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Red Flags for Editors and Ghost Writers

Published November 20, 2019 by Maryanne

Ghosts

I’ve been self-employed as an editor and ghost writer since 2009. It’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve worked with some amazing people, who I remain friends with to this day. The written word is such a beautiful thing. Editing a book is as relaxing as doing a puzzle. It just doesn’t feel like “work” to me!

But there is work involved. The three steps are: 1. Finding potential clients; 2. Convincing them to work with you; and 3. The third step, not many think about–but should! Interviewing the client and deciding, do you want to work with them? Back in 2013, I wrote an article, The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/the-four-types-of-clients-youll-encounter/) and it still holds true today.

In the article, right off the bat I mention that bending over backward for each client is a big mistake. If you read the article you will understand why. In this blog, today, I’m sharing some of the red flags that will tell you, “DO NOT GET INVOLVED!”

When we’re working for ourselves, we may have a great run of clients. Things are going along so well, what could possible go happen? This is when they “get us.” When we least expect it. Someone comes along with little experience in the publishing world, thinks they know everything, and acts like they have you by the balls because they have money. WRONG!

1. The first red flag to say “no” is when someone is not respectful of your time. If you have an appointment to meet with someone and they don’t show up, it’s bad news. (Note, cancelling last minute is okay, because shit happens, and at least they had the decency to call. But if you have to chase someone down for a phone call or an email–BEWARE!)

Here’s an example of what happened to me just today…

I had an appointment at noon for a phone meeting, which was set up by an Assistant to the Writer. Prior to this phone meeting the Assistant said I was in the Top 3 for candidates. Looking good, right? The day before, I called the Assistant to confirm the phone meeting. All was well.

Today, 12:15, no call from Writer. … Which brings me to #2…

2. The second red flag to say “no” to a client is when they use patronizing speech towards you. Next, I called the Assistant, asking “What happened?” Like a child, he got defensive. He went off on me like a raving lunatic, defending the Writer. He was nasty towards me and said I was acting “desperate.”

WTF? Acting “desperate” because I wanted to know why the Writer didn’t keep his appointment? That’s not about desperation, that’s about respect. Was I supposed to wait by the phone all day long (and diss my other clients?!)  Who is the professional here? I believe it was me. I was waiting for a phone call that never happened.

I showed up. They screwed up. TWICE.

As soon as someone uses condescending words towards me, I call it a day. I simply said, “Never mind, I am not interested.” I hung up without giving him a chance to respond. If someone shows their true colors even before the first phone meeting, it’s only downhill from there. I never got a chance to talk to the writer. Which brings me to #3…

3. When assisting a person in writing a book, it’s best to work one-on-one. If there are more people involved, it gets sticky. There are too many personality conflicts. This happened to me very early in my ghost writing career. I was helping an elderly woman write a children’s book. She hired an illustrator that didn’t see eye-to-eye with me–and was downright nasty whenever I disagreed with her. (She couldn’t take constructive criticism and everything had to be her way).

I’m self-employed because I chose to leave the corporate world in order to avoid the stress of petty personality conflicts. Yet, here was this girl behaving like a child.

When accepting a job, be sure you know upfront who else is going to be involved–including assistants!

4. The final red flag is when a client is notorious for ripping people off. Boy, was I blind-sided by this one! A few weeks ago I was helping a girl write a book about coming to NYC, from another state, on a limited budget. While working with this woman, she shared many stories about hopping from loft to loft because she could never make rent. (The punchline is she felt she was entitled to skip rent because she was down on her luck and the tenants were being unfair!!) As a positive person, it never dawned on me that she was still doing the same thing years later. I was under the impression she was now a successful entrepreneur. Next thing I know, we have a phone session and then she stiffs me for money afterwards. She finally paid me and I told her it was best we part ways.

Now, money is not a big deal for me. When I work with clients, I give them freebies all the time. Free hours for their birthdays and Christmas. I give a $50 referral fee to anyone who brings me business. I direct my clients to publishers, places to do book signings, and help them promote their books. When someone hires me, they have a winner! In fact, 90 percent of the people I work with tell me they “love” me!

When you have a great ghost writer/editor and client relationship, the results are pure magic! A book that looks beautiful because you hired someone who has 20+ years experience. A book that is edited and proofread with no mistakes on the main pages (the cover, the back cover, the special thanks section, the dedication). And a book that is up on Amazon, so you can make money (royalty checks) while you sleep!

Is this something you want? Hire a professional today!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Rover’s Relief CBD Salve for Pets

Published October 18, 2019 by Maryanne

Rover's Relief

Earlier this week I helped out at a pet expo for two reasons: 1. To network with those who were possibly interested in my professional blogging services or having me ghost write their books (after all, anyone who is self-employed should have a book no matter what line of work they are in); 2. I LOVE ANIMALS! And nothing beats a good score of new products for my kitties. They truly deserve the best.

When you’re a person like myself, either on the go (driving long distances) or at home plugging away on the computer (writing assignments or my next book!), no matter how much you love your life and what you do, you are bound to get a little stressed and achy.

A few weeks ago I noticed a pinch in my shoulder area. I was right on it with acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. Not quite yet healed, I was starting to feel a little achy in the shoulder area again.

Around this time I met RaChelle Lobre, of Rover’s Pet (roverspet.com). I’m always ready to share the story of how CBD oil made my cat Bennie more comfortable during his final days here on earth. Then I got to talking about my achy shoulder. RaChelle suggested taking a big glob of Rover’s Relief CBD salve and putting it on my shoulder.

I did as she suggested and within minutes, my shoulder pain stopped. This salve helped me more than any of the acupuncture or chiropractic treatments did! I was now able to dress and undress without being in pain.

That night I slept like a baby. I woke up the next day feeling like a brand new person, ready to face the world! Hell, if it’s good enough for Rover, it’s good enough for me!

This premium hemp salve contains 500mg CBD oil, and no THC. It’s easy to use and smells pleasant. I recommend using before bedtime because it truly relaxes you.

If Rover’s Pet worked that good for me, imagine what it could do for a dog?

Our babies count on us to give them nothing but the best. If your pet can use a little relief, this is a product I trust and recommend.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

And check out her anti-bullying You Tube channel, Be YOUniquehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

 

Turning My Back on Age 55

Published August 18, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_8479Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Today is my last day of age 55.

It’s been an incredible year. My fourth book was published and I wrote a fifth (which will be published later this year). I’ve helped two other people write their books, while I tried to help even more who have given up on the process. Yet I never give up.

It’s been another year of growth, spiritually and creatively. I joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker. I not only won a spot to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero,” but I’ve won “Best Speaker,” “Best Evaluator,” and “Best Table Topics.” I’ve continued to present speaking engagements in libraries.

I also started an anti-bullying You Tube channel. And blogging, lots of it for major companies and small businesses.

I’ve loved hard; and I’ve lost hard. Last summer my husband and I took in a beautiful feral cat, Bennie, who chose us to live with during the final months of his short three years. We gave him a happy last few months, then he was put down due to brain cancer. We’ve also lost some friends who died way too young. As well as some high profiles like Shakti Gawain, who has been inspiring me since I found her book in the late 1980s, “Creative Visualization.”

As always, it’s been a year of much fun. Friends, concerts, trips, and lots of laughter. And yet, another cat we adopted back in April–Sammy, with the full name, Samuel Keane Clemens.

I end the year in good health, for which I never take for granted. Young people still tell me, “You look so young” when I share my real age, for which I am always proud of. Many do not make it to 55, so I am so grateful for each day on this planet, and thank the energy we call God or the Universe.

It’s a great life and I’ve manifested it; being in harmony with the universe. Being myself. Being YOUnique. God bless everyone who is a part of my own little world.

Bring on year number 56! I am ready!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Overnight Success Is Not a Real Thing

Published June 26, 2019 by Maryanne

Monkey AroundIs it business or monkey business? 

During my years as a journalist, people contacted me to publicize themselves. (Or just for a great story in general). It was a dream come true writing about bands (both famous and up and coming). I shared the story many times about how I interviewed The Jonas Brothers before they were a household name.  Those years were an amazing run in my life.

Then I started getting into writing books. And public speaking.

All of a sudden, publicists were coming out of the woodwork wanting to make me a “star.” Five years later, none of them impressed me.

Finding a good manager/publicist is like figuring out who to give your virginity too. It may take a long time. It may not happen at all. But whatever the case, don’t just give money to anyone.

I didn’t settle for love and ended up with a very happy marriage. So, why should I settle for a publicist/manager? In the end, I want it all — including a dream publicist/manager!

My goal in finding one would be:

  1. Someone who doesn’t lead with money. When someone (like the last scam artist) suggested that I create a Go Fund Me page in order to use her $7K per month services, I ripped her. I told her, if I was interested, I’d pay CASH in PAYPAL. And that Go Fund Me pages are to support those in real need, like people with cancer or hurt animals … Not publicists. Her plea of desperation for money was a major red flag. She spoke about money before she spoke about what she could do for me. Our phone consult lasted a mere five minutes while she put me on hold several times to talk to her friends at the restaurant. How can you ask for money when you barely spoke to someone? She didn’t even purchase one of my books, so how could she promote me? SCAM ARTIST ALERT! Another one said he could get me to warm up for Tony Robbins if I paid him $50K. He said Tony Robbins always wants him to be his opening motivational speaker act, but he’s too busy with his own stuff. I researched, and asked around. Nothing told me there was any truth in this man working with Tony Robbins.
  2. Someone who believes in me. Several years ago I exhausted myself interviewing potential managers. During one interview, a retired guy said, “Are you any good?” I ended the interview quickly. Why? Because he didn’t do his homework before the interview. If he read my newsletters and saw that I was consistently working for myself since 2009, he’d KNOW I was good. To me, being at the top and not lasting isn’t a good thing. But being somewhere in the middle and having longevity IS! I interviewed a woman who was putting me down while wanting the job. It reminded me of the “Sex and the City” movie when Carrie Bradshaw is interviewing potential assistants and asks, “So, why do you want this job?” It’s mind-blowing that people would want to work for you, but don’t get you. It makes no sense and is sure to go nowhere fast.
  3. Someone with a great track record. Yes, I know a few people like this. They are so good they don’t have time to work with me — yet! I say YET in high hopes that someday these women/men may have a window of opportunity for me. This could be another pipe dream–kind of like how some women wait for their dream guy to divorce his beautiful wife. But when you have in mind something special, it will manifest. It always does. Just don’t force it.

The thing is, when it comes to publicity, just like anything else that is good, stable, and successful, I say, do not rush your muse. Cherish your precious creative talents like you would your body and soul. Do not give them up to just anybody.

What you have is a GIFT from God and the Universe. Slow and steady is the key. Overnight success is not a real thing.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Anti-Bullying Book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” Now Available on Audiobooks!

Published June 21, 2019 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

I am ecstatic that my book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” published by Higher Ground Books & Media, is now available on AUDIO! (https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Dont-Want-to-Be-Like-You-Audiobook/B07TB2VKWY?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-155390&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_155390_rh_us)

Sarah Staton is the voice who made my story come to life!

My book takes place growing up in the 1970s when I was bullied in both grade school and high school. And I’m sad to say, that even in this day and age bullying continues. Children are committing suicide because of assholes who have not yet evolved. Adults are secretly emailing me, “Write something about bullying in the workplace.”

It makes me so angry that 50 years later, it’s not getting better but worse.

Bullies target those who are unique; those who speak up for themselves; those who are shy; those who are creative; those who are very smart and think out of the box; those who don’t follow the crowd; and those who are very good looking. If you recognize yourself in any of those words, you most likely were a target for a bully. Because victims are often so smart and creative, they also carry around insecurities. Smart and creative people never feel good enough. You know that old saying, a genius never sees himself as one. Bullies pick up on this and attack.

The good news is, there is no reason at all to feel shame. It’s not you, it’s them. Bullies are the ones who feel hurt, sad, unloved, ugly, dumb, so they target others to make themselves feel big. Bullies are also masters at gas lighting (making others think THEY are the ones who are crazy). It’s a manipulative way for a bully to “win.”

Truth be told, all bullies are losers. If you can’t come from a place of love, you’ll never evolve. And isn’t evolution the ultimate goal? 

I recently sent out a call for speaking engagements. I let everyone know I am READY to speak out against bullying — in libraries, schools, corporations — and I will travel.

One of the responses I received was that bullying isn’t going away.

I did not know how to answer that. From what I wrote above, you may think I agree that it’s not going away. But hear me out, I now believe differently.

I was speaking to someone in a health food store earlier today. This man asked me if I was a vegan.

I said, “No, but I eat vegan for several days at a time.” I further explained I was a vegetarian/vegan for 28 years, from ages 23 to 51. Then I started eating meat (grass-fed only, and some chicken — no pork or veal!) to get my health in order. (I went from having low blood sugar, thyroid issues, low white blood cell count, very low blood pressure/borderline anemic as a vegetarian to a person of perfect health with some meat back in my body!)

After hearing my story, my new vegan friend thanked me for being one of the leaders in the movement back in the day when it was HARD. Now it’s easy! There are more vegans than ever and you can get vegan food anywhere. But in 1986, I was considered a “weirdo” for not eating meat.

What does this have to do with bullying, you may ask? 

You see, over 30 years ago, people didn’t get vegetarians. But we’ve evolved. Now we get it. And people are health conscious and accepting. The smarter ones are getting along in harmony. THIS can happen with bullying too!

At age 55, I see myself having at least another good 30 years on this planet, in this body I rented. In the year 2049, I TRULY BELIEVE, bullying will be on its way to extinction. We will evolve and change the world. Bullies will be the new neanderthals … so over. People who love will no longer be the weirdos. They will be the WINNERS! The meek will surely inherit the earth.

I CAN’T WAIT!

In the meantime, please purchase my book or audio book, it may save your child’s life when he or she hears about how I was bullied, but grew up to be successful and happy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

What I Like About You!

Published May 20, 2015 by Maryanne

me and my car

What I Like About YOU!

I “un-followed” quite a few blogs because the stuff I REALLY like was getting lost in the shuffle during my “window” of WordPress reading. I can’t read everything and I’m not going to press “like” unless I really LIKE something. I’m here as a creative hobby, not a contest to get the most followers.

So I guess this is kind of like awards, but I don’t like the awards thing, so, it’s more of a shout out to greatness! Here’s a list of the things I like reading most on WordPress.

1. Deep philosophy. Whether it’s satanism or Christianity or paganism, I like something extremely intense and moving that sucks me in and educates me. Devil’s Advocates (https://cassiejourney.wordpress.com/) is electrifying! And a big shout out to HocusPocus13 (https://hocuspocus13.wordpress.com/) where every day there is something new and refreshing in the magic world. And I can’t forget about Christianity. I love Mustard Seed Budget because like myself, they are open-minded, positive, non-preachy Christians (https://mustardseedbudget.wordpress.com/)  I’m always pleasantly shocked to see that they “like” some of my more controversial posts. THAT is so cool and for that I’ll follow them forever!

2. New Jersey related. Except for certain areas, I love all my state has to offer, so I’ll follow all New Jersey blogs. Like Photo Geek, a kick-ass photographer from New Jersey who writes about bands I love too: (http://photogeek22.com/)

3. Animals. Not much is better than an animal lover! Rachel Mankowitz (https://rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com/) writes about adventures of her dogs Butterfly and Cricket. I’ve been following her cute blog a few years now. She has over 5000 followers and is a fabulous writer!

4. Nostalgia/Vintage. Anything from the 20th century, I just love! Andrew’s “Nostalgia and Now” (https://nostalgia049.wordpress.com/) is one of my favorite blogs on WordPress. And we’re friends via email too! Andrew is one of the nicest people I’ve ever “met” in my life. I am honored to know him.

5. Pro-Women. Because nothing is more enticing than a strong woman who supports other women! That’s why I don’t want to miss one post from “Inside the Life of Moi” (https://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com/)

6. Health. REAL Health. Not something a hospital dietician would write. More like paleo living/lifestyles, bio-dynamic, bio-hacking, etc. That is why I LOVE “Simple Living Over 50” (http://simplelivingover50.com/) this dude totally gets it!

7. Always Something Different. I never know what to expect from “Just Keep Brains” (http://justkeepbrains.com/) from super cool styles to unique ways to decorate your bathroom mirrors. I love blogs that aren’t particularly themed and always have something great to offer.

Other interests of mine include: happy marriages, cruelty free and hypoallergenic make-up, foodies, road trips, cats, love, inspiration, and anything over 50.

Cult Blogger

Published February 24, 2013 by Maryanne

DJMareIdol3

My blog … it’s not for everyone

Why do I blog?

I started this blog a year ago as a creative outlet to write about things I like, mostly positive and inspirational because that’s how I am. But I also like to share about my life because writing for an audience, I write better than what I write in my private diaries. So, this blog is a wonderful document of my life.

Also, being a professional writer since 1995, even though I choose the topics I get paid for writing and I just ADORE writing as a profession, I do have a quote about journalism:

“It’s journalism, not creative writing. You’re writing a format. It’s like being in a cover band.”

— Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

So I blog!

Now, not wanting to go by formats, I mentioned before that I’m not a “tit-for-tat” blogger. I don’t spend time “liking” every blogger that likes me. I find it to be phoney and that’s not my personality.

I am not in this as a popularity contest, or to get a million followers.

I am in this to, as I said earlier, document my life and any friends I make in the meantime is a beautiful bonus.

That said, I have to point out that I stop following blogs if I’m not connecting with a fellow blogger.

For instance, if I make a sincere comment to a fellow blogger and they don’t respond; if I email a fellow blogger and they can’t be bothered answering; if I’m always reading someone’s blog and I never hear from them or if they are just pressing “like” all the time in my blog without commenting.

There are so many great blogs out there and so many great people, I like to spend my time with the BEST. Those with the best personalities, those with the best insights and those that make me laugh and make me think of them during the day.

No, I’m not making blogging like “American Idol” by making “cuts” (as someone once said to me when I made Face Book cuts years ago). It’s just that time is precious and limited. So, let’s be honest. I don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs every day and I’m not going to be phoney and press “like, like, like” if I just skimmed through something and didn’t look at it.

That said, I highly doubt I’ll follow a blog that has several hundred followers already, especially when blogs with fewer readerships are even better!

So many times, early on, I’d read “Freshly Pressed” and be like, “What did I read that for? Well, that was a boring waste of time.” When someone that has maybe 50 followers I’m like, “WOW, this person should be known worldwide — this is fantastic!”

I think my blog is pretty versatile if I do say so myself. It offers music, spirituality, fun, animals and health. But if my blog is kept at cult status because I’m not playing  the game of re-blogging others, liking everything, interviewing other bloggers and giving out awards — SO BE IT!

What the hell — my art was once called “punk art,” so keeping it real, I don’t mind being a cult blogger. In fact, I’m quite enjoying my cult status.