Position Your Platform Positively

By Aria Gmitter

communicationGround breaking news rattled the cages of conservative family advocates upon the announcement that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional. Like the parting of the red sea among religious groups even amidst faith lines there lay those who supported the declaration, and those who did not.

Today, after reading NPR’s social media’s blog, I sat in the hot sauna at my local gym sweating and wondering how this relates to opportunity. I’ve learned the hard way that to advocate against a group creates isolation no matter how well-intended my motivation. In walked a woman, about my age, and I could tell she probably didn’t know that today was a day that made American history.

“Hi,” I said. “Did you hear the news?”

She wiped her forehead, sat down. “No. What news?”

“NPR just posted on their website that the DOMA of 1996 was declared unconstitutional,” I filled her in. I never like to get into deep political conversations. For one, I don’t like how it makes most people feel. However, this was an opportunity for me to test the waters. To see how I can connect with a complete stranger in the midst of unknowing. I had no idea who she was. Nor did I know how this news would impact her life.

Building a platform with social media is a lot like a stranger-to-stranger introduction happening in a hot room. Individuals entering the room are mentally prepared to feel heat, experience some tension, but accept that it’s part of the process required to get that physical release. In social media, there are many times that individuals enter the cyber arena knowing that there is a lot of negative to the situation. Yet, we log-in. We sign up, knowing that there is a benefit to the drill of social media engagement.

For writers and business owners, social media is a necessary evil to inexpensively promote a message, a deal—that will trigger a sale. What’s not desired in the exchange by the business builder is a negative reputation, or to have something said innocently come back to haunt them later.


Image courtesy of [Stoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The atmosphere that our Tweets, Facebook and blog posts enter into may be hot and sticky creating an awareness that there is a discomfort there. However, staying in a hot sauna for 20 minutes at the highest temperatures allows the body to break a sweat that is healthy, healing, stress relieving and just plain good. When done intentionally, social media can accomplish the same mental, emotional and social breakthroughs used by the ancients for body healing to promote peace and harmony in society. The heated atmosphere, for whatever topic then becomes an ideal circumstance to promote opportunity. Then, a writer, or any person with a message of impact can connect quickly. Why? Because just like a body temperature once it’s risen is set to sweat freely, aware individuals are set to engage.

Power-Platform is all about engagement. It’s about growing a community of communication.

Let’s all agree. We writers already  know that any word streamed together that add impact and value provokes reaction. In many ways, we are taught by those who have powerful platforms that this is the way to trigger a potential audience to engage. Yet, my observations is that like all things, society is growing tired of negative impact. Yes, unfavorable reactions for some are powerful building blocks. But if you’re like me, that’s not the type of platform I want to build. Why? Because I like to grow people and passions that feels good, and that aligns with my value systems.


Image courtesy of [Stoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the end, powerful platform is about the builder.  A builder carefully analyzes what kind of community is suitable to live in. Where would the builder want to see his or her own family engage?

What type of neighbors are wanted? A strong house is much more powerful than a single brick wall. Sensational engagement triggered by controversy does definitely incite dialogue, but it’s a wall building endeavor. The community is speaking, but few actually are listening and really changing points of view. Heart rates rise, but senses of unity decreases. In the end what generates sales, what creates faithful advocates, word-of-mouth promoters, and people who will happily share your content are those that get a want met.

What is it that we all want most?


We want love. We want all the things that come attached to love. Acceptance. Assurance. Acknowledgment.

We want to believe in good. Good triumphing over evil. That if we are good, we will get some kind of reward. That if we are bad, we will get some kind of grace and still get a reward.

You might say, “I see other people with huge platforms built upon sensationalism and controversy.”

True fact. But the important part in building any kind of platform is ensuring that all dialogue points directly towards the person it promotes.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to be remembered most for?
  • How can my personal branding promote that message?
  • How can I fill the wants of my audience in a way that gives them a community that feels like home?

Platform-Power that has impact to create these types of realities when using social media are the kind that provide a two-fold purpose.

Purpose 1:  It encourages honest dialogue which allows you to gauge your future projects and business plans.

Purpose 2:  Makes you accessible to the end-user. To find out if you are obtaining any kind of ROI with social media, look at the level of engagement that exists. If engagement is high. Then, you know…something is working.


Image courtesy of [stoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When focusing on your purpose and the good in your message when using social media, you gain freedom of expression. Instead of struggling to war against the masses that may or may not agree with  you, you get the chance to encourage change with an open door.

On SeaView Radio, I interview Rick Cooper, Social Media Expert on how to create powerful impact using social media without compromising your message, or the values behind your brand. Whether you want to get political, or want to keep your content strictly business Rick Cooper and I can help you to navigate the social media changes that impact your life. —>Here are his FREEBIES to help you get started!

rick-cooperRick Cooper is an Online Marketing and Social Media Trainer. He works with small business owners who want to generate more leads and increase sales using the internet. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs leverage their expertise to attract clients online. Rick is Founder of Social Media Outcomes, based in Sacramento, California and is author of Seize your Opportunities, Marketing Magic, and Extreme Excellence. Rick is an International Speaker on Online Marketing and Social Media. He was featured in Comstocks magazine and has been interviewed by The National Networker, AllBusiness.com and the East Bay Times Business Journal.

More You when Mulitplied x 1

By Aria Gmitter

mathsheet1Do you recall those elementary school days when it was time to do mathematic rote practices in multiplication. The teacher would hand out a white sheet of paper  and sharp No. 2 pencil while students obediently sat quietly in seats waiting to start. Numbers paired with number.  Line-by-line, row-by-row. The flurry began and ended set to the ding of an egg timer  as we all raced to the finish line.

I was horrible in math and often would get mixed up in exponential equations. (Is it any wonder that I became a lover of words?) What a relief it was when I would hit the section of problems that were simply a number multiplied by 1.  No matter how great the number’s length, x 1 was sameness. Nothing lost. Nothing for me to do but to repeat what the number looked like, sounded like and copy it exactly the same. The purity of reproduction was music to my ears because I didn’t have to think for the answer. The answer was presented before me. I was number 1, and the number remained itself. My job was just to identify it and viola! A correct outcome! Best part is that the  x 1 doesn’t disappear or get added to the number to change it. Instead, x 1 means that the original number includes 1 and yet, miraculously remains the same.

This reminds me of how identity in branding works.  Let me explain. If I like your blog post, or your Tweet, and it identifies with me because I feel the same way too, then what I do is repost it. In fact, it’s easy for me to do and fun. I don’t have to work hard to get the same message out. The post speaks on my behalf. Together with my repost we are a united front. I am advocating the message. The message is mine as well, yet at the same time it is not mine. I am invested in the message but at the same time it still belongs to the person who wrote it originally.

This same beautiful mathematical dance in multiplication is what is can easily be applied and accomplished through the power of social media. Let’s translate this into math terms.

You Tweet a message = Xsingle twitter bird_images

I Retweet Your Message to my Followers = (1)

My followers see your message and me, but it’s still your message = X Then, they Retweet it, too. Your Message X a whole lotta 1’s. = lots of 1’s that look like YOU and things start to explode!

Simply stated.

X (1) = X to Infinity.

Power of x 1.

What does this mean for the evolution of today’s social media? How does this impact writers, businesses, advocates and influencers?

It means that your audience can be compelled to a movement of your original message unadulterated, and unedited. It means that you don’t have to have a big following. It means that the strength in numbers can begin as soon as you have 1 follower on Twitter. 1 Facebook Fan. You only have to be concerned about your message, that it sounds out a message that is engaging, accurate to your brand, and what it is that you are wanting to communicate and connects to identity.

This translates into streams of effective multiplication of powerful transmission of a message. Done by individuals who joyfully see you. Because in seeing you, they see themselves.

In fact, if you can take propel your single voice across the unique single streams of various social media, and when those who hear it hear in words what they have been trying to say but have not been able to until you phrased it for them–you will have massive streams of social media power that reflects YOU and your image, your branding and your writing. Media CollageIt’s Platform. It’s Powerful.

It’s Platform-Power!

It’s simply a decision. It’s a choice to decide to be true self. To know who you are. What it is that you want to communicate. Once you have that figured out, then all you have to do is get socially active. If you don’t know how to get social on social media. Find someone to help you. It’s not expensive and you will be glad that you got involved.

Don’t take too long to make the decision to multiply your engagement on social media either. Social media involvement is a decision that runs the course quickly against the engine of time.

Previously it was said that with media content was king. But now with communication moving at the speed of light, waiting to have a perfect message creates a loss of time–The loss of time is a liability we can all scarcely afford.  The new social media revolution says time moves too fast to wait for perfection. Get it out now. Quickly. Powerfully. Visually.

Remind yourself. You just have to be the truest you that you can be. The real writer behind the words that speak for another person, and watch the wave of social media take those words away.

Your Social Media Game Changer Friend,


Social Media – A quick ticket to freedom

By Aria Gmitter – Social Media Game Changer

monopoly card

Are you where you want to be? Seven, and even four years ago, if you had asked me that question, I would have answered no. Today, the answer is still no, but it’s a much different kind of no. The kind I had before was rooted in unhappiness with my circumstances. Social media and it’s power of Free was my Get out of Jail free card, and I happily flash it even today. You can have a ticket to freedom too–in writing, publishing, business development if you want to with an attitude adjustment.

Ask yourself who do you want to be? If you don’t know, then ask yourself…what is it that you love. For me, I loved writing, and social media and writing are like peas and carrots. They are distinctively different, but combined are a yummy combination packed full of powerful color.

A few years ago, I had no platform. I was a writer with no idea how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. I had no idea what the path even looked like.  Today, I’m President of my own company. I have a talk radio show with great ratings. I’ve have had my short stories traditionally published four times. I’ve traveled the world. I have lunch with powerful people, and make a difference with global impact. Tomorrow, I will still be doing what I love and waking up with joy in my heart knowing that it’s only going to get better.

If you are stuck, or even have just hit a plateau, I understand. My life has radically changed from the unemployed teacher with children and a hiring freeze to prevent me from providing my services and doing what I love. Now, what I do for a living has it’s ups and downs, and but I have more control than ever before. The best part of it all is I still help writers. I still am teaching and coaching, and editing with heart, and getting paid to do it. You can do that too with the powerful of your passion and find freedom through FREE social media tools available.

Earlier last week, I was reminded about how far I had dug myself out of a hole with writing, and more importantly how this all came together when I finally figured out how to connect the dots. I didn’t have anyone to show me and so, the process took me even longer than it should have. Truth be told, I was an unwilling spirit. I didn’t want to depend on technology. Once I accepted that social media was more friend than foe, my attitude changed. Lots of people are still stuck where I once was. A conversation with a friend who works with a boss who treats her badly and stresses her out reminded me that for many people life looks more like a prison sentence rather than one filled with passion.
Today’s writing is more about passion and tomorrow’s social media is built upon the experiences that society, the entire world lives out a life of passion. Yesterday’s media still runs the show with images, content, and messages that portray a reality that for most of us, we don’t accept. We won’t accept, and in the pain of realizing that there can be an alternative message–we race our fingers across key board, swype smart phones, and hit send. That’s powerful. That makes changes in the world, and any good you put out in the world will come right back at you later. Powerfully.
This was me a few years ago when I realized I couldn’t work as a teacher any longer because of hiring freezes created by our nation’s economy:
At first I looked like this: ostrich-head    And I wanted to do this: head-in-the-sand
But, my reality changed the instant I decided that I had enough and that I would use writing to get myself from Point A to a different Point B. I’m still in process, but my today is much, different than my yesterday. As a social media writer who works with writers and business in platform development, this outlook has a significant impact on my message. It influences the way I see a new writer, or a struggling start up company and gives me the ability to take a tight budget and grow the business with financial conservativeness.
Make a switch. Anyone can change their future through social media with hard work, diligence and the right attitude. Now that is powerful, and that is what Platform-Power is all about. If you want to tune into our radio talk show, remember I’m on the air live Wednesday nights from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturday mornings from 8 am to 8:30 am, EST. Call 1-877-960-9960.
Your partner in social media game change,

Social Media & Publishing

By Aria Dunham

Breaking into new markets are tough in today’s times, particularly for writers and businesses who provide product and content for children’s and young adult markets.

Right now, according to Publisher’s Weekly, Children’s books are steadily on the rise closely followed by Early Reader and the Middle Grade Categories. To help new and existing writers navigate the movements in today’s publishing culture, we’ve compiled a few articles to help equip you to be in the know of what to do to market your books. Since we understand that good marketing not only needs high quality content, but context to command the loyalty of your readers and buyers, we’ve also encourage you to read “Five Steps to Improve Your Marketing to Generation-Y” below.

I know that you have so many quality choices to get your information from on the internet. I want to personally thank you for including my business blog as part of your resource to publishing and platform development information. Feel free to share anything you like on our website on your social media. And always, remember if you want Platform-Power…we build your platform, not you! Contact us by email or phone us at 561-707-0757 to discuss your current platform business needs.

Best to you,

Your Platform-Power Friend,

Aria Dunham, President | CEO

Including a Content Marketing Children’s Story

by Angela Natividad  |  May 10, 2013 |  1,009 views | MarketingProfs.com

Learn why Facebook’s blue and how eBay plans to data-woo advertisers. Get the scoop on paid YouTube subscriptions, a better way to manage B2B expenses, and how Yahoo plans to strong-arm the irony crowd with a winning content deal. Speaking of which, finish up with a children’s story about what should be at the heart of your content strategy. Skim for happily ever after!

One-man bandstand. Two weeks ago, Daft Punk’s latest single, “Get Lucky,” featuring Pharrell Williams, exploded on the internetRead more:

Five Steps to Improve Your Marketing to Generation-Y

by Joeri Van den Bergh  |  | MarketingProfs.com

April 24, 2013|

Our world is changing rapidly. Technology is developing faster than ever. Information is shared and made available everywhere.

Generation-Y is the first generation that grew up with the Internet, and these Millennials are used to having everything at their fingertips. They are pragmatic, connected, bold, and eclectic. Marketing, therefore, will never be the same again. Merely pushing advertising doesn’t work anymore. One-way communication simply doesn’t do the trick.

Based on interviews with 21 global marketing executives from various industries (including from Converse, Heineken, Abercrombie & Fitch, BBC, Microsoft, and Reckitt & Benckiser), we defined a five-step plan for marketers to improve their marketing toward demanding Gen-Y customers.

Step 1: Make it relevant

Everything Starts With the Product

If your product isn’t doing what it promises, you may as well close the books.  Read more:

How much Should you Spend on SEO

seo-moneyBy Jayson DeMersMay 13th, 2013

Nearly every business today must decide how much to spend on search engine optimization (SEO). This isn’t an if question. Robust online marketing is imperative for survival in a web-driven world.

The question every business professional must ask is, “How much will we spend on SEO?” Keep reading for all the information you’ll need to make that decision, plus some helpful tips on how SEO agencies work so you can be successful as you forge a crucial partnership with an online marketing firm.

SEO Payment Models

To understand the dollars and cents discussed below, you must understand payment models used by agencies. SEO agencies typically offer four main forms of services and payment:

  • Monthly retainer: In this model, clients pay a set fee each month in exchange for an agreed-upon array of services. The monthly retainer is the most common payment model, because it provides the greatest ROI. Monthly retainer arrangements usually include regular analytics reports, on-site content improvements, press releases, link building, keyword research, and optimization.
  • Contract services at fixed prices: Nearly all SEO agencies sell contract services. Often, before a client is ready to engage a monthly retainer, they will select contract services that they want to have completed. The services that an SEO agency offers are often advertised on their site, along with a price. A typical example of this is an SEO website audit which can help determine existing strengths and weaknesses in the client’s online presence, competitive analysis, as well as keywords that have the highest potential to return positive ROI.
  • Project-based pricing: Project fees are similar to contract services with the exception that they are custom projects created specifically for a client. Pricing varies according to the project. For example, a local cupcake shop may ask an SEO agency to help them with their local online marketing. The client decides that they want the agency to establish their social media accounts. The cupcake business and the SEO agency will decide on the scope and cost of the project.
  • Hourly consulting: This familiar consulting model is an hourly fee in exchange for services or information.

Most SEO agencies use all of these payment models. Likewise, clients may work with an agency using more than one model. For example, a client may choose to enter into a monthly retainer, purchase a contract service, and engage in a special project with the agency, thus entering into three of the payment models.

Typical SEO Costs

So, what should you expect to pay? Here’s a survey of the range of the costs according to the payment models described above.

  • Monthly retainer: $750-5,000 per month. Within this range, the amount that a client pays depends on the size of their business and the extent of services provided by the agency. On the lower end of this spectrum are small SEO agencies that offer a limited range of services. On the upper range are businesses with greater needs working with full-service SEO agencies. Most businesses pay between $2,500 and $5,000 for a monthly retainer.
  • Contract services at fixed prices: price variable. Businesses that are just testing the waters in SEO usually choose a contract service as an entry point. Typical contract services include things like SEO copywriting ($0.15-$0.50/word), site content audit ($500-$7,500), link profile audit ($500-$7,500), and social media site setup ($500-$3,000).
  • Project-based pricing: price variable. Since there are a variety of projects, there is a wide range of prices. Most projects cost from $1,000 to $30,000.
  • Hourly consulting rate: $100-300/hr. SEO consultants, whether individuals or agencies, usually charge between $100 and $300 per hour.

(Some of these figures are taken from a 2011 SEOmoz survey of 500 consultants and agencies.)

Things You Should Be Suspicious of

Any discussion of SEO agencies and pricing isn’t complete without a few warnings. To help you guard against indiscriminate SEO agencies with unethical business practices, read and heed. Be suspicious of the following promises:

  • Guarantees. SEO firms generally can’t provide guarantees due to the constantly changing nature of the industry.
  • Instant results. True, some SEO tactics can get “instant results” by gaming the system. Be warned that these can hurt you in the long run. Instant results often involve SEO practices that are against webmaster guidelines put out by search engines. Invariably, Google seeks out these techniques and penalizes them, resulting in lost rankings that can take months to recover.
  • #1 spot on Google. If an agency promises you the number one spot on Google, it sounds great. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get it. However, it’s not something that a firm can promise to hand over to you.
  • Costs lower than $750/month. When it comes to SEO, you aren’t shopping for the lowest price; you’re seeking the best level of service. Be wary of rock bottom prices or “unbelievable deals.”
  • Shady link building services. Link building is a crucial part of SEO. You can’t have a highly-ranked site without inbound links. But there’s a dark side of link building. Link trust is gaining importance to appear high in the rankings. Before you enter into an arrangement with an SEO agency for link building services, ensure that their link building services are ethical, white label services. You may even wish to ask them where they may be able to gain links for a business in your industry.

Things to Keep in Mind

As you begin shopping for SEO agencies and making your decision, be mindful of the following points:

  • SEO takes time. A monthly retainer is best. Think of SEO as a long-term investment. Aggressive campaigns and major pushes may have their place, but the most enduring SEO results come from a long-term relationship. In SEW’s Mark Jackson wrote, “The real value of SEO efforts are, generally, not realized in the first month(s) of the effort.” It’s true. SEOs don’t wave a magic wand and get instant results. Instead, they perform extensive operations that will produce results months down the road.
  • SEO changes, and your rankings will change, too. The field is full of competitors, and rankings rise and fall with the changing of algorithms and the entrance of new competitors. One-and-done SEO tricks simply don’t work. It takes constant monitoring to keep your website ranking well and performing at top-notch levels.
  • Not all SEO services are created equal. Again, SEO isn’t about shopping around for the lowest prices. It’s about finding the finest agency you can. Look for an SEO agency that defines its scope of services, and takes the time to educate you.
  • SEO is important. Do it. The point of your website is to increase and/or improve your business. Unless people are finding your website, it’s not even worth having one. The smart thing is to pay what it takes to keep your site findable by the people who are looking.
  • Hiring an SEO agency is best. You may be thinking, “Can’t I just do this SEO thing on my own?” A tiny percentage of business owners or professionals have the skill and savvy to do their own SEO. Even so, comprehensive SEO takes way more time than most business owners can afford. Even an employee who “knows a lot about SEO,” will be hard-pressed to deliver the level of services and excellence found in a SEO agency. You’ll rarely come out on top if you try to go it alone, and you’ll never get the same level of ROI that you would with a competent SEO agency.

You Decide

For most businesses today, SEO is the highest ROI marketing effort. The benefits it provides exceed the value of other marketing approaches – direct mailing, broadcast advertising, online ads, etc.

No longer do businesses decide whether they need SEO services. Instead, they decide how much they’re going to spend. As long as they choose a quality SEO agency, their decision will lead to incredible amounts of revenue.

You can decide how much that’s worth to you.

Article taken from http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2267471/How-Much-Should-You-Spend-on-SEO-Services

Ian Punnett – How to Pray when You’re Pissed at God

By Aria Dunham

In April, I had the pleasure to interview Ian Punnett one day before the release of his book, “How to Pray when You’re Pissed at God”. 15799350

Of course, I had to ask him, “When was the last time he was [you were] pissed at God.”

“Fair question,” he replied, “considering that from an author’s standpoint, one would expect that they begin with themselves to write for others.”

I couldn’t agree more. It’s no small wonder that Ian’s book is rising to the top of Amazon’s reading list just 2 weeks after its release. Lots of people agree and as heads nod, pages are turning to figure out what to do about the growing anger that is infiltrating our society.

Just days before his book was placed on bookshelves every where, our nation experienced the Boston bombing, the Texas accidental explosion, and now the release of 3 women held captive in a home for over 10 years.  Discrimination against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and the break down of the American economy and family have lots of people pissed, at each other, at the world, and at God. In fact, what is starting to make more people angry is blame shifting to the general populace by claims that the judgment is from God due to loss of Christian principles and a Christian nation fallen asunder. Amidst the massive onslaught of crime and lack of fistshakingmorality rather than turn faces towards heaven in prayer, people like David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox Star Big Papi shake fists in the air threatening their own actions to protect peace and declare war against peace breakers. The face of heroism is that of Jason Collins and people who are not “religious” and lately the religious right is considered exceptionally wrong and books released placing God on trial -vs- humanity. 

Non Christians question Bible thumpers every where– “If God exists where is He?” and “If God is good, why does He allow so much evil? and “What about all that child abuse and divorce in your own Christian churches. Clean your own houses before telling me how God is going to protect people who don’t believe in Him on the street.”

Suddenly, Christians feel the heat and hostility rising as their right to religious freedom of expression made national headlines post Florida Atlantic University’s controversial suspension of a student –a Christian attending a secular institution refused to follow his professor’s lesson to step on a picture of Jesus. Now, Christians and people of faith are asking the same question, “Where is God?”

There is no stopping the unfortunate realities of tragedy in our world–the outcome is people feel angry, and not only do people feel angry…but they are pissed, and they are pissed at God.

For 10 years I’ve worked with Christian writers and pain is commonly used by Christian writers writing to connect with their audience. The belief is that pain brings  people TO God and by sharing painful experiences healing and hope are found. A wound that came from an experience can created a false belief, and eventually anger at God. Often the pain first lead to silence, and then the silence lead the person to words, and words became the place of expression to reach out and make connections to the world. Yet, what makes books of this nature difficult to sell is that they sound “preachy” and fail to connect on a deeper level. And in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for that!”  (Is it any wonder then that most new writers begin their first book as a self-published a memoir?)

“What can anyone do who is feeling pissed off during these times?” I asked him. The question has merit and now the hell’s heat is here without any grace for those who preach it in their churches.

The advice is applicable to any situation where powerful emotion is affecting your ability to be honest with yourself and honest with others.

Here is the advice Ian gave to our listeners.

prayerbible1. Prayer is not a force field around people. Bad things happen to all people and prayer doesn’t control the world.

2. Everyone struggles with anger but the answers must come from within. Pain is private and personal.

3. One of the biggest obstacles to that inner journey is honesty with self.

(Ian suggests that the first step any person who is angry to anyone is to decide whether or not there is a willingness to change. He shared that sometimes a person actually is comfortable with their anger because it promotes lack of forgiveness.)

4. Ian advices if you’re angry and pissed at God (or anyone else for that matter) then you might as well just say it because you are already thinking it, and He already knows it.

5. Anger dealt with leads to better health. Statistics show that people who pray live longer. Just get it out of  your system.

6. People of faith get angry just like people who don’t believe in God.

7. Most atheists are really protest atheists and will not pray at a God that they are angry with.

8. Prayer can work on all sorts of levels–privately and corporately. The type of prayer you begin with must start with you, but the point is to just start with honesty and admitting that you feel angry.

9.  The point isn’t whether or not your feelings are legitimate, the point is getting to a place of honesty with the Divine. God can handle anger, and can sort out what is the right thing to do. He doesn’t hold our anger against us, but instead the goal is authenticity in relationship with self and the Divine.

10. When things get weird we express the wrong things to the wrong person, and will also come out in our relationships with God.

11. It is scientifically true that any meditative state allows our body systems run better.

IanPunnettABOUT IAN PUNNETT is one of the hosts of Coast to Coast AM, a legendary radio show syndicated on almost 600 stations across North America and a deacon in The Episcopal Church who received his Masters of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta.


When things really go wrong, what do you do with the feeling that God is to blame? A popular Coast to Coast radio host (and Episcopal clergy) provides some answers. In a first of its kind book, Ian Punnett provides a spiritual path for expressing your rawest emotions through prayer and how to rebuild a relationship with one’s higher power–or anybody else in your life.

In this important and practical book, Ian Punnett provides insight on   feeling anger and resentment toward God and offers advice on how to deal with the pain and blame that accompanies these emotions. In a book that is edgy, timely, funny and compassionate, Punnett presents real help in everyday language for transforming the negativity of anger into a positive and useful force that will ultimately help us pray more effectively, bring us closer to God, enhance our spiritual relationship, and change the way we live and love others.

After a divorce, a broken friendship, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or even the accumulation of all the tiny cracks in our spirit from life’s disappointments, it’s easy to feel pissed at God. When anger is left unchecked, it is harmful to  our minds, bodies and souls.

“How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God is not “the last word” on angry prayer,” Punnett writes, “but it might be the first words you have ever heard on the topic. By the end of the book, it is my hope that you’ll understand the role of anger in our lives, the benefit of honest prayer, and the need for honest, angry prayer in the lives of the faithful and faithless.”

Websites & Meta Tags

By Aria Dunham

Green Spider in Green Nature

Green Spider in Green Nature

You finally got that website up, and yet, like this young, green spider wait in the center of your cyber universe. Perhaps you need another line of information? Or another webpage? Or maybe it’s the graphics. Your web-world gets fancy, detailed, and in the light of day, the glory of your creation would look amazing to the viewer, if only someone would engage.

Banana Spider Hunting

Banana Spider Hunting

Suddenly a hit arrives and a comment!  You’ve been seen! You need this reader to survive and to help you let the world know you’re alive. They must know! In haste, you comment back, send a “Thank you for visiting my website” Offer to add them to the permanent reader roll and engage the life blood out of your reader and then when you post and post again, wonder what happened?– not realizing that all the attention made them feel like web-lunch.

What makes connection in social engagement is value and meaning, driven by the audience and reader, but compelled by the author of the content. You’ll know if the reader is engaged because they will share your post with others. These things happen when large numbers of readers visit your site, not just one, two or 30 readers.

How do you connect your web-world to that of readers that are interested in your content…and how to you lure them to your corner of the web when they just haven’t found you yet?

Social media is a numbers game and today’s web viewer has little time to expend on search engines. In fact, statistically, most searches are performed on Google and the most hits are made off of the first page and stop by page 3. The key to connectivity in social media is proper usage of “tags” and “meta-tags”. ID-cyberweb

This is a skill that is not easy to create without experience in the industry, but it can be done with intention.  The YouTube video “How to use Meta Tags to Rank Your Site to Page 1 of Search Engines” explains how to use meta-tags and they work to increase your website’s visibility.

If you’re not comfortable tackling meta-tags yourself and would like to receive a free consultation on how to increase traffic to your website, Aria Dunham Team can help you, contact Aria@AriaDunham.com or fill out this form to get more information.

Social Media Surf’s Up!

By Aria Dunham

Avoid social media’s undertow with our 3 Ride the Web Tips for writers. Because on the World-Wide-Web, it’s always summer.

Ride the Wave – #1

Build a strong online presence and use it to launch your publicity campaign.

Got Facebook? Are you tweeting on Twitter? Better be blogging! Pinning pics on PinTerest? Is your Author Web Page launched yet? Believe it or not, there are still authors who don’t even have an email address.

If you are reading this article, chances are you have started to establish your online activity. But to really pack the power into your platform, you need to get social on social media! Don’t have time to be social? Read The Death of Time and the Birth of Social Media article for helpful suggestions. Today’s author cant’ avoid being online any longer. In fact, it’s a big risk that can cost a writer that big book deal, and wipe out any publishing dreams.

With technology’s latest advances, there are lots of ways to integrate social media into daily living so that you can ease your presence into the web without losing all ID-kidboogyboardyour writing time.  Think of this as writer’s body surfing before you take on the big publishing wave. You’re touching water, but not diving in. Remember, both the big wave surfer and the writer with their foot in the water are getting their feet into the internet stream.

Create a list of what things you will do first and organize the list. Once you’ve completed a task, check it off and move on the next one. If you aren’t sure what is important to your social media, visit the website to one of your favorite authors to see what they are doing to build their platform. If you like what you see, then pay a compliment and follow the published leader. Success is always the best indicator of what works well in writing. My personal favorite webpage is James Patterson’s Official Author Page. At the bottom of his website he has a “Community” menu where readers can connect with his activities  on social media. The key to engagement on social media is making life easy for your audience. Be easy to socialize with and you’re social network will grow. The top social media sites that every author who’s serious about their platform is Facebook and Twitter.

Ride the Wave – #2

ID-wet feetOnce you’ve got your feet wet, you’re surf side ready. Hang 10 with the big dogs on the world-wide web with engagement. There are different ways to get your potential audience involved both online and on ground. The key is follow-up and follow through. If you meet someone face-to-face, follow-up with that person online. Remember that social media is about relationships and most people like to promote who they know personally.

On-line, it’s always good to get involved in GoodReads and pitch for online reviews, write blog posts, and share your latest highlights. But what’s socializing without a little give and take action? The law of “Ask and you will receive” works on the flip side, too.  Ask other writers and readers to let you do a GoodReads review on a book they’ve written; offer to write your reactions to blog posts that interest you and help a blogger build their presence into yours by doing so. Share a web page or two  and watch how much fun social media can be.

Off-line, if you’ve already self-published and have books to share and sell, do a book signing at a local coffee shop, or offer to share your personal story of how you came to be a writer with a reading club. Afterwards, follow-up with an email and invitation to subscribe to your blog, Facebook page, and share how the reading club can help you with a GoodReads Review. This is a great way to cross-network with small businesses in your community that will get the word out that you have a message to share.

Ride the Wave – #3

Use social media management tools to help control the amount of time you dedicate towards self-promotion. More important than the time saved is how some help measure the audience engagement. If a writer is online and no one knows, are they really online?

To receive the rest of our Writer’s Hang 10 on how to navigate the web and develop Platform-Power request our free newsletter packed with How To’s and Tips.

Book Deals: Week of March 25th, 2013

By Rachel Deahl

Dutton Kids Re-Ups Condie

Ally CondieAlly Condie, who wrote the bestselling Match trilogy for Dutton Children’s Books, has inked a new deal with the publisher for two novels. Julie Strauss-Gabel bought North American rights in the deal from agent Jodi Reamer at SMP Grabs Bladerunner Book Writers House; the first book, set for fall 2014, will follow a girl named Rio living in an underwater city, who has been waiting for her chance to find out what lies beyond the sea. The second book is not currently scheduled.

st martins press logoCharles Spicer, executive editor at St. Martin’s Press, took U.S. rights to a book about the Oscar Pistorius scandal by two South African reporters covering the story. Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman’s Behind the Door: The Oscar and Reeva Story is set to be released once Pistorius’s trial concludes. (Pistorius, a South African, was the first double-leg amputee to participate in an Olympic event when he qualified for the 2012 Summer Games; he is currently being tried for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.) SMP, which bought the rights from Macmillan South Africa’s Terry Morris, said the book will “relate the courtroom interactions and unpack the forensic and circumstantial evidence, as well as build the back-story of the police investigation.”’

Katherine Tegen Invests in Debut
At HarperCollins’s Katherine Tegen Books imprint, Jill Davis preempted North American rights, for six figures, to two books by debut novelist Moriah McStay.moriahmcstay Steven Chudney, who has an eponymous shingle, represented the author, and the first title, tentatively called Progression of Fates, is scheduled for 2014. The book, Chudney said, is narrated in “alternating parallel voices” by the same girl after a fateful event: there is Fiona, who has been facially scarred, and Fi, who has, in Chudney’s words, “a perfect face.”

Applegate Returns to Feiwel
Recent Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate has signed with Feiwel and Friends to do two middle-grade novels. Jean Feiwel and Liz Szabla bought North American rights from Elena Mechlin at Pippin Properties. The deal marks a return for the lauded author, whose books Home of the Brave (2007) and Eve and Adam (2012) were also published by the Macmillan Children’s imprint.

Pegasus Goes On ‘Chase’ With Taber
Jessica Case at Pegasus Books preempted world English rights to George Taber’s Chasing Gold: The Incredible Story Behind the Nazi Search for Europe’s Bullion from agent Harvey Klinger, who runs his own agency. The title, set for January 2015, will, Case said, “reveal the intricacies of the Nazi effort to finance history’s bloodiest war.”

Putnam Buys Boyce Series
Sara Minnich at G.P. Putnam’s Sons bought world rights to three books in a police procedural series by Trudy Nan Boyce. Agent Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates struck the deal, and the first book in the trilogy is scheduled for spring 2015. Boyce, who has a Ph.D. in psychology and counseling from Georgia State, worked for the Atlanta Police Department for over 30 years in a range of roles, from beat cop to hostage negotiator. She retired from the department in 2008.

Morrow ‘Redirects’ Matis
Aspen Matis sold her debut, a memoir called Knapsacked: A Life Redirected North, to Lisa Sharkey at William Morrow. The book grew out of a Modern Love column by Matis that the New York Times that ran last spring—it was called “A Hiker’s Guide to Healing”—and the book will be about the author’s experiences after leaving college to hike the over-2,000-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail (which runs from Mexico, through California, to Canada) in order to, in part, cope with being raped. Agent Andrew Blauner, of Blauner Books Literary Agency, closed the sale and Matthew Snyder at CAA is handling the film rights. Matis is now 23, and the book is scheduled to publish in 2014.

Sarah Branham at Atria signed Ellen Hopkins to a new world rights, two-book deal. Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary represented atria logoHopkins, a YA author whose two recent adult novels, Triangles (2011) and Collateral (2012), were also published by Atria. The first book in this deal, Tangled, is about a 40-something divorcée who thinks she’s found Mr. Right, until his teenage sons make her suspect otherwise.

squareonelogoElliot Tiber sold a memoir called After Woodstock to Rudy Shur at Square One Publishers. The book is the third title in a trilogy by Tiber that began with the 2007 memoir Taking Woodstock(also published by Square One, and the basis of the 2009 film of the same name). Shur bought world rights to After Woodstock from Neil Burstein, and the book is scheduled for August 2013.

U.S. rights to Booker-shortlisted author Deborah Levy’s new novel, Hot Milk, were bought by Lea Beresford at Bloomsbury. The book, Bloomsbury said, is a “thriller of symptoms” and follows “a dynamic hypochondriac and her furious, downtrodden adult daughter.” Victoria Hobbs at A.M. Heath brokered the deal, which also includes Levy’s memoir Things I Don’t Want to Know, her short story collection Black Vodka (just published in the U.K.), and three other backlist novels.

Random House’s Susanna Porter bought world rights, at auction, to John Marshall’s memoirOne Complete Circle. Marshall is a TV broadcaster in Maine, and agent Jill Grinberg, who has an eponymous outfit and handled the sale, said the book, subtitled How Volunteering Their Way Around the World Changed One Family’s World Forever, was inspired by “the growing travel trend known as ‘voluntourism.’”