Category Archives: Writing tips and ideas

Your book is your brand: Do you help it out?

Years ago, I was reading an issue of Writer’s Digest and came across this topic. At the end, the writer left her Twitter handle. I decided to follow her in hopes of learning more. Since then, I have expanded my brand through Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and a website.

It takes time to cultivate a brand, but it is, in my opinion, vital to each author out there. Once you type the end and the revisions and edits are complete, what then? No matter how you publish, how will you shout to the world about your book? Besides friends and family, how else can you tell people about it?

I started on my brand when I finished the first draft of my first book, “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure.” When I started sending out query letters, the publishers wanted to know where I was online. Thankfully I was able to provide that information.

As I mentioned, it will take some time but start somewhere, anywhere, and grow from there. Trying to be all over the place will exhaust you. The sites that work for you will suffer by you try to do it all. That was how I learned my lesson, trying to be everywhere. I was not giving each site enough love and attention it needed.

In due time it will get easier to update the sites to go and make a post or send out a relevant tweet to your followers. But start somewhere, no matter how small, start. You want your book to shine. It deserves to shine.

Do you have a social platform?: You should

Do you have a social platform as an author? Do you think you need one?

When I submitted one of my books in a query letter, the publisher asked, “Where are you at?” He meant did I have a platform. Did I have one?

Fortunately, I pointed him to various places. I was happy I had taken the time to create one. My author website has a drop-down menu that shows you where I am. I copy the link when anyone asks. I have even given talks about creating and maintaining a social platform.

Yet, when I talk to other writers in my area, few have taken the baton to use an author’s platform for their works. It used to get to me, for it is a topic that I believe in so strongly. But now, at this point, I nod and listen. One is unable to lead a horse to water, right? Well, you can, but easier than having an author create a platform. LOL

The thing with creating a platform is not all of them will be a right fit for you. Concentrate on what does work. But even more so, the platform is constantly changing with new forms of promoting yourself. And what used to work may not work anymore.

It can be much, but the results are worth the effort and time.

So, if you are at a point where a publisher asks, hopefully, you can say happily, “Here I am.”

When does a series of a book end?

If you have written an ongoing series, when do you know it is time to end it?

I love reading series that make me wish they never will end. Eventually, it does. Then you have the series that makes you wonder how it should have stopped a volume or two ago.

My children’s series, at this moment, has three volumes, with the fourth one with my editor. My series, a true-life comedy, is a stand-alone book, but volume two is in its final edits with my editor. I have notes to write about half of another volume.

I am wondering if it is time to finish either series. But primarily, the series is geared toward children. Have I run out of ideas? Is there more to this series?

When a series goes on too long, it sours me on that series and sometimes the author.

Do I still have ideas for the fifth volume of my series? What else can I talk about that my fans and readers will want to read where this series concerns?

The concept comes from my Amazon parrot, Jasper, and his personality and our interaction. We rescued him in 1999 at the age of five. He has given me plenty of things to write on. It brings to the front children the problems and crises that are going on in the Amazon rainforest. I have discussed a few of these. My latest volume describes the poaching industry.

Researching online for other issues this precious resource has is something I need to dive into to see if there is another that I can wrap a story around. If I do find such a topic, I still need to take a step back and think if I should continue.

My other projects are rooting for me to stop so I can work on them. Besides being an author that writes for children, and a comedy writer, I have a drama, mystery, and a few other genres WIP waiting to see the day of light.

It tugs at me which route to go. I will need to ponder on this.