“Are You Attackable?”

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When lightning strikes your peaceful and predictable life, how do you respond?
Do you grip the hem of Jesus’s garment in the face of betrayal, sickness, hardship, or debt, or do you allow the enemy to tear you away from your relationship with God? The Bible is full of stories of men and women who came under attack and emerged victorious, because they chose God.

Your time to prepare for battle is now. The Biblical principles in Are You Attackable? by David Judson will help strengthen your relationship with God, as you stand against the enemy’s schemes.

Available as a paperback for $15.99 and as an ebook for only $6.99.

“Making Sense Out of Life”

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When your life has been shaken, what practical steps can you take to turn things around? How long has it been since you really moved forward in your life? Imagine your life FINALLY changing in a positive manner. If you are ready for such a change, then these proven answers are for you!

This book by Patrick J. McGuffin is a fast and easy read filled with useful insights to help you start moving forward now.

Available as a paperback for $12.95 and as an ebook for only $5.99.

Update & Praise Report

We’ve had an exciting week here at Certa Publishing!

This morning our team has been reflecting on God’s goodness and favor on Certa Publishing and our authors. Here’s a quick praise report of some of the happenings this week.

Two new authors signed:
Darryl Goode: “Grandpa and the Rainbow Fish”
Dr. Victor Morgan: “Holiness: The Hidden Path,” “Heaven’s Great Hope,” “The Wonderful Name of Jesus,” and “Praise and Worship”

Three books sent to press:
Worship That Touches the Heart of God” (Reprint of the English Version) by Nina Gardner
“Worship That Touches the Heart of God” (Spanish Version) by Nina Gardner

General updates:
– Author Paul Wilbur is in India preaching, teaching, and leading worship this week.
– Author Patrick McGuffin is in India on a mission trip for two weeks. (Not connected to Paul Wilbur’s trip)
– Author Bruce Lengeman led a webinar on Deliverance from Unholy Memories with International College of Ministry.
– Finalized Author Steve Wittmann’s manuscript.
Author Royalties sent in the mail!

Please join us as we continue to pray for our authors and the books the Lord has given them.

We are specifically praying our Lord would continue to open the right doors for them and these books would help advance the Kingdom of God.

50 Marketing Strategies Under $50 – Part 2

An article by Author Marketing Experts.

Book marketing budgets are often a little tighter now. Whether you’re feeling the pinch, or if you’re just looking for some effective, inexpensive marketing strategies to do on your own, here’s the second installment of 50 marketing strategies for promoting your book.

Did you miss Part 1? Check out the first 25 tips.


 

26) Visuals are so important these days, so how about getting an account on Vine or Instagram and doing short videos and pictures about your book or topic? Visuals are a great way to sell a book!

27) Write a review for someone else’s book that’s similar to yours. Not sure how this relates to your promotion? Well it’s called networking and it’s just a great idea to always do outreach.

28) Start an Ask the Author on Goodreads. Here’s how: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/how-to-use-the-ask-the-author-feature/

29) Run a promotion on social media. Ask your followers to share your Facebook page, or to suggest you in a #followfriday – you can offer a prize to a random winner.

30) Subscribe to Talkwalker.com or Mention.com and make sure that you are getting alerts under your name as well as your book title(s), brand, and keywords.

31) Pitch yourself to your local television stations.

32) Pitch yourself to your local print media.

33) Create a Speaker One-sheet, you’ll need this when you start booking interviews with the media or speaking gigs. Check this out for more info on them:http://www.smallbusinesspr.com/pr-learning-center/small-biz-articles/first-time-speaker-4-tips-to-build-your-speaking-career.html

34) Is the topic of your book in the news? In a world that’s increasingly connected with 24/7 news outlets, there is a never-ending source of news materials. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to share your expertise (and promote your book!).  For keeping up-to- date on topics in your industry, scan Twitter hashtags for your topic, and check out these content curation tools: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/marketing-tools-favorite-content-curation-sites/

35) Stop by your local library. They love local authors. If you have a children’s book, see if you can come in during storytime, or for a special event during their summer reading program. For adults, reach out to their book club coordinators, or arrange a speaking event for their patrons. Try dropping off a copy to your main library; if they stock it chances are the other branches will too.

36) Go to Chase’s Calendar of Events (www.Chases.com.) and find out how to create your own holiday! The media loves a holiday tie-in so consider this as you pitching yourself. For example: got a fun tie-in to National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (yes, that’s real)?

37) Going on vacation? Use your away-from-home time to schedule a book event or two wherever you are traveling to.

38) If your book is appropriate, go to local schools to see if you can do a reading.

39) Got a book that could be sold in bulk? Start with your local companies first and see if they’re interested in buying some promotional copies to give away at company events.

40) Don’t forget to add reviews and blurbs to your own website.

41) Trying to meet the press? Google “Press Clubs” in your area.  They meet once a month and are a great place to meet the media.

42) Want a celebrity endorsement? Find celebs in your market with an interest in your topic and then go for it. Remember that the worst they can say is no. Check out the Actors Guild for a list of celeb representatives. Here are tips on how to pitch influencers and get a great blurb for your site: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/how-to-pitch-influencers-and-get-great-blurbs-for-your-book/

43) Ready to get some magazine exposure? Why not pitch some regional and national magazines with your topic or submit a freelance article for reprint consideration?

44) Work on your next book or work on writing mini-books. Sometimes the best way to sell your first book is by promoting your second.  Also, many authors are writing and promoting mini-books to keep readers engaged while they wait for their next book to come out. How long do mini-books need to be? 50-75 pages. That’s it!

45) There’s a great “Meet our Authors” forum on Amazon. You can view a variety of different discussions going on there including a place to promote your free eBook giveaway. You can find it here:  http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/

46) Grab more international sales. How? By optimizing your international Author Central pages. Not sure where to begin? Check out our blog on this topic http://www.amarketingexpert.com/amazon-hack-get-book-hands-international-audience-tip-40-52-ways-market-book/

47) Have you pitched your book to book awards yet? There are a lot of great ones to consider. We have a blog post on this very topic, check it out:  http://bit.ly/SelfPubBookAwards

48) Why not consider pitching yourself to Meetups? Head on over to Meetup.com to find some great groups that just might love to have you attend and speak to their members!

49) If the book club idea or event idea is something you want to do, but the cost of traveling (and the time off required) is a deterrent, then why not consider doing Skype sessions? You can go just about anywhere and do these. I’ve known some authors who live in Cleveland and do book group meetings in Auckland, Germany and other international destinations! And the Skype sessions don’t need to be all international; they can also be in the U.S.!

50) Submit to gift guides! We have a few on our blog, here http://www.amarketingexpert.com/the-ultimate-holiday-promotion-calendar-76-days-left/ but you can also find then by Googling “blogger gift guides” and see what pops up. Gift guides aren’t just big during the Christmas season but bloggers often have back-to-school gift guides, Easter/Spring gift guides, summer reading guides, etc.  If you get your book listed, it could be a great way to get in front of a lot of new readers!

Miss tips 1-25? Find them here!

“Andrew in Miss Plum’s Class”

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Are you looking for a children’s book that teaches Christian values and contains adventure, mystery, and comedy? Look no further! Andrew in Miss Plum’s Class by Karen Jones is a great read for children ages 7-9 and adults of all ages. Join Andrew, a 3rd grader, as he learns how to treat others and find true happiness after his family is divided.

Available as a paperback for $11.99 and as an ebook for only $5.99.

Be sure to check out other titles by Karen Jones.

50 Marketing Strategies Under $50 – Part 1

An article by Author Marketing Experts.

These days it seems like everyone’s book marketing budget is a little tighter. If you’re feeling the pinch, or if you’re just looking for some great, inexpensive marketing strategies to do on your own, here are some tips that can help keep you on track!

1) Buy your domain name as soon as you have a title for your book. You can get domain names for as little as $12.95. Tip: When buying a domain, always try to get a .com and stay away from hyphens, i.e. penny-sansevieri.com – surfers rarely remember to insert hyphens. You should also consider using your keywords in your domain because it’ll help you rank better. Social media is great, but don’t use your Facebook or Twitter pages as your “website” – you should own your domain and have a site. Period. For more tips on how to create a great website: http://www.smallbusinesspr.com/pr-learning-center/small-biz-articles/create-an-awesome-website-in-10-easy-steps.html

2) Super Fans. In order to grow your Super Fans, you must first find ways to engage them. Why not start by including a letter to fans in the back of your book? This letter would invite them to post a review or contact you so you can build your mailing list.

3) Start a Facebook Fan page. Fan Pages are much better than a personal profile for marketing because they’re searchable in Google.

4) VIP Fans. If you’re ready to ramp up your fans (and Super Fans) then consider creating a VIP group with fan exclusives like bonus content, early access to books and prizes. You can create these groups on Facebook!

5) Set up an event at your neighborhood bookstore. If your bookstore isn’t open to doing an event, why not consider doing events in other places – like a local Starbucks, locally-owned restaurants, pubs, etc.?

6) It’s all about content these days, so why not create a calendar for content? Often if you aren’t sure what to write, or when, a content calendar will keep you on track. You can plan the calendar around your free time (though you should blog weekly), and around holidays or events that may tie into your book. Then, while you’re at it, brainstorm content ideas and start a content folder that you can always refer back to when you aren’t feeling “inspired” to write anything.

7) Get yourself on Goodreads and start gathering friends and building your profile there.

8) Check out other, similar authors online and see if you can do some networking. Not sure how to do this?  Check out this blog: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/six-ways-to-spy-on-your-competition/

9) Do some radio research and pitch yourself to at least five new stations this week. Here’s a great place to find radio stations: http://www.radio-locator.com/

10) Ready to get some business cards? Head on over to Vistaprint.com. The cards are free if you let them put their logo on the back, but if you don’t, they’re still really inexpensive. Leave your business card, bookmark, or book flyer wherever you go.

11) Put together your marketing plan. Seriously, do this. If you don’t know where you’re going, any destination will do. If you don’t feel like doing an entire “plan,” then pick ten things you want to do this month to promote your book.

12) Plan a Goodreads giveaway. Contests are a great way to promote your book. Make sure to share this content with your followers on your site and your social media accounts!  Not sure where to start?  Look here for some great tips:http://www.amarketingexpert.com/goodreads-giveaway-tips-for-mastering-this-promotional-tool/

13) Time to get yourself onto Wattpad. Never heard of Wattpad? It’s a place where you can share your content, share chapters from your published book, short stories…whatever you want.  It’s a fantastic way to build fans and get feedback on your work!

14) Send thank you notes to people who have been helpful to you. In an age of “everything email,” a handwritten thank you note speaks volumes.

15) Send your book out to at least ten book reviewers this week. Here are some tips to create a pitch that will get your book reviewed: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/5-steps-crafting-perfect-book-review-pitch-tip-35-52-ways-market-book/

16) Do a quick Internet search for local writers’ conferences or book festivals you can attend. Here are 9 things you can do to make your next writers’ conference awesome: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/9-tips-to-make-your-next-writers-conference-awesome/

17) To save time, check out different social media management sites. Hootsuite has a free option that will help manage your social media posting for you. If you need to elevate your social media presence, check out our quiz to see which sites are the best fit for you: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/social-media-quiz-site-right/

18) Ready to pitch bloggers? Excellent! Start by doing a search for the right ones on Google. You can also head over here and plug in your search term to find the top blogs in your market: http://www.invesp.com/blog-rank/

19) Enhance your Amazon Author Central Page by linking to your blog, Twitter feed, or adding a video if you have one. Here is a good place to look for an idea of how to begin: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/demystifying-amazon-categories-themes-and-keywords-part-2-of-2/

20) Plan your free eBook promotion. If you’re on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), drop your price to zero for one to three days. You’ll want to schedule this a week or so in advance, then head on over to sites where you can list your freebie. There are tons of them, but here are two to get you started: www.igniteyourbook.com and www.ebookswag.com and http://www.amarketingexpert.com/ebook-deal-guide/

21) Start your own email newsletter. It’s a great way to keep readers, friends and family updated and informed on your success.  Check out our blog post on why you need a newsletter and how it can help you get more sales: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/how-your-newsletter-can-get-you-more-readers-visibility-and-sales/

22) Develop a set of questions or discussion topics that book clubs or online book clubs can use for your book, and post them on your website for handy downloads. Make sure to get folks to sign up for your newsletter before giving away these discussion questions though!

23) See if you can get your friends to host a “book party” in their home. You come in and discuss your book and voilà, a captive audience! You can host it via Skype or on Google Hangouts and then promote it on your social media sites as well.

24) Find some catalogs you think your book would be perfect for and then submit your packet to them for consideration. If you’re unsure of what catalogs might work for you, head on over to http://www.catalogs.com/ and peruse their list.

25) Go around to your local retailers and see if they’ll carry your book; even if it’s on consignment, it might be worth it! Don’t just offer this at bookstores either.  See if your community dry cleaners, gift shops, or restaurants will take it. Often, neighborhood establishments are very supportive of their local authors!

Find the next 25 tips in Part 2!

“My House Shall Be Called the House of Prayer”

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God speaks to His children. He wants us to know His love and His plans for us. His desire is to show us when the enemy is seeking to devour.

In her book, My House Shall Be Called the House of Prayer, author and prayer warrior, Cheryl A.W. Wallace provides the necessary tools for effective and victorious prayer. The book will help you discover the power and purpose of the house of prayer.

Available as a paperback for $10.99 and as an ebook for only $5.99

9 Steps to Write a Great Press Release

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Media exposure = more money for you as a writer.

For example, if you are quoted in an article, you’ll find yourself negotiating more pay for your next freelance gig due to your expert status on a topic. If you are interviewed on a local radio station, you’ll be able to watch your book sales rise.

Although you can dream up numerous ways to creatively get the media’s attention, don’t ignore that 99% of all media exposure starts with a well written press release.

Writing a great press release isn’t difficult if you understand how the basic core elements involved fit together. A high quality press release grabs an editor’s attention and results in coverage and exposure.

Below are 9 steps to help you write a great, effective press release.

1. Format Correctly

News is both fast-paced and time-sensitive. You need to give editors and reporters the basic information first: who you are, how they can contact you, and when they can run the story. Start off by placing the release date in the upper left-hand corner:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 17, 2016

You’ll use this wording unless you’re sending a release well in advance of an event – in which case, you can give a specific date. For example, if you’re promoting a book signing five weeks ahead of time, you might want to put “FOR RELEASE (date)” with a date that’s closer to the actual event.

2. Include Your Contact Information

After the release date, tell the editor whom to contact and how to do so. It’s incredible how many people make it unnecessarily difficult for the media to contact them about a story. Format the information as follows:

CONTACT:
Emiley Jones
321-274-4801 (office)
321-274-4801 (cell)
marketing(at)certapublishing.com

3. Make Your Headline Impress

Below your contact information, type your headline in bold caps. Write it in the form of a question, an eye-catching statement, or an impressive claim to hook the editor’s interest. Search the internet for innumerable examples and tips on how to write a press release headline.

4. Start with a Dateline

After your headline and before you start your story, don’t forget to provide a dateline. A dateline shows where and when the press release was written. This helps an editor categorize the release and ensure that the news is still fresh. Format the dateline like this:

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, (1/17/16) —

Now you can start your story. Double space between lines and use 12-point Times New Roman or Courier as your font.

5. Create a Compelling Lead

Your press release will be one of many that an editor reads in a day. It’s important to provide one or two sentences that not only grabs, but maintains their attention. Don’t waste their time with an artistic but vague first paragraph. This takes us to Tip #6…

6. Use the Inverted Pyramid Technique

You’ve probably learned about this in high school or college journalism classes, but if not, here’s a quick definition. Editors are busy workers with tight deadlines. Try not to waste any of their time by making them skim 7 paragraphs before finding your ultimate point. Instead, put the essential information in the first paragraph of your press release. A good way to do this is by using the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, why, and how. In the following paragraphs, expand on them with more details and information. Focus on the main news you’re releasing, but also include information about yourself, your credentials, and experience. Be succinct and to the point – a release should be between 300 and 500 words (no more than 2 pages).

7. Let Them Know When It’s Over

If your release runs to 2 pages, number the second page. 2 lines below your last sentence, type either “###” or “-30-” to indicate the end of your release. This ensures the editor that they received the whole release and have found the end.

8. Do…

Do send your release to different kinds of media outlets. Newspapers, online publications, magazines, radio stations, television stations (if it involved an actual event they can cover like a book signing), etc.

Do send your release to a specific editor, if possible. Address the email, envelope, etc. by name to the person you think would be more interested in and enticed by your news.

Do follow up. A phone call or email to make sure they received your release and to ask if they have any questions is never a bad idea.

9. Don’t…

Don’t pressure the editor. Never make them feel as though they must commit to running a story on your news. Let your follow up phone call or email be brief and courteous.

Don’t send your release to more than one editor at a single outlet. If you don’t get a reply within 4 weeks, write a new one to send to another editor at that outlet.

Don’t send your release to every media outlet in town without regard to their focus. A high fashion magazine will most likely not care to receive a press release about a new Christian nonfiction book.

I hope these tips have given you insight into what goes into writing an effective, professional press release. A quality release can help you gain valuable media exposure across a variety of outlets. Issue press releases regularly and reap the rewards of both recognition and sales!

Want to have a press release written and/or distributed for you? Contact us!

The Gift Guide for Book Lovers – PART 2 – 10 Unique Gift Ideas

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Part 2   |   10  Unique Gift Ideas for Bookworms & Writers

Last week we released Part 1 of our Gift Guide for Book Lovers full of our favorite book-themed DIY presents and holiday decor that are just as fun to make as they are to give. Part 2 is not only for the Christmas shopping procrastinators, but also for those who plan ahead – these gift ideas are great for any time of year or occasion. So take a look, let us know what your favorites are, and share it with your literary friends!

1. Gift Cards to Your Local Bookstore & Coffeeshop

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Give the gift of keeping small, local businesses alive, of helping your friends find new favorite places, AND of books and beverages. What could be better?

2. Personal Library Kit

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For a bibliophile, there’s no greater pleasure than sharing beloved books, but no crueler pain than losing them for good…the Personal Library Kit can put an end to lost books for good!

3. A Book to Keep Writers Writing

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When the ideas are running short, there’s no better place to turn than this book for entertaining, witty writing prompts.  The writing prompt book options are endless – browse for more.

4. Shirts Fit for Bookworms

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5. Literary Artwork

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When bookshelves and lamps aren’t enough decor, grace a  book lover’s walls with book-inspired prints and artwork.

6. Mugs for Avid Readers

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Who doesn’t read with a cup of coffee or tea at their side?

7. Writerly Pins

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These are the perfect stocking stuffers for the writers, notetakers, and educators in your life!

8. Candles to Read By

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Don’t have time to read every day? Light up one of these book-inspired candles as an excellent substitute.

9. Literary Jewelry

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10. Book-based Board Games

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More of a DIY person? Don’t miss the first part of this gift guide!
What are your favorite presents to give and get? Tell us in the comments!

 

Periscope for Authors: What, Why, & How?

WHAT?

Periscope is a live streaming app for your smartphone that allows you to share and watch other live videos from around the world. It lets you get a “visual pulse of what’s happening right now” and “discover the world through someone else’s eyes.”

While there are two ways you can use Periscope – 1. Broadcast your own content 2. Watch others broadcast their content – this article will focus on why and how to broadcast as an author.

There are only two requirements to start broadcasting – have a smartphone & have something to say. As an author, you already have a message, so broadcasting is just another way of helping you reach and connect with more people.

WHY?

Periscope helps authors send their message into the world in a personal way. Who better to tell your story than you? Who better to share your content or your passion? When people SEE you, they also see your authenticity. If people like you, they’ll be interested in your books, your message, and your heart.

– Tricia Goyer

As a broadcaster, Periscope allows you to share your world with others. Whether you’re at home working on a new book, traveling for a book signing, on a family vacation, or just bored in your office, it opens up an opportunity for a whole new level of connection with your viewers. Viewers are also invited to engage by asking questions for live answers and tapping the screen to send hearts to the broadcaster.

Although it is fairly new, it looks like it is here to stay. In just a few months, Periscope reached over 10 million users – a number that has only continued climbing. It isn’t just another social media site to schedule posts for; it’s a new, unique way to engage with your current followers AND create even more fans.

SHOULD YOU START?

Here are a few thoughts on using Periscope to help you decide if it’s the right platform for you.

  • Broadcasts are live and great for interaction, but they only live on Periscope for 24 hours.
  • Although short lived, the videos can be saved, then posted on Youtube, and shared across your social media platforms.
  • Periscope is owned by Twitter, so that is naturally the main social media connection. If your Twitter following is large, definitely consider starting to broadcast.
  • If you Twitter following is not large, starting to broadcast could help build your presence on Twitter. Plus, you can always post on Facebook and any other social media platforms to invite people to join you on Periscope.
  • It still falls into the category of “social media” rather than a main source of content (i.e. a website, blog, Youtube channel, podcast station). This makes it an “add on” rather than a “necessity.”
  • Even if you’re thinking “I don’t know…My life isn’t that interesting. No one wants to hear me ramble about what I’m working on,” remember that people love “behind the scenes” and “on the go” video content. Every broadcast doesn’t have to be profound or long. Short and sweet is still better than nothing at all.

HOW?

Check out these helpful articles for more tips and tricks to getting started!

http://www.triciagoyer.com/periscope-how-to-for-authors/

http://www.danieldecker.net/periscope/

http://icessfernandez.com/2015/08/18/5-ways-writers-can-use-periscope/

http://theauthorbiz.com/periscope-will-it-be-a-blessing-or-a-curse-for-authors/

Watch this video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyVv4ZxWCeU

Tricia Goyer’s 10 Ways to Use Periscope as an Author

1. Offer tips. I recently did a Periscope, “Writers: How NOT to give up on the book of your heart” – I shared tips, but I also talked about my book Prayers that Changed History. Think about what will be valuable a reader…don’t just think about selling a book.

2. Show Behind the Scenes. What does your desk look like? How do you research?

3. Talk about the topic of your book. This can work for fiction or non-fiction. Share background, research, historical data, or any fun stories from the writing process.

4. Use the “private” group section. Connect with book clubs or readers. This makes them feel special.

5. Answer questions live—about writing or about your book topic.

6. Start a group. Author Kim Cash Tate has built an awesome Periscope audience of women benefiting each other.

7. Set up daily chats. I know homeschoolers who offer encouragement during the weekdays at 8 a.m. and authors who do devotions every morning at a specific time.

8. If you have an online store, use promo codes. Give the codes during your scope and you’ll be able to watch the traffic.

9. Share LIVE events. Have someone hold your device for you while you speak or give a presentation.

10. Invite people to visit your website, blog or to sign up for your e-newsletter. Hold up cards to give the URLs, making it easier to write down.

Are you on Periscope? Share your experience in the comments! If you’re not already on Periscope, do you think you’ll give it a go? Let us know!