Tag Archives: author awareness

Let the Campaign Begin!

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write about whatever strikes my fancy

I’m publishing this post early because I am so excited about the Campaign! But I’m counting it as Saturday’s post. Shh, don’t tell the blogging police!

Thank you Ciara Knight! If I hadn’t gone to Facebook to see your gorgeous cover for your new YA book Love’s Long Shadow and then followed your link to your site to see what your book was about (click HERE for Ciara’s gorgeous and inventive website) I would never have seen your post on The Third Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign.

This is an exciting event for writers and bloggers to explode there exposure and to help others do so at the same time. I love this idea. Writers supporting other writers and growing our platforms together. It’s like Valentines and my birthday rolled up in one big fondue pot for my pleasure!

Hosted by Rach Harrie over at Rach Writes it’s an amazing opportunity to meet and greet fellow writers and get exposure on their blogs. I love it!

If you are an author looking for an easy way to conduct a blog tour, meet new peeps and spread the love, then I think this looks like a fantastic opportunity!

I’m joining today and I’ll be letting you know how it goes. The campaign runs from 8/22 through the end of October and will coincide nicely with my Halloween Treats giveaway during the witching month. I love when fate plays a hand. I am putting together  the wonderful giveaways as we speak and plan on some nice surprises for my favorite paranormal month!

Are you planning on joining the campaign? Think its a fantastic idea? Click HERE to find out how to join. And leave your comments for me! I love to hear what you think!

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Rescue Me!

At the beginning of this year I took a deep breath and dove in. I started a blog. I didn’t know what I was going to write about, who would read it or even really what my purpose was in writing it. I just knew that I needed to do it if I was to succeed at a writing career. And it’s been a ton of fun. I’ve met new people and realized that, yes, I can do this every week. I have a lot I want to say. And a few people who want to listen. Amazing.

For those of you who have been following along, you know I took a class from Carolyn Cooper on author web presence. And even before that I began reading Kristen Lamb‘s book We Are Not Alone, both of which told me the same thing. I’m building a following of writers. Which is nice and lovely and I love each and every one of you! But I’m missing out on a group of people known as readers who don’t write. Crazy, I know. Doesn’t everyone write? Apparently not. So,  I’m about to enact change onto the site. You have been warned!

My first change will be to start a writers day and a readers day. This way I’ll get to keep my writer followers happy and maybe add some readers. Maybe some of you writers read too? Nah! I must be crazy.

I’ve already started blogging for writers on Monday, so I’m going to keep that and add Thursdays for paranormal readers. The problem is, I don’t have a sweet name for my individual blogs. Ashely March has Writer Wednesdays and we’ve all heard about Man Candy Monday. I don’t think it has to have the day of the week in it, but something catchy would be terrific.

So I’m opening it up to you all. I need you to leave any ideas for Mondays writer blog or Thursday’s paranormal reader blog in the comment box.  If I use your name there is a $10 either Borders or B&N gift card in it for you. Come on peeps, put on your thinking caps on and rescue me!

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Straggling Over the Finish Line

My class on Online Author Awareness with the phenomenal Carolyn Cooper that began as my Brave Adventure  is over, finished, finito. And as much as I strove to do it differently it has ended just like many of my online classes do. The marathon is over and I barely crossed the finish line.

I start a class full of good intentions. I will keep up! I will do all the homework! I will end this class at the top! But then life interferes and I’m barely keeping up with reading the messages, let alone the pages and pages from the file section. As moderator for a CRW class I have the responsibility to make sure everyone is having a good time and behaving nicely, so when I moderate I do make sure I read every message, just in case. And that is about all I could do by the end of this class.

While I fell behind somewhere between lesson six (Landing pages and squeeze pages) and lesson seven (the Neuropsychology of choice) I will have plenty of opportunity to catch up. I have all of the files on my computer and I’ve printed out everything but the last case study. I will learn this stuff if it kills me.

Am I unhappy that the class was chock full of relevant information? No! Am I unhappy that I will have reading for the weeks to come? No! Am I unhappy that I couldn’t keep up? Well yes, but not with the class. Carolyn was a fantastic teacher brimming with information and she has given it to me in a form that I can easily review and learn on my own time. She was incredibly participatory and helpful to everyone in class and if you are at all interested in this topic I cannot recommend a better person to learn from. Just don’t schedule anything else!

No, the failings in this case are all mine. I simply didn’t have enough time or energy. But I will now. I will review the last three lessons and make sure I understand them. I will apply what I have learned. And I am still excited about this topic. So excited in fact that I am considering doing it again! Carolyn and CRW are offerering a class in Analytics For Authors and I am excited! Another class where there will be tons of information on something I know nothing about. I’m in heaven.

Of course, now I know what analytics are and what they can do for me as a blogger, website owner, and author. But do I have a clue how to use them? Not really. A full class will help tremendously. Time to don the marathon equipment again, face the starting line and hope that this time I cross with flying colors and win!

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Brave New Adventures in Awareness

When you sign up for a class in something with a title like Online author awareness, you might not be sure what you are getting. I wasn’t. I hoped I knew what it was. I planned on what it might be. And then the big day arrived and I finally was in class and could see what I was getting into. And I was thrillled.

Last week was my first week of Carolyn Cooper’s class. I was floored.

I’m an information junkie. I love learning. Carolyn loves teaching. It was a perfect fit. Yes, the first lesson was a bit of a shock. I’ve taken several online workshops before, its one of the great benefits to being a member of CRW. But they are all different. Some have one big lesson per week and some homework that the teacher doesn’t give feedback on. Those are the classes where you wish you were getting a little more. Then there are the classes where there is so much homework you can’t keep up. For a moment when lesson one was followed by lesson one part two, I was afraid.

Could I keep up? I, like many in the class, have other responsibilities besides my favorite activities of writing and learning. But as I read on, I realized that Carolyn was a communicator. Yes, it was a long lesson. Yes, I had to slow down and think a little. Yes, there was a lot of information packed in there. But once I followed it through it all began to gel and I began to get excited.

Yippee!

This was it!

I had been for a class to help me understand more about my efforts at marketing my work, and boy am I in the right place. I am learning so much more than I’d hoped for. I thought I’d learn how to manage Twitter better, what’s polite, what helps me and other authors. I think we’ll get to that eventually. This week we learned all about ourselves. What? Don’t you know that already?

Yes and no. I know who I am as a person, but who am I as a paranormal reader. What makes me tick  and what I have in common with fellow paranormal readers are two different subjects. As a person and an author, I have things that I am passionate about. Those are the things that a reader wants to know. And then who am I as a reader? As a reader, how do I look at websites? How do I use them? What am I looking for when I go to an author’s website.

Ashely March, a fellow CRW member and fantastic historical author, spoke to my group on this topic. As an author she wants to be accessible. She wants readers to meet her on the internet and to have a personal experience. When you go to her website you can see that. You can comment on her blog and email her through her contacts. She’ll follow you on twitter and she isn’t spamming when she tweets. Its the real Ashley out there.

Some authors are more removed from their readers. Whether its because they don’t have the time or they are not interested in interpersonal contact, or they just don’t realize it, their websites are cool, removed, impersonal. They sell books, but are they making connections with readers? What kind of author are you? Why? You probably know by now I am pretty friendly. I thought I would hate getting online and doing all this connecting stuff, but it turns out I love it.

I have to set timers so I don’t burn the food and then I shut the timer off and, whoops! I did it again, be right back!

(Whew! Had to stir the steel cut oats!)

Okay, so I love it. I get distracted and if I don’t set a timer I would spend all my time connecting with people. I can’t do that. I need to write and clean the house and exercise and, oh yeah, eat. But my website can help me. My website, by its design, can show who I am. I can be friendly and readers can look at it and see who I am and what my books are about. They can connect to me, Jessica Aspen the person, and I can be off doing what they really want me to do anyway. Write more books.

You’re going to be seeing changes on my website. I’m in the process, but slowly and surely I will be changing my website up to be more reader-centric and less author-centric. The great thing about that is authors are readers too! I’m not sure exactly what this will entail, this is my scary adventure, remember? (Those of you who didn’t read last weeks post can catch up here.) I have committed to this being my summer of change. Actually this whole year has been a year of change.

Since my year starts in the fall, I began this year with Margie Lawson’s Deep Imersion class (WOOHOO-U), where I realized I was serious about being an author. Now, instead of writing in my spare time, I spend my spare time writing. That was an ah-ha moment for me that started me on a different path that has led to here. In September I didn’t have a web site, didn’t have a blog, didn’t even have business cards. I have all that now. And the next step on the path is being facilitated by Carolyn, the shift to online author.

I’m excited to see where this goes, what my website will look like by the end of the summer and the end of my year. When I connect with my WOOHOO-U peeps in September and we talk about what we’ve done during the year I will be able to say that this year I grew into being an author. I now spend my time like one, I have the comittement of one, and my website reveals exactly what kind of an author I am. A paranormal author.

(Keep checking in and I’ll be making those changes!)

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