Tag Archives: self promotion

Picture Poll

Sensational Saturday

a blog where I just write

Number 1

One of the many jobs I have currently is a volunteer position as CRW’s PRO liaison. What that really means is if anyone has questions about RWA and PRO, I get to answer them. In an attempt to make the liaison position a little more exciting myself and Ashley March (CRW’s PAL Liaison and author of Romancing the Countess) started a bi-monthly article on the website for the PRO and PAL members.

This month I listed some professional goals that even pre-published authors should have on their list if they want to be heading down the road to publishing and one of these is the headshot.

I’ve gotten the website, and the business cards. I blog the heck out of this site and I also am blogging on Paranormal Freebies, but as a prarnormal romance author I know that the head shot is something that needs to be done. But I’ve been procrastinating. It means getting a haircut, and getting makeup done. It means trying on clothes in an attmept to look professional. Needless to say I’d rather be writing.

Number 2

Last week I finally got around to getting some better pictures, and as usual it was one of those spur of the moment things. I’m posting the ones I like best and was going to try doing something that’s been tempting me on the site. A poll.

I thought I could just click on the word  POLLS in the menu and lo and behold I could create a poll, but it turns out you need to create an account with Polldaddy, and sorry folks, I’m not up to that today.

So instead we are doing it the old fashioned way. I’ve posted a few of the pictures and placed numbers in the captions. You can comment in the boxes below as to which ones you like best. Now I’m not promising what I’ll use them for, but I definitely will use the number one photo on my bio page. At least for a while. (Don’t throw me under the bus people, please!)

This first picture is one I played with, but I think it’s kind of cool! It reminds me of the aura photography, and I love the way it’s funky and old fashioned at the same time.

number 3

And the next few are a little casual, but I wanted a few casual ones.

We took a lot of pictures, but of course I’m picky about which ones go up here.

Number Four

This is why models get paid the big bucks, because it takes five hundred pictures to get one decent one!

Number 5

Number five is the best of the formal shots. I am not a big fan of formal pictures, they add ten years to my life. But this one isn’t bad. I tend to get the not-smile on my face. Someday I’ll go in and get all the fancy stuff done, the hair and make-up and all that, but for now, here I am!

Thanks for participating!

I’m going to be attending the CRW Annual September Writers Retreat, so I will check back on Monday. That will give you lots of time to get your friends to come back, laugh at me and then vote!

Thanks for your help! Click on the little cloud at the top to leave your vote in the comment box!

UPDATE:

Number Two is the winner! But I will definitely be using them all for different purposes, so thanks everyone!

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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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Filed under channeling success, Optimisim, website

Blog Backlog

Most of you know my goal is to become a published author. Not just published, but a successful author. Might as well aim high. To get there I set goals. And I love setting goals. Every month I review my goals, see what I’ve done and what I haven’t done. But the other thing I do is I try to look ahead. That is a very tough thing for me because I am a procrastinator.

I’ve had some help looking ahead. No, its not my crystal ball. I’ve been able to see authors in my chapter (like Ashley March) and how their experiences went. I also took a fab bootcamp on Riding the Roller Coaster by Angi Morgan.  And now I’m watching my friend Sherry Isaac  get ready for her release date. Wow, is there a tremendous amount of work involved in that.

(Sherry is setting up blog tours right now for July and August, and guess what? I’m excited to announce she will be blogging here in both July and August, so stay tuned for more announcements.)

Both Ashley and Angi were stunned by the amount of work they needed to do when releasing their first book. If you don’t have a website you need to do that. Establish a web presence, learn about self-promotion, get head-shots, business cards. The list goes on and on. Oh and don’t forget edit the book, and they both had to write their second books at the same time.

So I’ve decided to start a backlog of blogs. I may not need to use them. I may have fresh and stunning ideas when my thirty-fifth blog of the week hits. But just in case, I am going to write two blogs a week for the next few months and stash some of them where you can’t see them! Mean, huh. I already have a file of ideas that I have yet to dive into. Its my just-in-case-the-muse-doesn’t-show file. So far, she’s always shown up, so I’m okay. But there will come a day when the fickle bitch doesn’t show up. No, wait, I didn’t mean to call her that! There will come a day when she’s sick, or busy, or just plain too tired and then what am I going to do?

On that day, when I’m not feeling so hot and I’ve committed myself to too many outside activities and the edits are due and the blog is due. On that day I will be ready, because this is one of the many steps I need to take. The step of changing my procrastinating ways and walking on the right side of the muse. And if she doesn’t show up (which I’ve heard she sometimes does) I’ll be ready to walk by myself right over to the blog storage unit and pull out an instant blog. And I’ll be thumbing my nose at the muse as I go.

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