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Happy Holidays!

As the holidays approach, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog and sharing your comments.

I'm going to take a brief break to celebrate with my family and friends, and I'll be back with new entries in 2009.

I hope that the holidays and the New Year find you happy, healthy and successful!

Tips to Save Money and Have Holiday Fun with Your Children

As the holidays grow close, there are several ways you can save money while still having fun and providing some special holiday surprises for your children. Here are my quick tips:

· Make a list.

Write a list with the names of everyone you need to shop for and the price limit per person. Kids can have lots of fun helping you find bargains if you can give them specific directions (“find a blue t-shirt, size medium, for under $5”).

· Do a cookie exchange.

Find some other parents who would be interested in a cookie exchange and let your children pick the recipe. This way, you can cook together, share what you’ve made and have a variety of cookies to offer guests who come for the holidays.

· Make your own wreaths or garlands.

If you have any bushes or trees with suitable branches, give the kids some clippers and a plastic shopping bag and have them fill it with trimmings. Use green wire (at craft stores and dollar stores) to hook the clippings together and hang the finished product on the mantel or front door.

· Shop as early as possible.

It’s a little late for this year, but prepare for next Christmas by doing all of your shopping at the after-Christmas sales. I buy all gifts for all holidays at once, wrap them and store them in the basement.

These are just a few quick tips from one business mother to another. If you have other suggestions, please let me know. Also, if you have questions about marketing your self-published books, please comment below or send me an e-mail. Thanks!

How to Flourish in a Tough Economy as a Writer

If your workload is slow due to economic changes, there are several things you can do to build buzz, boost sales and grow:

Enter Writing Contests.
There are numerous contests going on at various times of the year for writers. To start, conduct an online search for “writing contests.” Here are a few to start with:

You’ll get some great exposure if you win, but even if you don’t, the contest will give you time to practice and upgrade your writing skills.

Share Your Personal Experiences and Tips.
If you are struggling with economic conditions like everyone else, you may want to share your personal experiences and/or tips with others via blog entries, social media sites, articles, and more. Contact various publications and ask to write articles, blog entries, and more at no charge.

Not only will you be able to share your frustrations and get some free publicity, but you may be able to help others get through their current career and financial problems.

Take a Class.
With a slower schedule, it may be the perfect time to take a writing or business course to improve your skills. Check your local community center, college, library, and various business associations for educational programs.

You’ll be able to improve your writing, meet new friends and learn valuable tips to help boost your attitude and career. You may even want to take a class just to relax or start a new hobby like yoga, knitting, swimming, or scrap-booking.

And if you can’t find a class, offer to teach one. Focus on your area of expertise and share your knowledge with others!

Just because things are slow, it’s not the time to reduce your networking efforts. In fact, start attending more events and meetings. You’ll learn new things, meet interesting people and talk to other writers who can help you discover opportunities you may not find on your own.

Instead of waiting for things to change, use this down time to prepare for the future. Share your experiences, improve your skills, meet interesting people, and enjoy new hobbies.

You’ll not only have a more positive attitude, but you’ll see things start to move in a better direction filled with hope and opportunity!

If you’d like help selling your self-published work, just let me know here or at I’d love to hear from you!