10 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes in Your Emails

Have you ever written an email, pushed send, and then found an embarrassing mistake? Often you don’t see that misspelled word or insensitive phrasing until it’s too late, right?

Because I’m a professional editor and proofreader, my correspondence is held to a high standard. Even when the correspondence is personal instead of professional, it’s important to remember how easy it is for a recipient to misunderstand an email that isn’t clear and concise.

I’d love to share a few tricks I’ve learned that can save you from making those embarrassing gaffes in the first place: Continue reading “10 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes in Your Emails”

The Willpower Workaround: A Surprising Interview with Author Maureen Anderson

What if you could eat as much as you wanted, all day every day, and never gain weight? No gimmicks, nothing unsafe.

Radio personality Maureen Anderson (@DoingWhatWorks) did just that, and she wrote The Willpower Workaround to show just how to do it.

“The Plan” isn’t a big, complicated diet—it’s about a simple lifestyle change Maureen made that changed everything. When she first contacted me about editing her book, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical; I mean, you need willpower—and lots of it—to lose weight, right? Was I ever wrong!

Maureen is one of the most interesting, vivacious, and genuine people you’ll ever meet. Her personality shines through in her book, too, and if you’ve ever struggled with dieting (and who hasn’t?), you’ll love The Willpower Workaround.

Maureen was kind enough to answer some of my burning questions about the book and those sugar cookies she writes about to start the book:

I make the best sugar cookies you’ve ever tasted.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Talk to one of my childhood friends, who won’t share them with her grandchildren because they don’t appreciate the work that goes into them. Or talk to one of my daughter’s former teachers, who used to hide them in the freezer in a bag marked “for the dog” so she wouldn’t have to share them with her family.

Every year between Halloween and Christmas my husband and I used to bake two hundred dozen sugar cookies from scratch. You read that right. Two hundred dozen. Each one painstakingly rolled out really thin, cut, transferred to a baking pan, baked, cooled, frosted, dried, wrapped individually, packed with bubble wrap, and shipped all over the country to friends and family and people we did business with.

Every summer I used to lose the same ten or fifteen pounds a lot of people do because they’re more active, only to always gain them back by Thanksgiving. One year I wondered if it was the cookies. Darrell looked at me. Then he said, “Duh.”

That was all I had to read to know I wanted to work with Maureen, and it was an awesome experience. Recently she agreed to answer some of my burning questions; I found her answers thoughtful and relatable, and I hope you enjoy our conversation!

The Interview:

Candace Johnson: Why did you feel it was important to write The Willpower Workaround and share The Plan?

Maureen Anderson: Thanks for using them both in the same sentence! I think of The Willpower Workaround as the formal name for the way I eat, but it’s a mouthful. I can’t remember if it was my husband or daughter who started calling it The Plan right away—but it’s the perfect nickname, and it stuck.

I wrote The Willpower Workaround because it worked so well it felt irresponsible not to share. The first time I spoke of it publicly in a formal presentation, I did it next to a big poster with photos of everything I ate. When I saw someone taking a picture of the poster I thought, “All those people who told me I should write a book and then give talks were right. It would be great to have a little instruction manual, disguised as a short memoir, available for sale.”

When I decided to give up junk food in August of 2009, it was only going to be for a year. My motives had at least as much to do with wanting a writing project I could sink my teeth into as a diet. I’d been noticing “year in the life” experiments in bookstores. The Year of Living Biblically was a popular one. My book was going to be The Year I Didn’t Cheat. I even purchased that domain name, which inspired the guy taking our order for it to feel bad for my husband. (My husband, Darrell, interviewed me about my progress at the one-month point. Would you like to watch?)

I imagined rip-roaring stories about passing up chips and salsa for another spinach salad, for example, and the snappy comebacks I’d have at the ready for people who made fun of me. Can you imagine a weaker premise for a book? And you know what? I didn’t care! It got me started. I was doing the right thing for the wrong reason, but at least I was doing something. I think one secret to life is experimenting with it.

Candace Johnson: We learn in the book that your initial success with permanent weight loss was based on winning a challenge. Do you have any advice for men and women who need a reward to stay on the path toward changing the way they eat?

Continue reading “The Willpower Workaround: A Surprising Interview with Author Maureen Anderson”

Your Social Media: What to Include in Your Book Proposal

Are you confused about how to highlight your social media activity and connections in your nonfiction book proposal? What are publishers looking for? What if you’re just getting started on social media? I answer those questions and more in my guest blog at Ausoma.com (which stands for Authors Social Media Marketing), hosted by social media marketing specialist Sue Canfield. Please join me there, and be sure to let me know if you have any questions—I’m here to help!

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Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here, and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Meet Indie Children’s Book Author Angel Krishna

I am an indie children’s book author, and I love it. My name is Angel Krishna, and I write children’s books. My latest release is Gabby’s Space Adventure, about a hippo who is determined to go into space.

Writing and publishing children’s books is a bit crazy and fun at the same time, if that makes sense. There is so much you have to consider when putting a book together, but most important is the word placement and grammar, punctuation, etc. … this is why I am so grateful for Candace Johnson. When she edited my children’s picture book she marked all errors with a note, stating the reason why something was incorrect so I could learn as well. Candace has been a huge help to indie authors! We all need a great editor, and she is it.

Previously I was with a publisher, but trust me, it’s not all that! I felt they didn’t work hard at all to promote me and my books. Really nothing was done! I was like, “This is crazy!” A huge percentage of my earnings were going to them, and they did not do a thing to market me. I know that as the author I have to promote myself, and I did and still do, but I got zero feedback and acknowledgment. So needless to say I went indie, and I love it.

I am currently with Bublish—they are pretty great! They have many tools to help you promote your brand. They also have many free webinars to build your knowledge. Bublish offers many services that may come in handy to help you with selling, tracking reader engagement, building your brand, improving discoverability, and learn social marketing—what a list! I hope you’ll check them out.

About that editing …

Wow! What a pleasure it is working with Candace Johnson. It’s always a bit nerve-racking giving your work to an editor, but Candace makes you feel so at ease and proud of what you’ve accomplished. I was so happy when my friend Christa Wojo introduced me to Candace. Now I have a new friend and a fantastic editor.

I’m so happy to be a part of Candace’s life and tell you how great she is and a little about myself. I hope to keep going forward in my venture and passion. As you know, writing and book promotion are hard and exhausting at times, but I usually take a breather and plop on the sofa with a big exhale, lol! Thanks for checking out my books, and I hope see you on social media!

*****

Thanks for the kudos, Angel. I loved working with you on the text for Gabby’s Space Adventure, and I wish you much success with all your projects!

If you’d like to learn more about Angel’s writing journey, check out her Client Spotlight at ChristaWojo.com

 

Angel Krishna is the author of Gu-Glee-Goos of ChristmasMonkeys and Crocodiles Play BaseballGabby’s Space Adventure, and the Genius Kid App. You can find her on FacebookTwitter, and Bublish 

 *****

Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here, and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of THE MEMORY BOX with a $0.99 ebook and More Great News!

I’m squealing with excitement over here!

Three years ago writer Eva Lesko Natiello contacted me about editing her first novel. I took one look at the manuscript and I was IN!

I’ve written about The Memory Box here and here and here, and I hope you’ve had the opportunity to read it … but if you haven’t yet, here’s your chance: in celebration of the third anniversary of its debut you can get The Memory Box for just $0.99! And you’ll want to read it soon because  Continue reading “Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of THE MEMORY BOX with a $0.99 ebook and More Great News!”

The Story Behind Alien Kid: Guest post by Kristen Otte

 

Today marks the long-awaited release of Alien Kid, the first book in Kristen Otte’s new series for middle-grade readers. I’ve invited Kristen (who also happens to be one of my favorite clients), to share a bit about how she came to write a series about an alien teenager.

Learn more about Kristen and her book at the end of the post.

I stumbled into writing kids’ books a few years ago, and I discovered a love for creating books that made kids laugh.

When I published the final book in The Adventures of Zelda series, I knew I wanted to write another kids’ book series, but I didn’t know what.

In the fall of 2016, amid a job transition with my husband and caring for a new little guy in our house, I felt the itch to start a new writing project. Without the time or bandwidth to write quite yet, I decided to do some research on the kids’ book market. I went to the local library, talked with the children’s librarian, and checked out the books she said were the most popular. For the most part, I knew many of those books and series.

Over the next few weeks, I read through the books and found myself disappointed in what I was reading. The books were funny, but often at the expense of a kid in the story. I often didn’t like the main characters in these books because of their bad attitudes or disrespect toward teachers, siblings, and even parents. Continue reading “The Story Behind Alien Kid: Guest post by Kristen Otte”

I’m a Featured Contributor at Sixty and Me

I’m excited to announce my selection as a featured contributor for Sixty and Me. This online community of more than 350,000 women over 60 connects women who want to live happy, healthy, and financially secure lives and  provides “ideas for turning passions into profitable work, share ways to build strong bodies and minds, and to create a mindset that sees life after sixty as a positive, vibrant, and active time.”

 

“But I’m not 60—not even close,” you say?

 

That’s okay—you’ll love many of the article anyway. For example, I’ve written about ways to get your book published, overcoming childhood fears, and snacks to help you sleep at night … and future articles I plan to write will appeal to every age. Continue reading “I’m a Featured Contributor at Sixty and Me”

Have You Tried HARO, the Easy Author Platform-Building Technique?

 

Any writer building an author platform knows it takes time, effort, and patience. Sadly, too many first-time authors publish a book without building a strong platform and then wonder why their book doesn’t sell. Too many authors who hope to interest a traditional publisher are shocked when they receive rejection after rejection because they lack a professional network or public presence.

A strong platform is especially important for nonfiction writers who write as subject-matter experts. But how does a writer build a platform from scratch or continue to grow one before and after publishing a book? Continue reading “Have You Tried HARO, the Easy Author Platform-Building Technique?”

Call Me, Ismael: #LiteraryTypos on Twitter

Twitter’s trending topics is enjoying a resurgence of #literarytypos, an exercise in changing a letter or two in the title or well-known line of a famous book to create a groan-worthy variation. If you haven’t already done so, join the fun over at Twitter—or better yet, add your own in the comments below!

Some of my favorite literary typos:

 @Face4Audio

“Call me, Ishmael.”

 @AynAyahSteenkur

Vanity Hair

 @baskerville_mr

The Wine in the Willows

Continue reading “Call Me, Ismael: #LiteraryTypos on Twitter”

Crossing Over: Making Peace with Self-Publishing/ Guest Post by Maureen Anderson

“If you knew the world was going to end in two days, what would you do?” the writer Sara Davidson was once asked. “Take notes,” she said without hesitating.

That’s me. The world as I knew it had ended, with a painful divorce I hadn’t seen coming, and I’d done what I’d always done to make sense of things. I took notes.

Many years later, perusing those notes, I could never pull myself away. “What a great story,” I kept thinking. “What an interesting way of putting a life back together from scratch.” By then I’d become a radio journalist, interviewing experts on career change. What struck me, thinking of my own career transition, was how much I’d accidentally done right.

Do-Over: An Accidental Template for Scaling the Abyss is that story. But I wasn’t a licensed career counselor or a celebrity. Getting an agent or a publisher interested in Do-Over would be a haul. Continue reading “Crossing Over: Making Peace with Self-Publishing/ Guest Post by Maureen Anderson”