Archive for February, 2010

Diary of an iPhone Application – OMG! is Officially Available!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

At last, Apple just approved the iPhone Applications I’ve been working on, which include a text lingo dictionary, much like the glossary in the back of the book, Read Between the lines.  Those original terms from the book, along with 100’s of new terms are included in two of my new iPhone Applications.

This process took longer than expected, mostly due to Apple’s new “Clean Icon” campaign.   I just heard earlier this week that Apple has deleted over 5000 Applications from the Apple store, because they failed to measure up to their new standards – and there’s more  to come.

I guess you could say I was trying to “Get Hip Without Getting Deleted” by Apple.  Our primary delay was that one of my App’s (the one with the icon “WTF?”) was rejected as a result of this new initiative. 

Lucky for me, I hired the right person and the right company (Jen @ Presskit in Atlanta) who understands the App creation and submission process, and did a great job bringing all of RBTL App’s into the Apple store.  She’s an engineer with a great personality – which I find unusual.  🙂  Jen’s smart, honest, knows the App business, and she’s found a niche that allowed me to have an App developed for Read Between the Lines.

Officially, we have four Apps in the store:

Free Category – Search “Text Lingo”
OMG! & RBTL – These are both “Lite Versions” that are free, and give you a taste for the full version App, by providing 20 fun text abbreviations, along with an option to preview several chapters of the book, as well as a way to purchase the book right from your iPhone.

We built the “Lite” versions so iPhone users could learn about RBTL, and get a feel for what the full version included.

Paid Category – Search “Text Lingo”
OMG! & RBTL – These are both the complete text lingo dictionaries, and cost .99 each.  They allow you to search through thousands of abbreviations, and share them by e-mail, FaceBook, and Twitter. 

I’m proud to say I’ve made it through this process – thank you Jen!  These fun filled applications launched 2/23/10, and are the best companion to help you communicate with simplicity and style, right in the palm of your hand. 

Have a great idea for an App?  If this is the case, I have some great recommendations for you.  Just post your question – and I’d be more than happy to share any and all of my resources!

Avoid Deadly Cell Phone Obsessions – Just Say No!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Most of us are so busy, we try to do too many things in too little time. Then, to make matters worse, we try to “Get things done” by doing them on our cell phone, while we’re driving.

I know, I can hear you now, because I also hear that little evil voice inside my head telling me “It’s OK, you’re at a signal or a stop sign, so go ahead and check your e-mail or answer that text”.  I admit, I’ve done it – and I was dead wrong!

Why?  Because it’s too often that red light turns green, and there I am in the middle of my answer, and because I like to finish what I start, I’d continue with my message while my car was moving.  I was distracted to a degree that wasn’t safe for me or anyone around me.

If you’ve been watching the news, or maybe even heard about Oprah’s “No Phone Zone” campaign where you can sign her pledge to make your car a No Phone Zone.  The Goal?  Awareness is definitely one of them.  More importantly, according to Oprah “Save a life – maybe even yours”.   I couldn’t agree more!

Nowadays – all you have to do is look around while you’re driving, and more times than not, I can tell that the driver is in deed on their cell phone – and now more than ever they seem to be looking down, texting.

Yes, I’m the author of Read Between the Lines:  A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style, which is about the positives (and the negatives) of texting, and I firmly believe that there’s NO place for texting while driving, no exceptions, ever!

Since I know Oprah has a proven track record of accomplishing her goals with overwhelming positive results and success, I’ve taken her pledge to not text while driving, and only use my blue-tooth while on my phone.  I was pledge number 135643.

Interested in taking the pledge? Click here to make a commitment, or if you need more convincing, you can watch videos about victims of distracted videos.

Personally, I didn’t need any additional convincing.

Diary of Read Between the Lines iPhone Application

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

As of last week, Read Between the Lines two iPhone Applications were completed and submitted to Apple for approval.  Unfortunately, the “WTF?” App was denied, due to the WTF? icon that would be visible in the App Store, visible to everyone.

Apparently, Apple is in the process of “Cleaning up the App store”, and we submitted at the perfect time to be included in their new project.

I minor let down, but I completely understand.  It was one of the first questions I asked after I came up with the idea.  The answer that I received was an overwhelming “Have you seen the smut in the App store?  I’m sure WTF? won’t be a problem”!

It was a problem – so we changed its name to RBTL in order to get approval. The first App – “OMG!” was approved with no problems.

The good news is you’ll be able to find all of the apps if you search “Text Lingo Dictionary” on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010.

While we wait for Apple to work their magic, it was highly recommended that I hire an “App public relations firm” to have the Application reviewed (By Bloggers who review Apps) before it’s released, and to send press releases out to the right people… so I did.

I know, I bet you had no idea that there are companies that only do PR for Apps, let alone Bloggers who specialize in reviewing Apps that are in pre-release status, then blog about them.  Don’t worry, you’re not alone!  I had NO idea such things existed either – which is one of the reasons I’m documenting the journey.

One things for sure… There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t learn five new things about the business of writing a book.

New Author Claudia Pruett Speaks Out

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Ever wanted to write your own book?  If your answer is “Yes”, then you’re not alone.  In fact, I would say a large percencatage of people I speak to say that it’s one of their dreams to write a book.

This is exactly why I like to interview new authors and share their experiences with you, as well as my experiences with Read Between the lines.

Claudia Pruett, co-author of Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make, will be speaking about her newly published cookbook (Published 9/2009) at the San Francisco’s Writers Conference I’ll be attending this weekend.

A bit about her book: Nothing instills a sense of familial well-being better than a meal prepared and eaten together at home. But today’s busy lifestyles, coupled with more and better options from the take-out department, have made the family dinner nearly a thing of the past. Cooking Dinner is a rescue plan for this endangered tradition. Written by two mothers with a passion for Italian cooking, it features delicious recipes that don’t take all day to prepare.

How did you get your book, Cooking Dinner published?

We self published, then collaborated with Mega Productions in order to get a distributor. Our goal was to be available on Amazon, Barnes Noble and Borders on a national level.

Have you found it difficult to get your book into the major book stores?

Not difficult, but it takes a lot of calling and setting up appointments. Our distributor has a sales team who have helped us with this process but we also had to make sales calls. We’ve been able to get our book placed in both Barnes and Borders, on a national basis. We’ve also been successful with independent booksellers across the country.

In your opinion, what’s contributed to your books success?

The recipes in our book work, and they are familiar to people, which really helps. I would say:

• Man Hours – Book Signings Every Weekend

• The Cover – It’s Approachable

• Easy to Read, and Easy to Follow

• Word of Mouth

• Timing – Due to the Economy, More People are Cooking

• Everyone Loves Italian!

Cooking Dinner is more than a collection of recipes… It’s a method to improve family participation and well being.

What’s the most important thing you’ve done as an author to promote your book?

• Personal Presence and Book Signings (I also feed who attend)

• Contracted with a PR firm to get booked on “View From the Bay” and other miscellaneous press

• Because it’s a cookbook, I partner with cooking stores to do demonstrations

• I try to diversify by offering focaccia bread mix packaged as a mix, as well as speaking events

What advice do you have for new authors like me? 

Having a platform or being an expert on something is very important. My co-author and I have a foundation through which we teach underserved kids how to cook. We are also well-known in the community for our cooking expertise and are sought after by local media which helps with publicity and exposure.

It is also important to look for ways to diversify. For instance, I partner with cooking stores to provide cooking demonstrations and they in turn sell my focaccia mix, as well as my book.

If you’re interested in writing your own book, The SF Writers Conference is where you want to be.  For details about the conference, go to

Read Between the Lines Goes to Hollywood!

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Love the necklace you saw Jennifer Anniston wearing last month?  How about those amazing heels Beyonce had on at the Golden Globes?  They could be wearing SWAG for all we know.

Lots of people want to wear what A-listers wear, travel where A-listers travel, and read what A-listers read.
Just in case you don’t know what SWAG is, it’s basically a bag of incredible goodies that companies give away to A-listers before big events like the Academy Awards and The Grammy’s.  Having a Hollywood A-lister wear or be photographed with your product is something that can boost sales and create buzz.  Before the economy melt down, it wasn’t uncommon for the contents of the SWAG bag to be valued over $100,000!

And, the super exciting news about the SWAG for the Academy Awards this year, is that thanks to one of my girlfriends, (THANK YOU EMMA!!) a copy of Read Between the Lines will be one of the items in the SWAG bag!  

What does this mean?  Because RBTL was selected as SWAG for the biggest Hollywood event of the year, I’ve been given the golden opportunity to showcase my book directly to 200 of the famously well heeled, media, and stars of all kinds who have received the “coveted invite” to load up on these incredible freebies!

Because Read Between the Lines will be “in the bag” with high-end quality products like alligator bags and swiss watches, I’ve decided to add some “Hollywood Bling” to the cover, and create a “Special Edition Academy Awards 2010 Cover” which will include a special design of Swarovski Crystals on the outside jacket.

WOOO HOOO – Hollywood, here we come!

RBTL Interviews Peggy Kennedy, Author of Approaching Neverland

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I’m very excited to hear Peggy Kennedy, the author of Approaching Neverland, speak  about becoming a newly published author at the upcoming San Francisco’s Writers Conference I’ll be attending on February 13th.

In fact, I was so excited, I decided to interview her!

A bit about her book: With brutal honesty and surprising humor, Peggy shares the turbulence of growing up under the shadow of Barbara’s illness, of being shuffled from one family member to the next, and of visiting her mother in the mental institution. As the years pass, the shadows of Barbara’s challenges become a loving legacy in Peggy’s quest to achieve happiness and fulfillment in her life.

A vivid, haunting portrayal of one woman’s struggle to understand how the past fits in with her future, Approaching Neverland is as inspiring as it is beautifully written, and will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

Here’s what Peggy had to say.

How did you get Approaching Neverland published?

Published in March 2009, Approaching Neverland got its start by winning first prize in the non-fiction category at the SF Writers Conference in 2008. From there, I went on to find a publisher, but to my surprise I still had a difficult time finding a “traditional” publisher, so I decided to use her 1st place prize from the conference and use iUniverse as my publisher.

What’s contributed to your books success?

Approaching Neverland has been both critically successful and publicly successful.  My sales are still going strong.  It’s vital to find a publicist that understands your book, your market, and how to get your message out.

What’s the most important thing you’ve done as an author to sell/promote your book?

Really, it’s been a combination of many things. Originally I started with personal contact with everyone I knew, which then went to word-of-mouth. I’ve also found it important to do as many speaking engagements as possible and I’m also sponsoring events that tie-in with the subject of my book, mental illness.

Is there anything you would do differently next time you write a book?

I would be more particular where I spend my money when it comes to Public Relations. It seems there a lot of people in the PR business, that tend to over promise and under deliver. Unfortunately, you usually don’t find out their value (or lack of) until it’s too late, and you’ve spent a lot of money. Some of the things I’ve done that I wouldn’t do next time are:

• Hire Public Relations individuals who don’t get results

• Pay to have my book at Book Fairs

• Putting an ad in RTIR – This is the Radio and Television Intel Report that I got zero results from

What advice do you have for new authors like me?

Stay focused and on track of your book sales. Social networking is a must, and look for natural tie-ins that work well with your product. For example, my books about mental health, so I target speaking opportunities that reveal my expertise, such as mental health conferences.

For more information about Approaching Neverland, please visit:

Come listen to Peggy speak at the SF Writers Conference on February 13, 2010.
For details about the conference, go to

Got Your Picture Yet?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Read Between the Lines needs your help!

Join RBTL Across America, and e-mail your picture(s) to

By doing so, your helping:

  • Witness the “Coming Out” of my book – which I can’t possibly do without you
  • Feel like I’m standing in your local store
  • Document RBTL’s placement in your favorite Barnes location
  • Assure me I’m not dreaming, that RBTL really did make it into all the Barnes  Noble stores across the country

If you’re not sure what “RBTL Across America” is, read my post from last week which explains everything you need to know.

Thanks again for all of your support – I really appreciate it!