Category Archives: Blogs

Author Platform ~ If you’re new to writing plan ahead!

Don’t do as I did!

My author platform is now:

www.dianajacksonauthor.co.uk

www.dianajacksonauthor.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDianaJackson/

DianaJackson@Riduna on Twitter

My main blog www.dianamj.wordpress.com

Dear Reader

I began writing in 2000 and had my first book Riduna published in 2009 by Pegasus Elliot McKenzie. I knew nothing about author platforms and just chose a Twitter handle and web address fairly randomly.

Twitter

I chose my Twitter handle @Riduna’ before it had occurred to me I’d write several books. It was the title of my first book and the Roman name for the island of Alderney, on which my novel was located. In the early days of marketing it certainly helped to link myself to Alderney and one of my first followers and readers did a search for ‘Riduna’ on Twitter and came up with me. He was an ESOL teacher in Argentina at the time, but his Great Grandparents were alive on Alderney at the same time of mine. One of those lovely coincidences!

Riduna

In 2012, a small Indie Author Collaborative, for which I was a founding member, relaunched Riduna and its sequel Ancasta. (losing all my hard earned reviews for Riduna on Amazon unfortunately, but that’s another story)

It was when I came to release ‘Murder Now and Then’ in 2014 that @Riduna was less helpful, although characters in that novel did in fact visit Alderney briefly.

Website

The website for Diana Jackson was not available and I so I chose http://www.dianamaryjackson.co.uk as my web address. I was asked where the ‘Mary’ came from when interviewed by Chiltern Radio. I must have looked surprised, although of course I couldn’t be seen, ‘it’s my middle name,’ I replied. Since then I’ve realised that it is a little odd. At first I thought to change my pen name to Diana Mary Jackson. It has a certain ring to it don’t you think? If you ever wish to do that, please don’t go there! It’s far too complicated, especially since I had already published at least one book in each of my three series.

Blogs

I am reluctant to update my main blog www.dianamj.wordpress.com because it goes through periods of success and increased outreach, dependent on my input and a bit of luck. I also find that some posts and themes have a certain amount of longevity, discovered by folks sometimes years later. I now have links to this blog on both websites making it easy to share news and for me to update most of it myself. This works seamlessly

I have two blogs, but this year I have paused on www.selectionofreflections.wordpress.com to give myself less pressure through a difficult year.

…and so I’ve kept ‘Mary’ hidden in my blog address by the initial ‘M’ and that sounds like the title of a book!

Banner

I have yet to get this banner updated with my latest release ~ see below, but it is on my dot com website and my Facebook page too. I’m not sure about my twitter header. What do you think?

In Short:

Think carefully before you choose twitter handles and web addresses and not only that its worth paying for web addresses ahead of time to reserve them. You never know who might come along and snap them up. Be consistent!

“Diana Jackson’s latest release is a #YA book of encouragement, inspiration and motivation called ‘Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself‘, just released on Kindle .”

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Blogs, Marketing your novel, Social Media Networking, Writing

May Book Blogger Hop

Hey, I’m a bit late for last week’s Book Blogger Hop but here’s my answer to:

What book character do you think you are most like and why?

Like Harriet (Hetty) Deveraux, from Sarah Maine’s House Between Tides, I have ancestry from a small island. In my case my great grandmother was Harriet Renier who was born on the island of Alderney.

Hetty is drawn to her ancestral home, as I have always been to Alderney. I now live in Fife where there are so many similarities between here and The Channel Islands, especially to Alderney. The pace of life, sense of community, the seascapes and landscape too. (although not so many forts, castles abound!)

Hetty is inspired and interested in history, as I am. If there is a mystery she wants to discover the truth. I love to research and ‘dig’ into the past, and so Libby from Sarah Maine’s Women of the Dunes also resonates with me.

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What character in a novel you’ve read recently are you most like?

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Filed under Alderney, Blogs, Book reading, Fife

What do successful indie authors say about achieving success?

During the month of August I interviewed five successful Indie authors on this blog. You can click on them down the sidebar.

Here is a summary of of their advice to writer’s and similarities about their approach:

BE DILIGENT

~ Treat Writing Like work

It was clear from all of the authors interviewed that they took all aspects of writing novels, marketing and the publishing world seriously. Although many of us may not aspire to the dizzy heights of employing staff like Adam Croft ~ most of us commission people to do the cover art, formatting and editing. We aim for a professional product our readers expect of us.

I’ll let you into a little secret here. I met Adam when he was promoting his first ever crime novel, giving it away free on Amazon through Smashwords ~ and so there’s nothing wrong with aspirations of grandeur! (and possibilities)

Writing seriously IS HARD WORK!

BE CONSISTENT

~ Build your audience by expectation

Although many authors dabble in different genre and some are successful doing that, it is the consistency of publishing in a certain genre, an awareness of your audience and regular releases of books in a series that appears to build success. It may take time, but patience is then rewarded.

(If you click on the links below they will take you to the author pages on Amazon)

I know if I buy an Anne Allen book that it will be some kind of mystery, reflect a period in history and be set on the island of Guernsey, usually in at least two time periods.

Tony Riches writes historical fiction, researching characters in history who are less well known and it is obvious from his books that he has explored the places and well as also the lives of the people.

Margaret Skea is also a  competent historical fiction writer, often with some mystery adding a different dimension.

Adam Croft writes crime. His plots are quirky and increasingly complex, but all of his books are ‘a good read.’

Maggie Anderson writes Regency Romance which has a great following and are easy to identify.

Skimming over their author pages gives a clear picture of what to expect if buying their books.

BE CREATIVE AND AHEAD OF THE GAME

Adam Croft was into Audio Books well before they ‘took off.’ Margaret Skea has taken the opportunity during lock down of launching her books on audio too. With audio increasingly popular and profitable, why are more of us not taking up this opportunity? (note to self!) At first Audio books were mainly in the realms of libraries but not anymore.

Many of us are glad we ignored the doomsayers about e books and have always diversified into both paperback and e book. This is vital in today’s odd world.

BY GIVING YOU RECEIVE ~ IN MARKETING

I am a great believer in this message. No author is an island unto themselves. (a Diana mis-quote!)

Avenues for marketing are limited these days for those of us who were used to speaking to an audience, having stalls at craft fairs and book signing. There’s a plethora of different ways though, to promote your books on line. Margaret Skea, author of Historical Fiction, gives the good advice that it is essential to ‘give as much or more than you take’ when marketing on Social Media.

Help other authors out and they are more willing to support you.

I certainly feel the same. Author Tony Riches is always promoting other people’s work and because I love his books I trust his choice of books he promotes. It’s a win win situation. He has also given me tips along the way and pointed me in the direction of marketing opportunities, such as The Coffee Book Club Tour.

Maggi Anderson mentions the importance of a newsletter ~ so important and often overlooked.

… and finally just get writing!

If you would like to do a guest blog between now and Christmas on this blog then please read:

Throw a Dice for Memories of a Character in your novel

Then leave your contact details as a comment on my blog or email diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk

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Filed under Blogs, Guest author, Marketing your novel, Publishing your novel, Social Media Networking, Writing