Author Tips and Advice

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Author Tips and Advice is a work in progress.

Tip 1) Carry a notebook and pen wherever you go!

Tip 2) Be outgoing and friendly – even if you’re not!  Put your best face forward to the public.

Tip 3) Built a website and add new content a couple of times a week.

Tip 4) Learn social media.

Tip 5)  Schedule some writing time.  Try not to spend more time on social media than you do on your writing.  All the articles I’ve read say that the best thing you can do is write more books.

Tip 6)  IF Tip 3 had you feeling over whelmed… breathe, ask someone to do a guest post, ask to repost an article you like or interview a fellow author.

Tip 7)  It’s okay to let it all go and just write!  After all the more you publish the better your books sell.  (Most articles I’ve read suggest that writing more and marketing less is just fine!)

Links to Articles and Blog Posts:

Bringing Our Your Inner Child – Author Promotion pt. 1 – Author Promotion pt. 2 – Tips and Tricks –

SOUTHERN WRITERS MAGAZINE:  HOW TO BALANCE IT ALL ~ EXCERPT   “I SET ASIDE SPECIAL TIME FOR EDITING.  I PLUG IT RIGHT INTO MY CALENDAR OR IT GETS BACK-BURNERED OR DOESN’T GET DONE.  I CHOOSE A FOUR HOUR BLOCK ONCE A WEEK JUST TO EDIT.  SOMETIMES I NEED MORE, BUT I ALWAYS SCHEDULE IT.  THE VACUUMING CAN BE PUT OFF AND DON’T LOOK AT MY DUST, BUT WRITING IS MY PASSION AND THE HOUSEWORK WILL WAIT FOR ME.  WHERE ARE THE GOOD FAIRIES WHEN YOU NEED THEM?  GARDEN GNOMES?  ANYONE?

     NOW THAT YOU ARE BREATHING, WRITING AND EDITING, YOU NEED TO SQUEEZE IN A LITTLE SOCIAL MEDIA, SELF-PROMOTING AND ADVERTISING.  I KNOW, I KNOW… YOU’RE ALREADY BREATHING, WRITING AND EDITING, BUT IF NO ONE SEES YOUR WORK, WHAT’S THE POINT? SO HERE WE GO… BE WARM AND FRIENDLY.  BE APPROACHABLE AND ALWAYS REMEMBER TO BE YOURSELF.  YOU ARE NOW A BRAND.  WHAT FLAVOR ARE YOU?  WHAT DESCRIBES YOU?  I WRITE YOUNG ADULT ACTION/ ADVENTURE NOVELS.  THAT MEANS THAT I KEEP ALL MY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES PG -13 OR MILDER.  I TRY TO HELP OTHER NEW AUTHORS BUT MY PRIMARY GOAL IS TO EDUCATE, ENTERTAIN, HELP AND MOTIVATE READERS TWELVE AND UP.  THAT IS MY BRAND!

     I CHOOSE TO SPEND A COUPLE OF HOURS EVERY DAY AMONG MY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.  DURING THAT TWO HOURS I WORK ON MY WEBSITE, ANSWER MY TWEEPS, LOOK FOR THINGS TO RETWEET, ANSWER FANS ON MY FACEBOOK PAGES, LOOK FOR THINGS TO SHARE, LIKE OR COMMENT ON AND MOST OF ALL I TRY REALLY HARD TO THANK EVERYONE.  I MAKE AN EFFORT TO BE WARM, FRIENDLY AND GRACIOUS.  THAT IS ANOTHER PART OF MY BRAND.  I FIND THAT WHEN YOU APPRECIATE PEOPLE, THEY HELP YOU BACK!”

 

FICTION BY PHEONIX:  FEEDING THE MUSES ~ EXCERPT ~ “CARE AND FEEDING OF YOUR MUSES IS A DELICATE BUSINESS. I ALWAYS CARRY A JOURNAL WITH ME SO THAT I CAN WRITE DOWN RANDOM BITS AND PIECES. WHEN I REALLY CAN’T THINK OF A DARNED THING TO SAY – YEAH, IT DOES HAPPEN ONCE IN A WHILE – THEN I GO FOR A WALK, TALK TO ANOTHER AUTHOR, LOOK AT PICTURES, LISTEN TO MUSIC, WATCH A MOVIE OR READ A BOOK. SOMETIMES I PULL OUT AN OLD IDEA AND DISCUSS IT WITH MY FAMILY OR FRIENDS. IT’S AMAZING WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN WE SHARE IDEAS!

     AS WRITERS, I BELIEVE THAT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO IMMERSE OURSELVES IN THE CULTURE OF WRITING. ATTEND A WORKSHOP OR CLASS ON AN ELEMENT OF THE WRITING PROCESS TO GET YOURSELF REVVED UP AGAIN. YOU MIGHT EVEN CONSIDER TEACHING A BIT OF WRITING TO KIDS. TALK ABOUT RECHARGING YOUR BATTERIES! AS A TEACHER, I CAN TELL YOU THAT WE LOVE VOLUNTEERS TO COME INTO OUR CLASSROOMS – ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE AN EXPERT AT SOMETHING. IF APPROPRIATE YOU CAN EVEN PLUG YOUR BOOK. HELPING ANOTHER AUTHOR CAN GIVE YOU THAT SAME KIND OF EMOTIONAL BOOST THAT YOU GET FROM SEEING YOUR WORK TURN ON A LIGHT BULB FOR KIDS AND THAT REALLY GETS THE IDEAS POPPING.
IF YOU HAVE EVER SEEN A PHOTO OR PAINTING THAT MOVED YOU, THEN YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT WHEN I SAY THAT LOOKING AT PICTURES HELPS. I HAVE CLIPPINGS FROM MAGAZINES AND DOWNLOADED PICTURES OF CELEBRITIES THAT I USE TO VISUALIZE MY CHARACTERS. I USE THEM FOR LOCATIONS AS WELL. SOMETIMES IMAGES ALMOST SPEAK TO ME. I HAVE WRITTEN MANY SCENES BY LOOKING AT A PICTURE OR WHILE LISTENING TO A SONG. I NEARLY ALWAYS LISTEN TO MUSIC WHEN I SIT AT MY COMPUTER TO WRITE.

     ASK YOURSELF WHAT MOVES YOU AND THEN TRY THAT. MOST OF ALL HAVE SOME FUN BECAUSE IF IT ISN’T FUN, MAYBE IT ISN’T WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING! NOW, GO GET ‘EM! I BELIEVE IN YOU!”

From Laura M. Talley’s Website:  5 Steps to Promote Your YA Novel:

Let’s start with this… I’m a huge expert!  Listen to me!  (I see you rolling on the floor laughing – STOP that!  Okay – you’re right, I’m new and I don’t know a lot but I’m happy to share what I do know and never forget that you get what you pay for!)  We all have to start somewhere, so here is my advice to you.

Step One:

You have family and friends, right?  (If not, go right to step 2.)  No, really – use these people, they already love you.  How do you do that?  Well, I’m gonna tell ‘ya!  Ask nicely, be willing to take a ‘no’ and be willing to return the favor.  Have them be Beta readers (early readers) of your work.  Be open-minded enough to listen to their advice.  I didn’t say you had to use it.  Just listen and think about it.  If they love your work, ask them to share it.  Specifically, have them share on every social media platform that you can think of!  (Facebook and Twitter are big right now but don’t forget Goodreads, MySpace, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumbler and others.)  PS: you should be sharing in all those places too!  Also have them ‘LIKE’ everything and post reviews everywhere they can.  (Is your work available on Barnes and Noble or Amazon?  Have them rate your book and post a review on those sites as well!)

Step Two:

Know where you potential fans hang out.  Most of mine seem to be on Facebook and Twitter but that may not be true for you.  Check it out.  Would a well placed flyer near a skate park catch the eye of your audience?  How about getting an invitation to a Literacy Night at your local school?  Or even an invitation from a language arts teacher to talk to her class about writing?  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Step Three:

Build a website about YOU the author.  On that site you can talk about your book, but the thing you really need to market is Y-O-U.  When I started writing my first book, I knew nothing about SEO, backlinks, website design or Twitter.  I was barely a Facebook user.  (I can hear you laughing across cyberspace, but look at me now.  An expert… not even close – a little smarter… you bet.)  There are lots of choices out there so do some research and figure out what will work for you.  I currently use Word Press.  I like them a lot and find they’re user friendly but they’re not the only fish in the ocean and you may know a lot more about websites than I do.

Step Four:

Remember that you are now a brand.  Keep continuity among all your social media and your website as much as you can.  You are the brand so you want it to all feel the same.  (We all recognize the Nike swoosh and McDonald’s golden arches, right?)  How do you want people to know you?  I once heard that if you aren’t willing to shout something into a megaphone across a football field then don’t post it.  None of us are perfect but I do try to keep my sites clean.  Since I write young adult, I expect young adults to look at my sites, hence and therefore; I keep them pretty much PG.  I can’t think of even one PG-13 item, but I won’t promise you will never see it.  I write for kids from twelve to one hundred and twelve – so there you go!

Step Five:

Now that you are a little more comfortable with what you’re doing keep researching and trying to improve yourself.  Look for new ideas and recycle old ones you like.  Start to follow some big names and see what they have to offer.  I don’t know what your budget is, but mine was pretty much non-existent to start.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to people.  Being connected makes a big difference. Be sure to check out some awesome experts like… Kristen LambStacey Myers and Melissa Foster.  These are three ladies I follow and read their tips and advice! I am still a work in progress.  How about you?

Step Six:

My last thought… Be yourself but be your kindest self!  Be sure to say please and thank you.  Promote other authors and if someone does you a favor be willing to do one for them.  As I like to say… We can all be better together!  Just remember, in addition to your target audience, you should be thinking about those of us who write… bloggers and authors.  As far as I can tell every single one of us is a big reader, too!

Big hugs and happy promotion of your book!

Authors Can Get Ideas From Some Pretty Strange Places!

By Lauren Klever
Sometimes ideas jump from the shadows, taking you completely by surprise.  As I work on books four and five of my five book series, I’ve found that although some ideas are planned, many are not.  I believe most authors observe the world around them with intense interest.  Beware – anything you say or do may end up in one of our books!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Wait.  Stop.  Say that again!”  To which, those who know me well roll their eyes.  I often find a place for these bits within the existing story.  I write, I read what I wrote and then I revise adding the new ingredients like a chef adds spice to a favorite dish.
Sometimes things don’t go that way at all.  Once in a while a fanciful whim taps you on the shoulder or smacks you over the head.  I’ve had lightening strike, so to speak, while I was writing.  I’ve had an idea pop into my head and completely change the direction of a scene or even a major part of the story.  I liken this to a riptide of thought.  It is almost like the characters are speaking to me and in a way… they are.  I’ve grown to love them and feel like they are friends.  I want to stay true to them and their own personal story within the context of the greater story, so on occasion, I allow them to carry me away.
Many scenes grow from bouncing ideas around with my friends and family.  Wherever I go, I always take a notebook, so when ideas strike, I can capture them.  One of these moments happened while at my son’s cross-country meet.  As my friend and I watched our boys compete we became swept up in the idea of having my protagonist, Owen, be on the cross country team and formulated what would happen if, in the middle of a competition, he came across a villain he was not yet ready to handle.  I’ve got to tell you, ideas were flying faster than I could write.  I even had to call her after the meet to double-check my rapid scribbles and finish some thoughts.  The time spent collaboratively thinking is some of the most fun I’ve had writing this series.  If you’re looking to be inspired, take a vague idea, sit down with someone you trust and hash it out.  You may be surprised at what jumps from the shadows for you to crystallize into a wonderful and amazing new piece!


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