Top Twitter Tools for Authors

Social media. Love it or hate it.

Utilizing it is a fact of life for authors. There are a multitude out there, with new ones emerging all the time. I understand how daunting it can be.

Today I have a special guest post for you from Twitter expert Jo Linsdell. Jo is a best selling author, illustrator, and internationally recognized marketing expert based in Italy. She has just launched her latest book How to be Twittertastic.Author Jo Linsdell

Top Twitter Tools for Authors
By Jo Linsdell

Are you ready to be Twittertastic?

Twitter is the most immediate of all social media and allows you to connect with readers and others from the literary industry from all over the world. The fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013 Twitter now boasts 255 million monthly active users.

A lot of authors shy away from social media as they think it will eat into their writing time too much. The beauty of Twitter is that everything is bite-sized. Coming up with something of 140 characters or less isn’t going to take away too much of your time.

Today I’m going to share with you some of my favourite tools and why they make my “Top Twitter Tools for Authors” list. [Read more...]

Grocery Shopping for NaNoWriMo

yearly calander with months exed outNaNoWriMo may be three months away, but there’s more to prepare than just your outline.

July is nearly over, and August and September will be spent preparing the kiddos for school and getting back into the swing of things. Soon you’ll be staring at the calendar realizing November is bearing down.

Lucky the writer who can sit down at the keyboard and not worry about anyone else in the house. Even if you live alone, there’s more to think about than just your writing. After all, everybody has to eat.

If you’re the cook in the house, now is the perfect time to begin preparing nutritionally for the demands of NaNoWriMo. The less time spent cooking, the more time you have for pounding out those 50,000 words. And if you have a day job, every extra minute counts.

10 Ideas and a Recipe

1. Create a menu for the entire month, or as much of it as possible. Write down the meal for that day on the calendar. (For me, deciding on what to cook for dinner is half the battle.)

2. Over the next few months, prepare double of some of the family favorites you’re fixing for the night, and place the second one in the freezer.

3. Watch for sales on your favorite boxed meals and take advantage. Stash them under your bed if there’s no room in the cupboard (just make sure Fido and Fifi don’t get them).

4. If you own a deep freeze, take advantage of sales and stock up on the items you’ll need for your planned menu. You can do the same with canned/boxed/jarred items (clear a spot in the bedroom closet if need be).

5. Watch Pinterest for quick and easy recipes you can use.

6. Do you own a crock pot? Use it! Make sure your menu plan includes several crock pot meals. Toughest part about this is not drooling all day as the enticing aromas waft through the house all day.chocolate cookies

7. Pre-mix one or two of your favorite cookie recipes (or buy the pre-made), roll the dough in foil, and pop in the freezer. If the kids are old enough, allow them to cut and bake the cookies one evening or weekend during November. You’ll have treats to eat with no fuss and minimal supervision of the kids

8. Find some new recipes for turkey leftovers before that carcass invades your fridge.

9. Be sure to plan for lunch items.

10. Take a look at your planned menu for the month and choose several recipes you can easily double. The leftovers can make a second meal or you can use them for lunch.

Here’s the recipe to one of my favorite meals. Where my mom came up with the idea, I don’t know, but it was a kid favorite growing up. I consider it comfort food. While it won’t make the meat-and-potatoes lover happy, it will fill you up and satisfy the kids on a cold day.

Cream Tuna on Toast (if you like macaroni and tuna, you’ll like this)

1 6 oz. can tuna
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
milk (I use lactose free)

Combine tuna (be sure to drain) and soup into a medium saucepan. Add one soup can of milk. Mix well and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve over toast.

In today’s go, go, go society, many of us don’t give enough thought to meal planning. All of the above ideas can be used year round. You’ll have less stress over what to prepare; the family will have a healthy meal; and you’ll have more time to write. (I think I’ll go buy a deep freeze.)

How do you handle meal time during NaNoWriMo? Please share your tips in the comments.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2014

6 Magazines Accepting Short Stories

You write fiction, but there’s a problem.

It isn’t long enough to be a novel or novella. So what do you do with your short story?

Submit to literary magazines.

Here are 6 accepting short stories (and often essays, too). Some, like Carve, have no minimum word count. The maximum word count varies widely. Submission periods apply to most and if you submit at the wrong time, your submission will be returned or deleted.

Read the guidelines carefully.

Do you know of a market that accepts fiction. Please share it in the comments.

Happy submitting.

Keeper of the Mountain and Dr. Nshan Erganian

I met today’s Friday feature author Nshan Erganian through the local writers’ guild I belong to here in St. Joseph, Missouri. He’s a very interesting guy with quite a sense of humor. But I think you’ll discover that for yourselves as you read his interview.

Q: What did you know going into this whole publishing process that helped you the most, Nshan?

Author Nshan ErganianA: I think there is too much emphasis placed on this notion that the major publishers will not take the time to consider your story. I hear it every time I sit in a writing class or seminar. Maybe it’s true, but I think it causes new authors to shy away from sending query letters to publishers. It may be true that you’ll get back a lot of rejections, [Read more...]

How to Write Back Cover Copy that Sells

library signLast week I had to complete the back cover copy for my upcoming book, Carried by Grace. The very next day I had two friends ask me about back cover copy. So I thought I would address that topic today. [Read more...]

11 Free Resources to Improve Your Marketing Skills

social media icons

Marketing your books can be time consuming and confusing.

You want to sell your books, right?

But like many of us you don’t have the budget to hire a publicist or marketing expert. That means learning marketing skills for yourself.

I know a whole lot more than I did when I first started freelancing, but I have a lot of room to grow, too. Plus, with today’s advancing technology the landscape is always changing. There will always be something new to learn.

The task of marketing can fast consume our time, so I offer the following resources [Read more...]

5 Benefits to Taking a Break from Writing

Authors Elaine Marie Cooper and Debra L. Butterfield

Elaine Marie Cooper and me.

We all know it’s important to take a break now and then no matter what line of work we do. But it’s even more important to refresh and re-energize ourselves when we’ve completed a big project.

I recently completed the final draft of a manuscript and sent it off to writers and readers for feedback. In the meantime, I needed some rest, both physically and mentally. Two weeks vacationing with my kids is my ideal, but that’s just not in the budget right now. So I started looking for alternatives — a day trip or some place to visit for the weekend.

When I saw that author Elaine Marie Cooper was speaking in northern Missouri, I quickly mapped the event to find out how close it was to me. I read her newest book Fields of the Fatherless and was excited at a chance to meet her. [Read more...]

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