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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Investing in Y.O.U.






April is the time of year where everyone is doing their taxes

Some are looking for those tax breaks and looking for investments.

My question that I always ask is what about you?

Have you invested in getting your annual exam to make sure your health is on track?

Have you planned your spa days to unplug and unwind?

What about date nights with your love?

Are you exercising?

What I mean by the questions is that when we select to invest in stocks and bonds and don't invest in

ourselves who will reap the harvest if we're gone because we're not taking care of ourselves?

Not to be negative but to enlighten and get others to think

I stopped going out to dinner daily and started cooking at home

Pulling out my mother's china that she left to me and enjoying each chew of the food I prepared .

Reminiscing looking at the plates thinking about how she only brought the china out for special occasions.

Now I am reaping her harvest.

You heard the saying if I can go back in time with the knowledge I have now?

If that's what I could do I would laugh more, travel more, dance more.

I would match my investment in myself with rewarding myself with every time I did it with looking in the

mirror with a smile.

People would wonder why when they see me that I am always smiling.

I challenge you to try it.

I will be looking for that smile

Blessings

Submitted by:
Patricia A. Saunders
Blogger, Poet, Author
www.patriciaAsaunders.com 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Interview with Author Patricia A. Saunders

BAN Radio Show Interview Date and Time
Please note that all shows are on Eastern Time Zone (Maryland)
Interview with Ella Curry - Monday night, 4/24/2017    
All callers and authors use the same number:   646.200.0402
Chatroom:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network

FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS:
8:00 - Life & Love: The Journey In Verse by Pat C. (Poetry)
8:30 - This Too Shall Pass by Patricia A. Saunders (Poetry)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Inspired Me?





When asked the question I state it's my Mother that inspired me to write!

As a child I can remember always writing in my journal a poem or something that I tried to express. 

As a teenager I wrote about boyfriends or feelings of being hurt, in my yearbook I wrote about the 

journey of leaving middle school to go into high school, and never taking much serious. 

It wasn't until my Mother who had Alzheimer's passed unexpectedly in my 40's  that my world was turned 

upside down that I felt alone, uncertain of my emotions, and looking for a way of expression that I let my words flow. 

I  cried until my vision was blurry, I let the words flow to my fingertips, and onto paper until I was emptied. 

My thought process was I am getting older, single, no children and what would my legacy be?

If I inherit this ugly disease and can't remember my sibling's face, the love that I had for my lover, or

the experiences that I had gone through my words will last forever.

My first book Through the Fire was right after her passing and there were alot of things that I had gone 

through. I had loss so much and wanted to give up on life. I doubted my faith because how could God

take my Mother and leave me alone! Through writing I found it was therapeutic and it touched others who 

were going through it, had gone through it or knew someone that had. 

My Mother was an ordained minister with limited education yet all of her sermons she had written by hand

in spiral notebooks and while cleaning out her personal belongings reading through each one the reader 

knew that her belief was God, that no matter what he was the beginning and the end. Through reading her 

journals I felt her presence.   I found solace in the words and knew at that point that my path was different . 

I was a writer and my words if released would touch the reader to know that whatever the emotion, the 

pulse of society, the injustice, whatever faith that my words are here even when the pen stops...


Stay Blessed,

Patricia A. Saunders
Blogger, Author, and Poet
www.patriciaAsaunders.com

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tips for Indie Authors Selling Books At Events








Tips for Authors Selling Books At Events

When you’re a self published author you look for opportunities to promote your book and there isn’t always a handbook for what to look out for when you’re taken advantage of. So I hope to share my experience to help others and give them a game plan when asked to participate in an event.

The first experience happened years ago when I was asked by an organization to participate at the main library in San Francisco with a panel of female authors. We would take questions by a well established owner of a bookstore in the community, also answer questions from the audience and then afterwards have the opportunity of selling our books. I had gotten change for the sale of books, asked my sister to assist with selling, and was prepared to sell my own books. This was my first book and I was so excited that when they asked how much was the book I told them the price and the same book owner upped the price.  We were instructed to take our seats in a conference room behind tables, the facilitator was now the seller of our books, and we could sign books after they were purchased.  She gave everyone their net profit after she took a commission and when it was time to give my money to me she had run out of funds and would get back to me. I felt defeated not only had I brought my help, my books, and change to make for the sale of my books I was walking away empty handed and she had made my money!
Weeks later I complained to the organization that had recruited me to participate about my experience, the lack of communication from the bookstore owner and they ended up sending me a check.

Years later I had written four books and had forgotten about that experience and had received an invitation via social media to participate in a meet and greet for authors and readers. There wasn’t much to the invitation with details except that it was to meet authors and greet readers. It was private so I couldn’t share it with friends and family. So I ventured out not knowing what to expect and I am greeted by the organizer. She is setting up a camera to record the event, there is four other authors showing up and each doesn’t know what to expect. She had a table set up with all of her books and she asked one author if she brought books and she handed her a few to have on the table. Authors are competitive what you do for one we expect the same for us so I dug into my bag and handed her four of my books. She asked “how much are your books?” and I said the price and she said a higher price. A flag should have gone off in my head but my thought process was so no one would have to make change. I am nervous also because she is now explaining the details we are to introduce ourselves, what inspired each to write their books, and then read an excerpt. My mind is going in a thousand directions as well as how I am going to record my sales in my device with the new price. The event was very successful and the organizer told those interested in purchasing the books to see the cashier at the café and then go to the author to get their books autographed. Again the red flag should have been waving that something was aloof. Here is when it slaps me in the face the event is coming to a close and the organizer takes a 45% cut of the sale of my books.
Now this should have been discussed up front and the decision could have been made if I wanted to participate. A couple of suggestions were given to me by other authors. A contract could have been drafted and explained in detail what was expected of each party involved. A price would have been agreed upon and it would not look like I the author was gouging the reader with an increased price of my book. In the invitation the organizer should have stated that if an author is interested that they could call or email her for further detail. The author when asked to do a reading anywhere should ask questions because no matter who, what or where it is a business and majority of the time we forget to ask questions first before committing to the event. If you want to get the exposure you can participate and choose other ways that the reader can connect with you by giving out business cards, bookmarks, and other information about you as an author. Remember treating your time and your book like it’s a business when making appearances.
Some might feel but you sold your book? Why are you complaining? Taking a large percentage seems a bit much. I have found that retailers normally take a 40% cut and the organizer was another author who set up the event at the café. It wasn’t discussed prior and if majority of the authors are new to the business they won’t know that it’s not normal practice. I sold books to readers who I hope enjoyed the experience of my reading and hopefully will follow me on social media to be able to purchase direct from myself in the future. I am more knowledgeable now than before to make sure that before I agree I ask questions. Even if I commit to an event and purchase a table to sell books I am asking if there is anything expected at the end for example a percentage of my sales. I am asking if I have an appearance can I bring an assistant to handle my sales for me. Someone said if you take 6.75 per the number of books sold if it less than the vending fee than I made out ahead. If it is more than what I would pay in vending fees than I am at a loss. So I did make out ahead. Vending fee can be when you’re paying hundred of dollars for a table to promote your books at an event and only sell a handful of books. Knowledge is power and hopefully this will help another author to not make the mistakes that I have in the past. Here’s to promoting yourself, your books, and asking lots of questions!

Stay Blessed
Patricia A. Saunders, Blogger, Author, Poet
www.patriciaAsaunders.com
 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Virtual Book Tour with Author Tracee Lydia Garner







Welcome Author Tracee Lydia Garner





Have you always wanted to be an author?  
I had no idea stories were in me at all. The start of my journey starts with depression, flunking out of school, specifically community college math for liberal arts and an awful English teacher I did not like at all. In my college days, I just wasn't convinced I was going to make it and I remember one late night surfing on the computer, feeling down and I asked God for "something else". I wasn’t very specific but I was crying and just calling out to him to help me improve my grades or give me a good job without a degree. He delivered as He always does. I saw a contest hosted by a large publishing house and my dramatic crying and tears actually dried up as I tried to read the details about entering it. I would enter and later win the grand prize and that launched my writing career and changed my life. Everything in life improved, my grades, my outlook and I had a true passion and calling and I wrote that story (Family Affairs) faster than I wrote anything so I could meet the deadline and submit it. It was an awesome time. Before that, writing NEVER really occurred to me as something I would do. I had wonderful High School English teachers that said I wrote good essays but publication and multiple stories, no idea.
Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?  
I think the biggest influences on my writing are my parents, in a very (later discovered) kind of way. My Mom left Georgia recruited by the government when she was 17, and moved to Virginia. My dad left college and came up here to be with her and while I didn't realize the love story I had right here, I now am in awe of the love they shared. My father died in 2011 but they had forty long years together and were high school sweethearts. As a child, you see your parents show affection and all you think is “Ewe, gross. Don't embarrass me.” But till this day, my BFF still gushes and reminds me about my parents kissing and showing affection in front of us and mentions how this impacted her because she didn’t have it in her own home life. I recall how I used to feel about those PDA's prior to growing up. With actual writing and reading, Debbie Macomber was the first to really turn me on to romance. I LOVED her stories and later of course, popular authors like Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky and Brenda Jackson. Currently some of my favorites include Irene Hannon, Julie Lessman and Donna Hill but I read MANY new authors all the time some I've never heard about or read before.
Can you tell us what a typical writing day for you is like. 
I actually work in health and human service full time - so my writing life really only happens on the evenings and weekends. Writing my stories is almost a part of my mental health regimen and escape. As a Peer Counselor in my day job, the tragedies and atrocities people I see face are so real and even hurtful. I need escape. But I do try to get some writing in on my lunch break and sneak in a little time here and there. I do just about everything myself including arranging my own interviews and doing my own PR. I thank goodness for e-mail because it lets me get a lot done including when it's time to upload my book and get all the production stuff done. I try to write as much as I can because time is so short, and I have my own self-imposed deadlines that I try to meet and I try to arrange an event, signing, book event, or attend/teach at a writing conference workshop about 3 Saturdays out of the month so I have at least one Saturday to rest/write/plan and sleep in. But I go to a lot of conferences. I also teach at the community college 3 times a year - each time is an 8- week Write the Novel class and 3 times a year, on one Saturday, from 9 - 1:00 I do a Self Publishing Boot Camp, also at the community college. My writing has launched my platform for speaking and teaching and I wouldn't have those other outlets or streams of income if not for the books.
Let’s talk about your new book.  Can you tell us a little about it?
Deadly Affections as the second book in the Parker Family Trilogy - a story about five adopted brothers and I’m only exploring three of those five. The trilogy began with Cole and Allontis’s story in (2015) Anchored Hearts. Deadly Affections visits Dexter Parker, a single father and a doctor. Years prior in his initial foster care family, he was a part of a family that was everything except good, respectable people. Dexter was also in love with another young person there in the foster home, Leedra Henderson. Leedra is all grown up, returns to Virginia and rekindles her romance with Dexter. Leedra is searching for her missing sister and that is her singular goal. Some of the themes throughout the story include forgiveness and a theme I didn’t realize was there that became clearer toward the end, is how we as human beings often lump people together thinking they are one way and they turn out not to be that way. Dexter often thought his father was one way, and such thinking caused him to miss out on the time he could have spent getting to know his biological father and permitting his father to know him and his family. By the time we realize the truth, it’s often too late. It’s easier to reach for negativity and falsehoods, than it is to ask and seek the truth and forgive. That is a painful lesson to learn and even harder when you’re running out of time. Dexter and Leedra learn many painful lessons and we get to watch and see if they can overcome their past or will their own internal struggles and outside threats keep them apart?
What is the best piece of advice you would give to a budding writer?
The best piece of advice is two fold - If you write a book -really take time to sit down and plan (and I'm not talking about planning or plotting the book (because I'm a “Pantser”), but I'm talking about planning your writer life). Those that write one book never think that they have books 2 nor 5 more books in them. Believe me when I say you will have another book in you. So with that said, you should WAIT until 2 and 3 are done before you release number one.
This is advice I wish I would have gotten and the advice to gain clarity, let go of things and to write faster, AND to wait to release - I couldn't wait with the contest, obviously but I could have really focused and done more to keep the books coming. You'll fizzle out, life will happen, family will throw a monkey wrench, but sitting down and planning things out will first give you peace of mind and free your brain of clutter but also help you gain clarity sooner. I didn’t plan anything when I started and I didn’t seek any real counsel. Now I’m a planning fool. My plans have plans. So at the end of each year, I either revamp my plan, tweak it and I note what did and did not work or what excites me so I can keep doing something or cut something out and it simply makes me feel so good and at peace. Stopping for a minute and just breathing to really think out what it all means is key. I will also say that I give myself a pass. I’ve been in publishing a VERY LONG time and I won the contest at 23 and the book came out when I was 24. I’m now 40 so I realize that some of the planning I’ve learned has come with age. 


Tracee Lydia Garner is a bestselling, award-winning author who writes stories full of complex

heros and heroines, relationships and families that experience tough but realistic life challenges in

their quest for love. Born and raised in a suburb of the DC metro area, Tracee works in health and

human service by day, has a degree in Communication and is a speaker and advocate for people

with disabilities. Find Tracee on the web at www.Teegarner.com, or connect with her on Facebook

and Twitter.

Thank you so much for the opportunity and please visit with me on:
Social Links
Click Here To Follow The Tour

Monday, March 27, 2017

Guest Blogger Spotlight LaShaunda C.Hoffman on Promotion Fear







Thanks for following the Don’t ROCK Fear Blog Tour. 

 I would like to thank Patricia for letting me share with you today.

Today’s Promotion Fear – My Books Aren’t Selling Like Hers

This fear will stop you in your tracks quickly.  You haven’t made the best seller’s list like another author.  She’s on Facebook talking about all her new readers.  She’s signing at all the hottest conferences.
You want to crawl in a hole and never come out.  Don’t do it.
You are not her and your book isn’t hers either.  Each writer has their own path.  If you stay worried about someone else’s path, you will miss out all the good things happening on your own path.
No your book might not have made the best selling list, but that doesn’t mean it can’t.  You might have to work a little harder with your promotion.
You don’t have a mailing list of 5000 readers.  That’s ok your 100 is a great start and will grow as more readers start learning about your fantastic book.
This fear is all about believing in yourself and your books.  It can be hard not to compare yourself to other writers, especially when they are doing what you want to do – sell books.
I’m not going to say you get rid of this fear because it has a habit of showing up on those off days, but I will say that you can get past it.
Today is the last day of the tour and I want to invite you to continue this promotion fears conversation during the 7 day challenge next week.  We will talk more about these fears and give you some solutions to help you beat fear and become the social butterfly you are meant to be.
I want to thank you for stopping by today and if you’ve been on this tour with me the whole two weeks, thank you so much for your commitment to the tour.  If you are one of the lucky winners, I will be contacting you this weekend with your registration.  If you are dealing with fear, don’t continue fighting it alone.  Click the link and register for the challenge.   You will come away with a plan to stop rocking fear.
This challenge is for writers, business owners and anyone who is dealing with fear.  Don’t let fear ROCK You. http://bit.ly/PM7Challenge
You are also welcome to join the See Ya On The Promotion Training Group, where we teach you how to be a social butterfly.
Are you dealing with promotion fears?  Leave one of your fears in the comments for a chance to win registration to the Don’t ROCK Fear – Promotion Mindset 7 Day challenge.



LaShaunda C. Hoffman took her love for books and turned it into an award winning online magazine, Shades of Romance Magazine.  Her mission in life is to introduce as many books as she can to readers. She’s happily married mother of three who believes in dreams and working hard to achieve them.  She has a promotion strategy program – Virtual Tea With LaShaunda where writers and business owners learn how to create promotion strategies for their online promotions.
In 2015 she published her first book, Building Online Relationships – One Reader At A Time. A book to help writers stay consistent with their promotion by building relationships with their readers.
Catch her online:  lchwriter@gmail.com SORMAG - http://sormag.blogspot.com, See Ya On The Net, her personal site - http://lashaundahoffman.com , Facebook -facebook.com/lashaunda.hoffman or Twitter – sormag, Instagram – lashaundahoffman


Don’t ROCK Fear Blog Stops
Learn more about Promotion Fears on the blog tour. 
The person who visits all the stops and leave a comments will be entered for a chance to win registration for the Don’t ROCK Fear – Promotion Mindset  7 Day Challenge
March 20. Nothing But Books - http://pauletteharper.blogspot.com/
March 21 -  The Literary Entrepreneur - http://theliteraryentrepreneur.com/
March 22 – Tracee Garner- https://teegarner.com/
March 23 - Sylvia Hubbard - https://sylviahubbard.com/
March 24 - Rose Jackson-Beavers - http://www.rosejacksonbeavers.com/
March 28  – SORMAG’s Blog – http://sormag.blogspot.com
March 29 – Michelle Stephens - http://www.michellelynnstephens.com/
March 30 - Read You Later - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/readyoulater
March 31 – Patricia Saunders – http://www.blessedpoetpat.blogspot.com



Thank you again LaShaunda C. Hoffman for sharing this wonderful information.

Stay blessed,

Patricia A. Saunders
Blogger, Poet and Author
www.blessedpoetpat.blogspot.com