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Posts Tagged ‘self-publishing’

A New Journey…

For those of you that have not heard, a few months ago I decided to go full time with my writing career. (YAY!) In addition to books and articles, I also began doing some freelance work, along with helping other authors to publish their work.

Last month I created a new site that will be primarily for the new business.

The new address is: www.amberleggettealdrich.com

Today is Day 1 for a 90 day writing challenge for a new book, from beginning the writing process through publication.

This is a project that I’m super excited about, because I’ll not only be creating a new book, but fulfilling a promise to Christian.

I want to take a minute to say thank you for all the support, kindness, and encouragement you have shown me over the years here. And I look forward to our continued friendship.

I hope you will check out the new blog, and join me in this new journey!

Here’s to success, and happy writing! – Amber

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A leap of faith… “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him…so shall your plans be established and succeed”. (Proverbs 16:3 AMP) In 2014, when he was in the 7th grade, I gave my son, Christian, a writing assignment for a fictional story as part of his Language Arts class. […]

via 90 Days to Published Challenge… — Amber Leggette-Aldrich

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As an author, I know all too well the struggles of promoting and marketing our work. It can be grueling work, and sometimes down right frustrating. But the joy and rewards of sharing what we do as an artist is well worth the effort!

I came across this on Facebook this morning, and I think it explains things quite well. Remember, artists of all kinds do what they do because they are sharing a piece of their heart. You can show appreciation for what they do by helping to spread the word about their work, give reviews, and of course, buying their creations.

The Heart of an Artist

In honor of a few author friends, I’m beginning a “Fridays Forwards”, to help them share their work. And so, for this week: (Click on the images for the links to purchase on Amazon.)

Butterfly Fields

Butterfly Fields by Twylla Carlson

Set in the foothills of a thriving cattle ranch, this story begins the journey of a naïve young woman dealing with a family tragedy that will change her life forever. Through the unexpected struggles of others she finds healing and a new awareness of the evil in her world while discovering that divine intervention surrounds her daily.

 

 

 

 

 

Out from the Shadows

Out from the Shadows by Pamela Thorson

Caregivers live in the daily shadows of death, countless duties, and shattered dreams. But they don’t have to exist in the shadows of their faith.

Nurse and veteran caregiver Pam Thorson offers weary families hope and insights gained from her own struggles. Out from the Shadows is a collection of thirty-one stories that pull back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Each devotion draws from the author’s own experiences to reveal a fresh understanding of Jesus’ call upon our lives as we care for others.

 

 

Seumas book cover 1

Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales by Seumas Gallacher

A self-publisher with over 75,000 sales/downloads explains in simple steps how he uses the social networks and ePublishing to enhance sales of his books on the Web and in hard copy.
As always, if you see something you like, please feel free to share away. And if you have any recommendations you’d like to share, you may do that also by leaving a link in the comments section.
Blessings to all, and have a great weekend! – Amber
#FridayForward #TBSU #Authors #amwriting

 

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Today I have a guest post, written by my friend, Seumas Gallacher.

I’ve asked Seumas to share a little about his journey to becoming a writer because he’s had a great influence on me. His good-natured generosity and sense of humor has made it quite easy to like him.

Seumas started a strategy in social networking a while back called, “The Blog Scratchers Union”…a you scratch my back (or blog in this case), and I’ll scratch yours sort of thing. It has become quite popular in helping authors spread the word about each other’s works. I shared his idea in an earlier post. So now when you see the hashtag #TBSU, you’ll know where it came from.

So without further ado…meet Seumas Gallacher…

…what do YOU wanna be when you grow up?…

As much as I protest at the utter surprise at realizing I’m living well past the three-score years mark, my brain rejects anything other than a youthful mind-set.

Sure, it seems I can’t sprint from the armchair to the sofa in search of the television remote control as swiftly as I once could… and birthdays appear to be arriving in a concertina-ed time scale. But I believe I’ve arrived at a place of cerebral satisfaction… I’ve become a writer… never, ever labeling myself as an ‘aspiring writer’… but a ‘writer’… if you’re gonna be something, then be it totally.

However, it wasn’t ever so imbedded as it is now.

In my earlier youth, the preferred occupations ranged from ‘a drummer in a beat group’, followed bylead singer in the same beat group’ (note ‘beat group’, not ‘band’… kinda dates me a bit, doesn’t it?)… then it was to be a ‘back-street betting bookmaker’, short-lived when I learned that would require capital to get started. Brief skirmishes with the notion of being a ‘professional soccer goalkeeper’ lapsed as the need to get real and earn a living thrust me into the tentacles of Big Bad Banking. In that guise the world saw Master Gallacher over a period of four decades, tramping round the global greed centres of London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Manila, and now Abu Dhabi.

In retrospect, it dawns on me that all of that was merely to equip my grey cells with background material to indulge what I think has always been in my soul… writing… telling stories… entertaining people… enjoying the pleasure of word-smithing.

I didn’t complete my first crime thriller until about five years ago, and since then have become addicted to laptop-tapping constantly, in producing what has now become the Jack Calder series, with three titles on Amazon Kindle already, and a fourth Work-In-Progress…

Seumas 3 books covers

Available on Amazon at:

Savage Payback 

Vengeance Wears Black 

The Violin Man’s Legacy

Being the oldest self-confessed computer Jurassic on the planet, the advent of the social networks was beautifully timed. My incompetence has proved no barrier in a steep learning curve.

Marrying the eBook phenomenon with the proper business application of the various social networks has resulted in 75,000+ downloads/sales to date in eBook and hard copy … not bad for somebody who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he (eventually) grows up. It still tickles and astonishes me that in this few short years I’ve become in some quarters, the darling of the self-publishing brigade. So much so, that many, many newbie and established author friends have exhorted me to tell how I did it. The result… the recent launch on Kindle of ‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’…

Seumas book cover 1

 

Available on Amazon at ‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’ 

…I welcome all and any contact regarding this wonderful world of quill-scraping and invite your interaction through:

Blog : http://www.seumasgallacher.com
Twitter : @seumasgallacher
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher
Email : seumasgallacher@yahoo.com

 

Seumas Gallacher profile picSeumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in Abu Dhabi ever since.

A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his first two novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy and Vengeance Wears Black have sold more than 70,000 copies. The third in the Jack Calder series, Savage Payback was launched in late 2013.

Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.

(* Don’t forget to drop Seumas a line, and help spread the word about #TBSU)

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I began writing many years ago, without having any college training or professional background. I just put down on paper what was in my heart and in my head. Several family members and close friends told me that my writing was very good and that I should consider becoming a writer. But that’s what family and friends always say. So I didn’t take it too seriously.

Then I joined a chat room and began joining in a few of the forums there. It was during a time of political debates and elections, and there was quite a bit of tension and heated arguments in many of the forums. So I began a discussion based on sharing humorous stories about my children and animals, as an attempt to cool things down.

Soon there were several hundred people joining in, leaving comments regarding my writing a book of these stories. Several of the comments were from professional writers, and they were encouraging me to become a writer. Me! A real writer?

I had no knowledge of the writing industry, but I asked questions. And to their credit, I found that these writers were more than willing to educate me. Through their kindness, I found some confidence and encouragement, and I began pondering the idea of becoming a writer.

Of course, the picture I painted in my mind was one of me, sitting at my computer, furiously typing out a best seller in a couple of days, while the phone was ringing with offers and pleas from several publishers. I pictured crowds surrounding me in public, asking for my autograph. And I pictured financial success. (Yes, I know that’s funny, but it’s MY picture, so don’t rain on my parade.)

I bought several books on writing, publishing, agents, and marketing guides. After I finished reading them, I think I was more confused than before I started. And I felt a sense of fear, realizing that I had no idea of what I was doing.

I lost contact with the writers I had met in the chat room when the site was suddenly closed for unknown reasons. And things were changing in my life circumstances that were beyond my control. So for a time, I didn’t give much more thought to writing for a living.

But I kept writing, and sharing stories with friends and family. And my biggest fan was always my mom.

Then a few years ago there was an incident which hospitalized my youngest son. There were many people wanting updates and to share loving prayers, but even texting was difficult. So one of the hospital volunteers arranged for me to get access to a computer and set up a webpage where I could post updates and people could leave messages for us. The site was similar to a blog, and I began posting once or twice a day.

The posts were similar to a journal style of writing, and I included my own thoughts and feelings about what was going on with my son. I was writing to share with our family and friends. But by the end of the first week, there were several hundred people that were following this journal, leaving messages of hope and prayers, and requesting that I continue the posts. There were hundreds of people that I didn’t know, I didn’t even know how they found the site. But it was being spread by word of mouth (or computer links) and it continued to grow.

I was a little overwhelmed when I realized that in a short time, there were almost 4,000 people following this journal. And many of them were thanking me for sharing our story, and repeatedly asking me to consider writing a book about our ordeal. My mom was among them.

Over the next year and a half, I wrote the book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”. And while I was writing it, I was also learning everything I could about the publishing industry. Without knowing any writers or having any contacts in the industry, I knew that it was not going to be an easy endeavor.

When I finished writing the manuscript, I sent it to my mother and asked her to review it and give an honest critique, along with editing. I knew she had taken a few English and writing courses in college, so I felt confident that she would spot any grammar mistakes and such.

When she called after reading the manuscript, her voice was soft and shaky as she said, “Hon, you are a very gifted writer, and you did an excellent job”. At first I thought her emotions were very strong because of the subject of the book surrounding her own grandson. But it was more than that. She told me of how proud she was of me for completing this work, and that she believed in my ability as a writer.

Even when I confided in her that I had no idea of how to go about getting the book published, she said she had faith in me and that she knew it would happen. And she told me to never give up.

After careful consideration, I had decided to self-publish that book. To accomplish that required learning even more about the publishing and marketing industry than I ever really wanted to know, but I was determined to do it. It was a bit overwhelming and even frightening in some ways, but when the book was finally available for sale, I felt a great sense of satisfaction. And I finally realized that writing was what I wanted to do with my life.

I must say that going about it the way I did to become a writer was probably the hardest way. I highly recommend that anyone wanting to pursue a career in writing start by taking writing and publishing courses, and earning some credentials. It is hard enough for a first book to be a success when you know what you’re doing. But when you are learning as you go, and no one knows anything about you, it’s even harder.

I sent a signed copy to my parents and several other family members and friends. But I’m pretty sure that no one was more proud than my mother. It was a little over 6 months later when I finally was able to go visit, and she had my book proudly on display on her living room coffee table, next to her bible.

On that visit, I shared a few ideas I had for a Christian fiction series, and my mother liked the ideas. She said she looked forward to reading the books, and I knew she would always be my biggest fan.

My mother passed away the day after I came home from that trip, one year ago today.

In this past year, I’ve written a few articles and worked on a couple of different blogs. But when it came to working on the series I had started, I seemed to have developed writer’s block.

I managed to scratch out a few paragraphs now and then, but I just couldn’t find the time to really go after it.

It wasn’t until this morning that I finally realized that I have been feeling an underlying depression. I know it’s perfectly normal to grieve after losing someone you love. And in this past year, I have often missed my mother very much, and I’ve cried. But what I didn’t realize was that somewhere in my mind, my writing was, in a way, connected to her.

It’s funny how our brains work, making associations and connections that we don’t even realize are there.

But I also realized something else this morning. I remembered back to when my son was in the hospital and I began keeping that online journal. I knew as events unfolded in that hospital that there was a miracle that needed to be told. I could feel it in my heart that God wanted for me to share it with others, and I felt compelled to do so. I also felt a sense of pride with my mother’s encouragement to continue writing. But in this past year, I have not been doing what I was led to do. I was not honoring my mother, or God, with my procrastination and lack of commitment.

This day has been hard, and I know there will still be more hard days ahead. I also know that my mother would never have wanted grieving for her to stop me from doing something that is dear to my heart, and something that she was so proud of.

In realizing the connection I feel between my mother and my writing, I know now that I can turn that into a strength. It can be the inspiration to keep writing, even when I can’t think of what to write about. It can be the motivation I need to stay committed to my work, even when I’m too tired. And it can be the strength I need, to pour out my heart on paper, the words of my stories. And it can be a way for me to continue to say, “I love you Mom. Thanks for believing in me”.

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This is for the writers out there, from my friend, Seumas Gallacher, a talented man with a fine spirit. Though his words may be humorous, there is some valuable information here, especially for those just stepping into the world of self publishing. I wish I had known about Seumas when I wrote my first book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”. It would have made things a lot easier.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. And please stop by Seumas’ site. Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll at least be entertained! Wishing all a happy & blessed Wednesday! – Amber

Seumas Gallacher

…absent being the owner of your own currency printing machine, I offer the following synopsis for all the wannabe Croesus(es) [Croesii?] out there in quill-scribbling world…I’m presently about three-quarters of the way through the process, so forgive me if may have to revert for the final corroboration of its efficacy…and having only my own personal experience to draw on here, I’ll pitch this accordingly…my story to date:

1. Kick-off/start/genesis/beginning is …WRITIN’…

Nicking from Nike—JUST DO IT!… don’t be an ‘aspiring writer’—if you write at all, then you’re a writer—and despite nasty rumours to the contrary, it’s NOT a nefariously negative pursuit…get the stuff out, down on paper  or on the laptop…along the way, like any apprentice, emulate the writers you admire…ask for advice…the universal author/writing family is immensely generous of spirit.

2. Having written, now it’s…MARKETIN’…

As of two days ago, I’m officially an Old Age Pensioner…but…

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Unstuffed Cabbage

Many years ago I was invited to dinner at my cousin’s house. She served a dish called “Stuffed Cabbage”. I had never tried it before, but with one bite, I fell in love! I have always enjoyed Italian foods, and this particular dish was delicious.

I asked for the recipe, which my cousin was happy to share. I attempted to make it a few weeks later, and quickly discovered there was a lot more work to it than I had thought.

I’m what you might call a “lazy cook”. I prefer meals where you throw everything in one pot and call it dinner. It’s a good way to clean out the leftovers in the fridge too, only you seldom get the exact same taste twice. Still, I’ve never had any complaints about my cooking. (Maybe it’s only because I make them wait until they’re so hungry, anything would taste good.)

Well, I decided that instead of spending all that time to steam the cabbage leaves, prepare the meat mixture and roll it up in the leaves, then put it in the sauce to cook, you guessed it…I just put all of the ingredients into a crock pot and turned it on, calling it “Unstuffed Cabbage”. I let it simmer for several hours while I went about taking care of other matters, like playing with the kids.

Unstuffed Cabbage has now become one of my favorite meals, and has even been requested on occasion at our church potlucks. Of course everyone laughs when I tell them I came up with the idea because I’m a lazy cook. But it is the truth. It’s not that I mind cooking at all, I just usually have a lot of other things going on that require my attention (and I’ve burned a lot of dishes that require too much tending to).

It occurred to me recently that my recipes such as Unstuffed Cabbage, allow me to multi-task as well as save time, money, energy and space. And I really like those ideas! I’m actually thinking about creating a cookbook for other lazy cooks too. It might make a great gift item. What do you think? Any ideas for a good title? Got any suggestions for saving time or money, etc. you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your ideas!

One more quick note: In an effort to better organize my time, I’ll be updating my posts here on Wednesdays and Fridays.

And since it’s Friday, as promised (I know, I’ve missed a couple of weeks) here is this week’s #TBSU (The Blog Scratchers Union) List:

http://livingthescottishdream.wordpress.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/

http://losrodriguezlife.com/

http://sethsnap.com/about/

http://ruthninawelsh.com/

http://cutterlight.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/category/introduction/

http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com/

http://blog.bookmasters.com/

http://caddoveil.com/

Take a look and if you see any blogs you like, please follow and share! If you have any blogs you’d like to recommend, #TBSU is free to join and easy to share. Or if you prefer, I can add your suggestions to my lists too…the more the merrier!

Have a great weekend, and God bless! – Amber

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New Beginnings

 

I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone (a day late) a very happy and blessed New Year! My son Christian and I were able to spend some time celebrating with some very good friends that we don’t get to see very often. It was a wonderful day, and we will cherish the memories.

Over the past several weeks, I have had many thoughts of family and friends and the importance of our relationships. I had been battling with many frustrations, feeling like I was always behind on something and yet always too busy to do the things I wanted to. And I realized that I was too busy.

My priorities had become out of whack, which tends to happen from time to time. And I had taken on more obligations than I could actually accomplish. As I get a little older, I’m realizing that I don’t have the same energy levels I did when I was a teenager. But my “to do” lists seem to have grown longer, making it impossible to complete all the things I want to do. And this was causing a lot of frustration for me. I don’t like to leave things undone.

So I took some time off for Christmas and New Years, and I spent some of that time going over my responsibilities and obligations. I realized that there were some things I was spending too much time on, and not enough on others. For one thing, I was spending too much time on frivolous things like TV and the internet, and not enough time on my relationship with God. I also had not been spending enough time with my family and friends. Most of my family lives far away, and it’s been many years since I’ve been able to visit. And I’ve been so busy with working on projects and chores, etc. that I have not even spent much time visiting with the family and friends we have near us.

I started considering my priorities. Not the obligations of what I am supposed to do, but the real desires of my heart. Spending time with God, my family and friends, and my animals are my top three desires. Writing is also a passion of mine, but without any of the first three, my writing becomes forced and begins to lack any heart. In college we were taught that there are certain basic principles of how to write well: specific elements of style, grammar, methods, etc. To be honest, I always hated that part of the courses. I know it’s important to learn how to write properly, but for me personally, it’s about putting the feelings in my heart down on paper to share with others. The stronger the passion and emotion in my heart, the better and stronger my writing is.

With that being said…as some of you may know, I completed and published my first book, “Faith, Hope and Miracles”, last July. It’s the true story about my son Christian and the horrible accident he had back in 2010 that earned him the nickname of “miracle boy” by our local newspaper. The trauma that our family went through over that next year and the thankfulness in my heart for his revival and recovery led to a strengthening of faith and hope that I never would have expected. I learned more through that year, than all the years of schooling put together. And it stirred such a passion in my heart, that I could not contain it. I had to share it! I had not written professionally before, but I let my heart pour out onto the pages and before long, there was a book. Writing the book was not the hard part for me, it was having to learn everything from scratch about how to get it published. But with a lot of determination, relentless research, hard work, and most of all, God on my side, the book was released for sale on July 9, 2012 on Amazon.

One of the things I learned about during the publishing process had to do with marketing and publicity and social networking. This was a big drawback for me in many ways. For one thing, it led to many hours more than I care to admit, on sites like Facebook and Twitter. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, (actually it’s a very necessary part) it became very easy to let precious time slip away very quickly. Thankfully I have realized this, and am now limiting my time on the internet and learning to make the most use of it.

For this new year of 2013, I have set some very specific priorities of what I will be spending my time and energy on. God will always be first, as He should be. And my loved ones, (including the furry ones) will come next. I have set aside specific times for my writing in order to accomplish the goals I have for my next book, and I have decided not to worry so much about the little things. I will achieve whatever I have time to finish, AFTER my priorities are taken care of. I guess that is my New Year’s resolution, a new beginning for me.

What are some of your resolutions for this new year? Or some of your new priorities? Please share any ideas or solutions you have in maintaining a schedule to accomplish your tasks. And here’s to a bright, beautiful and blessed 2013!

 

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Good morning fellow bloggers! It’s Friday, and I almost have my voice back. I think I’m on the mend finally, praise God! With Christmas just around the corner, life has gone into the busy mode now. But I did manage to find some humor this week, and I wanted to share it with you.

I pray that I will age as gracefully (and with such a sense of humor about it) as the lady in this video! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. 🙂

A hilarious prayer

As promised, I have added a few more sites to my #TBSU (The Blog Scratchers Union) list. I hope you will pass them along to your friends, and thank you for helping to spread the word! Don’t forget to “like” and “follow” the ones you enjoy and find helpful!

Happy blogging & have a very Merry Christmas & blessed New Year! 🙂

Blogs to follow: #TBSU

http://ruthninawelsh.com/

http://cutterlight.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/category/introduction/

http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com/

http://www.faithwriters.com/

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/

Note: Some of the above sites are not actual blogs, but sites for writers with lots of resources you might find helpful, so I wanted to include them. Also, I have had some trouble with the actual links not working. If that is the case, you can copy & paste the addresses into your browser. (I’m still learning about building the links, so I appreciate your patience with me!)

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It’s Monday morning, and I’m not feeling quite up to par. Christian and I have had a bad cold since last Wednesday, which has left me with almost no voice for the past 4 days. Christian kinda likes it that way, saying now I can’t fuss at him. 🙂

Today will be mostly spent on catching up on household chores and some arts & crafts time. We are working on making our Christmas gifts, and our projects qualify as Art in home schooling. So Christian lucked out for today with an easy school load.

As for writing, I did post pictures on our animal site, Christian’s Critters. Other than that, it’s difficult for me to put many of my thoughts down today. The book that I am currently writing is meant to be from a humorous point of view, but I’m just not feeling very humorous right now. So perhaps I’ll have to put the book on hold for now.

For my fellow authors though, I do want to share another interesting idea from my friend, Seumas Gallacher. It’s another creative way for connecting with other authors, getting to know a little something about each other. It’s kind of a game of tag for authors. Check it out and please share. Seumas has a lot of really fun and interesting ideas for helping each other in promoting our work. Click here to check out his blog: Seumas Gallacher

Well, that’s all for today. Hope everyone has a blessed day, with hearts of hope and encouragement to share with others.

Love, Peace & Blessings – Amber

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