Sound Off Time: Why Social Media’s Da Bomb!





Millenia Black
we all know, times are ever changing, ever improving. When I was a kid growing
up in the 80s, I had no clue the Internet was on its way in with a vengeance!
And in the early 90s when I discovered and fell in love with Sidney Sheldon
books, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I’d have the ability to simply
boot up a laptop and shoot him a hero-worshipping e-mail—which I did many years
later and nearly keeled over when he actually replied personally!

So connecting, bonding and sharing our passions
with each other has never been easier—or more fun—than it is today. I remember
when you actually had to sit down, write letters, lick their envelopes, then stamp
and mail them off to New York publishing houses c/o of your favorite authors to
let them know just how much you loved their books, or even to invite them to a
conference call with your book club.

And as a writer, it’s amazing to be able
to get a kick in the proverbial butt from your readership when you’ve spent a
little too much time in the procrastination currents and not enough in the flow
of inspiration and creativity. As such, RAINDROPS ON ROSES is my first novel in
eight years! The Great Betrayal came
out in late 2006, and since then there’ve been several dedicated fans who’ve
found me on Goodreads, Facebook, or on my website asking whether or not I was still
writing and when the next book would be coming out. I can’t tell you how much those
pings inspired me to pick up my pen, get back in the game and reacquaint myself
with my trusty old muse.

Currently, I’m enjoying the heck out of Pinterest! It’s too bad the site
wasn’t around when I published my earlier novels because creating a board for
the Favorite Things Trilogy has been loads and loads of fun! Visual aids never
go out of style, do they? And so my readers get to check out the characters’
sense of style, the cars they drive, the music they listen to and of course—lots
more of their favorite things! It’s pretty neat!

Now I know there are those who say social
media’s dumbed us down or made us lazy, but to that I say we need to accentuate
the positives and eliminate the negatives! The pluses far outweigh the minuses
when it comes to the convenience and ease of connecting and sharing with
others, whether they be long time friends, family members, or a new reader
who’s discovering your books for the very first time…

Cheers to socializing! Let’s
connect, bond and be merry!

 From the #1 Bestselling Author of THE GREAT PRETENDER comes a highly anticipated new trilogy! Love, Loss, Jealousy and Vengeance — A Razor-Sharp Love Triangle For the History Books! 

Book One of the sizzling new FAVORITE  THINGS Trilogy  
What happens when the man you love, falls in love with someone else?

Buy now! Amazon
Mayfair Island, Florida. Grief-stricken
after the sudden loss of her beloved grandmother, an enduring but
reclusive Hollywood icon, young Priscilla Bauer finds herself adrift and
looking to find solace in the arms of her vast inheritance, when she
meets the kind and considerate corporate brand designer, Michael Frost—a
drop dead gorgeous beacon of light in her all too dark night.

hard and falling fast, Priscilla has no idea she’s stepped into
dangerous territory…Because someone else has already branded Michael
Frost her very own—and she has no intention of ever letting him go.

Passions are high, but bitter vengeance gets even higher!

With RAINDROPS ON ROSES, the captivating Favorite Things Novella Trilogy—takes flight!

About Millenia Black:
Millenia is the bestselling author of the novels THE GREAT
PRETENDER and THE GREAT BETRAYAL. She loves to tell a compelling story
and is an avid reader. Heralded as a double life and relationship
expert, she’s been a featured guest on radio shows across the country
e-book guide everyone should have!

Millenia is an alumni of
Keiser University and was born and raised in Florida where she still
resides today. She is currently working on BLUE SATIN SASHES, book two
of the sizzling FAVORITE THINGS trilogy!

Currently unmarried, Millenia has never dated anyone living a double life…she thinks.

Authors It’s Time To Plug In

Your Readers Are Waiting

Judy Ann McCole

There is one obvious universal
truth for writers. We want to write. The only relationship status we want to
update is the one with Microsoft Word or if you’re feeling old-school a
typewriter. Sadly, the world has changed. Authors can no longer just write a
novel, send it, and publish… or not, unless you’re J. K Rowling, at least.
The truth is you absolutely need to
social network. You need to be so in touch with your network you know what time
zones your friends and fans are in just by their response times.
Judy Ann McCole


Because there are seven billion
people on this earth and of those 7 billion, 1.2 billion of them are Facebook
alone. 1.2 billion people! You, from your desk, have the capability to speak
with millions of people on a daily basis just by clicking ‘log in’
. Now, before I
jump ahead of myself I should explain how you, as an author, should begin to
social network.
Chances are you already have Facebook.
But make a second one with your pen name or your regular name with ‘author’
Make sure your profile image you use for your author account is the one your fans
will notice.
With your new account, make a fan
page for your book. That way if you ever want to run ads people will be driven straight
to your book and then, if they want, look you up.
Your family and friends have
already heard you talk about your books dozens of times. You don’t want your
personal account to be flooded with comments nor do you want those close to you
to hide your post because all you ever do is talk about your book.
Also, with your author account you
can join groups (and there are a lot of groups) for writers and authors.
Twitter is difficult for authors;
well it was for me, because a 140-character limit just felt ridiculous and I
had no idea what to tweet. I did not want to be one of those people who tweeted
“it’s raining” or “I’m going to the mall”.
Twitter is a great way to let
people know about your books and anything else you may doing. Because many
people tweet almost hourly they don’t mind sharing your tweets or even
commenting back.
More people are more like to read
your post on twitter then on Facebook because they know it will be short and
Twitter gets easier the more you
use it. One Tweet a day keeps the fans coming your way.

Lastly, you don’t want anyone
pretending to be you if you don’t have one.
THIS IS HUGE!! All writers need
one! Believe me. Trust me. Listen to me. If you’re a writer you need a blog.
Not only did blogging help Amanda
Hocking (a self-published novelist) get attention but it has also helped
writers express creative ideas.
The very first thing my publishers
told me to do when I signed with them was publish a blog and link it to my
If you go to any recent author’s website,
you will notice they have a blog. People want to follow you but you have to
give them a chance.
Can you sell books without all of this? Yes. It’s possible, in
fact some authors do. However, if there is a chance for you to get more readers
why not do so?
Why not try and be social?
All I ask is DO NOT insult any of your fans/readers.
Some people are idiots and will friend/follow you just to post
stupid things. Ignore and delete but NEVER RESPOND!
DO NOT trash other authors! Your readers may take that personally
if they happen to like them.
It’s a lot to juggle I know. However, since starting my blog I’ve
gained 1000+ twitter and blog followers… and my books aren’t even out yet.

Coming SOON!
To Whomever This
May Concern,

I wish I could tell
you the contents of this book were purely fictional. That I, Adela Arthur, was
just a normal sixteen year old from Portland and that dragons, giants, elves
and mermaids were just myths.  I wish these were legends shared from crazy
old grandparents to crazy old grandparents around camp fires. After all, that is
what I used to believe.

I never would have
thought they lived on the other side of our mirrors in a world called Cielieu.
But they do…

I never would have
thought there were humans, better known as Volsin that lived among them with
the ability to create light from a single thought.  But there are…

I never would have
thought I was one of them… 

But I am…

I am the last Arthur
and I was brought to the human world after a Volsin, filled with greed, began
to strip the light from our kind.

The human world was
supposed to be a safe haven… but he’s found us and the only way to stop him is
to go back to Cielieu and begin training as a student in the Elpida Castle of

Like I said I wish
the contents of this book were purely fictional and not my life…

Adela Arthur

Alison Neuman on how social media is important to her

For us authors, social media is important.
Not only are we able to keep readers and friends up-to-date with our writing but also with the life events of others. Currently, it is impossible for
me to travel so social media allows me to reach my destinations from the
comfort of home, and I love that opportunity it’s given me.
In the past few years, there has been a huge
shift to the Internet. Blog tours are a great example of this and an excellent way
to promote your books.
How it works is that the author visits several blogs and
they are introduced to a new audience.
I have heard of authors who have been made into bestsellers
just because of social media.
It’s a tool in the authors’ promotional
toolkit that should not be overlooked.
Although, we have to be careful. When I
get continuing posts from individuals trying to sell me products, I must admit, I tune out. When that happens, we are losing a potential relationship. For
myself, I plug Ice Rose during the holiday buying season and for blog tours or
events. Just enough to keep my book out there, but not enough to cause offence.
Like most authors worldwide, I like to share activities and
events that are going on with my career, but my
 blog isn’t only focused on writing, it’s also about the arts and crafts. A writer once advised me
to post a new blog every two weeks,
but I find this challenging. Finding fresh
topics can be difficult and I wonder how other bloggers manage it.
And, I admit, when I write my posts, I do
not always focus on how worldwide social media can reach. So when, few years ago,
I posted a blog on a cookie bouquet that I was making, and received a comment
from a reader in Germany I was very shocked and pleased.

Ice Rose 
A teenager’s world is turned upside down when an explosion steals her dad and her identity. Entering an exclusive academy that immerses her in the world of secret agents, she must overcome her fears and disabilities to discover the truth about her dad’s mission, his software, and the mystery man stalking her before she ends up like her father — lost.
Alison Neuman 
Alison Neuman lives in
Alberta, Canada, where she is a freelance writer and lyricist. Nearing the end
of her studies for the Bachelor of Applied Communications Degree program at
Grant MacEwan College, she was inspired to complete the first draft
of  Ice Rose. The pace of secret agent books and movies gave her an
unlimited playground for  imagination. Music and performing are passions
she was able to bring into her writing and build into her characters.

Alison’s writing has appeared in “MacEwan Today”, “Westword”, and the “Edmonton
Journal” along with three tracks on the CD release Outside The Window.
Co-writing the screenplay adaptation of the book Whale Songwith author
Cheryl Kaye Tardif exposed her to the world of screenwriting, which she hopes
to continue to examine further in the future. Alison also has been writing
shorter pieces of non-fiction, one entitled Establishing Roots, that
earned a top ten ranking in the Edmonton Stories contest. This past spring she
was a winner in The Expressions of Hunger Contest in the Emotional Poetry
category. Her piece Undeniable Craving was on display in June and
July in various artistic locations across the city of Edmonton.  She has
completed a final edit of her memoir “Searching For Normal” and is currently
writing her next young adult manuscript.

When not writing creatively, Alison  is editing or writing for her
business, Sandy Tree

Are you waiting too long to market your book?

guest post 
Cindi Maciolek

Your fingers
tingle as they touch the very first copy of your newly published book. Your
heart races, your head spins. Excitement rushes through your body.

“I’ve written a
magnificent tome. It will go viral and sell itself!”


I’m amazed when
I speak with authors awaiting the arrival of a new book. Some are lucky enough
to not only have an agent, but a traditional publisher. Very often, the
excitement wanes when they realize the book will be here shortly and their
thoughts turn to marketing.

“I’m not quite
sure what will happen once the books are out.”


Marketing is
more than wishful thinking, tweeting or blogging. Fact is, it begins before you
even write the first word. The characters, the location, the era, the breadth
or depth of content, even the cover design play a role in attracting your
target reader.

Here are a few
thoughts to put you ahead of the game.
  •  Market far in advance of the release. Many authors, including myself, don’t like to share too much about their work until the first draft is complete. However, there must be something you can promote at least six months to two years ahead. If you don’t care to divulge too much, think of interesting teasers to keep your audience attentive.
  • Market to a broader audience. It’s possible to reach beyond your intended market simply by making a minor change to your book. Or, expand your thinking and recognize the book as-is will appeal to an additional market. When I wrote Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, most people assumed I was writing it for other bird lovers. In fact, I want everyone who loves animals to enjoy the read, a much broader market, and I adjusted the content accordingly.
  • Expand your circle of early readers to market your book. The novel I’m currently writing is clearly aimed at a female audience. Yet, I have a male reader who has provided valuable feedback. Not only has he helped to make it a better book, he will no doubt tell everyone he knows just how much he enjoyed it.
  • Utilize the book cover to your advantage. I had the cover of my book designed over a year before I held printed copies in my hand. It attracted a lot of attention. A cockatiel wearing a tiara certainly piques interest.
  • Forage for media contacts. It can sometimes take months to reach an editor, a celebrity or a producer. If you wait until your book arrives, you’re practically old news. Put together your media list far in advance, and work it, work it, work it!

 We writers are a passionate lot, but early marketing
can lead to even greater success.

Cindi Maciolek is a writer and business consultant, whose previously published works include Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People and The Basics of Buying Art. She’s also a contributing author to the books Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion and Life Choices: It’s Never Too Late. Maciolek has written numerous articles for the luxury marketplace, including the Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas. Maciolek lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meet Cindi on the web:
Twitter: @cindimaciolek and @divatiel
Cindi Maciolek – Writer.
Purchase Links:

Can four ounces of feathers and
personality change a person’s life?
She can if she’s
the Divatiel!
Reflections of a bird’s companion will tug at your heart strings and bring a smile to any animal lover 
Cindi was looking
for a roommate, and finally settled on a fine-feathered friend who was a gift
from a co-worker. What she got was a loving, intelligent, fun, free-spirited,
demanding – Jaké.
ter recovering
from illness that put her near death’s door, Jaké healed and was let out of the
cage so she could spread her wings. She lived her life with gusto. Jaké took
risks, used her intelligence to her advantage and loved unconditionally. She
took charge, not only over her surroundings but over her owner as well.
Luckily, she had a cooperative Mommy in Cindi.
 Not only was she
demanding, Jaké did things some humans have never done. She flew on an airplane
several times, went on numerous road trips and ate fresh vegetables daily.
Jaké lived a very
long life and had many adventures along the way, most of which are captured in
this book.
Jaké was first a
gift to William, then a gift to Cindi, and now a gift to the world.

Join a campaign to join together writers/bloggers/and generally nice people

There are so many of us out there.
Aspiring authors, bloggers (whether established or beginning), industry peeps,
even published authors, all of whom want to build their online platforms. We
write insightful posts and articles, actively blog within the blogosphere, take
part in challenges, competitions, and contests galore. We have the passion and
the drive to make it, but…we could all do with a bit of support. So I started
thinking. What if we link all these people together? What if we create a way to
meet people in a similar position, people who genuinely want to help build our
online platform while at the same time building theirs? People who want to pay
it forward in the spirit of writerly writerness and blogging beautificity (and
see it come back to them in turn). And so, my Writers’ Platform-Building
Campaign was born. 

What is the Campaign?

Well, to find out more and be taken to RACHAEL HARRIE’s (the host) blog for instructions on how to join click below:

Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign
And in spirit of this campaign, mention in the comment section below that you’re joining, follow my blog and I’ll add you to my Writer’s Directory (be sure to add your genre and blog/website link).

Find Indie writers FAST on Amazon and

You’ll want to read them for life!
Find an Indie/self-pubbed works and find yourself a fresh new voice.

With kind permission from Michael James who has allowed me to copy and paste his grouped lists of Indie authors’ books, painstakingly put together, so readers don’t have to wade through book after book to find their desired read.

Add your book, find a book to read, write a review, blog/tweet about it and someone may do the same for you.


Action/Adventure @

Apocalyptic @

Autobiography/Memoir @

Children’s Books @

Christian @

Contemporary Romance @

Cozy Mystery @

Dystopia @

Fantasy @

Ghost @

Graphic Novel/Comic @

Halloween @

Historical Fiction @

Historical Romance @

Horror @

Humorous Fiction @

Literary Fiction @

Mystery/Hardboiled/Procedural @

Paranormal Romance @

Paranormal @

Poetry @

Post-Apocalyptic @

Science Fiction @

Short Stories @

Suspense @

Thriller @

Time Travel @

Vampire Romance @

Western Romance @

Westerns @

Young Adult @

52 Wonderful Twitter Chats for Writers

Writing is often a lonely endeavor for professionals and college students alike, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many places for writers to find help and inspiration for every part of the writing process. One of the newest sources of support is on Twitter, through a wide variety of writing chats. Writers on Twitter only need to use and search for a given hashtag to participate, and most groups are very welcoming to those with different interests and levels of experience. Here, we’ve listed some of the most popular and potentially valuable chats on Twitter. Covering a wide range of topics, you’re bound to find a chat that meets your personal needs as a writer, and you may just make a few new friends in the process.

Slow Chats

These chats don’t always have a set time or day that they meet. Writers and readers simply post to them whenever they come across something they’d like to share with the community.
  1. #litchatThis group is not only a great place to get inspired to write, it can also help hook you up with some great books to read. Chats are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but if you miss a meeting there are transcripts on the group’s blog.
  2. Click below for more from this wonderful blog:

52 Wonderful Twitter Chats for Writers | Online College Tips – Online Colleges

5 Ways to Kill Boring Posts

Mary Edwards

So you have a blog. Good for you. There’s only one thing I have to say to you. Either write well or delete it. I am so sick of flipping through boring, repetitive blog posts. Really, you’d be better off just letting the poor thing die. Shoot it and relive us all of your misery. No one wants to read about what you ate last night or what little Sally did that was just so cute. Or, worse yet, your sexual exploits. Unless you’re a Kardashian, no one cares, really. Oh, but you like your blog. Fine then. Read these five tips and try to improve it. If you can.

1.  You’re boring – Face it, you don’t have a passion for anything. You don’t care about your blog or what you write on it. Wait, you do? Well, that’s a shocker. I had no idea. From reading it I’d have thought you were about as enthusiastic as a wino on his fourth bottle. Don’t be afraid to show your passion then! Pour out your heart, get over-excited, may be sweat a bit as you type so furiously that the words get jumbled up on the page and grammar goes out the window because it’s just so exciting! That’s what I want to read. If you don’t love it, then why should I?

2.  You’re stupid – You know nothing, you see nothing, you hear nothing, nothing! Your name is Shultz. You live in a perpetual state of blank numbness where you experience nothing that goes on around you. Better yet, what you do see/hear/feel you have no input on. You get neither aggravated nor elated. That’s not you? Then you do know something! Don’t let pesky things like facts get in your way. You’re not writing for the New York Times. You have a blog. Unless you’re giving medical advice (please don’t) then your opinion won’t kill anyone. Share. Tell. Write.

3.  Blah, blah, blah – I’ve read that before. No, really, I have. Unless you’re saying something totally new and off the wall, I don’t need to hear about it again, thank you very much. Don’t be Charlie Brown’s parents. Do not repeat yourself or talk about the same topic all the time. So your blog is based on your love of roses. Shock me. Write about orchids. Or trees! Or fruit! You don’t have to go way out, but no one wants to read the same thing over and over. If you find yourself having a hard time finding a different title for your new post, don’t bother posting it. We’ll all thank you.

4. L a-La Land – Do you live on Mars? Venus? No? Then what is your excuse for this? You haven’t posted in eons and what you do post is boring. Are you just prolonging your poor blog’s misery? When are you going to shoot it? Oh, you can’t think of anything new to write about. You know what? I. Don’t. Care. Write! Just start blabbing. It’ll be stupid and pointless, I’m sure, but at least you’ll have something. If you have even a smidgen of brain power in the giant globe you call a head then you’ll eventually get a grain of truth from all that blather. Pluck it out, clean it up, and post. 

5.  Pass the buck – You’re a loser. You have no talent. What little you had was wasted on your blog, but it’s all gone now. But you cling desperately to your blog like a codependent ex. Fine. I’ll give you a hint. It starts with g and ends with uest. That’s right, good speller! Guest posts. The lazy, burnt-out writer’s best friend. Have someone else do the work. They’ll even think you’re doing them a service. Of course, you may have to return the favor. Or do other… favors… for them. Hmm. Might want to discuss that before they make you an offer you can’t refuse.

That’s all I’m willing to give to you, you mooch. What, you think advice grows on trees somewhere? Do what I told you and your blog might, I repeat might, survive a few months longer. I’m not responsible for resuscitations, though, so don’t come crying to me when you forget to feed it and it dies. I wash my hands.

Author Bio.

Mary Edwards is one of the contributors and editors for dating sites. She is passionate about thought leadership writing, regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting and online dating community. She can be reached at edwardsmary936 AT


What lies beyond the wormhole… is the devil incarnate

Chris Burton.

Jake is a trainee Jump Pilot and war is rife in the galaxy…

The Sentinels are very sensitive about a region of space, light years from their territorial boundaries. They are guided by the Betanica Sect, who seek to protect the galaxy and in particular the Tri Star Region from invasion by the Kryl. The Kryl are the devil incarnate…

Jake is a final year Alpha Academy student and he has chosen Jump Ship Command to launch his career. He and Steve are two of the brightest academy pilots. They are also vying for the affection of the same girl. Carla is looking for her sister, who left home 6 years before to join the Collective, led by the sinister and mysterious Professor Winterburn. Winterburn casts a spell over everyone he meets.

The Sentinels and the Betanica Sect lock horns with Alpha in a battle to assume control of the Tri Star System. Alpha’s aim is to open the Blue Worm hole; a gateway to another galaxy. The gathering masses are joined by Winterburn and his flock and by Jake and Steve whose sole intention is to rescue Carla Stevenson from Winterburn’s clutches.

Heavy promoting is BLOODY annoying!

Learnt a new word the other day – shilling

It means ceaselessly promoting your book. Put it another
way, do you get lots of spam from anonymous people trying to sell you Viagra?
Escorts? Shilling is no different. In the end this “promotion” isn’t read, it’s
just deleted or ignored.

I joined Amazon forums for one reason and that is to
promote, promote and promote some more. I thought it was an excellent tool for
authors to promote their books. I mean, where else are you going to meet so
many readers? But do book lovers really read these threads? I don’t, so why would I expect others to? 

I soon learnt that it was against Amazon’s regulations, and
that actually it was BLOODY annoying! 

So what makes me buy a book from an unknown author? What
makes you? Of course an excellent blurb and an interesting cover helps, but how
do you find books by unknown writers? And what are they supposed to do to help
you find them?

I’ve learnt that social media isn’t there for you to promote
your book. It’s to meet, and join in discussions with other people.

So in short if you claim that social media isn’t working
then it’s probably because you’re doing it wrong.

Are you sending Facebook messages or updates pleading to
Like My Page – when these land in my inbox or media stream I, like many I imagine,
delete or ignore them.  When I’m
bombarded with messages from Twitter to “check out my website” I, again like
many others, completely ignore them. Tweeters who continually push their book
or yell Follow Me! at every opportunity are also ignored.

But, if by chance one of these en masse promotions provokes a
visit to a blog what are we likely to find? Pictures of a stranger’s latest trip up the Eiffel Tower? Photos of someone’s pet cat or dog? Very likely! Similarly, if the blog focuses ONLY on self-promotion people aren’t
going to be enchanted.

Promotion on Amazon, bombarding people with emails, tweeting
primarily to promote yourself on Twitter and begging people to buy your book on
Facebook and Linkedin aren’t going to work. You may get a trickle of sales, and
if a trickle is all you want then carry on.

But if you want to sell SHIT LOADS *read on: 

*Don’t expect a magic jangle. Building an author platform takes time and work. Like writing a book really.

You will need (at least) a blog, Twitter account and Facebook
and join Amazon forums and Goodreads. There are others but these are my
favourite, and all will work together and reinforce one another. You can’t
stick to one source. You WILL need several. And you will HAVE to be consistent and professional at all times. NEVER stray from this. Most importantly it has to be more than selling books – it has to be about YOU (not to be confused with you and your boring life – believe me your life IS boring to others) as a HUMAN not a spammer.

Your author platform begins with many social sites. They aren’t something you can dip in and out at will, they are something
you MUST become part of and WORK AT. This requires time, and if you’re working as
well as writing it’s hard, but it CAN be done.

And do it NOW. Don’t wait until your book is published. It’s
NEVER too early to begin a platform. The days of marketing your novel after it is published is long gone.

On your blog write something that others will be interested
in reading. No one wants to read something unless it means something to them.
Think about what makes YOU open a link or read a begging email. Can’t think of
anything to write on your blog? Offer authors free space to write something.

Link share, write an article, entertain and write flash fiction, ask to interview someone, the list is endless really.

On Amazon forums be a human, not a spammer. Talk about
books. Join the MOA  (Meet Our Authors) forum.
DON’T PROMOTE. Write interesting discussions and you’ll find yourself looked

Twitter is a place to share links and information, and make sure you use hashtags well. If you don’t know the important of
hashtags then find out now rather than later. Again don’t over promote yourself
because people will notice and you’ll end up unfollowed. Join in on chats,
write something funny or meaningful and above all TALK to people. Some people believe
it’s impossible to chat on Twitter with only 140 characters but you’ll be
wrong. It’s amazing what CAN be said in a sentence or two.

Facebook is more relaxed than Twitter. I use my FB account to
connect with family and friends so I’m more “me” there. But here you also have the opportunity to
join groups. Search for literary groups/writing groups etc

Goodreads is another tool where you can connect
to groups, again treat this as an opportunity to meet and connect with people.

With all social media take time to write your profile and
add your links to create a chain between you and your media sites. And ALWAYS stick with ONE name – preferably
your author name. The web is a small world and you WILL be recognised. It takes
time and patience, but it DOES pay off.

Only don’t expect it within a month – or even six months. Sorry if that’s NOT what you want to hear. There is no magic formula. If there was I’d be selling it at fifty quid a bottle!

Patience and perseverance is the golden key.

But think of it this way: you’ll meet loads of writers in the same position as yourself and you’ll make lots of friends.

How to format for Smashwords?

Easy Steps
1.  Bring up your manuscript. Save it somewhere safe.

2.  With your ms safe, we can “play” with formatting. There will be no page numbers, no fancy fonts or pictures (it’s possible but this guide is just basic). You will need your notepad, so locate that. I found it in my start bar and I searched it.

3.  You’ll also need to locate your tool bar (at the top of your word document).

4.  In the to tool bar find the    mark. It’s called “pilcrow” and represents a paragraph break. Click it. Your precious ms should be littered with strange marks now.

5.  For formatting with Smashwords you should only see the pilcrow, the small “space” mark, which looks like a tiny raised full stop and a page break mark: 
No other mark is allowed, and so we now aim to remove all other marks!

6.  Open the “notepad” of your computer.

7.  Copy ALL of your ms. I go into the ribbon and click “select all”, then move my cursor to the darkened area of my ms and right click to copy. 

8.  Paste your ms into your notepad.

9.  Open a clean word doc.

10.  Then copy your ms from the notepad and paste it to the clean word doc. Close the notepad, you don’t need that any more. In your clean new word doc, make sure the pilcrow is activated again.

11.  Select all. Then make sure your new document is NORMAL – see below circled.
12.  Select all again, and in your tab bar drag it over to where you want your indents to be.
13.  Now you need to check for all stray spaces, tabs and returns. Delete them all. There are no short cuts, so it will take a while. Make sure your document is a decent size so you can see those stray spaces (these mainly occur at the end of a paragraph just before the pilcrow).
14. Next select all again, and keep to TIMES NEW ROMAN, point 11 or 12. Titles and chapter headings should be no more then point 14.
15. Chapter headings MUST begin CHAPTER ONE etc The “chapter” bit is a must. Have a pilcrow above a line break, and one below.
16. Everything is to the left, and you want your chapter headings centred. You can’t use the normal way any more. In the tool bar you will see “Change Styles” with “AA”. Beneath it is a small button, click it to bring up a small window.

17.  At the bottom of that window are “AA” again. Click them.
18. And up pops another window. In the “name” put CENTRED. Then in the right, left, centred or justify buttons below click CENTRE. Then OK.
19.  Your chapter heading is now centred. Now EVERY TIME you need to centre something you will click on the little mark beneath “style changes” and use the centred that you made. Just highlight what you want centred and click on your newly made CENTRED button. 

That’s your ms formatted. 

Remember to follow the guidelines for the copyright page because SMASHWORDS are your publisher as an eBook, not your original publisher.

Good luck!

Read the interview of Crabbit Old Bat AKA Nicola Morgan

as she answers questions about her latest novel Wasted and her blog Help I Need a Publisher, and why she penned a non-fiction book called Write to be Published.


 NEWEST NOVEL: WASTED “Stroke of genius” – Cat Anderson, bookseller. “Outstanding!” – Vanessa Robertson, bookseller. “WOW!” – Nikki Heath, librarian

WASTED nominated for the Carnegie Medal

When did you get your first break into writing fiction? 
Well, I struggled and failed for many years. My first novel was published 21 years after I started trying! And the reason I got one published in the end was that I came up with an idea that worked – one that worked in storyline and language. (Before, it had all been about the language and I couldn’t get the story right.). I don’t think I was a rubbish writer before but I hadn’t found a way of turning my love of words into story. It was really my memory of all that heartache combined with everything I learnt from my own experience and that of all the other writers who I came into contact with professionally during the last ten years that made me want to give advice to aspiring authors.

Have your family and friends always been supportive of your writing career? 
Yes, though to be honest no one who isn’t a writer can really understand. They try but most don’t always manage! My husband and daughters are 100% fantastic and supportive and they do understand. Maybe you have to live with a writer before you can, because we keep a lot of stuff hidden. Before I was published, I didn’t talk about it much outside my family but my husband stood by me for a long time while I failed. I hope he thinks it was worth the wait.

Have you stayed with the same agent/publisher all through your career? 
Same agent, different publishers. That’s partly because I write for children and adults, fiction and non-fiction.

What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? 
Nowadays, it seems to be either 5 till 7 in the morning or 4 till 6 in the evening. It just depends on what else is distracting me. (Usually a lot.) I think that routines can change more easily than we think and if my circumstances changed I’d write at different times. Now that I’m so busy travelling to do events, I am better at writing on trains and in hotels, for example.

Do you have a favourite book of yours that you have written? 
Wasted. Before that it was The Passion Flower Massacre. They both have more of me in them than any of my other books and are more experimental. Also, in both cases I knew exactly what I wanted to do and managed to achieve the effect I planned. They came from the heart. Mondays are Red also has a special place in my memory, because it was my first.

Do you have a favourite character?
I love Jack and Jess in Wasted. They are cool, brave, deep, wonderful, slightly damaged and yet very strong. They will survive. I’m not surprised they fell in love with each other – they are perfect for each other and the attraction was huge from the start.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer? Computer. I’m very bad with pens. I get lovely notebooks and then don’t use them. I must try to change because I love paper, but I love it most when it’s got nothing on it.

What (or who) do you draw inspiration from? 
Everything, everywhere, nature, the sky, the space between my head and yours. I almost never feel inspired by sitting at my computer (which is a bit unfortunate in view of my last answer…) but going out for a walk, with my dog but no people, usually frees the ideas. I think it’s incredibly important for people to give themselves time to think – not just writers and artists but everyone. We fill our hours too full these days and we need to find time to dream.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count? 
Usually. It depends. I must say that my targets have all lowered recently. I used to do 3000 words a day easily (when writing a first draft) but now I struggle to do 1500.

What drives you to choose the career of being a writer? 
I just want it, need it, can’t do anything else. I can’t imagine being or doing anything else. I also quite like doing nothing, but that’s not satisfying. I need, really need, to do something I can be proud of. I also really need to be a bit different from “normal”. And I love the power of language. In fact, if you want to know the real answer, it’s that I’m power-hungry and language is the ultimate power. When I help writers with their writing, through Pen2Publication, it’s that power that I’m trying to give them.

Write to be Published is out now. Is this a how-to book for want-to-be-authors? And how does it differ from other books in its genre?
Of course, no two books on the same subject will be the same, but let me tell you what I think are the important points about Write to be Published. First, the philosophy: I aim to show you why publishers and agents say no because I believe that when we know why they say no, we can make them say yes. So, I get you to focus on all the possible things you could be doing wrong, so you can cure and prevent them. Second, the voice: the “Crabbit Old Bat” voice which is the key part of my blog (Help! I Need a Publisher!) is there in the book, chivvying authors into working as hard as they must to become good enough to be published. So, there’s humour and snarkiness but I hope that what comes through is that if you are determined to be good enough, I’m there to help. And third, the breadth of topics – I go all the way from how agents’ minds work and deciphering the market, through the concept and all the main aspects of the actual writing, through the pitch and submission, as well as dealing with rejection and getting quality feedback. It’s the blog of the book and the blog will give readers a pretty good idea of the content, but the book is more distilled and obviously easier to find your way around. It has a structure that makes sense.

Which came first with you, non-fiction or fiction? What’s easier to write? 
Fiction was my first love and I’m now married to it forever but I flirt with non-fiction when I want something easier. Then I got my hand bitten when I wrote Write to be Published, because any ideas that I’d had that non-fiction was easier were destroyed.

What are you working on now that you can talk about? 
Secret! I’m juggling a couple (or more) of different things for different age groups and I’ve yet to decide (or have it decided for me) which way to go first. Basically, I want to do it all, but obviously I can’t, or not all at the same time. Managing a writing career is not easy and sometimes you have to say no to things, or wait for a better moment. I have far more novels in my head than I think I’ll ever write.

Who are your favourite authors, and are you reading anything now? 
Bernice Rubens was a long time favourite of mine, and I was very sad when she died a few years ago. I love Michel Faber, Kate Atkinson and Joanne Harris – and there’s not really enough similarity between them to explain what I need in a book. I need excitement and emotion, clever language use, fantastic characterisation and something a bit off-beat, individual, clever.

What is the one thing want-to-be authors must do to succeed? 
Write something that people will pay to read.

Social networking and the self-published author

by Myne Whitman

My first book, A Heart to Mend was published via Authorhouse in December of 2009. Before then, I had started my blog in August and started advance publicity for the book a couple of months later. Setting up an active blog and publishing my book served a double purpose for me; finding out the target audience for my kind of writing and building a platform too. If not for the social networking channels, A Heart to Mend would never have gone viral the way it did. And for that, I will always be grateful for the vehicle that social media provides to a writer and self-published author like me to get my book out there.

It was through the support of bloggers that I did my first blog tour for A Heart to Mend with the attendant publicity. By the end of that blog tour, I was getting requests for interviews and features almost daily. I put up chapter one of the book on a free reading website and it became a massive hit. It remained in the top 10 for three consecutive months! The publishers of the website did an interview with me and featured it on their front page.
The beauty of social media was that I could remain in my work room with just my laptop and an internet connection, and meet up with these dozens of interviews. As time went on, I continued networking with other writers and self-published authors and I shared what I had learnt, I picked up some good nuggets from them too. I set up a Twitter page and opened up my Facebook profile for use with my pen name. As I became more adept at using the word-of-mouth tools on those two sites, the visibility of A Heart to Mend quadrupled. I learnt how to interconnect these media, how to set up scheduled tweets or how to update Facebook via RSS feeds, etc.

After noting these advantages of using social networking, the challenges has to be pointed out too, and the major one is distraction. For me, Facebook has proved the most addictive. I find that sometimes while updating my pages, I may stray into something else entirely and so on, thereby wasting precious time that could have been put to better use. One day I took a break from writing and as usual, the first point of call was Facebook. The site was down, and I kept refreshing it for almost five minutes before it dawned what I was doing. I laughed at myself, left a message on Twitter about my addiction and went to check some other things. I had to really think that day but it is what it is. Apart from work, Facebook is also the only place I can keep in contact with all my family and most of my friends.

Finally, I think the reason social networking worked so well for me as a writer and publisher is because I am a social person. During the times I am not writing, I enjoy the company of other like-minded people and being able to use the Internet and social networking to connect to more and more people in my writing life is a thing of learning and also of pleasure. At the end of the day, I have to find a way to strike a balance by ensuring that my internet use is mostly purposeful and in a way that is linked to my writing and also setting out a specific time for my writing itself without any distractions. That way, I still get a lot of writing done while remaining in the social circles.

Myne Whitman is the author of newly released Love Rekindled years ago, Efe Sagay dreams of winning the United States Visa Lottery, until she meets Kevwe Mukoro in University. Kevwe is happy to remain in Nigeria; only he wants Efe by his side. Over time, Efe finds true love with Kevwe, and promises to marry him. Their dreams unravel when Efe wins an American Visa, and fresh violence erupts between their warring ethnic groups. Now, Efe is back in Nigeria, and she knows it’s a matter of time before Kevwe returns to her life. They finally meet again, but renewed desire is no match for bitter memories of heartbreak. Efe wants the traumatic events of the past resolved before she gives in to rekindled love. 

Buy Rekindled Love on Creatspace or click Amazon.
Contact and meet Myne Whitman at her website:
Or drop her a line by email: myne(at)

If you are a writer or blogger you should know the importance of TAGS

But first what are they?
In computer terminology, a tag is a keyword which provides a visual suggestion of the number of articles tagged with a keyword. The more popular a keyword the larger it will appear in the tag cloud.
In easy-speak if you were to search the Internet for say, help or advice on blogging, you’d head over to Google or Bing and put in the search engine “blogging help” or similar. And the savvy blogger would have used your words as taglines because he wants you to visit his page.
Now, if I wanted you to be able to find my book, A Proper Charlie easily, my tags would be “chicklit” “romance” “Louise Wise” etc and your searching words would generate my taglines to be at the top, or near to the top, of your search and hopefully you’ll click to be taken to my book.
On various blogs or websites taglines look like this:
The larger the word the more popular they are. Or they can be neat like an index. But either, they work the same. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the blogger. It’s wise to chose them to best describe the article written.
For this one I shall use, taglines, what are taglines, how to use taglines etc.
If you have a book out and it’s on Amazon make sure you have tagged your book. At the bottom of the Amazon page you should see “Tags Customers Associate with This Product” and then a list of taglines. These are the tags that generous people have given your book. And I say generous because it IS generous. Every little tag helps navigate potential readers towards your book.
There is an option to add your own, and I fully recommend you do so. As many as you can think of relevant to your book. Mine for Eden are: science fiction romance, romance, science fiction, survival, louise wise, love story, love, relationships, contemporary romance, best sellers, holiday read, quick read, a must read, romance novel, eden,  social media.

Louise Wise
Author of Eden and A Proper Charlie