Sunday, April 30, 2017

National Poety Month - Poem by Patricia A. Saunders

The end of National Poetry Month with an excerpt from  This Too Shall Pass book of poetry.

My Son
I didn’t birth you
I just feel that I want to see you turn 21
I want to give you advice on how to make it
I want to tell you challenges are coming
I want to tell you people will judge you by the color of your skin
Not knowing who you are
It doesn’t matter
You’re my son
You will go out with your friends and feel it’s funny
To be followed
Prove you are in your own neighborhood
That the expensive car you’re driving is your parents and they worked hard to purchase it
That the clothes you have on aren’t bought with drug money
You’re going to be alone and there are going to be times you won’t get one phone call
I want you to know no matter where you come from it’s not fair
I want you to know others have come before you
Have endured worse
That they died for you to be able to be here
You’re my son
I know it hurts when people fear you because of a notion of what they see in the media
They don’t know at 10 you became the man of the house
That by 12 you had a job delivering papers
That you’re going to church every Sunday
That you lead the youth ministry
They don’t see
That you’re afraid when your face is pushed down on the pavement
That your shoulder feels like it’s burning when it’s dislocated because you’re being held by hog ties
That you’re being strong though you want to cry for your mother to come and tell them you’re innocent
You’re my son
I don’t know you but I feel your humiliation
I feel your amazement of the treatment because you were just sitting in your car waiting for your friends to come out of the store from getting a bag of chips
I know how your mother feels when she is walking down the aisle
Surrounded by family to say goodbye as you lay
In the casket
Videotapes deleted
Those who recorded with their cell phones have been arrested; harassed or worse
Their funerals are tomorrow

(c)2016 This Too Shall Pass, Authorhouse Publishing

Patricia A. Saunders
Author, Blogger, and Poet

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


Submitted by:
Patricia A. Saunders
Blogger, Poet, Author 

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

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

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