6 Tips for Promoting your Online Videos

When it comes to creating content online, video is as close to in-person as you can get, and has proved to be a highly effective marketing tool. Marketing experts around the world agree that video is big news and regularly offer reasons why you should be creating video content. I'm going to assume that you've already been told that video can be a powerhouse and move on to how you can promote your online videos. After all, it's not enough to just upload a video to YouTube. You need people to watch it too.

This infographic gives some good tips for promoting your online videos, but first let me list some of the take away points raised:

1) Don't forget about SEO. Add a keyword rich description and tags to your video to help it show up better in search results.

2) Send the video link to people you think might be interested in it. If you have an email list or newsletter use them to let people know about your content.

3) Include a call to action. Video is another form of social media and the more likes, comments, and shares your video gets the more viral it will become. Ask viewers for feedback and get them talking about your video.

4) Embed your videos on your blog. Most of you probably have an author website or blog (if you don't, why not?) and therefore have the perfect channel already in place for sharing your video content. Video makes for an easy blog post too as you can just embed it using the code from YouTube. A quick intro or follow up and your post is done.

5) Share your video on your other social media sites and widen your reach. Tweet it, pin it, post it to Facebook and/or Google+... This is also a great opportunity to cross promote your various profiles and let your fans know they can find you on other sites too. It makes a nice break from just written posts too and gives your followers a bit of variety.

6) Check your stats. Learn what's working and what's not so you can improve your marketing plan and get better results in the future. 

Infographic Source
SuperFastBusiness With James Schramko

Are you using online video as part of your marketing plan? What are you doing to promote your online videos? Leave a comment below and share your experience.

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Interview with Ian Barker

Tell us about your latest book.
One Hot Summer is a coming of age story set against the background of the long, hot British summer of 1976. As I was a teenager in that era it’s very much write what you know, though it definitely isn’t an autobiography. No, honestly, it’s not!
Who are your favourite authors?
How long have you got? I always think that being asked to chose a favourite author is like choosing a favourite limb, you’re really quite attached to all of them.
Going back to school, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the few books I’ve revisited and enjoyed as an adult. John LeCarré is a long-term favourite – I started reading his books when I was about 16. I also love Ian Rankin’s books and Andrew Martin’s ‘Jim Stringer’ series. Of writers in a similar genre to mine Nick Hornby clings stubbornly to my shelves when other paperbacks face the charity shop cull as do Jonathan Coe and Hanif Kureishi.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Write first, research later. I think I stole that from an Ian Rankin interview but it’s good advice. If you do too much research at the start you not only waste what should be writing time, you also end up including much more than you should and bogging the book down in unnecessary detail.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I’ve got a website at www.iandavidbarker.co.uk where you can find out about my novels and my non-fiction work. You can also read some short stories and some dodgy poetry. My books are on Amazon and Smashwords or you can buy them direct from the publisher at www.rebelepublishers.com – you’ll find some other incredibly talented authors there too.
Who is you favourite character in your book and why?

You might expect me to choose John, the book’s main character here, since he’s partly me. However my particular favourite in One Hot Summer is the Cartoon Devil, a figment of John’s imagination who acts as a sort of anti-conscience, popping up at inappropriate moments to urge John to do or say the wrong thing, or provide a very un-PC comment on events.

He was great fun to write but also proved to be a useful literary device for getting inside John’s head and exploring his slightly darker thoughts.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

It’s funny and it has characters that, I hope, anyone who has ever been a teenager can relate to. It explores love and loss and the basic insecurities that most of us suffer from time to time. If you’re old enough to remember the 1970s you can wallow in nostalgia too.

For those who remember the line in the movie Shakespeare in Love that every good story should have a dog in it, mine has two just to make sure.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Too long. Because my day job is writing about technology, fiction has to take a back seat. Both of my novels to date have taken about three years or so to write. Although One Hot Summer is my second published novel it was actually the first one I wrote. After collecting a sheaf of rejections it sat in the bottom drawer whilst I wrote Fallen Star. The experience of writing, and ultimately in 2010 publishing, that enabled me to go back to the first book and revise it to make it a much better story.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

I’m currently writing a sequel to my first book. Star Turn takes up Fallen Star’s story around four years on from where that book ended. I thought it might be difficult to pick up again with characters that I last wrote about three or four years ago but it’s surprising how easily you slip back into their thoughts – or they slip back into mine!

Ian Barker
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

Each has its place, though I do think that today people are sometimes too ready to rush into self-publishing with products that aren’t ready which results in disappointment all round. One of the best things about working with a traditional – albeit small – publisher has been having access to a professional editor. Both of my novels are immeasurably better as a result.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever not been one. One of my school reports at the age of about eleven read, “An easy style and interesting ideas.” I’ve always dabbled in writing since leaving school though for a long time it was a sideline to a career in IT.

About ten years ago I moved sideways to work for a computer magazine and never looked back. It’s a shame it took me so long to realise that I could get paid for writing about computers rather than fixing them!

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Pinterest Best Practices

Pinterest has changed social media. It made people realise the power of visual content. Since its launch many other social media networks have put increasing emphasis on visual content after seeing just how successful the site became in such little time. 

Not sure how you should be using Pinterest? This infographic from Edelman Digital talks about the best practices when it comes to managing an account on Pinterest.

Pinterest, tips, best practices, infographic, insight,

Are you using Pinterest as part of your marketing plan? Got any tips to share? Leave a comment below.


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Excerpt: Passion Killer by Yvonne McEvaddy

Title: Passion Killer

Author: Yvonne McEvaddy

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Purchasing link:

Book description:

If your ex lover and best friend was accused of killing your boyfriend would you stand up for him? Would your friends stand by you?

     Passion Killer by Yvonne McEvaddy is a story of how unrequited love, jealousy and obsession become dangerous, turning passion to murder. It revolves around a group of friends in a small town in Ireland.  Sylvia arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend, Rick, in a pool of blood. In the course of their investigation, Detectives Barbara Molloy and Mick Naughton question the group of friends and uncover a web of deception. A party the night before the murder left many fingerprints at the scene of the crime. In the tangle of love triangles there are plenty of motives to choose from and few alibis, casting the net of suspicion wide.
     As the story unfolds, the friends discover secrets and lies that test their relationships to the point of breaking. In order to cast suspicion away from one of their best friends, Alex, the group start to suspect a myriad of acquaintances. Will they succeed in finding out who killed Rick before Alex is put away for something he didn't do? Or will they find out that Alex isn't who they thought he was?

Book excerpt

Alex sat up straight in his chair and steepled his hands in front of him as he said, “I won’t be bullied. As my friends and I are doing you a favour by co-operating, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we not be treated as suspects.”
“It’s Sylvia you’re doing the favour for, not us. Of course it benefits us, but it’s in the interest of Sylvia, and Rick’s family, that this investigation gets underway as soon as possible. I’m merely asking about your feelings towards Sylvia. You’re the one implying that your feelings make you a murder suspect. Now why is that?” Detective Molloy sat back in her chair and said, “Alex, let me clear things up here. I am aware that you and Sylvia have feelings for one another. I want background information on all of Rick and Sylvia’s friendships and relationships, including work related relationships. This is all just a formality to see if something someone says may lead to a clue. I don’t have any suspects at present; therefore I don’t see any reason for any hostility or any solicitor involvement. So will you please just answer my question? I repeat, how did you feel when Sylvia and Rick entered into a serious relationship, knowing there could no longer be a future for the two of you?”
Although Alex felt that he should involve his solicitor he had no wish to be arrested. He suspected that Detective Molloy was bluffing, but didn’t want to take any chances and so
thought that it would be best to just co-operate. He raked his hand through his dark blond hair so that it stood on end. “I just decided it was time to move on. I was happy for Sylvia, a little disappointed for myself, but I knew that if we weren’t meant to be then there was nothing I could do about it,” he said.
Detective Molloy raised her eyebrow and asked, “Wasn’t there?”
“I resent the implication.”
“What implication is that? You disappoint me, Alex; surely Sylvia was worth putting up a fight for. No grand romantic gestures?” Her eyebrows levelled out once more.
“No, I knew the best thing to do was to just let her go.”
“Any regrets about that?” Detective Molloy asked.
“Of course I’ve had plenty of ideas for getting her back and moments of regret about not following through, but she’s seen plenty of my romantic side over the years so I know it wouldn’t have made a difference. Once she made her decision I just had to accept it.” 

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Review: Gluten-Free Me, Beckmin goes to School by Christy E. Bykowski

Title: Gluten-Free Me, Beckmin goes to School

Author: Christy E. Bykowski

ISBN 13: 978-1-61244-228-0

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell

“Beckmin goes to School” is meant to raise awareness for celiac disease and the everyday challenges children with celiac disease face in their otherwise normal activities. As diagnosis of celiac disease increases, education, awareness, and understanding will be the keys to making celiac kids feel normal and included. Written for children to help them express and understand celiac disease, the book is a wonderful tool for children and adults alike.
As I have celiac disease I was interested to read this book.  It's great to see a book for kids on the subject. Whilst I wasn't too keen on the idea that the character, Beckmin, was singled out so much for having celiac disease (I'm not sure kids would like the idea), I did like the positive attitude he showed about it. More than teaching kids about celiac disease I think this book carries a message for parents and teachers. It clearly shows the attention of the adults towards the child and teaches that how they deal with it will have an effect on how the child deals with it.

I also liked that at the end of the book it had a very brief, simple description of what celiac disease is. Two thumbs up for raising awareness on the topic. 

If your child has celiac disease, or if your child has friends with celiac disease, this book could be a useful tool in helping the children understand what it's all about. I also think it would be a good book to have in classrooms to help spread awareness. 


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How to be a Great Commenter

Blogs are a very useful tool for authors. Whether you run your own blog and/or guest post on others blogs, blogging can be a promotional powerhouse. You get to reach a global audience with your content for little or no cost. You can mark yourself out as an expert in your niche, and connect with readers. It's the last of these that I'll be looking at today.

Why do you blog? One of the first answers should be "to connect with readers". You want to offer a way of building your current fan base but you also want to reach out to new potential readers. Blogging is a great way to do both. 

The blog post itself gives you a means to express yourself and show off your talent. It gives readers the chance to get to know you. One of the most important (and often neglected) elements of a blog post however is the comments section.

The comments section is where the real engagement happens. It's there that you "close the deal". I've sold several books in the past based on the conversation that developed in the comments section of guest posts I'd written. 

If you've written a blog post, invite readers to leave a comment. Ask them a question to get the conversation going. Reply to people who leave comments 1) to thank them for taking the time to comment on your post and 2) to keep the conversation going. 

As it's always good to practice what you preach and lead by example, now let's flip this on its head and look at it from the commenter point of view. Commenting on blog posts is great marketing. You get to piggy back on others content and get noticed by the blogs readers without needing to write a whole blog post yourself. 

So how can you be a great commenter?

For those of you that get stuck with what to write in the comments here's a few ideas to get you started:

1) Add something to the conversation
Posting something like "great post!" is nice. I'm sure the blogger will appreciate your enthusiasm for their content. If you want to stand out though take it a little further. Say what you liked about the post. If suitable, share your own experience with the topic discussed e.g. if the post is about self publishing and you've self published a book share a little about the pro's and con's of going that route. 

2) Don't self promote
Whilst referring to your own experiences is good, spamming with self promo is not. The only link you should post is the one allowed in the hyperlink of your name that leads back to your website. The only exception to this is if you have written or read another blog post that either covers the same topic (and maybe offers some extra tips or info) or a blog post that looks at the topic from the other side. In those cases you can post the link explaining why you think readers of the current blog post might be interested in it.

3) It's OK to disagree 
You don't have to agree with the blogger. You are allowed to have your own opinion. Share why you don't agree with them. Having alternative view points extends the conversation. Just remember that whilst it's OK to disagree, it's not OK to attack people. 

4) Ask questions
Do you want to know something related to the topic but not covered in the post? Ask. Did the blogger mention something but not go into enough detail? Ask them for more information about it. 

If you offer value in your blog comments and inspire readers to want to know more about you, they will click on your weblink. It's about indirectly promoting yourself. Forget about blatantly blasting about your books and/website and add to the conversation. It's a far more effective way of gaining fans and therefore increasing your chances of making more sales.

What else would you add to this list? Is blog commenting part of your marketing strategy?


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Five Tips to Help You Write Your Memoir

Is there a book in your future? Have you been thinking about writing your personal story? Here are some little-known memoir-writing tricks you can use:

Tip One: Figure out who your readers will be.
Sure, like all of us, you want the world-at-large to read your book. You are certain everyone will be entranced by the details of your life. Alas, the publishing world does not agree. Identify your audience by thinking about a particular person who would love to read your book and assume that person is looking over your shoulder whenever you sit down to write. Write directly to that person and your writing will not stray into irrelevant areas. I do hope everyone in the world will want to read your memoir, but even best-sellers are aimed toward a particular audience -- perhaps a young woman, or a retired professional, or a high school student, or a member of the armed forces, a pet-lover, a dad. Who is your ideal reader?

Tip Two: Create memoir space.
Designate a certain day of the week and certain time of day when you will write - maybe every morning at 7 AM, maybe Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, maybe three times a week at four 'o' clock. Then designate a place -- maybe your laptop at the kitchen table, maybe your ipad in bed, maybe the corner table at Starbucks, maybe the library. If there are times when you cannot think of what to write just sit there and record your thoughts. Stick with your scheduled writing time and eventually an idea will emerge out of your thoughts.

Tip Three: Ignore all rules of grammar.
After your entire book is written you can go back and fix the sentence structure, the spelling, the punctuation, and more. Pausing to do that as you write will slow your memory and may cause frustration. Just write naturally . . . and write . . . and write. Don't worry, don't stress, if you have trouble with language techniques. When you finish your book you can hire an editor to repair written irregularities. Remember, there are plenty of editors out there, but only you can tell your true story.

Tip Four: Geography is important.
The closer you are, physically, to the area in which your story takes place, the more difficult the writing process. Certainly it's a good idea to visit the area you are remembering, but it's not a good idea to stay there and do your writing there. When you write in a place that has plenty of memories for you, your emotions complicate those memories. You will do better by visiting, jotting down all your feelings, all the elicited emotions, and then going elsewhere to do the actual writing. Distance brings clarity. Distance brings perspective. Distance fosters truth.

Tip Five: Shut your eyes.
Whenever you recount an incident close your eyes for at least one minute and picture the scene. Then open your eyes and quickly write everything that was in your visualization. Include the littlest detail. Your reader needs to know all facets, all angles, in order to truly see you there. Then close your eyes again and visualize the scene again, but this time from a different vantage point. What more can you reveal to your reader? Your words should help the reader figure out what season it is and what time of day it is without explicitly stating those facts. Instead, describe weather or clothing or lighting or shadows. The more you describe, without overtly declaring but rather suggesting and hinting, the more engaged the reader becomes. You want an engaged reader. Readers who don't care what ensues next in your life story are readers who will drop your memoir in favor of another. I never want that to happen to your book.

© 2014 Roberta Temes, Ph.D., author of How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story

Roberta Temes, Ph.D. is an accomplished author, editor and writing instructor, as well as a seasoned psychotherapist and psychology faculty member. She lectures around the country at corporate meetings, medical conferences and health spas. Dr. Temes' newest book, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days is available now on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. She is also the author of the award-winning Living with an Empty Chair and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hypnosis.

Temes lives in New Jersey and Florida, with her husband David Lyons, a university financial systems consultant. Temes is a mother and grandmother, too. For more information please visit http://drroberta.com.

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Interview with Kathy Mashburn

What genre do you write and why?

While I enjoy writing across genres, I spend most of my time writing books for children. The stories I write are usually based on an awareness issue like a fear of clowns, a physical disability like having prosthetic limbs or being blind. Of course, sometimes I simply write stories that are entertaining and FUNNY!  I strive to write books that engage children in a positive way, encouraging them to laugh, learn, and to enhance their imagination.

Tell us about your latest book.

Imagine you have been diagnosed with cancer. Now, imagine how you would go about explaining your diagnosis to a young child. Wiggy Wanda is a children's book that I wrote in hopes it might open doors for women everywhere to begin to tell their personal stories to the young children in their lives - perhaps even their daughters.

In Wiggy Wanda, Keri Fields is only seven years old when she learns the reason for her mother's sickness. She has seen firsthand how badly her mother feels when she is sick. Keri listens carefully as her mother tells her about a boo-boo called cancer that is causing her to be sick enough to throw up and tired enough to lie down often. To help explain the things that will happen while her mother is being treated by the doctor, Keri's parents present her with a very special gift. Keri quickly discovers this is no ordinary gift!

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?

For me, marketing is an everyday all-day effort to reach my audience.  I enjoy marketing my books and myself in various ways, including using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Pinterest, and Goodreads.  I also submit media kits and press releases to newspapers and TV and radio stations (starting locally, and then branching out as far as leads allow).  I am a member of numerous online writers groups and a few local groups in my community.  I am also a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Georgia Writers Association.

Lastly, my absolute favorite marketing method is participating in opportunities that allow me to network directly with my readers.  I hold book signings; attend expos, fairs, festivals, and community events as often as possible.  The more comfortable you become with talking about yourself and your work, the more successful you will be.

What’s your favorite quote about writing/for writers?

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” – Agatha Christie

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

The quickest way to learn more about me and my work is by visiting my website at http://www.kathymashburn.com and to sign up for my blog or newsletter using the links at the top of the home page.  Readers may also connect and follow me at http://amazon.com/author/kathy.mashburn, or at http://facebook.com/kathymashburnauthor.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

Wiggy Wanda is not just an ordinary book!  It’s a book meant to spark conversations between adults and children dealing with cancer or other serious illnesses.  It is beautifully illustrated and easy to understand.  In addition to the book, Wiggy Wanda dolls were created at the request of many of my readers.   The Wiggy Wanda doll is intentionally sold bald, so that adults and children can experience shopping for a wig of their choice and other accessories, including clothing, shoes, and hats together.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Wiggy Wanda available on http://www.amazon.com, http://www.wiggywanda.com, or at http://www.createspace/4787429.    My other children’s books, including A Birthday Clown for Archer, Feeding Piggy, and Jilly Loves to Pretend are also available on Amazon.  Readers can simply search my name (Kathy Mashburn), or the title of any of my books to find me.

What is your work in progress?  Tell us about it.

My current works-in-progress include Wooly Gets a Haircut, An Odd Bird, and Santa, Are You Ready?  My lists is always growing and changing as I find inspiration.  A couple favorite ways for me to be inspired is to observe people and to listen to snatches of their random conversations when I’m out-and-about.  A great idea can occur at any moment!

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I began writing in the fifth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Brannock, gave my class an assignment to keep a daily journal about something going on in our lives. As Mrs. Brannock handed me a thin red spiral notebook to use, she could not have known the profound impact it would have on me years to come. That simple wire-bound notebook became a bible of sorts to me as I captured my every thought, idea, and dream inside its pages.
It was much later in high school when another teacher, Dr. Peggy Quarles further inspired me to write. She poured fuel on the fire when she instructed my freshmen class to maintain journals again. By then journaling had become habitual to me, but the renewed assignment caused an even greater appreciation of reading, writing, and storytelling within me. It is because of Dr. Quarles’s encouragement and advice to write about anything and everything lurking behind the doors of my imagination that causes me to keep a pen and paper handy every day.

Does your family support you in your writing career?  How?

Absolutely!  I am blessed to be the mother of three beautiful daughters, Jennifer, Lindsey, and Rana.  They have never failed to encourage me to pursue my dreams and to reach my goals.  Their belief in me inspires me to reach higher than I ever thought possible.  They are especially supportive when it comes to extending my reach to prospective readers.  They never hesitate to tell everyone and anyone about my work, plus they volunteer to do physical work for me as well.  Most weekends, you will find them packing books, dolls, etc. for mailing, or managing tables on my behalf at public events.  They and many others are always hands-on when it comes to helping me grow as a writer.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, crafting, attending church, and spending time with my family and friends.


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Is it wrong to fall in love with your heroine?

Somewhere between researching the life of Ka’ahumanu and creating the fictionalized Wai-nani, I fell in love with my heroine. So smitten was I with the fiery, brave personage of Ka’ahumanu (Wai-nani) that I determined to tell Hawai’i’s story through her eyes. Even though born into the rank and privilege of the royal class, she railed against harsh punishments meted out by priests and ruling chiefs invested with the power of gods. She questioned the status quo and confronted authority. She was clever and moved like water around her enemies, solving her problems with intellect rather than force. She faced her fears and pushed through them becoming stronger in adversity. And finally, she lifted the dragon tail from her path and rose to become the most respected and powerful woman in all of old Hawai’i.

She could be seen skittering across the waves on a surfboard with Kamehameha the Great who declared her to be his favorite wife. She was a beautiful dancer, a strong swimmer, and one practiced in the healing arts.  Though she was a childless bride, she remained Kamehameha’s confidant and paramour over his 40-year rise to power. At his death in 1819 he bestowed upon her the power to rule equally with his son.

To me she was the ultimate empowered female and a forerunner to the modern independent woman. I saw myself in her and grew stronger in telling her story. She gave me the courage to publish Wai-nani –A Voice from Old Hawai’i. Is it love, or is it admiration mixed with deep envy of her life in hauntingly beautiful old Hawai’i that I feel for my heroine? I don’t’ think it was wrong of me to fall in love with my character in the process of bringing her to life. In fact it might be required passion in the work for readers to fall in love too.

Linda Ballou is an adventure travel writer and author of, Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i- fabled historical fiction inspired by the tumultuous love affair of Kamehameha the Great and his favorite wife Ka’ahumanu. An informative and lively speaker, Linda enjoys giving power point presentations she has created for each of her books. In “Lessons Learned from the People of Old” she takes you on a journey to sacred sites throughout the Islands. In her “Whet Your Wanderlust” talk she shares destinations in her book Lost Angel Walkabout. Learn more about Linda, her books and articles on her site www.LindaBallouAuthor.com
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Excerpt: Awakening Humanity’s Collective Spirit by Josiah Samuel Harry

Book Title: Awakening Humanity’s Collective Spirit

Author Name: Josiah Samuel Harry

Genre: Consciousness & Thought / Philosophy

Purchasing Link: 

Book Description:
This book is about the moral consequences of social tolerance. It examines why intolerance is not only self-defeating, but also detrimental to the ideals of liberal democracies. This book contends that if intolerance is left to run its course, it can poison a nation’s moral climate and threaten its collective identity. Without the compass of tolerance guiding humanity’s spiritual evolution, we will find ourselves floundering in a world of perpetual insecurity and chaos.

Ensuring peace and security for future generations hinge on the choices we make today. We can create a world where intolerance plays out its destiny of conquest and destruction. Conversely, we can create a world where the highest valued currencies are inclusion, relational intimacy, and adventure. This book gives us hope that we have the capacity to create a more peaceful world based on an economy of love, but it requires that you and I choose diversity over division, hope over despair, and love over indifference.

Author Bio:

JOSIAH SAMUEL HARRY is a spiritual philosopher, educator, and author of several books, including This Book Is About Winning, and Winning: Essentials for Achieving Relational Intimacy. Josiah was born and raised in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He was educated at Loyola University New Orleans. An original thinker and truth-seeker, Josiah invites each individual inward toward a deeper reality that unveils the fundamental purpose of life, which is to ultimately find truth in our own lives.

Book Excerpt:

“Humanity seems to have fallen out of belonging and community. The light that once lighted our path of progress, hope, and promise has faded into the blackest of midnights. We live in a world where cynicism, apathy, and cowardice seek to take permanent residence in humanity’s collective consciousness.
The spirit of intolerance, like a bloodthirsty mercenary, endeavors to stamp out our freedoms. Those who hold firmly to bigotry disguised as truth brazenly parade their distorted ideologies as the equalizing elixir for the masses. By virtue of self-declaration, sentries of anti-freedom movements have predetermined the standards of decency and morality for all to follow.
For too many, incredulity takes precedence over reason and faith. Our differences overshadow our similarities. Our individual limitations are scrutinized and our collective strengths are overlooked. Our present struggles are rehearsed and relived while our future promises are reduced to a whispering fantasy.
We compete over replenishable resources while our souls wither away. Rather than bearing the emotional, physical, and spiritual infirmities of the weak, we find inventive ways to exploit those weaknesses.
Our hands are stained with the figurative blood of those we trampled over to fill our coffers with plenty. We live lavishly and flaunt the fruits of our labor even as our character lies destitute and barren. The spirit of haughtiness and high-mindedness has supplanted the virtues of humility and relationship.
We celebrate an idealistic view of rugged individualism over a commonsense approach of community. We tout the autonomous actions of individuals as the ideal way of life of democracies when we are really co-opting enlightened narcissism as the standard.
We have taken a punitive stance against those whose values and lifestyles differ from ours and have pompously declared ourselves to be the measure of all things. We censure every practice and condemn every behavior we determine to be unfavorable to our strongly held ideologies.
Flawed models of leadership and followership have become the pattern from which we frame our interpersonal relationships. Smear tactics of condemnation and accusation have become our modus operandi. The dictatorial spirit of selfishness, apathy, and indifference for human potential, human values, and human life has marred every aspect of social decorum, social interaction, and social structure.     
So what do we need, and what are the solutions to our problems? On the one hand, libertarians argue that what is needed is social re-evolution...”

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