Are You Always Short on Time?

Are you one of those people who can never find the time to write, or market your books or business? Well, problem solved! At least temporarily.

Just in case you forgot, Friday is Feb 29th, Leap Year Day. There's an extra 24 hours that you won't get again for a while. I know it's built into the normal calendar, but why not pretend it isn't?
If you had an extra day (and you do) to do whatever you want with regard to your writing life, what would you try to accomplish? Okay, so if normal Friday plans have to be in the mix, that's fine. Can you do one thing on your list, maybe squeeze in two?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Start one article, finish something that's been on the back-burner, research one freelance market, find one new site where you can blog about your topic, plan your marketing strategy for March, edit one chapter, write one paragraph.

If you do set aside some leap year time, I'd love to hear about what you accomplished. Know any other writers who might be up for the challenge? Send them by, the more the merrier.

Good Writing & God Bless,

Cheryl Pickett


What Kind of Website Do You Need?

If you're writing to sell (to beyond family and friends), whether it's books, info products or services, just about everyone would agree that a website is a must. However, what kind of website do you need? Maybe you've never thought much about it, figuring a website is a website, but I'm here to tell you that's no longer the case.

Here's what I mean and what you need to consider:
Until relatively recently, most people have had what are called "brochure sites", you may be included. Basically, it's an online version of a paper brochure. Lots of pictures and info, not particularly interactive.

However, unless your product is purely visual (like art), and you're expecting to sell, your site needs to engage your visitors and move them through the buying cycle. Also, contrary to what many believe, it doesn't have to be particularly pretty, and it doesn't need to be complex in order to accomplish this.

What it does need to do is: Engage your visitors, give them what they're looking for and motivate them to either 1. start a relationship with you (i.e. sign up for a newsletter) 2. make a purchase 3. or move on because they aren't your target audience. It needs to represent you and do the job you would otherwise do in person if you speak with someone face to face.

It's a simple concept really-do you want a cyber knick-knack that sits in it's place looking pretty for your visitors, or a business tool you can count on to do the job it's intended to do?

Have questions, thoughts, comments? I'm looking forward to reading them.

Cheryl Pickett


When You Need a Little Inspiration

Well, this post is pretty much the opposite of my last one. No publishing meanies here.

Instead, I'd like to share two resources with you for those moments when you are banging your head against the wall, ready to give up, poised to toss your computer out the window, curse the day you decided to try writing...

The first is a new book called 1100 Quotations: Words to Inspire Writers by Gregory Victor Babic. Set up in a quote of the day style, it's easy to use any time you need a little pick me up. Most of the quotations are from classic writers and historical figures so any of you who are lit teachers might find it useful in the classroom too. You can find out more here http://gregbabic.com/

If you want to get some inspiration delivered to your inbox, you'll want to visit http://writingtips-writingquotations.blogspot.com/ Here you'll find a variety of tips, interviews and resources from writer Laurie Pawlick-Keinlen. She also has another site with inspiration for women, so be sure to check that out too (guys, send over a female you love, she'll appreciate it).


Good Writing & God Bless,

Writer Be Aware

Victoria Strauss -- BookWise Branches Out

My intent for this blog and the http://publishinganswers.com site is to give you tools to make informed decisions. Whenever possible, I will try to present pros and cons, because I believe there's too much bashing about this or that publishing method already.

However, in a case like this one, where I really can't see enough of an up side to say the option could be considered, I'm going to take sides.

One of my biggest goals is to educate authors so that they aren't taken advantage of and in this case, I agree with Victoria. I don't see how anyone could call this Bookwise offer a smart choice.


Cyber Scavenger Hunt

Here's a creative way to promote websites. I hadn't seen anything like it until the other day, if you have and have info or links to share please do.

This is a scavenger hunt contest sponsored by a publisher that could easily be done by a group of authors, or any other type of group you wanted to put together for promotion and networking.

It only runs through Valentine's Day, but I'm sure it will be archived and you'll be able to find it later as well. Let me know if by chance you enter and win :-)!

http://georgianad.blogspot.com/ Scroll to Friday Feb 1

Have a super week.

Cheryl Pickett

The Website is ready!

Just a quick note for those of you who may not have gotten the official launch email yesterday: http://publishinganswers.com is now up and running! Watch this blog or my newsletter for details on how I finally managed to get things up and running quickly, and relatively inexpensively.

I hope you'll visit the site soon. Please feel free to share your comments after you do.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


Who Are You Talking to?

As I move forward with this blog, my new site (it's almost ready!!) and writing projects, I was reminded today that I always need to know who I'm talking to. I need to keep on top of what readers want from me no matter what medium I'm using.

One way I'll keep up is with the handy-dandy survey tool to the right (BTW, if you haven't voted...). I'll also watch comments, how people get here, and other fun tracking devices too.

While I'm working at all this, I also have to realize I can't be everything to everyone. That part is a little scary. Even though I want each visitor to stay, not everyone will because, (contrary to what some new authors believe) there's no such thing as "everyone" wanting to read a blog, book or anything else. So a few will go away, but others will stay. In the end, if I can say the right things to inspire those who'll benefit most, I'll consider it a good day.

So...how about you? Who are you talking to?



Cause You've Got Personality...

There's a song with lyrics that go something like "cause you've got personality, walk with personality, talk with personality...

Whether you're researching a publishing opportunity or how to sell something you've written, those lyrics point out a key consideration many people overlook- personality.

What I mean by this is sometimes writers (myself included) look at dollar signs, effort (word count), and similar quantitative factors when considering an opportunity. All of these things are important for sure, but they're only part of the equation. In my mind, it's just as important to consider if the task fits your working style, if it fits your introverted or extroverted nature, or simply whether or not you'll enjoy it.

True, sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do in order to make ends meet etc. But whenever you can, go the extra step and I can almost guarantee you'll be happy with the results.

If you'd like to read a bit more on this topic, you can find a recent article of mine here