I have been thinking about reaching more people with my novel. Then it dawned on me that my question is more universal than I had thought. The information below is from Richard Ridley, an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor who gave permission for authors to share this with our personal networks.
this an open letter to friends and family members of indie authors (authors, you
can share this with your personal networks if you agree).
is an answer to the question I hear most often from the people in my life who
want to support my career as an indie author: "What can I do to help you sell
more books?" The answer is simple, and believe it or not, it has nothing to do
with you buying a book from the indie author in your life. All that is required
is that you help spread the word. I don't mean in an organized manner or by
using some grand gesture full of fanfare and hype. I simply mean that you
mention the book in conversation or include a link to the book in a status
update on Facebook and/or Twitter. That's it. If you've read the book, you could
go that extra mile and share your review online, but that is your call. Your
real value is as a personal advocate, an active supporter of the indie author in
word carries a lot of weight. Statistics show that the number-one reason people
choose to read a book is because of recommendations from a friend or family
member. Do you see the power you have? Now, it isn't your responsibility to
support an indie author's dream, and I don't want you to feel like it is an
obligation. I just want you to be aware of how easily your support can be
for reading, and may you all find your way to achieving your own hopes and
dreams with a little help from family and friends.
Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.
I certainly endorse what Richard has to say here. Some of you have told me that you read and enjoyed my book. Have you told your other friends?
It has been quite a while since I posted on my blog, but I am here again.
For about six months this past year I had a "job" writing history for the about.com.twentieth century blog that Jennifer Rosenberg publishes.
When Jennifer asked if anyone wanted to write pieces for her, I applied and she accepted my application. From April through August, I researched famous men of the century and wrote up their lives for her to put on her blog.
Now I am working on my second novel. It is tentatively called NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG, GO WRONG.
Had a lovely adventure on Thursday morning, March 20, 2014 with the Daytime Book Group of the Faculty and Spouse Club of Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia.
Lee in Iowa and Becky in Georgia
And I didn't even have to leave home to do it.
My daughter, Becky Delecuona has been active in the group for many years and when my novel Too Much Left Unsaid came out last summer she suggested that it would be fun to have me come down and meet with her book club. When the group scheduled my book for March (and especially this March when winter has just gone crazy all over the country) we considered whether a drive from Pella, Iowa, to August, Georgia would be a good idea. NOT.
So we began making alternative plans. Jacqui Allison was scheduled to host the group and she was a most gracious hostess. I missed the treats, but enjoyed the company via Skype.
Jacqui set up a Skype connection and AppleTV so that pictures from her Mac computer could be shown on her TV screen.
Barb Ashton, my housemate and technology guru, got me set up on Skype in our dining room.
Jacqui and I checked out the connections a week in advance.
Tuesday morning, we had a lovely chat about writing, history, my book, and life in the mid-twentieth century.
Book Clubbers of the world. This is your opportunity to invite a not-quite-world-famous author (ME) to come to your meeting and chat about books. I even have a set of questions about my book that I would gladly send to you. You might even see me post a few questions on this blog.
A few days ago I blogged about
"Bloody Sunday," when civil rights advocates began an aborted march
from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to petition for voting rights that were
being denied to African American citizens.On that day, April 7, 1965, police and state troopers attacked the
marchers, and three days later three white ministers were beaten by mobs and
one, James Reeb of Boston died of his injuries.
I used the events in my novel Too Much Left Unsaid when I told of fictional
minister Aaron Connors' decision to be part of the third attempt to
make the march on March 21.
Aaron told his congregation that he
would go down to Alabama to take part in the march and invited anyone
interested to accompany him. He went alone, but met there his nephew Eddie's
best friend, Dar Jones, a black law student from Howard Law School.
is another section from my book:
"On Thursday, March 25, 25,000
people reached the State Capitol Building where Dr. King delivered an address.
He spoke of "a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with
its conscience...."He concluded by promising, "I know you are asking
today, How long will it take? I come to say to you this afternoon however
difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long."
Twenty-five thousand people do not
disperse in a hurry. Some marched back along the way they had come or away in
various directions satisfied with the outcome. Others hitched rides or rode in
cars provided by volunteers like Viola Liuzzo back to Selma. Dar and Aaron
returned to the campus at the St. Jude Educational Institute, a private Roman
Catholic high school on the outskirts of Montgomery where they had camped on
the final evening of the march. Aaron found a pay phone to call Joan [his wife]
reporting their elation, but also their bone-tired fatigue. He told her he
would start back in the morning.
Later on, while Aaron sat listening to
his portable radio, Dar called Parkersville to talk to his sister, Sophie.
"You should've been there, Soph! People were screaming and laughing and
dancing in the street. Dr. King speaks the hopes of our generation. Last night
Eddie's Uncle Aaron and I camped at this Catholic church and school and Harry
Belafonte and Sammy Davis Jr. sang for us. Peter, Paul and Mary, and Frankie
Laine, and Tony Bennett. Today we finished the march and listened to Dr. King
speak. After the beatings and arrests and strain, this actually did feel like
we shall overcome at last."
Sophie was watching on television some
of the footage of the day's events as she talked to her brother. "Dar!
Wait! there's a news flash coming on now. Oh, my God! Listen! Here's what they
are saying: Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit mother of five who was assisting with the
march, was murdered by four members of the Ku Klux Klan. More news to come..."
"Viola? Murdered? No-oo! That's
awful! I met her, Soph! She was at the hospitality desk in Brown Chapel. We
talked together. She was at the first aid station yesterday and today. She
drove back and forth taking people where they needed to be. Eddie's Uncle Aaron
knew her. Are you sure what you heard?"
"More news to come is all they are
saying now. Mama's frantic that you're down there. Do you think it was worth
Dar left the question unanswered as he
turned around and looked at Aaron. Aaron sat with his head in his hand, having
just heard the same news from the radio.
"Got to go, Soph. Tell Mama I'm
safe. I'll get back to school as soon as I can. I'll call from DC."
Aaron looked up when Dar tapped his
shoulder. Tears streamed down his face. Dar scowled, too angry to be sad yet.
"Is it worth it, Rev. Connors? No
one seemed to care when only black people died. Now we have people's attention,
Aaron drew a deep breath. "I can't
answer your question, Dar. I wish I could. What I would want is for the nation
to be upset when anybody is killed. If God is carrying his purpose out, it
seems too many lives are being wasted in the process."
There is more to Dar and Aaron's story. I
wrote in my novel. But the historical background includes these facts:
·Viola Liuzzo was a real person, a mother
from Detroit, who helped with the march and was murdered on that night. ·Martin Luther King's words are quoted from the
speech he gave on March 25 at Montgomery. ·Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter, Paul
and Mary, Frankie Laine, and Tony Bennett actually did perform at the
campground of the St. Jude Catholic
High School outside Montgomery on Wednesday night. The events of that month in Alabama did catch the attention of people around the nation and a voting rights bill was passed by Congress in the summer of 1965.
March 7, 1965, forty-nine years ago yesterday, events came together in Selma,
Alabama, which passed into history as "Bloody Sunday." I wrote about this
event and the weeks that followed in my novel Too Much Left Unsaid. Here is the beginning of my chapter,
featuring the son of my protagonist, Mattie Connors.
Aaron Connors, pastor of White Grove
Presbyterian Church, believed in God and country, in equal rights for all
citizens, regardless of skin color, to vote and live and work where they
pleased. Aaron's congregation, on the other hand, didn't always appreciate his
challenging words from the pulpit. From time to time the Board of Elders,
ordained to oversee the spiritual life of the congregation, listened to
complaints about Aaron's activities in promoting Negro rights.
was aware of the unrest in his congregation, but he still felt it was his
responsibility to preach and act as he believed God wanted. He paid special
attention to what was happening in Selma, Alabama. On Sunday, March 7, 1965,
John Lewis, chairman of SNCC, and Hosea Williams from the Southern Christian
Leadership Council scheduled a peaceful march from Selma to the state capital
in Montgomery to petition for protection of blacks who were being attacked when
they tried to register to vote. Governor George Wallace vowed to halt the
marchers. He called out the state troopers to stop them.
The evening of the march, Aaron
and his wife Joan sat in their manse watching network television. What was
shown on television shocked them. The marchers moved peacefully until Alabama
state troopers assaulted them with flailing billy clubs, stampeding horses,
tear gas, and bull whips. People fell and were dragged along, turning the
peaceful protest bloody. By the end of the night sixteen marchers were
Immediately after "Bloody Sunday," as
it became known, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., along with SNCC and the SCLC,
issued a call to action. They asked clergy and laypeople from across the
country to come to Selma for a second attempt to march to Montgomery on
Tuesday, March 9. Many hundreds of people accepted the call.
Aaron did not answer that call,
though he participated in a supporting rally in Detroit. The 2,500 marchers who
did assemble were prevented by a court order from marching out of town, but Dr.
King and Rev. Lewis held a short prayer session and led the group as far as the
Edmund Pettus Bridge, They then turned the marchers back in obedience to the
Many of the younger marchers felt cheated at
not being able to complete the march. White racists, disturbed seeing the
northerners butting into their way of life, felt just as frustrated. Many
fights broke out. Later that evening three white ministers were beaten, and
one, James Reeb from Boston, died from his injuries two days later.
When Aaron heard the news of a
fellow minister's death he wept. "It's unacceptable for me to watch from
this far away," he muttered. With repeated coverage of the violence on his
television screen, Aaron paced the floor, alternately angry and sorrowful.
"Next time," he vowed when the news reported Rev. Reeb's murder,
"I will be there."
In a follow-up blog this month I
will continue both the historical report and my imaginary take on how this
particular civil rights struggle affected my fictional characters.
With Valentines Day so close, I want to share a short bit from my novel Too Much Left Unsaid.
Kathy Hummel had met sailor Josh Connors only ten days before but at the end of their first date Josh sat down to write her a letter. Their second date, Sunday, Dacember 7, 1941, was interrupted by news of a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into WWII.
This is the letter and Kathy's reaction to it when she received it the next day:
December 8, Kathy received Josh’s letter in the afternoon mail. She laughed at
his review of every part of their Saturday date.
Dear Kathy, my dear Katherina,
I love you.
Marry me. Think about the fun we had today and
multiply that by a lifetime of joy we can have together. I love you. Marry me.
You are my angel and when we settle down to our lives together
it will be heaven. I know you think I have said “You’re my angel” to other
girls before you but you really are sent from Heaven and I know it! I love you. Marry me.
What a foolish man. Proposing
marriage after our first date, Kathy
I’ve never been so happy as I am at this moment. I loved the
cold beach walk when we could see clear across Lake Michigan. I could see into
our future life together—life in Parkersville. I love you. Marry me.
I'm on leave starting December 28 and plan a trip home. You
must come with me and meet Ron and Mattie and the boys and my folks. We’ll tell
them we are engaged and making plans for our wedding. I love you. Marry me.
The world is dark now. Hitler’s Germany is itching for a
fight, but I don’t think we’ll be in it. I
love you. Marry me. I’ll take you to see the world when that conflict is
over. We will have a wonderful life together. I love you. Marry me.
Remember the "Our Town." Parkersville will be our
town if you only say yes and come there with me. I love you. Marry me.
I know we are older. That just means we are wiser and we have
to make up for the years we wasted not knowing each other. I love you. Marry me.
She began to cry as she read over
and over, "I love you. Marry me." How
could he even think such a wild impossible thing. I know what my life will be
and it doesn't include marrying a sailor.
I'll be seeing you in church tomorrow, though you won't have
this letter yet. We’ll go to church and then ride out to Oak Park. I’ve heard
that the Frank Lloyd Wright houses are everywhere there. We can dream of our
house—plan the family we will raise. I
love you. Marry me.
How about two boys and two girls? We can start as soon as we
tie the knot. I love you. Marry me.
And by the way, I love
you. Marry me.
all, all my love, Josh.
P. S. I love you. Marry me.
As she finished Josh's letter,
her reserve faltered. Marrying Josh would
never work for me; it is too crazy--yet, he was so considerate, and he so wunderbar
Josh's words stirred the feelings
she had long kept under tight control. Could he be a Prince Charming coming
into her life--one she never expected to meet? To her great surprise,
unexpectedly, amazingly, Josh's letter sealed her fate. There was no way to
even respond to him until Mrs. Alcott called her to the phone. “It’s that
sailor again,” she said. “Should I be worried?”
“Not at all,” Kathy told her. “I’m
going to marry him.”
Romance is in the air in February. Hope your day is filled with love and joy.
Too Much Left Unsaid can be purchased in eBook or paperback format from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or through independent bookstores.
Our class secretary Pat Young, from the College of Wooster class of 1956, posted a nice comment about me and my new novel, Too Much Left Unsaid, in the Winter 2014 Wooster Magazine.
Pat directed those interested in learning more about the book to come to this page, so I thought I would greet you here.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to send me a note.
Some friends who have already read my book have told me they enjoyed it and asked how to spread the word. I have an author profile on Goodreads and on Amazon, so you would be welcome to post there any kind things (or even critical things) you have to say about this fiction set in mid-twentieth century.
You can download the eBook version on any of several platforms or you can order the paperback from Barnes and Noble or from Amazon. I'd even be glad to mail you a copy from Pella, Iowa, signed by me if you want to contact me. But don't stop there. Ask your library and your local bookstore to order a copy. Tell your friends that you "knew me when."
I've enjoyed writing this book and am working on the next one. Hope the years since graduation have been fulfilling for you.