Dear Indie | Using Daily Prompts to Stay Active

Hi Indies!

Whenever I stumble upon something that I feel would be a great resource for you all, you know I have to share. When I first started my blog back in October of 2013, I used the WordPress Daily Prompt challenge to build up my followers and writing network. It was great for awhile – actually for a few years, but it was so time-consuming it cut into hours I needed to spend working on my actual WIPs. Unfortunately, the cost of not doing the DP’s anymore, was losing all of those followers and the interaction I used to have with them on a regular basis.

My blog is still a work in progress and I rarely see likes, comments, or re-blogs the way I did way back when. But, I’m even worse when it comes to Social Media. It is unarguably one of the most daunting aspects of being an author that I have always struggled with. I’m not ashamed to admit that if I never had to use it, I wouldn’t. Unfortunately, in this day and age, authors and aspiring writers who don’t use things like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are cutting out a huge resource for building their platforms and potential readerships.

But it can be hard to think of what to share, especially for the long haul. For some, this seems to come naturally. For me, it’s a chore. I never know what to post. I never know when re-posting is not enough or too much and I’m a bit more picky about who I follow back, because I don’t want my feed clogged up with spam bots.

My latest discovery, however, has enabled me to go from maybe 1 tweet a month, to at least 1 tweet a day. First, if you’re not already a member of the #writingcommunity on Twitter, I would recommend checking it out. This is where I’ve found this fun writing challenge called #vss365 which stands for “Very Short Story” – Each month, a new host/ess is selected to come up with the Daily Prompts. What’s great about this DP challenge vs the WordPress one, is that there’s no pressure to have your post ready first thing in the morning to reach the most participants and Twitter is so limited, you’re only writing for a minute. No time-consuming creations followed by hours of editing. It’s short, fun, and offers positive results.

It’s keeping me active on Twitter regularly, helping me gain exposure while expanding my writing community network, and I’m enjoying reading others #vss365 creations. The inspiration from seeing how people can take so many different approaches to the same word is limitless. That’s why I knew I needed to share it here with you. In my opinion, these outcomes make this a good resource for any writer, but especially if you’re just starting to build your author platform or like many (myself, included) find social media overwhelming and intimidating to navigate.

There’s no wrong or right way to go about the challenge, as long you use the prompted word. There are even a few members who do multiple posts using a different approach each time, i.e. poetry for one, then a short story for another. Not to mention, there are many who include multiple challenge prompt words in the same post (#vss365, #bravewrite, etc.). I’m creeping in slowly, doing one DP challenge to start, but I might join in others later on down the road.

I thought it would be great fun to only draw from one book to create my posts – this has proved quite challenging! – but that only get’s my creative juices flowing all the more. Again, because it’s Twitter and the word count is limited, all of my posts are original. They wouldn’t actually be found verbatim in the book, itself, but the ideas behind them are definitely there. If I still like that process by the end of this month, than I’ll pick a different book for September, and so on.

❤ That’s it, Indies. If you’re already participating in the #vss365, #bravewrite or any other Daily Prompt challenge drop me a comment below to share your experience and how you prefer to approach your unique creations!

The In Your Face[book] Approach

I love watching the slow escalation of Facebook’s need for attention. I’ll purposely go without posting anything just to see how their emails and notifications progress from “hey, whatcha doin’?” to the point where if Facebook were a person, I’d be getting a restraining order. I opened my inbox this morning to no less than 6 consecutive email notifications from them, either promising a discount to boost my posts or highlighting all the things my friends are doing that I’m missing out on.

Listen up, Facebook, if I want you, I’ll use you. Take a hint. Maybe I don’t like the fact that you’re like that one friend who can never keep a secret. Maybe I don’t like everyone in the world knowing what day and time I wiped my… nose…because you keep an actual timeline. We have words for entities like you, Facebook. Attention Whore. Stalker. Busybody. 

MAD TV even had a skit about you, Facebook. Stuart and his “Look at what I can do” moments of needing attention. And that’s all you’re doing, flailing your limbs about in the most obnoxious way possible while trying to get me to spend a ridiculous amount of money on posts – posts! They’re not even ads, they’re just posts! C’mon, be real.

And, as if Facebook’s greed for the spotlight (and unearned cash) weren’t bad enough, they also seem to think they can get results by escalating from helpful suggestions to downright orders. They start off all, “hey, your friends haven’t heard from you in awhile” to “A.C., create a post for people visiting your page.”

Hey FB, don’t tell me what the eff to do and please, find a different hobby. You should be putting yourself in FB Jail for so many crimes, I can’t even list them all, but let’s just settle for harassment and spam abuse, even if it’s mildly entertaining to ignore the hell out of you.

♥ p.s. This is not a rant – and yes, I’m aware that it’s my choice to have a Facebook page. This was done for humor and entertainment purposes only, because I know for a fact I’m not the only one who feels this way about the necessary evil that is FB. So…Happy Hump Day! 😀

♥ Color of Love Blog Hop & #BigBookSale! ♥

It’s Black Friday, the biggest holiday shopping day of the year – so it’s no surprise that a lot of authors are hosting crazy good deals today. This is a multi-sale post, so bear with the length, but you’re only a click away from tons of deals & your chance at some major prizes!

Color of Love Blog Hop

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Hosted by Kiru Taye, Nana Prah and Empi Baryeh, this is a celebration of multicultural and interracial love, so if you enjoy romance novels featuring people of color, then keep reading. Below are the links to all of the blogs hosting this event and each will be promoting a different book or a post on why they love this genre so much.

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Kiru Taye Nana Prah Empi Baryeh RWOWA Sexy Romance Novels Kai Tyler Love Bites and Silk Felicia Denise Guinevere & Libertad G.L. Thomas Georgia Lyn Hunter Lea’s Crazy Nights Lily Harlem Kim Golden Ines Johnson Sharon C. Cooper Candace Shaw Natasha Blackthorne Sydney Aaliyah Michelle Kenya Wright Delaney Diamond LaVerne Thompson Tia Kelly Patience Saduwa Paulette Harper LENA HART S.W.Frank Reana Malori Rina Gray Joyfully Reviewed Synithia Williams L. Loren LaQuette Jamie Wesley A.J. Locke Kay Blake Sheena Binkley M.J. Kane The Reading Addict Reviews by Crystal Dionne Grace Nana Malone Inger Iversen

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This is also a Massive Giveaway Event! So, make sure you checkout the Rafflecopter Giveaway for all your chances to win.

Grand Prizes

1st prize $75 GC + 7 ebooks
2nd prize $50 GC + 7 ebooks
3rd prize $30 GC + 7 ebooks
4th prize $15 GC + 7 ebooks
5th prize $10 GC + 7 ebooks
6th prize $5 GC + 7 ebooks

I’m here to help promote the book I’m currently reading (and almost done with, I’m gobbling it up!), which is:

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Please make sure to stop by Felicia’s blog to get even more information on this truly heartfelt, inspiring and charmingly romantic Women’s Fiction novel. I can’t say anymore, you’ll have to wait for my review or better yet – go grab a FREE copy today at our next sale event…

#BigBookSale

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This event is hosted by Nicole R. Locker and features over 50 Indie Authors with books on sale for $1.99, $0.99 or Free starting today and running through Cyber Monday (Nov. 25-28). There you will find my book, Avarice and Felicia Denise’s book, In The Best Interest of The Child absolutely FREE! So hurry and load up your Kindles while the sales last!

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Join the #BigBookSale Facebook Party!

#BigBookSale Goodreads Event Page

#BigBookSale

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Hey Indies! Sorry I’m getting this up so late, but: Today’s the last day to sign your book up for this event! If you’re having a Reduced, Countdown or FREE book sale Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 25-28) then you can promote your book through this event, just fill out the submission form here: https://nicolerlocker.com/bigbooksale/bigbooksale-author-submission/

There’s already 50+ authors who will be sharing and spreading the word of this event, exposing your book to hundreds of people.

Event Locations:

Main Event Page (works best with Chrome. Firefox may not show all available books!): Nicolerlocker.com

Goodreads

Facebook

Google+

Avarice (Hell on Earth #1) will be FREE on Amazon that entire weekend (Nov. 25-29) so will be part of the event. Come support your fellow Indie Authors and take advantage of all the great sales!

#IndieAuthorsAreAwesome

Dear Indie ♥ Weekly Resource Post

Independent

Hello Indies!

If you’ve been following these posts right along with your self-publishing journey, than congratulations! You’re getting ready to launch your book to the world! I hope you have a huge celebration planned, but before we bust open the champagne bottles, your work isn’t done yet…

It’s your book’s launch day. The moment you’ve been dreaming about since you first sat down in front of that blank white document and turned a blinking courser into a spellbinding story for all the world to read. Through blood, sweat, tears, coffee spills, #$%@@#^%! moments, hair-pulling, head banging against the keyboard, too much chocolate and not enough sleep you have created a thriving, living, breathing world filled with characters you now know more intimately than most of your real life friends! They’re your babies and it’s a bittersweet moment to let them go out on their own into the big bad market. You’re not sure how they’ll get along, how they’ll be received, and you already know that no one could ever love them as much as you do, but you’re hoping against all the odds someone will love them almost as much. Take a deep breath mama and/or papa, because here they go!

Depending on how you prepared for your launch day, will determine how quickly you can get to that champagne. It also depends on who you booked your tour with. Some promoters are more thorough than others. Goddess Fish Promotions, for example will send you a spreadsheet listing all of their tour hosts where your tour will be posted and keep it updated with those who’ve already gotten their posts up and running. Other promoters won’t provide this and you have to go hunt your posts down.

Twitter and Facebook are the best places to find those links – but don’t assume that one equals the other. Make sure you check both. You’ll either find a link to their blog, or that they’ve only shared it on Facebook – either way, make sure you thank all of your hosts for sharing or posting, however you want to word it – and keep in mind that they’re not all in the same time zone, so your 1 day tour might actually last 2-3 days! If your Facebook is like mine, it doesn’t always notify me when someone new ‘mentions’ me in a post, so check your notifications every once in awhile to make sure you haven’t missed anyone.

If your tour includes a Giveaway, play that up in Tweets and Facebook statuses! Usually, your giveaway will last longer than your tour, so I highly recommend following the link to see when it’s due to end, that way you can be on top of your tour promoter to get the winner’s names so they’re not waiting for their prizes!

Okay, I’m done tormenting you – bust open that champagne! You can drink in between Tweets and status updates, what was I thinking?

Oh, you thought you were done? Hehehe – If you included ARCS in your tour, you might want to head over to Goodreads and Amazon to check out all of the reviews being posted now, or maybe you don’t want to read those yet, and that’s fine – but don’t forget to thank your tour hosts for reviewing, even if it wasn’t sparkling. It’s just the polite thing to do. I also “like” reviews on Goodreads, but again, that’s entirely up to you.

Things might start slowing down toward the end of the bottle day, but now you need to start thinking about marketing! All of those reviews are now advertising bits you get to Tweet and Facebook about over the next couple of days while people are still hyped about buying your book and spreading the word. Of course, they’re always there for marketing later on, as well, but this is definitely the time when you’ll want to highlight all of your book’s praise. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much advertisement! Shamelessly promote yourself. No one else is going to do it  – unless you’ve got a publicist in your pocket, in that case… sharing is caring, don’t be stingy.

Okay, now you can relax and give yourself a huge pat on the back! (If you’re not too intoxicated to accomplish it) – You’ve made it, sugar. You are now a

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆*:・゚✧PUBLISHED AUTHOR*:・゚✧。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Congratulations! 😀

 

2016 Ringing in the New Year Giveaway!

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My Family’s Heart has brought together a group of us authors who are ready to celebrate the New 2016 Year by giving away a ton of FREE stuff!  Books, Gift Cards, Swag… make sure you click on the Rafflecopter link bellow for your chance to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OR

Go to My Family’s Heart Facebook page!

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon, $10 B&N GC and a FREE e-book copy of The Zen Lounge, and that’s just me… there are 35+ other prizes to be won!

$20 Gift Card Giveaway & Cover Reveal “The Fate of Her Dragon” by: Julia Mills!!

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The Fate of Her Dragon

(Dragon Guards #9)

by Julia Mills

Coming August 11th, 2015

The Fate of Her Dragon

Excerpt

Alicia crept through the forest, careful not to run into any of her sisters, her mother, one of the other witches, and most definitely a Dragon Guardsmen. It wouldn’t do to try to explain why she was traipsing all over the countryside before the sun had even risen. Not that she was really going anywhere near the entire countryside. In all actuality, her destination was always the same, a cave on the far side of the clearing that had been sealed tight with a huge boulder.

Her daily, sometimes twice daily, hikes had started the day after they’d come to stay with the Blue Dragons. It began with a dream that she couldn’t get out of her head. One that reoccurred every night, twice if she woke up, she tried to ignore it and return to sleep. Always starting and ending the same way. A haunting scene inside what she could only imagine was a deep cave. The scratchy, heavily-accented voice of a man calling her name over and over. He searched for her as if his life depended upon it. She could feel his panic always coupled with his absolute need to find her. It ended just as abruptly as it had begun and always left her feeling as if she’d somehow failed him.

How do you fail a man you’ve never met?

The worst thing was the dream would then begin again like a recording stuck on a loop. Every once in a while to break up the monotony, she would catch a glimpse of the side of his face, the slope of his broad shoulders, or if he ran in the opposite direction, his bare feet that were cut and bruised as if he’d climbed mountains without shoes. Unfortunately, nothing that gave a real clue as to his identity.

Alicia had tried calling out to him to no avail. He never answered or gave any indication he could hear her. She’d tried every spell or charm she knew of, and a few she’d looked up when Kyra had let her peruse her library, to stop dreams but nothing worked. Her mystery man still came to her and left her feeling as if she’d somehow failed him.

The dream was taking over every aspect of her life. There were even times it came to her during the day while she was zoning out doing dishes or pulling weeds in their ‘almost living’ garden. When she wasn’t trying to avoid sleeping and dreaming, she was searching for anyone that knew anything about the sealed up cave, just sure that whatever had been locked away in its rocky interior held the solution to her dilemma.

The only thing the young witch knew for sure was that if she didn’t get a good night’s sleep soon, she was going to go bat-shit crazy and that was not a good look on anyone.

About the Author

Julia-Mills-author_pic-282x300Mom of two rockin’ girls, Reader of everything, Author of The Dragon Guards series and many more surprises to come!

I am a sarcastic,sometimes foul-mouthed, not afraid to drink a beer, always southern woman with 2 of the most amazing teenage daughters, a menagerie of animals and a voracious appetite for reading who recently decided to write the storied running through her brain. I read my first book, Dr Suess’ Cat in The Hat by myself at 4 and was hooked. I believe a good book along with shoes, makeup and purses will never let a girl down and that all heroes of all the books I have ever read or will

ever write pale in comparison to my daddy! I am a sucker for a happy ending and love some hot sweaty sex with a healthy dose of romance. I am still working on my story but believe it will contain all of the above with as much SPICE as I can work into it. CHEERS!

Twitter / https://twitter.com/juliamills623

Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/JLakeMills

Goodreads / https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7200721.Julia_Mills

Previous Books in the Series

Dragon Guards

Her Dragon to Slay (Dragon Guards #1)

http://goo.gl/aLWpHu

Her Dragon’s Fire (Dragon Guards #2)

http://goo.gl/vKqv0X

Haunted by Her Dragon (Dragon Guards #3)

http://goo.gl/mKZPZf

For the Love of her Dragon (Dragon Guards #4)

http://goo.gl/8pIUFn

Saved By Her Dragon (Dragon Guard #5)

http://amzn.to/1E7gQjM

Only For Her Dragon (Dragon Guard # 6)

http://amzn.to/1wmFE7w

Fighting For Her Dragon (Dragon Guard # 7)

http://amzn.to/1GwcXpN

Her Dragon’s Heart (Dragon Guard Series Book 8)

http://amzn.to/1JtoKEx

Box Set (books 1-7)

Pre-Order

http://amzn.to/1SDEnQh

Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card !!

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f72363ce103/?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

presented by

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A Bad Time To Be Broken

Hello blogalites! Holy happy meals batman, it has been forever since I’ve been on here and I won’t be long tonight. I’m currently pecking the keys like a novice, due to a pinched nerve causing pain and swelling in my fingers.  (I know, it’s so much fun!)  It couldn’t have come about at a worse time, either – the first day of my 8 week Blog Tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions starts tomorrow!  I’m really, really excited, aches and all!

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My first stop will be at Racy Recanteur, home of erotic romance author Normandie Alleman.  The tour is a rafflecopter giveaway, so if you want in on the prize, make sure to stop by RR to join in!  I’ll also be on the site all day to answer any comments or questions.

Another announcement I’d like to share (which is really late, my apologies) is that The Zen Lounge got it’s first review on Goodreads!  It’s pretty amazing! Okay it’s better than amazing, but you’ll have to see for yourself by following this little linky thing here.

Now, I’m gonna take my dysfunctional hands and go watch me some Supernatural… Mmm… Dean Winchester….

p.s. The tour hits a different blog each week, so make sure to check back here, on my FB or follow me on Twitter (@AuthorACMelody) for weekly updates and links!

Hope to see you tomorrow!

ONE DAY BLITZ STARTS TOMORROW!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR WOW!!!

(World of WordPress… hehehe)

First, I really hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!  Ours was great, hectic, fun and then I got a little stomach bug right afterward, or I would’ve been back sooner.  I do have an exciting announcement, though, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that everyone’s hangovers aren’t too bad in the morning, because…

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It’s time for The Zen Lounge’s one day blitz hosted by My Family’s Heart Book Tours! Starting tomorrow morning and spanning 28 blogs, you’ll have the opportunity to catch exclusive author interviews, character bios, never before released excerpts and of course, a rafflecopter for prizes – to include a FREE e-book copy of The Zen Lounge!

I will be keeping my Twitter (@AuthorACMelody) and Facebook pages updated all day long with links to each of the different blogs that have been amazing enough to host this event!

Hope to see you there!

Flash Giveaway Happening Right Now!

Hey blogger-peeps, head on over to Love, Lust and Lipstick Stain’s Facebook page right now for a chance to win a free Kindle copy of The Zen Lounge!

The Flash giveaway will only be happening for 48 hours, so don’t hesitate to get your name in the drawing! Good luck & thanks in advance for all who participate!

FREE is the best price for yourself or for that romance reader on your Christmas list!