Posted in Freelance Writer, Indie Author, Life Experience

Selling Myself

As an artist, writer, editor, freelancer, and author – I am always selling myself. I have to prove that this product (me, I’m the product) is worth people’s money. I think you do this less when you work a more traditional job. Yes, you still have to go in and do your job, but I am a continual salesperson with Yvonne being the main item I sell. Sometimes before I can even do the work for the day, I have to prove I am still worthy of being the product that does this job for a living.

Different sales tactics come into play depending on which part of me I’m selling (that sounded far dirtier than I meant it to – I meant whether I am selling my art, my crafts, one of my books, or my skills as a writer or editor).

As a freelance writer, I have to continually apply for gigs or send out manuscripts and queries. I have to always have samples on hand, published online with my name on them – something that isn’t always easy when most of your work is done as a ghostwriter.

As a crafter and artist, I have to always be showing that my skills are growing. I have to prove the things I’ve created are unique and worth someone’s investment in them. And, how do I even get people to see them? I have to be on social media, selling them somewhere online and in person.

As a self-published author, I have to do much the same as I do as a crafter. I also have to find businesses willing to stock my books.

Every single day I am selling myself. Every single day I come up with new ideas to do this. How are you selling yourself?

Here are some of the things I am working on right now:

  • I will have my books and The Art of Dreams & Divination items available early next year at a new local business in Hudsonville, MI – Eye Candy for Your Body & Home.
  • I am creating videos to promote my books, and I recently started recording myself reading poems I’ve written to practice for a book signing event I’m doing in January.
  • I spend at least one day a week sharing my articles, books, art, and other things on social media.
  • I come up with new marketing ideas and tools as often as possible… and I just keep going!

 

Posted in Books, Freelance Writer, Indie Author, Life Experience, marketing, Poetry

More Than A Writer

IMG_20180905_191932I named this the “Life As A Writer” blog because this website focuses mostly on my career as a freelance writer – but that’s not all I do. I am more than a poet. I am more than an author. I am more than a freelance writer. I am more than someone who puts creativity into stories, and more than someone who turns the written word into art.

I am an artist. I am a crafter. I am a creative soul.

This year I have slowly, and progressively, been launching The Art Of Dreams And Divination. This is a small business that combines my love for arts and crafts with my passion for divination and spirituality. I do dream interpretations, make dream catchers, and handmake divination items… and so much more!

I have a few items up in my Etsy shop, sold a good amount of items at the Indie Flea Market in October (a local Grand Rapids event that hosts local artists and crafters), and I signed a lease for a 6 month spot at a new shop opening up early 2019 in Hudsonville, MI. I plan to do more… but it takes time.

book_coverNot only do I work with numerous clients each day, but I also have to find time to work on my books and my crafts. This means organizing my time and giving into the creativity bug when it bites!

I love to write – but I also love all things creative. No matter how many times I’ve tried to only be a writer, I always find myself lost in other creative pursuits as well.

Welcome to the life of a creative entrepreneur!

Posted in Freelance Writer, Indie Author

Writer’s Toolbox – Websites and Apps to Make Advertising More Colorful

Whether you’re designing an ad or creating a post for one of your social media accounts – you need to make sure that your company stands out (even if your company is just you). As an author and freelance writer (oh, and as a crafter), I do a lot of online promoting. If you want people to see what you’re promoting, you need to use more than words.

I’m not putting these sites in any kind of order – they all offer something unique that is worth using.

Lumen5

Lumen5 is an easy to use (and free) website that lets you make slideshow style videos (they even have music you can use). You can use your own photos or use photos they have available. They might have paid options, but I’ve been able to get all I want from the freebies, so I haven’t really looked that deeply into it.

I like to use Lumen5 to make trailers and sneak peek videos for my books. I’ve also used it to share tips from some of my articles, with links to the complete works included at the end of the video. You can check out my YouTube channel to see what I’ve done using Lumen5.

Clipping Magic

ICHINGDon’t have Photoshop, but need to remove the background from your images so you can add them to cool new backgrounds? For $3.99 a month I get 15 credits from Clipping Magic (they have a couple other pricing options for people that need to clip more pictures a month). It takes one credit to “clip” a photo. And, if you don’t use all of your credits up each month, they continue to accumulate (you don’t lose them).

I love this site because it is easy to use – you just highlight the stuff you want to keep using green and highlight the areas you want to be removed with red, and you’re all set. It also has a “sculpting” tool to help with fine lines.

PicMonkey

Iguana Hold Your HandI love PicMonkey. I used them back when they had far more free options, and then gave them up when they started charging for more stuff. However, because I couldn’t find another free site that did exactly what they do, I went back. I got a week for free, and now I am paying $7.99 a month to use them – but it’s well worth it (and it’s a tax write-off too).

PicMonkey lets me upload photos, add fun backgrounds (like the one in the I-Ching kit picture above, which I made with PicMonkey). They also have a bunch of cool face editing features so you can make yourself into a witch, a vampire, or even a zombie. They have holiday themes and so much more.

Canva

Poetry about life, loss, love, and everything in between.Available at Lulu.comThe Canva website and app are easy to use, and they are an absolute must for online advertising (especially on social media). This is ideal for people that want something free (they have paid options as well). You can load your own photos, use free ones from them, or purchase some – depending on what you need.

Canva is my go-to tool for cool Facebook page covers and general book adds (plus, I love the ability to access it via an app on my phone from anywhere).

Pixabay

Pictures are important – they capture people’s attention before they even see your words. You don’t have to have a bunch of your own photos or be a photographer to get your hands on great photos to use in advertising, on blog posts, on social media, or even on your book covers. You can find a plethora of free photos on Pixabay (though it is nice to donate a few bucks once in a while to the people who are taking the photos you’re using).

I have a strict rule of only using my own photos for my book covers, but I do use Pixabay often when I write articles for Vocal.

Image Size Calculator

It’s easy to hop into Paint and resize a photo, but how do you know what size to make it? When you’re working with online photos or even photos that you might be printing out Resolution matters. I found a handy free tool online that lets you determine the Pixel to Inch calculations for a photo, with the ability to pick what DPI you need. Different DPI will calculate to a different Inch size. You can use it in reverse as well (though it takes some trial and error) to find out how many Pixels a certain size (in inches) photo needs to be.

I use this tool when I am creating posters, postcards, and even bookmarks to print through VistaPrint.

 

These are some of the websites and apps that I use on a regular basis to make all sorts of things to share with people on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. Next post (in a week or so) I will share some of the sites I like to use to make money – whether I’m selling something, creating something to sell, or looking for backers.

Posted in Freelance Writer, Indie Author

How To Be A Writer – Curated Tips

Are you writing? Do you want to be a writer? Do you want to start earning a living as a freelance writer or start publishing your own books? These are all things that you can do – I do them.

I make a living as a freelance writer. I don’t have a job outside of the home. I write, edit, and review in order to pay my bills. It takes a lot of dedication though and isn’t a career for someone that doesn’t have ambition, drive, and a thick skin.

In the coming weeks and months, I will share places you should and shouldn’t consider publishing your books and your articles. I will share links to the best places to look for writing gigs. I’ll give you vital tips on writing, editing, and more. I have over 18 years of experience as a professional writer and over three decades of experience in writing in general.

To get you started, here are links to some articles I’ve written on the topic of writing, promoting your writing, and more.

How to Find Focus as a Writer

Don’t Just Write What You Know

Five Steps To More Effective Article Writing

How To Become A Full-Time Freelance Writer

How To Write A Better Product Review

5 Things You Need Before You Start Applying to Writing Gigs

Writing 101: Are You Turning In Clean Copy?

Five Ways to Make Your Writing More Interesting

The Importance of Goodreads and Amazon for Indie Authors

5 Reasons Your Book Needs to Be Available in Both Print and eBook Format

5 Things Self-Publishing Authors Need to Know

Are You Sharing Too Much of Your Book Online?

THIS Book Will Help You Finish Your Novel

Three Places You May Not Have Thought To Sell Your Self-Published Book Offline

Finding Focus as a Creative

How To Better Promote Yourself And Your Artistic Business

Tips for Using Social Media to Promote Your Creative Business and Products