Monthly Archives: March 2014

Google Hangout Interview: Ally Machate

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

Expert Information!  Enjoy!

Ally E. Machate is an editor, writer, and publishing consultant who has worked at small and large book publishers, including Simon & Schuster, where she acquired and edited books for the Touchstone and Fireside imprints. Ally loves using her insider knowledge to help writers reach their publishing goals by improving their writing skills, polishing their manuscripts, and learning to navigate the publishing world. She also works with purpose-driven entrepreneurs and wellness professionals who are building their platform by helping them become published authors so they can garner major media and plum speaking gigs, attract larger audiences and ideal clients, and help others while creating the lifestyle they desire.

If you’d like to work with an Ambitious Enterprises editor to ensure your manuscript or book proposal successfully meets industry expectations, find out about editorial and business services at http://www.ambitiousenterprises.com

If you’d like to work with Ally to significantly reinvent your manuscript or create digital and print books that capture your voice and deliver your message to your target audience, explore her book writing services at http://www.allymachate.com

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Expert Partnerships! Google Hangout with Ally Machete!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

During the course of your travels through your publishing career you will meet and gain friendships with many distinct and varied people throughout the industry. It’s exhilarating when you can get one of those individuals to come on and speak in an interview and talk about what sets them apart in their chosen publishing field.

Tomorrow I have a Google Hangout at 1 PM MST with my friend Ally Machete. Now Ally is an editorial whiz and can help any author take their book from manuscript through development to be a workable, well-written tome.
I invite you all to take an hour out of your time and tune into our Google hangout as I interview Ally about what she does to help her authors in the editorial arena.
When: Friday, March 28, 2014                                                      Where: Google Hangouts—No Hotel or Plane Fare needed!

 

Time: 1 PM MST, 3PM EST

 

 

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Why Leaders Get Better With Age

Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

Companies prize young talent. And rightly so. In an era of instant communication, they need young, tech-savvy leaders who can help them to get things done faster.

Still, speed by itself doesn’t equate to business success. Sydney Finkelstein wrote about this in a recent BBC article. In it, he recalls the classic Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. It’s the plodding tortoise, and not the speedy hare, that crossed the finish line first.

Experience may not bring speed – but it does bring wisdom and other traits/abilities. Among them:

Perspective – Age brings a greater ability to reflect and put into context what is happening around you.

Deeper compassion – This extends to the people in your life, both at work and at home.

A dose of reality – The illusion of perfection has long gone.

Empathy – “Once you’ve live a little, it becomes harder to go…

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Toastmasters Table Topics Competition!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I have not recently done a blog post about Toastmasters, but I thought today was a good day to catch up on where I’ve been a where I am going. To be a coach in the publishing industry you have to be able to get your words out effectively and succinctly in order to communicate with those who could be possible clients and future clients. I have found that I highly enjoy the interaction with an audience and this could be troublesome for my publishing competition in the future.

Speech Number 4—Competent Communicator

On Wednesday, March 18, I gave my fourth speech to the “Speak with Ease” Toastmasters group in Louisville, Colorado. The reason why I chose this particular Toastmasters group was that they come highly recommended by people I respect and trust. They have won a distinguished Presidents award ribbon, which only 1% of the Toastmasters groups in the US are awarded, every year for the past nine years. If you want to test your mettle against the best speakers, you go to where the best speakers are speaking. In my eight months with this club I have been completely impressed with all of my fellow Toastmasters and have never regretted my decision to join this particular Toastmasters club. I am humbled to be among these many excellent speakers.  I am attaching the YouTube video of my speech on March 18 for your viewing pleasure. The name of my speech was “Re-invention”, and yes that hyphen supposed to be there because that is how I titled this particular speech.

Table Topics

Today I represented my group at the area E5 Table Topics Speech Contest. I spent many a long hour practicing for this competition. I practiced not so much for my own edification but because I did not want to represent my group badly. I was able to secure second place in my first attempt in a Toastmasters competition. I am very happy with the way things worked out and I am looking forward to future competitions where I will be much more successful. I was told that the voting on this particular contest was razor close. I know that my speeches can only get better from here and I am very much looking forward to the next few months and years working with my fellow Toastmasters in the “Speak with Ease” group.

Table Topics Competition

Table Topics Competition

Speak with Ease

The one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that I walked into a room with 40 to 60 people I did not know and spoke for two minutes with authority on a topic that I’d just been given five seconds before. (There were 6-8 members of my group there, but the majority of the people were strangers.) The topic I was given had to do with what superpower I wished I had and how I would use it. The basis for my two-minute speech was that the power is knowledge. Knowledge is contained in the public library. The public library is basically the Batcave of advancing your own professional and personal development. As Matt Damon said in Good Will Hunting:  “Everything you need to know for a complete university education is contained in the public library.”  I am paraphrasing of course, but this is a true fact.

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I will be continuing blog posts on Toastmasters and my speaking development as topics transpire. If you want to help your speech and advance your career, there is nothing better you can do then to find your local Toastmasters group and start speaking your words out!

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The Public Library: Two Distinct Users!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I just came back from a trip to New York in January. I spent the holidays at my mother’s house on the East End of Long Island. My mother recently turned 85 years-old, and is probably one of the most voracious readers I have ever seen. All the librarians in her local library know her, and when I went to return some of her books they all made a point of asking how she was doing. They really love my mom and the reason is because my mom is the epitome of the “Library Lover.”

Library Lover

The term “Library Lover” can be defined thusly:

Library Lovers have strikingly positive views of public libraries compared with other groups, and with the U.S. population as a whole; they use libraries and library websites more than any other group, and believe libraries are essential at the personal as well as the community level.1

I was very much surprised to see that my mother does not really fit the demographic for someone who could be described as a library lover. People who have more time to use in various pursuits would appear to be the perfect library patrons. Since my mother is retired and has always been an avid reader, trips over to the library (that is about 150 yards from her backdoor) just makes sense. My mother does not just take out one or two books; she comes home with a bag full of books. She comes home with so many books that sometimes when the books are late going back the librarians will not charge her the penalty because she is such a great patron and library lover.

Information Omnivore

I, on the other hand, am the perfect example of an “Information Omnivore.”  The definition of an information omnivore was enunciated in the article listed above in the following terms:

(These definitions are directly from the PEW Research on Libraries)

Information Omnivores are more likely to seek and use information than other groups, are more likely to have and use technology; at the same time, they are strong users of public libraries, and think libraries have a vital role in their communities. However, they are not quite as active in their library use as Library Lovers, or nearly as likely to say the loss of the local library would have a major impact on them and their family.2

I have to admit that sometimes in my haste to get information and reference materials I sometimes think only of an Amazon or a Barnes & Noble before the thought comes into my head that I can actually read the material for free from my local Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library here in Broomfield, Colorado. Why I never think of the public library first, I don’t know. My thought patterns are changing though and more and more I have found myself at the library within the last few months. When my Chamber of Commerce Leads Group started a reading club with Jeff Olson’s: The Slight Edge as the first title to be read, I immediately went online to access the library’s catalog to see if this book was available for sign-out. The library did not own a copy of the book, but when I went to check on it they actually put it on a list to be purchased. About two and half weeks later I had the book in hand to read.

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Public Library, a Public Bargain

Since everyone is watching pennies these days, you really cannot beat the ability to borrow a library book and have it for two weeks with the possibility of another two weeks without paying anything for it. Go to your public library and see what special events they have to offer.  Take out a book, DVD movie or e-book and start to become an information omnivore or a library lover as well.  The more knowledge you have the better off you will be.

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***All of this information was contained in the article:  Library Lovers and Information Omnivores: Meet the Most Avid Library Patrons directly from the dbw website (Digital Book World)

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/library-lovers-and-information-omnivores-meet-the-most-avid-library-patrons/

 

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Authors and Writers: Is a Definition Forthcoming? (Or Needed?)

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

When someone sits down at the keyboard,  pulls up a legal pad and a mechanical pencil, or starts to dictate to speech-to- text recognition software they are taking the ultimate plunge in bearing their soul to the masses. What do we call this? And by the same token who are we to be the judges of someone else’s artistic aspirations. We can rightly judge whether the writing is well-crafted and grammatically correct, but if this individual would like to call themselves an” Author” that should be completely in their arena of rights. The fact that they’ve even taken the step to get information and content out that they have a passion for should be lauded and extolled. Whether the individual will profit from this venture is a question for the consuming marketplace. This is a marketplace that is very discerning and will separate the wheat from the chaff without hesitation.

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/why-self-published-authors-should-call-themselves-anything-they-want/

Author, Writer, Editor, Oh My

It was with this understanding of the difficulties in writing and authoring books and e-books that I read with interest Jeremy Greenfield’s rebuttal on the dbw website:  Why Self-Published Authors Should Call Themselves Anything They Want. This piece was actually a reaction and explanation to counteract an original article written by Michael Kozlowski entitled:  Self-Publishers Should Not Be Called Authors. I agree with Mr. Greenfield on most of the points in the article. I think the individual should be allowed to make their own designation of what they see themselves as if they practiced the art of writing and authoring.

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Find your NICHE

The one thing that Mr. Greenfield seems to leave out of his analysis was that in this day and age of social media interaction a person can write in any niche they feel comfortable and have a passion for and find an audience in the mainstream somewhere. This interaction on social media is what is driving many self publishers to make money from their writing. The question of whether the writing is good or bad should not really be an issue because even if the title is self-published all of the same functions need to occur that would transpire at any of the major publishing houses in the country. A manuscript with writing that is technically sound but grammatically challenged can be corrected with a heavy copyedit. If you leave out the editing process and try to publish your book/e-book without using the professional norms, then the finished product could be a disaster.

For Whom the Bell Tolls…

In the past, writers who became authors were also journalists and correspondents. Ernest Hemingway was a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. He wrote many articles about what was happening at the front. You could say that he authored those articles. The semantic differences between being an author, being a writer, being a journalist, and being a correspondent, are all left to the individual.  If someone has constructed a piece of content then you could say that they authored the content. Authoring content has nothing to do with sales, has nothing to do with marketing, and can be interchangeably used with writing.

I don’t think this issue is going to go away in any small measure, but I do see this controversy as an undercurrent of discomfort being leveled at self-publishers by the traditional publishing establishment. Since we know that self-publishing is exploding, traditional publishing is feeling the heat and competition for consumer’s dollars. What better way to undermine the competition then to malign the creators as sub par and not worthy of inclusion in the overall publishing pantheon?

It’s all about Good Content

I think the real question should be: How do Independent Authors produce titles consistently that rival the big publishing houses in content quality? If the independent authors can produce high-quality products consistently, this controversy will disappear.

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Be the Authority! Blog and Get the Word Out!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book KahunaHere’s a great Google Hangout I did with my friend, Leslie Lane Peabody:  The Ninja in High Heels!  Enjoy…

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If you are blogging anyway, don’t forget about the Empower Network.  Viral Blogging is for you!

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