Russia photo books

December 4, 2008 | 1 Comment

Curious about what Russia looks like today, and how her citizens are adapting to a democratic society?  Jim and I visited in September, and filled two 100+ page travel journals with lively photos and commentary. They’re available as free downloads until the end of 2008.

Book #2 (just out), Russia 2, includes photos of Russia’s two magnificent cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg: this volume showcases grand palaces, sprawling museums, city scenes, centuries’ worth of art, modern outdoor sculpture, the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, GUM department store (converted into an upscale shopping mall), the famous Moscow metro, Peterhof, Tretyakov Gallery, the Park of the Fallen Idols, and more.

List, links, and short description of fifty sites for social and professional networking, bookmarking, job hunting, goal management, gadget networking, wiki building, traffic mapping, tutorial rating, network managing, and more. (But please don’t create a page for yourself on Wikipedia.)

Or do I mean social media *are* like ice cream? At any rate, here’s a fun video explaining: Social Media is like Ice Cream

I love-love-love the format for the Wild Writing Women’s new e-zine about Ireland. It’s a 262-page downloadable, web-based, interactive, multimedia destination guide filled with photos, essays, articles, travel tips, reviews, music, interviews, linked resources, and more. And you can download the whole shebang for just $12.95. WWW Editorial Dominatrix Cathleen Miller edited, WWW Technical Virtuoso Carla King produced, and distribution was handled by AuthorFriendly, “the all-in-one website solution for authors.”

Author Friendly

October 23, 2008 | 1 Comment

And here’s a link to AuthorFriendly, who distributed the Wild Writing Women’s e-zine, Ireland, the Sacred and the Profane.

“ is an easy-to-use tool that lets you market and sell your books and associated products online. It gives you a powerful web presence with many exciting features. We build the website and PayPal-powered bookstore, and then you have control:

  • Modify the words and photos on your site whenever you like
  • Send newsletters to your subscribers
  • Publish a blog
  • Let readers contact you and even review your book
  • Optimize your books search engine placement
October 28, 2008
6:00 amto5:00 pm

Check out BlogWell’s upcoming conference: How Big Companies use Social Media–8 great case studies in corporate social media. It’s October 28th at the San Jose Convention Center, from 1-5 p.m. $200.

“Unprecedented insight on social media from Cisco, Intel, Wells Fargo, Walmart, UPS, Kaiser Permanente, Graco, and Home Depot. Measuring ROI, managing teams, dealing with legal issues, working with agencies, BtoB blogging, internal communications, blogging in regulated industries and creating great content. This is the best opportunity available for anyone looking to get started or improve their corporate social media efforts.

Creative Commons

October 23, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Elizabeth Weaver for sending the link to Creative Commons, a free source of content, or a way to distribute your work, or both, depending on your point of view. Creative Commons “provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved.'”

October 30, 2008
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 7:00- 9:00 p.m.

Dai Sugano works for the San Jose Mercury News and is an 2008 Emmy award winner. Dai will show several of his multimedia projects and discuss them in detail. There’s no disputing Dai’s ability to document a story but he also has a very strong artistic side that adds to his work in a special way.

Jan Sturmann, a Berkeley-based still photographer specializing in multimedia projects for commercial clients and NGOs will talk about his experience building a viable business in this emerging specialty.

Thanks to Gayle Keck for passing along this info from Duffie Books:

We are a new small publishing company that publishes e-books and pod books. We are looking for writers or authors who are women who have experience traveling on their own, and would like to write their experiences. Whether it be a guide, how to, do it yourself, personal story, travel journal etc.

Our focus is empowering women to feel safe, able and encouraged to travel on their own. We want to give them the information they need to be prepared and have fun along the way.

“We’re a free online service that connects authors and potential audiences of all sorts, from book groups to civic organizations, from bookstores to corporate events. Authors create their own page (biography, books, tour dates and availability) and any group looking for speakers can find them and contact them directly to arrange for an appearance. Relevant information for both authors and venues can be added in minutes through a simple fill-in-the-blanks interface. Connecting authors with potential audiences then becomes as easy as searching (by geography, book titles, subject, dates of availability) and sending an email.”For authors, serves as a one-stop tool for book promotion, allowing authors at all levels of their careers to locate receptive live audiences. For readers and audiences, makes finding when a favorite author is coming to your town as easy as checking the weather.


January 10, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to April Orcutt for this link to a SF Chronicle article about Redroom, an intriguing social networking site “where the writers are.” You’ll find Amy Tan’s virgin blog entry there, as well as links to many other writers’ blogs and websites. is the premier global stage for Independent Authors to promote their books, attract new readers and connect with fellow writers. The gateway for writers to tap into a worldwide audience through audio and video, biography, inspirations and excerpts from their books and from their hearts.

What’s more, readers can discover hidden gems – truly without boundaries – that just are not available at traditional booksellers and other venues. Now finally, unheard voices and untold stories can be shared and heard, savored and enjoyed. NothingBinding unites Authors and Readers everywhere, across the globe. The strength of the independently published book is the great numbers of authors and readers around the world, that log on from near and far to congregate at

Integrated Media

January 3, 2008 | 1 Comment

The New York Times Frugal Traveler series is a great example of integrated travel writing: articles, video, slideshows, readers’ comments/responses, and even a soundtrack. Good examples for those of us who are looking for new ways to market our work.

January 3, 2008
12:30 pmto1:00 pm

I love Carla (no relation) King’s new brand, and I’ll bet her new show will be equally brilliant:

Carla writes, “For years and years many of you have been sending me emails headed Dear Miss Adventuring so I’ve finally taken you up on it and embraced the title. The Miss Adventuring Show on is the first step. It launches on Thursday January 3rd at 12:30 pm Pacific Time USA.”The goal of the show is to create a How-To Guide for a Fabulously Misadventurous Lifestyle. Contributing will be guests who are living inspiring, out-of-the-box, live-your-dreams kind of lives. They’re a varied lot, including writers, dancers, entrepreneurs, parents, boaters, bikers, artists, technologists . . . you never know who will turn up.

Is 2012 the New 1984?

September 13, 2007 | Leave a Comment

I stumbled upon the website for a book called 2012, and liked the site design (I’m always on the lookout for great marketing ideas), especially the use of that bouncy “think map” that grabs your attention without being visually obnoxious. Wonder whether I could figure out how to use it….

The site content was kind of interesting, too: “Cross Aldous Huxley, H. P. Lovecraft, and Carlos Castaneda—each imbued with a twenty-first century aptitude for quantum theory and existential psychology—and you get the voice of Daniel Pinchbeck. And yet, nothing quite prepares us for the lucidity, rationale, and informed audacity of this seeker, skeptic, and cartographer of hidden realms. Throughout the 1990s, Pinchbeck had been a member of New York’s literary select. He wrote for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar.”

September 5, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Karen Misuraca for sending the link to, “where authors and audiences meet.” The site includes authors bio, events calendar, links for buying books, and a “follow this author: by email | by RSS | in my calendar | on my website” function. If you have a book, you should be there!

“This is a fabulous new site putting authors and readers/book buyers together. Free, very easy. Author has a “presence” describing who they are, the book(s), calendar of appearances, etc. Readers can search by author, book, geographical area, etc. And, get alerts as to when any/all authors making appearances in their zip code.

At a recent Bay Area Travel Writers meeting, someone mentioned that the best software they’ve come across for slideshows is FotoMagico by Boinx. I’m no software reviewer, but this looks pretty darned good, and is priced from $49. Check out the website for more info and some impressive reviews.

Here’s Mark Morford’s take (he always has an interesting POV, although it’s best in small doses), on Google Street View, which will eventually take you pretty much anywhere in the world from the comfort (and privacy?) of your own room. (June 6, 2007)


June 1, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Cheryl McLaughlin for sending links to these two articles about podcasting, Promoting Your Book with a Podcast, from Patrice-Anne Rudledge’s The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a Tech Twist, and Powerful Podcasting from The Book Marketing Expert newsletter, “a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.”

I just completed an information-packed interview with Cheryl McLaughlin about podcasting for writers: what is podcasting, how can writers use it to promote their books, what you need to get started, etc. The interview is here, and these are links to some of the sites we discussed:

  • Audacity “free, open source software for recording and editing sounds”
  • Blog Talk Radio – Host and publish a live talk show for free
  • Libsyn – “Podcasting made easy”
  • Odeo Studio – Create and publish a podcast for free
  • Overture – Keyword selector tool


May 6, 2007 | Leave a Comment

I just checked out Acteva, an online registration management system that lets users manage event registration (including multi-level sales) online. Using Acteva, you can email event announcements and reminders; offer multiple registration choices, automatic discounts and a variety of payment options; accept RSVPs; print name tags; keep track of meal preferences; and lots more. I noticed the Small Business Administration is using Acteva to manage Small Business Week in San Francisco (May 5-11, 2007).

[ClickPress, Sat Mar 03 2007] “ solidified there [sic] position today as one of the best travel blogging sites on the web by unveiling an updated site design featuring an all new layout, high quality video uploading capabilities, an advanced Google mapping system, and automatic contact uploading from a personal email account in a single click.” Is there a there there?

The site lets you post your travel journal and photos, and browse through other people’s uploads. You can also network with other travelers (there’s a social networking section on the site), book a hostel or tour, and buy travel insurance.

Serena Bartlett recently self-published Oakland: The Soul of the City Next Door, “an ‘urban-eco travel’ guide. It is the first guide in our company’s City Next Door Series, inspiring people to look to their own stomping grounds for adventure and cultural experiences, all of which can contribute to the longevity of the planet and the development of strong community.”

Thanks to Connie Hale for forwarding this link to Barry Eisler’s website. “A colleague pointed out this Web site as an example of a writer’s site that gets lots of traffic.” This guy is a serious marketer!

Check out this article by Dan Fost, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer (published Sunday, March 11, 2007) about working remotely.

  •  “New ‘bedouins’ transform a laptop, cell phone and coffeehouse into their office”
  • “The San Francisco coffeehouse is the new Palo Alto garage,” declares Kevin Burton, 30, who runs his Internet startup Tailrank without renting offices. “It’s where all the innovation is happening.”
  • “… estimates that one-fifth of the workforce, or 30 million out of 150 million people, are working on their own”
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