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August so far

Posted on by MK Carroll

I've just gotten home from a 10 day whirlwind of travel, in which I spent a couple of days in Portland OR, a few days in Cleveland and in Troy, Ohio (stopping in Columbus), and then hopped back home through Cleveland and Portland again. It was a mix of work and play: 

Liliko'i (passionfruit) jelly, flanked by guava jam - homemade gifts for friends 

Liliko'i (passionfruit) jelly, flanked by guava jam - homemade gifts for friends 

Blueberries and peaches - nothing quite like a good, fresh, tree-ripened peach!

Blueberries and peaches - nothing quite like a good, fresh, tree-ripened peach!

Cooperative Press HQ: this was round 1 of mailing out  Stitching in the Stacks  pre-orders and returning many samples from the upcoming Fresh Designs Crochet series. 

Cooperative Press HQ: this was round 1 of mailing out Stitching in the Stacks pre-orders and returning many samples from the upcoming Fresh Designs Crochet series. 

  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams  are splendid indeed - I drove from Cleveland to Troy and then back again, stopping in Columbus for much-needed ice cream breaks in both directions. I dreamed about the roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream - it may be the best ice cream I've ever had, seriously.

 Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams are splendid indeed - I drove from Cleveland to Troy and then back again, stopping in Columbus for much-needed ice cream breaks in both directions. I dreamed about the roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream - it may be the best ice cream I've ever had, seriously.

 "Today two families are becoming one. No need to select a side, just select a seat." The trip to Troy was to help set up and celebrate a friends wedding - it was an amazing weekend!

 "Today two families are becoming one. No need to select a side, just select a seat." The trip to Troy was to help set up and celebrate a friends wedding - it was an amazing weekend!

Not to be left out, one of my PDX friends took me to  Ruby Jewel  for ice cream. The blueberry-basil is delicious!

Not to be left out, one of my PDX friends took me to Ruby Jewel for ice cream. The blueberry-basil is delicious!

After a week of travel, I was really craving some live culture sauerkraut. I ate the entire jar of  Olykraut  within 24 hours. 

After a week of travel, I was really craving some live culture sauerkraut. I ate the entire jar of Olykraut within 24 hours. 

Did I mention how much I love eating fresh blueberries? 

Did I mention how much I love eating fresh blueberries? 

And peaches? 

And peaches? 

There's so much more - like learning that Powell's Books will ship your books home for you for a flat fee (I paid $12.99 to Honolulu), if you spend a certain amount or number of books (please check with a Powell's staff member for the details). Back in June, I checked a second bag, filled with books and yarn, for my flight home. This time around, I had the books shipped. Easy peasy - and I didn't have to wrestle an armload of books out of the store!  There was the 600 page manuscript for a novel Cooperative Press very much wants to acquire that I stayed up late reading, two nights in a row, despite really needing to get some sleep. There was working alongside Shannon Okey, the incredibly hardworking heart and soul behind Cooperative Press (who also happens to be a blast to just hang out with). There was the hawk that dove towards my windshield and then veered off at the last moment. There was the honor of being part of a team helping to put together a wedding, a deeply heartfelt event with lots of handcrafting and teamwork (what a great way to kick off a marriage!), and of seeing a good friend the happiest and most radiant I've seen in the 20 years of our friendship. It's been a good month so far - now to try to get some sleep!

Market Yourself by Tara Swiger | On My Bookshelf

Posted on by MK Carroll

Market Yourself: A Marketing System for Smart + Creative Businesses


Cooperative Press, May 2012
Available as print or digital (PDF and ereader)

Full disclosure: I am part of the Cooperative Press team (although not involved with this book) and received an advance PDF copy.

In this book, we're going to take the noun marketing (which has a bad reputation for being slimy), and turn it into a verb, marketing, something do-able in a non-gross way.

I'm a speed-reader. It's not unusual for me to read 2 or 3 books per week, and what I love most about e-readers is that I can immediately pick up another book and start reading instead of having to wait until I get to a bookstore or get a book delivered in the mail. When I got the PDF of Market Yourself, I looked at the page count (169 pages) and figured I'd finish it in a day by reading it on my bus commute to and from my day job.

I was wrong. A week later, I'm still reading it, because I keep stopping and taking notes, printing out pages, and working through worksheets. What you need to do is straightforward (know who your "Right People" are, for example), but it can feel overwhelming. That's where this book went from being interesting to being gripping for me: Tara breaks all this down in a friendly, conversational way and provides worksheets and helpful tips (like "16 Questions To Help You Write A Douche-Free Bio" by Kelly Parkinson). There's still a lot of work that you need to do - this is not a book to pick up if you don't want to have to do some serious thinking - and it is laid out in a clear, helpful way. It's like knowing that you are going on a hike, and picking up this book means you have a checklist for the equipment you need, a map that shows you where you are and where you are going, and you know there will be clearly marked signs along the trail. That's a lot better than looking into the woods alone and wondering how to get through to the other side.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have another worksheet to fill out (Worksheet: Your Business Card), especially since I plan on going to Rhinebeck this year and need some new ones to hand out!