A Small Oopsie

The price of the autographed copy available for preorder is incorrect. It should be $11.99. Still, if you click on the Buy Now button, the price noted through Paypal does say $12.00.

I thought I had fixed it early this morning (4am). Though I changed my local file, I neglected to upload it.

Guess I wasn’t as awake as I thought.

Anyhow, sorry for any inconvenience there. 

Fixed! 

Direct Purchasing

After much research and tweaking my website, people can now preorder "A Reason to Hope" through my website and using Paypal.

I haven’t purchased the extra copies yet, but plan to within the next day or two. That’s why they won’t be available to send out for 3-4 weeks. That’ll still be enough time for Christmas, methinks. You can find out more here.

With money tight all around, and most people not planning to spend a lot on Christmas gifts, books and other low-cost items are a great way to make Christmas a happy time regardless of what the economy is doing.

Hope you’re having a great week. Mine’s been busy with figuring out how to sell my books on my website. Work has also been crazy busy lately. We were hired to complete a set of street intersection modification plans for the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Their requirements are intense, and a bit insane. The same project originally drafted for the City of Mandan the plans totaled five pages. The DOT set will add up easily to thirty. That number is just the drawings, not the specifications and other proposals.

Everything needs to be 90% completed by Wednesday of next week. In the meantime they’re still requiring major changes.

Yep. Government. The very definition of waste.

Would you rather . . .?

A few people have expressed interest in purchasing my book (signed) direct through me instead of Amazon.

I researched into it, and I am capable of selling items via Paypal, and setting up a page on my website where you can purchase as many copies as you like. I can even add other items such as bookmarks, pens and magnets if, again, enough people are interested. 

What do you think? Should I go for it?

I ask only because, though I can buy copies of my book at a reduced rate, the more I purchase, the less I spend per copy. I don’t want to buy a bunch of books, and end up not selling them. 

Update!

It’s available on Amazon!

I don’t know for how long, though. I kept searching under my name and title, but came up with nothing, or so many hits I didn’t want to search through them all.

So I finally advanced searched under the ISBN number. What do you know, it popped right up!

Anyway, you can purchase it at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Reason-Hope-L-Marquardt/dp/1439216266/

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Champing at The Bit

October 31 I finalized my manuscript’s submission to Booksurge.

I then received an email stating my book would be available for sale on Amazon in 1-2 weeks. That was twelve days ago, and I admit to getting a bit impatient. I want it available NOW!

However, I found out a few days ago it is available now through Booksurge’s website, which you can find here.

it’s kinda cool seeing my book online and available for purchase, but I’ll be even more excited when it shows up on Amazon. I think it’s because Amazon caters to a larger customer base than Booksurge, so more will sell through them (I hope).

Looks like I’ve given up on Nanowrimo this year. I’m stuck at 4100 words. I’ve instead focused on writing politial entries through my WordPress Blog.

How long it will last, I have no idea. Not too long I hope, because I need to concentrate on preparing for the writer’s conference in February. I have a lot to do, and not much time to do it. February is but three months away. 

Change of Focus

I can’t seem to focus on nanowrimo this year. It’s not that the story doesn’t interest me, because it does. It’s also important in that it continues the saga I began with my first novel. I want to end up with something publishable down the road.

Unfortunately for this novel, my mind continues to focus on this year’s election, and how I did nothing aside from cast my vote on November 4.

I was afraid to voice my opinion because of the potential passionate disagreements. I despise confrontation.

In the end, though, I felt I shirked my responsibility as an American citizen for remaining silent.

Some would say voting is all I need to do. I don’t disagree, but in a country where the average citizen has many a venue to voice his or her opinions, I should avail myself of them.

A few days ago I created a new journal that will focus on the politics and news of the day. You can find it at almarquardt.wordpress.com. To increase readership, I’m copying the same entries on my Myspace page at www.myspace.com/pbthththth

My nanowrimo word count continues to eke up, so I haven’t given up. I’ve written 4724 words so far. That’s less than 500 words a day, but if I continue writing the same amount, I’ll end up between 14,000-15,000 words by December 1. That’s a pretty good start of a novel, methinks.

After that, I’ll likely set it aside for awhile. I need to edit my first novel one more time before Feburary 19 when I attend the Christian Writers Guild "Writing for The Soul" conference in Colorado Springs. I hope to attract an agent or publisher with it, so it needs to be pristine by then. It’s close as is, but with writing my novella, I decided I need to make a few more modifications. That includes adding slang I termed as Fringe, and a few more technological gizmos. The changes will make my ‘universe’ richer and even more believable.

One Week Down, Three to Go

With one week of the contest come and gone and three weeks left, here’s a quick update:

Six people have subscribed to this blog.

Five signed up in the forum.

Fourteen have registered for website updates on the Home Page.

NOTE: There are four more who have signed up, but not, as yet, verified their registration. If you’re one of those four, please check your mailbox for an email from server@serifwebresources.com. If it’s not there, check your junk email. I can’t count your entry until you follow the instructions of the email. I’d hate for you to miss out on winning a prize because registration wasn’t completed.

Thank you all for entering the contest. I look forward to choosing the winners, and I hope you are as well!

A Touch of History

While in school, History was not my best subject. I honestly didn’t care about it, figuring it was a bunch of dates, events, and dead people that had no bearing on my life.

As I grew older, I began to understand the importance of history. I could see in my minuscule little life how the present and future in many ways is determined by the past. I could see cause and effect. Knowing my own history helped me to not repeat mistakes, for one, and to use my past successes to build new ones.

I not only started to gain an interest in history, but an affection for it.

As a land surveyor I get to research documents that date back over a hundred years. However, I rarely get to touch the original documents.

That changed today, however.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation hired us to scan in original engineering drawings of two state parks. They want hard copies for a presentation, and electronic copies so they can make as many copies as they want without continuing to handle the originals. The state Historical Society has bugged them for years to give them the plans, but Parks and Rec didn’t want to part with them.

Now they can.

I scanned in about a third of the plans today, and doing so was simultaneously exciting and unnerving. These plans were drawn by hand, mostly in pencil on thin onion paper. This paper is no thicker than the tissue paper used to wrap gifts, so they need a gentle handling. I almost wished I had a pair of cotton gloves.

I also held my breath every time I fed a 24×36 sheet into the scanner. I feared every time I would feed it in wrong and the scanner would tear the plans.

Luckily the scanner is well-designed, and when it senses a fold or bend in the paper it stops. I have yet to witness it tear a sheet, but the worry still exists.

The best part is I get to handle a small part of North Dakota’s history. These plans were drawn up from 1939 through 1941. They are true works of art as well as historical documents.

I’m proud to play a small role in perpetuating that history for future generations.

Change o’ subject.

My nano word count is a pathetic 2549. I’m not worried as I still have plenty of time to catch up.

How Much Fun Is This?

Most writers tend to be introverted. No surprise there, since writing is a solitary endeavor.

Because of this need to hide in the shadows, the thought of promoting ourselves and our writing can be downright terrifying.

There’s also the constant doubt hovering at the edge of our psyche. What if everything we write sucks. What if I’ll offend people? What if . . .

My own list of doubts is long and ever-growing.

That makes the enjoyment of starting my website, publishing my novella, designing and purchasing promotional materials, and running a contest all the more surprising.

I never thought self-promotion could be so much fun.

What has helped is the number of people who have entered the contest. I’m stunned. The number stands at nineteen at this moment. After only two days, I consider it a resounding success. I honestly didn’t think a dozen would enter after thirty days.

My thanks to all of you for entering. I can’t describe well enough how much it means to me. 

Another surprise is how little I doubt people will enjoy the book. Ever since I decided to publish "A Reason to Hope", it felt right.  

Only two other times did I get that feeling: when I married my husband and when we decided we wanted children after all. 

I mentioned this to a friend in an email the other day as well. It’s as though the moment I approved the proof, the book no longer belonged to me. I’ve done my part, the rest is in God’s hands. Sure I have more work ahead of me as far as continuing to promote it, but in the end God will decide how it’s used.

I believe the book will reach the people it’s meant to reach. Whether it’s ten people or a thousand, I honestly don’t care. I don’t even think about whether or not I will earn back the money I spent. I only wanted it available for a lot of people to read and enjoy the story.

Although, the more I think about it, publishing this book helped release a deep fear of mine.

In this day and age of political correctness, talking about and writing publically about controversial issues is not only difficult, but scary. We take the chance of being attacked at least verbally when we take an unpopular view.

I do exactly that with this book. 

While the fear niggles at the back of my mind, it doesn’t alter my course. It’s like learning how to drive. Getting behind the wheel and pulling out into a busy street for the first time can make us break out into a sweat. Yet we go anyway, because we know driving is neccessary.

Publishing this book for me was neccessary.

That I’m having fun at the same time is pretty cool.