Welcome to Day 1 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors (June) Series! @Sharrislaughter #OurLadyOfVictory @RRBC_Org #RRBC
At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing! Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!
On the 1st day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…
AUTHOR, SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER!
Shirley Harris-Slaughter is someone who means what she says and writes it down if she is inclined to. That is how she became the author of Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community which was written to address a need to preserve Catholic history in her local community.
“During my graduate studies I prepared an Applied Research Project to address the deplorable condition of our train station, in downtown Detroit, MI. It was certified and accepted by the faculty of Cleary University in August 1993. I was able to galvanize the entire community around this issue which was videotaped and featured on broadcast news. I utilized college interns and the services of the city of Detroit to find answers in order to provide a template for saving this historic station. Here is the Title…
“THE IMPLEMENTATION APPROACH TO RESTORING THE MICHIGAN CENTRAL DEPOT”
Slaughter is a community activist. She mentored four freshman girls at the local middle school and is a believer in giving something back.
NJ: Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?
Shirley: Birth Name.
NJ: Which of your books is your favorite and why?
Shirley: My first, OUR LADY OF VICTORY. It held special meaning for me.
NJ: Give us just a little background on that book. What is it about?
Shirley: As far as I knew there was no one writing about Black Catholics so, I set out to change that. The story is about my determination to preserve our legacy which was in danger of being forgotten. It was written from my personal experience growing up in a Black Catholic Community.
NJ: Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?
Shirley: Amazon; request at any bookstore.
NJ: I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?
Shirley: I go low on e-books – no higher than $2.99. I go even lower on shorts – $.99 up to $1.99. Nonnie, you were a big influence on me taking control of my work and setting my own price to a realistic level. My publisher would not allow me to adjust the e-book price which was going for $10.99. Can you imagine that? I decided to sever ties right then and there.
NJ: I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there. What was your main reason for getting on Twitter? For support? For fun?
Shirley: I got on mainly out of curiosity but knowing nothing about it didn’t get me off to a productive start. I was just about to cancel my subscription when lo and behold, you showed up and taught me a new way to get the most from Twitter. I made lasting friends and that’s something money can’t buy.
NJ: What other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?
Shirley: I believe that social media platforms have been useful to the extent that people do find me online. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The question I need to be asking is where are they finding me?
The latest example was a woman online from a church out of Ohio whose goals are to honor 15 Black Catholic Women throughout history. Anna ‘Madre’ Bates is one of them and a whole chapter is devoted to her in my book. I was invited to speak and talk about my personal experience knowing her. They found the OLV Book Trailer and some additional information on me and Madre Bates. They put her name in “search” and everything about her popped up including my information. I’m still reeling from the gravity of that experience. It took place on May 11, 2021.
I was invited to a church out of New Jersey around 2015 and they paid all expenses, hotel accommodations, air travel, per diem for taxi and food, room setup for event, including book sales and speaker’s fee. That was beyond amazing.
I was treated like a celebrity at the main local library in 2011 where I was invited to speak before the Genealogical Society. I was paid a speaker’s fee and given equipment support to put on a power-point presentation and sell books. It was everything an author could dream of and I am still grateful for having had the opportunity.
NJ: Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media? If so, how?
Shirley: Yes, through twitter, facebook and linkedin.
NJ: Do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?
Shirley: I always look at them because I don’t use a program which would hinder my ability to read tweets.
NJ: If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you. How could they best support you? What would you have them do?
Shirley: If supporters would just be courteous on facebook and acknowledge that you have responded to their invitation, it would go a long ways to sealing friendships. If family gave you a bit of polite responses to your invites, that would help as well. I unfollowed a lot of people because they were not polite or respectful. I only got acknowledged when they wanted something.
NJ: WOW. Politeness does go a long way with folks, doesn’t it? Authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?
Shirley: 4WillsPub does nice formatting. I use Rachael Ritchey. I love what she did with two of my book covers. Formatting can be a little tricky. I haven’t run across a formatter who will do what my first publishing experience did for me.
NJ: Shirley, can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?
Shirley: Rave Reviews Book Club’s, 4WillsPub; and blog and hosting tours; the social media platforms; Rave Waves platforms.
NJ: What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?
Shirley: Always find a book club or similar group to join or connect with. You don’t want to be in this alone.
NJ: Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?
Shirley: I had to block someone once on Twitter. My reputation as a writer is very important to me. Getting into brawls is not my style.
NJ: In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, even Stephen King)
Shirley: To me, the writers today don’t seem to care about perfection and they tolerate mediocrity.
NJ: Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?
Shirley: Lately I have been a little concerned about writing that’s allowed to be published without proper editing; and the people who accept it is troubling as well.
NJ: If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?
Shirley: I take it with a grain of salt because I am always second-guessing my work anyway. My writing can always be improved. And I have yet to master the formatting side to my satisfaction.
NJ: Do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?
Shirley: I really would prefer the truth or an honest opinion to help me grow.
NJ: Do you have a blog or website? If so, what is the URL so that we can visit and follow you, or sign up for your newsletter if you have one?
NJ: Do you blog about any specific topics or are you a random-topic-blogger?
Shirley: I do specifics for one blog; and Random-topic-blogger for the second blog.
NJ: Well, Shirley, we’ve come to the end of this rainbow today. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to promote you and your book on this very special NEW national holiday – Juneteenth!
OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT SHIRLEY…
- I am a strong advocate for Indie publishing and would not have it any other way.
- Writing since 2007 / It’s more of a hobby for me
- Genres: Non-fiction & Biographies
- 5 books published to date: 2 novels & 3 shorts
FOLLOW SHIRLEY ON…
Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Shirley on Day 1 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series! It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon. Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above! We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.
To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page! There will be a new series beginning in July! I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJules, as my truest joy is in service to others. I’d love to support you, too!
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series? Click HERE to sign up!
DISCLAIMER: Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted. It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.
- Posted in: Uncategorized