Latest Review of Ben’s Challenge

October 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Publishing, Reading, Writing, Writing and Life | 4 Comments
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It was lovely to receive this review from Brenda on Goodreads

Brenda’s review

4 of 5 stars
Read from August 09 to 10, 2013 — I own a copy

Ben lived with his Mum, Dad, brother Peter and sister Helen. At thirteen he was in first year high school in a small town in country Australia, where his German descent made him the butt for racist taunts and comments from a few members of the community. He was called “kraut” and “jerry” so often it bounced off him. His friend Joe fared no better, as he was a refugee along with his family. Even though they were hard workers, the common name-calling taunt was “reffo”. It hurt, but they were used to it.

The day which was to change Ben and his family’s life forever started the same as any other. But when Ben was waiting for his dad to return from work, waiting for the usual sound of his motorbike to come up the drive; the one which arrived caused him to frown in confusion – it had a completely different noise. The policeman at the front door spread terror through them all; their Dad had been hit by a car on his way home – it was a hit and run, and his Dad had not survived.

As the family struggled through their grief, Ben was frustrated by the efforts of the police. So Ben and his best friend Joe decided to take matters into their own hands. Ben started working in the small shop in town, delivering groceries and stacking shelves for Mr Fraser. As it was school holidays, the wonderful six week Christmas break, they had free time to explore, swim in the billabong and search for answers to questions that were always there.

Will Ben find the answers he is so desperate for? What will happen to the young friends in the heady days of summer in the 1950s when Elvis Presley was all the rage and racial prejudice a fact of life?

A thoroughly enjoyable novel of a young teenager’s strength, determination and courage in the face of terrible adversity. Highly recommended.

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.

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