Saturday, July 31, 2021

The AIDA Advertising Formula

Advertising using the AIDA Formula


*Written by Jon Allo - with over 26 years experience working within the advertising and marketing communications industry. Practical knowledge and experience range from the financial services, legal, commercial services, retail, online, charitable to civil service sectors. https://jonallo.com/salesfunnel


In advertising there are tried and true formulas that you can use to ensure effectiveness. One of these is called the AIDA formula. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Using this formula in all of your ad copy is a way to check whether or not the advertisement will be effective before you even test it.

Attention

You can catch your audience's attention with a headline, an image, a special font, or the way you use words. As you know, the best way to ensure that people read your copy is to do something that makes them stop and take notice.

Interest

As well as the above, the words on the page need to keep your audience's interest. The best way to do that is to explain the benefits of your product using words that differentiate yourself from the competition.

Desire

Using the right words, you want to create a longing or desire within your audience to follow your call to action. You do this by showing them how your product will solve their problems and fill their desires.

Action

Grabbing your audience's attention, keeping their interest, and finding the words that bring up a well of desire for your product, will induce your audience to answer your calls to action at a higher rate than without applying AIDA.



Craft bold headlines, use active voice, white space, images and other means to use AIDA in your copy. Understand that while you need to write copy for all four stages, your audience also goes through the four stages as they engage with your advertising copy. If you can clearly identify the stages as you create the copy - whether it is a sales page or a pay-per-click advertisement, then it's likely you've accomplished AIDA.

You have to remember that you don't want just anyone to click on your headline. You want someone who will read your copy and buy what you're selling. So, to make AIDA work, don't use tricky or misleading headlines or images to attract readers. Be up front at all times and as clear as possible about what's "inside" your headlines for the reader. Use images that are relevant to the copy, and you'll attract better leads. Ad copy is not just an attraction method, it's also a weeding process.

Whether you write copy for online or offline media, using the AIDA formula will help you create winning ad copy as often as you need to. Show your audience what your product can do for them and why they need to buy it using this method and it will work.

To implement a successful AIDA formula you need an effective marketing funnel that consistently turns prospects into paying customers. 


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Friday, July 30, 2021

Review - article



Book Review


When I received The Sudden Caregiver - A Roadmap For Resilient Caregiving by Karen Warner Schueler , the book's topic brought up some haunting, memories of those who are no longer with us, parents we cared for during the end of their lives, friends we have said goodbye to, coworkers, neighbours and beloved fur-babies (aka pets) who have passed on.
 
As one ages, we come to realize that both caregiving and grief are guaranteed to touch our lives... sometimes monumental, heavy grief... sometimes mild and sad. I was a little concerned how the book would feel to read, if it would waken those memories of caregiving for our parents; the pangs of guilt, the angst, the joy the laughter... it is all there just a breath away. 

I was pleased to discover that this book turned out to be a gentle guide for anyone facing caregiving, or for those of us who have already experienced it and fear facing it again. Karen kindly urges caregivers to allow themselves to be human. We will all make mistakes or have a negative reaction, maybe have a disagreement with someone we truly loved - we can let go of that guilt, and allow ourselves to be human and to be kind to ourselves. This stance that Karen takes in the book truly resonated with me and I found myself able to let go of some of my own guilt over impatient moments, arguments, difficult times and difficult family/practitioner relationships. 

Karen starts by carefully and systematically explaining the concept and design of the book and then shares her own story of how she found herself suddenly caregiving. She also shares many other individual stories, which I am sure will provide comfort to her readers, helping them feel less alone in their unique experience. 

The author provides excellent advice for finding ways to discover support even when the caregiver feels isolated or alone, showing them that there is help out there. I thought it was great that she also covered the importance of a back up plan for unforeseeable contingencies - i.e What if the caregiver gets a flu? Karen walks the reader through the process of taking positive and proactive action, making plans, having discussions, and looking after their own health, too.



The difficulty of this journey is real, it is rough and emotional, it can bring upheaval and financial destruction - however "the only way out is through". This powerful statement hits home how important it is to take each step one at a time and get through the experience. It is the only way to deal with it. Her honesty is refreshing. Her book will comfort the reader, while guiding them through the experience.

I found it interesting that the author referred to Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey, as I (and my late mother and an older brother) have been a fan of that work for some time. Her acknowledgement section is fairly extensive, where she carefully expresses gratitude to dozens and dozens of people and organizations that provided support along the way. This book has found a home on my bookshelf, I hope I do not need it in the future - but I know I will be glad to see it on the shelf should I find myself in the position of being a caregiver again. 

Karen, president of Tangible Group, specializing in both leadership and caregiving coaching and consulting services. This 182 page book is available in both print and ebook via Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Schueler/e/B08VV2ZQ6M). Visit the author at: www.TheSuddenCaregiver.com, where you can find resources, learn about the author's coaching services, and much more. 




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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

In Gratitude



Gratitude...

Today I wish to express gratitude. 

Gratitude to our blog readers who have dropped in to read our posts, visit the links on the side-bars and check out the various pages (via the tabs above). Did you know that in the last week we have reached more than 6,900 readers? ... on this one blog? ...yes we do have another blog

Thank you for sharing and liking and reading our social networking posts as well. 

All the new follows and likes and social networking connections that have reached out to us. 

All the amazing listeners and readers of our media appearances - thank you so much! And to the hosts and managers, editors and writers, and all those behind the scenes making these events possible ...Dave and I appreciate you.

...While I suppose these activities are typically looked upon as every-day things - I am so grateful for them none-the-less. 

To all the bloggers and both print and online publications... Thank you so much !!!!

You all brighten my days. Dave's too. Almost every day we have something to celebrate together... 2 of our vehicle decals being installed on a local food truck (see image below), appearances on virtual bulletin boards, or published interviews, etc. 

The Creston Valley Food Coalition and Creston's Farmers' Market - who have been so supportive of our cookbook. As well as local retailers, like the Creston Card & Stationary store. And the I Love Creston Magazine, who will be sharing an article we wrote about the entrepreneurial spirit of couple that runs a local food truck (below) in their August issue. ...and so many others that would be far too long to list here. Thank you all so much.




It is a lot of work to make all of this happen, that is for sure. But none of it would be possible without the interest and support of all of you. 



And to you, who are reading this now - thank you. 

Oh, by the way, I set up a Linktr.ee account recently... I learned about it through a query that was sent my way quite some time ago. Since then I've seen a few others using this platform. It is my understanding that setting up an account there allows us to use one URL - and that one link opens to a page listing all our links. It simplifies the query letters and information packages we put together for the media. 

Check it out when you have the time and let me know what you think of the page I put together. https://linktr.ee/LillianBrummet



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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Quote of the Day



Quote of the Day 










" How did it happen that their lips came together? 

How does it happen that birds sing, 

that snow melts, 

that the rose unfolds, 

that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees 

on the quivering summit of the hill? 

A kiss, and all was said."


 ~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862)


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Monday, July 26, 2021

World of Writing - Interview



World of Writing - Interview


In today's World of Writing Interview, we have Francine Falk-Allen joining us. She is the author of No Spring Chicken: Stories and Advice from a Wild Handicapper on Aging and Disability - and also -Not a Poster Child: Living Well with a Disability—A Memoir. Francine Falk-Allen was born in Los Angeles and has lived nearly all of her life in northern California. As a former art major who got a BA in managerial accounting and ran her own business for thirty-three years, she has always craved creative outlets. Over the years, this has taken the form of singing and recording with various groups, painting, and writing songs, poetry and essays, some of which have been published. Falk-Allen facilitates a support group, Polio Survivors of Marin County, and also a meet-up writing group, Just Write Marin Count her Amazon Central Page to find more about her.  


Q: Welcome, Francine. I'm glad you were able to drop in to discuss your experiences in the realm of writing with our readers today. Why don't we start by having you tell us a little about your journey into writing?
 
A: I have always enjoyed writing, since I was in grammar school; I won an award for an essay in fifth grade, in 1958, so that encouraged me. My first published work was a poem in a cookbook in 1976, and I published a couple of essays subsequently (and also did a number of procedural manuals for employers!). I became more serious about writing when I decided in 2011 that my disability story might make a good book; I published the book in 2018.


Q: I'm actually quite curious about Not a Poster Child, could you tell us a little more about it?

A: It details what it was like to grow up with a disability due to a polio-affected leg, and how that affected all of my life as a woman navigating relationships, career, socializing, spirituality and all else that “normies” do.


Q: I realize each book is unique but could you share the length of time you end up putting into the books you write?  

A: First of all, I don’t write full time or even daily. My first book took me about seven years from the time I started it, thinking at first it was just going to be a long essay, until it went through eighteen re-writes, a developmental edit, a copy edit, a proofread and more of my own reviews, and was finally published. My second book was based on material I had deleted from the first book, so with that substantial start, it took me two or three years to flesh it out and go through faster developmental and re-write edits, and a copy edit. From the time I pulled the first material from the first manuscript and organized it, and then began adding to it until printing, that was a total of five years, but it was substantially about three years of time that I dedicated to it.


Q: Thank you for sharing that as I feel the behind-the-scenes work is often in the dark, a lot of people are unaware of the work a writer takes on and how a book is actually written. Because you mentioned writing for your employers, I'm curious if you have written in this genre before.

A: Not really. My first book had material that was informative, and was a memoir of life stories, but this one is primarily self-help and accessible travel information interspersed with a lot of stories—which might potentially also be considered memoir material.



Q:
 Ok so lets delve a little deeper into the topics you write in. These seem like they would be helpful resources for people facing physical issues. Do you have anything you'd like to share with our readers who either know someone or are also in this situation?
 
A: Aging does not need to be a time when all the things we loved to do are given up, although it might be an era when we make modifications and change our priorities, especially regarding what we can or cannot do. People who have had disabilities all their lives probably have an easier time adapting to aging and some additional loss of function, thought it might still be upsetting as it occurs.  There are many good books, some good websites, and good teachers who address physical therapy, yoga, accessible travel, caregiving, and support groups which can greatly assist in transitioning from fully able to less so. 


Q: What are the benefits from participating in groups and organizations?

A: First of all, one of the most important aspects of aging well is to have a strong social network. Although most of us have friends or relatives we love to interact with, it is especially rewarding to find groups—even small ones—who share interests or difficulties that our loved ones may not experience or be drawn to. One of the groups that has been integral for me has been the meet-up writers’ group I started, Just Write Marin County; we get together and write quietly for two hours once or twice a week, and have met on zoom throughout the pandemic. I wrote the lion’s share of my books in these meet-ups.


Q: After releasing 2 books in your career, so far, what are your thoughts on the publishing industry?

A: I had originally planned to find an agent and then pursue a traditional publisher, but after hearing more than one female published author recant the difficulties they’d faced with New York City male-owned publishing (which is where most of it is based), I thought, well, in my late sixties, I didn’t want to spend the probable two years courting them, maybe landing an offer, only to find that they would edit my book into something I had not intended, and also prescribe my title and cover. So I sought out a hybrid press (different from pay-to-play “vanity” presses, which print anything you submit to them), which vetted the manuscripts they accepted, provided guidance, and had the same distribution channels as “the big dogs.” It has still been challenging at times; my ideas about how to do business, as a former tax accountant, have sometimes differed from the publisher’s, but overall it’s been a good decision. 



Q:
 It sounds like you have some handy business skills to bring forward into your career as a writer. Are there any 'tools of the trade' you'd like to recommend for authors in the marketing stage? 

A: If you think you’ll be done when you finish the book, that’s just the birthing; expect to do a lot of promotional writing to bring that baby out into the world and introduce it to everyone. Given that women aged over fifty or sixty buy the most books, you need to find out where they are and invite them to read your work, if your writing is appropriate for the older female demographic. Older women are on Facebook more than any other book-buying group, so I advertise there; I have found that the more I spend, the more books I sell, with simple attractive ads including my book cover, a couple of brief positive review phrases, maybe a graphic of an award I’ve won, and some little graphic that moves around (such as a cartoon of a person reading a book and nodding her head). When blogging, it’s not attractive to do sales pitches; just write about something you know about or find interesting and then invite readers to comment. 


Q: What are your current favorite websites?

A: The websites I go to are generally for medical, travel or news information. Favorite websites for authors are:

https://shewritespress.com  
https://lauradavis.net  
https://writersdigest.com  
National Association of Memoir Writers https://www.namw.org    
John Matthew Fox www.thejohnfox.com
http://betsygrazianifasbinder.com


Q: Fantastic! And your favorite authors?

A: So here are my favorite authors: Dave Eggers, Jane Austen, Louise Erdrich, Frederik Backman, Anthony Doerr, Julie Ottinger, sometimes Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth George the mystery writer (not the religious writer; I have not read her), Tony Hillerman (RIP), Colum McCann, sometimes David Sedaris, Bill Bryson, Tara Westover, Katherine Heiny, Elizabeth Strout, Mary Plouffe, and as a teenager, Charlotte Bronte, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Hermann Hesse, and JD Salinger.




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Saturday, July 24, 2021

recommended resources



Recommended Resources


High Park is a Toronto (ON, Canada) based non-profit that helps manage a beautiful park, organizes community nature workshops and more.






The HollyHock Leadership Institute is based in Vancouver, BC (Canada) and empowering thought-leaders and proactive change promoters in a variety of ways.




Solutions to common sleep issues associated with aging: Sleep And Aging - A Handbook For Seniors and Caregivers 


Homeless and Injured Animal Rescue of Canada is a non-profit organization operating in Manitoba.

Info: Hiarc.ca



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Friday, July 23, 2021

Just For Writers



Just For Writers !!   

Today is the 3rd installment of this new series of posts Just For Writers ! Watch for a new post in this series around the middle of every month !!

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Let's start today with a look at a Q&A blog interview we had here back on March 23, 2011 with author James Fontaine:


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-- Special Offer For Our Author Friends !!! ---

One of our networking contacts - Jeff Beale - has a special offer for our readers : "I am willing to offer free marketing audits for those interested which they can sign up for at www.mrmarketology.com/marketing-audit/". ** tell Jeff you saw this here, to get the discount :)


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This next link offers a networking opportunity and a helpful blog guiding writers in their journey: http://TheWritersDigest.com

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Here's a link to an interview we once did with publicity expert on our old radio show (no longer on air) * Be prepared, the guest called in a little late * This interview delves into Julie Schoerke's
 knowledge as a publicist. We learn what a publicist will look for in new clients, when and why is a publicist used, how a new marketing plan for a client might begin... common errors in querying media... insider's tips in getting noticed… & more!  * This archived broadcast refers to our OLD website, ignore that.



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Tough Talk Radio Network did a talk radio show back in 2014 with experts Judy Hoberman, Holly Thompson and myself, re: sales, marketing, coaching, selling books, and more. * This archived broadcast refers to our OLD website, ignore that.






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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Using leftovers



Using every little bit of your leftovers


A small bit of leftover broccoli, a 1/2 cup of creamed corn, a 1/4 cup of peas left in the pot... These seem like such a waste to toss in the compost bin, but what can be done with so little? Quite a lot, actually.


Freeze even the smallest amount of leftovers in small containers or re-sealable bags. Label clearly what the contents are and the amount. These can now be taken out in a pinch when you are making soups, stews, casseroles, enchiladas or sauces - increasing the rich flavour and nutritional content of the dish while saving the family some money. 


In our cookbook - From One Small Garden - we have recipes specifically designed to help deal with small amounts of leftovers. Some of our favorite ways to utilize leftovers is to make patties, pakora, fritters, or to make a hearty, homemade soup.


While it may seem silly to save such a small amount of leftovers, you can now see that it is a smart and ecologically sound habit. Doing this means you took something that was formally considered waste, and turned it into a whole new meal that is both tasty and nutritious. With an extended budget and less time spent shopping, creative food planning like this can unquestionably have a positive impact on both your waste output and your family budget.



"This collection of recipes shows how to reduce kitchen food waste by cooking the smart way. It shares many ways to reuse and divert food waste while eating healthier than ever with great tasting recipes from an international array of flavours.. be sure to get your own a copy of From One Small Garden."

Find all of our books (print or ebook) via  our website: http://brummetmedia.ca/store.html

or purchase from Amazon.com 


 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Quote of the Day



Quote of the Day 



©BrummetMedia.ca




"The sun, 

with all those planets revolving around it 

and dependent on it, 

can still ripen a bunch of grapes 

as if it had nothing else in the universe to do."


 ~ Galileo Galilei



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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Learning how to support pollinators



Obtain bee, bat, bird, butterfly and eco-friendly gardening resources, links, guides and certification plaques.


Pollination Canada and Pollination Partners - http://Pollinationcanada.ca  & http://pollinator.org


North American Butterfly Association – http://nappc.org


Xerces Society For Invertebrate Conservation - http://xerces.org


Bee Better Certification – http://beebettercertified.org


Find groups and actions you can take part in: https://xerces.org/citizen-science 


Canadian Honey Council - http://honeycouncil.ca


Back Yard Habitat Certification Program - http://backyardhabitats.org


Canadian Wildlife Federation Wildlife Friendly Habitat Certification - http://cwf-fcf.org/en/explore-our-work/connecting-with-nature/in-the-garden/get-certified/


National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife Habitat Certification - https://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/Certify.aspx






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Friday, July 16, 2021

Author Interview




World of Writing - Author Interview


Regular readers are aware that we enjoy conversing with other writers, learning from their experiences and understanding their work from a 'behind-the-scenes' view. Today we are joined by author William H. Koenecke - a retired university professor from Murray State University. He holds five degrees and has 45+ years of educational experience. During his life-long career he has taught at three different universities. His most recent book release (May 2021) is: 
Study Smarter, Not Harder: Over 77 Ways to Improve Your Study Skills in Just Minutes A Day. Don't forget to check out his first book: Write Well Right Now


Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your books?

A: It took me nearly seven years to research and write my first book titled “Write Well Right Now: A Guidebook on English Grammar, Punctuation, and Writing.”
 
For many years, I wanted to write a book; however, I was busy with several principalships, and earning four of my five university degrees while doing the duties required of being a successful principal.

I left the principalship and taught part-time at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL while earning my Ph.D. in Educational Administration. After earning my Ph.D. I served in three different Illinois school districts as their superintendent of schools before accepting a one-year visiting professorship at Illinois State University in Normal, IL in school law, collective bargaining, and personnel administration. After that I was hired at Murray State University in Murray, KY. I taught in the College of Education for eleven years and retired in 2012. During five of the eleven years I was busy teaching and working toward earning my tenure. So, from year six until I retired in 2012 - I spent any extra time researching and writing my book. From 2012 until 2017, I finished the research, wrote the actual final book, and published it with IngramSpark in 2017. It is available on Amazon.com as both a print book and an eBook. So, the first problem was the lack of time until I retired in 2012.


The next problem was a heath issue that was presented to me about the time I finished the book. I was told by a cardiologist that I only had one year to live plus or minus one month! I didn’t accept his diagnosis and several other cardiologists and ended up at Centennial Hospital in Nashville, TN. The doctor at Centennial looked at my records and didn’t agree with the first diagnosis. And I had a “Ton” of heart tests that I didn’t know existed and apparently the first cardiologist didn’t know existed either! To make a long story short – I was misdiagnosed, and my heart was not nearly as bad as I was first told. So, it’s almost four years since I was told I only one year to live! I’m now seventy-five years old, and my doctor in Nashville thinks I may live even longer! However, he reminds me there are no guarantees as to how long any person will live – especially at the age of seventy-five. So, the second problem was and is health.


The third problem, especially my first book was that I was not an English major in undergraduate school. My majors were chemistry & biology. I had a minor in physics and a secondary teaching certificate in chemistry, biology, and physics. So, I was told numerous times by book publishers, English teachers, and others that I didn’t have the credentials to write an English grammar, punctuation, and writing book! So, the third problem was that I didn’t have the credentials to write my first book!


Q: Tell us a little about what led to your career in writing... have you co-written anything or worked with an agent or publicist?

A:  I’ve not been an agent, publicist, or a co-writer. However, I’ve been very satisfied with my career! I have over 45+ years in the field of education. I started my career as a high school chemistry teacher at twenty years of age. After three years, I was employed as the junior-senior high school principal at a small Illinois school district (about 300 students). At the age twenty-six I moved to a larger high school in Illinois (about 500 students). At the age of thirty, I moved to a larger high school (about 1,000 students). These were all principal positions. At the age of thirty-four, I accepted my first superintendent of schools in a small district in Illinois (about 400 students). My next superintendent stop was a larger school district of approximately 1,500 students It was a wealthy school district with a surplus of approximately 2.5 million dollars – most of my previous districts were in terrible financial shape. I was responsible for investing this surplus money in legal places of my choice! My next stop was a one-year visiting law professor at Illinois State University (ISU) at Normal, Illinois. After that I earned a second master’s degree from ISU in Industrial Technology and Training Development. After that degree, I worked for Johnson Controls in Peoria, Illinois for about eighteen months in selling performance contracts to school districts located near their Peoria Office. These were HVAC and energy savings projects that Johnson Controls financed over a 10-to-15-to-20-year period of time with the school district making payments to Johnson Controls from their savings of heat and electric costs as a result of the efficiency of new HVAC equipment and more efficient energy equipment replacing outdated and inefficient heating, cooling, and new lighting fixtures, etc. These contracts were VERY expensive and seldom, if ever, did the energy savings over the life of the performance contract exceed the amount the school district paid to Johnson Controls during the term of the contract because each year the price of energy increased, and the amount of savings decreased! The only advantage I saw was that the school district didn’t have to pass a tax issue to pay for the cost of installing the equipment! However, the taxpayers of the school still paid for the cost - plus a 10% profit to Johnson Controls. And in some cases, the school districts were broke and their HVAC and furnaces were in terrible shape! And it was a way to update their equipment and save some energy costs using the newer equipment. Johnson Controls decided to decrease their sales force, and I was given a choice to quit or be fired! I quit and have nothing but good thing to say about Johnson Controls. They were and are a huge company and I had excellent benefits and was treated well during my time with them! My final stop was Murray State University (MSU) and I taught in the College of Education for the final eleven years of my 45+ years in education. I received my B.S. from MSU in 1967 and my mother taught at MSU for 28 years. She was a teacher and was the chair of the MSU Home Economics department for most of those years. After I retired in 2012, I became a published author and a self-publisher with IngramSpark in La Vergne, TN.


Q: What are some of your favorite writers’ resources?

A: One of my favorite resources was the Murray, Kentucky Author Support Group I started with a retired English professor from Murray State University soon after I retired in 2012. We had approximately twenty-eight people attend the first meeting held in the Murray Calloway County Public Library’s meeting room on a Saturday. We ended up with about eight people who attended future meetings on a regular basis. We had two experienced authors who were retired English professors from Murray State University (MSU) in our group who shared valuable information to those of us who were not published authors but wanted to become authors in the future. One retired author had successfully published 15 to 20 books and the other author had successfully published approximately 35 books. Their advice was free and very useful to the others in the group. Several of us did become first-time published authors as a result of their knowledge about writing and publishing knowledge. In addition, we had guest speakers at some of the meetings. There are several authors in our community and several current and/or retired MSU professors are book authors. I had to resign from the group because of health issues and because of covid, we suspended meetings for now. We tried zoom meetings and only three people attended three zoom meetings.

I’m a slow typist and I’m using “Dictate” 365 Office Voice Recognition software to “talk” the vast majority of the book into typed text in my second book titled “Study Smarter, Not Harder: Over 77 Ways to Improve Your Study Skills in Just Minutes A Day.” I previously used Dragon Voice Recognition software part of the time but found that it did not do a good job of changing my “talk” to the correct text I wanted in a document! So far, I find that “Dictate” does a much better job!

Another source is Grammarly.com that checks your spelling, edits, corrects grammar, punctuation, and more tasks to make you a better writer. There is a free version and a pro version that can be purchased online. There are several other similar products that you may want to check out that are available on the internet.
Finally, the internet can be a valuable “free” tool for authors and writers. It’s not totally free because you have to pay a monthly Internet Service Provider (ISP) fees and perhaps, other fees to be able to use the world wide web. You can conduct research, use the dictionary, read blogs, look at YouTubes videos, and a plethora of other sources. However, almost anything can be placed on the internet and may not be completely correct! So be careful to double check the information with other sources.


Q:
What inspired you to write?

A: When I was in early grade school, we could not afford a television and I attended a one-room school of eight grades with one teacher! So, early on I became an avid reader both in school and at home. And one of my aunts was a high school English teacher in a large St. Louis, MO high school. In addition to teaching, she was an author. After my dad passed away when I was nine years old, she was a mentor to my mother and myself. So, she inspired me to get an education and become a teacher. I was busy teaching and becoming an administrator, but I still had the desire to write a book someday. When I became a school superintendent, one of my goals was to hire the best possible teachers for our schools. And I decided that I would require all teacher applicants for our district to be screened by me. I would select the top applicants based on their credentials and conduct the first interviews. Then I would select the top two or three candidates and the principal of the school where the vacancy was located, would conduct the second interview. Together we would select the best one for the position.

I was appalled at the significant number of candidates who either didn’t know correct grammar and/or punctuation or didn’t take the time to proof their application materials before sending them to me for review! I required a brief hand-written essay of approximately 200 words with a choice of three topics – usually one of the choices was their philosophy of education. Sometimes, I provided a scenario of a situation that could/may occur in a classroom similar to the one for which the candidate was applying for. The candidate was asked to describe how he/she would handle that situation! Reading these writing samples was very revealing to me in MANY ways!

I would say that my experience in teaching the first course in the teacher education program was the deciding reason I decided to write an English grammar, punctuation, and writing book. First, let me say that some of my students were GREAT writers using proper grammar, punctuation, and good written communication skills. However, a significant number of these students - some who wanted to become English teachers – were less than adequate in these critical skills. The sad thing was they didn’t think it was important to improve in these areas! And many of these same students told me their most recent English grammar class was in junior high school. They said their high school teachers told them that grammar was not important – it was the content of the writing piece that was important. And you could hire someone to correct the grammar and the punctuation. And the English department at MSU didn’t require a grammar class for a major in English! There was one elective grammar course that was never full. As far as I know that is still true today! Perhaps, it’s taught in other classes. If so, they need to stress grammar more in these classes because several of my future English teachers were not adequate in these skills.

Q: How long will we wait for your next book? What are your current projects?

A: My second book is almost finished and is scheduled to be out in May of 2021. The title of the book is “Study Smarter, Not Harder: Over 77 Ways to Improve Your Study Skills in Just Minutes A Day.”

There will be a print book available and an eBook available on Amazon.com at a price of $14.95 and $4.99 respectively. One of the chapters in the book is titled “Advice From Experts.” Approximately forty people have submitted practical tip(s)/suggestion(s) they actually used to study smarter, not harder to become successful in their chosen careers. This is a cross-section of students, teachers, professors, authors, an attorney, a medical doctor, a C.P.A., a pharmacist, and others.

The rest of the book will be a plethora of information that either supports these forty tips/suggestions and/or adds additional tips/suggestions that will help anyone become more efficient in studying, earning higher grades, and reaching his/her full potential. Studying is akin to most things in life! That is, “One-Size-Does-Not-Fit-All.” So, if you are pleased with your present study habits, why would you change! Perhaps, you may want to try a few new ones that may improve how your study. Now, if you are not doing well and you want to do better – what do you have to lose? Of course, you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath wash! So, try a few suggestions that you believe may work for you! If they don’t work – stop and try other tips and suggestions.

I don’t have any “perfect” suggestions that work for every person! And I do not know of any tips/suggestion that do not involve some amount of work! However, there are numerous work smarter, not harder tips/suggestions in the book that will decrease the amount of work required to do well. 

Your positive attitude and wanting to do well is a major key in anything you do. If you think you can do something, you can! If you think you can’t do something, you can’t do it! Either statement is correct – it depends on you!






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Just for Writers !



Just For Writers !!   

Today is the 16th installment of this new series of posts Just For Writers ! 

Watch for a new post in this series around the middle of every month !! 

*Note: these links go back as far as early 2000's and may refer to our old website and perhaps  other old links. Ignore them. Go to: http://BrummetMedia.ca


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In this Q&A interview published on this bog in 2015, Wendy Van Hattan, writer, editor and blogger,  joins us for a discussion on writer's groups:



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Freelance writers will find a great resource in this next link, which helps writers connect with paying markets: https://www.freedomwithwriting.com/


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This link will take you to marketing communication tips that most authors could benefit from: 



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Author Lee Libro joined us for a discussion on writers groups as well back in 2010, * This archived broadcast refers to our OLD website, ignore that




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This next link will take you to a wonderful list of writer's resources, generously put together by Robin Woods https://robinwoodsfiction.com/for-writers/ 


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