I Wasn’t Planning to Take a Break, But…

The internet went out and I had no choice.

And of course I had no contest pre written and there’s only so much cell data available on my mobile phone.

So, I’d love to say I’ve been busy writing up a storm, but sadly no internet meant my kids didn’t quite know what to do with themselves and I had to deal with the cries of boredom.

But it wasn’t a total loss and some new words have been written. And some editing got done on two stories which means everything is moving forward.

While I was away, I did create a group where fans of my work can gather. I’m hoping to grow my readership and this seemed like a logical first step.

You can find the link here. It would mean a lot if you joined. And there’ll be a sneak peek for my upcoming novelette Pendragon coming very soon if you do decide to join, which won’t be shared anywhere else!

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200 Followers

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Thank you all so much. You guys are beyond awesome! It’s been an incredible nine months since I hit my last milestone and so humbling to find myself at 200 followers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me.

I vowed back in June 2018 that I’d share more about my writing journey and my kids. I think I’ve succeeded in sharing more about my writing but not so much about my kids.

So, I thought I’d use this post to share a bit about the other side of my life, as a mum to four kids. Yep, four… crazy, right? It comes as a shock to some, actually. In fact, I’m asked a lot how I keep my sanity. Sometimes, I don’t. But sleep helps, that and copious amounts of coffee.

I love my kids to pieces, but they do at times drive me up the wall. My husband too, at times, but I guess that comes with the territory.

My eldest son is thirteen… a teenager, and it hasn’t sunk in yet. He’s outgrown me. (That hasn’t quite sunk in, either) I still find myself thinking of him as the same kid who surprised us all by reading at three and a half. He received Harry Potter at seven and devoured the books in quick succession. He’ll still pick them up and reread them to this day. He hates having to clean his room.

My daughter is quite a bit like me. She came into the world incredibly early, at not even a kilo and has left her mark every day since. At eleven she’s an absolute riot. Loves cats, horses and origami and hates the colour pink. Which according to her brother is the weirdest thing ever.

My next eldest son is ten and insanely smart and sometimes frustrating bundle of energy. I think he learnt to run before he learnt to walk, because he never stops. He loves Lego and minecraft and anything and everything space related and is slowly getting into fantasy books. He hates stir-fry and homework.

My youngest son is eight and has never quit trying to keep up with his older siblings. He loves trains, Peter Rabbit and Groot from the Marvel universe. His favourite colour is green. He’s broken bones and had stitches but I can’t think of a single thing he hates right now, when I do, I’ll be sure to share.

And that’s pretty much the snapshot into my kids and each of their very different personalities.

 

Using Instagram as an Indie Author

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Instagram.

It’s a powerful and fun visual tool. It can help you to promote your books and your author brand. While not as fast paced as Twitter it’s still quite active.

I’ve managed to grow my Instagram account quite steadily over the last year.

Some tricks I’ve learnt during my time on Instagram are:

Post to Instagram at least once a day.

I’ve only been posting daily since April but I have seen results.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up. I switch between inspirational writing quotes to inspirational images, writing snippets and character inspiration. Occasionally, I post about my kids. I am a mum after all.

Do keep it on brand and relevant. Of course what’s relevant to you might not be relevant to another writer, but that’s okay.

Share what’s important to you. Your goals and achievements. Big or small. It doesn’t matter.

Don’t be afraid to share yourself with your audience. Whether it be highs or lows. Invite people to know the real you. As much or as little as you want. It’s up to you, but including people in your journey is how you get people to connect because they feel a part of the process and it’s with those connections that you begin to make an impact on somebody else’s life.

Most of all…

Dont forget to have fun!

 

 

100 Followers

wood-3190203_960_720.jpgOMG! Thank you all so much. You guys are awesome! I actually didn’t expect to reach this milestone so soon after I resumed blogging much more often in April. But I have, so thanks.

But, this is not just about the numbers, or the likes, comments or even the follows. It’s about community.

And while I know there’s a few of my followers that probably aren’t writers or authors or even artists, you’ve still taken the time to read my posts and follow me on my journey and listen to what I’ve got to say. And for someone who always hesitates to click PUBLISH every time I finish a blog post that’s a big thing. Huge, even.

So, THANK YOU.

When I started this blog back in 2013, I had a different path for it.  I’d started it with the idea of just sharing my accomplishments as a writer and the odd stories about my kids. And while I know I should continue to perhaps blog about my kids, I do need to share my accomplishments and writing process more.

So, while their won’t be any less of the informative tidbits I’ve been sharing there will be more about me, my kids and my writing. I started publishing in November 2011, which oddly also coincides with when I started writing. I started my writing journey in November 1997. I still have the first story I ever wrote, miracle of miracles it survived to this day despite bad storage methods. Floppy Disks…! Anyone remember those? If you don’t, it’s okay. I’m in my 30s…

Anyway, enough rambling from me. I do hope you stick around though, and continue to enjoy my posts and maybe even find some useful tidbits along the way.

Using Twitter as an Indie Author

twitter-2048133_960_720Twitter.

It’s a powerful tool. It can help you to promote your books and your author brand. It’s also very fast paced. It’s a world which, despite my decent following, I haven’t managed to crack just yet.

But, don’t let my experience (or lack thereof) prevent you from building something great.

Some tricks I’ve learnt during my time on Twitter are:

Post to Twitter at least 3-5 times a day.

This is actually what lets me down. A lot. I don’t post often enough. But being aware of it, means I can correct my posting habits.

The reason here is that you want to be seen. You want people to interact with you and like and retweet your content.

You also want to space your tweets. Being in Australia, I’m at an automatic disadvantage for those connected with me in the Northern Hemisphere. To correct this, I try to post at a time that works for both Southern Hemisphere folk and those in the North too.

I don’t always get it right, but that’s okay.

Retweet and Like other peoples tweets. It’s the simplest way to build connections with other people. Because they will notice and possibly reciprocate in return. Not always, but sometimes. You won’t know if you don’t try it for yourself.

Take the time to comment and reply to people who’ve commented on a tweet you’ve made. No matter how small, the action goes a long way.

Be professional. Have a picture and header that project your brand. Share things that matter. Getting personal is fine. You want your followers to care about you, and your books.

Retweet your own tweets. I’ve found some success with this. Given how face paced Twitter is, tweets do have a tendency to get lost along the way. New followers cross your path daily so it’s definitely something worth doing.

Lastly, don’t give up. Your brand won’t be built in a day. But as long as you commit, even if all you can commit to is one tweet a day.

Social media may seem like a race at times, but it’s really not. As long as your prepared to put in the work. It will pay off.

 

Using Facebook as an Indie Author

facebook-3391214_960_720Facebook.

It’s a powerful tool. It can help you to promote your books and your author brand.

I find it one of the best ways to connect to other people in the writing community.

But knowing how to reach out to your audience on your Facebook page can be a little daunting at first.

So, here’s a few things you might like to think about when creating and growing your own Facebook page.

Know Your Audience

You have to know your audience. Who are your books aimed at? Genre? Age bracket? What makes your brand unique? All of these things matter. Don’t neglect them.

Be Responsive

It’s not just about writing posts it’s about engaging with the people who take the time to comment on those posts. You have to make connections.

Be Consistent

There’s no real secret formula to posting on Facebook pages. Although, I do suggest posting no more than three times a day. Anymore than that and you risk annoying those who have taken the time to like your page.

It’s not rocket science, but these are definitely the best ways to build your brand. I don’t personally pay to boost content on my Facebook author page, but through networking with Facebook groups, and other indie authors who’s pages interest me, I’ve managed to build a page with over 2,500 likes.