A #WRITING CONFERENCE YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS! #RRBC

Authors, how much time do you spend trying to market your books while scouring the web for any and all information you can find on writing?  Well, if you’re like many of the authors I know,  you spend more time than you’d like anyone to know about.

This is not an easy business we’re in, but, it is one that our souls call us to be apart of.  Yes, for those of us who are born with the gift of the talent of writing, and for those of us who spend the time trying to hone our skills in the craft, we HAVE to do this…our spirit will not allow us to rest unless we are writing.  I penned the quote below to describe my own urgency to write:

 “How I know I’m a writer:  When I sleep, I wake to write;  when I dream, I rouse to write;  when I eat, I hunger to write;  when I drink, it’s my thirst to write;  and when I write, I write and write and write…until my Muse grows weary of the beating it takes from every keystroke.”

So, if you feel as I do about writing, I invite you to spend a week with the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, learning all that you can to ensure that your writing is the best that it can be, and that it is also able to hold it’s own against some of the very best in the business, Indie and Traditionally published.

For seven days, beginning October 22, there will be a virtual event unlike any other.  Last year this event was held for only a weekend, and with resounding success!  This year, RRBC promises more of the same, only on a bigger and better scale!  Author Booths, Vendor Booths, sessions on writing, marketing, blogging, etc., all presented via LIVE online forums such as BlogTalkRadio, Facebook LIVE, Skype, chat-room forums and blog posts.  The best part of this being, that if you can’t make it during the scheduled times, the majority of these sessions will be archived for a short while after the conference.

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Some of the sessions being offered include:  *BOOK MARKETING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA *BOOK MARKETING 2.0 (BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA) *CRAFTING BELIEVABLE SCENES *HOW TO KEEP YOUR BLOG BUZZING AND BUSY *HOW TO SHOW AND NOT TELL *WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING UNTIL YOUR NEXT BIG RELEASE TO STAY RELEVANT…and so many more!

There will be daily giveaways, AMAZING GIFT BASKET RAFFLES and how about a book Scavenger Hunt?  Yes, fun, fun and more fun!!!

If you are a newbie author or even a seasoned one, you don’t want to miss ‘virtually’ being in the midst of so many like-minded individuals, soaking up all the best knowledge you can about the literary field.  Our sessions are being presented by some of the most talented and knowledgeable professionals in this industry.

To find out more and to register for this amazing event, please visit the ‘virtual’ venue at RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO.  There are amazing EARLY-BIRD PRICES which will be around until June 24th, so, I’d advise you to hurry and register.

You want to get better in your writing?  Well, then I’ll see you in October!

READERS:  This is your opportunity to be introduced to some really great books!  The RRBC is home to some of the most talented writers who strive to offer the best in the field.  Looking for some of the latest and greatest reads to add to your library, then join us for this event!

 

The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

What’s your writing schedule?

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

As I writer, I’m always curious about how other writers write. And much of what I’ve read on this subject is daunting: write every day, write even when you don’t feel like it, write first thing in the morning when your energies are at their peak, etc. Hemingway was a great proponent of early morning writing, starting at six, and even Stephen King’s excellent thoughts in On Writing are a bit daunting:

“Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule–in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk–exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.”

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#RRBC SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY EXTENDED!

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Because you were promised one extra stop later in the evening, I just had to get one done.  And, this is a very special stop, with several very important messages.

# of winners for this stop:  3

GIVEAWAYS:  

(1) $10 Amazon gift card

(1) 1-Day Multi-Blog Book Blast (courtesy of 4WillsPub)

(1) 6-book bundle (winner’s choice) from the Kathryn C. Treat Treasure Chest (if Marlena approves)

***

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB was founded in 2013 and it was founded on the premise of strong support of others.  You give it, you’ll get it back, ten-fold.  Then, respect of others, especially in our forum, was the 2nd premise on which we were founded.  Negativity of any kind would not be allowed to breathe within the realm of RRBC.  So, it is with those two things in mind, that I bring you this very important message, which will cover a plethora of topics.

Let me begin with our GOVERNING BOARD Members and our SPECIALIZED SUPPORT TEAM.  We ask that members are always respectful of each other in (and out) of the RRBC forum.  But, we ask that members are especially respectful in their communication with our TEAM members, as not only are these members considered uber-supporters of our membership, these TEAM members serve you all without compensation and without complaint.  That means, they work for you for FREE.

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With the exception of a few bits of communication from our Reviews Dept., I approve every bit of communication that goes out of the RRBC offices, and I am also copied on every bit of communication that comes in.  Since rudeness is not allowed to live here, either, if you receive a response which you perceive as rude, I assure you it is not.  Please know and receive, that what you are reading is just factual, professional information, and depending on the way you sent in your concern or issue, you just might be met with a response in kind.  That could either be with a smile, or a bit of no-nonsense (Nonnie-approved) stern-ness.

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Yes, at times, a bit of the latter is necessary.

We do have those members who think that throwing tantrums will get them far here at RRBC;  again, I assure you, tantrums are not allowed to live here, either.  We are all ADULTS and we should, at ALL TIMES, behave in a manner that says “ADULT ON BOARD.” Whatever the issue or concern that you might have, we always want to work to resolve it and make you a happy camper, but, that being said, please remember that the old adage, “You get more bees with honey,” rings true every time, in all situations.

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Now, for those members who register for our events and promotions without fully reading and understanding the rules of participation, this is especially for you.

Let’s use our recent block party as an example.  We give instructions for each and every one of our events.  And, when we give those instructions, we expect that they are read all the way thru, down to the last period and fully understood, BEFORE you register for the events.  If you have questions, we expect that you’ll reach out to us BEFORE you register for the events.  Once any event begins, it is not our responsibility to ensure that what we have asked to be done, is done. (Have you heard me say we are all ADULTS here enough times yet?  OK, good, because I may have to repeat it again, somewhere down the line).

Some members get very upset and send us (extreme) sharply worded email messages when they don’t follow directions for participation, as they have been asked to do.  Why are we responsible for you not reading the instructions all the way thru?  FYI, we’re not.  Sending us messages letting us know how mad you are, that’s OK, we all get a little upset at times.  But, repeatedly sending us messages that get more heated each and every time you hit the SEND button, well, that’s a horse of a different color…

Purple Horse

…and, those are the times that I step in, as my TEAM members are not here to serve as punching bags for those who behave poorly at times. (And, for those of you who don’t know already, I have zero tolerance for poor behavior from children all the way up to older folks.  Simply put, I HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR POOR BEHAVIOR PERIOD).  I don’t want my TEAM to be subjected to that kind of behavior ever, especially when I am built to handle these situations without batting an eye, and even in my sleep (which is how I effectively work, most often, anyway).  Listen, here at RRBC, calm gets the job done and there are no hurt feelings in the end.

If you have a question or concern, that clearly deserves a response from the GOVERNING BOARD, please do not leave that issue or concern on the RRBC site.  Drop us a line (or two, or three or four, we don’t mind at all) to RRBCInfo@gmail.com, or use the CONTACT US form on the site.  You’ll get a faster response and you’ll also get a more accurate response than you might get from a fellow member.  Believe it or not, some of our members are extremely appreciative of what we do here, and are just as protective of our board members, and you just might get a response from them, that, although it may sound nice, it might just mean…“Stop leaving these kinds of darned comments here and send an email directly to the board!”

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Well, we warned ya!  So please, be careful what you post on the site.  We do look forward to receiving your concerns, but in the appropriate place, please.

In every WEEKLY CLUB UPDATES (WCU), we mention that members are responsible for ensuring that they remain compliant and that their books are in the RRBC catalog.  If your books are removed from the catalog due to non-compliance, you will be offered a COMPLIANCE PLAN to get you caught up on your reviews, and you must pay a $5/per title re-listing fee to have your book(s) returned to the catalog.  It’s  hard work updating our huge catalog, so hopefully, this re-listing fee will serve as a deterrent and keep members from becoming non-compliant in the first place.  (What an ugly title that is anyway, don’t you think?)

Lastly, we need to reiterate our stance on support.  Members who are selected to sit in our “hot seats” are typically and most often selected based on their level of support.  If you are not purchasing, reading and reviewing your fellow member-author books, then we are not going to put you up as a BOOK OF THE MONTH (BOM), “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, or a RAVE WAVES guest, asking our members to purchase, read and review your books.  Do you really think that’s fair?  Well, we don’t, and that’s why we don’t and won’t do it.

The same goes for our block parties.  The instructions clearly state that if you are not supporting your fellow member’s blogs, then your blog will not be allowed to be promoted, and if you’ve already had your run, your blog will be removed from the tour line-up page.  Again, why would we ask our members to visit, support with comments, book purchases and blog follows, when you haven’t bothered to support any of theirs?  Do you all see where I’m going with this?  At RRBC, when you give support, you get support…ten-fold. Don’t be one of those members who only show up when there’s something in it for them.  (Those kinds of people irk me, don’t they irk you, too?)

I hope that this post has been a real eye-opener for everyone. If you’re doing all that you know you should be doing to help us grow here in RRBC, then major KUDOS to you!

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But, if you fall into that class of people who need to step up their game, stop thinking only about themselves, and realize that we are all about giving support, then get on it in 2017.  RRBC is constantly evolving, and you never know what NEW rule might pop up next!

Believe it or not, many of our members love us because of the rules that we have in place to ensure that there is no negativity or chaos here.  We do hope that you are one of those members.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your comments below, and may the luckiest people win the goodies above!

If you haven’t joined RRBC, we invite you to start your May off right and do so NOW!

Welcome to “MOMENTS” 1 Day/Multi-Blog Book Blast by @Harmony_Kent! #RRBC #RWISA #ShortStories

Author, Harmony Kent is a regular here at WATCH NONNIE WRITE!  so when we heard that she had released a new book and was going on a one day, multi-blog BOOK BLAST, we wanted to get in on the action!  Ladies and Gents, I present to you

“MOMENTS:  A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES AND POETRY”

Moments by Harmony Kent

Now, check out this Book Blurb:

Come.  (NJ:  Oh, she had me at “COME!” #Intrigue)

Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.

These tales touch upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement.

And then, after all that, you’ll find the poems.

From the lonely echoes of an empty house to the soaring heights of unexpected love and joy and learning to live as free as clouds and water.

For each of us, a moment encompasses a lifetime and, yet, passes in but the blink of an eye. In but a moment, everything can change. And in this very moment, life beckons in all its potentiality.

When the shadows fall, what will you do?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Learn more about the author…

Harmony RRBC T Shirt

…by visiting her RWISA page!

Contact Info:

Twitter:  @Harmony_Kent

Website:  harmonykent.co.uk

***

Thanks for dropping by to support Harmony today, and she’d love your comments below!  Hey, you can even just tell us what you think of the blurb!

***THERE WILL BE A SPECIAL SURPRISE DRAWING ALONG THE TOUR TODAY, SO PLEASE VISIT HARMONY’S TOUR PAGE FOR DETAILS!

DO YOU HAVE AN ELEVATOR SPEECH? #RRBC

Right now, some of you are staring at this page wondering “What the heck is an elevator speech and why do I need one?”  Well, EVERY writer needs one if he wants to rub elbows with movers and shakers in this industry, and to me that could be anyone who has the ability to purchase my books.

An elevator speech is a very passionate, 60-90 second “spiel,” that you would pitch to the media or any individual or groups who might be interested in (again), purchasing your books.  But, to be effective, this “spiel” must accomplish two things:

  • It must point out three ways your books will change your audience’s lives, and…
  • It must be conveyed with such enthusiasm and passion, that it will be hard for the listener to say “NO” to you.

This elevator speech should literally last no longer than an elevator ride, which means if you’re starting off on floor one, and the both of you are getting off on floor two, you need to make it really good, in a really short amount of time.  {Note:  this “spiel” should be equally effective whether it’s being delivered over the phone, in person, on the web or in print}.

Not comfortable with being put on the spot when asked about your books or your writing?  My advice:  Stand in the mirror and practice your “elevator speech.” I’ve personally done it many times and I’ve been told that it’s the best speech some have ever heard!

But, I don’t want you to share your elevator speech with anyone until your friend in the mirror (or your significant other) tells you that it is absolutely PERFECT!  Just imagine being faced with the possibility of being booked for a radio show.  You need to be able to present this “spiel” in such a way, that it explodes in the minds of those media people, convincing them to book you right on the spot…even if that spot is in an elevator.

So, today, I want you all to work on honing this very important skill BEFORE you (hypothetically) take your next elevator ride!

If this post was helpful to you, please follow my blog today.  You will always find new and useful information such as what has been presented here.

Thanks for dropping by and we hope to see you again soon!  Don’t forget to share this post on social media, and to also LIKE it before you leave!

The #PregnantFuture Blog Tour has stopped here! @Jinlobify #RRBC

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Pregnant Future

(No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring)

A True-Life Memoir

On this last day of my tour, I would like to talk about our great book club, The Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC). Before I became a member of this great club, I published through those publishing houses that promise you heaven on earth. I needed them for the marketing of my books. In as much as I do not regret using them– because I learned something by so doing– I know now, as an indie, that using publishing houses that charge you to publish your book, is a waste of money. They do not deliver on all their promises. In fact, all they are good for is perhaps, printing your book. This you can do yourself with many services out there.

After publishing two book this way, and getting only two reviews for one, and three for the other, I decided this third time to go it alone. During my research for marketing these books, I stumbled on an RRBC tweet. I responded to this tweet. Nonnie Jules herself invited me to try out the book club. I had nothing to lose, so I did. This is my second year with the group, and I must say that it has been a most rewarding two years. Reviews of my books have grown in leaps and bounds. I have met many wonderful online friends who not only support, but encourage me.

RRBC was the second internet book club that I joined. The first one did not give me as much support, even though I read and reviewed authors in that group. The few reviews I received from that group were mostly disparaging. One gets the feeling that some of those reviewers never even read the book! I love our group, but above all, I love, respect, and admire the founder of our group, Nonnie Jules. I love her giving spirit, that keeps giving.

Pregnant Future Trailer

https://youtu.be/86vP8_9Ri20

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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 Joy has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. 

Her first short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18. Since then, she has published numerous others in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology, Bks 1-3.

Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and       was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two      books published in the Italian language.

The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, is a journey into the    mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria was published in 2014.      

In Pregnant Future, her new Novel, Justina is the story of every young woman    who found herself alone in the world to fend for herself. It is the story of the pitfalls that await such a             woman. It is the story of survival

 AUTHOR OF:

Legend of The Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies

Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women

Pregnant Future

 

CONTACT:

 Website:         https://thelookingglassjnlb.wordpress.com

Bog:                 www.Jinlobify.Com

Twitter:           @Jinlobify

Facebook:       Facebook

Welcome #RRBC #RWISA Member, Marlena Smith!

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In her own words…

How long have you been writing?

Since a very young age, 2nd grade being my earliest memory. Writing has always been a big part of my life, a favorite past-time.

How many books have you authored?

I have three short stories/poems in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology. My debut novel, THE POWER OF LOVE, will be released May 1st.

Do you have a writing schedule?

Not really. I write when time allows, when I feel inspired. I try to write some each day, but that doesn’t always happen. My days tend to get hectic, but I try to make up for missed time on my less-busy days.

You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

RWISA brings the good writers into light, so I hope that’s where I fall… a good writer. Although I only have a few short writings in the Anthology, I’ve spent a great deal of time on my blog. A lot of my writing can be found there, and I like to believe that’s helped bring me to where I am.

Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

Well, no one has ever told the story from my view, only I can do that. I like to think my story ideas are unique, the characters are relatable and that the writing is as close to perfect as it can get. (Thanks to editors, of course!) It’s important to bring the story to life, to put the reader there, and I hope I do just that.

If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?

If I could choose anyone, whether alive today or not, I would choose Jane Austen. I fell in love with her stories at a young age and still reflect back to them. Even today, people are using her story ideas in movies, in other books, in plays. She’s timeless. So are her ideas.

Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

That’s a hard question. I feel like once you are an Indie writer and you have lived that life and survived that struggle, that it will always be a part of who you are. I’ll be honest, I would love for my book to be “big,” maybe even on the big screen. More and more, we are seeing Indies being recognized, and it doesn’t take a big publishing house to make that happen.

As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope by then that I will have several books out, double-digits!! I also hope I have made a name for myself, that people are excited to see my next book release. Fame, fortune… that’s not me. I want to be known for my words, known for my ideas. That’s the only fortune I need.

What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

Social Media. Apps, internet, access to worldwide knowledge… it all has come a long way. Using social media to network can really be rewarding. Now, when I say social media, it’s a very generalized term. It includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even blogs and sites. Social Media, especially Twitter, has helped me grow into a better writer. It has brought me amazing friendships and even brought be to RRBC. That alone is a huge thing.

Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?

I haven’t read as many RRBC books as I would like, although there are LOTS on my TBR list! The books I have read, those authors already belong to RWISA. I don’t feel it fair to recommend someone without reading their book first, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

Never give up. If you have a story in that mind of yours, write it. You’re the only one that can tell it how you would tell it. Keep writing, keep chasing that dream. Never stop.

Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?

It really depends on the writer, on their time, on their priorities, on their skills. I’ve seen it both ways. A lot of published books does not mean the writing is good, just like few published books doesn’t mean the writing is bad. Too many factors.

If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?

I would work extra hard to get as close to that deadline as possible. I don’t like breaking promises. That’s not the kind of person I am. But, I also only want to put out my best work. I would definitely reach out to my readers and let them know what’s going on. I think it’s important to be open. But priorities would definitely change. My focus would be solely on that book, so that I could get close to fulfilling that promise.

In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

The story has to be a good one, an intriguing one. The writing has to be as close to perfect as the writer could get. (Mistakes happen, we all know that!) The characters need to be realistic, even if from a futuristic or fantasy concept. There needs to be drama, a climax, a turning point. It can’t be boring, has to keep you turning the next page.

If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?

I would check for those issues, definitely. Regardless of whether or not I agreed, I would thank the person for their honesty.

MY BOOKS:
*RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology
*THE POWER OF LOVE, Release Date of 05.01.17

SOCIAL MEDIA:
*Twitter – @_MarlenaSmith_
*Facebook – authormarlenasmith
*Blog – “Life As I Know It”

Thanks for dropping by to  visit with Marlena today!  Please do drop by 4WillsPub to visit the other amazing authors who are on tour today, as well as the authors who you didn’t get to visit with earlier in the tour!  Marlena loves to chat, so do engage her below!

Welcome Nonnie Jules, President of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writers–International Society of Authors

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Hoy, boy! Do I have a special guest for you today, gang! I am honored to be hosting Nonnie Jules, the woman whose vision became Rave Reviews Book Club. Please welcome the president of RRBC and the founding member/president of the Rave Writers International Society of Authors! I’m thrilled to have her here today for an awesome Q&A and personal post!

Banner logo for author Nonnie Julies, president of Rave Reviews Book ClubHow long have you been writing?
This will sound cliché, but I really have been writing all my life, at least since the 3rd grade.  I became a published author in 2012.

How many books have you authored? Please share the titles of up to three.
I have authored 3 books, and co-authored one.  The titles are “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS.”  I can’t list the co-authored title because…

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8 Ways to Tarnish Your Author Brand, #RRBC #RWISA

Recently, I presented a short session on BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM during the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S 1st Annual, WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO.  (That session is still available online for a short while, and if you’d like to register for it, you still can > here).  I’d like to spend a moment now, talking a bit more about your brand…your author platform, and how important it is to take care of it.

You’ve worked hard to build your brand (name recognition) and now what? Well, protecting it should be top priority!  You may find this funny or even unbelievable, but many don’t even know what “branding” is, let alone what it means to their own author platform.  Your brand is your image, your professional identity…it is what people think about, when they hear your name.

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Let me give you an example of a brand:  I am my brand…NONNIE JULES.  Everything that I have created as an author, falls under the NONNIE JULES brand.  What do you think of when you hear the name NONNIE JULES?  I’m quite sure, as with many others, your mind immediately goes to  Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules, RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), RAVE WRITERS INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA), or even THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE. Anything that can be related to having been created by me as an author, is all part of my brand.

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Some never even think about how important their brand is to their author platform until they realize they don’t have one, or they do something stupid to mess it up.  And, if you mess it up, you’re going to have a much more difficult task cleaning it up, than it was building it up from scratch (so, try to keep it clean).

Because I think branding is crucial in our field, I’d like to share with you the 8 quickest ways that you can tarnish your author brand (in hopes that you wouldn’t dare make any of these mistakes):

  1. Aligning yourself with any and everyone you meet, without care as to whether or not they have a positive reputation in the social media community or in your real world.  We sit behind keyboards each day, engaging in our virtual worlds, but, do we really know those we are engaging with?  Those we are quick to call friend?  Those we have formed alliances with?  Well, it would be well worth your time to watch closely the antics and behaviors of these people before you become too vested in association with them.  If Joe Blow has a horrible reputation for being rude, obnoxious, dishonest, and just an all around pain-in-the-ass, yet you defend him at every turn, that is a poor reflection on you, my friend, whether you want to accept that or not.  People who might have respected you greatly before, are starting to look at you in a different light because of your association with JB.  Remember, birds of a feather, stick together…and, you are definitely the company you keep;
  2. Displaying a lack of professionalism on social media.  Don’t get into any Twitter Wars or Facebook Fights;  it’s not a good look at all.  These people don’t really know you (unless you’re putting all of your business on the internet for them to know and that is a HUGE no-no in my book, by the way).  Words are just words. You’re an adult, so learn to ignore them when you should;
  3. Not keeping your word.  Credibility is everything in our literary world so if you say you’re going to do something, do it.  If you say that you’re about something, be it.  Simple!;
  4. Burning bridges.  You never know, the fingers that you step on today to get ahead, just might be attached to the hands that have to aid you tomorrow.  Always leave every relationship, especially professional ones, in a clean manner.  Always leave the door open for you to walk back thru it with your head held high, should you ever have to;
  5. Sharing inappropriate material with your followers.  Sharing photos of your bikini-clad body, straddling your boyfriend on a beach in Florida, while in a serious lip-lock, is not what your followers want to see.  Keep your material clean…please.  I’m sure your parents will appreciate that, too;
  6. Sharing material geared towards someone else’s brand.  You’ve worked hard to build your social media following and they are following you for the content-specific material you provide which appeals to them.  If you are an author who writes inspirational material, then it’s a pretty safe bet that your audience isn’t interested in your postings about Star Wars or anything under the paranormal/sci-fi genre.  Give ’em what they came there for, as the saying goes;
  7. Over-promise, then under-deliver.  If you guarantee that your phones are answered 24  hours a day, 7 days a week, your clients had better not ever have to listen to a recorded voice message or an unanswered phone’s ringing.  Of course, there will be instances when this is totally out of your control, but your customers will understand if your great reputation precedes you;  just let that be an exception and not your rule, even when you are promising your readers your next release.  Don’t promise, if you can’t deliver.  Instead, try under-promising, then over-delivering!  We all like that, don’t we?;
  8. Failing to communicate.  This is truly the #1 reason on how to tarnish your brand but I’m listing it last because I want you to focus on it a lot longer.  With today’s technology, which gives us opportunities to communicate with our communities instantly, there is no reason why your clients/members, etc, should be left in “no-response” land.  Know you’re going to be late to a meeting?  Then send a text message letting the others know.  Received a question that you don’t have the answer to?  Send a quick response to let them know that you’re working on it and will get back to them with an answer, asap.  Overslept and missed an appointment?  Apologize profusely until they feel that you’re truly sorry.

Now that you are aware of how not to tarnish your author brand, why don’t you get started on doing just the opposite, as those are the things that will surely guarantee the success of building on it. Remember, it’s quicker to build it, than it is to try and rebuild it, at least in this arena.

Here’s to building and safeguarding your successful

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So, are you safeguarding yours?  Share with us some of your ideas on how you’re working to do it.

Thanks for dropping by, my friends!  I hope to see you again soon!

#RRBC, IT’S COMING FROM BOTH SIDES

Last night, I happened upon a very interesting documentary about the desegregation of busing in Boston public schools.  “The call for desegregation and the first years of its implementation, led to a series of racial protests and riots that brought national attention, particularly from 1974 to 1976.  It led to a decline of public school enrollment and white flight to the suburbs.”  (ref:  Wikipedia)

In this documentary, a teacher asked his class of all black students, why they thought the white kids had left their school?  The response was:  “They didn’t want to sit next to us.”  Recently, during another open discussion on social media, I read this comment by a white student:  “They are prejudiced against us, too.”  (WOW!  When the word too is used, that’s an open admission that this is going on, right?)

I don’t recall the name of the documentary, as I came in on the middle of it, but it moved me so much, I felt compelled to pen this poem…as it is coming from both sides, people. Let’s wake up.  Our kids are speaking.

***

“DOES MY LIFE MATTER?”

I am a black woman, and because of the shade of my skin and coarseness of my hair, because of the fullness of my hips, my lips and the bold colors I wear…some don’t find me as attractive as my fairer counterparts.  You see, I’m no longer your house-maid or here for your sexual pleasure;  no longer Mamie to your children, I’m now someone’s Mother…a treasure.  But, does my life matter?

I am a black man, and because of my dark skin and the boldness of my stance, because of the kinky in my hair, the anger in my stare, and the wear and tear shown on my hands…some still don’t see me as a man.  You see, I’m no longer your field property or your whipping post.  I’ve freedom papers and own land now, maybe, more than most.  You build cages to hold me, guilty or not;  where you should build institutions of higher learning,  you lock me away for little things, then leave me there to rot.  Will my bed forever be a cot?  But, does my life matter?

I am a white woman, and because of my milk dove skin and cute, pinched nose, thin ruby red lips and fair skin that glows…with my pearly whites and prominent chin…some still look at me and despise the skin I’m in.  I was never privy to the pain that was caused.  I was born into that hatred…those God-awful laws.  So, does my life still matter?

I am a white man, born into privilege and wealth, easy life, perfect health, yet…I’m still persecuted and referred to as “the man.”  I, too, hate the ways of the Ku Klux Klan.  My neighbors are black, white, green and red…still, I haven’t fled.  To be where everyone looks more like me, is not where I want to be.  I, too, would like to one day be FREE. (Yes, FREE!  It also applies to me!)…FREE of the labels that bind because of the color of my skin. I’ve never owned any human or degraded any man. But, does my life still matter?

I am a brown-skinned woman and because of my accented words, you think I should be silent…quiet and not heard.  I can do more, than clean your windows and floors.  Just ask me what I’m capable of, you’d be surprised, I’m sure.  I may have come here via the back of a truck, or even the legal route, if I was blessed with such luck.  Maybe I was born here, and my parents, too.  In your eyes, would that still make me less American than you?  Does my life matter?

I am a brown-skinned man and though maybe a bit stocky, I’m no less in appearance, than your brawn and cocky.  I’m not a rapist, a thief or thug…but a man like you, with kids to hug.  I’m not ashamed to tend your lawns and trees, but Executive, also a title I’d wear with ease;  whatever it takes…my family to feed. Don’t dismiss, or overlook my face;  I may not have been born here, but I’m here to stay.  And with that said, does my life still matter?

With all that’s going on, there’s much racial unrest.  It’s time to put differences aside and put real LOVE to the test.  We can’t keep fighting each other, when there are real wars going on.  We must come together in love, heal and stand strong.  There are real enemies among us, and their names we know not.  We must stand on the front lines, together and talk.

The differences between us are fewer than those in our heads;  and in the end, until we draw our last breath,  we all still bleed red.  Yes, that small matter is what makes us brothers, and binds us tighter than any other.

That stream of red flowing thru our veins, is what should force us to…
release all blame,
stop the pain,
forge ahead,
no more blood we’ll shed.

Yes, the hatred does come from both sides and it’s time WE all bring it to a peaceful end.

YOU MATTER.

I MATTER

WE MATTER, ALL.

“ALL LIVES MATTER.”

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 It’s RECRUITMENT DAY at RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and if you want to  feel love and a great sense of belonging in an International community of supportive folks, then JOIN US today!  Writers, Bloggers, Authors, and Readers…you’re all invited to become part of one amazing family, where EVERYONE MATTERS!!!!