Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sign up for the Three Wishes Blog Blitz!

BlogBlitz-signupWant more visitors to your blog?

I’m holding a joint blog event to encourage cross-promotion and increased blog traffic to authors and bloggers. This is on 2nd September 2013 to coincide with the release of my novella, I Dream of Johnny on 1st September. Rather than just promote the new release, I wanted to do something where everyone’s a winner – authors, bloggers, and readers.

How would it work and why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz?

As you may have guessed from the title of my novella which is play on the TV show, I Dream of Jeannie, the story involves a virtual genie in a magic lamp granting three wishes. For Mandy, one of these wishes goes hilariously wrong (she ends up with a Geek God instead of a Greek God). So I thought I’d do a ‘Three Wishes themed’ blog event.

How it would work is that interested authors or bloggers would create and schedule a blog post for 2nd September, and link it back to mine which will contain links to all the participating blogs. Each participating blog (and mine) will offer some sort of prize to readers who leave a comment, and the winners will be drawn a week later at the conclusion of the blog event.

The blog posts can relate to the theme of three wishes, wishes in general, or something to do with magical elements in fiction, romantic comedy, or even geeks as characters. For example, you could simply have a blog post titled: ‘My Three Wishes’ and write about what you would wish for if you had a magic lamp. The answers could be serious (world peace…etc) or funny (the ability to always find good parking spots)…etc, whatever you like. You could even have a photo blog post with pictures of three things you would love, three celebrities you’d love to meet, or three places you wish you could travel to…etc. You create the title for the post, and simply include the blog event title in brackets, eg: My Three Wishes [Three Wishes Blog Blitz]

What’s in it for you?

  • Increased exposure and visits to your blog and/or books from cross-promotion. My official blog post will link to all the participating blogs and I’ll encourage people to visit as many as they can to take part and go in the draw for prizes. One person could potentially win multiple prizes, so it’s an enticing blog event.
  • Potentially increased number of blog subscribers and new readers.
  • Offer value to your existing blog subscribers and readers.
  • A way to blog without having to come up with yet another idea for a post! (I’ve done the idea-part for you ;))
  • Chance to win prizes yourself! Even participating blogs can enter the prize draws on other blogs.
  • Chance to win a special ‘blog participant’ prize, reserved for one of the lucky bloggers who take part.
  • You never know, your three wishes might even come true! 😉

Plus, it’ll be fun and we’ll all benefit from the combined marketing efforts during the week of the event.

I participated in a similar blog event through Book’d Out last January, and that post remains one of my top five most popular blog posts this year, thanks to the cross-promotion through all the participating blogs.

 

>>If you’re interested, sign up here, and feel free to share this opportunity with others. The more the merrier!

[UPDATE>> As of Thurs 4th July, 40 blogs have signed up. More are welcome!]

 

(Participating blogs will receive more details via email and will receive a reminder when the event is approaching).

 

Tweet this post (copy & paste into a tweet):

Want more visitors to your blog? Sign up for the Three Wishes Blog Blitz! via @Juliet_Madison https://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/three-wishes-blog-blitz/ 

Looking for something to blog about? Here’s an idea: via @Juliet_Madison https://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/three-wishes-blog-blitz/ 

Bloggers! Authors! Cross-promotional blog event coming up. Sign up here: via @Juliet_Madison https://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/three-wishes-blog-blitz/ 

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Ten Awkward Questions with Nicole Flockton (Plus GIVEAWAY!)

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’! 

Nicole-7502-LR-ColorToday, please welcome romance author, Nicole Flockton!

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

Bound by Her Ring it was my first and you ALWAYS remember your first 😉 LOL

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

Umm definitely not Neat if you look at my house and desk at present. But I’m always cheerful.

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

Oh that’s easy, in light of how I started off answering the above – I’m a slob and I own it. LOL

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

I think when I’m writing the book I have a little crush on all of them. They’ve all got unique little quirks which I sigh over. Like Andrew, he’s a paramedic and he saves lives, you can’t help but swoon over a guy who does everything he can to help people.

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Nope, can’t say I do 🙂

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Sometimes, but I talk more to myself when I’m doing my paid work than writing. I usually can’t get a word in edgeways with the characters chatting amongst themselves.

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Someone beautiful LOL. But they’ll also have to be short, cause I’m short so maybe Emma Stone.

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

Oh that’s tough because I like all my girls. So I can’t be all of them then I’ll be Dawn. The reason is she’s been through a lot but she’s learning to live again. So seeing joy in the simple things again would be nice. Rediscovering all the good things about the world.

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

Wow that’s a tough one. I’d have to go for unlimited books. I think I’d be able to use charcoal from the fire to write down ideas on pieces of bark from the trees.

 

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

I would say, let go of the past and the pain. You can’t change the past but you can learn from it. Don’t make the same mistakes over. Learn and move on and live life to the fullest. Embrace the ones you love because in the blink of an eye it could be all taken away from you. Don’t regret what you do. Own it. Enjoy living.

 

Thanks for taking part, Nicole. You have been awarded Ultra-Brave author status on the braveometer!

Visit Nicole at her website, facebook, and twitter.

 

>>GIVEAWAY! To enter to win an ebook copy of RESCUING DAWN, comment below and answer the following question: What would you take on a deserted island?

Competition is open worldwide and winner will be drawn on Wed 3rd July. Good luck!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

RescuingDawnCoverBook blurb for RESCUING DAWN:

He helps save lives, now he wants to save hers.

Dawn Granger has loved and lost and it’s a road she’s not prepared to travel again, that is until her past turns up and has her questioning her resolve.

Andrew Holmes has sailed the globe numerous times, when he almost loses his life, he decides he needs to give something back so he returns home and trains as a paramedic. When he runs into his former sweetheart he is surprised to find an attraction he thought dead come to life. When he sees the sadness in Dawn he knows he will do anything to make her smile again.

Dawn tries to resist Andrew but their past pulls at her in ways she thought long dead. Can she trust a man who’s run out on her once before? Can she risk putting her heart on the line again? Or will it all be taken from her again.

Read an Excerpt

Read Reviews

Buy Links:   Crimson Romance         Amazon

Amazon UK       iTunes          Kobo

Ten Awkward Questions with Jenna Rutland

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!

 

Please welcome the author of JUST FOR THE SUMMER, Jenna Rutland!

 

wp93ae9e85_05_061. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

Well, since I’ve only had one release so far, I’ve got to say, Just For the Summer!

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):
Punctual. Good listener. Neat. Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

Graceful – NOT! I’d have to go with Cheerful 

 
3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):
Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

Absolutely complete klutz. My son likes to say, “If you just sit and watch Mom long enough, she’s gonna do something klutzy.”

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

No, I haven’t yet. Hmmm, something to think about.

 

wpd6be95bb_05_065. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Only if nobody is home.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

All the time!

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Oh, geez, a young Lucille Ball. (Sorry you young kids probably don’t know who she is.)

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich’s books. Why? To have to smoking hot guys both in love with you? Need I say more?

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?
a) A pen and notepad that never runs out
b) An unlimited supply of books
c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)
d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

It’s a tossup between the alcohol and the gorgeous man. Since I can only choose one, I’d have to go with the guy.

 
10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

Without trying to sound like a Miss America runner up, I’d go with the “Learn to love and live in peace.”

 

Thanks for taking part, Jenna, you have been awarded Ultra Brave Author Status on the Braveometer!

>>You can visit Jenna at her website, facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Twitter Basics for Authors [Marketing Mondays]

I’ll be doing more regular blog posts on marketing and promotion tips for authors, called ‘Marketing Mondays’. It won’t necessarily be every Monday, just whenever I’m able to. I’ll be discussing such topics as twitter, facebook, email newsletters, copywriting, blogging, and general tips. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, let me know! To read my popular post ‘10 Marketing Tips For Authors – From A Business Perspective’, please click here.

 

TwitterToday I’m talking about Twitter Basics for Authors (although it might be helpful to some non-authors too). I’ve heard from a lot of authors recently that they don’t really get twitter, or they’ve signed up for an account but haven’t used it yet because they’re not quite sure what to do. I hope this article will help demystify the Twitterverse for you!

>What on earth is Twitter and what is it for?

Twitter is a form of interactive social media, it’s an ongoing public conversation, and a way to interact with others, learn, discover, chat about a certain topic, and have fun. Public is the key word. Unless you set your tweets (short messages or updates) to private, your tweets can be seen by potentially anyone, regardless of whether they’re following you, so remember to think before you tweet!

For authors, it can be a way to meet and interact with other authors, publishers and editors, agents, and readers. There are even pitching competitions on twitter where you could get the chance to submit your manuscript to an industry professional. It can be a useful marketing tool, but must not be used purely for this or you will be seen as a spammer and people will unfollow you.

 

>How to sign up:

*If you’ve already signed up, skip this section and move onto ‘Maximising your profile’…

1. Go to www.twitter.com

2. Fill in the sign-up form with your name, email, and password.

3. On the next page you’ll be instructed to choose a username. This is the ‘twitter handle’ people will use to connect with you. Make it something easy to spell and remember (eg: mine is @Juliet_Madison) It can be the same or different to your name. (*Note, both your name and username will be visible publically, so use your pen name if you don’t want your real name showing up).

4. On the next page, click next, follow the instructions and ‘follow’ five people to get started. If you don’t know who to follow, follow me! (type @Juliet_Madison into the search field). You can also search for words like ‘writers’, ‘authors’, ‘publishers’…etc to find people in those fields, or search for your favourite authors, then click ‘follow’ next to their name. Once you’ve followed five, click next.

5. Twitter will ask you to follow another five, and will give you suggestions in different categories. Choose another five people then click next.

6. It will now give you an option to add people from your email contacts list, but if you like, just skip this for now by clicking on ‘skip’ (it’s written in light grey font and a little hard to see, but is just below the listing of email contacts).

7. Upload a photo and write a brief bio about yourself (see maximising your profile, below). You can change this later, so if you’re not sure exactly what to write, just put ‘writer of *insert genre*’ for now, and click done to move to the next page.

The next page is what you will see each time you log into twitter – a ‘stream’ of tweets from people you are following – and you are now ready to tweet! Or you can take some time to follow more people and/or maximise your profile first. Also, go to your email account at this point and confirm your account, as twitter would have sent you an email.

 

>Maximising your profile:

Twitter-profile1. Click on your name to view your profile. This is how it will look to others.

2. Click ‘edit profile’ and adjust your bio if needed. Also click on the words ‘location’ and ‘website’ to add them. What to write in your bio? At the very least, tell people your occupation (ie, writer or author), the genre you write in, and any other detail you really want people to know about you. Some people’s bio’s are quite humorous! But they don’t have to be. Think about what you want out of twitter, and tailor your bio to suit. If you have a blog or website, you definitely need to add that as it will help you get more visits to your site.

*Some extra tips for bios are:

– Add hashtags (more on them later in this post). Hashtags are words starting with #. If you write romance, you could add #romance to your bio. Then people searching for romance will more easily find you.

– If you’re published, add your publisher’s twitter handle (eg: mine is @escapepublisher). When people are searching for that publisher, your twitter profile will show up in search results. So many authors fail to do this, but it can be a good way to give yourself extra exposure, and it also tells people visiting your profile who you’re published with.

– change your profile occasionally to coincide with promotions or new releases. For example, you could say: ‘Author of Fantastic Book, available now at Amazon: *amazon link*’, or: ‘Win prizes in the Fantastic Book blog tour! Details here: *blog link*’, or: ‘Get a free ebook when you subscribe to my newsletter at *insert link*’.

Think of it as a call to action – what do you want visitors to your profile to do? The first thing is of course, you want them to follow you. The next would be to visit your site or buy your book, or add it to their wish list. Make it easy for them by including direct links and mentioning any benefits.

3. (Optional) Add a header photo. If you just want to get on with tweeting for now then leave this till later, otherwise click ‘edit profile’ again and then click the little pencil icon in the top corner of the larger header picture (not your profile picture). Add a photo. You can resize this by dragging the little button. You can also change your background picture/design by clicking the little cog wheel at the top of the page and selecting ‘settings’, then ‘design’.

 

>Following people:

Now try following more people. Search for people you know, your favourite authors, publishers, bloggers…etc. Some of them might follow you back, and you will get notified when this happens. Twitter can put limits on how many people you follow, so don’t go overboard at first, you can follow more people gradually as you start interacting with others. You might also like to post an update on Facebook (if you’re on there) to tell your friends that you have a new twitter account and need some followers.

 

>How and What to tweet?

tweetbuttonTweets are short messages or updates, limited to 140 characters. To tweet, click the little blue square icon in the top right of the page. This opens up a tweet window where you can type in your message and click ‘tweet’ when you’re ready to send it out into the world. Remember what I said before about it being public. You can delete tweets, but nothing is ever completely deleted from the internet.

tweetGot nothing to say? Of course you do, you’re a writer! And believe me, you could soon find yourself spending too much time on twitter and wishing you hadn’t read my blog post and started your addiction! To start with, see what others are tweeting. You can also see my tweet stream on the side of this blog (unless you’re on a smartphone) or go to http://www.twitter.com/juliet_madison and take a look.

Why not start by saying you’ve just joined twitter and are looking forward to interacting with writers, readers…etc? That way when people visit your profile they don’t just think you’re a spammer and can see that you’re just starting out. (*A word on spammers… don’t automatically click links if someone sends you a tweet or message, it could be a virus or blatant advertising. Only click links from people you trust. Also, you don’t have to follow back everyone that follows you. Follow those you want to interact with, keep updated with, or learn from.)

Other tweet ideas:

  • what you’re working on
  • something good that happened to you today
  • link to an interesting article (twitter automatically shortens links so they can fit into the tweet)
  • share a blog post you’ve written
  • recommend a great book you’ve read
  • ask questions – eg: what books have you enjoyed recently?, what are you writing at the moment?…etc

Many tweets are actually replies to other tweets. See ‘mentions’ below…

 

>Hashtags:

You can also add a ‘hashtag’ to a tweet. This is a word or phrase starting with the hash symbol #. This will add a hyperlink that people can click on, which will take them to a page containing all the tweets that have also added that particular hashtag. It’s a great way to communicate with people about a particular topic, and is also a way to find new people to follow that share your interests.

For writers, it can help with promoting your work. For example, if you write chick lit and add #chicklit to a tweet, people searching for that hashtag can find your tweet. You can also find other writers by using the hashtags #amwriting, #writing #amediting #writetip #pubtip to name a few.

 

>Mentions:

When you reply to a tweet, you are ‘mentioning’ someone. This means their twitter handle will be included along with your reply, and they will get notified that you mentioned them, so they may continue the conversation if they wish. You can also just mention someone outright, without replying to a tweet. To do this, include the person’s twitter handle in your tweet. You can mention anyone, even if they’re not following you (including celebrities), but be careful not to annoy anyone by over-mentioning them!

 

>Retweets:

jkIf you come across a tweet you particularly like, you can retweet it by clicking ‘retweet’ when you hover your cursor over the tweet. This means you are sharing this tweet with your own followers. People often appreciate retweets, because it means their message is getting seen by more people, and don’t be surprised if you get a thank you tweet in response. Be careful not to ‘over retweet’ though. If your tweets are mostly retweets, people will tend to unfollow you because you yourself are not interacting, just using other people’s tweets as your own.

 

>Favorites:

jmAnother thing to do if you see a tweet you like, or if you come across a tweet you want to remember for later, is to click on ‘favorite’, which is next to the retweet option. This will save the tweet to a list of favorites which you can access by clicking on your profile page. The person’s tweet you are favoriting will also be notified. Favorites can be seen as the equivalent of the ‘like’ option on Facebook – a way of acknowledging something without replying to it.

 

>Direct Messages:

The envelope icon on your profile page allows you to send private messages to people, but only if they also follow you. Don’t use this to promote your books, it will be considered spam. Use it when you want a more private discussion with someone you’ve been interacting with, or to pass on email addresses for further communication…etc.

 

>Twitter Rules for Authors:

  • Interaction is your first priority, promotion is your second. There’s a reason it’s called social media.
  • Don’t overuse it – allocate time to spend on twitter, otherwise hours can pass, and the tweet stream never ends!! Twitter is going 24/7.
  • If you’ve enjoyed a book, mention the author and tell them. What goes around comes around.
  • Don’t use it as your only form of promotion. Twitter is only one type of social media, and social media is only one part of a marketing campaign.
  • Use smiley faces and winks to show that you’re being lighthearted or joking. It can be hard to tell the emotional context behind written words without body language to give us cues, and the last thing you want is to unknowingly upset someone when you didn’t mean to. 🙂 😉
  • If someone compliments you or your books, thank them by favoriting the tweet, retweeting, or replying. Favoriting only takes a second, and lets them know you appreciate it.
  • Be consistent. The tweet stream flows quickly, and you get the most out of twitter when you use it regularly, rather than just a couple of tweets every couple of weeks or so. There are programs available that allow you to schedule tweets in advance, such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, but I won’t discuss them here today, however, feel free to Google them if you’re looking for that type of feature to add to your twitter account.

 

>If Twitter seems daunting for you, just follow these 3 Quick Start Tips:

1. Sign up

2. Follow people

3. Reply to tweets, retweet tweets, and favorite tweets.

You’ll progress naturally as you get more followers and get used to using it.

 

>Benefits I’ve received from twitter:

  • heard about great books
  • had people tell me they bought my book after hearing about it on twitter
  • won books
  • scored free theatre tickets (see below pic!)
  • made new writing friends
  • found out about pitch competitions and publishing opportunities
  • learned to be concise!
  • participated in agent/editor chats and learned helpful info
  • discovered interesting & useful articles
  • had fun!
Me at The Addams Family musical in Sydney, after scoring two free tickets via Twitter.

Me at The Addams Family musical in Sydney, after scoring two free tickets via Twitter.

See you on twitter! You can follow me here. 😉

 

If you’ve enjoyed this article, why not tweet about it? Here are some suggested tweets you can simply copy & paste into a tweet:

Twitter Basics for Authors via @Juliet_Madison: http://wp.me/p1jJti-hQ #twitter #authors

Confused about twitter? Easy, simple tips here via @Juliet_Madison: http://wp.me/p1jJti-hQ

Are you an author? Learn how to make the most of Twitter  @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-hQ

How To Use Twitter Effectively, tips for #authors: http://wp.me/p1jJti-hQ @Juliet_Madison

Juliet Madison is a naturopath-turned-author with experience and training in running both an online and offline business. She won Marketer of the Year in 2008 in her industry, and enjoys educating others on ways to maximise their marketing.

Free Critiques over long weekend!

Attention writers! Fancy a free, fast, five-page critique of your work? The first ten people to buy or gift a copy of FAST FORWARD and forward their receipt to me will get one!

snoopydarkandstormynightI’ll critique five standard pages (word document, 12 point font, double spaced) of anything fiction-related you’d like feedback on: the first five pages of your manuscript, a synopsis, back cover blurbs, or a brief synopsis and a few pages of a chapter – whatever you can fit into five pages in total. Any genre.

 

Here’s how to score a critique:

1. Buy FAST FORWARD anytime from now till the 10th June (Queen’s Birthday long weekend), or if you’ve already got it you can gift a copy to a friend.

2. Send your receipt or a screenshot of your proof of purchase to me at fastforwardbook(at)gmail(dot)com – replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .

Receipt should be dated 8th, 9th, or 10th June, or if you’re international and not yet up to Australian time and it’s still the 7th, I’ll accept that too. Basically, from the moment this blog post is live you’re eligible.

If you’re one of the first ten, I’ll let you know and you can send me your five pages.

Easy! 🙂

The critique will be via Microsoft word ‘track changes’ (comments in the side margins and some suggestions within the manuscript), and will include general feedback on the story as well as grammar, showing vs telling, dialogue…etc. It may also include the odd smiley face and exclamation mark. You have been warned. 😉

You can keep updated on the contest by following me on twitter or facebook.

 

Get in quick! Buy FAST FORWARD worldwide via…

Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes/iBookstore, Kobo, Google Play, B&N/Nook, JB Hi-Fi.

Then forward your receipt to fastforwardbook(at)gmail(dot)com

 

I look forward to reading your work!

~ Tweet this post by copying and pasting any of the following into a tweet:

Want a 5 page critique? Get in quick at @Juliet_Madison’s blog! http://bit.ly/ZxQmp8  #critique #amwriting

Writers! 5 Page critique of synopsis &/or manuscript to first 10 people! Details here via @Juliet_Madison: http://bit.ly/ZxQmp8