Spring is Almost Here

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Spring is almost here! I love sunny days especially on Mondays, don’t you? The day just seems to feel better and go better when it’s sunny outside. In honor of the upcoming Spring season, I’m happy to announce that my first coloring and activity book in the Bella and Friends Learning Series will be released soon. The first one in the series is inspired by my “Silly Willy Apple Cake” book, and is alphabet themed. It features coloring pages, alphabet tracing pages, a variety of fun activities, and prompts like “How loud can you laugh?” and “How high can you jump?” to inspire lots of interactive fun!

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Whether it’s sunny, cloudy, chilly or warm in your neck of the woods, have a great sunny day anyway, wherever you are!

What’s Coming in 2020!

Leap Year News

The year 2020 will be a special year for all of us. Since 2020 is a leap year, there is a whole extra day in February which offers us an extra 24 hours to devote to anything we like. What will you do with the extra time? Will you…

  • Take a fun day trip?
  • Spend time with family?
  • Read lots of books?
  • Write a book, maybe a memoir?
  • Catch up on sleep?
  • Self-publish a book?
  • Look for a new job?

If something is holding you back, let go of it. There is no time like the present to follow your dreams and make things happen. Make 2020 the year you make your dreams come true. Dream a little…dream a lot! Set your sights on something on January 13, 2020, which is Make Your Dreams Come True Day. Dream a lot and dream big on September 25, 2020 which is World Dream Day!

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If you have an idea about something you want to do in 2020, write it down before it flies right out of your head. I keep journals and notebooks, both paper and electronic all over the house, because you never know when the next big idea will pop up.

Here’s what I’m working on and what to expect in the new year:

Children’s Books

As you know, I write in different genres including fiction and non-fiction; first, let’s start with my children’s books, the Bella and Mia Adventure series. There are three books in the series so far, including Silly Willy Apple Cake, Squishy Wishy Meatballs and Snowflakes With Sugar. Formats include ebook version, paperback and hard cover. Audio versions are coming in 2020. These books are close to my heart because each book is based on sweet memories of me watching my mother in the kitchen as a young girl, and learning how to cook. As companions for the children’s book series, I am working on coloring and activity books. More news coming soon!

New Series! My Writing, Self-Publishing and Marketing Journey

I’m excited to share my news that a third book series is coming in 2020. Although I love to write and create, my life would not be complete unless I was helping others. My new series will document how I managed to write and self-publish six books while working full-time over several years. There will also be links to resources including articles, weekly tips and videos to demonstrate the process. I’m looking forward to helping other aspiring writers fulfill their dream of publishing a book.

Technology Books

My first book series was based on years of training and support on Microsoft Office. Working in different industries helped me see first hand what people needed across the globe – bite sized learning and online reference to help them do things quicker in a fast paced world. Now that Office 365 is out, I’m testing out the waters in the latest version of Office. So if you want lots of tech tips, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel where you’ll find dozens of software training videos. To keep up with the pace of the latest version of Office 365, more videos are coming, along with Office 365 quick reference guides. You are also welcome to visit my Easy Learning “techie” website which I’m in the process of revamping and expanding.

What…No Novel Yet?

I actually starting writing a novel a few years, right before I decided to embark on self-publishing. However, I decided to start with some smaller publications first, which was more manageable as I researched and learned the self-publishing process. My novel and future series are out there, waiting for me when I’m ready to return. That is on my goal and wish list to return to in 2021.

In the meantime, look for more articles and posts coming in 2020 including:

  • Book sneak peaks and trailers
  • Cover reveals
  • Author interviews and spotlights

Finally, I want to take this time to express my thanks and gratitude to all my family and friends, as well as aspiring writers, and avid readers as well!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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Business Profile | Author Interview in Local Newspaper

Whether you are an author, teacher, small business owner, mother, father, student, or just want to make a difference in the world, consider contacting your local newspaper and ask to be interviewed. Newspapers have different rules for full-page stories, but it’s definitely something to consider and can open up new doors, and increase networking in your community.

I will be forever grateful to the Times Publishing Newspapers, Inc., specifically Assistant Editor, Tianna G. Hansen, for interviewing me and writing such a thoughtful article, which has literally changed my life.

Below is an excerpt from the interview. Click here to read the whole interview.

Amelia Griggs: Local Author Uses Her Passion For Writing And Teaching In All Endeavors

For some, writing comes as a natural talent while for others it is something that must be cultivated and studied.

For Amelia Griggs, it has always been a natural passion which has led her to become a successful self-published author from Warrington, Pennsylvania.

“I’ve been writing my whole life, I always loved to write,” says Amelia.

Back when she was growing up, writing and art was thought of as more of a hobby than a career, so when Amelia decided to turn her lifelong passion for writing into something physical, she decided to go the self-publishing route.

“My background is actually in computer science,” she said.

This background led her to create a book series of Microsoft Office Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts, paired with instructional videos on her YouTube channel.

Her newest endeavor is an exciting one: a series of children’s books based on personal memories of cooking and baking with her mother in the kitchen, creating homemade goodies together.

“My mother and I were always making something homemade and that’s what I based these books around, making it fun and exciting for kids using my love for rhyming.”

Amelia also includes a recipe in the back of her books so parents can recreate the homemade recipes with their own children.

It’s interactive and fun, reading about the excitement of her characters Bella and Mia and their adventures.

<<<CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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For the Love of Writing

Do you love to write?

Well, if you’re like me, you love to write, and you love to tell stories too. You are detailed oriented and you use expression when you describe someone or something. When you tell a story, you are passionate about it. You see the story in your head. You see the characters’ faces, expressions, smiles and tears. You feel their pain, their joy, their failure, and their success.

Do you fit into one of these categories?

  • You like to listen to other people tell stories. Maybe you are intrigued to hear and see characters in a story, and you have your own ideas in your head everyday about new stories you want to write and share about your own characters.
  • You have a wealth of knowledge about a particular subject and you are going to explode if you just don’t write a book about it.
  • You want to share what you know and help the world in some big or small way.
  • You love to draw and write and you dream of writing children’s books and reading to children, and seeing your children’s books in schools, libraries and bookstores.
  • You read a self-help book, and you think, wow, this happened to me, so why don’t I write a book about it?

You can! If I can do it, you can do it!

For starters, buy a colorful fun notebook or journal or two to have on hand to write ideas as they pop into your head. I like to have a couple journals and notebooks in my office, a small one at bedside and another small one in my purse or car too. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of night and need to write a story idea down right away. Write them down right away!

I’m excited about helping others who want to join me in the writing and self-publishing journey. I’ll be writing more about my journey and I would love to hear from you and your writing journey as well!

Happy Writing!

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How to Get Your Book in Local Bookstores

Ever dreamed of having your book on a bookshelf in a real bookstore? In order for a bookstore to carry your book, they will be looking for several things including:

  • A unique, high-quality, attractive book
  • An impressive sales record
  • Availability of your book

If you’re using a free service like Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) or other companies like IngramSpark to have your book printed on demand, that’s a cost-effective method for self-publishers. I currently use KDP for ebooks and paperbacks, and IngramSpark for hard cover format. Both KDP and IngramSpark offer expanded distribution which will assist in helping your book reach other retailers like Barnes and Noble and many others. Both Amazon and IngramSpark will provide a list of retailers where you will be available. For example, for my first children’s book, Silly Willy Apple Cake, I used IngramSpark for the hard cover version, and within a couple weeks of it going live, I found my book listed on the Barnes and Noble website. Yay! That was very exciting! However, at the same time, it made me wonder how people will know it’s available there unless I advertise. I’m still learning the ropes of how to spread the word about where my books are available; in the meantime, I’m spreading the word via social media.

What is POD? With POD (Print On Demand), customers buy your book on Amazon and other websites, and then the book is printed on demand (at an Amazon printing facility for example) and shipped directly to the customer. If you need copies of your book for family, friends and author events, you can order author copies at a discount rate.

Once your have copies of your book, how can you get them into bookstores and other shops? Idea: contact local bookstores in your area and ask if they have any type of local author consignment program. I recently signed up for a Local Author Partnership Program at my local bookshop. For a small fee, they will carry up to three of my book titles. For the first month, the books are prominently displayed on a special “Local Authors” bookshelf. Thereafter the books are placed in the normal bookshelf for the corresponding genre.

Even though this may not guarantee that you will sell a million books overnight, it’s just something to try to get your foot in the door at your local bookstore. Hey, that rhymed! And anyone that knows me, knows that I just absolutely love rhyming! Anyway, having your book on consignment at local bookshops is definitely something to pursue. It is a small baby step in the right direction.

What Should You Do Next? Advertise and promote your book to you local community! You can advertise through social media on local Facebook groups, Instagram, etc., and post on your personal website and/or community websites. Consider running an ad or two in your local community newsletter or newspaper. Be a squeaky wheel and create some buzz!

Here’s a picture of three of my book titles displayed in my local bookstore.

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Note: If you need help getting your book formatted and self-published, lots of helpful information is coming!

In the meantime, happy writing  – and remember, networking is key!

My First Children’s Book: Silly Willy Apple Cake

This is Book 1 in the Bella and Mia Adventure Series. Recipe will be included in the back for each book!

The phrase “silly willy” is a play on words and introduces the idea of fun activities using rhyming words. In the first book in the series, the story begins as Mia and her daughter Bella go apple picking at a farm. Bella loves to be silly. She laughs as she balances an apple on her arm, and asks ‘What can we make? What can we make?” Mama says “an apple cake”! So home they go, to mix and bake, and soon they are eating apple cake!

This children’s series is designed to foster love within families by promoting fun activities with parent and child. It also introduces rhyming to children. Rhyming helps children with memory and promotes learning. Reciting rhyming is also an excellent bonding activity for parents and children, or in a group setting with children. Each story is inspired by warm childhood memories of me watching my mother cook all kinds of scrumptious foods and the fun times we had in the kitchen.

Help to spread the word! If you buy a copy and enjoy, please consider posting a review on Amazon which will help make this book and series a success. Much appreciated!

Get the Book

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Four Main Types of Writing…Which One Do You Use?

What is your writing style?

I recently read an article on the four main types of writing which made me stop and thing…am I writing in the best style? Here’s a summary of the writing styles and some examples:

Expository Writing – Used to explain things. Examples: Essays, computer how-to books, textbooks.

Descriptive Writing – Used to describe things, focusing on a character, place or event. Example: Travel article, biography.

Persuasive Writing – Used to convince and may contain opinions and reasoning. Example: News articles, political writing.

Narrative Writing – Used to tell a story through use of characters. Example: short stories, children’s book, novels.

Which writing do you use? I tend to use expository writing for my computer how-to books. I think a lot of us use multiple types of writing depending on our topic or genre.

Read full article here.