Tag Archives: Guest posts

A small list, with lots of hours ahead

My flex schedule leaves me with a two day weekend. I won’t get a flex day again until next Friday. This is the worst part of the schedule, and the 10 hour days kind of suck at this point. Then I’ll get a couple of three day weekends. To make the suckage worse, North America changes to Daylight Savings Time this weekend. That means I get to wake up an hour earlier for the next seven months or so.

The adjustment isn’t that hard, and I kind of like getting that extra hour of daylight when I get home. I’m also not looking for sympathy. I started with that to give you the idea that my available time is limited this weekend.

I have to get my truck serviced tomorrow afternoon. That blows a small hole in plans too, but they have a nice business center and I might be able to do some projects while I wait. We also want to squeeze date night in at some point.

Fewer plans are the way to go on weekends like this. I only have one, and anything else is gravy. It all involves blogging.

I have two guest posts I agreed to host next week, and I need to assemble and schedule those. I also have a habit of sending out an advance link, but that only takes an extra minute or two.

There are two or three folks who have returned the questionnaire for Lisa Burton Radio. I need to work up as many of those shticks as possible this weekend. If I can do that, and get them sent back, I’ll consider this weekend a success.

That’s it. Might not sound like much, but it does take some time and a bit of creative energy.

Should I get lucky, I might take a glance at my work-in-progress. It might not involve any more than moving the plants I’ve already made around, oh and maybe changing a character’s name. I don’t like my villain’s name and may try again. That will mean a long search to make sure I fix it everywhere.

For the rest of this evening, I’m enjoying the company of my old friend George Dickel.

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Whew!

Hey there. Remember me? It’s been a while since I wrote something specifically for the blog. I’ve wanted to, but the blog tour demanded my attention.

The tour is over now. This one involved a pile of pre-written posts, plus a few custom requests from various bloggers. Overall, the tour was a success. We moved multiple copies every day, and it’s still selling. My experience lately is a book will flatline shortly after a book tour ends. This poses the question of what to do next. No, seriously, what should I do next?

So much of the stuff from even eighteen months ago doesn’t seem to work any longer. Facebook ads are getting horrible performance now according to some of my friends. The Amazon ads were never really much good. I tried a few email lists a couple of books ago. They cost money, but delivered nothing.

It’s a shame really, because The Hat is a fun story. More people would enjoy it, if I could only find a decent (and cost effective) way to reach them. I can give it a rest, then try the Amazon free days. I never understood why people would grab a free book when it only actually costs 99¢, but they do.

Going back to December, many of my friends released books, and I hosted as many of them as I could. They’re all good authors too, so there were some worthy books promoted here. One saw the end of an epic series, one is the beginning of a new series. There were many others between these bookends.

These same friends were there for me too, and I appreciate everyone who donated their space for my tour.

If you’re a new author, there are some observations you could make here. These are good things to know. First, I have friends. You’re going to need friends too if you want to spread the word about your books. Keep in mind that I was there for them, even though I had my own blog tour going on at the same time. They were here for me under the same circumstances. This isn’t exactly easy, particularly when you hold a full-time job. It’s what friends do for each other though.

Everyone participated in their comments too. It’s hard enough to get someone to look your way. It’s always good to acknowledge those who have something to say.

If you were really paying attention, you came across some great people too. Making friends with my hosts is a good idea. One day you might find them willing to host your book release too. Now this is different than keeping a list of contact information and only contacting them when you need something. I’m talking about conversing with these people. Participating in their blog comments from time to time. Maybe tweet out something you find interesting. You know, friends.

I run Lisa Burton Radio on a different basis. I pretty much take all comers there. Many of those people I’ve never met before. I have made some good friends via that process too. Some of my blog hosts offer something similar. There is a trick to these opportunities too. Many regular promotional slots have dried up. It isn’t because the author/blogger got bored, it’s from lack of participation.

As authors, we don’t want those slots to dry up. We may not have a book release every month, but if the slot goes away it’s gone when we need it. My advise here is to follow those blogs who offer something like this, and share those posts on social media too. The goal is a two-stage one. First, the slot stays available and will be there when you need it. Second, if the slot grows over time it will be a better slot when you need it.

The slots I took advantage of were at PH Solomon’s, Sue Vincent’s, Colleen Chesebro’s, and Chris Graham’s places. Visit these people and make friends with them. Help keep their slots alive and growing.

I’ve been pretty successful with Lisa Burton Radio, but there are weeks when I don’t have a show. It’s rare these days, but it still happens. I want to keep this slot available for you guys. I’ll admit that I’m projecting my thought process onto the other regular slots, but if I stopped getting applicants, the show would end. That would be one less place to promote your new books. (Or your old books too for that matter.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is to work on your platform, even if you don’t have a new book to promote. Make some connections and participate in some promos for other people. Maybe some of them will be there for you when you need them.

Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of The Hat. If you enjoyed the story tell someone. The reviews are looking wonderful, and are always appreciated. Your effort might be as simple as telling your co-worker about the story. I’ll try to do the same thing for you.

Lisa Burton

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Running on empty

Look at this one as a real world example of being an author today.

With the release of The Hat yesterday, I have a lot of things to do to bring it to the attention of the masses. I’m quitting now, but it’s not quite as lazy as 11:00 AM sounds.

I woke up in a pile of bulldogs at 4:00 AM this morning, and have been largely covered with them all day in various positions. They like their early morning poodle time, but I can place my iPad on the arm of my chair and type away.

Old What’s Her Face decided to wash our bedspread yesterday, so we had an alternate last night. This freaked the dogs out for some reason. They were kinds of twitchy all night. I swear they are like Sheldon Cooper in that regard. Between the dogs, the nightly kink in by back, and my bladder it was just easier to get started.

I tweaked six different posts about the new book and sent them to their respective hosts. This included all the necessary attachments and such. Then I filled out an interview form for another one, and assembled a post for Story Empire later this month. All of them required at least one extra email, and my iPad battery is about dead too.

Then I assembled no less than four guest posts for Entertaining Stories. Seems like a lot of other folks are releasing books right now too. Everything is scheduled to post right now.

There will be traffic jams, but I’ll simply have to deal with it. My guests can have the spotlight until after I get home from work. If one of my hosts posted that day, I’ll try to reblog it then. I want to reblog in the hopes of sending my hosts as much traffic as I can. They don’t get much out of this, but maybe I can get them a follower or two.

As for me, I’m calling it a day on the author front. Old What’s Her Face found some strange ice cream I’ve grown fond of, and I feel like I deserve a treat. It’s made with marscapone, figs, and balsamic vinegar. Don’t wrinkle your nose up until you’ve tried it.

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Hi, remember me

There’s been an awful lot of guesting and hosting going on lately. It’s going to slow down, but not go completely away. I will say that it was all original content, even if you followed me to another site or heard from one of my guests. Quantum Wanderlust seems to be selling well, I’ve never seen it out of the top twenty, but reviews have been hard to come by.

Yesterday was a strange work day. There is an airshow going on at the Boise Airport this weekend. Yesterday the USAF Thunderbirds were practicing outside my office window. I tried to get a photo for one of those “looking out my window” posts. You know the ones where a fox came by or something. Those darned Thunderbirds are fast. We still have leaves on the trees and all I got was quick fly-bys through the gaps. I saw some diamond formations and at one time they were about thirty feet from my window. Really shakes the glass.

I read a short story in Quantum Wanderlust during my lunch hour. That’s the only way I can get through it, one story per day. This one is about a Navy pilot and the added sound effects really enhanced the story.

Today, I dedicated my time to blogging. I assembled and scheduled three posts for next week. In some cases, I had to follow up with someone for a bio or something, but they were all good about sending things to me. I also had to write Lisa’s lead in to this week’s Macabre Macaroni story.

Some reading time found me this morning. Don’t know what I did to earn that, but I made full advantage of it. I enjoy reading, but it’s a rare few hours in my life.

There are still two more posts I have to write, but they won’t post for weeks. Yes, I could have dedicated my hours to those, but I wanted to read. Sometimes want-to plays a role.

2017 has been a strange year. My timing feels off somehow. I just completed a paranormal tale, but it’s in draft form. It’s fermenting before I take my editing passes at it. If I’d been thinking, I would have started sooner, and released it during October. Now I’m asking myself if I should put it away for a whole year and release it next October. I’ll never make it. It’s a fun story, and I can always give it a second push in October 2018.

I’ve been focusing on pushing my other paranormal tales, but the results aren’t what they were in previous years. There are pages being read on my Amazon report, so it isn’t all grim. I don’t mean to sound grim.

As far as October themed tales go, not all is lost. Right now the Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing. That’s very much an October thing. If you’re looking for something that screams October, without blood and monsters, maybe you’d enjoy The Enhanced League. It’s a steal at 99¢.

In other news, we took the camper and had it winterized this afternoon. It’s kind of a bummer. The hospital screwed up Old What’s Her Face’s schedule, so we don’t get a lot of weekends together. We only got to take it out twice this year. Hopefully, next year will bring a more promising schedule her way.

Next week, I have to make a work trip to Portland. I’ll be able to play in the comments, but may be out of touch for a few hours at a time. If I get a few moments, I’ll try to update from Portland. Might see something cool.

Way out in the future, we scored a pair of tickets to a Pink concert. Yeah, yeah, the show is in Las Vegas and everyone has to say something about the shooting. I can’t cower inside forever. We can use our daughter’s flight benefits and fly for free, which leaves us with lodging and food for a fun long weekend next Spring.

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Smells like victory


I fiddled with stuff yesterday and today. I managed to write and send out one more post about Quantum Wanderlust, the free anthology I get the honor of appearing in. If you still haven’t gotten your copy, it’s available for free at this link.

I also wrote up, sent out, and scheduled the coming Lisa Burton Radio post. Beyond that, I responded to some new applicants and got them some materials to get things started.

One more friend has a new book dropping soon, and I got his announcement post assembled and scheduled. I have a review all ready to go for him too, because I was one of the beta readers on this project.

My favorite beta reader has an opening, and I sent her a copy of The Yak Guy Project, along with some general conversation.

Aside from that, I added a bunch of things to my calendar so I can keep up with the guest posts I have coming up for October. I can usually remember, but there are too many coming up for me to trust my memory. Some of the sites are new to me, so I don’t want to drop the ball and fail to show up on someone.

Speaking of which, I have a habit of picking a random day and tweeting out the most recent five Lisa Burton Radio posts every week. I like to deliver a bit of extra support, and while Twitter doesn’t amount to much, it can help the authors. I never promised to do this for anyone, it’s just my extra effort. I went back through the list, and I have several authors who never even bothered to show up. Some of my regulars reblogged, tweeted, facebooked, etc. They never even got a thank you. Today I skipped over those posts in my retweeting. Does that make me a bad host? I kind of feel like it, but why should I put in an extra effort when the author didn’t put in a first effort?

To all of you who use the sharing buttons, or reblog my posts, I appreciate you. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ll be there when you need me. All you have to do is ask. Reference the new book posts that have been appearing on this blog.

Macabre Macaroni will be every Tuesday in October. People seemed to enjoy my Halloween stories, so I’m doing it again this year. I always worry about these, because they don’t go to beta readers, they’re micro-fiction. I guess the comments will let me know what everyone thought. The first one of those is all scheduled and will post this Tuesday. It seems like one of them is always a big hit and I can’t predict which one it will be. I honestly have no idea.

I got a bunch of reading done today, and a bit of video gaming too. I really need to use the calm morning hours for reading, but when everyone starts stirring I can dedicate myself to other things.

My baseball team anchored home field advantage for the MLB wildcard game. This is a one-game playoff to see who moves on. I kind of want to do something with The Enhanced League to celebrate, but have no idea what. I have some free days available, but those are hit and miss. Any ideas here? Win or lose, I’m excited my team made it this far and it’s been a long time. You can bet I’ll be watching the game on Wednesday.

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Accomplishments

For me, I don't think a writer should measure progress by word count alone. Word count matters, but if you're a self publisher like I am, there are other chores that must be dealt with.

I managed about 2000 words on my novel today. I kind of glazed over the Strength card from the tarot deck. I like the symbolism, but don't feel like the lesson here is central to my story. It's there if you look hard, but beyond the yak talking about it, I left it short. Next round will bring in the Hermit.

I worked through my critiques and made a few changes based upon their advice.

I also finally finished the book I was reading. It was a great story, I just took too long reading it. I left the guy a nice review too. Not for nothing, but it takes time to leave a review. I won't snub someone, because I need reviews too. I understand their importance.

I have another book I'm reading, but they're short stories and break into easier reading segments. I want to be finished with it by January though, because I promised a friend a beta read.

I wrote two of four guest posts I promised a different friend. They don't take a lot of time, but I need an idea. I need two in fact before I can write the last posts. I'm supposed to deliver them by the end of the month, and while that sounds like a long time in blogland, I need the ideas behind them.

I did a bit of development on a future Lisa Burton Radio post too. I have a couple of weeks to get it all sorted out, but I'd like to get the first round finished by the weekend.

Short fiction got cheated this weekend. I usually rely upon short form to fill in the gaps, but my family did that for me. We saw the new Star Wars movie too. I enjoyed it, but it was kind of mediocre to my mind.

I'm not off again until Saturday. We'll have grandkids over and it will stay busy for a few days. I'm off until January 3rd though, so I have to make it pay. Before then I can work on Lisa's radio show, and might get to those guest blog posts.

How was your weekend? Did anyone else feel the same way about Star Wars? Tell me about your promotional projects. Tell me about your own word metrics.

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Miss me?

We had a lot of guests on Entertaining Stories this week. All of them were fascinating in their own way, and I appreciate all of them. Some of you shared on your own blogs and tweeted out the posts. It takes guts to create something and share it with the world, promotion is a bugger, and your sharing is appreciated.

I had another weekend of not getting a bunch done on the writing front. Summer is not a great time for me to write a novel. There are too many other distractions. Otto likes people and demands attention. Trying to write while he is active is guaranteed to fail. He likes to chew on feet, hands, keyboards, anything to get attention.

I tricked him away from the keyboard by sacrificing my finger. Things usually work out, because he takes some big naps. He gets super active, then super tired. This weekend, my daughter and Otto worked in shifts. She wanted to talk while he napped, then when he woke up she left.

I worked on some micro-fiction, and that seems better suited for me during the summer. I managed one more for Macabre Macaroni in October, but I'm not satisfied with either one yet. I still need two more. Hopefully, I'll have four good ones before October.

I also started a short story, but only got about a third of it finished. No deadlines or rushes here.

In other news, another beta reader came through. She had some unique ideas, and I made several adjustments based upon her recommendations. I appreciate my beta readers so much, you have no idea. I couldn't do this without that kind of help.

I finally managed to assemble the stopper mechanism in my bathroom sink. After days of effort, in stages, I felt like I'd pulled the sword from the stone. This morning I proudly used my own sink to brush my teeth. The damned thing still leaks. I've never been a tool guy, and I proved it to myself yet again. I'm surprised that I can use the coffee maker successfully. It looks like I have to tear the whole thing apart and start over.

My wife decided to shampoo the carpets today. Moving furniture is more my style; no wrenches or assembly required.

I have about a ton of peaches ripening right before we go on vacation. This means I have to grab as many as possible, set a few aside to take with me, and leave the rest for the birds. I'd be willing to donate them somewhere, but it requires two days worth of picking and bagging. I have to work tomorrow. I made a wonderful peach sangria the other night though. I think I'll take a basketful to work tomorrow. My colleagues will enjoy them.

Not joking about the tonnage. One whole branch is bent down to the lawn with the weight.

I hope you folks are enjoying your summer. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself, and you shouldn't either. Enjoy it while you can. My only real focus is the release of my next Experimental Notebook. Everything else is a bonus.

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