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Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

14 reasons I love books…

What better time to celebrate our love for books than Valentine’s Day?

Here’s a collection of gorgeous book images, with a little about how I came to be a book person, why I read, what I read, and how I read. Please share your own similar stories in the Comments section below.

Book-Love 10

I taught myself to read at about age 4 because I wanted to be able to read the comics in the Sunday paper to myself. I had my dad read me the same Golden Books again and again so I could memorize the words.

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Book-Love 3

I was in second grade when my dad took me to the library for my first “research project” on the Great White Shark. He taught me how to use the card catalogue so I could find my own way around the library later. It worked. I seldom needed help again.

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Book-Love 1

My favorite thing about elementary school was the chance to order new books through the Scholastic Book Club leaflet. The longest days of the school year were the days between handing in my form with my dad’s check, and the day that magical brown box showed up on the teacher’s desk so she could distribute our books.

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Book-Love 2

Summers were spent reading 40, 50, as many as 100 books as part of the library’s Summer Reading Program. Encyclopedia Brown. Nancy Drew. Madeleine L’Engle. Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read them all…

“You have to write the book that wants to be written.
And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups,
then you write it for children.”
– Madeleine L’Engle

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Book-Love 6

I met my best friend in a summer program at ASU between eighth grade and our freshman year in high school. The classes we took together included an etymology class and a sentence-combining seminar. My writing improved vastly that summer! I went from an average of 6 words per sentence to an average of 21 words per sentence. Thirty-some years later, I still find the information and processes I learned in those classes helpful.

Jane lived in a small Southern Arizona town; I lived in Phoenix. This was before the Internet. So we wrote letters – the old-fashioned kind with ink and paper. Jane’s letters were long, funny missives in purple ink, most of which I still have.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I began at the University of Arizona, each freshman was required to take a Library Skills course. Again, this was pre-Internet. The course was supposed to take up to 21 hours to complete. I did mine inside of 3 hours – and I remember being very grateful to my dad at the time.

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Book-Love 5

I’m not a person who can read just one book at a time. At any given moment, I’ve got a book in the bathroom, one in my shoulder bag, and at least one on my nightstand. That doesn’t even take into account the Kindle.

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Book-Love 7

I read all kinds of things – fiction and nonfiction. Love stories, historical novels, literary fiction. Spiritual books, marketing and business books, political books, personal growth books. Our reading taste is one place my husband and I diverge. He reads music biographies and autobiographies, as well as horror/thrillers from Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and the like.

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Book-Love 8

Did anyone ever finish The Thorn Birds? When I read it, I got within about 50 pages of the end of Colleen McCollough’s 692-page tome before simply losing interest. I didn’t intend to abandon the book; it just happened. But then I began asking all my friends who’d read it/were reading it, and no one finished the thing. The first book I ever quit on purpose was Pat Conroy’s Beach Music. Having really enjoyed Prince of Tides, I had high expectations for this book. It was boring and tedious from the start. I kept thinking it would get better, but by page 120, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. It was a big deal to give myself permission to quit reading a book. So glad I finally got over that issue.

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Book-Love 13

I love libraries and bookstores because I love the touch and feel of books. I love knowing that people spent hours researching and writing them. I love the thought that I might be one of hundreds of people to read a single library book. I love the concept of BookCrossing.

It’s really astonishing to think that all our communication, all the English-language books and letters, are derived from 26 little symbols:
a – b – c – d – e – f – g – h – i – j – k – l – m – n – o – p – q – r – s – t – u – v – w – x – y -z.

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Book-Love 9

I love that books can take us places, create visions, share knowledge, engage ideas – in short, call us to a higher purpose. Certainly not every book serves those roles, but they are, to be sure, the books toward which I gravitate. And in my work with self-publishing authors, my goal is to work with socially conscious authors and would-be authors.

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Book-Love 11

Chick lit is my guilty pleasure – along with romantic comedies, when it comes to movies. But good stories with well-drawn characters. Remember, I’m not afraid to drop a book like a hot tamale if it’s not worthy of my time. I bought 50 Shades of Grey out of curiosity. Didn’t make it past the first gawdawful chapter. One massively underrated book is Helen Fielding’s (Bridget Jones) first novel, Cause Celeb.

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Book-Love 12

This weekend my sister, husband, and I will attend the 58th annual VNSA Book Sale in Phoenix, where we’ll surely by a couple dozen more books. We had a yard sale in the fall which allowed us to clear out space in our floor-to-ceiling bookcases, so now there’s at least a little room for the newcomers!

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Book-Love 14

While I fully appreciate the ease, necessity, practicality, and inevitability of ebooks, printed books will always be first, and forever, in my heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the readers, writers, authors, and book lovers among us!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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27 ways to tell your readers you love them

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell your readers you love them. If  your book’s still in progresslove my reader and you don’t have readers yet, perhaps these suggestions will get your creative book marketing juices flowing for ways to connect with you readers once you publish your book or eBook.

As always, we love your feedback, so if you’ve got other ideas or suggestions, please share them in the comments section below!

  1. Share their fan mail on your Facebook page.
  2. Hold a Tweet Chat so you can get to know them better.
  3. Make a video to tell them what you’re working on next.
  4. Write blog posts they’ll love – even if they’re not necessarily things you love writing about.
  5. Find a promo product tie-in and give them away wherever you go.
  6. Use Rafflecopter to give books away.
  7. Do readings at your local bookstore and library – even if it’s a pain in the ass to arrange them.
  8. Share photos of your writing space/process on Pinterest.
  9. Create discounts so they can share your books with their friends.
  10. Reply to every comment on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  11. Find out the causes they value – and get involved.
  12. You know who they are, so go where they are – street fairs, quilt shows, NASCAR, university quads, airports, dog shows…
  13. Ask them their favorite parts of your book – and create a Tumblr account to share them.
  14. Make a video of yourself doing a reading.
  15. Use Rafflecopter to give eBooks away.
  16. Share single chapters of your book on CDs or Minibüks.
  17. Hold a teleconference where your fans can ask you questions.
  18. Write thank you notes to those whose addresses you have.
  19. Use Authorgraph or Autography to sign eBooks.
  20. Do a Q&A with your readers via your Facebook page.
  21. Ask their input on your next book.
  22. Attend book fairs and speak or sign books.
  23. Host a webinar featuring fellow authors or guests on your topic.
  24. Share daily quotes on LinkedIn.
  25. Ask your readers/fans to name themselves (a la Parrotheads, Dittoheads, Cheeseheads, TroubleMakers, Trekkies).
  26. Create a forum for your readers/fans on your website.
  27. Offer to pay the shipping on your books for a week.

To a love of reading  and readers!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Tell your readers you care with VIRTUAL conversation hearts

We’ve all seen it. Though the after-Christmas sales are still languishing, we’re already onto the next holiday. Red cupids, pink bows, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate stacked to the ceiling. Always one of my favorite Valentine’s confections, conversation hearts don’t have much flavor, but they’re fun to play with – especially the larger ones with room for longer messages. I suppose they remind me of my favorite refrigerator game, Magnetic Poetry. Such must have been the thinking of the folks at Acme Labs when they put together this program that allows you to write your own virtual conversation hearts.

If you think Twitter’s concise, wait till you try to write a couple of these! Nevertheless, why not whip up a few to promote your book this Valentine’s Day? Make sure to right click and save the picture to your hard drive if you want to share it.

These hearts got me to thinking about other cool type/font/graphics programs I’ve come across over the years. If you’re looking for something to jazz up your book trailers, you might want to visit TypoGenerator.

Just enter your text in the box, select your preference for portrait or landscape, and let it do its thing. Be aware that it’s not a perfect system, though. Sometimes you get the same color text and background, which creates the appearance that the screen is blank. Just indicate your text style, text color, and background preferences and hit the gray “generate” bar again. And perhaps again, once or twice more.

Another fun site for creating title graphics, logos, and website buttons is CoolText. They’ve got lots of choices – some aesthetically better than others, in my humble opinion. This program could be useful for developing a number of different options for your website, which you should then TEST with your real-life site visitors.

One side note on your shopping cart buttons: experts suggest that using an “Add to Cart” button results in more sales than the formerly favorite “Buy Now” button.

Lastly, I came across MaleVole’s interesting alternative to the lorem ipsum filler text used by graphic designers for book covers and other printed materials.

 

Before you go diving in, however, it might make sense to learn why we use the lorem ipsum text at all. Read all about the history of this filler at LipSum.com.

Have fun with your graphics!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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How will you use your EXTRA DAY this year to promote your book?

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher decided to teach us history by putting on  a play with characters representing all the holidays in February. I’m not sure how every student in a class of 25  found a role and I don’t remember my lines, but I’ve never forgotten that Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15. My mom took me to Goodwill to look for a dress for the costume. Amazingly, we found a stained off-white lace dress in my size. After two runs through with packets of powered Rit Dye, we managed to turn it a ghastly shade that wanted to be Kelly green. “Better than the stain,” my mom reassured me when I complained of the hideous hue.

The play wasn’t memorable for much else, except that I was probably fonder than most of the Susan B. Anthony coins that were released a few years later. In the last 35 years, the Super Bowl has moved to February, and this year we’ve also got Leap Day two extra characters for any fourth-graders out there who might be vying for roles this year.

In addition to the obvious holidays, February also has been declared:

• Black History Month
International Expect Success Month
• Book Lovers’ Month
International Boost Self-Esteem Month

SBMs, I suggest you put on your Savvy Book Marketing hats and start thinking about how you could use one or several of these commemorations and/or holidays to promote your book. What are the obvious links? What are the less-obvious links?

Black History Month, Book Lovers’ Month, Boost Self-Esteem Month, and Expect Success Month each has a fairly wide range, meaning there are likely natural tie-ins to books on myriad topics. Likewise with the ever-popular Valentine’s Day. At the very least, apply the Expect Success thoughts to your own book marketing campaign!
Here’s what I suggest:
First, do some brainstorming. Come up with 10 or 15 ideas for promoting your book this month. Then, narrow it down to the Top 3:
  1. Make one easy and obvious.
  2. Make one a bit of a reach, but doable.
  3. And make one something that will really stretch you.

If you’ve never written a media release, let this be your debut. If you’ve been sitting idly by on your social media sites, it’s time to jump in with both feet. If you’ve never planned a big event, plan one; then write a media release and use social media to promote it!

Happy February!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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