Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
LIFE LESSONS FOR SUCCESS CONVINCED THESE WOMEN ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
told these women it couldn’t be done. They did it anyway.
Kraft’s inspiring story, Anything is
Possible!, tells of the successful efforts of 12 Founding Mothers
to create a multi-building crafts-selling venue, The Village of the Smoky Hills
in the north country of Minnesota, erecting the complex in five weeks and five
days, welcoming over 100,000 visitors annually and providing work for hundreds
of people in this relatively poor backwoods area.
12 Founding mothers ranged in age from 32 to 57, with most in their 40s. They
included teachers, community volunteers, a nurse, an accountant, a candle-maker,
wives, mothers and grandmothers. They applied for a loan in January, got it in
February, bought the land in March, broke ground in April, and opened The Villages
in May. In its first year, the Village got the top tourism awards for all of
Part Two of her book, Lorelei Kraft lists 19 “Life Lessons for Success,” lessons
she learned from her early efforts to start her candle-making company and from
the creation of The Village:
Don't Let Reality Get in Your Way
Ms. Kraft says she
never lets the "reality" of not having particular training get in the
way of accomplishing her goals. She writes that determination and faith in
yourself plus the wisdom to seek out knowledge is more important than training.
Over time, she started several businesses and even became an accomplished
painter…without formal training.
What If I Had Quit One Store Too Soon?
Hoping to sell
wedding candles, she went from one store in Milwaukee to another to another, hundreds
of miles from her home. She received one rejection after another. About to
quit, she tried one more store, and she got her first order, which started a
business that now sells candles to 6000 stores in the U.S.
Experts (and Critics) Are Often Wrong
they say it cannot be done.
Don't Laugh – There Has Got to Be a Way to Get It Done!
Where there’s a
will, often there’s a way.
Don't Look Back and Whine
Look forward and laugh.
"Luck" Is Being Ready When the Universe Opens a Door
information. Being ready is crucial to using that information.
Don't Take Your Eyes off the Goal
Don't Be a "Yes – But" Person
Be a “yes – I can
change that” person.
Be Flexible While Staying True to Your Values
Find a way to keep
your principles while being practical.
Successful People Think Ahead
surprised. Stay alert.
Women Have a Different Way of Doing Things
attitude got the best from those who were helping out.
Combining the Best of Female and Male Leadership Techniques
delegating are important, Kraft notes, but so are flexibility and
consideration, “I set up the candle factory to have the working conditions I
would like if I worked for someone else.”
Capitalize on What Makes You Stand Out From the Crowd
characteristics can be features, not flaws.
Know When to Pick Other People's Brains
Be humble enough
to ask for and to take advice. Ask for directions.
Always Play "The Game" Well
Know the playing
field and “the rules.”. When the Founding Mothers sought bank funding, they
made sure to have a first-class proposal to present. It worked.
It's Just as Easy to Think Big as to Think Small
Why not? Thinking
small limits your future, generates less enthusiasm. Big dreams power big
Harness the Power of Time
Make time your
servant: do the most important 20% of tasks that will return 80% of the value.
Prioritize and stay disciplined.
Extraordinary Businesses Can Come from Ordinary Things
We All Have Immense Power to Change Our Corner of the World
demonstrates, “The Founding Mothers built a village and changed the face of
tourism in their corner of Minnesota.” .
Don’t take “no”
for an answer. Get to “yes!”
Questions: What project might you start
yourself or with others? Which of these lessons can you apply to your goals?
Please join in the conversation.
Douglas Winslow Cooper,
Ph.D., is a former Harvard science professor. He still publishes, and he helps
others write and publish their books via his WriteYourBookWithMe.com. Douglas’s life's central theme has been his half-century
his wife, Tina Su Cooper, quadriplegic for over a decade due to multiple
sclerosis, now receiving 24/7 nursing care at home, care discussed at their website
pages with over 100 endnotes, educator, philosopher, J. Steve Miller of
Kennesaw State University, co-author of Why
Brilliant People Believe Nonsense and author of Richard Dawkins and His God Delusion, presents in this book the major
arguments for believing in the existence of God.
“balanced” with one of the books by atheists he cites, such as Dawkins, this
would make an excellent textbook for a high school or college course. It is
pleasure for the intelligent layman to read and ponder.
20 “exhibits,” short chapters discussing approaches to the question of
demonstrating and understanding the existence of God. Each one incudes discussion,
references, and a chance to evaluate how convincing the reader found the
scientist, I am swayed by the idea that the Big Bang was the Act of Creation.
Further, the “fine-tuning” of the significant physical constants of the universe,
necessary for anything like it to exist, requires an extraordinarily small
probability to occur by chance. Those scientists who posit an infinite number
of universes (the multiverse) have chosen an option that makes less sense to me
than God as the Creator. Why He created it and what He wants is unclear to me,
have found the existence of evil a sticking point in their contemplation of
God: “If God is good, He is not God. If God is God, He is not good.” Miller
notes that this argument is surprisingly weak: we don’t know what “good” is,
and we do know that freedom, free-will, includes the ability to make bad
choices, harming ourselves and others. I once had a dream in which the world
was perfect, and God (I think) asked me, “Now what?” Nothing was left to do,
and doing something was likely to cause imperfection: this is the opposite of
how the universe appeared to skeptical French poet Paul Valery, as “a defect in
the purity of Non-being “.
great mathematician and philosopher Leibniz was parodied by Voltaire in V.’s
novel, Candide, for believing “this
is the best of all possible worlds.” But Leibniz must be right, if God is benevolent:
we just don’t know what is “possible,” nor do we know the trade-offs necessary
to create what is “best.”
produced, thoughtful, very well-written book deserves a wide audience. I
received it as a gift from the author, without an obligation to review it. I’m
glad I read it.
Public relations management
and book promotion are essentially ways to get free advertising. If you are
making a few dollars per book or less, you need to be frugal. I spent almost
nothing on advertising Ting and I. What
I did do was promote it on its own website, tingandi.com, and on Twitter and
through my blog, by serializing it, as described above.
a benchmark comparison, we’ll price Social Media (Facebook) advertising against
local classified ads. My paid advertising has been almost exclusively for my
coaching program, Write Your Book with Me, as each person who
enrolls will spend about $1000 on my coaching and editing, taking roughly a
year. Over the past few years, I have run a weekly classified ad in our small local
paper, The Wallkill Valley Times, at
the modest cost of $5 per week:
I got about one client per
year from these ads, at the cost of $250/year. Perhaps I picked up some
goodwill from the editor as well, as the paper ran a couple of stories about me
and my authors.
Accommodating myself slowly to
the twenty-first century, I sought and received some valuable free consulting
from SCORE advisor Edison Guzman, head of A E Advertising (aeadvertising.com).
As I described in a testimonial I wrote for SCORE and Edison [reciprocity, one
hand washing the other]:
Guzman SCOREs!” If
small business had a play-by-play announcer, that would have been his
exclamation, commenting on the help SCORE’s Edison Guzman has given me.
Edison’s seminars and counseling sessions have provided me the most value I’ve
received from my membership in the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, and I
have gotten a lot from being a member.
got my attention this April with his day-long free SCORE seminar, “Social Media Marketing Strategies for
Small Business Owners,” although I had already known, liked, and been impressed
by him during my four years in the Chamber. Not only did the seminar awaken me to useful Facebook strategies, I
found I was eligible and welcome to obtain free business counseling through
SCORE at the Chamber. Who knew? Sign me up!
really needed Edison’s help with advertising, in particular on Social Media,
like Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. His first counseling session started with
a discussion of my goals: I help people
write and publish their books---as a coach, editor, even co-author---and I
wanted another half-dozen clients this year.
came his exploratory question,
“What is your unique value proposition? What sets you apart? Tell me about
yourself and your business.” As we talked, Edison grew even more enthusiastic. He quickly nailed it, a theme for me: “Why
would a former Harvard professor want to help you write your book for only $25
per week?” That became the basis of the Social Media campaign: on my blog,
on Twitter, on Facebook. In subsequent sessions, he then showed me in detail
how to use these tools successfully to recruit my next set of would-be authors.
difference between a lecture and an expert’s hands-on consulting, which is what
our SCORE sessions became, is the
difference between learning a bit about something and actually knowing how to
do it. I knew I wanted to advertise on Facebook as well as use its free
features, but I needed help in negotiating the various set-up pages, in
choosing my target market, my message, the optimal mode of delivering it, and even
the best titles for my ads. Edison helped me by a combination of “fishing” for
me and “teaching me how to fish,” so I could do it myself soon after. So many options existed, and Edison
explained each of them to help me make good decisions.
can come easily to the small businessman. Actually, I am of medium size, but my
business is small, and I don’t always persevere. Without Edison’s guidance, I might have given up on advertising on
Facebook, thinking the cost per response my ads were getting to be too
expensive, but he reassured me that my Facebook ads were doing very well. We
tweaked them, and they did even better.
drawing on his advertising expertise, taught me some of the factors that help
motivate potential buyers to close the deal rather than procrastinate. We developed a campaign that reached
potential clients with attractive messages about becoming authors [they are
authoritative] or memoirists [they preserve memories], emphasizing the limited
number of candidates to be accepted [six] in the limited two-week enrollment
period. All along, we’ve had fun, as I
have been learning so many things I had not been taught as a physics major.
looking forward to continuing to access Edison’s valuable expertise. The Social Media campaign he helped me with
has already brought me half my quota of new clients, and the enrollment period
has not yet begun.
say, we SCOREd!
As the testimonial attests, I
am high on advertising professional Edison Guzman and his help. I attended his
day-long seminar “Facebook Marketing for the Small Business Owner.” [He tells
me that these seminars net him 10-20% of the attendees as clients, even though
he does no self-promotion during them.]
April 2015, there were over 1.4 billion Facebook users. Almost 900 million of
them log in daily. Let’s see: if I got only 1% of them, I would have 9 million
clients. That seems optimistic. However, he reported that 42% of
marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. Who
am I to argue with that?
are many ways to reach people via Facebook: Timeline, Like, Share, Chat,
Comment, Photos, Video, Tags, Groups, Lists, Pages, Events, Subscribe, and
Advertise. Edison focused on advertising, which has its own Facebook
sub-specialties: buying ads for the Newsfeed or the Right-Hand Column, or for
Mobile viewing; Boosting a Post, getting others to Like your page, etc.
Guzman advised me that before we start an Ad Campaign, we
recognize that our efforts to get others to know, like, and trust [K, L, T]
should reflect an awareness that people are not on Facebook to be sold stuff,
but to connect with others and be entertained and informed. His five crucial
ingredients to advertising on Facebook:
You must create a Page specific to your
audience. [I set up Douglas Winslow Cooper with a link to my web
You must target your audience with laser-like
precision. [Tricky, as a discussion of my subsequent efforts will
reveal. I did figure my would-be memoirists would likely be women over 50 and
my businessmen would be men over 50.]
You must have attention-grabbing images. [As a
writer, I naively put much more emphasis on words rather than pictures. Make
sure you have free images or pay the producer, or you can get sued,]
You must use logical headlines appropriate
to your reader. [See below, I thought to reach adults generally
with “Tell your story,” memoirists with “Memoirs preserve memories,” and
business folk with “Authors are authorities.”
You must have an appropriate Call to
Action. [What’s that? Click here to…go to my web site, go to my
blog site, go to my book site, Like my Page, etc.]
next discussed how to target your audience. Some of this targeting
is by demographics: geographical location, age, gender. Facebook also has
information on their interests, the categories and hashtags they like, their
friends and Likes and groups and …. Presumably the FBI has somewhat more
information, but Facebook may be close.
To advertise on Facebook, get
to know their rules, especially their taboos.
I already had a blog and a
LinkedIn account and a Facebook page with a business page having 50 Likes. I
had nearly 10,000 “Followers” on Twitter, about half of whom Followed me when I
started as a political Tweeter primarily, and the other half of whom Followed
me in my reincarnation as a writer-coach-editor.
I knew nothing about
advertising on Facebook, and this became my first priority. Edison showed me how to set up a simple ad.
First, we get attention with a headline: “Tell your story.” “Authors are
authorities.” “Memoirs preserve memories.” Then we follow with a sort description, such as “Write your book
with a professional book coach.” Don’t
forget your Unique Selling Proposition and your Call to Action.
I got to it later rather than sooner, running a “Like” campaign on Facebook is
a good idea, because you can then target those who Liked you with your ads. [No
good deed goes unpunished.] Essentially, post stuff on your Page that
your target audience will Like, then let Facebook seek out people in the
categories you choose to induce them to Like it, using your ad and a Call to
Action of “Click on Like.” Well-performing ads will cost about $0.01/person
reached and about $0.50- $1.00 per person who Likes the site.
directed me to Create Ads on Facebook. What I wanted to do was get people to go
to my “lucrative” coaching writeyourbookwithme.com site, rather than my message
memoir site, as I make less than a dollar per book from
selling Ting and I. First, I ran a
week of ads which targeted men and women in the U.S. I chose the lowest cost,
$5/day. The goal was to get the readers to click on writeyourbookwithme.com.
The metrics we followed were cost/reach, usually around a penny a person who
saw the ad, and cost/click, which ranged from a half dollar to a few dollars
per person who clicked on the link to my website.
we wanted people who clicked on the site to then fill out our contact form,
getting their email address and their expression of interest in writing a book.
I tried male only and then female only, with different pictures for each, and
used “writing” as an interest. I stuck with targeting people over 50 years of
age. I got much the same results with highly local ads as with all-U.S. ads. A Facebook staffer wrote me not to worry
too much about optimizing demographic parameters. I learned elsewhere that
Facebook does some dynamic adjusting of the targeting as the ad period
continues, so understanding exactly what worked and what didn’t is obscured
with this “black box,” while it does improve performance.
it has turned out, most options tried gave us reach at a $0.01/person, with 1%
to 2% clicking the site at about, thus $0.50-$1.00 per click. Spending $400
obtained about 4 new coaching clients, thus a cost of $100 per client. “About
4” indicates that how and why they found me was not always clear.
To put it into perspective, my
classified ads cost me about twice per writing client as did my Facebook ads.
My book site, tingandi.com, cost me only about $100 over four years, has had
about 4000 hits, and I have no way to know how many books it sold, but it had
to be at most 200.
viewed the advertising expense as partly an educational expense. Facebook let
me see how many potential ad viewers I had for a variety of demographic,
geographic and interest parameters. I experimented with different
photos [supplied by Facebook] and even different wording. The experiments had
to be set up carefully so that only one variable was changed as we went from
one ad to the next.
taught me how to add a sense of urgency to the campaigns and how to develop
attention-grabbing headlines. I also found on the Internet useful information
and tools for generating effective titles and headlines (headlinerr.com).
concluded that for high-value enterprises like coaching and consulting, Social
Media advertising is worthwhile. For indie authors with books to sell, the
price is likely too steep. Your experience may be quite different, and “past
performance is no guarantee of future results.”
Excerpted from my Write Your Book with Me, available from Outskirts Press and online booksellers like amazon.com and bn.com.
a local meeting on health care financing, a lawyer neighbor of mine, “Sam,”
offered a free half-hour consultation on estate planning at the large law firm
on whose staff he serves. Being hopelessly naïve, and forgetting the rule
“there is no such thing as a free lunch,” I signed up, also thinking I’d be
doing him a favor as he’d get a little credit from his colleagues for having
gotten an enrollee.
A Form Arrives from the
few days before the consultation, a six-page questionnaire came from the firm,
seeking lots of information, some of which I did not bother to ferret out and
some of which was useful to me. Mildly alarmed at the formality and complexity
of the request, I filled out the form partially and brought it to the
appointment, wondering whether all this was needed for a simple review of our estate
Meeting in the Big Room
and I met in the firm’s large, handsome meeting room; we occupied a small
fraction of the giant central table. His secretary made copies of my back-up
material and left us to explore my plans.
of the free half-hour was consumed in Sam’s reading my material and asking me
questions. Toward the end, he mentioned that any time over the half-hour would
be billed to me at $300 per hour, six times what I made when I retired as a
scientist 15 years ago. I indicated we’d have to wrap this up in an additional
half-hour or less, as the free consultation was going to cost me more than I
had expected. And so we did, with my free consultation costing us $150.
A $150 Lemon Becomes
$10,000 in Lemonade
wills and our Power of Attorney forms were in good shape, and the trust fund
for Tina, my beloved, disabled wife was appropriate. We did not make plans to
minimize our marital net worth to qualify for Medicaid subsidies, as a
philosophical position (we are not really the deserving poor) and a prudential
one (you end up giving other people control over your finances).
we did do, and what I advise our readers to do, is to assure that our assets became
held in joint ownership or with the spousal partner named as the beneficiary,
thus passing upon death to the other spouse without charge. Our home is jointly
owned, as are most of our investments. However, several investments, totaling
over $200,000, were in my name only, without a designated beneficiary. As
advised by the lawyer, adding Tina’s name as beneficiary only took a few calls
and filling out a few short forms. Furthermore, the search of our financial
records also turned up a stock certificate we’d forgotten about.
we live, a lawyer gets 5% of the estate as executor, which means $10,000 on
$200,000 in investments that are not jointly owned or having a named
beneficiary. Avoiding this, for my $150 “free” consultation, turned this lemon
My Free Advice
is no such thing as a free lunch, though occasionally you can find a diamond in
the tuna salad sandwich…or take home a lemon and make lemonade.
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a former
Harvard science professor. He still publishes, and he helps others write and
publish their books via his http://WriteYourBookWithMe.com. His life's central theme has been his half-century romance with his wife, Tina Su Cooper, now quadriplegic
for over a decade due to multiple sclerosis, receiving 24/7 nursing care at
home, as discussed at their website here.
Published in a somewhat different form at
Have you ever been to
Lagos, Nigeria? No? Neither had I, until I read this engaging novel by
world-traveler Francesca Salerno. Her depiction of Lagos and of the now-capital
of Nigeria, Abuja, made me feel I had landed in the west coast of Africa, along
with her heroes, CIA counter-terrorism officer Kate Langley and former
Pakistani spy chief Mahmood Mahmood, sometime allies, longtime friends,
embroiled in trying to keep nuclear warheads from the terrorist Boka Haram al
Qaeda fanatics and prevent a jihadi from detonating conventional explosives
embedded in tons of toxic chemicals downtown.
The novel moves rapidly, with Kate Langley and
other Westerners trying to find the causes for and prevent further consequences
of the explosive sinking of a Russian nuclear submarine off the coast of
Nigeria. They are aided by such admirable Nigerians as Goodfellow Obadu and his
beautiful and bright wife, Kema, a couple determined to do what is right. They
are opposed by an evil former schoolmate of Obadu: a fanatic Moslem man intent
on bringing terror to Lagos. Many interesting characters populate this story,
and most of them are more-or-less admirable, and several sub-plots add spice.
Although this is the second of Salerno’s novels
about the Langley-Mahmood pair, it can be read without having read the first, The Pakistan Conspiracy, which I have
just downloaded to read soon. It wouldn’t surprise me if a third in the series
is in gestation.
Part memoir, part self-improvement text, part
professional advisory, this often-moving book by Professor Lawrence T. Force
implicitly and explicitly delivers for caregivers what its subtitle promises:
key tips for survival, strength and patience. Pay attention: many (perhaps
most) of us will be in the caregiver role, if we are not there already.
I first met Larry Force at a symposium on
alternatives for care for seniors, held at local library. His keynote talk was
impressive in its wisdom and its obvious caring. As a gerontologist, Dr. Force
has decades of experience in the field, with particular emphasis on victims of
Alzheimer’s, including his dear mother. His doctoral study, almost four decades
ago, centered on the behavior of family members in accessing adult day care for
their relatives. I was flattered to be invited subsequently to speak to his
class about being an advocate for patients and about being a caregiver myself.
Dr. Force has written numerous professional articles,
including one in which he described, as he does here, four styles of
caregiving: the Hero (who does it courageously and without complaint), the Martyr
(who grudgingly supplies help while bemoaning being a caregiver), the Snake
(who slithers away from the situation) and the Devastated (who can barely help,
due to overwhelming grief over the predicament of their loved one). The case
histories he summarizes make the reader hope to be in the Hero category, while
recognizing what that may entail.
Subsequently, he and his colleagues have also identified
the Wolves (who swarm in, take control and isolate the patient from the family)
and the Liquidators (whose concern is not the patient but the patient’s
Dr. Force notes that every day, in the USA, 10,000
people turn 65, many of whom will need a period of prolonged care before they
die. That care is likely to be provided by a spouse or a child and eventually a
On the subject of nursing homes, it encouraged
me to learn of the excellent experience Dr. Force and his family had regarding
the care for several years of his mother in a Catholic facility New York, and
his thank-you letter to that organization is a model of its genre.
It’s all about you, he emphasizes. “You cannot
take care of someone else or be present for someone else if you aren’t taking
care of yourself.” Caregiving includes paying attention to your own well-being.
Part of his experience was nearly dying, “a
yearlong odyssey that would change my life.” Bedridden for months, he was urged
by a friend to change his thinking radically, to view himself as “competent, in
control, healthy, strong….” He had been introduced to the healing power of
mental imagery, a power that can benefit both the cared for and the caregiver.
It led to his becoming certified in hypnotherapy and re-orienting his practice
to include cognitive, wellness, and exercise elements. Often, diet and exercise
produce big improvements in well-being.
Mentally, we are at our best when we are neither
dwelling in the past nor worrying about the future, but experiencing and
observing and being mindful of the present. Dr. Force discusses mindfulness and
exercise (including structured breathing) and imagery/visualization. We want to
establish beneficial habits and eliminate harmful ones. If we are aware we are
repeating self-defeating habits, we are on the way to erasing them. He offers a
detailed how-to guide to enhanced relaxation and imagery.
The book includes several short pieces by other
caregivers, emphasizing the variety of situations and experiences, yet
reinforcing the point that if the caregiver is not careful of self, he or she
will not be able to continue to supply support when it is needed.
In his practice, Dr. Force applies “Holistic
triage…natural supports to enhance cognitive (thinking and imagery), energy
(nutrition, wellness and spirituality), and movement (exercise, strength
building, yoga, Pilates, and breath work)… [and] internal reflection.” This
discussion takes the book beyond do-it-yourself, but we are encouraged to do
much of this on our own: “Change what can be changed.”
While upbeat in tone and prescriptions, the book
includes some very touching material, including M.J.’s story, about the nearly
impossible situation she has been managing at home, trying to keep from having
to put her cognitively impaired husband into a nursing facility. Declining
health aggravated by medical errors have put their lives into a tailspin. There
may not be a solution to her situation, but we read it and think, “I wish her
well. Thank God, I’m not M.J.”
Chapter 10 discusses nutrition and exercise,
with input from registered dietician Louise Turino. To have a sound mind in a
sound body, you have to eat right and exercise. Lots of information is
presented, though I skimmed it, as I think I already know how to eat and
exercise. I did particularly like this quote from the Mayo Clinic, “Exercise is
meditation in motion.”
The book ends with a helpful “Resource Section,”
giving annotated links to organization web sites, with descriptions of what
Twitter lets you reach a wide
audience with a short message, 140 characters of less, a Tweet. On Twitter I’ve
been twitter.com/douglaswcooper, aka
@DouglasWCooper] since June 2009, I have Tweeted 25,000 Tweets and acquired over
12,000 Followers, people who have agreed to let my Tweets pass through their
Home page. On the average, my Tweets are seen by about 100 people each time.
About 1% to 2% of each time, someone will respond, such as clicking on a link,
Retweeting to others’ Followers, being Favorited, or inducing someone to go
from my Tweet to my Profile page, where they see a very short biography that
mentions my Ph.D., my memoir, Ting and I,
as well as my coaching, and shows the link to writeyourbookwithme.com.
As they pass through others’
Home pages, Tweets have a short lifetime, one estimate being eight minutes. About
10% of my Followers are on Twitter during any hour, thus an audience now of
1000, so getting 100 of them to see the Tweet isn’t bad, the rather common 1%
response rate out of the 10,000 person base.
celebrity, how did I build up to 10,000 Followers? My advice:
lots of people and organization whose Tweets you find
interesting. The big fellas won’t Follow back, but they give you Tweets worth
Retweeting, which will attract others to Follow you.
interesting stuff, especially from those you want to befriend. It’s pleasant,
positive, and appreciated.
who Follow you, except those who are selling Followers on Twitter, useless
stuff, pushed by people who Follow you briefly then are dropped by Twitter or
who drop you.
never criticize others on Twitter.
to interesting material.
your promotion of your own stuff to 10% or less of your Tweets.
active with the people with similar interests, indicated by
hashtags, such as #promocave for writers and #tcot for conservatives on Twitter,
for me. Retweet and Favorite their material, and they will do so for you,
spreading it to a wider audience.
in particular, run by @JorgeOlson, started with a campaign to
get writers to Follow each other, and moved on to promoting books and sharing
writing advice. It seems to be a labor of love for Olson, although
promocave.com is an affiliate marketer for Amazon, and books that are bought by
clicking through from promocave.com earn the site some money. I don’t do affiliate marketing, as I don’t
want to seem to have a conflict of interest, perhaps recommending books only to
I don’t know how many visits to
tingandi.com were induced by Tweets of mine, and I certainly don’t know if I
sold any books that way, but I did get one valuable writing partner through Twitter
and one bogus potential client from Nigeria, whose name I keep on my personal
list of clients…to keep me humble.
In mid-2011 as I was finishing
Ting and I, I started a WordPress
blog, douglaswinslowcooper.blogspot.com, to gain another outlet for free
promotion of me and my stuff. I
serialized my memoir on the blog, right after it was published, gaining it
another 100 for-free readers on a typical week, and since it was written as a
message book rather than a commercial book, I was pleased.
posted material I wrote for the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and
some local businesses and posted articles that were later published elsewhere.
I started getting writing clients, I got the permission of some of them to
serialize their books after they were published, giving
them and me a boost. In one case, I serialized only the odd-numbered chapters,
at the co-author’s request.
blogged articles of mine on writing, many of which are the backbone of this
book, and when I wanted to recruit more clients, taking the
advice of my marketing adviser from SCORE, Edison Guzman, I blogged “Why Would
a Former Harvard Professor Want to Help You Write Your Book for $25 per Week?”
and “7 Questions Answered about Writing and Publishing with a Book Coach.” I
also wrote “The Subjunctive Mood” and “---ing: Participle or Gerund” and put
some of my 60-odd reviews written for Amazon on the blog. These posts each
averaged a hundred views.
pointed people to my coaching blogs via Facebook, and the coaching blogs themselves had a
video of me and had the writeyourbookwithme.com link and a “Call to Action” to
go to that page. A couple of my new clients, at least, can be credited to
the blog-website combo. And I had fun writing and posting.
The exposure was “free,”
unless you considered what my time was worth in doing it.