Gina Lawless Books

November 2, 2012

How You Can Help Out Indie Authors

I am in the process of forming an Independent Author review page in my own tiny corner of this self-publishing world to entice, generate, coerce folks to read, review (an important aspect of any author’s writing career) and otherwise support these hard-working authors. Being one myself, I understand the difficulty of getting people to read your stuff. An author can spend more time marketing (easily) his/her books than actually writing them.

I am guilty of reading books from the best seller’s list exclusively and only began reading indie authors this year. I’m amazed at how many really good writers there are.

So with that splattered out there, many of these authors have free, or cheaply priced works available to the public simply to get their name out. Some have their books listed for free to hook a reader into further purchases, which I have found to be an excellent tactic. I have been hooked this way myself.

In my attempt to support my fellow authors, I command you…okay, not command…ask politely that you check out Smashwords home page, click on the “free” tab and scroll through the many books available. If you are a voracious reader like me, you’ll a find a plethora of marvelously good reads that will keep you entertained for eons. Plus, you’ll be doing a great service to independent authors.

Happy reading!

But, don’t forget to give them a review (good, bad or indifferent) because it only helps their process.

August 19, 2012

Tweets Without Blogs

One of my favorite morning rituals is going through my Twitter followers/followings with my cup of coffee, and checking out blog sites and/or websites. I don’t pick up a newspaper anymore because 1) I can read it online and 2) I can’t see anything that’s upbeat and entertaining enough that captures my attention. It’s all about who shot whom, who went to jail for drugs, who beat up whose wife.

Anyway, one of the things that I’m running into on Twitter is that many folks don’t have a blog or website that one can go check out. No place to go check out their writing or WIP. I asked myself, “Self? Can one promote one’s work accordingly just using Twitter?” I suppose you can, but for me, I like to see someone put some real effort into their profession. Anything worth doing, is worth going all out for. Don’t you agree?

I feel like I’ve sold myself short this past month because of my obligations to the job that pays the bills, and taking a bit of time off to reconnect with people. Plus, it’s difficult to stay indoors writing when it’s so gorgeous outside. However, I still have an obligation to myself as a writer to keep plugging away at it. Guilt plagues me.

So, I guess a little advice to those that Tweet: If you do have a blog or website, please include it in your profile. Show us your depth. Give us your perception. And, I know this goes for every author out there. We’re not only writers. We are readers as well. Don’t sell yourself short by just tweeting a link to where your book is being sold. It doesn’t give me a reason that makes me want to go check out your book. I am always looking for material to read. Always! Help us be able to help you. I read anywhere from four to six books at a time and I’m running out of books on my Nook!

What’s your opinion?

July 1, 2012

Are You Going To Put This On Your Blog?

When I read someone’s blog posts, I love to see a part of their personality interjected into it. To me, it makes whomever is writing the blog, more of human being. Informational posts go a long way when I can see a piece of their life mixed in. After all, we are human beings behind our keyboards. We don’t all need to be comedians, but having genuine thoughts as opposed to blathering on about how we should buy your stuff, is irritating to a reader, and will most likely cause them to click off quickly. Say that five times, fast!

What I love seeing in a post:

  • Personality
  • Humor
  • Information/Advice
  • Achievement
  • Goals
  • Interaction

What are some things you can say inside your posts that might attract someone? Think of something hilarious that happened to you that you can relate to your post. Try to step away from the force of having to write something, just to have a post. Make it poignant and original. We want to know you have a beating heart behind our monitors.

What I don’t like seeing:

  • Sell! Sell! Sell!
  • What your cat ate for dinner, unless it was the next door neighbors dog.
  • More selling.
  • Sympathy junkies.
  • It’s All About Me!
  • No connection, or interaction with other bloggers.

There it is. I’ve said my piece, and I feel vindicated.

June 24, 2012

Socializing In the New Era

I spent a lot of time this weekend (not writing like I should have been) connecting with a plethora of authors out there. I am truly happy that I did. Not only did I get to connect and interact with some of them, but was able to view some amazing sites, some of which I immediately pushed the follow button.

Some of which, I posted to my sidebar over there —> and would love to add more. If I find a truly amazing and informative site, I love to share with others that may find it just as cool as  I do.

I have found most of them through LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m still reluctant to share my Facebook page with a lot of people because my husband shares it with me. I don’t want him inundated by all my connections, so I’ll just go slowly and step lightly there.

I just wanted to give a shout out to all the wonderful folks out there in socialville that allowed me into their world.

How do you feel about your social media endeavors?

June 9, 2012

Social Media or Anti-Social Media

Many people are asking a very important question, and the answers seem to be the same.

What are the best ways to spread our words and become recognizable in the indie-publishing environment?

Marketing seems to take a front row seat to the actual process of writing for many authors just starting out in this field, so these questions are legitimate ones. Socializing yourself is huge. We’ve all heard about Twitter. We’ve all heard about Facebook. If you’re not already blogging, stop reading this and go set one up…immediately! Then come back and read the rest of this post. WAIT! I was kidding!

The importance of these social networking sites depends on how much time you want to invest into yourself. Is “yourself” important enough to warrant face time, or tweet time? Of course!

One untapped resource that I haven’t seen too much praise about (although, I’m sure it’s out there) is LinkedIn.

Set up your profile in LinkedIn, making sure you insert your blog site, website, Twitter name, Facebook profile, etc, then go browse some writer’s groups and join some the groups that you like. Make some comments. Read what other members are doing and interact with them.

Interaction is the action word, and keep your eyes on the prize. Sounds like this sentence could be a song. Being interactive will get you some much-needed exposure. Perhaps, you have some good advice to share, or have questions. Put it out there and see what happens!

Whenever I post something to this blog, I “publicize” it to Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’m still on the fence about Facebook, but the fence is starting to buckle under my weight, even amidst my resistance.

I hadn’t been doing too much with LinkedIn in the beginning, but the more I fiddled around there, and interacted, joined some groups, the more comfortable I felt. I was even contacted by a very nice woman in Atlanta, GA that offered her editing services, so you have an outlet for those types of connections as well.

It’s amazing how many people are out there wanting to be in touch with you if you are willing to share your exuberance with them.

So ask yourself, “Self? How thick are you willing to lay it on, so you can share your words with the rest of the world?”

With all of that mentioned, whether you decide to go with the traditional publishing route, or self-publishing (watch my lips) it is very imperative to promote yourself and your work. No one is going to do that for you. It’s not that painful, and can be entertaining and informative.

Thanks for reading and leave your comments if you have other ideas on social sites!

May 26, 2012

Time is the Little Mind Killer

I spend more time worrying about how much time I don’t have to accomplish the things I need to accomplish, than working on my passion for writing. As I write and post this, I am filled with guilt that I’m not writing, or editing. Weird! I wonder if others, like myself, are faced with the same dilemma. Of course, I have a day job that takes up approximately 12-13 hours a day, and a few hours on the weekend. And, I ain’t gettin’ any younger. Perhaps, today being my birthday, it has hit me that time is flying by way too fast.

This morning, I read a post from an author that poses a lot of questions on social media, particularly Facebook. How aggressive do we need to be and do we consider the gathering of all those “friends” that like your fan page as friends? This is something I’ve been anguishing over for the last few months. Because I (only) have 91 friends and family on Facebook…and they are actual friends and family…I find it difficult to ask those precious few to follow my endeavors all of the time. I have put up a fan page, and have let them all now what I’m up to. A few have even bought my books…THANK YOU…but, I only post something on Facebook every few weeks or so.

I think of Facebook as my little sanctuary, a small circle of people who I enjoy. I think I’ll leave FB out of the equation for now, and tweet for my work. Maybe, someday I’ll change my perspective.

Anyway, back to the time thing. I have to finish Harbinger Book 2, edit 45th Parallel, find time to promote my work, and interact with my husband, friends and family. Oh, then there is that blasted day job that pays the bills, for which I am truly grateful for! My husband has re-kindled a childhood friendship as of late, and he says to me a few days ago, “I want you and I to go see him and his wife one day this weekend, and catch up. He remembers so many things about our childhood, that I don’t remember!” My response to him was, “This weekend? I need to work on my writing this weekend!” Then, I realized what I had just said. I then gave myself a swift kick in the ass. Shame on me. I rewound, and said. “Absolutely. Of course, we will go see them.” How selfish am I becoming during this process? It’s not all about me, and what I need to do, and how much time I have to do it. It’s all about the people I am blessed to have in my life, and taking the time out for them, and with them. It makes me sick to think how jaded I could become if I allowed it.

So for now, I’ll take each day as a gift given to me, and use it to its fullest. Hopefully, I’ll listen to my own words!

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