Friday, July 11, 2014

How to be Twittertastic! #marketing #writing #writetip

One of my favorite authors and one of the nicest people I've met in this business, Jo Linsdell,  is stopping by on her virtual book tour. She's an expert in book marketing as well as an extremely talented author. Please welcome Jo Linsdell! 

Welcome, Jo! Can you tell us about your latest book? 
How to be Twittertastic is a writers and authors guide to the social media site Twitter. It covers a bit of everything from how to set up your account and personalise your profile to third party apps and getting the most leverage out of your tweets. It's also packed full of useful resources to help you make the most out of time and marketing efforts.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the book?
I got the idea for the Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media series a while ago but as I was working on illustrating some children's picture books for clients and was also busy publishing a children's picture story book of my own (The Box) and so I didn't have time to develop the idea right away.
A couple of months ago I decided that Twitter would be the topic of the first book in the series as it's the site I use that gains the best results. As soon as I had some free time I started brainstorming and plotting out a rough table of contents. It didn't take me long to know what I wanted to write.

What inspired you to write this particular book?
I'm a real social media junky and often get asked by other authors for tips on how to market their books online and build their author brand. When you have a passion that also happens to be in high demand it makes it easy to get inspired.
This whole series is designed around the idea of making social media easy for authors to understand and to supply them with information and tips to help them get the most out of their time and efforts.
Social media is used by billions of people worldwide on a daily basis. Our audience is online and can be reached free of charge without us even having to leave our homes. Authors need to be taking advantage of this opportunity to connect with their readers and build their fan base. A lot of authors aren't using it because they don't know where to start. Others are using it but not making the most of it. I hope this series will help them build their online presence and give them some ideas for what and how to post.

How long did it take you to write your book?
A couple of weeks. The book is a quick read. I didn't want to keep repeating the same things over and over (I've seen others do that to bulk out a book and found it very annoying) and to be honest, there is only so much you can write about Twitter. The site is designed around the idea of clutter free, to the point, content. I wanted the book to be the same.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)
I researched online using Twitter search to find examples to use in the book, and Google to find statistics, etc... As social media is one of my hobbies as well as a tool I use daily for marketing, I was already quite up to date on most of the details. I've also done several webinars on the topic and so already had a lot of notes to work from.

Who designed the cover?
I designed and made it myself using Adobe Illustrator.

Where is the book available to purchase?
How to be Twittertastic is currently available in kindle format on all Amazon sites and will be out in print later this month.

What genres do you write?
My main genres are children's picture books and non-fiction marketing guides for authors. I've also written poetry and have several novels of various types that I'm working on. I don't like to limit myself and love experimenting with new projects to see where they take me.

Do you have a saying or motto for your life/or as a writer?
Yes. "Don't just dream it, do it." I apply it to every aspect of my life and my writing.

Where can people find out more about you and your work?
At my website www.JoLinsdell.com

What was your first job?
My first job was working as a Saturday girl in a small hairdressers when I was about 13. I had to wash clients hair, sweep the floors, tidy the stock room, and get everyone coffee. I didn't stay there very long but I learnt a lot whilst I was there and will always remember it as my first job.

What's your favourite colour?
My favourite colour has always been blue. I love every shade of blue, from the pale pastels to deep navy. It's calm and peaceful but can also be full of energy.

What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
Probably when I left England to go to Rome back in 2001. Two weeks prior I'd opened an atlas, closed my eyes, and pointed at the map. It was on Italy. The next day I quit my job and booked my one way flight ticket to Rome. I'd only planned on staying for 3 days initially but I'm still here and with no plans on leaving anytime soon (that however is another story). I remember when I was on the plan having an overwhelming feeling of "am I brave or just plain stupid". I was completely on my own, didn't know of word of Italian, and had no real plan of action for when I arrived. All I had was my backpack. It was both the best and scariest thing I think I've ever done.

What do you like to read?
I have quite varied tastes and will read most genres. My favourites are crime and mysteries, easy read chick-lit, and non-fiction books about marketing (I'm always on the look out for new inspiration ;)).

What was the first book to have a big impact on you?

The Diary of Anne Frank. I read it in school, and several times since. She was such an inspiring person and the book is so powerful. It really gets under your skin.
About the book...

Are you ready to be Twittertastic?

Twitter is the most immediate of all social media and allows you to connect with readers and others from the literary industry from all over the world. The fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013 Twitter now boosts 255 million monthly active users.

How to be Twittertastic teaches you what Twitter is and how to use it to build your author brand, connect with readers, and sell more books.

Learn strategies and tips that will help you leverage your Twitter presence and get the most out of your tweets.

What's covered:
  • How to set up your profile and personalise it
  • Creating your network
  • Ideas for making the most out of the new features
  • Tweets- Types of content you can share
  • Retweets, hashtags, and other Twitter terminology made simple
  • Twitter etiquette- Dos and Don'ts of the Twitterverse
  • Time savers

and more...

How to be Twittertastic is the first book in the Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media series.


Product Details: Kindle

File Size: 2191 KB
Print Length: 94 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00LFFRYEE

More about Jo…
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Purchasing links:

Jo Linsdell is  a best selling author and illustrator and internationally recognized marketing expert. She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event "Promo Day" (www.PromoDay.info) and the Writers and Authors blog (http://WritersAndAuthors.blogspot.com). To find out more about Jo and her projects visit her website www.JoLinsdell.com.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No more hiding, only dancing #grief #inspiration

I did something I've never done before: I performed in my first public belly dancing show.  Yes, I was nervous, but not because of dancing in front of 300 people.  What?! Am I serious?  Why, then, was I apprehensive?

Because nine years ago my life split apart at the seams and I began living a life of quiet desperation.  When my husband died, I became serious, dark, sad, and lonely.  Survival became my number one priority. I lived according to a checklist: get kids through grief, keep the house standing, take care of the car, figure out what to do tomorrow, make ends meet, and work until your eyes bleed because you're all the kids have now.  Isolation grew along with sadness.  Yes, I've had joyous moments. I'm not implying otherwise. The kids and I have traveled, we've laughed, we've grown together in wonderful ways. We've come a long way, us three.

But a part of me had been locked away all of this time...she's been afraid to be seen, preferred hiding behind weight gain, work excuses, and social isolation.  Why? Because surviving suicide is a heavy burden to bear, especially as the spouse.  I can't tell you how many times people ask me if I "knew" my late husband's intent, if I "knew" he was sad.  The implication is always there...that I could have saved him, should have made a difference.  Shame crept in and held me captive even though I knew better.  Logic sometimes pales in comparison to guilt and grief.

Some people only see my smile without noticing the pain in my eyes.  Some people only see the outer success without thinking I could be sad or lonely. Some people see my outward appearance and fail to notice my insecurity at being abandoned by the man I loved in such a harsh way. Some people ask those questions I mentioned above without thinking about the implication or the impact those words possess.  Hiding becomes a skill after awhile...an effortless talent.

It was scary as hell to come out of the shadows.  I started inching out of my dark space in 2010 when I began putting my writing back out into the world, but even that felt awkward. Who did I think I was stepping into success when my gorgeous husband had ended his life?  How dare I enjoy life? Shouldn't I keep punishing myself?  (Yes, these are real and dysfunctional thoughts that I've had.)

But when I walked onto that stage in my purple dance attire complete with sparkles and glitter, heaviness lifted and my heart took flight. The women who danced with me were also beginners who had their own insecurities bubbling to the surface. Together as one unit we danced.  We weren't the most skilled, obviously, but the crowd cheered encouragement.

In the audience were other more experienced belly dancers who hollered their support. The crowd went wild when we started moving.  The positive energy drenched us with love.  We danced, we made mistakes, but we kept dancing.

I felt "her" returning...the me that's been hiding for awhile now.  I felt her shining in the spotlight and tossing off the shroud that's been covering her for so long.  By the time we hit the shimmy at the end, I felt connected with the free spirited woman I used to be before tragedy took its toll. I couldn't stop smiling. Exhilaration pumped through my heart.

It's been a long road. I think of the moments I overlooked, things I took for granted, remember our last family vacation as a foursome, and yearn for a love lost. But when I walked off that stage I thought..."I did it, I'm still standing, I'm whole, I'm still the me I used to be...have always been."

When we beginners were off stage, we looked at each other and laughed. We'd done it! We'd tackled our insecurities, come out of the shadows, danced in the spotlight in front of 300 people with our glittery costumes, and left the stage lighter than we'd entered it.

No more hiding...only dancing.
   Picture is blurry because my daughter took it  and we were moving, but I wanted to use it anyway because it's real. It's a victorious moment for me--women of all ages, shapes, and backgrounds joined together and conquered their fears.  AWESOME! (I'm in purple.) 

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/H0QBCr

OmniLit (all ebook formats): http://goo.gl/QFZa7G