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Archive for the ‘Blog Entries by Clary Lopez’ Category

I don’t have much time to blog this week. I’ve been doing research and networking in order to meet new authors and as a result many have joined Guerrilla Marketers’ Cafe. I believe we have about 15 new authors, so if you are looking for some good books make sure you visit us and check our bookshelf.

Today I’m sharing with you and article by my friend Nick Daws. Nick knows a lot about online marketing and I always enjoy his articles. I hope you enjoy it.


WHY EVERY WRITER NEEDS A WEBSITE!

by

NICK DAWS

If you’re a writer and don’t have your own website to advertise yourself, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. How do I know? Well, I’ve had my own site for about seven years now, and during that time it’s brought me dozens, possibly hundreds, of work opportunities. Here are just a few which came my way as a result of people seeing my site…

* Hamlyn Publishing (UK) wanting me to write a couple of two-page spreads for a proposed book.

* A retired gangster living in Ireland wanting me to help write his memoirs.

* A local video company, wanting my help scripting a training video.

* A US publishing house wanting me to ghost-write an exposé of malpractice in the insurance industry.

* A UK publisher, wanting me to quote for producing a series of city guides for publication on the Internet.

* And, not least, White Cliff Computing Limited, whose interest in my work led to me writing two courses for them, “Write Any Book in 28 Days – Or Less!” and “Quick Cash Writing”.

I didn’t actually take up all of the opportunities mentioned above. Sometimes I was too busy with other projects (and I must admit the retired gangster scared me a little…). However, the point is that none of these approaches would have come my way without a website.

There are other benefits as well. If I’m applying for a new writing project or commission, I can simply suggest that the potential client refers to my website if they require any further information. It saves constantly sending out weighty CVs or résumés, and makes me look like a technologically aware, up-to-the-minute sort of guy (this becomes more important when, as in my case, you are no longer in the first flush of youth). The website also helps me keep in touch with readers of my books, and it provides me with an additional (if small) income stream through advertising.

OK, I hear you saying, you’ve sold me on the benefits of having a website, but I’m a writer, not a tech-head. I don’t know how to create my own site, and I don’t have the spare cash to hire someone to build one for me.

Let’s take the latter point first. Getting a website built for you need not be hugely expensive. Freelance writers really don’t need whizzy, cutting-edge designs with Flash animation, online databases, shopping trolleys, and so forth. A basic site which showcases you and your work should be more than sufficient. Try entering “website designer” in your favorite search engine and

you’ll get hundreds of potential designers. Approach a few with details of your requirements and see what responses you get. You may well be pleasantly surprised by the quotes you receive. Website design is a very competitive field – and, of course, the designer you use can be based anywhere in the world.

However, if at all possible, I do strongly recommend that you consider building and maintaining your own site. This has all sorts of advantages. For one, you can update it yourself quickly and easily, and you can also create it exactly as you wish. You can add bits, take bits away, try out advertising, start your

own newsletter, etc. etc. This is the route I have taken, and although my site is never going to win any awards for its design, it suits my purposes very well.

In my time I’ve used various programs to create and maintain my website, starting with a program called the CompuServe First Web Page Designer (now, I’m sure, residing in software heaven). If I was starting again today, however, I would definitely invest a few bucks in the Newbie Club First Website Builder. This is a four-volume guide to creating, writing, designing, automating, uploading and promoting your own website, in fully illustrated

e-book format. As well as the four beautifully written e-books, you get loads of free software, including the Super Easy Mini Site Wizard, which will build a basic site for you in literally minutes. Check out everything on offer in this product at http://tinyurl.com/2syw8. I guarantee it’ll blow you away.

Even if you decide to hire a professional designer to create your site for you, the Newbie Club First Website Builder will show you everything you need to know in order to take over the running of your site and maintain and update it yourself.

Incidentally, the Newbie Club, which is aimed at people new to computing rather than IT specialists, also produces a free email newsletter packed with hints and tips for newcomers to computing – you can sign up to it at http://tinyurl.com/2zgy2 if you wish. Although I’ve been using PCs for quite a while now, I still subscribe, and regularly pick up useful hints and tips I hadn’t been aware of before.

Nick Daws is a best-selling author living in Staffordshire, England.
You can discover his exciting course “How to Write Any Book in 28 Days – OR LESS!” online at http://www.writequickly.com/


Clary Lopez
http://clarylopez.com
http://clary.wordpress.com

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To celebrate the Christmas Season I’m having a Holiday Book Giveaway Contest for the book Simplicity, Richness of Life. It will make a wonderful christmas gift for you or a loved one. You can read a preview of the book here.

Simplicity, Richness of Life Book

All you have to do is sign up on my mailing list.

I just redecorated the site, please tell me what you think. 😉

Drawing will be on December 5th. Good Luck!

Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity, Richness of Life
http://clarylopez.com

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I listened to this message at least ten times and continue to analyze what it means to me personally. Love has been theme of interest to me for a very long time, I’m still learning how to love.

Watch Paulo Coelho’s take on love and then read my take on the same subject.

Clary’s take:

I find a lot of wisdom in everything Paulo Coelho has to say about life in general. He expresses so well what matters to all of us. I listened to the whole series of this presentation on YouTube and got a lot from it. On this part he speaks about love. I know that they are a lot of you struggling with this issue and questioning what’s all about, should we hope to find it or look for it, should we give it up after a bad experience or forever dream about it without letting it rule our life.

Love is a powerful feeling, it builds up and completely destroys us. It’s sublime and is hell. It’s giving and taking. It’s free and sacrificed. It’s all hopeful and forgiving. All of these and much more.

Paulo speaks about others being happy with our happiness ( and I would add: even if it doesn’t include them) that’s love. He also speaks about us not sacrificing our love for those of others. I’ve been taught that love is sacrifice, so how do we correlate both and still experience love and happiness in our life? That’s the difficult question. How far do you go in your sacrifice?

I don’t have all the answers yet, I’m navigating my life and doing the best I can to live my life in an authentic way. Whatever I’ve learned so far I love to share it with others and I’m always listening to those who are older and wiser than I am. Love is a mystery to me and I guess it is for all of us who truly want to experience what it is and how to better express it. There are many levels according to our state in life and there are different kinds of love as well. I guess we can study, experience, meditate, analyze all we want and we will never know the fullness of it but I’m sure we are entitled to have some of it if we remain opened and receptive to it.

Now, what is your take?

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life
Official Blog

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Life is full of dreams and expectations, nobody knows for sure what their meaning in life is. Most of the time I know when I’m on the right track when I feel at peace with what’s going on around and inside me.

We go through life and encounter new paths and stages, and every time we do so we need to make adjustments. What changes do we need to make in order to continue growing? What new things do we need to learn? What have we learned from past experiences or failures?

I’m constantly looking to learn at all levels; mentally, spiritually and in business. Looking for knowledge is my way to stay alive and motivated, optimistic about the future and the world. I find satisfaction in self-challenge in order to grow and then by achieving my goals.

I have no idea why I’m writing this today, perhaps because I’m evaluating what I have accomplished so far compare to where I was a year ago. I’ve learned to stay motivated and inspired. I’m glad I have a group of friends and associates to share my joy with. Most of all I’m glad to help others any way I can.

Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity – Richness of Life
Official Blog

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books

by Clary Lopez

The time to think about your book promotion is before you start writing it. When you consider your book subject you should consider how big an audience the book might have. Then you need to know where and how to reach that audience. After doing your initial research and deciding that you have a strong audience for the book then you should look at your competition. Find books that have been published with the same theme and see how you can improve or provide even more valuable information not even offered in them. If you are planning to submit the book to publishers make note of who published those books, it’s a good chance that they might be open to publish another book on a proven successful theme.

When you start thinking about outlining your book content think of promotional features to integrate with your book like a CD version, workbook, questionnaire, book club discussion questions, a free report to be downloaded on your website, etc. You want your audience to get in touch with you, in that way you’ll have a way to communicate with them about book signings, contests, workshops or new book releases. Always include your website and e-mail address in your books.

Wouldn’t it be nice to finish your book, publish it and go on to write the next one? I think it is every writer’s dream; however it is not the way it works. To be a successful writer you must treat your craft like any other business. You not only need to produce a product, you need to market it. Marketing doesn’t come naturally to many people but it is an integral part of what we need to do to make money. By being a business owner I’ve learned the quickest way to be successful is to study others who are successful. I’m always looking for the shortcut; I don’t have time to waste.

Networking off and online is a great way to learn your craft. Meeting and sharing experiences with those who are doing what you do and most of all who had some success will help you reach your goals quicker.

There are many ways to connect with other people for one the internet has broken the barrier of time and space. You can communicate globally with like-minded people at any given time. You can communicate by e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, web logs, community sites, your website, forums and discussion boards but you must learn how to take advantage of these opportunities to get the results you want.

I’ve seen many authors who sign up for every group, forum, promotions site under the sky and then walk away from it. That your book can be in many sites online doesn’t mean necessarily that your audience will find it. Your participation in such groups and sites is integral to the success of your promotions. Some authors start web logs which they quickly abandon or lose focus of the web log’s theme and start going in twenty different directions. To reach your audience, pick your theme or topic for your web log and stick with it, then post on it regularly.

Networking off-line is also important. You must know your audience and where to find it. Joining writers associations, the Chamber of Commerce, nonprofit organizations related to your interests and any other business associations will put you in front of those more likely to accept your message helping you promote your work effectively.

What I’ve shared with you is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot more to learn about book promotion. I would like to say there is no better way than meeting with people who have traveled the path and have been successful at it. Look for ways to find them, read about them and join them in groups and associations and don’t be shy about joining in the discussions. The stupidest question is the one that is never asked. An intelligent question might spark a discussion of something integral to the success of all its members but only if they put it into action.

*************

Clary Lopez is the CEO/Founder of Guerrilla Marketers Café, Free Book Promotion site.
She is an author, moderator and publicist. You can contact her at guerrilla@clarylopez.com or join her on her sites http://guerrilla.clarylopez.com, http://www.lulu.com/guerrilla and her official author site http://clarylopez.com Clary’s new book, BookPromo Guerrilla Style will be released soon.

*************

(Copyright by Clary Lopez, 2006. Reprint Rights granted to those who will post it in its entirety including the byline and without changing any of its content)

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jane

My daily struggle as a writer is to find enough inspiration to write the next story. It takes a lot of time and imagination to create something that would move me, I need to keep in mind that the story will only flow if I have it inside of me. It must be so powerful that will burst out from inside onto the paper.

Many factors affect the amount and quality of my writing; daily life, circumstances, emotions, health, peace of mind and feelings. Taking the good with the bad I push myself to write something every day. Anything and everything could spark and idea for a writing; the news, a movie, an article, a painting, music, a picture. Staying close with like minded people also estimulates ideas that could become a whole story on its own.

I was checking my email this morning and the announcement of the movie Becoming Jane got my attention. I watched the movie trailer and was taken right away by the theme. I have to see this movie! I enjoy watching movies of writers and this one I’m sure will spark many ideas.

For those of you who write, I would like to know what helps you get new and fresh ideas? How much time do you dedicate to writing?

Clary Lopez
Author of Simplicity – Richness of Life
Clary’s Blog

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by Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity – Richness of Life

You’ve probably worked months or years on your manuscript. Writing a book is not just a matter of getting your thoughts on paper, it is the urgency to communicate your message to the world. But once you’ve finished the work of writing comes the revising time before you hand it over to your editor and then it is back to the keyboard to fine tune according to his suggestions.

The ideal time to start promoting your book is six months before its release, but how do you know when is the right time to release your book? I’ve written a few books but published only two. The right time to release my book is the time in which I have all the marketing in order for it. In addition to the marketing (website, post cards, posters, etc.) it is important that you are prepared mentally and emotionally to promote the book. It takes time and dedication to promote a book and once the book has been released you work non-stop for a few months and sometimes one or two years. That is what I have done with my first book as I build my audience and continue to expand it. It was two years ago when I released it and now I’m thinking about the second edition of the book and a Spanish version of it.

As you publish more books you learn the sequence in which certain details need to be done. One very usufel book, self-published or not, is The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter. It has valuable information for any writer. The book helps you organize your work from start to finish.

We learn as we go along and usually our first book release taught us enough to help us the second time around. Just make sure that everything is in place before you release it and that will increase the books sales on the first few weeks or months which will determine its success.

Clary’s Website
Clary’s Blog

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Self-Publishing is gaining momentum and with the advance technology available today is making it easier for anyone who has desire and dedication to become a published author. Even though many publishing companies does not considered a self-publication worthy to call the author a “published author” I believe it has more or the same weight than any other author contracted by them. There is no secret that many famous writers started as self-published authors and there is still good writers discovered by their amazing skills not only in their writing but by their book marketing efforts.

So what are the characteristics that set self-published authors apart?

• Passion – First of all these writers are passionate about their writing. Some of them try to get published the conventional way but if they are convinced that their work is invalidly rejected they don’t give up hope.
• Dedication – Unlike writers who are on a timetable in order to get their book published at a certain time, self-published authors work on their books as long as it takes. The revisions and editing can go on forever or until he is satisfied with the final product.
• Marketing Skills – They learn many aspects of the publishing business in order to succeed since they have nobody to rely on but themselves. These make them skillful when it comes to marketing their books, something every author should know how to do no matter how their book is published. They are also proactive about making the right business connections to help them grow their market.
• Lifetime Learners – In order to stay competitive, self-published authors are always looking for ways to learn the different aspects of the book industry that they can utilize in their on going promoting campaigns, websites, blogs, printing and design.

I guess these are some of the qualities that publishers see when they discover a good writer. It saves time to contract someone that has proved themselves with their self-published book and has learned to market it to their audience than to contract a good writer who knows nothing about book marketing.

So if you are among the ranks of self-published authors don’t be ashamed, be proud. Make sure your work is worthy to be published. Have it revised, edited and critiqued by professionals even if you have to pay them. Your self-published book might open the door to many other great opportunities in the publishing business; make it the best you can.

Clary Lopez
Author of Simplicity – Richness of Life

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The Guardian

The last six weeks have been a journey, one I’m not sure where it will end and that fills me with uncertainty. I’m trying to be open to whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life with God’s help. It’s not easy.

One day I went to the beach right in front my parent’s home in Puerto Rico and a few minutes later a few people get out of their vehichles and headed to shore. There was a young man holding his surfboard, two little girls and an older man. The girls giggled as they started playing in the sand and the wind played with their hair. The older man took out his cell phone and as his son started to walk towards the water he asked him to stop for a minute. The young man smiled as his dad took a picture of him holding the surfboard with the water right behind him, he then started to walk to shore. He stood there a few minutes looking at the waves, timing them I’m sure. I couldn’t get my camera ready before he decided to jump in on the board and off he went. His dad was closer to shore now and the girls continued playing. I snapped the picture as the dad watched his son get into the deep waters. I don’t think his eyes left him more than a few seconds at a time as he would look at the girls right under his feet, he was the guardian.

All of this made me think about whose job is it to care for our family. In life matters we all have a job to do. We sometimes want to do it all even though we are not prepared to do so, but we have developed ways to have others care for us if we need to. That’s the reason why people study different fields according to their God given talents in order to serve humanity. But now my questions is, should be rely solely on those individuals and forget about the responsability we have to be informed of our own being in order to then look for the proper assistance with others? I believe it is very important we know about ourselves; physically and spiritually. We can’t let others decide our fate and go blindly into the unknown. We can’t know it all but we can know ourselves and be able to tell when something is really wrong or out of balance.

I like to be at the gate of my affairs and those of my family, vigilant for any kind of attack that might come our way. I also like to offer guidance and support when needed even though sometimes it can be challenging. Right now I’m not sure if I have all the necessary tools to do a good job, so I’m informing myself the best way I can and feeding my soul at the same time with prayer. I’m far from perfect and I realize my nothingness before God but not as you might think. I know he created me and to him I’m very special and important, but I must realize my place before him and not become so proud that I completely forget about who created me out of love. When I acknowledge my nothingness it’s when he raises me up and begins to mold me to better accomplish that which he had designated for me.

A lot has come my way in the last six months and at times it seems overwhelming. That’s the time I need to learn to let go and blindly trust again. It’s not easy for me; the one who traces goals and projects along with deadlines to be met in order to see something done. The one who tries to be strong and resolve any kind of problem that comes my way in order to make my family happy. I like to have systems implemented in order to have everything run smoothly but my systems need to be revised again. Whenever I need to make changes it’s very hard, because I’ve been used to work in a certain manner. I try desperately different things and get frustated when nothing works. Finding the balance between love and discipline is not easy. Now I know what Oprah says that being a mom is the hardest job on earth, it is, but on the same token is the most rewarded.

So I will continue to be the guardian of those I love and do my job which entails whatever concerns them including their health and overall well being.

Do you consider yourself a guardian? In which ways?

Clary Lopez, Inspirational Author
http://clarylopez.com
http://clary.wordpress.com
The Book’s Den

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You know those times, you are either falling in love or you are going through a tragedy and you need to let it out. As a writer you can count on to be moved to write either when you are happy or sad. Emotions are the catalyst to create with words that which wants to emerge from the depths of our soul. It is a channel to release tensions and to give way to a positive view.

We try to make sense our daily living. If we tend not to analyze our commitments too much before we know it, we have no life to speak of. If we have a family which we feel needs all kinds of activities and entertainment, our quality of life get worst. Life in general is not easy, it takes time to fine tune our intents and how to go about getting it done. Many times we forget about the most important person in the equation, us. If we don’t take care of ourselves and our needs we have nothing to give others in return. The well is usually so deep and holds so much water, if we continue to draw water from it even in times of draught, before too long we have nothing left.

I was fortunate enough to have been taught by my mother to put my emotions on paper, thank you mom. From my difficult teenage years until now I’m able to refuge myself in my journals. I have a few with different themes. One is a spiritual journal in which I write matters of faith and my experiences. My “conversations with God” and what I think he is trying to communicate to me. Another one is a gratitude journal; when I went through a difficult time in my life I needed that one to go on and not lose hope. A priest suggested to me to do that one in order not to focus on what I didn’t have but on what I was given instead. It helped me realize that I was not alone, God was with me, and that everything had a purpose. I also keep a Bookography, a journal of books I’ve read and what I think of them, that one was suggested by a book I read which I can’t remember the title right now.

I knew that this year would be a difficult one, but I had no idea it would be like this. There are times when you can tell that a lot is coming your way but all the sudden you see even more than you think you can handle coming right on your direction. But then again it might not be that at all, it is because you can handle it that is coming your way and not to others. For some reason I feel at peace and tranquil. I have my moments in which I burst into tears and after that I feel better and go on. It is time to analyze my life one more time and how I will handle what is before me. I need to dig deep and give up a few responsibilities to take on others. It is not going to be easy but if God trusted me with it I’m sure that with his help I will handle it well. “His strength not mine” I keep telling myself so I don’t dare think it is me who is going to take care of whatever needs to be done in my life and the life of those entrusted to me.

Do you see how this works? I haven’t been able to write for months and now I can write for days. The need to unburden my mind of the millions scenarios that goes through my mind and that doesn’t let me sleep have created this writing. I believe I tossed and turned all-night and was awake for a good couple of hours around 4 a.m. this morning. These and other words traveled through my mind trying to escape, not create madness but to heal and to strengthen.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity – Richness of Life

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