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Monday, November 29, 2010

Did something happen yesterday? Naw.

Good morning, though we’re saying this with three minutes left of the morning. That’s the scary part … it’s Sunday already and at that it is half way over. Rich just left to bring his boat back and meet with his youngest son at his mother’s place. I think she’s officially coming home on Wednesday, but you can tell she’s yearning more and more to be home.

We’ve been distracted with Rich’s TV most of the morning, and with the part where he waits until we tune into something we’re doing on the screen and then he will interrupt to say something he’s thinking out loud. You probably wouldn’t be getting this kind of complaining, but we’re in a little bit of a panic with it being our last day off from work. I’m sure you know the feeling.

Rich was watching pregame before he left and now it is noon, so we asked him to mute the game, and we turned on Christmas music. We also have had lunch and we have a fresh cup of coffee. I could only see this as getting better.

As of the last couple of days, we’ve not been doing much except tweaking the web page. We did manage to go out to an early dinner with Marcia and Bob. That was nice … the company was good. We just chatted and had a lite sandwich with their waffle fries. Man I’m really starting to love them. I also had a Bloody Mary. They were only $3.50 for a large glass.

It was a bit spicy, but I’d asked for that. There wasn’t as much Rich and Bob breaking off to talk, but enough for me to listen to Marcia. She had stuff going on … I can pretty much read it on her face when she’s being pushed on one forefront or another. It was a nice experience.

After we got home we must have been back to the computer? No, I know … we read about 40 books on the book by Herschel Walker – another multiple. I think we had taken a nap before eating too, because we’d been up til 3 A.M. trying to fix stuff on our page. Then we were like ok, Rich wants to watch TV, but we’re not going there. He had turned on a show about somebody – I think Celtic Thunder. It was a group of six men. I think there are more, but that’s all that was on the show. These seemed to be the same guys who played in Missouri last year when Rich and us took a trip. They were enjoyable to listen to and easy on the eyes. *sigh*
But, then we said we were DEFINITELY going back to our work … so Rich he was like fine fine … no problem, I’m just going to put on this old movie.

What? What? Snow WHITE!!!?? Ok, well you could see how that went … Well, and then how things naturally slip into the night. *sigh* Life is good!

As to the Web pages, yes … dear we are going back to the work side … We were really happy with how all that turned out. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we got right now. We’ve got eight sections completed though we could add more to each of them and we have enough space for two more links (which each break out to 10 little subpages). I thought it’s really enough for someone stopping by. Just every section was so much fun to think through, we were having a really good time EVEN when we lost six little pages and had to go back to fix them. And, by that I mean re-write. We try to keep it in our mind that usually things re-written come out better then the first time.

So yes, you knew it we are going to go back and savor slowly the advances made. Hehehe

First thing you see is the gray screen where the title of our blog – Journey of Quite Frankly Ann (JQFA) comes scrolling past and is lightly highlighted at different shades of grays at different heights and angles.

Then you see a black smaller script with a steady title, and then these bars wavering on different shades of pinks and grays wash across the screen. When that stops you are on the home page. You have to cancel out a Christmas card wishing you a Merry Christmas. And then you are left with the title and subtitle which is the name of the company and then the name of our first book. The background is black which make the colors jump and there is a two line white message welcoming the viewer to our journey. On the bottom of the page is eight duo-colored rectangles sort of looking like microscope slides. They are each colored differently in warm fall colors and everything is labeled in white.

The rectangles go in order of Welcome, About Us, Business Plan, Schedule, Rates, Business Journal, Satisfaction Survey, Book Excerpt. As mentioned earlier, we have space for two more, but for now we’re going to wait until it comes up naturally to our mind what should be there. And, then after that we might do some combining or rearranging as fits the bill. There are pictures on many of the pages, but not on all of them. It is a combination of pictures that are ours and then some left as fillers from the program. It’s good enough for now, but should be more carefully planned. With CS computer, I don’t have the Snag it program loaded, so it’s hard to convert BMP pictures to JPG, which is what the program requires.

There are actually two versions of the page. There is the normal stable site, and then there is the one with Flash – which is what makes the screen move and become more 3D. I like the feeling more of this one than the last with the books, probably because the book had taken up too much room and so my content was cramped. Plus this one just flows more smoothly. There are about four links from the Google search that will pick up the page. Hmm, that’s interesting … we don’t like that all the links aren’t going through, but a couple are and it seems that we now have TWO booksellers selling our book! There is an electronic copy out from Powell’s and from Wowio! Both these are new to us, but it seems to be set up pretty cool!

Ok, that’s enough of that for the moment. We want to get through this walkthrough of the web site. So anyway, you open the first link and you are given six options. You are welcomed by us telling you who, what, when, where, how and why we are writing. I figure this is the general part that allows the person viewing to capture an image of us as to any newsworthiness. Not that we’re hot, but that these are the basic things that make up our life. It seems that is our own way we are creating sound bites. I don’t want it to seem that informal, but it is a bit of a challenge to invite complete strangers into your space. We tried to do it without too much hubbub.

In the About us section, we add in who are publisher and distributor are, we add the first link to our blog, and we add a section telling about what we are after in our writing and communicating.

The next section is our Business Plan. This is broken down into six sections with the first being a cast of characters. These are the principle people in my life. The next section sets up that we are a sole proprietor – it adds something as to me being one day passed on to Rich and the boys. The next part is our vision, this is the part we write about making three series of books over our lifetime. The next part is our goals and objectives. These are the “To” sections speaking to what we hope to be doing with ourselves. Our history section talks about how we got to our current space and by that I mean our general set of obstacles, we’ve cleared in our adult life especially about the time we were going out to take care of ourselves. And, then the last section is where we talk about writing and journaling. It is a little rough, but basically is what we’d come up to with our business plan to explain ourselves as a writer. It introduces the business of writing.

The fourth major section is our schedule of the first 14 books by the year 2014. I will have to pay close attention to this if we are going to get anywhere, but to do this we need to start selling books and spending less money on some of the obvious start-up costs.

The fifth major section is the Rates part. On its cover page, it list my cost of selling books in the three different formats. And, then we have a sub-page on how to pre-order the books, and then on the second sub-page, we included the correspondence we sent out to the Facebookers. We’re considering it our first promotional. This helped to break down the payment options. It seemed to work for the people we’ve already given it too, but as well anyone who might happen upon our site.

The sixth site is our invitation to participate in a couple of satisfaction surveys. There are two right now. The first one is a satisfaction survey on the site, and the second one is a satisfaction survey from having read the book. During the second one, I started to ask a few questions about multiplicity. I would like to ask more, but I think that is going to need waiting until I do some of the research that I mentioned yesterday. Jewelz said that she already did one of the surveys so we are really looking forward to getting that back. Julie and Vickie are our forward people … whatever I ask they do. These are the best kind of girlfriends!

I had really started to do some work on the PDF files so the last two sections are statements to that. Basically, the first one is a copy of our updated business journal, which serves as a sort of outline of what we’ve been doing. I know that it is unusual to write things like that out, but we were thinking that there’s not much that doesn’t get written out in the book, so that just briefly summarized that particular point of the business that I would like others to feel involved with. I think if something seriously is affecting the business then it has a right to a one line acknowledgement … The whole thing of writing is to let others know how we think and process things. I feel like when I’m here writing I’m in a very private space, but when I put something “out there” then it’s like gifting forward. If I don’t want someone to know something that happened then … simply it doesn’t make the journal. These are all my choices as to what to be public about and what not. Business things though – it be no different than having a store and having things sit out on racks or shelves. It’s just the nature of the beast. It was all a choice.

The last of the regular sections is the part we are allowing for book excerpts. We took the first four parts of the book and PDF’d them and gave each its own link. This was very important as to saying … I know we are into the business of Ann, but the actual item being sold is the book and its contents. The four items listed at the web from the book are Dr. Marvin’s and Dr. Woollcott’s forewords and my two sections as introduction to the book and introduction to the parts. I like the feeling of drawing people into the story. I think the synapses used on the cover and as a selling item are brief, but this gives people a really good extension into the story finding out if they are interested and to what degree – strong enough to buy a copy? I like the part of it being a reference too, so if you were talking to someone about the book, you could say, find out for yourself, go look at her site. I realize that after the search inside parts go up for Amazon and Barnes and Noble people will do the same, but for now we’re just happy to be again contributing something forward.

There are some convenience buttons and they seem to add depth to the site. The first one of course is always the home button, and then the next is for contact … I like that … it is how Julie wrote to me this morning. There’s another button for a map that shows our business address and asks if the person would like to get driving instructions, and then also on the top is a button for up to five testimonials. We haven’t done this yet, but since Julie read the book, we might ask her if she will do one. AHA! She’s off. I wrote a short note. I’m going to hope for the best. WooHOO!!! It’s done Julie gave us a statement and a picture – PERFECT!!! I’m very proud to say she’s #1. She’s the first and most likely only person to have read the book. Nope, nope no one else yet, but we’re a hoping!

The buttons on the bottom … one is for my pictures. I wish we’d have something better than this right now … ours just have a few slow loading quilting pictures, but this is pretty much what we’ve been taking.

There’s the section on the store … we tried to clean that up this weekend too. I’m hoping people get that they should not use the store per se, but send things in like explained on the pre-order. There is an address book, that Vince already signed, thank you very much V! And, then there are the last four add-ons.

The first add-on is the mission statement. This might go somewhere else later – probably in the business plan, but for the moment we had some space. The next part was our Amazon store. That’s been a very fun endeavor. Somehow we were able to put in a search for multiples who wrote autobiography’s and rather than thinking this was the competition, it seemed like a public service to keep these others considered if you had natural interests toward multiplicity. Amazon associate is terrific. I couldn’t say more about it better than I love its layout. I love that you don’t have to leave my site to read different things on other multiples, and you are connected to buying their books through the old-fashioned dependable Amazon. I think it is also praise for ourselves to be considered part of that group of written work.

There is another add-on that brings people more directly to the blog, and there is another link that shows people by PDF file a copy of that spreadsheet I did researching the different multiples writing autobiographies on Amazon.

There I think you then about have it. This is the sum and substance of the site. There is a couple of links also on the bottom one of which brings you to the Flash site, and then there is one last important button. This is the button to show you a site map. I always thought that was good business. I would like to take more credit, but I really can’t this company sitecube.com has really added a lot of nice elements for the cost of doing business. I love that sometime in the future, we could change the site general appearance, but because it’s formatted with information going in as it does, you do not lose anything by switching up. That might be important later down the line, but for now we want to build some trustworthiness in so that people feel comfortable coming back if that’s their wish.

I talked to their tech guy and I think with the problem with the 404 error message it’s a matter of the google spider coming back in 3-4 weeks. I think that’s as often as they update changes. We’ll have to keep that in mind when major major changes. There seems to be a whole long page of stats. Some of them are just the same in different formats, but there will be plenty of data to analyze. We’d like to do something now, but not sure what that would be. Maybe we should go into some research, by that I mean we’ve purchased books and borrowed them that we haven’t read yet. I think that we’ll work on the Herschel Walker one again. I know that we have Marie’s work, but that’s going to take some time to study.

Hmm, just remembered that now; we were supposed to come up with some format to collect info. I’m thinking that we might want to do something on a spreadsheet … that’s been our favorite for a bit. I think we were also going back to Sarah’s blog of blogs. That might be more attuned to our jumpy nerves. We’re just panicking because we have to go back to work. That’s no good. I think after we finish the sprite we are going to mix a Margarita. I think Rich is due home any moment so that might be good. He wanted me to clean up too. Hmm, just remembered … but we don’t want to do that right now? Maybe we better pick up at least in the living room.

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