Are you a busy Canadian author looking to save a few dollars? Read on…
Recently, I came across a post about additional sources of income for Canadian Authors.*** It occurred to me that, with the loonie at a thirteen year low, Canadian authors might be not only seeking more revenue but also searching for ways to keep that revenue in their pockets. Here’s one possibility:
My husband, who teaches business strategies at BCIT, informed me that Canada Post has a Solutions for Small Business Program. Upon consulting the Google gods, I discovered that this program was free to join. Without knowing exactly how it could benefit me, I signed up and printed out my paper membership ID card.
The next day I set off for the post office to mail books (ten picture books and five novels) to winners of my two Goodreads Giveaways. I pulled my paper Solutions for Small Business ID from my wallet and asked if it would be of benefit. Much to my delight, the clerk nodded and smiled.
How did the membership help? On the picture books, it did not help at all: they fit snugly into 8 X 10 manila envelopes and slid easily through the two centimetre wide mail slot. However, my ‘fat’ novels did not fit through that mail slot and had to be shipped as parcels. On those, I saved between two and three dollars… per book!
As promised, Canada Post delivered my ‘real’ card a few weeks later. I was surprised to discover that they sent me not just one copy, but five. I assume the reason behind that is that most small businesses have a few employees. (I’m sure I will use all five cards once I rocket to the top of Amazon lists and hire myself some staff. 🙂 )
I don’t know what other gems the Solutions for Small Business Program has in store for me, but it will be fun learning. Right now, I know that this program saves money on the cost of shipping.
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I am an authorpreneur with a sole proprietorship, i.e. a type of business entity that is owned and run by one natural person. In a sole proprietorship, there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. In order to acquire this kind of business, one must choose a business name and apply to register it.
So, how did I choose the name McRAC Books?
I remember being hurried and harried when I came up with that as I was on the cusp of publishing my first novel. Concurrently, I was trying to create time to write: we had recently adopted a canine rescue, CoCo, who required mega attention.
The first time I left CoCo –aka Her Highness– alone for twenty minutes so I could write, she chose to chew one of the corners off the couch. (I know you’re laughing! I wasn’t!)
However, it wasn’t long before that incident morphed from frustrating to funny. Then I experienced a round of nostalgia centered on the early antics of all the dogs we’ve had over the years:
Muffin, the first of three Pomeranians, ate half a box of tiny donuts and showed up looking guilty, his face covered in powdered sugar.
Cindy, our second Pom, was so miffed when we got a third dog that, for three whole months, she hid upstairs, barreling down only when she heard the sound of kibble hitting the bowl.
Rocky, the third Pom, another chewer, gnawed a chunk out of the headboard on our bed.
(Aside: All three Poms loved having their pictures taken and would pose upon request. The photo below was taken in a professional studio; we were in and out in twenty minutes.)
L-R: Cindy, Muffin, Rocky
Angus, a sweet rescued boxer cross, ripped up a square metre of linoleum. (Okay, the lino needed replacement anyway… and no, he wasn’t too crazy about that raincoat in the picture below.)
All the memories brought smiles. Loved those little critters! The business name, an homage to Muffin, Cindy, Rocky, Angus, and CoCo, popped into my head:
Next up, I needed an image to complement the business name.
Inspired by the picture on the left, a gift from my brother, I asked author/designer Michael Hiebert to create a simple logo that reflected my love of books and dogs.
I was thrilled with the result. >>
McRAC Books is definitely a keeper! 🙂
I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to my newsletter which contains news about books, links to blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. Place your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason.
Do you put your Twitter handle in the byline of your blog posts?
Some do. Many do not.
Why use a Twitter handle? So people can easily @mention you when tweeting a link to your post. An @mention will show up in your Twitter feed, allowing you to:
know who’s sharing your information;
retweet the tweet; and
A readily-displayed @handle will also ease the job of the person (like me) who wishes to tweet your link. I always try to credit the author, to @mention the author and, if the Twitter handle is missing, I go on a hunting expedition. However, I often scan fifty posts a day and don’t always have time to track down those adorable blue Twitter birds!
If your Twitter Handle is different from your byline, use both: by Your Name @YourTwitterhandle. (On my posts, since my name is in my Twitter handle, I usually just use @AnnieDaylon as my byline.)
Looking forward to getting a handle on all those great posts!
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Today, as the tide slips over the release date of my novel, Castles in the Sand, I am setting goals for 2014.
I started by listing accomplishments of 2013, an activity I recommend. I discovered that, despite bouts of doubt (do you have those ‘am I doing enough’ moments??) I accomplished a lot. Included on my list:
publishing a novel;
working with a partner (accomplished author, Michael Hiebert) to organize a book launch party;
diving into technology (almost drowned… still here!),
learning that I must pick and choose my path because there are so many options and there is no way can I do everything. (Must keep it simple.)
With that last point in mind, I am listing just three goal categories. In order of importance, they are:
Write first! Write regularly. (Novel first, always! I intend to finish, and market, my historical suspense novel.)
Write short stories for contests. (Love the contest concept; it is a vehicle for honing writing craft.)
Write a non-fiction book about writing. (Have learned a lot; intend to share.)
Read, Read, Read! Read up. Read down. (I laughed recently when I received an email from Goodreads congratulating me on having read twobooks in 2013. The reality is that I read a minimum of two books a week. 🙂 Since I already keep an alphabetical list of everything I read, I will transfer more of that info to Goodreads in 2014.)
Read more Indie Authors (I am one; should support same. Mea culpa.)
Write a few short reviews.
Continue to share info via Twitter and Blog. Am focusing on these two because, like I said, I can’t do everything. However, I will also use other media, such as Linked In & Pinterest, and, of course, Goodreads.
Hire for Tech issues. (In many cases, time trumps money; I cannot spend hours trolling tech forums when I can spend a few dollars employing tech wizards.)
Learn to do Webinars.
Get help with marketing. (Not sure what this looks like yet but am putting it out there.)
So, there it is. A list of goals. Seems simple enough. And that’s the point: to keep it simple. Simplicity allows for success, for change, and for adaptation to whatever rolls in with the tides of 2014.