I have had my website www.aurorajeanalexander.com for as long as I have my blog. And we all know that blog celebrated its 8th anniversary, and has been growing steadily.
Now I decided on a really tough challenge. I will move my website.
My current website provider has been excellent with customer service… (I figured, that might have been because they don’t have that many customers anymore, but I’m not entirely sure about this.)
Also, it was extremely easy to work with their Website Builder, which translated everything into HTML code. Despite that anything special you wanted to do had to go via the editing of the existing HTML code, it was no big thing to make changes or add things quickly.
Other than that, unfortunately, the entire way of working, tutorials, explanations, forums, etc., are completely overaged. SEO ranking was a possibility they took into consideration, but linked that problem to other, outsourced providers. 8 – 10 years ago, this might have been sufficient, nowadays, unfortunately it isn’t anymore.
When you Google A.J. Alexander, which is the name I publish ‘The Council of Twelve’ series with, you’ll be provided with ‘The Other A.J. Alexander’, namely Angela Joy Alexander, who writes steamy romance novels. She’s a great author, I admire her creativity and talent! But then, she’s not me, and currently she occupies the first 28 positions on Google.com search results, only occasionally interrupted by some Baseball player with the same name – I’m nowhere in sight.
This has to change – and I’m not going on with a website provider who is completely unable to help me with my SEO, ranking, optimization and so on…
Currently WordPress is among the best Website Providers globally, which, of course, also gives me the possibility to include my blog in my website.
So, yes… that’s what’s currently happening!
It will take another moment, until everything is finalized. So far the ‘movers’ are doing phenomenal work! The domain name still will have to be moved, and also, it seems, this WordPress blog is going to be integrated into my domain website soon, and then will be promoted from there.
I look forward to changing all links to my blog. HAHA
That will, once more, be some kind of extra-work. But I’m convinced, it will bring many advantages that go with the work!
And I have AMAZING people doing this for me: Thank you, Scott Coatsworth from Otherworldsink.com! A huge shoutout to you and your great work!
I got this ‘Achievement’ badge from WordPress, informing me that my blog was started 8 years ago!
I started this blog when told I needed more ‘exposure,’ networking, getting my name out there, and promoting my ‘future’ books. Demon Tracker was just in the works back then, and Soul Taker was not published yet. (And yes, that might sound weird, but I wrote the third book in the series before the first. After you read the series, let me know, and if you’re still curious and interested, I’ll let you in on the secret.)
I want to say ‘Thank You.’ Thank you so much, you all, for your loyalty, for becoming my readers, for your regular comments, and for all your encouragement and support! You make this blogging journey for me an easy and fun one! If it wasn’t for all of you, ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ wouldn’t be where it is today!
After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.
When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.
Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.
Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.
Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.
Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind. Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil.
Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.
Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.
She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?
When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.
Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.
Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…
Koyu thought she had done her duty, but deep inside she knows it will never be over. She is bound to her master forever and will have to execute his every command. But when he demands she’ll invade his sworn enemy’s dreams, she chooses to rebel.
Koyu risks her existence to help the ‘other side’ by purposely disobeying her master’s orders. Koyu knows she’ll pay with her life for her impertinence. Is there, indeed, no hope for her?
February 13, 2023 the Winners of the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards were announced. And yes, I’m very thrilled and excited to inform you all that ‘The Council of Twelve’ series has made the winner in the ‘Novellas & Shorts Series’ category!
Happy Book Spotlight Thursday! This Thursday, I am happy to hop on board again with R&R Book Tours to spotlight the YA Thriller Discovery of the Five Senses: The Urban Boys by K.N.Smith. Along with a chance to win one of two $50 Visa gift cards! READ ON!
Discovery of the Five Senses: The Urban Boys
Publication Date: September 15th, 2021 (Second Edition)
Genre: Young Adult Action-Adventure, Young Adult Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller
Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.
“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer
It happened… it really did! With great pride I can announce that my blog, ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ has passed 100,000 views! This is so exciting.
But, of course I cannot let this celebration pass without telling you all how grateful I am! When I started that blog I didn’t know exactly what to expect. But you all, loyal readers, friends, regular visitors – and the ones finding it by accident… you all made this blogging adventure a wonderful one for me!
I was asked lately how to set up a Smashword Widget on your WordPress blog. It’s not very hard to do that. Basically, your computer does most of the work for you. Just let it happen.
Let’s start with creating the ‘Smashwords’ ‘button that you see here on the right side.
Go to Smashwords, open your account, your dashboard, and then click the book you would like to create the ‘button’ of. This example will be the first book in my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker.’
You will see the ‘button’ as it will look like. Below you can see the entire HTML code that you need to enter into the widget. On the left side, you can adjust the size, font, Background, Button color, Ribbon text, Ribbon Color (There is a possibility to remove the ribbon). Play around a bit. The HTML code will be automatically adjusted.)
As an extra possibility: You can make it easy: Play around as much as you want, you will see every change in the ‘button’ when you make the changes. Instead of copying the HTML code to paste it into the widget, you can also just take a screenshot from the ‘button.’
Now, let’s go over to our WordPress Dashboard and pick ‘Appearance’.
As soon as you chose Appearance, now, pick ‘Widgets.’
The Widgets on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ are on the Sidebar, that’s what I’m going to click:
Now, click the ‘+’ to add a new Widget. It will appear BELOW all other existing Widgets, you will have to scroll down.
Now, you can search for the widget you are looking for, in this case, ‘Custom HTML’ – OR, if you picked the ‘extra possibility,’ you can search for ‘image.’
You can now either paste the HTML code from the ‘Smashwords’ site or upload the screenshot you took from the Smashwords button.
Now you can enter a Widget title, caption, and, if you pasted the screenshot, you could hyperlink it to the Smashwords site, where your readers can buy the book.
At the very end, if you have adjusted and set up your new Widget the way you want it, you can move it. I told you earlier, it will be at the very bottom of your already existing widgets. With the arrow, you can move it up or down.
Good Luck with your new Smashwords Widget. Have fun!
The past few weeks, I got emails from ‘MainCrest Media,’ telling me that they have the greatest respect for my talent and summoning me to participate in their ‘Awards Program.’ They promise recognition and increase of sales. Their website is quite well designed, a professional invitation to step right into that well-created trap.
The moment I saw their submission fee of $99/per entry, reduced from $149, I got goosebumps, and I knew something didn’t seem right. I started my search about their practice and found several websites and articles warning from so-called ‘Award Profiteers.’
On the reedsyblog, I found a long article, warning of Author Scams and Publishing Companies to Avoid. In the middle of the page, you will find the following paragraph:
Writing Contests and Awards
Writing contests are a great way to reach an audience, solidify your writing credentials, and even make a little money in the form of prizes. There are, however, competitions that are little more than money-spinning enterprises. And you can usually sniff them out by the fact that their prizes are not really prizes.
Some contests will publish winning entries in a magazine or an anthology — which is great. But sometimes, ‘winning’ authors will be obliged to pay an ‘editing fee’ for that privilege — which is not great.
There are also some competitions in which the prize might be a trophy. The catch here is that the author will be expected to pay for the cost of the physical prize. This isn’t necessarily bad — unless you mind paying $80 for a slab of acrylic that dozens more have also ‘won’ that month.
According to John Doppler, the ‘watchdog’ criteria for contests and awards are the following:
Author Awards and Contests Rated and Reviewed: Guiding Principles
1. The event exists to recognize talent, not to enrich the organizers. Avoid events that are driven by excessive entry fees, marketing services to entrants, or selling merchandise like stickers and certificates.
2. Receiving an award is a significant achievement. An event that hands out awards like Halloween candy dilutes the value of those awards, rendering them meaningless. Beware of events that offer awards in dozens of categories. These are often schemes to maximize the number of winners in order to sell them stickers and other merchandise.
3. The judging process is transparent and clear. Watch out for contests whose judging criteria and personnel are vague or undisclosed.
4. Prizes are appropriate and commensurate with the entry fees collected. If a cash prize is offered, it should align with the size of the entry fee. “Exposure” is not an appropriate prize. Representation or publication are acceptable prizes, but only if offered by a reputable company without hidden fees.
5. Entrants are not required to forfeit key rights to their work. Avoid contests with onerous terms, especially those which require the forfeiture of publishing rights without a termination clause. When in doubt, have an independent professional review the terms.
Another clear warning I found on one of my favorite blogs: Victoria Strauss’ Writer Beware blog. She published her article about ‘Award Profiteers’ in 2015 already but re-blogged it in 2019. MainCrest Media was not specifically mentioned. But she tells us clearly where to keep our eyes open:
– Solicitation. To maximize entries, profiteering awards and contests often solicit entries. An out-of-the-blue email or an ad on Facebook urging you to enter a contest or awards program should always be treated with caution.
– High entry fees. Profiteers charge $60, $75, $100, or even more. There may be “early-bird specials” and multiple-entry discounts to tempt authors with the illusion of a bargain. And that’s not counting the books you’ll have to send for award consideration–a considerable expense if the profiteer only accepts print.
– Dozens of scores of entry categories.To maximize income, profiteers create as many entry categories as possible and encourage multiple entries.
– Anonymous judging. Profiteers promise expert judging by people with standing in the writing and publishing field but don’t reveal the identities of these purported experts. In fact, the judging may be done by the profiteer’s staff, who may simply pick winners out of a hat. One of the things that lend credibility to a contest or award is the prestige of its judges…which is why you always want to know who they are and should always be suspicious if that information is not provided.
– Non-prize prizes. To avoid cutting into their profits, profiteers offer prizes that cost them little or nothing: press releases, media announcements, database and website listings, features on satellite websites, or in self-owned publications. Some offer little more than the supposed honor of winning the award.
– Opportunities to spend more money. Profiteers’ profits don’t just come from entry fees. They also hawk stickers, certificates, critiques, and more.
Today my week started with a wonderful surprise. Writer’s Treasure Chest got 100,000 views!
I am so very honored and grateful to all of you! Thank you so very much to everyone who ever visited ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’, accidentally surfed on the page, is a follower and regular reader, friend and family member.
Writer’s Treasure Chest has grown enormously since I celebrated my last anniversary:
I’m so lucky to be part of the blogging world with all your help. Without guests, friends, followers, supporters, and people encouraging me again and again this blogging adventure would not have been progressing at this pace and wouldn’t have been as successful as it is.
Earlier this week, I checked the results of the Paranormal Romance Guild 2020 Reviewers Choice Awards. And I got the incomparably phenomenal news that Demon Tracker, the third book in my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, made 3rd in the YA/NA category.
(Click the book to find out where to get it.)
But it gets better!
In the YA/NA series category, The Council Of Twelve series made 1st. My series WON!! I’m so enthusiastic!!
Technically I am writing an Award-Winning series! This is EXCITING!
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