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Showing posts from May, 2012

FIVE Things A Writer Should and Shouldn't Do NOW!

I'm not saying that I know a lot about anything, but I can say that I do know a lot about what has and hasn't worked for me in this writing gig.

I decided five years ago that I was going to give my writing career a big ole kick in the butt and get it done. I traveled every road possible to make it to publication which finally happened one year ago with my debut releaseCarpe Bead 'em. Granted, I started marketing my career FIVE years ago and I have come across some things that a writer should do and shouldn't do.

THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T DO NOW: (let's get these over with since they are the most painful)

1. Stop quitting!
There is nothing more annoying than a quitter. This is why my post HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT is the most powerful post on this blog to date. If you are a writer, you are going to have to keep going because your novel is NEVER going to finish itself.

2. Stop treating your body bad!!
Keeping your body healthy is crucial to your writing career. Eating we…

Many Hats Of Self Publishing

Ahh. . .did the title catch your attention?
As a self published author we wear many hats from writer, editor, copy-editor, typeset, plot-editor, lay-out designer, graphic designer, etc..AND we do it alone. (most of the time)

Without being the writer, you will not be able to move forward on your dream of publishing. You must focus and write every day. It doesn't have to be a mountain of words, but it must be a few in order to get those words on a page and tell your story.

So you might have a great final editor, but what about the journey to getting it to that final editor. After the first draft, you have to go back and re-edit what you just completed. AND then again, and again until you are positively sure it's ready to go to your editor. THEN the editor will send you edits back. IF you have a wonderful editor like me, JUDY BEATTY, your editor will look over those edits to make sure you got them all or that they got them all.

What? You mean to tel…

Not In Your Face Marketing. . .Content Marketing

There is nothing worse than going into a department store and the sprinkler effect of getting sprayed by the cologne lady! Is there?

What about those authors who constantly market their books on Facebook or Twitter or their blog?

We become a little numb, don't we? I'm an author and I even get so sick of it.


This has been a big buzz word for authors lately. And it's super important we all fully understand what CONTENT MARKETING is and how it will increase your sales and on-line presence.

What is content marketing? Simple. . .it's the content you put out there that offer something to the reader, your readers. Not 'buy my book' posts, but something that truly gives back to the reader and helps you make a connection to them that will keep them coming back.

I do this in several ways. I have aSTREET TEAM I give back to each month to let them know how much I appreciate them. I don't release a new book every month, so it's evident I'm not …

Author + One Published eBook Per Year = SLACKER?

In today's society it seems that everything is better FASTER!
And if we don't keep up, we feel like we are left behind. Or at least I do...

Especially today in the Ereader age!

Just think about it. In the "old days" (two years ago...) the average reader had to get dressed, put on shoes, get into the car, drive to the book store, find a parking spot, walk into the store, spend hours browsing shelves, and then buy a $10.99 book or even higher price.

Fast forward to today.

Now the average reader (One in six Americans have an Ereader.) has to get their Ereader from the kitchen counter, click a couple of times, and have an ebook of the new release of their favorite author in a second for DOLLARS cheaper than going to the book store.

Ereaders readers have given a jolt of caffeine to the world! It has made non-reader become avid readers. I know because I hear from my readers all the time that tell me I have created a reader in them! LOVE IT!

But as an author, I've found…

When Editing Is NOT Enough!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged on about editing, Whiz With Words. There were so many great comments! I had gotten a lot of private emails on editing software and what I use. 
I don't use any editing software, but one of my regular commenter does! She graciously accepted to do a guest blog for me!! Lets give a round of applause to author Mila Ballentine!!

Laura has received her manuscript from an editor, after spending about $0.016/word for a 10,000 + manuscript.  She feels confident; a proclaimed specialist in editing has gone over her manuscript with a fine toothcomb. Laura accepts and rejects suggestions in the manuscript and WHALA, the book is ready for the printing stage.  The book is available for purchase and the reviews start to come in.  Her eyes eagerly read a review for the book on, “It’s a good read, but it has too many errors.” 

Comments like this can knock the wind out of a writers sail. A writer has to have tough skin to survive in a world where everything w…

Is Self Publishing Still A Stigma?

Literary Karaoke? Really??
I read theHuffington Post articlegoing around the past couple of days and it made me pause. Sort of dumbfounded really.

It's no secret that I want a traditional publishing contract. It's a dream of mine to be on the shelf at Target. BUT I absolutely LOVE having my indie career. I will NEVER EVER stop self-publishing. So when another author sent me the article, I about choked on my RED HOTS!
I'm assuming I have had my head buried in the sand over the past few months because I was under the assumption that agents (or at least the agents I'm working with) are really embracing the indie author. AND a lot of traditional authors are either publishing both ways or dumping their agents and going indie.
And hearing that some authors have an all out campaign against indie authors, it made me sick.

Indie authors work much, much harder than traditional authors. I'm NO WAY putting down traditional authors, but I know a ton of them and I can tell you t…

Write Smarter, NOT Harder!

If you are anything like me, writing does not stop at writing your book. You tweet, write blogs, status updates on Google + or Facebook, responding to blog comments, guest blog. . .the list goes on and on. But how present are you? I mean really present?

Yes! Sometimes we are just DEAD TIRED!!! (no pun intended because I am a mystery writer!)

Anyways. . .the more time you are on-line, the less time you live in the real world. And the real world is how you became a writer.
At least that is the case for me. Over the past couple of years I have worked endless on my writing and on-line presence. Both are very important for success in this industry and we still need to maintain the presence.
Can we maintain it without living on it?

Over the past couple months I have been finishing my novel, A Charming Crime. It's the first book in a new series, Magical Cures Mysteries. Along with this I decided to do a blog tour and send out ARC's (advanced reading copies) to several review blogs/si…

Random Acts of Kindness BLITZ!

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture.
Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. 
The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

I'm BLITZING Author Gerri Brousseau! She is amazing and helps writers with marketing and promoting their blogs …

Whiz With Words!

When you decided to become a writer, did you know how to write? Were you a whiz with the words?

If you are anything like me and most writers, it takes time and practice to get the right words on the page using all the right "rules."
I'm not claiming to be perfect. . .(YES! I know, it's hard to believe it. I'm less than perfect! Humor here!) 
1) Read, read, read!  A healthy dose of reading really does help you with content writing. Reading is more available now then it was a few years ago (phones, e-readers, computers, books, news papers etc. . .). It's not just to read great stories, but it will help increase your vocabulary as well as give you ideas. I'm always looking for different way to create character tags and dialogue tags. 
I especially love my Kindle where I can highlight a passage and remember why it struck a cord with my writing muse.
2) Write, write, write!  The old saying, practice makes perfect, really does hold true with writers! Effective …

The Gifted Writer

Putting together a marketing and promotional plan for you novel is one of the hardest things you will do. Many of us would rather have a root canal instead of asking people to buy your novel.

There are several ways to get your novel in the hands of readers that will help spread the word. But you can't just start when the novel comes out. You have to start when you begin writing the novel.

YES! There is nothing better than giving back to your readers before they give back to you! We need the reader, and the reader needs to be respected by us. After all, it's the reader that keeps our drive going to write the next book.

I'm talking about simple things.

1) Street Team.
How many times can I stress the STREET TEAM concept? I have over 100 people on my STREET TEAM and it's only been up and running for one month. In that month, I have connected with my readers. We have discussed books, other than mine, what author swag they like to receive, and what is going on in …

Make your novel a page turner!

Readers. . .the almighty reader. That is why we are here, right?!
And it's up to us to keep them turning the pages of your novel and NOT close the cover before they read "the end."

1) Character tags
We take so much time on trying to figure out a dialogue tag that fits the words of our characters, but we should really take the time to to invest in our characters. And I mean all our characters.
Think of it as a memory tag, a way for the reader to remember that character. Of course we can write about the secondary character in passing, but it's so much more memorable if that secondary character has a distinctive tattoo or scar. Something that makes your main character pause and take notice of everything and everyone around them.
Or give them a little conflict too. If your main character is in a store, maybe the store clerk is having an argument on the phone with an ex.
These little tags are easy to incorporate, even you wait until the last round of edits.

2) Character Q…

Agent or not, the writer stays the same

A few months ago I announced that I accepted representation with an agency to represent my entire career in my I'm A Hybrid blog.

Why would a successful self-published author sign with an agent? Easy...
1) It's part of my dream to see my book in Target, Walmart, any book store.
2) It has nothing to do with money. . .obviously.
3) I can still self-publish.
4) Self-published authors have so many options now.
5) It's still my DREAM!

Well. . .I've learned a lot over the past few months. I gave my agent my straight cozy mystery series, The Divorced Divas, Strung Out To Die novel to shop around.

But that didn't stop me. I didn't rest on my laurels and drum my fingers until I heard who she submitted to, I wrote another book, A Charming Crime and started the second Olivia Davis Paranormal Mystery Novel. I didn't pay attention to The Divorced Divas series because I had committed to that series as my debut traditional series.

I heard from my agent that they decided …

Keep Your Readers One Series At A Time

Do you write series? Some authors say they don't write that way, but let me tell you a little secret. . .READERS LOVE TO INVEST IN SERIES!!

They want to know what happens to the secondary characters, the nosy neighbor down the street.

Once they find a series, they invest in that series. As an author of a series, I know how hard they are to write. Everything has to be exact from the town street names to the secondary character's eye color. Once the first book in the series is written, it's much easier to write the following. But what about the marketing of a series?

Marketing a series is much different than marketing a stand alone novel. Here are a few tips to help you market your series effectively.

1) STREET TEAM. If you don't have a street team, you should. This is a group of readers who have invested in your novels. They love to talk about your series and the characters in your series not only to your other readers, but other people who might like your series. Plus…