Monday, August 13, 2018

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

As writers, we are encouraged to blog. It keeps our name out there. It draws a reader audience to us, and keeps them interested in our work, and gives us a venue for promoting our work. Sounds good, eh! We get all of those benefits - how nice! So, why is it that on occasion I just don't feel like blogging, but I blog anyway? 

The major reason that I blog when I don't really want to is that I believe there are benefits to a writer blogging, and I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year to blog once a week as a writer, and to do a flash fiction blog once a week. So far, so good. (I may even take the suggestion that friends have made and put my flash fiction into an e-book. I am not sure how that will go, because I wouldn't be using graphics in my book, as I do in my blog. I try to find copyright free graphics, but if even just one falls through the cracks, that could be a lawsuit in the making.) 

If we pay attention to what we are putting up as content on our blogs, and if we maintain high quality, it is possible to use that content in multiple venues. That is always good. We could even choose to make an e-book out of select blogs, and perhaps either sell it, or use it as a freebie in one or more promotions.

Aside from the obvious point of creating consistently good quality content, we want our content to appeal to the audience that we wish to connect with. For me that would be mystery lovers in general, and cozy mystery lovers in particular. 

Blogs that are focused on targeted readership, with specific content, will do well. It is best, IMHO, to not blog until you know who your readers are, how you want to present yourself, and what you want to focus your content on. I know who I want as readers, I know how I want to present myself, but I can wander around with the content. I had the (not so) bright idea of doing blogs along the same theme each month. That ended up looking much too contrived, so I set that thought aside. Until further notice ... you can all wander with me content wise!

(c) August 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Do I Get To Write What I Want To Write?

Can I write what I want to write? Will it sell? Do I need to check the market to see what is selling, and try to fit my writing into that? I am not a trendy person, so for me to be writing based on what is the latest trend does not make sense. It would be very forced on my part, it would not make me happy, and more than likely be seen as mediocre work, and would not sell well. Perhaps if I was writing non-fiction, this might work. But I write in the fiction genre, and my creative self has to be engaged for me to write anything. 

What we all have to realize is that there are no rules when it comes to writing. Well, okay, there are a few rules, but chosing a topic to write about is wide open. We need to want to write about whatever we are writing about. If we are attemting to write what we think will sell, there may not be that creative spark, that creative sense of adventure that we need to make our work stand out.

Write about what interests you. Write about what you want to know about. Don't let your fears stand in your way. Write about what excites you, with minimal thought as to whether it will sell. Your excitement will come through, and you will sell! 

Sit down, start writing, and be willing to face your fears. Keep writing - allow your writing to flow. You can edit later. You can discard, add new elements ... you can do whatever you want to do. This is your writing, your story, and it needs to be told your way! Write a promotional blurb about what your book is about. Use that blurb to write an outline. Expand the outline as you write. You will end up with a solid story that will hold your readers attention!

(c) August 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission fromthe author.

Monday, July 30, 2018

When Less Is More

I wrote a book entitled Surviving The Holidays. I had a great time writing this book, and hoped that it would help many people. Sales are so low as to be in the negative category. Is promotion (or lack thereof) part of the problem? Yes, it is. I need to learn more about promoting my books. I also need to know how to develop a game plan that will get my books out there. 

We are soon coming into the holiday season (November/December) again. This time I am going to do something different to promote my book - I am going to put each of the chapters out as a separate e-book. My reasoning is that people won't have to pay as much (which should encourage sales), and they can purchase only the chapters they are interested in.

I am also going to place a blurb at the end of each e-book that encourages readers to leave a review, and place a link to a page that lists all of the separate chapters from my book. 

If you would like to see an excerpt from "Surviving The Holidays", I am including one in my August author's newsletter. You can sign up for my newsletter here:

(c) July 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Accepting The Challenge: Sharing Books

I was very pleased to be challenged on Face Book by fellow author Ruth Stefanowitz to post books that I value over a seven day period. How cool is that! (I also look forward to seeing what Ruth posts, as she herself has some amazing work out there!)

For Day 1, I choose cozy mysteries. Included were works by Rita Mae Brown, Agatha Christie, and JoAnna Carl. For Day 2, I chose resource books for writing by Ansen Dibell, Orson Scott Card, Jack M. Bickham, Dian Dincin Buchman & Seli Groves, and the Chicago Manual of Style. Day 3 will consist of political books, and Days 4-7 are yet to be determiined.

I love this challange because it allows me to revisit books that have touched me in different ways. Our lives are made up of our varied interests - mine include mysteries, cozy mysteries, resource books for writing, metaphysical books, books on divination, coffee table books, and more. Each of them contains a little part of me.

What books make up your life?
(c) July 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Joanna Penn - The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author. She is also a lady that I have followed "forever", as she shares her ideas on writing and publishing in a way that is useful for all writers. Her blog, The Creative Penn, is a treasure trove of material!

Joanna offers "Author 2.0 Blueprint", a free e-book and video series, on her site. In it, she discusses how to write, publish, and market your book. It doesn't get any better than that! (Note: This material is for both fiction and non-fiction writers.) 

Visitors to her site will also find other books that she has written, including "Career Change", "How To Market A Book", "How To Make A Living With Your Writing", and more.

I really appreciate how Joanna has her site organized. I personally view her site as a resource, and love that the resource section is broken down into the following categories: Writing and Editing, Publishing, Book Marketing, and Making A Living From Your Writing. 

She also has over 300 podcasts available - on such topics as "Tips For Editing Your Book", "Strategy and Business Plans For Authors", and "The Business Of Being A Writer". Each podcast is an interview with someone knowledgible on the subject.

There is more! Joanna offers multi-media online courses! Subjects include "How To Write A Novel: From Idea To Book", building an e-mail list, and how to use Scrivner Fast.

I highly recommend Joanna's material for any author that wants to build a presence and be successful!

(c) July 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.     

Monday, July 9, 2018

How Do We Define Success As Authors?

To all of my author friends - how do you view success? Is it the amount of books that you sell? Is it your Amazon ranking? Is it the amount of followers that you have on social media? Is it the amount of people subscribing to your newsletter? Is it successful podcasts? Is it being asked to be a guest on another author's podcast? Is it being able to book signings? Is it being asked to give talks? Is it publishing two or more books per year? What exactly allows you to feel successful? 

I see success as being able to sit down and write consistently, to have a fluid story line and interesting characters, and to have a finished product that is as well written as it can be, without typo's or grammatical errors. Newsletters, social media, blogs, podcasts, marketing - this bogs me down, it doesn't make me feel successful. Amount of books sold (and money made)? To me, this is an end product of having written an interesting book.

I write every day (with no set number of words or pages that I need to accomplish), I allow myself to be creative (I can always go back and edit), I write about things that interest me (which is why my mysteries will have a tendency to include metaphysical side-roads), and I set my own personal deadlines. The deadlines can always be extended, but if I find myself doing that too often, I have to admit that I just might not be interested in the project at all. I also set goals for my writing, and make an effort to meet them. 

I recognize that for me other people will be part of my success - of what makes me feel successful. Some of these people will be people that I bounce ideas off of. Some will be people that I can use as reliable resources - I have three individuals in mind for my WIP. One individual is a pilot that owns his own airline. He can help me make sure that a small but important part of my WIP (flying in and out of private airports) will be accurate. Two more individuals are people that I am going to ask to be Beta readers. I need people that function in the writing world, but also understand the metahysical world. 

As an author - how do you define success?

(c) July 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Monday, July 2, 2018

I Am Coming To Life!

Note: This was written by the protagonist in my WIP.

My name is Amanda Bentley, and this is my story. Wow! How powerful is that! Bonnie is telling my story! I have to keep an eye on her, because she can get carried away, but she is telling my story. I had to insist that she go back to the book bible and change some things - I was starting to sound too much like her, and that will never do!

I have spent my professional life working for a clandestine organzation whose mission is to preserve the wisdom of the world, in all of its many forms (written, musical, artistic). This organization was founded and continues to be funded by a group of uber wealthy men and women. Dan Brown on steroids, if you will.

It works entirely underground, and has its tentacles all over the world. For the most part, we work behind the scenes in a very quiet manner. We make things happen (and stop other things from happening). We are part "Matrix", and part "Black Hat". I am part of the "Matrix" group, even at the age of seventy. (Yes, I still get called in to do things - especially things with roots in the past.) I have seen the "Black Hat" people in action a few times - and that was enough for me. 

In this book I am being taken back to one of my first assignments - one in whch I almost died. This time I am dealing with the son of the individual involved in that assignment. The son never knew his father - he was raised by his mother until she died, and then by her family. His family knows him as an important, successful businessman. They truly believe that. They know he is ruthless, but they have no clue how dangerous he is. What he really is ... well, that is very scary. With no training by anyone, he has powers that can make him disappear at will. He can read minds, and he can control the minds of others. It is power over others, and not money, that motivates him. He is after the same information that his father was after, except that with his father it was a painting, and with him is is an item in that painting. 

I love coming to life, and hope that you will enjoy reading about me!

(c) July 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

As writers, we are encouraged to blog. It keeps our name out there. It draws a reader audience to us, and keeps them interested in our ...