Monthly Archives: May 2013

Recommendation Power

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Last week, after attending a neighbor’s birthday celebration, I got right onto my Amazon account and ordered the Kindle version of THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW by Jonas Jonasson. Why did I do this? The sole reason was that five of the women at the party were discussing the book and commenting about the great laughs they were having while reading it. I immediately felt left out of that conversation; in fact, I had never even heard of Jonas Jonasson (Swedish author) and was certain that I was missing out.  I rest my case, books sell because people are talking about them- the power of the word of mouth.

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Yesterday, I had a call from a friend in Vancouver who works in office admin at a Private School. She told me that she had talked to one of her colleagues at work about my Frenchie series and how the novels had made her laugh reminiscing about raising kids and dogs. This woman  ordered both books from  http://www.redtuquebooks.ca (my Canadian Distributor). Apparently, she just loved the books and is looking forward to the third in the series, Frenchie Diva? Really?- Follow the Blog.

This leads me to what we already know about promoting our books. It is one thing to make our books available all over the world, both digitally and in print, but it is another to help people find them. My books are classified as Middle Grade novels which means that they are meant for a 9-13 year-old readership.  The problem with this is that it limits the potential people who might enjoy these reads.  My experience so far has been that Middle Grade readers don’t find the books online. Young Adult books are more inclined to be read in eBook format. The only way to get one’s books in the hands of MG readers is through schools and libraries.   This tends to leave out the readers who love their pets, and the parents and grandparents who can relate to the story of a single, working mom with a devious 13 year-old son who will do anything to have a French Bulldog.  Of course Ethan’s quirky, eccentric grandma plays a major role in this on-going family drama.

My message here is that word of mouth and having readers motivated to write short reviews on Amazon is key to the success of reaching  potential readers. Nothing is more powerful than being immersed in a book conversation and hearing others’ reactions and endorsements of books being read and enjoyed!

What are your thoughts? Do you write reviews or comments about books you’ve enjoyed?  Do you join Book Club discussions?  What makes you decide to purchase a book?  Please leave a comment, I’m keenly interested in your thoughts and suggestions.

Blind Date Anxiety?

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Having lived the life of a professional and a single mom, time for establishing girlfriend friendships has been at a minimum for a number of years. Now, having moved, I find myself somewhat rusty at the dance one partakes in to establish and form strong and comfortable bonds with the new people one encounters and the friendship opportunities that present themselves.

Yesterday, I had such a laugh at myself!  My wonderful sister-in-law volunteers with a woman that she thought I should meet.  She arranged a meet for lunch with this targeted  woman, one of her girl friends and the two of us. She informed me ahead that we had tons of things in common: fairly new to our community, both into boating, etc. What a great idea! Let’s get together for lunch!

I carefully groomed myself, taking extra care with my hair (badly in need of a cut and streaks) and choosing something casual to put on.  I even chewed a couple of pieces of whitening gum to ensure my “pearlies” looked presentable, and changed my purse to match my boots. The anticipation of the meet was building as the hour hand approached noon. It dawned on me that I was feeling something resembling blind date anxiety. You know that anxiousness that builds before the person actually shows up?

Of course, the woman coming to meet the three of us arrived a little later (We were early; of course we were!). When she walked in, we got right down to finding out as much about each other, as possible. This probably wasn’t great manners, as the other two women at the table fell into their own conversations. Connections were made and it confirmed my sister-in-law’s gut feelings that we had a great deal in common.

Things relaxed somewhat over lunch, as we all started to share stories with one another, until the bill came.  This is when I took it upon myself to write my name and phone number on a piece of paper, in case she wanted to get together in the future for a walk, or whatever! (It didn’t go unnoticed, by me, that she didn’t slip me back her phone number in return.)

When I returned home, having enjoyed “lunch with the girls”, I had to giggle at myself.  Here is this almost sixty year old woman, learning how to do the girlfriend dance all over again. It appears that I may have a lot of work and effort ahead of me before establishing some of the close and fun girlfriend relationships previously enjoyed in life.

My husband just shakes his head and says, “Why is it that women make everything so complicated”?

If you have any comments or funny stories over this making new girlfriends phenomenon, please don’t hesitate to leave them.  I’d love to hear from you! We’ve all been fortunate in life to make enduring girlfriend friendships that are relaxing, fun, personal and supportive. That’s what true friendship is all about, right?