Letters from the Real World: Duh. Or, Classic Marketing 101 Mistake

By Cait Reynolds

Um, yeah. I feel really dumb right now, and I’m cringing just a little at the thought of the “I-trained-you-better-than-this” amused look Carol – my lifelong public relations and marketing mentor, friend, honorary Mom – will give me when she reads this. Carol was the toughest, smartest marketing professional I’ve ever known. When I worked for her, she drilled strategic thinking into me like a marine corps sergeant, and she showed me not the just how of publicity, but the why which is the key to everything…. Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: The Plot Bunny Striketh

By Cait Reynolds

I have a very careful plan. If you’ve read any of my “letters,” you’ll know how long and probably obsessively I have worked on and refined my writing and marketing plan for 2014. I have been sooooo good about sticking to the plan for the most part. Being behind doesn’t mean I’m not sticking to it. Except…I got slapped upside the head with the most amazing plot bunny ever. It appeared full and perfect in my brain, like Athena springing from Zeus’ overheated imaginings. I… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: Six Month Performance Evaluation

By Cait Reynolds

I hate doing self-evals. I always thought the politically-correct questions approved by Human Resources were ridiculously plebeian and prone to producing pablum for responses. Occasionally, I would amuse myself with alliteration while merely mentioning moribund moments of mediocrity in the self-improvement section. But it’s June 2 today, and it’s high time for me to do a six month check in. Only, I’m my boss now, and I’m going to ask really tough, politically incorrect questions of myself in order to adequately assess my adventures and… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: Where is the Money?!?!?!

By Cait Reynolds

I’m five months into this whole full-time writer gig. I’m…not panicked. Not exactly. Not yet. I’m not ready for a Valium, but I wouldn’t mind a drink. Or two. I’m working really hard. I’m trying to find the “best practices” (ugh, shoot me now for using that phrase) for working from home and balancing life. I’m trying my best to sort out – QUICKLY – what social media venues are best and most productive and efficient for me. Unfortunately, trial and error take time because… Continue Reading

Why Your Facebook Fan Page Traffic Sucks (And How to Change That)

By Lisa Hazen

When you first created your Facebook Fan Page, you were probably thrilled how easy it was to build your fans and easily connect with your audience. (And all for free.) In fact, I know many authors have decided to use Facebook as their exclusive Web presence, rather than building and maintaining a site on their own. It was a tough deal to beat—a free networked Web presence with an easy way to share information. Gradually and quietly, that has all been changing. About a year… Continue Reading

Letters from the real world: How many planks in a platform?

By Cait Reynolds

There are days when I am relatively on top of things. Then, there are days that start like today, where I tried to put my lipstick in the dishwasher, because my brain was thinking about blogging, whether I should try to incorporate Wattpad into my promo work, and was Reddit really an option for me? Okay fine, maybe it’s just my brain. But, can you blame me? I’ve got a mothership website now. I’m blogging semi-regularly. I’m active on Twitter. I’m still trying to motivate… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: So, you’ve got a blog. Now what?

By Cait Reynolds

I am terrible at blogging consistently. It’s a true struggle for me. I have lots of ideas of what to write about, but the fact is, very few of them make it to my keyboard. Maybe it’s my self-sabotoging perfectionism rearing its ugly head. Maybe it’s my own Judgy McJudgerson attitude about what I choose to read in a blog. Either way, I struggle. The following are issues that drive me nuts about bloggers and blogs (including myself!!!), and a big part of my struggle… Continue Reading

More Ways to Cut Down on Self Publishing Costs

By Lori Culwell

Maybe you don’t know, but the most popular post on this site is “How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Book?”   Because I am an SEO nerd at heart, this data tells me that you would probably like some more information about this subject, and I would like to help you with that.   In fact, I sincerely hope that the costs of self-publishing (or the technical requirements) are not holding you back if your dream is to write a book.  I would… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: When the mothership needs a tune-up

By Cait Reynolds

Go to http://caitreynolds.com. Take a look. Then wait a week and go back next Monday. It’ll be different by then. Why? Because I actually took the time to go look at my own website, and I realized one very important thing: the font is completely unreadable. Oops. The layout is clean, the links all work, blah blah blah. The font looks great for titles and headers, and when I was setting up the website, that’s all that mattered. Except now, I have content, and the… Continue Reading

Five Web Mistakes I See All the Time

By Lisa Hazen

For years, Glamour Magazine has had a recurring column of “Glamour Don’ts”. The idea is that they find offenders out on the street and show their fashion transgressions, while using a black box to obscure the offender. It made me think of how I am always finding Web “don’ts”—things I stumble across online that aren’t fatal flaws, but that still make me cringe and want to stage a polite intervention. As a public service, here are some of the most common offenses I find. Cramming… Continue Reading