WMBTSD Giveaway Day Nineteen: September 19, 2007

Welcome back!

Don’t forget to spread the word about the Writer Mama Back to School Daily Giveaway!

We have two giveaways today:

September 19th: The Endorsement Quest: A New Method for Finding Book Endorsements by Gregory A. Kompes (E-book on CD, Fabulist Flash Publishing 2007) and 10 Simple Solutions to Stress, How to Tame Tension & Start Enjoying Your Life by Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, PH.D. (New Harbinger 2007).

image10991.jpgLet me introduce you to Gregory Kompes (rhymes with compass). I had the pleasure of meeting Gregory at this year’s Willamette Writer’s Conference, even though I’ve known him for years via e-mail. Gregory A. Kompes is a writer, teacher, and coach. He is the author of the #1 bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live, Endorsement Quest, Turning Your Writing Hobby into a Writing Career, and Should You Write an eBook. Gregory is the editor of The Fabulist Flash, an informative newsletter for writers, the Writer’s Digest “101 Best Website” Eighteen Questions, and founder of Writerpreneur.org where authors & speakers learn Internet self-promotion techniques. The author holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, NY, a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning, and is a MS in Education candidate at California State University, East Bay. More at www.Kompes.com.

The Endorsement Quest explains what book endorsements are, why you need them, and how to get them.

This eBook, available as an immediate download or on CD, includes helpful tips for choosing, researching, and contacting potential endorsers. You’ll also find suggestions on what to do with those wonderful endorsements once you’ve got them. To get you started there’s a sample Endorsement Request Letter and sample Endorsement Reply Form.

I highly recommend this helpful tool to any writer as soon as they sign their book contract. You’ll want to have this info handy at the critical time when the book is done and you need the blurbs…like yesterday. 🙂

And now on to 10 Simple Solutions to Stress, How to Tame Tension & Start Enjoying Your Life by Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, PH.D.

116975948806229.jpgIt’s practically the watchword of modern American life. We all know we should learn to manage it. We know that it can shorten our lives, age us prematurely, make us fat. We know it can cause a host of physical and psychological problems, from heart disease to impotence—but we all seem to keep suffering from it. One more thing we all know is that, ultimately, we are responsible for reducing the stress we experience each day. This little book offers ten simple solutions any of us can use to make this important change once and for all.

Based on positive psychology, mind-body medicine, and cognitive behavioral therapy, the ten solutions in this book take stress management to an unprecedented level of effectiveness. These short assessments, lifestyle enhancement tips, and emergency stress rescue techniques help you to cope effectively with stress and to reduce its frequency in your life. More than just lowering blood pressure and being generally happier, the techniques in this book can lead you to physical wellness and foster a greater sense of purpose, joy, and fulfillment.

A former Emergency Medicine physician, Dr. Wheeler has spent her entire career studying stress and its effects on health. She completed a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1999. Her dissertation research examined the effects of stress on patients and families in the years following a traumatic injury. Her undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley included research on the effects of stress hormones on heart and brain tissue.

Dr. Wheeler has pursued her writing career with the same degree of excitement and dedication she’s applied to her academic and clinical work. She has worked with professional publicists to develop her platform in the Pacific Northwest and to garner national attention for her book. She is currently working on two continuing columns in Portland publications on health and stress and is making her mark in public appearances all over the region.

Claire lives in Portland, Oregon with her fiancé, his two children and her three children. She is an avid, accomplished ocean sailing skipper, a golfer, and pianist. She loves to travel, and has visited museums and beaches in places as far flung as Thailand, Chile, Alaska, and Paris.

If you win both of these books, you can get your book blurbs without getting stressed. 🙂

Here’s the question(s):

You are writing your dream non-fiction book (go ahead and decide now if you don’t know what the topic is, but shhh, don’t tell us). Who will you invite to blurb your book? And how will keep your stress level down while you are working to meet your book deadline? If you are feeling really creative, go ahead and write up some mock blurbs for your future book. (I know you’ll have fun with that!)

Okay, writer mamas. Make ’em 50-300 words, please.

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26 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day Nineteen: September 19, 2007”


  1. 1 Cheryl Rainfield September 19, 2007 at 4:36 am

    So now I’m left wondering if the ‘how to get endorsements’ applies to fiction, since that’s mainly what I write. For non-fiction, I’d go for professionals in the field who are well-known. I’d keep my stress down by reassuring myself that the worst they can do is say no, by making sure I take time to just relax and read for fun, and by talking out any insecurities or stresses that come up with my friends.

  2. 2 Meryl K. Evans September 19, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Well, I already had the ultimate stressful situation while writing a book. I had to write a book within three weeks and the publisher would not bend on the deadline even though I was the last author brought on. Another author went into the hospital and didn’t get an extension. My dad had severe stroke and was in dire straits in the last week I had to finish my book.

    Sure, I took my laptop when I went to the hospital, but I could hardly think. I just took it one chapter at a time and wrote as much as I could and cleaned up later. I reminded myself that Dad wouldn’t like it if I didn’t finish the book on his account. Five months later, he’s still in the hospital and I have the book in my hands.

    Possible dream book blurbers (depending on the book): Seth Godin, Steve Krug, and David Pogue.

  3. 3 Karrie September 19, 2007 at 6:12 am

    How will I look for endorsements, not get stressed and what will those endorsements be?

    I would definitely need this book to help me find endorsements. I have no real clue but could guess that I would be knocking on the doors of all my writer friends, leaning on the editor/publisher to help me out, and asking the people in this blog.

    I think not getting stressed would involve lots of relaxed breathing, sitting properly in my chair (which I am not right now) and a day at the Korean women’s spa sitting on hot rocks in my bathrobe.

    A sample endorsement? Yipes. That’s got me stumped at this hour of the morning. I’ll mull it over in the car…

  4. 4 mommybug September 19, 2007 at 6:17 am

    I would definitely attempt to get some influential people to endorse my book. It would be a dream come true to obtain an endorsement from someone like Oprah. She would be number one on my “Ultimate Endorsements” list. People know that if she is willing to endorse a book, it must be an important book. It would be important to me that some of the people who reviewed my book were known for being good mothers as well as successful women. I would hope that the endorsements said that my book was important, a must-read, and that it made a difference in people’s lives.

    I suppose hiring a sitter might help alleviate some of the stress of a book deadline. That way, I would have time just to write, and not have half my concentration taken by the kids.

  5. 5 Heather Haapoja September 19, 2007 at 6:59 am

    You’re really making me work on this one! Decisions, decisions. Okay…

    I would ask some of my favorite quilters and designers for endorsements, such as Pat Sloan and Bonnie Hunter. Of course, they would say glowing things such as:

    “This book should be in every quilter’s library!”

    Like most people, I struggle with stress every day, deadline or no. But with a looming deadline, I’d have to list each small step of the process and map it out on a calendar to know exactly how much work needed to be finished each day. Aside from that, I don’t know — lots of deep breathing? lol Ironically, one of my very first writing assignments was a series of articles on managing stress, so I do have a technique or two up my sleeve if things got way out of hand.

  6. 6 Mary Jo C. September 19, 2007 at 7:53 am

    I’d have to second mommybug’s option to get Oprah on the back cover – or Front!

    Some other inspiring contributors:

    Tony Robbins would say, “Whoah! You’ve got to get this book, feel it’s energy, experience the trials and turn your life around, too with this positive attitude!”

    Rush Limbaugh would say, “I’ve been there, my family’s been there. This is as real as it gets.”

    Billy Graham would say, “ Out of struggles, come God’s blessings. This is a true test of that promise and a family’s faith.”

    Dealing with the stress of obtaining all of these great names for my book? I’d have to pray a lot and journal a lot. I would truly believe in the book’s subject and exude a passion for how it will impact others for the better. Need to have faith! (And a good relaxing massage from my hubby!)

  7. 7 Beth Browne September 19, 2007 at 9:05 am

    My dream non-fiction book is a memoir along the lines of the bestselling A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY. I would get author Haven Kimmel (like me, from NC) to do a blurb and also the indomitable Anne Lamott. Golly, that would be the ultimate success as far as I am concerned. That, and to read on NPR…

    As for the stress, right now I am in a nasty custody battle with my abusive ex. I have 911 on speed dial. All other stress seems laughable.

  8. 8 Tammy September 19, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Actually, I’m in the middle of publishing my first non-fiction, and blurbing is one of the things I’ve been working on. I have two people lined up to blurb it, sight unseen. I’m pretty well hooked up in my niche, which made the blurbing process easier, I think.

    I’d like to get a blurb or two from people who are not in my niche though, and for that, I’m not sure how to go about it. That’s why this particular giveaway interests me!

    As for keeping my stress down while I’m working on meeting my deadline…my publisher has been so great about understanding that I’m writing this book while homeschooling three kids and editing a magazine. (My editor’s also a NaNo participant like me, so we agreed that neither of us expect each other to do any work during the month of November.)

    So I’m not stressed yet. I’m sure, when it gets close (early 2008), I’ll start to get stressed about the sudden increase in publicity and exposure. That freaks me out more than the idea of crunch writing. I’ve spent my entire life crunch writing. I’m used to that. I have no idea how I’ll handle having my face and name attached to an actual book that’s in an actual bookstore. Eek.

    Ok, just thinking about that is stressing me out. Gonna go lift some weights, and run on the treadmill.

  9. 9 Heather M. September 19, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Who would I get to endorse my book and how would I keep my stress level down?

    I would try to get a local celebrity to endorse my book, one who has written in the genre and those who purchase that genre would recognize as one who knows good fiction in the genre. Being from the NW we have a lot of writers that live here at least part of the year and I would imagine they would be more willing than Oprah to endorse another struggling local writer.

    To keep my stress level down I would excercise, play with my kids and enjoy the opportunity to put my ideas on paper.

  10. 10 Cyndi Pratt September 19, 2007 at 11:04 am

    My non-fiction book will undoubtedly need Deborah Brunt, Liz Curtis-Higgs and Beth Moore to give outstanding blurbs. I need the book, The Endorsement Quest: A New Method for Finding Book Endorsements by Gregory A. Kompes, to know how to access their endorsements.

    De-stress, ahh, take a long soak in the tub with bubbles; spend some time in the country out-of-doors, star-gazing; and read a good inspirational book. Oh yeah, and pray!

  11. 11 Besu September 19, 2007 at 11:42 am

    If I were to write a nonfiction book, but it would be on one of the many historical periods that I love. I think Oprah would be the ideal endorser for any book, but I would like to be more realistic. Ken Burns is highly regarded for his documentaries, so having his name on a blurb would be important. Some of the other names that come to mind, I fear, are of dead people. I suppose getting their endorsement from the beyond would be quite interesting.

    Stress is my enemy. It makes me shut down and withdraw. Taking a nap helps, but it has to take place during my toddler’s nap time. Exercise does a lot to calm me down and work out those nerves. We just started a fitness club membership, and I’m really looking forward to those nights at the gym!

    Tammy, it’s great to meet another NaNo participant!

  12. 12 Cheryl M September 19, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    I would invite an eminent Noble-prize winning chemist and an author such as Ann Crittenden who has written about motherhood and work write blurbs. This is in my dreams, of course, as my non-fiction book about being a chemist and a mother and how one impacts the other is really not something I see happening in the near future.

    I would keep my stress level down by making sure to exercise and read regularly. The times in my life when I’ve been super stressed are always worse when I don’t make time to both read and exercise.

  13. 13 Tammy E September 19, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Karrie, is “Sitting on hot rocks in my bathrobe” anything like stepping on miscellaneous Polly Pocket accesories in barefeet? Probably not……sigh.

    Well, if I were to write a non-fiction book it would be in the humor vein (the vein you cut open to write, you know the one) – some sort of off-kilter how-to is what I might do best. Although, I guess I would have to know “how to” do something in order to write a how to. Note to self – learn something.

    In any event, I would like smart funny people to endorse my book – like Steve Martin, George Carlin, Garrison Keillor, Roy Blount Jr., Paula Poundstone and Dave Barry. These are just off the top of my head. They would all say “I laughed, I cried, I snorted milk out my nose – she’s that funny!” or something like that.

    If I were to write a novel, a poetry collection or some other finely crafted piece of literature, I would want Maya Angelou to say anything about it – even just “well, I read it.” That would be enough for me.

    This is how I deal with stress – I imagine every possible thing that could go wrong – full catasrophe living as it were – emphasis on the catastrophe. I tell myself things like “Oh, I know what they are saying about me behind my back, they hate me, think I’m stupid, and yada yada yada” (paranoia cocktail anyone?) I have been known to do the whole dying in the moment thing over and over in my head until the real thing can’t possibly be as bad as what I’ve been able to conjure in my head. It’s exhausting I tell you.

    Really though, except for the fact that my ears are always resting on my shoulders, I don’t think I’m under any stress. Crunch, oh, too bad – I stepped on and broke another Polly Pocket ‘thing’ – so sad, another one bites the dust. Hot rocks anyone?

    I need both books. Really, I need ALL the books you are giving out, but I guess that is greedy and the random number generator hates me – you don’t have to say it, I know it hates me……….;)

  14. 14 Meryl K. Evans September 19, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Note to server: I beg you to send this through to Christina and not to Internever Never Land!

    In writing the first book, I experienced the ultimate stress — three weeks to write it and my dad having a stroke with one week left to write the book. He was in dire straits for a day there, too. Since another author in the series was in the hospital and the publisher wouldn’t budge on the deadline — I knew I had no chance of changing the date despite coming late into the game.

    I couldn’t write while at the hospital though I had my laptop. I just took it one chapter at a time — wrote as much as I could (thankfully, it was a step-by-step guide to make it easier) whenever I was in the office.

    Possible blurbers: Seth Godin, David Pogue and Steve Krug.

  15. 15 Kristina September 19, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I’d want the head of a famous medical organization to write a blurb, as well as celebrities like Nicole Richie, Melissa Gilbert, and Ann Leary. These people would ideally write something like: “Kristina Seleshanko’s new book is exceptional. Pulitzer Prize, here she comes! Everybody in America must read this book. Oprah, are you paying attention?”

    I don’t actually find meeting book deadlines stressful, but the book’s topic is very personal and would be heart wrenching to write. To help me relax after writing such stuff, I’d need a long bath with a good novel, then some cuddle time with my hubby and daughter.

  16. 16 Melissa September 19, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Hmm, I guess I’d need this book to tell me how to convince people I don’t know that they want to read my (theoretical) manuscript, let alone endorse it! I think if left to my own devices, I’d end up sabotaging the whole thing by saying things like, “I know you’re really too busy to look at this, but maybe if you get a chance sometime you could consider…”

    Then I could eat chocolate until I went into a sugar coma, thus temporarily eliminating stress (because I wouldn’t notice the stress until I woke up again).

  17. 17 Cileface September 19, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    I definitely know what the topic of my non-fiction book will be. I’ll squeal like the worst little pig that ever squealed loud and long with eclectic electronic gadgets to magnify my message in globally steaming words. My employer will hastily convene the PR people to
    “clarify” their position, and I will be fired.

    Stephen King: “The truth of Cileface’s story is far more riveting than my scariest horror imaginings. I’m honored that she read my book on the craft of writing.”

    John Grissom: “Superb writing. I plan to confer with her on a legal thriller based on her story. We’re negotiating now on what Italian words we can include.”

    Oprah: “I have placed Cileface’s book at the top of the list of my book club. I’m delighted she has agreed to make a taped appearance on my show. She has reserved the right to edit out her unnecessary adverbs and any sentences she begins with, “It was.” Get her book. I did.”

    Stress? What stress? Creative adrenalin is stimulating and healing and I’ll no longer permit anyone to set unreasonable deadlines. Been there; did that.

  18. 18 Renee Roberson September 19, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    My ideal non-fiction book would have fellow writer mamas to endorse me, because they would be the ones who could relate to the material the most. That and a few well-known psychologists and life coaches.

    De-stress? I have no idea what that means, except maybe go out shopping and not buy anything for the kids. Just buy clothes and shoes for myself and not feel a bit guilty about spending time away from my family. Frothy, decadent coffee drinks and bubble baths would be another way I would de-stress.

  19. 19 Mar Junge September 19, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Getting endorsements for my dream nonfiction book would be easy if it’s about public relations or marketing. Lots of movers and shakers in my field owe me favors. So maybe that’s the key — lining up your endorsers before you write the book. For me, finding the time to write it is the challenge.

    If you think freelance writing is stressful, try managing a handful of freelancers. Normally they’re great and productive and they turn in fantastic work that makes me look good and keeps my clients happy. But this week is the exception. Everything that could go wrong, has. The press release wasn’t approved in time for the opening of the trade show. The website content revisions are so extensive we can’t meet our deadline and will get charged premium by the designer to make up the time. Two magazines are waiting for articles. Another is waiting for photos we have yet to take. And my oldest moves into her dorm tomorrow and is interrupting me every few minutes because she can’t find this, that and the other. Oh, and my freelance media specialist told me today that she’s accepting a full time job at another agency starting Monday. (Anybody out there have media experience, i.e. putting together eds and stuff? If so, contact mar@c3pr.com)

  20. 20 Megan September 19, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    My dream non-fiction book would probably be on life balance/priorities, in the self-help/spiritual vein, with a little social justice and feminism mixed in (hmmm, what would that actually look like?!).

    So, since we’re imagining here, I’d go for well-known spiritual leaders, life coaches, activists, people known for “living authentically,” if you will. Maybe Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh (like I said in another post, he’s my neighbor, haha!), leaders of groups like Moms Rising, authors like Miriam Peskowitz, Gloria Steinem, Cheryl Richardson, and some of the work/life well-knowns like Joan Williams.

    To de-stress: organize my office before starting, spend Sunday afternoon cooking healthy food for the week, take a yoga or Nia class, and take a break to read a good magazine (probably Mothering or Body & Soul, The Sun or The Writer) with a big bowl of vanilla soy ice cream with chocolate sauce. Oh, yeah, and plead my toddler to please take a nap one of these days!

  21. 21 Meryl K. Evans September 19, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Trying one more time…

    In writing the first book, I experienced the ultimate stress — three weeks to write it and my dad having a stroke with one week left to write the book. He was in dire straits for a day there, too. Since another author in the series was in the hospital and the publisher wouldn’t budge on the deadline — I knew I had no chance of changing the date despite coming late into the game.

    I couldn’t write while at the hospital though I had my laptop. I just took it one chapter at a time — wrote as much as I could (thankfully, it was a step-by-step guide to make it easier) whenever I was in the office.

    Possible blurbers: Seth Godin, David Pogue and Steve Krug.

  22. 22 Laura September 19, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    The one person I would want to writer a blurb for my non-fiction book is my mother. She is such a strong person whom I admire so much. Also, since one of my projects is a recounting of my father’s stories, she is the logical person to endorse my book. Another person whom I would love to have endorse my book is my daughter, who takes after him in many ways, and whom shares a special bond with him.

    To keep my stress level down, I will play music whilst I am working, and read when I am not. Reading is my favorite form of relaxation, and almost an addiction. If I get truly stressed, I will release my frustrations & depressive feelings by writing a form of poetry I call spurious verse, image-laden free verse. Both of these forms of stress relief would help me maintain a calm level while trying to meet a deadline.

  23. 23 Darren Lipman September 19, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    I don’t know the first thing about getting endorsements, but I’d definitely want my book to be endorsed by recognised, popular names. If I wrote a book about, say, the history of video games, an endorsement from Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of the Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda video game franchises, among many others) would be a godsend. Not only is he an awesome game designer, people interested in the subject would certainly recognise his name and be compelled to buy my book.

    Under extreme circumstances, especially exciting ones, I seem to forget the influences of stress, or I try to turn them to my advantage (stress is, after all, a natural biological function to increase our performance in times of needing more than usual). If I began to over-stress, however, I’d try to calm myself down with some yoga and maybe some knitting. Repetitive motions reduce anxiety, so chewing gum would be helpful as well. A quick jog outside not only invigorates the body (producing endorphins that counteract stress) but also allows the active mind to cool off while observing nature soothes the unconscious mind. Eating healthy food, getting ample rest, and remaining dedicated to a single project all help to increase concentration while minimizing stress, too. Under ideal circumstances, I’d be able to relax frequently enough, even if for only a few minutes at a time, to keep going, though under real-life conditions, time would likely be too limited to do so. In these situations, I’d simply have to do as much as I could and keep in mind the thought that, once I’m finished and the deadline is past, there will be time to breathe again and the result will be well worth the wait.

  24. 24 Rose September 19, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    My dream non-fiction book is a graphic coffee table epic. Something suitable to squeeze David Sedaris, Paul Frank, Betsey Johnson and Guy Laliberté all on my couch for their endorsement perusal. Ok, maybe I don’t really want book blurbs from them. I just want to invite them to my cocktail party. I’m sure they would bring good gifts.

    This would be enough to de-stress me. But for my day-to-day stress detox, I use nonprescription strength chocolate.

  25. 25 Beth K. Vogt September 19, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    I wrote a non-fiction book–and I learned that it’s true that it never hurts to ask. I ended up with a wonderful foreword written by a well-known Christian recording artist who had no reason whatsoever to write the foreword. I mean, she didn’t know me at all–but she had experienced late-in-life motherhood. And she agreed to read my sample chapters–and she said yes.
    So, if I ever get another idea to write another book, I’ll aim high again–shoot for the moon when it comes to a foreword or endorsements. I’d not only ask people I know, I’d ask other people who they knew–and then I’d ask them.

    My dream blurb?

    If I was stranded on a desert island, and I had Beth K. Vogt’s book with me, I’d be content to never see civilization again.

    How’s that?

    And as far as lowering my stress? I’d keep a standing reservation at my “office,” i.e. my favorite booth at Panera bread. I can write there because I don’t have to answer the phone if it rings and I don’t have to make myself lunch when I get hungry or clean up my mess when I’m done.
    And I’d make my writers group swear a blood oath that they would stick with me from my wretched first draft to my final galley.

  26. 26 Holly Worth June 18, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Getting an endorsement from a celebrity inspirational author seems like a near impossibility. I’m writing a great book; have submitted a few requests–after getting through on the telephone to KEY PEOPLE who can actually touch my favorite endorser. But all I’ve gotten are “No’s.” Does anyone ever really get a “yes” when the endorser doesn’t know you? I’ve considered appearing on the doorstep and begging–literally.


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