Sunday, October 28, 2012

10 Books to Buy and Read

Here are ten books, new and old, that deserve a first or second look. This selection shows the breadth of books published by Just Write Books. There’s something for everyone.

Wild Plants of Maine: A Useful Guide by Tom Seymour
Travel with Tom Seymour through the woods and shores of Maine and learn about the edible plants along the way. Not only does he share common food uses for greens found around you, but also some traditional home remedies (not all to be used!) for insect repellent and teas. Visitors and residents alike will find this book insightful and entertaining throughout the year.

Uncomplicating Management by Rick Dacri
Whatever your role in business, odds are you will have to deal with people, especially employees through the course of your work. This book is a must have for anyone who needs to understand their employees and how to motivate them to excel. Spend your energy on the employees who return your investment.

Phu Bai: A Vietnam War Story by Paul Betit
A mystery set in Phu Bai during the Vietnam War, this novel sets a murder investigation against the backdrop of the war. Kagnew Station is a sequel to this.

Coming Home: A Maine Mystery by Robert M. Chute
Get caught up in the lives of a small Maine town as a soldier returns home from war. When Jim Johnston returns home and discovers a body in the guest house, he feels compelled to follow the clues of a past romance and mob connections.

Lewis and the Lighthouse by Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben has written his first book about Lewis, a boy who lives on the coast of Maine near a lighthouse. Enjoy the tale of Lewis' exciting adventure as he races to save a ship one stormy night. With just enough suspense for young readers, this fun read-aloud book is illustrated with lively art by Robert Logan.

The House at Bunganuc Landing by Susan Drinker Moran
Houses can tell a story if you give them the chance. Skillfully weaving the tales of her time in the little house near Casco Bay with historical accounts, Susan Drinker Moran shares the joys and trials of living in a small community in Maine, past and present.

Frontier to Industrial City: Lewiston Town Politics 1768-1863 by Douglas I. Hodgkin
Lewiston, Maine, serves as an example of small riverside towns through its history, people and industry. Hodgkin presents the many facets of developing a town from schools to government to businesses in an easy-to-read format. Learn about the transformation of Lewiston from a small village to a thriving industrial town.

Wildness within Walking Distance by Robert M. Chute
Robert Chute brings his considerable powers of observation and narration to detail Maine’s natural and built landscape. Chute pays particular attention to the artifacts from European settlers that may obscure or eliminate traces of Native Americans. Although he might not have planned it as such, this book echoes an ancient paean to the land we call Maine.

Ride the Wind: Biologist and Pastor by Henry S. Bird
A thoughtfully written memoir, Ride the Wind incorporates personal stories of Henry Bird’s life intertwined with major world events. His constant drive to assist those in need can be traced to his early love of rowing and the support he received from coaches and teachers. The stories are entertaining and a great way to read a firsthand impression of historical events.

Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire by Bruce Gagnon
A collection of writings from Bruce Gagnon, a peace activist working to keep space free for peace, Come Together Right Now shares his transformation.

This is just a sampling of the books available from Just Write Books. What is your favorite?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10 Reasons to Make a Book Your Business Card

If you’re looking for a new way to market your business and have your name recognized by a wider audience, consider writing and publishing a book. A book can serve several functions within your overall marketing strategy:
  1. Be recognized as an expert. Having a book with your name on it automatically establishes you as an expert in your field. As such, you are able to charge higher fees to existing and new clients.
  2. Be invited to speak publicly. Organizations are more likely to ask authors to speak at their events. Conferences can provide lucrative opportunities for credentialed speakers. Not a speaker? Check out our earlier blog with helpful tips.
  3. Be a consultant. Books will attract attention from big organizations. Consider giving a copy of your book with any consulting services you perform.
  4. Be a coach. Use your book to share your theories and practices about your field. When a reader finds something they connect with, they are more likely to want to work with you in person.
  5. Be in the news. Issue press releases about the publication of your book to local, regional and national media outlets. The buzz generated by any air time or column space you get will expand your audience for potential customers. Need tips on a press release? See this blog post.
  6. Be a philanthropist. Donate your book or sell in bulk to non-profit organizations to use for their fundraising efforts. By having your book in gift bags or sold to raise funds, not only are you helping a good cause, you’ve increased your audience again.
  7. Be a borrower. Use your book in part or wholly in other formats to reach different audiences. Create an audiobook, design an e-course or write blog posts.
  8. Be a guest writer. Connect with other compatible writers and swap blog posts.
  9. Be an educator. Many continuing education providers require published works of their instructors. You may also find adjunct professor positions at local colleges and universities are open to you as a published author.
  10. Be a workshop leader. Similar to public speaking, these collaborative events not only allow you to share your knowledge verbally and reach a large audience, but offer a venue for selling your book.
As you can see, there are many ways you can use a book as a calling card for new business. Have other ideas? Share them in comments below.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ten steps to write a press release that will get published.

Library of Congress Photographic Collection

Do you want your news release to be published in the paper?

If you have taken the time to write a press release for an event or milestone, it makes sense that you would like to get it picked up by the local, and maybe even national, media outlets. Newspapers, television and radio stations receive hundreds of requests for column space or airtime daily.
With all the competition, it’s important you set yourself apart and provide the correct information. Here are ten quick tips to write a press release that will get attention.
  1. Set the facts to paper: Who, what, where, when and how. This is the absolute minimum.
  2. Look over the above information and decide if this is newsworthy.  Ask the question, “Who cares?”  The answer must be a definable audience.
  3. Choose a couple of people to quote.  You can obtain your quotes in two ways:  The first option is to call the person and talk with her. The other option is to write a quote and ask if this quote reflects his/her opinion.  (Remember at this stage this is a press release. You can create this quote for the person, as long as he or she take ownership when it is presented.)
  4. Decide which media is appropriate for your press release. Call and let the reporter(s) know that the press release is coming. If you don’t know your local reporter, take the time to meet them.
  5. Customize the press release for each different media outlet.  Television, radio and newspaper require different writing styles.
  6. Does the story lend itself to a photograph?  Take photos showing action—not just what we call a Grip and Grin. If it is the ground breaking, have the shovel holder dig into the dirt. If it is a donation, show the work or benefit that the money will fund. Show food at a food bank or someone planting at the botanical gardens. The photo should grab people’s attention with concrete evidence.
  7. Ensure that your contact information is at the end of the press release attachment and at the end of your e-mail. Remember to include a cell phone number.  If they have any questions, you want them to connect with you.  The easier it is to finalize your press release into an article—the more likely the media will use your story. Television reporters call to schedule interviews and need no delay in contacting you.  If they have to leave a message, they might just go to the next story.
  8. Send the press release by e-mail as an attachment from your word processing document.  Make certain that you have the most recent email addresses. Your media contact list is something you should update on a regular basis.
  9. Upload your press release to your blog, website and Facebook page after the first publication in the public media. On your own pages you can include additional information and photos as support documentation.
  10. Watch for publication. Link the publication URLs to update the postings on your website, blog and organization Facebook pages. Send a thank you note to the publication.
If the press release became a story that you couldn’t recognize, see my blog post about good publicity/bad publicity.
Good luck in your future media publications! Share your experience with press releases in the comments.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Preparing Photos for your Manuscript

Many books will include photos, whether it is an autobiography, historical account or even a children’s story. There are several key steps to take to make sure that your photos or illustrations are of the best quality for your published work.

Gather originals. Label with sticky notes on the backs of originals using a naming convention such as NER 0001, NER 0002, NER 0003. The letters NER are my initials. You should use your own. The reason for beginning with 0001 is that when the photos are scanned into the computer or original digital photos are placed in a folder/directory, the photos will stay in order that you have placed them. When you need to add a photo to the sequence use an increment such as NER 0001A, NER 0001B. This allows you to add two photos between NER 0001 and NER 0002.

Write captions for every picture. Each caption should tell a real story, not just be a label. People do not know your story. Tell the story behind the picture. Answer the question, "It is Aunt Betty Jo: so what or who cares?" The answer may be, "Aunt Betty Jo lived with my family when I was an infant and cared for me while my mother attended college, took care of the other children or worked at a job outside the home. Aunt Betty Jo went on to become a well-known author about child rearing. As a screaming colicky baby, I taught her everything she knew." The captions should use the same naming convention of NER 0001 so that the photos and caption maybe put together easily.

Prepare an outline with chapters and pictures within the chapters. Don't place the pictures into the word processing file, just have an idea which pictures go with which chapters.