Tag Archives: moonday mania

New Book Trailers and More Fab Book Tour Stops

Thursdays Bite

happy new year!

It’s been a terrific New Year. The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of The Black Court, is on on tour with Bewitching Tours, and every review so far has been amazing. I’ve truly enjoyed my New Year seeing what all the fabulous reviewers like about the book. For the complete list go HERE to my Moonday Mania post, and don’t forget to enter to win my contest by leaving a comment. And for now, here are my next few stops:

Jan 2 Spotlight
Literaria
 
Jan 3 Guest blog
Mayhem and Magic
Topic: Please tell us about the (world) myths you’ve drawn upon to create this fairy-tale “spin-off”.
 
Jan 3 Spotlight
Book Bliss
Jan 6 Interview
Fantasy Book Addict
 
Jan 6 Spotlight
Book Liaison –
Jan 7 Guest blog and review
Who’s Reviews –
 
Jan 7 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.

And, just because it’s paranorma Thursday, I’m leaving you with some fun paranormal trailers. Enjoy!

YouTube Trailer for The Zoastra Afffair. Check out Victoria Pinder’s blog post last week HERE.

A fellow Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal author from the FF&P chapter of RWA posted this one. I think it is terrific! Check out Dead Awakenings, by Rebekah Garniere

http://youtu.be/Buah-LGT4tA

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Filed under Bloghops, Book Trailers, Moonday mania

Easy Tips to Make Your Blog Outstanding

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

Today I’m swinging in Gloria Richard’s Hammock as she interviews me, and reveals my secrets! Another opportunity to win a free copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Check it out HERE!

As a recent blogger I’m always hungry for more, more, more information on how to make my blog outstanding. I read books like Kristen Lamb‘s We Are Not Alone, the Writer’s Guide to Social Media. And I follow experts on blogs like Brinda Berry on Gloria Richard’s Blog (HERE), and try to implement new techniques.

But even I, the brand spanking newbie, have stumbled upon a few things that other newbies, like myself, can use to fix their blogs in an instant.

Today’s tip is one that I have real trouble with, but I’m making it my goal to fix.

 Post early in the day

Free Stock Images - Businessman Clock Hands TimeI admit, I could do better at this.  I post somewhere around 6am my time. But that’s too late.  Why? Because 6am my time is 8am EST, and those people have already checked their computers and headed off to work. They missed my blog.

I only noticed this after I started using RSS to keep track of my blogs. I’m not sure everyone is aware of RSS, but once I discovered RSS I found that it was the easiest way for me to keep track of all my friends blogs. It works for me because my email box is so stuffed with Tweets and Yahoo Loop digests that I was losing everyone’s post announcements.

I have found that the RSS organizer I like best is Google Reader. It’s on a separate tab on my browser. Nothing comes in an email. I click on Google Reader and all my blogs that I follow are listed, if a blog’s name is highlighted then they have a new post. That’s it. No email.

Am I perfect at posting early?

No! I’m sure you’ve all noticed. I sometimes mess up my scheduling. I think I’m posting at a 06:00 and it turns out to be 18:00. And really I should be scheduling at 1:00am, not 6:00am. Right? Right. But this is a process and like all processes it takes time

You can still get emails even if you subscribe by RSS. Just subscribe through one of the other services, like normal, and you’ll still receive their emails. But if you subscribe only through Google Reader or another RSS service, no emails. That works for me. What works for you?

Back to our topic, now that I don’t get an announcement in my email. I have to go check. Which I do, at around 7am. My time. Not yours.

This means that my friends (and you know who you are!) who post on say Monday’s, but post late, don’t get seen until Tuesday. Why?

Because I’ve already looked at my RSS feed page at 7am and you hadn’t posted yet, so it didn’t say you were posting. And I don’t get the email. So on Tuesday morning, I see that you’ve posted.

Now this is not a big deal, most of my peeps don’t care if I’m there on Tuesday or Wednesday, and they know I love them even if I’m not particularly faithful about dropping by every post. Too many buddies and too many good posts! But it does mean sometimes that I miss out on giveaways, because I’m a day late and the contest is closed.

Once again, my friends aren’t worried about me. But they should be worried about readers like me. If you are using a contest to draw people to your blog, then you want them to feel good about coming to your blog. Not late, because they didn’t get the invite on time. Many times I’ve shown up to the blog to find out that the contest is closed. Luckily it’s not a big deal for me, but what about your other readers?

This can be frustrating for your visitors. Frustrated visitors means less visits.

How can you fix this?

You can run your contests for more than a day. I like that because it means you can get those last minute people, or people who don’t always have the time to check out their favorite blogs and so show up the next day. Everyone feels good.

But even better: by using the scheduling feature on your blog you can post at say, 1am. And that way, early birds, you catch more worms.Stock Photography - Blue Bird w/worm

Easy. More viewers, more people entering your giveaways, more satisfied customers.

Another benefit to scheduling your blog is that you don’t have to be there to post. You can be in say, Costa Rica on the beach, and your blog still posts. Love that!

How do you follow blogs? Do you have a stuffed email box, would RSS feed work better for you? Would you remember to check it every day? How about scheduling your posts? I know this is very easy on WordPress, what about your blog? As a blog reader, how do you feel when you show up late to the party?

And expect another hot blogging tip next Moonday Mania!

18 Comments

by | March 12, 2012 · 1:05 am

Fighting the Muse

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft (struggles) of writing

My guest for today’s Moonday Mania is Meggan Connors. Megan (as you might pick up from her post today) writes everything from dark paranormal to historical. Her debut novel, The Marker, not only has a gorgeous cover, but a terrific plot. Please welcome Meggan, and her struggles with her muse, to Jessica Aspen Writes.

If you’ve visited any of my sites recently, you’ll see that my muse has been giving me fits.

The issue is that she’s busy, but not in the way I want her to be. Conversations with my muse of late have centered around the sweet sounds of the seventies and what I should do with the two pounds of cranberries my husband bought a few weeks ago.

It is unfortunate for me that the seventies are alive and well in my head. It’s not like these songs are evoking memories for me. I barely remember the seventies.

And yet, I find myself pondering pina coladas and getting caught in the rain (I’ve decided that while I do enjoy a good pina colada, getting caught in the rain is cold. And wet, but not in a good way). I find myself contemplating showgirls named Lola, which invariably leads to thoughts of Charo.

Yes, Charo. I don’t get it either.

Somehow, Charo leads to memories of my mother’s Renault Le Car. I can sing every one of Neil Diamond’s songs because of the rocking eight-track in that car. It still doesn’t give me anything to write, but now I have Sweet Caroline on repeat in my head.

I’ve tried to drown out the voices with Rihanna and Mumford and Sons and The Killers.

Instead, I get, Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

               For the love of all that is holy, muse, give me something to write! Or at least stop the infernal singing. I’m begging you.

What happened to your love of the tortured stuff? I could at least work with that. Come on, if we’re going to sing songs from the past, why can’t it be something from my past? Depeche Mode, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, or something like that. I could work with that. But I can’t do anything with these vague flashbacks of being four years old and getting carsick to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High.

It’s enough to drive a (relatively) sane girl completely nuts.

Thanks for having me, Jessica!

Meggan Connor’s (www.megganconnors.com) next book will be titled: Lola’s Rocky Mountain High is Close to You, Sweet Caroline. She smells a bestseller. At least, that’s what she thinks she’s smelling. However, the dog is close by…

Find the Marker HERE

Her real book, The Marker, was released December 14 from SoulMate Publishing, and

can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the SoulMate website (www.soulmatepublishing.com). She loves to hear from readers, and you can find her at www.megganconnors.com or on Facebook. We’ll be having prizes and giveaways, so friend her and find out about them!

Thanks for sharing your struggles with your muse, Meggan. Share with Meggan how your muse taunts helps you. Or let her know about your love for the seventies music. Cheesy, but fun to rock out to!

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania

Using a Goal Setting Group to Bring Success

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

If you’ve read any of my past posts, you may have noticed I’m a goals girl. I love taking out the paper and figuring out where I want to go and how to get there. Making sure I check those goal sheets, well… that doesn’t always happen. I can be racing along, in a hurry to get where I think I’m going, and totally forget to check the map.

That can end up with the end of the year check in being a big surprise and can go something like this:

“Wait.. I said I wanted to save money for a trip to Hawaii? But I spent it all on that writing conference. What happened?”

This year though I did something different. I joined a goal setting group last December. Writing Giam hosted by the amazing Amy Atwell. Not only does Amy supervise the entire Writing Gaim site, she jumps on to all the loops (I’m on loop number five, and I know there are more than that), and she also is starting a database for authors with helpful articles.

Writing Gaim has been a lifesaver for me. I’ve found that having a group to report to has made my goal setting much more focused. Every week I set my goals, and I’m actually staying on course! (Except for the Hawaii thing). This is one of the reasons Weight Watchers is so successful. Reporting back to a person or a group of people on your weekly endevours increases your chances of success. Checking in with my GaimX5rs loop on a regular basis is like looking the WW leader in the eye and confessing to eating a whole box of Little Debbies. Not going to happen.

When you know you have someone to report to, then you are much more likely to stay on track. And if you have a bad week, you are much more likely to get back on the wagon. This is particularly helpful if you are easily distracted (like me) by things like unwashed dishes or husbands or dogs.

You see those things (especially the husbands and dogs) notice if you don’t follow through. Who notices when you don’t follow through on your writing goals? Just you, you say? It might be time for a change.

Writing Gaim also has a Go-Pro loop, for those people who haven’t yet made it to PRO. I love this idea and if I’d known about it before I hit PRO, I would have jumped on it. PRO is great, but you can’t access any of it’s benefits till you finish and submit that first ms. And that can be a mountain of work. If you are interested in achieving this milestone, and are having trouble, a whole group focused on getting you there might be the answer.

The other great thing about my goal setting loop is all the wonderful author friends I’ve made. And I use the word author instead of writer on purpose. These people are all either publishing or on the road to publication. And it’s happening at a fast rate. Whether they’ve jumped off the romance boat to write memoirs or are self-publishing, they check in and show their progress. These are authors on the move.

How do you challenge your goal setting weaknesses? Do you have someone who keeps you accountable? Is it a group or a crit-partner? What if they don’t actually push you? Do you need to make a change?

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, writing organization

Ahoy Sea Serpent

Today is the day! All month excited Third Campaigners have been working on the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop the brain child of Kerry. If you don’t remember the amazing Choose Your Own Adventure books then this is how it works. First you go to Kerry’s site and read the begining of the adventure. Then you will make a decision. Click on the link to the site that has the next section and you will hop over to the next site. Then continue to read and make decisions till you read, The End. Each time you are faced with a decision you can change the story.

If you haven’t started at Kerry’s post, please click on the Adventure Starts here and begin.

If you are here because you made a the decision to Turn and swim away as fast as you can -without bursting your lungs, then read on.

Jessica’s entry: Turn and swim away as fast as you can-without bursting your lungs.

You turn away and swim as fast as you can go and head for a shadow that looks like it might be a pile of rocks you can hide behind. You glance over your shoulder at the creature. Its mouth opens wide, incisors gleaming in the purple glow of the dome. You swim faster. You are terrified of being sucked in or once again being held prisoner of the snaky tongue, but instead a loud bubbling wail comes out of the huge maw.

The pressure from the beast’s wail sends the water surging and you are carried away on the tremendous current. Seeing rocks ahead you cling to your oxygen tank and swim frantically for their possible shelter. But the awkward weight and shape of the tank is too much and the pulse of the swell carries you past.

When the swell finally slows down and you are able to look around, you find yourself far from the glowing purple dome and the creature. Instead you are floating near a coral reef in sunny clear, but deep, water. Bright Caribbean sun illuminates a school of hundreds of flat dazzling  yellow fish that swim in a dizzying array around you. The loud snaps and crackles of the reef echo in your ears under the bright water and you are amazed by the variety of creatures that lure you to explore.

You swim further into the reef. Without fins the going is slow, and you must watch out and keep your bare toes from touching the viciously sharp coral. Keeping an eye on the coral, and looking from side to side at the unbelievable amount of ocean life swimming through the reef, you come around a clump of sea grass and suddenly the reef drops off into a deep abyss.

Down below you spy what you think is the top of a mast. Excitement thrums through your veins. You have stumbled across a sunken ship.

You swim closer, anxious to see just what treasure might be inside the ship that has lain undiscovered for years. As you draw closer to the ship you notice the windows emanating an unearthly green glow.

Just as you are about to swim down, through the garbled sound of the water you think you hear something that might be the horn of a large ship. Your oxygen is getting lower. Should you take the chance and explore?

Leave a comment and enter my Halloween Treats contest today. The prize is Liz Fielding’s SOS: Convienient Husband Required. Saturday’s winner is Babs M., congratulations Babs! Email me your address and I’ll get it in the mail to you!

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Filed under Moonday mania, Third Writers Platform Building Campaign