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