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Showing posts from April, 2012

LIGHTS, CAMERA. . . BLOG EXPOSURE

We blog because we want people to invest in us. We want the loyal reader to come back time and time again. We all have different reasons to blog. Do you want readers, other authors, or both? Either way, without exposure you won't have either.

Last week we talked about how togain more subscribers, but how are you going to get those subscribers if you don't have the exposure?

Are you ready to generate blog interest?

1) FACEBOOK and TWITTER
Are you rolling your eyes at me?? DON'T! These two social medias are wonderful ways to drive traffic to your blog. Do you belong to groups on Facebook that allow you to promote your blog? I'm on at least ten of these, and every time a new blog is posted, I get on those Facebook groups and add a brief description of the blog along with the URL. Not only is it easy to click on, but it gives a little detail to what the blog is about. You have to be sure to give back as well. Make sure you check out other authors in those groups and visit…

Let Your Subscriber Count Soar

I have over 200 subscribers to my site and I know I can do more. This blog has been up for six month and 200 isn't bad. Now the hits the blog gets a day average between 500-700 a day. The higher of the number is on days a new post goes live, which is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The 500-600 range is on Tuesday and Thursday.

I wish all of those people did subscribe to the blog, but at least it's reaching a lot of writers/readers which makes me grateful beyond belief. But don't we just love seeing that number of subscribers go up? It's something about numbers that writers love. And blog statistics are no different.

Unfortunately, getting people to your blog is the easy part. The hard part is where they commit to receiving all of your updates by subscribing. You have to make sure that once you have the people visit your blog, that you have the stuff that keeps them there.

Here are the steps that got me there:

1) Design

You've heard that the first impression is the…

Creative Flow, Scene by Scene!

I love when I hear a writer say, "I write when inspiration hits me."

BLAH! That is what I hear from those writers. . . . . .

As a writer, among other duties, I don't have that luxury to write when it HITS ME! And most professional writers don't have that kind of time either.

I'm not saying my muse doesn't strike at crazy times, it does, but my muse also doesn't show up when I need it to. And those are the times that I'm talking about. That is about 90% of my writing time.

Wouldn't it be great if every time you sat down to write, your creativity just flowed over?

Over the past couple years I have come up with a few tips and tricks on how to maintain the creative flow when you sit down to write every single book.

1) Ideas. I'm always trying to come up with ideas for new books. I've said that I carry my journal every where I go. It's a journal of ideas and they are all gathered in one place. Easy to find. Some writers use journals to jot …

I signed up to be an author, not a chef!

It's almost been ONE YEAR since I self-published my first book! The time flew by and I have sold a lot, BUT that isn't what has amazed me most. I knew that I was going to be fine in the marketing and promoting part of the book process. I knew that editing was one of the hardest things about self-publishing. AND I knew that finding the right cover artist was almost as important as the story plot itself.

BUT the one thing that surprised me the most about being a published writer is the art of writing the DAMN book itself! Within the last twelve months I have published over eight books. With each book I have learned something different, and I feel like each book has gotten better. I have NEVER claimed to be an in-depth, emotional writer. I'm the beach read for my women's fiction and a cozy mystery author. Neither of those require a lot of thought on the part of the reader.

Still. . .every single book out there has to be edited. I've made it known that the editing pro…

When writing and life collide

Writing is one of the loneliest jobs that any can choose to have. I don't care if yourPR PERSONALITY TEST says you are an introvert or extrovert. We spend countless hours. . .ALONE!

We do this because it takes hours upon hours honing our craft. No one can help you hone your craft but you, and in order to make it as a writer, you have to get better. The only way to get better is to write, write, write. Are we really ever seen without a pen/pencil, notebook, or laptop in our hands? RARELY....not even in our sleep! I keep my journal on my bedside table when sleeping because sometimes my characters start talking to me in the middle of the night. My dear husband has learned to accept all the people that share my head.



Writing can be a bitter/sweet job. We have our happiest moment when we write. We get to create the world of our dreams. Go places that we never knew we could go. Create characters that can do anything we want them to do. BUT writing can be so bitter. We get stuck. We sit …

Street Teams Aren't New. . .just new to you!

Over the past couple months I have been hearing more and more about building up your street team. This has created a lot of buzz on my emails. Authors are asking me to help them understand this concept. This is a very old marketing concept (and The Tricked Out Toolbox has a section on street teams) that originated in the 70's with the urban music market.

The record label or artist would give a popular teenager flyers or music memorabilia to hand out to their friends. Spread the word with bumper stickers, posters, encourage their friends to listen to the music. . .you get the picture.

It created a buzz for the artist, making them popular. Street teams began to be the talk of the publishing industry with agents/publishers wanting their authors to create a buzz about their upcoming books about eight years ago. It died down a bit and now has come back.

Over the past three years, I have used my author friends as my street team, calling them my PR Buddies. This is nothing new. In return…

Smoke and Mirrors. . .Fall In Love With Your Blog

I get a lot of emails from other writers that tell me they really enjoy my blog. This truly makes my heart sing. The purpose of my blog started out as a mish-mosh of stuff before I realized that I get so many comments/emails about my marketing and promoting skills, along with my positive attitude.


Don't let all the smoke and mirrors full you! I do love my blog, I am a positive person, and I love writing, but I have my days that I let out a big ole sigh and have to make myself sit down to come up with something, anything to put here.

Recently I received an email from a reader who has a lot of issues with coming up with ideas and he flat out said that he HATED his blog.

My response. . .OF COURSE YOU HATE YOUR BLOG BECAUSE IT'S HARD! IT'S A COMMITMENT!

It's not like the first time you got the butterflies in your stomach when you decided you wanted to start a blog. You carefully chose the design, the colors, the font, the pictures, the tabs. . .all fun and games until you …

The "F" Word And How to Use It While Writing

Did that title catch your attention?

Did I mislead you? Maybe. Because I'm talking the big 'F' word , FAILURE!
And I want to talk to you about how we can use failure in our FAVOR! Then we can talk about a new 'F' word, FAVOR!
I have to admit that I get a lot of mail from writers about the ups and downs of writing, mainly their failures. They want to know how I did it. Trust me, there were a lot of FAILURES and I still have them. But I turn them around and use them in my FAVOR!

If you follow me on Facebook (and I hope you do), you know that I post a lot of inspiration quotes and motivation quotes. There are two reasons I do this.

1) There is so much negative energy in the world that if I can touch one person or change one person's attitude for that day, it was worth it.
2) I post quotes everywhere. They make me feel good. I even sharpie marker them on my laptop.

Yes! I'm one of those happy people. I never return an email that doesn't have something posit…

Writing Through Emotional Baggage

You just had a fight with your kids. . .
You don't spend enough time with your family. . .
You had a fight with your spouse. . .
You  got a disconnect notice in your mail box. . .
You're going through a divorce. . .
Someone close to you is ill. . .
Your ex-wife is a fruit loop. . .
Your husband cheated on you. . .

There is so much emotional baggage in your life that when you sit down to write, your energy is zapped.
Not only does that suck the life out of you, but you also have to worry about social networking, building a brand, finding our voice, find time for writing, blog, marketing, promoting, etc. . .

Sound familiar?

This was a hard thing for me to do when I first began my journey to publication. I was having a hard time getting the emotional baggage out of my head to even start my computer, never mind all the new stuff (like how to create a character, scene, setting, and everything else that is new to a newbie)  I had to worry about learning.

Emotional baggage is in our …

Use Your Facebook To Find Readers

When I blogged about whether you should have a personal Facebook page or a like Facebook page, I never imagined what came with a like page.

Facebook gives you INSIGHT. This is something that having a personal page does not give you. The personal page is just that. . .personal. The like page is a business page and will track all sorts of information, information that can be used to track your sales and what your readers are liking the most about your page.

You need to understand these INSIGHTS!

Here are some key things that you will learn about your like page:

1) How engaged are your followers?
2) What topic is making your followers engage?
3) How many followers are passive or active?
4) How many like, comments, and shares are you getting?

Every one of these come in a handy grid that you can even export for your records.

Knowing these statistics will help you decide what is and isn't working for you. If you post a picture of your dog and you get fifty likes or you post a picture of…

Personal or Public. . .Which Facebook Page Should You Have?

If I had to do it all over. . . would I have made my Facebook page a Fan Page?

I joined Facebook in 2008. At that time you could have a personal page or a fan page. I was starting out on the publication journey, for real this time, and decided to check out this new Facebook gig. 
Little did I know what I was in store for. 
Fast forward to today and the fan page is loooooong gone.  Here is Facebook’s response to why they changed the verbiage: 
Why did "Become a Fan" change to "Like"? To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we've changed the language for Pages from "Fan" to "Like." We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.
I'm not a big FAN of calling my readers FANS....that is a whole different issue that we will discuss later, but before now my choices were personal Facebook page or Fan Facebook page. Now my choices are…

EDITS. . .sigh. . .edits. . .

People ask me all the time, "Isn't writing a book hard?"
I laugh. Writing the book is the easy part. Editing the book is the hardest part!

I don't know about you, but editing my manuscript is the number one thing I dread in the process of finishing a manuscript.

We all know that when we type THE END, that the end is NOT the end! It really is the beginning.
Some writers love it because they use the editing process to put more meat into their story, flesh it out more, and create deeper characters. Some writers are like me. . .they type THE END and it really is the end (or what we want the end to be).

Not that I don't want my story to be the best it can be, but I've written it once through blood sweat and tears. And quiet frankly, I don't want to relive that part again.

If I dive deeper into why I really don't like the editing process. . .it's hard work! I don't like hard work!

In the editing process, we have to find the plot holes, make sure the…

Guest Blogger Tips and Tricks

One of the best ways to reach readers is to guest blog, especially when you have a book release or upcoming event that you want to market and promote.

We spend countless hours (away from our current work in progress) and email numerous blog sites that may or may not take our invitation to do a guest blog. And then, some of those sites have been booked up three-six months past your release date...sigh....

BUT when you do get the yes email on the exact day you want, you definitely want to give the best blog post you can. There are certain items that you need to research and include in your guest post.

1) Communication. Obviously you've done your research and feels that being a guest on a certain blog is for you. Communication with the blogger is a key role in keeping your end of the bargain. If you give them good communication, you will be seen as professional and they are more likely to have you back again. This is the type of relationship you want!

2) Audience. What is the audien…