Around the World…in seconds

Yesterday I had the most views here that I’ve ever had! How exciting! I love to see all those little flags lined up, showing all the places people visited from. Wondrous world that we live in!

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Thank you to everyone that stops by, reading my posts, liking and commenting. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you!

And I am just one ‘like’ away from 100 likes on my author Facebook page! That’s pretty exciting as well. Follow this link if you’d like to make it officially 100 likes and above.

https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman

I know for some of you this is probably not a great accomplishment. I read your blogs and after only a few months, you have a couple thousand followers, and thousands of hits. It hasn’t been that way for me. I started this blog back in May of 2015, and it has grown, but it’s been slowly. It can be discouraging at times. You wonder what you’re doing wrong. I admit it’s been hard for me to know what to focus on here. I’m kind of out there with a lot of different stuff. So I’m thinking on that. But I have met some wonderful people…encouraging people, through this WordPress community. And it’s so much easier than sending a message in a bottle, hoping it lands in some faraway place! ūüėČ

Thank you all for your support. If you have any tips on how to make this better…I’d love to hear them. Meanwhile, I’ll keep reading your posts and learn all that I can. Have a great Wednesday!

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A Wow Moment

This past weekend, my editor, a.k.a. daughter, and I attended a writer’s conference in Pittsburg, Kansas. It’s the Called to Write Conference, held annually at the Lamplighter Inn and Suites. There is always a great turn-out for this event and the speakers are just phenomenal for a conference this size. This year, Kathy Ide¬†http://kathyide.com/¬†and Twila Belk¬†http://www.gottatellsomebody.com/¬†were the keynote speakers and they taught the workshops. They were terrific! Probably my favorite time over the few days was the Q&A on Friday night. It was just fun to watch these two women interact and answer questions. I learned so much!

The biggest take-away I had from this conference, was the gift I have been given with my writing. My writing is for a purpose, it sends a message, and I would pray it leads others to seek Christ. And that is a lot of responsibility! But, I couldn’t do anything else. I often wonder how I managed for so many years of my child-rearing days to not write. But our lives have seasons, and those years were not my writing season.

I was privileged to be able to donate A Place to Call Home for a door prize. Because of that donation, I was given the opportunity to share vocally about the book and the series. I think that’s the reason I was sold out of A Place to Call Home! That was very exciting for me! But to top that off, people even asked for me to sign their books. Yes, I know that is expected and a normal practice. But it’s still new enough to me that my jaw kind of drops and I want to ask, “You want me to sign your book?” I probably spelled my name wrong because my heart was pounding so!

During a quiet time, I was sitting in the garden room, looking out over the swimming pool. I was dreaming of my younger years, when the pool was all that mattered at a hotel. It’s been rather cold and rainy here in these parts, so swimming wouldn’t have been an option. Putting on a swim suit would have solved the ‘going swimming’ dilemma¬†if any chance had been left. The woman standing among the trees approached me, apologizing for interrupting me during my retrospection. She asked if I would mind signing her copy of A Place to Call Home. Would I mind? Does chocolate taste good?

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Moments like these make writing so very special!

Yes, writing is a gift I have been given. But over and over, I have been the receiver of so much more in this writing journey. From the joy of working with our eldest daughter on editing, formatting and proofing, to our middle daughters giving their very needed suggestions on content. Our son reading the books has been great encouragement. And our youngest has been able to keep the house from tumbling down as I have sat in my office for hours at a time, glued to my chair. Hearing readers talk about my books, sharing them with others and reading reviews has gone beyond what I ever hoped to accomplish with my writing.

I have readers! Readers have asked me to sign their books! Wow!

The Reader and The Reviewer

Goodreads badge read reviews

As an author, reviews are extremely important. Especially for authors that are self-published. They don’t have a big-name publishing company behind them. And I, as a reader really understand that. As a consumer, do I want to buy the brand that has been tried and tested, or strike out on my own into no-man’s land? I’ll probably go where others have been before. If this concerns ingesting or applying to my body, I really don’t want to be the lab experiment. I want all the quirks worked out of a product.

Now, reading a book from an indie author isn’t quite the same as putting drops in your eye or rubbing lotion on your skin that hasn’t been used before. If you’re an editor, it may be a bit painful to find multiple mistakes in editing and formatting. If you’ve read a lot of books, you may find plot and character issues. But it probably won’t kill you. (Although there were a couple books that I had to read in high school that were pretty excruciating!) To read an entire book completely out of your usual genre is very difficult for some. Which is why I probably would not make a very good book reviewer for some genres. I admire those people that are able to do that.

Since I publish my books through Createspace, and they are sold on Amazon, I was surprised to learn that Amazon also owns Goodreads. I was also shocked to read that this had happened a few years ago. I guess I’ve been living under a rock and need to find a new one! I think it’s pretty safe to say that I work for the Amazon company in a round about way! And so far, they have been pretty good to me. I just need to keep working on figuring out all the little quirks involved.

One area that’s becoming more clear is the review process. Pretty much, as far as I can tell, in order to review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million or even Wal-Mart.com, you need to have purchased through them. Which again, I really do understand. Their reputation is at risk, and they are running a business. A business that they want to be profitable. But that leaves ¬†indie authors in a bit of a hole. Generally, especially in the beginning, an indie author is not known. Their name, their books, and their photo mean almost nothing to most of the reader world.

So once again, we circle around to the review process, which helps tremendously in getting an author known. People review, people read, more reviews, more people read. And so it goes. Goodreads, as far as I’ve seen, allows you to review any book that you’ve read. It is now my favorite place!¬†sun-310144_640

Feedback is a wonderful thing. We all like to know how we’re doing and the areas where we need to improve. It hones our skills for whatever we’re doing in life.

Goodreads is also just a fun place to go if you’re an avid reader and like talking about…books. You can ask authors questions about a book, take part in trivia questions and have discussions about your favorite books. I’ve found this to be pretty enjoyable stuff. Even though I don’t have as much time to read these days as I would like, it’s fun to take part in activities involving books I have read over the years. And yes, there are some pretty big name authors on the site.

So check it out, and while you’re at Goodreads icon 16x16¬†Goodreads, have fun reviewing your favorite authors!

To Thee I'm Wed

To Thee I’m Wed

reviews: 3
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.75)