Quiet, but Busy: Bookmaking

I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been busy! I’m in the process of making another book – not writing one, mind you. I’m still working on my existing projects, so it wouldn’t make sense to pick up a new project at this point. I have two existing manuscripts, as well as a ghostwriting project to finish before starting a new one. Therefore, I have to keep my idea file on the back burner . . . as difficult as that is right now. Each spring my mind always awakens with new and exciting ideas. Anyway, back to the point of the post – bookmaking!

I’m working on a sample (or a final listing – I can’t decide yet) for an envelope book I’d like to add to my collection. In addition to envelopes, of course, it also contains an assortment of papers, punches, and other goodies. Here is the beginnings of the book:

I started off with what I call the “whites” of the book. During the stage, I don’t look at the patterns of the papers at all because I’m just making cuts and measurements. Then, I sort all the stacks out:


I started (with two of my kitties by my side) by choosing an envelope, taking it apart, and using it as a tracing template.


Next, I cut out all the tracings. I kept all the scraps so I could use them later in the project.


There were strips of perforated paper along the tops of each piece of patterned paper that I also tore off and saved for later in the project. Once everything was cut and tore off, I separated it all out into piles so I could move on with the next part of the project.


Before I could move on, though, I had to decide which punches I wanted to use in the envelope book. I decided on a 1 1/4 square punch, a tag punch and an oval punch.


I used the square punch in the smallest scraps.



Then, I used the tag and oval punch in the larger scrap.


These are all the finished pieces.


Next, I picked out the papers I wanted to go inside the envelope book. I planned on using invisible tape to assemble the book initially, and then glue the book together more firmly together with glue and paper strips.


First, I assembled all the envelopes.


Than I cut down all the paper, and stacked the pieces along with the envelopes.


Then, I taped everything together.


I cut all the paper strips to size, and reserved the smaller strips for later in the project along with all the punches.


Then, I glued in all the paper strips to create a sturdy binding.

I still have a lot of work left to do on this envelope book, but I think it’s coming along nicely. :) I’ve enjoyed the process – especially considering I haven’t had much time to work on any art or creative work in so long.

For those of you who may be wondering, I’m still participating in The Documenting Life Project. I have to catch up, and I will! When I do, I’ll share those pages here! In the meantime, what have YOU been working on?

Platform Establishment, Pitching, Portfolios, Clips, Queries, and Facebook

I’ve been working with the same client base and content mills steadily for about four years. So, when I started sending out queries and pitches about during the last four or five weeks, I noticed things have . . . to say it lightly . . . changed. I know the writing world is constantly in a state of change.

There is no other way of saying this. I encountered this on a consistent basis while working with my “people” and websites even though I wasn’t changing where my paychecks were coming from. They types of assignments, requirements, expectations, styles, and editing shifted regularly.

That’s where the title of this post comes in . . .


Platform Establishment

Even when you’re writing for the same people, websites, and clients for a long period of time don’t let your platform fizzle. While my numbers are good (over 1,000 users) on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and my personal profile on Facebook, I wasn’t giving much credence to my Facebook pages. I don’t know why this happened, it just did. I have three of them:

  • Jennifer Greenleaf Author & Artist: this page links directly to this blog site and to my Twitter account. Each time I post to this site, the link auto-posts to my Facebook page and my Twitter feed. So, if I’m not updating my site regularly…..my page and my feed is neglected. My Twitter feed has other things auto-posted on there, too, though. I also post articles from other blog sites, writing-related memes, and promotions for other authors.
  • Maine-ly Motherhood: this page is linked to my other website, Maine-ly Motherhood, which is also one that has been sorely neglected. The primary reason I haven’t been updating it is because I don’t want it to be a coupon site, despite what it looks like. As you can see by the menu on its top bar, I have a content plan. I just have to figure out a better monetization plan that doesn’t involve Google.
  • ArtistWriter’s Etsy Shop: this page is only a couple of days old because, until I was invited to a network event, I honestly didn’t think to start a page for my shop – ArtistWriter’s Esty Shop. As sad as that sounds, I had been sharing the link on my personal Facebook timeline, on Jennifer Greenleaf Author & Artist, and on this blog site. I need to streamline my business efforts and I believe setting up this page will help the shop see more success.


Pitching, Portfolios, Clips, & Queries

So, what does all this have to do with pitching, portfolios, clips, and queries? Before I started looking closely at the job market, I didn’t believe what I wrote above had anything to do with what I’m writing about here. I’ve written about social media responsibility and online reputation in the past on the following links:

  • 6 Reasons Why Online Reputation Matters: [SNIPPET] “It is common for consumers to want to do business with a company they can trust. Can they trust your business? Believe it or not, many businesses do not think having an online reputation is very important.”
  • Why Social Media is the Best Link Builder Around?: [SNIPPET] “In order for a company or small business to develop their brand on the Internet, they must create an engaging relationship with their potential clients and customers.”
  • Personal Branding and the Importance of Online Reputation: [SNIPPET] “Online reputation is just as important as conducting face-to-face business transactions. Think about the last time you received poor customer service at the grocery store. That negative experience is just as damaging when it occurs online.”
  • How Effective is Your Personal Brand?: [SNIPPET] “Whether people choose to believe it or not, when they own a business and use the Internet, everything they do online is part of their personal branding. This means that, when conversations take place or when information is shared publicly, people view that as how your brand is portrayed and carried out.”


Writing these articles taught me a lot about branding, online reputation, reputation management, and how to effectively conduct business. I took on these assignments because I knew I could not only use these tools for my own business practices, but share this information with other business owners I’m connected with in my networks.

What I didn’t realize was how useful this information would be down the line when working on pitching, portfolios, clips, and queries. Potential clients want to see an understanding of this material, they want to see it in action, and that want to see it in a writer’s portfolio. Like I’ve already mentioned, this is all new to me.



This is where I finally write about where Facebook comes in. Part of this whole pitching to new clients while formulating the perfect query, creating an outstanding portfolio, and collecting relevant clips scenario is just on portion of task. Now, it’s necessary to have a Facebook platform (proven – revert back to the beginning of the blog post) to show potential clients upon request. They would like to see this information so, when they need Facebook marketing or blog marketing from you, they want to see a proven track record of experience.

They do not want to see a stream of posts that don’t have anything to do with business on a personal profile. This isn’t professional so, please, don’t include this in your portfolio. Not only is this an embarrassment, but it you will lost credibility points immediately.

There are many how turn their nose down to using Facebook and choose not to have an account there at all. While I understand this reasoning to some degree, I also see it as detrimental if these same people are writers interested in pitching to these job opportunities.


Mind (Mine?) the Fields

I’m not a job recruiter, nor am I like to “miners” on Freelance Writing Jobs, so I’m not in a position to share job leads with you. So, please don’t ask me to find job leads or where to look for them. We all have our favorites – the link I just shared with you happens to be one of my favorites.

I have a few other favorites as well, but my biggest bit of advice is to be mindful when looking through job ads and “mine” through all the crap. Yes, there is a TON of bad ads out there. Experienced freelancers know this without hesitation, those new to the market have no idea. Writer Beware is an excellent resource for those who are to “Mining the Fields” and could use some help.

If you’re new to the market, read as much as you can as often as you can about finding good job market leads, sorting through the crap, and staying away from scammers. This is SO important. It’s been a long time since I’ve written specifically to new writers in the market . . . now I’m inspired to do so . . .

Stay tuned!

ArtistWriter’s Etsy Shop



Yesterday, I started a Facebook Page for my esty shop after receiving a network invitation to promote – you guessed it – the page for my shop. I didn’t have one. Honestly, it never occurred to me to create one before the invitation. So, off I went to create one. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but it’s there.

Participation in the event, as well as some outside efforts of my own, proved successful. I’ve established two milestones after just 24 hours – 100 page likes and then 200 page likes! This is exciting because I believe each day will lead to further platform building. Why? Simple. I’m not going to stop sharing, talking it up, and networking.

I’m also dedicating a section of this site to blogging specifically about the shop. In addition to discussing new products as they release, I’m also going detail the process by which each item is created. I have plans to talk to other etsy shop owners, too. Stay tuned! This is going to be an exciting adventure and I thank you all for joining me on this creative endeavor!

One and a Half More Updates!


I’m still updating, but this time it was an update to this site that was supposed to happen yesterday and one update to the Facebook page associated to this site . . . that I didn’t even know could happen. Therefore, I’ve completed one and a half more updates today. :D

The update I made today that was supposed to happen yesterday was for the page associated with my Maine-ly Motherhood website. This project is going to (IT IS GOING TO) grow this year (IT WILL). See what I just did there? I’m setting my intension. It will happen now. IT WILL. So there. It’s happening. End of story. I’m finished writing a series of fragmented sentences about that, too. *smiles*

Here is the page I’ve updated about that: Maine-ly Motherhood

The update didn’t turn out at all like I envisioned in my mind, but . . . like the site, I guess that’s fitting. The site didn’t turn out at all like I envisioned in my mind, either. I’m thinking I’ll keep changing around the page associated with this site just like I’m going to keep changing around the site. So, if you feel inclined to do so, check back from time to time for changes. :D

The other “half” update I performed today was adding a call to action to my Facebook page associated with this website. There is now a “Shop Now” button on the page right next to the “Like” button. This makes it easier to find my Etsy.com shop. I contemplated adding the link to my Amazon page to the button, but it’s been so long since I’ve added new titles, it made more sense to include my Etsy.com shop because my paintings are more recent.

Here is the Facebook page with the call to action: Jennifer Greenleaf, Author & Artist

Now that I’m finished with these updates, I’ll move on to building up the content and updating Maine-ly Motherhood. That project needs so much attention and, now that I’ve finished giving this site the attention (preliminary, mind you) it needs, I can properly focus my attention over there. I’m going to incorporate a blogging binder back into the fold like I used to use routinely four or five years ago. I regret letting that slip from my daily doings.

In the meantime, happy writing!

New Year Equals Page Updates


Today, I’m going to the notebooks.

It’s been a long time since I’ve completed page updates on this site, so that’s part of today’s to-do list. I’ve been diligently working on creating a list of clips and profiles for about two or three days, and created a new page to showcase these efforts. It occurred to me that I needed this information on my site after sending out a number of resumes this month where I needed clips to go along with them. I’ve sent clips in the past but it would be so much easier to pull specific links right from my site, or include the all-inclusive page as it pertains.

The clips page is not complete as I know there are a lot more links hidden in the crevices of the Internet. Once upon a time I had this list complete. As each link was published, I would update the list on my computer and it was all said and done. I had the list updated in a forum, as well as a back-up on my computer. However, I did not back up on disk. That was my mistake because the computer is the likes of a boat anchor now. *sigh* So, I’m back to square one now and, as I work, I’ll continue sharing the link.

Here is that new page: Jenn’s Clips & Profiles

In addition to creating that new page, I updated my Events page to include interviews. This page is also under construction because I know there are more interviews out there.

Here is the page as I work: Jenn’s Events & Interviews

The next page I updated is my About Jenn area, but I didn’t do a whole there. I just made some tweaks to the ages of our children and edited the note from me to include that I like writing about art from time to time . . . okay . . . a LOT. *smiles* One of these days, I’ll post a more up to date profile picture. Until then, the one featured from 2008 (or is it 2007?) will have to do. :D

Here is are the updates: About Jenn

I still need to update the page I have dedicated to Maine-ly Motherhood. It’s sad. There is one sentence and a logo leading to the site. There’s no call to action, no description, and no bullet points enticing readers to click the logo and head to the site. Pathetic. It needs attention. BAD. It’s been sitting like that ever since I launched Maine-ly Motherhood. Terrible. I have no problem owning up to this short-coming because I fully intend to rectify the situation. See? It’s right there on my to-do list. In pen.

Here’s my UN-updated page: Maine-ly Motherhood (ew…yucky….bad Jenn…..)

I have a number of deadlines on today’s schedule that are far more pressing that updating that page. So, I will tend to those first. Once those deadlines are taken care of, I’ll give that page the attention it deserves. Then, I will also head over to that site and update its pages and content as well. In addition to this site needing desperate attention . . . that site does as well.

In the meantime, happy writing!