Tag Archives: Writing

Seeking Refuge in Books by Christine Duncan

I can relate to Michelle’s post about escaping in books. Certainly, it helps when things are messed up in real life. I tend to pick books where the hero/heroine has to fight awesome odds. I want to read about people who just keep going and never even think about giving up. I don’t want to read about a whiner.
I don’t know anyone whose life is easy. People always have problems. Books whether they are mysteries, romance, sci-fi or general fiction are about people who are solving their problems. It makes sense then that we go there. Sometimes real life is just unsolvable. But we want to believe.


Websites? by Christine Duncan

I have always had a website off my own away from this blog. In the beginning, I would actively update the website, whenever the season changed or just whenever I found a theme I liked better. Then,as time passed, I only updated when I had a new book. Each book would have its own page, there was a bio page, and sometimes a seasonal page or a contest page. Now, I don’t even want to tell you how long it’s been since I last updated the website.
If you are personally selling your books, I think maintaining your own site is important. But I don’t do that. Some publishers used to require that you maintain a website. It made sense in my preblogging days. Now I’m wondering. How important is a website apart from a blog?

SEO by Christine Duncan

I’m trying to use search engine optimization(SEO), but I’m finding it somewhat limiting. For instance, if I understand it correctly, in order to up my chances of being easily found by search engines I should use a key word in the title and the first sentence of this blog post at the very least.

So forget about a creative title, or using a fun anecdote to draw readers in, get to the point already and use the key word, which in case you haven’t guessed it is, in this case, SEO.
Yes, I want my post found, but doesn’t this get old?? Are we dumbing things down for computers? No wonder we keep hearing no one reads anymore.

Speedlancer Reviews Anyone? by Christine Duncan

I am still trying to find a way to make a little more money with my writing.  So I was more than a little interested when I got an email inviting me to apply at Speedlancer.  I had never heard of them before.

From what I’ve read on the net, Speedlancer launched in 2014. They set the terms for the writing (or data entry or logo/banner design,) promising the client the work will be complete in four hours   So its a win-win situation–no messy bidding for writers looking for projects and quick turnover for people who need work finished.  It sounds great.

All I want is to find some writers who work for them to review Speedlancers.  It is after all, new.  Have there been any glitches? Anyone?

Writing for Money by Christine Duncan

I think that my biggest problem with writing for places like Amazon Turk is that so many people are giving it away.  I think as writers we need to decide what our time and our craft is worth and stick to that.

On  Turker websites where workers discuss what they should be paid, there are two distinct groups.  One group is adamant that writers should not work for less than a penny per word.  The other group takes the stand that since they are working from home, without the wardrobe, transportation or other requirements of a “real” job , that this is really found money like the quarter you pick up from the sidewalk on your way to the car. Their idea is that as long as you have the freedom to work on whatever they want on Turk, then whatever they are paid is fine. Requesters then see no need to pay a decent amount as they can get workers without doing so.

It’s  not a new debate to the writing community. I remember being told that in order to get clips, I should be willing to work for free. I thought then, as I do now, that this is wrong. Our work is real and should be adequately compensated–and people who think of it any other way are making it harder for the rest of us.

End of rant.  Sigh.

How Will You Sell Your Book Once It’s Published? by Christine Duncan

I’m a member of a group that wants to publicize some local community news in hopes of getting out the vote. The group has effectively used some social media such as Facebook to gather people but there is definitely more to be done.  There has been some thought about a newsletter, either emailed or snail mailed, but the question is bigger than just what kind of media. The group consistently draws the middle-aged, not the younger community residents. We need to figure out how to reach them.

This is a question that many communities, school districts and non-profits have faced for years. How does one get the word out? Media is wonderful, but if your Nextdoor group or Facebook page is  to do any good, it has to be attract people in the first place.  That puts you in the position of advertising the thing you are using to advertise. And what do you do to find the people who aren’t on Facebook, or don’t read blogs?

Why am I even bringing this question up with you?  Because it is essentially the problem that you and I face as  authors.  We can tweet, bloghop  and  have that Facebook page, but even in the digital age, that has its limits. We need more.

Booktours are increasingly expensive as small bookstores faced with online competition seek to level the playing field by charging authors.  But even  so, you can’t rule them out.

There have been tales of writers who sold books on streetcorners and by having talks at senior centers. You definitely want to think about what you can say that will interest an audience.  And the first step there is figuring out who your audience is. Because even if writing is a solitary profession, selling your writing is not.

Personalize Your Promo? by Christine Duncan

I know that many authors are trying to think of different ways to promote. They join street teams, go on blogtours to other people’s blogs and write guest posts and do chats. Facebook, twitter and Pinterest have tons of authors and there is still Goodreads or websites like crimespace. It seems promotion is endless.
But I saw something simple this weekend that made me think. Colorado had a prediction of a big snowstorm with some cold. And Noodles & Company sent out emails to customers with a buy one get one promo for the storm. They knew people would need incentive to leave their warm houses and they provided it.
I liked that. It felt more personal. Now I know that Noodles & Company saw that weather report and predicted what it would do to their own bottom line, but it made me think. Why can’t I do that?
Romance writers often do promo on Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t really say much. What if I figured out a way to do a sale on my book on one of these cold and stormy weekends that said to my readers, “Hey, I know you don’t want to go out. Stay in and read my book?” Or come the summer, “I have the perfect beach read for you. Here’s a sale on my book.”
Okay, it’s a thought. I haven’t quite figured out how I can get a sale at say, Bookbub at the spur of the moment and promote the way Noodles & Company did, but I’m thinking, ok?