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As an Author, Are You Doing This Right?

October 10, 2018– Social media in this day and age is of the utmost importance when you’re self-employed. As authors, this includes us, because if we don’t have a proper, effective platform, how are we going to sell books, connect with readers, and participate in discussions?

Anyone who signs on with my company knows that I expect them to start building their social media platform BEFORE their book launches. This is because I want my authors to have a solid space to promote themselves where they can get readers excited about what’s to come. It’s never too early to start talking about your work and about what you do. Authors often question, ” My book doesn’t come out for another year and a half! Isn’t this too soon to start promoting it?” The answer. No. And here’s why it takes at LEAST EIGHT times of humans being exposed to the same message for them to even take NOTICE! Yep, that’s how much noise is coming at us every day and how much of that noise we filter out. So, it’s NEVER too early to start talking about your book.

But, Lacey! What do I post on social media if I don’t have a product? Easy.

  • Behind the scenes looks at your work
  • How you came up with the idea for your book/ inspiration behind it
  • A typical workday for you when writing
  • Sneak peek of the manuscript title
  • Any art sketches if applicable
  • What your goals are with writing
  • What books you’re currently reading
  • What books your book compares to
  • Why you became an author
  • Why your story matters
  • Contests
  • Giveaways
  • And everything else that relates to your book that you can possibly think of

So, here are some tips on building a solid social media presence.  You need to be on Facebook, preferably with business page, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon author profile, and you better have a blog or a website. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Ummm I don’t want to waste my life and time just posting to social media! Trust me, there are days when I want to detox the whole process of this craziness entirely out of my life, but I know how important it is so I don’t. Don’t worry, I got you, there’s a cool tool that can take away the stress!

  1. Hootsuite is a social media posting tool that allows you to schedule posts to Facebook business pages, Twitter, and Instagram. Get the app, it will change your life, I promise.
  2. Stick to a schedule. Figure out what you’re going to post about and when.
  3. Be consistent in your posts. Yes, I admit that sometimes I fall off the face of the social media world, but in a couple of days, I’m back in the saddle, and I ALWAYS answer questions and comments.
  4.  Hashtags. Know what they are, what they do, and use them effectively, ESPECIALLY on Instagram. Why? Because this helps more people find your posts, let’s them know what you have to say, and it leads to more followers.
  5. SEO. If you don’t know what this stands for, learn it immediately and start implementing it on your blog/website NOW.

At Pandamonium Publishing House, we teach this stuff. Drop me a line if you want in on the next custom course, pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

You can do this. It may seem like an impossible hurdle, especially if you’re not part of the generation that grew up with this stuff. It’s never too late to learn. And the more you learn, the more you earn.

X LLB

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All GOOD Authors Are Streetwise…

October 8, 2018- Trust me when I tell you this, all authors are streetwise. Well, the good ones anyway. When people ask me what I do, I usually answer, “Whatever it takes.” To be a good author, not only do you have to be a good writer, but you have to be a good publicist, an excellent salesperson, a ruthless business owner, and a brave performer. Authors are streetwise because we have to be. We trust our guts, go with our intuition, and chase down ideas for stories that lead us down darkened alleyways, into sketchy situations, and across the ocean in pursuit of them. It’s the willingness to do what needs to be done in order to succeed. Every author I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting has always had this drive, desire, and gleaming personality that could charm the toughest of customers into buying their work or at least engage them into talking to them!

We’re streetwise because we don’t have any other option, especially when it comes to self-publishing because if we don’t do it, who will? Us authors have a willingness to go through hell and back to reach our goals. We do most things in pursuit of the end game, in pursuit of selling one book, or in selling one-more-book. We fight hard to have our voices heard, to have our books displayed, to be best sellers, to cement and earn our reputations as wielders of words. We are ferocious, dedicated, and our biggest critics. We do this because we love it and because we believe our stories need to be heard. We do this because we believe in something bigger than ourselves and because we want to leave this earth with something that outlives us.

So, as any type of author, traditionally published or self-published, let me remind you of your importance in this world; the world shines brighter because you’re in it and because of the stories you tell. The world is a better place because you’re willing to do what it takes to realize a dream. Don’t ever forget your purpose; to tell stories that change lives.

So here’s to all of my streetwise colleagues, I salute you.

X LLB

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Picture Prompt…

September 21, 2018– I love picture prompts! Picture prompts are images that inspire you to write creatively; they’re useful for a couple of reasons:

  1. They get you out of your comfort zone. More often than not, the image won’t match what genre you usually write in. Today’s picture prompt is especially true for me because I’m not a fantasy reader or writer.
  2. They help you focus. Picture prompts force us to focus on an idea, and they don’t allow us to write randomly. They provide the bones for a story and allow us to branch out from there. They give us a bit of structure to get started.

Here is today’s Picture Prompt; Happy Writing!

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So, You Want to be a Blogger?

September 10, 2018– Blogging is a blast! I absolutely love creating blog content for clients and for most, it’s an untapped market for writers to capitalize on!

Blogging is not only fun, but it’s also a great side gig for writers to get paid. Blogging helps us write about different topics and helps us flex our creative writing muscles and sometimes even our non-fiction muscles depending on the type of blog posts we write!

Now let’s say that you’re ready to start your OWN blog! What to write about is the biggest question. Here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Take a trip to the store. Browse the magazine section and take note of all the types of magazines there are. Which topics interest you? Is it Cooking? Lifestyle? Gadgets/Technology? Parenting? Fashion? Finance? Sports? Home?
  2. Write what you like to read about. Simply put, if we like to read about it, it may be something easy for us to write about. For example, You enjoy reading gardening magazines, why not blog about this year’s crop of cherry tomatoes that you have growing in your backyard? You could blog about the challenges you faced with too much rain, or how you expertly got rid of bugs that threatened your fruit, with a natural insect repellent. You get the picture.
  3. Write about your hobbies or interests. Are you stuck on stamps from the early 1900’s? Do you like to knit things for kids? What about sports, are you into horseback riding? Do you love to travel around the world while staying in Air Bnb’s? Chances are if you’re interested in it, someone else in the world is too and would be intrigued to read about it from your perspective.
  4. What are you an expert in? Maybe you’re a contractor who specializes in custom horse barns, or perhaps you’re a classicly trained pastry chef who specializes in all things sweet, whatever you’re an expert in, is valuable to your readers! Write what you know and write what you’re the best at.

Happy Blogging! But before you go, make sure you subscribe to this blog!

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What is Stormwriting? Do You Know?

September 5, 2018- We’ve all heard of brainstorming and I’m confident that as writer’s, we tend to do this to a fault. I say to a fault because of how much time we spend brainstorming instead of writing, which is really what we should be doing instead.

Brainstorming, as we know, is where you start with a blank piece of paper in front of you and you’re supposed to come up with new ideas. There’s a problem with the rigidity of this. We think that we’re just supposed to write down ideas, single words, and we are encouraged to think laterally.

What if I told you there was a better way? Enter Stormwriting! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Gather writing materials
  2. Find a cozy place
  3. Write down your idea at the top of the page
  4. Write down EVERYTHING that has to do with your idea.
  5. Use Yes and What if as your guiding questions.
  6. Keep writing, don’t edit! Just get it on paper.

Let’s do an example from one of my own novels set to launch next year:

My Name is Jessica Westlake (is the title so I put this at the top of the page)

  • Her name is Jessica Westlake, why is her name Jessica Westlake? Has this always been her name?
  • She is blonde with blue eyes, tall, trim, married, no children, having an affair with her neighbour
  • Her husband is a high profile lawyer, he cheats on Jessica with the mistress that works for him
  • They are rich in money but poor in morals
  • They have a big house, a maid, and nice cars
  • Jessica grew up poor, her parents were horrible and they did things to her that are inexplicable
  • They live in Boston in a very expensive neighbourhood
  • Her husband is abusive and treats her like garbage
  • What if the husband catches Jessica and the neighbour? What if he seeks vengeance for what they’ve done?
  • What if things were more complicated? What if the neighbour was also cheating with the husband?

See what I mean? It’s pretty easy to go down the rabbit hole on this exercise, isn’t it?

Also, this contains ZERO  spoilers for my next novel:) I wouldn’t ruin it for you! Now get stormwriting!

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Journaling…Do You Do This?

May 18, 2018- How many of you journal? I am definitely in the YES I DO camp of this question. I find that journaling helps with my sleep, my creativity, and when I’m feeling anxious.

If you’re not currently writing in a journal every day, I highly suggest that you start! Let’s examine the benefits of putting pen to paper. Of course, you can use any type of journal you’d like including digital, but I prefer to use a beautiful notebook and a nice pen. It’s completely up to you!

  1. It will help you express what you’re really feeling. The thing about writing in a journal is that you can write whatever you want without judgement, because it’s your choice to keep it private. Journaling can reveal your inner most thoughts and feelings and allow you to say what you really want to. I’d even go as far to say that it helps unlock and unblock your subconscious mind. This usually happens when journaling is done before bed.
  2.  It helps you know yourself. Journaling is essential to getting to know yourself better and is a wonderful problem solving tool. It allows you to see things from a different perspective and can help answer questions about yourself. Try the method of bullet-journaling and ask yourself some questions such as, Who am I? What do I care about? How do I see myself?, etc.
  3. It’s healthy. Writing in a journal every day is so healthy for your mind, spirit, and immune system, believe it or not! As for the health benefits of journaling, they’ve been scientifically proven. Research shows the following: It improves cognitive functioning, it strengthens the immune system, and it counteracts many of the negative effects of stress.

So, pick up your pen and start journaling today! It will change your life.

X LLB

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