Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reader Views Expanding Business

Once again, Reader Views is expanding into new realms with our exciting new endeavor, Inside Scoop Live. This fantastic addition brings live interviews to the reading audience, so you may hear the personal thoughts of authors regarding their books. Just a few weeks since its inception, Inside Scoop Live already has 14 interviews archived and more scheduled every day.

Join in and listen to the most fascinating discussions with “cream-of-crop” writers, hosted by a relatively new member of the Reader Views team, Gayle Campbell. Inside Scoop Live, in partnership with Internet Voices Radio, offers the voice to be heard and you provide the ear to listen! ~ Juanita Watson, Assistant Editor

Friday, December 29, 2006

TGIF December 29, 2006 - Jessica Dockter

TGIF December 29 and I've uploaded a new show to my podcast Writers in the Sky!

Jessica Dockter is a graphic artist and book designer and a member of the Write On! team. She is also the owner of L.E.E. Design.

Jessica’s expertise is in building Web sites, creating company logos, designing book covers and interior layout for eBooks. She is a writer’s dream come true. I didn’t know how much I needed her until she took ten hours off the time I was spending to create my newsletter each month. She was able to set up a template that would allow me to archive my past issues and have the current issue available on the page without having to manually input the new material each month.

She will be sharing with us all the ways a writer needs a graphic designer from illustrations to html newsletters, Jessica can do it all at an affordable price and she is ready to help writers "brand" themselves into the publishing marketplace.

Click here to listen...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nightengale Press' Radio Show for Authors

Check out this link to Global Talk Radio and listen to Valerie Connelly’s show, Calling All Authors. She has some great interviews and tips on writing and publishing.

Additionally, if you are looking for a great book publisher, check out Nightengale Press at

Valerie will be my guest on Writers in the Sky on January 26, 2007 where we will be discussing the unique publishing process of Nightengale Press.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Using Gender-Sensitive Language

by J.J. Murphy

I’m comfortable using terms like flight attendant or fire fighter when I’m referring to an individual who performs that job. I typically struggle with pronoun use.

This is an interesting area of writing technique, because the strategies for applying gender-sensitive language are still being worked out.

Here are some of the choices I am comfortable making when using this gender-sensitive language:

1. If you have a choice, skip the pronoun. I find him/her, (s)he, and even they can be clumsy when I am referring to both male and female subjects. The sentence, Everyone who attends the event has to submit a writing sample, is easier to write than Everyone who attends the event has to submit his/her writing sample.

2. Use you, instead of his/her. The sentence, You should report the results to your team leader, is easier to read than Every member should report his/her results to his/her team leader.

3. When stuck with pronouns, create an imaginary person. I got this tip from Robert Bly, who suggests you create a named character if your only option is to use him/her. Read the following two sentences: 1. If our client Jake Jones makes a list before he shops, he’s likely to save money. 2. If a shopper makes a list before he/she shops, (s)he is likely to save money. You can really hear the difference when you read these out loud.

4. Practice using gender neutral nouns. Here is a short list:

Executive instead of Businessman or Businesswoman

Humanity instead of Mankind

Individual instead of Man

Chair or Chairperson instead of Chairman

Police officer instead of Policeman

Representative or Legislator instead of Congressman

5. Read your work out loud. Pay attention to the number of words that end in man or men. Can you find a more accurate word? Consider using synthetic or artificial, instead of man-made. If you’ve written: Executives and their wives ..., consider changing to: Executives and their guests ... or Executives and their spouses ... for more gender-neutral content. Words like secretary and nurse often have an implied gender. The context of your work will determine whether it makes sense for you to substitute executive assistant or support staff.

6. Limit the use of male and female. Referring to a human being as a male or a female, sounds like a police report to my ear. When referring to plants, animals, fish or insects, I will use male or female. But when I am referring to human beings, I will use boy, girl, adolescent, teenager, man, woman, or a combination, like adolescent boy or twenty-something woman.

My writing goal is to communicate a clear message to my readers and to elicit a response. Removing potential offenders, like gender-biased language is one effective way to keep your reader on message.

JJ Murphy is a freelance writer who helps a variety of companies, small businesses and individuals to express their awareness and dedication to developing sustainable technology and to preserve our natural resources. She provides articles for natural magazines, hiking publications, simple living publications in print and online. She also writes curricula to help public schools home schooling groups, private schools, wilderness camps, adult learning groups, continuing education programs and others stretch and expand their students’ knowledge. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and a B.A. degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her client list includes writers, business consultants, motivational speakers, psychologists, financial planners, educators, and politicians. Visit her website .

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

An Introduction to Short Story Writing

by Tom James

Welcome! I hope many of you find this article a pleasant introduction into the world of short story writing. Below we’ll explain some of the key elements you need to focus on while writing to produce a piece that is interesting and engages your readers. Happy learning!

What do you envision when you hear the words “short story”? Perhaps the first thing that strikes you is that it’s ‘short’. But a short story can come in all sizes; there is no definitive length that will determine the point where your short will suddenly turn into a novel. So what are the basics of writing a short story, and how do you know if yours is getting too big?

The key word here is “Focus”. A short story is centralized around a main theme or message that the author is trying to convey through the words. Short stories are not really designed to encompass a world of minute detail within the limited span of its pages, so every word really must count. When writing a piece like this, you must consider: What is the underlying point of this story? What emotions does it hope to stir in its readers? With those questions in mind, a good first step would be to start scribbling down your ideas. Let’s make an example.

Let us say we want to write a short story about a boy and his dog. First I need to ask myself, “What would the point of this story be?” So let’s think. I want the reader to empathize with the boy’s childlike love of the dog. Perhaps they themselves will think back to their own childhood with fond memories of the family pet. I want them to ultimately feel happy reading this story, and become emotionally attached to the boy (and the dog, too). Perhaps a running theme through the piece would be the trusting innocence of childhood.

So, I now have some ideas on the basic themes I want to follow. This is the most important part out of the way. Now let’s focus on the characters. I want two main characters in my story: the boy and the dog. A good tip here is to try to have as few characters in your story as possible, as they will need to be fleshed out and have a real importance to your story, otherwise you will spend too much time on them and the story will unnecessarily drag. Think of your characters’ personalities, their temperament, what makes them happy or sad. Try a little exaggeration with this, but don’t go overboard. The purpose is just to make important elements of the story stand out like signposts, directing your readers to a particular conclusion.

Take more notes as you think through it. Here’s what I have so far. My first character, the boy, is a bright young chap, full of youthful joy. He is active, energetic, and loves to play with his dog. The dog is a young collie; she too has the energy of a pup, and loves the attention she receives from the boy. She would happily follow him anywhere he went, and the two have a penchant for exploring and getting up to mischief.

The actual plot is one of the least important aspects of the story, as strange as it may sound. But that is not to say it isn’t important at all. A good plot will consolidate all the different things you’ve brainstormed and give life to your characters, making it absolutely essential to have. Now, the plot of a short story can be hard to keep small. You might be enjoying yourself so much that

you keep adding to it! But if you can, try to avoid this. Remember I mentioned “Focus” earlier? This is where it comes into play. The plot should ideally be focused on a pivotal event in the life of your characters, an event that has meaning to them. This will also lend purpose to the story, and the underlying message or point you are trying to get across along with it. Also imagine you are your character in that event; what are you feeling? What lessons are you learning from this situation? What will be your characters’ greatest memories from this? Think carefully about these questions, and then put emphasis on the answers as you write.

Give it a go. The tips I’ve given should get you started, but there is always more to learn. My last piece of advice: know how to lay out the beginning, middle, and end of your writing, so that your plot flows smoothly and has a valid conclusion. If you’re unsure about this, there are many resources online that can teach you. Happy storytelling!

Tom James

Monday, December 25, 2006

Holiday Poems


Having toiled for almost eleven months

Our families deserve an opportunity to gather

Lighten up, laugh, and lose some of our

Inhibitions in order to slow down and celebrate these

Days that are established for the purpose of

Appreciating each other, our blessings and the

Years that we have been allowed together

So take the time while we have the time… Cheers!


Called to convert the

Regular and ordinary into the

Exceptional and the


Taking little or nothing and

Inventing new and stimulating ideas that bring

Value and motivate us to enjoy the

Exploration of life


“What a novel plot”

“Read on, it gets even better”

“Interesting, extremely interesting”

“This is the most amazing story”

“I just can’t put it down”

“Not the way I thought it would end”

“Gosh, I can’t wait for the next book”

Ken is a native Middle Tennessean, growing up in Nashville. A graduate of MTSU and resident of Murfreesboro, Ken has been a distribution manager for over 25 years. An avid reader of novels as well as business articles and books, he has admired writers and their work for years and desires to experience the joy of creating literary work of his own.



If you have signed up for this newsletter and did not receive my eBook More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying and Afterlife, please let me know that you would like it emailed to you ( ).

Including a commentary by Dr. Aaron Milstone of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process. Perry uses true stories to look squarely in the face of euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, post-mortem processes, hospice care, assisting the passing of a loved one, spirit visits from deceased loved ones and other topics people are somewhat reluctant to talk about. The book offers non-religious information and insight to assist people in finding peace about the mysterious process of transitioning back to God/Source. A legal document that may be used as a living will is included in the appendix.

Read more at or purchase the paperback at (

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Our newsletter is now featured on Please fee free to submit a review and write a testimonial comment online at

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Submission Guidelines for Writers in the Sky Newsletter

If you wish to contribute an article, advertorial, blurb, announcement about writing, publishing or book marketing to Yvonne Perry's newsletter, please review these guidelines and submit your item via email.

  • Limit articles to 750 words or less.
  • The piece must be about the craft or business of writing and publishing.
  • Include a short bio with your submission so I may give proper credit.
  • Use Times New Roman 11 point font.
  • MS Word docs are okay, but txt files are preferred.
  • Promotion of your own material is accepted if it is written in an advertorial (article) style.
  • No colored text box (jpg, bmp, etc.) ads. The article must be content rich.
  • Book reviews are accepted as long as they highlight the book and its author in a positive manner.
  • Poetry is accepted. I will publish three short works (less than 25 lines) in each issue. Do not double space between lines.
  • Announcements of upcoming events, personal accomplishments, special offers, etc. are accepted. Try to keep these less than 250 words.
  • Each submitting writer retains the copyright to his or her own piece of literature and may use it elsewhere. Since I do not charge a fee for the newsletter, I am unable to pay for submittals. However, the networking opportunity is worth a lot.
  • The newsletter will be sent on the first of each month. I need all submittals in by the 25th day of the month prior.


Differentiation. It’s about being original; breaking free from the competition; leading, not following. I can help you forge a path away from the crowd, away from the noise, and closer to your customer.

How Will You Be Different?

Along with the perfectly picked and placed words that make up the timeless writings that emerge as a cherished book—something we keep by our bed, travel with far and wide or relax with as we curl up in front of a cozy fire—a good book layout is important to an author. Especially self-published authors who don’t have the talented staff of a major publishing house offering design options.

My job as a graphic designer is to give your book visual life and interest that will add “character” (look and feel) and catch the eye of a passing patron and spark intrigue that will make them pick it up and open the first page, never wanting to set it down. There’s an art to giving carefully chosen words a look and feel that helps them portray hope, emotion or intrigue.

Book Layout

A slight size change, font style or placement on the page can make all the difference in bringing a powerful personality to your fascinating book. Paragraphs need to be the right length so they don’t seem overbearing—not too long, not too short—but cleverly balanced and readable to everyone not just elite readers. I’ve seen some books so jumbled and disorganized it would make a man quiver at the mere thought of trying to read them.

There are many ways a graphic designer can help you increase your book sales. There is of course advertising in the form of a flyer, poster, or a magazine ad. You could put together a package or marketing kit for your book, which may include a CD, an ad, a book marker, a coupon for your next book and so on. You may need invitations to your book signing sure to be in your near future. You might market yourself using only your name, but a personal logo to brand your product is much more effective and professional looking. You may need business cards and letterhead designed to enhance your branding image. Are you sending out a newsletter to your database? Let me design the newsletter and send it to your customers “spam-free” through a permission-based email program. Why not convert your printed book into an e-book you can sell on your website? What? You don’t have a Web site? Every writer needs a website and I can custom build one that best serves your needs. These are only some of the countless options you have when you bring in a graphic designer.

From designing your book cover, to laying out the inside pages, to having the perfect index created, there is no end to what I can do for you. I’m looking forward to helping you give your book a fantastic visual life! You are welcome to e-mail me with any questions or comments at, Also, please take a look at my web site:

Jessica Dockter

Graphic Designer for Write On! Creative Writing Services Team

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dr. Kaplan's Botox Book has been released

I am proud to announce that Dr. Eric Kaplan's book about being poisoned by fake Botox has been published by Nightengale Press. Dr. Kaplan will be a guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast in February. Here is a review of his book Dying to be Young:

Front Street Reviews

Your Road To Great Books
dying to be young
Dying to be Young: From Botox to Botulism
Eric Kaplan
Reviewed by Sabrina Williams

Dying to be Young: From Botox to Botulism by Dr. Eric Kaplan is not a dry medical admonishment of the effects of the latest cosmetic "miracle." Kaplan speaks with a fervor and activism that only the victimized can possess, and a victim is what Kaplan is. Imagine awakening to find that while your entire body is in extreme pain, you cannot move a muscle and while loved ones hover around you, offering words of encouragement, you are unable to answer them or communicate at all. In fact, you cannot breathe on your own. Machines are doing the work your body normally performs without effort. You are completely and utterly helpless. Even worse, your spouse is lying in the next bed over in the exact same state. Eric Kaplan and his wife, Bonnie, were the first documented cases of Botulism poisoning due to Botox injections, as they received more than 2,000 times the lethal dose of the toxin. More cases followed.

Unimaginable sums of money are spent every year on appearance-altering treatments such as cosmetic surgery, wrinkle creams, and drugs that promise to reverse the effects of aging and bring us back to our youthful selves. Few people can resist the temptation of the Fountain of Youth when it becomes so readily available. It is no surprise that a panacea that sounds as benign as "Botox" that is commonly administered via parties would take America by storm. However, few people stop to consider that the name "Botox" comes from the origin of the drug itself, the extremely lethal botulinum toxin. While we will avoid feeding our children honey before the age of one to protect them from such a harmful toxin, as adults we will unquestioningly allow doctors to inject us with the byproducts of the same strain if it promises to erase the lines of time. Just one gram of botulinum toxin has the ability to kill millions of people.

Dr. Kaplan relates the mental and physical struggles he faced when he became paralyzed as a result of his own vanity. Both he and his wife endured incredible hardships as they worked to rehabilitate themselves, several times teetering on the verge of death. Through the support and encouragement of friends and family and the availability of top-notch medical services, the Kaplans were able to survive their ordeal. Dr. Kaplan emerged with his own personal mission: to warn the public of the dangers of Botox and to help people discover and learn to appreciate their own inner beauty. A chiropractor and motivational speaker, Kaplan writes of his very personal and intimate mental anguish in the face of a debilitating illness and his subsequent discovery of a new spirituality.

Friday, December 22, 2006

TGIF December 22, 2006 - Zach Everson

TGI Friday and I have uploaded a new show to my podcast.

Zach Everson is a freelance writer, editor, public speaker and consultant in Washington, DC. He is also a very entertaining podcast guest.

Zach has written for the Greensboro News & Record and the Reading (MA) Times Chronicle. He recently published an article in Backstreets, a magazine that focuses on Bruce Springsteen and related Jersey Shore artists. Zach graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a minor in Journalism.

In Part One of our interview we discuss how Zach started his writing and editing career from the proceeds of a real estate investment.

Click here to listen to Part One...

In part two we discuss Zach’s why he decided to become a Toastmaster and how his public speaking experience has been helpful to him as a writer.

Click here to listen to Part Two...

To learn more about Zach, please visit

You may listen to Writers in the Sky Podcast here:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A New Dish by Cherie Burbach

My words call out to me
like Thanksgiving leftovers
in the kitchen
late at night
nudging me awake
begging me
to mix them up
put them in a pretty dish
and devour them.

They ask me
to taste them
feel them in my mouth
smell their goodness
wrap my tongue around
their flavor.

They tell me
to enjoy them
now, in the moment,
before another year passes
and I'll have different words
to prepare in a new dish.

The Key Ingredient to Marketing Your Book: Enthusiasm by Nicky Pitman

To some of you this may sound like some rah-rah, Pollyanna-esque piece of marketing fluff, but the bottom line is enthusiasm is the fuel for self-promotion. Without it, your self-promoting vehicle (that would be you) will find itself sitting in the driveway, possibly looking pretty, but going nowhere.

Most people like to be around enthusiastic people. There are people whoever, who don’t. No matter how excited, passionate, and open-hearted you are, there’s always one (or two, or three) who will not join in your delight. However, I have learned that you can’t let these people burst your bubble.

Even those that seem less than excited to talk with you and hear about your book, are often carefully listening, and if they respond at a later time then your enthusiasm was not for naught.

At Book Expo America this last spring, we (the DPP staff) had an opportunity to speak with a great many authors. Many had rented booths to promote their books and many simply walked around from booth to booth touting their book(s) to the myriad of publishers and agents.For the most part, their enthusiasm was contagious as well. Those authors who spoke passionately about their book(s) made a lasting impression on each of us. Some used gimmicks (and please, think of “gimmick” in a positive context here, as I know it can conjure up negative reactions) and some simply talked about their book.One children’s book had a Western theme to it and was being heralded about the Expo floor by the author and her friends dressed in 19th century Western wear, passing out “sheriff badges” with the name of the book inscribed on them.

A family-run small publishing company had a booth on our row, and they used all kinds of marketing paraphernalia: really big book bags in a bright color that matched the color in their company’s name – those were the hit of the Expo! Everyone was walking around with one of their bags! They also had some amazing marketing paraphernalia to get the word out about their newest book, written by the father and one of the daughters.The main thing about the two cases mentioned above (the family-owned publishing company and the children’s author), was that they were all so gung-ho - excited to talk about their book and engage…with everybody!

The motivational speaker and author, Zig Ziglar once said: “For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.”

For many of us, self-promotion is a loathsome thing. How do you put yourself out there without coming across as boastful or grandiose? How do you “plug” yourself and your book without being pushy or even obnoxious? The answer, I believe, is genuine enthusiasm.

Let’s be honest – not everything about marketing is enjoyable. However, approaching marketing with enthusiasm, is going to bring about far better results than not.

E = MC².

In other words: Enthusiasm equals Marketing Conductivity Multiplied!

Call it Nicky’s Theory of Marketivity, if you will (and if you won’t, then call it something else). But use it!

You can think about this theory in a couple of different ways:

1) Think of yourself as the conductor of your very own marketing orchestra: you decide what instruments (marketing tools) are going to play when - which ones will lead, which ones will follow; which ones are going to be featured and which ones will take a backseat; which ones will play the ongoing rhythm, while others may be jazzing it up – improvising. Add a tuba-full of enthusiasm. Or…

2) Think of yourself as a conduit for marketing – through you: what you say, how you act, who you reach out to, where you go, what you’re willing to do will determine how much exposure and sales come your way. Pave your path with gusto and zest.

3) Mix these two up: Conduct your conduit! Use one, two, or all the marketing tools in your arsenal and put yourself in contact with, and places where, you can get the most possible exposure. Add mirthful fervor to each and every step.

There are actually more ways to approach your marketing – but as long as you add enthusiasm you will always wind up with E = MC². Theory that it may be, I’ve seen it put to practice time and time again, and proved the theory true. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Nicky Pitman is the PR/Marketing director for DigitalPulp Publishing (, an eBook publishing and distribution company. She is also a writer and creativity coach. She can be reached at

Poetry from our readers

A New Dish

by Cherie Burbach

My words call out to me

like Thanksgiving leftovers

in the kitchen

late at night

nudging me awake

begging me

to mix them up

put them in a pretty dish

and devour them.

They ask me

to taste them

feel them in my mouth

smell their goodness

wrap my tongue around

their flavor.

They tell me

to enjoy them

now, in the moment,

before another year passes

and I’ll have different words

to prepare

in a new dish.

Cherie Burbach is the author of two books of poetry, The Difference Now, and A New Dish, as well as At the Coffee Shop, a humorous look at the world of Internet dating. Cherie works as a consultant for PersonalsTrainer in which she helps online daters write great profiles that catch attention. Watch for her new novel, FOR THOSE WHO KNEW ZACH, coming soon. For more information, please visit her website at


How to Avoid Them By Barbara Joe-Williams

As a first time self-published author, you want to avoid making as many costly mistakes as possible. Based on research and over two years of publishing experience, I’d like to share some of the mistakes that I’ve made and show you how to avoid making them. Please proceed with caution.

1) Publishing books with unattractive covers and spending too much money on them. Hire someone to design an attractive front book cover. Or you can save money by developing the book cover drafts yourself. Simply download royalty-free pictures and add your own text.

2) They print their book in large quantities because it’s the most economical value. With print-on-demand (POD) printers, you no longer have to print large quantities of books to receive a good return on your investment. You can print as few or as many as you need at one time.

3) They pay large amounts for website development and maintenance. Find a web hosting company, download a template, upload your book information, and maintain the site yourself for a low monthly or yearly fee. Most of these companies provide 24/7 customer support.

4) They work without an action plan or any means of accountability. Writing may be your passion, but publishing is a business. Therefore, you have to develop a business plan to follow and show accountability for your funds.

5) Not testing their cover design or the titles before publishing. The key to avoiding this mistake is developing more than one book cover draft and testing them on potential buyers. You can also develop more than one title and test them too.

6) They wait until the book is published before they start marketing it. Start marketing your book the first day that you start writing it. Tell everyone that you know and/or meet about your new project.

7) Pricing the book too high or too low based on the market. Be sure to research the price of other books on the market that are similar to yours and price your book accordingly.

8) Not identifying their target market for the publication. The first rule of publishing is to know your target market and how to reach them. Where do they live and shop? How will they learn about your book?

9) Not pre-selling copies of their book or taking pre-orders. You can set-up your website to take credit cards and start taking pre-orders months before the book is ever printed.

10) They rely solely on one marketing model to sell their book. Develop several marketing strategies before your book is published. Communicate with other authors to find out what has and hasn’t worked for them.

11) Writing books they think people should read instead of what the market demands. The publishing business is also a matter of supply and demand. You may enjoy writing fiction, but a non-fiction project that serves a desire or need, will be more profitable.

12) Paying for expensive advertising, marketing/promotional ideas. Marketing doesn’t have to be an expensive venture. Look for strategies that will provide you with free publicity such as library workshops and radio interviews.

13) They write the book without developing a timeline for completion. Once you start writing your book, set some realistic goals for completing it and stick to it. Don’t let down your target market after you’ve announced the book to them.

14) Not having a reader’s or audience database. You can start developing a reader’s database as soon as you start working on your book by contacting local book club members and attending library events.

15) Not being open to the editing or revising process. Find an editor that you feel comfortable with and trust. This will make it easier to accept criticism and make recommended revisions.

16) They miss deadlines for writing and publishing. It’s very important to the success of your writing career that you meet the realistic deadlines that you’ve already set. Once you set a book release date, readers will be expecting the book at that time.

17) They don’t read enough from the competition. Make sure you know what the competition has to offer and be able to explain how your book is different. You want your project to stand out from every other book on your chosen subject.

18) They waste time trying to make the copy perfect the first time. Focus on completing the manuscript and getting it to the editor instead of trying to make sure that it’s perfect. You’ll have plenty of time to go back and make revisions later.

19) Not being able to verbalize the content of your book in a concise manner. You should be able to summarize you entire manuscript in a few sentences upon request. Most readers want to know what the heart of the book is about in one-minute or less.

20) They don’t join writer’s group or read writer’s magazines, or attend conferences.

Joining a writer’s group is a way to learn from other authors or aspiring authors. Reading Writer’s Digest each month will provide you with valuable information and attending conferences will give you an opportunity to meet major publishers and agents.

21) They rely solely on bookstores to sell their books to make a profit. According to the Publisher’s Marketing Association, approximately 52 percent of published books are not sold in bookstores. This means that you must find more creative ways of selling your product.

22) They concentrate too much on sales and not enough on publicity. Of course, your publishing goal is to make money, but some events should just be about publicity and then the money will follow.

23) They don’t reinvest money back into their book business. This is a valuable lesson to learn. If you spend all your profits on personal expenses, it’s impossible to keep producing books to keep your business growing.

Barbara Joe-Williams is a freelance author and an independent publisher living in Tallahassee, Florida. She has written three romance novels and a non-fiction e-book titled “A Writer’s Guide to Self-Publishing & Marketing.” As the sole owner of Amani Publishing, she has published nonfiction books for other aspiring authors. In addition, she has composed an anthology featuring eighteen multicultural authors to be released in February 2007 titled “How I Met My Sweetheart.” For more information about this author/publisher, please visit her website.

Website: or



Tuesday, December 19, 2006

AUTHOR’S Corner by Yvonne Perry

My life has been filled with crazy fun and adventure lately! Now that WRITERS IN THE SKY, my podcast about writing, networking, publishing and marketing, is in full swing I stay pretty busy recording interviews and creating marketing blurbs to promote my guests.
In December we have four fabulous guests from publicist Maryglenn McCombs to public speaker and writer Zach Everson to award-winning writer Mary Buckner and palm reader/author Myrna Lou Goldbaum. See a description of all the terrific shows coming in December at While you’re there be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you’ll get a reminder email whenever I upload a new show. You won’t want to miss my show with Peter Bowerman, the author of the award-winning Well-Fed Writer titles on January 5, 2007.
If you are interested in being a guest on my podcast let me know by email: A review copy of your book, your bio, your website and any other material would be appreciated when applying to be a guest. By the way, we have over 480 subscribers to the podcast and 620 to this newsletter, and new people are finding us every day. Not bad for a newsletter that started seven months ago and a podcast that started in October. I’m glad YOU are part of our gang!
I took Suzanne Lieurance’s 40-article challenge with a group of writers last month and ended up way too busy trying to keep the pace without letting my clients down. Each member of the group has until the end of the year to write 40 articles on any topic. The articles I have written are available at You may copy and paste my articles to provide content-rich material for your website or blog. Please leave a comment or rating for my articles when you visit the site.
I hope your holidays include safe and happy times with friends and family. Share laughs and hugs and remember to be thankful for the blessings we all enjoy.

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and the owner of Write On! Creative Writing Services. She is a graduate of American Institute of Holistic Theology where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysics. She began her full-time writing career in 2003 and has since written more than twenty books.


Monday, December 18, 2006


Ever worried that you are just not there with your writing ability? Writing and editing and rewriting. There are many approaches to producing the written word.

Some authors can spin words easily and steadily until their product is finished, as if they are a spider spinning a web. Other writers take the grasshopper approach, working on multiple writing pieces simultaneously.

And then, there is the snail approach - the writer who carefully and slowly crafts every word and patiently waits to publish. For all the snails out there I support you with this beautiful piece of Haiku by Japanese Haiku poet Basho.

"Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
but slowly, slowly."

Matsuo Basho

The Morning Nudge

The Morning Nudge
Words to inspire and motivate you to get a little writing done today
Are you more afraid of success than you are of failure?

Think about it. Most of us have experienced failures and lived through them. Not only that, failures confirm our deep-seated belief that we CAN’T really get what we want out of life.
Only OTHER people can do that.

So, while we may whine about failing, failure is actually a nice “comfort zone” for us.
Well, starting today, leave the comfort zone of failure behind you.

Focus on success. Think ONLY about things that will lead you to what you truly want.
Don’t allow negative thoughts of failure to slip into your mind. When they do, eliminate them right away.

Start EXPECTING to succeed and you will.

Try it.
Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach
Turning freelance writers into "working" freelance writers

If your pen won't budge…read The Morning Nudge.

The Working Writer's Coach & Three Angels Gourmet
P.O.Box 8422
Kansas City, Missouri 64114

Sunday, December 17, 2006

New! Writers Teleseminar coming your way!

Hold everything!

Stop right where you are and grab the phone!

You don't want to miss Writers On Call, weekly teleclasses for freelance writers, hosted by full-time freelance writers Suzanne Lieurance and Yvonne Perry.

For only $9.99 per month, you will receive nearly four hours of coaching and interactive teaching via a weekly 55 minute teleclass. These calls cover:

* How to start and manage a successful freelance writing business

* How write a book

* How to promote your freelance writing business

* Other crucial information for freelance writers.

Come as you are! Come to class when you want to!

There's no need to dress up for this writing school. The teleclasses that take place every Thursday evening at 7:00 (CT), are recorded, so even if you can't make the live calls, you'll be given access to each mp3 file the next day.

Listen to a prerecorded class to get an idea of the content-rich discussion format.

Subscribe NOW and take your freelance writing career to the next level.

Peter Bowerman coming January 5th!

Peter Bowerman, author of The Well-Fed Writer series will be my guest on Writers in the Sky podcast January 5, 2007. We will be discussing the topic of Peter’s newest book The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living.

Needless to say, with it getting increasingly more difficult to land a publisher, many authors are taking a much more serious look at Self-Publishing. Peter's book has received some excellent feedback. For full details and F*REE report, visit

You will not want to miss this show because it will be a jam-packed hour of information that you can use if you are curious about how to self-publish your book.
Listen to a preview of this show....

Tell your friends about this fantastic opportunity and let them know they can listen to the podcast in streaming audio on my blog at anytime on or after January 5, 2007. Go ahead and sign up for the RSS Feed so you will get a reminder email when I upload this show.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Freelance Writers - How to Avoid a Major Melt Down in Your Freelance Writing Career

As a freelance writer do you can often live on the verge of a major melt down?

You know what I mean.

You have too many writing projects at the moment, you're also trying to care for your family, or even work a full time job.

Suddenly you feel overwhelmed and you don't know how you'll keep up with everything.

In an effort to regain some control over your life, you start dropping out of things, or letting go of some of your personal writing projects.

But most often, the things you start letting go of and dropping out of are the very things that bring you the most joy from your writing.

OR they are the very things that will help you establish a name for yourself as a writer.

If this is happening to you right now, try these steps to avoid a major melt down and get back on track with your writing career.

Step 1: Realize you are not alone. All writers get overwhelmed from time to time. The more experienced and successful ones learn to develop an overall plan for their writing careers and take on projects that ONLY relate to their overall plan.

Step 2: If you don't have an overall plan for your freelance writing career, now is the time to create one.

Step 3. Once you have an overall plan for your writing career, make a list of all the writing projects you are doing right now.

How many of these projects relate to your overall plan?

How many of them are simply writing jobs to keep a little income coming in until you finally get to make a living from the type of writing that you love?

If you find that your list of projects does not include one single thing that you LOVE to write, then get back on track with your plan.

Don't eliminate the activities that are part of your overall plan.

Eliminate some of those activities that are just short-term writing projects to earn a little extra income.

I know this may be difficult to do.

But, if you weed out some of those activities that don't relate to your overall plan, and stick to those writing activities that DO relate to the plan, you'll create the writing career of your dreams much sooner than you will if you're constantly overwhelmed and unfocused.

Plus, you'll avoid a major melt down that could stall your writing career for quite a while.

Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, children's author, and The Working Writer's Coach. Visit her website at to find out more about her coaching program designed to help people who like to write become "working" freelance writers. Visit her blog at for more helpful tips for writers. Join her mailing list at her blog, and every weekday morning you'll receive The Morning Nudge, a few words to motivate and inspire you to get a little writing done. For free weekly networking teleconferences for writers, visit The Lieurance Group blog at

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Friday, December 15, 2006

TGIF Dec. 15, 2006 - Myrna Lou Goldbaum

TGI Friday! I have uploaded a new show to my podcast this week.

Now this was a fun interview!

Myrna has written an easy to read how-to book titled MAY I SEE YOUR HAND? Palm Reading for Fun and Profit. The diagrams in the book will help you understand the three palm readings Myrna gives on this fun and educational show. This best-selling book is available to podcast listeners for only $18 including shipping. The book is normally $19.95 plus shipping. Make sure you tell her you heard about the special price on Writers in the Sky Podcast.

In April 2003 Myrna Lou's second book SOUL MATE CONNECTIONS, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Relationships, Love, Romance and Soul Mates was released by Infinity Publishing. In December 2003 Infinity Publishing released Myrna Lou's third book, DIARY OF A PALM READER which contains 46 palm reading sessions taken from 1956 to 2003. She is presently working on a book for children titled Palms of Children.
Click here to listen to Part One...

Myrna Lou began reading palms at the age of ten when her mother unknowingly gave her an old edition of a book on palmistry. Currently on her 55th year of reading palms, she has read, logged and documented in excess of 32,000 hands. One of them was mine! In Part Two of this interview Myrna reads my palm and reveals everything you never wanted to know about Yvonne Perry! Click here to listen to Part Two...

In Part Three Myrna Lou reads the palms of two of my friends: Gordon and Ryah. What a tale a hand can tell! Click here to listen to Part Three...

To order her books or have your palm read by Myrna Lou visit her website at

You may listen to Writers in the Sky Podcast here:

By following this link: you may download Writers in the Sky podcast shows from You must have iTunes software loaded on your computer but you can download the free software at

My guest next week is freelance writer and editor Zach Everson. Find out how public speaking training through Toastmasters helps a writer express himself better.

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing - Book Review

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine examines and discusses the most common contracts and services that authors must understand before signing any agreement with a publisher. Based on the author’s experience during the nine years that he worked as a corporate, entertainment and intellectual property attorney, Mark breaks down common contracts into a language the rest of us can understand.

According to the author, the trend in the publishing world is that authors “are increasingly pursuing self-publishing as a viable alternative to traditional publishing”. What to look for when seeking a self-publishing company for your book, knowing when publishers are charging more money for less service and what high priced books could actually mean are all discussed in this writer’s reference book.

The first few pages get right into the nitty-gritty with royalty negotiations, editing services, copyrights, attaining ISBN numbers and UPC codes, wholesalers and contract clauses. Later he teaches readers to recognize and understand common contract terms, warranties, general provisions and miscellaneous sections of a contract.

This book consists solely of the author’s personal opinion and advice on the top forty-eight self-publishing companies. He rates each of these companies according to how author-friendly their contracts are, the amount of customer support that is offered to authors and whether the company accepts book returns from bookstores.

Chapter 6 lists examples of outstanding self-publishing companies and explains why they are rated so high. Most of the fourteen companies in this category shared excellent commitment to both their products and services.

Chapter 7 lists “Pretty Good Self-publishing Companies”, meaning the eight publishers listed here show at least one flaw, but are still worthy of consideration.

Chapter 8 lists about fifteen publishers who are “just okay”, meaning they are considered to be less than average, but are not the worst publishers an author could choose.

Chapter 9 lists “Publishers to Avoid”. While the author’s intent is not to ruin businesses, he warns authors to reconsider using the eleven publishers he lists in this chapter. Here he lists companies who pad their portion of the books by charging higher prices for either retailers or authors, and others with similarly poor policies.

I do have to say I disagree with at least one aspect that Mark considers to be negative. Mark feels that if a company has a PO Box address rather than a physical one, it should be totally avoided. While I am aware that this can be a sign of a risky situation, many areas – including our own – do not have mail delivery and if you want mail, you must get a PO Box. In fact, our business has a PO Box. That is not our fault – it is just the options available to us. In fact it is quite common. So in this regard, I have to disagree with Mark’s criteria.

Another point he made regarding contract clauses regarding visual mediums (Television or Movie), I personally feel can fall in a somewhat grey area. Some publishers charge extra for negotiation and handling legalities and so forth, and Mark feels this extra charge is unnecessary.

We were not aware of this potential downfall, but then the three books we have written are not destined for this medium - and as such, this area of the contract doesn’t really apply to our book’s genres. However authors of fiction and perhaps other genres that may appeal to visual mediums will certainly want to pay particular attention to this clause.

Mark Levine has written several scholarly pieces and two other self-published books – I Will Faithfully Execute and Saturn Return, prior to this more recent release. Holding dual majors in political science and journalism, he has also earned a law degree from the Georgetown University. His latest book, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, was released in September of 2006.

These 218 pages are packed with valuable information for authors, and I will certainly keep my copy of the book on our writer’s reference shelf.

Author: Mark Levine

Publisher: Bridgeway Books

ISBN: 1-933538-56-3

~ Book Reviewer: Lillian Brummet, Co-author of Trash talk - a guide for anyone concerned about their impact on the environment - & author of: Towards Understanding - a collection of poetry. (

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Increase Your Creative Flow: Manage Your Inner Critic

Sit down, pour a cup of tea, and have a conversation with your Critic.

Your Critic is that inner alarm that rings--or yells or whines--every time you step out of its shifting safety zone. It zaps your energy with twisted logic, persistent arguments, inner sabotage,a option overload, and dread of fear and disapproval.

Needless to say, the Critic puts a damper on the flow of your creativity.

Which doesn't mean you get rid of the Critic. The Critic is useful when it points out problems to correct--later on in the germination of your ideas. As your idea takes flight, though, you need to put the Critic aside until you're ready to hear its view.

As a writer, teacher, and promoter of my materials, I've learned few tricks that helped me balance the Critic. Whenever I appear on TV, I first push the Critic out of my body and tell it to stay at home until later that night when I agree to ask for its opinion. I am much more relaxed on TV while I don't have to fight that inner voice. The Critic has given me useful feedback when I'm ready to hear it--at the end, for next time. Here are some ways to free yourself of your Critic's hold--right now.

Change Your Mind

  • Remind yourself of how far you've come.
  • Remember that the Critic is only thoughts, not reality.
Focus on Your Body
  • See if the Critic "lives" in a certain part of your body--maybe your shoulders. Do some yoga or counter movements to loosen that hold
  • Push the Critic out of your body. Feel yourself without that energy inside you.
  • Tell the Critic to leave the room, stay in the car, go to the coffee shop. You'll check in with it later.
Reduce Emotional Charge
  • Notice the sensations of emotional intensity in your body. Stay with those sensations as you notice any sounds or images that go with them. This helps disconnect thoughts spurring on feelings.
Present Moment
  • Be grateful for the present moment.
  • Notice your body in the present moment. Feel your skin: the air, clothing, gravity and sensations. (Thanks to Rick Carson of Taming Your Gremlin [Collins 2003] for that idea.)
  • Give your Critic a funny name or appearance--and laugh at it.
Change Your Habits
  • Write long-hand for 20 minutes. The computer screen brings out the evil editor.
  • Draw a picture.
While your Critic won't disappear, you can change your relationship to it. Instead of being an inescapable wall, you learn to see your Critic as boulders (rocks? stones?) in a field. You can move around on climb over them! Your true self finds its flow.

© Sondra Kornblatt 2003-2006

Sondra Kornblatt is a freelance writer on wellness and sleep. She developed Restful Insomnia, a program that helps insomniacs renew during sleepless nights and greet the morning refreshed. Get a free e-book on How to Renew at Night when you sign up for the newsletter at

She co-authored 365 Energy Boosters--a great lift for you or your friends.

All Rights Reserved Worldwide. You may reprint this article if you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, give author name credit and follow all of the EzineArticles terms of service for Publishing.

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Wisdom from Wagging Tails: The Early Years

Dogs are man’s—and woman’s—best friends. I have a dog. I have always had a dog in my life, one way or another. Can’t really much remember life without a dog, except that it was miserable, those few years when a canine buddy didn’t keep me company. But who, more than a dog, especially a foundling or "rescued" canine has a major marketing job to do? Their lives depend on pleasing the "boss" and fitting in with the "pack." So, as I thought about all the dogs I have had over the years, I began to see the marketing lessons they have taught me --- Yes, I said marketing lessons --- from the time I was a small child.

Midnight and Whitewash were both in our family for a very short timeMidnight, a black lab mix, puppy, as I recall, was the first dog I ever knew. I was under five years old but I knew he was in trouble as he chewed holes into the living room carpet. Sure enough, he was banished for his crime and I never knew what happened to him.Whitewash, a white Samoyeed, small and very furry with a long curly tail that looked like a feather, was the next dog in the family. I was six or seven when Whitewash arrived. She was found by a neighbor at the side of the road, and my Mother agreed to take her into our family. However, my brother and sister both had asthma and couldn’t be around dogs. So, we gave her to the Orphans of the Storm, and the last we knew she had been adopted by a family with a farm.

MARKETING LESSON #1: As an author, know your market and target it, even before you finish your book. If your book is going to be the literary equivalent to chewing the carpet or the non-fiction version of causing allergic reactions, you will be sent away. You can be unique, an individual, but you need to know the rules of your "pack" to make your book appeal. Break those rules, and your book will languish. (See the rest at )


“What a novel plot”
“Read on, it gets even better”
“Interesting, extremely interesting”
“This is the most amazing story”
“I just can’t put it down”
“Not the way I thought it would end”
“Gosh, I can’t wait for the next book”

by Ken Vanderpool

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Subscribe to our RSS Feed and get an eBook at no cost

Writers in the Sky Podcast offers interviews with authors and writers, as well as the latest news about books on the market, publishing methods and marketing techniques. There are more than 30 informational shows already uploaded and a new program is added each week.

Occasionally, a teleclass may be longer, but most of our classes are recorded in 15- to 20-minute segments you may listen to while traveling, cleaning the house, waxing the car, exercising, etc. Many of the guests on the show also contribute informative articles and announcements to the monthly newsletter offered by Write On! Creative Writing Services. The best part is there is no cost to listen or subscribe and it is a great way to learn more about writing and publishing.

Email me to let me know you have Subscribed to Writers in the Sky RSS feed and get my new eBook Tips for Freelance Writing. You will automatically be sent an email when a new show has been uploaded.

Yvonne Perry
Freelance Writer, Author, Public Speaker

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Finding Your Passion!

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Finding Your Passion!
In order to find your passion, it will take dedication on your part to question, evaluate yourself and dig deep within yourself to find what will fulfill you.
How do I get Started?
First thing to ask yourself, is what am I looking for? Change in careers? Find a new hobby? sense of purpose or financial freedom? Determine what resonates with you.
Set Aside Time for Yourself:
Even if you can only devote 15 minutes a day to this project, then do it. Make sure that you have complete alone time. If you need to leave the house and go to a park or library, then do it.
Make a List:
Make a list about yourself. What are your Likes? Dislikes? what would you like to learn? What are your Strengths and Weaknesses. Once you have made the Strengths and Weaknesses list, ask friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and anyone else who knows you well to make the same list about YOU. This will help clarify the list and add objectivity to your skills and talent. What do you like about your job? What do you dislike about your job? Do you want to make a job change or develop a new interest or hobby?
If you are looking for a Job Change: What type of person are you? Analytical? a People Person? do you want to change fields or stay in the same profession? If you want to change fields, try interning with professionals already established to gain experience.
Looking to be Self-Employed? Look at your Strengths List and evaluate what you would enjoy. If you are a people person, try being a Personal Assistant, Personal Shopper, a Consultant, Sales Rep or HR Recruiter.
Are you analytical? Try accounting, computer programming, Research and Development etc.
Looking to make a difference in someone's life? Try mentoring a child, participating in adult literacy programs, volunteering time at the animal shelter.
Looking for a Hobby? Try sketching, take a cooking class, write a novel, learn a new language, take crafting lessons. Anything new!
By opening yourself up to these new experiences, you will find out more about your likes and dislikes and what will make you feel self fulfilled. Try it, it works!
Taryn Simpson is a published author and freelance writer with over 15 years of HR experience. Ms. Simpson owns her own writing company, Simpson - E Publishing which offers clients ghostwriting of novels/articles, web content, brochures, newsletters, press releases and more. Sign up to recieve her free newsletter for writer's tips and news on her website To learn more about this writer, feel free to visit her online presskit: Article Source:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Janet Riehl on Writers in the Sky Podcast

Janet Riehl is an award-winning author, speaker, and creativity coach. Her poems, stories, and essays are widely published in national literary magazines. Janet’s work appears in three anthologies. She is 2006 finalist for Poet Laureate of Lake County, California. Her memoir of six generations told in story poems is Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary.

Click here to listen to Janet as she reads "Scribbles"...

Janet will be Yvonne Perry's guest on January 12, 2007 on Writers in the Sky Podcast. Learn how Janet started writing poetry after the tragic death of her beloved sister, and how she published her book through

Visit Janet's website here...

Word of Month

Having an extensive vocabulary is important to writers. In each issue of Writers in the Sky, I will introduce and define a word that we use don’t often use. This word this month is:

Trencherman (trench·er·man)

A person who is devoted to eating and drinking to excess. A hearty eater; One who frequents another’s table.

Example sentence:

During the holidays, we take on the characteristics of a trencherman!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Promoting Your Freelance Writing Business

This audio is a teleclass facilitated by Suzanne Lieurance on 12-7-06. Listen as she instructs an open-discussion with a group of freelance writers about ways to promote your freelance business.

Click here to listen...

Peter Bowerman on Writers in the Sky Podcast

Peter Bowerman, author of The Well-Fed Writer series will be my guest on Writers in the Sky podcast January 5, 2007. We will be discussing the topic of Peter’s newest book The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living.

Needless to say, with it getting increasingly more difficult to land a publisher, many authors are taking a much more serious look at Self-Publishing. Peter's book has received some excellent feedback. For full details and F*REE report, visit

You will not want to miss this show because it will be a jam-packed hour of information that you can use if you are curious about how to self-publish your book. Tell your friends about this fantastic opportunity and let them know they can listen to the podcast in streaming audio on my blog at anytime on or after January 5, 2007. Go ahead and sign up for the RSS Feed so you will get a reminder email when I upload this show.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Just in time for the busy holiday season, Nightengale Press is proud to announce the launch of the ARTHUR, THE CHRISTMAS ELF website at

Come visit the website, read the excerpt, buy the book, enter the contest, write a review. All the information you need is there with resources, after school program guides, and more Arthur Approved decorations for children of all ages.

As the blizzard of the century buries the countryside in wind-blown snow and brings life to a standstill on Christmas Eve, Arthur finds the last two Endangered Children and offers them a chance to learn what Christmas is really all about. Snowflake, Arthur’s reindeer, flies through the night, delivering Arthur and his magic to two these especially troubled kids. Timothy Anderson and Angie Smith live on opposite sides of town, but their lives are drawn together by accident when the blizzard puts everyone they love in danger. Can Arthur show them what to do to save Christmas? Will they rise to the challenge? Will this Christmas be one to remember, or one everyone will want to forget?

Arthur, the Christmas Elf brings children a new, action-packed Christmas story to enjoy along with a fun activity section which shows kids how to make Christmas gifts from everyday items. Parents, teachers and children of all ages will get hours of time together while making their own unique presents from the craft section in the back of the book.

Make your own version of the illustrated patterns and guides so your presents will be a reflection of you. No two presents will ever be the same. LEARN TO MAKE COLLAGES, PILLOWS, RAGDOLLS, PUPPETS, COOKIES, PUZZLES, WOOD BLOCK TOWNS, AND A NECKLACE but make them all in your own way using the patterns and illustrated instructions as a guide.

We look forward to your visit and hope you'll start a new family tradition this year. Read ARTHUR, THE CHRISTMAS ELF with your children and grandchildren. Make the presents. Make it an old-fashioned Christmas this year.

All our best to you this holiday season.

Till next time then,
Best Regards,
Valerie Connelly
Nightengale Press --- A Nightengale Media LLC Company
10936 N. Port Washington Road
Suite 206
Mequon WI 53092-5031
Phone 847-810-8498
Fax: 866-830-2624
URL: ,

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Recently I signed up for a F.ree email course called "89 WAYS TO WRITE POWERFUL PRESS RELEASES." I took the press release quiz and realized I needed the advice of Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound to write more effective direct-to-consumer press releases. If you want to see how much you know about press releases, take the press release quiz at You may also sign up for the course and read more articles about how to write terrific press releases on Joan's Web site:

Friday, December 08, 2006

TGIF December 8, 2006 - Mary Buckner

TGI Friday December 8th and I have uploaded a new show to my podcast.

Mary Buckner is an award winning writer who earned her B.A. in English Literature from Memphis State University. She studied writing at Harvard University, then earned an M.A. in Creative Writing at Boston University

She is currently a freelance writer, environmental activist, and ardent whitewater kayaker. She has traveled through Europe, New Zealand and North America, lived in California, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Part One, Mary and Yvonne discuss how Mary got started as a writer and what inspires her to write sci-fi. We also take a look at the storyline of her first novel Hyperthought, which was nominated for the 2003 Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished science fiction. Click here to listen to Part One...

In part 2 of our interview, we will discuss Mary’s other two novels Neurolink, published by Penguin/Ace in August, 2004 and War Surfing released in 2005. We will also discuss how Mary was published twice by major houses. Click here to listen to Part Two...

Each show has multiple parts which last about 15-20 minutes each. The short-length classes are a great way to learn about the craft and business of writing while driving to work or sweating at the gym! You may download Writers in the Sky podcast shows from You must have iTunes software loaded on your computer but you can download the free software at

Next Friday I will upload my interview with palm reader and three-time published author Myrna Lou Goldbaum. You won't want to miss this education-packed and fun-filled show!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What Do Copywriters Do?

A copywriter is defined as a person responsible for writing advertising copy and generating creative concepts, often in collaboration with an art director or creative director.

But the real answer to the question 'what do copywriters do?' deserves far more elaborate an answer.

Copywriters are men and women who are responsible for writing the copy that is supposed to give a brand a unique 'brand voice' and face. And that copy is ultimately supposed to lead to sales.

Coca Cola has a brand voice. IBM has a brand voice...and they are both very, very different.

Copywriters can work at advertising agencies, in-house at the the clients, by themselves as freelance copywriters (many work right from their homes) or in several other advertising related capacities. But the one thing that unites each of these categories is the responsibility they all have to craft the exact right copy and perfect tone of voice for their clients. Their words craft enormous weight.

Now, the argument over 'awareness advertising' versus 'sales-driven copy' is far from over (with each side claiming superiority, of course). And as it does so, copywriters are the professionals who bridge those two needs by using their talents to walk the delicate line between creating a creative product and a product that sells product.

Copywriters will always tend to be more creative with their work...while clients will always tend to want sales, even at the expense of creativity.

Tough job? Not compared to paving roads outside Las Vegas. But it does require a deft hand.

A copywriters' job is to make one dish soap more loved than another dish soap. And that love is supposed to translate into action at the cash register.

So these words they write, day in and day out are scrutinized to death because the live of a brand is critical to the success of the clients.

Still wondering what copywriters do? Well, they also attend tons of meetings, go to focus groups, scream at account people, endlessly concept and present ideas, write promotional materials, write press releases, write collateral, write point of purchase materials...yikes. That's a lot of stuff.

So no, it's not always glamor. But it is always different. And that's what makes it so unique.

Which is why I so highly recommend that anyone asking themselves what do copywriters do? to realize that the real answer requires a far more exacting look.

A former Madison Avenue Creative Director and Copywriter, Kevin Browne is the owner of, the BEST, most ultra-inside site for those who truly want to understand the inner workings of the advertising industry.

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