Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community, #Support, Pt. 2 #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

During our 4th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, I was scheduled to present a session on my “15 Pearls” of Literature on Marketing, Blogging, Community, and Support.  As it has worked out in the past (but won’t be the case anymore), I wasn’t able to get this session up in time but did get it done eventually – just not published.  Those who registered for that session will be getting 3 new sessions FREE during our upcoming WC&BE in August! 

This session on my “PEARLS…” will be shared here for all our members, in hopes that it will help in our quest to become more successful and better at marketing our work as we make connections that will benefit us professionally as well as personally.  These will be posted under our posting schedule of Mondays & Thursdays each week, in separate parts.  

Welcome to Part 2!

SUPPORT FROM ACROSS THE WATER

I want to share with you the awesomeness of support from across the water.  In spite of all the ills of the internet and the World Wide Web, it has given us one extremely profound gift…the ability to connect with people from around the world who we would otherwise, never get to meet. I am in no way a fan of the World Wide Web, because even though it has given us that special gift, it has also created a medium for people with ugly hearts and desires to hurt, deceive, and even exude their ugliness even more broadly.

With this knowledge under your belt, I would suggest a limit on what you share via the World Wide Web and I would ask that you practice extreme caution in your interactions with those who sit behind their private, anonymous keyboards.  But, even in your cautiousness, don’t ever let the power of those connections made from across the water, escape you.  Oftentimes, we are lucky enough to encounter those “real” people who we get to know on deeper levels and who become our “real” friends.  Having support from down under and abroad will afford you the opportunity to have your work purchased and read in foreign countries, by those who may live quite differently from you, but, who enjoy good written works just the same, no matter where it comes from.

When you have friends who support you from across the water, they are speaking you up and sharing with their little corner of the world, who you are, and what you do. Be thankful for that while cherishing and nourishing these friendships from the other side of the pond.

Have you met new friends from across the water thanks to RRBC?  Have they proven themselves to be “real” friends or just the “internet” kind?  We’re listening.  We’d love to know!

~Nonnie 

#RRBC We’ll Weather This Storm Together … #Coronavirus #RRBC_Community

Hello, RRBC!

We are living through what has already promised to be one of the most trying times in the history of the world.

This pandemic (the Coronavirus) is not affecting only me, it’s affecting my brothers and sisters next door, those around the corner, in the next city, the adjoining states and my extended, chosen family … those of you across the waters.

RRBC cares about its members.  And although our hands may never touch, and our eyes may never see, we support one another.  We are here for each other.

Many of us are now confined to our homes – some willfully and others out of health compliance, so as not to even potentially spread this awful disease.  The good thing (if there is one to be found in all of this) is that unlike awful situations of our past, we now have the world wide web to keep us company and entertained.  It is the blessing (that I’m so thankful for) connecting us all.

Here at RRBC, we are going to carry on as best we can – continuing to offer the normalcy to your lives that you have become accustomed to with us.  You need not worry that we are going anywhere (unless of course, something happens to me, which I’m not planning on). You will awake each morning, fully confident in knowing that when you’re bored or need something to do or someone to talk to, RRBC will be here.

I am willfully staying inside of my home, allowing my dear husband to take care of those frequent market runs I like to make, in my stead.  I know that many of you rely on RRBC all day every day, and I’ve no intention of letting you down, especially during this time.  Our supportive members can always be found on social media, spreading your name and pushing your books around the ‘net, and that always makes us feel good, doesn’t it?

We encourage you to gather here in the RRBC forum via our MEMBER CHAT, or on our WhatsApp channels (via your smartphones), to discuss any and everything you’d like.  We are an international group so we’re open around the clock!  Our PEER SUPPORT forum is also open, should you find yourself in the spirit to write and you have questions or need help with something.  Listen, if ever there was a time to create, now would be it.

If you haven’t taken the time to submit a MEMBER EMERGENCY CONTACT form for us, please take the time to do so.  This is the way that we’re able to check in on you should you become noticeably quiet on social media.

RRBC, stay safe, stay inside if you can, and let’s take care of one another, beginning with kindness.

Always listening and caring…

~Nonnie Jules, President & Founder

Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community, #Support, Pt. 1 #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

During our 4th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, I was scheduled to present a session on my “15 Pearls” of Literature on Marketing, Blogging, Community, and Support.  As it has worked out in the past (but won’t be the case anymore), I wasn’t able to get this session up in time but did get it done eventually – just not published.  Those who registered for that session will be getting 3 new sessions FREE during our upcoming WC&BE in August! 

This session on my “PEARLS…” will be shared here for all our members, in hopes that it will help in our quest to become successful in these areas.  These will be posted under our posting schedule of Mondays & Thursdays each week, in separate parts.  

Often times we think that to become a successful author, all we need to do is publish a book, but, that is so far from the truth.  To be successful in this business, you must learn and master the tricks of the trade in the marketing arena, blogging arena, support arena, and you must be aligned with, and have a strong sense of community – self, and others.

All of the pearls that I will be sharing are integral to our success.  I believe so strongly in these pearls, that I’m happy to share them with you!

Welcome to Part 1!

ALIGN YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
When you became an author, did you imagine that you would have everything in common with all the other folks who wore the same title? Did you think it would be easy simply because you were in the company (virtually, so to speak) of other writers?
When I became a published author, I was initially met with more resistance than offers to connect or offers of assistance.  These people were clearly only out for their own best interests and had absolutely no desire to help a newbie author who was just getting started in this business.

Then, I met a friend, and as we connected, we not only felt that we were walking the same road, experiencing the same challenges and successes equally, but it became apparent to us that we were also headed in the very same direction. She and I began referring to each other as “SUCCESS PARTNERS.” We emailed each other daily our top 5 things that we needed to get done that day, and we encouraged each other to stay the course of our goals.  It was clear early on that we were of like-mind. We were two moms, both published authors, who battled daily the challenges of our personal lives as well as the struggles of getting our books marketed and sold. I understood her highs and lows and she understood mine.

It’s so important to align yourself with people you have shared values with and those who share your ideals on success and support, you know…the ones who are going to lift you up and not try to tear you down. The ones that you’re able to call on, lean on and garner support from when you need it most, are the kinds of individuals you want to be aligned with and always in the company of.

There are tons of communities all around the world and thanks to the World Wide Web, we’re all just a keystroke away.  Just make sure that you are aligned with the ones that feel like the right fit for you and what you are trying to accomplish.  Just because they appear to be “sweet” via their tweets, doesn’t mean they are, so be careful, and just as is true in the real world, choose your friends carefully and wisely – we are always judged by the company we keep … even online.

Are you aligning yourself with like-minded individuals online and off?  Have you found a community that builds you up?  We’d love to hear about it!

~Nonnie

Welcome to the World of #Micro #Reads! #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

Micro read (as defined by someplace on the internet):  The micro read process involves manually viewing and interpreting data seen on the memory chip. The examiner uses an electron microscope and analyzes the physical gates on the chip and then translates the gate status to 0s and 1s to determine the resulting ASCII characters.

Huh?

Unless you’re some kind of programmer, then like me, you probably don’t know what any of that means.

So, let me introduce you to something you can understand – welcome to the Micro Read (as defined by me):
-A Micro Read is a story, shorter than a short story (standard:  up to 7500 words) but longer than a blog post (standard:  around 300 – 600 words);
-Its word count ranges from 1200 to 3000 words;
-It’s a story that feels so good to you, you could put it on your blog as a post, but you want its reach to go farther than your blog, therefore, it is publishable;
-A Micro Read can include one story or up to three stories, and they don’t have to all fall under the same genre.  (If you’re a multi-genre writer, this is a great way to introduce all areas of your talent in one quick read);
-A Micro Read can be read in the span of 5 – 10 minutes;
-A Micro Read is only in e-book format;
-A Micro Read must have Micro Read displayed prominently on the cover;

-A Micro Read should be priced no higher than $.99 cents.  Actually, I would suggest that when you first publish a Micro Read, you do so on a 5 day FREE promo with Amazon, allowing readers to download it as a sample of your work, which would encourage them to purchase longer versions of your other books (that’s if the Micro Read was a well-written good story).

Is this Micro Read concept real?  You bet your bottom dollar it is! We’ve had a few clients come to us at 4WillsPublishing in recent months with stories that they wanted to publish, but felt they were much too short.  I’ve had this idea brewing in my head to publish a few independent blog posts of my own (unlike the collection of posts I published in “SUGARCOATIN…” back in 2014) that I feel are so entertaining, I want the masses to have the opportunity to read them.  So, what did I do?  I am NONNIE “new-ideas” JULES – what do you think I did?  I created a new genre of reads, of course!

Some of our members have published books already that would certainly fall under this category.  And, some of our members have published reads, calling them ‘Excerpts’ from their full-length books.  Well, I don’t want to purchase an ‘excerpt’ if there’s a full-length version of the material floating around.  I want to get an ‘excerpt’ from your blog;  and, I want you to give it to me … FREE.

Just recently we had a member to send us a message saying that she had purchased a fellow member’s book from the catalog, only to find as she began the read, that it was an ‘excerpt’ from another book by this same author  … which she had also purchased and read.  Now, from my own personal experience, I want to know before I spend my money on a book that I’ll only be getting a taste and not the entire meal.  I, along with many others would be more apt to pick up a copy, if we’re armed with that bit of knowledge in advance.

So, that’s when a Micro Read walks in! And whether or not you’ll find a Micro Read anywhere else, you will definitely be able to find them in the RRBC catalog under our MICRO READS genre.

Is this a real genre?  It is now and as far as my research can tell, it is only within RRBC!  Who says we aren’t trendsetters?  (Well, nobody actually – because we are!!!)

I’m going to leave you with this thought – if you have ideas for blog posts or shorter shorts that you’d like more than just your blog followers to read, think about publishing some Micro Reads.

It’s clear that short stories are gaining momentum and have become a solid and highly-sought after market of reads.  We’re going to make the industry a tad bit more exciting with our introduction of Micro Reads(Don’t you just love RRBC/RWISA? What will we come up with next?)

If you have questions about your own ideas for some Micro Reads, just ask me.  I’d love to help you get some into our catalog!

THE MICRO READ ANTHEM

When in fact you’re in a hurry
no time to write long
no need to worry
flex your fingers or pick up your pen 
then write a micro, you’ll be proud at the end.

Thanks for dropping by!

Better Late Than Not At All… #RRBC #RWISA #History

There are 29 days in February this year and on day 22, I am just posting recognition of BLACK HISTORY MONTH.   I’m going to share someone who inspires me greatly.

HARRIET TUBMAN

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Rossc. March 1822[1] – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends,[2] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave, but hitting her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or “Moses“, as she was called) “never lost a passenger”.[3] After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America (Canada), and helped newly freed slaves find work. Tubman met John Brown in 1858, and helped him plan and recruit supporters for his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry.

When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement until illness overtook her, and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. After her death in 1913, she became an icon of courage and freedom.

~ Source: Wikipedia

Two nights ago my husband and I watched the movie HARRIET on cable TV.  If I had to rate the movie, I would give it 4-stars as it had less of what I was expecting for a movie depicted in the 1800s.  As an example, a slave woman was yelling out and calling her Massa (yes, I’m here to educate today, my Darlings – it was not Master) the devil and evil.  He blew her off with a wave of his hand, so we know this was not a correct depiction of what would have really happened back then.

What truly moved me was the strength of HARRIET – this is why I have chosen to post this piece about her – for those of you who think you know, but have never really bothered to dig deeper into this heroine they called MOSES.

Finally, I’m leaving you with the trailer to the movie which includes the movie’s theme song, STAND UP.  Now, I’m just seeing this, but I was disappointed to find that actress and singer, Cynthia Erivo performed this song at the 2020 Oscars and she was so elegant doing so. (Yes, I went back and googled the performance).

Black, White, Yellow, Brown or Blue, please take a moment to view this trailer in its entirety.  It moved me to tears.

 “You don’t have to be oppressed to disagree with the oppressor. Change only comes when we all take a stand.” ~ Nonnie Jules

What do you think?  Encouraged to see the movie now or, learn a bit more about HARRIET?  Have you seen the movie?  If so, what did you think about it?

Thanks for dropping by!

When #Amazon Wakes Up on the Wrong Side of The Bed… #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISA #Trello

Have you ever written a review on Amazon only to find out later that Amazon decided not to post your review…for whatever reason?  We all know that Amazon does what Amazon wants to do.

You want the author to know that you’re supportive of them and that you did read and review their book, but, it was a very detailed review and you just don’t have it in you to rewrite it. Well, I never have those issues because I first write my reviews in Trello.

Those of us in the know, now use TRELLO for just about everything.  Work, Writing, Home – you name it, TRELLO can help you with it.

So, in regard to writing reviews, here is some very useful information that will ensure you are never, ever left holding an empty review bag.  Here’s what I do:

First, I head to TRELLO and create a board on TRELLO entitled MY REVIEWS.  (If you’re new to TRELLO, you will have to first create what’s called a TEAM but, that’s for another post…I’m extremely busy, you know).

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Open the MY REVIEWS board and then create a few lists.  As you can see by the image below, my lists are entitled:  2020 UPCOMING REVIEWS, IN QUEUE and COMPLETED REVIEWS.   You may entitle your lists however you’d like, but for my reviews, all the lists here are appropriate.

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Create a card (reference image below) for each book that’s in my reading queue, which I will eventually write a review on.  Say, for instance, I’ve planned to read and review this awesome book called “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC” by Nonnie Jules (and her co-author who shall remain nameless as he is not a member of RRBC).  I created a sample list below (2020 REVIEWS) and then created a card under that list and used the title of the book as the name for that card.  I even got a little fancy and added the book cover.  (It’s not hard at all, guys, I’m just trying to impress you!)  Well, did I?

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When I click inside of this card, this is how it looks opened up (reference image below) – with the book cover, the date I wrote my review, and my actual review.  Should Amazon decide to wake up on the wrong side of its bed and pull my review down or decide to not even post it at all, I’ll have it right at my fingertips (on TRELLO) to go and copy and paste into more friendlier waters (the RRBC Member Reviews forum, Barnes & Noble, etc.)

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The image below houses the contents of my entire MY REVIEWS board.  As you can see, under each list that was created, there are cards that correlate directly to that list.  Under the UPCOMING REVIEWS list are the titles of some of my upcoming reviews, under IN QUEUE is the card for the book I’m currently reading, and lastly, under COMPLETED REVIEWS would be the cards of reviews I’ve already completed.

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And, there you have it!  My process of ensuring that my reviews are never eaten alive by the big, bad monster, Amazon!  Feel free to use it as your assurance (or insurance), as well.

(NOTE:  My reviews board looks a lot busier than the one above.  This board and all its information was created for informational and sample purposes only.  Do you really think I’d let you into my review queue?  There is no way!)

Until next time…

~Nonnie Jules

***

Thanks for dropping in!  We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, so please don’t leave without sharing a comment with us, as well as hitting the LIKE button below.

{If you are an RRBC member and would like to guest post on our site with a writing-related post that our readers might benefit from, please CONTACT US and let us know.  Our blogging schedule allows for posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week.}

Not a member of RRBC?  Are you nuts?  JOIN US!

ARE THEY ALL REALLY 4 & 5-STAR REVIEWS? #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISA

Flipping Over Honest Reviews

We complain about Amazon a lot, don’t we?  Belonging to a community of writers and reviewers, the number one gripe that I hear most is, “Amazon has removed another one of my reviews!” Although Amazon has never been this nasty to me, I can fully understand someone else’s frustration with this issue.  I would be upset and frustrated, too, if it happened to me.  But, am I the only one noticing that some reviewers only read 4 and 5-star books?  I mean, how do they always get so lucky?

When I became a book reviewer, not even half of the books that I was asked to review came close to being worthy of 3 stars, let alone, 4 and 5.  And, although I had taken a break from reviewing the past couple of years because of my busy schedule (I’m reviewing again now), my review queue still never fell short of books for me to flip through.  Lastly, no matter how much I preached HONEST REVIEWS around my community, I continued to see that some weren’t grasping the sermon.

By now, the entire world knows how I feel about everyone being given the opportunity to publish.  Just as everyone wasn’t born to write or perform open-heart surgery, everyone can’t review books properly.  And, no matter how many times you hear otherwise, there is a right and a wrong way to do everything…even reviewing a book.  Yes, I said that!

Some of you love to say, “But, what one views as trash, the next person might find to be treasure,” and although that might be true in some areas, it will never change the fact that if a book isn’t well-written (97% error-free) with realistic dialogue, believable characters, and a powerfully crafted storyline (an engaging story that won’t allow the reader to fall asleep while reading it), it doesn’t warrant a 4 or 5-star review.  Truth be told, if any of what I just mentioned is missing from a book, it doesn’t deserve even 3 stars from where I sit. So, why are more and more of these books being given such high marks?

The truth of the matter is…those who freely dole out these high marks aren’t any more special than you and me.  They are reading the very same books we are, but the only difference is, they haven’t quite learned how to review properly, OR, they are afraid of posting honest reviews.  Notice how I didn’t leave room for any grey area there – I didn’t, because there isn’t any.  This is a black and white issue – either you don’t know how to review properly or you’re afraid of telling the actual truth publicly about books you’ve read.  For many of you, I’m leaning towards the latter.

When these so-called reviewers leave their 4 & 5-star reviews of every or almost every book they’ve read, it hurts all of us – and then we wonder why Amazon decides to pull or delay the posting of some of our reviews.  Maybe they’re seeing a pattern that doesn’t make much sense to them.

Maybe, like me, they question those reviews that are all 4 and 5 stars.  Maybe, like me, they know that there is no way on God’s green earth that every book we read can fall into this rating class, especially with any and everyone being allowed the honor of publishing a book today.

I may come across to some of you as being really harsh in regard to this topic, but, I make no apologies about the passion that I feel regarding this issue.  Why?  Because this affects all of us, not just some.  If you’ve been lucky enough to not have been a target of Amazon (yet), just keep breathing.  As long as there are those who continue to post reviews under the reasons that I have listed above, we’re all just sitting ducks waiting for the hammer to come down on our heads.

We all have negative feelings about Amazon, and especially about the power that they have and how they wield that power, but, I think they are catching on to the fact that a lot of these reviews are bogus as heck and I for one, am excited about that.  Hooray!  Finally, I can point to something that Amazon is doing right!

When you review under the umbrella of non-truth or ignorance as I’ve laid out above, you’re also jeopardizing your reputation as a writer.  I can’t tell you how many authors who I once admired because of their remarkable acumen into the written word, have changed my opinion of them simply by a review that they have posted.  Now, because I admired these authors for their own written works, that led me to believe that they know what good/great writing looks like, but, it saddened me that they just couldn’t find it in themselves to be honest in certain reviews.  Out of fear? Fear of what?  Retaliation against their own work?  Fear that they would lose an internet-buddy?  Whatever the case, if you resemble the picture that I have painted throughout this piece, know that you’re causing irreparable harm to your reputation when you leave such reviews.

Until next time…

~Nonnie Jules

***

Thanks for dropping in!  We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, so please don’t leave without sharing a comment with us, as well as hitting the LIKE button below.

{If you are an RRBC member and would like to guest post on our site with a writing-related post that our readers might benefit from, please CONTACT US and let us know.  Our blogging schedule allows for posts on Mondays and Thursdays each week.}

Not a member of RRBC?  JOIN US!

WHAT DOES ACTIVE SUPPORT LOOK LIKE TO YOU? #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISA

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“When you are down, look up at me.  My extended hand is your rope.” 

~Nonnie Jules

***

When I created the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB it was out of a need to offer something that I noticed missing from this virtual world that we all so boldly live in.  I came onto this scene in 2012 and I remember asking for “help.”  Help to host my tours, help to create my book cover, help to help me grow…oh, yes, I asked for help and I got minimal.  But, what I did get an abundance of was “No” – the sense that I had not been around long enough to ask or even expect someone who had been on social media longer than I, to help me.  A fellow author actually popped in my DM one day to say to me, “You’re a newbie.  You’ve not been around long enough to ask us to help you.  You’ve got to pay your dues.”  My dues?  Had I unknowingly joined a club that I didn’t want to be in, especially if this was their way of thinking?  I was merely asking for help to host my first blog tour.  The audacity of me!

I soon learned that there were many like her.  This crab mentality of keeping others down or the thinking that if you get ahead, I’m left behind, permeated my virtual airwaves and yet, fueled a fire inside of me that to this day, has not been extinguished.  Unfortunately for some, I was never taught the word “NO” or maybe I was but I wasn’t paying attention – the one lesson I chose to ignore.  Nevertheless, accepting NO when I want YES is not in my DNA… it is not the blood running thru my veins.  Her assuming that she would deter me, only propelled me into something bigger.  I may have been a newbie then, but, very quickly, Nonnie Jules was a (virtual) household name.

It was the end of 2013 when the idea of this awesome book club came to mind and I sought out those wonderful people I had met on Twitter to join me.  By now, you know all their names and I proudly share that most of them are still just as awesome today in the way they support others, as they were back then.

Aside from instilling that only honest reviews were to come from the RRBC camp, one of the core purposes of this club has always been to show our fellow members a level of support unheard of in this industry.  Our mentality is the more we give, the more we’ll receive, and what we put in, is what we’ll get back tenfold.  For those members who have followed this pattern of thinking, this has been and still is the case today, and those members feel an overwhelming sense of support and community never before felt anywhere else!

But, no matter how much we say it, how many places we put it in print or even how loudly we scream it, there are still those on our roster who park their books in our catalog and disappear, or, who remain on our roster and do absolutely nothing for anyone else.  It’s easy to know who these people are…all you have to do is follow the breadcrumb trails that lead to their social media feeds.  If every tweet is all about them and their book(s), their mindset is not staid on the RRBC model of support.

So, as a member of RRBC, what does support and active membership look like to you? 

In answer to this question, I have a very clear picture of what I know support and active membership to be within RRBC and here it all is…

Support and active membership looks like a twitter feed filled to the brim or even overflowing with tweets of support for the work of others.  Retweets are OK, but, it sure is nice to know that you went the extra mile and sent out an actual tweet in favor of someone else;

Support and active membership looks like a Facebook share which sparks a discussion around someone else’s work instead of your own;

Support and active membership looks like you showing up to support a fellow author’s blog tour and purchasing their book after visiting one of the stops;

Support and active membership looks like reading the books of your fellow authors and then posting reviews in a timely fashion.  We all have busy lives, but, I know for a fact that we make time for those things deemed most important to us;

Support and active membership looks like sharing the club and its value to others, encouraging them to JOIN US.  The more awesome members we have on our roster, the more support we can give to one another;

Support and active membership looks like you showing up to a book club discussion to support those members of the club whose books have been selected as a BOOK OF THE MONTH and staying to participate in the discussion (whether there’s a giveaway at the end or not).  When your book finds its way to that hot seat, won’t you expect the same kind of support?

Support and active membership looks like you following each leg of the club’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author tours and reading each blog post and leaving a comment at each stop;

Support and active membership looks like you taking the time to participate in the #PeanutGallery of one, some or even all of our RAVE WAVES shows each month.  We host 5 per month;

Support and active membership looks like you participating in some of our CLUB EVENTS, if not always, at least some of the time. Those of you who can never make it to support in the #PeanutGalleries because you’re “working,” etc., yet, you take off work to be interviewed, we’ve got our eyes on you;

Support and active membership looks like you taking part in our CLUB PROGRAMS.  Not because they’ll benefit you and your books, but because they just might help someone else, while also benefiting you and your books;

Support and active membership looks like syncing your personal calendar with all of the events that are on our CALENDAR OF EVENTS so you’ll know when something is happening inside of our club so that you’re able to prepare to participate;

Support and active membership looks like you chipping in to volunteer and help out around the club.  We have lots going on and its all to benefit our members, but we have only a few hands on deck to get it all done;

Support and active membership looks like you signing on to become a member of our uber-supportive TWEET SUPPORT TEAM.  It only takes about 15 minutes out of your life, two days per week.  We know that you gladly accept this support so how about spending some time on the other end of that, giving a little in return?

Support and active membership looks like you registering to become a “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour Host.  This introduces your blog to a host of new visitors and followers while you’re supporting a fellow member;

Support and active membership looks like familiarizing yourself with our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS and CODE OF CONDUCT to ensure that you are following the club’s rules and not harming your fellow members;

Support and active membership looks like you ensuring that your membership is always in a COMPLIANT status.  Taking the time to ensure that you are purchasing, reading and reviewing at a minimum at least 4 books per year, is such an easy thing to do.  Ensuring that your books remain in the catalog due to your COMPLIANT membership status is imperative to your success as an author;

Support and active membership looks like you engaging with your fellow members around RRBC, getting to know them better and allowing them to get to know you better.  We’re a fickle bunch here – we don’t usually support you if we don’t know who you are and we know who ALL our supportive and active members are.

You see, when you are supporting your peers, they along with so many others are supporting you.  You are but one person trying to spread the word of your written work, but imagine what kind of exposure you’re getting when the masses stand behind you with their support.

So, in a nutshell, that IS what support and active membership looks like here at RRBC.  Where do you fall on the spectrum of support and active membership?  Are you giving more than you’re taking or is it the other way around?  Be honest.  It’s what we do best here at RRBC.

~Nonnie Jules

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{If you are an RRBC member and would like to guest post on our site with a writing-related post that our readers might benefit from, please CONTACT US and let us know.  Our blogging schedule allows for posts on Mondays and Thursdays each week.}

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Dedicated To Those of Us Who Don’t Even Know What A Beat Is … #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

Welcome to our very first (of many) informative and entertaining blog posts on our new site!

For those who don’t know, my favorite author out of all the authors in the world, has been my favorite since I read her book for the first time in 4th grade. Yes, that was many moons ago.

Louisa May Alcott and her classic “LITTLE WOMEN,” are the only two reasons that from a very young age, I wanted to become a writer.  There were only two professions that I intended to grow up into – Author and Teacher…and Teacher was only my backup plan.

When I gave birth to daughters, the very first gift each of them received was their very own copy of “LITTLE WOMEN.”  I’m saddened to share that neither of them has read the book all the way through, if even just a bit of it.  I have faith, though, that one day, they’ll come around.

I was reminiscing yesterday on just how much I loved this book, how much it meant to me, and how many hundreds of times I must have read it – and, I’m pretty sure that number is actually in the hundreds.  {In 4th grade alone I read it 11 times…that’s how much it moved me.}

Yesterday, I decided to open it up and read only the first chapter.

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From the first page alone, I knew that some of today’s writers would be appalled at the style of writing in this book – you know the ones I’m speaking about, the ones who go on and on and on about “beats.” What the heck is a “beat” anyway?  (That wasn’t a question by the way, so please don’t answer it for me in a comment.  Thank you very much!)

I’d like to share with you just a teeny bit of the very first page of the book – what some of us might refer to as hiccups today, was clearly OK way back when.  {You do know that I believe all of the greatest authors lived way back when, don’t you?}

Take a look at a snippet from Chapter One…

“PLAYING PILGRIMS”

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

“We’ve got Father and Mother and each other,” said Beth contentedly, from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly: 

“We haven’t got Father, and shall not have him for a long time.” She didn’t say “perhaps never,” but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was.

Nobody spoke for a minute, then Meg said in an altered tone:  “You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure when our men are suffering so in the army.  We can’t do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly.  But I am afraid I don’t.” And Meg shook her head as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

“But I don’t think the little we should spend would do any good.  We’ve each got a dollar, and the army wouldn’t be much helped by our giving that.  I agree not to expect anything from Mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself.  I’ve wanted it so long,” said Jo, who was a bookworm.

“I have planned to spend mine in new music,” said Beth, with a little sigh.

 “I shall get a nice box of Faber’s drawing pencils.  I really need them,” said Amy decidedly.

I’ll end it there.  I have highlighted in red the things that many of today’s new-age authors might find sinful.  I readily admit that after reading some books (not this one), I, myself have sighed a few times, as well, noticing an author using too many “said” phrases;  and even after listening to these new-age authors and buying into the “beats” craze, I may have rolled my eyes a time or two when I happened upon too many of the other descriptive words or phrases above.

So, I write this post for two groups of people –

  1. Those of you who have bought into the “beats” craze – let it go.  Get over it.  Who cares.  (Again – that’s really not a question.)
  2. And, for those of you who have been made to feel inferior because you don’t even know what a “beat” is in writing, ignore the noise and go ahead and write your hiney off, any way you please, just so long as it is good, clean, written entertainment.  If Louisa May Alcott wrote that way, you better believe I’ll follow her lead any day over any new-age author.  I mean, she was LOUISA MAY ALCOTT!

Think of it this way, many of the people who are practically married to these new-age writing techniques, made them up…and if they didn’t, somebody else did.  I don’t know if they wanted to create the next craze, or, if they wanted to have a legion of followers, following their lead, but, it’s the style of writing they liked.  You don’t have to like it and you sure as heck don’t need to continually beat yourself up because you don’t understand the technique.

I’m going to leave you with this.  The only beat I’m interested in is me, writing to the beat of my own drums!  Now, that’s a lead I’d encourage you to follow any day!

~Nonnie Jules

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Thanks for dropping in!  We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, so please don’t leave without sharing a comment with us, as well as hitting the LIKE button below.

{If you are an RRBC member and would like to guest post on our site with a writing-related post that our readers might benefit from, please CONTACT US and let us know.  Our blogging schedule allows for posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week.}