Introducing the See Jane Run Advisory Board gives me great pleasure. The board’s formation came about when the 7 and 4-year-old grandchildren were back seat passengers in our car a few days after Christmas, 2022. Hiram was driving so I directed all my attention to the following conversation. It began when the 7-year-old became curious about the box on the seat between him and his sister. It contained copies of See Jane Run! and See Jane Sing!. The 7-year-old opened the box and used his burgeoning reading skills to read the titles, emphasis on burgeoning as you’ll see below.
“Is Seejane the girl on the front of these books?” he asked.
“Yes, but since there’s a space between ‘See’ and ‘Jane’ it’s pronounced ‘See Jane.'” I explained.
“Oh, I see. Jane is the girl. Why are there different covers?”
“Because they’re two different stories. The first is See Jane Run! and the second is See Jane Sing!”
“What kind of books are they?”
“They’re mysteries. Jane catches bad guys.” I added a bunch more, but all of you have heard the spiel, so there’s no need to subject you to it again.
The 4-year-old piped up. “Are you going to write more of these books?”
I told them about the upcoming titles, See Jane Dance! and See Jane Dig! With that the floodgates of their imaginations burst wide open.
“Grammy, you should write See Jane Christmas!” said the 7-year-old.
“That’s a great idea, and there’s actually a Christmas program in See Jane Sing!”
Back to the 4-year-old. “How about See Jane Halloween! instead?”
“I have a better idea,” said the 7-year-old. “See Jane Underground! where they go to London and catch bad guys in the underground subway.”
“Or See Jane Invisible Hole! where they dig a hole and it’s invisible and Jane jumps in and the bad guys don’t see it and they fall in…”
The 4-year-old went on and on, but I missed the gist of her plot line because my mind was on how anyone would see Jane do anything in an invisible hole.
“Grammy,” interrupted the 7-year-old. “You could make Jane statues to sell. And tee-shirts.”
“And earrings,” added the 4-year-old. “And you could give Jane a sword and a shield and a gun to shoot bad guys,”
“Jane doesn’t like guns. She doesn’t own one.”
The 4-year-old gasped and after a dramatic pause proclaimed. “You could write See Jane Freeze! and Elsa from Frozen could freeze the bad guys.”
“How would you two like to be members of the See Jane Advisory Board? I’ll serve treats at meetings.”
“Yes,” they shouted as my husband pulled into the garage.
That, dear reader, is the humble beginning of the See Jane Advisory Board. Leave a comment if you’d like to join the team. I’m not sure how much we’ll get done at our meetings. However, I can assure you that our gatherings will be entertaining and there will be treats!
See Jane Run! is gaining steam, and today’s post provides an update of what’s heating things up, what’s going on behind the scenes, and fun stuff to come.
Amazon reviews and ratings. Look at those numbers––25 Amazon reviews! That means Jane is halfway to 50, the magic number that will make Amazon algorithms sit up, take notice, and promote the book to a wider audience. See Jane Run! also has 52 ratings. While ratings don’t influence the algorithms like reviews do, they show that the book’s being read. That’s good news!
If everyone who rated See Jane Run! could be persuaded to write and post a review, it would reach the magic number in no time. And if there were reviews from everyone who’s read the book, imagine what that would do. I’ll tell you one thing that would happen. I’d record myself doing a happy dance and post it on social media. You heard it here first.
See Jane Run! audiobook is in production. How cool is that? I met with the voice artist a few weeks ago to discuss pronunciations, dialects, and such. She happens to be my niece who has speech communication and drama training. She teaches drama and directs plays in a large high school in the Des Moines Metro. Not only does she have the same midwestern speech patterns as Jane, she also has the teacher voice. I can’t wait to hear what she does with the narration.
The Harding County Fair. In a previous post, I wrote about our plans to attend the Harding County Fair this summer. (See Jane Run!’s Tipperary County is modeled after Harding County.) Those plans are complete, and we are looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and showing off See Jane Run!. We’ll take oodles of pictures to show off the amazing beauty of the place where we once lived. I’ll be recording audio of people in the area to share with the voice artist and doing research for future books. It’s gonna be so much fun!
See Jane Run! is gaining steam and so is the entire West River Mystery Series. Stay tuned for updates about what’s happening with future books in the series.
Though I appear to be talking here, I’m actually reading an excerpt from See Jane Run! Were it not for the words on the page, I would have been speechless.
The See Jane Run! book launch party left me speechless. That’s saying something since I’m rarely at a loss for words of either the spoken or written variety.
Every time I sit down to write a post about it, a flood of emotions and memories of the day wash my words away. And yet, the day deserves to be shared. A record needs to be made. Now. So in lieu of paragraphs full of words, here are pictures and short captions to give you a flavor of the day.
The four of us became friends in ninth grade and remain friends to this day.
To my right is a former country school student, her daughter, and my student’s mother who was our son’s first day care provider.
She was in high school when we met. She helped in my third grade classroom a few hours every week for two years. Now she’s in education, too.
She’s been taking my author head shots since 2003.
A former third grade student who stopped by to buy the book for his wife, who loves to read.
This sweet woman was a one-on-one para in my classroom, but she was there for every child who needed assistance and calm during the day.
Do you know what it means when your former principal comes to you book party and says he’s proud of you?
These people made teaching at Boone Community Schools in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s an absolute joy.
When I left teaching, this high school English teacher volunteered to edit my first manuscript. She said I was a good writer. I held onto that statement through years of rejection letters!
She has prayed for my writing and ministry for years. What a blessing she remains to this day.
Meet my book launch party team. Their vision was the secret sauce for the party’s success.
My husband Hiram and me with Ann and Terry Stark, the owners of Chocolaterie Stam. The Stam proved to be a perfect venue and the Starks were perfect hosts. Fun fact: Hiram and Ann worked together at Mary Greeley Hospital for years.
The box of books showed up 7 hours late and were all sold before they arrived.
Now you can see why the See Jane Run! book launch party left me speechless.
See Jane and Jolene saying ay yai yai yai yai? Do you know why they’re saying it? Because the release date for See Jane Run! is only days away.
Jolene’s not sure she’s ready to hear from people who don’t like her baby.
Jane’s not sure she’s ready for people to get to know her.
As a result, they’ve resorted to making faces at each other while fiddling with their glasses.
Juvenile behaviors to be sure.
Or maybe nervous habits.
Whatever the case, there’s only one thing to say about the situation…ay yai yai yai yai!
The See Jane Run! release countdown continues! The June 7 release date is less than 2 weeks away, a fact that fills me with equal parts of delight and dread.
Delight in my book baby’s entrance into the world. Dread of all to be done before, on, and after Book Baby’s birth. These are familiar emotions to parents experiences awaiting the arrival of their human or literary offspring. For those of you who would like to be part of the birth plan, here are some things you can do:
- Pre-order See Jane Run! on Amazon through June 6. Pre-orders are a big deal because they boost release date sales. Those sales increase the likelihood for a book to be designated as a best seller, which improves visibility. If you do pre-order, you will receive a free bonus. Instructions on how to claim your bonus can be found here.
- Write an Amazon review when you finish reading See Jane Run! Amazon grants greater visibility to books with 50 reviews and yet greater visibility after 100 reviews. Every review adds to that total, whether it is posted a day or a year after the book releases. So thanks to everyone who reads the book, then writes and posts an honest review whenever you can. I truly appreciate your efforts.
- Come to the book launch party on June 18 at The Chocolaterie Stam (230 Main St, Ames, Iowa 50010). There’s going to be live fiddle music, an author reading, a question and answer time, door prizes, and yummy chocolates and gelato available for purchase at The Stam. Print copies of See Jane Run! will also be for sale at my book table. Those who purchased print copies through Amazon can bring them to be signed, too.
For those of you who live too far away to attend the party, more fun is on the way! The launch party for the second book in the series, See Jane Sing!, will be held in August during the Harding County Fair in Camp Crook, South Dakota. Also, a virtual launch party is in the works for See Jane Dance!, the third book which will is scheduled for release sometime in the winter of 2023. Whatever the weather, wherever you live, the virtual party is gonna happen.
The release date for See Jane Run! is less than a month away. I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how, after spending more than 10 years dreaming about the arrival of this publication date, it is approaching faster than I can get through my to do list by June 7, 2022.
By far my least favorite item on the list is
begging asking people to join the See Jane Run! book launch team. I’m not sure why this particular task repels me since all team members are asked to do is write and post a review on Amazon, for which they receive a free Kindle copy of the book. That’s a pretty good deal, right?
Even so, when I
beg ask people to join the team, I feel like I’m crossing a boundary. Today, I’m sticking my toe over that boundary and begging for volunteers for some simple reasons.
- Amazon reviews provide a tremendous boost to a book’s visibility.
- Amazon reviews persuade people to buy or not to buy books.
Based on those two reasons, feel free to imagine me at this very moment getting down on my very aged knees, clasping my hands in supplication, and
begging asking you to consider becoming part of the See Jane Run! launch team. If you’ve been persuaded, here’s what to do next.
Send an email to me at email@example.com ASAP saying you want to be part of the team.
Watch for a reply email with an advance electronic copy of the manuscript attached.
Read your advance copy between now and the release day, June 7 and compose your review.
Watch for a June 2 email invitation to pick up a free Kindle copy of See Jane Run!
Pick up your free copy between June 4 and June 6. This allows you to write a VERIFIED review on Amazon.
Post the review you composed on Amazon. (The June 2 email will have more details about how to do this.)
If you have any questions, email them to the address listed above. But hurry! The release date for See Jane Run!
is less than a month away. Once June 7, 2022 has come and gone, so does this opportunity.