Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Face Book Interest Lists

My sister shared an article with me today, which focused on something new (or perhaps just new to me) that Face Book has going on – Interest Lists. Don’t roll your eyes at me! This is not just another way to waste spend more time on Face Book. What prompted me to check it out was that creating an Interest List could help me, as a self-published author, bring attention to my author page! No, I didn’t have an author page up either! I now have an author page, and an Interest List. By the way … I also have a book page … and have had since my book came out! Go me!

Here is the link to a great article on Face Book author pages - http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/02/facebook-for-authors-how-to-get-started.html , and here is the link to creating one yourself - https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php .

I found it interesting when I read in this article that only 10-16% of the followers of any Face Book page are seeing the posts. With Interest Lists we can sort similar people and brands into separate feeds, making their posts easier to access. We can subscribe to other peoples lists, and they can subscribe to ours. End result – we drive traffic to our page.

Just in case you might want to like my Author page, here it is: https://www.facebook.com/BonnieCehovetAuthor . And my book page: https://www.facebook.com/TarotBirthCardsandYou. Send me yours, and I will return the favor!

© October 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

e-Book Series

My sister and I have been looking at writing e-books – specifically, at writing a series of short e-books on specific topics. (For me, this would be in addition to any WIP I have going on, which would involve the cozy mystery genre.) To bring in a steady income, it is advised to have more than one book out there, so that someone who purchases one of your books, and likes it, has an option to purchase another one. Realistically, this will happen over time.

I also found it interesting that the “gurus” are presenting three basic ways in which the content of such e-books can be obtained: (1) write it yourself, (2) hire it out (give someone a topic and a rough outline, and let them write it), or (3) use content that is in the public domain. I am a writer – I write my own material! Period! I am not putting someone else’s material up under my name (nor would I write the material for someone else – I would be paid a one-time fee, and they would be continuing to make money), and I am not going near public domain and possible copyright infringement issues. I do not see how anyone can seriously suggest anything other than writing your own material. Okay – rant over!

What I have decided to do is put up a short e-book (approximately 20,000 to 30,000 words) every quarter. These will be self-help books by nature, and will co-ordinate with each other. Someone who buys one book will be interested in the topic of future books. Once I get a backlog up, someone who buys a current e-book will be able to purchase past e-books and look forward to purchasing future e-books. All of my e-books will list both previous books, and the topic of the next book.

I am not going to promote heavily, but my sister has come across some really great material along this line. One thought was to purchase your own e-book, and at the same time purchase one of the best-selling e-books that are along the same topic. In that way, you will be listed in the section “People who purchased this book also purchased …”. Incredible promo for very little money!

Another thing that my sister came across was contacting the authors of the best-selling e-books on your topic, and asking them if they would be willing to review your book. At the same time, you offer to send them your e-book for free. Combine this with getting friends and contacts of your own to do reviews, and I think you have a plan!

I am really happy that I expanded my business plan to include short e-books on specific topics. It gives me a break from working on my WIP, allows me to research a new topic, and to see results in a very short time. By results, I am referring to my book being up for purchase, not that I think I will have a ton of people immediately purchasing it!

Lots to think about here!

© October 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

e-Book Topics

Welcome to the world of e-books! Like myself, many of my friends are working on a shorter e-book project, while at the same time working on a (usually) longer major book project. Why do we do this? For me, is gives me short breaks from working on my WIP, allows me to research new material (which for me is fun!), and will hopefully bring in a bit of extra money.>p> Sooooooo … how do we go about picking a topic for this e-book that is going to bring us money? There is all kinds of advice out there on this. One piece of advice is never to focus your book on a specific holiday, or even on the holiday season, as this was limiting. It is limiting, yes, but it will sell during the time period that it is focused on, and will more than likely stay in your readers mind (MHO – no facts to back this on e up!).

The advice that I did feel worked was to focus on genres that sell well – romance, fiction, mysteries, and, to some extent, the paranormal. Go see what people are buying, then decide what in those categories you would like to write about. Writing should be fun – picking a topic and writing about it just because you think it will sell could very well turn out to be not so much fun. So pick a genre that sells, and find a topic that you resonate with.

How do we find topics to choose from? Like most things, e-book topics tend to trend. You need to know what people are talking about, and focus on that. Remember, though … pick a topic that you yourself can relate to! That will make you and your reader happy! An easy place to find ideas, and see how they are trending, is Clickbank (http://www.clickbank.com/index.html ). You can also use CB Engine (http://cbengine.com/ ).

Cheat a little … check out the Amazon.com Kindle bookstore (http://tinyurl.com/btjrodq ) and see what is there. Cheat some more … do a keyword search! Jot down a few topics off the top of your head that you think might sell. Using a keyword search tool, such as https://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ , put your topics in one at a time. You will be able to find out how many people are searching for that keyword each month.

The sky is the limit on topics for e-books. Winnow your topics down to ones that are relevant, that people want to know about, and that you can connect with as a writer. Your passion for writing, combined with knowledge of what people want to read, will open up a whole new world for you!

© October 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recreational Reading

Writers are encouraged to read as much as they can, in a wide a variety as they can, so that they have something to put into their own writing. I am going to use today’s blog to chat about a few cozy mysteries that I have read. I chose them for the pure joy of reading, and no other reason. These are just my thoughts, and are not intended to be taken as reviews of any kind.

“Dying To Read”, Lorena McCourtney, Revell (Baker Publishing Group

I loved this book for so many reasons! The main character is indeed a character – an unemployed twenty-something who goes to work for her uncle as a PI. (He even prints her up an Assistant PI license!) She falls in love, has all kinds of trust issues. Finds a dead body while trying to confirm the location of a young woman who looks just like her, and adopts the dead woman’s deaf cat (who then proceeds to take over her house and her life!). Aside from a great storyline and well defined characters that work, McCourtney adds the spice of religion. Real life religion – the main character prays, and truly believes in a Higher Being. Her belief is woven into the story, and never overshadows it.

“The Big Cat Nap”, Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown, Bantom Books.

This is Rita Mae Brown at her finest! (Athough, I must say, I have never seen her not at her finest!) We are in Crozet, Virginia, seeing life through the eyes of Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen, and her crew of talking animals – her Corgi, Tee Tucker, her cats, Pewter and Mrs. Murphy, the opossum Simon, the large blacksnake Matilda, and the Owl Flatface. They are investigating the deaths of mechanics working for the ReNu auto shop, and how they might or might not be connected to the robbery of expensive tires from a local tire dealership, and an up and coming local racetrack. Plenty of local color, with interesting information on life itself woven in. Great reading, and enough reality to make the reader stop and think.

“The Body In The Boudoir”, Katherine Hall Page, William Morrow (Harper Collins).

This is the type of book that I really like – a series with an established character (Faith Fairchild) that takes a trip back in time. In this case, a trip back to the time of her wedding. Based in New York City, Faith owns and runs her own catering business, and leads quite the glamorous life. She meets her future husband at one of the events that she is catering. Then come the issues of his family (not all of whom seem to like her), her great-uncle Sky, who offers the use of his mansion on Long Island for the wedding, her assistant, who seems to be harboring a few family secrets of her own, and Faith’s sister Hope’s up and coming financial career … a career that someone may be trying to derail. Well written, and quite sophisticated for what I would place as a cozy mystery. (I love cozy mysteries!)

“Murder By Mocha”, Cleo Coyle, The Berkley Publishing Group (The Penguin Group).

I love a murder mystery, and I love mocha, so this book was a no brainer! The primary character, Clare Cosi, is manager and head barista, at the Village Blend coffeehouse. In a very avant garde storyline, Clare’s Village Blend beans are being used to create a new java love potion being promoted as an aphrodisiac. (Whatever floats your boat – I just love my coffee!)

Expected to make millions of dollars, the potion will be sold exclusively through Aphrodite’s Village, a popular online destination for women. Slight pause in the process … one of the web site’s editors is found dead at the launch party! Unfortunately, more deaths are to come to the Sister’s of Aphrodite.

Logical conclusion – Clare thinks someone is trying to steal the recipe! I loved this book, and its up to date, realistic nature. It didn’t hurt that Coyle included coffee making tips and recipes too!(Amongst the recipes is one for European style hot chocolate!)

“No Way To Kill A Lady”, Nancy Martin, Onsidian (New American Library, Penguin Group).

We get not one, but three main characters – the Blackbird sisters. Nora, a former debutante that is now a well known society columnist, Emma, very pregnant with an unknown gentleman’s love child, and Libby, divorced and on the make. Then there is Nora’s best friend, Lexie, who is serving time for pushing a man out of a window, and Nora’s mobbed up boyfriend, Mick.

Then there is her great Aunt Madcap Maddie, who may have recently died in a volcano eruption in Indonesia … or she may be the body that was found in the elevator of Madeline “Maddy” Blackbird’s neglected house, Quintain … located on an estate that is supposedly worth millions, and has been left to the three sisters.

Of course, MadcapMaddie’s stepson, the society rogue Sutherland Blackbird, is threatening to put in a claim for the estate. And Maddy’s little black book – something her questionable lawyer searched for, but never found. However, Nora did find it, with her sister’s help.

Who was Madeline Blackbird, exactly what is her little black book all about. And where have all of her famous jewels, paintings and other artwork gone to?

This book is part comedy, part mystery. Not something that would generally draw me in, but it is v ery well written, and I love the east coast society background!

This is my destress book list … what is yours?

© October 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Friday, October 5, 2012

Planning Your Writing Time

Let’s talk about time … and how writers can get a handle on their time! I get sidetracked very easily, but I don’t like to have to follow a strict schedule either (although that sometimes does happen when I procrastinate!). The first thing that I do is to write my schedule down for a full week – I mean, I write down what I actually do, not what I “should” be doing! (Sometimes) there is a difference. ;-) This gives me a heads up on where I might be (ahem) wasting time, but also on what I might be avoiding doing. If I recognize that I am avoiding doing something, I know that I need to look at that and find out why. Perhaps it is something that I just need to let go of, or perhaps it is something that I need to face down. Shadows show up in all kinds of guises!

Some people do well with a set schedule – they block out a certain amount of time each day, and sit down and write/edit/market during that time. I need to be a little more flexible – if I want to have a cup of coffee and watch my fur kids play for a while, that is what I will do. If I want to write for t here or four hours straight, then that is what I will do. And for those of you that are screaming “life balance” … I can assure you that my life does have a balance. LOL

One of the things that helps me reach my goals for each day/week/month, is to use a written planner. I like e-files too, and make use of them, but I love my written planner. And I love marking each task off as I do it. On Sunday of each week I write out what I want to do each day of the coming week. I combine any personal appointments and errands with calls that need to be made, people that need to be contacted, and writing that I need to get done. Currently I have a short self-help book going as a WIP, along with four blogs that I do once a week each, and an astrology blog that I do each new and full moon. No, I am not an astrologer, butI do like to take the basic info and show people how it can be made to work in their own life. Any day planner or diary can be used for this purpose. I use Karyn Easton’s “Tarot Lover’s Diary”. It can be found at http://paranormality.com. I hope that she is coming out with one for 2013!

Here are a few links to how other writer’s organize their time:

http://unclutterer.com/2010/10/12/organize-your-writing-j-k-rowling-style/

http://dailyroutines.typepad.com/

http://mywebwriters.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/writers-organize-yourselves-tools-and-tips-for-productivity/

http://www.squidoo.com/writersnotebook

http://tumblemoose.com/the-organized-writer/

http://thedabblingmum.com/writing/general/organize.htm

© October 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

The Legend of Justice and Diamonds - Second Printing

"The Legend of Justice and Diamonds" was originally published through Xulon Press in 2010. It is now available through Crea...