It’s a great big, small world
How are we— as authors, writers and readers— interacting with it?
Next Week’s Release: The Phulasso Devotional
Earlier this week, Parisian Phoenix Publishing submitted its latest title, Thurston D. Gill Jr.’s The Phulasso Devotional, to the printer. We’re looking at the printer-generated proof and we are awe-struck and excited. A year ago Thurston had only dreamed of sharing his deep spirituality with the world in a broader fashion but he wasn’t sure what he was writing.
With encouragement and a little bit of nagging, Thurston submitted to Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money. And the conversations that followed made me realize that Thurston needed to write a devotional, a special devotional that blended his decades of experience as a first responder, police officer and security professional with his deep Christian faith.
Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, I think everyone agrees that the modern world needs more men (and women) who can embrace and embody the balance of the two without becoming some sort of hard-nosed zealot.
This book exists outside of a political spectrum. We don’t talk about weapons or second amendment rights or “an eye for an eye.” This book— and these are my words as publisher, not Thurston’s as the writer, and I hope he will consider writing more in longer form that just the brief meditations offered here— allows the spiritual person who wants to live the Judeo-Christian ideas of “doing good,” “making the world a better place,” and “do unto others” while acknowledging that there is violence in this society and we, as families and as professionals, have to protect our lives and those of our loved ones.
When do we “turn the other cheek” and when do we fight? How do we fight? Are we betraying our believes if we fight? Thurston addresses these questions.
The ebook is now live for pre-order on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble.
How is it a great big, small world?
On Monday, I went to the hand specialist for a finger injury sustained falling down the stairs. Small world “coincindence” #1: Thurston was the first responder on the scene on the day of the accident, and the other people who witnessed the incident asked if we knew each other. I, despite almost passing out, used the opportunity to promote his upcoming book.
In the exam room waiting for the doctor, I read the certificates and diplomas on the walls, studied some QR codes for info on common injuries and kept coming back to a mounted newspaper article about the dangers of fireworks. Upon closer inspection, I realized I knew the reporter who wrote that article. (She contributed an essay to the upcoming Parisian Phoenix cat anthology.) So, I texted the author and we had a brief conversation. She owns a cat-themed boutique in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Purr Haus.
As writers, we never know where our writing will end up or whom it will impact. It’s a responsibility and also a thrill.
Spring Events for Writers and Readers (many free)
March 20: Angel Ackerman, Gayle Hendricks and Nancy Scott will be speaking to the Apex Writers Group in a private session, organized by Not an Able-Bodied White Man contributor Tammy Burke.
March 23-25: Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group Write Stuff annual conference. Joan Zachary will be on hand as the official photographer. Larry Sceurman will be attending with hopes of learning more about audiobooks and to promote his current and upcoming fiction (The Death of Big Butch, Coffee in the Morning). Independent book store Book and Puppet Company will be handling the conference book fair, and several Parisian Phoenix titles will be on hand. One of our favorite local podcasts, Lehigh Valley will Love, featured Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group board members Chris Ochs and Charlie Kiernan. Click here to listen.
March 24-26: Lehigh Valley Book Festival sponsored by independent book store Let’s Play Books at the Bethlehem Public Library.
March 30: Parisian Phoenix poet Darrell Parry will be hosting the Jean Corrie Ice Cream Social and Poetry Reading at Lafayette College, Farinon Center, Marlo Room, 4 p.m. Information on last year’s event can found here.
April 22: Parisian Phoenix poet Darrell Parry will read at Parkland Community Library, 1 p.m.
April 29: National Independent Book Store Day
April 28-30: Arts Community of Easton hosts a reception for its annual Small Works Show at the Sigal Musuem, followed by the annual arts tour, Saturday and Sunday. Artist Maryann Riker, whose works grace the cover of Twists and The Phulasso Devotional and the interior of Not an Able-Bodied White Man, is a member of ACE.
TBD, Maryann Riker has invited Joan Zachary’s citizens of Plastiqueville to appear in “Let’s Play” an upcoming art exhibit involving toys at Connexions Gallery. Is this the first step toward a chronicle of life in Plastiqueville in the form of a full color photo book?
As always, we encourage readers to leave book reviews on their platforms of choice. We recently wrote directions on how to do so. Read those here. Reviews help other readers find and choose Parisian Phoenix books, give us increased exposure and rank among the algorithms and also qualify books for certain advertising opportunities. So even if you don’t say much, even if your message is simple, please say something.
Don’t forget— ebook readers who don’t mind leaving reviews can always receive free advanced copies of books through NetGalley. Sign up as a reader/reviewer on NetGalley and request books from your favorite genres. Publishers pay NetGalley to coordinate this service so that new books arrive in the marketplace with reviews. That’s how important reviews are.
Goodreads is designed to be a social media platform to exchange book reviews with friends and track your reading.
What We Are Reading
I Scream Man by Katherine Ramsland. Her nonfiction book Ghost is referenced in the Parisian Phoenix novel Courting Apparitions. Katherine’s nonfiction book Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today is the book that made her one of Angel Ackerman’s idols— as a woman and as a writer. Google Katherine, you won’t regret it.
A History of The Island by Eugene Vodolazkin. This fictional history book about a made-up island is available on NetGalley. It has some lovely book design and reads like a real history of a land that may soon lose its culture due to imperialism or colonialism. (That’s a guess, just a hypothesis.)
A proofreader’s copy of a new anthology from self-published author Rachel Thompson, who contributed to Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money.
Cooks Illustrated, we like the words, the pictures and the food. Speaking of print magazines, add the recent issue of Poets & Writers to that list and IBPA Publisher, put together by the Independent Book Publishers Association.
City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman, everybody needs a “beach read.”
An advanced review copy of Alice Versella’s new poetry book, A Psalm for the Weary. Her previous release was When Wolves Become Birds.
Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett. A woman comes to a small town in New Hampshire to care for her poetry professor father who now sees imaginary animals.
Echo City Capers Jr., by Ralph Greco Jr. and Joe Swarctz, children’s book duo
Crowbones, (audiobook) from the end of the fantasy series The World of the Others, by Anne Bishop
What We Are Enjoying
Tea, specifically lavender on the herbal side, and Valerian to wind down, and Rooibos when watching our blood pressure
@StayTheRex on Instagram. Young family from Philadelphia bought a dilapidated motel near Promised Land in the Poconos (about an hour from the Lehigh Valley where Parisian Phoenix hangs its hat) and renovated it into an amazing destination.
Service Dogs. Watch this space for more on that in future editions.
Podcasts about building newsletters
Today we will look at podcasts that will help you build and improve your author email newsletter. If you find my Spotify profile, you will find all of these and more on the playlist “writer newsletters and mailing lists.”
BUILDING A BUSINESS NEWSLETTER
THE EMAIL MARKETING SHOW with Rob and Kennedy at Email Marketing Heroes. This series focuses on email newsletters for any business, not specifically writers. I encourage you to listen to any of their episodes that sound interesting— because as writers, we often forget to treat our writing as a business. Topics include: Email marketing vs. Social Media, How We Used a Facebook Group to Build Our Email List, and 9 Psychological Things We Use in All Our Campaigns.
THE SIDE HUSTLE SHOW with Nick Loper, specifically episode 544 “$1300/Mo in Under a Year: Growing a Paid newsletter” with Danielle Desir who founded the Grants for Creators Newsletter. Not only might this newsletter help you find money for your writing, but she also used Substack for her success. The transcript of the episode is available at sidehustlenation.com
NOVEL MARKETING with Thomas Umstattd Jr. Thomas appeared on last month’s list, so now I want to point to two specific episodes: “How to Get a Professional Email Address” and “How to Use QR codes to Boost Book Sales & Grow Your Email List.” I’m recommending these two because I think he offers easy and inexpensive ways to make life more efficient and to promote yourself in the most professional way.
BOOK MARKETING SIMPLIFIED with Jenn and Marcus DePaula of Mixtus Media. I think all of their podcasts are anywhere from 10-20 minutes log and these particular episodes give some practical direction about building a newsletter.
“Three Things Authors Need to Start Their Newsletter”
“How to Grow An Author Newsletter”
“Newsletter vs. Blog Subscriber”
"How Authors Can Generate Content Ideas”
Newsletters aren’t a sexy topic, so next time I’ll delve into my “Life as a Writer” playlist and we might talk about inspiration, but we most certainly will talk about failure.
And to close out this newsletter…
Tribute to Spring, by Larry Sceurman
A time for renewal, balance, and thought
[to have access to the whole essay, please become a paid subscriber]
The spring equinox, Monday, March 20, is the first day of spring. I imagine the celebration of spring, the beginning of the new, rebirth, the ability to grow and sustain life has always been with us.
Indigenous people believe that Mother Earth gives birth in spring, that the spring rains and the spring waters begin to flow in the same manner as a woman’s water breaking when she gives birth.
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