About SharingwithWriters Blog

Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please join the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Meshing Reading, Writing, and Marketing

A Memoir—and Marketing Technique--to Be Pondered 


From your #SharingwithWriters blogger and multi award-winning author of fiction, 
poetry and the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

Here is a book that neatly combines my love of memoir and marketing. The dust jacket of this beautifully designed book explains: When God Says No by Judith Briles was first published in 1990, republished in 1994 and again in 1997.  But wait! Here it is again published in 2019 when it “took on a life of its own.” As I read, it became clear that in spite of its many touching memoir moments, it was the journey this book took along with that of the author that caught my attention—something that would illustrate to my readers that a book needn’t die. It can grow. It can become a classic. And that reviews are one of the marketing tools that can best make that happen!

The thing is, it can only happen if the author (or publisher!) knows or has a sense that it can and also knows how to make something so miraculous transpire. In fact, it is the best example I have run across for the authors I have tried to convince about the value of reviews. It illustrates these steps:

  1. Know that these days books needn’t die as they once did when they were given ninety days before bookstores sent them back to publishers to be remarketed on discount sale tables or shredded! 
  2. The author and/or publisher must realize a potential for a new edition or the magic never happens.
  3. Such a realization is more likely to work well if the author has been keeping notes about new events, information, or ideas that affect the content—anything really, from a memoir to a how-to book. 
  4. That authors and publishers who keep honing their marketing skills are most like to make this book successful—from the first edition to, well, whatever number the last might be.

Note: The author of this memoir has been sending me copies of her new books for several years, usually with a handwritten note—both a gesture of gratitude and a request for a review or blurb tucked inside the front cover. It’s part of her process and certainly one that should be added to the marketing repertoire of anyone who wants to make a career of writing books!

Those who know my HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers may have guessed that making a book into a classic by using repeated editions and putting reviews at the forefront of their marketing expertise is the reason I wrote , How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing careerOne of my favorite sayings is MSNBC’s “The more you know…”  The future of one of your books may depend on just such a notion! 


More About Carolyn's 'Books Needn't Die' Theory

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel was set in Utah. This is the Place, has won eight awards and, though out of print, the paperback is still available in Amazon’s new and used feature—usually for less than a dollar. That’s another little tips for making a book into a classic. Letting Amazon keep it alive with their New and Used Book feature.  Her book of creative nonfiction Harkening, is a collection of stories most of them set in Utah. Also, out of print, it is also still “alive” and has won three . Her practical and detailed how-to book on promotion, The Frugal Book Promoteris an example of using editions for the same purpose. Published by Modern History Press in its third edition, it was once dubbed a “classic” by Bookbaby.com. The flagship book in the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, it is available at http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII


More About When God Says No

Title:  When God Says No

Subtitle: Revealing the Yes When Adversity and Loss Are Present

By Judith Briles

Publisher: Mile High Press, Ltd. (2019) 

Genre: Memoir

ISBN: 9781886431731

Available on Amazonas hard cover, paperback and e-book




Thursday, April 01, 2021

Working from Home for Authors--Successfully and Legitimately

Legitimate Ways to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Parent

By Gwen Payne 


We writers are lucky. The ability to stay home and care for your kids is an invaluable gift. Beyond the savings involved in skipping years of outsourced childcare, you get to be around for all of those important early childhood moments. Of course, becoming a stay-at-home parent also means losing work income. If you’re worried about making ends meet, or you’d just like to put some extra money away for the future, a work-from-home job will give you the best of both worlds. 


Making money from home is easier than you may think! Are you wondering where to start? Tales2Inspire presents these tips to help you begin.


Start a Home-Based Business


Have you always dreamed of running your own business from home? Don’t let anything stop you! Countless people have launched successful home-based businesses while juggling the demands of parenting — and you can, too. All it takes is a little self-discipline and your ever-present writing skills.


Before you start,  make sure your idea--what your writing will do--solves a real problem or entertains in way that will encourage people to want more of what you do. A great way to generate business ideas is to think about the problems you encounter in your everyday life and come up with effective solutions for them. For example, if you’re a writer and you know business owners who would love to start a blog, offer to write some articles for them. Before you know it, you could start a business as a professional content writer.


Once you have a business idea, you will have to pick a business structure and register with your state. Forming an LLC could be a great idea if you’re looking to minimize your taxes and protect yourself from potential lawsuits should things go awry. Research how to start an LLC so you can get your business up and running as soon as possible.


Become a Freelancer


If you’re looking for a way to make some money on the side while building your business, freelancing is an excellent idea. You can freelance in a wide variety of industries. Some great freelance jobs to consider include writing, transcribing, online tutoring, marketing, and social media management. 


The best part? You don’t need any training or qualifications to get started. Create a few portfolio pieces to share with potential clients and learn how to write amazing proposals. Freelancing platforms are a good place to find your first clients, but you may also want to set up a basic website where you can showcase your professional portfolio.


Work as a Virtual Assistant


Do you need something a little more stable than a freelance job? While many freelance contracts involve one-off projects, virtual assistants often work for the same clients on a long-term basis. Some even work as remote employees. If you’re looking for employee benefits, virtual assisting may be perfect for you.


Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks on the job. As Desire to Done explains, virtual assistants offer all kinds of services, ranging from blog maintenance and social media content creation to bookkeeping and email management. Try to find a virtual assistant job in an industry that interests you, whether it’s fitness, real estate, photography, web design, or business.  


Start a Home Daycare


Not so tech-savvy? There are plenty of money-making opportunities for parents who prefer to work offline, as well. Running a home daycare is one of them. You’re already home with your own kids all day, so why not add a few more? 


Operating out of your own home means very low startup costs, but you might have to invest in toys, cleaning products, mats, food, insurance, and first aid supplies before launching. Hunting down funding to cover these minor costs shouldn’t be too difficult. Consider asking your friends and family to invest in your business or checking with your bank about a small business loan.


Be sure to consider your legal obligations, as well. For example, most states require that daycare staff have CPA certification. You’ll also have to check your state regulations regarding health and safety inspections, facility requirements, child-staff ratios, and zoning regulations.


How to Find Work-Life Balance


When you’re juggling remote work and childcare responsibilities, life can get out of control very quickly. Make sure you’re prepared to find a work-life balance before you start working from home. First, manage your expectations. You might not be able to get as much done in a day as you expect — and that’s okay! Count on everything taking longer than planned so you can avoid overbooking yourself and causing burnout. 


Try to maintain a routine, but be okay with some uncertainty. A few hours of focused, kid-free work every day can be invaluable to busy parents. Consider getting up before your kids and plugging away at your most important projects during this sacred time. Save the more mundane tasks — answering emails or creating invoices — for those hours when you have to keep an eye on the kids. 


Practical By Default also recommends setting a timer to block off work periods during which your kids know not to interrupt you. Once your kids learn what the timer means, you should be able to focus for 15 to 30 minutes at a time without distractions. Most importantly, remember to give your kids plenty of attention when your work block is up.

Thanks to the internet, there are countless ways for stay-at-home parents to make money. And you don’t have to stick with just one method. Consider juggling a few different gigs to maximize your money-making potential. For example, you could run a home daycare business and work as a freelance writer on the side — whatever sounds good to you!

More on Today's Guest Blogger

Gwen Payne runs InvisibleMoms.com.


 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the multi award-wining author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series
of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered by Modern History Press in its third edition. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). 

 In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon: http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.