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#2 Best Seller!

Big Horn Sheep lamb laying on cliff

Well, for a moment it was! It has since slipped to #3 according to the actual page for that category.

Your Super Powers are working!

See how much of a Super Power you have? I’ve had only a handful of people take me up on the FREE ebook so far and yet that handful was enough to have the book rank #2 in a category.

There is still one more day to pick up your free ebook copy of Riley’s Adventures with Granny in the Mountains – Old Fort Point and Big Horn Sheep. To sweeten the deal, I’ve put a free ebook promotion for 24 hours for Book 1 – Pyramid Mountain and Mule Deer.

TWO free ebooks! August 26 ONLY

I have to say, I was surprised and happy to see the #2 ranking. So close to #1 ! So I figured I would offer both of the books at $0.00 for one day to see if we can’t hit that #1 spot.

I know you are busy and perhaps didn’t see my first post or maybe you just stumbled on my blog.

That’s ok. You still have one more day to get BOTH of the ebooks for free. All I am asking in exchange is for an honest review. I appreciate that time is precious and I know that I am competing for your valuable attention with things like…oh let me see…family responsibilities, work, downtime, vacations etc.

Time is precious

Every little bit helps! Whether it is a quick share, a share with an introduction, purchasing the ebooks and/or writing reviews. My first line of support are my friends and family. My next adventure will be learning and using the paid promotions available through various websites.

Thank you so much! Wish me luck!

Thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you for your support. It really does mean the world to me. I was going to say wish me luck, but I think I know how lucky I already am with the amazing support I have from all of you!

New content coming up!

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of asking of late, so I promise – my next post will have some nature content. Fact is, I’ve been out and about with my camera and I have some really cute Big Horn Sheep lamb photos and video to share. Prepare for some super cuteness!

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Book 2 Now Available – Free!

I am excited to share the good news with you!

After all of the prepping, planning, learning, tweaking, learning some more and having my files rejected more times that I would like to remember, the second book in the Riley’s Adventures series is now available on Amazon!

Even better is that, before I go in for an all-out marketing launch, I am keeping it low key for THREE DAYS ONLY and offering the ebook for FREE.

Why would one do such a silly thing, you ask?

No, I’m not soft in the brain and yes, I do want to actually sell my books to generate income. To boil down the complex courses, blogs, help text and webinars that I’ve been taking over the past year or so – in order to become noticed, it is important to build a repertoire of reviews.

The more reviews, the better AND a “verified review” makes the Amazon algorithms notice me more, which in turn, puts my books in front of more potential buyers.

When you purchase it, even for zero dollars and post a review, you are now a verified reviewer. It doesn’t provide as much leverage as a regular sale, but it’s an excellent start for ‘lil ole me as an independent publisher.

How you can make a difference

You have power. I would even call it Super Powers. Just find my book here on Amazon, purchase the ebook for FREE and write an honest review. Of course, I am hoping that you will love it so much that you want to share it with everyone that you think would also love it. And before you ask, YES you can even share it while it is free for purchase!

My books are available on Amazon in several countries, so if you have friends anywhere in the world, be sure to share with them, too!

Riley’s Adventures with Granny in the Mountains – Old Fort Point and Big Horn Sheep is the second book in my series. It will be available in ebook format for FREE on August 24, 25 and 26 only.

What about the paperback?

Of course the paperback version is available for purchase. My hope is that you will love the ebook so much that you will want to purchase it for your own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc.

UK Storyteller Contest

KDP has this amazing opportunity for authors to enter the UK Storyteller contest simply by including them in my keywords. The Kindle Storyteller Award is a £20,000 literary prize recognizing outstanding writing. It is open to writers publishing in English in any genre, who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing. Readers play a significant role in selecting the winner, helped by a panel of judges including various book industry experts. Thus your Super Powers could really make a difference here.

Coming soon…

Book 3 is well under way in the hands of my dear friend, Jennifer Ottaway, as she brings to life our next adventure: Pyramid Lake – Coyotes and Wolves. I expect to have it published in late October – just in time for your Holiday shopping.

Thank you!

I can’t thank you enough for all of your support. Do you have questions, comments or suggestions? What are you looking forward to in the next books?

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How Do You Review?

Reviews are gold!

I used to delete the requests for reviews from my inbox, honestly, I still often do, but more so with a “sorry, bud, I just don’t have time” perspective. However, since putting in months of education and research into publishing my books, I’ve definitely put more effort into writing reviews for products or services that I purchase.

Reviews are the backbone of anyone that is selling a product or service in our modern world. I rarely purchase anything without checking out the overall rating and reviews. I won’t even consider anything less than a 4 point something star rating and will go straight for the top ranked items first.

On occasion, I’ll receive a sub-par product and before posting a poor review, I will contact the seller for resolution. This is usually the most effective route. Most sellers honestly do want their customers to be happy with their product so that they tell all their friends and family and they sell more.

I never thought too much about the content of my reviews in the past and just wrote whatever quick thought I could put down to get it done. I’ve learned the best or most helpful reviews include some thoughtful details. I found recent reviews quite helpful in ordering clothing because a handful of them actually included photos and their height, weight and usual size to compare the fit.

Enjoying the Journey

I’m very close to launching the second book in the series for Riley’s Adventures with Granny in the Mountains – Old Fort Point and Big Horn Sheep. If you’ve been following me you already know it’s been quite the process to say the least. I’m close. I had hoped to have the paperback live already but I keep getting different tweaks that KDP wants me to make before they will publish so I’m working my way through.

When I was deciding on a photo for this post, I thought of a rainbow and the proverbial pot of gold and searched my photos. This was taken on September 5, 2016. I had only been in Jasper a few weeks and was checking out the attractions on my day off. It was overcast and raining lightly all morning. I was watching the weather, hoping it would clear up. I wandered in and out of some of the stores, getting to know the town and even went through an interesting little wildlife museum. But the rain wasn’t clearing. I decided to go up the Skytram anyway. About halfway up, it started snowing heavily. I was only wearing a light jacket, so I bought a cozy sweater from the gift shop and hiked to the summit. Even though I couldn’t see the valley below, the white abyss was eerily beautiful.

I enjoyed the journey for what it was and when I got back to the upper station, soaked from the wet snow, the sun came out and a beautiful rainbow emerged.

This is how I feel about the journey to publish my children’s book series and soon, my first fiction novel. I love the journey. It’s not exactly what I had expected, but wonderful nonetheless.

I appreciate that I have so many supporters that have followed me thus far and I hope to continue to earn that support as I share many more adventures!

Call to Action – How you can help!

I will be publishing the paperback very soon. The ebook is now live and available on Kindle. If you have a Kindle unlimited membership, you can read it for free now! If not, no problem – I will be putting it on a promo for $0 as soon as I’ve gotten the paperback file approved.

Your reviews are the most valuable thing to me as an artist trying to become established in a very competitive market. Zero cost, aside from your time to read and review. My hope is that you will love the book, rave to everyone that you think would also love it, and purchase paperback copies for your children or to give as gifts!

Here are some points to consider for writing a helpful review:

  • State the name of the book in your write-up – keywords are important for rankings
  • Tell a bit about the book – a one line synopsis of what it was about
  • What did you particularly like about it
  • Was there something you hoped you would see or questions for the author
  • If you feel the product is sub-par – contact the seller/author directly to give them a chance to make it right before publishing a poor review.
  • Who would enjoy the book?
  • Would you purchase it again?

Do you have any points to add? How do you review? I’d love to hear your comments!

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I’ve had plenty of time to work with my photos – though it never seems to be enough – and one of the things that makes me shake my head in wonder is Riley’s progression in the span of less than a year! Walking, talking, counting, reciting letters, objects, colours, sounds. He’s getting taller and his personality is developing. He has a sense of humour, he has preferences, an intense curiosity about the world, fearlessness, and an all out joyfulness that is contagious when you interact with him!

With all of the changes that he’s experienced, he’s adapted to learn and grow and enjoy the world around him.

How is it that he becomes the teacher?

With the delays in my ability to get my books out into the world in a world that is avoiding physical interactions, I’ve adapted as well.

I am excited to further bring my stories to life in the virtual world with help from my own personal Emmy-award winning cinematographer. Oh the perks of living with such a talented and creative mind!!

Andrew is painstakingly adding sound and animation to my reading of the book while blinking back tears because he loves it so much. He is also a perfectionist. If you listen carefully to the ambiance throughout the reading, you may recognize that all sounds are authentic including the rushing river, trickling stream, wildlife and wind. I can attest to this because we were up in the wee hours of the morning for a couple of days to find locations where there would be a lack of traffic, trains, and humans and an abundance of nature sounds.

Though many would not blink if the generic sound of a blue jay played in the background, it is like nails on a chalkboard to an excellent birder like Andrew who knows that blue jays do not visit us here in Jasper.

I would love to hear how many birds and other wildlife sounds you can identify when you listen to the story!

Stay tuned for the launch of Riley’s Adventures with Granny in the Mountains YouTube Channel – coming very soon!! You can subscribe to my blog using the link below for updates if you like.

In the meantime, Jennifer Ottaway is well into the illustrations for the second installment in the series: Old Fort Point and Big Horn Sheep. I will keep you posted on the progress for this exciting new adventure with Riley and Granny in the Mountains!

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Predictably Unpredictable

I had hoped to have a printed copy of my debut installment of Riley’s Adventures with Granny in the Mountains for Riley’s 2nd birthday, however circumstances and timing did not allow for that to happen. Fortunately I had a backup plan and a backup to the backup plan, so I did not stress in the least. Well, maybe a little, but I was able to share the book with him and my family using a modified digital version for now.

The plans were set for a soft launch at the Habitat for the Arts and Jasper Municipal Library’s Book Lover’s Weekend event, however National measures that are being taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus have led to cancellations and postponements of most public gatherings.

It’s all good. I am very happy to support the measures being taken by avoiding public contact. It’s the responsible thing to do. I’ve actually said this prior to the virus spreading from its origin weeks ago – they should shut down all movement from the epicenter and contain the spread of the virus before it becomes global. Be prepared.

Of course such measures have great impact on people physically, socially and financially and no-one wanted to do that if it weren’t absolutely necessary. I am one who always remains calm in the midst of chaos or fear of the unknown. It is never helpful to become panicky and irrational.

We are all waiting, with our lives virtually on hold, to see how this pandemic will alter our realities. The fact is, the world as we know it has forever changed. We have shed a layer of innocence and there is no going back.

There’s no doubt in my mind that we will overcome, learn, evolve and grow from this experience. We will settle into a new “normal”, hopefully with better habits and a better plan for responding to the inevitable next virus that challenges our resilience as a species.

In the meantime, let’s appreciate the things that bring us joy, laughter, adventure, optimism and a little escape from the constant bombardment and sensationalism of the news coverage on every channel. What is your favourite book to get lost in?