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Sunday, April 29, 2012

There Are Goals, And Then There Are Goals!

Most of you reading this blog have writing projects going on all the time – often multiple projects (articles, blogs, site updates, e-books, books – you name it, we write it!). Part of making all of this writing a bit easier is having a map for how we are going to address each project. This map, for me, anyway, consists of a series of goals that, when all met, create the article, blog, update, e-book or book that I need to get out.

It’s easy to write down a bunch of goals – throw enough stuff against the wall, some of it is bound to stick! Workable goals, goals that move us on to the next goal – that is a bit more difficult. However, if we break it down into parts, we can do it without having a breakdown.

The first thing that we need to realize about goals is that to be effective, we need to be able to measure them in some way, they need to have some value, and they need to actually be a grade or two above New Year’s resolutions, in that they need to be achievable.

How can we measure our goals? They need to have a beginning, middle, and end. We need to be able to visualize them, and take realistic action to achieve them. Writing a blog is a vague goal – writing a blog on creating a bible for your book, or how to make best use of social media, is a goal that will have a beginning, middle, and end, with actions that can be taken.

Writing a number one best seller is a goal, but is it a realistic one? Writing a book that follows a storyline, has believable characters, and holds the attention of the intended audience – that is a realistic, attainable goal. If along the way it also becomes a number one best seller – Kudos!

Now we move into meaningful territory. What may seem to be meaningful really isn’t if it doesn’t in some way move your project forward. Also – please make sure that your goals are your goals, and not someone else’s idea of what you should be doing.

Long term goals, short term goals … these are the stuff of life! Put your focus and intent here, and your dreams will manifest in ways that you could never have imagined!

© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I have recently noticed that there are quite a few people either joining Twitter, or starting to actually use accounts that they have had for some time now. I certainly am not an expert, but I will share what I know and use (and some of what I know about, but don’t use).

There actually are places where you can get a few tips on Twitter to at least get you started. This is one of them - https://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/104-welcome-to-twitter-support/articles/215585-twitter-101-how-should-i-get-started-using-twitter. The first thing to remember is – the site is called Twitter, the 140 character posts are called Tweets.

Why Tweet? Twitter is a social network site. You can Tweet to get professional information out, or you can Tweet to get personal information out. In both cases you are networking and connecting. Your Twitter page can be a professional page, or it can be a personal page. Even with professional pages you may want to Tweet some personal information … enough to make you human enough that someone wants to connect with you, and with the work that you are doing. As far as personal pages … try and make the Tweets make sense. Tweeting just to be Tweeting won’t increase your credibility, or draw people to follow you.

Why do you want people to follow you? On a professional page, you will be attracting both clients/customers, and people in your field that you may want to collaborate with. On a personal page, when people follow you they are interested in what you are saying, and will often share their own thoughts. This is how we all learn and grow.

Who do you want to follow? People who share the same interests that you do. I also follow news sites, publishing houses, and a few shopping venues. I get tons of information on a daily basis – I have found connections on Twitter that I would not have found elsewhere.

What is Retweet? When you click the Retweet button you are sharing a post that someone else has placed on Twitter. I share a lot of posts, because I feel that the people in my timeline – the people that follow me – will be interested in it.

Here is a great link that will explain the terms used in connection with Twitter - https://support.twitter.com/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary.

This is what hashtags (#) are all about - https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-what-are-hashtags-symbols.

And what is this #FF thing? http://tagdef.com/ff. You will see this playing out every Friday, when people share the Twitter links to people that they feel are worth following.

Here are some great links on using Twitter: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Twitter, http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-use-twitter, http://news.cnet.com/newbies-guide-to-twitter/, http://technmarketing.com/web/ten-things-you-must-know-before-using-twitter/.

Here are some great links to Twitter apps: https://twitter.com/#!/download, http://www.squidoo.com/twitterapps, http://techcrunch.com/2009/02/19/the-top-20-twitter-applications/.

Have fun with this!

© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Countdown ...




I am in the process of coding my second Tarot book, and sending it in to my editor. Since this is my second book, I am a bit calmer than I was the first time. I think writer's will always worry about things like "Have I said this right?", or "Should I have included more (or less)?" We even stress over things like punctuation, especially if we are writing in a niche field.

None of this is what concerns me right now. it is the little things that I need to put together and send with my manuscript, like:

1. About the book - long description and jacket copy.
2. Short description for backlist catalog.
3. Author bio (catalog).
4. Author bio - (jacket).
5. A concise summary of the book.
6. A description of the book's breadth.
7. A tantalizing tidbit that will grab the readers attention.
8. Keywords, for Internet search, indexing, category selection, differentiation.
9. Two copies of the backup files.
10. Update marketing survey and contact list.

I am very happy that I have all of this to do, but at the same time I have the concern that I will miss something. As authors, we do the best we canb. Then we take a deep breath, drop back ten, and punt!

(c) April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Indie Authors



I just finished reading an article by Joanna Penn on the rise of Indie authors (from her keynote speech at the Publishing Innovation conference), and how this helps the publishing industry. Since I am, and plan to continue to be, an Indie author, the title alone caught my eye! How cool if some little thing that I can do will help an industry that I would like to see stay healthy!

You can see Joanna’s article here - http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/03/22/rise-of-indie/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheCreativePenn+(The+Creative+Penn)&utm_content=Google+Reader.

I loved her comment that on sites like Amazon.com that customers are now the gatekeepers via their ability to review.

(Side note: There evidently is a small scale war going on in the Amazon.com forums over whether “friends and family” should be doing reviews, and whether they are too biased. There also seems to be an issue with noting whether material was actually purchased, or was promotional copy. I review on both – I actually prefer to purchase, so there is no question hat my reviews are based on my thoughts, and not some hidden (or not so hidden) agenda. Amazon now has a little button that reviews can click if they are reviewing something purchased from Amazon.com. I imagine that this is meant to give some kind of credibility to the review – I am not sure that I agree with this.)

Joanna lists several positive things about independent publishing, including a higher percentage of royalties going to the author, ability to follow sales figures daily on the back end (a HUGE bonus, IMHO), and the ability to achieve global sales.

Included in this article were Joanna’s notes on the talk given by Anthony Forbes Watson, MD, of Pan Mac Millan, on self-publishing. Food for thought here.

Take a look at Joanna’s article, and see what you think.

© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet