Tag Archives | social media

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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Another Random Act: The Truth About Faking. (Brand new release!)

Another Random Act: The Truth About Faking. (Brand new release!)


Welcome fellow blogger and friend, Leigh T. Moore. Leigh just released her YA contemporary and on the first day shot up the charts!



Jason just wants a date with Harley.

Harley just wants a date with Trent. 

Trent’s still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent’s got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent. 

Worst of all, Harley’s mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley’s Reverend Dad can’t fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?

Here’s Leigh to tell us a little bit about her journey!

Let me see… I don’t want to get too wordy and drive everybody crazy. The story behind the story is actually pretty simple. This was the third book I ever wrote. I finished it in 2010, sent it through the critters, did my revisions, and started trying to find an agent.

Almost a year later, I got an offer from one agent, but in the meantime, I’d written a different book (ROUGE, which is coming out in Nov/Dec by Pocket Books). The *other* book got me an offer from a different agent, who was so enthusiastic about that book, I went with her and sort of back-burnered this one.

After we did the deal on ROUGE, agent came back and asked to see this one. She really liked it, so we did a few more revisions on it and shopped it around. Editors were all very complimentary, but they all passed. I proposed self-publishing it, and agent encouraged me to do it!

I was planning to wait until after the other books came out, but then I started talking to Jolene Perry about her gorgeous covers. She offered to do a cover for the book, and when she found out how “ready” it was, she told me to “rip off that band-aid!” Ha ha!

And here we are! I hope readers enjoy this story. It’s one of my early ones, so it’s very special to me, and I’d love to hear from readers. I’m on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452152.Leigh_Talbert_Moore) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LeighTalbertMoore), and of course at my blog.

Purchase Leigh’s book on Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble.

Congrats Leigh! so excited to see your journey take off!



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Random Acts of Publicity – TIMELESS



When I decided to participate in Darcy Pattison’s Random Acts of Publicity, I knew right away I would choose the Timeless Anthology by Pugalicious Press. The instructions are to choose a new or lesser known book that I’ve read and let my readers know about it.

I love the BLLURT concept to promote other books. Blog about it. Leave purchase Links. Like their page. Review it. Tell others about it. Love it. And it’s something I try and do for all the books I enjoy.

I’ve never been one to read or purchase anthologies. But I’ve read several this year. It was nice to read a short story before making dinner, another one a few days later before bedtime, or after I’d finished a novel, each story enticing and enjoyable in its own way.

The writing in this anthology was incredible. I kept reading all of them because they engaged my attention and the writing drew me from one page to the next.

All of these stories are historical romance with sweet, innocent love. I would read novels by any of these authors. In fact, some of the stories I wanted to be a novel.


A reworking of the Scheherazade tale that portrays the young storyteller as a gutter-thief down on her luck.


A reworking of an old German tale about a young woman who has to weigh up her love for a poet, her standing in the village and her need for freedom.

A LIGHT OF VICTORY by Jennifer Carson

If your love for a highwayman is eternal, then eternal is what it is. Put a candle in the window, and all will be well…


A prisoner fears to leave the walls of the notorious French prison because of his love for a ghost who is bound to the Bastille’s stone walls.

STELLA’S HERO by Kristine Carlson Asselin and Ansha Kotyk

A Victorian seamstress gets into trouble for falling from a boy from Chinatown when racial segregation is very much prevalent in society.


A mute boy undergoing experimental treatment in a sanitorium discovers that he can speak with the doctor’s son via thoughts and dreams. Very subtle steampunk.

IT LIES BENEATH by Magda Knight

The superficially beautiful city of Victorion is run on lode, steam, pride and the labour of diggers down in the Pits. Challenged to locate a mysterious underground threat, Ellie Darkbrow must find a way to survive.

But don’t trust my word on it. Read them for yourself!


Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble


Give a shout out in the comments to a book you’d recommend everyone reading!

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INDIEpendence Day and Denise Grover Swank with 100k sales.

Yay for Indies: both small and self published. But I want to give an even louder cheer – and do some cartwheels barefoot in my front yard – for well-written books. No matter how published.

Today is about paying it forward. Hence the whole INDIEpendence Day celebration. As part of the Indelibles, we wanted to celebrate self-published books that stand out and are selling well. So if you’ve been holding back because you’re afraid of what you might find in the world of self publishing then follow this blogfest for a huge selection of professional self-published books.

When I first saw the cover for Denise Grover Swank’s HERE, I knew I wanted to read it.


Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can’t ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

I finally read HERE and I absolutely loved it! Denise is doing incredibly well as you’ll find out in the interview.

So read on and then comment and tweet for a $5 Amazon gift card!

1. How did you get started in self publishing? 

Like a lot of self-published authors, I tried to get an agent with three different books in three different series. I was close with two– HERE and CHOSEN, but both books are darker in tone than my rom com mystery. I realized if I sold either of the other two, the agent wouldn’t want my mystery. But I loved my mystery and didn’t want it to die on my hard drive so I decided to try to self-publish it. The official release of TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES was in July of 2011. My goal was to sell 1000 copies by the end of year. I hit 1000 in September. After seeing how well that book was doing, I decided to self-publish my other two books as well as finish editing and published the second book in The Chosen series.

***On May 29, 2012, Denise sold her 100,000 book.***   (Woo hoo!)

2. You have terrific sales! What have you found to be the most effective marketing strategy?

I’ve used multiple strategies. I’ve found blog tours that feature reviews have been very helpful with sales. I ran two blog tours back to back with my book adult urban fantasy CHOSEN which propelled it into the Top 100 in the Kindle store.

But the most helpful strategy is the KDP Select free promo. Although the promo isn’t as effective as it was back in February when I ran CHOSEN free the first time, it’s still the most effective tool I have at the moment.

3. I’d love to hear about the story behind HERE. (Where did you get the idea? Will there be a sequel?)

I had written TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES and CHOSEN, both adult books and wasn’t getting anywhere trying to get an agent. My then thirteen year old daughter begged me to write a YA book so she and her friends could read one of my books. I read a lot of YA at that point, so I told her I would but she would have no say in the book other than two things: She wanted a love triangle and she asked me to name the main character her name, Julia. (The main character of CHOSEN is named Emma, the name of my youngest daughter. It’s purely coincidental and there is a very specific reason for the character’s name that comes out later.)

So right away, writing HERE was different than my usual process. Usually, I come up with the idea, then ask what genre it is. I knew I didn’t want to write a contemporary, but I don’t do vampires, werewolves and witches in paranormal. So I thought about what books, TV shows, and movies I loved. I always go back to the television show LOST. I loved that show and I learned a lot about story telling from it. Then I thought about specific aspects and episodes I liked and WHY. That was how I came up with the topic, although I’m pretty sure no one would ever see any correlation.

I plan to write one more book in the series titled THERE and hope to release it the end of December 2012.

4. Any tips for the writer considering self publishing or just getting started? (What’s the biggest lesson you learned?)

Before you publish your own book, make sure it’s ready. You need beta readers and critique partners. And THEN when you think it’s ready and you really want to publish it, hire a copy editor. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS STEP. Your book is a product and you want to present the best product possible. Also hire a cover artist. Your cover is so important. You want your readers to look at your cover and not realize your book is self-published. A good cover tells your reader that you have a quality book.

After you publish your book, don’t expect overnight success. It takes time to build sales and a reader base. I sold 220 books my first month but only because I had a strong social media platform. Self-publishing is a long-tail marketing strategy. Keep writing and publishing and eventually it will all add up.


Thanks Denise. I absolutely loved LOST and the different elements they brought into the plotting.

And now I’m going to share a little secret. Before reading HERE, I thought it was a ghost story. But it’s not. That’s part of the mystery and you’ll have to read it to find out!

Purchase link: Amazon

My website www.denisegroverswank.com Also I encourage my readers to friend me on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/deniseswank and follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeniseMSwank

Go back to the Indelibles post for all the links to the blogfest! And happy reading!

Don’t forget to comment and tweet for a $5 Amazon gift card! (And of course, leave your email too!)

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