Category Archives: blogging

Books Clubs And Why I Want To Join One

Welcome to another episode of my podcast.

 

Books Clubs And Why I Want To Join One

Yesterday, I sat in on my first gathering of a book club.  It was so much fun, I want to join one. That is a common feeling for a reader, who loves books and just wants to read and talk about what was read. These ladies (and yes, it was all ladies) really liked the book that had been read, and the author was present, so they got a good chance to ask her questions about the book that they wanted answered. The author was delightful and well, you should know, she is a friend of mine, and a fine author. NO wonder they loved her book. I love her books too.

Now for those of you asking, this is what a book club is and what they do:

A book club is a reading group that chooses a book to read once a month and then they get together and discuss it. IF they are lucky, like the case I am telling you about here, they have the author in and get to learn more deeply about the writing of the book, what inspired the author and what she felt when she wrote certain scenes.

I only aspire to this height. I haven’t yet been the subject of a book club gathering, but I hope to one day. I love readers. Heck, I am one! I think that reading groups and book clubs are just the bees knees.

You can find them all on the internet if you are not able to get to a library. I think getting together with a face to face group would be just super fun though. Libraries and community centers usually have something along these lines, so check all the possible places. And like I said, if you cannot find anything local, then look online. There are many online, I know because I just went out and looked into it. I am seriously considering joining one, just because I love to read so much.

Well, maybe that’s a job for another month, though. I just got two of the author’s books at the meeting yesterday, so I am full of new books to read right now. In fact, my to-be-read pile is about to topple over.

One of the final and wonderful things that the moderator said yesterday was for the readers to be sure to go out and rate and review the book for the author. I was so pleased to hear that. Authors need ratings and reviews to keep them on top of their game. I received a bad review one time. It really hurt my feelings, but I have since learned that you won’t always hit the mark with every reader. It’s cool. They don’t mean any harm by telling you that you fell short of the mark. That bad review should make you good and mad, so you go out and do better. I know it affected me that way.

And good reviews? Oh my. Those make an author’s heart sing, and sends us right back into that writing chair to turn out another book. Good reviews are as addicting as a drug that is only taken once and is sought after with a vengeance every day thereafter.

Well, I guess, that’s about all I had to talk about this time.

I am going to be working on my next book soon, and no not through Nano. I don’t guess I will ever do Nano again. Nano is short for Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month and it is all in November. I have done it many years, but nah…not this one.  But I still need some encouragement to finish this book I’m writing, so please remember to pat me on the back once in a while. It’s so hard to make myself sit down and write these days. I find avoiding the writing chair a very easy feat and that’s only because basically I am lazy, but also, well, since my hubby died, I just don’t have much inspiration or motivation aside from normal life things. I think I need a book club. It would get my lazy butt moving in the right direction.

What do you think?

May all beings be happy at heart — Buddha

Listen to the podcast here or read the text below.

So here we are you guys, it’s October 2017– they keep promising Fall is on the way, but I dont hardly believe it–it’s still in the mid to upper 80s here and well… you know a little cooler weather would be nice.

Looks like for a while, you guys, I’m going to be doing the podcast solo-because I just don’t know how to go about conducting an interview and make it turn out right — video-wise —and all the things that my husband used to do – it’s kind of a technical malady going on here– so instead I guess I’ll just talk to yall– I’ll just do some podcasting solo —

You’re going to get the benefit of my knowledge and well, an awful lot of what’s inside of my brain. These are going to be a lot more like those fly-by episodes that I did sometimes. But I hope that I can bring something of value to you using the podcast platform.

I know there’s an awful lot of podcasts out there I know your time is valuable and I just want to say thanks for listening to my podcast, to writer groupie dot net podcast.

You know it’s an honor really for you to allow me to take up your time and it’s–you know– it’s kind of an honor for you to get the benefit of listening to my terrible southern drawl. So actually if you think about it, we’re benefiting each other.

You know it’s a shared human experience, podcasting is. The sound of my voice going into your ear-bones. Well, something like that.

And so, lets talk about a few of the things that are going on in the world. You know just yesterday was the Las Vegas Massacre. At least that’s what the news media’s calling it. I kind of agree, it was a massacre. Somebody described  it as shooting fish in a barrel and that I agree with also.

It was totally, utterly, decidedly planned. Now what sort of opinion this man had of population, what this man’s mental status was, the reasons behind the massacre could be just about anything. I don’t think anybody really knows at this point, and you know, he shot himself, so we may never know.

We may never know what made this man go to such extremes to injure, maim, and murder others. So many others they’re calling it the worst massacre in this country.

But I have to say, even in the most horrible circumstances some of the best and the brightest things come to light. Kind of like a beautiful moth appearing under the street lamp because it’s drawn to the light.

Good is drawn to the light. And even though there’s evil in the world, I really truly believe there’s an awful lot of good. And you’re good, and I’m good, and we’re good together. And we can do good for each other. And I think that it’d be really remiss of me if I didn’t say things to you like, spread kindness.

You know, kindness is free.

It doesn’t cost anything and it takes a lot of various forms. You know, a kind touch, a kind word, even just a smile would make somebody’s day.

You know, and you never know the burdens other people are carrying, and your kind touch, your kind word, even your smile can make that sorrowful day that they may be enduring a whole lot brighter.

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Profile / Pixabay

So, please, please, please, try and be kind. Try to have peace in your heart. Try to have love for your fellow man. Because you know, there’s evil in the world. And the only way to overcome evil is with love and with kindness.

You know it’s just … it’s just the way the Good Book says, those kinds of  benefits… those kinds of types of personalities that can exhibit kindness and love even in the worst circumstances…man, that’s the kind of stuff you want to pay attention to and you want to pattern yourself after.

So, if you don’t know anything about how to be kind or how to exhibit love, listen to some of these news stories about the people who took care of those who were injured and dying. I think you might find the cue. I think you might find the key.

Well, that’s about all I can tell you. That’s all I can give you out of the depths of my mind. I’m a little bit soul-sore. And I guess maybe you are too, I think all of our spirits are a little bit dinged right now. Because we’re all sad because this is a terrible tragedy.

Anytime there’s a massive loss of life, I mean, it’s…it’s a tragedy.

But we can overcome. WE can always overcome. Don’t forget what I said about kindness. That’s kind of important. Until next time….signing out.

WGPodcast: Are Websites Necessary

Writer Groupie Podcast brings you discussions, insights, and insider details on planning, producing, promoting, and profiting as a writer.

Welcome to Writer Groupie!

websites

SHOW NOTES:

Good day, Writer Groupies! I am doing a flyby episode today in hopes that I am going to slowly get back to my podcast schedule. I think most of you know that my hubby is my producer and he has been in the hospital and unable to help me out for some time now.

At any rate, he will be able to direct me to do the production work soon, so we can get back to business! If you are a former guest, or one that I have had to cancel, I will be in touch to reschedule soon!

Today, I want to discuss a subject that is subjective, depending on what your preferences are, and I am certainly NOT trying to sway you one way or another. But, it’s about websites for authors and whether we still need them or not, and whether what we put on one is complex or simple.

What got me on the subject today was seeing a nice book cover on Facebook and following the links to see the book on Amazon-you know me, I love good book covers – and if you need one designed will be happy to do that for you- but I digress.

This book, a romance, was ranking on Amazon moderately, and I wanted to know more about the author. I always think about possible podcast guests. So, I tried and tried to find the author’s website. And there is not one. The author is exclusively on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

This made me sit back on my heels a little.

Are websites now no longer needed for an author?  Do we as consumers no longer desire to see the author’s creds and other items? This author only had the one book so maybe she will get a site up once she gets another one ready to go. I also tried to hunt down her publishing company and found nothing that matched exactly so suspect that she is using her own publishing information as I do with MKS Books. This is a common thing with indies.

But I have heard more than once that you should have a website, even a one page site. It’s just the norm. But I am seeing more and more indies going to a social media experience for their platform. I think in a way, that is an okay thing to do. I mean, where did I find this author? On Facebook!

So, it bears repeating…are websites going by the wayside? I find myself going less and less to sites for my information gathering…even of big companies. Now, yes, we all shop online and those sites are frequented quite heavily. But for an author? Or a book? Is it possible now to do away with a website?

When I visited the sites of two of my favorite authors, I found sites filled with info about their book tours and covers and links to their books (current books being sold—not really backlist) and nothing else. I suspect these NYT bestsellers are far too busy out in the world promoting to be worrying with blogging or any of that and likely have author assistants who do their sites.

But, if you have a site…what is necessary? For a long time, it was simply a placeholder for your image and bio and book covers and links. Then sites went the way of blogs and everyone felt the need to post blog posts daily or so…but I am seeing a whole lot of defunct blogs now because we are all very, very busy people and don’t have time to write out a long tirade. And even less time to read one. So, I think it is safe to say that blogging at least on a website is really sort of a dead thing.

And if the authors that I visited are any indication, sites may be going back to the placeholder days.

Either way, a website is in my opinion, an expense that an author just getting started could do without. I think they may well get more mileage from social media places. Eventually as they publish more and more books they will want a site.

What do you think?

Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Thanks for listening! You can find show notes, contact form, and more at http://www.writergroupie.net

You can find out more about Kim Smith at http://www.kimsmithauthor.net

Happy New Year to WGP fans and followers!

2017

I have had a major setback in my personal life and have taken a small hiatus from the podcast for a while. I cancelled all my scheduled podcasts for the now, and I apologize to all my guests.

If it were not serious, and necessary, I would never do such a thing.

But I will try to do a few flyby episodes here and there until my load lightens. Thanks to everyone who has stayed the course with me through all the tumult.

 

Episode 73 Janie Franz, acquisitions editor

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This week we welcome Janie Franz, the new acquisitions editor for MuseItUp Publishing. Janie is an accomplished author in her own right.

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JANIE’S BIO
Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Her work is honed by the frigid winters of the Northern Plains and the high desert and mountains of New Mexico and influenced by her degree in anthropology. She is an author, a professional speaker, and reviewer. Previously, she ran her own online music publication (Refrain Magazine) and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor. She is the author of eleven novels (fantasy, thriller, and contemporary), a freelance writing manual, and co-author of two wedding how-to books. “Refrain,” the second book of The Lost Song trilogy, was a Top 10 Finisher, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 2013 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll.

Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

Video Link

In this episode with Janie Franz, we discuss:

SHOW NOTES

  • Janie tells us about her new “hat” as an acquisitions editor
  • We learn about what MuseItUp Publishing is looking for and when someone can submit
  • Insider info about the New Adult or NA category
  • Details about what an acquisitions editor does
  • We talk about the Muse It Up Conference and other cons Janie attends and speaks at
  • What the main thrust of MuseItUp Publishing is and what they offer authors
  • Info about cover art and distribution at MIU, including foreign translations
  • Details about author participation in promotions and marketing their work in today’s industry
  • Janie’s thoughts about Imaginarium, the con we both attend in Louisville, KY
  • Discussion about pitch sessions and how they are handled at a con (there are differences!) and why you should develop a good elevator pitch
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!

    AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Janie Franz online at:

    LINKS

    MuseItUp Publishing site : http://www.museituppublishing.com
    Janie’s Website : http://janiefranz.fourfour.com/home
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Janie-Franz-Author-115142155208007/

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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    Episode 70: James Patrick, political thrillers, Blood Profits

    James N. Patrick
    Jim Patrick is a former Senior Executive and is an author, life coach and a specialist in world affairs, trend analysis, business development and startups.

    Jim was deeply involved in the political arena during the late sixties and during the time of the Watergate scandal. He managed political campaigns at all levels and was a well known strategist in regards to the emerging ‘baby boomer’ vote. He served on the advance team for the White House and attended numerous White House receptions and got to know all of the key players at that time in our country’s history.

    He has 45+ years of experience at all levels and has worked with or for some of the top business and government leaders globally.

    To get a copy of Jim’s book simply click the cover!

    BLOOD PROFITS

    Interview with Jim Patrick

    Show Notes
    In this episode we learn:

    • About Jim and his career in politics and writing
    • What led Jim to write Blood Profits and who KT Frog is
    • Why Jim wrote the book in serial fashion and how it has to do with corruption
    • Why Jim wrote all the landmarks in the book from real places
    • How Jim put together the characters and all their info and how he wove the cast together
    • What made Jim decide to write political thrillers
    • We discuss whether it is a character-driven or plot-driven sort of series
    • Brief reference to book two (which is upcoming!)
    • We learn if Jim thinks the series will make it into the movie industry
    • How this election year has become like the movie “Network”

    and so, so much more, including his BEST advice for aspiring authors

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find more about Jim Patrick and his work online at:
    Blood Profits, The Lithium Conspiracy
    Amazon
    Blood Profits’ Facebook Page
    Twitter page

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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    ideas

    Six ways to fuel creativity

    Ways to fuel creativity when you have no idea how to get started.

    How on earth do I get started writing a book? I can hardly make it through writing a letter. Is there something special that I have to do to get the words in my head out on paper or on screen?

    fuel

    Here are six ways to fuel your creativity.

    Create a morning routine.   Everyone who is an early morning person generally has a routine that they like to use. For myself, it is coffee first, then work out, then writing time. But I admit that is not perhaps the best method for anyone else. Maybe you don’t drink coffee, or maybe you don’t exercise. That’s totally fine. Just remember that writing is something that SHOULD be a part of your morning routine, and be sure to include it. And don’t forget the power of free-writing. Give fuel to your writing day by sitting down and tapping the keys. See what happens!

    Exercise. For me, getting on the treadmill and going to the gym are both a part of my life. Regular exercise helps me to mentally escape from the world and get into the realm of my characters. I can write entire scenes while listening to quiet music and moving. The added energy it gives me helps to keep me in the writing chair longer, also. Exercise is the fuel that keeps a body in motion.

    Don’t read.  I know it sounds counter-productive, but going on a reading diet really helps me to solidify story ideas. When I am actively involved in books (I read more than one at a time) I just do not feel like my ideas are there in full force the way they are when I am not engaged with someone else’s writing. I take a break from reading other people’s work in order to hear the voices in my head clearly and know they are not just a rehash of the book I am reading. Nothing fuels my writing life like hearing my characters telling me what to write!

    Get really quiet.  I find a lot of inspiration in solitude. I can sit on a park bench and listen to the wind, the birds, and other nature sound, and create vividly.  Finding solitude and harnessing its power has been the backdrop for meditation lovers everywhere. No, it is not necessary. No, you can meditate anywhere. But it seems to help elevate the creative spirit inside when you can find a few moments to just breathe in and out and enjoy being alive and able to create. Writing fuel is stoked when we can relax and enjoy our art.

    Find inspiration in others.  Every week I meet with other authors in a face-to-face setting. We discuss our writing trials and successes, our marketing efforts and what has worked or bombed, and we enjoy sharing ideas, supporting each other, and being with someone who understands this crazy writing life. I highly recommend meeting with other authors in a real world setting, not just online. My group, Linda, Kimberley, Kristi, Robin, and Angela, are some of the best writers I know, and just being allowed to be involved with them fuels my writing in a big way.

    Never say no.  When you are cranking out your ideas, there is nothing that is taboo. You can write about anything you want to, even if it sounds a little crazy. To squelch your creative spirit in the beginning by saying no to an idea is just soul-crushing. Don’t do it. Nothing takes fuel OUT of my writing like saying no to an idea that comes up.

    I know there are many more ways to get your writing fueled, but I hope these six ways will at least get you started!

     

    WGP Episode 63: Rich Zahradnik, mystery

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    Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series from Camel Press. Last Words is the first novel in the series and was published October 2014. Drop Dead Punk came out August 2015.

    Drop Dead Punk won the gold medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). It was also named a finalist in the mystery category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Last Words won honorable mention for mystery in Foreword Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year Awards and the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs.

    Zahradnik was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter, often writing news stories and analysis about the journalism business, broadcasting, film production, publishing and the online industry.

    In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York’s Center for Fiction.

    He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his career. He was founding executive producer of CNNfn.com, a leading financial news website and a Webby winner; managing editor of Netscape.com, and a partner in the soccer-news website company Goal Networks. Zahradnik also co-founded the weekly newspaper The Peekskill Herald at the age of 25, leading it to seven state press association awards in its first three years.

    Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches elementary school kids how to publish the online and print newspaper the Colonial Times.

    To get any of Rich’s books simply click the cover!

    BOOK ONE
    zahradnik

    BOOK TWO

    PRE-ORDER BOOK THREE

    In this episode we learn:

    Show Notes

    WGP Episode 62: Dana Faletti, YA and Women’s Fiction

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    faletti

    Dana Faletti is a Pittsburgh native who loves Broadway musicals and knows all the words to Les Miserables – the entire show. One of her favorite TV series is Sons of Anarchy, and her favorite movie is the Sound of Music. Don’t try to start a conversation with her in the morning until she’s had at least one cup of coffee – preferably Starbucks, but do come over for a glass of wine (red) and some good conversation at dinner time. Dana loves to cook and owned a successful catering business for a few years, before giving it up to focus on her family and write full-time. She shares her life with a Gemini husband who also knows every word to Les Mis, and three amazing daughters – an eleven-year-old theatre buff, a nine-year-old future mega-entrepreneur, and a curly-haired six-year-old who is the true CEO of the household.
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    Dana has been writing for what seems like forever. Her young adult trilogy, The Whisper Series, is a paranormal romance that’s rife with angels, demons and forbidden romance, as well as a message of love and acceptance that has touched readers nationwide. Her newest novel, Beautiful Secret, is a women’s fiction set in the scorched hills of Southern Italy, where Dana has spent much time traveling and visiting relatives. Beautiful Secret is set to be released this summer by Pandamoon Publishing. Dana has a love affair with all things Italian and is proud to be part of the loud, crazy, and wonderful Italian family that inspired her new book.

    To get any of Dana’s books simply click the cover!

    In this episode we learn:

    Show Notes

    • The insider details of Dana Faletti’s journey as an author
    • Information about her YA trilogy, The Whisper Trilogy and her upcoming release, Beautiful Secret
    • We discuss her website and blog contents, be sure to see the links below this post!
    • We get the scoop on her publisher, Pandamoon Publishing
    • Inspiration from her on the three things she wants to accomplish as an author

    AND SO MUCH MORE including her best advice for aspiring authors!

    AUDIO ONLY LINK
    *with intro from hostess, Kim Smith*

    You can find her online at:

    Website: http://www.danafaletti.com
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/authordanafaletti/
    Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/danafaletti @danafaletti
    Blog: http://www.danafaletti.blogspot.com
    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode with Dana Faletti?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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    Brand building:become famous

    Building a brand: ways to do it

    Recently, someone told me that they noticed that every time they opened their browser, it seemed like, I was there. They wanted to know how on earth I got it all done, and became such a household name. I smiled and told them it was a secret. Well, being a brand is a different animal.

    brand

    Well, it is. Because I don’t know HOW I got to be so popular! But I have a goodly list of ways  and things to try that might benefit you.

    Keeping it real,  I never believed I would become popular in this space, especially with WGP– a podcast in the “how to write/writer life” niche, which as you probably know is terribly overdone.

    A successful blog is not just a blog. Right enough, it’s the place where things get first notice. It’s where ability is considered and content is offered. But if you stick to just that one thing, you’ll be just that – and only that.

    Your website and blog is your hub, your home base where people can go to find out more about who you are and what you do. It’s the starting point for people to find more about the great whole of your brand.

    7 Ways to Build a Brand

    1. Be everywhere. This is hard, folks. I am not going to lie. You will spend as much time online as offline at least in the beginning. I have been on forums, social media, and writing sites for nearly ten years. But, it is paying off. You cannot say, “I do not have enough time for all that”. If you decide early on that you cannot do it, then you have already failed. TRY. JUST TRY.
    2. Keep it consistent. You need to have the same imagery on all those sites that you are on. Build a visual brand as well as a presence. People identify with images these days. They will remember bits of what you say, but always your iconic image.
    3. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Podcasting was not something that I just decided one day that I would be good at. It was something that I determined was a good way to capture a different audience. You have to be able to try new stuff and see what works. You may be the next big thing!
    4. It takes less than five minutes to set up social media accounts. Don’t be one of those people who says I don’t want to be on social media. It’s the best way to reach readers. If you decide you do not want to be on social media, you are going to have a very tough go at building your brand.
    5. Guest post! This is a fun and easy way to broaden your outreach. Find other people who are into what you are into and have a blog. Most every one wants new faces and blog posts, offer to be the one for a day on theirs.
    6. Give until it hurts. We are a society of consumers. We want everything we can get and we want it for free. It’s okay to give your audience a lot of stuff. And give it to them for free. Get known as the guy or gal who has so much knowledge and gives it out to readers for nothing. That also is a brand.
    7. Cultivate a fan base who will spread the word. When you over-give, you build a fan base of people who want to help you be a household name.  They will share your info, buy your books, and follow you around the net.

    My name is linked to a few great sites and my podcast is growing. I would say that my evil plan is working but…you already know that.