Sunday, August 31, 2014

Presentation: "How to Build Your Author Platform One Step at a Time"

September 9, 2014 - 6:30 pm - Tampa, Fl. 
How did I go from an unknown, self-published, first time book author to becoming a well known, respected published author in less than two years, selling hundreds of books and speaking around the country?

First, I needed a plan. 
Secondly, I needed to set new goals for myself and third, I needed to develop my Author Platform.

I figured I had pretty good idea of how the book publishing industry worked. In my past life, I worked in the NY music industry with such artists as John Denver, Lee Holdridge, and the Starland Vocal Band, to name a few. Simple, I thought. While working at Cherry Lane, our artists would write and submit their songs to me for copyright.  I handle the licensing and administration on a world-wide basis.  (We did not have CD's back then or computers).  I learned the workings of the royalty department and WOW, was I impressed with those huge checks!

My assumption was the same when I finished writing the original manuscript on my mother's biography based upon her personal journal that she wrote when she was in Country Service Camp (Landjahr Lager).  She grew up in Austria before WW2. In 1938, it was mandatory that she join the girls division of the Hitler Youth called the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM).

Years had passed since I left Cherry Lane and until "Through Innocent Eyes" was published on Nov. 20, 2012, exactly twenty-three years on the anniversary of my mother's passing.  Boy, have things changed in the publishing world!

I knew that once I received a contract with a publisher they would handle all the work for me. In turn, I would become an overnight success, just like John Denver!  Simple, I thought.  I sent the manuscript to the publisher. In turn, they copyrighted and published the book.  All I had to do now was to wait for those huge royalty checks to start rolling in. I waited and waited, and then, the BIG DAY finally arrived!   

I treasured this moment, holding the precious white envelope in my hand.  I thought about my mother.  I thought about the past 23 years and what it took for me to research, write and invest the thousands of dollars to print my book. I wondered how much money was inside the envelope. I wonder how many books I sold.  Am I going to have enough money to pay off my house, buy a new car, and maybe, even move into one of those fancy gated, deed-restricted communities where every house has a pool?  (I live in Florida and a pool is mandatory. Something I do not have).

As I slowly opened the envelope I was dreaming of all the things I can do with my first royalty check.  I imaged myself on stage receiving an Academy award for "Best Film of the Year,” and being recognized as a “New York Times Bestselling Author.”  My imaginary acceptance speech included thanking God and my mother first and foremost, then, my family, friends, publisher, director, producer, and the cast and crew.  This is what I long waited for and at last, the moment has arrived!

I removed the check from the envelope and looked at the amount.  I blinked my eyes once, then twice.  I removed my glasses, rubbed my eyes, and looked again.  Can this possibly be right? I thought to myself.  Really?  Is this all that it is? I said to myself out loud.  What happened to the million dollar first royalty check I was suppose to receive just like John did on his first royalty check with “Take Me Home Country Roads?”

I instantly knew  that at I had to make a plan, go outside of my comfort zone, and figure out how first time authors became well know New York Times Bestselling authors with a movie to their name.

Now, I am selling hundreds of copies of my book and being invited to speak.  I am proud to say that I have moved from the self-publishing, pay the publisher world, and into the professional book publishing industry, receiving royalties from the publisher, world.

I look forward to meeting you at the Aspiring Writers Publishing and Marketing Meet Up group on Sept. 9, 2014, 6:30 pm, and discussing your goals, plan, and author platform with you! 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Almabtrieb - Cow Parade Celebrated during September - October

The Almabtrieb (German language literally: drive from the mountain pasture) is an annual event in the alpine regions in Europe, referring to the cows returning to their valley homes for the winter months.

During summer, all over the alpine regions cow herds feed on alpine pastures (Almen or Alpen) high up in the mountains (a practice known as transhumance). In numbers, these amount to about 500,000 cows in Austria, 380,000 in Switzerland and 50,000 in Germany.

While there is often some movement of cattle between the Almen during the summer, there is usually one concerted cow train in autumn to bring the cows to their stables down in the valley. This typically takes place in late September or early October. If there were no accidents on the Alm during the summer, in many areas the cows are decorated elaborately, and the cow train is celebrated with music and dance events in the towns and villages. Upon arrival in the valley, joint herds from multiple farmers are sorted in the Viehscheid, and each cow is returned to its owner.

In many places this Alpine custom of Almabtrieb has nowadays evolved into a major tourist attraction, with a public festival and booths set up along the course for selling agricultural as well as artisans' products along with alcoholic beverages.

The reverse cow train up to the Almen in spring is not celebrated.

The Meaning of "Volksgemeinschaft"

Volksgemeinschaft is a German-language expression meaning "people's community." This expression originally became popular during World War I as Germans rallied in support of the war.  It appeals to the idea of uniting people across class divides to achieve a national purpose.

Monday, August 25, 2014

D-Day Conneaut, Ohio - August 2014

Words alone cannot convey the gratitude and appreciation I have for this spectacular event.  The organizers of D-Day Conneaut, Ohio have far surpassed everyone's expectations for this phenomenal annual event. 

This year the organizers of D-Day Conneaut hosted 113 WWII veterans.  Over 1250 re-enactors participated with more than 30,000 spectators.  Their gigantic 100+ local volunteers and 200+ service group members were absolutely critical for this annual event to become such a huge success.   

Their professional media crew photographed over 10,000 photos which will be displayed on the gallery very soon.  I am looking forward to seeing the DVD when it becomes available.

My calendar is marked for August 21 - 22, 2015.  I plan on being there a few days before hand to set up.  I am currently working with my publicist to arrange for a few speaking engagements.

I want to especially thank the veterans, organizers, re-enactors, volunteers, and attendees for making D-Day Conneaut, Ohio, the Best National WWII Living History event in the entire United States. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

D-Day Conneaut, Ohio - August 22-23,2014 - WWII Re-enactment and Book Signing Event

**** D-Day Conneaut, Ohio - August 22-23,2014 - WWII Re-enactment and Book Signing Event **** 

Join over 1550 WWII re-enactors and over 35,000 spectators at this spectacular D-Day Event in Conneaut, Ohio! 

Meet author Cynthia A. Sandor at the German PX in the Occupied France Zone. She will be autographing her book "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth," at the annual D-Day Conneaut, Ohio event. Along with over 1550 re-enactors, Ms. Sandor will be accompanied with a select group of Hitler Youth - BDM girl re-enactors.

 D-Day Conneaut - Author Book Signing information 

Hitler Youth Rally - 1935 - Triump of the Will

Monday, August 4, 2014

Deanna Spingola interview with Cynthia Sandor - Part I

Deanna Spingola interview with Cynthia Sandor - Part I

Never before seen photos of the girls in Landjahr Lager - Seidorf.  Ms. Sandor discusses her book "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth" with Deanna Spingola.