Pick of the Twitter: August, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for August, 2014:

  1. The Right Sort (A Short Story on Twitter) by David Mitchell @Sceptre Books

  2.  Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers by Maria Popova  via @brainpickings @WriterlyTweets

  3. How to Get Your Short Stories Published in Lit Mags by Suzannah Windsor Freeman via @WriterUnboxed

  4.   7 Writing/Publishing Resources and How to Use Them @111publishing

  5. Blogging Tips for Authors: How to Generate New Blog Ideas  @chrisrobley @BookBaby

  6. Show, Don’t Tell, How Time Is Passing  @CSLakin (Great post!)

  7.  The Best Literary Hashtags on Twitter by Michele Filgate  via @Salon @HughOSmith  (Love this!)

  8. How I Write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies by Neil Patel @neilpatel via @BrianHonigman

  9. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing: Annotated by Ron Yates @Jhawker69

  10. Query Question: Getting Requests for Full MS but No Rep  by @Janet_Reid (As always, superb response. Love this blog.)

  11. My Latest Thoughts on Marketing for Writers   @JaneFriedman

  12. 10 Ways to Grow From “Someone Who Writes” Into a Writer by Diane O’Connell @WriteToSell

  13. 10 Ways to Tighten Your Pitch – How’s yours?  by Shari Stauch @WhereWritersWin

  14.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  @IndieAuthorNews

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

 

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

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Pick of the Twitter: May, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter Picks for May, 2014:

 

  1. 13 Ways to Convince a Literary Agent to Represent You   by @Rachelle Gardner

  2. Twitter Tools: HootSuite & TweetDeck Highlights  by @laurazera via @mollygreene

  3. The Hectic Life of a Multi-Published Author  by @JodyHedlund

  4. What to expect when you attend a literary conference, trade show, or book fair by @chrisrobley @BookBaby

  5. How to Book a Successful Blog Tour  by @stephaniebond via @bkmkting

  6.  Questions about Editing by @CSLakin

  7. How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media via @Mariner_Consult

  8.  Writing Tip: #23 The Notecard System  by @JakeVanderArk via @EricStoffle

  9. Smart Quotes by Ilene Strizver   (Annie here>>>I’m curious: Authors, do U use smart quotes? Do U turn them off? Which is better?)

  10. Being an Author vs. Running a Business as an Author  by @JaneFriedman

  11. What Do I Do with Random LinkedIn Connections?  by Ezra Chasser  @sorethumbnyc (Loved this post. Great info!)

  12. How to Keep Your Writing in Your Over-the-Top Busy Life: Helpful Techniques from the Experts by Mary Caroll Moore

  13. 10 Pinterest Rules Every Business Needs to Know Before Posting by Matthew Kobach

  14. Consider Advertising Your Book Locally by Richard Ridley @CreateSpace

  15.  7 Times When A Comma Has Made A MAJOR Difference  by @MaddieCrum @HuffPostbooks via @RandomHouseCA

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Blogging for Writers: Ten Tips for Beginners

by  @AnnieDaylon 

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Blogging for Writers: The Sequel 🙂
(10 Tips for Beginners)

 

My last post about Blogging for Writers dealt with value: What’s In It for Me? What’s in it for Us?  This one deals with content. Here are 10 Tips for Beginners:

 

1.  Get StartedDon’t wait until you have the exact area of interest or until you have perfected your style. These will come. Choose a topic and go.

2.  Keep it Short. Write enough to cover your topic. Stop. I set time limits for reading blog posts (busy!) and, out of respect for other readers, I set word limits for writing them. My writing goal/post? Fewer than 500 words. More to say? Write a sequel!

 3.  Keep it Simple. Get to the point. Tell your readers what you are going to write about, write about it, and tell them what you have written.

4.  Use White Space (or, in my case, blue. 🙂 White space is simply that, the leftover space around the words. White space around content actually draws readers toward content. To create white space, use short paragraphs. Get rid of unnecessary words. Use Point Form.

5.  Include a Question to Encourage Readers to CommentE.g. What are your best blogging tips?

6.  Use a Call to ActionAsk people to subscribe or follow.

7.  Share, and Ask Others to ShareUse Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google+, whatever works for you. Make sharing easy for your readers by including Share Buttons. A blog is a tool.  It is useless if people don’t know it is there. Share. Share. Share.

8.  Use your Twitter Handle in the Byline of your Post. When I read a good post, I share it via Twitter. I schedule my Tweets using Tweetdeck. If I can find the Twitter handle of the author, I add it to the Tweet. Why? If someone at-mentions you (e.g. @AnnieDaylon) it will show up on your Twitter stream; you can favorite it, retweet it, reply to it. Your post will gain more ground.

9.  Always Check your WorkI just checked this post and realized that I had 9 tips, not the promised 10. I added this one. 🙂

10. Invest in a Good Resource about Blogging. Try Blog It  by Molly Greene. It contains information on everything from Set Up to SEO. It saved me a lot of time and energy. Highly recommend!

 

If you are on the verge of blogging, as I was a while back, try the above Ten Tips for Beginners.

If you are already a blogger, what tips do you have for beginners?

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My best to you,

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Blogging for Writers: What’s in it for Me? What’s in it for Us?

by @AnnieDaylon shutterstock_170334146

 

Why write Blogs?

  • To develop platform

  • To share information

  • To sell product

  • To hone writing

The what’s-in-it-for-me philosophy, WIIFM, applies here, but are we all so self-centered?  I much prefer another concept, one which I just recently encountered, the what’s-in-it-for-us philosophy, WIIFU. The us being both writers and readers.

So, why read Blogs?

  • To learn about writing structure, style, grammar

  • To seek inspiration

  • To connect with like minds

  • To learn about the business of writing, aka marketing

What do both lists have in common? Value.

Bloggers give knowledge based on study and experience. Readers take knowledge, apply it, and, hopefully, pass it along. Bloggers promote their products; readers often buy those products.  The result is a cycle, a supportive community, a collaboration of bloggers and readers and bloggers and bloggers and… you get the idea.

I write blog posts but I also read them. Tons of them. I return to blogs that are helpful. I keep track of new posts on all my favorite blogs—I use Feedly  for this purpose—and I share new posts through Twitter and through my own blog.

Yes, the what’s-in-it-for-me concept—WIIFM— is valuable, but the what’s-in-it-for-us philosophy—WIIFU—is priceless.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Writing Goals for 2014

by @AnnieDaylon

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Today, as the tide slips over the release date of my novel, Castles in the Sand, I am setting goals for 2014.

 

I started by listing accomplishments of 2013, an activity I recommend. I discovered that, despite bouts of doubt (do you have those ‘am I doing enough’ moments??) I accomplished a lot. Included on my list:

  • publishing a novel;

  • working with a partner (accomplished author, Michael Hiebert) to organize a book launch party;

  • attending conferences;

  • blogging and tweeting on a regular basis;

  • facilitating workshops;

  • attending Federation of BC Writers three-day writers’ retreat;

  • diving into technology (almost drowned… still here!),

  • learning that I must pick and choose my path because there are so many options and there is no way can I do everything. (Must keep it simple.)

 

With that last point in mind, I am listing just three goal categories. In order of importance, they are:

    Writing:

  • Write first!  Write regularly. (Novel first, always! I intend to finish, and market, my historical suspense novel.)

  • Write short stories for contests. (Love the contest concept; it is a vehicle for honing writing craft.)

  • Write a non-fiction book about writing. (Have learned a lot; intend to share.)

   Reading:

  • Read, Read, Read!  Read up. Read down.  (I laughed recently when I received an email from Goodreads congratulating me on having read two books in 2013.  The reality is that I read a minimum of two books a week. 🙂 Since I already keep an alphabetical list of everything I read, I will transfer more of that info to Goodreads in 2014.)

  • Read more Indie Authors (I am one; should support same. Mea culpa.)

  • Write a few short reviews.

   Platform/Marketing:

  • Continue to share info via Twitter and Blog. Am focusing on these two because, like I said, I can’t do everything. However, I will also use other media, such as Linked In & Pinterest, and, of course, Goodreads.

  • Hire for Tech issues. (In many cases, time trumps money; I cannot spend hours trolling tech forums when I can spend a few dollars employing tech wizards.)

  • Learn to do Webinars.

  • Get help with marketing. (Not sure what this looks like yet but am putting it out there.)

So, there it is. A list of goals. Seems simple enough. And that’s the point: to keep it simple. Simplicity allows for success, for change, and for adaptation to whatever rolls in with the tides of 2014.

What are your writing goals for 2014?

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My best to you for 2014 and always,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick of the Twitter, November 2013

by @AnnieDaylon Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten Twitter picks for November, 2013:

  1. Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing a Short Story  by @ChrisRobley @BookBaby

  2.  Breakaway Body Parts: Are Your Characters’ Body Parts Acting on Their Own?   by @Janice_Hardy via @ EricStoffle

  3. Preparing for a Productive Writing Day  by @elizabethcraig

  4.  Five Design Must-Haves for Every Author Website  @HuffPost Books

  5. How to Get in the Zone and Stay in the Zone A PodCast  with Tom Evans  from Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

  6. George Stroumboulopoulos Interview with Author Sue Grafton from @cbc @strombo

  7. The Book Marketing Maze: 22 Wrong Turns Authors Make and How To Avoid Them by @JonathanGunson 

  8. Your Artist Self and Your Business Self by @RachelleGardner

  9. Announcing the Novel Marketing Podcast  from @AuthorMedia

  10. Infographic: Here’s Why You Should Invest in Social Media Marketing Today  @Marine_Consult

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

Writing Resources: My Current Favorites

by @AnnieDaylon 

Looking for Writing Resources? Here, categorized by Story, Style, and Sell are my current favorites.

shutterstock_107880212Story:

  1. Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence  by Lisa Cron

  2. How to Write a Damn Good Thriller  by James N. Frey

  3. The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction  by James Alexander Thom

  4. The Writer’s Journey  by Christopher Vogler

Style:

  1.  Finding Your Writer’s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction  by Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall

  2. The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed  by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

  3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation  by Lynne Truss

  4. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression   by Angela Ackerman

Sell:

  1. The Frugal Book Promoter   by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  2. Blog It! The Author’s Guide to Building a Successful Online Brand  by Molly Greene

 

There you have it, my current Top Ten writing resources. Am always looking to update; any suggestions as to resources I can add?

 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

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My Goodreads Giveaway Experience

by @ AnnieDaylon

 

CASTLES-IN-THE-SAND (2) brag medallion

 

 

Indie authors have a lot of work to do in terms of marketing. If you are considering a paperback giveaway (as I did for Castles in the Sand), consider doing it through Goodreads. Here’s my experience:

 

 

  • In July, I

    • Checked the details on Goodreads:
    • Contacted Goodreads with minor questions (got quick response)
    • Chose the dates (August 1-31).
    • Elected to give away 10 books.
    • Filled in, submitted the Form. Goodreads published the Giveaway almost immediately. (Super efficient!)
  • During August, I

    • promoted through Twitter, Linked In and Email List.
    • set aside a box labeled “Goodreads Giveaway. Into it, I put 10 books, each with a bookmark, 10 mailing envelopes, 10 handwritten notes which congratulated winners and asked if they would rate/review the book on Goodreads.
      • Note: I left space for individual name on each note.
  • On August 31st , I

    • checked Goodreads and discovered that there were 428 entries in the Giveaway.
    • checked my email. The list of winners was there, 5 in Canada, 5 in the USA. (Did I mention that Goodreads is efficient?)
    • made address labels for the winners
    • packaged the books
      • Note: If possible, keep size within post office limits. (In earlier attempts at mailing, I slipped books into corrugated covers. Mistake! Way too expensive! Use paper!)  Each of my books fit through the standard postal slots so regular mail fees applied. Fortunately, I live very close to the U.S. border, so I mailed books bound for the United States in the United States. Mailing costs? In Canada, $3.75/book. In the U.S., $2.53/book.
  • In September, I

    • Read a wonderful email from an excited winner.
    • Received (to date) three reviews on Goodreads, one of which also appears on that reviewer’s website Book Reads and Reviews. (Many thanks to all who took time to rate/review the book!)
    • Emailed Goodreads to thank them for their support and efficiency.
Goodreads: Author's Guide to Giveaways

Goodreads: Author’s Guide to Giveaways

For me the Goodreads Giveaway was an excellent marketing experience, one that I wish I had known about sooner. That’s the thing with going indie; so much to do! As I wrote to a helpful staff member at Goodreads, ‘I wish that I could assemble the minions! Alas, there is only me.’

But, then again, there is Goodreads!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

The Business of Writing: Promotion and Publicity

Reality Byte IX: Promotion and Publicity

by @AnnieDaylon

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What is the difference between promotion and publicity?

Promotion is whatever you do to tell the world that you and your product are here. Publicity happens when the world takes notice of you and passes the word along.

 

You promote when you:

• set up a book launch party;

• offer free books;

• teach a workshop;

• give books as gifts;

• donate proceeds to charity;

• offer time limit incentives;

• submit a media release;

• make announcements on social media.

 

Others publicize when they:

• spread the word about your launch;

• request an interview;

• tell a friend about your book;

• publish your media release;

• write reviews of your book;

• share your announcements on Twitter, Facebook.

 

Promotion can cost you, both in time and money, but publicity is generally accomplished without your having to pay.

Promotion is the creator of publicity.

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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

My ‘Write’ Space

by @AnnieDaylon

office 001If you live in a small place and want to work at home, you need a designated space, one that can accommodate your work without commandeering your life.  Here’s a suggestion: an armoire.

We downsized a few years back and planned the move in great detail. The fact that there would be less floor space in our new home inspired us to take wall space into consideration. I sold my old computer desk which sprawled the wall at chair rail height and replaced it with an armoire.

Open, the armoire is a complete office, with space for computer, printer, paper and storage containers.Office (2)It also has a file drawer and a desktop for plain old handwriting. I can open the doors to 180 degrees or angle them so that everything is at arm’s length.

Closed, the armoire is an attractive, unassuming piece of furniture, six feet high and three-and-a-half feet wide. Not only does it fit almost any small space scenario, it also masks the detritus of the workaday world.

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Anyone working from home needs to ‘get away from the office’ occasionally. What better way than to use an armoire?  One of my favorite things about my ‘Write’ Space is that I can lock the doors and hang my Closed sign. This is my reminder to disconnect. Later, I can return, refreshed and ready to create.

My armoire has proven to be an ideal writing space for me. What is your ideal ‘Write’ Space?

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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue