BLOG: Eye-Popping Tips

From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

September 30th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

“Murder your darlings”: A Writing tip for Halloween!

A writing tip from one of my team members, Patrice Rhoades-Baum reminds us to be objective when writing and editing our content. As a marketing consultant and branding expert, she guides solopreneurs – such as professional speakers, corporate consultants, and business coaches – to create a clear brand, strategic website, and polished one sheet brochure. Patrice has a 35-year marketing background: 25 years in high-tech corporate marketing + 10 years as a business owner. She specializes in branding for small businesses and writing strategic, hardworking one sheet and website copy.   “Murder your darlings.” It’s not a Halloween joke. It’s a century-old, highly respected writing tip! Who…

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August 29th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Self Publishers Can Use Media Mail to Save on Shipping Costs

Self Publishers Can Use Media Mail to ship books to their customers and save over 50% on postage costs. This is a special low rate the United States Postal Service offers for shipping books, CDs, DVDs, videotapes, printed music and sound recordings weighing 70 pounds or less in the USA. Computer drives, video games, or digital drives do NOT qualify for Media Mail rates. The delivery time is anywhere from 2 to 8 business days. The US Postal service reserves the right to open these packages to verify they qualify for media mail. Including a price sheet for your books is allowed, however, inserting a…

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July 28th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Why Use Active Verbs Instead of Passive?

Why Use Active Verbs Instead of Passive? This is part 3 of a 3-part series by my team editor Barbara McNichol on communicating clearly and writing like a pro. During the summer months of June, July and August, I’ll post a 3-part series on helpful writing tips by Barbara.  You’ve probably been urged to use active verbs when you write but do you know why? Because sentences written with active verbs: Clearly spell out the action being performed and who is doing it. Convey the ideas more quickly and directly than passive sentences. Frequently require fewer words than passive sentences when space is limited. Two clues help you identify “passive” use…

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June 26th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Communicating Clearly: Choose Words with Intention Every Time

Communicating Clearly. This is part 2 of a 3-part series by my team editor Barbara McNichol on communicating clearly and writing like a pro. During the summer months of June, July and August, I’ll post a 3-part series on helpful writing tips by Barbara.  Do you find that at times the spoken language slides into your writing, but often the words selected aren’t the exact fit for what you mean? Do you have trouble communicating clearly in your prose? Consider these sentences: How many executives do what they feel will win approval? The public feels certain people shouldn’t be in the workforce. Given the context, is “feel” the correct word to express the…

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May 28th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Better Writing: When to Use “Like” vs. “Such As”

Better writing skills: My team editor Barbara McNichol is passionate about teaching self-publishers how to write like a pro. During the summer months of June, July and August, I’ll post a 3-part series on helpful writing tips by Barbara.    Have you ever wondered about the distinction between “like” or “such as” in your writing? Here are two phrases to consider: . . . the answers that so-called geniuses like / such as Newton seem to embody. . . . centuries of innovations like / such as the airplane and the space shuttle have resulted. In these examples, “such as” is preferred over “like” because the word…

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April 25th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

How to Sell More Books: 3 Steps to Make Your Readers Love You

Team member and social media marketing expert Mary Walewski contributed this month’s article on how authors can sell more books: When it comes to authors selling books, I think the problem is this: People confuse marketing with having to be sale-sy all the time. I can certainly understand wanting to get sales. But when your only message to potential readers is “Buy my book!” people will tune you out very quickly. People buy from you when they know and trust you. If you are struggling to connect with potential readers on social media, take a good look at what you’re posting!…

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March 28th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

How to Create Book Titles That Sizzle and Sell

This month my friend, client and colleague Joe Sabah graciously contributed this article on how to create book titles. Sometimes independent and self-publishers struggle with this process, and Joe has offered some helpful tips. Even though this article was written in 2006, it is very applicable today. Why does one book become a best seller while another flops? Consider this title: Inside the Ropes. A coffee table book priced at $40 with hardly any sales. Before we go on, what do you think Inside the Ropes is about? First answer from many people would be Boxing. When the author was asked “What’s it about?”…

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February 26th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Color Theory: 6 Common But Often Misunderstood Color Terms

When discussing color with clients I’ve discovered some common color terms are misunderstood or confused with other definitions of a general or broader use of the terms. Some of these terms are very specific when used in the context of color theory and design, but may have quite different meanings in the minds of the general public. Tint In color theory a tint is a color with white added to it; a lighter version of the specific color. When white is added to red it will results in pink, which is a tint of red. In general use, a tint…

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December 28th, 2015 | By: Karen Saunders

How to Trademark a Logo, Brand Name or Business Name

After reading about another local trademark infringement case, I thought I would provide basic facts and information on how to trademark a logo, brand name or business name. So I listened to a presentation by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and have posted my notes below. But first, here’s a little background on the local case. In November 2015 Jerry Cunningham, the owner of Q Publishing, the parent company of a 40-year-old magazine, OUT FRONT, filed suit against Outfront Media, Inc., a billboard company. The name and the logos look very similar. Although OUT FRONT magazine has been using…

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