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What Your Author Website is Likely Missing

Staci Troilo’s post on Story Empire today speaks to authors about a critical marketing tool – the Media Kit. Please read on…

Story Empire

BlogHi, SEers. Forgive me for being a hypocrite, but today’s post is going to be a do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do post. Remember, I used to work in corporate communications, so I know marketing strategies. (That doesn’t mean I use them myself; it just means I know them.)

Okay… Unless you literally just decided to become an author today, you almost definitely have an author website. Hopefully you’ve included the basics:

  • landing page to advertise news and collect email addresses
  • blog to share content, generate interest, and remain fresh in the minds of your fans
  • book pages so your work is well-defined and easy to find
  • about page to introduce yourself to new visitors
  • social media links so people can find you elsewhere online
  • contact page so your readers can reach you
  • platform-wide cohesion and pleasing design

Many authors stop there. Okay, let’s be honest—many readers fall short in some/most/all of those categories.

  • Their…

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John’s Believe It Or Not… March 27th

It’s Marvellous Monday… Right? Did you know…

* 1855 – Abraham Gesner patents kerosene; completely replaces whale oil for lamps. (1846 invents what he calls kerosene or coal oil; 1854 patents the process and builds a refinery in Long Island, New York; 1863 sells his patents and returns to Halifax to serve as a Professor of Geology at Dalhousie University. His other inventions include a wood preservative (the ancestor of creosote), an asphalt paving process, coal dust briquettes and a machine for insulating electric wire. Kerosene will soon light the world, replacing the more expensive whale oil.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… March 27th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… March 26th

It’s Sublime Sunday! Did you know… there’s a rumour about Spring…

* 1885 – NW Rebellion begins as Gabriel Dumont ambushes Crozier’s NWMP force at Duck Lake. (Dumont served as Adjutant-General in charge of the Métis army of 300 men when Riel declared the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan at Batoche. Dumont was struck by a bullet that split his scalp but forced police to retreat to Prince Albert. The Battle of Duck Lake was an infantry skirmish 2.5 km outside Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, between North-West Mounted Police forces of the Government of Canada, and the Métis militia of Louis Riel’s newly established Provisional Government of Saskatchewan. The skirmish lasted approximately 30 minutes, after which Superintendent Leif Newry Fitzroy Crozier of the NWMP, his forces having endured fierce fire with twelve killed and eleven wounded, called for a general retreat. The battle is considered the initial engagement of the North-West Rebellion. Although Louis Riel proved to be victorious at Duck Lake, the general agreement among historians is that the battle was strategically a disappointment to his cause. The Metis resistance was organised to secure legal title to lands owned by the Metis before Saskatchewan was flooded with Canadian settlers.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… March 26th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… March 25th

It’s Superb Saturday! Did you know…

* 1958 – The Great Zura takes the CF-105 Avro Arrow for its first flight. (The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, often known simply as the Avro Arrow, was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft designed and built by Avro Canada. The Arrow is considered to have been an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry. The CF-105 (Mark 2) held the promise of near-Mach 2 speeds at altitudes of 50,000 feet (15,000 m) and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond. The Arrow was the culmination of a series of design studies begun in 1953 examining improved versions of the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck. After considerable study, the RCAF selected a dramatically more powerful design, and serious development began in March 1955. The aircraft was intended to be built directly from the production line, skipping the traditional hand-built prototype phase. The first Arrow Mk. I, RL-201, was rolled out to the public on 4 October 1957, the same day as the launch of Sputnik I. The Diefenbaker government decided to scrap the project in 1958.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… March 25th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… March 24

It’s Fabulous Friday! Did you know…

* 1975 – Parliament passes Sean O’Sullivan’s private member’s bill making the beaver the official symbol of Canada. (Due to nationalistic undertones, generally the animals chosen are often majestic, sometimes even mythical, which is why our buck-toothed, semi-aquatic rodent raises questions every now and then. So why exactly did Canada pick the beaver as its national symbol? Because of the fur trade. Without the beaver, Canada as we know it, would not exist. Everything changed the moment when early French explorers realised, “Well, they don’t have any gold, but damn! Those rodents would make good looking hats.” Beginning in the 16th century, the fur trade was the backbone of the colonial economy and a major international industry for roughly 300 years. The fur trade was instrumental in the development of the country that would become Canada. Those involved, be it explorers, voyageurs, or coureur des bois, pushed further and further into the North American interior to expand the trade—as well as France’s (and eventually Britain’s) claim over the land. At the heart of the fur trade was the beaver, whose pelts were used to make everything from wool felt hats to robes to winter coats. The use of the beaver as a symbol stems back to the main players of the fur trade, the Hudson’s Bay Company, who put the animal on their coat of arms in 1621.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… March 24”

John’s Believe It Or Not… March 23rd

It’s Therapeutic Thursday! Did you know…

* 1752 – John Bushell publishes the first issue of his Halifax Gazette, Canada’s first regular newspaper. (The two-sided paper contained public notices, ads from booksellers and wholesalers, notices about slave auctions, poems and elegies, and excerpts from notable publications; will also publish the first book in Canada, an 8-page pamphlet for the government, on December 6. Today’s successor newspaper, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, is the oldest existing newspaper in North America.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… March 23rd”

John’s Believe It Or Not… March 22nd

It’s Wondrous Wednesday! Did you know…

* March 22, 1877, Northwest Territories Council passes an Ordinance For the Protection of the Buffalo. (It was a failed attempt to slow the wanton destruction of the bison herds, because they moved back and forth across the US border; outlaws buffalo jumps and hunting bison for sport; provides for closed season on cows from November 15 to August 14; as many as 60 million bison once roamed the North American plains; by the late 1880s they were almost extinct.)

Painting of Metis Buffalo hunt in the 1840s. Metis hunters pursue the buffalo on horseback.

* 1765 Stamp Act imposed on American colonies. (In an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), the British government passes the Stamp Act on this day in 1765. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice. Though the Stamp Act employed a strategy that was a common fundraising vehicle in England, it stirred a storm of protest in the colonies. The colonists had recently been hit with three major taxes: the Sugar Act (1764), which levied new duties on imports of textiles, wines, coffee and sugar; the Currency Act (1764), which caused a major decline in the value of the paper money used by colonists; and the Quartering Act (1765), which required colonists to provide food and lodging to British troops.)

Drawing depicting public protest as Bostonians react to the Stamp Tax
Bostonians reacting to the Stamp Tax

* 1983 The origins of the Hummer. (On this day in 1983, the Pentagon awards a production contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee and designed to transport troops and cargo, the wide, rugged vehicles entered the spotlight when they were used by the American military during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. In 1992, a civilian version of the Humvee, known as the Hummer, went on sale. The hulking, attention-grabbing road warrior tipped the scales at some 10,000 pounds and got less than 10 miles per gallon. It was an early hit with Hollywood celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went on to own a fleet of Hummers. In December 1999, when the economy was strong and gas prices were relatively low, General Motors purchased the rights from AM General to market and distribute the Hummer. In 2002, the Hummer H2, a smaller (some 8,600 pounds), less expensive version of the original model, debuted.)

A high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle hmmwv
A high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle HMMWV

* 1947 Truman orders loyalty checks of federal employees. (In response to public fears and Congressional investigations into communism in the United States, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive decree establishing a sweeping loyalty investigation of federal employees. The basic elements of Truman’s order established the framework for a wide-ranging and powerful government apparatus to perform loyalty checks. Loyalty boards were to be set up in every department and agency of the federal government. Using lists of “totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive” organisations provided by the attorney general, and relying on investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these boards were to review every employee. If there existed “reasonable grounds” to doubt an employee’s loyalty, he or she would be dismissed. A Loyalty Review Board was set up under the Civil Service Commission to deal with employees’ appeals.)

A poster asking "Who Are The Reds?"
On This Day, Mar 22, 1947 -Truman Orders Loyalty Checks of Federal Employees

* 1972 Equal Rights Amendment passed by Congress. (On March 22, 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment is passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states for ratification. First proposed by the National Woman’s political party in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was to provide for the legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. More than four decades later, the revival of feminism in the late 1960s spurred its introduction into Congress. Under the leadership of U.S. Representative Bella Abzug of New York and feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, it won the requisite two-thirds vote from the U.S. House of Representatives in October 1971. In March 1972, it was approved by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states. Hawaii was the first state to ratify what would have been the 27th Amendment, followed by some 30 other states within a year. However, during the mid-1970s, a conservative backlash against feminism eroded support for the Equal Rights Amendment, which ultimately failed to achieve ratification by the requisite 38, or three-fourths, of the states.)Equal Rights demonstration in 1978.

Look who was born on this date!

Portrait of AguinaldoEmilio Aguinaldo in 1869. (Emilio Aguinaldo was a Filipino revolutionary general and 1st President of the Philippines. He played a leading role in the Revolution against Spain (1896-1897) and against the United States during the Philippine-American War (1899-1901). In June 1898 he declared the Philippines independent from Spain. However by February 1899, he was fighting the Philippine-American War (1899-1901), and when captured in 1901 swore an oath of allegiance to the US in the face of outstanding odds.)

Head shot of Webber* Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1948. (An English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” and “You Must Love Me” from Evita, “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and “Memory” from Cats. In 2001 the New York Times referred to him as “the most commercially successful composer in history”. Ranked the “fifth most powerful person in British culture” by The Telegraph in 2008, the lyricist Don Black stated, “Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical.”)

Head shot of Witherspoon.* Reese Witherspoon in 1976. (American Actress:  Rose to fame with the breakout role as Elle Woods in the box-office hit “Legally Blonde”. She received worldwide praise and an Academy Award for her role in “Walk the Line”.)


Anger: Is It Good?

(Image: Courtesy of Pixabay)

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
~ Maya Angelou

“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”
~ Mohandas Gandhi

“The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.”
~ Bede Jarrett

Clearly, my topic is anger. Today, as is our practice, my wife and I ate breakfast watching a morning TV news show, and the broadcast was riddled with horrific stories featuring outrageous behavior. Not good for the digestive process, you say? Perhaps, but if you are not totally desensitized by the daily bombardment of social violence, physical and otherwise, the reports will serve to raise your blood pressure. What would cause that, you ask? Good old fashioned anger is my response. Continue reading “Anger: Is It Good?”