I’d like to share an article written by my friend, Les Ey, regarding the rampant division, anger, and animosity being incited across social media and various news outlets.
Since the rise of the internet and social medial, the political division has increased, and sadly, that is affecting Christians. Emotions are running high. Fear and anger are the dominant emotions instead of grace, forgiveness, and love. So how did it come to this?
One crucial factor is that social media companies and traditional news outlets are in the businesses of maximizing profit. In an interview, NBC spoke with three individuals that were involved with Tech giants.
From NBC nightly news,
“… and to keep them engaged, these three argue, Facebook has a financial incentive not to limit ads or misinformation as long as it’s getting clicks.” 1
Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook manager, said,
“The company just continuously prioritized user growth and making money over protecting users.” 1
Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor, and mentor to Mark Zuckerberg said,
“Making you angry, making you afraid, is really good for Facebook’s business …” 1
Facebook’s response was to the effect that they have tried to clamp down on fake news and misleading ads. To be fair, Facebook has prioritized posts from friends and family, but the point remains that making people angry or afraid results in more clicks, and that fact is not lost on news agencies.
News agencies needed to change to compete with social media. Clickbait and hot button news are what attracts readers, so the quality of fact-checking has suffered. News outlets aim to present content that suits the demographics of their readers/viewers, so they are becoming increasingly biased.
Jon McCray (Whaddo You Meme) recently posted a video on his YouTube channel where he talked about violence and division. 2
He talks about
“… a psychological condition called splitting …” and about how “social media and news outlets are designed to cater to the problem … and splitting is where you see someone or some group as all bad or all good without a middle ground.” 2
He makes the point that the more you talk to people you disagree with the more you can see them as humans who are just like you. So, it is easy to demonize people you don’t engage with and justify hurting them, whether that be verbally or physically.
McCray quotes Martin Luther King Jr.,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 2
So, what should our response be? McCray said, “So, as Christ says, love one another and instead of hating your enemies, pray for them.” 2 and I totally agree. What I have started to do is to be more selective about what media I spend most of my time reading or listening to. For example, Christian news services tend to be less inflammatory than mainstream media. But even alternate news organizations can be divisive. I unsubscribed from a ministry focused on a single issue that I passionately agree with because of their tone. It was temping for me to hate individuals that they were writing about. I still get media reports on that issue from other sources, but those sources are more inclined to encourage respectful dialog and prayer. I’m not saying that we should not engage politically, far from it, we should stand up for important issues but do so with love and respect instead of hate, anger, and fear. It is essential to realize that both sides of politics have room for improvement. We shouldn’t let politics divide us. Both sides like to press our buttons because it motivates people to vote. Vote but don’t hate. Remember who our real enemy is.
Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. NIV
Prov 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. NIV
Abby Johnson (whose story is told in the movie Unplanned) is just one example of what prayer, love, and respect can do. She was a Planned Parenthood director, but some Christians offered to be there for her without judging her. Is the person that we are reading about or interacting with potentially an Abby Johnson? Will we speak life or be manipulated by anger and fear?
For more articles, interviews, and short stories by Les Ey, visit his website at https://les-ey.website/
 NBC, Jan 17, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvW5aRZSbgQ viewed on Oct 10, 2019
 McCray, J, Oct 1, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gexB2p13O5k viewed on Oct 10, 2019
NIV (New International Version) Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Biblica
Thank you, Les, for sharing with us today!
In closing, let me share a secret I learned when I first began working in internet marketing: if you can make a connection to the strongest emotions of your target audience, you can manipulate their response and behavior. (Manipulate: to influence, control, direct, guide, conduct, negotiate, exploit, steer, maneuver, alter, distort, change. To control to one’s own advantage by artful or indirect means.)
Let that really sink in.
Of course, in marketing, this was intended to increase sales of whatever product or service you are pitching.
But it has also become a mainstream tactic in social and news media, as well as politics and religion, because emotions such as anger, hatred, and fear are powerful motivators that will stir us to action. However, love is also a strong emotion, as well as an action in itself.
I’d like to offer some food for thought today…
One of the most important aspects of the Christian life is to love one another. Are we really exemplifying that love with our words and actions…even when we disagree with another’s view or opinion?
#MakeADifference #StopTheHate #LoveOneAnother
I think perhaps because folks are so bombarded with constant sales pitches and endless commercials, etc. we become immune to the tactics of paid advertisements, skimming by all the hype, largely unnoticed.
This brings me to the question: Are there any ‘paid’ promotion/marketing sites for authors that are effective in increasing sales? Perhaps.
I personally have been contacted by more than a few marketers claiming ‘high visibility’ and ‘loyal fan base’ for their paid services, though I have not found any verifiable references to support their claims.
I am sure that, as with most all businesses, there are legitimate sources, as well as numerable scams. But how does an author know which ones are good, and which are not?
For many new authors trying to build a reputation and increase their sales, the urge to find any means possible to promote their work can lead to much heartache and frustration, as well as the loss of money.
I have found that one of the main problems with the paid advertising methods for authors, such as Facebook ads, is that the message is broadcast to folks that really aren’t generally that interested. There may be hundreds of thousands that see the ad, but only a few individuals that even bother to look at it. Of those few, maybe one or two will actually buy the book.
So, what are the options for authors to promote their work?
From an author’s perspective (along with seeing the ‘real life’ numbers and facts) I know the value of sharing our work through word-of-mouth, personal recommendations, and leaving reviews. These precious methods of ‘advertising’ do more to boost sales and reputations than any means of paid advertising. When someone we know (through whatever the means or association) gives a personal recommendation, we tend to pay closer attention, often deciding to purchase an item, or not, based on that recommendation or review.
This is particularly true of authors and books. I have talked to many successful authors that have stated their single most effective salesforce is the word-of-mouth sharing by their fans, and other authors.
One the first rules of successful authordom is to know who your readers are (your target audience), and to connect with them. This takes time and commitment to engage with your readers, building a form of friendship that in turn builds a loyal fanbase.
Another important rule, as my friend, Seumas Gallacher, pointed out in his guest post, is to write what you know about.
Most authors concentrate their efforts in writing to one or two niches or genres for 2 reasons.
The first reason is that it just makes good sense to write about topics that you know well. In a world of billions of available books competing for the readers attention, you have to make your work stand out from the rest. For example, non-fiction works on the topic of Wall Street Markets is not a subject that I would do well with, as I have little experience or knowledge in this area.
However, in ‘Faith, Hope & Miracles’, I shared a first-hand account of the tragedy, struggles, and triumphs that followed my son, Christian’s accident in 2010. The purpose of sharing that story was to let people know they are not alone in their suffering, and to encourage with hope and faith. And in my book, ‘Crazy Critters #1’, I wrote about funny, but true, stories of several of the animals I have shared my life with. The sole purpose of that book was to share some laughter with folks that have pets.
The second reason that authors tend to limit their categories is that for each niche or genre, your audience will likely be entirely different, and it takes a lot of time and work on your part to build and maintain those audiences. Over time, this is possible, though not recommended for those just beginning their writing career.
The business of writing is not an easy one.
Regardless of whether you write in non-fiction or fiction, once you have a top-quality book in your hands, well written, edited, formatted, and an eye-catching cover, you still need an audience of readers. And there is no short-cut to building that foundation.
Other avenues for promoting your work can include interviews on other websites, podcasts, radio, newspaper, and TV shows, although I don’t have time to discuss all the various details on these today. But they are definitely a viable means to help get the word out there.
In closing, I would like to suggest that you should always be genuine and sincere in your efforts to establish relationships with your readers and fellow authors. Treating each other with courtesy and respect can go a long way in helping to expand your potential audience and building your reputation as a professional.
That is why, when I come across a fellow author’s work that I admire in some fashion, I am happy to share and promote it.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more guest posts and author interviews. So, if you are an author and are interested in sharing your work on this site, please include a link to your website in the comments and I will give it a look.
Thanks, and God bless! – Amber
Today, I would like to introduce my dear friend and fellow author, Seumas Gallacher.
I first met Seumas about 7 years ago, through Twitter and blogging, just after he released his 2nd book of the Jack Caulder Crime Series.
Since then, I’ve come to know him as a friendly gentleman with a witty sense of humor, an outgoing and honest personality, who is skilled in a variety of backgrounds, including his talents as an author.
In the recent release of his autobiography, Seumas paints a living portrait from his humble beginnings in the slums of Docklands, Govan in Glasgow, Scotland, across 50 years and 3 continents. To say that he has lived an interesting and colorful life, though not without its pitfalls, merely scratches the surface of a life that most can only imagine.
Seumas has graciously agreed to do a guest post here today, to share some insight into his personal journey. Thank you, Seumas, for this contribution!
For authors, the old maxim is often quoted, ‘Write about what you know.’
I’ve been at this writing game properly for over a decade now, with a back list of five crime thrillers, a book of my poetry, a self-help marketing and promotional guide for authors, and almost 2,000 blog posts. Add to that a catalogue of half-a-dozen ghostwriting assignments for other people’s ‘autobiographies’, and it’s of little wonder that the thought occurred to put my own life story and experiences to print. ‘Write about what you know.’
What happened next was a sometime bewildering, sometime painful, sometime joyful, but always exhilarating, writing trip of discovery. I now understand more clearly than ever before just how much I am truly an amalgam of everything, everybody and everywhere with which and with whom I have ever been associated.
Were there regrets? Of course. Probably far too many to register. I doubt if more than a handful of people on this planet have led a flawless, blameless existence. But I do know that every single incident and experience, good, bad and indifferent, was necessary to bring me to this moment in my life. And I would not seek to change one second of it.
It is amazing how memories bring back not only the plain telling of the story, but for me, it also recalled the feelings and emotions that I had in most of them. I felt them again, and again, and again, some with laughter, but also many of them attended with a quiet tear.
I believe, at this age, finally, I am aware of who and what I am as a person. I like the man I see in the mirror each morning, although it was not always thus. I have acquired a tolerance of myself and my own shortcomings, but more importantly, I have learned to ‘live and let live’ in relation to others whom I meet day to day.
What surprises me, is that having published the book just a few weeks ago, I find that I am remembering many other things which could have been included in the memoir. I will resist the temptation to edit online the Amazon Kindle version, which is easy to do, on the same premise that once I finish writing my novels, I leave them finished.
To all my author friends and even those who have not yet caught the writing addiction, you may want to consider a similar project. It is a wondrous journey to yourself.
Here’s the book blurb:
Fact is often more incredible than fiction.
Seumas Gallacher has survived long enough to savour places, characters and events for more than forty years in the Far East and the Arabian Gulf.
He started life in Scotland, travelled far and wide as a wannabe Trainee Master of the Universe, but the Universe had other plans for him.
From a career in banking, he escaped to become a corporate trouble-shooter.
He discovered the joy and torture of becoming a wordsmith, writing five best-selling crime novels, a book of poetry, and being hyper-active on social media.
‘Strangely, I’m Still Here’ is his story.
Amazon Kindle universal link:
To see more books by Seumas Gallacher, just click on the pictures below:
You can also follow Seumas’ blog here: https://seumasgallacher.com/
And don’t forget, if you enjoy an author’s work, please leave them a review on Amazon (or wherever their work is sold).
Thanks for joining me today! – Amber
In my last post, I shared that I had been invited to do an interview with Les Ey about the book. I felt both humbled and blessed by the invitation, and I think Les did a wonderful job with it.
So, I would like to take this opportunity to share it with you. I also encourage you to check out the other posts he has on the site. There are some very informative articles worth the time to read there. (Thank you again, Les, for taking the time to interview me! I am quite honored.)
The following is an excerpt from the interview:
Les: Hi Amber, welcome. Please introduce yourself, how long have you been writing, and what kind of books have you written?
Amber: Hi Les. Thank you for inviting me! I’m Amber Leggette-Aldrich, an Authorpreneur. Simply put, that means author and entrepreneur. Writing is my professional business, and as such, I wear many different titles, such as author, editor, marketer, and publisher, among others. I’ve been writing for 20 years, primarily non-fiction books, such as Faith, Hope & Miracles, and many freelance articles, though recently I have begun writing in fiction as well.
Les: How do you find time to write?
Amber: I write as a full-time job now, so I usually set a goal of 6 – 8 hours per day, sometimes more, depending on which phase I am in. But when I first began writing, I had a full-time job. So, I started getting up about 3 hours earlier to make time to write before going to work. It was pretty hard for the first few weeks. But following the same schedule every day quickly turned it into a habit.
Les: Where do you write?
Amber: Last year I had an addition built onto my cabin that included a small office, which I love. But before that, I had a desk set up in the front corner of the cabin. It worked well enough, though it allowed more distractions. I also try to keep a notebook handy for those moments of sudden ideas and inspiration when I’m away from my desk.
Les: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Amber: I would have to say first, study and learn everything you can about the craft, as it is an art. And then practice every day. The more you study and practice, the better your writing will become. The second suggestion is to connect with other authors that write in similar genres that you are interested in. Study their work, follow their blogs or social media, and ask questions. The writing itself is often a lonely business, and it requires time and patience. But having fellowship with like-minded individuals not only adds to the learning and exposure, it also gives a sense of comradery and friendship that can help you through the difficult moments.
Les: What is your passion?
Amber: There are a few things that I feel passionate about, but my strongest desire is to help others through sharing hope and encouragement in faith. It is at the core of just about everything I do, whether it is sharing experiences in my writing, or involvement in community projects, or a simple conversation with a stranger in the store, it is what really drives me. There is a saying, “God uses broken people, like you and me, to help broken people like you and me”. I believe that in connecting with others and sharing our experiences, the struggles and trials… (To see the full interview, visit Les Ey’s Blog at: https://les-ey.website/f/interview-amber-lea-leggette-aldrich)
I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that attended the live event on Facebook! I had a lot of fun, even in spite of the technical difficulties with the cameras. I hope your necks aren’t too sore from bending sideways to view the first part! (And thank you to Jimmy for notifying me of that fact.)
Since the built-in webcam on my desktop doesn’t have a very clear picture, I decided to do the broadcast from my iPhone. Unfortunately, as we went to sign into the event, there was some sort of glitch that would not allow my phone to stream live. At the last minute, we ended up using my co-host Melissa’s phone.
Another unplanned glitch was that since I don’t do “selfies”, I don’t own a selfie-stick. So, minutes before the event was set to start (I know, it was poor planning on my part), we fashioned a magnetic pole to attach the phone to, and duct-taped it to the wall behind my desk (yes, I am a BIG fan of red-neck ingenuity. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?) And it worked…although we did have to re-adjust during one of the breaks, as the tape started to droop a little, allowing the phone to slide down.
I have stated before that I am no expert when it comes to technology and all the gadgets, but I am determined (stubborn) enough to figure out a way to make things work.
The responses from the live event warmed my heart, bringing laughter and tears of joy at times. I fully enjoyed the interactions from the audience. Though I was nervous being in front of the camera to start with, thanks to the good-natured humor and welcomed support, I quickly overcame the nervousness and thoroughly enjoyed myself! (That’s the point of having a party after all.)
The closing of the event was broadcast from a local restaurant, The Noisy Goose Café. I chose it, not only because of the great food and atmosphere, but also because it was Christian’s favorite restaurant. It’s where he treated me to dinner to celebrate my first book, Faith, Hope & Miracles, and I had wanted to reciprocate for his book. So, Melissa and I enjoyed a meal of cheeseburgers, fries, and a chocolate malt milkshake, in honor of Christian.
I would like to share a little of the success from the launch with you, not because I want to brag, but because I am so thrilled with the responses.
First, on Friday, the day before the launch, the book’s ranking on Amazon Kindle was #1209 in the Christian Fantasy Fiction category. By the end of the party, it had moved up to #16. Quite the jump in a very short period of time!
By Sunday morning, it hit #4 in its category, then #1 that afternoon…SUCCESS!!!
I won’t pretend to know or understand how Amazon’s algorithms work (they like to keep their secrets), but as an author, to see the book hit that sweet spot of #1, even if only briefly, put a big smile on my face…and my heart!
I also received the first review late Sunday evening (It was written before that, but apparently Amazon has a delay in their postings):
THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW!!!
As if all that wasn’t enough to make my heart soar, on Friday morning I received an invitation to do an author interview for the book. (I’ll share a link to the site when it’s posted).
I can’t say that I know how everything works up in Heaven. But I know that if Christian could see all of this, he would be smiling. And that is the greatest success I could have!
So, I give you all my most sincere appreciation for the help and support in making this dream come true and keeping my promise to Christian. There are still 2 more books to finish the story, and I’ve already begun the process for #2, which will be scheduled for release in early December.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing this journey with me! – Amber
Well Launch Day is just around the corner, and I am getting super excited! It’s been almost 90 days now since I started this project, and I have my author’s proof copy of the book sitting on my desk. (I already had the digital copy downloaded, but there’s just something more real to me, to actually feel the paper pages, to smell that ‘new book smell’…)
It may sound a little strange to some, but as I sat here holding the copy in my hand, thumbing through the pages, I felt a sense of warmth surrounding me, like a hug from Christian. It brought some tears, but they were mostly of joy.
I’ve been working with members of my launch team, planning the launch party since I started the 90 Day Challenge, jotting down ideas and goals in my journal. It’s going to be a live event co-hosted by my friend, Melissa Eversull, on Facebook next Saturday, from 2 PM to 5 PM, Alaska Standard Time, and all are welcome to join me in celebrating.
There will be fun and games, prizes, and open discussions, including a Q & A session. So, if there’s anything you would like to know about me, or the book, or writing, or share something about yourself, this will be a great opportunity for us to make that connection! (A big part of the reason I decided to do this event live on Facebook is the chance to get to know my audience a little better, and let them get to know me.)
I will also be posting links at the even to download the Kindle version of the book for free that day, along with giving away a few free signed copies of the print version. (There will also be a surprise bonus, announced during the event.)
I’ve never hosted a live event online before, so this will be a new adventure for me, one that I am really looking forward to. I hope you will stop by for a visit, and join me in celebrating this accomplishment!
To join the event, just click Amber’s Book Launch or you can copy & paste the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/3095403733834644/ (Make sure to click on the ‘going’ button) And of course, feel free to invite your friends. I’d love to meet them too! (We’ll be using the hashtag #TheChosenOnes for the event.)
In the meantime, it’s back to work (I’m already sketching ideas for book #2) and finishing the final touches for the party. I hope to see you all Saturday! Have a blessed week! – Amber
I began experiencing migraine auras about 4 years ago, though I’ve suffered the migraine headaches since childhood.
The headaches are always intense, very painful, and debilitating. Most often, I become nauseous and weak from the attacks.
When I experienced my 1st migraine aura, I had no idea what was happening. I was watching a movie, when I began to notice that I couldn’t see part of the screen. When I closed my eyes, I could see bright, squiggly zig zags of color, vibrating, and feeling intense pressure in my eyes and head. Then the colored lights expanded, covering my entire field of vision, leaving me temporarily blind.
My doctor was of little help, stating that it was probably just eye strain. So after the 3rd episode, I made an appointment with the eye doctor.
As I described my symptoms, he knew right away what it was, relieving me of the fear that it might be a tumor or some unknown eye disease. He also said that folks that experience these auras are generally of high intelligence, though I’m not sure there is any scientific proof of that. But it still made me feel less anxious.
As a writer, these auras make my job very challenging at times. Since I lose my vision for a time, I am forced to take unwanted breaks. And not knowing what the duration will be makes scheduling tasks a little tricky too. I’ve had them last for 10 minutes to over an hour.
It also is a factor in my ability to drive. (Thankfully, it’s only happened twice when I was driving.) Since I can feel an oncoming episode, I have between 5 to 10 minutes to pull over and park. From there, I just have to wait it out until the episode passes. Once I am sure it is over, then I can proceed as normal.
What is a migraine aura?
Scientists believe an aura is a visual arc of scintillating, shining spots or shapes which begin in a small area of your central vision and gradually expands across the entire field of vision. This movement across the visual field is attributed to a cortical spreading depression (CSD), a wave of electrically excitable neurons and their surrounding cells depolarizing. The cells which are normally negatively charged become positively charged. Neuroimaging studies show some evidence that suggest CSD leads to a temporary decrease in blood supply to certain areas in the brain. The lack of blood supply and the electrical disruptions may account for the wide and varied range of symptoms.
The episodes generally last from 5 to 60 minutes, with varying degrees of intensity. For those who experience migraine aura, it often signals an unmistakable warning of an impending migraine attack.
4 types of migraine with aura:
The types I experience are primarily typical aura, though I have also experienced brainstem aura as well. My symptoms of the aura phase have included:
The Most Dangerous Aspect
Migraine aura is perhaps the most dangerous part of a migraine attack for two reasons.
#1 – The restriction of blood supply to brain cells can potentially lead to the damage or death of these cells. Reports indicate nonspecific white matter lesions in the scans of those with migraine with aura are common. Those with migraine with aura have a higher likelihood of stroke than the general population. (When damage or death does occur to brain tissue due to reduced blood flow it is called an ischaemic stroke.)
#2 – A mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) can be mistaken by someone with migraine as “just another aura”.
Symptoms of TIA are similar:
A TIA is a dangerous precursor to a full-blown stroke, a life-threatening event which can lead to permanent disability or death.
The key difference is the ‘slow march’ of spreading symptoms which is characteristic of a migraine aura, along with clearing up within the hour. With stroke it tends to be sudden and intense, almost immediate.
Triggers for migraine with aura are similar to other classifications of migraine. Triggers vary widely amongst individuals. Common triggers include:
Acute symptoms for migraine headaches can sometimes be managed effectively with over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen when taken at the onset of migraine symptoms.
There are a few specific “migraine” pain relievers available that contain a mixture of aspirin, acetaminophen, and a small amount of caffeine, such as Vanquish and Excedrin Migraine, as well as several new prescription medications.
There are also natural remedies that have proven successful. These include:
In addition, there are complementary treatments options, such as:
Migraines are a painful experience that can range from mild to extreme. While there is no one-size-fits-all cure, working with your doctor and trying various therapies should be able to provide some relief.
My own therapy consists of: 800 mg ibuprofen, ice pack, heat, and massage, which usually brings relief within about 90 minutes, provided that I begin treatment at the first sign of a migraine.
As for the aura part, while they are annoying and sometimes painful, at least they give me warning of an oncoming migraine attack, and (according to my eye doctor) indicates that I am highly intelligent. (Although I would gladly give up a few IQ points to be rid of the pain.)
I haven’t posted anything here lately, and for that, I apologize.
I’ve been working hard to finish all the little details in the publishing phase, preparing for the upcoming book launch.
As of today, there are 14 more days left to this 90 Day Challenge. And I must say, it has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever done.
But it has been a labor of love, and therefore of more value to me than any monetary gain could ever be.
I shared with you why I decided to write this book, in the article 90 Days to Published Challenge back in June, to keep my promise to Christian.
Now I’d like to share with you the essay that he wrote that started the whole idea behind the book. (He was 11 years old at the time, in 6th grade.)
Although Christian did not like the writing part, he was much more enthusiastic in his storytelling when explaining it verbally to me, giving rich details from his imagination. That is how the story began to take form in my mind. I could see the details he gave transform into living pictures that impressed me, and scenarios that inspired thought and encouragement.
I hope that is what I created in the book, and that I’ve done justice to his story.
So, I decided to take a little time off to give my eyes (and brain) a little break. Yeah, right. Let me share with you how that went.
The first 2 days, I did actually stay off of the computer, and all other digital screens (they really drain my eyes). Instead, in between loads of built up laundry and cleaning chores, Frodo demanding to play with the frisbee, and the cats getting into everything, I managed to catch up on a little reading.
As I read through the next section of the 90 Day Challenge, my brain went into overload with questions and ideas. There are so many possibilities, so many little details and choices to make.
Having published 2 previous books, and helping several other authors to publish their books, I’m not a novice. However, I was disappointed in the sales of my books. But I learned from the experiences.
I learned that there are many more hats to wear as an independent author than most people are aware of. So, I made it my mission to learn every aspect of the writing industry, and learn how to become efficient at each job. I won’t say that I’m an expert in all of it, particularly in the technology area, but I learned how to perform all the duties for each different job title.
After the rough draft was completed and being reviewed, the next phase is creating the book cover.
Being an artist, I love the creation aspect, though I’m not proficient in using the modern art programs on the computer (I still prefer paper and pencils, but I’m old). It takes a little longer for me to figure out how to work some of the programs, but with a fierce stubbornness, I finally managed.
Once I figured out how to use my art software, I created 3 different cover designs that I felt represented the feel of the story.
I also created a private Facebook group, where I posted pictures of the 3 designs and took a poll for the members to vote on their favorite.
While the voting process was going on, my mind jumped ahead to the actual uploading the book to Amazon, along with creative marketing ideas. (Sometimes, I start wearing several different hats at the same time, and it gives me a headache.)
Knowing that Amazon changes their formatting requirements from time to time, and this part of the technology is confusing to me at times, I decided to check for any changes. And of course, there were several.
It took me a few days to work out the details, and I had a few issues with the computer along the way. At one point, I felt like throwing the computer out the window, so I took a break and played with the dog for a while.
Once I got the bugs worked out of the computer, I tried to create a sample cover, but part of the process involves giving a page count to build the correct size spine for the book.
I used KDP’s template to create the proper trim size, but of course, in the conversion process, it changed the chapter layouts. So, I had to change quite a bit of formatting, which took a few days. And since I’m still working on editing, there may still be more formatting work to be done in the days to come. But I at least got the majority of the work done for the cover.
The poll ended last night, and the winner is:
As of today, there are 31 days left until the book launch, and still much work to be done. But for today, I’m celebrating one more check off the list of to do’s.
The next phase will be where I’m going to need the most help in making this book launch successful. So, if anyone is interested in helping out, things like spreading the word, it would be most appreciated. (You might even win a prize for your efforts.) You can let me know here in the comments, or on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmberLeaLeggette/ I’ll be posting more details in the coming days.
In the meantime, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone for all the support and encouragement. I am so excited to see this all coming together!
Have a great day, and share a smile. – Amber
I finished the rough draft of your story late last night. I didn’t quite make the deadline of 30 days, due to some technical difficulties (aka cats and your dog). But publishing is still scheduled for the middle of September.
I thought as anxious as I’ve been to keep my promise to you, that I would be happy to get the writing done. And I am…somewhat.
But the truth is, it feels bittersweet.
My first thought last night, as I placed the period after the last word, was remembering how excited and happy you were for me when I published my first book.
You took me out to dinner to celebrate. You were only 10 years old, but you had been saving money just for that special occasion. I remember how proud you looked when you told the waitress that you were buying me dinner to celebrate, and how insulted you looked when she handed me the bill afterwards.
I wish I could take you out to dinner to celebrate your story.
I remember when I first read the essay you wrote. The concept and the ideas were very strong, and I knew it would make a good book, maybe even a series.
While I was writing the words, it was your voice that I heard saying them in my head. I miss the sound of your sweet voice so much!
I changed the names you had for some of the characters, replacing them with names of your friends. I didn’t think you would mind. Your friends miss you too, so I think they will like being included with you in the story.
It was really hard getting started at first. So, I put this sticky-note on the wall above my desk. It kept me going through all the long hours, skipped meals, and throbbing eyeballs. And it fueled my heart, knowing that even if it was the last thing that I would ever accomplish on this earth, no matter what it takes, I am keeping the promise I made to you.
I hope, and I pray with all my heart, that the words I have written are what you would have wanted, that this book would make you proud.
But more than anything else, right now, I just wish you were here.
“Live a life worth living, a life of integrity. Be real, kind, helpful and wise, always with an attitude of gratitude. And whatever it is you do, give 110% effort to it, even in the little things”. – Amber
Copyright © 2019 Amber Leggette-Aldrich.