Library Week, Children’s Book Day & Other Fun Holidays in April

There are all kinds of things going on during the month of April that an author can piggyback on to promote your books!

April is National Poetry Month, National Humor Month, Lawn & Garden Month, Sexual Assualt Awareness Month and others.

The first week in April if Library Week and the second week is Garden Week.  Visit Holiday Insights to see what the other weeks are.

 

April 1 – April Fool’s Day

April 2 – Children’s Book Day

April 3 – World Party Day

April 4 – Tell a Lie Day

April 5 – Go for Broke Day

April 6 – Sorry Charlie Day – sounds like a broken romance is in there somewhere

April 7 – National Beer Day

April 8 – Zoo Lover’s Day

April 9 – Winston Churchill Day

April 10 – National Sibling’s Day

April 11 – National Submarine Day – is that sandwich or the boat?

April 12 – Walk on Your Wildside Day

April 13 – National Peach Cobbler Day

April 14 – Ex-Spouse Day

April 15 – That Suck’s Day

April16 – Save the Elephant Day

April 17 – National Cheeseball Day

April 18 – Newspaper Columnists Day

April 19 – National Garlic Day

April 20 – Look Alike Day

April 21 – Kindergarten Day

April 22 – Earth Day (U.S.A.)

April 23 – World Laboratory Day

April 24 – Pig in a Blanket Day

April 25 – East Meets West Day

April 26 – Richter Scale Day  – is your book about an earthquake or does one happen in your book?

April 27 – Tell a Story Day

April 28 – Great Poetry Reading Day

April 29 – National Shrimp Scampi Day

April 30 – National Honesty Day

 

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Cookbooks, Marketing, poetry, Romance

March is Irish American Month & Other Fun Holidays

There are many fun holidays during the month of March starting with the whole month has been designated as Irish American Month!

Here are some special and fun holidays during the month of March.  For more holidays visit Holiday Insights.

Hope you are able to use one of the fun holidays to promote your book.

 

March 1 – National Pig Day

March 2 – Old Stuff Day

March 3 – I Want You to Be Happy Day

March 4 – Hug a GI Day – does your book have a military or ex-military character?

March 5 – Multiple Personality Day – does your book discuss mental health issues?

March 6 – National Frozen Food Day – does your character cook using frozen foods?

March 7 – National Crown Roast of Pork Day

March 8 – International (Working) Women’s Day

March 9 – Panic Day

March 10 – Middle Name Pride Day

March 11 – Johnny Appleseed Day

March 12 – Plant a Flower Day

March 13 – Ear Muff Day

March 14 – National Pi Day

March 15 – Everything Thing You Think is Wrong Day

March 16 – Everything You Do is Right Day

March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

March 18 – Goddess of Fertility Day

March 19 – Poultry Day

March 20 – Proposal Day

March 21 – Fragrance Day

March 22 – National Goof Off Day

March 23 – National Puppy Day

March 24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

March 25 – Waffle Day

March 26 – Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

March 27 – National “Joe” Day

March 28 – Something on a Stick Day

March 29 – Smoke and Mirrors Day —-oooooh a great day to promote a mystery!

March 30 – National Doctor’s Day

March 31 – World Backup Day

 

 

Comments Off on March is Irish American Month & Other Fun Holidays

Filed under Authors, Books, Marketing

Happy Groundhogs Day

Today is February 2nd, and like everyone else across the United States, I have been wondering if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow.

What is Groundhogs Day and how did it get started?

Like so many of the holidays, it appears to be a cross between Christian customs and local lore.  The date, February 2nd, falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Pagans called this day Imbolc and as Christianity spread, Christians called this day Candlemas.  If the day was sunny, Christians believed it meant there would be many more days of winter.

On February 2, 1887, a local newspaper editor named Clymer Freas in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania declared Phil, a groundhog that lived at Gobble’s Knob the one true forecasting animal in the country.  According to legend, the same groundhog is still alive and will turn 132 years old this year [2019].

In 1993, Bill Murray starred in the movie Groundhog Day and since then Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, gets many visitors each year to see if Phil will see his shadow or not.  If he sees his shadows, it means another six weeks of winter.  If he doesn’t see his shadow, it means an early spring.

What about the groundhog (Marmot monax)?  It is also called woodchuck, land-beaver, and whistle-pig. It gets the name whistle-pig because when it gets alarmed it will emit a high-pitched whistle to warn the rest of his or her colony.

The groundhogs live in underground burrows, usually buried five feet deep.  These burrows can be elaborate: up to twenty-four feet long with two side chambers.  One side chamber is used as the groundhog’s restroom area. The other side chamber is used as a nesting area.  There are usually two to five different entrances into the burrow that provide different routes of escape from predators.

So how correct is Punxsutawney Phil in his predictions?  According to his handler, Phil is one-hundred percent correct.  It is the president’s, of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, interpretation of Phil’s prediction that is not always accurate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Happy Groundhogs Day

Filed under Authors, Holidays, Movies

Literature Fellowship – Non-matching $25,000 Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships deadline is March 6, 2019.

If you write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, apply for a non-matching $25,000 grant.

https://www.arts.gov/grants/apply-grant/grants-individuals

 

 

Comments Off on Literature Fellowship – Non-matching $25,000 Grant

Filed under Authors, Awards, Fiction, Non-Fiction, poetry

February Fun Holidays – Promote your book around these days

Looking to add fun to your book promotions?

When you combine your characters, themes, etc. to a holiday, you never know what kind of engagement you are going to get from your audience!

February 1 – Bubble Gum Day – Example: Check out Julia Cook’s Bubble Gum Brain Activity and Idea Book or The Bubble Gum Girl by Jim O’Brien and Michele Phillips.  They could have a contest to giveaway, well, bubble gum!

February 2 – Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

February 2 – Ground Hog Day

February 3 – Feed the Birds Day – any book about birds, have a bird in it or a type of bird mentioned in the title

February 3 – Superbowl Sunday – books about football or football players

February 4 – Stuffed Mushroom Day – think cookbooks and books with recipes.

February 5 – National Weatherman’s Day

February 6 – National Chopstick Day

February 7 – Send a Card to a Friend Day

February 8 – Kite Flying Day

February 9 – National Pizza Day

February 10 – Umbrella Day

February 11 – White T-Shirt Day

February 12 – National Lost Penny Day

February 13 – Get a Different Name Day

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

February 15 – Singles Awareness Day

February 16 – Do a Grouch a Favor Day

February 17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 18 – National Drink Wine Day

February 19 – National Chocolate Mint Day

February 20 – Love Your Pet Day

February 21 – Card Reading Day

February 22 – Walking the Dog Day

February 23 – Tennis Day

February 24 – National Tortilla Chip Day

February 25 – Pistol Patent Day

February 26 – Carnival Day

February 27 – Polar Bear Day

February 28 – Floral Design Day

See all of February’s Holidays at Holiday Insights.

 

Comments Off on February Fun Holidays – Promote your book around these days

Filed under Authors, Books, Marketing

3 Things I Learned Promoting Other Authors’ Books

Happy 2019!  January is almost over.  While I have not been writing blog posts, I have been writing, researching, and promoting other authors’ work.

Here are three things that I have learned while promoting other authors’ work/books.

One:

If you agree to promote/market someone’s book, never, under any circumstance agree to accept a percentage of sales as payment!  Just don’t do it!

I recently saw on a social media post where an author was asking for proposals – what percentage of sales would you accept to promote their books. One hundred percent of zero is still zero! You could easily spend 40-100 or more hours per month promoting a book for someone and there may be no sales. Again one hundred percent of zero is still zero.  If you do this, you can see that you will spend lots of energy and get nothing in return.  Again, don’t do it!

Two:

Publicist charge for their work and give no guarantee that the book will sell.

Decide in advance what you are willing to do to promote the book.  Are you willing to write press releases?  Will you distribute the press releases?  Where will you distribute them?  Give the author this information upfront in a contract with a disclaimer that you make no guarantee their book will sell.  If this is the first time working with an individual ask for all the money up front, then provide that individual with a weekly report of the work you did- how many news releases did you write (they get a copy of these as they may know of other places to distribute them themselves), how many places did you distribute them to- online press release sites, newspaper book editors, libraries, bookstores, promote on your own social media site, contacted podcast hosts looking for authors to interview, etc.  (Note – if you decide to market and promote someone’s book, do lots more research on what you should and should not do.)

Three:

Before you decide to promote a book, read the book.

Those promoting and marketing books make contacts and those contacts trust you when you recommend a book to them.  Before sure the book is worthy of promotion.  I used to market and promote books for a local small publishing company.  I assumed (you know what they say about assuming – it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me’) the person I was working with was actually reading the books they were publishing. WRONG!  They were not.  I promoted a book to a company with all the spit and shine I could muster.  They agreed to look at the book and I made arrangements for the publishing company to send them a free copy of the book to review.  A few days later I was contacted and asked how could I market such rubbish.  I didn’t understand until I read the book.  It was total rubbish.  The book was ridiculed with bad grammar and punctuation and the story plot was all over the place.  If I had bothered to read the book, I would have seen this beginning with chapter one.  I took the publishing company’s word that this was an excellent book.  Because I had not read the book before agreeing to market it, I not only lost sales for the publishing company, my reputation took a hard hit.  (NOTE – you probably won’t have this issue with a traditional publishing company, but be wary of the vanity presses).

 

(NOTE – well-known authors will probably not contact you to promote/market their books.  They usually have a traditional publishing company to do that for them.)

 

 

Comments Off on 3 Things I Learned Promoting Other Authors’ Books

Filed under Authors, Books, Marketing

Review of The President Is Missing

The President is Missing

By: Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Publisher: Little Brown and Company and Knopf

Publication Date: June 4, 2018

 

One of my summer reads was Bill Clinton’s and James Patterson’s book, The President is Missing.   I give this book 5 stars as it is definitely a page-turner.

President Duncan, recently widowed and with health issues, is the main character.  His daughter asks him about “Dark Ages,” a code word about cyber terrorism known only to his cabinet of eight.  With this new found knowledge, the President realizes he has a traitor within his cabinet, but who?  At the same time the Speaker of the House, Lester Rhodes, wants to impeach him for, supposedly, letting Suliman Cindoruk the leader of the Sons of Jihad and a cyber terrorist escape.

Nina, a cyber hacker contacts the president, but she doesn’t know who she can trusts.  So, she gives the president instructions to follow.  President Duncan follows Nina’s instructions and meets her partner, Augie who knows only how to locate the virus but does not have the password to delete or stop it.  When the President and Augie are close to meeting up with Nina, she is killed by an assassin named Bach.  But, who hired, Bach?  During the shootout, Augie is hustled into the vehicle with the president by the Secret Service.  Close to the White House, the President’s motorcade is attacked and the president decides to go into hiding at a cabin deep in the woods.  Here the president is surrounded by only a few trusted secret service agents and a team of cyber experts from the United States, Germany, and Russia, who are trying to find the virus that has been planted into the United States infrastructure software. If the virus isn’t stopped, the country could be thrown into total chaos.

Who is behind the cyber attack?  Suliman Cindoruk or someone else?  Who is the traitor in the White House and why?  Who is the assassin, Bach?  Who does Bach want to assassinate?  Who hired Bach?

I wanted to know the answers to these questions and other readers will want to know too.

In this day and age, there is a possibility of a cyber attack occurring somewhere in the world.  It gives me some comfort knowing that there are people who are working every day to prevent a cyber attack.

 

 

 

Comments Off on Review of The President Is Missing

Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, Genre, Suspense

4 Steps to Getting Unstuck

For a few months now, I have been unstuck.  I just haven’t felt like writing blog posts.

In order to prepare for a workshop on “How to Do Biography” I conducted earlier this month, I had to read and write.

Here are the four steps I used to get myself unstuck.

  1. I scheduled a time to read books about biography.
  2. I set a goal of writing 50 words a day.  Writing 50 words was actually easy and I found myself writing more than that.
  3. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t let those who might attend the workshop down.  This helped me pay attention to what was happening in my life, both at work and at home.
  4. I asked co-workers if I could run my presentation past them to see if what I was talking about made sense.  I also asked for feedback.  You know, kind of what a writing support group does.

I conducted the workshop on October 6, 2018, and heard good things about it from those who attended.  So, I guess, the hard work in writing and in preparation paid off.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Writing

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is an event celebrating the freedom to read and is held the last week in September.  Banned Books Week brings together the entire reading/book community in support of the freedom to seek out and express ideas.

Books that have been on the banned books list include (an by the way, you can vote for these on the Great American Read:

F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby.

Joseph Heller. Catch-22.

Zora Neal Hurston. Their Eyes Were Watching God.

J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter series.

Jack London. The Call of the Wild.

Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird.  

Margaret Mitchell. Gone With the Wind.

Toni Morrison. Beloved.

George Orwell. 1984.

J. D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye.

John Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath.

Alice Walker. The Color Purple.

 

And so many more books.

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books

Proofreading – Wrong Words and Quotation Marks

A writer often has a hard time proofreading their own work.  I know that I do.

Even if you run spell check in your writing software, use Grammarly or some other proofreading software, you still probably did not catch all the errors in your work.

For instance, if use the wrong word and it is spelled correctly, a spell checker may or may not pick up this mistake.

 

Example of wrong word usage:

Did you catch my illusion to the National Geographic article?

The word “illusion” is spelled correctly, however, it means an error in perception of reality.

The correct word to use in the above sentence would be “allusion” which means “reference.”

 

What about those quotation marks?

When quoting another author, you need quotation marks to show where their words began and end.

Example of using quotation marks:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Without the end set of quotation marks:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  Do you see how quotation marks are used?

Since the end set of quotation marks are not in place, a reader may think that everything was written by Frost, when in fact, the question is not part of the quoted poem.

To proofread the above, I would need to add an end set of quotation marks because Frost’s poem does not include the question, “Do you see how quotation marks are used?”

The correct way would be:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  Do you see how quotation marks are used?

 

Some authors use Beta Readers to help proofread and to catch those pesky inconsistencies in a story.  You know what I am talking about.  On page forty you read about an electrical fire and the fire department has spewed gallons of water and foam onto the structure, then on page forty-two, the structure has electricity.  Or a character dies on page fifty-five just to magically appear alive on page eighty without an explanation.  Yes, those inconsistencies.

Some authors hire proofreaders and editors.  This is not always possible, especially if you do not have the financial means to pay someone.  And if you do, you need to find the best possible proofreader and editor you can find and can afford to pay.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized