Bounce Back Better


Are you at a crossroad in your life? Have you experienced the loss of a loved one or the loss of your job? Did you just go through a defining moment in your life such as a major ill health diagnosis, an accident  or trauma due to a violent attack?

Maybe you are feeling burnt out at work or have a sense of restlessness, like there is something missing.

If you are overwhelmed with uncertainty about the future or if a friend or loved one seems to be feeling like this, then my new book, Bounce Back Better is for you!

This book is highly recommended by Trinidadian educator and education consultant, Raymond S. Hackett. Here is what Mr. Hackett had to say about the book in his foreword:

As an educator for the past five decades and three years, I cannot honestly admit that I have read a book more comprehensive than and relevant to the times as Bounce Back Better 10 (+ 1) Key Steps for Building Resilience.  Inspired by the message and advice which characterise this book, I look forward to an outcome which will cause the general public, magistrates, judges, lawyers, members of the Lower House and the Senate of our Parliament, policemen, doctors, nurses, social workers, probation officers, teachers, particularly secondary school students above Forms One and Two, guidance officers, clinical psychologists, and last but not least advocates of Restorative Justice to read this third book which Caron Asgarali has written. Without doubt, it is prescribed reading for all.

Click on the link below to get your copy of Bounce Back Better, 10 (+1) Key Steps for Building Resilience.

Let me know if you think you need a book like this right now in your life, in the comments below.



A Different Approach to a Book Launch

My third book has been out since December 2016. I have not done, planned nor have I thought about planning a book launch.

This time around things are different. My book is about resilience. The title is “Bounce Back Better 10(+1) Key Steps for Building Resilience.”

It is a follow through from my first book “From Lion to Lamb A Spiritual Journey”.

The first is a memoir based on the incident that changed the course of my life through a severe injury. The third is a self-help book for anyone who has undergone some kind of difficulty and needs encouragement to move forward from that setback.

Both books have come after one act of gun violence. The theme for both books is the same, peacemaking not peace breaking.

Thus after the first book launch which was steeped in formality, planning and structure, I have decided to try a different approach with this third book.

I have put the word out on Facebook that my new book is available. I have my FB page linked to my Balboa Press website. The book is also on Amazon.

In keeping with the theme of the book, I organised an event to launch another of my projects, RARE.

RARE refers to Raising Awareness on the Ripple Effect of gun violence. RARE seeks to raise awareness on the physical, emotional, financial and spiritual effects of of one act of gun violence on the victim as well as those directly and indirectly connected with the victim.

On a deeper level, RARE promotes peacemaking and resilience building.

The launch included four different speakers for each aspect of gun violence. I spoke to pull all aspects together. I did not directly pitch my books but showed the connections between the books and the work being done.

At the event I had all three of my books on display and available for sale. Attendees received a prayer card with one of the prayers from my second book, Gently Powerful Personal Prayers for Collective Grace. Lots of refreshments were available.


Critical in this event was:

  1. Ensuring that everyone was clear on their role in the programme.
  2. Having my thoughts well organised before the event day, so that on the day, regardless of any physical setbacks,I was able to clearly communicate to the attendees the purpose of the event.
  3. Having people to handle the distribution of the prayer cards, the sale of the books, the thank you cards and the refreshments. Special thanks to my family and friends.
  4. Sending out much more invitations than the estimated amount of guests.
  5. Having an outline or programme of event so that the evening flowed smoothly.
  6. Outsourcing the refreshments. I already had enough to do without having to worry about preparing refreshments.
  7. Having a good, experienced host for the evening, who was able to hold the fort and bring harmony among the speakers.

There is more but I will leave that for another post.

So a book can be promoted without directly promoting it in a classy way (not that I think I am classy).

Feel free to ask me anything about launching your book.

The Leaning Tower of… You!

Here is another offering from my new book, sent for publishing and soon to be launched.

“…making incremental changes, particularly during times of trauma or crisis, may be easier to do than making radical changes. Additionally, a shift in behaviour could translate into significant emotional and intellectual alterations.


Consider the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Tower now leans at an angle that has been adjusted over the years since its construction. The top of the Tower is about 4.5 metres displaced from the vertical. What this means is that there is a slight displacement at the base of the Tower that manifests into an amazing tourist attraction at the top and a phenomenon of physics. Regardless of the reasons behind the leaning of the Tower, the result is indisputable. A slight shift is sufficient to create a wonder!”

Have you ever noticed any significant change in your life resulting from a minor alteration in your belief, attitude or behaviour? Leave a comment below to let me know please.

Forgiveness at Canterbury

We got there at least a half an hour before the actual start time. The interviewer arrived at almost the same time as we did!

The venue: the Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center: a sanctuary set against the backdrop of a lake, surrounded by stately trees. What better place to host an interview about a spiritual journey? What better day than Good Friday? Who could have been more apt to conduct the interview than someone who had read the book from start to finish in four hours?

I was greeted with the words: ” Hi its so nice to finally meet you. I feel as though I have known you all my life.” (I am sure I must have paraphrased but the essence remains the same). How gratifying to meet someone, whom I had never met before, never known before, someone who could have related so well with me just from reading the book!

I was led into a cozy living room setting, where my mum, my uncle and I were invited to make ourselves comfortable. The pre-interview had begun. I was impressed with the interviewer’s knowledge of the book – he had read and internalized it. He had just two items which could have been curved balls and so he broached them now, so I could have time to ponder on my answers.

The first item dealt with the issue of forgiveness for my attacker or attackers. The second issue required that I postulate what I would say to the attacker should I meet him face to face someday. Wow! talk about powerful.

I will be posting more details in a later post, along with either a summary or a video clip of the interview. This is just a teaser!

Do you think you could be forgiving to someone who perpetrated an act of violence against you, causing trauma to your family and loved ones and bringing your life to a turning point? What would you say to that someone if ever you should meet him or her?

Leave a comment to let me know how you think you might react or even if you just want to know how I handled those two issues above.

12 Simple Steps For A Successful Book Launch

A great book launch requires planning.

There is no magic formula for any product launch but there are some simple steps which can remove some of the agony of launching without a template. Without a master plan for your book launch, you will be frantic and in a tailspin on the day of your launch. You will be in a better position with the benefit of a simplified, tested outline for a book launch.

A previously used plan will remove the need to redefine the wheel – what has worked for someone else could bring even greater rewards for you. You will have the advantage of someone else’s experience. You will reduce the possibility of oversight due to a lack of planning. A template for a launch will save you time as you meet stumbling blocks which you may not have anticipated without a plan.

Planning a book launch is not a daunting task. In this post, I will share twelve simple steps that will eliminate uncertainties about what is needed to host a launch. These twelve steps can be used for any type of launch, for any genre of book.

Using my own book launch as a template, I will show you how to create a sensational launch for your own book, regardless of the genre of your book. I have even included a slideshow of my book launch to help you generate your own ideas!

1 Research different types of launches

Congratulations! You are already checking off the list as you have started doing the research just by reading this.

The format for my launch was easy to determine. My book is based on my story and is classified as Christian and inspirational. For me this naturally dictated a formal, faith-based and structured setting.

Research helps even if you have a specific genre. It substantiates and supplements your ideas. It provides ideas for unique approaches. It guides you if you are not sure of what you want; you will be able to eliminate what you do not want. Research provides data for budget limitations and time consideration.

In doing research you will discover that launches may be formal, semi-formal or informal, depending on the genre of your book and your personality. What appeals to a traditionalist will be different to what appeals to an eclectic.

2. Select an appropriate venue

So you did the research. You know what you do not want. You are excited about getting to the specifics. Having decided on the type of launch that will do the magic for you, it is time to select the most appropriate venue for your sensational launch.

Any or all books may be launched at a bookstore, naturally. Most bookstores are willing to stand the cost of the launch. They will have maximum gains by attracting many guests. The bookstores will have the personnel and equipment for sales of your book. Also very little extra decorations will be needed in a bookstore to make it festive or inviting to readers.

On the flip side, the space may be limited in a bookstore, especially smaller ones. For me the biggest drawback to having my launch at a bookstore was the loss of control over the evening’s proceedings.

Alternate venues such as a school’s auditorium or hall, a library, a church or a community center may be considered. The major consideration will be your budget.

Beware of the temptation to host the book launch at your home or any residential venue. This screams unprofessional. It is also less accessible to the public.

Of course, apart from your budget, the nature of your book and the tone and setting in keeping with the theme of your book will also impact on the final decision for your venue.

In my case, I wanted a spacious venue, with a classic, uplifting ambience. I did not want to be associated with a particular denomination but as faith would have it, I got a church, the First Church of the Open Bible in San Fernando, South Trinidad. The original plan was to use another room, a hall, which was smaller. There was a mix-up in the scheduling and I was re-assigned to the larger Church area. Turned out most inspiring.

3. Determine your target audience

This audience will be the people who read your genre of book. Is it a children’s book or a mystery? Is it fiction or non-fiction? All these and other such questions help to determine your target audience. Of course your friends and family will also be included.

I focused on family, friends and supporters. In retrospect, I ought to have cast a wider net. At the launch, you get your first big sale. The larger the crowd, the greater will be the sales of your book.

On a side note, self-published authors will have greater profit if they launch independently rather than to partner with a bookstore, although the reach of the bookstore will be greater. This is overcome by more aggressive marketing after the launch. This brings in another dimension – having a marketing plan, pre- and post- launch.

4. Decorating Ideas.

Budgetary considerations, your book genre, your author profile and your target audience will determine your choice of decorations.

If you are a writer of a children’s book, then balloons, toys, stuffed animals and bright colours are possible options, in an informal setting. For a fictional piece about an athlete let’s say, consider using appropriate gear or even consider the venue as part of the decor: use a gymnasium or stadium for your launch if possible.

The key is to be creative within your budget.

5. The Programme Outline

A basic outline for a programme is given below:

Opening prayer (you may choose to leave this out. My preference is to start everything with prayer.)

National Anthem (more appropriate for formal programmes. Remember these are suggestions. Feel free to leave out what you wish. Research, remember!)

Welcome and Introduction of Chairperson (Optional)

Chairperson’s Remarks

Background of the Book ( by someone who worked closely with you)

Background of the Author ( by someone else not you!)

From Writing to Publishing ( by you, the author)

One or two readings from the book ( by someone else or by the author)

Vote of thanks.


At least one item of entertainment should be included in the programme. You will decided if you want more than one item. Entertainment could include a song, a dance, an instrumental or a poem. This could be spliced in after the author’s background and another could be added between the two readings. Readings should be long enough to generate interest but not long enough to give away too much and will be guided by the length of the book.

The programme could be modified to suit a less formal event. A less formal programme could involve readings by the author and be more of a celebration or party-like atmosphere.

6. Layout

For a formal launch, like mine was, I recommend setting up some tables. A less formal setting may need fewer tables but more servers to move between the guests.

  • a table for the main attraction, your book
  • a table for you to sit and sign the books as required.
  • a nearby table for collecting payments for the books, including a swipe machine for credit or debit cards. I caution you, please allocate someone trusted to collect payments. Do not try to do it for yourself. It is impractical and not too classy.
  • A table or area allocated for refreshments.
  • Media section or table.

7. Refreshments

This is optional but strongly recommended. It is a great aid for socialising. Make people happy, they will linger and this will translate into more sales. Work within your budget. The day is also one of celebration and what better way to celebrate than to eat and be merry?

Plates may be distributed or refreshments may be served. Again it depends on your budget or on how many volunteers you have. Great snacks are sandwiches! I had ribbon sandwiches and cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. Pastries, savoury and sweet, are good too. Cakes are traditional but cookies, and danish are good alternatives.

Less formal events could use chips and dip, peanuts, mixed nuts and other finger foods.

I have heard of food being served on occasion.

Keep the drinks alcohol free.

8. Promotional Items

You want your book to sell so you need to promote it. Items with the book cover or book title and your name printed on it are great, relatively inexpensive ways to advertise. They also promote satisfaction for your purchasers. They get value for their money.

Promotional items include pens, bookmarks, business cards, t-shirts, cups, tote bags, note pads, key rings… The limiting factor will be your budget.

Balloons with your book cover could be promotional as well as decorative.

Giving a discount on the day of the launch is good if you can afford to do so. Or partnering with a local bookstore or any affiliated business or a friend with a business place is another idea. You could offer a door prize or a seat prize or both perhaps! Again be creative.

9. Invitations

Organise the printing of your invitations so that you can send them out early enough – about one month before the event. Invite as many persons as you can afford and even more. Many persons will not turn up so invite more than you actually want.

Invite the media but send their invitations twice. Once to inform and a second time nearer to the date to remind them.

Before the event, during the pre-launch phase of your marketing plan, you will arrange to have media exposure. It may not be in sync with your personality but one has to do what one has to do.

10. Have a Photographer

Don’t leave this to chance. Arrange with a professional or a friend depending on your budget. This is an important day. It provides resources for your profile and for promotions.

11. Have a Great P.A. system.

I have attended too many functions with poor audio. It totally wrecks the function. Do not be too frugal in this area. Get a professional system. People need to hear your words.

12. Have a clean-up crew.

Do not leave the venue without cleaning up. Preferably have a different set of helpers to clean up because those who would have assisted otherwise may be tired.

A clean-up crew is vital. Without it you risk leaving a mess behind and messing up your classy reputation.

Remember that this is your day. You spent many hours, days, weeks, months, perhaps even years to get to this event. You need to socialize with your guests. Be friendly. Be happy, you have every right to be!

Show up at least two hours before the start of the programme to ensure everything is in place. Thank everyone and remember to remind them to buy your book. Let them know where they can buy it after the launch day and whether it is available online.

Finally your hard work is finally paying off. Relax, enjoy the moment. Be warm, welcoming and charming.

This template is simple to follow. Let me know what you think. Please leave a comment. There are more things that can be added. Perhaps you can share some of your ideas with me.

Peek into the book launch



I have added some pictures from the book launch of my book From Lion to Lamb A Spiritual Journey. Hope you like them. I will be adding a new post soon. Did you like the pictures? I will really appreciate hearing from you.

DSC_0844At left is the table which was used for the signing.

DSC_0848At left I am standing with my books.


Above is my family and I – mum, Lynette Sinanan, me, my younger brother, Warren Sinanan and my elder brother, Randall.


I do not yet have people’s permission to use their photos online so please excuse me for using only my family.

DSC_0868Here we see author and empowerment strategist and my foreword writer, Mr. Philip G. Rochford and his lovely wife.

I will post more pictures when I have gotten all approvals. Enjoy! And please give me some feedback. See you soon!