What’s next after the words are on the page?

My guest today is Jason Matthews, an author of the novels, The Little Universe and Jim's Life. He's also the author of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free, How to Make Your Own Free Website and Get On Google Front Page. I met Jason on Google+ where he generously promoted my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I'm glad to have the opportunity to finally return the favor. Jason has worked with thousands of indies to build author platforms, expand social media, learn to blog, make websites and sell ebooks. Here are his thoughts about writing, why he writes, and what comes after the writing is finished. What's Next? by Jason Matthews Your words are on the pages. The cover brings a smile. It’s published as an ebook at all the major retailers and available as paperback. It’s selling some. Congratulations. How does it feel? I don’t know much about postpartum depression, but it feels like publishing a book that’s taken a year or several to produce might be the closest … [Read more...]

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Seth Godin – master blogger

I read Seth Godin’s blog everyday. He writes about writing, publishing, marketing, and how ideas are spread. I always find something in his words that I can relate to, and often post a link to his blog on my Facebook timeline. Today, I’m going to share a couple examples, of course giving him full credit and including a link to where I found these posts. For instance, on July 2, 2014, he wrote: It's called self esteem What other people think of you is called "other-people esteem." That's a different thing altogether. If it's better to think well of yourself, then by all means, go ahead. No need to wait for us to do it for you. Without a doubt, uncaring people can tear you down and make this more difficult, but at some point, you can make a choice. Self esteem is something that is done to children, but for adults, it becomes a choice. It's up to you. And this morning he wrote: Burning bridges In action movies, the hero doesn't mind destroying the aircraft, road or bridge he just … [Read more...]

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Even Facebook can be comforting

Since going through a disturbing and hurtful incident in my life, I've begun to amass some sayings that resonate with me. It's amazing how Facebook is a conduit for such comforting and applicable words. It must mean that I'm not alone, and I treasure that. Here's  a few - in no particular order. I'll keep collecting and post more another time.       … [Read more...]

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The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference is this weekend

This coming Friday and Saturday, June 27 and 28, I’ll be moderating two panels at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference. According to its program materials: “West Coast Writers Conferences presents a full weekend of panels, workshops and presentations by educators, noted speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing. “This conference differentiates itself by presenting individual program streams for (what we call the 3-A’s) Aspiring,Active, and Accomplished writers. Topics are offered in progressive streams, so you are immersed all weekend in an exciting and educational environment. You chose your level of participation and areas of interest, and may crossover to other levels at any time. Speakers and panelists are selected based on who is best suited to the curriculum, so you get the most informed workshops and presentations. Along with some perennial favorites, we are pleased to include important new voices and industry experts.” … [Read more...]

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Introducing social media expert, Frances Caballo

Knowing our way around the social media is absolutely necessary to all authors. I’ve spent a lot of time on my computer socializing and marketing with my virtual friends and networks – probably much more than I can afford to do and still call myself a writer. As such I’m so pleased to introduce social media expert, Frances Caballo, and her new book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers Who Want to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write. WOW – Women on Writing launched Frances Caballo’s blog tour on April 7. How great to have her here on Choices for her last tour stop. Please go to http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/search?updated-max=2014-04-09T00:00:00-07:00&max-results=7&start=14&by-date=false to read WOW’s Renee Roberson’s interview with Frances and for a list of her previous blog tour stops. Any information you can glean from Frances’ social media expertise is well worth your time. Today Frances talks about Twitter. Thank … [Read more...]

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7 awards in one – paying it forward

I am thrilled and  honored to be nominated by author and blogger Kathy Pooler for the 7-in-1 Award—a collection of seven shiny awards all rolled in one. About Kathy: Kathy retired as a  family nurse practitioner  in 2011 after forty-four years as a registered nurse. She and her  husband, Wayne have a blended family of six children, ten grandsons, ages 5-24, and a Golden Retriever, Max. They live on the 135-acre land that used to be Wayne’s grandfather’s dairy farm  where he grows organic vegetables. Life is good. Kathy's goal for 2014 is to publish her first memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: A Memoir About Choices and to complete my second memoir, Hope Matters: A Memoir of Faith. Thank you so much Kathy for nominating me for the 7-in-1 blog award (and thank you for allowing me to use some of your words here). Now it's my turn to nominate some of my favorite blogs for the award as well. First things first: Here are the rules for the 7-in-1 awards: Display the logo on your b … [Read more...]

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Cate Russell-Cole’s advice about Facebook fan pages

There's been a discussion on Facebook in the last couple of days about the benefits or lack of benefits of getting more likes on our fan pages. Also, people are asking if they should pay Facebook for fan page advertising. I've found little benefit in the number of likes my page has and I found absolutely no benefit in paying Facebook to advertise my page. I am a proponent of doing the hard social networking work myself to get my book and me known. Cate Russell-Cole who was my guest on Choices this week just shared her thoughts on this subject. Cate is always finding ways to help her author colleagues out. Here are her wise words on the subject of fan pages.   Help to Solve Your Facebook Fan Page Problems Posted on February 14, 2014 by Cate Russell-Cole I used to advertise on Facebook: until they bought in timeline. Then the value I gained from my community building attempts died a cruel death. Everyone with a Page is now in the same boat: unless we throw in more and … [Read more...]

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What more can we do to boost book sales?

Right at the start of the year I received an email from my Dream of Things publisher to tell me he had scheduled some advertising for Leaving the Hall Light On since January is typically a big month for eBook sales. I was elated to have this great opportunity. Here’s the list of advertising events he set up. Kindle Book Review - three posts on their Facebook page on January 2, 3 and 4, and tweets about Leaving the Hall Light On ten times in the month of January. World Literary Cafe – Leaving the Hall Light On featured as "Today's Hot Title" on their website on Jan 4, 5 or 12 (exact date TBD) – it occurred on January 2. Indie Author News – Leaving the Hall Light On their "Book of the Day" on January 6. Digital Book Today - Leaving the Hall Light On their "Book of the Day" on January 7. Indies Unlimited - will do an article on Dream of Things memoirs and anthologies (including Leaving the Hall Light On), date TBD. (hasn’t appeared yet) Kindle Books and Tips - will do a sp … [Read more...]

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My six-year old website has a new look

In case you’ve wondered where I’ve been, I’m happy to say I’m back to blogging with a whole new look and a new blog host site. I’ve moved, thanks to a wonderful web master and domain host, from Blogspot to WordPress. I felt after six years it was time for a change. Plus I’ve heard from my many blogging friends that WordPress will much better serve my needs. Come back in a few months and I’ll let you know if I find that to be true. Right now I’m knee-deep in questions and problems. First of all I have no idea how to even post this. It’s like going back to Square One. But I’ve found, via my trusty friend Google, a WordPress support document called: First Steps with WordPress. If it successfully helps me post this, you’ll know I learned something. If not, well, what can I say? Then I have to learn how to edit. When my archives from Blogspot got transferred over, most of my careful formatting went by the wayside. Line spacing is all over the place and the text is no longer wrapped ar … [Read more...]

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Twitter at its best

I’ve been listening to Scott Simon’s distinctive voice on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” for years. After reading this article I know he also has a distinctive, elegant, and loving voice via Twitter. For those of us who haven’t yet found a way to take full advantage of Twitter, read Simon’s tweets about the last days of his mother’s life. After reading them myself, I had to share this article with you. Here’s the link if you want to read the entire Los Angeles Times article. You can also listen to Simon's words on the NPR site.   latimes.com NPR's Scott Simon: A vigil for his dying mother, tweeted with love By Matt Pearce This post has been updated, as indicated below. 6:18 PM PDT, July 29, 2013 Scott Simon, a radio host for NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” gave his mother, Patricia Simon Newman Gilband, a very public farewell. Gilband appeared with her son on NPR in 2008, when the pair bantered as she shared stories from her life in Chicago. “Well, I think the thing I have l … [Read more...]

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So what’s the bottom line on the conferences?

Just a few observations after my panel appearances at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference on Tuesday, June 11 and at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15. Venues: Santa Barbara was much more upscale. It was held at a lovely hotel that overlooks the beach. GLA was obviously done on a budget at LA Valley College. The meetings were held in classrooms instead of conference rooms. Linda Joy Myers, Marla Miller, me, Eleanor Vincent Panels: However, I think the panels went well for both. In Santa Barbara I was a panel member discussing building a platform with a master moderator, Marla Miller, presiding. At the GLA I moderated three panels: memoir, platform, and poetry. Excellent experts were on all panels so we had lively discussions and lots of questions from the audience. Since the poetry workshop was a roundtable everyone participated in a give and take discussion throughout. In the end I think we provided useful information with lots of … [Read more...]

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My WriteGirl poem

There’s still time to buy a poem for as little as $5.00 and support WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring organization for teen girls. With only twenty-three days to go in this first campaign, WriteGirl wants to reach a goal of $30,000 to continue to offer writing mentors and creative writing workshops for more than 300 girls next season (October 2012 and June 2014). So far $6,635 has been raised. For my $5.00 contribution to the WriteGirl Poetry Drive, I received a short poem written by Guadalupe, a 15-year old WriteGirl teen. ONE OF MANY A blissful feeling of belonging A passage of time Forever captured in my mind Only a few to witness Not only the ride, But the love All forgot But I remembered I think it’s lovely and well worth the $5.00 contribution. Don’t you? If so, I hope you’ll contribute and receive your own poem. Here’s the link again http://www.indiegogo.com/WriteGirl-POETRY-Drive You can also find this campaign on Facebookand Twitter. So … [Read more...]

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If you Like me, what’s the point?

My memoir book cover photo by Madison Poulter There is a thread going on, on LinkedIn that goes like this: I’ll like your fan page and Amazon book page if you like mine. So I’ve been responding to a lot of those requests, and now I'm up over twenty-five new likes in just the last week. But, I wonder what’s the point? Do these new likes translate into book sales? So far, I don’t think so. A few people that I've met through my social networks have said my book is on their list, but I haven’t seen a bump in my Amazon rankings as a result. So with all this social media networking – over 900 Facebook friends, over 400 Facebook fans, almost 250 LinkedIn connections, and a constantly growing list of Twitter followers, I wonder where it is all getting me. And I find that keeping up all the connections is a lot of work. Okay, I won’t be so down about it all. I’m only into this marketing game about six months. I’ve got to give it more time. Plus the fact that my book is a hard sell – li … [Read more...]

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Pre-release jitters

As the days get closer to the release of my memoir, I seem to be getting more and more anxious. Though I got my first endorsement yesterday from one of the reviewers and it was absolutely terrific, I keep thinking what facts did I get wrong, what people did I offend by writing too much or too little about them, and how will I be able to handle the books signings and interviews that will surely be on my calendar in the weeks after its release. I wonder if these are common thoughts for authors – especially of memoir. I took a class a while back from Maureen Murdock who calls memoir “unreliable truth” – that it, it is my truth versus anyone elses. For instance my husband has been reading a review copy and he is sure that the snowstorm that I write about didn’t happen in New York City when I say it happened. Well, I definitely stand by my memory, but it makes me wonder how many other things will he think I’m just flat-out wrong about. Besides having these about-to-be-released jitters I h … [Read more...]

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Do Facebook ads help create fans?

A couple of weeks ago my Facebook author page was having a slump in fan attention, and I thought the best way to reve up interest was to buy an ad. Facebook is always pushing their ad prowess, so I thought why not give it a try. I started out with a budget of $250. But, after a couple of days of seeing hardly any action, I cut it to $150. After a week I slashed the budget to $50, and I don't even think that is worth it. For fifty-two clicks and one fan I've paid over $30 so far. But I'll stick with this amount and then quietly leave the Facebook ad arena when the money runs out. Perhaps I don’t know enough about steering the ads to the appropriate folks, but I thought that’s what Facebook was there to do for me. What else would I be paying them for? So for all this money, what I'm left with is a huge negative feeling about Facebook ads. Right now I just don't get the point. … [Read more...]

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Beware of the Send button

Within seconds of clicking the Send button I regretted it. Even though I had mulled over what I would respond to a friend's email for over a week, even though I had had a sleepless night about it the night before, even though I went over and over my words carefully, I was sorry after I sent my response. Hopefully I'll have a chance to make amends with time, but I can never erase those words that are forever out there in cyberspace. This age of immediate communication is so different from the time when I wrote letters. Then, I'd actually write out the words by hand, reading and rereading as I wrote. Then I'd address the envelope, put a stamp on it, and take it to a nearby mailbox. All of this took time. All of this gave me time to think about what I was writing and whether it was appropriate to send. I also think the same goes for what I write on Facebook. In fact, I need to be even more careful there because so many more people have access to what I post. This blog post will … [Read more...]

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Kudos to Facebook

I must give huge kudos to Facebook and its networking ability. I received a friend request this week from someone whose name I didn’t recognize. This happens from time to time from authors I don’t recognize, but who are mutual friends with other authors I know. But, this request was different. I went to her page, saw who our mutual friends are, and immediately recognized her as the little granddaughter of my now-deceased brother and sister-in-law (my husband’s brother and his wife). We met her as a little girl while visiting them in Glendale New York many years ago -- I think 1998. She must have been about six or seven. But, that visit always stuck with me. She was so lovely and talkative. She sat next to me on the sofa in the living room, and we talked about her school and her home in upstate New York – her father, divorced from her mother lived with his mother in Glendale. He is now diseased as well. Another subject I’ll always remember is hair scunci’s. She had a pony tail and … [Read more...]

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Foam board and Facebook – my writer’s helpers

I finally found a material that will work to storyboard my book. Rather than Micore Board which is quite heavy, I took my publisher, Janice’s suggestion to check out foam board. And I found a product called FOME-COR that I can purchase within 30 minutes from my home. It’s light-weight, it doesn’t need to be painted, it’s the right height for me, and it’s much cheaper than Micore. I’m going to pick up 10 4x6 foot boards tomorrow that cost $10.25 a piece. Picking it up myself will also save me $50. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Besides my book work I’ve also been busily trying to drum up interest in my book by using Facebook and Twitter. One of my activities has been inviting my Facebook friends to become fans of my Madeline Sharples author page where I post about my book revision progress, my writing tips, writing tips and quotes from other authors, and any other material that’s relevant to getting my book to my publisher on time and in great shape. Plus, I want to make sure I h … [Read more...]

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Retirement day one

I’ve been officially retired for one day now. The party yesterday and all the Facebook congratulations have been overwhelming. I’ve also gotten a lot of teasing about retiring for the second time. So, I need to set the record straight on that. Returning to Northrop Grumman 7-1/2 years ago as a full-time employee after being retired for 7-1/2 years really helped save my life. I had been working all along – sometimes from home and otherwise traveling great distances by car to do my fundraising job. The work was sporadic and all that driving was hard. Plus it didn’t give me enough social interaction to keep my mind off the suicide death of my oldest son. I needed full immersion and going back to working proposals full time provided that. I had to get up at a certain time everyday, I had to shower and dress in business attire everyday rather than lolligag is PJs, and I had the opportunity to work with lots of people. Also, the job itself left me no time to wallow in my grief. From the … [Read more...]

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Another tweet for Paul

140 Only one more day and it will be ten years since we found him and knew we would never hug him, kiss him or have to worry about him ever again. … [Read more...]

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