Category Archives: Writing

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Reflection, In the Moment and Looking Ahead to 2020

A belated Happy New Year to you all!

Reflection

Thinking of my personal journey, 2019 was a tough one family wise, reflecting the state of the nation, but I feel in a stronger and more optimistic frame of mind for 2020.

Back into my writing life in 2019 I worked on:

  •  Preparing my new novel for presentation to the world. Date to be announced shortly.
  • Updating website and social media sites. It’s amazing how quickly it all becomes out of date and a bit tired.
  • Writing regular blog posts once more, particularly enjoying the special ones about our life in Scotland on http://www.selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com . So many precious moments with wonderful friends.
  • Engaging more on Twitter and Facebook, although I have a long way to go on that one.
  • Catching up with what’s new ~ this is a big one. Try https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/12/29/how-to-market-your-book-in-2020/ for up to date marketing techniques. It all makes my mind boggle!

I am so aware that everything has moved on since I last published a novel in 2014. Was it really six years ago? I have published a travel memoir with a difference, but this year will be the first full length novel since we moved to Fife.

In the Moment

I aim to be in the moment, be aware of opportunities which come my way and above all try not to plan rigidly so that I am able to be more spontaneous. This means in my life in the community too ~ not having so much on that I cannot respond to where my heart says I should be in the moment.

Ahead to 2020

Being aware of my ‘in the moment’ aim, I am positively looking forward to life, launching my new novel, being there for the family but hopefully not overwhelmed by it and above all  ~ joy!

A dear friend of mine, who usually buys a special Christmas card for me, apologized and said she’d been ill before Christmas and hadn’t got around to sending one. I replied, ‘that’s quite all right, I’ve just opened two cards with the word Joy in large letters on the front. Since it is your surname, I’ll think of you whenever I look at them.’ ~ and I did.

And so I wish you Joy for 2020 too.

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Filed under Events, Publishing your novel, Scotland, Writing

Next Three Challenges to Getting in the Zone ~ More Small Steps to Book Marketing

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Small Steps to Book Marketing Review

A month ago on my blog post ~ Getting in the Zone~  I set myself three challenges so how am I doing?

  1. To get to know the #Writing Community on Twitter, because the writing world can be a bit lonely having moved away from your support group.

Review

#WritingCommunity are a lively bunch of folks always asking fun questions about writing life, your characters and your novel or current project. @JuliaColbourn @Marylee MacDonald and @LombardEmma I’ve connected to most. Great encouragers!

2.  To write regular blog post.

Review

I’ve really succeeded in this one, my post ‘Getting in the Zone, being the most read but I’ve just set up a campaign to sell ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ in aid of Kirkcaldy Foodbank and this has generated an abundance of posts quite naturally.

3. To use my Book Trailer for ‘Murder Now and Then’

Review

I’m afraid I posted it on twitter once and on Facebook and then forgot all about it.

As the song goes, Two out of Three ain’t Bad.

My next Three Book Marketing Challenges

  1. Follow Back

Over the years I have become very remiss at following back folks on Twitter. At first this was so that I could see the people’s tweets I wanted to see, which is all very well, but it is not very kind, so I’ve decided to follow back and try to set up Lists so that I can see those with whom I interact with most. Here are instructions I just googled:

To create a List:
  1. Visit your Lists page via the gear icon drop-down menu or by clicking Lists on your profile page.
  2. Click Create List.
  3. Name the List & provide a description.
  4. Designate the List as Public or Private.
  5. Save the List.

     2. Quiz

Set up a quiz so that I can practice using forms and email and begin to get a real buzz with people on Facebook and Twitter.

   3. Hootsuite

Relearn how to use Hootsuite. It looks soooo complicated now since I used it three years ago, but to put it simply, it allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts so that you can rationalise your free time but keep a presence. That does not mean that all my posts will be scheduled. I love the banter of Twitter and Facebook in real-time too, and that is so important but it certainly helps time management.

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Filed under Marketing your novel, Social Media Networking, Writing, Writing a novel

Why Authors Blog

On Twitter today @womewritersnet wrote:

‘This week we’ve been tweeting about how to enable our writing to reach a wider audience and has been recommended. Does anyone have experience of hosting guest blog posts or writing them? Can shared posts help to reach new audiences? Tell us your experiences.’

…and so here’s my response as to why I blog:

I enjoy honing my skills in writing small articles

Even if I’m not in a writing fiction mode, due to time and other commitments, writing a blog is a great way of writing to an audience. It has to be of a professional nature and so it’s a discipline too. Always re read and revise before pressing publish though ~ I’ve had a couple of ‘ouch’ moments on looking back, so it’s best to save it for later if you run out of time.

A Blog Reaches unexpected audiences ~ it is two way traffic

My blog is a channel through which the most unexpected people find me. I’ve had emails from folks who have done a casual search and read about the background to my writing. Each is enthusiastic to tell me such wonderful things~ like the man who was the last Lighthouse Keeper on Les Casquets. So many of these people over the years often go on to being my readers too.

It increases your rating on search engines

I really don’t understand the technicalities of it all but I do know that the more you blog, the more you have guests on your post, or reblog interesting posts, and the more you are a guest on another blog the higher your profile. I’m sure you have tried search for your name on Google. I reached the top in searches for ‘Diana Jackson’ for a quite a while when I was totally committed to social media. I have lapsed rather due to time constraints, but it is worth the effort in the few months around launching something new.

If you write a guest post on an established blog you are bound to reach a wider audience

Though my blog is established I have lapsed of late in writing regularly. There are really good blogs out there which accept guest posts. It is best to write new material, but don’t despair ~ you can reblog it on your own platform a few months later for greater reach. It should also have the knock on affect that readers of your guest post will click on a link to your book and own blog too.

The WordPress family is great

It’s worth taking time to read other people’s blogs and like them, if you do. We need to support each other here.

Writer’s Karma

I’m a great believer in Karma. You write a review of someone else’s book or take the trouble to get to know them and you feel less isolated. The writing community is a supportive one, if you find the right channels.

You don’t always have huge ratings

Your stats can be disappointing at times. The highest number of people to read my blog in one day was just under 200 and sometimes it is only a handful, but I try not to be too disheartened. Often my posts are read months or years later through search engines ~ that’s why your categories and tags are vital. If a post says ‘uncategorized’, the writer has missed a wonderful opportunity to be found with the best key words. My best rating was for a post, ‘You can’t snuggle in bed with a Kindle’ years ago. Now I do just that from time to time, although I still prefer a real book if given the choice.

Finally

As a writer returning to the fold, as it were, it is not easy getting back into the habit of blogging and, yes, it can take up valuable time, but for writers with an Indie press, who have not got the huge arm of a major publisher behind them, it is a valuable tool for getting out there and noticed.

Who knows what surprises you might have!

Do tell me about them and share if you can…

 

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Filed under Blogs, Book reading, Marketing your novel, Writing