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Monthly Archives: October 2018


skeleton in chains

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I have been doing some research in a book called the History of Erie County, Pennsylvania (written in 1884) one of the things that I found interesting was idea that before the Native Americans lived in the area, there had been another group of people who lived in North America.

The Erie County Connection

According to The History of Erie county, there had been many indications that proved conclusively that the county had once been peopled by these giants. When the railroad link of the Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad from the Lake Shore road to the dock at Erie was being built, the workers dug into a great mass of bones at the crossing of the public road which ran by the rolling mill. From the way the bones were thrown together, the workers surmised that a terrible battle had taken place in the area.

The skulls had been flattened, and the foreheads were seldom more than an inch wide. The bodies were in a sitting posture, and there were no traces that garments, weapons or ornaments had been buried with them.

Because of superstitious ideas among the workers, none of the skeletons were preserved, the entire collection was thrown into an embankment down the road. Later, when the Philadelphia and Erie road passed through the Warfel farm was widened, another deposit of bones was dug up and disposed of as they had done previously. Among the skeletons was a giant who was buried among smaller skeletons. One was probably his wife. The arm and leg bones of this native American Goliath were about one-half longer than those of the tallest man’ among the workers. The giant’s skull was immensely large. The lower jawbone easily slipped over his face and the whiskers of a full-faced man, and the teeth were in a perfect state of preservation. Another skeleton was dug up in Conneaut Township some years ago was equally remarkable in its dimensions. As in the other instance, a comparison was made with the largest man in the neighborhood, and the jawbone readily covered his face, while the lower bone of the leg was nearly a foot longer than his. This indicated that the man must have been eight to ten feet tall. The bones of another flat head turned up in the same township in 1882 with a huge skull. Relics of a former time have been gathered in that area. Among them was a brass watch that was as big as a common saucer.

In 1820, on the land of Doctors Clark and Dickenson, they found an ancient graveyard. Doctor Albert Thayer dug up some of the bones, and he indicated that it was a race of beings of immense side.

Giants Found Elsewhere

Many other places in the world have indicated the same idea that there at one time giants who lived in these various parts of the world. The Bible even mentions these people among them were the Anakin and the Nephilim. We also have the well-known story of Goliath who was of similar height of the skeletons found in these accounts from Erie County. Perhaps other connection exists.


twitter logo

About three months ago I started something new that has been going well for me. What I am doing is promoting the concept of Write a Review Sunday. I started doing this on twitter and every Sunday I encourage others to write reviews of the most recent book they read.

Here’s what I’m doing on Twitter-getting it out there that there is a movement to get people to write reviews of books that they have recently read. I write several tweets every day promoting the idea.

Next, I follow my own advice and write a review of a book that I recently read and put it either Amazon or Goodreads. I then promote on twitter and include the hashtag #WriteaReviewSunday. It is as simple as that.

Next I go to #WriteaReviewSunday and retweet other reviews of other author books and go and check out the reviews of those books. I also check out the authors of those books and let them know that I am willing to read their books (pdf or free on kindle or on Kindle Unlimited) and then I write reviews for them.

Every Sunday, is review day for me and I haven’t missed one since the middle of June.
Promoting reviews of my own books.

If anyone has written a review of one of my books, I will do several things. First I will retweet the review and thank the author of the review for taking the time to do the review.

Second, if someone doesn’t do a #WriteaReviewSunday tweet of their review, I will include a link to their review on Amazon or Goodreads and thank them in a tweet.

Easier than Guest Blogging

In many ways, this way of connecting with reviewers and other authors is easier than doing it through guest blogging. The biggest way that it is easier to connect is that it is focused on just one day per week. I get on twitter and go down a list of things that I want to do and when it’s done it’s done.

The tweets that I am doing are live. I don’t preschedule these tweets. When I tweet live, I can respond to any live tweets that come back to me. I can respond to tweets with my phone.

It is easier than blogging because I get instant results. I know the responses that I am getting and how valuable they are to the people who are viewing them.

Follow-up later in the Week

Though the tweets are instant, and I only do it one day per week, that doesn’t mean that is all I do for the review process. I schedule time later in the week where I go back and click through the reviews to discover books that I would like to review myself. When I find one that I like, I contact the author and tell that person that I enjoyed the preview of their book, the review, and wanted to know if there was anyway that I could get a free copy of that book to review myself. I would also let the author know that I have KindleUnlimited and that I would not mind getting the book that way. (or since I had looked at the reviews anyway, I could just say whether I can use KindleUnlimited).
I would use my reading time to read the book and then put a review not only on Amazon or Goodreads, but also on my blog. (I try to go the extra mile.) I would also ask the author if he or she would like to read one of my books as well.

In addition, I would go through and contact the reviewer by private message and thank him or her for taking the time to write the review, posting it online and ask that person if he or she would like to read and review one of my books as well. I might even suggest which book I would like him or her to read.

I would follow on twitter and list those reviewers and authors that I have contacted and from whom I have received positive results and work into my schedule ways to connect with each of them on an even deeper level and perhaps share guest blogging with them.

How about you? How are you going the extra mile to help other authors?

 


newsstand

There are probably as many ways to promote indie books as there are indie authors. Here is what worked and didn’t work for me.

What Didn’t Work?

Many Different things I have done to promote my books didn’t work
I did a lot of things that many people suggested. First, I tried to give away my books on KDP select. It really didn’t work for me. The KDP count down was even more disappointing.

I had read that if I would just write my books and just keep putting out books I would gradually build up book sales. This didn’t work either. Instead of having one book that no one read, I had eleven.

I was also told to do book signings. They told me to do all that I could to promote those events. I did. Book signings at bookstores were totally unfruitful. I was told to get out on the radio and do podcasts. Isolated practice, those didn’t produce sales either.

I put one of my books out on click bank. That didn’t work either.

Advertising on Facebook or Twitter Ads doesn’t work either. Nor does adding my books to static online websites that take money for having my books on their sites. All that did was lighten my already near-empty pockets.

Book Promotion Tactics that Worked

Using memes on social media. Creating memes is fun. I am glad that Tierney James showed me this little trick for getting attention on Facebook and Twitter.

Write a Review Sunday (see next week’s post)

Social Media

My connections on twitter and LinkedIn seem far more fruitful than my connections on Facebook. My Facebook connections are more friends and family whereas LinkedIn and Twitter are more business associations.

On LinkedIn, I would say that my connections are relationships from the publishing arena whereas twitter are authors who help (and who I help back) with motivation and inspiration.

LinkedIn connected me with another author who I helped edit the first book in his series.

Press Releases to Local Markets

I write my own press releases for my local markets. I write them for where I live now, but I also write them for places where I used to live. I slant my press releases to the locals.
I learned to blitz my book launches with posters, press releases, radio talk shows, podcasts, in succession. Each one individually seemed to do little, but using several different approaches seemed to help get the word out better.

I recently started making a concerted effort to reach out to help other authors do their work. For instance, I recently completely edited another author’s book.

My Dream for the Future

Soon, I would like to include video training and do more podcasting with other writers. I would like to do more work for other authors as well. I have a lot of experience in editing and formatting books and I can see how I could develop a publishing business based on these specific talents. Plus, as I dig deeper into the marketing aspects of book publicity, I should be able to help authors in this capacity as well.

Finally, I would like to create a series of online courses that show wannabes how to become successful authors and entrepreneurs. The online courses would be from teaching how to structure a novel to hiring talented help where you need it to setting up an author business tools, to structuring your online platform, to planning out your day among other things.


The Locket Saga 5 books

Last spring, I told about some of the ideas that I have for the new book that I will be working on during NaNoWriMo next month. Here is where I am now in the process of getting ready to write the first draft. This process will actually happen next month, but recently I started developing some of the aspects of the book.

The Setting

One of the first things that I did was to start researching the period when this book takes place. One of the books that I used for this research is The History of Erie County written in 1884.

The Setting: The growing village of Erie, Pennsylvania during the War of 1812 as ships battle it out on the Great Lakes to determine who will be in control of the Great Lakes.

Meet the Main Characters

Earlier in the year I mentioned that I was thinking about the characters for this book. I have decided that the male antagonist needs to be Joseph McCray-the youngest son of Phillip McCray and Elizabeth Thorton McCray. In the story, I think Joseph will join the crew of the Brig Niagara and fights in the Naval battle during the War of 1812.

Joseph’s female love interest would be a girl named Amelia Robbison- A girl who lives in the fledgling town of Erie Pennsylvania.

I think in this book, I am going to give Joseph a run for his money. I am giving this book an antagonist named Clive Gibbons. He’ll be another young man vying for Amelia’s attention. He will be a militia soldier stationed at Fort Erie. What chance does Joseph have with Amelia when Clive is with her every day.

Meet Some of the Secondary Characters

Jonathan Mayford returns as a secondary character in this book. If you remember, he was a sailor during the Revolution, (He was the protagonist in Sailing Under the Black Flag) In 1812, he assists Perry in building the ships for the US Navy at the Erie ship yard.

Another character is Robert McCray, Jr. I picture him in the opening scene-Robert McCray and Judith McCray’s son-he sees the Indians coming. Will they be friend or foe? Robert was born in 1804. This would put him at about eight years old.

Another character is the Seneca Chief Cornplanter. If you remember, he made a cameo in The Locket Saga Book VI: The Anvil. In this book he will make another. Will he take the side of the British during this conflict as he did during the American Revolution? If so, what did it mean to the friendship between him and the settlers at the Concord settlement?

The Main Plot: The main plot, of course, revolves around a love story between Joseph and his love interest Amelia. It looks as if we have a love triangle going on this one with another young man Clive Gibbons. Will the story bring about a situation like happened in The Anvil with Robert where Lydia shunned him or will Joseph have better luck? Will Amelia get the heirloom locket?  Joseph is part of the naval battles on one of the American ships during the battle. Will Amelia turn to Clive’s affections while Joseph is out at sea?

Historical Events I Plan to Include

One of the big Naval heroes of the War of 1812 was Oliver Hazard Perry-real historical figure. When I was growing up, Dad used to take us to local museums that centered much around Perry’s Naval service. I look forward to reliving some of the experiences that I had back in my childhood.

In addition, the future ninth President of the United States, William Henry Harrison- went to Erie, where he met up with Perry at Erie and went on to Buffalo, NY. (Harrison would become the US President in 1841.)

My First Attempt at Doing a YouTube Video

I know that this isn’t about Book IX of the Locket Saga, but is about the first book: When God Turned His Head. Eventually I will include more YouTube videos and I know this one isn’t very good. However, it is a start. Please let me know what you think of this.

 


teacher with a gun

In recent months, far too many times, another school shooter has wreaked havoc on schools across the country. Children (and many teachers) fear for their lives every day that on this might be the day that it could be their own school that is attacked. Many of the politicians seem to think that arming the teachers with guns might be the best solution.

But is bringing a gun into a classroom the best solution? There are a lot of reasons bringing another gun into the situation might not be best. For instance, where does a teacher keep a gun in the classroom?

On his or her person? Not a good idea in my opinion. The student doesn’t have to bring a gun into the classroom. The gun is already there. All the disgruntled student has to do now is distract and disarm the teacher and the gun is his.

Locked in a desk? Sure. During a stressful situation, a teacher must get the gun out of his or her desk and abandon the frightened students in his or her charge to go after the student.

In an unlocked desk? I don’t think so. Again, it is easy for a student to distract the teacher and get the gun out of the unlocked desk.

And even if the teacher has a gun and knows how to use it, can this teacher face down a student that they probably had in class and shoot the student? It is different for a military person to shoot someone that he or she doesn’t know than it is for a teacher (who is by nature a nurturer) to endanger the life of a student (or former student).
I really don’t believe that putting the gun into the hands of a teacher is the best solution.

Another Solution to the Crisis

Here’s what I feel would be a better solution. First, create federal legislation that hold adults responsible for all weapons that are in their legal possession. The parents should be held responsible to keep their guns under lock and key.

Second, federally paid for public service announcements explaining what can and should be done for students showing signs that an individual student is in mental and emotional distress. In addition, other public service announcements reminding parents to keep their guns out of the hands of anyone under 21 unless directly supervised by an adult. (This includes hunting).

Finally, I propose that teachers be trained on how to distract and disarm a disgruntled student in much the same manner that Jason Seaman did when he threw the basketball and rushed the student in May in Noblesville, Indiana. I believe that this training should be paid for through federal and state grants.

What Can YOU do about it?

I have always believed that if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. So, let me share what you can do to better protect school students. Whether you are for or against gun control is not the issue here. What I am suggesting has nothing to do with limiting the right to bear arms. If you agree (or disagree for that matter) I would love for you to share your comment below.

In addition, I would like you to take it one step further. Contact your state and federal representatives and tell them to cut out the partisan politics. This isn’t about gun control. Next, share this link to this post to your social media, contact your local news outlets and let them know that you care about protecting our country’s children.

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