Monday 27 April 2015

Shouldering Author Morale…

If you look up the word morale in any dictionary chances are it reads: the degree of mental or moral confidence of a person or group. For me, as an author, morale means much more than that. It is that needed punch in the arm authors give each other, that WOO-HOO for a 5 star review, that tweet or share or shout out to help authors with their sales, and that blog post comment to help them get on the cyber map.

So how do you go about bolstering author morale? Follow the Golden rule. Treat other authors precisely as you wish them to treat you. If they don’t respond at once, keep at it, again and again and again. If there’s no response, no Esprit de Corps among them, then it may be time to move on and find another group of authors willing to help build your author platform with you. Then, once you’ve establish an Esprit de Corps, you go the extra mile.

Going the extra mile is the state of mind you must develop in order to build morale and keep the momentum going in ANY endeavor. And going the extra mile makes you indispensable to others. You do for them what no one else does. And if they ask what they can do for you, tell them. So the next time you find yourself perusing your favorite social network — go the extra mile and give an author a boost. Share their wares. Like their post. Comment on their blog. Tweet their stuff. Friend and follow them. Trust me—you’ll get it back in aces.

Thanks a heap for reading my blog. Authors, if you have time, please leave a comment and share what you do to go the extra mile with other authors. If you’re a reader, please share what you do to boost your favorite author’s presence? I’d appreciate your input. Cheers! 

Monday 20 April 2015

Hear ye, Hear ye…Sharon Ledwith’s Updates and News…

Well this has been an interesting 2015 so far. Never saw what has happened coming, but life is full of surprises, isn’t it? It began with the closure of my former publisher, Musa Publishing at the end of February, which took all their authors by surprise, including me. Rather than rushing to self-pub and get my two time travel books back up on Amazon and my website ASAP, I decided to contact a new publisher I met at the Windsor-Essex Book Expo last fall. My intuition paid off because I was signed within the week, and found a new home for my MG/YA series with Mirror World Publishing.

A few other Musa Publishing young adult authors have signed on board with Mirror World Publishing, so I’m looking forward to reconnecting and working with them!

Re-release Dates are as follows:
The paperback and ebook for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis will be released on June 17, 2015, through Mirror World Publishing. I will add the new buy links to my website when available.

The paperback and ebook for Legend of the Timekeepers with be released on August 1st, 2015, through Mirror World Publising. I will add the new buy links to my website when available.

NOTE: Both books will be available EVERYWHERE in the world. Yup, you read that right! So you can go into your local bookstore (chain or independent) and ask to order my paperback if you wish. Or if you’re a lover of ebooks, go to Mirror World Publishing’s Web Store or Amazon and grab your virtual copy there. Gotta love technology!

Book Blog Tour Announcement:
I’ve set up a book blog tour with Sapphyria’s Book Promotions from June 17 to June 26th to help spread the word about the re-release of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis. It should be a blast with prizes to be won (signed paperback, Babel necklace) new readers to meet, and getting back out into the published world again. Looking forward to reconnecting with my audience!

Goodreads Giveaway in June:
Love doing these! I’ll be setting up a Goodreads Giveaway for multiple copies of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis during the month of June to celebrate the re-lease of book one, so stayed tuned!

Local Stuff:
I thought I’d stretch my sales wings and join Mirror World Publishing at their book during the Art in the Parking Lot craft show on Saturday, May 30th. Great place to meet local readers and enjoy the weather! Plus the show is only a few weeks before my book is re-released, so it’s a win-win for sharing my wares and getting back into the spotlight!

This month has been hectic! It started out with half the family getting together for Easter dinner, followed by my hubby and I going to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs (our favorite NHL team) play the Columbus Blue Jackets. Um…yeah. Need to find another favorite hockey team. On the book business side of things, I’ve been busy tweaking and editing my paranormal romance/suspense for my agents at Walden House (Books & Stuff) due mid-April. My agents also have Lost and Found, book one of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series in the hands of a list of traditional publishers. Unfortunately, Disney Books passed on the series after serious consideration saying they liked my writing and the story, but it didn’t make the final cut. Oh well, I believe things happen for the best. Chin up, and keep smiling!

I’ve got edits due May 1st for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, so I’ll be busy the next two weeks getting those done for my new publisher. After finishing up with these changes, I’ll be back in the writing saddle again to work on book two of The Last Timekeepers saga, which is tentatively called The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret. I’ll be glad to start creating fresh stories for my readers who have been so patient! Big hugs to all of you! Cheers!

Monday 13 April 2015

A Blast from the Past: Big Little Books®...

Growing up, I remember having a good chunk of my bookshelf filled with Big Little Books®. Titles like Black Beauty, The Last of the Mohicans, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood and other classics entertained me throughout the late 60s and well into the 70s. They were the coolest books that snuggled nicely into the palm of my hand, and gave me such pleasure as a child. I literally lost myself in those books. Swimming with these nostalgic thoughts and feelings got me wondering how these fascinating and unique books started out. So…I did a little digging.

During the 1930s, as movies, radio, pulps, and comic strips developed, the Big Little Books® appeared on the scene. The product was small, stubby, thick, and inexpensive. The books drew much source material from motion pictures, radio, and comic strips and successfully competed with pulp magazines and comic books until the end of the decade. They served to promote films and radio programs and were produced in such quantities that they could be sold for a dime.

In 1932 the seemingly paradoxical term Big Little Book® was given to certain books published by the Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin. The term promised the buyer a great amount of reading material and pleasure (BIG) within a small and compact (LITTLE) book. These Whitman books set the standards for similar books, and Whitman's copyrighted description has become popularized in a generic way to umbrella similar books.

The first BLB, The Adventures of Dick Tracy, came off the presses just before Christmas in 1932. It
preceded the first true comic book by a year, and the subsequent BLB production spanned more than a half century. Within the span, there are historical patterns which clearly define three major periods of publication.

The Golden Age (1932 to mid-1938) is a description reserved for the most interesting, influential, and memorable production of the books. These were the true Big Little Books®. During this period, the effects of the depression were still being felt, and numerous publishers besides Whitman produced inexpensive BLB-type reading materials of great variety. In mid-1938 the two major companies, Whitman and Saalfield, made major changes in their trademarks (Whitman's Big Little Books® became Better Little Books® and Saalfield's Little Big Books® became Jumbo Books®).

The Silver Age (mid-1938 to 1949) produced a less innovative set of books. Their production was influenced by the growing comic book market and paper shortages during WWII. The number of competitive companies diminished. Only Whitman maintained a continuous output of books through the war years. It used the "flip-it" feature extensively to attract buyers, and as these years went by, the books gradually contained fewer and fewer pages. In 1949, the last Better Little Book®, Little Orphan Annie and the Ancient Treasure of Am (288 pages) was published.

The Modern Age (1950 to the present) is characterized by more than 40 years of sporadic and short-
lived attempts to revive the books in different forms and with different content: New Better Little Books® (1949-50); BLB TV Series® (1958); the hard cover 2000-Series (1967-68); the soft cover 5700-Series (1973-present). During this period, Whitman became subsumed under the auspices of the Western Publishing Company.

So if you’re wandering through a garage sale or flea market and happen to spot a Big Little Book® in a pile of dog-earred novels, do yourself a favor and buy it. It just may be the start of a beautiful relationship between a child you know, and the written word.

Monday 6 April 2015

Guest Post: Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

I have always loved reading books that use humor and have realistic (and relatable) characters. I decided to write the book I wanted to read when I was in middle school and I’m overjoyed it’s now a series where people can follow along on Landry’s journey through dealing with friendships, the ups and downs of school, crushes, and insecurities. Sure, going back to that time in my own life was a little crazy, but lucky for me there weren’t camera phones to capture me dancing in the grade school talent show…while wearing jean shorts. If you’re not cringing yet, let’s just say I also had a moment of “genius” where I thought my super dark brown hair would look amazing with “Sun-In” highlights that actually turned my hair a lovely shade of copper. Sigh.

The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult/middle grade series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Children's Books on Values and #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction. True Colors is an international bestselling book.

Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

 Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.


“Landry, it’s gotta be so awkward for you to be going to Vladi’s school next year,” Tori said. “I mean, what if you run into him during the tour?"

"It’s a huge place,ʺ Ashanti said. “People break up all the time. It’s not a big deal.ʺ

Tori raised her eyebrows as if to say, “Yeah, right,” and went back to her sandwich. Meanwhile my delicious homemade soup was no longer sitting well. It never occurred to me Vladi might be around during the first prefreshman tour. I would be mortified if I ran into him and he was with a girl. Or worse yet, running into him, and he was with Yasmin. Plus, I hadn’t told my mom about the breakup, so if she saw him, she’d probably go over to talk to him. I could already imagine it: “Landry, Vladi’s here! Hon? Why are you hiding behind the garbage can? Your boyfriend, Vladi, is here. Come say, ‘hello.’ Stop trying to run away. Why is everyone laughing and pointing at you and calling you a ‘loser dumpee?’ What does that mean?”

Well, maybe the world would end and I wouldn’t have to deal with high school or Vladi and my mother running into each other.
Sadly, the world did not end, and on Thursday, we all had to go to the high school for a freshman information night from 6 to 9 p.m.

Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: "This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!"

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren't everything. This book is related to every teen's problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

Buy Links:

Amazon international:

Connect with Krysten: