Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Great discussion with a social media coordinator

Yes, there are groups and organizations out there that will manage your social media presence for you, and believe me, it's worth it.

I haven't signed up yet for it, but this guy's giving me a free look-over on my Facebook ads, to see if 1) I'm targeting the right audience and
2) I'm sending out effective ads.

Here's what I learned about Facebook advertising:

- You can have a campaign consist of multiple ads, each one targeting a specific audience with different images, words, etc.  Once these go out, you can use the results to identify your best target audience.  And if you set a dollar limit on your campaign, your ads will accumulate to that limit and no more.

- Broader scope is not better.  You may think targeting 58 million people would be great, and you may jack up your likes to your page, but that doesn't necessarily translate into sales.  Many people like a page just cuz they like it, or they like everything that comes their way, but they're not the ones buying your book.  A broad reach may get you 100 likes on your Facebook page and no sales, whereas a niche target may get you 25 likes but 25 sales.  Likes don't pay.  Sales do.

More to come once I get the feedback from my social media coordinator.  In the meantime, if you have a chance to consider Facebook advertising for your on-line book or self-published book, DO IT.

And most importantly, WRITE ON!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The key to overcoming writer's block is...

...to stop writing.

No, I don't mean forever.  There wouldn't be any writers left in the world if we did that.  No, I mean, don't stare at your screen or typewriter (for you hipster writers) "trying" to write.  Stop.  Step away from the computer.

It's ok.

Now, that's all well and good, but how do you get back on track?  Well, in my experience writer's block usually comes from an uncertain direction forward.  What now?  What plot point can I throw in?  What's the subplot?  How can I move the story forward?

Screaming is a good place to start.

This happened to me on the bus the other day whilst writing Under a Broken Sun II - Mammoth Caves.  The hero's group pulled off the main road for the night, into a barn.  They split up, some to check out the farm house to see if anyone was alive there, some to get wood.  Some stayed in the barn to start a warming fire.

And then....



Yeah, I got nothin'

So, what did I do?  Well, I happen to have a playlist of songs that are the "soundtrack" to my story.  I listen to them in random order, over 150 songs, when I write.  When I'm blocked?  I stop writing, and start listening.

I closed my eyes (all on the bus, remember), listened to the soundtrack, and put myself in the scene.  It's cold.  Biting cold.  The three men go out to cut wood.  So they have axes.  They talk about the previous scene.  Danger.  Need danger.  What's dangerous about being in the middle of trees with no electricity and cold?  Not hypothermia.  To easy to avoid.  Not in-fighting, doesn't suit the characters.  I watched the movie in my head.  And suddenly -

- there was a growling.  Slow.  Deep.  Then another.  A guttural harmony.  

Block avoided.  I won't tell you what happens because then you won't buy the book figuring you already know it all, but suffice to say, I was off and running again.

So to get over your writer's block, stop writing, start listening, start observing.  Go into your story.  However you can, however you choose to do it, close your eyes, and BE there.

And then?

And your story will hug you.

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