Bounty Hunter Also Accepted On ‘Indie California’

For the fourth time now I got exciting news! I was informed that Bounty Hunter, the fourth book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, too, now is available in “Indie California’! Read more about it below – This is so wonderful. Please, help me spread the word! Thank you!

See the message I got here below


Hi A. J. Alexander,

Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space!

Your book, Bounty Hunter, is now available in Indie California, a collection of books from local indie authors available exclusively on the BiblioBoard Library mobile and web platform. This collection is available to patrons of participating libraries all across your state/region. That’s right, your book is now available with just one click of a button to thousands of new readers in your state/region!

 

 

Your Book
http://library.biblioboard.com/content/1bb52116-94c9-4c39-825e-73c79a5d463d

‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ Celebrates 100K Views!

It happened… it really did! With great pride I can announce that my blog, ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ has passed 100,000 views! This is so exciting.

But, of course I cannot let this celebration pass without telling you all how grateful I am! When I started that blog I didn’t know exactly what to expect. But you all, loyal readers, friends, regular visitors – and the ones finding it by accident… you all made this blogging adventure a wonderful one for me!

Picture courtesy of Google.com

The secret of internet dating and its devastating repercussions on the human disposition

Today I’m a guest blogger on Juliette Kings’ Vampire Maman blog with one of my humorous posts…
Enjoy the read and laugh heartily. I hope, you’ll have as much fun reading, as I had writing it.

Vampire Maman

The secret of internet dating and its devastating repercussions on the human disposition

Written by A. J. Alexander – Copyright, September 2021

Sex is overrated. Yes, I can easily imagine the confused looks on surrounding faces, would I stand in a room and proclaim that fact, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m talking about the fact that I tried it, and my current opinion is the result of my experience a while ago.

We keep thinking, that’s like in the movies, where the violins cry (meow-meow-meow) and the candles spend warm light (flicker-flicker). It’s a miserable attempt at physical exercise. You hit your skull on the headboard, the nightstand lamp crashes onto your temple, and every five minutes, Mommy comes in and brings cheese sandwiches, now there.

And that’s not even it! I’m beslobbered from head to toe, what am I? A popsicle? And then, afterward… afterward…

View original post 590 more words

Celebrating The End Of The First Draft Of My New Book

Picture courtesy of Google.com

In my blog post “How Not To Start A New Book” I announced that I was writing on a book outside my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series’.

I’ve been excited to tell that story ever since I started to write it. That’s one reason why I didn’t prepare as carefully as I usually do.

I needed help in the middle of writing to create the plot realistic since this time, my readers won’t face magical creatures, wings, and whatever makes my series unique.

The story faces reality, and so do my characters.

I’m not going into details at this time; after all, we are talking about me writing the first draft of the book.

Now, M.L. Davis from the ‘Uninspiredwriters.com’ blog published a post where she recommends celebrating the finalization of every book draft! And that’s what I’m doing right now.

I DID IT!

I ended the first draft of my new book last night. And today I’m celebrating. There are so many reasons…one of them is, celebrating hard work. Many people seem to imagine us typing for a few weeks, then magically, a new book shows up.

As I explained to a friend today: ‘The fun part is over, now the work begins.’ And I stick with that! Writing is the fun part; now we’re going to typing into the computer, a process that gives me the possibility to catch mistakes, plot holes, confusion, and a few other things, and then…. Oh, wait! I’m not going there yet! Today is a day of celebration!

Please raise the glass with me: “Here’s to the next steps in the process to turn this into a readable story!”

And please:

Stay curious!

A Dark Day In History – Remembering 9/11 – 20 Years

Twenty years ago, I sat in an office in Europe when our boss came in and informed us that the World Trade Center in NYC was burning due to an accident… it was the first airplane hitting the North Tower. I politely asked if I could check that please online, but he refused. His words were something in the line of: “We need our internet for significant things…”

I was working temporarily for that company and decided to call it a day. It was already afternoon in Western Europe, and I went home to find out what happened.  I turned the TV on and started crying. I think I didn’t stop weeping until 11 pm.

It’s been 20 years that nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks, born out of purest hatred and evil.

But something else happened that day: It united the US. The United States of America has proven to be ONE UNITY. There were no ‘us’ and ‘them.’ There was no exclusion, no dividing… families lost loved ones and needed help. Victims were mourned, no matter who they were! Memorials were held for ALL of them! And American people united to help.

I pray that the US finds that solidarity again – WITHOUT such a horrific catastrophe.

But also, and most of all, I pray that we never forget the lives lost that day, 20 years ago, when the sky over the US burned.


Dear Lord

Would you please help us remember the souls who wandered to Heaven that day, 20 years ago? Let us burn a candle for them, deep in our hearts. Please, let them rest in peace forever.

Amen

Picture courtesy of VideoHive.com

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin' on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
That September day?
Teachin' a class full of innocent children
Or drivin' down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor?
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset for the first time in ages
And speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on I Love Lucy reruns?
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Stand in line to give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love
I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
On that September day?


God Bless America Photograph by M James McAdams

How To Set Up A Smashword Widget On Your Blog

I was asked lately how to set up a Smashword Widget on your WordPress blog. It’s not very hard to do that. Basically, your computer does most of the work for you. Just let it happen.

Let’s start with creating the ‘Smashwords’ ‘button that you see here on the right side.

Go to Smashwords, open your account, your dashboard, and then click the book you would like to create the ‘button’ of. This example will be the first book in my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker.’


The page opens, and on the right side, you will find ‘Create Widget’. Click it.

You will see the ‘button’ as it will look like. Below you can see the entire HTML code that you need to enter into the widget. On the left side, you can adjust the size, font, Background, Button color, Ribbon text, Ribbon Color (There is a possibility to remove the ribbon). Play around a bit. The HTML code will be automatically adjusted.)

As an extra possibility: You can make it easy: Play around as much as you want, you will see every change in the ‘button’ when you make the changes. Instead of copying the HTML code to paste it into the widget, you can also just take a screenshot from the ‘button.’


Now, let’s go over to our WordPress Dashboard and pick ‘Appearance’.


As soon as you chose Appearance, now, pick ‘Widgets.’


The Widgets on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ are on the Sidebar, that’s what I’m going to click:


Now, click the ‘+’ to add a new Widget. It will appear BELOW all other existing Widgets, you will have to scroll down.


Now, you can search for the widget you are looking for, in this case, ‘Custom HTML’ – OR, if you picked the ‘extra possibility,’ you can search for ‘image.’




You can now either paste the HTML code from the ‘Smashwords’ site or upload the screenshot you took from the Smashwords button.


Now you can enter a Widget title, caption, and, if you pasted the screenshot, you could hyperlink it to the Smashwords site, where your readers can buy the book.


9999


At the very end, if you have adjusted and set up your new Widget the way you want it, you can move it. I told you earlier, it will be at the very bottom of your already existing widgets. With the arrow, you can move it up or down.


Good Luck with your new Smashwords Widget. Have fun!

Warning Of ‘Award Profiteers’

The past few weeks, I got emails from ‘MainCrest Media,’ telling me that they have the greatest respect for my talent and summoning me to participate in their ‘Awards Program.’ They promise recognition and increase of sales. Their website is quite well designed, a professional invitation to step right into that well-created trap.

The moment I saw their submission fee of $99/per entry, reduced from $149, I got goosebumps, and I knew something didn’t seem right. I started my search about their practice and found several websites and articles warning from so-called ‘Award Profiteers.’

On the reedsyblog, I found a long article, warning of Author Scams and Publishing Companies to Avoid. In the middle of the page, you will find the following paragraph:

Writing Contests and Awards

Do you feel like a winner now?

Writing contests are a great way to reach an audience, solidify your writing credentials, and even make a little money in the form of prizes. There are, however, competitions that are little more than money-spinning enterprises. And you can usually sniff them out by the fact that their prizes are not really prizes.

Some contests will publish winning entries in a magazine or an anthology — which is great. But sometimes, ‘winning’ authors will be obliged to pay an ‘editing fee’ for that privilege — which is not great.

There are also some competitions in which the prize might be a trophy. The catch here is that the author will be expected to pay for the cost of the physical prize. This isn’t necessarily bad — unless you mind paying $80 for a slab of acrylic that dozens more have also ‘won’ that month.

In short, read the fine print. To find contests that have been vetted, you can look through this directory of the best writing competitions.


ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors, published a blog post, written by John Doppler: ALLI Watchdog, who rated and reviewed Author contests and awards on the following page: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/author-awards-contests-rated-reviewed/

According to John Doppler, the ‘watchdog’ criteria for contests and awards are the following:

Author Awards and Contests Rated and Reviewed: Guiding Principles

John Doppler

1. The event exists to recognize talent, not to enrich the organizers.
Avoid events that are driven by excessive entry fees, marketing services to entrants, or selling merchandise like stickers and certificates.

2. Receiving an award is a significant achievement.
An event that hands out awards like Halloween candy dilutes the value of those awards, rendering them meaningless. Beware of events that offer awards in dozens of categories. These are often schemes to maximize the number of winners in order to sell them stickers and other merchandise.

3. The judging process is transparent and clear.
Watch out for contests whose judging criteria and personnel are vague or undisclosed.

4. Prizes are appropriate and commensurate with the entry fees collected.
If a cash prize is offered, it should align with the size of the entry fee. “Exposure” is not an appropriate prize. Representation or publication are acceptable prizes, but only if offered by a reputable company without hidden fees.

5. Entrants are not required to forfeit key rights to their work.
Avoid contests with onerous terms, especially those which require the forfeiture of publishing rights without a termination clause. When in doubt, have an independent professional review the terms.


Another clear warning I found on one of my favorite blogs: Victoria Strauss’ Writer Beware blog. She published her article about ‘Award Profiteers’ in 2015 already but re-blogged it in 2019. MainCrest Media was not specifically mentioned. But she tells us clearly where to keep our eyes open:

– Solicitation. To maximize entries, profiteering awards and contests often solicit entries. An out-of-the-blue email or an ad on Facebook urging you to enter a contest or awards program should always be treated with caution.

– High entry fees. Profiteers charge $60, $75, $100, or even more. There may be “early-bird specials” and multiple-entry discounts to tempt authors with the illusion of a bargain. And that’s not counting the books you’ll have to send for award consideration–a considerable expense if the profiteer only accepts print.

– Dozens of scores of entry categories.To maximize income, profiteers create as many entry categories as possible and encourage multiple entries.

– Anonymous judging. Profiteers promise expert judging by people with standing in the writing and publishing field but don’t reveal the identities of these purported experts. In fact, the judging may be done by the profiteer’s staff, who may simply pick winners out of a hat. One of the things that lend credibility to a contest or award is the prestige of its judges…which is why you always want to know who they are and should always be suspicious if that information is not provided.

– Non-prize prizes. To avoid cutting into their profits, profiteers offer prizes that cost them little or nothing: press releases, media announcements, database and website listings, features on satellite websites, or in self-owned publications. Some offer little more than the supposed honor of winning the award.

– Opportunities to spend more money. Profiteers’ profits don’t just come from entry fees. They also hawk stickers, certificates, critiques, and more.

You will find her entire blog post here: AWARDS PROFITEERS: HOW WRITERS CAN RECOGNIZE THEM AND WHY THEY SHOULD AVOID THEM


I think, these are fair warnings and clearly tell us where to keep our eyes open.

Happy Writing!

Nature’s Touch

This gentle light, won’t do me harm

It’s nice, caressing, keeps me warm.

The sun, what does it stand for?

It’s our universe’s heart

In life, it plays the biggest part

Do I have to tell you more?

**

The wind, the moon, they all depend

On our light, with no start, or end.

Nature is the biggest power

It influences all around

Sometimes quiet, sometimes with sound

The human, animal, and the flower.

**

The smallest things, that’s what I learned

Are worth so much more than what we earned.

Beauty is not in a model’s face

It’s not in artificial things

It’s not in princes, queens, or kings

It’s in an angel’s loving grace.

**

These few words, how can it be

That they mean so much to me?

They touch my heart, they calm my fears

They hold the love that’s in my heart

In my soul they play their part.

But most they comfort me and dry my tears.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, August 2021)


picture courtesy of Google.com

Amazon A+ Content: What is it and How to Use it – Written by Jason Hamilton

on Kindlepreneur:

KDP doesn’t seem to be slowing down in their rollout of new features here and there. Lately we had the huge update about Kindle Vella, and more recently we’ve had another cool update.

Amazon now allows authors to create A+ content for display on their Amazon sales page for books.

If you’re like me when I first heard this news, you probably asked, “A+ content? What is that?”

Well don’t worry, dear reader. We’ve got you covered.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. What Amazon A+ content is
  2. How it’s incorporated into your pages
  3. The implications for authors
  4. How to create your own A+ content
  5. How not to get your A+ content rejected

Continue reading HERE