Friday, August 21, 2009

Party with CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSON

People from 35 countries have partied in this BLOG Party! Come join us! Post comments to be eligible to win a free autographed book each day.

Roman (USA) was the winner yesterday for Glyn's double autographed book. Congratulations! (email me, please) Proof that it pays to play.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been on the editorial staff of Good Housekeeping magazine, a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, taught writing courses at UCLA, written novels, non-fiction, articles...(pause for a breath), but probably one of her most challenging positions has been being my mentor. She is the 'big sister,' all wise and usually patient; I am the sibling whom she loves and sometimes could ground for life.

I call it the M-word, she calls it Marketing. Carolyn loves it, I hate it. She has the fashion sense of a model and I'm more shabby chic. Carolyn lives near my old neighborhood, and I live near one of hers. How we became friends is a mystery. Yet Carolyn is patient with my outspoken views about the industry that differ from hers. When she is right about something that most people would follow with an "I told you so," Carolyn just follows the line with, "Ahem."

Carolyn was the first one to respond when I sent out an email to a very short list of invited writers, saying not only would she participate in yet another of my Andy Worhol ideas, she would donate the book as a gift for my 100th blog post. That's pretty big of Carolyn considering she has been trying to get me to blog for over three years. Carolyn leads an army of my friends who encouraged me [strongly at times] to do the blog thing. And here we are, partying the event.

Here is Carolyn's fiction viewed through my eyes. If you read through my older newsletters, you'll see how I reverted to log lines when space was an issue: This is the Place; If you’re half Mormon and half Protestant, how do you fit in? Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered. Every family has little white lies they tell.

Carolyn's non-fiction needs no log line. The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t. A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion. And, Carolyn's Amazon short (you can ask her what that is): The Great First Impression Book Proposal: How to Sell Your Book In 20 Minutes or Less. (Her titles have built-in log lines.)

And Carolyn's poetry: Tracings, a chapbook of poetry, the layers of one woman's life, and Cherished Pulse, Carolyn's Valentine to you.

Now two very personal notes: Last night Carolyn and I were talking about what I would write about her. Just so you get a peek of who we are, our conversation via email (yes, email. Not IM or texting). Watch how she puts her book title in the conversation. She loves marketing! (That is so not normal.)

Blog comment alert email stating Carolyn had posted and what she said. Our emails begin.
Carolyn: did you get my comment about new cable, etc. it's not showing up on your blog.
Me: Subject line: YOU POSTED! email: Now I know how you felt when I blogged! Seriously, I'm still working on your piece, will you kill me if this is the introduction? Or do you want something different. I'm just getting to your books. I fell asleep at my desk, I have been up since MN with only a short nap, before this last one! (Instructions to find second page of comment posts.)
Carolyn: I love every single word. Wouldn't change a hair on its head. Blogs are supposed to make us feel human, you know. (-: Hooray for you for marketing and not being too damn private (just private enough).
Me: There's more, want to see it?
Carolyn: Let's surprise me. I trust you.
Me (later): I've forgotten the name of your new retail book.
Carolyn: See my new autosignature below. (-:
Me: Oh crap. I was so busy enlarging the other bits that I missed the BIG one. Did you find your post on my blog? isn't that a screech! Two fricking pages???
Carolyn: Really. Huge. VERY rare. 207 or something. for one post.
Me: Yep, when we finish tomorrow, we have doubled the longest running blog party. We're going for 4 weeks... so...let me do the math. um...no, you do the math
Carolyn: Huhhh, if that's been verified as close as you can, it's worth a media release to online and local press. Even to biggies like USA today. Be sure to give them stats. You're good at that.
Me: I thought no one had had a blog party. I googled blog party. Two sisters do an annual week long blog party and that is the only entry. But it is not a writer & reader party, not a daily free autographed book. I'd like to write it up. I've been keeping notes. I need help though. seriously, I don't do nonfiction well. I'm shabby chic.
Carolyn: You've got my book. Follow instructions for a media release. Send it to everyone. Send it to me. I'll Jimmy it a bit and send it to my list, too. Take it from the angle of that it's a FIRST and has had huge response and document that response. And, yes, then also do a how-to article. We'll run with that, too. You can just redit the release a bit to do that.
Me: Ok. But...I want to write a REAL article, you know...like in a magazine. Not PR.
Carolyn: Suggest for XXXXs Journal. Tell the editor I sent you. I used to write for him. Do a query letter first. Directions in your Frugal Editor.
Me: Thanks, may I ask for this AFTER the party and detox?
Carolyn: PLUS, you want to hit while the news is hot. Wait a month and it may have lost most of its steam.
Me: Ooops! Ignore last email.
Carolyn: See what I mean. You're really such a natural.
Me: Thank you, I've been in therapy.

Second item:
Carolyn: I get up about X:xx. I'll rush in to comment. Do know that I have an audition tomorrow, though. So I will be away from the computer for about 4 hours (love that LA driving time) from 11 to about 4. I'll check in as often as I can.
Me: Break a leg!

What? You thought I was kidding about her fashion sense? She's an actress too. Go enlarge the photo on her website. http://carolynhoward-johnson.com/

Party Game: Actually, the party game isn't a game. Ask Carolyn your editing and M-word questions. Even if she isn't here, she will come back and answer each one. Someone wins a signed copy of Frugal Editor today! Just post a question or comment for Carolyn.

**If you need help navigating blogger, here are some basic instructions: http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/08/just-few-basics.html

The comment section is below this line. Click on the word "comments." That's where you can leave a note. eMail me if you have trouble with this...NadineLaman(at)aol.com

146 comments:

  1. Oh snap! I set the auto post for 12:02 PM! Good thing I was awake to catch that! Well, it's just past MN here in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona. Good morning world!

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  2. Well, google alerts caught this blog in 10 min. Guess we're, as they say, on the map. It was taking 30-45 min.

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  3. One of the things about Carolyn's Frugal Editor, is she has included instructions for MS Word functions to make it easier to do the things she says to do. I use WordPerfect to write my mss, but the theory still applies, it is just a matter of learning to optomize your software's functions.

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  4. Ain't I chatty? Even when I'm all by myself, I'm still talking. (Yes, I DO talk in my sleep, always have).

    Professional editors have their set fees, and if they are worth their salt, they will be open about them. However is you ship an ms to an editor that you haven't touched since the first draft was finished, expect to pay more - hazard pay - for a really 'dirty' ms. So the point is, to do all your rewrites and self editing BEFORE you send it to an editor for the PROFESSIONAL touch.

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  5. I found this page quite useful for self edit

    http://home.earthlink.net/~jdc24/selfEdit.htm

    I was amazed at the stupid errors I was making. Like over using the word 'not'

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  6. Good link, Glyn. I use lots of commas in my first draft. I look at them later and wonder what I was thinking!!! I agree with the keep it positive item. Also passive voice adds excessive words to sentences. Make it active, but don't wear me out with the pacing.

    Carolyn will be here in the morning and fix anything I've said that she disagrees with.

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  7. Maybe if Susan or Joy drop by they will share some of their tips too. And anyone who has a tip that works for them, add them to this comment section. Wow Carolyn and she will put your tip in her newsletter.

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  8. This is off the topic of editing, but certainly part of the American writer's interest.

    If you are part of the google booksearch lawsuit class and plan to opt out of the lawsuit, but haven't yet, the deadline to opt out is in 2 weeks, September 4, 2009. No action is required to remain part of the class, according to legal notices I've rec'd via email. Each author or publisher eligible for the class has to determine which option is best for their book. I'm not advising anyone toward either choice.

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  9. Leave your comments and questions for Carolyn. I'm going to crash for a while. Carolyn and I will be back in the morning our time, Pacific Time.

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  10. Morning, all. I liked the web page Glyn posted - good basic advice for writers and editors.

    For matters related to grammar and punctuation generally, I'm a big fan of the Guide to Grammar and Writing. Sadly, Professor Charles Darling, who compiled this massive resource, passed away a few years ago, so the site doesn't get updated any more. It's still an incredibly useful resource though.

    I'd be interested to know what Carolyn thinks about editing software such as PerfectIt and MyWriterTools. Does she think such tools are useful, or are they no substitute for the experienced human eye?

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  11. Hi Nick. Just in the process of freezing tomatoes. Back soon

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  12. Good morning from damp Ohio. Wow, we needed that big rain. It was refreshing. My buddy told me, "Connie, I can hear my crops growing in this rain."

    I thought that was a great statement.

    Carolyn sounds like a business woman that knows how to make great things happen for inspiring writers.

    Nadine, call me a lost woman but what is the google book search law suit about?

    I am running to the coffee pot but will try to get back once or twice before I head out this morning. Have fun with Carolyn and Carolyn, thanks for being part of this. I'm sure you have lots of great advice.

    By the way, I use the word even too much. I know I do and find myself backspacing it out.

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  13. Morning Connie, 3pm here in France. We really need rain here. The ground is getting desert. Enjoy your coffee

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  14. Nick I just put your guide to grammar and writing as a favourite to have a look at. This is where we have to thank Nadine. Because if one useful link or contact comes out of this then it has all been worthwhile. And for me there's been more than that already.

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  15. Good for you, Glyn. Nadine is a fabulous person. Wonder if she hears us talking about her? Nick, I will go check out this Guide to Grammar and Writing. I look back at things I wrote years ago and can see the more I write, the better my writing gets. I know I have lots to learn but improving is the key. I am weak in the promoting my work though.

    On to some more coffee, need to throw a pill down my cat's throat and let the dog out.

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  16. Good morning, all. One of the things I see often when I beta read is 'and then' - I write in the margin "pick one". I think the most helpful thing for me is to read my ms aloud to someone who is following along in a second copy. They catch me when I say something better than I wrote it. But it is rare I can bribe someone to do that because it is time consuming and it works best for me to do it all in a short span of time, like a long weekend.

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  17. The Guide to Grammar and Writing is a reference resource I have used for some years now. It makes fascinating browsing too, especially in the so-called Grammarlogs (their Q&A section). Hope you guys like the site as much as I do.

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  18. Connie, the google bookscan lawsuit is massive. I'll email some links, but you can -- wait for it -- google it.

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  19. Hi Nadine

    Strictly speaking, you shouldn't use 'then' as a conjunction, so in such cases it does need 'and' as well. For example, 'I had my lunch, then went for a walk' should really be, 'I had my lunch, and then went for a walk'. Or you could simply say, 'I had my lunch and went for a walk', of course!

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  20. Nick, one thing that happen to/for me for being on MWC was the awareness of the difference from American punctuation and non-American. In causal writing, like this blog, I slip between the two, especially single and double quote marks. It took a while for me to get the 'full stop' for a period.

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  21. Good morning, Glyn. Thanks to you and the others for chatting while I slept. Nope, didn't hear you. SOMEONE was snoring, but I won't mention HIS name.

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  22. Morning, Nick. I'm narrow minded, I totally forget about non-fiction writing, which has a different voice.

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  23. Sometimes I have to write in US English, sometimes in the UK variety. Same goes for editing. It does get confusing at times, although I think people sometimes exaggerate the differences between the two. Often, IMO, it's a matter of house style rather than a UK/US thing.

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  24. I guess, Nick, there might be some observers who don't know that term, mind defining it?

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  25. Geeze, I show up and everyone leaves...

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  26. Sorry, just doing a bit of editing there. Gotta keep working to pay the bills.

    IMO = In My Opinion

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  27. Anyone seen Carolyn yet, by the way? Hope she hasn't gone to the wrong house!

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  28. Oh Carolyn will be here, but she does have that audition today. It's one of those things, when your agent calls, you don't exactly say - oh sorry, I'm going to Nadine's blog party.

    Okay...in this industry "house" refers to the publisher, publishing house (books, magazines, newspaper -am I forgetting anything?) They usually do have a style sheet, but not always. Sometimes you have to read what they publish and get a feel for what they like. But in the end, usually a house editor will make adjustments in your piece or ms. I might be wrong in this next part, but I know Nick will speak up and fix it, it is generally thought that if you submit works that resemble their style rather than don't (especially the first submission) it is more likely to be accepted.

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  29. I should say, they do share their style sheet upon request, and if they don't I probably would consider what it is going to be like to work with them and whether it would be pleasant as well as profitable.

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  30. I admire people who edit, I'm fine with doing rewrites, but I need an editor and a line editor/proof reader.

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  31. Oh, dear. I open my eyes here on the Pacific coast and I find 35 posts (I take it mostly from Europe) to address. And maybe by now you're all asleep. Sorry, I couldn't stay up last night but it's just not in my genes. Originally a Utah country girl and all that. You Europeans know about Utah, right?

    Nick, I like your words "strictly speaking." Because though I advocate editing strictly for stuff like query letters because we do, after all, want to get our work read, there are style choices. So you put your finger on it. We can make our writing better by examining each one of those "thens" and "ands" etc. See if they add anything to voice or understanding. And ditch them as wordiness if they don't. Now, would you jettison the "and" above. And the "now" that starts this sentence? There will be a difference of opinion and probably none will be wrong. (-:

    Nick, I think it was you who mentioned Wordperfect, etc. too. The answer is yes and yes. They can be useful (I show people how to use Word effectively in The Frugal Editor (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor)but I also advise people that they can't be trusted. So, a combination, please. The language helps on your program and you. And a few extra pair of eyes. I even tell you how to hire an editor and how to best partner with an editor. After all, editors make suggestions. They aren't God.

    BTW, my The Frugal Editor hit the bestselling list in its category on Amazon last night. It would be neat to think it was all of you doing that. (-:

    And, Glyn, my tomatoes aren't plentiful enough to can. In fact, I think I got three and they are still green. I don't know which was harder on them--the deer who live in my neighborhood, the squirrels or our changing weather patterns. It's been very cool in So. California.

    So, whew! Thank you all for coming by! I have an audition later (yeah, all Californians are actors!) but I'll keep checking in when I can.

    Oh, speaking of good editing blogs, check out mine. I've been discussing wordiness lately, in fact. www.thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

    Best and love to you all for coming by...
    Carolyn

    Oh, and PS. I'm NOT gonna edit my posts. I'd rather have a good conversation with you than worry about them. Is that cool with you?

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  32. Stopped in one last time this almost noon day. I have to tell you...my bad day yesterday must be rolling into another not-so-grand-day.

    We have a painter here, painting are over needed exterior of our home. I was taking a bath. (I always bathe, rarely shower..i know unusual) and saw the painter on the other side of the porch. The bathroom is just on the other side of my bedroom. I looked around, sneaked around the corner into my room to dress, thinking he was still on the other side.

    As I am leaning over getting underwear and a bra, I hear a noise. He is at my bedroom window. I took a nose dive down, beside the bed, trapped. Ackkk. The window blind was half up and I am sure he saw me butt nekkid. (slang spell) OMG! I was mortified.

    I am about to head out. I wonder if he will make eye contact with me. He did not drop his paint brush but I am sure this will make a great horror short story. And to think I love writing humor.

    I called my daughter and she immediately laughed out loud. Maybe it is a humor story.

    Okay, I'll leave you to some serious writing conversation.. I always did get doesn't stay on task marked against me in school on my gradecard. Cheers, Connie

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  33. That's good, yes, Carolyn. I just typed are and meant our. Connie

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  34. Oh, PS. I love my friend June Casagrande's Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies (Penguin). It's funny and makes the point I was making about many rules not being "rules" at all. And it's entertaining! And everyone should read one book a month on language, editing and the art of publishing. It's our careers. Even if we aren't writers!

    Best,
    C.

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  35. Anonymous? Yes. If we catch them, fine. But if we don't, doesn't mean we don't know. And I'd rather have a confersation--that is onversation--that is conversation. See what I mean? Ha!

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  36. Carolyn, I know you've been off line for a few days. Let me quickly say, Nick is in England, Glyn is France, Connie is in Ohio - US. If we hear from Ivy, she is in Croatia. If I've missed anyone...

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  37. Thanks for your replies to my questions, Carolyn, and many congratulations on your success with The Frugal Editor.

    Good luck at your audition too (or should that be 'break a leg' in theatrical parlance?).

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  38. Hello, chicas!

    Sorry I missed the party so far, there are certainly many more questions I want to ask Carolyn. I've been jumping in and out the whole day, but we have a guy working on the floor and the whole house is a mess.

    Oh, just for fun. I just read the Guide to literry agent's new blog post on beta readers.
    A funny typo-"Beat readers". :)

    Cheers, everyone, see you a bit later!

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  39. Carolyn, I give you a lot of 'attitude' about marketing, but I'm going to ask this anyway for the lurkers. What do you think is the most important first thing someone can do to market their writing?

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  40. Good morning, Ivy...no more coffee for you...all that jumping.

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  41. Firt thing. Get started and get started early. And don't think you have to be forward or a great speaker. There are thousands of ways to market. I outline most of them in The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) and lots of them you can do by sitting behind your computer doing what you do best--writing. Or psychoanalying. Whatever it is you do. (-:

    Nadine, you are marketing right now. But so is Nick by just being nice and giving and appreciative.

    The most important thing to do is get started and to get started as early in your career as possible. (There are also lots of things you can do before you publish a thing--or before you get a job or...).

    Aren't you sorry you asked? LOL.

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  42. I'm going out to swim. Will check when I get back. I don't leave for my audition for about an hour. Gotta get my exercise in.

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  43. Carolyn, many people know you for your teaching and workshops, books, articles about the craft, but let't look at you as a writer.

    I know you write a lot of poetry, but I'd like you to talk about being a fiction writer.

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  44. Hi, I've just been reading the earlier conversation about editing. Most excellent. Thank you Carolyn and Nick.

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  45. Glyn, even though Carolyn is going to have to run for awhile soon, leave questions for her to answere upon her return.

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  46. Actually, that goes for everyone, questions, things that work for you, ask anything. Because novel writing is my love, I'm also hoping to hear more about that form Carolyn. So the floor is wide open. Carolyn usually get the big bucks for doing this, so today is the day to jump in and chat with her.

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  47. Yeh, you can tell quality can't you, not like the guy yesterday.

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  48. Actually my question which I'll leave. The writer, is never going to be signed so he does it through lulu, self publishes He/she edits well, a friend looks over it carefully. But he really can't justify paying a professional to edit his novel. How does he get past that?

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  49. Glyn! The guy yesterday was fab. You preped and was ready well in advance, plus we teamed well. Please don't think anyone here is better than anyone else. I was trying to engage the lurkers. Carolyn is not at all uppity, as is the case with some people in this industry. You saw our email exchange, she is as real and approachable as anyone, we're all friends here. I did not mean to be off putting.

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  50. Yeah, Glyn It isn't very frugal to spend money you might not get back. But I'd say not to take the "cheap" route unless it is absolutely essential. Think of editing as doing the best for you book. But you'll learn tons from that, too. So think of the expense also as taking a class at an expensive university. And throw in a $500 conference. Now that editor's fee doesn't feel like so much, right?

    But if you do decide to go it alone, The Frugal Editor will help you. It will help you partner with an editor if you should hire one. Do remember though, the time you need an editor--a real editor--not your high school English teacher who may know nothig about publishing,book formatting, etc.--is when you are self- or subsidy-publishing.

    Another frugal idea. Barter. You have skills. See if you can get a good editor to trade their fee for something you do.

    Hope this helps. Also, girl, keep reading. My editing blog, my SharingwithWriters.blogspot.com. My newsletter. No matter how you publish but especially if you're thining about Lulu.

    A frugal way to publish, by the way, is the way I did my recent book for retailers. Check out CreateSpace.com. It doesn't have everything but you can put out a professional quality book with it.

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  51. Speaking of fiction and poetry, Nadine. If anyone is more interested in my fiction and poetry than in my how-to books and they win, all they need do is speak up. I'm happy to substitute. (-:

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  52. Wish I could win. *snif*

    On lulu, createspace or any of those, what you put in is what you get out. There is no magical formatting and editing elf in the process, it is up to you to ensure quality happens.

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  53. I just meant self publishing.
    Is Glyn a girlies name in the USA?
    People keep thinking I'm female.

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  54. Well, we usually spell it Glen, remember I apoligized in advance if I did that. But in the UK, I know it is Glyn.

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  55. Keep in mind, in the US, as a society, we are such arrogant fools that we don't know much about the rest of the world, and I don't mean that as an insult to anyone who thought you were a girl.

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  56. Gosh...I keep killing the conversation. Maybe I should go for a swim and let everyone get their tea (tea time in England).

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  57. Glyn is Welsh.
    I was fairly amazed at the low percentage of Americans who have passports.

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  58. I think it is important to learn everything one can about the industry. You have to make your own decisions regarding what is best for you and each of your works.

    Carolyn and I disagree about Amazon's Creatspace. I am not a fan of it. The point is, we don't have to agree to still work together, to share ideas and information, and to be friends.

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  59. Carolyn has put up useful www.coms. Is there any way we can put them all together, I'll happily go through and do it tomorrow, you do enough Nadine and put them up on your blog as a resource?
    I've found today's to be the most useful.

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  60. Glyn,
    I just got my first passport this year. It's a big country, there are lots of places to go without leaving home.

    I forget which of our states Carrie said was the size of the UK, maybe it was Arizona. One of my kids is driving 2,800 miles to university. It is just what a lot of us do, we stay here...and drive around.

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  61. Glyn, that is a good idea. There have been several sites and resource books mentioned. You can work on it if you'd like. I'd appreciate the help. Maybe I should add it to the author contact directiory post that is coming. What do you think, or should it be its own post? I guess if it is a resource post, I could add to it throughout the life of this blog...got me thinking, we're in trouble now!

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  62. The whole industry is like a dating game. Big publisher, small presses, DIY, POD...agents, it is a matter of finding the right fit for you and each of your works.

    Personally, for POD, I like Infinity here in the states. June Austin couldn't be with us, but she has a nice company she uses in England. I have a friend who has a small press in UAE. The resources are there. Just have to vet them.

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  63. But it still is the problem of an editor. Can a writer afford to pay for the services of an editor when the profit on the book probably isn't going to meet the cost.
    I mean, I've sold quite a few copies of To The End Of Love. It was edited by a literate friend.
    No-one who has read it has complained to me. See the reviews on the Turner Maxwell site. Most and I mean most, only three are from family, are genuine comments.

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  64. For the www's from Carolyn I think its own section.

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  65. We could do it that way or by topic, you and Nick had good editing links too.

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  66. On the editor, vetting them is key. I've paid for bad editing and I've had good editing for free. I've paid for good editing. Getting the grammar, spelling, and punctuation right isn't enough in fiction.

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  67. There are elements to 'creative' writing, storyline, pacing, voice, literary devices like foreshadowing, the perfect balance between the telling/showing war, character development, dialogue...and as Carolyn mentioned, an awareness of formatting.

    There are different types of editing, content editing and line editing aren't the ones we usually think of when thinking of editing.

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  68. You are right. Editing is a skill all itself. And knowing that you're 'buying' the right one is difficult.
    I'll put all useful content onto word then copy and paste and email it to you. Then you can edit:), lol, or add as you see fit.
    You're the boss!

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  69. Oh man! I'm so glad that is on the internet now. Wonder if anyone will buy it?
    I have a list of rules I've taught my kids. 1) Mom is always right (and I strive very hard to make that true); 2) Be very careful who you marry; and the list goes on.

    Email is fab. Thank you.

    Carolyn has tons of links on her sites, one link is in my blog today, the other is in the sidebar at the left toward the top. She also has tons and tons of links in her books.

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  70. I'm b-a-a-a-ck.
    Let's see about CreateSpace. There is a right (and wrong) way to publish for every title, Nadine. One of the reasons CreateSpace is so good is because they are so inexpensive. Thus, if you're changine genres and worried about losing your audience (as I was with A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions), not spending much and still giving yourself a chance to build your audience may be vital. If you don't want to deal with Amazon, it's good. They do it for you. And it's user friendly.

    If you're interested in bookstore sales, probably not. About 90% of my sales for my Frugal books is online anyway, so that wasn't a primary considertion for me. One of the biggest traps we get into is deciding "this bad" or "this good." Next time around, that might not be true. In fact, the last throes of a book's life, conditions may change.

    And, yep, we can disagree.

    And, Glyn, I thought it was short for Glynda. You know the Wizard of Oz, right? Glynda the good witch? I aplogize. It's a love Welsh name. (-:

    Best,
    Carolyn

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  71. Hello again, I knew I could wind you up with that Creatspace crack! Gawd, Carolyn - I love you!

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  72. So go on, tell about the right way and the wrong way, then let's talk fiction.

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  73. Connie, we missed your Google booksearch law suit question. It is very, very convuluted. If you want to know all the ins and outs I suggest you Google it and read away.

    My books are on Google's booksearch (all but A Retailer's Guide). There are pros and cons. I happen to think that the more access people have to our books, the more our names are known and the more service we can be to our readers.

    Nadine probably doesn't agree. LOL. We are good friends--a perfect example of how people can love one another and seldom agree.

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  74. Oh I thought I replied to Connie, maybe it was in the emails we were sending back and forth.

    I've gone back and forth on the class issue. I think I'm going to opt out because of my future plans for my books, but certainly no one should opt out because I am ~ and no one should opt in because Carolyn is. Right, Carolyn?

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  75. There are several guilds filing Amicus Briefs in the case, don't let them decide the issue for you either. This is the 'adult time' of being a writer, this is something everyone needs to research and make their own decision. IMO.

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  76. I'm going to say publicly, Carolyn, you were right about blogging.

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  77. Hi, Carolyn, Nadine, Glyn.

    Finally back, reading through all your comments, taking notes, bookmarking pages and having many "a-ha" moments.

    Carolyn, I've been reading your blog for a while now. I found many useful tips, short and sweet, some of which constantly come to my mind while writing, e.g. every day vs. everyday and such. Those are small things that don't seem troublesome at first sight, but when rereading, they just stand out. And the gerund...thank you for that!

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  78. Hi everyone,
    Just stopping by for a quick hello and to offer my 2 cents.

    If what I've heard is true--that 80% of book sales is word of mouth--then I think you can't afford NOT to hire a professional editor to look at your book before you self-publish. You have to give it the very best chance of being read and then talked about. This is especially true of fiction, I think.

    Even if you're going the traditional route and plan to send your manuscript to literary agents or publishing houses, an insane number of manuscripts are rejected right off the bat, like 99%, so your query letter and sample pages or whatever, have to be the absolute cream of the crop. You don't get a second chance with these people.

    Okay, I'm out of here. (I'm actually writing today and trying to stay focused.) Here's wishing you all a great, great weekend!

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  79. Hello Ivy, you are a wonderful sponge. I think you are going places and I'm not the only one. We are all going to be applauding you!

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  80. P.S. to Ivy

    I mailed the free copy of Seeking Sara Summers that you won yesterday. I hope you enjoy it!

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  81. Good morning Susan!
    Carolyn, Susan is in the US and is a writer and editor/writing coach.
    Susan, I'm sure you've read about Carolyn.

    Appoligies to everyone that I have not thought to make introductions prior to today.

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  82. Thank you, Nadine. I'm learning from the best!
    Just having support and encouragement means a a lot. Every night, after party time, I write with more enthusiasm. Many of your tips will come in handy soon when I start editing this ms.


    Susan, thank you so much for giving me a chance to read the book. Now I'll be constantly waiting on my window, both for Kathryn and Sara!

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  83. You know, all of you, we are still going to be friends after the party. No one has to feel alone. That's what friends are for.

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  84. Of course we will! That's what friends are for.

    I just read a writing wisdom from the gadget on my blog, that says "An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke."
    (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
    I'd like to hear Carolyn's thoughts on punctuation. Any deadly sin?

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  85. Ivy, evening, I'm going to make a list of all the web pages listed here today and they will be posted. So maybe that will help you with your notes.

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  86. I am back for a few minutes. I agree with Carolyn about the importance of exposure. It's just knowing when to draw the line on cost. I gear toward being frugal but I also know one must get out there if you're a new writer. (I am as far as my 1st book) I also think I've made some mistakes with it and will do better with my 2nd one.

    I am curious to how writers find time to jump in and start a 2nd book when so busy promoting the recent one. People asked me all the time if I am writing another book. I think, wow, when do I have time.

    I will read up on the google law suit you briefly spoke about. My question was just wondering what it was. I'll research it. Thanks.

    All writers are concerned with typos and grammar goofs. I personally did spend more on an editor than anything else. He was amazed at how little it did need editing. However, he was clueless to how many re-reads, re-writes and other eyes I had on it prior to him getting it. Reading aloud to my family helps me find my mistakes.

    Glyn-I also thought you were a woman for just a bit. oops. Anyway, I also thing people think of Gwen or Gwinn which is a America name for a women. Spelled very different but you know sometimes our eyes read what our brain thinks. Guess that is why we need more eyes on our work.

    Off to Lake Erie. I will not be back until Monday. Have fun in here and talk later.

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  87. I hope there's no telephones, computers or tvs there

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  88. She said the other day that it was wire-less. Connie will be partying on Tuesday. Just FYI.

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  89. It might be "me" on Monday, pinch hitting. Or maybe later in the week. Anyone want to guest blog and write me?

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  90. You can email me on the guest blog thing.

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  91. Glyn, that would be very useful.I actually do have a notebook, writing down everything I think might be crucial one day...Who'd remember everythink I read...I said it yesterday, I'm terrible remembering facts.

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  92. Ivy, hate the gerund word, as you know. But it's important to know to check each one so we can see if they're detracting from what we are trying to do! Glad you have been reading Sharing with Writers blog (www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com). Hope you'll also take my newsletter if you don't already. Just let me know with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line and I'll do it for you. Send it to HoJoNews@aol.com.

    And, Susan, thanks for the impact and input on editors. Yessss. I am impacted right now with jobs but there are lots of good ones. AND I'm really expensive, thoght one gets one's money's worth with me. I do things and give info that most editors, don't. Here are two that I think are taking on new people right now: Google Yvonne Perry and Barbara McNichol.

    I hasten to say, though, that the more you know about editing yourself, the better partner you will be for an editor. AND a better writer you will be. Even Stephen King says so. LOL

    And, Glyn. What a friendly thing to do. A list. Really, really sweet.

    Did I miss anything?

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  93. I'm so glad I checked in today! Nadine - I orignally found your blog via the Frugal Book Promoter on Twitter....(I think...) anyway...I'm here.

    I'm not sure I even have a question. I'm sure I do...and it's all tangled up with the rest of my questions.

    I'm a w.r.i.t.e.r. who has yet to get out of my own way. I'm currently working on an anthology of inspiring stories by stepmoms for stepmoms (think Chicken Soup for the Stepmom's Soul) I started writing my proposal and then realized I should probably write a kick ass query letter and find an agent.

    I feel like I'm in the deep end of the ocean without so much as a rope to keep from drowning in things I don't know...

    (Kind of dramatic and over the top...but I really don't know what I don't know so any help would be greatly appreciated!)

    Peggy
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com
    http://serendipitysmiles.com

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  94. Hello Peggy! Welcome, I'm glad you came.
    Don't laugh but Carolyn and I were just IMing about the value of twitter.

    Ropes don't float, want a ring or jacket? Stay with us a while, we have the rest of today and two more weeks, visit previous days, leave a post anywhere, I get notices and I'll answer or direct them to the writer of the day...I need an editor, shall we diagram THIS sentence???

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  95. Well, Susan WAS going to do some editing for me, but after that sentence, she might have to charge me more (remember what I said earlier about the rate going up if the ms is a mess?)

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  96. Nadine - I'll take a ring and a jacket!

    And I'll read more here...and get one of those Frugal books ;-) I have no issues selling, marketing or shamelessly self-promoting...I just seem to jump in *and* then figure it out...

    But trial and error takes too long. I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

    I follow directions very well ;-)

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  97. Peggy, maybe it was my tweet that got you here. If so, hooray for me! (-:

    I think you already have a marketing knack. It's about feeling good about your book and feeling OK to share that. You can do that. They say that no one has to sell if they do their networking well. Ha!

    Best, Carolyn
    Tweeting at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo

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  98. Peggy, a ring and a jacket on the way. However, I hasten to mention that everyone has something to contribute. I mentioned on Sndrew's day that I mentored him, yet I learned a lot from him as well.

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  99. I knew it! I'm never going to hear the end of that twitter stuff now! (I still like you, Peggy!)

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  100. Oh, PS. I hope you will get one or both of my books. Really. I wrote them to keep people from falling into the same potholes I did. They're practical and specific. Lots of resources. Nadine often asks me a question and I tell her to go back to the index in one or both books. That's she'll get more info than a fast e-mail answer. LOL.

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  101. Carolyn, I believe inspiring (not sappy) stories will help so many stepmoms. I'm plugged into an amazing network. I have women sending me their submissions (oy! What have a started?) and that's where I'm at.

    Not to mention I'm trying to get my own short story out the door for the Good House Keeping Short Story contest...(I like to compete...)

    And yes - we found each other on Twitter a few months ago, and that's how I found Nadine's fabulous blog!

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  102. Also Glyn and I have been teaming on a project, and Ivy is translating my books into Croation...we are people who need people.

    (yes I am revisiting the tunes I posted previously)

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  103. *blush* thanks, It is partly Carolyn's PUSHing me to blog.

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  104. I'm pleased with this party, not for marketing (I couldn't care less about marketing - I know, my bad), but for bring all of us together. It has even been a new way to connect with old friends. Sometimes we get so busy being busy we forget to be people.

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  105. And, probably more importantly to make new ones.
    Its not quite 11pm here, but I am shattered so I'm off to bed with Iris Murdoch.
    Did I mention that one of the tomatoes I picked today weighed 1pound 14ounces, 680grams?
    I think the comments today have been tremendously useful and I think every writer who hasn't bothered to look has missed a golden opportunity. Bonsoir.

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  106. G'night Glyn, sleep well! You are a treasure.

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  107. Iris Murdoch? Did they run the movie on her in the UK? I even wrote a poem about her and that movie.
    Nighty, night Glyn.

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  108. Some people are spectatiors or shy, I can certainly appreciate that. I hope, sincerly hope, that I've made everyone feel welcome to join it. We don't have a secret handshake or anything.

    Come, pull your chair by me, I don't bite.

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  109. Your book into Croation? I once had someone who really wanted to do This Is the Place in Russian. I think he gave up because of the tenses and dense language, though. (-: He was very sweet. I spent a summer studying writing there. St. Petersburg. Also a summer in Prague t Charles University. Never been to what used to be Serb/Croatia or something like that. LOL. I know I'd love it.

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  110. Carolyn, I have actually read your books. But you are stuck with me, darling...and I love you. Boy are you a patient soul.

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  111. BTW, we're still here. It is only mid afternoon on the west coast (USA)

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  112. I assure you, Nadine, I'm not giving up! Making slow progress because of the hectic schedule, but I'm making it!

    Carolyn, it was Yugoslavia that fell apart beginning 90's. After that, we had war with Serbia...bad, bad time to remember.
    I have been through half Europe, but never to Prag, though it's high on my list of places I want to see! And I'm sure you'd love Croatia. It has everything-mountains, sea, beautiful countryside...Most Americans know Dubrovnik as one of the "IN" places to go. Beyonce and Jay-Z are here these days.

    Listen to me. Like a travel agency scout.

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  113. BTW, how did the audition go?

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  114. When I come to Croatia, my destination would be to meet you.

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  115. You are welcome at any time!

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  116. Ahhhh, yes. Dubrovnik. Skiing, no?
    The audition. One never knows. I get called for a lot of callbacks (meaning sort of a finalist) but am seldom the bride. I've had a few national ads, though. And it keeps me involved with my husband who adores acting. He's had a few ads, too, but really love live theater most.
    Bacl to books. I took up acting/modeling. He took up writing. He has a book published in China. Everything Asians need to know about America A to Z. And they need to know a lot. We're an odd culture. He's doing one for Europeans and is looking for endorsements.

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  117. Carolyn, just wondering, but perhaps Glyn or Nick or they might 'know someone' (not sure if you were here when Nick was, but his day is the 31st.

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  118. I used to play a nun :) in a high school play. They said I was the most convincive nun ever. LOL

    We have had a course on college on American culture,e.g. what you eat, how your weddings look like etc. which was sort of funny because the book was decades old. Most of us knew much more than what was in it. I suppose your husband's book would be a refreshing change in the curriculum.

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  119. There you go, Carolyn, tell Lance about Ivy's target audience.

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  120. Chicas, I have to run now. Carolyn, I wish you all the best with the audition and all other projects you're on!

    Hugs,
    Ivy

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  121. I'm on EST and getting ready to go out to dinner...Just want to thank you and Carolyn for giving me a ring and a jacket...and a push in the right direction!

    :-)

    Peggy

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  122. G'night Ivy. Have a good weekend. See ya Monday!

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  123. Carolyn, I think it is just us right now, but I still have a fiction question. I'm assuming that there is an awareness of marketability in the background of your mind when you do a nonfiction piece you plan to shop.

    When you write fiction, is that commercial awareness still there, or do you add marketability in during rewrites. Basically, do you write your first draft of fiction with abandon?

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  124. For some it is there when they write fiction. For others, they simply have a book they must write. I think the latter is safe. Trends change and what we thought would be a big seller may turn out to be out of tune with the market when we get it done.So we'd better enjoy writing it. First and foremost.

    What do you think?

    C.

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  125. Guys and gals, I'm running off to a movie with my husband. You guys abandoned me for dinner or whatever before I abandoned you. Remember that! LOL. I'll check back after about 6 pm Pacific time, OK?

    Thanks to all of you who chit-chatted with me for a while.

    Best,
    C.

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  126. See you later, Carolyn. It is nearly MN in England, Only 3:30 pm here, so western America hasn't started the drive home yet.

    Anyone who has a question or comment for Carolyn, or me, please post it. We'll both be back...I'm going to nap.

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  127. You're welcome, Peggy. See you in a bit.

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  128. Hello everyone,

    just popping my head very briefly round the door.

    Sorry I missed the party, I'm down with a bug, napping a lot and drinking soup.

    I'll catch up on all the blog posts over the weekend and espect to bounce back by Monday.

    Love to you all and have a great weekend!!!

    Kate

    XXX

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  129. I'm still here, didn't make it to the nap yet. I was reading something.

    Sorry about the bug, I'm sending lots of Arizona sunshine along with good wishes.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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  130. Peggy,
    Is this your blog? http://serendipitysmiles.com/

    I recently started followning your blog, or the one above. If this is yours, just know I'm thinking of you.

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  131. Nadine,

    Yes, http://serendipitysmiles.com is mine. Nice to be thought of, but just so you know, I'm five years out (cancer free...go me!)...I'm flexing my fingers and brain a bit on getting the story fine-tuned.

    I also write a blog just for stepmoms: http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    Very happy to have "met" you today!

    Happy Weekend!
    Peggy

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  132. Whew! I was pretty tired when I read it, so I wasn't sure about the five years. Back when I had time to look at other blogs (see Susan Gabriel's day last Wed.) I remember seeing your step-mom blog too. Actually, I emailed the link to a couple of step-mom's I know. Small world that I followed your blog and you end up finding mine! (Yeah, I know Carolyn, through Twitter.)
    Pizza is here and I've had a nap. I'm still partying, but the guys turned on the (American) football game, I might take this party to the patio! Anyone wanta swim?

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  133. Carolyn, in your answer to my question about fiction writing, I'm glad to see that writing fiction is (for some writers) a reprieve from thinking about marketing. I hardly think about marketing anyway, as you know, so that works for me. (I know, my bad.) If something I do turns out to be the M-Word, then fine.

    You know that I don't attempt to be difficult about the M-word, but it is not fun for me. I just didn't get the marketing gene.

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  134. Nadine, you think of marketing. You just don't admit it, won't cop to it. You are a natural marketer and resist being called one. What do you think you've been doing here all day?

    Peggy, I'm twenty-one years cured from cancer. In fact, I had to stop and count because I am, well, CURED. I don't need to think about it. (-; So, good for us survivors, huh?

    And, Kate. I'm sorry I missed you. Hope you're feeling better soon. Have some of my California warmth and sun, too.

    And thank yo--to all you. Especially Nadine for giving me this opportunity to meet you. Don't hesitate to keep in touch.

    Glyn, when you finish that list, please send it to me at hojonew @ aol. com. In fact anyone may use that e-mail (it's my only one).

    You will get an answer back and it will contain some real marketing, an autosignature, which you should all be using. So...that's my last tip of the day. Use an autosignatue. Sample available by writing.

    It's early (8 pm here) but I'm off to bed, too. Well, a Jacuzzi first. You guys must have worn me out. LOL

    Best,
    Carolyn
    www.howtodoitfrugally.com

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  135. Carolyn, thank you for doing this. Two more weeks to party, so now that your broadband is fixed, please come back often.

    Okay, I'll answer the M-question for real this time. The M-word feels like a pressure cooker to me. I think the biggest thing about this for me is that I know people who do marketing as their career. They know the tools of the trade, like Carrie said it would be best to announce the winners daily rather than at the end. I might have come up with that naturally or not, but she KNEW that was the right thing to do. Marketing in that sense has expectations of measurable results.

    Just like in my profession, social work, there are people who have a natural ability to do good things, but they don't know the tools of the trade, and I have seem some WOOPPER mistakes done by some of these people, so I respect formal education.

    There are people who like to promote and honestly, with your book, I think they can go far. I just don't know how to explain that I don't feel comfortable doing that. And you've said before that I need to broaden my definition of marketing and promoting: that I define it too narrowly. You are probably right. But when I have sat down and worked up marketing campaigns that are perfectly sound, and they produce zero results, I have to think that life is too short to do that. The lack of results really hangs a cloud over writing, and I hate that it takes some of the joy out of writing. I hesitate to publish because I don't want to 'have to' market it.

    What have I been doing all day? What I have been doing for the past two weeks and will do for the next two weeks? Celebrating! I'm having fun. I'm not selling my book. I'm not selling me (Doesn't everyone already love me?) There was no pressure to produce results, though I'm thrilled beyond belief how this turned out.

    I appreciate that you say, and have said many times, that I'm a natural at this. But we define what today has been in two different ways. But you know what, I love that you still take the time to help me and coach me. And I do listen more than you might think. I love you, Carolyn. Thank you for being my friend.

    (OH! It is raining here! I love the monsoons!)

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  136. Well, see, that's it. Marketing and promotion should be a celebration. And you should choose the parts of it that feel good. That's what The Frugal Book Promoter does. It offers up choices, even tells people to pick and choose ACCORDING TO THEIR PERSONALITIES (AND POCKETBOOKS). So, you see, we're on the same page, after all.

    Love and goodnight.

    Oh, yes. I remember the August monsoons. Fun!

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  137. Goodnight, Carolyn, sleep well my friend. I love you too.

    Just a note, today's winner will be announced on Monday. Thought I don't normally post on weekends, during the party, I am posting...but respoonses will be less frequent.

    Thank you all, you are the reason.

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  138. *Though - Oh snap, I should use the preview function.

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  139. BTW, if you want to see the Mount Rushmore of autosignatures, you should email Carolyn, just to see her autosignature.

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