Tag Archives: Hosting

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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In and out

I lost an hour today because I got a haircut and went for some food. We lost our Wingers, but they reopened in a new location. I had a craving for some sticky fingers and brought a batch home.

I finished my short story draft. It's a bit long at 5600 words, but it needs an editing pass or two. I usually lose words at that point. I'd like to send it in by the Fourth, that would give me plenty of time to make any edits they suggest. I like it, but it could use a little something. They always can.

I got more interview work done too. I stopped counting, but I have three almost ready to schedule, and a couple more shticks sent out to the authors.

Tomorrow I want to work on the editing, and write a couple more blog tour posts. I won't be checking in tomorrow, because I have a guest I'm hosting. He deserves his day in the sun, so be sure to make him feel welcome.

That's it, quick and dirty check-in. Hope you're all having a great weekend.

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Vacation Update

I skipped my Sunday evening post to honor the guest I hosted. I'm typing this right now with Frankie straddled across one leg. She's the smaller of the puppies and more into cuddling than Nyx is.

Nyx is crashed out on the floor in a typical bulldog pose. Four feet in the air and snoring away. Otto is restless and uncomfortable. His pain medication seems to be helping, but not enough. I think we need to go back to the vet and see if there's more that can be done. I miss my happy-go-lucky dog, and he's more like an old dog that just sleeps all the time.

I've been getting things done, despite my little typing handicap. The Enhanced League is with the formatter, and we've exchanged a few emails. I've been working on blog tour posts, and have four of them roughed out, two as me and two from Lisa so she can distribute her posters. I need more, but it's progress.

I got my critique submissions all printed and worked up. I even put them in the truck so I won't forget them at tomorrow night's meeting.

Somewhere in the mix, I put my final touches on the Story Empire post and it went live this morning.

I got the initial shtick out for a couple of the Lisa Burton Radio posts. First finished, first posted on those. I need to work up a few more of these, because authors all work at different speeds. Some of them are waiting for publication dates and that's wise too. I will massage the schedule to time with their release dates.

The precursory research for my time travel story is done, but I need to do some deeper research. I also did a bit of research for my Fourth of July post. It's mostly a graphic, but I still want a few words.

For the remaining work, I need to finish reading the craft book I've been working through. There is also a novel I'd like to start reading. I need to write more blog tour posts, and a few per day feels like the right pace. I never know how many volunteers I'll get until I ask for them, and I like to be prepared. I'll have my own critiques to address after tomorrow night.

Then there is The Yak Guy Project. I swore I'd never release another book during the summer, but it looks like Enhanced League will come out in July. That might not be so bad for a 99ยข special that deals with baseball, a summer sport. Yak Guy might just have to wait until September, even if I get it ready before that. The challenge is to get it ready now. I can't procrastinate and cause it to come out months later.

I just checked on Lisa Burton Radio, which I track with another living document. It makes a statement about our society, that a nice post called Dear Lisa doesn't get any response. She pulls on her booty shorts and shakes her sign and gets twenty-one and counting responses. I've learned a lot about women in our society from Lisa, and tried to address some of that in The Enhanced League. (Fingers crossed. As a man, I may not have gotten it perfect.)

For the rest of today, I may read, I may write guest posts, I may edit on Yak guy. My son tells me there is an update coming on Diablo III that provides a new character class that we both want to try. It's supposed to come out this week, so I may chuck the whole thing and play video games. I am on vacation after all.

 

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Taskmaster

I don't have to return to the paycheck job until July 3rd. I've been trying to get this week off since April, but things have been too busy at work. It isn't perfect right now either, but I need my time off.

I got enough response to my request for guest authors to carry Lisa Burton Radio into October without missing a week. This means working on those posts will be part of what I have to do.

I need to work through two critiques this weekend, and have them ready for our meeting on Tuesday.

I could have gotten my first book out by now if I'd have gotten the time off, but I didn't and it's time to do something about it. Those of you who know me will recall that I like to make a list.

Projects for my week off:

  • Re-read The Enhanced League and make edits.
  • Figure out how to add images to the back of the book and actually make them look good.
  • Get the final MS out to the formatter, and pay her.
  • Assemble a guest post I agreed to host.
  • Work on Lisa Burton Radio stuff as it comes in.
  • Finish up a post I've been working on to appear elsewhere.
  • Start the word searches on Yak Guy.
  • Read Yak Guy and start editing.
  • Write blog tour posts for Enhanced League.

Depending on how well I do, I can get to some of these:

 

  • Research and assemble something I'd like to post for July 4th.
  • Publish The Enhanced League.
  • Put out a request for blog tour hosts.
  • Do some deeper research and start writing my time travel short story for an anthology.
Nine days, Thirteen items on my list. Some of those are pretty variable, like the Lisa interviews. Might get one to work on, or a dozen.

On top of that, I intend to hang out with Otto, drink some beer, watch a few baseball games, and I might even play a video game. It's a vacation after all.

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Beyond new fiction

I spent the majority of my day working on blog projects. I'm declaring yesterday a victory, and not getting greedy about it. I have more things to do than new words of fiction.

It does little good to craft new stories, if you're not willing to promote. The tales might be good for the soul, but I want people to read mine. That means dedicating time to other projects.

I worked up one more post for Chris Graham. His StoryReading Ape site has driven me a bunch of traffic. He wants twelve posts for 2017, and by adding one here and there, I can stay ahead of the curve. The challenge with Chris is to promote myself without coming right out and saying, “Buy my book.” I've turned to craft posts and theories for this.

This has the potential to cause me another problem. As a member of Story Empire, we are gearing those posts to craft and skills too. Do I have enough tricks to keep all the posts different and still deliver quality content? I guess we'll all find out together.

I also drafted my next Story Empire post today. I need graphics, and have time to gather them, but the post is in fair shape already. I don't have to post it until March 15th, so I can still make it pretty. The topic is branding, and it should be a good one.

In addition, I worked up the raw shtick for a future Lisa Burton Radio post, and finalized and scheduled next weeks interview.

I also set up a guest post for a friend, but that was pretty easy. I suppose I get to count this post as part of my daily output too.

None of this stuff happens in a vacuum. It takes planning ahead, and getting a few words down ahead of time. I still need to come up with some March wallpaper, and possibly a new banner. I just don't think I'm going to get that far tonight.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow, but I feel like this was a super productive weekend. I'll surf around this week and see if I can find some images for March, and maybe modify may banner image.

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Tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow

I spent most of my time setting up some guest posts that you'll be seeing over the next ten days. There are some really cool authors stopping by, and I expect you to check out their wares.

This stuff is important, because there will come a time when we need to step out and promote our own books. I'll be doing that very soon.

I also wrote one guest post involving Lorelei my Muse. I'll offer it to one of my street team members first when I'm ready to launch The Playground. It still needs links that I won't have until I pre-publish.

I'm cooking up ideas for other guest posts to keep them all a bit different. Lisa has some fun new posters to go along with The Playground, so I need some posts from her point of view too. It seems like I can write these even with distractions. While my wife watches American Idol or something, I can hack out 500 words or so.

I've wanted to get back into graphic novels for a long time now. I have some real classics from before the advent of the ebook, but haven't bought one since. I promised myself that I would read at least one this year, and I broke down and ordered a paper one.

I'm a little bit disappointed that I can't get it electronically. Maybe if I'd have shopped harder, I could have found something in electronic format.

It was the artwork that drew me to this one, and I don't mind telling you that I'm always on the lookout for Lisa ideas too. Madame Mirage has some powerful girl art, and maybe I can find something to keep Lisa's image up to snuff. Still, a computer generated super heroine, sounds like it has something going for it.

You guys have no idea what I go through to keep Lisa updated. I even have clothing sites bookmarked just in case something might work for her. My search history must look pretty dicey to any NSA agent who checks it out.

Speaking of my browsing history, I also wrote a murder short story last night. I'm pretty happy with it, but there is no speculative element involved. That kind of leaves it homeless in a way. I could post it here, or save it for Macabre Macaroni next October. Either way, I had a blast writing it, and will do something with it eventually. I'll claim word count in the 2200 class, so some writing happened.

Yup, NSA must think I'm either a pervert, a poof, or a murderer. When the black helicopters come I have no idea what island they'll put me on.

Tomorrow is the day. Yak Guy better be ready, because I have plans for him.

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Assessment, Part Three

This is the final post regarding my promotional activities for September and October. It helps me to write about it, and maybe it will improve my game in future efforts. Judging from your comments, you guys are finding it helpful too. There will be more topics in this post, and I'll try to keep each one brief.

I joined the Rave Reviews Book Club Back to School Book and Blog Block Party. (Try fitting that in a tweet.) This project ran the entire month of September, and there were generally two sites per day participating. Every host site had to offer prizes, and the club monitored the comments to hold a drawing. I participated on every site, and I won some great stuff. My stats spiked that day, and my book sales showed a bump too. There is a benefit from cruising around and being friendly too. I gained blog followers during the month.

I participated in Teri Polen's Bad Moon Rising campaign in October. This was dedicated to horror authors, but I managed to fit in anyway. This one didn't come with prizes, but was still a lot of fun. I participated on every post, and tweeted the daily posts. I gained quite a few Twitter followers as a result.

I approached multiple book reviewers going back to August, in hopes that reviews would land during my push. Most of them came through, and I'm still waiting on others. They will come through sooner or later.

I want to mention that Rosy's Book Review Team is extremely helpful. All the review sites are great, but they go the extra mile. These folks not only post to Amazon and Goodreads, they blog about the review too. Approximately a month later, Rosy posts the data on the main team blog. This generates a ton of interest, and Twitter seems to go crazy for them too. I can't recommend them highly enough. Will O' the Wisp wound up in a top ten list on Rosy's sidebar. You can bet I captured that and tweeted the heck out of it.

The reviewers sold books too. A couple of them invited me to guest post on their sites. It's kind of a neat trick to post a review, then have the author show up later. This is one of the unexpected things that happened along the way.

Unexpected benefits were the most fun part. So many people pitched in and tweeted, posted unexpected reviews, or invited me over that I can't name them all. I want to single out P H Solomon though. He really made an effort on my part, and it was completely unexpected. He still makes Goodreads recommendations for Notebook, and I know he sold some copies for me. I also want to specifically thank Charles Yallowitz. He reblogged many of the posts, and included me in one of his own posts. This involved the monsters in his Windemere world. When he posted about the cockatrice, he included a cover and link to The Cock of the South. There were several sales of this book right after that post, and they almost had to be because of him.

I can't thank everyone in a post like this, but the unexpected goodwill is overwhelming.

I was able to pull this all together by planning it as far back as July. It takes Sean Harrington time to produce the Lisa art that accompanied her guest posts. It takes time to garner a book review, because the reviewer has a list to work through. I needed to prepare all the blog tour posts, mine, Lisa's, and Lorelei the Muse even got in on the act.

This preparation allowed me to accept any invitations that came along. I did a couple of blog swaps, because I planned ahead. In many cases where an author visited my site, I appeared on theirs. I had time to custom write a few things, because the blog tour data was ready ahead of time. Macabre Macaroni was all written ahead of time.

I'm in debt to everyone that helped me along the way. I need to get reading some of their books, and will be here when they need my blog space for their promotions.

It was a combination of things that moved copies of both books. I think this is more important than any single thing. Oh how I wish there were one specific thing that would move ten thousand books. There just isn't. At the end of two months, my footprint has grown. More people know about me than did in August.

I'm tired too. The next time, I might not push two books back to back. I think this was a benefit, but it was tiring. It required special circumstances of a fresh release, plus a Halloween themed newish book. That chance doesn't come along every day.

Did I miss a trick in all this? I'm almost certain I did. Tell me about something you've done that helped grow your audience.

 

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