Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Write Follow-Up Emails That Get Responses

By Rebecca Matter
Have you ever read a page of a book, and by the time you finished, you had no idea what you just read …

So you had to go back and read it again?

Maybe the topic was complex … or the author used phrasing that was difficult to comprehend.

Or maybe you were thinking about what you were going to have for dinner, and simply were distracted.

Whatever it was, at that moment, you had to decide whether or not the material you just read was worth reading again.

When you’re reading a novel for pleasure, chances are high you’ll take the time.

When you’re reading a piece of direct mail, chances are much lower. You may simply throw it in the trash.

But when a marketer is reading an email from a freelancer who wants his business, chances are at an all-time low.

As I mentioned on Monday, complicated emails and proposals are one of the biggest reasons marketers don’t respond to freelancers. (If you missed my note, I also gave you two other reasons why they may not be responding.)

Remember, your job is to make the marketer’s job easier, not add more work to his plate by making him decode your emails.

So today, I’m going to give you five tips you can use to make sure your follow-up emails get read — and are easily understood — to give you a better chance of getting a response from clients.

1. Start with a subject line that is clear and specific.

The subject line is not a place to be clever. It should sum up in 5 or so words, what your email is about.

One of my writers does a great job of this when she wants me to approve copy she’s working on. She’ll literally write something like:
Subject: Wealthy Web Writer AR – APPROVE?

I know right away that her email contains an autoresponder series she’s working on for Wealthy Web Writer, that simply needs my approval. I won’t put off opening the email, because I know it’s only going to take a few minutes of my time, and I’ll have one more project crossed of my list.

2. Get to the point.

While marketers want to work with great writers, you don’t need to demonstrate your ability with a 20-page sales letter in the body of an email.

Think about what you want the client to do, and what you need to say to get him to do it. The place to demonstrate your writing ability is in your samples.

That said, your follow-up email technically is still a sample. And like all persuasive writing, it comes down to knowing your prospect, and being able to write copy that persuades him to take action. And in this case, your prospect is a very busy marketer.

3. Don’t be too brief.

Even though you want your emails to be as short and concise as possible, it’s important to provide enough information so the marketer has everything she needs to take the action you want.

For example, when you’re following up with a potential client, don’t assume she remembers your initial correspondence.

Clients who hire freelancers are often working with many at one time. She may not remember the conversation you had a month ago when you met her at a trade show.

And that’s an important point worth repeating …

You’re most likely not the only freelancer working on a project for the client. Personally, I’ve been known to work with over a dozen at any given time. And as much as I hate to admit it — sometimes I forget. :-)

So make sure you provide the information needed to move forward with the project. Otherwise, you may end up getting put off simply because the client doesn’t have time to go digging for the information she needs to proceed and respond.

That’s why I highly recommend this next tip …

4. Keep the chain of email responses intact.

By simply forwarding the last email you sent (or at least the original email you sent), and adding your follow-up content on top, you make it easier on the marketer. He won’t have to go looking for the email or proposal you’re following up on. He’ll have the details in one convenient location.

And my last and final tip for writing follow-up emails to clients …

5. Don’t come across frustrated.

The way you come across in your emails can make or break you when it comes to getting clients to respond. (I’m actually going to talk about this a bit more on Friday.)

While you may truly be frustrated that the client hasn’t responded, you want to keep those feelings to yourself. Your marketer won’t appreciate “attitude.”

You need to keep in mind that, as I explained, marketers are often putting out their hottest fires first.

And, they’re usually juggling multiple projects and several freelancers.

And while they would love to devote 100% to one project and one freelancer at a time, it’s simply not possible.

So even if you have great ideas, or it seems like the project should be simple to follow through with, don’t get frustrated if your client isn’t getting back to you. Like I said Monday, it’s most likely not you — so don’t take it personally.

Just keep patiently following up, and providing value to your client.

For now, you have some tips for making sure your follow-ups will get read, and that give your marketer the best chance of knowing what you want or are proposing, so she can respond.
Consider these the requirements for all follow-ups you send.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.(AWAI) Wealthy Web Writer free newsletter for learning how to effectively write online copy and market products on the Web. For a complimentary subscription,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Poetry Corner June 2012

Swimmer in a Secret Sea
By Jo Galloway

He fell into the deep fathomless oceans of her eyes and there he felt
suspended for an eternity.
Lost in tempestuous seas, which pulled him deeper until suddenly he would
find gentle release in the calm still pools of serenity.

Though his journey unpredictable and his escape obstructed he was
unrestrained in his desire to search through the storms of summer and night
for reasoning to help him empathise with the passion of a woman's tears.

Read more Poems by Jo

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why I Self-Published My Book

Today, as part of my virtual book tour, Doreen Pendgracs (Twitter: @wizardofwords) shares an
article about how I self-published my book. See Doreen's blog, Wizard of Words, at

When choosing a publishing method, there are three basic options these days. The conventional route is to go through one of the “Big 6” book publishers, which includes Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Random House, and Simon & Schuster. An author must query, many times using the services of a literary agent (who takes a percentage of the advance), and present a detailed overview of the book along with a bio on the author, some sample chapters, and a full-scale marketing plan to demonstrate probability of books sales.

Learn why I chose CreateSpace over Lightning Source to self-publish my book.

Read more . . .

Learn more about the ascension process in my book, Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience.

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Simple Trick for Breaking through Writer’s Block

By Cela DeLaRosa
How many years do you have to be a writer before writer’s block goes away for good?

Um … I’ve been doing this for a couple of decades, and writer’s block still sneaks up on me occasionally. It usually happens when a deadline is hanging over my head. The closer the deadline, the worse the symptoms.

My mouth goes dry, the back of my neck breaks out in cold sweat, then all logical thought flees my brain. Sitting motionless in front of my computer, I might as well be trapped in amber …

Can you relate?

The symptoms may be different for every writer, but the result is the same: work stoppage. Who can afford that? Not me.

When writer’s block stops me in my tracks, I use a simple trick that never fails to get me writing again. Believe it or not, I learned the trick from my high school debate team.

There was a legendary debater (and tournament winner) on the senior squad who was such a smooth talker we called her “Slick.” She always had some trick up her sleeve that she could pull out to guarantee a win. Her favorite trick was telling the “horse trading story.”

It was a plain but versatile story that Slick could use to illustrate any point in an extemporaneous speech or cinch any argument in a debate.

Her story starts like this:

“One day, a businessman drives by a farm and sees a beautiful horse, so beautiful that he decides to buy it on the spot. He finds the farmer and says, ‘I think this horse looks pretty good. I'll give you $1,000 for him.'

The farmer shakes his head and says, ‘No, this here horse don't look so good. Anyways, he ain’t for sale.’

But the businessman insists. ‘I think he looks just fine, and I'll double the price to $2,000!’

‘I’m telling you mister, he don't look so good,’ the farmer replies, ‘but if you want him that much, he's yours.’

So the businessman pays the farmer and makes arrangements to have the horse delivered that very day.”

Do you know how the story ends? Or where I’m going with it?

What if I told you to make up your own ending?

You could take it in several different directions … and that’s exactly what Slick would do.

The horse trading yarn was her go-to story whenever she was stuck for something to say and the debate clock was ticking. She could take that story anywhere — poverty, classism, prejudice, greed, semantics — practically any topic would fit.

The simple trick I learned from Slick is the go-to story. The go-to story outsmarts writer’s block every time. For any situation or topic, you have a go-to story inside of you — some experience, some memory, an image, a vivid dream — something you can use to inspire your writing.

When a deadline looms and your screen is blank, when your mind is running in circles, and you feel paralysis setting in, don’t panic. Just start with your go-to story. It will get you over the barriers to creativity and lead you toward what you really need to write.

Simply going through the motions of typing your go-to story relieves deadline stress and gets your brain out of neutral. Try changing the main characters, or the location, or the ending. Soon more ideas will flow in, and you’ll be over your writer’s block.

Here’s an example: I was writing a series of autoresponder emails for a client. In the middle of my project, the trade press published some negative articles about my client’s newest product.

I got stuck trying to think of a clever way to write around my client’s PR problem. The first half of the series was ready to go, but hadn’t been emailed yet. What could I say to customers who’d read the negative press? Should I write something apologetic? Sugar-coat the problem somehow? Should I write the second half of the series as if nothing bad had happened? Or, go back and rewrite the entire series? Could I still meet my deadline if I did?

And then my mouth went dry. I could feel sweat forming on the back of my neck. Uh-oh … time for my never-fail trick.

I methodically started typing the horse trading story. My client’s product had nothing to do with horses, but I had to stop my mind from endlessly circling. I had no time to waste on writer’s block.

Then, as I typed, it hit me. What if the farmer had said something else after the businessman doubled the price?

That new idea immediately restarted my writing engine. I rewrote the whole email series, in record time. And the client loved my new approach. All thanks to my go-to story. Instead of writing around the PR problem, I decided to address it directly, and new ideas came rushing in.

What if writer’s block stops you, and you haven’t found your go-to story yet? Go ahead and use the horse trading yarn. I’m sure Slick wouldn’t mind. By the way, here’s how it ends:

“The next day, the businessman comes back to the farm, raving mad. He stomps up to the farmer and shouts, ‘You sold me a blind horse yesterday. You cheated me out of $2,000!’

The farmer calmly replies, ‘I told you, he don't look so good.’”

I haven’t found the secret to banishing writer’s block for good, but I can outsmart it. You can, too. Just start typing your go-to story, no matter the assigned topic. The words you need will soon follow.
I should know. I used my go-to story to write this article.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc (AWAI) The Writers Life, a free newsletter that gives you opportunities that enable you to live life on your own terms. Whether you’re looking for a new career, looking to make some extra money on the side, or looking for an easy work-at-home career, there is an opportunity at AWAI that’s right for you. For a complimentary subscription, visit

Join Us for a Conversation with Michael Loyd Gray and Valery Satterwhite

This week we're doing something a little bit different on the WITS podcast. Two previous guests, novelist Michael Loyd Gray and Inner Wealth Coach Valery Satterwhite have returned to discuss the interesting relationship between their books.

Award-winning novelist Michael Loyd Gray has a unique style that is at once sensitive, comical, and ruggedly American, and this style is exemplified in his novel, Not Famous Anymore. It is the story of Elliott Adrian, movie star, playboy, and all around screw up. He has the money and the fame, yet his life is an empty shell. Even beneath a booze-induced daze, Elliott knows he must escape and rediscover his true self before his life of excess kills him. He escapes Hollywood and travels back to Argus, Illinois, the small town where he grew up. Not Famous Anymore is at once the deeply personal story of one man and a commentary on our fame-obsessed society.

Valery Satterwhite, in short, is the person Elliott Adrian would have consulted had he chosen to stay in Hollywood. After growing up in a wealthy family, Valery knows firsthand both the benefits and trappings of wealth. As an adult, she had to redefine her own relationship with money, and now she teaches others of means to do the same in her L.A.-based coaching practice. Similarly, her book, Money Moxie: How to Transcend the Paradox of Privilege and Liberate Your True Wealth, provides guidance to those who have fallen prey to the belief that their wealth and/or fame encapsulates them.

It has been my pleasure to take part in the discussion as Michael and Valery discuss their books and the commonalities between them. Click here to listen to the podcast. 

Like what you heard? Not Famous Anymore and Money Moxie are both available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book with a View June 2012

Title: The Dust Collector
Author: Apostle Kevin A. Johnson
ISBN: 978-1613795484
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

There is a famous saying that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Apostle Kevin Johnson takes this one step further in his new book, Dust Collector: Experiencing the God Who Collects Worthless Things and Makes Them Into Great Things in His Hands and for His Purpose.

The Dust Collector is a compassionate yet no-nonsense guide to holistic transformation through the love of Jesus Christ. It offers advice on everything from having a happy, Christ-centered marriage to overcoming childhood traumas. But the book’s most important message is not how God heals what others have done to hurt us, but what we have done to hurt ourselves. Through our sins, addictions, and other destructive behaviors, we become bogged down. This is the “dust”, and it clouds our vision to all that is good in our lives.

But, as Apostle Johnson writes, “a little dust on a silver cup does not make the silver worth any less!”, and like the silver, our dust does not make us any less valuable to God. He does not advocate that we try to rid ourselves of this bad memories, for this is often a painful and futile exercise; instead, he counsels us to simply commit them to God, for with His help, we can turn our junk into gold.

The Dust Collector provides an excellent, step by step process by which to rid our lives of the debt, dependence on drugs, and drama in our lives.

Apostle Kevin A. Johnson is a minister, counselor, and writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and a minor in Pastoral Studies from the American Baptist Theological Seminary, where he graduated magna cum laude and was twice-named Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He also received special recognition for outstanding service by former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist.

In addition to his ministry, Apostle Johnson and his wife Terrah operate Just Breathe Ministries, LLC. They have five children.

Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience
Author: Yvonne Perry
ISBN-13: 978-0982572290
Publisher: Write On! (May 15, 2012)
Reviewed by Carl David

If you only read one book in your search for answers as to who we are, why we are here and where we are going, then this is your guide to the Universe. This work is the ultimate handbook to life as it spells out very clearly all aspects of life as we know it and what lies beyond as the evolution of our souls progress. Every question is addressed in detail leaving no stone unturned. The ascension has begun and we are all in it together. The end of the world is mere fearmongering out of ignorance and ego. We are on the edge of a magnificent energy increase as the Universe graces us with its benevolence. Fabulous events for humanity are in the works like never before.

If you are forunate enough to get a copy of this incredible compendium of knowledge you will never look at life in the same way. You will have a sense of peace without worry. No longer will fear of the unkown be part of your vision, you will embrace the present and the future as they merge tenses before your very eyes. Any and all of your questions will gain clarity as we move together into the tide of rising consciousness.

Yvonne has done it again with this extraordinary book of knowledge which she so freely imparts to us. I have had the distinct pleasure of reading Yvonne's other books and like the others, this one is a jewel! My best advice, get it now; don't wait another minute. You will never regret it.


Not Famous Anymore
Author: Michael Loyd Gray
Publisher: Three Towers Press (December 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1595981578
ISBN-13: 978-1595981578
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

It is not too often that a novel combines Hollywood royalty, raunchy rednecks, Bill O’Reilly and cowboys who spout insight worthy of a Zen master. But award-winning novelist Michael Loyd Gray makes it work, and masterfully so, in his latest book, Not Famous Anymore.

Elliott Adrian is in many ways a Hollywood cliché: small town boy who made good; a movie star with a mansion, a collection of sports cars, and an entourage of sycophants to fulfill his every desire; another celebrity behaving badly, without a care for anyone but himself. But beneath the flippant, arrogant façade beats the heart of an empty, desperately unhappy man. After his latest alcohol-fueled stunt lands him in rehab, Elliott decides he’s cashing in his chips and leaving L.A.—and fame—for good.

As he travels along the dusty back roads of small town America, Elliott learns that quitting fame is not as easy as he had thought. But as he struggles to shed his movie star persona and avoid a rabid pack of paparazzi, he encounters friends whose pearls of real world wisdom lead him closer to his truth. For Elliot’s real journey is not about escaping Hollywood, but about rediscovering himself.
Both riotously funny and heartbreakingly tragic, Gray’s taut prose reminds me of gently flowing poem. It is filled with raw emotions, rich descriptions of vast and varied American landscapes, and literary references; yet not a word is wasted. Like his muse, Ernest Hemingway, Gray’s novel is an exploration of what it means to be a man, an American, and most importantly, an authentic human being.

I, for one, never enjoyed Hemingway so much as when Michael Loyd Gray channeled him. But make no mistake: Gray has his own unique style, and heralds the return of the quintessential American writer that had all but disappeared from modern literature.

This Friday, Michael Loyd Gray and Valery Satterwhite Return to the WITS Podcast

 A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing two wonderful authors, Michael Loyd Gray and Valery Satterwhite. When I realized that their books--one fiction, the other non-fiction--complemented each other so beautifully, I felt compelled to introduce them. This week, Michael and Valery were kind enough to return to the WITS podcast for a joint interview.

Michael Loyd Gray's novel Not Famous Anymore is both a humorous and deeply moving exploration of the underbelly of the American Dream. Movie star Elliott Adrian’s days are a whirlwind of parties, booze, and luxury. The problem is, none of it means anything to him. His outwardly perfect life is really just a prison, and although he cannot see the gilded bars, something deep within him knows he must escape before it kills him. Deciding he doesn’t want to be famous anymore, he disappears from Hollywood and begins working his way back to his hometown in rural Illinois.

If Elliott Adrian were a real person, he would be Valery Satterwhite's client. Satterwhite, a Los Angeles-based Inner Wealth Coach and Sports Psychology Coach, helps those who "have it all" realize that their value is not limited to the size of their bank accounts, or their Twitter following. Her book, Money Moxie: How to Transcend the Paradox of Privilege and Liberate Your True Worth, provides empathetic yet non-nonsense advice on how people of means can overcome feelings of powerlessness, low self-esteem and loneliness. These are universal feelings, yet those with money or fame are often told that "they have no problems".  In fact, they are often vilified, envied, and ostracized—even downright hated.
Tune in this Friday to hear Michael and Valery dish on Hollywood, wealth, and their plans for future projects. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Author Blogging 101: Listening

by Joel Friedlander
Let me ask you a question: Do you think bloggers are broadcasters, or conversationalists?

This isn’t a trivial question, it gets right to the heart of your online writing, the blogging style you adapt, and your relations within your own social media universe.

Media has been controlled by just a few large corporations for a long time, and the ability the Internet has brought us to start media assets of our own is still fairly new.

It’s understandable that some people look at blogging as another way to broadcast their message, but broadcasting is the opposite of social media, which is interactive. Whether it’s your blog, Facebook, or your favorite social site, the activity is built around interacting with other people.

Blogging is one form of social media, and the essence of social media, in my eyes, is the conversation.

If there’s no conversation going on, it’s a little hard to call it social media, don’t you think?

This conversation can take lots of forms. It might be:

• a comment on a blog
• a discussion on a Facebook fan page
• a book recommendation on Goodreads
. . . or any number of other ways we signal our interest or concern on these various social media platforms.

More than any other way of connecting, blogging stimulates conversations. And just like in real life, you create a whole different level of connection with the people you spend time talking to.

The Importance of Listening

We all know people who don’t seem to “get” conversation, even in the most ordinary way.

For instance, I knew a woman who needed to talk to people, but it didn’t seem to be important which people she talked to.

If you excused yourself from a “conversation” with her, she would simply keep talking to someone else standing there, without missing a beat.

We would joke, in fact, that she might be satisfied if we taped a photo of someone’s face to the wall, and then she could just talk to that.

But that isn’t conversation, because a good conversation involves a few things missing from this picture:

• A concern for the other person
• Something useful, new or entertaining to say
• The ability to listen

Missing any one of these usually dooms a conversation, and you end up with one-way communication: broadcasting.

Just like ordinary conversations, we can use all these social skills to create a blog that really sticks with people, where your personality shines through and readers keep coming back for more.

Sound good? Let’s look at how this can work.

The Author/Reader Connection

Of the three skills listed above, the ability to listen is the most crucial, and this is true in real life and in blog life, too.

Listening incorporates concern for the person talking, because if you didn’t care about what they have to say, you wouldn’t be listening, would you?

Sometimes you run across blogs that seem to be stuck in the old broadcasting model. Recently an industry bigwig started a brand new blog, with appropriate fanfare, since CEOs who blog are still something of a rarity.

After a few weeks I checked on the blog and found some really nice articles, a few video interviews, and it looked like the blog had readers.

Problem was, these readers kept leaving comments, but the blogger never responded. I looked through every article posted, and I didn’t find one response from the blogger. Not even one.

What message do you think that sends? Yep, it looks like a blog, but it’s really another broadcast medium, isn’t it?

How to Listen

Comments are the first place you can listen to your readers. This is especially important because only a small percentage of your readers will comment on your articles, so you could look at each comment as if it represents a bunch of people rather than just the person who wrote it.

As your blog becomes more popular, you’ll get more comments and responding to them can become time-consuming.

Every blogger has their own way of dealing with comments. Here, I don’t respond to every comment left on the blog, although some bloggers do this as a matter of course.

But you do have to respond at some point. You have to show that you’re interested in what your readers have to say, to acknowledge that in a community all the voices need to be heard and considered.

More Ways for Bloggers to Listen

There are quite a few direct and indirect ways to listen to your audience. Consider using some of these methods in your own niche.

Surveys can be a great tool for finding out where your audience is at any particular moment. I use SurveyMonkey which offers both free and paid accounts. Want to know what people are thinking? Ask them.

RSS feeds are the easiest way to keep up with blogs you want to follow. Currently I have 104 blogs in Google Reader, which I use to organize and scan all those great posts.

Twitter #hashtags provide filtered content in real time, a great way to gauge reaction or solicit opinions on breaking stories.

Curated content from sources within your field can help you find the stories that everyone is reading right now. Look for blog carnivals or regular link posts, often on the weekends when bloggers take some time off from writing.

Social Search is becoming a bigger niche in itself. Take a look at Trackur, a different type of “listening” device you can employ to find how people are talking about you—or other subjects—throughout social media. Although there’s a cost, if you have a widespread brand, this could be quite helpful.

Forum and listserv discussions are invaluable for listening in to conversations people are having in your field. Try to find the top 2 or 3 forums to follow on a regular basis.

Google alerts can also be used to track key terms, blog mentions, and discussions going on around core topics in your niche. Free and easy to set up, they are endlessly useful.

Listening, really hearing what people are saying, is what makes someone a good conversationalist. These are the people we’re delighted to see, interested to listen to, and who earn our respect with their attention.

That’s where you want to be, so learn to listen, it will pay you many dividends over time.

Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at He's also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Editor's Corner June 2012

What relief and rejoicing when a baby is finally out of the birth canal and into the arms of the awaiting mother/father. The same is true when an author publishes a book! I am glad to announce the arrival of Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience, weighing 12.5 ounces in paperback and lighter than air in Kindle format!  At six by nine inches, she’s a real cutie! See for yourself: While my labor with writing this book was lengthy, I was pleasantly surprised that the short delivery time—I approved the final manuscript on CreateSpace and it was for sale on Amazon less than 24 hours later!

In my virtual book tour this month, I will share more about the writing and publishing process of my book. Visit and take a look at the material I’ll be posting and the lineup of blogs where I’ll be stopping. Be sure to sign up to get a reminder about the June tour and the July ascension training telesummit. Both are free!

By Yvonne Perry, Owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (

Yvonne Perry,

Find me online:

Who Can Benefit from This Book on Ascension?

This book is for those interested in spiritual awakening and rapid transformation. It will also help those who are fearful of our future due to having been indoctrinated into religions that teach a dreadful end of time. Many of these people are having experiences that religious dogma can’t explain. They are searching for answers. In this book, with a fresh approach to the ascension and immortality of Jesus Christ, I believe these dear ones will find a lot of the answers they are looking for.

Yvonne Perry's bookThe paperback version of Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience is available in the US on as well as on CreateSpace.

You may order an autographed paperback copy of this book directly from the author using the PayPal button below.

$16.99 USD includes shipping within the US.


Purchase the book for Kindle Reader. Only $7.99!


Don't have an electronic book-reading device? This book is now available as a PDF ($8.99 USD). Click the "Add to Cart" button to pay with a credit card via PayPal and download to read it on your computer.

Coming soon as an MP3 audio book!@@@@@@@

@@@@@@@ COMING SOON to Foreign Markets @@@@@@@
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart ~ Nature, Intimacy, and Sexual Energy

Title:  Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart ~ Nature, Intimacy, and Sexual Energy
Author: Julie McIntyre
Publisher: Destiny Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1594773976

Never have I read a book like this one!

Less than a week before this book mysteriously arrived in my mailbox, I was asking the Universe specifically for information to help me better understand how sexuality and spiritual transformation work together. I did not buy this book. I had not told anyone I wanted this book; nor had I corresponded with anyone about this book—I didn’t know it existed—and I don’t know why Inner Traditions sent me the book, but I sure am glad they did! It was exactly what I needed when I needed it.

I had no idea how repressing our sexual, sensual nature (as religion and society has taught us is the prudent way to live) is actually creating the wars, murder, violence, and struggles in our world. Whether it’s due to being abused or being the abuser, more people are wounded from the improper expression of sexual power than any other dynamic known to humankind.

Sexual energy is the life force energy of creation and it is manifested in everything that exists in nature. When we deny the expression of pure passion, it will find a way out and it may not be in the most suitable manner. It may come as rape—that of another person, animal, or the Earth herself. It may push forth as violence, greed, rage, manipulation, or some other harmful behavior, but this ever-rising pressure within every living thing will push the lid off the container no matter how tightly we try to inhibit it. No wonder so many people are sick and depression is rampant! Our very life force has been given a death sentence!

Monogamy and abstinence teaching does nothing to promote spiritual growth or sexual responsibility—even the leaders who demand this fear-based restraint are caught in extramarital affairs, or worse yet, extorting boys and girls. Telling people that sex is dirty or that it’s inappropriate to express this sacred energy only breeds shame and guilt; it does not prevent this powerful force from being expressed some other way. Our repressed emotions, repressed love, repressed spontaneity, and childlike joy must be released, and we must learn how to express this energy wisely.

What is the appropriate way to work with this energy? It’s very simple. Reconnect with your heart (feelings, emotions) and nature—yes, Mother Earth! Our lack of human bonding with the Earth has caused us to blatantly destroy the health of the very planet that sustains our lives. We have so disconnected from our sexuality that we have denied its existence in all of creation. We have moved indoors where we hide behind technological devices that keep us from noticing how much we need the Earth and her benevolence; and how much we need to receive and give divine love to ourselves and others.

Not only is this book filled with information that I’ve never seen presented in any text I’ve read, Julie McIntyre’s poetical style of writing flows from a heart of passion that is felt throughout the well-written text. This book of healing the inner child created a longing within me to allow myself to be loved and vulnerable, to know open-hearted intimacy, and express divine love to all. This book is a keeper and a title that I will share with many others!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Author Blogging 101: Finding Time for Blogging

by Joel Friedlander
The faces looking at me were excited but a little concerned.

I had just finished a presentation on how blogging can be an amazing weapon in your book marketing arsenal, the remarkable effects you can achieve by just investing your time and almost no money.

It was question-and-answer time, and the first question showed where that concern was coming from:

“But Joel, how do you find the time to do all that blogging, commenting, networking and all the other stuff you just told us about?”

Good question. And one we all need to find an answer for.

Let’s break it down.

Tips for Not Going Insane Keeping Up With Your Blog

Keep in mind that you might be hearing about or reading about a lot of these tasks at once, but you don’t have to do them all at once.

If we list all the things we do in a day, it can quickly become pretty overwhelming, even to us!

But realistically, many of these tasks take very little time in themselves.

For instance, checking out a couple of forums to see if there are any posts or questions relating to your topic of interest only takes a few minutes, and leaving a comment only a few more.

You can easily do this task in about 10 minutes a day, and if that’s too much time, you can do it every other day.

The key is how you organize it, just like with your other work. Try this approach to control how much time this takes:

1. Identify the discussion threads within the forum that are most appropriate.
2. Create a shortcut or link to those specific discussion threads and bypass the others.
3. Learn how to “scan” the posts to see if there’s anything relevant. Scanning takes seconds. Reading through the posts and all the replies can drop you down the rabbit hole, and you might not reappear for half an hour or more.

These same tips apply to blog commenting, which can take up a huge amount of time if you’re not careful. Just reading through the responses on some popular blogs can take quite a long time.
In fact, if you run into blog posts with dozens (or hundreds) of comments, you might want to just skip them. Here’s why: The idea behind blog commenting as a marketing tool for your own blog is to

1. Find other readers interested in your topic and,
2. Get on the radar of the blogger.

Both of these goals are a lot harder to achieve if you’re competing with 50 or 100 other commenters. Wait for an article with fewer comments, or where you can be one of the first 10 or 12 commenters and you’ll be using your time more wisely.

Blogger, Is Thy Name Multitasker?

I’m not a big fan of multitasking, since I find that trying to do more than one thing at a time results in confusion and lowers the quality of whatever I’m doing.

This may not be true for you, but we each have to find the work style that works best for us. In my studio that means that I assign times to work on one specific task, and I try very hard to make sure that time isn’t interrupted by other tasks, phone calls, or my own imagination.

I’ve also gotten better results when I have a specific goal for that work. For instance, if I’m laying out a book, I might assign time to create all the master pages and styles. Then I’m going to stay with that task until it’s completely finished. This one practice has made me much more productive.

The Content Chop Shop

Here’s another tip that will help you handle the writing for your blog.

Set aside some time, like on a weekend, when you can explore a subject more fully.

Pick a subject that’s got a lot of elements or connections to it. For instance, an overview of a process works well because most processes link to other processes, making the subject easy to expand.

The idea here is to have the time to really explore many facets of a subject. Just keep writing and don’t worry about how long it is. Go down every path that has something to offer.

When you’re finally finished, make the resulting piece into a series of two, three or more blog posts. Add an introduction and schedule the posts for the coming weeks.

If you blog once a week, you can write and schedule a whole month’s worth of content in a weekend. Now that’s efficient.

The Tyranny of “OPA”

There’s nothing that kills my productivity more than “OPA,” nothing that defeats my aims or causes more interruption in my day.

What’s “OPA”? Other People’s Agendas.

Yep, it’s all that stuff you do for other people, and it can be one of the toughest things to overcome. But I promise you this: if you can rid yourself of the OPA virus, you will get to your goals a whole lot faster.

Here’s what I mean: Take a look at your inbox. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Back? What did you see? I’ll tell you what I see in my inbox, it’s probably not too different from yours:

• Newsletters that I subscribe to
• Product offers
• Friend requests of various kinds
• Invitations to pay attention to something
• Any time spent on most of these messages represents an investment in someone else’s agenda.

Hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I look forward to articles and offers from some of my favorite bloggers and teachers, because I’ve gained so much from them in the past.

But the overwhelming fact is that the more time you spend responding and reacting and friending, pinning, liking and all the other activities you’re being asked to do, you’ll end up helping everyone, except yourself.

That’s not a good outcome, is it? The point here is to learn to look at your inbox—and all the other requests for your time and attention—from the point of view of your own agenda.

Blogging can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity that supports the whole framework of your social media marketing. Or it can be a drag, sucking up your time and talent without giving you anything in return.

Managing your time well and finding efficient ways to handle the activities around blogging will go a long way to keeping it fun and profitable.

Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at He's also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WITS Podcast Schedule June 2012

On June 22, award-winning novelist Michael Loyd Gray and Inner Wealth Coach Valery Satterwhite return to the WITS podcast for a fascinating discussion on the downside of fame. Michael Loyd Gray's novel Not Famous Anymore is the story of Elliott Adrian, a rich movie star who escapes the plastic world of Hollywood to live an authentic life in his Midwestern home town. Vallery Satterwhite is an Inner Wealth Coach, whose non-fiction book, Money Moxie: How to Transcend the Paradox and Privilege and Discover Your True Worth teaches the real Elliott Adrians to the world to enjoy their fame and fortune while not allowing it to define them.

On June 29, Reverend Steve Brannon joins us to discuss The Two Agreements, his reinterpretation of the New Testament. This incredible book sheds light on the true nature of Christ’s life and work on earth. Brannon explores Jesus’ journey as he walked between two worlds—the relative existence of human life, and the absolute world of love, unity, acceptance and perfection created by The Source.

Gemstone Power 52 Meanings and Meditations from Abalone to Zircon

Title:  Gemstone Power 52 Meanings and Meditations from Abalone to Zircon
Author:  Harriette Knight
Publisher: Clarity Charity Jewelry, 2011
ISBN: 978-0982242728
Upon receiving this colorful book, I was immediately impressed with the cover design and interior layout. That might not seem like such a big deal to some folks, but after spending years helping authors get their books to the market, I know how important book packaging is. Many authors miss the marketing boat when it comes to layout and design and too many use those cookie-cutter, premade templates that publish-on-demand companies offer. Opening Harriette’s book confirmed that she went the extra mile and had her cover custom designed. Bravo!
Now, for the content. Nothing less than superior work as well. With 52 gemstones listed in the book, one may enjoy contemplating on a particular stone each week for a year. And it’s an educational book as well as one that inspires. For example: did you know that the amethyst is the state gemstone for South Carolina? And that citrine is good for relieving depression? Did you realize that peridot is the birthstone for August? It’s great to know what stones to use for what condition.
After discovering the information and application for each stone, you may soak up your own intuitive message as you follow the guided meditation given on the corresponding page. Overall, the book is par excellence!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Top 20 Book Fairs for Summer and Fall 2012

By Scott Lorenz
Book fairs and festivals offer authors an excellent place to interact with fellow authors and publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace. Here is a list of 20 book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance.

Authors who want to sell books need to do what anyone else with a product needs to do – find the place in the marketplace where your buyers can be found. And, in the case of authors, readers will be found in largest numbers at book fairs, festivals and conferences.

Book fairs and festivals are held every season around the world so it’s a fairly easy task to locate one to promote your book. As an internet book marketing specialist, I am the first to impress on authors the new and powerful marketing avenues open to all authors on the Internet – from book websites to book trailers to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While these are fantastic tools when used properly, authors should never overlook opportunities to meet the reading public face-to-face.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, the author not only gains great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. But plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are arranged months in advance.

Book fairs are excellent places to interact with fellow authors, publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace. For more information about book marketing visit and for upcoming book events on C-SPAN2 visit: Here’s a list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2012.

1. BookExpo America, June 4-7, 2012, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend.

2. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 9-10, 2012 Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 125,000 book lovers.

3. Millbrook Literary Festival, June 16, 2012, Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors.
4. American Library Association Annual Conference June 21-26, 2012, Anaheim, CA some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career.

5. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) July 15-18, 2012, Orlando, FL Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.

6. Harlem Book Festival, July 22, 2012, Harlem, NYC

7. Belfast Bound Book Festival, July 27-29, 2012, in Maine will offer 25,000 books and will celebrate reading, writing and publishing.

8. Decatur Book Festival, Aug. 31- Sep. 2, 2012, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 900 authors and 260,000 attendees have attended this event in downtown Decatur.

9. Brooklyn Book Festival, September 20-23, 2012 Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, NY is the largest free literary event in New York City.

10. Sonoma County Book Festival, September 22, 2012, Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA. attended by thousands of book lovers.

11. Fall For the Book Festival, Sept. 26-30, 2012, George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, Fairfax, VA., sponsored by George Mason University, Fairfax County Public Library and Barnes & Noble. Attended by more than 150 authors.

12. Baltimore Book Festival, Sept. 28-30, 2012, located at Mt. Vernon Place, The event attracts more than 100 authors.

13. South Dakota Festival of Books, September 28-30, 2012, Sioux Falls, attracts over 40 nationally well-known authors.

14. West Hollywood Book Fair, September 30, 2012, at West Hollywood Park, more than 130 exhibitors expected!

15. West Virginia Book Festival, October 13-14, 2012 is destination for over 7,000 people whom go to network and hear from various authors in West Virginia.

16. Frankfurt Book Fair, October 10-14, 2012 in Frankfort, Germany. Considered the biggest book show in the world.

17. Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word October 14-16, 2012, Tennessee Legislative Plaza, Nashville, TN, attracts more than 200 authors from throughout the U.S.

18. Texas Book Fair, October 27-28, 2012, State Capitol Building, Austin, TX, established in 1995 by First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian, more than 45,000 attend.

19. Kentucky Book Fair, Saturday, November 9-10, 2012, Frankfurt, Kentucky, attended by up to 5,000 people including 150 authors.

20. Miami Book Fair International, November 11-18, 2012, hosts over 350 authors to discuss their work and 250 publishers.

The bottom line: Make it a priority to visit a book fair in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

About Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090.