost in writing and reading comprehension. The more I can increase my verbal intelligence, the better I’ll be as a writer to see the big picture and connect all the dots for my readers.

3. Music Lowers Stress

We now know that music helps to open up creative avenues in the mind, but it also lowers stress levels (just like spending time in nature does). Let’s face it: we writers find ourselves in a variety of stressful situations, like, a deadline is rapidly approaching, or we’re unable to find a journal or website to publish our latest article, or our book is not getting into the hands of readers. If it’s not one stressful encounter in our writing life, it’s another.

A large number of studies have found that listening to music that you enjoy will decrease levels of cortisol—the stress hormone—in the body. One 2002 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that active participation in music produces a significant boost in the immune system.

Sing away, my friends!

4. Music Enhances Memory

I keep a lot of notes. In fact, my wife often gives me a hard time about the number of journals I have floating around the house at any given time. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget it. I have to jot it down so I can refer back to it later. I now know, however, that my listening to music is helping me remember things as well.

Researchers have found that listening to pleasurable music activates areas of the brain implicated in emotion and reward. They discovered that there’s a correlation between listening to music and our ability to remember or memorize things.

Want to be a smarter writer? Want to increase your vocabulary? Listen to music!


Dan Buri (@DanBuri777 on Twitter) is a trusted resource for writers to gain insight into the difficult world of indie publishing. Dan is a founding member of the Independent Writers Guild, a worldwide organization of writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting the interest of indie writers by encouraging public interest in, and fostering an appreciation of, quality indie literature. His website (<a href="http://www.Nothinganygood.com&quot;http://www.Nothinganygood.com<) provides quality advice for all stages of the writing process, from the brainstorming and writing process, to becoming published, to marketing your writing and reaching readers.

Dan Buri’s latest book, 40 Tips on Creative Writing, is currently available in ebook and print formats. His first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, which has been recognized on multiple Best-Seller lists, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption.

His nonfiction works have been distributed online and in print, in publications including Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. He is an active IP attorney in the Pacific Northwest and lives in Oregon with his wife and two young children.


DAN BURI

LINKS
Dan Buri email: danburi777@gmail.com
Blog for Indie Writers: Nothing Any Good
Books: Pieces Like Pottery and Newly Released 40 Tips on Creative Writing
Twitter: DanBuri777
Goodreads: Dan Buri

#TEDGlobal2017 line-up, here

On August 27, 2017, an extraordinary group of people gathered in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” said curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor put it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We…

via Sneak preview lineup unveiled for Africa’s next TED Conference — TED Blog

My response to an extremely disturbing and misleading post about #meditation and #yoga

My response to an extremely disturbing and misleading post about #meditation and #yoga: “Meditation and Yoga: A deeper Look into Practices that are Deceiving Christians Today.” Link to full post, below.

#Meditators, #Buddhists, #Hindus, and anyone who practices either #Christianity or yoga will be particularly interested in this “discussion.”

Warning one: if you are a #Christian who meditates or does yoga, this entire situation will REALLY bother you in ways I can’t even begin to predict. I do apologize, even though none of this is on me except for my response, below (which the blog posters probably will delete, so that is the reason I post it all here).

Warning two: the full article is extremely lengthy. If you don’t want to read it all, I certainly understand.

If you’d like to know more and TRUE information about meditation or yoga, please find a reputable source, such as a qualified and experienced yoga or meditation teacher near you, and/or read accurate books, such as Gates to Buddhist Practice or Being Peace, or pick up a magazine that focuses on either topic which has been around for many years, such as Yoga Journal or Lion’s Roar, and/or talk to actual people who have spent many years practicing/teaching meditation or yoga.

Please leave comments HERE, since these posters will probably delete yours as well: http://www.sallyember.com/blog or here: https://wp.me/p2bP0n-23k

MY RESPONSE:

Apparently, you and Carolyn consider yourselves to be the only types of legitimate “Christians” who are allowed to exist and be safe from “satan” and wrong thinking; somehow, you have deemed yourselves entitled to tell everyone else how wrong their practices, beliefs, churches, leaders and family members are. The sin of PRIDE mean much to you?

Also, there are so many false and misleading statements in this article, particularly those things listed under the headings “Truth” and your so-called “definitions” of words you know nothing about, that I can’t even go point by point: it would take weeks.

Since you both believe in hell, you will undoubtedly burn in hell for all eternity for spreading this kind of deceptive, hateful, untrue, ridiculous and disgustingly ignorant message disguised as “helpful information about ‘meditation’ and ‘yoga.'” You are horribly wrong IN EVERY WAY and you are hurting people (many of whom ARE actually Christians) who are tremendously benefiting from having these practices in their lives.

The best I can hope for you two is that, after you die, you both reincarnate as BUDDHISTS to find out how wrong you are.

If you have any integrity at all, you will NOT delete this comment. I expect, however, that it will disappear. SO I am copying it and pasting it onto my blog, with your link, and that will cross-post to dozens of places and reach thousands of people.

LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE:
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/127642918/posts/5538

#GoldenGlobes’ best #MeToo and #TimesUp Moments

#GoldenGlobes‘ best #MeToo and #TimesUp Moments

Maybe you, like me, don’t care at all about the awards shows and find them boring and ridiculous. BUT, this year’s Golden Globes Awards show had some great moments. IMO, #Oprah‘s speech was the BEST!

Someone put these speeches all together so you can watch just those and save yourself the time of fast-forwarding through the entire show to find these gems (which I already did):

https://soundbooks.org/2018/01/08/metoo-moment-leads-at-the-golden-globes/

and, another highlight reel: https://soundbooks.org/2018/01/08/2018-golden-globes-video-highlights-seth-meyers-monologue-oprahs-lifetime-achievement-speech-more/

#JoanBaez is a global treasure; talks about her newest and possibly last album, here

#JoanBaez is a global treasure; talks about her newest and possibly last album, here:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/joan-baez-on-first-album-in-a-decade-retiring-from-the-road-w514872

REBLOGGING: A Letter to Survivors of Sexual Assault by JOHN PAVLOVITZ

REBLOGGING: A Letter to Survivors of Sexual Assault
NOVEMBER 10, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

A beautifully written, heartfelt, supportive and sympathetic message to/for all survivors of sexual assault and related traumas.

An excerpt: “My friend, I’m sorry for both your initial injury—–and for the way the world causes you further damage when you take the risk of stepping forward, or simply as you endure our daily oblivion. You deserve far better.”
(link to full post, below)

Thanks, John.
#MeToo

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/11/10/letter-survivors-sexual-assault/

John’s post has a list of great resources at the end. Here is a review of yet another one, if you like to read:
THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE by Bessel A. van der Kolk
https://whathasbeenread.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/the-body-keeps-the-score-by-bessel-a-van-der-kolk/

REBLOGGING: “Locally Grown #Book #Marketing for #Indie #Authors” from Author Marketing Expert

REBLOGGING: “Locally Grown #Book #Marketing for #Indie #Authors” from Author Marketing Expert

https://www.amarketingexpert.com/book-marketing-locally-grown/

“National Punctuation Day” is having its annual Photo Contest: deadline = 10/31/17


“National Punctuation Day” is having its annual Photo Contest: deadline = 10/31/17

Yesterday (Sunday, 9/24/17) was National Punctuation Day HAPPY NATIONAL #PUNCTUATIONDAY!

In this post is info from its founder, Jeff Rubin, about this year’s #PHOTOCONTEST!

deadline 10/31/17!

“This year we celebrate the day with a punctuation photo contest.”


As a reminder, I am an ace proofreader and offer “Last Pass” proofreading services, for those who are wondering if the proofreading you already paid for/did is sufficient (take my word for it: it’s not). https://sallyember.com/last-pass-proofreading-available/ for more information, rates and guarantees.


Here are the rules:

PREPARING THE PHOTOS

  1. Take three photos of incorrectly punctuated signage (stores, billboards, businesses, road signs, public transit, etc.), each showing a different punctuation error.
  2. Name the punctuation error(s) in each photo (there may be multiple errors, as seen in some of the examples attached).
  3. One entry of three photos per person.
  4. You must be in the photos. (see me in the “Member’s Testimonials” photo attached.) Selfies are OK. Photos with Photoshopped heads will be disqualified.
  5. Each photo must contain a caption, which will be considered when judging your entry. Be creative.
  6. Photos must be submitted in .JPG format and be no more than 2 MB each.
  7. The file name for your photos must include your last name in CAPS. For example: RUBIN photo #1.jpg, RUBIN photo #2.jpg, etc.

SUBMITTING THE PHOTOS

  1. Send your submission to jeff@NationalPunctuationDay.com.
  2. In the e-mail subject header write: NPD PHOTO CONTEST.
  3. Include your name, address, and location of the photos (city and state).

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS OCTOBER 31

http://www.NationalPunctuationDay.com
jeff@NationalPunctuationDay.com
1517 Buckeye Court
Pinole, CA 94564
(510) 724-9507, office

3 Films/Events from Unify.org and others

3 Films/Events from Unify.org and others
[Announcements and images from Unify (http://unify.org)]

ONE:
#makingfriends “Making Friends Across Religions”

A short film… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGMQsJ0VzAk

“On June 14, 2017, many of the world’s most prominent religious leaders made a joint statement encouraging people everywhere to make friends across religions.

“Friendship and getting to know one another are the antidotes to negativity and divisions in society, enhancing understanding and unity.

“We pray that the message and example of unity, shown by these leaders, will contribute to bridging divisions by inspiring you and your friends to start new conversations with people of different faiths. Follow the example, spread the message.” http://lionsgateevent.com/


TWO:

8/8/17, 2 PM YOUR TIME


#Globalmeditation on 8/8/17, 2 PM EDT USA:

“The ‘Lion’s Gate Synchronized Global Meditation’ combines several powerful planetary alignments, including the Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius, the Lion’s Gate (or Egyptian New Year) and the 30 year anniversary of the Harmonic Convergence.”


THREE:
#CalmOneCalmAll 8/2/17 at 2 PM YOUR time, JOIN IN:
“A Moment of Calm: Global Forgiveness Moment”

watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FloNvmQCZ0A

“Become a part of the growing wave of peace. Join the ‘Global Forgiveness Moment ––The Moment of Calm’ from wherever you are. Simply observe TWO MINUTES of silence on August 2 at 2 PM to forgive and experience the calmness within.”

Re-issued & Updated: “#Utopian #Sci-fi/ #Speculative Fiction: Why it’s Intriguing and Necessary”

My guest blog post on Tonya R. Moore‘s Sci-Fi site from July, 2014, re-issued/ updated today!

#Utopian #Sci-fi/ #Speculative Fiction: Why it’s Intriguing and Necessary

utopia3.inline vertical

image from http://www.nypl.org (New York Public Library)

Writers are often exhorted to “write the books we want to read,” especially when they seem not to exist, yet. I am following that advice with The Spanners Series. I know what I want to read and what I can’t find because I am a life-long, avid reader. I have probably read hundreds of thousands of books in my 60 years of reading independently and quickly, sometimes enjoying ten books a week. If I say that books like mine—–more utopian sci-fi/speculative fiction series like The Spanners—–don’t yet exist, I’m probably correct.

However, there is a long history of utopian sci-fi that spawned speculative fiction and inspired technological and biological/ medical breakthroughs/ inventions and social and political change over many centuries. Ann Grindley’s article from May, 2014, http://www.fact.co.uk/news-articles/2014/05/utopia,-limited-what-can-sci-fi-tell-us-about-our-future.aspx, “Utopia, Limited: What can sci fi tell us about our future?” offered these insights:

Civilisations that do demonstrate utopian qualities have surpassed our view on money, weaponry and material wealth and anxiety. They have matured past our inequalities and share a common goal. This goal is usually scientific, in a sense that they have discovered, created, and utilise technology which unites people globally.

I don’t know which “civilisations” Ann Grindley referred to, but I’d like to find them!

Grindley seemed to be quite supportive of my intentions when she stated: “I’d like to think utopia still requires creativity and pleasure through art, although maybe utopians won’t need escapism.”

Grindley also verbalized my heartfelt wish: “It is wonderful how even in our social and political density and under-development, that we can imagine an idyllic and model world…” But then, she recognized the possibility that “our ideas of utopian and dystopian futures are only limited to our current knowledge and understanding, and perhaps that is why, in reality, we’re yet to achieve the fantasy; the fiction in our science. Perhaps utopia is beyond our imagination as well as our means.”

Well, perhaps our imagination is not that limited! Check out these sci-fi/ speculative fiction inventions and ideas that have become “real” as researched by Annalee Newitz, from March, 2014: http://io9.com/7-utopias-that-changed-the-future-1541411068. Newitz described several utopian sci-fi books whose ideas or inventions have influenced our lives directly, including:

Communism by Karl Marx
“Marx’s powerful vision…inspired coups, union movements, and even hippie communes….Pop versions of Communism inspired many ‘soft’ revolutions in the uprisings of the 1960s,… often inspiring positive social changes and greater freedoms.”

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Herland is a lost island nation where everyone is equal, goods are plentiful, and war is unknown. It is an enlightened, scientifically advanced society where everyone is educated and healthy…[and it is all] run and populated entirely by women…. This idea, that woman leaders would create a far less cruel and authoritarian world than men have, has influenced everything from philosophy to feminist politics.”

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World…[influenced] the Occupy movement, which is in part a rebellion against capitalist societies that try to distract people with happy consumerism, instead of addressing problems with the disparity between rich and poor.”

Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
“Freed from the need for money and from the horrors of war, humans in the Star Trek universe devote their lives to exploration or productive work that is freely chosen. But of course, Star Trek‘s vision is almost as old as Thomas More’s. The Enterprise is a lot like the Isle of Utopia, with elements of de Toqueville’s America, Marx’s Communism, and even Gilman’s Herland thrown in.”

Newitz summed up the utility of utopian sci-fi so perfectly: “Utopia, after all, has always been a fiction. But it’s one that can inspire us to change our worlds —sometimes, if we’re lucky, in a way that brings us just a little closer to our ideals.”

In her list, Newitz, of course, included:

Utopia by Thomas More
“Thomas More was a British writer who invented the word ‘utopia’ — from a Greek pun that means both ‘no place’ and ‘good place’ — for this book about his idea of the perfect society. Published in 1516, the book is about a man who has returned from the Isle of Utopia, where many of England’s social ills don’t exist.”

Just to prove the point—that sci-fi and speculative fiction continue to influence us—let’s go further into more specifics from this ground-breaking novel with these fascinating recognitions, from Charlie Jane Anders, “Things from Thomas More’s Utopia That Have Come True Today” http://io9.com/5967561/things-from-thomas-mores-utopia-that-have-come-true-today:

—Before getting married, you should see your partner naked.
—Divorce is allowed for a married couple who ‘do not well agree.
—You’re under constant surveillance…….there’s no private property and everybody works for the common good when they’re not farming…
—Utopians eat in public….[which] basically means they eat out. All the time.
—Criminals are marked for life.
—Euthanasia is supported and even encouraged
—Husbands and wives go to war together.

In fact, we owe the term “utopia” to Thomas More! According to: http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/utopias: “…[More] derived the word from ‘outopia’ (no place) rather than ‘eutopia’ (good place)….It can be argued that all utopias are sf, in that they are exercises in hypothetical sociology and political science….[A] significant shift in utopian thought took place when writers changed from talking about a better place (eutopia) to talking about a better time (euchronia)….[U]topias ceased to be imaginary constructions with which contemporary society might be compared, and began to be speculative statements about real future possibilities…”

I agree wholeheartedly with this, and sadly agree with this opinion as well: “[Some authors set out to show that] all utopian schemes are absurd, and that real people could not live in them.”

I think this explains a lot, particularly the reasons that dystopias are so much more prevalent in sci-fi: it’s easier to write about disaster and failure than to imagine what could actually work out for the best, since we almost never see “the best” occur IRL [In Real Life].

One researcher claimed: “Genre sf has never been strongly utopian…. they were often small enclaves facing imminent destruction”

I hold out for members of this “small enclave” to become leaders and inspirations in every generation.

These and others recognize the dilemmas we utopian writers of sci-fi and speculative fiction face: “The necessity for works of fiction to be dramatic and the fact that workable plots require conflict inhibit the use of sf to display utopian schemes.” I face this problem in my current series.

Because I don’t want to depict a lot of death, destruction, violence, apocalyptic futures and heartache, many readers request and editors demand that my series “show more conflict.” I resist. I do mention it and refer to it, but most of it happens off-camera, in the wings, so to speak, or in conversations between two or more characters rather than the ways most sci-fi authors and screenwriters choose to depict conflicts.

I can’t be the only one who is bored and disgusted by dystopias’ ubiquitous conflicts—large-scale, CGI “wars” and “battles,” martial arts “fights” resplendent with wires to create impossible acrobatics, and car or other vehicle chases—awful, because they supplant character development, plot depth and actual emotions. Am I wrong?

Unfortunately, dystopian futures abound in both fantasy and sci-fi. Most genre writers, even those that include romance in their stories, choose to depict increasingly worsening conditions on and around this planet and across their universes. In some imaginary incipient time, their “visions” of our future pile on the violence, showing increasing discord, more political and social unrest, deaths and destruction even worse than we have now.

We already have too much awfulness IRL for me to want to read about even worse to come.

Enough, already!

Fortunately, I am in good company. Conferences, seminars, webinars, zines and print currently devote a lot of time/space to these topics. I am encouraged, for example, by this exhortation to writers like me from a panel http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-remember-a-roundtable-interview/ moderated by Mary Robinette Kowal with Ursula K. Le Guin, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow, and Nancy Kress, given in June, 2014, in which Kowal summed it up: “We write science fiction and imagine the future we want to live in. We want that future now.”

Kowal went on to say: “Seeing how the field has changed gives me perspective on the future that I’m living in and, hopefully, will help women writing today continue to destroy science fiction for subsequent generations of writers.”

Even more approval flows to us writers of utopian sci-fi when I saw that a July, 2014, Science-Fiction Symposium from the World Futures Society http://www.wfs.org had listed these events:

A. Panel Session: “Fiction as a Futuring Tool,” featuring Madeline Ashby, Trevor Haldenby, Glen Hiemstra, and Tom Lombardo. “The work of science fiction writers and futurists often informs, sometimes predicts, and occasionally affects the future.”

B. Panel discussion: “Hacking into Utopia: The Future of Optimistic Innovation,” featuring Ramez Naam (moderator), Gray Scott, Lindsea Wilbur, and Kevin Russell. “Science fiction writers have been talking about utopian futures for a long time. What are young writers and innovators doing right now to create such a future?”

C. Panel discussion: “What Current Science Fiction should Futurists Read?” featuring Vicki Stein (moderator) Glen Hiemstra, Brenda Cooper, Madeline Ashby, and Brad Aiken.

I wish I could have attended and I wished that they had put the discussions, above, online.

I believe we need some hope, ideas of how else things could go, whether or not I always believe they will take these turns. I am imagining routes for improvement for the entire multiverse.

I am not alone in believing in a more perfect future that, due to simultaneous time, is already “here.” Gray Scott, Futurist/Founder of SERIOUS WONDER™, http://www.seriouswonder.com/about/ and http://www.seriouswonder.com/category/scifi/, has this tagline on his website: “The future has already happened and technology is just the echo bouncing back at humanity.“ 

His “think-tank” self-describes in this way:

SERIOUS WONDER is a progressive future concept and technology website. We are obsessed with the future. Our mission is to bring our readers the best in futuristic ideas, technology, robotics, science, techno-philosophy, psychology, space travel, and modern concept design. Intense curiosity, positive intention and inspired imagination can transform our future. This future will be more magical and abundant than anyone could ever imagine. We are constantly looking for innovation and optimistic wonder. The future is our passion.

The future IS now!

Donna Dickens listed “science-fiction becomes science-fact” from 2012:
—Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm
—Stem Cells Could Extend Human Life by Over 100 Years

And, from 2013:
—Two rats have their brains telepathically linked.
—Portable device allows users to see through walls.
—Program allows user to remotely move objects with their hands.
—The world’s first fully mind-controlled synthetic leg goes for a stroll.

If you like these “Science-Fiction-Becomes-Science-Facts” lists? Check out this great chart/ infographic:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/all-the-times-science-fiction-became-science-fact-in-on-1570282491

Here are some compelling reasons we need and want to have such optimistic creativity from writers of sci-fi:

The value of science fiction has been also recognised in the rise of a new method for designing technology, called design fiction. If science fiction stimulates the imagination about extraordinary views of the future, design fiction explores the futures that ordinary people would prefer. Design fictions—like short sci-fi films, prototypes and graphic novels—are provocative and engage people, encouraging them to envision, explain and raise questions about direction of future technology and society.

from https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/aug/13/science-fiction-reality-predicts-future-technology

Then, we have the incredible Raymond Kurzweil. I first read about him in Mike Floorwalker’s post from March, 2013: http://listverse.com/2013/03/15/10-ridiculously-specific-predictions-that-came-true/ Kurzweil is an inventor and a futurist who is also the Director of Engineering at Google. According to Floorwalker, Kurzweil has “made dozens of predictions over the several decades—–with an absolutely unbelievable rate of accuracy. Not only do Kurzweil’s predictions almost always come true, he usually can accurately predict WHEN they will come true.”

As if that’s not enough, “…[i]n his novel, The Age Of Intelligent Machines, Kurzweil predicted: the fall of the Soviet Union by 1991; a computer’s beating the best human players at chess by 2000; and, wireless Internet’s becoming practical for mainstream use in the early 21st century. In The Age Of Spiritual Machines (1999), Kurzweil predicted ebooks, facial recognition software, and nanotechnology…” among other things!

Floorwalker stunned me with these stats on Kurzweil: “Kurzweil stated that by 2009, 89 out of 108 predictions he had made were entirely correct. Of the rest, 13 were ‘essentially correct’—likely to come true within a few years. A re-evaluation in 2012 determined that Kurzweil’s prognostications are correct a ridiculous 86 percent of the time—and the good news is, this is a man who has predicted that it won’t be too long before we humans conquer death altogether.”

Kurzweil is beyond a genius: he reinforces the existence of simultaneous time. How else do you explain his timely “inventions” and uncanny “predictions”? Floorwalker informed us: “His inventions are numerous—–text reading software, speech-recognition devices—–and five of his novels have been bestsellers.”

We sci-fi writers should ALL be more like Kurzweil!

I like to believe that I am predicting, prognosticating, prophesying and foretelling, since my stories depict better times in every way. Even when things are “bad,” there is more “good” than bad. I am continuing my utopian illusions in The Spanners Series.

In my current and future multiverses, all communicative beings, including humans, will have more pervasive and lasting peace, better circumstances and conditions, and inner spiritual strengths that lead to harmonious living: we can have it all!

Look who’s included in “Sci-Fi Women Interviews: The 2016 Collection,” by Natacha Guyot!

Look who’s included in “Sci-Fi Women Interviews: The 2016 Collection,” by Natacha Guyot!

Thanks, again, Natacha, for including me in your roster of #women #scifi #authors for 2016 and now, in this compendium of your interviews as a #free #ebook on #Smashwords (which has all ebook formats available for download).

Download your copy today! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/710894

The 2016’s women science-fiction authors Natacha interviewed and put into this book:

December 2016: Kate M. Colby

November 2016: Tonya R. Moore

October 2016: Alison Berrios

September 2016: Tracy Gardner

August 2016: Marie Bilodeau

July 2016: D. Wallace Peach

June 2016: Philippa Ballantine

May 2016: Amanda Ward

April 2016: Diana Gordon

March 2016: Sally Ember

February 2016: Jennifer A. Miller

January 2016: Robin Rivera and Heather Jackson

Visit Natacha’s website and read more of her work and blog: http://natachaguyot.org
She also has another compilation ebook and an ebook of some of her #feminist blog posts in another compilation on Smashwords, plus, the individual archives of her 2015’s interviews and the beginning two months’ worth of 2017’s interviews on her website.

“Natacha Guyot is a French researcher, author and public speaker. She holds two Master’s degrees: Film and Media Studies (Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Digital Culture and Technology (King’s College London). Her main fields of interest are Science-fiction, Gender Studies, Children’s Media and Fan Studies. Besides her nonfiction work, she also writes Science-Fiction and Fantasy stories.”

Reblogging: 300+ Mind-Expanding Documentaries

300+ Mind-Expanding Documentaries
[“DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WE GO! 300+ MIND-EXPANDING DOCUMENTARIES”]
curated by KYLE PEARCE, DECEMBER 5, 2016
https://www.diygenius.com/mind-expanding-documentaries/

Divided into 32 sections, this curated list is well worth your time and effort to determine which you’d like to watch and how to find them. The site has been providing this or an earlier list for several years, now.

When you click on a link, it takes you directly to the film, ready to be watched, free!
E.g., from Section #15, “Eastern Religions,” I chose The Yogis of Tibet, and got this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIHN2Yhs_o4

Reblogging: The Best Women-Centric Films of 2016

The Best Women-Centric Films of 2016

https://blog.womenandhollywood.com/the-best-women-centric-films-of-2016-4445ff8a00a0#.93frs0b2h

You may be noticing a theme these past few weeks: reblogging feminist/women-centered films and TV shows from 2016 or upcoming this year…. Yes, I am.

These are all culled from a great site I now follow, Women & Hollywood, which I highly recommend subscribing to if you’re interested in these types of posts/films/shows. https://blog.womenandhollywood.com/

Reblogging: The Best-Reviewed Women-Directed Films of 2016, According to “Rotten Tomatoes”

The Best-Reviewed Women-Directed Films of 2016, According to Rotten Tomatoes

https://blog.womenandhollywood.com/the-best-reviewed-women-directed-films-of-2016-according-to-rotten-tomatoes-54897b3036c9#.pc3df6d65

Reblogging: 20 Most Anticipated Films By and About Women of 2017

20 Most Anticipated Films By and About Women of 2017
from Rachel Montpelier, Feminist Writer, Spinster, & Lunatic; Creator of The Outside Girls Project https://outsidegirlsblog.wordpress.com/

Check out these amazing-sound films, coming right up! Thanks, Rachel, for curating this list.
https://blog.womenandhollywood.com/20-most-anticipated-films-by-and-about-women-of-2017-dd2bc37950a4#.24x8pbnpf

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s New Year’s Message for 2017

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s New Year’s Message for 2017 is included in this article about meditation, mind-training, hope and optimism.
Read, watch videos, be blessed, share:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/01/the-dalai-lamas-message-to-the-world-for-2017/

From Elyane Youssef, writing on another favorite site of mine, Elephant Journal. Subscribe! http://www.elephantjournal.com/

10-22-16 is the last of three: Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is sponsoring INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016 – for Authors, by Authors

Alliance of Independent Authors has sponsored two INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016 – for Authors, by Authors which occurred on April 15 and May 14. The third and final occurs October 22, 2016

[All Info and logos, below, are from Alli‘s page and emails in March and September from Orna Ross]

Alli logo

Alli is hosting three, one-day, online events, as fringe options to the three main global publishing events of the year: London Book Fair, Book Expo America and Frankfurt Book Fair.

http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-fair-2016/

Each Indie Author Fringe event is an FREE ONLINE AUTHOR CONFERENCE, offering expertise and experience from indies and self-publishing services around the globe.​
Register here: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/86364

Third event starts on October 22 at 10 AM Frankfurt Time.

Yes, it’s Indie Author Fringe time again. Our next — third and final — online conference of the year will be on Saturday 22nd October, for the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Its theme is Running an Indie Author Business, and again, we’re lining up a roster of world-class speakers who’ll be sharing their experience and expertise to help you turn your creative endeavors into an enterprise that delivers commercial satisfaction too.

Whether you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to launch your author business or you’re already up and running and need guidance to streamline or improve, our conference will answer all your questions and save you time, money and effort as you go.

Speaker Update

6 weeks to our speakers and their sessions. View the speaker line-up here
http://selfpublishingadvice.org/fbf-indie-author-fringe-2016-speakers/

Launch of the Best Website Competition

The focus of our competition this time is Best Websites for Indie Authors. What website would you recommend as a resource to another indie? A panel of judges will review all entries and the Winner will be recognized and awarded by ALLi. You can submit your own website, or somebody else’s. Please check the submission guidelines.
http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-fair-2016/fbf16-website-competition-submission/

Your Free Book

alli-free-book-2016

And, don’t forget to download your free copy of Opening up to Indie Authors. All Fringe delegates receive this free ebook, which tells you how to get your book into book stores, literary festivals, libraries and wherever good books are found. Use this link to get your free ebook: http://dl.bookfunnel.com/4c4f35haln

HOT OFF THE PRESS

In Celebration of Ingram Spark‘s Gold sponsorship at Indie Author Fringe, they are offering the following:
—All setup costs waived on new titles
—Setup your existing paperback titles in hardback for no additional cost
—Visit their sponsor page for more information
—Enter INDIEFRINGE16 as the Promo code when setting up your title.

Ingram Spark‘s Offer: TERMS & CONDITIONS

Offer valid September 8th to November 30th, 2016
Applies to all printing options
Both print and ebook setup fees will be waived

About The Alliance of Independent Authors
(ALLi, pronounced “ally”) is a global, nonprofit association for writers who self-publish. Read about the benefits of becoming an ALLi member.

WHAT TO EXPECT

—24-hours of advice and expertise, conversations and connections.

How Does a Virtual Conference Work?

As each hour ticks by on October 22, we’ll publish a new Session on our Event Home Page.

Our first Indie Author Fringe primarily focused on “How To Create a Better Book,” though we have sessions on selling and marketing in each Conference. Different sessions are aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so no matter where you are as an indie author, you’ll find something for you.​

Indie Author Fringe FAQ

What is Indie Author Fringe?

Indie Author Fringe (formerly known as IndieReCon) offers FREE ONLINE DAY CONFERENCES for authors interested in self-publishing, alongside three of the biggest publishing fairs.

How many Indie Author Fringe events are you hosting in 2016?

We have held two already and now will be having our third of three online international events in 2016:
Frankfurt Book Fair (19th-23rd October 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event will be on October 22nd

London Book Fair (April 12th-14th 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event was on April 15th

Book Expo America (May 11th-13th 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event was on May 14th

What does Indie Author Fringe Offer?

We offer the best self-publishing advice and education for indie authors across the world — using the global reach of the ALLi</strong> network.

How much does it cost to attend Indie Author Fringe?

We are (and always will be) run by authors for authors, so it’s all free!

What Indie Author topics will your cover?

Over the course of the year, our online conference events will take authors through the entire indie author journey, from writing to promotion and beyond. Each event will offer 24 hours of non-stop advice and inspiration, organized around key self-publishing topics.

Lammy Winners — Cheryl’s Mewsings

The winners of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards were announced last night in New York. Most of the categories won’t mean much to you, or me for that matter. However, there are always a few of interest. The science fiction, fantasy and horror category was won by The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. I’ve not read…

via Lammy Winners — Cheryl’s Mewsings

Look who’s featured on 4/16’s Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network  (FSFnet)!

Thanks so much, Kasper Beaumont, for featuring me and my Spanners Series books, on April 16th’s #Author Interviews for the Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network (FSFnet)!

FSFnetwork banner
<a href="

Check out the entire series! Awesome #fantasy and #scifi #authors!

FSFnet logo
http://fsfnet.com/?s=Author+interviews&submit=Go http://fsfnet.com/2016/04/15/kasper-interviews-author-sally-ember/

Or, go to Kasper’s website for a summary: http://huntersofreloria.weebly.com/kaspers-ramblings/sci-fi-paranormal-with-a-healthy-sprinkling-of-romance-an-interview-with-sally-ember-sallyemberedd-fsfnet

Check out all previous and current FSFnet Author Interviews after reading mine!
http://fsfnet.com/2016/04/15/kasper-interviews-author-sally-ember/

M.P. McVey
Morgan Bell
Nadja Losbohm
Kate Foster
Ichabod Temperance
H.M. Clark
Bryan Rainey
Patricia Reding
Linda Lee

And, check out my Author Page on this great site while you’re visiting other Authors’ pages!
http://fsfnet.com/authors/sally-ember/

Look who’s featured in this month’s #SciFi Women Interviews!

Thanks so much, Natacha Guyot, for featuring me and my Spanners Series books, in this month’s #SciFi Women Interviews!

natacha_banner_blog
https://wordpress.com/post/natachaguyot.org/4879

Check out her entire series! Awesome #women #scifi #authors!

scifiwomen-interviews-2
http://natachaguyot.org/blog-series/scifi-women-interviews/

2016
February 2016: Jennifer A. Miller
January 2016: Robin Rivera and Heather Jackson

2015
December 2015: Laura M. Crawford
November 2015: Patty Hammond
October 2015: Jo Robinson
September 2015: Rose B. Fischer
August 2015: Tricia Barr
July 2015: Natalie McKay
June 2015: Neelu Raut
May 2015: Saf Davidson
April 2015: Yolanda I. Washington
March 2015: Johnamarie Macias

“Skills I Don’t Have”: reblogging from Sally Ember, Ed.D.,’s Guest Post on Charles Yallowitz’s site in December, 2015

Thanks to author and blogger, Charles Yallowitz, who was my guest on Episode 9 of CHANGES conversations between authors and is in my Guest Bloggers’ Hall of Fame, for inviting me to be a guest on his site today (12/10/15) which occurs during the week of the release of another in my #scifi (science-fiction)/ #romance/ #multiverse/ #utopian/ #paranormal (psi skills) series for adults/Young Adults and New Adults: Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, of The Spanners Series, now available in both ebook and paperback formats.

This is also the season of my expanding both Volume I, This Changes Everything, and Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, into paperback formats on #CreateSpace and #Amazon.

Please check below and on my website for blurbs, covers, links and more information as well as #discount codes!

Skills I Don’t Have

Yes, I do have a lot of skills, talents, experience areas and abilities. BUT, there are many I lack and never so obviously as these last two months, as I attempted and finally succeeded in getting Volume III of my science-fiction ebook series to completion, in time for its 12/8/15 planned release date and all three of The Spanners Series‘ first Volumes into paperback format (after not having been able to work on the half-finished draft for over a year or to think clearly or organize appropriately and while still being very slowed down and impaired as well as fatigued from a TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury] in April, 2014).

I had no idea how to approach getting my ebooks (which I had formatted myself [pre-TBI], using Smashwords’ excellent Guides) into print formats for paperback sales. I knew they needed to be reformatted but I had no experience with making that happen.

I also am very limited, even pre-TBI, with layout and desktop publishing: mechanical, physical, graphic art-type skills and software are not my things. I don’t have much experience with Adobe Create Suite and do not own that program. I don’t do newsletters on the newer software and don’t have any art ability whatsoever.

My mottos: keep trying and ask for help.

When it doesn’t work (the first dozen times!), keep trying.

When I can’t figure it out (after days of attempts), ask for help.

Fortunately, I have a great cover artist, WillowRaven, for The Spanners Series’ ebook covers. She and I collaborated on all three of my covers and plan to for the next seven: I provide ideas and some photos; she does the deciding-what-works and the actual art.

I can’t draw.

I can't draw
image from http://designyoutrust.com

Therefore, since I knew from previous conversations that I needed new covers, I started the paperback conversion process by emailing with WillowRaven. She immediately wrote back that I should have told her from the beginning I wanted paperback formats and that it would have been a lot easier/better if she had created those versions first.

Challenge number one. But, that damage was not irreparable, luckily.

From our email conversations and other research I had already done, I realized I needed to incorporate with my own imprint. I next emailed with local writers/ publishing network folks and found out what to do.

It took a few days, but I managed to name, create and start my own imprint, Timult Books, complete with free logo (Thanks, Logo Garden!).

logo_1833057_print high rez  transparent

I then learned how to get (from Bowker) and found out about a huge sale on (thanks for my online network!) my first self-owned ISBNs. Registered Timult Books with the state and Bowker, bought 20 ISBNs at a great discount and was then ready to send the extra materials (blurb, review quote—for the new back covers and “spines”) to Willowraven.

WillowRaven also needed accurate page counts so that the covers would fit correctly. I had never put my ebooks into print before and had no clue how many pages each book was (about 130K words), especially given the new sizing (5″ x 8″) and formatting (mirrored margins, with inner at 1.25″ and the rest at 0.5″). I also found MANY inconsistencies and typos that had to be corrected for each Volume as I reformatted, which changed the pagination as I went along.

Plus, paperbacks require and I decided to add some new pages of “front matter.” Then, I added a new page of “back matter” about the series.

It took me several days and many attempts to get the formatting right on CreateSpace (with lots of help from online forum people, Facebook group members and others: THANKS!)

AND, for whatever reasons, every time my computer went to sleep, the formatting reverted from 5″ x 8″ to 5″ x 7.99″ and changed the margins!!!??? I had to check each time I reopened the document, for each section (there are more than a dozen), to make sure they were correct AGAIN before converting each Volume to a PDF for uploading the new versions to CreateSpace for approval.

So, of course, the first page counts I sent WillowRaven were WRONG.

As were the second batch.

Third time, CHARM.

The three new paperback “wrap” covers were ready very quickly. Thanks, Aidana!

Fail better.

Fail Better
image from http://stuffaverylikes.com

I know a lot about MS Word and use Open Office’s version of it, but there are still many formatting details I’m unfamiliar with and don’t understand. I read many online forum posts, instructions online, etc., and STILL don’t understand some of that (TBI problems, I’m sure).

Why do the page numbers keep changing when I move a page break?
What’s with the “CONVERT” and “NEXT CONVERT” Sections thing?
Why do my running headers not always “run”?
Why does my computer’s “sleep” mode tell Open Office to revert its formatting?

I am IRRITATED beyond description and very impatient by the fourth day of these glitches. But, I persevere. Another good thing for this time period: I’m not around a lot of people.

Incompetent and Annoying.

Incompetent and annoying
image from http://quotesgram.com

I do finally get everything to work well enough to upload and order my proofs. So excited when they arrive, but then I start reading them aloud.

OY, VEY!

SO HUMBLING!

Despite my own and others’ having proofread each Volume, reading each book aloud allows/forces me to notice a ridiculous number of typos, inconsistencies, mistakes and other things that must be fixed on EACH PAGE! I had to use long-form, lined post-its to list each mistake because I had to mark each page multiple times. Every few pages had a post-it filled with edits to be made.

I ended up with hundreds of fixes needed to input in order to complete the revision of each of the books, all to be accomplished without changing the starting page of any Chapter or section (didn’t want to have to change the Table of Contents AGAIN, which I had done by hand since I couldn’t figure out how to have it happen automatically), and WITHOUT CHANGING THE PAGE NUMBER TOTALS!!! (see above)

The space between my skills level and what I needed to get these tasks done on my timetable was growing daily. Also, the TBI-induced fatigue and slowed-down aspects made everything take many times longer than pre-TBI.

Mind the Gap.

Mind the Gap
image from http://www.brillianceflooring.com

Once I had the proofs proofed, I could re-submit them and then they were ready to be sold.

Yeah! It’s happening! I have paperbacks!

I have been hearing from family and friends that “if only you had your books in paperback, I would read them.” Now, I do! So excited!

I emailed and messaged everyone the great news! Now, those without ereaders or those who don’t like reading longer books on them CAN read my books. I even sent them discount codes, specially large, just for my friends and family.

I sat back and awaited the sales to come pouring in (I have a large family and dozens of colleagues and friends on that email list).

Two weeks later: I have sold one book.

ONE.

Nothing can mend a broken heart (except the old BeeGees, of course). And, duct tape.

Duct tape for every repair.

DuctTape
image from http://www.destinationmadness.be

Okay. Perhaps science-fiction novels, especially those that are over 500 pages long, a unique mixture of Ursula K. Le Guin, Tom Robbins, Robert Heinlein, Sherri Tepper and Marge Piercy with a little of Linda Hirschhorn and His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama mixed in, aren’t for everyone.

But, ONE sale from all of those who supposedly love/like and support me? That’s close to two hundred people!

I know I have trouble connecting the dots….These kind of tests, below, confound me, even pre-TBI.

Limited Spatial Intelligence.

spatial orientation test
image from http://www.sciencedaily.com

But, even I know what one book sale in two weeks means (week ending December 5, 2015, as I write this post).

It’s too soon! Chanukah doesn’t start until December 6 and Christmas is weeks away!

I come from a family and friendship circle of procrastinators! I am one of only a handful who gets things done early or on time. Really! They’ll start buying/gift-giving soon. I’m sure of it.

Right?

Still learning (at age 62).

Michelangelo still learning


For those who are ready to gift-give and/or add to your own to-be-read lists, here you go:

Three paperback books here.

3 paperbacks

NOW available in ‪#‎paperback‬ on ‪#‎CreateSpace‬ and on Amazon:
This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series by Sally Ember, Ed.D., is only $17.99 in paperback https://www.createspace.com/5837347 
and FREE as ebook everywhere ebooks are sold, such as http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8   
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, is $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844431
ebook @$3.99, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969  
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III, is $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844474
ebook @$3.99 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588331
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0177Z1KRM

Happy Holidays!
Go to my website: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners for book trailers, blurbs, discount codes and more!

‪#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎romance‬ ‪#‎utopian‬ ‪#‎adults‬ ‪#‎YA‬ ‪#‎NA‬ ‪#‎fiction‬ #createspace #selfpublishing #indiepub #indieauthor #formatting #ebooks #paperbacks #TheSpannersSeries #SallyEmberEddAuthor #CHANGES

Live in or want to go to #Bali to study #music, #dance, #psychodrama, #yoga?

Live in or want to go to #Bali to study #music, #dance, #psychodrama, #yoga? Check out Motivational Arts Unlimited/ Consultants, Mario Cossa’s upcoming classes, workshops, retreats and other events!

Musical Theatre Dancing Class- Starts 21 Feb, 2016
Intro To Psychodrama Group- 22 Feb, 2016
Tending The Garden Of The Soul: A Retreat For Personal Restoration And Renewal- 17-23 July, 2016

What is MAU? MOTIVATIONAL ARTS UNLIMITED is established to provide training and personal growth experiences using creative and expressive arts (especially drama and movement) in combination with yoga and other types of body work to support positive life change while reflecting the cultural and spiritual awareness of its community in Bali, Indonesia.

MUSICAL THEATRE DANCING FOR FUN AND FITNESS
Sundays 10-11am : 21 & 28 Feb and 6 & 13 March
Tuesdays 3-4pm : 23 Feb and 1 & 15 march
(no class Tues, 8 March in preparation for Nyepi)
at Ubud Fitness Bottom Floor – Jalan Jero Gadung – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Mario in Anything Goes
Mario Cossa is in the center of this photo of Dames at Sea

Musical Theatre Dancing For Fun And Fitness
Whether you have been tapping your toes for years or have never heard of “jazz hands,” you can join the fun and enjoy a good aerobic workout set to an assortment of musical numbers from a wide range of shows. Simple choreography will keep it lite and easy as we soft shoe and Busby Berkeley (etc.) our way through a fun workout.
See video »https://www.facebook.com/926608724051297/videos/1111316422247192/
Tuition: Rp 100,000 per class (including tax), come with a friend and pay 2 for Rp. 150,000 (tax included) or pre-pay 4 classes : Rp 350,000 (including tax)
Pre-registration requested
e-mail: mario AT dramario.net or call (0)361 479 2782 or go to our FB Event Page.

PSYCHODRAMA FOR PERSONAL GROWTH
A 2-hour introductory session
Monday, 22 Feb, 2016 – 6-8pm
In Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
(Directions provided when you pre-register.)

Intro to Psychodrama

Psychodrama For Personal Growth
“Psychodrama,” from its Greek roots, literally means “the soul in action!” Developed initially by J.L. Moreno in the 1920s, it is currently practiced, with many variations, throughout the world. Moreno was also a pioneer in Improvisational Theatre and Social Network Theory and felt that since our lives are lived in action and interaction, sitting (or laying down as the Freudians practiced) and merely talking was not an effective means of promoting greater health and developing a broader role repertoire. Join in the co-creation of a safe and supportive group environment for personal exploration and transformation.
See video


Registration fee (to cover venue cost): Rp 30,000
Pre-registration requested.
e-mail: mario AT dramario.net or call (0)361 479 2782 or go to our FB Event Page.

Tending the Garden of the Soul

I think it is essential sometimes to retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely, and look at them anew…
If you can do so, you would be open to the mysteries of nature and to things that are whispering about us, which you would not otherwise reach. ~ J. Krishnamurti

Join us for a 6-night, restorative retreat in the magical garden island of Bali to renew your connection to nature and to the Self. In the lush sanctuary of Villa Gaia (http://www.gaiaretreatcenter.com), we will use the concepts and practices of Jungian depth psychology and Morenian psychodrama to co-create sacred spaces in which soul-making can take place.

For C.G. Jung, the Soul is visible in the rich images of our dreams and imaginings. For J.L. Moreno, the Soul is encountered in action and in our social relationships. This retreat offers grace-filled opportunities to share with others an exploration of your inner garden landscape and to encounter your inner gardener – the One Who Tends the Soul.

DATES: Sunday 17th July to Saturday 23rd July 2016
TUITION: US$1,250 for shared room or US $ 1800 for private room. (Residents of Bali who elect to reside off site may participate in the retreat and enjoy shared meals for a fee of US $650.)

Please Note: Participation is limited to 14 on a first-registered-first-served basis.
A registration deposit of US$500 is required to hold your space. Deposit is refundable through 1 April, 2016; half-refundable through 15 May, 2016. Bank transfer fees are the responsibility of the participant. Balance of payment due 1 July, 2016.

Gaia retreat center
Gaia Retreat Center

Residential Tuition Includes:
Transport from airport to Villa Gaia Retreat Center
Accommodation, Tax and Service Charge
Buffet breakfast – Monday through Saturday
Four lunches (one on your own during Wednesday’s free afternoon)
Four dinners (two on your own during Tuesday’s and Thursday’s free evenings)
Eleven Facilitated action exploration sessions
Facilitated Opening and Closing Ceremonies
Facilitated By: Mario Cossa, RDT/MT, TEP, CAWT and J. Kaya Prpic, PhD, Diploma Candidate – CG Jung Institute, Zurich.
Registration Enquiries and Forms:
soulgardendreaming AT gmail.com

New Release in a great YA/MG Series: Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3) by Krysten Lindsay Hager is now out!

New Release in a great YA/MG Series: Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3) by Krysten Lindsay Hager is now out!

Krysten has been a guest on my talk show, CHANGES conversations between authors (Episode 15; link is below) and an occasional guest blogger (http://www.sallyember.com/guest-bloggers-hall-of-fame for posts) who also shares my love for supporting other authors. Her Young Adult (YA)/ Middle Grades (MG) series about a fascinating young woman, Landry, now has a new Volume!

LandryinLike_bannerwebsite

Blurb: Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes. Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image.

Genre: contemporary, clean teen fiction

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series, Book 1), from Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK:

This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!

LandryinLike453X680
Landry in Like cover

Excerpt from Landry in Like:
I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early—–even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.


Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be
Purchase LINKS:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Landry-Like-Landrys-True-Colors-ebook/dp/B01AL6AUA2/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Landry-Like-Landrys-True-Colors-ebook/dp/B01AL6AUA2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1453196883&sr=8-2&keywords=krysten+hager
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/landry-in-like-krysten-lindsay-hager/1123253456?ean=2940157767242
Nook UK: http://www.nook.com/gb/ebooks/landry-in-like-by-krysten-lindsay-hager/2940157767242
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/landry-in-like
iTunes/iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/landry-in-like/id1076225388?mt=11


Author bio:
Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? and Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series), as well as in Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22, 2016.

Kryslin3_transparant_background
Krysten Lindsay Hager caricature

Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Follow:
Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/e/B00L2JC9P2/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay @KrystenLindsay
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8298036.Krysten_Lindsay_Hager

NextDoor Cover
Next Door to a Star cover

Author talk show interviews: http://wdtn.com/2014/11/06/true-colors/
True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One)
and CHANGES Episode 14: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cqqct9l8rnpi2o2e9kusu9mav6k or Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ukIWKpyDKI


Authors: ontact Sally Ember, Ed.D.: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com to be on her almost-weekly talk show, CHANGES conversations between authors, after visiting this page https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/ and reading (following) the instructions.

Bloggers: If you’d like to be a guest blogger, visit this page http://www.sallyember.com/guest-bloggers-hall-of-fame and then contact Sally:

MacArthur [Foundation] Announces [a year-long series of] Performances, Discussion to Celebrate 35 Years of Iconic Fellowship Program”

MacArthur [Foundation] Announces [a year-long series of] Performances, Discussion to Celebrate 35 Years of Iconic Fellowship Program”
https://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/macarthur-announces-performances-discussion-celebrate-35-years-iconic-fellowship-program/#sthash.wuDoFQcB.dpuf

AND

Events Calendar
https://www.macfound.org/events/fellows35/?all=1

The-MacArthur-Fellowship-Program logo

These events are happening mostly in Chicago and on the East Coast (Washington, D.C., New York City), but will be broadcast/put online as well. Awesome! And, “Most of the events will be open to the public for free or at low cost.”

I have always been fascinated by and love seeing who gets these grants each year. I adore the entire secrecy of the process (no one knows, supposedly, who does the selecting, no one can be nominated, and no one can self-nominate). So, one day, my friends and I imagine, someone gets this phone call or email saying: You have been selected as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for a “Genius Grant”! What an amazing thing to happen!

The panel chooses such an excellent variety of creative, intelligent, talented and skilled individuals, also. Each year, we can learn about their Fellows and meet jugglers, dancers, scientists, writers, playwrights, poets, musicians, choreographers, youth workers and other educators, environmentalists and activists of other types and whoever strikes their fancy all honored in this way. Usually they choose about 20 people from all around the country. Not all are young, not all are older; not all are men or women; not all are Caucasian. Fabulous.

The MacArthur Fellowship[s], called “genius grants” by the media, recognize[s] exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future.

Fellows each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000, which comes with no stipulations or reporting requirements and allows recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions. Since 1981, 942 people have been named MacArthur Fellows.

Fellows are selected through a rigorous process that has involved thousands of expert and anonymous nominators, evaluators, and selectors over the years.

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited nominations.

This year “is expected to include the following events as well as others to be announced later.

  • Public artist Rick Lowe will deliver a lecture on “Art in the Social Context” at Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service as part of the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor program (Stanford, CA, Feb. 4).
  • The College Art Association will host a discussion with photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier and public artist Rick Lowe as part of its 104th Annual Conference (Washington, DC, Feb. 5).
  • The Poetry Foundation will present the Chicago-based collective Every House Has a Door’s adaptation of a work by poet Jay Wright (Chicago, Feb. 20).
  • In conjunction with an exhibition of her work, the Whitney Museum of American Art will host a discussion with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras (New York City, Feb.).
  • Sixth & I, a historic synagogue and cultural event space, will present a panel discussion on immigration featuring writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Aleksandar Hemon and Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz (Washington, DC, March 7).
  • New York’s 92nd Street Y will present a panel discussion featuring MacArthur Fellows (New York, March).
  • Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry will host MacArthur Fellows for events marking National Robotics Week, including Jr. Science Cafes, a public conversation, and robotics demonstrations (Chicago, April 2).
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the American Historical Association, will host a conference on “The Future of the African American Past,” featuring scholars, activists and historians, including several MacArthur Fellows (Washington, DC, May 19-21, 2016).
  • The Poetry Foundation will host a reading by poet and writer Alice Fulton (Chicago, May 24).
  • The Economic Club of Chicago will feature two conversation pairings with arts entrepreneur Claire Chase and music educator Aaron Dworkin as well as computational biologist John Novembre and historian Tara Zahra (Chicago, May 25).
  • Wingspread will host a public event featuring MacArthur Fellows working on issues of interest to the Johnson Foundation and the Racine community (Racine, Wisconsin, May).
  • The Chicago Humanities Festival will host a one-day series of programs highlighting the work of MacArthur Fellows (Chicago, May).
  • MacArthur Fellows will be featured in a plenary session at the annual convention of Americans for the Arts (Boston, June).
  • Orchestra conductor and MacArthur Fellow Marin Alsop is designing three free evenings of performances in conjunction with the Grant Park Music Festival that will showcase MacArthur Fellows working in music and science, including cellist Alisa Weilerstein, violinist Regina Carter, and composer Osvaldo Golijov (Chicago, July).
  • The Harris Theater will host a free, two-night dance performance series featuring curated works created by MacArthur Fellows, including Kyle Abraham, Merce Cunningham, Michelle Dorrance, Susan Marshall, Mark Morris, and Shen Wei (Chicago, Sept. 16 and 17 or 18).
  • The Chicago Humanities Festival will incorporate MacArthur Fellows into its regular annual programming (Chicago, Sept.).
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will host two free public performances by MacArthur Fellows through its Millennium Stage series (Washington, DC, Oct.).
  • Conservation biologist Claire Kremen will speak at as part of the Women in Science series at The Field Museum (Chicago, Nov. 2).
  • Also during the year-long anniversary MacArthur Fellows will field questions from the public in Reddit ask-me-anything sessions and appear on other digital platforms.

Attend! View! Learn! Appreciate! Enjoy!

More info about the Fellows Eligibility, Criteria and Selection Process, from their website:

Criteria:
“There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

“The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.

“Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

“The Foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.”

How Fellows are Chosen:
“Nominees are brought to the Program’s attention through a constantly changing pool of invited external nominators. The nominators are encouraged to nominate the most creative people they know within their field and beyond. They are chosen from as broad a range of fields and areas of interest as possible.

“Nominations are evaluated by an independent Selection Committee composed of about a dozen leaders in the arts, sciences, humanities professions, and for-profit and nonprofit communities. Each nomination is considered with respect to the program’s selection criteria, based on the nomination letter along with original works of the nominee and evaluations from other experts collected by the program staff.

“After a thorough, multi-step review, the Selection Committee makes its recommendations to the President and Board of Directors of the MacArthur Foundation. Announcement of the annual list is usually made in September. While there are no quotas or limits, typically 20 to 30 Fellows are selected each year. Since 1981, 942 people have been named MacArthur Fellows.

“Nominators, evaluators, and selectors all serve anonymously and their correspondence is kept confidential. This policy enables participants to provide their honest impressions independent of outside influence.

“The Fellows Program does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations.”

Eligibility:
“There are no restrictions on becoming a Fellow, except that nominees must be either residents or citizens of the United States, and must not hold elective office or advanced positions in government as defined by the statute.”

My recommendations are on “SF SIGNAL” “MIND MELD” “This Is What We Want To Read In 2016”!

My recommendations are on “SF SIGNAL” “MIND MELD” “This Is What We Want To Read In 2016”!

Andrea Johnson was kind enough to invite and include me in this amazing roster of #speculative #fiction authors’ recommendations for upcoming spec fiction books we are looking forward to reading this year.

Mine are near the middle of the list, this time.

Visit, comment, subscribe!

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2016/01/target-113mind-meld-want-read-2016/

What about other 2016 new releases in Speculative Fiction? There are so many lists/books!

Goodreads has a list:
https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new_releases/science-fiction

Here, via Barnes & Noble, some editors/publishers/bookstore owners are tooting their own horns, so to speak (hawking their own company’s books)? First:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/2016-books-sff-editors-want-you-to-read/

then, with lots of overlap, this one:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/42-sff-books-we-cant-wait-to-read-in-2016-in-2-sentences-or-less/

If you’re focused on #Fantasy and want to know when most upcoming releases (from predominantly/exclusively MALE authors, which I’m sure is some kind of weird accident… sure, it is) that are already scheduled are due to be available, use this new-releases calendar (most do not have covers, yet):
http://www.bestfantasybookshq.com/best-fantasy-books-2016/

A much better and more inclusive list, here, from Locus Online:
http://www.locusmag.com/Resources/ForthcomingBooks.html

My First Experiences with #CreateSpace and #Self-Publishing #Print-On-Demand (#POD) #Books

My First Experiences with #CreateSpace and #Self-Publishing #Print-On-Demand (#POD) #Books

Originally published 11/17/15 as a Guest Post for Krysten Lindsay Hager‘s site to honor the upcoming release of the first three Volumes of The Spanners Series in print and Volume III in ebook format November/December, 2015. Thanks, Krysten!

Curiousity. Hubris. Arrogance. Ignorance. Obstinance. Perseverance. Commitment. Obsessiveness. Attentiveness. Perspicaciousness. Collegial support. Desperation. Need. Willingness to fail repeatedly. Tears. Yelling. Tearing hair out. Back aches. Multiple attempts. Luck.

These are what it takes to become a self-publisher who does her own formatting for both ebooks and print-on-demand formats. Oh, yes: especially hubris and collegial support.

After many weeks of learning (a LOT of learning), practicing, attempting, failing, succeeding, failing, continuing, I can honestly say that not many things in my life have ever been so challenging AND so rewarding. Birthing a child comes to mind. Completing my research, writing and publishing for my dissertation fits this as well.

However, I must say that neither of those seems the same kind of satisfying as conquering CreateSpace to generate the three print format versions of The Spanners Series ebooks in the last several weeks. I spent a total of over 100 hours on this project (not kidding) and I’m not finished, yet.

To accomplish these goals, first I started my own imprint, Timult Books.

I created a logo for that via Logo Garden.

logo_1833057_print high rez  transparent

I bought my own ISBNs under that imprint (and got an AMAZING deal on them, thanks to my online community!).

I registered my publishing company with the state of Missouri.

I listed each of my first three novels with Bowkers in their print formats (I can’t list them under Timult Books in their ebook formats because Smashwords and Amazon already do that, apparently, since I didn’t buy my own ISBNs for those).

I solicited and received a template and much advice and lists of do’s and don’ts from many in my online community (whom I’ve already thanked in previous posts).

I worked with my cover artist, the patient and helpful WillowRaven, to create the print covers (“wraps”) for what would appear on the backs and spines (which I hadn’t had to consider, before).

I created new Front Matter (Copyright page, Dedication page, blank pages) and a Series page at the end of my ebooks and print books that list Timult Books as the imprint/publisher (which I am the sole proprietor/owner of, so it’s all still mine).

I chose the paperback format books’ size (5″ x 8″), covers’ finish (glossy) and papers’ color (cream) and notified her of those choices (these were her recommendations).

I reformatted each entire book, but I didn’t know that my over-300 “page” ebooks would come to over 500 pages each! I had to allow for pagination and facing page/Chapter start requirements, running headers, page breaks, specialized margins (for the size and number of pages) and more formatting alterations that ebooks do not require.

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I redid the Table of Contents (SEVERAL TIMES!!!: don’t do this too soon, either!) to put in page numbers (no page numbers in ebooks!).

I notified my cover artist of the number of pages (THIS HAS TO BE EXACT! Don’t tell her/him too soon!).

I researched and chose the price points for Volume I ($2 less than the others two) and Volumes II and III ($19.99).

I put my books through the formatting “review” process and made all changes, then resubmitted.

I ordered the print proof of Volume I. At many’s direction, I read it aloud to check for errors. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

I was ASTONISHED to discover that I had to make over 500 corrections/ changes (not kidding) to fix mistakes, typos and newly arisen formatting problems as well as to make other edits so that all three Volumes would be in harmony with the formatting (italics, capitalization, phrasing and other language choices) that have become standard for my series by the completion of Volume III but which were NOT “standard” for Volume I at its publication time two years ago or when I published Volume II almost 18 months ago.

I have to do the same read-aloud and resubmit for both Volumes II and III, which are winging their ways to my doorstep and probably are going to arrive by time you read this post.

Pleased to report: so far, great SUCCESS! Volume I Proof copy arrived 11/6/15 and it’s awesome!

TCE proof

—-Volume I, This Changes Everything, is available in print on CreateSpace for $17.99!
PLEASE PURCHASE PRINT FORMAT BOOKS DIRECTLY FROM CreateSpace: I get a larger royalty that way, and your price doesn’t change!
Volume I CreateSpace POD link: https://www.createspace.com/5837347

Volume II (after Thanksgiving):

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

As an ebook, it is PERMAFREE:
Volume I Amazon ebook link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8   
Volume I Smashwords ebook link:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are.

Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions. 

In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything spans the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

Are YOU ready for the changes?

—-Volumes II and III are in process (I have to check and fix anything via the print proofs, then resubmit and we’re on) and right behind that one, each at $19.99.

—-Volume II, This Changes My Family and My life Forever, becomes available during or right after Thanksgiving week.  
Volume II CreateSpace POD link: https://www.createspace.com/5844431

Volume III: (after Dec. 7):

final cover print

Available as an ebook for $3.99:
Volume II Amazon ebook link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC
Volume II Smashwords ebook link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back.

Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II.

How would YOU do with the changes?

—-Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, becomes available in both print and ebook formats the same day as its wide release, 12/8/15, right on schedule.

Volume III CreateSpace POD link: https://www.createspace.com/5844474

Spanners - volume 3 cover final

In pre-orders NOW through 12/7/15 in ebook format for half-price, $1.99. Releases 12/8/15 as an ebook for $3.99:
Volume III Amazon ebook link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0177Z1KRM
Volume III Smashwords ebook link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588331

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact? If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted changes?

All buy links, book trailers, excerpts, author interviews and more: http://www.sallyember.com Look right; scroll down.

Or, go right to Amazon, my Sally Ember Author Central page, and find links to each book in each format here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HEV2UEW 

If you don’t use a Kindle, go to Smashwords for all formats of ebooks, or go to iBooks, nook or Kobo directly for ebooks.

3 paperbacks

My Reviews are on “SF SIGNAL” “MIND MELD” #SciFi #TV of 2015

My reviews are on “SF SIGNAL” “MIND MELD” #SciFi #TV of 2015!

James Aquilone was kind enough to invite and include me in this amazing roster of sci-fi authors’ TV reviews for science-fiction series in 2015.

Mine are at the bottom, for the mini-series on the SyFy Channel, Childhood’s End, based on Arthur C. Clarke’s short story, and the Agent X series on TNT, starring Sharon Stone and Jeff Hephner.

Visit, comment, subscribe!

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http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/12/mind-meld-favorite-genre-tv-shows-2015/

“Best of 2015” Book Lists from several sources, including PASTE online zine’s “30 #Best” in #Fiction, #Nonfiction and #YA Fiction from 2015

“Best of 2015” Book Lists from several sources, including PASTE online zine’s “30 #Best” in #Fiction, #Nonfiction and #YA Fiction from 2015

I present only the lists, here, with titles and authors for fiction and a brief categorization for nonfiction. Go to the links to read each reviewer’s summary and opinions of each entry, below. I also present a few alternative lists and authors, just so you know some of what else is out there.

Read! Enjoy! Buy/borrow books! Write reviews!

(NOTE: PASTE also provides the 30 best cookbooks, 18 documentaries about writers, and more at http://www.pastemagazine.com/books )


30 Best Fiction of 2015 from PASTE
[20 of 30 are male. Sigh.]
http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/the-30-best-fiction-books-of-2015.html
By Frannie Jackson & Tyler R. Kane | December 16, 2015
1. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
2. Language Arts by Stephanie Kallos
3. The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall
4. City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
5. Purity by Jonathan Franzen
6. The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle
7. The First Bad Man by Miranda July (short story collection)
8. So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood by Patrick Modiano
9. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman
10. Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine
11. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
12. Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson (short story collection)
13. The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
14. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
15. The Incarnations by Susan Barker
16. The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus
17. Sweetland by Michael Crummey
18. Suitcase City by Sterling Watson
19. Submission by Michel Houellebecq
20. Paradise City by Elizabeth Day
21. The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway
22. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
23. The Rocks by Peter Nichols
24. Girl at War by Sara Nović
25. Golden Son by Pierce Brown
26. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (short story collection)
27. Golden State by Stephanie Kegan
28. Morte by Robert Repino
29. A Poet of the Invisible World by Michael Golding
30. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Here are some other fiction lists “best of 2015” from different perspectives, which I appreciate enormously. Please go peruse these annotated lists at the links provided, below, to pick from each a few to read yourself! Ask your local library and bookstores to carry your favorites! Write reviews!

—-

“Top 10 Feminist Books of 2015” 12/23/15 by Kitty Lindsay from Ms. Magazine
Has a mix of fiction, poetry and non-fiction with titles almost no one else lists (big surprise), with several written by some of feminism’s iconic leaders and award-winning authors (even has two male authors!), including:
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (Fiction)
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Autobiography; poetry) (a re-issue from 1969, commemorating her passing in 2015)
Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood (Fiction; short story collection)
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (Memoir)
Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickey (Non-Fiction)
How To Grow Up by Michelle Tea (Memoir)
Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy (Non-Fiction)
Octavia’s Brood: Science-Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements Edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown (Science-Fiction Anthology; including authors Tananarive Due, LeVar Burton, Terry Bisson and essayists, activists, artists, filmmakers, journalists) ALSO, editor adrienne maree brown, “an independent science-fiction scholar and a social justice activist, has been chosen as the 2015-16 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellow. Brown lives in Detroit, Michigan…. The Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship, now in its third year, is sponsored equally by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, Robert D. Clark Honors College, and the UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. The award supports travel for the purpose of research on, and work with, the papers of feminist science fiction authors housed in the Knight Library”; AND editor, Walidah Imarisha wins the Tiptree Award (named for feminist female author who wrote under the name “James Tiptree, Jr.,” in order to get published in the sci-fi world as a woman) and cash prize for 2015!
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer (Non-Fiction)
Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism by David S. Cohen and Krysten Connon (Non-Fiction)
http://msmagazine.com/blog/2015/12/23/your-holiday-reading-list-top-10-feminist-books-of-2015/

AND another “best of” list from Ms. Magazine: “15 Women Writers Every Badass Woman Should Read” by E. CE Miller on 12/14/15
Ths list includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and cross-genre feminist authors, some of whom appear on other lists, here, but several who do not. Enjoy!
http://www.bustle.com/articles/128770-15-women-writers-every-badass-woman-should-read

—-“55 Best Indie [Self-Published] Books of 2015,” 12/2/15, from Indie Reader‘s year of reviews. Their lists are divided into subgenres of fiction, including: Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Inspirational, Kids, Literary, Mystery/Thriller, Science-Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult (YA). They also have nonfiction (which includes poetry) in a separate list.
http://indiereader.com/2015/12/56-best-reviewed-self-pubbed-books-2015/

What’s fun about this self-pubbed list is that I am “friends” with one of the authors on social media sites! Mazel Tov to D. Hart St. Martin (Blooded, in YA).

AND, I now have an entirely new list of authors to invite to my online video talk show for 2016, CHANGES conversations between authors (see https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/ for past and upcoming shows and details about how to watch an Episode or how to be on one.

CHANGES Trailer Image_3

I resume my almost-weekly Wednesdays at 10 AM Eastern USA time one-hour live format on January 20 with returning guest, author John Howell.

Three other fiction lists:

—-“My Favorite African Science-Fiction and Fantasy (AfroSFF) Short Fiction of 2015″ by Wole Talabi, 11/28/15 https://wtalabi.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/my-favorite-african-science-fiction-and-fantasy-sff-short-fiction-of-2015/

AND

—-“Best Books 2015: Genre Fiction” on the Library Journal Reviews page, has several genres (African-American, Christian, Historical, Mystery, Romance, Thrillers, Women’s Fiction and Science-Fiction/Fantasy).
http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2015/11/best-of/best-books-2015-genre-fiction/

The African-American Fiction list by Rollie Welch includes:
Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Caught Up by Shannon Holmes
Playing for Keeps by Deborah Fletcher Mello
Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray
Stone Cold Liar: The Misadventures of Mink LaRue by Noire

The Science-Fiction/Fantasy Fiction list by Megan M. McArdle & Jessica E. Moyer includes Water Knife (see Paste‘s list), and:
Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
Uprooted by Naomi Novi
Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
The Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp

AND

—-Entropy mag‘s “Best of 2015 Fiction Books” from 12/8/15 includes only one or two that overlap Paste’s list and is a much more multicultural/global (includes several translated-into-English novels) and fascinating group of 50 titles, plus one “Honorable Mention.”
http://entropymag.org/best-of-2015-best-fiction-books/

AND

—-Let’s get political, please! Here are lists created by The Guardian and The Observer‘s reviewers, which they endearingly call “2015’s master list” of books, from 12/11/15, subdivided into: Fiction [Thrillers, Science-Fiction/Fantasy, Children’s, Graphic Novels (no one else remembered these, apparently!)]; non-Fiction [Sports, Food, Drink, two lists for Biographies, History, Nature, Politics, Music, Poetry, Architecture, Art, Photography, Science, Celebrity Memoirs]; and a few groups by odd categories [Paperbacks, Stocking-fillers (size-related? cost-related?), Novels].
http://www.theguardian.com/books/ng-interactive/2015/dec/11/all-of-the-best-books-of-2015

You can also go cruise on Google for other “best of 2015” fiction lists, such as those from or by Small Presses, Independent Publishers, more Indie/ Self-Pubbed authors, Debuts, Flash Fiction, and on and on. Have fun! https://goo.gl/itQw0i

AND

—-Brain Pickings has several “best of 2015” lists. Here are links to two of them (Children’s, list of lists and All Books):
https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/12/15/best-childrens-books-2015/
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=60eab78aa3&mc_cid=773f043fba&mc_eid=3da2b98925
https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/12/21/best-books-2015/?mc_cid=773f043fba&mc_eid=3da2b98925


Also from PASTE:

30 Best Young Adult (YA) Fiction of 2015
[only 4 male out of 30 writers here…hmmmm…]
http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/the-best-ya-books-of-2015-1.html
By Eric Smith | December 10, 2015
1. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
3. Blood & Salt by Kim Liggett
4. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
5. Joyride by Anna Banks
6. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
7. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
8. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
9. An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay
10. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
11. Winter by Marissa Meyer
12. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
13. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
14. My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
15. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
16. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
17. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
18. Hit by Delilah S. Dawson
19. The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
20. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
21. Shutter by Courtney Alameda
22. Those Girls by Lauren Saft
23. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
24. Tracked by Jenny Martin
25. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
26. Golden Son by Pierce Brown
27. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
28. Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
29. For the Record by Charlotte Huang
30. Half Wild by Sally Green

—-How about a YA list of the best of 2015 from the United Kingdom? 12/15/15 from Martin Chilton, Culture Editor of The Telegraph, Rebecca Hawkes and other reviewers/ contributors, offers 45 titles in this genre, with a few overlapping from the above list.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/young-adult-books/best-of-2015/

AND

—-Bustle‘s YA best fiction list from 12/10/15, Caitlin White
http://www.bustle.com/articles/116096-the-25-best-ya-books-of-2015

AND

—-Pop Crush‘s 10 best YA from 2015 posted on 12/7/15 by Emily Maas, here:
http://popcrush.com/10-best-young-adult-books-2015/

AND

My favorite, from an fantastic site that promotes excellence in girls and young women with daily info posts (subscribe!), MIGHTY GIRL, offers: “Top Read-Aloud Books Starring Mighty Girls,” which gives you and your favorite child a lot of choices for spending time together. Become and share being inspired by the amazing achievements, courage, insight, smarts and talent of these MIGHTY girls and women! This site also reviews TV/films (by category), toys (by category, type and ages), music ((by category) and clothing. MIGHTY GIRL also provides an incredible list that they call their “Character Collection,” which you have to peruse, their “Best of…” lists of almost everything, and offers resources to educators and parents.

If you’re (your girls are) really into reading, join the MIGHTY GIRL Book Club!

There are 172 books on this list. Some are for younger, some are for older, many are for all ages. These books are selected from several decades and countries, but all are available in English (although many have been translated into several other languages and you can find those versions easily).

The left menu bar lets you sort the list by target age (88 are for younger and 73 are for teens), award-winners (National Book—12, literature [Newbery—39], civil rights [Coretta Scott King—2], Parents’ Choice—15, and others), and price (free to under $20, and over $20 [only 2], but don’t forget: most are in local libraries as well).

Many of the older books have been turned into films, TV specials and series, so you can share the stories together aloud, then go watch some on screen together.
http://www.amightygirl.com/mighty-girl-picks/top-read-alouds


30 Best Non-Fiction of 2015 from PASTE
[18 male authors for 17 of the books; a bit more balanced, gender-wise, here]
http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/the-30-best-nonfiction-books-of-2015.html
By Frannie Jackson & Tyler R. Kane | December 23, 2015
1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates—memoir/current events
2. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein—music history/memoir
3. M Train by Patti Smith–memoir
4. Red Notice by Bill Browder—biography/social commentary/current events
5. Missoula by Jon Krakauer—social commentary/current events
6. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper—music criticism collection
7. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell—history
8. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari—social commentary
9. The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander—memoir
10. Dead Wake by Erik Larson—history
11. One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Åsne Seierstad—biography/social commentary/current events
12. The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret—radio journalist’s collection
13. The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck—memoir/history
14. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson—memoir
15. Country Soul by Charles L. Hughes—history
16. Dime Stories by Tony Fitzpatrick—print journalist’s collection
17. We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War by Doug Bradley and Craig Werner—history
18. On the Move by Oliver Sacks—memoir
19. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello—autobiography
20. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough—biographies
21. The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery—about octupi
22. Once in a Great City by David Maraniss—history
23. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson—poetry, philosophy, criticism, memoir
24. Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt—memoir
25. Madness in Civilization by Andrew Scull—history
26. Ongoingness by Sarah Manguso—essays/opinions
27. Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon—autobiography, of Sonic Youth founder/member
28. The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits—memoir
29. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald—about hawks
30. Gumption by Nick Offerman—profiles of 21 individuals

—-In case you want another set of opinions about Non-Fiction (but they duplicate many of Paste‘s), here you go:
EarlyWord‘s Best Non-Fiction of 2015 from 12/8/15
http://www.earlyword.com/2015/12/08/best-books-nonfiction-2015/

—-Also, several more lists from EarlyWord: http://www.earlyword.com/category/best-books-2015/


—-For those of you who haven’t caught up with your reading and don’t much care about being trendy or up-to-date but keep looking for good books to read, try this list from 5/22/15, by Nina Bashaur, posted on HuffPost Women:
“21 Books From The Last 5 Years That Every Woman Should Read” (but I would say every PERSON…).
[Oh, oh: I’ve only picked up 5 of these and actually read only 3. Sigh.]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/19/recent-books-women-should-read_n_7314166.html

buy-books-and-feel-good

Tell me What Types of Posts you Want More of for 2016! Update, Stats and more about Posts from 2015 for the site: Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Tell me What Types of Posts you Want More of for 2016! Update, Stats and more about Posts from 2015 for the site: Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Welcome to all my new readers, followers, and returning ones to this year-end review. I am grateful for all of your attention, especially when you reblog, comment, ask questions or poke at my opinions.

I also started inviting my CHANGES guests and a few others to be Guest Bloggers on my site and their posts were very popular! Check them out here: Guest Bloggers’ Hall of Fame.

Other news this year: I was invited to be “interviewed” or featured and/or was a guest blogger on over two dozen more sites, including one that paid me for my submissions, and a few online radio shows!
Please check my links (on http://www.sallyember.com —look right; scroll down) for each of these posts and go visit, comment, enjoy. Highest-traffic sites, so far, are:
The Story Reading Ape“— http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Blog Critics,” for film and TV reviews (and many other types of posts, but those are what I submit)— http://Blogcritics.org and
Buddhist Door,” for which I have submitted a two-part series about my personal journey of becoming a Buddhist as well as one book review (so far)—http://Buddhistdoor.com

Biggest news would be the new release in The Spanners Series and the release of all three of the first Volumes into paperback format as well as ebooks, as of 12/8/15 (see below for details). I ALWAYS post about and link to EVERY review, however, brief or whatever its opinions, as long as it is legitimate (the person actually read my book) and honest.

SO, please do read my books and submit reviews to the usual sites AND send me the URLs, especially if you post it on your own site, so I can drive traffic to your site!

AND, comment here: what do you think of my new business cards (I designed them, so be a bit nice, please)?

2016 Business Cards

Send all inquiries, requests, invitations, submissions and URLs to: sallyember AT yahoo.com

THANK YOU all for being a part of this writer’s blog and other experiences this year!

I hope you continue to visit and offer to guest post. Also, let’s keep re-blogging each other’s posts.

Please do invite me to be an interview guest or be featured and keep exchanging comments!


Quick 2015 Year-in-Review Stats and Info:

  • Sally Ember, Ed.D. blog/site has about 572 total followers:
    506 followers on WordPress and another 67 on Tumblr (which is a reposting site for this one).

    500 follows

  • I posted 300 separate times (not all mine; about 15% are re-blogs) as of 12/28/15.
  • This blog was viewed over 17,000 times with visitors from 139 countries. Most views/visitors: USA (11,200), followed by UK (1,018), then Canada (821), Australia (325), Germany (242), India (235), France (171), Brazil (162), Greece (152), South Africa (139).
  • Most of my “referrers” were Search Engines (6,808), with Facebook a distant “next” (396, but I show over 2350 “friends” and another 1006 following The Spanners Series page), followed by StumbleUpon (192), Google+ (138, despite having over 3000 followers and another 215 following The Spanners Series page), Twitter (134, despite having over 5400 followers), WP Reader (65), Pinterest (62, but showing over 500 followers), my Tumblr reposting site (23, with 67 followers), a few individual webpages, then LinkedIn (at a measly 13, despite having over 700 followers).
    The Story Reading Ape‘s site sent me more visitors than LinkedIn (18)! Thanks, Chris Graham!

  • Nicholas C. Rossis was again my most active commenter: THANKS, Nicholas!
  • Only 47 of the 300 posts garnered any comments at all. But, I passed the 500 LIKES milestone this year!

    500 likes WP-1x

  • Most popular day and time: Sunday, 8 AM (Central USA time)
  • ALEXA ratings, as of 12/29/15, for Sally Ember, Ed.D. are
    2,556,701 out of all websites in the world
    has 102 sites linking in to it (“backlinks”)
    and, is 272,166 out of all websites in the USA

  • Most-viewed day and posts: November 1, 2015, with 247 views:
    “I CONQUERED #CreateSpace! This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series is in Print starting November 13, 2015!” and several others from previous days/months, even 2014, were viewed on this date.

    3 paperbacks

Link to full annual stats report: https://sallyember.com/2015/annual-report/


If you are new-ish to this blog, I am a sci-fi/ romance/ utopian/ multiverse/ paranormal (psi) author who also has a keen interest in many other subjects, most notably: science, social issues/ politics, writing/ publishing/ book marketing/ reviews, and spirituality/meditation. Because of a fall that caused a concussion in April, 2014, I also became engrossed in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI, concussion and its aftermaths, especially as these impact meditation.

In addition to the posts listed, below, I also have Author Interviews (with me as the subject), videos of each of my CHANGES conversations (we’re up to Episode 46, to date), links to my guest blog posts and much more on my website (I’m providing the link here in case you’re reading this elsewhere):
http://www.sallyember.com

This year, after a forced one-year hiatus from fiction writing due to my TBI, I was able to finish Volume III of The Spanners Series, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change! I also put it and Volumes I and II into both ebook AND paperback formats, now on CreateSpace and Amazon, in time for Volume III’s release (12/8/15). (All buy links are on my pages; look right and scroll down.) To accomplish that, I started my own publishing imprint, Timult Books.

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My broad interests are loosely grouped into the categories I’ve tagged and which appear on my page’s “cloud” and are listed, below. If you missed a post, enjoyed a topic but didn’t realize I had more posts in that same area, or want to comment on any of this year’s posts, now’s your chance! Please do comment! I reply to all. And, feel free to share/reblog, curate/use any of my content (giving me credit, please, and excerpting ethically, of course).

I hope your holiday celebrations or whatever activities you have been doing lately have brought you joy. Best to you all!

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TOPICS:

About My Books and Other Science-Fiction

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News, excerpts, links, sales/discount codes, blurbs and more!

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Creativity at Work, Here

Poetry, short stories and other creative writing not related to my Series.

About Science

Re-blogs, summaries, analyses, inquiries, theories. Focus greatly on astro- and quantum physics, astronomy, technology and inventions, medicine. I re-blog on these topics.

About Social Issues and Politics

I am a USA citizen (born and always lived here). I identify as a feminist socialist who votes in EVERY election. I usually register as a Democrat and also vote Green or Independent. I disagree with almost every one of USA’s recent foreign affairs and domestic policies and ALL wars since 1945.
We should have had single-payer health care for all since 1960. Damn Richard Nixon and his cronies in the health care “industry.” I use and advocate for an intelligent mix of “alternative” and “modern” medical methods.
I am a pacifist, Buddhist-raised-Jewish meditator. I am bisexual and an LGBTQQI2-S advocate (if you don’t know what those initials mean, you probably won’t want to read my posts on those topics unless you’d like to become better-educated).
I use science to make decisions, and climate change is real. I am an environmentalist, civil and animal rights activist/advocate who is pro-legalization of Cannabis and Marriage Equality. I work against all oppressions and “isms” actively and despise the cosmetics, “weight loss” and “beauty” industries. I use politically correct speech and in my writing and expect others to do so.
I re-blog on these topics.
I do NOT invite contentiousness or going-nowhere types of arguments. Believe whatever you do but don’t try to invalidate my views, especially on my own site. I do invite dialogue, new information and dissent that is respectful, as well as corrections.
Visit here knowing all that and you’ll be fine!

About my show, CHANGES conversations between authors,

an online, LIVE video talk show on YouTube via Google+ HOA (Hangout On Air)
Seeking guests (see below, in Announcements), and up to Episode 46 already, as of November 1, 2015!
I re-blog my guests’ news and about their new releases.

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About Meditation and Spiritual Practice

I am a devoted, practicing Tibetan Vajrayana Nyingma Buddhist since 1996, and a meditator since 1972. I write about my experiences and re-blog others’ and information about these topics regularly, including book reviews (see above, Buddhist Door.com).

About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and Concussions
I suffered on in April, 2014, and am still recovering. Many posts about this in 2014 and still some in 2015. These get a lot of views, so I guess many are interested in concussions and their aftermaths. I focus a lot on the impact this TBI has had on my ability to speak, write and meditate. I plan to continue. I re-blog on these topics.

About Publishing, Book Marketing, Writing, Writers

I welcome guest posts from Indie and Self-published or “hybrid” authors here. I re-blog a lot of great posts from book marketers, authors and other bloggers/writers.


Announcements:

#Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign needs supporters! You can get rewards (from a free ebook for donating $4 or more, to discounts on editing, proofreading and/or writing tutoring services from Sally for larger donations) and support her writing, talk show and creativity by donating on Patreon.com/sallyember.

Seeking authors to be new guests for CHANGES as I resume shows after January 13, 2016. Please visit my page, here, and find out what your steps are for coming on and follow them! https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/

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Seeking Guest Bloggers: Wednesdays are my invitation days. If you’d like to guest blog, please visit this page and let me know! Guest Bloggers’ Hall of Fame.

Seeking collaborators to engage in what I am calling Crowdcreating for both Volumes VIII (young writers and those who write for YA/NA audiences) and IX (adult and senior writers) of The Spanners Series: co-write, contribute ideas, collaborate on sections or entire chapters with me!
Deadline is January 31, 2017.
Details are in the back of each Volume (another good reason to buy and read my books!).

featured today on The Story Reading Ape’s New Releases from Sally Ember, Ed.D., 12/15/15

featured today on The Story Reading Ape’s New Releases from Sally Ember, Ed.D., 12/15/15

Visit, comment, follow! http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2015/12/15/book-promotion-new-releases-and-sale-for-all-three-volumes-in-the-the-spanners-series/

featured today on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord site: new release from Sally Ember, Ed.D., 12/14/15

featured today on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord site: new release from Sally Ember, Ed.D., 12/14/15

Visit, comment, follow! https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/the-last-christmas-grotto-this-isis-not-the-way-i-want-things-to-change-the-spanners-series-book-3-by-sally-ember/

Announcing Release of This Is/is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Vol III, The Spanners Series, on Devorah Fox’s site: Thanks, Dee!

Announcing Release of This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Vol III, The Spanners Series, by me, Sally Ember, Ed.D.! Complete formal announcement is, I am so grateful to say, LIVE on author Devorah Fox‘s site: Thanks, Dee!

Please visit, comment, share, retweet, and please BUY a science-fiction/romance/ multiverse/ psi/ utopian ebook for adults/New and Young Adults or a fantasy from Dee and from me! Don’t forget to leave a review when you’ve read one, also.

http://devorahfox.com/index.php/2015/12/spanners-vol-3/

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MEANWHILE:
Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, NEW in both ebook ($3.99) and paperback ($19.99): https://www.createspace.com/5844474
#TheSpannersSeries #scifi #romance #utopian #fiction for adults/YA/NA by Sally Ember, Ed.D. GIVE #BOOKS for the Holidays!
Volume I, This Changes Everything, on #CreateSpace for $17.99 (ebook is permafree): https://www.createspace.com/5837347 
Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, $19.99 (ebook, $3.99): https://www.createspace.com/5844431

All from Timult Books.

All 3 also on #Amazon after 12/13/15 and already on #Smashwords, #Kindle/Amazon, #nook, #iBooks, #Kobo in #ebook formats. http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners for 10% off discount code and all blurbs, covers, buy links, trailers, more.

Check out Tonya R. Moore‘s site today, 10-29-15… featuring my new release in The Spanners Series!

Check out Tonya R. Moore‘s site today, 10-29-15… featuring my new release in The Spanners Series!

http://tonyarmoore.com/2015/10/this-isis-not-the-way-i-want-things-to-change-by-sally-ember/

#BookMarketing: What I haven’t done and intend to do soon

Thanks to Doris-Maria Heilmann of Savvy Book Writers for her Free Checklist for “Passive” Book Marketing, I now have (and am sharing) a great list and resources within it. Link below.
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/free-checklist-for-passive-book-marketing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SavvyBookWriters+%28Savvy+Book+Writers%29

#BookMarketing: What I haven’t done and intend to do soon

Never heard about this!

Bowker’s Worldwide Listing
http://www.bowkerlink.com

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“You may know Bowker from ordering your ISBN numbers, but they are also the provider for “Books In Print and Global Books In Print” that contain listings of bibliographical information for international book titles available in the USA or any other part of the world, in bookstores and libraries. Setting up a new book on Bowkerlink is easy and FREE. Read more in this blog post: http://www.savvybookwriters.com/is-your-book-listed-worldwide/

I felt better when I went to the link, above, and read the intro:
“Few authors have ever heard about BowkerLink: a source for publishers and distributors seeking to update or add to title listings, found in ‘Books In Print,’ ‘Global Books In Print,’ and the ‘Publisher Authority Database.’ How can readers, bookstores or librarians in Japan, Australia, UK or Belize find your book and read, buy or lend it?”

Doris-Maria Heilmann provides a step-by-step sequence for putting a book on Bowkerlink right here. Do it and whatever else you have neglected to do to market your book from her great list.

Check out the rest of her site as well, with many archived posts that are still relevant and useful (this one is from 2013)! http://www.savvybookwriters.com

Luckily, I am not new to marketing, so as I ramp up for the release of my third ebook, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change of The Spanners Series (sci-fi/romance, adults/YA/NA), which goes into pre-orders @ half-price on 11/1/15, $1.99 through 12/7/15, then becomes $3.99 on release day, 12/8/15, with a cover reveal on 10/26/15 on http://www.aleshaescobar.com), I am pleased to discover that I have already accomplished (but need to update) most of what’s on the above list.

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Volume I, This Changes Everything, became permafree when I released Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, in the spring of 2014, which is also $3.99.

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All links, reviews, author interviews and updates: http://www.sallyember.com

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“Should You #Write What You Know?” Guest Post by Krysten Lindsay Hager

I am excited to welcome back a previous guest blogger for today’s post, someone who was also a guest on Episode 15 of #CHANGES conversations between authors (see below for links), and who is an award-winning #YA and middle grades #novelist, #blogger and nonfiction author, Krysten Lindsay Hager!

Read her insights into what an #author ought to write about, below, and please comment here, http://www.sallyember.com/blog and on her site (see below for all her links).


“Should You #Write What You Know?”

What makes a person go back in time to those #teen years to relive all the awkward, cringe-worthy moments of growing up, crushes and trying to fit in while juggling homework and friendships? Was I crazy even to think about writing about that?

Probably.

Yes; most definitely, yes.

But, then again, sanity is overrated…or so I’ve heard.

Back when I began #writing seriously, I had been taking creative writing classes and even did a one-on-one independent study with my English professor. This is the first time that I finished a young adult novel. I liked my finished book, but I felt there was another story I needed to tell.

I tried different ideas out, outlined, free-formed it, scribbled on napkins and in journals, but nothing felt quite right. I had heard the phrase, “write what you know,” but it didn’t resonate that strongly with me. However, when I heard, “Write the book you would want to read,” well, that one hit home with me.

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I decided that instead of trying to write for the market or what I thought people would want to read, I would write a story that I wanted to read. I told myself this story was just an exercise for me and there was no pressure to submit it or even finish it.

You know what happened? The words began to flow. It wasn’t so much about form and structure as it was about enjoying the process again. I’d soon learn that the writing reflected that.

A few months later, I had heard somewhat late about a writing conference that gave writers the opportunity to sign up for a critique. Since it was first-come, first-served, I had been waitlisted.

However, when I arrived at the conference, I saw that I had a spot in the critique queue. I asked the woman behind the counter how was it that I suddenly had a critique time assigned? I’m not saying she winked or anything, but she told me “they had found a spot” for me.

I didn’t question anything. I just said, “Thank you!” and I went to my appointment.

I went in, anxious and about to throw up. Those of you who have read any of my Landry’s True Colors Series or remember the scene in Next Door to a Star with Hadley getting ready for her first day of 10th grade, are now thinking, “Oh, that’s where Landry/Hadley gets her feel-the-fear-but–do-it-anyway bit from.”

The editor went through the chapter with me and then she came to the part in which my character has been left out by her two best friends and has to get up and walk across the room and ask another group of girls if she can join them. The editor looked at me and said: “My heart was in my throat as I wondered: would these new girls accept her? Would they let her sit with them?”

As she told me how she felt emotionally connected with the character, it hit me–—that moment I had written about was based on my own feelings. Way back in middle school, I had done that incredibly long walk in the cafeteria to another table to see if someone would let me in their group after my own crew had stopped talking to me for a day. (Who knows why, and, at the time, it seemed catastrophic to me.) That awkward, uncomfortable memory that I wasn’t even sure I should write about had brought up something in this woman who was reading it for the first time.

It was then that I realized that writing honestly about my character’s (and my) vulnerabilities was the only way to bring truth and authenticity to my stories. The fact that this person was so interested in this story’s world made me realize that I had something that someone wanted to read.

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Krysten’s Writing Area

I found out that when I focused on the story I needed to tell and had written from a different place inside of me, that all brought my book to life. It made me realize the importance of writing what is in your heart–—the story only you can tell.


Krysten’s new release!

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Audience: Young Adult
Realistic Fiction

★ SYNOPSIS ★

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next-door-neighbor is none other than teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be–—pretty, popular, and famous—–and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet and good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So, when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnLXsu2c43k

Next Door to a Star
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Excerpt from Next Door to a Star:

The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.
Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me.

You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—–like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain.

I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was–—making me feel like a blob in comparison—–but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing.

But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.

About Krysten

Krysten Lindsay Hager
(author photo courtesy of Shannon DiGiacomo)

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Connect with Krysten Lindsay Hager

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor
Twitter: @KrystenLindsay
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8298036.Krysten_Lindsay_Hager
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/e/B00L2JC9P2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Book trailer for Landry’s True Colors Series provided by Videos by O.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ&feature=youtu.be

Buy links:
Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/Next-Door-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B0149HTAK0
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Next-Door-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/dp/1680582690
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/next-door-to-a-star-krysten-lindsay-hager/1122588304?ean=9781680582697
Nook UK: http://www.nook.com/gb/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&%5Bs%5Dkeyword=krysten+lindsay+hager
Books-a-million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Next-Door-Star/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/9781680582697?id=6130980443153
itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/krysten-lindsay-hager/id890673226?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/search?query=Krysten%20Lindsay%20Hager&fcsearchfield=Author&fclanguages=all

If you enjoyed this post, please comment/like it here AND go visit Krysten’s sites.


Krysten Lindsay Hager was my guest on Episode 15 of CHANGES conversations between authors. Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq

Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest:    https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/


Want to be a guest blogger on my site? Visit my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame” to review other guest posts and read my guidelines. Then, contact me if you’re interested: http://www.sallyember.com/guest-bloggers-hall-of-fame/