Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today is the day! Freedom Island goes on sale with terrific bonuses for buying

 I can't believe it's been more than a week since I had a moment to update the blog. We've been scrambling to put finishing touches on the website, making sure all the bonus gifts are ready and accessible. So much to do!! We ended up with a great set of free books for anyone who orders Freedom Island today--more than $80 worth. Several historic documents will make a terrific addition to anyone's library, plus there are motivational and inspirational products as well. And the site looks great!

I didn't sleep last night. I don't think anyone in the office did, nor did the author. We talked at 5:00 a.m. We all have Amazon's Freedom Island sales page up on our computers. I've clicked the refresh button three times in the last hour--silly, because the sales figures are only updated once each hour. But I can't stand the suspense! Keeping positive thoughts....

I'll keep clicking!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bestseller campaign details -- can you participate?

Thanks to JR's inspiring words last week we've seen a big surge of interest in the book. Sales on Amazon and Kindle are up dramatically, as are other e-reader formats on Smashwords. Partners are starting to spread the word and others are joining up because they've heard about Freedom Island.

I always felt that JR had something here--the manuscript came to me within just a few weeks after I first heard of the Tea Party movement and other citizens groups who are fighting mad about the attitude in Washington, the feeling of so many of us that our politicians are completely out of touch. People are realizing that the status quo, career politicians, and a president who is clearly more interested in being a celebrity than a leader--those values aren't working for us anymore. Without giving away the ending to the book, for those who haven't read it yet, I just have to say that I'd love to see the Island lifestyle adopted here and now!

We're just ten days away from our Bestseller Launch Campaign. The excitement here in the office is palpable. If you know anyone--a person or an organization--whose values go along with the concept of smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom for our citizens, please have them contact me. We want to spread the canopy wide and get as many participants as possible.

To help with the campaign, all you have to do is be willing to send an email blast to your personal, business or organization mailing list. Please note that to avoid being accused of spamming, these need to be opt-in list subscribers or personal contacts. Do not contact us with offers of broadcast emailing to unknown people--no one wants spam! If you have an opt-in list, we will provide a letter for you to send. You may want to add a short personal introduction, then you just send the message out to your list. That's it. I'll provide complete details if you want to contact me. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there will be some nice bonus publications (Five free books and several other documents at last count) for everyone who purchases Freedom Island on the campaign day, April 15th.

The excitement builds!!
Lee Ellison
Editor, Secret Staircase Books

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

JR Sinclair, Guest Blogger

Hi all,
JR Sinclair here. This is my first time to visit Lee's blog, although I've been following her comments all along. What a ride it's been since November, when I first got word that Freedom Island would be published, right up to this week when we saw government move into control of our health care options--just as predicted in my book.

I first had the idea for a story like Freedom Island a couple of years before I actually began writing. I remember being so inspired by Ayn Rand's teachings and particularly her wonderful book, Atlas Shrugged. The warnings she offered--about how easily a nation can slide into socialism, and then further into communism once we become entrenched in the notion that government can take care of our needs--those ideas have stayed with me my whole life. I saw so many of those things happening again--the New Deal under FDR, the war on poverty that started in the 1960s, the increasing rules and regulations that federal, state and local governments tried to impose in an effort to equalize incomes and keep all citizens safe from every eventuality--all with a heavy price to pay in the loss of freedom for all of us. It scared me.

The ideas of freedom, of individual choices and consequences, of personal responsibility were what I wanted to convey in a book. I observed how during periods of lower taxes the country thrived, how higher taxes brought about job losses as business people struggled to make ends meet and keep their companies alive. I used my father's experiences as a businessman, and my own entrepreneurial ventures, as the basis for the characters of Patrick Dane and Bert Alexander. Friends in the medical profession, who confided their frustration with insurance claims, the Medicare system, and a couple of other friends who receive their own medical care from the Veterans Administration gave me the background and wealth of experiences that I used for Dr. Regan Rafferty in the book. Teachers came forth with stories of the difficulty in educating kids under a system that tries to instill values that are better taught by religion or families, while skimping on the type of basic learning that assures every kid can at least read and write. I used many of their stories to build the character of Amy Alexander in the book. And there had to be the character who offered the answers--the visionary. That was Sam Ryker. He comes from a combination of many people--my father, my teachers, my neighbor who once held local office, and myself.

It's one thing to paint a bleak picture and point out the problems in society, quite another thing to offer a solution. We can hear about what's wrong with the world simply by turning on the many 24/7 news channels that exist today. We can get the opposite side, the idealistic view of how it all "should" be by listening to political promises or eavesdropping in coffee shops. But I wanted more. I wanted to write of a way of life that could actually work, solutions to problems that are based on things we can really do. And I believe I've done that with Freedom Island.

We Americans are so very fortunate. We have a well-constructed system, if we just pay attention and not let it get out of control. And to do that we have our votes. I wanted to make the point in the story that we can never underestimate the power of our votes. We cannot get lazy. We must make it clear that it is every citizen's responsibility to provide for him- or herself and to take responsibility for our decisions--the wrong ones and the right ones. By combining my studies of eastern philosophy, my own practices of positive thought and healthy lifestyle, with the fundamentals of limited government, I think I've come up with a story that offers hope for the future. I want to introduce people to the ideas of taking charge by taking responsibility for their actions. I would love to see Freedom Island reach every voter in America within these next two election cycles, because we are truly at a tipping point. Once the balance swings so that there are more folks receiving government aid than not, it will be a nearly impossible task to ever swing it back the other direction. We must be vigilant about not letting that happen.

I am so grateful to everyone who has supported the effort to get Freedom Island out across the country. There are too many to name, from those who read and offered suggestions at the early stages to the many people who are now helping to spread the word by email, by personal recommendations, and by passing books along to their friends and family. Thank you all--so much!

I feel like the extra guest at the party at this stage of the game. The real excitement is back at the office. Lee and the gang are in contact with so many organizations and great folks from all over who want to be part of helping us to get Freedom Island out to the world. Again, thank you all for your participation!

JR Sinclair
March, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Less than three weeks to Book Launch--Will We Be Ready?

People are starting to contact us, sharing their willingness to get news of Freedom Island out to their own email lists of subscribers and customers. I'm so thrilled with the response!!

And...we are getting bonuses we can offer as an extra incentive for people to order Freedom Island on The Day--April 15th. This is exciting. A few of the bonuses will require some work by our staff here--layouts to make the material more attractive, covers for publications that will be delivered electronically. I want everything to be first class.

But all that is easily done. I've got someone already on the assignment of finding the right artwork for those covers, and another designer working on the interior layouts. The staff is pitching in with devotion and extra hours. Once I get cover art in hand, the web designer can set up the Bonus section of the website and the whole promotion will really start to look great.

Now for more partners--we really want to see this book in the hands of every voter over the next few months, and that means getting the word out to a LOT of people!
Lee Ellison
Secret Staircase Books

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Partner, partner, where art thou?

This week marks our first earnest push to find partners for our bestseller launch. I've spent many hours online looking for likely organizations and people who will love Freedom Island as much as we do. And there are hundreds--each representing hundreds more folks. We've set out to contact as many as possible.

Books are stacked all over my office, and mailing supplies have accumulated as well. Now it's a matter of packaging, labeling, and getting them mailed. The books will be on their before the end of the week, and we are starting an office-wide "vision" to picture positive responses from everyone we contact.

In our preliminary set of email queries, the first day, we got one very abrupt (I'll say rude) rejection, but everyone else has been very polite. We are now on the Tea Party calendar as an official April 15th event--that's exciting! They are planning a bunch of nationwide events to promote taxpayer awareness and speak to voters. I'm amazed at the energy of the movement. It's as if most of the nation is in some kind of psychic sync with JR's message in the book. I'm jazzed!!

Lee Ellison
Senior Editor
Secret Staircase Books/ imprint of
Columbine Publishing Group

Next up: Let's see those numbers!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book partners and endorsers

Some great news this week. After sending requests to several celebrities asking for endorsements for Freedom Island, we've had positive responses from a couple. At this point, just requests for copies and a promise to take a look. Crossing fingers that they'll love it as much as we here at Columbine did.

Meanwhile, our inventory of books is on the way to us--we'll use the first few boxes to provide review copies to print media, online, and promotion partners. And I'm happy to say that the book just went up on sale on Amazon in print and as a Kindle e-book. For those with other types of e-book readers (Sony, Apple, Palm, etc) you can click this link to find Freedom Island in other formats.

Next week--the earnest push to locate and sign up partners to help with the marketing of the book. It's going to get busy around here--at this point we have more ideas than time to implement them. But it's coming together really well.

Lee Ellison
Senior Editor
Columbine Publishing/Secret Staircase Books

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Partnering on a book launch

Naturally, everything is moving along a bit more slowly than I'd hoped. And I've now got houseguests for a week, which isn't giving me the desk time I need. But I'm sneaking the time to blog after they've gone to bed.

Review copies of the physical books are on order. We're reaching out to people with politically oriented email lists--those tea party groups and others who are sharing the buzz about changing the way government operates today. There are a LOT of folks with this viewpoint. Now we just need to find them. They are going to love JR's book and I truly believe they will help spread the word.

Next step....the books will go on sale on Amazon and in several e-book formats. Talk about a FAST way to get a book into the hands of a reader!! I absolutely love e-books!!!

More later....
Lee Ellison