Digital Marketing, Novel Writing, Publishing

Writing is your business: justify the investment

BLACK BALLOON SALESMAN ON SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO'S...
Zemanta offered this image up in response to my blog post. I love it! Could anything (even writing) be more fanciful than selling balloons on the street? How is that somehow more acceptable than investing in a writing business? | BALLOON SALESMAN ON SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO’S 47TH STREET MANY OF THE CITY’S BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS STARTED WITH… – NARA – 556217 (Photo and description credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know 50 to 70 percent of small businesses fail within the first 18 months? I am curious as to how that statistic stacks up in the entrepreneurwriter world. How many would-be writers give up within the first 18 months?

Have you ever considered taking time off work to write? Did you then decide not to because you couldn’t “afford it?” How do you justify the time spent on an activity that may or may not pay out in the long term? Well, let me ask you this: How do most small business owners justify the time and expense sunk into the more than half a million small businesses opened in the U.S. each year? When you consider the odds, how can anyone believe they can afford to open a small business? Continue reading “Writing is your business: justify the investment”

Education, Publishing

How to self-publish your novel

An on-demand book printer at the Internet Arch...
Today’s print-on-demand technology allows you the option of printing one book or a thousand. | An on-demand book printer at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco, California. Two large printers print the pages (left) and the cover (right) and feed them into the rest of the machine for collating and binding. Depending on the number of pages in a given book, it might take from 5 to 20 minutes to print. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I attended a seminar on self-publishing with author/publisher Cornel Rosario at my local technical college. I have been doing a lot of research on publishing recently and wanted to see if there was anything new he could teach me that I hadn’t figured out yet on my own. I am glad I did. Prior to the class, I had learned a lot about ebook publishing, but the process of publishing actual books had been a bit of a mystery to me.

Much of the information Rosario covered in this three-hour session was old news to me, as far as ebooks go. But when it comes to printing actual books, he was a wealth of knowledge on both old-fashioned printing and print-on-demand. I also learned a lot about the costs associated with publishing your own book. Continue reading “How to self-publish your novel”

Restaurants, Travel, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Eat outside at Mullin’s Drive In, Fox Lake, WI

Mullin's Drive In restaurant, Fox Lake, Wisconsin
The car hops at Mullin’s Drive In restaurant in Fox Lake, Wisconsin take your order at your picnic table and bring your food to you. No standing in line like most summer burger stands!

On our way home from Amish country Saturday, my SignifO and I decided we wanted to have lunch at some kind of small, family-owned restaurant rather than the usual boring chain. So, when we came across Mullin’s Drive In, located in Fox Lake, WI, we had to stop and eat.

Mullin’s sign boasts their car hops come to your car to take your order, but that’s not all. The property includes a large yard full of picnic tables where patrons can take a seat in the shade while car hops take their orders table-side. A car hop/waitress greeted us as we exited our vehicle and directed us to take any table we liked, and she would be right with us.

Just like at an indoor sit-down restaurant, the waitresses at Mullin’s Drive In will bring your food right to your table. Continue reading “Eat outside at Mullin’s Drive In, Fox Lake, WI”

Travel, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

A visit to Amish country, Dalton, WI

Amish birdhouse at Lilac Woodshop, Dalton, Wisconsin
I found this cute little birdhouse for sale at the Lilac Woodshop near Dalton, WI. But is it truly Amish-made? What do you think?

Yesterday, my significant other (I’m going to call him my SignifO from now on) and I decided to take a drive through Amish country in the Dalton, WI area. I found a map of Amish businesses online, and we headed off on our adventure with dreams of Amish-made candy, cookies, and quilts dancing in our heads. Anyway, that’s what was dancing in my head. I can’t speak for his head.

It was a beautiful overcast day, the occasional splattering of rain interrupted by the occasional beam of sunlight breaking through spotty clouds: perfect driving weather, in my book. Our first stop was at a furniture shop on N County Line Road near Dalton. As it turns out, this and most of the other businesses listed on our map are operated right out of the Amish families’ homes and/or barns. This particular business does not have a showroom at all, so there was really nothing for us to look at. Continue reading “A visit to Amish country, Dalton, WI”

Parenting

The nerve of some people’s kids

Einkaufswagen
Einkaufswagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s funny how a random comment from a complete stranger can ruin a fun family outing.

Yesterday, I was pushing my 5-year-old around in a shopping cart in the garden section at Wal-mart looking for flowers to plant in our garden. It was a beautiful sunny day, around 70 degrees, and we had decided it was time to get a couple of plants in the ground. My younger son loves to help me out in the garden, so this was a perfect opportunity for the 2 of us to spend some one-on-one time together while his older brother was at a friend’s house. Continue reading “The nerve of some people’s kids”

eBooks

I’ve decided to write an ebook

html tattoo

I like to build websites. No, I am not a website designer. I have a basic understanding of HTML, but I am in no way “experienced” with it. The type of websites I like to build are WYSIWYG websites like those you can create for free using Weebly.com and similar content management systems (CMS). These systems are so easy to use, I don’t know why every small business or non-profit doesn’t have a website. But then again, I guess they probably don’t have a thorough understanding of how best to set up a simple site in a way that will draw traffic. Maybe they think it’s too complicated to even think about doing it themselves. I think they’re wrong. So, I thought maybe I’d write an ebook about it. Continue reading “I’ve decided to write an ebook”

Random Rants

9:30 a.m. is a magical time of day for me

12-hour digital clock radio
Image via Wikipedia

No matter how hard I try, I can’t possibly be productive before 9:30 a.m.

It never fails, every morning I find myself looking at the clock at 9:30 a.m. and realizing that I am, once again, just now getting down to business.

I don’t think it’s just because I get to work from home most days and can take my time showering, getting a cup of coffee, throwing a load of laundry in the wash, and just generally screwing around until I feel like accomplishing something. When I had a full-time day job where I had to actually be someplace at a certain time, I was still incapable of accomplishing anything before 9:30 a.m. Continue reading “9:30 a.m. is a magical time of day for me”

Poetry, Poetry by Mandy Webster

Poetry Friday: Saturday Scratch-off

A Christmas themed Finnish scratch game "...
Image via Wikipedia

For this week’s Poetry Friday, hosted by Hey, Jim Hill!, I am sharing an original poem about a little girl and her grandmother:

Saturday Scratch-off

Come on, Grandma! Catch up!

I scamper ahead on
ice-slicked concrete. I am
impatient. She’s slower
than wiggly gummy worms
that will slither down my
throat on the way home from
the Stop-n-Go. Continue reading “Poetry Friday: Saturday Scratch-off”