July 31, 2018

Christmas in July?

By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief  for Southern Writers Magazine

I am not quite sure when someone decided to declare the month of July Christmas. And I do not mind; however when it is on TV it would be nice if they would show new 

Christmas movies and sprinkle the older ones in instead of so many old ones. Yes, I know they are recycling the movies and for the most part, I enjoy re-seeing some of them. Nevertheless, if I saw it December 2017 I do not particularly like seeing it again six months later. Other people enjoy that,probably.

My thought is there are many wonderful Christmas stories authors write so if they are going to show Christmas movies in July, why not take these wonderful stories from authors and make new ones to run in July. I have already received several new books with Christmas stories.

The shows about Christmas in July do remind me to take a little extra time for family, friends and myself. Making time to get together and enjoy each other’s company so I am thankful for the reminder.

I hope Christmas in July reminds authors to take time to pat themselves on the back for the hard work they have done so far this year. They have had to meet deadlines and goals. Each day is spent writing and rewriting drafts and creating wonderful worlds for their readers to enjoy. It is important to give ourselves credit for what we accomplish.
This July let us be thankful for what we have done; look forward to where we are going and what we will be doing. Writing is our passion.

July 30, 2018

When Disaster Strikes Your Deadline…

By  Barb Roose 

Most of us are familiar with the Allen Saunders’ saying, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” If you’ve ever been on a book deadline, you know that’s when vehicles break down, kids stop sleeping or an employer announces a round of layoffs. And sometimes, houses catch fire, a spouse files for divorce or a loved one get diagnosed with cancer. How do we keep going when a disaster strikes our deadline? Can we find the grit to sit down at our computers and not quit?

Only days after turning in the first nine chapters of my second book, my 67-year old dad was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. He’d never been in the hospital a day in my life. Yet, by the time we received the biopsy results, Dad only had days to live.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m on contract, my brainwaves flow along a staccato beat that sounds a lot like deadlinedeadlinedeadline. Suddenly, that beat changed and sounded like Dad, deadline, Dad, deadline.

At first, I felt guilty. How could I be thinking about writing while my dad was dying? Would I be able to grieve and write at the same time? What if I couldn’t finish?

As it so happened, I was writing a book about fear and worry based on life lessons from the book of Joshua. The powerful words of Joshua 1:9 served as both a promise and a plan for me to follow, especially because I didn’t know what the future held:

“This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Most of us are familiar with the command to be strong and courageous. But, in the midst of disaster, it is so easy to feel weak and afraid. God drew my attention to the first word in the second sentence: for.  That little three-letter word unlocked a key to the encouragement that I needed to face the long, difficult days ahead of me.

The word “for” is a preposition that linked one relationship to another. Therefore, Joshua’s aspiration was inextricably tied to God’s ability. Joshua’s desired state of “be strong and courageous” wasn’t driven by his human willpower; rather he needed to be supernaturally empowered by God.

This encouragement stayed with me. My dad passed away only eight days after his diagnosis. During those eight final days, God gave me the strength and courage to help my mom love and take care of my dad during his final days. 

Afterward, God gave me the strength and courage to sit back down in front of my computer and keep writing.  Even as I grieved, God gave me strength and courage to keep going. I turned in my manuscript shortly after the original deadline. God was so faithful to me!
 *All verses New Living Translation
Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God. Her goal is to equip women to win at life with Christ-empowered strength and dignity. Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country and abroad. Her latest book is Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua along with the companion Bible study. ~ Facebook (BarbaraRoose) ~ Twitter (barbroose)Instagram (barbroose)

July 27, 2018

Swimsuits and Writers’ Conferences

By Marilyn Nutter

I scrolled through my Facebook news feed and a bright pink post caught my eye. “Thoughts and prayers go out to all those trying on swimsuits.”

I burst out laughing because I recently had a conversation about switching seasonal clothing and trying on last year’s swimsuit. Swimwear can be the most intimidating fashion of the year as we compare how we look with others.

Comparison often writers’ conferences, too. We join other writers for meals and talk about our meetings, projects, and publications. We hear about contracts and securing agents. At one conference, over lunch, a writer mentioned she was completing her second book and under contract for a third.

 “How long have you been writing?”

“A little over a year,” she responded.

Walking out of the dining room, I rehearsed that conversation with a friend who was also present. We were glad for her success, but for a few minutes, we questioned our paths. Only a year? We’ve been at this for several years. I mentally indulged in the luxury of reflection. Comparing myself with her, I thought, what was I doing wrong? I’m in a writers’ group, work at improving my skills. have had pieces selected for publication, and served as an editor, but the book contract remains elusive. As secure as we may be, we can be discouraged if we fall into the comparison trap.

I remembered the story of Zusha, a great Chassidic master, who cried on his deathbed. His students asked him, "Rebbe, why are you so sad? You have done many good deeds. Surely you will get a great reward in heaven.”

"I'm afraid!" said Zusha. "Because when I get to heaven, I know God's not going to ask me 'Why weren't you more like Moses?' or 'Why weren't you more like King David?' But I'm afraid that God will ask 'Zusha, why weren't you more like Zusha?' And then what will I say?!"*

I’m not designed to imitate someone else’s writing journey, but to write according to God’s calling and path for me.

In swimsuits and writing, let’s not compare ourselves with others, but commit to do our personal best and leave the rest with Him.

*Martin Buber, Tales of the Hassidim: The Early Masters, Shocken Books ,1968, p. 141.
Marilyn Nutter, of Greer, SC is a contributor to magazines, on-line sites, and compilations. She is a Bible teacher and speaker for women’s groups, a grief support facilitator, and serves on the women’s ministry team at her church. Visit and for encouragement and inspiration to find extraordinary treasures in ordinary and challenging days. Links: Website: Blog: LinkedIn: Marilyn Nutter Pinterest: Marilyn Marotta Nutter Facebook: Marilyn Marotta Nutter

July 26, 2018

Take It Like a Man

By Vicki H. Moss, Writer for Southern Writers Magazine

I recently critiqued a writer’s manuscript and when we later met together, was surprised she had been miffed about my critique. “But that’s okay, I allowed the anger to push me on to rewrite.”

Miffed? Angry? Really?  

I said, “Email critiques are tough. No facial expressions and you can’t hear the tone of voice. Strictly cold, hard copy. And remember writing is subjective.”

She grinned. “I liked the part where you wrote, ‘Take what you need. Throw out the rest.’”  

Baffled, I retraced my steps and reread my notes. I didn't see anything to get miffed over.     

I thought, Writing is indeed subjective. Like room decorating. Ten people are given an assignment to take a room with white walls and no furniture and decorate. Ten talented people given the same assignment will use various colors and furniture. Ten rooms will turn out beautiful, just different.  

Writing is like that. We might be writing about the same subject but because of our cultural backgrounds and life experiences, we're going to see the subject in a different light or perhaps from a different angle.  

And grammar and punctuation and verb tense errors must be fixed. No brainer.

After the meeting, I gave this writer more thought. She was a newbie when it came to critiques. I recalled my first critique. Horrid experience.

I dragged my body and bruised mind to my room. No longer an ego to shatter. “And I paid for this?” That night I vowed to the Macy’s Hotel Sheet Collection that I would become a better writer. I felt wrung out like a dish rag and was too exhausted to punch my pillow. But I was determined to grow a tough skin. No one could tell me I couldn't get published one day and I couldn't write something that would sell. A couple of months after that, I sold my first story. Then another. And another.

The take away here is:
1)      Don’t stress over critiques. Writing is subjective.
2)      Take it like a man. Bang your head against the walls in a padded room if you must.  
3)      Eat ice cream and cobbler. Then cake. Throw on some Cheetos. 
4)      Develop a thick skin.
5)      Revise. Revise. Revise. Repeat.  


July 25, 2018

Finding Your Tribe

By Angela Kay Austin

When I began writing, I think I imagine my journey like the journey of so many others imagine it. I’ll write the next great something, an agent will instantly fall in love with it and me, of course, and they’ll sell it to a publisher who will love it! Done and done.

Instead my journey has been much more twisted. Picked up by one small press publisher, then another and another. One publisher after the other went under. And I was confused. I wasn’t sure what my next step would be. However, that’s when I realized the value of a network of authors. My 

My tribe taught me how to self-publish. One taught me to format. Another connected me with graphic designers and editors. Others connected me with tools and templates which allowed me to package my books. And still others taught me the meaning behind ISBNs and distribution.

Five quick tips from my tribe to yours:

1.      Don’t edit your own work
2.      FIVERR can be a good friend to you
3.      There are free templates for books out there, use them until you learn how to do it
4.      ISBNs are necessary – if you want to distribute to a larger reader base
5.      Create your own tribe to help with promotion of your work, as well as to help you grow and learn

Bonus tip: Find a local writing group and join!

The consideration of becoming an Indie author is a difficult one. Doing it alone is unnecessarily hard, but when you find your tribe, that changes things. You have people, other authors, who will support and promote you on your journey. That to me is priceless.
Angela Kay Austin has always loved expressing herself creatively.  An infatuation with music led to years playing several instruments, some better than others.   A love for acting put her in front of a camera or two for her thirty seconds of fame before giving way to a degree and career in communications.  After completing a second degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked in promotions and events for many years.   Today, Angela lives in her hometown in Tennessee with her really really really old dog, Midnight. To learn more about Angela, visit her website:

July 24, 2018

Dark Sky Power Outage Simulation in Wisconsin

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

In May of 2018 the government agencies of 7 Wisconsin counties underwent asimulation of a massive power outage.  The public was told not to be concerned by a greater presence of emergency responders, military personnel or drones during the exercise. Over a 3 day period there were more than 1,000 people from the federal, state, county and municipal branches participating in the exercise.

The simulation was to test the abilities of the responders to handle a long-term power outage across the state. One interesting thing that occurred was the National Guard going door to door to interview residents about their preparedness for an extended power outage. What was found was the residents on the average were not prepared. Many thought preparedness for a blackout was an extra set of batteries for their flashlight. Very few thought about an extended outage of 30 days or more and the need for food, water, heat, medical care and other basic necessities. They seem to be of the mindset of an outage lasting a few hours or a day or two at most.  After the simulation more people were aware of the need to be prepared and the agencies were better prepared to cooperate and assist the citizens.

I feel we too are under the impression of an outage being a short inconvenience. I watched today as a thunderstorm passed through our area and our lights blinked off for just a second. No concern. This is common and they come right back on. But if they hadn’t we would have been dealing with 100% humidity and 95 degree temp which means a heat index of near 110 degrees. We would be uncomfortable to say the least. But a few days of that would be vicious. The truth is the loss of power for extended periods of time is more of a reality than ever. With the threat of a cyber-attack on our systems coming on a weekly basis it is just a matter of time before a power plant or a large grid is shut down. In many cases we are told the only thing standing between a terrorist bomb and our substations are chain link fences which can easily be breached. Maybe we should be more prepared.            

As writers we encounter inconveniences of some sort every day. It can come in the form of a lost document, internet outage, computer programs not preforming or just a time crunch. Of course a power outage would mean all of these things. How can we prepare for this? As far as the computer there are several ways. Documents can be shared with other devices through email, saved on zip drives, or by the use of an online service or the cloud that backs up your work on a regular basis. Most of us know the internet comes and goes and can deal with that. We also assume it will be back up shortly but what if it didn’t? I can only hope the internet is such a priority with our government that we would not be without it very long but if we were what would we do? It could possibly mean getting back to old school basics. By that I mean a typewriter, reams of paper, inked ribbons and sent through the mail.  That is not only an inconvenience but scary to think we would need to return to this.

I hope we can enjoy and be thankful for our conveniences and not dwell on our inconveniences when they come. We should expect there will be times of inconveniences and we should be prepared for them the best we can. The question is are we prepared or do we also have only an extra set of batteries for our flashlight?            

July 23, 2018


By Rich Ritter: The New Voice of the American West

After completion of the second draft of my first novel, I invited seven people to find errors and suggest revisions. I have never employed this technique again—which is a discussion for a future post—but one of the readers did make an important discovery. When she handed the three-ring binder back to me, I said, “Thank you. Did you remember to mark any errors or suggestions with a red pen?”

She politely answered, “I did.” Then, after an uncomfortable pause, she added, “You sure like to use certain words an awful lot.”

Confused, I asked, “What do you mean by certain words?”

She glanced down at her sandals. “You used the words ‘shimmering’ and ‘thumped’ a gazillion times. After a while I made a game of it and started counting them.”

Instantly flummoxed, I stuttered, “A game…of it? Did…did you…you mark them with a red pen?”
She peered straight into my eyes. “No, I just counted them…a—” I interrupted, “Yeah, I know. A gazillion times.”

I thanked her again and began the ten-minute drive home. As I crossed the bridge and headed into the roundabout, I tried to remember when I had used these particular words. I could think of a few examples, but certainly not a gazillion. She had to be exaggerating. After parking the car, I hurried into the house and began an inspection of the manuscript. I stopped on page three and thought to myself: There’s no way I’m going to read over 130,000 words looking for “thumped” and “shimmering.” I slumped into my chair, dejected and nearly beaten. Then, after a moment of abject panic, an epiphany emerged from somewhere inside my addled brain.

I turned on the computer, clicked on the file for my novel, and quickly found what I was looking for: a copy I had saved in PDF format. I opened the file, pulled down the “Edit” window, and clicked on “Advanced Search.” I carefully typed in “thumped,” checked the box for “Whole words only,” and, with my hand shaking a bit, hit “Search.” Within moments, a long list— actually a very long list—appeared with every instance of the word, including a portion of the sentence for easy reference. I read the list, which took a while, and concluded that she was right: I had used the darn word a gazillion times. The results were even more frightening for “shimmering.”

Over the next week, with the assistance of my dog-eared copy of Rodale’s Synonym Finder, I reduced the occurrences of “thumped” from a gazillion to around seven. My treatment of “shimmering” was a different story. Because I loved this word so much, I ended up using it only twice—both times in the climatic paragraph of the novel, in the evocative phrase “shimmering paladin.” This may sound extreme to you, but I’ve never regretted my decision.
Rich Ritter is the son of a father who worked in the aerospace industry and a mother who taught first grade. Born in the Midwest during the Korean War, his family moved to California before he began the first grade. He attended second grade through high school in Anaheim, and then California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He completed his thesis year in Denmark, and while there met Kristine from Alaska—in the balcony of the Royal Danish Ballet during a performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. He moved to Alaska and married Kris a few years later. The author and his wife have two sons. Book titles: Toil Under the Sun: A Novel, Heart of Abigail: A Lyric Novella of Juneau, Douglas and Treadwell, Nor Things To Come: A Trilogy of the American West, Book One: The Perilous Journey Begins, Book Two: Gathering of the Clans, Book Three should be available in 6 months (or thereabouts). His social Media links:

July 20, 2018

The Truth about Book Awards

By Tim Bishop

Would you rather write a best-selling book or an award-winning one?

Two years ago, a business partner urged my wife, Debbie, and me to enter Wheels of Wisdom in some book contests. “If you win,” he said, “it will help your book stand out.” So, we did as he suggested.

With Wheels of Wisdom recently garnering more awards, I can no longer stay silent. Fellow authors, there’s something you need to know about book awards.

How they work

Book contests are pay-to-play marketing opportunities. On average, you can expect to pay $75 to enter your book in one genre in one competition. Programs are run either by marketing firms who are trying to make money or by non-profit literary advocates. Organizers rarely disclose the judging criteria and seldom provide feedback to entrants on their titles.

Many contests sell overpriced seals, certificates, and medals to winners. Some even offer awards ceremonies alongside industry tradeshows to provide photo opportunities. Those “perks” can add credibility to a book and help get the word out about it. But make no mistake, winners pay coming and going.

Managing expectations

Don’t get me wrong. Winning a book contest can help grab the attention of readers in your genre. The accolades feel good and attest to the quality of your work. Furthermore, a medaling book is newsworthy.

Depending on your budget, contests may be a worthwhile component of your marketing plan. Our book awards have helped land interviews, speaking engagements, media exposure, and conversations with potential buyers.

To date, however, our awards have done astonishingly little to boost lagging sales. We’ve discovered that an award-winning book is no more guaranteed to become a bestseller than a best-selling book is certain to win an award. A book award suggests the author and the publisher have done an outstanding job producing a book, but it doesn’t mean there’s an audience on standby who can’t wait to devour the content.

Despite years of history, publishing experts can only surmise that a popular figure whose name appears as author is likely to sell more books than an obscure writer. Content and quality have little bearing on that trend. Ultimately, readers buy a book because it interests them, not because it won an award. Therefore, authors should view their awards as merely one facet of their selling efforts.

Debbie and I periodically remind ourselves that sharing with excellence the hope and encouragement God has given us is what He called us to do. More book sales would also be affirming, but we realize that God can do with our content and marketing as He sees fit. Our prayer is that He touches some lives with this book regardless of how well it sells.

Would I enter these contests again? Absolutely! We are grateful for the honors and the encouragement. Next time, though, my expectations for book sales will remain guarded. There’s a big difference between an award-winning book and a bestseller.
Tim Bishop left a successful career as a corporate treasurer, married his dream girl, and embarked with her to parts unknown – on bicycles! Tim and Debbie have since coauthored four books about their midlife bicycling adventures. Wheels of Wisdom has won three first-place book awards (in Inspiration, Devotional, and Christian Nonfiction). It also earned a bronze medal for Devotional in the Illumination Awards behind books by New York Times best-selling authors Sarah Young and Christine Caine. Publishers Weekly dubbed the book “a roadmap for life.”A three-time Maine chess champion, a CPA, and a consultant for small businesses, Tim has also written a business book, Hedging Commodity Price Risk. He is still out to prove that the writing contest he won as a college freshman was not a fluke. Learn more at Social Media links:

July 19, 2018

Are You Ready For Your Book Release?

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine 

Here’s the question, are you ready for a successful book launch? This is not the time to be a “seat of your pants” person. 

You need a plan. 

You need to work the plan. 

You need a plan “B.”


Well, let me just say, 2018 Amazon Prime day. You would think a corporation that made billions (with a"B") last year on “Prime Day” would have all the bugs worked out. Not the case. 

On this week’s “Amazon Prime Day,” instead of shopping deals, cute adoptable dogs appeared on Amazon's storefront was down. Oh no! As people do, they took to social media. All those venders with cyber deals bigger than “black Friday” are the real losers. The dollars lost may never be recovered. Talk about unfortunate timing for a site crash.

The lesson for authors is if your book release is approaching, make you plan and prepare for a backup if technology glitches. 

Writer’s Digest has a good article on having a successful book launch including the timeline. 
Here are some of the ideas from their article; ”Join a writing community. Finding your tribe means having people in your corner supporting your launch...Develop an author platform... Join forces with others authors...Coordinate with your publisher...Work with your illustrator (or author) if you have a picture book...Build buzz. [One of the best ways is offering guest author blog post to other author blogs and of course to Southern Writers Magazine’s blog, Suite T.] Develop a media kit.”

On those days you're not writing your next book, make your book release plan. Have a plan “B,” keeping 2018 Amazon Prime Day in your mind. Dogs are cute but not on your big day. 

What do y’all think?

July 18, 2018

Writing with the Bible

By Rebecca J. Wetzler

People don’t know me very long before they realize I have a strong faith in the Lord.  It’s not from my witnessing per se, I’m not that bold, instead it’s just a part of my normal conversation.  I will say things like ‘the Lord helped me with…’ or ‘I’m not sure how the Lord is going to work this out…,’ so I make statements about the Lord being at work in my life.  I am also an avid reader, including dreams of someday writing my own books.  An integral part of these dreams has been the Holy Spirit’s prompting to share my spiritual walk through the shadowy melancholy that has plagued my quality of life and threatened my necessary daily functioning since childhood, and colored how I cope with physical, mental and emotional health issues.  How does one conquer deepening internal blackness?  For me, it has only been through faith in the Lord that my soul is able to challenge the untruths forecast by the darkness.  No matter how black the darkness gets, there is always the Holy Spirit’s steady glow to lead me out again (John 8:12).

I believe the Bible, even though some scripture is difficult to understand.  Inspired by a Thanksgiving gift from my grandmother decades ago, a recipe box with 3 x 5 cards to record blessings upon, I decided instead to collect my favorite scriptures and write prayers based on each one.  Eventually it dawned on me this could be my book, a daily devotional.  Now, how could I express the Bible’s relevance for today’s world? 

1)      I chose scriptures which especially resonated with me in the depth of my solitary experiences.
2)      I not only considered the chosen scripture, but also the context in which it was used. 
3)      I used key words from each scripture also in my prayer, which illustrated application to my problem.
4)      I organized my collection in progressive order. 
a.       Progressive in the sense of determining quarterly themes that grew in encouragement over time – ‘Broken Pieces’ begins using scripture to journey through brokenness, ‘Bread of Life’ shows accepting spiritual bread to heal brokenness, ‘Believe in the Blessing’ tells of faith, hope and trust despite brokenness, and ‘Bowing before Him’ ends by acknowledging His sovereignty and worshipping Him regardless of brokenness.
b.      Progressive also in the order of the scriptures, meaning each quarter starts with my favorites, the Psalms, and then the chapters follow biblical order.

Thus Bread Box for the Broken’ was written over decades of finding scriptures that helped me with my life long struggles with loneliness, self-esteem, depression, and chronic pain from migraines and a permanently injured neck, and, recently added to the mix, unexplained heart failure.  So I know it’s true the Word of God gives strength today to continue the race when we feel broken by life and it humbles us to give thanks for all the daily blessings along the way that often go unnoticed because we are overly distracted by trials and tribulations.
Rebecca J.Wetzler, originally a California girl, has lived in Alaska since she was eight years old. An avid reader, her favorite school subject was English writing assignments. To support her two children, she completed an accounting degree. She has been a believer from her earliest memories as a small child in Sunday School asking Jesus into her heart. Rebecca has realized her faith gives her a steady spiritual regrounding to weather the drama of real life, and she wants to share the spiritual truths with others so they may also follow God’s light past the world’s darkness. Bread Box for the Broken is her first book, and she has ideas for more devotionals, some Bible studies, maybe Christian romance fiction with mystery and suspense. It is important for her to share that faith in Christ is her foundation for challenging and purposefully overcoming life-long struggles with loneliness, self-esteem, depression, chronic pain from migraines and a permanently injured neck, and finally unexplained heart failure. Forced to early retire, she really doesn’t know what the future holds, but she knows Who holds her future. Rebecca J Wetzler book purchase site Holy Spirit Dove blog

July 17, 2018

The Wrong Mindset Blocks Books Sales

By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine

Bryan Tracy said, “From the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, you are continually negotiating, communicating, persuading, influencing and trying to get people to cooperate with you to do the things that you want them to do.”

When I read this, I realized he is 100% right. Think about it.  If we have children at home we are constantly communicating to them what they need to do, what we want them to do. We wind up either negotiating with them to cooperate with us or persuading them to do what we want them to do. 

It continues throughout the day.

Same with our spouses, only most of the time we are a little more direct with them, but we still use those skills.

At our places of employment, we are doing the same things…using these skills.

So why is it, that as writers, we are uncomfortable in using these skills to market and sell our books?

Perhaps it is our mindset of sales. We don’t like being sold to. You know the stereo types: the car salesperson following you around as you look at cars pushing information. You tell him you are just looking but he’s like a dog with a bone. Or the person standing at your door trying to convince you to buy while you are trying to get rid of them and close the door. And then my favorite, the salesperson at the furniture store following you around while trying to look at furniture.

This is the definition stuck in our brains as the “salesperson”. Thus, we aren’t crazy about trying to sell our books. This is bad selling.

Fortunately, authors have websites and draw people to the websites where they read about the author, see the books. Once they get to our website, it should be enticing enough to solicit sales. (Be sure and check your website, if you came to your website, would you like what you see and want to sign up for a newsletter if offered? Would you want to buy a book?)

What can we put on our websites to help our sales? Offer something free. Think about when you go to Costco or Sam’s; they offer free samples. This entices us to buy what we are sampling. Maybe you could let them sample a chapter…then put a button to buy the book.

Or perhaps you might think about a gift with their purchase. Maybe your fourth book in your series just released. You could gift a copy of your first book in the series if they buy your new release. You could do this for a set time like the first week of the month, or the first three days of a month or even run it for the first ten people who sign up.

The point is, being able to give something helps you sell. You can go in large department stores, you will see the perfume/makeup counters, they always are giving away something if you buy what they want you to buy. (This is one of the best ways to get people to buy.)

Another thing you can do is combine your efforts with another author and help each other sell their book using the methods above.

Think about some things you can do to entice along these lines. It gives the right mindset for selling.