Memoir Authors discussion

Sharon E. Cathcart
This topic is about Sharon E. Cathcart
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message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Hello again! I presently have three memoirs and am working on a fourth (I know, that sounds odd ... allow me to explain).

My work in progress, tentatively titled "Hugs and Hisses" chronicles a year volunteering for our local humane society, Humane Society of Silicon Valley. My royalties will be donated to them.

The other three are all about different things. Les Pensees Dangereuses is a collection of essays that originally appeared in my personal blog. The primary focus has to do with clinical depression and my battles therewith. 2010 Hindsight: A Year of Personal Growth, In Spite of Myself is about the year I decided to take up French cooking and wound up on a journey of personal discovery instead. Finally, You Had to Be There: Three Years of Mayhem and Bad Decisions in the Portland Music Scene chronicles my time in the music business of the early 1980s. It was inspired by reminiscence with old friends from "back in the day."

Thanks for having a look!


message 2: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Wow, Sharon, you have been busy! It took four years to write my memoir and although the thought has crossed my mind that I may do a follow up at some stage, I think it would take me at least another four years! My mother has said to me, (and let's remember here that I am 41 years old) "Don't you dare write another book!" It was so much work, and took quite a bit of time away from my children, I think that's her concern. Also so much time with no financial return guaranteed. Not that that was ever my intention...

Well done with your books, I'm going to check them out now. I'm hoping that this group will be a place to support one another, I couldn't find another memoir group. Most folk I've met here, lovely people btw, write YA or fantasy and I just don't relate.

Much love,
Leila


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Leila wrote: "Wow, Sharon, you have been busy! It took four years to write my memoir and although the thought has crossed my mind that I may do a follow up at some stage, I think it would take me at least anothe..."

I'm 47, Leila. And Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was in her 80s. Don't let anyone tell you you're too old. :-)


message 4: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Yes, I guess I've got another 40 years ahead... thats uh, 10 books at my current pace!


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Each Monday, I promote part of my back catalog. This week, it's 2010 Hindsight: A Year of Personal Growth, In Spite of Myself. This is the story of a year in which I set out to learn French cookery and wound up on a completely unexpected journey. Click on the link to pick up the bargain eBook for 99 cents. Thanks for looking!


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) That's so cool


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda Hoye | 11 comments I just made the "official" announcement on my website about the upcoming publication of my memoir, Two Hearts: An Adoptee's Journey Through Grief to Gratitude>! Posted a cover pic on my Goodreads profile too. I hope you'll check it out! http://lindahoye.com/2012/03/book-ann...


message 8: by Grace (new)

Grace Peterson (gracepete) | 19 comments Members, If you haven't been to Linda's (above) website yet, when you do, you'll see that she nabbed a blurb from Jennifer Lauck! How cool is that? Bravo Linda!


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda Hoye | 11 comments Grace wrote: "Members, If you haven't been to Linda's (above) website yet, when you do, you'll see that she nabbed a blurb from Jennifer Lauck! How cool is that? Bravo Linda!"

Thank you, Grace! I hope you'll all stop by my website and say "hi"!


message 10: by Leila (last edited Mar 27, 2012 01:56PM) (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Linda, your book sounds fascinating. It's so great to meet all the wonderful people on this group with such interesting stories to tell! Congratulations!


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda Hoye | 11 comments Leila wrote: "Linda, your book sounds fascinating. It's so great to meet all the wonderful people on this group with such interesting stories to tell! Congratulations!"

Thank you, Leila!


message 12: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Craviotto (darsbooks) | 50 comments I love your cover, Linda.


message 13: by Linda (new)

Linda Hoye | 11 comments Darlene wrote: "I love your cover, Linda."
Thank you, Darlene. I hope it reflects the mood of the book.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd love to share a heart-felt journey from The Appalachian Mountains. The book has raving reviews, and gained the attention of Earl Hamner (John Boy Walton,himself) I'm a veteran of the famous FOXFIRE BOOKS and a real green horn with computers.
I'm the author of "It's Not My Mountain Anymore"
www.itsnotmymountainanymore.cor
Thanks much!


message 15: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Parker | 21 comments My motivational memoir, Navigating Life's Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey, is available as an eBook now!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FQDPYE


message 16: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Congratulations Barbara! Your link didn't work for me, here's the correct one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006...

Deborah, I'm hoping to download your free ebook tomorrow if I remember!


message 17: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Gilbert (natalienicole) | 4 comments I'm officially a GoodReads.com author! http://www.goodreads.com/NatalieNicole We're still in the process of adding goodies, writings, and lyrics to this profile. Connect with me there and let us know what accoutrements you might like to see on GoodReads in the way of giveaways, news, and more. ;D You can also find my first solo book on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Breathing-Hope-...

@NatalieNicole
Facebook.com/NatalieNicoleGilbert
GPlus.to/NatalieNicole
NatalieNicoleGilbert.com
iTunes.com/NatalieNicoleGilbert
NoiseTrade.com/BestOfNNG


message 18: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Congrats Natalie (o: I've added your book to my to-read list!


message 19: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Gilbert (natalienicole) | 4 comments Thanks, Leila!

Also:
Smashwords, Bookbaby, Kindle Direct Publishing, etc. - which is your favorite and why? I went with KDP for my last eBook, but appreciate the ability to do free/promo giveaways with others. I'd love to hear feedback about what you loved or loathed about the publishing method you used. Also: Have any of you found a good audio book distributor other than Audible?

@NatalieNicole
www.Facebook.com/NatalieNicoleGilbert
www.GoodReads.com/NatalieNicole
www.iTunes.com/NatalieNicoleGilbert
www.NoiseTrade.com/BestOfNNG
www.NatalieNicoleGilbert.com/Voiceover


message 20: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Natalie, I am biased, I used KDP and joined their Select Programme where you can offer 5 free days every 3 month contract period. The contract you agree to is to only have your ebook available through them and no one else. You may be familiar with it. However, I personally feel that this isn't a problem at all. Whether we like it or not, Amazon is the top fish in the sea. KDP Select has been my best marketing tool so far. I've discussed this somewhere else on this group but again, this is only my own experience. In my first 6 months over 15 000 people have downloaded my memoir for free, and this has resulted in many more sales than I could have otherwise expected as well as reviews (not all good) coming in. As I've also said elsewhere, I don't mind any reviews, I'm going for quantity rather than high star ratings. That shows readers that lots of people are reading my book. Some love it and some hate it. I'm hoping that others will want to find out why it brings up such strong emotions in readers and read it for themselves!

Don't know if I answered your question, but you'll always find me raving on about KDP Select!


message 21: by June (new)

June Collins (junecollins) | 114 comments Hi again Leila. I am impressed by 15000 downloads. Goodbye Junie Moon came out in June and I gave it free for 3 consecutive days and only gave away 360 copies. I don't seem to be doing anything right. Also this month, two people have asked for refunds which is totally demoralizing. The book was professionally edited and my writing group of published authors (not self published) love it. This is not easy. I think on my next 'give away' it should be for only one day. Maybe I don't know how to let readers know about it.


message 22: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments My experience with KDP Select is similar to Leila's.


message 23: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Craviotto (darsbooks) | 50 comments Hi June,

I'm currently reading your book (along with four others) and I find your book well edited and professional in its story telling. I think it takes time to sell books and yours just came out in June. I don't know anything about KDP Select so maybe Leila can give you more advice about that. I think there are certain "tricks of the trade" you can use for KDP Select, and I believe there are articles out there that might explain it point-by-point.

I'm enjoying your book, by the way. I'm curious as to why two people wanted refunds? Does Amazon give you a reason why when that happens?

Best,
Darlene


message 24: by June (new)

June Collins (junecollins) | 114 comments Darlene you are always so encouraging. I really appreciate it! Don't know why books are returned. Either they didn't like it or they wanted to get a free one which would be understandable--except it makes the author feel so bad. Got to develop a thick skin I suppose.


message 25: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Craviotto (darsbooks) | 50 comments When you learn how to develop a thick skin, please let me know that trick. I have that same problem when it comes to my writing. I know that not everyone likes the same things, but I'm such a people pleaser that I take it so personally if someone doesn't like something I've written.


message 26: by June (new)

June Collins (junecollins) | 114 comments So do I. Our ego's are easily bruised. It feels akin to someone saying you have an ugly baby! Ugh!


message 27: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Hi June
Don’t worry too much about figures just yet. As for refunds, I get about 2 refunds per month, and it’s never bothered me at all. I haven’t even wondered why! Don’t get too personal about your book (even though it is our very personal life stories!). One thing I keep telling myself is that we are not our stories. They simply helped make us into who we are today. But we are much more powerful than that.

My first free download only 1000 people downloaded it, then 2500, then 3500, then 9000! But remember, I had spent two years before this online getting to meet people and make friends. These people helped spread the word. I’ve found it best to only share about your free book a day or so before at most, but even better, on the first day of a two or three day promotion. If it’s not free and easy to follow the link NOW, people forget to come back. The places to share about your free book are on your blog, on groups like this, all social networking spots – facebook, twitter etc. The very best thing though, is if someone else will share about your free promotion on their social networking sites. So start thinking of who can do that for you. The more ‘popular’ they are, the better. There are also book blogs, facebook pages etc. that are dedicated to talking about free kindle books. These are the people you need to tell about your book so they will advertise it for you. Just google for them. One such page is from a group here on GR. Haresh, the moderator will share about your promotion on the groups facebook page. If you don’t belong to the group, it’s one of the better ones to join –
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/4...

Because of the above advice, I personally think that a one day promotion might be too short, unless you advertise it like hell upfront. Use each promotion as an experiment to test the waters. You know, the three month period comes up so quickly again, don’t be afraid of your 5 days running out.

My book was published in October last year, and by mid December, I think I’d only made a couple of sales. So don’t worry, everything takes time, time and effort. You will get there. Plus June, you have the added bonus of your book’s topic, which is of interest to a wide audience, and your ‘fame’!! I have no doubt you will get there.

X Leila


message 28: by June (new)

June Collins (junecollins) | 114 comments You've put a lot of time into that reply Leila and as always, I appreciate your time and wisdom.
Do you still live in the same house in Durban? It sounded like such a nice house in your book - or was it too sad to stay there?
I was invited to stay with people in Durban while I was close by there in February-March this year. I love South Africa. As always, June


message 29: by June (new)

June Collins (junecollins) | 114 comments Natalie wrote: "I'm officially a GoodReads.com author! http://www.goodreads.com/NatalieNicole We're still in the process of adding goodies, writings, and lyrics to this profile. Connect with me there and let us kn..."

Hi Natalie, Your book cover was so attractive that I tried to look up 'author' on your Amazon listing to see if the photo was you. I didn't find your author's profile? June


message 30: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Hi June
I adored that house, and stayed there until November last year, when I sold it and moved to a tiny village in the country! It wasn't because it was too sad to stay there, it was sad to leave! But I wanted to give my girls a life where they can walk to the shops and ride their bicycles in the street. This village feels like we are living decades back! It's wonderful. I discuss my house sale and how difficult it was for me on my blog and include photos if you'd like to visit. www.leilasummers.co.za/blog
If you're ever near Cape Town, let me know! x


message 31: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments PS I've just shared a great resource for promoting your free book on the relevant folder in the group!


message 32: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments Leila, Cape Town may be the most beautiful city I have visited, and I've been in over 40 countries.


message 33: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Jeffrey, I do love it too, though it's two hours away, we visit regularly.


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