Author Feature

“The Fury of Angels” by Joy Cieslarski

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Joy Cieslarski, author of “The Fury of Angels”. Connect with Joy on Twitter. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired you to write it? 

My book, “The Fury of Angels,” is about a young man’s struggle to come to terms with a legacy left to him by his parents. His destiny, is to lead so called “Angels Of Light” in the fight against good and evil. He is continually challenged by what he believes and the people he has met in his life. Messages become conflicted and as he matures, he is forced to make choices which could ultimately lead to the demise of people he loves.

The book just “came to me” one summer. I am not a religious person, but I was drawn to writing a story about the forces of good and evil, and what it would mean to be a “mortal” in a world of angels.SKU-000965000

  1. What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?

This is a great novel. It makes the reader think about how things happen in life, that at times, events are unexplainable. They find themselves wondering if there are other forces involved. They will feel a real connection to the characters, and that’s what makes me happiest about the book. It is something everyone can relate to.

3. What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?

I love the freedom of owning the story and not having the message and vision compromised. I talked to an author who told me, he went with a traditional publisher and after they finished editing, he barely recognized the story. The main character had been completely changed, the concept was rearranged. I know where I will compromise and where I would not. I’m thankful I didn’t have to live with a story that ultimately, wasn’t mine anymore.IMG00024-20101128-1736

I would definitely recommend self-publishing to authors. There’s a power around putting out a product you’re proud to show to your friends and family. The most wonderful feeling is when you get book sales that are NOT from friends and family, or you get a review on Amazon or other outlets. Seeing that in print, let me know I had accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do.

4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

If your goal is immediate commercial success, you’ll be disappointed quickly. You need to remember why you started writing in the first place. It has to be your passion, and not your hobby. Looking at writing as something to do is the wrong point of view. You have to believe in your craft and want to “suffer for the art” so to speak.

The elation you feel once you hold a finished product in your hands, see your words in print and mostly, your name at the top of the novel is breathtaking.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

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Author Feature

Self-Publishing Children’s Books with Archway Publishing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Dr. Amelia Rose, author of “The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Backpack”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

StrawThe Straw that Broke the Camel’s Backpack is a lighthearted children’s story of giving, but perhaps giving of yourself a little too much. Its message relates the dilemma of trying to help others, but knowing your own limits at the same time. It illustrates how one’s self-esteem can be compromised by wanting to “fit in” by pleasing others. In essence, it is also a story about bullying in a different form, since others may ask you to do things that they may be able to do themselves, but it is simply easier to ask someone else to do their work.

This story and characters are based on my son’s dilemma that he faces to this very day by wanting to say “yes” and please everyone, even if the consequences of doing so may hurt him.

ameliaThe story began one day when I spoke to Christian (my Charley) about his broken bookbag, “That is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” I exclaimed when he told me he was holding all his friends’ hard-covered books back to the library when the bag broke. He replied, “Mom, I didn’t want to break a camel’s back!” It was then that I realized I had to explain the anecdote to him, and that he needed to stop doing everything for everyone all the time, even when it hurt himself.

I hope the book impacts all children who feel compelled to be “in” with the crowd or group of “friends” who may use them and therefore may not truly be their friends at all.  True friends will understand and try to help you.  So far, I have been extremely successful in having those who read the book appreciate, love, and understand Charley’s dilemma.  TSTB1You have no idea how young some children are who have the book read to them by their parents or friends, and understand the message – don’t be bullied into doing what you cannot do for others – and yourself – true friends will always be there for you.  I am also passionate about the message of the book because I lived it with my son, and I am so happy that I did finally write the book (as promised to Christian) so that the message will be heard by so many others who are bullied today, either overtly or surreptitiously.

TSTB2I have been at book signings and events in many areas hoping to get my message across to everyone – young and old.  It is so surprising, heartwarming,  and humorous to hear mothers tell me they wish they had this book when they were children because they are still doing too much to others to this very day – at 30+ years old they still succumb to bullying!  Mothers and fathers (and children in schools where I have read the book) absolutely love, love Charley!  They ask for stuffed animals of him so that they can hug Charley every night in order to get the confidence they need to stand up to the stress of schools and the bullying that occurs there every day.  They write letters to Charley telling him how much the book helped them.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

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Publishing

Publishing Mumpkin the Pumpkin

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Abbey McCormack, author of “Mumpkin the Pumpkin.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

My publishing journey went a little like this:

Start children’s book.
Get hit by a car.
Heal.
Get pregnant.
Move to Japan.
Give birth.
Husband gets deployed.
Get pregnant again.
Lose a parent.
Give birth.
Husband gets deployed again.
Publish Mumpkin the Pumpkin.

A lot can happen that could derail you from your dreams. Don’t let it.

What would have happened if Steve Jobs decided that his ideas of intuitive technology were better left on the shelf?

What would the world be like had Mark Zuckerburg decided to focus on schoolwork rather than tinker around with his creation: The Facebook?

SKU-001042846Ok… a self-published children’s book about a little pumpkin without a mouth is no iPhone or technologically redeemed tower of Babel – but it is my Holy Grail.

For this creative scatterbrain to actually accomplish something is flippin’ miraculous. I was employed as a nanny when the idea of Mumpkin the Pumpkin came into my mind. The little girl in my care had a habit of naming things with words that rhymed (think: Pog the dog or Mig the pig). Well, one day she named the pumpkin we had spent the afternoon painting, Mumpkin. Ding! There it was.

“Hey what if there was a little pumpkin and someone forgot to carve out his mouth? He could go looking for the right mouth and it could teach kids about their emotions! Wouldn’t that be a cute idea for a kids’ book?”

And four short years later Mumpkin the Pumpkin was born.

I could have been derailed by any one of the life events that are listed above but with the constant nagging… I mean… encouragement of my husband I was gently nudged further and further toward the finish line.

I worked on and off throughout the years as time and life would allow. Then finally, Mumpkin was ready. The illustrations were completed. The words had been parsed for the last time. Now what?

Enter Archway Publishing.

All I had to do was sign some paperwork, submit my materials, a little tweak here, an edit there and Poof! All of the sudden this little pumpkin searching for his mouth – that only existed in my imagination – was now in physical form, ready to share with my friends and family all around the world.

Now my little Mumpkin is one of Archway Publishing’s bestsellers and I couldn’t be prouder of him… and myself. The funny thing about accomplishment is that it’s addictive. Once you attain your dream you realize that sheer will is the only thing needed to attain another.

Be patient. Life happens. Slow down and give attention to those things in life that need it – but be persistent. Don’t give up. The world needs people to chase their dreams and better yet – to catch them – and share them with us all.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature, Marketing

Discovering My Marketing Plan while Marketing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Tsara Shelton, author of “Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself.” Tsara is a writer of musings, sipper of coffee, and addict of any story. Having learned life exploring the edges of society she finds her footing in the world through storytelling—as a mom, wife, daughter and citizen. She blogs regularly at Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton.  For more about Tsara and her book, visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

me laughingEver since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to write books. When I was young I wrote often and diversely, basking in the compliments and impressed smiles of the grownups. But soon those compliments came with suggestions and constructive feedback, and I shrunk away. I was afraid of the work. No, I was afraid of doing the work only to discover that I wasn’t as talented as I’d led everyone to believe. I put myself on hold; not quite giving up, but not quite ready to do the work either.

Many years later as the mom of four sons who were searching for manhood, I knew I couldn’t keep telling my talented boys not to give up on themselves when I so obviously (and so easily!)had considered giving up on myself. So, I started writing and publishing and proving to myself that I could do the work.

Then, with my husband insisting that my dream coming true would also be his dream coming true, I put together a book of stories that slowly grew up and published with Archway Publishing. In this way I am now showing my sons, and myself, what it looks like to do the work and to value our dreams.


9781480815810_COVER.inddThus, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up, the beautiful book with the beautiful cover designed by the beautiful people at Archway, was born!

The next step was to show my sons and myself what it looks like to back up those dreams by introducing the stories to the wide, wide world through marketing.

I had two things going for me in this regard. One, my mom is an international mental health expert and I’ve been her personal assistant for a few years. I’ve eagerly taken on the job of sharing her projects (books, shows, inspirational comedy and music, international docu-series) with the media as well as with parents and professionals in the world of mental health. Two, I published through Archway which means I had a team of supportive, knowledgeable, and available others to give me a hand.

I had one (big) thing going against me. A fear of being self-centered and annoying. Sure, I can email busy producers and editors regarding my mom’s stuff because I see and know and have witnessed over and over again its immense value. But my stuff? My book? My words and ideas? Scary stuff, man!

boys and me picHowever, I love my book and I love my ideas and I love learning who I am through marketing. With the support of Archway (coaches and consultants who call to check on me just the right amount, keeping me going without applying unnecessary pressure) and the watchful eyes of my sons (who are young men searching for their own voices and marketing tools) I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone, just enough to discover my marketing comfort zone.

I’ve done podcast interviews, written guest blogs, and discovered book reviewers who adored my accessibility and (thank goodness!) my book. I’ve answered questions about myself as a writer for author interviews, and have been planning an event for families with autism, as well as another event for teens who want to write in order to discover their voice.

Thanks to the support and ideas from Archway, who offer creative marketing tips that fit me and my book, along with author friends and other groups I’ve discovered while on my marketing quest, I’ve grown as a writer.  I’ve grown, also, as a mom with ideas for her sons.

I knew that marketing my book, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up, would help me figure out how I was most comfortable marketing myself, and I even suspected it would help me grow as a person.

I was given marketing strategies and ideas by the knowledgeable folks at Archway Publishing, and I started trying the ones that matched me most – which meant discovering what those were.

I discovered my marketing plan while marketing.

I also discovered more of myself.

-AWP-

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet us @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Social Media

Best Practices for Authors on Facebook

 

If you have already published your book or are getting ready to publish your first one, it is never too late to start a Facebook page for yourself or  your book. Your Facebook page is an essential part of your marketing took kit.

Getting Started:

  1. Create a Facebook Page by going to facebook.com/pages/create
  2. Select “Create Page”
  3. Choose a category (Author or Book) under Entertainment
  4. Name your page facebook.com/username
  5. Publish your page

It’s that simple! Lets move on to customizing your page.

Basic steps:

  1. Add a profile photo of you or your book
  2. Complete the “about” section—tell your readers who you are!
  3. Upload a cover photo

Now that that’s done, lets think of what we can post on the page.

Posting on Facebook

  • Be Authentic- Share your story with everyone, you are an author after all.  Post book trailers, excerpts and teaser quotes from your book to garner attention.
  • Mix It Up- Post a mix of content from photos and videos to quotes and even related articles.
  • Engage Your Audience – Do a little Q&A with your readers. We’ve included directions on how to do a Facebook Q&A below. If you really want to get involved, see if there are some readers who want to start a book club and send them a short reading guide with discussion questions about the book.
  • Optimize and Measure- Facebook allows you to see how your posts are doing with the pages insights tool. See how many people your post reached, how many clicked on a link, and so much more! This way, you can concentrate on posting content more people are interested in.
  • Ask for Reviews –  Facebook allows readers to leave reviews of your book on your page for others to read. Suggest to your readers to leave a review of your book. Remember to tell them not to reveal any spoilers!

If you want to do a Facebook Q&A with your audience, here is a helpful guide to get you started.

Facebook Q&As

  1. Post a status update (preferably with a photo of you) a day or two in advance saying, “I will be hosting a Facebook Q&A on X day at X time” (remember to specify time zone)
  2. On the day of the Q&A, post a picture of yourself that you are ready to answer questions with a picture of yourself at your laptop, signing books, etc.
  3. It is a live, threaded, ranked comments feature. If you like (or an admin of your page “likes”) a question before you answer it it will pop to the top.
  4. You can delete any spammy or irrelevant comments
  5. Answer as many/as few/whichever questions you want from the comfort of your home or office (or while you’re on a book tour)

We hope this Facebook page start-up guide has been helpful for you. If you have questions, let us know and we will try to help you out!

-AWP-

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