October 21, 2011

Budgeting Time and Money

By Nancy Gideon

Chapter 2
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Please follow award-winning author, Nancy Gideon as she continues to take you down the path of Getting It Out There: PR and Social Media For Writers. 

Check out the Yellow Brick Road for Nancy's advice on deductions for writers. Stick around and take the quiz following: Brilliant Deduction, Mr. Holmes!

September 23, 2011

An ‘80s Girl in a Techie World

By Nancy Gideon

Things were simple in the ‘80s. It was a time of excess in publishing: a host of houses (Harlequin and Silhouette were competitors!), hundreds of wholesalers and distributors instead of a handful, several bookstores in every mall. Newcomers got a 150,000 print run. Romance was in its heyday. But man, oh man did we have to work for it.

Writing was laborious and time consuming business. Research was done at the area library (I had more library cards than credit cards!) and notes were taken by hand. Rough drafts were done on notebook paper and kept in a binder before being typed (complete with correction tape or White Out) on my trusty Smith Corolla electric. Promotion consisted of Xeroxed newsletters with cut and paste clip art to those who mailed you letters at your PO Box with an SASE. State of the art was bookmarks! The only contact you had with readers was through those scribbled letters and face-to-faces at book signings. The only contact you had with other authors was your local writers group or conferences. It was a very isolated existence.

Then came the’90s and the first bloom of technology. Word processors that would display three to five lines of text and store up to 15 pages (but not permanently). The World Wide Web was born with communities such as Prodigy and Genie giving writers a chance to communicate…slooooooowly on cumbersome bulletin boards where your dial-up connection always seemed to go down in the middle of an important conversation. Out of it arose the wonder of instant communication: e-mail and writers groups like Painted Rock. The world was a-changing. And I wasn’t sure change was good.

I’ve never been the first one on any bandwagon. I’m a watcher. A waiter. Ever cautious. When I started on my road to publication back in the 1980s, I didn’t know any other writers lived in the state of Michigan. I’d never spoken to a real author. I’d never been to a conference or a critique group. All my information (some of it wildly misinformed!) was gleaned from an out- of-date copy of Fiction Writers Market and what I saw on the bookshelves (which was, of course, at least 18 months past the start of any trend). When I look back, I find it’s amazing that I ever got a proposal into the right hands, let alone got published! I wrote my first six books in long hand. I resisted a computer for years (what was I thinking!), fought putting up a website, couldn’t understand why I would ever need to blog. Times are different now. There are more options than ever, more need than ever to reach out and connect, especially with digital product beginning to surpass traditional print venues. What’s with this Social Media thing, where so many say so much about so little? I had to be pushed into the mainstream. I’ve come a long way, baby.

Welcome to the Tech Revolution!

All aboard the bandwagon: Website, blog, Goodreads, FaceBook, Twitter, Pocket After Dark, guest blogging, chats, contests, video interview, widgets, whatsits, giveaways. I had to draw a line somewhere…and chose texting. I do not text. Yet.

I hate to think any aspiring author has to work as hard, as uninformed, and as counterproductive as I did when starting out on my own and all alone, so I made it my personal mission to mentor new writers by doing critiques, answering questions, giving workshops and writing articles (putting those journalism and communications degrees to work. Thanks, Mom!). When approached by Wise Words to write a book on writing, I hedged. When would I have time to work on my fiction projects? Who would care what I had to say? I’m not an educator or a media specialist. My only professional kudo is a Romantic Times Magazine award for unique self-promotion. There’s so much information available these days . . . And then I realized that was the problem. There is SO much information out there. That’s where I could be of assistance. I am a professional researcher. I love to dig up and organize facts. I DO have an honors degree in some drawer somewhere that was forgotten when I signed my first contract. What I could do was the leg work for authors who are too busy writing or don’t know where to begin to look. I could assemble the information, present it in a readable fashion with examples and go-to references so new or uber busy writers wouldn’t have to spend their time sifting through hundreds of pages of Google searches.

Getting It Out There: PR and Social Media for Writers is unique in that it’s going to be presented digitally, a topic at a time, over the next 18 months then released (with updates because Social Media never stands still) in book form. That gives writers the option of just getting what they’re interested in or the whole package. There’ll be interactive extra content every month such as additional examples, contests, polls, quizzes, Q&As where writers can learn more and share their experiences. Topics will range from budgeting time and money, book trailers and swag bling to conference battle plans and making reviews work for you. Something for everyone. Branding: What’s in a Name seemed the logical place to start, because writers need to establish their professional platform logically and efficiently.

To prove that this older wiser dog can learn new tricks, come visit my website at http://nancygideon.com and my blog at http://nancygideon.blogspot.com to check out my tricked out widgets, my book trailers, my Goodreads bookshelf, my scrolling book list, Romance Trading Cards and additional content. Quite a step up from sit, stay and roll over. 

Nancy Gideon is an award-winning bestseller with over fifty romances published in genres from historicals and contemporary suspense to paranormal and non-fiction (and even horror screenplay credits on IMDB!) With degrees in journalism and communications, she’s never met a topic she didn’t want to research and write about. Working full time as a legal assistant for over 11 years, she’s an expert in time management, organization, and in making every minute and effort count. Visit her at http://nancygideon.com or http://nancygideon.blogspot.com. Her first non-fiction project, Getting It Out There: PR and Social Media for Writers begins on September 23rd, with Branding: What’s in a Name?

September 9, 2011

Nancy Gideon, Launch Author on September 23rd!

Nancy Gideon is an award-winning bestseller with over fifty novels published in genres from historical romance and contemporary suspense to paranormal and non-fiction and even horror screenplay credits on IMDB! With degrees in journalism and communications, she’s never met a topic she didn’t want to research and write about. As a well-known speaker on the business of writing, and working full time as a legal assistant for over 11 years, she’s an expert in time management, organization, and in making every minute and effort count.

Her first non-fiction project, Getting It Out There: PR and Social Media for Writers debuts on September 23rd, with Branding: What’s in a Name? This monthly release project is a how-to for writers, whether they are just beginning or trying to keep pace with the changes in a high-tech marketplace.

As an added bonus, Nancy is including a special password with each monthly topic so purchasers can access additional subject-related content and participate on discussion boards. Watch for her first release which launches Wise Word Publishing's nonfiction projects.

Affiliate Company to Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC, Wise Words Publishing was created to better meet the unique interests and needs of our nonfiction titles. We are interested in motivational titles, from heart-warming human interest to edgy New Age inspiration. Our Imprints cover How-To titles and informational texts. Wise Words Publishing will offer something for everyone, regardless of their interests or aspirations. 

"The brave new world of E-publishing is freighted with unknowns, angst…and opportunity. So it's particularly affirming to see the entry of Dr. Elizabeth Fortin and her able colleagues into the field with their Tell-Tale Publishing and Wise Words Publishing concepts. These are true bibliophiles as well as market-savvy professionals. I've known Elizabeth for over a quarter century now in her galvanizing roles from literary liaison to patron and educator of the creative process. She and the people she has surrounded herself with are the real deal – successful players all in writing, marketing and publishing. The linkage between E-publishing and an automatic trigger for hard copy editions is both innovative and compelling for those who want to cover all the exits. This takes some of the scary out of the whole E-publishing gestalt and makes it look like the ground floor of something very promising."

July 11, 2011

The Struggle

Two months ago I had elective foot surgery. It was an in-out procedure lasting no more than an hour. The surgery corrected a genetic inheritance passed on by my mother. Since that one hour surgery I decided to forgo my exercise routine of three times a week at a local gym. The exercise involved a generous amount of aerobic and strength training. Boxing, weight lifting, and step aerobics defied the aging process of sags and weight gain. I decided when my foot was reasonably normal from swelling and pain I would resume my exercise routine. Swelling and pain have receded and now ugh… During my two month hiatus a lackadaisical attitude has replaced my enthusiastic need to ward off sags with toned muscles.

The aging process not only includes the gravitational pull of skin, it also plagues a healthy workout desire. In only two months of sitting and eating I noticed extra sag at the elbow, fullness around the chin and other places on my body that increased. Lifting becomes laborious and endurance minimal. A mile of dog walking needs an hour of sit down time which usually lasts a little longer. The yard work is done in spurts with sweating and grunting. Motivation is lost and mired in excuses of starting tomorrow and the realization that loose skin comes with age.

The anachronism of couch potato lives within me. It lives, breaths and has begun to grow-fed by inactivity. The potato eye means growth and it protrudes from the center of my aspiration to retain health. The struggle is on between a desire to push back sedentary life and the will to do so. The desire to ward off sags with toned muscles becomes a battle. “Bodily exercise profits little” taunts my psyche.

How should I proceed to pluck out the spud’s eye and overcome lethargy? Research the benefits of exercise. Step on the scales and watch the numbers pop up. Look in the mirror. Attempt to put on a favorite piece of clothing. Hang out with someone who encourages me to exercise. Watch the television shows which inspire an exercise routine and weight loss. Read magazine and news articles on exercise routines. The excuses are over! Desire to be fit will reign again in the aging battle. Integrating all these suggestions and getting active will produce that desire to exercise, but the real challenge is that first step forward in the struggle for a fit and healthy body. Deep breath, foot up and step ….

June 25, 2011


I miss the days when summer vacation meant sleeping in until whenever–without feeling guilty or having anyone suggest you should. I miss the days when summer vacation meant hanging out with friends doing something or nothing or sitting around doing nothing but talk about doing something. I miss the days when summer vacation meant belly tops, flip flops, water rafts, late nights and sweet dreams. I really do. Don’t you too?

Don’t you feel very strongly that beach umbrellas should never cast shade on an empty chair? Or that carefree toes wriggling in warm, turquoise water should reflect the human spirit? Sandcastles don’t have to be built in the sky, however blue it may be. And long lazy walks by day should always lead to softly whispered talks at night.

Summer vacation means putting the top down, putting your feet up, and putting your game face away. The nights are warm and the drinks are cold. Thirst never felt so good. Holding hands is in. Stress is out. Sunshine feel good is as contagious as smiling.

I miss the days when summer vacation meant road trips without fear of gas hikes, and when lemonade didn’t need alcohol to make you happy. I miss the days when summer vacation meant pan fried fish you caught, cleaned and cooked yourself over a campfire grill next to a pup tent in which you could later curl up like a carefree kitten. I really do. Don’t you too?

Tell me what you miss about summer….

May 8, 2011

Mothers, The Foundation of This Country

In his Mother’s Day 2011 Proclamation, President Barack Obama described mothers as:

“…the rocks of our families and a foundation in our communities. In gratitude for their generous love, patient counsel, and lifelong support, let us pay respect to the women who carry out the hard work of motherhood with skill and grace, and let us remember those mothers who, though no longer with us, inspire us still.”

His words are profoundly true. In many ways, sometimes not our favorite ways, our mothers are reflected in our lives on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s the shape of our eyes, our lips, our nose, our bone structure, height, eye or hair color, or a hand gesture, a phrase, or even the way we tilt our head that reminds those around us of our mother. Less visible and yet more deeply ingrained are the inherited morals, the sense of self worth, justice, honor, integrity, philanthropy and empathy.

Mothers are often referred to as the hub of the family wheel. I have seen first-hand how true that is in my own family. The rock of our family? Yes. When the matriarchs of my family died, two sisters who kept the family news flying across their hot phone wires on a daily basis, the sense of family unity began to wither. The extended family events, such as reunions, became sparsely attended until they looked more like an immediate family dinner with a few guests. They went from an annual event to a biennial event—and you know once that happens no one remembers if this is the year.

It’s been a great disappointment for me to see my own children grow up without truly knowing their cousins, without spending over the summer at each other’s homes and developing a sense of extended family unity. Meeting each other only at funerals, and less often at weddings, makes me sad and nostalgic. Sure, we baby boomers talk about back in the day and when we were kids, but what frightens me the most when I watch the news and talk to friends is the growing separation between children and their immediate families.

Yes, mother’s work these days, sometimes multiple jobs, but more and more it seems children are growing up into isolated adults with no sense of family. If they speak to their mothers, it’s on Mother’s Day. Even then it’s more a sense of duty than pleasure. They find fault with their mothers rather than the wisdom and council of years of experiences and, yes, mistakes. Mothering is often a thankless job, at least verbally. So why do we have children? We have them because they give us a sense of awe, of wonder, of quiet joyful memories even through moments of bitter disappointment.

Once someone asked me why something changed in my life, and I said simply, “I became a mother.” That brief statement spoke volumes and no further explanation was needed. I feel profoundly blessed to have mothered two beautiful, intelligent children who have grown into successful adults with stable, happy relationships. As a mother, I must have done something right. But I urge all the mothers out there to encourage their children to be active in their lives and in the lives of extended family members, when possible. Mothers are the foundation of the family; and, family is the foundation of this country.

April 25, 2011

The Morning After

Your sugar high is winding down, the eggs have all been found, and you’ve awakened to the morning after. It doesn’t have to feel like a bad thing, though. It should feel more like the beginning of something fresh and wonderful. Every morning has the potential to be be the best day yet, even a Monday morning!

So how do you get your coffee-in-hand, dazed news-watching self focused on a positive rather than a negative outlook? You make that choice. You commit a random act of kindness, or even reward yourself in some small but smile-on-your-face way. Or, if you would never have dared before, you make a life change everyone thinks is risky or daring, or exciting in an ‘I wish I had the nerve to do that’ way. Live your life with deliberation rather than apathetic existence.

Reality TV has become the norm. Why? Because for some reason mind-dulled, apathetic people who have come to just accept and ignore the mundane sameness of each “new” day crave a vicarious adventure of out-of-the-ordinary proportions. Some are heartwarming and offer hope to those with a sense of mass hopelessness in a failing economy, such as The Biggest Loser where those who have given up on themselves receive the help and encouragement they need to take control of their own lives. Some are spectacular makeover shows for deserving, but struggling families, such as Extreme Makeover, where they demolish the family home and rebuild it from the ground up, creating the perfect, customized home. Still others are bizarre, filled with fringe-dwellers and social outcasts or outlaws, like Dog, The Bounty Hunter, or Jerry Springer. They make people feel good about their own lives because they are at least better, in their minds, than the dysfunctional, sad segments of other people’s lives they view.

Doing nothing more than watch these shows to make life a little better through someone else’s reality is like putting a bandaid on a severed artery. Sooner of later, there’s no life-sustaining blood left. Don’t exist until you expire. Live your life to the fullest! Cliche’? Maybe. But it’s also profoundly true. So reconnect with a forgotten hobby or friend. Do that thing you always wanted to, but “gave up” because paying bills and changing diapers began to define who you were instead of some of the things you do.

Make the morning afer the first day of the rest of your life!