author promotion

Year-End Thoughts

It was a busy 2013, with lots of promotions, writing, editing, and new research–the usual stuff. Ok, I’ll take some of that back. I didn’t do much writing this year; instead, I chose to concentrate on editing and promotion. Promoting my current titles and platform will build a stronger base from which to release my 2014 and 2015 titles. Likewise, editing moves those titles along to completion. Yes, my eyes are on the future. With 2013 being a paradigm-shifting year for authors, publishers, and most of all, readers, it was important to reevaluate, redesign, and rebuild my author platform. The REAL “three R’s.” I hope other authors have done this, too, as times are changing.

The final edit of From Turkey Creek – A Memoir is now complete, and I’m still looking for a suitable cover. I’ve been searching the past three years and haven’t found anything that comes even close to visually capturing the “Turkey Creek experience.” But then again, that’s why I’m writing the book in the first place–it was the most unique place on earth! I’m not releasing the book until I “get it right,” which includes the front and back covers. Regarding other titles, the new and updated Bell Witch book is coming along nicely; I’ll continue writing until June, and then I’ll do the pre-edit before sending it to a REAL editor. Also, several awesome short story and research opportunities have surfaced lately, and I plan to become heavily involved with all of them.

I have finalized the list of stories that will appear in my next ghost story book, which will be similar to Ghostly Cries From Dixie.

Over the next few days, however, I’ll be in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to research another haunted location–one that’s completely INFESTED with ghosts–and I might do a little writing, as well.

Replay of Bell Witch Interview

For those who have asked where they can hear my recent “Bell Witch” radio interview:

First, my warning and disclaimer:

Pros: 1) Great interviewer. 2) Great questions. 3) Huge, awesome listening audience!

Con: Due to my chronic allergies, I sounded like a skinned mouse in a blender that was on steroids; and, whenever I cleared my throat, I sounded like two whales making out to Barry White. Disturbing, I know.

Warning given.  If you’d still like to listen, or even download the audio file, please click hereThanks!

#Authors #Indie #Twitter Twitter Hashtags for Authors

Many writers ask about marketing their books on Twitter. I’m not a Twitter expert, but I’ve enjoyed mild success by marketing by books on Twitter. How? It’s simple. It’s about good manners and hashtags.

I try to tweet once every day or so; I don’t overdo it. That’s my biggest challenge, as I don’t like moderation. “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and worth doing BIG–to the max, to the limit, over the limit!” is one of my many “patisms.” If you can’t, or won’t, give something 250%, 500% of the time, then don’t do it! Okay, enough. But I digress….

One day, I’ll tweet about the weather; the next day, a fellow author’s book; and the next, my writing progress. Then, about once every week or so, I will tweet to people that one of my books is currently on sale (which it is). I’ve tweet-promoted my books more frequently, but with no results. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that while people love to hear about good books, they don’t like having books shoved down their throats. “Buy my book!” “Buy my book!” tweeted 30 times daily, by the same author, not only makes an ass of the author, but also irritates his or her soon-to-be unfollowers. Be humble. Be nice. Remember that Twitter is a social interaction tool, and should be used to SOCIALIZE with people. There’s nothing wrong with advertising your books, but a little moderation and more socialization–personal socialization–go a long way. And, so do hashtags.

I’ll spare you from my long, ad-nauseous definition of a hashtag, and say, simply, go check out http://www.hashtags.org . You’ll learn what a hashtag is, why it’s important, which hashtags are “trending,” which hashtags have the most activity, and a thousand other points to consider when hashtagging your tweets. Once you’ve learned what hashtags are (assuming you don’t already know), see my list, below, which can be helpful to authors.

PLEASE consult hashtags.org and RESEARCH any hashtag you plan to use. Understand what it is, what it isn’t, and when, and when not, to use it. If you misuse a hashtag, you’re subject to embarrassment and ridicule from the Twitter gods.

Basic Book Stuff –
#novel #new #paperbacks #short #story #greatread #whattoread #books #nonfiction #storytelling #book #mustread #writers #pubwrite #writetip #fridayreads

Indie and eBook Stuff –

#ebooks #epublishing #epublishers #epub #digitalpublishing #selfpub #readanindiefriday #indieauthor & #indieauthors #indiepublishing #indiepub

Authors to Authors (shop talk) –

#AmWriting
#AmEditing
#WordCount
#WriterWednesday
#WritersLife
#YALitChat
#LitChat
#MemoirChat
#BookMarket
#WritingParty
#IndieAuthors
#WriteChat
#epubchat:
#kindlechat:
#vss
#webfic
#weblit
#wip
#wordcount
#writegoal
#writequote

Quote from your book-
#Novelines

Genre Stuff –
#RomanceWriter
#SciFiChat
#KidLitChat
#RWA (Romance Writers of America)
#ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)
#SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
#MemoirChat
#LitFic
#HistFic
#HistNovel
#ShortStories
#WomensFiction
#Science
#Futuristic
#Crime
#SciFi

The Book Industry –
#WritingTip
#WriteTip
#GetPublished
#PromoTip
#SelfPublishing
#Publishing
#AskAgent
#AskAuthor
#AskEditor
#EBooks
#IndiePub
#BookMarketing

Creativity-
#WritingPrompt
#StoryStarter
#WordAThon
#Creativity
#WIP

Reach out to Readers (IMPORTANT!!!!!!)-
#FridayReads
#BookGiveaway
#MustRead
#LitChat
#StoryFriday
#MustRead

Online Booksellers-
#smashwords
#bookbuzzr
#fReadO
#amazon
#kobo
#nook

Marketing-
#bookmarketing
#bookbuzz
#special
#free
#freebie
#FictionFriday
#FlashFriday

eBook Formats-
#kindle
#sony
#nook
#ebooks
#kobo
#ipad
#ereaders
#ebook
#kpd

Ok, I’ve let the cat out of the bag and given you my secret. Again, PLEASE consult hashtags.org and RESEARCH any hashtag you plan to use. Understand what it is, what it isn’t, and when, and when not, to use it.

Winter Pruning

I’ve just checked my blog’s follow list for the first time. Then I checked the list of blogs I follow. They don’t match, or even come close to matching. The problem, it seems, is that I’m following a LOT of blogs who won’t extend the courtesy of following mine back. I thought such things only happen on “Twitter,” lol, but ironically, Twitter has actually turned out to be a much better social networking tool for me. At any rate, I’m yanking out my machete and fixing the WordPress problem right now. It wouldn’t be such a big deal to me, except that in the two months I’ve been here, only 28 people have bothered to follow. Maybe I could get better participation over on “Myspace,” but alas, I forgot my password when it turned into a ghost town, six years ago. Off to make it 28/28!

Free Publicity – Creating a Buzz

Free Publicity – Creating a Buzz.

This lady (see link, above) has got it right. Carefully estimate when your book will be released, create a professional press release, and let the buzz begin!

Thirty-plus years of writing and publishing has taught me a few things, the most important of which is: “Keep it simple.” Take the old-fashioned, tried-and-true, bread-and-butter approach to promoting yourself and your books. If you have a decent, timely book about something people are interested in and want to read about, a concise and carefully-worded press release will help you to get the word out quickly and effectively.

Over a short period, more people will hear about your book by reading newspapers, watching TV, and listening to their radios on the way to work than by surfing the internet and stumbling across your blog or Facebook. A book release, assuming that the book is timely and promises a good read, is newsworthy; hence, the media are likely to mention it.

After you create the first wave of your release buzz, send your forthcoming book’s description and, preferably, a couple sample chapters to your local bookstore’s small press or community events coordinator, asking for a signing at the store. Call or visit a few days later, to follow up. Do this with every bookstore in your area. You’ll most likely get two or three signings if you play your cards right. Once you’ve scheduled the signings, create and send a press release for each one.

The additional press releases and the signings themselves will create more buzz, and open doors for more promotion and bigger opportunities. Aside from the two hours you spend crafting a professional press release, the effort costs you nothing but leaves you with plenty to gain.