Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Literary Pie: Annual Celebration

Above (L to R): Kat Blanc, Diana L Guerrero, "William Sarabande," Liz Harris, Rita Robinson Campbell. Not pictured is Pamela Heiman.

This week was our annual author lunch which now revolves around the Literary Pie tradition started by Susan Messer & Patry Francis.

If you have not had your piece of the Literary Pie, you'd better get busy and feed that muse. This year my pie didn't look as perfect as it has in the past but it always tastes out of this world!

Above: This year's Literary Pie. Check out the recipe and rules to this tradition here.

We sent our good thoughts and blessings over to Patry and I hope to hear from her soon. She's had some health challenges of late.

You can visit Patry's blog here and see her last year's pie while you are at it!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Review: Yaro Starak's Blog Mastermind Program

Above: Yaro talks to me about Blog Mastermind

One of the big challenges facing any author is how to establish a relationship with your readers and maintain it.

In addition, marketing budgets are low or non-existent for most newly published authors or bloggers.

My last book, Blessing of the Animals was designed to drive readers to the book’s website which had an opt-in email list and a blog.

Today I am overhauling the site (and this one--I have about 10 so be patient) so that it will be blog (web journal) that allows two way communication with my readership or visitors who are surfing the web and who land on the site.

Let me tell you why.

I just ended a year long investment into two programs by Yaro Starak. If you don’t know who Yaro Starak is—you probably are new to blogging.

Yaro Starak's programs are great for writers or authors because they can help you build your audience and monetize (teach you to make an income) your blog in the process.

It wasn't too long ago that Yaro began blogging and quickly shot to the top of the heap as on of the most successful and well known internet bloggers.

If you are going to spend time and energy blogging—shouldn’t you do it right? Shouldn’t you make money in the process?

Yes, do it right and make money!

I've taken the advice and despite health challenges and other setbacks my blogs that were projects in Yaro Starak's Blog Mastermind program are bringing in passive income.

Let me give you a bit of history on my experience with Yaro Starak and state right now that it is my recommendation that you enroll in his Blog Mastermind Program. I don't often recommend or review programs (and yes, I am an affiliate) but this is a gem.

If you are a skeptic, start with his free resources—the Blog Profits Blueprint and the Become a Blogger tutorials--but don’t miss out on the Blog Mastermind Program because it opens up to new students this month and he only takes so many students per session.

I first learned of Yaro Starak during a teleseminar about podcasting. A novice at the effort, I was glad that he shared vital information that helped me right away. In addition, I liked what he had to say and the personality that he presented.

So, when he invited listeners to opt-in to his email list—I joined.

That was in 2006 and boy am I glad I did.

It was just last year when he invited me to get involved in the early launch of his Blog Mastermind Program. It was so great that I continued into the beta Mastermind Membership Program.

Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

Yaro Starak reopens the Blog Mastermind Program to a new group of students perodically and I HIGHLY recommend it. The program is by far one of the best values for the investment.

If you want an overview into what the program delves into, take a moment and download the Blog Profits Blueprint by Yaro Starak (if you did not do so already). The free download gives you an inkling of how generous the guy is—but the blueprint only scratches the surface.

The Blog Mastermind Program is a series of twenty-seven lessons delivered once a week to your email address. You just click on the link and read the assignment.

In addition, you can participate in a membership only forum, ask questions of advanced bloggers (including Yaro), and listen to audio interviews from some of the top bloggers and marketers, such as Darren Rowse (Problogger), Brian Clark (Copyblogger), and a whole lot more.

As they say, “but that’s not all” since you will also be able to view video case studies and tutorials where Yaro reviews blogs and makes suggestions for change or reveals tools or techniques you might have missed.

One of the other perks is that you get to network with other students. If you feel alone out there--you won't in this program. Everyone tries to help each other and you build some good online pals in the process.

Now, I do have to admit that I wasn’t happy with Starak’s review of one of my blogs—but he was right and that is what I was paying him for—to help me optimize and make it work for me. Now that blog is doing more than I expected--you can see the before and after blog makeover at this review on the Fawnskin Flyer.

The program is well worth the price and at least one other review said that she would be “willing to invest much more in it than I would have in any other product.” So let’s talk about the program:

First, blogging takes time and growing your audience, traffic, and any profits come from time invested. Yaro Starak makes a pretty good income from his blogging. Will you?

I haven’t yet but with the Blog Mastermind Program you’ll be guided closer to that goal and I am making some money now--which I had not done the previous couple of years prior to enrolling!

Blog Mastermind is a great step-by-step guide, and the time frame for the assignments allows you to absorb all the lessons but if you don’t—those that complete the program have lifetime access to the course and any new goodies that will be added in the future.

One of the things I really liked was that Yaro Starak explains tough concepts clearly and serves them up in bite size pieces.

My bottom line assessment is that Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind Program will equip you with all the tools you need to make money blogging. The program support is excellent. I am still very happy I joined.

The Blog Mastermind Program teaches you how to implement strategies to help you make money. It does take is not a get rich quick scheme and has integrity.

The Blog Mastermind Program is worth the money and I encourage you to join.

Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

Read the Blog Mastermind Sales Page
Download the Blog Profits Blueprint Now
Learn How to Blog

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Friday, July 18, 2008

From the Authors Guild: eBooks Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster has recently sent a one-page letter to many, perhaps thousands, of authors with unspecified e-book royalty rates in an attempt to set those rates at 15% of the "catalog retail price" of the e-book. (This is the typical e-book royalty rate for S&S.) As with any amendment to a book contract, the Authors Guild advises caution:

1. Discuss the amendment with your agent or attorney, if you have one.

2. Depending on your existing contract with Simon & Schuster, the amendment may grant the publisher rights that you've otherwise retained.

3. Be aware that the amendment may affect your ability to obtain a reversion of rights.

In any negotiation regarding e-book royalty rates, we suggest that you keep your powder dry: try to retain the right to renegotiate e-book royalty rates. The Authors Guild expects that 15% of the retail list price will be the low-water mark for e-book royalties. As the e-book market develops, authors with clout will doubtlessly insist on a more reasonable share of e-book revenues, and the industry will have to adapt. One glance at's home page, which has for months been ceaselessly promoting its Kindle e-book reader, indicates that day may be near.

For more on Amazon and e-books, see this July 4th article from the San Francisco Chronicle.