Thursday, September 25, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
1. After weeks of being ignored, my editor came to see me! We were able to make some ridiculous headway in the final revisions of my new novel and map out the content for the sequel!
2. I should have my electronic plate proofs for Songs of Many Seasons by Friday!!
3. I found out some really interesting things about marketing and Facebook pages.
Let's talk about some controversial subjects to get going today. First, what is your personal opinion of what's happening in the NFL, currently? Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice...you should know both, or at least one story well. Here is a cap: Ray Rice knocked his wife out cold after she slapped him repeatedly and spit in his face. Adrian Peterson is accused of beating his child with a wooden switch till it caused lacerations. Now Facebook, Twitter, social media, and sports news stations are going nuts! It's an emotional topic for many people. It matters not where your opinion falls on either side. I am pretty heated too, but let's not get caught up. Take a step back with me and let's explore how issues like this can really affect your small business negatively.
|(Peterson and son courtesy of google images)|
|(Rice and daughter courtesy of google images)|
If you are like me you have a business Facebook page. Most people do, the harm that is posed by mega social issues like these above often doesn't hurt big business, but the small ones. Here's why. YOU. The owner, the proprietor of your small business website. You are human, you have opinions, but unless your personal account is distanced effectively from your business account, beware! Google +, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and all social media sites you own personally can either protect or seriously harm your small business by the content you post.
For example, I am an Author. Any site I run automatically becomes a business platform to me because my name is on it. I have my image, my fans know who I am, what I discuss, and they are use to me. Your business may not be John Doe's Supplies, but as a small business, your name as the owner/proprietor is inexorably linked to your livelihood. Now listen careful: What YOU post on your PERSONAL accounts will in some way affect your business.
I purposefully avoid heated topics like the NFL's recent trouble. I may talk freely about the case, but I will not publish my opinions because I know that there are people online waiting to get into a dirty, ugly fight on both sides. Also, I don't want an opinion I hold personally to change my business image as an Author. I have tackled so many issues in my novels and poetry its crazy, but I don't want to influence the market in a negative way by openly getting involved in every controversy known to man.
Your business is your baby, protect it with guarded words and thoughtful speech. You won't ever lose business by posting hopeful messages, interesting tips, or stories of achievement on your personal social media sites. You will lose business, however, if you blare your opinions across the world wide web with powerful language while being inconsiderate to those who have an opposing view. You define your business with your personality. It shouldn't matter to a printer if a football player has seven children from two different relationships. It shouldn't matter to a fiction Author if a professional athlete has been married multiple times. We are our business, anything else is a distraction to our viewers and followers from what we do and who we are.
Remember though, there are some issues worth standing on. Moral integrity in business, kindness, love, encouragement, ethics, legal practices, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Express your opinions in areas where you can prove you are different than bigger, soulless companies. You care, the little guy matters to you. That is the opinion your viewers and buys care about. Don't waste words on situations to which you are unrelated, and if you are related, all the more reason to keep the matter amongst close family and friends. You would be surprised what such a little change can do to boost your image and help you stay focused in a blurring market of emotional sensationalism.
Friday, September 19, 2014
So, a little bit of education now. This phase can mean many things, listen up all you internet surfing softies born in the golden age of brutish slang; as opposed to the iconic slang of my time ;-) I digress. The proper use of this 3 word combo is to evoke a sense of mystic ease while doing a chore, job, or explaining steps.
Example: "Look; run in, grab the loot, and bob's your uncle; we're living like kings!" Notice the many pitfalls if the plan are neatly summed up with Bob's Your Uncle?
While everyone is puzzled about the phrase, what I want to know is not who is Bob or who was his nephew or niece...but what impossible circumstance did Uncle Bob overcome? It must have been pretty stinking impressive. Considering it was 1880s time frame possibly earlier I wonder what it could have been? Puzzling, no?
Either way I feel like there could be a book written about the crazy impossible things Uncle Bob did, and no, I am not referring to my Uncle Bob. But it would be a great idea for a children's story book. Do you know how many little boys would laugh if every weird situation in the book was solved by some mysterious power of "Bob's Your Uncle?" How about all the Uncle Bobs that would buy the book and be like, "Yes, I am magical." Its a golden idea right? I should publish the book myself.
If I did want to publish a book for children, using this idea (and trust me the thought crossed my mind) I made a huge mistake by sharing that idea with the world before I developed it further. The intellectual property I own, you own, and everybody owns is idiosyncratic ideas and projections. Once you share your intellectual property freely, people are free to take the ball and run with it as they like.
Continuing the notion that I wanted to publish this book. Telling the world my idea leaves anyone in the world free to write/draw the book and market it as their own. Imagine my dismay as I finish the cute little manuscript, only to find out a book with the same core thought is released. A publisher would be crazy to agree to print my work. And I could say all I wanted: "that's my idea!" But, legally next to nothing could be done because the idea came from my public blog, and the story gendered from a private source.
The moral of this story is that your ideas and future projects should have a certain anonymity to them if you want to receive credit and/or compensation. Your ideas are your property, intellectual property to be exact, but if you spread them someone can take your metaphysical idea, make it physical, and they own it. Not you. Unless it's irrelevant that the public know what you are up to and what you are working on as an artist, please keep in mind that the first two w's in www, stands for world wide. Don't get hurt as an artist and protect your intellectual property in and out of contracts.
PS: I will not be mad, insulted, or upset if anyone uses this idea to publish a good book for children with little cartoon pictures. All I ask is for you to let me know, because seriously, I would love to do review on that!
Thursday, September 18, 2014
I am so excited to announce my book has officially been set and I have already spoken to the design team that are constructing the cover. This is a huge first step for me.
Songs of Many Seasons is so close to debuting! See the full discription at: www.booksbyvera.wix.com/veralynn
Also if you were wondering here is your first hint for the contest; what does Nona mean in Korean?
(Don't forget post your answer to the blog and sign up via my website.)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
So today, as I was rummaging through my office (fancy word for any place I have cluttered to death) I found all sorts of old poems and stack of papers that are ages old. And my first two thoughts were: I wonder if this would make a good blog and this page looks like a pirate beard, hahaha arrrrrg! You can guess which one I had more fun with off the bat.
So going through your old writings can be a horror storm of emotions, but ultimately its like watching a child grow. You can see how you have evolved and honed your skills, maybe even realize your old self had a purity to it that you would like to regain. Whether is looking at pictures of your youth or seeing something your wrote in third grade, those things are priceless treasures. (And no I am not an narcissist...maybe)
So now for the informational section:
Would any of you believe that the posts on a blog that generate the most views are the nonsensical ones? I totally was taken by surprise on that one. Apparently according to feedback and viewer trends, not many people are interested in step by step instructions and clear cut plans, but would rather be distracted by an amusing post with once central lesson. So as you go about creating your blog or even having conversations about your business, keep it interesting.
As many of you are aware the goal of this blog is to help people get to know me, and perhaps even learn a few things themselves about marketing, authorship, writing and such, but by popular demand I am changing things up. So look forward to more fun posts and a lot less technicalities.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
-Robert A. Heinlein-
Friday, September 12, 2014
For me, adding spice to everyday tasks is a must. A little dash of flava, a pinch of sprinkles, and a whole lotta attitude makes for a great triple threat. But have you ever looked into your cabinetry of ideas and found that (GASP) they are pretty empty? I write every day, probably over 1500 words, and that's not including my profess jobs like my novels, blog, email, and stuff. While I am a full time writer and talker (if you ask my sisters), eventual the doldrums seize me and I have nothing to say-yes, be at awe- even I can be out of words. It's like all my inventive spirits are exhausted like my nerves and I end up having a string of nothing but Dick and Jane sentences (miles away, my editor faints in horror).
Even when things are going well, I find that I can't help occationally wanting and having self pitty that things aren't better. So what can be done about a dried up muse? What can make a day fun? How can one add pizazz back into their life and not feel so empty and depressed?
Truth is, till recently I hadn't a clue. I would clean my room, vacuum, wash windows, shop, read, watched cartoons, cook...I would just exist... and eventually happiness and inspiration would just come back. Recently though I've seen some neat ideas that I have begun to implement and though I would share. They really work!
Journal: While it may seem silly, no one will read your diary, so Dick and Jane away. But journal about meaningful experiences, don't focus on drivel, go for thought provocative topics. Like how you witnessed a homeless man share his meal with a stray dog who was just as hungry.
Spend time with children: Unless you're a shrew or particularly nasty man, the laughter and joy of a child is contagious. No one like to see a spoiled one, you got me there, but try and walk by a park or playground just to hear their laughter and fun. It's scientifically proven to stimulate endorphins and help you gain an extra pep.
Silence: While in actual depression, silence can be a negative experience. For those who experience the occasional plight of melancholy, there is some benefit from meditation while looking at a peaceful scene. If you tend to link happy thoughts with cafes, grab a light Danish and just relax. Do you find the park, lake, or walk along the beach sound just right: then go for it. Do something that catches your fancy and that is fairly local. And don't be a downer and think on what you would rather be doing if you had more time or money, enjoy a simple moment and set aside extravagances. The point is to be free of stress and ill-bred thoughts.
Stress Management: I can't mention being happy without mentioning stress levels. Who ever you are, whatever you do, you have stress and chances are if you are working class, Asian, student, parent, or newly-wed you have wa-ay more stress than a human should. Try and seek help if your stress seems to be a daily issue, otherwise find a stress relief program that fits your schedule and makes you smile. If it's changing your environment by rearranging things, printing out a picture of your loved one, or just asking a friend to listen over a cup of tea, relive your stress frequently in healthy outlets. The more you relieve stress the more it tends to roll off your shoulders.
Though I'm not a doctor lots of my information has come from MDs. I am a ticking time bomb of medical issues but it doesn't help to dwell on your problems alone. Talk about them openly and honestly with someone you trust, find a resolution, and move on. Life is too short to be contained in the grey-clouded mindset. Each day is a gift and each breath a chance to enjoy it.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Marketing is an amazing, yet hard to understand promotional field of business for many people. De-mystifying the idea of marketing is essential before you can actually market a product. The principle is marketing is promotion, but if you think you need banners, billboards, and expensive adds you are mistaken. Here is what marketing capitalizes on that you can take advantage of for free: personal interest. If you don't know how your product will help individuals, you can spend thousands and still not see a great increase of interest. The more you understand how your marketing strategy will touch personal interest of the viewers, the more money you can save while increasing fans and followers.
One of the best ways is to offer discounts, or even host a competition. As an example I decided to throw my own give away challenge. Once the results are recorded at the end of the competition I will write a second post. I can expect my views to increase by 20% anything above this would be a huge success for my new marketing idea and I can implement it later use when the seasons becomes a little dry again. I've publicized the event on my blog, my website, and Facebook: let see how the numbers add up and if it's a worthwhile strategy.
Songs of Many Seasons GiveAway
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Everyone touts their proven methods to cure this mental anguish. Chances are if you are reading this, you googled a cure because you have suffered or are currently suffering from this malady. Now here is the good news, I have the cure. In two words and three steps I will have your writer's block cleared, no problem. Unless you're manic depress, then get help...I know, I've been there; no one's judging.
First the two words: Funny Business.
Author definition: Funny Business (n. or v.): specifically meaning, but is not limited to, the act of having fun on the job particularly when one is drained, fatigued, stressed, or bored. Or has writers block.
If you are writing newspaper articles, scientific articles, business articles, scholarly articles, that boring term paper then you need funny business. All other articles will benefit from funny business, but its extremely beneficial to the serious type. Now for the three steps to clear your mind and refresh the little grey cells.
Think of the most happy childhood song you remember and start singing it. (If you are currently in childhood, you're too young to suffer from these problems, have a lollipop and play hopscotch, you have precious years left to enjoy.) Where was I, ahh yes, sing your song. This will prep your mind for the advent of renewal. Keep singing as you switch from writing to a different task to clear your mind of the problem.
Try to draw your frustration out in a little meme. Mine usually makes me think of an angry rice ball...soon after that I get hungry and forget I had a problem to start with. You're doodle should be as simple as possible, make it comical and then sit back and laugh. You should be able to feel much better and happier.
If the singing didn't help you feel all that refreshed and the doodling left much to be desired, then you are in for a heavy hitter.
This next step cannot be avoided if the first two haven't helped. You are to google "shocked anime face". That's right those three words in your search engine, right now. Or get creative and look for angry, mad, expressive anime faces. Scroll down and look at the expressions. Connect with them...see how they typify how you feel? Don't think 'ohh this is childish', please, politicians are childish; this is just plain necessity and its good clean fun. If you cant laugh at the emotion drawn maybe you should lighten up a bit. Just because you are looking at a freaked out animation style you didn't grow up with doesn't mean it can't help you. (Scroll down to see my writers block pictures)
So that's it. Seriously the best cure I have found so far and I have written everything. Journalism, fiction, poetry, term papers, business reports, press releases, scientific journal articles, fan fiction...I know that your writing project is sacred, and most likely serious...but you have to relax and get those endorphins swimming about your brain chemical again. Endorphins are what help you create and enjoy writing. So if all else fails, just have some funny business.
Staring at my project wishing it would write
Friday, September 5, 2014
Name branding isn't about putting your name out on books, articles, blogs, and FB...if it were that simple my life would be made! In reality name branding is an effective marketing strategy in which you , the name, begin to brand it and set image standards for it. Your brand can be anything you want: funky, cool, calm, collected, professional, but never can it be conflicting.
Here is what I mean. When you are looking to brand your name, don't promote a charismatic wild nature and then appear to your first news interview as 100% professional. It confuses fans, it confuses you, and it confuses your brand.
If at all possible let the people around you choose your brand for you. Everyone who knows me is always telling me this blog, my website, my business cards, my writing, in fact everything I touch mirrors my personality. That's because I let the people around me explain to me how they saw me, and then I branded it. So ask your connections how they see you, are you professional and serious? Then brand it. Are you funky retro? Brand it, baby! Tap into who you are and let free. It will only mean good things for you. Once you have your brand pinned down, then you can start to market your name and make it your own. This is what is referred to as branding.
Many authors share my niche and will share yours, don't view it so much as a competition but different interpretations on the same brand. Some authors are professional and serious, I know several, but they each portray it in different ways to market their professionalism and serious outlook as unique.
Don't ride off the ideas of others, instead shape and cultivate your brand name and get to branding it publically. This is where your business cards, social media, interviews, and all that jazz come in to play. But notice how they don't shape the make of your name, your name shapes and makes them unique to you.
Last lets talk about your writing as a form of branding. When you make a written post public, it's the same as publishing an add for you as an author. Do you want that add to blend in? Or worse, portray the wrong message? Your words have power, the only difference between being an author or not is embracing that truth. Famous or not, your words are important and meaningful and should always portray the purity of your flair and style. Use your words to your advantage; step out from the shadows of anonymity and give yourself an edge that can't be found anywhere else.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Everyone will tell you, if you want to be a published writer...blog first. Coming at it from actually the opposite trend, I can safely say blogging is worth the time and effort 100%. I was a little scared and intimidated by the idea, and actually ran three blogs under pseudonyms till I was confident. I can attest to the usefulness and needfulness of a blog to an author based on that experience alone. I hade hundreds of followers spread between the sites and all of them were supper supportive and wanted more. It was a mistake to not blog as, well, me and use those supporters to build a more personal fan base.
On this side of the coin, it is much harder to convince publishers you are note worthy if you don't have a running, frequented blog that promotes your brand name as an author. I would suggest once you have committed to writing, part time or full time (like me!) start a blog and be faithful to it. I just started Pen Noir, not too long ago and am super happy with the results already. I can be me, publish my personality to my fans, and be honest with the world. It's way better than the alternative.
If you've started a blog and would like my opinion on it, comment with your link to this post and I will share my thoughts with you. I don't view new authors or aspiring authors as competition. In fact I value and support the effort it takes to get where I am at and I hope that we can enjoy success together.
Remember: A business card is essential to maintaining the look and prestige of your name as an author. Choose a simple logo, or picture of you, to ingrain your image to the recipient. I am in love with vintage looks and history, the business cards fit my image and my passions. Make sure to always design a card that speaks for you.