Tag Archives | blogging

What I’ve been reading.


I’ve blogged about the fact that since my Kindle, I’ve been reading a lot more than usual. I especially love picking up a novella for 99 cents because I know I can read it fast and still enjoy it! Especially since my pile of books to read is out of control. As I know all of yours are too!

Here are some books I’ve really enjoyed lately and will soon be reviewing on Goodreads.

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. (The Kindle version is only 3.99 right now!)


I’d been hearing so much about The False Prince! Finally, with the release of the sequel, The Runaway King, my library got it in. I loved it. I figured out the plot twist early on. My daughter figured it out just by reading the synopsis. But that just added to the dramatic irony. I don’t think readers weren’t supposed to figure it out. This is an upper middle grade, but one adults will enjoy too.

Wide Awake by Shelly Crane


I snagged this book when it was on sale for 99 cents. In fact, it still might be. This is definitely YA, not to be confused with New Adult. This thrilling type story had everything I love: secrets and mystery. A great read.

Cinderella on Skates by Carly Syms


This caught my eye when it shot up the ranks after publication. Great cover, and I was curious. This is a sweet, romantic read. It could have used a little more tension, but in some ways, this was refreshing.

One Day More by Aprilynn Pike


This is the first book I’ve read of this author’s. How could I not want to read this when the novel is called: Life After Theft? This novella, released for marketing purposes, did its job well. In Life After Theft a girl dies and Jeff (his pov) must help her return everything she stole. This novella read really easily. I’ll warn you, the girl is not a likeable character – as in she’s spoiled with attitude. But I don’t mind those types of characters and I’m looking forward to Life After Theft.

What have you read lately that you really liked?

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Social media strategies and decisions.

Starting a small business (self publishing) is like any other business. We have to be smart. Make wise decisions: Where to spend money? How to spend our work time? What products are we going to offer?

I’d like to say I wrote a business plan, a production plan, and marketing plan and never wavered. But it seems like some of those plans are in a constant state of flux. Yes, I have them. Not as detailed as some I’ve seen but they work for me.

Why am I restrategizing?

I’ll be honest. I’m in the middle of a social media crisis. I’m completely rethinking my strategies and feeling the desire to streamline and be more effective. Not just in blogging.

A few things kind of hit me over the head as to why I decided this.

First, recently, I did a cover reveal for a friend, but at the top of it I added a bit of a writing tip that I’d stumbled upon. I just wanted to add something personal to the post. You can probably guess what happened. That post skyrocketed and got a zillion more hits and retweets than usual.

Second, lately on Twitter, all I see are links or rants. No conversation. It’s changed. I’ll admit it. I do enjoy the #chats because people are interacting for real. More of my conversations happen in DMing and email.

Third, I jumped on my Google Reader to catch up on blogs and comment. I do this once a week. This time it was later in the week and I expected to have a ton of blogs to go through.

Guess what? My feed, which at one point would be out of control if I waited a few hours into the day–I made it through in about ten minutes. And hardly any of the posts were personal. Business. Cover reveals. Promotion. That’s fine. I’m contributing. But I miss the personal connection. I read all of them, but I only comment on ones where I have something to say.

Or maybe it’s always been this way and it’s me that’s changing, wanting something different from social media.

So I’m going past the marketing plan and truly writing a social media plan. For me, that’s different than marketing, especially for authors of fiction.

Have you changed your strategies at all? Or rethought them?

Hop on over to the Indelible blog where I’m posting about satisfaction and keeping your eyes on your own paper.


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A fantastic networking opportunity…The Writer’s Dojo.

Community is so important in this day and age.

We blog, we tweet, we email, we attend conferences all to connect with other writers, people who get the craziness that comes with writing and publishing.

Welcome Ali Cross, friend and fellow author, as she tells you about the awesomeness that is the Writer’s Dojo.

The Writer’s Dojo is returning to its roots and invites you to join in on the fun! 

When I first started the writer’s dojo in 2008, I did it as a way to keep the glory of National Novel Writing Month alive all year long. I loved the camaraderie and support I received during the month of November and desired that same feeling of community every month of the year, in every aspect of writing–not just the drafting.

Beginning February 1st, 2013, the writer’s dojo returns to its roots and ushers in a new age of ninjawesomeness.

Each month we will open three training rooms at the writer’s dojo website. A room for drafters (Writing Month, aka WriMo), a room for revisers (Revising Month, aka ReMo) and a room for those querying (Querying Month, aka QuMo).


We invite you to set your own goals, whether it’s to write a thousand words a day, revise ten pages a week, or submit twenty queries in a month, and register your goal in the appropriate training room.

Every Monday we’ll post the leaderboard for the previous week, and at the end of each month those who met their goal will be able to post the coveted Writing Ninja Warrior badge on their blog or website.

To help you reach your goals, we have a number of ways to support you:

CHATS: At the dojo every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

TWITTER: Anytime, day or night, at #writingninja.

GOOGLE+: Join our community for random write-ins and sprints.

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe to our Ninja News and once a month you’ll receive an email with an encouraging note and a list of the top performers for the previous month. There will also be opportunities for giveaways, starting with February’s newsletter!

We hope to see you at the dojo as you reach for–and achieve–your goals!

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My 2013 confessions

If you’re looking for my Indie Life post click over to the Indelibles blog.


My 2013 confessions:

Yeah, our Christmas tree is still up.

I’m still debating whether to watch American Idol this year or not. If it were one day a week? Sure. But for a while there it’s 3 nights. #needtowrite  #needtoread

Totally debating whether to get involved with Downtown Abbey. I also watched the first episode of The Walking Dead and was totally hooked. #decisions

I’ve been able to go down to my basement…alone without breaking out in a sweat.

I didn’t make any writing resolutions because I already had my production schedule laid out. It might change week to week but it’s there, broken down month-to-month and week-to-week for the coming month.

I received fleece-lined running pants (expensive) and I just want to wear them during the day. Sometimes I do. Do any stores sell fleece-lined yoga pants cheap?

I’ve read more self-published books this year than traditional. Mainly b/c they’re cheaper so I get more for my money. Plus, I can’t get them at my library or elibrary.

Susan Kaye Quinn tagged me in the Next Big Thing and I still haven’t written up my post. #soon #verysoon

A part of me misses the good ole days where we all blogged and wrote and celebrated when someone signed with an agent or signed a book deal. I don’t comment as much but I still read them.

My words for 2013 is Fun and Forgiveness.

Enjoy my life.

Enjoy my faith.

Enjoy my family.

Enjoy my friends.

Enjoy my writing.

Some of my other thoughts I’m saving for my first IndieLife post on the Indelibles blog this Wednesday.

You can sign up to participate too! And come back later this week for the trailer for Susan’s Mindjack series! Can’t wait. It will be epic!

What would your word be for 2013?

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Analyzing your writing and publishing path.

I spent this past weekend with family, at soccer games, and celebrating birthdays. I squeezed in a few emails and I read like three blogs, but they made me think.

About writing.

And publishing.

And setting goals.

Though I was busy baking cupcakes and coaching soccer and talking about life, in the back of my mind were questions, ones I’m still thinking about.

We can’t keep living our writing life and career path as if it were 2005. Too much has changed. But even though I already made the incredible decision to self publish last year at about this time, there are still many aspects of my career to evaluate.

Here are some of the posts that got me thinking:

Katie’s or Creepy Query Girl’s on Are blog tours losing their promotional power?  Read the comments too!

Jody Hedlund’s on Is blogging a time suck for writer’s?  Again, read the comments.

Denise Grover Swank’s on A business plan for self published Writers Part one two and three.

  • Are blog tours really effective? Especially with ten going on every week? Especially with the effort it takes in organizing it?
  • How important is brand these days? Will branching out and trying something different spark my career in a new direction? Help me to grow as a writer?
  • How important are production schedules and planning years in advance?
  • What about blogging in general? The only thing that seems to sell a book is the book and word of mouth. Where does social media fit in? How do I use it effectively?
  • How am I spending my work time? How can I be more productive while growing in craft?
  • How can I push myself in the area of craft?
  • What about five year plans and adjusting for aspects of this business I can’t control?

I’ve come to my conclusions about some of these questions, and others I’m still thinking about. When have you taken the time to really evaluate your path and your decisions? Are they still from five years ago? Or even last year?

Let me know! I’d love to hear from you.


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