One Small Step

kittens-step

Guys, I’ve done it.  And it’s one small step for some writers, maybe, but what I’ve seen in the past few weeks has been and continues to be one BIG step for S.E. Eaton.  I’ve reached a big milestone, and I am thankful.  …So, so thankful!

tcb-cover-small

Over the last year and a half, I’ve published three titles.  In that time, I sold a total of five paperbacks of two of those titles, and the third, well…the third, so far, is a different story.  “The Christmas Beagle” has been groundbreaking for my career.  It’s my stepping stone towards what I know will be more and greater success, and I am just. so. thankful.

Drum roll, please!   …In less than one month, I’ve sold over a total of 104 copies of “The Christmas Beagle”.  Less than a month!  The other two titles haven’t even reached that in over a year! For a more successful writer, that 104 might be small scale, but for me, that number is jaw-dropping wonderful.  Success is measured in small and big steps.   And for me, this is a big step.  It’s a significant sign of my success.

Thank you, everyone.  Thank you.

So, how did I do it?  Writing is part of it, yes—a big part, and not an easy part, either.  The other big part is marketing, and while it’s not necessarily difficult to do so, it is tricky to know exactly how to do it.  And the marketing part is just as much as me as it is all of you!  So once again, thank you!

I’m still a student of all that is book marketing (and will be for the length of my career, I’m sure), but in the past few months, I’ve learned a lot.  From what I can tell, these key factors helped me out in a significant way:

  • Cover Reveal Party—Created hype!  And it was tons of fun!
  • Genre/Mood—Heartwarming themes, family friendly, relatable characters, cute beagle! Much more appropriate for most of my reachable market on Facebook!
  • Timing—A Christmas book marketed in October, released in November…plenty of time for promotion and shopping!
  • Specific Audience—I contacted several admins of “Beagle” Facebook sites and asked for them to promote my book in exchange for a free copy of it.  Only one responded, but according to him, he sold 5 of my paperbacks and 1 digital copy.  Not bad, not bad at all!  (Thanks, George!)

Like I said, I’m still learning how to do this.  But I couldn’t have done any of it without any of my fans buying my book and supporting me!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I look forward to providing you with more great books in the coming months!  And, there’s still time—who knows, maybe I’ll break the 50 mark by Christmas!    …What a step that would be.

For more about “The Christmas Beagle”, click here.

Buy “The Christmas Beagle” on Amazon here.

⇒  Writers and non-writers alike: Do you recall your first big step of measurable success?  What was it?  How did it make you feel?  Share in the comments below!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Christmas Beagle

It’s here at last!  “The Christmas Beagle” is now available!

tcb-cover-small

See what people are saying about my beloved heart-warming Christmas novella!

“This story felt like it was my story.”

“An emotional and sentimental read that warms your heart the whole way through.”

“..Definitely got me excited for Christmas….”

“…Bursting with quirky personality and lots of Christmas spirit!”

“Thank you S.E. Eaton for a loving, feel good story for the holidays!”

“It renewed my interest in reading books for pleasure. Well done, Eaton!”

“If there were a sequel, I’d be waiting for it!”

“Beautifully written and heartfelt story for the holidays.”

“I simply cannot say how much I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a heartwarming story.”

“It’s a beautiful, moving story and would definitely recommend it to anyone.”

Wow!  These reviews left me flattered, to say the least. I truly had a wonderful time writing this story and I am excited to find out what YOU think of it, too!  For more insight about what inspired me to write this story, click here.

“The Christmas Beagle”, out in the world:

katescopyoftcbsmaller

“Look what I got today!  Can’t wait to start reading it tonight!”

tcb-aaron

“Sitting in Renton, Wa and about to start reading while I wait to be unloaded.”

amanda-with-christmas-beagle-2016

Pictured above: My sister Amanda, with her copy of “The Christmas Beagle”—signed by me and given to her by my mother for Christmas.  🙂

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Thank you for your continued support! I love you ALL!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Amazon.

 Buy “The Christmas Beagle”

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Middle Grade Character

bug

Pictured: My niece, Chloe

My title protagonist from “Belinda Starr and the Metallic Enchantment” is, at the start of the story, eleven years old.  But eleven years old was a long time ago for me.  …Too long.

And as a writer, if I come off as condescending or not relatable to my target audience (middle grade), all is lost. I know that if I want to write a character from a age group different from mine well, if at all possible, I need to spend time with someone or lots of someones from that age group.  And I’m lucky enough to have a niece the same age (or close–she’s ten) as my protagonist.  I’ve also observed Girl Scout troops and youth groups of the same age, but it’s time with Chloe (said niece) that I love the most.  The reasons for that are twofold: One: it’s quality time with a smart, funny, sweet, creative girl whom I love with all my heart, and two: “Belinda”—courageous, blue eyes, freckles, plays basketball, loves animals—is modeled after Chloe.  It works well.

Today, after a breakfast at Applebee’s to support my nephew’s youth group fundraising, I had the honor of watching Chloe’s volleyball game and then toting her along to Christmas Gifts on Broadway.  This lovely shop is a traditional Christmas destination for our family, though it’s been years since I was last there, and this was Chloe’s first time. She was enamored with so many of their wonderful items, and it was a joy to see the look on her face as she buzzed from room to room, taking it the Christmas splendor.  I got to see it through her eyes, and the more time I spend with her, the more of her “middle-gradeness” will ingrain itself into my thought process.   Sometimes I take notes of what I see–sometimes merely mental notes—and sometimes I just enjoy the moment.   It all makes its way to my brain, and more importantly, to my heart.

…The moments where she acts silly and makes me laugh, shows her crafts and collectible toys, amazes me with her thoughtful insights about how the world works, and makes me proud with how hard she works at her sports and how much she loves her family and pets…gah, I love it.  I am in awe of her, and thankful to have her as a prime example of her age. She reminds me that middle-graders are, or can be hyper, child-like,  imaginative, goofy, intelligent, gross, thoughtful, loving, cranky, wise beyond their years, helpful, eager, frustrated, passionate, and adventurous.   On their best days, they’re bundles of chaotic fun, with waves of gentility, humility, and spurts of smack-you-upside-the-head wisdom. No wonder it’s such a fun and eventful age to write!

I love spending time with my niece.  When “Belinda” is finally published, I will owe (and already do owe) a big dose of gratitude to this girl.  So, here’s to you, Chloe Rhiannon.  My favorite (and only) niece, and forever my inspiration.  And to my readers, for another heart-warming article about inspiration and encouragement, click here.

What cute/endearing/funny/overall nice stories do you have about the kids in your life? Share in the comments! 

Psst!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and be sure to check out my novella “The Christmas Beagle“, available for pre-order soon!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

tcb-cover-small

Cover Reveal Party-The Christmas Beagle

 

book-flowers

YOU’RE INVITED!

Get cozy! 

Join us November 4th, 2 to 6 PM Pacific Time, for the online cover reveal of “The Christmas Beagle”!  There will be contests, guest authors, prizes and a special surprise at the end!  And, of course, you will all get to see “The Christmas Beagle” cover!   It all takes place on my Facebook Author page, right here!

Meet Talented Authors

At 3:00 PM (Pacific Time), author April Wood will chat with us about her upcoming novel “Season of the Witch”, and at 4:00 Heather Blanton, author of “In Time For Christmas” and “A Lady in Defiance”, will take over to talk about her books.  What a great opportunity to mingle with great writers and learn more about their work!

Win Prizes!

There will be contests throughout the evening, with prizes including Starbucks gift cards and a free advanced digital copy of “The Christmas Beagle”!

How to Join the Party

It’s easy!  Just click here, and click the “GOING” button.  Then, on November 4th, keep a look out for posts form the party in your feed, or go to the party’s page and join right in on the fun!   See you there!

The Perfect Christmas

untitled

Though Halloween is right around the corner, with all my hard work on “The Christmas Beagle“, Christmas is on my mind more than usual for this time of year.  In particular, one Christmas memory has been cropping up in my thoughts.  It was the perfect Christmas.  Almost.

Nothing is ever perfect all at once, and thank God for that.  It comes in small doses, and in my opinion, perfection isn’t something for which you should strive, but should take it as it comes, and then remember for as long as you can.

The last Christmas I had with my dad it snowed.  It snowed on Christmas Eve, of all things.  Everything was perfect–the whole family was together.  I had drawn dad’s name for the Christmas gift exchange and as we all knew the unsaid, heart-wrenching truth, that dad would soon be leaving this world, I made him something touching.  It was a scrapbook, and each page featured something from each of us–a note, a poem, something that we like about dad.  He teared up when he opened it, if I remember correctly.

Santa brought really cool gifts for the kids–a drum set, a doll house–everything was perfect.  Except…it wasn’t.  I wasn’t with the man I would be marrying.  No, Dad never got to meet Steven.  But that Christmas Eve snow…the look on Dad’s face when he opened the present I had made for him…the whole family (as I knew it then) gathered together…these perfect memories fill up my heart.  They are gifts from the past. And though Steven and Dad never got to meet, one of the greatest joys I have is to be able to tell my husband all about these perfect moments.

It’s okay that two of the most important men in my life never got to meet.    When I tell Steven about a “Dad memory”, my face lights up with wistfulness, sometimes silliness and sometimes tears, and to be able to convey that to the person I love more than anything else in this world…is truly magical.  And when Steven chuckles when I tell him how Dad would bob his head up and down and rock out to Nirvana and Green Day…? Or when Steven says he feels like he knows Dad just from me talking about my wealth of Dad memories…?  Those moments are perfection. They’re gifts all on their own.

What are some of your most cherished holiday memories?  Share in the comments below!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thoughts On “The Christmas Beagle”

grace-fund

 

“You’ve given me the opportunity to do something uncommon, something that goes against what most men would do, and for that, I thank you.”  —Albert Cole, from “The Christmas Beagle”

       Hannah hates change. Aaron’s sister gets away with everything. Alex’s family doesn’t appreciate her art.   Darla worries she’ll lose the love she found. Albert cheated.  Emily just wants to be a good mom. And Pete doesn’t understand why he deserves forgiveness at all….

       This November, they all stumble across the same little wandering beagle, who’s only ever wanted two things in life: a snack and a place to call home. In The Christmas Beagle, seven people from many walks of life learn about the meaning of grace and come together to build the ultimate gift…and it’s all due to one little beagle.

      Albert Cole, one of the characters in The Christmas Beagle, talks of a metaphorical “grace fund”, which another character, Pete, puts to practice in a more literal sense. A grace fund, in the metaphorical sense, is how much patience you afford–to others and to yourself, and in particular, how much grace you offer to those who don’t deserve it. It’s meeting people where they are, and it’s meeting yourself where you are. But both funds come with one condition–when it’s low, refill it.    Whether it be getting cut off in traffic, grocery clerks who are doing their best to help you, the muddle of politics, putting too much pressure on yourself, encountering differing beliefs, or your general attitude and how you treat others, a grace fund is something to keep in mind this coming holiday season, and year round.  Do the uncommon thing. Refill your grace supply.

      Look for The Christmas Beagle, coming Thanksgiving 2016!  WOOF!

beagle

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.