Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Urvashi Trikha. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Urvashi Kumar Trikha. I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India and moved to Dubai, UAE in my late twenties. I have grown to enjoy the sand of the Arabian desert as much as I adore the rain of the Indian monsoons.
Yess. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
Quiet and uncluttered. A room filled with the smell of books, greenery and sunlight. A corner where I can cuddle up on a couch and read for hours and an old wood desk to work on. A shelf full of books – some like old heirlooms which I want to re-read over years and years to come and some like new shiny jewels that I can’t wait to discover.
Girl. I wanna be in yo reading room, shooo. Lol. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
An event planner! I love being a hostess. Every occasion, big or small becomes an excuse for me to organize an event which brings together friends and family. I am as enthusiastic helping a plan and execute an event for a loved one.
OK. Sounds like we are going to be good friends. I can use a planner! What skill would you like to master?
I would love to be able to stick to an idea.
Seriously, my mind seems to have so many thoughts all at once that it becomes hard to zero in on one particular thought to base a written piece on. Each thought seems to be more fascinating or more heartwarming than the other which makes it hard to choose a topic. Reading between the lines, within my thoughts is an art that I would love to master.
Got you. Urvashi, does blogging help you to write?
Blogging helps me immensely. My blog, simplyathought.com helps me become a tiny part of the lives of people across places and time zones from Iceland to New Zealand and the United States to United Kingdom. A click of a button enables me to share inspiring stories and motivational quotes with readers globally. The warm encouragement and the constructive feedback I receive from my wonderful reader family helps me better myself as a writer.
What do you think of the world we live in?
Our world is evolving rapidly with technology playing a vital role in our life. At times the changes brought by technology come to us so quickly in succession that it becomes difficult even for its inventor i.e. the human race to cope with those changes.
That’s what’s up. In your own words, define racism.
“Sexism and Racism, even when sugar coated leave a bitter taste.”
This quote of mine sums up how I feel about these two very troubling aspects of our society. Countries have grown from strength to strength over time and yet the dark shadow of discrimination based on race and gender looms dark.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult thing about being a writer is being able to navigate through your own ideas while you are writing. You could begin penning down words inspired from one thought and find your work move into a direction away from what your original concept was. This can be both challenging and surprisingly rewarding at the same time.
The most exciting thing about writing is the need to constantly challenge yourself and to push your own self-created boundaries. A writer may, many a times not even be aware of what all he/she is capable of writing. Discovering depth, inclination and genre in terms of writing is an extremely exciting process.
Nice. Why is writing important to you?
When I share a part of myself and the world (as I see it) with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world, my endeavor is to send each one of them love, hope and perhaps make them smile. Writing is my attempt to become a part of their life by adding value and joy. I have described the importance of writing to me through my quote.
“Words, when written with the intent to entertain and motivate, have
the ability to enrich both the reader and the writer.”
Urvashi Kumar Trikha
If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?
I would like to use my superpower to sprinkle the magic of Faith and Belief. I want to ensure that every single person continues to believe in him/her self each day. I see so many beautiful, young lives destroy themselves as they lose faith in themselves and it saddens me deeply. Having faith in ourselves gives us the immense strength we all need in the journey of life. “Believe in yourself-Always.”
Thank you Urvashi for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you beautiful!
Urvashi is an Indian expat who currently lives in Dubai, UAE with her husband and son. She writes entertaining fiction, heartwarming short stories, inspiring articles and motivational quotes for her readers across the world through her internationally popular blog simplyathought.com. Calling herself a Banker by Chance – Writer by Choice, Urvashi has a master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is an avid reader, keen traveler and enthusiastic cook. Urvashi draws inspiration from cultures across the world and works to support community causes close to her heart, particularly those supporting Women’s Education and Welfare.
Urvashi is the Founder of Simply A Thought – The Writers and Artists Collective. It is an initiative founded by her, for the resident community to help promote the love of reading and writing. There is also an added emphasis on encouraging women to share their own unique creative talents with others. “The joy of writing and reading, the satisfaction of transforming clay into sculpture, a white canvas into a rainbow, whatever your creativity may be – celebrate it, encourage it, applaud it.” (Urvashi)
Submit a poem on self-love / self-care in some way, subscribe to the email list (you need to subscribe so you get updates on the contest) and then email your poem to: yecheilyah(at)yecheilyahysrayl(dot)com
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I had the honor of writing a guest blog post alongside some amazing writers on the subject of marketing books as an introvert for Shayla Raquel’s most informative blog. Shy writer? Nervous? Don’t want to put yourself out there? Check us out for tips below!
“How does an introverted author handle book marketing? Well, I don’t know because I’m an extravert. So for the first time ever on this blog, I have asked not one but five introverted, outstanding authors to help you with your book marketing. If you’re shy or not into self-promotion or just feel like, “I literally cannot do this,” then you need to hear what these women have to say. Take it away, ladies!”
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Mamello Mosiana. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Mamello Mosiana, I am from South Africa, originally from Bloemfontein, but I spent most of my adulthood in Cape Town.
South Africa in the house! What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
My perfect writing/reading room would have large windows that almost take up the entire side of one wall, outside that window would be an overgrown garden. The room itself would also feel like a garden, filled with pot plants and flower pots. In the corner of the room instead of a desk would be a large cushiony futon, where I would work, since I find it hard to write at a desk. On the other side of the room, overlooking the window would be a meditation space enveloped in a circle of fragrant candles. The room would also have a light whiff of incense whipping through the air.
Nice. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
Personally, the most amazing adventure for me would be to travel by myself around the world, with nothing but one small backpack. Since I have difficulty letting go of stuff and packing light, the adventure, would probably begin with me, just trying to decide what will go into the bag.
Lol. What songs have you completely memorized?
I am a big Bob Marley fan, so I have mostly memorised his music, more by repetitive listening than any true attempts to memorise his lyrics. My favourites are: “Redemption Song”, “Concrete Jungle”, “Corner Stone”, “No Water”, “Stir It Up”, “Crazy Baldheads” and “Kaya”.
I LOVE Redemption Song! Does blogging help you to write?
Yes, blogging does help me to write, I have learnt a lot about writing succinctly and moreover, blogging has taught me a lot about myself. Since in my academic writing I am prone to distance myself from my subjects, blogging has really allowed me to interrogate what makes me, me. It is also through blogging, that I found my writing style.
Let’s switch it up a bit. What’s family life like for you, single or married?
Yes, I am single, at this point willingly taking a break from romantic relationships. I do not think I would like to be married, ever since I was a child, I have found I always preferred my own company. Even in relationships, I have found that I often seek out my own space.
Mamello, what takes up too much of your time?
Day-dreaming. I spend half my day just daydreaming, while it helps with the creative process, it also means that I sometimes miss the things going on around me and have little time for the things I have to do.
Are you political?
Yes, I am political. I do not believe that anyone is truly apolitical. Our personal life choices, though they might seem like minutiae have political, economic and societal impacts. Most of those life choices, have been pre-empted by politicians, or are regulated by policy-making spaces. “The personal is political, and the political is personal”.
Why is writing important to you?
Writing helps me process a lot of my feelings. I have found that it has helped me heal parts of myself that I did not know needed healing. Writing also helps me make sense of the world around and has given me a safe space to vent, cry and process.
What’s your favorite food?
My favourite food is hot chicken wings. If hot wings are on a menu, I am ordering them! I am in an endless pursuit to find the hottest and thus best chicken wings.
You making me hungry over here!
Thank you Mamello for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Mamello Mosiana, is a second-time Masters student, blogger and in the process of writing her first collection of poems. Mamello is from Cape Town, South Africa, however she currently lives in London, England. She has worked in the field of Transitional Justice and Conflict Resolution. She is passionate about the redress of Gender-based violence and racial inequality in South Africa. Mamello would describe herself as a black radical feminist and consummate day-dreamer.
It’s Writer’s Wednesday and I am promoting the amazing contributors to this year’s second annual poetry contest! These women are not just writers but they are leaders in their own right and a great inspiration to me personally. They each have their own flava and style that I love. They are funny, inspiring, and driven. Be sure to check out their blogs to get to know them better!
“It’s life through my lens and I’m happy to share it with others.” – Dr. K.E. Garland
First, launch weekend was amazing. Though I did not make it to Tampa, I did make it to Sanford and, for a brief moment, Orlando. I really needed the trip and can’t thank the ladies enough for sharing this special moment with me. They treated us like royalty and the food was the bomb dot com. We had a feast of curry chicken, oxtails, red beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, plantains, the works. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. The meat fell off the bone ya’ll.
I won’t spend a lot of time explaining what Thunderclap is since there’s so much to share already about the experience. Briefly, it is a way to spread a single message online in a digital word of mouth type format. Learn more about Thunderclap in a previous post HERE.
Thunderclap is not as easy as it looks! Because the program is still relatively new (launching April 28, 2009, but just now getting real notoriety), there are still questions about it and understanding the best way to promote a campaign was pretty much trial and error for me. A lot of time was spent explaining to people just what this was and how to use it. Because of this, I’ve tried both right ways and wrong ways of promoting it.
I did not look at Thunderclap until the end of each day. I did this because checking back every three minutes does not help move anything forward. It also wrecks my nerves. I also did it this way because it added more to the excitement and made me feel accomplished and encouraged before getting back to it the next day. Here’s how to read my notes:
EOD = End of Day
Number = The number of supporters I had by the end of the day
Action = What I did that day to help promote the campaign
EOD 1- 26
Action – On day one, I sent out an email blast to my email list, posted it to this blog, and on my social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and IG). This resulted in 26 supporters, not bad for day one. This may look like a small number in the grand scheme of things, but keep in mind that the number of people following you online and on the blog (as you will see at the end of this post) has nothing to do with the number of people who will actually support you. Judge the pulse of your blog by engagement more so than numbers.
EOD 2 – 37
Action – Contacted someone who sent a mass email on my behalf. Also changed headline on blog post and tags. When I published the blog post on day one I didn’t really think it through. The headline was:
“Let’s Make Some Noise!”
Shy EC:“Umm…hi. That’snot very inviting. Sounds kinda arrogant.”
I had to check myself because that’s not the impression I want to give at all because it’s not who I am. I went back and changed it to “I Need Your Social Media Support”. This simple change resulted in more people willing to support. On Day Two, I also changed the tags to the original post.
I am not going to get deep into why tags are so important. Just know that they help people to discover your blog. There’s more to it but that’s the short version. I always include tags specific to certain days on my blog posts along with my regular tags (for instance, this post includes #Tuesdayshares because it’s Tuesday).
Since it was a Thursday, I initially used: #ThrowbackThursday #ThankfulThursday
Day two was on a Friday so I changed it to: #LinkYourLife and #BluSkyFriday
Photo Break – We were photo bombed. Check the sista in the back loll
EOD 3 – 49
Action – I didn’t do anything on Saturday. Listening to Shy EC, I put some space between the promotions to give people a chance to support it without thinking I am spamming them.
EOD 4 – 53
Action – I sneaked a peek at the page Sunday morning and saw that I was still at 49. Needless to say, business EC kicked it. Doing nothing didn’t really help my Campaign. I thought about my networks and decided to call my big sister. After talking with her about it I decided to do another Facebook shout. This time my focus was on family members and genetic relatives. I specifically tagged those of blood relation on purpose. I knew others would support me but this was to reach out to relatives to see if they would. Well, we all know relatives. Of everyone, I tagged only a few took action. However, the post did bump it up four points which was good. Every little bit helps.
EOD 5 – 59
Action – Day five was a busy day so I didn’t get to check my results until late. On this day, I sent individual emails to contacts, not on my email list. These are individuals who are great supportive influences in the blogging / Indie Author community but also very busy people. I was nervous to reach out to them at first but remembered that if this was to be successful I should step outside my comfort zone. So, on Day 5, I decided to email influencers personally and ask them a favor. To my excitement, they were happy to oblige. This taught me something about how important it is that we don’t make assumptions about anyone’s intentions. People are busy. Sometimes the best way to reach out is personally. Sending an email is like visiting them at their front door. You are more likely to get a response if you just talk to people.
EOD 6 – 62 *Passed the 100,000-social reach mark *
Back to my regular checking time of about 6 pm (that is when I close for the day….mostly), I didn’t do anything to promote the Campaign on this day, giving people time to put in their support organically and again, it didn’t increase by much but I did pass the 100,000-social reach mark with 100,222. I did a little happy dance but restrained my excitement. It wasn’t over. I sent more personal emails before I went to bed as well as thank you’s.
EOD 7 – 65
Action – By now I am seeing a trend. We are jumping 3 points on days where there is little to no promotion. At the end of Day 7, I complained spoke to my husband about it.
Moshe – “So why don’t you just get on your grind?”
EC – (*Laughs inwardly. He something else*) – “I don’t know what else to do. I can’t keep posting to social media. People will get tired of seeing me. I don’t want to spam them.”
At the end of Day 7 I took a step back. While I managed to reach more than half of my goal in seven days, I wasn’t jumping around about it. Over half is not all. I needed to think of ways to keep the momentum going until the goal was met.
EOD 8 – 69
Action – After thinking over yesterday’s results, I realized I couldn’t count on ‘blasting’ the message out too much. What seemed to work best is reaching out to people individually so that’s what I did. I also did some research on the best way to promote a Thunderclap Campaign to see how others have done it and how they fared. In addition to reaching out individually, pictures of the campaign itself also helps. I have found the more transparent you are, the more people will support you. Updates with screenshots of the campaigns growth helps a lot.
Photo Break – I got to attend a graduation while I was in Florida. Congrats again on your Bachelor’s big baby. You did that.
2016 Thunderclap Results – 35%
2017 Thunderclap Results – 109%
I am humbled to see such tremendous growth between my network last year and this year. When I started my campaign my husband told me I would exceed 100 people even before I got my first supporter and I did. Still, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to everyone who shared and re-blogged my blog posts and shared it across social media when I promoted the campaign.
In the end, I reached 170 thousand people in ten countries and 59 cities in 44 days. On July 15th, when the book released, my message went out through the platform of these 109 people. This is when your Thunderclap Campaign “Tips”. It means that because you reached your goal, your message was shared.
I won’t bore you by going over every single day. After week one it was touch and go and doing a lot of reaching out. Toward the end, it was more and more challenging the closer I got to the goal. And then, eight days before the deadline, I got great support from genetic relatives on Facebook who pushed me over. With plenty of time left on the clock, I was able to sit back and chill, letting more support trickle in organically since by this time, whatever support I got was extra being I was already at my goal.
On the one hand Thunderclap is a great way to promote your book. However, it is best suited for those with large enough platforms. By this I don’t just mean your numbers but people who will act on your behalf. While I met my goal, I would not have had to work as hard if my network was bigger. Since I met over half of my goal in the first week maybe next time, as I grow, I can set a higher target and a shorter window.
My biggest suggestion for those of you who choose to use Thunderclap is to please be realistic with everything. The time-frame for your campaign and the goal you wish to reach must both be realistic.
Give yourself enough time to promote and build support
Choose a goal that is realistic for your network
I chose a little over 30 days because my platforms are small. I found both positives and negatives about this:
It gave me enough time to gather the support I needed. I read somewhere that someone did a campaign for just eight days. Had I copied this I would not have made my goal. This is what I mean by the strength of your network. I was only striving for 100 supporters and that was hard (lol) but in the future, that will be easy as my network grows. Which leads me to the negatives.
Although 30 days gave me lots of time to build support, it also drained me. I discovered quickly that Thunderclap works best when there is something done to promote it every single day which means I’d recommend putting some kind of plan together. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something you can do everyday to move it forward. If your campaign is too long you may not be as committed to pushing it as you would on a shorter time-frame.
I would therefore not recommend Thunderclap for new authors with little to no platform. It will overwhelm you.
Choose a Realistic Target
Thunderclap gives you the option of 100, 250, or 500+ far as the number of people you can try to reach. Be realistic about this. If you are virtually unknown, have never used Thunderclap before or have a small platform don’t try to reach for a number that is not realistic for you. Think about your platforms. Look at it and break it down into realistic figures: How many of these people are going to put forth action vs. those who will just like your post?
While there are other programs similar to Thunderclap that will allow you to set smaller targets, Thunderclap carries the most weight because it is most known of crowd-sourcing. While running the campaign, I found that people will like your post and think they have supported the campaign. You will have to tell them that they must click on the link and follow through for it to work. When I told people this, I got more support. Again, most people won’t know what Thunderclap is. You will have to walk them through it or they won’t support because they don’t know how. Keep this in mind when promoting your campaign. Reach out to people and check on them. It may not be that they don’t want to support but that they don’t know how.
Thunderclap also asks for permission to post on your behalf and access to certain information which people aren’t comfortable with. This requires the host of the Campaign to reassure individuals that their information is not being shared and that the process is safe. I’d like to add here that most of the Apps we download to our phones request access to certain information as well. You’ll be surprised to what extent, from access to passwords and text messages to permission to record your conversation. Reassure your supporters that this is a one-time message posted to their page and that it is OK. They may not even notice it when it posts.
Photo break – The ladies and me trying not to look hungry as we wait for the food to be ready.
When your campaign goal has been met and your message hits social media, this means your Campaign has tipped and is now being shared. I’m not feeling how the message is displayed once it tips. This is my second time working with Thunderclap but my first time tipping. I thought it would be just the message with the link to where to get the book. Instead, it shows on Facebook in a similar fashion to when you are promoting the campaign, with the Thunderclap link. To me, this doesn’t look very authentic or enticing. It looks, in fact, more like an Ad. I did not like this.
So, yes or no to Thunderclap?
Yes– If you have a platform
Yes– If you are willing to work it
Yes– If you schedule it ahead of time
Yes– If you think you can get at least 100 people to act
No– If you have little to no platform
No– If you don’t have time to promote it
No– If you can’t schedule it at least one month in advance
No– If you don’t think you can get at least 100 people to act
Be sure to check out my latest interview with the beautiful Nadine on her website HERE. It is part one with the second part coming tomorrow.
“Storytellers are responsible for telling the truth. For writing the shackles off history.” ― Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Also, be sure to join me and fellow Rave Reviews Book Club Members Mary Carlomango, Jennifer Owenby, and Kerry Hall in another episode of Rave Waves “TAG TEAM 2* 4* 5*”, hosted by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano on Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 12:00p.