Many thanks to Maureen Miles Bucci for this wonderful testimonial of my work:
As a new author, my knowledge and contacts were limited and I was very uninformed with the process of publishing and utilizing social media to promote my book. I contacted Daria for some initial guidance and wound up hiring her on the spot. I am very pleased with her work and also impressed with her media savvy. She has placed my work on a level that I could not have achieved on my own.
Without giving away book spoilers, I’ll just note that life’s hardships often provide illumination and discernment in terms of relationships once considered genuine and true. In Snobby Girl, Maureen discusses friends who can’t find the motivation to pick up the phone and offer specific, meaningful help — like cooking a meal or cleaning the house. Yet, they’ll walk, walk, walk for the cure or click the “like” button on Facebook in support of whatever famous charity is posting. Or some will publicly ask for sympathy when they receive news of a friend’s cancer diagnosis, yet fail to provide that friend with practical assistance.
For example, Maureen notes in her book that previously innocuous tasks like slicing vegetables in preparation for a meal, or vacuuming the carpet add an element of danger for a cancer patient. Why? The chemo and radiation treatments take a toll on the body, rendering cancer fighters much more susceptible to cuts and bruises — and therefore, infections. Compounded by other symptoms like “chemo head,” fatigue, and nausea the everyday tasks we healthy people take for granted become difficult daily challenges. For many women coping with various female cancers, a friend who truly wants to help can best express that desire by cooking them a meal or two, offering to clean their house (or perhaps paying for a professional to do it), taking them out for some “retail therapy,” and/or driving them to a chemotherapy appointment when they’re feeling too exhausted to drive themselves.
And they ought to take the initiative to pick up the phone and offer specific help, versus the “Whatever I can do, just ask” platitude. Be proactive and use common sense. Life doesn’t stop for the person fighting cancer: laundry still needs to washed and folded, meals still must be cooked, pets still need to be fed and walked, lawns still need to be mowed, etc. etc. Whatever else you might do, please don’t treat your recently diagnosed friend like a leper. I was incredibly disappointed to discover there are people in the 21st century who actually believe cancer is contagious, and that many of Maureen’s so-called friends would actually move to a different pew in church (church!) to avoid sitting next to her! Unacceptable. And certainly un-Christian.
Yet when it comes to public declarations of “support,” these same folks will like, share, and post about how much they care about cancer on social media, along with photos of them walking for a cure.
I can definitely relate to Maureen’s experience, though (thanks to the grace of God) I’ve never dealt with a serious health issue. Many years ago, I worked for a non-profit in a health-related field. Among other things, my job involved organizing fundraisers and schmoozing the wealthy society ladies who donated money and time to these high-profile events. While I understand the need to raise money, it became evident to me rather quickly that these women were mostly concerned with having their pictures splashed all over the society page (with the camera capturing their best angle, of course), and attracting celebrity participants (with whom they could no doubt have a photo or two taken at the event).
Am I judging them for not caring about the patients this organization was serving? Of course not. I cannot get inside someone else’s heart and mind. But I can report that none of them to the best of my knowledge ever participated in actual programs this same charity conducted — programs involving interaction with real people suffering from the disease. I wonder now if any of these patients ever shared Maureen’s feelings.
While I applaud reputable charities for raising money for research and fully understand the need for fundraisers, my appeal here is that charity really does begin at home. By all means, walk for the cure. But if you want to take your charitable giving to the next level, why not donate your time by offering meaningful support to one woman coping with cancer (or any other debilitating disease)? For many people, it’s easy to write a check. Giving of your time and energy is a much bigger sacrifice but it also carries much more meaning for the person at the receiving end.
Call your friend and offer to do something specific and useful for her. We can’t help everyone but each of us can help someone. And that person will appreciate it more than they could ever express.
Although I originally broadcast this episode back in 2011, the advice is still relevant. It’s a delicate balance between budget, time, and expectations but if you’re going to make an impression and sell books as an independent author, social media is a necessary tool (in addition to “traditional” events like local speaking engagements). As someone who manages social media for individuals and businesses, it’s always a challenge to help authors understand its value when all they can see is the bottom line. I get it. You have limited resources and need to see a return on your investment asap. I wish we lived in a world where there was a direct correlation between effort (e.g. an appearance on a Blog Talk Radio show) and results (immediately following your interview you sell 100 books). Sadly, we don’t.
Then again, with traditional print advertising, there’s never been a guarantee that an ad costing X amount of dollars would directly result in X amount of sales. Either way, it’s a time commitment for the social media consultant hired to manage your blog and/or platforms so you can concentrate on the other more important obligations in your life — such as family and day job.
Anyway, I happened across the archived episode back when I was in a different business partnership. I hope it’s helpful for anyone curious about using social media platforms for success as an independent author. And let me close by adding I am very grateful to be in business with Lisa Tarves now!
Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with InspireMeChat on BlogTalkRadio
Today, an interview with American Journal’s very own Daria DiGiovanni, discussing her various and sundry roles as journalist, talk show host, and ghostwriter.
1. I guess the standard questions for the average writer should be asked first. Bare with me: “How do you get your ideas?” ”A writer, don’t you have a real job?” Feel free to insert any other dumb questions you’ve heard from the general populace.
DD: To me, life experience is the best source of ideas. My first novel is based on actual events not only in my life, but in the lives of people I’ve known, whether friends, family or acquaintances. Of course, the names have been changed to protect the innocent – ha!
As for the “real job,” I spent many years in the corporate world, mostly in the financial industry, in various capacities from corporate communications to marketing to community relations outreach to recruiting. One of my favorite positions was writing e-proposals for a company that specializes in digital marketing for the hospitality industry. That experience helped tremendously in honing my descriptive writing abilities to give the reader a full sensory experience of a particular place, character or plot point.
Even now, I provide social media services for a variety of clients including authors and small businesses. Among other things, this involves setting up blogs, managing social media platforms, providing content, and navigating through the independent publishing process.
Dawn has been writing for 20 years, however she began Food Writing in 2010 after being dared – yes, dared – to write a Review for a Local Magazine. Thus began her “Story” of Dining Out. With a background in Film, Creative Writing, and Media, Dawn’s passion always comes down to words. She believes the power of words and story can transcend simplicity and create extraordinary. Having dined all around the world ignited something within: 4 Continents and 17 Countries later, every plate has a history and more importantly – a voice. Dawn’s approach to dining out is not simply to critique the food. She believes that the Entire Dining Experience should be unforgettable from decor and ambiance to food and service.
With a deep love of Art, Photography, Food, Wine, Hotels, and Travel, “ATOD Magazine: A Taste of Dawn” was created to help readers find a unique (and honest) guide to Restaurants, Visionaries, Artists, Hotels, Chefs, and Events around the globe:
“My pen is my voice. The keyboard my outlet. I have been writing since I picked up my first pencil. Words are my refuge. I can be anyone I want, I can speak without restriction, I can be bold. I have two 13-gallon bins filled with random things I’ve written since I was 12. I write about the things I am passionate about. The world, eating, breathing, art, photography, film, injustice. Writing is my oxygen. It nurtures my soul. As to how my journey began with ATOD, well – dining out has always been a phenomena to me. It’s extraordinary!
Eating out when we were kids was an absolute TREAT! We would get so excited if we knew we were going to a restaurant. Something about knowing we could order whatever we wanted seemed like Christmas come early. As we get older, ‘Eating Out’ takes on an entirely different meaning. Food becomes our escape, a memory made or shared with friends and people we love, it becomes the catalyst in an important business meeting, or even the excuse we need to have a little abandon. However I believe there is still a kid within us all. The little voice that sees a menu and secretly gets excited that the possibilities are endless and our saving grace is, we actually know what’s good. Eating out is simply life’s way of presenting us with yet another reason to engage our senses.
I suppose it was a natural evolution that I began writing about art in every form. It just seemed inevitable.”
There’s so much to discuss with such a multi-talented, inspirational guest as Dawn, so I hope you’ll call in to the program at (347) 945-7246 if you would like to pose a question to Dawn about her career, her company and her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you’re seeking motivation from someone who’s worked hard and smart to achieve her dreams, this is the show for you!
You can listen live via your computer by clicking on this link to Writestream Tuesday with A Taste of Dawn, or listen by phone at (347) 945-7246. Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday, December 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern!