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How to Write and Publish a Novel in 50 Days—Side Hustler's Edition

typewriter minimalism

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

From Gary Vaynerchuck to Eddie Huang, many Entrepreneurs have published Books highlighting their unique voice and establishing themselves as leaders of their industries.

Whether you're looking to publish a book about your success story or you'd like to sound off on your area expertisewriting a book is a great vehicle to legitimize and solidify your ideas. Maybe it's the historical role that books have played, or maybe it's just good marketingbut books (whether electronic or not) seem to carry a little more cache than your average internet article.  

Reasons an Entrepreneur Should Publish a Novel

  • Publishing a novel is a lead generation tool
  • Publishing a novel is a branding tool
  • Publishing a novel provides value to others
  • Publishing a novel can help solidify you as an "expert" 
  • Publishing a novel gives you a chance to point out flaws in an industry (which hopefully you're solving)
moleskin how to publish a novel

In determining the math for “How to Write and Publish a Novel in 50 Days” we undoubtedly have to make some generalizations. Book length preferences vary by genre, target audience, publisher, and author. There are epic fantasies that range well over 100,000 words, mystery novels that tend to range from 60,000-80,000 and novellas that are not considered short stories but not yet novel length. For all intensive purposes we have decided on a word count of 60,000, so you may need to adjust your work load accordingly (i.e. instead of 3 pages per day you may only need to write 2 etc.)

-Each stylized novel page in word contains roughly: 500 words

-If you commit to writing 3 pages a day that equals: 1,500 words

-At 1,500 words a day we will achieve the 60,000 word goal in: just 40 days!

“But wait, why did you say 50 days?” Let’s be honest, it would have sounded a lot nicer when writing this “how to publish a novel guide” to put 40 days instead of 50—but with publishing and editing considerations that’s just not realistic. By adding 10 extra days, for mapping out your book, making edits, formatting, doing cover art etc.—you can feel a lot more confident with a 50 day time limit. 

As you can see from the math, a 50 day goal is very achievable but as all writers do—you need help along the way. The rest of this manuscript will consist of several helpful tips and guidelines that will assist you in your literary aspirations.

How to Publish a Novel: Mapping out Success

how to publish a novel

How to Publish a Novel Step One: Set a Macro Goal

The first thing you must ask yourself is why do you want to write a novel? Is it to become rich and famous? Need to express yourself? Is it for pure enjoyment? 

The reason does not matter so much, as long as you find it sufficiently motivating. Writing a novel is tough—it will test you in every way. 

Once you have determined your primary goal, write it down. This is your macro goal—the end-all be-all object of desire you are looking forward too, the reason you’re willing to beat yourself up over the next 50 days. 

Whatever reason you decide on for writing a novel, make sure it is enough to fuel you through the next 50 days and that you make it the focus of everything you do.

HOW TO PUBLISH A NOVEL Step Two: Quantify Your Goal

After you have determined your macro goal you will need to ask yourself, what are the necessary steps to achieve your goal. Here we are referring to your maximum goal (not the goal of publishing a novel, but what you hope to happen after publishing said novel. 

Let’s say my macro goal is to be a rich and famous author. What quantifiable goal can I set that will make me “rich and famous”. Perhaps it is selling X number of books, and achieving a certain X amount of interviews. 

Maybe your goal is not economically driven, but you just want to be considered an "expert" of your field. What quantifiable terms can we put next to this broad term? Perhaps we could write down, you want to have X number of reviews written about your work, you want X of new twitter followers, and X number of sales.

Do you see how even non-number driven goals can be quantifiable? The most important thing you can do in goal setting is to set measurable goals and to define how many X’s it takes for you to reach your Y. 

HOW TO PUBLISH A NOVEL Step Three: Set Micro Goals

Now that you have an achievable and quantifiable goal you will need to break your plan into months, weeks, days, and even hours. But before you can do any of this you must first write that book.

Yeah, about that…

We recommend you use a physical calendar (these are easy to find/print for free online). Of course you could also use one of the millions of digital calendars out there to keep you on pace—but there's something primally obligatory about writing something in ink.

Place the calendar on the wall next to where you write, make it so you can see your macro goals and micro goals at the same time. If you are trying to write a 60,000 word novel, make sure you write each day at what specific time you will be doing said writing. Merely writing down “three pages” is not good enough, you need to block out a specific time period in which you know you can get it done. If you fall short one page for some unforeseen emergency, make sure to tack those pages on to the next day—do not however, make this a habit.

Publishing Routes

how to publish a novel

Professional AKA A publishing house

This route is most likely for your well established CEO. (Publishing houses love to see what you have "accomplished" that makes you an expert at said topic.) Make sure that on your calendar when you start to near the final stages of your writing (perhaps a week in advance), you write down a specific date you will be contacting an editor. Do this in advance so you can receive confirmation.

But since this guide is for the "side-hustler" (and scrappier business owner) we will focus on the self-published e-book route.  

Self-Published E-Book

If you don't have a huge budget, we recommend you email a university’s graduate school English department and do it in advance. Those students have plenty on their plates, and yes most of the students will be dying for a chance to make some money (and put something besides worked at Barnes and Nobles on their CV). But to do an effective job, they will need time to prepare and plan ahead.

Also, make sure to put a spot on your calendar for when to get in touch with your cover artist as soon as you have a good outline of your book. Think about whom you’re marketing to, and what you want them to feel when they look at the cover of your book. Take a look at other books in your genre and find out what they are doing. Chances are they have a professional marketing expert help choose a cover. And chances also are you don’t—so browse around and take a look at the bestsellers. 

Getting in touch with an artist as soon as possible will also allow you to make changes in advance if necessary. After all you are on a 50 day schedule.

Marketing Your Novel


For the self-publisher, this will be your hardest step. The first (and most obvious) step is to reach out to family, friends, and employees. If the novel is brand-related or fits within your niche—feel free to exploit your business channels to market your book i.e. social media accounts, email lists, webinars, and partnerships.

Digital Ads

After tapping into your core base, digital marketing will most likely be the most affordable and profitable way to market your book. Think about your value proposition "What will your customers learn from your book?" and use that to your advantage. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram—all have ad platforms that are relatively inexpensive. If your book teaches people how to maximize ROI, or exploit a niche--say so! Don't just regurgitate the title of your novel without first considering what value you bring to others.  


Let it be known that SEO is a marathon not a sprint. This is what you would call a "long play." It takes time, constant dedication, and guess what? More writing!

Not all business owners, side hustlers, CEO's, or entrepreneurs have a working knowledge of SEO practices (nor do they need to). But what they do need to know is that SEO is important (if not crucial) to a web-presence and those who are unfamiliar with the practice need to A. learn or B. hire out. (To read more about the importance of SEO, read our article Is SEO Dead?)

The biggest challenge for self-published authors is getting people to read your work. With so many people now publishing their material (much of it unrevised and ill-written) your masterpiece can easily become lost in the fray. If you don’t learn basic SEO skills you will never find your book at the top of anyone’s pile. If you are to be successful in your online endeavors you must become familiar with how search engines work. 

This does not mean every writer needs to be a blogger, but you must have some type of platform you can reach an audience with. In order to receive you have to first give content to the world they find useful. Eventually these people will start to become curious as to who you are and more importantly—your works. 

This means you have to be commenting on blog posts, forums, google + groups, etc. You need to be writing and submitting articles to various publications and websites, producing content about topics you know.

Resource Directory:

Where to Publish    




Cover Design






Contact your nearby university’s Graduate School English Department*

(Only use online services if you are willing to pay professional rates.)

Marketing Resources

"23 Marketing Tools That Will Cut Your Workflow in Half"

Google Webmaster Tools

Quake – SEO Analyzer

"How to Neuromarket the Proper Way"

"Want to Generate More Leads? There Might be a Goldmine Right Under Your Nose."

Blogging Platforms




Manuscript Formatting

Smashwords provides an official “formatting guide” that you have to download, it is long, it is confusing, and frankly we do not recommend it. If you are interested in publishing through Smashwords we recommend a more user friendly version found here:

CyberWitch Press

SEO Tips + Tools


Moz’s Beginners Guide 

Search Engine Land 




Book Mockups

Mockup World

Smart Mockups



Why Your Small Business Needs to Consider the Customer Testimonial

customer testimonial

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

These days customer testimonials have become standard practice for nearly all business models. From big time investment firms to sellers on Amazon, everyone’s looking for a blurb telling you why you should trust their service. Customer testimonials serve several applications that will boost your business’s success. We will go over these uses and how you can solicit them from customers.


Validation is two-fold in its service. Not only is it important for your customer, but it can serve as fuel for your business as well. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established company rolling out a new product, there’s always that anxiety of wondering how something will be received by the public. Getting positive feedback from consumers will give you the confidence to keep pursuing the avenues that are working. 

Just as important if not more so, is the confirmation potential customers will get, knowing that they’re not alone in their decision to purchase your product. It’s no secret that humans like to belong or fit in with others. There have been numerous psychological studies proving that in times of uncertainty, people will tend to copy others' actions. (You can read about one of these experiments conducted by Opower’s Alex Laskey by following the link.)

*Scenario* Imagine you’re on a road trip and you’re in the middle of nowhere when you pull over for food. There’s two BBQ joints that look similar, except for one’s completely empty and the other is full. Barring that there’s no line, which one will you choose? 

That’s the power of validation, that's the customer testimonial. 

Vantage Point:

Whatever our title, we all experience it—tunnel vision. We see things through a particular lens because that’s what our professions teach us to do. As hard as we try, we can never quite see things the same way someone else does. And when it comes to business, no one’s viewpoint matters more than the customer’s. Customer testimonials will allow you to see things through the eyes of someone else and provide you with unique insights you couldn’t get in any other way. Which brings us to our third and final point.

Unique Insight:

You’re sure everyone loves your product because of it’s beautiful design. You’ve even poured thousands of dollars into marketing based on that singular fact. And then you speak with your customers, not one mention of design. In fact, some people don’t even like the look of your product—but they love how sturdy it is. 

Get the picture? Customers see things you can’t. And even if you're aware of all your product's uses, can you be sure which one is driving them to purchase it?

Customer testimonials can give you a sense of what makes your product shine, how people are using it, and how you need to market it. 


  • Use customer testimonials as a mini compass for your business. They will help you and your customers consistently make smarter decisions. 
  • Basic web analytics can measure a lot things, but hearing testimonials directly from the mouth of your consumers can reveal things numbers aren’t always capable of doing.
  • Be wise and diversify your strategy. Customer testimonials aren't a magic bullet for all your marketing woes. A well rounded plan that includes analysis of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and traditional word of mouth will be the most advantageous. 

How to Neuromarket the Proper Way


By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

What is neuromarketing?

For the uninitiated, Neuromarketing is a field of research that studies the subconscious habits and responses of consumers. This is done through a mix of psychology and controlled experiments using machines like fMRI’s which scan the subject’s brain.

In his book Brainfluence (which we highly recommend), Roger Dooley cites that around 90% of consumer decisions are made at the subconscious level. That means that the “common sense” approach to marketing is not the most prudent strategy. In fact, many of these studies show how unpredictable we as consumers really are. 

NEuromarketing: Know the Data

It goes without saying that living in a data vacuum will not help you take advantage of the “90%.” Sites like Marketing Sherpa and books like Brainfluence or The Buying Brain are great places to start. A mix of psychology and quantitative data are the two ingredients required to concoct an elixir of marketing success. 

NEUROMARKETING: Apply and Monitor

Business does not occur in a controlled setting. Just because an experiment showed that consumers preferred water over juice, does not mean they will choose water over juice in your market setting. Variables are numerous and often unpredictable especially in a business environment.

What did they eat before the experiment? What was the temperature of the lab? Is your presentation the same as in the experiment’s? 

If you think a Neuromarketing statistic will help your business, try it out but monitor it closely. If things aren’t happening as planned, experiment with different variables. AB test in small samplings before choosing to overhaul your entire business strategy. Tamper with variables and find out what succeeds. Many email marketers for example, will experiment with changing just a couple of words to see how it affects engagement. If they find response trends, they will use those findings in their future email campaigns. 

Neuromarketing Application Tips:

In 2012 The New York Times published a piece by MP Mueller from the Ad Agency Door Number 3. Mueller sat down with the French researcher Christophe Morin who offered these six steps to extract pain from the marketing to sale process.

1. Don’t use the word “we” or start off your pitch with a corporate overview that lasts 10 minutes. Focus instead on how to relieve your customers’ pain. Our brains are extremely self-centered, and we care most about our own survival.
2. About 10,000 messages are sent to our brains daily, so get to the point. “When you sell to the lower brain structure, you must say, ‘This is your life with our product or service, this is your life without,’” Mr. Morin said. He cited a successful campaign that helped a client that was selling home flood remediation services to major insurance companies. The campaign featured a traveling exhibit that showed a flooded home and how the company had mastered the art of drying home interiors. “The reptilian brain gets very stimulated by this kind of disruption. Stay away from, “We are one of the leading providers.” It’s the marketing equivalent of sugar — empty calories.
3. Make your points visual. Remember the “See and Say” books from childhood? Don’t just tell; show. “We are visual people, and the eyes are directly connected to the reptilian brain,” he said.
4. Stay concrete and make it tangible. The primal brain isn’t able to understand complex language or metaphors. As much as we love word play, if it’s too complicated, it doesn’t get processed by the parts of us that make decisions. Creating ads with facial expressions is good. “Facial expressions help us decode what people’s intentions are,” he said.
5. Gain attention quickly in your advertising or marketing and make sure you have a strong close. The brain pays the most attention at the beginning and end of an event. It’s important because the brain needs to recap and store.
6. Use emotion. It creates disruption, a contrast with what we expect — surprise, laughter, fear, disgust, anger, it really doesn’t matter. If there is emotion, we are more likely to remember the message. Nothing happens in the brain unless some chemical process has found a code to create memories. To create a memorable brand, therefore, you have to use emotional connectors in your advertising. Don’t just give your audience the facts, tell them how it will make their lives better and solve their pain.


We don’t want to make you think that Neuromarketing is akin to Luke Skywalker’s use of the force. But it is and can be a powerful tool. Don’t use any types of tactics you wouldn’t want to be used on you. Remember your job is to provide value—not to deceive. After all value is the bridge builder of trust, and trusting your brand is the first step a consumer makes on the path to becoming a customer.

Is your inner nerd begging for more information about Neuromarketing?

For more answers to "What is neuromarketing?" and "How to apply neuromarketing principles?" check out Patrick Renvoise's Tedx Talk:

How to Leverage Research to Produce Meaningful Content


As Gary Vee says, value is the key to converting readers into buyers. And while it’s easy to create fluff-filled articles in a world wide web drowning in the stuff—if a company truly hopes to create valuable content, they are going to have to do a lot more than rehash general business principles. Repurposing content or sharing links to other publications has it’s time and place—but it will only take your brand so far. True value requires innovation, and true innovation requires time and hard work. 

To stay relevant, brands have to produce numerous articles, posts, and videos a day. But due to limited resources, many small businesses find themselves at a crossroads. Should we produce lot’s of content at the risk of sacrificing quality? Or should we produce incredibly valuable content at the risk of losing relevancy? 

Leveraging Resources:

To avoid sacrificing relevancy or quality it’s imperative that your business learn the power of leveraging resources. For a content producer, this means finding original research and stories. There are numerous sites like  or Marketing Sherpa (for business gurus) that contain databases full of research and data applicable to your niche. 

Right now you may be thinking—But hey, that’s not original content! And you’d be right. But where you can add originality and value is in your synthesis and application of this information. Most of these articles are written in dry and difficult language with the main points strung throughout. Many readers these days simply don’t have the time or attention span to read dense articles. 

What You Need to Consider:

  • Synthesize and format the takeaways in an easily digestible format i.e. bullet points, web copy, images. 
  • Apply the research and findings to your niche—Ask yourself: How do these findings affect my niche? and What would my audience want to learn from this study? 
  • Create infographics that repurpose the content for your various social media platforms. 

Unless your a news outlet, you will rarely be breaking the new and original stories. Instead, when it comes to hard data: it’s your job to add value by synthesizing, analyzing (opinions), applying, and repurposing information for your audience. Remember, personal experiences add personality and voice to your brand—but unless you add variety by producing fact-based content, you may run the risk of losing credibility. Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself if there’s potential to be creating unique and valuable content that your competitor’s are overlooking. 

How to Cultivate Your Brand's Voice

business branding

Cultivating Your Voice

Let’s face it, a Nike sweatband isn’t always so different from a Reebok sweatband, and a Ford isn’t always so different from a Chevy. But what is different, is the marketing team behind them and the stories they tell. It's precisely these narratives that appeal to our emotional side and eventually our wallets. 

Alright, alright, we know that our voice is important. But exactly how important is it?

Wordpress reports that on their platform alone, 52.4 million new posts are created monthly. With dozens of other blogging platforms, social networks, and media vehicles—a unique voice has never been more relevant to a brand’s success. 

When evaluating your brand’s unique voice, there are a couple of things you must ask yourself: 

Who’s Your audience? 

It’s much easier to convert consumers within your niche than converting and educating new ones. If you’re looking for fast returns, consider your audience carefully. Do your research, using tools like Google Analytics and questionnaires to find out who and where your customers are. Be sure to reward your customers for their time if you choose to use the latter method. 

What value does Your content provide?

Notice how we used the word value instead of difference? That’s because too many companies think being different means being unique without evaluating whether or not that difference adds value to the consumer. Research your competitor’s and find out what you offer that they don’t. Use that information to focus in on customer reviews and surveys to see if that’s a valuable difference you need to exploit—this will be the central focus of your brand’s voice. 

How should You convey that value?

How you convey your message can distinguish you just as much as the message itself. Sure you’re probably going to use many of the same platforms as your competitor’s, but you should also consider the avenues your competitor’s are not yet dominating. MacWorld for example, reports that there are only 250,000+ podcasts whereas according to Adweek there are 42 billion Facebook pages. As a business owner you need to evaluate the competition—less competitive platforms are not always better, but they have the potential to give you a solid edge. 

It’s also important to consider content length and digestabilibty. Does your audience prefer long form? Short form? Videos? Text? Again, use analytics to evaluate these things to see what content your audience is consuming, and the length of time they’re consuming it. Adjust accordingly. 


  • With market saturation, finding a unique voice is more essential than ever.
  • Consider your audience.
  • Consider your service/product.
  • Exploit the areas where you are strong and your competitors are weak. This will be the central focus of your brand voice. 
  • Tailor your content to your audience’s attention span, and mediums of choice.

How Your #SmallBiz Should be Using Hashtags


Everyone is talking about hashtags, but do you know what they do and how you can use them for your business? Mastering the power of the hashtag can make your social media posts more popular and bring better visibility to your business. 

Create a Proper Hashtag 

Before you can become a hashtag master, you need to understand what they do. Some people who don't understand the use of hashtags think they are for expressing feelings, like #sobummedoutrightnow. While this may be a fun use for casual users, it won't work for someone who is promoting a business. Hashtags allow social media sites to categorize your post with other posts like it. Then, your post will appear when users search for that particular subject. So, useful hashtags are keywords that relate to your post. For example, if you post a link to your latest article about investing in overseas funds, a good hashtag would be #investing or #investingtips, not #thisarticleisinteresting. 

Use Hashtags Everywhere 

Hashtags aren't just for Twitter anymore. All large social media sites, like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram are using hashtags to organize posts. 

Keep it Short 

You've probably run across hashtags that contain a lot of words, like #superfunfisharticle or #awesomesalestips. These tags don't work. Why? Because people won't search for ""super fun fish articles"" or ""awesome sales tips."" They will search for ""fish articles"" or ""sales tips."" Keep your hashtags short and use only keywords or terms people will actually search for. 

Use Hashtags to Get Followers Involved 

Another good way to use hashtags is by creating a memorable one and encouraging your followers to use the hashtag. For example, every week comedian Jimmy Fallon plays the hashtag game with his followers. He will give them a hashtag subject and ask them to write a tweet based on the subject. The followers then add the hashtag to their Tweet so that Fallon can find it. Each week, his hashtags become worldwide trending topics on Twitter. Some examples of his hashtag subjects have been: #momtexts#worstgiftever#myweirdwaiter#misheardlyrics 5. Use Hashtags to Market You

Want people to spread the word about your business or product? Come up with an interesting hashtag that people will want to repeat. For example, television shows will post silly words or catchphrases their characters say as hashtags. You can make up a hashtag that relates to your business in the same way. Make up a funny or catchy turn of phrase that relates to your product. Here are some examples other companies have used: 

Neosporin to Go- #NeoReady 

Ivory Soap- #SudLife 

Puffs- #PassThePuffs 

Once you start using hashtags the right way, you will find your social media becoming a much more effective marketing tool.

6 Website Mistakes Small Business Owners Make (And How to Avoid Them)

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We’ve all come across some broken, boring or just plain garish websites in our day. In today’s increasing digital world, where shoppers often look at your website before deciding whether to do business with it, it’s imperative that your small business website hits all the right notes. Some websites really “have it,” while some fall flat. We’ve compiled a few mistakes to avoid if you want your website to really appeal to your target customer: 

1. Complex navigation

When are you open? What products do you sell? Your customers have no clue because you’ve made your website so hard to navigate! Maybe your menu bar is in a weird font or your search bar is miniscule. Whatever you’re doing, it isn’t working and customers bounce off your website scratching their heads. 

2. No images

What do most people do when confronted with a wall of text? They may try to decipher it for a bit, but most walk away. As bandwidths increase and load times speed up, your customers expect more from you. Break up text walls with appealing visuals and a snappy company logo. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? 

3. Lack of “negative space”

 Is every inch of your website cluttered with text and images? That can be just as bad as having no images at all. Keep the rule of thirds in mind when designing your website and leave negative space so your reader isn’t overwhelmed with a tidal wave of information after clicking over to your site. 

4. Lack of keywords

Wait, didn’t we just tell you not to overwhelm your reader with text? Yes, that’s true. But your website should include at least the basics of content. Make sure your web content says, at the very least, what your business does, about you, where you’re located and how to contact you. Even better, include a blog to give your visitors helpful information about your business and products. While Google seems bound and determined to push people away from typical “search engine optimization” behaviors, it’s also true that your keywords count! 

5. Broken links

Your customer seems something interesting on your website, clicks it and immediately sees… “404 page not found.” Well, that’s okay, she’ll just try another page… Same deal. Another broken link. Nothing frustrates your potential like clicking a link and finding… nothing. Do a periodic check to ensure the links your website sends your customers to still work. If not, you’ll lose credibility and trust. And speaking of credibility and trust, don’t make this biggest website mistake of all… 

6. Not having a website

Sixty-one percent of global internet users research products online before purchasing. And only 67% of local businesses are taking advantage of marketing to their customers online. (There are a lot more eye-opening small business stats where that came from.) If you have the chance to stand out, why not do it? Don’t make the essential website mistake. Get started marketing online! We love our TaxAlli customers. Leave a link to your website in the comments so we can have a look!"

Small Business Saturday: Ways to Support Your Fellow Small Businesses

small business owner

Supporting Small Business

Since 2010, the American Express® sponsored Small Business Saturday® has encouraged consumers to take a day to shop at small and local businesses. 

Shopping small supports the local economy, keeps tax dollars in your local area and pays the salary of a friend or neighbor. Here are a few ways we dug up that you can support your fellow small businesses this time of year: 

Shop Small

Embrace the core tenant of Small Business Saturday® and instead of doing your shopping at the big box stores, check out a small, locally owned business. Or consider buying from a small seller through a website like Etsy or eBay. Better yet, this Small Business Saturday, many retailers are getting into the act and offering discounts or specials! 

Recommend to Family and Friends

Small businesses may not be able to compete with the big guys as far as fancy marketing campaigns or advertising dollars, so they have to rely on providing a great product or service and letting word of mouth do the rest. Do your part to promote a favorite small business to your friends and neighbors. 

Leave a Review

Approximately 81% of consumers search online before heading out into the world to make a purchase. This means there’s a big chance that they’ll check out online reviews for a business at sites like Yelp® or Google My Business®. If you love a local business, take the time to leave them a positive review so that others will feel more comfortable shopping there, too. 


There are plenty of ways, beyond just shopping, that you can participate in Small Business Saturday yourself. Point out American Express’s resources, such as printable signs and online registries of businesses participating in Small Business Saturday®. If you’re especially community minded, you can even be the leader in rallying your neighborhood to participate in Small Business Saturday®! 

Think beyond Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday® takes place after Black Friday to capitalize on holiday shopping trends. But that doesn’t mean you should think of small businesses only on their holiday. Think about how else you can support your local economy. Could you buy your bread from a local baker rather than the grocery store? The bread will often be fresher (and probably tastier!) Find ways to replace your big box store spending with small business alternatives.