How does social media help your novel be found?

Rekindling Connections is now on it’s first ever blog tour with @Brookcottagebooks. Looking at how social media can work for the self published I am keen to know more. So many people swear by it extending the virtues of Twitter fans and Facebook pal’s not to mention pinterest the new in your face poster board.

I am on this vibrant station. Love the inspiration boards and have sat in on many a preview webinar to learn the basics but it is still one social media craft I have never got far with. Got some lovely creative boards but to sell via no, I need to dig deeper here. What I want is the hard facts of how people actually use these platforms for their author career? Are they Techy or had support to get someone else to walk the talk or just jumped in and learnt on the job?

Building a friendship is the key but this takes time and can be hit and miss. You might not be looking online when your mate is on. Understanding the never ending changes to analytics of google or facebook is the main reason why sometimes it means a lot of my postings just aren’t seen by the ones I really want to get through to who just might want to share my ramblings.

Of course I won’t give up going global takes time ha, ha, I wish. But getting your novel out to the millions particularly abroad to good old USA, for some reason they seem to read a mega load of books but this could be just due to the larger area for humans to inhabit. I need to look at all tactics. Allowing other more experienced companies who love reading and writing via blogging could be the help many may need. We all need a bit of critical advice of our work, although this can go either way if it is not all perfect, it can still create interest. In fact the more poor the media interest the more this can affect sales we only need to compare the 50 shades scenario. People do like to be intrigued if someone slates something where as a recommendation is semi remembered but not always taken up on.

Learning from trying out different media is the only way. Some times it costs but until you have a go you won’t know the result. I am wary of spending on adverts online and boosting of posts as just not sure of how the system works. In this case I do need to get advice. Many authors I know manage to build great platforms as they say and if your exploring and  introducing yourself virtually to strangers, all in the hope they take you on board, the social media friendship line is ideal.

Being of a slightly more shyer person, I cringe a little of bothering people. Some can be offended that you have said a virtual hello and dared to ask ‘fancy liking my page’ this can be taken the wrong way as an invasion of privacy. All boils down to a gentle nudge, nudge approach to engage. Get it wrong and the hackles rise. If you do it on a bad day for someone then be ready to be shot down. My learning from this is to not take it too personally and pick yourself up and knock on another door.

We all have to embrace the door to door salesman approach. For not being face to face is a blessing. I need to up the anti and feel the fear sometime. If you have found one platform better than another then leave me a comment. Any shortcuts for other authors let me know. Self-publishing is hard and they need to look at every angle how to get their own product out into the wild. It is lovely to have achieved the hardback glossy copy but selling is then the reward possibly for many.

Over the next week or two Rekindling will be filling up the timeline hopefully with some interesting blogs come on down and LIKE DARE I SAY IT MY PAGE : N Abell-Francis Author I won’t bite and just might impress you I hope.

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How Brave are you in trying new challenges?

Nicky Abell Francis

Having spent the last weekend at a music, surf and wakeboarding festival, all booked and decided on a whim to create the challenge of introducing my daughter to hopefully, a fun camping trip. I decided to secondly prove to her, mum can be hip and adventurous. It had me thinking work and hobbies take over our life but sometimes we need to try something different. My new business and writing now, were steps into the unknown. I have learnt a lot on the journey though needed to have some fun for this road trip learning a thing or two about myself on the way.

Challenge 1: My first aim was to put up a tent, never done this before with out the comfort of an experienced friend. Overcoming this was easy as no wind or rain to fight against and a leisurely time span of all afternoon and evening before night fall A…

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How Brave are you in trying new challenges?

Having spent the last weekend at a music, surf and wakeboarding festival, all booked and decided on a whim to create the challenge of introducing my daughter to hopefully, a fun camping trip. I decided to secondly prove to her, mum can be hip and adventurous. It had me thinking work and hobbies take over our life but sometimes we need to try something different. My new business and writing now, were steps into the unknown. I have learnt a lot on the journey though needed to have some fun for this road trip learning a thing or two about myself on the way.

Challenge 1: My first aim was to put up a tent, never done this before with out the comfort of an experienced friend. Overcoming this was easy as no wind or rain to fight against and a leisurely time span of all afternoon and evening before night fall A doddle.

Challenge 2: to actually cook something eatable. Which I am proud to say achieved a very tasty meal. With praise from daughter, that I cooked better on a makeshift stove than I did on the all posh gadget hob at home. Maybe roughing it was the answer and I’ll pop out into the back garden with my Calor gas in future. Doing it Jamie Oliver style maybe might work.

Challenge 3: to incorporate some fun activities. Our first choice was Paddle boarding. Looked easy enough hopefully if could master the skill and not fall in and get wet. Staying safe on the top of the board standing and paddling away, hopefully admiring the scenery was what attracted me. Fear factor for me was I’m not a strong swimmer and not keen on being dunked at the best of times under water. But I needed to show no fear and encourage my offspring to be more sporty once home.

Our luck factor which proved to up the challenge was a little low, as the wind was increasing and paddle boarding is not easy in such conditions. Trying to aim along the coast was no mean feat, as I attempted to turn towards land, I kept heading out to sea and drifting. After a while even the instructor abandoned my daughter and came to guide me back to terra firma. Our final attempt was to be led back on one board, other one dumped ceremoniously on beach to be picked up later. This involved  me face down with instructor staring up my backside practically, as we both hand paddled heading back alongside the beach. Waves breaking over the board straight into my face .Lovely but I showed no fear with a smile as I landed, trying hard to show it was fun all the way.

Challenge 4:Partiipate in some silly activities that most mature adults would not do but as I was hip and game for anything this rationale didn’t enter my mind, of course not. Space hopper racing strangely was rather exhilarating and found I could get a fair bit of speed up with not too much effort. One warning do not do this after a large meal the bounce is far too much for most stomachs. 

Challenge 5: to make an absolute idiot and humiliate yourself for ever more once the photos are taken. I was now to endure a paint fight on the beach. Clothed in some old clothes in case my best shorts and smart T-shirt became dyed beyond recognition. I noticed I had forgot the main form of safety clothing, that a fair few of the young teenagers had on. A pair of trendy shades to protect from direct aim from paint into the eyeball. Nasty. Knowing my sight was poor anyway I decided I’d have to fight blind with my eyes screwed up and chuck my paint wildly about at random. Five minutes later I looked like the witch out of the Wizard of Oz. Enduring the flash guns from numerous spectators keen to place virally around the universe. Smiling insanely again, I was determined to enjoy the challenge.

Reflecting on the lack of sleep from pounding beats for twelve hour shifts, and that I had become like a grandma underneath with a few moans at the odd security guy. Who learnt from early on to avoid me if he could. When I had to trek half a mile to the car for anything. I had found I was brave enough to do most things and survive. I did have a little bit of childishness left to pursue and sometimes you can be an absolute idiot for any reason. Just don’t think about it too much. So grab your cossie and try something different. I can safely say I have even tried a bit of sword fencing and wasn’t bad at it. Though bungee jumping will not I don’t think help my brain cells to write quicker the next novel so that won’t be on my fun agenda . I’m not mad completely happy to just be a little whacky at times.

Nicky Abell-Francis Author of Rekindling Connections

The Art of Procrastination

I love this word being a fellow procrastinator. Sadly I have just been side tracked with twitter and ended up through delaying finishing the job, to have it wiped via my laptop closing down. More fool me. So here we are again starting from scratch. Most people assume this is through laziness but it is more from fear, nervousness or lack of confidence when we leave a chore un-tackled.

Hiding behind the written page a lot of people can feel more confident but when a job is required when you have to out yourself out there and connect verbally or presenting face to face then personal demons can set in and the chore even though needs to be done is side lined as more comfortable or interesting jobs come by.

I have to normally entice myself to do certain job that lingers on my to do list. Normally by allowing myself a treat if I tackle and complete it. Placing large bright stickers of importance can help draw my eye to it more. If all else fails I try to at least get everything in order to tackle the job and encourage myself to do maybe five min’s if it feels ok and flows, then maybe another five min’s and so on.

What you need to look at is why you are not actually completing the chore? Is it through fear and cringe factor, if so do you want to overcome this and is it really essential to be done? If not then life is too short sometimes to feel the fear and do it all the time. Give yourself a break and just wipe it off. Try a different angle or just tell yourself it isn’t the way you want to work for that subject and go back to the drawing board. Of course this is really only for work issues. Personal jobs that have to be done like your accounts ect you could be in trouble so no avoiding for ever just make the challenge a bit more exciting and it might get done sooner.

I love new ways to tackle a challenge so any new tips you use love to hear. I am writing as a self publisher and this can lack structure or deadlines, so this issue can be a right pain if you are not dedicated.  If you lucky enough to have a publishing contract then deadlines are always there and this can motivate most people to complete. Even if it means copious amounts of coffee, stimulants and working to the crack of dawn. Personally I prefer to kick myself earlier than that as not too keen on reducing myself to a frazzled individual just to complete something.

Go out now and see which areas you have procrastinated and jump on them immediately.

 

 

Do we choose our path or is it mapped from the start?

One subject I find fascinating, that led me into the theme behind my novel. Do we actually get a choice in which path to take in our lives? Or is this mapped out already for us? Maybe set in stone before birth. Which ever choice we do actually take, was this the only correct one?

Everybody can say, ‘I wish I’d taken the opposite route to the one I’d chosen.’ But how much better would that path have been. You just don’t know. When an option goes belly up and isn’t what we expect, this could be a job option taken or a new business venture we can always look at it really as a learning curve. The challenges we are given on that path can all enhance us to be better next time round. Which ever direction you might be taking next time round.

My other interest was how in such a vast world of individuals, you can bump into someone you know even when you might be  hundreds of miles away on the other side of the world. Weird or perfectly natural? I then posed the question do certain people we meet in our life allow us to learn  something important. These individuals can intercept our lives on several occasions. Quite by chance, sometimes with lengthy gaps or several years apart but they turn up time and time again. This could be an ex lover, work colleague or just an acquaintance. Some people call this serendipity, quaint word and nice idea. Which ever way you look at it. There must be a some mapping out for this to occur so regularly in so many lives.

If your obsessed with  maths I suppose some lengthy formula could be produced, to randomly say the chance of these repetitive meetings occurring. Too boring for me. I love the romance and excitement that these chance meetings are meant to be for you alone. That the friendship or relationship is special just for your life and learning experience. Even boring Fred, Tom or Harry if he happens to keep reappearing in your life, take note he might be bumping into you for some important nugget of information you might need. On the other hand he could just be your stalker so do reserve some judgement.

It can be comforting that however hard it might be to make a decision on something particularly if you think it will be life changing, Just consider whatever way you decide to go it may be the only choice you were meant to choose. Takes the hassle out of the decisions. If you wanted to be even more blasé why not toss a coin. Though I think some people may think this a little too light a way to decide. For some who worry and avoid decisions it maybe the only solution. So enjoy those impromptu meetings nothing is wasted. Even at the bus stop.

 

 

 

Which hero do you bond with?

As with most books there is always a lead hero, but do you always immediately connect with him. Sometimes the lesser characters may float your boat far more. This always depends on what you’re attracted to in real life. Within Rekindling Connections my first novel there are several key contenders who could take the lead role. Which is the correct one is a personal choice. I know of course being the writer who I wanted to take pole position, but my readers may think quite differently.

Number one contender is Tyler Montgomery dashing, charismatic and drop dead gorgeous. But he knows it too. For some readers this would be their ideal fantasy. We have all seen such a man in action. Women like bees to a honey pot hanging on their every sentence. The more mean and moody the more he draws you into his charm. For some this would alienate them, making him the baddie of the novel. Seeing him as frivolous to the storyline, not one to be taken seriously. But you have to remember the story can change and he too could become a better person. Taking up the honest good role that most readers prefer for their hero. Time will tell and you may have to read the sequel to come. Or he may just get worse with age as most men can do. Your personal life story will take over in respect to choice.

Brett Mcabe seems a much lesser hero as he slips between the chapters. Good, wholesome and kind is their more to him than we give credit. A male character like this will be more attractive to the romantic, more formal reader. The old fashioned way of looking at the lead up to a romance is a journey of seduction and friendship. To the more raunchy reader they may think his hero status is lacking power. If you have ever had a few lovers who take an age to get moving, let alone ask you out you may well bond or reject this style of hero. Ignoring him unless something dramatic has occurred. Remember it is the quiet ones that can take over when you least expect it. But then again is he there to distract you?

Our last contender is Bruce Loxley old fashioned, shy, the loser in the romantic stakes but his money and status gets him by. To many readers he is the lead hero the main character the book revolves around. Like any pack of cards there is a joker in the pack. Don’t be led into thinking all is what it seems on the page. Look behind the façade and decide genuinely does he take his rightful position correctly. Any good story will leave questions unanswered even when no sequel is to follow. The readers that fall in love with Bruce will be the diehard romancers. The underdog coming up trumps, winning through in the end. To them there is only one hero and that would be Bruce.

Looking at any story it is interesting to see how we love certain personalities. When a book is made into a film we sometimes get disappointed if the chosen actor is not what we had visualised. Our own hero is a very personal choice and some stories will disappoint others will intrigue. What it all boils down to is do we connect and imagine ourselves opposite our main hero. If you dislike everyone I doubt your finish the book. So open your mind to dabbling in a bit of variety you might like it. Don’t be led by what you have known before. There could be a new hero on the block. I know which one I fancy but I’m not divulging.

Look at your next novel you read with fresh eyes and inspect the many characters male or female. Take note of what you like or dislike about them. Give them a chance to take the lead position.