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New Audio Edition Release: “Back to the Land in Silicon Valley” by Marlene Anne Bumgarner

We are pleased to announce the release of the audio edition Back to the Land in Silicon Valley by Marlene Anne Bumgarner.

“We all worked together. Ate together. Sang together. Learned together. We had a good life. After living close to the natural cycles of the earth year after year, good and not good, we grew stronger and more resilient, learned to manage our occasional conflicts with tolerance and love.”

When Marlene Bumgarner and her husband moved to a rural plot of land in 1973, she thought of herself as simply a young mother seeking an affordable and safe place in which to raise her child.

By the time she left the land nearly a decade later, she had written two books and a weekly newspaper column, served as contributing editor to a national magazine, a college instructor, and a sought-after public speaker. Her natural food store, The Morgan Hill Trading Post, was the first one in her community.

Follow Marlene and her friends as they live on the land, coping with the challenges of rural life as Silicon Valley evolves into the high-tech center it is today, and the world in which they live transforms itself culturally, economically, and politically.

Read by Lisa R. Feltes, the audio edition of Back to the Land in Silicon Valley is available on Audible, Amazon, and Apple Books.

Why bother with a review?

tl;dr  Reviews are the #1 way books get readers’ attention, and that drives sales for authors.

There are all kinds of studies using all kinds of algorithms about how word of mouth impacts book sales for the better. You can read those, if you care to, or you can take my word for it.

Back when we all lived in a slower, kinder world, people sat and chatted with each other, and they talked about what they were reading. Now, only the most devoted bibliophiles hang out in in-person book clubs (except pandemic, which has largely killed those); most of us are lucky if we meet our Goodreads Yearly Goal, snatched in moments here and there in the interstitial spaces of our crazy lives.

The online book review has replaced actual word of mouth almost entirely. Whether it’s on Amazon, Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon now, but still has separate reviews), in the Silent Book Club group on Facebook, or other places altogether, people are discovering what their friends recommend, and making recommendations of their own, online. So for any author, having readers leave reviews is literally the difference between make and break for any given title.

We provide authors with business cards and post cards of their titles, so they can hand out reminders to people, but even then, people recognize these, appropriately, as promotional materials, and therefore biased. Before people spend their entirely valuable time on a book, they want to know if it’s going to have been worth it, and they rely not on promotional materials, but on real people’s reviews, to make that judgement.

What that means, is that as an author or a publisher, you can spend all the money on marketing you want, and it won’t make as much of a difference as receiving a well-written review will. As a reader, your review has more power than the Press’s marketing dollars. And that should make you happy; it’s one of the only places in the great wheel of Capitalism where the power resides with the people.

So get out there and flex that power. If you’ve ever bought a title from a small press, leave a review of the title on every platform you feel comfortable using. Get in the habit of leaving reviews every time you finish a title, whether it’s small press or big. You’re doing good in the world by doing so, and that’s a worthy use of anyone’s time.

The Best Gift You Can Give an Author is a Review

During this holiday season, when you’re looking for the perfect gift for that author friend or family member, here’s something that will fit every budget:

Leave a review.

There are a lot of important business-related reasons why leaving reviews is important to a book and author’s success. (We will discuss these in detail in another post.) The most important part:

Leave a review.

For authors and books, the two most important places to leave reviews are Amazon and Goodreads. You can even post the same review in both places!

Did you know:

Give the author in your life the perfect gift for the holidays.

Leave a review.

There is a size that fits every budget — and you don’t even have to gift wrap it!

New Audio Edition Release: “Building Baby Brother” by Steven Radecki

We are thrilled to announce the availability of the audio edition of Building Baby Brother by Steven Radecki.

It seemed like a good idea at the time …

Children will always grow up, whether we’re ready for them to or not.

One truth about parenthood that I’ve learned is that there will come a time when your children will ask you difficult, and perhaps even uncomfortable, questions for which they expect you to have the answers.

It’s also true that we often find it difficult to deny our children the things that they most desire — like freedom.

Read by Jeff Reim, the audio edition of Building Baby Brother is available on Audible, Amazon, and Apple Books.

New Book Release: “Pious Rebel” by Jory Post

We are extremely pleased and honored to be able to announce the immediate availability of Pious Rebel by Jory Post.

After her partner dies suddenly, Lisa Hardrock realizes how little she knows about the life she’s been living — and starts exploring her questions in a blog that unexpectedly goes viral.

Following the sudden death of her domineering partner, Lisa Hardrock begins to discover how little she really knows about the life she’s been living for the last seven years — and the man she was living it with.

As she confronts the secrets and unpaid debts her partner left behind, Lisa also begins to investigate the mysteries of her own life by beginning to write. Begun as a journal for her daily thoughts, her blog ends up going viral

Along the way, Lisa discovers the truths and lies about those she has considered friends, learns more about Central Valley motorcycle gangs than she ever thought she needed to know, and unexpectedly ends up with a pantry full of sockeye salmon for her cat, Eloise.

Pious Rebel is available now in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital editions.