Tag Archives: Blog

How to Grow Your Author Blog

25 Aug

Countless people start blogs that just get left abandoned in cyberspace, yet the elements of an excellent blog are pretty simple. If your blog is not doing well, often some small changes can make a…

Source: How to Grow Your Author Blog

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#YourTurnChallenge – #Day1 – Finding Adventure

19 Jan

by Rose D’Andrea

A few days ago I came across a blogging challenge.

(Don’t ask me how, because I honestly can not remember.)

This challenge lasts 7 days and merely asks that you post every day about something from your perspective.

They also supply writing prompts. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to the prompts or strike out on my own. I guess that’ll just be part of the adventure.

Lately I have been viewing a lot of things as a possible adventure. I don’t suppose most pregnant women look forward to childbirth as a chance to find out, deep down, what they’re made of. Probably even fewer choose to view the impending ‘hell week’ after bringing home baby as another intriguing experience. You never know what to expect. The kid could react to the fact that I’ve recently eaten chocolate and get the world’s worst gas. She could be a sleeper and have to be woken for feedings. She could come out like the kids on the British show My Hero already talking and uh, flying. (Although that last one is highly unlikely, regardless of how many times a week I refer to my husband as my hero. Besides, I’m pretty sure he’s human. Probably.)

This recent sense of adventure is perhaps what led me to join in this blogging challenge.

And that is perhaps a good enough segue into today’s writing prompt:

Why are you doing the Your Turn Challenge?

I have been thinking, for a long time now, that I need to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule. However, it has not been happening. Imagine that, blog posts don’t magically appear just because we think they should. Huh.

There has always been an excuse: my computer won’t cooperate, I wouldn’t know what to write, I’m sick, tired, too distracted, or don’t have the time.

Now for a while there I was too sick to do more than clutch my water bottle and pray that something would stay down. That was legitimate. But what about the several months now that have been relatively easy? What about the occasional thought that pops into my head that I think would make an awesome post?

That, my friends, was just plain laziness. Pure and simple. Yes, there’s a little shame in admitting it, but more in wallowing in indecisiveness and self pity.

So, what am I going to do to turn this around?

Apparently jump on the #YourTurnChallenge like it’s the last life boat off the Titanic. It’s like God said, “Yes, you’re not alone in this. Now, get off your rump and get back to actual work.” So here I am, blogging the first day of an enticing journey. Hopefully this week of work (and, fingers crossed, some feedback) will spur me toward keeping up a more regular presence on this blog baby of mine.

Hopefully my actual baby won’t mind when I blog over the top of her a few days a week.

And if she does mind, well, I guess that will just kick off another adventure.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6gZe-fUCWg

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Video

Should I Worry About Being On Pinterest And Google Plus?

10 Oct

Really, I actually am asking this question.

I’ve been looking into how to set up and efficiently run an engaging Google+ account. It looks cool, but also rather time absorbing. Twitter, Facebook and a blog already suck up enough of my writing time.

Then there’s Pinterest. According to the research I have been doing about my target audience, I should really get onto Pinterest. That’s where ‘they’ say a whole bunch of mid-20’s to mid-30’s women hang out. It has also been said that this form of social media is highly addicting… again, Twitter, Facebook and a blog already cut into my writing time.

But, if I added another social media forum to my routine, then it just might force me to actually establish a routine. That wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Hmmm…

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What do you think?

Have you successfully added either, or both, of these to your social media life and survived?

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I feel so lost!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrgGRIvsvR4

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Video

Social Media: The Beginner’s Y.I.C.K.

27 Aug

I don’t know about you, but when I started on this journey toward building an author’s platform I dove straight into research. I tried to learn about how to it all, find tricks to get more people to follow me, absorb ways to simplify my daily routine.

It was mind boggling.

It still is in many ways.

The more I learn, the more I know that I don’t know everything.

What I do know, is that this is a long learning process, and trying to understand it all on one week is just going to give you a headache and sore eyes.

When it all boils down, you only really need to keep 4 things in mind when handling your social media accounts…whichever kinds you prefer working on.

Just remember Y.I.C.K.

Be You. Be Interesting. Be Consistent. Be Known. That’s it.

I’ll try to explain the ideas in just a couple paragraphs each.

Be You

First off, you are the only one of you on the entire planet. Only you have your exact experiences, talents, thoughts and dreams. Use them to your advantage. Tell people that your latest short story came from a crazy dream you had last week. Or that you’ve always wanted to go to Portugal and are secretly saving change in a jar for your trip ‘some day’.

Secondly, trying to keep up a persona, a fake, always happy version of you, would get exhausting (and boring) after a while. Everyone has bad days. Everyone falls behind their writing schedule, drops something large on their foot, or has a crazy day or experience with their kid or a pet. Use those moments to humanize yourself. Don’t complain or whine all the time, and try to keep it in a humorous light, but keep people in the loop on at least one aspect of your real life.

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Be Interesting

Don’t just post links to your latest blog post, or only talk about your writing. Other people write cool, relevant blog posts too. And your friends on social media would love it if you would occasionally Tweet about how much you liked their latest book. Find short quotes which either uplift, are funny, or address one of your blogging subjects. Share silly facts, jokes, or anecdotes.

Go multimedia. I’m not saying you need to hire someone to help you make a video all about yourself. YouTube is your friend! Post the song that you’ve been listening to which really gets you into a certain character’s head. Did a certain video make you laugh uncontrollably? Paste the link into a Tweet. The rest of us could use a good laugh, too. Post photos of your work space, you pet looking innocent, your cover, your writer friend’s new cover (with their permission), your kid sleeping on the couch after a rough war with that chocolate bar they stole from your ‘secret’ drawer.

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Be Consistent

If you say you’re going to do it, do your darndest to make it happen.

Try not to abandon any account for more than a couple days at a time. Even if you only put up a new blog post once a week, go in a couple other days a week to respond to comments, or Tweet it out again.

There are several programs which allow you to schedule Tweets. WordPress has a post scheduler. Facebook will let you schedule updates on your author page. If you have to be out of town, or just need a couple days to relax and regroup, take an hour or so and make sure that something new will pop up at least once or twice a day on each of your social media sites.

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Be Known

It will take a while (a few months at the very least). For a time you will feel as though you’re just sending your blog posts, Facebook updates, and Tweets into a hope sucking black hole. Don’t give up. After a bit others will begin to respond to your thoughts, posts, and questions.

Just wait until you laugh with delight the first time someone (other than a family member) comments on your blog. You’ll be hooked.

I still haven’t reached the minimum of what some people say you should have to be somebody. But I am happy with the progress I have made since last November. Remember to acknowledge the work you have done. Celebrate each new milestone. Dance around the room when you’ve published your 50th blog post. Go get ice cream when you reach 200 followers on Twitter. These things have take a lot of work. Don’t let that grumpy Gus in the back of your mind steal the joy of your accomplishments.

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I got the idea for this post while reading this post:

How to Build a Social Brand That’s a Sweet Orange in a World of Bitter Apples

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Want more on how to move forward with your plans of social media world domination?

Try these posts:

How I Used Social Media to Sell Books | from the One Stop Self-Publishing Conference | Catherine, Caffeinated

Author Social Media – 10 Tips for You! | BadRedHeadMedia.com

Guest Post: Tips on How to Utilize Social Media for Content Distribution Without Being Spammy | Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

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Wow! You made it to the bottom of this post! Here’s your prize:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTC9NNg9OBo

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Ksenia has no problem being herself on all of her social media. (She’s a good writer to follow on Twitter! Very encouraging. @kseniaanske )

Hmmm…that may have to turn into another blog post of it’s own. Fun/Helpful authors to follow on Twitter.

What do you think? Would it make a good post?

Who would you suggest?

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The Cover Reveal For Laura Oliva’s What The Body Needs!

26 Aug

Hi All!

So here is the second post which I warned you about.

This one is all about my drinking, swearing, fun on the outside, tough on the inside friend Laura Oliva.

Here’s how she describes her writing:

I write tender love stories about tough people. You won’t find any candy-coating here. The men are men, the women are badass, the dirt is dirty, the whiskey is strong. Things aren’t always roses and sunshine.

But sometimes life’s more fun that way.

I quoted this from her blog Writing In The Night.

She has finished writing her second novel, and received the cover art for it a couple days ago.

Laura is super excited about it, and couldn’t wait another week to get it out there for all her fans to see.

Here it is!

What The Body Needs By Laura Oliva

What The Body Needs
By Laura Oliva

And the blurb! Don’t forget to read the blurb:

Jak O’Mara is a survivor.

 

She’s survived in her father’s construction company.  She’s survived in the boxing ring.  And she survived the brutal attack that left her permanently scarred.

 

For the last five years, she’s tried to convince everyone -including herself- she’s no victim.  But with the apparent return of her unknown assailant, the life she’s rebuilt crumbles overnight.

 

Ex-cop Marcus Cutter has his own scars, they just don’t show.  Following the violent death of his younger sister, he fled his old life in disgrace.  After almost six years, “rock-bottom” feels a lot like home.

 

As Jak’s new bodyguard, Marcus is forced to return to the city -and the memories- he’s tried to forget.  All he wants is to do his job, but Jak isn’t what he expects.  When he’s with her, he finally feels something besides pain.

 

When the danger escalates, Jak decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.  She’s going to find who’s after her, no matter the cost.  Marcus knows he has to protect the woman who’s made his life mean something again.  But how do you protect someone who’s convinced they have nothing left to lose?

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Laura is all over the internet.

You can find her on Twitter: @writermama

You can also visit her book page on her site here.

Her Facebook is here.

And you can get her first book here. It’s currently available for $1.99 in e-book form only. So far, anyway.  🙂

I think she’s also on pintrest and something else, but my poor old computer is telling me it’s had enough of looking up social sites today so you’re on your own there.

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I enjoyed All That Glitters, and I can’t wait until What The Body Needs is also in my Kindle PC (and on my phone. Cause, really, you never know when that grocery check-out line will last more than two and a half minutes. lol).

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Ask Kaitlyn: Plans

20 Aug

O.K., this one made me laugh out loud.  (don’t you just love it when that happens?)

And she quite accurately sums up my feelings about college.

Kaitlyn Deann

There is this one certain girl that keeps up with me and everything I do, like my personal stalker, you know? It’s actually extremely flattering. She’s one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever conversed with online. She goes by Hannah.

Hannah emailed me the other day, asking me to write a blog post (or make a vlog, but I just laughed at that idea since I don’t feel like getting dressed or doing my hair or making attractive facial expressions) to answer a few of her questions. Here is her message:

 

Hey Kaitlyn,

I was wondering, are you going to college? What do you plan to do in the near future? Maybe you could make a vlog/blog post about this? That’d be awesome!! 🙂

Hannah ><>

 

What I love about this post is that I’ve been asked these questions so many times within this last year that my…

View original post 423 more words

The World Is Blurry

10 Jul

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I can’t come up with a poem without very specific inspiration.

I know. I just tried.

That’s the title up there…alone and lonely.

My world is currently blurry. My eyes are fried after staring at the computer all day. I’m proud of myself though. I got almost everything caught up and done.

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I have started reading a book titled Writing In Overdrive: Write Faster, Write Freely, Write Brilliantly, by Jim Denney.

I haven’t even read half of it, and I have already figured out why my muse is silent about I Killed Them, Mama. I need the wrap up to go faster. As it currently stands the whole second half of the book could easily be summed up into the last chapter.

And I need something…else, something more to happen before the, er, wrap up chapter.

I don’t have it figured out, but at least I know what the problem is and can now address it. 🙂

I was also able to sit down for a full hour and turn my half page of a new book into three and a half pages. I then read it aloud to my husband and got a good response. He even laughed at something I hadn’t realized was funny until he reacted. 🙂

So, all in all it was a pretty good day.

Besides having to skip a posting on the other blog. Something to play catch-up on tomorrow. Except that tomorrow is pretty much full of family…hmmm. My life is getting complicated.

I already got up before my alarm this morning, and did not get my customary nap, so staying up late to get the other blog up to date is out of the question. I will just have to find time on Wednesday or Thursday to make it happen. The world will not spin off it’s axis. California will not fall off into the sea. I will survive.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybXrrTX3LuI

 

Or will I???

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Juggling With Bowling Balls

8 Jul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzGz_rwUsi8

I am barely keeping everything in the air. The slightest miscalculation and I could end up in big trouble. Pain seems inevitable.

And yet I continue.

Why?

Perhaps it is that the feeling of stagnancy makes me sluggish. If I can easily take care of everything on my schedule I get complacent, careless, bored. With multiple important projects in the air there is always something to be thinking about, something to be worked on, something to catch.

Yes, I have dropped one or two in the last couple of weeks, but really that’s just part of the learning process. I beat myself up over the dents in the floor, caught the balls on the bounce, and I am back to juggling. Not much harm (besides my ego), no foul (intended). Really, the other site has two followers so far. And my mother isn’t one of them. I haven’t had a view in four days… a bit of a bummer, but I just did an interview on Friday for Monday’s Did You Know… segment, so I’m a little jazzed about that. 🙂

For previous samples of my Did You Know… posts click HERE.

Last night I came up with another recurring post for the blog called 20 Dollar Weekend. This won’t come out until next spring or summer, since I will have to do a ton of research about what exactly you CAN do around here for a $20 date (not including gas). Not much from what I have learned so far, but I have hope.

Hope. There’s an idea.

Perhaps that is one of the biggest things that drives me so hard toward this spinning, reeling version of my future. Even in my future visions of myself I am not sitting around drinking pink champagne. I am busy writing another book, attending meetings, raising children, having dates with my wonderful husband, hosting teas for my various ladies groups, and planning our next three week vacation.

Oooh, vacations. I haven’t been on an official one of those since I was a little kid. It will be nice to afford to do a little travel…for fun.

I say ‘will’ because this will happen. Not in the ‘I’m going to sell a kidney so my kid can go to Disney Land’ sense, in the I will work my butt off so that in a few years we can relax about our finances and we can take a little time away from normal reality to be pampered and entertained.

That will be really nice. *mind wanders into the imaginary future*

*ahem* But in the meantime, I will continue to dance beneath my bowling balls, taking each project in my hand for a moment every day, then setting it free to be seen by the masses as it soars toward an apex of hope.

(Also in my dreams for the future I have a permanent Nanny McPhee 😀  Here’s what I’m talking about. )

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And I Should Care Why?

28 Jun

What should I care about?Question Marks 1 - Cropped

My blog views?

My amount of comments received?

How many times each post is Liked?

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Well, I do care about those things. Who doesn’t. (I’m being truthful, here. Quit shaking your head like you really don’t care if your inner thoughts are not read by Someone.)

Perhaps, though, I don’t care as much, or at least put as much thought and digestive system jarring stress into the situation, as some people think us Bloggers should. I still care, though. Just not enough to cry if I go a whole day without a new comment, or a post doesn’t pass five likes.

Does this mean I’m not a real Blogger?

If this is so…

Do I really care?

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What are some of your thoughts and feelings about your blog?

What do you really Not worry about when it comes to your blog?

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A Silly Poem, and I Found an Interesting Site Called Peevish Penman

26 Jun

I went on a spreeMy tea cup 1

and drank too much tea;

Now I have to pee.

Please excuse me

While I go see

If the bathroom is free.

OK. Now that that is out of my brain, here are some interesting blog posts I encountered today on www.pevishpenman.blogspot.com:

To Sell or to Buy? Shifting Books ain’t easy

Building Your Reader Army

3 Ways to Inspire People to Buy Your Book

I just discovered this blog today (Icy Sedgwick [ @icypop ] tweeted the link to the first one). I have added the site to my favorites and will be checking back a time or two a week. Looking forward to reading more. 🙂

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