Friday, February 8, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER AMBER STOKES: 5 Tips for Spreading the Word and Surviving in the Online World (and Giveaway!!)

Julie here, and I have to tell you that I have a soft spot for today's guest because she made me grin BIG TIME the first time we ever met online. Most of you know and love Amber Stokes, either from Seekerville or in the blogging world, but my introduction to Amber was a story I will treasure forever.

You see, Amber was about 17 years old when she left a comment on a blog interview of mine, telling me how much she loved A Passion Most Pure, except for one major problem she had with it ...

Apparently she could only read it when her parents took her to Borders, where she would sit in a chair and read a Borders copy till she had to go home. I still remember Keith and I laughing over this because we thought it was adorable. We promptly nicknamed her "Borders Girl," and a very special friendship was born. Well now, Amber is all grown up and as resourceful as ever, so allow me to introduce you to a very savvy young lady named Amber Stokes, AKA Borders Girl!

“5 Tips for Spreading the Word and Surviving  in the Online World”

by Amber Stokes

This is the “spring” season – maybe it isn’t out in Nature quite yet, but it is for my business! Last May I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree, a passion for books, and a plan for the immediate future: to go home and be with my family. A few months later I started a freelance editing business by obtaining a business license, creating a website…the whole shebang. So this business-thing is still relatively new to me, and I’m still waiting to see how it might blossom and what might come of it. But in the last four months or so I’ve learned a bit about the difference between my initial dreams and the reality of running a business.

How could those lessons help you, though? Some of you *might* be small-business owners. But I’m pretty sure the majority of you are writers, right? (I’ll raise my hand with that lot, as well!) Well, as I’m sure you’ve either been told or learned for yourself, the Internet has changed the name of the publishing game. Whether you have an online business selling your services, or whether you’re in the business of selling your books by spreading the word online, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Friends ~ Friends are so important! And by “friends” I’m not talking about the number of people who follow you on Twitter or the number of people who “like” your Facebook page or the number of followers you have on your blog. The numbers do have their place, for sure! But numbers aren’t going to fall in love with your stories or recommend you to their friends or encourage you to keep the vision alive.

Make relationships. Interact with the people who comment on your blog. Retweet others on Twitter. Connect with people who have similar interests. The paradoxical thing about this tip is that you shouldn’t follow it just because it will help your business or your books. Follow it because friendship is a gift. Building true relationships takes time, but it is a joyful circle of blessing others and being blessed, and it’s worth the investments you have to make. And when you find yourself in that beginning season of planting, the friends that share your passion can help you with preparing the soil (the nitty-gritty details of creating a website or putting together a newsletter or figuring out how to use Twitter, etc.) and scattering the seed (spreading the word about your services or writing endorsements or inviting you to write a guest post – thanks Julie and the rest of Seekerville for this!).

2. Freebies ~ Ah, freebies. I’m not really in a position to say whether the free Kindle e-books actually boost sales for an author or not. I can cite a couple of personal examples where a free or cheap e-book gave me the practically risk-free opportunity to sample an author’s work – and I became a big fan. (Clockwise by Elle Strauss, which is still free for Kindle, and The Language of Souls by Lena Goldfinch, which I got for $.99 but is currently $2.99.)

But what about other “freebies”? Investment is a part of the game – the whole “you’ve got to give something to get something” sort of idea. Buying a business license, having a fictitious business name printed in the newspaper, purchasing a domain name and website hosting…just getting a business started has its own set of expenses. For the author, he/she might have to pay for a website designer or contest submissions or a freelance editor (yes, I had to go there!), etc. But then you’ve got to keep investing money and time. For me, so far that’s included doing a giveaway of one of my editing packages, taking the time to write up guest posts, beta reading for an author (I confess that was more because I love her work – but now she’s endorsed me, helped me spread the word, and given me great suggestions about sprucing up my website!), etc. And I imagine I might need to keep doing more of the same to let people know who I am and whether or not I’m any good at what I do.

3. Flexibility ~ I know you’ve got to be careful about this one. Each author has his or her own voice and his or her own interests. Breaking your standards or selling your soul shouldn’t be necessary in order to be published. (There are so many publishing options nowadays!) At the same time, if you want to actually sell your books or your services, you have to consider things from the reader’s or client’s perspective.

An author friend of mine recently asked me if I’d like her to share some suggestions for me regarding my editing website. What she had to say was super helpful, even though it took a few subsequent e-mails to find the right balance between my “image” and a clearer to understand/prettier to look at website. I realized that I had to be willing to be flexible – there was a right balance somewhere in there, and if I wanted people to understand what services I’m offering and to be able to use my website easily, I had to make some changes. I love how my website looks now, and I’m very grateful to that author for speaking up and helping me to see what wasn’t working! I imagine that as time goes by and the online world continues to change, I’m going to have to keep being willing to change, as well (as long as I’m not compromising who I am!).

4. Fighting Spirit ~ I’m not really a physical person. I was the one who got on the elementary school basketball team because our school was so small that we didn’t have tryouts. And I was also the one who would duck whenever the basketball came too close to my head. Interestingly enough, I have a black belt in Jujitsu. I basically contribute this to two things (three if you count the fact that my parents paid for my lessons and encouraged me to keep going!): the age in my life when I realized that I was one of the few girls in a place full of guys, and the desire to not give up after investing so much of my life into those classes.

The latter reason is what authors and small-business owners need when times get tough. (Too bad there aren’t also lots of single men in this business to give us females some motivation, as well, LOL!) I’ve invested enough financially, time-wise, and from the heart to want to keep fighting for my business. You and I know that times are tough now. It’s hard to get noticed among all the voices clamoring for attention. It’s hard to get people to purchase something from you when hardly anybody has a lot of extra cash lying around. It’s hard to sit down and actually write, or edit, or whatever it is you need to do. So you’ve got to want it bad enough to fight for it – and then you’ve got to fight.

5. Faith ~ What if your fighting spirit isn’t enough? What if the freebies and the help of friends and the flexibility don’t cut it? It can be hard to imagine what life would look like beyond our own current dreams. We might not be at the place to know what’s coming down the road, and we can’t make choices now that we won’t know about until later on. But what if, someday, the time comes when you realize that the plans you’ve been making aren’t the right plans for right now?

These are questions I have to ponder myself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about starting a business, it’s that the process involves a lot of waiting and a lot of investment. I haven’t really seen any little green shoots poke their heads out of the soil. I keep watering and waiting and watering and waiting – and what if this business doesn’t take off the way I want it to?

I’ve got to keep moving forward one step at a time. And I’ve got to cling to the faith that there is more beyond me and more beyond this business. I know God can bring something good out of it, but I want to trust that, when all is said and done, God will provide. He will provide a purpose for my heart, a place where I can live for Him, and the power I need to follow Him.

Conclusion: Whether you’re an author or a small-business owner, I offer these tips to you from this early season of my own experience: make friends, be willing to invest and to make changes when necessary, fight hard for your goals, and ultimately, find rest in perspective. 

GIVEAWAY:
What season of your “business” are you in right now? What have you learned about spreading the word and surviving in this crazy online world? Leave a comment and we'll toss your name in the hat for a $10 Amazon.com gift card. 

ABOUT AMBER:
Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in English, and she loves to write poetry, short stories, novels, and blog posts. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and longing to follow God, wherever He leads her! She has recently started a freelance editing business –  Editing Through the Seasons – and she is currently offering a special discount on proofreading services for those who are getting ready to self-publish their books.

You can find Amber on Mondays at The Borrowed Book blog, and all the time at her personal blog, Seasons of Humility.

134 comments :

  1. The coffee pot if burbling. Pull up a chair and have a cuppa.

    I'm at different points in my "business." I'm retired from teaching, but making strong progress in my writing.

    Would LOVE a gift card.

    Helen

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  2. Hey Amber! So proud of you for all you have accomplished so far! Congrats (again) on being on Seekerville this was such a great post and I'm sure it will be a great help to many people!

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  3. I always wanted to be an editor...but the internet wasn't as "useful" as it is now back then when I had to decide, so since I didn't want to live in a big city, I chose another vocation. Good luck doing what you love right from the start!

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  4. Here I am! Recently got back from college group at our church (for college-aged people, since I'm actually out of college now!). :)

    Thank you so much, Julie, for the lovely introduction, and for hosting me!! APMP captured my interest at Borders several years ago, and I had fun reading it off and on when I would visit there. It was nice of my dad to buy me the book, though, so I didn't have to read it all in Borders! ;)

    Anyway, so excited to be here!!

    ~Amber

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  5. Helen,

    Thank you for the coffee! Do you happen to have any hot chocolate, as well? :)

    That's awesome that you're trying out a new direction and making great progress! Teaching and writing - two very rewarding endeavors! :)

    ~Amber

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  6. Abbi,

    Aww, you are so sweet!! ((Hugs)) Thank you for your encouragement! So glad for your friendship! :)

    ~Amber

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  7. Melissa,

    I totally understand! I've dreamed about working for one of the big-name Christian publishing companies, but I didn't work harder at trying to get an internship while I was in college...and it probably wouldn't have been easy to move to a big city and live there for a while on an unpaid internship... It's certainly still a future possibility, but I'm excited to try this route so I can stay with my family in my home area for a while. :) It is crazy how much the Internet has grown and changed in recent years!

    Thank you for the well wishes and for stopping by!

    ~Amber

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  8. Amber
    ((Hugs)) back to you! I have enjoyed your friendship as well you are a pretty awesome gal!

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  9. welcome Amber, Best wishes on your business venture.
    My dream job would be promoting christian fiction online and even helping design and set up blogs with graphics etc and even webpages for authors. At present I help promote books on my blog and am a co-founder of a blog alliance which is all free and have help set up a few blogs.

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  10. Amber, welcome to Seekerville! Long time, no see!

    Hey, this is wonderful stuff. Thank you for sharing your expertise and the wisdom of all that hard-won education! My editors at Love Inspired are young and beautiful and smart like you and I love them to pieces. I am so blessed by their wisdom and intuition....

    And you made a good point that there are so many ways to be "published" nowadays, but that's a point that should come with lot's of its own prayer... Do you hold out for the royalty paying publisher???? We Seekers agreed that was our collective dream when we formed our group eons ago, because that way we all pulled on the "oar" together....

    And if that's not the dream you have, you should examine your options with a FINE TOOTH COMB, I mean the finest of fine tooth combs, like the ones for lice egg removal, because it's so easy to make a costly personal mistake and lose money in these times of "quick-to-publish".... Caveat emptor should be the phrase of the week/month/year when it comes to publishing possibilities.

    Whatever the dream, go for it with wisdom and faith. Amber, God bless you with your new endeavor! Have you considered applying for jobs in NYC or Nashville or Minnesota with the publishing houses? What an amazing experience that would be!

    Hey, I brought chocolate covered donuts this morning with custard or cream filling and yes, they'll add inches to us, but I was just plain hungry for decadence!!!!

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  11. Good morning, Amber. Thanks for stopping by Seekerville to share your experience.

    As I write this, the first fat snowflakes of a blizzard are sailing past my window, so it's nice to think of Spring. I love your attitude!!! Best of luck to you.

    You remind me of my daughter. She also graduated recently and loves poetry and writing.

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  12. Hi Amber,

    Welcome to Seekerville. It's so good to meet you.

    I'm "pre-published." I'm on pinterest (still trying to figure out how that truly helps, but it's fun), FB, Twitter, and I blog.

    I also work as a pharmacist.

    Please toss my name in the hat for a gift card. Thanks.

    I'll be thinking about your tips.

    Jackie L.

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  13. Amber,
    You are right. Relationship building is a huge part of this. I tried to break in to fiction several years ago and went about it all wrong, so now I'm still working hard but enjoying the journey. Plz. enter me in drawing.
    Kathy Bailey
    Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire

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  14. Hi Amber,

    Congrats on your new business and all your success! Your post was wonderful. I don't have any advice on the topic of getting yourself out there. I'm still trying. I actually just figured out Twitter not too long ago. Now I'm hooked.

    Good luck in your business and Happy Friday, Seekerville.

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  15. Amber, what an encouraging post. I love your helpful points for the writing/business world. You made me smile. :)

    I was a teacher, and growing as a teacher was much like growing as a writer--you never really finish learning. At least you shouldn't. :) I hope your business really takes off! I've seen you elsewhere on the web; I'm guessing it's just a matter of time.

    I'd love to be in the drawing.

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  16. Amber, great to see you here in Seekerville with your words of wisdom on survival. Great tips and strategies on combing through the blogosphere.

    Your comment on fighting for your investment rings true. Why do we invest in the career of our dreams and then not tend it properly? Maybe because we don't always know all the ways the manage the perceptively unmanageable.

    Thanks for sharing your tips. Building relationships. Accepting advice. All great points to keep in mind.

    Amber, I'm bringing hot chocolate and marshmallows to the buffet. And an assortment of teas. Have a great day!

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  17. Amber, I like the way you charge a set fee for your editorial services. Freelance competition is fierce. You've brought a fresh angle into the equation. Nice!

    Enter me in the drawing.

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  18. Hi AMBER, Welcome to Seekerville and thanks JULIE for inviting Border Girl. Love that story.

    Great tips and advice. Starting a business is tough these days. Love that you are willing to take the plunge. You'll go far because you have the drive and determination.

    I lived in the redwoods for years. Loved it there. Such magnificent trees and quiet forests. Can't blame you for wanting to return. smile And with the Internet this is possible.

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  19. Hi Amber, it's so nice to have you on Seekerville.

    I had this thought, about freebies. I had an online review that said, "I downloaded Out of Control for free and loved it so I went and bought the other two books."

    Now that's one person so it doesn't prove anything, but it's the theory behind freebies.

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  20. I don't have a business, but really enjoyed this post (the Borders story was super cute!). Best of luck with your work!

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  21. Love this posting....

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  22. Hey Amber, thanks for the terrific post. I love seeing people pursue their dreams. Good luck with yours.

    I'm still chasing mine and even though writing is tough, I feel it is worth it.

    Please throw my name in the hat for the gift card.

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  23. I'm in the slow season. *grin*

    Wonderful tips. Thank you and congrats on your business! I hope it grows exponentially. :-)

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  24. Amber, great post! :) It's so neat seeing you on Seekerville today -- and learning how you "met" Julie Lessman. That is too cool. :)

    Great tips, as always. :) I especially love the one about friendships. I never expected the circle of friends that the blogosphere, Twitterville, and Facebookia would bring me, but, oh, am I blessed because of them!

    Blessings,
    Rachelle

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  25. Interesting post, Amber! Congratulations on launching your own business!

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  26. Hi, Amber! So nice to have you in Seekerville today! I LOVE your 5 Fs--each one important in its own way.

    You make an excellent point about taking advantage of social networking for building real relationships, not just personal PR. Facebook and Twitter connections are nice, but who among all those "friends" can you really count on in a clinch?

    Oh, and I love that you have a black belt in jujitsu!!! Way cool!

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  27. I'm in the season of "Forever Learning" so this post is timely. LOL

    Thanks for the tips, the coffee, and the opportunity to win an Amazon card! :)

    Happy Friday, everyone! Let me see your happy dance!

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  28. UH-OH ... MIA, I'm afraid, and I apologize, Amber, because I hoped to be here first (after Helen and Melissa, of course), but the flu took me down, so I've been spending some quality time in bed this week, a first for this non-napper, 6-hour-a-night girl. A word of warning: don't ever gloat when your whole family gets the flu and are hacking all around you and you don't get it for a solid month. It has a way of finding you ...

    WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, AMBER, AGAIN, I think, right? Great blog and great advice and like Abbi, I am SO proud of the godly young woman you have become -- we need TONS more like you, sweetie, and if Christian authors like us have our way, we'll get 'em!!

    I'm bringing LOTS of hot teas with lemon and honey (for those sore throats, don't you know) and warm peach cobbler (warm is good, they tell me for sore throats), so dig in!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. Amber,
    So proud of you! Praying for your business to thrive...and grow.

    In this world of sound bites/bytes and instant gratification, patience seems to have been forgotten. Yet, I believe that's what we need when we grow a business. I take baby steps and have always been the tortoise, yet, even the slow turtle makes progress. That's what I see every so often...I'm moving forward, one baby step at a time.

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  30. Hi Amber. Thank you for being here.I enjoyed this interview and your suggestions for moving forward. I love your spirit and go for it attitude. One of my sons is soon to graduate with a BA in English and considering his very few options if he doesn't go on for a Masters. He's a big reader and loves to write. I'll pass on your post to him. God's blessing on you and your editorial service.

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  31. Hi Amber. Thank you for being here.I enjoyed this interview and your suggestions for moving forward. I love your spirit and go for it attitude. One of my sons is soon to graduate with a BA in English and considering his very few options if he doesn't go on for a Masters. He's a big reader and loves to write. I'll pass on your post to him. God's blessing on you and your editorial service.

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  32. Amber, love your pics too! Did you take the snow scene and flower shot?

    Lovely! Just like you. :)

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  33. Jeanne T...

    Your comment: "growing as a writer--you never really finish learning"
    is worth repeating.

    So true!

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  34. Hi Amber:

    You’re pretty smart for a kid. ☺
    I enjoyed all your points. I’d say your off to a good start.

    I’ve run small businesses for over thirty years. That’s a long time without having to work for an idiot! (That’s the main benefit of running your own business.)

    Here’s what I think is essential: be flexible, always be learning new skills, find out where there are needs others are not filling (especially if there is a reason people are reluctant to fill those needs), then fill those needs better than anyone else is doing. Get known for being the best a something.

    Develop multiple streams of income within your business framework or known area of expertise. Be ready to emphasize the stream that currently shows the most potential (a small income stream can become your main business when your main business starts to dry up). Always be thinking of ways to add value to what you do or offer that is not being offered by your competitors. (The right little thing can make a big difference in prospects choosing your services.)

    Your business is really an umbrella which covers several areas. I have a real estate business as a broker but my business has been many businesses over the years. I sold houses, then was a condo specialist, then my little property management sideline became my main business. This lead to selling REOs for banks and PMI companies. Since I always taught real estate part time over the years, as things slowed down again, I started a full time real estate school. I always had another stream to switch to as the market changed.

    Youth is the time to take risks. You have time to recover. You also have time to learn many more skills. Keep adding to your skill set.

    And don’t think God has only one plan for you. His main plan is for you to be with Him in heaven. Other than that, God has a million potential plans for you. Each time you make an important choice, using your freewill, God adjusts his plan for you.

    That’s it for now. I’ve been looking forward to your visit and you’ve done all your supporters proud. Thanks.

    Vince

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  35. Hey, I stopped by Jeanne T's "VLOG" yesterday and

    A. She's stinkin' beautiful

    (sigh)

    B. (She's got a great voice!!!

    and

    C. I love that she's already reaching out in a new and different way.... I wonder will we all be "vlogging" in five years?

    And must I shower?????

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    Hey, fresh coffee and hot cider and hot chocolate because it's SNOWING TO BEAT THE BAND HERE NOW!!! so our 12-18 inches is starting to look very doable! About 6" so far and it's only been snowing two hours.... Someone bring me a shovel!!!!

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  36. I know not everyone loves facebook, but I do. I've made so many friends over there. And it's visual, and fun.

    But mostly my website and blogs (Seekerville, Ruthys Place and Yankee Belle) are what connect me to readers...

    And the number of e-mails I get through my website (they come in "tagged" so I know) has quadrupled in the past year.

    So what you do now, at the beginning, pays off later because when people come looking for you, YOU'RE THERE....

    And that's huge,.

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  37. Hi Ruth:

    “A hungry for decadence”!

    That’s the best title since Samuel Butler’s
    “The Way of All Flesh” .

    There is a classic waiting to be written under that title. I’m sure it would gladden many hearts to read it.

    Vince

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  38. Hi Julie:

    I noticed the picture of Amber in the bookstore reading right away. Then when you called her “Borders Girl” – it hit me: you are an author I would actually want my daughter to read. (That I would actually buy her the books if she would read them.) It's all there: great history, strong moral values and an admirable Catholic family -- all told with enough passion to keep the reader reading right to the last page. That's the value of passion. (I think this ability alone might make you a “Father’s Girl”). ☺

    BTW: I was just like you. I never miss a flu shot. (Not since 1973, anyway). So this year I was very superior as everyone around me got the flu. Then when everyone had recovered, I got the flu – much worse than theirs. It seems this year’s flu shot did not cover the strain I got. I was sick for six weeks. (And for someone who has not had the flu since 1973, that was humiliating.)

    Confidence is great until you demonstrate too much. ☻

    Vince

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  39. Hi Amber,

    Thanks for the great advice! You are so smart and savy, starting your own business already! Wish I had known what I wanted to do when I was your age!

    Vince, I love what you said. "And don’t think God has only one plan for you. His main plan is for you to be with Him in heaven. Other than that, God has a million potential plans for you. Each time you make an important choice, using your freewill, God adjusts his plan for you." What an awesome way to view life! I may have to use this with my kids!

    Julie, sorry you've been under the weather. Hope the flu is on its way out!

    Having a snow day here! What a gift to be able to stay home and work on editing! Have to get out and shovel soon though. Snow is supposed to continue until this evening, which means multiple shovelling sessions. Hope daughter and son will help. Eric had a headache again (no relief in sight yet), but at least it went away faster than usual today.

    Hugs to all,
    Sue


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  40. Vince - you have a higher opinion of yourself than someone else I know - he always said the problem with running your own business is that you know you're working for an idiot :)

    I tend to agree with you, by the way.

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  41. Welcome to Seekerville, Amber. Great to see you here on the other side of the blog!!! Congratulations on your college graduation too.

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  42. Amber - You've got it going, don't you!

    And I'm glad to see another college graduate who enjoys her family. My daughter got all kinds of grief from professors and friends when she moved in with us after graduation.

    Her response? She likes her family, and it's a great way to be able to afford paying back those college loans!

    I liked your third "F" the best - Flexibility. I always look at my writing as art...until I send it off. Then it's all business. I figure editors and agents know what's going to sell and what won't, and I'm more than willing to negotiate that fine line between compromising my standards and producing a product that will sell.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  43. Great post Amber. Like you, I'm in the watering and waiting phase. Praying one day soon, my writing will take off and I'll see some green shoots sprouting.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

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  44. Oh my goodness!!!

    First of all, thank you all so very, very much for the warm welcome! I'm blown away by your kind comments and your encouragement! :)

    Sorry I'm so late - I'm a night owl (which = not a morning person), and I live on the West Coast... So, yeah. ;)

    Anyway, I'm truly loving all of your comments, and I'm about to get started responding, so here I go...!

    ~Amber

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  45. Abbi,

    :) You are awesome, too!!

    ~Amber

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  46. Jenny,

    Thank you!! That is a fabulous dream job! :) I love promoting Christian fiction online, as well, through book reviewing and blogging and Twitter. I just love books, and I love the online community of book-lovers!

    And, you know, being able to help with the technical stuff is super important! I've been chatting with someone recently through e-mail who wishes to start a blog or two, but it's all so new for her... So people like you are needed more and more as the Internet continues to grow! Wishing you the best, as well, in all of your endeavors! :)

    ~Amber

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  47. Thank you for all this helpful information,Amber. I'm sure your business is going to do well with all the effort and thought you are putting into it.

    I'm also in the watering and waiting phase.

    God bless

    Ruth Dell

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  48. Ruthy,

    Oooh, I'll definitely take a chocolate-covered doughnut! (Or two...) It's OK, because today is one of my work-out days! ;) (I've been doing an exercise video three times a week, and I'm really enjoying it, actually!)

    Anywho, thank you for the kind welcome! It's so good to be here!

    You make some great points - with all of the new publishing options come more and more ways to make costly mistakes, so I agree that caution and patience and prayer should be the order of the day. But I also think that indie publishing is a viable option - if it's done right (i.e.: attractive cover design, well-edited book, good business plan, etc.). I know it doesn't take-off for everyone who self-publishes, but I guess you have to weigh all of the options and decide where your book would best fit and what you're willing to invest (time and/or money) in order to get the book into readers' hands. Definitely something that should be treated with lots of thought!

    Here's a post about one author's self-publishing journey so far:

    http://smack-dab-in-the-middle.blogspot.com/2013/01/an-interview-world-of-self-publishing.html

    I really love Lena's work, and I'm excited to see where her books will go! :)

    ~Amber

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  49. Ruthy,

    Forgot to answer your question! Yes, I have thought about working for one of the bigger publishing companies - in fact, that was my plan at the beginning of college. But when senior year rolled around, I realized I wasn't at the point to make that step... I only applied to one internship while in college, and I've checked out open positions with my favorite Christian publishers... I guess we'll see where God leads in the coming years. :) For now, I'm very grateful for this time with my family, including my grandparents, who live nearby. :)

    ~Amber

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  50. Mary Curry,

    Good morning to you! :) (It's still morning here on the West Coast!)

    Thank you for your kind words! It sounds like your daughter and I might be kindred spirits. :) Wishing her the best wherever God leads her!

    And do stay safe through that blizzard! It's a sunny day here, although not super warm. ;) Can't wait for spring!

    ~Amber

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  51. Congrats on your new venture, Amber! The internet has certainly opened up new ways of doing business! Love your website -- and always your blog! Glad to see you are putting your talent to work. Helping writers grow has to be an awesome way to earn a living.

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  52. Jackie,

    Thank you! So nice to meet you, too! :)

    That's awesome that you can keep up with all of the social media/writing while also being a pharmacist! It feels like blogging and tweeting and all that can be its own full-time job! ;)

    You know, I'm not on Pinterest (I get a little nervous thinking on navigating the copyright issues), but I've looked at other writers' pages, and I think having a collection for your WIP can be helpful in getting readers excited about your work. :)

    Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you find the tips helpful/encouraging!

    ~Amber

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  53. Kathy Bailey,

    Sounds like you have that "fighting spirit" - holding onto your dreams and learning to be flexible in an ever-changing industry! :) I wish you the best in your writing endeavors!

    I've been truly blessed by the relationships I've made through blogging, so it's been a joy navigating the online world! :) That's great that you're finding joy in the journey, as well!

    ~Amber

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  54. DEBBY--thanks for the kind words. I hope I always remember that I have more to learn. :)

    RUTHY--I'm blushing. :) Thanks for the kind words. I don't plan to do a ton of vlogs, but I thought it would be a nice way to introduce myself to people who don't yet know me. :) I so appreciated you stopping by. :)

    And, I'm sorry about all the snow. Hopefully, it won't have a long lasting impact on your or your community. Enjoy being indoors. :) I'll be praying for you. :)

    And, I'm not guessing on the shower-thing. :)

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  55. Annie Rains,

    Thank you so much!! :) I'm still trying to figure things out in the "spreading the word" area, as well - it's a long process, for sure! And isn't Twitter so much fun?? I've found it to be a great way to connect with more people, direct people to my blog posts, and just have fun talking books with other writers and readers. :)

    Happy Friday to you, as well!

    ~Amber

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  56. Jeanne T,

    Oh, I'm so pleased that you found the post encouraging, and that it gave you a smile! :)

    My dad is a teacher, and I know he keeps learning - figuring out new technology and finding new ways to help his students and hold their attention. I'm proud of him for all he does! :)

    Anyway, thank you for the encouragement! I just looked up my December guest post on "The Writers Alley" blog and saw your name in the comments section, and that must have been where we previously ran into each other! :) How fun!

    ~Amber

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  57. Audra,

    Oh, thank you for the hot chocolate! :) And thank you for your kind words!

    You make a great point about not always knowing how to manage things properly. Starting my own business has definitely been a gradual learning process for me, as I've been trying to figure out what exactly I'm supposed to do to let people know about me... It can be difficult to fight when you don't exactly know the right techniques, you know? So we've got to keep learning, have patience, and then use the time of training to help us fight well. :)

    My day has been great so far!! Hope yours is going well, too!

    ~Amber

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  58. Bridgett,

    Well, thank you! I'm so glad to hear that! :) When I was first considering how to set up my business, I made a list of pros and cons for the different payment options. The "per project" option vs. "per hour" or "per page" seemed the best route, especially for starting out. :)

    I totally agree about competition being fierce for freelance editors! The author I've been beta reading for is self-published, and she suggested that finding a niche for assisting self-pubbed authors might be the way to go for now - to offer low prices on proofreading services since their budgets are tight and they really need help with the last-minute clean-up of their manuscripts. So we'll see if that proofreading special I'm offering helps secure some business! :)

    Thank you for the encouragement!

    ~Amber

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  59. Sandra,

    Aww, thank you for all the encouragement and sweet words! :)

    And yes, I love the redwoods and this area of the state! "There's no place like home," right? :)

    ~Amber

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  60. Jujitsu?
    Black belt?
    I bet you win all the time...cuz no one sees it coming.

    You should maybe do ninja next, Amber of the Black Belt Triad (this could also be a book series, if you don't mind learning to shoot a bow and arrows)

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  61. Mary,

    Thank you - it's so nice to be here! :) I'm really touched by the warm welcome!

    And yes, that is definitely the idea! That's an awesome example. :) I know there's danger in the investment, as well, because you get people like me who pick up a ton of freebies but don't read them right away... But it's a way to get new people to try your books and to maybe make some new fans because of it! I think the important thing is the quality of the freebie. If a self-pubbed author offers a free e-book that is full of grammatical errors or plot holes or poor characterization, then that author will just get a bunch of bad reviews, and it would be hard to bounce back from something like that. But a great freebie? Well, like with that example I cited of reading Clockwise by Elle Strauss, it can make you some new fans! :)

    ~Amber

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  62. Amber, I might add a bit of advice for someone starting a business, because I actually consider myself a business owner, even if that business is sort of ME!...
    I tell people to get a day job. Pursue your dreams nights and weekends. Don't suffer and starve while you're working toward your dream because if you're taking care of yourself, supporting yourself, then it's a much safer world.

    I may be a little ... what's the word??? Pragmatic maybe. But God will give you the desires of your heart, it just might not be in time to make the rent this month. And He might be doing that for a solid purpose, too.

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  63. Jess,

    Thank you!! :) Glad you enjoyed the Borders story and the post! ;)

    ~Amber

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  64. Karen K,

    Thank you! Good to see you here! :)

    ~Amber

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  65. Terri,

    Best wishes for your dream-pursuing, as well! :) If you can face all of the challenges and still feel that the end result is worth it - that writing is something meaningful and rewarding enough to fight for - then you've got the right attitude!

    Keep on keeping on - and thank you for stopping by! :)

    ~Amber

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  66. What a fun post!

    And I've never heard of a Bachelor of Science degree in English.

    What's the difference between this and a BA in English?

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  67. Jessica Nelson,

    Oh, I completely understand and sympathize! Keep hoping and fighting and trusting - "keep moving forward," as they say on Meet the Robinsons, right? :)

    Hoping the best for you, as well, and thank you for the encouragement!

    ~Amber

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  68. Rachelle,

    Thank you - so good to see you here, too!! It's truly an honor to be a guest for the day. :) And yes, it's pretty fun how I "met" Julie! ;) She's too sweet!

    Oh, aren't the friendships you can make through social media such gifts? I'm grateful for your friendship! :) And might I add that I like those names, Twitterville and Facebookia? Clever! ;)

    ~Amber

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  69. Linda,

    Thank you, my friend! I so appreciate your friendship and support. :) Thank you for stopping by!

    ~Amber

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  70. Myra Johnson,

    So nice to be here!! :) So glad you like the five "F"s - I love alliteration, and I must say that Vince's thoughts on setting up a post to be attractive to a reader inspired me. :)

    Yes, about true friends! Taking the time to build real relationships is more than worth it. :)

    And I always have fun surprising people when it comes to my black belt. ;) No one expects it of little old me, LOL! But I'm grateful to my parents for giving me the chance and encouraging me to stick with it, 'cause I'm definitely not a physical person by nature!

    ~Amber

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  71. Cheryl Hart,

    Haha, yes, I can so relate! Glad you found the post timely! ;)

    I am definitely doing the "happy dance" today! :D Loving this!

    ~Amber

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  72. Julie,

    I'm so sorry to hear you're not feeling well! :( Get better soon!!

    And thank you so much for this chance - I'm LOVING it here at Seekerville! This is my first time sharing a guest post, but I've been a lurker in the comments section off and on. ;)

    ~Amber

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  73. Debby Giusti,

    Thank you so much!

    That has definitely been my mantra since I graduate from college: "one step at a time." I didn't realize quite how much patience I'd need when I first started the business, but patience is definitely a key part of the equation! And God is so good, walking with me each step of my life and showing me that He's trustworthy - and it's OK if I don't know what's coming next, because He does. :)

    And now that I'm thinking "baby steps," has anyone else seen the movie WHAT ABOUT BOB? I love it! ;)

    ~Amber

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  74. Aw, VINCE, you sure know how to cheer a girl up when she's down and out -- thank you, my friend!!

    And I am SO sorry you got the flu too, but that cockiness apparently got both of us this time. Sigh. I'm reading a book by Joyce Meyer about changing your words, so I think I will change mine to never say I never get sick again. :|

    Thanks, SUE, Ibuprofin and NightQuil are my best friends these days ... :(

    Gosh, AMBER, I actually thought you had been a guest before!! Well, great job holding down the fort, my friend -- have at it!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  75. Great blog post, Amber!!! You speak like a much older person, which of course means that you are a very mature young person! Truly, it is very good advice, and well-said!

    I wish you all the best in your writing and your editing business. It sounds like you have the savvy and the right attitude to make it and be successful. :-) God bless!

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  76. Pat,

    I'm honored by your kind words! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope your son finds it helpful! I understand his dilemma... I just wasn't ready for going straight for my Master's degree, but I know that if you're at all interested, it's best to keep at it while you're still in the "school mode." They say the Bachelor's is the new HS diploma, so more education is always good! But sometimes you need a break or a chance to pursue life outside of the school system. :) Wishing him the best whichever path God leads him on!

    ~Amber

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  77. My dream has been and is to promote good books, and i have been fortunate in what i did that i could do that. i owned a variety store, and sold books, i worked for LBI Canada and promoted books over the phone lines and via fax and eventually by email. Now i read books and promote them through my blog. What more could i want? More chances, more influence. Great post, Amber. And as always i enjoy the comments left after! Glad that those that are feeling good and those that are feeling better, are, and hope that those that are not, will soon!

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  78. Everyone,

    Sorry I'm so behind on replying! Loving all of the comments, though! :) And my work-out will still be waiting for me in a little bit... ;)

    ~Amber

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  79. Debby Giusti,

    Yes, I took both of those pics at Corban University, where I graduated from! :) The snow scene was pretty cool, because it was a spring day when the trees had already started to bloom, and we don't normally get that much snow in Salem! And as for the flowers, I just love trillium! :)

    Thank you for the sweet words!! :)

    ~Amber

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  80. Vince,

    You're pretty smart, yourself! ;) Seriously, though, I'm honored by your compliments, and I so appreciate your advice! Those are fabulous tips!

    And, in case you don't catch this in my reply to Myra, you helped inspire this post. :) I've taken to heart what you've said in the past about post titles referring to a list ("5 tips for...", "10 ways to...", etc.), breaking down a post into manageable and easy to read pieces, etc. Thank you so much for all of the tips you've given me in the past! I've really been looking forward to this day, as well, and I'm so pleased I could make you proud today. :)

    ~Amber

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  81. Ruthy,

    Ack! Hope you and all of the other snow-bound Seekers stay safe! Hard to imagine blizzards when I'm looking out my window at a blue sky...

    Showering might be nice, but then again, I still have to work-out before I can take a shower, myself! *sigh* This is one of those happy conundrums, though, because I'm really loving all of these comments!

    Thank you for your great comments!

    ~Amber

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  82. Sue,

    My pleasure! Thank YOU for the encouraging words! :) I've struggled in this transition phase of my life... It seems like everyone else who's out of college already has a job or a career and knows where they're headed. I'm still trying to figure things out, but knowing God's with me and He's in control gives me hope and faith to keep on trying while resting in His timing. :)

    ~Amber

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  83. Tina,

    Thank you! :) It's really a privilege to get to view things from the other side of the blog! ;) Thank you all for giving me the opportunity!

    ~Amber

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  84. What about Bob is one of my favorite movies of all time, especially coming from a medical psych background in my family.

    "There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love Neil Diamond and those who don't."

    Roses are red. Violets are blue. I'm a schizophrenic and so am I."

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  85. Jan,

    That is so awesome! Thank you for sharing that with me! I've let myself get too worried, at times, about what others think of where I am in life and my choices. But really, I'm blessed to have such a loving and supportive family, and I want to make the most of this "season" in my life! To be able to go and visit my grandparents, help them out and just talk with them, is a beautiful gift. :) I'm glad to be home, and I'm definitely glad for the help with "housing" while I start to pay back loans and work on my driving skills and all that! (I just got my driver's license a couple of days ago, actually!)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on flexibility and family! :)

    ~Amber

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  86. Jodie,

    It's so nice to know we're not alone in a certain "season"! This is a great time of learning to keep the faith and truly lean on God. May God bless you in all that He has for you! :)

    ~Amber

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  87. Ruth Dell,

    You're welcome! Thank YOU for the encouraging words! :)

    May God bless you, as well!

    ~Amber

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  88. Kav,

    So good to see you here! :) You know I love your blog, as well, and all the generous and encouraging ways you assist authors and bless readers!

    Thank you for your support and kind words! I totally agree that being able to help authors with their stories would be a great way to make a living. :) We'll see where God leads with all of this!

    ~Amber

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  89. Mary Connealy,

    LOL! I know, right? No one ever guesses that I have a black belt. I should definitely consider becoming a ninja with all my unexpected stealth skills... ;)

    Like the book series title! I've tried my hand at archery at camp when I was younger... Could be fun! ;)

    ~Amber

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  90. Mary Connealy,

    That's great advice! And yes, your business is your books, so I think that counts as being a business owner! :)

    I just got my driver's license, so I think this will open up more opportunities. ;) Thank you for the tips!

    ~Amber

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  91. Virginia,

    Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it! :)

    And yes, a Bachelor of Science degree in English does sound kind of strange, doesn't it? From my understanding, a BA degree requires foreign language credits or something like that...and the school I went to didn't offer many BA degrees. I don't think there's a huge difference between the two, but I'm not exactly sure of the extent of the difference. But whatever the type of degree, it is nice to have one! ;)

    ~Amber

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  92. Melanie,

    That means so much to me - thank you for your kind words!! :)

    And by the way, in case you were wondering after reading that letter I wrote to Sophie from your latest book (as posted on "The Borrowed Book" blog), I passed my driving test!! I am now licensed to drive. :)

    Thank you again for your support!

    ~Amber

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  93. Marianne,

    Love that dream - and all the ways you've lived it! :) Thank you for stopping by!

    ~Amber

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  94. Tina,

    Yay! Another WHAT ABOUT BOB? fan! :)

    Love the quotes! ;) Such a fun movie!

    ~Amber

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  95. Whew! I think I've finally caught up on responding to the comments! :)

    Feel free to keep them coming! ;) I really appreciate the encouragement, and I love interacting with you all!

    I might take a break for a bit so I can do my exercise video and all that, but I'll check back in later!

    ~Amber

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  96. Amber--you're right, the Writer's Alley is where we crossed paths. :)

    TINA--your, um, Valentine's Poem a la schizophrenia made me laugh out loud. :)

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  97. What an inspiring post, Amber! Best wishes on your editing venture. You're a talented young lady & I'm sure it will all come together for you in God's time. :)

    I value our friendship,
    Lena

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  98. Lena,

    Aww, thank you, dear friend! I'm so glad Juju introduced me to your work - it's been a true blessing beta reading for you and exchanging e-mails, not to mention all the great advice and help you've given me! :)

    Thank you for dropping in! I value our friendship, as well. :)

    ~Amber

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  99. I love What About Bob.... So funny.

    Amber, you just got your license???? Oh my stars, that's so funny. I couldn't keep my kids out of the car once they hit 16 and they studied and took their permit test and I had them all driving by their 17th birthdays... And they needed their license to get to their jobs, of course. Their siblings would have had a field day if someone missed their mentally-imposed deadline.... And then when lawyer boy was being scouted by an Ivy League school at age 17 I handed him the keys to the car and said, "Have a great weekend... see ya' when you get back from Philadelphia..." And yes, he got into the school and lives in Manhattan now. Such a fun place to visit!

    I think I'm pushy. :)

    Are you working a day job now? And doing this in your spare time? I found that working outside the home made me so much more time savvy when it came to running my writing business... And it offered more exposure to me for having a great ground base of experience. But I still think you need a couple of years in the big city publishing circles. So many of the freelancers I know have that background and I bet it's invaluable to them as they branch out on their own. An inside track is so valuable. And it could help level your playing field. What do you think?

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  100. Oh Amber, so nice to "meet" you and read your thoughts. You have no idea how much I needed to read this today, how inspiring your words are. Good for you for following your instincts and setting up your own business. With so many writers going toward e and self-publishing, services like yours are bound to grow. And how true about friends ... as more and more of m chapter mates are published, I am more and more convinced that word-of-mouth can make or break a book.

    Thank you again -- and all the best!

    Nancy C

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  101. Right now I'm watching both my youngest boys (Manhattan and Boston) get hammered by Nemo.... Oh my stars! Neither are driving in the big cities, they use the metro/subway/trains, etc to get around. There's a sight for you, big cities and blizzards.... but again, what an exciting experience to have and talk about. When it's OVER, of course!!!

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  102. "Roses are red. Violets are blue. I'm a schizophrenic and so am I.""

    That is GREAT! Laughed out loud, read it again, and laughed again. Thanks, Tina.

    Nancy C

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  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  104. Amber Strokes!! :-)

    I see you know Seekerville too. (Waving hi to you all! Do y'all remember me? ;-). Great group here.

    Just wanted to drop by to say hi. I agree with Julie- Amber is a sweetheart. (*Smiling* and I just met her online uh, a month ago I think? Really like her.)

    This post is so good, Amber- carefully and intelligently written. I especially like what you said about God providing- yes! Score for you. :-)

    Blessings to you all. Hope you all have a nice weekend.

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  105. Ruthy,

    I know! My mom and dad were both eager and ready to drive at an early age. Me? With my more "timid" nature and my focus on school vs. going out and getting a job, I just waited. ;) My family and friends were super nice about it and helpful, and it's all worked out well. :)

    As for a day job, I don't exactly have one of those yet. ;) I've been visiting my grandparents and helping them out, and they've been helping me with my loan payments - they're super sweet, and I love them dearly! And I've helped my dad a bit with his private investigative business (yes, my dad is a man of all trades!) and teaching. And I just got my license... So, we'll see what comes next! ;) One step at a time. :)

    ~Amber

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  106. Nancy,

    I'm so touched by your comment! Thank you for your kind and uplifting words. :) I'm blessed to know that this post was inspiring to you!

    It does seem that freelance editors are more in-demand now that self-publishing and e-books have sky-rocketed. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find my place in all of it! I'm really grateful to my author friend (waving to Lena!) for all the advice on gearing my website to those who are really looking for these services.

    And word-of-mouth is so key!! A handful of really excited people can do a whole lot to help spread the word about books and services. :)

    Thank you again for your comment, and it's a pleasure to "meet" you, as well!

    ~Amber

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  107. Ganise,

    Yay! Great to see you here! :)

    Yep, I'm familiar with Seekerville, although I haven't been visiting as much as I should lately! Definitely a great group. :)

    Thank you so much for all of your sweet words! So glad we connected here in the blogosphere!

    Hope you have a great weekend, too!

    ~Amber

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  108. wow...
    great points to mull over. liking the comments almost as much as the post too. you are definitely multi-faceted/talented (perhaps like your father?)

    btw, i'm sure the private investigative thing is a treasure trove of ideas for you...

    thanks for sharing with Seekerville. it's great to hear from the "younger" generation. fresh perspective on "older" wisdom we've forgotten (or never learned yet)

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  109. DebH,

    Aww, thank you! :) I'm having a lot of fun responding to all the great comments - so happy you enjoyed both the post and the comments!

    Yes, my brief experience with private investigative work (backgrounds for law enforcement officers) was really interesting! I appreciate my dad's confidence in me and the experience. :)

    Thank you for your comment and your encouraging words!

    ~Amber

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  110. Another keeper! Thanks Amber for all your info.

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  111. Cara,

    Aww, my pleasure! :)

    ~Amber

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  112. Amber, you may still get this as you're on the West Coast and so three hours behind me. Where in Oregon did you go to school? We lived in Portland for 11 years and my younger son talks about going to the University of Oregon.

    Thanks for the tips!

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  113. Walt,

    Yep, I'm still here! :) I went to Corban University, which is a private college in Salem. I loved it there - great classes, fabulous professors and staff, beautiful campus, wonderful community, and an all-around fantastic place to grow in your faith. :) Here's the link to their website:

    http://www.corban.edu/

    Corban's about an hour south of Portland, and an hour north of Eugene, which is where U of O is located. Corban isn't that far from U of O or OSU, and I'm sure either of those are probably great options, especially for science/math majors. But I'm not super familiar with those schools, I'm afraid. I can say that I really liked going to school in Oregon, though - like Northern California, it's green and really pretty, with not too much snow in the winter...but lots of rain, as I'm sure you know! ;)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ~Amber

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  114. Borders Girl! LOL! I remember when I first met you seeing your name all over the Internet visiting all the Julie Lessman posts with me! It seems like I've known you forever now. You've really made your own mark on the world with your blogs and your business, you know you've made it when you guest post on Seekerville. ;-)

    Congrats and best wishes on the editing business!

    xoxo,
    Renee C.

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  115. Renee,

    I know - it totally feels like we've been friends for so long now! I'm super grateful for your friendship and all of your support these past few years. :) You are so awesome!!

    That "Borders Girl" thing... Can't believe how time has flown since then! Lots of fun getting to know you and Julie and so many other great bloggers and authors. :)

    Thank you so much for everything, Renee - from sweetly and patiently answering my questions about how to start a blog, to always being there to encourage me and talk books with me! ((Hugs))

    ~Amber

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  116. Pleased to meet you. A fabulous post thank you.

    Loving the comments everyone!!

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  117. Amber,
    These are all great points. I was once a "library girl" we didn't have a borders near our house, so as a kid I was always somewhere in the library with my nose stuck in a book. :)

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  118. I love the Borders story. Reminds me of hiding in the library when it was time to go home so my mom couldn't find me. Congratulations Amber! Your success is an encouragement to me. I wonder if my husband would take me to read in the bookstore now and then for a date night...

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  119. I would love to be entered!!!
    Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!!
    Sarah Richmond
    sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com

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  120. AMBER!!!


    screeeeetttcchhhh I'm sooo late to the party but skidding in on a Saturday morning should account for SOMEthing, right?

    Enjoyed your post, and mostly watching you continue to grow. You truly are wise beyond your years and are a blessing to so many.

    Your website looks clean and fresh, very appealing. The name is brilliant!

    Thank you for modeling what you teach, because you really do. And, thank you for helping me in my journey as well. I'll continue to spread the good word about you!

    And congratulations on making it to the BIG TIME of Seekerville! You've arrived! ;D

    (((hugs))) from May and me, who also send warm thoughts to those snowed in...

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  121. Good point about Nashville. There are a number of houses there... Perhaps that might work. "Tennessee sounds good to me," right Pepper?

    As far as publishing - it's a huge decision. There is a misnomer however about self-publishing. There certainly are the sharks (or roaring lions, take your pick) but a few self-pub companies are good. Definitely do the research. A local friend uses a well-known one and is quite happy. She is also published traditionally in nationally known devotionals, newspapers, magazines, etc.

    Then there's what we have chosen to do. We formed our own small publishing company, which it seems is termed "independent publishing." This helps differentiate what we do from what is now termed self-publishing.

    Big diff. Huge.

    Keeping the metaphor, we act as the zookeeper, hiring the cover designer, formatter, editor(s), proofers, etc. Then we contract with a book manufacturer to produce the book and... Coming soon - the ebooks!!

    It's been a steep learning curve but SO worth it.

    For those interested, Jerry Jenkins just started the Christian Writers Guild Publishing, so this could be an option also.

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  122. Mary Preston,

    Good to "meet" you, as well! :) So glad you enjoyed the post!

    And I'm loving the comments, too!!

    ~Amber

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  123. Susan,

    Thank you! And yes, to this day I can still be found with my nose in a book! I have a purse that's big enough to carry a book around with me should I end up stuck somewhere and in need of reading material. ;)

    ~Amber

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  124. Cindy,

    Glad you enjoyed the Borders story! It's my claim to fame now. ;) Thank you for the kind words, as well!

    As for the bookstore date night, sounds like a great idea! Maybe a bookstore with a little coffee shop and some big comfy chairs? :) Hope it works out!

    ~Amber

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  125. Sarah,

    Thank you for visiting! Unfortunately, since my slot was at the end of the week, they've already announced this week's winners... But they've always got tons of great giveaways going on here, so you can stop by anytime! :)

    May God bless you, as well!

    ~Amber

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  126. KC (and May!),

    Aww, so glad you could stop by! :) And thank you so much for your kind words!! You're such a sweet friend!

    I'm pleased that you like the website - I'm grateful to Lena Goldfinch for giving me some tips on spiffing it up! :)

    You're such a great example to me, too, with your enthusiasm and kind heart and service to others and your books! Thank you for sharing some of your publishing journey here. :) I appreciate your thoughts and your continued support!!

    ((Hugs))

    ~Amber

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  127. I'm late in commenting...just catching up with some of last week's posts...Thank you, Amber! I so enjoyed your thoughts...especially friendship--that "joyful circle of blessing others and being blessed"...such a warm place to be in that circle!

    I bookmarked your website and blog to look into---I'm sure you enjoyed your "vacation" on the Seekerville island. These people are great! Thank you for sharing your information!

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  128. Sherida,

    No problem! Thank you for taking the time to catch up and leave a comment. :) And yes, that circle is a wonderful place to be!

    I'm honored you would bookmark my blog and website! Feel free to stop by the blog anytime. :) And, of course, if you're ever looking for a freelance editor, I'd be happy to help! :)

    I've definitely enjoyed my "vacation" here at Seekerville!! I'm touched by everyone's kind words and encouragement. :) Thank you for your comment!

    ~Amber

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  129. I just wanted to say you had a lot of great points. My husband & I are self employed with a small construction business. It's very true that most of business was through word of mouth, one person tells another, & so on.

    I would love to be entered in the contest.
    MinDaf @ Aol.com

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  130. Amber, I've had this window open for 24 hours planning to read your post!!

    Love it...

    One of these days I'm going to walk into a pitch session at a conference, and YOU'RE going to be the young, hip, professional editor sitting across from me! :)

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  131. Crystal,

    Thank you so much for your comment! I'm really new to this business-thing, so I'm honored by your words. :) That's awesome that you and your husband have your own construction business, and that's great to know that you agree about word-of-mouth!

    The winner has already been chosen for this giveaway, as all winners of the week are posted on Saturday. :( But I appreciate you stopping by, and I'm sure there are more great giveaways to come here!

    ~Amber

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  132. Pam,

    Aww, that's so sweet! Thank you for wanting to read my post! :) And thank you so much for your vote of confidence! That means a lot to me. :)

    ~Amber

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