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Archives for December 2012

Before You Make Another Move, Get Your Online Presence in Order

Before you market your product or service, get your online presence in order.  Complete an update of your LinkedIn profile, for example. Then to get a visual of your LinkedIn presence,  create a graphic like mine below. I created this on https://create.visual.ly/kelly/ when I learned about it from Guy Kawasaki on Google+

If you don’t like what you see, edit your LinkedIn profile to better reflect who you are and what you do.

Once you’re done, post it on Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and all your other favorite social media sites.

create infographics with visual.ly

7 Great Gift Ideas for Writers and Bookworms


Are you looking for a great gift for a writer, bookworm or booklover? Here are some fun, functional and unique gift ideas for the holidays, birthdays and other special occasions all year round.

1. Favorite Snacks

Writers have rituals that include having handy snacks nearby. F. Scott Fitzgerald loved canned meat and apples, Nora Ephron could down three Krispy Kreme doughnuts in one sitting, and Julia Child’s favored red meat and gin. What’s your writer’s favorite snack? Give the writer in your life a supply o their favorite munchies or a gift certificate. They’ll enjoy fond memories of you every time they indulge.

2. Writing Inspiration

How to Write Shop

Point your favorite writer to writing prompts, starters or ideas that you’ve created or have been created by others

3. Stress Relief

Since writers spend many hours working in one position, carpal tunnel neck and body cramps are occupational hazards. If you’re skilled enough, give a personal massage. If not, invest in a gift certificate from the local massage school or parlor in the area. Groupon may even have a great deal available http://www.groupon.com/local/massage


4. Classes and Training

Whether your writer is new or experienced, she will enjoy taking a class to sharpen skills. Here are some ideas:

5. Literary Clothing

Out of Print Clothing –t-shirts, gifts, accessories, totes, journals

6. Postertext

Posters with the entire text of a novel.

7. Top 50 Literary Magazines

Writers will enjoy reading these, as well as discover places to submit their own writing.

Surprise your favorite writer with one of these not-so-typical gifts now or any time of year.


Writing for publication is a business. There is a wealth of information available in your community and on the Internet to help you, but it can be overwhelming to locate and wrap your arms around what you need. For sure you won’t find exactly what you need all in one place.

For this reason, three other successful business women and I teamed up to share our over 80 years of combined experience and make what we’ve learned easily accessible to serious entrepreneurs.The result is a 4-part audio series, “What We Know Now That YOU Should Know From the Start.”

This audio series is immediately downloadable as individual audios or as a set of all four. Get details here and start learning right away.

Self-Published Authors Must Act Like APEs

I had the pleasure of being a beta reader for APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. It is easy reading, packed with tips, tools, links, actionable steps, and a supporting website (APETheBook.com,) along with warnings of the pitfalls of self-publishing.

Historically, traditional publishers successfully blocked the door to publication for many authors until digital publishing changed the game. With direct access to their readers via platforms such as Amazon Digital Publishing authors can now enjoy faster success and higher profits.

Why Self-Publishing?

Kawasaki turned to self-publishing when he discovered that a traditional publisher could not handle an order for 500 ebooks. He became a convert, and enlisted the aid of Shawn Welch to help him understand the complexities of publishing ebooks, who created and and produced Kawasaki’s book, What the Plus!: Google+ for the Rest of Us

Kawaski strongly believes

“. . .self-publishing enables you to determine your own fate. There’s no need to endure the frustration of finding and working with a publisher. You can maintain control over your book and its marketing, receive a greater percentage of revenues, and retain all rights and ownership.”

But he does not suggest that self-publishing is easy. Without guidance, it can be confusing,  inefficient and unnecessarily expensive.

APE makes it clear that to self-publish successfully, you must be willing to don all three hats: author, publisher and entrepreneur.

Becoming an  APE

APE begins with four good reasons and two bad ones for becoming an author. The desire to make lots of money is one of the two bad ones since earning great wealth from book sales, though possible, is rare.

Whether you are writing your first book or fifth, APE will enlighten and empower you. It is loaded with  details about preparing your manuscript, ballpark costs of self-publishing, publishing options, copyright issues, digital rights management and valuable self-promotion techniques, such as how to pitch bloggers and reviewers.

APE offers us publishing Plans A, B and C and urges us not to get stigmatized when we can’t find a traditional publisher. He chucks out the stigmatized phrase “vanity publishing” and ushers in a new one.

“Self-publishing could change from stigma to bragging point–maybe we could change the term to “artisanal publishing” and foster the image of authors lovingly crafting their books with total control over the process.”

By crowdsourcing the editing of APE, the authors attracted hundreds of writers, coaches, entrepreneurs and bloggers in the field who gave priceless input to help catch errors and build in real-life examples, anecdotes and sources.

You will learn in one chapter details on navigating Amazon and from another chapter, tactical and practical guerilla marketing techniques.

The section on becoming an entrepreneur is the most valuable section for the self-publisher.  Here you will learn how to create your profile and platform using the major social media sites, as well as details on creating a press release, virtual book tours and using social networks designed especially for writers and readers.

While APE shows us how to self-publish, it does not discourage traditional publishing, nor harnessing the power of  a traditional PR launch.

If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick road to self-publishing, this isn’t it.

If, on the other hand, you want a content-rich, user-friendly, comprehensive and up-to-the-minute guide for navigating the self-publishing waters, get APE today. It’s the new self-publishing bible.

About the Authors

Guy Kawasaki is the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Shawn Welch is the author of From Idea to App, iOS 5 Core Frameworks, and iOS 6 for Developers as well as the developer of several iOS apps. Previously he worked as a senior media-editor for Pearson Education.

He also helped pioneer many of Pearson’s earliest efforts in iPad solutions. Welch has a BS from Kansas State University.


Are you encouraged to try self-publishing again  or for the first time? Share your thoughts.