Goals for 2019 – Blog, Writing, Art

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I don’t set personal resolutions for New Years, but I do try to set some goals to try to reach the coming year, especially for my blog/social media, writing, and art. I did meet and even surpass some of the goals I set for 2018. For instance, I hoped to have 500 Instagram followers by the end of this year, and I’m already over 1,400!

When setting these goals, I try to be realistic but shoot a bit high. I figure even if I miss, at least I dreamed big and tried my best. I try to not beat myself up if I don’t meet a goal by the end of the year, I just set my sights on the next year.

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2019:

Social Media
Blog – 1,500 followers
Instagram – 5,000 followers (dream big!)

Books
Write/publish 2 new books/ebooks
Sell 300+ copies of my books

Art
Sell to 2 new countries (would love to add Ireland, Germany, Japan, China, or India!)
Countries I have already sold art to: USA, Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, England, Wales, Norway, United Arab Emirates

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Merry Christmas Eve! My Fave Gifts So Far!!!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!! We do our present opening today, so my husband and I went ahead and opened our gifts for each other. Here are a few pics of my favorite things!

First off, my Harry Potter Death Eater wand:

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My new illustrated version of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” (featuring commentary by Albus Dumbledore!):

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My curseword-laden coloring book:

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A pagan-themed children’s book and plenty of stickers to craft with:

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I also got a couple other books, some gel pens, a cool, four-sided Buddha figure, and this new black bear stocking I fell in love with:

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Tomorrow I am celebrating Christmas with my mother, so am sure I will get more gifts then! The holidays are so much fun!!! Hope you guys are having your own happy celebrations!

By the way, I am running a special Amazon giveaway for my new children’s Kindle ebook, “How to Find Fun Adults“! Feel free to enter! Three copies are up for grabs! Of course, you can always buy a copy for $.99 or download it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!!!

I Published a New Children’s Ebook on Kindle!!!

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I just published a new children’s ebook on Amazon! I originally wrote this silly little book back in 2012, but never published it because I wasn’t happy with all the photos I had at the time for use. Honestly, I had rather forgotten about the book, but when I came across it again recently, I decided to rework it a bit and publish it since I thought it was rather amusing and fun for kids.

The book is entitled “How to Find Fun Adults: A Silly Field Guide for Kids” and is available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon for $0.99 (free if you have kindle unlimited). The book is short, and easy to read. It is geared for beginning and intermediate readers, and would be a fun pick for reluctant readers. Very young readers may need help with several of the harder words, which are also defined at the end of the book. The purpose of the book is simply to provide a fun, silly read for kids, and to celebrate adults that didn’t lose their own love of childhood!

If you do download the book and read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads! If anyone would like a free copy of the ebook for review purposes, feel free to contact me at Shojobeatgirl@live.com!

By the way, right now several of my other Kindle ebooks are having FREE promotions for the holidays, so check out my Amazon author page to see which ones are available!

Free Reviews for Indie Authors!

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Lately I’ve missed reviewing indie books, which is something I used to do frequently and even did as a paid gig for a while. That is why I am offering the opportunity for any indie authors to contact me for a review if they are interested. Why indie authors? Because I myself am one, and I know how much reviews and promotion of any sort matter to an indie author’s success. Types of books I am most likely to consider reviewing are art, poetry, nonfiction, and children’s indie books.

Here are the specifics if you are interested:

  • I DO prefer a physical copy of the book, especially if it is heavy on text. Partly because I am not big on reading ebooks, and partly because having the physical copy is great for sharing a pic on social media!
  • I will review the books on Amazon and Goodreads (if the book is listed on both sites), and will also share links or photos of the books on social media (all together I have nearly 8,000 followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).
  • I may or may not share about the book here on my blog, depending on whether the subject matter fits my blog themes.
  • I DO NOT charge for reviews, although donations are accepted if the author is so inclined. Any donations will be used to help finance this blog or for social media promotional purposes. Donations of any amount can easily be made on this blog via the “Support My Blog” page, or donations can be sent via snail mail with the book being reviewed.

If you have any questions or would like to submit your book for review, please contact me at Shojobeatgirl@live.com. If you know an indie author who would be interested, please share the link to this post!

New Art Markers, Reborn Doll Halloween Outfit, and Sleepy Hollow Action Figure!

Today is just going to be a fun post where I share some cool stuff I got recently! First off, we have these new art markers that I bought with the prize money I received from a recent art contest win. It has been so much fun experimenting with them so far:

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While I was at Walmart yesterday, I saw an adorable newborn-sized Halloween black cat sleeper and had to get it for my reborn doll Anya. I haven’t been as invested lately in my reborn dolls, but like all of my hobbies, my interest tends to come and go:

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And lastly, I finally got this Headless Horseman action figure from the 1999 Sleepy Hollow horror movie (starring two of my favorites, Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci)! I already had the Ichabod Crane figure, but this one is probably even cooler. It comes with two heads that snap on, the skull as you can see in the photo, and the Christopher Walken head next to the figure:

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New book release – “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds”

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I am happy to announce that my new book, “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds” is finally available! This is a book that I have been planning and working on for the last few years. I have always been interested in subjects such as spirituality, philosophy and psychology, so I feel a strong desire to share my thoughts and feelings about those matters. Most importantly though, I wanted to show that the real magic is in being allowed to contemplate these deeper subjects and be open to possibilities instead of focusing only on one aspect. This is not a “religious” book because it doesn’t adhere to any specific theology, but it is spiritual in nature.

“Searching for the Truth” embraces simplicity and honesty in an almost zen-like fashion. It is easy to understand, but often filled with layers of meaning for those who like to dig deeper.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this new book, it is available on Amazon ($6.99 for paperback and $2.99 for the Kindle version) and Barnes & Noble. I love to know what my readers think of my books, so if you read this collection, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Goodreads.

Release of new children’s short story, “Vinny & Violet, The Unwanted Kittens”

Vinny & Violet coverThis is just a quick post to let all my readers and fans know that I just published another short story ebook! This ebook, titled “Vinny & Violet, The Unwanted Kittens”, is a heartwarming tale about two abandoned kittens and the little girl who rescues them. The story quickly takes a serious turn when one of the kittens becomes extremely ill and has to fight for her life.

This ebook is best suited for independent readers age 7-11, but can also be enjoyed as a read aloud story. Not only is the book uplifting and inspiring, but it also teaches an important lesson about empathy and proper animal care. Animal lovers will definitely like this one! To purchase this ebook for only 99 cents, please visit the book’s Amazon page. If you and your child enjoy the story, please consider leaving a review on Amazon as well!

Are printed books really endangered?

With the advent and increasing popularity of ebooks, many doomsday prophets are now proclaiming that printed books will quickly meet their demise. I have heard experts claim that within the next 50 years, traditional books are destined to go the way of vinyl records. They might be used for decoration or sought out by collectors, but other than that, books as we have always known them will be obsolete.

Is this true? I hate to think so. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those purists who believe that ereaders are evil or anything, in fact I own a Kindle myself, but I still prefer the feel of a real book in my hands. Maybe I am old-fashioned or sentimental, but nothing will ever feel the same to me as flipping the pages of a new book.

I don’t really want to live in a world where the only place I can buy books is Amazon either. I like the convenience and wide diversity of internet bookstores, but I would much rather browse a brick and mortar store. I could literally spend hours in a cozy bookstore reading area. I prefer to sit down and try a book out before I buy it. Plus, in the bookstore I get to snoop around to see what other people are reading and get in some people watching, which happen to be two of my favorite pastimes.

As an author, I can also attest to the fact that there is nothing like holding your own book in your hands. I have had both ebooks and traditional books published, and the ebooks don’t elicit near the excitement from myself or others as the handheld ones do. This fact gives me hope for the future of traditional literature. What about you? Do you think that printed books are on their last leg? If so, will you consider it a great loss?

Free books for Amazon Prime Members

Hello everyone!  I know it has been quite awhile since I posted, but with the holidays, family illnesses and other responsibilities that have been thrown my way, I have just been overwhelmed, so I took some time off.  We did have some great times over the holiday, for instance, the cosmic bowling that we did on New Year’s Eve.  The picture included here is of me and a family member celebrating there!

In addition to the happiness the season brought to my family, it also bumped up the sales figures for my newest picture book, “Ode to Icky”.  Most of these were signed copies that I sold personally, but still, getting my book into the hands of readers always puts a smile on my face!

Over the holidays, the Kindle version of “Ode to Icky” became available for FREE to anyone who happens to be an Amazon Prime Member.  Unless I’m mistaken, the Amazon Prime program is rather new, but it seems to have some great perks if you shop Amazon often for books or other products.  You receive free shipping on most of your Amazon orders, unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows and access to tons of free books for the Kindle through the Kindle Lending Library program.

To be completely honest, I haven’t signed up as a Prime Member yet, but I am seriously considering it.  I love my Kindle and whenever I can’t find something I want in a nearby store, I almost always purchase it from Amazon.  So if you happen to be an Amazon Prime Member, I have two requests to make of you:

First, please consider downloading “Ode to Icky” for free!  Even though it is free to you, I do receive a small royalty every time it is downloaded.  Secondly, I would love to hear your opinion of the Prime program and how you have liked it so far.  Has it been worth the money?