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Archive for May, 2013

I love the humor! When we write, we can wrap ourselves up in our own ideas, we forget there is a world out there spinning madly away. Take a moment from what you are doing and read this – a humorous look at how-to and how-not-to be an Indie Author… or anything else you are striving for! Excellent guest post Ionia!

Legends of Windemere

This week’s guest blog is brought to us by the delightful, funny, and hard-working Ionia Martin of Readful Things.  She also is the mastermind behind The Community Storyboard where writers and readers from all walks of life can gather for some fun.  Did I mention she’s hard-working?  If you haven’t had the joy of checking out both of Ionia’s blogs then I suggest you take the time to do so.

Now, I asked Ionia to make a list of Do’s and Donts’ for the Indie Authors.  I thank her for taking up the challenge and having fun with it.  Enjoy.

So you have decided to be an indie author, huh?

I can always count on Charles Yallowitz, the owner of this here excellent blog for two things. Number 1: He writes great books.

Number 2: He is always entertaining and ensures that his posts far outweigh any other responsibilities…

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All too often, I feel the sting of being a writer. Yes, a sting. It can be a lonely profession…when I’m doing it wrong.

Let me explain: I do need a quiet place – or at least a place where I’m not responsible for any one else – to work. In that sense, I need ‘alone time’ in order to work with words, sentence structure, plot elements and the characters in my head. Writing the story, the article, the post is simply step one. Sharing the story is something I can’t do alone.

There is a network of like-minded writers out there that I need. Writers need to encourage each other just like mothers tend to bond quickly over birth-and-delivery stories. The beauty of how a story (or a child) was born brings us together under, helps us know that despite the lonely times and the struggle to find just the right way to describe a scene – we are doing what we need to be doing.

The Internet is a valuable tool in all of this. Through WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I have discovered some incredibly giving individuals – writers who understand that in order for the ‘little guy’ to find an audience, it takes team work. In writing, that means clicking on ‘Like’ if we think a blog post is well written, commenting on blogs, writing reviews for books we read.

Ways we can help each other:

1. Share other writer’s blog posts on Twitter.

2. Share blog posts on Facebook.

3. When a writing friend publishes something new, tell the world!

4. When a writing friend publishes something new, buy it! And then leave a review after you read it.

5. Reblog posts that you really enjoy and think others will appreciate.

6. Are you on LinkedIn? Use it. Share blogs, ideas, and articles there just like you would on Twitter and Facebook.

7. If you add a meaningful picture to your blog post, your writer-friends can add it to Pinterest. (Caution: Use your own pics to avoid copyright infringement issues)

writing pics 009

8. Leave a comment on blog posts you read. It’s a little more than grafitti: “Jessica was here and liked this”, but it doesn’t have to be profound. For example, you could comment at the end of this blog post, “Hi Jessica! Great Post. I really liked #4. I think I’ll give your new book a try!”

This really does work. Kimberly Shursen took it upon herself to tell the world about “People Like Us” on her blog. Authors submitted their cover art to her, she created a library, and is interviewing authors. Here’s the cool part: Every author who is in this interview pool shares the link to all the interviews twice a week for two weeks. That means each interview will be posted four times by each author. I’ve bought a few of the books that sounded good to me and I haven’t been disappointed! The latest book I bought through this was by Ken Magee.

In summary: Think outside the box in your marketing – like Kimberly. Take part in a Blog Hop, a Blog Tour, or a Blog Carnival. Try Parents and Writers – a Blog Carnival I host. And Share!

Have a beautiful day!
Jessica

Looking for a good read? Try:
Gateways
Unforgettable Roads

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parents and writers icon

When people learn that I’m a writer, an author, a crafter of events that have never really happened, they wonder how on earth I can think of story ideas. And honestly, I wonder how they can’t. But I have an edge…I’m a parent. I am surrounded by endless questions like…

What part of your life would you want to go back to and live it again?” my daughter asked. “To re-experience a good moment or to fix a bad moment?” I asked. “Either,” she answered, “but you could only pick one.

    Talk about a story idea!

There are times when balancing parenting, homeschooling and writing is overwhelming. I am constantly working on something: meals, cleaning, teaching, plotting… I’m not alone, because here you are, reading this and possibly searching for the “how to” write while your toddler is shouting commands from across the table (mine is demanding to be released from his highchair…he has been sentenced to finish his breakfast). It takes a sense of humor, patience with clutter, writing in snippets between naps and those dangerous quiet moments when children are investigating the corners of the house and finding joy in using crayola markers to redecorate (real experience) or giving each other haircuts (again, real event).

I sometimes imagine my life as a TV show: a sit-com when the day goes well, or, when drama is high, it’s all in the name of research for those tense scenes of future novels…How will the wife manage yet another task? Will she enlist the help of her children to prepare the house for a showing (we are selling our home) or will she put on her super-mom cape and do it all herself, thus inflicting undue chaos as she single-handedly cleans, cooks and acts out how to find common demoninators for her fifth-grader.

I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t have to. Below you will find several resources for writing with children, how to use Goodreads to market your book, a comedic look at your life as a writer, and an interview with Mary Trunk, a film maker and mom who explored moms who make art. Enjoy!

YOU MIGHT BE A WRITER…
Every good piece of entertainment begins with humor and David Leonhardt provides the laughs with “You Might Be a Writer”.

“If you ask your child whether the new kid in school is the protagonist or the antagonist, you might be a writer.” … and dozens more clues that might implicate you in this writing conspiracy.

WRITING WITH CHILDREN
Parents who write are often put in one of two categories: 1) highly organized individuals who use their time wisely; or 2) highly focused individuals who can focus on a task despite the chaos surrounding them. Charles Yallowitz presents an optimistic point of view that inspired me to take a fresh look at how I interact with my children while I’m trying to crank out a new chapter. Charles, thank you for your compassionate parenting and encouraging words!

MARKETING WITH GOODREADS
Once you’ve passed that initial gatekeeper and have found a publisher, the world of marketing takes over your writing life. Kimberley Grabas introduces Goodreads as a marketing tool, not to advertise with “spammy comments and blatant self-promotion” but a true give-and-take approach. Filled with how-to set up an account and dozens of helpful tips, this is a must-read article for all published and self-published authors!

Imagine a magical place that gathers together 17 million of the most passionate readers who want to talk about, review and buy your book. A place that not only allows, but encourages, both new and established authors to promote their books. A place that provides FREE opportunities to – get your book in front of thousands of buyers, – conduct informal research (polls), – participate in a highly viral environment, – join or create groups with like-minded people on every literary topic imaginable, – create an author presence, connecting your book, your blog and your social media platforms. Now imagine if Amazon purchased this magical realm of high quality, book-buying, book-loving influencers in the spring of 2013, likely leading to big opportunities to align your Amazon marketing to this Utopia. If such a paradise existed, would you want to be a part of it?

CAN MOMS MAKE ART?
Ever wonder if being a parent and an artist was like trying to freeze water with your bare hands? Or, in your mind, do the two go together like birds and bees? Susan K. Perry interviews Mary Trunk in an eye-opening discussion about Mary’s documentary Lost In Living. I, for one, am eager to watch this film!

A filmmaker spent several years interviewing 4 mothers who write or make art. And I interviewed HER about what she found. Very honest and thought-provoking interview.

If you liked this post, please share it!

If you are looking for a summer read, check out Unforgettable Roads.

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You are invited to join a new blog carnival geared toward
parents who are writers

    folks who raise little souls,
    who sacrifice sleep for cuddles,
    who are insanely addicted to the written word.

parents and writers icon

Themes for this Blog Carnival can include: Writing amongst legos, tools and strategies you use to find time to write, resources you’ve discovered, writing for children, writing while children run amuck, and any recipe that is easy to assemble thus giving us more time to write (I’m a huge fan of my crock pot).

For more details, visit the Parents and Writers Blog Carnival Page. Deadline for submissions are the 15th of each month. The Blog Carnival will be posted at this blog on the 20th.

If you have any questions, please email me at JessicaSchaubWrites@gmail.com

Happy Writing!
Jessica

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What a month! Spring has finally arrived in Michigan!
Jessica's Camera Oct. 2011-May 2012 054

As I explored the World of Social Media, I discovered a treasure trove of websites and blogs that have helped me hone my craft, share my writing and amp up my marketing.

I will be honest – I don’t like marketing. I didn’t become a writer so that I could learn to market. But, such is life. The more I’m learning about this aspect of writing, the more comfortable I’m becoming with it. The real trick for me is balancing the marketing with writing and being a homeschooling mom of four. I don’t have that all figured out yet. In fact, the only reason I have time to write this post is because my youngest is asleep, my older two are studying Latin together, and child #3 is upstairs stuck in a book. The house is oddly quiet – and I love it! Let’s see how much I can accomplish before this bliss ends 🙂

1. Kimberly Grabas wrote what I will call “The Essential Website To-Do List for Authors”. I’ve been working on my website, slowly adding and changing things as I learn. Now, thanks to Kimberly, I have a whole new list of ‘musts’ to do.

2. I joined Pinterest recently and thoroughly enjoy the eye-candy. As a visual person, I have to be strict with myself to not over-indulge. For writers, there is a way to use Pinterest for Marketing, as Joanna Penn shares in her excellent blog. Btw, if you don’t follow Joanna’s blog or haven’t ‘Liked’ her facebook page, I highly recommend it. I’m just sharing information – she’s writing it!

3. Author Media is another blog & facebook page to follow. While they are many writers and I am one, I find their posts to be extremely helpful in my writing and marketing attempts.

4. How about a blog post about helpful blogs? Click here. But don’t forget to come back here 🙂

5. If you are launching a non-fiction book, C.S. Laskin has the post for you. I write fiction, but still found this post helpful.

6. Do you Tweet? I’m still learning and Author Media makes my list twice this month with a list of 100 things authors can tweet. Remember, of all the things you tweet about, 80% should be about other writers and 20% about your own writing. Why? Because those who help others are well, helpful. Those who market only themselves are selfish. (follow me @JessicaSchaub1)

7. Back to writing… there are big No-No’s to avoid in writing. Rob Hart share’s 10 story-telling cliches to avoid.

8. I took a marketing class through <a href="“>SkillShare with Laura Pepper Wu and loved it. I know have a 12-point marketing plan and the assistance of other writers I met through the class. I plan on writing a full post about this in the near future.

Well, I did it! The baby is still asleep and the Latin studying has moved onto History.

Have a peaceful day!
Jessica

www.BooksByJessica.com (I haven’t added all the recommended changes to my website – I’m taking it nice and slow 🙂

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