Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

What an author does

Writing is like giving birth, but the labor lasts much longer.

I have realized that the experience of becoming an author has been similar to giving birth. First, I was pregnant with the thoughts, feelings and ideas. They grew inside me like a new baby. I shared some of this with family and friends, the way a pregnant woman would let people rub her tummy to feel the baby kick.

I nourished my writing by reading and learning, and forming friendships with other authors. I began researching the writing industry and learning everything I could on the subject, along with information about publishing, marketing and promotion. In this way, it was similar to what is referred to as “nesting”, when a woman “prepares” for the coming arrival; cleaning and setting up the nursery, and getting all the necessary supplies on hand.

Then it was time to give birth.

The actual writing part came naturally enough, though there were some minor complications. I got stuck with my words several times. During the process, I ended up erasing entire pages, at times on purpose, and accidentally at times. There were times when I felt so frustrated and began to think that I might never finish my book. But just like being pregnant, you know the baby can’t stay in there forever.

Finally, my book was completed. Victory! And I felt very proud of this accomplishment. It took a lot of hard work, dedication and determination, but it had become a reality. I could hold it in my hands, my “baby”.

Then came the job of raising the baby, getting the word out and promoting it to the world. That was even harder than the giving birth! Naturally my new “baby” was eagerly accepted by my family and friends. But if that is the only audience to buy your book, you are going to need another job to support yourself.

Of course, several people in my inner circle spread the word about my new book to their family and friends. But let’s face it, I am no super-star with thousands of followers.

I needed some serious help in getting the word out, to promote myself and my book. As I had been reading and learning about the marketing industry, I learned about using social media and networking. It is much more than just posting a few ads on Facebook and Twitter and such. (I’ll be covering more on that later.)

Through social media I began to make new friendships, many of which were with seasoned authors. And to my surprise, quite a few were very willing to share tips of the trade and some much needed guidance on what to do next. Many of these fine and generous people even bought my book and promoted it to their own fans! And while my book may not be on the best-seller list in New York yet, I was quite honored to receive the mentions and lovely reviews.

One aspect I learned from all of this is about the concepts of “pay back” and “pay it forward”. The “pay back” is kind of a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back” sort of thing, where authors cross-promote each other’s works. The “pay it forward” is where someone helps out a new author, without any expectations of returning the favor. It is simply a way of giving a new author or new book some support, and perhaps opening a door to new avenues for them.

This brings me to the point of my post today.

It has been my privilege to make friends with a few Christian authors that are about to release their new books. As my way of saying “thank you for your friendship”, I will be doing a few guest posts, interviews and reviews with these authors over the next few weeks.

I am really excited about these new books and the adventures the authors are about to begin! As I said at the beginning of this post, “writing is like giving birth, but the labor lasts much longer”, and I am happy to be a small part of these new births.

I realize that my work alone will not make these books successful bestsellers, so I will be asking for the help of all of my readers to spread the word. It’s not easy being a new parent. And neither is becoming a best-selling author. But with a little help and determination, it can be achieved.

So please join me in welcoming these wonderful upcoming authors and help us in sharing their work, their babies, with the world!

And if you know of any new authors or works that you would like to see promoted, I would be happy to take a look and see what I can do. Just send me a link or a note.

Thank you in advance for your help and support. I look forward to hearing from you, and God bless! – Amber

 

Read Full Post »

This is for the writers out there, from my friend, Seumas Gallacher, a talented man with a fine spirit. Though his words may be humorous, there is some valuable information here, especially for those just stepping into the world of self publishing. I wish I had known about Seumas when I wrote my first book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”. It would have made things a lot easier.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. And please stop by Seumas’ site. Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll at least be entertained! Wishing all a happy & blessed Wednesday! – Amber

Seumas Gallacher

…absent being the owner of your own currency printing machine, I offer the following synopsis for all the wannabe Croesus(es) [Croesii?] out there in quill-scribbling world…I’m presently about three-quarters of the way through the process, so forgive me if may have to revert for the final corroboration of its efficacy…and having only my own personal experience to draw on here, I’ll pitch this accordingly…my story to date:

1. Kick-off/start/genesis/beginning is …WRITIN’…

Nicking from Nike—JUST DO IT!… don’t be an ‘aspiring writer’—if you write at all, then you’re a writer—and despite nasty rumours to the contrary, it’s NOT a nefariously negative pursuit…get the stuff out, down on paper  or on the laptop…along the way, like any apprentice, emulate the writers you admire…ask for advice…the universal author/writing family is immensely generous of spirit.

2. Having written, now it’s…MARKETIN’…

As of two days ago, I’m officially an Old Age Pensioner…but…

View original post 370 more words

Read Full Post »

Unstuffed Cabbage

Many years ago I was invited to dinner at my cousin’s house. She served a dish called “Stuffed Cabbage”. I had never tried it before, but with one bite, I fell in love! I have always enjoyed Italian foods, and this particular dish was delicious.

I asked for the recipe, which my cousin was happy to share. I attempted to make it a few weeks later, and quickly discovered there was a lot more work to it than I had thought.

I’m what you might call a “lazy cook”. I prefer meals where you throw everything in one pot and call it dinner. It’s a good way to clean out the leftovers in the fridge too, only you seldom get the exact same taste twice. Still, I’ve never had any complaints about my cooking. (Maybe it’s only because I make them wait until they’re so hungry, anything would taste good.)

Well, I decided that instead of spending all that time to steam the cabbage leaves, prepare the meat mixture and roll it up in the leaves, then put it in the sauce to cook, you guessed it…I just put all of the ingredients into a crock pot and turned it on, calling it “Unstuffed Cabbage”. I let it simmer for several hours while I went about taking care of other matters, like playing with the kids.

Unstuffed Cabbage has now become one of my favorite meals, and has even been requested on occasion at our church potlucks. Of course everyone laughs when I tell them I came up with the idea because I’m a lazy cook. But it is the truth. It’s not that I mind cooking at all, I just usually have a lot of other things going on that require my attention (and I’ve burned a lot of dishes that require too much tending to).

It occurred to me recently that my recipes such as Unstuffed Cabbage, allow me to multi-task as well as save time, money, energy and space. And I really like those ideas! I’m actually thinking about creating a cookbook for other lazy cooks too. It might make a great gift item. What do you think? Any ideas for a good title? Got any suggestions for saving time or money, etc. you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your ideas!

One more quick note: In an effort to better organize my time, I’ll be updating my posts here on Wednesdays and Fridays.

And since it’s Friday, as promised (I know, I’ve missed a couple of weeks) here is this week’s #TBSU (The Blog Scratchers Union) List:

http://livingthescottishdream.wordpress.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/

http://losrodriguezlife.com/

http://sethsnap.com/about/

http://ruthninawelsh.com/

http://cutterlight.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/category/introduction/

http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com/

http://blog.bookmasters.com/

http://caddoveil.com/

Take a look and if you see any blogs you like, please follow and share! If you have any blogs you’d like to recommend, #TBSU is free to join and easy to share. Or if you prefer, I can add your suggestions to my lists too…the more the merrier!

Have a great weekend, and God bless! – Amber

Read Full Post »

New Beginnings

 

I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone (a day late) a very happy and blessed New Year! My son Christian and I were able to spend some time celebrating with some very good friends that we don’t get to see very often. It was a wonderful day, and we will cherish the memories.

Over the past several weeks, I have had many thoughts of family and friends and the importance of our relationships. I had been battling with many frustrations, feeling like I was always behind on something and yet always too busy to do the things I wanted to. And I realized that I was too busy.

My priorities had become out of whack, which tends to happen from time to time. And I had taken on more obligations than I could actually accomplish. As I get a little older, I’m realizing that I don’t have the same energy levels I did when I was a teenager. But my “to do” lists seem to have grown longer, making it impossible to complete all the things I want to do. And this was causing a lot of frustration for me. I don’t like to leave things undone.

So I took some time off for Christmas and New Years, and I spent some of that time going over my responsibilities and obligations. I realized that there were some things I was spending too much time on, and not enough on others. For one thing, I was spending too much time on frivolous things like TV and the internet, and not enough time on my relationship with God. I also had not been spending enough time with my family and friends. Most of my family lives far away, and it’s been many years since I’ve been able to visit. And I’ve been so busy with working on projects and chores, etc. that I have not even spent much time visiting with the family and friends we have near us.

I started considering my priorities. Not the obligations of what I am supposed to do, but the real desires of my heart. Spending time with God, my family and friends, and my animals are my top three desires. Writing is also a passion of mine, but without any of the first three, my writing becomes forced and begins to lack any heart. In college we were taught that there are certain basic principles of how to write well: specific elements of style, grammar, methods, etc. To be honest, I always hated that part of the courses. I know it’s important to learn how to write properly, but for me personally, it’s about putting the feelings in my heart down on paper to share with others. The stronger the passion and emotion in my heart, the better and stronger my writing is.

With that being said…as some of you may know, I completed and published my first book, “Faith, Hope and Miracles”, last July. It’s the true story about my son Christian and the horrible accident he had back in 2010 that earned him the nickname of “miracle boy” by our local newspaper. The trauma that our family went through over that next year and the thankfulness in my heart for his revival and recovery led to a strengthening of faith and hope that I never would have expected. I learned more through that year, than all the years of schooling put together. And it stirred such a passion in my heart, that I could not contain it. I had to share it! I had not written professionally before, but I let my heart pour out onto the pages and before long, there was a book. Writing the book was not the hard part for me, it was having to learn everything from scratch about how to get it published. But with a lot of determination, relentless research, hard work, and most of all, God on my side, the book was released for sale on July 9, 2012 on Amazon.

One of the things I learned about during the publishing process had to do with marketing and publicity and social networking. This was a big drawback for me in many ways. For one thing, it led to many hours more than I care to admit, on sites like Facebook and Twitter. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, (actually it’s a very necessary part) it became very easy to let precious time slip away very quickly. Thankfully I have realized this, and am now limiting my time on the internet and learning to make the most use of it.

For this new year of 2013, I have set some very specific priorities of what I will be spending my time and energy on. God will always be first, as He should be. And my loved ones, (including the furry ones) will come next. I have set aside specific times for my writing in order to accomplish the goals I have for my next book, and I have decided not to worry so much about the little things. I will achieve whatever I have time to finish, AFTER my priorities are taken care of. I guess that is my New Year’s resolution, a new beginning for me.

What are some of your resolutions for this new year? Or some of your new priorities? Please share any ideas or solutions you have in maintaining a schedule to accomplish your tasks. And here’s to a bright, beautiful and blessed 2013!

 

Read Full Post »

Good morning fellow bloggers! It’s Friday, and I almost have my voice back. I think I’m on the mend finally, praise God! With Christmas just around the corner, life has gone into the busy mode now. But I did manage to find some humor this week, and I wanted to share it with you.

I pray that I will age as gracefully (and with such a sense of humor about it) as the lady in this video! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. 🙂

A hilarious prayer

As promised, I have added a few more sites to my #TBSU (The Blog Scratchers Union) list. I hope you will pass them along to your friends, and thank you for helping to spread the word! Don’t forget to “like” and “follow” the ones you enjoy and find helpful!

Happy blogging & have a very Merry Christmas & blessed New Year! 🙂

Blogs to follow: #TBSU

http://ruthninawelsh.com/

http://cutterlight.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/category/introduction/

http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com/

http://www.faithwriters.com/

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/

Note: Some of the above sites are not actual blogs, but sites for writers with lots of resources you might find helpful, so I wanted to include them. Also, I have had some trouble with the actual links not working. If that is the case, you can copy & paste the addresses into your browser. (I’m still learning about building the links, so I appreciate your patience with me!)

Read Full Post »

It’s Monday morning, and I’m not feeling quite up to par. Christian and I have had a bad cold since last Wednesday, which has left me with almost no voice for the past 4 days. Christian kinda likes it that way, saying now I can’t fuss at him. 🙂

Today will be mostly spent on catching up on household chores and some arts & crafts time. We are working on making our Christmas gifts, and our projects qualify as Art in home schooling. So Christian lucked out for today with an easy school load.

As for writing, I did post pictures on our animal site, Christian’s Critters. Other than that, it’s difficult for me to put many of my thoughts down today. The book that I am currently writing is meant to be from a humorous point of view, but I’m just not feeling very humorous right now. So perhaps I’ll have to put the book on hold for now.

For my fellow authors though, I do want to share another interesting idea from my friend, Seumas Gallacher. It’s another creative way for connecting with other authors, getting to know a little something about each other. It’s kind of a game of tag for authors. Check it out and please share. Seumas has a lot of really fun and interesting ideas for helping each other in promoting our work. Click here to check out his blog: Seumas Gallacher

Well, that’s all for today. Hope everyone has a blessed day, with hearts of hope and encouragement to share with others.

Love, Peace & Blessings – Amber

Read Full Post »

Good morning to all!

They call this the “season of sharing”. (Well, I personally think that should be a year round theme, but that’s another soapbox.) I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a new friend and fellow author for his idea about writers helping each other to expand their audiences. His name is Seumas Gallacher, and his idea is “you scratch my blog, I’ll scratch your blog”. A “union” of blog writers is being formed called “The Blog Scratchers Union” with a hashtag of #TBSU.

The idea is to spread the word about the blogs you enjoy and follow by creating a listing at the end of your posts, or in a special section of your blog if you prefer. It seems to catching on like wildfire from what I’ve seen so far.  I’ve already found several new blogs that I am now following, thanks to Seumas’ lists.

As a new and unknown author, this is a great way to make new acquaintances (and friends), to share resources and information, and get the word out there about your books and blogs. And it’s FREE! Now that’s a word we all like to hear!

So, as a part of my Christmas gift to my fellow authors (and continuing throughout the rest of the year) each Friday I will be posting my list for #TBSU. Since I am running 3 different blogs now, I will be separating my lists into categories according to the theme of each particular blog. The following are my blogs and their themes:

https://amberleaofalaska.wordpress.com  –  My personal blog, sharing a variety of thoughts, inspirations, and things about writing.

http://faithhopeandmiracles.com/ –  Sharing encouragement & hope through God’s love and truth.

http://christianscritters.com/  –  A place for sharing everything about animals.

I will be copying this post to each of the other sites as well, with the current listing at the end. If you or anyone you know has a blog, this is a great way to connect with others of similar interests, so please share!

Have a great weekend, and God bless!

#TBSU

Blogs to follow:

http://www.seumasgallacher.wordpress.com

http://gusevs.wordpress.com/

http://exploredreamdiscovertours.me/

http://nysocialoutcast.wordpress.com/

http://theycallmeloopy.com/

http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/

http://www.beyondmycontrol.net/

http://ginaroberts-grey.com/

http://lisettebrodey.com/

http://scarberryfieldsforever.blogspot.com/

Enjoy, pass along, share if you feel like it :) 🙂

 

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: