January 2016

To hashtag or not to hashtag…

This past year, the hash-tag became more popular and migrated from just Twitter to many other social sites.

Now though, Facebook has decided they no longer want to be a part of the hash-tag coop. They will give any posts that have a # a lower quality mark, which means it will be seen by less people.

So your January Market Tip, use it on Twitter and Instagram, but do NOT use it on Facebook.

KWIZZLES

Carl Megill’s second book has been published called “KWIZZLES.” It’s a word game I created that uses trivia, jumbles and quizzes all in one. There are Kwizzles covering many topics (music, tv, movies, sports, personalities and more). It’s perfect for that puzzle lover, or trivia expert in your family. You’ll find it on amazon and at my website www.carlmegill.com. I hope you’ll check out this new and challenging game.

Mike Fuller releases SINK RATE

Snowbird author Mike Fuller, who spends the cold months in Naples and the rest in frosty Pennsylvania, has released the first in his Sam Deland Crime Novel series, SINK RATE. Years in the making, re-making and, with the help of a cast of several, Mike has finally published his first novel. A good guy – bad guy story of double murder in rural Pennsylvania that puts Corporal Sam Deland’s state police squad on the hunt for big city shooters. Published by Rogue Phoenix Press and available on Amazon, Mike has written a careful and compelling tale of police drama told by a colorful and diverse cast of characters.

Visit Mike at:  www.mikefullerauthor.com

Get SINK RATE on AMAZON:

 

November

Everyone knows to pass out their link to Amazon to sell more books, although did you know that simply giving the root link isn’t enough?

The root link is the one Amazon gives you. It looks like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008GUMQHG

To help your ranking, you actually should do a search for your book using one of your key words. For example, my book here, my top key word (phrase) is ‘ebook cover design.’ So I typed that in Amazon’s search bar, scrolled through the books until I found mine, clicked on it to open the sales page, and I get a new link. This new link has lots of information in it, all mixed into the extra letters.

This is what it looks like now: http://www.amazon.com/Judge-Cover-Designing-Great-eBook-ebook/dp/B008GUMQHG/ref=sr_1_211?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1446201433&sr=1-211&keywords=ebook+cover+design

Notice now it has some of the title of my book as well as the key phrase I used. I don’t like to hand out something so messy, so I take this over to bitly.com to shorten it. You can take their first option, which I like because it still says Amazon in the link, like this: http://amzn.to/1ScZLvm. Or you can customize it with your own words and you will get a link like this: http://bitly.com/book-cover.

Why, you ask, do you need to do this?

That long link actually tells Amazon that I was searching for a book on ebook cover design and that I found Judge a Book and opened it. That lets their system know that Judge a Book is indeed about ebook cover design. Each time someone uses this new link, it will look to Amazon as if they also did the search and find. More and more people using the link will help to raise the book up the ranks, above all the other books that didn’t get clicked on.

Illinois Library Project

Gator Bait-A Tennis Team Mystery by Jeanne Meeks has been nominated by New Lenox Library for the Illinois Soon To Be Famous Author Project.

September

In honor of last week’s National Punctuation Day (September 24), the following is important information for every writer: ALL commas and periods go INSIDE both single and double quotation marks. There are absolutely NO exceptions to this rule.

September

Traditional publishers and agents expect a full platform typically, before they even look at an author. Don’t you suppose, even if you are an Indie publisher, you should also have this set up?

So, what is a full platform?

To begin with, you need at least the top five social networking sites. (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram) Then, add in GoodReads which is specific to books, and while you are at it, you should add an Amazon Author Central account.

Once you have those, you need an author website, and all of these places should interact with each other automatically. That means if you make a post on Facebook, it will also appear on your website and other compatible platform areas. (Facebook will play with Twitter, although Twitter doesn’t play well in return.)

I know some of you have book websites rather than an author website. I want to caution you here though. If you write more than one book, now you must go build a new website and push lots of marketing there. With an author site, you can simply add the new book to the home page and continue marketing to the same site.

I realize you may not be inclined to do all of this, although I must ask you this. Do you want the kind of infamy that E.L.James has? She didn’t become an overnight success because she had a great book. She did so with the use of this technique. The day she published her book, she had connections through social media with thousands of people, to which she sent word to go buy her book. In her first month she sold thousands of copies. This was all done with the use of a well integrated and well used platform. Then, because she sold so many, so quickly, she received a traditional contract in a few short months.

So it’s time to bite the bullet and get out there. YouTube is a great place to learn about all these things. It is where I go whenever something new is on the rise.

My Archive – by Gary McLouth

My Archive
by Gary McLouth

The den, euphemistically called “the office,” is walling in on the 7 X 3.5 ft. mahogany writing table. Book shelves long overstocked sprout files and layers of borrowed and purchased reading, but there’s still some floor space, and I know the contents of each pile, sort of. My wife remarks how I’m turning the cozy den into a “rat’s nest.” Since I was born in the Chinese year of the Monkey, I respond with scratching and giggling.

The scene reminds me of graduate assistant day at SUNY Albany. The Associate Director of the just launched NYS Writers Institute, where I had a position, asked his Assistant Director and me to get his “damned office” organized so he could keep his academic course material separate from the anticipated onslaught of Writers Institute business. The afternoon should be time enough for the job, he assumed.

The room layout was awkward, crammed by two bulky desks butted end-to-end, squeezed into the space where one might have been able to get to the windows that overlooked the courtyard three stories below. Tiers of books and files leaned precariously from floor-to-ceiling shelves along all available wall space. Boxes and an assortment of shopping bags littered the floor. There was just enough walk-around area for a tightly choreographed dance trio. And, the room was cold.

We started where most reasonable do when facing someone else’s office stuff. Laughter, hilarious laughter. Then, careful not to break anything, we sifted through reams of notes, papers, and copies of copies. A random collection of novels, short story collections, medical and law tomes, Bibles and dictionaries got sorted. Texts marked by paper clips and match books were stacked. When we got down to the surface of the desks, gritty scraps of paper and ripped magazine pages waited: phone numbers and names, phrases, indecipherable messages. We liked, “call me.” Clearly out of date, the scraps got scrapped. We wiped the desks clean and started on the bags and boxes. Mistake.

What to do when confronted by the self-collected hagiography of a man’s live? Beginning with love poems from the 1700’s, we did our best to arrange the mess into a kind of chronology. Books first, manuscripts second, personal letters last. The method helped clear a path to the open windows which let in the cold. It also exposed an Oakwood pole rack in the corner; it was draped with several heavy wool overcoats and two hand-knit mufflers. In a crook of moth-eaten collars, a little bird sat silent on her eggs.

I remember a look of discombobulation on our mentor’s face. Some nervous laughing and a timid retreat from the “new office.” As we passed down the long hallway, we heard a plaintive moan. “Where’s my novel?”

Years later, his mother and a trusted friend scoured every possible redoubt for the novel manuscript. Nothing. Sometimes I wonder whether the novel my mentor was looking for was in that archive of a rat’s nest, or whether he was uttering a Jobian epithet of despair. I don’t really know, but as things pile up around here, I take comfort in believing there’re some stories in my archive.

***

Feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts. What did it make you remember of your own life?

GCWA Writers Retreat

Proud to announce what is sure to be a grand event, with Master Story Teller, Kim Weitkamp. She will be joining us on our cruise to the bahamas and sharing stories and tons of valuable lessons. Click under the News tab above on Writers Retreat or here to read all about it.

VERY IMPORTANT! You must register by October 1st to get in. Deposit only is due at that time, so hurry before it’s too late!

(August 2015)

LEARNING TO WALTZdebut novel by Karen Auriti writing as Kerryn Reid, has been named best Regency fiction in Chanticleer Books’ competition for Women’s Fiction and Romance!

(cover photo is on the GCWA site, or I can send on request)