As I prepare to write this month's newsletter, all my American readers are preparing for their Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow. So to all of you scattered around the US, Happy Thanksgiving!
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November was a crazy month in so many ways, and this past week has been even crazier! This author still needs to be gainfully employed to put food on the table, and with my health being what it is these days, finding low-stress employment isn't the easiest thing in the world. So I've been looking at what avenues are already open to me, and then acting on them. THAT has caused life to go a little nuts recently! For any of you in my friends list on Facebook, or in my fan page on Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn, you will have been seeing some of this craziness showing up on a regular basis. I was going to write out a personal note about it all on Facebook when I realized that I should really just fill in everyone, including those that may not yet follow me in social circles yet.
So below, you're going to find information on a Christmas discount blog tour, greeting cards, photo products, affiliate promotions, and more! Scripture says the worker is worthy of his hire, so these are all methods I have tapped into.
Just because you are receiving this newsletter, doesn't obligate you to change your shopping habits. If something I am offering fits into your shopping habits however, it would be great to have your support in the same manner you might support a small business owner downtown in your local community. Christians helping Christians via support of their businesses and efforts to be self-sustaining allows blessings to continue flowing. I have been blessed with the ability to write, and to fix computer-related issues, so it is my desire to offer those at reasonable rates to others who need them.
In addition, if I share something here that would interest a friend or family member, pass this newsletter on to them. There are currently 43 of you on this list, giving any of what follows here, a chance at 43 additional directions this newsletter can go.
Ready to dive in?
12 x 12 x 12 x 12 Christimas Discount Tour!
12 Days, 12 Books, 12 Blogs and 12 online retailers featuring a range of discounts from 5% to as much as 75% off!
Word is now going out about December's major book promotion. All the details can be found here. With more and more people getting upset over how Black Friday has encroached on Thanksgiving in the US, I did my best to ensure everything begins either on December 1st, or in the case of one site, technically beginning on Thanksgiving but not purchasable till December 1st. For that to make sense, you'll want to follow the blog posts happening right now introducing each part of how this tour will work. So far we've introduced the books and the blogs, and Thursday we introduce the retailers who will be participating. Save your money however, because nothing actually begins on tour until Monday December 1st. Monday also happens to be Cyber-Monday in the online world of retail, so if you want to do your Christmas shopping on a budget but want to skip the Black Friday madness, you'll find many more deals than just my tour on the 'net that day.
Photos for Sale!
Sometimes I like to play around with a camera. I rarely if ever take pictures of people, which might be one reason why I'm so bad at capturing moments with the family, but I love landscape or cityscape photography. I realized earlier this Fall, that one of the features people can create on places such as cafepress.com or zazzle, are greeting cards and prints.
Thanks to a website plugin called Fotomoto, I am now able to offer some of my photos in the four seasonal categories, for sale in the form of either 5x7 prints, greeting cards, postcards/invitation cards, downloads for use in screensavers or desktop wallpaper, and even for use in sending free e-cards to your friends.
When you click this link here, choose the season you wish to browse. When you see an interesting thumbnail, click on it and give the page a moment to load. Once the page has finished loading, you'll see the fotomoto bar under the image with options to purchase or send an e-card. The fotomoto purchase screen has a "more sizes" button that will let you see all sizes currently available.
Photo and Book-related Items For Sale on Cafepress!
Depending on when you open this newsletter, Cafepress.com is having a pre-Christmas sale that ends on Thanksgiving. I didn't know this was going on, so I apologize for the news now. They are offering 20% off a wide range of products. The Thermos items pictured here would not qualify however, as they are among those items not qualifying for the sale.
I also made a very big discovery today! (November 26th) Cafepress gives it's members profiles that look quite nice! Click this link to view my own profile that I finally set up! What I like most about this public profile, is that unlike the stores that users can create, and which I did create, my public profile actually shows you the sales, coupons and discounts that are currently happening! My profile also gives you a quick idea of how each photo or image looks on three available products. Clicking on that image reveals all the products currently sporting that image or photo. So I spent a good part of my morning tweaking my profile and adding descriptions to most of my images so that you have a better idea what is available.
Various bookstores around the 'net, such as Kobo, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and others, offer affiliate programs. An affiliate program is where you sign up, and you're given promotional links. If a person buys a product through your promotional link, then you get paid a commission for having facilitated that sale. If you follow my blog, you'll have noticed a number of squarish banners showing up down the right-hand side of the blog. Those are all affiliate programs.
Some of those banners have a text link under them. Those text links go to pages on my site where I have linked to any Songdove Books that those affiliates carry, so that you can find them immediately. This has been done for:
New Christian Books,
Smile Amazon (so you can support the charity of your choice when buying from Amazon's website),
Barnes & Noble, and
Kobo Writing Life.
In addition to these banners and pages, sometimes affiliate programs offer time-sensitive deals. In order to make sure that visitors to my site can access these time-sensitive deals, another page was created, simply called "Bookstore Deals".
"Bookstore Deals" currently has a raft of promotions from Barnes & Noble, but in a day or two will also have some from Kobo Wrting Life as well.
Sharing discounts and sales with you is important to me, because I myself am one for counting pennies! If I can buy something for less than retail, and if the money and the time are available to make that happen, then I'll do it. With so many families struggling to make ends meet, especially around Christmastime, it doesn't make sense not to fill you in on ways you can do any desired Christmas shopping in a manner that may save you money.
This kind of thinking tends to make me a bad promoter, because I'd rather see you save a penny than spend it. I get in trouble for this kind of thinking offline by people who tell me I charge too little for my day job rates. I finally raised my going rate from $40 over the past 5 years to $45 per hour for most services that I offer in my day job as a computer repair tech. I just can't justify high prices when so many around me are struggling.
Sales over the Weekend
I am not allowed to share the link until it goes live at 9pm EST on Thursday, but one location where my books are sold is having a weekend sale that begins Thursday night and ends Monday at midnight. Storenvy.com is a hub of small business owners, similar to Etsy, but for much more than hand-crafted items. My books are there along with matching notebooks and pens whenever I could make them look good. Starting Thursday evening after everyone has enjoyed their Turkey dinner and are all but sleeping off the endorphins from a big meal shared with family and friends, Storenvy will offer a 30% discount on all marketplace products sitewide!
If you want the link to that sale, you'll need to be sure you're following me on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter. You may be able to get word on g+ if you let me know to add you to my circles. I'll try to remember to make it public there however as well.
On the Book-Writing Front. . .
If you've been wondering what's happening with the prayer card concept that I began talking about this Fall, the decision has been made to offer it as printable card sets. The first set is now up on Gumroad.com and is available for $20. This gets you 210 full-colour/full-bleed 5x7 300DPI prayer cards that will fit two to a sheet of card stock. Instructions for printing and assembly are included in the zip file that you receive upon completion of your purchase. Instructions aim to guide Linux, Mac as well as Windows PC users. I've begun the second set, but am not getting very far with everything going both at home, with work efforts, as well as on the book front.
A new, smaller book is in the works offering children's ministry workers an alternative to Halloween if engaged in during October, or a way to further exemplify and teach the concept of gratitude during the US November Thanksgiving focus. I've had it reviewed by several people so far, and will be working further on the rough draft going into the New Year. I will need one or more Children's Ministries to offer to put this book's contents into practice before I can finally offer it for sale. Hands-on practice ideally in a small and large setting would greatly aid in ensuring that what I publish will be workable. As an organizer, coordinator, and former Sunday School teacher myself, I believe I have a workable concept here, but different people do things differently, so pray that I can find leaders willing to take this on and give me feedback.
I think that's it for now. As I said at the beginning, there is a lot going on. I've tried to remember everything.
After the 27th, it will be safe to say that we are entering that time of year known as the Christmas season. The choir I am part of has two events this coming weekend already, the 29th at a Christmas craft fair as part of the entertainment, and the 30th hosting a Christmas fundraiser. At one point this season, the choir will be singing in our local mall! Pray for us as we do our best to present the gospel in song in a venue that normally frowns on religious expression within it's walls. We'll be doing at least two events every weekend until the middle of December.
Christmas is seen by some as being a very controversial time of year. Some say we shouldn't celebrate it because in the time of Christ's birth, they didn't celebrate birthdays. Others say we should celebrate it because although it used to be a pagan holiday, it has become Christendom's largest yearly opportunity for saving souls.
What has made Christmas controversial for me personally, has been the Western over-emphasis on consumerism and materialism. In this regard, I'll be glad to have my 12x12x12x12 Christmas Discount tour over and done with by December 12th! I don't know what the varioius affiliate programs will be doing, but at least I'll know for myself that any focus on Christmas shopping coming direct from Songdove Books, will end early enough to allow people the opportunity to focus on the greater importance of why Christ came, family, and community outreach.
Thanks for taking the time to read this newsletter, and if there was anything here that anyone you know might be interested in, pass it along. Thanks in advance.
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