Should You Smash Your Words?

By Aria Gmitter

Writers every where are frustrated with the traditional publishing route and the ever-increasing gatekeepers to the almighty book in print. So, in desperation writers flooded e-publishing on Amazon, in hopes of having sales sky-rocket. The sad story for many indie e-published writers is that the stream of new books became a flood gate that burst open, and titles were covered by the wave faster than you can type tsunami. And few, if any are seen by buyers.

Visit SmashwordsThe news on e-publishing and indie authors is that despite a dip in the number of self-published authors posted on Amazon, authors are not giving up the dream of seeing their words in print.  The latest increase in e-publications can be seen by Smashwords.

What is Smashwords anyway? Is it legitimate? Can it help new writers get the visibility that they long for?

According to a blog post dated Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by the original Smashwords blog  Authors are being helped all around the world on the sale and publication of their books. You can review the details of their self-conducted study here.

To make the publishing process easier for writers, Smashwords has dedicated a few useful tools to their potential clients for free. One of which comes in a The Secrets to E-book Publishing Success.

Smashwords has also put together a small video for writers to help them understand how data drives sales. If you are interested in watching this video here’s the link.

Every coin has two sides. When I first heard of Smashwords, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical but mostly due to piracy issues related to content theft. But I had also heard some stories about the layout of books published on Smashwords. Still, many authors that I respected as people in their chosen professions determined to use it as a stream of visibility in self-promoting their books. The 2012 Review of last years success for indie authors reveals that electing to use this company might not have been such a bad idea.
What are some simple steps a writer can take to help make a wise decision on whether or not Smashwords is one way get their book out?

This statement was taken from a blog posted by The Digital Reader on Smashwords, “The good of Smashwords is that it is a place where one can find true gems, true masterpieces among the slush, and find them at very reasonable prices. Some excellent, even outstanding, authors I have found at Smashwords are Richard S. Tuttle, Vicki Tyley, Shayne Parkinson, Lee Goldberg, Catherine Durkin Robinson, Saffina Desforges, and Markus Kane.  The bad of Smashwords is how difficult it can be to find these authors.”

In an blog post by The Independent Publishing Magazine Mick Rooney states that Amazon still gives the visibility that a writer needs, but Smashwords allows writers more control over format for any reader without any problem. This is an important consideration for individuals who want to maximize their downloads when selling a book. As in all sales format is important, and if you’re selling an e-book, wouldn’t e-reader friendliness be a must? We say, YES!!

Then, there is another blogger who decided to write 500 reasons to love Smashwords. She included in this list the ability to give friends and family coupons towards the purchase of her book, (who doesn’t love coupons!?!)

So, what’s the bottom line? Smashwords is the most e-friendly in format, but the most difficult in navigating to find those writers you love. If you’re a writer that hasn’t felt the love from your would be readers, this is a problem. But it’s a good problem to have because it is one that can be solved. How? By building a platform that gives you the visibility that gets you out there.

Platform-Power Step 1: Remember it’s important to work your social media daily! Don’t have social media. Get some.

Platform-Power Step 2: Hire a marketing pro to help you build your social media strategy.

Platform-Power Step 3: Build a brand that reflects you and connects to your audience.


Aria on the Air! Radio Show


On Air Time: Saturday 6/15/2013 8:00 pm

“Air it Out with Aria” on the Game Changers Show. From same-sex marriage to all things religious and political, Nothing is off the table, and everything is out of the closet on the Game Changers show.  Game Changer’s host, Aria Dunham explores how to make positive change and global impact through communication.

Aria will be talking with Jim Peterson, current Chapter Chair for Palm Beach SCORE this Wednesday, May 8th at 6:30 p.m.

Jim Petersen, Chair of Palm Beach SCORE

Jim Petersen, Chair of Palm Beach SCORE

He is a former Vice President of Human Resources for Florida Power & Light, where he directed and managed all aspects of setting policy relating to hiring, motivating, and disciplining employees at the parent company, and for a number of smaller subsidiary companies. Jim has also been a business consultant to a number of area small businesses regarding employee related issues. He has served as a mentor to numerous business owners over the years as part of the local SCORE chapter’s leadership team.
SCORE Palm Beach has 35 active volunteers who provided more than 900 hours of mentoring to residents considering opening a new business or who already owned an existing business in Palm Beach County in 2012.
SCORE is not just made up of retired individuals. Today, SCORE Palm Beach has skilled volunteers in social and digital media as well as those in business planning, finance and human resources. SCORE also makes program available to veterans for free.
 In 2012, the Palm Beach County SCORE mentors worked with more than 500 new small business clients. Chapter volunteer mentors conducted more than 60 workshops  that were attended by 450 participants. SCORE’s local chapter, which receives a small amount of federal funding, returned $57 to the Federal Treasury for every $1 allocated by the Small Business Administration.
Nationally, SCORE has 14,000 volunteers, spread over 370 Chapters. Together they have put in more than 1.35 million hours serving 500,000 clients and put on more than  9000 business training workshops.

If you are a looking for a way to make a Game Change and want to Air it Out with Aria tune in and call with your questions at 1-877-960-9960. Or watch Live on Webcam here –> SeaView Radio: 960 AM, 95.9 FM, 106.9 FM

To purchase a transcript of any show or subscribe for Podcasts to listen when you want!

May is “Awareness” Month

Are you concerned with the current state of affairs facing our country today? With unemployment at a record high, and federal tax dollars funding our United States military at a record low, there is cause for concern. In fact, the average United States Veteran has an unemployment rate of over 30%! Many military families face unique challenges ranging from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to education and work limitations after returning home.

This month, Aria Dunham explores the controversy associated with these hot issues. If you avoid controversial topics because communication isn’t your strength, Air it Out with Aria. She is dedicated to promoting awareness on current events and showing others how to use social media and communication for global impact that is positive and can be used by anyone!

Last month, Aria interviewed Kat, sex trade survivor and trainer for FBI and law enforcement cutting down on the biz, Cecil Murphey, New York Times best selling author and co-author for Dr. Ben Carson’s book to film “Healing Hands”; Kathy Andersen, Harvard educated author of “Change Your Shoes; Change Your Life” and survivor of childhood sexual abuse; Ian Punnett, On Air Personality, Author, and CNN Correspondent who recently released, “How to Pray when You’re Pissed at God” and Dr. Doug Phillips, Theocentric healer on the latest in quantum physics and energy medicine. Have a question you want answered by Aria? Email us. Aria Answers listener questions on SeaView Radio – on air Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Game Changers is a Platform-Power Production where listeners communicate and the world listens. 

SeaView Radio in South Florida: 960 AM, 95.9 FM, 106.9 FM

Platform-Power Starts Radio Show


Sex trafficking. It’s the second biggest crime in Florida.

Game Changers host Aria Dunham will be talking to sex trade survivor, Kat this Wednesday, April 3rd at 6:30 p.m. Kat is training seasoned law enforcement officers, strip club workers, and substance abuse counselors about sex trafficking.

Now you can learn more by tuning into Game Changers with host Aria Dunham on SeaView Radio: 960 AM, 95.9 FM, 106.9 FM

Look for Podcasts to listen when you want!

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Do you know the sex trade is the second largest crime in Florida?  Aria Dunham’s show Game Changers is focusing on this important topic all month.

Aria is interviewing Kat a sex trade survivor; Cecil Murphey, a New York Times best selling author and speaker on sexual abuse and recovery; Kathy Andersen, Harvard educated author and survivor of childhood sexual abuse; and more. Look for Game Changers on SeaView Radio with Aria Dunham – on air Wednesdays and Saturdays every week. Email here.


Game Changers is a Platform-Power radio show that brings top authors to listeners about important topics today.

SeaView Radio in South Florida: 960 AM, 95.9 FM, 106.9 FM

The Death of Time with the Birth of Social Media

time mgmt clear

Image by Ted Goff

By Aria Gmitter

Perhaps one of the greatest threats to story creation is that of poor time management.  Family, work obligations, the need to eat, sleep and pay the bills can leave many writers little to no time to focus attention on creative project development.

In today’s fast-paced social and multimedia environments the threat is even more pressing.  Platform is an essential component to obtaining the coveted publishing contract. So, you follow the rules. Post to Facebook. Upload your pictures to Instagram and Flickr. You link up with other writers on LinkedIn. Blog and tweet random thoughts and hashtag keywords. You’re filled with hope that those Google+ circles will become the X that marks the spot and suggest your name in the cyber engine search sphere.

Perhaps you fear you’ve become a word wielding schizophrenic with narcissistic tendencies prone to bouts of brag and boast.  You’ve succumbed to “I just saw this on my drive to work…” stories and quoting beloved inspiration that has stimulated your soul. Still your Klout score is lower than a person’s self-esteem after a bad date.

So, you speed tweet faster than a sent email. More socially engaged than a teenager on a sugar rush. More powerful than a YouTube video gone viral. But alas, the day ends. All that remains are single sentences barely making one coherent paragraph. Maybe standardized testing failed you and you’re the writer left behind. Or that “great writing” note on your essays in college are accidental misprints intended for another colleague. Sure you’re writing, and friends, are “Liking” it.  But still, the only book your name is on remains pirates treasure buried in your caffeinated brain.  “A writer can’t exactly make the New York Times Best Sellers List on retweets or Facebook posts,” your imaginary friends cajole in your thoughts during the midnight hour.

Even if the truth leaves you ready to toss in your ball point pen, hold on to your ink. You’re not alone. In fact, let me assure you, Business Newsweek won’t blame you for the failing economy. Even if that book in your head falls and hits the pillow harder than the Dow on Wall Street.  You’ve got a case of poor time management. You need a powerful bailout from the new writer’s block that’s leaving you publishing bankrupt.

Creating high-quality content requires focus and discipline. A story developer is more like a long-distance runner that requires long periods of rigorous thought, soul-searching, writing, rewriting, and editing.  Today’s social media world is more suited for sprint writers who unleash concept and word-power in bursts of 140 characters a minute. The combination for writers is distraction, time loss, and lack of creative quality development.  What’s worse is that a writer can have social media engagement, a slew of followers; but, if the story falls flat or doesn’t pull heart-strings, publishers may pass on their work all together.

Switching gears breaks focus, concentration and damages a writer’s ability to dig deeply into their craft, themselves, and even their characters.  In fact, readers want characters in pain and that just doesn’t happen unless the story writer has lived through the process of personal experience or sympathetic imagination himself.  Ayana Mathis during an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 interview  attributes her success with, The 12 Tribes of Hattie, that the art of pain, epiphany and resolution is how she connects and hooks her readers.  This kind of bone deep story writing isn’t simple and it does require time.

So, how can you effectively manage your time to write? Can’t be all that difficult, now can it? Just sync all your social media together and with one touch of a click, you’re done. Right? Wrong! Not all social media has the same purpose or audience.

Do you know who your audience is, or what media will reach them best?

The Publishing Industry Isn’t Doomed: Readers’ Control In The Future Of Reading


The publishing industry thinks it’s the end of days, but the world of words is a growth market.

I loved that the original Kindle let me annotate a book. Being able to add and search for my own thoughts amid the previously locked words of others without physically damaging the original opened up a world of possibilities.

What if you could download books that had been pre-annotated? I would pay extra to read Freakonomics with commentary by Paul Krugman, The New Jim Crow with notes from editors at The Nation, or the Bible annotated by the creators of South Park. A book could always inspire new layers of meaning, but now it can host that inspiration and a slew of associated conversations.

Read More (FAST Company)

Independent Publisher Power Growing

small press publishing statsBy: Kelly Gallagher

Ingram content acquisition VP and IBPA board of directors member Kelly Gallagher shows why small and medium-sized publishers are “the industry’s healthiest and fastest-growing segment.” She notes that small publishers (the presses that need fewer than ten ISBNs every year year) have increased 69 percent between 2006 and 2011.

As the publishing industry continues to go through tectonic changes, overall unit sales continue to grow, but overall revenue numbers are not doing as well.

According to BookStats (a collaborative effort by the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers), net unit sales grew by about 12 percent industry-wide over the four-year period from 2008 to 2011, reaching just under 2.8 billion units. This growth is largely a result of the exponential growth of e-book sales.

Platform-Power believes that a strong push toward small to medium-sized publishers is a major market focus for us and our author services.

Read More (Independent Book Publishers Association)

From the Digital Frontier: A Shifting $12 Billion Publishing Market


The publishing world is a $12 billion space. It’s also a shifting market, as the old business model of printing books and selling them through bookstores is all but extinct. Barnes and Noble is the last bastion of the traditional bookstore, and publishing giants are rapidly consolidating and merging, lest they cease to exist too.

Despite this shifting landscape, the 2013 Digital Book World Conference and Expo that took place last week was an event filled with optimism and energy. New and innovative companies have flooded the space with products to serve this emerging digital book frontier. As CEO David Nussbaum writes, “The mainstay of it all is opportunity.”

Read More (Huffington Post – Books)


Introducing Platform-Power!

Your platform is the brand and content you provide.  We help you create it, generate traffic to it, package it, own it and then, sell it.

Email us for a free consultation for unique services include story telling, content editing, writer coaching, and marketing & public relations in all media – with a specialty in digital and social media.