Introducing Joel D Canfield

( . . . and that's the last time I'll refer to myself in the third person . . . )

The invisible man breaks his silence at last.

About three years ago Sue's virtual assistant service completed the transition to a social media support service for nonfiction authors. For the decade before that, I focused on our two other businesses: Spinhead Web Design and Someday Box Indie Publishing. For the past 3 years those businesses have been allowed to languish while I focused on my fiction writing.

I've always been in the background here at Chief Virtual Officer Ausoma. As we tighten our focus and create specialty packages to bring in new business (hint hint) we've agreed it's time for me to get out of the shadows and speak up. You've probably noticed a change in the tone of the blog of late; now that we have bylines, you'll note that there are two voices, Sue's staid and sensible voice, and my quirky ramblings. Quirky, as in, my business title (for this week at least) is CBR—Curmudgeon in the Back Room. We've acted like an old married couple since long before we were an old married couple. It's our thing, I guess.

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Seth Godin's Keynote Address to the Nonfiction Writer's Conference

The keynote address for the 2017 Nonfiction Writer's Conference was a special presentation by permission marketing guru Seth Godin.

1,000 New Books a Day

His first point: there are 1,000 new books published every day. Every day. Two quotes you may find surprising:

"Your problem is not piracy. Your problem is obscurity. If everyone on the planet read your book for free, then what would happen? Would that be a bad thing or a good thing?"

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Success & Failure: 2 Methods of Each

For the team at Chief Virtual Officer, our Business Manager, Joel D Canfield, has created some videos. This is one of them. All about Success & Failure. Enjoy!

False Frontery

Baking bread this morning. I use paper towel to dry my hands when I wash them, so I'm not clogging up a dish towel (and subsequently the plumbing or someone's laundry) with gooey glutinous flour. I use 'em for wiping up the counter between loaves, too. Especially if my hands are still covered with gooey dough.

The kitchen trash is under the sink; not my favorite arrangement but it's not my house. Went to pull the cupboard door open to toss the paper towel, and there's no handle. No knob. It's one of those cupboards where you have to grab the edge of the door to pull it open. I hate them. Invariably at some point during every meal prep, I slip and bend a fingernail on the edge or get a door open just far enough to bang when it slips shut. I hate sharp loud noises.

Why don't the cupboards have handles or knobs?

My years in construction and architecture tell me it's either for looks or to save money, or both. Bad reasons to make something that works poorly.

We all worry about appearances. Do you ever find yourself doing what looks good; what makes you look good, instead of doing what's right?

If doing the right thing is gonna make you look bad, that's a serious problem. But I'll bet that the embarrassment you think you're going to feel or the bad press you think you'll be facing from saving face is all in your head. Putting on a front is time and effort wasted. Your true fans want to know the real you, flaws and all.

You can't get away with incompetence, but you'd never do that. What you can get away with is being human, flawed, imperfect. In fact, your fans would much rather you were flawed like them than for you to be superwoman, never letting the cracks show.

If knobs make the cabinet work better but they don't look as good . . . well, you know what to do.

Why Aren't Business Ethics Ethical?

While studying real estate I stumbled across the difference between business ethics, and ethics in the real world. They're not necessarily the same.

Many industries, like real estate, have created a code of ethics for their members; a firm set of rules by which they must abide. And, as long as the follow those rules, they are officially ethical.

Thing is, two 6-year-olds on the playground know the difference between right and wrong, between fair and cheating. If your industry has a code of ethics, its purpose is not to provide loopholes, to let you get away with sleazy behaviour because it's not officially sanctioned by the code of ethics.

Don't ever misbehave just because there's not a rule saying it's wrong. Ask your 6-year-old. Or mine. They'll tell you what's fair.