Building On The Momentum

The next book I wrote after "Hello Alzheimer’s Good Bye Dad", about caring for my father, was "Open A Window" – ISBN 1438244991. A caregiver’s handbook that is used to train CNAs in long term care and as an ice breaker at Alzheimer’s support group meetings. This book I actually had printed at a print shop. I’m very proud of the book for the help it has been.

In 2000, residents family members would stop to ask me questions about why their loved one said things like they hadn’t been fed all day. Sometimes, the family couldn’t understand the behavior problems or the sudden declines. I remembered the days when I wanted so much to know about Alzheimer’s disease in order to help my father. By 2000, the Alzheimer’s Association was well known and very helpful if families contacted them. In some cases that didn’t happen. Not realizing how devastating the disease would become, the relatives didn’t bother to become educated until they were surprised by devastating events. I decided I need to write a book that would educate the families that I came in contact with at the nursing home. Little did I know that the book would go much farther than that.

Over the years, I had 100 copies printed, sold those and had another 100 books printed before I self published the book last summer. To go along with publishing the book, I asked Jolene Brackey a well known author and speaker about Alzheimer’s if she would give me a review to put on the back of the book. Now how did I get the nerve to ask for that review? The administrator at the nursing home had sent one my book to Jolene. She liked it so much she called to ask me if I would let her use some of my stories in her next book "Creating Moments Of Joy". What an honor. Of course, I said yes. About three years ago, Jolene was in the area doing her presentations. I went. Jolene waved her book around as she told the audience if we wanted one we would have to buy it from her website. She only packed one for the plane trip. As I was leaving that day, she stopped me and handed me that signed book. She had brought it for me. So when I published my book "Open A Window" I thought I’d ask her for the review, and I got it.

Jolene’s review – "This book shares what is possible if we allow a person with Alzheimer’s to "be" who they are right now. Thank You for "opening" a window."

For more about Jolene Brackey visit her website

In August of 2002, I was asked to be the first speaker for an evening session for CNAs at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual conference. Due to the fact that I mentioned CNAs don’t get enough education about Alzheimer’s. They learn most of what they know by on the job experience. My presentation was "Many Hats" taken from the social worker’s call to me about my father in 1999. That presentation was a workout that signified how hectic our life becomes when we deal with sick parents, our family needs and work. I confiscated some of the better looking of my husband’s many farm caps. On each, I sewed a pink ribbon band with the words, wife, daughter, mother and CNA. ( Which I had to remove before my husband would wear the hats again.) As I told about my concerns and experiences, I took off one hat and slapped another on my head for emphasis. At the end of the speech, I showed the audience my book. The CNAs flocked to buy them. One woman was a social worker. For two years in a row, she took a box of my books to the social workers conference in Ames, Iowa and sold them. That is how my book wound up at the first CNA training. A social worker gave her book to an RN who trains the CNAs. The RN sent for more books.

Promoting doesn’t and shouldn’t end with the book sale. I live in the middle of farming country where book sale events are hard to find. Harvest is about ready to start. Winter is coming soon. The internet is my best and handiest method for promoting. I’ve just had a successful book sale. Now I can build on that and find ways to promote the fact that I am an author with books for sale.

I took my camera to the book sale and snapped a lot of pictures. The first pictures, my son took of me in my pioneer dress and bonnet and of my table after it was set up with stacks of books and the two posters. With these pictures I made an album on Facebook and other web sites complete with captions.

On twitter, I submitted messages about my book sale and later wrote to take a look at my album on Facebook. By the way, I am developing a following. I have at least two authors following me now – Stephanie Cowell and Steve Weber the author of Plug Your Book – online book marketing for authors: a book I have and use.

Every time I find a website for writer/authors I’ve signed up. In fact, I am on so many that I had to log them in a notebook with login name and password. I picked booksbyfay as a login name to show what I do. Having a list helps me keep track so I don’t forget to make entries on one of those web sites about a new book, a book sale or press release. Several of these websites have links to other websites where I happened to be registered so I can link what I do to be announced on those sites.

I’ve put a link to Publetariat where I could. Hopefully, internet surfers will come across my blog post on the front page. On Biblioscribe, I wrote two news articles. One article was about the success of my book sale. The other article was about my blog post "Preparing For A Book Sale" posted on the front page of Publetariat. That should get people to take a look at Publetariat and perhaps become interested in my blog. I keep readers of my blogs on and blogger informed.

So don’t stop promoting after a book sale event. Keep finding ways to get your name out there until the next event. Then begin all over again.

This is a reprint from Fay Risner’s Books By Fay blog.