Monday 30 November 2020

Monday Productivity Tips


 Display your Cover on your  Screen



 This year has taken a l-o-n-g time in the passing and an even greater toll of hopes, dreams and productivity. But although my productivity output is less than zilch, the input has been never-ending.

Hopefully some ideas may be of use in boosting and and cheering your own output.

Monday Tip 1

This one is lovely and was suggested to me by Melissa Storm.  Published both traditionally and independently, she is a prolific author,wonderful mentor and pillar of support for writers and illustrators worldwide.


Display your motivation on your desktop


After battling a love-but-mostly-hate relationship with Windows 10 for the past year, I am learning slowly some of the cool things it can do.

To display a picture on the screen:

1. Tap the windows icon beside the search bar.  this brings up your Start menu. Obvious? Sorry, no. It wasn't to me. Choose settings from the left of the start menu--the cog icon above the power button.

2.Click on Personalization, then Background.

3.Choose between picture/solid background and slideshow

4. Browse for the picture you want. I chose the cover from the book I'm working on to remind me what I'm supposed to be doing every time I switch on.

5. You can then select how to display it on screen. Fill, fit, stretch, tile or even slideshow.

Job done. Windows takes care of the rest.


Why Buy the Cover Before Writing the Book?  

This sounds more than a bit like the chicken and the egg question but many authors do exactly this. 

  • The cover acts as inspiration for  the story
  • Displaying the cover signifies intent and means you have to keep writing forward. You have fans waiting.
  •  You have invested time, money or both in the cover. You need to make that back.

And, of course, it looks great on your screen.  


Cover by kind permission of designer Julie Hatton of Economical Premade Covers in aid of Action Medical Research for Children.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Give Your Writing a Chance to Grow.

photo by lekkydoit courtesy of
Parents know it. Gardeners know it. Preparation.nature and nurture go in to growing anything successfully.

The same applies to developing our writing. Stop beating yourself up because the words you put on the page don't match the ideal you have in your head. 

Just keep putting the words down. Practise, practise, practise and never give up because you don't think you're good enough.

Here's David Liu's beautifully crafted video illustrating the words of Ira Glass. An old one but a great one.

Take heart. Move forward. Grow.

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Apologies if you've been trying to connect through my newsletter opt-in on the right. I shall struggle to correct the problem before my next post, struggle being the apposite word.

Once I have worked my way through how to use MailChimp--yes, I'm sure everyone finds it easy but me--I'll do a step by step cheatsheet for my own benefit, but which I shall very happily share.

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Thursday 18 June 2015

How to build Pre-Pub Publicity On Twitter

Delighted to welcome one of our favorite guests today. Jo  is the multitalented marketing expert at the head of Promo Day and an internationally acclaimed multi-genre author. Always generous with her knowledge, she is here to share some very useful Twitter tips.

How to Build Pre-Pub Publicity on Twitter

By Jo Linsdell

The bad news: Finishing your book is only part of your job as an author. Whether you traditionally publish or self publish, you will need to become your own publicist.

The good news: Thanks to the internet, writers now have more power than ever to get the word out about their books.

Why pre-pub publicity is important.

You need to build the foundation for your marketing and promotional campaign pre-publication to ensure a successful launch when it releases. You need to create excitement about the book so that readers are lining up to read it when it becomes available. Basically what it comes down to is that people need to know the book exists.

Why Twitter is the perfect platform for viral marketing and promotion.

Social media is great for building your community and expanding your reach. I personally get the best return on investment on Twitter. From my current analytics it makes up 54% of my influence score (based on shares, comments, and mentions). That’s considerably more than any of the other social media platforms. You might be surprised to hear that it’s also one of the sites with the lowest maintenance. That’s right. Low effort, high output.

Ways you can use Twitter to build pre-pub publicity on Twitter:

It’s never too early to start building your author brand and promoting your book. Start now!

  • Find followers. One of the best ways to grow your own following is to follow others. Use the keyword search to find people interested in your niche.

  • Engage with followers. Social media should be social. Show followers that you appreciate them, have a conversation, and build relationships with your followers. 

F.Y.I. If you want the tweet to be public make sure you put something in front of the @ tag.

  • Create lists. This will help you filter Twitter content. For example you might want to set up a list for avid readers of books in your niche, or book bloggers who regularly interview authors or feature books. Start connecting with these people now and you’ll already have a group of supporters to help you spread the word when your book releases.

  • Tweet. Whilst you’ll want to be tweeting about your work in progress, and sharing details about future release, you should also be creating your author brand and building your reputation within the industry. People like to connect with people. Share your interests, comment on articles related to your niche, and interact with those talking about your subject area.

As your release date approaches you’ll want to tweet pre-release review snippets, quotes from your book, and let your followers know about upcoming events you’ll be attending.

  • Get others talking. Get influential readers to create hype about your book by tweeting about it. Then Retweet, repost, and interact with those influencers. You’ll get that viral snowball rolling in no time.

  • Say thank you to people who help you. They didn’t have to. Humility and gratefulness go a long way. Use hashtags like #WW (WriterWednesday) and/or #FF (FollowFriday) to give them a public shout out.

  • Make your content easy to share. Your website/blog should have social share buttons to make is super easy for people to tweet about your content. The easier it is to share, the more likely they are to do it. 

The easy share principle doesn’t have to be limited to blog posts though. How about creating a free downloadable pdf of a sample chapter from your book and putting a click to tweet in it? People read the free sample and then tweet about it (with minimum effort required. They just click the link and it automatically tweets a pre-written tweet to their account. Something like “#amreading insert title of book, by @insert Twitter handle of author. Get free sample chapter here: insert link).

If all this sounds like a time suck that will take away too much of your writing time check out third party sites like Hootsuite and schedule some tweets in advance. It’s also good for monitoring retweets, mentions, and follows.

Also consider installing the Twitter app on your smartphone. I have it on mine and save loads of time by doing a quick check in, for example, when waiting for the kettle to boil. Twitter is fast paced and with tweets of just 140 characters, it’s easy to skim. With the lists I mentioned above, it’s quick and easy to find content to retweet that fits your target audience.

 What NOT to do.

Lastly, what NOT to do. Many writers jump on Twitter and spam strangers with their book link over and over. Annoying? Very. Good way to be blocked or unfollowed? Guaranteed. It’s also against Twitter’s Terms of Service and so could get you kicked off the platform.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Anne for this wonderful opportunity. I hope this article has given you some helpful insight into Twitter and how authors can use it to build their author brand and create some pre-pub publicity.

Thanks for spending time with me today!

Jo  is here on her book launch tour for Twittertastic--everything you need to know to get the best results for your promotions on Twitter.  Now in a print version as well as in the Kindle store.