Share Your World – Week 43

October 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Australia, Leisure activities, Mental Health, Reading | 8 Comments
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Share Your World blog badge

Cee continues to challenge us to share our world with her great questions. They make us think about our lives, and that is always a good thing. Here are my answers to her questions for Week 43.

What is your favorite time of day?

I think it is the later part of the evenings. That is the time when it is unlikely anyone will telephone. That is when hubby is usually either watching TV or working at his computer. Thus, there is little to interrupt me in whatever I am doing. That may be writing, scrapbooking or reading. A time for myself.

What’s your favorite charitable cause and why?

I have supported many different causes throughout my life, each one relevant to the needs I see around me. These needs are sometimes medical – The Blind Society due to Dad blindness; Breast Cancer research & support groups after my cancer diagnosis; The Australian Heart Foundation, after hubby’s heart attack; and several organisations that support people in financial or other distress.

But there is a limit to the number of charities one can donate to, especially when we are on the age pension. We donate regularly to various worthy causes, but not really to any one particular cause.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

If it is light rain, it won’t usually stop me from doing some outside things. But when the rain has set in and the best course is to stay inside and wait it out, you have a good excuse to settle in and enjoy the time out; unless you have to do paid work or have other ongoing commitments of course.

Rainy days are good times to relax and do the pleasant things you put off doing because there are more important things to do. I love to read to the sound of rain on the roof, settled into my comfortable chair with a hot drink or a glass of wine (the wine after 6pm of course). It’s a good time to catch up on my scrapbooking too, or read blogs and emails. Anything that would normally carry a sense of guilt if you do it when the weather is fine and you have no excuse for getting out of the house or yard work.

Scrapbook pages

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

When we began school, we wrote with a pencil, but in 4th grade, we moved on to pen and ink. It was such a big step, and an indication that we were growing up. To write with a pencil was seen as babyish. It wasn’t until I reached high school that biros became easy to get and relatively cheap. But even then, I preferred to use my fountain pen – the nib with use, fitting perfectly to my style of writing. It is actually rare here in Australia for anyone to write with a pencil once they are older. Those who do, usually use a clutch pencil.

By the end of high school, biros were everywhere, and I always used them to write with. The only time I have written with a pencil is when I can’t find a pen. I even do my cryptic and other crosswords with a pen. Nowadays, with my arthritic fingers, the thicker pens with formed grips are easiest for me to use, but I love the flow of the gel pens you can get now too.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week, with virtually no outside commitments, both my husband and I did what we wanted to do. In my case, it was lots of yard work, scrapbooking and relaxing with a crossword or a book. It has been the first time for a year or two that we have had that length of time to ourselves and we have both been thankful for it.

This week, we still have a few more days of freedom, so we are doing the same and enjoying it.

(c) Linda Visman

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Promoting your book online

November 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Promotion, Publishing, Writing | 5 Comments
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The internet, with its abundance of social networking sites, makes it easier than ever before to get your name in front of prospective readers. However, you must remember that you are competing against millions of other writers to get your name and your work noticed. It takes time, effort and commitment to create and expand your on-line connections. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to establish an on-line presence.

Set up an author website:

–         this must be as professional and easy to navigate as possible;

–         create a page for each of your books, as well as an About page;

–         include book reviews and any recommendations about them;

–         add links to where the book/s can be purchased;

–         you can set up a blog on your website that will help you to get noticed;

–         if you are technologically savvy, upload video promos, readings, interviews, etc.

–         include links on your page to those of other websites or blogs that you find helpful.

Set up a blog:

–         as a stand-alone site, or as part of your author webpage;

–         make your blog posts interesting and relevant:

     o       about your book – the characters, setting, theme, anything that is relevant and interesting; include items about place, any related special interest, eg historical era, a medical condition, a war, poverty, travel, etc.

     o       why you wrote it; the writing process, the frustrations, your research, etc;

–         let people know when you have been interviewed, and provide links if possible;

–         include a Comments option for feedback (and hopefully praise) and to create interest in what you write; always answer all comments;

–         have Share buttons to social media sites you are a member of – Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, etc;

–         host guest bloggers on your site, so you can then be a guest on theirs;

Become part of an online community:

–         read and comment on others’ blogs;

–         sign up as an author (apart from any personal membership) on social network sites and get as many Likes and Shares as you can;

–         register as an author on Amazon, Goodreads, etc;

–         mentor other writers – online or offline.

Go on a virtual book tour:

–         this is aimed at getting your name out in the virtual world; you want to be involved in as many other blogs, websites, radio and TV interviews, social network events, contests, giveaways, etc as possible;

–         these virtual tours take a lot of preparation, commitment and good organization;

–         you will find information online that will tell you how to set up a virtual book tour.

*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *

Linda Visman is a member of Lake Macquarie Fellowship of Australian Writers, and loves to help other writers improve their skills. She writes fiction and non-fiction, and has a go at poetry too – with varied results. Linda has been published in several magazines and anthologies and is the author of Ben’s Challenge, a novel for Young Adults, set in the 1950s, that Baby Boomers love.

Help! How do I ….?

October 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Promotion, Writing | 2 Comments
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I have been wondering how to make my wordpress blog into something more than ‘just a blog’.

I am a writer. I write articles for our local writing group magazine. My short stories and poems have been published in several anthologies and periodicals. I have self-published my novel, “Ben’s Challenge” (with a link on this page).

I need to get out there – wherever ‘out there’ is, in order to make my work better known and available to prospective readers. But how do I do that, beyond Facebook, this blog (which has few readers) and my old-fashioned website that doesn’t even allow pictures to be displayed on my main page? And, how do I do it without spending all my time on it? After all, I want to continue writing my next book.

I am not a techno whiz, though I use computers for many things. I have only just learned how to use widgets, and was very proud of myself when Iworked out how to put up my novel’s front cover, as well as a click link to Amazon, on this page.

However, I don’t understand what a lot of the options are, or what they are supposed to do, and I don’t have much time to get in and play around with them. Besides, I am also afraid of this stuff, and I don’t want to destroy what I already have. There is nobody around who I can call on either; especially, there is nobody who can show me what to do in a way that I will understand, and then be able to carry on doing what I need to do.

So, what do others out there do when you are stuck? How do you learn ‘stuff’ to help you promote your writing – or any other product? And how do you do it when your income is small and you cannot afford to call on experts? I hope someone can help me.

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