Acknowledgements: My Critique Group

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Left to right: Cynthia King, Paula Riley, Chris Rost, Lisa Mortara, and Anne Buckley

Hi everyone,

I hope you are having a fabulous Friday. I just wanted to take a moment to thank the people who have made me a better writer–my critique group! This wonderful group of ladies has been meeting with me almost every two weeks, all with the common goal of honing our writing skills. Well, our hard work has paid off! I am proud to announce that our very own Lisa Mortara has published her novel, In the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower: Adventure, Intrigue, and Seduction in Paris. Paula Riley, who is also the amazing photographer did my photo shoot for my website, published her book, Atheist in Church — on Heaven and Other Mysteries. Chris Rost is writing an incredibly funny satire about the Seven Deadly Sins.  Anne Buckley is working on a masterful first novel staring an old Irish farmer named Miley who visits New York City for the first time. Cynthia (AKA, “Alexandria”) King is a creative writer who has a talent for sci-fi, and she manages to write full time despite suffering from retrograde amnesia after a nearly fatal car crash years ago. And of course, there is me, author of Tales of a Law School Dropout.

I am incredibly blessed to be a part of this talented group of women–without them, I would not be the writer I am today. Don’t forget to read my post about critique groups and sign up for your Top Ten Career Tips to discover the secret to career success.

Happy writing!

Gina

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Left to right: Chris Rost, Lisa Mortara, Anne Buckley, Cynthia King, and Gina Akao

Editing is an Important Step in the Publishing Process

Hi everyone,

In case you missed it, check out Connie Dunn’s guest article on my newly-redesigned business website, http://www.WritingandEditingToday.com. Please click on the title to read the full article: “Editing is an Important Step in the Publishing Process.” Connie is the author of  “Press Releases Made Easy,” and is a good friend of mine whom I met through D’vorah Lansky’s Virtual Book Tours Made Easy course.

Connie’s article covers:

  • The difference between line editing and content editing
  •  Why you shouldn’t edit your own work
  • Other key steps in the publishing process

Don’t forget to enter your email to claim your free Top Ten Career Tips!

Have a great day,

Gina

My Virtual Book Tour Travels to PublishWithConnie.com!

Hi everyone,

I am proud to announce that my virtual book tour travels to the website of Connie Dunn, an enthusiastic writer and publishing maven. Check out the full article by clicking the title, “How to Hone Your Writing with a Critique Group.”

The article covers:

  • The benefits of joining a critique group
  • What to avoid in a critique group
  • Action steps to follow after your critique group meeting

Also, don’t forget to Like my book’s fan page, “Tales of a Law School Dropout” on Facebook! Please leave a comment. I’d appreciate your feedback and ideas for future articles.

Happy writing!

Gina

My Virtual Book Tour Travels to SavvyMarketingSecrets.com!

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that my Virtual Book Tour stops at Marcia Ming’s blog today! My article is titled, “Kindle Publishing: Marketing a Book on a Budget.” Please click the link to view the entire article. Marcia is a talented marketing entrepreneur whom I met through D’vorah Lansky’s Virtual Book Tours Made Easy course.

To find out how I published my book on a budget, read the article to learn:

  • How much I spent on my domain, http://www.GinaAkao.com
  • How I built my personal brand through WordPress.com
  • How I set up hosting for WordPress.org with Bluehost, and how much it cost
  • How to break even and make a profit by selling my book and doubling my freelance income!

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive your free gift, “Top Ten Career Tips!”

Have a great day,

Gina

Can My College Help Me Find a Career?

Hi everyone,

It’s commencement time! Many students are graduating high school and college and are looking forward to finding their dream jobs. Luckily, most colleges offer some kind of career services department to assist students in this endeavor.

If you’re a recent grad, don’t wait until too long after graduation to update your resume and apply for jobs. The market is tough out there. Help is only a step away if you’re on a college campus.

The University of Nevada, Reno, for instance, has a Career Studio, where students can drop in (no appointment necessary) to get instant resume and cover letter critiques. Drop-in hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm in the Thompson Building (students can check the website for summer hours).

I interviewed Internship & Employer Relations Coordinator, Robyn Maitoza, Ph.D. “The Studio’s grand opening and ribbon cutting will be in September 2013,” and the Studio (now open, but located in Thompson) will be moving to the soon-to-be-built Student Achievement Center, which will replace Getchell Library. Students will be able to connect with mentors via social media, as well as in person.

Students will be able to sign in on iPads. UNR’s Career Studio is hiring 10 career mentors who will work directly with students who drop in. In addition, students may use computers in the Career Studio to update resumes and cover letters. The Career Studio, in contrast to the former career services department, will be a hub for career services and will conduct workshops, on-site interviews, and panels to help students find employers and vice versa.

The only downside I see to the new studio format is that students will not be able to take the full Myers-Briggs personality test or Strong’s Interest Inventory, which require a small fee to administer. Personally, I have found going over assessment results with a professional career counselor extremely beneficial. But, not all students will have the patience to spend hours on career tests. Instead, the Career Studio’s current assessments available are free and take less time to complete and review.

Additionally, the Career Studio will be installing a new system to collect data on how many students utilize the different services. Students will be able to search a database with job postings and employers will be able to log in and post jobs. The Studio will also provide opportunities for students to shadow alums in their target careers and to sign up for internships.

For more information about the Career Studio, please visit http://www.unr.edu/career. If you’re not a UNR student, peruse your college’s website to find out what kind of career services it offers.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to receive your “Top Ten Career Tips” for free.

Happy career hunting!

Gina

Virtual Book Tour Blog Posts!

Hi everyone,

My Virtual Book Tour is well under way, and recently I traveled to the blog of Jacci Turner, a talented Young Adult writer who I met through my writers group, the High Sierra Writers. She gave a passionate presentation on building a platform, so I was excited when she agreed to feature one of my articles on her blog, www.JacciTurner.com. Jacci has published three books, The Cage, The Bar, and The Lamb.

In case you missed it, please click here to view the whole article, “What is God’s Purpose for You?”

During her presentation, Jacci mentioned that her blog had a spiritual theme, and although I am a Christian, I normally do not blog about religious topics, but after reading some of Jacci’s posts, I was inspired.

To see a full list of my upcoming blog tour stops, check out my Events page. The idea behind a Virtual Book Tour is that instead of traveling from city to city to do book readings, authors in the digital era can steamline the process by taking their tour online! Each blog “stop” takes the author to the blog of another successful author who writes about a similar topic.

Do you know what your God-given purpose is? Let me know! Please feel free to comment below. And if you haven’t already, sign up for my subscription list to receive your free gift, “Top Ten Career Tips.”

Have a wonderful day,

Gina

My Review of the 2013 TMCC Writers’ Conference

This year’s Truckee Meadows Community College Writers’ Conference offered a lot of information about agents, publishing (both traditional and indie) and allowed some time for networking. I have been to three TMCC writers conferences, and would definitely recommend attending if you are a writer who would like to be published. The conference covered: reasons to need an agent, creating good dialogue, eBook publishing, an agents panel, how to make the right publishing decisions, and creating characters through conflict.

Attendees could buy a $12 lunch and sit down with one of the agents, editors, or speakers at the conference. I had the opportunity to meet other writers who could potentially introduce me to successful bloggers.

My only gripe with the TMCC conference is that the speakers do not offer interactive exercises to the audience. Even if one author could be selected and a sample of work could be read aloud and critiqued, I believe that the lecture material would be reinforced. Although writers could sign up for one-on-one appointments with agents, I think that the general meeting could provide more value if more interaction was offered in the form of exercises in addition to the Q&A sessions. In the future, I would also like to see a presentation on how an author can successfully build his/her own platform through social media, blogging, entrepreneurial work, and interviews, etc.

I enjoyed this year’s TMCC Writers’ Conference and am looking forward to the next one…perhaps as a bestselling author.

If you liked this review, please follow my blog, and you will receive your free Top Ten Career Tips!

Happy writing!

Gina

CharacterPPT

How to Navigate a College Career Fair

How do you make the most of a College Career Fair?

UNR just had its Career and Internship Fair on April 4th. There were plenty of students and employers to chat with, but how can students make the most of a career fair with so many potential employers to choose from? Here are a few tips:

  1. The day before the career fair, pick out professional attire, print extra resumes, and make sure you have enough business cards. If you’re a student and do not have a business card, you can still print one with your name, major, and contact info on it. You may even be able to download the University’s logo to include on your business card.
  2. Before you go into the main section of the career fair, scan the handout that lists all the employers present. UNR includes a handy chart that lists whether the employer is looking for students from a particular major.
  3. Decide which employers you want to talk to. You don’t have to stop at every table, but walk around and stop at the tables of employers you can really connect with. Smile and introduce yourself, even if you have a nametag on. Ask questions and have a conversation with the representative at the desk; don’t just collect free stuff and move on.
  4. If you are able to have a good conversation with an individual, get their business card and connect with them on LinkedIn or send them an email later to follow up on your conversation. For example, I only had an hour to spend at the career fair, so I had a few meaningful conversations with a few people about my educational blog. I met Pete Parker of Greek Ladders (http://www.greekladders.com) and talked to him about his business, which connects students who are part of Greek organizations with potential employers.
  5. After the career fair, jot down a few notes on the back of the business cards of people you talked to. For example, I told Pete I would send him a survey on freshmen data, and because I made a note, I could remember to follow up accordingly.
  6. Finally, check out the websites of the employers you talked to and look for job openings. Often times, the representatives at the booths at career fairs will encourage you to apply for jobs online rather than handing them a resume then and there. If they ask for your resume, be prepared to give one, but if they don’t, avoid pushing your resume on them. If you connect with them later in a positive way, they will remember you.

Good luck!

Gina

Career Fair Tips
Career Fair Tips

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

The old saying goes, “write what you know.” The purpose of this page is to share with you what I have learned about myself and the world by writing a memoir. We are all experts in our own way. By publishing my first book, “Tales of a Law School Dropout,” I have collected insights into the writing and publishing process that I hope you will find useful. As an Admissions professional, I have learned what works and what doesn’t in Higher Education. I’d like to share with you what I know and create a dialogue to inspire my audience to analyze the way we go about choosing our careers in life.

I want your feedback! Please feel free to contact me to suggest future topics of discussion.

Have a wonderful day,

Gina

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