Saturday, January 19, 2019

Entrepreneurs as Authors

Books are becoming popular marketing tools for the self-employed. An estimated more than one million titles, written by entrepreneurs and other non-traditional authors were published in the U.S. 

Entrepreneurs in most cases are not actually looking to produce best-sellers.  Instead, most are taking advantage of new forms of publishing, including electronic publishing and print-on-demand, to generate a marketing tool and additional income at the same time. 
Income which might stem from speaking, consulting, press and new customers. It's not about selling copies.  
The National Speakers Association, a trade group in Tempe, AZ, USA, reports that about 70% of its 3,200 members are authors and more than 60% earn $100,000 a year on average just from giving presentations.

The trend wouldn't have been possible without the emergence of print-on-demand publishers and the advent of digital books. The electronic-book market and in general the Internet, have eased the distribution process for authors. Within only minutes one can now upload a file and have a book.

There are many ways to get attention, but writing and publishing a book is not only one the best way to get attention -- it's one of the most under-utilized by entrepreneurs - and even more by employees.

A book is great for getting attention because it's a multi-purpose marketing tool with unique and special abilities to create attention that you can turn into almost anything else you want -- sales, media, word of mouth, authority.

A book is the New College Degree
A book sets you up to be judged. It's really easy to skirt by and get a college degree. You can't really fake your way into writing a good book. Either you know what you're talking about or you don't.

Amazon is the No. 1 search engine when looking for products and services. This is where people will find your book - if you use the right keywords. Your book can save you taxes through write-offs of all deductibles from the book production.

Don’t focus on making money directly from book sales. It is your PR tool. Once you have a book, media coverage is 10 times easier to get. Books will get you and your company attention. Attention gets you money.


Books by Doris-Maria Heilmann:

111 Tips to Create Impressive Videos:
How to Plan, Create, Upload and Market Videos

111 Tips To Make Money With Writing
The Art of Making a Living Full-time Writing
An Essential Guide for More Income as Freelancer

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success

111 Tips to Get Free Book Reviews:
Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews
plus 1,200+ reviewer contact links 

111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer
How to Create, Where to Upload and How to Market Your Videos

Book Marketing on a Shoestring:
How Authors Can Promote their Books Without Spending a Lot of Money


Monday, January 14, 2019

Paid Writing Residency for a Month in Paris

Just apply for the “American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship” … if you are working on a book project, fiction or non-fiction, or a feature-length documentary film, that contributes to cross-cultural discourse.


“The fellowship offers writers and researchers an opportunity to pursue a creative project in Paris for a month or longer while participating actively in the life of the American Library.  Particular attention will be paid to an applicant’s ability to offer the Library community a variety of opportunities for exploring a topic.  In addition to the stipend, the Library will connect the fellow to resources and people in Paris that could be helpful to his or her project.  The fellowship is open to all nationalities, though the proposed project must be in English.”
Fellowship Award
A $5,000 stipend paid one month before the start of the fellowship period.  The award, to be spent at the discretion of the Fellow, is designed to cover travel to Paris, your accommodation, and expenses associated with the month-long stay in Paris.
How to Apply
The Library will begin accepting applications on 15 November 2018 and will close on 15 February 2019 for the next round of fellowships.  Application processing fee: €30 ($35 USD).  Applications must be sent by email to
Deadline February 15, 2019
Find all the details and what the complete application must include:



Saturday, January 5, 2019

High-Resolution Images for FREE

The Art Institute of Chicago placed more than 52,000 high-resolution FREE images - mostly from paintings and other artwork from their collection online, available to all without restriction. Here are some examples:

All it takes is going to the Art Institute’s website, and downloading a detailed photograph of an iconic painting from the museum’s collection.  If you like impressionists such as Manet, Monet, and Caillebotte: the photographs of their paintings are now up there and covered by a free Creative Commons license.

The Art Institute is following the path of other museums that have gone to open access, for example, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, or the British Museum in London, England.  However, not only museums but also some libraries, such as the New York Public Library, (NYPL) are offering free images to download.

Canva also lists some interesting - and free - stock photo websites you can choose from.

Where else to find a very long listing of free and royalty-free images?  It’s in one of the chapters of 111 Tips to Create Impressive Videos - available through this universal link:



Monday, December 17, 2018

Last-Minute Online Shopping Tips

Since you are likely to spend around 40% of your holiday budget online you will want to be strategic with your e-commerce. Using a combination of the tricks in this article will help you get more for your holiday dollars.
Get the Lowest Base Price
The most obvious way to save on holiday shopping is to avoid impulse buys.  Start by making a list of the gifts you know you want to buy. 
Comparison-shop with or InvisibleHand, which is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that automatically scours the web for the lowest price on any item you’re looking at.

Also set up email alerts Moolah gives you the best links which let you know immediately when an item’s price drops.  You can search products on the site or get a browser plug-in (for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox) that also shows the three-month price history of any product on any retailer’s site as you’re viewing it.

Knowing the price history of a product can help you cut through 

some of the “buy now!” hype and decide when to pull the trigger.
Go Through the Right Door
Websites like or offer cash back for shopping certain retailers so long as you enter those online stores via the cash-back portal.  The best part about these sites is that you can also add coupon codes and other discounts to your purchases.  These sites’ agreements with retailers rotate.  Check a few to see which is offering the best payout for where you’re shopping.
Similar offers Through Your Credit Cards  
Discover, for example, has hundreds of retailers in its ShopDiscover program, which offers 5% to 15% cash back if you click through Discover’s site to the retailer.  Find out if your card issuer offers a shopping portal, then add it to the rotation of rebate sites to check.
Find the Best Coupons
You know that you should go to sites like and to search for coupon codes before making any purchase. But sometimes fatigue sets in after you try five or six codes that don’t work, and sometimes you simply forget to check at all, right?  That’s why the smartest shoppers automate their coupon clipping, says Kyle James, founder of Use’s coupons at Checkout extension—available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox at

To find some of the best-unpublished codes and private sales, you might also sign up for email lists or loyalty cards from the stores and brands you know you’ll shop this holiday. “A lot of places will invite everyone on the email list to a sale not otherwise advertised,” says Cook of
Also, you might follow the brands and retailers you’re planning to buy from on Facebook and Twitter, says Mark LoCastro of  Cole Haan, for example, recently tweeted a 30% friends-and-family discount.  Just be aware that discounts through these channels tend to be better because of what you give up: your contact info and personal data, which retailers will use to market to you in the future.
Pick the Right Kind of Plastic
If you’re not going through a specific credit card’s shopping portal, choose the card to use based on the rewards you’ll get. Two are particularly profitable for holiday shoppers—and neither has an annual fee.  Chase Freedom gives a hefty 5% cash back on department stores and at and Amazon through the end of the year.  Discover It pays 5% on online shopping and department stores for the same period.  Just pay the bill off on time so that interest charges don’t erase the rewards.

Save on Shipping
Retailers are generally raising the minimum you need to spend to qualify for free shipping, but there are still ways to avoid paying for delivery.  Target, for example, is waiving shipping fees on all orders through Dec. 20.  And there may be more promos like this during the competitive holiday season.  Look for codes at
See if your favorite retailer will give you a break on shipping if you check out through its mobile app (as Tory Burch and Sierra Trading Post do) or if you join the loyalty program (like Best Buy and Sperry Top-Sider do).  Also, know that if you have an American Express card, you can get a membership to ShopRunner—which offers free two-day shipping from more than 100 e-tailers which normally costs $79—for free.
Try for a Last-Ditch Deal
Don’t hit that purchase button just yet!  Load up your cart, start the checkout process by entering your credit card and shipping info, and then close your window. Retailers hate this.  Desperate to convert potential sales into actual ones, stores will often send emails with additional discounts to entice those who have not finalized a purchase to do so. Of course, this works only if you’re not in a rush.  But it works especially well if you are spending a lot.  They want that sale.
Didn’t work or don’t have time to wait?  Before you finish checking out, ping a customer-service rep through live chat or by phone.  “Ask if they can offer you free shipping or a discount,” says James of, who has had luck with this strategy at Foot Locker, J. Jill, Lands’ End, and Shutterfly.  “Say, ‘I really want to finish my order, but this is a little more than I can spend.’  It never hurts to ask.”
Get an Adjustment

Save your receipts and don’t turn off the price alerts.  Some retailers—­including­—will give you a price adjustment if the price drops after you buy.  And if the site won’t do it, the credit card you used might.  Citi Price Rewind and any Discover or MasterCard offer price-protection programs.  Check your card’s terms.  Discover will give you a refund for any price change within 90 days so you could benefit from deep after-Christmas discounts.  This should make your new year a little happier : )



Friday, December 14, 2018

How a German Grocer Stirs Up the US Market

Being half of the year in the US and traveling a lot there, my first stop is always at an ALDI or a Trader Joe's store.  And yes there is an ALDI, right behind the border when you cross over from Canada.  In both chains, I will always find some fine specialties from Europe, such as Marzipan Christstollen, Lebkuchen, Chocolates, Spekulatius, and Wine.

In 2017, ALDI announced they were planning on becoming a major competitor in the US grocery store market.  At the time the announcement came, they had around 1,600 stores across the country, and their game plan included raising that to 2,500 and investing a mind-blowing $3.4 billion into current and future American endeavors.  The push into the American market certainly isn't anything new.  The German company had first gained a foothold in their home country before spreading across Europe, and there's a fascinating history behind this up-and-coming US chain.
What Do ALDI and Kohl's Have in Common?
Absolutely nothing, at first glance, but in 2018 it was announced Kohl's was going to start subletting space in their stores to ALDI.  It started when around 300 Kohl's stores were remodeled to free up space that would be sublet to partners in an attempt to boost traffic and profits, and ALDI was a logical choice. On one hand, it's turning unprofitable space in Kohl's into profits, and it's allowing them both to take shots at the competition — particularly Target. 
As for ALDI, they're focusing on expanding the same kind of product lines Kohl's customers are looking for — fresh options and fine European foods.  Forbes says the partnership is a relatively small part of ALDI 's US expansion plans, but it could give them a serious boost in terms of building credibility as a respectable grocery store.  The program will start in only 10 stores, and CNBC says it has the potential to be a win-win for both sides.
Highest Quality
Since ALDI built their reputation on affordability, it's easy to associate that with a cheap product.  But they take the idea of quality very seriously, and in 2013 they invited 'The Telegraph" into their headquarters.  It was the first time an "outsider" was allowed through those doors.

ALDI has an entire team that works in their test kitchens, and they adhere to strict policies.  Product purchasers join the test kitchen twice a day, sample about 180 meals every week, and try each product 30 times before it makes it to Aldi's shelves.  They're not done yet — they re-test every product at least once a year, and every time one of their competitors launches a similar product, theirs goes back to the test kitchen.
In the test kitchen, the cost isn't taken into consideration at all — something might be cheap, but they insist that it be good.  Once a product meets the approval of the test kitchen, it then has to measure up to the standards of ALDI's managing directors… and then, it's finally offered to customers.

Save Money on High-Quality Products
Picking up ALDI 's brands will save you money, but it turns out you're not even compromising on the quality — and they have the awards to prove it.

For example, in 2017, ALDI 's Cotes de Provence Rose placed second in the International Wine Challenge for rose wines in a blind taste test.  That's even more impressive considering it only costs around $10 a bottle.  It beat wines that regularly sell for three times the price.  And in 2015, ALDI 's Highland Black 8-Year-Old Whiskey received another award.
No Food Additives!
Now more than ever, we're aware of the additives in our foods, and in 2015 ALDI announced they would no longer manufacture or sell products with questionable ingredients.
With the announcement (via Consumerist), they confirmed they were no longer selling items with partially hydrogenated oils, artificial and synthetic coloring, or added MSG. According to CEO Jason Hart, about 90 percent of the products sold at ALDI  are their own brand, so that gives them some serious control over the ingredients in the food they sell.  And, if you haven't noticed a difference yet, you won't.  They didn't make the announcement until after they'd already done it.
ALDI Nord & ALDI Sued
There's only one country where ALDI Nord and ALDI Sued share pieces of the grocery store pie, and that's in the US. You wouldn't know it, though, and that's because ALDI Sued — with its blue and orange logo — does business as ALDI, and ALDI Nord goes by another name: Trader Joe's. What? Shocking, we know!

Trader Joe's was founded in 1967 in Pasadena, Calif., by entrepreneur Joe Coloumbe. It was acquired in 1979 by ALDI Nord, a German company that also operates ALDI grocery stores in Europe.

Take a closer look, and it'll make sense. Trader Joe's is an Americanized version of ALDI. Gone are some of the elements you're more likely to see in a European grocery store, like putting some cash down to rent a cart (yes, you get it back).  Employees that don't bag your groceries for you, and a reliance on reusable bags.  But some elements remain, especially private labeling and a definite lack of advertising.  Now it all makes sense, doesn't it?

Read More:


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Is There an End on How Amazon Hurts Authors?

Streaming ebook subscription services are hurting authors - badly. But how much? 

The only known fact about it is that it will return a much lower payment per e-book than a sale.
Amazon also demands total exclusivity on all content enrolled in KDP Select to qualify for Amazon Unlimited and KOLL.  It is a very high price to pay when a content provider (author or publisher) has no idea of what return to expect.
Working for Glory?
No matter which way royalties are going to be calculated for these services and probably more new entrants in the "Netflix for e-books" subscription service business will arrive.  They are all almost guaranteed to be at the price of a much lower return for authors and publishers.
Read the whole background story written by Derek Haines here:

My own thoughts: Why do authors not band together and sue Amazon for unethical business practices - among other reasons - in a class-action suit?  How far will they let Amazon go?


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Fellowships for Writers in France and the USA

    Brown Foundation Fellowship Program The program at the Dora Maar House in Southern France offers residential fellowships, lasting for between one and three months. Application fee $20. Deadline for Fall 2019 is February 15, 2019, or on October 15, 2019, for the spring 2020 session. The successful candidates will receive:
  • travel expenses to and from Dora Maar House
  • reimbursement for reasonable shipping costs for materials such as books and research files
  • a stipend of US$50 per day for basic living expenses
  • a private bedroom, bathroom, and studio

    To apply, go to the website of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: You will find all the details on how to apply on their site.
Another Fellowship - Comes up Each Year: Fellowship for Emerging Writers (not yet published or contracted): The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts Seven Months Residency Fellowship - provides an apartment plus a monthly stipend of $750)  The residencies run from 1 October 2019 to 30 April 2020 Hurry up, deadline December 2, 2018, or apply next year