Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lacey's Favorite Ways To Use Facebook For Promo

Today I wanted to talk a few of my favorite ways you can use Facebook for promotion. Aside from posting your buy links all the time, there are other ways to entice readers into check out your  books.

Flash Giveaways - What is this? You ask people seeing the post to like and comment on the
post. If you're using a fan page, this will help more people see the post. If you have a new release, this is a great time to post the blurb and cover and give something away that is not your new book. Because I hate to say it, but you want people to purchase the book, right? In my thinking, if you just give the book away, people are going to wait until it's offered as a giveaway again. I am a big gift card giver. They don't have to buy my book with it of course, they can get anything they've wanted.

Anyway, flash giveaways are quick giveaways. A few hours or a day. Your choice. But it's something that as more people like, comment, tag, and share, your info is being shared. And how great is that? It's so hard to reach new readers outside of your usual reach. Hopefully you find one that loves you.

Graphics - These are to be eye catchy and you can include excerpts, buy links, etc with them. And I usually use the website Very easy to use. Anyone, in my opinion, can make eye catching graphics there for FREE! Here are a few I've made before to give you an idea.

And finally, check out these pages. They have forms you submit for them to promote your books. It works! And they want your books to share on their pages. Go check them out!

What To Read After Fifty Shades of Grey:
 eBook Korner Kafe (non-erotic):
Korner Kafe Exposed:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#Wwow - Wacky Websites for Writers #amwriting

Have you ever been in the writing dumps? Don't lie! We all have! Well, here are some motivating websites for writers that are fun, wacky and helpful.

Written Kitten -
Positive reinforcement for writers through KITTENS! For every designated amount of words written, you get a new kitten image. I have to say, it's quite humorous!

A way to turn your writing into a game. You get points for writing 750 words daily and even more for writing consecutive days. Compare points with others, get badges and motivate other writers.

Rescue Time -
Keeps track of your time spent on the computer. Helps you become more productive. Alerts you when you spend a certain amount of time on an activity, blocks distracting websites, 

Word Hippo -
One place to stop for help with synonyms, antonyms, and such. I like it because it goes beyond a normal thesaurus. It helps with name meanings, words ending with certain letters, 4-letter words, 5-letter words, tranlations, rhymes. You name it!

Omniwriter -
Conquer the intimidation of the white screen! Keep focused and relaxed while writing by downloading this program. Creates a relaxing atmosphere for writing with backgrounds and zen-like music.

Have a writing challenge? Go to unstuck to help you make a decision. Say goodbye to writer's block!

Edit Minion -
A robotic copy editor which checks weak words, "said," passive voice, cliches and more.

Have fun being productive! :)

Melinda Dozier is a contemporary romance author for Crimson Romance and Swoon Romance. You can find more information at

Monday, December 16, 2013

#WWoW! Indie Authors Use NetGalley!

There are new opportunities on NetGalley for self-published authors! And I'm so excited about what this means -the doors it opens- for Indie authors. There are basically three options but I've found OPTION THREE to be the most affordable and beneficial for Indie authors.
What Does NetGalley Do?
NetGalley provides a place where authors/publishers can upload their ebooks (ARCs or older titles) and reviewers can request a copy for review. If approved, NetGalley readers will read and review the titles.
NetGalley gives you fast and easy access to the 120,000 bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers, and media people who use NetGalley. And these reviewers are some high profile groups - movers and shakers in the book review realm.
Three ways for Indie Authors to join NetGalley:
OPTION ONE Indie authors can upload their ebooks to NetGalley manually. For $400, you can post one title for six months.
OPTION TWO Indie authors can upload their ebooks to NetGalley through the IBPA program. For $350, they will help you in posting one title for six months.
OPTION THREE 20 indie authors can form a co-op that will have access to 20 title slots for one year. Each individual author can swap out as many titles as they need during that year. The cost is $300 per author for the full year of access, unlimited number of titles.

GOOD NEWS! I jumped at OPTION THREE. When I found it difficult to find space in current CoOps, I decided to form my own. Indie authors interested in being a part of the BECKONING ROMANCE CoOp, contact me. Be sure "NetGalley CoOp" is in the subject header.

LOOK AT THESE STATS FROM THE All Night Reads CoOp (found on Susan Kaye's blog)
"Within a day of getting All Night Reads started, we had 11 titles live in the catalog, with 446 approved requests, of which 286 downloaded right away and 1 person had read and reviewed. ALL IN ONE DAY.
After a week, 19 titles with 2,216 approved review requests (2,185 actually downloaded) and 36 reviews."

So, $300 feels like an awful lot of money. BUT... here's why it's worth it...
  1. It includes a year's worth of NetGalley access for as many books as you want! NetGalley allows you to switch them out which means you could have a new book live each month.
  2. It saves you the time of querying reviewers/ bloggers directly. No more cold call emails!
  3. It exposes your book to the right reviewers. NetGalley allows the reviewer to request the books they believe matches their reading interest so your book lands in the right hands.
  4. It puts your book in front of a diverse audience. NetGalley reviewers include librarians and other media people, as well as book bloggers, general Goodreads reviewers and booksellers.

Indie CoOps are popping up on NetGalley. For information on another Indie CoOp, follow this link to Patchwork Press where my idea to form my own originated from. Here's another author speaking about her experience in forming the All Night Reads CoOp.

It's a new opportunity for Indie Authors! CHECK IT ALL OUT. Then let me know if you want to be a part of the BECKONING ROMANCE CoOp. All genres welcome. We'll begin in 2014 as soon as we have twenty members!

Keep Writing!

Monday, December 9, 2013

#WWoW! Holiday Hops! Authors: Join Now.

Looking for promotion opportunities this holiday season? There's a lot going on you can still get involved with. The holiday season is a great time to promote your books. Many readers are getting ready to take some time off and relax... with some good books. So get your books out in front of them!

Marketing for Romance Writers is hosting a holiday blog hop from December 13-15, 2013. Any author with a holiday-themed book is welcome. You have to be a member of MFRW but it's free to sign up and the benefits far surpass blog hops. SIGN UP HERE.

The Romance Studio hosts PARTIES. Authors can sign up, submit a blog post, join the contest and engage with readers. They have an actual party site so you draw from a new circle of potential readers.Their Christmas Party is from December 17-23, 2013. CHECK THEM OUT HERE.

Romance Beckons is hosting the Merry Mistletoe Blog Hop from December 20-23, 2013. All holiday-themed books or blog posts are welcome. SIGN UP HERE. No donation required. Each site is just asked to provide their own prize.

The Winter Spanks Blog Hop is being hosted by Spanking Romance Reviews. It runs from January 2-4, 2014 so it's a bit after the holidays but it gets to readers during that post-holiday hump. CLICK HERE to
Sign Up.

Okay, what are you waiting for? There's got to be at least one of these that suits you. Hurry! Get signed up and start promoting your books during this holiday season!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Stuck on the plot. My tips. #wwow

It's been a few weeks since I posted, and for that, I'm sorry. I've had some personal things going on that pulled me away from blogging as well as writing.

Today I wanted to talk a little but about writing, writers block, and plot bunnies. I often see authors posting status's or asking in groups what they should do when they feel stuck on a book they are writing, and yet
another story is calling to them.

First off, I don't believe in deadlines. Of course, if you follow me on facebook, you'll see I mention them for myself and now you're thinking I'm some weirdo. But what I mean is setting deadline and stressing about it. I usually start writing a book and make a goal as to when I'd like it done. It either happens or it doesn't. And guess what, I'm fine either way. Stressing makes this job no fun. And I intend to enjoy this career.

So what to do if you're stuck. Do you force the words out or walk away? I usually say, walk away for the time being. You can come back and most of the time you will. If another story is calling, then write it. I can't tell you how many times I've been working on a book and something else calls to me. And bam, I can write that book in no time. Yeah, you might have about five work in progresses, but eventually you will finish them and they will make out to the world. But don't force a book.

I'm gonna be honest here too. I have one book out that was forced. It's in a series and in that series, it's the one that gets picked up the worst and has lower ranked reviews. At the time the book was with a publisher and I had a set deadline to have the book with the editor. And the book just wasn't flowing for me. So I forced it.

The best part of being a indie or small press writer, is that you usually don't have those dreaded deadlines. So enjoy it. Don't push yourself to write something that just isn't ready.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#WWoW!: Formatting Ebooks with @dochappycamper #indie #MyWANA

Welcome back to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. This is going to be my last post of the year because of all the holidays...and my birthday in less than two weeks. (whoohoo!) I'm also in the middle of a hefty publication schedule. As the co-owner of Sassy Vixen Publishing, it's not only my responsibility to get my own books ready to publish, but those of our other authors as well. With one new release down and two more to go for the next month, my plate is a bit full. 

I'm now published under three pen names, a fourth in the wings and part of an anthology with three of my author friends. In fact, the anthology comes out in just nine days. I've been working on formatting five novellas into one file to upload to Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks and Amazon. It's not as easy as just uploading a Word file to each site and hope for the best. You see, there are a lot of things that are hidden in the code of Microsoft Word that will make an ebook a mess of errors on an ereader.

So how do you prevent it from happening? 

You could have someone format it for you. That could cost you a pretty penny and if you're just starting out like I was, you need to watch the budget. Unless you have a friend or family member who has published ebooks before...and they look fabulous on those little screens, you need to learn how to do this yourself and fast.

How?  The Smashwords Style Guide.

I know what you're thinking. Why would you use the guide to publish on Smashwords to create files for other sites? Easy. This book has detailed instructions on how to make a file that is stripped of all the hidden codes, lines, tab settings, indents etc that can make your ebook look ugly and jarring to the reader. If your manuscript makes it through the Smashwords "Meatgrinder" you can be darn sure it will make it through the other site

One of the biggest issues I've come across in the ebooks I've read for pleasure and to review inappropriate set up of a paragraph. If you use the built in tab settings to do indents or Goddess forbid, multiple spaces to get an indent, your ebook will have paragraphs that start in the middle or two thirds into the line. If your manuscript is more than single spaced, your ebook will have huge gaps between lines and look bizarre on those ereader screens.

The Style Guide walks you through each step on how to set up your paragraph so that every indent will be the same as well as the justification to the left or whatever you choose. Here's a few screen shots of what I mean. Now these are not in the guide, but are from a tutorial on how to use Microsoft Word. Similar pics are in the Guide and you can refer to them over and over again when you format your books.
I set up my paragraphs to have a first line indent of 0.3", single spaced and left justified. All the margins I set to 0 inches. This is my basic set up for any of my manuscripts for self publishing. Now if you're submitting your manuscript to a publisher, you have to follow their guidelines. You can do that here too. 

The above is a close up of the window you use to set up the indents. All of these pointers and more are in the Style Guide.

Best thing about's FREE.

That's right. This guide is FREE. You can download it from Amazon or from Smashwords right to your Kindle and have it to refer to every single time you need it. The goal of the guide is to help you create a beautiful looking that shows up on all the electronic reading devices.

In this day and age where anyone and their brother can publish a book on their own, we have to do something to make our work stand out in a good way. Self published authors already have a bad reputation for having poorly edited and formatted books out there. Why not make sure yours isn't one of them? 

Join me and many others out there who swear by this guide and the methods detailed inside. Help me give self published authors a better name and put our best foot out there. No longer will reviewers and readers have the excuse to slam us and treat us as if we're inferior because our ebooks look like landmines filled with formatting errors.

One final note: if you do have someone else format your book for you, make sure you review it on the various ereaders. You can download free versions of all of them from the web. Just because your book looks good in print or in .doc file, doesn't mean it will look the same in EPUB, MOBI, PDF or HTML.

Food for thought! 
Until next time,

Learn More About Tammy

Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.

Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.

Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Sassy Vixen Publishing
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
Follow Tammy on Twitter
Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube

If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WWoW!: @dochappycamper Shows You How to Use Static Pages to Your Advantage #blogging #MyWANA

Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom and my ongoing series on how to tailor your website/blog to your advantage.

This week I thought I'd focus on using static pages for more than just a list of your favorite links or your book covers. In May of this year, I participated in a blog hop hosted by the Four Seduced Muses. The Caliente Blog Hop ran from May 6th through May 10th. That's Monday through Friday. Five days where my continuous blogs would be "occupied" daily for the hop, OR I could still have my regular features on all of them AND still have a dedicated spot where folks who are only interested in the hop could go without having to wade through five or six days worth of posts. This was where I used the static pages to my advantage...and to yours.

Depending on what blog platform/host you use, the steps to set up the pages can be a little different than what I'm going to show you how to do today. Since I use both Wordpress and Blogger, those will be what I focus on in this post.

My main website and blog is Behind Closed Doors. It's on the free server but I purchased my domain name so the official URL is  The following description and photos will apply to this particular blog. If you go to the site, you will be taken to my landing page, or HOME. I made this static page my website. There you can see the navigating tabs at the top where you can find the Blog, My Poetry, my other sister blogs, guidelines, etc. It's in that menu I put the tab for visitors to find the Caliente Blog Hop page.

To get started in wordpress, click on DASHBOARD, then APPEARANCE, then PAGES, then ADD NEW.
Now you get a template page very similar to what you would normally see when writing a general post for your blog. Set it up as you desire even with a scheduled date and time for it to go live. You can post it immediately if you wish, but for my purposes, I made it the first day of the hop.

Now go to DASHBOARD and then MENU. You'll see a page like the following.

Do you see the boxes next to the pages there in the middle of the screen shot? Those are where you can check off to choose what pages you wish to include in the menu. You can have many pages set up and not easily accessed with the menu tabs. These stay "hidden" until you provide the link for folks to access them. I did that with my Now and Forever Series tab. There you will find blurbs of my books and also links to the first chapter of each one. You can only access the first chapter pages by that link.

Now in the right column of the screen shot above, you see the list of items in my menu that will appear at the top of the Behind Closed Doors website/blog. I can move the order around with the idea of giving the Caliente Blog Hop tab greater visibility. I will have it at the end, so it will show up as the last tab and easily accessible. Now at any point during the blog hop, people can visit that page simply by clicking on the tab in the menu at the top. If they wish, they can also tour around my site and check out the other guests I'll have on my blog during the hop.

For Blogger, the steps are a little different but a bit easier than with Wordpress. Click on DESIGN at the top right of your blog, then PAGES, then ADD NEW.
Go ahead and create the page the way you want it to look. The photo above is taken from my alter ego Stephanie Ryan's blog. She'd participated in the Caliente Blog Hop too. ;-)

After you have the page the way you want it, go ahead and publish it. Don't worry, you'll be able to change the status of it in a moment.

See how Stephanie's Caliente Hop page is listed in the page menu? Here is where you can change the status of the page by reverting it to draft. That way it keeps it "hidden" until you're ready for it to go live. You will have to go in there and publish it manually as blogger doesn't have a way to schedule the pages at specific dates and times like Wordpress does. Here's what the dashboard looks like when you revert the page to draft.

Why have a separate static page in order to participate in blog hops? 

Well, I used to do a new post every single day of the hop I was participating in and found that the first day or two got the best response, but then only a few folks came back daily. So I thought I would take that to heart, and just have one dedicated page to the hop and go about my regular blog business at the same time. Now that I have three pen names to manage, this is the best option for me. I can enjoy the hops and continue to promote myself, my pen names and fellow authors.  Also if you end up participating in hops that overlap or occur at the same time, this allows you to have a separate page for each one and still be able to keep the visitors and their contest entries separate from each other.

So go on. Set up pages for blog hops, your own contests, or even a store to sell your books. That's my next project for the Sassy Vixen Publishing website! Enjoy!

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#Wwow - Legal Mumbo-Jumbo for Writers

So, you received a contract between six to ten pages long. What does it all mean? How do you read it all? How do you decipher all the information? All publishers have their own agreement or contract for their authors. Some are negotiable and others aren't. However, most have the same terms. What do all the terms mean? Well, I've found several resources online to help you.

Romance University: Holly Root on Negotiating Contracts
PublishLawyer: Quick Guide to Book Contract Trouble Spots
PublishLawyer: Parts of a Contract
Publishing Agreement Checklist
Pub Law: Negotiating Terms

And last but not least, follow the hashtag #publaw each week on Twitter for info from @SusanSpann.

Melinda Dozier is the author of several contemporary romance novels with Crimson Romance and Swoon Romance. You can find her online at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#WWoW!: Creating The Blog Navigation Bar that Suites Your Needs #amwriting #MyWANA

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. Today is the third installment in my creating your own blog series.  This week I'm covering setting up and personalizing your blogs. In fact, I'll be travelling down this road for the next couple weeks and hopefully will cover some of the topics people have been asking me about over the last few months.

I've had more than a few requests to discuss a bit about setting up the layout of my blogs. Mainly, folks want to know how I did it. Well, there really isn't a right or wrong way to go about doing it. All of my blogs are fluid—constant works in progress. I'm always fiddling with the layouts and order of things to get all of them to be appealing to the eye. I like to change up the color schemes too. Right now, I'm only working with the free themes offered through Blogger and Wordpress so some of the layouts are restricted by the specific themes that I choose to work with at the time. This is most evident with Wordpress. The fonts, colors and layouts are all locked in with their free themes. However, I can choose at anytime to upgrade and pay to customize them. That's a future goal for me.

Blogger on the other hand does give you a lot more options to customize your themes. You can change the font's with each post, the time stamps, what color you want your links to be in the posts, what color or fonts to use for your blog title and subtitles. After you've chosen a theme, then you can alter the design by clicking on the "DESIGN" tab at the top of your blog. Go ahead and do that now. You will see a page that looks similar to this

Clicking on the "TEMPLATE" option on the menu on the left side will show the "CUSTOMIZE" button. Click on that to take you to the next step.

As you can see, I'm using this blog to help demonstrate what to do here. Of course your own blog won't have the same colors and layout as mine...or it could if you chose the same theme. LOL   On the left side you will see another menu list. Click on the last option "ADVANCED." This will take you to the window where you can change fonts sizes, colors and everything to give your page the look you wish to have. Here's what mine looks like at that step.

Notice the area I drew a circle around? That is the list of options you get to control. When you click on each one, the choices of fonts and colors open up for you on the right. Currently it's showing what I can do for my page text. Blogger gives you suggestions of what colors will go with your chosen theme or you can go completely in another direction. It's up to you. Go ahead and play around with all of the spots you wish to customize. Make sure you save your arrangements before you change screens to view the blog. If you don't like how it looks, or a font color isn't showing up the way you want it to, then change it.

Once you've played around with the theme and all it has to offer you, I'd like to touch on one more thing before I go for the week. This is how to set up your navigation tabs. Most folks have them at the top, like I have but some people like them as a side bar. It's up to you.

How do you get to add tabs? Well, those are called "PAGES." These can actually be stand alone/static pages you create or links to different blogs or websites. Click on "DESIGN" at the top of your blog again and then pick the "PAGES" option on the left side. It should take you to a page that looks like this.
 I've added a few notes in the photo above to let you know what each section does. First thing, just add the links and pages in any order. You can change that up at any point by clicking on the little light teal/blue colored shaded area of each entry and arranging them in the order you wish. This is just like on the layout page. We'll get to setting up the layout on another day.  For now, let's just concentrate on how you want your navigation tab bar to look like. What links do you want to put there?  One very important one would be  to your website if you have one.  What you put there is all up to you. There really aren't any rules here.

I hope this week's mini seminar was helpful. If you have any questions at all, or would like to see how to so do something else, let me know. I stuck with Blogger for this post, because it does have so many different ways to change things up and still for free. For those of us just starting out, free is definitely an added BONUS!

Make sure you come back next Wednesday when I talk more about creating static pages and how to use them for hops, promotions and keeping your first chapters available only to those who click on the links you provide. Intrigued? Come back next week!


Monday, November 18, 2013

#NaNoWriMo Steps for Success

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If you are, to be on track, you should have hit your half-way point (25,000 words) by now. BUT that's only if you are writing steady. Some of us write more sporadically, each day a varying word count. It's okay if you're behind - maybe you plan to pull out all the stops during the second half of the month. You have two more weekends and plenty more time so DO NOT QUIT.

To get your "NaNo Winner" badge, you have to hit 50,000 words BUT to feel proud of your accomplishment and to have a product worth publishing, all you have to do is WRITE - regardless of your word count at the end of the month.

If you're like me though (or any bit competitive) you want to WIN! I first participated in 2012, completed the 52,000 words and went on to publish the book "HOLD MY HAND" in April 2013. My goal is to do the same this year. So, here's what's worked for me in the past and some tips that might help you...

Write Every Day.
Even if you don't write a lot one day, always write something. And if you don't feel like it, do it anyway. Writing leads to writing. Once you get started, sometimes the words begin flowing out of nowhere. Write every day.

Create Milestone Goals.
50,000 is a big number. Create milestones -5,000-10,000-15,000-25,000- made up of smaller goals that you can celebrate along the way. It's also less overwhelming to think of the month in stages. Try having weekly goals.

Have a Writing Buddy.
Writing is a solitary venture which sometimes makes it hard to be accountable. Make friends on NaNoWriMo through Writing Buddies, an on-line networking service as part of NaNo. You can message with them to share your goals and get advice and encouragement. Or there might already be an author you know also doing it - connect once a day to compare progress.

Track Your Progress.
Use the NaNoWriMo website to keep track of your word count. It's motivating to watch the count climb throughout the month. You'll see how even just a little a day adds to your total word count. It's a great affirmation!

I'm hovering at 29,000 words right now. And I promise that I'm speaking from personal experience because I'm using these tips I suggested to you. If you want to look me up, I'm happy to be your buddy!
Here's a snippet from my NaNo Project 2013 "Ivy Intertwined". It's my first venture into New Adult Romance and I'm having fun with it. This is in it's rawest form with no editing, proofing or polishing. Enjoy at your own risk! 
Ivy hesitantly steps off the ferry and gazes around, careful to keep her eyes averted from those around her. She might be looking for someone but she might also be hiding from someone. To her relief, nobody approaches her and she recognizes no one. An older man passes her by. A girl about her age runs to meet the handsome man who shared her view of the ocean on the ferry trip across the water.
To the common observer, Ivy appears untouched by the happy people around her but that’s not true. She’s touched. Inside. It’s there, where she’s nearly hollowed out at the same time growing more full with life. A new life that meant giving up an old life she adored. An exchange-one loss for another loss-that will be made even in the end when Ivy will find herself alone.
She snatches up her bag that the crew tossed off the boat into the pile of suitcases accompanying the passengers to the island and begins a pace inward towards town. She carries just one bag, large enough only for an overnight trip. It’s not nearly enough but it was all she could manage. Ivy just needed to escape.
Passing through town quickly, she doesn’t stop to look in the shops or seem to notice the string of people stopping to rent mopeds. Soon enough the island will be flooded with tourists buzzing along the quiet country roads, creating a stir in the willows. By then, Ivy will be tucked away in a place that feels more like home than any place she knows. Needing none of these things tourists need, she looks out past the small town and sets her eyes on the open land ahead. In the distance, she sees a small gray house and smiles.
As she gets closer, the small gray house opens its door to her.  Her grandmother waves as Ivy walks up the path to the old house.
If you're participating in NaNoWriMo and would like to share a snippet of your project, please do so in the comments. Keep it under 500 words so we can read one another's excerpts without taking too much time away from our own WRITING!

Now, get back to it. Go Write.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#WWoW!: Finding Your Blogger Niche #MyWANA

Welcome back once again to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. Today is the second installment in my series on creating your own blog. Since this is a Writer's Words of Wisdom post, I'll only talk about blogging as it relates to writers. Even though I write erotica and erotic romance, these tips apply to authors in all genres.

Last week, I asked my alter ego, Stephanie Ryan to share her post on deciding about having a blog, website or a combination of both under one domain. She talked about two of the most popular blogging sites and the advantages of using each one. Of course there were disadvantages for each too, but ultimately it came down to what was the easiest format for her to work on. Hopefully her article helped you to decide and pick one as well. This week I want to touch on how you go about creating your individual blog to help get yourself noticed in the vast world we call The Blogosphere.

I've got my hosting site. Now what do I do?

Congratulations! Now that you've made your choice, it's time to come up with a way to make your little blog stand out and belong to YOU. For that, you need a catchy title and tagline. These are not the same the domain name/URL. Let me explain that just a little bit before we go on. Your domain name will be what folks type into the search engines to find you. As an author, the best kind of domain name or URL to have is one that has your pen name in at least part of it...or some variation of it. The domain name for my Behind Closed Doors website/blog is and the one for my general topic blog is  Both of them have my pen name in the URL and therefore both linked to me.  

Not Enough Time in the Day was created to share all parts of my life as a veterinarian, poet and author of erotic romance. Juggling an evil day job as a veterinarian, life as a newlywed, running a household and finding time to write can be a challenge and every single day I wish there was more hours for me to get things done.  So the title and tagline for that blog was born. Here are a few other blogs that I enjoy reading and following myself. Notice their creative titles and taglines.
  1. Tales from the Snark Side belongs to author Tymber Dalton and her various pen names.
  2. Romance Beckons...The Erotic Writings of Author Paloma Beck and Friends
  3. Calipe's Writing Tablet...The Musings of Romance Author Rose Anderson
  4. Kisses, Caresses, and Whispers in the Night  owned by romantic suspense author Amber Lea Easton
  5. Sealed With a Kiss Robin Badillo's blog
Take a look at some of those blogs and see how they've set them up. Are there features present that appeal to you? This is where you have to decide what you want your own blog go accomplish. Is it only going to be used to showcase posts written by yourself or will you want guest to stop in to discuss various topics? Is your blog going to be about books you've read (a review blog) or all about books you've written yourself? Will you introduce new authors to your followers or keep every post all about you, your thoughts and opinions about various topics?

Do you see where I"m going with this? The sky really is the limit with what you can write about, but it may be best to avoid topics such as religion and politics. Those tend to get really heated and downright messy. Trust me. There are more than enough topics to cover that can be just as controversial. (wink wink). I've been known to jump on that soap box from time to time. Did you catch my diatribe on avoiding the diva syndrome? How about my alter ego Lia Michaels and her discussion of the differences between sensual romance, erotica, erotic romance and porn? No? Here's the link for that one too. ;)  Both of those blogs were a result of some heated discussions I had with some fellow authors. Those topics are a bit controversial and they do make great blogs. 

How do I incorporate guests bloggers? 

Why not choose specific days to be set aside for guests? You can also go another step further by making those days center around a specific theme. For my blogs, I found that allowing guests on any day of the week, created way too much work for me setting up all the spots. I was left with very little time left to work on my own posts, poetry and other WIPs. I had to find balance so I took control. I decided to only have guests three days a week. I had Oh My! Mondays, Thursday Thirteen and Saturday Spotlight. Those three eventually evolved into adding five more features Tammy's Tidbits, Throwback Thursdays, Flashback Fridays, Memoirs of a Forty Something Fat Chick and Furbaby Fridays with Dr. Tammy.  Others to consider could be Tantilizing or Titillating Tuesdays, Sinfully Sassy Sundays with The Vixen (mine on Four Seduced Muses), Wanton Wednesdays, Slippery Saturdays...the list can go on and on. Amber Lea Easton has Open Mic Mondays to showcase guests. Another spot I've seen another author use is Friday Firsts showcasing the opening lines of books her guests wish to promote. 

Having the specific days enables you to have continuity and gives something for your followers to look forward to each week. Can you slip in different posts in there? Hell yes! It's your blog. Do with it what you will, but try to keep it consistent.  You don't wish to include adult topics, then don't. You can keep your "place" as squeaky clean as you wish or as down and dirty as you can get. Do you want to have a no hold's barred approach and feature topics and guests that are considered more risque or taboo? Go for it! I did. Check out Four Seduced Muses and The House of Taboo.  Do you wish for something in between the sweet and taboo? Check out Stephanie Ryan's Through Stephanie's Eyes. She's just getting started but having a lot of fun! 

How do I make my blog stand out? Do I need a gimmick?

I'm learning about this along the way too and the answer I've found is a resounding YES! For my Behind Closed Doors blog, people are drawn to my poetry in the largest numbers. All of my blogs are popular when I participate in blog hops because of the prize packages I put together for each one. This blog is now a hit with the tips for writers and for the tales of my life as a veterinarian. Sassy Vixen Publishing is building a reputation as a new publisher and showcasing authors of all adult genres. The House of Taboo's specialty is the Saturday Spotlight feature. Lia has turned the blog into an actual night club sort of feel, having the guests on the center stage for their interviews. She then surprises them with having their favorite actor or actress "read" the steamy excerpt from the book the guest is promoting.  The feature has become so popular, "we've" decided to include an actual nightclub called The House of Taboo in a shared world series being created by Sassy Vixen authors and many others.   What started out as a fun way to present an interview, turned into an actual character in a romance novel series. Who knew? LOL

So go on. Think about your goals and the persona you wish to present to the Blogosphere and the entire online community. Once you have those basic details, sign up for your blog with the domain name you wish to have in that URL, the eye catching title and tag line to draw in those followers, and add the features you wish to have shown on the site. Eventually you can expand your blog to include your website, your favorite links, you books and book trailers, inspirational photos...anything you wish to make the space all your own.

Above all, have fun and GET BLOGGING!!!

Until next time

Learn More About Tammy

Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.

Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.

Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Sassy Vixen Publishing
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
Follow Tammy on Twitter
Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube

If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!