August 3

Put Yourself Out There

The Critic
The Critic (Photo credit: Kevin B 3)

If you are a writer, you have to open yourself up to criticism. You have to “put yourself out there.” Not all critics are worth listening to. Sometimes people will tell you something is good when it isn’t, and other people will tell you something is bad when it isn’t. The most important thing to understand is that the best critics are the people who don’t know you, don’t understand your work, and have nothing invested in what you’re doing.

Put up a blog, a Facebook profile, and get a Twitter account. Ask people what they think, and allow them to publicly say bad things about your work. Yes, it is defeating; however, one bad critic doesn’t make your work bad. It means that one person doesn’t like that one piece. It could be that you wrote something bad also. Either way, as a good creative writer, you need to write what other people can understand.

I could always tell if I had written something worthwhile because people would either give me a very positive or very negative response. The work I’ve done that gets a neutral response is always the work I rework. If someone hates my work, I know they feel passionate about it. If someone just doesn’t like, that’s when I think I’m in trouble.

Good luck with your writing, and try your best to make people either love or hate your work – as long as they’re talking about it.

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April 30

Alliance to Benefit Authors

English: Collage of photos of authors
English: Collage of photos of authors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new alliance between two award-winning companies, DocUmeant Publishing ( and EMSI Public Relations, aims to make sure authors aren’t left floundering on their own once their books are published, say pioneering businesswomen Ginger Marks and Marsha Friedman.

“This relationship streamlines the next step for my clients when my job as a publisher is complete,” says Marks, CEO of DocUmeant, who counts New York Times bestselling authors among her clients.

“One of the big missing pieces for authors is that few publishers offer them help market their books. And without marketing, no one knows about their book! Some authors have wasted tens of thousands of dollars on firms that ultimately did nothing for them,” she says.

Marks further offers that she partnered with EMSI because Friedman was a pioneer in the pay-for-performance publicity model. The approach ensures that authors get what they pay for, whether it’s exposure in publications, radio or TV interviews, or social media connections.

“I’ve worked with authors for more than 20 years, so I understand their needs,” says Friedman. “And I’m happy to partner with a publisher who publishes well-designed, quality books — books that my firm can be proud to represent.”

Marks and Friedman have a total of nearly a half century of experience in their industries.

About Ginger Marks

Ginger Marks owned and operated a multi-million dollar surgical facility for 23 years. A division of Calomar, LLC, DocUmeant Publishing was selected for the 2012 New York Award in the Publishing Consultants & Services category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA). Through her ability as a published author and business owner, she has helped realize the efforts of her diverse clientele, which includes authors, business owners and students. Marks was named as the Covinginton’s Who’s Who Executive of the Year for 2013.

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (, a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to authors, corporations, entertainers and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3 p.m. EST. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

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April 8

Writing Online

English: Jack Dorsey and Barack Obama at Twitt...
English: Jack Dorsey and Barack Obama at Twitter Town Hall in July 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often hear people saying how writing online is so drastically different from other kinds of writing. I’ll admit that online writing isn’t the same as academic writing, but despite the innovation of Twitter, the ideal article length online is around 300 to 400 words, about what you would want a newspaper article to be.

Also, like a newspaper article, you want a reasonably short, effective, and catchy headline that will get the reader interested. In the age of social media, the important thing is to get your article shared by as many people as possible. Making your article concise, interesting, and easy to read will do this. These are all very similar guidelines to what a newspaper editor might ask for.

The big difference between writing online and writing for print are keywords. You don’t want to overuse your keyword terms like “writing online” because your readers will feel an awkwardness in the writing. You do want to occasionally pepper your article with your specific keyword terms, like “writing online.” This will allow search engines to easily get the idea of what you are trying to communicate without readers getting frustrated and moving on to something else.

A smaller difference that people run into with online writing is the issue of editing. As soon as I’m done writing this article, I can press the publish button, and there isn’t an editor on the other end of it. The beauty of online writing, is that it isn’t set in stone. If you make a mistake, you can always fix it. The issue here is taking responsibility for your own work. Glaring errors happen to the best of us, but with online writing, it’s important to read and read again. After I hit the publish button, I go back the next day and read it one more time to make sure that I haven’t made any obvious errors that I missed the day before.

Keep up the good work, always edit, and try to stay within the 300 to 400 word range.