Award Winning #WLM Authors

2014 seems to have been a great year for the authors of the Facebook group We Love Memoirs.  Many of us won awards throughout the year (although technically, I’m not sure if I won an “award” yet.. the email I received said “You’ve won an award”, but I am only a finalist for the 2015 awards.  To me, that’s not winning but I’ve included myself on the list anyway).  Regardless, here are some awesome memoirs you should check out in 2015!

Susan Joyce
The Lullaby Illusion: A Journey of Awakening
GOLD – 2014 Readers Favorite – Non-Fiction Travel
Honorable Mention – 2015 Stargazer Literary Prizes

Victoria Twead
Two Old Fools on a Camel: From Spain to Bahrain and back again
#14 New York Times Best Seller List

Linda Kovic-Skow
French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley
BRONZE – 2014 Readers Favorite – Non-Fiction Travel

Julie Freed
*NAKED*: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina
BRONZE – 2014 Readers Favorite – Memoir
FINALIST – USA Best Books (in 2 categories)
Memoir Staff Pick – Parnassus Books

Steven Whitacre
My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood
FINALIST – 2015 Stargazer Literary Prizes

Gisela Hausmann
Naked Determination: 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear
GOLD – 2014 Readers Favorite – Non-Fiction – Motivational

Dale Baker
More Than I Could Ever Know: How I Survived Caregiving
BRONZE – 2014 Living Now Book Awards – Caregiving
FINALIST – 2014 USA Best Book Awards – Health: Death & Dying

Sonia Marsh
Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of gutsy Living on a Tropical Island
GOLD – 2014 Readers Favorite – Memoirs

Charlotte Smith
Paw Prints in Oman
#3 New York Times Best Seller List (Animals)

Cherie Magnus
The Church of Tango
GOLD – Wishing Shelf Awards – Adult Non-Fiction
*First Chapter also selected to be included in the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Reboot Your Life anthology

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Stargazer Literary Prizes

A week or so ago I figured I would take the plunge and enter another contest. Rather than a general memoir category though, this particular contest is for “life changing books” so I thought maybe My Father’s Prostitute would do ok. Well as it turns out, we were selected for the short list for the 2015 awards in the Mind, Body and Spirit category! It looks like they pick a few finalists each month for any of the 6 categories they have, and so far My Father’s Prostitute is the only finalist in its category. Which doesn’t mean much since there are still 10 months to go 😛

Check this space in 2015 and I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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Moving forward

So we didn’t win the cover wars contest.  That’s ok – perhaps I’ll try again in another month or so. But in the meantime, I have a couple of other guest spots coming up on various blogs, AND I have been asked to help moderate the Facebook Group We Love Memoirs.  If you enjoy reading different types of memoirs, please do check us out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/welovememoirs/ – while geared towards the readers, there are (as of the other day) 90 authors that participate as well, with a different author featured every Sunday, and a different reader gets the spotlight every Monday!  It’s been called “the friendliest place on Facebook” but I don’t agree – I think it’s quite possibly the friendliest place on the Internet!  Check us out!

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Cover Wars!

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OK, so one of the things I do as an author to try and get my book in front of people is sign up for sites that seem like they will give a decent return for the money.  There are a TON of sites out there that promise you the moon in exchange for your hard earned marketing dollars, but which ones are any good?  It seems to be hit or miss really.  However, over at authorshout.com I purchased their site submission package the other day.  I’ll be honest and tell you I haven’t seen any sales as a result, but I did unexpectedly get entered into their weekly Cover Wars.  How it works is they offer up 5 book covers and people vote for their favorite (you can vote once per day – hint hint).  The book with the most votes by Sunday at 9PM (not sure of the time zone) gets featured as “Book of the Week”.  What does that mean?  I have no idea!  What I do know is that My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood has been selected as one of those 5 books for this week, and I would really love it if you would take the time to visit http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/ and click on my cover. 

Thanks a million!

-Steve

Goodbye Nook

Word is that the Nook is on its way out, having been soundly beaten by Amazons Kindle. Here ( http://dealnews.com/features/Ways-to-Protect-Your-eBook-Library-If-NOOK-Readers-Are-Canned-/747147.html) is an article on how to protect your eBook library if you own a Nook, but I want to take it one step further.  If you currently own a Nook version of My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood and choose to move to another platform, I will happily send you either an E-Pub or Kindle version for your new reader.  All you have to do is mail a picture of the book on your Nook to nookbook@stevew.cotse.net along with your preference of E-Pub or .mobi file.  It’s that simple.  I don’t think consumers should be penalized for the failure of a company.  Unless you own a betamax.. then you should have seen that coming 🙂

Who has PTSD?

Although the most frequently thought of group when thinking about PTSD, it’s not just those who have been in combat that suffer from it.  PTSD following rape and industrial accidents is just as likely, yet isn’t recognized as such.

Most people think of flashbacks and a general “jumpiness” when they think of PTSD symptoms.  But those symptoms can also include (among other things):

  • Anger and irritability
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame
  • Substance abuse
  • Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Feeling alienated and alone
  • Physical aches and pains

Having PTSD sucks.  I know because I suffered from it for years.  It’s hard to live a “normal” life when you’re stuck in those patterns, and it’s hard to get help when people don’t consider the fact that you may have PTSD even if you haven’t been in combat.  It happens.  It’s real.  PTSD isn’t just for our military.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519105812.htm

snake-oil book marketing sites abound

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When I first sat down to write My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood, I didn’t put much thought into what would happen after I published it.  After all, I felt it was a good story, with a positive message, so it should just sell itself, right?  Wrong.  Writing it was the easy part.  Getting the word out that it exists has been much more difficult.  Many articles have already been written about how hard it is to get your book noticed among the thousands of books that are released each week, and they are correct. It IS incredibly hard to get your book in front of people and have it stand out.  Unfortunately, I have noticed there seem to be an awful lot of websites that take advantage of a new authors desperation to get their book noticed and offer packages that promise great results, at a cost of course.  I have heard of some authors who have had great results with promotional deals from sites like Bookbub (I haven’t run a promotion with them yet – too costly for me), but not all authors have the same experience.  But those are established sites with a proven track record, and for every one of those, there are a half-dozen sites that just seem shady to me.  For some amount of $$, they will tweet your book, or Facebook your book, or send out an email to their bazillion subscribers.

Perhaps I’m just the cynical type, but I have yet to hear of these sites having great success.  Perhaps I’m just not talking to the right people, and I don’t doubt that some of those sites can have a positive impact on sales, but to me the ‘post publishing’ marketing world seems rife with with snake-oil sites and pie-in-the-sky promises that prey on the desperate author.

If you have used any sites like this, I would love to hear about your experiences.  Did they work for you?  Was it a disappointing waste of money and time?