IWSG and The Golden Rule plus Giveaway

Sher A Hart here with a post for the Insecure Writers Support Group and a giveaway to boot. Woot!
I’d like to thank Alex J Cavanaugh for thinking up the IWSG idea, and Kathy at I am a reader not a writer for the Reading Clean Giveaway Hop, along with Clean Teen Fiction and One Librarian’s Book Reviews for co-hosting. It should be interesting to see how two different hop lists look at the bottom of this post. The giveaway hop list is first, followed by the IWSG hop.

Once upon a time…an insecure writer wrote and edited and repeated the process without making much progress because she tried to write what she, young teens, and their parents (who buy the books) wanted in middle grade fantasy. Not only that, she tried to do all the platform building that agents and editors wanted, which left too little time to do the writing and editing required to create that perfect story (and still be a good wife and mother).

After all, the Golden Rule says “do unto others as you would have them to do unto you” (or something similar in other religions than Christianity). But it felt more like “What goes around, comes around” in the worst sense, a vicious cycle. Like a hamster wheel. Lots of spinning and never getting anywhere because this writer was the type who wanted to please everybody.

You probably already guessed that writer is me. It took a lot of hours away from writing to build an audience on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and my blog. (Even now, I have nowhere near the audience I would like to have when I publish.) It took even more time to give other writers feedback when I featured their books on my blog. I’m not talking just a interview or review and giveaway. I’m talking proofreading and editing, including teaching things to avoid like telling v. showing, repetition, passive voice, adverbs, head-hopping and the like.

One of my biggest insecurities has been whether I’m wasting my time helping other authors learn the craft of writing. Would they return the favor as the Golden Rule suggests? To my pleasant surprise, I found most authors do. But still, I’ve spent more time giving feedback than receiving it. So I asked myself, would I be able to edit and later market my books without more support from other writers? I doubt it. That’s why I’m here, to find the supportive people who try to give as much as they get. 

I have succeeded in getting support in a few important ways which I’ll tell you next month. I’ve also gotten support by sharing tasks related to platform building (explained in this post). Blog posts are so time consuming, I finally decided I would either have to find a blog partner or never finish my book. I’m happy to say I haven’t regretted posting that ad.

Paul R. Hewlett, an author whose books I featured previously, answered. I’d read his book, and how could I have asked for any  subtitle better than Lionel and the Golden Rule to know I had found an author who wouldn’t be stingy in sharing his time and talents? Plus, he’s got more experience in publishing and marketing than I do. In his last post, he shared some things he did to market that didn’t work the way he would have liked.

I trained Paul on Blogger and Rafflecopter by email and Skype. He’s great to work with and now I have someone with similar book genre and ideals to help carry the load, and I have time to write. So I thought, why not do a giveaway of his books to show my appreciation? Helping him find a wider audience for his chapter books seemed the perfect way to send something good back around. And I can guarantee Paul’s books will be teach your children to be better people without it seeming like they’re learning a lesson. As a bonus, these stories about the magical adventure of a boy who finds a Three-toed Potbellied Walbaun foot are the kind parents will enjoy reading too.

The Kindle ebooks are very inexpensive at 99 cents, so if you’d rather purchase them now than enter the giveaway, just click on the pictures. Or you can go through my Amazon Store tab at the top of my blog. That’s my own marketing experiment, and so far I’ve made 23 cents. Oh well, if you can’t get gold, copper will have to do.

So, on to the giveaway. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below for two separate winners who each get their choice of Lionel’s Grand Adventure Kindle ebooks, open internationally. You can convert the books to Nook or other formats using Calibre (free download here). Remember if you like a book, the best thing you can do to help the author write more books is to leave a good review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, your blog if you have one, and any place else you hang out online or in person.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please take the time to comment (scroll down past both linky lists) and tell me if you think most writers do a good job of treating others how they would like to be treated. I’d really like to hear if you’ve been the recipient of an unselfish act of kindness. But for the giveaway, you need to tell me which ebook you’d like to win. Thanks for visiting and please come back Saturday for Paul’s post on book covers.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Wow! 23 cents! You’re doing better than me, I’ve made nothing! ha ha!

  2. Hello Sher- There are certainly people who are good at being takers but not necessarily being givers. I’m not referring to writers here, but just people, in general. So I try to focus on people who do understand the concept of reciprocation. Fortunately, I’m blessed to be in contact with many writers who are helpful and supportive.

    • Thanks, Cynthia, it’s good to know you’ve got a good base of writers who give back. I’m getting a pretty good start on my “A” list too, and hope to find more in this group.

  3. Thanks for the kind words Sher! My experience has been great. I have found a lot of very kind, generous, supporting and giving people (mostly authors). That’s not to say that there’s not sharks out there, there are. I just chose to ignore them as best as I can. You Sher, for one, have been one of the kindest, most sharing people that I have met and boy am I glad I did. I have already learned so much that I can only hope to return a fraction of the favor (but I will most certainly try). I am a firm believer in giving back. If I help others, that will come back to me. There isn’t enough room to list all of those that I consider friends, but they know who they are. I hope to add to that list and am honored to be able to post here on the Sher A. Hart: My Written Art Blog. Thank you!

    Paul R. Hewlett

    • You’re welcome! You made me smile after a tough day. Grocery shopping and I do not get along. Thanks for helping me keep my blog up without taking away my chances at finishing my book too. I’m sure glad you volunteered. It’s good to have another person to talk to who’s going through similar problems from the opposite end. You’re teaching me important things too. Thanks!

  4. Being a giver will come back to you, I promise! I spend a lot of time blogging and visiting my buddies, and not always as much as I should writing. But when I need to, I get it done. And at this point, I can’t give up on the friends I’ve made here.
    You are making a difference and it will come back to you.

  5. Thanks Alex. I appreciate the comment. I have meet a lot of great people and would do whatever I can to help. I hope all is well with you! Thanks again & have a great day:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

  6. I totally get what you mean about spending loads of time doing things other than writing. I am desperately new at social networking and blogging and am finding it difficult to build up a following. I love your blog though, it looks great and you have lots of little tools I’d like to add to mine like links etc.
    You’ll get it all back eventually though, I say. In time, that is…

  7. Yeah, isn’t that the bane of the writer’s existence? Not having time to write when that’s really all you can do to sell books? It’s so frustrating, but I guess building a platform is important, too. I only feel that it’s not worth the time spent away from writing if you’re not writing as much as you need to. Books sells more books, and so on and so on, so I try not to get too worried about platform building. Once you’ve got a good one built up, you can slack off on it a bit, anyway.

    • Thanks, Cathy, that makes good sense. And slacking off the platform stuff is exactly what I’ve been doing lately. Now if I could get life to stop filling up the gaps, I’d get some writing done. Right now physical therapy for my dislocated shoulder (turned into a frozen shoulder) takes out almost 2 hours from my day. I’m hoping the Dragon naturally speaking will help me regain some of that time.

  8. Great post. I totally hear what you are saying about time. I know about those days where you plan to write and you just don’t get to it. I have had 3 of those days in a row this week. I also know as authors we need help of other authors to get the words out about what we are doing. Wonderful that you found someone to share your blogging tasks. Training through Skype was a great idea. I own both copies of Paul’s books. (Loved them) I will still enter so I can gift it to someone if I win. =) Thanks for the opportunity.

    • Thanks, Crystal. Sorry so late replying. I thought I did but I must have read your comment on my phone or gotten interrupted. Anyway, I really am happy to have Paul on my blog and to have read his first book. I’ve got the second but haven’t had time yet. Thanks for entering!

  9. That sounds nightmarish, sometimes networking gets in the way, but the connections you make are often worth the effort

  10. I read Lionel’s Grand Adventure – Lionel and the Golden Rule. I really enjoyed the character of Lionel and the positive message that Paul put forth in the story. I am looking forward to Lionel Turns the Other Cheek.

    • Thanks, Lisa, so did I. But it’s turning out to be a lot harder than I thought to get the word out. I hope you leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon because they really do help people choose books. Thanks so much for your support!

    • Thanks for the kind words Lisa! I appreciate you stopping by. I am following your situation closely and want to make sure that you know that you have my support:)

      Paul R. Hewlett

    • WooHoo! I am so excited to be one of the winners and will definitely write a review when I am finished with it.
      @Paul The school issue is definitely a story in and of itself. It’s been so “ugly” all week, but it seems there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we are back in the classroom on Monday. And again…thanks for the continued support!

    • Congrats Lisa! Thanks so much for entering:) I certainly am supporting you! I have been following it and you’re right, but I am encouraged to hear you say that you might be back in the classroom by Monday. I will keep my fingers crossed for that. Until then, stay strong!!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  11. Both books look good, but I think I would like The Golden Rule. I teach 2nd grade so either book would be good for this age group…Time is always my hangup when it come to writing. Being a single Mom and working full-time, my chance to write don’t come up often enough. Thanks!

  12. Thanks Sheila! I have been told that The Golden Rule makes a very good read aloud. That might be something your 2nd graders like:) Thank you very much for stopping by. Good luck and I hope to see you back again soon:) Have a great day!
    Paul R. Hewlett

  13. I’ve had a lot of help and I’ve appreciated all of it. When I can I reciprocate because I know how much it means to have someone take their time to give my book or me a boost.

    Thanks for the Google add!

    • Thanks for stopping by C. Lee. I posted your guest post today and my review will follow in a few days. Thanks for the post and for the opportunity to review Alligators Overhead. I won’t reveal anything here (I don’t want to spoil my review). Have a great night:)

      Paul R. Hewlett

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