Tag Archives: authorship

Author Share – Marketing

Author Share black letters

I am so excited to have two rock stars in the social media scene joining me today!

Cassandra Carr and Lisa Pietsch.

Cassandra has a great ebook exclusively on Amazon, called Marketing Matters  For under $2.50, this is a steal! I definitely recommend it! She also teaches writer workshops, like Time Management and Author Marketing.

Lisa offers fantastic social media courses. One free one will be on her blog, and will give the basics to getting started. Her refresher course, on Writer University.com is filling up fast!

So let’s get started. Marketing 101:

Katherine Deane:  Thanks so much for joining me today, ladies. I have to be honest, marketing still overwhelms me. I wrote a book, I have a blog, which I am (somewhat) consistently posting on, I am now plugged into social media like Facebook and Twitter. What’s next? How do I get my book seen?

Cassandra Carr: Discoverability. Ah, the bane of every author’s existence. You probably thought getting the book published was tough, huh? But fear not! If you have a blog, post consistently, even if it’s only once a week, and it helps to pick a “meme”, aka do the same theme every week. Tuesday Teasers, Thursday Thirteen, Sexy Saturday – all actual romance blog memes. If you’re “plugged into” social media, are you engaging with your followers? Constant “buy my book” irritates people. I talk about my five-year-old daughter all the time. It makes authors likable, it makes us human. It makes us relatable.

Katherine Deane: I do remember hearing a lot about engaging and relatability this past few weeks. Lisa, you are the “Social media rockstar”. I’m planning on signing up for your next online class (when is it?) But why do I need all of this engaging? It seems like a lot.

Lisa Pietsch: I offer classes twice a year now through WriterUniv.com. The 6-week class (offered in the spring) takes you from no online presence to having a website and a solid presence on all of the major social networks. The2-week Refresher & Advanced course will be offered in July this year. You’ll need to have gone through one of my Superstar classes to register, or at least have worked through my book or the free Social Media for Authors Home Study Course which will be available onmy website no later than the beginning of June.

It may seem like a lot, but the cold truth is that publishers don’t have the marketing budgets they used to have and independent authors (indies like me) need to do their own marketing. Writing isn’t like Field of Dreams. Just because you write it and publish it doesn’t mean anyone will find it. The fact is every author needs to take responsibility for their author brand and that means getting out there, mixing and mingling on social networks, and sharing their work (in a non-spammy way, of course).

Katherine Deane: To understand author branding, I think I need to understand who my audience is first, correct? Can you explain, “finding your audience”. My audience is just ‘readers of spanking romance’, right? Or do I need to dig deeper, be more specific. (Should I know exactly who I am targeting: age play? Old fashioned DD? Contemporary DD with lots of male internalizing? Etc…) Why would this help?

 Lisa Pietsch: Your audience is the people who are going to connect with your work. The most important thing to remember is that not everyone will connect with your work, and that’s OK. Be true to yourself and your art by being who you are online and your audience will find you.

My audience enjoys lots of action, kickass heroines, suspense and sexual tension. They don’t mind that I don’t write explicit sex and don’t tell sweet, small town love stories. They also don’t mind that I have some explicit violence and language. There are plenty of people out there who do mind those things though. They aren’t my people and that’s OK. You don’t really need to nail down the demographics of your audience, just be true to yourself and your art when you’re online and your author brand will sort out who your following is or isn’t.

Cassandra Carr: Finding your audience, is, I think, a difficult thing to define. Yes, your audience IS “readers of spanking fiction”. But if you were, say, General Motors, would your audience be (and this is a total generalization for the purposes of this example) white men between the ages of 45 and 75? Well, no. And the same is true for you. Besides readers of spanking fiction, your audience is potentially anyone interested in BDSM, readers who enjoy perhaps a little darker side of erotica. I think targeting can work, but only if you know what you want to write and concentrate on that. Otherwise, I’d go the other way. Be inclusive, rather than exclusive.

Katherine Deane: Thanks! Ok, what should I do before my book is published?

Cassandra Carr: Ha! Loaded question. If you do nothing else, get yourself a Goodreads page and populate it as much as you can. What do I mean? Well, Goodreads lets you “plug in” things like your blog so the most recent post will show up on your profile. Make sure there are links to your social media accounts. Also, get a website done. If you have the skills to do it yourself, go for it. I do, but after a while I had so many releases the design wasn’t scalable anymore. Also, I was getting busier, so I contracted the design and now the maintenance out to someone. There are several designers who specialize in romance author websites. Go find some authors whose websites you love. Oftentimes the designer has a little link on the bottom of the page.

Lisa Pietsch: Before your book is published, you should already have a website/blog (I recommend they both be on the same site and suggest WordPress.com to my students and clients). You’ll also want to be sure you have a Facebook Profile, Facebook Author Page (Fan Page), Twitter account, and Pinterest account. These are the absolute minimum. You really need to have a solid following, even if it is just a small one, in all of them so you don’t have to play catch-up when your book is released.

Katherine Deane: What should I do after my book gets published? Is there a happy medium between screaming “Look at me! Have YOU bought my book yet?!!?” and just rolling over and hoping word of mouth does the trick?

 Lisa Pietsch: There is a happy medium and I try to teach my students how to get to it as soon as possible. If you have your basic social platforms squared away before your book is released and you’ve been engaging your following on each, simply announcing the good news that your book has been released or sharing news of promotional pricing will go a long way.

I know authors who have a solid core of fans on several social platforms and though they may share a thing or two on Facebook every day, they spend most of their time in their writing cave. They share the news when they hit a writing milestone, receive contracts for new books, have a new cover to reveal, have a book available for preorder or a new release and that keeps their fans going. The important thing is that they’ve made that initial connection with friends and fans and those friends and fans enjoy hearing about the milestones.

Cassandra Carr: I agree, there’s a happy medium. For the first week or two after release, mentioning your book 3-4 times a day on social media is acceptable, but here’s the thing- that’s assuming you’re engaging on social media in other ways. If ALL you have for two weeks after release is “buy my book” posts, people will get annoyed. After the first few weeks, go down to one a day or one every other day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mention things like “I’m on this blog talking about…” or “I got a great review from…” Both are sneaky ways to keep your book in front of your audience without making it too obvious.

Katherine Deane: Can you expound a bit on the Amazon Author Page?

Lisa Pietsch: If you have a book available on Amazon.com then you need an Amazon Author Page. You can post your bio and website information, book trailers or related videos, and photos, as well as connect your Twitter account and blog to feed into your Author Page. Amazon.com is where most people are buying their books so if you can connect with new readers right there at the bookstore, why shouldn’t you? Once a reader reads your book(s) and becomes a fan, they can find you very easily through your Amazon Author Page.

Katherine Deane: What is a blog tour? How is it different from blog hopping or promo posts on other authors’ blogs?

Cassandra Carr: A blog tour is a set of dates wherein you agree to appear in some way on other peoples’ blogs, maybe as a guest poster, an interviewee, or just a spotlight on your work without any other interaction from you (besides going to the blog in the morning to thank them for having you on, and to subscribe to blog comments so you can reply if someone else makes a comment).

Blog hops are an event that runs for a specific amount of time and is related to a specific thing- The Alpha Male Hop that lasts for three days, where your post might be about why your hero is an Alpha Male; Hop Against Homophobia that lasts a week and where your post might deal with an aspect of homophobia you have a particular dislike of. Readers “hop” from blog to blog.

I mentioned promo posts above. Those are posts with your blurb, an excerpt, your bio, and buy links. As I said, you don’t have to write anything specific for the blog, you just send out that info to anyone doing a promo post and you’re all set–except for the whole going there that morning etc.

Lisa Pietsch: Blog hopping is generally a group of authors who blog once each in rapid succession and add a link at the top of their blog for the previous author’s blog and one at the bottom of their blog for the next author. These can help authors connect with a few new readers over a longer period of time.

Promo posts on other authors’ blogs are usually just a book cover, book description, buy links and author contact information. They aren’t really engaging but can help to reach a few new readers for a books release.

A blog tour is (or should be) a series of new and different blogs written by the same author, appearing on other websites during a certain period of time. Some authors run blog tours where they are hosted on a new website and post a new blog each day for a month, some run Monday/Wednesday/Friday for several weeks, some just guest blog at a new site once a week for several weeks.

Katherine Deane: Are there ways to do blog tours inexpensively, or do I have to hire a marketing company to do this?

Cassandra Carr: You can do all the marketing yourself, and in the beginning when you’re not making much money you may want/need to. Send out a call through social media for people who are willing to feature you on their blog. Tell them the type of posts you’re willing to do. For instance, I very rarely guest blog because after three years and forty releases, it’s nearly impossible to come up with topics.

But I’ll do interviews (like this one!), character interviews–an interview with you usually as the interviewer and your character(s) as the interviewee. Readers love them because they get an “inside scoop”. And promo posts/spotlights are fine with me too. Less work and hopefully at this point I don’t have to say “Hi, I’m Cassandra Carr, and I write this”, because if I’m doing my marketing correctly, they already know who I am and just want to hear about my newest release.

Lisa Pietsch: I never recommend hiring a marketing company. Heck, I AM a marketing company and I still prefer to show authors how to put together a blog tour quickly and easily on their own instead. This isn’t because I can’t arrange them, I just don’t think we should enable all those new industries that have popped up with the specific intention of separating artists from their money. I’m a firm believer in the old adage: Give a man a fish and he eats for a day – teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. That’s why I createdThe Blog Exchange, so authors could work cooperatively and host each other when needed. Putting out a call on your social networks, if they’re large enough, can yield a great number of fellow authors willing to host you. Between that and the Blog Exchange, you should have more than enough websites willing to host a major tour.

Katherine Deane: How much do I actually have to get published , and how often, before I get “seen”. The FSOG author did it with one; LOL, I’m guessing that is not the norm. 🙂

Lisa Pietsch: No, sadly that isn’t the norm. I’ve been negligent in my own publishing over the past few years. I’ve averaged one book a year but I’ve been lucky in my ability to connect with a great audience and have fans that have stuck with me because they’ve enjoyed my past work so much. This is one of the things a great social platform can do for you as an author. It allows your readers to understand you aren’t a robot or a writing machine and that you deal with the ups and downs of life just like they do. It also provides you with great ways to keep them engaged in your work in progress. I’ll share memes with excerpts on my Facebook pages, write blogs about the writing process, share the photos of celebrities and places that have inspired characters and scenes on Pinterest, and other things on other platforms.

Cassandra Carr: No, not the norm. She had the “perfect storm” of things go right for her. It happens, but don’t count on it. Like I said above, I have forty releases, from shorts/anthos to full-length books, series books, and lots of people don’t know who I am. Is that because my marketing sucks? Nope, or Katherine probably wouldn’t have asked me to do this interview, lol. It’s because there are tons of readers who aren’t active on social media, there are readers who only buy paperbacks from a physical bookstore (where I have no books). You get to as much of the audience as you can and keep pounding away at it.

Being prolific WILL help you get noticed since readers will notice your new release and say, “I’ve seen this chick Cassandra Carr. She writes hockey romance, I think. I liked the hockey romance I read from (insert another author here), so I’ll go over to Cassandra’s author page on Amazon. Whoa! She’s got forty books! Hockey! BDSM! Male/male! Menage!” *one click* *one click* *one click* (Hopefully)

Katherine Deane: Why is social media so important for the marketing of my book? What ever happened to word of mouth?

Cassandra Carr and Lisa Pietsch: Social media IS word of mouth.

Katherine Deane: (LOL, these were the exact same replies from both women 🙂 )

Lisa Pietsch: We live in a world where people are too busy to meet for coffee and chit-chat for a couple hours every morning or enjoy long lunches chatting about life and books. Social media has become that for about 95% of the people with computers. Social media is where word of mouth happens now.

Cassandra Carr: That’s what the share button on FB and the retweet button on Twitter are for. Social media is all about the power of amplification. What do I mean? Well, I have around 2500 friends on FB. We all know not all 2500 friends see all my posts. But let’s say 500 do. And of those 500, 10 thought it was cool enough to share. Between those ten people, there are 4000 friends who are not friends of mine, so they wouldn’t have seen my original post. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested, maybe they just don’t know me, don’t follow authors on social media, whatever. Now they’re seeing the post, though, so your one post was amplified to many more people when your friends shared it.

Katherine Deane: We are talking about Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and a few groups that match the interests of my genre, correct?

Cassandra Carr: Pretty much. I just got rid of my personal author blog. It was taking time away from writing and I didn’t think it was helping. I still blog on a group blog called Romancing the Jock, which centers on…sports romance. I’m very active on Facebook, less so on Twitter since there are a lot more industry people on Twitter and less readers. Singing to your own choir won’t get the word out about your book.

I’m not saying to close your Twitter account, but maybe decide how you want to use it. Maybe it’s a tool that’s better for talking to editors, since through traditional channels you have to slay dragons, swim through moats, and sacrifice a chicken to get actual face-time with an editor. But ask a question specific to them on Twitter and they’ll probably answer. This could be anything from “Do you like sports romance or is there another ed at your house I should send to?” to “Congrats on having three RITA award nominees! Are you taking submissions from (people like me)?”

Lisa Pietsch: Facebook, Twitter and blogging are musts. If any of your audience is female or gay, you need to be on Pinterest too. Groups are great if you can find some that are specific to your genre and allow you to connect with people rather than simply broadcast. I think people mistake social networks for broadcasting methods rather than places to connect with and truly engage with others. The sort of social media use I encourage is the engaging, where you’re part of a conversation and not just broadcasting. We all know the author that broadcasts all over the place and doesn’t sell any books – that’s because she annoys so many people. Don’t be that author.

Katherine Deane: How long should all this “socializing” take? I don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to write, socialize and market.

Cassandra Carr: There aren’t enough hours. Not nearly enough. I just turned in a novella to my editor last night, which is why I had time to do this interview now. But I’m way behind on email, which bugs my OCD tendencies; I need to pack for RT, which I’m leaving for in five days; I need to find some more avenues to market an upcoming multi-author series (Red Hot and BOOM! coming June 1st); and I should probably make sure my house isn’t a wreck and there’s food in the fridge before I leave for a week. Did I mention the garage sale my parents are having this weekend which always gets tons of traffic and how I’ll be spending hours carting stuff over there, setting it up, and pricing it? Oh, and Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’m traveling an hour in the morning, coming back and going to another event.

So, what do you do? Some writers set aside specific time every day and only do social media/blogging etc during those times. Me? I have the attention span of a gnat so I tend to check in every hour or two. When I do that, I don’t stay for a long time, but since I oftentimes post a little something — last night it was “The only reason I’d leave my house right now is to get donuts”, that makes me human and relatable. Not every post has to have deep meaning.

Lisa Pietsch: My method requires 30 minutes a day. I teach my students and clients how to set up their social networks quickly, build them with a targeted audience, and then only spend 30 minutes a day TOTAL on a combination of building and engaging.

Katherine Deane: If I had to pick the most important things to do to market my book, what would they be?

Cassandra Carr: Website, filled out Goodreads profile, filled out Amazon author page.

Lisa Pietsch: Be accessible: Have a presence on the major networks like blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Engage: Get in on the conversation every once in a while. You don’t need to watch your streams constantly, just set up your notifications so you can respond to the conversations important to you once a day.

Write your next book: Believe it or not, this is a must.

Katherine Deane: What is one tip you would give newer authors to maximize their marketing potential for their book?

Cassandra Carr: Concentrate on social media, Facebook in particular. That, FOR NOW, is the most effective, cheapest, easiest marketing you can do.

Lisa Pietsch: Write a good book. (Oh, wait…that’s assumed.)

Don’t be Spammy Spammerson. (That should be assumed too.)

OK, my final answer:

Be accessible through multiple social media networks and authentic in your communications. The rest will happen. Whether it happens quickly or not is completely up to you.

While I agree with Cassandra that Facebook is important, I feel I should mention that Facebook is cutting down on sending people notifications about pages they’ve liked so most author pages are seeing much lower numbers and slower growth on Facebook now. Eventually, Facebook plans to make all page traffic pay-to-play. As I’ve explained in this article, you do need a Facebook Fan Page, but I explain further in this article, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket.

Katherine Deane: You ladies are so awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

*****

What I have taken from this, is that social media once again, turns out to be very important to the marketing – of not only my books, but more importantly, me. If I am seen as a real person, AND have good books, then my followers will continue to buy, and will spread the word. I have many different options to spread the word, as seen by our guest hostesses. The key will be to figure out what works for me. And I know I am definitely going to re-read Cassandra’s marketing book, and attend Lisa’s class.

***

Today’s hostesses:

 Cassandra Carr

So who am I? I’ve been writing my whole life, but only decided to pursue writing as a career in the past couple of years. I’m lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband named Inspiration who brings home the bacon so I can stay home and fry it (and eat it all before he’s able to fight through the rush hour traffic – I’m mean that way, but like I always say, don’t get between a woman and her bacon).

I live in Western New York with Inspiration and our young daughter, Too Cute for Words. I’m a major hockey fan, which explains why many of my heroes are hockey players. If you haven’t looked at the guys playing the sport today, search for some images. You won’t be disappointed.

I’m a member of the leading professional association for romance novelists, Romance Writers of America, and also serve as president of my local chapter. I’ve met so many interesting people through these organizations and highly recommend them to any aspiring writer!

As you can see, my life is pretty busy, but I try to take as much time as I can to write. And re-write. And re-write. It’s a never-ending, vicious circle, and I love it!

website – http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com/

twitter – http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.

facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BooksByCassandraCarr

Lisa Pietsch

Lisa Pietsch is a U.S.A.F. veteran and member of RomVets, a multi-published novelist and freelance writer, social & digital media marketing consultant, has served as managing editor for five content rich online communities and several online and print newsletters, and a homeschooling mother of two boys. She has an A.S. in Business Management from the University of Maine and has been immersed in social media marketing and management since 2004. She has a passion for foreign languages, travel and hot guys with guns. Lisa currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her darling companion, two sons, two cats and dog.

When her first novel, The Path to Freedom, was published in electronic formats in 2008, Lisa realized her marketing efforts would need to take a left turn at traditional and become largely electronic as well. Since then, she has developed tools and handbooks that teach writers of all genres and small press publishers how to market their books and their brands without breaking the bank. She is available for both workshops and private training.

website – http://lisapietsch.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LisaPietsch

Facebook – http://facebook.com/lisa.pietsch

 

 

 

Author Share – Editing

 

Author Share black letters

I am so excited to have three amazing women here with me today, talking about the editing process. I have worked with both Kate Richards and Jamie Miles, and have to give them a huge shout out for not only being thorough, but also personable and friendly in their support. I love working with each of them, and appreciate the different aspects they bring to the editing process. I am also super stoked to have Erica Scott here today to talk about copy editing. When I found out that my favorite “bottom” was also a proof reader and copy editor, I just had to bring her into the mix. I’m thankful that they all shifted their busy schedules to share their experience and talk with me about the latest “Author Share” – Editing.

So let’s jump right in!

 

Katherine Deane: Thanks for joining me today, ladies. What is the biggest thing you each edit for?

Jamie Miles: I am lead editor at Stormy Night Publications, a highly author-centric publisher for spanking and BDSM romance and erotica titles. My primary role is in content editing, but I sometimes do copy editing.

Erica Scott: I work as a freelance proofreader/copy editor and have had several clients, but my two regulars are polar opposites: Stormy Night Publications (spanking erotica), and a company that produces courses on medical topics! I sometimes find myself, in one day, reading subjects that range from anal punishments to the treatment of pressure ulcers.

Kate Richards: As executive editor at Decadent Publishing and co-owner of Wizards in Publishing, quite a variety of genres cross my desk. For example, at Wizards, we recently edited a non-fiction called Open Doors about the lives of women living on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian border for a charity that helps women to gain the skills to take care of themselves and their families throughout the world. I edit more erotic romance than anything, and I really enjoy spanking fiction, lesbian fiction, and BDSM. And historical romance. And mysteries….

Katherine Deane: What is the biggest mistake that newer authors make?

Erica Scott: I don’t think there is any one biggest mistake, but I do see one error fairly regularly with newer authors—underestimating their readers. They state and restate certain things, over-explain the situations, over-describe their characters. In their eagerness to convey what’s in their head to the readers, they overdo it.

Jamie Miles: I agree that there isn’t a single “biggest mistake” that authors make, since each author is different. If I had to identify a single issue which is one of the most common, I would say that quite often authors don’t identify their target audience well enough. Just because an author wants to write about a dinosaur from outer space who spanks naughty girls with a hairbrush doesn’t mean anybody else wants to read about that.

Kate Richards: I can approach this best as an author, I think. The biggest mistake I made as a new author was completely panicking the first time I received edits. I allowed the colorful, comment-dotted manuscript to make me think I couldn’t write. And, once I breathed again, I learned more from that editor than any since.

Katherine Deane: Kate, I’m so glad you brought up the colors. I admit I actually did panic a bit when I saw my edits the first time. 🙂 So, why the different colors? What do they mean?

Kate Richards: Different editors use highlights in different ways, some don’t use them at all. But, generally, they are a handy way to point out repetitions or repeated issues that an author can then address. Like seventeen uses of “hand” or “tongue” on a page. Or consistent overuse of names, or passive verb phrasing. If an editor does use this method, they should provide you with a guide and some instructions.

Katherine Deane: What’s the difference between a Developmental edit and a full edit?

Jamie Miles: Stormy Night doesn’t use specific terms for the revision process, but the depth of the edit depends on many things—the author’s ability, the plot, the subject material, among other things. Some books will require extensive changes, such as reordering, cutting, and/or adding scenes and chapters, while some books will only need help with things like wording, unanswered questions, plot holes, overused words, and superfluous description.

Kate Richards: I agree with Jamie. No two edits are alike, but a developmental edit will be broader, help the author with character development, plot, story arc. Often a content editor will work with these things, too, but more in depth on a line by line basis.

Katherine Deane: Erica, what are some of the biggest grammatical errors and typos you have found? Inconsistencies?

Erica Scott: How many pages do I have? 🙂 In the olden days of typesetting, before Autocorrect and Spellcheck, I saw a lot more misspelled words (“teh” for “the” was common). Now, the errors are a little trickier; punctuation errors (missing commas, commas where there should be semi-colons, hyphens instead of dashes), words that are properly spelled but used incorrectly (“too” for “to,” etc.), and cases where the author clearly meant one word, but mistakenly typed another that sounds like it (I once saw “plummeted” instead of “pummeled”). Inconsistencies cover a broad spectrum. With stylistic choices, the author will often lose track of which style he/she has chosen (e.g., using “okay,” “OK” and “Ok”), or spell their characters’ names or other proper names differently (Lily on page 12, then Lilly on page 124).

Katherine Deane: How do you show the difference between a POV shift and a chapter break?

Kate Richards: Every publisher has style guides that tell the author and copy editor how to show this in the manuscript, but otherwise, it varies. I think the important thing is that POV shifts aren’t too often.

Jamie Miles: I don’t use copy editing marks; instead, I just write out the necessary change using words.

Katherine Deane: In developmental edits, what do you normally suggest for overall character and plot development (for the spanking romance genre).

Jamie Miles: It depends on the nature of the plot and the author’s interests. One thing I usually suggest is that a spanking scene come sooner rather than later. No one wants to read halfway through a book to find the spanking scenes.

Kate Richards: Exactly. Spanking fiction has quite a variety of storylines. But, absolutely, readers of spanking romance expect spanking. They want to see how that element moves the romance and therefore it must be present. If there’s only one spanking scene at the end, readers will not be pleased.

Katherine Deane: What if the author doesn’t want to make the changes you suggested? Are these written in stone?

Erica Scott: As a proofreader, I will often find things in books or other works that I think need more editing than I’m supposed to be doing. So I will write a note to my client and suggest that they speak to the author about the sections/characters/whatever in question. After that, it’s out of my hands, although I’ve had clients often say “good catch” and “that makes a lot of sense” to me, so I’m hoping they are able to convince the authors too!

 Jamie Miles: Some are written in stone and some are not. We do have some content guidelines and we will not publish a book if its content does not fall within those guidelines. On the other hand, when we are asking for revisions which are not related to our content guidelines and the author does not want to make them, we have to make a judgment call on whether the book is still publishable without the changes.

Kate Richards: Editing should be an interactive process. We make suggestions, the author replies. Sometimes the author will not want to make a change and, if it is important, I will explain why. With a publisher, the final call belongs to house style, with an indie, the author holds that right. But if you, the author, continually disagree with the suggestions made by your editor, perhaps it’s just not a good match.

Katherine Deane: What is the difference between “ –“ (emdash?) and “…” (how are they used?)

Erica Scott:  An em-dash (“—”) signifies a break in thought, an alternate way of indicating a parenthetical statement. If you take out the copy between the dashes, the sentence still makes sense. (“My co-worker’s incessant gum-cracking—not to mention her constant throat clearing—made for an unpleasantly noisy work atmosphere.”) Ellipses (…) can signify the shortening of a list, or a stylistic trailing off of a thought, or a hesitation in speech.

 Jamie Miles: Also, when used in dialogue, an em dash can signal an abrupt break in speech, such as when a character is interrupted. For example:

“Young lady, I’m going not going to tell you again—”

“I’m tired of you bossing me around like a child!” she interrupted him. “You know I’m all of twenty years old…” Her voice wavered as he glared back at her, unmoving.

Katherine Deane: Thanks. And great example of dialog tags also. I would love to go into more detail about them at some point.

Katherine Deane: Why can’t I WRITE in ALL CAPS? I’m trying to REALLY make a point here!

Erica Scott: Because not only does it look like yelling, but it’s the lazy way to emphasize. You’ll get the same effect, without the angry look, if you italicize. If you want to be especially emphatic, you can (very sparingly) use bold italic. But over-emphasizing in any way (whether it be caps, italics, bold, or exclamation points) makes for tedious reading after a while.

Jamie Miles: Tsk, tsk. It looks like someone needs to give Katherine Deane a spanking for writing in all caps when she clearly knows it’s against the rules. As Erica explained, it looks like shouting and not emphasizing, but even when a story’s character is shouting, using italics still looks better.

Kate Richards: What they said. 🙂

Katherine Deane: LOL, Jamie. I believe that was incentive for more All Caps from me 😉 (That would make a great story, by the way 🙂 )

Katherine Deane: Ok, are “LY’s” really Satan’s spawn?

Erica Scott:  Are you talking about words that end with “ly,” and the improper usage of them? If that’s the case, I would like to express my nails-on-the-blackboard frustration with “more importantly” and “I feel badly.” Stop saying and writing these phrases, people! They’re wrong! “More importantly” does not mean the same thing as “more important”; it means “in an important manner.” And if you say “I feel badly,” you’re basically saying that you’re lousy at touching people.

Katherine Deane: Ooh, I just read about this in the “Grammar Girl” book. The word “badly” describes the verb “feel”. So I cannot “feel badly” about being mean to someone. This would mean after I was mean to this person, I turned around and did a very poor job of touching the objects around me. Hehe, I “felt badly”. 🙂

Katherine Deane: What if I have more than one female in a scene, and the POV is the MC Female? I know I am supposed to take out a lot of the names, when in MC’s POV. But it gets tricky, when there are so many she’s going on.

What then?

Kate Richards: It’s something that takes practice. After a while, it becomes natural, but reading out loud helps to be sure you are making sense without name bombing the reader.

Jamie Miles: I don’t think there is a set rule about this as it seems to be a more visual thing and more about what sounds right. But that being said, I would probably go with using “she” for the most part when talking about the MC. Then I would use the side character’s name more often, although I would try to use “she” for the side character when it makes sense that the side character is the one being talked about.

Katherine Deane: Can you explain show vs tell? I have been told this a lot. Turns out, I would be a great writer for onstage musicals.

Throws hands in air; walks away; smiles; sits down 🙂

Jamie Miles: For me, showing your characters doing actions that have a deeper or implied meaning is huge. If a character stutters just a tiny bit when trying to answer a question, or if she shifts her eyes away, that implies many things. Perhaps she is nervous, lying, or frightened. When other bits of detailed description and interesting conversation surround characters doing actions that could have a deeper meaning, you have a good story.

Kate Richards: This deeper meaning allows the readers to be more a part of the story. If you tell me the day was hot, okay, I get the point, but if you show me the beads of sweat on the hero’s muscular chest, the condensation on the glass of chilled white wine, the glare on the windshield, the heroine’s languor in the warm afternoon….I’m there.

Katherine Deane: What are some common issues found, that authors could fix themselves?

Erica Scott:  Spelling errors, certainly. If you get a red squiggle when you type a word, and you’re not sure about it, take a moment to look it up. If you cite anything from a geographical reference to a historical figure, make sure you’ve spelled it properly. Also, the aforementioned inconsistencies. Certainly an editor or proofreader can pick up on these, but it helps if the author stays on top of things and checks/double-checks their styles, name choices, pertinent details, etc., to make sure everything follows. If your character was 18 in 1975, then she’s 57 in 2014, not 53.

Jamie Miles: Mid-scene point of view hopping can easily make writing look less professional than it would otherwise. Giving readers the thoughts, emotions, and experiences of only one character at a time and using either a chapter break or a scene break to signal a shift to a different character’s point of view is something that quickly improves a story.

Katherine Deane: A final personal question for each of you- What do you most enjoy and / or least enjoy about the editing process?

Kate Richards: The most enjoyable part of editing are the same as writing. I love the beginning, and the possibilities, and the end when there is a beautiful shiny story that is everything it could be. The middle is the hard work that gets us there.

 Erica Scott:I take a lot of pride in taking someone’s good work and making it even better. I have a lot of respect for writers and never wish to step on their toes. By the time the copy gets to me, it’s relatively clean. But if I can take a phrase that’s unclear, or a misspelled name, or a choice of word that doesn’t quite fit, and tweak it just a little to perfect it, I get a lot of satisfaction from that. Things will slip by even the best of writers, and that’s where I come in.

That being said, the work can be tedious at times. My eyes get tired and if I don’t take breaks, I miss errors, which really frustrates me. I mean, I’m being paid to find things, not miss them! But sometimes, if there are more than the usual amount of typos, and I’m fixing three errors in one sentence, I might overlook the fourth. Which is why I have to remind myself to go slowly and carefully, and never rush a job. I tend to prefer to work with clients without breakneck turnarounds necessary, for that reason.

 Jamie Miles: The least enjoyable part of my work is that it captures my mind—sometimes when I wish it wouldn’t. I’ll lie awake in bed thinking about an author’s plot, characters, and scenes, contemplating ways to add to them. I even dream about editing. Maybe I need to get out a little more… But the most enjoyable part? Seeing my work and the author’s very hard work come to fruition.

Katherine Deane: Thank you so much ladies! I really appreciate your time and support , not only because of your willingness to go the extra mile in the editing process, but also your extra support with this blog post. This has a ton of great information that I cannot wait to share with the others! Thanks again!

 

Fellow authors and readers, thanks for stopping by today. So let’s get the discussion started! Let’s talk about eidting editing. 🙂

*****

 

Our wonderful co-hostesses for the day:

 

Jamie Miles

Jamie Miles has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and cannot remember a time when she hasn’t thrilled to the magic of characters brought to life on a printed page. When she graduated, her goal was to get into the publishing business, and she has recently found spanking romance and erotica to be an exciting corner of the publishing world. For the past year, she has been editing for Stormy Night Publications and is excited to move to a full-time role with the company. When she’s not editing spanking books, she can be found either engrossed in a good novel or finding new ways to brat the loving, firm-handed man who spanks her, which, she assures readers, is as good a hobby as any.

email – jamie@stormynightpublications.com

 

Kate Richards

Kate Richards divides her time between Los Angeles and the High Sierras. She would gladly spend all her days in the mountains, but she’d miss the beach…and her very supportive husband’s commute would be three hundred miles. Wherever she is, she loves to explore all different kinds of relationships in her stories. She doesn’t believe one-size-fits-all, and whether her characters live BDSM, ménage, GLBT or any other kind of lifestyle, it’s the love, the joy in one another, that counts.

She explores the editorial side of things as a partner in Wizards in Publishing and executive editor at Decadent Publishing. In working with authors and editors, she has learned the ins and outs of the author/editor relationship and the value of strength and open communication in such an intimate situation. Preserving the author’s voice, being open to the editor’s input, finding the jewel in a book that may still have some rough edges are all critical to the process.

Facebook Fan Pagehttp://on.fb.me/14Vqx48

Goodreads Pagehttp://bit.ly/19yVcWh

Twitterhttp://bit.ly/17AeWeM

 

Erica Scott

Erica Scott has been a proofreader/copy editor for over 30 years. She is the author of three books: What Happens to Naughty Girls?, a compilation of spanking stories; Late Bloomer,her autobiography; and Correspondence Hall of Shame: One Woman’s Adventures with Online Idiocy. She posts regularly in her blog, Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking, and is active on Twitter, Fetlife and Facebook.

Blog:www.ericascottlls.blogspot.com

Twitter: @EricaLScott — https://twitter.com/EricaLScott

FB: Erica Scott — https://www.facebook.com/EricaLScotthomepage

Fetlife: Erica_Scott — https://fetlife.com/users/16939

 

Author Share – Tweeting

Author Share black letters

 

Thanks so much for joining us for today’s installment of “Author Share”. Normandie Alleman, Kathy Batts, and Sheri Savill are here to talk with me about the fabulous (and very confusing to me!) world of Tweeting. Now, I’ll warn you, I have only been tweeting for a few weeks now, and am in way over my head. I like to just retweet what everyone else says, and call it a day. I don’t know the proper lingo (Thirsty Thursday and Fed-up Friday sound good to me!) I’m about to be schooled by these amazing women. Enjoy the ride! 🙂

Katherine Deane: Thanks for joining me ladies. So, let’s jump right in. What is tweeting, and why is it used by authors and readers?

Kathy Batts: Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Authors use them to get information out to their readers about what’s new, books, events, giveaways, and just to be social and keep in touch.

Katherine Deane: How do I tweet properly without being excessive or annoying?

Kathy Batts: I would do them every half hour/ hour, because if you do it too much, then you become annoying to other people.

Sheri Savill: On being annoying in Twitter, God yes, Twitter can be über-annoying and the jury is out as to whether people even read the all caps ME! ME! ME! tweets anyway, right? I don’t. But I’m a people person. Heh.

Kathy Batts: Put out different content in your Tweets. Don’t use the same ones a million times because then people will unfollow you.

Sheri Savill: I won’t just unfollow you, I will make a voodoo doll of you.

Katherine Deane: What are my choices?

Kathy Batts: You can Tweet manually, or you can use different apps or programs to help automate/schedule them to do a bunch at once if you have a lot of information to get out to people, or if you are busy and don’t have a lot of time. I’m sure there are loads of different options out there, but I have used HooteSuite. There is a regular and paid versions depending on how many Streams you want to attach to you Twitter. The unpaid version you can do five. A Stream counts as a Twitter account, Facebook page, and an Author page on Facebook, etc. And I’ve used that, but I usually use the Hootlet that lives in your browser. Hootlet only works with the Google Chrome browser, so if you use IE, then I would use the HootSuite instead. I like the Hootlet, since if I see anything I want to share, I don’t have to open a program or app, I just click on the owl in my browser.

http://www.hootlet.com/

https://hootsuite.com/products

Katherine Deane: Can you explain buffer app? That is the one I have started using.

Kathy Batts:  https://bufferapp.com/faq#

I haven’t used it really, but I know people that do, and it’s useful to them. Sheri Savill wrote a blog post about it, touting its uses. I love Sheri, she is the best! She knows how to crack me up and be informative at the same time. So you can stop at Sheri’s to learn something new and have a giggle.

http://sherisavill.com/techkink-2/

Sheri Savill: Thanks Kathy, for the kind words! Wow. Means a lot to me. It’s a series I’m kinda doing here and there, calling it TechKink. For authors.

Let me add a plug for my favorite iPhone app, TweetBot. I’ve tried them all, and it’s a personal preference, but TweetBot is by far my fave. You can mute people “forever” rather than unfollow them, for one thing. Not that people are annoying. Heh.

Katherine Deane: What is TT and FF?

Kathy Batts: Translated tweet. #FF stands for “Follow Friday.”

http://mashable.com/2013/07/19/twitter-lingo-guide/

Sheri Savill: There’s also “MT” which is “modified tweet.” Which you can Google.

Katherine Deane: Do I need to reply when people retweet mine or tweet about me?

Kathy Batts: I think it’s only polite to reply when someone tweets about you or tweets yours. The thing with using Triberr is that tons of people are sharing your tweets and it’s hard to thank everyone for that. People are on Triberr to get their information out there to everyone and share yours too.

Katherine Deane: What is Triberr?

Kathy Batts: There is nothing worse than writing a blog post that nobody reads. Triberr solves that problem for bloggers by developing a community of sharing and support with other bloggers.

Triberr is a new and better way to grow your blog’s readership. It’s better because it connects like minded bloggers who are interested in reading and supporting each other. This core community, or Tribe, is the secret to a successful blog.

http://help.triberr.com/faq/

http://help.triberr.com/

Sheri Savill: Triberr drove me insane, though. YMMV.

Katherine Deane: What are the pros and cons for automating your tweets?

Kathy Batts: I think it’s for people that want to schedule it and forget it, so if they are busy, they don’t have to worry about getting information out to people since it’s already there. I would have Jolynn use Buffer so she could do her tweets when she has time, and won’t feel rushed. She’s always working and when she gets home she wants to have her bath, hot tea with honey, and a foot rub.

Sheri Savill: Seriously, endless promo tweets and no live interaction, ever, on Twitter, is annoying and alienating. Just my opinion. Automation is great, and perhaps necessary, these days, but never lose sight of the end-user … real live people, reading your words. Even if it’s just a couple of them (in my case). Moderation, perhaps.

Katherine Deane: Can you please give a few examples of how to tweet properly using a blog post, review, or quote from a book as examples?

Kathy Batts: I attached a jpeg that I did for Jolynn this morning for an example. And also one of Normandie Alleman’s tweet of her Author Spotlight on Jolynn’s blog. I like Normandie’s a lot. You can also embed a tweet into your website or wherever HTML is supported. The code to embed it is below. If you have Blogger or WordPress, go to make a post, and click on text, not visual. Paste it on your post, and click back to visual. Put a title heading for your post and a note in the post, if you want, and click publish.

e.g.

Erotic Romance that’s Rated Arrggh! Check out my Author Spotlight at @JolynnRaymond ‘s Place today. http://t.co/ABxiwIND51 #BDSM

https://support.twitter.com/articles/215585-getting-started-with-twitter#

How to get started:

https://dev.twitter.com/docs/twitter-for-websites

Grab or make your own button for you website and how to embed a tweet:

https://about.twitter.com/resources/buttons#follow

And here’s a jpeg of how to start making your own custom buttons. You have to know how to use HTML to embed it in your website or blog.

Katherine Deane:  Perfect! Thanks so much, Kathy and Sheri! You ladies are awesome for sharing your time and knowledge for this post. 🙂

Normandie Alleman has written up a very informative piece, called “Tweeting 101,” and she is sharing it with us today. Thanks, Normandie!

*****

Thanks Katherine for asking me to talk about tweeting. Twitter is one of my favorite social media outlets. In my previous career I ran a lifestyle blog and used twitter as one of my major marketing tools. I found countless customers and made significant sales through Twitter alone so I can personally attest that you can make money from your Twitter feed. How? By interacting with your followers and building relationships with them.

Will this happen if you automate your tweets and never interact with your Twitter followers? NO. Remember if you aren’t social, you’re not using “social” media to your best advantage.

If all you ever do on Twitter is post a lot of links, and you don’t respond or interact with others all you are doing is standing there shouting at people. If your whole twitter feed is a bunch of people shouting at each other screaming “Look at me! Click MY link!” then who is actually clicking the link? Not a lot of people.

This is why so many people say, “I never get anything out of Twitter.” The truth is that you get out of it what you put into it. I have made friends from all over the world through Twitter, some of them I count as good friends. One helped me through my divorce with our daily twitter conversations. I helped one Twitter friend in South America with funeral arrangements for her father in the United States. I can’t tell you how good that made me feel to help her while she was in a rainforest freaking out about what to do. I once made a sale of over $60,000 basically over Twitter. These events would never have occurred without starting a conversation and getting to know people. On my author account, which is relatively new, I recently met someone whose unique circumstances will make her an invaluable resource as I research a future novel. If you open your mind, the possibilities with Twitter are endless.

As an author I find Twitter more difficult to navigate than I did as a blogger. Blogging, by its very nature is interactive. Being an author really demands that you closet yourself and actually write. We care what our readers think, but if we spend all day chatting about it we’ll never get that book written. I’m not suggesting that you spend all day talking to people on Twitter, but you do need to talk WITH them. Not AT them.

My advice for authors is to try to interact with at least one other person in a personal way on Twitter every time they get on Twitter, or once a day. And I don’t mean another author you’re already friends with. Preaching to the choir is not growing your audience. For that you have to reach out, ask questions, get to know new people. If you respond to someone’s tweet that they’ve been stuck in traffic for over an hour or that they’re having surgery tomorrow – then the NEXT time they see one of your tweets about your latest release they will think of you as a human, a caring person, their Twitter “friend” and not just someone else shouting “Look at me!” and they’re more likely to click on your link.

***

Thanks so much, Normandie! I’m so glad everyone mentioned the human side of tweeting. I am a very social gal, I need feedback and conversation. Knowing that there is more to it than just aimlessly throwing out a ‘less than 100 character’ “Look at Me”, helps a lot. Now that I am fueled with some great knowledge and links, I am looking forward to getting my tweet on!

Thanks for joining us today!

If you have some other Twitter suggestions or want to continue the conversation with more tweet-tastic questions, please reply below. 🙂

Thanks!

*****

Our wonderful co-hostesses for the day:

Normandie Alleman

A former psychologist, Normandie has always been fascinated by human behavior. She loves writing quirky characters that are all too human. “I’m interested in the kind of relationships people have in real life. So I write about my characters’ messy, unpredictable, and inexplicable journeys to love.”

 

If there were another 5 hours in the day, Normandie would spend more time needle-pointing and playing with photography. Instead, she’s a Pinterest addict and sports junkie who’s crazy for Twitter and the color pink. She lives with a passel of children, her hunky husband, and a pet pig who loves Red Bull.

http://normandiealleman.com/

https://www.facebook.com/NormandieAlleman

https://twitter.com/NormandieA

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893037.Normandie_Alleman

 

Kathy Batts

Kathy aka Jolynn Raymond’s wife, submissive, and TiH spankee. Webmistress, Social Media Manager, and supplier for endless fodder for Jolynn’s stories. You can follow my adventures on her website, or read about them in Taken In Hand and Dark Obsessions.

About Jolynn Raymond:

I’m a strong, bold, and passionate woman who does her best to live out her dreams. I’m having the best years of my life right now, and have discovered my true self in my kinky lifestyle. I’m a wife, Mistress, writer, lesbian, and grandma with a devious imagination and a taste for darkness.

My love of writing began in my early 30s and has been a passion ever since. I love to read, write, travel the world, and am a history buff. My genre’s cover historical romance, often with a spicy kinky twist to suspenseful paranormal thrillers. My love of history makes its presence in the books I write. They are often set in centuries past. I am a lover of art, architecture, and the study of diverse world cultures and have traveled to many places.

I still reside in the city I grew up and live near my childhood home with the love of my life, my two spoiled cats and our gnome, Gerome. I have been involved in the BDSM lifestyle for over ten years, and am active in the kink community. My BDSM and power exchange relationships have always been loving and committed. I am married and we practice kink and BDSM within our marriage.

Jolynn Raymond’s Dark Obsessions features posts relating to all things kink. The articles are based on the author’s own experiences living a kinky lifestyle. Ms. Raymond is a wife, mistress, lesbian, and writer committed to presenting information in a clear and concise way that will instruct and guide both those new to kink and those who are seeking to expand their knowledge. She also offers books of BDSM erotica, kinky historical fiction, and non fiction books on Domestic Discipline, power exchange relationships, and BDSM information.

http://jolynnraymond.com/find-jolynn/

http://jolynnraymond.com/

http://twitter.com/JolynnRaymond

https://www.facebook.com/JolynnRaymond

http://www.amazon.com/Jolynn-Raymond/e/B0090BBN8I/

Sheri Savill

SHERI SAVILL likes to put her name in all caps.

She is an independent author who has written nonfiction and humor for a very long time. Lately she writes BDSM erotica. And w00t, she is a real-life submissive who was into kink long before it was cool. Oh, she’s also an attorney. Because, evil.

A career in publishing/journalism led her to the brink of insanity. Or past the brink, depending on which former employer you ask.

Her hobbies include violating the rules of good writing and grammar simply because she can, directing friends to Google search, telling strangers to lighten the fuck up, and preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Sheri’s books are said to be slightly less disappointing than Vanilla Coke. Please deposit an additional twenty-five cents for more bio.

​Sheri Savill’swebsite:sherisavill.com

​Sheri onFacebook: ​https://www.facebook.com/sheri.savill

​Sheri’s Author Page onFB  http://smarturl.it/facebookauthorpage

Sheri onTwitter  http://smarturl.it/sherisavilltwitter

​Sheri onGoogle Plus​   http://smarturl.it/sherisavillgoogle

​Sheri onOne Handed Writers: (bi-weekly)http://smarturl.it/onehandedewriters: ​

​Sheri onYouTube: (silly cartoon-videos I made) ​http://www.youtube.com/user/sherisavill

 

 

Author Share – Blogging

I’m so excited to have Emily Tilton and Rollin Hand here today for the “Author Share” post about “Blogging”. As a relatively new blogger who still does not know quite what she’s doing, I have lots of questions. But I chose to whittle down our conversation to keep it under 2K.   So I’m going to jump right in with my bigger questions. 🙂

Feel free to pop in with your own questions or comments in the reply section below.

Welcome to Author Share!

Author Share black letters

Katherine Deane: So, I have a brand new book out, and am tweeting and promoting on Facebook.  Do I still need to blog?

Emily Tilton:  I have to say that I’m not absolutely sure you do need to. I think there are a lot of bits of the conventional wisdom about what authors need to do to build a fanbase that may not actually be true. Really, I think you need to blog because blogging connects you with a real, instant audience, and makes you friends among your colleagues and at least a few potential readers, even if your actual potential fanbase is elsewhere, like on Amazon scrounging through the also-boughts. That’s without even mentioning the incredible practice it gives you in regularly writing to a deadline, and in editing your own work.

Katherine Deane: That’s good to know, because I actually like “chatting” on my blog.   What should I blog about? Does it always have to be about spanking / or author related stuff?

Rollin Hand: I use my blog as an advertising tool to promote my books. To that end, I have a layout that puts all my ebooks for sale on the right so as you scroll down, all the covers are right there. That said, yes it’s all about spanking and things of interest to spankophiles. There would be no purpose in writing about other things. But it’s not just self promotion. I think it’s a mistake to be constantly pimping your books. That’s ok on release day, but otherwise feature material that is entertaining or informative to your target audience. If you do talk about your books, give your readers an excerpt.

Emily Tilton: Philosophies differ hugely on this issue, I think. For my part, I think that a blog by an author of erotica should always either be about erotica, or be erotica straight up. People aren’t really fans of you, is my philosophy, but of your work in this domain.

Katherine Deane: I read in “Blog a Book” that I need to get to 1000 posts before I will be officially seen? How the heck do I do that? And how long will it take?

Emily Tilton: That seems like a very arbitrary number to me. I will say that it takes a long time, posting regularly, and posting on social media about your posts, before you start getting represented in search engines so as to generate more traffic. I didn’t get over a hundred hits per day until I’d been blogging for six months.

Katherine Deane: How do I get my blog seen?

Emily Tilton: Blog-hops and social media are probably the best methods. I try not to spam Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, but I do put a post in my status on all three every day, and every couple days I also post about my post of that day in the Spanking Fiction groups on Facebook and Google Plus. Triberr, a blog amplification tool mostly for Twitter, requires a lot of work, and can be hard to use, but it does seem to generate traffic.

Rollin Hand: It doesn’t happen overnight. But to be visible they have to know you are there. One thing is that I joined The Spanking Bloggers Network. There may be other networks too, but that is a large one. The other is I reference my blog on Google+ and FB when I think there is something interesting. I also contribute comments to other blogs so you see my name on other people’s blogs and they love it when you leave comments.  I also offer to do articles and stories for other bloggers, and that gives my blog a plug when they use my material.

Katherine Deane: How often should I blog, to be effective without being annoying?

Emily Tilton: I aim for once a day, with no more than four posts per week being promotional “Here’s a snippet and a blurb” posts. I don’t think bloggers are ever annoying unless they post exactly the same thing over and over. Having regular things happening on regular days, like blog-hops and visits from other authors, helps a lot. Consider developing your own regular feature, too, like my “Visual Inspirations” series.

Katherine Deane:   What’s the protocol on adding videos, pictures, or linking to other cool blog posts I see online? If I like it, and think it fits, can I just attach it?

 Rollin Hand: Everything is subject to copyright, but almost none of it is registered. Thus it is a matter of risk assessment. My policy is I’ll use art and photos until someone objects, then I’ll remove them. For unregistered works, in order to recover damages, the author would have to prove actual damages– For use on a non-commercial blog, an impossible burden of proof. Thus I feel like using images that have been around on numerous other sites, posted to Yahoo Groups and USENET in the 90’s etc. is a low risk proposition. I won’t use images or art by artists who I know are actively trying to sell them or who aggressively pursue infringers, e.g., Stanton.

Emily Tilton:  There’s really no such thing as a protocol, except that if someone asks you to unlink something, or take something down, you do. Images are very helpful, especially for driving traffic from social media to your blog.

Katherine Deane:   Rollin, how often do you blog?

Rollin Hand: I like to update every 3-4 days. I think this is critical. The most successful blogs update frequently, always featuring fresh content.

Katherine Deane:  How many views do you get per day, approximately?

Rollin Hand: It runs between 1200-2000 per day, 1400 being about average now.

Emily Tilton: I get 500 a day most days.

Katherine Deane:  Wow, I’m lucky if I get 150 per post.  How do you amplify your posts? How do you get so many hits? Is there a boost thing you use? Tag words?

Rollin Hand: The secret to successful blogging is 2 things: interesting content and frequent updates. I feature stories, mostly mine, but not always. I do some book reviews and articles about the spanking scene, mostly about media. Lately I’m adding artwork and photos to the stories.

In Blogger you can see the search terms most frequently used to find you. Lately I’ve discovered that “F/M stories” is one. So I’ll be featuring more F/M stories.

I have also been fortunate to have been “Chrossed” frequently. Chross’s blog is the most widely followed blog about spanking on the internet. Most weeks he has a “spankings of the week” list where he links to blog posts he thinks are interesting. Being “Chrossed” usually doubles or triples your blog hits for several days. Become a regular (I seem to be) and you get a lot of traffic.

Katherine Deane: What about free stories?

Emily Tilton: When I started the blog, it was basically just a single free story that eventually became the Companion to Explorations (the Companion, by the way, is my worst-selling book). I won’t say it was a mistake, but it certainly didn’t generate the traffic I had hoped it would. It seems to me that I do much better with snippets from books I have for sale. That’s a lot easier, too, and doesn’t make me feel like I’m giving things away that I would rather try to sell.

Katherine Deane: What’s the protocol about visits to other authors? May I visit more than one blog on a given day?

Emily Tilton: As with replies, I don’t think there’s an established protocol at all. I think it can look funny if you’re on more than one blog at once, mostly because we still think in the terms of the metaphor of “visiting”–like visiting someone’s house. The one time it happened to me, I apologized, and I know I’ll try not to do it again, but, really, it doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Katherine Deane: If you had one tip for new bloggers / authors, what would it be?

Rollin Hand: Update frequently and fill the blog with interesting and entertaining content.

Emily Tilton: Develop your own regular series that you post on the same day each week. Human psychology seems to me to favor that approach, because people like to have their expectations satisfied. It won’t happen overnight, but if you’re faithful about it, you’ll eventually grow your fanbase that way.

Thank you both so much for taking the time to share your experience with me!

The biggest things I have taken from these great answers is that it is important for me to consistently post about things that are pertinent to either my authorship ,or  other interesting posts that complement my  blog.  I should also make sure I support the other bloggers and authors,  by visiting, commenting and promoting them.  (Don’t visit more than “one house” at a time 🙂 ) And most of all, I should be consistent and find my niche.

Thanks for stopping by! Please add your two cents below. 🙂

*****

The wonderful co-hosts who chose to give their time and experience toward this subject:

Emily Tilton

I, Emily Tilton, if I exist, am a human rights lawyer who resides in Greenwich, CT. It’s more likely that I’m actually someone else, who wishes she were as free to play out her real fantasies as Emily Tilton is.

EXPLORATIONS, which now includes some books written in a more conventional way and published by wonderful spanking presses like Blushing Books and Stormy Night Publications, is a narrative version of my nearly lifelong quest to reconcile my submissive erotic orientation with my ethics. See this post on my blog for a frequently updated guide to the series: http://etiltonexplorations.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-explorations-series-so-far.html

Blog – http://etiltonexplorations.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @ETiltonExp

 

 

Rollin Hand

Rollin Hand is a writer of erotic spanking fiction, who has been writing since 1999. He writes what he likes to call the “uncommon spanking story.” The idea, he says, is to write stories with strong plots, robust characters and vivid action sequences while avoiding the cliches that plague the spanking fiction genre.

Rollin’s writings cover a wide range of styles and genres. Orientations are M/F, F/F, and F/M, sometimes mixed in the same story. His genres include contemporary romance, domestic drama, college sorority tales, mystery/thrillers, historical romance, western romance, humor and fantasy. He has written to date over 120 stories, novellas, novels, articles and poems. Although most of Rollin’s works are short fiction and novellas, He has written four novel length works, “Atonement” a private eye-type mystery, “Flash Gordon and the Menace from Mongo” a sci-fi adventure, “LaForge” a supernatural thriller trilogy, and “Pendragon’s Lash,” a blend of medieval and sci-fi adventure.

You can find some of Rollin’s stories on his blog atwww.disciplinarytales.blogspot.com.

On Facebook he ishttps://www.facebook.com/rollin.hand.58

Check out his Amazon author page at

http://www.amazon.com/Rollin/e/B009ZJUH50.

 

Author Share – Putting it All Together

Author Share black letters

 

Thanks for joining me today in the first of the “Author Share” series. I have asked Cara Bristol, Patricia Green, and Renee Rose to share with us some of their experiences in the broad topic of “Putting it All Together.” These women are amazing at what they do! And I am blessed to call them each, friends.

 

Katherine Deane: Ladies, thank you so much for joining me today for the first of the “Author Share” Series.

You three are at the top of your game – selling books like wildfire. They’re fantastic, and I adore them!  But there seems to be more to it, than just book writing. I read your wonderfully written blogs, see your promotions, and follow your posts on Facebook. You make it look so dang easy!

Now for a gal like me, just trying to get a handle on all this juggling, I feel overwhelmed just watching you.

So, how do you do… IT?

How do you combine writing, blogging, promoting, and social networking into a workable routine without burning out. (I remember an awesome series by Patricia Green about Burn Out, recently).

 Cara Bristol: When I am actively writing a first draft of a new book, I write a minimum of 1K every day and shoot for 10K per week. Writing comes first, promotion is second. But a big second. Recently, I started reserving Sundays for blog time—writing a week’s worth on that one day, leaving me free to focus on writing during the week. When I have a book release, the week before, during and after, I generally ONLY work on promotion.

Katherine Deane: Do you have a percentage that you use for each activity?

Renee Rose: I wish I could break things down that way, but while I do consider myself a full-time writer, I’m also a mother of two kids who go to two different schools (one hour each trip for pick up and drop off for school) and I see clients during the week for my Feldenkrais practice, teach dance, organize PTA events and generally run around like a chicken with my head cut off.

 

Cara Bristol: When I was a new author, I spent about 90% of my work time writing and 10% on promotion. Now that I’m multi-published, it’s about 50/50, but it varies by where I am in a book project. Of my social media time, the allocation is probably 50 percent blogging, 30% FB, 5% Twitter (used to be more), and 15% all other combined.

 Patricia Green: Not exactly. I read somewhere that an author should spend 80-90% of their time on writing and the other 10-20% on promotions/marketing. I try to use Mondays for promotions (like this interview, blog posts on my blog, blog posts for other people’s blogs, community outreach, etc.) and then use the rest of my week for writing. I do post on FB and Twitter nearly every day, but that takes maybe 10 minutes of my time altogether.

Katherine Deane: What does your weekly schedule look like?

Cara Bristol: I write six days a week, on the seventh I blog. I am on FB and Twitter every day. I catch other social media (Pinterest, Goodreads, Google groups, etc) when I think of it. I’ve found that it works best to focus on two or three things rather than engaging in a smattering on many. But one has to keep one’s ear to the ground because what used to be the “go-to” place can change.

Renee Rose: Basically, I do the email/social media stuff in all the snippets in between. I can retweet from my smart phone while waiting to pick the kids up, or read emails, or laugh at FB posts. I always write in the hour or two after my kids go to sleep, and I hold that time sacred. The rest I fit in if I’m not booked with clients, or if the kids aren’t especially needy, etc.

 Patricia Green: My schedule is weekly, but I keep a “blogging calendar” to keep track of the various obligations I have.

Katherine Deane: What is the most important of them all? (Please don’t say “all of them”. LOL, I’m overwhelmed as it is!)

Patricia Green: By far and away, the most important task I have to do is write. If I don’t do that, I’m out of business. If I have a writing deadline, if takes precedence.

Cara Bristol: This varies by author because it all depends on how much you invest in the activity. For me, it’s blogging. I post about four times a week. With blogging, I can control the message, and I’m not limited by space requirements. And I enjoy blogging so I’m motivated to do it.

Renee Rose: I don’t know. Blog posting, I suppose, but I get more sucked in to the Facebooking.

Katherine Deane: If you had one tip for new and aspiring authors, what would it be?

Cara Bristol: Get socially connected so that people know your name before you publish. Get your blog established, build a cadre of FB friends and Twitter followers, get to know other authors in your genre.

Patricia Green: Write more books!

Renee Rose: Join the Spanking Fiction Facebook group! Once you’re in there, you have a whole community to gain from.

Katherine Deane: And for my own sake, do you have a house cleaner? Seriously, there seems to be a direct correlation between the messy kitchen and piles of laundry and my good writing days.

Patricia Green: Yes. I have a housekeeping service. The only thing they don’t do is laundry and window washing. I have a window washing service for that twice a year. It’s an expense I’m willing to shoulder because I like a clean house, my back is wonky, and I’d rather spend my time working. My husband doesn’t do housekeeping. We divided the chores up early, and the housekeeping fell to me. It’s his job to make big bucks. 🙂

Renee Rose: I agree, my good writing days correspond with messy house, too! 😦

 Cara Bristol: I do have a housekeeper. I rewarded myself with one when my royalties reached an arbitrary goal I’d set. But my housekeeper only comes twice a month—so the daily stuff (dishes, laundry, sweeping) still remains. But I have learned to turn a blind eye to the house until I have completed my daily writing, and I have stopped picking up after DH all together (he does his own laundry and he is responsible for cleaning his office/the library and his side of the master bathroom).

Katherine Deane: LOL, I’m glad to see we all have something in common! My next big goal is to sell enough books to afford some weekly cleaning help. 🙂

***

As we can see, each author does things differently. They have found what works for them. Writing, blogging, promoting, social networking – it’s all important. But the gist of it, is to combine these activities into a cohesive structure that works for each of us.

My plan is to figure out how to do each of these different activities through specific blog posts utilizing the experiences of other SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). Stay tuned as I delve deep into this thing called authorship.

And please don’t forget to reply. I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions! And if you have any further questions for the authors, about this week’s topic (Putting it All Together), please reply below.

Next week’s “Author Share” post will be about blogging. I can’t wait to share our discussion!

Thanks again to Cara Bristol, Patricia Green, and Renee Rose for getting this series started.

Happy Spankings Writing!

🙂

 

About the authors:

Cara Bristol

Cara Bristol has written everything from mainstream long and short fiction to nonfiction magazine and newspaper articles. She sold her first erotic romance in 2009. She is best known for her spanking romances, but she has also written in the science fiction romance, contemporary, and paranormal genres. Multi-published, she has released more than a dozen erotic romances, including two series: the Rod and Cane Society (spanking romance) and Breeder (science fiction romance). Cara lives in the Midwest United States with her husband. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and watching reality TV shows.

Author website

Twitter @CaraBristol

Facebook

Email: carabristol50@yahoo.com

***

Patricia Green

Patricia Green is a full-time fiction writer specializing in erotic romance. She provides the reader with love stories that emphasize fun characters with quirky personalities. Patricia is the author of more than 20 published novels and novellas.

In her personal life, Patricia is married and the mother of twins. When she’s not being the angel of domestic harmony and a semi-crazed creator of fictional friends, she loves to read, crochet, knit and watch hockey and baseball.

You can reach Patricia Green in the following ways:

Email: pig (at) patriciagreenbooks (dot) com

Website/Blog: http://www.patriciagreenbooks.com

Spanking romance pages: http://patriciagreenbooks.com/books-featuring-spanking/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Patricia.Green.Romance

Twitter: @PatriciaIGreen

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Green/e/B002RCB0IK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

***

Renee Rose

Renee Rose is a multi-published author of erotic spanking romance.  Her latest release The Bossman, won Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author contest. Her blog can be found at www.reneeroseromance.com. She can also be found on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Liebster Award

liebster award

Thanks so much to spanking romance author, Tara Finnegan for nominating me for this award and for her awesome questions. Click the link on her name above to get to know more about Tara. 

 For future Liebster Award recipients, here are the rules:

 

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post. Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

(Ok, I did not adhere perfectly to the rules, but I came close. Thanks!)

1.   How often do you blog, and why did you start?

Hehe, that is a good question! I started just over a year ago, and am still trying to get consistent with my blogging. My goal is three times a week. Wish me luck!

2.   What was the first full book you ever wrote?

The first book I ever wrote and published, is called The Winter Storm. Casey McKay, Renee Rose and I each wrote different stories, and put them together into a “group story”. It was a lot of fun!

3.  What prompted you to start writing?

Hmmm, I don’t know. I think I liked what I read so much, that I wanted to create something too. And I had so many ideas running through my head, it made sense to try to put them down on paper.

4.  Aside from writing, what is your favorite pastime?

I love to run (but haven’t been able to get consistent with it yet, this year), sing, do crafts, and sew. (I make a mean tutu, and made the flower girl dresses and Bridesmaid dresses for my sister’s wedding 🙂 )

5.   What is your proudest achievement either in writing or in life?

Well, in writing, I officially became a published author just over a month ago! That was a pretty big moment for me.

As far as life goes, I’ve had a lot of blessed moments. These are just a few that come to mind:

Becoming an All American on the Track in College (5000m)

Finishing my first marathon

The births of my children

Singing the National Anthem at the Military World XC Championships

6.  What do you want most to achieve in life? Have you already achieved it or are you actively working on it?

Honestly, I don’t know. I know that I want to be remembered for being a blessing to others, and when I die, I want to look back at my life and be at peace, knowing I truly accomplished something worthwhile.

Most people, by the time they finish college, know their direction. I’m 41 (closer to 42), and still don’t know what I truly want from life.

I think I just want to have peace in my heart (not just happiness. That’s an emotion that can come and go. But true peace). I want to give my all in whatever direction life takes me in each moment.

I want to achieve a peace in my heart, and know that whatever accomplishments I have, whether they are big or small- if I give it my all, then I have succeeded.

Hehe, I think I might be a hippy at heart. Which conflicts greatly with my Type A personality and need for control. (Don’t ask. It confuses me too!)

7.   If you had the opportunity to meet one person you really admire, who would it be, and what would you want to ask them?

Ok, you know I can’t just go with one! 😉

Julie Andrews (amazing actress and singer. I adore her, and know almost all her songs by heart! I love her! And she’s just as good now, as she was 20 years ago!)

Erica Scott (ok, I am a huge fan of hers. Her book, “Late Bloomer” was what gave me the push to talk to my husband about my spanking desires. It also opened up lots of fantasies in me. 🙂 I wish I could do spanking videos. I would love to play the part of a kicking, howling young woman getting her bottom blistered.

Here’s a pic from her blog. (She was kind enough to let me post it!)

erica scott_srah gregory spanking

 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t fit with my conservative family life right now, so it will have to wait a few more years. 😦

But if god blesses me with a decent body, in my 50’s, I am sooooo doing a video! (there’s my bucket list addition, hehe)

Here’s another cool one from her blog, called “The Stranger

Ok, this is probably going to give me nightmares and “really happy dreams” all night!

erica scott_the stranger

 

8.   What makes you happiest?

Chocolate twizzlers and red wine! Mmmm

Actually, I am at my happiest when I make a goal for the day (any goal, it doesn’t matter), and I accomplish it. LOL, this happens less often than you might think. I tend to be very creative (flighty?), which means tons of thoughts collide and overwhelm me. I’ve had moments where I couldn’t even read a book, because I was so overstimulated that I couldn’t decide what to read. Too many choices. Phew! A huge cycle of ‘ugh’.

Even funnier, is the fact that I am Type A and very in need of control.

These two dichotomous energies battle, sometimes leaving me worn out and mumbling. Hehe, poor hubby gets a little nervous when those cycles hit.

Luckily, they don’t hit too often. Maybe every 2-3 months 🙂

Anything else?

Let’s see…

Fave movies – Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail, The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Fave songs to sing – On My Own from Les Miserables, Star Spangled Banner, My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music

Fave outfits – Gap loose fit jeans and Target t-shirt; black yoga pants and t-shirt; no bra whenever possible

Fave food – anything chocolate

Fave drink – merlot and cabernet

 

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

I am tagging Joseph McNamera, Corinne Alexander, Celeste Jones, Natasha Knight, and Renee Rose

Here are your questions:

  1.  When did you start blogging and why?
  2. How often do you blog, and what about?
  3. What are your favorite genres to read?
  4. Who has been your biggest influence in writing and or life?
  5. What is your happiest memory?
  6. Do you have a spanking relationship in real life?
  7. Kirk or Picard?
  8. If you could only choose one implement to be spanked by (or spank with), what would it be?
  9. Who is your favorite written character?
  10. If you could travel in time, what time period would you go to?
  11. What grounds you?

Thanks!

Happy Spankings!

Author Share – Series Intro

Phew! This has been a roller coaster month for me.

Besides normal life activities, I did the following:

 

  • I published my first book (with my good friends Renee Rose and Casey McKay).
  • I did a few blog hops.
  • Made some book trailers.
  • Played in the snow (that’s a once every two or three year thing for us, here)!
  • Started spring cleaning (and promptly got distracted) Alas, my sewing room is still in shambles
  • Started the long process of editing a story I wrote over a year ago
  • Outlined two new stories…

 

And then I shut down. Seriously, my brain and body just went into overdrive, and I shut completely down!

I found myself missing blog posts, forgetting to review books I had read, missed replies on fb, and completely screwed up the whole “Twitter” thing…

I had not been juggling the different responsibilities between home life and author life well, and it frustrated and overwhelmed me.

 

I am happy to announce I have gone back into planning mode and now have…

A Game Plan!

game plan x and os

 

Woohoo!

I feel so much better when I am organized.

LOL, I’m not there yet, but I have taken the first steps.

I have started talking with other authors about how they make it all work.

I’ve made a spreadsheet (I love Excel!) of goals and potential posts.

I have started reading books like:

 

Marketing Matters”, by Cassandra Carr

How to Blog a Book”, by Nina Amir

And

Book Marketing… in a Nutshell”, by Shelia Clover English

 

Knowledge is Power

 

 

The biggest thing I have gotten out of all of this, is that I need to be consistent and more active publically.

I want to be more consistent with my blogging, as well as my social networking, and promoting, but honestly, have NO FREAKING idea how to do all this stuff!

LOL, I was silly enough to actually believe that all I had to do was write a book, and people would buy it. Then I would write another one. And more people would magically appear to buy it.

🙂

Ok, maybe I had a tiny niggling that there was more to it than that. But I chose not to accept this reality.

Remember, fantasy (and escaping reality) is my forte.

La, la, la! I can’t hear you!

 

Well, I am going to consistently blog more, and am going to do something really cool!

Starting next week, I will be hosting a weekly series called,

 

Author Share black letters

(By the way, I made this image myself  at pixlr.com. Yeah, Me! I did something geeky! 🙂 )

 

 

This will be a cool chance for me to ask the experienced authors and bloggers questions like:

 

Why is blogging so important, and how do I do it?

What’s involved with marketing my book?

What do all those colors mean in edits?

How the %$#^ do I tweet properly and get my message out without bombarding people with a gazillion tweets?

Where are the best places to promote?

How do I ask for reviews?

 

The list goes on…

I have a ton of questions as a new author.  🙂

And I am so blessed to be a part of a community of experienced men and women who are willing to share their experiences and wisdom.

The first topic will be next Monday, April 21, and will be a general overview of “putting it all together”, and will include the talents of Cara Bristol, Patricia Green, and Renee Rose. Multi published authors of over 50 books between them – these amazing women do it all, and do it well!

 

I hope you like the new series, and will join me in the discussions. Feel free to ask your own questions or impart some of your own thoughts and suggestions. See you after Easter!