Writer’s Wednesday – Writers, Poets, Leaders


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

Be sure to follow Kathy on her outstanding blog at
www.kwoted.wordpress.com/

“My main focus will be on LOVE, Life and the pursuit of Happiness!”
– Lisa W. Tetting

Be sure to follow Lisa’s amazing blog at www.rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com

“I want you to be in a happy place in your love life by paying attention to your mind, body and soul and the things you allow to enter into them.”
– Tinzley Bradford

Be sure to follow Tinzley’s informative blog at
http://www.tinzleybradford.com/dating-blog/

“My hope is that I spark the soul of poets who did not know that even a whisper is still a voice. “- Tehilayah Ysrayl

Be sure to follow Tehilayah’s new blog at www.nolineleftbehind.wordpress.com


Details on how you can enter this year’s contest, the rules, guidelines, AND prizes we’re awarding to the winners is all being revealed next week! Stay glued.

From your host, Yecheilyah Ysrayl.

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Thunderclap Results

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.

My favorite weekend pic. The shy one, the glamorous one, the silly one (those glasses loll)

Thunderclap

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.

Week One

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’s not 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.

Recommendation

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.

  1. Give yourself enough time to promote and build support
  2. Choose a goal that is realistic for your network

Time

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.

IMG_1947

Thunderclap Tips

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.

No Whining Wednesday – Peace Under Pressure

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please do scurry on over HERE to learn more about what this is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

I’m excited about today’s inspiring quote so let’s get into it:

I’ve been loving on Ryan’s social media pages. His IG is hilariously funny with writer memes and as soon as I saw this nugget of wisdom I had to feature it for today. Whining, complaining, or criticizing really just comes from one source: Lack of contentment or peace. Whether this is because we are upset, confused or frustrated the point is that somewhere, for whatever reason, we are not content with our present situation and we are not at peace.

How do we overcome these situations? After all, it is not that stress is a bad thing entirely. It exists naturally in everyone for a reason. It is there surely to be helpful to the body in some way. How do we allow it to be what it is without over-stressing ourselves? Learning to identify the good in bad situations is one way.

This series I am writing, for instance, is probably the most challenging project I’ve ever written. There’s so much going on as I am writing these books. Personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally, its hitting me from all directions but I have to keep going.

I have been looking for the silver lining in every situation to help carry me through. The diamond in the ruff, the light in the darkness, the calm in the storm, the peace under the pressure. Here’s an example:

If I get not-so-good feedback on my manuscript, instead of focus all my energy on the negative, I look for something good. Unless the person is just a total (fill in the blank) about it, there’s always something positive that is said among not-so-positive feedback. After licking my internal wounds, I look to find the something good I missed and use it as fuel to keep pushing on.

Find the good and when you find it celebrate it. That’s peace under pressure. Don’t ignore changes that need to be made but celebrate the good as well. Be excited about it! Sorry. I don’t mean to yell, but you understand why I have to.

The good is a light. Take it and let your light shine.

But, dear non-writing readers…

….this is not about manuscripts and writing. I’m using myself as an example but this is about life in general.

The message is:

Celebrate your successes no matter how few or small.

It is not easy and sometimes it is good to vent. Good to let off the steam. The problem is when we do not balance this out with anything good.

See, I don’t want to get on my whole “balance soapbox” here but everything in life must have a balance. I spoke yesterday about being yourself on Social Media but even this is with a certain level of balance. You don’t just want to be all out boring. Or maybe you don’t care about blog stats. That’s cool. I get it, but there’s nothing wrong with paying attention to it sometimes. You don’t have to be obsessed with it, but it is good to know where you are. There’s nothing wrong with monitoring growth.

In life, we just do not balance things out as much as we should. We find ourselves venting too much and letting it rob us of peace. We find ourselves not celebrating the good and not forgiving ourselves for the not-so-good.

Today, we will strive to limit our number of complaints by looking for the good in not-so-good situations.

10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book

10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book

Nicholas C. Rossis

Lisa Wheatley | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is a guest post by Lisa Wheatley. Lisa Wheatly works for Top Aussie Writers in her spare time, where she creates unbiased essay service reviews. Lisa believes analytical thinking and an enquiring mind are her strongest points and does her best to put them to good use. She is a consultant to young entrepreneurs and feels that her understanding of the human mind allows her to accurately assess the abilities of young businessmen.

10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book

Low budget | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksFor most writers, writing and publishing a successful book is a difficult task. That’s not because of hundreds of hours of hard work are the only way of coming up with enough quality for the readers. Nope. It’s something else.

You see, good writers can or can’t be good marketers. It’s the same with everyone else – we excel at something, and we suck at something else. In most cases, freshly…

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Guerrilla Marketing!

Its the final countdown! Don’t miss out. Meet me in person at The Tampa Indie Author Book Convention this summer. Spread the word! Why am I shouting? ! Because its exciting! Lol.

Tampa Indie Author Book Convention

by Kyle Perkins

A little back story about the convention, as well as Virginia Johnson and I. In January of 2016, I became an author, and shortly after, Virginia became my PA. So, we had to navigate the indie world together, like two baby deer learning to walk. At first, like all people getting into this business, we were super optimistic. Who wouldn’t be? I published a book. Not many people can say that they have the patience for that. Writing a book is a big deal, it’s sharing a piece of your soul with the world, and asking the world to judge it. We have always received great feedback on our work, and grew to love the community…

Then, we started learning of the inherent flaws in a predominantly online business. Setting aside catfishing models, shady PAs, and plagiarism, we noticed a huge problem within our community. It was…

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The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Y’all know my schedule, I am off on Saturdays. I’d just like to share my Guest Post and to give a special thank you to Kim for hosting me. Here, I give you three of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far in my Self-Publishing journey.*Comments disabled here. Please hit me on the other side.*

Kim's Author Support Blog

Welcome author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl to THE WRITER’S JOURNEY segment of  Kim’s Author Support Blog. Take it away, Yecheilyah. This is her journey.

fot4ce93 Self-Publishing Lessons I’ve Learned this Year

As we come to the end of another year, this one has been one of self-reflection for me both on a personal as well as a professional level. There’s been ups, downs, doubts, excitement, frustration, and everything in-between.

I’ve come out of my shell a lot this year and have learned to embrace my own vulnerabilities without fear of judgment. I used to be timid and shy about what I did or thought for fear that people wouldn’t understand me. This has caused me to, consequently, shy away from opportunities that could have been of help to me as a writer.

This year I’ve learned to be unapologetically me and to not let anyone bait me out of my character. I think…

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What NOT to Post When Marketing Your Book – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Valuable information for every author. Post Quote:
“The goal of marketing is to build a relationship with your readers so they grow to know, like and trust you. If you are constantly asking them to buy something, they will most likely tune you out.”

Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer

news-flashUseful information in this post and well worth the read. ❤ Click the link at the bottom of this post to read more. 

As I was scrolling through my Facebook groups today, I saw several posts that listed multiple links to their books for each country’s Amazon store.  However, instead of listing every single Amazon store URL in your post you can create one link. This post includes instructions on how to create a smart URL that redirects to the appropriate country based on where the person is using the internet.  You can use a free resource called SmartURL to create this link here:  http://manage.smarturl.it/.

Source: What NOT to Post When Marketing Your Book – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

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