Do Your Own Research – A Warning to Indie Authors – Guest Post by, Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

My Guest Blog Post on The Story Reading Ape Blog. My message is simple: Authors, please do your OWN research, FACT CHECK, and experience this journey for yourselves. Don’t let someone tell you something is a waste of time or money. Double check everything for yourself first and ask questions from those who have been where you are trying to go and who actually know what they are talking about.

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Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hey Guys! Wow. It’s been a long time. I miss you all!

*waves to readers and sits on virtual sofa*

This article started out extremely long but then I realized how necessary it was to keep this short and simple.There is so much information out here for Independent Authors and so many made-up commandments it isn’t funny. Everyone has an opinion on what the new author should and shouldn’t do. Everyone has a piece of advice to give or stones to throw. If you move this way you are doing it wrong and if you move that way you are still doing it wrong. There are more laws for the Self-Publisher than there are in the bible. There is something to say about everything. This is why I humbly advise each person to experience everything for themselves and to do their own research. Sometimes you don’t need to…

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Google Launches ‘Lynching In America’ Project Exploring Country’s Violent Racial History

“The history of lynching and racial terror in America is the focus of an ambitious new project launched Tuesday by Google, in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative.

 

Google has helped create a new interactive site titled “Lynching in America,” which is based on an 80-page publication by the EJI. Its research has been adapted into a powerful visual narrative about the horror and brutality that generations of black Americans have faced.

 

The site consists of audio stories from the descendants of lynching victims, and a documentary short called “Uprooted,” which chronicles the impact of lynching on black families. The project also includes an interactive map that details locations of racial terror lynchings, complete with profiles of the victims and the stories behind their deaths.”

SOURCE: CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING: Google Launches ‘Lynching In America’ Project Exploring Country’s Violent Racial History

5 Ways Commenting on Other Blogs Can Help Your Blog to Grow

  • It Introduces You

When you comment on a post that interests you (or disinterests you) on other blogs, it introduces you to that blogger and everyone else who sees your comment. If they’ve been blogging awhile, rest assured they will click on your name and check out your blog (Do be sure your name is linked to your blog. Jason Cushman explains how to do so HERE.)

Here’s a screenshot of an example. Even though the name of my blog is Pearls Before Swine when I comment what shows up is my actual name and photo so that it is understood immediately who I am and what I look like (in real life). Click on my name and it will take you to my blog.

  • It’s a Reminder

I follow over 400 blogs over the course of the three years I’ve been blogging. There’s no way I can keep track of them all and I won’t pretend as if I do. I don’t like or comment on everyone’s post. It’s just impossible. Likewise, bloggers that follow me don’t get to see and interact with my every post. I’m not crying about it.

There is a way to remind others that you exist and it is by supporting their blogs.

When you drop a comment on someone’s blog they are reminded of your support and will undoubtedly want to return the favor. I’m not saying be fake with your commentary. I am saying that support begets support. When people I don’t know comment on my blog, I click on their profiles and visit their blogs. I may even decide to follow said blog. In most cases, I do.

  • It Connects You / Builds Genuine Relationships

Commenting in the world of the Internet is the same as being involved in a conversation. Commenting on other blogs helps you to make a connection with others. It’s good because you don’t just connect with the home blogger, you also connect with their followers. It’s a form of genuine relationship building. You may discover you write in the same genre, both are allergic to something, both love the same foods, colors, both love History, etc. You may even want to join the same groups. I have connected to many of you better because of you commenting on my posts. We have in turn followed each other’s blogs, joined the other’s email list, bought the other’s books, and know more about one another. All because of commenting on the other’s blog.

  • Adds Value / Authority

When you leave comments on other blogs, it helps to add value and authority to your blog via search engines by way of back-links, which generates traffic. Here is Backlinks explained by the Shout Me Loud Blog:

“Backlinks are incoming links to a web page. When a web-page links to any other page, it’s called a back-link. In the past, back-links were the major metric for the ranking of a web page. A page with a lot of back-links tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. This is still true to a large extent. Here is a glossary of common terms related to back-links that you should know:

Link Juice: When a web page links to any of your articles or your website’s homepage, it passes “link juice”. This link juice helps with the ranking of the article, and also improves the domain authority.

  • More Subscribers

Commenting on other blogs brings more traffic to your site because of link juice and can lead to more subscribers. This is especially true if you leave detailed, well-thought out comments because it is a glimpse into the kind of content that can be found on your blog. Again, if the blogger is like me he/she will be inclined to click on your name (which you would have connected to your blog site) and check out your blog to discover more about you.

Combined these elements can help your blog to grow by:

  • Increasing Traffic / Views
  • Increasing Blog Subscribers

Before we go, make sure:

  • You don’t go around randomly commenting on people’s post after reading this. There is no right way or wrong way to blog but I have learned that such things as this must be genuine to work so don’t be fake, people can tell.
  • Your blog name is actually a name. Either your business name, Sara, Ann, Brandon, or Bob. Not 123_T or Princess_456.
  • Link your name with your blog so that when people click it this will take them to your blog. Learn how HERE.
  • Add an image to your gravatar. Preferably, a company logo or head-shot. I find human images better because it’s already difficult to trust people over the internet. Being transparent from the beginning by showing an updated image of your real self (Company Logos are good too) goes a long way. This is especially true if you’re an Independent Author. A brand tip is to make sure your author image and author name is the same across all your social platforms. I had to recently update mine so I am only saying this because I’m not very good at branding myself. I am working on it however and my first step was to go back through my social’s and ensure they all have the same image so that I am easy to find. I changed them all to the same picture and will also not keep changing them.
  • Make sure there’s a FOLLOW BUTTON on your blog so that when people are exploring and they like what they find they can follow you in the easiest and quickest way possible.

Note: The headline to this post has been changed to 5 Ways. When I first drafted it, I only had 4 ways. I’ve just went back over it and see there are five bullet points. I have not changed the link (which still says 4 ways) because this post has already been reblogged. Please excuse the miscount. 


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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Paige Addams

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books. I am so excited to get started and boy do I have some writers to introduce to you! I have decided to make this a weekly feature and so I’ll be introducing one author a week as long as the spots stay booked.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Paige Addams. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What would your perfect writing/reading room look like?

Wall to wall books. Like the library from Beauty and the Beast. Big windows to let in lots of light. A comfy couch and probably a papasan. Inspirational trinkets – geeky and fantasy type things like little pewter dragons or replica weapons from video games and movies I love – on some of the shelves and on my huge desk in the middle of the room. In the rare parts of the room where there’s actual wall instead of built in bookshelves, the paint would reflect the fantasy theme – and I tend to like darker colors in blues, purples, greens, and reds. Something interesting with those colors.

Lol, in theory it would be orderly and maintained, and I’d know where everything is. (notice in my above description that I never mention any kind of filing system… and did not go back to edit that as I’m writing this, because that would be a big fat lie, lol) In reality, it would probably look like a hurricane went through. Bookmarked novels piled up on different surfaces, and my notes strewn around in seeming chaos. But I seem to have magical chaos spider senses or something, because I still somehow know where everything is in the catastrophe that is my writing/reading space.

Wow! I love your writing / reading room! I’d have to invite myself over ; ). Are you employed outside of writing?

Yes – I’m a licensed massage therapist, and I absolutely love it! Originally, I thought I wanted to be a nurse. The medical field fascinates me – the body is amazing when you sit and think about all the things it does on a daily basis, and all the ways each individual system affects the whole. There was always a thought in the back of my mind that I was interested in alternative medicine, but I always kind of ignored that for some reason. I think maybe I wasn’t really confident in what I wanted? Lol, I think what you’re really supposed to be doing keeps coming around to poke at you though. After a couple years of nursing school, I finally switched to massage therapy. Now I can help people without needles, which is awesome. 😊 I do some relaxation work, but most of what I do is focused on things like injuries, headaches/migraines, TMJ, whiplash, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, and frozen shoulder. I also do hot stone, and will be continuing my education in fibromyalgia, work with cancer patients, and thai massage. Lol, I’m a bit biased, but I think I have the best clients ever! 😊

That is so cool. I went for Medical Assistance but Massage Therapy sounds way more cool. I always wished I did that instead! Speaking of likes, what do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?

Lol, if I had to say I hate something about writing advice, it would be the overwhelming feeling that I’m not doing it right – whatever “it” may be for the day. That’s not the fault of the person giving the advice – advice that someone takes the time to sit down, put thought into, and write out to help others is never something I could hate – it’s really more a me and my own insecurities thing. I struggle with confidence, so sometimes when I’m reading advice I can’t help but think I should just scrap everything and start over. I feel like I break a lot of writing rules, so when my confidence is low there’s a danger of me getting stuck in an over-editing loop and accidentally gutting the soul out of whatever I’m working on.

What I love most about writing advice is that I can get a different perspective on things. I spend so long looking at my own writing that I become blind to it. Because I’ve already mapped everything out in my head, and I know where the story will end up, I will automatically fill in any plot holes without really seeing them. I’ll have that sinking feeling that something’s wrong with a scene somewhere, but I just can’t find it. Also, my grammar is not always the best and I have a comma problem – I either sprinkle them haphazardly around like confetti or forget they exist. Lol – I need advice on those things especially. Lots and lots of advice.

Lol. I am terrible with commas! I’m definitely the sprinkle type. I feel you on the not doing anything right thing and I think you’ve just spoken to the heart of all the writers reading this. Insecurity is real so thank you for being genuine. We ALL experience that for sure. Now, what skill or skills would you like to master?

All of them. I think I’m like a jack of all trades, master of none. I’m interested in mastering all kinds of things, and have started learning several. But to actually master them? Lol, that’s another story entirely. I’ve been working on getting my black belt in Tomiki style Aikido – been practicing since 2010-ish I think? This is the skill I’m most passionate about trying to master. I absolutely love this martial art. It’s more about blending with the person, redirecting them, and using their own energy against them. So you don’t have to be bigger or stronger necessarily. It’s considered a “softer style” of martial art. It’s not something I’ll ever master, but I’ll happily work on it the rest of my life though and see how far I can get. 😊 Some of the other skills I want to learn are contact juggling, belly dancing, art (like being able to do portraits of my characters and landscapes of the scenes, maybe in colored pencil?), Ninjutsu, Iaido, and learning other languages (especially Japanese and Polish).

Wow. Gone on ahead then witcha bad self! Belly dancing huh? Don’t get any ideas guys. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

In a more peaceful time, I would love to see the world. There are so many beautiful places I would love to go. Gorgeous places in nature I’ve only looked at in National Geographic magazines with my mom. Cities with amazing architecture. Ideally, I’d like to take my mom to see it all too. She’s all about adventure. And the food!  Seriously, the food though. I would eat all the things. Like Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, vegan edition.

Cool. If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

First, I would have my own library/writing space. It would be both, and it would be big, lol. I would fill it with books and geeky things. My husband would have his own gaming room (we’re both gamers), also probably with more geeky paraphernalia of various kinds. We’d have an entertainment room for watching movies and setting up my gaming systems because me and the husband don’t share games well, lol. Or we could play together that way too. We’d have several bedrooms, for when we have guests, and a large kitchen with an island and different cooking tools I would learn how to use so we don’t starve or eat out all the time.

There would be a nice big garden where I would grow fruits and vegetables. Maybe a greenhouse for the winter? And a hedge maze, because it sounds fun and why not? Stone paths and archways with vines growing over them.

The house would be built around a private meditation courtyard right in the middle, with shade tolerant plants. The only way to get to it would be through the house. The house would be made of stone on the outside, and have some kind of wrap around porch. I would live just close enough to civilization to easily get to a hospital or the grocery store, but far enough away that I couldn’t see my neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, I like neighbors, but I want a place more like my grandpa’s – kind of out in the country a little. It’s peaceful there.

Wow! Your descriptions are amazing. I can just imagine your books! Lol at geeky paraphernalia. Let’s change the script a little bit. Have any songs memorized?

Lol, I listen to a lot of music, and do a lot of full-volume car singing. Some of them are: every song David Bowie sang in Labyrinth. “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera. “Footsteps” by Pop Evil. “Sally’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. “Radiator” by Family Force 5. The soundtrack to Queen of the Damned. “My Demons” by Starset. “Holding On To You” by Twenty One Pilots. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. “In The Shadows” by The Rasmus. “Star of the County Down” and “Perfect Song” by Enter the Haggis. “Free” by Switchfoot. “Here” by Alessia Cara. “Blossom” by Kerli. “Sleep to Dream” by Fiona Apple. “Kiri” by Monoral. “Duvet” by Boa. There are tons of songs I have memorized, much to my husband’s amusement. Lots of car concerts going on, and random serenading as we pass in the hall.

Car concerts are the absolute best. Sounds like you got a nice mix here far as music then huh?

Lol, I’m kind of an entertainment junkie. I listen to all kinds of music, but my favorites are usually rock and alternative. I really am all over the board though. I love Lindsey Stirling, Gackt, Korn, Linkin Park, Rhianna, Buck-Tick, Celldweller, Elle King, Anberlin, Beyonce, Switchfoot, Flyleaf, The Weeknd, Family Force 5, The Glitch Mob, Poe, and many, many more, lol.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

My first book will tentatively be self-published 4/7/17. If not, then the following Friday, definitely. I say “tentatively” because I’m having an issue converting the fantasy map I included in the book on Amazon. My amazing editor has been helping me, and the fantastic designer that did my cover is going to format it for me. Lol, I generally always refer to them as fantastic and amazing because they are genuinely great at what they do, have been endlessly patient with me, and deserve all the praise I can dish out.

I’m both excited and terrified to self-publish. Lol, it’s a scary thing putting a story out there and not knowing how it’ll go. I know my writing won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – maybe they don’t like my genre, or just my particular style of writing. Or maybe I should have re-read some of that advice on grammar, and calmed down on the rampant comma abuse, lol. My editor cleaned it up big time and made it readable though, so I’m thinking it’ll come down to: have I managed to write something that’s entertaining/interesting? We shall see. 😊

I’m feeling more excited and optimistic than scared though. Even if only my mom and close friends buy it, it’ll feel good to finally be doing something with my writing. I kind of feel like I’ve accomplished something. Writing is as important to me as my job as a massage therapist, and to be able to put it out there is a dream come true.

Tales-of-Ejoma-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

COMING SOON!

Congratulations on the book! Author to be in the house ya’ll! That cover is nice!

Now, if you could live in a movie, which would it be? Why?

That’s a tough one. Maybe Harry Potter? The Sorcerer’s Apprentice? Somewhere I could use magic! Or maybe a marvel movie? Basically, anywhere I could have superpowers or magical abilities or something along those lines. As for the why – lol, because I’m chaos and would spend my time levitating everything around my house and snapping my fingers to clean so I don’t have to dust anymore. Plus, superpowers are just awesome!

Aren’t they? So, Paige, married? How long?

Yes – I’ve been married for 8 ½ years, but we’ve been together for a little over 16 years. We were high school sweethearts. We met in social studies class, when I was a sophomore and he was a junior. I feel like we were really lucky. We got to go off to college together, live together, and have some healthy fights before we got married. Lol, the man knew exactly what he was getting himself into – brave soul that he is. I really am blessed – he loves me and all my weird little quirks.

Brave soul lol. That’s awesome. I feel like marriage don’t get enough play these days and I am always excited to meet couples who’ve been together a lifetime. Speaking of time, Paige, what takes up too much of your time?

YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and video games. Not always in that order. I am amazingly skilled at procrastination. The one skill I’ve already mastered, lol. Right now, I’m playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, and loving every second of it.

Lol! You’re a gamer for real. What do you wish you knew more about?

As far as knowledge goes, I wish I knew more about computers, history, and math. Those are my biggest weaknesses, knowledge wise. My brain just doesn’t work in any kind of logical or orderly fashion. If you hand me a math book I’m pretty sure my brain would force quit, and I’d just start hearing elevator music.

I wish I could say it’s because I have trouble concentrating, but I seem to have no issue playing the same video game for 8 hours straight, or watching Netflix all day. I think this is just a shining example of what people call left brain vs right brain. My left brain is always sleeping I think.

I love you for hating math. So do I. Lol. Speaking of Netflixin it, what’s your favorite TV show? Movie?

I watch way more TV and movies than is probably healthy. Here are my current favorites: TV (I’m including anime series in this) – Blindspot, The Blacklist, Lucifer, Game of Thrones, Sense 8, Castle, Stitchers, Forever, Bleach, Yona of the Dawn, The Twelve Kingdoms. Movies (also including anime movies here) – The Illusionist, Divergent (and the sequels), Warm Bodies, Excess Baggage, He’s Just Not That Into You, Pride and Prejudice (all of them, including the one with zombies), The Matrix (only the first one), Beastly, Scrooged, Ladyhawke, Beautiful Creatures, Jupiter Ascending, Legend, Unleashed, Labyrinth, Alien (all of them), Knight and Day, The Princess Bride, Penelope, Blood and Chocolate, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Shack, Appleseed (2004 version), Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away.

The only thing from this list I can agree with is Matrix and Lucifer. Although, I kinda fell off Lucifer and probably can’t tell you about the last ten episodes? Anyway, what is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

I’ve been reading these books by John Eldredge, and one he wrote with his wife, Stasi. They’re books about exploring Christianity in a different way. I’ve always considered myself a Christian, but I have been told I don’t Christian correctly, lol. I have a different way of approaching some things, I guess.

I think the reason I find them thought provoking is because they approach faith in a way that is more relatable to me. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to approach faith – it’s subjective to each person – but I do think there’s a way that fits my own relationship with God the best. I like the idea that he’s not some unreachable being, and you aren’t expected to be perfect, or follow a prayer recipe. I can just be myself.

I’ve read Wild at Heart, Captivating, and am currently reading Beautiful Outlaw. The main theme in all of these is getting to know God on a more intimate level. Wild at Heart and Captivating talk about the masculine and feminine parts of God you can see in everyday life, and in yourself and others. The wildness of storms, a man storming the castle for a woman, fighting battles and going on adventures. The beauty of sunsets, a woman’s desire to be pursued, the fierce protectiveness of a mother or a sister or a bestie. And Beautiful Outlaw is about getting to know the personality of Jesus. He got angry, joked with the apostles, and showed His human side. It’s a way of looking at Jesus that I’ve never thought of before. The author also suggests there can be a difference between religion and faith, which I thought was really interesting. Even if you aren’t Christian, I think these may be interesting reads if you like exploring this kind of subject. 😊

Interesting. I can definitely agree there’s a difference between faith and religion but that’s another story. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

Lol, I think the most difficult thing about being a writer, for me at least, is corralling all the crazy ideas I have into something that makes sense. My mind is generally all over the place – I’ll write scenes for the middle of the book before I write the beginning or end, and sometimes write parts of the end before the beginning too. Then I’ll write scenes for the fourth and eighth books, because all the plots are touching each other like spaghetti.

My writing space is chaos. My writing process is chaos. Lol, I’m pretty sure I am chaos. My husband would probably agree.

I think the most exciting thing about writing is that it’s okay to be chaos. 😊 It’s a crazy, unorganized mess – but it works for me. When I try to be too structured, I can run into trouble. But when I’m just letting it all go, and just putting down whatever is in my head, I get a lot done. I feel like the characters have a life of their own when I let them do what they want, lol. Even if it’s not used in the story I’m currently working on, I have something to consider later. A lot of my secondary characters end up as primary characters later in the series. So the spaghetti method ends up working for me, lol.

Why is writing important to you?

Writing is important to me because I think it can be a form of escape. Life is not always butterflies and daisies, but when I sit down to write it can be. I also think it can be therapeutic in some ways, depending on what you’re writing. Either way, whether you write fiction or nonfiction, whatever genre is in your heart, you’re putting your creativity and pieces of yourself into it. I mainly write paranormal romance – full of magic and happiness, lol. But I have written some more personal, serious things too.

“Life is not always butterflies and daisies, but when I sit down to write it can be.” I love that. I’d have to feature you in a quote one day. You’ve spoken about a few things. Tell us, what genres do you write in? Why?

I write paranormal romance for two reasons. First, it’s my favorite genre to read. And second, I can run amuck and really do whatever I want with it. I enjoy being able to create whatever I like, with very little restriction.  So much chaos, lol. But part of the fun for me has been starting from the ground up – creating the races in my fantasy world, their history and traditions, their language (I got a book on language creation), and their different forms of magic. Winding all the plot lines together has been fun too. I’ve enjoyed mapping everything out. The more I branch out, the more opportunity I have to build the world up even more.

Paige, it’s been an amazing journey spending this time with you! Thank you for stopping by.


Photo Credit: Paige Addams. Used with permission.

Paige Addams is a pseudonym. She lives with her very patient and amazing husband and their dog in Ohio. When she’s not writing, she’s growing her business as a LMT, practicing Aikido (and trying not to kill herself in the process) and trying to learn contact juggling (like that scene from Labyrinth). Otherwise, she’s generally procrastinating with video games and far more YouTube than is probably healthy. Paige will be self-publishing her first novel in the coming weeks, and there will be many more!

Be sure to follow this author online!

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Are you a new author? Get featured on Introduce Yourself! CLICK HERE to find out how and stay tuned for next weeks author!

5 Ways Reading Influences Your Perspective

I speak a lot on this blog about the power of perspective and not being limited in thought. It occurred to me, as I was making my coffee yesterday morning and thinking about a book I needed to finish, that I thought about reading and the deeper role that literacy plays in our lives.

Perspective can be defined as:

“…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

Television is not the only thing that can influence your perspective but so can books. Be careful what you’re feeding your mind. It can empower you or limit you.

#1 You Are What You Read

The saying, “You are what you eat” is used to convey the message that we should be careful what we are putting into our bodies. A stunning new report from the World Health Organization has concluded that there is clear scientific evidence that eating pork leads to cancer and I’m not just saying this because I don’t eat pork. (Even if it is gross and bad for your health). Over-doing the snacks is also not good and can hurt the kidneys and harm weight. Just like we are what we eat, we are also what we read!

What you put into your mind has the power to change you (either for better or for worse). While I love Black History and culture, these are not the only kinds of books that I read. I also read the bible and other books that provide useful information (either for my mind, body, or spirit).

#2. Reading One Type of Book

Do this and you will surely be confined to one form of thought. You can be passionate without being limited. There are books about Black History that are not written by African Americans and I don’t neglect them because of it. I don’t believe in the racial superiority of any sort whether that is White Supremacy or Black Supremacy. (I don’t even believe in white or black people. I use these terms specifically for understanding but I believe we are nations, not colors). That said, I do not shy away from networking with other nationalities of people and I do not neglect my own. I read Urban Fiction but I will also read Western Literature. I can converse with the woman on the corner and the intellectual. I’m not afraid to sit down with sinners and saints because I’m not a judge and it’s really none of my business what people think of me. That’s their problem. I will not be boxed in and I will not be limited.

#3. Neglecting Indie Authors

Readers should not be limited to reading just Traditionally Published books because you’ve read one poorly written book and now every Self-Published book is no good (even when they are being made into movies every day). The Shack, a book I own and have used for research for many years, is now being made into a movie. It started out as a Self-Published Book and became a USA Today Best Seller. It is now being made into a movie.

As an Independent Author, it is my duty to support this community so of course I read books written by Independent Authors. If I am reading something, like a classic novel, I make sure that I also have an Indie book to read. Since I’m a book reviewer, I almost always have one on hand. I don’t just read Indie books, I actually enjoy reading them. Indie books also tend to be cheaper than Trad so there’s really no excuse. You spend more on lunch, no, coffee! Two dollars and under a month (for an eBook) is not expensive. Go the extra mile and buy the paperback (I love paperbacks, obviously). Pick an Indie Author whose books you love that are well-written and support them. Or, pick a slew of Indie Authors and purchase at least one book a month. How can you really support Indie Authors (or change the way you think of us) if you don’t read our books? How can you say all Independent books suck if you’ve never read any? Writing books is the only Independent community where we are having this conversation! Indie Music Artists, for instance, are always supported.

#4. Neglecting Trad. Published / Classics

The door swings both ways people. Don’t neglect the Traditionally Published books and Classics either. Particularly since many of them are well-written. This next part may be sensitive for some of you but it is the truth:

Be Careful Reading Poorly Written Books

This is mainly for you writers out there. Balance is everything. I’m an Indie Author and I support Indie Authors but to disregard the elephant in the room is just naive. While I enjoy Indie books, not all Indie books are well-written.

I’m an advocate for reading period no matter how they were published and I read Indie Books as well as classics and Traditionally Published books because even if I don’t like a story, many of the classics do happen to be well-written. (Which isn’t to say Trad books are always well-written). This is important to me because if you keep reading books that are not up to par you can only begin to write just the same.

Again, I am not saying Indie books can’t compete with literary classics or traditional publishing. I am saying that there are still lots of Self-Published books that are just not well-written. To continue to read this kind of material is counterproductive. So, when reading be sure to have a balance.

#5. Morals / Values

I saved this for last because I know how sensitive we are about anything that we “perceive” to be religious. However, it must be brought up and goes back to the first bullet point: You are what you read.

There are lots of books that are great for research purposes and then there are books that are not worth your time. While some of you are strong enough to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” (take the information that is worthy and apply it and throw out the rest), some of you are also weak minded. By weak-minded I mean it doesn’t take much for you to be negatively influenced or adopt foreign beliefs even if they don’t make any sense.

If you know that you are easily swayed and unstable in your thoughts, you may want to stay away from certain literature that has the potential to change who you are.

Sure, I have books on the importance of watching what I eat but I am not going to become a vegetarian Goddess who condemns all meat-eaters because we should love animals. That’s what I am talking about. It’s not that serious people. How about you love the people around you.

As I say always, staying true to yourself is priority. There are some books that are not even worth your time and you have to be the one to discern that balance. People walk around like reading is just always good. It is not. Everything has a balance to it. There are books that are bad for you just like there is food that is bad for you. Make sure that as you read, you are also paying attention to yourself. Reading can influence your perspective in more ways than one.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of The Stella Trilogy and is currently working on her next book series. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. For updates on this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

The 10-Day Negative Thought Fast

Wow, this is great! What a way to end No Whining Wednesday (today was a good day.) I definitely want to try this.

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Would you like a simple way to really change your life? Instead of merely getting by, you’ll find that your life can truly be exceptional when you focus on positive solutions rather than the constraints of your challenges.

This 10-Day Negative Thought Fast, originated by Emmett Fox, one of the most popular self-help authors and speakers of the early 20th century, is an adventure you’ll reap many benefits from.

Here are the rules:

1. If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. Giving up negative thoughts is a little like giving up a drug; you’ve got to stop using them completely, otherwise you haven’t truly quit.

2. You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, the time…

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