February 24, 2017

A Local Author Fair Experience


Writing a book was hard but promoting a book seems to be much harder. There are many ways  that you can spend money on various book promotional channels, however I would like to share with you a FREE way to get some publicity and potential book sales.
 
Recently I participated in a Local Author Fair that was sponsored by my public library. Over the last few years the Carmel Clay Public Library plans and sponsors a book fair for local authors. The origin of this program grew over time as requests from individual authors to host book launching events increased. Then someone at the library had the idea that wouldn't it be better to consolidate all of the local authors in one place, at one time and then publicize the event. Next came the issue of picking a good month to hold this event. The library chose December, which as we know, is a good time to sell books as a Christmas gift for that special book lover. Nice.

The Author Fair was held in a large community room that was close to the main library entrance. Each local author had a table, name tag, and two chairs provided by the library. The library also ran advertisements in the local paper in the weeks prior to the event. The cost to the authors for all of this, FREE! How cool is that. The mechanics of entering were pretty simple. The author had to fill out a library form that had the book title, genre, synopsis, and proof that you lived in the district that the library serves. You also had to provide the library with a copy of  your book for them  to review. The book would be returned at the book fair
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The event I attended hosted approximately 30 local authors. The fair lasted for three hours. There was a good mix of fiction and non-fiction books being showcased by their authors. During the event a steady flow of library patrons and book customers roamed the room.  I would guess about 200 to 250 people attended with a bigger crowd earlier in the day. I autographed my first book at this fair! That was pretty cool. I also had a laptop which had a kindle version of my book displayed in case someone wanted to purchase a digital copy. Besides the customer interaction, it was really nice to meet and greet other local authors.

If your library has a new author program make sure to participate. If the library does not have one, I would suggest that you have a discussion with the library board about sponsoring a local author fair in your area.  Everybody wins from a local author fair. It was a win for the local authors who were able to meet book loving customers at the library. It was a win for the library patrons who were able to chat and purchase autographed copies of books.  Finally it was a win for the library by providing a great service to the community.


I can't wait until the next Local Author Book Fair.

February 17, 2017

SPRING BREAK or JOB SEARCH



You’ve all but finished your degree, now it’s time to celebrate, right? Well, briefly.  Then it’s time to search for your job. Of course, there are exceptions like accepting a job before spring break or heading to graduate school straight after you receive that golden diploma. However, most college seniors should really be hitting the job quest at full speed during and after the university’s spring break.

Why you ask? Why indeed. You see most companies, during the spring break timeframe, are focused on selecting, interviewing and making job offers to new college graduates. Businesses are on a timeline with the goal of starting their new hires quickly after they graduate in the spring, usually with a June start date.

A second reason for starting the search early is that the job hunt process is very time consuming. There is more to the search process than just lining up a few interviews with the university career service center. Just for fun check out some of the online job databases that exist. Enter in the job you are looking for and see what info comes back from the search. Usually the pile of data to search through is massive, very time consuming and many times disappointing because the job applications may require 6 months of experience. Another reason to start your search process early is that it will give you time to  research the job market. By researching you can find out who is hiring, what states are hiring people in your career type, what the salaries look like for your job by state and more. To learn more about job research check out this article, Finding 2017 Job Openings .

What about updating your resume? Don't bother. Begin to work on your resume after you have found some open job positions. Crafting a resume before you have found a position is usually a waste of time. Why? Because every resume you use to apply for a job will need to be customized to the position being offered. If it is not, then the resume will have a high probability of being rejected. An added plus to waiting on refining your resume is it will be easier when you have the job requirements and can tailor your skill definitions to the wording on the requisition.

If you are still going on Spring Break there are a few things you can do on the beach. Invest some time in looking at job or employment blog sites for advice. Remember that you are not the first person to look for a job after graduating. Purchase some books and read them for tips and suggestions on how to land a job in today’s environment. I mean seriously, you have read how many hundreds of books and spent untold thousands of dollars on your education journey, don’t stop now. They may be just what you need to find your path toward landing the job you want.

OK, now you can slather on the sunscreen, turn on some Jimmy Buffet, adjust your sun glasses and begin the job quest.

February 13, 2017

Trump, Job Market, & You


Let me start out by saying that this article is not a political piece. This article's intent is to demonstrate how following the current news can help you locate potential areas for employment. So what do President Trump, the job market and you have in common? Let's explore that question a little bit.

Unless you have been living under a rock, since Trump has been on his "bring our jobs back home" bandwagon, it seems that every day some new corporation is announcing how they are creating new US jobs. General Motors pledged to invest $1 Billion in Michigan on their auto operations. Hyundai upped the ante by saying they would invest $3 Billion in their Georgia and Alabama plants. Ford Motors also jumped on the bandwagon. I know you are saying that all of this is great for the auto-industry but you have a degree in education. Now this is where you need to think BEYOND the headlines. For example if the auto manufacturers are dropping over $4 Billion, one more time, over $4 Billion, who will directly and indirectly benefit from these investments? Direct new jobs may occur in professions like engineering, material logistics, construction, project management, human resources, training, quality assurance, first line management positions and much more.

INDIRECT jobs from these massive investments could include school teachers. How? Because the workforce that these projects require will employ workers who have or will have families. The children will need to go to school and new teachers will be needed for the new flood of students. Real Estate firms may need to hire new employees to help them sell new homes and condos to this new influx of workers. Other professions such as doctors and nurses may also be required to fill the needs of the new wave of workers.

Simply put, follow the money and new jobs are likely to be found, not only within the corporations mentioned in the news but also in all of the indirect jobs that are created when large infrastructures are built. Let's talk about some other companies in the news. BayerAG & Monsanto pledged to create 3,000 new jobs if a merger between the two is approved. Sprint said it will hire 5,000 new associates. Intel will hire 3,000 associates and build a $7 Billion dollar facility called the Fab 42 plant in Arizona. Let's not overlook the energy sector which is full of pipelines, wind, coal and natural gas projects.

What are these companies doing? They are probably trying to curry favor with President Trump. However for you, the person on a job quest, these news headlines are brilliant billboard signs flashing to get your attention and direct your job search. Keep watching the news as I'm sure new job announcements will continue to occur.  Finally, remember that finding companies that are hiring is like finding a needle in a haystack. But luckily for you this year, some firms are shining a spotlight on themselves, so don't miss out, these are indeed strange times, but in a very good way for job seekers.