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19 06, 2013

One Word Wednesday – RUSH

By |2013-06-19T14:47:17-05:00June 19th, 2013|one word Wednesday|6 Comments

Good word RUSH.

Lately, I have not been rushing. Taking a two week trip through England, Scotland, and Ireland has a way of slowing your pace.

I like the idea of not rushing, of accomplishing things on my to-do list without the sense of urgency and rushing.

That’s why I’m posting later today than usual. I didn’t RUSH to get a blog out there.

According to the definition I found on Dictionary.com, it could be a wise thing not to RUSH. The first definition is: to move, act, or progress with speed, impetuosity, or violence

I certainly don’t want to move with impetuosity or with violence. My daddy always said, “Haste makes waste. Slow down.”

Okay, I know all of those words weren’t original with Daddy, but the older I get the wiser his words become. There is no need to RUSH.

I love this quote from Dave’s Words of Wisdom:

share quote

Of course, there are times when it’s necessary to RUSH. Times when we must proceed with speed, but for the remainder of today, unless you’re in one of those situations, don’t RUSH.

Slow down.

See if things don’t get done anyway.

17 06, 2013

Primal Branding your Author Brand – Conclusions

By |2013-06-17T06:18:21-05:00June 17th, 2013|Make Me Think Monday|4 Comments

Metal Branding Brand FrontBrand is both a noun and a verb. The verb suggests you do something to be branded.

Once you publish a book, a writer is automatically branded, but branding is a fluid, ongoing process.

The techniques of primal branding that we’ve been discussing for the last few weeks offer a method to develop your author brand along with ways to stand out in a flooded market of book choices.

Primal branding uses what writers are best at—storytelling with certain added visual components. With branding, an author presents to the buyer, aka reader, what they can expect when they purchase your book.

Trouble is, writers equate branding with marketing and balk. Writers  (me included) would rather be writing than spend time on marketing!

Unfortunately, marketing is a necessary task. But selling your book shouldn’t be about flooding the Twitter feed with book promo tweets.

When people believe in you through your author brand, they become part of a fan group that surrounds your book. They are willing to advocate their belief in you to others.

Think about the last time you moved. How did you find out about the best grocery store? The best church? The best doctor or dentist? The auto mechanic who wouldn’t rip you off?

Most likely, from someone willing to advocate for their preference.

In other words, they delivered the form of marketing that traditional wisdom tells you money can’t buy.

Word of mouth.

Author branding offers a means to provide resonance and meaning for what we believe in and what we write about. A way to develop a fan base willing to sell our book, which is our product.

The question to ask yourself is whether you want to be just another book on the shelf, or do you want to become a desired and popular product?

If your answer is the latter, then author branding is for you.

14 06, 2013

Miller Farm Friday – Strange Eating Habits

By |2013-06-14T05:18:03-05:00June 14th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|4 Comments

By Guest Blogger Chicken Wrangler Sara

I have decided it is my mission in life to make sure no one or no thing in my world goes hungry. 

This goes for chickens and dogs as well as humans. 

Every morning I feed all chickens, dogs, and humans sometimes in that order, sometimes humans first, depending on who is awake. 

We have special feeders for the chicken and the quail to access to their food easily. There are some chickens, however, who are not satisfied with the system and have found their own unique way of eating.

Little Gray Hen, one of the smaller hens who is sometimes pushed aside, has taken to staying on top of the quail cage in the coop.  When I put food in the quail’s feeder, Little Gray Hen helps herself.

The feeder is designed so the birds eat out of the bottom.  Little Gray Hen does not realize that and eats from the top. 

little grey hen

She doesn’t seem to mind that she is eating quail food and, as long as she doesn’t go hungry, my mission is accomplished.

The younger hens have their own feeder on their side of the chicken yard.  Some of them have adopted Little Gray Hen’s method of eating and climb in the top. 

small hens

I suppose as they get bigger that they will do one of two things: stop climbing in the feeder or be stuck in the pail. But, the small hens aren’t going hungry. My mission is accomplished.

Chickens aren’t the only creatures with strange eating habits. 

As a small child, my family lived in South Korea. I was not too fond of rice until our housekeeper put ketchup on it. 

I was an adult before I ate rice any other way. In fact, when no one is around, I still eat it with ketchup.

 I’m not going hungry so my mission is accomplished.

12 06, 2013

One Word Wednesday: SELF-DISCIPLINE

By |2013-06-12T06:29:14-05:00June 12th, 2013|one word Wednesday, writer|1 Comment

Our word today is

self-discipline2

I’m preaching to myself here because I’ve been less than focused on my writing lately.

With very, very legitimate reasons, of course.  

Overseas travel, anniversaries, graduations, moving, remodeling, visting friends and family …

the list goes on and on.

But starting today I’m back on track.

self-discipline-Roosevelt

If you want to get back on track too, I suggest you check out these terrific tips in blogs by:

Kristen Lamb:  Traits of the Successful Author: Self Discipline.

 Adriane Jolly: No more excuses – self-discipline

10 06, 2013

Primal Branding your Author Brand Part 2

By |2013-06-10T05:12:28-05:00June 10th, 2013|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

In Author Branding Part One, we discussed of how to cultivate your author brand using principles found in Primal Branding.

Readers have zillions of books to choose from these days. Author branding is important if you want readers to choose your books.

primal branding

Primal Branding defines a code of seven elements needed to launch new products and services that people believe in – and it helps re-engineer existing products.

In Author Branding Part Two, we’ll discuss the final three codes Hanlon describes: rituals, anti-believers, and leader then identify ways to use with author brand development.

5)  RITUALS

According to Hanlon, rituals involve a repeated experience associated with the brand, whether it’s positive or negative. The kind of engagements build up a certain expectation about your brand and future experiences they can expect to have.

Rituals are important to an author’s brand because they provide interaction and a bond of togetherness between author and reader.

Sharing experiences and events through blogs, FB, Twitter, and other social media is the means for developing author rituals.

With all social media, reader expectation is important. Regular posting is important. Posting often is important too.

Do you share pictures of your writing desk, your pet, or other life events for your readers? These are part of your story. (Remember Hanlon’s first component-STORY? If you don’t, check here.)

Posting excerpts from your WIP, celebrating a new release or revealing a cover  makes readers a part of your writing process. How about sharing great reviews or fan comments?

Each of these, while we might not think of as rituals, add to your brand and offer a marketing tool for your books.

  • Step FIVE to develop your author brand: Share life events with your readers through social media.

6)  ANTI-BELIEVERS

According to Hanlon, for every belief system there is a group of anti-believers (ie Mac users vs PC; Republicans vs Democrats). Anti-believers identify who and what the brand is or is not. Anti-believers are folks who don’t agree with us. 

But without anti-believers, our standard is undefinable. We want to stand for something and our brand to mean something.

Anti-believers  can also give you a good idea of the direction you want to take your brand or which directions to avoid.

Readers have preferences. Romance genre vs literary mainstream, e-reader vs hard cover vs paperback. Our author brand should reflect those preferences we want to attract and entice the “anti-believers,” the ones who aren’t buying our work.

 Personally, I’ve discovered that my blog commenters more likely to share a contrary opinion than simply agreeing. Opposition can be a powerful connecting factor.

  • Step SIX in developing your author brand: Don’t limit yourself to only those who agree with you, but do make very sure your likes and dislikes are clear.

7)  LEADER

According to Hanlon, there needs to be a brand leader. Someone who sets out against all odds to recreate something from their vision.

Think Bill Gates, Steven Jobs. For your writing, it’s you.

You have the power to shape your brand the same as you create your plot and characters, your theme and opening lines.

  • Step SEVEN in developing your author brand: Your brand is like your writer’s voice. Voice develops the more your write. Your brand develops as you learn to tell your story.

Next Monday, conclusions on author branding with Primal Branding code.

YOUR TURN: Do you use Hanlon’s seven components in defining your author brand?

7 06, 2013

Miller Farm Friday – Strange Living Arrangements

By |2013-06-07T04:56:16-05:00June 7th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

By Guest Blogger Chicken Wrangler Sara

If you’re a regular reader of Miller Farm Friday, you know we have chickens in the coop and in the yard.

We have four daschunds in the house and sometimes in the yard.

We have bees and beehives in the yard.

Recently, I discovered new boarders … lizards aka chameleons chameleon

This seems to be a very good year for lizards. We also have a family that lives on our front porch that drives the dachshunds crazy. The critters crawl along the windowsill taunting the poor dogs. 

There is also a family living on the back porch – with the bees. And, when I say “with the bees,” I mean in the same house or, in this case, beehive. 

lizard 1lizard2

I knew no one would believe me so I asked beekeeper Brian to take pictures.

Naturally seeing the lizards reminded me of a song – actually a book with a lizard song,

Lizard’s Song by George Shannon

I read the book to my children when they were young. In the story, Lizard sings: “Zoli, zoli, zoli, rock is my home.” 

Of course, in our house we now sing “Zoli, zoli, zoli beehive is my home.”

I’m not sure I would choose to live in a beehive. I think I’ll stick to living in my zoo.

In case you’ve never read Lizard’s Song, click below. 

5 06, 2013

One Word Wednesday – Ghostwriter

By |2013-06-05T06:35:22-05:00June 5th, 2013|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

ghost writer

A ghostwriter is a writer who writes books, articles, or stories that are officially credited to another person.

Celebrities, executives, and politicians often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies.

The pay varies.

Interested?

Read this: http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/how-to-be-a-ghostwriter

29 05, 2013

One Word Wednesday – Editing Secrets

By |2013-05-29T05:44:25-05:00May 29th, 2013|one word Wednesday|1 Comment

editing

Okay so instead of one word I used two. Who wants to read a blog titled editing, but a blog about editing secrets? We’re all over it!

Truthfully, I think this editing secret works for writing the novel too. Writers need to keep the reader foremost in their thoughts.

After all, writing is all about the reader. Don’t you agree?

27 05, 2013

Memorial Day is…

By |2013-05-27T05:46:57-05:00May 27th, 2013|Make Me Think Monday|4 Comments

A holiday set aside to remember the men and women who gave their lives while serving this country.

Not to be confused with Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day, which celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans, living or dead.

Memorial Day is also the day my sweetie and I shared our wedding vows.

No, we were not married on the last Monday in May, but on May 30th — the original date designated as Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known.

We picked the holiday for our wedding because we wanted to make the date easy to remember.

Then on June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Memorial Day, along with four other holidays, in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

It’s okay though, we still remember our anniversary every year.

But I think people have forgotten the true origins of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day has become a long weekend more devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events than remembering those who have given their lives in military service.

I hope this video will jog our memory.

24 05, 2013

Missing Bees and Bee Whisperers

By |2013-05-24T05:23:06-05:00May 24th, 2013|Friday Free Day, Friday on the Miller Farm|5 Comments

A Guest by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Beekeeper Brian recently purchased four queen bees in hopes of starting four new hives. The queen bees were shipped by mail.

He tracked their exact arrival at the post office – late on a Saturday night. Since there is no Sunday delivery, we went to the post office to pick them up. After a thorough search of the facility, Beekeeper Brian was finally able to locate the buzzing box and bring it home.

He set up four nucs (starter hives) with the new queens. 

For some reason, one queen was not happy with her new palace and left, taking a group of workers with her.

This was a little frustrating. The queen could have gone anywhere with her workers.

A couple of days later, Rachel was standing in the kitchen window. “Dad, I found your missing bees.”

 Bee hive in tree

They had swarmed in the tree in our back yard. 

The problem now was to get them back into their hive. Neighbors came to watch this process. 

Brian and Matt, our son, got out a ladder.  It was not quite tall enough.

 ladder

Using a different method to capture the rogue hive, Beekeeper Brian set up a swarm trap. We waited.

Nothing happened. The swarm in the tree didn’t change.

Yesterday Rachel went out to check eggs and came around through the front door. “Dad I think your bees are moving into the nuc on the patio.” 

We all went out the back to see. Sure enough, a group of bees was on the front of the nuc.

There’s still a swarm in the tree so Beekeeper Brian isn’t sure if this is a different swarm or if the swarm is moving slowly. Beekeeper Brian told the bees to do whatever they wanted.

This morning the swarm in the tree appeared to be smaller, which made me wonder, is Beekeeper Brian a bee whisperer in disguise?

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