Friday, December 28, 2012

"Word Me Up" Tonto

Okay, it's Friday -- and we'll call it "not-serious-day" ... because I am not in a serious mood. So, here we go "Ready to Ramble". All right so I think I should share some of the most common grammar and spelling mistakes I see perpetrated by the masses -- and I'm just itching to correct them. Since I can't correct a billboard, I guess I will just share here on my blog and hope the news spreads throughout the land ;).

Alright vs. All right -- it's not all right to be alright! Are you smiling yet. No, my friends alright is incorrect. I know this may shatter a glass house or two, but it's always "all right" ... all right?

Toward vs. towards -- guess which one? It's America, is it not? Yes, I believe I am blogging on American soil. British usage sanctions towards. American usage embraces toward. Fair enough! So given that I own an American publishing company ( ... plug), we will go for toward.

Backwards, Forwards, Upwards, Downwards vs. Backward, Forward, Upward, Downward -- please reference what I just said about toward vs. towards and pick up big clue numeral uno. So which do you know think is right? It's that usage thing again ... darn it. Let's drop the "s" and ding! Ding! Ding! You have your answer.

Its vs. It's -- It's is always it is ... see how easy that works. Now when you question which one, just put the two words together as "it is" and drop into the sentence. Does it work? If not, go with its. How handy, dandy is that one?

!!!!!!!! -- I am paying homage to fellow writer Scott D. Roberts who has wrestled the infamous exclamation point! and won! If you happen to work with Scott via my company, I have a piece of sound advice: Don't use too many of these things!!!!! In fact, don't use it at all. As Elaine in Seinfeld advised us all not to use the dreaded ! Use exclamation points only to make a rare, emphatic point. Too many of them "desensitizes" the point LOL.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three Things Every Business Owner Should be Doing

No, there are no magic elixirs or formulas for instant business success. The Blue Fairy won't make your business a "real" business with a wave of the wand nor will the evil witch change your fate with a potion (can you tell I've been watching too much Disney over the holiday break?). BUT I have some great news. You don't need wands or potions to be successful in business. I've been a business owner for seven years, and here is what I've learned over the years and what I know works in business. Here are three things every business owner should be doing to create a profitable, successful business.

No. #1 -- Networking. Do you remember in college when your professor told you to go out and network and you thought, "Oh no! I would rather spend the evening in the frat house." The idea of going out and meeting strangers sounded about as exciting as a root canal. Well, reality is you have to network to be successful in business. You have to shake stranger's hands, engage in often boring small talk, and eat the rubber chicken. Without networking and the resulting relationship building, you won't be able to build a strong, thriving business.

No. #2 -- Social Media, which in a sense is another form of networking. Today social media is absolutely necessary to making and maintaining strong connections. I can't tell you how many connections I've made on social media and specifically Facebook that helped my business in some way. In fact, I even recently connected with a woman on social media who introduced me to another woman who offered her venue free of charge for some book launches. Social media is no longer that "new whatever" marketing device. It is absolutely the future of networking and business, and it would be foolish to ignore if you have done so.

No. #3 -- Blogging. Blogging and/or Blog Talk Radio are two exceptional ways to keep your business out in front of the public. My blog has pulled in some business and a lot of queries and questions. I mostly look at, though, as a method of exposure, meaning keeping my name out there and building an audience for my products and services. Now I recognize that many of you are not writers, and the idea of blogging on a daily basis is overwhelming. The best way to overcome your barriers? Hire a writer to blog on your behalf. In fact, we offer blogging services, so feel free to call us at 916-300-8012 or email us at

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Things I Learned in 2012

Meaningless or important -- you be the judge LOL ... here are the things I learned in 2012. I will either make you laugh, roll your eyes, or agree with me. Here we go:

1. When you move twice expect your stuff to magically disappear with no clear explanation of where it went ... did it get dropped? Did the fairies swoop in and move it to nowhere land? Did the movers steal it? Aw the questions are endless. I am most specifically curious what happened to my favorite leather jacket! It is missed in the cold weather.

2. When you get divorced, expect your ex to annoy you somehow. My annoyance? Taking all of my jackets to the Salvation Army. Yep! I had quite a collection. There are now some poor people with a beautiful INC leather, full-length coat. Oh, I miss it!

3. Dating in your forties is way better than your twenties. The confidence alone makes a whole difference. I had more dates than I knew what to do with. And it was fun ... for a while; but then you know I'm really like a wolf. I like to be with just one guy. So, in the end I thought I would stay single much longer. Nope! I met my match. Expect big news in 2013.

4. Never make knee-jerk decisions. I regret moving to Marina del Rey. I like to say I went on walk about, but truly it cost me a whole lot of money, and in the end, I was not meant to live in Southern California. So, I moved back ... AND I lost more stuff. Ah, you always have to laugh. Maybe it was the Universe's way of purging my closet LOL.

5. Here is the big one ... the lesson learned around the world. Are you ready? It's OK to cry. Yes, friends and readers, crying works great. I didn't cry a whole lot for years. I made up for it this year. And you know what? I'm still standing. I'm happy. And every now and again, I still cry ;).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

My blog will be shut down for the holidays! Yes, I do believe in downtime LOL. So, please enjoy the season with your friends and family. I resume posting on the 26th! I hope all my loyal readers enjoy reading the older posts. I've had quite a year evidenced by what I've posted, but the good news is my life and company are on track and poised for great things in 2013! I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas.

Best Wishes to You All! 
3L Publishing (

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Editor's Job on a Manuscript

I had this discussion with one of our authors yesterday. Some people mistake the editor's role on a book to be solely about finding the grammatical mistakes. On a fiction book, the editor's job is not just making sure all the grammar and usage is correct -- that is only one part of it. A story editor is looking at the entire picture. A good story editor does the following:

Character development -- are the characters consistently written. Do their voices stay the same throughout the book. Did the author build real, vivid individuals who can be easily identified in the story?

Story development -- does the story make sense. Is it being properly told with a beginning, middle and end? Are all the plots and subplots wrapped up? Does it all make sense?

Holes and consistency -- are there any unanswered questions? Are their holes in the story? Are their inconsistencies? Are all of the references the same throughout the book? Are the names correct and in the right place at the right time?

Here at 3L Publishing, we not only provide editorial services and proof reading, but we do book coaching and story editing. If you would like to talk us about our current SALES and SPECIALS, contact us at 916-300-8012 or send an email to

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tips to Overcome Writer's Block

Having trouble getting your creative spark lit? I have trouble all of the time. Yes, I'm super prolific and I write every single day. I have to write this blog every day, too. Do I make it look effortless? Well, sometimes I start with nothing. I got nothing! Today ... I got nothing except last night's weird dreams to fuel my ideas. Yes, I had a super weird dream, something about a story about animals and my fellow writing friend's desk. The manuscript was sitting on his desk, and it was a song ... all right what is my point? I don't have a point LOL, but I do have some great tips to kickstart your creativity if you're having writer's block.

Let a title define your project. The title of my book California Girl Chronicles came to me first. I actually built the story around the title. For some writers this would be backward, but for me it worked.

Just start writing from an unconscious level. Just sit down at your desk and let your fingers type and see where it leads. You will be surprised where things go. You might just end up with an entire novel a few weeks later.

Do an outline and then fill in the blanks. Sometimes just putting together an outline provides those necessary "signposts" to guide you forward or even inspire you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Things I Learned Dating in my 40s

The dating advice I keep posting on this blog is moving up our most-read items. Okay, so how I got positioned as an expert on dating is kind of funny. It seems we have some love lorn out there in need of a few tips and tricks. Well, I have learned some great insight into human behavior and dating that has worked very well for me. Of course, I am not suggesting I have always done the right things. I have definitely tripped and fallen with egg on my face and a few other trite cliches I could add to that sentence LOL. But before I give you some great tips, I must credit Bo Bradley, who is also my life coach and operations manager. She was constantly in the wings advising me carefully on what to do. Some of these tips are mine, some are hers, and some are just widely adopted and known by the experts of amazing books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus (great book, BTW).

The man cave -- yep! The guys use it. My beloved boyfriend Kirk Donnelly denies use of the man cave. I only laughed at him and said, "Yes, that is why you need your alone time. No, you don't need a man cave." Okay, ladies when your guy goes into his cave, don't freak out. It's A-okay! Men will withdraw to think and as the book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus aptly suggests, they will emerge and give you even more intimacy than before. Now the trick? Don't sit outside of their cave and ask, "Honey why are you in there?" "When are you coming out?" Ladies just get on with your day. Let him "cave" it in peace. And when he's ready he will re-emerge with more love than ever -- problem solved. I promise you it's all true.

Men need to chase. Bo constantly told me this one. Don't get all "feminine mystique" on me here. It's true. Men need to chase the women. It's a basic primal thing with the guys -- and that's okay. Get over yourself and let your guy go after with you with the club (just kidding). I have always had a basic rule about certain things. I'll give you an example and it's really, really simple: I don't start our text conversations with my guy. I adopted a rule in this new text age that I would not be the one (much like calling) to text first. As a result, my love starts every single morning with a beautiful text message to me. In fact, he is my alarm clock. I always know that somewhere between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. he will reliably text me a nice wake-up message. Have I told him my rule? Well,  not at first. I let him begin the "chase" on his own. By now I would imagine he knows. Does it put him in charge of our relationship? Yes, it sure does. Does he like to feel like he's the pursuer? Probably. So girls, my simple rule is really easy and great. You should adopt it.

Keeping it in the bedroom. Ever heard of a "fuck buddy"? Any guy who doesn't officially date you but invites you over to his house all of the time, I have some really bad news for you: you're his fuck buddy. I know it's profane but true. Do not fall into the habit of going over to your guy's house. Make him actually DATE you, which means things like ... oh, dinner and a movie. You know the old-fashioned idea of courtship. Unless, of course, all you want is a bedroom romp that is fine; but if you want a relationship best to take it out of the bedroom.

Now here is a basic list of things NOT to do or recognize:

  • Do not argue or discuss heavy stuff in text -- horrible communication tool.
  • If your guy EVER uses the excuse that goes like this: "I'm super private" as a way to avoid publicly acknowledging your relationship RUN. I've had two men in my life pull that one and guess what? They BOTH had other relationships, and I was the "secret" they didn't want their mates to find out about. I promise you girls that any guy who "hides" you under that lame excuse is hiding you for a really good reason. He's in ANOTHER relationship!!! 
  • If you guy doesn't show up for dates or constantly has an excuse to stand you up -- RUN! He's (as the movie suggests) "just not that into you" OR he has another "main squeeze" on the side. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vengeance is Now: Excerpt Chapter 1

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming 3L Publishing book Vengeance is Now by Scott D. Roberts. If you would like to learn more about the book, become a fan on Facebook or send an email to Pre-sales begin in January and the official release is April 2013.

Chapter 1

                  You’ve never really lived until you’ve seen the life leave another human being.  That’s what I wish I would have told my narcissistic Aunt and Uncle whenever they came by my mother’s apartment in the ‘Loin. “Slumming in the ‘Loin” is what I’d called it. They’d only come by to brag about their latest extravagant vacation.  I was only 10 at the time, though.  You’ve never really lived until you’ve seen the Eifel Tower.  You’ve never really lived until you’ve taken a helicopter ride along the coast of Hawaii.  My mother was ill most of my childhood.  Not ill as in cancer or a debilitating disease like multiple sclerosis.  She was sick in the head.  She did the best she could for my sister and me while dealing with her bi-polar outbursts and her schizophrenia.  My father had left us the year prior.  Not that he was a stabilizing force in our lives.  His idea of being a father meant thanking us for fetching him the glass pipe.  And her pompous fuck of a brother and his whore wife had the audacity to rub their good fortune in our faces.  Almost dangling the hint of a happy childhood in front of us – and then snatching it away at the last second.  If I only knew at 10 years old what I know now.
                  Mother always told us to relish in their stories and use our imaginations to fly away and pretend we were actually there.  It must have been easier for her considering the amount of medications she’d ingest on a daily basis.  My sister, Libby, who was eight at the time, took great pride in knowing when to distribute her pills. She wanted to make sure and have them ready before the alarm went off reminding Mother it was time for her medication. 
                  Libby was such a sweet girl until she was raped.  One of Mother’s doped-up boyfriends, Doug, felt he wasn’t receiving enough attention from Mother so he forced the attention from Libby.  I witnessed most of the assaults from Libby’s closet and burned with rage – a rage I didn’t know how to manage.  I’ll never forget the blank expression on her face when he would pull her panties down.  Her eyes became vacant as if she purposely left her body to escape the realization of what was happening.  Her vacant stare.  If I only knew then what I know now.  The closet is the only place I feel I can collect my thoughts and pretend the life I was forced into wasn’t real. I stole grease paint from a construction site and painted a giant eye in the back of the closet. It was the only time I could feel noticed and appreciated. I had to figure out a better way for that attention. National attention. You’ve never really lived until you’ve seen the sunset in Spain.
                  They weren’t so pompous with their hands and feet tied up.  They weren’t so eager to brag about their lives while being stripped naked.  I always knew my aunt had a great set of tits.  Her nipples were inviting and my mouth watered, but this wasn’t about that.
                  “Why are y-you do-doing this?” she asked with a frightened stutter.
                  Uncle James was coming out of the baseball-bat-induced daze I gave him when I knocked him to the ground.  I placed the plastic bag over his head and watched him struggle. Aunt Melanie panicked when she fully realized they were going to meet their maker; whoever that was.  His eyes fluttered and his chest released the last gasp of air.
                  “Open your eyes, fucker!” I yelled.
                  He convulsed before the gurgling sounds ended. Yes! No more vacations for you! Why didn’t I do it eight years ago when I was 10? Then I could have seen the joy in Mother when I told her they were dead. My buddy Meyers would have loved it!
                  I turned my attention to my aunt who sobbed uncontrollably or as best she could with a gag in her mouth.  The adrenaline in my body was intoxicating. Unlike her pussy of a husband who closed his eyes, this bitch was going to see me kill her.  I saw the small box cutter sitting on the table and grabbed it. She had lost consciousness from the shock. This should wake her up.
                  I pulled the skin from her eyelid down and placed the razor just below her eyebrow and began the incision. How much pressure will it take to slice off an eyelid?  My inexperience made for an uneven slice.  I’m so much better at it now.  The sting from the carving woke her up but she was still powerless.  A very carnal moan permeated from deep inside her.  After the second eyelid was intricately sliced off, I wiped the blood away with her blouse. I chuckled at the fact that the elasticity of her skin reminded me of peeling off one of those fruit roll-ups.  Mother used to give those as treats when Libby and I first started school. 
                  I placed the plastic bag over her face and squeezed at the base of her neck.  She was resigned to her fate. You could almost hear the fear in her eyes. She took her last labored breath and her chest was still. Oh, the vacant stare. Yes, you’ve never really lived until you’ve seen the life leave another human being…

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Morning Musings or Reality Check

Friday morning musings really translates to I don't know what to blog about today LOL. Usually when I don't know what to blather about on the blog, I just start writing and see what comes out of my mouth. Oh! Here is a good one: It doesn't matter ... what doesn't matter? Here is my list of things I don't think anyone should ever fuss about (aka who cares ... or reality check) and it goes like this:

1. How many millimeters from the text is from the gutter in a book. Yes, an author once fussed over that one!
2. Asking me to verify that I really did spend those 2 hours on a project that in reality would have taken most people three times that amount to do ... yet you're worried I really did spend a whopping 2 hours on it. This one falls under the category of "reality check".
3. Getting a bargain-basement quote on publishing services (you know it's a deal) and yet still asking, "Can I get another discount?" Or the other favorite: "Wow! That's still expensive." This one falls under "reality check," too.
4. "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to pay you." Who 'forgets' to pay someone? More like I didn't have the money to pay you. I mean last I checked, if I 'forget' to pay SMUD or my car payment or my rent or whatever, I get my credit dinged and a nasty collection notice. No such thing as forgetting to pay bills ... I'm just saying.

All right all you entrepreneurs out there, I hope this made you smile. Believe it or not, I have been in business now almost 7 years, and I've heard it all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dress for Success

We attended a networking function where there was an image consultant talking about (what else) -- image. I listened attentively and agreed with most of it. Although I don't think a suit is always the item to project the perfect image. For me in my business, I deliberately avoid business suits, because I want to project an image of fun and creativity, which is something in her speech she missed. Just like in the IT world where a "look" got adopted, the same can be said of other industries. I'm not running a staid corporation. I want my image to reflect my brand, and that is something she didn't recognize. My 3L Publishing brand projects fun, creativity, art and intellectual capital. You will never see me out on the networking scene wearing a suit. I dress fun, interesting and different with a sexy, flirty flair. But no matter how you dress two things are ALWAYS critical to project success: you shoes and handbag. Saying you're a success and then wearing worn-out, Payless Show Source shoes and a ratty handbag ... um NO! Pay attention to those details. Believe me other people notice. And shoes and purse -- dead giveaways that maybe you're not quite as successful as you suggest ... OR you have bad taste LOL ... or not taste at all ;).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Stupid Guy's Guide to Finding and Keeping A Woman

So Bo Bradley, 3L Publishing's operations manager, and I are working on the book 20 Reasons not to Date THAT Guy, which we want to publish for Valentine's Day 2014. In the meantime, my astute and non-romantically challenged boyfriend Kirk Donnelly, who initially gave me the idea for the first book, declared he wanted to write the male version to help those hapless guys out there. His version has the working title The Stupid Guy's Guide to Finding and Keeping a Woman. So, he sat down over the weekend while we were eating and began his tentative table of contents. He came up with 11 things (so far), and I thought it would be great to share it with you all. Here it goes (and for the record, Mr. Donnelly practices what he preaches, which is why he got me LOL).

  1. Keep your woman happy -- it's your job!
  2. Listen to her, don't judge or solve
  3. Do what you say you're going to do in a timely manner
  4. Be a man of your word -- respect is imperative
  5. Spend time with her -- date her; spend time even with her kids -- or someone else will ...
  6. Find out what makes her feel loved and do it
  7. Don't control or manage her -- be supportive and give her space and freedom
  8. Don't criticize her -- praise her
  9. Love her how she is ...
  10. Always give her, her "cookies" first then yours :) and we ALL know what our cookies are ;). 
There you go! The sage wisdom of my spectacular boyfriend and lover!! And for the record, Kirk began dating me when I had three other relationships in the wings ... and guess who won LOL! Why? Look carefully at that list -- there is your answer.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Two Tips for Writing Fiction

We do book coaching here at 3L Publishing. We see manuscripts in the early stages, and we see common mistakes. Here are some of the most common.

Exposition and storytelling via dialog. Have you ever heard the phrase show don't tell? New writers often use dialog to tell their stories vs. telling the story. They will give their characters paragraph-long speeches. How often do you talk to someone in paragraphs? I would suggest most conversations go back and forth -- that is a more natural flow. And it's far more compelling and interesting to read the story told via narrative not dialog.

Formalism in dialog. These days have you ever heard a generic conversation sound formal? Probably not. Most people use idioms, slang and colloquial expressions. If you are telling a story about certain age groups of people, go out and listen to how those people really talk to each other. Use dialog to develop your characters and show who they are; don't use it as a storytelling device, but rather a part of the story.

Want a great book coach? Contact us at 3L Publishing at 916-300-8012 or send an email to 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Texting is No Place to have a Serious Discussion

Okay, I have to start off with an astute observation made by wonderful boyfriend Kirk Donnelly who whispers all sorts of sage wisdom in my ear. One day we were bantering back and forth in text and the discussion took a serious turn. 

Suddenly, my phone rings and Kirk says, "Why the heck are we having a serious discussion in text?" 

I started laughing. "I don't know sweetheart, why are we?" 

"Text is no place to have a serious discussion, sweetie." LOL ... 

And words to live by ... TEXTING is no place to have a serious discussion whether personally or professionally

We are a strange techno society indeed. What is up with people using text to discuss important matters? I had a relationship where the person never picked up the phone and all the heavy stuff went down in text. First, text and email are cold media -- no voice, no inflection, no tone, and no idea of the true intent or emotions behind it. The only upside, you can give a little more thought to what you're going to say. The downside, it's cold communication and it's super, super impersonal. 

Also another important piece of information for singles: it's super easy for a guy or girl to cheat on his/her significant other by using text. No one hears anyone talking so eavesdropping doesn't take place. You can say "it's my daughter" when it's really your significant other. And if you're not particularly nosy or interested in looking at the person's phone (because you respect his/her privacy), the lie can easily pass unnoticed. Also, it's pretty darned easy to erase the text history to hide your conversations. So just realize that texting is great on one hand: quick and efficient messages. Downside: cold, impersonal and easy to hide things. 

I love you baby ;) -- and ya all should listen to my boyfriend. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Important Relationship Lessons

If there is anything I know is this: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the kiss of death when those behaviors killed your relationship and you expect them not to affect a new relationship. It's like the suggestion of doing something the same but expecting different results. When in a new relationship, use your old relationship as your instruction guide of what not to do again. Here are some fabulous tips to help create strong bonds with your significant other versus tear apart something that starts out strong and soon disintegrates. Now mind you I'm not a psychologist or counselor, but I am a student of life.

TV killed the Love Stars. How many of you out there come home from work, sit down, and watch TV all evening vs. talking to your partner? How many of you actually eat dinner in front of the TV? There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little TV here and there; but when the television becomes the focal point of entertainment in your relationship vs. conversation and connection, it's not good. The TV requires very little thought and leaves two people sitting in the same room, saying nothing to each other. I don't watch but one hour of TV a week. In fact, the TV is only on in my house when my kids are here. I don't watch it anymore but maybe a show on Sunday night. I even quit watching movies all of the time. Now I'm either reading or connecting with my loved ones. And when my boyfriend is here, we don't watch anything ... we talk about our days. Here is a tip: vow to turn off the TV at least 3 days a week (if you're truly addicted) and do something else.

The couple that plays together stays together. The other activity we've take up is simple: interaction. We play cards and games so we can talk as we play. It's cheap entertainment and we're together and listening versus tuning out the world. It's also fun. Here is a suggestion: get a glass of wine and play a board or card game. It's a big winner. When it's winter time, this activity is great to pass the time. We also like doing the same things, so we shop, travel and ski together (well, we haven't gotten to ski yet, but that is the plan).

Here is the bottom line: I thought this all through. I find that when I make conscious choices to make positive changes, I'm not knee-jerking my way through life. When I reflected on things in my past relationship that didn't bond us but rather put up walls of disconnect, I decided I wouldn't repeat those mistakes. When you take charge of your life and don't let unconscious thinking rule the day, you will be way better off. I'm in the best relationship of my life, because I've made conscious decisions to make changes in the right direction. I know a lot of you will view my suggestion to turn off the TV as "impossible" as Americans are notorious TV watchers. But I would be okay to get rid of my TV at this point. I even have friends who don't watch any TV at all. What do they do? What I just described, and they have been happily married a very long time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to Amuse Your Publisher

I have situations arise all of the time where I am just amused. Now I have to admit most authors who do these things are doing so in pure innocence and lack of knowledge, which of course, I am aware ... but none the less, it still entertains me. You always have to keep your sense of humor in this business. So, here are two things I find infinitely amusing.

The hand-drawn, homemade illustration. Many children's authors make this mistake. As a part of their pitch, they will whip out the homemade drawing their kids produced and say how cute it would be to use their kid's work in their professional children's book. All right, that's cute ... okay ... BUT it's a far cry from "professional" and while you may be astounded by your little Suzie's talents (and perhaps little Suzie is a master hand at the Crayolas), but you're not alone in your "cute" idea. In fact, it's a common idea among many new children's book writers who don't know any better. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional children's book writer better use true professional illustrations lest you lost credibility.

Read-my-whole book syndrome. Another common mistake is that some authors will expect I am going to read the entire book versus just a sample chapter. In fact, it's a near demand. All right so here is reality check 101: Do you know how much work I have to do during the day? Do you know how many submissions we receive? Do you know how long it takes to read your 250-page tome? I will NEVER read an entire book, especially if it's not very good. I have enough time to read a sample chapter. Let me also note, I can literally tell by page 5 if your book has potential anyway. I know you're shocked but it's true. Any professional reader can tell almost instantly if a book has any potential. So, if you get your panties all twisted up when you hear I won't be dedicating my free time to reading your WHOLE book, please untwist those knickers. No publisher will read your WHOLE book and please realize the request is unreasonable.

NOW if you want us to read a sample chapter and you're ready to work with my company 3L Publishing (, we are running an INCREDIBLE holiday special. Please send your sample chapter and book summary to or call 916-300-8012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Two Tips for Writers or Take a Stress Pill and Think Things Over

You're an aspiring writer. You already write, but you want to improve. You just didn't know what I'm about to share LOL ... okay, all qualifiers done now. Here are three tips to improve your writing.

Words, words, everywhere too many so let's spare the air (see I'm feeling humorous today). Wordiness! Wordiness bogs down your work. Wordiness makes your sentences longer. And wordiness makes your editor have to bring out a major chainsaw to hack your work down to the message. Here is an absolutely fantastic exercise. Take a paragraph from one of your works. Look at how many words could be easily deleted. Delete them. Now repeat. Keep going until you have only the "bones" of the sentence left. Now read it. How much easier is that to understand? The biggest offenders tend to be too many adjectives and adverbs.

Dialog or Shakespeare. I see so many writers who write their characters' dialog like it's a Shakespearian play. The formalism makes it sound like an orator's great speech to the masses. I ask you, do your friends talk in formal speech? Probably not! Most likely your friends say things like, "Hey girly, how ya doin'?" or "Dude, what's up?" They don't say, "Hello Martha, how are you doing on this fine Tuesday morning?" Almost sounds a little like Hal from a Space Odyssey. "Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over." I love that ... take a stress pill, Dave (LOL).

Maybe I need a stress pill -- I have a boat load of work to do ... so off I go. You only get two tips when I'm this busy. Ciao to all my blogger fans.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Morning Musings: Networking Nature

I've made great discoveries in life about human behavior while out networking. Do you want to hear my infinite wisdom and completely unimportant thoughts this morning? Okay, here it goes. Here are things I learned about human nature from observing various "tribal" behaviors while out networking:

People don't listen. Yes, it appears that no matter how you spell some things out, some people have so much wax build-up in their ears, they don't understand a thing you've said. I swear some people you can repeat what you've said two dozen times -- and they still scratch their heads in complete confusion, because they weren't listening. Want to know what they were doing instead? Let me tell. They were either a. planning out what they wanted to say no matter what you said or b. trying to think of something clever to say that would make a wonderful argument to what you just said. Or more importantly when networking, they're only concerned if they can sell you something.

People don't follow instructions. Why do some people decide to make their own rules -- and get this, it's no even their game. I love it when I have to repeat the rules of the game like five times, and the person is still committed to the idea that goes like this: I'm going to do what I'm going to do. I don't care what you just said. I'm going to do it anyway. I've watched networkers at functions just go off into their own La La Land and ignore what the moderator told them to do. Remember, when in a group activity in business, others are watching you and assessing whether or not they want to do business with you. If you're so obsessed with your own agenda, it comes across very negatively.

It's all about me. You know that networking is about relationship building, which means exactly how it sounds. The best way to build relationships is to give first and then if you get in return, wonderful. But focus on the relationship and not what you're trying to get out of the person. I know that sounds contrary to the idea that you're networking to build business; but the truth is, you're networking to build relationships, which lead to business ... see the difference.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two Things Authors Can Do to Promote Their Books

Many authors mistakenly believe the hardest part of writing a book is ... writing a book. They are creative geniuses and artists -- and most aren't business people. They don't think like business people. Hey, they are artists, which is perfectly okay. If you know your left/right brain don't party together then think of this way, hire a marketing and PR professional to promote your book. In the meantime, though, you can do two very easy things to promote your book.

Blog. You are a writer, right (look the two different uses of the "right" LOL) so writing a blog should be like getting up every day for you. A blog can be set up for free on sites like this one. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a graphic artist create a simple brand. You would be surprised how easy it is to set up a blog on this site. It's very easy. Set up a blog, but don't cry, "What do I write about?" You have plenty to write about whether it's fiction or non-fiction. What genre is your book in? Write about the genre. Post excerpts from the book. Talk about related topics. Post when you're doing book signings. Discuss the writing process. Heck talk about your dog ... that worked for the author of the Marley books. Just get your name out there and make sure you post links to your book trailer, book (where it's for sale) and more.

Social Media. Where are you Facebook or Twitter accounts? Start connecting my friend. The more connections, the more reaches you have to prospective readers. Start posting away. Post information about book signings. Post book quotes. Post reflections on what's happening during the process of releasing your to the public. Heck post musing on your dog LOL. Be social and be active in your social media community. It's not just about you. Reach out to others in your social media. Reach out to other authors. Build a book fan page. Ask your social media connections to "like" your fan page.

If none of this sounds appealing or you just don't have time, contact 3L Publishing at 916-300-8012 or log onto our website at or send email to We can set you up with a professional book promotion program. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Rambling

Surprise! It's Uncle Ned
and he hates turkey! What ya
gonna do when it's food for
you! LOL
Thanksgiving is always the funny holiday to me. I find the situations that arise very entertaining. I also scratch my head, too. So, here is your post-Thanksgiving amusement. First, have you ever noticed that people will tell you stories about their families -- and there seems to be a running theme that involves some kind of family feud or conflict? A friend of mine was telling me the bitter "Uncle" story, and another friend was telling me how difficult it was to deal with her family. It hit me. No one was talking about gratitude, which is what they should have been focused on. Instead, people were "manning" up to deal with their crazy families. Or someone was telling me how a family member offended someone else. Or someone was offended by a family member. Families are complicated for sure, which is why some people pick their families. I was talking about my best friend one day, and I realized we never pick at or fight with each other. In 32-years of friendship, we've never said a mean or unkind word to each other. I have a new suggestion for the human race: treat your family like I do my best friend -- with kindness, love and respect. How's that for a post-Thanksgiving thought?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Publishing Blowout Special!

HUGE Holiday Blowout Sale -- Editorial Services 

Santa is coming to town to magically pull out of his sack, your dream come true -- to become a published author! 

Got a manuscript you need to have edited and prepared for publication?

3L Publishing is offering a one-time only Holiday Editorial Special:
  • $500 for basic proofreading services up to 200 pages
  • $800 for basic proofreading services up to 350 pages
OR, we will offer a one-time Happy Holidays You're Published Package deal that includes:
  • Basic proof reading 
  • Complete graphic design including an amazing cover (illustrations not included)
  • Beautiful soft-cover book completed and ready to print (print costs not included)
All for a Package price of:
  • $3000 up to 200 pages
  • $3500 up to 350 pages
Packages can be paid in 6 easy payments of $500 and $583.

If you would like to get your book published by true professionals and take advantage of this amazing HOLIDAY OFFER, please send email to or call 916-300-8012. For more information on 3L Publishing, visit the website at 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sneak Peek: 20 Reasons NOT to Date THAT Guy

A funny little peak at the table of contents for the forthcoming 3L Publishing book 20 Reasons NOT to Date THAT Guy.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – The Consummate Liar: “Lie-pards” don’t change their spots
Chapter 2 – Cheater, Cheater You Don’t Want Neither
Chapter 3 – A What?! Commitment Phobia – Run for it!
Chapter 4 – Tap! Tap! Tap! Where the hell is he?
Chapter 5 – Negative Ned and You Don’t Measure Up
Chapter 6 – Your Guts SCREAMS “NO”
Chapter 7 – Your Momma and Your Friends Shake Theirs Heads NO
Chapter 8 – It’s ALL About Him or Hell to the No!
Chapter 9 – What’s a Bar of Soap? He Doesn’t Care About His Health
Chapter 10 – “Wow! Your Best Friend Lisa is so HOT!” … NOT!
Chapter 11 – What Do You Mean Everyone Around Me isn’t My Servant?
Chapter 12 – What? You Need an Orgasm, too?
Chapter 13 – His Dirty, Little Secret – YOU
Chapter 14 – Generally “Goopy” Behavior is His Norm
Chapter 15 – What? You Want Me to Spend Time With … YOU?
Chapter 16 – A Good Fixer Upper – Nope Bad Idea
Chapter 17 – “Are you going to dump me?” Syndrome
Chapter 18 – Hot! Hot! Too Intense to Handle
Chapter 19 – Do as I say Not as I do: When Words and Actions Don’t Align
Chapter 20 – Control Freak “Ain’t” Chic

Monday, November 19, 2012

3L Publishing Book Manuel's Murals Places as a Finalist in USABookNews Awards

Dear Jeaninne:


The epic results are in for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards!

Your book has been honored as a "Finalist" in the "Children's Picture Book: Softcover Fiction" category:

Manuel's Murals by Jeaninne Escallier Kato, illustrated by Rachel Smith

3L Publishing, LLC


Your title will be listed live on for an additional ten (10) months.

A complete list of winners and finalists in each category can be found at:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Reasons Not to Date THAT Guy

Since my company is going to publish the forthcoming book 20 Reasons Not to Date THAT Guy, I thought I would give the ladies some good dating advice to help find the right guy. I've heard many stories, and I recently got divorced and successfully got on the singles market and met the right guy pretty quickly all things considered. In measuring out in my mind why I was able to meet the right guy so quickly, I decided to help my fellow single ladies. A few things before I give you all some helpful tips. I have been talking to my life coach Bo Bradley from the beginning of my divorce. I used her advice and guidance down to my decision to leave the marriage in the first place. I also talked to my girlfriends who dated a much longer list of candidates before meeting the right guy. So, I figured out some important points that even while in my dating process, I managed to stay friends with the men I dated, too.

Understand what qualities you want in your man. Notice I didn't say "looks" ... I said qualities. I always looked for values. Were they down-to-earth and did their values and outlook on life match mine? Were they good, nice people? I don't look for bad boys. In fact, bad boys don't impress me. And I can spot a player from two miles up the road. I always look for kindness, decency and generosity and I'm not talking about money generosity. I am talking about someone who gives to others and cares about helping even when there isn't always something in it for them. And because I was attracted to men like this, I remained friends with them, because if I dated them I generally liked them in an overall way.

Is he even available? Listen carefully to what your prospective partner says to you. If he starts indicating his main objective is to just date (secret code: I want to have sex with someone without string attached) and your objective is a commitment, then you might want to call it a day on the first date. Guys that indicated they only wanted to date when I was finally ready for a commitment, I didn't bother with. I don't believe in cajoling a commitment out of a guy who doesn't want one. It won't matter how attracted he is to me. If his "cab light" isn't on, it's not on. Don't bother to play that game, it never works.

Timing is everything. The crossroads of the love life has to converge together. If you meet a guy who is still emotionally attached to his former girlfriend, just coming off a divorce and emotionally unsettled, or is just not available for whatever reason, you will miss the chance. He has to be at a place in his life where he's ready for something serious. And if he's ready for something serious and you fit his bill for what would make a great partner, it's really easy to move forward.

Now, our book will be much funnier than this list; but after reading some of my fellow single ladies' reactions to my Prince Charming showing up in my life and scooping me off the market, I thought maybe some insight would be of value. BUT (and this important): when your prince shows up and offers you the fairy tale, step 1, believe him. If you don't believe he's got the castle all paid up and ready for your fair behind to settle in then it's a no-go before you even step in the glass slipper. You have to BELIEVE the fairy tale is possible before you can get the castle and the china and linen to go with it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Top Three Networking No, No's

All right so I am a consummate networker -- and my fellow networkers never cease to amaze me. You would think that a course in manners might be mandatory for all networkers who don't want to show off their worst sides to prospective business. You would think common sense would prevail over some of the worst offenses. Yet for some reason people lack what should be an obvious skill to discern between proper and just ridiculous behavior when out in public. So for shits and giggles, I thought I would give you a little "snarky" advice on five things NOT to do when networking.

All-You-Can-Drink Buffet. You know getting drunk at a networking function probably is a bad idea, right? Um, yeah, well some of my fellow networkers don't get it. I know one gal in particular who is infamous for drinking an entire bottle of wine at networking functions. In fact, if there is only one bottle out, she will drink the whole thing. I suspect, she might have a tad, little problem there for sure; but here is the super bad news: everyone knows she does this on a regular basis. And if everyone knows you can bet most business people don't want to do business with an alcoholic ... just saying.

Crazy Running Commentary or Closed Caption. All right, we're listening to a speaker and this gal is narrating it. Yes, she is commenting and non-stop and short of "praise Jesus," she's non-stop saying random affirmations or just rambling in general. This little closed-caption commentary was non-stop. It was noticeable and then just annoying and finally just weird. She started to sound like one of those crazy people downtown who stand on street corners and talk to themselves. My recommendation: keep your mouth closed, listen and just nod if you agree. Why? Because most folks don't work with crazy.

"Hey baby what's your sign?" I don't know about you, but when I network I'm on business time. I'm marketing and doing business. I am not out to be hit on by the same person who drunk the entire wine bottle and then offers to give me the "private" tour of the back room. If you're using your networking circles to troll for your next date, I would advise you to stop. You won't get any business and most assuredly you won't get a date either.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Your Book Cover Sells Your Book

I see all kinds of book covers. Authors who are considering doing self-publishing or using outfits like Smashwords will show me their prospective covers and ask the sensitive question, "What do you think?" As a publisher, do you know how hard it is to look at a horrible book cover and then have to gently deliver the words no author wants to hear, "It doesn't work."

Style and taste in art are often in the eyes of the beholder. So when I tell an author with my well-trained eye his/her book cover failed what I'll half-heartedly call the "Michelle-litmus test," he/she often look like I took away their lollypop. It's not easy to share any kind of criticism with authors, but sensitivity over one's book cover runs high. The truth is, I have to tell the truth. And here is why:

  • Your book can help create a bestseller or guarantee a flop -- yes, that is absolutely true. Ask any professional publisher. For example, an author had a terrible book cover and her book wasn't selling. She decided to change the book cover and what happened. From $0 sales to bestseller in a matter of weeks.
  • Your book cover is your first line of attraction -- I know so many authors right now are crying foul. How can this be? My content is king. My story amazing. My characters well-develop interesting beings of imagination. Yet it still all boils down to your book cover. What is the first thing people see when they look on Amazon or in bookstores? Your book cover. 
What should you consider when developing an attractive, eye-popping book cover with your publisher that will make readers want to buy? Here are some important tips.

  • If you're going to use just the book's text to sell the book, make the words "work" the page. Have your graphic designer (and I say please don't try to design your cover yourself?) work the colors and the fonts to their best level of visual communication.
  • If you're going to use artwork, please never ever use the following: bursts, bubbles or tacky shapes. Avoid clipart at all costs. In fact, go by this mantra: clipart is not my friend
  • Go for a theme or message. Your book cover can be like "candy" as is this case of my book covers for California Girl Chronicles. My fun character Brea is wearing a bikini on the cover for book one and for book two since her career shifts out of the bikini shop to her true career goal as a screenwriter, she's dressed more professionally. 
  • Make all of your image provocative, sleek and interesting. In the forthcoming 3L Publishing book Vengeance is Now by Scott D. Roberts, we had the artist take three different images and combine them into a masterpiece of beautiful art (see cover art above). The results: a beautiful piece of art and a fantastic cover.
"Don't try this at home" should always apply to authors who think that the cover is no big deal and try to design it themselves. Whether you're going to work with a professional publisher like 3L Publishing or you're going to use the self-publishing model, you should always invest in your cover. For more information on 3L Publishing and our publishing services, send an email to or call 916-300-8012.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Relationship Envy

Since I've been single, I've been given plenty of advice about relationships and how to find, attract and keep a man. I receive this newsletter from a guy named Christian Carter who gives what I think is pretty good relationship advice. He's talks about attraction, relationship management, how to keep the fire burning, how to keep your man attracted, how to get him to commit, how to attract him back if his interest wanes, and on it goes. Now I've been single, married and single -- and now I'm in a serious relationship again and we're getting engaged in the near future.

I spent this last year dating and meeting men all sorts of ways. Well, after reading Carter's often interesting and sage advice and reading classics such as Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus and the Five Languages of Love I realized one critical ingredient to not only attracting but keeping a man. It's not magical. It's not really a secret. Are you ready for it? (And I've found it was true both times I met the right man.) When it's right, it's right. There are you stunned, shocked, and feel the revelation? Yes, let me repeat it: when it's right, it's right.

Guess what else ... and this might shock you, too. It's not hard to get a man to commit or marry you when it's right! I used to think when I was younger it would be difficult based on difficult dating situations that it would be really hard to get a guy to ask me to marry him. Not hard! When you meet the right person or the "one" as so many people like to call it, it should be easy. The romance and courtship are the easy part of the relationship. It's the fun part where you get to enjoy the excitement of the first date, the first kiss -- it's all new and exciting. So if you're having trouble or you have to do a couple's retreat or see a counselor in the first year of the romance? Let me just suggest, something is amiss and it's worth examining whether this is a good situation for you. Let me repeat this statement for the last time, when it's right it's right ... AND when it's right it should be easy, and most importantly -- FUN.

And those are my 46-year-old words of wisdom. Hope it helps. Because if you're not on the "same page" as your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you're struggling to even make a commitment, ask yourself, "Is this right?"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Relationship Building is the Only Way to Succeed in Business

Last night I went for drinks with one of my dear, old friends. We've known each other for years. It was so great to see her. She has attended some writing workshops, and she attended my writer's group Writers Who Mean Business. We've discussed her book project on and off. I don't do pressure sales. I went out with her as a friend to enjoy some girl time. By the end of the conversation, she brought up her book project and an upcoming event she would like it published in time to release. The conversation shifted -- and within five minutes we decided to publish her book for the event.

Relationship building is the key to all success in the modern economy. Networking and relationship building go hand-in-hand. You network to meet people -- and then you build critical relationships with them. You figure out how you can help them. You share and build a true, trusted business "friendship" and go from there. An opportunity to do business with them may or may not arise quickly. And the opportunity may not be a direct one. They may simply know of someone who could use your services.

So, how do you build proper relationships?

  • Ask for his/her business card
  • Ask questions about his/her business
  • Most importantly listen
  • Suggest a coffee or lunch meeting
  • Follow-up -- Heidi Sloss who wrote Fortune is in the Follow-up is nodding, "yes"
  • Go the coffee or lunch meeting BUT don't have an agenda per se
  • Go as a great friend and spend time getting to know the person
  • See what you can do to help his/her business
  • Once again follow-up and send referrals and see what you can do for them
Over time, when you go into a business relationship not with the mentality of what can I get out of it, but rather what can I GIVE to it, you will end up both giving and getting. Isn't that a marvelous win-win. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do-it-Yourself Web Development -- No, No!

A website today is your most important marketing collateral. Yet even in this day and age when everyone generally knows the importance of a website, business owners continue to try and design their own, which is a colossal mistake. If we know your website is an essential marketing centerpiece for your business, why are you attempting to create it yourself? You're not alone. Many small business owners try to build their own websites? They literally waste hundreds of hours trying to "figure" out HTML. They mistakenly believe their abilities to push around a few graphics qualifies them as a graphic designer. They think that English class they took in college and got an A on a paper qualifies them as a professional writer. First, let me debunk why all three of these beliefs are fallacious.

1. Web development is an entire profession. Professionals go to college to learn how to do it. It's not something you can learn overnight. And while you might master the basics, you certainly don't have the acumen and skill to what a professional can do, which is create a "professional" website.

2. Graphic design is once again a skill and a profession. Professional graphic designers get degrees in art or actual graphic design. The belief that you can make some font look pretty doesn't qualify as skill. The graphic design programs alone required to create professional-looking graphics cost a lot of money. I don't know about you, but I don't have a copy of InDesign just sitting around my desk like it's nothing. And InDesign is what the pros use.

3. Writing is another profession. Writers are trained and have degrees from the university. What goes into writing is a lot more than the ability to write a sentence. A professional writer knows the difference between grammar and style (and yes, there is a difference). Writers who write Web content know that is a different kind of writing, and they understand how to write for the Web.

If you won't to ace out your competition, you can't beat them with a homemade website. If you would like a full-service team to not only design, write and code your website (and save you the frustration), contact us at 3L Publishing ( by calling 916-300-8012 or sending an email to

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why You Need An Editor

Writers show up with their manuscripts in hand and present something that is less than professional and wonder why no publisher will pick it up. Maybe they have a strong concept. Maybe the idea is marketable. Maybe the content is really great; but the publisher can't get past the hundreds of typos, grammar mistakes or unorganized prose to see the real brilliance in the work.

So here are three really good reasons why you need an editor if you're seriously thinking about getting published or if you intend to self-publish.

Grammar Police. The grammar police, as I like to refer to them, are the book reviewers. The grammar police will not consider how great your story is. They won't care about all of those well-developed characters. They won't care about the fantastic storytelling. They will tell the readers, "This book is loaded with mistakes. This book needs an editor and there are 20 mistakes in it."

Driven to Distraction. The readers will not care that you have the best novel on the book shelf. They won't care that your hero is fantastic, flawed and interesting. No, the readers will be so driven to distraction by your dozens of mistakes, they will quit reading. And when they quit reading, your book will not be listed on their favorite reads.

Publishers. You submit your manuscript to a professional publisher. The publisher will notice that perhaps your prose could have have been cut down and less wordy. Your publisher will not be able to get through the quagmire of your disjointed sentences. The publisher will get annoyed by the page loaded with mistakes. The publisher will put your manuscript down and move onto the nice, clean and mistake-free manuscript sitting on his or her desk that is an easy, delightful read.

If you're ready to get serious with your book or even your marketing materials or newsletters, contact 3L Publishing. We offer full-sevice editing and proofing. You can send an email to or call 916-300-8012.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

.50 Cents or Brilliant Commerce

The infamous shot cost .50 cents.
And why does the worker look miserable?
I figure for .50 cents she should at least smile.
Over the weekend, we visited the Fortune Cookie Factory in China Town. The "factory" (and it was barely more than a hole in the wall) was pretty cool. You could get fresh cookies right off the "line" and the old man offered a taste of the fresh cookies off a plate. While standing there and watching the women take nothing more than dough that resembled pancakes and wrap them up into that cool fortune cookie shape, I decided to take a picture for my client's travel blog. I pull out my iPhone and gamely snap away at which point I am informed with a quick point of the old guy's finger at a sign that it's .50 cents per picture. I couldn't help but laugh -- he got me. I had already taken the photo. I love it, though, the temptation to take a picture led to a quick .50 cents for the factory. Other tourists were more than willing to pony up the nominal fee. I bet these folks make a killing off people snapping pictures (mind you with their own cameras) and charging .50 cents just for the "privilege". You have to love commerce! Now all I have to figure out is how to get people to pay for the "privilege" of merely visiting my oh-so-fabulous blog -- and off to retirement I go LOL.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Work-Life Balance

You have to make a conscious decision to balance your life. For years, I have been working round the clock in sacrifice of my personal life. In the beginning launching my company 3L Publishing. Launching a new business can be time consuming. Now six years later, I am past the launch phase, but I still find my business consumes my personal time. But I'm ready to have a personal life again. So, you have to look at the whole picture. I have been seeking work-life balance for years. And with a new man in my life who I am serious about, I want to spend time with him. Yet the work still hangs in the balance, so it's up to me to make some changes to get the balance, well, balanced. Here are three things for all you workaholics out there who struggle with life balance, too.

  • Institute some boundaries, meaning put in definite work hours. It's okay if here and there you have to work overtime; but make a real effort to make that the exception not the rule.
  • If your plate is always full, learn to delegate. Don't take on all of the responsibility of your business. Have that one person you can rely on to say, "I can't handle this right now, and I need to go home or quit work, can you please do it?"
  • Make real, unbreakable plans and stick with them. If you really want something to work, you'll make it work regardless. Some things that you think only you can handle can wait! Seriously, it can wait -- and it will all be okay.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Trite, Tired Cliches Wreck Writing

I was talking to my operations manager, Bo Bradley, yesterday about my blog, and we laughed about how on some days I start off by saying ... "I don't know what to blog about ..." and here we are -- and I don't know what to say. How about thank God it's Friday? Nah, overused and trite LOL. Isn't there a restaurant called TGIF? Yes, there is. Okay, how about this: life is good and it's Friday. Okay, better and only marginally trite. Speaking of trite, did you know the worst writing is loaded with trite cliches. Sometimes even the most professional writers fall back on the overused and overcooked cliche. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Caught like a deer in the headlights.
  • White as a ghost.
  • The sky's the limit.
  • Happy as a lark.
Okay, I could continue with a list of ever-annoying cliches. Cliches don't do anything but show me as a reader the writer lacks imagination. If you have an inclination to use a cliche, turn it on its ear. Here are some funny ones I just made up:
  • Whiter than a ghost dipped in flour.
  • Caught like a deer admiring the headlights.
  • The sky is only the limit if you can fly.
  • Happy as a lark who just found a hot lark.
Any cliche can be freshened up, but don't use the standard cliche in your writing. It's tired, used up, and boring. Keep your writing unique, fresh and original -- don't use any cliches at all. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Call to All Insecure Writers!

All writers who feel insecure about their work, raise your hand. Okay, all writers reading this probably raised their hands or at least chuckled to themselves. Here is a really funny one for you. I am the CEO of 3L Publishing, and I've published five of my own books. I've won literary awards. And yes, I am an insecure writer. A dear friend of mine who is also a successful writer turns in each chapter of his book to me, and he then eagerly awaits comment. He, too, even with his success has joined the "Insecure Writers Club." Now it's one thing to feel insecure about your work. It's another thing to allow your insecurity to paralyze you and prevent you from publishing. You have to just write and accept that not everyone is going to love your work. I know it's hard. I face the demon every day yet I still write. I have to write -- it is who I am. Writing brings me peace. When I write I'm in the zone. So, if I allowed my insecurities to determine whether or not I write something, I would deprive myself of my art -- and get this ... I would deprive the world of my art, too. My best advice for all insecure writers out there: just get over it. Just write! And don't be afraid to publish it otherwise what is the point. Who are you writing for anyway?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Passionately Publishing Books

So I just texted this to one of my 3L Publishing associates fellow writer and book coach Scott D. Roberts. I said that to this day I still marvel over what I get to do for a living. We're both coaching two new books that were submitted to 3L for review. I recognize every single day how blessed I am that I don't dig ditches for a living (not that there is anything wrong with that ... digging a ditch can be a rather Zen experience, too). I am so blessed to own my own publishing company. I have such a great story behind it, too. I get asked all of the time, "Why did you open a publishing company?" The answer is simple: I had customers ask me to open it. It was a no-brainer. Opportunities like this happen all of the time, do you seize them. The difference between me and the other person who marvels over my successes is that I recognized and seize the opportunities. You have to be able to see those chances that pass before you and go for it. I went for it. I've now been specifically publishing books since 2009. I opened my doors for business originally as a marketing and PR firm in 2006. I have never not made money. In 2009, I published Second Bloom and the rest is history. Other authors asked me to publish their books and away we went. Now I get to sit and just feel gratitude and appreciation to do what I do: Make writers dreams come true. How amazing is that?

If you would like to work with my company on your book, send an email to or call 916-300-8012.

Monday, October 29, 2012

eBook Vs. Print

When considering whether you should do just an eBook or a combined eBook print run, here are some considerations to weigh in your decision-making process.

Are you a first-time author without a following or platform? Releasing your first book as an eBook and selling it for free or $2.99 or less will built a following for your next book. You can begin to build your platform and create a following.

Are you writing a book series? Again, an eBook enables you to build that important following without spending a bundle to produce the book. You can release the first book for a lower price or for free and then increase the price on the next one.

Are you a first-time author who can't get a publisher's attention? You can produce your ebook for a lower price and release it to build interest and create a built-in audience for you to prove your value if you opt to go traditional on the next book.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Should You Price Your eBook?

The representative from Smashwords visited our amazing Writers Who Mean Business meeting and shared his well-earned wisdom on the eBook market. An important point came out about pricing your eBook higher or lower. He noted that at the price point of $2.99 versus $9.99 that the quantity of sales at the higher price point was much lower. Yes, he conceded you make more money but you sell fewer books. At the lower price point you sell more copies at a lower price, but in selling more copies, it comes out the same price-wise, but you have reached more readers, and over time more readers creates a snowball effect. They tell their friends -- and you continue to build an all-important following. You earn the same amount of sales or perhaps more as word of mouth spreads, and if you end up with a solid following (aka fans), you can increase your price point on the second or even third book. You can also create a solid following by selling the first book in your series for free and then when you're ready to put a price on the second book, you have built-in demand for your books. Interesting isn't it?

If you would like to work with 3L Publishing to publish your eBook, please send us an email to or call 916-300-8012.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Only the Enlightened

I am staring at a blank blog screen. I keep thinking, "I need to market my business..." I don't want to repeat the same ole thing. What do I say? Anything meaningful? Like why blogging is important, and I should be saying something here that will matter to women-owned business, business in general, and authors. What am I going to say? How about that my life is crazy and I can't tell up from down? Does anyone ever feel that way? You don't know if you're coming or going. I love being single again. I have been dating like crazy -- and that's fun. But at the end of the day, I still like that one stable point ... that one person who gets me. I do have someone like that in my life. He does get me. And here is what I should share with all single people -- and he taught me this ... don't try to control anyone. Let it be -- that is how you go with the flow and the direction of the current will scoop you up and take you where you need to go. And my next lesson, trust your gut. I had another situation come up where this little sentence that to the not-perceptive ear might have been missed, but it was a message. I double-checked the message -- and guess what? I was right. I spotted it with dead-on accuracy by trusting my gut. So two lessons: don't try to control anyone, go with the flow, and trust your gut.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Low Risk eBook Publishing

eBooks are slowly emerging on the publishing scene as a viable, less expensive means to publish your book. The risk of losing money with eBooks is much less than print publishing, as the costs are considerably less. In working with a hybrid publisher such as 3L Publishing, the author's self-investment in his or her book is much less and much less risky. While the investment in the editing and book production is about the same, the cost to pay for printing is much less. You pay a one-time eBook conversion fee -- and we do the rest. Unlike printing, you convert your book once and then reap the rewards. We like to suggest authors do shorter digital print runs and print up 100-300 copies at an average cost of $2-$3 a book vs. $5-$7 for print on demand (think Lulu or Lightspeed). Then focus on the eBook channel. If the print version sells better than the eBook version, it makes sense to focus on the print media. Otherwise, if the eBook version sells best, authors can count on larger overall royalties and less overhead costs.

For more information on 3L Publishing's eBook services, please send an email to or call 916-300-8012.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Positivity for the Payoff

My mantra: I make a lot of money easily and frequently I am grateful for everything I have.

Today's blog is an exercise in the power of the mind to stay positive. 3L Publishing has gone through some transitions and changes. My move down south and personal challenges wrought havoc on the company. So now I am in rebuild mode. When faced with challenges, the best mindset is to know you can do it. Use what the time-tested book The Secret teaches. Focus on making money and not on the bills piling up. The more you focus on making money, the more money you will make -- and the reverse happens, too. What you think most about you attract, so pay attention to what you're thinking about. Are you thinking about the bills? Or are you thinking about opportunities and ways to make money? Also, a good friend of mine taught me this about money: Are your bills paid today? Then what are your worried about? Tomorrow hasn't come. Today is today. The bills are paid. It's all good. So keep a positive mindset. Use my mantra. Mantras are powerful. They are like running a string of positive energy through your brain. Stay positive. Stay winning. Know you can do it -- and you will do it.

If you have a marketing, public relations or publishing project -- and you want to work with positive, powerful people, please call us at 916-300-8012 or send an email to

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Only the Lonely ... or the Desperate

It's humorous Saturday so nothing serious. In my newly single status, I have encountered so many different ways men try to meet or pick up on me. I find the biggest offenses seem to almost always involve social media or at the very least something electronic. Here are my top 5 picks that we'll sarcastically call: who are you kidding? Here it goes from the bad to the worst:

  1. "Hi" -- who ever thought that monosyllabic "hi" was somehow a great conversation starter. Just so you know ... where exactly can I take "hi"? Seems to me not very far.
  2. Texting a stranger with "how are you?" It should be more like, don't text a stranger at all. Don't ask me how I am when I have no clue in the world who the hell you are. And why I am responding to some random strange guy from area code 209 is beyond me.
  3. Posting wine, roses, love cups or anything else completely random on my FB wall. Let me back up ... I don't even know you and you're posting stuff on my page. I don't think so.
  4. Texting me after midnight -- never, ever, don't do it (I don't care if you're in China). Even if we are dating, don't do it. You will land in the no-go category. It's disrespectful, and believe me when I say, "I don't do booty calls -- EVER!"
  5. Telling me I'm sexy and you want to do me -- and we've never met. UM NO!!! Or better yet, here is the whopper heard round the world, "You're gorgeous! Would you marry me?" Hmm ... let me give you a monosyllabic, "No!" 
And there you go my friend: My top 5 worst offenses in the dating world. And yes, all of those did indeed involve electronic devices LOL. Now go have a great day. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Marketing and Public Relations

If I were to survey and ask authors, "What is the most important part of the publishing process?" The answers would vary but most likely be missed. Is it the book? Is it the story? Is it the character development? Is it the content for a non-fiction book? Is it the subject matter? Is it the genre? What is it? None of those things. It is very simple and one word: marketability. Can we successfully market your book to an audience that will not only buy your book but tell all their friends to buy your book? You can write a brilliant tome. Your writing can beat the competition. Your book can be captivating, award-winning, and well done; but if we can't find its audience and attract their attention enough to buy it -- none of those things matter. And for authors who feel only self-satisfaction in the idea they wrote books and don't want to take the next step, which is to sell and promote the book, then a book is all you will ever have in your hands and not cold, hard cash for sales. Book marketing and public relations cannot be the last consideration in your journey to write a book. Book marketing and public relations must be given equal weight to the book itself. Anything other than that (investment in marketing and promotion) will mean you have a book that gathers dust on the shelf.

If you would like to market and promote your book, give 3L Publishing a call at 916-300-8012 or send an email to, or visit the website at

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Go with It

Are you like me? Got a plan. You think you're going to stick to the plan -- and then boom! A curve ball comes from left field to leave you a little surprised. Your plan all of a sudden looks pretty questionable. We think we can plan. We think we can control. And in fact, we can't plan. We cannot control. And thus, the curve balls get lobbed, and we have to stop and think about it. Since my divorce, I have kept a firm plan in my head about my social life and dating. My plan is still in place (don't get me wrong), but I had a little curve ball tossed at me, and I started thinking, "Maybe I'll have to make some adjustments here." Isn't that what life is about? You can plan and you cannot control -- and sometimes you have to make some adjustments. And you know what else? Those unexpected people, moments and connections can be liberating, exciting and amazing. So, like everything else in life the best plan is: just go with it.