As Writers, As Human beings
By Dr. Maxine Thompson

As we approach the New Year, many of us are assessing what the year 2005 brought into our lives.

Personally, Iím seeing another year with certain goals met and certain goals I didnít meet. Iíve had some ups and downs throughout 2005. Iíve had bad news and some unexpected good news, such as receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities, so it wasnít always about the goals I set for myself. Some things were just what I call divine serendipity. But Iím trying to be truthful with myself. Although Iíve enjoyed the journey, Iíve got to look at my bottom line.

Sometimes, the hardest truths are the ones we have to face about our own lives.

What started me on this line of thinking is this. A lifelong friend, age 63, is in the hospital on a respirator. She had been providing foster care for children as a reaction to her adult sonís murder about 10 years ago. In spite of her well-meaning intentions, her heart really wasnít in what she was doing. In addition, she was in a marriage, which wasnít satisfying. So now her body has shut down.

Sometimes our body will shut us down to remind us that life is short, and too precious to spend it doing things we hate. Like that old adage: ďLife is not a dress rehearsal.Ē

My older sister Nancy made the remark to me: ďAt this age, weíve just got to be real about what weíre feeling and what weíre doing.Ē

I think at any age, to the degree possible, weíve got to be real about what weíre doing with our lives. After all, this is the only one that God grants us. And our time is our most valuable commodity. I always say that my time is irreversible and irreplaceableóparticularly if I waste it doing things I donít want to do.

There are many areas of my life where I plan to make changes in 2006. Iíve used journaling as a technique to get in touch with what really makes me happy. I enjoy interviewing authors.

Unfortunately, in assessing my last year of business, Iíve found myself doing some projects I didnít want to do in order to raise the money to pay for my radio shows. Iím a strong proponent of self-publishing as well as self-published Internet radio. In fact, I pay for what I believe in. However, without the support of the very writers who benefit from the show, what is the point?

I have not seen the outpouring of support Iíd like to see from writers, although Iíve heard from many writers who are looking for free services. As a result, my company, Black Butterfly Press, has sponsored many of these writers. Although I have a nonprofit arm of my business, Black Butterfly Press is basically for profit.

I established these shows so that writers would never be locked out of the publishing industry again. Itís more than just publishing. It takes marketing. Now the market is tighter than ever due to the 195,000 books published in 2003 alone, (according to the January 2006 Writerís Digest, The State of the Industry, by Tom Connor, p. 28.)

A study by Arbitron, an Edison Media Research agency, reports that, in the past 4 years, the audience for video and audio broadcasting has doubled from 10% to 21% of all Americans. As of January 2004, on a monthly basis 51 million people use Internet broadcasting as background music/talk shows/soundtrack while shopping on line. Four in ten Americans have listened to Internet Radio. The estimated weekly broadcast audience for Americans is 30 million listeners, which is approximately 13% of the population. Studies show that 80% of listeners listen to the archives or the tapes of the show, which I now have 40 months worth of shows archived on my website.

Thatís why I contend that with sponsorship, some of these costs would be defrayed. This would make this a win-win situation for the writers and for Black Butterfly Press.

These are just some of the benefits of being a sponsor on one or all of the shows include.

-The shows are listed on Google and other search engines. Often authors books are now picked up by Google print.

-The shows are archived on my network, at the www.maxineshow.com, www.artistfirst.com, (Voiceamerica.com is one of the top live Talk Internet radio shows.) All archives get 24-7 international exposures.

The shows can be posted on the authorís website.

A profile is placed on Dr. Maxine Thompsonís website at http://www.maxineshow.com

Press releases go out to readers, libraries, book clubs, yahoo groups.

Benefits of the Executive sponsorship for an author include these benefits listed below, whereas Gold, Silver and Bronze packages include less, but some derivative thereof. (Packages in Executive, Gold, Silver and Bronze are available for businesses, companies, and publicists as well.)

An hour Live Internet Radio Interview each on Voice America, Artist First and Dr. Maxine Show.

A Profile Page of you on the Dr. Maxine Show website.

A professional head shot photo of you will need to be e- mailed or mailed to us with a bio of 150 words or less.

Your photo will be listed twice on Dr. Maxine Show website.

Your photo and bio may be substituted with a synopsis of your book and an image of your book.

Your name and a link to your website will be listed as an upcoming guest for VoiceAmerica here www.maxinethompson.com/voiceamerica.html for ArtistFirst here www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html and Dr. Maxine Show here www.maxineshow.com/

If you do not have a website, your name will be linked to your publishing company or where your book is sold online.

A press release will be mailed out to avid readers, book clubs, book stores, libraries, newspapers, media and other authors announcing your upcoming interview and announce you an Gold Sponsor the week of your interview.

A Press Release will be listed here www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html the week of your interview for your use. A special thanks to the following companies for providing sponsorships: LBP Enterprises, Booking Matters Magazine, Turning Point Magazine and Baba Evans Moore.

Therefore, I conclude: As human beings and as writers, ask yourself.

Am I doing what I want to be doing?
If not, what can I do to get to where I want to be?