Hello, Dear Readers:
BookGorilla brings free or deeply discounted books to readers via an online subscription service.
As an independent author and the publisher of a small press, I am always, eternally, and forever looking for ways to market and promote my books. It’s an essential part of the job. I do marketing and promotion tasks weekly. Should do them daily.
I can write and publish the most awesomely delicious books, but if readers don’t know about those books, they won’t buy them.
Over the years, I’ve tried various methods for making people aware of my books. I’ve paid to have book trailers made. Those help; everyone likes to watch a short, well-made video that teases and intrigues.
I regularly submit my books to book review blogs, because those sites can spread the word about a book all across the worldwide web. In fact, I constantly troll the internet for book review sites that would be a good fit for my books.
I blog regularly, and you, dear reader, are tasting the fruit of that effort at this very moment. I write pieces for the Huffington Post. I create podcasts for an iTunes podcast channel. I’ve recently started a BlogTalkRadio show, “Independent Artists & Thinkers.”
The way it works is that readers subscribe to BookGorilla. When they sign up, they choose their personal reading preferences from a detailed list of genres and sub-genres. Then, every day, subscribers receive an email tailored specifically to their individual preferences. This email lists top quality ebooks that are, for a limited time, offered either free or at a juicy discount.
Kindle Nation Daily is more like a news service for all things kindle, and it dovetails with BookGorilla to offer bargains to readers.
The KND feature looked gorgeous:
Beautiful, yes? Beneath the 5 Star Praise box was the excerpt, so readers could get a taste of the novel–so they would be tempted to buy it.
The same day, Broken was included in the BookGorilla email blast:
Nice, right? But much more than nice. It’s effective. Immediately, book sales increased. Amazon ratings started rising. After a while, I took screenshots to capture those lovely high rankings:
It was extremely satisfying to watch the ratings rise! I didn’t capture the ascent at its peak, because I was busy through the day.
To be clear, the ratings rose because the book was selling and selling!
review of FALLEN
FALLEN and the entire AFTER TRILOGY will be re-released this fall with new covers, to coincide with the release of FAR SHORE, the 3rd book.
Meantime, MYBOOKADDICTIONREVIEWS posted a RAVE REVIEW of FALLEN. It’s such a pleasure to read praise like this: “Love this book, love these characters, love the plot, the action, the conflict, love… well just about everything about this story. The dynamics between Arthur and Emma are fantastic.” Makes my day as an author!!
Day 10: Letter to a friend
So, friend: I hope it pleases you to hear, if you can be pleased with me, that I continue to enjoy my time here. Two fun meetings, and a close encounter of the strange kind.
At Lynn’s birthday brunch, British painter Richard B. spoke to me about his art, which ranges from oils to watercolors to lithographs; he even took a brief detour into sculpting. Today we met at The Select and spoke about the possibility of a book, to be published by Parvati Press.
You know I’m ambitious. I want to grow the Press: quality fiction and art books being two genres whose authors I’d love to add. Richard is a lovely, thoughtful man who’s been making art for decades. He has something to say about art and life and love–you know, the good stuff. He was taken aback by my forthrightness when I told him he had to write a book for my Press, and then I outlined for him how to do it.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been bossed around so thoroughly,” he said, in a genteel tone of amazement.
“You’re getting the benefit of my reinventing the wheel repeatedly,” I told him. “Try it; it works.”
“You Americans,” he said, shaking his head. “In France, we say this about you. We say, ‘Why?’ But you Americans say, ‘Why not?'” He shook his head again. “What do you think is the benefit of all that self confidence of yours?”
“I’m not self-confident about everything,” I pointed out. “Just what I’ve spent years learning, and blood, sweat, and tears making my own. Then, yes, it has benefits. It makes me willing to take risks. In America we say, ‘You can’t hit the ball if you don’t swing the bat.’ So why not?”
But I don’t think you like my willingness to take risks, do you? My willingness to follow the energy? I can’t help but wonder if that’s what put you in such a regrettably snarky mood, before I left. Regrettable for me, anyway. You seem quite comfortable with your sadism.
Anyway, of course there is no trip anywhere without encountering some handsome friend of the Wayward Countess. She had sent ahead an introduction, and I met Gaël, a sweet young soul–a fellow Leo–with the cool head of an accountant and the poignant depth of a mystic. Our conversation covered topics from real estate products in Paris offered by HSBC to the paranormal. Interestingly, Richard was also a Leo. I guess today was my day for encounters with other lions. The pride was on the move….
It would be a trifecta if Francois is a Leo. He certainly isn’t what I expected, when he made himself known to me at the Fontaine St. Michel. But more about that tomorrow.
My friend Lori, who is gorgeous and brilliant and inspiring and open-hearted in a way that glows and draws people to her rather inescapably, keeps a heart-felt blog. I love her writing because it’s poignant and soulful and expressive. It flows through the reader. It moves the reader to openness.
Beautiful Launch of APOLLO by Sabin Howard
When I was 15, I developed asthma. This was not as much fun as it sounds. The cramping in my chest, the inability to get air in, the creeping suffocation–it was terrifying.
My mother took me to a doctor who prescribed a drug called Quibron. I think that’s the way it was spelled. I took the medication and hated it. It made my insides race. I endured a jagged, speeded-up, jittery sensation that made me quiver with discomfort.
I did not want to take the medication. But I knew that if I had asthma, I had to take it. So I made an executive decision: No more asthma.
My body listened. The asthma vanished.
This event changed me. It was a profound lesson in the power of the mind-body connection, a lesson which stayed with me.
After graduate school, I started meditating. In meditation, I experienced some of the phenomena that meditators throughout the millennia have experienced and that many, many sages, Patanjali among them, have described. In a spirit of inquiry, I began to research numinous phenomena. Inevitably, the issue of healing and the mind-body connection arose.
It was John Pierrakos’ seminal book CORE ENERGETICS: Developing the Capacity to Love and Heal that made the first radical impact. Pierrakos was a medical doctor and a student of Wilhelm Reich. He had the educational and intellectual heft to convince my Yale- and Columbia-trained brain that what I saw and felt was seen and felt by other people, too. That what I perceived was real and could be useful.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of flakes in the “New Age” who have the intellectual grounding of a doorknob. They do nothing to validate and clarify the body of work that has arisen through the ages.
But Dr. Pierrakos and his mentor and colleague Wilhelm Reich were serious academics. Pierrakos earned my respect from the opening of CORE ENERGETICS:
Three main theses are woven together in the therapeutic approach that I am developing, which I call core energetics. The first is that the human person is a psychosomatic unity. The second is that the source of healing lies within the self, not with an outside agency, whether a physician, God, or the powers of the cosmos. The third is that all of existence forms a unity that moves toward creative evolution, both of the whole and of the countless components.
This opening to Chapter 1 of his book struck me decades ago when I first read it as it still strikes me today, as one of the most remarkable and succinct depictions of the existential human condition ever written.
Research into Wilhelm Reich, Pierrakos’ teacher, convinced me that Reich was on to something real and valid, too. He was right: The way energy moves through the body has everything to do with the indivisible psychological and physical health of the person. The healthy human organism does have a healthy orgasm. He was talking about sex, and he advocated the female orgasm, so what can be expected except the the US government would lock him up?
Do we think that a single one of the buttoned-up stuffed shirts who stuck him in prison could properly get a woman off? Better to jail Reich than to consider their own sexual inadequacy.
In my opinion, our current culture still can’t deal with true female sexuality or with actual female orgasm. It’s hip to see “sluttishness” as a kind of a good thing, a rebellious sexy quality. But it still misses the point of a woman owning her sexuality, and coming to orgasm, without being labelled.
The world still isn’t ready for Reich’s work.
But maybe it’s ready for Daskalos. Along my journey of learning everything I can about the mind-body connection and numinous phenomena, I picked up Kyriacos Markides’ book THE MAGUS OF STROVOLOS: The Extraordinary World of a Spiritual Healer.
Daskalos was a healer on Cyprus, and his descriptions of the astral plane, and of elementals, as conveyed through Markides, is quite similar to what I’ve experienced. When I was a healer in practice, Daskalos appeared a few times in my healing room, when I had my hands on a client. His work was miraculous, his instruction sharp and even peremptory, but clear. I found him to be quite the patriarchal Greek man, which is why I think the world may be almost ready to hear his words. Patriarchy clings to itself.
Daskalos came in his spirit form, because he had passed over. I do wonder about openly admitting that since I’ve stopped copping to what I actually perceive in the world.
Markides’ book quotes Daskalos as saying, “All illnesses are the result of psychonoetic conditions” and “the state of our health is after all the product of our thoughts and emotions,” a statement my own life and work has seen to be true, with the caveat that it all plays out against a larger background of karma, and karma is almost always partly obscured from us. Daskalos too talks about karma.
What it boils down to, for me, is that illness and health are psychosomatic. This doesn’t mean that it’s imaginary, it means that it roots itself in the mind, specifically, in a dynamic field of mind-body-karma. It also doesn’t mean that illness or health can necessarily be willed, though we’ve all seen people who have willed a disease into existence, and I got lucky when I dispensed with asthma. It does mean that we can examine our thoughts, feelings, and past actions carefully when we get sick, and wonder what we can rectify without judgment, and how we can return to love and peace.