Category: Sandy Nathan––News, Publications, Contest Wins, Opinions, Rants

Two steps forward, fifteen back today, but you should know about … NEW APPS THAT WERE ON MY FB PAGE ALL ALONG!

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem (Bloodsong 2)

Boy, there’s a title for a blog article that will SEO like like last month’s pablum! I’ve been doing all these itty-bitty crazy making things today. For instance, we’re planning a sales campaign for Mogollon: A

2014 NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem for … oh, maybe next Thursday? We’re talkin’ about it. Plans are  heating up.

I’ll let you know if they actually get hot. It would be a free day Thursday September 18th, with increased savings available for the weekend through Amazon’s “dribble it out” program. Why do they make it so hard to find the NAME of something?

So, think about free to lowered prices on Mogollon, the ebook with the fabulous cover featuring Native American actor, model & philanthropist Rick Mora. While the cover of this book is amazing, I’d say that the interior of the book––it’s content––is just as stellar.  If you want the maximal immersion, get the paperback version. The cover is KILLER. Front and back.  Mogollon won the Visionary Fiction Category of the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards. All that beauty and a prizewinner, too.

 

My Lady Grace was a Freebooksy Featured Book

While planning this possible promotion, I thought, “I should do some advertising!” Good idea. Which led to a survey of advertising possibilities. I’ve always liked Freebooksy. They do lots of nice things for readers and authors.  If you look at the right column of this blog, you’ll see a cute red sign that says “Featured Author Freebooksy.” My book Lady Grace & the War for a New World was an editorial feature on Freebooksy. (That means I didn’t have to pay for the ad.)

How about submitting to them for Mogollon‘s free day? Good idea, but while I was on the site, I noticed that they have a new free app that you can install on your Facebook Page, that converts it into a mini-version of your Amazon sale page. Whoo-hoo! “You can install it in thirty seconds.” Or two hours, if you were born before 1974. People in my age group should take two or three years to install that puppy.

I got it up in in one day! The only problem is that while loading my books, I assumed that the app used the first loaded is the bottom position on the stack method, which made sense to me. I loaded my books, thinking I was ordering them so that the most recent ones that I wanted everyone to see would be the top of the list, and the older ones on the bottom. That isn’t what the app did, so … I’ve got the books that I want you to see most on the bottom. That’s why people go crazy and run screaming through … fill in your own place for running amuck.

 

YOU FIND THE NEWLY DISCOVERED, ENTICING APPS UNDER THE "ABOUT" ON MY FB PAGE AND ABOVE THE PHOTOS. CLICK THE BUTTONS TO EXPLORE.

I was filled with joy, having successfully installed that Freebooksy App on my Facebook Fan page. That’s THIS FACEBOOK PAGE, MY FAN PAGE, a opposed to THIS OTHER FACEBOOK PAGE, MY PERSONAL PAGE. In doing the installation, I looked at my page for the first time and discovered the already existing apps on it that should bring me much closer to … heaven? I dunno. You, I hope. This is what they look like. (To the left) You find them on the left side of MY FAN PAGE under the ABOUT bit and above the PHOTOS.

I love having people join my mailing list, going to extraordinary lengths to write funny, informative newsletters with special offers in them. In the process of installing Freebooksy app, I discovered that I had a previously semi-installed thing where people could sign up for my newsletter from my Facebook page. This is marked Join My List on my page. All I had to do was complete the installation process I’d started in prehistory. All I needed to do was sign in with  Constant Contact, which involved  CC accepting the password and username that it has been accepting for the last ten years. How many tries did it take? Let me count the stars in the sky. But I got it working. You can sign up for my newsletter and be first to know my news and get special deals available only there. 

Does anyone hate the Constant Contact mailing service like I do? That intensely? I find it horrendously hard to use. Expensive.  They do have great templates and lots of them, but learning them? There’s the on-going thing about it not accepting my passwords.

Mail Chimp – The Mail Service Everyone but Me Uses Now

 

I’d hop over to the free Mail-chimp in in a minute, but it took all of my cyber-muscles to figure out how  to use Constant Contact’s templates to send out the lousy three newsletters I do a year. Having to learn a new system from scratch would kill me. Having said that, I expect the Thought Police from Constant Contact to bust me any minute.

 The Goodreads App was the final app already existing on my FB Fan page. It was hooked up, too. It takes you to my Goodreads author page, or a facsimile.

How does everyone feel about Goodreads? It has about fifty bazillion members, all rabid readers. No, avid readers. Authors are told that they absolutely must get out there and interact with Goodreads reader community. “It’s a marketing gold mine.”

I had my only scary on-line experience on Goodreads. Imagining that I’d find marketing nirvana, I hopped in and joined my genre, Really Nice Fantasies about Fun Things. I had read about Goodreads members being a little bit prickly about rules, so I studied everything about the group and its functioning before posting anything. My group had a bunch of subgroups: Fun Fantasies Involving Torture, Nice Fantasies about Clouds, Fantasies about What You’d like to Do to your Mother-in-law.  They were all my area, so I signed up for all of them. The voluminous instructions to participating in the group said, “Post… somewhere. I forget where… a bit about yourself by way of introduction.” I did this. And then I wrote pretty much the same message in all the subgroups, “Hi, I’m Sandy Nathan, I write fluffy fiction about clouds and I have this book …”

Before I could say “roll me over with a steam roller and keep the change,” some guy got on my case about spamming. I hadn’t spammed. I followed all the rules. Then the group got in on my alleged spam. It escalated. Had I advocated barbecuing children, it couldn’t’ have gotten much hotter. Right when they had my head on the guillotine’s block, the moderator intervened saying, “She didn’t spam. You all belong to the same groups. That’s why you got multiple messages.”

I never went  back to Goodreads. Then there was all the uproar about the young first-time author who got a bunch of low ratings on a book that wasn’t out and no one had any information about. She complained on her own blog, to find her book listed on really nasty lists. So much for the authors’ marketing bonanza.

Any Goodreads experiences to share, readers?

 

 NEXT TIME, WHICH WILL BE VERY SOON, I’LL LET YOU KNOW IF WE’RE HAVING THAT PROMOTION NEXT THURSDAY! YES!

SANDY NATHAN 

 

SORTA-HAPPY PROGRESS REPORT #1

The brilliant and captivating cover of In Love by Christmas. Thank you, Clarissa Yeo!

THE HAPPY STATUS REPORT: Oops. Never check the facts. The MODERATELY HAPPY, BUT NOT TOO ECSTATIC, STATUS REPORT on IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS, my in-development Christmas book.

Last Sunday, I got my complete response to my editor’s first content/developmental edit back to her. [That means: I rewrote the whole friggin' thing and shipped it off.] The first editorial pass is the one done with the golden machete. You send your manuscript in, thinking, “I’m *** ****. Boy is this good.” It comes back shredded, with little red and blue comments all over and half the text deleted. The other half says, “Show me, don’t tell me.”

Every time I send a manuscript in, I expect it to come back with, “YIPPEE! THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO A THING,” on it. This never happens. When the second go-round comes back, it always looks machete-ed again. How she can find more things to put those “little notes” by, I do not understand. After taking a few days to stop being hysterical, again, I get to work rewriting. Because, ****, although I hate to admit it, my editor is mostly always right.

I originally started to write this progress report, saying, “YAHOO! I finished redoing the first chapter. I’M 1/37th of the way done with the rewrite of the SECOND EDITORIAL PASS ON IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS.” I thought it had 37 chapters. 1/37th is pretty good, huh? In not more than a month, working at a pace a normal person might work, I could have the the manuscript really tight.

It has 53 CHAPTERS. I’m 1/53rd of the way through the rewrite. Not so good.

That’s OK. Don’t worry. I’m petitioning the Universe to move Christmas to March 31st this year. Plenty of time to get my Christmas book done. [Responding to the content edit is not all that has to happen to the book. There copy-editing and proofreading and then formatting, wherein it's turned from a Word document like all your letters to your mom and such into a real book and eBook. If you've ever wanted to be an author, you should read this and decide to be an accountant.]

Writing gives you faith. Also takes it away, sometimes. Prayers accept that this sucka gets off the ground before Groundhog Day.

Ciao, everyone!

Sandy Nathan
Sandy’s Other Website, the Interactive One
Sandy’s Amazon Author Page

Sandy’s Facebook Page
Sandy’s Pinterest Page-I’m having fun with this!
Sandy’s Vimeo Page–even more fun. Check out the Chessadors!
Sandy on Twitter-I strongly dislike Twitter. I don’t answer messages or tweets or nuthin’. Try Facebook.

Stepping off the Edge: A Roadmap for the Soul – Coming at you!

Are you ready to step off the edge?

Stepping off the Edge: A Roadmap for the Soul  is the new edition of my spiritual classic. Why should you be interested in Stepping off the Edge? Do you have an on-line addiction that is threatening your job, relationship, and sanity? Do you feel that you don’t know who you really are–in the big sense of  what you’re doing on the planet and in the little sense of why am I here? In Podunkwalla USA? In this skin and particular life? Have you lost something important–a spouse or kids or everything you owned? Is life a pain, or even worse, dull as sawdust? Would you like to go somewhere where you could learn something worth learning with people worth knowing?

I have just outlined what’s in my book and why it’s for you. Stepping off the Edge is a roadmap for navigating the hardest, most important journey you’ll ever make: your life. I wrote Stepping because I wanted to share what I did that facilitated my life working out. The book is a memoir, a very personal series of stories and vignettes that illustrate spiritual principles. It’s not a text book, though it does contain theoretical material. It’s not a how to book, but it does contain exercises you can use to apply concepts. Above all, it’s not a 1, 2, 3 guide to how to be spiritual. I don’t sit you down and teach you how to meditate or pray. (Some things, a person has to figure out for herself.)

My life has worked out and that’s my primary credential in writing this book. I’m sixty eight years old and an happy! That may be the most important thing. I’m happy, content, and in love with my husband of forty years. I love my work–writing for you–and live a beautiful California horse ranch surrounded by animals and people I love.

LINDENWOOD-GATES

These are the gates to the estate on which my family lived. We didn't own the whole thing, it had been subdivided years before. We had an acre of paradise.

My life wasn’t always like that. When I was eighteen, my father was brutally slain by a drunk driver. At that time, I had a charmed existence. My parents owned the tenth largest residential construction company in the USA. We lived in what is now the third most affluent town in the country. I showed horses and water skied on weekends.

Within months of my father’s death, I lived in a tiny apartment at below poverty income. I won’t talk about how that happened, but it did. My brain still thought I was upper class, Why aren’t you doing more charity work, Sandy?

I was seriously depressed for a decade after my father’s death. I didn’t know it and it didn’t slow my down; I earned two master’s degrees and part of a PhD. I was the Santa Clara County economic analyst. Big titles, big jobs, while my soul labored to keep me moving and darkness drifted just out of sight.

Angst

Darkness nipped at me

A huge breakthrough occurred when I attended one of the giant enlightenment seminars during the 1970s. One of the participants wore a blanket around her hunch shoulders. She shuddered and cried the entire weekend, a living plea for help. The seminar leader gave it to her, stripping her to her truth. He showed her and everyone else that she was identified with physical illness and in love with the attention she got as a sick person. He also helped her expose what her sick act had cost her: a husband had walked out on her; she’d lost her kids. She got it, at least then.

Some people really have sickness down. They may be "sick" all their lives, eighty five years or so

Some people really have sickness down. They may be "sick" all their lives, oh, eighty five years or so.

Someone in my life was like that. I had assumed that her “sick act” was as immutable as the fabric of the universe. A Mount Rushmore of the soul. I was also forbidden to feel/express any resentment or be anything but kind and empathetic. The seminar leader showed me that the woman’s behavior was an act, an unconscious but very powerful role that had taken over her life.  As an act and not the real her, it could be changed. I saw. Even if that person who was impacting me so much couldn’t change, I could. 

How did I get from that moment to now? It’s all in Stepping off the Edge Took thirty-nine years. I did everything from getting an MA in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling to spending thirty years with a meditation school based in India, to coaching negotiations at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, to working on myself every way I could.  Stepping contains the fruit of my spiritual pilgrimage.

I’m pulling out the stops in getting the word out about Stepping. You can buy it as a paperback and as an eBook very soon. I’m puttin’ the message out in other ways, via Facebook albums and Pinterest boards and who knows what else I’ll think of. These new social media offer terrific ways of sharing content and giving readers a very clear look at what a book is about. Like this:

Bliss accompanies spirit. If you're thinking about studying with someone don't feel blissful around him or her, you're in the wrong place.

My intent is to get  your attention. What Stepping is about is very important: you and who you really are. Want another teaching aide? Check this out. I’m having a bunch of these “Maxim Cards” made up on key points from Stepping. The three presented here deal with the basic issue: What is spirituality? What is spiritual? I’ve got cards made up in nine other areas, ranging from What is your true identity? To How to establish a personal spiritual practice? All the way to Spiritual traps and dealing with evil.

I like things presented so everyone can understand them. Take a living person. Then look at a dead one. The difference is spirit. No spirit, no life.

One of the things about being an older person is you know you don’t have forever to do whatever you came to this earth to do. That’s one reason I’m putting the new version of Stepping off the Edge. It’s behind my push to get these materials to you. They’re beautiful, impactful teaching aides giving you jewels of spiritual exploration. What do they cost? Nothing, at the moment. I am discussing selling them with a retailer. So, download while you can. Contemplate and apply always.

How to you fully experience your spiritual nature? Contemplation–attention fixed on an object–is a very good start.

Want more than pictures? How about music, color and movement? A video! Let this run through once to buffer. It’s HD so you can watch it full screen. Enjoy!

 

Here’s where you find these Maxims from Stepping off the Edge: A Roadmap for the Soul:

Sandy Nathan/Vilasa Press on Facebook, my professional page:   My albums from Vilasa Press. All the Maxims are in there. Please “Like” my page!

Sandy Nathan/Author on Facebook, my personal page:   My albums. Lots of them. You can look through the ones on Stepping and all the rest. If we aren’t FB friends, send me a Friend request and I’ll Friend you.

My Pinterest boards are here. The Maxims have boards of their own and you’ll find lots of other interesting stuff. Feel free to borrow and repin.

All the best,   [I'm not quite sure what the Facebook badge below does. May take you somewhere where you can get to the Maxims faster. Below the badge is some info about Stepping off the Edge. What it's won in contests and so on.]

Sandy Nathan

Promote Your Page Too

The text of the second edition of Stepping isn’t much different that the first edition. I didn’t change the book very much for a bunch of reasons. Reading it again told me that nothing has changed; in fact, spiritual life has gotten much worse for many people in the last. More on-line addiction, more seeking and striving and killing one’s dear self to attain success as a commercial writer, more of everything I talked about back in 2007 when the first Stepping came out. What’s to change?

Also, not many people read or even heard of Stepping off the Edge, even though it won the most prestigious awards of my multi-award winning books. When the first Stepping was pubished, it won:

  • 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist in New Age (Spirituality/Metaphysics)
  • Bronze Medal Winner in Self Help, 2007 IPPY (Independent Press) Awards
  • National Indie Excellence Awards 2007: Finalist in THREE Categories: Autobiography/Memoir, New Age Non-Fiction & Spirituality.
  • Best Books of 2007, USA Book News, Finalist in Autobiography/Memoir

The Benjamin Franklin Awards and IPPY Awards are probably the most prestigious, largest, and oldest contests for independently produced books. This was my first book and I didn’t realize what a big deal those wins were. Now I do.

For more about the original Stepping off the Edge, check out my website.

 

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