Professionals Shares Tips & Tricks
By: Penny Carnathan

Writing a how-to business book or CEO memoir has become a recognized tool for business professionals marketing and branding themselves and their companies. It helps them establish their expertise while sharing useful information appreciated by readers. Plus, it can introduce them to a vast new audience of potential customers.

It's a phenomenon public relations professional Marsha Friedman first noticed years ago.

"Everything else being equal, I saw that it was much easier to get clients invited on TV and radio talk shows if they'd written a book," says Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations, (, in Tampa, Fla.

"After exploring the reasons, I realized just about anyone with the right message can use a book to boost their visibility," she says. "Professionals can do it; people interested in securing public speaking engagements; philanthropists; homemakers who turn their books themselves into a business."    

So Friedman wrote her own book, "Celebritize Yourself," explaining her three-step process for developing and using a book to get publicity.

Today, more than 11,000 business books alone are published each year - and that doesn't include self-published e-books, according to the authors of "The 100 Best Business Books of All Time."

"Whether you're using your book to generate media, speaking opportunities or new customers, it is the most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal," says Adam Witty, CEO of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher.

"When you consider that the average book sells less than 2,000 copies, getting rich off of book sales becomes a far away fantasy. But if you use your book to get a feature in your industry trade journal, what is that worth? If your typical customer is worth $5,000, and you use your book to attract and generate new leads into your business, how much more valuable does your book become?"

You don't have to be a great writer to produce a great book. But, as New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin, CEO of Business Ghost, Inc., explains, you do need to make sure the end product is clean and professional.

"You wouldn't walk into a sales call with a stain on your shirt, and it's the same with a book," he says. "The last thing you want to do is publish a book full of typos that gives people the impression you're sloppy."

If you don't have the time or skill to tackle a book on your own, you can hire someone to put your ideas into words.

Levin offers these tips for selecting a ghostwriter:

• Make sure ghostwriting is their primary business. Many writers list ghostwriting as one of the services they provide, but if you dig deep, you may find that they have never written a book or have only written a few. Don't let them learn how on your dime!

• Read the blurbs on the ghostwriter's website. Are they from famous people, top business leaders, celebrities, and the like? Or is there a run-of-the-mill feeling to the testimonials? Or worse, are there no testimonials at all?

• Contact at least three prior book clients of the ghostwriter. If the ghostwriter can't give you three names of satisfied customers, game over.

The next step is publishing. While e-books are an inexpensive self-publishing option, Friedman says printed copies are best for marketing.

"As an author, you simply need to determine which publishing model best helps you reach your goals," says Witty of Advantage Media Group.

He offers these thoughts to consider:

• Ownership of rights and intellectual property: If you plan to re-purpose the content of your book into articles, blog posts or other products like home study kits, ensure your contract gives you that freedom. Typically, traditional publishing contracts don't; self publishing or working with co-publishers (where the publisher and author or investor share expenses) oftentimes do.

• Speed-to-market: How quickly do you want your book to be published? With self publishing, it is really a matter of how fast you work! The traditional publishing process can take the better part of two years. Co-publishing options often turn a book around in three to six months.

Friedman concedes that the idea of writing and publishing a book can be daunting, but it's worth the effort for its marketing value, she says.

And there are even greater rewards.

"Having written and published my own, I can tell you it was one of my proudest accomplishments and worth every bit of my time and hard work," she says. "The greatest feeling - one I never anticipated - was hearing from readers who said that my book had made a difference in their lives.

"That's priceless."

About Penny Carnathan

Penny Carnathan is the Creative Director/Lead Writer at EMSI Public Relations. She is a journalist with more than 30 years experience; a former national award-winning editor, reporter and columnist at The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Fla., and currently a bimonthly columnist for the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, Fla.  You can find her on Twitter, @DigginPenny.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) announced four finalists in its "America's Smartland: Let the Midwest Surprise You!" video contest. The video contest is part of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's promotion of a positive Midwestern narrative during his tenure as MGA Chair. In addition to highlighting the strengths and unique qualities of the region, these finalists were chosen through a public voting period.

Finalists include :

"Flyover States" by Steve Muntz (Iowa)

"The Midwest" by Chris Wentzle (Ohio)

"The Midwest: America's Smartland" by Aaron Johnson (Minnesota)

"What is the Midwest" by Jerrod Roberts (Illinois)

To view these videos, click here.

"Congratulations to all of our region's talented filmmakers on the excellent videos they submitted that showcase why the Midwest is a great place to live, start a business, work, raise a family and get an education. These video finalists provide a wonderful narrative spanning the wide scope of the Midwest's collective strengths and the excellent character and skills of Midwesterners," said Branstad.

Jesse Heier, Executive Director of the MGA, said, "These videos are awesome! Thank you to all of those who submitted entries and voted for their favorites. I encourage any business, person or group that wants to promote the strengths of our region to post and share these videos."

The MGA's video contest, which was launched in May 2012, features submissions by Midwesterners that tell the Midwest's unique story. The goal of the video contest is to draw attention to the collective strengths of the Midwestern region and all it has to offer. The Midwest is the crossroads for much of the nation's economic activity with a strong work ethic and climate for business and job growth that reflect a diverse mix of industries. Midwestern states are proud of their high-quality schools and colleges with tremendous research capabilities; a stand-out standard of living, which includes vibrant cities and towns, affordable housing, cultural recreational and sporting activities; incredible opportunities in agriculture and the biosciences; and four distinct seasons and breathtaking natural wonders.

The winning entry will be announced in February.


The MGA is a nonprofit, bipartisan organization that brings together the governors of Midwestern states to work cooperatively on issues of importance to the region. Current members of the MGA are Gov. Pat Quinn (Ill.), Gov. Mitch Daniels (Ind.), Gov. Terry Branstad (Iowa), Gov. Sam Brownback (Kansas), Gov. Rick Snyder (Mich.), Gov. Mark Dayton (Minn.), Gov. Jay Nixon (Mo.), Gov. John Kasich (Ohio) and Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.).

COVINA, Calif. - With a burning passion for writing and the support of her friends and family, young author Nichole Flink has pieced together "Nikki's Whit's: New Dimensions" (published by AuthorHouse) - a collection of short stories.

Throughout the book, readers will enter multiple worlds that will allow them to feel a range of emotions from intense despair and sadness to pure ecstasy and joy. Each story, however, has one common thread: utter excitement. Each story has been woven together from her memories and her everyday interactions. With each story bringing a new theme and characters, every reader will find a story they connect with.

An excerpt from "Nikki's Whit's":

I'm afraid to stand and fight. I'm afraid to lose and die. I'm afraid because I'm only human loosing blood, blood which is red and not green or blue or yellow, blood which is the color red and only red. Bruises lay on my body, stabs, thrusts, and slices cover me to keep me from winning. A game which has to do with fighting, to the last person standing out of a group of twenty. How did I survive the first thirty seconds of this bloody battle? How did I become second on top? A human, a weakling, a girl, a little girl. How did I end up on another planet fighting for my life, a fifteen year old girl?

"Nikki's Whit's"

By Nichole Flink

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 128 pages | ISBN 9781477256602

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 128 pages | ISBN 9781477256619

E-Book | 128 pages | ISBN 9781477256596

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

A sophomore in high school, Nichole Flink loves to write, play sports, play music in a band and be involved with her family. She is inspired, challenged in all that she does, communicative and friendly. This is her second book, but she plans for many more to follow.

For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.


Tomorrow: History of the Ignaugural Address

The media is abuzz with plans for the newest presidental inauguration, but what's the historical importance of these speeches? Join us tomorrow, Jan. 9, as Dr. Steve Klien of Augustana College presents -


American Identity and Inaugural Addresses, Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 6:00 pm in our Main Library.


Featuring Dr. Steve Klien of Augustana College's Communication Studies Department, the program will consider the role of these speeches in shaping American political and cultural identity. From words by FDR to John F. Kennedy, some inaugural speeches have played a lasting role in American culture.


Join us, as we take another look at a national ritual 224 years in the making, with highlights from some of the most powerful and important orations in US history!


Teen Fun @ Your Library


Read to Survive, Survive to Read Teen READ challenge is Jan. 6-Jan. 26. Forms are available all Rock Island Library locations. Read, survive and win!


After you pick up your challenge form, take part in a Teen Read Scavenger Hunt, at 6:00 pm THIS Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Rock Island Main Library.  Test your survival skills and see if you have what it takes to follow the clues and stay alive in this battle of endurance and wits! Come and try your luck for a chance to win great prizes! Ages 12-18.


More teen fun in January:

Jan. 17: Teen Trivia Night, 6:00 pm, Main Library

Jan. 22: Teen Gaming Night, 6:00 pm, Main Library

Jan. 31: Teen Iron Chef, 6:00 pm, Main Library.


Do You Have An E-reader?


Try our second session of Getting Started with Downloading eBooks for help with checking out free books for your eReader, tablet, computer or smartphone:  5:30 pm, Tuesday, Jan. 15, SOUTHWEST Branch, 9010 Ridgewood Road.  Free, no registration required.

Looking for something to do with the kids next Friday?

Friday, Jan. 18 is an early dismissal day for Rock Island/Milan school. If you're looking for something to do, bring them to our Friday Fest movie at the Main Library.  "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" starts at 1:00 pm in the 2nd floor Community Room. It's rated PG.

Juveniles on Brink of Personal Journey,
Says Youth Advocate

It's only appropriate that fantastical genres of storytelling are often geared toward preadolescents, says writer Elayne James.

"It's an extremely impressionable time, with the wonder of childhood firmly established and a dramatic transformation about to take place," says James, author of "Destiny's Call," the first installment of the fantasy series "The LightBridge Legacy," (

It's also not surprising that the "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy from 2001 to 2003 was one of the most successful in film history - and that fans were eagerly anticipating director Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth on Dec. 14 with the release of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," she says.

In addition to being masterfully interpreted on the big screen, many of us were attached to the story from the books, which are often introduced during the middle school years. The narratives and personal experiences we have during preadolescence tend to stay with us more than those from other phases of life.

Researchers frequently cite pediatric neuroimaging studies, which show that during the ages of 11 and 12 our brain development is at a fundamental stage. A four-month journey across America at that age left an indelible impression on James. The trip culminated in New York City which became the launching point for the "Tolkien-esque" adventure in her most recent novel.

"Think about what you were learning at that age, your interests, the dreams of who you might someday become, all taking shape as your sense of self comes slowly into focus. Those things you loved as a child, whether it be drawing or basketball, music or dance, will likely be what brings you back to yourself later in life."

James says there's much to value about pre-teens experiencing narratives like "The Hobbit":

• Preparation and a sense of identity: In "The Hobbit," the prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien's famous trilogy, Bilbo Baggins is the protagonist on a quest for treasure. Throughout his journey, he grows and matures, learning to accept the various aspects of his personality, including those that are less appealing. He must be brave at times, and rely on his common sense at other times. This is the journey pre-teens face when entering adolescence, and discussing it with them through the prism of Bilbo Baggins can be a wonderful teaching moment (as well as a potentially entertaining conversation).

• Puberty, the universal "adventure: " Everyone must endure that first plunge of major physical transformation with puberty. As the body is flooded with adult hormones, adolescents must rely on their still-developing young minds to deal with mature situations. This can be a difficult, even frightening, time and, of course, kids are never the same after puberty. Baggins' ordeals show children that high adventure (including puberty!) and the most important experiences in life, leave us forever changed. There may be frightening moments, times they grieve what they're leaving behind, but ultimately, the journey is rewarding.

• There and Back Again ... This is not only the expanded title of Tolkien's "The Hobbit," it is also a reoccurring theme in James' career as a writer. After reading "The Hobbit" at age 11 and chronicling her own adventures across America a year later, she decided to create her own stories. "Without Tolkien's invitation to Middle Earth," she says, "I might have followed a very different path. Tolkien made me view my own life as an adventure and I believed that I, like the unassuming, shy little Hobbit, could succeed, even against all odds." Returning to New York as an adult, and as an author, she claims, brought her journey full circle.

"What occurs during adolescence stays with you," says James, "so it's important to make sure children are exposed to positive stories and experiences."

About Elayne James

Elayne James started her writing career at age 11 - after she read "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien and discovered she wanted to spend her life creating worlds. In addition to being a lifelong writer, she has been a singer/songwriter, sound effects specialist, a video editor, a playwright, a theatrical lighting designer, a graphic artist and a professional photographer. She lives by the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.

Author Sandi Lorraine releases her new romance fiction, "Heartache VS. Heartbreak"


GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa - (Release Date TBD) - From the prolific novelist of The Escape, Love's Enduring Choices, and A Winter To Remember, Heartache VS. Heartbreak is Sandi Lorraine's fourth and latest addition to her treasury of romance fiction. This newly published book portrays a classic love triangle, set in the heart of Iowa, with an intriguingly fresh and unique storyline replete with surprising twists that will delight both Lorraine's avid fans and new followers alike.


The story revolves around the life of Sheriff Brice Hawkins. When he is called to investigate the disappearance of a seven-year-old boy, he is not prepared to come face to face with Jalynn, the mother of his ten-year-old son, Grady. She had deserted them years before, but now here she stands before him, wanting to rekindle the flame that had once been between them. As she crawls into his bed again, he realizes that he has never really gotten over her.


However, things are never too simple. Brice now had someone else. Mira Phillips is his best friend, favorite companion, and the woman that his son, Grady, wants for his mother. It was not going to make any difference how and where he leaps. Someone is bound to get hurt. The only question is: "Who would it be?"


Here is a slice from one of Heartache VS. Heartbreak's evocative scenes:


Brice finally reached home about midnight, so he didn't want to disturb Grady and Mira. Instead of going to bed, he just stretched out in his recliner, thankful for a break for both mind and body. However, sleep didn't come, as he thought about so many things he had tried for years to forget, as far as Jalynn was concerned. Now in just a few short hours time, they were all rushing back to haunt him. He remembered the frustration he had felt after she had left. And for years, he didn't know if he dreaded or hoped she would return, just so he could release all the anger he felt towards her. Now here she was, and he still didn't know how he wanted or should feel towards her.


With its distinctive plot, unexpected twists and turns, and personable characters, Heartache VS. Heartbreak is a book that is sure to engage readers from beginning to end. They will be wrapped up in a love affair, waiting to find out how a stable new life and love can withstand the fires that a rekindled old flame can bring.


For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author

Sandi Lorraine grew up in the Midwest farming area, married her high school sweetheart, and moved to the big city where their three children were born. Later, they moved back to that same small farming area so their children could grow up in a smaller school complex. Living in two different worlds taught her not only how to accept the different aspects of people that surround her, but how necessary it is. After their children left the nest, she returned to their local community college and took night classes to learn how to write and express herself on paper. Since that time, she has written several books and short stories as a way of relaxing, including The Escape, Love's Enduring Choices, and A Winter To Remember.


Heartache VS. Heartbreak * by Sandi Lorraine

Publication Date: December 7, 2012

Trade Paperback; $19.99; 176 pages; 978-1-4797-3692-8

Trade Hardback; $29.99; 176 pages; 978-1-4797-3693-5

eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-3694-2

Join the staff, library board, and FRIENDS of the Davenport Public Library on Sunday, January 13, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the Fairmount Branch Library (3000 N. Fairmount Street) for an open house and reception for LaWanda Roudebush.  She ends nine years (8/6/2003 - 1/31/2013) of dedicated and enthusiastic service as the Davenport Public Library Director!

Please stop by to congratulate and wish her well in her retirement!  In lieu of gifts, please consider a donation to the FRIENDS of the Davenport Public Library.




Author reveals how readers can attain a more stress-free and fulfilling life

Retirement thinking and living concedes age as being old. With 77 million baby boomers reaching that retirement threshold thinking must change to living wellness not accepting illness.  In realty one's current situation is a result of one's past thinking, not circumstances or happenstance.  If one thinks that he is too old to live well, chances are, his pessimistic thoughts are helping him age too fast.  Then we will always be too young to die.

In his book, Never Too Old to Live: Never Too Old to Change, author Rhoads points out the facts?that chronological age is but a number and what matters is that people should start feeling and acting happy to live longer.  Less stress, more healthy habits provide this biological outcome.  " either think young or feel old...why not feel young and forget thinking old"...Jeanne Clement 122 years, 164 days young (oldest person in the world).

This Self-Health book is not a fountain of youth?but prescribed good thinking and doing habits which keep people mentally, physically and emotionally younger.  Once people are able to subdue negative thoughts and forces, they can attain a more stress-free, youthful biological age and finally realize they are Never Too Old to Live.

Never Too Old to Live puts emphasis on these facts and teaches thinking exercises and actions that will help people slow down the aging process.   Rhoads calls it Staging your life for living longer.

With health care costs skyrocketing this remedy also helps all of us economically.  Physically, you can guide aging by staging your diet, exercise plan and mental functioning...through a regimen proposed in the book about 14,000 calories can be burned in 10 weeks resulting in a 10 pound weight loss and a 3 point reduction in your BMI...Rhoads provides a tool on the book's website called the Downsizer for tracking calorie reductions and improvements in your BMI.  Think and burn your way to fitness.

Thoughts are powerful things. Earle Nightingale, an American motivational speaker and author, once taught that "we become what we think about". Even experts on behaviors would agree that "we are what we think we are."  Jack Lalanne, the God Father of Fitness, who was working out until his death at the age of 96, said "I never looked forward to working out but I never looked back on a wasted day".

As the cover of the book demonstrates Rhoads and his wife have been able to practice what he preaches and are aging at a happy and healthy pace.  In their 70's they expect to pass the century mark and beyond.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

Never Too Old to Live * by Jerry Rhoads

Never Too Old to Change

Publication Date: October 15, 2012

Trade Paperback; $15.99; 92 pages; 978-1-4691-5776-4

Trade Hardback; $24.99; 92 pages; 978-1-4691-5777-1

eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4691-5778-8

Technology Under the Tree? Try These Free Programs!

Your library is gearing up in January to help you learn how to use the technology Santa brought. Try these free programs:


Getting Started with Downloading eBooks:

2:00 pm, Wednesday, Jan. 2, MAIN Library, and

5:30 pm, Tuesday, Jan. 15, SOUTHWEST Branch


From smartphones to tablets, there are all sorts of devices that will allow you to check out eBooks and eAudiobooks  for free at the Rock Island Library. We'll show you how! Free, no registration required.


And if Santa brings a new computer, try this class:


Getting Started with Computers:

1:30 pm, Tuesday, Jan. 29, MAIN LIbrary. Whether you've never touched a computer before or just want to learn some new things, this class will help you get more comfortable. Space is limited; registration required for this class only. Call 309-732-7341 to sign up.


More Events for the first week of January 2013


Catch a free independent movie showing at 6:00 pm on Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Rock Island Main Library. This month's film is Queen of Hearts (French with English subtitles). Independent films are not rated. Free popcorn. (Watch it, and join an online discussion on the Rock Island Library Facebook page after the movie.)


Thirty-something Adele is devastated after a painful breakup. With no close friends or family, her distant cousin, Rachel, reluctantly takes her in and graciously attempts to salvage Adele's personal and professional lives.


Teen Fun @ Your Library



Read to Survive, Survive to Read Teen READ challenge is Jan. 6-Jan. 26. Forms will be available by Friday, Jan. 4 at all Rock Island Library locations. Read, survive and win!


After you pick up your challenge form, take part in a Teen Read Scavenger Hunt, at 6:00 pm on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Rock Island Main Library.  Test your survival skills and see if you have what it takes to follow the clues and stay alive in this battle of endurance and wits! Come and try your luck for a chance to win great prizes! Ages 12-18.

Rock Island, IL/ December 12th, 2012 -  Media Link, Inc. is proud to announce and welcome it's newest Account Manager, former intern Alexis Nimmers. In her new position she will be working with our customers on Media Link Software and Government affairs.

Nimmers brings a variety of experience to the table. She interned with the Missouri House of Representatives for more than two years for two separate State Representatives; Steve Webb and Roman LeBlanc both of the Democratic Party. During this time she attended Black Caucus meetings, briefings, and also performed administrative duties. Nimmers also interned with JCTV, where she had the chance to actively work on her production skills, managed a number of news packages and even served as on-air talent. This experience allowed her to get an in-depth feeling on how the production of a program works, both in-front-of and behind the camera.

Nimmers began her journalism career as a student at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO, where she was a reporter for the student-run newspaper, The Clarion. During her time with The Clarion, she experienced the vibrant and challenging newsroom environment. This is where Nimmers experienced the news media scene firsthand, sharpened her writing, editing, and communication skills to give her the expertise and perspectives she now can offer her clients. Nimmers graduated from Lincoln University in the Spring of 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Journalism.

"I am so excited to be joining the Media Link team," said Nimmers. "This company is offering me a wonderful experience.  I can't wait to help contribute to their mission of helping clients achieve continuous success in their marketing efforts.

"Alexis is a vibrant and exciting addition to our team.  She's been one of our best interns.  So, we're excited to give her a chance to really thrive with this position," said Natalie Linville-Mass, President of Media Link, Inc.

Media Link is a full-service integrated marketing firm specializing in strategic media buying and placement. Media Link works with businesses in the Quad-Cities and around the country to develop and execute customized marketing strategies to help them more effectively reach their customers. Media Link recently developed and launched its own media buying software system.  This company is also one of the only marketing firms in the region to have obtained an 8(a) SDB certification, a designation of significance to clients who contract with the federal government.