Archive for March, 2012

I Want To Be Number One!

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Hey folks,

I’ve been reading some great articles that motivate me, as an author, to try to become a success.

Yes, I know I am not up there in the high rankings (yet). But I wanted to hit on some of my own main points. Sharing is caring after all.

1 – Love What You Write

If you don’t enjoy what your writing, why the hell would anyone else? Yes, we all want to write what’s popular and trendy so we know it sells, but if you’re dragging you feet every time you pound out 1K words, I will be able to tell throughout the book. It will sound dry, confusing, and it will not have a voice. Please, write what you love and love what you write.

2 – It’s Not All About The Money

I’m not saying money isn’t important. What I’m saying is try to keep your focus on other things besides the money. Writing is an art, and we all know most artists don’t get paid the big bucks. But when you focus less on money and more on what makes you you, the funds will eventually follow.

3 – Cover Art

Not many will agree with me on this point, but as an avid library goer I have to say the cover art of the book made me want to pick it up and read the blurb on the back. It is what draws in your readers besides reviews and word of mouth. For those of us who browse the shelves at a bookstore, the cover art is a HUGE factor in getting some random person (who had never heard of your before) to take a peek.

4 – You Are Not Alone

Make sure you don’t be a lonely author and keep to yourself. There are a ton of writer forums loaded with new writers striving to be the best, and they will become your best friends. They will have a lot of good advice based on their own experience, and will be able to tell you what to work on in your manuscript.

How does a penny become worth a $1? By laying it among 99 other pennies and teaming together.

Ciao

-Cat

Define Zombie

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

I love it when a word becomes mainstream and translates into many things other than what it was primarily meant to define. What is the definition of zombie?

From Google, I found this:

zombie - noun /?zämb?/

  • Originally, a snake-deity of or deriving from West Africa and Haiti
  • A soulless corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, esp. in certain African and Caribbean religions
  • A person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings
  • A computer controlled by a hacker without the owner’s knowledge, which is made to send large quantities of data to a website, making it inaccessible to other users
  • A tall mixed drink consisting of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice

It’s so interesting to see how this word evolved over time, and how it’s used these days. My favorite definition is the unresponsive person that shambles about life.

What other definitions have you seen?

Ciao

-Cat

Marketing, Promoting – It’s a Jungle Out There!

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Alright, we already discussed The Business of Becoming an Author and Writing is Easy, Right?

Now I wanted to discuss what comes after publishing your book: the dreaded Marketing and Promoting.

GAHHHHH! RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY, IT’S GOING TO EAT ME ALIVE! *high pitch screams*

But really, there is nothing to be scared of. Like most authors, we enjoy staying in our special spots to write our dreams down on paper or into the computer. And we love the serenity of not having to deal with the outside world because it’s much more peaceful in our lovely homes.

*cue cutesy birds chirping*

However, if we ever want our books to sell, we have to put ourselves out there. And I’m going to give some tips on how to make that happen. There’s also this great thread on AgentQueryConnect that helps with promoting and gives really good ideas if you want to see what other authors are doing.

1-Social Media

Get ready, get set, GET SOCIAL! I know most of you already have at least one social network account with either facebook, twitter, goodreads, or somewhere else. Since those three are the most popular, I’m going to start there.

Get an author account on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and make connections (I don’t mean spamming people), but actual connections with other writers and folks who enjoy your genre. You can easily find this by looking at a person’s likes and dislikes on their info blurb about them.

When your book is published, please make sure to create a fan page on facebook and get others  to ‘like’ it. This helps immensely by getting the word out your book is available to the general public.

And on twitter, make sure you tweet at least once a day about your book or something relevant to being an author. Remember, these accounts for for marketing/promoting your book, but also being a presence as an author.

Goodreads is a good place people go to see reviews of books available to the public. They can post what books they’ve read, what they are going to read, and what they are currently reading. This is a great place to PLACE REVIEWS of your book and other books. When you’re published, make sure your book is on here so others can find it and write a review about it.

WORD OF WARNING: DO NOT POST ‘MY BOOK IS FOR SALE-LINK’ EVERY SINGLE DAY AND EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. THIS MAKES PEOPLE NOT INTERESTED ANYMORE, AND THEY FEEL YOU ARE SPAMMING THEIR FEED. Be considerate and be a real friend to your friends/followers.

2-Blogging

Guess what? If you don’t already have one, get a blog! Blogging is a fantastic way to showcase your writing and specialties. You can stick to topics about your genre, to how you became an author, so subjects that are relevant to the writing industry. Remember, this is all about YOU and YOUR PRODUCT, so make sure you shine.

Off the top of my head, two popular places to get a free blog are Blogger and WordPress. Both are highly used platforms by a lot of people, and both are great ways to exercise your writing skills. You can pretty it up any way you want and showcase photos (with links to the owners) along the way. Always make sure to give credit to people who gave you those ideas and photos you are using by linking their names back to the source.

3-Website

Time to have your own website. Having a blog is usually good enough for people, but having your own website can boost sales as well. You can place your book’s cover along with links of where to buy it right on the home page. You can also put an about us page, contact us page, and upcoming works page. The use of your own website can reach soaring heights a regular blog might not be able to do. But this is probably the most expensive part of marketing/promoting. So choose whose going to create one for you wisely.

4-Get Out There

Time to strap on your boots and grab your coat, because you need to get out there and socialize! Find writing conventions near you that are speaking about the same genre’s and be a part of them. If your book is showcased at bookstores, set up a signing event. Give away copies of your books for free when you get see a great opportunity at a convention. Be a part of another person’s life and be a real, physical presence. It will help in the long run.

 

Some other methods of marketing is making sure your email signature includes a link to your book, website, blog, and social media account. I know I probably missed a ton of ways to market, but that’s the beauty of it – there are so many choices out there! If you see something I missed, please don’t hesitate to share it with me.

Ciao

-Cat

 

Zombie Wasteland 1-4

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

WARNING: THIS MATERIAL IS NOT SUITED FOR CHILDREN.

Veronica ran into the house and locked the door behind her. She didn’t know what was going on, but she wasn’t staying around to find out. It was time to get out of here and fast. But she didn’t want to leave John behind, even if he was…she didn’t want to admit he was lost to her forever.

The first thing Veronica heard was Abitha’s wailing from the living room. Breathing heavily, she rushed down the hallway, heading for the sound of her crying child. Tears sprang to her eyes and trailed down her face with each step, the fear of seeing John’s lifeless body too much for her to bear.

Upon entering the room, she had to wipe at her eyes several times before she could clearly see. Abitha’s crying grew louder the closer she came, blindly walking forward because she didn’t want to glance at the couch; didn’t want to see the truth of what life had become.

“Mommy! Mommy, help!”

Her daughter’s words startled Veronica, snapping her out of her denial. She looked around the room until she spotted Abitha in the corner and the back of some man standing over her. He was crouching down, his hands grabbing a hold of the front of the little girl’s clothes.

“Hey, get away from my baby!” Veronica rushed forward and pushed the man aside, enabling her to scoop up her three year old. The man crashed into the far wall, but what she saw almost made her drop her child. It was John that crashed into the wall.

“Honey? Oh my God, I thought you were dead!” She tried to put Abitha down, but her little girl wouldn’t let go.

“No Mommy. It’s not Daddy. Something’s wrong.”

Veronica was going to argue with her when she glanced back at John and gasped. His eyes were clouded like the drunkard from outside. He stumbled about and moaned at the site of them, drool dribbling out of his mouth. Backing up, she put Abitha down and pushed her towards the door. But John noticed their movements and growled, baring his teeth like an animal.

“John, why are you acting like this?”

He growled again in response, his footsteps shakily taking him closer to them. Reaching out with his arms, he stumbled around the couch.

“Stop it, John!”

But he would not stop. At the last minute he lunged for his wife, pushing them both to the floor with a loud crash. Abitha screamed and tried pummeling her dad to get off, but nothing fazed him. Veronica tried pushing John off her, but he was too heavy. Instead he pushed himself closer, his mouth snapping at her as if he wanted to take a bite. His fingers dug into her skin, drawing blood and making her cry out in pain. But she ignored it and focused on getting his face as far away from her neck as possible.

She knew her strength wasn’t going to hold up. He was just too strong. All she kept thinking about was what would happen to Abitha when she died. Who would take care of her little angel? Who would tuck her in at night or kiss away all the boo-boos?

I’m so sorry baby. I tried.

That was the last thing Veronica thought before her energy gave out and John’s mouth came in contact with her neck. Before she could blink, he opened his mouth and bit down, chewing off a large chunk of her skin. She shrieked while his fingers dug at her stomach, ripping into the soft flesh and spilling out her organs on the floor.

But soon after, sweet darkness wanted to consume her and she welcomed it. The pain was just too much to endure.

Goodbye my sweet angel.

-This is the final installment of chapter 1 from Zombie Wasteland. You catch the next short story starting chapter 2 next month. In meantime please tell me what you thought on twitter or on facebook-

Kela McClelland has been such a great friend for helping me critique the continuation of my short story! She caught many errors and gave great suggestions. You can find her blog here:http://teardropsonmybook.blogspot.com/ OR you can follow her on twitter:@kelamcclelland.

Ciao

-Cat

Zombies, Zombies Everywhere

Friday, March 16th, 2012

For the past six years, I have found myself drawn to the topics of zombies and everything surrounding them. I have become obsessed with video games, movies, books, research and everything you could think of to understand the workings of what makes the undead tick.

I usually like to picture myself stuck in an apocalyptic world and think what I would do to survive. Life as we know it would change – no more 9-5 jobs, money is practically useless, no more being lazy in front of the TV, economic and racial class lines are erased. To most people, this sounds absolutely frightening. Why would we ever want to be stuck in a world where it was kill or be killed? Well quick frankly, we are already living in that kind of world; only we are fighting for survival in different ways.

Think about it: Unless you are making boodles of money, your life has become defined by what job you have and who you marry and if you have kids – it’s predetermined by the social constructs we live in everyday.  We work ourselves to death, trying to reach for that American white picket fence dream, but never quite getting there. And during that time, we try to liven our lives by taking maybe one vacation per year, all the while paying off bills that take away all our hard-earned money.

But I’m not trying to complain. I love being able to go to the grocery store and buy food pre-picked and packaged for me. I love being able to safely drive my car to visit my family in another city. There are good things to living this life. But I feel like I’m slowly dying, watching us all turn into modern-day zombies.

So, in order to keep from becoming just another woman in the crowd, I write as much as I can about the genre where life is anything but normal.

But if you don’t have that type of imagination available to picture a post-apocalyptic world, just look around – there are zombies, zombies everywhere.

 

You can also find this on a fellow bloggers website, S.B. Donaghy.

Ciao

-Cat