Apologies to Twitter followers

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I feel that I ought to extend apologies to everyone who has chosen to follow me on Twitter.

I finally found the time to get my Twitter account in order this weekend.

When I saw my stats I was stunned.

Before I began my long-overdue spring clean, they said;

Following; 197

Followers;  542

How does that happen? And why do 542 people think that I am worthy of their precious time to follow? Perhaps some of them are simply accumulating numbers. Others (and their profiles support this) are fellow writers and artists and have chosen to extend their writing  family –  and their contacts.

it’s encouraging to be part of such a large group and I hope to continue meeting new writers, readers, artists.

I’ve now addressed the imbalance, even making an effort to tilt it the other way. I’m currently following more than are following me, which generally seems to be the case with most Tweeters.

I intend to keep a regular eye on my stats from now on, so that anyone who chooses to follow will not have to wait (in some cases) three or more months for a return follow (unless you only Tweet about Stock Market shares or advertise cars).

Write on… or it you don’t write, then Happy Following! :)

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Instantaneous feedback – and some embarrassing praise.

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This week, several events coincided and left me walking on air…

I was assigned, as part of my day job, to the sparkling town of Blackpool (you know, the Northern English town with its own version of the Eiffel Tower)

jason31 tower

During my time at the sweet (candy) factory there, I found the largely Polish workforce to be very receptive to my book and I’ve already seen some sales from the bookmark handout, the concept of which I covered in several previous posts.

That might be the end of the sales run, but I’d like to think that the Polish community might pass the word around. After all, one of my minor characters DOES have a Polish Grandmother… :)

I also found a fan in a colleague who not only bought my eBook whilst we were working together, but took an active part in promoting it on my behalf, reinforcing my bookmark spiel with his own enthusiastic endorsements.

Thank you Peter! :D

His sister, Penny, has also bought a copy (on Peter’s recommendation) and she is peparing to read it as I write this. When he told Penny that he was sitting next to the author, she became curious as to my personality and asked him all about me –  something that brought a warm glow to my insides.

Peter read through several chapters of ‘A Construct of Angels’ each evening, allowing us to discuss the events and characters as we worked through the next day, although I had to be very, very careful not to utter any spoilers. As he talked about the book, his obvious enthusiasm for my writing left me with a peculiar feeling of conflict; I was happy that he was enjoying the book and took some pride from the fact that I’d created something that had affected him in such a positive way.

And yet, I couldn’t help but feel slightly embarrassed when he offered praise. It’s a wonderful thing to receive and I ought to soak it up like a sponge as it’s a rare beast. However, being somewhat reclusive in nature I don’t feel at all comfortable when it comes my way – I really don’t know what to do with myself.

So, Peter, if I appeared to squirm and look mildly uncomfortable as you enthused, you were doing nothing wrong.  It’s not you…it’s me. :D

And yes, please feel free to nag me regarding the sequel, ‘ A Vengeance of Angels’, which has fallen behind schedule due to other committments. I WILL endeavour to get it finished. Plus, you’re now on my beta readers list for when it’s completed. :)

hortongrou nag nag nag

McCaw #1:nag nag nag
McCaw#2: All right, all right, I’ll finish the book – I promise!

One other event that cause me to stare and utter the immortal phrase ‘No Way…’ was an abrupt and completely unexpected spike in the number of followers of my author page on Facebook.  In the space of twenty-four hours, the followers rose from a rather sad 11 likes to a staggering (relatively speaking) 256 likes.

:O

There are two possible explanations for this unprecedented event:  I’ve been part of two promotions this week.  One was Cassandra Giovanni’s cover reveal – a reblog on my previous post (as well as being echoed on Facebook and Twitter)  – and the other was ‘The Mega Giveaway’  on the ‘For the Love of Fiction’ Facebook page.

If you haven’t already seen this, please take a moment to check it out. Although if you are reading this on a re-run (i.e. after June ’13), the Giveaway may have ended.  Still, you could always drop in and have a peek at my author page whilst you’re there. :D

All the events of this week illustrate the power of communicating effectively, whether it’s by word of mouth or by using the Interweb.

Stop Press; I’ve been told that it was ‘The Big Giveaway’ that boosted my author page.  One of the requirements of entry via Rafflecopter is to ‘like’ the author’s page.  That boost to 256 indicates a good response to the giveaway…

Write On!

keep calm plus author inside

Spread the word – linking your posts to other media

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hoefi chain

If you have other social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and LinkedIn, it’s a straightforward matter to have your posts automatically repeated on them, saving you time and the hassle of re-posting each time.

If you want to utilise this, first open the appropriate social media page in another tab or window in the background first.  Depending on your browser settings, WordPress may auto-fill and save you having to re-type manually.

Stage One;

At the bottom of every post is a link to something clever called ‘Publicize’.  Pick a recent post, find the link and click on ‘Settings.’

stage one

Stage Two;

A selection of social media will appear in the next window as per the image below.  Or…

stage two

…if you haven’t any linked sites, you might see a series of social media options;

.

Click ‘Add new Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn (use as appropriate) connection.’

This should prompt a permissions box to appear.  I’ve shown the LinkedIn one;

stage three

This may auto fill as you begin typing, or you may have to complete both boxes, depending on your browser settings.  Either way, completing the box should take you to your social media page and allow you to link it to your subsequent WordPress posts.

Beware, though.  Using ‘Update’ on any older posts will cause them to be re-posted (as I’ve found to my cost), so use it sparingly, or your followers will be blasted over and over with your wit and wisdom! :D

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Blog of the Year 2012

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Well, now that SPOTY is all wrapped up and X Factor winner has been decided, I’m pleased to be able to peer into the latest mysterious (virtual) envelope and see my own name on the Blog of the Year nomination roll.

Yes, Patwoodblogging has very, very kindly nommed me which means that I am now entitled to display (and I do so with pride) the following button;

Thank you, PatWoodBlogging

Thank you, PatWoodBlogging

And, then, not long afterwards, this one;

Thank you, NutsForTreasure

Thank you, NutsForTreasure

 

I’ve endeavoured to make this blog interesting, whilst passing on what I’ve learned over the past couple of years.  However, I can say that without any doubt, I have probably learned far more than I have imparted.  And isn’t that the way it should be?  Because so many fellow bloggers have been so very generous with their hints, tips, lessons and sharing of experience, my blogging and my writing has flourished during 2012.

It hardly seems possible that my very first post ‘The best rejection letter ever?‘ was only published in July of this year, finally catapulting my introverted presence into the Blogsphere.   Since then, I’ve blogged (a little irregularly, I confess), joined Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, published on Amazon and I’m already part-way through the First Draft of my sequel.

What an amazing year it’s been!

Thank you to everyone who has visited, commented and assisted me with my lifelong dream to publish my first novel.

I’d like to nominating the following sites whose content instructed, guided, shared, encouraged or contained perfectly entertaining prose that cheered and lifted us all throughout 2012;

Candace Knoebel for being ‘Awesome’ with every blog.

PatrickLatter for providing inspirational images.

Karen Gadient for being both graphic (it’s not what you’re thinking!) and thoroughly entertaining.

C G Blake for fascinating and instructional content.

Ryan Casey for always providing the right answers on his blog – even before I knew I needed to know them.

Jacqui Murray – her blog is packed to the rafters with useful content.

Michelle Proulx for being thoroughly entertaining!

Pat Wood – for her incessant and infectious cheerfulness!  Have another star, you star!

I would love to include absolutely everybody that I follow in this list, but that isn’t practical.  Instead, I’d ask that you spread the nominations to everyone whose work you love to follow and learn from.  This award can be sent out even in the New Year, so don’t stop when the 31st is worn out.

Hope you all have amazing (and Awesome – can I say that Candace?) holiday.

See you on the other side!!!

Write on in 2013, everyone!

~

Do you know a blog that deserves an award?

Do you have special blogs that you love to read?

Which blogs do you bookmark and follow?

Would you like to give them an award this year?

Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   

and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group 

and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

6 stars image

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

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Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

~

The BIG Giveaway…the results.

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Image courtesy of Cjcj at Stock Xchng

 

Twelve days have gone by since the Big Giveaway of ‘A Construct of Angels’ and as promised, I’m typing a few lines of feedback to let you know if I thought it was all worthwhile.

Before the giveaway, ‘Construct’ had sold eighteen copies.  That wasn’t a problem – I’d always imagined that my first novel would be a slow seller.  As I’ve told many people, I didn’t buy any of Robin Hobb’s books until she’d written six of them.  The first Harry Potter book I considered buying was ‘The Goblet of Fire’ – book four in the series.  E E ‘Doc’ Smith had written seven Lensman books before I ever laid eyes upon them.  Robert Heinlein, Arthur C Clarke, Andre Norton…all the same.

So I wasn’t expecting a stampede.

The weekend of the giveaway arrived – December 1st and 2nd.  I watched with barely-restrained anxiety.  Would anybody bother?  I’d Tweeted, I’d Facebooked, I’d emailed, I’d reTweeted, I’d told KindleBoards plus everyone who knew I’d published.  What more could I do at this early stage in my self-publishing career?  Ryan Casey had warned me to expect hundreds of downloads.  I saw twenty.  I stared at my tiny Netbook screen, waiting for the numbers to change, but they remained steadfastly low.  I refreshed.  Nothing changed.  I logged out and back in again.  Still no change.

It wasn’t until I realised that my Netbook was only displaying part of the Amazon KDP screen that the true scale of what had just happened hit me.

I’d had eight hundred and twenty-six downloads.
Smiley Faces
I looked again, scarcely comprehending.

How many??

Even now, nearly two weeks later, I can scarcely believe it.

So, to say that word got around would be something of an understatement.  With only Twitter, Facebook, Kindleboards, this blog and my contact list to work from, at least a thousand people had received the message that ‘Construct’ was up for grabs.

I’m happy to report that the first part of the exercise has been, without any shadow of doubt, a big success.

Now I can only wait and hope that the main object of the exercise, the procurement of some useful feedback, will bear fruit.  Even if only 5% of the readers leave positive feedback, that would still be forty reviews to strengthen ‘Construct’s credibility.

Fingers crossed and on with the sequel.

Write on!

It’s been a busy old month!

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Hello Fellow Bloggers!

I haven’t posted anything for nearly five weeks now and I feel terribly guilty.

You may (or may not) have noticed.

The lack of posts, that is,not the guilt.

Following the upload of my book to Amazon, I have had my head down and have been peddling (!) furiously in an effort to spread the word about ‘A Construct of Angels’.

Complimentary PDF copies have been sent out to those who assisted me in the research phase back in 2010.

I’ve produced laminated posters and around 300 bookmarks (Excellent idea, thanks Sonya!) which have been passed out to everyone who admitted to being a reader of books.  The bookmarks have also been liberally scattered wherever reading material (magazines and books) were found to be clustered on waiting room tables.

My works vehicle has become an advertising hoarding, plastered with magnetic signs in the hope of generating further interest.

I’ve fluffed up my Facebook account, joined MySpace, KindleBoards, a dozen authors’ forums at LinkedIn, the World Literary Cafe, Goodreads and sent links to half-a-dozen book review sites.

Next up is CreateSpace, Search Inside the Book and Author Central.

I’m even considering contacting regional newspapers as a ‘local author’ to see if they’d be interested.

I have, however, stopped short of Tweeting, although it has now become apparent to me how useful it could be.   Tweeting 140 characters instead of waiting for a spare half-hour (which never seems to arrive) to compose a full post?  That has possibilities.  I may yet find myself becoming a Twitter convert.

Naturally, with all the new traffic, I now find that my Inbox is overwhelmed *sighs* and is now in need of a re-jig, i.e. creating new folders for comments, updates and notifications to flow into.

And on top of all that, I have finally, finally managed to forge ahead with my sequel, ‘A Vengeance of Angels’.

By an odd and completely unplanned coincidence, I began it on the first day of NaNoWriMo.  Not that I could keep up that sort of pace.  1500 words a day?  The first day saw me pen around 1000 words.  The second? About 500.  And so on down a sliding scale until I found myself not writing at all on some days.

But I’m back in the saddle and currently 10,000 words or so into ‘Vengeance’ and re-discovering the joy of ‘pantsing’ – but more on that later.

The project that I’m most excited about is slowly coming together.  Normally, my work bats me around the country like a ping-pong ball, but lately, I’ve been working in one place for the past six weeks and that looks to continue up until Christmas.  So, I’ve contacted a local drama group with a proposition;  Would they like to be actors and extras in a three-minute video that will ultimately serve to promote ‘Construct’?

My question has apparently caused a great deal of excitement amongst the students.  Their Head of Department is currently reading through ‘Construct’ and is very keen to discuss my ideas.

Watch this space…

So, what I now need to ask is; in addition to the endeavours above, has anyone had notable success with any particular method of advertising?

Bearing in mind that ‘Construct’ is an eBook, activities such as book signings and book parties wouldn’t work, unless anyone has a ‘twist’ that could be applied…

As always, all ideas and comments are welcomed. :D

Write on!

 

Click me if you dare

 

Jo Svensson

YA fantasy adventure novelist & publishing person

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