I'm on a quest to turn my home office into a paperless office (as much as possible). I stumbled upon an app the other day - Cardmunch. It's created by the folks at LinkedIn and folks, we have a winner! This is definitely one of the better business card organizing apps. You snap a picture of the business card on your iPhone and the app transcribes the card and will even add the contact to your iPhone contacts if you want. What I LOVE about the app is that it automatcially brings up the LinkedIn profile of the contact if they have one. So in addition to the business card information, you also have their resume, picture and whatever else is on their profile at your fingertips. If you're not already connected wtih them, with one push of the button, you can send an invitaion. It's a good looking app and easy to use. I had my daughter take a stack of business cards and snap the pics. It's all about delegation.
I have to confess, I have an addiction. Instead of smoking or drinking, I buy books on writing. I haven’t even read all of them, but I can’t help myself. Now I find myself turning to Apple’s App store. Doing a little armchair psychology, I figured out that it’s a form of procrastination (no d’uh) and the books and apps are part of a delusional belief that they will not only make my life easier, but it will also magically get the job done. I know, I know, I’m working on it. The first step is acknowledgment.
My pain is your gain though because I’ve researched plenty of apps and just like so many other things in life, sometimes exactly what you need is already in your possession. You just have to understand what you have.
Case in point, Apple’s Reminders for the iPhone and iPad. I’ve surfed the App store and downloaded quite a few to-do apps. Some for free, some paid. Finally, I went back to Reminders, the built in app.
It’s not fancy, pretty simple in fact. Honestly that’s what I want my to-do app to be – easy. I don’t want to have to take a tutorial, I just want to get things done.
What I love most (yes, I’m releasing my inner fangirl) about Reminders is the view options. I can view my entire list or I can view it by day. You can set the reminder for a certain day and time or you can make it location based. The reminder will go off if you and your phone are near a certain address – that does put a drain on the battery though.
If you’re like me (and I’d like to think I’m not so neurotic that others can’t relate) then you will love looking at the Completed list. It shows completed tasks by day. Not that I’m ultra-competitive or anything, but I like trying to check off more to-do’s than previous days.
The reminders show up on my iPhone and iPad as banners and also sync with my iCal. I don’t particularly use iCal that much, although I do sync my Google calendar with my iCal. Unfortunately, I can’t sink my Google Tasks with my Reminders but I’ve found that it doesn’t make a difference because it does sync with my iCal tasks.
For those of you who need to do project management, you can create different lists and still view the to-do’s by date. For me, I create lists for my books and what needs to be done. So I can look at the big picture and then manage the tasks by putting them on my calendar.
Another plus, you can set your reminders verbally by using Siri on the iPhone.
I realize I probably have more than enough tools to run the world, all that’s left is to just go ahead and do the darn thing.
As many authors find out (usually the hard way), you can write a fabulous book, but it’s no guarantee any one will read it. Folks have to hear about it and when it comes to reaching the ever fickle market of kids, that can prove challenging. Indie authors face an even bigger hurdle because marketing dollars really have to stretch.
Let’s face it, most kids aren’t reading the starred reviews of Publisher’s Weekly or Kirkus. So, I asked my daughter, my favorite guinea pic, how she finds the books she selects to read? She seems to be on top of the popular young adult books, Wonder and The Fault in Our Stars. She hears about them before I do – and I do read the reviews!
My daughter is 10 and an avid reader. I noticed with some series, they spread like a cold via word of mouth in her class. Other books, she finds by looking online in the iBookstore. She felt it was not a large selection and it covers quite a span of ages – children’s through teen. That’s where she found The Fault in Our Stars.
She thought it looked interesting and read the sample. We had to go out and get the hard copy, she’s not crazy about reading books on the iPad. She found Wonder by browsing the tables at Barnes & Noble. The cover caught her eye.
The main thing that I get from her, is that if the book looks interesting, she’ll read the back copy and then if that’s interesting, she’ll read the first page. If she likes the first page, she’ll buy the book.
What are the takeaways as an author? When designing and writing the jacket copy – it has to be able to catch the eye of kids who are visually savvy – they’re on the computer, play video games, watch tv, etc. They’re just as discerning as adults, if not more because they have shorter attention spans. And the first page? You better sell it.
That’s just my anecdotal market research, take it for what it’s worth and share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Forget the lines at Walmart and Best Buy. If you're looking for free entertainment, check out my interview with Reads4Pleasure. She's also sponsoring a Black Friday Giveaway of an autographed copy of Bumped. :) Enjoy!
As we dog paddle along in the ever changing waters of technology and social media, sometimes it feels like it's all we can do to keep our head above water. A few years ago, ok, maybe five or ten, it was ok if a business didn't have a website. Now? Consider it professional suicide if you don't have web presence. It's not a matter of are you on the web, but how do you look on the web? I admit, I'm spread out a little thin on the web but have managed to keep a consistent look - you can find me here, here and here oh and here too.
I did an interview with Famous Alice for my radio show, she's a personal branding expert with an emphasis on visual branding. It's interesting because no matter how far along you are, you realize there's always more to learn. Listen to the interview below to find out more about visual branding and also how you can score a free 5-point review of your website from Famous Alice.
I'm going to go work on my logotype. :)
Just think about all the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating your book. The sleepless nights as you wrestled with the revisions and the breathless anticipation as you waited to see your book cover. Let’s not forget, the proud moment when you first held a copy of your book in your hands or saw it for sale on Amazon and B&N.
You may think your roller coaster ride is over but believe it or not, the journey with your book is not even close to being finished. Thanks to the internet and social media, you’ll be doing marketing and promotions for your book before, during and after, long after, publication. (Read more)