Everybody loves birthdays and anniversaries. It’s a way of celebrating milestones in our lives. This week, Gary and I are celebrating a different type of anniversary. The anniversary of publishing our first book, Our Italian Journey. As authors, we want to take this unique opportunity to engage with our readers directly. To convey our sincere thanks.
So we thought it only fitting to spend a moment reviewing the highlights of this past year. To truly extend and express our heartfelt thank-yous to all the readers who took the journey with us to Italy. To those that emailed and messaged us that you originally purchased the e-book and then decided to purchase the paperback so you could make notes, in pencil of course, while planning your own itinerary and adventure.
To all who’ve taken the time to leave a written review on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, and other places – thank you! Reviews, especially written ones from the heart, boost ratings which are so important for the success of any book.
I’ve learned a great deal this year. I knew it was going to be difficult for me to read negative reviews and not take them personally. I heeded the advice of a wise man who told me to ether answer all reviews – or none of them. It’s one way or the other. Because I’m so sensitive, perhaps you didn’t know that about me, I had to choose – none of them.– Ilene
This choice was difficult because we’ve always wanted to thank the reviewers whose words touched our hearts so tenderly. So this post is for you. To openly thank you for your kind words about our journey.
We use these reviews in our marketing and of course, you can read them online. You know who you are, and we both are very grateful to you for your support.
At any time you would like to share a photo of you with our book or even you and a pet with the book showing the cover, we’d love to include that with our marketing material. We love sharing real photos taken by you with our readers. You can email them to us. If a pet is included – don’t forget to include their name. Note: If you share a photo, you are allowing us to use it for book promotion.
What it Means to an Author
You can’t imagine what your kind words mean to an author – any author. This should be said whether a special anniversary is being celebrated or not. So much time is spent writing, expressing, correcting, more correcting, and then second-guessing ourselves if our words are even any good. Will they be worth reading? Will people appreciate our efforts and time? It is not as easy as some might think.
This is our memoir and personal adventure, which has changed our lives forever. Our Italian Journey is a compelling read for anyone who wants to experience and appreciate daily life in Italy and to understand its charm, appeal, and cultural differences. Join in the laughter as we also divulge the trials and tribulations we encountered along the way.
This past year has been one of amazement for me. First, I never thought of writing a book (especially since I was never an avid reader) and secondly, who would want to read something I wrote. Well, it seems quite a few people not only read the book but enjoyed reading it. What is even more amazing is the number of wonderful people who took the time to let us know what our book meant to them personally and took the time to meet us in Italy during their vacation here. I have never felt so important that someone would take their valuable time to seek us out and meet us face to face. Wow. In closing, I hope to meet more of our book readers or blog followers in the coming year here in Italy. There is nothing better than having an aperitif and making new friends.– Gary
- By far the top highlight this year has been making some wonderful new friends. Some we occasionally Zoom with and others we’ve met in Lucca. Readers and blog subscribers visiting Italy and wanting to get together for a café or a glass of vino.
- The many interviews we’ve had from people discovering our story. You can find these on the main page – under “About Us.”
- The second year in a row award from a company, AI- Acquisition International for Business Excellence Awards, “Best Couple’s Travel Blog” informed us that people discovered and read the book and now are blog fans because of it.
- The number of book sales each month increases and, from different countries finding out about our journey. We now have sales in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, India, the UK, Canada, and even Italy!
- Being a featured “Book of the Week” on a great Facebook group – We Love Memoirs.
But also too, it was making the decision to move to Italy and settle in Lucca. After visiting 87 towns and cities to date, we finally choose the “perfect town” we talk about in the book. It is here we’ve decided to call “home,” for now. It is here we’ve met some wonderful people that have turned into great friends.
Especially during this time of year, we wanted to give thanks – to pass it on, so to speak. This weekend, we are offering our eBook on Smashwords at a 25% discount. A coupon will be posted on our social media for all to use.
We are also having a scavenger hunt for our readers who have purchased the book already. A tad bit of fun and taking YOU on a journey through our book. Four questions are being posted on social media and two lucky winners who answer all four questions correctly will win a $25 American Express gift card. This will be mailed to them. Check our social media for details.
We hope those that participate will enjoy reliving our journey while finding the correct answers – if you didn’t already know them!
With your encouragement, we are indeed involved in book number two. Written in the same style of alternating chapters, it will not be a travel adventure journal as many have called Our Italian Journey. We are not quite ready to reveal exactly what it is about but if you liked our first book – we are pretty sure you will like this one.