Blog Tours

Blog Tours are a great way to get your name and your work in front of people who may not know about you yet. The tours can take place while you are comfortable in your jammies with a glass of iced tea.

I’m excited to announce a special MG/YA Blog-A-Thon beginning September 1 thru the 30th. You’ll meet new Muse authors, be introduced to new books and be elgible to win lots of great prizes,..

You don’t want to miss this one. Get the schedule and tour through September. Schedule and complete information at:

MG/YA Blog-A-Thon

Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day holiday. Pray for those on the East Coast who are beginning the clean up and recovery from Hurricane Irene.

Hot Ideas for Book Promotion

I attended a workshop with my publisher last weekend and learned some reasons why my online efforts have not worked as well as I hoped. I realized that I have two target audiences:

  • Writers and Writer Organizations
  • Historical and Christian fiction readers
In order to promote your platform and speaking opportunities you need to decide who your target market is and then provide information, blogs, and workshops for those who are most interested. Many of us make the mistake of trying to reach too broad of an audience. Narrow it down.
If you write a specific type of book then find out who reads them. What genre? Fiction? Nonfiction? Where do your readers hang out? Where they are is where you need to go.
Join online groups that focus on readers. Get an author’s page on Goodreads. Develop your profiles at Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other website so that you target your readers. Then, give them content that is valuable to them. Develop relationships, not just someone to pitch your books to. It’s okay to let people know when you have new books coming out or an event scheduled, but don’t let that be your only contact with them or they will feel like all you want is for them to buy your book, not become a fan.
Try these out.

Learning from Movies

Almost everyone loves movies. We grew up seeing them and now we can access movie channels, Netflix, and other resources 24/7.  Just as writers can learn from reading books by successful authors, we can also learn about plot, character development, pacing and dialogue.

A well-known author and writers’ conference presenter told me that studying script writing and movies is a great way to develop fiction writing.

One of my favorite blogs examines movies. It is a great resource for changing your viewpoint on learning from movies, not just watching them. Visit Cinema Toast. Writer, Kimberly Black provides a fresh look at the cinema and the movies we love.

Twitter

If you’re like I am, it took you a while to get involved in social media and I’m still learning about how to use it for book marketing. One of my goals for marketing: Use Twitter to develop relationships with my possible readers.

Taking advantage of Twitter: (my personal goals)

  •             Schedule posts in advance
  •             Put a share button on your blog so it can be ReTweeted
  •             Most people spend time on Twitter between 10:00am and 2:00pm. (I calculate the time span for the United States, but in truth it is between     those hours somewhere in the world.
  •             You can repeat announcements for seminars, webinars, conferences, and book releases periodically as long as you don’t harass your        followers.

These are only a few suggestions. Adding one thing  at a time makes it easier. Good luck with your book promotions!

Predators & Editors

Most of you probably already know that Predators & Editors provides a wonderful resource to writers. P&E gives lists of attorneys, publishers, agents and contests, as well as other publishing industry concerns. They do not represent or support any entity but share warnings and information about many of those you come in contact with on your writer’s journey. I keep the site bookmarked in my “Tools” bookmark folder. Before using a service you can look them up on P&E. I also recommend that you Google search the name of the person or organization plus “complaints.”

I recommend adding this link to your tool box and using it frequently. P&E also provides a place for you to post warnings from your own experiences.

Blog Jog Day!

Welcome to Blog Jog Day! Please enjoy my site then click over to http://RyanJCauthor.blogspot.com to see what the next Blog has to offer! Lost in the links? You can always go back to the main Blog Jog Day Blog at http://blogjogday.blogspot.com and find a new link to jog from. Thank you for stopping by my site!

This is a fun tour of blogs – meeting new people and finding out about what others are doing, writing, and reading. I’ve participated before and I enjoyed hosting as well as visiting. Leave a comment and you’ll be in a drawing for my book The Fisherman’s Wife. 

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011. Stop back and see if you’re the winner.

Historical Fiction

Beginning this year, it is the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. There are some excellent historical fiction books on library shelves. John Jakes is one of the most celebrated historical fiction writers.  Jakes wrote several books about the old South and the Civil War. Probably his best known are the North and South Trilogy that was made into a miniseries for television.

More recently released fiction and nonfiction:

1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart (Apr 5, 2011)

The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 by Leander Stillwell (Jul 18, 2011)

Where the Mockingbird Sang: A novel of the Civil War by David Wilson Atwood (May 20, 2010)

Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia by Jessica James (Jan 19, 2008)

Try these and others. Enjoy!

August – Writing Goals

I always think of August as a transitional month. This month in Texas is always hot, but 2011 has been a year like no other that I can remember and I’ve been here a long time. My mom doesn’t remember one like this either and she’s been here a lot longer than I have. We’ve only had about 1.5 inches of rain in the Panhandle of Texas all year. The thermometer reads 100+ more days than not. Thank you God for air conditioning.

August is the month everyone purchases school supplies and new clothes – Back to School season. Teachers go back to work in preparation of the first day of school, which for us is August 22. College students head for campus, purchase dorm stuff, text books, and pay tuition for the coming Fall Semester. Working moms look forward to fewer calls during the day from her children asking if they can go to the pool or reporting on a sibling’s behavior.

Most people seem to settle into a routine that follows the school year. If you’re a stay at home mom or dad, then you have more time during the day to set aside for writing. For more mature writers, for me at least, there is a sense of change and schedules. People are back from summer vacations or taking their last trip before school.

Our thoughts, as writers and readers change. There were some great summer reads, but excitement for new releases in the fall and all those great holiday releases will expand the pile of books by your favorite chair or expand your files on your Kindle or Nook.

Writers are setting goals to accomplish before the end of the year. We have  five months left – almost half of the year before us. Make your goals reachable but challenging. Myself, I can get overly ambitious sometimes and then as the writing process takes place I shift my self-made deadlines with an eye on reality.  One goal I encourage writers to prepare for is to participate in National Novel Writing Month, November. The challenge is to write a novel draft in 30 days – 50,000 words. The NaNoWriMo website gives you sign up and tells how to officially participate. Even if you don’t reach 50,000 words in 30 days, think about how far you will have progressed during that time and just keep on writing. It comes out to about 1,600 words per day and you can take Sundays off.