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Showing posts from June, 2013

Self-Editing Part VI: Eight Sentence Patterns (Continued)

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Yesterday, we talked about simple sentences and compound sentences. You saw how understanding what kind of sentence you have, makes punctuating it that much easier. Today we are going to look at complex sentences and sentences with embedded phrases or clauses.

Pattern Five: Complex Sentence (Dependent clause at the beginning of a sentence.)
Dependent marker Dependent clause[,] Independent clause[.]
A dependent clause is one that could not stand alone. This would be called a sentence fragment by
your English teachers. An example of a dependent clause is:
Because John hit the ball over the fence. 
Just reading it, you know that there is something missing. Something should follow or precede it. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense. Dependent clauses are begun with a "dependent marker." The following are some examples. 
because before since while although if until when after as as if
Additionally, most prepositions like "in, over, on, outside of, beneath, etc." are dependent clause mar…

Self-Editing Part V: Eight Sentence Patterns

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Okay, back to my fascinating series on self-editing. Stop yawning in the back of the class. We are still looking at those pesky commas, but we are stepping back and getting some sense of context.

Once you understand a bit about what kind of sentence you have, the punctuation and why it is there makes more sense.

Just a note. This is not original with me. I did most of my research at The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue University Website. This is a fabulous resource for all writers, even though the emphasis is on academic writing. Navigation is a bit tricky, but perseverance will pay off. The article related to this subject is found here.

Pattern One: Simple SentenceIndependent clause[.]
A simple sentence has a single subject and verb followed by either a direct object (that which the verb acts upon) or a prepositional phrase. This is also known as an "independent" clause because it can stand alone as a sentence. Sometimes independent clauses can be used as parts of other sent…

8 Social Media Marketing Tips for Trade Shows and Conferences

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Even in this day and age Trade Shows are a critical component of any B2B company's marketing mix, however they involve considerable marketing investments by companies; booth space, design and fabrication of displays, travel, accommodations and marketing collateral and interactive content. It's little wonder then why more and more cities are offering more and more incentives to attract more trade shows and conferences to their cities to fuel economic development

To help maximize ROI and create awareness many companies and organizations are turning to social media to improve their success at trade shows. Below are eight tips that can help your marketing team have a successful trade show experience.


1) Make Sure Your Brand is Discoverable on Social Media.
Long before you start your trade show awareness campaign, you have to have an established presence on social media set up and ready to go. No one likes to be the first guests at a party and the same goes for fans connecting with br…

New Self Publishing Course to be Offered

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As you might have noticed in some of my previous posts, I'm a might disturbed by "consultants" and others who are ripping off authors interested in self publishing by charging for services most competent authors can do themselves. Well, I'm going to do more about it than complain. I've decided to offer a course called Ridiculously Simple Self Publishing

This course will teach you everything you need to know to publish your book to Amazon as a Kindle ebook. These techniques are transferable to most other online publishers as well. Although, we'll discuss why you might want to stick to Kindle exclusively at least for awhile.

Some Topics Include:
Format Your Book in a Half Hour or Less
Setting up a Kindle Account
Understanding your Kindle Dashboard
Setting up your author page
Free tools to use to prepare your document
How to create a cover like a pro without using Photoshop
Self-Editing techniques
Doing it all for Free
Setting your price point
Optimizing for the Kindle Sear…

About Story, Craft, Context and "Bad" Writng

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A couple of days ago someone on a writer's email loop lamented that a lot of "bad" writing was very popular. They mentioned several examples. I responded with this. Someone suggested I post this to my blog. So, here it is. 
Actually, "bad" writing, all too often, is considered "bad" simply because we don't like it. The problem with that approach is that it ignores the fact that other people do. For them it's "good" writing. 
"Quality" itself (as academics, critics and esthetes define it) is not enough for a novel to be compelling enough to be popular. "Craft" is not enough either. Being able to find the exact right word or following all the "rules" about avoiding passive voice, wordiness and adverbs. So, then, what does make a novel compelling enough for a significant number of people to read it? 
It begins with a story
First, writing tells a story. If the story is compelling, and, if we can care about the c…

Professional, Activist or Hobbyist

Recently, I've been discussing various issues related to indie publishing. I've been thinking about them because I am preparing a course called Ridiculously Simple Self Publishing. I hurt someone's feelings I think when they made the comment that they intended to pursue indie publishing "professionally" by outsourcing everything except the writing (which they nearly outsourced by having content editors and book doctors help rewrite). However, they added, that they spent a lot of money, and would not recoup their expenses, but they were proud of the professional job done.

Sorry, folks. It may be a quality job (or not). It may be a polished job. However, a professional job produces a profit. If you are not showing a profit, you are not pursuing a business, you are pursuing a hobby.

There is nothing wrong with doing something for the sheer enjoyment. Nor does it imply a low quality item just because it's produced as the result of someone pursuing a hobby. It doesn…

Instagram Strategies for B2B

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Since launching in October 2010, over 5 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, making it one of the most popular photo sharing platforms ever created. The app has been a goldmine with social and photo savvy brands who were quick to adapt to the social network and create a whole new touch point with customers and prospects.

Due to the mobile centric nature of Instagram, interactions are much more intimate than with traditional marketing channels, people who engage with your brand on Instagram are typically doing so during their downtime. This allows for a very unique opportunity to build a personal connection with people, take them behind the scenes a bit and generate a lot of positive awareness and goodwill for your brand that can come to fruition down the line.

Below are 9 tips and best practices that should get your Instagram marketing strategy off the ground.


1 Engage Your Audience by Posting Interesting Photos
This is the core of what Instagram is about: people posting photos …

Of scribes, scriveners, printers, publishers and self-publishing consultants

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One of my own passions is history. I'm particularly fascinated by ancient history and the development of writing. Up until very recent times, being able to read and write gave a person a good deal of power. The scribes of ancient Egypt were the most powerful class outside of the royal family. In some ways they even wielded power over the pharaoh since, if he wanted something written, he needed to call a scribe. During the First Century, literacy was a bit more wide spread, but even in
those better times, in Israel, the scribes, the ones who wrote down the Torah and also did things like contracts and letters carried a great deal of influence. So much so, that Jesus was often faced with opposition by the "scribes and pharisees" since he was challenging their claim of exclusivity on the interpretation of the Law.

During the middle ages, scriveners in the monasteries preserved the literature of earlier days as well as the writings of the times, but they also controlled the acc…

Tricks to increase internet speed

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Turn your modem off and on. Sometimes a simple reset can significantly increase your Internet speed. You can also turn your router on and off to see if that's helpful. Just make sure that you know your login information in case your computer requires you to enter it after the reset.
Clean your connections. Dirt is the enemy. Regularly check all modem and router cables to ensure solid and clean connections.

Dirty, dusty, or loose cables leading from your cable or DSL modem to your wireless router, or computer can cause significant reductions in your internet speed. Pick up a can of compressed air from your local computer store, and use it to blow out the dirt and dust in the connectors.
Maintain proper ventilation around all electrical components to avoid overheating.
Avoid running multiple devices at once. Turn off smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, set-top boxes or other devices that you aren't currently using and see if your Internet speed increases.
Clear your cookies, cache and b…

Why Are You Struggling to Make Money Online with Facebook?

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No excuses. If you are struggling to make money with Facebook you refuse to do a few key things on a daily basis. The whole science of money making using social media sites is simple. Really. Why do few make a dime online, then?

Well they ignore simple, so simple becomes difficult. Or, they figure that simple looks way too easy, so they develop more complicated systems, which of course, lead to failure. Sorry dude, or dudette, you are not that sophisticated, to follow a complex system, and make money with it. It is just plain dumb, anyway.

What is at the core of seeking out complex, or complicated, when it comes to making money on Facebook?

Greed. You are greedy, so you want to make money online now, and you lack patience, and you are desperate.

If you know anything about prospering, you need to set up a fair exchange. Like, you make money on Facebook by sharing something valuable with your Facebook buddies. Share helpful blog posts, or videos, or webinars, all for free.

Now, after you sha…

Installing the Windows 8.1 preview means reinstalling all your apps

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The Windows 8.1 upgrade is going to be free, but you might have to do a little work for it. Those who decide to take the Windows 8.1 preview for a spin later this month, for example, will wind up reinstalling all their apps.
Yes, that’s kind of a pain. But Microsoft is generally pretty clear about saying that its preview builds aren’t intended for users’ primary PCs. They’re a better fit for spare iron that’s laying around or a shared family PC that’s mainly used for surfing the web, emailing, and a bit of casual gaming.
It’s a preview build, after all. If you install it, it’s because you want to get an early look at the changes that will arrive later this year when Windows 8.1 is officially released. You’ve got to be willing to take the bad with the good, and the bad here is the application reinstalls.
For Windows RT users, this shouldn’t cause too many headaches. All WinRT apps come from the Windows Store, so they are tied to your personal account. When you’re done installing the Windo…

Self-Editing Like a Pro Part 4: Those Pesky Commas

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Nothing drives a writer-editor nuts faster than what to do about commas. Just recently, I read an article which found that we use fewer commas today than they did in the 1900s. The article also pointed out that commas are less frequently used in advertising copy than in academic writing. It even implied that, if you punctuated a sentence in a news story the same way you would in a scholarly
journal, you would be acting inappropriately. 
I guess the point is that even something, seemingly, as fixed as where to put commas is in flux today. However, that doesn't mean you can ignore them. The classic example is the difference between these two statements:

Let's eat, Grandma
Let's eat GrandmaOne is calling Grandma to dinner. The other is just calling Grandma dinner.

It changes your tale from a sweet, family memoir to a horror story. All for the loss of a comma.

The Sound Approach to CommasNo, I'm not talking about the classic Victor Borge comedy routine with his verbal punctuati…

8 Steps to Building Your Blog Into a Community

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There are a lot of great blog posts about creating communities, but this one is different. The 8 steps I describe below is the exact process I used to build the world’s biggest collaborative blog for personal trainers, in less than 2 years, with no connections and no technological acumen.
Whether you’re starting anew or you already have a blog you can apply these steps, in any order, to build your audience, network, and repeat readership.
Step 1 – The Idea All good blogs are based on a powerful idea that fulfils or hits on a need. Perhaps there’s a knowledge gap in your industry or, in the case of the personal training industry, there was a lot of information but it was all boring text-book material.
The gap I filled was teaching personal trainers the soft side of training but adding in jokes, usually about how much I hate that stupid useless green bird in Angry Birds. Seriously, let’s talk about that bird for a minute. Anybody else hate that thing? He adds an element of difficulty into t…