Small Business Ideas – What is a fan club?

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

In follow up to last week’s post, I have another interesting fact to share. Here is a link to last week’s post in case you missed it. A fun neighborhood theater experience

The Heights Theater gets involved with the community. From the movies they pick to hosting many local group events. The idea for the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival was brought to them by one of the local chapters of the Sons of the Desert, the International Laurel and Hardy appreciation society.

Sons-of-the-Desert-Poster

Members of this organization don’t refer to themselves as fan clubs, but as appreciation societies. It is unclear where the word fan originated, but if it comes from being a fanatic about something, maybe appreciating someone is more respectful. This organization was named for the lodge Laurel and Hardy belonged to in a full length film called Sons of the Desert released in 1933.

Each chapter of the organization is called a tent, keeping with the desert theme. The local tent who helped bring the comedy festival to The Heights is Block Heads Oasis #3, which is the third oldest tent in the entire organization.

There is probably a fan club or appreciation society for just about anything. I thought about it in the context of followers of my blog and fans of my book. Are you my fan club? In a way, I guess you are. Yeah!

How do fan clubs grow? How do they become more popular? How do more people learn about and grow to appreciate the object of the fan club? Maybe how they do it can help me find more fans.

Small Business Ideas

Love where the flow of writing can take you. I started talking abut Fan Clubs and ended up talking about how to increase blog and brand followers. This flow prompted me to add a Small Business Ideas section to my from the Writing House posts. Not only to give me a place to brainstorm ideas for my business, but maybe it can help you with yours.

I found an interesting article online. According to Eventbrite, there are five ways they suggest for increasing fan base. Here is a link to the article. Eventbrite – Using Data to Increase Fan Engagement

Here are their five ways. They based the article on promoting a sports team, so I added some notes on how I might be able to do it for my business.

1. Ask them what they want to see or receive from you. For me, this could be sending a survey to my email list and ask about what activities they would like to see on my blog or website. Maybe posing some questions on the blog too.

2. Listen to their social media activity. Find out where my fans are hanging out. Be sure to place my posts there. Interact with those platforms more.

3. Gather relevant data through interactions with fans. Open up a way for my fans to interact more with me. Is it a live post on Facebook? Is it a survey on my site? Maybe gathering with other YA book bloggers and interact with our similar fan bases?

4. Analyze the data and use the facts found right. Any comment is data gathered. Be sure to listen to what the facts are saying and implement changes if needed for the fans to stay true to my blog and brand.

5. Get fans involved and help them feel a part of the community. Have a contest. Let them have input on what they see on the site. Host a local event to meet the fans in person and do a reading. When we were at the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival, about 20 to 30 members of the local appreciation societies were at the showing. What a great event for group engagement and possibly finding new members.

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Since I decided to self publish my book last year, marketing is one of the many tasks I have to do on the business side of my writing. Since I am an author and not a promotional guru, I am doing a lot of learning as I go. Some days I need to do brainstorming sessions like this to come up with creative ideas to get my book out there. I hope you are able to find something in this post that may help you.

What things have helped you to promote your business or group you may be involved in? Please share those ideas in the comments below.

Be sure to check out the books tab on my site for information on how to get your very own copy of The Hard Way! A great teen read!

A fun neighborhood theater experience

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning blog!

It has been quite a busy month for me since I last posted. My day job continues to be busy in transition and the main project in the writing house these days is editing The Bully’s Way. I am about half way through the first in depth read through. There has been a lot of work done so far and I am excited about how the story is coming together.

Laurel and Hardy - Hog Wild

With all that has been happening in our world, Jim and I made the time to do something fun. Jim’s mom is a big Laurel and Hardy fan, so we took her to The Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to see the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival. They featured five short films from the 1930s. Hog Wild was one of the five we saw and I enjoyed the most.

According to their website, The Heights Theater is the Twin Cities classic theater experience. From the old fashioned decor to an organ player who plays before the show. We really had fun watching the movies in an old fashioned theater environment eating popcorn together. The way things were before dolby sound, 3D picture viewing and the plush recliner seating found in today’s theaters.

heights organ player
Photo by Jim Ham

A little history, it was constructed in 1926 by Gluek Brewery heir, Arthur Gluek as a prohibition real estate venture. It was originally just a neighborhood theater featuring local area actors and “high class vaudville acts” but became a place for upscale first run movies and old time favorites.

The Heights Theatre

Jim and I were introduced to the venue this year by close friends of ours who we went to see the movie Harold and Maude with in April. For those of you who don’t know, Harold and Maude is a cult classic released in 1971. It is a dark comedy where Harold, one of the main characters, is obsessed with death and falls in love with a much older woman who teaches him about living life to the fullest and that life and not death is the most precious gift of all. The current owner of The Heights Theater used to work at another local theater, the now closed Edina Westgate Theater. Harold and Maude had been shown there for quite a long time. From 1972 to 1974, it ran for 115 weeks and 1956 showings.

For more information about The Heights Theater and what their upcoming shows are, here is a link to their site The Heights Theater. I really recommend checking it out. And if you find a movie you would like to see, be sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time. When we arrived at the theater yesterday, both sessions of Laurel and Hardy had been sold out. Good thing we shopped early for our tickets.
One more note,The Hard Way Thumbnail
Have you been wondering what my young adult book, The Hard Way is about? Well, here is your chance to get a free preview of chapter one! All you have to do is subscribe to my email list and you will be emailed a link to the free preview.
What does subscribing to my email list get for you? A quarterly newsletter highlighting a few of my book reviews and other news from my writing house.
So, if you have been curious about what my book is about, why not check it out!
Please note, for all of you who have gmail, after you confirm your subscription to my email list, your email for the free preview link will probably wind up in your promotions inbox. That is what happened to me when I tested it.
Have a great week!

Update from The Writing House

Happy Spring! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

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Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. We had a cold start to April, but at least the snow had started melting. That is until the weekend of April 13-15 when we had a good ole fashioned blizzard. The kind where it snows, snows and snows. Just when you think it was going to stop, it started up again. It didn’t stop until late Sunday night. We wound up with about 16 inches of snow at our house.

Then jump to the following weekend. We had 50 degree weather and the grass was turning green. We have a north facing deck at our condo, so things don’t melt as fast as we would like them to in front of our place. Here is my view last Monday, after our first spring like weather weekend. Looks like winter on our side and spring across the lot!

April was a busy reading and marketing month for me in the writing house. Here’s what happened

  • Happy 1st Birthday to The Hard Way. Can’t believe I published it a year ago this month. I ran a $.99 sale on Amazon.com for the e-book from April 11-15 to celebrate.
  • I attended an editing seminar which will help me with my upcoming editing project.
  • Beta read a novel for another Minnesota author, Christopher D. Schmitz, called Through the Darque Gates of Goth. It is the second book in Wolves of Tesseract series. Look for it to be published soon! Here is a link to Chris’ author website Christopher D. Schmitz for information about him and his books.
  • Monthly book club read, Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Great read about hockey and loyality to small town team and community. Our club had a great discussion about it over coffee.

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I also did some fun reading including Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik and A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa. It is always nice to just relax on the couch with a good book. An escape from the stresses of life, at least for a little while.

In May, I will be starting the next round of edits for The Bully’s Way to have it ready for an alpha read this fall. Looking forward to see where this editing journey takes me. Be sure to get your copy of The Hard Way so you can have it read before The Bully’s Way is published. My anticipated publishing date is October 2019. Here is my promo for it!

Looking for a good teen read? Be sure to pick up a copy of The Hard Way! It is available in e-book format on Amazon.com and paperback on both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

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Here is the Amazon.com link! The Hard Way – Amazon.com

And the Barnes and Noble link! The Hard Way – Barnes and Noble

Have a great week!

Note: The view from the Writing House window is a photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

Happy Easter!

How did the Easter bunny do? Did he bring lots of candy and gifts? Are you getting ready for a big Easter egg hunt this morning with the kids?

It is neat that we have all of these fun traditions for kids on a holiday with a more religious meaning. It brings us together as a family whether young or old.

Celebrate the day and make some good memories with your friends and family, so when you look back, it will warm your heart and make you and them smile.

Happy Easter!

Book Review – The Lake Lights by William Burt

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

Networking and author connections brought this read to me. It is kind of fun to meet other authors this way. It opens my eyes to other books I may not have even known about. And it is a great way to get to know other authors who you can check in with and bounce ideas off of.

The Lake Lights is a young adult Christian Fantasy, a genre that has recently become more popular. The stories tend to have a fantasy or science fiction feel with references to the bible or religion put into it. I was a little leery to read these books at first wondering how much the bible would be referenced throughout the story. With the ones I have read, I found the authors have done a good job with the references and descriptions to keep a YA reader engaged. I hope YA readers keep an open mind to what they read, and don’t get scared off by the word Christian in the description. There are some really great reads out there for you.

The Lake Lights

 

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

The Lake Lights

Author

William Burt

Type of Book

Young Adult Fiction – Christian Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Background

This is the first book in Burt’s The Creation Seekers Series published in June of 2017. He is also the author of the award-winning series, King of Trees, which won a silver medal in the 2014 Readers Favorite International Book Award Contest, Christian Fantasy category.

Summary of the story

Jonathan Oliver has recently become the man of the house when his father went missing in Afghanistan. His mom, his sister Jennica, and Grandpa are left to deal with some weird things going on under their house. Strange noises and smells have Jon and his Grandpa searching for answers. Through their investigation, they find out what has been living under their house. And through his dad’s disappearance, Jon finds out about a special project his dad has been working on and that his business partner desperately wants information about.

Reactions to the book

I really liked the story. It was engaging, and I had a hard time putting it down. I got to know the characters which made the story even more enjoyable. It was a fun read with some education about science thrown in.

The Lake Lights would be a great read for a YA reader who enjoys the fantasy/sci-fi genre.

If you interested in learning more about the author, you can find out information about him and the other books he has written at William Burt

If you are looking for a copy of the book, you can purchase on on his website or here is a link to it on Amazon.com The Lake Lights

And, if you are looking for another good teen read, be sure to check out my book, The Hard Way. To learn more about the story and find a link to get your own copy, be sure to check out books tab on my website.

Remembering my first blog post

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog! Hope you had a great weekend.

UnbrokenI finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand yesterday. I was drawn to the book for two reasons. One, I love the author. I wrote a post about her. I was looking for significant events that happened on May 15th and found out it was her birthday. Here is a link to that post. May Holidays continued

She also wrote the book Seabiscuit, which I enjoyed. You know, the book set during the depression about an undersized race horse who beats the odds and wins? They made a movie out of it like they did for this one. I remember taking my Godson to see it at our local theater when he was ten. He is going to be twenty-five this year. What a great memory!

The second reason I was drawn to the book is for the story itself. Not only is it about aviation, but it is also putting World War II history in the context of someone’s life story. That of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and a bombardier in Army Air Corp. His B-24 bomber crashes into the ocean, he is captured by the Japanese and becomes a POW. I enjoyed reading it.

Staying in that reminiscing frame of mind, I wondered about what my first blog post was about.  I scrolled through my one-hundred and eighty-six published posts and found the very one. It was posted on July 6, 2014. Here is a link.

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It was a pretty basic post since I was just learning how to blog. The title was only a date and it didn’t have any pictures or tags. It is a reminder we all started someplace. Things have changed quite a bit since then.

Current projects from the Writing House-

Working on promoting my book, The Hard Way. There is a link to purchase it on my The Hard Way Thumbnailwebsite under the books tab.

I also the first edition of my quarterly newsletter coming out this month to share upcoming news and announcements. What will it contain? Some items about mareketing and little bits about The Bully’s Way, book two in The Way Series coming out in October 2019. Be sure to sign up under the subscribe tab to receive your copy.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Book Review – The King by Lorilyn Roberts

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

I’ll start with my exciting news. The blog is coming from a new location! Over this past weekend I made the move and created a new website, www.SelmaPVerde.com. I am feeling good about the progress so far, but please bear with me as things are still coming together with the site.

After last week’s unplanned post about my first author interview, I am going to get back to my plan for the new year, book reviews. My main focus will be to review middle grade and young adult books. It is the audience I am writing for and I want to provide parents, teachers and librarians with some ideas of books I consider good reads for these age groups.

Continue reading “Book Review – The King by Lorilyn Roberts”