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You are invited to post your book links, blurbs, snippets on WWBB's Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter and use @louise_wise for a retweet.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Darcia Helle books

My Review of Enemies and Playmates:
I settled down with high expectations and wasn't disappointed. Enemies and Playmates gripped me from the off and took me through its twists and turns with a tight control from the author.  Lauren Covington lives with a control freak of a father, Alex. He's  manipulative, abusive and rich. To the outside world he's a wonderful father and family man: loyal to his wife and patron to many charities, ironically battered women! Lauren stays in the family home out of love for her mother and brother,  but when she meets the hero of the story Jesse Ryder and her brother dies she and Jesse pave the way for her father's downfall. Romantic diehards won't be disappointed, it's woven beautifully into the story. Darcia Helle is certainly going to be added to my top favourite author list!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

How to drive traffic to your blog.

I hear that all the time, and duly click to find out how thinking I'll find a magic button that issues me with thousands of followers eager to be my friend, and also eager to buy my book! Not so, I'm afraid. There isn't a short cut to social networking; it's hard work and frustrating but also tremendous fun too.

I've made a list of some of the things that I've tried or am thinking of trying.

1.  Forum Posting  I'm a regular contributor to forums and have a "signature" so people can follow me back to my blog. Don't just post updates of your blog, connect to people and make friends. 

2.  Twitter   I use Twitter to connect with literally anyone. I don't demand people follow me, or repeatedly Tweet links to my blog; I interact. I "retweet" others, wish others a good morning, offer advice, ask for advice. It's a growing community and nobody wants to be bombarded with spam tweets all the time, so use it like forum - only it's on a HUGE scale.

3.  Building a Platform on Twitter Use the name that you wish to be known by in the outside world ie if you are Mary Smith use Mary Smith NOT Fluffy_Fairy. Follow people who interest you: other writers, agents, publishers... then see who they are following and who are following them. Do not "lock" your Tweets. But as always do take care and don't show any personal details.

4.  Facebook  This is another good way of advertising yourself: create your own page (works like a blog)! Again, don't be selfish. Use it wisely and not just to promote your book.

5.  Blog Tours/Carnivals These are so much fun, and all you need to do is ask! If they say yes, write the blog post with care, include links to your blog and book, then send in your picture/book cover and away you go! There may be small conditions like a donation to the blog, or that you follow/subscript to their blog. You don't have to, of course, like they don't have to host you. Swings and roundabouts.

6. Email subscription  You can invite everyone in your network to subscribe to your blog. 

7. Tags/Labels   This is a keyword associated to your article. It should describe the article to enable it to be found when being browsed. In short: a nickname for your article that will make it easier for people to find if browsing the Internet. 

8. Trackback (or Pingback as it's sometimes called). This sends a message from one server to another server letting it know you have posted a reference to their post. Blogger doesn't support this, but uses this instead BACKLINK. I've only just started to use it, so can't comment on its usefulness yet.

9. Business Cards brochures, flyers or whatever. This is an in invaluable way to advertise your blog. I use Vistaprint, and can't fault them although they do keep sending annoying emails. I just have then sent them to junk mail.

10. RSS Feed This will let people subscribe to your blog, it means Really Simple Syndication, yeah, so simple I still haven't a clue! Anyway, isn't this the same as number 6?

11. Practise Good House Keeping on your blog that is. Keep it up-to-date, and post at least once a fortnight if not more. And always, always, reply to comments. It's so annoying when I make the effort to visit a blog, read and reply, and then ignored by the blog owner. Grrrr

12. Articles Write an article about something you've seen in another blog. Add their link, and then tell them. You never know this may lead to some of their followers following you as well!

Some useful sites:
WordPress Trackback Tutorial
The Book Designer.com
We Blog Better.com
Quips and Tips for Successful Writers
Blog Traffic Exchange

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Writing Terms You should know.

Ever wondered what POV means? You do? OK, so what about simsub or MG or YA? What are the different words counts between a novella and a novelette?

Well, here's a website that tells you all you need to know. Head on over to: CLICK!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Pet Hates from an Agent's Point of View

1.  Submission of an ENTIRE ms that wasn't asked for.

2.  Submission not adhered to the guidelines.

3.  No SAE.

4.  Requesting payment ASAP.

5.  Paperclips.

6.  Staples!

7.  Begging/threatening/soppy letters.

8.  Handwritten submissions (does happen).

I've (I admit to this now only because I was young and ignorant, and now I'm old and clever...ish) done numbers 1 and 2. Number one because I thought it'd save time for when they (obviously) requested my full ms. Number two because I just knew they'd fall in love with my sci-fi even though it was clearly a romance list I'd submitted to.

Monday, 8 March 2010

My Pet Hates - from a struggling writer's point of view.

1.  Agents/publishers that do not respond even when ms is neatly presented with SAE and correct postage.

2.  MS returned with my cover letter. (Rubbing it in that they didn't even take the blimming thing out of the envelope.)

3.  MS returned with my cover letter and the words: no thanks, scrawled across. (ouch!)

4.  A standard rejection, but then advertising their own books for successful publication.

5. Getting my name wrong.

6.  Ending the rejection letter with the words: Better luck next time. (I didn't enter a raffle!)

7.  A rejection letter in shape of a form. The reasons are listed, and my particular one is ticked or ringed.

8.  "I only accept new clients that already have published success." (Grrr.)

Rejections can be very devastating at times and you should avoid falling into depression, or overuse of alcohol/drugs. Saw this warning here, and thought it funny. I dunno, I'm still POSITVE I'll get a three-book deal sometime soon, so maybe there is a chance I could be hitting the bottle or worse within the next couple of years.