Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Why Writing Beats Riding

You may want to get out and go for a ride. See the world. Dip your toes in the nice cool water. Last night, I went to a concert: Earth, Wind & Fire. You can probably guess my age.

Getting out is good. In order to write right, a writer needs to spend some time out of doors, riding if you will, to other places. A writer needs to see things.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

But if that's all the writer did - soak in the sun - he/she would not be a writer at all. A dreamer, yes. A discoverer of beauty - for sure. But a writer, no.

Writing beats riding for all of the right reasons.

It allows you to travel without leaving your chair.

You can go through writing therapy without having to pay a penny to a therapist.

You can choose your own schedule to write. A rider (at least in my book, and while riding a bike for example) usually travels when the weather is good and preferably during the day.

Writers love what they do even if they don't make a lot of money. They continue to write even though the money to be made is slow and the comments to improve are always in front of them. Perhaps riding is the same in this regard. Put out some money and get your wheels. 

But what happens when you grow old?

This brings me to the next reason that writing beats riding. One can still write when one is old. In fact, usually, writers write better with age. Getting out there whether it be by car, bike, or boat, is much harder as the age creeps on. And some things may just have to be shelved forever.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Writing is like a best friend that grows old with you and sticks by your side until your last breath. Even if your sight dims and your hands don't work as they used to there are ways to yet record your thoughts, your dreams, and your stories.

The stuff of your life.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Writer's Quiz - What's your IQ?

I get asked questions all of the time about writing, publishing, and marketing, and these questions keep coming up. So today I decided to put the most frequently asked questions here. Take the short quiz and see how you do.

1. When writing a picture book, an author must send their illustrations to the publisher along with the text. True or False?
2. One great thing about a traditional publisher is that they will do all of the marketing for you. True or False?
3. Great editing is just as important as writing a great story. True or False?
4. If you're an artist as well as an author, save some money by doing your own book cover and/or illustrations. True or False?
5. Market the heck out of your book after it comes out. True or False?
6. Book stores are the best places to sell your book. True or False?
7. It's a good idea to write in different book genres. True or False?
8. Getting your book in libraries is easy. True or False?

Have your answers? Take a peek below the books.

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash


1. False. Never send artwork with your manuscript unless the publisher asks for it. They have their own illustrators on staff. If you're not going the traditional route, ask before you send them.

2. False. Traditional publishers may have you on their website or in their catalog, but most of the marketing will be up to you.

3. True. But a great story is also paramount. If your book is well-edited but your story is poorly written, you will not sell it either.

4. False. If you are just starting out, find a professional to do the artwork. Don't invite your mother or your brother to do your artwork unless they have extensive experience. People do judge a book by its cover. If you can't afford a professional, see what you can find in the way of stock photos that usually come at a cheaper price.

5. False. Market the heck out of your book before it comes out, and continue to market it after it comes out. The first thing you need? A website with a blog.

6. False. Books stores are okay. The best places to sell your books are where readers are less likely to expect them. Consider craft fairs, children's toy stores, and hair salons.

7. True. At least from my point of view. I write in different genres and have various types of readers. Writing in one genre would limit sales as well as connections to different readers. 

8. False. Getting your books in libraries is tough. Have your friends and family make calls to your local library requesting your book - they won't put your book in the library just because you, the author, ask them to do it. Try libraries in small towns. They are much more open to having your book on their shelves, especially if it's self-published.


How did you do? 

7-8 correct. You know your stuff. You could teach a class.
5-6 correct. You're learning the ropes. Lean on an experienced writer friend to make sure you are jumping through all of the hoops.
3-4 correct. Check out some writer's books. Take some notes. 
0-2 correct. Just today you thought, "Hey, maybe I should be a writer!" Now, take the next step above. 








Wednesday, June 22, 2022

When it's rough...


Photo by Pete Willis on Unsplash

It's been a rough few days, and when it's rough, my writing bug drops off the planet. Though I've thought about writing, I just haven't been able to do anything about it.

Have you been having the same trouble?

When your personal life outside of writing needs a first priority, what do you do to make it back to writing? What do you do so that you can think again? Do you just wait it out? Or do you plunge ahead despite the huge wall? If so, how do you do it?

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Would love to know your thoughts.

Kathryn


Friday, June 10, 2022

You too can be a Book Rockstar!

Do you have a new book out? An oldie but goodie? Do you need some FREE advertising?

Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash

Let me know.

I will be publishing on my blog author and character interviews throughout the summer. After that, no promises - I start back to my teaching job - but right now I have the time and energy to take on a little more.

Shoot me an email at kathy@ariverofstones.com and I'll get back to you. Include in the email the name of your book, the genre, the link to your book on Amazon, whether you want an author or a character interview, and a little about the story. 

That's it.

I'll get back to you with the specifics.

Kathryn


Monday, June 6, 2022

What's New with Sounds Fishy?

See Lucas' interview at 
New space adventure picture book!
Get it at Amazon!

NBPBReviews
Adult9 book reviews

A space patrol team of fish and whales manned the earth’s orbit. Their job is to protect planet earth from the well-armed rogue sharks. The fishes and whales were not just the space patrol team members but also best friends. As it was uneventful for a while, the space patrol decided to take their long-awaited break. But, they get a distress signal from a far end. The team attended the call, and they realized it was a trap when they reached there. What happened to the team? Did they defeat the enemy? Did they save the earth?

We picked this book for its warm illustrations that have a glow-in-the-dark feel. The story is set in the future and has all the essential elements of a children’s book. It talks about friendship and how they stood all along for each other during difficult times. The pictures go well with the story.






23rd June 2022

I read it (an adult) & to AVK aged 14

4 Stars

Friday, June 3, 2022

REVIEWS FOR LIGHTSHADE. GET IT FREE THROUGH TOMORROW!


Middle reader science
fiction fantasy FREE
at Amazon

Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018

Enjoyed the plot with an alien helping humankind. Intriguing characters. Excited for the sequel.


"Once again, I have the wonderful opportunity to work with Kathryn Elizabeth Jones on her books.

In the past, I've enjoyed narrating her cozy mysteries, but this time, I got a big surprise... a SciFi-Fantasy trilogy!

The first book is called LIGHTSHADE (The Space Adventures of Aaden Prescott, Book 1)

As soon as I started reading it, right away, it reminded me of the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

If you recall the movie, it started off with some serious adventure, which I thought was genius. That is exactly what happens at the beginning of LIGHTSHADE. It's an instant adventure! On the first page, the planet Mercury is heading right for Earth and there's nothing anyone can do about it... but our young hero, Aaden Prescott has a secret. Something very powerful and it kept me on the edge of my seat as I read through to the end.

The characters are well developed, Aaden is a lovable boy, and the book is perfect for lovers of SciFi and Fantasy. Aaden speaks in the first person, telling the story with his darling personality and when I got to the end of the book, I was seriously ready to read book two. 

I was intrigued, interested, and really taken by Kathryn's gift of writing any genre, but this one is my favorite. I believe you'll love it as much as I do.

Check it out, you won't be disappointed! You'll simply want more!"
  • Lauren Holladay
  • Audiobook narrator/Producer

"This was a very fun book to read. Interesting story. I loved the author's style and the pleasant twist to the story." - Todd Tolman

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Why Would You Want to Write a Book?

I have a lot on my blog about finding the time to write, writing right, writing tight, writing when you don't feel like it, and so on. But, until now, I have never written to those who are trying to decide if they'd even be interested in writing a book. 

So, non-writer folks, this post is for you.

You may not feel as if know the English language (or whatever language you speak) well enough. Written language may have been difficult for you from elementary to high school and beyond. You just can't see yourself writing when writing has always been a struggle for you.

I get it.

I have the same issue with math. I only use it when I have to, and even then, reluctantly. But math is needed in life as is writing.

If you think you might like writing, if you just want to try it out, consider starting small. Maybe your first desire is to record an experience you had as a child. Perhaps you want to keep a journal of positive things that happen to you every day. Maybe you have this ache inside to share some of your trials and solutions so that others who come after you will see that there is still hope.

Writing a book is a bit like writing your heart, in fact, the best fiction books come from experience. They are shaped and grown through tears, hopes, and dreams. 

Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

You don't have to be perfect or even near perfect at grammar to write a book. That's what editors are for, and great reader friends who can give you honest feedback. You don't have to be perfect at writing characters, settings, or even scenes if there is someone you trust to help you through the difficulties of learning. 

Sure, you never want to send a manuscript to a publisher that hasn't been polished or weeded. But neither do you want to wait until some imagined perfection lights on you to get it sent out. Those rejection letters can often spur you on to improve. 

You might want to write a book to heal. To help others to see who you are. Nonfiction books are some of my favorites; so are self-help books. There can never be too many of them in my opinion. We all have unique experiences to share that no one has experienced in exactly the same way. I say 'exactly' because you want readers to connect, but not everything you've experienced will be theirs, and vice versa. Still, there will be just enough of you in them to connect them to you and feel the hope that they need.

You might want to write a book to make lots of money. Honestly, I wouldn't suggest this. If your heart isn't in book writing, you shouldn't do it. Find something else. If your desire is to spend your time mountain climbing, baking cookies or cross-stitching something new for your living room wall, do that instead. There are plenty of us that are interested in writing a book, and plenty more who have succeeded.

Do what you love, but if there is an aching desire to write a book, don't let excuses get in the way of starting. I've found that writing is the best therapy out there with the lowest expense. Sometimes, a pen and paper are all I need to get started. 


Friday, May 20, 2022

Four Forgotten Secrets of Writing

We are heading into summer. What does that mean for you?

Writing more? Less?

For me, it will be more. And SURPRISE! my writing will take on a different shape.

Consider these forgotten secrets:

You don't have to use a computer to write. Enjoy the old-fashioned notebook. Take it with you everywhere! Get out and enjoy the summer weather. I am known to visit my local park.

One of your best books may come from working with another author. I wrote: "Heaven 24/7 - Living in the Light" with Celeste Martin. It was a great learning experience.

Getting your feet wet with nonfiction writing, will prepare you for fiction writing and open the way for more productive marketing. I began as a journalist. I learned how to write tight, interview, research, and put out an article within a couple of days from start to finish. Now, as I market my books, whether it be here, on another blog, or on social media, I have the nonfiction skills already in place.

Success comes in different shapes. It may come in the shape of a few hundred dollar bills or thousands of hundred dollar bills. It may come when you receive your first thank you letter from a reader. It may come because you've finished that first novel. It's not published yet, but it's finished. Take a look into your soul. 




Friday, May 6, 2022

Surprise! You don't want to miss this discount!

If you're an author like I am, you're probably aware of the book surprises that often come along with having your book listed on Amazon. 

Today I noticed I Walked With Jesus is discounted. Yes, this is the paperback! Authors never know in advance when this is going to happen. If you haven't read, "I Walked with Jesus," yet, NOW is the time to get the book NEW for $7.78. Save 40%. 

Fifth price reduction. How about $6.52! a 50% discount

Get the book today at Amazon


Thursday, May 5, 2022

How to Get More Writing Done in 5 Simple Steps

1. Get up early. Get up and write before you do anything else. That may mean you get up at 5 a.m. and go to bed at 9:30 p.m. 

2. Treat your writing as a career instead of a hobby. Call it your morning job. 

3. Focus on writing versus editing. Write, write, write for at least half an hour. Whatever comes out. No matter how it comes out.

4. Find a place to write where you will actually write and not be distracted. Prepare the space in advance with the things you need - something to drink, a pen, sticky notes... whatever you typically have to get up and look for.

5. Work on more than one project at once. If you have writer's block on one project, do the other one.


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash



Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sounds Fishy - New Book by Lucas Salmon

Get the book on Amazon
Published by Idea Creations Press


In the not too distant future, where astronauts are fish and cosmonauts are whales, there exists a space agency by the name of Rockhead Martian who have hired the best space patrol crew in the vast ocean of space. But the space patrol were more than just crew members, they were best friends.


Best friends can conquer anything when they work together.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Launch Your First Book in 2022

What have I learned about launching that first book? 

My first book, A River of Stones, was originally published in 2002. I was beyond excited. But there was a problem. I had no idea what to do next. Through trial and error - mostly error, I learned what to do.

Get the Book at Amazon

Here's what I wish I'd known:

1. Get a website/blog going at least six months before your book is launched. This gives you some well-needed time to gather a few followers. One year before is even better! A website is good, but a blog on your website that changes 3-5 times a week is better!

2. Write down some places that might be interested in doing a book signing or book talk. Conferences are great too! Since this is your first book, you'll really have to sell it! I would have a packet together - just a few things in a paper folder - that you can hand out to interested parties. Include picture of cover, bio, synopsis, author photo, and a letter introducing yourself and what you are interested in doing for them. Look outside the box. Yes, do some book store signings, but conisder the theme of your book and don't be afraid to venture to retail stores, craft events, hair salons, library events, and so on. Need more ideas? Find them in my book here. Get these events set up a few months before your book comes out.


3. Consider a book launch party. I had one of these at my house which was a success, but I did not venture out online. Do some searching and connect with other writers and bloggers to connect your book launch with theirs. Make sure you do a book giveway! When you offer a gift card of say, $25 along with the winning of a book, you increase your entries.

4. Talk it up! Once you have a book cover for your book, make some postcards like this and carry them with you. "What do you do for a living?" someone may ask. Hand them a card. You're in line at the grocery store or bank. You get talking. Hand them a card. You have a terrific meal at a restaurant. Leave a card for the waitress. Keep these cards handy for book signings and book talks. They are a great freebie.

5. Keep a pulse on social media. When you post on your blog, make sure the news gets out to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so forth. When you have a contest, are scheduled to speak somewhere, have a book signing.... make sure you let your followers know. 

6. Once your book is out there, ask your followers online if they'd like to receive your monthly newsletter. Every time you have an event, have a clipboard ready where readers can sign up to receive it. Keep the newsletter short with information not otherwise found on your website. 



Thursday, April 7, 2022

5 Great Ways to Grow Your Readership Without Going Crazy

If you're an author like I am, you are always searching for ways to get more readers for your book[s]. The problem, at least for me, is TIME to do that.

I barely have time to write, how in the world will I find time to grow my readership?

Here are five things I've done that have produced results.

1. At your next book signing or speaking engagement have readers sign up for your newsletter. Placing the paper on a clipboard and writing "Sign up for my newsletter" takes about 5 minutes. I have the reader include his/her name and email address.

2. No newsletter? Create a simple one that goes out monthly. You can get mine by going here. I include a short letter and news about books and forthcoming books, as well as speaking engagements and book signings. This takes me roughly 20 minutes.

3. I am still working on gaining more followers on my blog right where you are. If you like what you read, click the icon in the upper right-hand corner and join my list of followers. Linked with that is posting on your blog OFTEN. Keep your posts short. I have seen my numbers increase when I have posted more often - say 3-5 times a week. My posts take me between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.

4. Set up a free book promotion on Amazon. Learn more here. This takes roughly 15 minutes to half an hour.

5. Keep writing. The more quality books you write, the more readers you'll get. Yep. This one takes time. If you only have snippets of time during the day to write, use them. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Have I been asleep?

Yes, it's been a few days since I last posted. I'm going through this sort of burn-out phase; not burnout from writing, mind you. Just a burnout from my daily job.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I work with kids - kindergarten through 2nd grade mostly, and they're great! I get hugs, hi's, and waves when they see me in the hall. I work in small group settings and one-on-one settings for those who really need it. 

But after a full day of putting out my best self, let's just say my body wants to lay on the couch for a while and do nothing. Often, I take a nap, and sometimes I watch mindless television. It's all I can do really. I'm not even up to reading a book.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If you're like me, I want to hear from you. What do you do to stay motivated after a long day of work? When do you fit in your writing time when it's all you can do to be a couch potato?

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

5 + Smart Strategies for Writers

Five powerful strategies that have kept me writing. 

1. Get up early. Write. [No excuses!] Your brain is fresher in the morning and less clogged with the duties of the day. 

2. Write when you don't feel like it. This includes all other times of the day when you could be writing but don't. I always keep a notebook with me. Record scenes, dialogue, or your next book title at doctors' offices, etc. 

3. Don't live on guilt trips. If you don't write one day, start fresh the next. But don't use your missed opportunity as an excuse not to begin again.

4. Share what you are working on with others in a general sense, but try not to share your entire plot! You want others to read your book after all.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

5. Don't give up. Never. Don't surrender. Don't live in doubt. Don't expect overnight success. Know that hard work will always be required to be a great writer. 




Tuesday, March 8, 2022

5 Writing Quotes to Motivate You Today

"Write what should not be forgotten." Isabel Allende

"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." Elmore Leonard

"Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words." Mark Twain

"To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard." Allen Ginsberg

"If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book." Shereen El Feki


Photo by Licha Haney



Thursday, March 3, 2022

5 Tips and Tricks for Reading More

No time to read?

You probably have more time than you think.

Here's what you can do to get a little reading time in.

1. Keep a book in your purse, backpack, or your car's glove compartment. Instead of pulling out your phone during those open moments at the doctor's office, read. Yes, you can also read on your phone but I have found that reading on my phone can quickly turn to other things like game playing, so I try to avoid reading that way.

2. Substitute reading for television watching. Yes, I get it, you just want to vedge. Consider a light read, a shorter book, a book that is pure entertainment. 

3. Read at night right before bed. I try to get in at least half an hour. I not only get some reading time in but I fall asleep faster.

4. What day or days off do you have each week from work? Plan some time during these windows to not only catch up on your life but to get some reading time in. Set a time if you have to.

5. Read to others. If you have children or grandchildren this is easier than you think. If you don't, consider reading to someone in your circle of friends. Once, years ago, a friend of mine was so sick she was in bed for months recuperating. Rather than go into details here about her sickness, let me just say that I went by every week and spent some time reading to her. The book? Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. 

Reading not only improves your memory and concentration but lowers your stress, say the experts. But reading is also fast becoming a book that is placed on the back shelf in favor of social media.

Wasted time?

Or a good read?

You decide.




Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Today's the Big Day!

Why?

It's the last day for a while that you can pick up an ebook copy of Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones for FREE!

Have you done it yet?

Get the book at Amazon by clicking on this link.

It's been a great ride this time around. Thank you to all of you who have been on the ride with me and have downloaded the book. Reviews are ALWAYS appreciated.

Kathryn


One more review!

Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2015

Verified Purchase
I recently became acquainted with author Kathryn Elizabeth Jones. In the short time I have known her, Kathryn has restored my faith that there are good people who write wholesome work with a message that will resonate with every reader.

Upon reading the first few paragraphs of Jones’ book, Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones, I knew immediately that I would like it. Kathryn has a natural ease in her writing that invites you to sit back and savor each word. In this story we follow Virginia, a young woman who is forced, by the loss of her job, to face life-changing challenges. Unsuspecting and sometimes questioning, Virginia meets God as an unpretentious who guides her along a journey to find her strengths and accept disappointments.

Conquering Your Goliaths teaches the moral and spiritual lessons of the five stones of David. There is a message for everyone in this book and one that can be shared with the entire family.