Subconsciously Lusting

No, not that kind of lusting. Stay focused people.

I’m watching The Real before heading out to my part-time (which means I better hurry this post up) and I loved how Adrienne gave the story about the dress she wore and posted to IG, and how it was actually a Forever 21 Dress she paid $17 for. I appreciated this because so many young people look at the lives of celebrities and want what they have without a clue of what it actually means. I say all of that to say to my young people:

Don’t fall into the trap of ingratitude by subconsciously lusting for what you don’t have. Learn to admire from a distance, remembering that what you see is not always reflective of what actually is. You don’t know the pain behind the smile or the storms that person has endured to get to where they are. Sometimes you’ll see people with amazing strength but you don’t know what it took or what it will take for you to have the same kind of resolve. You also don’t know if that person’s possessions are honest or if they actually sold out to get it. If you log into Instagram or Twitter for instance, you will see a lot of inspirational advice from celebrities on the importance of working hard and how they acquired their success. While celebrities are real people, it’s not that simple. Not every celebrity worked hard and overcame trials and worked their way to the top. Some of them sold out. (And no, I am not saying Adrienne sold out. I don’t know her personally and I don’t know what her life is like privately. Her post is just motivation for this message. If she never said she bought the dress at Forever 21, ya’ll would be secretly wishing you had lots of money so you can buy that dress.) My point is this:

You are already in such a great place even if you’re struggling than many of the people whose lives you wish you had. The grass is only as green as your mindset to quote Meggan Roxanne. If you stop focusing on other people and instead nourish where you are it will be fruitful. Just because your cup is not overflowing does not mean that it is empty. You just have to appreciate what you have now and be content knowing there is water in the cup and it is enough. Now, I gotta go but for those of you following celebs online and secretly feeling some kind of way, don’t lust after what you don’t understand. Remember that spoiled milk can still be white. Stay woke.

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Confession and Cover Reveal

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Many of you know that I have pushed my two bigger projects back but I’ve been low-key working on another one and yesterday, I revealed the news to my email list.

I have wanted to publish many of the poems featured on this blog (by featured I am referring to my own poems) in a book for a long time. I tried it with my third collection but since then I’ve written a lot more poetry. To make a long story short, I’ve finally submitted the final copy of I AM SOUL in to be edited last week and we’re looking at a release date as early as December 20th, my mother’s birthday.

COVER REVEAL – I AM SOUL

 

Inspiration Behind the Title

“You have an old soul.”

I don’t particularly like this phrase and I cringe when people tell me this. But, it is a fact that I’ve heard this many times over the course of my life, disguised in many different ways.

“You act older than you are.”

“You’re mature for your age.”

Or as my big sister so elegantly put it: “You old.”

So, I decided to drop the “Old” (because I’m young shooo lol) and just go with Soul.

Personal

I read something once that said, “The best writing is vulnerable.” I kept rolling this around in my head. It’s so true. I am extremely shy when it comes to my own personal feelings and I admit I am embarrassed to reveal too much of myself because, well, I think it will be too much. I’m too much yall (lol tee hee). But, the person was right. We connect deeper with people who we can relate to. People who are just as human as we are. People who make mistakes and are dripping with flaws. They may not always be this way, but they help us to see there is still hope. Their testimonies make redemption real. They are not somewhere in heaven while the rest of us are here on Earth. Their mistakes are a bridge of commonality that connects them to the rest of mankind. It is why we connect with people who are real.

This book is also a compilation of the Black History poems published to this blog which is another inspiration for the title. We have always had a unique way about us from our rich history to our style of dress to the way that we speak. We are the salt of the Earth. We are flavoring. We are Soul Train and Soul Brothers. We are soul.

I AM SOUL is personal in more ways than one and seeks to tell the truth. To be honest. To be vulnerable. To be weak and in that weakness, to be strong. ( 2 Co 12:10) This book is all things personal. This book is all things, soul.

So, there you have it. I’ll have more details and developments as we get closer to release but I am excited and I hope you will enjoy this collection just as much as you enjoy the poetry on this blog.

I AM SOUL- 3D

Coming Soon

Indie Authors: Stop Giving Away Your Books for Free – Angela Ford

Check out this article by Angela Ford on giving away your books for free. I’ve never been comfortable giving away my books except to my ARC / Beta Readers so I find her perspective interesting. I would love to hear other’s opinion on it though and to be provided with more resources to support the article. The comment left on the post poses a good question too.

What about you? Do you think authors should give their books away for free? Why or why not?

“In the indie author community, there’s a false mindset you have to give your books away for free before people will be willing to purchase them. If the first book in your series is free, someone will pay $0.99, $2.99 and even $5.99 for your full priced books. In truth, I’ve been seeing the opposite effect and heard from indie authors who have had the same experience. Here are some examples…”

Click through to the ORIGINAL post HERE

Self-Publishing: Don’t Forget to Set Up Your Author Central Page

Got an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy reminder for you after purchasing an author’s book and clicking on their name and not finding any information on them.

If you have not already, don’t forget to set up your Author Central Page.

Author Central is your author page on Amazon. If this is set up, readers and supporters can click on your name under your book as seen below…

And be taken to a page that looks like this….

There’s an author photo, bio, display of all the books you have on Amazon next to your photo as well as at the bottom. You can also add your blog feed to your page and videos as I did. This you will find under Author Updates.

Getting Started

First, go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and sign in.

Once you’ve signed in, you should see this page.

It’s straightforward from here. Let’s get a closer look.

There, better. Under Update your Author Page, click on Amazon Author Page.

After you click on Amazon Author Page you will be taken to another page as seen below.

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Click on edit biography to edit the bio and follow the instructions under Blogs to add your blog feed. Also, to your far right of this page you’ll see Author Page URL as seen below.

Use this link to share your Amazon Author page. Copy and paste the link and save it.

(If I am not mistaken I don’t think it will automatically have your name on the end of the URL so be sure to edit the link before you share it.)

This part is also where you can add photos or videos like book trailers.

Add Books

Go back to the Author Central page and click on View and Edit our List of Books.

You will be taken to this page. If you have no books added this will be empty. Click on Add More Books.

A box will come up. Search for your book on Amazon either by Title, your Author Name or ISBN and it will come up. Click add.

Once you are finished with your page, two things will change.

  1. People who click on your name under your book on Amazon will be taken to your Author page which will look more professional.

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2. Your biography (see above) on the book page will no longer be empty. Readers can now scroll down on your book page on Amazon and see your Author Photo and your bio. They can also choose to follow you. The same author photo and bio you entered for your page is the same author photo and bio that shows up at the bottom.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet. Her latest novel, The Nora White Story (Book One) is available now on Amazon.com. Learn more by following this blog and visiting Yecheilyah’s website at  yecheilyahysrayl.com.

MailChimp Moves to Single Opt-In: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been wondering what Mailchimp’s Single Opt-In is all about and whether to go with it or keep your double opt-in, I’ve found the article for you. Kirsten Oliphant has the scoop:

Single Opt-In: Essentially when someone enters their email into your form and clicks “I Want It What Way!” (because “Subscribe” is so 2011), they are automatically subscribed. Right then and there. The end.

Double Opt-In: When someone enters their email into your form and clicks “Send Me All The Things!”, they will receive an email asking them to confirm. If they do not click, they will not get an email from you. They are not, in fact, a subscriber.

Legally Opted

Single opt-in is not legal all over the world. (True story.) The un-apt-ly named CAN-SPAM Act (which says you CANNOT, in fact, spam people) doesn’t care about opt-ins, surprisingly. You can single opt-in all day long legally in the USA and many other countries.

Just not Germany.

I’m sure there are others, but Germany has super strict laws on privacy. So if someone from Germany signs up through your single opt-in form, you’ve broken their laws.

Are you really going to be hunted down or fined? Probably not.

But do you want to be breaking international laws when you send emails? Um…probably not.

KEEP READING THROUGH TO THE ORIGINAL HERE

I Believe in Progress

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I believe in progress. In recognizing and acknowledging your growth. In appreciating not just everything that you have but also everything you’ve endured to get to where you are. In process. In stopping to consider where you are, not just where you are trying to go. In gratitude and contentment. In looking back only to be reminded of where you’ve come from. To see the lessons and to teach them and to inspire. To never forget where you came from. Your roots. Your experiences. Everything that made you who you are today. Everything that built you. You are not just the positive. You are the negative too. The struggle. The hustle. The grime. The beautiful and the broken. The good and the bad. You are balance. I regret nothing. There’s no reason to. I am not just made up of the good things. I’ve stolen. I’ve lied. I’ve been drunk. I’ve been hungry. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been hopeless. But I’ve also been happily married for seven years to a man I’ve been with ten years. I’ve also produced documentaries and taught women and children all over the world, hosted radio shows, performed poetry, taught grown women how to read, fed the homeless, helped felons to find jobs, and authored nine books and counting. I am not perfect, trust I have my days. Some are harder than others and I wonder how I’ll make it through but then, I believe in progress.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including work in progress and short inspirational guide “Keep Yourself Full.” Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at  yecheilyahysrayl.com.

Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) is her latest novel and is available now on Amazon.com.

Introduce Yourself Returns

I am just about settled in which means that I will be getting back into the swing of things with reviews and promotions real soon. I still have a few things to do before I am back full time so I am still somewhat MIA this week, but I’d still like to get some interviews scheduled in time for November if possible.

If you are not familiar with my Introduce Yourself feature, here is a short breakdown. For more information, please do check out the first post HERE:

Introduce Yourself is a free promotional opportunity for new and established authors via an author interview on this blog. Unlike the same questions over and over again, authors have the opportunity to choose from 50 questions (SEE ORIGINAL POST) they would like to answer in the interview from writing and books to relationships, religion, and politics. But that’s not all.

To further set this feature apart, I do not just copy and paste your answers so be sure your answers are juicy and interesting! Once you have sent me your Q&A, I go over them to see if there is anything I want to add by way of commentary and you are given the chance to respond. We email back and forth until the interview sounds more authentic and real life (as if we are two friends sitting down for coffee) because that is at the core of what Introduce Yourself is all about. We want to get to know the real you. While your books and links will be promoted freely on this site, I ask that you use this opportunity to do less selling and more connecting with potential readers. This is what social media is all about.

If you are an author (Indie / Trad / Hybrid) and you’re looking for more exposure, CLICK THROUGH TO THE ORIGINAL POST HERE, choose your questions and email them to me at yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com. I will look over them, email you back so we can chit chat and then schedule your feature. All interviews are scheduled to go live the Monday of every week @ 12:00am Eastern Standard Time.