Monday, January 31, 2011

State of Successes/Magicblox

So after a little discussion with Heather and seeing her comment, I decided to try one of my books with Magicblox. It hasn't been posted yet, but it will be soon. I've posted their colorful, fun box on my sidebar, so hope you all will check out the site and maybe even do your first month free for reading the books. Have fun. Mrs. E :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Magicblox, kindle and publicists/promoting

What do they have in common? Well, Charlie Barrett, publicist, and Pump Up Your Book Promotion had a chat party tonight with a kindle being given away as a prize to join the chat and comment. There were about 8 or 10 of us in the chat, since it was the first one PUYBP has done and the email announcements were put out late. I had a Sisters in Crime meeting this evening and when I came home and checked my emails, I decided to join the chat. It was definitely a good chat, albeit small, but that made it much easier to keep track of the threads being posted. I was only picking on everyone when I first came in and made my first comment about letting me win the kindle - but guess who won the Kindle - Moi! - and it's the version with the wi-fi and yes I'm very excited about it.

Magicblox is a new website, Your Kid's Digital Library, where books for kids are being promoted. I'm thinking of adding my books to the list, although right now it will be only books 4 and 5, with books 6 and forward coming available as soon as they are published, until the first three go out of contract and are republished. Check out the site and let me know what you think? Do you think my books have a place as an ebook? - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Retro Review on this blog

I'm pretty sure this review showed up previously but I got an email notification that it was posted again. For those interested in seeing what the Kindle blog report has to say, stop by here and leave a comment. I've made note in my comment that my website addy has changed and will double check that I've corrected it on my side bar. It is a good review of the blog. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PW and the CPSIA

There is an article in Publisher's Weekly today about the CPSIA as the 1-year stay is upon us and the CPSC hasn't reached a definite conclusion about third party testing on children's products, especially the book industry. When the CPSIA first came out, there were a lot of folks upset and then it was proven over and over many times that the lead content, if there was even any, in books was way below the amount that the CPSIA stated was an acceptable level. The ppm amount was lowered from what it originally had been to 600 ppm by August 2010 and then was supposed to go down a second time to no more than 300 ppm. I don't remember the exact timeframe the amount was to drop in, nonetheless, the testing for books is harmful to the books and there is no standard for testing - the components of the whole, the whole unit, et cetera. It's a big mess. Book testing can be costly and if you are caught not testing the books as they are printed, you could be fined up to a large amount of money (I'm thinking the CPSIA states $10,000 per offence) and possibly even some jail time. I also know that from previous mentions of the testing that it can run into the thousands of dollars and I definitely don't have thousands of dollars to prove my books are lead-free. So for now, I will continue publishing the books in the series but if it comes down being required to test at an ungodly amount, you may see the books listed as for a 12 and up age group. Don't fret if you are a true follower of my series; if this is the case in order for me to keep on publishing the series, the books will remain the same and for the same age group as they already are - the 9 to 12 group.

For the article and a timeline from PW, check out my other blog and make a statement. There are plenty of places to make your voices heard. Don't let the CPSIA ruin the children's industry any more. Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

State of Heights/State of Successes

And vice versa. I placed an order for 10 copies of each back at the beginning of the month. I received them the end of the week last week; should have had them earlier than I did but we had the snowstorm hit us and no mail was getting to us until after Wednesday. I opened the box while at the post office and didn't even think about checking the books carefully while there. Friday I went by the bookstore and left a copy of both books there, dropped a copy of State of Heights at the library, and went to the bank and gave my friend her copy of State of Heights. This morning I was in the car getting the remaining copies ready to send to Heather and to Mr. Hughes. I signed a copy of State of Successes to the Welcome Center (they have a nice little display of my books), picked up a copy of State of Heights to sign to Mr. Hughes and had to do a double take. I opened the book and the title page said State of Successes. I flipped through the book and the first part was State of Successes and the second part of the book was State of Heights. I got worried. Checked all the copies and two of each title came that way. Now I have to go check the copies I left at the bookstore and the library and with my friend to make sure their copies are correct. I think it is funny that about half way through they switched up but it also isn't funny at the same time.

I did call createspace folks and Shea was very helpful. He answered all my questions I had about other things besides trying to get the books corrected. Kudos to him for being helpful. He also said he enjoyed geography and trivia things like what my books are so I have a feeling he will be reading my titles as they get printed - lol. At least they are helpful and willing to correct their mistake without too much hassle to me.

I did ask about the upgrade and how I would know when State of Successes was available to bookstores, et cetera and one thing I found out was that because the books are print on demand and I've opted for bookstores as well as libraries/educational facilities and createspace direct distribution (this is basially for indie bookstores - they get their discount) there is a no-return policy. Woohooo!!!! - that means my books are available in the stores but they will not be on the shelves unless I do a book signing at any of the bigger stores. This is huge as I don't have to worry about losing money on returns. Yay for Okay - off to check copies of books more later - Mrs. E :)

State of Nature finished

I did it. I completed the story today, so now it's to my editor to be fixed up and then Heather will get it to do her thing. We may actually have book #6 available before the end of February. Heather could possibly have copies of #6 for the Tucson Festival of Books the middle of March. She definitely have State of Successes, State of Heights, and Train of Clues to take with her. I have more events coming in March too, so be sure to check the website for where all we will be. Mrs. E :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Writing Challenge (MOGO7000) weekly update #1


01/10/2011 - day 1 of writing challenge - worked on State of Nature, added 1563 words, only about 12 or 14 clue interactions to fill in. Well on my way to meeting the 7000 word monthly goal.

01/15/2011 - I had all intentions of writing more this week but work got in the way. I didn't write today on the story even though I knew I should have since I need to finish the story.

01/17/2011 - I didn't have any work this afternoon when I got online as expected so opened State of Nature and wrote for a while. I did almost 1100 words in the first couple of hours I (did some other things in there as well) and then worked a bit, fixed dinner, watched some TV and then worked a little bit more. I did leave the story opened all the time I was working as a reminder that I needed to write some more on it. I got a grand total of 1270 words in today.

In the two times I wrote in the week since taking the challenge, I have posted a grand total of 2833 words, so over 1/3 of the words for the monthly goal. I will post again next week my totals. I am hoping to finish State of Nature tomorrow as I only have seven jobs right now, knowing that there will be hand clinic work coming in sometime tomorrow and I'll be visiting with Mr. Hughes' class in the middle of the day. I'm on clue #18 but I've also added some to clue #25 or #24 and maybe a little bit to another clue between #18 and #27, so it shouldn't be too many more words to finish it. The goal is to finish State of Nature and then start working on State of Acceleration and have that completed by the end of the month and that should put me well over the 7000 words for the month. More next week. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Promoting books: At what cost?

Every author out there knows that promoting is a necessity in order to get your name out there and your books a household name. So how much does it really cost to promote books?

My friend Vonda Skelton, author of the Bitsy mystery series, did 60 events last year, but mind you those are paying events - she is a phenomenal speaker and she makes a decent living doing all these speaking events. I can only hope to be there one day. On the other hand, where I am right now, paying to be a vendor at events and hoping to break even from book sales comes at a price.

I have a possible 12 to 14 events scheduled (ones I'm pretty sure I can or will do again this year as I've already done them in previous years, plus a few new ones), and the cost of each has me wondering how I'm going to pull it off. Some are less expensive but when you factor in travel, gas, hotel costs, food cost, et cetera, it starts adding up.

My first event in February, is basically a freebie for vendors but I have to travel so I have to get a hotel room for one night, plus dinner Friday night and gas, so not a very expensive trip.

Trips to Pennsylvania (St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschool Conference), Florida (HERI Homeschool Curriculum Fair), Georgia (Savannah Children's Book Festival and the CGCHE Homeschool Curriculum Fair), Tennessee (CTSHE Homeschool Curriculum Fair), and North Carolina (Mint Hill Sunday in the Park, Love to Learn Homeschool Conference, Blue Ridge Book festival and hopefully the Celebration of Books again) do end up costing more even if one is comped as a workshop presenter in different ways. Most of these trips on the bare necessities are going to run about $500 to $750 per event (this would be the vendor fee, if I do a workshop fee, which I will do my workshop as much as possible or as much as I can afford to do; gas, food, hotels, and paying my helpers). I have yet to sell anywhere close to that amount at any book signing or event, although eventually I would love to do some sales in the thousands; I'd even take several hundred at any one given event not that I keep that many books on hand but if the sales are there, it isn't difficult to get books ordered and ship to the person purchasing the books.

So I'm kind of wondering, how much do you as an author put into promoting your books? How do you pick which events to do? How do you fund those events if you are a fairly new author and don't have a sponsor for your books or a large publisher who pays advances that can be used for travel and promoting?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Edible Train of Clues anyone?

So Heather was messing around making some cookies today and apparently she's been thinking of my covers because she came up with this: . Doesn't it just look delicious? All that's missing is the magnifying glasses and question marks and there we have an edible cover - lol.

She took this with her cell phone and posted on her facebook page. I got tagged and have been chatting with her about it. I can do wrapped train cookies at a book signing - That would be fun. Anyway - enjoy - Yum, Yum. - Mrs. E :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writing Challenge

My friend Vonda Skelton, author of the Bitsy mystery series, has put a writing challenge on her blog to meet a goal of 7000 words a month for the year. I left a comment to sign up for the challenge. The thought behind that is that maybe in a year or six months, I will actually be ahead on my stories. So my goal is to finish #6 and #7 this month. I started back on State of Nature this morning since work is low until later today and wrote for about an hour and already accomplished 1100 plus words. 7000 words here I come - lol. I will keep you all posted here how far I make it each month, perhaps on a weekly basis. Stay tuned to see what I accomplish by the end of the week - Mrs. E :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lesson Pathways

A while back, I started following the Lesson Pathways blog and over this past week, I connected with one of the website's posters, Crystal because she had posted a fun writing posting and I left some comments on her regular blog as well as the Lesson Pathways blog. We had a couple of email exchanges and my website is now listed as a resource for homeschoolers on their website. They do have info for teachers as well as homeschoolers, so I think everyone should check out the blog and website. I keep saying it's about the connections and just never know when the right ones will show up. See you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

State of Acceleration cover - #7 in the series

Does it seem weird to be announcing the cover for book #7 now? Not really, some authors get a cover and may not get published up to almost a year from receiving the cover, so State of Acceleration will be published hopefully in April. I am steadily working on State of Nature to have it ready for Heather to do her thing with the layout and all so that hopefully that will show up next month, probably the latter part. Without further ado, the cover for State of Acceleration - Let me know what you think of the cover, no guessing the state right now - lol. I love the way the font looks like it is moving for the title "Acceleration" - Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated - Mrs. E :) & the JGDS

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Tactic

Everyone knows I follow Mr. Hughes' blog, but whodathunk that one comment from a teacher on his blog would have led to so many other wonderful teacher blogs. From that one comment, I have found several dozen teachers' blogs to follow or to subscribe to via email. I have left comments on several of them as well, hoping that by leaving my signature line (see below) that I'll garner some new followers and hopefully some new virtual school visits, or if they are close enough, real school visits and book signings.

It only takes one right connection to make the big leap to getting your name out there. Encouraging all authors who are interested in doing school visits to start following teacher blogs, work on virtual school visits and then build to the next level. Who knows where the adventure will take you.

Hoefully 2011 is the year the JGDS series will take off - fingers crossed and hoping to make the right connection somewhere.

Here is what my signature looks like:

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

Where will the adventure take you next?

Do you think it will work? I can only hope.

I would still like to see more followers of this blog, as I am still under the 50 mark, so anyone who knows someone who may be interested in a social studies curriculum supplement, please pass the word and ask them to follow my blog. I will do a drawing when I have reached 100 followers for either a copy of "Train of Clues" or something else. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

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