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Archive for December, 2014

Take the 249 Hug Challenge!

So I was on Facebook last night and I saw this post:

hugging

I’d heard that quote before, but this time it triggered a new thought:

What if we really did it?!

I am blessed to have a kind, wonderful, generous husband who hugs me regularly — but even at that, weddingI’m not sure we get in even 8 hugs a day. And we definitely don’t hit the upward mark of a dozen a day. So I thought again, What if we really did it?!

Then I did some quick calculations. A 500-hug challenge would mean 16.129 hugs per day in a 31-day month. That might be too intimidating. A 250-hug challenge would mean 8.0645 hugs per day. That was just a weird number. Finally I settled on 7 hugs per day, or a 217-hug challenge, over the course of January. Then I thought about it a little further.

Four hugs a day for survival; eight hugs a day for maintenance. If I was going to issue a challenge, the least I should do is make sure we’re aiming for maintenance. Great! 248 hugs it is. But then I had one more thought. What if instead of 248 hugs, I made it 249? Then, it’s still 8 hugs per day for the 31 days of January … with ONE EXTRA HUG to nudge us over into growth territory.

A moment later, I was googling images of hugging to stitch into this banner:

249 hugs

Then I did a little research and discovered that family therapist Virginia Satir is the one who originally made that famous 4-8-12 statement. I also uncovered a few articles about the healing power of hugging:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/11/oxytocin-aging-_n_5485373.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6586/10-Reasons-to-Give-More-Hugs.html

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1818

Next, I created a Facebook event. For location, I stated: Anyplace you and another person are standing. And then I launched it. It all took about 25 minutes.

Yep, I vacillated about whether or not to include the grammatically correct hyphen (249-Hug Challenge) and decided to go with aesthetics and leave it out. I also fretted for a moment about whether my images were diverse enough. I decided I’ve got a great range of ages, both genders, three species … I’m OK. I could have worried about perfection, or just getting it done. I took a page out of my own advice book and followed the principle of “Done is better than perfect.”

As I write this, of the 2,500+ people I invited to the 249 Hug Challenge, I’ve had about 50 takers. But a couple people have shared the event already, and it was pretty late when I posed it, so I’m confident we’ll see that number swing up over 100 by the time the Ball drops in Times Square — or it’s midnight here on the West Coast.

What does this have to do with you and book marketing? Well, perhaps nothing. Of course, I hope you will take the challenge. You can sign up officially on the Facebook event page, or you can simply commit to giving/receiving (you can’t do one without the other) 249 hugs in January of 2015. You can also Tweet about it or share it on any of your other social networks. But I think if you do take the challenge, it will put you in a happier mood, lift your spirits, make you feel physically great — and all of those things will be reflected in your efforts in the coming month and year, including your book marketing.

hugging tweet

AND … this could be an example to you that sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones. The ones you can act on immediately. The ones that take little planning, but decisive action. Who am I to start a hug challenge? I’m the one who thought of it. What will you plan for 2015?

Let’s hug our way to success in the New Year!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: The book that makes you think…

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one which makes you think.”

Students Reading Books Showing Education

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

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Last week to do your 2015 book marketing plan!

With 2015 right around the corner, how well-defined is your book marketing plan for book marketing goalsthe coming year? Is it in your head? Have you jotted a few ideas down on random sticky notes? Is your book still in process – so you haven’t given much (or any) thought to marketing yet? Or do you have at least the first six months broken down, by weeks or in a way that makes sense, is achievable, and has an accountability system built into it?

Several things I recommend:

  • Get the plan out of your head onto paper, into a project management system, and/or onto your calendar.
  • Use the system that makes the most sense to you. If you’re a linear thinker, put it in calendar format. If you’re more visual, put images on the wall of your office or writing space. If mindmaps work for you, use one of those. Just be sure to include dates! Goals without dates are just wishes.
  • Put your planning session(s) on your calendar now. Get to it before January 1st. And prioritize and honor that time so that you keep your appointment with yourself. No moving a client project into that time slot, deciding you MUST do some end-of-year shopping, or heading out to the movies because your book planning can wait!
  • Start now. Even if your book is still in the planning stages, it’s never too early to begin your marketing. You’d much rather have people waiting eagerly for a book that takes a while than find yourself with a beautifully written, professionally designed book in your hands and no one to read it.
  • Once you make your plan, find an accountability partner – or team – who will help you stick with your plan. One of the most beneficial aspects of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup is that we go around the room at the end of every meeting and each person commits to the task her or she will accomplish before the next meeting. Then, at the start of the next meeting, we check in to see how people did with completing their goals. You can create the same dynamic with one other person – or a group of people – with similar goals.
  • Celebrate your successes – and keep up the good work!

Here’s to a radically successful 2015!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

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A Christmas wish…

A Christmas wish…

Christmas wish

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

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CHRISTMAS DAY BONUS: 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaway – Choose any of the 12 titles from the contest

Hello, book lovers!

So … it’s done. 12 authors came together to offer 12 books in the 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Contest. Today is a bonus offering: YOUR CHOICE of any of the 12 books given away.

All Books

Enter to win your choice of books from the contest. And while you’re at it, check out the other titles that interest you  maybe even purchase one or two!

1. Seeing Eye: A Day at the Fair, by Liz Marshall

2. The Brodick Affair, by Les Brierfield

3. The Magnolias of Sutherland Creek, by E.C. Brierfield

4. Arrowstar, by C.K. Thomas

5. The Zoo, by R. Lee Fleming

6. Doorways to Daily Soul Nuturance, by Cristina Whitehawk

7. Guide to Free Arizona Family History Research, by Diana DeLugan

8. Lonnie the Loon Learns to Fly, by Barbara Renner

9. The Cactus Caucus, by Steve Meissner

10. Parenting … A Work in Progress, by Ellen L. Buikeman

11. The Audacious Ladies of La Gran Sorellanza, by K-lee Starland

12. Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You, by Laura Orsini

To enter this contest, USE THIS LINK to head over to Rafflecopter, read the 6 different ways you can enter to win this book, and enter as many ways as you like! You may enter once per method per email address, unless otherwise specified.

This contest runs from 12 a.m. PST on 12/25/14 to 12 a.m. PST on 12/26/14. The winner will be posted on the official contest page as soon as his or her name is drawn.

Have fun  and may the best readers win!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

__________________

 

 

 

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Christmas Past meets Christmas Present

In the nearly eight years I lived in the New York City area, I attended maybe a half-dozen Broadway shows, and a handful of Off-Broadway performances. It was a challenging time and my one regret is that I didn’t use the City more: see the plays, visit the museums, take the classes, drink in the culture. I think it’s often the case that we don’t appreciate our particular community’s most delightful offerings until we’ve gone away from them for a while. While Phoenix is no New York City – not even its second cousin three times removed – I do make an effort to “get” more culture now.

Patrick Stewart

By far, the most impressive show I saw in New York was Patrick Stewart’s one-man performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In reading up on Stewart’s rendition of the more than 40 characters that filled the pages of the beloved Christmas classic, I learned that he won an Laurence Olivier Award for his London performances in 1993, the year before I saw him in the Big Apple.*

It’s fairly remarkable the details that stay with you – all those years later. At the time I saw this performance, I was pregnant with the son I would place for adoption with a wonderful family about nine weeks later. Before the show, my son’s birthfather and I went out to dinner at the TGI Fridays across the street from Madison Square Garden, the venue for the performance. A woman was dining near us with her small boy – maybe 3 years old. He was determinedly coloring the Christmas Carol-themed child’s placemat that had been put in front of him when the mother grabbed the crayon from his hand, chastising him, “Jimmy (Stevie, Timmy, Eddy…?), you MUST color inside the lines, like this.” Then she proceeded to color his placemat for him.

My son is now a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston; he will be 20 in February. Which means that little boy from the restaurant is probably 22 or 23 about now. Though I work hard to meet people where they are and acknowledge that we all have our own way of doing things, I cannot help but cringe when I remember him and think of what his growing-up experience must have been like. Chances are it was nothing like my son’s was. Eric has two loving parents, Kathy and Bruce, who championed his every effort. He has a sister who was 10 at the time he was born and is still oh-so-proud of her little brother. He has a large and loving extended family who all get together at every holiday. And I’ve been warmly welcomed into the family, accepted as just another of the many people who love this very special kid.

After Eric’s birth, things with his birthfather toiled on for a few years (to put it kindly), but I finally woke up and realized that enough was enough. I knew the only way to truly end things was to put a whole bunch of miles between us, so I came back home to Phoenix, the city of my childhood. Since my return, both my parents have passed away, I met and married a wonderful man, and I got to see Eric graduate from high school.

This holiday season is a bittersweet one for all of us here in Phoenix, though, as my husband’s father passed away on November 12th after a relatively short bout with prostate cancer. John, my husband, though not a Junior, is John #3 in the family lineage. His grandfather was John Kelemen. His dad was John Kelemen. And he is John Kelemen. And to make things even more interesting, he and his dad had the same birthday, December 13th (12/13/14 this year!) AND both his sister and his stepmom are named Gayle. In order to distinguish between my husband and his father, the family has always referred to my husband as Johnny. In order to distinguish between them with my friends and people who don’t know the family as well, we took to referring to John’s dad as Mr. John.

wedding

Mr. John was an amazing man. Charming, funny, kind, a great conversationalist, and the life of the party. He is poinsettiasurvived by his mother, Mary, who is in her 90s and amazing in her own right. Yesterday, I helped her decorate her home for Christmas, jerry-rigging a makeshift stand for her fiberoptic poinsettia tree. Since we don’t have the base, it doesn’t light up anymore, but it’s still pretty in the way that only a fiberoptic poinsettia tree can be.

This year we’re doing the holidays a little differently, with an open house for Christmas Eve. My sister and my niece and her boyfriend will be joining our celebration for the first time. My folks have been gone for a while, but this will be the first Christmas without Mr. John. It makes sense to do things a bit differently, I think. I have this image of John’s dad and my dad, who never met on the Earthly plane, hanging out, drinking coffee, and swapping stories about their kids.

Who knows – maybe the dictatorial mom had a Scrooge experience and was eventually able to teach her son that it’s not only OK to color outside the lines – it’s encouraged. If he didn’t learn it from her, I hope he learned it from someone. I’m just really grateful for all the amazing people and experiences that have graced my life since I left New York.

[Scrooge] had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, every one!

Make it so.

Laura

*Source: http://www.sheeplaughs.com/scrooge/stewart.htm

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

__________________

 

 

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Day 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaway – Practical Philanthropy,” by Laura Orsini (yours truly)

Hello, book lovers!

OH. MY. GOODNESS! We made it all the way to the end. Today is Day 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Contest. I’m so happy that you’ve been reading  along and entering each day of the contest  and I’m especially proud to offering what I think is an important and useful book that can help you take a step that both builds your business and changes the world, if even in a small way.

This book originated as a presentation I did as part of a the “Your Vibrant Business” webinar I co-created with Karen Gridley. Our goal was to cover all aspects that went into creating and maintaining a flourishing business life — whether folks ran their own small businesses or had more traditional careers. What I discovered in putting my presentation together was that I loe this topic! Not only that, but I also think it’s a very relevant concept for so many people in business who are looking for ways to make a difference but need some help to get started.

Ready to learn  more about Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You?

Cover - practical philanthropyAlthough volunteering has a significant impact on the success and efficacy of our charitable organizations, only a fraction of those capable actually volunteer. If you run a business — or have a family — you may think you’re just too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed to give back. Perhaps you think “giving back” is for do-gooders and completely unrelated to business. But there are many different ways to give back that you may not have considered — activities that can give you a greater sense of purpose, generate great exposure for your business, and help others in a massively impactful way. Sell the book as a fundraiser with YOUR logo on it!

To enter this contest, USE THIS LINK to head over to Rafflecopter, read the 6 different ways you can enter to win this book, and enter as many ways as you like! You may enter once per method per email address, unless otherwise specified.

This contest runs from 12 a.m. PST on 12/24/14 to 12 a.m. PST on 12/25/14. The winner will be posted on the official contest page as soon as his or her name is drawn.

We’ll also have BONUS Christmas Day drawing for the book of your choice from the 12 participating authors!

Have fun  and may the best readers win!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

__________________

 

 

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