Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Explorer X-Beta Release Party

I'm so excited to announce the details about the star studded guest that will be running the party at
LM Preston's 
Explorer X-Beta 
Facebook Release Party!

Here's the PARTEE!!!! Be in on the buzz:

Spotlight Author Guest Hosts Keeping the Party Rolling will be:

LM Preston to kick it off - Yours Truly

12pm-1pm (EST) - LM Preston party kickoff

1pm-2pm - Willow Cross

2pm-3pm - Leah Diane Hutchinson

3pm-4pm - C. Lee McKenzie (NOON for those in CA! I need this to remind myself I'm not on eastern time.)

4pm-5pm - Norwood Holland

6pm-7pm - Alivia Anders

7pm-8pm - Alicia 'Kat' Dilman

8pm-9pm -KaSonndra Leigh

9pm-10pm - Kristi M Worrell

10pm-11pm - Shevi Arnold

The Party Rundown!

11 hour marathon of Spotlight Authors, trivia games, food, itunes gift cards, list of freebie party favors, interactive chatting, singing, dancing, nonstop games, music, prizes and free stuff!! Author segments each hour that are themed and more giveaways!!!

Also having a Twitter release party on Tuesday April 3th, sponsored by #AAMBCBookParty so follow that hashtag on 4/3 if you want to party more :-D

Virtual Tour Schedule for Explorer X-Beta More Prizes More Fun:

April 8th: Mariah @ A Readers Adventure
April 8th: The Plot Thickens
9th: Angie @ My Four Monkeys
10th: Glenda @ Book Reader's Heaven
11th: Krystal @ Live To Read
12th: Nicole @ Purple Peguin Reviews
13th: Shelia @ Shelia Deeth
14th: Luke @ Luke Reviews
15th: Andrea @ So Many Books, So Little Time
16th: Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! (Guest Post Only)
17th: Dee @ Book Zone

LM Preston,YA SciFi Author
Tweet Me:

My Books
Explorer X - Alpha, The Pack, BANDITS
Read Excerpts: The Pack, Bandits, The Pack-Retribution, Explorer X-Beta

Writing stories for and about kids that overcome the impossible...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Moods-Determined . . . or maybe to be determined

Do It At The Right Time!
For the past few Mondays I've been focusing on the promoting side of this writing/publishing business. I keep finding all kinds of hints, studies and blog posts about what authors should know. If you're going to promote yourself as an author, you might as well do it when it's most effective, right? So to help my readers as I'm helping myself, here are some more tips.

 Shareaholic reported they found that:

  • If you post on Mondays and Thursdays your content goes further. 
  • Monday blog posts will pull in the most traffic. 
  • Thursday posts are shared more than others on social networks. 
  • If you post between 8:00 and 9:00AM Eastern time that's the best if you want to reach a large audience. 9:00PM Eastern time will also reach more people than at other times. 
If you're like me, the idea of promoting your books is overwhelming. When I first started, I didn't have a clue. Today I have a few clues.

Where to start and what to do has always been a huge question.

I guess the answer to #1 is to have a plan. Susan Kaye Quinn recently posted on this very topic, so I'll give you a link to her site. What's she's set out is very worthwhile for any author, self-published or not.

Book Signings are fun. You sell a few books. You meet booksellers.
As to other promotional activities that might be worth your time, here are a couple that I'm testing.

  • On Twitter I'm searching for conferences that host YA and MG writers. Then I'm jumping into the conversations to connect with the people who are there exchanging ideas. I've shared tweeted conversations with two editors and one agent just this month. I'm not sure how this will sell me or my books, but as in any advertising, I'm hoping for name recognition and maybe a few tidbits of wisdom.
  • I'm also looking into signing up for an author training program, starting March 29. It's called The Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Workshop. Here's the link. I am in no way connected with this program. I'm only considering taking the course to see if I can streamline my promotional activities.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge Count Down

The A to Z Blogging Challenge is a scant 9 days away, but there's a lot going on already. Take for example this winning video by Rachel Morgan

 This Challenge has the longest Linky I've ever seen! It terrifies me. But if you haven't joined, I'd say, "Why not?" Everyone else in the world has.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Moods-Confused

I think I've been in this mood several times since I started writing and publishing books. Confused must be a necessary part of this business.
Marketing people are saying you must BRAND yourself if you want to sell books. Authors either embrace this idea or they give it  the old ➥➥➥➥➥➥

So what is a Brand and how do you get yourself one of those, just in case you decide it's a worthwhile strategy.

It's been said before, but it needs restating: BE YOURSELF. You're unique and there's nobody else who can be YOU. Here are some writers I think have been very successful at creating their brand. I visit them a lot because I want to read what they write and share the time in their special place. I have others, but these have been on my "must visit" list a long time.

Bish Denham
Carrie Butler 
Lisa Gail Green
Old Kitty
Kelly Pollark
Lynn Kelly
Fairday Morrow

CREATE A CATEGORY OF ONE. (For this term I must credit Lethia Owens.)

This category is very different than a category that lumps you under a file that includes a lot of other writers. I love how Ms. Owens shows the difference. If you say you're a YA or MG author, the person will file you under YA/MG along with all the other writers s/he likes in that category. If you say you're the writer who captures the pulse of adolescent confusion in your book XXXXX.  You get a special file that's all your own. I like that.

I'm still looking for more about marketing, so hope you'll pop back next Monday. I'll try to have a few more tips. Oh, and please add to whatever I've said. I'd love a good collection Marketing Strategies.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Moods-Interested

One thing that has caught my interest in joining the A to Z Blogging Challenge is meeting all the new writers/bloggers.
Karen Jone, Coming Down the Mountain, has some super posts. Here's one of my favorites about MARKETING. She poses some great questions and the comments she received added so much information that I decided to post a link in case some you hadn't read her blog post.
I still consider myself a novice at this social media/marketing business, but I've been taking notes from people who seem to have experience and, most importantly, success.

Alex Cavanaugh's launch of his Cassa Fire was a great example of how to use the blogOsphere to get the word out about your book.

It's a lot about Connecting.
Some of my MARKETING experiments using SOCIAL MEDIA.
For my published books I've used Goodreads' ads and found them somewhat successful as far as people adding my book to their TBR list.  Of course, if gave them away I stirred a lot of interest.

Facebook, no. I didn't think anything much happened when I took out an ad there, and I've heard that echoed by others.

As to Twitter, I changed the default home page so that it showed my book cover and I ran MANAGE TWITTER to clean out Tweeps that didn't 1) Tweet 2) Follow my Tweets. That freed me up to follow those interested in what I have to say in 140 characters. You can "unfollow" 50/day, but I'm not sure about how Twitter reacts if you do that repeatedly. I'm thinking the "unfollow" should be done over some time. Anyone know more about this?

Jump in and add your ideas or please tell me if I'm totally wonky. I'm off to experiment with more MARKETING and maybe find out something I can share about BRANDING and BOOK REVIEWS (I know there are some pros and cons on this topic). I'll post what I find out next week. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Insecure Writer, Me

Alex J. Cavanaugh's Brain Child

Because I strive for writing fame,
BONKERS is my middle name.
Please tell me that in future days
My words will have some worthwhile praise.
Readers, help the writer me
to cast off INSECURITY.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Moods

Asilomar Beach Tidepools

Today's MONDAY MOOD is tired, but with post-Asilomar SCBWI Conference inspiration to off-set it. The conference is at the Pacific Ocean's backdoor, so before or after sessions there's nothing better than a stroll across Hwy. 1 to peer into a few tidepools.

Dan Yaccarino and Naomi Kinsman

As usual the faculty gave excellent presentations filled with encouragement and helpful information for writers. At the final panel, Media Presence: Go Social in 2012 here's what they had to say about writers who blog:

  • If you're going to blog be professional. 
  •  The first thing most agents do if they are interested in a manuscript is Google the author.
  •  Never post anything you don't want others to know. Realize that anything on any forum should be treated as public information.
  • Blogging is an excellent tool for promoting, but doing only promotion for your books is deadly. Give something your readers need or enjoy; don't just push your work with "buy" messages.
  • Being a blogger doesn't replace writing an excellent book. 
We've all heard these comments before, but it's good for those who've been at this a while to be reminded; then there are always new writers/bloggers who might not have. What did I miss?