Happy 7th Anniversary to Us!

News From the Editorial Desk: Changes Ahead!

Dear Readers,

Can you believe it’s already August?  We here at Self Publishing Advisor certainly can’t!  With the start of the new month comes a whole host of good memories, because guess what?  We started this blog exactly seven years ago, and have been blessed ever since with wonderful, engaged, and responsive readers like you!  We don’t acknowledge your contributions nearly so much as you deserve, but we wanted to take a moment out of our day today to say: THANK YOU!  From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you for seven years of excellence.

Happy 7th Anniversary to Us!

Seven years is a long time to be doing what we do!  And there’s nothing like an anniversary for providing the energy and momentum to make some tweaks and changes to our lineup to better reflect the rapidly changing world we live in––the world of self-publishing!  So, moving forward, here’s what you can expect to see each week:

Monday: “News From the Self-Publishing World”
You’ve seen our “Self Publishing Week in Review” posts in the past; but it’s time we get ahead of the trends, rather than simply reporting on them.  We’ll be bumping our news segment to Mondays and launching you into the week with some carefully curated thoughts on the current headlines in our industry.
Tuesday: “From the Archives” + “From the Experts”
Every Tuesday, we’re going to take a little retrospective trip down memory lane by revisiting some of our most popular posts from years past; you can imagine that in seven years, a lot has changed!  We’ll be updating you on these changes, and hopefully throwing some light on what lies ahead.  We will also be dedicating this spot to the occasional guest blog.  Who better to tell us what’s what than an industry professional or a successful indie or self-published author?  We hope to represent a wider slice of the whole pie by providing a platform for indie authors from all sorts of backgrounds.
Wednesday: “Marketing for the Indie or Self-Published Writer” (Kelly Speaks)
You’ve tuned in each Wednesday in years past to hear what Kelly Schuknecht, Executive Vice President for the hybrid self-publishing company Outskirts Press, has to say––and you can trust to see her here each Wednesday for years to come.  This weekly post will continue to focus on the various ways and means and arts of self-promotion.
Thursday: “On the Home Front” (Elizabeth Speaks)
You will remember Jodee Thayer’s Monday morning posts for us in the past; this year, she passes the torch to Elizabeth, who will be taking on our Thursday morning slot with all the style and panache that a pillar of the industry brings to our little corner of the blogoverse!
Friday: “Conversations With a Self-Published Writer” (Royalene Speaks)
As with our Wednesday posts, our Fridays will remain, as ever, dedicated to the bloggers who have made Self Publishing Advisor better and better for the last seven years!  Royalene will continue to bring you insights from her years’ of experience in the industry––best practices, encouragement, and tips for continual self-improvement.
Saturday: “Self-Published Book Review of the Week”
Because we think you deserve more, you’ll be getting more!  We’re moving our weekly self-published book review to Saturday mornings, and we’ll be providing you even more content as we improve upon our existing model!
Thank you again, dear readers, for your continual support.  Just by reading this blog, you affirm our belief that we’re in the absolute best line of work possible!
Warm wishes and regards,
the Self Publishing Advisor Team

Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer: 07/31/2015

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT V

Some years back a dear writing friend of mine encouraged my writing efforts by giving me the book, Fiction is Folks by Robert Newton Peck.  The first line of his statement about this book will tell you why I’ve kept it within arm’s reach on my shelves. “Robert Newton Peck does not believe in writing stories or novels. He lets his characters write them…”  With that in mind let’s talk a bit more about the emotional connection between author, story, and reader.

As THE author, the characters you’re creating can’t help but share some of your DNA from eye color to emotions and emotional scars. However, it is best not to include so much of yourself in one particular character so that folks will recognize you. On the flip-side of that coin, is the blessing is that you’re able to understand the depth of emotion your various characters are feeling and reacting to—thus being able to write an excellent scene. Your readers will immediately identify with the authenticity you portray!  Fear NOT. Employing the emotion-card is an essential skill in writing for all genres—even non-fiction.

Here are a few basic ideas to remind yourself of as you enhance your characters.

  • First, ask yourself what YOU would feel in the midst of the situation you’ve placed your character in. Explore that avenue of thought into the depths. Fold a 3×5 card in half and make bullet-point notes the left side.
  • Second, consider what your BEST FRIEND might feel in the same situation and make those notes opposite the first ones. It is also helpful to repeat this discovery process as you imagine what other well-known-to-you people might do: Parents, Siblings, Spouse, Pastor, etc.

This one exercise will provide you with a multitude of keywords which will, in turn, trigger the development of multiple characters IN the book you’re currently writing AND future books.

  • NOW…do your RESEARCH! The book mentioned above (Fiction is Folks) is a good start and your local Librarian will help you find others. However, Internet research is a goldmine of information.
    • The online version of the magazine, Psychology Today, will offer you general as well as very specific studies on human emotion.
    • Wikipedia has an excellent definition on the topic of emotions in humans.
    • Lists of all the emotions of the species known as human are plentiful, and an excellent item to KEEP for the future.
    • Research the term “basic emotions,” and the term “complex emotions.”
    • Finally, talk (face-to-face) with a psychologist, counselor, or psychology/social work professor. The insights and words used in those conversations will fill several notebook pages and give you very useful phrases for your characters to speak.

Some time ago, I was asked WHY these emotion elements are so important. That writer was attempting to create logical, independent, thinking characters who really had no need for emotion. I happened to know that a favorite genre of fiction for that person was Science Fiction. So I asked, “Do the computerized robots or AI’s in those novels function well without emotion?” He paused. Then we began listing the robot characters. Without exception, each author had developed emotion into that character—thereby ensuring that readers would identify with them—feel sympathy for them—and enjoy reading.  SO…open the Kleenex box and fire UP those emotional outbursts. Emotion is the connective tissue that will hold every story together.  ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Snapchat

An Indie Author’s Social Media Primer | Snapchat

We’re five weeks into my unofficial primer for indie and self-published authors looking to master social media, and this week I’ll be examining what is often perceived as the most “faddish” social media platform of all, Snapchat!  In past weeks, we’ve taken a gander at some bedrock philosophy for social media marketing as well as peered rather more closely at Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.  But when push comes to shove, these three social media platforms–and Facebook, which I’ll get to in due course–are far more widely used by authors to reach their followers than Snapchat.  Why?  Because on Snapchat, everything is temporary.

Snapchat

Let me hit the “rewind” button for a moment.  What exactly is Snapchat, for those of us who aren’t already familiar?  It’s an app.  Specifically, it’s an app(lication) that can only be used and viewed from tablets and smartphones running Android or Apple’s iOS platforms.  Users take pictures or videos (“snaps”) and distribute them to a controlled list of recipients; these recipients (termed “friends” within the app) can view the snaps for only a few seconds (the length of time is determined by the snap-taker) before they are irrevocably lost to the ether (with a few exceptions).  Snappers can customize their pictures and videos with a few filters and the addition of some (limited) text before sending them, but the app is about as streamlined as they come.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of aggressive marketing through Snapchat yet, it’s probably because the app interface prioritizes privacy.  Unlike Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and to an extent Facebook, Snapchat was designed primarily for use between people who know each other in real life, and for use on the fly.  Even Instagram can be viewed on a regular laptop or desktop computer by using an internet browser–but then, Instagram is a forum for the artistic and beautiful, and Snapchat is a forum for the wacky and weird and private and time-sensitive things.

Debunking the Great Instagram Myth: “It’s all about the nudes.”

We’ve all heard the stories: Snappers who find themselves in compromising situations when someone takes a screenshot of their latest snap, in which they are sans clothing, and distributes this screenshot without approval––and, apparently, a conscience.  The fact that snaps don’t stick around has led some to––and I’m putting this indelicately––regret their choice of friends, but those who use Snapchat for this kind of exchange are in the minority (as they are with every other social media platform out there).  Snapchat is not just about nudes, or even about the oft-reviled “selfie.” 

If those who you follow with the app are the sort of people who spend their lives mountain climbing or heli-skiing, then you will end up watching a lot of GoPro camera footage.  If you follow a librarian, bookseller, or author, you’re going to be seeing a lot of books and, very likely, clips of their favorite shows (with bonus giggles and voiceover reactions!).  The sum of your Snapchat experience is determined by the people that you already like and trust.  Snapchat does not promote narcissism or self-absorption––it helps friends share the texture and material of their lives with those who are physically absent.  It also, importantly, promotes storytelling!

John Green on SnapchatJohn Green on Snapchat

Top 5 Best Practices:

1. Let people know you’re on Snapchat.  Because this particular app doesn’t operate on hashtags and a search engine (unlike Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and pretty much every other platform out there), you can’t quite make yourself “findable” on Snapchat the way you can elsewhere.  You have the option of adding people by Username, from your Address Book, by Snapcode, or proximity (even if another snapper is “Nearby,” you still have to opt-in to this feature––so again, your privacy is protected).  The easiest way to get others to add you is to make an announcement outside of Snapchat––on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on.  You’ll receive notification that someone else has added you, and you can decide if you want to become “mutuals” by adding that person back.

2. Think of incentives that make use of Snapchat’s time-sensitive nature.  A snap can only be viewed for 24 hours after you post it, and once someone taps their screen to view your snap, they only have 1 to 10 seconds to view it before it disappears (you determine how many seconds they have when you post the snap).  Snappers can choose one snap a day to “replay,” but once they choose to replay a snap once they can’t replay it again, or replay any other snaps that day.  This feature means that your followers usually only have one shot at getting your joke or viewing your behind-the-scenes footage.  And while this may seem prohibitive to self-promotion, it isn’t!

Retailers can tell you that a timed incentive––like a 24-hour promotional discount, or a 24-hour giveaway competition, or a 24-hour scavenger hunt––is a great way to hook in new readers.  Joe Warnimont writes that one streetwear company (Karmaloop) routinely grabs people, dresses them up with items from their clothing line, and then takes a snap of those people holding a picture of their latest promotional code.  It might seem convoluted, but this kind of time-sensitive and exclusive material (only available to followers on Snapchat!) can generate a lot of buzz for a writer.  You might take a leaf out of Karmaloop’s book and take snaps of strangers holding pictures of quotes from your book around town, or you might branch out and offer a one-day-only discount for your book on Amazon.

3. Take advantage of Snapchat’s “Stories” feature.  One of Snapchat’s more interesting features is the way it allows users to build “stories” out of multiple snaps.  Every snap you choose to post to “My Story” (an option visible in the “Send To…” tab) is compiled together.  If you post five short videos (or three short videos and two still pictures) to your story, your followers will view them all in sequence when they tap your name on their “Recent Updates” feed.  Some snappers go all-out with their stories, using the ten-second time limit as a jump cut to a new scene or clip, while others use their stories to quite literally tell stories(with illustrations, of course)!  As an indie author, you’re used to telling stories in at least one medium.  Why not try another?  Statistics show that the majority of Snapchat’s users do, in fact, enjoy viewing their friends’ stories in addition to their individual snaps.

[ SIDE NOTE: if you have a particularly awesome day, you can save your stories to your phone.  Just tap the ellipsis (“…”) to the right of your story and select the correct option to store it in your photo app. ]

4. Frame your content for Millennials.  The average Snapchat user is young––in their teens or twenties––and female.  This is painting with a broad brush, certainly, as there are plenty of snappers who do not identify as Millennials or female––but the statistics do create a big picture of who’s likely to find you Snapchat (as opposed to, say, Twitter).  On the whole, snappers are more likely to be deeply engaged with the content they view than the average Facebook user, so it’s worth considering what sort of material a young woman is going to respond to.

5. Don’t panic.  Snapchat feels different, so very different from the Big Five (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest).  Its basic architecture and interface is alien to folks who sit in front of computer screens larger than three by five inches.  It takes a while to get used to, and to figure out how to use, and to enjoy working with.  It can also be highly addictive––which is one reason why it’s a good idea to give it a try.  New readers might just become addicted to your book!  Still, it’s not for everyone.  (It turned out not to be for the King of Young Adult literature, John Green, who gave up on it within minutes of his first snap.  (Although it’s worth noting that he was already so incredibly popular that he didn’t exactly need to try any new avenues for self-promotion.)  Snapchat isn’t for everyone, but it is for the young and up-and-coming Millennial generation, which also happens to be one of the greatest per-capita consumer demographics when it comes to books––physical books and ebooks!  Which is to say … give it time.

Most Overlooked Feature:

Live video.  You heard me.  Live video.  If you’re in the midst of a Snapchat conversation with a friend or reader and your camera button flickers blue (it’s normally yellow) and you hear a strange noise, that means that both parties are actively viewing the conversation and you can start a live video chat.  Essentially, you can do the Snapchat equivalent of Skype or Google Hangouts or FaceTime with your fans.  All you have to do is tap and keep your finger down on the camera button.  A circular image pops up––live feed from your smartphone’s camera––and you drag that circle to the bottom before releasing to keep the video going.  Each party has to do this step separately in order for both people to see each other: which is nice, because you’ll never be forced to show your face, if you’re not in the mood or not free or not sure what’s happening.  It is entirely possible to have a one-sided conversation as a result, which is slightly less fun than it sounds.  Still!  Imagine all of the possibilities for you to surprise your fans with quick hellos and insider information!

I hope you’ll join me in building this Social Media Primer!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of social media know-how. ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer: 07/24/2015

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IV—Readers’ Perspective

How many times have you been reading a good book when suddenly one of the characters does something completely OUT-of-character?  Sometimes this is a planned plot-twist. However, too often, it is an error on the author’s part when they lose track of who their people are and how they will (hopefully) connect with readers.

In my research for writing class presentations, I came across a category of career fields that deal with leadership development. Wait. I know you’re already thinking WHAT do those folks know about developing writing skills and creating characters? Answer. ANY field of education that helps us appreciate PEOPLE (readers) can enlighten writers by giving us opportunities to understand ourselves and, most importantly, our Readers. Below are several pointers I’ve gleaned from the writings of Marcia Reynolds, coach and leadership consultant. I’ve adapted her conclusions to focus on the needs most READERS’ have to make the decision to buy your book and “follow” your characters.

  • Readers are Emotional book buyers. Are you providing them with characters who will touch them emotionally and lead them into the FAN category, buying your next book, and the next? Everything the human brain perceives is processed through the emotional center of our brains first.  Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your readers.
  • Characters provide safe examples of both good and bad decision-making.  In a very real way writers become teachers of various methods of coming to a decision. Thus it is our responsibility to develop an understanding of “cognitive decision-making” and “human nature.” Consequences of choices are plentiful because the human brain is too good at rationalizing, justifying, defending choices and even denying them.
  • Writers need time to think and so do readers. While the author enjoys a good length of time to develop characters and their quirks, readers do not. They are absorbing the essence of actors in your story with every paragraph and page. If the writer doesn’t dedicate the time—make the decision to take the time needed to mull over multiple possibilities—Readers will end up confused and disinterested.
  • As the Director of your Band of characters you’ll need to ask yourself:
    • What does character “A” need to know before making a wise (or foolish) decision?
    • What foreseeable consequences do they imagine for themselves AND others? Or are they only focused on themselves?
    • Do they need only current circumstances knowledge or past experience?
    • Is there another character who has been in the same situation and would be willing to talk about it? Would character “A” be willing to ask?
    • Does your character struggle with fear of losing control, or fear of how others might judge them? Or is he/she already calling themselves an idiot for even considering the choice they really want to make?

Main Point in today’s blog is this: Authors must step into the role of leaders for themselves and their Readers. We need to walk and run and rest in the shoes of the Reader and be prepared to answer all their WHY questions about every choice our characters make—good or bad—right or wrong—selfishly or unselfishly. This is not as daunting as it sounds. If you need support, your publisher has excellent writing coaches and ghostwriters who can help.  ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

photo (c) KMM, 2015

An Indie Author’s Social Media Primer | Instagram

Another week, another new social media platform.  You might think we would have run out of new ideas and methods for digital connection by now, but the list of possibilities only seems to keep expanding––and in some cases, though not all, the platforms are enduring.  Instagram is one of those platforms, and it may just turn out to be one of the most useful ones there is for the self-published author looking to dive into the whole marketing-by-networking process.

photo (c) KMM, 2015

It’s not that Instagram doesn’t have its fair share of detractors (believe me, it does)––but then, which social media platform manages to keep all of its users happy, all of the time?  There are journalists out there who firmly believe that marketing your books through social media is an endeavor bound and doomed to fail; they are, however, in the minority.  And a lot of authors, like indie poet Mirtha Michelle, have found promotional success after creating authentic and dynamic relationships with their fans.  “I don’t try to be anything I’m not,” she writes.  “I’ll post pieces of who I am.”  All social media platforms present opportunities to connect in this way, but Instagram in particular has found a dedicated and loyal user base––industry professionals are beginning to recognize that Instragram’s model of encouraging its users to post images of day-to-day activities is something we can rely on to stick around, unlike some other quote-on-quote “faddish” platforms.

So, what is Instagram?  To tell you what it is, we first have to clear up the biggest myth of all––that is, what it isn’t:

Debunking the Great Instagram Myth: “It’s all cats, lattes, and what you had for breakfast.”

Instagram is one of the most streamlined social media platforms out there, in part because it has been engineered almost exclusively for “mobile” use––that is, as an app for smartphones.  Users snap a picture on their smartphone’s built-in camera of what’s going on around them, edit it to look artsy or gritty or incandescently pretty using one of the app’s “filters,” and then post the picture for their friends, family, and other followers to “like” and comment on.  Users have only to scroll through their feeds with the swipe of a thumb to view all of the pictures taken by all of the people they follow.  Ease of use and the built-in appeal of a visually-driven interface makes Instagram an engaging digital space, and it has evolved to allow users to post short videos in addition to their pictures.

Instagram is generally, in my experience, an upbeat place––rife with photos of waterfalls and meadows overlaid with inspirational quotes, self-aware embarrassing selfies, and the ever-evolving memes.  Everyone has figured out how to tweak it to best represent their lives and interests: hikers, climbers, birdwatchers, and other lovers of the outdoors post their daring feats and snaps of dawn over this or that lake; artists post videos of their works-in-progress as they go; cooks and bakers post snapshots of their (artfully) dirty countertops; and authors post quotes, snapshots of their bundled manuscripts, and tantalizing glimpses of their laptop screens.  There are plenty of cats, and lattes, and half-eaten breakfasts to be found if you follow folks who are prone to disorganization, but most Instagram users are part-way through the process of developing a personal “brand”––and many are more interested in showing you who they are than in showing you what they eat.  Follow these people––these authors.

Top 5 Best Practices:

1. Go for the gut.  Instagram is about intimacy.  Remember that, if you remember nothing else about this post.  Your followers on Instagram aren’t interested in posts that keep them at arms-length; the whole reason they follow you is that they want an “inside look,” to “go behind the scenes” of your life, even if you’re just a moderately successful accountant from Atlanta.  Posts that show a glimpse of your heart and your goals as a writer, or a slice of a rough day, are more likely to engage your fans.  If you don’t care about the content of a photo, that’s a good sign that they won’t either.

2. Think regular, but not too regular.  You don’t have to sit down and block out a schedule for the next six months, but it is a good idea to plan a regular post––perhaps once a week––that your followers (your readers!) can count on seeing pop up in their feeds.  It’s also a good idea to allow plenty of room for spontaneous posts that reflect your mood at a given moment, and those all-important surprises that transform a day into an important day.  Just don’t clutter up your followers’ feeds with repetitive or blasé posts that tempt them to keep scrolling and scrolling past all of your hard-won new content!

3. You’re in the inspiration business, so share yours.  ‘Nuff said, really.  One of the fastest ways to a reader’s heart is to talk with them about the backstories to the works they love best.  Reading is about imagination, and inspiration, and participation––every bit as much as writing––so time spent sharing how and why you create what you create … is time well spent.  Show your readers the emotional or physical worlds that they encounter in your books––snapshots of the real café you frequent that inspired the one in your latest novel, or the skyline of the city in which your novel is set, or a landscape overlaid with a quote that you turned to when facing your greatest discouragements––or that your characters turned to when facing theirs.

4. Use the hashtags and @username functions.  I think I’ve about over-talked the importance of hashtags elsewhere (especially in my Twitter primer two weeks ago), but I cannot overstate the fundamental utility of these built-in functions.  Findability remains key on any platform, including Instagram, and despite its visual nature it’s just as entrenched in metadata as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.  People will still find you (and you, them) using keyword searches and hashtags, and they’ll respond to your material if they receive notification that you called them out by name.  Host giveaways!  Post a weekly “top fan” award!  Use the system, above all, to interact with those all-important followers!

5. Don’t posture.  All social media platforms are saturated with posts that the average user will find narcissistic and annoying, and although we can most definitely argue the merits of positive self-image and self-affirmation, it’s best not to turn your Instagram feed into a continual parade of any one type of content, especially the kind that forgets that connection requires conversation.  Keep your pictures diverse, in nature and editing and subject, and your Instagram followers will feed on your creativity, your (carefully curated) spontaneity, and your interest in them.

Most Overlooked Feature:

The “Direct Message” function of Instagram, hands-down!  You can send a private or semi-private message to up to fifteen followers at once, and although this feature won’t exactly broadcast your news and message to the general public, it will most definitely help build that sense of intimacy that I mentioned in point #1, above.  You can use a DM to announce giveaway winners, or to surprise and delight a few select followers with bonus material!  A DM feels much more intimate, and meaningful, than a picture any one of a hundred thousand people can see––and on Instagram, intimacy directly translates to lasting engagement with your fan base.  Together, you and your followers can finish this sentence: “A picture is worth a ______________!”

I hope you’ll join me in building this Social Media Primer!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of social media know-how. ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.