Tuesday, February 18, 2014

So You Think PR is Easy?

Look, PR isn't exactly rocket science, but good Public Relations execution requires knowing more the basic grammar rules and how to offer a proper handshake.

The best article I've read on the subject in several weeks, at least, comes from PRNewser's Shawn Paul Woods.

I have to admit, I am a bit surprised PRNewser didn't land on PRSSA's list of blogs every student should read. What other fountains of good advice were omitted? Your additions are welcome here, as comments or tweets.

Wondering what PR experts say on the subject?
Best Practices for B2B Public Relations (PRSA; $)
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^ Hey, just checking - you do know what those hashtags are for, right? 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

$15,000 for a Breakthrough Novel

Yep, that's right. Call it the WalMart of the internet if you want to, Amazon is offering more than most publishers in its Breakthrough Novel Award. Entries are accepted starting today. Write hard, my friends!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More on Self-Publishing

Yet another reason to love self-publishing: That typo on page 99 is gone. So is the one on page 100. And the extra space on page 38.

Now perfect! or is that furpect?
Hey, don't judge me - Guy Kawasaki's copyeditor found 1,400 errors in his first self-published book, so I'm in pretty good company, okay?

Stinkin' typos

No more losing sleep over those gosh-darned grammar gaffes. Catch a few mistakes in your self-published, POD* book? You can upload revisions to your heart's content.

Expert views on self-publishing

If you're looking more reasons to consider self-publishing, you'll find them. Just know it's not a perfect solution.
25 Things to Know about Self-Publishing (CNET)
Maybe Traditional Publishers Have Met Their Match - and will change? (The Shatzkin Files)
A British Novelist's Perspective (The Guardian)
How Much Does it Cost? (Writer.ly article) (Note: it can be done for zip, zero, zilch)
A Round-up of Options circa July 2013 (pbs)
Self-publishing options, compared

*POD = print on demand; in my opinion, the only way to self-publish - but in fact, it's not the only method available. If you're considering self-publishing, you'll need to invest a lot of time in reading all about the options available. That's the only way to find out if one is right for you, and if so, which one. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slide Share by the Numbers

Athletes know their stats; they measure by them daily. Weight-watchers count calories. Writers live by their deadlines, and word counts.

My point is that even if you're a communicator - a "word person" - it's foolish to ignore the numbers.

The best Slideshare presentations (at least according to Slideshare) contain about 14 slides, with each slide containing about 10 words.

I struggle to be so brief!

Struggle can be good, though. So, here's the Slideshare presentation I created to drum up some interest in my newest book, Dumb Things We Say to Dogs. I welcome your comments! And, of course, you're welcome to buy the book :D

Send a message via my Dumb Things Facebook Page or on Twitter, and I'll be happy to share a discount code with you to cover the cost of shipping when you order a copy.

Looking for more tips to succeed with Slideshare? I think this is a good list:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Writing Backwards, and Better

Having had a couple dozen of my essays published (in the past 20 or so years) so misled me that I decided to publish a collection of my essays. Then, and only then,* did I seek out advice and instruction on writing essays. 

Genius, right? Well, I don't expect a writing conference to be named after me anytime soon.

Anyway, I'll share the good stuff as I find it. The first gem I found on writing essays is a witty discourse by Paul Graham. He pulled me in by stating what I've felt for years yet didn't understand well enough to verbalize:
"...due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens.
With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Who cares about symbolism in Dickens? Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball. ..." 
Happy reading.

*Yes of course I've heard of E.B. White. Unfortunately, his works seem all tangled up in that writing-essays-as-critiques-of-literature period of my life, aka high school and college. I'll get back to them. Hey, every recovery has to start somewhere. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Twitter Fiction Festival & Fiction Fun

Twitter's Fiction Festival is set for March 12-16 but before you click away, note that the deadline for YOU to propose a storyline is Wednesday February 4. That's right, YOU can can help direct the tweetin' tales - but only if you hop in quick.

Have fun with it, folks.