Tag Archives: social media.

Social Media Pros and Cons for Writers…


global-social

This post was created due to the fact I was worrying about what to write for today’s post while perusing my Facebook and finally noticing two hours had ‘disappeared’ – without me really understanding where that time went! As this study shows it is not an uncommon problem.

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So how do we market, connect and sell our books without being sucked into the social media vacuum? We all know we should be writing not viewing cute videos or scrolling down page after page of posts. Yes, we need to interact and promote but how can we balance our time?

Many sites promote keeping to a schedule – even putting a timer on to force a switch off time or using an app that shuts down the media page. We can be overwhelmed with too many sites – but if we choose carefully and link the actions to the most relevant ones to our specific theme we can save time. A blog post can automatically be shared to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. this saves us precious writing time.So also setting our social media sites with sharing options cuts down our physical interaction time without reducing its effectiveness. The trick is to identify which sites work best for your particular message and keep to them.

Here’s a great link about that very subject :  http://www.webdesignrelief.com/social-networking-sites-for-writers/

I tend to burst on social media early morning and late afternoon (interspersed during the day when possible). My ‘bad’ time is weekend mornings when I am catching up. This is my danger time and the one I have to forcibly limit myself. If not, I am berating myself for ‘lost’ time writing. Avoiding the lure of social media results in a project started, revised or finished and that is worth any writers time.

When is your ‘danger’ time or times? 

How do you limit your social media time?

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Author Interview – Dana Popov and Marc Evans…


Dana PopovMarc Evans

What inspired you to write your first book? 

The first book of the series ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ was part of a project we started in 2007. We is my husband who is originally from Quebec/Canada and I am from Germany.

In 2002 we met in Playa del Carmen – Mexico where we lived for 8 years. The entire area is filled with Mayan history and culture. We wanted to engage the tourists into the culture and the local environment during their stay and believed that a story would be the most entertaining way for children to learn about it. Unfortunately the project back then never took off and we forgot about the story until this year. Our daughter loves books and so I suddenly remembered the story and started writing on it again. Weirdly enough it was really easy.

How did you come up with the title? 

We wanted to change the title from the original project “Key to Paradise” to something new because the project itself was past. The first idea my husband had was ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ and I loved it.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

Yes, first published book. I always liked to write though. I have a blog in German about food for babies.

Weirdly enough ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ I write in English and then translate it into German. Don’t know why.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely. Besides being educational on culture and environment it is about empowerment for kids. Believe in yourself!!!

Ti & Magic Key

How much of the book is realistic? 

The story line itself is fiction however all of the environmental information are researched and so are a the places, temples, Mayan gods etc. A lot of little details in the book are true to the believes of the Mayas and educate without the feeling of being educated.

I wanted to ‘un-dust’ the Mayan culture with this book. A lot of existing books or movies are either bloody or feel out of date and do this amazing culture no justice.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

The Mayan gods are based on Mayan believes however some of their relations are fiction. The boy and his parents are fiction.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

It is two of the characters. The gods Kukulkan and Itzama because one is the evil one and the other one the good god. It is the ying and the yang.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

Probably the format. The second book is a lot longer and more intense than the first book. So it will have a different format than the first book.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? ‘

Dream, Believe and protect our planet.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

That I hopefully inspire children to do more research on culture and environment.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

My first poem was around the age of 8. It was four lines long and rhymed well.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

Seeing the story come alive in the images and the first time I read a new chapter to my husband and he goes: “Wow”

What is your favorite theme/genre to write? 

Writing for children and take them on an imaginary journey.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Any type of abuse

What book are you reading now?

It is a German book. It is a humorous perspective of a mother on her life. I can relate to it. My daughter is four.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

I purposely read in German because I do not want to lose my mother tongue. A lot of the authors are German. Probably nobody you would know.

Do you see writing as a career? 

I never did. But I really want the series ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ to reach children all over the world because I love the message and education in it. This is why we translate the story from English into German, French and Spanish.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

Unfortunately chocolate 🙂 I wish it would be an apple.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I am rolling my eyes a lot when someone tells me a story. My daughter picked that up and we had a meeting at her kindergarden where we got told that rolling eyes is not a nice habit.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

On a balcony overlooking the ocean writing a book.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

A lot of research goes into ‘Ti and the Magical Key’. Because a lot of evidence has been destroyed when the Spaniards conquered the Americas you find different opinions on the internet. At some point I have to decide which one to follow without really knowing.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

More chocolate 🙂

Have you ever hated something you wrote? 

Not that I remember. But then again my brain capacity diminished during pregnancy and never fully recovered. So I can’t answer that with certainty.

What book do you wish you had written?

Harry Potter

What is your best marketing tip?

I am still figuring the marketing out myself. Currently we have a Facebook Fan page, twitter- and Pinterest account as well as a website. We are trying to get the kids involved and are writing personally to our fans to invite them into the ‘VIP Readers Club’ where we share secrets about the next book and adventures.

As well we started a blog on our website ‘Ti travels the world’ where parents from all over the world are sending us pictures of their kids with the book. I really love the blog. The pictures are amazing and are the best reward.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

I am working on finishing the second book of the series.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

The gods are playing a much bigger role in the second book and we are introducing a girl. In regards to the environment we cover the mangroves and cenotes/sinkholes.

mangroves

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

http://www.amazon.com/Ti-Magical-Key-How-began/dp/1512097934/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441507796&sr=1-4

http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/blog-ti-travels-the-world

http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/buy-book.html

http://www..facebook.com/Tiandthemagicalkey

https://twitter.com/themagicalkey

You can email us at team@tiandthemagicalkey.com

A Paid Advertising Opportunity Taken…2nd July


Book cover

As we juggle writing time, home and social life and book events, it is not just our personal commitment that requires organization but deciding on how effective we can make each aspect. With social media we can blast our books onto the internet but a single post soon disappears into the abyss. Book signings, author readings and book fairs are usually a more effective mode of advertising ourselves and our books. A chance to converse with our readers gives them a real insight into the backstory of the narrative and a sense of the author too. A website is a great way to keep readers informed on upcoming events and publication dates but also gives us an opportunity to reveal how we write, why we write and how the story was created. Character interviews, excerpts and sneak peeks of current projects tempt our readership.

All these options are positive venues for advertising but we also have the opportunity to use selected publications too. I recently decided to spend a nominal fee on an advert in a children’s magazine. It is issued monthly and has a great readership. With download or print options available my advert has the potential to be seen repeatedly and this was a good part of my decision to pay for the advert.I will certainly be repeating this exercise later in the year.

Take a look and see if Five Star Publications can help you. My advert is on page 33 – The Spring Reading Guide.

http://www.fivestarpublications.net/storymonsters

storymonsters_ink

What paid advertising do you use?

How was your experience?

Would you repeat it?

Do you have any tips on where to advertise?

K.D. Faerydae Return Interview….


K.D.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My husband, he knows what a wild imagination I have and he suggested I put it to good use.

Hidden Magic

How did you come up with the title? 

Before I’d even written the first word of the first book I knew that I wanted to write a fantasy story about a magical place that was hidden from humans. It was therefore very easy to come up with the title for book 1 ‘Hidden Magic’.

The second book in the Liberty Realm Series focuses on the collection and preparation of an army. This army is needed to fight against the ever growing evil of the Nomeds. Everyone knows that the best way to defeat evil is with the power of good, and so book 2 is titled ‘An Army of Good’.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

I have written two books so far and I’m currently writing the third and final book in the Liberty Realm Series.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Definitely! Unfortunately there is too much selfishness and cruelty in the real world. I hope that my fantasy stories are thought provoking and encourage readers to love and respect the beautiful world that we live in.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s classed as magical realism so it’s a bit of a mix. There’s lots of fantasy, some of which is set in realistic surroundings, a beach, woodland, house, school and so on. Some of it is high fantasy and other parts are more every day.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I have taken many character ideas from family and friends and then added a splash of fantasy to them. The character Mad Mrs Potty Potts is loosely based on a very good friend of mine. Mad Mrs Potty Potts is a fun-loving school teacher who is as mad as a box of frogs. In book two, Mrs Potts, goes to school wearing odd colored shoes, as did my friend in real life!

An Army Of Good.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

No, I don’t think I could even if I wanted to. It just comes out how it comes out. I don’t get much control over it. It’s almost as if my books write themselves.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you!

I hope that you enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

There are a few. If I had to pick one it would currently be book 2’s chapter 6: Leah. This is the first time that the reader is introduced to a member of the Woodland Kith, Intriguing little characters to say the least.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write? 

Fantasy and I don’t think it will ever change.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m a child at heart and anything too grown up tends to bore me so I’m unlikely to write anything along the lines of a political thriller or historical fiction.

What book are you reading now? 

I’m currently reading Thomas Taylor’s ‘Haunters’. Taylor puts a unique spin on the idea of what ghosts really are and I’m looking forward to finding out how the story concludes.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

No new ones at the moment. Rather embarrassingly I haven’t read the Harry Potter books. I know they aren’t new, but they’re what I’m interested in reading next.

Do you see writing as a career? 

It would be nice to write as a career, but I’m equally happy writing as a hobby.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I really don’t know and not knowing is all part of the adventure.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes, punctuation! I rely on the magical powers of copy-editors and proof-readers to help me out with these tricky little blighters.

Have you ever hated something you wrote? 

No, not really. I sometimes wish I were more experienced, but I’ve never hated my writing.

What book do you wish you had written?

I’m happy with writing my own, there’s nothing that can compare to it… although J.K. Rowling’s bank balance would be nice!

What is your best marketing tip?

Get your work seen! My own personal experience is that my books sell much better ‘in the flesh’. You don’t get to experience the true magic of a book unless you can hold it in your hands and physically turn the pages.

KD table

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

My next project is currently in the hands of some very well known people within the book industry. It’s another children’s fantasy story idea. One that I am very excited about. But for now I’m unable to disclose any further information.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Book 2 in the Liberty Realm Series, ‘An Army of Good’, is due for release May 28th 2015. The second installment in the series sees Grace and Christian whisked through Bluebell Wood upon the noble Zavier. They are taken to the relative safety of Serenity Sunrise Beach where they play, have fun and get used to their new environment and friends. This joy doesn’t last however and it isn’t long before they find themselves at the mercy of the Nomeds and on a roller coaster ride of emotions. An Army of Good has already received some very positive comments. And I feel it is an ideal summer holiday read for children, (including adult children), age 10+.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

You can find out about me and my books at any of the following:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/an-army-of-good/k-d-faerydae/9781784623265

http://www.kdfaerydae.co.uk

www.facebook.com/KdFaerydaefantasy

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hidden-Magic-Liberty-Realm-Faerydae/dp/178306188X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Read K.D.’s previous interview here:https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/10/18/k-d-faerydae-author-interview/

Welcome back Paul W Papa – A Second Interview…


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What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always been fascinated with history and with Las Vegas, combining the two seemed like the natural thing to do with It Happened in Las Vegas.

IHI LV HIRES

How did you come up with the title?

The publisher came up with the title actually. My first book is part of a series called “It Happened In…”

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

My latest book Discovering Vintage Las Vegas is my fourth book, all of which have been published by Globe Pequot Press. This was by far my favorite one to write as it celebrates all those great places that have been in Las Vegas for 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years—quite an accomplishment for a town that blows up its past like most people change their shoes. This book tells their stories and invites the reader to visit each place on their own. Additionally, there are shout outs of vintage spots that each contains a short but interesting tidbit.

DiscoverVintageLasVegas

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. It’s important to treasure the past as you move forward.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s non-fiction, so all of it. One of my favorite places is a gorgeous chapel right on the Las Vegas strip that got its funding from a notorious mobster.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are no characters in this book. However, there are plenty of people and they are all very real.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes. I would’ve liked to include a story on Ralph Jones Display. It’s a great spot where Christmas is celebrated all year round. I didn’t think of it until after I already wrote the book, but I did manage to give the place a vintage spot shout out.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want them to understand that history doesn’t have to be boring. We all remember sitting around the campfire enthralled by some great storyteller. That’s what I want history to be—a great tale that you can’t break yourself away from.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I don’t really have a favorite chapter. Each story was a little adventure on its own and I enjoyed following each one to its conclusion—receiving a unique reward each time.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

History: or more specifically, the story of people. I find people fascinating and I have learned that each and every one of us has our own little story. My goal is to capture as many of those stories as I possibly can.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m not into satanic things or the occult—though I have written a book about haunting in Las Vegas (Haunted Las Vegas). That’s not a road I feel comfortable walking too far down.

Haunted LV HIRES

What book are you reading now?

I’m always reading books on my craft—learning how to tell stories the best way I can. For relaxing reading I can usually be found with my nose in Lawrence Sanders’ McNally series or following Tom Dorsey’s lovable serial killer (I know—but it’s not what you thing) and Florida historian Serge.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, Gretchen Archer and LynnDee Walker, both mystery authors. If you have not checked out these two women, you are missing something indeed.

Do you see writing as a career?

Oh yeah, a hard career, but a very enjoyable one. Hard only because what they don’t tell you at author school is that you can write the greatest book ever written, but if you don’t know how to get that book into the hands of readers, you’re wasting your time. Authors need to know not just how to write, but also how to embrace that evil word “marketing.”

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Key West Florida…oh, you meant as a career didn’t you? I see myself with several books on the bestseller list, doing what I love—capturing people’s tales and ensuring their stories are not forgotten.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making sure I honor the people I write about. Those people entrust their stories to me and I feel a strong weight on my shoulders to do them justice.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes, but only after it was published. Okay, here it is…my first book has so many mistakes in it I’m embarrassed to call it mine. I wrote the book too quick and didn’t spend enough time proofreading. When you get dates wrong, you lose your credibility and once that’s gone you can’t get it back. I learned a valuable lesson not to skip the proof-reading step. You can tell a great story, but if you say that story happened in 2003 when it really happened in 1993, you’ve cheated your audience—the people who have trusted you with their time and money.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Art of Driving in the Rain, probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

What is your best marketing tip?

If you Indie publish, learn as much as you can about key words. Don’t think of it as marketing, put yourself in the role of the reader and think “how would I find this book if I were looking for it,” then make sure you book comes up on those searches.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

Non-fiction. I’m writing a book about bike trails in and around Las Vegas. I’m an avid bike rider and this is my first guide book. It’s been fun and challenging…and I’m always up for a new challenge.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Sure, it’s a guide to 35 bike trails in and around Las Vegas. Some trails are for mountain bikes, some for road bikes, and some for urban bikes.  The book contains mile-by-mile instructions, as well as maps and cool things to do in the area.

Best Bike Rides of Las Vegas Cover

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

I can be found here:

Amazon Author’s Page: amazon.com/author/paulwpapa.americanstoryteller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulWPapa?ref=hl

GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3172096.Paul_W_Papa

In addition, I have a website: www.paulwpap.com. I have a blog on the site, but it is kind of under construction, but keep checking back, I have a very exciting project in the works and should be revealing it shortly.

Here is a link to Paul’s previous interview in 2013 -https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/04/07/interview-with-paul-w-papa/

You can see he has been extremely busy writing! Thank you for joining us Paul.

New Blog Schedule for 2015…


It has taken sometime to come up with a fresh blog schedule but at the last minute inspiration struck (luckily!).

This year I will post on Mondays and Thursdays. Posts will be:

articlesEither relevant news stories concerning writing, publishing or something to inspire a story.

 

 

 

article-new_ehow_images_a00_0h_jc_format-manuscript-submission-800x800Or my short stories, poems or excerpts from my books.

I would like other authors to participate in this and submit their own work.

 

 

AuthorInterview

Or interviews – some will be from past interviewees, giving us an update on their current projects, and some from new authors.

If you are interested in being interviewed please contact me.

 

A happy, inspiring and writing filled 2015 to you all.

 

Cheeky Reblog Wednesday: One of My Own…


reblogI know it’s a bit cheeky but I’m re-blogging a short blog piece I wrote for a client today. Restricted to 200 words, I keep them simple but hopefully interesting enough to encourage conversation.

http://www.kelseyincorporated.com/lets-talk.html  – blog tab – Benefits of Buying Local

After submitting the post, I thought about how some local businesses help my publisher, Dream Write Publishing – http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/ – in promoting their local authors. Smaller book stores, a volunteer run cafe, an artisan market and a few other general stores assist in stocking the books for sale. The benefit in liaising with the store owners gives each party a deeper understanding of the narratives content as well as the opportunity to meet and greet the authors with signings and the added advantage of an expanded promotion of local events.

Do you have local stores stocking your books? 

What is your experience?

This graph for shop local is a great visual guide to how shopping local benefits the community in which we live.

buying-local-graph

Into the Abyss…Does Social Media Work..?


articles

We all struggle to promote our work and turn to the numerous social media sites as avenues of interaction. We can spend hours posting book links, reviews, book cover art, links to our blog etc. When it comes to determining the success of all this activity, we can feel despondent. A tweet is lost in a multitude of other tweets within seconds, a face book page post may last slightly longer but its place is taken once the feed renews. Now you may feel such random and spasmodic promotion does little to help you become known but take heart in the fact that these efforts are not in vain. Re-tweets and shares are confirmation that someone has seen your post and it spreads to other media sites in the process.

There are analytic pages for most media sites, where you are able to track the success of a particular promotion. You can focus on specific groups or locations as well, giving your promotion an advantage and ensuring the ‘right’ people view the information you supply. I utilize all the usual social media sites but have to confess I am not an everyday user so ‘miss’ whole days or even weeks of potential promotional opportunities.

co-promote

That is why I was so thrilled to find a site called Co-Promote last year. At the time most of the users were involved in the music business. Once I read how the site worked I was intrigued but thought there was no room for authors. I wrote an email asking if they would be expanding their reach to other enterprises. The reply was quick and favorable. Anyone was welcome to join no matter what their trade, business or creative genre. I was informed new options would be added for books, magazines and blogs. Encouraged by this willingness to accommodate, I joined up and have found this site to be excellent. You can join for free or register for a sliding scale of options.  More here: https://copromote.com/about.php  The added bonus is that whenever there is a share you are sent an email advising you of who has shared. Each email also shows you new shares, new engagements and the reach of your promotion has achieved. Each promotion can be run for a few days or a few weeks, whichever is preferable to your requirements. My current promotion began on 12th October – so far it has reached 27.5K  people! I could not have done that with any other site in such a short time.

What promotional sites do you use?

Which is the most successful for you?

SocialMediaClock-300x298

 

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get – Find Authentic Research Sources…


articlesResearch is a vital component of many of our narrative’s and we endeavor to ensure the technicalities are exact. This is especially true when we are writing about something we have no personal knowledge of. The internet, can give us some information but we should not rely on it 100% – there have been cases of mis-information.

Say we require a character to be fighter pilot, as it is unlikely we can find or have personal experiences of this, we could try search engines but it may be limited. We must then delve into the history books and hopefully find people, who are willing to assist us in gathering as much information as possible to make the character come alive on paper.

My current word in progress, Willow Tree Tears, has a barrel racer as a central character. As I have only attended one small rodeo and, although I have ridden horses, I’ve never competed on one, I required first hand experience. Luckily, the internet is a great resource for finding people and organizations and so I was able to read descriptions and view photographs of rodeo’s to give me an idea of how the venue would look and sound. I also intend to attend a rodeo before the manuscript is finalized so I can make further authentic revisions.

barrel silhouttee

However, in the meantime I really wanted a champion barrel racer to read the relevant sections of my story to approve the authenticity of them. So I sent out several requests via facebook and through personal websites to several barrel racers – graciously two replied and are reviewing the segments for me. I will thank them both by naming them in the finished novel and giving each of them a copy to review. (May be I will actually see them compete!)

We need to go that extra mile to ensure our readers – with or without knowledge of the subject matter – are confident we have written a true reflection of the particular subject in our novels. We can’t have a cell phone in 1650 or hovering cars in 2000, so it is true with the careers our characters have – no matter what century they are set in.

article-new_ehow_images_a00_0h_jc_format-manuscript-submission-800x800

What have you researched for a novel?
Why did you pick that particular career/venue/organization?