Archive for November, 2013

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Promotion Fun

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Joy and happiness! It’s Black Friday, the day that retailers entice shoppers into their stores with deals, hoping to make up for the entire rest of the year.

Well, if you’re one of those shoppers, have fun and good luck! And when you’re done, put your aching feet up, pull out your laptop and hop on over to Amazon to pick up a Kindle copy of my book, “Dedicated Idiocy: A Personal History of the Penn State Monty Python Society,” at bargain basement prices.

(And if you don’t have a Kindle device, don’t worry. Just search for “Free Kindle Reading Apps” and download one of Amazon’s apps for smartphones and PCs.)

From today (Friday, November 29) through 6 PM (EST)/3 PM (PST) tomorrow (Saturday, November 30), you can nab a copy of that silly, colorful look at my shrimp salad days for just 99 cents. Then the price will step up incrementally to $1.99 and $2.99 before finally returning to the standard price of $3.99 on December 3.

The sooner you get there, the more you save! Give yourself the gift of laughter. You deserve it.

My Greatest Hits… Free!

Friday, November 8th, 2013

A few years ago, I embarked on a personal project that gave me a great sense of empowerment. I combed through more than a decade of my newspaper columns and online writings to put together a collection of essays and humor, titled The Art of Life.

The collection represented some of my best creative non-fiction and humor to date: including an essay on Marilyn Monroe and body image; ponderings about the conspiracy of giant cows on the American roadside landscape; and musings about my late dog, Una, who taught me to appreciate the little things in life: to smell (and lick) life’s goodness.

Since the collection addressed such a broad range of topics, I opted not to approach a traditional publisher but instead to go the self-publishing route. Because of The Art of Life, I not only got a chance to reflect on my writing up to that stage in my career but also dipped my toe into the modern age of self-publishing.

Of course, self-published books don’t have giant marketing operations behind them, and I happened to put the book out the same year that I gave birth to my all-consuming bundle of bouncy boy energy, Kung Fu Panda. I sort of fell down on the marketing aspect of it.

But you know what? I’m not giving up. And now that my son is entering preschool (and my gluten-free, dairy-free diet has cleared the cobwebs from my postpartum brain), I’m giving it another shot. In fact, I’m so convinced that you’ll like the book that I’m giving out free Kindle copies this weekend.

From November 8 (today) through Tuesday, November 12, stop by the Amazon.com page for the Kindle version of The Art of Life and snag a free copy. Then tell all your friends. And if they tell two friends, and if they tell two friends and if they tell two friends… an exponential number of people (or at least, what, 32? 64?) will give the book a read.

Ideally, that might lead to sales. But at this point, you know what? I just want people to read it. I guarantee you will find something within these pages that will make you smile, ponder and perhaps even turn to your companion — be they human or dog — and say, “You’ve got to hear what I just read.”

(And if you do like it, I’d like to encourage you to write reviews on Amazon.com, Goodreads or any other book review site. It’s good karma! Or, for my canine friends, good dogma.)

Philcon Schedule

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

I've received my official Philcon schedule and am on two panels this year and am officially the moderator of one of them (huzzah!). Check it out:

Sat 6:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)
BECOMING A FULL TIME WRITER (1496)

[Panelists: Alyce Wilson (mod), Alex Shvartsman, David Sklar, D.L. Carter, Thomas Willeford]

How do you become a full time writer? Is that a good idea for you?

Sun 10:00 AM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR CAREER (1543)

[Panelists: KT Pinto (mod), Christine Norris, Alyce Wilson, D.H. Aire]

Whenever a writer is on Facebook, he or she is not working on their writing. What are the potential advantages and distractions of social media?


So my questions to you: What information would you like to hear on these two panels if you were attending? And do you have any insights that might be useful (such as specific books or online resources) to share?

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