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 www.3LPublishing.com or send email to info@3LPublishing.com. 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 info@3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012. For more information on 3L Publishing, visit the website at www.3LPublishing.com. 

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

Introduction

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:

Congratulations!

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

978-0615575438

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

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

http://www.usabooknews.com/2013usabestbookawards/2012usabestbookawards.html

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 info@3LPublishing.com 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 (www.3LPublishing.com) by calling 916-300-8012 or sending an email to info@3LPublishing.com.

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 info@3LPublishing.com 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.