A Book for ADULT Brothers & Sisters

As my mom used to say (along with just about every other parents), “Live and learn.”

After nine months out into the world, I have lived and learned that the subtitle of my ebook, The Sibling Connection: Siblings Shape Our Lives, should have been something like:  A Book For Adults About Brothers & Sisters.


Why?  Because when Amazon, Google or any other online site (not to mention lists of “Best Sibling Books”) focus on sibling books, the majority are books for parents to read to a child when a baby sibling is on the way or books for younger siblings to read as they try to figure out the whole sibling thing.  Books for grownups are hard to find.

This means that when a potential reader googles books about siblings, mine is often nowhere to be found.


Now the founder of Bublish who is distributing my book and I worked long and hard to identify the “key” words (or SEO) that would help put my book somewhere on the first three pages of, say, a search engine like Google.  Studies show that that’s about as far as most people search before they click on a link in the hopes of finding whatever it is they’re looking for.

We figured that the word siblings and books about siblings would do the trick.  Wrong!

The key word we missed was adult.

So, what now?  To change the title would mean changing the book cover, the registration with the Library of Congress, all of the online book sites, my web site, my portfolios on every site from Twitter to Facebook to Linkedin.  And I’m sure this list is incomplete.

So, I’m stuck.  Suggestions?

I did bite the bullet and paid for a second press release through FreePublicityGroup.com. (A misnomer.)  Last time around, the press release garnered something like 28 hits (maybe more) but, as far as the stats show, didn’t impact book sales or many links to this blog.  I guess I decided to give it one more shot, this time titling the piece, “5 Myths About Adult Brothers and Sisters Debunked.”  (Note the addition of the word Adult.  We’ll see what effect, if any, this new release has.)

The days of just writing a book and sending it on its way are long gone.  Authors are now required to promote, to dig down to find the search categories that are not too crowded, to blog and capture as many email addresses as possible, to tweet, to post (even though social media accounts for less than 1% of book sales because most folks on these sites aren’t readers). What does count is the “organic” search when readers looking for a book on a particular subject can find yours.

Think of it this way:  An author wants a reader to first look in the right drawer. (Remember the card catalogues at your local library?)  Once she’s in the right drawer, the goal is to move “your” card to the front.  If it’s way back there, ain’t nobody going to find it.


Damn.  I wish I’d included the word adult in my title.

You live and learn.




Bullying and Teen Suicide

Bullying and Teen Suicide

Social media allows so many of us to share information, communicate with “lost” friends and family members, to accelerate research on every subject under the sun.

But it also has its downsides, one of which is bullying.  According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.

Using instant messaging, cell phone text messages and online social networks, a group of students (often girls) lambaste a fellow student with nasty, often embarrassing posts that can damage the victim’s reputation and cause deep emotional stress.  The victim cannot “find a safe place in the virtual world.”

It’s not unusual for a post to include, say, a picture from the Internet of a female’s private parts and put the victim’s name on the photo.  That is exactly what happened to a 14-year-old girl in Warrenton, Missouri.  Her parents complained to the school administration but, after repeated demeaning posts, the teen took her own life.

One might think that this is an extreme case, but, all too often, an adolescent coping with a myriad of changes, cannot absorb the hurt caused by cyber bullying.  It is not unusual either for a group of girls to bully out of jealousy of a fellow student who is popular and academically successful.

Almost every day, we read about a teen who kills herself because of bullying.  Bullied victims are 7 to 9 per cent more likely to consider suicide according to a study by Yale University.  Studies in Britain have found half of the of suicides among youth related to bullying.

In my ebook, Dead Serious, I regretfully did not include a chapter on the connection between bullying and suicide.  When I wrote the first edition of the book (Dead Serious: A Book for Teenagers About Teenage Suicide) in 1991, there was no social media to speak of.  Facebook, for example, didn’t launch until 2004.  However, the second edition of the book should have taken bullying into account.  I hope to make up some of the ground here.





Nope.  This isn’t a racy story about me and my sexual escapades.

Instead, it’s about the fascination we have about sex and, as a result, why sex sells.

I have a perfect example:  Yesterday, I posted a blog titled “Grandmother Lover” here and on Medium.  I didn’t dare go off script and disrupt my focus on siblings and publicize my ramblings on the more visible sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Never know where Big Brother is lurking or when publishers, distributors, literary agents decide to read my stuff.

Still, I just HAD to blog somewhere.  The night before, I’d happened upon “Grandmother Lover,” a documentary about younger men (I’m talking in their 30s) and older women . . . grandmothers, great grandmothers in their 80s, even 90s.


Okay, I’m not a prude.  And I like to consider myself an accepting woman who honors all kinds of wacko stuff.  And, as I wrote yesterday, I went along with this phenomenon because, at first, it gave me hope—hope that, if in the highly unlikely circumstance I were ever in the market for a new man, the wrinkles, crepe skin, sagging everything wouldn’t matter.  I could find a man, a young man, who would think I’m the best thing since the great grandmother he’d wooed before me.


I titled my post “Grandmother Lovers.”  Guess what?  I had more views on this blog than I’d had in weeks, maybe months.  And I can’t lie: it felt great to have had so many people interested in what I had to say.

But then?  Not so much.  As a sassy senior, would I now have to sprinkle my posts with some kind of sex material or references?  Is that the best way to entice viewers to my blog and to my web site?

Doesn’t anyone out there care about my thoughts on family relationships?  Writing?  Boomers+?

Why is there a need for bloggers, advertisers, and anyone else, for that matter, to use sex in order to have their voice heard or their brand seen?

Even though there have been studies which conclude that sex doesn’t sell, the common belief is that it does.


Think the barrage of ads for erectile dysfunction and all those loving couples who apparently can’t wait to jump in the sack.  Or think the sexy woman wearing a sports jersey who, in a soft, come-hither voice, suggests that, yes, men like sports but after the game, they want to get it on.

I could just puke.

I’m not an author of romance and will never be.  It just isn’t me.  Besides, we have the thirty-two   books that Jackie Collins left behind for all the sex anyone could want.

I think I’m left with continuing to write/post/tweet about lifestyle, family relationships, and boomers+.  The number of folks who follow me will most surely take a swan dive off a cliff.  I’ll try to steel myself  for the defections but, if it’s anything like dropping from #1 on Amazon to #40, then I’m in for a big sulk and thoughts of taking up organic farming.