Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Closed

To all my regular readers, thank you for your ongoing support. As you may have heard, I'll be closing the blog for a while--maybe indefinitely.

Because some jerk has been spamming me while the blog's been closed, until future notice, new comments are moderated or not allowed.

I am not conducting any other Author Features at this time.

I am not accepting any additional books for review at this time.
(NOTE: I have a 2-year backlog of books so if you submitted a book to me while the blog was open, I do actually have it in the queue...it just might be a while. I was just reading a book I got in 2012 this past month. Please be patient)

I am interested in taking on freelance work doing the following:
  • content editing or developmental (helping you develop the pacing, plotting and characters of your Indie book)
  • line editing aka copyediting or my favorite "wordsmithing" (polishing the edges off your work line by line--hence line editing--without making any substantive changes to the story, itself) This is the single-most common thing new authors do, themselves, when they think they are "editing."
  • proofreading (correcting spelling, punctuation, grammar or obvious typos using the wrong words--e.g., "one" for "won" or "their" for "there")
  • interior book formatting (either eBook or print formatting - pricing varies depending on media and book length, as well as being higher when graphics, tables and charts are involved)
  • cover art graphics (simple, no illustrations - also reformatting of existing/legacy JPG files for the new "hi-res" rules that came out in 2012)
If you'd like to hire me, please query me wtih a blurb about your work and what your needs are, as well as the schedule you need to meet. I'll reply to your query within three (3) days from the date of receipt. If you have a sample of the work online, please feel free to link to it BUT Please do not attach any files to your query or I'll assume you are a spammer and mark your email address accordingly (so I'll never have to see another message from that address). Sorry but that's what the world has come to these days. Spammers abound.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, April 7, 2014

@BanbhaSeries Book 1 Sneak Peek #ebook #romance #romantic #suspense #novelines

I've been working on the first book of the Banbha Series, my upcoming Romantic Suspense series of books and have selected the "event" that will drive behind the romantic plot. I plan to include this "Disclaimer" which will give you an idea about the events and idea of the book. What do you think? I want to hear what my readers think, so please tweet me or post to the Facebook Page.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer for Banbha
Book 1 of the Romantic Suspense Series
(c) Copyright 2014 Sarah R. Yoffa. All rights reserved.

Some of the events described in this story are based on fact; however, the manner in which events actually occurred or the people actually involved may have been
dramatized by the Author for artistic purposes. Most of the characters
mentioned are pure figments of the Author’s imagination and do not exist in
real life, nor are they based on any real persons to the best of the Author’s
knowledge and belief.

The real events and individuals publicly acknowledged to have participated in them are delineated below. The Author does not intend to represent or imply personal
knowledge of motivations or decision-making rationale for any of the real-life
people or events listed. The story in this book is a fictional idea set against
a backdrop of reality based on generally-accepted documentation made publicly
available at the time this story’s writing. Any mistakes in accuracy or factual
reports are entirely the Author’s doing and it’s just too bad if you don’t like
the mistakes because once you read this story, the Author might just have to
kill you!

1) FACT: There was a period of civil unrest in the Balkans during the spring and summer of 2001 often referred to as “The Kosovo War.” FACT: One of the many incidents of the Kosovo War was the Battle of Aračinovo, which occurred in June of 2001. It was a battle carried out on Macedonian soil in which Macedonian civilians were caught in the crossfire, between NATO forces and Albanian insurgents.

2) FACT: The Rt. Hon. Lord George Robertson was the Secretary-General of NATO at the time of the Battle of Aračinovo and he did, in fact, urge the Macedonian government to refrain from defending itself against the attacks.

3) FACT: Glenn Nye, who was a U.S. Representative (D) for Virginia's 2nd Congressional District from 2009 to 2011 was, in fact a new foreign service employee in 2001 and was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia. Nye was personally involved in the evacuation of the embassy and then stayed behind in order to facilitate the rescue of 26 American private military contractors being held by the Albanians. FACT: For these actions, Nye later received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his valorious acts.

4) FACT: The American private military personnel (mercenaries) rescued by Nye were employed by a company then called Military Professional Resources, Inc. or MPRI (now a subsidiary of L-3 Communications Corporation). FACT: That company had
just ended a contract in March of 2001 in Colombia related to the
then-so-called “War on Drugs” and moved into Macedonia.

It is still unclear today if the MPRI personnel were sent in to aid the Albanian insurgency
or battle against it—or a little of both. All that is known for a FACT is that
MPRI went in with the knowledge and approval (funding) of the United States
government…so plausible deniability didn’t exist but the mercs did. It is also
unclear if these 26 men were held hostage behind enemy lines or were simply
overcome by events as the “battle lines” moved quickly past their position.
FACT: It is known that the Albanian insurgents took the passports of these
Americans as a means of identifying them for ransom back to the American

There is no official record of precisely what happened to the 26 MPRI personnel, before, during or after the “rescue.” There are a lot of conspiracy theorists reporting about
this incident
and other instances involving MPRI. The idea that the United States hired Israeli-based mercenaries to facilitate the rescue or that the NATO
Secretary-General had any knowledge of or part in the planning of any such
extraction effort is NOT a fact and is a figment of the Author’s imagination.
That’s not to say it didn’t happen or that there aren’t secret documents
somewhere in a deep, dark underground facility proving the story true…but you didn’t
hear that from me. I never said it. I wasn’t here. And like I said at the start,
if you knew the truth, I’d just have to kill you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TUESDAY TIP Removing Hidden Bookmarks in MS Word #howto #indie #selfpub #pubtip @markcoker

Welcome to my last Tuesday Tip blog for a while. For more on why that is, see the "What's Next..." section at the end of the post. To all my regular readers, thank you for your ongoing support.

Since my 30,000 Hit Giveaway in December, I've averaged about 5,000 hits a month and am at just under 45,000 Hits now. I'm surprised, flattered and blessed to have such a devoted following.

I hope you know I shan't go away entirely. I'll be posting on the Webbiegrrl Writer Facebook Page or filling the @webbiegrrl Twitterstream with interesting tweets I run across but I think the decision to take a rejuvenating break and refocus myself, my blog and my future is a long-time coming.

Today I'll illustrate for you one last useful tip every Indie Author must have: how to rid your book of the ever-annoying  "Hidden" bookmarks in Microsoft Word. Click through the jump break for the full monty ^)^

Monday, March 11, 2013

MONDAY MARKETING Content is Still King #branding #pubtip #indie #selfpub

Welcome to my last marketing blog for a while. For more on why that is, see the "What's Next..." section at the end of the post. If you're just interested in reading today's post, click through the jump break.

Today, I'm going to talk about a favorite topic of Indie Authors: words. No word is ever taken alone and we Indie Authors rarely offer just one. Every word we offer, however, will be received by the listener or reader in a pre-existing context of their mind. Each word we choose carries connotations, a point I touched on last week. The key, therefore, is to use words that will create the connotations or perception to match your Author Brand, and thereby maintain your position -- or establish one if you're still working on getting inside your readers' minds.

What's amazing to me is that we writers don't choose our words more carefully. Click through the jump break for more on this puzzling phenomenon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

TUESDAY TIP #Amazon's Latest Hostile Move + 6 Tips to Revive Dead Sales Records @markcoker @Cassie629 @Dranea79

Okay, the officially Tuesday Tip is here. I am not a fan of Amazon's business practices, as regular readers will know. I don't object to the Kindle Store as a concept. I object to the way Amazon runs the business and treats the content providers--Indie Authors, specifically. I've been online "forever" and I actually remember when Amazon.com first opened. The slogan "World-Class Customer Service" was there from the start, but in the 1990s, Jeff Bezos started moving further and further away from his customer's needs and more towards his company's growth.

I don't like exclusionary or restrictive attitudes in general and especially not in an industry where openness and availability are key to success. Amazon's latest hostile move is a refusal to pay Affiliates advertising fees to any site that "primarily" promotes free Kindle eBooks, where "primarily" is a term that will be defined by data only Amazon will have access to review. This news came at the start of Read an eBook Week with tens of thousands of eBooks going on promo as free free free to drive traffic to Indie Authors' Amazon pages. Not exactly a way to say thank you to your content providers or highest referring URLs, is it?

On the upside of the coin, however, Mark Coker, found of Smashwords, decided to blog "6 Tips" of advice to Indie Authors on how to make their books more appealing--and he encouraged participation in the site-wide promotional catalog he set up for the week-long event this week. The contrast is, I hope, obvious. Click through to read more from both sides of this Digital Publishing coin.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2 Tips in Favor of #FREE for #ebookweek #RAEW #indie #selfpub @markcoker @SadieSForsythe @amandapalmer @ThisIsSethsBlog

It may not be Tuesday but I have too many tips to jam-pack them all into one post this week, so I'm posting half of the discussion half a day early. I know you'll all hate me (not). Some of this stuff is time-sensitive and it's all inter-connected in my mind, so soak it all in overnight and come back tomorrow for the "real" Tuesday Tip. Here are the highlights of what's beyond the jump-break today:
(1) Read an eBook Week, the annual event first started by Rita Y. Toews in 2004 to promote public awareness of Digital Publishing and of course, to promote literacy around the world began on Sunday March 3d and runs through Sat March 9th. I've got 4 books entered under my 3 pen names; how's about you?
    (2) Fan Patronage of the Arts as promoted by singer/songwriter/performance artist, Amanda Palmer and her "Art of Asking" speech to a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) audience. Her move was considered radical--still is--but it's an old idea. My #1 favorite model was described in March, 2008 by Kevin Kelly in his 1000 True Fans model. Even his naming of this concept wasn't the original idea but his supporting articles (linked at the end of the 1000 True Fans post) are well-worth reading!
      Click through the jump break to read more about each topic.

      MONDAY MARKETING Publicity without Press Releases #indie #selfpub #pubtip #mywana #pr #promo

      In last week's Monday blog, I discussed some of the various ways Indie Authors could pursue publicity opportunities by sending out press releases, including the acquisition of a "Keystone Placement" which could later be turned into a credential.

      For instance, for Digital Publishers, a review by Publishers Weekly could deliver a high ROI (Return on Investment) because Publishers Weekly is the leading trade magazine of our industry. Unfortunately, for Indie Authors, there's a hefty fee of $149 to purchase a "subscription" to PW Select which entitles you to request a review and only 25% of the PW Select books actually do get selected and reviewed.

      If you have $149 to spend on the gamble, however, your investment could produce a quotable quote that helps you sell books. It all depends on how good the review you get really is -- and how good a spin doctor you are in terms of extracting a marketable quote from the review.

      Not all of us have money to burn on a risky gamble, myself definitely being included in the tight-purse-strings group, so this week, I'll look at how to publicize your Brand without sending out press releases. It's more work for you, but it's an otherwise no-cost effort. Your time is money but doing marketing work is time or money well-spent. Click through to learn how.