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Bloomsday 2013

June 13, 2013

As we discussed in our post last year, Bloomsday is a holiday in celebration of James Joyce’s life and works. It takes its name from Leopold Bloom, the main character in Ulysses. It’s celebrated around the world but most enthusiastically in Dublin (Joyce’s home town and the setting of Ulysses).

 

The celebrations occurring this year are much the same as last year – and every year since it was first celebrate in 1954. Very little has changed in all that time, fans of Joyce, Ulysses, and/or period attire dress up like various characters in the novel and follow the path he takes through Dublin. Or, outside of Dublin, they simply dress up and celebrate. The manuscript is in Philadelphia this year so their celebration should be larger than usual.

 

This year the internet has come up with yet another clever way to celebrate if you don’t happen to be conveniently located to a Bloomsday celebration – crowd-sourced Visualization of Ulysses. People who would like to participate simply sign up to be assigned a portion of the book and then make note of which characters interact with each other in that section and then the organizers will create the visualization with the data. It’s just as nerdy as it sounds but also kind of amazing – and they’ve already got tons of people willing to help.

 

Have you heard of any other interesting or clever Bloomsday celebrations near you?

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Happy Pub Month!!

June 5, 2013

Happy Pub Month

We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this June.

Dear Granddaughter by Judy Smith

Little Joe by Dr. Michael Glasscock III

Squirrels, Boats, and Thoroughbreds by Jamie Gerdsen

The Culture Secret Workbook by Dr. David Vik

The Scoop on Breasts by Dr. Ted Eisenberg

World on a String by Larry Phifer

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber

Wealthy by Design by Kimberly Foss

 

Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.

June Pubs

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Save Your Hearing

June 3, 2013

In honor of Save Your Hearing Day, which was May 31, 2013, today’s post is by Melissa Rodriguez. Melissa grew up around the hearing aid business. Shortly after high school, she obtained her license to fit hearing aids and received her National Board Certification in 1995. She is currently the owner of Hear On Earth Hearing Care Center in El Paso, Texas, and an active volunteer with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Rodriguez sat on the board of the Texas Hearing Aid Association and served a six-year term on the Texas Governing Board, regulating the fitting and dispensing of hearing aids. She has made multiple humanitarian trips to fit hearing aids in Juarez and Mexico City, Mexico, Peru, and many other locations. She is currently a member of the International Hearing Society, the Texas Hearing Aid Association, and eWomenNetwork.

Melissa

As a hearing care provider it is my daily task to evaluate hearing and frequently break the bad news to my patient that they have a permanent hearing loss. Only occasionally do I run a test that confirms good hearing. “Congratulations,” I say in those rare instances, “you have normal hearing and healthy ears!”

I’ve never tested a single person who was disappointed with this good news, nor asked to “please check again, I really want hearing loss.”

So why do we constantly engage in actions that will cause hearing loss?

Loud sounds are damaging to the 15,000 tiny hair cells in your inner ear that send signals to the brain about the sound around you. When those cells are damaged, there is no way to regenerate or repair them. Nerve by nerve the world around you becomes quieter and you become less aware of the sound around you until you no longer know that there are even sounds. Hearing loss is most often a gradual disability; it is silent and painless and it can ruin your job, relationships, hobbies, and ultimately your life.

I suspect that most of us never think about our hearing and how to protect it. Each day we wake to the alarm clock. We hear the daily sounds of the shower running, the phone ringing, our spouse or child speaking, the rustle of a book as we read, or the car roar to life as we start the engine. Although our hearing makes our life experiences so much more memorable, we move through our day without a passing thought to being a “healthy hearer.”

So, take a few minutes to appreciate your hearing and make a commitment to protect it for years to come. Here are some tips to assure healthy hearing:    

  • Never stick anything smaller than your elbow into your ear.
  •  If the sound around you is so loud that it is difficult to carry on a conversation, then it is too loud and exposes you to long-term hearing loss.
  • If the environment you’re in is too loud, either:

- Turn it down

- Put in a pair of earplugs, or

- Leave the environment.

  • Take two minutes each day to listen closely and appreciate the sound of the world around you.

For more information on how your ears work, how loud is too loud, and to get answers to your questions about hearing loss, visit www.hearwithmelissa.com, where you can pick up a copy of my book, Hear Your Life: Inspiring Stories and Honest Advice for Overcoming Hearing Loss, among other resources.   

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How to Optimize Your Amazon Page

May 29, 2013

Amazon, as some of you may already know, has been removing and editing many of its user input options – most recently by removing tagging and the ability to “Like” things over the last couple of months.


If you’ve noticed that your search results have gotten a lot less logical, it’s probably because of the missing tags.

 

But, not to worry, there are still optimization options available to you, dear author.

 

First and foremost, set up your Amazon Author Central account and claim your book! If it has been a while since you published, try to notify your publisher that you’re doing so because they will have approve your access to the title with only your e-mail address to go on. Claiming your book allows you to update info on your book’s page – —including your book description, author bio, and the editorial reviews section. It will allow you to link all your titles together on your author page (assuming that you have published multiple books), which Amazon might not otherwise intuit. It’s also a great introduction to possible fans—if you’re blogging or tweeting regularly, you can sync those feeds with your Amazon page, giving potential readers a good idea of what sort of author you are and what they can expect from you. Plus, more potential followers for your blog and/or Twitter!

 

An added benefit of having an Author Central Account is that Amazon maintains a direct help line. So, if an issue pops up on your book’s Amazon page you can easily contact them about how to fix it.

 

Lists are also still an available optimization option through both “Listmania” and “So You’d Like to. . .” to any reviewer with an Amazon account. Lists (through the secret magic of Amazon’s algorithm) contribute to the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” bar on each book page.  So when you ask your friends, family, and early reviewers to post reviews of your book, ask them to create a list as well. Since you can make a list with as few as two items, it won’t be overly time consuming for them to create. And with as few as 3 or 4 items it can still significant help to optimize your Amazon page by introducing your title to readers of other, related titles.

 

What do you do to optimize your Amazon page? Is there anything we left out? Let us know in the comments below.

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Why Twitter Still Matters to Authors

May 23, 2013

twitter bird on books

Can you believe Twitter is about to turn six years old already? With over 200 million active users, Twitter still represents one of the most powerful opportunities for building community and growing influence.

When put to good use, Twitter can enhance your status as an expert, give you access to influencers, foster connections for new business ventures, and constantly expose you to fresh ideas from people all over the world. (And expose them to your ideas as well!)

Why should Twitter still matter to you?

  • For starters, if you’re not on Twitter, people are wondering where you are. If people are having a conversation about yourbook online, you should be an active participant as well.
  • Your readers are your greatest assets! Leverage your existing followers by communicating with them directly. Givingthempersonal access to you is what can transform a casual fan into a superfan.
  • The sky is the limit in terms of who and how many people you can connect with, including your current fans, potentialfans,fellow authors, business people, and endless amounts of media including bloggers, journalists, reviewers, etc.

If you have yet to get going on Twitter or just need some inspiration, here are a few tips:

  • Follow and engage with like-minded authors, business people, and others, commenting on their tweets and retweeting interesting subject matter. Follow their fans as well.
  • Post your own original content, including blog posts, articles, media coverage, videos, and photos.
  • Be authentic. Resist the urge to identify yourself as just an author, pushing only your book and book-related topics. People relate more to an approachable person who shows his or her true identity.
  • Follow people back as you continue to grow your followers. Down the road you can be more selective.
  • Engage your audience and use them as a sounding board. Consider polling your followers if you’re stuck on a decision, or experiment with crowdsourcing. Your followers might surprise you their creativity.
  • Start with what you know and go from there. Focus on your niche first.
  • Get on board with trending topics. If you can tie together some content of value with a trending hashtag, even better.
  • Set some goals. Decide what you want to get out of the time you put into Twitter, and make sure everything you dosupports those goals, whether it’s selling books or growing your network or gaining access to specific people.

It appears that Twitter is here to stay (at least for now), so embrace it, give it a little bit of your time, and see how much it can give back to you!

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