The now-famous phrase, “master the possibilities,” used by Mastercard in its promotional campaigns also applies to freelance writing. But with freelancing it’s less about whipping out your credit card than figuring out how to find markets for your work.
Before you go searching, however, you have to figure out exactly what type of writing you want to do. Are you planning to write articles for publication, either in print or online or both? Or are you more into business writing, preparing press releases, ghost-written articles for trade magazines, and such? While you can work in both directions, it’s better to chose one and stick with it. And while both require the same writing skills, each requires a different mind set.
It used to be that publication was more insular. As a freelancer, you’d send your pieces to publications that might print them and you’d get paid. Today, with the advance of technology, the publishing world has exploded with what seems an endless list of possibilities. Unfortunately, just as there are many more opportunities to get published, so are there many more, especially online, that don’t pay anything. And you can’t live on those. With the ease of online publishing and self-publishing through e-books, many more would-be writers are finding it easier to get published, even if they have to do it themselves, thus by-passing the hurdles of the traditional route. So competition is fierce.
To begin with, you need to check one of the primary annual market guides—Writer’s Market or Literary Marketplace.
The first on the list, Writer’s Market, published by Writer’s Digest Books, has been around since 1921 and of the three is the least expensive with a list price of about $30. It features over 6,000 listings of newspaper and magazine markets, book publishers, including small presses, playwriting and screenwriting markets, and even those for greeting cards. Each listing gives you the information you need to see if your work will fit. And while there are many markets in which your work will be a good match, there are 10 times as many that it will not. And while the two-and-a-half-inch book has it’s good points, it offers a lot of markets that just don’t pay well or not at all.
Literary Marketplace claims it’s the “ultimate insider’s guide” to the publishing industry. For a whopping $339, it ought to be. It offers 54 sections in which it organizes publishers, agents, advertising agencies, associations, distributors, and events. It features twice the number of listings as Writer’s Market, but concentrates mostly on book publishing. Since its cost is prohibitive, you’ll have to use it at your local library.
Whether you use one or the other or both of these annuals will depend on how well you’re repeatedly tapping certain markets, how good you are at selling spin-off material, and where you wish to focus your publishing efforts each year.
As you progress in your freelancing career, you’ll find more markets that aren’t listed in the above annuals. Publishers of all kinds choose whether they want to be published in them. Many refuse because doing so opens them up to receiving tons of correspondence from too many wannabee writers who have neither the skill or talent to write well. They prefer to be more selective. Also, new technologies create new markets. In the last five years many opportunities have opened up for educational and recreational material for home and school computers.
Because editors play musical chairs and their requirements change regularly, it’s a good idea to use the latest version of each of the annuals. It’s important to know the exact name, spelling, title, etc., of a publication’s editor. If you’re going to impress editors, you must get their names right.
In the case of Writer’s Market, you can check out last year’s edition from the stacks at your library, find what publications look good, and make a list of them, then go back to the library and find those on your list in the latest edition in the reference section and note the changes. Because of the high cost of Literary Marketplace, you’ll have to do all your work on the reference edition at the library.
You can keep up with changes during the year by watching the market columns in Writer's Digest Magazine and The Writer, the only two magazines devoted exclusively to writing. You can also subscribe to the Writer’s Market online and catch up with changes there.
If you've decided on a specialty, you'll subscribe, I'm sure, to the best publications in your chosen field, or track them down regularly wherever you can. If you’re serious about book publishing and not just publishing a book, then reading Publishers Weekly regularly at your local library is a must.
Whether markets appear to be a broadening or a row of locked doors is entirely up to you, your energies, ambitions, and skills as a writer, promoter, and, most importantly, a salesperson.
Monetate, the leading provider of testing, targeting, and personalization solutions for websites, today announced that Bruce Ernst has joined the company as VP of Product Management. Ernst is a seasoned technology professional with diverse experience bringing technology solutions to market. He will join the accomplished executive team that is helping Monetate lead the way in bringing enhanced agility to ecommerce websites.
We continually strive give marketers the agility to insert new levels of control over the messaging and promotions on their sites, said Monetate CEO David Brussin. Bruce Ernst is a vital addition to our executive team as we launch new tools that empower ecommerce merchants to place the right product in front of the right consumer at the right time.
Bruce Ernst comes to Monetate with an enormous breadth of experience in applying strategic plans to immediate execution as well as communicating complex technology solutions in a simple and straightforward manner. Most recently, Ernst was head of Webstore Product Management at GSI Commerce (now part of eBay), a Monetate customer. Prior to that, Ernst was VP of Product Management at Commerce360 (now ClickEquations) where he developed and implemented the product vision for the revolutionary software product that provides expert advice on the management of search engine advertising campaigns.
As consumers demand a more relevant online shopping experience, it is critical for marketers to develop websites that can be customized to each individual shopper, said Ernst. Im thrilled to be part of an outstanding team at Monetate that is dedicated to helping clients create the most agile and personalized web experience for their customers.
Leveraging Customer Interaction Data in Tough Times Learn Why Data Analysis Is Vital for Success at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, Oct 17-21, New York, NY
From pre-conference workshops like "Roadmap to Online Analytics Success", to a billion dollar case study on getting the most out of digital marketing measurement, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, produced by Rising Media, in New York City takes business analytics to the next level.
October 17 begins five days of workshops, keynotes, breakouts, clinics, labs and more that will demonstrate how to successfully predict customer behavior, save money and more efficiently market products and services. See the Agenda.
Keynote speakers Thomas H. Davenport, Jim Sterne, Geoff Ramsey, Jeff Jonas, Bob Page, Peter Fader, Erich Marx, Gregory Nathan, Joe Megibow, Shaina Boone and Heath Podvesker join dozens of other industry experts sharing tips, tools and strategies to improve data analysis skills.
Veteran digital analyst and speaker Ross Jenkins, VP of Analytics & Innovation at RAPP New York, says, "Big Data is here to stay and if you are going to tackle it head on, you need an understanding of everything that happens before, during and after every interaction. At the end of the day it's not about delivering a report - it's about using data to differentiate the way we communicate with consumers."
Companies participating in the Marketing Optimization Summit include American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Capital One, Choice Hotels International, Dell, Deloitte, E*TRADE, eBay, ESPN, Expedia, FedEx, Fidelity Investments, Johnson & Johnson, LexisNexis, MTV Networks, Progressive Insurance, Public Broadcasting Service, QVC, ServiceMaster and Travelers Insurance.
The eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit is supported by such sponsors as Adobe, ForeSee, TagMan, Celebrus Technologies, Ensighten, Google analytics, iPerceptions, Stratigent, Bizo, clictale, comScore, SAS SiteSpect, sweetspot, UBC Division of Continuing Studies, UC Irvine Extension, Unilytics, MajesticSEO, Mongoose Metrics, iJento, Quantivo, Keystone Solutions, Analytics Pros, CalPont, Digitaria, Insight Rocket, Parker Software, Marchex Call Analytics, Nabler, Shuffle Point, Social Snap, SocialMetrix, ObservePoint, Yahoo! Web Analytics and eClerx.
Upgrade your whole teams skills. The more team members that attend the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, the more the company saves. Each additional attendee from the same company registered at the same time receives an extra $ 200 off the price of their registration. Register today.
The eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit is co-located with Predictive Analytics World, Text Analytics World, GAUGE, Conversion Conference and Internet Marketing Conference
About Rising Media
Rising Media is a global events producer excelling in Internet and technology-related conferences and exhibitions. Rising Media produced events include Data Driven Business Week, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, Conversion Conference, GAUGE, Predictive Analytics World, Text Analytics World, Building Business Capability, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Economy Days, Web Effectiveness Conference and Search Marketing Expo in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Australia.
Rising Media events provide cutting-edge, practical knowledge for business professionals to improve their day-to-day effectiveness, driving higher returns for their organizations. Attendees learn from leading experts and share knowledge with each other, as well as interacting with innovative vendors in the space. Each event brings together the best, the brightest and the visionary, creating a forum for insight, energetic exchange and informed purchasing.
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DiabetesMine Announces Diabetes Design Contest to Foster Innovation for Life with Diabetes; Good Design can Transform Life for Diabetics
DiabetesMine, a leading informational and community web site for people with diabetes, announces the 2nd Annual DiabetesMine Design Challenge, a competition designed to foster innovation in diabetes design and encourage creative new tools that will improve life with diabetes.
This web-based competition is co-hosted at DiabetesMine.com and MedGadget.com, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies, and supported by the world-renowned design and innovation firm IDEO, with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. The campaign is generously sponsored by Cory and Justin Oringer, two young brothers (ages 14 and 11, respectively) who have both been living with Type 1 diabetes for more than 10 years each and have already seen and personally experienced many wonderful benefits of design innovation in diabetes technology.
Submissions are being accepted in two categories: under age 18, and over 18. The package of prizes offered to help further the winners' creative efforts includes $ 3,200 in cash, a two-hour workshop by IDEO design consultants specializing in health and wellness to help the winners refine their concepts, and free access to the next "innovation incubator" Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco in October 21-23, 2008, for one adult winner.
"People with diabetes are so varied. There's the 8-year-old kid going to school every day, versus the older gentleman who may be retired and barely gets out of his house. Consumer design takes that variability into account, but traditionally medical design does not. What people with diabetes really need and want are choices," says Cynthia Rice, head of new technology at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). "We applaud what DiabetesMine is doing, because it sheds light on this need."
Last year, creator of DiabetesMine Amy Tenderich posted an Open Letter to Steve Jobs, calling for the gurus of consumer design to help revolutionize design of diabetes devices. In the weeks and months that followed, numerous individuals and organizations came forward with compelling new prototypes, designs, and ideas. These included new concepts for glucose meters, insulin pumps, lancing devices (for testing blood glucose), devices for transporting medical records or tracking glucose results, diabetes supply carry cases and more.
This year, the official competition is open to anyone passionate about diabetes and product design. "Whether you're a pharma R&D pro, an independent engineer, a design student or an enterprising patient, we want to hear from you," Tenderich says. "Remember, good design can be applied to anything, even something as 'low-tech' as a special container for disposing of used glucose test strips. Let the innovation begin!"
Submissions are accepted in the form of a 2-minute video to be uploaded to the DiabetesMine YouTube channel, or a 2-3 page written "elevator pitch" plus supporting graphics. The deadline for submissions has been extended to midnight PST on Monday, June 16, 2008. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 20, 2008.
The official contest announcement and rules can be found at http://www.diabetesmine.com/2008/04/2nd-annual-diab.html.
For more information, please contact:
B. Tenderich at DiabetesMine.com
info @ diabetesmine.com
Pull out the party dress, strap on those heels and get glamorous: its time for some holiday fun! Regis Salons wants to help all holiday mavens look fabulous and festive this holiday with a coupon* for new clients: $ 20 off any salon service of $ 40 or more. Regis Salons will help them get ready for all the holiday parties with a style that will turn heads. New clients can take advantage of this hair salon coupon Mondays through Thursdays from November 22, 2011 through January 15, 2012 on all salon services. To find this deal, simply visit http://www.regissalons.com/, enter a zip code and print out the coupon.
These fashion-savvy ladies will be ready for any photo op this holiday season. To say thanks for visiting, Regis Salons is giving customers $ 10 to spend on Shutterfly holiday photo cards while supplies last. All Regis Salons clients will look picture-perfect this holiday season.
Regis wants their clients to let their true beauty shine through every day. Regis Salons offers daily indulgences on their Facebook and Twitter pages to reveal the inside scoop on beauty trends, styling advice and pampering tips. Stay in the loop by following @RegisSalons on Twitter and Liking them on Facebook to get the latest haircut coupons and beauty updates: http://www.facebook.com/RegisSalons. With these deals, me time is anytime.
With more than 800 locations in malls, Regis Salons serve a fashion-forward clientele with the latest in cut, color, texturizing and finishing services, along with a great selection of professional products and tools. This holiday season, new clients can experience Regis Salons hair stylist expertise and get $ 20 off any $ 40 service. Hurry! This amazing deal is only available for a limited time.
*Offer valid through 1/15/12. Offer good Monday through Thursday for new Clients. Must mention offer when making appointment. Featured Stylists. No double discounts. Coupon may only be used one time per customer. Offer valid at participating U.S. Regis Salons, Regis Signature Salons, Beauty Unlimited, Hair Plus, Hair By Stewarts, Images, Michael of the Carlyle, Salon Cielo, Sensations, Shear Pleasure and Twin Scissors locations.
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Its time to spread some holiday cheer! Regis Corporation wants to say happy holidays with great haircut deals for the family. Best of all, customers get to choose their discount from 13 different Regis salons! This year families will look great though out the season from neighborhood parties, to family get-togethers to dance recitals. Starting today, they will be giving out a coupon* for a $ 9.99 haircut ($ 11.99 in select markets) across 13 Regis Corp. salons in over 4,300 locations. From November 22, 2011 through January 15, 2012, they will let the customer choose the salon they want discounted as part of the Picture-Perfect Holiday promotion. To get the coupon, visit the Beauty Bargains blog, choose a salon and print. Its that easy: http://beautybargains.tumblr.com/.
This holiday choose a salon, choose a style, choose to look great. There has never been an easier way to shine through the holidays. Regis Corp. is also giving customers $ 10 to spend on Shutterfly holiday photo cards while supplies last to say thanks for visiting. Get that camera ready: looking picture-perfect has never been so easy.
No matter where theyre celebrating this holiday season, the whole neighborhood should join Regis Corp. in spreading some holiday cheer. Give the power of choice to friends, family and co-workers by sharing this deal on Facebook and Twitter. They deserve the chance to save and look great too. The more the merrier!
*Coupon valid at the following Regis Corporation salons: MasterCuts, Regis Salons, Cool Cuts 4 Kids, SmartStyle, Best Cuts, Borics Hair Care, Famous Hair, Fiesta Salons, Saturdays Salon, HairMasters, HeadStart, Holiday Hair, Style America and TGF Hair Salon. Offer valid through 1/15/12. No double discounts. Coupon may only be used one time per customer. Valid at participating U.S. locations.
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Help with Conception is proud to announce the release of their new website HelpWithConception.com. The website specializes in providing advice for women who are not only having trouble getting pregnant, but also tips during and after pregnancy. The creation of this site helps establish an improved web presence to help mother get the information they need in one place to help them get pregnant faster.
What makes the website stand out is that it takes all of the great information for future moms that are spread out the entire web, and creates 1 spot for women and men to find tips to get pregnant. There is nothing more frustrating when looking for information on the web and trying to find the information needed and it's crammed in with pages of spam and information that doesnt pertain to the search. This is the problem that this website it looking to solve.
Help With Conception is updated daily with tips for future moms, moms having trouble getting pregnant, tips during pregnancy and tips for new moms. Included on the site will be any news and updates that moms and dads should know to keep their bodies and their children healthy, also what is and isnt good for future moms.
Help With Conception was created in 2011 by Jodi Dillon from a mom to help other moms and is emerging as a future leader in a centralized location for useful information for women who are currently or desire to be moms.
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Hamilton Books recently released a book concerning Christian mysticism entitled, "Awakening the Mystic in You," a book which makes accessible the perennial wisdom of Christian mystics and offers a practical way of benefiting from their words.
Awakening the Mystic in You is an interactive book designed to help readers deepen their relationship with the Divine by connecting to the vibrancy of life. This book provides the cosmic message of hope subjectively revealed by fifty-two Christian mystics in an easy-to-read format. It is meant to be read without hurry, while taking time to ponder and absorb the wisdom of these great mystics. The key to enhancing the enjoyment of this book is the "How to Use this Book" section to create one's own spiritual journal by companioning weekly with a particular Christian mystic.
Receive the gift of your inner mystic, an intimate friend and guide, here to accompany you on your earthly adventure. This wisdom transcends religion and is meant to be heard by people who wish to expand their spirituality, regardless of religious preference. A word of caution: Awakening the Mystic in You may be the catalyst for extraordinary new beginnings in your life.
Ramona Harris, author, is a spiritual director, college counselor, and holds a Master's degree in Pastoral Studies as well as a Master's degree in Education/Counseling.
This book can be purchased at amazon.com, bn.com (barnes and noble) or hamilton-books.com. The book is softbound, 140 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0761853633.
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Houston Entrepreneurs to Meet Active Investors at FundingPost's VC and Angel Event on Thursday, September 22, 2011
On September 22, 2011, FundingPost (http://www.FundingPost.com) will host a panel discussion with local Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists at its "Houston VC and Angel Conference," sponsored by RMSC Law. FundingPost has organized 180+ sold-out venture events over the past 10 years. Leading Venture Capital and Angel investors are set to speak and coach entrepreneurs at the FundingPost Houston event on September 22, 2011, at the Doubletree Guest Suites. The FundingPost Event registration and information are online at: http://www.fundingpost.com/breakfast/reg1.asp?event=191&refer=PR
Local Venture Firms will gather at FundingPost's upcoming event to discuss the trends in Early-Stage Investing, hot sectors, sectors that these Angels and VCs look at, things that are most important to them when they are considering an Investment, the best and worst things an entrepreneur can do to get their attention, additional advice for entrepreneurs, and, of course, the best ways to reach these and other Investors.
Moderator: Michael Mlotkowski
Joel Fontenot, Managing Partner, Trailblazer Capital
James Y. Lancaster, Research Valley Funds, LLC
John Filla, Managing Partner, VES Partners
Rob Tucci, Angel Investor, HAN
VC & Angel Speakers TBA!
We are excited about returning to the Houston area. Its a fantastic opportunity for an early-stage company to meet face to face with investors, said Joe Rubin, Director, FundingPost. Early-stage VCs are always on the lookout for great ideas, and FundingPost is proud to provide a forum for these investors to locate promising new ventures. We hear new success stories from companies raising capital at our events all the time!
As with all FundingPost events, there will be pitching and plenty of networking time for the entrepreneurs to meet the investors during the cocktail party! There is still space available, but the seating is limited! To register to attend, visit: http://www.fundingpost.com/breakfast/reg1.asp?event=191&refer=PR
With over 10,000 CEOs and 700 Venture Capital Funds attending events in 20 cities nationwide; a Printed Dealflow Magazine; and a deal-exchange website with over 7,700 VC and Angel Investor members and over 138,000 companies, that has, on average, made an introduction of an Investor to an Entrepreneur every business day since its inception; FundingPost believes that it is important to reach investors in every medium possible - both online and offline. For more information: (http://www.FundingPost.com)
ABOUT RMSC LAW:
RMSC Law has offices in the Washington, DC area, San Antonio, Texas and Scottsdale Arizona. Our Washington area office is located in McLean, Virginia, one of the premier areas for the development of high technology companies and is conveniently located near the new home of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. Our San Antonio, Texas office serves key clients in the energy and chemical industries and other sectors. Our downtown Phoenix office serves one of the fastest growing technology centers in the nation. For more information: (http://www.rmsclaw.com) Phone: 830.238.7637
Punch! Software has released the next generation of home design software with the Punch! Home and Landscape Design Studio for Mac. The focus of this completely new package was to build the easiest product possible for an end user, while maintaining and expanding the rich feature set for which Punch! is known.
Home and Landscape Design Studio is a completely new product from Punch! Software sporting new features such as a QuickStart system to allow a user to build a home quickly, "Going Green" services which offer a wealth of information to help you build more energy efficient with just the click of a button, and a completely new and updated object library for more realistic 3D modeling. The software is built to help users save time and most importantly, money.
One of the best features of Punch! software has been the ability to build a 2D plan and review it in 3D instantly. Home and Landscape Design Studio takes this ability to the next level and makes it easier to use than ever before. Simply open the software and begin dragging whole rooms into place. Resize all rooms appropriately and complete the process. Users can instantly see their design in 3D and walk around or fly through their model. Check out the video on the Punch! Software website showing how to build a home in 59 seconds.
While QuickStart gets you designing and building a dream home in minimal time, the list of new features in this software will allow users to customize every detail:
In a time where life seems to be moving in the fast lane, families across the country are in need of a true family vacation more than ever. Planning a vacation, deciding as a group where and what to do, and coming up with the funds, however, can be just as stressful as the hectic life families are trying to leave behind.
Thats why more and more families are turning to a good ol fashion style of American summer fun CAMP! Only now, summer camp is floating to the top of the list of ideal vacations with a twist: instead of leaving children to have fun with strangers while parents go back to the daily grind, the grownups get to join the kids at family camp. Thats right, dust off the hiking boots, tennis racquet, arts & crafts skills, and marshmallow roasting stick and get ready to unwind, relax, and laugh right along side the kids.
Besides reliving a little bit of childhood, there are lots of other reasons to choose family camp as a family vacation.
First of all, its affordable. At Camp Common Ground in Starksboro, VT, for example, an all-inclusive, weeklong stay for a family of four costs about $ 2,500 (depending on childrens ages and accommodation choices). This all-inclusive price includes three delicious, vegetarian meals a day, separate programs for adults and kids, multi-age activities including African dance and concerts that the whole family will enjoy, and accommodations in charming cabins or an Eco-Lodge (and for the more adventurous, tenting is free!).
The words all-inclusive might make the checkbook sigh with relief, but they will also help drop everyone's blood pressure to an all time low. Renting a house on Cape Cod may seem inexpensive compared to staying in a hotel for a week, but then parents spend several hours each day grocery shopping, preparing meals, cleaning, and organizing activities. At family camp, once the reservation is made, someone else takes care of the rest including cooking, cleaning, and organizing, eliminating stress so that everyone can actually enjoy the vacation.
And what to do all day at family camp? At Camp Common Ground kids to go to Kidville in the mornings for a dynamic childrens program and parents can participate in adult activities that range from traditional camp activities like hiking to non-violent communication to glass bead making to learning the violin to tennis and yoga. And if those options arent appealing, grab a book and relax in a hammock while kids have the time of their lives.
The afternoons are filled with multi-age activities like swimming, arts & crafts, and games. For Carole Blane, long time camper turned Camp Common Ground Camp Director, these multi-age activities are the best part of family camp, Instead of hearing about your childs summer camp experiences after the fact, as a parent you actually get to see the expression on your kids face when she makes a new friend or hits the bulls eye on an archery target. And this is priceless. Also, children get to see parents learning new things too like watercolors or dance moves which is a unique experience in todays world.
Another added bonus of family camp is that it doesnt have to be just a single family on vacation. Its simple to add a grandparent, a niece, family friends, or a whole extra family to the mix. There are activities for all ages to enjoy, other families to make friends with, and countless accommodation options. At Camp Common Ground, the nuclear family can stay in a cabin while a sister and her new baby or a grandparent can stay in the Eco-Lodge nearby. Everyone can be a happy camper at family camp!
Of course, vacations to exotic locales or national parks can also be fun and are worth the trip. But when looking for an affordable family vacation where everyone can truly unwind, consider family camp this summer; its quickly becoming a tradition for many American households that theyll cherish forever as a family.
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blekko, the spam-fighting search engine, announced today the launch of Web Grepper, a new tool that allows users to go beyond keyword search to also look at coded information embedded in webpages. Web Grepper does this by grepping or searching lines of code within Web files to identify relevant or matching domains based on specific topics and search terms. In doing so, the tool gives users access this valuable data and furthers the companys goal of an open and transparent web.
The Web contains an incredible amount of data that keywords cant access: How many sites have Facebook Like or a Google Plus +1 button? How many sites have embedded Lady Gagas Born this Way music video? With Web Grepper, users gain insight into useful, and often unseen, data about websites including advertising, AdWords, back links, cookies, and more information that is embedded within the Web domains file. By enabling users to leverage this data, marketers and consumers who are concerned with transparency can access a truly unique competitive analysis tool based on the coded information in blekkos index.
With Web Grepper, were offering our users unique access to the blekko index and embedded information that cannot be found on other search engines, said Rich Skrenta, CEO of blekko, This allows users to uncover incredibly useful data that was previously inaccessible through a keyword search.
blekko users submit questions to Web Grepper that they would like to see grepped, and the blekko community then votes each day to determine which of these questions will be analyzed, and have the results ultimately showcased in a report. Marketers can also use Web Grepper as a market analysis tool to see the top results.
To ensure that the Web Grepper is not being used as a hacking tool to obtain personal and private information, blekko will be manually reviewing greps and monitoring for malicious data mining behavior, such as collecting credit cards or social security numbers.
blekko was founded in 2007 to pursue innovation in search. The company has raised $ 24 million since its founding in 2007 from US Venture Partners and CMEA Capital, as well as leading angel investors including Ron Conway, Mike Maples, Jeff Clavier, and Marc Andreessen. blekko has 25 employees, including former Google and Yahoo! Search engineers.
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SteinbachNutcracker.com Announces Karolin Steinbach Signing Event at Southdale Mall in Minneapolis, MN
SteinbachNutcracker.com is excited to announce a world-class signing event by Karolin Steinbach, daughter of Karla Steinbach and granddaughter of the King of Nutcrackers, Herr Christian Steinbach.
The signing event will take place on December 7, 2011, at Southdale Mall in Minneapolis, MN. SteinbachNutcracker.com has hundreds of Steinbach nutcrackers available to choose from on their website. Many of these will be available for purchase and a personalized signature at the Southdale signing event. Customers nationwide are also able to purchase a nutcracker in advance, have it signed at the event, and shipped to their address in time for Christmas.
The Steinbach name has been in the nutcracker business for six generations, and Karolin Steinbach seems poised to carry the tradition on to a seventh generation. SteinbachNutcracker.com is excited to welcome her to Minnesota.
SteinbachNutcracker.com invites all Karolin's fans to come meet her and take home an exclusive signed Steinbach nutcracker. For more details visit the SteinbachNutcracker.com Facebook page.
SteinbachNutcracker.com is part of ClickToShopLLC, a collection of online specialty stores. ClickToShop offers products ranging from Oktoberfest party supplies, to stemless wine glass, to Christmas decorations. ClickToShop stores pride themselves on dedicated customer service and high quality merchandise.
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Surely, the closest Best Buy looks like a promising deposit for that tax rebate, however, one may want to consider their recent tax rebate as an investment in higher quality. Local electronics stores are often overlooked because they can rarely offer the discounts and savings of large scale electronics stores.
However, it is no secret that privately owned businesses are more personal and the staff, accordingly, tends to be more helpful in one's search for the perfect new gadget. In addition to these things, they insist on the highest quality products, those which will often outlive their price tag. Those who are in the market for a new digital camera may be shopping around their neighborhood or online but those in search of high quality photos need only look as far as 42nd Street Photo. Many may want to take advantage of this rare opportunity of having extra cash in their pockets to spend a little extra on the better bet that they might not have been able to afford before.
While New York City has contained within it's vast borders a large selection of digital camera stores, few can boast the history and reputation of 42nd Street Photo. In business for over 40 years, the shop has more than its fair share in experience and knowledge. It is also a good bet that the staff at 42 Photo are more knowledgeable of the products than the average Best Buy or Circuit City associate. In addition to the experience and quality, there will always be a relationship between private companies and their customers that cannot exist on a larger scale. This kind of bond is one that cannot be given a price tag.
Those who do not live in New York City have the advantage that anyone can by shopping online with the store's newly re-vamped website. They offer many products on their website, often have great deals and there has never been a better time than now to shop with them. The new Canon EOS-40D is their latest addition. With 10.1 Megapixel resolution, 28-135mm IS USM Lens and its sleek design, one can tell simply by looking at it that this digital camera will last for many years, lifetimes even. Some may not consider the life-span of a product and buy based on price but most people will tell you, in their experience, that an item like this is well worth the price.
For more information on New York camera stores, please visit 42photo.com.
Parcel delivery specialist Parcel2Go has stressed the need for British companies to make sure their online presence is geared towards making the most of the growing popularity of tablet computers.
Analysts predict that sales of tablets such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy will explode over the coming years. Research from Gartner suggests growth will be so sharp that by 2015, retailers will ship 60 tablet computers for every 100 PCs sold. Bolton-based Parcel2Go is urging British firms to take note of the way the retail sector is heading and get up to speed with the changes in their customers' buying methods.
And as more shoppers make purchases online, so the need for companies to have access to a reliable and trustworthy parcel delivery partner has grown. Customers using eBay, Amazon and other retail websites have come to expect immediacy, and by delivering this through use of a low-cost but swift UK courier service, businesses can ensure their customers keep coming back for more.
Richard Mercer, marketing director at Parcel2Go said: "The way consumers shop is changing rapidly. Not only are more people shopping online, but they're making purchases through mobile devices such as phones and tablets.
"Recent studies have shown conversion rates to be higher among people using tablets than PCs and laptops, so businesses can't afford to ignore the need to cater for their specific requirements. Whether a firm creates its own iPad app or optimises its website for smaller screens will depend on the particular business. The thing no company can afford to do however, is stand still."
Parcel2Go, which became one of the fastest-growing privately-owned technology companies in the UK last month, according to The Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 list, now helps individuals and businesses send around two million consignments every year.
Parcel2Go Ltd has been offering its customers the opportunity to send a parcel to Birmingham, Mallorca, and everywhere in between, for the past 21 years. Based in Bolton, the company operates a cost effective collection and delivery service using couriers such as Parcelforce and DHL throughout the UK, Europe, and countries across the world.
For further information contact:
Delivering Holiday Cheer: Appointment-Plus Online Scheduler Calendar Automating the Docking Process for Distributors, Warehouses this Fall, Winter Seasons
The fall and winter holiday seasons are a busy time for the nations distributors, warehouses, manufacturers and other facilities that receive inbound shipments as they scramble to fill an influx of new orders from customers eager to fill their shelves for the months festivities. Sites that rely on Appointment-Plus online scheduling calendars will not only improve the delivery process by allowing their drivers and carriers to schedule their drop-off times online, theyll also be able to sync with software applications they already use, such as QuickBooks and e-marketing services Constant Contact, iContact and MailChimp.
True to its motto We Work With What You Work With, Appointment-Plus online business calendar is the industrys only Web-based booking application to marry online scheduling, payment-processing, accounting and e-marketing services in one affordable and efficient system. Upcoming features include syncs with Google and Microsoft Outlook calendars, as well as a new user interface.
Managing deliveries over the phone and with a clipboard or paper appointment book is not the most efficient way to handle this important part of the supply chain, says Bob La Loggia, CEO of Appointment-Plus. Our cutting-edge scheduling software helps simplify this process, resulting in significant time and monetary savings for dock operations.
Plus, we work with many of the same software applications you already use on a regular basis, making it easy to transfer information right from your Appointment-Plus scheduler.
Businesses that have recently implemented Appointment-Plus into their dock-scheduling operations include:
Graphic Packaging International, Middletown, Ohio
Heatcraft, Stone Mountain, Ga.
HenneCold Storage, Tampa, Fla.
A leader in dock-scheduling software since 2001, Appointment-Plus online scheduler calendar gives inbound facilities the tools they need to completely automate and streamline the delivery- and dock-scheduling process. Among the functionality found in the feature-rich system are:
Online self-scheduling, which allows carriers and drivers the ability to schedule their own delivery times at their own convenience without having to pick up the phone or send/receive an e-mail or fax. This feature can also free up a significant amount of on-site and administrative staff time; in fact, some sites that use Appointment-Plus report monetary savings ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars weekly, as theyre able to better schedule their dock staff and reduce overtime expenses.
Automated e-mail and text message reminders sent prior to a scheduled drop-off time, which can dramatically reduce the number of later arrivals and missed deliveries.
Robust record-keeping and reporting capabilities that may it easy to quickly gather and analyze delivery information. Its also perfect for recording actual arrival and departure times, a necessity when determining hold times at the docks.
Adding the online self-scheduling component to the docking and delivery process is easy with Appointment-Plus online scheduler calendar, which supplies each client with a unique URL link to their scheduler and an assortment of book now buttons that can be added to Web sites and e-mail messages. Once the driver clicks on the link or button, he or she instantly accesses the online scheduler calendar, which can show available docks and delivery times, as well as any special instructions. Once a time is selected, the system automatically does the rest without any additional action from on-site administration.
Because its Web-based, Appointment-Plus online scheduling calendars require only an Internet connection to use, without any installations, downloads or additional hardware necessary. This trait allows users to access the software from any Internet connection, a true benefit for supervisors, managers, dispatchers and other dock staff who need the ability to view their schedules when off-site or at other locations at the facility.
Pricing starts at $ 39 per month, with no long-term contracts. All signups receive a complementary training session with a professional set-up coach during their 15-day free trial period.
Having a proven scheduling procedure in place is crucial in ensuring a smooth and seamless delivery process, La Loggia explains. Appointment-Plus helps you achieve that.
To learn more about Appointment-Plus online scheduler calendar and how it can improve your delivery- and dock-scheduling procedures, click here.
About Appointment-Plus: Appointment-Plus is the leading online appointment-scheduling system, serving organizations in 11 countries ranging from one-person businesses to Fortune 500 companies. With over 15 million end users across 100 industries, Appointment-Plus is the preferred scheduler for medical practitioners, healthcare providers, colleges and universities, personal fitness trainers, spas, salons, shipping docks, government agencies, financial institutions, tour operators, and many other types of organizations. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., over 70 million appointments have been booked through Appointment-Plus since its launch in 2001.
Users who sell used books on SellUsedBooks.com have made their approving voices heard. The site announced today that after collecting almost three months of data, their user feedback has been 100% positive.
SellUsedBooks.com is a site where users can sell used books and textbooks online. Since March, SellUsedBooks.com has been asking every customer for their feedback by rating their experience as positive, neutral, or negative, and writing a short review. The site has posted every review and so far, theyve all been positive.
"My experience with SellUsedBooks.com was very satisfying and I look forward in doing business with them again soon," says SellUsedBooks.com user Brandon Morgan of Chesterfield Virginia, "They gave me the highest buy back rate for my books and their service was fast as well."
SellUsedBooks.com isnt the only site where people can sell books for cash, but it is one of the few who publish 100% of their customer reviews. While some sites cherry-pick only the best feedback to publish, SellUsedBooks.com has earned their crop of top-notch reviews by providing fair prices, quality customer service, and an easy-to-use process that simplifies selling used books.
SellUsedBooks.com has set out to build a reputation based on trust, making a conscious decision to publish every review and let users judge for themselves. The idea is to respect user's intelligence, by choosing not to just show them a small, misleading group of overly-perfect reviews. All the same, the site has found that they have no shortage of glowing praise from their satisfied customers.
"I have found SellUsedBooks.com to be easy to use and the only site I will sell books to," says Ebbie Shores, a SellUsedBooks.com user from Erie Pennsylvania, "It is easy to understand and they provide good communication by informing you when they receive your books and when payment is made."
Some SellUsedBooks.com customers are satisfied with the site as more than just a user-friendly way to sell books online. They also appreciate the value of a service that takes unwanted books and gives them new life by getting them into the hands of new owners who are eager to read them.
"I was so grateful to be able to put the books to good use and postpone their arrival to the landfill" says Joyce Hamamoto of Pikesville, Maryland, "And the refund was appreciated too!"
SellUsedBooks.com allows users to sell books for cash. With instant quotes, free shipping and fast payment, users can easily sell books and textbooks all in one simple transaction. All SellUsedBooks.com reviews can be viewed at: SellUsedBooks Reviews
Tiecoon.com Migrates California Necktie Operations to Nevada, Follows Suit with Amazon.com, Zappos.com
Earlier this summer, Tiecoon.com announced the creation of new California jobs, and forecast to create more by year-end. Currently, all California positions have been put on hold as Tiecoon.com discloses that all future positions will be created in Nevada.
The burgeoning necktie company Tiecoon.com, an online retailer of high quality silk ties and sale ties, responded to the need for larger offices and warehouse space by acquiring it in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tiecoon.com reports that all of its operations will be based in Las Vegas, NV by the end of 2011.
This move will have a positive benefit to consumers purchasing cheap mens ties as well as Tiecoon.com by increasing the websites competitiveness by almost 10% from the beneficial Nevada business environment.
Recent changes brought about by Jerry Brown, the legislature, and California voters have raised some increasingly difficult challenges for California jobs and businesses. It may appear that Jerry Brown has even higher California income taxes on the horizon. Current California business regulations have made operating a business and maintaining employees in California more challenging than ever. During her bid for the governors office, Meg Whitman had said that if she had to open eBay again, she would open it in Texas, not California.
As forecasted, our rapid expansion of our wholesale tie company raised a need for more employees, warehouse space, office space, and resources, and what better time to make the move to a wonderful and welcoming business climate. It is sad because I love California, says Jesse Pederson, president of Tiecoon.com Inc. It is unfortunate that businesses are being forced to shoulder the burden of many legislative missteps. Regardless, we maintain an incredibly positive outlook for the future of our company.
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Mobile social messaging application textPlus reports fast-growth user numbers today, proving consumers want a richer, more social messaging experience than traditional texting. Known first for introducing free group texting to the world in June 2009, textPlus has watched its user numbers spike with each new social feature it adds, including topical chatrooms, personalized profiles, people search and photo sharing. The apps most recent metrics include:
Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketers Offer Education on Language and Domain Name Issues in Paid and Organic Search Engine MarketingSponsored by Verizon Superpages
The Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Organization will be hosting two speakers that will discuss the techniques and philosophies behind language and domain name issues with both paid and organic methods of search engine marketing.
If you have any interest in keeping up with the latest developments in the search engine marketing field for your company or your clients, dont miss this discussion.
The April 2005 DFWSEM meeting is sponsored by SuperPages.com.
SuperPages.com (http://www.superpages.com) is the Internet's #1 online yellow pages directory and a leading shopping resource. With up to 17 million unique visitors per month, the site also promotes advertiser goods and services through listings, Web sites and shopping services according to their specific local, regional and national needs.
Seating limited to reserve your place, please RSVP to 972.831.2124
Monday, April 18, 2005, 6:30 PM
DFWSEM Members: Free
Non-members: $ 10 at the door
Romanos Macaroni Grill in Addison / North Dallas, on Beltline Road between Midway and the Tollway.
4355 Beltline Rd., Dallas, TX 75001
About the Presentations:
Language and Domain Name Issues in Paid and Organic Search
Mr. Bill Hartzer will discuss language and domain name issues in organic search engine marketing.
Bill Hartzer, Search Engine Optimization Strategist
Intec Telecom Systems
Based in Dallas, TX, Bill Hartzer is a Search Engine Optimization specialist for Intec Telecom Systems. Intec is a leading Business and Operations Support Systems (BSS/OSS) product vendor for fixed, mobile, MVNO and next-generation networks such as WLAN, 3G and IP. Intec is a market leader in billing, mediation, mobile service charging and activation systems.
Domain Issues in Paid and Organic Search
Mr. Rob Garner will discuss how your search advertising budget is buying domain traffic, and how you can make the most of a domain-based marketing campaign. He will cover issues in the pay-per-click and organic search engine marketing fields, including contextual domain advertising, domain aging in Google, measuring ROI, the evolution of domain landing pages as mini search engines and a comparison of domain search with organic and paid search.
Rob Garner, Search Marketing Strategist
Rob Garner, Search Engine Marketing Strategist, is responsible for both paid and organic search engine marketing projects in North America. Rob is based out of the Dallas office of Agency.com and is a founding member and officer of the DFW Search Engine Marketing Association and an active member of the DFW Interactive Marketing Association.
Question and Answer session to follow panel.
The Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Organization is dedicated to educating businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area about the benefits of search engine marketing. The group meets once a month at various locations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. To become a registered member of DFWSEM email e-mail protected from spam bots. Individual DFWSEM memberships are $ 75 for the first year. Corporate memberships are $ 175 for the first year and include 3 seats to monthly DFWSEM meetings. Additional seats for a Corporate membership are $ 50/year. All annual memberships receive a link from DFWSEM to your company web site, and a complimentary subscription to Revenue Magazine. MasterCard, Visa, Amex, and checks are accepted. DFWSEM meets the third Monday of every month at various locations around the Metroplex. For more information, visit http://www.dfwsem.org
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Find More Register Your Domain With Google Press Releases
Travel Insured Urges Families to Exercise Options to Costly Drive Vacations with Airfare Sales, Free Child Seat Check-ins and Kids Free Trip Insurance
The flying family vacation with young children is alive this summer as an alternative to high gas prices for tiring, lengthy car trips. Parents can find airfare sales extending through the high travel season in a slumbering economy. Family travel planners should visit online fare tracking sites, such as Airfarewatchdog and SmarterTravel, to find recurring summer airfare deals from competing carriers with sale names such as "Cheeps," "Click 'n Save" "The Sand in Your Suit Sale," and others offering limited-time booking deals for 2011 summer and fall travel. Registering for fare alerts allows you to receive automatic email notices for your desired destination as each fare sale becomes available.
Parents planning to rent a car can save money and hassles by bringing child car seats and non-bulky strollers on flights without paying baggage fees for child items on most airlines. Some carriers allow seats to be carried on for children to use during flights. Others allow items, if not bulky, to be gate checked after being used to reach boarding gate waiting areas. Parents also skip the cost of renting a child car seat from a rental car company in their destination at prices of about $ 10 to $ 15 per seat per day.
Travel Insured International
Super Flexible File Synchronizer is a popular tool to back up your data and synchronize PCs, Macs, servers, notebooks, and online storage space. It is now available as part of TheMacBundles November Bundle for a fraction of the regular price. The link for this promotion is: http://www.themacbundles.com
The software allows enables users to set up as many different jobs as you need and run them manually or using the scheduler. The software comes with support for FTP, SSH, HTTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3 and Google Docs. It provides ZIP compression and data encryption, and there are powerful synchronization modes, including Standard Copying, Exact Mirror, and SmartTracking.
Block-level copying is supported by the synchronizer in several ways. The new Synthetic Backup mode backs up each day's changes and keeps a complete version history on the backup storage while using a minimum of storage space.
Super Flexible Software has partnered with TheMacBundles for an exclusive discount in this Special Utility Bundle. It includes 11 quality titles at a reduced price of only $ 39.95 - that's a savings of over 85% if each title were purchased individually. As an alternative to this recommended bundle, customers will also find a BYOB store (build your own bundle) on the web site. TheMacBundles' no-fine-print policies will provide its customers with the same software, support, licenses, and upgrade benefits that apply to users who paid the full retail price for the software.
Located in Neuenkirchen, German, Super Flexible Software Ltd. & Co. KG was founded in 2006 by Claudia and Tobias Giesen. Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Super Flexible Software: http://www.superflexible.com
Contact Phone: +49 5973 600210
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Halls Housekeeping Cottages (http://www.hallscottages.com), a family owned Ontario waterfront resort located in the town of Honey Harbour on Georgian Bay, has expanded its marina facilities and now offers transient docking in addition to its seasonal docking operation and housekeeping cottage rental business. Over the past several months, the resort has been busy adding docks to accommodate larger boats. Traditionally boats in the marina were smaller and primarily seasonal as they were rented by cottagers using their boats for remote cottage access to Georgian Bays 30,000 Islands - a popular Ontario cottage and tourism region.
The Georgian Bay marina now has 55 boat slips and, while many are still rented seasonally, Halls Cottage Resort now has 7 dedicated transient slips for boats cruising in the Honey Harbour area. In the past the marina was restricted to a maximum boat length of 35. Now with the new dock configuration it can now accept transient yachts up to 50 or larger. There is 6 feet water depth at the transient docks so for most power boats this is more than adequate.
Halls Cottage Resort plans to resume adding more docks this fall, once the summer rush is over. The marina operation at the resort offers some onsite marine repairs. Shopping and restaurants are very close to the resort, situated in the centre of Honey Harbour. We wanted to expand from our cottage rental business into a property offering a broader range of tourism services, and in Georgian Bay, that includes catering to both seasonal and transient boaters, says Rick Vanderwal, who owns and operates the business along with his wife Dianne. While we build onto our cottage resort rental business every year by adding new cottage accommodations, we now are also focused on expanding and improving our marina facility, adds Diane Vanderwal.
Bay Area Doctor Invests in Rising Asian American Startup Called Jackfroot By 3 Young College Graduates
Last year if you were to do a Google search for Asian American entertainment, a multitude of unrelated sites and YouTube channels were all you could find. This was a common and increasingly frustrating occurrence for three friends who simply wanted to hear the newest music from D-Pryde, watch the latest JustKiddingFilms video, or figure out what the next movie Justin Lin was directing is. That's where Jackfroot comes in.
We just wanted a place where everything could be found easily. It was always a challenge to find information on Asian American entertainment. This is our way of taking small steps to changing the media landscape, says co-founder Ky Truong.
With that vision and purpose, in May 2010, 3 college graduates from San Jose State University named Davian Nguyen, Ky Truong, and Cameron Voly created Jackfroot.com - a new website that aims to be the central source for all things related to Asian American entertainment and culture. The origins of the name are two fold such that there is a popular Asian fruit called jackfruit and the creators wanted to stay rooted in Asian culture. Thus, the name Jackfroot was created.
Were here to support those who have a passion for what they do in arts and entertainment. We want our site to be a home where new and upcoming artists can showcase their talent. We also want to make it easier for fans to follow news on all established artists and talents. It comes down to having a dream and following your passion. Jackfroot is here to make it come true, says Davian Nguyen.
After launching on June 14th of this year, Jackfroot has gained a huge following with an increasingly large buzz. Within a short time span, the website has climbed in website popularity faster than the founders expected.
The Jackfroot team set a goal to break into the top 1 million ranked websites worldwide within 6 months a task they accomplished in less than 3 months. By early November, they have impressed readers by breaking into the top 250,000 globally ranked websites and are still continuing to grow.
These guys are the young pioneers needed to help lead the future generation of America, says Congressman Mike Honda.
Three months after the launch, Jackfroot was contacted by Dr. Currie Lee, an anesthesiologist and pain management physician from San Leandro, who quickly took interest in the blossoming website. After a few meetings, they signed what could be the biggest deal of their lives. These guys showed me that they have the hunger and passion to succeed as young entrepreneurs, says Dr. Lee.
Bay Area local DJ Teddy Rockspin says, Ive seen these guys build a pipe dream from nothing into something. They have gained a lot of respect and support from the community.
On November 19th, Jackfroots staff and friends will be holding a public event, White Dreams, an all white attire theme party that will feature special live performances, a confetti drop, and the founders toasting to an even bigger year of success in 2012 and beyond. The event will be held at Supperclub in San Francisco. More news on the event can be found here.
Its only the beginning. We set our goals and somehow are reaching them faster than we expected. Our team is highly motivated and passionate about Jackfroot. With the backing of Dr. Lee, we feel theres nothing that can stop us now, says Cameron Voly.
It started off as just a dream and a big idea and starting to become a reality. This is a dream come true to be able to find the right person to invest in our goals. We just want to thank all of our friends and supporters that believed in us since the beginning. Keep an eye out for big things to come, says Davian Nguyen.
About Jackfroot, LLC:
Jackfroot is a new media & entertainment company with a dedicated website that aims to being the one stop destination where we showcase the skills and talents of Asian American lifestyle, entertainment, and beyond. We aim to build a growing online community for users worldwide to be able to access our database of content. Our focus is to be the prime source to offer exclusive interviews, articles, music, movies and much more.
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For every child that goes away to college, there is a readjustment as they come home since leaving. Many new students become radically different people or so they seem and both parents and children are forced to adjust. In the new book Victorias Nest: Sequel to Prairie Preacher (published by iUniverse) by P.J. Hoge, Victoria Pepper Schroeder returns home for a funeral as a very different woman.
Megan was a lot of fun but a pretty straight shooter. She was six years older than Victoria and always seemed to have it together. Of course, why wouldnt she? She had an Ozzie and Harriet life, not at all like hers. Her own life was more like the Twilight Zone. She didnt think Megan would rat on her but she would probably give her a heck of lecture if she knew about last night. Victoria wasnt in the mood for another lecture. After all, she would be spending the weekend at home. She would be talked at enough.
Of course, the charged atmosphere of a funeral doesnt make for peaceful reintegration. Pepper clashes with her brothers and her parents until she begins to see them as people, instead of family. As she helps out around the homestead, helping with milking the cows and at her fathers mechanic shop. It is through this mechanism that Peppers perception of her parents changes, and their perception of her.
While at home in North Dakota, Pepper also reacquaints herself with Uncle Byron Ellison, her familys pastor. When more hardship piles atop the funeral and love begins to confuse her, Pepper draws solace from Uncle Byrons advice, learning about herself, the finality of death and forgiveness of bad behavior. Full of both laughter and tears, Victorias Nest is a heartwarming novel of loss and discovery.
About the Author
P. J. Hoge grew up in Washington and North Dakota. She is a member of the Lutheran church. After college Hoge worked in cytotechnology, while her family farmed in central North Dakota. Later, they relocated to Nevada, where she still resides. Hoge has published two books previously, Garrett Death of a Selfish Man and Prairie Preacher.
iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Chapters Indigo in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on BarnesandNoble.com. iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Readers Choice and Editors Choice designationsself-publishings only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit iuniverse.com or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniverse on Twitter.
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In the beginning, it was all about getting published. Once I did that, I sat back on my newly-found success and waited for the assignments to roll in. I waited and waited and waited. In fact, I ended up waiting for nearly six years. And in all that time, I didn’t publish another piece.
Success is a funny thing. It does things to me, as I’m sure it does to you. I feel a not only a sense of accomplishment but one of euphoria. When I saw my first article in print in a national magazine, Popular Mechanics, I couldn’t believe it. The article looked great. And there was my name in print, as bold as it could be, letting everyone know that I was the writer.
Notice I didn’t say “author.” I reserve that title for those celebrity writers, like Stephen King, Ann Rice, and Norman Mailer, among others, who appear regularly as guests on talk shows like “Charlie Rose” and late-night shows like “Letterman.” I’m just a writer who works hard, the kind that makes up the backbone of the freelance writing industry.
After my initial bout with success, I realized I hadn’t handled it very well. While I managed to get something published, what good did it do me. I had my 15-seconds of fame. What I failed to do was build on that success which stopped me dead in my tracks. What actually happened was what I call a “happy accident”—a good thing that just happens but the chance of repeating it is slim. Some writers go through their whole carriers having happy accidents. I soon learned that I had to take control of my success or I won’t have any others.
I had written an article on building a modern “chuck wagon” box for my hatchback so that could travel across country camping while still eating home-cooked meals. The idea was a practical one, so the magazine's editor thought his readers would benefit from it. However, the subject was far from what I wanted to publish—travel articles about exotic places. It was only remotely related to travel, and the writing wasn’t anything like what I wanted it to be. In essence, this became a dead end piece, an article that couldn’t really help me get anywhere. That’s why I didn’t move on in publishing for six years.
The next big success for me was my first book, a book for teens on solar energy. I learned a lot from that book, but it, again, wasn’t in my field of expertise, just a field of interest. Because it wasn’t about travel or by this time history, but science, I didn’t get anywhere with that project, either. I couldn’t promote the book to publications because it wasn’t what I was writing regularly.
After that bit of success, I began to pay attention more to what I was writing. I focused on several different subject areas and made a point of not writing in others that wouldn’t advance my career.
My next book, called Amish Country, was a big success, and showcased my travel writing skills. The Amish live less than an hour from me, so it was easy to write about them. My future articles and books all moved my career forward, and successes became more frequent. Soon my successes outweighed my failures, and at that point I considered myself a professional freelance writer.
If you’re writing books, you can only work on one at a time. The amount of time it takes to research and write a book is staggering while the advance you may receive pays for only a fraction of that time. If you’re a good multi-tasker, you may be able to pound out an article or short story or two while working on your book, but most writers put all their energies into such a massive project.
Writing articles actually pays better in the long run. If you have acquired some steady markets, you’ll be writing constantly and the money will pour in regularly. If you’re just starting out, you may find yourself strapped for cash between assignments.
So what is your profit motivation? Are you content to make a little while pursuing other creative projects—for this you’ll need a working spouse or a rich benefactor? Or do you need to earn a living to help support a family or yourself if you live alone? Many married women writers claim they’re making a living just like any male writer, but what if they weren’t married and couldn’t depend on their husbands’ paycheck to take care of most or all of the bills? While it may be okay to do this in the beginning, after a while your spouse will grow tired of paying the bills by himself. The opposite it also true for husbands taking up freelance writing while their wives work at a steady job to pay the bills.
Even if you’ve been publishing and making a modest living at writing, you may he guilty of practices that hinder you from making more money. Maximizing your profit requires you to budget time and money carefully. Will you be able to live on say $12,000 a year or less? Perhaps you had better decide if you love your daily Starbucks latte more than writing!
You need to budget everything. Leave nothing to chance. Periodically review your bills to see if you can lower any of them. This will mean not having the latest smart phone or that big-screen Plasma T.V. that your neighbors have. And while you’re at it, better decide to move from the McMansion you live in now to a more modest house.
But budgeting isn’t all about sacrificing the things you love for your writing. It just means that you need to prioritize. List the things that are most important to you. If that cup of Starbucks coffee or that giant SUV that you drive is important to you, then perhaps you better give up on your dreams of becoming a writer, unless you want to write press releases or advertising copy.
As much as you need to learn about writing to improve your skills, so you should learn about the business of business if you expect to keep your profits growing. You’ll be running a small business. Don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s anything else. Talk to other small business owners. What do they do to make sure they stay in business? While your business may be slightly different than theirs, the procedures are the same, even down to what to deduct on your tax return.
Set up daily and monthly schedules and stick to them. Self discipline is very important in freelance writing. It’s not all about spending leisure time at the café reading Twitter messages from your peeps on your smart phone. It’s about working hard and enjoying your time off, knowing that you’ve done the best job you could getting pieces finished and sent in on time.
Review your methods periodically. Weed out the bad habits. Are you allowing too many interruptions to devastate your schedule? Are you letting too much time slip by before you get an idea and propose it to editors or your agent? Are you learning from your competition?
To be a successful freelancer, you have to periodically review your assets and liabilities. You can’t afford to imagine there isn't room for improvement. Above all, freelancer writers don't believe in giving things away for free. If a publisher isn’t willing to pay for your work, pass them by. You can’t pay for groceries with a freebie.
If you’ve ever bought a house, you know how careful you have to inspect it. Once you sign the sales agreement, you’re stuck with it, no matter what problems may arise. The same goes for severing the financial cord to your fill-time job. By doing thorough research and planning carefully, you’ll be able to concentrate on your writing and not have to worry about how you’re going to buy food or pay for heat and fuel for your car.
When I began freelancing, I decided that if I had to work part-time at any point in my freelance career that I would only get a job at something related to what I was doing. I figured that if I working thinking and working with writing or any of the subjects I wrote about then I might also gain some knowledge or insights to help me in my writing. I wrote about travel and tourism, so I worked as a travel agent. I wrote about the Internet and technology, so I learned to design Web sites for small businesses. I even did public relations writing—I got plenty of press releases and learned to write good ones from them.
But the job that has offered me the most opportunities was teaching what I loved to do best—writing. No, I didn’t teach in public school or college. Over the years, I’ve taught continued education courses at a number of colleges and universities as well as community evening schools in my area. I knew that I really couldn’t write all day and all night, so I scheduled my classes during the evening hours. No course is longer than eight weeks and each session runs for two hours. I work as an independent contractor, thus setting my own schedule and creating and writing my own courses. Once a course is “in the bag,” I just have to reap the profits.
The experience I gained teaching writing courses propelled me into an even more lucrative sideline—business writing workshops. I earn more in a 6-hour day doing this than writing two or three articles. But instead of presenting these workshop constantly, I’m selective and only do them occasionally.
Another sideline related to my course work is lecturing. I’ve amassed loads of information on a variety of subjects, as well as photographs of the same. I began assembling these into one-hour lectures that I present at retirement centers and at conferences. Again, once a lecture is all assembled, it’s easy to draw from my inventory and reap the profits.
When, do you ask, do I have time to write? Believe it or not, I have a lot of time because I set my own schedule. All my teaching venues know that if something comes up, I may need to cancel a class and make it up later. All have been very accommodating. Plus, I get all sorts of ideas when teaching others.
My Web design business kicks in when times are slow. It takes a lot to put a good site together, so I take on only one client at a time. The pay is usually worth it.
During the recent economic downturn, my ability to turn a profit with my other ventures has paid off handsomely. All of these ventures come under the umbrella of Bob Brooke Communications, my brand name and the company I created.
Each publication sets up its stringer network differently. Some stringers receive small retainers plus a fee for an article when the publication prints it. More often than not, publications forego the retainer in favor of a loose agreement as to the acceptance of pieces or guaranteeing a certain number of them will see publication throughout the year. Or the publication will just keep feeding me regular assignments with no guarantee—the most common practice. Either way, the editor
knows the quality of my work and how to get hold of me fast. In turn, I know what kind of stories they want and how to present them, including sending photos if needed. From experience, I know I can count on a certain amount of work each month which helps me plan my budget. What’s even better, I can string for several publications at the same time as long as they’re not competing for the same readers.
When I first started freelancing, it took a while to find a publication willing to take me on as a stringer. Just by luck, I was working as the manager of a mom-and-pop travel agency. A friend at another agency signed me up for a press trip to Guatemala at a trade show. At the time I wasn’t writing for any publication and needed an assignment to go on the trip. I cold called the managing editor of a travel trade magazine. She was interested in the destination and gave me an assignment to write about tourism there. Upon publication, I was to be paid a whopping $30. She liked my article so much, she started assigning me more of them. Soon, I was writing two or three articles a week for her. These pieces weren’t especially complicated to research or difficult to write, which left me time to try to get articles published in other publications.
Four years later, I had quit my day job as a travel agent and jumped head first into freelance writing. One morning I cold called the managing editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal—I live just outside the city—and explained that I had experience covering business topics (Isn’t tourism a business?) and was interested in writing for him. I pitched an idea to him, which he liked, and I got my first assignment. After completing several other assignments, he began to call on me every week, sometimes twice, to cover a variety of business stories. Some were news while others were features. He gave me feedback on my articles, telling me what he wanted or didn’t want. As time went on, he even told me who to call on for interviews and gave me their phone numbers. The Journal paid $160 for each article. In most cases, I had three or four days to complete a story from research to finished article. He knew I could turn a story around very fast and that he could count on me to be accurate. At the same time, I was still writing for my original travel trade publication.
While the per article amount may not seem like a lot in either case, it quickly became income I could count on while I tried to get published in national magazines.
Working for both publications, I amassed a tidy file of contacts in business and tourism. I knew who to call for what and could get in touch with people quickly. This was before the Internet and E-mail. The articles I wrote for these publications and others like them became the core of my freelance business—at least until I got published in larger national magazines.
Writing and writing to sell are two completely different things. In the first you may write for yourself, for the love of it, not worrying about how much time you’re spending on a piece, satisfied only that you’ve managed to put something, anything, down on paper. In the second, you need to be disciplined, to make sure you finish work on time and get it in so you can get paid. In freelancing, no work equals no pay. Are you willing to live the romantic life of a starving artist? Or do you like to eat three meals a day. If so, you’ll need to do the hustle—the entrepreneurial hustle, that is.
For the moment, forget about the writing. Have you checked your finances recently? Can you live happily without a steady salary, being paid monthly or perhaps in six months? How are you going to be able to live for an extended period while you develop your writing business? Perhaps you better check your older relatives and see if any are ready to kick the bucket and leave you handsomely endowed. For most beginning freelancers that’s not an option.
When you work for someone else, you can get up and leave at 5 P.M. unless you have work to catch up on. Are you going to be willing to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week? Sure, as a freelancer you can set your own hours. But remember, no work, no pay. That’s going to have to become your mantra.
And what about your family? Will you be able to juggle your personal life around your business? If you’re a male, will your wife assume you’ll be able to pick up the kids from school—since you’re not really doing anything anyway? If a female, will you be able to stop and cook dinner for your family or go grocery shopping? To become successful, you’ll have to learn to set priorities. Life won’t be as easy as it was when you worked for someone else.
Work won’t come to you. You’ll have to find it. And that’s where the hustle comes in. You’ll have to study the markets, seek out the best paying ones, or at least the ones at which you have the best chance at publication. This all takes time—time away from writing, itself. Wasn’t that why you wanted to quit your day job in the first place, to write.
During the past week, I was busy directing a group of energetic people at my church who were working to prepare for an annual fall festival that we held this past weekend. A book sale is a small part of that festival. Someone had donated what seemed like a complete collection of books on writing. The person who was organizing the books for sale said these probably wouldn’t sell, and being a writer, would I like to have them. Without hesitation, I said yes. And while I was elated to be receiving such a collection, I was saddened by the thought that a writer had perhaps retired or, even worse, had tried to become one and had given up.
So now these very useful books will be added to my own personal collection of books on writing. And while I may already know a lot of what’s in them, I’ll still use them for reference from time to time.
As a writer in several varied and some related subject areas, I’ve amassed a varied collection of books. For my travel writing, I have a library of guidebooks on all the countries I’ve written about, plus others I’d like to write about. Complementing these are books ones about countries I’ve traveled to or would like to. Add to this books I’ve purchased to help me research travel books I’ve written. Each of my books has a small library all its own.
Then there are my specialties—writing about Mexico and antiques, now expanded to history in general. I’ve gathered a collection of reference books for each of these specialties. For Mexico, my collection features not only guidebooks on various parts of the country but books on its history and culture. My antiques specialty has required me to gather pricing guides, as well as books on individual types of pieces, including those on different kinds and styles of furniture. Added to that are those on ceramics and porcelain, silver, marks, rugs, glassware, etc.
Besides the books for my specialties, I have a rather large collection of books on writing. These include those on how to write various types of proposals, as well as published pieces—articles, short stories, plays, novels, and non-fiction books. The more useful ones sit on shelves by my computer while others occupy another “branch” of my library in my bedroom.
And then there are the books I’ve reviewed and those I read or haven’t gotten to yet. While I prefer to read non-fiction, I have a number of novels and books on short stories from which to choose when the spirit strikes me.
I’m a multifaceted person and as such have other interests. I love to cook, so the “cooking” branch of my library sits on shelves across from my kitchen. I also love to grow houseplants and gardening in general. This requires me to have a modest collection of books on gardening and growing plants indoors. It takes a bit of specialized knowledge to grow a mini rain forest.
Lastly, the most important books in my library are those I’ve written and those written by writer friends of mine. Nothing boosts my confidence more in slow times than looking at them on the shelf.
First and foremost, before doing any editing, step away from your work. Let it sit idle for at least a day or several. The longer you refrain from looking at it, the better. Your mind will forget about it eventually, so when you do look at it again, you’ll see it in a new light.
Editing is much more than just correcting mechanical errors—spelling, punctuation, verb tense, pronoun agreement, and general sentence structure. Editing deals with the content of your piece. Does it make sense? Is the flow logical? Are your words familiar enough for all readers? (See my previous blog on using $20 words).
Whatever you’ve written, you’ve done so to express yourself on a particular topic. Have you done that? Will that be clear to your reader? Clarity is the number one problem with most poorly edited writing. Remember, your reader can’t phone you or send you an E-mail to ask what something means.
Generally, editing consists of four jobs: deleting, rearranging, rewriting, and correcting.
First read through your work and delete any word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph that doesn’t belong. If you can eliminate the word and there's no loss of meaning, then eliminate it.
If you haven’t looked at your work for a while, you may notice that some parts need to be rearranged for better continuity. Readers won’t make the leap, so don’t expect them to figure out what you mean. Make your writing logical. If you’re not telling your story chronologically, make sure you won’t lose your reader in the process.
After you delete parts or whole sections and rearrange others, you’ll most likely have holes to fill, so you’ll have to rewrite some parts to make sure they read well and make sense. In this editing phase, you may also want to check for smooth paragraph transitions. These help your writing to flow effortlessly from paragraph to paragraph.
Lastly, and only then, correct any errors in spelling, punctuation, verb tenses, and pronoun agreement.
Once you’ve edited your article, short story, or book, it may be time to let someone else have a crack at it, especially if it’s a book. Find someone who is a serious reader to go over it in detail. Better yet, hire a professional book editor. With the ease of self-publishing for Kindle or Nook, too many writers today are trying to sell what amounts to writing trash. Make sure whatever you sell is the best it can be before you put it on the market.
When I’m at a dinner party or other gathering, inevitably someone will ask me what I do for a living. I tell them I’m a writer and immediately they think of Stephen King or some other celebrity writer. No, I’m not one of those, but I have made a living at freelancing for over 26 years, so I must be doing something right.
There are a dozen keys to my success. Any beginning writer, with a little hard work, can achieve what I’ve done by following them.
1. First and foremost, I meet deadlines. It’s become second nature to me after this long. Editors appreciate a writer who works with them and doesn’t cause them to get behind.
2. I write something new every day. Perhaps its one of my blogs, a book review, an article for a publication, or an article or two for one of my four Web sites. It’s sometimes hard to make enough time to write since I now have to exercise about an hour and a half a day after recent coronary surgery, plus teach writing classes in the evenings.
3. I read as much as I can. The more I read, the better writer I become because I’m influenced by the thoughts and techniques of other writers. But I don’t just read as a reader, I read as a writer, analyzing the text as if I had written it and seeing how I might improve on it.
4. As a writer, I’m constantly making notes. In fact, my desk is flooded with them. Often, I’ve made so many, I lose track. I make To-Do Lists almost daily. If I don’t, I may forget what
needs to be done on what piece.
5. Over the years, I’ve learned to mentally record conversations, visual details, sensory stimuli, facts—lots of facts. I also record these facts in copious notes that I prepare for each article and book. Notes for the latter often fill an entire file box.
6. To keep myself organized, I’ve learned to clip and file vital information so I can retrieve it later. This has increased my productivity over the years.
7. Even in this day of e-books and the Internet, I still use my public library from time to time. Some information just hasn’t been digitized. However, I find myself using my local library less and less as technology marches on.
8. And though I love words and their origins, I’m careful not to add vague words, that my readers won’t understand, to my vocabulary. (See my previous blog on $20 words).
9. I love books and my house shows it. There are books in just about every room. As my writing career has advanced, I’ve amassed a small library of perhaps 500 books on both writing, and the subjects I specialize in—Mexico, travel, and antiques.
10. In order to sell my work consistently, I study the markets for it. However, today, it has become a challenge to keep up with writing markets. It used to be easy to spot a trend, but things have changed so much and so fast, that today it’s difficult. And while it’s always my goal to be at the right place at the right time, I don’t always hit the mark.
11. Since I began writing books, I’ve had to learn as much as I could about editing, publishing, and marketing. Being more knowledgeable about all facets of my business, I’m a more effective business person.
12. I take my writing seriously and have made an effort to make my family and friends do likewise. It isn’t just a pastime or a passing fancy. I communicate with my readers and now, through social networking, many of them communicate with me.
These keys are what have made me successful, but they won’t necessarily work for every writer.
And while my name may not be a household word, I’m still successful at what I do.