Social Media

social-media-logos_15773Let’s be honest, you don’t have to be an author to love social media.  At least to a degree *grin*. As an author though, social media is less about mindlessly being social and more about figuring out how to make the most of your social media “leverage”.  Yes, that sounds quite mercenary and it really isn’t meant to.  You see, authors have had to adapt or die (as it were).

Before the rise of eBook publishing and the age of the internet, you’d find that most authors were published by well established publishers who had an in-house marketing or publicity department that would assign a proportion of their annual budget to promoting your book.  They would invest in traditional print or radio advertising, perhaps some marketing material (posters or the like) for bookshops and then they would arrange signings and tours for their authors. Even smaller publishing houses tended to follow the same path and so your journey as an author could be fairly predictable.

Fast forward to today and your journey as an author is very different. Even those authors that are published by the larger publishing houses are encouraged to engage with their fans through various social media channels.  For the author published by smaller, independent publishing houses the social media journey is a “must” rather than a “nice to have” and for those authors who self-publish, it’s an absolute non-negotiable.

Why is that?  Well, in an average day, people are bombarded by information from thousands of sources. In order to stand even the smallest chance of being heard in all that “noise”, you need to be one of those sources. Authors can no longer afford to simply write and wait for sales to come to them. We need to take control of our voice.  Modern readers like to feel connected to their authors and at the end of the day, they are far more likely to part with their hard-earned money if they feel like it’s going to a human being they care about rather than some faceless “writer”.

Let’s be honest though, social media can be extremely overwhelming. It seems as though there is something new every time I turn around and it’s almost impossible to keep up.  Even if we only tried to post to every social media platform that currently exists without worrying about new ones, we’d never have time to write!  Yes, there are tools that can assist in posting to multiple platforms, but even those require time to be set up.

So what would I tell a new author about social media?  Well, there are some basic guidelines that I have shared in the past.

  • Have a website or a blog: Having an online presence in this digital world is essential.  You don’t need to invest a lot of money in having a site built, you can use one of the many free website building tools or simply set up a blog through Blogger.com or WordPress. Figure out what works easiest for you.  Then figure out how often you can update the site.  You need to have fresh content that returning visitors or fans can read when they come back to your site.  It doesn’t have to be every day, but it should be regularly.
  • Facebook: Facebook can be fun and useful for you to stay in touch with friends and family.  It has just as much usefulness for an author. You can set up an author page on Facebook that will allow your fans to “like” you and stay in touch.  This should definitely be updated far more often.  The recommended frequency is roughly 3 – 4 posts a day (or approximately every 5 hours).  Share interesting articles, information regarding inspiration you found for characters, pictures of your writing area, gardening achievements… you name it.  Anything that interests you or contributes to your writing journey could be fun for your readers to see.
  • Twitter: What can you possibly say in 140 characters or less?  You’d be surprised! Best of all, you could also set up your Facebook page to automatically post to your Twitter account.  This means that you’ll catch two different types of audience with 1 post.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is another interesting and great way to draw attention to your work in a visual way.  It’s also fun for you!! You can create boards for each book and pin images of pictures that inspire characters, locations, story ideas, covers and even links to the graphics in your blogs which will lead people to your blog / website.  You can also pin the cover from Amazon or other sales websites which will allow people to click on that “pin” and buy your book.
  • Goodreads: This is an amazing place to reach a dedicated community of readers.  As an author, you have a lot of functionality on Goodreads, including being able to blog there, offer give-aways and more.  It’s worth setting up a profile even if you’re not terribly active.  This is a site dedicated to lovers of books and there’s really no better place for an author to be!

Is there more to social media than these 4 elements?  YES!  There is Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.  I think they all have their merits and if you want to swap out one of the others (Twitter or Pinterest) and use one of these or even use them in addition to the ones I mentioned above, that is great.  You need to do what you feel comfortable with.

My greatest advice to authors is to investigate all the various options that they’ve heard of.  See what makes sense to them.  What they feel is manageable and what is too daunting to even try.  Start small.  Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works for you.

In future blogs I’ll try to expand on various individual forms of social media.  If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time…

BM xx

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I Support Indie Authors

Blog indie authorsWe’ve all seen this meme on social media at some point or another right? For most of us, it’s an automatic share with fairly little thought behind it. At best we nod and hit that share button with a sense of purpose, hoping that others will sense the strength of our feelings about this matter.  Let’s take a look at this meme.  First of all, I would suggest that while this is focused on Indie Authors, it holds true for any author.

Jack sparrowFirst of all, the issue of paying for books. I’m an honest woman and I confess, I like a good pirate… sigh… but unless that pirate happens to be the ever delicious Johnny Depp, there really isn’t any place for them in the real world. There certainly isn’t any place for pirates in the world of publishing.  Sadly though, no-one has yet started a petition to hang them high and dry and so we suffer with them still!

So when I commit to paying for the books I read, this is an important issue for me. Have I ever wanted to read a book or series that I couldn’t afford?  Of course.  Have I ever been tempted to hunt down pdf copies online?  Never.  I believe in having respect for the author and the hours of hard work that they put into creating that book.  Additionally, I was raised by a police officer, so perhaps that plays a role in it too?  I have long believed that anyone who supports or defends the piracy of books (music, photography, etc) was raised badly, but that’s neither here nor there.

An author has worked really hard on their book, the least you can do is pay for it.

Next, let’s look at the issue of writing reviews.  This one shouldn’t need much explaining.  If you’ve read a book that you really enjoyed, then saying so is a great way to thank the author.  Taking the time to acknowledge that their words moved you or entertained you or educated you is such a simple thing, but it can mean the world to an author.  You have no idea!  There is some basic review etiquette that I’ll cover in another post, but basically, if you don’t have anything nice to say… it really is better to keep your mouth shut.

Reviewing ties in nicely to the last item in the meme… Spreading the word.  Reviewing a book will tell other potential readers and buyers something about the book, will encourage them to take the chance on a title that has already caught their eye.  By sharing your review on your own social media channels, you help to bring attention to that book… you help the author to reach new people that they could otherwise never have reached.  Naturally you can spread the word whether you review or not.  Every little bit helps to support authors.

As I said at the beginning, while this meme is specific to Indie Authors, I would say that it’s the same for every author.  Being published by a mainstream or “big” publisher doesn’t make that person any less in need of honest readers, good reviews and spreading the word.

Now… go forth and support the creative endeavours of authors everywhere!

Until next time…

BM xx

Beating the Blurb

Author TipsAsk any group of authors what terrifies them most about writing their book and I can almost guarantee that at least one of them will sigh and say “the blurb”.  For whatever reason, writing a 400 000 word book is less intimidating than a 3 or 4 paragraph blurb.  To a non-writer, that will sound silly, but I can testify to the fact that there is something scary about trying to boil your whole book down to a few sentences.  I always envy the people who say that it’s “so easy”, but that’s just the luck of the draw I guess. It got me thinking though, perhaps there are some tips and tricks that we should all be aware of?

One of my favourite questions is “why do we need a blurb?”  The truth is that writing an amazing book and investing in a great cover is only 50% of the battle.  After all, it’s a bit like dating.  You can look great, but if your pick up line bombs, you’ve blown it.  Your blurb is your pick up line.  It’s the first way you flirt with your reader after your cover has sparked their interest.  It’s the way to prove that you have substance.  So what should you include and what should you rather leave out?

Things to remember:
– Keep your blurb short and to the point. Don’t waffle. Think about your words carefully.
– Introduce your characters in a way that makes the reader want to know more.
– Use any conflict in the story to create intrigue, make readers want to read further.
– If it’s relevant, include information on your book writing or professional status (Award Winner, Best selling author of, etc)

This to skip:
– Don’t just say “my book is amazing”… let the reader decide.
– Don’t compare yourself to other writers.
– Don’t give away the plot of the book, no matter how tempting it is.
– Don’t use phrases that have been done to death like “In a world” or “Far, far away” etc.
– Don’t just give a summary of chapter 1

Remember that your blurb is selling your book.  The story starts somewhere, with characters in a situation.  Find a way to describe this as simply as possible.  Next, there’s bound to be some sort of hurdle that they have to overcome.  This is the moment when they’re on the right track “until…”.  Naturally there’s bound to be the chance to resolve it all and finally, you need to tell readers more about the tone of the book. Is it serious, a mystery, a fun chick lit read?  All these factors together can turn a browser into a buyer.

So go ahead… flirt with your reader.  And don’t forget… like all flirting, practice makes perfect!

Until next time…

BM xx

In Review – Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

love rosie
What happens when two people who are meant to be together can’t seem to get it right?

Rosie and Alex are destined for each other, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, they are separated as teenagers when Alex and his family relocate from Dublin to Boston.

Like two ships always passing in the night, Rosie and Alex stay friends, and though years pass, the two remain firmly attached via emails and letters. Heartbroken, they learn to live without each other. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel of several missed opportunities, Rosie and Alex learn that fate isn’t quite done with them yet.

http://uk.cecelia-ahern.com/love-rosie-where-rainbows-end/

–oOo–

a little bit swirlyI’m a big fan of Cecelia Ahern.  I really enjoy her storytelling techniques and her talent at fleshing out characters.  I was given this book as a gift after saying that I wanted to see the movie.  I prefer to read the books before I watch adaptations, so it was a great surprise for me.  I confess though that this book isn’t a new story, it was previously released as Where Rainbows End and it turns out I have it on my shelf waiting to be read… that’s what happens when you have a TBR pile larger than most people’s libraries 🙂  At any rate, I was still looking forward to reading it.

The story is written in the form of letters, emails, cards, texts, instant messages and postcards.  It’s a style that could’ve been a complete disaster, but somehow works – even though there are times when you’re at risk of getting confused. This particular style choice does mean that the author was able to dispense with many of the details of scenery and surrounds and also allowed her to have large chunks of time pass in only a few pages.

The style also allows us to really get an intimate feeling for each character in a way that I’m not sure would’ve been as sharp in a normal narrative.  For that, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It definitely felt more like I was getting to snoop into the private lives of the characters and experience their trials and tribulations with them rather than merely reading about it as a spectator.  I will confess though that there were times when I skipped certain interactions (instant messages between two of the characters for example) as I was more interested in finding out what happened with other characters.

The story was beautifully told and a really fun read.  So very easy to relate to and I think making use of the various familiar forms of communication made the story feel current and relevant.  I am really looking forward to seeing if the movie works out as well.

A definite 4 hearts from me.

Until next time…

BM xx

Let’s Go Touring

The Book Mistress Promo 2It’s been a crazy busy week.  Tonight alone, we emailed out more than 40 tour stops to authors for July and it’s going to be an awesome month!

As for our June authors, today we join Kate Ristau as she visits over on Room with Books, chats to YA Outside the Lines, hangs out with Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews and enjoys a Q&A with Dorine White. We also join GC Nichols who is over on Up All Night, Read All Day and enjoys the spotlight over on Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews.

Please support our hosts by visiting, commenting and sharing the love.

http://roomwithbooks.com/shadowgirl-blog-tour/

http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2015/06/folklore-outside-lines-guest-post-by.html

http://lindsayandjaneviewsandreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/shadow-girl-by-kat-ristau-spotlight-and.html

http://www.dorinewhite.blogspot.com/2015/06/author-interview-with-kate-ristau.html

http://upallnightreadallday.blogspot.com/2015/06/blog-tou-colors-by-gc-nichols.html

http://lindsayandjaneviewsandreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/colors-by-gc-nichols-spotlight.html

If you are looking to tour with your own book, we’re currently accepting bookings from August onwards.

I can’t wait to work with YOU.

Until next time…

BM xx

Blog Tour – Colors by GC Nichols

GC Nichols is a woman after my own heart.  Not only does she write fantastic stories, but we share a passion for motorcycles.  The biggest difference is between us is that while I only admire them, GC gets to experience the freedom of the open road for herself.  She’s taken her knowledge and channelled it into her latest release, Colors. She joins us here on The Book Mistress for her book tour this June and we’re having a blast with her.

Colors Blog Tour15 June – Pamaceeve
15 June – Romance Reviews Today
18 June – Up All Night, Read All Day
19 June – Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews
24 June – Savvy Authors
26 June – Romance Junkies
26 June – Room with Books
27 June – Sheri Velarde
28 June – Coffee Time Romance
29 June – Erzabet’s Enchantments
30 June – Literary Lagniappe
31 July – Romancing the Book

—oOo—

Colors_GCNichols_Art_DsnBk1_revisedGypsies bestowed the curse. A sadistic man unleashed its power.

Gioia Vita, at thirty-four, is not living the joyous life her cultural name might suggest. Haunted by an abusive past and tormented by the harsh illustrations of a cynical world she struggles to bury her secrets and find serenity in her life. Plagued by a glitch in her vision, she perceives colors and mystical imagery surrounding people that warn her of their intrinsic nature. With a fear of old world superstitions implanted into her from an early age, Gioia finds herself believing in these enchantments. Especially now, that she is seeing these… colors.

The desire for adventure in her sheltered life prevails when an acquaintance invites her back into the subculture of her rebellious youth. Her vision helps her navigate this tumultuous world few get to experience, the world of 1%ers. An enclave of brothers, bearing colors that reject normal society. She unexpectedly finds the warm colors of family, friends and a new love. Braden Davies restores passion in her heart, but can an outlaw from a chaotic underground culture heal her wounds? First, they must conquer the manipulative adversary that haunts them, unearth long buried family secrets, and learn that sometimes a curse can really be a gift.

Grab your copy HERE

—oOo—

The sun emitted particularly balmy rays that seeped into my exposed skin and warmed me throughout. Like Mom’s chicken soup on a cold day, it flowed through my body to my soul and healed me. The wind cooled my face, knotted my long flowing hair, and created pockets of force between my limbs as it raced against us. We were in flight for the two-hour ride, and my soul appreciated some much needed freedom. Even though my sunglasses kept the bright sun out of my eyes, Braden’s brilliant metallic fire captivated me.

We snuck in small rides every day the fall weather permitted, but this particular Indian summer day was an unexpected gift received along the Merritt Parkway. The almost eighty degree temperature was truly out of the ordinary for the end of October. We were going to an ally club’s Halloween party that evening and decided to extend the trip to northern Connecticut.

There were few times in my life I could remember being this happy. Waking up to Braden’s golden sun almost every morning for the past few weeks surely made this one of them. I felt safe with him, not only because of his gleaming rapture that guaranteed he was pure but also because I could sense it in everything he did. His touch was always gentle, and he never failed to watch over me. In these past few weeks, I grew to know him well and love him entirely.

I was still frightened and questioning everything. What had I done to deserve him in my life? Had I endured enough hardship to finally find a decent man? Our passion was rising to daring heights, and I wanted nothing more than to become one with him, but he always held back, as if making love could risk our bond. Was it only a matter of time before the devil would find me again and take Braden away?

The gypsies continued to invade my dreams and fear of their evil nature consumed me. Luckily, I managed to hide the nightly turmoil from Braden. My brain struggled to comprehend the most recent nightmare. I found myself wandering back to last night’s vision.

“Mom, can we open the presents now? Please!” I begged my mother.

She looked lovingly into my eyes and smiled. “Not yet, Gioia. We have to take care of something very important first.”

I watched as my mother hung bundles of red peppers around the room and wondered what could be more critical than opening presents on Christmas Eve. Why was she decorating now? The Christmas tree lit up the otherwise dark room, and the large nativity set beneath it glowed shimmering white light.

My aunt poured water into a large, ornate ceramic bowl and then waited patiently, holding a small pitcher of greenish oil over it.

“Is Zia Francesca making something special tonight?” I asked, my juvenile mind always hoping for the next treat. Spending Christmas in Italy meant I would be spoiled with gifts and sweets typically unimaginable. It was rare we spent the holidays in Europe and my aunts would cater to my every wish.

“Yes, but probably not what you’re thinking of,” my mother answered, chuckling.

 “What do you mean?” My voice turned to a full on whine as I grew impatient.

“Tonight is a holy night and we’re going to utilize the exceptional power we’re offered to say a prayer over you so no evil can ever hurt you. It’s a special gift that Zia Francesca wants to offer you,” my mother explained.

“Ti voglio protegere dal malocchio,” my aunt told me in her native language. I only understood some of the words and looked to my mother for clarification.

“Zia Francesca said she wants to protect you from the evil eye.”

A sudden chill crawled up my spine and I shivered, almost falling off the high stool I sat on. Terror treaded wildly over my skin. Immature thoughts clouded my eight-year old brain allowing my mother’s words to send me into utter panic. Evil? What did I need protection from?

My mother nodded to my aunt as she made her way across the room to stand near us. Zia Francesca slowly drizzled the thick, green oil into the bowl of water.

I counted nine drops carefully placed in the shape of a cross. We all watched quietly as the small, liquid circles spun away from one another, slow at first, then gaining speed until the outline of an eye appeared.

“It’s true. She is cursed,” my mother whispered, tears forming in her eyes.

“What, mom? What’s the matter? What do you mean?” I begged.

“Gioia, pay attention! Just do as I and Zia Francesca do.” My mother commanded, avoiding my wide eyes and panicked tone. She made the sign of the cross in front of me and exclaimed, “Padre, Figlio, Spirito Santo.”

“Dammi la tua mano,” Zia Francesca commanded me to give her my hands. She also began gesturing the sign of the cross over my pale skin.

I could see the outline of the gypsy in my peripheral vision. She stood in the window just beyond the Christmas tree watching us. I refused to make eye contact. My body sat frozen, and terrified from the mysterious ritual my mother and aunt were performing. I would obey my mother until this nightmare ended.

“Father, this prayer is being said for Gioia. I pray it works in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” My mother spoke the words quietly, closing her eyes and lifting her head up toward heaven.

She continued to chant as a gust of wind swept across the tiled floor. It wrapped around me and seeped into my pores forcing tears of panic as I shut my eyes in horror.

“Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be,” my mother concluded and grabbed my right hand. Zia Francesca already clutched my left in a firm hold.

The warmth of their skin brought on a calm sensation that flowed throughout me. I finally found the courage to face the gruesome hag staring at me through the window. Cavernous wrinkles weighed on the corners of her eyes turning them into slits of darkness. Her voluminous lips curled downward into a scowl only meant to curse. The multiple strands of colorful beads encircling her neck appeared to choke her. The sight of her was hideous and I found myself hissing the word, “Zincara.”

My mother and Zia Francesca jerked their heads toward the window. The gypsies’ outline dissipated into a puff of amethyst smoke, and she was gone.

The bike slowed as we approached our destination, waking me out of my memory. I shook my head trying to free my brain from its’ unnerved state. Realizing my dreams did nothing but bring on paranoia, I decided to chase out the crazy thoughts. Braden’s gentle soul gave me hope to believe in righteousness again, and being with him was the most blissful place in the world. Even if an evil gypsy or the devil came, I would fight. A surge of adrenaline ran through me as I realized that, in the end, no one could keep me away from this love.

—oOo—

GCNichols_AuthorPicG.C. Nichols is a Creative Director by day, a graduate of Parsons School of Design, and writer by night. Brought up by parents possessing a strong respect for the arts she was afforded the freedom to pursue and explore her artistic abilities in New York City. Developing interests in writing, fashion, fine art and music led a youthful nature of rebellion to emerge within her.

Placed on a motorcycle for the first time at a very young age paved the way to a passion for riding, and into the intriguing world of motorcycle clubs. The fearless nature and free-thinking ways of this underground culture felt like a natural place for an artist with curiosities to call home.

Growing up as a first-generation Italian American offered G.C. the opportunity to learn about the mystical realm of gypsies and curses, or as she likes to refer to it, Italian witchcraft. Spending summers in Southern Italy allowed her to interact with these mysterious characters first hand, their fiery spirit embedded in her mind forever.

Other than getting lost in the imaginary worlds her mind creates, G.C. enjoys riding, hunting, and fishing, with her husband, family and friends. She is happiest on the wooded acres of serenity they call home in upstate New York, surrounded by a wild array of entertaining pets.

Website

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Blog Tours – Shadowgirl by Kate Ristau

It’s impossible not to love Kate Ristau.  She’s dynamic, talented and has a wicked sense of humour.  She’s also a hardworking author who loves promoting her stunning new book.  It makes my job much simpler!  This June, I have the privilege of promoting her online and I can’t wait to share her with you all.

Shadowgirl Blog Tour16 June – Savvy Authors

17 June – Pamaceeve

18 June – Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews

19 June – Room with Books

19 June – Dorine White

19 June – YA Outside the Lines

20 June – Sheri Velarde

30 June – Dana’s YA Bookpile

—oOo—

ShadowgirlÁine lives in the light, but she is haunted by darkness, and when her fey powers blaze out of control, she escapes into the Shadowlands.

But she cannot outrun her past. Fire fey and a rising darkness threaten the light, burning a path across the veil. Her fiery dreams come to life, and with the help of Hennessy, an uninhibited Irish girl, Áine dives into the flames to discover who she truly is. Her mother burned to keep her secret safe, and now Áine wields the deadly Eta.

She must learn to fight in the shadows — or die in the flames.

This is not a fairy tale.

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Extract

Chapter One

Áine’s foot crossed the threshold and darkness consumed her. She put her hands out, afraid she’d fall face-first into the void. But the shadows tricked her, and she stumbled onto solid ground.

She laughed and pushed herself back up, wiping the dust off her cloak. Her voice echoed in the dark, spitting her laugh back at her, and then disappeared into the eerie silence.

She straightened up and stood there a moment, squinting hard into the blackened tunnel, but nothing stared back at her. In fact, it just seemed darker than before. She took a deep breath to clear her head.

It didn’t work. Everything became even more jumbled. Confused. Why was she here in the first place? And why was it so dark? The Crossing. She was crossing into the Shadowlands. Was she already through? She couldn’t tell. It felt like the ground was shifting even though she was standing still. She reached forward, searching for something to hold onto.

Her hand grazed the inside of the tree, the rough bark catching underneath her fingernails. A splinter of pain shot through her hand and she pulled her finger back and sucked on it.

Of course, with everything she had been through, everything it took to get here, she would hurt herself on a stupid tree. If Ciaran saw this, he’d never let her live it down. Baby, he would call her. Thumbsucker. She’d never hear the end of it.

Even now, she couldn’t get him out of her head.

“Come back soon,” he had said. “Don’t make me wait too long.”

“I will.” Áine smiled.

“You’ll make me wait?”

“No, I’ll be back soon.”

“Good.” He pulled her face up to meet his own. “Safe travels.”

“I’ll see you in the Fairerlands.”

So much between them remained unsaid, and so much more had already been whispered. She didn’t know what came next.

The darkness closed in and her smile faded. Maybe he wouldn’t be making fun of her right there—in the middle of the Crossing. Even smiling felt wrong in the emptiness. It was the type of place where even Ciaran would swallow his jokes.

Áine took another step, hoping it would get easier, hoping her eyes would adjust, but the darkness grew deeper, and her chest started to tighten. She rubbed her hand along her ribs and tried to take a deeper breath, but the air was heavy and sharp. It scraped at her lungs, sending shivers up and down her arms. She shuddered and jerked her legs forward. She had to keep moving.

She took another step, then gasped as her stomach twisted and cramped. She staggered forward, reaching her hands out toward the wall, and collapsed against it, falling to her knees and shaking violently as waves of pain crashed through her.

—oOo—

KateKate Ristau is an author and folklorist. She writes young adult and middle grade fiction, along with grammar primers that won’t make you cringe. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters.

Until she finds that world, she’ll live in Portland, Oregon with her husband, her son, and her dog. If you can’t find her there, you can find her at kateristau.com

Manic Monday!

Yup, I have the song playing in my head. I woke with it and it’s been lurking all day. I won’t do that to you, so if you don’t know, don’t worry, it’s not important. The point is, Monday is almost always a crazy day.

2015/06/img_8270.jpg

It doesn’t seem to matter how much I do over the weekend, Monday seems to be an evil little imp that breeds extra work while I’m sleeping *grin*. To be honest though, I really love what I do, so it’s not really “work”… If you know what I mean? That’s the true blessing in following your passion. No matter what that is, it ultimately means that you’ll be happier and healthier. It’s one of the reasons that most creative people feel so fulfilled.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when what you need to do and what you want to do are two different things… And occasionally you have to play hooky. So, today I decided to just take some time for me and put aside a few hours for reading and relaxing. Rainy weather, duvet, hot chocolate and a great book.

No prizes for guessing that my admin went quickly with that reward to look forward to.

So, when you have deadlines, tasks, work to get done, reward yourself. It’ll make it all go quicker.

Until next time…

BM xx

Finding Inspiration

inspire

One of the things I tell all new authors is that at the very least they should have a blog or a website in addition to a Facebook page or profile.  Having a blog provides you with a place where you can talk about your books, connect with readers, share your passion for gardening, whatever takes your fancy.  It’s a place where relationships are forged and your “brand” is going to be built.  Granted, it’s not the only place where this will happen, especially if you really enjoy interacting on social media, but it is an important place.

This is the same advice I gave myself when I decided to formalise my freelance services and form The Book Mistress.  I knew I’d need a blog and I had every intention of posting daily.  I hear you chuckling.  To be honest, it was a lofty ambition because there are times when doing the work takes up the time or when life just throws things your way that will stop you from blogging.  The truth is though that you should try to blog as often as you can or at the very least, commit to blogging on some sort of schedule that your followers and fans can rely on.  For example, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesdays and Saturdays.  Figure out what works best for you and stick to it.

The other tip is to find things that inspire you.  Blogging as an author needn’t be only about your book or your characters.  You can share tips, behind the scenes snippets, and deleted scenes with readers.  You can talk about your notebook collection, your passion for porcelain or share your favourite recipes.  Remember that you’re trying to build a connection with your readers, because if they’re going to spend their money on your work, it helps if they like you *grin*

So I’m going to be making the time to blog more often too.  I’ll be sharing books I love, reviews, the occasional interview and some tips and advice. Possibly even recipes for cookies and other treats from time to time.

I’ll take my inspiration where I find it.  I hope you will too.

Until next time…

BM xx