Tag Archives: book

My 9th Giveaway of 2016; Your chance to win a book!

I gave away the surprise again, didn’t I?  🙂  Well, I have a good reason. I know many people love free books, and this way you can see right off the top that a book is being offered for September.

This book is different. It’s one that, although outdated in some ways, is a very helpful guideline and filled with information to help you build a financially secure future for yourself. The time to start is NOW, no matter if you aren’t even out of school yet. Don’t wait until you’re nearing retirement to start planning for it. That would be a huge mistake. 

Here’s my giveaway for September:

giveaway #8

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giveaway #8.5







If you want the chance to win this book, please leave a comment telling me when you started your planning. (No one else is going to take care of us.)

I am offering this giveaway to my readers in the United States, but also in Canada if you don’t mind that this information is geared mainly to US financial services. There are ideas and guidelines in there for everyone, the specifics being more for the US. If you live outside those countries and you know someone in either of those countries who will keep it for you should you win, please feel free to enter. Just give me the Canada or US address if you do win.

I will use Random.org name picker to find out which of you is the winner. Watch here the morning after the draw for the announcement, and don’t forget to check your email. This could be yours!

Draw date for this giveaway is at 10 PM AST, that’s 9 PM Eastern, on Wednesday, September 14. This gives you over two weeks to pass the word on to others, too. I will post the winner’s name on September 15.

Remember, you have until September 14 to get your name into the draw, but don’t put it off!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)


The Definition of a Bestseller (used by permission)

A while ago I was reading a post by Steve Vernon on his blog – which you can find here – and followed a link he had placed there in answer to someone’s comment. That person was asking about books making it to bestsellers fame. He directed her to an article, which I read with interest; then I thought you also might like to read it. My choice was to post the complete article so I wrote for permission to copy it here once for your enjoyment and information.  🙂

At the end you will find links to the author and to this article where she posted it. Please check them out. And remember, always ask for permission to copy what other people have written on their sites.

Have you ever asked the question “what makes a book a bestseller?” Here is the article that will help answer that question:


The Definition of a Bestseller  – written by Samantha Francis

#1 – How many copies do I have to sell before I can call my book a bestseller?

Contrary to what some people believe, a book doesn’t become a bestseller by reaching a certain sales threshold. Bestseller status isn’t based on cumulative or lifetime sales, and there is no set amount a book has to sell to make it a bestseller. It’s more of a competition or race: whoever sells the most copies in a particular time period (usually a week), wins.

Depending on the week, it takes a different amount of sales to make it to the top. There are busy weeks and not-so-busy weeks — what can get you to the top in July, for example, may not be enough to rank you in the top 100 around Christmas, when sales are typically much higher.

We can’t reveal sales numbers, but to give you a very rough idea: when a book is in the “Top 10,” it’s usually sold several thousand copies across Canada in one week. Sales numbers of category bestsellers (lists restricted to a specific genre, like cooking or mystery) can be lower, though.

#2 – So as long as I know I’ve sold more books than other titles I can call my book a bestseller?

Well, no. Technically, a book can only be labelled a bestseller when it appears on a published bestseller list. If you’re not on an official bestseller list, then you haven’t been identified as a bestseller. Most major publications (newspapers and sometimes magazines or websites) that have bestseller lists ensure that their bestseller lists are based on comprehensive national (or regional) sales tracking and cite their sources (usually BNC’s SalesData). These sources are invested in publishing factually accurate information, which is why they’re respected by the industry and consumers.

Here are some ways appearing on lists can be used on covers. If a book appears on the Toronto Star list once, it can technically be called a bestseller or a “Toronto Star bestseller”. If it appears at the number-one spot on such a list, it could be called a “#1 bestseller”. If it appears in a nationally distributed paper like The Globe and Mail or The National Post, it could also be called a “national bestseller.”

#3 – Do all my book’s sales count toward the bestseller list ranking?

Almost. The catch here is that the sales have to be reported. SalesData is the service that provides bestseller information to most reputable lists. If the sales aren’t reported by booksellers, then there’s no way to know if the sales actually happened.

#4 – If a book is a bestseller, does that mean it sold more than any other book?

Not necessarily. Because most bestseller rankings are based on weekly sales, it’s possible for a book to sell really well one week, appear on a published bestseller list, and technically count as a bestseller even if it never sells another copy.

Another interesting thing to note is that there are books that sell consistently well, but never quite well enough to make it onto a weekly list. In that case, sometimes a book’s annual sales will earn it a spot on year-end bestseller lists, ahead of titles that ranked above it at some point during the year.

Also certain types of books are commonly excluded from appearing on bestseller lists, so they miss out on all the glory even if they’re big sellers. The most common example is dictionaries. Dictionaries sell very well around back-to-school, but reference titles are frequently excluded from bestseller lists. A given publication’s editorial guidelines ultimately determine what is included or cut from their bestseller lists.

#5 – If a book has “bestseller” on the cover, does it mean it was on the Globe and Mail bestseller list?

A bestseller claim on a book’s cover can mean it was on one of many different bestseller lists. If the cover refers to a “bestselling author,” it’s usually a previous book by that author that achieved bestseller status.

Keep in mind that the Canadian market imports books from just about every English-language market around the world. If the cover wasn’t designed in Canada, the bestseller status may refer to another territory.

#6 – Is being a bestseller the only way my book will be considered a success?

Hell, no! In a lot of ways, making it onto a bestseller list takes some luck. And one week’s sales performance doesn’t mean the book is considered more successful than others. First of all, other books may sell better over time. And sales aren’t always an indicator of profitability.

But there’s also so much more that defines what truly makes a book successful — most importantly, did the book’s intended audience read it and love it? Sales aren’t the be-all and end-all. Reviews, award nominations, educational objectives, and reader satisfaction are all part of what makes a book a success.
I hope this clears up a lot of your questions about bestseller lists and bestseller claims on books. The points mentioned above are just guidelines in the end; there may be examples of different interpretations, and there are no “bestseller police” enforcing strict rules.

This blog post was written by Samantha Francis (@pronunciate) and originally published on the BookNet Canada blog. Click here to view the original post. BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards and education to serve the Canadian book industry.


Has this information answered any of your questions?

Thanks for reading, and Creative Musings!  🙂


Book reviews & author interviews

It has been almost two weeks since NaNoWriMo ended and I have not added to my story yet.  It was so much writing jammed into that month that I lay my pen down and have not picked it up to continue.  I do plan to do that, though, the story is still playing in my head.  And the PiBiIdMo ideas are waiting to be filled out into complete stories, as well.

Although Christmas is two weeks away and I have TONS of things to do, now I am thinking about books and authors.  I have MANY books to read, some older ones and now lots of newer ones (mostly YA) have been added to my waiting reading stash.  But something that has been working around in my mind, besides writing book reviews of some of the books I read, is to attempt interviewing authors.  I have a few authors in mind whom I would like to interview after I read their books.  I think it is great promotion for them, assuming people actually come here to read our conversations.  🙂 And I do believe in helping with that promotion.

What do you think of these ideas?  Would you like to read my book reviews and interviews of authors?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Day 17: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Wednesday, Day 17 of NaNoWriMo and I am more behind than before.  I only got 1141 words written before midnight.  Inspiration was not happening until late, so I ran out of day, but it is actually better than I thought I would do.  I’m up to 45%.  Yay!  My story has taken another turn, though.  It’s like rabbit trails, I’m chasing down another one, all the while wondering what does this have to do with the main plot (do I even have a plot?) of my story?  My total word count is now 22477 and I’m still not to the halfway point – short by 2523 – although in days I am past halfway.  Yikes!  The challenge ends in less than two weeks!

On the other hand, PiBoIdMo is coming along very well.  Today (remember I’m writing Wednesday’s post even though it will post on Thursday) I came up with two ideas, which puts my total to 28.  I only need two more to complete that challenge, but as I said before, I’ll keep going with that.

The great thing about PiBoIdMo is that I have discovered a community (neighbourhood) of writers.  They write children’s books, where my interest lies.  One writer posts prompts to inspire us, and today the one she shared really did give me an idea.  Then later another writer shared something so cute, a funny photo she took of a little lizard – and I had another idea!  This idea, though, really took off for me and I feel good about it.  I think it would  make a great picture book with some humour in it.  Of course, I feel I would have to give credit by mentioning the above inspiring writer as the one who gave me the fun idea. (She said she has an idea for him too.)

I don’t know how many of my Picture Book Ideas will make good stories, but when the challenge is over I will have to go through them all and seriously work on them to see what I can do to make them book worthy.

I worked on Valley Sunshine awhile today which is one reason I didn’t get as much written for NaNo, but VS has to get completed and mailed out.  Yesterday!

Do you ever get yourself overbooked with writing projects?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

I love books! Know of any new ones to tell me about?

I ‘love’ books.  Did I say yet that I love books?  Well, I do.

Last Saturday on Twitter I got into a chat thread in which author Susan Gilmore was being interviewed, Twitter style, by Bookmaven.  I made a comment about not seeing any of her books yet, but her new one being discussed … The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove  … I must purchase!  It sounds like a great read.  During the two hours of tweets from people asking questions of Susan and making comments about her books, there were five copies of her new one being given away.  And what a surprise, I won the first copy!  Imagine that!  I love books!

Tonight I read on http://lauraabest.wordpress.com/ about a new book by Jan Coates who lives a few miles from me, but whom I’ve not yet had the pleasure to meet.  Her book is A Hare in The Elephant’s Trunk.  That is another must have.  Jan wrote about the true experiences of Jacob, a Sudanese boy who suffered through much while fleeing for his life with other “Lost Boys.”  I knew I had heard about this book through a radio interview, and I’m sure I heard Jacob on there.  Anyway, I am eager to purchase a copy of this YA novel, and maybe even meet Jan at a local book signing.  I love books!

Another new book is by KC Dyer and is called Facing Fire – a time travel book.  Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  Note the interview at http://evbishop.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/facing-fire-by-kc-dyer-win-a-free-book/   I just thought I would add the link for the fun of it, which you can too, and be entered into the draw for a copy of the book.  Because … well … I love books!

Finally, I want to make mention of something else rather important.  Please go here and place your vote :


Laura Best’s novel “Bitter, Sweet” has been shortlisted for the Geoffery Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People – so I voted for her.  And because it’s a really good book, I enjoyed my copy signed by her.  And she is a nice person .. does that count?  🙂  And … yes, you guessed it … I love books!

So, now that I have all that good news out of the way I must get back at putting together another issue of Valley Sunshine publication.  Time is ticking away.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I love books! —   just sayin’.  😉

So, do you know of any new books to tell me about that I must read?  Sure want to hear about ’em!  ‘Cause … you know …

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Is the book as we know it disappearing?

I have been observing.  There is a lot of discussion in all arenas about the traditional book eventually disappearing from use.  This is mainly because of e-books – those online electronic books you can download to read, and whatever else technology will – and has already – come up with to simplify things for us.  Just to let you know … I am not educated in that because I love books as they are and have been for centuries!  Well, the scroll was a little difficult to handle and pack around, maybe, but .. you get my point.

I am not interested in reading a book on a hand-held device, nor am I excited about sitting at the computer to read one on the screen. I am all for holding a made-from-paper-and-ink writing, turning those pages and flipping back and forth as I need to, underlining or highlighting (did I hear a gasp?) when the occasion calls for it – which is rarely because I also use bookmarks and sticky tabs.   I fill my bookcases with old favourites (some saved from my childhood), and soon-to-be-loved stories.   I have books all over the place, a few in the living room and our bedroom, many in my publishing room, my ‘computer room’, the main room downstairs, and even packed away in boxes in our storage room.  My husband, not a voracious reader, also has a few titles on hand.

Most of my children’s storybooks I have kept, and my grandson now enjoys those. I have books that made me laugh out loud, made me cry (and hide behind), pulled me in so deep I didn’t hear anything going on around me.  I have books the Lord used to teach me something important. And there are many volumes in my collection which I have yet to cuddle up with and appreciate their written pages.   Somehow, I doubt very much that I could enjoy an electronic book the same way, it would even be annoying to me.

I don’t get to the library much at all anymore.  There was a time when I would take my daughters there to pick out books for their extra reading, and that was fun for us.  I borrowed several for myself when I was taking a writing course and wanted to read the ones mentioned in it.  But I prefer to own the books I read, I like to gather them and add them to my own personal collection.  Would I feel the same way about having them filed in a little electronic device?  I doubt it!  It is NOT the same thing!

So, is the way of the traditional book one of antiquity?  Is it disappearing?  Will my great-grandchildren not even know what it is to own a printed-on-paper book, to smell its ‘bookness’, to experience the thrill of a page-turning story on paper filled with bright pictures and powerful words?

Now I ask you …. what do you think?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Delayed surprise!

This is my second posting today, but I want to tell you about my surprise.  Our yesterday got all turned around – the  way life happens sometimes –  so we forgot to pick up our mail.  When my husband brought it in early this afternoon … yippee!!  The book I won – A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine – had arrived in Friday’s mail!  It was postmarked Jan. 26, so took about 11 days to get here from Florida.   That’s not bad.

I am excited to read this book, which just became available January 1.   Sherrill personalized my copy for me and included a publicity photo of herself.  Also, in response to her note on an included postcard,  I will be writing to Sherrill to let her know her book has reached its destination.

The next time I mention A Black Tie Affair it will be to share my thoughts about it.  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂