Today’s Writing Tip

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There are so many social media platforms these days that maintaining a presence on them all is a full-time job in itself. The real question is whether they’re doing you any good versus being no more than a time-suck on your precious time?

It will take a bit more of your time, but could turn out to be well worth it if you try concentrating on each one separately for a specific trial period to see if your ROA is justified. Those that don’t perform, don’t waste your time; those that do, increase your efforts in that venue. If none of them do you any good, consider whether there is something fundamentally wrong with your posts. One thing to remember is that people’s eyes glaze over if all you do is hawk your books. Give them something informative or entertaining.

Today’s Writing Tip


Social media can be a virtual blackhole for your time and creativity, especially if you maintain a presence on several. Using the same post for as many as possible, which will undoubtedly reach slightly different audiences, can help save time as well as your sanity. Maintaining a list of posts that you can cut and paste versus creating each time is another time-saver.

In some cases, it’s worth it to take a class or spend some time on the various apps to discover some of the tricks that increase efficiency. For example, Pinterest is more than a place to post cute pictures. You can include a link to your website or a buy link after grabbing a potential customer’s attention with an original graphic or meme.

Today’s Writing Tip

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It’s been said that everyone on Twitter is talking and no one is listening, unless, of course, you’re already famous. Thus, it’s a somewhat iffy social media platform for book marketing. Any success you have on this platform will be directly proportionate to how many followers you have and their quality.

Whatever you do, don’t ever buy followers! The chances of them having the slightest interest in your books is so low, you probably have a similar or even better chance of winning the lotto. One thing you can do to try and place your tweets in the right news feeds is to use appropriate hashtags. It’s still a huge crap shoot, but does increase your chances slightly.

“How to Crush Social Media in 2-Minutes a Day” –Yeah, right.


I generously gave this book two stars when I reviewed it on Amazon, only because the author does demonstrate knowledge of the subject. While she has numerous good ideas in this book, I did not find any advice on how to “crush social media in only 2 minutes a day.” While the advice given for the different social media apps is probably sound, it would take considerable effort and, in many cases, a steep learning curve to implement.

Face it, there is no way to do as the title promises unless you hand it all over to a promoter or admin assistant.  Being able to deal with your social media promo nightmare in a few minutes a day is nothing more than a pipe dream unless you dump it on someone else. MAYBE if you spent six months or a year, laboriously implementing all her ideas and putting them on auto-pilot, if even possible, you could make progress. But the way I understand time in the real world, that is a far cry from two-minutes a day.

Thus, I find the title entirely deceptive because it does not deliver on the hope that drove me to read it. Okay, believing such a thing was even possible showed incredible naivety on my part, right up there with people who expect to solve their financial owes by winning the lotto. But that is only part of why I was so irritated. On top of being a big fat lie, it appears that the author is not a native English speaker. The grammar is atrocious and often makes it even more difficult to understand what is being said. Intensive editing by someone more familiar with the language is definitely called for.

Looking at the ranking of this book on Amazon, clearly this author does know how to play the social media game. For example, including this book in the “finite mathematics” category is ridiculous. I suppose if nothing else, it’s an example of the low standards people maintain these days for honesty and proper delivery on a promise. The lesson here is the way to get a best-selling book on a hot topic is to promise something everyone wants but can’t have, then not even bother to polish the prose. Then you categorize it in obscure, remote niches where it can obtain a high rank. Nice.

Then there’s the matter if this book were made into an audio book as it’s written–it would be hilarious.

If the first book in this series is anything like this one, I have no idea how it got so many 4 and 5 star reviews, other than to say those people either didn’t read it, were semi-illiterate, or were friends of the author.

I will admit, the advice is sound. However, good luck putting it all in place. I suspect this book is part of the author’s MBA and does show research and knowledge. It would probably work if you got through it all. But to me, I find the title so irritating along with its contrived rankings that I consider it an example of an indie snake oil salesman. It does demonstrate, however, that you can sell anything if you know how to promote it. The inherent dishonesty, however, as you can probably tell, really pisses me off.

If you feel inclined to wade through the fractured English, you can find a copy on Amazon here.

Interview with YA Author Shannon Thompson

Shannon Thompson

Shannon Thompson is a young, upcoming author with a bright future. She’s beautiful, talented, intelligent, perceptive and in touch with today’s young/new adults in a way that truly explains and assures her success. As you’ll be able to tell from her responses below, she is truly an amazing person. This young woman has her priorities straight and is definitely going places!

1. You wrote your first novel at sixteen. Had it been brewing inside your for a while or did it come upon you as a rush of inspiration?

My first novel was inspired by a dream I had, but I turned it into a novel after my mother died. Her sudden death had a profound effect on me. I knew I wanted to live doing what I loved, and I already knew how much I loved writing, so I began pursuing my dreams of writing right away.

2. How did you find time to write when you were in high school? Did you participate in extracurricular activities or did you shun them for writing?

I always find time, no matter what’s going in my life. In high school, I had a full-time job, and I was in tennis, Goal O, and yearbook on top of writing my novels. If you want to find time, you can. It just takes sacrifice. You might have to use that Friday night for writing instead of seeing friends. For me, it is always worth it because I love writing.

3. What did your friends think of your writing? Were they excited for you and supportive or did they think you were a little weird?

When I was in high school, most of my friends were very supportive, but I also believe most of them thought it was a “just for fun” thing I did after school. It wasn’t until I got older that I began hearing, “Are you still trying that book thing?” and other lines that were underlined with negativity, but I try not to keep negative people in my life, so my friends today are just as supportive as anyone could hope for.

4. You’ve developed a world with shades and light. Is there a deliberate metaphor operating or did it just come to you that way?

The Timely Death Trilogy is a deliberate attempt to challenge traditional archetypes and stereotypes in literature. For instance, the trilogy revolves around the Dark and the Light, but the Dark is good and the Light is evil. (Or so we are told at the beginning.)

5. It takes a lot of discipline to write a novel. Did you have to develop it or was it more of an obsession?

Both! It begins as an obsession, but it becomes reality with careful discipline, focus, and the passionate belief that you cannot give up.

6. Who is your favorite character from your books?

Choosing a favorite character is impossible because I love so many of them, but I tend to fall in love with my protagonists’ best friends. (Probably because I’m in the protagonists’ heads so often.) In that instance, I always enjoy Pierce (a.k.a. Jonathon Stone) in The Timely Death Trilogy.

7. You are a whiz at social media and are the social media marketing manager for your publisher. Did this come easily as part of your tech-savvy generation or did you have to learn how to manage it?

A lot of it came easily, but I had to learn a lot, too! I’ve spent hours researching social media marketing, and it is a constant learning process considering how fast the environment changes.

8. Every writer dreams of being “discovered.” How did you feel when your publisher found you? Tell us about how that contact came and your reaction.

This is fantastic. Okay. So originally, I was going to self-publish Minutes Before Sunset as I pursued finding a traditional publisher for Take Me Tomorrow, so I started a website for my social media platform. A few months later, AEC Stellar Publishing saw me through Twitter. (Yes, Twitter.) And we started speaking about whether or not I wanted a representative for Minutes Before Sunset. A few months later, we had a contract, and now I’m also releasing Take Me Tomorrow with them soon. Funny how things work out.

9. Was there one particular author, story or movie that inspired you more than others? Which are your favorites?

I’ve looked up to so many authors and writers overtime, but I found that I was simply inspired by words – how the different combinations of words can render a reader speechless. My favorite authors are endless, but I particularly like Meg Cabot, Billy Collins, Cassandra Clare, and Lynne Ewing.

10. What part of writing is easiest for you and which is the most difficult?

The easiest part is coming up with the story and the characters, but the hardest part is letting them be completely true to themselves when controversial topics come up. For instance, my upcoming novel – Take Me Tomorrow – revolves around a clairvoyant drug. But it took me months to decide if I wanted to share such a piece with the world.

11. Where do you want to be as an author in ten years?

I just want to be an author. If I could be helping young writers more, that would be perfect.

12. What advice do you have for aspiring young writers?

My mantra has always been “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” Loving what you do will make every painful moment easier, and you will be more likely to embrace the pain in order to continue to grow. You will always grow. Art is a never-ending adventure.

Shannon’s Links:






Amazon Author Page:

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