Monday, June 22, 2009

The Private Label Rights Strategy

Private Label Rights (PLR), for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, is a type of content or product that, once purchased, allows you to reuse it as your own. Although every publisher gives different rights with their content, you are usually able to rewrite it, add your name, divide it up and sometimes even publish it as is. There are also other PLR products that require you to reuse it intact with the original author’s name. So, check the rights when purchasing. The PLR products that allow you to use the article as your own are very similar to ghostwriting in that someone else writes the content, and you may publish it under your own name.

If you're going to promote yourself online or try to earn money online you have to be able to manage your time. PLR products free up time – it’s plain and simple. You don't have to spend that time writing info on new products. You don't have to write that content for your website, and you don't have to write all of those articles for article directories. Freeing up time is a big deal - that's time you can be spending doing other things.

If you haven’t been using PLR products, you might want to give them a try. There are a number of uses for this type of product: You can give it away as a bonus or gift; use it to build your subscriber list; use it as content for your website or blog; use it to create an ebook to offer as a freebie or sell on your site; use it in your newsletters; you can even rewrite it and really make it your own, then send it to article directories. Be creative and get the most uses you can out of them.

In addition to the above uses, PLR content is also a great tool if you’re an affiliate marketer. It is impossible to know everything about everything, but with PRL articles you don’t have to. If you need a health article, a business article, an insurance article, whatever the topic, just find reputable sites that offer these types of articles and you’re off and running. PLR products can be a great tool.

While there are a number of advantages to using PLR, you need to find a provider that offers quality products. Along with this be sure to proofread the content before using or publishing it as your own. Some providers that offer PLR content may be foreigners, not familiar with the English language. Others may just be out to make a quick buck. And, even those who write for a living may not put the same effort or time into a PLR article that they would for one being published under their own name. Printing or publishing a low grade article or content may do more damage to your promotional efforts than good. So, be sure to proofread the PLRs you purchase. The same holds true for PLR videos, audios and so on…check them before using them.

PLR products are an investment just like your domain name and web hosting.
We invest in these tools to create visibility which in turn can very well lead to a visitor clicking that BUY button or Affiliate Product button.

See you in blog world,
Karen

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A 2009 Witch Hunt

I started this VBT - Writers on the Move Viewpoint topic thinking I would discuss the pros and cons of copywriting. To refresh my memory I went back to the post I was basing my article on and decided to read most of the 673 comments.

What an eye opener! The original post is on the site zenhabits and posted by Leo Babauta, sometime in April 2009. 

The article began: “Today I received an email from the lawyers of author Susan Jeffers, PhD., notifying me that I’d infringed on her trademark by inadvertently using the phrase “feel the fear and do it anyway” in my post last week, A Guide to Beating the Fears That Hold You Back […] Her lawyers asked me to insert the (R) symbol after the phrase, in my post, and add this sentence: “This is the registered trademark of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. and is used with her permission.”

Leo Babauta went on to write about the horrors of infringing on a person’s right to use the English language and stated that he would not comply with the letter’s request. His, obviously, loyal followers quickly jumped on the bandwagon and went so far as to post false reviews on Ms. Jeffers Amazon page. As a direct result, her Amazon ratings dropped.

What’s so bizarre is that most of the commenters had no idea what they were talking about, yet they still took vicious action. One commenter stated that Ms. Jeffers husband is her lawyer, which another commenter explained was not true. It was also brought to light that the letter Mr. Babauta received was not from a lawyer, but was simply a trademark letter. The majority of the commenters accused Ms. Jeffers of being greedy and pledged not to buy any of her books. A couple of commenters asked Mr. Babauta to post the letter for clarification, claiming that he used the phrase and letter as a ploy to drive traffic to his site which is monetized.

Leo Babauta’s site blogs about things similar to Ms. Jeffers books and teachings, such as overcoming fear and self-help, so what was the big deal in giving her credit for the phrase? He states in his article that he was taking a stand against copywriting and trademarks, but did he have to use Susan Jeffers name to make his stand? Mr. Babauta seems to be a savvy blogger; his philosophy of free speech and sharing is a wonderful concept, but there are better ways of promoting it. Only Mr. Babauta knows what his true motives were. Unfortunately, whether this post was simply venting or contrived, Ms. Jeffers paid a price.

A 2009 witch hunt was activated by one post. The power of the internet is actually frightening. It taught me a valuable lesson: pause, think and even research before you write. The internet can be an amazing source of knowledge and help, but it can also be like a tidal wave bringing irreversible damage along with it.

So, my questions are:

1. What are your thoughts on giving credit where it’s due?
2. Are trademarks and copywriting out of control?

Please let me know what you think!

To read the ZenHabits post, go to:
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway


~~~~~
Karen

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More With Carolyn Howard-Johnson


We're back with Carolyn Howard-Johnson and today we’ll go over some of Carolyn’s books, but first I’d like to tell you about the two I recently read.

The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success is a must have book for all writers. It is jammed pack with information, tips, and advice to guide and help you with the writing process. From how you punctuate your titles to query letters, it’s covered. What I especially like about this book is its detail. Carolyn gives step-by-step instructions for things such as using Word’s Track and Find functions. It even mentions the word snuck. This may not sound important, but I very recently wrote a story for children and used the word snuck in it. I will be changing that word to sneaked thanks to Carolyn’s tip. What are the chances? The book also includes other great resources for making your writing the best it can be. The Frugal Editor will stay by my computer so it will be readily available every time I sit to write.

Next up is The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t. This book is such a great resource for promoting yourself and your books. For lack of better words, I have to repeat myself: it is jammed packed with great information, tips and advice - I mean that literally. The Frugal Book Promoter explains what PR is, including branding, your tagline, and your pitch. It explains how to build your Media Kit as well as how to build your credentials to include in your kit. The Frugal Book Promoter has 38 chapters and each one is filled with practical and detailed information. If you want to get your book reviewed, appear on television, take part in a book fair, know what to do before and after you sign that contract, or want to utilize Amazon’s features, this book has it all. And, as with The Frugal Editor, Carolyn included a number of other great resources to help with your promotion efforts. If you have a book you want to promote, or just as important, if you are writing a book, The Frugal Book Promoter will be an essential tool in your promotional journey.

Now, here’s more about these two books and other books Carolyn has written:
The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t
ISBN: 193299310X
Publisher: Star Publish
Awards: Winner USA Book News, Irwin Award
Price: $17.95 but discounted at:: http://www.amazon.com/Frugal-Book-Promoter-What-Publisher/dp/193299310X/

For only a few cents a day The Frugal Book Promoter assures your book the best possible start in life. Full of nitty - gritty how - tos for getting nearly-free publicity, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, an instructor for UCLA’s Writers’ Program, shares her professional experience as well as practical tips gleaned from the successes of her own book campaigns. She tells authors how to do what their publishers can’t or won’t and why authors can often do their own promotion better than a PR professional.

A recommendation from BarnesandNobel.com: Feather Schwartz Foster, an author, September 9, 2004:

Packed With Wonderful Information! For anyone who has written a book of any kind - this is a must-have, and must-keep guide! Every chapter is filled with insights and how-tos and a whole bunch of where to finds!
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The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success
ISBN: 9780978515874
Publisher: Red Engine Press
Awards: Winner USA Book News, Reader Views Literary Award, New Generation Marketing Award

To Order: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978515870/

There are gremlins out there determined to keep your work from being published, your book from being promoted. They -- resolved to embarrass you before the gatekeepers who can turn the key of success for you -- lurk in your subconscious and the depths of your computer programs. Whether you are a new or experienced author, The Frugal Editor will help you present whistle-clean copy (whether it's a one-page cover letter or your entire manuscript) to those who have the power to say "Yea" or "Nay."
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson is also the award-winning author of:
This is the Place (a historical novel set in Utah in the 1950s)
Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered (these are creative nonfiction - told like stories but true nonetheless)
Tracings (a traditionally published chapbook of nostalgic poetry - Papeback only with satin ribbon bookmark)

Other books by Carolyn:
She Wore Emerald Then: Reflections on Motherhood (coauthored by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson - Available as paperback or e-book)
Cherished Pulse (an e-chapbook of Valentine poetry co-authored by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

And, last, but certainly not least, Carolyn’s newest book:
A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How to Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrift Events and Sales Techniques.
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Finally, I wanted to mention Carolyn’s newsletter, Sharing With Writers. It’s a great source of news, tips, resources and articles. Go to HOJONews@aol.com to subscribe.


It's been fun and informative! Thank you Carolyn, for visiting with us this week.

Karen

Monday, June 1, 2009

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Author and Promoter


It is such a pleasure to host Carolyn Howard-Johnson. What’s so interesting about belonging to a wonderful group of authors, such as VBT, is getting to work along side them. But, you only get to know them a little better when you actually host them. I found out quite a bit about Carolyn Howard Johnson while preparing this post. Carolyn has held many enviable positions, she is an entrepreneur, savvy business woman, and multiple award winning author. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Carolyn always demonstrates generosity and kindness even with her hectic schedule. She stretches herself and is not afraid to venture to be all that she can be – that’s very impressive and a wonderful example for others.

Now, let’s learn a bit more about this talented, and experienced author and promoter:

As a college freshman, Carolyn Howard-Johnson was the youngest person ever hired as a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune--"A Great Pulitzer Prize Winning Newspaper"-- where she wrote features for the society page and a column under the name of Debra Paige.

Later, in New York, she was an editorial assistant at Good Housekeeping Magazine. She also handled accounts for fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert who instituted the first Ten Best Dressed List, where she wrote releases for celebrity designers of the time including Pauline Trigere, Rudy Gernreich and Christian Dior. She was also a consultant for the Oak Park Press in the Chicago area.

Her nonfiction and humor have been seen in national magazines and her fiction and poetry appear regularly in anthologies and review journals. She has been a columnist for The Pasadena Star News and is now a columnist for Home Décor Buyer, a trade magazine, and Myshelf.com and others. She writes movie and theatre reviews for The Glendale News-Press.

She studied at the University of Utah, graduated from USC and has done postgraduate work in writing at UCLA. She also studied writing at Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University in Prague.

The author’s first novel, This Is The Place, and her book of creative nonfiction are award-winners. She also wrote a screenplay, The Killing Ground. Her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't was named USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004 and won Book Publicists of southern California's Irwin award.

The second book in the HowToDoItFrugally series is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success which also won a USA Book News Best Book nod. It is also the winner of Reader Views Literary Award and a finalist in the New Generation Indie Best Book Awards. Her marketing campaign for that book took top honors for marketing.

Howard-Johnson’s stories have appeared in anthologies like: Pass/Fail, edited by Rose A. O. Kleidon, PhD; Calliope’s Mousepad in review journals like California State University at Stanislaus's Penumbra and the Mochila Review.

She was honored as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award by California Legislature members, Carol Liu, Dario Frommer and Jack Scott. She is the recipient of her community's Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance. She was honored by her city's Character and Ethics committee for promoting tolerance with her writing and was named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 women of "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen"
Born and raised in Utah, Howard-Johnson raised her own family in sunny Southern California.

Wow! What a list of honors, awards and credentials...Carolyn is quite a woman!

To learn more about Carolyn visit:


http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com

You can also check out Carolyn's blogs that focus on writing and related topics:
http://www.SharingWithWriters.blogspot.com
Sharing with Writers is a blog on all things publishing with an emphasis on book promotion. It was named to Writer's Digest 101 Best Website list.


Please be sure to come back on Wednesday, June 3rd, for more with Carolyn Howard-Johnson.