Month: December 2014

Goals for 2015 – Improvements

TypingThis is a continuation from the blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I shared an overview of my goals and now I am posting a discussion of why each is important to me as a writer this year. Part 2 covered why I want to engage with a local writer’s group. Part 3 addressed my review and conference attendance goals. Part 4 expanded upon my publication aspirations for 2015.

Being an author in the digital age requires commitment to brand and it’s not static. These days the vocation demands a writer’s attention to their platform in addition to content. Building a web presence requires not just construction but maintenance and the willingness to expand as necessary. Two of my goals for 2015 relate to maintaining my writing enterprise in this way.

HammerWebsite Upgrade

If you’ve read this entire series, you know that I started with a low-cost web presence. However, I cannot stay at a low-cost level indefinitely. I eventually need to improve this site either by moving to a self-hosted site or premium customization through WordPress. As the site and my writing career grow the hosting will need an overhaul.

I’ll need custom themes for the site to make the site distinctively branded. Likewise, the ability to brand the site in a manner consistent with my books is important. I’ll also need to use additional plug-ins not available to me now. There are also ways that I’m not linked to such social media channels as Goodreads that I would like to use as an author. So in 2015 I’d like to improve this website as funds allow.

WritingWriting Craft

I don’t know of anyone who claims to have truly mastered the writing craft. My goal this year is to continue improving my own ability. With blogging and the use of deep POV in my fiction I’ve made leaps forward. But there’s still far to go.

By attending conferences, webinars and reading about techniques, I hope to continue my own education. If the website improves, my content must continue to improve as well. While I push forward with publication I also want to push the boundaries of my ability well beyond what they currently are. It’s ambitious but then writing requires moxie.

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

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

What goals are you considering for next year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments 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! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

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A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 5

This is a continuation from the blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I’ll revealed how I’ve progressed this year in several ways but now I want to get more specific starting with my email decisions. Part 2 covers my choices with email. Part 3 was a review of my blogging growth. Part 4 reviewed social media growth during the past year.

What I didn’t know I needed

There were two things I didn’t know I needed as an author. Through this year’s journey to becoming a writer I learned I needed:

1. A book club

2. A strong Goodreads presence

Why I needed a book club like RRBC

1. I needed the support of other like-minded authors – I’ve found the support of other writers extremely helpful. I can see what they are doing and learn from them.

2. I needed to broaden my scope with blog tours and networking – making connections through other club members has grown my social media immensely while blog tours have allowed my blog to grow while assisting other authors which is a win-win opportunity.

3. I needed to review books – this is a goal for 2015 that is in progress but the reviews I’ve received and that I’m learning to give to other authors is another win-win situation. It also teaches me what readers and reviewers are looking for in good books.

Screenshot of Goodreads Button

Screenshot of Goodreads Button

Why I needed a strong Goodreads presence

1. In relation to the book club membership – I needed to review other books. In posting reviews for the club, I’m also posting them on Goodreads which helps me with the next reason.

2. Reader engagement – as I mentioned in the last post in this series, my advice from Michael J. Sullivan was invaluable. Goodreads is the venue to engage with readers in a positive way. I’m still working on this but I’m emphasizing the engagement more each day.

3. I needed to relate to the book market and see its constant shifts – being on Goodreads allows you to observe what is selling, receiving positive reviews and understand what readers a thinking. Likewise, you can learn to market your work effectively – to readers.

I’m working on my Goodreads and RRBC reviews more in the coming year as well as engaging more readers – the relationships matter. While you understand this as an author, you still have to embrace it with increasing interaction.

The Bow of DestinyHow seriously are you taking your Goodreads engagement? Are you a member of an authors group that provides support? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments 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! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Show, Don’t Tell, on Twitter

Excellent ideas about tweeting…

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books From blackberryczech.cz

I have often mentioned the “show, don’t tell” rule in my blog. MMJaye, a regular around here and a great supporter of Indies in her own blog, kindly wrote this guest post for me, tackling the rule from a novel perspective: how to use it when tweeting. Enjoy her excellent post, which, I admit, was an eye-opener for me.

“Show not Tell” on Twitter: a guide to “clickable” tweets

The “show don’t tell” rule has been drummed into every writer’s head. Traditional publishers and editors swear by it. Some Indie authors are less than enthusiastic about it, but, no matter how much you use or respect the rule, you have to admit that it does invest your writing with one major attribute: it becomes evocative.

What surprises me, however, is the fact that although writers accept that “show don’t tell” leads to evocative writing and…

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