Brilliant Blog Award Button Reveal!

As I mentioned last week, this year I’m giving away Brilliant Blog Awards!

Behold the coveted button:

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Who knew running such a contest would mean so much graphic design and html? Whew.

But I think I have the kinks out.

Here’s how it works. (Refer to last week’s post for categories, etc.)

I will choose one or more blogs per month to bestow the coveted Brilliant Blog Award button to. The button is then embedded into the blogger’s website. When readers click on the button, they are taken to a survey page where they can nominate the blog for Blog of the Year.

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Cool, eh?

Blog of the Year nominees will be announced Mid-December. Winners will be announced either at the end of the December or the beginning of January.

If you’d like to nominate a blog, you may do so here.

Who will you nominate this year?

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Tweet: Nominate a blog for the Brilliant Blog Award!

See what I did there?

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Punny Guy: Author Tom Threadgill

I have a writing buddy who loves puns.

He’s super hilarious and you’d never know by his sense of humor that he writes bloody suspense novels.

You can follow his blog here: Tom Threadgill.

Do you like puns? Write some of them for me in the comments below!

And don’t forget to head over to my contest where I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Enjoy these punny pics! Which one’s your favorite?

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twitter52smallTweet this: See what I did there?

 

 

My kindle does the work of 400 camels

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It is said that a Persian Grand Vizier named Abdul Nassam Ismael took his entire 117,000 volume library with him everywhere he went on the backs of 400 camels. And get this–this is the best part–he trained the camels to carry the books in alphabetical order. Can you believe it?

Makes me thankful for my kindle.

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I can’t imagine having that many books or that many camels! Imagine how much it cost to provide food and shelter not only for the camels but the camel handlers, too. Now that’s what I call an investment in knowledge.

I used to have a thousand books (I’ve never owned a camel but I’m certainly open to the idea) and I gave about half of those away. 117,000 books would fill several large rooms from floor to ceiling. Clearly, this was a man of importance and wealth. Books were a lot more expensive in those days than they are now.

I just ordered about seven cookbooks for free last night via my Kindle unlimited plan. Information is so much more available now it’s almost scary.

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One thing’s for certain. There are a lot of camels happy about the invention of the Kindle.

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Oh, and hump day, of course.

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Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a $25 Gift Card! Contest ends Monday!

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Click to enter!

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Tweet this: How do you tote your books ? Camel, Kindle or something else?

 

 

 

Leave me a comment and let me know how you transport your books! For me it’s a Kindle and books on CD in a pink tote bag!

 

 

Building your online platform

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Click to enter!

I’m hosting a Back to School Giveaway! 

No, I’m not launching a new book. I like to treat my readers to unexpected surprises now and then. I also hope to acquire new readership. This is one reason authors hold contests.

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Click for a chance to win!

Contests are a fun way to help build your on-line platform. I’ve held several and they are tons of fun. My favorite contests were when I was launching my first novel, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots. I held a Facebook Party and gave away gifts all throughout the evening to those attending. It’s fun to go back to the transcript of the party and read it! If you want to know how to do it for yourself, feel free to explore the page for yourself.

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Click to view Facebook Book Launch Party

Online platforms are becoming an important part of the author package writers must present to prospective publishers. The first thing a publishing committee will do when introduced to a new author, or even a published one, is Google the author’s name. Does your name bring up any social media results? Do you have a website? Some publishers won’t publish authors who don’t have a healthy online-presence.

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My website header

I’m like a lot of authors in that social media isn’t my favorite thing to spend time on. I’d rather not have the distraction. But, I look at it this way–it’s beats digging ditches. And it’s basically painless. Like scrubbing toilets, it must be done, and it won’t kill me.

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If you don’t know where to start, here are the basics:

  • Build a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I used Wix.com when I first started and later I used Weebly.com. There are other free platforms out there. Use the one that is the most user-friendly for you. I didn’t spend money to have someone design one for me until after I had my first novel published.
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This blog interacts with the history ebooks I write

  • Blog. You don’t have to blog every day but it’s common sense that the more you blog the more people will visit. What to blog about? Do a Google search for blog topics and you’ll have more than you’ll ever have time to write. Part of building your platform is projecting what you’re passionate about so write about what you love! I started my first blogs on Blogger, but now I use WordPress because that’s what my web designer used to design my site. There’s a learning curve to WordPress, but I love it. However, if you’re new to finding your way around the Internet, I recommend Blogger. Many successful authors use it and it’s what I use for my interactive eBooks.
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Click to add me as a friend!

  • Facebook: I have a “friends” page with about 3300+ followers, an author page with a little over 500, another page for my book and several groups. But really, you don’t have to do all that. You can simply use your friends page if you wish. However, once you reach 5000 followers, you have to stop accepting them and direct them to your author page. So it’s a good idea to go ahead and build your author page. The nice thing about an author page is that you can host your giveaways on it.
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Facebook Author Page Giveaway Tab

  • Twitter: for me, this is the hardest platform to build relationships on. But I am learning!
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Click to follow me and I’ll follow back!

  • Pinterest: I have almost 3,000 followers on Pinterest and it was super easy to build that following. Pick a popular subject and start pinning! (To keep numbers in perspective, most best-selling authors have followers in the five digits. I’m still working toward that!)
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Click to follow!

  • Google+: I’m fairly new to Google+ but as more people learn to use it, I’m gaining more experience and developing relationships.
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Click to add me to your Google+ circles!

  • LinkedIn: I post here every time I have a blog post.
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Click to follow me on LinkedIn

  • tumblr: I have about 800 followers on tumblr. I admit that tumblr is one of my guilty pleasures. I enjoy the people I follow there and I actually get the news before it’s published in most other forums. It’s a lot like twitter that way.
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Click to view

  • Goodreads:  I have about 1300 followers on Goodreads. I’m not very good at checking in there, but while I was promoting my book, I did give books away and I believe it was well worth the expense and time.
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Click to follow me on Goodreads

Those are the basic platforms/applications that most writers use to build their online presence. Many do not use all of them. Others use more. There are always new apps coming out that people use to connect such as Instagram and Snapchat. Some authors use YouTube and have a channel where they talk about things that are relevant to their platform (I’m toying with this idea myself).

ending-relationship22You can also create podcasts to create traffic to your blog and website. You have to choose the best and easiest for you to use in building an audience online. In my opinion, a website, blog and Facebook are the basics to start with. You can branch out from there.

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Click to view source

The downside to all this is that it takes a lot of time away from the “real” writing we want to do. I have my twitter and tumblr hooked together so that when I post on tumblr it posts on twitter. It helps me build relationships on tumblr, but it doesn’t help much on twitter because to build relationships on twitter you need to interact and respond to other people’s posts.

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When the local college has students wanting internships, I use college students to add interesting tweets to my buffer app account. This app will schedule pre-created tweets throughout the day. Again, the downside, is having the time to respond to anyone who replies to your tweets. It keeps your feed active, but does it build relationships? Not likely.

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As you can see, I’m not yet in the mega-following status and I’m still learning. A platform isn’t built in a day, or week or month. It takes time to build relationships, and that’s what successful authors do. No one likes to be bombarded with “buy my book” all the time. People want to connect with people, not products. If you build relationships, you’ll gain a faithful tribe. And making friends, loving one another and caring about others is what life’s all about in the first place.

twitter26sepiamsallerClick to tweet: How are you building your online platform?

Don’t forget to go to my website and enter the giveaway! Today’s the last day! Have fun!

Leave me a message below and let me know how you’re building your online platform!

The most excellent back to school giveaway — win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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I love giveaways. I’ve won lots of things online and I think it’s great fun to offer them.

In honor of back to school, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!

All you have to do is click on the different ways to enter below, follow the directions and you’re entered!

Contest ends September 1. I’ll post the winner on September 2.

Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway