It’s Possible I’ve Gone Crazy!

It's Possible I've Gone CrazyIt’s true, there is a chance that I might have gone completely crazy!

There are a number of people who believe that this already happened, and many of them work with me in my retail job.

So, that’s actually the crux of the matter. I’m working semi-full time, and taking on a number very interesting projects.

1) Organizing the Fantasy Genre events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention

2) A complete overhaul of my website design

3) Designing a chatbot for Messenger

4) Editing “Evaline Transcendent” based on reader feedback

5) Working on the second draft of my first full novel

6) Helping promote and test a potential social media site for authors & readers

Blog Header - Readers & Authors, Join Me At The 4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already have seen my recent post about this amazing event.

In short, it’s a full weekend of online events centered around books.

The event will be coming to you from April 6th-8th, and I’m heading up the Fantasy Genre events.

There will be more information on what we have planned, as myself and the other authors get everything organized.

Blog Header - Website Overhaul

As an author, I’m not one of the most organized people at times.

I was recently going through existing my author website, and planning to update some of the pages, with the most recent information.

Unfortunately, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the site needed a complete overhaul.

  • A lot of the key information about me and my books was hard to locate
  • Some of the pages were seriously out-of-date
  • But most importantly, I really wasn’t happy with how inconsistent the page designs were.

Enter my test site, where I’m trying out some new page layout ideas, along with a cleaner look to the page design.

Enter you, my readers. I’d love to get some feedback on what you like or dislike about both sites.

So, it’s Existing Site vs Test Site – Let me know what you think

Blog Header - Designing a Chatbot for Messenger

Back in December, I wrote a blog post looking at Messenger bots, which are basically an extension of the chat service.

These bots are built to provide a combination of live chat, and “pre-recorded” information. I’m in the process of creating an introduction series that will:

  • Help potential readers learn a little more about me
  • Introduce me to bloggers who might be interested in doing/hosting guest posts
  • Allow fellow authors to learn about my blog, and the services I offer

Check out the chatbot here (Under Development)

Blog Header - Editing _Evaline Transcendent_

A few months ago, I started getting feedback from people about my science fiction short story, “Evaline Transcendent”. There were some interesting questions raised, and a few suggestions for things that could be made a little clearer.

So, with that in mind, I’ve set about going through the entire story with those notes in hand, and making a few edits.

Thankfully, there is nothing in the feedback that I’ve received that requires major changes to the story itself. But, there will be a couple of changes to how I present aspects of the story.

Primarily, I’ll be re-writing the opening of the story, to better present some of the backstory behind the Miranda Two’s mission.

Blog Header - Writing The 2nd Draft of _Of Wolves & Men_

I’ve recently finished reading through the first draft of “Of Wolves & Men (Shadows Over Seattle #1)”, my first attempt at writing a full novel. Along the way I made a lot of notes about things that needed changing, didn’t make sense, or just had to go.

So, I’m now working on the opening scenes of the book, while going through my notes and trying to plot ahead. It’s my aim to have this second draft completed before the end of the summer. Hopefully at that point, I’ll have a solid enough plot that I can go back through and work on editing.

Blog Header - Helping Promote & Test The _Author Bitz_ Social Media Site

A couple of weeks back, I posts about an author who was in the process of raising money to build a new social media site for authors and readers to connect.

So, if you find GoodReads too difficult to navigate, and find Facebook too full of spam posts and fake news, go check out my article about the site. And if it’s something you think is a great idea, consider heading over to the GoFundMe campaign and dropping a few dollars toward hosting and development costs.

Blog Header - What Does That All Mean At The Moment_

Honestly? It means that I’m going to be very busy over the coming weeks.

But there is nothing more important to me than my readers, so please drop me a line, and let me know:

  • Which of these projects are you excited about?
  • Have you checked out my chatbot? If so, what did you think?
  • Have you read “Evaline Transcendent”? Is there anything you’d want to know more about from a revised edition?
  • Are you going to attend the 4th Annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention, either as a reader, or writer?
  • How do you like the potential changes to my website design, based on comparing the old and new sites?
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Fundraiser Spotlight – Book Bitz Author/Reader Social Media Site

If you’re a reader, author, or in the author support market, you’ve no-doubt heard of GoodReads. You may even have tried it out.

I personally have been on GoodReads for a few years now, as a writer, and reader. But, I’ve found it very clunky, under-developed and believe that it falls short of it’s goal of uniting readers and writers.

Blog Header - Is There A Solution

Well, at the moment, the simple answer is NO!

But, there is hope on the horizon.

I’m a member of several writing groups over on Facebook, and I try to pay attention to things that could potentially shake up the marketing of books.

So, it was with interest that I started reading a proposal from Lucinda Moebius in one of the Facebook groups.

Blog Header - Here's The Proposal

  • Imagine a social media site designed for authors.
  • It will be a foundation for authors to showcase their work.
  • In addition, there will be a place for readers and author supporters.
  • All those FB pages, blogs, websites designed to help authors would be easy to locate and search through.

Blog Header - But there is More

Here’s what Lucinda has in mind for the project, and I find the prospect very exciting.

For Readers For Authors For Author Services
1. A place to connect with their favorite authors
2. A place to find new authors
3. A place to review books
4. A place to discuss books
5. A place to connect with other readers
1. A place to connect with authors and support staff
2. A place to promote their work
3. A place to post their work and get feedback
4. A social media platform designed specifically for THEM
5. A place to build readership
6. A place to get reviews
7. A place to learn from experts and each other
1. A place to promote their services
2. A place to obtain reviews
3. A place to connect with authors

Does An Online Book Club Community Sound Good?

Would you like to learn more about what Lucinda Moebius has planned?

Click Here To Visit The GoFundMe Page

About Lucinda Moebius

Where To Find Lucinda Hawks Moebius

Facebook, Google+, Blog (Lucinda Moebius), Website (Lucinda Moebius)

I’m X-Ray’ing My Books – But What Does That Mean?

What is X-Ray for Kindle eBooks?

To quote Amazon:

X-Ray is a unique Kindle eBook feature that allows readers to learn more about a character, topic, event, place, or any other term, simply by pressing and holding on the word or phrase that interests them.

In short, it’s a feature that allows authors to add extra information to their work, that might not relate directly to the story, but give readers an expanded experience.

What Does This Mean For You?

When an eBook has the X-Ray feature enabled, you will see some words or terms highlighted. If you click and hold down on that word, a pop-up will appear with some extra information.

You might have already seen this happening with some books, where articles from Wikipedia pop-up. This is the X-Ray feature working to provide some additional information on the term or word in question.

So Why Am I Talking About This Now?

Well, I just discovered that the feature is available more widely than I thought. While checking my existing releases, in preparation for some possible updates (and maybe new covers), I discovered an ‘Activate X-Ray’ option and went looking for more information.

When I read the description (above), I realized there was a lot of information stored in my head that I could share with my readers.

This is Where You Come In

If you have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” you’re going to find some new information buried inside.

I’ve added:

  • character background information
  • links to some relevant Wikipedia pages
  • background information on the story’s origins and locations

If you don’t have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, it’s not too late to grab a copy…

Not sure about grabbing a copy? Check out the preview below.

After Reading The Story, Let Me Know If There Is Anything Else You Want To Know More About! (Comment Below)

 

Update On My Reader Survey

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a request for feedback from my blog readers. And I’ve been looking at the answers I’ve received so far, and been a little surprised by the answers. But, I will admit, I’m working from a very small sample.

The Top Three Topics People Want More Of:

Book Spotlights

Guest Stories/Poems

Character Interviews

I’m planning to let this survey run until the end of the year, and get as many responses as possible.

While I’m waiting on the end of the year I will be making a few small changes to the post format. If you’re reading this post, you’ve seen two of them already.

A couple of weeks ago I started putting graphic headings in to the posts, instead of just text headers. And today you’ll see everything centered. I want to see if people find this easier to read, or if there is a preference for left justified text formats.

It’s clear that people want to hear more about upcoming books from the Urban Fantasy and Science-Fiction genres. So, I’ll be putting together a plan for reaching out to more authors so that I can provide the best in new books.

Then just before we head into 2018 I’m going to take a look at the final numbers, and work out where this blog will be heading.

Click the banner below to go to my reader survey. Let me know what you like and dislike about my posts, so I can provide material YOU want to read.

500+ Followers On Pinterest – Find out why!

A couple of months ago, I posted about my Pinterest account hitting 300 followers. That was mid-September. Now, just two months later, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve hit over 500 followers.

I’ve now got 51 boards, covering everything from topics I’m researching for my stories, to my personal interests. My followers can find everything from writing advice to writing prompts; from images of Seattle and the surrounding area to owls and wolves; from different kinds of magic to codes and languages.

You’ll even find a lot of my blog post images on there too, with links back to the original posts.

Since a lot of people who follow me here might not be aware of my Pinterest account, here’s a few of the things you can discover there.

  • Birds of Prey (4,000+ pins) – For those who know how much I love falconry, and getting up close with raptors, or love these amazing creatures themselves.
  • Writing Prompts (5,000+ pins) – Looking for a story starter, or something to kick-start a scene? This is where you want to be looking.
  • English Language (460+ pins) – Everything from spelling and grammar through to sayings and alternative words.
  • Big Cats (790+ pins) – Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars… If they’re larger than a house cat, they’re here…
  • Bullet Journalling (680+ pins) – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve seen how I use my Bullet Journal to stay organized. This board covers everything from starting your own bullet journal to hacks that can help you really personalize it.
  • Character Naming (170+ pins) – This covers everything from explanations behind people’s names to what names were popular in given years.
  • Story Inspirations – Fantasy Art (960+ pins) – They say “a picture paints a thousand words”, and some of the images pinned to this board could inspire even more.
  • Wolves (520+ pins) – Getting up close to wolves was an experience I’ll never forget. And as a writer who loves wolf-shifters, I’d be remiss in not giving these glorious creatures their own board.
  • Creatures (190+ pins) – Creatures urban myth through to ancient gods and legendary beasts.
  • All Things Writing (960+ pins) -Yeah, actually not sure how I ended up with multiple boards for writing tips…

Pinterest just added a new feature, which I’m very excited to try out.

Instead of just adding pins to particular boards and watching it all pile up into a disorganized mess, you can now organize things a little more.

The answer is sub-boards, and over I’m going to be using this new feature pretty extensively over the coming months. I really want to give my followers the best chance of finding the pins that best suit their pinning habits, and that starts by being able to find them again whenever I want to.

So, keep your eyes on my boards, because they’re going to become better organized, as time allows. But that means I also have to go back through 20,000 pins to figure out what I need to move into sub-boards.

Not only will you learn something about me personally, but you’ll be getting an insight into the kinds of research that I do for my stories… Who knows, you might just find clues to an upcoming plotline…

Check out my Pinterest Boards Today!

Shaking Things Up & Reader Survey

I know a lot of my readers have been following this blog for a while, and seen a few things change over the time I’ve been running it. And change is a good thing, but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to mix things up a little. I have several reasons for wanting to do so:

  1. I’ve been writing this blog since March 2014, and it started out as a very random thing. Updates weren’t all that regular, and I really no plan as to what I was going to write. Posts were written, as and when I came up with an idea, or had something to say.
  2. We’re now more three-and-a-half years down the line, and things have changed a lot. I have particular posts that go out on scheduled days, as well as a lot of guest posts from fellow authors.
  3. I’ve changed a lot in the same period of time, having gone from a hopeful writer, with aspirations of getting into print to a self-publishing author. I’ve also learned a lot more about producing graphics, videos, and appeared on several podcasts.
  4. I’ve even been mailing a weekly blog update email out to my mailing list… (Sign up here, or Join the RSS feed)
  5. In all, I’d like to think I’ve become more professional in many aspects of being a writer and blogger…

But…

At the end of the day, I know what I like to write about, and what kind of guest posts I like to run.

But, I’m not just writing this blog for myself anymore. Since 2014, it’s evolved into something that I hope book lovers enjoy coming and taking a look at.

Sure, I still make the occasional post about my upcoming book releases, or events I’m taking part in, but I’m thinking of making some changes in what I focus on.

So, I’m asking you, my blog readers to help shape the future. The 31 Days of Halloween event covered lot of different types of post…

  • Book Spotlights
  • Author Spotlights
  • Guest Stories/Poems
  • Top 10 posts
  • Event Spotlights
  • Features on particular topics
  • Character interviews

Tell me what you enjoyed most about the event, or even what kind of posts you’d like to see…

Click the banner below to go to the survey.

The Halloween Crazy Train Is About To Start

Tomorrow marks the start of the lead up to Halloween night, and I have a very full month of events scheduled for you. If you haven’t already taken a sneak peek at what’s coming up, then take a look at this post, where I give you a list of everything that’s happening. (And trust me, if you love reading as much as I do, you’re going to discover some great books, some fun stories, and hopefully uncover a new favorite author or two).

So What Happens To My Normally Scheduled Posts?

  • “Midweek Mumbles” will be in hiatus until November 1st 2017. This is my normal rambling post that goes up on a Wednesday, but it will be replaced an Author Spotlight, 2 Book Spotlights, and a Character Interview during the month of October.
  • “Someone Else’s Words” will also go on hiatus, returning November 4th 2017. This is my weekly quote post, and during October, it will be replaced by a Book Spotlight, and Author Spotlight, and two posts yet to be determined.

In the meantime, here’s a little piece to get us all in the mood:

The Louisville Leopard Percussionists is a non-profit organization offering extracurricular music opportunities to local children at little or no cost. And here they are playing Crazy Train by Ozzy Osborne.

And here’s the original

Are There Any Particular Posts That Have You Excited?

If there is a particular part of this month’s schedule that has you excited, let me know in the comments…