Best of Times for a Writer

Steve Windwalker of KindleDailyNation sent a reprint from Joel Friedlander’s The Book Designer which asked:

Do you think there will be writers who are pushed aside by the technical requirements of the new era in publishing? Or will there always be publishers to take care of the business end of things for writers who want no part of it?

It would be “lovely” IF a writer today can find such a publisher to find readers. That’s NOT the way publishing is going.

Writers today are leaping over publishers and going right to readers. This is thrilling to me as a writer.

No one single person will make the decision as to whether or not they care to read what I’ve written.

That’s important. I’ve just uploaded two new manuscripts: Story Cookbook and Rusty Springs, the first in a contemporary Western trilogy.

Entering Computer Publishing wasn’t an easy way to spend the last two months.

Although I dearly enjoyed the company and friendship of my former Microsoft consultant, it was tiring work for both of us. Hours upon hours. When it was finally completed, it felt so good. We worked together to upload the covers and the interiors of the books.

You’d think that my former work as a medical book editor might have simplified and made the process less stressful. It didn’t. Nor has uploading the books on Kindle been an easy walk either.

However, there are humans who will phone me back within a minute, if I run into a problem or have a question. One helpful CreateSpace representative even went one step beyond my initial question and sent a link to things I didn’t know existed such as AuthorCentral at Amazon.

Yes, these can be the best of times for a writer. Help is finally available. It comes to writers who will struggle, are dedicated and do make the effort. The end result can be delightful.

When a stranger says, “Yes, I’ve heard about your story, but I can’t remember where,” it means it’s a new world for those willing to try the technical way of publishing. You put it out there and some one may decide it’s interesting enough to read.

If I can be an internet writer/publisher with so little mechanical or computer savvy, any writer can . . . and should.

Can You Say a Few Words?

My new Western fiction, Rusty Springs, and the new Story Cookbook, now available on AmazonBooks.com under Jo Ann Bender,
ARE ORPHANS who need your help. Please write a few words about each of them. They feel so longely all alone with no review at all. Rusty Springs is action fiction about a black jack dealer who is being stalked. It’s Montana wilderness living. Story Cookbook has a little story about the recipe or life on a small Washington ranch.
If I have a contest for recipe reviews, would you write a review?

Eugenics in 30 U.S. States

Know anyone who was judged in a “human” contest at an agriculture fair during the l930″s? Eugenics, as in Germany, was alive in over 30 U.S. states. In North Carolina,
victims have been documented and the legislature may soon award each one $50,000.

Because the Lebensborn program was for the creation of superior Aryans, I’ve been following eugenics in the United States.
When I learned last year that Bev Perdue, governor of North Carolina, wanted to compensate victims of her state’s program of several decades until the l970’s, I phoned her office and was told that no compensation had been authorized.
The next thing that happened was a call by the state for documentation of any person who had been sterilized against their wishes.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that each victim would receive fifty thousand dollars. A bill now is before the legislature to make the money available.
The history of eugenics in the U.S.
has some humor in it. During the l930’s, as an off-shoot of the Better Baby contests, several agriculture fairs created “human” pavilions to judge the characteristics of people. Not much seems to be available about the criteria needed to win. If anyone knows of someone who participated, it would be fascinating to hear how they were judged.
In the U.S. a sociology professor at the University of Vermont tells us that the compulsory sterilization laws adopted by over 30 states led to more than 60,000 individuals deemed to have a disability or to belong to a socially disadvantaged group.
While Germany has taken steps to commemorate the horrors of its past, including compulsory sterilization, there is not much
accounting of where and how this happened in U.S. states.
Here’s a link to more information
about each state’s participation:
http://www.uvm.edu/-lkaelber/eugenics/

My Rules for Living

It’s fun discerning one’s rules for living.  I was asked to do that recently when I was a guest on multi-award winning author Johnny Tan’s Dallas radio show.  (Here’s the link: http://tobtr.com/s/3138685)

l)  Slow down the fast pace of life by going on a picnic, having a swing in a hammock, or by going on a walk.

2)  Believe in angels, in the magic which surrounds you every day if you only pause and look around, and the power of music.  It can sooth your soul.

3)  Have lunch only with people who will order a desert.

4)  Try everything, even if it’s only once, like Lutefisk or Disney’s rollercoaster which goes backwards in the dark.  Actually, don’t tackle that rollercoaster unless you have an iron-clad stommach and do hold onto your purse.  I lost my driver license when I held onto my purse too tightly and it squished out.

5)  When there is a an unset, or a technical difficulty, it may just be grace (the unrequested assistance of a higher power) at work.

6)  When dating, don’t get too close too soon.

7) Welcome the final moment of life as your biggest adventure.

Next post:  Launching two new ones:  The Story Cookbook and a Western contemporary fiction . . .

Rusty Springs.

Today, eight authors are showcasing their books for a Stevens County Library Foundation

benefit at the Chewelah Country Club. 

 

 

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

The day was cold and misty in late June. Under a canopy, Lebensborn books and the Lazy Bee cookbooks were on sale at the Kettle Falls Art in the the Park.

Vendors and visitors bundled in winter jackets. Late in the afternnon a big storm threatened. Amid high winds, the canopy, newly purchased at Wal Mart as a requiste for being a vendor, came down along with the table, books, cowboy sign for Lebensborn, and it all was shoved into the car before the rains came. A few vendors didn’t move as fast and wished they had. From the car, we watched the helpless vendors frantically move from the site.

Cyrus Webb, known as the Black Operah, requested a copy of Lebensborn for review before my guest appearance on his blogtalk radio program. It will be streaming live at 5:30 p.m PST Tuesday, Sept. 20. Do listen in.

A real-life Fairy Tale was written and appeared in his
September issue of Conversations, a high-class internet
magazine.

Conversations have begun with bob Dyan, a producer of audio books. “There will be no more cassette audio books made,” he told me. “There will only be CD’s and audio products for internet.”

To produce a ten to twelve hour CD in his recording studio in California would cost ten to fifteen thousand. He has the credentials and contacts to place the final produce with the two main distributors. That’s good. It might be an exciting adventure.

Copies of Liebesnborn are still out for possible review
at USA BOOk NEWS and Fresh Fiction.

FeaatheredQuill.com gave Lebensborn a five-star review and requested an interview. On Aug. 3. Lebensborn was announced as a finalist in action fiction. September 1, it received the Gold Medal. Award-winning authors were asked to name guests prior to Sept. 15 who will be their guests at an award ceremony in Vegas. Lebensborn guests will be Jack and Marva Packey of LA and Beverly Greenslade of Colville.

Strategic, publisher of Lebensborn, announced a few weeks ago that foreign rights had been sold for Lebensborn and the other ninety-nine authors in their 2011 catalog in Tawain. The company said,”Don’t quit your day job. It will take over a year to implement the program.” Strategic personnel are currently attending the Hong Kong and Beijeing China international book expos looking for more buyers.

Lebensborn is waiting to see if its submission to Barnes an Noble will allow the book in its stores. Mike Saxton and his science fiction and one other Strategic author recently were advised that theirs will now be in B&N stores.

Rusty Springs, current work in progress, flew over the mountains to the Great Falls, Montana, area for more Montana research. The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center is well done museum.

(The reason I remember all these summer highlights is that as a public relations specialist, I’ve always kept a running log. This blog, too, is the perfect place to look back and see how much work there is to maintain the L.I.S.T. . . . local, international, social network, technology.)

BEA and Mingling with the Mob

Book Expo America 2011 was one of the most exciting, fulfilling, challenging and exhibilerating, and yet to be seen, rewarding events
I’ve ever attended.

By the third day at the Book Expo America in New York City, I knew how to forage through the exhibit halls where booksells from around the world, agents,
publishers and authors either had booths or were roaming, too.

Among the many gorgeous, and not so spiffy booths, was Stackpole editor Christopher Evans. The publishing company produces beautiful war books and may be a good possibility for my husband, Bud’s, l858 Indian war manuscript.

“We don’t publish fiction,” he said, “But in rare instances, we have.”
I handed him a copy of Lebensborn and said, “Maybe this might be one of your rare fiction works.”

I enjoyed meeting the author of Cold Mountain and others. To several I gave a copy of Lebensborn. To one man, I said, “Have many authors given you copies of their book.” “Several,” he said, “But none as lovely.”

During the event, I discovered that I may be among the few women who have written about WWII.

To get a feel for getting the most out of a huge event like BEA, I asked three booksellers what tips thay had for an attendee. The first said, “Don’t take all the free books and give-aways.” Or, said Mary Majors, an owner of Majors
Book Store in the Twin Cities, “You’ll do as I usualy do and leave it all in the hotel room.”

I had taken a fold-up duffle in my little carry-on so I sent a batch of books and book bags home at the Fed Ex shipping office on the lower level.

I didn’t give all my cards to attendees. I gave one to a lady from South Africa who was sitting in front of my hotel every day waiting for members of her farm team to arrive. They were visiting New York City as tourists after farm visits in the South. She told me of her village and of her interest in promoting the first garden festival there. Perhaps her book club will choose Lebensborn.

The new technology was too-layered and sophisticated for me to understand.
However, my publisher may be setting up kosiaks with downloads for books
to people with ipads in places where people congregate who have time to read:
camp grounds, hotels, etc.

It was also a place where a math genius told me that Lebensborn is in the top five percent of e-book sales. And, a book publisher told me that it would sell even more if the price could be lowered to $6.99. That’s my new mission among the mob: lower the price of the book in both e-book and reprint paperback without its thirty-three blank pages.

It was special for me to meet many Strategic personnel who work behind the scenes, especially the marketing cheerleaders and Mike Saxon.

There are so many book expos around the world. I may go the ones in either London or Miami.