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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Your Business Needs a Blog

In The Commonsense Virtual Assistant we wrote about the four fundamental customer needs:

  1. Get it right
  2. Get it out there
  3. Give 'em advice
  4. Give 'em a voice

A blog fills the last two needs, with proactive advice, and room for feedback, not just from your existing clientele, but from two groups we call prospects (people who are considering doing business with you) and suspects (people who should be doing business with you but don't know it yet.) Never underestimate the power of fortuitous discovery. When someone stumbles upon your blog, they may discover you're exactly what they need—but didn't realize it.

It's astonishing how many small businesses don't blog regularly. (We all realize that as nonfiction authors, we're in the book business, don't we?)

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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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Better Writing: When to Use “Like” vs. “Such As”

Barbara McNichols WordtrippersThis is part of a series by editor Barbara McNichol to provide tips that help you write like a pro.

Have you ever wondered about the distinction between “like” or “such as” in your writing. Here are two phrases to consider:

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Writing Skills for Business

another set of eyesMany clients I've worked with want help with grammar, proofreading and editing. They ask me to pay attention to details. They are tired of working with virtual assistants who let correspondence and emails go out with spelling and grammar errors.

Make sure you proofread anything you do for clients for correct spelling and grammar. If writing is not your expertise, don't market yourself as a writer. If at all possible, ask someone else to proofread for you. Another set of eyes never hurts.