After getting back from a week of vacation, I think I need another just to rest my feet.
So today's tip will be short like last week's: Edit, edit and edit. And when you think you're done, edit some more. Get another pair of eyes on your WIP because there will be words that are mis-spelled, you've used the wrong word or are missing a word.
Isn't it better to wait and be thorough than to rush it just to get it done? Writing a novel, novella, a series is daunting enough. So why rush this really important step?
Today's tip is really short but meaningful: Write.
Whether it's 5 minutes or 5 hours, just find time to write. How will the WIP get done and finished if you don't write? Could you squeeze 5-10 minutes daily by waking up a bit early or staying up later? Write a scene in this time.
The random winner of the $50.00 Visa gift is EMILY SMITH!
Thank you to those who entered my first rafflecopter contest. Thanks for helping me spread the word about me. I increased my Facebook "Likes" by 27 people and gained 38 new followers on Twitter.
I call this a success!
Watch for more rafflecopters in the future with exciting new prizes as I get closer to my release date (June 2015) for the first novel in The Enlighten Series, The Guardian, a Sword & Stilettos.
Today is the last day to sign up and enter! You could win a $50.00 Visa Gift Card just in time for Black Friday.
It's easy to do. Just Log in w/Facebook or Use Your Email, then follow the instructions.
A blog is an online journal composed of media-rich articles known as “posts.”
Anyone can easily and inexpensively publish a blog.
Seven things a blog can help you accomplish:
1. Develop a following. When you create new content on a regular basis, you give readers a reason to reconnect with you and your topic time and time again. A static web site gives no incentives for repeat exposures.
2. Reach. Online marketing is all about creating content that will engage people and bring them to your website. The more topics you write about, the better the chance that people will discover your articles in search engines. Every article you write becomes another portal through which potential fans can get to know you.
3. Earn better search result positions. Google and other search engines love blogs because it gives them more content to categorize, and it demonstrates which sites are active and growing. The more active and relevant your blog is, the greater your chances of ranking higher in search results.
4. Hone your craft. Despite your work ethic or best intentions, you never “arrive” at being a great writer. It’s a lifelong process that requires constant practice.
5. Produce material for future books. While you’re honing your craft every week, you are also stockpiling a small library of content. And that content can some day be re-purposed into articles, reports, white papers, and even new books.
6. Know your industry. If you position your blog as a resource on your topic, that forces you to always be on the lookout for news, trends, and fresh ideas related to your subject matter. That makes you even more of an expert and the go-to person in your field.
7. Create interaction and community with your readers. Most bloggers allow
readers to leave comments. That’s another thing that sets blogs apart from
static web pages: people can interact with them. You should encourage and ask your readers to leave comments. That will make your blog a place readers want to visit often and express themselves while there.
Using Your Blog to Promote and Sell Books.
If you already published a blog or are about to start one, you’re miles ahead of many authors. Here are several ways you can turn your blog into an online book marketing machine:
• Deliver your news, your way. The most basic thing you can do with an author blog is announce your activities: events you’re going to attend, new titles you’ve released, awards you’ve won, media coverage you’ve just landed, etc. Let people know about all of your book related activities. But there are other things you should do with your blog, too.
• Share your journey. A blog can be part personal diary, part “making of” documentary. Invite fans to follow along as you log reports about your adventures through the writing and publishing world. Post daily dispatches from the road. Keep fans updated on your creative process, or tell them about the great workshop you gave the night before. Share yourself with your fans and they’ll feel more of a connection with you.
• Post often. Some bloggers publish something every day; others post entries once or twice a week. Choose a frequency that works for you and do your best to stick with it.
• Report on your topic. Here’s an idea that could bring you a lot of targeted traffic. Instead of publishing a blog that promotes you and your book only, create one that acts as a one-stop resource for your entire topic.
• Extend link love. There’s a lot of cross-referencing that takes place in the blog world. As I mentioned in the previous point, you should regularly scour the Web for news and online resources that would be of interest to your fans. Then write about (and link to) those other blogs, sites, authors, etc.
After you publish a new post, send a quick email to the person whose site you plugged. This will often lead to a return link when that webmaster or blogger writes about the exposure they just got on your blog. The best way to get link love is to give it unconditionally in the first place.
• Make your blog post titles sizzle. Compare the titles you give your blog posts to the headlines that appear on magazine covers. How do they rate? What’s more likely to get one of your readers to click a link to read your latest entry. A great title will attract the ideal type of person it’s meant for. So take some time to craft the best, attention-grabbing titles you can.
• Promote new books as you write them. Instead of waiting for your new book to be published, you can start marketing a new title the day you decide to write it.
Attracting Readers and Making Your Book Blog Shareable
Once you have a blog up and running, it’s time to let people know about it. Of course, you should announce your blog. And every time you publish a new post, link to it from your Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
These days, the social Web is all about sharing. So you’d be smart to give your blog
readers simple tools that allow them to quickly recommend and share links to your blog posts with their network of friends.
Have you entered in my rafflecopter yet? You could win a $50.00 Visa Gift Card just in time for Black Friday. And who doesn't go shopping with the mass hoard of shoppers getting all those sale items? Or if you're like me, a bunch of crap you don't even need and maybe want.
This has been going really well, I think. I've gotten 30 new "Likes" on FB and xx new followers on Twitter. So I'm calling this a success and we're only halfway into the raffle term.
You only have 6 more days to sign up and enter!
The rules are simple: Post 7 sentences of your work, start on page 7, count 7 lines down.
So this is from The Guardian, a Sword & Stilettos (Book 1):
A tall stack of wooden crates left an opening just large enough for me and I squeezed behind them, trying to keep silent. I crouched and released a slow breath, rubbing my sweaty palms against my sundress. My skin crawled.
Glass crunched just a couple feet away and my heart stopped in response. I peered through the slats and studied my stalker, trying to breathe silently. He looked about my age, but didn’t go to my school. A long black trench coat covered dark jeans and a ripped black hoodie, and a silver chain swung on his hip. Judging by his greasy hair, he hadn’t showered recently.
Tagging 7 writers: Kristina Gause Stutts, Catrina Barton, AnyBeth Fredricksen, Armada West, Karyn Pearson, Catrina Taylor, and Charles O'Keefe.
What is Twitter? It's a free blogging site which allows short status updates of 140 character or less. You can share links, post pictures, and follow others.
Sound like Facebook? It sort of is like FB's news feed.
How do I start? First you create a profile. Represent yourself with a picture, a general location, a website, etc.
Who should I follow? anyone you want to? I use my Twitter account solely for writers, publishers, and agents.
What do I tweet? Anything you want to? You can tweet about your life, things that happen to you, your thoughts, inspirational quotes, or anything that will fit into the 140 character space. I like to mix up my tweets with my own, re-tweets of others who I follow, and re-posts from blogs or articles I find interesting. My daily rule is to post at least 3 of my own tweets, 1 re-tweet and 1 reply tweet.
How do I reply? The @ symbol precedes a tweeters name. Replying to a tweet with @ makes a conversation.
Retweeting. When someone else has a tweet that you want to share to your followers, you retweet it. To comment on a tweet, use RT and the entire tweet including the name of the original tweeter.
Direct Messages. Also known as DMs. This is a private message between tweeters. You can only DM someone who you follow and who follows you. It's like an email program kept inside Twitter and using the above rules.
What is a hashtag? It's a tagging system to use to include in a conversation. By putting # in front of a word, creates a link. Then you can search on conversations with that hashtag.