Overcoming Anxiety Showcased at Virtual Bookcase

With seven days to go until the official launch of Overcoming Anxiety, we begin the launch party with a showcase at the Virtual Book Case. Here is the link; Click here to visit the Virtual Bookcase.

The Virtual Bookcase showcases select books that the owner, Glynis Smye deems worthwhile. She is very personable and lives in the UK, at the seaside town of Dovercourt-Harwhich. She is author of the Ripper Romance Series and while she tends to favor historical fiction, especially from the Victorian era, she has some interests in Mind, Body and Sprit topics and was gracious to include a showcase for Overcoming Anxiety.

OA200x300

 

Advertisements

Kindle Million Club: Janet Evanovich Joins the Elite Group

We learned recently that Janet Evanovich has broken through selling more than one million Kindle copies of her books. This distinction was noted on Galleycat today. Other traditional authors who have sold that many kindle eBooks include Nora Roberts, Stieg Larsen, Lee Child, James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and Charlaine Harris, and Katheryn Stocket, author of The Help.

Ms. Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum Novel Smokin Seventeen has been on the best-selling Kindle list for over 100 days.

These are the mainstream authors, but for 99 cents each independent author John Locke’s million books sold have earned him a comfortable cushion that leaves many mid list and even top-selling authors in awe.

Current trends suggest that close to 15% of all Americans own an eBook reader like the Kindle.  With Harry Potter riding the eBook broomstick, the die seems to be cast, especially for the next generation of readers.

I for one welcome the changes, and think it may be a good way for psychologists to get useful self-help and other information to the public, and health care professionals everywhere should see the value as a preventative intervention.

More importantly, we are still in the first wave of innovation. With advances in the technology, the Kindle eBooks should become much more interactive, and include links to important web supplements, and begin to blur the entertainment boundaries to include music, games, and social media components.

 

5 Star Review: Nutcase by Charlotte Hughes

As a psychologist I love the opportunity to read fiction that involves psychology. Nutcase is a romantic suspense by Charlotte Hughes. It features Kate Holly, a clinical psychologist from Atlanta. While it has a plot that centers on a serial arsonist, the book is really an ensemble story with a host of interesting and fun characters, and its central premise, that the life of a psychologist is enough to drive anyone nuts, rings true.

The story begins with Kate and her ex-husband in couples therapy. In the first book in the series (this book stands alone fine) Kate and her husband Jay “accdentally” go through with a divorce that Kate intended to call off. But what with a nitroglycerin explosion of her office and other madness and mahem from the first book, the divorce unfolded without protest. Now they are trying to get back together, but her Jay complains that she is using sex to avoid talking.

And there is a lot that kate is keeping to herself. Like that she is being evicted from her office because of the explosision and may have to move to share an office with a psychiatrist ex-boyfriend, who still wants her back. Her dog gets depressed from an empty nest syndrome. Her aunt (who is her mother’s twin and co-owner of a Junk art business) has run off with a con man who is also her patient. Her eccentric receptionist is dressing like a nurse as a dress rehearsal for nursing school, and one of her patients thinks she is Marie Osmand.

These problems and dozens of other unusual predicaments challenge Kate, who just happens to have a mild obsessive compulsive disorder (Monk light) and serve to entertain while the arson plot unfolds.

This is the second book in this series by Ms. Hughes, and in this series, one can see that she perfected the art of writing a series when she co-authored the FULL series with Janet Evanovich. This book is most like her ensemble romantic comedy A NEW ATTITUDE in that it’s also about the support and love you get from friends and family, when the going gets tough; it is also just as uplifting. There are several therapy scenes in the book, and as a psychologist I thought that they often (while obviously magnified for fictional effect)
not only true to form but also often potentially helpful to the casual reader who has not had the benefit of therapy. I especially enjoyed the vignette where she helps a young gang member sort things out.

I give this book my top rating, despite its relatively striaghtforward suspense plot. It still a novel you cant put down, and what it lacks in dramatic tension it more than makes up for in humor and inspiration. This is a book you will keep on your shelves, so your friends will just have to get their own copy. Charlotte Hughes writes incredibly realistic dialogue, makes her characters always 3 dimensional, and most important makes them so likable and interesting that you are sorry the book ends. The perfect setup for a series that will be a great success.

In Memory Of John Updike

John Updike passed away, and with his passing one of the great writers of contemporary American life is gone. Updike wrote prolifically, about a novel a year and much more, and his contributions to The New Yorker  alone were astounding. Rumour has it that his death created vacancies for 5 people on the staff there,  who would be needed just to fill the deadspace left by his absence.

Updike was able to make everyday moments seem intense, almost magical and he was best when he was giving voice to the drama in these events as they unfold in small towns accross America. But he also had the ability to write about sexuality in a very effective and frank way and his own graciousness was legendary.  He also was not afraid to take chances, writing about subjects like witches and terrorists. He will be missed but his influence will grow stronger as his legacy will surely grow posthumously. John, your magic was something special.

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , ,

Five Best Sites For Your Book Promotion On The Web

(Social Media for Book Promotion), Part II

Social networking sites grew by 60+ million users in the last 6 month period. There are dozens of very popular places an author could join, but unless you really want to miss your deadline and annoy your publisher, it is better to prioritize. To that end I recommend the following strategy. For each of these sites, when you set up an account, be sure to put a link to your website, a picture of your upcoming book, and a link to your blog, if you have one.

1. Start accounts on Facebook and Myspace, if you do not yet have them. Myspace is the third ranked website in the USA, only Yahoo and Google are more often visited, so swallow any of your reservations and begin there. One in fifty people worldwide have a Facebook account, can you afford not to? Later (or now, if you are already on top of these) you can turn your attention to sites that are specialized like librarything.com, or mycrimespace. In later articles I will go into more depth on all the sites discussed in this article.

2. Twitter. It’s quick and easy, and some day you may just get addicted. But you have to have it, to stay in rapid touch with fans, peers and others when you get your networking activities rolling. Get an account, and when you have your profile ready and a password, then go to summize and twellow. Twellow has a directory; you need to enter some basic information so others can find you.

3. Digg and Stumbleupon are your next stops. Digg is a social news site (later you will want to join at least one other such site) and Stumbleupon is similar, but its has  a focus on saving and sharing bookmarks of the sites you like the most.

OK, well there are a lot more to join, but for now its time to get familiar with the terrain. In the next series of articles, I will begin with a discussion of networking; helping you determine how to make friends and fans feel a part of it all.

After that, we will explore blogs and how writing blogs, or commenting in other author’s blogs, can help you become a welcome and contributing member of the growing internet community that will, if you are a good author, help your book rise to the surface and get noticed across the internet.

Then we will offer a series of “how to” articles that will take you a little more into what you don’t yet know about each of the sites mentioned in this article.

Finally, a series of more advanced offerings will discuss blog book tours, podcasting, how to find and make use of a niche in your social media efforts, a survey of book review sites, and ideas about where to go next.

Other Links in this Series:
Part I: Overview of Social Media: New Opportunities for Book Promotion
Part III: Friends or Fans? Social Networking Basics for Authors

Overview of Social Media: New Opportunities for Book Promotion

While many authors by now have discovered MySpace, most writers still glaze over when they hear about Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg, Facebook, De.li.cio.us. YouTube and Linked In.  In a series of articles over the next few months, I hope to put the reader on more friendly terms with this strange but wonderful new world.

 

Today I am going to explain why authors need to learn to use social media to promote their books and themselves. In later posts, we will spend a little time getting acquainted with some of these tools, and to introduce a few of the major opportunities for networking that can help you launch the next best seller.

 

Be realistic. Even with a top notch publicist pitching it, your best book ever, and a hot and catchy title, you still have virtually no chance of getting your book featured on Oprah’s Book of the Month.  The number of newspapers and magazines that still review  books has been scaled back dramatically–  for example Sara Pearce, book editor at the Cincinnati Enquirer has left and is not being replaced. Traditional means of promoting your book to the media have been evaporating for some time. But all is not lost, a new champion is riding to the rescue, on the white horse known as social media.

 

Social media is a phrase that describes interactive social communities like MySpace and Facebook.  It also includes blogs (at least when they are actively networking, and social news sites like Digg and Stumbleupon, that ideally allow the average web surfer to decide (literally vote) who on the internet gets the headlines and all the traffic. And it consists of strange forms of communication like  YouTube, or Twitter, an instant messaging mini-blogging tool. All of these and more have converged to create a whole new media face that is rapidly replacing the traditional print, TV, and radio media stallworts. Social media is faster, more creative, more personal, more connected, and typically much more knowledgeable than old fashioned TV, magazines, and newpapers.

 

To authors who hope to promote their  books, with social media it is much easier to rise to the top, if you are funny, talented or interesting.  If your book is good, or your voice one that grabs the ear, you have a better chance of being “found” because your peers- your old and new readers, your fellow authors, book store owners, librarians and the next door neighbor all will have a say in this new media. Because people are getting connected, the reach of web sites, blogs,  and various social media is now limitted only by how much interest your book can stir.

 

In coming articles in this series I will describe more fully the various ways an energetic and talented author can promote a book on the internet with social media, and I will point out some of the pitfalls to avoid. I will also help you, if you are new to all this, to decide which doors you want to open first. Next in the series?

Part II: Five Best Tools For Your Book Promotion on the Web
Part III: Friends or Fans Social Networking Basics for Authors

What Looks Like Crazy- A Psychological Comedy by Charlotte Hughes

As a clinical psychologist and author i wanted to give a shout out to Charlotte Hughes for her new Book What Looks Like Crazy. I may well write a review later, but I just wanted to introduce it for now. Charlotte is a New York Times best selling author and well known for her talents with romance and comedy. She also has written some mysteries, and is co-author with Janet Evanovich on a series.

This is Charlotte’s first series, however, and in addition to all the above mentioned talents she brings a sophistcated understanding and wit to the patients in this book, not to mention the foibles of the lead character Psychologist Kate Holly.  Because the storyline centers on a gaggle of crazy pateints, in her blog now seems to mainly deal with funny people and crazy ideas.

She has a second book coming out in the series in February, I hope I get around to reviewing this one soon.

Initial post, musings and introduction

As a psychologist, teacher, publicist, author and ranked online poker player, I have a little to say about a lot of things. I intend to use this blog as a way of musing and commenting and will post to categories for books and authors, psychology, publicity/promotion topics, poker and other areas by category but many of my posts will be across several areas and so more general, or on topics far affield such as politics.

None of my comments are offered in a professional sense. I am not writing as a psychologist with prescriptions for improved mental functioing based on research in my field nor am I diagnosing George Bush (thankfully never met him) when I say he seems to be on a dry drunk..Nor am I working as a publicist if I praise or pan a book or a teacher as I share information I stumble accross. So let me be clear, this is not a professional website. I do not spend much money on it, and it reflects my personal and not my professional veiwpoint on wide ranging issues, While me expertise in poker, pschology, and writing/promoting invariably  effect who I am and what I believe, I will charge for my professional opinions. These are free for what its worth, although I still maintain the copyright claim. You have my advance permission to quote anything I say, so long as you provide a link back from it to your website, or if you print it, a referenece to the URL (https://authorfriendly.wordpress.com).