Tag Archives: guest blogging

Three places at once

I’m in a seminar today, in San Antonio, Texas. This is real world, and I need to be involved in the proceedings.

In the mean time, I’m online in two different places. First is the Legends of Windemere Blog. That’s a link for your convenience. I’m offering up a bit of fun Halloween themed reading for your consideration.

I’m also up at Story Empire today. This one involves Halloween writing, only you could apply the concepts to many different genres. Jump into the comments and let us know some of your tips.

I’ll try to follow all the comments as my time allows today. If not, I may have to catch up tonight sometime.

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Not my favorite kind of day

I was productive. I freely admit that, but I never worked on things I preferred. This is a slice of real-life for an author. There are things we must do besides writing new fiction. In a fantasy world, other people would do some of this work so we could be creative, but this isn’t a fantasy world.

In the last twenty-four hours, I’ve written my next Story Empire post, worked on more interviews for Lisa’s radio show, worked up critiques for my group. We meet on Wednesday night, so I’m prepared.

I also took a stab at two guest posts I’ve been invited to submit. I have more to do on this front. One of them required me to make a cover collage or two, and I’m not good at those. What I have will serve. I also made a meme type image for the other one.

It may sound like I’m griping, but it would be worse if I didn’t have this stuff to do. This kind of activity tells me the world is actually paying attention.

I intend to watch Game of Thrones tonight, and I might stay up late playing games with my son. Haven’t decided yet.

We’re both off tomorrow. I thought only I was off, and was looking forward to new words of fiction. I still want it to happen. If it doesn’t, I have more work like this I can address. We may decide to do something together, and I’m okay with that too.

I hope all of you had good weekends, and I’m worried about all my Texas friends. Stay safe down there.

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Home again, home again.

Yesterday went well. I had a bunch of intelligent questions and stayed late to make sure everyone got some level of satisfaction. This put me into the house at 9:30 PM.

I have a hard time going to sleep after a long drive, so I stayed up for an hour and dealt with blog comments. My plan was tentative at best to sleep in this morning.

The alarm puppy had the good sense to wait until 5:00 am to wake me up. I let her go potty and tried to go back to sleep. This time of morning meant all the dogs had to crawl in with us. It’s cute, really it is, but Otto weighs 65 pounds. He’s like a big rock when he leans against you and steps on the blanket. I tried to sleep, but by quarter to six, I gave up completely.

I fixed their kibble, and they ate like little horses, then went back to sleep with mom. I monkeyed around with blog comments, RSS feeds, Facebook, and Twitter. After that, I knew I had to work on Lisa Burton Radio posts. I assembled next week’s post, but didn’t do much with the week after. I still need to do that prior to Monday.

I also got some material out for a promo I jumped on for October, and another post for The Storyreading Ape’s site. Then I responded to an inquiry about a pet interview. All I have to do is respond to it as one of my dogs.


I glanced over my shoulder. Huh, wife and dogs are still asleep. Whatever shall I do?

I opened a new document and started writing The Hat, a paranormal superheroish origin story. I like the character intro, and I think readers will have some fealty with her right away. She’s been through a tough stretch. I am doubting myself because it needs a bit of backstory. With a two character, buddy type, story it’s almost necessary. I can introduce Lizzie and get everyone up to speed the right way. When it comes to the hat, yes he is a character, I have to dive into some backstory.  He’s ancient compared to Lizzie and readers need to know some things. I already have some plan to get part now, and another part later. That helps to break it up.

All in all, I’m nearing 2700 words. I didn’t plan this as a writing day, so I’m content. My wife has to work tomorrow and Sunday, so I’ll have much more time to dedicate to this project.

This also poses a mental shift to me. All I want to do now is work on the new story. I have to keep Lisa burton Radio moving ahead, and I have edits back on The Yak Guy Project. I want those edits completed by Mid September. — so it isn’t exactly an emergency.

By the end of the weekend, all I need to do is get another Lisa Burton Radio almost complete. Then I need to respond to the pet interview. After that, I can work on whatever I like, and I kind of choose The Hat.

Just for giggles, someone talked me into starting Pinterest boards for my pending projects. I started one for The Hat if you’d like to check it out.

I got some strange message from Twitter about adding my telephone number to my account. I didn’t want to do this, but they make it nearly impossible not to. The process sends you a call and a text from some cryptic number that has nothing about it that says Twitter. Then they ask if I’d like to receive updates and notifications. Oh sure!!! I’d love to have my phone ringing whenever one of my thousands of followers posts something. Particularly love that shit in the middle of the night. I turned all that off, but they said not to worry, I could always text to turn it back on. All I have to do is text to the cryptic number that has nothing about it that says Twitter.

Personally, I think they just want my number to sell to telemarketers. I’m relatively certain I’m about to start getting texts about fake prizes I’ve won, timeshares I need to visit, and vacations I haven’t really won. They make me choose between accepting this, or quit using Twitter. I’m trying to be an author here, but Twitter has rendered itself almost useless. Most of my activity is to support others there.

The Twitter thing only happened after their last update. Did anyone else get this message too?

I’ve been playing with the actual WordPress app on my last few posts. Blogsy is outdated and they have no plans to update it for future versions of iOS. It’s too bad, because they did WordPress better than they WordPress does. Everything was easy, made sense, and came with options even WordPress didn’t have. I checked, and there aren’t any decent blogging apps left in the App Store. This leaves me with the WordPress App. How does this post look at your end?

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It’s Wednesday, guess I’d better post something

I spent the majority of my evening researching for a future episode of Lisa Burton Radio. I have what I need now, but I kind of ran out of time to do anything about it. Maybe I'll start the process tomorrow.

Lisa has a fun show planned for tomorrow, so make sure you stop by. I have about three weeks planned, and more questionnaires out that will probably come back.

I had a couple of blog stops planned, but they'll happen later this week. There is some fun stuff on the way, including excerpts of The Playground. There will be a couple of character appearances too, and Lisa has some guest appearances herself.

It looks like Amazon shut down one of it's best features. After you published, it used to be possible to grab a Mobi file for review purposes. These were great for review sites. Now it looks like I'll have to buy copies and gift them to reviewers. If that's the case, I hope I get credit for them on my sales numbers. That also means I have to wait until it's published.

I still have more things to write upon request. I like to deliver right away when someone asks, but that isn't happening tonight. It's actually to my benefit to spread it out a bit, but I hope my hosts don't lose faith in me.

As I predicted, the Amazon giveaway croaked. It isn't all bad though. Since I bought the books, they let me have a Mulligan. I get to do the giveaway again using the same copies of the book.

Here's the deal with giveaway 2.0. I'm giving away three copies of Will O' the Wisp. This one was treated very well by the reviewers. It's a coming of age story set in the 1970s. It's also a paranormal tale that's high on suspense. Since I was kind of the Guinea pig for the Amazon giveaways, I'll share what I learned.

If you want to try an Amazon giveaways, set the odds of winning low. I set mine originally at one in five-hundred. I really don't know why, but I kind of based it upon the action a free day gets. That was the wrong idea. On the Mulligan round, I set the odds at about one in ten. I am giving these books away this time. The whole point was to get a reader or two, not to spam up social media with the giveaway.

Here is the address for the Mulligan round https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e307c3c45b16bafb

I'm not asking anyone to follow me on Twitter, or Amazon, or anything else. Odds are low, but you've gotta play to win.

The plan for the rest of the week (outside my paycheck job) is to promote the giveaway. Write stage one of a Lisa Burton Radio show. Write a guest post about The Playground that I was asked for. Probably a few re-blogs later in the week of my promotional stops.

Hope everyone is having a good week.

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Now with even more productivity!

I didn't even try to dedicate time to new fiction today. I did a bit of work in other areas though. I finished all of my critique work, and am ready for the group on Tuesday.

I did a bunch of work on my super secret project, and it's starting to shape up very well. This involved exchanging multiple emails with several friends, and waiting patiently. Lots of progress here though. I could claim a lot of new words here, but who's keeping score anyway.

I have several more short stories chomping at the bit, but they can wait. I'm not going to jump into them until it's time. I have a great opportunity tomorrow to write, and I'm going to. In fact, I'm going to saddle my yak and get back to the novel. I still don't have my conundrum all figured out, but it's because there are too many options. If I build a few fences it will be easier to get right. I'll write those fences tomorrow. They're only words, right? I can trash them if I have to.

I changed my wallpaper too, and I'm kind of dubious about it. It looks like crap on my iPad. I checked it out on the Mac and it looks great. How does it look at your end?

On top of that, I finished the ARC I was reading. I hurried up and wrote a review PDQ so it was still fresh in my mind. (I could count words here too, but they aren't fiction. It's all true.) I won't say any more just yet, because the book hasn't dropped. It's a fantastic story though.

I added two new guest posts about The Playground to my portfolio. I still need more, but if I keep pecking away, there will be enough when it comes time to promote. (New words here too.)

I've been writing about how new words aren't the only work when it comes to writing. Today is an example of what I'm talking about. I still need to tour through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and whatnot. Promotion is part of the gig too, and I need to throw something out there to pique reader interest.

Sales are still dead, but pages through Amazon Prime are still going strong. I don't know what the deal is, but I'm grateful for any readers I can get. Keep on borrowing, or whatever it's officially called.

I hope your weekend was awesome, and please let me know if my background looks horrible at your end.

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Looking at 2015

Many people post about New Year’s Resolutions, and WordPress will be flooded with them next weekend. I’ve always avoided that, but like to create a loose business plan. It’s hard to look ahead without looking back, so that’s what I’m doing today. This will probably not be one of my 300 word posts.

Last year about this time, I committed to getting new business cards, adding one new version of social media to my arsenal, and publishing two new novels.

I got and distributed the business cards. These were mostly left at various bulletin boards, or at the table in a restaurant somewhere. So far, I have no idea whether I’ve accomplished something or not. I know it can’t hurt, but I wish there were a way to track performance.

I signed up for Goodreads. I haven’t been overly impressed, but I’m probably not working it the way I should either. I think it’s “neat,” in that it provides another way for someone to discover my stories.

As far as the two novels go, that didn’t quite work out. I wrote two new novels, but only published Will O’ the Wisp. I learned by publishing Arson during the Summer that Summer is a bad time to release a book.

It’s a good idea to put a manuscript away for a while before editing it. I finished The Playground in May. To distract myself, I turned to short fiction. This short form stuff turned into the Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. The plan changed when I decided to publish it.

Both Wisp and Notebook deserved some promotional effort, and The Playground took a back seat.

On a wild hair, I decided to make Lisa the robot girl into the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. Then I had to figure out what to do with her. I ordered some fresh blog art, and it was very well received. She got asked occasionally to make a guest appearance on various blogs, and these were always fun, because I had to write them in character.

When it came time to go on blog tours, I added Lisa to the mix when I pre-wrote my tour posts. Then I got the crazy idea of making posters about the books, featuring Lisa.

The little push I organized for Notebook was very well received, and the posters the hosts put up were quite popular. The paid promotions for Wisp were also popular, but I didn’t have a ton of extras made up.

I’ve been holding back posters for The Playground, featuring Lisa, for months. I’ll try to publish it sometime in late Winter of 2016.

I also had Sean make up some paper dolls of Lisa, simply because it’s hard for an ebook only author to hand out swag. The post announcing the paper dolls, and the page where they permanently reside were two of my most popular posts for 2015.

My intention was always to make this blog into ground zero for my self publishing efforts. That remains my intent. If you want to reach me, this is the best way unless I’ve given you my email address.

My growth rate for Entertaining Stories has always been slow, despite posting about five times per week. I simply accept it for what it is, and keep forging ahead. I seem to attract the kind of people who interact, and support my projects when I need them to, and I’m eternally grateful for that.

Part of the job involves supporting others when they need it. I’ve made my blog available for others, and some of those posts were very popular this year. Mae Clair recently pushed into my top ten posts of all time, so my readers appreciate meeting guests.

I’ve learned a bit about being a good host, and being a good guest. Being a good guest involves delivering what the host asks for. Many of my guest spots were custom written based upon the host’s request. Some of them were by Lisa, two were by Lorelei the Muse, and one asked me to bring the raven of doubt along. Aside from those character posts, I also appeared on various blog as myself this year.

Being a good guest also involves surfing back through the host site and participating in the comments. When someone responds directly to the host, it’s still okay to hit the like button. Many times they leave a comment for me, and I try to respond to every one of them. My habit is to return for three consecutive days.

Serving as a host is also important. A popular guest can drive blog traffic the other direction, and I gained followers by hosting others. It is expected for a host to write an intro, and even a final word to go along with the guest spot. If you’ve read and enjoyed someone’s book, it’s nice to say so before handing it over to the guest. It’s also important to set the site up to allow visitors to comment.

I appeared on two sites this year where I had to enter my email address, then manipulate a Captcha before I could answer a comment. I was lucky to even get the comment if that’s what the visitor had to go through.

I stepped up my game when it comes to re-blogging information my readers might like. One of the things I do is try to re-blog the source material. I’ve tried to read something that turned out to be a re-blog, then discover it links to another blogger who re-blogged the content. People aren’t going to go through all of that to read the source material. Re-blog maybe, re-re-blog never.

I try to keep Entertaining Stories looking fresh. I’m really going to miss the frozen hand, and the electronic snow falling across it looked great. I’m on the lookout for some good wallpaper for next month.

I didn’t even know what a “street team” was the first time I tried one. I’m a big believer in the power of a street team now. I’ll put out a call for The Playground soon, and try to get a team assembled for its release. It worked quite well for Will O’ the Wisp, and Experimental Notebook.

Some of the popular things (beyond Lisa the robot girl) were my party stop for the Rave Reviews Book Club, Macabre Macaroni, and The Idea Mill posts. It seems like a good idea to keep doing some of that in 2016.

My membership in the Rave Reviews Book Club continues to provide dividends. I became member of the week this fall, and got invited to appear on Blog Talk Radio. My Experimental Notebook was a President’s Pick.They support my efforts on Twitter, and that really helps too.

2015 turned out to be a good year. My sales increased, I made new friends, and I expanded my footprint. I plan on 2016 being even better, but that is a different post.

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Friday update

October is upon us, and it’s going to be another busy month for me. Right now, I’m stuck in Sun Valley as part of my paycheck job. My presentation went well today, and I have one more official appearance tonight. At least this last appearance involves beer.

This schedule requires me to stay overnight one more time. I have tons to do as an author, but there isn’t much I can do about it.

Macabre Macaroni started off well. I’m excited to see how each story resonates with Blogland. It’s always a story I didn’t expect that does best. I really watch my stats on these, and There’s a Cat on my Grave did pretty well. I’ll post a new one every week during October.

I have a few requests for reading copies of books. Those have to wait until tomorrow, because my iPad doesn’t have the books stored on it.

My blog tour starts on the 10th. This is for Will O’ the Wisp. How could I not push this story during October. I used 4-Wills Publishing for this tour. I’ve always been happy with their service, and it allows me to reach beyond my regular blog readers. This also works, because all I have to do is play in the comments at this point.

I have several October guest appearances, or should say, Lisa the robot girl has several. She gets more invitations than I do these days. (I love it.) I’m also scheduled to host a few folks over here, and that will be fun.

Tomorrow, I need to get on with critiquing for my group. We meet on the 5th and I’m behind now.

I may not get to use cruise control this month, but maybe I can get into overdrive by mid month. Got to run, my boss is summoning me.

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