Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

My writing journal for Tuesday, September 23, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The end is in sight for the novella. I wrote 1,200 words, setting up the major scene which I mentioned yesterday.

So, I’m ready to write the scene. However, since I’m way ahead of the schedule on this book I decided to spend some extra time on the nonfiction book proposal which I’m creating for a client’s memoir. I made good headway on the overview, so Julia’s sending that off to the client for her input.

It must be spring, because Honey’s outside. She didn’t want to come in this morning; she’s enjoying the warmer weather. I’ve got to call her in and make her breakfast.

I read email while I’m eating my toast. We’re almost all caught up with email, because I did a heavy push on it last night. Several students sent me their stories; I’ve got just two left on which I need to provide feedback.

Next, work with my new coaching client.

Showing your expertise in an ebook

I’m working with a new coaching and ghostwriting client who’s starting her own business. She’s got wonderful expertise in her profession, so I suggested that she capitalize on that.

Firstly, we’re setting up a website for her, essentially so that she can collect email addresses of prospects. At the same time, we’re developing a couple of ebooks. One she’ll use as an inducement to sign up for her mailing list. The other, we’ll publish on Kindle Direct Publishing; this will help her to show her expertise. If it happens to make a little money, that will be fine too. :-)

A year ago, I would have suggested that she build out her website into an authority site to get traffic. However, the online world has changed. Yes, you still need all the SEO you can manage. But it’s hard to get search engine traffic for a brand new website, no matter how large and authoritative it might be, so we’re going to skip that for at least a year.

My client needs the ebooks, and social media, AND partnerships to get traction.

I love working with people who are good at what they do; helping them to provide value for others. Our first step will be to work out exactly what she’s offering, and how she’ll brand her new business.

It’s time for my walk. I won’t be able to walk tomorrow, because I have a couple of meetings, so I need to go today.

I’m back from my walk, and spend some time updating my schedule for this week and next. Then I have lunch while browsing social media.

After lunch, I get on with the company history book, using the cluster diagrams I created yesterday. I manage to do 2,000 words on this. Excellent.

The new blog launch

In our meeting yesterday, we discussed the company’s branding, and their new blog. I’ve got to do a proposal and scope. This means a lot of research.

Research tip: only do as much as you need to do.  Start by deciding exactly what you need to know, and create some research questions to answer.

After spending a couple of hours on it, I need a short break. I decide walk to the park with Honey so that I can get some fresh air, and think.

It’s late afternoon; time to I catch up on email and phone calls. I’ll try to work on a couple of short stories tonight; I need to keep up with them so I can get them published in October.

I complete my daily review, count my words, and I’m done for another day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 27: Use Scrivener for Everything

Writing Journal 27: Use Scrivener for Everything

My writing journal for Monday, September 8, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I woke up this morning with an idea for Christmas short story. So instead of working on the novella I’m ghostwriting for a client, I decided to write the story instead. I managed 1800 words of the story; very satisfying. I’ll work on the novella later today, or perhaps tonight.

Then on to the client’s nonfiction book. I did a rough edit of several chapters, and compiled them to PDF, so that I could send them to him. Scrivener makes it easy to send out as little or as much as you like of any project.

A couple of students have asked me about ghostwriting with Scrivener, so let’s chat about that.

Scrivener for freelance writers, coaches, and consultants

Although I primarily use Scrivener for long projects, you can use Scrivener for short projects too. For example, I use Scrivener for my retainer clients — clients for whom I write regularly.

I don’t use Scrivener for blogging, even though many writers do. Thaddeus Hunt has a complete blogging system, and so does Jennifer Mattern.

Scrivener’s wonderful for medium to long projects, because you can develop many novels within one Scrivener file. The five novellas I’m ghostwriting for a client are all in one file. This makes it very easy to compile one ebook, or few chapters and send them to a client. You can also keep your front matter and back matter within the file, duplicating them and customizing them for each ebook.

Monica McCarty uses a Scrivener file to manage her series’ Bible. Visit the Scrivener forum, to see the many ways in which people use Scrivener.

On to email, which is light, just some student material for review. I zoom through that, and it’s time for Honey’s breakfast. I review my Christmas short story as I eat my toast. I can’t resist writing another few hundred words. That takes the story to 2,500 words.

A client presentation…

It’s time to develop a pitch presentation for a client. I start by researching his marketing materials, and creating an outline. He’ll be delivering the presentation, I just need to create it. I do some thinking, and brainstorming, and then put it aside for tomorrow, to let it gestate.

No time to walk today; I have a meeting this afternoon, and need to run some errands after that.

I create some notes for Julia. She needs to chase up the subject matter experts so that I can complete a draft of a client’s website content for his product launch. I didn’t think it would happen on Friday, but it needs to happen today or tomorrow.

I spend a couple of timer sessions developing questions for the SMEs.

Next, I check on my draft blog posts, and add some material to several. I’ll schedule them for publication once I complete them. Usually, I’ll schedule posts for publication several days ahead. (This is a reason I don’t use Scrivener for blogging; I’m in and out of the WordPress blog editor several times a day.)

And it’s time to go…

Back late

I’m glad I got so much done this morning. I got back to the office very late. Time to catch up on emails, and phone calls. Then my daily review, total up my word counts, and the work day is done.

With luck, I’ll write a couple of thousand words of the novella tonight. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 24: Website, New WordPress, and Workshops

Writing Journal 24: Website, New WordPress, and Workshops
My writing journal for Friday, September 5, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another oddball morning.

I received a call last night from a client who’s developing a website for a product launch, so I can’t start the day with my current fiction and nonfiction books as I usually do. I had to start work on the website content, because it’s a rush job.

I read all the material he sent me. Then I created lists of interview questions. Julia will call the company to line up some chats for me with their subject matter experts (SMEs.) I hope the chats will be later today, but somehow I doubt it. It’s Friday, and it’s very short notice. Not to worry, I can do some research on my own. I’ll need to look at competing products and the marketplace, so that will keep me going for a while.

I meant to work on the novella last night, because I didn’t get to it yesterday, but I had the coaching call, which took longer than expected. MUST get to fiction today…

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, while reading email. Then answering email, and giving feedback. I’ve got several students’ short stories to read, but I’ll save those until the weekend, when I have more time to think.

WordPress 4: looks great

When I checked my blogs this morning, I noticed that WordPress 4.0 has been released. Excellent… I’ve updated the blogs, but haven’t had a chance to check out the new options yet. TNW has an article reviewing 4.

The updated WordPress editor means less scrolling: excellent. I do most of my writing in WordPress. Well, I use a Markdown editor to write drafts, then I post the HTML into the WordPress editor, but one way or another I spend a lot of time scrolling.

After that, I set a reminder to make sure that I WALK today. I need to get back to daily walks. I spend far too much time sitting. As a reward for that, hummingbird cake at lunch. :-)

More email, and a post about our new “Leap” workshops for the freelance writing blog.

Then it’s off for a walk…

UGH! Rain. And it’s cold. So I weasel out of walking and set a reminder to do some yoga and a session on the rowing machine tonight.

Finishing up the week’s projects

I’ve made a list of projects which are almost ready to be sent to clients, so I devote the rest of the morning to that.

Julia and I head for our weekly lunch. We missed out on it last week, and I can hear a BIG slice of hummingbird cake calling my name…

Back to the office. It’s time to return phone calls, and wrap up the week. I do a quick review of the week’s projects, and adjust our schedules for next week.

No more tech aggravations, I hope

I’ve got to keep an eye on my data usage with the hotspot — I’ve used 1.5 GB in a day and a half; that means I’ve got 2.5 GB left before I need to recharge.

And… YAY! Cable Internet is back. Bless you, Telstra.

The technician suggested I turn the cable modem on occasionally to see whether the cable has been fixed, and it appears it has… a miracle.

However, that was a real lesson to me: keep the hotspot charged. Usually when I go out, I use others’ networks: clients’, the library’s, etc. From now on, I’ll take my little hotspot with me. That will keep the SIM active, so that it doesn’t die. It’ll save unexpected journeys to get another one, and it gives me peace of mind too.

I feel like dancing around the room… Happiness is a good Internet connection. :-)

Research for the client’s new website

As expected, Julia couldn’t get any interviews with SMEs today. Onward to research the client’s competitors, and make notes.

Evernote’s Adonit Jot Script stylus, or Livescribe Sky?

Last night I was making some notes in Notability on my iPad, and trying to get a fine line. Not possible, really. I’ve been eyeing the Adonit Jot Script stylus, but can’t justify it as a business expense. I may treat myself to one for Christmas. It looks amazing, but so does Livescribe’s Sky pen. I’ve got the Livescribe Echo, but the Sky pen pushes notes directly to Evernote.

(Sigh…) OK, when I start researching purchases, I know I’ve lost my focus. Time to finish up for the day.

Daily and weekly reviews are done, and I know what I need to do on the weekend. So that’s it for today.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

“This Is Me”: Quick Ways to Get Found With a Profile Page

profileonline

These days, nothing is certain. Except you – you’re all you can rely on… Your skills, talent and knowledge. But who knows you? The more people who know you, the more options you have.

“Who are you?” That’s the most common question when someone sees your name online. You need to be able to share who you are. On my freelance writing blog, we’ve been discussing profile pages as a way of making money even without a website. A profile page is your online calling card. It’s a way of sharing who you are. It can tie all your social networking sites together, to build a picture of who you are, without a website.

Why would you want to show who you are?

Let’s look at some reasons.

  • You’re a small business person. You need a way to build credibility and trust. For your leads, your suppliers, and everyone you come into contact with. If someone Googles you, you want to share who you are;
  • You’re employed. You’re not job-hunting yet, but if someone needs your skills, you’re open to better offers;
  • You have an idea for a start-up. You’re bootstrapping, but you may want some capital for your venture soon;
  • You work online, or want to. You want people scouting for someone with your experience and skills to get in touch with you. A little judicious moonlighting would help out with the mortgage, and your kids’ college fund. You need a profile page.

“This is me” – websites on which you can create profile pages

There are many profile websites; let’s look at three good ones.

about.me – simple, easy, fast. Does what it says on the label

I like about.me. Your profile page is easy to set up, and share with others. The site’s adding some social media options, so you can network on the site.

Here’s my page on about.me.

My profile page on about.me
My profile page on about.me

Google+ – if you can’t beat them…

Google+? Yep. You can file this under “if you can’t beat them, you might as well make the most of it.”

Here’s my profile on Google+. The big benefit of a Google+ profile is that it’s Google. People who want to know about you will Google you, so they’ll be able to find you. You’ve got social media with a profile page baked right in.

Don’t fight it… :-)

Flavors.me – I haven’t tried it, but it looks good

I haven’t set up a profile on flavors.me yet, but the site looks good. It seems to have more options than about.me.

So there you have it. If you don’t have a website, at least create a profile page. Get findable, and visible.

Apropos of never knowing who’ll see your page online. I set up a dinky little website in 1997, because I was writing a book for Allen & Unwin on using the Internet for business. Although I never paid much attention to the site, it got me loads of business over the next few years. I even wrote an online creativity course for Barnes & Noble University when someone spotted the site. You never know who’ll see your name online.

, and on Twitter: @angee