Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What you don't know about copyright and intellectual property can harm your business

TOPSHAM, Maine — A brown bag business seminar on the legal perils and pitfalls of online marketing will be held from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Village Room of the Priority Business Center, 2 Main Street, Topsham. The event is sponsored by the law firm of Eaton Peabody and Just Write Books.

With music, images, text and video easily available on numerous electronic devices such as computers, mobile phones and tablets, the questions of who has rights to what and how it can be used legally have become muddied. The use and misuse of copyrighted materials and how business owners can enhance their product and business while protecting themselves and their materials are the focus of the luncheon lecture.

Berney Kubetz of Eaton Peabody, with a legal practice that focuses on  litigation and dispute resolution regarding libel, privacy and intellectual property issues, will explore the legal risks associated with business websites, social media, blogs, and other online marketing and public relations tools. Berney Kubetz will help attendees understand what a business owner can do or should not do in order to avoid legal liability in the fast moving digital world. He will be pleased to entertain questions from the audience.

The event is free to members of Southern Midcoast Chamber of Commerce. The cost to nonmembers is $30. Registration and payment, if required, must be made in advance. To register, go to jstwrite.com, click on Calendar in the left sidebar, and use the link in the event listing. Participants should bring their own lunches but beverages (coffee, tea, water) will be provided. For more information, contact Nancy E. Randolph at 207-729-3600.

Berney Kubetz regularly engages in state and federal court trials in defense of defamation, invasion of privacy and product liability claims. He has chaired the Maine Bar Association’s Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

FMI: Contact Nancy E. Randolph at 729-3600 or Berney Kubetz at 992-4832

Sunday, February 24, 2013

10 Ways to Get the Media’s Attention

Whether you’re trying to sell a book or promote an event, it always helps to have coverage from some media outlet—newspaper, TV or radio. This blog will cover some of the ways that you can ensure your event, issues or book gets the attention it needs from the media.

Update your contacts. Make sure you have a media contacts list and keep it updated. This will insure that when you send information to the media outlets it is sent to the proper person.

Inform the media. Regularly send your mainstream media contacts updates about your activities and issues. While it may not yield immediate results, they will know who to come to if they need expert commentators.

Use good designs. When creating signs and advertising for your event. Use color and text sizes that are appropriate for you audience. Road signs need to be readable by people moving at 35 mph. Hire an artist or designer to help you come up with a cohesive and attractive design.

Post the word. Come up with a poster hanging route that highlights the areas you want get the word out. Know the locations that you can hang pieces on community boards and other spots without problems.

Use familiar days. Find ways to pair your events with regular holidays and events that people remember easily. Tax Day is a great day to protest regarding how the tax dollars are spent. Heart month is a perfect time to do fundraisers for heart disease. Since the media is already doing stories about a related subject, it will be easier to get coverage for your event.

Write letters to the editor. Have a group prepared to write letters to the editor to your local papers. Have others prepared to write in response to the original posting to continue the coverage.

Create your own media. If the mainstream news outlets don’t cover your story, check with the local broadcast stations and papers. Develop your own email newsletter to keep your contacts informed. Make sure they can easily share your notices to their network.

Pick your people. When participating in an event, make sure that you have a person or two selected in advance to be your media contacts. When the reporters arrive, point them in the proper direction.

Control the message. When you do have media coverage, make sure your message is upbeat, succinct and focused on what you want to convey. Have one or two key points prepared for moments when a reporter asks you questions.

Always have a backup. If you can’t get the media coverage you desire, make sure you have alternate options to get the word out.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Author Talks: Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour came to Just Write Books for the first time in 2008. He had completed several years of blogging about the natural world around his home in Waldo, Maine. The blog itself was being removed and Tom felt that he had a great audience and so was reluctant to lose his work through a delete button. Tom and I worked on Hidden World Revealed: Musings of a Maine Naturalist. Since that time Just Write Books has been fortunate to publish Wild Plant of Maine: A Useful Guide and Tom’s Forager’s Notebook, an undated journal for the forager. Tom is a dedicated writer, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. It is always a pleasure to learn more about Tom so we asked him a few questions we thought would be intriguing to hear the answers.

JWB: When did you start writing?
Seymour: 1973. I began as a newspaper correspondent.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Seymour: Nature, fishing, wild plants and country life, with emphasis upon the vicissitudes and also the humorous side of living in a rural setting.

JWB: What is one event that has shaped your writing?
Seymour: I have always written, even before doing it professionally. There was no seminal event. However, my long-running newspaper column, began in 1987, has achieved a measure of acclaim among readers, inspiring me to continue and to strive to do my best job. Also, my first book, Hiking Maine, inspired me to continue writing in the outdoor/nature genre.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Seymour: Holy Bible, The Flowering Plants of Great Britain and Euell Gibbons, Stalking The Wild Asparagus.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Seymour: Avoid the passive tense. If you don’t know what that is, get a book and find out. Also, be frugal with words. The fewer words you can use to convey your meaning the better.  Write, write and write some more. And all the while, compare your writing to published works. Go to bed with a Thesaurus and a Dictionary. Become a good speller.

JWB: What are you currently working on?
Seymour: In the past year, I wrote a new book and revised two other books already in print. I spend my time now writing about the history of coastal Maine, life in the country and hunting and fishing for a New England outdoor magazine. I’m working on my thoughts for a new title and will query my publisher in the near future.

Author Bio:
An avid writer as well as a naturalist, Seymour writes six regular columns and a multitude of features for The Maine Sportsman Magazine. Seymour's other credits include articles in Fur-Fish-Game, Maine Fish and Wildlife, Backpacker Magazine, Northern Woodlands and People, Places, Plants, among others. Seymour wrote a long-running, award-winning column "Waldo County Outdoors" for the Republican Journal. Seymour just began a regular wild plant coumn in Maine Food & Lifestyle Magazine, a new publication. Seymour leads nature walks in coastal Maine—teaching people plant recognition, identification of edible wild plants and appreciation of our natural environment. His previous books are: Hiking Maine, Fishing Maine, Foraging New England and Birding Maine—for Globe Pequot Press (GPP). Also for GPP Seymour edits Maine Off the Beaten Path. Seymour's Maine Wildlife was published by The Maine Sportsman Magazine. His "Maine Wildlife" is a popular column in that magazine. Tom's book Tom Seymour's Maine, A Maine Anthology, details Maine history and folklore.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

10 Very Basic Steps for Social Media

You’ve decided to take on the social media world. With Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and the many other options available, it may be confusing to decide which networks to participate in and how to make the most of them. Below are some of the basic guidelines to help you get started.
  1. Have a plan. This may seem pretty obvious, but it’s best to start out with a strategy for your social networking endeavors. Why are you creating a presence on the different social media platforms? Then begin with a Blog, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter at a minimum.
  2. Be consistent. Create a generic profile that includes all the information you want to convey about your business or organization. Put this into a document. You can then cut and paste this information into the appropriate spots on each social media platform.
  3. Collect corresponding resources. Find a professional, well-lit photo to include. Have your resume/CV available to reference while creating your profiles. Find a photo or group of photos that you can create a collage and make a cover photo for your blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.
  4. Set up a blog. There are dozens of free blog hosting sites. Check out the following blog post if you care. http://mashable.com/2007/08/06/free-blog-hosts/ I use Google’s Blogger platform.  It works for me. I don’t suggest that you work too hard to decide where. Pick a blog host and begin.
  5. Make a schedule. Decide when you’re going to post and be consistent. Start off once a month and then increase to once a week when you’re able. Plan ahead and schedule posts for several months at a time.
  6. Set up a Facebook profile or page. Set up a profile for you and a page for your book, your business or organization. Make sure to create a cover photo that represents your page.
  7. Set up a Twitter profile. Follow other tweeters. Check to make sure they are not spambots. When you look at a person's tweets, you can usually tell if they are posted by a person or a machine.
  8. Set up a Linkedin profile. Expand your network starting with people you already know and do business with. Join groups and participate. Make a comment. If you have found a post particularly helpful—comment. Only make positive posts.  There are thousands who will be negative.  It is not worth your time.  Follow Dale Carnegie’s advice, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”
  9. Set up a Twitterfeed account. This will allow you to post once to your blog and simultaneously (almost) post to your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
  10. Don’t oversell. When posting to your profiles, keep your ratio of posts seven to one information to promotion. You don’t want to annoy the people who are following you. Keep your content rich, useful and intriguing.
Follow the above steps and make sure you maintain activity on the pages that is reasonable for you and your business.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Why libraries buy which books.

White Plains Library explains which books they buy.

All authors/writers want to know the reasons behind book purchasing decisions. Brian Kenney of White Plains Library tells his library's story.

Nancy E. Randolph
Just Write Books

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Author Talks: Robert M. Chute

A Maine mystery by Chute
Robert Chute came to Just Write Books with a book of poems, Reading Nature, in 2005. Over the past seven years, we have worked together on additional poetry works and several Maine mysteries. A humble and talented man, Robert is dedicated to revealing Maine through his poetry and fiction.

We took a moment to catch up with Robert Chute and asked him a few questions we thought would be intriguing to hear the answers.

JWB: When did you start writing?
Chute: I was about 11 years old, sitting by a window on a rainy autumn night. I wrote a four-line conventional rhymed verse about the sound of rainfall in a puddle outside. I can visualize the event but can’t recall the exact lines.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Chute: It was, is, never easy to say I love someone but I can easily and freely talk to a tree or a rock. Also, as a scientist as well as a poet, poetry is another way to explain—you choose what.

Woodcut by Chute
JWB: What is one event that has shaped your writing?
Chute: Finally, at age thirty-five, meeting a practicing poet, who became a friend; and I learned you could not only write poems, but be a poet.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Chute: First I must admit I find it difficult to think of an answer, to think of three books I want, right now, to reread. The only book I can recall rereading in the last five of six years was John Livingston Lowes’ The Road To Xanadu. An American novel I would like to reread: The Scarlet Letter. Poetry I frequently return to: Emily Dickenson.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Chute: Find a true friend who is also a critic and editor. Writers who have only themselves as an editor may have a fool for a client.

JWB: What are you currently working on?
Chute: A conglomerate book of poems inspired by and about Thoreau, my thoughts about Thoreau life and works, spliced, if not spiced with autobiographical relevant aspect of my life.

Expect Robert’s next book, Excuse for Being Here, in the fall 2013.

Author Bio
Robert M. Chute is a seventh generation Maine native. A retired professor of biology, most of his nonscientific writing has been poetic in nature. He is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Bates College and served as director of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. He lives on Middle Range Pond in Poland, Maine.