Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2012

Effectively # Your Way To A New Reader!

The one and most important thing on TWITTER is the # (hashtag). If it weren't for the idea of the #, Twitter would be a nothing!

But you have to # effectively or you will never reach the target audience you want to reach.
There are certain hashtags I use to get to my target audience. For instance, when I want to tweet my blog, I hashtag my tweet with keywords that will help me reach blog readers. Today I tweeted Effectively # To Gain  #reader #marketing #indieauthor #amwriting (url here) or use #amediting #writertip #promoting #writer.
These hashtags help me reach you, my target blog audience.

When I tweet my book, I use #mystery #ebook #2.99 #bestseller #womansleuth #beadedjewelry #streetteam. PLUS too many more to type here, but you get the point. Those hashtags help me reach my target reading audience.

Here are some tips to help # your way to success:

1) Pick KEY hashtags. Like I said earlier, pick hashtags that are already out there. Don't make up your hashtag that NO ONE …


Over the past couple weeks I have been hearing a lot about tagging and clicking like on Amazon books. This is really nothing new. But it hit me like a ton of bricks!

It's new to all the traditional authors or writers who have decided to let go of the traditional route and self-publish. It's nothing new to the indie community. We have been tagging and liking books for YEARS.

As a matter of fact, this time last year tagging and liking Amazon books (any retailer for that matter) was a big controversy. The issue was how it was misleading to "the reader" when the person tagging or liking the book hadn't even read it. Even Amazon went as far as deleting ebook tags for a little while but then they  brought them back.

I saw it as a BIG BUNCH OF CRAP!
I didn't give into the controversy because tagging and liking works for me. I do like the author and I do think they have tagged their books correctly. AND there is a reason those likes an…

Breaking Writing Rules and RULING the WORLD!

Have you heard:
1) You can't write that.
2) That will never sell.
3) What genre does that fit into?
4) It's not a paranormal, no one will buy it!
5) Chick-lit is DEAD!

Alright! Put your hands down. We all have. But have we all listened?

HELL NO! We are writers and most of us here are self-published because we heard that our work is good, but has been rejected in one way or another. I had heard for many years "chick lit is dead" or "don't tell them it's chick lit. Call it women's fiction."


I would call that a BIG OLE LIE!!! And that is ONE thing I DO NOT DO!

Sometimes we have to go beyond the fear of what others think  and write what we want to write. Why are we listening to people industry "professionals" that have NO CLUE what readers want? Have you ever had a gut feeling to write something and you thought that you couldn't because it doesn't fit the industry model?

Most of you know me as a mystery writer, but truth b…

Tips To Strengthen Your Writing

Everyday, well~I hope everyday, that you get out of bed and decide to put your best foot forward in your writing. Or if you have somewhere to go (like me~the day job), you get up, get showered, dressed, do your hair, eat, go to the day job, and perform what you were hired to do.


Why do I get up every morning and do this?
1) I feel better about myself when I'm cleaned up.
2) I have more confidence when I look better.
3) Perception is everything and if I went to my day job in my pajamas, I'm sure they wouldn't take me seriously.

But underneath the exterior of any job, especially writing, we have a bit of weakness. We do put cover-up on that zit, avoid talking about mistakes we made, wear clothes that are more flattering, or even use products to cover up a thinning hair line.
(LOVE Will Write For Chocolate Inky girl strips!!) Writing is an all different story. It's very hard to cover up a weakness in your writing. It's hard to read those bad reviews, or get a r…

Tis the Season for Writing Contest....hmm....

Don't we all want to be respected? Someone to tell us how great our writing is?


And we all fall into the ever evolving trap of "enter our contest!!!" Top notch judges, get your name in front of agents/editors, get some great feed back.....

I have to admit that I too fell into the contest trap when I first started writing. There was nothing more I wanted than to write the first three chapters, a synopsis and hit send as quickly as possible! I was going to WIN!!!
OH, don't mind the fee that is attached to it!

Now if you look over there <------- you are going to see that is a FINALIST in a contest! GASP!!  Those aren't the contests that I'm talking about. I'm not talking about Golden Heart Award from Romance Writers of America, Indie Book Awards, Malice Domestic Agatha Awards....

I'm talking about the writer's chapters that hold contests to raise money for their associations. These contests are telling you that…

Blogging doesn't make you money....SAY WHAT???

Sometimes I come across some really GREAT people that make really IGNORANT comments. It cracks me up because most of the time, these people have no clue what they are talking about...and in that case, they really should keep their mouth closed.

Am I ranting? No. I'm actually chuckling inside, because these comments give me GREAT ideas to blog.

I'm not going to tell you the participants in this story, but I think it's really important for you to know the outcome....

I had suggested to a TRADITIONALLY published author that they should start a blog using their new book as the theme. IT'S A GREAT IDEA!!

I got a sweet smile, laughed at, and then..."blogging doesn't make you money."

I didn't rant, or go off, I simply got a pen out of my purse and wrote GREAT BLOG TOPIC on the palm of my hand. I did NOT want to forget the feeling I was having when those words left the mouth of that author.

I was almost giddy! Excited in fact! Little does that author know....

Keep the Numbers Coming in After the Release Party

This blog has been a little wonky this week! I'm not on my normal Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule. This is due to the fact that it started off as release week for my latest novel, A Charming Crime!

And what a week it has been!! AND it's still going.....

Many of us promote the first day or two and then let the book fly alone. THAT ISN'T GOING TO CUT THE MUSTARD!!

I know I'm always throwing marketing and promoting ideas and the post on HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL RELEASE PARTY ON LINE was a big success in the blog world. BUT I'm here to tell you that it doesn't stop there.

This is how my release went.
Monday: I posted on my street team a Facebook status and a tweet. I asked my STREET TEAM members to kindly post these into their accounts during the day because Tuesday was party day on the STREET TEAM Facebook page!

A Charming Crime made it to #8k in the Amazon store and #61 on the mystery best seller list.

Tuesday: I had over 50 authors lined up to donate a bo…

The value of the reader!

Today I'm hanging over at Reviews From My First Read Shelf. I'm talking about the value of the reader. I normally don't post on my blog places that I am going to be a guest, but I want you to know how I market to my readers.

Today is TONYA KAPPES STREET TEAM GRATITUDE RELEASE. Yesterday my bookA CHARMING CRIME released and because of my STREET TEAM my novel is climbing the charts! Today is the day I give back to them.

I have over 50 authors donating their books, swag, gift cards, STREET TEAM tote bags, and much more.

If you are interested on how I do it, you have to join the STREET TEAM. I'd love for you to have the wonderful success I have had with my amazing readers!!

Kobo Is Coming To Play On the Big Playground

Last week my novel, came in 2nd in two categories in The Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the humor and mystery categories! The awards ceremony was at The Book Expo of America in New York City. The best of the best attend this conference and that means all ereader professionals.

I was PUMPED! I got two medals, two linen certificates. . .but the excitement didn't last long. GUESS WHAT MADE ME MORE CRAZY....


Have you heard of it or just seen it at Smashwords??

Here is what I knew about Kobo before last week: I upload my books to Smashwords and put it in the extended distribution hoping someone from Canada would buy my books on their Kobo. The soccer mom in Canada carries their Kobos with them everywhere!

Yes, I've sold a few hundred on Kobo, but that is it! So I look at Smashwords as an extra bonus if I sell a couple hundred a month.

BUT Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo, put a fire in my step! At the Book Expo of America, he announced a new program for sel…


We spend months writing our novel, editing our novel, talking to everyone we know about our novel, even go as far as a tweet or two or a couple Facebook status' about how many words you completed that day on your novel.

And the time comes. . .

Either you have a publisher that publishes your novel OR you are the publisher. You put a tweet out and make your status on Facebook "happy book birthday" or "it's launch day of my novel." Then. . .silence. You are on to the next one.

What happened? For MONTHS you talked about this book, you boosted about the word count you achieved or we cried with you when your muse wouldn't cooperate. Those were the fun times of saying you had a novel, but when it came time for it to be published and purchased, how did you exactly get it out into the public??

It doesn't matter what journey of publication you find yourself on, you still have to market your novel. Most publishing companies don't even have a marketing dep…

The Well Writer

I hope you enjoyed the funny video!! Seriously! Isn't that the way we stay fit? At least most of the days?

Recently I made the decision to work three days at the day job and take two days to work on my writing career. My day job keeps me in pretty good shape. I'm a Developmental Child Therapist which means I have a combined degree in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, cognitive therapy, and developmental therapy. I rarely sit down during the day. So keeping fit has really not been an issue for me.

This is the third week that I have worked my new schedule being home for two days straight. Not only are those two days straight, it's Thursday and Friday which means the weekend makes it FOUR days straight. Granted, I have three boys who are into every sport imaginable and we are always running from practices to games which is really great because I take those opportunities to write outside of the home. (I'm so glad this writing gig can happen on the mo…

From An Editor to An Author

Please welcome editor Judy Beatty!!
Tonya asked me to write a blog on editing, and I’ve been mulling around what I want to tell you over and over in my mind for days now.   I have finally zeroed in on some things that I feel are important to the editor, and for the author.
In editing a manuscript, there can be a tendency to “want” to forget that the author has his or her own voice, and change sentences into how we as editors would say it if we had written it.  This is where we can make or break trust in the person we are editing for.  It’s common to try and change sentences around to our liking, but once the author’s voice is revealed, we must edit in their way of thinking, and not ours.  I had one lovely author recently tell me that she sees my grammatically correct sentences and says “Grammatically correct? What’s that?”  Also, I edited a book for an author that had characters speaking the worst English I have ever heard, but that is the way he wanted it, and that is the way I had …

Tips to Edit Your Own Work

We all live in edit hell! Even if you claim you love it, you know you don't (shaking finger at you)! Unfortunately, editing skills separates a mediocre writer from a great writer in the self-publishing world. (Little secret: even traditionally published writers have to have extensive editing from their editors. NO ONE turns in a perfect book.)

I have never claimed to be a perfect writer. FAR FROM IT!! Over the past few years I have learned a few tips that help me self edit my books before I get them to my editor. I have to have an editor. It's only good business practice, but here are some ideas to help you along the way.

1. Just write!

Don't edit while you are writing. Get the words on the page and let your creative juices flow. If you worry about editing, you are going to get stumped and not get in your word count or ideas down.

If there is a blatant typo, yes change it. Don't go back and fix grammar, punctuation, etc....

2. Step away.

After you finish your novel, it…