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Some important thoughts about supporting your fellow authors by buying direct from them (instead of a third-party seller like Amazon, B&N, or other site).

Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion

The Power of the Group: Support Your Fellow Authors by Buying Direct from Them

by Laura Orsini

Most authors in the Phoenix Publishing & Book Promotion Meetup are familiar with my tolerate/hate relationship with Amazon. To put it succinctly, I am not a big fan. Yes, it still wields an unbelievable amount of influence in the publishing industry, as achieving some version of Amazon bestseller status is actually within reach of any marketing-savvy author, regardless of whether they self-publish or are represented by a house. But there are many negatives, too – most of which I will not go into in this post.

Books online

One huge drawback is that self-publishing authors usually sacrifice a huge portion of their prospective incomes when they sell their books via Amazon. Is it worth it for the exposure selling on Amazon offers? Many think so – and there are many successful Amazon authors. But…

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Read, read, read.

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

Faulkner - read everything

Laura

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(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: The hardest part about writing a novel…

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “The hardest part about writing a novel is finishing it.” I can attest to this, first hand. Please feel free to check in with me in a week to see how much progress I’ve made on Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World. Gonna get it done before Labor Day. Really.

Finishing the novel

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

 

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: The briefer the brief is…

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration:

It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.

And that’s why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)

Dr Seuss on keeping it brief

 

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

 

Will your Believin’ pay off for you?

What author doesn’t – at some level – dream of fame? I think most of us harbor a secret desire, if not to be a household name, to at least sell enough books to demand some serious shelf space at the bookstores still left in the world. To be booked for signings where people wait on line for tickets. To be given the chance to tell our stories and share our messages with as many readers as possible. The reality is that there aren’t many famous authors, compared to the total number of people who actually publish books. And I’ll bet if you were to ask most of them, they worked hard and toiled into many a night to earn their fame.

Arnel today

Such was the actual case with Arnel Pineda. He worked hard and toiled for years. But he had a magical experience – a fairytale, not-in-most-people’s-lifetimes kind of occurrence – when he was lifted from obscurity and near poverty to become the lead singer of one of the most famous rock bands in the world. His journey is chronicled in the documentary film, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (available on Netflix). I had the joy and the privilege to see him perform live at a sold-out show at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix last weekend.

When Pineda lost his mom as a boy, he and his siblings were forced out onto the streets of Manila to join hordes of other homeless children. He was fortunate he had a skill, and often was seen singing on street corners, literally for his supper. By age 12, he made his way into a band, and began performing and improving his vocal skills. Fast-forward MANY years, after decades of travel and performing throughout Asia, to 2007, where he and his band, The Zoo, were performing in clubs several nights a week at clubs in Manila and Olongapo, Philippines.

Fortunately for Pineda, he had a raving fan in Noel Gomez, who would go to the shows and record Pineda and his band performing. Next, Gomez would head to an Internet café where he would sit for hours, uploading the videos he’d shot to YouTube, all told about 60 of them. “It was slow – sometimes four, six, maybe even eight hours to upload one video,” Gomez says during an interview for the documentary. The thing is, he believed in Pineda for a reason: the guy is really that good.

“He kept believing in me, like a fairytale dream,” Pineda says in an interview for the movie, “that one day I would be famous.” He admits he shrugged it off as a silly pipe dream.

Then, one day, the email arrived that would change Pineda’s life forever. Neal Schon, guitarist and founding member of the band Journey, had come across Gomez’s videos of Pineda’s performances. At a crisis moment after having lost their second lead singer to illness*, the band was scheduled to release a new album and had no one singing lead. After days and weeks of watching demos and reviewing YouTube videos of Journey tribute bands and singers of every stripe, Schon was about ready to give up and cancel the album because the singer they needed just wasn’t showing up. Before shutting down his computer, Schon clicked one last link, and Noel Gomez’s fairytale beliefs paid off. “Oh my God,” Schon said, “this is the guy!”

Schon emailed Gomez for Pineda’s contact info. When he called, Pineda thought it was a joke and all but hung up on him. Schon confirmed with an email to Gomez – and it took some prodding, but Pineda became convinced that Journey was knocking on his door and inviting him to an audition. He got the gig. Pineda debuted as the lead singer of Journey on February 21, 2008, at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Viña del Mar, Chile, and has been touring with them ever since.

Arnel & the band

Of this famous image of him with the band, Pineda says during an interview for the documentary, “It looks like someone just Photoshopped me into the picture. I’m very short and so Asian, and now I’m the lead singer of Journey.”

Pineda’s role in the band was not well accepted by all Journey fans – in fact, he received some pretty hateful anti-fan mail, at least in the beginning. But he was so philosophical, even about the racist comments. “Steve Perry was the voice of Journey. I was a huge fan, too. Without him, I could not be here. I know why they worry I could not do this music justice.”

Pineda more than does the music justice.

After Perry sang two Journey songs in a surprise 2014 appearance with a band called The Eels, Pineda was quoted as saying, “[Perry] should come back. His voice is still there. He can take over, too. It’s his righteous place, anyway.” The Filipino singer received a lot of pushback for the comments, with people doubting his desire to continue with the band. According to UltimateClassicRock.com, Pineda later tweeted: “Let me be clear. I took Journey’s leap of faith coz they generously gave it to me. Yet, I’ll never be addicted to fame.”

Arnel then

That was so incredibly apparent in his Phoenix performance. It would be understandable if the rocket ship that catapulted Pineda from obscurity to worldwide fame had gone to his head even a little bit. But it hasn’t. Except for the new tatted up look and shorter hair, the nearly 49-year-old singer still has his feet figuratively planted on the ground. He demonstrated this by laying down on the floor of the stage to reach across the barricade and slap the hands of about a dozen fans in the front row. What lead singer does that?

Pineda has embraced his role as the new frontman for this legendary band, dedicating everything he’s got to the job. The band’s grueling tour schedule, often three shows in four days, as was the case when they visited Phoenix, doesn’t allow much downtime or time for Pineda to rest his enormous voice. Couple that with the thought of how big the burden really is to carry a band like Journey from the brink of collapse back to one sell-out stadium tour after another. It’s not just the band that’s counting on him. Look down the line to the people employed to create and sell Journey merchandise, all the people employed by the band’s road crews, stadium employees from ticketsellers to security. Wow!

Before and during his stint with The Zoo, Pineda wrote some of his own songs, but it’s always been his renditions of other bands’ well-known classics – from Journey to the Police to Heart to Guns ‘N Roses – that have gotten people’s attention. This year, after signing a record deal with Imagen Records, he is finally poised to release his first solo album.

What’s the point of the whole story for you, an author or would-be author who may be reading this post? Am I suggesting that you might one day find your own rocket ship to fame? Eh, that’s pretty unlikely – but hey, I’m pretty sure Arnel Pineda never quite expected it would one day happen to him, so who knows?

There are takeaways, however.

(1) Show up. And do a great job when you show up.

(2) Trust your friends who believe in you. If you have a Noel Gomez in your life, thank them, as soon as you finish reading this!

(3) Believe in yourself, too. Noel Gomez couldn’t have willed this to happen for his friend if Pineda hadn’t had some measure of belief in himself.

(4) Never forget where you came from. The biggest concerts of his life happen when Pineda returns to his hometown of Manila. There, he’s not just a rock star, he’s the local boy made good.

Never stop believin’!

Laura

* Journey’s original frontman, Steve Perry, was forced to leave the band after experiencing a debilitating hip injury. He was replaced in 1998 by Steve Augeri, who was eventually dropped in 2006 because of a vocal chord injury that left him unable to perform.

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SOURCES:

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/arnel-pineda-steve-perry-journey

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/steve-perry-returns-to-stage-performs-journey-songs

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/journey-singer-arnel-pineda-signs-solo-deal-with-imagen-records

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

__________________

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Turning the world upside down…

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.”

nietzsche quote

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

 

Children and dogs and ducks, oh my!

“Honey, do you want to go to the farmers’ market with me?”

“Not really… I’ve got some errands to do, OK?”

“Sure. I’ll go on my own. See you in a couple hours.”

Such was the exchange with my husband Saturday morning as I grabbed my canvas shopping bags and left without him. I had no idea what a gift he was giving me…

Fast forward to me arriving at Roadrunner Park, site of said farmers’ market. It was a whirlwind of moon-and-stars-watermelonactivity, and shop I did – for vegetables, organic fettuccine, a Mothers’ Day gift for my mother-in-law, some tiny apricots for my husband’s grandmother, and a small “Moon and Stars” watermelon plant. Of course, I couldn’t walk past The Tamale Store booth without grabbing a couple fresh tamales for brunch.

Making my way to a picnic bench just a few yards away from the hubbub of the market, I noticed how delightful the cool breeze felt. Carefully setting down my wares and fragile watermelon plant, I looked around the park in front of me. I’d been to this park at least a dozen times, but this was the first time I ever noticed the pond. As I peeled the paper wrappers and hojas* from my tamales, I studied the scene in front of me.

 

Roadrunner Park

A tiny boy, not more than 3, made repeated attempts to hurl a full-size basketball into a regulation-height hoop. The closest he came was brushing the bottom of the net. At the other end of the court, a handful of older boys looked to be playing an actual game, joined by a slightly older girl with a bouncing ponytail. Two women walked past me walking three greyhounds between them. Off to my right and out of my line of sight, I could hear other canines engaged in an enthusiastic exchange.

There were dads aplenty: ubiquitous ones with tots perched on their shoulders; bored dads; relaxed dads; two dads herding four children and pushing two carriages laden with jackets, hats, toys, and shopping bags.

Ladies wandered by with floppy hats and baggy shirts to protect them from the sun. One little boy played alone, strumming his fingers along the pool fence, kicking a rock, and then swinging his arm around a tall light fixture. Only child? Loner? Autistic? I could only wonder. Just beyond him, the playground buzzed with activity. Delightful peals of children’s laughter wafted over from the little ones excitedly sliding and swinging and climbing.

The sight of two ducks splashing around in the toddler pool was icing on the cake as I made my way to my car.

ducks in the toddler pool

A gift my husband had given me. The chance to sit, alone for a few minutes, and just watch life unfold – phone forgotten, obligations on hold, no rush to be anywhere other than in the moment. How often do we get so busy with our to-do lists, our writing schedules, our networking, our book marketing plans, our JOBs, the needs of our kids and our spouses and our pets, that we forget to take time to simply be?

Just like children need recess (don’t get me started on the ridiculous trend in schools across the nation of cutting recess to “increase classroom time”), we grownups also need rest, relaxation, time out. We need time to rejuvenate. Time to allow creative thoughts to percolate to the top. Time to breathe.

If you haven’t been to a park in a while, maybe it’s time. Go. Sit. Watch. Listen. Enjoy. If you must, take your sketchpad or your notebook – but try leaving your phone in the car. See what fun things come of it.

Laura

*Inedible outer corn husk wrapping of a tamale.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

__________________

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