Everyone Loves a Heart

When I thought about my blog this week, I had several ideas, but only one, because it is relevant to the week of February 14, Valentine’s Day.  Valentine’s Day for many is a day they can share how much they love that someone special and do something they would not normally do for them.  Purchasing roses is a huge deal on February 14, and I have received several dozen roses over the year, and they are absolutely beautiful as a table centerpiece or on your desk.  The stores are packed full of heart designed boxes of candy, Valentine’s Day cards, and other cute ideas.

Valentine’s Day isn’t about going out and purchasing roses or a box of candy for some of us.  Just doing something special and unique means more than a dozen roses.  Now if that means you get your wife an oil change for the car you are destined to spend the night on the couch, but finding a special card and taking her to her favorite restaurant, not yours, is sure to make her smile.

Over the years I have accumulated several nice pieces of heart jewelry I just love.  I had several necklaces and rings given to me many years ago.  I was given a silver heart watch that means the world to me.  I still have it, and it wasn’t given to me on February 14, but on a day I will never forget.  I love that watch and the love that was behind the gift.

When I wrote The Silver Heart, it actually came after seeing a heart necklace at the Ohio State Fair that I fell in love with.  I bought it, and it was incorporated into the story.  I would reach up at times and feel the heart when I was working on the book, which was also written into the story of the book.  Montana Silversmiths had a necklace which was perfect for the cover of the book and for my character.  I have heard from so many people who have purchased the necklace, and they love it.  For my Christmas present, my son and daughter-in-law gave me the silver hearts bracelet, and I love it.  It goes with my heart necklace, and I will think of them everytime I wear it.

Valentine’s Day is not about spending money you don’t have.  Some of my fondest memories are of the cards the kids made me out of construction paper and lace doilies in Sunday school or at school.  A single rose can mean so much if presented with a kiss and hug to follow.  Nothing is worst that “here you go, honey, I am headed out to the barn.”  Stop, take a breath and spend some time showing you mean the gesture you are making.  It isn’t always about the dollar amount spent as much as the feelings behind the action.  Nothing is better than curling up watching your favorite movie with some champagne and strawberries on the bed.  Quality time.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  I know it is not for everyone, but for those of you who love the idea of Valentine’s Day, do something special for your loved one.  Personalize your present this year.  Think about who the person is and what they love to do.  Make this a Valentine’s Day they will remember forever.

Samantha Sheridan

 

Pick up a copy of The Silver Heart book on any online bookstore or go to http://www.egbertbooksandpublications.com for more information.

3d-jpga

Advertisements

Going from Self Publishing to Publishing Company

Today there are fewer and fewer publishing companies who give you an advance, for your book, and you then write the book, turning in chapters set up by the publisher. The movies show that, but normally a publisher does not work that way for a first-time author. They want a copy of your manuscript to see the quality of your work.  More and more authors are self-publishing their own books and marketing them through companies like BookBaby for this reason.  This is an easy way to publish your book and have it sold on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Advantages to self-publishings:  You make more money, and the money goes into your pocket.  When you self-publish you end up with 100 percent of the eBook sales. Bookbaby does not take any commission from the eBooks.  You also make more money if your sales come from your Book Store on Bookbaby.com.  Spreading the word about your book on social media sites, LinkedIn, etc. helps to bring more readers to your book.

The only negative to self-publishing through sites like Bookbaby is you have no control over distribution.  If your book takes off and sales go sky high, the book sites will run out of books.  They only order so many books, and this could hinder your sales.  You have no control over the number of books being sent from the distribution center to the bookstores online.  They also do not have any control over a book physically hitting the book shelves in the box stores.  Publishing companies have the links to the box stores to get your book on the shelf, in view of the consumer.

Do you need your book in the physical big box stores?  There are a lot of people who are now consumers of places like Amazon, and they have the Prime account to get their goods in two days.  Does that make it easier for them to order?  The only thing you are missing in your sales is the impulse buyer.  How many people walk into a store and look for a book to purchase?

According to Publishers Weekly, “According to the “2010–2011 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors Annual Review,” only 11% of book buyers who bought a book online said they did so as an impulse purchase, while 44% said the book they bought online was the one they intended to buy. The results were significantly different at physical bookstores, where the ability to browse through the shelves resulted in 26% of book buyers saying they bought a book on impulse, compared to 28% who bought the specific book they had intended to buy. Browsing also helped buyers choose a title, with 30% of shoppers at stores reporting that they bought a book that they had not planned on buying compared to only 17% of online shoppers.”

Self-publishing means you cover all the cost of the book.  No matter how good of writer you are, you NEED a good editor.  One very wise person once told me you never edit your own work.  How many times have your read something you have written and your mind reads what it is supposed to say, not what is typed on the page?  If you publish a book, you do not want to have grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Depending on the expertise of the editor and the length of the book this could cost you a few thousand of dollars.  In the end, it is a great investment.  Do you want a book review that tears your book apart because of writing errors?  As an author you want your book to stand up to the best of them.  Who doesn’t want their book on the New York Post Top 10 list?

Another cost is the book cover.  You will pay several hundred dollars to have your book cover produced.  The book printer needs high-quality graphics, and they need the book cover done printer ready.   If you only want to put your book on eBooks, you can list the book through Amazon for a very low cost.  The cost to go through BookBaby is again going to cost you a little bit of money.

I am in no way discouraging you from self-publishing your book.  I am so glad I didn’t start my book with a publisher.  Since I began my book project, I have learned so much.  Understanding what the publisher goes through helps with negotiating a contract with them.  If you start out self-publishing, you have more control over what the book cover design looks like and how the book is put together, from the front page to the acknowledgments/author biography.  My goals were to prepare you for the steps to publish your book.

The Silver Heart is my baby.  I have believed in the book since the last word was put on the page.  I was offered a deal with Harlequin, but they wanted me to split the book into two books, creating a sequel.  This idea just didn’t feel right for me.  I put the book in a file drawer and let it sit,  I knew one day I would pull the book out and work on it again, and I did,

Enjoy writing and never forget to have fun with it.  When it becomes work you tend to put it away.  Make every day an adventure and smile as you follow your dreams.

samantha-and-pete-signed-book

 

 

Adjusting to Gluten Free-Mashed Potato Pancakes

So many of us are finding out we have a slight, moderate or severe problem with gluten products.  I thought I was one of those people who was good and could eat anything I wanted.  My brother told me to watch my gluten because his entire family had problems eating gluten.  Well, not me I am good.  I wasn’t listening to my brother, he was wrong this time.  So I went on with my regular diet and didn’t think another thing about it.

The problem with not taking good advice is you shut out the possibility you could have the same problem as your sibling.  Over time I blamed some of my ailments on allergies or a cold, finding out later some of the symptoms I was having was symptoms for people with gluten allergies.  Now, I am not having major problems, but I am taking care and watching what gluten I eat.  I limit my gluten intake and am selective what I eat and when.

Today I had some leftover mashed potatoes, and I remembered my mom making potato pancakes when we were kids.  The problem with the old recipe was it had flour in it.  I thought about how I could make the potato pancakes without flour, and it came to me, shredded cheddar cheese.  I substituted a half cup of cheese for the flour, and it worked great.  It also added a little extra flavor to the pancakes and made them a little crispier around the edges.

As we get older, we find more and more there are more ailments, aches, and pains in our body than we had as younger adults.  Sometimes we have to change our diets and work harder to stay healthy.  Adjusting our diet is hard.  Sometimes it is like being an alcoholic, or someone hooked on drugs, it is hard beating the habit of eating toast for breakfast every morning or having a Big Mac sandwich.  It is an every hour struggle to remind ourselves to cut back or stop eating the food making us sick.

You aren’t alone if you find yourself adjusting to new diets, giving up things you have loved all your life.  I am sure if you ask a friend they are battling the same problem with something they used to be able to eat.  Talk to them and work together to be strong and tackle the problem.  We are all tougher than we think we are.  We sometimes fall off the wagon and have to start over, but that is okay.  Starting over is a show of our strength and determination.

Age changes our bodies and changes our ways of thinking and how we do things.  Pay attention to your body and find creative ways in your diet to eliminate food allergies bothering you.  Join a group online and talk to people with the same problems.  Who knows you may make some new friends.

Have a great weekend and travel safe.

Pam

Mashed Potato Pancakes.

http://www.justataste.com/cheesy-leftover-mashed-potato-pancakes-recipe/

 

mashed-potatoe-pancake