Churchill said it best

“Writing a book is an adventure. 
To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement.
Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.
The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.”

~  Winston Churchill

(Image via pixabay.com)

2013 Tribute

Peter O’Toole  in the 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia

(Wikimedia Commons)

As 2013 draws to a close, I compiled this roster of my favorite iconic figures who have passed away this year.  In life, they graced us with their genius and charm. They leave behind a legacy in film, music and literary accomplishments, on stage, and as inspirational political leaders and activists.

The Intricate Web of Book Publicity, from the Author’s Perspective

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“A new book is just like any new product, like a detergent. You have to acquaint people with it.  They have to know it’s there. You only get to be number one when the public knows about you.”
  — Jacqueline Susann 

For many authors, the mere idea of self-promotion fills them with dread, discomfort and distaste (the alliteration… not intentional).  I was of the same mindset and so, recently,  I approached a seasoned publicist and asked him how he would go about selling my book. Aghast, he said “I can’t promise book sales, only exposure.”

“E-x-p-o-s-u-r-e,”  I repeated, speaking the word slowly, trying to digest its ramifications.

Sensing my skepticism, he went on to assure me that with the right exposure (which would entail a lot of dog and pony shows on radio/TV, book events and, of course,  a social media blitz), my book will likely garner enough publicity that will eventually translate to sales.  Note: the only word I heard was “eventually.”  

In my naïveté,  I (like Kevin Costner, in the movie “Field of Dreams”) truly believed that:

“If you build it, they will come.”

I thanked the publicist for his words of wisdom and decided to develop and implement a publicity plan for myself, starting with social media.  Everyday, I learn something new.  This wealth of knowledge will serve me well in the long run and, each week, I’ll be sharing some of my insights with all of you who may have a book, a product or a service to market.  Perhaps it will be helpful. I hope so.

A few days ago, I launched a Facebook Page for my book, Casualties of the (Recession) Depression.  I’m reserving judgment on this social media avenue, since it’s only been “live” for four days.  Too soon to tell.  Please drop by and let me know what you think.  I sincerely welcome all feedback.  At the top right sidebar of this blog, you’ll see the tally of “Likes” on the FB page.  Hopefully, the number will increase exponentially.

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I’ll sign off for now.  I need to go and search through my pile of DVDs for Field of Dreams.  Suddenly, I feel a bit nostalgic.

Getting lost inside a book

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“I go back to the reading room, where I sink down in the sofa and into the world of The Arabian Nights. Slowly, like a movie fadeout, the real world evaporates. I’m alone, inside the world of the story. My favourite feeling in the world.” 
― Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore

The great outdoors is my “reading room” this summer.  Whether lying down on a carpet of grass, sitting cross-legged on a terry cloth towel by the beach, or curled up in my comfy patio armchair — nature provides the perfect ambience for reading.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of fiction week, here at heatherfromthegrove. Each day, from Monday through Saturday, I’ll be spotlighting one novel/author. Summertime is ideal for catching up on all the books you’ve been meaning to read.  I hope that you will find my recommendations helpful and I would love to hear back from you, with some of your own favorites!

Cheers,

Heather

Image via guardian.co.uk (photograph: Kevin Mackintosh/Getty Images)

Bookworms of the World, Unite!

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“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

― Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

Books, glorious books!  They are scattered around my house and I carry one in my bag, wherever I go.  When I’m not reading a book, I’m writing one.

Today, the day that both Miguel de Cervantes  and William Shakespeare died (two of several literary giants who died on April 23rd, 1616), is World Book and Copyright Day — created by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to pay worldwide tribute to books and to the authors who write them.

Introducing the world of books to someone — a child, or even an adult — is like opening a locked door, behind which lies the path to knowledge and empowerment.

“I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me.  I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life.  As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”    

Malcolm X

Today, in this second decade of the new Millennium, our busy lives often preclude us from taking time out to read a book.  Make the time… please.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of  reading.  It exercises the mind, stretches the imagination, opens up new worlds and is far more enthralling and entertaining than a television sitcom (in my opinion). 

If you can’t spare the time, carry a book in your bag – just in case. Rather than complain about the long wait time in the dentist’s office or at the airport, just open up a book and read.  Before you know it, the plane will be boarding or the dental hygienist will be beckoning you to come on in.

As for me, I concur with the late President Thomas Jefferson, who said (simply and succinctly):

“I cannot live without books.”

Image via worksmartlivesmart.com.