Monday, April 30, 2018

Tending a Garden of Books By Carole P. Roman (Featured on

Tending a Garden of Books

By Carole P. Roman - Featured on
For more articles by Carole P. Roman, visit

Picture by Carole P. Roman
I hated gardening when I was a kid. My grandmother lived with us (or maybe it was the other way around), either way, she had both an indoor and outdoor garden.
She would spend a good portion of her day, tending to her assorted plants and flowers. She had exotics like orchids, a terrarium of cacti, miniature palm trees, and a variety of African violets in a rainbow of colors.
I thought them bothersome, as well as a waste of time. When she passed, my mother took over the care of them. My mom wasn’t much of a gardener either, and I was stunned when the plants became an important part of her life.
When my mother died, I was faced with either throwing the lot out or taking them to my home.
I couldn’t toss away something that meant so much to both of them. The women in my life nurtured and respected these plants, devoting huge amounts of time and emotion to their upkeep.
They took over my kitchen in a tangle of vines and vibrant leaves. Between my husband and myself, we managed not to kill any of them. I didn’t know that nurturing these plants would prepare me for my future ventures when I started marketing my son’s and my books.

Lesson One
It may be a weed to you, but to someone else, it’s a beautiful flower.

Picture by Carole P. Roman
Some of these plants were plain ugly. Still, they were important to my grandmother, and I continued to care for them. They might have prickly leaves or be a noxious shade of green, but she saw something in them to keep them lovingly watered and safe from the elements.
So, the connection to books. I like some of my stories better than others. Each was written during a different point in my life and brings back memories like old photographs. Sometimes when I reread them, I’ll wince or have a cringe-worthy moment. I know I can do better than that. In fact, I think I have, but if the goal of writing was to be commercially successful, we have to write about what will actually sell.
Experience has taught me many things. However, the surprise is, that the ones that I may not have enjoyed creating are sometimes more successful financially.
While I do have a regular job, most of the purpose of being an author for both my son and me was to create another income stream. The point is, you have to push forward and market the books that earn if your goal is to make money. It may not be what you want to write about, or your passion, but the ones that support your other interests need the most time in the sun to help your endeavor.

Lesson Two
Oh, the Constant Care

Picture by Carole P. Roman
I learned to water those plants. Sounds stupid? Once I put them in that corner of my kitchen, I forgot about them. It wasn’t until I saw their roots showing with water deprivation and the soil had shrunk to half the pot that I realized they had to be looked after daily. Some plant varieties needed more water than others- I learned that valuable lesson when I flooded the pots, nearly drowning the poor things.
Marketing books have to be tended daily. The watering comes in the form of talking about them on Facebook, or blogs. You can run specials on the various reading sites like Bargain Booksy, or Instafreebee, or even give them away directly from Amazon in the giveaways located at the bottom of the page. You can flood the market by giving them away too often or for too little; it may cheapen the product. However, you have to expose your books just the right amount of time by letting people know about them.

Lesson Three
Knowing When to Prune

Picture by Carole P. Roman
Sometimes the plants got too big for the pots, and they had to be replanted. In the same way, sites can become stale. You have to search for fresh places to post about your book, “replanting” it in front of new eyes. Check out other authors in your genre, see if they will do Facebook Takeovers or Facebook/Blog Exchanges with you.
Get a group of writers together and see if you can make up a Spring or Fall catalog of your books to send out on all your mailing lists. By sharing your spotlight and resources with others, you expose readers to more books, and the other authors will be doing the same for you.
By offering a variety of books to the readers on your mailing list, you show it’s not just about you. It may spur them to purchase multiple books. If you continuously bombard your followers with the SOS they will likely get bored. You may find your mailing list taking off and growing like a field of bluebonnets in Texas; once exposed to new potential followers gathered from your colleague's collections.

Lesson Four
Rome wasn’t Grown in a Day, Either

Picture by Carole P. Roman
Most of all, taking ownership of those plants and caring for them taught me patience. When one finally bloomed for me the first time, it was a delicate and surprisingly little bud for all my efforts, but I beamed, nonetheless. I had a huge victory.
My efforts yielded something, and you know what? The next batch of flowers filled that kitchen with color. Fat, juicy flowers that made my grandchildren want to share the activity of creating a herbal garden that spring.
I learned patience. I learned small victories are windows to substantial benefits. I learned that if you want results with anything, you have to put in the work and the work is constant.
It may not be backbreaking, it may not be hard, but it has to be watched, and when the time is right you can’t sit on your keister waiting for life to happen. Sometimes you have to help it along.
Picture by Carole P. Roman
For more articles by Carole P. Roman, visit

Thursday, April 19, 2018

If You Were Me and Lived in... Worksheet

My cousin is an elementary school teacher and has sent me a wonderful worksheet she created to coordinate with my cultural series. She allowed me to share it with all of you. If I can figure out how to put it on this blog permanently, I will! She truly understood the spirit and joy I had in creating the series. 

Name_____________________                 Date________________________
If You Were Me and Lived in …

Name a famous place there.
Boy’s names
Girl’s names
How do you say Mother?
How do you say Father?
What do you call the money?
How do you say “school”?
What special food do they eat?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ted Cohen's Promotion


All Three
Kindle Editions 
Starts this Sunday

April 22 through 29
99 cents each

0.99 each in the UK

Book 1:

Book 2:

Book 3:

Don’t have a Kindle? Get the FREE Kindle app for you device at the URL below:

Get the free Kindle app

Available on iOS, Android, Mac & PC

I hope you enjoy these THREE new flash fiction books!  Remember: each book contains 73 stories and each story is prompted by an intriguing photograph!

Friday, April 13, 2018

To Where are Children’s Books taking Your Children These Days? by Theodore Jerome Cohen

To Where are Children’s Books taking Your Children These Days?

Theodore Jerome Cohen

I guess I must be getting old. Certainly, with two daughters well out of the house, one with two teen daughters of her own, it’s been a long time since my wife and I sat down and read Charlotte’s Web or any of the Dr. Seuss books with or to a child. And what a joy these and other books of their ilk were!

So, it was quite a revelation some weeks ago when a dear neighbor—and a talented one at that—asked me if I’d like to purchase a copy of her recently released children’s book. It was a handsome volume, indeed: hardbound, professionally illustrated, full color, the works—every bit as good as anything you’d find on the table at the entrance to Barnes & Nobel, except for the fact the title and subject of the book and its illustrations had to do with, ah, er . . . burps from a kid’s butt!

Now, as I’ve come to learn, butt-burps (as they are called) apparently are all the rage, even for children as young as two. Frankly, while not surprising, this did alert me to the fact that the term had made it into the mainstream children’s literature. In fact, a quick search on Amazon showed me that my neighbor’s book was not unique.

I find that sad but not unexpected, given the state of today’s media circus. What passes for children’s entertainment in books and movies as well as on television and the Internet forces (yes, forces) the young to grow up quickly, often much too quickly. And without parental guidance—without installing the “guardrails” needed to guide children into making good choices, the result all too often is a child who lacks self-respect, who disrespects others, who bullies, and who, in general, is destined to fall behind or fail somewhere along the line in his or her social “contracts” with others . . .  something that, unfortunately, could impact on their entire lives.

I know what you may be thinking (besides “don’t be such a fuddy duddy!): Come on, Ted, it’s quite a stretch from butt-burps to life’s failure! And you would be correct. I will be the first to tell you to have fun with your child, to make every minute with them count, to give them the best you have to offer and to take from these experience memories to treasure for a lifetime. After all, all too soon, you’ll be singing to them: "Turn around and you're a young girl going out of the door."

So, how do we make these times more productive? This is the question I asked myself not long ago. The answer was to create a series of books on life’s lessons that I titled Stories for the Early Years. In the series you currently will find the following:

(1)          Pepe Builds a Nest

This is a wonderful story about making the right choices and dealing with bullies!

Pepe, the penguin, needs to build a nest for Miss Amber and him. But Otto, the bully, keeps stealing his stones. See how Pepe and others solve the problem, finally bringing Pepe and Otto together as friends.

NB: A Spanish edition (Pepe Construye un Nido) and a French edition (Pepe Construit un Nid) are available in paperback.

(2)         Rufus Finds a Home

A wonderful story about feelings, compassion, and caring for others, be they humans or animals! Rufus, a golden retriever, lives with Charlie, a man of many years. But now, Charlie must leave to live with his daughter. The old man doesn't know what to do about Rufus, but when he meets Jimmy and his sister, Heather, the problem of finding Rufus a new home is solved.

(3)         Fuzzy Wuzzy
An exciting story about a precocious bear cub who doesn’t listen to his mother and almost ends up in the hands of the Big Bad Wolf!

The books (also available in Kindle editions) are in full color. Importantly, the illustrations are actual photographs that have been digitally altered to appear as pencil drawings. And especially for teachers and homeschoolers, there is a wealth of educational material available on each book’s web page found on my Website. There, you’ll also find videos demonstrating home projects that you and your child can make. Just scroll down to the bottom of Theodore Cohen’s Home Page and select the book of your choice.

I hope you and your children enjoy the three books in the series, and I welcome your comments and suggestion.