About April Michelle Davis

Founded in 2001 by April Michelle Davis, Editorial Inspirations provides exceptional editing, indexing, and proofreading services to both publishers and authors. Each task is approached with a greater understanding of the various aspects of the publishing process. The intent of the author and the publisher is always kept in mind—from the first word to well beyond the end.

Carol Tice, NAIWE’s Content Marketing Expert

We wanted to get to know Carol Tice (NAIWE’s Content Marketing Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some thoughts she shared with us.

What wins have you personally seen from LinkedIn marketing?

I’ve been hired by three Fortune 500 companies after they found me on LinkedIn—Costco, Alaska Airlines/Horizon, and Labor Ready (now TrueBlue)—among many other inbound leads I’ve received through my profile and the content I post.

Why bother with content marketing on LinkedIn—what’s the upside here?

LinkedIn is THE social platform for connecting with prospective clients all over the world—it’s the only place where you can overtly state you’re looking for clients without getting blocked or banned. It’s also an easy place to quickly build authority with posts on LinkedIn’s blog, a/k/a Pulse. In my mastermind program, I’ve coached students for several years on how to attract clients on LinkedIn, and they’ve seen reliable success in a fairly short time.

I’ve posted on LinkedIn, but nothing ever happens. Why?

There are a few fundamentals you need in order to attract attention on LinkedIn—your profile needs to be enticing and complete (including keyword phrases for your industries or types of writing, so LinkedIn knows who you’re looking for), you need to build up your connection count, and be active on the platform.

Once you have your profile together, you have to know what to post and how to write a STRONG headline to make your content on LinkedIn work for you. I see many writers posting about writing topics or their personal life, rather than on topics their target clients would be likely to click on and read. I’ll be discussing the differences there, and how to craft content that moves your  marketing forward.

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So you’ve got your LinkedIn profile set up. Now what? What do you write in your status updates, or in LinkedIn’s articles section, to build your authority and attract the clients you want?

This example-filled presentation will show you multiple strategies and approaches for creating content for LinkedIn that builds your business — even if you don’t have much time to spare.

You can join in this conversation on October 23, at 2 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on book marketing.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Days to Celebrate in October

October: National Book Month. Curl up on the couch with a good book.

October: National Reading Group Month. Gather a group of friends, and meet weekly to discuss a great book!

October: National Work and Family Month. Focus on one way to improve your work/life balance. The Be a Better Freelancer conference can help with this: “Freelancing 101: Launching and Managing Your Freelance Business” with Meghan Pinson.

October: Self-Promotion Month. Promote your skills to gain some new clients. The Be a Better Freelancer conference can help with this: “You Oughta be in Visuals: Make Your Social Sizzle to Fire Up Your Freelancing” with Walt Jaschek.

October 1: National Fruit at Work Day. Take a break today to enjoy a piece of seasonal fruit at work.

October 5: National Do Something Nice Day. Do something nice for one of your clients today!

October 6-12: Mystery Series Week.

October 6-12: National Newspaper Week.

October 6-12: Customer Service Week.

October 9: National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. Spend a day with a cuddly friend to make you smile. 🙂

October 13-19: National Work at Home Week.

October 16: National Dictionary Day. Learn a new word today, and share it with a colleague!

October 16: National Boss’s Day. Show your appreciation and thankfulness to your boss.

October 17: Get to Know Your Customers Day. Get to know your customers, which will, in turn, help you know how to grow your business.

October 20-26: National Business Women’s Week.

October 20-26: National Friends of Libraries Week.

October 21: National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. Take some time to clean out some folders on your computer. The Be a Better Freelancer conference can help with this: “The Business of Being in Business” with April Michelle Davis.

October 26: National Make a Difference Day. Do something to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Tina Glasneck, NAIWE’s Book Promotions Expert

We wanted to get to know Tina Glasneck (NAIWE’s Book Promotions Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some thoughts she shared with us.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it? Can these benefits be broadened to include book promotions?

The most important thing to recognize for one’s craft is that of identifying the target audience, as a book is not written for everyone. It must have a specific audience in mind. Genres, of course, are there to assist readers in locating books that they like. Often, there are specific tropes that are used in the genre.

For example, romance requires a happy for now or happily-ever-after ending. If it does not meet that standard, then it cannot be classified as a romance. If it is advertised as a romance, the genre tropes and requirements are something to keep in mind when it comes to crafting a novel, as well as the later marketing of it.

 

What has been your most rewarding book promotions avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

I believe that the best thing an author can do is grow their newsletter, and that growth is from where most of my success continues to come.

It is through my newsletter that I can create relationships with my readers, who frequently will then share news of my books with their circle of friends. All other promotion has its uses, but for long-term growth, the newsletter is the best way to continue to grow.

 

What do you associate with book promotions?

Book promotion is when the goal is to promote or make an audience aware of a particular book. This can include, but is not limited to:

  1. paid ads (like Facebook, Amazon and BookBub ads)
  2. paid newsletter ads (these are ads in book newsletters. Note, some are genre-specific, while others are not)
  3. newsletter swaps (when authors share the news of a different author’s book to their audience)
  4. free or cost-efficient promo (posting in Facebook groups, blogging, guest blogging, multi-author book fairs, tweeting, using social media to push the book without paying, creating a perma-free book to drive sales to other books in a series, creating a lead magnet to get new readers to sign up for your newsletter, etc.).

Paying for expensive book promotion only makes sense if one has more than one book in a series, or other books available that a reader can purchase. Book promotion is to advertise and to make readers aware of a product. It is best to use cheaper options, all within one’s author budget before one launches the more advanced ad campaigns.

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Are you struggling with what you can do to make your books a success? Are you overwhelmed with what you need to do to get eyes on your latest book-baby? Join USA Today bestselling author Tina Glasneck as she gives practical advice on what you can apply to your writing career to find readers and gain success. This webinar will dig into the basics and provide practical tips that you can implement right away to start you on your successful author journey.

You can join in this conversation on September 23, at 8 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on book marketing.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Kristen Fischer, NAIWE’s Journalism Expert

We wanted to get to know Kristen Fischer (NAIWE’s Journalism Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some things she shared.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it? Can these benefits be broadened to include marketing?

As a digital journalist, making connections was the hardest part. Finding editors to assign regular work can be so difficult because they move around so much. You have to keep putting yourself out there and continuously making new business relationships. The benefit is that you can write for a great publication, work with an editor who keeps you in mind throughout their career, secure references, and find a regular feed of work or a home for regular pitches. Those benefits can help you market yourself as a journalist and build your platform.

What has been your most rewarding marketing avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

Letters of introduction. The direct connection you get from sending an email can be quite helpful in establishing a relationship–especially in the digital world.

What do you associate with marketing?

Creativity. Even if you’re not working in the marketing field, writers are creative people. Also, they have to find creative ways to market themselves. I hope more freelance journalists realize that staying in business for themselves isn’t so much about the writing; it’s about running your business. And staying in business demands marketing.

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Whether you write for digital or print avenues, being a freelance journalist can be tough. This webinar will explore how to target publications, how to secure editorial contacts, how to line up regular work, and how to overcome obstacles that arise when you’re not on staff. Participants will learn business tips to break into new publications as a freelancer and keep a steady flow of freelance work coming. Bring a list of questions and your best tip for securing work as a freelance journalist.

You can join in this conversation on August 22, at 3 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on marketing as a freelance journalist.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Days to Celebrate in August

National Wellness Month. This month focuses on self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy routines.

August 1-7: Simplify Your Life Week. This week encourages you to refocus your life and declutter. Eliminate anything that causes stress or anxiety.

August 5: National Work Like a Dog Day. This is a day to pay attention to how hard you are working.

August 8: National Happiness Happens Day. Happiness is a choice. It is not a destination, but a life-long pursuit.

August 8: National Dollar Day. This day commemorates the day Congress established the U.S. monetary system in 1786.

August 9: National Book Lovers Day. A day to encourage those who love to read to find a favorite reading place, settling in with a good book.

August 10: National Lazy Day. Nearing the end of summer, we all need a day to be lazy and enjoy some of our favorite activities.

August 15: National Relaxation Day. It is time to slow down, unwind, and relax!

August 25-31: Be Kind to Humankind Week. This is a week of reflection and kind thoughts of others to make the world a better place.

August 27: National Just Because Day. This is a day to do something unexpected for another (or even for yourself) just because!

Mark Allen, NAIWE’s AP Stylebook Expert

We wanted to get to know Mark Allen (NAIWE’s AP Stylebook Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some things he shared.

What is one thing that you learned about style manuals the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?

Style manuals keep changing because language keeps changing. There was a time when I felt that I knew all the quirks of the Associated Press Stylebook, and then I found my convictions were no longer valid because they changed the book! There are plenty of shibboleths in the AP Stylebook—things that only AP adherents really care about but that cause consternation when AP makes a change. “More than” and “over” are now mostly interchangeable. The word “collide” no longer assumes that both things are in motion. These are minor things, but no one wants to be enforcing a usage guideline long after it’s dead.

What do you associate with style guide proficiency?

Proficiency with using a style guide is a bit like proficiency with editing in general. We can’t know everything, and we shouldn’t tell ourselves otherwise. Proficiency with a style guide means knowing what we need to look up and sometimes even looking up things we know we are right about. Proficiency is a bit of a false concept. There are many guidelines, many exceptions, and many gray areas where we need to look elsewhere for guidance and ultimately apply common sense. It’s possible to memorize most key points in a style guide, but our memories sometimes fail us, and guidelines do change.

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You can join in this conversation on July 24, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion some of the most important changes of 2019.

The Associated Press Stylebook, the essential guide to style and usage for news, PR, marketing, and corporate communication, is now updated for 2019 with its most substantive changes in years. NAIWE AP Stylebook Expert Mark Allen will discuss the important changes in a 90-minute webinar complete with humor and handouts.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Mark Allen is an editor, writer, and teacher focused on helping people communicate with clarity and honesty. He has trained hundreds of editors and writers on a variety of topics, including the latest and most important elements in the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style. Mark has led conversations about copyediting and writing at conferences and workshops in Detroit, St. Louis, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, and York, England. He was the first freelancer elected to the executive board of ACES: The Society for Editing, and Mark currently teaches advanced copyediting for UC San Diego Extension’s copyediting certificate program.

Days to Celebrate in July

July 12: National Simplicity Day. Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817.  Thoreau was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. In our busy lifestyles, National Simplicity Day is the time to take a step back and begin to simplify our lives. One can start by decluttering and striving for balance..

July 15: National Give Something Away Day. In the United States, giving is on the rise. What can you give to your clients or to the publishing industry?

July 17. World Emoji Day. Now before the emoji, there were emoticons. Emoticons (emotion + icon) were developed as an expression of emotions in the cold hard texts that were devoid of them.

July 18: Get to Know Your Customers Day. When businesses get to know your customers, you also get to know more about you need to grow. Reach out to your patrons and get to know them better.

July 20: Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day. Created by author and motivational speaker Martha J. Ross-Rodgers, this day is intended for all to let go of the past and live for the present. Make a list of your business regrets and then throw it away and live for today.

July 21: National Be Someone Day. What can be done in 10 seconds? Spend 10 seconds to make a business commitment such as pursuing professional development.

July 26: National All or Nothing Day. Throw caution in the wind and go for broke. What is one business challenge that you would like to overcome?

July 26: National System Administrator Appreciation Day. Show appreciation to your IT professional.

Robert Moskowitz, NAIWE’s Professionalism Expert

We wanted to get to know Robert Moskowitz (NAIWE’s Professionalism Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some things he shared.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it? Can these benefits be broadened to include professionalism?

The most important thing I learned the hard way (I learned most things the easy way) is not to sign a contract indemnifying a publisher for “claims” against me—such as plagiarism or copyright infringement. “Claims” need not be proven in a court of law, and publishers are happy to make these “claims” go away by settling—which settlements come out of my pocket via the indemnification clause. I now insist on eliminating the word “claims” or including language that claims must be proven in a court of competent jurisdiction. I lose some work with this stance, but I avoid getting badly burned a second time.

I believe it’s professional both to know about this wrinkle in contract language and to have the guts to insist on avoiding it, either by changing the contract or by refusing a dangerous contract. Part of professionalism, of course, is taking steps so you don’t get hurt and so you live to work another day.

What has been your most rewarding professionalism technique, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

My most rewarding professionalism technique has been working strategically and tactically to increase my pay. I do this by calculating how much I need to earn from my work, by seeking out high-priced jobs, by avoiding low-priced jobs, by ratcheting up my rates with established clients, and—perhaps most important—by delivering work that is worthy of the rates I seek.

This has been rewarding both psychically (I feel good about myself and my work) and monetarily. I have been able to support a family, send my kids to school, and generally live well.

What do you associate with professionalism?

Professionalism is the distinction that separates wannabees from actual professional writers. It allows me to call myself a writer and not have to qualify that description with excuses or explanations. It means I have worked hard to be among the best at my craft and have succeeded. I can walk into any room and feel confident I am among the best or I am one of the best wordsmiths in there. It means I can accept almost any writing challenge without fear of inadequacy. It means when the going gets tough, I can gather my wits and my skills to get going. It means I have fulfilled my potential and made full use of my gift for writing. My professionalism is a source of pride and satisfaction.

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You can join in this conversation on June 22, at 3 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a one-hour discussion on exercises to help you know yourself better, business lessons for the professional writer, opening the pipeline to your creativity, turning good ideas into finished material, and how to more fully trust your talent and your know-how.

Almost everyone can write. Heck, nearly every high school graduate can cobble together some words and call it writing. Some people can even earn a few bucks as a writer. But if you really want to pursue the writing life, you’ll find you can do it only if you succeed at becoming a professional. Many years ago, I had a dream of writing professionally. I even got a job as a writer. But it was just a job. Two years later, after too many job interviews in which pretty much every 9-to-5-er I met expressed massive regret at having to give up their dream of writing in order to earn a living, I found myself undergoing a three-month epiphany that helped me transform and commit to the writing life. This webinar is informed by that transformation, as well as by my decades of successful professional writing. It will help you determine just how much “fire in the belly” you have around becoming a professional writer and will help you make the adjustments and develop the attributes you need to get there. We will leave the writing itself for another time and emphasize the professionalism involved in a successful professional writing career.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Robert Moskowitz is an award-winning independent professional writer who has written and sold millions of words in just about every format over five decades. He instinctively sees the big pictures, breaks each one down into coherent slices, meaningfully prioritizes and sequences those slices, and then executes the tasks inherent in each slice in very productive ways. Put more simply, Robert knows how to succeed as an independent writer, covering all the bases from soliciting assignments to delivering polished work, from pricing jobs to budgeting and managing personal finances, from organizing a conducive office environment to establishing and following sensible guidelines regarding life, work, and productivity. Having done all this, and having paid attention to how he did it, Robert is now in a position to pass along what he knows to others.

Days to Celebrate in June

June 1: National Say Something Nice Day. Make the day extra pleasant for your clients by sharing some nice words.

June 3: National Leave the Office Early Day. It may be celebrated on the first day of the week this year, but take a little time off to enjoy the rest of the day with a fun activity.

June 3. National Repeat Day. Take this opportunity to repeat something you needed or wanted to do again.

June 6: National Higher Education Day. Spend a moment educating or inspire others who are interesting in pursuing a similar career.

June 10: National Ballpoint Pen Day. Write a client note today with a ballpoint pen to commemorate the patent filing on June 10, 1943.

June 11: National Make Life Beautiful Day. Share the beauty that you add to life by celebrating the relationships you have built or assistance you have offered another.

June 13: National Random Acts of Light Day. Bring light to a colleague by sharing some encouraging words.

June 21: National Selfie Day. Share a selfie on social media of you working on that next project.

June 30: Social Media Day. Post on all of your social media accounts today, letting potential clients know you are available for hire.