Archive for August 2007

Reaping the Whirlwind ebook giveaway

August 18, 2007

reapingsmall1.jpgIt started out as a test based on something one of my mentors said in a class. I posted my Christy winner as an ebook on my website as a total giveaway. Since I hold all the rights to the book, that’s my prerogative. Then I offered it on Freebie Friday, a homeschooling mailout thats a feature of the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. My offer came out the morning of August 10.

Within 3 hours of the mailing my website bandwidth blew out with 720 downloads. My webhost got the site back up and we topped out 900 downloads by midnight. The hits kept coming in and a week later we’re just shy of 1400. They’re still happening, too.

Wow, you’re thinking. All that revenue gone. At $10 each that’s $14000. Ah, yes, but how many of those people would have ever purchased the book? The way I look at it, now that they’ve read my work maybe they’ll pick up a copy of my new book release in September called Colorado Christmas. Besides, my Amazon rating dropped 200,000 points this week. I’ll take that as a winning idea.

By the way, the link is still up. If you’d like to get the ebook, click on the link for Reaping the Whirlwind ebook under the Blogroll list on the right.

Stop Checking Your Email!

August 8, 2007

email_clipart.jpg

Checking email is addictive. A tiny voice on the side of your mind says, “Someone may have sent you something. I wonder what it could be.” That tiny voice is as insistent and persistent as a ringing telephone. Who can resist answering it?

You can.

This miniscule nugget of advice will multiply your productivity if you’ll only take it seriously. It’s so simple and so liberating to set aside two times a day for scanning it (and deleting most of it anyway) and taking care of replies. To inform your friends and colleagues about your new habit, simply set up the vacation autoresponder on your email program with a message that goes something like this: I’m trying to streamline my time in the office to increase my productivity and try to conquer the growing stack on my desk. In order to do this I’m only checking my email at _________ o’clock and ______ o’clock. If you have a true emergency, give me a call. Sorry for any inconvenience. Thanks for understanding, etc.” Those who know you will have your number already, and those who don’t know you probably won’t have an emergency anyway.

 Never, never, never check email first thing in the morning!

Checking email before diving into the day’s work creates a mental energy drain right off the bat. Sorting through the unwelcome reports and lengthy newsletters takes more time than we realize. We send out replies and grin at cute forwards instead of focusing, organizing, and using those most productive moments to make real progress. Seriously, this tip should be stickied to every office cubicle in the nation.

If you don’t think you’re addicted to checking email, try this and see how your mind likes it. Try it for just one day. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Set email checking times for mid-day and shortly before you finish work, say at noon or 1:00 and an hour before you leave the office. This allows you to have your mornings uninterrupted and you can also to take care of details as you close up shop for the day.

I challenge you. Check your email only twice a day for the next work week and marvel at how much you can get accomplished without it. What a relief! That niggling little voice has a button on its lip at last!

The entire book, not just a few chapters

August 5, 2007

Reaping the Whirlwind Look under my Blogroll and you’ll see the link for Reaping the Whirlwind ebook. Click there and you’ll gain access to the entire book. It will download to your computer and you can read it on screen or print it out. There’s no charge at all.

This is my Christy Award winner, a mystery that takes place during the Scope trial in 1925, complete with Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, and John Scopes along with a lot of other colorful people who actually lived during those times. Believe me, truth really is stranger than fiction. If you like an interesting mystery story, check it out now. I’m not sure how long this offer is going to last.

Brick Sidewalks and other Blessings

August 4, 2007

Brick Sidewalk

Our house is on the corner which gives us sidewalk across the front and down the long side, about 225 feet of it. This weekend we set about trying to uncover the entire thing. The edges were under 3 inches of eroded soil and much of the gaps between the bricks were filled with grass. My husband and son took turns with the weed eater for 8 1/2 hrs while I swept up 6 garbage bags of refuse behind them.

The effort was well worth it. The photo was taken standing outside our gate which is in the center of the sidewalk. Now, if we can only find a product that will keep those pesky weeks from filling in the gaps as soon as it rains.