May 21, 2018

Doctor Mom Blog Hop / I Love You, Mom!


Prompt: Share a favorite memory you have of your mom. Or just share a picture of your mom that you cherish. Or you can do both!

My mom and me. We were...and much alike.

My mom is the author of Doctor Mom. I grew up watching her write these children's stories, featuring Gregory Green and Sammy, when I was in Kindergarten. She'd sit at our dining room table with her typewriter, a stack of papers, pencils, colored pencils, and laminating paper. That was where she'd write, illustrate, and bind her stories. She dreamed of publishing these stories and sent out many snail mail queries without success. So she read her books to my siblings and me, as well as to elementary school students.

She worked as a library assistant at my elementary school. Sometimes, my class (and other classes) would go to the library for reading time, and my mom would read her stories. She would even bring Sammy...not the teddy bear, but the real Sammy, a Cabbage Patch Doll. She'd pick a student to enact the story with Sammy as she read. I remember wanting to be the lucky kid to have that job, but she chose someone else to do it instead. I was disappointed, but in all fairness, it was the unbiased thing to do.

The original Sammy. He inspired the teddy bear in my mom's stories.

Years later, my mom visited my fourth-grade class to read one of her stories and lead us in some fun activities. We were joined by our neighboring class. In that class was a boy who liked to bully me on the school bus, so I was full of fear that he'd make fun of my mom to me later. If he did, I was ready to fight.

During her time with our classes, she picked a student to, once again, enact the story with Sammy. Coincidently, she chose the same student (who happened to be in my class again) to play with Sammy as she did all those many years ago. (It was even a different school.) She even read Slow Poke.

Left: My mom's graduation picture. Right: My mom in Hawaii.
These are two of my favorite pictures of her.

Later, on the bus, I braced for what the bully would say. Sure enough, he sat down in the seat next to mine, and the first thing he said was: "That was your mom?"

I glared at him. "Yes," I snapped.

Then he surprised me with, "She's cool."

I was so proud of my mom at that moment. She had the power to make my bully nice. That's what a story and an author can do. It just so happens that the updated version of Pea Soup Disaster, the first adventure in this series, is about bullying.

As the years have gone by, I've wanted to help my mom to realize her dream of being a published author. I wasn't able to do it before, but I'm capable now, so we're self-publishing her picture books. Two to three a year. And next year we plan to add a chapter book to her credentials. After all my mom has done for me, she deserves this. And she deserves to see her stories in print.


Title: Doctor Mom
Author: Elaine Kaye
Genre: Picture Story Book
Ages: 5-8 years

BLURB: It’s Saturday, and Gregory Green can’t wait to have fun with his dad on the riding lawnmower, but something is wrong. Sammy, his teddy bear and best friend, won’t get out of bed. Gregory is worried when he sees Sammy’s left leg is torn. This is a case for Doctor Mom! Can they fix Sammy? And just how did Sammy get hurt in the first place?


"Doctor Mom is an adorable story that shows how Moms can fix anything—even a torn limb on a beloved teddy bear! Children will enjoy the lovable little bear who needs a stitch or two and his boy who plays dress-up as a doctor." – Wanda Luthman, award-winning author of Little Birdie Grows Up.

“A sweet and heartfelt tale kids can easily identify with, and all of that with a wonderful touch of magic.” – Tonja Drecker, reviewer at Bookworm for Kids



Elaine Kaye first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup, thus inspiring the story Pea Soup Disaster. Doctor Mom is the second book in A Gregory Green Adventure series and highlights something all moms and children can relate to; a beloved stuffed animal in need of a repair.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.

She is a grandmother of three boys.

May 14, 2018

Organization Tip: Promo Goals #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


Narrowing down goals from daunting to manageable isn’t just for writing or publishing. (See: Organization Tip: Writing Goals) Many of us have marketing goals that can benefit from this technique, too.

This year, I plan to promote one backlist title a month. 

1. I've drafted out which months will be devoted to which books.

2. I’ve mapped out exactly what I can do. 

For Each Book I Have:

- 3-4 YouTube videos a month (finished 1-2 months ahead of time)
- 1 image for Litsy a week (created ages ago)
- 1 tweet a week (pre-scheduled)
- 1 Facebook post a week (pre-scheduled)

FYI: Litsy is a fun app for book lovers that you can download for free. It's like a cross between Goodreads and Instagram. I love it, and the community there is the friendliest I've ever found.

3. When I can, I'll do a sale for my series and $10 - $20 ads to promote that sale.

I don’t have so much stuff on my list that I won’t have writing time. Most of the tasks could be done in a day or two. Some tasks need to be done beforehand, which only requires some planning.

And the thing about these goals is that I’m not trying to make a specific Amazon rank or sell a certain number of eBooks. Admittedly, those goals are tough. I don’t know what will result in sales or how many sales could come out of what I do. No one does. A goal to reach #1 or sell X amount of eBooks can devastate you if you don’t come close.

For me, depression is a real struggle, and that sort of disappointment could set me back big time, as it has in the past. I know better now not to set such a goal or even look at ranks when I do promo. Then how would I know if they work, you ask? I pay attention to other factors: comments, likes, shares, visibility, and the number of reviews, though I no longer read reviews. Rather, I glance. If I see a 4 or 5 star, I may skim the review, but I avoid anything that can set my depression roaring. Live and learn, right?

Anyway, as I was saying, these goals are about getting them done. That’s it. And those are the best goals because if you set out to do them, you’ll achieve them.

Each thing I do on my list for the month receives a nice, big, fat check. And that feels good.

Remember, don’t burden yourself with a big goal. Give yourself a break!

QUESTION: Do you make plans for promo?

May 02, 2018

Nix Book Reading Anxiety + Mom Blog Hop

My guest article 6 Ways to Be a Writer While Recovering from Surgery is live on!


A book reading can be scary when you’ve never done one before, especially if you’re an introvert and hate doing anything in front of people. I know the idea of doing a reading makes my palms sweat, so I have come up with tips that anyone can do to work up the courage of having a real reading.

1. Video Reading

Record yourself doing a reading in the comfort of your own home. This can actually be a lot of fun.

NOTE: I never actually listen to my own recordings. Not even the ones I post. For me, it's not about seeing how I do, but helping me get used to doing it.

- Pick an excerpt from your book. This doesn’t have to be long. One to two pages will keep people’s attention from straying. 
- Set up the stage; find a neat spot where you can sit. This can be at your desk or in a chair positioned in the corner of the room. 
- Wear something comfortable but nice.
- Get your equipment (laptop, camera) and do a simple test. 
- When you’re ready, try a recording. The great thing is that if you mess up or don’t like the recording, you can try again. Once you have a recording you like, prepare it to get ready for others to view. 
- Upload it to YouTube, your Amazon page, your Goodreads page, your website, and your blog. Now people can listen to your reading from the comfort of their homes.

2. Family and Friends Reading

Once again, in the comfort of your home, invite your family and closest friends to a reading. These are the people who will support you no matter what. You can even make it fun with snacks (cheese, crackers, veggies) and refreshments. Sit in a chair in front of your family and give them a short reading. If you’re like me, you’ll still be nervous, but reading for your loved ones is easier than reading for strangers.

3. Local Coffee Shop or Library Reading

The previous techniques should help you to feel more confident about doing readings. Now you’ve graduated to public readings. Call around to local coffee shops or libraries you enjoy going to and see if you can schedule a live reading there. After you book time, invite all of your friends and make announcements on your blog/website. The great thing about doing a reading at one of these places is that the customers will likely listen to your reading and you can gain new readers.
TIP: Practice with several recorded readings before your public reading. But don't publish those practices! This is to just get you used to reading your story out loud, and recording yourself will give you a bit of nervousness that will simulate much of your nerves at the public reading. I did this to prep for my speech. It works!

How to ease your anxiety:

- Take a sip of water to wet your throat. Then take your place and introduce yourself and your book.

- Take a few, slow deep breaths before you begin the reading.

- Hold your book in your hands in front of you. If you can, rest your book and your hands on a stand or table to keep your hands from shaking.

- Put markers on the page you’re reading to remind you to look at your audience.

- Read slowly. If you read fast, your audience won’t be able to understand you and you may stumble on your words.

- Pause every now and then, after a paragraph, for instance, to calm your nerves and take a quick breath.

- When you reach the end of the excerpt, close your book, hold it in your hands (cover facing out), and tell your audience they can read more in [Title]. (You don’t need to open the floor to questions until you’re ready for that.)

- Thank them for listening and step away. If you’re doing a signing afterward, invite them to come over to purchase a book to be signed or get a signed postcard. 

QUESTIONS: Have you ever done a public reading? How did you prepare?

Blog Hop Celebrating Moms:

In honor of my mom's newest picture book coming out on Mother's Day, DOCTOR MOM, we're hosting a blog hop celebrating moms.

PROMPT: Share a favorite memory you have of your mom. Or just share a picture of your mom that you cherish. Or you can do both!

When: May 21st

Where: Your Blog

***Every post will include the blurb, links, and cover art for Doctor Mom as well as my mom's bio and author photo. I'll email all participants a week before the hop.***

Doctor Mom Blog Hop: