Friday, September 28, 2012

Which Email Account Do You Recommend?

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Penticton last week. Had a great time at the En'owkin Centre. However I came home to find our baby, 17-year-old Pretty Boy,  missing. That's all I can say about him for the moment, I'm still too choked up. He was a precious cat with the sweetest disposition.

I also came home to a glitch in my yahoo account. My SMTP no longer sends out yahoo messages. It had been building up to this moment for over a year. I use Mail for Mac, and frankly, I refuse to give it up, it's just too darn convenient. 

After three days on the phone with my Apple Tech-buddy Joe, I'm now looking for a great email account. I have to keep my cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca since it's in my novels and on my business cards and bookmarks, but I need something I can use daily without fear of it crashing. My provider no longer gives out email accounts. I use Gmail as a backup, but don't really like the way it reacts to my It's a long story, but every time I sign in, 300+ unseen messages left on the server upload. Yes, I'm tried changing the setting but to no avail. 

So the question of the day is: WHICH EMAIL ACCOUNT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

I need an app that allows me offline access. Is it time to consider paying for an account? 

On a personal note, please accept my apologies for getting behind in blog-reading. I know many of you may not have noticed my absence, but I'm very aware, and I hope to change that soon. You  mean a lot to me and I don't take your efforts to post lightly. Just wanted to let you know that. 

Fall has arrived, and while I find it incredibly beautiful, it is a difficult time of year for me. Spiritually I know I should live in the moment and simply enjoy the beauty of autumn. I know this, and I am working on it. 

Here's a series of photographs of Autumn at Cluculz Lake (pronounced: clue-cus; for some reason the second L is silent)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Barbra Streisand's Stage Fright

Some time in the late 90s I learned that Barbra Streisand suffered from stage fright. I was perplexed. How could someone with that much talent be afraid to sing in front of people? Because her condition didn't pertain to my life, I soon forgot about it. I'm sure I didn't even hear the term social anxiety disorder until years later. Notice how naming something adds to its weight?

I once had to testify in court. It was my civic duty and I was fine with the idea until I entered the court room. Suddenly I could barely walk. By the time I reached the stand I was sweating profusely. My insides were like mush. But I got through it and even managed to walk out despite rubbery legs. That was 20 years ago.

In hindsight my first reading as a published author was pretty pathetic, but I had nothing to base it on, so I concluded I'd done okay. Then I started receiving invitations to do more readings, and soon I was suffering the entire morning of each event from stage fright. Four years later, I became distressed 36 hours prior to the book launch of my second novel Broken but not Dead. I did five readings over a year's period and each time I couldn't sleep the night before and felt sick to my stomach for an entire two days prior to the reading.

Last March I got a call inviting me to read from my novels at the En'owkin Centre in the Okanagan, 775 km [450 m] south of Omineca's Cluculz Lake. The En'owkin Centre is home to the oldest Aboriginal publisher in Canada: Theytus. I was scheduled to read Sept 18, this past Tuesday.

Around Sept 10th, I began having difficulty sleeping. My stomach was upset and I was eating TUMS like there was no tomorrow. Worse, because I had to travel such a long distance, I not only couldn't sleep or eat, for a whole week I felt as if there were a big black cloud hanging over my head, despite the sunshine. I sensed gloom in every turn. 

They should rename social anxiety disorder the BARBRA STREISAND'S Stage Fright. Did I mention Miss Barbra is exactly 11 years and one day older than I am? While I'm not Jewish, but Metis, my husband is. The similarities have always appealed to me.

Did I mention how incredibly beautiful Penticton is?

The En'owkin Centre is equally impressive.

Jeannette is the director

The vast gathering room took my breath away. The warm welcome made my heart lighten. I knew immediately that I was in a safe place. Still, by the time I took my spot at the podium, I was shaking so badly you'd think I was freezing, yet my back was soaked with sweat. As I read the opening to my first novel, I kept my eyes on the page only because I was sure if I looked up I'd see people dazed with boredom. Actually one fellow did look tired, but it turned out he had just arrived from Germany.

The response from the audience was more than I imagined. After the reading and question period, we partook of deer meat, bread and goodies, a meal especially prepared for me. I had to laugh. I had arrived believing I'd be one of many authors, and ended up their special guest who got to fill her plate first! Did I mention they paid for the trip and even paid me for reading!

Next time I'm invited to read anywhere I'll remind myself that although it may not compare to the En'owkin Centre, I'll have a great time; I always seem to. And really, once I begin to read, my undying love for my protagonist takes over.

ps. I met a fellow who said it's been recorded that man's #2 fear of all things is public speaking. Did I mention he also knows Tina Keeper!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Now until Friday,  midnight September 14th, my suspense novel Dead Witness is available at MuseItUp Bookstore for FREE.


Because we love you.

Joylene Nowell Butler's mystery thriller, DEAD WITNESS, now available for FREE until Friday. "Dead witness is a brilliant thriller that hooked me from the start and never lessened its hold on me." 

Need a gift for that special someone?  Take advantage of this free offer...and remember: 

"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere."  - Mary Schmich

"We read to know we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis

"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." - Voltaire

"Read, read, read." - William Faulkner

In Other News:

If you're in the Penticton, BC area on September 18th, meet me at the En'owkin Centre on Green Mountain Road. I'm given a reading at 12:15 pm, then signing copies of BROKEN BUT NOT DEAD. Doors open at 11:30 pm. I'd love to see you.



Monday, September 10, 2012

STRENGTH cover reveal!

I'm thrilled to share in the reveal of the cover for Carrie Butler's new novel STRENGTH, available from Sapphire Star Publishing March 7, 2013! 

Yay, Carrie!



  About the Book:

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.


Where to find Carrie:

Where to find Strength:



Title: Strength
Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing   
Category: New Adult (NA)

Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)

Release Date: March 07, 2013

Cover Designer: Carrie Butler
Model Photographer: Yuri Arcurs
Trailer Designer: Carrie Butler
Song: "Cascade" by Jonathan Rich
After Effects Intro: UniqueFX
Motion Backgrounds: Footage Firm

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ASK PZM: Sept 2012 book covers

It's the first Wednesday of the month,

Welcome to my 2nd IWSG post. I hope you enjoy Phyllis's post on Book Covers.

Ask PZM Sept 2012 book covers

Q: How important do you think book covers are for marketing a book?  What are the important elements of a cover?

While I am no expert on this subject, I do have strong opinions about these questions.  (And I did take advertising design courses at then-Philadelphia College of Arts in the ‘70s.)
With the huge number of physical book and ebooks bought online these days, a book cover is probably worth a thousand words.  In other words, a book cover is very important.
In fact, it is probably more important than in the past because online it is so easy to click away if the cover of a book does not attract us.
And the additional issue is how small the size of a book cover is online.  For example, the cover size on a book’s page on Amazon is decent.  But when you do a search on Amazon and get several book selections, the cover size then is pretty small.
Bottom line?  You should give serious consideration to how your book cover is going to “read” online.

Now let’s talk about important elements of the actual cover:

First, does the type font make it easy to read the title?
Full disclosure:  I do not think the type font on the book cover of my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT is very easy to read.  When the cover was designed 4 ½ years ago by BookSurge (before the company was merged into CreateSpace) I did not really think of how the cover would look online.  In retrospect, I should have.
On the other hand, I had a lot of input about the cover art.  I wanted four very different young women – and that was my introduction to when I got to choose the faces.
Second, does the cover set the tone of the book?  Can prospective readers tell immediately whether the book is nonfiction or fiction?  Or is the art interesting but too overwhelming for the small size of the cover online?
The same way we have to ruthlessly edit our manuscripts is the way we have to “edit” our book covers if we are self-publishing.
And if we are not self-publishing, can we convince a traditional publisher to allow us say in the cover?
Yes, I know that major publishers may often rely on the marketing department to determine what kind of cover “sells” for a particular genre.  But clarity is still required for any kind of cover.

If you are working with a book cover designer, you may be in good hands.  Just remember, though, that designers think in terms of design.  A book author needs to think in terms of marketing.

Q:  What about the importance of titles?

Again, this is not my area of expertise although I can offer some advice.
It is a good idea these days to think both in terms of clarity and keywords (words found in searches online).
For example, I originally called my newest novel FALL GUY.  But my business partner Yael K. Miller suggested CIA FALL GUY, which is a much better title for an espionage story revolving around the CIA.
I purposely added a subtitle for MRS. LIEUTENANT – A SHARON GOLD NOVEL.  This was to make clear that the novel was not the same as the booklet we new officers’ wives bought at the PX to help us learn how to become good officers’ wives.
In retrospect, LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS, the title of the technothriller I wrote with my husband Mitch, might be mistaken for a nonfiction book.  But the cover art is of a submarine and not a person, so that probably helps clarify the title.
Why are effective titles often so hard to choose? 
Part of the problem is that the meaning of the title of a book we write is very obvious to us.  But it may not be so obvious to others.  And this goes for nonfiction as well as fiction.
In conclusion, the book cover “look” and the title work together to signal prospective readers what a book is about – or to confuse prospective readers.  It is up to us the authors that the signal is as clear as possible.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks.  A new nonfiction ebook of hers is TOPTIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK
and her newest fiction ebook is the thriller CIA FALL GUY. 
Click here to visit her Amazon author page at
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company