#Romance University for Writers: A Gold Class #Writing Site

Printhttp://romanceuniversity.org

Purpose: Dedicated to helping writers establish and advance their careers, introducing readers to a variety of authors, and delving into the ever-inscrutable male mind.

Monday: Crafting Your Career
Most writers begin writing because they love the process–using just the right word, crafting the perfect sentence, giving life to imaginary people. However satisfying the writing process, many writers begin to want more. The want people to read about and love those imaginary folks. Okay–they want people to pay to read about those imaginary folks. Join us each Monday at RU where we’ll discuss the business of writing or career topic. Visiting Professors (guest bloggers) often stop by the school to offer advice.

Wednesday: Anatomy of the Mind
This is the day we explore every facet of writing, reading, and men.

Friday: Chaos Theory of Writing
On Fridays, RU Faculty along with industry professionals and established authors will focus on the elements of manuscript writing. Tips to help you hone your craft and write a damn fine book. After all, it will be your writing that will catch (and retain) the interest of a lucky agent or editor.We’ll tap into our own experiences, share what’s working and what isn’t as we chase our dreams of becoming published authors. We’ll also discuss advice from our favorite writing reference books and websites. So join us each Friday to experience the chaos of writing.”

Gold class sites

Sanity Saving Blogging Resources

Be UniqueLife flies by at an insane pace… I constantly miss or have to dash past blog posts I want to and need to read. In case you missed it, here are the resources I shared during Blog Taming Month in February. A few extras are thrown in, just because I can… Happy scribing and remember, forget the musts, the have-tos and the myriad of experts. Your best success comes by being yourself!

Micro-Blogging: An Idea to Experiment With

Blogging Survival: Get Ahead by Scheduling

Services Which Make Your Blog Easy to Follow

Surviving BIG Blogging Mistakes

Blog Sidebars: Easy Ways to Add Whatever You Want

Are Your Blogging Goals Slipping? Help to Get Focussed Using Planners and Organisers

Building Community Spirit in the Blogosphere

Is Your Blog Trapping You or Helping You Fly?

Savvy Blogging Cover Image 2If you want even more… and why wouldn’t you? All blog maintenance and promotion posts here on CommuniCATE can be accessed by this category link. Or you can save yourself the trouble and download the free .pdf ebook, which saves you scrolling and reading through all those posts online. This is the download link. It is safe, with no strings attached and comes from my web site.

Chapters Include:

  • Blog Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight
  • Get Yourself A Second Brain
  • Slack, Fake and Egocentric Followers: How to Pick Them!
  • Blog Post Promotion on Social Media: Instantly Hooking Reader Attention
  • Sometimes, It Just Goes Wrong: When to Ditch!
  • The Best Kept Editing Secret
  • 10% On Top: Being a More Efficient Writer
  • Professional, Effective Author Sites: The Problems With Using Blogs
  • Cleaning the Cobwebs Out of Blogs: Reader Engagement and Content Value
  • Guest Posting as Advertising: How To Be Professional and Be Asked Back
  • Your Individuality is Your Greatest Asset: Writing and Marketing as You
  • Faulty-Tasking
  • The Road to Success is Paved by Free-Sharing

Have fun!


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Writing Historically Based Books: Author Philippa Gregory

The-Other-Boleyn-Girl-by-Philippa-Gregory“Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl which was made into a tv drama, and a major film. Now, six novels later, she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.” Sourced from her web site, http://www.philippagregory.com

These videos are on how she researches her books and is drawn to work on the main characters. It’s a fascinating process, which I enjoyed hearing about. If you are a lover of research or historical fiction, you’ll be inspired by watching these clips.

How NOT to look like a total loser on #Twitter: Social Media Professionalism

2014-02-24_08-58-36There are services out there which are incredibly useful to have, particularly if you like proper stats on where you’re at. However, openly advertising that you use these services can make you look like a woeful failure if you don’t have a massive following. For example:

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That was one of the more cheery ones I saw this morning. 224 people walking away is a lot! I would be worrying if these were my stats.

I see numerous notices like this go through my stream every day. They are auto-generated. All services spit out these ads. If I use one, I go into Twitter fast and delete them. Plus, if I pay to subscribe to a service, I will remove all automatic options to have these services air my private laundry at their will.

I would never advocate not using these sites to clean up your following. They also removed dormant accounts and have many benefits. They are too good to ignore. Benefits include:

  • Finding inactive users and your unfollowers.
  • Finding relevant users to follow.
  • Keeping track of how your social media updates affect your follower/unfollower stats.
  • Checking the relationship between any accounts and doing a whole lot more (for a price on services this good).

I would recommend you never auto-follow anyone using them though: not only do automatic DMs mean I know you are insincere and have never seen me; you also follow every spammer out there, thinking you’ve got great stats when you’ve only got snake oil merchants and porn…

So be aware of who advertises what in your Twitter stream and how it makes you look. You won’t be sorry you did.

P.S. May I present to you the other side of the argument? Note that when you have many followers, this isn’t an issue but if you have a small number, the above still applies.

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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

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#Blogging and Realistic Goals: Don’t Be Crushed by the Pressure

ROW80LogocopyIn 2012 I discovered A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). One thing we all have in common with our writing is life sure does get in the way! It’s unavoidable and you just have to go with it. Even taking a day off to have fun can be necessary in our creative lives. The trick is, to do it without the guilt… and in people’s update posts, I frequently read an awful lot of guilt!

ROW80 shares the same blogging philosophy I have. “We are all different and we all have different demands on our time. Why should we all have the same goal? The simple answer is that we shouldn’t. If you want to be a writer, then you have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to your changing circumstances. If that means changing your goals when your life blows up, so be it. ROW80 is the challenge that champions the marriage of writing and real life.” (The next round starts in early April.)

I like the emphasis on the goals being achievable. That is the secret ingredient to any goal. There must be flexibility and a sense of reality. However, despite how Kait Nolan has emphasized the easy-going nature of the challenge, I keep seeing writers listing masses of goals: far more than 80 days worth! NaNoWriMo is another example that concerns me in as far as mental and creative health are concerned. The word count allows for no days off for an entire month and a very high output. It’s too short and writers stress, particularly when they hit plot problems and again, real life gets in the way. Why we are so insistent on deliberately placing ourselves under high-achievement related stress?

sunriseThe happiest bloggers seem to be the ones who have three goals at the most. These goals aren’t back-breaking and they have a balanced attitude which accepts that some days they may fail; some days they may come close; some days they will achieve above and beyond and that is all good. The strategy which brings a cheer from me, is seeing writers list the rewards they will give themselves on achieving their goals. A small treat, some ‘me’ time, a fun activity which refreshes and pulls them away from their desk. It’s a great idea. I love it!

Reaching your goals and dreams by making small changes, seems to work the best for most people. Trying to revolutionize our entire lives in one effort leaves us tired and discouraged. Small changes are the ones that stick. They are less likely to fizzle into failures and regrets.

Go easy and be kind to yourself!

Work, family, finances, holidays, sickness and the occasional crisis will always be there to keep you away from putting words on paper. Your success as a writer depends as much on how you deal with that, as it does on how much output you have. As a writer there is a massive laundry list of demands you are supposed to meet to succeed, plus I know how easy it is to get enthusiastically carried away with everything you want to achieve. However, please do take the time to step back, reassess your direction and see if you need to cut back on your goals to maximize your creative energy. It is not a sign of failure to do that, it’s a sign of wisdom.


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All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

The sunrise is a purchased istockphoto.com image licensed to me. You are not legally able to re-use it in any manner, neither may you adapt it without risking litigation from the source.

Think Outside Your Niche: Awesome Plot and Character Ideas

2013-12-02_15-04-37In addition to gaining more markets and outlets for our writing, exploring the sites of other genres can also turn up gold dust. Last year Damian Trasler wrote me an excellent post on the success he has had with switching to screenwriting. It inspired me to think outside of the confines I have placed myself in as a writer. There is more out there I can do, I simply need an open mind. 

When I was planning my blog posts for this year, I came across “The Script Lab” web site, and thanks to Damian, I stopped and had a good look around. It is exceptionally useful to all kinds of writers. I am encouraging you to go plunder it for your own needs.

hairymnstr_Coffee_Mug_1Some of their content includes:

  • Character and scene questionnaires to help you build backstory, develop personality traits etc.
  • Naming characters effectively to convey their role or personality.
  • Key moments and plot points in story structure (there are quite a few of these and they are great.)
  • Comparing movie plot breakdowns, which every writer can use.
  • Don’t miss their articles on the Triangle, the 100% Rule and the Three C’s!
  • Rules on Writing Heroes
  • Scene Types… and masses more!

Go raid it! http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting-101/screenwriting

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheScriptLab

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheScriptLab

Their writing inspiration board on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thescriptlab/writing-inspiration/

REBLOGS WELCOMED

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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Images in this post belong to The Script Lab and Open Clipart.com

Surviving BIG Blogging Mistakes

2014-02-14_09-23-58Sometimes we goof. We put up dead links, make spellling misteaks, or publicly make ourselves look as credible as Jar Jar Binks. “Yoosa should follow me now, okeeday?” *shudder* If you have made a grand faux pas, how do you recover?

That is the problem I have been pondering for the last week, as after placing too many promotional posts together, I have consistently lost 60% of my blog traffic. Damn! I wrote a reactive post, then thankfully had the sense to delete it. I realised that those who had walked away, would not be here to read my “ooops, my bad, I will ease up” rant. Instead, I have modified the posts to something much softer… but my ego hurts!

Recovery from a blooper will not come by force. The answer isn’t in storming out red-faced either. You have to “get back on the horse, unless you have to go to the hospital.” I am going to continue on as usual. The best blog posts are still pulling in “normal traffic,” so there is hope in that. Maybe my lost readers will forgive me? First, I have to forgive myself for being so dense! No matter how stats orientated we become, it is not the end of the world.

Maybe there are other reasons for a traffic drop I have not considered?

Maybe it’s not solely MY fault?

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Sally Jean, taken from Kristen's blog. Is there a chiropractor in the house?

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Sally Jean. Is there a chiropractor in the house?

If you are a sensitive, shy soul, as many of us writers are, when things go wrong, the first person we blame is ourselves. Life is a trial and error process. Creativity has hurdles we jump and get bruised on… and hurdles where we jump, then thrive off the elation of success. Growth comes from knowing there will be dark with the light and accepting that. Berating yourself won’t fix anything, you will just feel worse. Chalk it up as what doesn’t work and stay on that horse!

It comes down to patience, having the guts to try again and not just being greedy for success.

Speaking of success, Kristen Lamb’s blog has the most heartening post on author earnings and what will make you successful. It’s a must-read. In short, it takes patience, professionalism, quality online interaction and a backlist of work to set up a base on – and it occurs over multiple years, not fast. Remember: patience, patience, patience! When we are too eager to become an overnight success, we also become too eager to label ourselves as an instant failure.

Stay faithful to your dreams.

Those of you who are in it for the long haul, are the ones who will succeed.


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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Image is from my Bitstrips account.

Are Your Blogging Goals Slipping? Help to Get Focussed

BlogTamingMonthCommuniCATE2My blog goals for this year were simple: keep at it, alter content a little, stay organised. That last one is pure hell at times. Life gets in the way, I lose track of where I am up to… then the quality of the blog suffers and I lose readers. So what to do?

The simple answer is be realistic and get organised. I know I cannot keep up with blogging more than three times a week, so I stick to that unless a brilliant reblog is on hand. As for organised, Pinterest has become a great source of inspiration.

There are generous-hearted artists and bloggers out there who have put together 2014 organisers which help other bloggers: and have made them available free. There are many varieties and styles. Choose which best suits you and good luck.

The task lists are the ones I need!

P.S. Links are placed next to the post in case you print this post out.

-2014 Calendar 1Vintage Zest Planner and Free Blog Calendar. This is featured in the image above. http://www.vintagezest.com/2013/12/2014-planner-free-blog-calendar.html?m=1

Blog Maintenance Chart from the SITSGirls: http://www.thesitsgirls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Blog-Maintenance.pdf also make sure you read “10 Things to Let Go of on Your Blog in 2014:” it will relieve your anxiety! http://www.thesitsgirls.com/inspiration/10-things-let-go-2014/

“Home Made by Caroma” has great printable sheets, with year at a glance calendars, Ideas, Progress and Completed columns and great advice. http://homemadebycarmona.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/blog-post-organization.html

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Scraps of My Geek Life has a great Editorial Calendar. I like the colours, it makes it easier to see where you’re at. http://scrapsofmygeeklife.com/business-2/2014-editorial-calendar-template-free-download/

Living Lucurto has a free printable blog calendar which is very well planned. If you like soft blue with no fussy graphics, this is for you. http://www.livinglocurto.com/2010/03/free-printable-weekly-blog-calendar/

The Shabby Nest blog has great ideas and links to planners you can access free. http://shabbynest.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/blog-notebook-organizing-my-bloggy.html

Portland Bloggers win the prize for the best, but it will cost you a small amount to download via Paypal. They were overrun, and had to go to a different server. If nothing else, it shows what you need to put in a planner.

http://pdxbloggers.com/2013/01/freeprintableblogplanner/ 

The free printables in the blog planning package include:

  • Monthly Blog Post Planning Calendar— Each sheet has an open month calendar so that you can put the month and dates in. Each day on the calendar has popular social networking symbols with check boxes so that you can check off when you’ve promoted a post.
  • blogplannerlayoutWeekly Blog Post Planning Calendar— Some people prefer to plan out their blog posts in more detail and on a weekly basis. The weekly calendar also has social networking symbols. It also has an area for weekly blog maintenance and SEO planning prompts.
  • Events and Holidays— A list of events and holidays. This is not a comprehensive list by any means…
  • Blog Post Brainstorming Worksheet— A blog post planning sheet
  • Blog Collaboration Worksheet— A place to track collaborative projects and responsibilities.
  • Blog Resolutions Tracker— A place to write and track blog goals and resolutions
  • Finance Tracker— A place to record income and expenses
  • Affiliate Programs— A place to track affiliate programs
  • Sponsors— A place to track sponsors, payment, and responsibilities.
  • Stats & Analytics— A place to record your stats and analytics monthly

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

#Email Marketing and Your Average #Author

IMG_0195 Since early January, I have been inundated with blog posts and emails, telling me that email marketing is A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y.  E.S.S.E.N.T.I.A.L.  to the point of being critical to anyone and everyone’s success. I carefully read them, considered implementing it for my own work and then pitched a fit! Why? I do N.O.T.  have the  T.I.M.E.

This advice has been coming from sources I follow and greatly respect. However, I have been marketing online for nearly four years and this is the first time this has come up with so much sink or swim emphasis. Plus I am noting that some are adding to their income by running paid seminars on the topic. Are we falling prey to their marketing? Is email marketing for authors without thousands of followers essential?

Yes, building a following is critical. Yes, keeping followers up to speed with what’s happening is essential. But: isn’t that what our blogs and social media streams were designed to do? That is the reason I was told to get a blog in the first place! If I am over-busy, the first things in my email box to hit the dust are newsletters and blog post notices. They don’t take priority. I know we need all the tools we can utilize to reach our audience, but this seems to be doubling up on what we already do. I don’t have any newsletter content that you won’t find here or on my web site.

The first thing I thought of, beside myself, is the other Indie authors out there, who have kids, work, busy lives, health issues, limited time: how are we supposed to add another thing to the mix?

IMG_0199Mr Internet, have mercy on us! I am noting that the writers who are recommending email marketing are backed by a decent income and those magical beings: staff! I am me. I run everything. There is not enough of me.

If email works for you: awesome! Go for it! But Mr Internet, on behalf of many of us, we work our butts off on our blogs, books and social media. Don’t ask us to repeat what we have to say in yet another expensive, time-chewing form.


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Images are from my Bitstrips account.

Is Your Blog Trapping You or Helping You Fly?

BlogTamingMonthCommuniCATE2I’ve been looking at this debate for some time, as I see more and more bloggers talking of burnout and writers starting to rebel against the endless demands of what you must do to succeed! To settle the matter, I took a few hours out to read and properly absorb both sides of the argument. It is complex when it comes to the publishing industry. At the end, all I could do was make up my own mind about what was right for me. I have placed as many of the arguments here as I can (without this post being novel sized) so you can also make up your own mind. Don’t follow the herd: do what works for you!

  • When you find yourself filling in posts with anything, as you just want it done and are tired, drained and over it!
  • Having no direction: which is sometimes apparent in writers with multiple blogs, unless they are for multiple purposes… but watch how much time that takes up!
  • Letting your self-esteem be dictated by reader statistics.
  • If it is an excuse for social media interaction which may be a sign you need to find a better answer to loneliness, or other tasks you are avoiding.
  • When you are investing too much time, and other higher priority tasks are going begging as a result.
  • Getting involved in blog challenges which run you into the ground with time demands and leave you wrecked.
  • When you have made such a hash of a blog that is screams lack of quality, poor commitment to your writing, or stands as testimony to an attitude that makes you cringe!
  • When your content is too personal and can do you damage in the future with potential relationships, employers or contacts in publishing and promotion.
  • Taking on guest bloggers, cover reveals and other sharing initiatives where you are used and not supported or thanked.
  • When the amount of effort invested is not getting you the results you need long term. If you are losing followers, not growing and this has been going on for at least six months, maybe it’s just not the medium for you…

… and you know something? That’s alright: you don’t H.A.V.E. to be a blogger. Do what is right for you. Write what you have in your heart and be true to yourself. Follower numbers aren’t everything.


This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

And on the Nth Day, God Created a Writer

guest series logoWriting has never been hard for me. I loved English when in school and took every English elective there was available. Even Greek Mythology. I know, I’m probably not making many friends by making this statement. There are those out there who work very hard every day to learn how to write.

I applaud you and wish you tonnes of good luck.

God gave me the gift of writing. He probably looked down on me after He created me and said, “what the heck is she going to do with her life?”

Because He didn’t think I’d have a clue what to do, and He was right, He gave me the gift of writing. I thank Him every day.

  • I’m not physically fit.
  • I am not a mathematical genius.
  • I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and a pencil.
  • I got a D in Home Economics.
  • Sports or games of any sort evade me.
  • I even got a degree in Computer Science and instead of programming I became a Technical Writer.

How about that?

2014-01-25_13-59-47I love to write. I love how to make words fit together to create sentences and then paragraphs and then stories. I adore creating stores. So much so, that I published nine novels and novellas.

I could have written more, however I ended up with a silly disease. It wrecked my ability to create novels. I have four 4-inch binders full of story ideas. Maybe I should donate them to a writer I know who will use them. But, then, maybe they won’t see the same idea for a story that I did.

What is the disease, you ask?

**Bipolar Disorder. Not only that, but medication resistant Depression. Along with Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, OCD, and PTSD, and XYZ. I threw in the last one just to fool you. There’s no disease titled, “XYZ,” but if there was, I’m sure I’d get it. (Links for more information and help with the disease are below.)

I give back to the world the only way I know how. To help other aspiring writers become authors. Great writers. I give so they can become more than they ever thought possible. I coach writers. I enjoy coaching writers for the fun of it. Although, getting paid is fun too!

I love to see them improve their writing skills and learn to write faster, and better, and stronger. I absolutely go into giggle spasms when a writing client taps into their own creativity and realizes they have what it takes to make it as a writer.

When I watch a timid, insecure writer become strong and confident, it makes me proud. I was a part of that change. I helped make it happen. And my awkward little caterpillar flies off into the world to become a beautiful writer.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? The circle of life. God created me, a writer. I help create authors from writers who never knew they had the ability inside them. And the circle continues.

I love writing. I hope you do as well.


2014-01-25_14-00-16Vicki M. Taylor is a writing coach for Your Writing Coach, at http://vmt-yourwritingcoach.blogspot.com

She is also an author and workshop presenter. She’s been writing for twenty-five years professionally, and for nearly fifty years as an amateur. She thanks God for her gift, and her grandmother for helping her discover it. She lives in Florida with her husband and pets: a dog and a parrot.

Follow Vicki on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google Plus

**For information on bipolar disorder, please go to: SANE Australia or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Your Writing Coach
This post is Copyright Vicki M Taylor 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Vicki’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using his work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Vicki M Taylor is the attributed Author.

…The Traditional Publishing Empire…my part in its downfall… by Seumas Gallacher

guest series logo

… over the past few years, the Richter-scale rattling of Ye Olde Traditionalist Publishing Empire has resulted from the confluence of several internet-related elements… the former, well-worn, convoluted trail from manuscript to bookstore shelves would have sat comfortably alongside the labours of Samson… each step of the authors’ obstacle course steeped in its own contrived ‘the-way-we-do-it-here’ rules… yer query letters to agents, each with distinctly unique submission regulations (even the WURD ‘submission’ has serf-like undertones)… and , if ye’re lucky, yeez get an answer within six months… let’s presume the Great God Agency smiles benevolently on yeez… yer manuscript crawls to the top of slush-pile number one, and the Agency undertakes to peddle yer wares…

next stage, the interminable round of the Princely Publishing Priories… enter slush-pile number two…notional Everests of offerings from gazillions of other quill-scrapers sit on purchasing executives’ desks… yeez win this bit of the Literary Lottery, and ye’re now a ‘house author’… done? …not on yer life… now the slalom of sub-editor, editor, proof reader, illustrator, cover page artist, marketing planners… in between, just to keep yeez from losing total interest in breathing, p’raps endless demands for re-writes… oh, what joy! (not)… comes now the Amazon Kindle Miracle… one of those wondrous ‘that’ll-never-catch-on’ fads, they said… panders only to the vanity-print brigade, they said… watch it crash and burn in a coupla months, they said… people will never switch from having a book in their hands they can touch, they said…

profileand d’yeez know what?… I was one of those stuck-in-the-mud ‘they said-ers’…this ol’ Jurassic swore never to be lulled/conned/hoodwinked into using one of those new-fangled Kindle thing-ys… fast forward to the present, and it’s all change… so what happened?… the Kindle and its cousin lookalikes came on the scene at the same time as the SOSYAL NETWURKIN, is what happened… enter Master Gallacher, stage right… the traditionalists’ staunchest supporter… now meta-morphed into a sexagenarian poster boy for the ePublishing universe…

there’s NUTHIN better than a real live example to show the doubters what yer talking about… show them me… I’m gonna claim my place in posterity for my part in the downfall of traditional publishing… I don’t want to give away too many spoilers just in case Martin Scorcese and Hollywood eventually look to do the blockbuster movie about it… but, as they say in the best court cases… the facts are straightforward enuff… the evidence is plain for all to see…

I escaped from the career-currently-considered-worse-than-serial-murderingbanking… about five years ago… and started to write the first wee crime thriller masterpiece, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY… like all budding Lee Child-es, or that wee Rowlings lassie, I promptly sent it off to forty literary agents in London… and in perfect balance received back precisely forty rejection slips… then sumb’dy whispered the WURD, Kindle, in my ear… I knew not of what they spoke… so it was explained in monosyllables… and on to the eBook merry-go-round went the novel… at the same time, I read about another newbie self-publishing author, Rachel Abbott, who achieved 100,000 downloads with her maiden book, ONLY THE INNOCENT… she espoused taking a total business approach to the whole ten yards of writing… acknowledging that writing the stuff was merely the beginning of the enterprise… in any business yeez would expect to have a business plan, a budget, timeline targets, market and pricing strategies, and so on… now it was making sense to this refugee from the financial industry… and I dived in feet first…

the realization that the SOSYAL NETWURKIN provided the multiple access to markets was the first essential epiphany… thus began the decision-making phase about which of the many channels to WURK with… yeez can’t do all of them… so for me it was Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn… today and every day, I allocate budgeted time for each of these… developing, nurturing, and enjoying the relationships evolving constantly on there… and, most importantly, sumb’dy else outlined to me about eighteen months ago what a BLOG was… so I have one of those in the quiver, too, and lo and behold was voted Blogger of the Year last December… must be doing something right, but darned if I know what it is…

over these fabulous few years of growing from a bewildered new self-publisher, with NUTHIN in sales, I’ve grown into a bewildered not-so-new self-publisher, but the first novel, and its successor, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK have already done 70,000+ copies… a month ago, I stuck SAVAGE PAYBACK, the third title in what’s now the Jack Calder series, onto Mama Kindle, and so far, reports are doing very nicely, thank you, nurse… the bonus throughout all of this Magical Mystery Online Tour has been the discovery of the vast, generous, global, scribblers family… my direct connections during the BUILDING THE PLATFORM of links has grown from 200 to almost 14,000, many, many of whom are in regular communication… reciprocation is a key WURD for me in that regard… try to give back as much as possible, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… ReTweet for others… share their Facebook success stories… download some books from newcomers… and post reviews for them… honest reviews, coz any other kind are not helpful… and most of all… enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…

so, there yeez have it… when the Nobel Prizes for The Indie Mouse That Roared are being handed out in years to come, bear a thought for the part played in the early downfall of The Traditional Publishing Empire by a delusional old Scots scrivener locked away in his virtual candle-lit garret in Abu Dhabi… let them speak well of me…LUV YEEZ

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Seumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in Abu Dhabi ever since.

A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his first two novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy and Vengeance Wears Black have sold more than 70,000 copies. The third in the Jack Calder series, Savage Payback was launched in late 2013.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.

Blog: http://seumasgallacher.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/seumasgallacher

AMAZON LINKS for SAVAGE PAYBACK
UK   http://amzn.to/1gTgJh0
US   http://amzn.to/16hKHci
Australia   http://www.amazon.com.au/SAVAGE-PAYBACK-Seumas-Gallacher-ebook/dp/B00G00GZEO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386418677&sr=1-2&keywords=seumas+gallacher

AMAZON LINKS for VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK
US   http://amzn.to/W59BB3
UK   http://amzn.to/13yV1YX
Australia   http://www.amazon.com.au/VENGEANCE-WEARS-BLACK-seumas-gallacher-ebook/dp/B008H45KJC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386418742&sr=1-3&keywords=seumas+gallacher

AMAZON LINKS for THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY
UK   http://amzn.to/10wo0ha
US   http://amzn.to/10wnMXB
Australia  http://www.amazon.com.au/Violin-Mans-Legacy-seumas-gallacher-ebook/dp/B005D7JNCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386418677&sr=1-1&keywords=seumas+gallacher


This article / blog post is Copyright Seumas Gallacher 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Seumas’ prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using his work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Seumas Gallacher is the attributed Author.

The Rebel Writer’s Creed: Set Your Creative Self Free

creed2014My blog posts that are read the most, are the ones where I break out of the “have to” boxes that we sink into as writers. I spend as much time as I can encouraging people to do the same: break free, balance your time and be yourself. That is the only way you will find fulfilment in your creative life.

In 2013 I stumbled across author S.A. Larson’s Rebel Writer’s Creed. I immediately identified with it and promoted it. The 2013 creed was worded like this:

  • BElieve in myself
  • BE me –  don’t compare myself
  • BEat a writing fear
  • BalencE social media
  • Take writing BrEaks
  • BE a writer every day
  • DREAM BIG

It was everything I have been saying in one sidebar friendly image.

Needless to say, I have been waiting for the release of the 2014 creed with anticipation and it has arrived: the post is here and the creed is above. Please visit Larson’s site, sign up to take the pledge and be a rebel writer. Don’t let SEO, online peer pressure, social media fads etc. dictate how you write! You’re worth more than that!

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My most popular rebellious posts:

~ Your Individuality is Your Greatest Asset: Writing and Marketing as You

Surviving Blogging and Writing Challenges: Wise Choices

SEO and Social Media Survival

Getting Real About Writer’s Burn Out and Social Media Demands

Creative Freedom or Selling Out for Profit: Which is Your Choice?

 


Creative Commons License
This work, created by Cate Russell-Cole 2013 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Faulty-Tasking

remind meAccording to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, my work pattern is wrong. I write while getting laundry done, checking email, answering the phone and whatever else comes up. It is something we’re used to. Even though we have far more leisure time than our predecessors, we fill it to the brim, so we have to multitask.

So unless you are texting while driving, what is the problem? Well, as good as we think we are at keeping all the balls in the air, the hard data is, we’re taking 50% longer to get things done. We have to go back and redo jobs, as details have been forgotten, and the quality of what we do achieve is not as good. Can we afford that in a competitive writing market?

On TED Talks, a speaker named Paolo Cardini said, “forget multi-tasking, try mono-tasking.” He was advocating limiting the amount of constant, hectic activity we engage in, and doing one thing at a time… with focus. It makes sense. That way we are less stressed, achieve more and what we do is better!

If you do not believe you can get work done any other way, stop, take a deep breath and look at whether or not multitasking is  really working for you. Perhaps you need to schedule time with the Internet off, phone on voicemail and simply focus on what you are writing.


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Lessons I Learned from Writing My First Book, by Sandra Nikolai

Bio-234x300The leap into publishing can be an unnerving journey marked with a steep learning curve. Not only do writers have to understand the specifics of the trade, but they also need to wear a variety of hats when handling the different aspects of the business as it evolves.

Some of the lessons I learned while writing and promoting my first mystery novel came from how-to books that still line my shelf. The other lessons I learned came from hands-on experience. From these lessons, I set up five guidelines that would come in handy the second time around. I’d like to share them with you now:

1. Above all, be true to yourself. Write in a genre that is familiar to you. Don’t attempt to write stories about vampires and wizards just because they’re trendy. Write what you know best and write to please yourself—not everybody else. Use a style of writing that comes naturally. It will help you find your author’s voice. Accept who you are as a writer. Trust your instincts and make choices that you won’t regret later on.

2. Organize your time. Most writers agree that writing is a priority, but so many other things begging for attention can be a drain on your time and energy. Writing calls for discipline. Reinforce good writing habits by maintaining a schedule, even if it’s only a couple of hours a day. It’s surprising how much you can accomplish when you’re under pressure! If you encounter a setback one day, keep on going the next. Tomorrow offers a chance to get things back on track. Reward your progress with a good book, a movie or more family fun time in the evening.

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Click on cover to order book.

3. Understand the give and take of social networking. The more time you spend online, the more it takes away from your writing schedule. Try to limit your daily visits online to three sessions of twenty minutes each. Use this time to build up your network, promote your work, and support fellow writers. Walking away from your writing helps to refresh your mind, so these short breaks play a dual role.

4. Hire a professional editor. Your software program might not spot the distinction between there and they’re in a sentence, but a copyeditor will. Feedback is important, and an editor who has expertise in structural or developmental content can be an invaluable asset. If you’re on a tight budget but happen to belong to a writers’ group, you can ask another member to review your manuscript in return for the same service. At the very least, get someone with an excellent knowledge of grammar and punctuation to proofread your work.

5. Promote early. Don’t wait until your book is published. Ask one or more authors to read an advance copy of your book and provide reviews for promotional purposes. Offer to read and review their work in return. Create a buzz about your book months before the release date. Once you have a final book cover design, promote it through social media. Many sites offer free or inexpensive services that help promote authors. Do your research and choose sites that work best for you. If you’re publishing paperback copies, bookmarks with a link to your website or retailer is an economical way to spread the word about your book. Find out which bookstores support local authors and sponsor book-signing events. Some coffee shops hold author events too. It pays to ask around.


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Website and blog: http://sandranikolai.com

Twitter: @sandranikolai

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandraNikolaiAuthor

False Impressions on Amazon US

Fatal Whispers on Amazon US

Bio

Sandra Nikolai graduated from McGill University in Montreal and worked in sales, finance, and high tech before devoting her days to writing. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and has published a dozen short stories online and in print, earning Honourable Mentions along the way.

Fatal Whispers follows False Impressions in a mystery series featuring ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott. When not plotting mysteries, Sandra shares her thoughts and experiences about the writing world on her blog and has been a frequent guest writer on other blogs. She lives with her husband near Ottawa, where she is currently at work on her next novel in the series.

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This blog post is Copyright Sandra Nikolai 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without the author’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-use if it is for a commercial venture.