Friday, September 28, 2012

Survival Tips for Waiting by Amanda Flower

Writers have to accept that “waiting” is part of the journey to publication. Some people are more patient than others, but we probably all experience moments when we grow impatient to receive an answer from an agent or publisher. When waiting starts to make you feel crazy or anxious, how do you handle it? Today, author Amanda Flower gives valuable tips for surviving.
 ~ Dawn

Survival Tips for Waiting
by Amanda Flower

I have trouble living in the present. I always have. My eyes are always turned to the future and to what is next. This is even true when I travel. I’ve been to many wonderful places in the world, but many times wherever I am, no matter how spectacular, I have to tell myself to stop and enjoy the moment instead of worrying about the logistics of the next destination and all the contingencies that might spring up along the way. I could say I am a planner and this is a good quality. However, underneath it all I am naturally impatient. Think of someone you know who can’t sit through an entire movie without getting the jitters and you have me.

Impatience is not a good quality for a writer because publishing is a hurry up and wait business. Writers wait to hear from agents and editors, for release dates, and for reviews. Knowing I have a problem is half of the battle, but to cope, I have come up with a list of five survival tips that help me to be a little more patient.

1) Organize. I know this might be strange to be my number one, but it’s my first go-to. I have little time to keep my house in order when I’m in the middle of a manuscript, so I use my waiting time to put it back together. Best thing about it is there are immediate results, which I love.

2) Sleep. I’m not kidding. I write fulltime and I work as a librarian fulltime. Whenever I have a chance for a nap, I take it.

3) Write. While you are waiting for news about one manuscript, begin another. Getting caught up in a new story is a great way to use your nervous energy.

4) Fellowship. There not much time to see friends and family while on a deadline, so use those in-between times to have fun instead of to bite your nails while you wait to hear back from an agent or editor.

5) Move. Exercise is a great way to pass the time. Might as well get in shape so you look great for that author photo. I should probably use this one more. I will. Promise. Right after 1-4.

My advice would be not to worry about the day you finally receive the call for the big book deal you’ve dreamt about. Focus on now and focus on writing the best story that you can. The quality of your writing will earn you that contract, not the hours you spend worrying about it.

Click to reach Amazon.
Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

To learn more about Amanda, please visit:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do I Really Need to Blog, Part 1 by Tyora Moody

Today's topic, "Do I Really Need to Blog," contains so much good info that I'll be sharing part one this today and the second part on Tuesday. Get your notebook and pen! ~ Angie

Have you experienced the excitement of launching a blog? Maybe you were pretty consistent and found writing the blog posts to be fun.  Then, a few weeks go by and then a few months, and you aren’t thinking about blogging. Life just took over.  Like writing a book, blogging does take discipline. It’s within the discipline of blogging, you not only grow as a writer, but you are developing your author platform.

Do I really need to blog? Let’s think about this question this way. When you examine most author websites, they have pages for their books, a bio, events calendar, etc.  The pages are pretty static until the author or their webmaster adds new content. In that sense, the website can be kind of boring to a reader who’s already visited several times. A blog is the one main areas of a website that can change or be updated with consistency.

As you blog each week, you are creating an opportunity to connect, update and share with your readers or potential readers. If you have a certain niche or topic that you write about in your books, a blog offers a great way to attract an audience. Many authors will use blogs to help other writers by posting about their personal publishing journey or writing tips.

If writing daily or several times a week for a blog doesn’t appeal to you, consider video blogging. Videos are really easy to create these days via a webcam or your smartphone camera. Another alternative is to start a blog with a group of writers or authors. Each contributing writer can be assigned one day a week (or month) to add a blog post. Some existing group-authored blogs may offer guest blog opportunities like Seriously Write.

This blog post was excerpted from 5 Social Media Platforms Authors Should Explore. You are welcome to download a FREE copy from

Tyora Moody is an author and entrepreneur. Her debut novel, When Rain Falls, was released March 2012. The second book in the Victory Gospel Series, When Memories Fade, will be released in March 2013. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit the author online at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tips from the Journey Part Two: My Imaginary Friends

Happy Wednesday my writing friends,

Last week I shared a tip I learned from my early days—too lee do—writing details as if viewed through a toilet paper roll. See here to understand.

This week’s tip from the journey is about my imaginary friend. Well, actually, “imaginary readers” is the term. Have you ever tried this method? I learned it from the second writing book I ever read (I got it from the library and can’t remember what it’s called), but I’ve seen the idea other places too.

We’re Story Tellers, Right? 
If you’re like me, I bet you enjoy whipping out your story-telling skills in a crowd. I love to see the response of friends as I dramatically share an experience—the smiles, looks of concern, laughter, relief. Their reactions (or lack thereof) ignite my energy to make the story more engaging.

That’s the idea of imaginary readers. It’s a way of thinking about the folks who will be reading our words as we write, imagining their responses, and letting that guide our scenes. I usually employ one of two methods, or sometimes both.

Single Reader
Since I write historical romance, I pick a woman who delights in a good love story for my imaginary reader. As I write, I imagine I’m telling her the story. Sometimes this is a person I make up, and other times it’s a real friend of mine. I can hear her excitement over a romantic scene or her disappointment over a big conflict. I feed off of it!

The Campfire
Don’t you love hearing a story being told around a campfire? I have awesome memories of being at summer camp and my favorite counselor telling, “Who’s Got My Shinny Bone?” to us freaked-out little campers. “You got it!”

I want my stories to generate that edge-of-seat response, so sometimes I imagine myself in front of a campfire, spinning my scene to the expectant campers. I see their faces reflecting the fire and their eyes waiting for the next event to happen. I play off of it, adding suspense when needed, a quiet moment, or explanation.

Imaginary readers have been in my toolbox for years. How do imaginary readers help you? I'd love to hear. 

God bless and happy writing!


PS Don’t forget to send your Ask O Questions to me at or here in the comments.

photo credit: <a href="">eskimoblood</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">Michelle Hebert Fashion</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Building a Readership with Social Media by Tyora Moody

Today I've asked my fellow Carolinian, Tyora Moody, to share with us about social networking for writers. And I'm thrilled to report that she will posting her series with us today, Thursday and the following Tuesday. She's got years of experience with blogging and social media, so I'm sure you'll find lots of new info. Thanks so much, Ty! ~ Angie

I've been working with authors for over twelve years. It's amazing to me how many authors seek me for design and marketing services right before or after their book has been released. The days of getting by without an online presence have clearly been over for several years now. Whether you are a traditionally published or self-published author, daydreaming about your bestseller is not an option. As soon as you have a release date, it’s time to get down to the business of book promotion. This could mean starting six to nine months out preparing and generating buzz.

Now I don't know too many authors who have a tremendous amount of free time to devote to marketing. Most still work nine to five jobs, raise families and are involved in community activities. Even if there is an opportunity to write full-time, many authors supplement their income by providing services like editing, teaching or speaking. Time management is essential.

Many authors are often confused about how social media plays a role in their book promotion. With over 900 million users, I think it is safe to say most authors know about and have Facebook profiles and/or fan pages. But it is relatively easy to waste time on Facebook (or any social media) OR take what I call the “car salesman” approach of marketing your book (alienating people).

The importance of utilizing social media is to build relationships. Before my debut novel, When Rain Falls, was published March 2012, I had spent years as a book reviewer and a blogger. Those relationships I built over the years via social media with other reviewers and bloggers proved to be a great benefit to me when it came time to seeking influencers for my book. So, as you figure out what social network to join or which one to spend your time as a part of your book marketing plan, keep in mind the main goal is to build relationships.

In the next few blog posts, I will introduce or remind you about social media platforms you should consider for your book marketing efforts. I will also share tips on how to not only build relationships, but how to engage potential readers and spread your platform message.

This blog post was excerpted from 5 Social Media Platforms Authors Should Explore. You are welcome to download a FREE copy from

Tyora Moody is an author and entrepreneur. Her debut novel, When Rain Falls, was released March 2012. The second book in the Victory Gospel Series, When Memories Fade, will be released in March 2013. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit the author online at

Monday, September 24, 2012

Blog Tours 101 for Authors, Part 4: The Author's Role

Blog Tours 101 for Authors
Part 4: The Author's Role
by Audra Jennings, Litfuse Publicity Group

Whether your publisher sets up your blog tour for you or you hire an agency for the job, there is still work for you to do! In order for an author to be truly successful, he/she must make a connection with readers.

Your publisher or publicity team can give you a list of blogs and links so you can keep up with what has been posted, but you should also set up Google Alerts so you can keep track of everything being said about your book online. As bloggers post reviews, visit each blog and comment on the blog post, thanking them for their review, joining the discussion readers might be having about the book, etc. The blogger and their readers will be grateful you took the time to read the review, visit, and interact with them.

When you get a really great review, share the love by posting links of that review on your Facebook page, Twitter page, etc. In addition to more people seeing glowing reviews of your book, it helps the blogger gain readers. When a blogger gains readers, more people will be able to learn about your next book when the blogger reviews the next release. The benefits grow and grow.

It's also a good idea to offer some sort of giveaway on your blog or website during the blog tour in order to draw people to your website to enter. While they are there, they will be able to learn more about you and your other books.

Also, be willing to answer a few questions for interviews as they come up. Interviews are one way bloggers make their post unique (which is always desirable). Yes, it might require a little bit of time from you, but it’s worth it to make a personal connection with readers.

All of us live a life full of more to-dos and commitments than we can ever hope to get done. We understand how busy a writer’s life can be, but always make time to interact with your readers and do what it takes to promote your book—even if your next deadline is right around the corner. If it weren’t for readers of your current book, you wouldn’t be able to get your next book deal! 


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