Friday, May 31, 2013

Funny Friday Photos

Happy Friday to one and all! I'd love to tell you about all the fabulous and interesting things going on in my life, but I'd be lying! The truth is, I'm trying to hang on until the end of the school year with my mind and dignity intact! 

For the writers who look at Funny Friday Photos, do you find it hard to write a first draft without censoring yourself? I keep trying, but I'm scared to death I'm going to write really, really badly, not catch it when I edit, and the writing will stink. On the other side, I'm not really interested in writing beautiful prose right now, and need to get the second Adven Realm book done.

Dare I take the risk and just write whatever pops into mind, no matter how bad it is, and then trust in myself that I'll be able to fix it up later? The thought makes me have an anxiety response, but it also gives me a thrill to go against my anal retentiveness.

Yes, I have just given you another example of my dual nature. I am constantly at war with myself about something!

Last week's winner for funniest photo is:

 Here are this weeks photos!

I generally avoid the word "fart" but this picture was too funny to leave out.

I actually thought of the Spongebob where Squidward and Spongebob are merged.

The way I feel when I go to get my second cup of coffee and my husband finished off the whole pot.
It happens often. :(

Maybe not so funny, but it sure is cute!

And a motivational pun to round out the mix!

I hope you all have a great weekend! My favorite has to be the fart dog. His face is hilarious. 

What's your favorite?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Funny Friday Photos

Happy Friday and Memorial Day Weekend! I love Memorial Day Weekend. Visiting and decorating the graves of my loved ones is like Christmas time for the dearly departed. I get to show my continued love and buy presents of pretty wreaths to fancy up their final homes. Visiting the graves of my Italian immigrant uncles and aunts connects me to my family history, too. It's kind of awe-inspiring to imagine their lives and remember the stories handed down to me by my grandmother.

Today I am the featured author on Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews. I am so excited! If you want to know what's on my bucket list, learn more weird things about me (I'm a never ending source of weird) or want to read an excerpt of Finding Meara, come on over and visit Laurie's blog.

All right! Last week's winner for funniest photo is:

And here are this week's photos!

I have no clue why this cracks me up so much.

And here is the pun for the week. My son came up with the joke and drew it, all by himself (he's 7). I couldn't resist sharing it with you. I, of course, think he's super-clever. Don't feel you have to be impressed, though. :)

Those are beds, btw. Can you see the mattresses?

My vote for funniest this week (besides my son's) is the dog with the ball. It's so funny how amazed they are that you didn't throw it.

Which is your favorite photo?
Do you do anything for Memorial Day?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Funny Friday Photos

Aaaand, it's Friday again. I hope everyone had a happy week!

Reading for Fun's giveaway got over yesterday, and in honor of all those wonderful folks who wanted to read my story enough to like my Facebook page, I'm going to give away a couple more e-books. If you haven't gotten Finding Meara yet, and would like a chance to win it, "Like" my author page by Saturday, May 18th before I draw some lucky winners! I'll post the winners on my author page on Sunday.

Other exciting news is that I'm slated to be featured on Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews May 24th. Laurie has some wonderful books featured everyday, and was so professional to work with. If you're in need of suggestions for your "to be read" list, give her blog a visit.

And so, here we are with last week's favorite-ist photo:

And here are the new ones!

Little squids. I can't resist.

I just noticed its feet sticking out the bottom of the lampshade.

My offering for the weekly pun.

My kind of cat. :)

Identity issues.

So do we all. 

I hope you all have a very happy weekend, with lots of rest and relaxation occurring. I think my favorite is the turtle. I hear the song "I believe I can fly..." when I look at the picture and it makes me smile.

What's your favorite this week?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Funny Friday Photos

Happy Friday to one and all! I am feeling strangely reticent tonight. I can't really think of anything to talk about. So, I guess I'll just move on to the photos!

Last week's winner is:

And here are the new photos!

I really like extra-crunchy tourist. Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Street Teams, Book Bloggers and Promotion- Oh My!

Pretty much anyone in the writing industry will tell you that, regardless if you self-publish or traditionally publish, promoting and marketing your own book is a given. We all know what doesn't work. An example would be tweeting a gazillion times that your book is out and priced to sell. Depending on who you read, ads may or may not lead to book sales. Questions have been raised in the last several months about the efficacy of blog tours.
Photo from Free Digital Photos

So, what's a writer to do? This is where it all becomes even more nebulous. I've read a lot that you need to develop relationships with everyone and their dog. (It's a good thing cats are rather stand-offish, or you'd be required to form a relationship with them, too.) Giveaways are showing up in posts on marketing as being a great way to obtain book sales. Common knowledge is that you need about forty reviews on Amazon for them to really notice you, so begging everyone you know for reviews is done frequently. Street teams are gaining popularity in writing circles (although it might just be that I've finally heard about them.) Colleen Hoover credits book bloggers for her phenomenal success. It's enough to make a writer's head swim.

As I am wading into this sea of confusion, I thought I'd share what I've learned so far. I looked into street teams, have decided to focus some marketing time on book bloggers, and will discuss giveaways because I believe it is an excellent way to encourage visibility. Because with bazillions of books being released each month, visibility is the name of the marketing game.

Street teams were pioneered by indie musicians. Basically, a band would get their fans to spread word of mouth about them by putting up posters, bringing friends to the concerts, calling the radio stations requesting their music-that type of thing. In exchange, the band usually would give away free merchandise -  CD's, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc... Often the street teams would be teenage fans. For writers, street teams appear to be formed by people saying "Want to be on my street team?" The street team members then spread the word of the author's books (often electronically) and are then given merchandise or the chance to win the author's merchandise.

Here is my take on street teams for authors. If you have a large number of people who are following you already and feel kindly toward you, you are going to have a successful street team. Having people talk up your book is wonderful marketing, and the more people see your book the more likely they are to buy it. However, if you can't seem to drum up that initial platform, it's going to be a tough sell to get people to support you, period. Some people are really great with drawing people to them, others - not so much. It's not that the "not so much" people are nasty or unfriendly, but the big draw just doesn't happen, or happens slowly. Like pouring cold molasses.

So, I have decided street teams are not for me. Or maybe I should say, organizing a formal street team is not for me. I have some very kind friends who have been incredibly supportive (Suzi Retzlaff, Melanie Martila, Claudine Jaboro, Kelley Lynn, Genee Bolton and Denise Wilson-Falvo - I am forever in your debt.) And if I missed someone, it's because it's late and I'm tired, not because I don't appreciate you!

The last week or so, I've been doing a lot of investigating into book bloggers. The process to get your book reviewed by a book blogger is very similar to getting an agent. You have to do research, to find out who is taking submissions, who isn't, and to make sure they review/like your genre. Then, you need to find out their submission guidelines, and adhere to them. And then you wait to see if they want to review your book or not.

Until I found out about Author EMS, it was all pretty overwhelming. So, let me share Author EMS's magic. They are a website full of "business resources for authors" and they have a searchable database of hundreds (at least) of book bloggers. It costs $10 for a 30 day subscription to the searchable database, but I will tell you it was so worth the money. I have a list of at least 20 book bloggers I'll be sending Finding Meara to, and it only took me an afternoon to get it organized. 

Finally, I do believe giveaways are an excellent method of gaining word of mouth. I don't really understand why people get all freaked out at the thought of giving their books away. Even if you give the book to 100 people, if they like the story, they'll tell people and if each person tells just ten other people, your book would be recommended to 1,000 people you would have no other way of reaching. If you sell your book for $3.00, you would lose $300 dollars, but have the potential to make $2,700 dollars.

One caveat to giveaways - you have to get into a bigger than your personal reach circle to have it be very effective. I joined in Reading for Fun's 1200 Likes Giveaway extravaganza and netted 35 Facebook followers overnight. I couldn't do that on my own, for sure. By the way, there are many different types of books on the giveaway list, including YA and NA, so you might want to check the giveaway out. The rafflecopter is open until May 15th, I believe.

That's enough marketing talk for today. I'll turn the microphone over, and let you give your two cents, if you're so inclined.

If you've published a book, what marketing have you found effective. If you haven't published yet, but plan to, which marketing strategy appeals to you? If you're a reader, what strategy would you like an author to use to get their book into your hands?

Friday, May 03, 2013

Funny Friday Photos

Happy Friday to one and all!

Last night, I realized I totally forgot to write the post on Street Teams and promotion for Tuesday! I guess that's what happens when you stop blogging twice a week for several months. However, I am going to write the post this weekend, so please be on the look out for it next week.

I signed up for Khara House's Submit-O-Rama, as you can see by the button in the sidebar. My goal is to submit Finding Meara to three book bloggers a week throughout the week of May. I met Khara through the My Name Is Not Bob Platform Building Challenge, and she is one of the nicest, most energetic and funny people I know. Go check out her blog, Our Lost Jungle, if you have a chance. She's fun to friend on Facebook, too. Oh, and if you want, feel free to join in on the Submit-O-Rama if you are needing some friendly writer support while going through the submission process.

This Saturday I'll be guest posting on Karen S. Elliott's blog about How I Got My Writing Groove Back. It's always fun to visit other people, and Karen is such a gracious host. I hope you'll stop over for a visit.

Okay, I'm putting on my big girl panties now, because I'm not really good at asking for help, but I was wondering if anyone might want to feature me on their blog? I could do a guest post, or anything you wanted, really. If you wouldn't mind having me visit, you can e-mail me at schiffbauerl(at)gmail(dot)com. Of course, if you want to just comment in the comments section, that would work, too, and I'll get in touch with you. Whew, I'm glad that's over. Maybe that can count for one of my submissions for this week. I just submitted myself to all of you!

Last week's funniest photo was:

Here are this weeks!
I think I'm getting cranky, because this is how I feel much of the time, anymore.

Hee, hee. But, it almost looks like it's going to barf, really.

I also identify with this photo waaay too much.

I still love that Looney Tunes cartoon.

No matter how many times I see them, the droid jokes never stop cracking me up.

And an extra, just 'cause it's funny. :)
My favorite is Dogue. I don't know why. It just makes me laugh.

Do you have a favorite?


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