Friday, August 16, 2019

Finding Inspiration and Motivation

MY CRAZY UNPRODUCTIVE MONTH


Sometimes I have to re-read my books in order to get a grasp on where I was when I last wrote in my fictional world.

This last month I've been promoting my non-fiction book. Although, it's been great, a labor of love, it's not my most fun experience in writing. I really enjoy writing fiction as I can be so creative and just get lost in a new world while experiencing that world through different characters.

Sadly, I didn't get much written and I have a personal schedule of three months to write the next book in the series.

WHAT I HAVE DONE THAT GOT ME OFF TRACK WITH WRITING

Marketing and promotion. It's a lot of work. In my case it paid off with this happening! I can't believe it, I got to #3 on their Hot New Release list.


Hiring assistants to help me do some of this didn't work out too well for me. I literally hired and had to end three assistants until I decided to hire people I knew did certain things well and then do the rest myself.

Then parenting, family and job jumped in my way. Oh my!

Now, even though all of those distractions were beating me down, my characters and story just keeps churning in my head.

MY GOALS FOR THE REST of THE MONTH

To finish one last course that goes with my non-fiction. Then to jump back into my fiction story, Scepter of Fire which is the 2nd book in my The Vigilant Series and I am only 5% done, sigh, but I will get back on track.

IN OTHER GOOD NEWS

My daughter treated me to a GIRLS TRIP! Woot!! It was so much fun, I relaxed, we toured the place, and even went to a dance club (where I was in the corner reading while my daughter danced). Today, it seems guys like to watch the many girls dance alone on the dance floor or dance while watching them. This generation has some communication differences than mine did. Oh well, I consider it good research and had a great time. 




Monday, August 5, 2019

BUILDING A PLATFORM FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS


I have started many small micro-businesses. I even consulted a few people. It’s hard starting from scratch, but with proper planning and the power of social media you can go from a nobody to a somebody really quick. There are some quick start tips, but the truth is, for momentum, you have to put out the feelers and the foundation for your online exposure early.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PERSONAL VS BUSINESS
I advise setting up two different social media accounts. Setting up a media account for your business, with your business name, logo, and professional photo on all social media platforms. Once you set up your accounts, use tools like IFTTT (If this, then that) to make each post to your social media platforms count. This tool will take a blog post and replicate it to post on twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. Also, use tools like Hoot suite or Socialoomph to do the same.

Creating a blog and posting to it weekly gives you content you can push to all your other social media platforms to create an ever running presence.

GETTING EXPOSURE FOR YOUR NEW PLATFORM
In order to boost your presence you need to start collaborating with other likeminded businesses, people, and prospects. The easiest places to find them is on Quora, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, other Blogs. You can set up a collaborative blog hop with other bloggers or twitter chat with other businesses. Usually, it just takes asking the question and you will be surprised with how much people will help you for free.

Other options is to purchase exposure or trade it. If you have a newsletter, then you can request someone swap information in their newsletter for yours. Both of you get exposure. Collaboration with others is the best form of exposure. It’s like an unwritten word of mouth.

WRITE ARTICLES AND SHARE YOUR BLOG POST
There are services for media calls like HARO. You can also post it on other open sites like Medium, Reddit, LinkedIn Articles and ask other bloggers to post.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS IN PRESS RELEASES
Every stride your business makes, share the news through press releases. There are many free press release sites to use and doing so gets your name and your business name out there to a different set of readers. You can pay to have your press released shared to newspapers and magazines, just don’t make the message too sales focused, and more about sharing of information or ways your business is helping the community.

ADVERTISE FOR FREE and BUY ADS
After you have your social media sites set up, and you have a working and chiming feed of information from your random post and your blog post, start to purchase ads. By this time you should know your audience and have somewhere that is filled with information and others of like mind to interact with through your channels. Budget and test your ads before you pour your money and efforts in other areas.

First, go for the free options such as sharing videos, webinars, and promos on your blog, Facebook page, website, and some of your collaborators blogs. Take your videos and post that are doing well on Facebook as a boost, then create an ad based on your findings. After you have utilized the free exposure, then consider google ads, Facebook ads, optimization of your website and promo wherever your content resides. Then consider buying ads where your product is sold.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Tip of The Mountain - Author Roundup


That's the face of a tired yet eager author

My monthly wrap up comes with me doing the one thing that I have to make myself stop - taking on a bit more than I can chew.

This past month I've been scrambling through hiring of two virtual assistants that weren't able to perform duties as assigned, then interviewing three additional ones only to decide to break the task I had planned for them to do up into pieces and attempt to do it myself - again.

How did that end up for me? Total chaos! Yet, in spite of that, my non-fiction book is starting to take on a bit of buzz magic and have hit the top 20 on Amazon's Best Seller's in its category at least 3 times in June.


This is the baby that caused such a stir birthing!
It's now on sale and the print copies are published

This is one book I am considering and researching doing in audio book. Although, I am thinking it will have to wait until later this year or next year.

Should I do the voice? Read it? OR >>>> Should I hire someone? What would you prefer?

With the book marketing planning being done, my overbooking didn't stop there. I started to do my edits, sent to proof-reader, and still have some minor fixes to add.

Since I don't have a Virtual Assistant that felt comfortable rounding up book reviewers, I did that myself also. I thought getting about twenty people would be great, well over three hundred inquired!

This is the course I just finished this month.

I finished uploading the modules for the course and it took a lot of late nights. Literally, I had to wait until everyone was out of the house or sleep. That meant going to bed at midnight to attempt to finish at least two modules a night.

Ah! The life of a business owner.

And guess what? I love it!


Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Struggle of Writing Two Genres At Same Time


Yep, the struggle between writing my Non-Fiction Books and my Fiction is real

SPLIT PERSONALITY

It's hard to create the platform for your Non-Fiction books when you have a long standing as a fiction author. Your current readers are not likely to be interested in your non-fiction books. 

Trying to decide to create two separate platforms is daunting. I must say I already have 3 distinct blogs, Facebook pages, and websites - but I draw the line at twitter and Instagram. It's just not manageable to me to have so many social media accounts for my works.

MY COURSES I AM CREATING TOO!

I have lost my mind. Yes, and I have to have these done by August, or else I won't be able to start writing the two books to kick off my 2020 release schedule.




MY LOVE OF WRITING FICTION

Fiction is the expression of my imagination. It's my therapy, my vacation, my passion. I simply love writing it. However, to get my non-fiction done, I have to force myself to put off my fiction writing in order to meet my non-fiction obligations (books, courses, articles, blog post, press releases - and my work of technical documents for my day job - oh my!)

I've gotten off to a good start with the outline being finished. I've even started writing when I've checked off all the items on my list for my non-fiction.

HOW TO FIND MARKETING TIME FOR NON-FICTION

This is my biggest obstacle. Ugh! I already have a well oiled machine for fiction, but have been struggling with this non-fiction platform.


I'VE BEEN UP TO A lot..

This month I've been editing my Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Kids and creating the Free mini-course (just released - softly), and trying to find someone to coordinate my blog tour for it. Interviewing Virtual Assistants (one fell through unfortunately she was awesome, so I know anyone else will be just okay). 

My fiction writing I was able to sneak in about 4209 words between editing and creating course content. Attended a graduation, closed homeschool for my son that is still homeschooling. Worked my day job (which gives me great material for my fiction books by the way.)

And the beat goes on.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Meet the Unbreakable Darkness Characters

We ARE all SO COMPLICATED
RELEASE DAY is TODAY!

Here's the character intros for the Unbreakable Darkness (1.5) novella in The Vigilant Series. Reading Insatiable Darkness (Book 0.5)  and Caged Fire (Book 1) will give you a full perspective of those in the series.

Do you want to be part of my PATREON group that will get Freebies not offered on any other platform? Join PATREON membership here: CLICK HERE






Don't be afraid to enter THE VIGILANT series



Friday, April 19, 2019

The Writer's Life


As an author, it seems as though writing is your passion and obsession. This year I have been overbooked and extremely aggressive with my writing goals. All that, despite working another job and homeschooling my son.

So, monthly, I want to start sharing how the magic happens. Did I mention I gave up coffee? Help me. It's insane, but I am managing without it.

The month of April:

Writing: I am writing Scepter of Fire and it's a bit slow moving. I finished the outline, but find that some aspects are changing as I get into the character. I'm only about 2380 words in, so we will see how it goes.

Editing: My non-fiction book on Homeschooling while working full-time is now in editing mode. My editor tore it to pieces and for good reason. I rushed when doing my personal edits to it and it's just not as clean as other work.

Marketing: Newsletter Swaps, Blog Tour, Promo Ads in reading groups isn't even scratching the surface of what I had initially planned to do. However, what I did worked by spiking two of my books to top 10 of Amazon's best seller's list. I have some Facebook Takeover's coming up too!

Other Projects: I am working on some courses to accompany my non-fiction books. Outlining, video-taping them and promoting them is daunting, but I will do it. Marketing for this is a challenge since I have to build a mailing list and followers for a new book and the courses.

Overall, this year I got more accomplished than I thought possible.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

SPRING BREAK GIVEAWAY Sponsored by Caged Fire


This Fair Has 2 Types of Daily Giveaways

These are pretty much what you expect. List of 10 questions about the books in the fair each day. Visitors must click the buy links on the books in the fair and read the book blurbs to find the answers. Prizes will be $10-$15 gift cards. Giveaways run 24 hours from midnight to midnight U.S. Mountain Time.

 KU subscribers who don’t
have to pay for books, but this fair still has a lot to offer for visitors who buy their
books. Each day a randomly picked book in the fair and give away copies via
Amazon instant giveaway. To play, visitors must click on the buy links in the fair
until they find one that leads directly to an Amazon instant giveaway.

To Participate - CLICK HERE!
And Good Luck
Sponsored by Caged Fire (on sale $1.99)


Saturday, March 30, 2019

YASH SPRING SCAVENGER HUNT! Starts April 2nd

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck and me, LM Preston as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!



Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM --but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN TEAM, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Ends April 7th, 2019, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

Today, I am hosting JENNIFER BRODY on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! 


Jennifer Brody's award-winning novel "The 13th Continuum" sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. The book is a Gold Medal Winner (Young Adult - Sci-Fi/Fantasy) from the Independent Publisher's Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. "Return of the Continuums" and "The United Continuums" complete this epic trilogy. She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad in Los Angeles, and a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media group for authors. She lives and writes in LA.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here! 

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT





Some Exclusive Updates from Author JENNIFER BRODY 

Hey YASH’ers! I’m thrilled to share the hot off the presses announcement of my new book deal here for the hunt. I’ve sold not one, but two original graphic novels! Not only that, but they sold in a 6-book deal to Turner Publishing. That means, each graphic novel will be built into a trilogy. They’re both high concept science fiction and should appeal to fans of my Continuum Trilogy (featured here), as well as science fiction and comic book lovers alike.

From Publisher’s Marketplace:

THE CONTINUUMS TRILOGY author Jen Brody's SPECTRE DEEP 6, pitched as in the vein of Flatliners meets The Bourne Identity, a diverse team of black ops "Spectres" - elite soldiers who died in the line of duty only to be reanimated by military scientists and brought back as actual ghosts - carry out illicit missions for the United States government in exchange for day passes to haunt their old lives and fulfill their unfinished business, and 200, about a world where people live to be immortal, but only if they pass a test on their 200th birthday - if they fail, they are euthanized, illustrated by Jules Rivera, to Stephanie Beard at Turner Publishing, by Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider/ICM (world).

My amazing artist Jules Rivera and I broke these stories out and built them into graphic novels. Spectre Deep 6 came from an original idea, while 200 is adapted from a short story that I wrote as my love letter to Philip K. Dick and science fiction like Total Recall and Minority Report. I’m especially excited because I’ve always wanted to work in the medium of comics and graphic novels. I’m a huge fan, but I also wanted to tell some original stories using them.


For my exclusive content, I can reveal that Spectre Deep 6 will publish in Feb. 2020, while 200 will publish in Fall 2020. The next books will then publish every 6 months. Follow me on social media or sign up for my mailing list for exclusive info on my new graphic novels, including cover reveals and character design art. Many fun bookish things coming up in the next year! 




BACK TO THE SCAVENGER HUNT
And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, LM Preston, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 6. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GREEN TEAM and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


This HUNT stop Sponsored by LM PRESTON's Visitors for UNBREAKABLE DARKNESS
See Excerpt Here
On Sale 99cents and Free on KU





CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! LEA NOLAN HERE 
and show us some love by 



Friday, March 29, 2019

Is Patreon A Way To Up Your Author Game?

I am creating two Patreon accounts. Yep, I'm diving in. Don't have much an idea of what I am doing yet, but I have a month to figure it all out.

FIRST SUGGESTED

By my daughter who apparently follows several authors, artist and content providers on Patreon and pays a monthly subscription for premium product releases monthly.

WHAT CAUSED MY IMMEDIATE NEED TO JOIN

Well Patreon is changing things up. They are no longer letting you join for free and get all the benefits at a premium as of May 1st 2019.

So, WHAT I'M OFFERING PATREON Fans

They will have the ability to support each new series and receive welcome gifts, character content only seen on the Patreon accounts, giveaways and monthly gifts specific to releases.

JOIN MY PATREON here: CLICK

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Unbreakable Darkness Excerpt Pre-Release Blitz


Book 1.5 in the Vigilant Series

“Well, I hate to do this, but I am willing to let him go, with no charges if you can convince him to be an informant for me.”
“Excuse me?” Dex’s father responded, irritated.
“I know why you are here. Also, who you are working with and you are playing a dangerous game. I will stay out of that, but, your son is in the position to shed some light on this case and help your cause. There is something going on with the sports teams at that school. Kids going missing at the top of their prime, it’s frustrating we don’t know why.”
“I understand, but why would I put my son in danger to get you your answers?”
“Because it may help you get the answers you seek…for The Vigilant,” Detective Whalen whispered when he mentioned the last word.
“I’m not doing that. Would you put your kid in that kind of danger?”
“I’ve tried, but my son wasn’t good enough to be recruited by the elite on the team. He’s into other things, playing the guitar in a band. The Soul warriors have to be selected, it’s a process. Your son, he’s got what they are looking for, he’s strong, a bit impulsive, a fighter and not a detective’s son.”
Dex almost didn’t catch it, but had leaned in to hear every bit of their conversation.
“How about this, you put things in motion, my son doesn’t know he may be exposed to the information you seek. Let things play out, then if you need to question him, I’ll make sure he’s available for that.”
There was a pause of silence, “That’s fair and a good approach. The less he knows, the more likely he will be exposed too. You’ve got a deal.”
“And detective, don’t ever mention The Vigilant in my presence again. You can get my family and I killed if you do, and I fought too damned hard to be able to live to risk someone putting me and mine in danger.”
“Understood.”
Dex heard a slapping of hands and supposed they were shaking hands.
“Now, detective, can I see my son?”



Free on KU and 99cents PRE-ORDER


Friday, March 1, 2019

My Non-Fiction is making Quiet Ripples

My Non-Fiction Book Is Quietly Making Itself Known


I wrote this book due to many friends, family and acquaintances asking me how did I come from such challenging beginnings to have a positive spirit and never give up attitude, and well, I realized I wanted to write down how I did it. I wanted to share it with my kids, my friends and anyone that just needed a push in a positive direction.

Building Your Empowered Steps was a labor of love. There will be more non-fiction books from me like this. 

So if you just need a mentor, someone to walk you through how to change your perspective, pick up BUILDING YOUR EMPOWERED STEPS.

www.EmpoweredSteps.com

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fantasy Giveways! Don't miss out

Multi - Author Giveaways!

I love them. They are a great way to get new readers and to collaborate and learn from other authors.
Do you love them? Hate them? Or seek them?

I personally feel it has helped me become a better author, marketeer and be able to give my readers and followers something of value. Like a pleasant surprise and partnership. It is also a way to see what your readers are interested in reading and supporting.

☆ ҉ ☆ 🎉 🎈 SCI FI FANTASY GIVEAWAY #1🎈 🎉 ☆ ҉ ☆
COLLABORATIVE GIVEAWAY ~ Join the fun here!





☆ ҉ ☆ 🎉 🎈 FANTASY GIVEAWAY #1🎈 🎉 ☆ ҉ ☆
COLLABORATIVE GIVEAWAY ~ Join the fun here!