Reclaim1compressed

An end-of October hello from Marti Pieper in beautiful Mount Dora, Florida, where the advent of fall means temperatures have dipped to a chilly fifty-five degrees (yeah, I know). Today, I have the privilege of sharing with you the marketing and publicity expertise of multi-published author Tracy Higley. I know you'll enjoy her insights as much as I have. 

Tracy, how did you get into writing? 
Hemi's tomb 2, Egypt

 I've been writing since I was a little girl–short stories, newspaper articles, poems, plays, and fiction. I got serious about publishing about thirteen years ago and decided to write a novel and try to get it published.

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Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

A knock at my hotel room startled me.

“Room service,” a voice said. I hurried to let her in. “Only need fresh towels,” I said. “I’ll be fine.”

She brought them in and I smiled at her. “Thank you. What’s your name?”

“Rachel.”

We chatted about mundane stuff. But when I told her why I had visited her city, she was open to hear about my ministry.

I reached for my suitcase. “Got something for you,” I said. I put a CD in her hands.

“This is for me?” she asked, her voice gasping a bit.

“Sure it is,” I said. “Hope you like it and it inspires you.”

Two days passed, and I delivered a message to 500 women on three different occasions during the weekend. On the last day, as I entered my room, a voice got closer. “This is Rachel. I want to tell you that I heard your CD. It was so wonderful. And I gave it to my friend who really needed to be encouraged. She loved it too. Thank you.”

Her words filled with emotion made my heart leap with gratitude. I had traveled to address an audience, but the Lord had me minister to her. What a sweet thing. Every opportunity, every moment, every person we meet on the way is planted by the Lord.

I had developed a sort of crazy habit. Before I leave hotel rooms, I take the already used soap, place it in a plastic bag and bring it home. I place it on my soap dish in my bathroom. Each time I use it, I say a prayer for the person I met who touched my heart.

This time it’s Rachel, the housekeeping lady who changed my view of why the Lord sends us speakers to faraway places. It’s not always for the crowd, but for the person who knocks at our heart unexpectedly, deliberately and at the perfect time.

Heavenly Father, keep me humble, keep me open to the people You put before me. Keep me mindful of Your lead and Your prompting to reach those who brush our lives even for a moment.

Janet

Simply Salsa by JAnet Eckles

 

Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Author #1 bestselling book, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta

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Maureen Pratt, CAN Member-at-Large

Maureen Pratt 

Hello! Maureen Pratt, back again, for my monthly CAN Blog post. I’m very happy to be blogging today about the craft of writing and, specifically, the huge difference “writing positive prose” can make in describing characters, painting pictures, and conveying the heart of a story, be it fiction or non-fiction.

What do I mean by “positive?”

Given two possible ways of writing the same sentence, the more positive can be the strongest one to choose. Consider this description:

“Amy didn’t necessarily think she was beautiful, but she couldn’t believe that the casting director put her in secondary roles that didn’t allow her to take the lead and shine as much as she knew she could.”

Now this one:

“Amy knew she was plain, but she was frustrated that the casting director put her in secondary roles that kept her in the background and prevented her from showing everyone what she could do.”

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Aloha from Karen Whiting

 

Karen Whiting

Karen Whiting

I am so thankful for relationships I’ve developed with writers, authors, and readers, in the world of publishing. It’s a small world in many ways and networking is vital to success. But it’s also a place of friendships and connections. So many of my contracts came from relationships I developed. And, when I’m having problems, the friends I’ve made pray and support me.
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Think beyond contracts and what you can get, to what you can give and how you can extend friendship.

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Hi everyone, happy OctoPam-Fave 7 closeupber. It’s Pamela Meyers back again for another installment on marketing your new book.

In recent years, social networking has become a stronger and stronger vehicle for marketing our books. Recently, Jane Steen, a fellow ACFW member, partnered with me on a social networking presentation at our local ACFW chapter meeting.

I learned way more than I brought to the table that night as I listened to Jane’s presentation, and came home with new resolve to up my game in the world of Twitter, Facebook, and the myriad of other social networking opportunities we authors have.

The attendees at the meeting were a good cross-section of the various levels of knowledge, interest, and comfort levels that are probably represented by larger samples. Some came to the meeting with a lot of knowledge about Twitter and Facebook, while others had not yet attempted to get involved in those or any similar sites like Goodreads, Linked-In, and Pinterest, to name a few.

Is Social Networking Necessary?

Regardless, one fact stood out. No matter where you are in your writing career, newbie or seasoned veteran, if you have a book out there, you need to take advantage of what social networking can do for you. Jane listed several benefits for us:

  • It raises your visibility
  • It gives opportunity to network productively with other writers
  • It allows you to connect with your current and future readers
  • It gives you opportunity to show your expertise and your interests
  • It can add layers to the world of your writing.

Deciding where to get involved can be overwhelming, especially if you are starting out from nothing. Be assured you don’t have to be on every single site there is. Pick three and stay with those, using what interests you to drive your site choices.

Blogging

I’ve heard more than one person lament that they know they should be blogging because that’s what authors do, but they’ve tried it and hate it, or they haven’t tried it but feel pressured that if they don’t post every day, they aren’t doing it correctly. First, if you absolutely are uncomfortable with blogging, then do something else. But, if you want to give it a try, or maybe you are like me. You’ve had one for years, but the novelty has worn off, and you find yourself blogging only a few times a month.

Take heart. You don’t have to write a dissertation every time you blog. In fact, it’s better if you keep your posts to just a paragraph or two, but work to blog consistently. A friend of mine blogs every Tuesday and Thursday, and she’s let her readers know they can expect a new entry on those days. Another author I know blogs nearly every day, sometimes two or three times a day, but usually her entries are short. In either case, it works for those individuals. There is no right or wrong way.

You may be thinking you don’t have enough to talk about to keep a blog going. Do you have a hobby or other involvement (other than something polarizing like politics) that interests you? Author, Allie Pleiter, whom I mentioned in a post here several months ago, is an avid knitter and has a blog that is totally about knitting. She posts about each project she starts as it progresses and includes pictures. If she travels out of town, she tries to visit a knitting store in the town and talk to the people there. She then features that store in a blog post. Even though her blog is all about knitting, the followers of that blog, learn bits and pieces about her and her books. When a new book comes out, you can be sure many of them will want to purchase the book and read it.

Twitter

Since Twitter made its first appearance a few short years ago, it has been enhanced quite a bit. For instance, by using a hash mark (#) next to a topic you are writing about and include it in the post, that post will be accessible to all who go to that topic using the hash mark and the topic name. For example, if you were on Twitter last night during the presidential debates, you may have noticed some of the people you follow making comments about the debate and including #debates in their remarks. That sent
their comments and everyone elses’ that contained that topic indicator to a trending thread where you could read dozens of comments made by others as the debate took place.

Prescheduling

One feature that you can do with both Twitter and blogs, is to preschedule your posts. Most blog platforms have a feature where you can write a blog post then schedule it to post at some date in the future. Also a site called Hootsuite lets you see your
Facebook and Twitter updates all together and to preschedule posts. I have an account there, but never finished setting it up. Don’t be like me. Do it and use it. It will save you time keeping up with both of those sites. I plan to heed my own advice here.

At our meeting, Jane gave us an easy-to follow method she discovered for building your Twitter follower base fast. I’ll share that next time and talk about other social networking sites.

 

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