A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Author Archive

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1 Event That Will Help You Expand Your Readership: Meet and Greet


Bette A. Stevens:

HAPPY READING, WRITING, BLOGGING & REBLOGGING…
~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:

imagesWhat day is it??!!  Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts off!

The Social Media post will publish…

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853. Nature is infinitely creative. It is always producing the possibility of new beginnings. ~Marianne Williamson


Bette A. Stevens:

The wonder of it all! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Sacred Touches:

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The Law of Divine Compensation posits that this is a self-organizing and self-correcting universe: the embryo becomes a baby, the bud becomes a blossom, the acorn becomes an oak tree. Clearly, there is some invisible force that is moving every aspect of reality to its next best expression. ~Marianne Williamson

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Nature inspires my everything. She inspires my solitude, and my writing and my art. She lifts me upon her welcoming wings and soars me through the sky of possibilities. She colors my day, brightens my soul, and calms my nights. She is fierce and beautiful, strong and delicate — an unrelenting Queen so generous of advice and never weary of new beginnings. In spring a colorful maiden, in winter a wise old lady, in autumn a looking-glass to my falling-leaf self, and summer a warm blossomed benefactor, comrade to the sun. A constant companion — sometimes indifferent, sometimes nuzzling me…

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A Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens


Royal Visitor MONARCH 2015 Haiku basI’ve only spotted a dozen monarchs here at the farmstead in Central Maine this summer. Recently, two delightful specimens danced around the garden where I encourage milkweed to grow alongside the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we harvest. I grabbed my camera just in time to capture one of our regal visitors pirouette upon the peppermint. ~ Bette A. Stevens

  • To find out how you can help protect monarch butterflies—one of our amazing pollinators— download your free poster here:

PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES free-poster

  • Find out how to tell a male monarch from a female monarch and discover other amazing monarch butterfly facts
  • Enjoy monarch crafts, games, gardening and discover so much more

WHERE?
Download Bette’s free pdf here:

FUN & LEARNING with MONARCHS (free pdf)

Fun&LearningWith Amazing Monarchs! 2014

Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens
“Inspired by nature and human nature.”

Bette Book Collage WHITE BORDER

Find all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

[Bette’s Blog]

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Editing/Proofreading Tips for Indie Authors


Bette A. Stevens:

Writers Write Postage StampGreat editing/proofreading tips from author Cassidy Salem. Happy writing, editing, rewriting and publishing! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes:

As an indie author, you are responsible for the entire publishing process – writing, editing, proofreading, publishing, and marketing. But that doesn’t mean that you should do it all yourself. Even if you are working with a low or almost non-existent budget, make sure that you get someone else to participate in the editing process – someone that has editing experience and who won’t be shy about pointing out problems in your manuscript. Your editor can be a paid professional editor or a qualified and capable friend.  You should never unleash your masterpiece on the world without having it properly edited.

Before you submit your work to your editor, make every effort to  weed out as many of the errors in your manuscript as possible. Eliminating simple typos, extra spaces, and so on, will make it easier for your editor to focus on the story flow, the wording, and the important stuff that you simply don’t see because you are…

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Lyon Book Promotions Presents Our Hot Book Picks for August 2015


Lyon Book Promotions Presents Our Hot Book Picks for August 2015.

Click the link above to FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THEM…
DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens is on the list!

DBS AMERICAN STORY Vignette

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MARKETING YOUR BOOKS WHILE ON VACATION


 Guest post by Lois W. Stern

on vacation LOIS STERNGoing on vacation? Bet you can’t wait! But with a little advance planning, you can combine your “fun in the sun” with a few book marketing ideas.

Here are five ideas to set your marketing wheels turning.

1.Think of a topic for your presentation that relates to your books, but one that isn’t just about selling books.

Example:

My current books are filled with inspiring, true stories that come to me through an “Authors helping Authors” project I initiated four years ago. I decided that along with sharing some of these inspiring stories, my workshop would center on How to Write a Winning Short Story.

  1. Create a flyer or post card with your name and head-shot, title of your presentation, and its proposed length. Be sure to include your contact information: phone and e-mail address.

Post card png copy LOIS STERN

  1. Find a venue for your workshop.

If you want to present at a local library, you should begin well in advance of your trip, as libraries often schedule their events as much as six months ahead. Do a Google search for the closest libraries. Get their phone numbers. Call and ask for the name and e-mail address of the person in charge of booking presentations. Talk directly to that person if you can. it always helps to learn what topic they would be interested in and perhaps tweak your presentation to meet their needs. If e-mail communication is all that’s available, send a brief message putting something like “Follow up to my phone call” in the subject line.

But think of other venues that relate to the topic of your book. If you have a book about photography, think about art centers or museums. If your book relates to a special interest as sailing or food preparation, try to connect with a like-minded group or club. Your local reference librarian might have just the right connection for you. Even a Google search can be helpful in connecting you with just the right venue.

Meet Up SIgn  LOIS STERN On Vacation

MeetUp groups are popping up all over the country. Check out your area for a group that relates to the genre of your book. If you find one, offer to do a presentation for them.

Example:

I gave a presentation at a local library last winter while vacationing in Florida. I decided that along with sharing some of my inspiring stories, I would create a workshop focused on the elements of a compelling short story. I began my workshop by introducing the elevator pitch, giving aspiring writers some hands-on practice with a most useful skill.After telling each story, I encouraged audience members to record an elevator pitch and share it with the group. With my help, we fine tuned them before moving on to the basic elements of a winning short story.

Outcome: Aside from selling some of my books,I received an honorarium and met a motivational speaker who entered and received a Finalist Award for her inspiring story, At Least Nothing Bad Happened. Her story is now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Sapphire Collection, (Stories that Echo In the Mind), so it was a winning day for both of us!

Cruise ships often hold talent nights. Why not plan a storytelling event where you share a compelling scene from one of your books. Add a bit of drama to hold your audience in rapt attention: wear a special hat, bring a significant object, use different voices, add some background music – anything to grab their attention.

Example:

One night the social director on our Russian River cruise held a talent night. I told the director I didn’t exactly have a talent, but I could tell an inspiring story. I recounted The Voice, a mesmerizing story now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Emerald Collection, (Beyond Coincidence stories). After I finished, you could hear a pin drop. I went on to explain that because there were so many intelligent, interesting people on board, I suspected that someone out there might have an inspiring story for me. Sure enough, the next day one of the passengers approached me with a story he thought might fill the bill. He did, and a super story at that! “And the Music Plays On” is another dynamite story, now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Topaz Collection, (Stories of Awakenings). Did I sell books on that cruise ship? You bet! And if I had packed more, I would have sold dozens.

  1. Call the local book store in the area where you plan to vacation. Introduce yourself and your book, inquiring if they would be interested in scheduling a book talk/book signing event while you are in the area. There always seems to be an element of mystique surrounding the person from fifty miles or more away!.Be sure you understand and agree on all terms in advance: (i.e. who purchase and returns the unsold books, net to you the author, what publicity they provide and expected audience size.)
  1. Think Out of the Box for other venues.

Example:

I have a favorite little gift shop I frequent in Fl. with an interesting assortment of costume jewelry, knick knacks, women’s purses and more. I am a frequent customer there but never even noticed their small book corner. I talked to the owner about my books, she asked me to bring in a set for her to preview and she ordered six of them, paying me cash up front at a 60/40% split.

Our bottom line is to sell our books. But how we go about it makes all the difference. Always think in terms of “how you can give back” and you will stay ahead.

Do you have another idea oI how to market your book while no vacation? If so, in the spirit of “Authors Helping Authors please add it in the comment box below.

If you think you might want to enter the Tales2Inspire contest, you should first do two things:

lois_charli3_lite_blue

Lois W. Stern

T2I 4bks.new copy

 

 

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Mary McLeary


Mary McLeary is the author of two Christian inspirational/devotional books.  Heart Whispers from the Old Testament is her latest—it’s great to have Mary with us today to tell us all about it.

Mary McLeary PICHi, Mary. Welcome to 4writersandreaders. I’ve just downloaded your latest book to my kindle and look forward to having some fresh inspirational readings on hand when I’m on the go. Can’t wait to find out more about you and your writing. First, tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in a family that loved music and good stories. We listened to my folks play music from the 1940’s and share stories of friends and family. From them we learned there is a lesson in everyone’s life. Some lessons teach you what to do and some teach you what not to do.

When I was in third or fourth grade, my most exciting adventures happened on summer afternoons in our local library. The children’s section contained all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books plus the classics that drew me into the author’s vision.

I grew up, married the love of my life, had three children, and taught school until a few years ago when I retired and began writing.

I live in Tennessee with my husband. Our daughters and their families are near so we can have frequent visits with our five grandchildren.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I have been writing for over twenty-five years. About six years ago I began blogging. My genre is nonfiction/inspirational.

Can you give us a synopsis of “Heart Whispers from the Old Testament”?

Heart Whispers from the Old TestamentThe world has always been a hot mess, but God helps us if we will listen. Heart Whispers from the Old Testament, is a devotional book that gives readers a glimpses of people in desperate need of a Savior and then reflects biblical wisdom along with thoughtful entries from the prayer journals of the author’s mother.

What prompted you to write Heart Whispers from the Old Testament?

The Christmas before my mother passed away, she gifted me her prayer journals which were rich with her thoughts and observations written during her daily prayer and Bible study. They needed to be shared so I started a blog that lead to my first book, In My Mother’s Words. While doing a Twitter interview I was asked if I had any other projects in mind.

Until she asked, I had none. But I automatically said, “Yes, I’m going to write a devotional book and end each daily entry with a quote from Mother’s journal.” Heart Whispers from the Old Testament is that book.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

Heart Whispers from the Old Testament is a devotional and all the scriptures, obviously, come from the Old Testament. After the book was completed, I realized I spent way too much time worrying about things I could do nothing about.

So my favorite quote is from Isaiah 41:10 along with this observation, “An antonym for fear is courage, and an antonym for dismayed is comforted. God doesn’t want us to be fearful or dismayed. He wants us to be courageous and comforted because He will be our help in every situation.”

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The writing was going well. I was getting two or three entries done a day and saving them. One day I went back in and a big section wasn’t in my hard drive. My computer doctor found a virus that took what I thought I saved. I lost a lot of work, but actually wound up going a whole other direction with the book and what was a pain turned into a blessing.

Do you do anything besides write?

Heart Whispers from the Old Testament and my first book In My Mother’s Words took quite a bit of time, but there are many other things going on too. My husband and I love to travel and take frequent trips. Our latest was with long-time friends to Marathon, Florida in the Keys. While there, we visited Hemingway’s home in Key West.

Our children and grandchildren live close enough to attend their activities which we enjoy.

We are avid football fans. Our son-in-law is the head football coach at a local high school and my husband played for the University of Tennessee in “the day.” So fall weekends are pretty full.

We love being part of a church that constantly provides opportunities to go into the world and help others. For several years I tutored young adults preparing to take the GED.

I belong to two book clubs that challenge me to continue reading good books, and I love my card group.

I am grateful that I have plenty to do.

What’s next for author Mary McLeary?

Well, Mother’s prayer journals are full of more wisdom, and I enjoy studying the Bible so another devotional is probable. I also have a story that needs to be told, and when I figure out how to tell it, I’ll start writing my first fiction book based on that story.

Mary, it’s been great having you on my blog today. I look forward to delving into your  latest devotional book and can’t wait to find out more about your upcoming novel.

Find out more about Mary McLeary and her books

In My Mothers Words MARY MCLEARYHeart Whispers from the Old Testament

 

 

 

Readers, thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Mary and I would love to hear from you.
Have a great day and Happy Reading, all!
~ Bette A. Stevens

 [Bette’s Blog]

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Overcome the 3 Habits that are Blocking You from Self-Publishing Your Book


3 Habits that Can Block You from Self-Publishing Your Book & Tips for Overcoming Them

Guest post by Jill Bennett

(image credit: webstandardssherpa.com)

(image credit: webstandardssherpa.com)

Self-publishing is taxing. Although it doesn’t necessarily entail going solo, the self-published author is usually saddled with work that doesn’t even involve writing.

As an author, you may have to oversee other aspects involved in the publishing process. For instance, you may have to design your own book cover or perhaps discuss its concept with your designer. Also, you may have to research on marketing techniques or sales strategies. You might even have to do the promotions yourself. The heavy work load might be a bit discouraging, but do know that there’s no shortcut to success.

If you really want to publish and get great sales, then work well to accomplish your tasks. From time to time, we tend to fall into bad habits that can ultimately prevent us from achieving success. The following are three habits that are toxic and must be avoided at all costs.

  1. Procrastination

Nothing good ever comes as a result of procrastination, but most of the time nothing gets even produced because of it. Remember that procrastination won’t magically get your work done. Once you have snapped out of it, your work will still be waiting for you. So, if you really want to achieve success, start becoming more productive.

Here are some tips to overcome procrastination:

  • Establish a reward system.

Once you have accomplished your tasks, you can do yourself a favor and reward yourself with a box of pizza or ice cream. Reward yourself with your favorite food or any recreational activity you want to indulge in. However, don’t overindulge. Remember, you still have work to do!

  • Get organized. Schedule your tasks.

A to-do list will allow you to see the effort you need to exert to achieve your goals. Accomplishing/ticking off each task in your planner will make you feel better or somewhat closer to achieving your goal.

  • A little bit of work every day.

Sometimes, we have this tendency to stress over what needs to be done that we end up doing nothing at all. Knowing that we have a lot of work to do usually leads us to procrastination. Eventually, procrastination causes stress to build up, which makes work even harder. Instead of seeing self-publishing as your passion or your dream, it becomes work – less interesting, stressful, demanding, etc. The key to lessening stress build-up is to work a little bit every day. You don’t need to do everything at once. For instance, you can alternate writing and editing days. You can write a chapter today, then edit that part tomorrow.

  1. Perfectionism

There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best. Essentially, high-quality content will get you great sales. However, there’s a downside to your unquenchable search for perfection.

These are the cons of being a perfectionist:

  • Lessens efficiency
  • Lessens effectiveness

The never-ending revisions won’t get you to publish your work. Adding more or new things might sound like an improvement, but sometimes, it really isn’t. After all the revisions, you might even end up with what you initially made, which only delays you from publishing. The ‘additions’ you worked on might not be beneficial for your work. Remember that you don’t have to overwrite to impress your audience. Although ‘show, don’t tell’ is canon, writing too much detail can be unnecessary. You don’t have to tell your readers every building, tree, or person your protagonist comes in contact with whilst going home unless they play a major part in your story.

If you’re notorious for being a perfectionist, heed these tips to improve that work process:

  • Set deadlines.

This will prevent you from obsessing on editing your book. Moreover, this will also help you solve your procrastination problem.

  • Take breaks.

Once you’re tired, it becomes harder to focus. Don’t sacrifice your work’s quality just so you can get things done. So, take a break. There’s no harm in that.

  • Know your priorities.

As a writer, your strong suit is writing. Graphic design or marketing might not be yours. If you’ve got a team to help you out with your self-publishing endeavors, then trust them. Allow them to do their work.

  1. Indecision

When we’re afraid of failure, we tend to struggle with decision-making. Once you’re consumed with making the right choice, your decisions tend to fluctuate because you have no idea which is the right one. Indecision could also lead to inaction. Over thinking your decisions will only delay you from finishing your book.

If you are hindered by this awful habit, here’s some advice to overcome it:

  • Don’t be afraid of failure.

All the great names in businesses or professions have become what they are because they have failed at some point. They learned from their mistakes and they grew. Know that your mistakes can help you improve too.

  • Do your research.

Be familiar with your options. Moreover, be familiar with your market. Be familiar with the current trends or your audience’s inclinations, so you won’t have trouble making a decision. For instance, if your target audience is the young adult community, you could focus marketing your book in popular social networks used by young adults.

You must always be on the lookout for these three bad habits. Avoid them while you can. Once you see yourself indulging on these nasty habits, do what you can to stop it. These habits will hinder you from achieving your dreams. Focus on your goal and work for it!

—If you’ve identified more terrible habits that need attention, please do share them with us.—

References:

mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm

lifehack.org/articles/productivity/why-being-a-perfectionist-may-not-be-so-perfect.html

writing-world.com/fiction/fivemistakes.shtml

leandecisions.com/2012/10/how-to-overcome-indecision.html

 

About the Author

JILL BENNETTs Profile PicJill Bennett a marketing specialist of LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. For the past six years, she’s been working with several self-publishing authors in terms of book marketing, publicity and distribution.


Thanks for stopping by, friends.
Jill and I would love to hear from you! ~ Bette A. Stevens
(Comments Section Below)

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Reading tree


Bette A. Stevens:

Happy reading, friends… HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK! ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Originally posted on Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess:

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morning light…


Bette A. Stevens:

Bask in the beauty! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on SwittersB & Exploring:

“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.”

Emily Dickinson

pink rose-morning light-garden-SwittersB

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