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Life After Teaching —Selling Books—The Bottom Line of Writing

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

The Blog of Angela Terga Presents: Memoirs of a “Mad” Teacher (4)
Affiliate Marketing for Authors: Self-Help Books and Other Reading Gems Recommendations- because reading good books matter.

In the teacher's lounge, teachers are often heard counting the years, months, weeks, days, and hours to retirement. Many struggle financially. As a retired teacher who quit the profession due to personal and health reasons, finding a niche in which I can find joy and revenue has been a disillusionment. Still I write for pleasure and self development. Little by little it will all come together.

This blog post is about how hard and time consuming it is to complete the jigsaw puzzle of organic marketing, making "the bottom line"—monetizing as an an affiliate, as challenging or worse than optioning a book or screenplay.

Many marketing blogs say that monetizing—converting or expressing into the form of currency-to earn revenue from an asset or business activity such as digital marketing through YouTube, PPC, AdSense, affiliate sales, blogging, and similar efforts is a matter of SEO best practices which include consistency, passion, time, and promotion. This will draw the traffic needed to make conversions if you use the right words, of course. But without the knowledge and practice of social media channels' labyrinths it all goes very slow.

This little book has been helpful to get the gist of what it takes to monetize using Google SEO ranking for Amazon associate marketing. Actually, any affiliation would be the same.

Of these, Promotion is the toughest P of Marketing's 4: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Only with the help of readers like you can it be accomplished. In the case of this blog, promotion attempts affiliate conversions of a digital nature–the visitor that lands on the page must like what it sees, click on one of the links or images and check out at a third party's site like Amazon. Clean and securely, the client walks away with a book or a product proudly and diligently recommended by the writer.

Marketing and at the same time expressing true feelings in the form of memoirs is a truly cathartic activity, one that can benefit all beings and never will any find recommendations based merely on financial gain because passion for writing is at the heart of every blog.

Although most challenging, the promise of monetizing is equally as enticing as having people read your writing. Just how you become a successfully monetized author, writer, and publisher is ALL this humble heart of a writer can do.

Here's one of the catchiest titles for independent authors: “How to sell books by the truckload.

  • Develop book descriptions that convert more browsers to buyers

  • Find keywords that help you connect with more shoppers

  • Increase sales through perfectly timed pre-order campaigns

  • Create Amazon ads that sell more books

  • Boost sales with strategic eBook marketing strategies

  • Capitalize on the secret Amazon relevancy score for your product

  • Get your book ranked #1 in its category

If you know a teacher, thank them and ask them why teachers a demoralized.

After resigning from my last teaching assignment at an arts school for film in Palm Beach county which could not keep its pupil enrollment high enough to afford paying teachers and staff and thus was unable to remain in business for long (a failed Charter), and already feeling the damaging effects of the high stress life which would render me almost incapable of walking, I settled into the swampy dredge of small town survival and have yet to make it out alive. It's good to know that there is support for demoralized teachers who leave the profession, and how to stay in it, although not all do. Like me.

According to some studies the teacher dropout rate is 8.5% but other studies show that 36.5% of teachers leave their job within the first 5 years. No matter what stats show, teacher vacancies are only on the rise since the 90s when started I started teaching in the US.

My last assignment was a small charter school in a beautiful location in Palm Beach County where I had hoped to teach storytelling for film and TV, or at least a curriculum content related to the cinematic arts. Instead I taught same ole Language Arts to children at risk. However, the charter didn't make didn't make it even though it had Disney endorsement.

I had come to Palm Beach the previous year after quitting another teaching assignment in Dade where not only were teachers customarily demeaned and humiliated during faculty meetings, but none cared enough to stand up for themselves (perhaps that’s why the principal felt empowered). Teachers usually poured out their resentntment and frustration with admins in the lounge during their 20-min lunch hour (it takes at least ten minutes to take students to and from the cafeteria on time reducing the 30-min lunch hour to 20 or less). One of their favorite mind movies was endlessly counting the number of months, weeks, days, hours to retirement and trashing the principal.

However, during faculty meeting nobody protested. They remained silent during the so the meeting wouldn't be extended and they could beat rush hour. If I or anyone asked questions or expressed opposing views we would not get any sympathy from them. They were numb. DIDN'T CARE. Anyone wanting to get into the profession should read eye opening articles like this one here published on LinkedIn.

Teachers without a planning period were the rule of the day before the pandemic in 2018. It is impossible to make a medical appointment or any other “business” call during the lunch minute–God forbid you’re a second or two late to drop off or pick up your class, the entire school will know by the backlash you’ll get– (yes, it’s that bad). Besides having no planning period and three different classes to plan for, I was commanded to also punch in grades for all the students in my classes who attended the remedial reading classes that I did not teach-which comprised the majority of the kids.

None of this extra work and the lack of planning time came with a stimulus close to being worth it. That extra hour translated into three extra hours of work and none of them remunerated. Plus, teachers were also responsible for student’s tablets, their distribution and storage in the classroom. Of course, ever since tablets have been made available to students in the classroom it has been a battle to keep them from breaking, switching, and stealing them? Do teachers have to to be responsible for everything? What ever happended to teacher aides in the classroom?

That first year I was in Dade I had a car accident and whiplash caused pain and numbness on my body making me unable to survice towards the end of the school year. That was not the first time I quit. But spending two wonderful years in private school without benefits (no retirement, no health, lower slary) but a full time aide and 14 kids made teaching pleasant. These kids in my class attending on special educationtion grants called McKay scholarships under the school choice programs that allow parents choosethe best educational settingfor their special needs children. Teacher support and resources available allowed me to help each child and see them make huge leaps during the two years I was there. But I had to go back to public education if I wanted to have a pension and health benefits.

However, I found the best little public school to teach at in Miami right on Brickel's business district. This would become my favortie school of all my teaching assignments. But I would eventually quit that school to go chase my dream however quick the dream would crash to ground.

After moving from rural America to the urb, I taught at magnet schools and although most accomplished their magnet goals, there’s much to be said about them. I believe I taught at one of the best. But I let that go to in pursuit of my dream which how now almost come to pass except I will keep it alive to the end of my time.

So here was the writer with a dream in the Palm Beaches living the dream again— writing a screenplay for an ex NFL player who wanted to produce a family movie about an overcomer who made it big in business although from a humble beginning after given up the limelight of a professional athlete. His screenplay hasn’t been produced, just my luck, not sure if it ever will. It depends on financing an IPO. After a three-month period, though, I was again on the list of starving artists with not a client in sight.

Teaching is something teachers who leave the professio can always go back to, given the above teacher shortage mentioned which has accrued interest since the pandemic. Thinking that a school for the arts was the perfect place for me where I could still make an impact and have a regular paycheck, although I didn’t get to teach screenwriting, I went to work with all the might I could muster. But not for long. The school would be closed down at the end of the year, but I couldn’t make it that far. The 50-mile drive from my place of residence in the Glades was too much for my herniated disk and the worst was yet to come.

In constant pain, depressed, anxious, and terrified, I surrendered to the facts. Eighteen months later I would be pronounced disabled and receive two new hips. Arthritis is a disease that must be reckoned with.

Artists, like people in general, make their skillful artistry a livelihood. Writers, painters, designers, publishers, filmmakers, dancers, and musicians, each in their specialty come together under a roof we love to call “THE ARTS.” Anyone embarking in its myriad fields is a creator. Monetizing your Artistic Property takes a set of skills that creators must learn and not fear. It takes branding your creative product in a specific marketplace.

And who you gonna call? Friends booster, that’s who, like Good Ole Dale Carnegie, the most futuristic man in marketing, predicted influencers before social media came along. But of course, this is well known since the beginning of time, or the beginning of hierarchy.

It all starts with How to Win Friends & Influence People

"Although first published 1936, already in 1912, Dale Carnegie’s self-improvement courses were in development and being implemented throughout the world. Curiously, Russia took a great interest in Dale Carnegie’s corporate training. By following principles laid forward in his approach to ‘influencing others serves both,’ the capitalist and the socialist “bottom line” is served."

More relevant than ever, this bestselling book of all times has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. However, Influencer: Building your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media below has a 1,356 reviews and you may find similar advice as well as more social media strategies.

Perhaps books like this Guerrilla Marketing For Artists can guide any artist not just painters. Lots of art teachers want to reach out and offer their work online. Here' a little knowledge-base for their understanding of marketing the arts-not just paintings.

Selling your art requires a special skill: the confidence in yourself that allows you to attract people to your creation and make them want it for themselves. Visual artists and authors have the same task at hand—well, almost. They both need to be "known."

Sell Your Book surely this book has good ideas and they are all doable! Just what every author wants whether it's a screenplay of a book.

To recap … from one to another county within the Glades

In a previous episode of Memoirs of a “Mad” Teacher, we briefly discussed my humble beginnings as an elementary teacher in the Glades where I taught for a total of 7 years. We covered the SERVE grant for the development of a multidisciplinary and multicultural Glades curriculum based on natural (organic) farming and fishing techniques. This included meteorology, astronomy, biology, and the arts. Multicultural education needs to begin by recognizing the cultural identity of the student and the cultural heritage of the location. Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society

As one of the hottest topics nowadays which deserves a blog of its own—coming soon. Surely, a veteran teacher of three decades dispersed throughout several urban and rural settings should have a lot to say about multicultural education. Suffice it to say that in a pluralistic classroom there gender, race, religion, ethnicity, economic status, and physical/mental ability come into play. We can learn from each other and appreciate the diversity without giving up our differences.

When the Principal that supported these "organic farming" initiatives was recruited to one of the top school districts in the nation, Cambridge, MA, the butterfly garden was mowed over, and teachers didn’t support unpaid volunteer work at the minifarm after school hours. Iin turn, transferring to the next best county, Palm Beach, where our so called “combat pay” provided the means to progress (a pool home), was the next move in my teaching career. What I learned in the poorest zipcode of this very rich county has made the greatest impact in my consciousness.

The S.E.R.V.E. (Southeastern Regional Vocational Education) Grant – Butterfly gardening and a Mini Farm with a Fishing Pond was a great project, but without the support

Ours was larger— twice the size of a football field, and the pond had fish. But they died. Everything was dead at the end of the summer. The butterfly weeds mowed over, and the mini farm abandoned. The principal was recruited by the northeastern regional educational consortium in MA and secured a job at Cambridge Public Schools, and I simply took on combat pay in exchange for a swimming pool.

There, less than 80 miles away from the highest per capita, nestled between cane fields and trucking routes, is the lowest per capita income found. Teaching there was really the beginning of learning the value of education and the requirements of a true teacher.

Seven years earlier, I had been enjoying a wonderful experience as a translator and second language teacher of English/Spanish after coursing the translation and interpretation program offered by Berlitz, School of Interpreters, in Caracas, Vzla, where my teaching career had sprung as a teenager. The money was good, the acquaintances better, and the party never ended.

However, upon my return to the States due to a shift in the economy of Venezuela in 1985, (before Chavez), things had hanged in America. And so had I.From the 70’s to the 80’s I had undergone the transformation into mother of two, and my responsibility was with the little ones.

Wanting to harmonize with the upbringing of my children was important to me. I suffered leaving them in the care of others during work hours. First, I was an order clerk at a floral import company in Miami, then landed a translator job at the Miami Herald. But making the decision to relocate to where family lived in the country to enjoy the number one most important thing in the world (family), prompted the decision to become a teacher and raise my childre in a rural community. Was that the best for them in terms of an education? Nope! In retrospect, no matter where children are raised, extended family is a benefit, and a little more awareness would have made a greater difference.

Knowing the effects of media on children can help you become a more informed parent and take the necessary steps to shield your child.

Today, no matter where you live, education is only a click away! Use it wisely. More is not necessarily better. Quality is the key! Knowing how to choose what's best is not as easy. And it requires bringing together the knowledge of the past and the present, being aware at so many different levels of awareness and following your intuition. Raising children is a serious matter no matter where.

As a mother and now a grandmother, I am aware of the role media plays both positive and negative, in the upbringing of children. No matter where we are, we can gain appreciation for artistic expression, music, plastic, and performing arts are at our fingertips. Science and technology are also available from the simplest to the most complex activities and knowledge.

Yet there is so much knowledge that we have a tough time sorting through the information overload. People like me, with a sense of responsibility to the future, go to great measures, at least I do, to leave behind a trace of truth and stories that matter, the grain of sand among the rest will shine in the sun.

Hence the story of the SpiderWoman born to the Yanomami people represents the search for a utopian society blueprint, the infallibility of nature in delivering spontaneity of creation, and the essence of womanhood. It’s new title, “Utopia” is soon to publish Book 2.

“Isabel III” finds its purpose in the demonstration of diversity in our past, (where we come from molds our present), real love is compassion in action, and pursuing a dream embeds the end to suffering.

There’s also the unpublished story of “Max and the Stoney Meteorite,” the book of memoirs of which this is a part, “Mario Jorge and the Muchachitas in Julia,” and so much more: “Sojourner Truth,” a biopic in adaptation, the “Story of David,” and short creative nonfiction trade books for students of Latin American descent. This is all original work by me. I have written screenplays and edited books for others in the interim.

During the past almost 8 years after premiering a little movie based on SpiderWoman which has not been released and awaits a second chance to premiere as Utopia, a series, with new footage from the “future,” the flow of creation has been thwarted but not extinguished, never that, due to the challenge that marketing and promoting independent authors entails.

So, if the investment is not there for the creation of Facebook ads, which are by far the most effective way of targeting an audience for less, or Google Ads pay per click campaigns, what more can indie authors expect than to sell to family and friends from a wide digital platform spread?

Even that is tricky as political and religious views come into play.

Alas! Monetizing—the bottom line—may not be the end to all, but it is the validation of and the invitation to the work of, in my case, the literary arts, including those that lead to the performing arts, such as film. My MFA in screenwriting for film helped me write in active present and paint vivid pictures of what we see and hear in our minds.

BTW, my last education venture before I was deemed disabled due to double hip replacement surgeries needed in the fall and summer of 2020, the Media Management Master with a concentration on social media did very little to teach me these marketing trades. The program either expected me to have the background or didn’t intend to make me a social media marketer but a manager of media on social media.

I can’t say it was a waste of my time because I learned a lot about copyright law, mass communication, journalism, PR, and digital media in general use. However, given tht I did not have the background in marketing that others in the program had, I expected to come out ready to become a marketeer.

Nothing farther from the truth. I realized it takes a lot more than that first trial and error practice simulations we performed, especially if organic marketing is your only option.

So how do you create an Instagram/FB post with an affiliate code?

Here it goes.

Boasting as the most ad-friendly social media platform with its interactive shopping feature, Instagram shopping posts allow businesses like mine to share clickable posts for FREE. Let’s see if this is true and how it can be done.

Here’s a little facetiousness. You must first have a following! Here's a guide to growing your Instagram followers

Nothing is as simple in social media. After going through all these front pages and reading up on all the verbosity, I find some basic directions.

SHOPPABLE POSTS – these are posts with tags or stickers that take the user who clicks on an image to a landing page.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Memoirs of a no longer MAD Teacher!


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