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About Me & “Everything Indie”

Click on the Goodreads Challenge icon to see my reviews for books I read in 2014. Click on the Goodreads icon to see what other books I’ve read, rated, and possibly reviewed.

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I tried to write reviews for  most of the books in my challenge this year!

 

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XXXXxPhotograph by Vicky Van de Kerckhoven

Okay, the first thing you need to know about me is that I am an unrepentant bibliophile. On my first day of kindergarten, I asked my teacher when we would learn how to read. Oh, the agony I suffered when she replied, “We don’t do that here. You’ll learn how to read in Grade 1.”  I imagined waiting a whole year before learning how to make sense of those magical marks on the page, and I thought, “What is the point of kindergarten if you don’t learn how to read?!”

Emblem from UWC of the Adriatic

After Grade 11,  I did my International Baccalaureate at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy. It was a lot of fun! There were scholarship students from all over the world, and I got to travel a great deal whenever the school closed down for holidays. Two years later, I returned to Canada and found work in a bookstore. Sheer bliss! I worked full-time in that store for four years before deciding to study psychology at the local university.

Whilelogo for u of a attending university, I continued to work part-time at the bookstore during the school terms, and full-time during the summers. After getting my undergraduate degree in psychology, I worked in group homes for people with psychiatric disorders for a couple of years. I enjoyed the clients, but not cleaning the homes, cooking meals, shoveling snow, and mowing the lawn… Eventually I understood that I was just a glorified housekeeper. The tenants were no more odd than my friends (who could probably have benefited from psychiatric care themselves). They didn’t need my new knowledge of psychology, which was really just common sense anyway.

Me in bookstore
Me at work with Dinner with Lisa by bestselling local author R. L. Prendergast

Soooo… Back I went to the bookstore! Over the years I pursued further education and tried other jobs, but I kept returning to bookstores. I’m not the only one, either. Many of our staff have gone to university to get degrees, only to decide that they were happiest working in a bookstore. I’ve read a lot of books over the years, and eventually I tried my hand at writing short stories with a group on LinkedIn.

That was fun, and I did get three stories published in two anthologies, but I discovered that there were many excellent authors out there who required help with proofreading, publishing, and marketing their books. I’ve always had an eagle-eye for typos and grammatical errors — I once wrote to a major publishing house outlining the 81 errors I’d found in one of their authors’ novel — so I began to proofread and edit books for self-published authors.

I quickly recognized that many of the authors for whom I proofread had very little idea of how to market their books. Successful authors published by the larger traditional publishing houses were getting author websites and online media galore, but self-published authors often lacked the connections or means to accomplish these things.

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That’s when I decided to help authors sell their books online as well as in the store. Unless you are a proliferate writer who sells the movie rights to your books, you aren’t rich. Thus began my experiment to learn WordPress and study what online social media are the most effective in increasing book sales. I hope to offer my services to authors at a rate they can afford. My passion has always been connecting people with books they enjoy. I want to make more such books available to them.

John McLay, author of On Mountaintop Rock, came into the bookstore I currently work at in October, 2014. He was a very pleasant fellow and, discovering that he was an author, I asked him the title of his book. Two days later, he returned to the store and gave me a signed copy! Having read and loved it, and seeing what a great guy he was, I approached him with my idea. His was a book I felt comfortable promoting, and he was kind enough to let me use On Mountaintop Rock for my first case study! (Proofreading was entirely unnecessary, as I didn’t spot a single error in his novel!)

Now that you know a little bit about me and my experiment, feel free to offer suggestions on how I might best reach the audiences who will appreciate my efforts. Computer  geeks  geniuses are also most welcome to critique my website designs!

Dog Sleeping after Studying
XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxPhoto “Dog Sleeping after Studying” by zcool.com.cn

56 thoughts on “Home

  1. I am a book lover raising three book lovers. It actually breaks my heart to say “put that book away” but my kids haven’t quite learned balance yet! My daughter gets in trouble at school for reading under her desk and I’ll admit to being just a little bit proud!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lol. Your daughter may not be sufficiently challenged at school. I find that many kids today, especially boys, are below their reading level due to the appeal of computer games and social media. Go ahead and be proud! You should be.😀

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  2. I enjoyed leaning about your progression in the literary industry. 81 errors in one novel? Not surprising at all. It never used to be like this. I am an editor and visual information specialist by education and career, having learned the tried-and-true, “real” cut/paste/strip procedures, which I have now transferred to the computer. I’m just old enough to have trouble promoting my own fiction, even though as an editor and ghost writer the problem is probably more time restriction than not knowing exactly what to do. Let me know if you run into any editorial points I can clarify for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the offer. I will likely take you up on it at some point in the near future. Regarding promotion, I must confess that I much prefer face-to-face contact with my customers to social media. I am, however, learning–despite my distaste for it–how to promote books via social media. I have been very fortunate in my choice of using WordPress to meet many kind people in this field who, like yourself, have offered their assistance. Thank you again for reaching out to me.

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    1. I’m sorry, but I’m currently unable to accept submissions for author interviews at this time. (I know I don’t have a policy page yet, but I’m in the process of moving and reformatting my Website, and I’ll be adding a policy page about submissions for reviews and interviews.) Thank you for asking, though, and I encourage you to keep trying.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not surprised you love bookshops. I’ve only managed to work in one for 5 weeks (due to family reasons) but can’t wait to have another go… I’d love to have my own bookshop but might have to be very inventive about it. I agree with you it’s a tall order to try not only to write a book but also to become a small business and market your own books. Thanks for your efforts.

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    1. The wages for working in a bookstore are no better than for any kind of retail work, but those of us who do so are more than compensated with free Advance Reader Copies of new releases. I recently found a button that read “Will work for books.” That’s me! Thanks for visiting, Olga.

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  4. Hi Connie! It’s so cool that you work with indie authors and studied Psychology as an undergrad – I’m an indie writer who just graduated with a Psychology degree! During the school year I worked part-time at the library, which was wonderful but also distracting as a bibliophile – I wanted to flip through every interesting book I came across. A few times I actually came across some gems while shelving books that I decided to check out for myself. Working in a bookshop sounds wonderful, especially if you get free ARCs! Awesome blog, thanks for the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the kudos. I recall racing from my last course of the day–a chemistry lab–to the bookstore for one semester. It was the only semester I was unable to book my courses around work. Congrats on getting your Psych degree!😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Connie it’s always nice to meet someone with so much determination and passion. Just out of curiosity do you find it difficult to get through longer blog posts without working your proofreading magic? I am really big on correct grammar, especially when spoken, so I often find myself correcting the “mis-speakings” of others.
    You “liked” a post on our blog entitled “LBGT Woes” (did you notice any typos or grammatical errors?)-
    we’ve received numerous positive comments. We realize everyone won’t be in agreement but we’d like to share these thoughts with as many people as we can. Our goal is to help educate. If at all possible how about joining our quest by reblogging the post and encouraging others to do the same.
    …and now, without further ado, I’m officially off to browse around your blogosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always important to proofread before publishing a longer blog. It’s the comments in which I most often make errors, because I tend not to think or proofread before hitting “send.” Unless the website moderator is kind enough to correct my gaffs, it’s out there forever.😦

      I did notice some things in your article I would do differently in terms of punctuation, but it was clear, concise, and interesting to read.

      Thanks for visiting my blog. You may find it boring, as it’s devoted primarily to self-published authors.

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      1. Thank you for the tips on the article!
        I doubt seriously if I will find your blog boring. I recently completed my first short story. It has been edited but I have not put any serious effort into publishing. I actually enjoy writing for personal pleasure and to share with my closest friends and family (my genre of choice is horror) and I am a huge prankster so my writings and my playful (scary) nature work very well together.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve never attempted anything more ambitious than short stories myself. Mine always seem to end up darker than I intended, but rather than horror, I would say “speculative writing” is my genre. Like you, I’ve not pursued publication seriously. I’ve always been an appreciative reader, though, and I try to show my gratitude for the great books other people publish by writing reviews and otherwise promoting their work. I’ve only relatively recently become involved with self-published authors, and there are some real gems among them.

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  6. Glad to meet such a passionate bibliophile here. I will avail of your services, Connie, if and when I graduate to a stage where I will need your help. Presently I am just a beginner in blogosphere, who embarked on the journey as nearly as eighteen months ago…best wishes.. Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj, thank you so much for the Easter message. It’s like a lovely poem, elucidating as it does so much in so few words. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me as a friend during this spiritual season, and I hope this time will be for you one of fertility of the mind, of new insights/awakenings, and of hope.

      Liked by 1 person

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