7 Ways to Get More Exposure on Social Media Daily

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Picture of two teenage girls smiling and making funny faces while sitting on a couch.
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” – Seth Godin

 

“I don’t know how to get people to see my [fill in the product] on social media.”

Nope. Sorry. I cut off anyone who starts a lament to social media with this phrase. Especially authors. There are dozens of ways daily to gain exposure on social media. Not just from fellow writers (although don’t discount them entirely, they read too) but from honest-Abe readers. Take Twitter.

To tweet or not to tweet

The question really is: To Twitter Chat or Not to Twitter Chat. And it is absolutely to Twitter Chat.

A quick exercise. Open another tab in your browser (don’t do this in this one or else you will lose all my beautiful pearls of wisdom and have to back click and that just sucks). Go to Google. Type in “book chats Twitter.” I don’t know about you but about six Twitter accounts revolving around ‘book chats’ or ‘book marketing’ or ‘book readers’ came up. To top it off, a link dedicated to List of Regularly Occurring Bookish Twitter Chats by Book.Blog.Bake. came up. Hint: those would be good places to start.

Seriously. Click in and follow those accounts. Scroll through their feed. See if they host or participate in a Twitter chat that seems to be somewhat stable, regularly occurring, and something you’re into.

On average, I know of and participate in at least four Twitter chats a week. I’m not always the most regular at participation since, well, life. But I make it an effort to pop in sometimes and be seen, build relationships, learn stuff.

The bottom line is there are Twitter chats being held every day of the week, multiple times a day. Hence the title of this article. There are seven ways to get more exposure on social media daily because there are seven days in a week. And that’s just Twitter. Facebook has groups for readers; even Google+ does.

If knowing there are seven days in a week isn’t enough for you, here is my list of seven ways to get more exposure on social media daily:

  1. Know your demographic. Do some research. Know who you want, and “readers” is too generic. Do better.
  2. Decide where to spend your effort. You can’t be every at once unless you decide to quit working, never write again, and just be online in your jimjams. And then nobody wants to talk to you anyway.
  3. Commit to it. Engaging on social media takes commitment. If you have issues with that, you might want to rethink a profession that requires engagement and consistency and social ability.
  4. Engage. And I’m not just talking Picard here. You have to actually want to talk to people, not just hock your product. Be real. Be authenticate. Don’t be a douche.
  5. Karma Reach-Arounds. Give props to the chat organizer, and not just during the chat. Don’t get all stalker-y or anything, but make sure to thank them for organizing/moderating the event. Chats take time and patience and dedication. Thank them for that, and while you’re at it give ’em a little reach around no and again when you aren’t getting somethin-somethin out of it.
  6. Know when to take a break. It’s the ‘you’ show. If you don’t know anything about a topic and really don’t have an interest in the topic, don’t participate in the chat that week. Doesn’t mean you can promote it a little and say “Hey, this is some good stuff over here.” But know when to take some time off.
  7. Don’t be a hog. Are there literally dozens of chats on Twitter alone seven days a week? Duh. I already said this. Point of reiteration is to mention that while you can participate in every single one of them all the time, you shouldn’t necessarily. This goes back to #6. It isn’t the ‘you’ show. Give your audience a break sometimes. Remember putting yourself out there on social media to engage readers and hopefully get them to like you well enough to care to read your book/blog/song lyrics/whatever. You won’t endear nobodies if you are the annoying song on the radio that plays on every channel non-stop (we’re looking at you Titanic Celine).

“Why, BC, what Twitter chats do you like?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. I like these following people:

  • #K8chat – Publishing-related chat for readers and authors. Every Thursday from 9-10pm Eastern. Host: @K8Tilton
  • #StoryDam – Come talk about writing stories! Held every Thursday from 8-9pm Eastern. Host: @StoryDam
  • #litchat – LitChat is for book lovers. All books. All the time. Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5pm Eastern. Host: @LitChat
  • #indiechat – Indiechat is a Twitter chat designed for indie and self-published authors. Every Tuesday from 4-5pm Eastern. Host: @BiblioCrunch
  • #NextLitChat – If you are a new adult author, reader, or curious as to what new adult is, this is the chat for you! Held every Thursday from 9-10pm Eastern. Host: @NextLitChat

Image of a redheaded woman in a black leather jacket. She has her hands held up in the American Sign Language sign for 'I love you.'BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate others through humor and simple instruction.

Books: A Touch of Darkness ◘ A Touch of Madness ◘ Sister Light (out of print)
Anthologies: Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction ◘ Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories ◘ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

 

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Author’s Book Marketing Guide: Month 1 Pre-Release

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One month to go. You are almost there with comprehensive pre-release strategy that will have your book come out of the proverbial gates a-swingin’! To date we have broken down what to do each month leading up to your book’s launch date, including media kits and contact procedures, arranging for public speaking events, internet presence with social media, organizational methods, graphic design and branding, and interpersonal relationships.

There is no easy way to say this, even with all the hard work you’ve put in so far, the months right before, during, and immediately after your launch are absolutely critical for your book success. History has shown in the traditional publishing industry that book sales are strongest in the first 90 days after release. It will be your measuring stick; and it has also proven to be the time when most books reach bestseller status. Even if that isn’t your goal, it certainly can’t hurt and, when dealing with traditional publishers, can show a strong presence enough to get your book on limited shelf space in stores.

In this section, to make sure you have as strong a start with your book release as possible, we will cover the following:

  • The media blitz
  • Tour scheduling
  • Street teams

The media blitz

You have a strong media list curated if you’ve followed Parts XXXXXXX on my blog. You have the press release polished and snazzy. You have your one-two punch media pitch. Now it’s time to put it all into action. Pitches and press releases should be sent out approximately four to six weeks before your launch date. While we know the world works in lightspeed paces, it takes real time for a reporter to cover a story, including working with their and your available schedules. If you start at the six week window, I recommend follow up reminders and additional releases weekly to keep on their radar.

Radio/Podcasts

Hosts often plan their guest appearances a few weeks in advance. This includes podcasts. They’re busy people, and they have their own marketing pre-release they have to account for. You will most likely need a combination effort with emails and phone calls to get a guest spot. I’ve found it often takes six or more contacts before you get the host’s attention without being too annoying.

The prep work for radio and podcasts is easy. Make sure your voice is well modulated; if you’re a heavy breather or throat-clearer, make sure to avoid doing so. It’s okay to have someone record you in advance like a mini-interview and then listen to yourself so you don’t sound awkward. Since I’m profoundly hearing impaired, I’ve had friends record me and listen to the recording on my behalf to make sure I don’t do things I might be missing. The same feedback can be helpful for normative hearing people too. Every little bit helps. The best audio tip to give about doing a radio/podcast interview is to remember to smile. It will make your host more comfortable with you (if you are in studio) and will make your voice sound open and friendly. The best preparation tip I can give is to have your top two or three points written down in front of you. Radio (and often podcasts) aren’t long, and they often have multiple guests. You may not get a lot of time to talk so make sure you get the most out of your time with the most important information.

TV

Television can seem daunting. The camera is terrifying to many. Especially writers who are often introverted by nature. But you can use the fact that television is visual to your advantage, even if you don’t like the spotlight.

Find visuals that relate to your book. Depending on your book’s nature, you might be able to do some sort of “show and tell,” have photos or illustrations. For instance, if I was to write and promote a book around my blog posts 8 Tips for Shopping Thrift Stores and 5 More Tips for Shopping Thrift Stores, I could have models demonstrate the “do’s” and “don’ts” of thrift store-found fashion. Just ensure that you clear everything in advance with the production team and host who will need prep time to set the stage and react.

Even if you don’t have anything more to go along with your book, being an engaged and enthusiastic guest is good TV. Read a little on how best to dress for the program (or ask the stage manager), and then just do what you do – tell a story, only the story is how entertaining or impactful to others’ lives you and your work will be.

Tour scheduling

Again, you’ve done the work: media lists and scheduled interviews, set book signings, and planned for live events – now it’s time to promote them! Check with radio stations/podcasts about advance promotion of events; many will. Most bookstores promote who is going to be there well in advance with in-store signage; maybe you can even get them to put you on their marquee out front along the roadside. In addition, many bookstores air or publish their own press releases, send newsletters, and do special promotion to VIP members. Conferences and conventions always promote on their websites, even if you’re not a big name celebrity, in the program, and on advance PR.

Let’s face it, like authors, some venues promote better than others. Some do virtual zero promotion. You must remember to ask what promotion efforts they have planned. If they don’t have press releases planned, offer one you’ve written. Tell them they’re welcome to use it on their website and social media as well. Do you have a blog following? Promote there. Keep your signing and speaking schedule posted on your website’s homepage, put it on social media, send it to relevant websites before, during, and after your events. Get your street team (that we’ll be discussing shortly) to get involved however they can.

Keep media releases of different lengths. You want one that covers your whole engagement schedule. You also want short announcements for each event. The media isn’t likely to pick up every event, unless you’ve made some sort of impression on them, but overall odds are good that many releases will get some level of coverage.

Friends who blog? Ask them to mention your upcoming events if their readers are in your target audience. Keep the upcoming events in front of your own readers by making them part of your regular newsletter. Keep it relevant on social media by updating frequently. Post it at places like Shelfari and Goodreads on your profile. Certainly have it available on your Amazon or Barnes and Noble profiles.

At every interview, mention where you’re going to be next. I always mention my next event and the one following that, especially if the first date is close to the interview air date. That way people have two chances, and someone who goes “Darn. I’m not available on such short notice” will have a second option that is further down the road to attend. Keep those interviews linked on social media, website, and blog. Helping to drive continual traffic to the host’s or reporter’s site by posting your interview links is an easy and good way to thank them.

Remember to set up Google Alerts to let you know when your name and book title are posted anywhere on the web. It will be important to know how your information is getting out there and beneficial to see who is the most effective at distributing it. Doing so will allow you to streamline your communications going into the future. That’s not to say to cut out traffickers that weren’t the best, but you can reach out to them later and prioritize your go-to promoters first.

Street teams

This is an older term that stems from radio. Radio stations used to have interns flood the market with flyers and promotional items. Don’t we just wish we had that kind of manpower and budgeting? Well, in part, you do. At least the manpower.

Do you have a handful of good friends and supportive family members that can be counted on? Who had read your manuscript before it was published? Often times an author can count on their beta readers as the basis for their street team. From there, you can build outward. But first you have to take a little bit of time to train your street team on what it means and how they can help you.

Establish willingness

“You must always ask; never assume.” Just because a beta reader had time to read and critique your manuscript prior to publication doesn’t mean they will have time to join your street team. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. To incentivize street team members you can always offer something: a signed, advance-review copy of the book is often appreciated, a small gift that relates to your book, even tee shirts. Sometimes the team members just likes be the “first to know.” Every team is different.

Establish tasks

This is what you need. Typically, it’s best to ask street teams to complete easy, inexpensive tasks like:

  1. Ask local stores to carry your book and contact you for a signing;
  2. Request their local library branches purchase your book;
  3. Write early, positive reviews of your book on Amazon or favorite online seller, submit reviews to relevant blogs, and post to social media;
  4. Put up advanced flyers and posters about upcoming events at coffee shops, universities, or other popular hangout places;
  5. Attend your events, often acting as a “plant” to ask questions, start conversations;
  6. Invite people, especially their friends, to your events;
  7. Call in during radio or podcasts with questions;
  8. Suggest your book to local book clubs;
  9. Provide a gift of your book (maybe one that you provide to them) to influential people they know;
  10. Talk your book up with people they know!

Some people balk at the concept of “plants” in an event’s audience, but there is nothing unethical about having people who genuinely enjoyed your book in the audience at events. Thinking of it from the big marketing point of view. Companies give out free samples and trial sizes all the time in hopes people will talk up and also buy more of their product. That is all a good street team does in essence: they talk up your product and get people buying!

 

Okay. So we have covered what to do in the month prior to your book launch. If you’ve followed the steps each month then you should have a comprehensive book marketing strategy that will blow the roof off your book release.

 

BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate others through humor and simple instruction.
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My Pain Is Not For Sale: I Will Never Publish Sexual Assault by J.M. Bates

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It is 1989 and I am four years old. I somehow survive a sexual assault. Terrible things happen to children all the time, and they are stronger than they look. Twenty-five years is a long time to heal from anything.

In 1991, I am sitting in a sand box in my parents’ back yard by myself when I decide that I want to be a writer. Though it comes to me randomly, it is a solid thought, as real as truth. A cardboard box full of storybooks in my closet is my best friend at the time. At the age of six I agree on this life plan of telling stories. In the following days I put pieces of colored construction paper together, staple them into booklets, draw cats on the pages with a Bic pen, attempt to tell stories to others when I am illiterate. I wind up writing books with titles such as “FUCK”, “FAST RICE”,  and “MOES” because I mimicked words I found lying around the house.

In 2000, I find myself behind a microphone for the first time in a friend of a friend’s basement, screaming punk songs and feeling my own repressed narrative bursting from my chest as pain fuels fury. The other girls in the band are smashing their own instruments as hard as they can and afterward we are all standing together in the electric hum with tears in our eyes and none of us knows what the hell just happened or exactly what we experienced together.


It is 2004 and I am eighteen years old, on my own for the first time. I do not have a mailing address or a key to the apartment I am currently staying. I am living in a real city with crime and corruption, after only living in a small town with crime and corruption.


I work up the nerve to enter a feminist bookstore. After some initial nervousness, I quickly feel comfort inside the room and for the first time in my life I feel complete safety and validation. The physical walls act as a barrier, solace from the external and even internal turmoil, the untreated anxiety and other generalized hell that comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. I walk around for minutes or maybe hours. After picking it up and putting it back down again multiple times, I buy The Courage To Heal because I heard about it from a Le Tigre song. Back at the apartment, I hide under the covers in the bottom bunk bed of the room I am sharing. The book is large and its pages spread detail the journey ahead of me.

I continue to unfuck my life. In 2006, I am in a movie theater full of men in the audience. There is a villain on the screen holding a woman against her will as he tells her exactly how he is going to rape her. The actual act is not shown but I still feel frozen, nauseated, like it is 1989 again. I look around the theater and see only the bored faces of the men in the audience watching the film, seemingly unaffected by the violence in front of them.

 Later on in the movie, the woman stabs the villain who assaulted her. I literally cannot stop myself from cheering out loud, maybe more like a roar than a cheer. Multiple men angrily tell me to “Shhh!” and “Shut up!” for interrupting the film. I see a few dudes’ girlfriends glance over at me. I can’t tell if they are sympathetic or annoyed.

It is 2015 and I am publishing my first novel. In these years of healing, I have also been observing and absorbing the world around me. I’ve read multiple books and seen countless movies and TV shows with sexual assault used as a plot device to instill hatred against a villain of the story or inspire sympathy for a character who has survived. I can’t help but look back at my own life and think how cheap this is, how easy, how callous, how overly simplified, and lastly, how completely overdone it is to take such a complex trauma and use it in such a way.

In this book and all of my future books, there will be no sexual assault. I am unwilling to use my own pain and the pain of others just to take a lazy writing shortcut. Though I may include survivors of assault in my books, they will be complex human beings who represent much more than what they have endured. The violence I include will only be the minimum of what I feel is required. Any sexuality I write about will always be consensual.

It is not escapism if it is exactly what the world needs right now.


J.M. Bates is a fantasy and science fiction writer from Chicago, Illinois. J.M. is pronounced “jam”.

Here’s the first chapter of Brilliant Shadows for free: http://brilliantshadows.tumblr.com/post/116666560638/brilliant-shadows-introduction


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Vaginas and Writing

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Vaginas and writing: Is it important to know a #writer is a woman?

This subject has hit home for me several times in my writing career. I’m often immediately confronted with “Do you write romance/erotica?” when I talk about my writing. And while my first book has a heavy romantic element, the rest of my work is just about as far from romance as one gets. I try to describe my work as either fantastic works (such as my paranormal mysteries or fantasy shorts and novel) or slice of life, general fiction (such as several shorts and my upcoming Feather in a Hurricane novella). The fact that my books contain sex or romantic relationships, however, seems to automatically place them in many people’s minds in the “romance” genre.

Don’t get me wrong. Romance writing is valid writing. I enjoy reading #romance books as well, when the mood strikes. And, while #genre definition can be tricky for authors, it is easy to see the character archetypes in a story and simply focus on the relationship aspects, giving way to romantic categorization. The injustice of doing this with all #books with heavy interpersonal character #relationships, instead of focusing on the character development or emotional journey of a story, is profound and a discredit to both the #author and #reader.

I suppose it’s like one of my favorite movie #quotes however: “You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.” (The Breakfast Club, 1985) Until women who write stand up and say, “I am a writer. I am not my gender; I am not my race; I am not my socioeconomic background,” we will be constantly defined by our #vaginas. #ebooks #amwriting

Original Article that sparked my rant: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carrie-la-seur/the-most-important-thing-about-my-writing_b_5933192.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books

***
BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having

committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate other writers through humor and simple instruction.

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The Duality of A Writer

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*This post sparked by a Facebook Meme and the resultant comments. The meme stated: “Writers literally create worlds from scratch… What is sexier than that? I don’t know why every person out there isn’t dating a writer.” by Rachel Bloom. This article is a hybrid of ideas presented about the nature of ‘being a writer’, the thoughts they led me to, and the further expansion of thought/comments from Facebook, Twitter, and private messaging.*

Duality (from the Pinacoteca Central)

Few understand what it means to be a writer. 

Yes, they know about our love of words, our fanatical need to perfect a sentence, and our frenzied creative bursts. But grasping the reality of what it is like to be a writer is a concept so foreign it makes others feel uncomfortable or rejected.

There are only two worlds that exist for writers. 

Time Writing and Time Not Writing
The Time Writing world is where we want to live. We are ever seeking a means to get back to this magical place where stars are born in the space of a breath and everyone is known and knows as intimately as if they’d shared the same womb.
The Time Not Writing world is hell, a infinite distraction, that we walk in, trying to puzzle out how to get back to our Time Writing world.

The rub is that our Time Not Writing world is where people live. Family, friends, jobs, obligations to non-writing. Genuinely, we love these things. Most of us wouldn’t trade them for anything. Except Time Writing. Which riddles us with guilt. Guilt for walking in the Time Not Writing world, and guilt for not being in the Time Writing world.

The most difficult part often is the social ramification. We love our family and friends. They love us. They don’t want to hear (as was best put in the Facebook conversation on this matter) “Of course I want to spend time with you, but…” This leads to feelings of rejection.

The non-writer who loves one reads this and thinks I’m not that way; I want them to have as much time as they need to write. And you do; bless you, you really do. Until you realize Time Writing and Time Not Writing has nothing at all to do with time.

With a full blessing the non-writer in love with one gives the writer leave to work on whatever project they are enraptured with dealing with at that point. “I’ll give you as much time as you want. How about a month of no distractions to finish that project?” Non-writer says. It’s kind. And pointless.

Time Writing has no time. It is timeless, eternal and fleeting. One month becomes two months;
Conversations with No One

becomes six months; becomes a year. A year of not interacting, not being distracted, not participating in anything but Time Writing. No one’s patience is that infinite. But a writer’s need of Time Writing is that expansive. Suddenly the need for detachment is unhealthy, although a writer has never been happier. The desire for the writer to rejoin the Time Not Writing world becomes pressing, and we rejoin it, with reluctance and an outright bitch-fest but understanding.


Then the non-writer is left knowing we are with them, but also just want to get back to Time Writing. The writer is there and not there, part of their mind, soul, in the Time Writing world. And any time we’re in the Time Not Writing world one hundred percent, not distracted at all by Time Writing, we are some of the most miserable, sorriest, least organized and functional lots ever.

So, yes, the premise of being in a relationship with a writer is sexy. What writers do is stimulating. Anyone would want to be constantly stimulated by exposure to that. But, resoundingly, we’re also alien to the point of being unfathomable. Who wants to be in a relationship with someone you have nothing in common with and can’t understand the very basics of their existence?

 ◘◘◘

BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every bad deed in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate other writers through humor and simple instruction.

Anthologies: Fracas: A Collection of Short FrictionQuixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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Twitter Twits

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Spam. Nobody likes it. Not even with eggs and peanut butter cups. And Twitter can be a confusing, high-trafficked site. Like the rest of social media, Twitter’s function is to be, you guessed it, social.

Authors love (as they should) Twitter for reaching out to readers, connecting with authors and industry professionals, and building their platforms. The downfall many run into when tweeting is the absolute spammy nature of their posts.

If your stream is filled with nothing but:

“On sale now! NAME OF BOOK – Get Yours Today – LINK”
“‘She whispered, ‘I saw the murderer.’ Paranormal Mystery – NAME OF BOOK – LINK”
“Latest #blog – #Author BLAH BLAH’s NAME OF BOOK – LINK”
You have a problem. You are a Twitter Twit.
Harsh words. I know. But think about it. Do you like seeing your ads filled with nothing but hard and soft selling? No. So why do it to the people who follow you?
Sometime over the years we saw FB de-evolve into people’s to-do lists. You know, they looked something like:
Grocery shopping, edits, maybe time for the park later, and then macaroni and cheese for dinner.
Although they tend to much more long winded than that example. FB became void of thought or comment. Slowly Twitter is doing the same, only it’s chocked full of ads of all shapes and sizes.
There is nothing wrong with announcing blog articles or prizes you’ve won or when your book is on sale. Just remember that for every one of those you post roughly 3 billion other people are posting one or two of their own. That begins to look like an advertisement agencies portfolio in quick fashion.
Instead why not try injecting thought or comment into Twitter again? Don’t panic. They don’t have to

be original thoughts or comments (although those are best). They can be famous quotes, followed by your reaction or thought; they could be a funny picture you found online, followed by your reaction or thought.

Do you see a pattern? The vital aspect is… followed by YOUR thought or reaction.
Don’t be a Twitter twit. Remember to vary your tweets with real thought, real reaction. Spam-bots make terrible friends.

BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate other writers through humor and simple instruction.
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Treading Twitter Tutorial

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#this #that #???… Using social media is a great way to reach readers. But how do you know exactly how to reach the readers you’re looking for? #Hashtagging is a way of targeting the readers a writer wants. But, again, where do you start?

Every time you turn around it seems like there is a new Twitter #trend to follow. If it all seems a little confusing, I don’t blame you. Twitter, like so many social media outlets, has a natural evolution. Unlike Facebook or Google+ however Twitter evolves almost as fast as the feeds update – every second.

If you’re a writer looking to utilize Twitter as optimally as possible, knowing the right #hashtags to drop in is beneficial. Knowing where to start is a little dizzying though. Below is a short list of common Twitter #hashtags to help get your post into the right reader’s feeds.

  • #amwriting – Believe it or not, readers like to follow along with writers as they are working. It makes a reader feel like they are in the middle of the writing process. Plus it is a quick, easy way to show your readers that you are steadily working toward the next project release.
  • #blog – If you’re writing but not blogging, you are losing out on readers, old and new. Blogging is an easy way to keep new material constantly in front of readers. Plus blogging allows you to connect with other authors. Leading to the next hashtag.
  • #blogfest – Participation in blog tours and hosting or being hosted by other authors. Readers (and other authors) will follow this tag to find out about new stories or authors out and follow their work (or connect with in cross promotion purposes).
  • #writers and/or #authors and/or #poets – This one is fairly self explanatory. Readers use this to tag and follow writers.
  • #adviceforwriters – For authors wanting to write about tips or tricks for other authors, this little hashtag is phenomenal. Readers will use it as well to feel more like part of the writing process.
  • #reading – Good for posting reviews or maybe teaser snippets of work. Also good for following authors for your own entertainment. It has some great unknown authors.
  • #writetip – Good for promoting your posts/articles but also for your own research. There is a lot to learn here.
  • #mondayblogs – A great source to connect with other writers and promote your work through their various Twitter feeds.
These #hashtags are good places to start when dipping a toe into the deep water of Twitter. Remember that Twitter, like other sites, are ever evolving and changing. Active #hashtags in January may not be as relevant in May. Keep an eye on your #hashtags and monitor their effectiveness. It may not be something obvious, but you should receive some ReTweets or Favorites from each. Twitter is built on a community of sharing and information providing. That’s an important thing to remember – if you don’t ReTweet “RT” and share people’s Tweets, they will be less likely to share yours. Be polite and RT.

BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every bad deed in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate other writers through humor and simple instruction.

Anthologies: Fracas: A Collection of Short FrictionQuixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Resolutions Be Damned

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New Year’s. And those damned resolutions.

A new year. The first day in what is supposed to be a promising opportunity to change your ways, do something positive with yourself or your life, really buckle down and focus on what is important to you.

We all make them – resolutions. Even when we promise ourselves we won’t. Even when we think we’re too non-conformist to cave to such antiquated notions. I’m no exception. I looked at things I wanted to improve. One such things was my writing.

What did I do? I made a list. Basically, a resolution to work on my writing by following that list daily (or at least 4 days a week). I started this in December, not wating to put off for tomorrow what one can do for today… yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

What do you think has happened by January 1st?

I’ve failed already.
I couldn’t follow my own list, for a week.
Why couldn’t I follow it?
Why indeed? Probably because I’m lazy. But mostly because the mindset behind resolutions is wrong. We focus on things we want to be, instead of on the things we are.
I am a writer. I have been for ages. But lately I haven’t been acting like one. I’ve done nothing but lip service to the fact. Rather than say I’m going to work on writing more, I should be saying, “If I don’t write, I can no longer call myself a writer.” I, basically, need to nut up or shut up at this point.
It’s one thing to go through a dry spell, or take some time off to recuperate or a much needed vacation, or because you have something that absolutely keeps you from writing. It’s another thing to just be lazy and still claim the title.
So this is my New Year’s resolution: Resolutions be damned! It’s time to nut up or shut up. It’s time to be a writer, to be healthy, to just be. I won’t try. I will do or not, and I will forever hang up my crown as “writer” if I don’t.
I mean, it’s nothing big, right? Only like ripping my still beating heart from my chest.

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Barbara Bradley – Hesitant Desire – Author Interview

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1.      Barbara Bradley, author of Hesitant Desire, is the subject of my scrutiny today. Check out what makes this writer tick and find out a little bit about her writing. Without further ado…

Barbara Donlon Bradley
author of
Hesitant Desire


      What does an average day for you consist of?  What is your writing schedule like?
Well I work part time as a merchandiser so I have several days a week where I’m out of the house. I also the care giver for my mother-in-law (hubby works full time so I’m the one who takes her to the doctor, makes sure she’s taking her pills etc) and there’s a lot to deal with everyday so if I can write, promote, edit (I edit for Melange Books) during the day I do but my writing time is from 8 pm until I go to bed every night. I have my laptop open and on my lap and work on my stories while the family is watching TV. Some people can’t write with the noise but I tune it right out.
2.      Do you have a current work in progress?  Can you tell us about it?
I’m continuing my work on my Vespian Way series. It started as one book and I’m now working on book seven and eight. In book seven I’m introducing a new villain named Reasta. She wants to build a race of warriors from my heroine of the series, Heather. She has tried to manipulate the timeline to achieve this. Even tried to kill off Storm, my hero, to get what she wanted.
In Book eight the battle against Reasta continues and Heather and Storm disguise themselves to be part of Vespian security. The goal of this book is to try to free the ruling council from Reasta’s grasp. If they can free them then the next book will be them trying to free the ancients trapped on the ship.
 Who is your favorite author, and why?  What is your favorite book of all time?

I have two – Joanna Lindsey and Kathleen Woodiwiss. I think Shanna is my all time favorite. It’s what got me into romance.
1.      Do you incorporate animals in your stories?  Which ones?
I have in this series I’m working on. One of my characters has a tabby named Pumpkin that has helped with several plots in the books she’s in. And my hero Storm is a shapeshifter. He turns into a wolf. That started in book three’s Animal Desire and has showed up in the books after Animal Desire.
       What can we expect next from you?

I’m working hard on the Vespian Way series. Forgotten Desire, book six of the series is due out on Sept 24th  and I’m working hard on the next two books in the series.



Author Bio:

Writing for Barbara Donlon Bradley  started innocently enough, like most she kept diaries, journals, and wrote an occasional letter but she also had a vivid imagination and wrote scenes and short stories adding characters to her favorite shows and comic books. As time went on she found the passion for writing to be a strong drive for her. Humor is also very strong in her life. No matter how hard she tries to write something deep and dark, it will never happen. That humor bleeds into her writing. Since she can’t beat it she has learned to use it to her advantage. Now she lives in Tidewater Virginia with two cats, one mother in law – she’s 86 now, her husband and teenage son.


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Good Guys/Bad Guys

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We’ve all read it, the ‘Traditional Plot’ – Good Guy meets Good Girl, Bad Guy/Girl tries to intervene, Good Guy and Good Girl overcome all obstacles, defeat Bad Guy/Girl and live happily ever after. Right? This is the age old story, the epitome of good fiction (if written well, that is). However, what happens if/when Good Guy, the character you’ve been rooting for the entire story, reveals himself overall to become Bad Guy? And, to add insult to injury, the Bad Guy reveals himself to be the Good Guy? Can the writer still satisfy the readers’ expectations with such an abrupt change?

Writers around the world and throughout the centuries have been struggling with writing stories, telling tales, that both satisfy and surprise their readers. Some writers have used twisting plot shifts and surprise endings to their advantage – for example George R.R. Martin’s heroes are rarely the victors and his villains are frequently the triumphant, or Jacqueline Carey worlds are often harsh and bitter while managing to find small threads of joy and beauty; while other writers stumble over the intricacies needed to defy convention, chuck the traditional, and say “Woah, they won’t expect this!”

So how does an author walk this finely drawn line? Especially a relatively unknown author. Is it wise to defy tradition and say, “I’m going to create a story that defies every known convention I can pull out of my writer’s cap.”?

Many authors I know have chimed in on the matter. And the lot seems to be equally divided. In Camp #1, some writers disagree with defying convention, stating fairly obvious reasons, the old addage, of not rocking the boat. Tradition works, plain and simple. Readers dig Good Guys hooking up with Good Girls and Bad Guys being defeated in horrifyingly brilliant displays of vengeance/justice. Agents/publishers may not appreciate centuries of tradition being overthrown at the whim of a presumptuous would-be author, after all. In Camp #2, the rest believe that chucking tradition is exactly what is required of new and budding authors to shine out from the depths of the slush pile. Their belief? Editors/agents/publishers have seen and read the same ‘tried and true’ tale of Boy-Meets-Girl, almost-loses-Girl-to-Second-Boy, before-overcoming-and-living-happily-ever-after dog and pony show. By switching up the same-ol’, same-ol’, the blossoming writer may have the unique opportunity to grab an agent/publisher by the balls and make them stand up and take notice.

Of course, I have my own opinion on the matter. I’m a grab ’em by the balls and make ’em sing your name kind of person/writer! :big grin: But I’ll admit that I enjoy snuggling down with a good, traditional tale of Boy meets Girl, meets Second Boy, defeats Second Boy, and lives happily ever after. But I’m always thrilled by the story that grabs me, sucks me in, and then completely throws me off the trail by doing something totally unexpected! To me, it seems, those reads are rare jewels and are, often, the books I keep floating around instead of exchanging.

Naturally, everyone has their own opinion, and I welcome yours. Let me know what you like in a story, and what your thoughts are on today’s topic. Do you welcome the satisfaction of a tried-and-true tale of Good Guy/Bad Guy/Good Girl, or do you like it when the story throws you a reversal and makes you question the morality of each character?

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