A Perfect Launch Team Member

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 7.13.16 PM.png

Does this sound like a perfect launch team member to you:

Someone who reads your book over and over again, each time helping with thoughts, corrections, and ideas, bringing out the best in you. They tell everyone they know about your book, they write reviews on every Amazon site, on Goodreads and they write an independent review. They buy your book with their own money, they share every Tweet Facebook post you make about it and they email every single person on their email list.

Well, if you do you then you may just be right. Except, that if you know someone like this then it is probably your granny. Which is lovely, but the reality is that not only are their few people like this available to you but believe it or not, this kind of person can also work against you. If they over do it, never shut up about your book or cover their entire social media in it, then people can so easily get sick of it, stop following her, and at the very least roll their eyes and move on, without even clicking on your book never mind buying it.

So what then makes a second best launch team member? Someone who at least buys, reads, and writes a review on Amazon and Goodreads right?

Well sort of. The reality is that we need ALL kinds of people on our teams! I learned the hard way that not everyone has a “certified” enough Amazon account to write a review. And not everyone has the time to proofread and not everyone has the social media links to spread it. If people love you they will do their bit, but it is most likely that their bit will be quite different to the next person. And you need them all. I had to learn that they all had something different to offer. Even the people who have no time, expertise or capacity to do much, they at least downloaded my book on “free” day and it counts as a sale.

And that is why you need numbers and you need them from far and wide. Only a quarter will leave a review, a small handful will finish a proofread, and tiny proportion will even tell their friends. Keep going, keep digging, and round up those friends … but don’t expect too much from them and don’t forget that they are doing you a FAVOUR!

Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Interview with author Alex Carver

mollyHi Alex, it’s nice to meet you. I see that you write under your pen name, are you able to still tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 30 ish (with the emphasis on ish) in need of exercise, though I blame that on sitting at a computer all day, and I have an occasionally perverse sense of humour. I have also recently been identified as being autistic, which has helped me to understand my social difficulties, if not overcome them.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for over 25 years now, this is my 2nd go as a published author.

What do you write about?

Primarily I write crime fiction, set in England, but I also write sci-fi, and children’s mystery/adventure.

What is your greatest achievement in writing so far?

During my 1st time as a published author I had the pleasure of spending 5 weeks in a row at the top of the kindle drama chart; at another time and with another book I reached the top 30 of the Nook charts.

What is your greatest dream?

Tough question, on a writing level I would love to sell enough books on a monthly basis to pay my bills and live comfortably. Outside of writing, I would love to go back to Egypt for another trip and visit Macchu Picchu in Peru.

What is your greatest personal writing highlight, even if it isn’t a monetary one?

When I was published previously I received a review that compared my book to something written by Karen Rose or Karin Slaughter; reviews are subjective of course, but it was still wonderful to be compared to such well-known authors.

What advice would you give to someone new to writing?

I’m never keen on this question because I don’t feel I have been published for long enough, I don’t have the experience to really advise someone; that said, I would suggest anyone interested in writing as a career should write from the heart, and fact-check wherever necessary.

Some authors also blog, do you? 

I do, https://arcbookblog.wordpress.com is where I can be found, I review when I can, write articles related to crime and my autism, and blog about anything else that takes my interest.

Do you do any social media?

I have a twitter account, but that’s it, I’m not good with social media, I find it a little overwhelming and hard to get to grips with.

Lastly, who are your writing heroes? 

Jeffrey Archer, Tom Clancy, and George RR Martin

2016-852 eBook Alex R Carvel, A Will.jpg

Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A piece of your stage?

A great way to get out there if we are humble enough is to be the “supporting act” for someone else for a while. It also hones our skills, gives us community, puts us in front of an audience that we could never pull together, and so much more. I think that you might just get sick of me using the word “collaboration” but honestly, it is my strategy number one. I need people to support me, help me build a stage and draw in an audience. I need them to proofread, be honest with me, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to celebrate with. If I want all that from people, then I need to be that for a bunch of other people first.

And to be honest, it is kinda cool seeing my stuff out there on a different stage! Last week I started a series guest blogging on the Site “Surviving my Past”. It is a stage way bigger than mine and I truly respect the guy who runs it. He is truly amazing. I am not stupid, I know that I will never have a stage like his, and it is an honour to be invited! We are different people doing different things. I want to write books and will never blog at his level. He is a pro at blogging (but is also writing books), but the point that I am making is that spending time on his stage is an honour and a privilege and it not only helps us both out in the ways mentioned above but it is fun!

Check out my post HERE. You will hopefully still see that it is me, my voice, but it looks quite different and appeals to a different audience to my own.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-6-20-02-pm

Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Interview with Writer RL Jackson

rlpic1: It is lovely to meet you, Have you been writing long?
I’ve been writing my whole life. It’s a joy to be able to create and escape to a different world, where I make the rules.
2: What do you write about?
I write novels and screenplays of various genres.
3: What is your greatest achievement in writing so far?
I had one of my movies optioned once and have met some great people, in my journey.
4: What is your greatest personal writing highlight even if it isn’t a monetary one?
I don’t have one yet. I think the highlight right now, is being able to write and having an outlet to share my stories.
 5: What advice would you give to someone new to writing?
Bite the bullet and write. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or punctuation, just get it out as ugly as it is, and when you’ve done that. Read it. Edit it and repeat.
6: What is your latest Book?
It’s a new Contemporary Romance called “Crashing Into Me”
Blurb:
A year after being left at the altar, headstrong E.R Nurse, Lana McKenzie is finally piecing her life back together. Tired of dealing with seeing her ex and his new girlfriend at every turn, she longs for blissful solitude and can’t wait to enjoy a peaceful vacation alone in the mountains. However, her plans go awry when a rude stranger literally embeds himself into her life and mind.
Handsome, wealthy, and troubled, Kayden Capshaw is struggling with the death of his brother, while also trying to escape the claws of his controlling mother. In his grief, the last thing Kayden wants to deal with is the fallout from his last run-in with the law. Yet, he also longs to get to know the woman now snowed in with him at the house on the hill. 
The ice between them thaws every minute they spend together, and they find that they have more in common than they realize. Will they find a way to make it through, or will it all, like the snow, melt away?
7: Where can people find you if they are interested in your work?
Here is my blog website: www.authorrljackson.com
You can find me at facebook.com/authorrljackson
You can Pre-Order the book at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCRZAF9
 crashingintomenewcoverfont
1481522428956

Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

What Kind of a Stage?

img_1061Last time I talked about the idea of hosting a stage for others. That cooking dream sounded great, but it can be applied to the most simple things. Use your stage to interview new writers, review books in your genre, build a following made up of the people who you want to one day read your book. If your genre is fiction based on small creatures then find every book on the planet on small-creature-fiction, borrow them from the library, download them from Amazon on free or 99c promotions, follow all the author’s blogs and comment kindly on many of their posts, and then over time, review each and every one of them. Soon you will have a huge chunk of the small-creature-fiction fans on the planet following you. Write about everyone else and they will listen… then you can share that you write too. Blog on your dilemma about how to choose the perfect name for a main character that is a millipede, run a competition to help choose the final name… the list is endless.

My ego says that my stage would be filled with my memoirs, my books, my interviews … but when I put aside my ego, I have learned the last year that I am also pretty good at sharing my journey, helping others feel comfortable asking me questions and working alongside people. They appear to like that I bear my soul and the hard stuff in this journey and they come to me saying “me too!“. Because of that, I have received so many requests for help in setting up a platform, launching an eBook, and so on, that I don’t have time to answer them all. But because they are mostly all asking the same question, I can write about it in one place and we can all learn together.

Building a stage with something that you are good at is the perfect way to start. It might be small, and humble, but it is real and will ultimately bring an audience. I am still finding my way around, but I am thankful that I have fallen into this space really. People then keep telling me that it is all very well for me, but they haven’t fallen into their space. So let me help you… experiment, play around, ask people that you trust. Set up an author site like this and write, blog and share what you are passionate about and what draws people in. It doesn’t hugely matter what, as long as you enjoy it.

Some of my favorite blogs are simply about journeys. Where people use them as a journal and like-minded people follow along, becoming invested in the outcome.

I took three months off from writing (and I write full time) to research and experiment with social media. Six months ago I was too scared to even look at a Twitter App never mind download it or work out how Twitter works. I now have 4 Twitter accounts, (the author one is closing in on thousand followers), 4 Instagram accounts, an author page on Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon and I have published a short book which has sold over 2,000 copies in it’s first few weeks, most of them on the free days but still, it is creating a buzz. All in order to begin to create a following… I am muddling my way around. But for the most part, I simply share my story, my struggles, my journey and I give out all and everything that I learn … for free!

I am muddling my way around. But for the most part, I simply share my story, my struggles, my journey and I give out all and everything that I learn … for free!

My stage does not fit any simple box and people appear to like that. But there are others out there looking for cooking picture blogs and small-creature-fiction. It doesn’t matter if everyone else has already done the same thing… in fact, that is better because they will be your tribe if you write comments on their blogs and interview them and share their stories…

This is supposed to be about Launch Teams and it is, but supporters of launch teams come from the people in your tribes. People who are happy to come to your stage and be there to support you when you launch that book!

For the readers out there, they can’t wait to be a part of your launch team, they just need to know about you!

_________________________________

Where I hang out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon
@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Interview with Blogger Sushmita Thakare Jain.

1: It is lovely to meet you. Can you please tell us a little about who you are and what you write about?

It’s lovely to meet you too Jennifer.

I am a Biotechnologist by qualification but truly an Entrepreneur and passionate Motivator by heart.

I have my Businesses one is into trading of Jewelry & Perfumes while the other is into Business & Finance consultancy. I am planning to expand my first business and enter manufacturing so currently looking for interested Investors.

I write about Business & Finance related blogs on my website and wide variety of topics sharing my experiences, personal stories about how to go out and make your dreams a realization and about thought-provoking topics.

2: How long have you been blogging, and why do you blog?

I have been blogging since past 6 months.

It began in order to promote my company’s website; it was my husband who suggested me to share my writing when one fine day he went through my journal.

Before blogging I used to write my journal where I used to share my thoughts and experiences and short stories now it is fun to share it with an audience who interacts with you.

I love to blog for the audience, love to connect with them and grow myself as a writer as the audience is everything as the audience associated with us grow so do we!

3: What are your three greatest highlights of blogging so far?

To be frank I just have a steady audience on both my blogs which I want to grow so still on the journey to have highlights hopefully will have some in coming time.

4: What is your greatest writing dream for the future?

My greatest writing dream is to become a Published Author which I have started working on, fingers crossed!

I will be starting my book writing journey via Wattpad and will be beginning with short stories and then after them will take it ahead with novels.

5: What is one piece of advice for anyone who is starting out with writing or blogging?

The best advice for a newbie was shared by Bill Gates and I try and implement it!

Content is King

What would you like to share most strongly with your readers?

I love to share my experiences and advice about what to do when feeling low. When experiencing the slump I shift my perspective and use the obstacle as a stepping stone to achieve even greater heights. There are many tips and advice on how to cultivate a change in attitude but one key way to do this is to begin a gratitude practice.

Be grateful.

There is always, always, always something or the other for me to be thankful for.

First I find it. It always helps me come out of the quicksand of negativity.

Life is better when I’m smiling. I don’t believe that being positive in a negative situation is naive; it’s a sign of leadership and strength.

When I refocus and recharge myself with motivation and if required re-plan my goal, it helps me to fully develop my inner strength and become resistant to negativity.

People may say, the problem is that the bad is utterly debilitating that the bad knocks the life right out of you; it can leave you gasping for air amidst a pool of cold loneliness. But to that I say:

Know this my friend — you are not alone!

Whatever you are going through, no matter how difficult, sad, unfair or turbulent, countless others have felt that depth of despair. Countless others right now, this very second are feeling that level of depth and despair. This I am saying is not to take away from or minimize the gravity of your pain; I am saying this is to let you know that you are never alone.

I feel the wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people I have ever met are likely those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved and has found their way out of the depths of their own despair.

These are the people who have experienced many ups and downs and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding and a deep loving wisdom.

Friends people like this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of time.

I don’t believe that anyone is punishing you. We all agree we can’t predict the future or can we? Do we know with certainty what will the future offers us?

So why to be discouraged just like in order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present same way we must take the negative slump in our life to shine brightly ahead.

Thank you Sushmita! You can find and follow her on any of the links below:

https://twitter.com/sush_t27

https://www.facebook.com/sushmita.thakare

https://in.linkedin.com/in/sushmita-thakare-jain-81413486

https://plus.google.com/113075794335895690382

https://in.pinterest.com/sushblues/

https://www.instagram.com/sush_t27/

befunky-design3

_________________________________

Where I hang out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon
@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Hosting a Stage.

IMG_3536Yesterday I talked about the concept of building a stage instead of a platform but mentioned that one option is to still build your own stage but maybe invite others to use it for a while. This is both to draw people in using already established talent while at the same time still marketing yourself as the “owner” of said stage. This sounds like a great idea but what if no talent wants to come? What if I am so much of a nobody that I can’t even invite talent to come, never mind have any chance of them saying yes!

But here is a thought; in this day and age, we don’t need to have people actually come onto our stage. We can just place them there electronically! What do I mean? Well, this is also where humility comes in. What kind of stage would each of us be REALLY good at creating if we were put our egos aside?

It is easy to forget that you are an expert at something. We all want to be a writer or a dancer or a cook or a movie star. But let’s be honest, few of us are expert enough to be famous in any of those fields. Or are we? I will use cooking as an example, mostly because I hate cooking, I can’t cook, I hate that I have no choice but to cook sometimes, and I have too many bad experiences with family members who used cooking as an excuse to hide in the kitchen so as to avoid contact or intimacy with anyone else in the family. So worse than I hate it, it is also a trigger for me. But just say for a moment that I LOVE to cook, and I want to be a famous cook one day. I cook, I talk about cooking, I watch all the shows on cooking, but for one reason or another, I would never be able to go on Masterchef, I don’t have any famous contacts, and I simply don’t know how to get myself out there. I can’t even take a decent photo of the fabulous things that I cook.

But I am humble enough to recognize that I am pretty good at finding simply GORGEOUS cooking photos on the internet. I drool over them, I bookmark them, I dream of them. So I start a blog. A simple blog, with few words like myself, but every morning I spend an hour on the internet, searching in all the deepest, darkest corners where nobody else can find them, and I share the best that I find that day. Each blog post includes the links to the sites where the photos come from and a few snippets of information about what I love most about the picture. I also write to the author of the cooking site that I have highlighted, to let them know that I have shared them. This is both a courtesy, but it is also because I know that anyone with a site wants it to be shared and that they will be thrilled. They will likely share my blog post about them on their site or at least their social media, and they might even like my Facebook Page and start following to see who they share my space with. As my blogs all have an automatic link to my Twitter feed and to my Cooking Photos Facebook page, without having to do anything, my Twitter and Facebook feeds start to become filled with stunning cooking photos.

People start to notice, and soon I gather a small following, which over time grows bigger and bigger. I know that I am not showing off MY cooking skills yet, but I am building both a following and a stage that people start aiming to be included in. Depending on how hard I work, how good I am at it, and a bunch of other factors, eventually I gain these things:

  • Confidence in what it feels like to actually have a stage…
  • A huge insight into what people are looking for and all the gaps that I could potentially fill in…
  • A following of people who look at my blog, my Facebook and my Twitter, every single day. My photo is in the corner of everything and I engage with my followers where ever possible. They see me as a very real, imperfect person…
  • I become known and followed.

This is that middle space that I was talking about, between the tools of sharing and the stage we want to create. What I love most about this space is it isn’t hard work, it is actually enjoyable, it contributes, and you meet great people along the way. This is the perfect stage for me to launch a book from. The audience is there, it is all about me … even though they came in the first place, many years before, because of my stunning pictures that came from other people!

_________________________________

Where I hang out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon
@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman