Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Promoting and Marketing in the New World of Publishing

Since I invited my dear readers along on a ride into the adventure in publishing, I thought I would update you with my new experiences. Yes, my debut book's release date, March 1, is nearing. I am running as fast as I can to and fro to chat forums, yahoo groups, author websites, and blogging to get the word out and to get my name out. I know my publisher, Muse It Up Publishing, has invested a lot of time and money into publishing my ebook, Sunshine Boulevard, so I want to give them a good return for their effort. Not to mention, I look forward to a rewarding publishing experience.

I began sticking my toe into the pool of promotion and marketing by being a guest on Penny Ehrenkranz' blog in January. I am happy to return the favor by hosting Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz, my first author interview, on February 8. She has a new anthology out, A Past and a Future. The titles and little blurb about each of the sixteen stories really intrigue me. She is also giving a new short story not included in the anthology to a lucky commenter on this blog after her interview.

Please come along with me as I explore and learn about this new world of publishing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ebooks Outsell Print Books in Holiday Sales

According to an article at USA Today, ebooks outsold print books during a week of holiday sales. From this popular national newspaper--"USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list, to be published Thursday, will show digital's new popularity: E-book versions of the top six books outsold the print versions last week. And of the top 50, 19 had higher e-book than print sales."

It is little wonder that the ebook sales are happening during this time of the year since the paper reports about three million to five million ereaders were activated during the month. That is mind boggling. Activation doesn't necessarily equal sales. Some who received the gift may find the new-fangled reader more of a pain than a joy, (but I hope they don't tell their loving children since most were probably gifts from children and family members.) How many of the three million will actually enjoy reading from  an electronic reader or prefer turning the pages of a print book? Old habits are hard to change.

My daughter gave me a Kindle last May for my Mother's Day and birthday gift. I was delighted and enjoy the ease of looking up a book, paying for it, and then downloading it so I can read it within a blink of an eye. I also like being able to change the font size for easy-on-the-eyes reading.

Ebooks are here to stay. They are impacting the writing and publishing business, but I don't believe they will eliminate the paper books. Somehow I can't imagine cuddling up with my two year old granddaughter with my Kindle. It is too much fun to turn pages of a colorful picture book and ooh and ahh together at the images on the large page. What a joy to flip the pages back and forth to find that same frog on a page we read earlier.

Print books are here to stay, but ebooks will find a place in our lives in this new era of electronic books.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gloria Hart's Delicious Vegetable Recipes

J. Q. Rose--Today I am visiting author and editor Penny Ehrenkranz blog as her guest author. Gloria Hart, the main character in my book, is my guest today. After you print out Gloria's vegetable recipes, hop on over to Penny's blog and join us there.Thank you for being here today, Gloria.

Gloria Hart--I am so happy to be here with your readers this beautiful sunny day in Florida. When I watch all the news reports on the cold, snowy weather and blizzards up north, I am delighted Jim and I spend our winters here.

We enjoy running away from responsibilities and freezing temps every winter. However, one winter certainly wasn’t the usual fun experience of golf, games, beach time, and the early bird dinners at the Golden Corral. Instead the residents in our retirement community were living in terror. We had no idea who or what was killing the folks on Sunshine Boulevard.

My husband, Jim, as Captain of the First Responder Team, was pulled into the investigations and saw first hand the emergency calls. He still has nightmares when he remembers those death scenes--the victims' yellow bodies and the stench.

To add to that sad season of death blanketing our community, our friends betrayed us by keeping secrets from us. One of them even ended up lying naked in a geranium bed!

Many snowbirds returned to the safety of the north country rather than experience the terror during that horrific time. We discussed leaving too. But we couldn’t leave our friends and neighbors during this catastrophe. Jim wanted to stay to help with the First Responders Team. Many of the old folks were experiencing heart attacks, panic attacks, and health issues related to the frightening events in the neighborhood. I couldn’t leave the many friends and neighbors who I checked on every morning. We couldn’t return to Michigan realizing our hearts would remain in Florida. So we stayed and managed to survive that winter of deadly events. 

I am so glad that upsetting winter season is behind us. This year has been a lot of fun. Jim is happy his garden is growing well. Along with golfing and serving on the First Responders Team, he is an avid gardener twelve months out of the year. He has a huge garden up north and a small one behind our double-wide trailer in Florida.

Needless to say, I have had to come up with some creative recipes to use all the wonderful, fresh produce from his gardens. J Q suggested I share some recipes with you. I am sure some of you have made New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier this year, so maybe these recipes will inspire you.

Happy New Year 2011!

Stuffed Green Peppers

We like the peppers stuffed with or without the meat using corn or peas or more veggies from the garden.
Place 6 peppers (either a full-sized pepper with the tops off and seeds cleaned out or a cleaned pepper cut in half) in a micro-waveable 8" x 8 " dish. (Yes,this is so much easier than boiling them for 5 minutes in boiling water, I think.) Salt the inside of the peppers. Cook the peppers in the microwave for 3-4 minutes depending on how thick the wall is. They need to be hot.
Prepare a cup of rice--instant, brown, whatever your family prefers.
Brown one pound of ground beef with onions in a large skillet. Drain. Return to the skillet.
Add rice and 3/4 can of diced tomatoes to the meat and onions including juice. You may add salt and garlic to taste. Heat through.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture. Top with remaining tomatoes and juice. Return to microwave and cook covered 10-12 minutes or bake in 350 degree oven, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove foil from oven baked peppers, and cook 10-15 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and sprinkle tops with cheese. No need to return the peppers to the heat as the cheese will melt.
I let the dish of peppers set for five minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Seven Layer Salad, one of our family favorites. You may want to add or delete any of the layers. I like to add boiled eggs and radishes, so that may make it a nine layer salad. Use what you have from your garden to make this a tasty addition to your turkey or ham dinner or to your cookout with burgers and dogs.

Seven Layer Salad
Shred lettuce to fill a 9 x 13 pan.
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. celery
1 sweet onion, sliced thin or green onions from your garden
1 package frozen peas, not thawed or fresh from the garden
1 c. mayonnaise mixed with 2 T. sugar(I use the light mayo)
Place veggies in pan in order listed above.
Sprinkle 4 ounces cheddar cheese on top of dressing. (Sub fat-free cheese)
Cook 6 strips of bacon. (optional) 
Break them up when cool and place on top of cheese.
Cover. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Wishing you all joy, love, and peace in the new year.
Work hard toward your dreams
and make this the year for you!

Happy New Year 2011

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

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