Thanks, too, to my publisher, Cheryl Haynes (Futureword.net), the most helpful, amazing, hard-working publisher on the planet. Cheryl has been instrumental in formatting and getting the world out about SETTLE FOR BEST.
Special thanks to C. S. (Shon) Trent at Din Faction (dinfaction.com), who found the cover photo and designed the cover layout. All too often, a cover makes or breaks a title; in this case, the cover was instrumental, I believe, in making the title as compelling as it is. I'm asking Shon to design my copy writing business logo, too. He's brilliant...
It is also time to thank my publisher for the cover and layout of SERVAL SON, my previous title at Futureword; I knew the second I saw it that it was the only possible cover for the book. The cover has sold the book all by itself: I carried it to a store one day to find mailing envelopes for it, and the lady at the cash register bought it from me on the strength of the cover alone! It blew me away--made me want to carry a copy everywhere I go (but I don't, of course)!
The creativity of the people I've surrounded myself with astonishes me. Without them, so few people would be picking up my books to give them a try that I'd still be considered a "hobbyist" writer. (I suppose, to J.K. Rowling and other mega-blockbuster writers, I still am considered a hobbyist writer!!! It isn't as though I can retire on book residuals--not that I'd ever retire from writing, anyway. I'd have to drop dead to retire from writing!)
My copy writing business is staying just above the waterline, praise be to God. I've been at it for five years this year and have managed to stay afloat despite the "feast or famine" nature of the business.
I'm raising my rates, though. It's getting more expensive to live and I've started attending networking meetings to interact with local businessmen and women to earn their trust (up 'til now I've been a "virtual"copywriter to businesses all over the planet--everywhere except locally!), so that pursuit steals time from stringing words together at my keyboard. The networking contacts are beginning to bear fruit (I'm getting local work), so it's worth the time I spend away but, at the moment, there is more outlay than income to the networking process (it takes months of one-on-ones and lunch meetings to develop the kind of relationships one needs to garner full-throated referrals) so I have to compensate.
Besides--let's face facts: To all intents and purposes, I've been under-pricing my services at the rate I've been charging when compared to other professional copywriters. Most pros charge between $1 and $3 per word (not a typo). I charge $75/hour and can write upwards of 500 words an hour... so to say I've been under-pricing my services is quite the understatement! It's goofy to try to stay afloat on such slim margins when the market will bear higher rates. I just have to get over the desire to be the savior of every last start-up small business that is trying to survive on a shoestring marketing budget. They get more than they pay for with me; they still will. It will be a cold day in hell before I'll charge $1 to $3 per word unless my client is Time Warner, GE, CNN, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco or any of the major players who can well afford $3 per word!
(I have ghosted for a couple of CNN talking heads already. Would like to do more of it... 'cause I happen to adore the talking heads I've written for!)