Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Social Media for Authors

Do you use social media to promote your books? If yes, which is your favorite? If no, you definitely should!! I highly recommend creating a website (author website, not a website for each book), creating an author Facebook page, and getting a Twitter account. Instagram is also good, though I, personally, haven’t seen the value in it. I use Weebly for my author website but I found Word Press is easier (for me, anyway) to use. Both are free.

My favorite is Twitter. Why? Well, I have gotten a lot of followers just by using the #WritingCommunity hashtag, and because those followers retweet my posts, I have also gotten book sales! I have also met friends and through them have gotten editing jobs. Hashtags are very important while using any social media, but especially Twitter.

Visit Mandy Wallace's website at https://mandywallace.com/?s=twitter for information on what hashtags are important for writers to use.

What is very important on social media is engaging in posts and posting more than just your books. You want to market your books, yes, but most of all you want to market YOURSELF…meaning getting readers to know about you, who you are, what you like, etc. Readers/fans want to get to know the author. They don’t always want to see book links or having the books thrown in their face like BUY ME. No, they want to know YOU.

On my Facebook author page, I post my book links and special promotions, but I also post my blog posts, interactive posts (find those on Pinterest!), other author’s books, and more!

On Twitter, I do the same thing. Also, sharing on Twitter (retweeting) is an awesome thing to do.

So get out there and get some social media accounts! You won’t be sorry. Marketing is so important, especially online.


 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

A MUST Read

Is there one author who writes stories that you read and you just can’t put the book down? You have a book hangover in the morning because you stayed up too late reading. I have a few, but my top favorite is Riley Sager. 

The last book I read of Riley’s is called Lock Every Door. So riveting! Very suspenseful. What a twist! The author writes in a way that makes you think, “I know what happens” and then, “What the heck?” and finally, “You have GOT to be kidding me!!”

This story is a suspenseful thriller. I loved it from the first chapter. After a while, I was trying to figure out if there were ghosts involved or murderers. Maybe both? You won’t guess who and why!

If you’ve read books by this author, make sure Lock Every Door is on your TBR list. If you have read this one, tell me what you thought about it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Handwriting vs Typing

 

Do you handwrite or type? Obviously, you must eventually type whatever you have written down in order to publish a book or post on a blog, but do you handwrite first?

I choose typing over handwriting for several reasons:

1. I have terrible handwriting (maybe it’s because I’m left-handed).

2. My hand gets tired and cramped easily.

3. My thoughts run faster than I can write. However, I am a pretty fast typist and therefore can keep up with my thoughts.

 

When my stepchildren were in high school, they told me they learned that handwriting is best. It is useful for visual learners, can be artful, and helps you avoid distractions. It also is supposed to improve literacy and reading comprehension since your brain is forced to mentally engage with the information. I find that interesting. 

However, I will continue to type. The only thing I use handwriting for is journaling, unless I have to quickly jot down some notes when I’m away from my laptop.

How do you write?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Capitalizing "mom" and "dad"

Capitalization rules can be confusing, but I’m going to concentrate on one thing here today: the capitalization of the words “mom” and “dad.”

Proper nouns are capitalized and common nouns are not. When "mom" and "dad" are used in place of a person's name, they are capitalized. When they're used to describe a generic parental relationship, they must be lowercase. 

Examples:

CORRECT:

My mom took us to the park.

Dad was mad at me for making a mess, but my mom cleaned it up.

My brother told me that Mom and Dad said we were going on vacation.

INCORRECT:

My Mom took us to the park.

My Dad was mad at me for making a mess, but my Mom cleaned it up.

My brother told me that mom and dad said we were going on vacation.

If you’re ever unsure, you can google the rules. I spoke to an author once who told me she asked about this in a group of writers and was told it was ok to capitalize “mom” and “dad” any time. Not true. Writers are not always editors. You’re better off using Google.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Reflections

What inspires you?

When you’re in a car, do you take in the things around you as you pass, such as hills, houses, people walking, the sunrise or sunset?

When you’re walking, do you notice the pretty flowers someone took great care to plant in their front yard or flower boxes? Do you notice the tiny twinkling red, white and blue lights around a window or door frame?

How about smells? Do you smell pine trees or smoke from a fire pit or barbecue? The saying isn’t “Stop and smell the roses” for nothing!

Too often, we miss the “little things” around us – the beauty, the fun, the adorable – because our minds are elsewhere. Maybe your mind is on work or the argument you had with a partner or child that morning; perhaps your mind is on the writing you didn’t get done the day before; or maybe you’re thinking about the bills you have to pay.

Well STOP! Take a deep breath and BE STILL. LOOK around you. SMELL the flowers and the fresh air and pine trees. FEEL the breeze on your face or the rain on your skin. LIVE!

Don’t walk through life missing out on everything around you. You may miss a great opportunity for a story! My best ideas come while I’m walking my dogs (and not because I’m clumsy and silly things often occur when I’m out and about with them). I notice the train tracks on a hill to my left while I walk, the overgrown trees with dark green leaves surrounding them; I notice the little kids playing hopscotch (yes, that’s still a thing) or jumping rope in front of their home; I notice birds and squirrels and I smell all types of smells.

I live. Why? Because we have one chance to live on this earth. Why should we take it for granted? Life is to be lived, not wasted. Live your life and write your story!

 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

My Upcoming Release

Meet Anabelle. Anabelle is a little girl who is looking for a friend to play with. She asks several different animals, but they all seem too busy. One even suggests she take a nap!

Follow along in this fun rhyming story and find out who Anabelle makes friends with. Your kids will love the animals that Anabelle meets and those who become her friends.

My friend, whom I used to work with, often told me stories about her granddaughters, and one day she was talking about her granddaughter, Anabelle, and animals that Anabelle loved. The story idea popped into my head and I couldn’t wait to start writing!

This upcoming release will be published by Two Girls and a Reading Corner. Find another children’s book of mine, Chrissy’s Candy Shop, also published by Two Girls and a Reading corner, available on Amazon!

My self-published children’s books and novel can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, and Target online!

Follow me on Facebook for updates on the release of A Friend for Anabelle.

 

 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Are You Stuck?

I began writing my second novel while my first was in the hands of my editor. (No, I don’t edit my own work when it’s that big!). I loved the way the book was going…the characters, the story line, everything! I’ve been working on this novel for several months, but in the last few weeks, I’ve been second-guessing the plot. Is the twist good enough? Do I keep the reader’s attention and wanting more?

Stumped, I talked to my aunt by way of Marco Polo (this brilliant video chat app!). We tossed a few ideas back and forth and I sat back down to write but…nothing. Then a few days ago, my aunt sent me a video talking about the novel and a few other ideas for a twist. Suddenly, I had an idea based on something she said and BAM…I had my twist!

I hurried to my laptop to type up the outline so I wouldn’t forget. Normally I don’t do outlines, I just WRITE (fly by the seat of my pants, if you will), but I had to type this one up quick because I loved the idea and didn't want to forget it.

Now I am writing freely again and making progress…again.

It’s ok to ask for help. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and toss some ideas around if you find yourself stuck or bored with your work. Sometimes just walking away can help, but getting ideas from others can work wonders as well.

Keep writing, friends! Don’t give up if you feel “stuck” – just keep writing!