Thursday, January 24, 2013

How To Be More Productive (Book - "Extreme Productivity" by Robert C. Pozen)

Every day we are bombarded with meetings, get tons of email and face deadlines.  There are ways to help stay focused, so we can be more productive.

First and foremost you must know your GOALS. If you haven't already, write down your long term goals, yearly goals and then monthly & weekly goals. Breaking them down to the smaller element, helps you organize and identify your work.

· Prioritize your work

· Spend the most time on the most important tasks & goals

· Don't watch the clock, manage the clock

When you prioritize your responses to emails, or which meetings you attend, you in essence spend your efforts in the most critical places first. This will help you achieve your goals.

Many have used the 80/20 rule. Spend the first 20% of your time getting rid of the smaller stuff, or at least identifying them. Then spend the 80% of your time working on the most important tasks that are prevalent to your goals. 
Robert Pozen (lecturer at Harvard Business School)  uses the 80/20 a little differently.  He says you probably have to respond to only 20% of emails, and could disregard the other 80%.  Either way, 80/20 sounds like a good way to sort.

We all love to track. We watch the clock and think we spent so much time on something we must have accomplished a good days work. Not always so. If we waste our time working on reports that are not needed, or we spend too much time 'socializing' which sometimes is referred to as building bridges, then we have not always spent our time wisely.

Ask yourself the hard questions –

Will this task help me achieve my goal? Will this task make a difference?
If not then stay away and focus your time elsewhere. 

To be productive a person needs to manage their time, not be overwhelmed by tasks.  

Keep the perspective.  Step back and ask yourself the right questions. 

 Most important, always move forward.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Sign up for the INDIE RECON on-line conference.  Making indie-publishing a mission possible.  02.19.13 - 02.21.13

A BIG Thank You - to all the people giving their time and sharing their experience with others.
Attached is the schedule link.  Below is a list of presenters....hope you join too.

IndieReCon: Schedule: Getting Started Welcome / Kick off  The Future of Digital Publishing  The Honest Inside Scoop: The Pros and Cons of In...


Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman is one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with seventy-five different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. Angela also writes on the darker side of Middle Grade and Young Adult, and is represented by Jill Corcoran of The Herman Agency.

Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, the Penny Black trilogy, the Day of Sacrifice series, The Toilet Business - a collection of humorous essays, and multiple short stories. She sometimes goes by S.W. Benefiel or Reina Stowe, but knows she's not foolin' anybody. Stacey lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her poet husband and their two young children with old people names.

Darcie Chan
Darcie Chan is the author of The Mill River Recluse, a self-published debut novel that hasbecome a word-of-mouth e-book sensation. With over 650,000 copies sold, The Mill RiverRecluse appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for more than 28 weeksand became a heartwarming favorite of readers across the country.
Ali Cross

Ali Cross is the sensei of the Writer's Dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles.

Lori Culwell

Lori Culwell is the author of five books, including her debut novel, Hollywood Car Wash, which was originally self-published and went to be bought and re-released by Simon & Schuster.  She writes and works with companies, agents, and authors on marketing, lives in New york and California, and has a super-awesome husband.  You can find her at

Alicia Kat Dillman

Indie author & illustrator Alicia Kat Dillman is a life long resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. Kat illustrates and designs book covers & computer game art by day and writes teen fiction by night.  The owner of two very crazy studio cats and nine overfull bookcases, Kat can usually be found performing, watching anime or hanging out in twitter chats when not playing in the imaginary worlds within her head.

Toni and Shannon

Duolit is Shannon (the author) and Toni (the geek), two gals who have helped thousands of passionate indie authors publish their work and build their crazy-dedicated fan base. 
After an epiphany scored at the local Cracker Barrel in late 2009, we knew it was our mission to help indie authors avoid the confusion, frustration and treachery we found when trying to self-publish our own work. We've been helping indies ever since with our unique blend of real-world education and experience, down-to-earth vibe and prolific use of modifiers such as "awesome," "rockin'" and "fancypants."  Through our website ( we provide information, tools and resources to our indie friends as well as affordable coaching and marketing services to frazzled and overwhelmed authors. Stop on by or send us an email--we're more than happy to help out! :-)

Amy Edelman

Amy Edelman is a publicist and a writer. She self-published her first book, “The Fashion Resource Directory”, back in the 80s, long before POD and Amazon and e-readers roamed the land. Her second and third books (“The Little Black Dress” and “Manless in Montclair”), were traditionally published (by Simon & Schuster and Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of Crown). Having the good fortune to have published books both ways has given Amy a first-hand look at the advantages and drawbacks of each.

As both an author and a publicist with over 20 years experience, Amy understands how difficult it is for all authors to get exposure. She came up with the idea of IndieReader, “the essential consumer guide to self-published books and the people who write them” for two reasons. The first was to create a more level playing field for authors who choose to go it on their own. The second was to give book-lovers the opportunity to discover great works that they might not have otherwise have found.

Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of three International bestselling novels, a community builder for the Alliance of Independent Authors, and a touchstone in the indie publishing arena. When she’s not writing, Melissa teaches authors how to navigate the book marketing world, build their platforms, and leverage the power of social media, through her author-training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also the founder of the World Literary CafĂ©, and the social and support network for women, the Women’s Nest.

Barbara Freethy

Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, who has sold over 2 million ebooks since January 2011. Her 30 novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction. Eight other titles also appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2011. Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, mystery and romance, Barbara enjoys writing about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary adventures. Barbara has lived all over the state of California and currently resides in Northern California where she draws much of her inspiration from the beautiful bay area.

Joel Friedlander

Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) is an award-winning book designer, a blogger, and the author of A Self-Publisher's Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish. He's been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 and writes, a popular blog on book design, book marketing and the future of the book. Joel is also the founder of the online training course, The Self-Publishing Roadmap.

Brittany Geragotelis

Brittany Geragotelis, a former Olympic-bound gymnast and magazine editor, is a self-professed pop culture junkie turned author. Her paranormal action book, Life's a Witch, received 19 million reads on the writing site Wattpad, before she sold the series to Simon & Schuster. What the Spell? is her first published book in the series. Visit her at

Jessie Harrell

By day, Jessie Harrell is an appellate lawyer. By night, she’s a wife, mother of two, and author/lover of all things Greek mythology. She’s a native Floridian, frustrated world traveler, unrepentant dreamer, lover of acoustic music and not-so-closet geek. Destined is her first novel. The companion short story, Before, is free on most sites. Her short story I Come Bearing Souls appears in the Two and Twenty Dark Tales anthology.

Pamela Harty

Pamela Harty joined The Knight Agency in the summer of 2000, and has placed more than one hundred titles in a broad range of categories, including health, parenting, southern history, African American interest, business, romance, children’s, and Christian living. Recent sales include books to Penguin Putnam, Warner, BET, Harlequin/Silhouette, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, InterVarsity Press, McGraw Hill, Broadman & Holman, Chicago Review Press, Free Spirit Publishing, Fleming Revell/Baker, and Westminster John Knox. She brings to the agency a successful sales background combined with a genuine love of books. Says Pamela, “Agenting is my dream job. I get to read for a living while working with incredibly talented people in a competitive and challenging industry.” Pamela serves as The Knight Agency’s Vice President of Sales, and belongs to the Association of Authors’ Representatives and Romance Writers of America.

Nancy Holder

Nancy Holder is a multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling au Nancy Holder is a multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author (the Wicked Series). Her two new dark young adult dark fantasy series are Crusade and Wolf Springs Chronicles. She has won five Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association, as well as a Scribe Award for Best Novel (Saving Grace: Tough Love.) Nancy has sold over eighty novels one hundred short stories, many of them based on such shows as Highlander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and others. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, two corgis, and three cats. You can visit Nancy online at

Steena Holmes

Steena Holmes is the bestselling author of Finding Emma, a women's fiction novel that won the 2012 National Indie Excellence Award for Best Fiction. She currently has 11 indie titles published and has sold over 100,000 copies within 2012 alone. She is a multi-genre writer and writes romance under the pen name of Wynne Holmes.  Steena's passion for indie publishing helped her to create The Authors Red Room ( site designed to help indie authors find affordable editing, formatting and cover designs. She is also represented by Pamela Harty and recently landed a book deal with Amazon Publishing for Emma's Secret due to her recent indie success.

Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover. Writer. Mother. Ninja. Wife. Avett Fanatic. Hardcore Realist. Author of the New York Times Best Selling, SLAMMED.

Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey's the Wool series became a sudden success in the Fall of 2011. The Omnibus has spent considerable time in the Amazon top 100, has been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film. The story of its success has been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and Deadline Hollywood among many others. Random House is publishing the hardback version in the UK in January of 2013.  When Hugh isn’t writing, he likes to go for hikes with his family, take a stroll on the beach, and keep up with my reading. He currently lives in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Amber and his dog Bella.

S.R. Johannes

S.R. Johannes is the author of Amazon bestselling Untraceable and Uncontrollable (teen wilderness thrillers) and a new tween paranormal, On The Bright Side. She has published short novelettes as well as a teen romance anthology with 16 other authors titled, In His Eyes. S.R. Johannes was recently nominated in the YA category as Georgia Author of the Year. She is also the 2012 winner of the IndieReader Discovery Awards for young adult.

Cheri Lasota

Cheri Lasota has written poetry and fiction for sixteen years, edited fiction for nine years and recently jumped headlong into design work for enhanced ebooks. She has a great love for all things techy / geeky, so she finds herself pushing the boundaries of ebook marketing and design at every turn. Her passion for fiction and helping other novelists achieve their goals is without limits.  Her bestselling debut novel, Artemis Rising, is a 2012 finalist in the Next Generation Indie Books Awards, and she is finishing up her second YA novel, Echoes in the Glass, set on the Oregon Coast.

M. Leighton

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.

CJ Lyons

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sixteen novels and former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday). She's an internationally known speaker and has sold over a million books in the past year via her indy publishing in addition to working with NYC traditional publishers.  Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at and everything she knows about being a bestseller at

Robin Ludwig

Robin Ludwig is an award winning book cover designer and President of an advertising design and printing company which was established in 2002. She has a diploma in Electronic Publishing from an education based in the computer arts. Robin worked several years for a large photo lab doing retouching, restoration, collage and marketing before starting Robin Ludwig Design Inc.  For more information on Robin's services, please visit her website here:

Jason Letts

Jason Letts is the bestselling YA author of the Inevitable Trilogy and Powerless series, as well as part of the team behind the #1 Kindle Fire books and apps blog The Kindle Fire Department. He also writes mobile games, guidebooks, and is in the process of learning programming. If life were perfect, he'd spend all of it in the shade of palm trees typing crazy stories beside a warm sandy beach.

Bob Mayer

Bob Mayer is a West Point Graduate, Former Green Beret, CEO of Cool Gus Publishing and a NY Times Bestselling Author. He has had over 50 books published. He has sold over four million books, and is in demand as a team-building, life-changing, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way concept, which he translated into Write It Forward: a holistic program teaching writers how to be authors. He is also the Co-Creator of Cool Gus Publishing, which does both eBooks and Print On Demand, so he has experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing.  His books have hit the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and numerous other bestseller lists. His book The Jefferson Allegiance, was released independently and reached #2 overall in sales on Nook.

Addison Moore

Addison Moore is paranormal YA writer of the Celestra book series and her New Adult title, Someone to Love. Often fueled by Dr. Pepper. Addison Moore writes young adult fiction and romance. She is a graduate from the University of Southern California and worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she's not writing, she's reading. Addison's Celestra series was optioned for film by 20th Century Fox.

Sybil Nelson

Sybil Nelson is a wife, a mother of two and a full-time Ph.D. student at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She is the author of the award winning Priscilla the Great series as well as a number of books published under her pseudonym Leslie DuBois. To date she has written sixteen novels.  Sybil loves speaking to children and young adults, sharing her inspirational personal story of how she went from poverty to a PhD. If you would like to schedule her for a speaking engagement, please contact her directly through her website

Steven Novak

Born in Chicago Illinois, Steven Novak has spent the whole of his life creating. After attending The Columbus College of Art and Design he moved to California where he married his wife. He has worked as a freelance illustrator and designer for over ten years and published six indie novels. His work can be found online at

Laura Pauling

Laura Pauling writes for all ages where the real and the incredible combine in heart stopping adventures. She lives out her desire for travel and excitement in her young adult Circle of Spies Series: A Spy Like Me and Heart of an Assassin. Her middle grade, How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings is available now.  She’d say that living her life of a suburban mom/author complete with minivan carpools, soccer games, and home-baked snicker doodles are really a cover for her exciting life of secret missions and covert operations, but she’d be lying. She loves living in New England with her husband and children. She has yet to find someone who can beat her at Boggle.

J.F. Penn

J.F. Penn is the author of the ARKANE thrillers, Pentecost, Prophecy and Exodus. Joanna is also an entrepreneur and professional speaker. Her site for writers has been voted one of the Top 10 sites for writers two years running and offers articles, audio and video on writing, publishing and book marketing. Connect with Joanna on twitter @thecreativepenn

LM Preston

LM Preston is co-owner of Phenomenal One Press, Vice President at MBPA, Conference Coordinator at Maryland Writer's Association who recruits Lit Agents and Editors for conferences, and is a moderator at which is an online writing community. In addition she has penned over 5 published novels in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction. She's taught at University of Maryland, University College in technical related studies.

Becca Puglisi

Becca Puglisi is one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with 75 different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. Becca also writes historical fiction and fantasy for the YA audience.

Susan Kaye Quinn

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, a young adult science fiction series. She’s a former rocket scientist and engineer, but now writes novels because it’s even more fun than shiny tech toys. (She’s also fond of a really good fictional kiss.) However, all that engineering background does come in handy when dreaming up mindjack technology or steampunk gadgets or other slightly plausible inventions. For her stories, of course. Just ignore that stuff in the basement.

Orna Ross

Orna Ross is the author of Blue Mercy and the director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). She’s been a schoolteacher, waitress, aerobics instructor, journalist, university lecturer, writing mentor and literary agent. She claims that Wexford, Dublin, and San Francisco are all her hometown.

Miral Sattar

Miral Sattar is founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch, an award-winning services platform for bloggers, journalists, and authors who want to seamlessly publish their stories in eBook format. The platform brokers the interaction between a community of rated and reviewed publishers, authors, designers, editors, proofreaders, conversion specialists, marketers and enhanced eBook experts to help create exceptional digital books She has worked in the media industry for 11 years, most recently at TIME where she launched several digital initiatives. Her writing has been featured in TIME, CNN, NY Daily News, among other media publications. She has a MS in Publishing (Digital + Print Media) from NYU and a BS from Columbia University in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You can follow Miral on Twitter @miralsattar.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith worked for a variety of start-ups that would eventually become, Waterhouse Securities’ Electronic Brokerage Services Division, and was later purchased by Reuters, and he joined the company as Director of New Products, where he was involved in the consumer media marketplace to drive the change in how media companies monetize their content in an era where media information has become commoditized.  He returned west and resumed work as a consultant for a variety of media companies and aggregators, and joined Seybold Scientific as a partner in 2008 with a focus on newer product and service offerings. In addition to his work with Seybold Scientific, he continues to advise companies ranging from startup to enterprise in an ongoing effort to grow my knowledge and share my experience.  His future goals are entrepreneurial in nature. He’s always developing new ideas and vetting them with his various contacts.

Denise Grover Swank

Denise Grover Swank has self-published eight novels and sold over 200,000 copies. Her book Chosen has been in the Barnes & Noble Top 100, the Amazon Kindle Top 100 twice, and was #1 in Amazon's Science Fiction/Fantasy in December 2011. Her YA Here hit #8 on the Barnes & Noble Nook Top 100 and was #1 in young adult Nook books for five days in December 2012. She currently has a contract for a three book series with 47North for an adult urban fantasy series. You can find out more about her at

Jen Talty

Jen Talty co-created Who Dares Wins Publishing with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer, and runs the technical side of the company. She is a published romance author, and teaches Creative Writing at various writing conferences across the country.

RaShelle Workman

RaShelle Workman is the bestselling author of Sleeping Roses, the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series. She lives on a mountain with her husband, three children, and three dogs. From her back porch she can see the city lights and imagine...

Samantha Young

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Young, is a 26 year old writer from Stirlingshire, Scotland. After graduating from the university of Edinburgh, Samantha returned to Stirlingshire where she happily spends her days writing about people she's keen for others to meet, and worlds she's dying for them to visit.


Indie Presenters

Saturday, January 5, 2013

CLASSIC READS - Some Things Never Change

Today more people can communicate their thoughts into words and those words can easily end up in books.  It is a liberating time, a cycle of change and freedom.  In many ways it is times like this, with so much change, that we need our classic reads.
The past few years have been dynamic for authors. There are more writers being published via eBooks and print on demand (POD).  Exposure of existing authors is heightened with the rampant growth of social media and marketing via author platforms. 

The classics help our society remember what we are gauging our future against. 

Classics are a reference to excellence that we can use as a measure of our own success today and in the future. 

The classics prevail over time and language, with truth exposed in the characters and story.  Some basic human truths make a story appeal over centuries.  No matter the date written, the human spirit is visible in a classic, and is readily identified. 

There are obvious classics which we have probably all read from Homer’s Iliad to Stephen King’s The Stand.  Some classic writers that quickly come to mind are listed below, trying to find at least one author per letter.  There are many more: 

 Agatha Christie
H.P. Lovecraft
John Steinbeck
Sidney Sheldon
 Arthur Conan Doyle
Harper Lee
Jules Verne
Stephen King
 Bram Stoker
Henry David Thoreau
Kurt Vonnegut
Thomas Hardy
 C.S. Lewis
Herman Melville
Leo Tolstoy
Truman Capote
 Charles Dickens
Mark Twain
Udall, Brady
 Dan Brown
Ian McEwan
Mary Shelly
Ursula Markus
 Dante Alighieri
Isaac Asimov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Uzma Sadaf
 Edgar Allan Poe
J.D. Salinger
Oscar Wilde
Victor Hugo
 Emily Bronte
J.K. Rowling
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Virginia Woolf
 Emily Dickinson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Philip Pullman
William Blake
 Ernest Hemingway
Jack London
William Faulkner
 F. Scott Fitzgerald
James Joyce
Quinn, Spencer
William Shakespeare
 Franz Kafka
Jane Austen
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Xavier, Francis
 George Eliot
John Grisham
Ray Bradbury
Yann Martel
 George Orwell
John Irving
Robert Louis Stevenson
 H. G. Wells
John Milton
Rudyard Kipling

I had difficulty finding a classic author for the letter Z.  I humbly hope someday my name may be used to fill in this gap, not presuming classic status on my part. 
Please in the coming year look for my book debut…  


Happy reading and writing to us all! 
Best of luck in your 2013 endeavors.

Enjoy the clip from the 2009 Wuthering Heights - one of the best versions on screen.  The rest of the clips that follow can be found on YouTube - find listed in my channel.

View CR2013Banner.jpg in slide show


Visit the hoppers!

Participants in the Classic Reads blog hop (#NewClassicReads).