Managing a medical crisis, selling books, and soldiering on

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I’ve been seen in an emergency room twice since I left for my last book signing Saturday morning. The first time was when I coughed so hard I felt like I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen. I was four hours from home, driving solo, so the ER was my only option.
The second time was about the same, yesterday. My primary care physician didn’t get back to me soon enough after I contacted her Monday, with the nebulizer and albuterol the first ER doc told me to get pronto, for asthma, once I returned home. And the pulmonary doc I’m scheduled to see on Feb. 23 couldn’t get me in yesterday when I was so breathless my chest felt like it was in a vise, so I had no recourse but to go to the ER. Fun, fun, especially when one is without medical insurance. Can’t wait to get the bills!
Anyway, until my health is stabilized, I’ve no choice but to postpone my southern book tour. Driving from here to Florida by myself doesn’t really seem like the course of wisdom. But on the upside, since I’m limited in what I can do, I should be able to catch up on a lot of writing. That means I can get Lethal Silence out to you even sooner, I hope!
In the meantime, I can’t count the number of SOS readers who have said: 1) “I could not put your book down!” or, 2) “This is going to make a great Lifetime movie!” or 3) “I can just see this book on Oprah!” (Bob Edwards wasn’t the first to say that about my book after his March 8, 2011 show aired, but he was probably the biggest name to say it. Did I tell you how much I love Bob?!)
Given that, I cannot stress how much you can do to help make that happen. It’s very easy—please click on this link and help us pay the fabulous actors and the videographer who have helped us bring YOU, the reader, the SOS book trailer. This book trailer is the first step in this process. We have 22 days left so please donate today, and give these talented, hard-working youths some compensation for their efforts, which will help them continue on their chosen career path.
If you can help us, even just a little, we have some great gifts to give you—including a FREE copy of my ebook, a SOS t-shirt and even having your name added to the video credits! Check them out here.
Oh yes, and about Saturday’s book signing at Empire Books in Huntington. I sold one book—to the lovely store clerk who booked me there in the first place. I made less than $12, for a 8-hour round-trip drive that cost me four times that much. In today’s tight economy, authors need to find ways to cut their costs. In so doing, they have to decide what is worth their time—and how much their time is worth. Authors know that book signings don’t bring many sales, unless your name is Jodi Picoult or John Grisham, but it does give you great exposure.
In fact, for every person who passed the table where I was sitting without a second glance, 10 others looked back at the table, at my books, for more than a few seconds—and I have no doubt that they were memorizing the title, Sister of Silence, so they could go home and look it up online. (Probably because they didn’t want to pay the $18.99 retail price at the bookstore, and hoped they could find it at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble or iTunes for much less—which they can!)
In the meantime, I read from Sister of Silence and had three teeny-boppers listening in rapt attention. They wanted my book, but didn’t have the money, and since they were just 13 or 14, I suggested they ask their parents for permission before reading it, anyway. But they were a wealth of information: they gave me the names of book bloggers who review books, and that’s something I’ve done virtually nothing with! (Because I’ve been too busy chasing traditional book review avenues.) So yes, I lost money by going to this particular book signing event—but in the long run, maybe I’ll be able to offset that loss.
Plus, and this is more important: I connected with other people, albeit young people, who often feel frustrated because they don’t have many (or any) adults who take the time to listen to them. And that, dear readers, was very rewarding. Even though, when we were done talking, I could barely breathe.
A final word to the wise: Empire Books only allows you to sell your books the day of your signing, and they don’t tell customers this in advance. So if you are interested in selling books, this may or may not be the place for you. If you’re interested in exposure, well you’ll probably accomplish that, so long as you realize it’s money out of your pocket to get it.
Many of my readers have written to wish me well, and I want to thank you for your kind wishes! Please keep them coming, since there’s nothing as beneficial when it comes to health care as knowing other people care enough to let you know it.
I’m off to take a breathing treatment now, and then a nap—for coughing so much just takes the punch right out of you. I’ll be back later, with more information. About books, writing and just staying alive!
Editor’s note: If you’re looking for a book you can’t put down, one that’s averaging between 4.4 and 5 stars on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and which could just double as a self-help handbook, this book may be it. If so, please go to Amazon and read the Sister of Silence foreword, which will help you understand the current Penn State tragedy and any other number of major news headlines around the country. Written by renowned (and now retired) FBI special agent Ken Lanning, it’s well worth your time.


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