Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hashtags, Friends, and Followers

In today’s technology, building a platform or do-it-yourself marketing is getting easier. Social media has opened doors to the outside world and introduced us to brand new people, places, and even allowed us to interact with some of our favorite celebrities.

For people with stardom embedded in their name it makes it a little more difficult for the ‘average Joe’ to collect ‘friends’ and ‘followers’.
 To begin building my platform I was encouraged and urged by fellow authors to interact on social media sites—which meant opening my own accounts! I mean, who has time to sit at the computer all day anyway?

-Oh, wait…

So with my chin up I dared to enter that scary, cyber world and put my name out there for all to see.

Facebook—all right. I can handle that one. I got to connect with many friends who I hadn’t seen in years and I get to talk on a regular basis with those who had moved away. No problem getting friends.

Blogger—this was my last step of faith. My life is boring, what is there to blog about? I had to dig into my inner soul to find my happy place.
I no longer stress over blog articles. My writing is more important, so I blog during my free time or I set aside one day a week to create posts that have been lurking in the back of my mind.

Twitter—ah, here we go. I was lost when I opened my Twitter account. I had no idea what to do with it, how to use it, or how to implement it into my writing.

This took much time browsing, finding people to follow, and reading what they were tweeting about. Even after I figured out the ins and outs of tweeting I still couldn’t find twitter buttons on some of my favorite articles to tweet. Then came along this app called Buffer.

I downloaded the Buffer app and now I can tweet any article or any website easily with one click of the buffer button. (And it also cuts down on character usage for those who push the character limit—like me)
Even after all that, how do you acquire followers?

Obviously this is a popularity contest. If you don’t get easily upset by not being the most popular, you’ll be fine. But for unpublished writers and authors, what is the best way to build a Twitter following?

I’m still building, but learning as I go…

Here are some helpful tips that I have found to work.

1.    If you follow someone, most likely they will follow back.

2.    Don’t just tweet about what you are doing or where you’re going every hour of the day. Find your calling card (as I call it)—what are your interests? Find interesting articles, pictures, quotes, jokes, etc…

3.    Too many tweets will turn off a follower.

4.    Simply ask for a follow.

5.    Hashtag usage—What is a hashtag? #Hashtags are those #pesky words mashed together with a #pound #symbol in front of them. Hashtags are conversations that have something to do with that word and the more you use them the more conversations you have entered. #nuffsaid

Click on the hashtag to view the conversations. This is one way to find other Twitter users and gain followers, sometimes finding the best of conversations to enter and build friendships.

6.    Which hashtags should writers use? Here’s a list of hashtags that may best benefit writers and authors:

#Writers
#Authors
#fridayreads
#goodreads
#christianfiction
#inspy
#womensfiction
#fiction
#romance
#historical

You can find me on Twitter @Rachel_DMuller. Give me a follow and I’ll likely thank you with a follow!


Have anything to add? Feel free to leave it in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review Friday: Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck



I love how the aroma of fresh book releases leads me to another great read!
At the beginning of the year I made a point to keep a list of the top 10 books of the year. So far that list has grown, but this month a new leader has topped off that list. 
I picked up Rachel Hauck's Once Upon A Prince because of author's fantastic reviews--word of mouth so-to-speak. I'm not a big reader on modern romances but my mind is always open to something new. And from what I heard, this book was "something new". 
I loved it.
Plain and simple, I could NOT put this book down. I wasn't satisfied until I knew what path the hero and heroine chose to take. Rachel Hauck had all the elements, ingredients, and personalities to create a beautifully written and woven story of secret identities, damsel in distress, and two worlds colliding together in a match that was sure to crash and burn.
If one were to ask me which book to pick up right now I'd have to say, Once Upon A Prince...

Back Cover Blurb:

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?


Have you read this book? What did you think?

What books have you read recently that come in at number one on your reading list?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pinterest Boards Tell The Story



Research.

It's that little thing that separates historical from fiction...and it matters.

In this day and age there are so many ways to research, and most are right at our fingertips. Aside from historical societies, museums, and interviews we have Google, online archives, Wikipedia, and...Pinterest.

Yes, Pinterest. The online site is growing by the day and both men and women are using it to collect photos and historical facts about their passions and interests. 

However, it's not just gaining popularity for household cleaners, clothing, and DIY helps - more authors are now using it to bring "characters to life" and open new doors into their research endeavors.

I recently added a second account to Pinterest primarily for my World War II research. Anything from Army to Yugoslavia is on my Pinterest page. I separated each area of WWII history with 45 boards and over 800 pins. 

Aside from WWII facts, I added boards for men's and women's fashions in the 1940's, Hairstyles, 1940's advertisements, and my newest board, Fictional and Non-Fictional books of the WWII era.

Pinner Authors are also finding inspiration for characters as they find vintage or modern photos of notable people. I have a board for this called, Faces of War.

Books are coming to life as authors share tidbits of information about their novels in the pins they collect and share. Photos depict or play out a scene similar to one a writer has staged. Other photographs of countries, people, gadgets, and beauty are also described by fictional authors as "inspiration" or thought behind the writing. 

A few authors share their own personal pictures from visiting target locations of their research, or posting videos of interviews.

Pinterest has opened the door for readers to become more intimately connected to their favorite characters and books, and discover why the writer chose a particular issue to address.

Here are some authors who have Pinterest pages to promote their books:


Enjoy browsing a bit and learning the back story and inspiration for some of your favorite books...

1940's Slang

Clam: A dollar

Keen: Appealing, Pleasing