Meet Thalia & McCain

Together, they will change the world …

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Will Write for Food – A Day in the Life of One Teacher: How to Survive a Summer By Harnessing Your Talents

I have admitted it before: I am a teacher. Judge me as you may …

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Over twenty years ago, a part of me decided that I would trade personal wealth for a career as a teacher, and for that, I make no apologies. I knew then what my choice of career entailed. I also knew from my many college friends, all with Engineering or Accounting degrees, going off to land double digit salaries straight out of college, that I was never going to be about that life.

Every teacher knows we don’t enter the profession for the paycheck. No doubt, much like Taylor Mali, comedian and teacher, in this video, I have been the butt of many jokes among my more financially solvent friends. It is OK. Like all teachers, I know what I make …

I make a difference. No shrugging that off.

But, yet and still, I find it infuriating when people in the media say teachers make too much money. I notice it is usually reformy types who hope to find a way to profit off our craft. I find it almost hilarious when I hear them say our pensions are draining our national economy. Last I checked, my pension, after nearly three decades of teaching, is just about enough for me to buy a nice trailer somewhere in Florida. Now, mind you, this thrifty teacher sees nothing wrong with retiring in an inexpensive home, and Florida is beautiful, but I better not last long, as I certainly won’t be able to afford health insurance.

Hence, at almost fifty, and near the end of a long and rewarding career as a public school teacher, I realize I need to hone my skills into a second career. What that career will be? I am not sure. I just know I better spend some time, while I have it, to branch out. Last summer, I tried my hand at Ebay. The summer before, I ran a fairly successful you tube channel about couponing. I have even kicked around travel agent work. Of course, there is always waitressing, but, as I mentioned before, my aging bones may not agree.

This summer, however, I am trying my hand at publishing books. So far, I am off to a great start. Yesterday, I launched my free promotion in honor of one of the teacher activism pages I helped to start: Wear Red for Ed. I also shared the promotion with another group I am proud to help admin: The Badass Teachers Association. I was thrilled to see friends and fellow teachers share my book with their many parent friends, especially in the various Opt Out groups.

For those interested in a side career in publishing, especially on Amazon, the results of my first promotion are amazing. Granted, I was lucky and Dr. Diane Ravitch, leading historian on education, promoted my book in her education blog. That helped quite a bit ! Thousands visited my landing page. All in all, in one day, I managed to convince over 1200 people to download my book free. Sure, I did not make a penny but had I charged for the book, at the going rate of $2.99 a download, after Amazon charges, I would have net $2 a download … or a total of $2468.00 in just one day.

Wowzers. To a teacher, that’s good money…

Of course, had the book not been free, I am sure it would be difficult to convince over a thousand people to download my book. After all, this is my first book and they don’t know me from jack. This fact I can prove because I did indeed attempt to sell my book the week before. I sold so few books that week, embarrassingly, that my book rankings rolled off the Amazon chart, indicating 250,000 people had more popular books then mine. That is never good.

So, the free promotion was a way to introduce people to my writing. And, truth be told, this first book, Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs, is so special to me, personally, I wanted to share it with the people who stand beside me every day fighting for our public schools. Thus, the promotion was my gift to them … to you … to the world. I am thrilled at the feedback I received. Thank you so much to everyone who downloaded my book. A special thanks to those who left me feedback on my Amazon page. I want to encourage all who enjoyed the book to leave a rating and comment on Amazon. Thanks !

I could go on forever about the amazing day I had yesterday. It was a full day of work, posting, promoting, sharing, commenting, and cheering. I managed to make it to the number 1 spot for my book category: Teen & Youth Fiction. I also made it to number 3 for Young Adult Literature (a true thrill for this Literature teacher). Amazon updates their rankings periodically throughout the day, so it was quite exciting watching my book make it’s way to number 1 in its category. At one point, my overall Amazon ranking fell to under 1,000. I was thrilled and hollering, ‘No commas, baby’ all over my house!

What a day! For those interested in trying their hand at this endeavor, I do recommend you give it a go ! Check out these screenshots of yesterday. And remember, everyone has a story to be told. Teachers, students, and parents … it is time to tell our stories !

Here are the pictures from yesterday’s promotion. I started with no ranking (ie – I was ranked greater than 250,000. The lower the number better. No ranking is no good.)

After half a day of a free promotion, Amazon updated their rankings and I landed in the number 3 spot for one category and just over 2,000 overall. (One comma had me cheering!)

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After another few hours, I reached # 1 in my category!

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By the evening, and after Dr. Ravitch’s post, I finally dropped the comma and my rankings improved to 684 over all !! I nearly fainted !

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The better your ranking, the more people who see your book. The idea is to get your overall ranking as low as possible before the free book deal ends. That way, when you end the free deal, and Amazon reclassifies your book on the paid list, you still have a chance of ranking in a good spot. It worked! Here are today’s ranking ! Still in the top 25 of some categories and still looking good overall !

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All in all, I am happy and ready to take on another day of indie book publishing. How about you? Are you ready to tell your stories? Let me know what you think in the comments below !

Happy Summer ! ~Margo Lynne

To purchase Book 1 in the Seeking Ms. Sandy Series: Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs – go HERE:

My Summer Job : Meh – When A Teacher Gets Published. No Time for Shrugs … Amazon Kindle Self Publishing for Beginners

OK. I have a confession. I am a public school teacher. Along with that comes the stigma: overworked, underpaid, with summers off.

Of course, most teachers will admit, we rarely truly get summers off. Those who can’t independently afford vacations, choose to teach during the summer or go to training. Some teachers rely on summer jobs at camps or some, such as your truly, even work as a waitress. I did restaurant work for the first fifteen summers of my teaching career. I absolutely loved the different environment. After a year with middle school students, alone, in a classroom, waitressing often gives a fresh perspective on life. It is nice to see the families of my students out enjoying a meal on a warm summer evening. I always felt it grew my bond with the community wherein I taught.

Nowadays, though, age has caught up with me and my ‘approaching fifty’ body isn’t cut out to hold large trays of food. Also, motherhood limits the amount of time I have available to commit to a job outside of my home. So, this summer, I have decided to commit my days to publishing and marketing my first book: Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs.

I am off to a good start. While I actually wrote my book over the spring, I was far too busy teaching to even consider learning my way around the Amazon Self Publishing: CreateSpace platform for authors. So, I waited until my summer vacation started. Now, I am very proud to announce that, in just my first week of publishing this summer, I not only got my book and cover completed and uploaded on my own, but I also landed on the Amazon Charts in the Top 100 for my two categories !

Woo Hoo !! What a rush for a first time author!

Of course, once the excitement settled and I continued to refresh my screen over the next few days, I realized from my dropping-fast ratings that publishing a book and crossing my fingers is not enough: I must also learn how to market my book. I realize now that simply sharing my link with my Facebook family and Twitter followers is not enough. I need a plan.

So, like a true teacher in search of ideas, I’ve taken to the internet. I’m delighted to find a plethora of blogs and websites offering advice, tips, and instructions. I am the kind of person who learns best by video, so I am equally thrilled to find a few bloggers who offer full tutorials. I will list the links below for anyone else interested in this kind of endeavor. I will admit, at first it seems overwhelming, but after just one week of seeking and learning, I feel confident that I will become accomplished at managing email and marketing my books.

Today, I am determined to learn how to manage my email list and how to create pop ups for free ebooks on my website. Soon, I will offer a free copy of my Intro to the Testing Games book for anyone who joins my Book Club mailing list. I am also hoping to set up a Free Read Red Day Tuesdays. With this promotion, anyone who downloads Meh: When a Teacher Shrugs on Tuesday will get a free copy in honor of Wear Red for Ed Tuesdays !

But, first … I must teach myself how to get it done. I am learning plenty about independent (indie) publishing. The first rule: Learn how to market. Pop Ups – Here I Come !!

Thank you for joining me on this journey !!

Here is a peak at my summer office:
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YES! — Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs now available in paperback ! Plus, a sneak peak into book !

Many thanks to everyone for a wonderful first day at independent book publishing ! I am excited to announce that my first novella, Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs, is off to a great start! Thanks to all for purchasing and leaving such wonderful comments and ratings on my Amazon Kindle page ! Please don’t forget to join my Book Club —>

If you haven’t had a chance to purchase my first book, Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs,  here is a sneak peak:

Stella French was in her 29th year of teaching the morning she walked into Ms. Sandy’s classroom to collect the ELA state test materials. She would not make it to 30.

She spent the last fifteen of those years as the school guidance counselor. She switched to guidance with dreams of starting amazing programs to improve the lives of her students. She hoped to lead them to college scholarships or suitable vocational programs. She hoped to help them through the daily horrors of their lives. Knowing the stress and anxiety they faced, she hoped to be a light in their personal tunnels of adolescence.

Instead, her job was consumed by state testing mandates. As guidance counselor, she was also appointed to the role of ‘school testing administrator’. Now, in the eyes of her students she represented the enemy. Ms. Stella French was well aware of that fact. It ate away at her soul.

Available on Amazon – For download on any device.  $2.99 Download Here !


Oh – wait ! Do you prefer a good ol’ fashion paper back book for your reading pleasure? I know the feeling ! Well, good news! I am excited to announce: Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs paperback book is now available for purchase online. $6.99 Order Here ! 

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Get Your Copy Today : A Must Read ! Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs – Seeking Ms. Sandy Series, Volume 1 by Margo Lynne

Purchase your copy today ! Download for $2.99 on Amazon.

Thalia knew she was going to fail. She always failed these state tests. She dreaded sitting down in front of them for years now. She hated how her teachers talked about them all the time. She especially hated the look of disappointment on her mom’s face when her test scores came in.

More than anything, she hated knowing that people thought she was dumb. Thalia knew she wasn’t dumb. But, she always got herself so worked up about taking the test, her whole life consumed with studying and stressing about it that, by the time test day came rolling around, she was so stressed out, she just didn’t care any more.

‘Meh. Screw the test.’ That’s what she told herself. She even tweeted it that very morning.

Thalia always wished the tests would just disappear. She never imagined her teacher would.

~ A tale of young adults who, struggling to come to terms with the loss of their favorite teacher, must now put their own integrity to the true test.

Purchase your copy today ! Download for $2.99 on Amazon.

Or, Do you prefer a good ol’ fashioned book ?

Order a Print Copy for $6.99 of Meh. When A Teacher Shrugs 

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