Grunt Work & Tools of the Trade

When Creative Nonfiction Magazine emailed me and asked if I could do an interview, I was thrilled! I told my daughter and her response was, “You’re becoming kind of famous, Mom. How did you do that?”My answer, “I’ve been doing the grunt work.”

It’s true. Half of my job as a published author is simply doing the work. Making the calls. Emailing around.

I’ve recently found two tools that have helped me out. So here they are: Google Searches and Snipping Tools. Easy, Peasy.

1. Type into a search engine and what comes up looks like this:

1. Google, capture




2. Type in your name and click.

Google, Search Tools, Capture



3. Click on the gray box to the right, “Search Tools”

4. Click on the word, “ANYTIME”

A drop down box will give you options: Any time, past hour, past 24. You get the picture.

Google, time, Capture





 5. I usually click on “Past Week”

6. What follows is kind of magical. About 142,000 results  in 0.32 seconds. The list that pops up every time in the last week that someone has mentioned your name.

Google, Past Week, Capture






I’m not one of those nut cases who checks their status every hour. I’m not curious or concerned about my rating. I google search my name once a week. I do this because it is a good tool. This week when I checked, I found two new listings that I might have otherwise missed.

1. The blog READING MINNESOTA by Mike Kalmbach featured my book. Mike’s wonderful and informative blog celebrates Minnesota authors, illustrators, reviewers, bookstores, and small presses. If you want to learn more about Minnesota and Books, it’s a great place to go.

2. And on Facebook, the Presbyterian Church of Fargo added my book to their library.

So what good does knowing that information do? It becomes a connecting point. I emailed Mike and thanked him for the blog. I read through his blog. I’m connecting with fellow Minnesotans who read Minnesota Authors. I got a list of other Minnesota authors so that I’m becoming conversant in their names and works. I Facebooked the Presbyterian Church and thanked them. I offered to come and speak about my book if they’d like. They responded with interest and passed the information on to their board.

The connections add up over time. I’m learning about the writing world and people are learning about my book. It’s a win/win.

The other tool I used is the Snipping Tool. It’s like a digital scissors and is also called the Capture Screen Tool. Whatever is on  your screen, it captures and saves. That is how I captured the pictures above of Google, and the drop down menus. I snipped them. Interested? Quick, easy, free download HERE.

 PHOTO: The day we moved into our first house in Kalabo Village. My new kitchen! 1982.

And, let me tell you,  that was a whole different kind of grunt work! 

Jill Kandel
  • Mike Kalmbach
    Posted at 00:43h, 05 April Reply

    Hi Jill!

    It sounds like you’re doing a lot of really good things to help you become successful. I’m happy to do my small part to help other authors.

    Please let me know as you release new books!


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