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Monthly Archives: February 2016


Earlier this week I mentioned an author friend,  Kristen Lamb. Three years ago she came out with this vlog and it is still relevant today.-(DB)

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.

As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

 

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The beginning of a wonderful friendship

The beginning of a wonderful relationship

Most of us have heard of the six degrees of separation. This is the theory that all of us are just six degrees from anyone in the world. We can thank the internet, according to a Facebook algorithm, that we are actually closer than that. The algorithm has found that most of us are actually closer to only 3.67 degrees of separation. Mark Zuckerberg has a score of 3.17, but mine is actually closer than his at 3.12. In other words, my personal connections are slightly more varied than Zuckerberg’s.
It is often said that it’s not what you know that counts, but who you know. This is good news because this information from Facebook lets us know that finding the right people to help us with our marketing is closer than we think. We just have to do our networking to find those people who can help or who can help connect us to our target market.

The Fiction Market VS Nonfiction Market

Lately I have been re-reading a book by Kristen Lamb called The Rise of the Machine.(here’s one of her latest posts https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/making-money-in-a-world-addicted-to-free-what-do-writers-do/#comment-233193 )  In this book, one of the important messages that she gives is that book of fiction cannot be marketed in the same way that nonfiction and other marketing is done. In nonfiction or other types of marketing, the idea is do develop a niche and write for that specific group of people. With a novel. however, according to Lamb, the goal is to get as many people who are not avid readers to read the book as possible. To put it simply, the way we do that is to find and nurture fans who in turn talk about your book on social media making the book go viral.

I personally have seen the difference between how I gain readers for my nonfiction books and how I gain readers for my novels. My gardening book-Simply Vegetable Gardening— for example is easy to sell using traditional marketing strategies. I go to where the gardeners are. I write an online article and connect it to my Amazon account with the book on it and I can sell. I can take my books to privately owned garden centers and animal feed stores, and health food stores and sell wholesale. I go to prepper and sustainability as well as local festivals and sell my gardening books. fiction books are different. The traditional methods do not work as well. The connections with fiction run deeper than with nonfiction books. Word of mouth sells novels in ways that traditional marketing cannot. Developing personal connections on social media leads to more fiction book sales than all the marketing in the world.

Writers are not my market for my fiction because writers don’t have time to read a lot of fiction books (aspiring writers, maybe, writers, not so much). Avid readers are people who will buy my book, but they are limited in number. The people that I need to reach are the people who want to read my book because they love the story and they love me as a writer. That’s one of the reasons that I started the newsletter was so that I could further connect with my friends on Facebook and Twitter and position myself as an author who cares about the people who read my work. The people who sign up for my newsletter are the people that love my work the most and don’t want to miss out on my next book. These are the ones I give special offers to first because they are my friends. They are also the first ones with access to my latest book and they are the ones who find out first where my next event will be so that they can get an autographed copy of a novel of someone that they know. (Just because someone read an e-book copy does not mean that this same person wouldn’t want an autographed copy of the same book.)

The process is simple, really. It is the same as in the real world. I interact with people on the internet and they become my friends. Because they know that I am a writer and I share some content with them, these people become my friends. My friends from Facebook and twitter who are reading my novel series are likely to be the ones who tell their friends who tell there friends until one day, because (thanks to the internet)  the degrees of separation have diminished and my book series goes viral.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Jesus and the little child

James 3:17 says, “If you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, don’t think that is a smart. That kind of thinking goes against the truth. This wisdom descendes not from above but is earthly sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
Gentleness is an outgrowth of God’s wisdom. Several Greek words are translated gentleness and all of them mean about the same. They mean kind, affiable, moderation, appropriate. Gentleness is closely related to patience.
In Titus 3:2, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should speak kindly of everyone and be gentle. According to
I Peter 2:18, the Apostle Peter tells us that we are to be gentle even with people in authority who are stubborn and crooked. If the boss wastes your time, he/she will have to answer for it.
In Galatians 5:19-2r says “now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these adultery fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness temperance, against such there is not law. They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
According to these verses, gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, but it is also a gift from God. It doesn’t come from trying to follow a bunch of laws, but comes in the package with God’s gift of love.

The Power of Gentleness

Proverbs 15:1 says A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright, but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you want to get someone’s attention, just whisper?”

In a world where loud, animated, opinionated, often ignorant individuals are fighting for the limelight, the quiet gentle spirit stands out as someone who is different. As Christians, our duty is not to argue with those people. Instead our responsibility is to show others that type of behavior is not necessary. Far more strength exists in an individual who can walk quietly into a terse situation and gently remove the fuse.
Gentleness is most effective when we rid ourselves of our defensive armor. It’s like taking off our guns and throwing them on the ground. The paradox of gentleness is that by making ourselves vulnerable, we strengthen our position.
Here’s an example. Back when I was in the Navy, I was a hospital Corpsman who specialized in working with psychiatric patients. I primarily worked on the wards. At that time, military patients who were prescribed psychotropic drugs (anti-psychotics and mood stablizers) were required to take those medications while still in the military. If they refused, we could “force” them to take them.
There was team of big burly guys who would restrain the individual and force them to take the medication in the buttocks if they refused to take it by mouth. The job that I was best at, and much preferred was calming the (usually irate) individual down and gently convince the individual that he or she really wanted to take the medication after all.
You see, in my gentleness, I had more power over the patients than that goon squad. I was able, not only to get them to do what I wanted them to do, but by the time I was done talking with them, I had built trust with them. They knew that I had their best interests at heart because I really didn’t want them to be restrained and they knew it.
The most powerful displays of gentleness were displayed by Christ. He gently laid aside his rights as deity his first time on this earth so that we could know his gentle character. He showed us this time and again as he was met by broken sinners who begged for his mercy. He demonstrated this gentleness when as in Matthew 18:2-7 when he took a child into his arms. He spoke of his gentleness when he talked of himself as the Good Shepherd. He also displayed this gentleness when he didn’t say a word, but willingly went to the cross for us. That is gentleness to a degree that I cannot fathom therefore I cannot imagine ever reaching.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Why  Little Women became a Classic

Little Women
In the movie Little Women, the second sister Josephine March was a writer who wrote unbelievable stories about knights, and kings, and rogues, and damsels in distress. Over and over again she tried to get them published. It wasn’t until she wrote about her own family that she was successful. In some ways, this paralleled the original author’s life. Louisa May Alcott was quite autobiographical when she wrote that piece of fiction. She wrote what she knew and it brought her success. The book has been a classic for over a hundred years now and has been retold in numerous movie adaptations. What makes this book a classic is that every day life  was written from a woman’s point of view.

However, We are not stuck writing about our own lives when writing we write fiction. The important element in writing fiction isn’t having personal experience per say. It is in thoroughly knowing and understanding each character intimately.

I believe that when an author writes from an autobiographical perspective, the writer almost always has to be writing from the heart of the character. There’s an integrity that has to be seen if a reader is going to believe what he or she is reading.
I have seen the reverse of this played out on the small screen. Have you ever watched a movie or television show where you could see that the actors were acting? I remember seeing that happen whenever I have seen some of the later episodes of the Waltons after the main characters played by great actors either passed away or moved on. I would see the writer of the script attempts at cuteness or wit in many of the scenes. The delivery was flat, and the actors didn’t have enough acting training to make the scene their own.
You don’t want to see the writer in an on-screen production, nor do you want to see a writer in a book manuscript either. You want to see the characters as real people. The only way for the writer to portray these characters then is for the writer to see them as real people as well. That’s what makes Jo March and her sisters and Marme so believable. Louisa saw them as real because she knew them intimately.

How Is Science Fiction or Fantasy Believable?

A writer has to draw from his or her own experience or from the experience of someone they have personally known. Every character has to be as unique as the author who creates that character. In Alcott’s Little Women, the story is believable because the four sisters were part of her own experience, but what about science fiction and fantasy? Can we view these as experiential or are they the exception?
I think they can, but the experience occurs not in real life, but in the writer’s mind. However, in order to connect with the reader, the writer must also include characters (even strange aliens) with very human and varied characteristics.
One of my favorite examples of character diversity comes from this scene from Star Trek IV-The Voyage Home. In the movie, there is a scene where the crew of the Star Ship Enterprise have stolen a Klingon vessel and planned to go back in time to save humpback whales because they were extinct in their time, but without the whales, earth and all of its inhabitants would be destroyed.
In this scene, the crew is trying to decide whether they really could go back in time. The individuality of each of the characters and the actors who played the characters were very evident in this scene. Scotty spoke as the engineer who understood how the space ship was constructed he said. In his usual Scottish brogue he said, “I don’t think this bucket of bolts can take it.” Logical Spock gave the probability of failure. Bones, always the cynic was already mourning their deaths, and the impetuous Captain Kirk, who knows that this is their only chance, says, “Let’s do it.” He then ordered the crew take the Klingon ship back in time.
Science fiction is believable, not because any of us have been on a starship, but because the characters are individuals that we recognize from real lives. This is not a scene from a time that the writer actual knows or has actually experienced, except that he created it in his own mind. Because he was able to visualize the scene with these characters’ personalities in mind, the ideas presented in this scene and the whole movie seem plausible. Science fiction as well as fantasy are both based not in reality, but in how realistic the writer believes his own story line and the elements of that story line and how well that writer can project his belief to his audience.

Historical Fiction

In my own fiction writing, I combine the elements of my own experience and the created imagery of my impressions of what life in a previous era probably was like for the people who lived it. I picture myself in the scene, in the shoes of the character. When I do that, I am no longer me, the writer, but I am the character. However, before I can do this I must do my homework. I have to get to know this person. I have to know what makes him/her tick. I must know his/her history. I have to know how this character is different from me and the rest of the characters in the scene. Only when I do this can the reader accept this character as real and writing what I know.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Its Friday again. Here is today’s YouTube video about how you too can start an email marketing campaign for your book publishing business. I use Mailchimp for my email marketing because it is free to start. Nothing to pay until you reach 2000 email subscribers.

Join My Mail Marketing Campaign

If you haven’t already, join my newsletter. It is free. In it I will share contests, let you kknow when I have free book promotions and let you know where I will have my next book signing event. Here’s the link to sign up http://eepurl.com/bPpzXX

Have a great week! Are you a writer? What is your most recent marketing success or question. I would love to hear from you.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


My friends and I at last year's book signing.

An Author’s Readers Should always be considered friends. .

Last Monday, I sent out my first copy of my newsletter to a list that I have been adding to over the past week. In this newsletter, I started sharing my books and articles directly to people who have agreed that they would like to read what I have written. The newsletter will tell about the events in which I intend to participate.
I started a newsletter a couple of years ago but dropped it when I wasn’t getting the traffic that I needed to sustain it. It was on AWeber which is quite an expensive email server. This time I am using MailChimp is free up to 2000 subscribers. If I can reach 2000 subscribers, then I believe that I should be able to afford the newsletter.

The Trouble with Amazon Selling my Books

I should have started this newsletter long ago. I have been frustrated by the fact that sites like Amazon do not let me see who buys my books nor lets me let readers know when I come out with the next book. Plus I want to sell from more than just Amazon so by having a central document in which to let others know what I am doing and when I will be coming out with a new book.
Not that I have anything against Amazon. It a great search engine. It started out as an online bookstore, but now it is so much more. It used to be that if someone put their book on Amazon, they had guaranteed sales. At one time if a person put a book on Amazon Kindle, it was an immediate success. That has changed now there are half as many books now as there are people. Amazon is not that interested market my book because it is only one of millions (or perhaps billions). My books however are the only ones I have written so they are more important to me, so why shouldn’t I take my books to the audience who is likely to ready them?

Want to Build Relationships with My Readers

More importantly, I want to build a relationship with people that read my books. So far I see too many “I”s and “me”s in what I am writing and this is unsettling. I want to know who reads my books and why. I want to know that I am making a difference in people’s lives. My goal is to make this newsletter more about the reader than about me. Am I providing what they want? Are my books informative as well as entertaining? Am I sharing what they really want?

Adding Events to the Newsletters

I intend to attend numerous events this year, but so far I only have had one definite event this year. That event was last month. During this next month I am going to be working on this as well.
Once I have figured out what events and festivals are available and their costs, I will schedule this coming year accordingly (Hopefully with other members of my writers group). In addition, any week this spring that I don’t have an event planned, I am going to create other activities related to book sales and marketing.

Join My Mail Marketing Campaign

If you haven’t already, join my newsletter. It is free. In it I will share contests, let you kknow when I have free book promotions and let you know where I will have my next book signing event. Here’s the link to sign up http://eepurl.com/bPpzXX

Have a great week! Are you a writer? What is your most recent marketing success or question. I would love to hear from you.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


patience

A friend of mine once warned me never to pray for patience because you might have to learn to have some. I have also heard that “God is never late, but he is very seldom early.” Why is God so interested in us learning patience and why does it have to be so painful?
Patience is associated with trials or in other words–hardships. In James 1:3-4 says “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into many trials because the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
This isn’t sadomasochism. These verses aren’t telling us to enjoy the pain. This verse is telling us that no matter what trials we face, we can rejoice in knowing that we can patiently look forward to his perfect will in this circumstance.

Developing Patience

It says in Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the Glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also know that tribulation works patience, and patience experience and experience, hope. And hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.”
Patience can only be developed over time. If we were to instantly receive what we want, we would never develop patience and without patience we wouldn’t have experience and without experience our hope of what Christ has done in our lives would not grow in us and we would not be able to share what Christ has done for us in our time of need.

Becoming Like the Creator

Paul says in I Corinthians 13:4 that love suffers a long time. God himself has shown his patience in us and we are to do the same with others. I know that I have been through a lot lately. I have personally been trusting God for some things that I have not seen yet. I know that there are times when I get to the end of my patience on something and God then gives it to me. It is like that here at the church. I sit patiently waiting for the Spirit to draw people here so that I can talk with them about Spiritual things.
I know that he has me here at this church as its pastor for a reason. I know that he plans to use me to bring people to Christ. I know that he provides for me. I know that he desires that everyone be born again. I pray for specific people who seem to be doing so well not believing that they don’t feel the need for God. Meanwhile I am sitting here with needs that do not seem to be met. However, I have never done without the necessities. I have a roof over my head, warmth, and food in my stomach. I know that God loves me and wants the best for me.
Patience is a byproduct of love. It says in I John 4:8 says “God is love.” And as we mentioned before from I Corinthians 13:4, Love is patient. Put these two verses together and you realize that by learning to become patient, we are becoming more like the one who created us. We are becoming more like the one who wants the best for us. Sure, it may be tough to learn patience, but like walking, toilet training, and learning to read, it is a lesson we all require for maturing in this case spiritually.
Have you been struggling with patience lately? Perhaps, we all need to stop struggling with it and simply rejoice that we are being tested in patience. We will be all the better for it.. He suffered for us on the cross. The least we can do is learn to be patient.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

 

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