Thursday, May 28, 2020

To the TOP: With Smart Free Marketing

To the TOP: Smart Free Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed - Marketing Tips for Start-Ups

During my whole life, I have never been employed (besides some student summer gigs). My philosophy: 'If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help to build theirs'.

To the TOP - a valuable business guide book - has been written through my eyes as a founder and true entrepreneur.  And as I am always searching for the most economical way to do marketing, I studied and then established new and proven ways to promote my businesses, especially through content marketing.

The motto of this helpful entrepreneur guide is “Marketing vs. Advertising”. So, start-ups and self-employed business owners who are on a tight marketing budget will benefit from these tips on how to promote their services or goods in an effective, yet inexpensive way.

  • Find proven tips on video and social media promotion, sweepstakes, e-commerce, podcasting, email, and influencer marketing, as well a free advertising on Google maps.
  • An important topic in this book is content marketing: smart, low-cost, and one of the most successful types of business promotion.
  • Finding (and caring for) customers is always the key to success. Learn how excellent customer service and a positive corporate culture will boost your success.
  • Hundreds of valuable links in the chapter 'Resources" will help to support your promotion efforts.

This business guide answers your question:
"How can I promote my start-up with little effort or a very small marketing budget?" 

e-Book Special:  $ 9.95 -

Print Version:  $19.95   - 

Also available at Barnes&Noble, Apple, Kobo and dozens of other retailers via the universal link:

Available worldwide, for example: 

Digital Edition  ISBN:       978-1-988664-39-2
Print Book Edition ISBN:  978-1-988664-38-5 



Sunday, May 24, 2020

Video Conferencing Etiquette

Video Conferences: How to look and act your best in video conferences or media interviews. Remote working these days often involves video conferences - here are some tips to go through it in a professional manner.

Video is not always the medium of choice. The question is: What is the purpose of the conference? Getting to know each other? Then video makes sense because it builds up closeness faster. Is there a joint discussion?
Be Prepared
Have all your talking points and documents ready beforehand. If your colleagues need to see a document, send it before the call and make sure everyone has access to all the necessary data prior to the video meeting.

  • Check Your Background
    Try to turn your working space, especially the background from which you talk, into a more professional area. Move plants to the side and let not everyone peak into your bookshelf, filled with romance or political and religious books. If you’re using Zoom, you can even switch to a virtual background.
  • Be on “Eye Level” With the Camera Lens
    No one looks good when filmed from underneath, showing mainly chins and noses… Always look at the camera whether you are listening or talking.
  • Lighting
    An important aspect of any successful video meeting will be proper illumination with minimal glare. Poor lighting could leave your audiences in the dark. Go for natural illumination; however, make certain that it will not distract the participants on the opposite side.
  • Dress Accordingly
    As the representative of your organization, dress in a way that will not jeopardize the prestige of your company. For example, no large patterns, loud colors, and t-shirts.
  • “Public Appearance”
    Never say or do anything near a camera that you wouldn’t want broadcast to millions. Avoid political, religious, or risqué topics. After all, you are on the Internet, which means video might stay there forever
  • No Distractions
    Make sure that your cell phone is kept in the silent mode, that your kids are kept away, as well as dogs or cats, during the conference.  Eliminate background noises while the conference is going on, and minimize any echo from the microphone. Practice patience and refrain from speaking while others are expressing themselves.

    More Tips:
  • Make sure to adopt a LAN cable that will help guarantee a stable Internet connection.

  • Top-quality video conferencing software such as ezTalks Cloud Meeting will aid in facilitating proper business communication.
  • Before your video conference, take some time to save your work, close any apps and programs you won’t need or contain personal data, or use too much CPU power.
  • Clean up your screen: If you’re going to share your screen during a video call, take extra precautions so people can’t see anything private or potentially embarrassing.
  • Test your internet speed with or If you’re not getting enough speed, move closer to your Wi-Fi router.
  • If you’re going to be a part of online meetings every day, you might want to consider buying a better camera and/or headset.
  • Use headphones or earbuds when you’re on a video call. Because of the close proximity to your mouth, it will sound better than using your laptop’s built-in microphone.
  • Only one conversation at a time, let people finish, otherwise, no one will understand anything in the end.
  • Start videos! This way everyone can see themselves, experience reactions, and feel part of the team.
  • If you look at the screen, everyone feels personally addressed and involved
  • Working remotely can be tiring: schedule more but shorter breaks

Start the day with a short online meeting, a so-called check-in. Here the tasks of the day can be discussed, but also personal matters. End the day with a final meeting, the checkout. This clearly defines the border between work and leisure time.

Video is also useful - the voice is complemented by facial expressions. Is it just about communicating something? Then it is enough if the presenters are visible - the rest listens without video. Personal conversations are often most effective simply as a phone call, especially if you already know each other.


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


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Successful Publishing - May Newsletter

Writers Residencies, Writing Competitions, Freelance Writing, Relief Funds, and More:
May – the month of spring and beauty! There is no denying we need a strong injection of hope and optimism, during this time. If you’re one of those people who always said they would write a novel if only they had the time: this is your moment!

May Newsletter Content:



Now with (maybe) more time on your hands: Spruce up your book marketing and book distribution!  Are You Still Selling Books Only Via Amazon? find here dozens of opportunities where else you can sell your books online:


Here You Will Find Grants & Relief Funds for Artists & Authors in the UK, USA, and Canada  
Covid-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists
The fund will distribute support ranging from $1,000–$8,000 USD for local coverage of the preparation, response, and impact of this global pandemic as seen through evidence-based reporting. We seek writers, photographers, videographers, audio journalists, cartographers, filmmakers, and data visualization experts to apply for this funding. 
Intl. Women’s Media Journalism Relief Fund
Journalists who have faced significant financial hardship, lost work, were recently laid off, or who urgently need assistance to avoid severe, irreversible outcomes. Grants of up to $2,000. 
NH Artist Entrepreneurial Grants
Artist Entrepreneurial Grants support opportunities that will benefit artists’ careers, including the development of business skills, participation in programs to raise the level and quality of their art, and participation in programs that will bring their art to the widest possible markets.
Deadlines May 8, 2020; August 7, 2020; November 6, 2020. 



Plan next year’s free “workation” or “holiday-writing” – apply NOW – Deadlines are looming…
Anne LeBastille Memorial Writers Residency
The Adirondack Center for Writing offers a two-week residency annually in October to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers at a lodge on Twitchell Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. The residency will be open to six writers every year, with three spaces for writers from the region, and three from elsewhere. We accept writers in any genre. Deadline May 21
Kalamalka Press Writer-in-Residency
Welcoming authors of any genre from across Canada. The KP@C3 includes four weeks of accommodation and studio space at the Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon, B.C., with the possibility of an extended stay, as well as an honorarium. Open to emerging and established writers in any genre. The residency is scheduled for the month of October. Location Vernon, BC, Canada.
Vermont Studio Center
It is the largest international artists’ and writers’ residency program in the US. Each month the Center hosts over 50 writers and artists from across the country and around the world. Deadline 15 June
Berton House Canadian Writers’ Retreat
Berton House is a cozy cottage situated on the edge of the historic northern town of Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. Writers are invited to apply. Three-month housing and travel costs are covered. Residents also receive a $9,000 honorarium. Writers are required to deliver two public readings and encouraged to interact with the community during their stay.  


Writing Competition: Imagine a Future World of Justice
Call on South Africa’s creative minds to enter a competition to help imagine a future world where everyone has access to justice. The winner will walk away with a R10 000 cash prize. Deadline May 20
Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award
The Winner receives £1,000 and agent introduction. Runner-up receives manuscript review and agent introduction. The Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors for a novel in any adult fiction genre. Highly commended receives agent introduction. Submit an opening chapter or chapters up to 5,000 words plus a 300-word synopsis and a cover letter.  £20 Entry Fee. Deadline May 30
The Masters Review Flash Fiction Contest
The winner receives $3,000 and publication. 2nd and 3rd place prizes are $300 and $200 and publication. Stories must come in under 1,000 words. 
$20 Entry Fee. Deadline May 30
Bridport Prize
Poetry: 42 lines max. No minimum. The Novel award is ONLY open to writers in Great Britain (including N. Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and the Republic of Ireland. Poetry: first prize £5,000, second prize £1,000, third prize £500, Novel: first prize – £1,500. Entry Fee £20 for Novels. Deadline May 30
Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
The competition is open to anyone who has not published a book-length work in the genre that they are entering. The winners of each category received a £1,000 cash prize. Max 3,000 words. £10 Entry Fee.
Deadline June 1, 2020
ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Fiction
Entries must be original works of fiction and max. 5,000 words that illuminate the role of the law and lawyers in modern society. The winner will receive a prize of $3,000. Entrants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Entries may be unpublished or published no earlier than January 1
No entry fee. Deadline June 1
Cave Canem
Prize is a 2nd-book award for black poets of African descent, offered every other year. This award celebrates and publishes works of lasting cultural value and literary excellence. Winner receives $1,000. No Entry Fee. Deadline June 12
Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition
The competition is open to original, unpublished, and un-broadcasted short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. First Prize €2,000, residency (one week) at Anam Cara Retreat. 2nd Prize €500.  €18 Entry Fee. Deadline July 18, 2020
CrazyShorts! Short-Short Fiction Contest
First prize $1,000 and publication. 
Submit one to three shorts of up to 500 words each. Each entry is considered for publication. Entry fee includes a subscription. 
$15 Entry Fee. Submit between July 1 and 31


Rachel Carrington’s Advice for Freelance Writers:
The New York Times, Writer’s Digest, The Writer’s Chronicle, Good Housekeeping, and even The Boston Globe offer opportunities for writers to submit low word count essays or blog posts about personal experiences, your writing journey, and even career advice. Read more here:

One silver lining of this strange time is that writers are finding time to write.  Don’t give up! Keep writing – the more you write, the more you’ll hone your craft.  Stay strong and healthy.  All the best to my readers and their families!

Find all my books here:


Friday, May 8, 2020

What Comes After Corona?

Two smart Europeans envision a better economic, sustainable, and fairer world after Corona - with a cleaner, more efficient infrastructure and more new jobs.
Such technologies have long been available.
 How it should look like:

  • Clean technologies pay for themselves thanks to the energy and resource savings they bring. Investing in this new infrastructure is therefore not a cost, but an opportunity to secure profits for industry while reducing individual spending.
  • We can build a stable renewable energy network based on solar energy, geothermal energy, biomass, marine energy, and wind power. And the possibilities go much further.
  • We can equip ports with a shore to ship electricity to reduce emissions from shipping, build charging stations for electric cars and hydrogen filling stations.
  • We can set higher efficiency standards for all types of appliances, reduce the energy consumption of buildings through efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems or innovative and intelligent technologies for insulating or shading facades.
  • We can help our farmers modernize to use fewer pesticides and at the same time help protect our environment by producing healthy products.
  • Such technologies have long been available. This is demonstrated, for example, by some of the solutions already selected by the Solar Impulse Foundation in the #1000solutions competition.

A "Keep it up!" as a rescue package after this crisis cannot be the answer. 
We need to do better - changing over to emission-free resources that we
received from "Mother Nature" at no cost!