Thank you for stopping by The Golden Pen Review, a blog dedicated to promoting authors, giving marketing tips, and publishing insight.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

10 Ways to Promote Your Book- David S. Grant

10 Ways to Promote Your Book

1.       Facebook.  Create a page for your book.  It’s THE international social networking tool.  If you haven’t heard of it, there’s a movie.
2.       Create a website (www.bloodthenewred.com).  Facebook has replaced the website for many, but I still like to have a portal for reviews, excerpts, and where to purchase information in one place.  Plus if you add lots of keywords your site will come up in searches.
3.       Post excerpts wherever possible.  There are several blogs and sites (some free, some with a fee); Smashwords.com and AuthorsDen.com is a good place to start.
4.       Contribute guest blogs and write columns for other websites.  If you get a byline even better!  If not, no worries use you social networking tools to promote your blogs/columns.  Having readers read your work and gauge your writing style, and generates interest in your book.
5.       Submit press releases.  Don’t just include a synopsis, but make the content interesting, lots of great keywords for searching.  Also, use blurbs from reviews when possible.
6.       Do a book tour or signing or virtual book tour.  Be sure to include alcohol, this makes people happy.  Of course my personal experience is that alcohol doesn’t work with virtual tours, too many next day regrets!
7.       Forget what your mamma told you: Give it away!  I mean other stories and books.  It is rare today for someone to purchase a book without reading other stories by an author.  Write a short story, then include a link to your book at the end.
8.       Twitter(@david_s_grant). Good hash tags = #writing #fiction.  Bad hash tags = #mybookisawesome #winning
9.       Leave your virtual business card.  Comment on blogs and article and leave your website, twitter, etc… 
10.   Guest blog (via a virtual tour) and shamelessly promote your book.

Author BIO:
David S. Grant is the author of ten books including “Corporate Porn”, “Bleach|Blackout”, “Hollywood Ending”, and “Rock Stars”.  His latest novel, “Blood: The New Red”, is now available.  David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City.  For more information go to http://www.davidsgrant.com  Twitter: @david_s_grant 

Becoming aware of the forces that hold us or release us-Peter Taylor and Jermy Szteiter

In the mid-1980s I was teaching science in its social context as a new faculty member at a non-traditional undergraduate college. I began an ecology course with a brief review of our place in space before I asked students to map their geographical positions and origins. One student, "K," did not come back to earth with the rest of us, but remained off in her own thoughts. Some minutes later she raised her hand: "I always knew the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, but do you mean to say..." K paused, then continued. "I'd never thought about the sun not being the center of the universe." From K's tone, it was clear that she was not simply rehearsing a new piece of knowledge. She was also observing that she had not thought about the issue but now she saw as obvious that the universe was not sun-centered. What other retrospectively obvious questions had she not been asking? What other reconceptualizations might follow? These questions pointed her along the path I hoped my students would take as critical thinkers-grappling with issues they had not been aware they faced, generating questions beyond those I had presented, becoming open to reconceptualization, and accepting that their teacher should not be at the center of their learning.

Since childhood star gazing in rural Australia I had known about the sun's marginal place in the Milky Way so I felt some superiority when K admitted that she had not realized this. To my chagrin, I subsequently discovered my own retrospectively obvious question about our place in space. I was reading Sally Ride's 1986 book on the space shuttle to my child, when I came to her description of astronauts regaining weight as they descended. The idea conveyed was that weightlessness was a result of distance from the earth. Yet the space shuttle orbits only 300 kilometers up where the earth's gravity is still 90% of its strength down on the surface. So I started thinking about how to explain weightlessness correctly in a children's book. Try this-think of swinging an object around on the end of a piece of string. To make it go faster, you have to pull harder; if you do not hold on tight, the object flies off into the neighbor's yard. Astronauts travel around the earth fast-at 7.5 kilometers per second. They feel weightless because all of the earth's gravitational attraction on them goes to keep them from flying off into space. The earth's pull on the astronauts is like your pulling on the string-but, while you may let go, gravity never stops acting. When the space shuttle slows down on its return to earth, less of gravity's force goes to keeping the astronauts circling the earth and what is left over is experienced as weight regained.

After rehearsing this explanation a few times, another kind of weightlessness occurred to me. The sun's gravitational attraction is keeping me circling around it-at 30 kilometers/second I figured out. On the earth I feel weightless with respect to the sun's gravity, but that force is acting nevertheless. I had never thought about this; I had considered myself a passenger on the earth, which the sun's gravity was keeping in orbit around it. I then realized that I am also zooming around the Milky Way galaxy, not as a passenger in the solar system, which the galaxy's gravitational attraction was keeping in orbit around it, but because the galaxy's gravity is keeping me orbiting around its center. It made me feel woozy to think of the sun and the rest of the galaxy "paying attention to me" all the time, keeping me circling at enormous speed through space-at over 200 kilometers/second, I soon learned. I wondered if every molecule in the galaxy was attracting every molecule of my body every moment. Was there some other way to think about gravity? Perhaps a further radical reconceptualization awaited me, possibly involving wooziness-inducing Einsteinian concepts such as curved space-time.

In recent years I have started courses and workshops on critical thinking by relating the reconceptualizations that occurred to K and myself. I usually follow the story with an activity. My goal is to have people respond to story and bring insights to the surface about how people can generate questions about issues they were not aware they faced. The activity begins, therefore, with a freewriting exercise in which each of us writes for ten minutes starting from this lead off: "When I entertain the idea that I haven't been asking some 'obvious' questions that might have led to radical reconceptualizations, the thoughts/ feelings/ experiences that come to mind include..." After this writing, we pair up and describe situations in which we "saw something in a fresh way that made us wonder why we previously accepted what we had." We then list on the board short phrases capturing what made the "re-seeing" possible. The factors mentioned differ from one time to the next, but they always represent a diverse mix of mental, emotional, situational, and relational items, e.g, "relaxed frame of mind," "annoyed with this culture," "forgetting," "using a different vocabulary," and so on. I conclude the activity by simply noting the challenge, which is common to many other questions in education, of acknowledging and mobilizing the diversity inherent in any group. Recently, however, now that I have lists from several occasions, I have started to wonder whether the factors could be synthesized into general directions. Would future audiences gain from my cutting through the diversity and presenting such a synthesis-or does this run against the grain of facilitating thinking about re-seeing?

The Authors:

Peter Taylor:
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he directs the Graduate Program in Critical and Creative Thinking and the undergraduate Program on Science, Technology and
Values. His research and writing links innovation in teaching and interdisciplinary collaboration with studies of the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context. This combination is evident in his 2005 book, Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (University of Chicago Press).

Jeremy Szteiter:
Jeremy Szteiter is a 2009 graduate of the Critical and Creative Thinking program and now serves as the Program's Assistant Coordinator. His work has centered around community-based and adult
education and has involved managing, developing, and teaching programs to lifelong learners, with an emphasis on a learning process that involves the teaching of others what has been learned and
supporting the growth of individuals to become teachers of what they know.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five Dangers of Facebook - Author Diane Griffin

Diane Griffin:
Diane Griffin is the founder and President of Security First & Associates. Ms. Griffin works with a variety of clients throughout the Security industry. Ms. Griffin has also worked in a wide array of fields to include training, facilitation, communications, human resources and industrial security management and Ms. Griffin is the current Chapter Chair for National Classification Management Society (NCMS), Chapter 26.
Diane's expertise in the security field and her experience as an author of books on Security Clearances helped her make a natural transition to security issues for teens and their parents.

According to Ms. Griffin, Social Media is the way to communicate with teenagers today. Parents have a lot to learn when it comes to  the behaviors of their children online.   To help parents and teachers understand today's teenager, Diane Griffin has written several books on the topic of Social Media and your teens.  She also has a helpful blog that gives good advice about the subject and valuable resources for parents
and teens on the subject of internet and phone safety on her site http://www.protectyourteens.com.  Take advantage of a security expert to help you manage this important process in your child's life.

5 Dangers of Facebook You Might Not Have Considered

Sure, you're aware that online predators scour Facebook looking for teens they can exploit. But have you considered that there are other dangers lurking in the mega popular social networking site that have nothing to do with luring your child into a park somewhere, or following them to a local restaurant? Here are five things you also need to take into account as you set ground rules for your teen's use of online sites such as Facebook.

1. Admission to college. If your teen goes online and posts lewd or crude photos of herself or others, undisciplined profanity, racist remarks or other taboo comments, it could hinder her chances of getting into her college of choice. While not all admissions offices take the time to search online for an applicant's profiles, many do. And those who do may very well refuse admission to students who don't present a mature or socially acceptable persona online.

2. Employment opportunities. In addition to colleges and grad schools who are concerned about the image a teen presents online, it's becoming much more common for prospective employers to view an applicant's, or employee's, online profiles. You've probably heard the stories of people being fired because of derogatory remarks posted on Facebook. It happens, as does never being hired in the first place for the same reason.

3. Personal relationships. While your teen may think it's all fun and games to go online and call their grandmother an old fogey, if someone lets it slip to Grandma what's been said, it can cause relationship problems your teen probably never imagined, not to mention the undue hurt and embarrassment from such actions. Teens don't always think of the consequences of what they do, but it's important that you remind them of possible issues that could arise from what they post online.

4. Legal complications. Today, it's common practice for an attorney to search online to find anything they can find on someone involved in a law suit. If your teen has to go to court for any reason, it's highly possible that any negative photos, videos or statements they've posted online, or a friend has posted of them, could come back to haunt them when they stand before the judge.

5. Serious charges. In addition to minor complications relating to lighter offenses, serious charges could be raised for such issues as threatening a classmate, or posting sexually suggestive photos online. Some teens have been charged with child pornography for posting or sending nude photos of themselves to their friends, and if that happens after an 18th birthday, it could result in your teen being labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life.

While Facebook and other social networking sites can be a fun online hangout, the potential dangers need to be addressed. The best precaution is to sit down and talk to your child about these dangers and help ensure he or she avoids these issues for their own safety, and for your peace of mind.

This is the first book in a series to help parents protect their teens from the dangers of technology and the Internet. Not only does the book describe the dangers and legal implications of texting, but also gives tools and information how to dialog with teens about the dangers of texting. This is a very practical book. Also, there is a project to go with the book on Diane's website that is based on best practices in education to help teens understand the dangers and how to deal with them. This project will include lesson plans for teachers and parents who home school their teens based on national educational standards and learning targets. There is a video book review on the Amazon purchase page for Safe Text.  Click on the link below to learn more about the book and view the review.

 This is the second book in a series of books to help parents protect their teens from the dangers of the Internet, texting, and social media sites. This book is about Facebook. Not only does it spell out the dangers of Facebook for teens but also the positives. It describes the problems and actually tells parents what to do about them. The book gives links to a good amount of useful resources.

Have a teen planning to go to college? This is the book for you. It is a book to help parents and teens use Social Media to help the student get into college.  It describes the traps that might have an adverse effect on admittance into a college.  The most popular social media sites are described as well as some newer sites that a becoming more popular. This is a must have book if you want to help your teen capture an advantage in being accepted to the college of their choice. There is a video book review on the Amazon purchase page for Social  Media Secrets. Click on the link below to learn more about the book and view the review.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why Book Covers are So Important.- Cesar

Cesar has a very experienced background in the spiritual world. He was brought up in a Christian family, but branched out from that base as he got older, seeking answers about the world around him, and the spiritual world around him. In his mid-twenties dramatic events occurred in his life which challenged his very existence, but he learned from these experienced and most of learned that how that life is not just in our own hands. Now Cesar is a firm believer that everyone has their own path to walk in life, and part of that walk is all about the choices that you make. Some people choose a good life and some a wicked life, but most of us live the life in the middle, influenced by the world around us and our own upbringing, Cesar understands that life is simply not black and white.

Why book covers are so important
& some helpful tips
To be honest, the book cover is so important to draw-in attention and sales.  For this book I have used an image that I took whilst on a road trip around Ireland.  I think it is an amazing photo and I have always wanted to use it for something since I took it.  At the time I was on a road trip where I was contemplating a lot of things about my life, I had a big decision to make at the time and I decided to go on this massive road trip to give myself a lot of time to think.

I guess this is why I needed up using the image in the end, as this book is about contemplation and inspiration.  But you don't need to be an expert photographer to design your own covers.  I found a site where you can get loads of images royalty free, and you can use them for your book if you ask for permission from the owner of the image.  The owners tend to be very helpful and glad to see their work being used for book covers, here is the link;

But the image is not the only thing that appears on the cover, you also need the actual design such as the title text and so on.  Many self-publishing companies have their own online design programs, and I do like the one on Createspace, as they are simple and straight forward, yet if you don't like their designs, you can upload your own files or just the front image.  So basically its a mix between set-designs and what you can do yourself.   But if this is not good for you, one can always look for a cover designer, I would advise to look on authorsden.com in their services marketplace, or perhaps approach your local college and ask if there are any art students willing to work with you.

 This collection of 250 poems was written by Cesar during his late teens, and each piece of writing was originally intended to remain as a personal record of his journey with God. Yet the collection at some point became much more than mere thoughts about the world and God; they developed into poems, lyrics and poetry on a full range of subjects.

Then the writing stopped and the pages of thought and devotion were lost to time, gaining nothing but dust in an attic. That is where Cesar found them thirteen years later, and he chose to publish them as a testament to the influences which once surrounded his life, and as a dedication to God for his faithfulness.

The book is also dotted with hand drawn sketches which adds an additional level to the book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Launch Out Into the Deep-Guest Blog

Most kids grow up with big dreams that seem very possible to attain.  They often stare off into space and think about that day when those hopes and dreams will come to fruition.  Along the way, as some kids grow, limitations, doubts, insecurities and a myriad of other issues start to slow down those dreams.  Although there is still hope, the light starts to fade as an uncertain future seemingly awaits the child that once had a faith that could move many mountains.  The unsure child grows into an adult that is full of discouragement, lack of faith, depression and many times, bitterness that brews waiting to lash out at the world.  It takes hope, faith and trust in God for a person who doubts to look beyond their limitations and see their circumstances through the eyes of faith.

The Fight Toward Destiny

Courage is needed to take steps
toward your destiny.
It would be nice if smooth paths
were laid out right there in front of me.
Aspirations for tomorrow sometimes
 fade away like the wind.
Maybe the prize was so close and
discouragement kept me from the end.
Fear creeps in and takes away
just like a thief in the night.
Will we ever know if that dream
will shine like stars in the sky so bright?
The hope for smooth roads
went away halfway through the trip.
Fear started raising so many
doubts and faith did take a dip.
The strong will hold on every
 day and fight with all their might
when fear comes around to steal
 those dreams in the middle of the night.

Goodbye Fear

You can’t keep me in the same environment like you did for so many years.
I replace everything you tried to give me; you see, I’m still standing here.
Your words were really convincing as they pierced my very being.
You told me to stop a long time ago and do away with those foolish dreams.
Your eviction notice is on the table so pack your bags and close the door.
I’m changing the locks when you leave. Fear, you’re not welcome here anymore.

Selah:  "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life
(Proverbs 13:12).

Words of the Wise:  “Even if things don't unfold the way you expected, don't be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.” ― Daisaku Ikeda

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Message Review

I came to this time through a time hole and I'm told I'm always in the present. That's what the Yar Sirray said. She also said the time holes were destroying the Yars' lives, that their world was plagued by them. They escaped and came here. People in this time on Earth accept the Yars as companions, but I don't trust them. It's something about their flat black eyes and sandy, scaly skin. Their answers to my questions are half-truths
I can tell. The people in this time have the message, so they say. It makes them happy, peaceful, all similar. They don't know how it started. All they know is how it's transmitted - through bodily fluids. A simple kiss can do it. Azja seems different to me. He's not as confident, not as limited. I want to go home, away from the people and Yars with the message. I want to go back into the past, to my time in the twentieth century. I think I found someone who can help me, Leatherwood, but he seems to have plans of his own. Azja's not the only one who stands out from the others. Something about the message doesn't seem right, but I can't figure out what it is. I need to leave this world before I give in to my desire for Azja. I can never so much as kiss him or I will be infected too, and I don't want that. Not right now, not with what I am discovering about the Yars.

Golden Pen:
Let me start of by saying my imagination is very vivid so the thought of the Yars creeped me out, but they along with the main character are what kept me going. I simply had to know what the heck these creatures were up too. I say creatures because it's debatable if they are aliens or not.

Jen is right to be suspicious, after all she is transported into the Twilight Zone of a future. A future so peaceful it would drive the normality out of anyone. In fact it reminded me of Judge Dred with Sylvester Stallone. The only thing missing was, "Be Well". However this peace came at a huge price and was spread through a kiss.

Lisa Rusczyk did an amazing job describing the city and transports. I could see myself there standing and watching as the people went about their daily business. I must commend her for this because many times I don't get a clear image of places described in sci-fi novels.

4 Gold Stars

Golden Pen

P.S. I would recommend this novel to anyone. You don't have to enjoy sci-fi to love this one.