Monday, 18 February 2013

"Diary of a Vet's Wife" reveals PTSD / Marketing / Reviewers

On December 5, 2012, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, left the protection of my heart and stepped boldly out into the world. I am the woman who lived this life, but I know there are thousands throughout the world who know the love, heartbreak and fear I share on the pages of my memoir.     

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without words, and never stops at all. -Emily Dickinson 

I flew to AUSTRALIA three days after my book came out where I wandered the crusty shores of this beautiful country. A shoreline dappled with porous coves, vanishing rock pools and jagged slabs of rock that only nature could construct. Its powerful dashing crashing surf could seduce any CALIFORNIA girl with a wink. A dream-like Christmas holiday with my daughter and her family, a rare and loving gift.

I had planned to detail the breathtaking landscape, the gentleness of its people and a petting zoo hopping with baby KANGAROOS. Tales of its hungry wind and calf-burning hills, an enchanted white butterfly, and my first taste of PAVLOVA drenched in PASSIONFRUIT. 

But when I turned on my computer, MSNBC opened with a major headline: The enemy within: Soldier suicides outpaced combat deaths in 2012!  Reality yanked me back by the hair.

Our brave men and women who go where they're told to fight the battles they're handed are giving up! They are OUR NATIONS BACKBONE and we MUST stand beside them!

Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.   - Jean Luc Godard

The following week another MSNBC article, "Like an airborne disease," was startling. It told of the increase in family members taking their own lives. I immediately emailed the NBC news correspondent who wrote the article to briefly relate my own dance with the demons, my book and my passion to reach others with HOPE. He replied in NINE MINUTES! I was shocked! 

Other articles he wrote showed the COMPASSION he shares for our warriors and their families. He also sent me the names of two top RESOURCES to start my quest, plus the following excerpt from his email:

Sorry to say, I don't think we would do anything specifically on your book. But when we revisit this topic - whether it would be about PTSD or suicide - I can use you as a source and include the title of your book. I have a couple of upcoming stories where your thoughts and experiences may fit in well. 
A note to all writers: Go with your INSTINCT! Turn over every rock on your path because you never know what treasure lies beneath - when it comes to MARKETING your work.

 The next phase of my journey - MARKETING 911 . . .

On June 26, 2011, I posted a blog entitled Marketing in an Electronic World . . . My First Steps.
  • create a blog
  • construct a MARKETING PLAN
  • join a Writers Group Online
On July 28, 2011, I posted, The Marketing Medusa . . . Don't Let it Overwhelm You!
  • qualities needed to successfully market your book
  • locating your target audience and others for your work
Reference above posts . . .  

Since my return from Australia, the main focus has been Reviews/Reviewers. I had ordered 25 books before I left. They were waiting like happy puppies. The  more you order the better the discount. The first copies are being sent to friends and family I ACKNOWLEDGE in my memoir. Pets for Vets was also on that list. A few organizations are still waiting for their copies. If only there were more hours in a day.  

Self-publishers have the INTERNET at their fingertips like a giant fortune teller with insomnia, its catacombs pulsating with answers as it waits for a question to be asked.

Multiple lists of Reviewers are available on the internet. Research to highlight those who read your genre and  verify they are accepting new books. ALWAYS contact a reviewer before you send your book. It could take 3-6 months to be reviewed. 

I'd like to invite any reviewer or book club interested in my memoir to contact me at where we can discuss your request. This email address is on the back of my book for any reader or organization wanting to talk or share.

"Determine your "official publication date" (OPD) and make sure it's 90-120+ days after your "bound book date" (BBD), the date you have printed books in your hands. Use this period to get your book into the hands of key industry reviewers and to start building your book buzz.

For NICHE BOOKS - Keep beefing up your "final book" review copy list by hunting up websites that deal with your subject Area. Shoot for initial list of 200-300 and grow from there. Create a system for keeping track of your contacts."
                                                                      - Well-Fed Self-Publisher by Peter Bowerman

I'm overwhelmed by the reviews coming in. All seem touched with new insight as to what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder really is. Their kind words and encouragement continue to push me beyond my comfort zone. I can never thank you enough, for myself and all the others, who have met the demons I encountered and conquered!   

Food for thought . . . my two cents

I would greatly appreciate your reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It need not be long, but may coax someone else dealing with this issue to reach out for comfort in knowing they're not alone. My heartfelt thanks, if you're so led.   

As one reader wrote: 
Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a story the American public may not want, but needs to hear. Especially now that there is a promised date to the Afghanistan presence of U.S. and troops of other nations, which will lead to large numbers of newly returned men and women who have experienced this certain form of hell.                                   Review by Jack Smith, writer and author