Proofreading Woes

I have two daughters. Elizabeth, my oldest, you met when she graduated in May. The youngest, Cecilia, is 16 years old. I have not mentioned her before, but I used her photo back in April when I wrote about fixing images in newsletters.

Cecilia-conversationI was out of town over the weekend and sometime after my phone died, she sent this text. I could not see the image, and it did not seem like something she would write, so I assumed it was my phone messing up again.

When I arrived back home, I asked, “Did you send me this message?”

She said, “Well, yeah.”

“I can’t see the image. What are you talking about?” I asked her.

Cecilia replied, “I had never read Books & Whatnot before, so I decided to check it out. I sent you a screenshot where you wrote your when you meant to write you’re.”

Then the conversation turned rapid-fire.

“You have never read Books & Whatnot before?”
“And you decided to troll for my mistakes?”
“I only read a couple of things.”
“And you found mistakes in both?”
“… ”
“Well, my SpeakIt proofreader will not catch your and you’re. I guess I should start writing without contractions.”
“I thought that was common practice.”

Cece90CWMeet Cecilia, my new proofreader until she is no longer grounded. And if you commonly interchange your and you’re (even though you know the difference), try writing without contractions. You might feel like you are Pauls Toutonghi writing Red Weather at first. But you can always go back and insert them if you want a more casual voice.

November Content Calendar

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but November is just around the corner.

I’ve created a November Content Calendar to help plan social media posts and promotions. There are several days that could tie-in to books:

  • Author’s Day is Saturday, November 1. Why not invite local authors to stop by for a special tea, coffee, or adult beverage?
  • When Daylight Saving Time ends on November 2, you can promote books that include time-saving techniques or productivity tips.
  • Origami Day is November 11th! You could host a subdued how-to event for adults, or a Star Wars Origami event for kids.
  • Feature different cookbooks throughout the month leading up to Homemade Bread Day on November 17.
  • And then rest up for the November trifecta: Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Small Business Saturday.

Remember to complete the calendar with your own events and promotions. And if you still have blank days, share an image of your store pet… reading a book.

Behind the Book: Grace’s Guide

Grace Helbig is a comedian and the host of it’sGrace on YouTube. Her book, Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up comes out today. This “Behind the Book” trailer from Simon & Schuster offers background and insight from Lauren Spiegel, Grace Helbig’s senior editor at Touchstone.

Grace is on Twitter at @Gracehelbig and her website is And Catherine Janzen reviewed Grace’s Guide here.


“Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending To Be A Grown-Up” by Grace Helbig

Grace's GuideSassy and cheeky, in Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up, Grace Helbig writes just like she speaks as the host of It’sGrace on YouTube.

A cute book for Christmas or for the new graduate, Grace’s Guide is easy to dip into. With interactive worksheets and full-color photos and illustrations, she delivers smarty-pants advice on everything from interviewing for a job to negotiating a walk of shame gracefully (or as gracefully as possible).

Her comments on surviving college and the workplace are spot-on and will keep you from being a “Don’t” picture on a Human Resources poster. I’m considering buying multiple copies and anonymously mailing them to some former co-workers…

I also liked the social section and her take on anxiety. Transitioning from random college gatherings to planned adult parties and social engagements can be excruciating, and nobody wants to be that person in the corner staring at their shoes all night (no matter how gorgeous those shoes may be!) She wraps practical advice in funny and engaging packaging, pretty much the way parties are meant to be.

And that’s what her book is—a cool-kids advice party that somehow we nerdy kids got invited to as well.

Now off to the post office to mail some books…

Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig (Touchstone | ISBN 9781476788005 | October 21, 2014)

Burst Workouts at Workman

Burst Workouts at Workman

They practice what they preach at Workman Publishing. To kick off the release of his book The Burst! Workout, author Sean Foy issued a 10 Day Burst Workout Challenge. Some Workman folks accepted the challenge and for 10 days, they received an email with a Burst Minute Move to get them out of their chairs and moving. They wrote about the experience last week on their blog.

This is a very effective form of marketing because it provides a testimonial.

“I have read this book. I loved it.”

“I used this book for my marathon training and it helped me P.R.”

“My go-to Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is in this book.”

Customers like to know what they’re purchasing is tried and true.

It’s one thing to say why you like something. But if you can, go for the show-and-tell. Photos help tell the story and are so effective in blogs and on social media.

In Workman’s blog post, they showed their Credit department in the stairwell doing 60 seconds of Burst Stair Stepping. They showed the Editorial staff lining the wall for a group Burst Wall Sit. They showed the Workman Running Club pausing halfway through their runs to do some Burst Chair Push-Ups. And then they provided a link so I could click and sign up for my own 10 Day Burst Workout Challenge. The test-drive before the buy.