Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#WWoW! The Ugly Side of Using a Pen Name


The following article was originally posted November 2012 on my Not Enough Time in the Day blog. I've updated it to reflect what had happened to myself and my fellow author friends since then. ~Tammy


The very first post I did for our Writer's Words of Wisdom group was about using a pen name or not. In that article, I pretty much said the decision to use a pen name is a personal one and is made for a variety of reasons. Writing in different genres/subgenres was the biggest reason for me, but for others it was to keep their private life separate from their author life. Unfortunately, for a few authors, having a pen name hasn't given them the protection they desired.

This week, another one of my author friends had her job security threatened by her employer. Apparently the employer isn't too keen on my friend's choice to write erotic romance.  As a writer of erotica and erotic romance myself, I know first hand the prejudice we face so it's no surprise my friend decided to go with another name to do her writing.  The shocker to all of us was that it wasn't enough to protect her from possibly losing her job.

Earlier in the year one of my dear friends also had her job threatened by someone who went out of her way to find her using her pen name to write erotic romance. In fact, this one jealous, vindictive soul took it upon herself to break company policy and use the work computers to do her "investigative" work. That part didn't come out until after my friend had to meet with the board of directors of the company to determine if she was in fact doing anything that would reflect poorly on them or their business. They UNANIMOUSLY found my friend had indeed protected them and kept everything separate. The matter was dropped until they found out the "tattle tale" had been using company time to dig up dirt on my friend. 

The proof was overwhelming against her and after a write up in her personnel file and a counseling session from Human Resources , she decided to quit before they investigated any further in her own bad behavior.  Goes to show you the old proverb is true. "He (or she!) who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones."

Thankfully, I have an employer who is supportive of my writing as long as I keep it separate and not promote on work time or post my covers on the wall over my desk. Do a few of my long term client's know about my books? Yes they do and they are happy for me too. Unfortunately, many of my author friends don't have those people in their corners. 


How can you or any other author protect yourselves from this happening to you?  That's a tough one. Writer's these days have to not only crank out the books, they have to promote themselves and their work. This entails using social media like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. It also means getting your own blog and website. I've talked about this before, but here's another twist. You have to do all of this using your pen name and DON'T promote any kind of link between it and your real name.

Yes, that's the exactly the opposite of what I'm doing right now, but I'm not surrounded by people in my "evil day job" who will complain to my bosses about what I do in my private life.  Other's are not so lucky in their work life or their family lives.


If you write subject matter that can be labeled offensive by your employer, fellow employees, church groups, school, family members, nosy neighbors, the PTA...well...keep your alter egos completely separate. Don't talk about what you write in front of these people. It's not worth the headache, getting kicked out of the social groups, or even losing your job.

There are a hell of a lot more people out there to introduce your alter ego to. So go ahead and create the social media accounts and blogs to promote and share your work. You will build a following and maybe even those folks who publicly ridicule you, will in fact be your biggest fans. That's where you get the last laugh!

Until next week,
~Tammy




Learn More About Tammy

Tammy Dennings Maggy is a 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 Bookstrand, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords,  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





Tuesday, July 30, 2013

#Wwow! 10 Tips for Writing a Synopsis! #amwriting


Since I'm writing a synopsis again for an upcoming project, I thought I'd share an oldie but goodie with Writer's Wow today!

MY TOP 10 WORDS OF ADVICE FOR WRITING A SYNOPSIS:



1) Have a strong opening sentence. Just like in your novel, you want to catch an editor's attention with a hook.

2) Introduce your characters. Don't make it boring... Susy is a 30-something single mom. Blah! Give us some punch to it. Show the editor who the character is. 

3) Include the key components of your novel: hero/heroine, the set up, romantic conflict, character motivation, the black moment and the resolution.

4) In a one-page synopsis, it's impossible to include every detail of your chapters.In fact, I would think editors don't want a summary of each chapter, anyway.  Find a good way to include the essentials (see list above) in a way that will engage the editor. Describe the major plot points, not each scene. The goal is to give a sketch of your entire manuscript, in fewer words.


5) Don't ask questions. Will Amanda discover a renewed love for Jake? This doesn't work. The editor wants the answers, not the question.

6) Stay focused. Don't change POV's and stay in the same verb tense 

7) Don't forget to tell the ending. Editors want to know how the story ends. Don't leave them hanging.

8) Choose your words carefully. When you write your manuscript, you hopefully choose precise words. You want to do the same in the synopsis. 

9) Voice is important. If you write a romantic comedy, then your synopsis should show that. This is the time to give the editor a clue on what type of writer you are... if you're funny, you better show it.

10) Don't stress. Write your synopsis out as if someone asked you to tell them your story. Then go back and see how you can improve. Edit it just like you'd edit your manuscript.

Good Luck!


Melinda Dozier is a contemporary writer. Her three debut novels were released in 2013: The Boy Next Door and Time Changes Everything from Entranced Publishing, and Breaking the Rules from Crimson Romance.  She has another novel releasing in November. You can find more information at her website:www.melindadozier.com

Monday, July 29, 2013

#WWoW! Let's Get Pinning!







Let's talk about Pinterest. 
It's not just for fun. It can be another FREE social networking tool for authors. Start with the basics... open an account and set up your profile (being sure to add your links). Install the PIN IT button onto your browser toolbar. That's it for set up and now you're ready! That easy? Yep.

Now you get to have some fun but we're going to call it work so... time to get to work!

Create some Boards.
Just CLICK on the +Add button along the top. Choose Create a Board. Name it. Categorize it. CLICK Create Board. Some good choices are things that interest you (check mine out for ideas) and that can tell readers more about you as an author and as a person. NOTE that you can always add more boards at any time. Some ideas include a Books Board, Guest Post Board, Features Board and a Review Board. You can even create a board for each of your books or series, published or WIPs. Add a board for important quotes and potential character ideas.

Add Pins.
There are lots of ways to do this. First, you can use that same +Add button along the top to add pins from the web or to upload some from your computer. You can use your Pin It button to add any photos from any website. You can also browse the general Pinterest site by clicking on the word Pinterest in the top center of the screen, browse and re-pin. Put some fun pins on your boards - don't worry right away about perfection.

Be cautious of copyright in regards to photos you pin! It's best to use photos you own or. if not, be sure the original source is listed in the pin's description. You can verify the source link is there by clicking on the pin and viewing the pin's details.

How does this help your business?
You will advertise to a wider audience. Check out this board with more information on the benefits of Pinterest.

AUTHORS who use Pinterest well (& each a bit differently):
Karen Cote   |  Lisa Carlisle  |   Rayne Hall

Here's a Checklist. Be sure to follow these tips:
1. Pin all your blog posts and books with links back to your blog or purchase location.
2. Click that little "tweet" button every time you add an important pin. These pins will get shared -through a vast network- and should bring people back to you.
3. Include the link to your Pinterest Profile wherever you include all other social networking links. It's another outlet for you to get recognition.

Here's a Unique Board -Writer's Resources- with lots of good pins for authors. You can create engaging boards like this too.

So, what are you waiting for? Pin It!

And Keep Writing!
Paloma

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Edits Every Author Should Learn

Happy Thursday! We're one step closer to Friday! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about editing and the basic things all authors should know to save time on their own edits as well as making life easier for their editor.

Know the house guidelines. You won't know these the first time you publish with them, but you'll learn them quickly. You need to know if your publisher uses OK, okay, or ok. You see, each house has a preference on how they want all there stories to be and your story is no exception.  Some use alright, while others use all right. Another thing to learn is scene breaks. Does the pub was three asticks close together *** or three with a space between * * *. Is there a difference with scene break and point of view change? All things you want to pay attention to and know. It never hurts to ask your editor for a style sheet
as well  you can save.

Aside from that, learn some of the basics for commas and dialogue tags/action.

"I am Lacey," she said. <--A comma goes before the quotation because this is a dialogue tag. And the she is lower case.

"You're funny." She laughed. <--A period is before the quotation because laughing is an action. Also note that she she is capital.

"I don't like Joe." <--No comma before Joe because the person is not talking to Joe.

"I don't like you, Joe." <-- A comma is before Joe because the person is speaking to Joe.

So, there is a little editing 101. Nothing complex or will make you the next star editor. But knowing these few things will save you and your editor time.

Got a tip of your own, I'd love to hear it!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

#WWoW! Don't Quit Your Day Job! Part Deux


Happy Hump Day from all of us at Writer's Words of Wisdom! Today I'd like to revisit a post I did in October 2012. At that time my husband and I discussed how to swing our budget enough so I could devote more time to writing. We agreed the time wasn't right for me to leave a career I'd had for twenty years, and the security it provided us...just yet.  


Well, things have changed. My husband is now finishing out his last year in the Coast Guard and will retire at his 20 year mark in 2014. At the time of this writing, it's exactly one year away. We've also decided he won't be the only one retiring. Next summer I'll hang up my lab coat,stethoscope, and little black bag. I'll no longer be a full time practicing veterinarian. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but one we're definitely ready to take on. 

The advice I gave last year still holds true today as it did then. If you talk to the big names in the writing community, they'll tell you the exact same thing. Having the dream of just writing full time and not worrying about the real world issues isn't realistic for the majority of our author community. In fact, there are many "newbies" just starting out, not yet published or just out of the gate, who have the misguided notion that all they have to do is shut themselves up in their writing cave and success will follow...and the money to pay the bills.  Sorry, chicas. Hate to burst your bubble but that's not the real world...yet!  


Yes you read the title correctly. I'll repeat it again. Do not quit your "evil" day job in order to write full time UNTIL...

and this is a big one...

UNTIL you are in a place in your life where your writing can pay ALL of your bills.  As a writer just starting out and for probably many more years to come, you will not make the big bucks that many folks outside of our industry think we do. Sure we all have the dreams of hitting it big and becoming an "overnight" success, but the fact remains that ALL of us will be struggling for a long time before we see some sort of profit from our endeavors.  

That Evil Day Job may be taking up time in your day that you could be writing, but it's also giving you an income to pay those pesky bills, providing you with medical benefits, and the money you need to promote your work. Let's be realistic folks. The real world tends to frown on us when we don't pay our bills. We need electricity, the Internet, our laptops and PCs, and a roof over our heads in order to create our fantasy worlds. 

If you are lucky enough to have a partner/family there to help support you so you can explore your dream job as a full time writer, than by all means do it. Take that plunge if you are able, but don't do it if it means putting you and your family in the poor house.

A couple of my author friends are now in the position where their writing provides the bulk of the money that supports their family. Not only do they put out new novels, they write articles for newspapers and magazine, provide editorial services for other authors, create covers and video trailers for others as well as themselves, and still find time to promote themselves and their latest release. 

Juggling multiple jobs isn't something new. The majority of the authors I've met over the last year have found ways to juggle their many hats and make a name for themselves. These authors are my inspiration and have encouraged me to find ways to squeeze in my writing time every single day and to be realistic in my expectations. The economy has hit the veterinary profession hard and I may lose one of the days I work at the hospital. That's a scary thought, but thankfully we do have a plan in place.

If my books take off, great! If it takes five, six or ten more books to get my name noticed, then so be it. The fact is I'm still living my dream. I'm a published author with many more stories to tell. I'll let my Evil Day Job as a veterinarian help pay the bills while I keep writing. My husband is in the Coast Guard so we have a guaranteed income and additional medical benefits. If I have to work less days at the veterinary hospital, we will still be okay financially, still have full medical benefits, and I can still pursue my writing career.



Do you have a plan? Check out this fantastic blog post by John Scalzi "Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money." This can be a real eye-opener for many folks and fantastic advice.

Until next week,
~Tammy


Learn More About Tammy


Tammy Dennings Maggy is a 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
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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#Wwow! Planning a Blog Tour #2 - Writing Guest Posts














Planning a Blog Tour - Two weeks ago, I talked about blog touring companies. Now, let's talk about your responsibility during those tours. 

GUEST POSTS!

During a blog tour, some bloggers will participate by only providing Promo Posts. This would include your media kit, your book cover and author picture. However,other bloggers will want to interview you or ask for a guest post. Once you turn in your final edits, get an early start on guest posts. You don't want to have to sit down and write ten guest posts at once.  Believe me, once you hit the eight to ten mark, you'll burn out.

Here are some suggestions:
1)     Find topics related to your book. For example, in Breaking the Rules, I’ve written guest posts on famous rulebreakers and another on rules I’ve broken. Since my hero is a doctor, I’ve written about my favorite sexy doctors.My heroine is a nerdy principal who loves to play by the rules. I’ve written posts about how she plays the rules, why rules are important and even why she risked her heart. 
2)     Write about yourself! Here’s a post I wrote titled Five Outrageous Facts about a Romance Writer. So much fun! What are your favorite romance books? Favorite authors? Favorite writing spots? 
3)     Interviews are popular, too. Heroes and heroines are interviewed alone or together. Even interviews between authors and their own characters are fun.

THE POINT – START NOW while the story is fresh in your mind. Your novel may not release for months down the road and by then you’re already writing a new story and enveloped in other characters minds. Write a few posts and have them ready to go!

Here’s a list of guest posts for future reference:
  • ·         My Top 10 Contemporary Romance Novels
  • ·         5 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming Published
  • ·         5 Things You Didn’t Know about (Your Name)
  • ·         10 Things You Didn’t Know about (Your Novel)
  • ·         10 Things Readers Would Be Surprised to Know About Me
  • ·         Top 10 Best Things about Being an Author
  • ·         What I’m Writing Next
  • ·         How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane
  • ·         Why Book Covers are So Important
  • ·         10 Favorite Authors and Why
  • ·         What Does Your Office Look Like?
  • ·         A Day in the Life of (main character)
  • ·         Why I Write Romance

Melinda Dozier is a contemporary writer. Her three debut novels were released in 2013: The Boy Next Door and Time Changes Everything from Entranced Publishing, and Breaking the Rules from Crimson Romance. You can find more information at her website: www.melindadozier.com





Monday, July 22, 2013

#WWoW! The Impact of the Atomic Tribe!

First, let’s talk about Triberr for those who haven't discovered this incredible marketing tool yet. (If you have, you might want to skip to the ATOMIC TRIBE section below.) Triberr is a unique blog post distribution platform that groups alike bloggers together by tribes of their choosing. Bloggers (that’s us) auto-feed our daily posts into these tribes who then share our posts with their social networks. This takes our message and distributes it among a larger network. Our audience expands at the same time that we deliver a variety of content to our followers. It’s a clear win-win.


But for all this to work, strategically select your tribes to match your needs. The key is not to waste your time and to deliver content to an audience interested in what you blog about. Check out the bonfires to find others like you. Also look for my tribes - I am chief to five strong tribes - and see if one fits you.

For those of us visual learners, I downloaded this image below from Triberr. It uses Twitter as the example but Triberr has the capability to do the same thing with Facebook and LinkedIn. (And I hear there are more improvements in the near future to include other social networks.)

I cannot recommend Triberr enough. Seriously, it’s the first on-line tool I’ve found that actually saves me time. And as an author, my time is precious. It’s measured in word counts, deadlines and line edits. There is no time to waste.

NOW, let's talk about using Triberr wisely...

Joining too many tribes is just not effective. Be selective. Choose tribes that fit your topic area. This ensures your tribemates tweets will be somewhat interesting to your followers. It's then also more likely your tribemates' followers will be interested in your tweets.

Tribes that require approvals will have the most active tribemates. It's an obvious truth. I require members of my tribes to approve all book-related posts daily. The only caveat I have is when a tribemate posts more than one blog post per day. Then the minimum expectation is to approve at least one. This works best, in my opinion, but be sure whichever tribe you sign up for has rules you can abide by. Rules are listed under their tribe page.

Don't join tribes with members not pulling their weight. EVERY MEMBER MUST BE ACTIVE for Triberr to work as it should. Look for tribes that require approval. I know I already said this but it is very, very important! Here's why: the tribe as a whole has a higher REACH possibility than each member as an individual (all our twitter followers put together is called our "reach").


The NUMBER ONE RULE is: It only works if every tribemate does their part!




Make your posts stand out! This is the biggest mistake I see bloggers making!! It's simple: You are a writer so write a good post title. When using Triberr (and therefor, twitter), your title is nearly more important than the actual content. If your title is good, people will gravitate to it.
How do you do this? USE # (HASHTAGS) and @"person mentioned" so it feeds into twitter in tweet language. Use # on searchable/ common words. For example, #Review, #Author, #SexySnippets, #*blog hop titles*, #*book series*, #*memes*, etc. If you are in a Hop or Meme, the group should have a standard hashtag for all members to use.
USE @*guest name* if it's a guest post. Incorporating these will maximize your reach on twitter and increase the chance of your post being approved quickly when a tribemate has to choose because of the limit. It also ensures that your guest is included in the post and then the tweets go to their followers as well. 
IMPORTANT: If you do not want your blog title to look funny with the # and @ signs, go into Triberr after your post goes live, click on My Posts and edit the title there. It will then go out to your tribemates with the symbols. I PROMISE using these symbols will increase your blog traffic. I've tried it & I have the stats to prove it.
Now, here's where we need your help: the Writer's WoW website has an Atomic Tribe. Atomic Tribes are benefits to Prime Members of Triberr. An Atomic Tribe has followers who share the posts promoted by that Atomic Tribe. What's different about this? No one becomes a member - everyone's post are not shared - only the posts of the primary blog are shared. Why would you join an Atomic Tribe? If the blog you'd be sharing stands for something you believe in - if their content is consistently relevant - if you want to share the information with your followers. We believe WWoW! is the perfect Atomic Tribe for all authors to follow. 
CLICK ON THE LOGO and consider following us. Then you can enjoy a s’more around our campfire!

Leave us a comment and share your experience with triberr so far. Don't you love it? Or tell us if we've swayed you to use this awesome platform. Look for me on triberr - "Paloma Beck" - I'd love to add to any of my tribes based on the type of books you write so check out my tribes. I run a tight ship but members get good results. Oh yea, and don't forget the most important thing... Keep Writing!
Paloma

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Conducting Yourself Online #WWOW

Today I am talking about how to conduct yourself online. This is an older post I did a few months back, but thought I'd share again.

What's On Your Mind, Lacey?

Do you really want to know? Do I really want to say? Wait...which account am I on?

Social media sites want to know how we are, what we are up to, etc. And we want to share this. But before you share, take a moment to really think about what you are in fact sharing.

If you're an author, than you obviously know that you're more than just an author. Maybe you work another
job, married, kids, and such. Yes, you want to connect with you readers. But before you post your political views or strong opinions, take a moment to think about how it might effect your career.

Reader's don't really want to know your views on gun control or which president you voted for. They don't want to know you had a fight with your husband or anything like that. Sure, sharing a cute moment with your kids or a new recipe you're trying will engage them. But those are positive things. Yes, that's the key, stay upbeat and positive, even if you've been on a rejection cycle and you really just want to scream and cry to the world.

I have a personal social media accounts as well as ones for my pen name. I keep things very separate. Since becoming an author, I really think about what I say. Once you hit tweet or post, its there. Someone can copy it in a moment and you'll never know. I find even on my personal accounts, I watch what I say as well.

This isn't to say I might have shared something at some point that might have been questionable, just remember, how you portray yourself can effect your career. And readers are connecting with you because they like your writing.

See ya next week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#WWoW!: Promoting Yourself and Your Work Without Breaking the Bank


Today's post is all about how promoting yourself and your work. In order to do that properly and not make a complete nuisance of yourself, you have to get involved on at least some of the social media sites. There is really no way around it. You will read articles and blogs from authors who swear the never had to use Facebook or Twitter to get their name and their books out to their readers. My response to that?  Good for them. Staying away from social media doesn't work anymore. The market is literally saturated with new authors and their works, not to mention the authors who are well known. How do you compete with that?  You have to make connections with your readers one way or another and you don't have to break the bank to do it.  

I Have to Do WHAT???


Ah, the one thing many authors hate the most, promoting themselves and their work. It's dreaded by seasoned veterans as well as the not yet published novices. Why? If you sent out those query letters to perspective publishers, you had to sell yourself and your manuscript. Who better to sell YOU than you?

I know, I know. I was right there with you a little over a year ago. My very first erotic romance was accepted by Siren Bookstrand and was set for a September 2011 release. I didn't have a clue where to start telling people about me and my novel. I had my own personal Facebook page, but that was it. I was invited to join my publisher's yahoo groups. One was for authors only and the other was for both readers and authors to get together and share new releases and basically get to know each other. Reading through some of the posts I immediately found I was already so far behind.

I didn't have my own website or blog. Nor did I have a Twitter account, author page on my publishers site, Facebook Page (not to be confused with my personal page), Google+ or any other way to connect with potential readers. I was scared out of my mind. What the hell did I get myself into here?

Lucky for me and many other "newbies," several Siren authors took us under their wings and never tired of answering the same questions over and over again. They cheered us on through each step of the publishing process from getting our contracts signed to seeing our book covers for the first time. They were there when we freaked out getting our first edits back and the manuscript looked like an explosion of technicolor with all the comments and balloons from the editors. All of it to make our "babies" grow up and be the best they can be. 

It was from this group of people I found the light at the end of the tunnel. I learned how to get my blogs and website up and running. I friended many on Facebook and learned how to set up different pages. I started using Twitter on a regular basis. I "met" even more authors like me just starting out and those who have many titles under their belts. Each and every single one of them willing to lend an ear and a retweet when needed. 

So here I am, one year later with TWO books published and another due to be released in November. Now it's my turn to pay it forward. I've set up not one, but FOUR blogs now. Two of them for my pen name Tammy Dennings Maggy, and the other two for my alter ego Lia Michaels. I have a third pen name that will soon get her own blog too. Why do I need all of these? To promote the hell out of myself, the pen names, "our" work and showcase other authors. 

Many of you have stopped in for the spots of my fellow authors here and on my sister blogs. Not only do we all get to learn more about these writers and their works, we get to chat and "mingle" a bit with other fans. Todays feature "Writer's Words of Wisdom" is yet another way I can share what I've learned on my journey with those who are just starting out and to thank those who have come before me and taught me so much already.

What follows is based on the advice from one of my fellow Siren authors, Tymber Dalton. She's blogged about promoting many times and has even written a book about it. Pimp Yourself: Easy, Painless & Cheap Self-Promotion for WritersIt's a great book to have on your Kindle and it reminds you that you don't have to have a fancy schmancy big named company to get your name out there. You can do it all on a shoe string budget and most of it for free. When first starting out, who has the extra money to pay a stranger to put YOUR best foot forward? 

Where Do I Start?


Get a Gmail address to use exclusively for whatever you publish using the pen name you wish to promote. Only use this email address for your fan mail and any correspondence/promotions for this pen name.  I didn't do this last year, but when I set up Lia Michaels, I got that Gmail account right away. Things are so much easier with that pen name and correspondence than with Tammy Dennings Maggy. I have two email accounts with that one and at times even I get confused! Don't make that rookie mistake and you will save yourself a lot of time having to wade through emails!

If you have enough in your budget, get yourself a website with your pen name in the .com, .net, and .org formats. There are many sites to register your domain, but the most common and highly recommened on is Godaddy.com. I haven't done this yet, but plan on doing it very soon. Until then, I have a website combined with my blog on Behind Closed Doors.

Now for my favorite. Set up your blog. I've used WorldPress.com and Blogger and have to say the latter is my favorite. I'm sure you've guessed that by now since three of my blogs are all done through Blogger! ;) I found with WorldPress, the fonts and templates are pretty limiting, even though many are appealing to the eye. With Blogger, I can change up the font sizes and styles a bit and of course I get to change the colors! On The House of Taboo, I use a lot of the hot pink/purple font color that matches the back ground purple smoke so well. Go ahead and take a peek at it to see what I mean.

There are tons of free Blogger templates to choose from and when you have the budget, you can customize one of your very own. Don't worry about that now. There are some beautiful templates that will appeal to you. Go ahead and look through them. Try one out for a week or two. Switch it around until you have the one and the layout that fits you and your personality.

Another thing I love about Blogger is that you can set it up to have an "adult content" warning. When you first went to The House of Taboo you were taken to a page with two buttons. The warning there tells you the site contains materials that some may find offensive. You have the choice to click to proceed, or opt out. In this day and age, it's best to have your adults only warnings up front and personal then to have someone try to say they didn't know and were "assaulted" by pictures that offended them. Trust me. CYA people!

Once you are all set up, blog, blog and blog some more. Talk about anything and everything. Start promoting yourself even BEFORE you even have a release day yet. The idea is to get your NAME out there so when your book is released, you will have the start of a network of fans who will want to check it out.

Now don't freak out if you are already "behind." You will catch up in no time. Now that you have your website/blog up and running, it's time to dive into social media.

But...Do I have to set up a Facebook Page and Tweet About It?


Do you want your name and books to get out there? Do you? Then yes, you have to use social media to help you build up your network of industry contacts, fellow authors, readers, bloggers and yeah some famous folks in there too. Why? You never know who will click on your page or see one of your tweets and be interested enough to check out your book. Word of mouth will get you everywhere these days. Have you heard of a little book called Fifty Shades of Grey? It's all in who you know and getting your name noticed by the right people.

You already have your Gmail account set up in your pen name, now you can get rolling on Google+. It's newer than Facebook, but you will find some features a lot easier to use. It's also another social media branch you need to tap into. Take the time to explore it and learn about setting up different circles of friends. Don't be alarmed if complete strangers add you to their circles. You don't have to add them back and you can set up your posting settings to include just certain circles. Best thing is to just keep in mind that whatever you post there will be about your work and you/your pen name. Try to keep your personal stuff out of it if you can. 

Facebook is your next stop. You need to set up your own personal page in order to set up fan pages, so you might as well start that up now. You will only be allowed 5000 friends on your personal page, so don't use that for your active promotions. You want to set up an actual FACEBOOK PAGE. This used to be called a Fan Page. People "like" the page and then are able to follow the posts. You can even set up these pages to allow another person or two to act as admins. They can help keep up on the posts for you. Something to think about!

Once you have both Facebook and Google+ set up, you will be able to link them to your blogs. Just with a click of a button, you can automatically post from your blog to your social media. Folks following you on the social media can then click on the links and be taken to your blog. They in turn can click on the buttons around our  blog post and spread the word about you through their own social media sites. Get the picture?


Twitter is our next project. If you haven't already immersed yourself in the land of Tweet or be Retweeted, then you need to set up an account in your pen name. As with all the suggestions so far, this is free. Twitter buttons can be used in your blogs so people can tell others about you just by clicking the button alone. The program does the rest. If you want to post to Twitter and Facebook pages at the same time, you can use TweetDeck (another freebie). Just entering your post one time, will then set it up on two social media sites at once. As an added bonus, you can even set up tweets/posts in advance on TweetDeck so even while you sleep, messages can be sent to your contacts.

My book is out. Now what?

Keep going! Now you can set up our author pages on Amazon.com and Amazon UK.com.  During the set up you can link it so your blog and Twitter feeds will post to your author pages automatically. Another time saver in the promotions department!

Set up a Goodreads.com account and author page. You can upload your own books as well as those of others you have read. Rating and reviewing those books will help you connect to other readers who will in turn check out your books simply because you are interested in the sort of books they read. 

YahooGroups is also a great place to find other writers, readers and publishers. Check them out and read their member and posting guidelines. Many have specific days for promotions of your book, your blog, blog hops, chats, etc. Find those that fit you. Don't do what I did and join too many at one time. Your email box will be filled to the brim with updates from them. 

Since I write erotic romance, I've gravitated toward the YahooGroups that welcome that. One I skim through daily is Marketing For Romance Writers. Tons of great tips and workshops available in that group. There are other sites out there too such as All Romance ebooks (ARe), Coffee Time Romance and Manic Readers.com. The Manic Readers site is a great one for finding places to submit your book for reviews. They have a Review Depot where several review sites are listed in one spot. You only have to upload one copy of your book and submit a request for review. Then it's up to the individual reviewers to "check out" the book to review.

Reviews...now that's a whole other ball of wax! LOL

So you see? Promoting really isn't that hard and once you get your system down, you can do promotions for as little as a few hours a week by linking your blogs/websites to your social media and your author pages on sites like Amazon. 

So get out there! Set up your accounts and just have fun!

Until next week,
~Tammy

Learn More About Tammy


Tammy Dennings Maggy is a 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
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



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

#Wwow! Twitter Acronyms for Writers #amwriting


Hi everyone! Today I'm sharing an oldie but goodie, adding on a few additions provided by readers.

Twitter Acronyms for Writers


Have I mentioned how much I love twitter? I’ve been tweeting officially for more than a year now and I’ve learned everything by just playing around. BUT it would have been so much easier if someone shared Twitter advice from the get-go. SO, that’s where I step in for you.

Twitter Acronyms:

BTW – By the Way
BC – Because
CX- Correction
DM – Direct Message. This message will only be for the person you send the message to, but again it can only be in 140 characters or less.
EM – Email
FB – Facebook
FF – Follow Friday. On Friday’s you can hashtag FF to promote other tweeters you want others to follow. For example: #FF @MelindaDozier
HTH – Hope that helps
IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
JK – Just kidding
LMAO – Laugh My Ass Off
LOL – Laughing Out Loud
LMK – Let Me Know
MT – Modified Tweet. Put this at the beginning of the tweet so others know you altered it.
NSFW – Not Safe for Work (important for the above #darksideresearch!)
PRT – Partial Retweet. You put this at the beginning of the retweet so others know you altered it.
RE – In reply to
RT – Retweet
RTHX – Thanks for the Retweet
TIL – Today I Learned
TMB – Tweet Me Back
YW – You’re Welcome

Now how about WRITER specific lingo that newbies might not know? You will also see these acronyms on Twitter:

CP – Critique Partner
WIP – Work in Progress
MC – Main Character
POV – Point of View
LI – Love Interest
YA – Young Adult
MG – Middle Grades
SF/F – Science Fiction/Fantasy
MS - Manuscript
NA – New Adult
NF – Non-fiction
RWA – Romance Writers of America
RT - Romantic Times
PW – Publisher’s Weekly
ARC – Advance Reader Copy
HEA - Happy Ever After
HFN - Happy For Now


Resources on the web with an extensive list:

I hope you found this insightful. Happy tweeting! Oh, and add me, if you haven’t already. I have lots of fun! www.twitter.com/melindadozier


Melinda Dozier is a contemporary writer. Her three debut novels were released in 2013: The Boy Next Door and Time Changes Everything from Entranced Publishing, and Breaking the Rules from Crimson Romance. You can find more information at her website: www.melindadozier.com