SCATTERED SEEDS, a Novel Set in Colonial America

Scattered Seeds by Julie Doherty

Scattered Seeds by Julie DohertyI’ve never given birth, but childbearing women tell me there’s always that one child who lets them know early on it’s going to dance to its own beat. The first sign of rebellion might appear as intolerable morning sickness, constant kicking, or—God help you—prolonged, intense labor.

Book babies aren’t all that different, and let me tell you, my second “child,” SCATTERED SEEDS, made me insanely miserable for a good portion of its gestation.  Turns out—much like real life—making the baby was the easiest part of the process. I finished, edited, and sold the novel quickly.

That was the easy part.

Next came the edits. Necessary, but hellish edits.  I missed my proposed release date, the equivalent of carrying a baby past its due date. Every Mom in the world will tell you This. Is. Unbearable.

I barely survived edits when difficulties began with finding the right cover. You probably don’t know this, but there isn’t that much colonial stock art out there. Tricorns off to Fiona Jayde and the cover art department at Soul Mate Publishing for sticking with SEEDS (and me!) until a suitable cover could be found.

So, here we are, at long last, in the labor and delivery unit at Amazon Hospital.

Pass the cigars.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, my problem child, SCATTERED SEEDS, a novel set in Colonial America.

Launch party scheduled for April 27, 2016, beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST HERE on Facebook. Come in your jammies and participate in fun games, trivia, and chat. Lots of prizes, including an Amazon Fire tablet.

While we’re all waiting, let’s watch the book trailer. Many thanks to Charlie Bury, Jr., Maurice Doherty, Leigh Ann Daugherty, and Todd Beckmeyer.

Posted in Scattered Seeds Tagged with: ,

Free Coloring Page

Wolfhound and Castle
Wolfhound and Castle

Free Irish Wolfhound and Castle Coloring Page

I don’t feel like writing, so I spent some time putting together a free coloring page. You can download it by clicking the image above.

Why did I do this? Well, Irish Wolfhounds play a role in my novel, SCENT OF THE SOUL. There’s a castle in the story, too. And Vikings. Some stuff happens. You should totally check out the trailer here, and if you like what you see, download the book here. Even if you don’t do either of those things, COLOR THE PAGE and email your work to me so I can see your mad skills. When I get enough pages back, I’ll put up an online gallery and share some on my Facebook page.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your old pal, Jules.

Share with reckless abandon, and start coloring!

Here’s my contribution. (I don’t remember needing glasses last time I colored. D’oh!)

dog

Posted in Giveaways, Scent of the Soul Tagged with: , ,

Balancing Our Worlds – Seasoned Authors Series

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Because I write historical fiction, my vacations usually center around research. Take the “vacation” to Erie, PA this summer, when I lured my husband out of the house for a sail on an 18th century brig. Last year, we went to Forts Ligonier and Necessity, and before that, to Colonial Williamsburg.

What’s my husband get out of it? Wings. Lots and lots of wings. It’s a deal we have: he tags along and listens to my incessant yammering about my characters and setting, and he gets to eat as many wings as he can stuff down his throat without me nagging about his diet.

It works for us, but in truth, I sometimes wish I could clear my head of all things writing. Characters can be intrusive, showing up at inopportune moments and refusing to go away until their needs are met. I live in constant fear that my imagined worlds will one day overtake my real one.

Is writing simply a beautiful form of madness? Or, are there some authors more skilled at balancing our worlds. Our seasoned authors weigh in:

Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner. At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com

Stacy Hoff writes contemporary romance. She has two anthology stories and three full-length novels to her credit, along with a 2015 “Rising Star” nomination from BTS emag’s Red Carpet Awards.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.


How do you balance your real world with your imagined ones?


Collette: I don’t have a problem with that. When I’m writing, I’m immersed in my characters’ world, and when I’m not, I’m racing around doing stuff so I can get back to writing!

Tema: I live in one and escape to the other. Can you guess which is which?

Tina: The imagined world wins out every time. If I’m at a concert, I get story ideas. If I’m helping at school, I get ideas. My husband and I were recently on a trip. We got stuck in the middle of nowhere on a rough, gravel road that was under construction. For fifteen minutes we sat in our truck waiting to move. Story idea. Sometimes when I’m in a group of people and I get quiet, my friends get nervous. They just know I’m coming up with a plot based on what is going on. They’re right. Sometimes. I do love that my imagination can help me handle boring situations. I’ll plot a scene on a WIP, or listen to conversations and create characters. I don’t know how people with no imaginations handle life.

Catherine: There is no balance in my life. I go full tilt one direction or the other. It’s all day writing or no days writing. I’ll go out to garden for an hour and six hours later, I’m still outside. Balance is one of the many things I need to work on. I wrote all day yesterday. I planned to do the same after my doctor appointment today. Instead, the tyranny of the urgent reigned. I ended up with a dead car battery, a trip to the chiropractor, a trip to get the car fixed, lunch with hubs, a hundred emails to answer, and downloading and writing stuff for upcoming blog deadlines. I’ll backdate my to-do list and call that writing.

When my daughter was young and my husband still working I had much better control of this problem than I do now. Monday was for laundry, Tuesday gardening, Wednesday was sacrosanct for writing and everyone knew it, Thursday shopping, Friday housecleaning, and the weekend family time. Hmm. Maybe I need to reinstate that schedule—and get rid of social media and the cell phone.

Ryan Jo: They are very tied together. Things happen in real life, conversations are overheard, situations observed, and I already can tie them to either a character or storyline I’m working on or a story I want to work on. My file of future books/ characters continues to grow so that I do not fear ever running out of ideas. I fear running out of time.

Stacy: I use my imaginary world to consistently remind me, no matter what adversity I’m facing, that a “happily ever after” will prevail.

Samanthya: I try not to let writing interfere with spending time with my family. Ballgames, visits, or just watching TV with my hubby. When I know I have some free time, then I get involved with my characters and let my fingers flow.


Are you able to separate your imagined worlds from the real one?

UP NEXT WEEK: Author Assistants

 

 

Posted in Seasoned Authors Series, Writing Tagged with:

The Changing Publishing Industry – Seasoned Authors Series

stuart milesIt seems like every time I blink, the publishing industry changes. Just recently, Amazon began stripping authors of reviews left by acquaintances or writers with the same publishing house. I’m not sure how to feel about this. While I appreciate honest reviews, my friends are readers. If they didn’t like my book, they wouldn’t post a review.

My first novel debuted in February of 2015, so I’m hardly seasoned—yet. Still, I’ve seen my share of changes in the ten months since I became a published author. Our industry constantly evolves. I asked a few of our more seasoned authors about the changing publishing industry. Their answers follow their bios.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.

Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.


How has the publishing industry changed since your first release?


Tema: The good: There are many more places to promote your book. The internet is a smorgasbord for authors with its unlimited opportunities to reach an audience.

The bad: Millions of more books out there, unfortunately a whole lot of them are poorly edited, and poorly written.

Tina: If you’re talking my first book, which was a history book, a lot. I self-published it in 1998. Even though it sold well and fast, I was looked down on. It wasn’t treated as “a real book” because, at that time, self-publishing was for those who couldn’t do it any other way. Even my writing friends didn’t consider me “published” because I didn’t go through a publisher. Now, as we all know, self-publishing is a big industry. Also, when I started writing romance, and before I was published in that genre, the big publishers did promotion for their authors. Now we are expected to do the majority of it ourselves. Everyone is scrambling to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Getting into the minds of readers can be frustrating.

Catherine: I think one of the biggest changes has been the dropping of book prices. They’ve become so low that readers want your books for free—all the time. It’s a shame, because we put a lot of work, blood, and sweat into our books, and the constant lowering of prices doesn’t reflect what our books are worth.

Samanthya: I cannot get over the number of self-published authors. It would seem anyone can now publish a book. I like the idea of having a Kindle. But I also like to have a paperback in my hand. I worry about the closing of book stores.

Petie: Queries were snail mail submittals when I first started out. Now you can approach anybody anytime via the internet — big publishers, little publishers, big agents, little agents, and everything in between.

Self-publishing has flooded the market since my first release as well, which makes traditionally published authors have to work twice as hard for their reader quotient.


Have you noticed changes in the publishing industry? Do you think they are for the good . . . or bad?

UP NEXT WEEK: Balancing the real world with imagined ones

 

 

Posted in Seasoned Authors Series, Writing Tagged with:

Time Management: Writing vs. Marketing – Seasoned Authors Series

courtesy freedigitalphotos.net by stockimages

courtesy freedigitalphotos.net by stockimages

Nearly every publisher expects an author to do some of her own marketing. I’ve tried everything from blog tours and online ads to Google Adwords campaigns and printed flyers. I have lost time and money with my advertising experiments.

How is an author supposed to market when writing time itself is in short supply? Should we divide our week into marketing days and writing days? Or is it better to spend an hour here and there marketing and devote the rest of our time to writing our next manuscript?

I asked our seasoned authors how they do it. Their answers follow their bios, which I encourage you to read, because I want you to see why you should take their advice to heart. They’ve been around the block, so to speak.

Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner. At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com

Stacy Hoff writes contemporary romance. She has two anthology stories and three full-length novels to her credit, along with a 2015 “Rising Star” nomination from BTS emag’s Red Carpet Awards.

Jessica Jefferson is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her fifth novel is about to hit the market.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.

Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.


How much time do you spend writing vs. marketing each day?


Collette: I spend about two hours a day between marketing, promotion, social media, and taking care of emails and the like related to those things. I try to get in a minimum of four hours of writing, but that doesn’t always happen.

I also have a pile I put non-urgent items, and once I finish a book, I take a couple of days to wade through all of it.

Tema: Too much. Enough said. I should be writing right now.

Tina: That’s hard to quantify. Some days it seems as if all I’m doing is blogging, re-blogging, promoting myself, helping to promote other authors. This last one is important to your own marketing. We are not in competition with each other. I want to help other authors succeed, and in the process, maybe they’ll help me. (But that’s not why I do it.)

Catherine: I have no idea. I’ve never charted it. Probably because I don’t want to know how much I’m avoiding the writing chair.

Ryan Jo: Varies. Not nearly enough writing it seems. On average, it’s probably 60% marketing, even doing things like this and blogging and planning, and promoting and all the various things involved in getting my name/ brand out there somehow, someway. Which leaves 40% or less actually writing something with words on paper.

Samanthya: More marketing than writing. I’m upside down. I try to put in two hours at least two or three times a week. But I have a lot of interruptions and when I really want to just write, I’ll set aside a few hours and ignore the rest of the world.

Petie: Every week is different. If I have a new release, a book tour, or a book blitz, my marketing effort will soar to 100% of my time. If it’s a normal work week, the writing will be about 75% and the remaining 25% will be devoted to marketing, author loop/reader emails, and research. Unless of course, I didn’t turn my computer off during the 75% writing time, and then the social media troll crawls out from under his bridge.


How do you manage your time?

Up Next Week: The Changing Publishing Industry

 

 

Posted in Seasoned Authors Series, Writing Tagged with: ,

Chasing the Painted Skies – Ryan Jo Summers

Chasing the Painted Skies By Ryan Jo SummerPublisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Genre: romance, sub-genre of mystery and alternative paranormal

Raven Koynes is a woman in hiding. Years ago she escaped to remote Gull Island Light Station, nestled far away in Lake Superior. She has carved out a life of peace and solitude for herself. Until famed nature photographer Sebastian Knight arrives–in the  height of a nor’easter storm–to document the beauty of Gull Island. Unsavory treasure hunters also blow in with the storm, determined to find missing cargo from a sunken ship. And they are positive Raven knows where it’s stashed. A power outage from the storm traps everyone at her keeper’s cottage, fellow prisoners of the storm.

Between her attraction to handsome Sebastian and the unwelcome advances and threats of the hunters, Raven is pushed to her limit. Help arrives in the form of a stray German Shepherd Dog, who takes an immediate protective interest in Raven. He becomes her constant shadow and listening ear as she sorts out her growing–and conflicting–feelings for Sebastian.

Meanwhile, Sebastian came to the island looking for treasure as well, in the form of photographs. While he isn’t so sure about missing cargo, he only needs to look at Raven Koynes to know he’s found his own valuable treasure. One he hopes he can hang on to if she learns about his mysterious secret.

Now that Madeline the resident ghost has found out, it’s probably just a matter of time until Raven does too. And with the storm and power outage, no one is going anywhere any time soon.


The Interview

What keeps you motivated?

I want to write better with each book. I want to write a better book each time. Fine tune the things I have trouble with and explore the areas I enjoy.

How do you avoid becoming overburdened by marketing tasks?

Ha (laugh) I don’t! I get so overwhelmed I want to cry. I find I start getting irritable, trying to get ‘it all done’. Then it’s time for a reality check. Fortunately my day job allows me a fair amount of time off so I can schedule a few days off, stay home and work my little tail off getting caught up on marketing tasks. Well, as close to caught up as I will get.

I know the feeling. It seems there’s never enough time to do everything.

Do you require complete silence for writing, or do you like white noise?

My work study has a 40 gallon aquarium right next to me and a 70 gallon one off to my left. Both have bio wheel filters, which sound like waterfalls. That is awesome white noise. Very relaxing. Rain is good too. Sometimes I do the radio but it will get to me eventually. My bird, who also stays in the study when I work, sings and talks.

Sounds great. May we see photos? 

Sure! Here you go:

Study 2 11-11-14

Study wall III

I’m jealous! I write in a corner of my dining room–near the kitchen .  .  .  and the tea pot, where my husband goes a million times a day for a cuppa.

Do you write full-time?

Yes. I free lance for two or three regional periodicals plus market the three books out now and three more coming. Currently I am working on two WIPS and one in the early planning stages. I also have the aforementioned day job, which is second shift.  So I am up at the crack of dawn, write for about 6-8 hours before I go to work. Weekends I work on writing stuff about 10-15 hours.

You have amazing work ethic!

Who is your favorite character in the book you are showing us today, and why?

Raven Koynes. She has such strength of character. Plus she lives in such a wild and rugged place. I kind of envy her!

Ah, if we could only trade places with our characters for the day.

When a reader reaches THE END in the book you are showing us today, what do you hope sticks with them in the days (or months) that follow?

The setting.


Who is Ryan Jo Summers?

Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolinian author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter, and his aunt wrote poetry, so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.

Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants, poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.

More about Ryan Jo can be found at her website Website or her Blog

 

Posted in Author Interviews

Protecting Your Writing Time and Space – Seasoned Authors Series

courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

As a full-time author with a day job, a 35-mile commute, and family commitments, I have to fight for every scrap of my writing time. This often means writing in my car during my lunch hour, and even that gets interrupted, at times. [Seriously, my boss actually came down three floors and across the parking lot to get me once, because I left my cell phone on my desk and he needed something.]

I’m not alone in my struggle to make time to write. Many authors have day jobs and families.

What might make me unique, though, is that if you interrupt my precious writing time, you can almost guarantee I’m going to fantasize about murdering you. Like, right then, with whatever weapon I can reach. (And if you’re one of my Facebook friends, you know I actually have a vast array of very sharp weapons.)

Saturdays and Sundays used to be my only hope for long blocks of writing time. Only the laundry interrupted my writing binges, which was all right, because it’s not good to sit for twelve hours or more each day.

This year, though, I feel like we have been invited to every reunion, wedding, funeral, and picnic in the Mid-Atlantic region. Add to that family drama, constantly ringing phones, dinners with friends, and illnesses, and you have a word count of ZERO. Now, mind you, I love to spend time with friends and family, and I really enjoyed showing off my moves like Jagger at the 30th class reunion, but our hectic summer really cut into my word count.

I am just not tough enough to say no to events with loved ones, and I’m still not sure I should. But there have been times when my word count sits at zero because those around me do not respect my writing time. It often feels like others consider their needs more important than mine. Is that selfish of me to think so? Somebody tell me.

I know from talking to other authors that carving out—and protecting—writing time is a writer’s greatest challenge. I sat down to ask a few seasoned authors how they deal with invasions. Here are the wonderful ladies who responded. Their answers follow the bios.

Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner. At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com

Stacy Hoff writes contemporary romance. She has two anthology stories and three full-length novels to her credit, along with a 2015 “Rising Star” nomination from BTS emag’s Red Carpet Awards.

Jessica Jefferson is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her fifth novel is about to hit the market.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.

Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.


How do you protect your writing time and space?


Collette: I have a writing room and do most of my writing there. I really guard my writing time now and won’t even check emails during that time.

Tema: Barbed wire, a machete, AK-47, and a “do not enter“ magical spell. Just kidding! I’m very fortunate that I can write full time, however, I still have to balance, checkbook, children, husband, pets, parent, siblings, gym, friends, not in that order, of course. I try to write a thousand words every day, I often fail, however, I don’t punish myself if I fail because I somehow manage to make it up on another day when I take the opportunity to exceed my thousand word goal.

Tina: I set a time every day to be in my office writing. Some days it’s frustrating when other commitments get in the way of writing. It’s extremely frustrating when the non-writing world thinks you don’t have a ‘real job’ and are available to volunteer for anything and everything. This was a real problem when I first started writing, but now most of my friends and acquaintances know that I ‘have to get to work.’ My grandchildren, (whom I watch two days a week) know that for one hour (sometimes I can stretch it to one and a half) I have to write. They know they have to play and not (hopefully) fight with each other.

Catherine: It’s just me and the hubs, so we don’t have a need to protect our time. We just need to get butt in chair.

Ryan Jo: I live alone, so the house is my own. The only interlopers are the pets I share it with and they usually bother me at feeding time. Otherwise, my interruptions come in the form of work, (day job), friends, other commitments that come up. Sometimes I just have to say no, sorry, but I can’t. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often.

Stacy: My own writing den. It’s small, but it’s my sanctuary. When I’m in there it’s a like a virtual “do not disturb” sign has been hung.

Samanthya: Oh good grief. I have to clean it up every once in a while. I have notes, note pads, pens, and post it notes stuck all over my desk. LOL. But, I have my own room, my own desk, and no one else touches my space.

Petie: That is probably the biggest hurdle a writer faces every single day. Authors need a little corner at home to spread out where they can write and not have to pack up every time they stop, though this is no deal breaker since the writer can also retreat to the local coffee shop or library.

Authors must have the support of family and loved ones. Spouses or friends who complain every time a writer wants to hibernate and work on a story can quickly kill a budding career.

A husband supporting a wife’s desire to pursue a writing goal is no different than a wife supporting a husband’s weekly pilgrimage to the local golf course to work on his handicap.


It’s not just others who interrupt us. Sometimes, we do a fine job of it ourselves. How do you handle the temptation to surf? Are there other distractions that threaten your writing time?


Collette: I could be distracted all the time, so I’m very careful to only do exactly what I intend to do. If I have to look something up on the Internet, I restrict myself to only researching that item. I won’t touch social media after my first hello in the morning until my writing is done for the day.

Tema: I haven’t had that problem since JAWS, I’m afraid of the ocean. Actually, I try to keep my surfing to a minimum, except for research. I’m always bouncing back and forth from the internet to my manuscript. Sometimes, I must admit, I get sidetracked by an interesting article or fact, and I find myself straying from my original purpose.

Tina: FB is a time-sucker. So is researching. I mean how long does it take to find out when zippers were invented? Probably not three hours. The web is another time-sucker. I still have a lot of research books, so to save time, I’ll go to them before the web. Since I work from home, (not all writing) things that need to be done around the house are distracting. I’ve had to schedule myself like I work outside the home. I get up early, do my exercise, rush around and get as much house stuff done as I can, eat breakfast, and am in my office by 9 am. Usually the mornings are spent with my other commitments. I give myself a one-hour lunch when I eat and rush around to get other stuff done. Then I’m back in my office to write. In the summer, I sit outside to write, but the birds, butterflies, chipmunks, and other critters can be a distraction.

Catherine: Surfing doesn’t distract me because I keep the internet off and ignore the phone when it pings—most of the time. The biggest distraction to my writing is keeping up my social media presence through my blog, my garden and keeping up with the house stuff. I tend to over extend myself.

Ryan Jo: I am pretty self-disciplined. I can set controls on how long I surf. Facebook is my big time suck and I just scroll the feeds. Research is my threat. I start researching topic A, get distracted by related articles and end up reading about topic F. That’s because everything is so interesting. Other threats to my writing time is promotion. It’s vital, but it’s time spent away from the actual writing or revisions that need to be done. So it becomes a balance thing. Same with home obligations. Like everyone, I have house chores, yard maintenance, pet care, day job, errands, etc… that all pull me away from my writing chair. BALANCE.

Samanthya: Yes, I can spend hours with emails and Facebook chatting. I really need to get that under control.

Petie: Use of the Internet for whatever reason is the greatest deterrent to an author’s productivity. You especially have to fight off the I’ll-just-check-this-one-thing-before-I-write urge because it’s NEVER just one thing. The social media sites can suck the hours right out of your hard-won allotment of writing time.

Surfing? I turn the computer AND adjacent — as it’s always nearby — iPhone OFF until the time I set aside to write has elapsed. I had no choice. I can get lost doing research on Google or on Twitter and Facebook in the blink of an eye.


Do those around you respect your writing time and space? Do you?

Up Next Week: Time Management. Writing time vs. Marketing.

 

Posted in Seasoned Authors Series, Writing Tagged with:

Ego: How important is it? Seasoned Authors Series

ego bplanet

As a person with low self esteem, I probably shouldn’t write books. Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith described writing this way: “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

Writing is a lot like that for me. It’s an emotional endeavor with, at times, little reward. For every twenty people who love my book, there is one who hates it. Writers like me don’t obsess about the good reviews, but doggone, those harsh ones stick around for a while. (See our Seasoned Authors’ advice on bad reviews here.)

People—and my publisher—tell me I’m a good writer. SCENT OF THE SOUL is a TRR Readers Choice Nominee with blush-worthy reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. My next novel, SCATTERED SEEDS, has yet to release, but it’s already placed in contests and earned glowing critiques from my peers.

So why don’t I feel “good enough” yet? Will I ever feel good enough? I suppose not. Some of today’s best writers still struggle to get past “I Suck,” the village where I reside.

I’m mystified by those writers with the opposite problem, those egomaniacs who are so awesome they can’t possibly improve upon their writing.

How do you find the middle ground between I-Sucktown and Awesomeville? Is there some valley between the two where a writer can live in peace?

I sat down to discuss the importance of ego with our Seasoned Authors, whose bios follow. You can learn more about them and their work by clicking their names.

Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner. At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com

Stacy Hoff writes contemporary romance. She has two anthology stories and three full-length novels to her credit, along with a 2015 “Rising Star” nomination from BTS emag’s Red Carpet Awards.

Jessica Jefferson is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her fifth novel is about to hit the market.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.

Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.


Ego: how important is it? Is it important to listen to the voices telling you you’re great, or is it more valuable to admit your flaws and aim to improve your work?


Collette: Good writers always aim to improve their writing and never feel like they’ve arrived, in my opinion.

Tema: I like to think of those ever so profound words from Mary Poppins: “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

It’s important to admit you have more to learn and accept constructive criticism; however, patting yourself on the back and congratulating yourself on how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved is just as important. After all, writing is a journey and journeys sometimes take years.

Tina: I go back and forth with this. Some days I NEED to remind myself that someone out there in the publishing world liked what I wrote enough to publish it. That maybe I’m doing something right. Then there are the days when I say to myself, “What makes you think you can write a book?” Self-doubt is always there. The first time someone told me she had my book on her ‘keeper shelf,’ I cried – and cried in front of her. I believe that, like most authors, I’ll write something that I think is wonderful, then go back and read it a few days later and wonder what the heck I was thinking. We are our own worst (or maybe best) critics.

Catherine: Writers need a balance of both of these things. If we didn’t think we were a little great we’d never have the nerve to approach editors. If we don’t think we can improve and keep reaching for the stars, then we’ll probably lose those contracts and never make successes of ourselves. I once heard the story of a NY Times best-selling author who attended a writing workshop while at a big conference where she was the keynote speaker. When asked why, she said “I always have room for improvement and there’s always something I can learn.” If a best-selling author has room for improvement, then surely the rest of us do, too.

Ryan Jo: Ego has no value in a writer’s life. Those of us who make it, sell a script to a publishing house, have been blessed and lucky. We should treat it as the opportunity it is, not boast how great we are. We should never forget there are untold numbers of writers out there who are better than us, who have for whatever reason not been handed the break we just were. We should be thankful and humble, and pay it forward. And yes, by all means, if we want that second, third, etc… book, we had better admit our flaws and work hard at improving our future works. Writing and publishing is hard work. It’s also fun, but it is just that—work. And art, that we must consistently work at to get better at.

Stacy: My ego tells me the opposite, as in “oh no, this story is no good,” with every first draft I do. The most valuable tool I have is persistence. Speaking with other writers in my RWA chapter and on my author’s loops gives me comfort that I’m not alone with this “anti-ego”. We give each other writing advice so we can grow and improve. Maybe it’s our insecurity that keeps us receptive to learning.

Samanthya: Who are those voices telling you, you are great? Your editor—heck yeah. Thank you very much. Your reviewers—yes. Love you. Your friends—are they a tad Biased? Partial? Influenced? You know how good you are. Own it. And be proud. But there is always room for improvement.

Petie: I lost my ego after I gained enough rejection letters to wallpaper my guest bedroom — before I was eventually offered a contract. Ego has no place in publishing — it never helps and only hurts. Appreciate the readers you have, try to attract more, and… keep writing the best book you can!!


What do you do to combat self-doubt?


Collette: A little bit of self-doubt is healthy; it should motivate you to be a better writer. If, however, your self-doubt comes off as needy or whiney, then you need to reassess why you are writing. Wanting constant kudos or encouragement isn’t going to get the book written, make you a better writer, or hone your craft.

Tema: I take the words: “I loved your book!”, or “When is the next book booking out? I can’t wait!”, or “You are such a great writer!”—I spread those words like whipped cream on a dessert and I lick them up. That kind of praise sustains me through the darker moments of self-doubt.

Tina: I mind talk. There are days when it’s tough, but I’m constantly telling myself I’m a good writer, I’m a good person, I’m a good mother, I’m a good ‘whatever,’ because no one else will. I found a new mantra that has helped me combat self-doubt, “Happiness is a choice.” Self-doubt is a happiness drainer. It can bring on depression. Whenever I feel myself sinking into that pit of self-doubt, I remind myself, “Happiness is a choice.” I choose to be happy.

Catherine: I just keep repeating my mantra: I’m an award-winning author. It does wonders for the ego. If you have no awards yet (notice I said yet, because if you work at it, you will sooner or later), find your own ego-boosting mantra and post it where you can see it and repeat it to yourself often. Like the little train that could, we need to keep telling ourselves we can. Eventually, it will happen.

Ryan Jo: Not much of a problem for me, thankfully. I have plenty of it in other areas of my life, but I have enough confidence in my skills as a writer.

Samanthya: Just keep writing and trying to get better at my craft. Every book I write shows an improvement, at least I think so. I’m learning every day. My writing seems to flow better, I’ve taken so many workshops and learned so much, I’m really proud of what I have accomplished.

Petie: I live with self-doubt; I just work to ignore it. I remind myself how happy I am when I’m creating a new story or dolling up a completed story in editing. My mantra: You’re not in this for the money. Works for me.


Are you a confident writer, or my neighbor in Isuckistan?

Up Next Week: Protecting your writing time and space.

Posted in Seasoned Authors Series Tagged with:

What Should Writers Do Before Publication? Seasoned Authors Series

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

Today’s Seasoned Authors blog is geared toward those of you still aiming for your first contract. I’ll bet you think all you have to do is write a good book, right? How do I know that? Because it’s what I thought, too. I know better now, but unfortunately, being unprepared for my first contract left me scurrying to catch up with the rest of the published world.

You can do yourself a favor by getting organized now. Yes, you need to write that awesome book, but you’re going to need a few more things, like a web presence, blog topics, etc. Prospective agents and publishers will Google you. Show them you’re serious about a career in writing.

Plan to worry about it when the time comes?

Don’t.

When you land your contract (and you have to believe you will, because if you don’t believe, who will?), you will be swamped with edits, marketing, interviews, and writing your next novel.

Our Seasoned Authors would like you to know what you should be doing now, before you land your first contract. Feel free to click on their names to learn more about them.

Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner.  At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com

Stacy Hoff writes contemporary romance. She has two anthology stories and three full-length novels to her credit, along with a 2015 “Rising Star” nomination from BTS emag’s Red Carpet Awards.

Jessica Jefferson is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her fifth novel is about to hit the market.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.

Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.


What should writers do before publication (other than write the best book possible, of course!) Should pre-pubbed writers have websites? Blogs?


Collette: A website is a must. It’s the hub for where readers, etc. can find you. Pre-pubbed authors need a few social media outlets too. How else will you begin to build a platform and following?

Tema: Yes, writers must have websites, a blog is helpful. Author’s must have pages on websites like Goodreads, and Book Movement, but most important are those reviews by bloggers, book sites, and media.

Tina: I’ve been trying to convince my unpublished friends in my writers’ group to start blogging and getting a website now, before they’re published. Because I was published with my history books before my romances, I already had a website. I hadn’t blogged, but I wish I had well before the books had come out. My friends wonder what they have to talk about since they’re not published. I keep telling them they should blog about anything they want to, to gain a following. Blog about your writing process. Blog about how your characters are driving you crazy. Blog how you had to dump the first 10,000 words you wrote. (Something Jude Deveraux did.) Blog about your dog, cat, kids, husband, birds, etc. pestering you while you try to write. Blog about a trip you took. Anything to get people interested. Then when you get a contract, blog about the excitement, the editing process, your new cover, etc.

Catherine: I think pre-pubbed writers should have their social media stuff in place before they hit the ground running with a book. I didn’t, and I’m still playing catch-up with my social media-except for my blog. I had that under my belt when I sold my first book. I had a hellacious social media learning curve for everything else while I was trying to get my book edited and marketed. Because of that, I made some mistakes.

Ryan Jo: Yes, set up the blogs, websites, pages, etc… before the book comes out. You can start with the basics and add to it as more evolves. But you want to start promoting your release 4-6 months before it comes out if possible. Book cover launch, giveaways, teasers tweets/ teaser posts, there are tons of things you can do to drum up routine interest in a book months and weeks before the book is available. So definitely yes.

Stacy: I would recommend pre-pubbed writers having websites and blogs. I didn’t and when I suddenly found myself published I had a heck of a time playing catch-up.

Samanthya: A website is necessary for any author. How else can someone learn about you? If you don’t have a lot of money for someone to set you up with a nice site, you can do your own. Workshops are offered all the time. SAVVY Authors have offered a ton of workshops, RWA chapters offer many workshops, and any author can create a website.

Petie: Everybody has their own opinions on how to market on social media, but I think most authors would say that having an informative web site with pictures and excerpts, etc. is a must-have for a pre-pubbed author. The first place a reader will go after reading and enjoying a new author is to Google to search for them. I do it, and I never cease to be amazed when I find an author without a web page.

Everybody has their own idea on what works with social media, but I can tell you I have changed my mind in recent months. I have sold way more books using Twitter than Facebook or Pinterest. Twitter is a two-way street though, and you can’t just tweet ads about your books or no one will retweet your posts or follow you, which builds your tweet possibilities. Each book promo tour I have done has added 75-100 Twitter followers.


Here’s a bonus interview question for all you aspiring writers . . .
Seasoned authors, are there any how-to books you recommend for fellow writers?


Tema: I keep trying to convince myself to purchase some of those “how-to sell a million books in a week” books, but the thought of actually reading them gives me a headache.

I do read blogs and articles about self-promotion, marketing, blogging, and advertising.

Tina: I don’t really read the how-two books, but I do subscribe to several writing blogs. No matter how much you’re published, there is always something to learn or re-learn. There are a couple of books I go to as I write. One is “The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book” by Jean Kent and Candace Shelton. The others are by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. They also have a blog called “Writers Helping Writers” that is excellent. The books are: “The Emotion Thesaurus,” The Positive Trait Thesaurus,” and “”The Negative Trait Thesaurus.”

Catherine: Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict. Anything by James Scott Bell or Donald Maas. I’m also a firm believer in the Hero’s Journey. It’s helped me solve some plot issues.

Ryan Jo: Chicago Manual of Style. AP Handbook of Style. A great thesaurus and dictionary. Those are basics. Books written by people who write your genre. I also like ‘Talk up Your Book’ by Patricia Fry because she covered things I have trouble with—namely talking to others about my books.

Petie: The greatest how-to writing book I have ever read is Stephen King’s On Writing. Though it’s part autobiography, the fiction master shares his pearls of wisdom on what worked for him and what might work for you. I’ve read the book three times.


Are you working on the next great novel? Tell us about it!

Up Next Week . . . Ego: how important is it?

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with:

Facebook – Friend or Foe? Seasoned Authors Series

facebook

If you’re on my Facebook friends list—Shameless plug, you can find my author page HERE-–then you know I’m an Oversharer. I just can’t seem to resist the seductive lure of Social Media, and in truth, I’ve sold many books because of it.

It’s hard to know, though, when I’ve gone from “engaging” to “annoying” with regard to any sort of promotional posts. Too much self-promotion can work against us, since potential readers will either hit the “unlike” button or hide our posts to avoid seeing another round of  “buy my book” posts in their feeds.

How do we use Facebook to generate interest without overdoing it? Let’s ask our seasoned authors, whose websites can be viewed by clicking their names:

Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner. At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.

Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.

Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.

Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.

Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com

Stacy Hoff writes contemporary romance. She has two anthology stories and three full-length novels to her credit, along with a 2015 “Rising Star” nomination from BTS emag’s Red Carpet Awards.

Jessica Jefferson is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her fifth novel is about to hit the market.

Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.

Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.


Do you find Facebook Reader/Writer and Self-Promotion groups helpful at all, or do you think the barrage of self-promotion turns readers away?


Collette: Most of these groups have turned into purely promotion sites that only authors visit. There are few exceptions. I know some Facebook groups that restrict promo and encourage interaction based on the groups purpose. There are also some groups out there intended strictly for promotion and my street team members often post to them for me.

Tema: I can only speak for myself. I receive so many self-promotion e-mails that I feel inundated and overwhelmed. Most of them I just delete. Except for Soul Mate sisters, that is.

Tina: Personally, if an author is constantly tweeting or posting on FB to ‘buy my book, buy my book,’ I get turned off. I don’t even read the posts. I think a mix between posting things about your writing and posting links to your books is good. Readers like to know what we’re writing or what problems we’re having with writing. I’ve been following Jude Deveraux on FB and it’s refreshing for me to see that a multi, multi published authors goes through the same trials and tribulations I do. Readers also enjoy hearing little personal things about yourself, but please, don’t publish your views on religion, politics, or anything controversial.

Catherine: Facebook flummoxes me, and because I have a page, not a profile, I can’t participate in any Facebook closed groups. So, I’m not much help on this question.

Ryan Jo: I belong to several on line FB groups and honestly, trying to keep up with them all, respond even briefly to the other posts and remember which ones allow what within the rules is too much for me. And as a reader, I tend to shy away from constant barrage.

Samanthya: I love Facebook parties. I have found some new authors and some new fans. I think you can get carried away with self-promotion, and a lot of author contacts are other authors. I’m not sure how to hook readers, but if you have more books out there, more opportunity for someone to find you.

Petie: Please don’t crucify me for this opinion, but I truly think most of the promos posted on Facebook group pages end up authors marketing and promoting to other authors doing the same thing who have no budget to buy all the books or even have the inclination. I’ve gone down the Facebook feed for some of the groups, and all the posts are ads from authors. I don’t ever recall seeing a post from a reader.

Post a message about your book, wait ten minutes, and then go back to the group feed and see how far down the list your post has already dropped. That’s how fast authors are putting up new ads. So how can readers — if there are some actually reading the posts — absorb all those ads and pay attention to yours tucked within the mass of others?

Should we waste our time on these promos? You have to decide if it’s a time suck or not. If creating the promo only takes a few minutes to do, then what could it hurt? If it’s taking a while and taking you away from your writing, then you might want to rethink the effort.


Since Facebook changed the way Newsfeeds are sorted, do you worry that too much self-promotion will work against you in terms of your followers either unliking your page or hiding your posts?


Collette: I personally avoid self-promotion unless I have a new release, sale, giveaway, or win a contest. I don’t want to spam my friends and followers because I hate it myself.

Tema: I definitely think there is a point of no return, too much just looks like desperation. Reviews are more important, I want to focus more on getting those “anointing” reviews that are far more meaningful to readers.

Catherine: Again, Facebook perplexes me, and they will do whatever they want, whether I like it or not. So why worry? I’d rather blog or Tweet anyway.

Stacy: Never post on your own page too much self-endorsement. Think of FB not a static billboard to shout out your product, but an opportunity to talk to real-life people. Would you want to hang out with someone who only talks about him/herself? Exactly! So be interactive on FB and post things that will be interesting and useful to others.

Samanthya: I must admit I don’t have a lot of traffic on my Author Page. But I have a ton of friends on my regular page. People like more fun posts or pretty pictures than an author constantly posting promo material. So I post a lot of fun stuff on my Facebook page.

Petie: Have you ever unliked someone’s page because they inundated you with their self-promotion? However much that was, you’ll want your quantity to be far less or you risk the same fate. No one likes to be inundated with “buy me” posts.

Have you found a great way to use Social Media? What do you think works (or doesn’t)? Weigh in!

Up Next Week: What every writer should do before getting a contract.

Posted in Seasoned Authors Series Tagged with: , ,
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