Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Into the Abyss…Does Social Media Work..?

October 13, 2014
mandyevebarnett


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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?

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

September 29, 2014
mandyevebarnett


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.

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

Tailor Make Your Writing Schedule To Your Life…

September 2, 2014
mandyevebarnett


In a perfect world we would be able to write whenever and where ever we chose. However, life gets in the way all too often. Many of us have to juggle family commitments and a ‘day’ job while writing. Finding the ‘perfect’ balance between these is always a challenge. You may be in the depths of a scene when a small hand lands on your lap, a teenager ‘must’ be taken to a friends house, your husband needs help with a project or dare I say it your boss needs something from you? We inevitably crumble and leave the narrative in the hope you will remember the details later? We may scramble to jot down that idea, phrase or even paragraph before being torn away.

juggling

 I have looked to other writers, famous or not, and tried to delve beyond the obvious and gleam an insight into their methods of finding time. There are numerous hints and tips populating the internet but in the end you know your life and its limitations best. You may get up extra early, stay awake until the breaking dawn or cram a few paragraphs into your lunch hour – whatever works for you and your writing – is the right way to go. The trick is how to organize your time productively. I came across this interesting post and thought it was worth sharing.

http://thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/punch-clock/

How do you schedule your writing?

What time of day works best for you?

I have to admit my writing is not scheduled. I take advantage of any time I’m left alone and once absorbed find it difficult to let go. Weekend mornings are good for me as I get up early and have several hours while my daughter is still sleeping and my husband is playing about in the garage! Other times I can use are the evenings I arrive early for writing group meetings and write until the allotted time. Obviously, I dream of the day I can shut myself away with my laptop and not have to answer to anyone…it will happen I just need to be patient.

Care to share your writing schedule or tips you found useful?

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Celebrate National Library Week and Write Your Library a Love Letter…

April 18, 2014
mandyevebarnett


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It’s National Library Week (April 13 – 19) in America – not a global celebration run simultaneously unfortunately but let’s take it to our corner of the world, shall we? Libraries have changed from the ‘quiet, echoing halls’ of bygone days into spaces enjoyed by all ages, classes and cultures. There is investment in new city libraries and fierce support for numerous small libraries in towns and small hamlets alike. As you can read in this article – libraries are well loved around the globe and have adapted to the needs of their visitors.  The range of traditional and modern buildings is striking.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/travel/irpt-library-fascination-travel/

I have included images of our new library, which my community is extremely proud of. The original looked like this. It served it’s community well and there is still a fondness for the ‘old’ building.

Old Strat library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interior of the new one is spectacular – as you can see here. With numerous specialized spaces it caters to all.

Sherwood-Park0022

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poppies-strathcona

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What is your library like? Do you love spending time there? Does it have a unique feature?

I enjoyed this article and thought we should write our own love letter to our library. So that is the fun prompt for this week. Mine is below.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/blog/2014/04/15/5-unforgettable-love-letters-to-libraries/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ChronicleBooksBlog+%28Chronicle+Books+Blog%29

FunDay

Love Letter to Strathcona County library, Sherwood Park, Alberta.

With gleaming glass panels reflecting the light and spectacular artwork adorning your walls, you are a vision to behold. A comfortable chair nestled into an alcove embraces the solitary reader while communal study rooms and computer desks cater to the young and senior alike. Your glowing fireplace makes for a cozy reading nook or a place for conversation sitting on low sofas. The story tree changes with the seasons as children read and listen to fascinating words under its branches. You embrace all who enter and feed their minds. It is a privilege to call you my own and I love the hours I spend within your walls.

Share your library love letter below.

 

 

 

 

Magazines Overloaded with Adverts and a Prompt…

March 28, 2014
mandyevebarnett


magazines-in-a-bunch This week Alberta magazine awards were announced and received – see link.  http://www.albertamagazines.com/news-events/news/ampa-news/item/announcing-awards-winners 

I occasionally glance through magazines when visiting the hairdressers but find most are so full of adverts that I put them back. I prefer something with more substance, such as National Geographic and Writer’s Digest. In reality the magazine company’s require the revenue from the advertisements but surely not so many! Do you find it annoying?

In my current research into freelancing, I have found many magazines, who welcome articles from freelance writers. I have compiled a long list and will create specific articles for them in the coming months.

Do you write for magazines?

What is your experience? Any tips?

Quotes:  I love magazines. It’s such a McNugget kind of information.  Scott Adams

When I was 16, I started publishing all kinds of things in school magazines. Margaret Attwood

“It’s so important to have a genuine curiosity not just about magazines, but the world around you.” Anne Fulenwider,Editor in Chief, Marie Claire

 FunDayWrite in the style of a magazine or newspaper article of a everyday mundane event to make it ‘exciting and newsworthy’.

Please share them once written.

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