Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Writing Through Adversity @barbbradley #MFRWauthor #amwriting

We all have rough days - I know I have had my share this year and I hope I'll give a little inspiration as I vent over what I have been through. We all handle adversity differently. I like to escape, by sleeping, writing, and working. Whatever helps me forget what is going on for a little while.

So lets look at what's been happening in my life. Back in March I was told that my mother-in-law probably won't make it a year, She's 88 and has COPD, congestive heart failure, AFIB, and pulmonary hypertension. I've been her caregiver for the last few years and have learned more about these diseases than I want to know. The doctors recommended that we get her in the Bridge to Hospice program so as she deteriorates we have something in place.

Dealing with this put a weight on my shoulders I didn't need, but I took it in stride and continued to write every night.

When I called the company in my area to set this up they told me that home hospice would keep her care at home. No more trips to the emergency, no more doctor calls. I said great because I know she doesn't want to go in a hospital.

So the nurse came to the house to start the enrollment, The rules for home hospice are quite strict. She must be home bound although she could go out every once in a while. Well she wanted to go to the YMCA one time because they were having a luncheon, but she didn't say it to the nurse that way. My MIL said she was going to the Y. She also has restless leg syndrome and it chose the moment when we were enrolling her into the program to get up and walk around the room. The nurse felt if she was going to the Y and that mobile she wasn't ready for home hospice.

Not what I needed, but I squared my shoulders and kept writing.

Now along with all the other things my MIL has Macular (sp) degeneration so her vision is failing. There were several more trips to the ER but I think when her eye doctor declared her legally blind she finally realized we needed the help home hospice can give us.

A little less stress and more writing.

In the middle of August my dad had back surgery and had a disk replaced. Well at the beginning of October I got a text from my step-mom that the disk collapsed and he was back in the hospital. The disk was contaminated when it went in him and he got this weird infection from it so they put him on antibiotics and said he'd be there for six weeks before they could replace the disk. He lives about eight hours from me so I was worried and stressed but still wrote.

My mom, who lives near me, had knee surgery on Oct 8th. I learned she was getting a little confused and it worried me. More stress. She went into a rehab center for her rehabilitation and I try to visit her every day. Trying to balance the two mom's can take some juggling, but still found the time to write every day.

Now that's a lot isn't it? But I've kept writing. It gives me relief from all of this. But I'm not done.

My MIL's hearing is gone. I had to have her tested and they show a strong hearing loss, A hearing aid does help her, but with her oxygen tube, and her glasses, there is no place for the hearing aid. When we borrowed it from the office to see how she would do with it, within the day she it had popped out of her ear too many times or I would find it dangling next to her ear like a weird hairpiece. We're going to try something else.

The day after this I went down to see my dad in the hospital. We had a great visit, but the poor thing is allergic to the antibiotics. Broke out in hives just before I arrived. Oh and he lost his cell  phone and his upper teeth, but that's a story for one of my books. On my way home my car broke down. At the time I write this it is about four hours away being worked on. I still have to go back after it.

It started losing power halfway between where my father lives in SC and my where my sister lives in NC. I was able to find a place and found out my battery was bad so I replaced it and was on my way, except that wasn't the problem. I passed the exit I normally take to see my sister and my car died again. I was able to get it to her mechanic and he said it was my alternator. I had to stay with my sister for the night (and I did some writing) then the next day after I got my car I got on the road once again. About an hour and a half down the road my car started loosing power again. I had no clue where to go or how to get the car to a repair shop but I put on my big girl panties and got it done.The hubby and I are planning a trip to go after it once it's fixed...again.

Now, I didn't write this to make you feel sorry for me. I wrote this to show you can't let the crapstorm that life serves you from time to time stop you from doing something you love. I love writing and I'm not going to stop, no matter what.


Timeless Desire - Book 9 of the Vespian Way Due out at the beginning of Nov.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Are You Ready for a Retweet Party?

MFRW graphics photo MFRWThunderclap_zpse01964cf.jpg

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.

On Oct. 14, click on each link and share everyone's post on twitter. Also, make sure to have #MFRWauthor in the tweet.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Should Authors Blog? Why? @kayelleallen #writingtips #MFRWorg

Button for Kayelle Allen's blog 
Recently on the Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) Yahoo Group, someone asked "What am I missing?" The topic was about blogging. She wanted to know what was in it for her as a writer. Wasn't it a better use of her time to be writing books? If blogging didn't do any good, why should she spend time doing it? It's a fair question, and one many authors have had.

As a writer who's been published for eleven years (with fifteen books including two anthologies and one boxed set), I've had a bit of experience in the area. I'm also the founder of MFRW. People share their stories with me. Here's my take on blogging.

A blog is a way of having fresh content on your website every day. How often can you release a new book? Probably not often enough to get people to come back to your website on a regular basis. Blogging brings people, and can generate followers for your blog, and for your social media.

Ask yourself -- so what? 

Why does that matter? Because those people who come back are people who have heard of you. When people buy books, they buy books that interest them, and they buy books by authors they know. They've learned that the author will give them a good read. Name recognition in this business is a major key to success.

When readers see your name, if they've been to your blog and/or followed you on social media, there is name recognition. That's crucial, epecially when thousands of books are released every day. If you have a choice between buying a book by someone you've never heard of, and someone you know, which will you pick?

As much as we'd all like to say that we write for the joy of writing and because it's in us and we just have to write, the truth is, we'd like to make some money doing it. We'd like to have a best seller.

Blogging is part of the overall marketing strategy a writer needs. Do you have to write in-depth articles every day? Certainly not. You can have guests, post videos about cats, have a puzzle spot, do a post with pictures of your vacation, anything you want. It doesn't have to be every day. But you need fresh content to keep readers coming back. Experiment with it. Is it three times a week? Once a week? Twice a month? Be consistent, and talk about things you love. Do what works for you.

The other -- and to me, this is the number one reason for blogging -- is to get people to sign up for your newsletter. If you don't have one, start it now. I use Mailchimp. There are other programs. Find what works for you, and use it at least once a month. Why? I'm glad you asked.

If you are consistently sending readers to Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or ARe, or any book seller, that's great. It's nice when they buy. But wouldn't it be great if you knew who those people were? Wouldn't it be awesome if when your next book comes out you could send them a direct email and let them know personally? They already bought your other book. Why wouldn't they want your next one? Of course they would. But if you only send readers to the book sellers, you will never know who those readers are. So create a sign up sheet via MailChimp (or another site) and invite people to give you their email address. You won't get a ton of sign ups, but you will get some. It takes time, but build up your list. Have a contest now and then. You don't have to spend a ton of money on this. But get started now.
Create a simple graphic 

Create a Graphic

An easy way to get people to sign up is to write a short story based on characters in a current book, and offer that as a giveaway for signing up. They sign up, and MailChimp sends the confirmation, with a link to your book's download site. Easy peasy. Create a graphic that invites people to sign up for your newsletter, and place it on your blog and website. Link it to your sign up page. Want to see one in action? Try mine.

All you need to get people to come to your site on a regular basis is a reason for them to be there. That is where blogging comes in.

Remember, the number one reason to have a website is to sell books. You do that by having fresh content, a way for people to sign up for your newsletter, and information on the site about those books. It's simply another way to connect with readers.

Yes, it takes time and organization to set up. Once you get over the fact that you will have to work at being an author, just like any other job, you'll do well. It wasn't easy to write the book. It wasn't easy to publish it. Blogging is just one more step in the process of making people aware of you, your talent, and your stories.

But hey, you got this far, didn't you? You got this.
Kayelle Allen is a best selling author, and the Founder, Marketing for Romance Writers.
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