Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My December

As we make our way through the first days of the Christmas season, I’ve been thinking a lot about how our ideas change as we get older. Now that I’m officially “old,” I’m happy with a small (4-foot) artificial tree, decorated with just a few bells, some beads, and several bows. I asked a friend to get my big cookie jar off a top shelf, but when I think of what it would take to fill it, I’m happy to open a package of Voortman gingerbread men. My decorations have shrunk to a single poinsettia and some candles, interspersed with sprigs of pine and several pine cones. No dinner plans, no family to visit, no parties. I can’t hear music anymore, and I can’t think of a single gift I would want or need.

What am I most enjoying? A couple of strands of tiny white lights that are not really bulbs but simply a wide spot on their wire. Holiday-wrapped chocolates as a special treat. A good book. A small chunk of fruitcake, frozen from last year and resuscitated to add its rum and brandy charm to a few more cups of coffee. Cold nights, clear skies full of winter stars, and a cozy fire in the fireplace. Notes of love and remembrance from friends in faraway places. And memories—of my high school choir performing the entire “Messiah” from memory after practicing for three years to get it perfect, of a little boy’s fascination with the train that ran around the base of his Christmas tree, of twin kittens greeting my mother’s Christmas visit with bright red bows around their necks, and one magical year when we spent Christmas in London, attended Christmas Eve services at Westminster Abbey, and came out at midnight to discover a soft snowfall burying the city.

I’ve been incredibly lucky for most of my life, and I would be embarrassed to feel anything less than total contentment in my later years. But there are a couple of things I’m determined to do to make this season even better. So here are my Christmas resolutions. I will NOT spend any time this month in trying to sell you my books. Readers know the books are out there and available. I assume you are all as sick of sales pitches as I am, and I refuse to offer you another “deal you can’t pass up.” Books make great Christmas presents, but only you can choose the ones your friends will like. Nor will I dedicate this holiday to my favorite charity. I assume you give whatever you are able to whichever charitable cause touches your heart. I will NOT demand—or even suggest--that you support my choice. And I will NOT parade my grief over the things that make me sad. We’ve all experienced both losses and blessings. I will count the blessings and tuck the losses away in my heart.

What remains? The switch that turns off the news. The unexpected hug. Coins in the Salvation Army’s kettle. Lions pecans. Smiles for those shop clerks who appear tired and stressed by multiple responsibilities. An extra scratch or two for a purring cat willing to sleep on my lap. An open door and an open heart.

And if you are looking for me? That’ll be me—the one in the little red car with the reindeer antlers on it!

Friday, November 17, 2017

One Last Balloon before the Excitement Fades

One last announcement: The trade paper edition of The Second Mouse Goes Digital: Self-Publishing Comes of Age is now available on Amazon. 

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am a big fan of electronic editions. I love my Kindle, and I'm even fonder of reading books on my iPad. I really like being able to carry a whole library full of great literature in my purse. But once in a while, only a real book will do the job. I suspect that is the case with my current book.

The Second Mouse Goes Digital is a fun read. You can whip through it in a day or so, and you'll end up with a much better understanding of what self-publishing is all about. It may even convince you that you want to give this publishing avenue a try for yourself. But if you're a serious writer--if you want to put all these mousey tips to work--if you're ready to become a published author rather than a would-be writer--then you're going to need the paper version.

You'll want to remember the name of that grammar-checking software we recommended. You'll want to find a good writer's conference to attend. You'll need to review those tips about identifying a scam. You'll need to check up on one of those confusing pairs of sound-alike words.  You'll want some help in re-writing a sentence with a passive verb or a dangling modifier. You'll have to decide which of Amazon's promotions will best fit your needs. A "How-To" book is not much good if you can't find the details you need at the moment you need them. And, honestly, digital books just aren't very easy to search.

The most useful books are the ragged ones--the ones that sit on your desk day after day. The pages are dog-eared. The important points sport neon highlighting. The margins may be full of your own notes. There's a coffee-ring on the cover, and the spine is starting to show cracks. But that's how you know that this is a book with important stuff inside.

And here's the best deal of all! Purchase the paperback Digital Mouse from Amazon 
at the list price of $16.95, and get the Kindle version for just $0.99. Then you'll 
never be without this important new guide through the mysteries of self-publishing. 

Happy reading!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Trumpets! Confetti! Funny Hats! Cheering Crowds

It's Time to Celebrate

Today, Katzenhaus Books proudly announces the release of their new book, The Second Mouse Goes Digital: Self-Publishing Comes of Age. 

This new volume completely updates and expands its popular predecessor, The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese: How To Avoid the Traps of Self-Publishing. The publishing world has undergone major changes since 2011. New software, new social media platforms, new publishing companies, new industry standards, and an epidemic of new scammers--all demand that anyone involved in self-publishing, or even considering it, must take a fresh look at the industry as a whole.

Some cheese ages well, so we have included all the old advice that still works today. But other cheeses are best sampled fresh, so you'll find new suggestions for helpful software, reliable publishers, and innovative techniques for creating self-published books that are indiscernible from those books issued by mainstream publishers. For suggestions, we turned to some famous rodents in children's literature to seek advice, and we've picked the newest recommendations from our family of literary mice.

If you have written a book, or are in the middle of writing one, or even thinking about writing a book, you need the advice of The Second Mouse at your fingertips. Order your Kindle version today at a temporarily-reduced price of just $2.99. The trade paper edition will become available in just a few days. Stay tuned for that announcement. And in the meantime, 

Happy Writing! 
from author Carolyn P. Schriber and all her mousey friends.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What's the Bottom Line?

The Second Mouse Goes Digital: Self-Publishing Comes of Age

Author Carolyn Schriber takes a closer look at recent self-publishing innovations that have opened the gates to mainstream book publication.
Pre-Orders available now, with Kindle release date: Wednesday, November 15.

Click here to order

Epilogue: What’s the Bottom Line?

And then our own Second Mouse is back to answer those burning questions that have been waiting for answers all through this book. “What’s it going to cost me?” and “Will I ever make any money this way?” He'll also give you a quick look at what you could realistically hope to earn by going the traditional publishing route.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Launching and Marketing

The Second Mouse Goes Digital: Self-Publishing Comes of Age

Author Carolyn Schriber takes a closer look at recent self-publishing innovations that have opened the gates to mainstream book publication.
Pre-Orders available now, with Kindle release date: Wednesday, November 15.

Click here to order

Chapter 12: Launching and Marketing

Mickey Mouse will be the first to tell you that publishing a book is an event that deserves celebration. He’ll encourage you to throw yourself a party—and then he'll tell you to get on with the never-ending job of marketing your baby book. He discusses committing to the long haul with virtual book tours, boxed sets, free days, and book contests.