#HealthNews – #BuildingALocalReadership – And a #MondayMeme (Or three!)

Every now and then, it’s good to stop and take stock of things–where you’ve been, where you’re going, how you’re planning to get there, and stuff like that. Thought I might do that today. 

Some of you may know I’ve had some health issues crop up in the last few months. Skin cancers, which aren’t new for me, Type 2 diabetes, which is, and other age-related things that plague all of us who persist in sticking around a long time. My thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement! Hope you’ll forgive me if I update you all at once.

After having had many, many basal cell carcinomas removed over the years–I grew up under the Florida sun before we’d ever even heard of sunblock–I finally developed my first melanoma. Luckily, my dermatologist and I are old friends who see each other at least annually, if not more often, and it was caught very early and totally removed. Whew. The basal cell in my ear was a bigger problem to get rid of, though not as dangerous, and I was quite happy to keep the top of my ear. 

In May, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and I’ll tell you, it scared me more than you might imagine. My father passed away due to diabetes when he was a mere 8 years older than I am now. So, I took my doctor’s advice seriously, and determined that while I have no way of knowing whether I’ll be here in 8 years or not, I would NOT let diabetes be the reason I wasn’t. Continue reading

#BuildingALocalReadership – And Having Fun Doing So!

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, my favorite part of marketing is getting out to spend time with folks face to face. I love making new friends and seeing old ones, and for me, that means doing several presentations a month on various topics, with a signing table set up for afterward. 

I’ve spoken on all sorts of things, from writing-related themes to anything at all to do with Florida’s wildlife and natural places, always a favorite subject of mine. The point is, find something you enjoy and maybe have a bit more knowledge about than the average person, then–SHARE it! Over the past year, my talks have been focused on Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife, and they’ve been very well-received, happily. I love doing them, especially if I can provide some laughs along with the information I pass along, and I hope to continue doing at least 2 a month for another year or two, at least.

What are you interested in that would appeal to local audiences? Don’t forget, you can research your favorite topics online for extra information and statistics, and putting together a PowerPoint presentation is pretty easy, too. Think about it, and I’ll bet you can come up with a topic that would draw an audience. Then check your local venues for speaking opportunities. I visit with private book clubs, too, but my main focus is on the really special Enterprise Museum, and a local historic site, DeBary Hall. Both venues have wonderful staff to work with and treat me like a honored guest every time I visit with them. I love all of  them, too!

Let me know if you’ve tried anything similar, or are thinking about doing so. It’s fun. It’s FREE (and in some cases, you can charge a speaker’s fee, though I don’t), and you’ll be surprised at the folks who come to hear about local birds and leave with a book in their hands–hopefully to become a regular reader of your work.

Today, I’m off to DeBary Hall to do Part 2 of my Backyard Birds program, offering tips on how to identify the birds who pass through our yards less frequently, for various reasons. (And we have some stunning ones!) I can’t wait to get there! It’s FUN, I tell ya!

Try it. You’ll LIKE it!

The Beacon’s #WestVolusiaCounty Visitor’s Guide Article

Since I’m currently vertical for a short time, though still coughing like mad, I thought I’d take a moment to share this very nice article about St. Johns River Eco Tours (and me), which is currently being featured in the Volusia County Visitors Guide. It was distributed widely throughout the county, and is a handout at the visitors center, as well, so lovely publicity for both the tours and my books.

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy building a local readership, and how loyal mine is becoming. I can’t recommend exploring opportunities of this sort enough. Put on your thinking caps and find local venues for readings, signings, and any other form of meeting the public you can find. These folks are simply the best support you can get, not only for direct purchases, but for helping spread the word about your books. And as an extra bonus, it is a JOY to meet readers face to face, answer their questions, and take note of what they like (or don’t like) about your books. I look forward to each and every event I have on my calendar, and count myself lucky to have these chances to get to know my readers.