70 Conversation Starters for Social Media Engagement

Jenn Hanson-dePaula of Mixtus Media provides us with a great article on conversation started for social media. Thank you Jenn!


Have you ever posted something on social media and nothing happens? You might feel like it’s a waste of time because no one ever responds to what you post. Or maybe you feel like you’re just contributing to the noise online and everyone simply tunes you out.

Social media outlets have hundreds of millions of users worldwide, and each outlet wants their users to see posts that they will find interesting. So to make this possible, they use something called algorithms.

An algorithm is like a filter – it keeps the posts that people aren’t responding to out while letting the popular posts through.

So how do you actually get your posts seen and in your audience’s news feed? One effective and simple way to do that is by asking questions that require a quick and easy answer.

Most people are scrolling through their news feed very quickly. But if something catches their eye and doesn’t require a lot of time or thought, they will most likely respond.

The more likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc., your post gets, the algorithms will see that people are interested and will make your post more visible.

To continue reading this post go to:

70 Conversation Starters for Social Media Engagement

 

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#AMA: Do you have any tips on how to choose the right designer for your book cover?

Let’s hear what Kathryn Jenkins from KJ Magical Designs has to say about ‘how to choose the right designer for your book’. Thanks for your informative post!

Magical Designs

Pay attention to the designers technique. Use there portfolio to study their style. If you don’t think they will accomplish what your looking for in a cover, it is best to keep looking. The biggest pitfall is choosing a designer that doesn’t fit your style of writing (Example: having a scifi cover designer do a romance cover). If they have a broad range that is great.

Look at their experience, but don’t let it define your final choice. Newbies can be a great investment. My first clients were authors I befriended through groups and they tried me out when I was a beginner. The nice thing about newbies is they will push themselves to the limit to prove they can provide you with the cover you desire. I had this experience with Allison D. Reid and she has been with me ever since.

Research is key, check out reviews on the designer…

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13 Free Blogging Tips For Every New Blogger

Hugh provides us with 13 free blogging tips for every new blogger. Thanks so much for this post, Hugh!

Hugh's Views & News

If you are new to blogging or are even thinking about starting a blog, here my thirteen quick blogging tips to get you on your way.

  • It’s all about me. Ensure you have an ‘about me’ page. Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you. However, don’t have an ‘about me’ page that starts off by saying ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page’. Click here to read about setting up an ‘about me’ page and what it should include.
  • Make a journey outside of your own blog. I’ve always been amazed by just what information is out there in the blogging world. I’ve learned how to self-publishing a book, how to use social media and make it work for me, how to bake gin & tonic cupcakes, take great photos and, of course, picked up lots…

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Your Unique Author Picture – Research By A. J. Alexander

Picture courtesy of: http://gregceoblog.com

 

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I have been thinking about Author Pictures lately. I know very well what I have on my Social Media accounts right now isn’t a great thing to do. One of the main reasons for these overexposed profile pictures is the fact that I don’t like it to be on pictures. And from what I heard this can be seen in the picture.

 

No matter how often I’m told the pictures look great, and I’m supposed to be pretty, I don’t believe it. This does, in fact, have a psychological root which was planted in my childhood, but I think this is another subject and doesn’t belong here.

 

Now, since one day I will undoubtedly be published I will sooner or later have to think about my author picture, and that’s why I went for another round of research.

 

One of the first interesting and informative articles I found on Huffington Post where Heather Hummel talks about the relevance of a professional author photo. She not only talks about the quality of the picture but also shows certain problems that can come up and presents the respective solutions. For example, does she mention the expression on the picture, the quality, the background and presents some final thoughts. (Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/the-relevance-of-a-profes_b_4498575.html)

 

By going on with my research, I found “The Review Review.” Written by Randy Susan Meyers the article “Look Great In Your Author Photo” gives you tips and tricks on colors, clothes, and makeup and also describes what you can do to hide certain flaws and how to choose your photographer. I thought it is a great helpful post who I would recommend reading when someone needs a (new) author photo. (To read the post click here: http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/look-great-your-author-photo)

 

On the Author Media website, I found a fantastic post, written by author Thomas Umstattd. He clearly states that his article is not for the author, but for the photographer! And I think he did an amazing job. Even though being an author I learned a lot by reading his article, and I might even be able to show it to my future photographer if necessary, to show him what I need the picture for. The article is enormously useful to us ‘clients’ too! (It can be read here: http://www.authormedia.com/how-to-take-portraits-for-an-author-website/)

 

The last impressive article I found on “Book In A Box,” written by Tucker Max, Chairman & Co-Founder at Book In A Box. He shows what’s good and what’s bad and not just said, some pics are good or bad but also explains the reason in clear, simple words. He provides us with different examples and gives us great advice on what not to do and what he would recommend getting a great picture. I decided to provide you here with a small part of his article:

 

The Author Photo Rule That Rules Them All

Here’s the thing that makes author photos so hard to give advice about: There is not one “right” way to do it. Like I talked about above, the “right” way all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. But there is one overarching rule that you need to sear into your brain when it comes to author photos (or any profile photo):

Know what you want to say to what audience, and make sure you signal it properly.

This is the key to everything. The author photo for a CEO of a Fortune 500 company should be totally different from the author photo for an up-and-coming comedian. Why? Because they are signaling different things to different groups.
Generally speaking, the CEO’s author photo should signal professionalism, effectiveness, reliability, and trust. The comedian’s photo could be wacky, pensive, goofy or even serious, all depending on his comedic style and what he wanted to signal.

To read the full article go to http://bookinabox.com/blog/how-to-take-author-photo/

 

I have to say I learned a lot by reading these four articles, and I’m sure I’ll find a great photographer who helps me. But then, maybe I’ll just hide under a stone and rather provide the world with my stories than my face.

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Author James Jones
courtesy of: http://www.jamesjonesliterarysociety.org/

37 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2017

Scott Lorenz, a Book Publicist, informs us about book awards for authors. Thank you very much Scott, this is very helpful.

The Book Publicist

Book Awards for Authors

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2017!

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

As a book publicist I can assure you they absolutely do matter! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel.  Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

You win awards you sell more products.  Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon

Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference (Photo news.techniblogic.com

Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book.

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The Ultimate Character Questionnaire (156 questions)…

Chris, The Story Reading Ape has provided us with part of a blog post and a link to the “Novel Factory”, where this particular post was published. The post provides us with the ultimate character questionnaire, asking 156 questions which help us to develop our characters.
(I thought the list was fascinating, even more since I don’t know myself as well as my characters after developing them with the help of this list.) But please, check it out. it is helpful.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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This character questionnaire has been collated from a variety of sources. It has been split into categories to try to make it more manageable, but this categorisation is far from perfect and lots of the questions could probably be in more than one category.

If you can think of a question that isn’t here and think it should be added – let us know!

Basic

First name:
Surname:
Middle name:
Nicknames:
Date of birth:
Age:

Physical Appearance

Height:
Weight:
Hair:
Eyes:
Distinguishing facial features?
Which facial feature is most prominent?
Which bodily feature is most prominent?
Skin:
Hands:
Scars:
Birthmarks?
Physical handicaps?
Type of clothes?
How do they wear their clothes?
What are their feet like? (type of shoes, state of shoes, socks, feet, pristine, dirty, worn, etc)
Race / Ethnicity?

Personality

What words or phrases do they overuse?
Are they more optimistic or pessimistic?
Do they ever put on…

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Give Your eBook as Much Love as Your Paperback

Jo Robinson from “Lit World Interviews” wrote an excellent article about e-book formatting on Createspace. Thank you so much Jo!

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Lit World Interviews

WHEN formatting your paperback manuscript for CreateSpace you can get away with a fair amount of fancy formatting. Fancy fonts, dropcaps, inserted widgets, bullets, tables, and all sorts of other things can be used. Pretty much if it’s locked into your PDF it will appear in your book. If you can’t lock it into your PDF then it won’t appear in your paperback. A Kindle eBook on the other hand should be rather thought of as an HTML page – just like a web page. The same way that when you set up a post on your WordPress blog various HTML codes are used for different things, when your eBook gets translated into HTML for publishing it will take anything that would normally be written as code and try to use that, often with disastrous results – rather than the gorgeous bullet list or laboriously tabbed lists that took you…

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