Archive for the ‘Promotion’ Category

I’ve always been a super-achiever, or at least I’ve tried to be.

I earned more badges as a Girl Scout than fit on the front of my sash that I proudly wore. But I failed at one thing I was expected to do every year. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t sell those cookies! Eventually the frustration and shame I felt caused me to quit Girl Scouts.

Some people have the gift of being able to sell anything. They never lack for ideas and even have fun implementing them. I’m NOT one of them! But I’ve learned and am continuing to learn how to sell what I believe in.

Today being a good writer isn’t enough. Writers need to be equally good at marketing. Without that “platform” that causes most writers to cringe, landing a traditional publisher is likely not to happen. We can choose to go indie, but without a platform the sales record of far too many indie authors is dismal. Sadly, the message God has entrusted to them does not reach the audience that needs to read their book.

But there is hope!

Do you need proven methods to make your next book launch more successful? Then I want to tell you about a webinar I’m co-hosting with marketing guru, Thomas Umstattd Jr. In the webinar, you’ll learn proven principles and methods to help your next book launch go off with a bang. Then, at the end of the webinar, Thomas Umstattd Jr. and I will answer your book launch questions. 

Webinar Details

Topic: Book Launch Secrets

Hosted By: Marlene Bagnull and Thomas Umstattd Jr. 

When: Monday, March 28, 5 pm ET (4 CT, 3 MT, 2 PT)

Registration Link: Click here

Cost: Free!

Replay? Yes, but only if you register. 

I’ve known Thomas for many years and have been blessed to have him serve on the faculty of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Thomas has helped authors successfully launch books for over a decade. He hosts Novel Marketing, the longest-running book marketing podcast in the world.

I want to encourage you not to miss the March 28 seminar. If you can’t make it to the live seminar, you can watch the replay but, again, only if you register.

Father, thank You for Thomas. Thank You for gifting him to teach us the skills we need to effectively launch the books You have called us to write.

Book Launch Secrets with Thomas Umstaddt Jr.
March 28, 5 pm ET, 4 CT, 3 MT, 2 PT

And check out 
Book Launch Blueprint – 28 Days to a Custom Book Launch Plan.
Registration closes April 8 for this course that is offered only once a year.
Amanda Tero says, “My sales rose 542% after taking the course.”

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Thinking on my feet was never one of my strong points.

I remember my very first television interview for the book that accumulated 42 rejection slips over the six years I worked to find a home for it. When the invite came to be live on TBN, I was more panicked than excited. I made my list of ten interview questions as requested and tried to memorize my answers. I even did a practice interview with a friend.

I was beyond nervous when I arrived at the studio. Seeing the circular staircase I would need to walk down to get on the set didn’t help. PTL I didn’t fall down the stairs, but my mouth fell open and my mind went blank when I was asked:

Why did you write this book?

I remember my mind racing and my frantic prayer. “God, help! That wasn’t one of the questions!”

I don’t remember what I answered, but the next 30 minutes flew by. To my amazement I was asked to come back the next time I was on the west coast.

Why am I sharing this story? Because it’s critical that we know the why as well as the who, what, when, and why of what we’re writing.

Who is our audience. What need are we addressing. When and WHY nd where of what we are writing.

ho, what, when, and why I don’t want you to have the same experience Friday, June 25, during the Author’s Night at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference when Eric Sprinkle and Darcie Gudger ask you why you wrote your book – why people need to read it.

Eric will have the timer set on his iPhone, so you won’t have time to mentally rehearse what you want to say or to ramble as you think out loud.

So be prepared! It’s amazing how thinking ahead, and especially praying ahead, relieves anxiety. And the bottom line is I guarantee you will enjoy our Author’s Night. Hopefully you will also get orders for an autographed copy of your book.

We did a lot of thinking and praying about how to make it possible for you to sell your book at our VIRTUAL conference. PTL we’ve found a way to make it work. To find out what you need to do ASAP if you’re planning on coming to the conference and have a book to sell, go to “Selling Your Book” at https://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

I’d love to see you, and your book, June 24-26.
Now glory be to God,
who by his mighty power at work within us
is able to do far more than
we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—
infinitely beyond our highest prayers,
desires, thoughts, or hopes. 
Ephesians 3:20 TLB

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Guest Blogger
Patricia Durgin
Marketers with a Mission

Your greatest gift to your audience is your message. God entrusted you with a vision of what your audience’s life can be like, and He planted that vision within your message. Think of it as a roadmap.

They need you to be their guide. You know the hidden trails not shown on the map. The secret passageways. How to escape the Scary Forest.

You know the way because you once faced the same peril or challenge your audience faces today, and Christ—who is THE Map—guided you to safety. Then He invited you to share His Good News through your message, which is really His message in yours.

You accepted, and you’ve written a book, or you have one in mind. How will it reach your audience? You must take it to them, for they won’t come to you for it. How could they? They don’t yet know that yours is the message they seek.

Would you sacrifice your comfort to reach your target market for Jesus?

I invite you to consider public speaking as the single most effective tool to reach your audience in real life. To gather them round you and assure them that yes, there is hope, and its name is Jesus. That’s Christian communication at its best!

This hope is shaped surprisingly like your audience’s needs. Perhaps they’re in an unhealthy relationship and you’ve been delivered from one. Or their children have special needs and you’re able to maneuver through the insurance maze. Maybe they long to travel and you’ve ridden across the country on a motorcycle.

Whatever their challenge, you know the path that can lead them from where they are to where they want to be, because God first led you down that same trail, and then invited you to turn back and lead others into His light. What a privilege! What a responsibility!

But your message will never reach beyond your local circle of friends and family if you don’t step into the unknown. Your audience is waiting for YOU to find THEM.

Perhaps you’re working to reach your audience online. Great idea! I specialize in online marketing, so I love it.

But online marketing is the long game. Does your audience—and your writing career—have time to wait?

Public speaking is the short game. Create an event. Deliver your life-giving message. Return home and repeat as desired.

This Friday, November 1st, the Speakers QuickStart online course will open for enrollment. It’s designed to help Christian writers and speakers without any / many followers build their audience in real life, via live events.

As your audience grows offline, invite them to join you online, too, thus growing your online platform (which publishers require).   

Instead of waiting to be “discovered” and invited to speak elsewhere, help your audience “discover” you…by hosting your own events. We’ll show you how inside the course.

(Note this is not for those who already have a large following, but rather for those who enjoy intimate get-togethers or small group settings and would like to grow from there.) 

With each presentation, your message will become tighter, more effective. You’ll be acknowledged as an expert. And as your offline followers join you online, your platform will finally gain traction. More of your books will sell in both arenas.

All because you stepped out of your comfort zone to serve your audience as God’s representative.

If you’d like to find out more about how speaking can help you reach your writing goals, I invite you to join the Speakers QuickStart 14-Day Challenge private Facebook group for Christian writers and speakers.

Join the group to learn more about the course. Stay to learn more about marketing (our main focus).

Compassion for hurting people drives us to serve in ways and in places we normally wouldn’t consider. Will you dare to step out of your comfort zone by hosting small gatherings so your audience can hear God’s Good News?

Join us now in the Facebook group: https://marketersonamission.com/challenge/

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Don’t miss out! If you’re still undecided about attending this year’s Colorado Christian Writers Conference, here’s one more reason to join us:

*Special Bonus! Everyone attending either of Dick Bruso’s workshops (descriptions shown below) will be given a complimentary 30-minute, post-conference, one-on-one phone consultation with Dick to help further their writing and speaking endeavors.

“Create a Best-Seller Brand” (May 17th, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.)

Come learn how to develop a unique and enduring brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career. You will discover how you can bring absolute focus, clarity and life to both your work and your brand.

 “Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach” (May, 17th, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.)

Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources and tools. Learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking and building a solid and professional platform.

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Feb banner

Looking to overcome winter doldrums and jumpstart this year’s writing?

A brand-new conference is coming up quickly this February 9-10 (Friday/Saturday) in Lansdale, PA (just off the north/south PA Turnpike) at Towamencin Mennonite Church (Friday afternoon) and Dock Mennonite Academy (Friday evening and all day Saturday). Friday night lodging at the Holiday Inn is $89 plus tax with roommate matching available to split the cost with one, two, or three other writers.

A small but highly qualified faculty will provide three inspiring keynotes, valuable 20-minute paid critiques and marketing consultations, a “Build Your Platform Panel,” and in-depth teaching.

Sarah Bolme, teaching a 4-hour learning lab Friday afternoon on Going Indie. Sarah is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace and the director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Karen Ball, teaching a 3-hour session on Taming Fiction Dragons. In her more than 30 years in publishing, Karen has built fiction lines for major publishers and worked with some of the best authors, including Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury.

Bill Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on Writing that Changes Lives. In his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with authors such as Mike Huckabee, Charles Swindoll, and Josh McDowell. He is an award-winning author of 7 books and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.

Jim Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on The Five Rs of Nonfiction. Jim is an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. He has spoken across the United States and overseas.

Karen Whiting, teaching a 3-hour session on Developing a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book. Karen is a freelance writer and award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books.

Feb flyer for webFriday evening,  in addition to Bill Watkins’ keynote, Christians Are Hateful – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians, includes author interviews and a book signing. Bring your book(s) to sell and sign.

Click here for the conference flyer.

And for more info and to register click here.

Conference Bonus:

An extra bonus for conferees is to attend and participate in the Munce Christian Product Exposition (CPE) February 11-13 at Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA.

Munce, the largest association of independent Christian bookstores in North America, holds two CPEs each year, the second in Nashville, TN, in the fall.

It is a real privilege to come and interact with 100+ bookstore owners. Karen Whiting will do a special training at the CPE in how to make the most of this exciting opportunity including: 

1. There are several limited spots open to sign complimentary copies of books for retailers at the Sunday afternoon (4:30 – 5:30) author personality event. Authors need to provide 50-80 copies of their book to give retailers. This is a great opportunity to get your book in the hands of retailers who might choose to carry the book, or have you come to their store for an event. You can include your speaker one sheet, bookmarks, and other promotional materials.

2. Experience a book trade show. The exhibit floor is open on Monday and Tuesday plus there are workshops on marketing and other retail topics. You’ll see the latest in products and have the opportunity to talk to retailers and sales reps (you cannot interrupt the sales happening between retailers and sales people).

Click here for the schedule. If you’re interested in attending, email Karen at authorkarenwhiting@gmail.com.

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It used to be the biggest challenge writers faced was getting words down on paper and finding someone willing to publish them. That still is a challenge, but today it’s just the beginning of what a writer is expected to do.


Writing not facebookingNow we daily face the overwhelming task of building a platform. The time needed to write words worth reading is infringed upon by the need to have a growing presence on social media. We are driven to develop our “brand” along with a memorable tagline that will resonate with our “audience.”

I confess it’s all too easy for me to get caught up in this not so merry, merry-go-round.


Last week I spent a day and a half preparing a new flyer for the August 3-6 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. One side is an overview of the conference and highlights the concert my friend, Marty Goetz, is giving on Wednesday night.

Marty poster for web


The other side describes our exciting Teens Write on Thursday and Pastors Write on Friday.


TW & PW flyer GP 2016 for web


I am excited about all this year’s conference offers. And I do work really hard to present the opportunities in the most professional and best way possible. I even added a new Spread the Word page to the conference website. But sadly, in my effort to “market” the conference, I am convicted that I forgot the most important thing.


The 3-1/2 day conference in August does provide many opportunities to learn about the craft of writing and marketing, but it is the message – “His answer” – that is the most important Word that needs to be spread.


As Michael Gantt said in his keynote at last year’s conference and this year’s  Colorado Christian Writers Conference, “The Cross is the Main Thing.” I urge you to watch the video of his keynote and/or read the transcript.  I also urge you to subscribe to his blog at http://growinggodlyseed.com.


Yes, I’d really appreciate your help spreading the word about the August 3-6 conference, but the most important thing each one of us can and must do is to spread His Word, His answer.


Again, quoting Michael Gantt from the blog he posted today:

We are called to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven. We are called to magnify and glorify the matchless Name of Jesus. We are called to declare deliverance to the captives, healing to the broken, and to declare that forgiveness of sin is found in none other than Jesus Christ. We are called to bring the light of the gospel to our cities; to bind up the broken, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to declare even in the face of Caesar the eternal decrees of God – That’s what we are called to do!

Yes, indeed, that is the Word we are called to spread. God help us to be found faithful.

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Have you ever said, “If only someone would sit beside me and help me figure this out”?

I have! All too often I am overwhelmed by the learning curve. I’d love to be able to sit in all of the clinics at the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, but I’m too busy directing the conference. The clinics aren’t recorded so I can’t listen to them after the conference. Even if they were available on CD, it wouldn’t be the same as being there and getting help with my projects and questions. And I do need help!


Karen Whiting from FB 3Develop a Unique Marketing Plan for Your Book with Karen Whiting
I know I’ve not done a good job marketing my books. That’s sad. My Turn to Care – Encouragement for Caregivers of Aging Parents is a needed devotional book. For Better for Worse – Devotional Thoughts for Married Couples is also needed but it’s out of print the same as two other books I worked so hard to publish. I need to get them back in print, but what I really need first is time with Karen Whiting to develop marketing plans that will work. Vicki Chandler, a clinic participant, says, “In three days, Karen helped me create a detailed marketing plan. She’s the Michelangelo of marketing.” You can read more about Vicki’s experience in Karen’s clinic at http://bit.ly/1K0EL7z.

Get Them Coming to Your  Blog/WebsiteMegan Breedlove cr
with Megan Breedlove
I spend a lot of time on blog posts and my three websites but not near enough time on learning the secrets of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and choosing (and using) effective keywords. I need the help Megan is going to provide. See Megan’s post, “How Do I Get to Be #1 on Google?” at http://bit.ly/1KXn9fR.

Jeanette WindleHook that Editor Book Proposal Clinic
with Jeanette Windle
Writing a book proposal is not fun or easy! Although I have written proposals that have resulted in contracts, I know Jeanette’s input would strengthen my proposals. And unlike the other clinics, I’d only need to miss three workshops to attend the nonfiction or fiction clinic. Jeanette is an award-winning novelist, missions journalist, editor, and collaborative writer. She represents Kregel Publications.

Fiction Intensive
with Nancy RueNancy Rue 2014
Someday I’m going to write a novel. When I do, there is nobody’s help I would value more than Nancy’s. I’ve never forgotten the day long clinic with Nancy that I sat in on over ten years ago. Wow! Christy Distler, one of last year’s participants, says it better than I can: “Nancy has a wonderful way of connecting with each writer she works with, her feedback is honest and yet kind, and her sense of humor makes the classes not only enlightening but also a fun fellowship with other writers.”


For more information about GPCWC’s cliics and the needed application go to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/clinics. And do it now. The deadline for applying is July 15. And if you’ve not yet registered for the conference, I encourage you to do so before the late fee (I call it “the procrastinator’s fee”) kicks in July 16.

Banner 2015 GPCWC

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Megan Breedlove
How Do I Get to Be #1 on Google?
(And Why Do I Care?)
(Especially If I’m Not a Techie?)

Guest post by Megan Breedlove

We’ve all used Google to search for something.  You know how it works: you type in what you’re looking for, and Google comes up with a list of results.  Then you ignore the first several results and seek out the less popular ones….

Wait a minute; that’s not how it works!  Of course you are more likely to click on the #1 Google result, or at least one of the results on the first page.  Why?  Because you know that one of those is most likely to meet your needs.

Have you ever wondered how those particular websites make it up to #1 on Google so that they can get clicked on thousands or even millions of times?  Then this clinic is right for you!

But I’m not a huge company like IBM, you might be thinking.  I can never be #1 on Google.

Fortunately, you are mistaken!  Even writers with less than billion-dollar advertising budgets can increase their Google ranking, thereby making their sites more likely to get clicked on and drawing more traffic to their sites.

Whether or not you have an actual product to sell, you want your website—you need your website—to be right on up there in the Google rankings.  Why?  So that people can find your work—and so that publishers will know you have people paying attention to you.

You see, if your writing is good, but you have no “platform”—in other words, your web presence is relatively invisible—you may or may not get a contract.  But if your writing is good, and you have a visible web presence (that all-important “platform” again), you have a much better chance of a publishing house’s wanting to acquire your work.

When God gives us a message He wants us to get out, it’s true that He will help us spread the word.  But we have to be doing our best to work along with Him.

Attending this clinic is one of the ways to do that.  In the six hour-long sessions, you will be taught everything you need to know to get started on making your web presence more visible.  (Those who sign up for the clinic will also be able to contact me even after the conference is over in case they have further questions.)

What if you’re not a techie?  No problem!  We will start with the basics, and you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions.  We’ll also give each person’s site individual attention in class, so that you can get a variety of perspectives from potential readers, as well as my instruction and advice.

If you’re not yet #1 on Google, you still have opportunity to increase your ranking.  Come to the clinic and learn how!

For more info about Megan’s clinic, “Get Them Coming to Your Blog/Website” at the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference click here.

Megan is an author, speaker, and website consultant whose website for more than four years has held one of the top two spots in Google search terms that receive thousands of hits each month. She is the author of Manna for Moms, Well Done Good and Faithful Mommy, and Chaotic Joy, all from Regal. Megan has also written for several magazines and websites, including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine, ChristianDevotions.us, DevoKids.com, and The Voice of Grace and Truth newspaper. Her website, www.MannaForMoms.com, offers weekly devotions for moms and receives thousands of hits each month. In addition to her writing and speaking to encourage moms, Megan works with Christian authors and ministries to help them improve their platforms so that they too can get their message out to the world.

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Karen Whiting from FB 3Always Think Marketing

Guest post by
Karen Whiting


Marketing should begin before you write your proposal and continue through long after the book’s release. When you first have an idea that’s the time to think how you can grab the attention of readers.

Example: With my first book, on finger puppets, I thought of how I could use it in teaching puppetry at regional festivals and what might get vendors who carry books to purchase it. I brainstormed jingles and phrases and came up with I incorporated into the proposal, “Let your fingers do the teaching.” That ended up on the back cover of the book.

Results: I applied and got on faculty at a puppet festival. As I taught there, another person on the faculty loved what I did and said she wanted to take the book with her on a 60-city tour where she was teaching Sunday School leaders. I gave her sample puppets too. A vendor who chose to carry the book told me he did Sunday school conventions and ministry conventions all over the country. That launched the book.

So how do you think marketing? Think in each direction that marketing reaches readers:

  1. Media – Think of short pitches that would interest a listening audience. They like humor, stories, and tips. What are the stories behind your book or in it? What did you learn that could be put into 3 top tips?
  1. Speaking – What topics can you fit into a 45-minute talk or workshop? I wrote a book on time management and that can sound a bit boring. But, I used principles from creation and decided to title a workshop, Created for purpose and beauty. That grabs attention better, as it gives hope and meeting planners can see how they can add in some fun, like including a fashion show or flower arranging as a side workshop.
  1. Articles and blog posts – What are some key ideas you want to convey to your audience? Those are ones to build articles on that relate to the book. So, for my time book I’ve done articles on accountability partners, get out of time debt, different time zones (personality and time), etc. Some expanded on ones I only used in sidebars of tips while others reinforced a larger section of the book.
  1. Social networking – As you write the book, can you sum up what you cover each day? The summaries could make great tweets. Can you jot down a few lines related to what you thought as you wrote? These could be blog posts or short FB post.Whiting Nature Girl
  1. Print – This includes freebies on your website, handouts, promotional material, etc. As you envision your idea, what do you see? These images can be great to capture for print. Can you create a handout of what you’d cover in a daylong or weekend retreat? These would be good for flyers for meeting planners. I created one on last year’s release (Nature Girl) for scout leaders. Last month I transformed it a bit for camp directors and did a mass mailing to Christian camps with the handout plus a few supplies for doing activities in the book. Next month I’ll put it on my website as a free handout. I created a fun quiz for a time I would be at a bookstore Mother’s Day weekend. It was part of launching a book for women and I did a quiz on a man’s laundry personality. The men loved the quiz, laughed, and I sold a ton of books that day.

I love helping others brainstorm and think  of unique ways to market their books and catchy phrases to use as a basis of marketing. Ideas are limitless!


Thanks, Karen, for sharing such great ideas. You really are the “idea queen.” I’m so glad to have you on faculty at both the May 13-16 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

Among other things, Karen is offering a 30 minute paid consultation to “Develop a Unique Marketing Plan for Your Book.”  She will help you create realistic and workable plans to reach your audience building on your strengths. To learn more about Karen visit her website at www.karenwhiting.com.

Karen is the queen of creativity, the master at innovative ideas, and an expert
in transforming an insight into a tangible and powerful marketing tool.
During a recent writer’s conference, I attended her marketing sessions.
As we sat in a circle, she took the focus of each book,
gave each author ideas, examples, and practical steps to market each book.
They all evoked an “Ah!” from the participants.
The skill Karen has to craft a powerful marketing tool
from a mere concept is a gift few possess.

Janet Perez Eckles
Author & International Speaker

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Dianne E. Butts 1-2011Guest writer
Dianne Butts

Hello CCWC fans! If you’ve attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference or the Philly conference last summer, you’ve no doubt seen me around or taken one of my workshops.

I have something new going that I want to share with you. I will be teaching my very first Webinar, “Blog-Plosion,” this Tuesday, February 3, in the evening!

This is actually a spin off of the workshop I taught at CCWC last spring, “Social Marketing for the Techno-Challenged.” In this 2-hour webinar I will be sharing how I took my brand new blog to 65,000+ page views per months in only a few months. And my readership is still growing.

In this Webinar I will share all the strategies and techniques I used to gain readers FAST.

My Bible Prophecies Fulfilled blog, which talks about not only Bible prophecy but Jesus as the Savior, is getting hundreds of re-Tweets and shares, and I’m getting messages and questions from people all around the world. I’m having discussions with people all over the world–including Muslims and atheists. I know the Lord is using my blog-ministry in Ephesians 3:20 ways.

Learn how I’m doing it and how you can do it too. Would you like to grow your platform fast? Sign up now!

The webinar is coming in only a few days so if you’re interested sign up today. Here’s the info:

Set of multicolored big buttons made of glass or plastic with metallic borders

“Blog-Plosion!” Webinar by Dianne E. Butts.
Hosted by Linda Evans Shepherd

LINK: http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/14267/cfde5e5001

WHEN:  Tuesday evening, February 3, 2015
9:00 pm Eastern Time
8:00 pm Central
7:00 pm Mountain
6:00 pm Pacific

Can’t make it? This Webinar will be recorded so if you sign up, you’ll be able to watch it later even if you can’t attend it live.

WHERE:  Blog-Plosion Webinar Sign Up Page

HOW MUCH?: $19.99

You should receive an auto-responder email telling you when and how to log in to the seminar.
You will receive two handouts with this class.

Please use the Share button on the webinar page to share with your friends and contacts. Thank you.

Again, I’m very excited to have this opportunity to teach and to share how I’m making an impact in this world through my blog. If I can do it, so can you! I do hope you’ll join us Tuesday evening!

P.S. from Marlene – I’ve signed up. I encourage you to sign up, too!

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