Friday, September 22, 2017

Joe Donahue's Outburst At NEIBA Conference Is Why I No Longer Visit Independent Book Stores

Dear Lit Loves,

Wow.  I checked out the headlines on PW today and there was one that stood out to me:  "At Annual NEIBA Show, Booksellers Slam Amazon and Toast Each Other".  So as I double click to read the story I discover that the host (Joe Donahue) of this book show or conference slammed Amazon with his opening line at the NEIBA Awards dinner being "expletive Amazon!"  That is tragic.  As a self-published author who attempted to break into the traditional publishing industry for six years and having doors slammed in my face way too many times to count, I opted to self-publish through Amazon.  I no longer court independent bookstores to sell my books because there appears to be a pervasive negative attitude among independent booksellers toward Amazon and Amazon self-published writers that is similar to the abrasive stance Mr. Donahue displayed with his unprofessional outburst at the NEIBA awards dinner.  Now, should I ever be asked to appear at or host a book conference or convention you will not find me slamming anyone.  There is already too much negativity in the world and this kind of ineptness just feeds the beast.

Maybe not all booksellers belonging to the New England Independent Booksellers Association endorse the sentiments of host Joe Donahue.  One can only hope there do exist independent booksellers who also embrace independent authors.  Some of us were never given the opportunity to publish traditionally and it was not for lack of effort or quality of writing.  Most independent booksellers here in the South openly refuse to carry a book self-published via Amazon which is really a shame because to me this comes across as a form of discrimination.  Or if independent booksellers do carry a book self-published through Amazon, there are all sorts of hoops the writer/author must  jump through before his/her book can even be displayed in one of their stores.  As an avid reader, member of several book clubs, and self-published author, I have come to feel that most independent booksellers hate Amazon and quite possibly also hate writers who self-publish through Amazon.  And I think that by automatically excluding Amazon self-published books from your independent bookstores, you exude an air of arrogance and lack of open-mindedness that causes me and many others to no longer shop at your stores or attend any events your store may host.  Folks, it's a big world out there and there is room for all of us.  I find it disgraceful that a book convention host would stoke the fires of hate in the manner in which Joe Donahue did.  To me, if you are saying F$&! Amazon then you are also wishing the same sentiment toward me as an Amazon self-published writer/author.  And what did I ever do to deserve that????  ***Think before you speak.****  Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

N.C. Education Majors And New Teachers: I Strongly Encourage You To Read This Book

Dear N.C. Education Majors and All First Through Third Year N.C. Teachers,

Greetings!  Just wanted to let all North Carolina Education Majors as well as all first through third year North Carolina teachers know that I wrote the book on my experiences during my first year of teaching in a volatile, inner-city North Carolina school.  I wrote this book because I felt future and current beginning teachers needed to hear from a fellow educator who had been in the trenches and succeeded though the odds were certainly not stacked in my favor.  Additionally, I wrote the book because it takes an incredible amount of resilience to be a teacher.  It's not just what you know subject-wise, but how well you can recover once you are knocked down and then subsequently get back up to face the daily difficulties in the classroom and learn from numerous mistakes.  The title of the book is Brave Soul Rising:  Tales From The Trenches of An Uncharmed Life and it is written under my pen name of Grace Sutherlin.  Most readers are purchasing the book online via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  The book is available in both e-book format ($4.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. 

I contacted 40 college/university professors in the state of North Carolina who are currently teaching and/or mentoring students who are majoring in the field of Education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.  Professors at the following colleges/universities were contacted and notified about the relevance and importance of the book in hopes that they would utilize the book as a resource for their students.  Those schools included:  UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Chapel Hill, High Point University, Appalachian State University, UNC-Wilmington, East Carolina University, UNC-Charlotte, Wingate University, Wake Forest University, UNC-Asheville, North Carolina State University, Western Carolina University, Duke University, Guilford College, Brevard, and Meredith College. 

And a special "Thank You" to Cary Magazine for featuring my book in the September Education issue under the section titled "Happenings".   Publicity is often the hardest part for a writer like myself and I deeply appreciate all newspapers and magazines who have featured my book in their pages.  Happy Reading!

Till my next post,
Grace (Amy)