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monday, may 30, 2011

Now a Medalist for Real: the Week After
Monday was the top! I can't recall a better evening than that at the Jenkins Living Now Awards. Still can't believe I shared the stage with medalists from Australia, India, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, and forty-eight states! Or that Jim Barnes in person is even nicer in person than he his emails. Can't be more genuine than he is. No wonder they call him The Rock Star of Publishing! Still in awe.

Tuesday and Wednesday back to Alva--Alva Press, Inc. that is. Emails and on the telephone with Eastern Offset trying to set up PayPal to work for payments--getting the money to an account PayPal would accept. Proofing Alva's new letterhead and the current press release. Planning its distribution.

Thursday meeting with a professional business advisor for the first time. Thankfully he turned out to be a real easy-to-communicate with guy. I think he'll be great helping me develop a plan for Alva's expansion.

Friday, organizing my office space to prepare for the installation of a new business phone and fax.

Slowly but surely getting there.

Roberta in Po-Town, Chuggin'
11:16 am edt          Comments

tuesday, may 24, 2011

What a Wonderful Day!
It's too late to blog the way I should about the Living Now Awards Ceremony held at the Providence on 57th Street, NY, NY, today. Nonetheless, before I traipse on off to bed I'd like to tell the world about how I was held spellbound for almost two hours as the winners of the Living Now Awards recounted the stories of their journeys from what encouraged them to write in the first place through what gave them the determination and strength to finish the books which caused them all to become Living Now Medalists.

Most present spoke of how they were motivated by special insights, great love, and pivotal intense events. For those two hours in that room, the passion to write was almost palpable. It mattered not what turns or focus each writer took, the depth of commitment showed through regardless.

By the time it was my turn--officially the last to be called--I had totally lost myself in listening and what I said turned out to be too unrehearsed to even be called impromptu--with half the things I planned to say not said--like how much I enjoyed all the other writers' words and how gifted and talented Jim Barnes is to coach us all along as he does, so kindly and encouragingly and in the process to organize the Living Now Awards with winners from forty-eight states as well as from countries around the world wherever English is spoken.

Among the recipients were writers who either were or represented winners not only from all over the United States of America, but also from Australia; Madrid, Spain; Holland; Canada; and India. And some came by more special roads, in particular a young woman who though blind had made decision-making her lifelong study and she took a silver medal for her exploration of the topic in the book she had written. Then, too, there were all the books in which photography, color, and beauty were key. 

Still it remains difficult to explain the style and balance of this event other than to say that I believe I was very lucky to have Jolt: a rural noir take me so far as to be among those chosen to participate in the 2011 Living Now Awards celebration, and for that I am most grateful.

But Jolt: a rural noir is a good book and just as did all the other medalists, I worked hard to make it that. I just hope more people get the chance to hear about it and read it!

Roberta in Po-Town, Feelin' the love
12:04 am edt          Comments

monday, may 23, 2011

Living Now Medalist Awards Ceremony Today in NYC

If you are looking for me today, try the Providence in NYC between 3:00 and 5:00 where I will be attending the Living Now Awards Ceremony sponsored by The Jenkins Group in conjunction with BEA (Book Expo of America). http://www.providencenyc.com/history.html 

Seems to me it should be fun and exciting--me having my picture snapped as I accept my bronze medal for Inspirational Fiction in recognition of the effort and effectiveness of my book Jolt: a rural noir. Seven years, five rewrites, and many publication struggles later, indeed, while not quite graduation day, it smacks of that feeling.

Accepting my medal will remind me of all the wonderful people who have helped me along the way, most of whom I have listed on the home page of this block or in the end pages of Jolt: a rural noir. But for this occasion I especially want to express my appreciation to:

Deb McLellan Wertz of Bookmasters in Ohio, without whom, Jolt: a rural noir would never have gone to press.

And also to all the special people at The Jenkins Group in Michigan: Kim Hornyak who has always been there to answer my questions; Andrew Parvel who so patiently guided me toward listing Jolt: a rural noir on the website at the BEA; and of course Jim Barnes--whom with any luck I might get to even meet today--for his patience nurturing of the Living Now Awards, the Moonbeam Awards, and the IPPY Awards with Jenkins Publishing.

And while I am at it, I'd like to thank those same folks for all their efforts on behalf of all us Indies (Independent Publishers), without whom we would not readily have a collective platform or face.

Many, many heartfelt thanks from all of us out here struggling the the realities of having written a book and then having to market and publicize it. A truly daunting effort! And especially challenging when one is doing it alone.

All I want to do is hug Deb, Kim, Andrew, and Jim--a pretty silly notion I suppose as our nearest steps have been exclusively over the phone or net! But they've been my buddies throughout this effort so where better to let them know my fondness for all of them than to announce here?

Roberta in Po-Town, In appreciation

8:37 am edt          Comments

sunday, may 1, 2011

So You Wrote a Book
Alva Press, Inc. and Roberta M Roy have become members of the Independent Publisher's Association on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/ There they join more than two hundred other published writers and publishers. With a review of the members comments, the story does not change: One writes a book for others to read. And after that begins the real work--publicizing it. Luck could be part of success story, but for the most part it is one of determination and willingness to put in time and money to make it happen. And then there are the questions:

Does one need an agent? Well, of course. Well, no maybe not.

Are all agents equal? Well, not really.
Which is better? E-books or traditional? Well, that also depends. On the one hand, E-books are the wave of the future. But what about an eighty dollar illustrated book for your coffee table? And how will literature be taught in schools? And what about the person who just likes the feel of the page? And what about the library? How does an E-book go in the stacks?

What does it take to make writing a book worth one's effort? Is fame enough? Is fame likely? Not usually.
And what about the twenty-thousand dollars one has already spent doing the research, paying an editor, paying a designer, getting the whole thing either uploaded or printed or both, traveling to book signings, supplying the wine and cheese, listing at book expos, setting up a website, running the website, and maybe, just maybe, considering the hundreds to thousands of hours spent in writing, publishing, and publicizing the book in the process?

With an E-book perhaps one clears a dollar a book. With a hard cover, maybe 10-20% of the cover price. With the Trade paperback copy of Jolt: a rural noir, at $14.95, given Alva had a thousand copies trade paperbacks printed offset, perhaps as much as three dollars a copy. Thus, after a year, having sold a couple of hundred copies, perhaps Alva's net cash income has reached as high as $300.00--a mere pittance against Alva's investment to date.

But when does a book begin to pay for itself? Possibly somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 copies--depending upon whether or not the author/publicist/site manager hours are considered.

So what does a writer publisher do? Especially when if one states the soft covered is $14.95 plus tax and the hard covered is $24.95 plus tax and a member of the audience lets out a yelp, like 'ya' gotta' be kiddin'! Well, Alva is not sure. And in Alva's unsureness, the company currently is looking toward the effects of some positive spin off from media coverage resulting from the Awards Ceremony for the Living Now Awards to be held in NYC at the Javits Center on May 23, 2011. Yes, we are all keeping out fingers crossed that from that will come a few interviews for Roy on shows such as those of Oprah, Charlie Rose, or Brian Lamb. Or NPR's Book Talk, Round Table, Fifty-one Per Cent, or All Things Considered. And Alva Press, Inc. would also like to see Roy's work reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as well as by anyone who has reviewed books written about subject matter related to that of Jolt: a rural noir. On the list would be the books Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, or Hiroshima by John Hershey

Yes, Alva anticipates that Roberta M Roy's work in Jolt: a rural noir--already a medalist in the Jenkins 2011 Living Now Awards for Inspirational Fiction will encourage reviewers to see her as above the crowd for, consider: beyond Emmeline Pankhurst, Simone de Beauvoir, JK Rowling, and, Roy's most favorite author, Jane Austen, how many other inspirational writers come immediately to mind who are women?

So get your score cards out and play along with us. Let's see how successful Alva Press, Inc.'s efforts to date with the addition of the continued use of the Critic's Bookshelf @
 and the BEA New Title's Showcase @ http://www.newtitleshowcase.com/book_details.php?bookid=14538

And in the meantime, perhaps you might help Alva out a bit by talking up Jolt: a rural noir with friends, family, and any media person you just might happen to know.

Roberta in Po-Town, with much appreciation
11:06 am edt          Comments

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