Creativity

6 Reasons October Is Great For Reading

Halloween ReadingReading is a year-round activity. Here’s why October is GREAT for reading.

1. It’s Halloween season and there are plenty of seasonal books to read that are creepy, scary, mysterious and just plan good Halloween fun.

2. You’ve got time to read before November. What’s November? NaNoWriMo, so there’s less time to read if your writing. If you aren’t…

3. It’s before the busy holiday season. There are lots of events, parties, parades and travel so you have less time to read.

bulldog wearing eyeglasses sleeping over a good novel4. The change of season to cooler weather makes it an excellent time to curl up with a good book.

5. Remember all those Halloween books? They are probably on sale during the month!

6. You can read and review a book on Rave Review Book Club’s catalog list. It’s a fast growing book club providing excellent support to writers and GREAT books for readers. You can sign-up today and begin supporting Indie authors today with your reviews. Check out the information posted by the club. But there’s more! Nonnie Jules provides her own reviews and author support to help you discover new books of all genres. If you are a writer, look into all the benefits authors receive from Rave Reviews Book Club.

Why is October an excellent reader month for you? Are you interested in being a club member and reviewing great new books?

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

I’d love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements andremember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! If you join today make sure to mention me.

Also, this post is in the Blog Recruitment Day Contest for the club. Here’s the link to vote in the poll.

Thanks for visiting!

PHS

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Cover-art for The Black Bag licensed through iStockPhoto

Photo & clip art licensed through Microsoft Office & Fotolia

 

Writer Tech Tip: Twitter Exposure & Hashtags

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Hashtags are one of the most commonly used tactics to improve exposure on Twitter. You simply add # and the term so that your tweet targets other Twitter users who visit that hashtag as a common interest to yours. It’s a great way to promote anything you have to share whether it’s just an opinion or an actual product. But is it as simple as it seems? Do your tweets actually reach as many people as you think? Let’s take a deeper look at this Twitter usage.

Last week I wrote a post about getting more out of Twitter using several sites to analyze how and what you tweet for more strategic exposure. One of the sites listed in that post was Hashtags.org which provides a number of metrics and information about a hashtag including whether it even exists. Among the analytics available for free is the hourly trends for the hashtag over the last 24 hours. Why is this important? Most people agree that 2 or 3 hashtags should be enough for a tweet. Suppose you have more hashtags in mind to use than this. How do you decide which ones to use? Answer: check hashtags.org for activity trends as well as current engagement for the terms you want to use. Here’s an example:

Let’s say I wanted to tweet something and had #fantasy, #scifi & #wordpress in mind to use but I only wanted to have two in the tweet. I would look-up #fantasy and at the time of this writing here’s the results:

Fantasy Hashtag

There’s been a recent jump in activity so I may want to use this hashtag. Let’s see the trend for #scifi:

Scifi Hashtag

Hmmm, while #scifi is ticking upward too it isn’t as high in engagement as #fantasy. Let’s take a look at #wordpress:

Wordpress Hashtag

While #wordpress is trending down it is still much higher in engagement than #scifi at this time. For now, I would choose #fantasy and #wordpress.

So, this is a quick way to decide how to choose your hashtags to best promote your tweets and possibly gain more exposure. You may experience more re-tweets, follows and favorites than otherwise. I hope this helps with your Twitter engagements.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Have you used hashtag.org yet? What other ways could you put this tool to use in your tweeting? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

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Note: no logos have been used – only screenshots for instruction.

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

 

4 Free Photo Sites – More Tips for the Fund Challenged Writer

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

This is a follow-up to my blog post last week regarding inexpensive tips to the fund-challenged writer. If you’re like me you need access to resources but have little in the way of paying for what you need. The final tip from last week’s blog dealt with using a free source of clip art for your blogs. Here are more sources of visual media that offer free photos to use for your blog.

  1.  Flickr - Yes, it’s a well-known site already but you can search for photos with various kinds of creative commons licensing. Be sure to read about attributions licensing to understand what you must do to cite your sources.
  2. Dreamstime.com - This service offers both free and fee-based illustrations and photos. When you search make sure to choose the “Free” radio button.
  3. morgueFile - Again, there are many free images to use on this site. As always read the licensing language and be aware you may be required by the content owners to contact them by email before using their work.
  4. FreeFoto.com - Search this site for free content. Here’s their current license information.

For more discussions about free artwork see this blog posts:

Savvy Writers & e-Books Online: Where Can You Find FREE Photos and Illustrations?

Computer Hope: Where can I find free public domain images and pictures?

Articulate Network: How to Find Free Stock Photos and Clip Art for PowerPoint

Businessman Speaking Through MegaphoneThanks for visiting the site and reading. Share your photo resources in the comments section. Please visit the News page regularly for updates. I’m planning a sale for The Black Bag during October but you can receive a free coupon for the e-book for download by signing up follow this site via email. Just submit your information above and I’ll send you the coupon.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

PHS