i Will Be Paying Attention

Those that know me well know the last thing I am is a tech wizard. Yes, I've accomplished social networking via Facebook & Twitter (feel free to friend or follow, I use FB most) but when it comes to the actual equipment needed, I'm not handy. I may be able to figure out something simple if it has been made "click here stupid" enough, but that's about where it ends.

That being said though, I still need to and do pay attention to technology to a point. Why? Because that's where our world, publishing is going and actually has been for a while to varying degrees. It just may happen faster in the next year or two than it has in the past several decades. What will change? If I knew that I could retire on the consulting fees. What is certain is that it will change-it has too. Tomorrow may be one such example and I'll be paying attention.

If by chance you don't know, Apple is releasing its newest gadget tomorrow, some sort of tablet computer which some believe will be a huge version of an i-touch or i-phone, somewhere in the 7-10 inch size range. Many also believe it could change how written media is both presented and read dramatically.

Maybe ebooks will be easier to read than on a Kindle or similar item. Maybe it will be so multi-functional that books will be able to include animation or video, audio or all of the above because that one device will now handle all of it. Even if by some chance people don't fall in love with it immediately, it will certainly make an impact; yet another step on the path where media is headed.

So, as authors/writers you and I have two choices, pay no attention and keep doing what we're doing hoping there's still a way to sell whatever it is we're working on, or pay attention and see where we fit in. Will it mean we have to turn on a dime? Maybe, maybe not. The thing is though, if we're not paying attention we may just get run over and wonder how it happened.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


You Get to Choose

If you're around my age, you may remember the book series called "Choose Your Own Adventure". Apparently, there's a series out now too so you might also be familiar with that one.They were fun to read because, unlike any other book, these allowed you to take part in creating the story to an extent. Everyone started out in the same place, but then as you read you were given options. Turn to page 20 and X would happen, turn to 14 and it would be something different. That kept happening until you eventually wound up at an ending. More time to read? You could try an entirely different combination. It was and still is a great concept I think.

Now jump forward to 2010 and add in the creative mind of Jon Acuff of the very popular blog "Stuff Christians Like" and in today's post you'll find his version of choose your own adventure-blog style. Seriously. What he's done is decide to have a little fun with the Christian romance novel genre and he's started posting bits and pieces on the bottoms of past blog posts. Follow along and you get a mini-story in 4 or 5 clicks or so (at least in the combination I did). If you can't wait to read click here (but please come back :-)

I think the whole idea is a bit of genius. Not only has he given his regular readers something new and interesting to do (and to share) using the previous posts may get new visitors to read well beyond the adventure part. Beyond what it does for him, think about the possibilities for you, your book, your blog, linking up to other people's blogs, trying out a story line, hooking readers for an upcoming book. Lots of possibilities here. Any ideas strike you right away? Would love to hear them as always. If you didn't click above here's the link again. Enjoy!

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Okay, so I'm giving away my age probably to some extent, but I'm guessing at least some of you, like me, know what follows the line in the header today. You also know it comes from a song on Sesame Street. For those of you who aren't familiar, the gist of it is that one of four items is not like any of the others. It might be an orange vs three apples or three blue items vs a yellow one for example and the exercise reinforces shapes, colors etc.

Somewhere along the line, that lesson often also turns toward the idea that it's not good to be that one that's different. It's better to be in the group of the same. And there are times when that concept can serve you well. There are times when we don't want to stand out in the crowd, or when we need to go with the flow. However, there are also situations when that strategy is detrimental instead of helpful. I'm pretty confident you've experienced one or the other at some point and likely each multiple times in your life. In publishing, you'll find most of the time you'll need to do a little of both.

First, particularly if you're hoping for a publishing deal, your book needs to be alike in that it falls into a recognizable category or spot on a shelf. If it's supposed to fit a certain genre' it needs to fall within expected norms of what a reader would expect from that style of book. Go to far to one side or the other and you may only have a fringe audience that won't make it widely marketable, which for a publisher means, it won't sell enough.

That said, the crazy thing is at the same time the book needs to be that one yellow one among the blue ones. It's good for it to stand out because it gives a reader who has hundreds of choices an incentive to pick yours over the others. If they like it, they'll also recommend it to others instead of saying something along the lines of "it's like most of the other ones you've probably read".

It's a very tricky balancing act to be sure. Does your brain hurt just trying to understand and apply all that? Here's a little help :-)

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


You Have Permission

First, a big Happy New Year to everyone! I don't know what this year holds for you, but I truly wish all the best and God's richest blessings for you and your families.

Now on to this week's post:
There are many expert life/biz coach type folks who will tell you that the stuff you do, the actions you take to reach success are only part of the equation. The other part is what goes on inside including your attitude and that internal dialogue we all have going on in our heads. And that second part sometimes is a bigger player than we consciously realize. Many times it motivates, but all to often for many that inner voice questions, discourages, and stops us in our tracks on the way to our goals and dreams.

At this point, you may think I'm going to get all "just think positive" but you and I both know it isn't that simple and I'm not going to insult your intelligence. What I do want to do though is to give you another bit to think about as you head into 2010.

In my last post in December, I encouraged you to start planning what you want to do this year. Some of you got right to it and others are probably still working on things as I am. And at least a few of you are probably stuck somewhere (or you will be at some point).The thing is you're probably not stuck because you don't have the capability or smarts to move ahead, it's because that inner voice has put up a road block of doubt or fear. That's where the title above comes in. To move past those walls, maybe all you need is the permission to do it you can't give yourself so here you go:

You now officially have permission:
To do something different, to say what you've always wanted to say or to do what you've always wanted to do, to change course, to invest a little money in yourself, to act on a new idea, to make mistakes and mess up, to try again, to start over. You have permission to follow your dreams. It's okay, really, give yourself permission and go for it.

Again, a blessed New Year to you. I look forward to walking with you on your journey as an author.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett