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TUESDAY TIP #2–GO INTERNATIONAL BABY

Have you listed your titles in all the available Amazon markets in France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy? This seems like a complicated process if you don’t read the language, but Amazon sets up every site identically so if you’re familiar with Amazon.com you should be able to navigate this. To list your titles on the foreign sites all you have to find is the login information, which is in the upper right hand corner, before the shopping cart symbol. When the drop down login appears, put in your Amazon.com email & password, the same login you use to login to your Amazon.com account. THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO. Shortly (mine showed up by the next day) all of your titles that are on Amazon.com will be displayed on the foreign site. The links for the international sites are listed below. Now some of the international sites won’t sell your eBook but anyone who clicks through to the purchase page is directed to Amazon.com where they can make their purchase, and you’ve opened up your books potential readership to people across the globe.

UK : http://www.amazon.co.uk/

GERMANY: http://www.amazon.de/

ITALY: http://www.amazon.it/

Happy Marketing,

Elizabeth Marx

Wednesday Walking Tour: NAVY PIER TOP TEN LIST

When I was a kid growing up in Chicago Navy Pier was a dilapidated Navy Base on Lake Michigan. When it was built in 1916 it was the largest pier in the world, this is probably when our Chicago desire to have the biggest, tallest edifices started. Today, Navy Pier is a year round child and adult play ground, drawing 900 million visitors to the number one attraction in Chicago.  Here’s my top ten list of what to do on Navy Pier.

10. Smith Museum of Stained-Glass Windows. 150 pieces of fine stained-glass line the interior corridors of the pier, including 13 pieces from Louis Comfort Tiffany. It it the first stained-glass museum in the US.

9.  Wave Swinger. Colorful old-fashioned thrill ride that raises passenger 14ft in the air and spins them until the skyline is a blur.

8. Musical Carousel. 36 hand-painted horses and chariots fill this merry-go-round with laughter and excitement for all ages.

7. Chicago’s Shakespeare Theatre. This highly renowned theatre has a series of Shakespeare’s plays every season. I saw King Lear here and it physically rained on stage when King Lear’s madness took hime to the forest, it was one of the most captivating performances I’ve ever seen. The 510 courtyard style theatre in the round would make the bard proud with its annual summer kid’s adaptations.

6. Boat Cruise: Boats from tall schooners to high powered motored boats line the docks along the pier. You can enjoy dinner, dancing and cocktails on the Odyssey or in the summer you can sail out onto the lake in a four-masted schooner and come away with another perspective of the city.

5. Children’s Museum. Kid’s love this hands on museum that educates through interactive play.

4. Dinner at Riva’s.  Riva’s is a steak and seafood restaurant on Navy Pier that offers breathtaking views of the skyline and lakefront and was recently named one of the top scenic views restaurants in the U.S by OpenTable Diners. Bon Appetite, but save your pennies, it’s pricey.

3. Fireworks at Navy Pier. Every Wednesday evening at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m. there is a spectacular fireworks display that is synchronized with music at the pier overlooking Lake Michigan.

2. Riding the Ferris Wheel: The ten story Ferris wheel offers a fine view of both the city skyline and the lake. The 7 minute ride in the gondola cars is the Piers most visible attraction. The 40 gondola’s hold six passengers each and the Ferris Wheel is a replica of the original Ferris Wheel designed for the 1893 Chicago’s World Colombia’s Exposition.

1.Riding the Ferris Wheel during the fireworks display. In order to make this happen, you would have to time you’re getting in a gondola precisely and there is usually a long line for the Ferris Wheel. So get in line early.  Also, the 7 minute ride time is if you rode a complete circuit without stopping, keep in mind that the conductor stops and starts to let riders off which makes the ride considerably longer, especially on a busy evening. The photo above is the view from the Ferris Wheel looking back at the skyline.
I’ve been off for a few weeks traveling. But thanks for visiting my Wednesday Walking Tour. I hope you’ll come visit me in Chicago soon. Let me know when you’re coming and I’ll roll out the red carpet.
Elizabeth Marx

LOVE AN AUTHOR??? WRITE THEM A REVIEW…

Besides sending us a personal note about how our book touched you, the nicest thing you can do for an author is write us a review. Many people have no idea how to do this, myself included. I’ve been a booklover my entire life, but I was never a reviewer. So this is my simple approach to writing a book review.  You need to supply some basic information: title, author, genre and short plot synopsis. Next, we want to know your personal reactions and connections to the story. Basically, this is how you feel about the story. Did it keep you up until all hours of the night? Make you laugh out loud? Prevent you from going to work because you had to know what happened or couldn’t stop crying? Then close out your review with your recommendations and the value and quality of the writing. What you liked about the style and prose of the novel. Simple right? So take a few minutes to write a review for your favorite author.   

FREE!!! The Seer’s 7 Deadly Fairy Tales

Okay, let’s start out by saying this book is a compendium, not a novel. I had no idea what a compendium was until my good friend Merriam Webster informed me. Compendium: 1) a brief summary of a larger work or of a field of knowledge; 2) A collection or compilation.

This is all the ExtraOrdinary knowledge I’ve collected and written down in the little black book Ilithyia gave me as a death-day present. The same night she gave me the spiel about the important purpose I’d serve as The Seer. I have more questions about the Order than I have answers for, but I’ve decided to serve my higher purpose by constructing this encyclopedia for the Ordinary world.

The Seer’s 7 Deadly Fairy Tales also includes a truthful account of what happened to me, and a peek into what transpired while Locke and I were sent away to Blessingston. It’s full of definitions, cool illustrations, and the first of seven fairy tales that will be told over the course of the series. If you’re dying to know what goes on behind the veil of secrecy Salem is shrouded in, feel free to read this compendium.

But beware, the Order has one rule about recording ExtraOrdinary events–it’s strictly forbidden. So just to be on the safe side, you might want to destroy this after reading it.

But don’t worry about me getting in trouble, I’m already dead!

The Seer

Visit me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheSeers7DeadlyFairyTales

Declaration of Independent Authors

When in the course of self-publishing it becomes necessary for an indie author to dissolve the old ideological bands which have contrived to separate books from our audience, and to assume among the powers of publishing, the separate and equal station to which our independent books are worthy of reading.  A respect for the opinions of booklovers everywhere requires that we should declare our books valuable, even as the big five try to create a distinction.

           We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all books are created equal, and that they are endowed by their authors with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are voice, creative storytelling and the pursuit of readers. In order to secure these rights, new devices were invented and new platforms were created to allow the devotee of the written word to deem what is worthy to climb the New York Times Best Sellers List. That when any form of gatekeeper, be it agent, editor, copyeditor, publishing committee or retailer impedes the right of the reader to decide what is high-quality and praiseworthy of consumption, it is the right of those passionate about books to alter or abolish it, and to institute new ways of determining the next blockbuster. Prudence dictates that publishing long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, but when an extensive train of rejections by editors and agents, who invariably pursue the same “safe” content, reduces authors to doubt their talents and stories, it is their right and their duty to disregard the constraints of these gatekeepers and to seek new, respected opinion leaders to vet the future security of the most beloved book. Such has been the patient endeavor of independent authors, to throw off the old firewall and blaze a new trail.  The history of traditional publishing is the establishment of absolute tyranny over what is read in this country!
        Indie authors reject the assumption that anyone who can pen a shopping list can write a novel.

Indie authors reject the idea that because we are unknown we are untalented.
Indie authors reject the traditional detachment between reader and author.
Indie authors believe in the power of word of mouth recommendation.

        Indie authors believe in climactic plots, strong heroes and heroines, and cringe worthy villains.

Indie authors believe in protecting our intellectual property.
Indie authors do not work for free, nor will we suffer piracy, which is a romantic word for stealing.
Indie authors believe we can manage our books’ marketing, public relations, pricing and distribution as well as any publisher.
Indie authors believe that if we share, collaborate and exchange information we can grow our platforms and brands.
Indie authors believe writing is a labor of love and books are created through talent, tenacity and team work.   
We, therefore, the representatives of indie authors everywhere, assembled and appealing to the supreme judge, the reader, solemnly publish and declare, that we are free and independent writers, who will do our best to provide well written, expertly edited and perfectly packaged books worthy of your praise and accolades. That you will read, review and hold our work to a standard set by you, the esteemed booklover.
Elizabeth Marx, Illinois
Please add any ideas you think I missed in the comments & I’m looking for an indie author from every state and country to sign the declaration!!! Happy 4th of July and please accept this declaration in the spirit of independence that inspired it.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY–Happy reading…

Giving away two signed copies of BINDING ARBITRATION follow the link below to enter and good luck!

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/28193-binding-arbitration

The prequel novella CUTTERS VS JOCKS is still a FREE download for NOOK & KINDLE!!!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0064PJUWY

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cutters-vs-jocks-a-prequel-novella-to-binding-arbitration-chick-lit-elizabeth-marx/1107713701?ean=2940032855774&itm=1&usri=elizabeth+marx

Wednesday Walking Tour: LIONS, TIGERS & BREAK OUTS, OH MY!!!!

Admission is FREE, escape eminent….

Lincoln Park zoo is a wildlife Mecca situated among sprawling urban landscape on the North side of Chicago. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country and is home to a wide variety of animals. Chicago’s Lincoln Park zoo was opened in 1868 after New York City gifted us with a pair of swans from Central Park and remains one of only a handful of free zoos still in operation.  So getting in is easy, escaping, well that’s a whole other story.

In 1874 a bear was the first animal purchased for the zoo for ten dollars, by 1879 he was adept at escaping his enclosure and would be found wandering Lincoln Park by street lamp. In 1899 several seals escaped and were located waddling in a restaurant on Clark Street, they were all rescued except for one who avoided capture by slipping into Lake Michigan. In 1931 the first lowland gorilla arrived at the zoo from Africa, his name was Bushman and he drew huge crowds and attempted escape many times.  In 1983, Otto, a 450-pound gorilla scaled a 10-foot glass barrier and was strolling around the zoo when a zookeeper shot him with a tranquilizer gun. Then in 1986, three gorillas got through a door someone left open, and one of them bit the keeper’s hand!

Lincoln Park Zoo is an urban zoo set on 49 acres in the heart of Lincoln Park. Some of my favorite attractions are the Nature Boardwalk, Farm in the Zoo, which is a replica of a Midwestern operating farm and the Great Ape House. Admission is FREE and the zoo is open year round, hosting educational activities on a daily basis. The zoo’s exhibits include big cats, polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles, monkeys, and other species totaling nearly 1,250 animals. It is especially beautiful during the Zoo Lights holiday festivities.

So if you visit Lincoln Park Zoo don’t be surprised if you hear the cry of a big cat bouncing off a neighboring skyscraper. Getting in will be easy, but there are lions, tigers and break-outs, oh my.

Lincoln Park Zoo is located off Lake Shore Drive at the Fullerton Parkway exit, just minutes north of downtown Chicago. From I-94, exit at either Fullerton Parkway or North Avenue and go east.

WEDNESDAY WALKING TOUR: Love is messy…

LOVE IS MESSY…

As a romance writer you know love is messy, as a matter of fact, the messier you make it the better the story is, so for today’s walking tour in Chicago I’m going to take you somewhere messy, but easy to clean up.

“Do you smell that? It smells delicious?” That’s what I heard two women on the street say to each other. And it’s true you will catch the scent of popcorn in the air before you ever enter a Garrett’s popcorn location.

Garrett’s popcorn opened in 1949 at 10 West Madison in downtown Chicago and there has been a line outside their doors ever since. Garrett’s is Chicago’s premiere popcorn emporium. The blend of CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn, known as the Chicago blend, has been a staple Chi Town favorite snack, combining of the sweet/salty experience since childhood. They hot-air pop the blend of kernels and mix the fluffy puffs with the secret family toppings recipe in handmade copper kettles daily. They don’t use fat or oil to make the popcorn so the taste is impeccable, but be forewarned the CheeseCorn is finger licking good. This is where the “love is messy” printed on their napkins comes into play. The popcorn is packaged in wax bags or brightly colored tins. Garrett’s is right around the corner from the old Marshall Field’s store and during the holidays you will see children and adults alike, munching on these fabulous morsels while checking out the famous Christmas window display.

If you come to Chicago this is a must have experience. Garrett mail-orders all its products and you can shop online here: http://www.garrettpopcorn.com/But it’s special fun to stop in the store, while you wait in line on the sidewalk to place your order, you watch the corn being popped, the butter being poured, and the CaramelCrisp stirred so it sticks together just enough not clump. Not only is Garrett’s a Chicago tradition it’s one of Oprah’s favorite things.

Come visit this Chicago landmark and see if you can walk away from the inviting popcorn aroma. I can’t, I followed the ladies in and had a ‘love is messy’ bag or two. 

COMING SOON…Binding Arbitration

BINDING ARBITRATION is Coming out in trade paperback….
Through the corridors of the Windy City’s criminal courts, single mother Libby Tucker knows exactly how far she’ll go to save her cancer-stricken son’s life. The undefeated defense attorney is prepared to take her fight all the way to the majors.

Circumstances force Libby to plead her case at the cleats of celebrity baseball player Banford Aidan Palowski, the man who discarded her at their college graduation. Libby has worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Aidan has been indulged since he slid through the birth canal and landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. But helping Libby and living up to his biological duty could jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his baseball career.

If baseball imitates life, Aidan admits his appears to be silver-plated peanuts, until an unexpected confrontation with the most spectacular prize that’s ever poured from a caramel corn box blindsides him. When he learns about his son’s desperate need, it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned Libby and the child.

All Libby wants is a little anonymous DNA, but Aidan has a magical umpire in his head who knows Libby’s a fateball right to the heart. When a six-year-old sage and a hippy priestess step onto the field, there’s more to settle between Libby and Aidan than heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.

If you can’t wait for Amazon to release it you can order a copy here:  https://www.createspace.com/3876342
If you want immediate gratification the ebook version is here:

NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/binding-arbitration-a-chick-lit-contemporary-romance-novel-elizabeth-marx/1107084583?ean=2940013658196&itm=2&usri=elizabeth+marx

WEDNESDAY WALKING TOUR: JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE BEACH!!!

 
Thinking of Chicago brings to mind images of skyscrapers, bustling traffic and windy blustery cold. People don’t tend to think of building sandcastles and beach volleyball. But spending a day at North Avenue Beach, the beach I went to growing up in Chicago, will give you a real taste of summertime in Chicago.
The first City of Chicago Public Beach opened in Lincoln Park in 1895. Today, the entire 28 miles Chicago lakefront shoreline is man-made, and primarily used as parkland. There are thirty-three beaches in Chicago along the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan. Typically, Chicago beaches take the name of the east-west street that runs perpendicular to the lake at each beach’s location.
The North Avenue Beach is located at 1600 North Avenue and is considered to be Chicago’s premier beach. It has the largest lifeguard staff and is home to the most developed beach house. The beach house resembles an ocean liner and contains bike and sports equipment rental, Castaways, a bar and restaurant, concession stand, a lifeguard station, and restrooms.
North Avenue Beach runs to Diversey Harbor in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, and is characterized by its piers which hold the sand in place and create a scalloped shoreline, terminating in a Cape Cod-like hook. The beach hosts international volleyball tournaments as well as millions of sun worshippers every year. Chicago Park District lines the beach with poles for individuals and leagues to hang volleyball nets. These nets and this portion of the lakefront bike/running/rollerblading path attract large numbers of people on weekends and weeknights. North Avenue is also center stage for the Chicago Air & Water Show, which draws over a million people a day.
So if you come to Chicago in summertime don’t forget to plan a day at the beach and bring some good reading material…