May – Mental Health Awareness Month

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This month, I’m donating all proceeds from my novella, The Poet Heroic, to the Patient Assistance Fund for Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, which is a  local facility that helps people with counseling, detox, etc.  Absolutely 100% of this fund goes towards helping people pay for treatments they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Why I’m doing this: 
Last Fall, one of my close friends committed suicide.   I was writing The Poet Heroic at the time, and I constantly thought of my friend as I wrote because he was a twin and my main character is a twin.  This book affected me emotionally in ways I wasn’t expecting as a result.  It was only fitting that I dedicated the book:

“In loving memory of Jeff, and for anyone else struggling to find the light.” 

No one knew my friend was struggling.  As far as we know, he never asked for help.  His loss hit us all very hard – for many reasons – but one of the hardest things is that he never asked for help and so we were never able to help him.  Many of us were left with this feeling that we just wanted to DO SOMETHING.  We wanted others who might be struggling to know it’s okay to ask for help.  We wanted others to be able to get help.

So, this is something I can DO.  In the few weeks I’ve been working on this month-long event, I’ve heard touching stories from many people who have suffered with depression.  I’ve heard touching stories from people who have a loved one struggling with mental health issues.  I’ve had many people join me because they too want to DO SOMETHING to help.  I’ve been very touched by all of the support and donations, and we’ve got a few weeks to go!!

If you’d like to be part of this event, join us at

If you’d like to enter a raffle for 50+ ebooks! and help spread the word, enter at

If you’d like to add to my donation to the Patient Assistance Fund, (THANK YOU!), see

If you’d like to buy a copy of The Poet Heroic and donate that way, go to

Please, use this month to raise your own awareness, maybe ask for help yourself, and be especially supportive of those struggling with mental health issues.

#TopTenTuesday – Author Resources

(This week is really only interesting to fellow writers & authors, but I thought it might be nice to share.  It can take a long time to figure out what ads/promos/how-to’s/sites are worth it vs. which ones make you want to eat your own hair.  Here’s a list of the cheap or free ones that have worked best for me with the least amount of effort required – i.e. living the dream.)  

Top 10 Favorite Author Resources:

1:   WordPress.  Okay, this seems kind of “duh,” but this is where I started to create any kind of “brand” or name for myself, and it’s very straightforward and intuitive to use.  Plus, with so many other writers on WordPress, you can just click their “follow” button and have instant access to a whole collection of blogs to read.
2:  It’s very, very handy to create shortlinks when posting everywhere.  It’s even better to be able to see which links people use and which they don’t.
3:  Yes, it seems like cheating to set up Tweets ahead of time.  But it’s a huge relief to know you’ve got SOMETHING posting every day without your having to take time to promote your work.  (Just, for the love of goodness, don’t auto-tweet promos 10x a day – no one wants to see that!)  I use this in conjunction with Bitly, and it’s pretty easy to keep track of what works.
4:  Honestly, there are probably better systems out there that track the sales of your books.  But a friend in publishing asked me to try this because some of her authors wondered about it, and I’ve stuck with it because it works well enough for me.  Also, I like the app for my iPhone…not that I check my sales hourly, but it’s nice to have.
5:  This is a good artsy resource to get to a lot of other artsy resources.  They have collections of places to get stock photography, fonts, audio, video, etc.  It’s just an easy site to find everything  you’d want at once.
6:  If you’re willing to pay (not a lot) to get on daily emails to subscribing readers, this is a pretty good place to start.  I’ve made my money back easily every time I’ve used them.  Plus they send out intelligent newsletters with helpful author info.
7:  I tried this on a whim and saw the most downloads of my book that I’ve ever seen.  Definitely great if you have a free book that can lead to sales of another book.
8:  They have a free promo option, and I’ve seen sales just from that.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s certainly worth what little time and effort are required.
9:  This is another one of those “why not try it?” things that works pretty well.  It sets up a page for your book, plus tweets out about your book, PLUS you get a handful of tweets you can create yourself and they’ll send out whenever you want.
10: Alinka Rutkowska’s advice page.  I randomly found this (translation: I can’t remember how), and the links on this page are really helpful.  You tend to see the same advice over and over, and little of it tends to be useful.  BUT, this woman has a lot of new ideas  that made me go “Oh, I can do that,” and almost all of them are little tweaks you can make to your marketing approach for free.  You can grab her book on Amazon for free (I think) here.


Anybody have their own list?   Comment below!

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