Tag Archives: Hosting

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.

Advertisements

34 Comments

Filed under Blogging

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

57 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

56 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Writing

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.

18 Comments

Filed under Writing

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 99¢ 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.

 

41 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

25 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

38 Comments

Filed under Blogging