Saturday, 29 October 2011

How To Market Your Writing - The Right Way

Purely for advertising purposes ...
In my attempt to finish my Writing Magazine - October issue (I'm still a month behind!) - I was reading an article which got me thinking, and made me want to blog.  I did have another idea for a blog post, but that can wait for next week, or even tomorrow.

Funnily enough, I didn't get to the end of the article, real life got in the way - the washing up was just nagging to be done! If interested, it's p46-47, Just The Right Cup Of Tea by Rebecca Woodhead.

It's about finding your network niche, and one of the paragraphs, which made me decide to blog said, 'As with all other networks, it is important not to pitch.' Thank you, Rebecca. She continues, 'Rely on what marketer Diane Hochman calls "the nosy gene" to guide people to the blog URL in your profile. In other words, be engaging and make sure your profile has a link to your blog and books. Keep all your sales message to your blog.' 

I don't know about you, but I do follow some on Twitter who really I shouldn't bother with, because all they tweet about is 'Their book available here'. Boring!

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Twitter (and Facebook and wherever else) is a place to share your excitement if you've got a new book about to be published, etc. Even tell me where you're blogging. I like that. But don't ram your book down my throat. (If I ever do this - once I become a Successful Published Writer - you have permission to slap me!).

Diane Hochman is right. If I like you, find you fun, I go click on the URL and look at your blog, and find out more about your book that way. I'm a writer, I'm naturally nosy. I don't enjoy my wall (on Facebook or Twitter) constantly reminding me of your book and where I can buy it and how much for.

Excuse the dust!
<---- This is the piles of books I have to read already... (some on this shelf are actually my husbands - the Patricia Cornwell's) and there are ones tucked inside the bookshelf standing up I haven't read either. Even targeting myself to read 40 books per year, this pile is still not going down. Plus the book pile I have to read on my Kindle are growing. Seriously, I don't actually have to buy any more books for a year, I've got plenty for next years reading!

The reason I buy more books than I need is usually because the author hasn't actually knocked her book over my head, she's done it by much clever marketing.

n.b. This blog post is not aimed at any of my writing friends, because you don't do this. It is aimed at those 'friends' that won't even read this blog because they've just friended me to plug their book. Harsh, but true.

If you agree, please leave your comments. If you think I am harsh, please comment, too! Does it annoy you, or not?

p.s. I sneaked in picture of Richard Armitage there... he looks better on my Facebook profile than my dusty old bookshelf!

Right, better finish off reading this article now ... and the rest of the magazine.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

My blog has been awarded The Versatile Blogger Award by Morton Gray.

Now comes the hard bit of following the rules and providing seven facts about me and recommending fifteen blogs (thus giving them also this award). There maybe some overlap, as Morton and I do read similar blogs.

1) I have two boys (aged nearly seven and four) who I am determined to make into 'model' male human beings, who my future daughter-in-laws will thank me for.

2) As soon as I decided to take my writing more seriously I set myself the target of reading 40 books a year. I achieved this last year, and I'm on my way to achieving it this year. You can see on my Goodreads.

3) I have done NaNoWriMo only the once, in 2006 - the year I started writing! I seem to fail miserably every November it comes around, not really being in a position to start a new story. However it taught me to bash that first draft out no matter what, not looking back!

4)  I love cars, and really want to do rally driving one day. In another life I was a rally driver!

5)  I hate cleaning, yet I can't stand a messy, dirty, untidy house. I walk around with my eyes closed a lot!

6) My family are holding a charity party in November to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, because my sister was diagnosed with Leukaemia last May and they have been brilliant for her. The theme is 'Pink & Quirky'. I have a very pink dress that I need to get into for this party, and I am not allowed to put on any weight between now and then... as it's a tad snug. You may see me referring to The Pink Dress.

7) I am truly, madly, deeply in love with Bradley Cooper - especially after him starring as Face in The A-Team movie - and have used this so I can post a picture of him to liven up my post :D

So now I have to recommend fifteen blogs and by doing so I am awarding them The Versatile Blogger award. I would ordinarily include Morton S Gray in this, but as she awarded me, I can't. However, do pop along to her blog too! There maybe some overlap from Morton's, to which I apologise, but here are (from a very tough choice and I apologise to those I've missed) my fifteen blogs: (in no particular order) 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Book Review: Love and Freedom by Sue Moorcroft

Love & FreedomLove & Freedom by Sue Moorcroft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, I've got to be careful with what I say so I don't give some of the twists away. I would love to discuss this book in depth, but if you haven't read it, and you're going to, I wouldn't want to spoil some of the little surprises in it.

Honor has fled to England and on the first page is rescued by Martyn Mayfair.

I'm a big fan of Sue's books, Starting Over being my favourite, because of the delicious hero in that book. Martyn gives Miles (aka Ratty) a run for his money. The guy is super fit, super hunky and even Honor can't believe her luck! He has his faults, like all men do, but he's got some great qualities too. You will fall in love with this hero, or at least want Honor to.

If you're looking for a light romantic read, with the satisfaction of 'ah' factor happy endings, then this is the book for you.

View all my reviews

34 books read so far this year! 6 more to reach my target. So what next? Something on my Kindle (I've got a collection forming) or reduced my book pile?

Tumblr... Not Mr Tumble

Hmm... Well, I went and created a Tumblr account. My friend, Becky Black, thinks it's always good to grab your name. And it was available, so I did.

I'm not sure what I'll do with it really, have fun over there. Here is writing related stuff, sort of. I like to think that the last seven posts about my party were inspirational material. *coughs*

Anyway, if you're interested, this is my tumblr account. It's easy to post videos etc from You Tube, so might really use it for that. It updates to Twitter and Facebook, too.

Oh, and if you follow me, I'll follow you back!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

It's My Party ... (7)

And I'll Post What I Want To!

Last day of my birthday week...

and I think I've died and gone to heaven...

(I cheated and scheduled this blog post, because I fear I maybe in bed, nursing a hangover).

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's My Party ... (6)

And I'll Post What I Want To! 

Off out with some girls from work tonight. Only to the local pub, but hoping we'll have a bit of a giggle. I don't really get out much (so must remember to behave!).

But before I do, lets see who else has joined my party ...

Josh Holloway! Oh, gosh, maybe I won't be going out tonight.

 Okay, and I've gone a bit wobbly... Orlando Bloom has just showed up!

And, look, Robbie Williams has turned up to sing me happy birthday and help blow out my candles. Oh, and he's brought the rest of Take That with him, too... so much prefer them now they've grown into men.

I am torn now! Pub with girlie mates, or Josh Holloway, with Take That singing in the background... while Brendan Cole teaches all to dance (Thursday's post).

Oh, they're all promising to be here when I get back, so shouldn't let my mates down, right?

Friday, 14 October 2011

It's My Party ... (5)

And I'll Post What I Want To!

Today hasn't really gone as planned and this blog post is extremely late. I've found myself searching this and that, typing up an email to Comodo and just generally wasting time over my PC. You know how it happens? But since the hiccup on my actual birthday, I've been a bit worried about how secure my PC is using the free Anti-virus software Comodo. But I do think the IT guy was just trying to scare me into buying 'his' preferred anti-virus software, those that have to sell it obviously don't like those that give it away for free.

Comodo emailed me back very promptly and were not happy bunnies. They care for all their users. And that was in bold! Anyway, going to stick with it for the moment, and I'm getting onto Microsoft because for some strange reason my updates won't update. And the techie guy who I paid a great deal of money to on Wednesday didn't sort that issue. Oh, he led me to believe he had...

Oh but enough about IT. Look who it is to cheer me up!

Dirk Benedict.

Looking smoking hot in his younger days as Face! *sigh* Gosh, I've had a crush on this man since I was about 9 years old, Face and Starbuck being particular favourite characters of mine.

Dirk looks great smart or casual, clean or dirty, as a cowboy, in a tuxedo, or rough and ready, beating up the bad guys. You will see him in all sorts of wardrobe-attire if you watch the A-Team! My goodness, he looked fantastic even in a wetsuit! 

I am assuming Becky Black will appreciate this blog post, she's a fan too.
Last year, I went to see Dirk playing Columbo at The Plymouth Theatre, dragging my dad along with me (luckily he's a bit of a A-Team and Columbo fan, too). Dirk looked fantastic then, aged 65! (Probably not cool to admit I fancy a man the same age as my dad, is it?).

Well, I think this blog post has got filled up with Dirk. I'll just have to do another post tomorrow - it is my birthday WEEK! - as I'm sure there are more guests to arrive.

If you missed who arrived yesterday, then check it out here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

It's My Party ... (4)

And I'll Post What I Want To!

To continue my birthday celebrations, this morning I met a very good friend for coffee and cake at our local Sainsbury's cafe. We both chose the iced Chelsea bun because we have exceedingly good taste.

My truly wonderful friend gave me some lovely gifts (Tana Ramsay cook book, note pads and chocolates).  I have been thoroughly spoilt. I asked for some money so that it could go towards some make-up I wanted to buy, but I still got lots of presents too.

CDs (Complete Kylie collection - not the 80s stuff though ;-)), DVDs (Downtown Abbey series 1, and Sense And Sensibility - which I will save until I've read the book!), a new pen, notebook, perfume, lots and lots of my favourite chocolates, small bottle of Tia Maria, a new waterproof jacket for the 'school run' and a couple of books (Katie Fforde and Matt Dunn). My bestest present was from my dad. He treated me to a digital radio which I've found a home for in my kitchen. I can now listen to the radio while I bake, cook, prepare dinner, lunch and everything, it will be constantly switched on!

So, who's coming to my party today?

Hugh Jackman has called in! I think he had so much fun at the party I organised for Sally Quilford, he just had to turn up for mine!

OMG! And is that Brendan Cole? Have always wanted to be taught to dance by him! Something extremely attractive about a man who can dance, don't you think, ladies?

Oh, and last but not least... sneaking in behind...

Johnny Depp!

Okay, you three, help yourself to bubbly, and come and join in the party!

Yesterday's guest is still here!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

It's My Party ... (3)

And I'll Post What I Want To! 

Today is the day! Happy birthday to me. It's the 20th anniversary of my 18th birthday.

For some time, (I'm not sure how many years) I kept the little black dress that I wore to my 18th birthday party, hoping that I would still be able to get into it. A challenge to keep the weight off, sort of thing.

Yes, you can safely say I burned that little black dress, because there is no way in hell I'd get into it today.

Mutton dressed as lamb, anyone?

However, I have a very special guest today. He's my favourite! Bradley Cooper. *sigh*

I have tried to watch just about every recent film he's starred in... except for that scary looking one with Rene Zelleweger, and my favourite character so far is Face from The A-Team movie (but I'm a very big A-Team show fan!). 

He's probably most famous for starring in 'The Hangover', which is a hilarious film if you haven't seen it yet. I have 'The Hangover 2' on my 'to-watch' list.

I loved him as Steve in 'All About Steve', too, with Sandra Bullock. So much so, it's the inspiration for my second novel (Perfect Isn't An Option) that I'm in the middle of writing.

He's not quite blond, but he has wonderful eyes, and looks pretty good shirt on or off. Happy birthday to me!

Here's yesterday's guest if you missed him. He's still around. It's my birthday week after all.

So Bradley, join Richard and Daniel, and come chat to the girls. Plenty of bubbly on tap! And of course cake.

Cheers, everyone!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

It's My Party ... (2)

And I'll Post What I Want To! 

Day 2 of my birthday week, and retail therapy is in store. I'll just do this blog post first, because I'm excited about my next birthday guest.

Look who has turned up for my party! Daniel Craig!

No, we don't mind if you swan around in just your trunks!

Alex, in Tombraider, just come out of the shower *sigh*
I first saw Daniel in The Tombraider alongside Angie, and have always been a big fan. He is even my favourite James Bond. 

Blond hair, blue eyes... and one fit body! There is something about our lovely Daniel Craig. I wouldn't say he's "drop dead gorgeous" in the looks department, there is something a little rugged and rough about him. But I certainly would not say no! He's an inspiration for a character I have, though I'm not sure when I'll get to write that particular book.

So, come on in, Daniel! Grab yourself a glass of bubbly and mingle with the girls.

Don't forget to see who arrived yesterday for the party.

And come back to see who turns up tomorrow! I'm so excited! Are you?

If you'd like to bring a guest to the party - that's happening all week long! - then remember to blog about them and let me know!

Monday, 10 October 2011

It's My Party ... (1)

And I'll Post What I Want To! 

This Wednesday is my birthday, and so I'm having a birthday week! I've had my hair done today, and I'm meeting a friend after school with the kids. She actually shares the same birthday date as me, so we're likely to have celebratory coffees later.

So, this week on my blog, to celebrate on my blog the 20th anniversary of my 18th birthday, I thought I would  post all things that make me particularly happy. And hopefully they will make you happy, too.

Of course, you know what these 'things' will be! Let's go along the theme of if I could invite anyone to my party... who would I invite?

John Thornton
Number 1 for today, with just finishing North and South, recommended to my by Morton Gray, I think my first 'party' blog post should go to Richard Armitage! His broody, reserved character as John Thornton was giving Colin Firth's Mr Darcy a run for his money.

as John Thornton, again!

Guy of Gisborne
I first met Richard as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood... And must admit I preferred him over Robin (in the looks department) any day. And well, what woman doesn't like a bit of bad boy... medieval bad boy, too.

Unfortunately, being a writer, or at least trying to be, and having to give up TV, I sadly don't get to watch him in Spooks. Plus, I think my husband would get suspicious with all my sighing and whimpering.

I do tend to go for blonds (you'll see as the week progresses) over darker haired men, but Richard has fantastic blue eyes... and that's my weakness. I also love his nose, for some strange, random reason. Won't even talk about his lips. Makes me go wobbly.

Welcome, Richard, to my party! Make yourself comfortable and help yourself to a glass of bubbly, we're going to be here all week! 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes

You know you're getting old when a film you went to see at the cinema is being remade, right? (Or a song for that matter! Always remember my mum and dad saying how they preferred the original. Gosh, now I empathise!).

I always remember the grumble about Ocean's Eleven - and I always liked the new Brad Pitt and George Clooney version, but then I never saw the old one. But the old one was black and white.

I don't feel the need for a remake of Footloose! How will the 'Police' joke even work? Can't it be digitally remastered like Star Wars, and then put back on the screen? Please...

Apparently, the new Footloose will be released in Cinemas from Friday 14th October. Some would argue the original wasn't that great, but it was a teenage flick really and I adored it. I remember going with my dad and my brother - I would have been 12 years old - and then having playing the soundtrack over and over (cassette back then, though now I own it on CD, plus the film on DVD).

It wasn't that long ago I was playing the soundtrack in my car, because I LOVE it so mush still.  

This blog post is dedicated to the original Footloose. 

You can not beat Kenny Loggins, Bonnie Tyler, or Kevin Bacon. And you may not realise it is a very young Sarah Jessica Parker (Rusty) playing along side Chris Penn (Willard). Lori Singer is the other leading lady, who falls for Ren (Kevin Bacon), who was known from her appearances in Fame.

My love for Kevin Bacon comes from this film. He has proven he is a brilliant actor (sometimes playing seriously creepy bad guys) and if you've seen the episode of Will and Grace that he features in, he's quite happy to make fun of himself (and his Footloose connection).  I've even put the trailer in for you to watch again - plus the other video is the end scene of the film and Kenny Loggin's Footloose track.

If you're an original Footloose fan, enjoy!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Book Review: Surf, Sea and a Sexy Stranger by Heidi Rice

Surf, Sea and a
 Sexy Stranger (Mills & Boon Modern Heat)Surf, Sea and a Sexy Stranger by Heidi Rice

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another sizzling book by Heidi Rice - heat level set on high!

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't think it really needed the epilogue but the author did have us guessing right up to the end how this was going to be resolved.

I have this in the RIVA cover and it looks so much snazzier in pink.

View all my reviews

I got this book free at the RNA Conference in July! One of my many 'presents'.