First Book Award for Delightfully Different! 12

Young Voices Foundation

Young Voices Foundation

Young Voices Foundaton.

Young Voices Foundaton.

Today I am grateful. I received the following via e-mail from Bobbi Carducci at the Young Voices Foundation Awards today,

“Congratulations! Delightfully Different has met the criteria for a prestigious BRONZE AWARD by the Young Voices Foundation Awards judges in Categories Regional Youth West Pacific and Regional Teen/YA West Pacific. It also earned a Blue Seal of Approval in the Spiritual/Inspirational Category. Young Voices Awards are sponsored by the Young Voices Foundation and honor books that Inspire, Mentor, and/or Educate Readers of all ages. The announcement will appear on the Young Voices Foundation Awards website within 24 hours. A link to your website will be added within a week.” You can view the results at Young Voices Awards ™. 

Pondering Changing Directions 10

Cattle Egret - CopyBubulcus ibis - CopyMy camera 041

There is a new kid in town and no it is not this bird.  The bird is a Cattle Egret a.k.a. Bubulcus Ibis.  I have been wanting to get a picture of one and today I was able to do this.  His pictures seemed prefect for this post. 

The new kid is someone I love dearly and whom I totally support although I am not adding her link or mentioning where you can find her.  This is a precaution I feel strongly about since she is a minor.  I am following her just not publicly although I am glad others are following her publicly and I encourage you to do this if you have not.  I am very proud of her and I am passing the reins regarding sharing her story to her.     

That is why I am not answering questions directly related to her for future post although there will be a post of answers to questions on Mommy Lebron’s blog tomorrow.  She is aware of my answers and is okay with them, but I am not comfortable with any further questions directly about her.  Again, I want to protect her as much as possible while still encouraging her.   

Related to this, I am having thoughts about starting one or two new blogs.  I want to keep my life, as an advocate for tolerance and acceptance of differences for those with special needs, separate from things I want to post related to brain storming ideas and the writing process for my next novel.  I plan to change the tone of this blog to more general topics related to autism spectrum, bullying, and tolerance rather than specifically as it relates to my family. 

In addition, I still plan to continue to write about forgiveness and gratitude.  I am not sure if I should continue to post my forgiveness and gratitude posts here or start a third blog as obviously some of these posts are directly related to bullying issues and to my beautiful daughter.  Your thoughts on this one might help me with my decision.      

All of my blogs will be accessible from my author site as pages whatever I decide.  I hope you understand my decision.  I will be blogging here at least weekly until the end of the year.  I may decrease the posts here after that, but I do plan to keep the blog. 

Tony Attwood, Ipo,and Friends Thank You for Your Support 6

The video is of my first book signing for Delightfully Different at the local Barnes and Noble.  Thanks Ipo for arranging this and coming in on your day off for me. You can view the short video above to see it. 

I got to meet new people including someone who works at the DOE here who will be taking my book into the public schools when school returns. I was also pleasantly surprised to see an old friend from my daughter’s preschool days who happens to be an elementary school teacher. She too purchased the book. I met other wonderful people as well, and all of you helped to restore my faith in the goodness of people. I know others want real change in our schools and society too.   

Mahalo to my friends who came to my book signing despite the fact that they all already had signed copies of my book. Not only did they come, but they bought more copies for friends. One couple came even though they had a big graduation party planned the next day for their youngest daughter. I love my friends!

I attended the graduation party for a wonderful young woman, our close friends’ daughter and sister to our former house and dog sitter the next day. While the second event in two days involved sitting longer, I survived with my extra, store brought, first brace along with the doctor prescribed back brace. I iced my back and used heat and Advil a little more often the following two days as a result. Still, I am grateful that I could participate in both events. 

June 29, 2011 brought more good news. I have an endorsement from the man so many of us admire, Dr. Tony Attwood, clinical psychologist and author of several books on Asperger’s including The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. I gave him a copy of Delightfully Different a while back after attending one of his delightful and informative conferences. He agreed to read it and offer his comments for publication. 

Here is what he said, There are many facts within fiction. This captivating story provides invaluable insights into the childhood of a girl who has Asperger’s syndrome. Fiction allows the author to explore different perspectives and add poignancy to the experiences of sensory sensitivity and being bullied and teased of someone who has Asperger’s syndrome. The title Delightfully Different describes Asperger’s syndrome but also the qualities of this novel.”

Thank you Tony! I think I owe you more Kona coffee!

Needless to say, I will be contacting iUniverse tomorrow to see about redoing my book cover so I can add his wonderful comments. 

Then, I also got a quick responses from my wonderful blogging friends regarding a request that I will not post, but they all know who they are. I love my very supportive blogging community of friends. I really do not know how I survived before I had all of you. We may only know each other virtually, but we do know each other and for that I am truly grateful.

   

Success with Self Publishing 14

D. S. Walker 1st Book Signing ©Delightfully Different LifeI have heard that it takes approximately seven months for authors who use self publishing to begin to have success. I have even read blogs that swear the traditional publishing is the only way to go if you want to ever get your books in book stores. I have attended conferences that imply that you should only self publish if you plan to just sell your books at conferences where you are a speaker. 

Yet, I still chose an assisted publisher versus traditional publishing. Why did I do this? Was it because traditional publishers rejected my book? No, I did not send my manuscript to any agents or publishers, so it was not rejected by traditional publishing.

I did my research and determined that hiring a good editor costs almost as much money as an editing package and a publishing package combined through iUniverse. They have a relationship with Amazon.com and with Barnes and Noble. I previously purchased two iUniverse books that were well written, one from a local author I knew personally. I also spoke to another local author who used them and had a good experience.

Therefore, I chose to use iUniverse too. I can always pursue traditional publishing later if I choose. I continue to own my copyright. I get to choose how I market my book. I am not required to spend thousands of dollars traveling to multiple cities, on a tour, at a time my publisher chooses where I might or might not have success.

Remember I have two children who are still school age. No they are not toddlers, but they do still need me around, so having control of my time is important to me. That was the biggest factor in my decision.

How’s it going you ask? Okay, I am far from being on the best sellers list. Still, I am in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore and I have received two small royalty checks. I have my first book signing tomorrow. I will be happy if at least 50 people show up although I would certainly love it if more did.

I am just at month seven. Remember I am not even supposed to have my book in a book store by some accounts. I received Editor’s Choice and Rising Star designation from iUniverse which means they believe my book has the potential to have some commercial success. I also received a good Kirkus review. I have entered two book contests that are pending.

Locally, I have been on two news shows, the second of which was an evening news show and that station repeated the showing on their morning show the next day, so technically I guess I could say I have been on three news shows. I have been on a talk show on Hawaii Public Radio. A local, free, biweekly paper told my story this week. The paper is the only source for grocery store ads so most households on the island receive it in their mailboxes.

I have made wonderful new blogging friends. Four bloggers have written reviews of my novel which you can read from this blog. Another blogger wrote a mini review.

One school has twenty copies of my book which they will hopefully use. Teachers at another school have read and talked about my book. The book has been given to a third school.

I told a former colleague that I would be happy if my book changed just one life when I made the decision to quit work and to write my first novel when bullies targeted my child. Today I am grateful for success!