Archive for February, 2013

An ISBN helps to identify your book. If you are using a self-publishing company for your book, you may need to purchase your own ISBN for it (some self-publishing packages include the cost of an ISBN and take care of this for you). If you are publishing in multiple formats–for example, paperback and eBook–you will need a different ISBN for each format. To get started in purchasing an ISBN, go to You can buy a single ISBN for $125 or a block of ten ISBNs for $250.

Want to know more about self-publishing? You can schedule me to speak to your library or other organization on the topic of “Why You Should Consider Self-Publishing.” Please email me at to schedule an event.


My cousin Jessica asked me my opinion on flu shots a few days ago and suggested that I blog about it. I think that’s a great idea, so here I go!

I know this is quite a controversial topic, and ultimately YOU need to look at all of the studies and decide whether the flu shot is right for you. I also realize that it’s getting late in the season, and if you were going to get a flu shot this year, most of you have already done so. So although this post probably won’t help you out for this winter, maybe it will help you with making decisions next winter.

I have never gotten a flu shot, so I don’t have any personal stories for you related to whether it kept me from getting the flu or not. I have noticed that it seems like a lot of the people I know who get the flu shot seem to end up getting sick anyway. An interesting article on the Alliance for Natural Health website called “Not Sure the Flu Vaccine Works?” says that out of the adults in a study who did not get vaccinated, just 2.7% contracted the flu. Out of the people who did get the flu shot, 1.2% ended up with the flu anyway. You can see this article here: So you actually have pretty good odds of not getting the flu even if you avoid the shot. Even on the website, it says, “Mild reactions such as soreness, headaches, and fever are common side effects of the flu vaccine.” I don’t know about you, but to me, those common side effects sound a lot like the flu itself. If the flu is a side effect of the flu shot, did the flu shot really do its job?

Something else you need to be aware of is that flu shots contain mercury (also known as thimerosal), which contributes to neurological problems, including autism. Thimerosal is used as a preservative in flu shots. For some reason, although mercury is starting to be banned in other products, it is still included in flu shots. You can read about mercury in this article:

I also think this is interesting: In order to decide what types of viruses to put in the flu vaccine, experts predict which viruses they think will be the most common that particular year (see How can they really decide that so early on in the year? This past fall I started noticing places advertising flu vaccines as early as the first couple of weeks of September. If the experts make an incorrect prediction, then your flu shot may have been a waste of time and money.

If you are caught between the two sides of this argument, I only ask that you do some of your own research. You have to decide what’s best for YOU and your health.

*I am not a doctor. Please consult a healthcare professional before taking any medical advice I give on my blog, especially if you are nursing or pregnant.*

I subscribe to a few different health newsletters, and one I received recently from Swanson Health Products contained a link to an interesting article about magnesium and seizures. I thought you might like to read it, too:

Next Monday the 18th I’ll be teaching “Why You Should Consider Self-Publishing” at the Otsego library in Otsego, MI, at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there!


Yesterday afternoon, my second cousin Jerri’s husband, John Carrott, passed away. Although “second cousin’s husband” may sound like sort of a distant relative, John was always extremely supportive of my book, Illegally Innocent, and was even the first person to write a review for it on Amazon. He was generous and a great encourager. He and Jerri came to both my book launch party in October and to my book signing at Harding’s in December. In the past couple of months, John self-published an eBook on Lulu called Complete iPad Training. To learn how to promote his book, he took an online book-marketing class and graciously passed along the information to me to help me with my marketing efforts. I am so grateful for the time he took to help me out! You can check out John’s book here:  and his website here: On his website, you can download a free sample chapter of his eBook.

I ask that you would please keep Jerri in your prayers.

I will close this post with John’s email signature: Make somebody else smile, and you will feel better.