Monday, August 24, 2015

The Decline of blogging and Ways to perk it up!

Short is the new long. Quip or quit! Has the blogging ship sailed?

Nick Wilford talked about the Future of Blogging earlier this month and inspired me to write a long comment, and then even more - to write this post!

After blogging for six years, I have definitely noticed the disappearance of many blogger friends. Have you? Well, I have a theory or two why...

They got a book deal! - Like many writers, I started my blog to learn about writing, post my thoughts on the process, and get feedback - while giving the same in return. I met tons of blog friends and am continuing to meet more - some even in real life. But once you get published, the time you didn't have before completely disappears. Marketing and promoting invade your life besides trying to write the next one to keep yourself alive with your readers who are hungry for more. I cut back substantially - from almost every day to once a week. And I will keep with it until I don't feel it's productive anymore. But with many of my blog friends still active, it's still worth it. And as my title suggests, I always have something to say!

They ran out of time - Life will do that. Things change. And many times, blogging is the first thing to go. I know how thin we can stretch ourselves, and sometimes we have to make a choice, and blogging can be a luxury of time we can't afford.

They ran our of things to say - It's just not a priority anymore. When people post about not knowing what to post about, it's a good sign they're on their way to other things. And that's okay!

If you have to let it go, or just slow down or take a break from it - know that this blogging community will still be here. There are rocks that seem immovable (Like Alex J the Rockstar Ninja Warrior and L Diane the photographer and marketing genius, and so many more).

I have to make time for it because I want to keep in touch with my writer friends - we know what each other is going through. I'm so glad I started when I did - I've gotten so much from it and am still learning. And I hope others might still get something out of my articles, too.

In fact, here are some suggestions for a new blogging strategy to keep blogs alive and relevant:

  • Catchy, quippy titles - if you want to reach more people, you have to grab them with an enticing title. Give them lists, make them laugh, inform! Then,
  • Promote it on the quickie sites - Any social media will do. Use a cute blurb and/or picture... cute enough to make people click on it to read further! Make it easier by connecting your blog to Twitter or Facebook. It's amazing how many people are vying for each other's attention and the ways we can do it!
  • Be interesting - Blogging is only as good as what you put into it. If you want more, you must expand and reach out, padawan!

NAMASTE! (It felt right)

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Get Noticed in a Good Way! #motivationamonday

You know who gets noticed? People who aren't afraid to make a fool out of themselves!

People love to point and laugh or gasp or get fired up. And if you want your books to be noticed, that's some of the attention you are seeking. I may have a few books published, but I still worry that I will be dropped if my numbers don't rise to a certain level. What level is that anyway?

It all boils down to getting a lot of people to like your style - your product has to be interesting enough to gain some fans. Once they are fans, they will want to spread the word. People like others to join them and like what they like, so they will tell more people!

But finding that loyal fan base is the hardest part (look at Firefly! And they had a ton of fans!). So here are some avenues to fans to consider:

Elusive Agents - I started with this route. I queried till my inbox cried from all the rejections. Then I finally found a winning query (or my perfect match through an editor. It's hard to know the formula, but I know timing has a lot to do with it too) Recently, I've been encouraged to seek representation. So, maybe it's time. A good agent has connections in the industry and can get you farther than you can go yourself.

Social Frenzy - Twit, tweet, twoot? To tweet is sweet, but to vine is divine. Issue Instagrammatics. See anything Pinteresting? The big giant mammoth FACEBOOK = the white pages of the world. Snapchat without saying a word. Like me, friend me, heart me, pin me! It's such a confusing mess of shouting! Yet some are able to use these tools to their advantage. I'm still exploring and experimenting - trying to find that balance between enticing and annoying is tough!

Crazy Cons - You have to go meet the people and be someone they will like. I always encourage authors to go to book events, especially in your genre. And sometimes getting noticed means putting on a different persona. I'm not saying change yourself, but enhance your attributes. If you can bake - bring it and label it! Again, a happy medium between friendly and obnoxious - just enough moxie to be seen. Your book will not speak for itself among a sea of other pretty books.

Does it Pay to Advertise? - It depends on what you can afford and what you're advertising. On websites, I find it annoying. And I don't want to annoy others so I haven't tried it. I have looked newspapers and I take advantage of free announcements of events, but I don't know how many people use the paper (even the online ones) anymore - and it seems the ones who do aren't searching for an obscure book signing... but free doesn't hurt! I also looked into radio - more expensive than you might think. Could be worth it if I had a $1000 lying around.

Honest to Goodness Reviewers - Many people listen to reviewers. And it doesn't take much to be one. Just read a book and give your opinion! The trick here is to find a popular reviewer who has time to fit you in, and I don't want to pay for a review. It just doesn't feel right, though I've heard some are honest and worth it. I recently took some advice to look at top Amazon reviewers who liked my genre. I respectfully offered a book or two for them to read and review, but I never heard back. It's so hard to ask for reviews - I feel like a blind girl with my cup full of pencils...

Do You Youtube? - Stunts, shocking videos, humor, podcasts, interviews. There are so many ways to put yourself out there these days! And most are pretty easy to produce. My acquisitions editor always has fun ideas to embarrass himself for the sake of a little publicity. He even interviewed me on his regular podcast - here it is, if you'd like to listen. I myself am trying something out that will hopefully be appealing. Chapter one of my anti-princess story should be out soon... We'll see how this goes!

There are so many ways to be noticed. It's hard to put yourself out there, but if you can take yourself a little less seriously and not worry about how you look or if you mess up, big things can come of it! Don't be afraid to try anything! The worst that could happen is you get a thumbs down - but even that is worth the effort. It tells you what not to do, and at least someone noticed! Brainstorm and go for it!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

What you see here

I have some smiles to share on this lovely Monday!

First, the winners from last month's Pop Travel re-release giveaway...

Cindi Clubbs won a signed new copy of POP TRAVEL
Sharon Bayliss and Tamara Narayan both won some great ebooks!
and Rhonda Albom won the Amazon gift card

Thanks again to everyone who joined in!

Next month, I'll be hosting another giveaway to celebrate the release of SIMULATION!! Yeah! And if you'd like to help me spread the news, I have a few spots left - here's the form. And to give you a taste, here's the trailer...

But enough about me (sorry, I'm just so excited!)

I want to show you a cool new cover that just came out for my friend Katie Hamstead Teller...


When Cadence Anderson woke to find her husband and infant daughter had been killed, she thought her life was over. Instead, she was offered a second chance and sent back in time to do it all again. 

She’s made the most of this opportunity, but she’s also done something she wasn’t planning on—she’s fallen in love with someone other than her future husband.

She has the hardest decision to make--follow through with her certain future with her wonderful husband Austin and their beautiful baby, or take a chance with the new man she was never supposed to love.

Before she decides, she has to see Austin again. Even if she has to lie to her new beau James, because, deep down, she can’t bring herself to let him go.

In this emotional conclusion to the story that began in Deceptive Cadence, relationships will be tested, identities revealed, and the past will overshadow the future, putting the finishing touches on an unforgettable tale of courage, sacrifice, and above all, love.

Add it to Goodreads

Besides being a talented writer, Katie Hamstead Teller is an aquisitions editor at Curiosity Quills. She's an Aussie living in the USA, just enjoying life as it comes! Her debut novel was Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, the first book in a trilogy. Here's how to find her:

Two last items to keep the Monday blues away:

We've got some quick tips for back to school shopping at the REALLY REAL HOUSEWIVES!

And if you recognize the quote from the title and can identify the movie, I'll send you a free original Pop Travel - I only have a few left! Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Signs you might need a break

I just got back from a lovely, relaxing vacation, and boy did our family need it! But we didn't even realize it till we got there. Our famiy is go, go, go. And keep going! Work through the pain, rub some dirt on it, and get it done. Well, that's me and the hubs anyway.

So when we got there, we actually relaxed. The muscles loosened. The schedule was: nothing! We played games, we cruised around on a boat, we actually ate meals together and we laughed, a lot. It was refreshing. And coming home, I had hope. I knew all the same problems would be there waiting for me, but now I have renewed energy to attack them.

Which brings me to my IWSG post. That's how writing or editing can be. We work, work, work. trying to reach a goal or make a deadline. But if we push ourselves too hard, the creative flow is lost. We need to take a break sometimes and work on other things, or just go experience life. Some feel bad for taking a blogging break - DON'T! We won't forget about you. Take all the time you need. Breaks are necessary! And social media is not a real break, come on now. Go out and live it!

Here are a few signs you might need a break:
  • you imagine strangers are acting out one of your scenes.
  • as you mumble while shopping, the vegetables in the produce section talk back.
  • it takes you several minutes to stand from the imprint in your writing chair.
  • when you look away from the screen, words are burned into your eyes and you see them on the wall.
  • you've read the same paragraph ten times because you keep nodding off.
  • the letters dance on the screen.
  • it's 8pm, your family asks when's dinner, and you say, "One more chapter."
  • you forgot what day, month, year it is...
  • you snap at people for making you lose your train of thought.
Are you experiencing any of these things? Then STOP WRITE NOW and TAKE A BREAK - even if it's just taking the dog for a walk or reading a book!

And speaking of a new book to read...
I also wanted to share Patricia Lynne's latest and last angel boy book - this is a great series! Check it out!

GABRIEL, Path of Angels, Book 4
by Patricia Josephine
Released: July 27, 2015

The end is in sight.

To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.

Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.

The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Twitter ~~~ Website ~~~ Google+

And lastly,
I wanted to tell you all that I finally got my lazy butt into gear, or Elizabeth Seckman did! We along with our friend Beth Fred have started a domestic blog with tips, advice, recipes, and fun stuff for families and getting more out of life. We are...

Liz is starting us off with some posts this week about going to the beach. Stop by! We'll be looking for guest posters to share their own home grown advice and real life lessons.

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