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May 2008
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July 2008

Self-Publishing Secrets with Elaine Floyd

Elainefloyd I was very excited to see that my publisher, Elaine Floyd, is the guest speaker on an upcoming SpeakerNet News Teleseminar - July 8.  She will be addressing "Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Produce Your Own Bestseller". And this lady *totally* knows her stuff.  I mean, she did publish each of my three best-selling scrapbooking idea books.

In this teleseminar, you will learn:

  • how to create a system for selling not just one book, but a series [editor's note: from the beginning, she intended to make Book of Me a series, not just a single, stand-alone book.  She's always thinking ahead like that.]
  • why your book must exceed the standards of major publishers
  • the three critical components to making your book a success and what most self-publishers skip — to their book’s detriment
  • key components of a jump-off-the-shelf cover [I still get comments on the appeal of my book covers - Elaine was integral to their design.]
  • internal layout tips that separate “home-made” from professional [ditto on the internal pages - people *love* the sidebars in my books.]
  • how to decide between soft- and hard-cover

In short, if you are interested in self-publishing (or even if you're publishing with an commercial publisher) - Elaine's expertise will give you the inside scoop on getting your books to fly off the shelves.  I truly cannot sing her praises enough.

[cross-posted on blog]

Guest Post: Avoiding Information Overload

Organized Scrapbooking by Aby Garvey

How many emails are in your in-box? How many magazines are in your "to-read" (or sift through again) pile? How many blogs or information websites do you peruse on a daily basis -- just for fun? Between magazines, blogs, websites, e-zines, pod-casts, books, newspapers, and television shows, information OVERLOAD is almost inevitable. It's simply impossible to get through a single day without being flooded with new (and often EXCITING) information.


The information is exciting because we seek out information on topics that INTEREST us. You subscribe to e-zines on organizing because you're interested in organizing. Right? So while all this information is exciting -- it comes with a bit of baggage: the information you collect represents TASKS on your mental to-do list. When you collect information, you collect actions you want to do or feel you should do, even if that to-do is as simple as digesting the information in the newsletter or e-zine.


Information overload sets in when you accumulate ideas at a faster rate than you can PROCESS them or act on them. Here's how it works. For a while, your idea backlog is inspiring. Then you reach a tipping point: your information starts to feel more overwhelming than motivating; inhibiting action instead of inspiring it. To avoid information overload, you need a new plan, a FILTERING system that allows you to hold onto the information you want and need, and filter out the irrelevant stuff. You will always have more ideas presented to you then you will ever have time to act on. So filter away the overload by keeping ideas that are inspiring to you, relevant to you and will help you in some way.


How does this filtering work? Well, imagine you've just finished boiling noodles for macaroni and cheese. You pull out your colander in an effort to collect the tasty macaroni and filter out the not-so-yummy pasta water. In the case of information, the yummy macaroni are those ideas that are relevant and INSPIRING to you. The icky pasta water, are ideas, that while in and of themselves may be wonderful, simply aren't a FIT for you now, for one reason or another. Unfortunately, there is no magic colander you can pull out whenever information comes your way. Instead, you have to be your own filter. Here's a simple formula using the word "filter" to help you separate the pasta from the water...

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Sharing Link: Everyday Super Hero layout

Sharing a layout I found via a recent newsletter: Everyday by Sno Fairy.

I love a number of things about this layout -

  • LOVE the journaling on 'wonky' strips of *patterned paper* (hello! I don't know if I've ever journaled on *patterned paper*!).
  • LOVE the perception she has of herself - she's a SUPER HERO because she's a MOM.  That's just...well, super.  She specifically outlines all the tasks she accomplishes on a daily basis - when you add all those tasks - it does sound rather heroic to get it all done!
  • Love the funky flower embellishments - oooh, and the felt.  Love that layered felt flower.
  • Love the funky 'wonky' collage background layered behind the photo.
  • Love the simple photo of her coffee mug - a very 'everyday' image, but something that will remind her kids of her.

Just had to share.

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda: Letters TO Camp

My son heads off to his 4th year of Boy Scout camp soon - 10 days of rugged manliness in the wilds of Missouri.  While he is gone, it's my job to make sure he doesn't get lonesome and homesick - I *know* that 14-year-old boy will miss his beloved mother TERRIBLY!  ;)  So I make a concerted effort to send him something fun every day.  I thought I would share my mailing "schedule", in case you have campers heading out this summer too.

Please note: You may notice a bit of a quirky/geeky slant to my missives - feel free to adapt for your camper's unique sense of "fun".  :)

Day 1: News of the Weird (sent two days before he leaves for camp)
Day 2: More News of the Weird
Day 3: Weird Words of the Day - i.e. Old English Exclamations & Name-Calling
Day 4: Care Package - cookies, comic books, comic strips cut from newspaper or from Internet
Day 5: Jokes & Monty Python quotes
Day 6: Letter from Hally (our black lab)
Day 7: Weird But True Facts about Animals & the Human Body

Do you have kids heading out to camp?  What do you send them while they're away from home?

The Book of Me - as seen on BlogHer!

Nice to see The Book of Me mentioned on the BlogHer crafting blog: Scrapping Our Own Life Stories.  Craft blogger Debra Roby spotted Shimelle Laine's "time warp" blog series, offering a review of her years in scrapbooking, and linked to Shimelle's posts.  In her review of 2001-2002, Shimelle mentioned contributing to The Book of Me, so Debra linked to the book too.  Very nice. :)

46 Things about Me

My college roommate recently sent me one of those emails that asks you to complete random questions about yourself.  Since it was interesting reading her answers, I went ahead and completed the questionnaire and sent it back to her.  Since it was already typed up, I thought I would share my answers here too.  Feel free to answer these questions on your own blog, and post a link in the comments.  Also feel free to use the questions and responses to create a Book of Me layout - type, print, slap on cardstock, and call it done!  :)

1. Do you like blue cheese?
Not by itself, particularly, but it can be good mixed with other cheeses, like in a cheese dip.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
I've never smoked anything, unless you count ribs or a ham.

3. Do you own a gun?
Yep - glue and staple, and they're both loaded.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at sonic?
I don't go to Sonic often, but when I do, it's Vanilla coke for me.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor Appointments?
Depends on the kind of doctor, I guess, but generally, no.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Louis Rich bun-length turkey dogs are the only way to go.  Everything else is too greasy.

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
A Muppet Christmas Carol

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
"doctored-up" coffee - plenty sweet and milky, with sugar-free vanilla flavor

9. Can you do push ups?
About 3-5 - my arms shake a whole lot, and there's quite a bit of grunting and heavy breathing.  It's very impressive.

10. Age?
About 10 years older than I feel/think (but actually 36, till August)

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
My wedding band

12. Favorite hobby?
Scrapbooking, for the most part, but also knitting & blogging

13. Favorite Actor?
typically dark-haired and intellectual/geeky - David Duchovny, Patrick Dempsey, Colm Meaney

14. Do you have A.D.D.?
No, but I'm easily sidetracked.

15. What's one trait you hate about yourself?
I'll have to copy my roommate's answer - "No self control when it comes to sweets"

Continue reading "46 Things about Me" »