March 31, 2013

No Frittering Away: ROW80 Round 2 Goals

Round 1 was a whirlwind. Goals and Life struggled. For the most part, Life won.

With a cross-country move imminent and living my life mostly as a single parent (hubby comes home for three days every three weeks), I need to simplify and prioritize.

Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify. Henry Thoreau

So, let's get to it...

My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Round 2 Goals

First, a quick recap (from the ROW80 blog): A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. We are all different and we all have different demands on our time. Why should we all have the same goal? The simple answer is that we shouldn’t. If you want to be a writer, then you have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to your changing circumstances. If that means changing your goals when your life blows up, so be it. ROW80 is the challenge that champions the marriage of writing and real life. 

Now, my goals...
  • Publish Chasing Memories -- finish editing, cover design, formatting, and all other pieces to the publishing puzzle
  • Survive the A to Z Blog Challenge -- stay ahead of posts by at least four days (the first five days are done)
  • Map out the sequel to Chasing Memories
  • Make significant progress on the follow-up to Depression Cookies
Wishing everyone the best with their goals this Round. 


I spent the last week with my family in Duck, NC--one of my favorite places on Earth. I wanted to share the view on my walk yesterday evening.

March 28, 2013

Exploring Literary Terms: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

It's almost here... the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Just as the name implies, participants (over 1,300!) blog with alphabet-themed days.

Last year, my first, I decided to go sans theme--blogging about whatever popped into my mind for a given letter. Oh, and I found myself writing posts the night before. Serious stress.

This year, I wanted to try tackling this challenge a different way.

1) Theme
Since I'm neck-deep in edits for my first YA book, Chasing Memories, I wanted to explore all things writing. So what better theme than exploring literary terms?

2) Planning
In a perfect world, I would have all my posts written and scheduled to post. That didn't happen, but I do have the first seven done. I plan to take the first week to finish up some later posts. 

In addition, this year I'm going to challenge myself to visit a minimum of 10 new A to Z blogs each day.

I'm looking forward to a great month of learning and being entertained.

I hope you'll stop by this month and check out my entries!

March 24, 2013

Stoking the Flames: ROW80 Update

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” 
Arthur Plotnik

So true, and why we all need editors.

I trust my story, and what I set out to do. But, I also know at some point I can no longer be objective. After all, I know what I mean. It's in my head. The reader will have no clue. 

For the mothers out there, think of your book like one of your children. In your heart and mind you grow it. Then, it becomes a reality. From there, you lose sleep and question what you've done. With each passing day, you both love this new thing you breathed life into and want to run screaming in the opposite direction.

But objective about it... nope. Sure, you know it's not perfect, but you love it anyway--often blinded from seeing its faults.

Thank God for editors. As the quote says above, they clear the way for your work to shine.

For me, I love the editing process. I'm not one to become so attached that I can't see ways to improve a piece. If anything, it makes me want to work on my craft. Instead of feeling attacked, I see the editor's notes as an opportunity to not only publish a better novel but to also become a better writer.

And, yes, an editor would have told me to not use two betters in the same sentence. 

The hardest part of the editing process for me is knowing when to let it go. I refuse to go back and read Depression Cookies because I'm terrified I'll find a mistake. In some ways, the editing process could go on forever--always tweaking. 

What's your favorite part of the editing process? Least favorite?

And now a brief update for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80)...

Since it's Spring Break and my kids are home (and we have three days with my hubby before he leaves again for three weeks), I've been focused on family. But I also have to get back to edits this week. My goal is to tackle a few chapters a day at least. Hopefully more.

Round 1 ends this week. Unbelievable. But I'm determined to go out with a bang and rev it up to head into Round 2. Cheering for all my ROW80 cohorts!

March 20, 2013

Celebrating Community: ROW80 Update & Nissa Cover Reveal

I'm so grateful for the community of writers I have found online. After two years blogging and connecting, I have so many resources for all my writing needs, whether it's publishing, marketing, editing, cover design, or anything writing and book related. Just as important, there's always someone around to offer encouragement and support. I never feel alone.

Just this past June, I met Jo Michaels online through the Author Blog Challenge. We hit it off!  Then I discovered that editing was another of her many talents. She's now editing my NaNo piece, Chasing Memories. Check out her website and follow her on Twitter @WriteJoMichaels. She has an excellent series on branding right now.

Another lovely lady I met early on was Bethany Lopez. Best. RTer. Ever. Today, I wanted to repay some of her kindness by sharing the cover of her upcoming (4/23/13) release...


At 900 years old, Nissa is finally ready to follow her mother's path and become the best Fairy Godmother she can. She’s not thrilled when her first assignment turns out to be a teenage human girl with self-esteem issues, but she knows she has to start somewhere. Her assignment has dealt with bullies since her freshman year and they haven’t let up. If Nissa can’t help her regain her self-confidence her future is bleak.

To complicate matters Nissa experiences all the signs that she's met the being fated for her. This impossibility distracts her from her purpose. After all, fairies and humans aren't meant for each other. How can her heart believe otherwise? Can Nissa successfully complete her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother? Will the fates allow Nissa and Levi to be together? And even if they do, will Levi believe Nissa once she reveals the truth?


Such a gorgeous cover. Congrats Bethany! I can't wait to read it!

Check out Nissa on GoodReads and visit Bethany's website


Now, it's time for my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update...

My focus right now is Chasing Memories. It will continue to be. I now have the first edits in my hands, and I will be working on those for the next week (which coincidentally coincides with my kids being home for Spring Break, so wish me luck). 

I will pre-write at least the first five A to Z posts by Sunday. Must do!

Round 1 has been tumultuous to say the least. But it's made me realize how important prioritizing is to setting goals. I'm looking forward to applying that to Round 2.

For my writer friends who have not done a round of ROW80... Round 2 starts 4/1/13. Check out some information here. Seriously, it's the most motivating writer support group I've found!

March 18, 2013

Top 10 Movies Blogfest: The Lion King to The Usual Suspects

According to the Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh: The first blogfest I ever hosted was The Movie Dirty Dozen on June 21, 2010, and fifty-eight people participated. I had less than two hundred followers at the time, so most of you missed it. Which is why I’ve decided to revisit it with:

Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest
List your top ten favorite movies! 

My kind of blogfest! I love movies. My taste in movies is as eclectic as my taste in books. I am all over the board, with the exception of horror. Not a scary-movie kind of gal.

So, don't expect any kind of rhyme or reason to these movies, other than...

1) They stayed with me long after the credits.
2) They had characters I couldn't shake.

Without further ado (and in no particular order)...

Shawshank Redemption
I was so shocked to find out this was based on a Stephen King novella, especially since I grew up with King movies such as Salem's Lot, Pet Sematary, Cujo, Carrie, and Christine. Who could ever forget the look on the warden's face when the rock went through the Raquel Welch poster?

Bill Murray, need I say more? Not only is he endearing, but he's damned funny. (Groundhog Day is another great Bill Murray example.) Plus, Chevy Chase. Back in the day, he was quite handsome... and a great straight man. (Christmas Vacation is a part of my family's Christmas tradition.)

Dirty Dancing
Okay, I'm a creature of the 80s. But I was singing those songs and wishing I was rolling around on the floor with Patrick Swayze for years. (Patrick sealed the heartthrob deal with Ghost.)

Pillow Talk
My mom was a huge movie buff and loved to share favorites from her day. I loved Gypsy, West Side Story, Casablanca, and Gone With the Wind. And that's just to name a few. But nobody did sweet and sassy like Rock Hudson and Doris Day. 

The Usual Suspects
Rarely has a film surprised me as much as this one. When Keyser Soze was revealed in the last scenes, I sat there with my mouth wide open--unable to move. Brilliant.

The Lion King
I'm sure this pick has something to do with my now 13-year-old daughter's former obsession with it, but it truly is one of the best Disney movies. Family, heartbreak, survival, romance... it's all there. Plus, great music!

A Few Good Men
I could watch the Jack Nicholson/Tom Cruise courtroom scene over and over again. Intense and compelling... Nicholson nailed it. (And I have to admit I have a crush on Kevin Bacon... bet you thought I was going to say Tom Cruise!)

Steel Magnolias
I'm a Southern woman, and this movie felt like attending one of my family reunions. But it was more than that. It broke my heart... and what an amazing cast of female characters: Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, and Shirley MacLaine. Best line: If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me.

The Princess Bride
Part grand adventure, part grand romance. As you wish echoed in my brain for years. So many amazing and memorable characters. This was one of those movies I couldn't wait to share with my kids, just like my mom shared movies with me. 

Please consider... I haven't watched many non-kid movies in the last thirteen years, I have never been a Woody Allen fan (so I tend not to agree with critics and all their acclaiming), and I don't like drama for drama's sake.

I'm looking forward to making the rounds. If you'd like to check out other top movies, please visit the participants here.

March 17, 2013

Nine-Year-Old Wisdom: ROW80 Update

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

It seemed fitting to find some writing relevant Irish sayings to share today. 
Always remember to forget, the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you!
A life making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.
The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

My writing friends have proven true, and I so appreciate their support and encouragement. Without them, I would still be in the writing closet. And I wouldn't know how to remedy those darn mistakes that make my life so honorable.

This weekend, my daughters and I started decluttering--preparing our house to go on the market (for our big move to San Francisco, CA). One of the girls found a writing piece I did back in 1982. In the author profile section was the following:

That made my day! Notice, too, that editing was also in my future.

What is something that has recently reaffirmed your choices in life?

And now, my A Round of World in 80 Days (ROW80) Update...

Only ten days to go this round. My main goal for this round was to get Chasing Memories to an editor. Done! But, I also wanted to focus on the Depression Cookies follow-up, but this one is still hanging. It will be a major focus of Round 2.

When I started this Round, a lot was up in the air for my family. My husband had been out of work since late October. Mid-February he flew to San Francisco to interview... by March 11, he was out there. It's going to be crazy to stay focused on my writing with a major move coming, but I'm hoping with some ROW80 encouragement, I can do just that.

But I am starting to freak out about the Blogging from A to Z challenge. I have to get some posts written. I loved this challenge last year, but I wasn't...

A) In the middle of publishing a book
B) Moving cross-country

I need to really focus on prioritizing goals for Round 2. Hope you'll all stick with me through the insanity! I hate to quit something once I've committed.

Oh, and if you missed my proposition for an online "dating" site to unite writers and readers, please check it out: Logophile... Matching Readers & Writers.

March 14, 2013

Logophile... Matching Readers & Writers: WABC, Day 14

The Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC) is wrapping up tomorrow. Like I mentioned earlier, it has been a crash course in social media.

Today's prompt...

If you could create a social media platform that doesn’t exist yet, what would it look like? What would it do? How would you use it to promote your books as well as those of other authors you know/like?

Recently, I saw a picture on Facebook of a library with a Blind Date book display. Books were covered with plain brown paper with a few words describing the book, and readers could choose one to take home. I love this idea.

With that in mind, how about an online connecting site where readers and writers are brought together in a very kind of way?

The reader inputs their data... what they love to read, genres they aren't interested in, favorite characters, favorite setting, etc. Then, writers have profiles about the books they write, etc. Some magic system pairs the two. (Perfect, since writers and readers alike believe in magic.)

Once paired, the author sends the reader a sampling. Let's say five pages of the author's choosing. It doesn't have to be the first five pages (unlike agents, I do not make a decision within the first five pages of a book ... but I might make one on what an author chooses as their best five pages).

If a reader is intrigued, the reader and writer set up a tweet session to see if they hit it off. If it's a match, the author sends a full chapter. The reader then has the option to buy the book or not. At any point, authors can back out as well... if they aren't feeling the reader would connect with their book. No harm, no foul.

Then, if a successful match is made, the reader leaves a review on the site (and elsewhere, hopefully). This only helps the author's ability to make future successful matches. Basically, it would add an element to that magic system mentioned above.

Let's call it (Greek for lover of words), and the logo would incorporate a book and a picture of Athena, the Greek goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature.


March 13, 2013

To Ning Or Not to Ning: WABC & ROW80 Updates

Welcome to Day 13 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC).

Today we are talking about creating your own social networking site through Ning...

NingWhat if you could create your very own Facebook? A social networking site that you run, based on your interests and whose members must abide by your vision, goals, and rules?

There are drawbacks to be sure. T-I-M-E being chief among them. But if you have a special interest and haven’t found the perfect social site yet, Ning offers you the mechanism by which to create your very own social network.

Ning has other benefits, though – chief among them being numerous sites on all sorts of topics that may attract your target readers. Are there any circumstances under which you could see yourself creating your own social network? Take a spin around the Ning Directory just to see what else is out there. Much like blogs, you’ll find half-abandoned Ning sites (ahem … I have one of those) and thriving sites. Are you inspired? Could you find time to visit one or two in your genre just to see if hanging out might be worthwhile?

I tried to look past the time issue and give Ning a chance. So I visited the Ning Directory, and clicked on the Writers subgroup. There, I found a few groups. None of them had much activity and the most recent group was in November 2009.

If I had stumbled upon this site with my interests, I would have thought it was dying a slow death. I'm not a jump in and give it a go kind of person. I'm a thinker, constantly comparing the pros and cons of any decision.

Going with my gut on Ning... I don't think it's for me. But, I plan to go back over all the social media outlets mentioned during WABC and do some research. I'm sure I will decide to participate in some.

Since I plan on putting out a new book this year, I guess sooner will be better than later.

So to my author friends, if you could only use one social media site to sell books, which would it be? (outside of a blog)


A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

Only 8 more days to go this round... eek!

My update is short and sweet this week. I'm awaiting Chasing Memories edits back from the lovely Jo Michaels, who I sincerely hope is NOT pulling her hair out right now. SO excited to get back to work on it. In the meantime, I'm working on the Depression Cookies follow-up.

Switching back and forth between YA and women's fiction is a bit more difficult than I thought it would be, especially since I'm writing about a 17-year-old main character in both. They are SO different, though, so going back and forth leaves me feeling a bit discombobulated.

This week, while awaiting edits, my focus is to write several A to Z posts!

How's everybody else doing as Round 1 comes to a close?

March 12, 2013

Should I Say I Do to Social Bookmarking? WABC, Day 12

Welcome to Day 12 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC).

Today's prompt...

social bookmarksA social bookmarking site is a “centralized online service” that gives its users the ability to add, annotate, edit, and share links to web documents. Bookmarking, also known as “tagging” is a significant feature of social bookmarking systems, enabling users to organize their bookmarks in flexible ways and develop shared vocabularies known as folksonomies. Popular social bookmarking sites include Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Digg.

If you’re not using a social bookmarking site, you’re missing out on a key aspect of social media: referrals by the users. Is social bookmarking something you should consider incorporating into your online book marketing strategy? Give us links to your profiles, if you have them.

Here's what I've found about most social media. At first, it's all excitement and butterflies. Then, comes the hard part... the work. It's like going from the romance of first dates to being married with three kids. I just don't have the time and energy to put into all of it. And, quite frankly, I think it's worse to just jump in and out haphazardly.

At the end of the day, it seems the best marketing strategies are those that an author is willing to devote a lot of time to. I'm most effective when I get to really know a site and what it can do for my book.

I wish there were more hours in the day to spend scouring all these sites, making a list of pros and cons, and then choosing the sites that best fit my needs. Unfortunately, those hours don't exist.

However, I'm more than willing to hear a case made for joining these bookmarking sites. Looking forward to seeing what the other participants have to say!

Any advice on social bookmarking? Or should I say, bookmarketing sites?

March 11, 2013

Much Ado About Squidoo: WABC, Day 11

Welcome to Day 11 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC). Or, what I like to call a crash course in all things social media.

Today's prompt...

ROCKETSQUID_rocketeer2Do you have a Squidoo lens? Founded by Seth Godin, Squidoo is a popular free site that enables users to create single webpages (known as lenses) about their interests and recommendations. Users can even earn money for charity or themselves.

The credibility-building potential rivals Quora, but unlike question-answering sites, Squidoo users are free to create content of their choosing. The SEO rankings are quite high – but it remains incumbent upon the site’s users to double-check the veracity of information provided. Challenge questions: What are the benefits to using sites like Quora and Squidoo for building credibility? What can they offer that your website or blog doesn’t already do? How could this help you sell more books?

Have I been living in some kind of word-induced alter reality? How could I not know about this site?

When I saw the prompt, I went in search of information. I googled: Reasons to Join Squidoo. An unbelievable number of articles came up. Intrigued, I clicked on a few.

One I found particularly interesting, 3 Reasons for Joining Squidoo. The 3 reasons: Life is Never Boring, Earn Money Through Writing, and Helpful/Friendly Community. Pop over to the article for more details, but what is there NOT to like about those three things.

From what I could gather, it's also an effective way to reach people for your books and blog. There's so much more exploring I'd like to do, but I must admit... I'm intrigued.

Do you Squidoo? Any pointers?

March 10, 2013

Heaven = GoodReads + A Dessert: WABC Day 10 & ROW80

Oops, I was a bad girl and missed Day 9 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC).

What's my excuse?

First, it was Saturday. I promised myself I'd focus on family during the weekends. That's even more important now that my husband is working in San Francisco, and I'm in Maryland getting the kids through the school year (mid-June).

Second, the topic was Foursquare. From the prompt, For those unaware, FourSquare is a location tracking platform. Its users “check in” at various locations with a mobile device and are able to find out (track?) where their friends are. Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or a network location provided by the app itself.

Quite frankly, way too many people find me as it is. No interest in announcing my whereabouts to the few who don't.

Today's prompt...

Are you on GoodReads? It seems a pretty obvious place for authors to hang out, yet I’m not sure authors are using it to quite the maximal benefit. If you are on GoodReads, how often do you visit/use the site? How often do you update your reading list? What other kinds of things do you post? Are you finding yourself using it the way social media was intended: to create a community?

I ♥♥♥♥ GoodReads! You can find me here.

Even if I wasn't an author, you would find me on GoodReads. Book cover, book summary, reviews... all in one convenient place. If it just allowed me to order a dessert and a Diet Coke while sitting in my bed reading, it would be my version of Heaven.

Plus, it's easy to sign up as a GoodReads author and add your book. In addition to being an easy place to find and leave reviews, I can go and mark books as "want to read" when I hear about them. Gone are the days of writing a book title on a piece of paper, one I would inevitably lose.

On average, I read two books a week, so I'm constantly on GoodReads and updating.

I have also joined several groups there, but I'm still looking for one that I feel is a great fit. Have any suggestions?

I highly recommend GoodReads to readers and authors alike. It's a great resource, marketing platform (giveaways & sharing your book's link and blog entries), and book lover's delight.


Now it's time for my Sunday A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update...

Writing: As I was working on Chasing Memories, my YA book, last week, Book Two started forming in my mind. Although I'm excited about continuing the series, I find writing a follow up even more challenging than the original. I plan to do a post on this idea after WABC.

Editing: Waiting to hear from my editor so I can get to work on Round 2 of Chasing Memories.

Blogging: Missed one day of the WABC (see above), but overall I am rejuvenated on blogging. Not too long ago, I was wondering if I could even keep up with MWF. My plan is to write a MINIMUM of 4 Blogging from A to Z Challenge posts this week.

Reading: Just finished an interesting book about Medusa. Review should be up early this week on Mom in Love with Fiction.

Speaking of my review blog, hop over today to find out more about this gorgeous book...

March 8, 2013

Quora for Questions: WABC, Day 8

It's day 8 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge, and I can't wait to see what our lovely host, Laura Orsini (aka Marcie Brock) comes up with next.

Today's prompt...

Are you using Quora? If you aren’t familiar with it, Quora enables users to ask questions and receive answers from those who allegedly know something about the topic. This is a phenomenal way to demonstrate your expertise – and even if you’re a novelist, you have an area of expertise – perhaps it’s simply “publishing your novel.”

Unfortunately, it seems you’re required to have an account before you can dig around – UNLESS you know a person’s profile link. Here are two you can check out:

Until I saw this prompt, I had never heard of Quora. Now, I'm registered and even following people. Time will tell how much I'll use it, but I constantly have writing, publishing, and marketing questions. Maybe I've found a go-to spot for answers.

Then, I started wondering... what areas would I consider my input valuable?

I came up with more answers than I thought I would.

After all, I have published a book, moved all over the country (and about to move to San Francisco, CA--a place I've never even been!), am mom to three daughters and the oldest of three sisters, am a grammar geek...

Those were just the first few that came to mind.

But just as importantly, I am full of questions on many different subjects, and I've never been ashamed of asking for help. A teacher once told me, "The only stupid question is the one left unasked."

Have you ever heard of Quora? If so, how have you used it?

Although I'm brand new, check me out on Quora here.

March 7, 2013

Good Google-y Moogle-y: WABC, Day 7

Welcome to Day 7 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC).

Today's prompt...

Have you jumped into Google+ yet? If you are a regular user, you are still considered an early adopter, and that’s a great place to be in order to make a name for yourself while few others are – especially if men are among your target market, as most users right now are male.
As marketing pro Linda Sherman puts it, “GooglePlus can give you access to influencers (i.e., other early adopters) who might not notice you elsewhere.” This is a CHALLENGE, so here’s my challenge with this prompt: If you’re USING Google+, tell us about your experience.
What I've loved most about these social media-themed prompts is how much I've learned. I had NO clue that men used Google+ more. Good to know, since I write women's fiction and my YA book will be appeal more to females as well.
I joined Google+ fairly early, but I haven't found it to be overly active. I have my blog tied to it, so I post there daily. However, I get a lot more responses from my Twitter and Facebook posts than Google+.
Both for Twitter and Google+, I use it only for promoting my writing and books. Facebook, I use both on a personal and business level. If I could only keep one social media outlet for strictly business, Twitter would win hands down.
Not much more to say on Google+. I'm interested to see what my other WABC friends have to say on the matter.
Do you use Google+ to promote your business?

March 6, 2013

Painting an Image: IWSG & ROW80

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I appreciate the opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch.

When I set out to write a book, I thought the hardest part would be over once I held the finished copy in my hands. Little did I know how much time and effort I would put into marketing my book. 

My first book, Depression Cookies, was women's fiction. I wanted to present an authentic version of myself, as a woman, in order to gain readers' trust and create an online writing community. To that end, I often post pictures of my kids and talk about women's issues. It's been very fulfilling to connect with women.

However, my second release will be a young adult novel. Creating an author platform for younger teenagers to young adults feels like a completely different challenge, leaving me with several perplexing considerations.

Will young adult readers be turned off by too much of a mother image/older woman? 
Although it pains me to say older as a new 40 year old! I know my teenager, and avid YA reader, would be completely unimpressed with an author talking about women's issues and posting quips from her kids.

Should I use a pen name to differentiate between the two genres I write? 
My mom and I are currently writing the follow up to Depression Cookies, so I will continue to have a presence in women's fiction. 

My author name for that series is Tia Silverthorne Bach, since my mom is also listed as a co-author. I want readers to immediately see our connection. For my YA series, I had planned to use Tia Bach. But should I go for something completely different?

Does all of this leave me creating two distinct blogs?
Here, I often admit what an out of touch dork I am. Wouldn't YA readers want to think I'm at least an in touch dork, with little emphasis on the dork? 

Here I talk about insecurity, writing dilemmas, etc. Heck, look at my color scheme. I've noticed almost all YA authors have dark backgrounds, and mine is just screaming wholesome, clean cut writer.

It's not like the time fairy will visit to bless me with more hours in a day just because I have two books out in two different genres.

What's a confused author to do?


It's Wednesday, and time for another A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update...

Writing: Slow progress here, because most of my time has been spent on edits. Plus, the kids are home for a snow day today. First real snow in the last two years. Sometimes, Mama comes first.

Editing: Waist-deep in edits on Chasing Memories. Off to Jo Michaels for editing on Friday. So excited to hit send and get on the road to publishing.

Blogging: Currently posting daily for the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC), then it's back to my MWF schedule until the Blogging from A to Z Challenge starts April 1. Who's joining me for that one?

@@@ And thanks to some things I'm learning with the WABC, I created an author Facebook page (before I had a Depression Cookies page). Please go and like if you are so inclined. Thanks! @@@

Reading: Posting reviews at least twice a week on Mom in Love with Fiction, but my TBR list grows daily. Maybe I'll convince the girls that a snow day is an excellent Family Read Day.

Wishing all my author friends countless words and minimal insecurities today!

Is Visual Marketing Key?: WABC, Day 6

Day 6 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge (WABC), and I have a to do list a mile long. 

I set up my blog in late 2010 and after my first book was published. I didn't know anything about an author platform, had never heard of Twitter, had a Facebook account to post pictures of my too-cute children, and occasionally visited YouTube to watch a video of other people's too-cute children.

Although I know I've come a long way since then, I realize (especially with the prompts this week) how much more I can utilize social media.

Today's prompt...

With more than 800 million unique visitors a month, YouTube is one of the most popular search engines. Do you have a YouTube channel? 

Have you made a book trailer for your book? If not, what kind of book trailer would you like to make for your book? Do you have a video camera? If you do and you’re not posting short videos, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. 

It’s especially useful if you’re trying to reach a global audience, as 70 percent of YouTube viewers are in countries other than the U.S. 

I don't even like to take pictures, much less subject myself to being on video. Do I realize the importance of book trailers? Yes. I plan to do one for my YA release this year, and maybe one of these days I'll go back and do one for Depression Cookies. However, I think certain genres (YA for instance) do better as book trailers than others.

Do I think readers want to see every facial expression an author possesses shown on a less than flattering screen? No. 

Early in my Depression Cookies marketing, I did an interview via a You Tube video. It took me several, thanks to nerves and never knowing exactly where to look. But in the end I was pretty happy with it.

Check it out...

If there were more hours in the day, I would love to play with book trailer ideas. The ones that are done well are an asset, but I've seen some that actually turned me off the book. 

The second part of today's prompt...

If regular video posts are still on your To-Do list, what are some of the most clever video posts you’ve seen, and how might you do something similar to promote your books or yourself as an author?

Honesty is the best policy, right?

I go to YouTube for entertainment. Often I hop over from someone's FB post touting the "funniest thing I've ever seen." Typically, there's a baby or animal involved. 

Again, it comes down to time limits. If an author has a video embedded in a post, I often skip it and only read the content. I'm a fast reader, and I have a lot of blogs I like to get to. If I see that a video is short (less than a minute), I'm more apt to watch than longer ones. Feel free to ignore that last bit and watch the 3 minute video above. *smiles*

After all, I don't think anyone wants a bunch of authors doing the Harlem shake. (And I only know about things like this thanks to having a teenager.)

What videos do you watch on YouTube?