Mom’s Favorite Reads Magazine #1 on Amazon Since Its Inception

Mom’s Favorite Reads Magazine #1 on Amazon Since Its Inception

Mom’s Favorite Reads, a magazine for the modern Mom, #1 on the Amazon charts six months running!

Our April magazine, now available to download FREE.

In this issue…

* An exclusive interview with Sunday Times bestselling author Lesley-Ann Jones

* Easter stories and activities

* Recognising Autism Awareness Month

* The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

* Challenging your fears

* And so much more…

https://issuu.com/momsfavoritereads/docs/

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Marketing Tips for Indie Authors by Akje Majdanek

Marketing Tips for Indie Authors              by Akje Majdanek

A lot of writers ask fellow WriteOn members for reviews to boost visibility rather than waiting for organic ones. While it’s supposedly true that more reviews mean more visibility, you could be sabotaging your own efforts. When readers see the same names turning up, again and again, it tells them this is a review circle, and the reviews are fake, so they avoid the books of those authors like the plague. .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.

It’s also against Amazon’s rules for friends, colleagues or relatives to review one another’s books.

Amazon gave me quite a bit of grief when I reviewed Mark and Raymond’s books, and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why they kept deleting my reviews. I discovered later it was because they suspected I knew those writers from the WriteOn community since all three of us were members. And they were right. My gushing reviews were legitimate, but against the rules, so I’m not going to review the work of anyone else I know from WriteOn, Wattpad or elsewhere. And you know what? Those reviews aren’t even necessary.

There’s a better way to boost visibility that’s endorsed by Amazon in their latest KDP newsletter, or maybe it was Author Insights. In any case, Amazon said it themselves, so it’s got to be okay.

To increase visibility, you must write more books.

The more books listed on your Author Central profile, the more visible you become, or so they say. Have you filled out your Author Central profile yet? Did you post a clever bio that tells potential readers what you write and piques their interest in your work? Have you added a blog feed so they can see your entries and follow your blog? You’re allowed more than one, so add this one while you’re thinking of it:

https://theonemillionprojectcom.wordpress.com/feed/rss/

For any WordPress blog, you simply add /feed/rss/ to the end of your blog address. For blogs at other sites, it’s probably different, but it’ll be something like atom/feed or RSS/feed or some variation thereof. Check the FAQs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

“Okay, so writing more books increases my visibility, but it takes years to write more books! What do I do in the meantime?”

Glad you asked that. Most of you have written short stories, and short stories are books. You offer them separately, CLEARLY MARKED AS SHORT STORIES SO THE READER DOESN’T GET AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE THINKING IT’S A NOVEL. Seriously, make it clear it’s a short story. The readers talk to one another on Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other reader sites, so don’t ever disappoint them. Bad word of mouth travels faster than good word of mouth. ヽ(゚Д゚)ノ

So let me show you what to do, using Soleil Daniels as an example since I know she’s published a short story collection on Amazon. Images From a Wandering Mind is a collection of 15 short stories, so that’s fifteen books she can add to her profile RIGHT NOW, TODAY! And if she adds a paper edition, that’s thirty new books. See how it works? At the moment she’s only got one book listed, so I imagine she’s darn near invisible. She needs to upload each individual story as a separate book for 99¢ each. It’s unlikely any of those books will ever sell because if a reader bought each one separately, it would cost about $15. Why pay that when you can get the whole collection for $2.99? But she’s not trying to sell those books; she’s trying to sell the entire anthology. The collection now looks like a great bargain, eh?

If you haven’t published a collection yourself yet, but you have some individual short stories, you might want to start publishing those now as you write them and then combine them into a collection later, calling it the complete omnibus or something similar, so the reader sees what a good deal it is to buy the whole works. You could even create additional collections based on themes or genres; for instance, put all your romance stories together in one volume and all your fantasy stories into another, etc.

Now, to be honest, I haven’t tried this myself since I only have one short story at the moment, but the rest of you might experiment and tell us whether it actually boosts visibility or not. ヽ(^。^)丿


OMP Admin Note:  Akje Majdanek is a writer and OMP Network member.  Akje is a guest blogger for the One Million Project website whose creativity is evidenced in her work.  Akje’s books–Der Reiter and Adeline–are available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Akje_Majdanek/e/B00UZSTW74 

The Cultural Bridge

The following  idea is developed after a lot of research and consultation with a lot of people. The idea written below is not solely a product of my imagination. I must agree, Sharon Rhoads has helped me change my views comepletely. With this, I extend my gratitude towards her and give her the credits she deserves.

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Culture is the part and parcel of human society. It is a prism of realities. In simpler words, culture is just like our mother tongue. Just as we start learning our language even before we understand its importance and use, we start learning our culture way before we are even aware of what it is.

Culture seeps into us, through the bedtime stories that we read, or the music that we listen. It also gets into us subtly through the religious traditions, holidays, celebrations, and the works of literature and mythology.

Strangely enough, culture still remains one the most misunderstood concepts in the world of humanities.

People, since ages, have misunderstood the meaning of the term, ‘culture’. Culture is how you live and who you are, not where you live. For instance, fishermen have a “culture”. People who live in homeless camps and shelters have a “culture”. People who are very wealthy have a “culture”. The people of a certain culture will understand each other and the life they live, but outsiders will not. Every one of us has our own “culture” that has nothing to do with where we live and still everything to do with who we are.

Nations these days rarely contain a single “culture” within their borders. When we talk about “culture” we need to be clear about its meaning. When we use that word, we are not referring to different countries. We are, in fact, referring to the differences in how we see the world, how we see ourselves, how we see others and how we live our lives. Did you know that deaf people have a “culture”? Or for that matter, circus performers have a “culture”. Even the surfers have a “culture”. And all these “cultures” separate people from each other because they don’t understand the other “cultures” around them.

But ‘culture’ hasn’t always remained a favourable influence.

A lot of times, in fact, it has worked against us. It made us look down at others as ‘different’. It acted as a wall, more than the link it was supposed to be. It stood for ages, dividing us on the basis of our differences. These are quite evident from the outright wars that had been waged between the east and the west, the Arabs and the Non-Arabs, the blacks and the whites and so on.

The internet, television and movies today, show us all the other parts of the world. But, they seldom help us understand the people who have different “cultures”. How well do you understand the “culture” of the deaf? They have their own language and a set of social expectations.

These are the walls that need to be knocked down!

In order to further this, One Million Project, OMP came up with this idea; the idea of knocking down the Cultural Walls and converting them into Cultural Bridges. So here we are, starting another wonderful project where we would like to have writers, artists, musicians and others share something about their culture on this online platform. Let our audience know about a different culture every few days, not through the humdrum routine textbooks they’d pick up in their high schools or libraries, but through the real stories about the real human experience.

Because sometimes we need more than an anthropologist or a sociologist to teach us culture. We need each other!

Moinak Das
(with special thanks to Sharon Rhoads)

The Cultural Bridge

For more information on the project, please visit us on The Cultural Bridge and tell us how you feel about it. We are currently in our initiation stage. So if something doesn't work for you, don't hesitate to comment there. Thank you.

 

Revisions and Insanity

Revisions and Insanity

I discovered late yesterday I would have to post a blog on the One Million Project website.  I’m not usually so scatter-brained about deadlines, but I have a deadline of my own at the moment.  I’m in the Revision stage of my latest book; so needless to say, I’m going insane a little more each day.

I think it’s appropriate to give you, the reader, a bit of history about the revision process and moi.  With my first full-length book, I approached the revision and editing process without a plan or a clue, if I’m being frank.  Yeah, I read different articles about various steps other writers had used during the final revisions and edits.  I chose to go my own way, and I was so very wrong.  I had several beta readers helping me by pointing out punctuation and spelling errors, sentence structure, point-of-view issues, and other helpful suggestions.  I appreciated their help so very much.  They were not the issue.

I ran the book through the Grammarly program, and I even purchased the updated version of the application.  It gave me several suggestions and caught some items I’d overlooked.  It proved to be a wise decision, in light of my special talent for creating sentences akin to a freshly made pot of alphabet soup.

Last but not the least of my revisionist plans, I sat down and read my book out loud to get a feel for the sentence flow and spot any errors which had remained hidden from the multiple orbs perusing the pages.  This was sound advice I’d read on someone’s blog, and it is effective for someone without a mix of youthful daydreaming and the memory problems of advancing age.   I would have such good intentions, and before I realized it, I was vacuuming the rug, messing around with widgets on my website or shopping online.

Authors will tell you they are often their own worst critics.  It’s true.  Once I start reading what I’ve written, I will dutifully begin revising sentences.  Not one or two, but every single one will be cut, put back together and ripped apart again.  After a few glasses of wine mingled with my wretched tears, I begin to start calling friends to inform them that my writing is “pure ___.”  Fill in whatever word seems fitting.

I keep re-reading the same chapters and the changes continue.  After two weeks, I find I’m still on the first paragraph of my book (a slight exaggeration for dramatic purposes).  I have chapters which include the same character’s name twelve-hundred times in a fifteen-hundred-word count chapter.  Another of my special talents, it seems.

So, here I am a year later in the throes of revising/editing my second book.  Please wish me well.  This could well be my last blog post, because I need to re-write every sentence about forty times.

If you’ve read this far, I hope you understand much of what I’ve written is satire, but with satire comes a basic truth about my own foibles and shortcomings.  Every book will have some errors, and I’ve yet to read one without something my third-grade teacher would have marked with a red checkmark.  The moral of my tale is simply to avoid losing the creative essence of the story as you look for the imperfections.

My job is done.  I must get back to my revisions before the men in white suits bring my straight jacket.


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. Her full-length book EXODUS is also available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473258208&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

Twitter: @katemcginn6

https://www.katemcginn.com/

Finding Talents!

“Grandpa! Can I ask you something?” The boy asked as he rested his head on the old man’s lap.

“Umm-hmm. Go ahead, son.” The old man ruffled his hands through the boy’s dishevelled hair.

“Miss May was telling me that everyone has a special talent.”

“Yes, she was right!”

“But how do I find my talents. I have spent twenty-three years of my life. But still, I haven’t figured out the purpose of my existence and the value of my presence! Leave alone ‘talents’. Sometimes I feel, I am not talented at all.”

“Hahaha! Well, that is not true, child” Grandpa replied.

“Then how do I find my talents? Martha is an excellent singer. Toby plays wonderful football. Lira is good at drawing. Ron is good in studies. And I am good at nothing! For the past couple of years, I have only been failing. I have failed in my exams. I have failed to qualify for the school football team. I have failed to make my parents proud. I have failed at everything I have touched.” A drop of tear rolled down his eyes as his voice trembled.

“Trust me, son. You are talented indeed. If you ever have the feeling that you are not talented enough, it isn’t your fault, child. It is the system that is faulty. It is the world which lacks eyes to recognise your talent. You may, in fact, be possessing a rather unusual talent. The talents that your friends possess are actually common talents. Like being good at sports or studies or being good at a particular art. The talents that do not get recognised are patience, thoughtfulness, optimism, the desire to succeed or rebuttal to defeat, will power and so on. If you observe, these are the same set of skills that are otherwise ‘taught’ to some people through ‘self-help books’ or the ‘lifestyle coaches’, but then there are few people like you who possess these naturally. And the worst part is that these kinds of talents do not have a conventional stage for display. For Lira, the drawing paper is her stage for display. For Toby, the football ground is his stage for display. But for you, my son, there are no stages for display and hence medium of expression.”

“So will I never get to show my talent? Will no one ever know that I am talented?” The boy looked up, a little relaxed.

“Well, that is not true again. It may be that your innate talent may be situation specific. There are people who do not handle failure well; these days little kids are committing suicide over trivial issues. There are people who do not even know how to get back up after falling. But if you have that talent called ‘perseverance’ then you are one of those rare kids who knows how to get back up again even after falling a thousand times. Your talents actually help you to live your life. Just ask yourself this one question. ‘Would that seemingly talented Martha be able to live your life? Would that seemingly strong Toby be able to keep on facing failure like you?’ and I am sure; the answer would always be ‘NO’.”

 

@moinakdas

http://inkofimagination.wordpress.com

An Exam Called Life

THE LAST EXAM

Up until my high school days, I hated almost all my exams. I hated the competitive ones and I hated the non-competitive ones. I hated them just religiously, without any discrimination. And I hated them because I thought exams were a discrete hammering on a child’s natural intellect. But as the numbers on my age changed, so did my views and beliefs.

Surprisingly over the last three years at college, after sailing through a university level of education and a gruelling series of examinations, almost on my own, I have understood one simple thing; exams are more than just a reality check. Exams are actually the stimulants that trigger your intellect and enhance your ability to cope with the real world. It helps you deal with the insane amounts of difficulties that you face ahead in your life.

My under-graduation is nearing an end. Only a few of months have passed since I have last written an exam and I am anxiously waiting for my results. I don’t even know if I will pass, but trust me, I don’t hate exams as much as I did some years ago, (though I am still not too fond of them).
A clichéd saying in my country goes; “An engineer might not have studied for an entire year, but s/he will still be a master of his subject on the night before an exam!” And I am proud to certify the above statement to the fullest of my beliefs.

It was a rainy night in the serene town of Vellore as monsoons had just touched upon the sea shores in the southern parts of India. I had just one exam left and it was the most difficult one. And I remember calling upon every friend of mine over the phone, inquiring about their progress with the syllabus and irritating them over and over again. I knew I was being moronic but trust me, this is the only anti-depressant available to a student at such a strenuous time. If friends are behind you in the race to complete the syllabus, you man, are safe!
But, I was lagging behind!
I instantly realised that I have to spend another sleepless night or I might completely screw up in the exam the next morning.
I wanted to cry over my fate.
I wanted to go and kill those teachers.
I wanted to run far away.
I wished I had studied this before.

But amid all of this, a strange realisation took place in me.

I curated a bunch of previous year exam question papers. I called up a few (trustworthy) friends and inquired from them about the important questions that the teacher might have unwantedly spelt out in the last few classes.
Having gathered all these things, I started to prepare, ‘just to pass’.
And I kept on studying, desperate not to fall asleep at any cost.
But life happens.

I woke up at eight in the morning, cursing myself, and found my books lying on the floor while my pen and notebooks were pressed under me. I got up with a jolt and hurriedly began revising all that I had studied the night before and eventually went to write the exam, leaving the burden of my fate on the shoulders of the almighty (though I was not a believer of god back then, hardships and struggles can always do the impossible, they say!).
I came out of the hall, thirty minutes before the exam was actually over and surprisingly I was unimaginably optimistic about the exam. I didn’t know whether I did well or not but I knew one thing. I did my best. I gave in more than I actually could.

It is today that I suddenly realise that exams are an exact analogy of life, scaled down to a hundred and eighty minutes (or however long an exam is). Whatever I did for that exam that day was actually a teaching in disguise. It was a lesson of what I should do again in the future if I faced something deadly in my life.

THE BEAUTIFUL ANALOGY

For anything deadly that might collide head on with me in my life ahead, I should trust my past experiences (curate a bunch of previous year exam question papers).

Then I should call my friends for help or pray to god for the right direction (inquired from them about the important questions that the teacher might have unwantedly spelt out in the last few classes).

My priority should always be to just ‘survive’, (start to prepare ‘just to pass’).

And the last thing I should do is to leave the result in the God’s will (write the exam, leaving the burden of my fate on the shoulders of the almighty).

I am sure I will come out as optimistic as I did in my exam that day.

So you see? Exams are much like those vaccines that we used to get injected with in our childhood. We all know that vaccines of a particular disease are nothing but the disease itself. But this disease instead of harming you actually sets up a system of immunity within your body. It helps your body fight against the real disease which you might face someday.
Actually, exams are just an emergency algorithm to life’s problems.

Shooting for the Moon

Over the last few days, everyone was caught up in the quagmire of news stories surrounding the events leading up to the Inauguration on January 20, 2017.  An announcement gained media attention.  Plans were underway for a renewed effort to find a cancer cure.

In President Obama’s final State of the Union Address, he announced the start of a new national effort to find a cure for cancer.  Vice-president Joe Biden will be leading the efforts.  The Vice-president’s son, Beau, recently died of brain cancer after a hard-fought battle against the disease.

Biden called for a “Cancer Moonshot” much like the national efforts called for by President Kennedy to develop the space program and put a man on the moon.  With increased funding and  the government removing some of the obstacles which have slowed cancer research in the past, they hope to speed the progress of cancer research. 

Having worked as a registered nurse for over 30 years, I’ve taken care of many patients at various stages during their fight against cancer.  The changes in treatments and the improved survival rates for various forms of cancer has undergone significant improvements over the years.

“Cancer” is a scary word.  It is a generic name for a multitude of diseases of every body system and organ found in the human anatomy.  With about one hundred different types of “cancer” identified, and each one with a differing progression, treatment, and outcome; it is amazing how far medical research has come.  Breast cancer, various skin cancers, thyroid and testicular cancers have high cure rates today as compared to even ten years past.

But so many forms of the disease are difficult to detect in the early stages which affects successful treatment.  Others are very close to breakthroughs.  These advances give us hope a cure for cancer may be only one discovery away.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.  In 2017, a renewed effort like the one proposed by President Obama and VP Joe Biden is uplifting and should be an effort all Americans should rally behind.

President Kennedy’s address at Rice University on September 12, 1962, epitomizes this new “Moonshot” better than anything I could write.  A portion of his speech is below:

“We choose to go to the moon.  We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…”

Only a few short years after Kennedy’s rousing speech, the United States put the first man on the moon.  May President Obama and Vice-President Biden have the same kind of success finding a cure for cancer.


Kate McGinn

OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. Her full length book EXODUS is also available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473258208&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

@katemcginn6

https://www.katemcginn.com/