Holiday Hopes & Wishes

As children, how many times did you utter the phrase "I hope I get..." at Christmas? I'm sure we all have, and maybe we done so even more recently and the hope was for bigger things than a toy or special gift. Here's my 2011 holiday version, what's yours?

Whether you've been reading my blog for a day or the nearly 3 years it's been up (can't believe it's been that long!) I sincerely hope you've learned things along the way that have made a difference in your publishing journey.

There are new things on the horizon for me in 2011 so I also hope you'll stay tuned. And if during those "so what are you up to" conversations during the holidays, you happen to speak to someone who's struggling with the book process, I humbly hope you'll send them my way.

Lastly, and certainly most importantly, I hope & pray that you all get these gifts during this holiday season and beyond- the peace, love, joy and contentment that came in a manger long ago. It's not going to be wrapped and under the tree, but it is free and bountiful. Blessings to you & your families now and in the New Year.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


How to Publish a Book: Changing Again

How to publish a book may finally be changing for the better. If you've been following my blog, or any publishing info at all for the last year or two, you know the publishing world is changing in twists and turns that most would not have thought of even 10 years ago probably. Some of it has helped but there's lots more to do in many people's opinion including mine. True, all of the upheavel remains exciting and somewhat daunting for authors and publishers alike, the thing is thing aren't going to settle down nicely any time soon.

One new project that will undoubtedly cause both encouragement and consternation is coming from Seth Godin, who is known for thinking ahead as well as doing something to fix the stuff that's broken. He has written several books and some have been published traditionally. Now he's going to try something else, a more direct to market approach. If it works, and I know it will to at least an extent, it will allow authors to get messages out in a more timely fashion and eliminate some of the nonsense that the traditional firms still hold to like returns and the ridiculously long time to actually produce a book.

If write non-fiction especially, I advise you to follow along. You can read the intro details to The Domino Project here and then follow along by subscribing or liking the page on FB.

As an author, why should you pay attention? Because the days of handing over a book to a publisher and then sitting down to write the next one while "they" do the rest are over. OVER. You are now a big part of "they" and you need to do your absolute best to play your part on the team.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


You've Got One, Is It the Best it Can Be?

As an author in 2010 (almost 2011) you have a website. One of the components on that website is an "About" page which is your Bio. If you have a book out already, you also have some sort of short bio on the back cover or somewhere inside. On Facebook and Twitter or Linked in? Bios again, though shorter.

You've got one, so is it the best it can be? Meaning, does it hold the readers interest, does it make them chuckle, or go "ah-ha, that explains a lot" ? Or is it the old cookie cutter experience, expertise & awards-you know the kind. If so, unfortunately, your BIO = BORING.

If that's you, don't worry, many, if not most of us have written one like that. Often it's because that's the example we had. Those kinds of Bios do get the information across basically, but they can certainly be better. Luckily, it's not to hard to learn how to fix them.

Recently, I had the pleasure of reviewing marketing expert Nancy Juetten's newest guide Bye Bye Boring Bio. Not only does she go through the various kinds of Bios (in case you forgot one), she gives lots of before & after examples and other tips to get you on the right track. It's easy to follow and as a writer, you should be able to harness your creativity and kick things up a notch without much difficulty by following this information. If you're still stuck though after reading it, she also offers a Bio makeover writing service as well.

I've read some advice over the past few years about how to make a bio better than average, but in this book I found there's still plenty I can do so I've added upgrading to my plans for 2011.

If this sounds like something you can use (and you most likely can), I'd highly recommend putting Bye Bye Boring Bio on your Christmas list or maybe giving yourself an early treat.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett