Saturday, April 2, 2011

Helping Hand for Indie and POD Writers You Know

People have asked me quite a bit during the few weeks I'm gearing up for the May 2 release of Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling what they can do to help.  The good news, for me and all of your friends with books out, is there are several ways you can help them that are both free and not terribly time consuming.
1. Like their book on FB, Amazon, wherever else it appears.  Very fast support!
2. Go to an event for them.  Seeing a friend's face in the audience or at the signing table is very welcome.
3. OK, this takes longer.  Read the book and write a review.  Doesn't have to be literary or long.  Post it on or another site where the book is posted.
4. Ask the writer if she/he would love to have the book reviewed in some specific magazine or journal, then email to ask if they would accept a review from you.  If no, maybe suggest alternatives, especially if you have contacts there.
5. Make positive comments on FB encouraging others to read the book too.
6. If the author has a launch date, try to buy the book on Amazon on that day (if you can wait!)  That way, she/he has a chance to possibly say it's a best seller in its category, if lots of people buy it that day.
7.  Tell you friends to read the book.
8.  Recommend it to your community or high school library if appropriate.
When you see the author, a brief comment about the book is always appreciated!

Monday, March 28, 2011

California Lilacs

We've had Ceanothus, California's lilacs, in both front and back yard for some time.  This year, with all the water, they've outdone themselves.  And this year, I discovered that they have a lilac scent.  I always loved the way lilacs smell, and I used to go to the international day at Claremont McKenna and buy a big armful of the back-East type lilacs.  But today, I was out in the front yard, standing next to the big Ceanothus, and I smelled that distinctive lilac smell.  I thought my nose was making it up at first, but when I walked right up to a bunch of blooms and sniffed it, there it was.  Clean, light, subtle, but unmistakeably lilac.  It's a pleasure to discover a new way to enjoy these blue flowers, which cheer me up as the camelias are almost finished blooming.  The smaller bushes grow wild all along the 15 coming up from San Diego to LA.  At first, I thought the gray-blue patches were shrubs that had not leafed out yet, but I looked more carefully when I got stuck in a traffic jam, and sure enough, blue of lilacs, not gray of bare woody stems.  These lilacs seem to sneak up on me in various ways, but the surprise is always a good one.  I hope you have some lilacs to breathe in or look at near you.