Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#WWoW!: @dochappycamper Asks What is a BlogHop and Why Do I Want to Be in One? #amwriting #MyWANA

Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here on Writer's Words of Wisdom. The last time I visited with you I had told you I was taking a step back and re-prioritizing my world as a writer, publisher and veterinarian. I'm still working on paring things down to be more manageable—not overwhelming.

In that vein, I'd like to talk a bit about a networking tool for bloggers and by extension authors. For those of you who don't have a blog, you should get one up, or at the very least do guest spots on other blogs to get you, your brand and your books out in front of as many people as possible. I've already talked about blogs in other posts, so I won't go into that again in today's discussion about BLOG HOPS.

What is a blog hop?

It's an "event" where blog owners sign up with the link to their blog in order to share their content and network with other bloggers and gain more exposure for their work (blog or in our cases books). There's usually a common theme such as a specific holiday and is made up of bloggers/authors who write about similar topics or genres.

Do the participants have to write about the same topics or in the same genres or can anyone join?

The whole concept of the hop is to get more exposure and to network with like-minded individuals. As a romance author you wouldn't want to join a blog hop made up of mostly Sci-Fi or horror authors would you? Very few if any people interested in those genres would want to stop in to see your work. 

Bottom line: blog hops that are successful don't have a mishmash of participants. They have a common theme and topic/genre across the board in order to draw in as much response from those outside the networks. Their goal is to introduce new readers and followers to their work.

How long do hops generally last?

Usually only one day, but there are some that last as long as a week over a busy holiday season. I found that if a hop goes longer than three days, you end up not getting very much interaction or new visitors by the end of the event. The most response occurs over the first three days.

How do you join a hop?

The hosts of a hop will advertise on social media when they've opened up the sign up sheet for their hop. They'll also include all the rules, theme and if you're required to have a prize offered for those who visit your blog. It all depends on the hosts and what they wish to do, but some will also have a grand prize where the winner is drawn from the names of all the people who left comments on the various hops. The more stops you make, the more entries the "hoppers" get in the various giveaways.

The most common form to use as a sign up "sheet" is created using Linky Tools. I'll talk that more on another day, but in short it's a way to add your information to the sign up sheet. Linky Tools converts that to a clickable link that will show up in the blog list. This list will then be made available for all "hoppers" to click on to move from blog to blog.

What if I want to organize a hop but only include members of a specific group I participate in? Will this work?

No. You'll only reach a specific number of followers—the very same number you have now and no "new blood." As host, you'll want to give all participants the chance to broaden their fan base. You can't do that if you all share the same pool of readers and most of them are members of the group and yourself.

Now if your intent is to share only within the group and have a way for members to "hop" around between your member blogs, then YES this sort of blog hop would work but it won't bring you more outside traffic. You do this sort of hop using a "private" linky list. All of that is described on the Linky Tools page.

So go ahead and sign up for a hop and meet more bloggers and writers within your genre. Not only will you find authors new to you, you'll be introduced to many more potential fans as well. Get a few hops under your belt and maybe you'll want to host one for yourself!

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 and Tawny Savage 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

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!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Increase Facebook Engagement Without Paying a Buck #WWow #WritingAdvice

So, you've probably noticed all the restrictions Facebook has on authors pages. As a newbie to the social network realm, I decided to do a little research. I'm still in the research phase, but wanted to share what I've done to try to figure it all out.

Mind you, I'm not a statistician or a numbers person. I am a people person and I'm analyzing the interactions I've had on social networks. 

First, I had a few questions. I spend a lot of time on social media and I wondered which place is more valuable. I could spend MONTHS researching this question alone, but I've come to this conclusion (as many of you have). It's all about FACEBOOK and how we utilize it. 

I've also found that Facebook is the place to connect with readers, whereas Twitter is the place to connect with other authors/publishers/agents.

Here is an interesting info-graphic about the average amount of minutes spent on social media. (Taken from The Wall Street Journal)

This made me sad, as I've really taken a liking to Google+. Again, you can see Facebook is where it's at.

So, with this information, I've learned that we need to engage ourselves more on Facebook. BUT how do we do that when Facebook controls who sees our posts and when? 

Based on what I've heard from other users, I tried some experiements out in one week. 
A little about my Author Page. As of this post, I have 856 followers. Not bad for a newbie author. What IS bad is the amount of views my posts get. With that many followers, I have an average of 25 views per post. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
In ONE WEEK, here are my most important variables:

The post with the most engagement was a Picture/Quote/Oustide Amazon Link receiving 68 views and 1 share. SHARING seems to be what's important here, because normally a link to an outside source brought down the views.

Just as a side note, the second most engagement was a PICTURE of a sexy man. Yeah, yeah, I can't help myself. I have noticed that sexy man pics tend to get a lot more views, though, so that's why I'm including it.

Other top views included: 
A simple post with only a comment (43 views)
Sharing a FB link (45 views)
Funny picture (45 views)

Also noticeable was that all my higher viewed posts were "liked' or "commented" on. 

The post with the least engagement was a share of a friend's post with a resounding SEVEN views.

Want to increase engagement on social media? Ask questions. It´s an easy way to start a conversation and get to know people online. #socialmedia

As a final experiment, today I asked my followers to comment on a post as part of a FB experiment. After 7 hours, I've had 28 comments & 6 likes. With this post, I've had 473 views and expect more. So, COMMENT, PEOPLE, to help each other out. 

To have more engagement/views:

More comments = more engagement (duh!)
Use pictures (don't just link to the picture)
Others share your post
Share interesting posts from other FB users


Melinda Dozier is a contemporary romance author who loves to spend time on social media. Her two books, BREAKING THE RULES from Crimson Romance and LOVE AND OTHER GAMES from Swoon Romance have been category best sellers on Amazon. You can find her at

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why a Cartoon Works as an Erotic Author Persona

THIS POST ReBlogged from Author Marketing 101: Why a Cartoon Works as an Erotic Author Persona

Therese & Morgan Say: Are you still cringing at the thought of doing a photo shoot for an author portrait? Well, here is an alternative for those of you who may be camera shy or otherwise have a specific reason for not wanting to have your picture floating around the internet. We reached out to our dear friend, Sabrina York for her thoughts on why she chose to use a cartoon illustration instead of an author portrait. 'Her Royal Hotness' was an early supporter of our efforts and we will forever love her!

Sabrina Says: For the last century or so, I have worked in government for a very conservative organization. (Well, it seems like a century.) What I write is not conservative in the least. So I knew as soon as I sold my first steamy romance, I would need to use a pen name. It would serve as a tool to keep my personal and professional lives separate and would also allow me to write in other genres under another name if I so desired.

Because this separation between my worlds was so important to me, I hired a company (Visual Quill) to help with developing a branding strategy. We defined a profile for my core customer, and from that designed a logo and tagline, which I would use for all my marketing.
My core customer is, like me, a little reserved on the surface, but with a playful and naughty side. She has a snarky sense of humor and loves bling. These elements are all incorporated in my persona.

What are the hallmarks of an effective persona?

My philosophy as a newbie author was this: “Begin as you mean to go on.” It was my intention to be a bestselling author and I decided to behave like one from the very beginning. My thought was, this is big business. And big businesses have logos. They do not rely on photographs of their CEOs.

“But Sabrina,” you may ask. “How can a cartoon logo be professional?”

And I will respond, “Stop interrupting.” But then I will go on to share that any cartoon can be a professional logo…if it illustrates your brand. KFC and Wendy’s are two that pop to mind, but I won’t mention them because then I’ll get hungry.

A logo is far more recognizable at a glance than a photograph. As we all know, a customer must see your logo three times for it to sink into their consciousness (new studies reflecting our shortening attention spans suggests that number is closer to 17). By using my logo as my “face,” people see it over and over again on Facebook, blogs, marketing material, Goodreads, Pintrest, Twitter…and so on.

It has recognizability. They know, immediately, who I am. And if they’ve read my books, they know my brand. On that note, for those of you who regularly change your profile picture on Facebook, realize you are losing a little chunk of your brand recognition every time you do so.

A Shield
Because I use my logo rather than a photograph in my marketing efforts, it is easier to maintain personal privacy, or at least some distance from my personal persona. This may not seem important when you are just starting to build your fan base, but when 75% of your followers on Facebook (and closer to 95% on Twitter) are people you do not personally know, this becomes essential.

Friends of mine—erotic authors—who use their personal photograph as their profile picture, spend a lot of time fending off advances from individuals who think Facebook is a dating site. Apparently these charming fellows think erotic authors need a date…which is far from the truth. We are all too busy writing to date.

Other authors have shared even more disturbing stories about being stalked (and not in a good way), and fans who “friend” their husbands and children as a way to connect with them. It is an excellent idea to keep your personal business off social media—especially photographs of your children. If this is your business, treat Facebook, and other social media outlets, like a business site.

Advice on how to create your own persona
Think about who you are and what you write. What image do you want to portray? Is there a unifying brand you can apply to your persona? For me, my tagline, Her Royal Hotness, ties into the tiara in my logo. To extend the thread, I do a regular tiara giveaway and my promo pens are festooned with bling.

Everything ties together into a neat package. A package readers can recognize in an instant.

And if you were wondering why I felt the need to keep my private life private from my conservative employers, download a copy of my free teaser book and see for yourself:

Happy reading!

About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the award winning author of over twenty hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers, her titles range from sweet & steamy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Like my Facebook Author Page
Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york
Follow me on Goodreads
Check out my Pintrest boards
Like my Amazon Author Page

Monday, February 3, 2014

Using Niche Marketing for Your Book @KayelleAllen #MFRWorg

REPOSTED FROM MFRW - Marketing for Romance Writers: Using Niche Marketing for Your Book @kayelleallen ...


Let's start with two definitions for the term niche marketing. Niche -- A position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it; the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species). Marketing -- The exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money; the commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service; engaging in commercial promotion, sale, or distribution.

Niche marketing is networking. It is not selling. It is not carrying around your books or even bookmarks or business cards. Niche marketing is finding out who likes what you write, and finding ways to be seen by them. Let me explain.

Most marketing efforts are overt. Television commercials show a product and explain why you need it. Car commercials focus on the vehicle's aesthetic appeal, economy, dependability, affordability, and the prestige of ownership. An ad for a new product explains how it's used, why you need to try it, and often offers a bargain for ordering now. Who hasn't heard "But wait! Order now and get..."


The point of niche marketing is not to sell. It's to rub elbows with people who like "what" you sell and letting them discover your product organically. Your signature on forums, emails, and groups should always have links to your website. Never send anyone anything -- even other writers -- without including your professional signature and a link to something relating to your brand. A book, your website, your blog, social media, etc. You can't have niche marketing if no one knows how to find you. By all means, if you have a tagline (and you should get one asap if not), display it in banners and buttons. Mine is below.

I'm not talking about an in-your-face "DOWNLOAD NOW!" approach, but a simple and direct one. Set up your profile so that every message ends with your name, your writing tag, and your website. If you don't have a tag and website, create them. These are gems! You can use these everywhere you go. A website gives people a central location to learn more about you and your books, and a tag simply tells people what kinds of books you write. Mine is "Unstoppable heroes, Uncompromising love, Unforgettable passion." Anyone who reads my books is going get these things. It's a few words that say everything about my writing. Using your tag in your signature is a form of passive marketing. By combining passive marketing with niche marketing, you can get a double opportunity to tell people about your books, without hitting them over the head with a "BUY NOW!" message.

Go where people who read your type of book can be found. If you write books about horses, you associate with horse people. If it's cats, then you go where cat folks meet. If it's vampires, maybe you hang out with people who watch vampire movies. Niche marketing means you are part of a group that likes the things you write about. It's not selling or talking about your book. You're just there, being one of the gang. Finding the right niche means being with like-minded people. A guy who sells tractors should find out where farmers hang out. His niche is people who need what a tractor can do. Figuring out what the tractor does and what problems it solves will help him figure out who will buy his product.

Think "what problem does my book solve?" If you write fiction, don't assume your book solves no problems. It likely solves many, including boredom and not knowing what to read. One of the first things to consider is that fiction creates a fantasy for someone. If you can fulfill a fantasy, people will pay you for it. A fiction book entertains. People who want to escape and relax with a good story will pay for the privilege. What prompted you to write the book? Think about that and make notes about your thoughts and needs regarding your decision to write, other than "to make money from a book." We all want that as an outcome, but it's not why we write, is it?

Jot down fantasies your book fulfills. You might be surprised. Then look at who is buying similar books (and movies/TV) that fulfill those. It's not necessarily what you thought at first. Be open to new ideas. Where can you go to reach that crowd? Be prepared to spend some time in research, and in getting to know the fans of the genre or series.

READ MORE by following this link.

Post by author Kayelle Allen, multi-published, award-winning Science Fiction Romance author of unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.
The Author's Secret
(post also shared with Savvy Authors)