Ten Tips for Twitter Newbs #BB101

Ten Tips for Twitter Newbs #BB101

Book Blogging 101

Blogging Tips & Trips for Book Bloggers & Authors Previous #BB101 PostsTwitter Tutorials & Posts

Everyone should be on twitter. It is one of the best ways to promote your blog. Even if you just join to read other people’s tweets and make occasional comments, it is a good way to make connections.

Who should be on twitter?

  • Bloggers
  • Authors
  • Aspiring Authors
  • Readers
  • Anyone

Twitter can build great followings. It builds real-time relationships and promotes interaction between readers, authors and bloggers. It also draws people into your site, or onto other platforms for promotion. You should always be aware though, that it can also get you in trouble. Twitter should not be off-the-cuff, especially with promotions. Unlike regular conversations you have with readers, fans and authors, imagine that this is a conversation that is being recorded and made “searchable” for all eternity. You should also never to over promo, keep in mind twitter should be 80% social, 20% promotional.

Top Ten Book Review

A Public Forum

Twitter is not like any other social media outlet. It is a public forum. Anyone can see it. You have only two options, you can keep those tweets private, protect your tweets (from everyone) or go FULL ON public. Being a public figure, blogger or author, you probably don’t want to protect your tweets. If you do this, everything you tweet will be able to be seen and searched. Remember this every single time you tweet.

Learn the language or you’ll get really confused.

Twitter has a Glossary here but the basics are as follows:

# or hashtag – It is a keyword, always without spaces that can be searched through the twitter interface or twitter apps. Hashtags can be used to demonstrate strong emotion or emphasis. You can stick a hashtag anywhere, most like to include them in the end — but you can use them in a quick sentence. For example, a common Friday hashtag is #FF (Follow Friday twitter meme), so you would tweet: Happy #FF Everyone! Check out my Friday To Do List: http://myblogrocks.com

@ This is used, much like on Facebook to mention someone. When you @someone it goes in a separate stream, called the Mention stream and will go directly to the user. If you would like to get in touch with that person the easiest way is to @ them.

Direct Message – or DM is a private way to contact someone. You would type in: D username and it will DM someone. But, the person has to follow you in order to be DMd. If not you will get an error message. This is how twitter cuts down on spam.

Retweet or RT – You will see something like Plz RT — meaning Please Retweet. Users are asking you to spread the message for them. A retweet means you are tweeting another users tweet. A lot of users will retweet news agencies or authors to spread info to their followers.

Trending Topic – Twitter determines what everyone is talking about by using an algorithm. They will post what trends on the home page.

Rule #3 – Short is Sweet. A tweet is 140 characters. Once you get used to it, you won’t know how to go over 140.

Top Ten Book Review
Top Ten Book Review

140 Characters – That’s It

Short is Sweet. A tweet is 140 characters. Once you get used to it, you won’t know how to go over 140.

80% Conversation / 20% Promotional

Don’t spam. Don’t @ someone with links to your stuff. If it is relevant to the conversation, by all means. If not, they can report you for spam.

Top Ten Book Review
Top Ten Book Review

Don’t Be Boring, Don’t be Unoriginal

Be original. If you are tweeting someone with massive amounts of followers/followees (is that a word?) they might not recognize you as Jenny124!Yo with an avi of vampire teeth. The best thing to do is stand out. Have an original username that matches your blog and an avatar that looks different from the rest. Don’t be caught with a twitter egg…you will look like spam.

@Parajunkee + Tweet Only Tweets @parajunkee & @parajunkee + @your followers

If you begin your tweet with @username it will be a reply and will only be viewable to people that follow you and that person. It will show up on your profile page, but your follower stream will not be able to see it. If you want the rest of the world to see the tweet — stick a character in front. A lot of people will use a period.

.@username is the best freaking person eva! Plz RT #asskissery


Top Ten Book Review
Top Ten Book Review

Use a Twitter Program

Sometimes twiter.com is not the best place to use twitter. Apps like HootSuite and Tweetdeck make me happy – they might make you too.

Grab New Followers Easier

It’s easier to get twitter followers than blog followers. Utilize this fact. Say hi. They say hi back with a follow — usually.

Top Ten Book Review
Top Ten Book Review

Follow People

Speak now, or Lurk later. Literally you will start out with no one following you. The key to gaining new followers is to follow people. Follow your favorite bloggers, authors or family members. (Maybe start with me @parajunkee hint hint) Say hi, tell them you are new to twitter. Join a twitter social hop (another hint hint – one is hosted on this blog).

Watch Your Spam Words

Know that certain things used in a tweet can bring on the dreaded Spam bots…don’t use things like: Free, Coupon, Weight Loss, iPad, iPhone, porn — if you insist on using words like this type stuff like eyePad, p@rn etc.

Top Ten Book Review

What gets you going on twitter?

Reader Issues We All Have to Deal With!

Reader Issues We All Have to Deal With!

TBR List, Reader Issues

No matter how many you read, no matter how much you restrict your book buying – admit it, you’ll never get through your TBR.

Bonding with strangers, Reader Issues

You walk into a coffee shop and there is this chick reading your favorite book, don’t you just want to go sit down next to her and be her BFF?

eBook vs paperback, reader issues

Why are there people fighting over eBooks and paperbacks?? They are both books. They are stories. Read them and stop fighting.

Can't talk about it, reader issues

You just read the best damn book you’ve ever read and no one you know has read it yet!!! So you can’t talk about but all you want to do is talk about it.

Hardback & Paperback, reader issues

So, you’ve been reading this series for the last couple of years…the last four books went straight to paperback – but now that the series is popular, the publisher decides to put it out as a hardback. So – now your shelf looks all a mess because you have to keep your series together! What is that about?

Facing Reality, reader issues

You are so stuck in this world that you’ve been reading about and now the book is over and you have to get dressed and actually do things – things in real life – real things. Can I take a few hours to decompress?

Tell a Story, reader issues

You are completely engrossed in this story you are telling and it is a good one. You have the crowd mesmerized, it’s a damn good story. Halfway through the story, you realize you have no friend named Peeta and you just told the bread story….like you were there. Well, technically you were.

Boring Party, reader issues

You really aren’t enjoying yourself at your cousin Tracys, third child’s baptismal celebration. Why can’t you go sit on the sofa and read that book that is burning a hole in your purse?? Why??

Ten Steps To Increase Your Facebook Engagement

Ten Steps To Increase Your Facebook Engagement

It is VERY hard to grab people's attention on Facebook.

If you feel like you are posting for NO ONE, here are a few steps to get more engagement.
Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement


George Takei – A Dark Horse of the Social Media landscape became famous because of his role on Star Trek as Hikaru Sulu, decades ago. The small screen superstar would have faded into obscurity if it would have been for his constant “rehashing” of his Sulu role at TrekCons and the fact that he has dominated Facebook in recent years. At first he floundered, his posts going nowhere – until he got a little sillier. Now, he’s a “Must Like” page and his funny posts and shares are always entertaining. But, he makes sure that between the funny he advocates the causes close to his heart and posts “real” information that matters.

Question Everything

How can you expect a response when you don’t push for one? Just posting something random will not always get your audience to respond. It is like walking into a room and going “I LIKE BIG BOOKS AND I CAN NOT LIE.” You might get a giggle, you might get some odd looks, but will anyone respond with a thought-provoking comment? Probably not. Follow up that though with – “What is the biggest book you’ve tackled?

Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement
Increase Facebook Engagement with Visuals
Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement

Visually Stimulate

Facebook loves images. Your followers love images. They don’t want to read a 10 paragraph rant. They want to see an image that stimulates some sort of emotion. Leading social media blog Buffer claims that visuals, photos, in general, get “53% more likes and 104% more comments.” That is a HUGE difference. It goes on to claim that creating photo albums is also a MUST. Photo Albums will generate a whopping 180% more engagement. What do we learn from this? If you have multiple pictures to share, create an album, do not spread them out in different posts.


Lure them in, give them a reason. Host a Facebook only giveaway. Have a Facebook only party. Give them a reason to go to your page and keep coming back. Give them a reason to share your image, or like it.

Tip: If hosting a Giveaway on your blog, create a graphic for that giveaway that is only for Facebook. Users can share and like that image for extra entries.

Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement
Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement

Utilize Events

If you have something scheduled for your Blog or on Social Media create a Facebook event and invite all your friends. Encourage people to share the event and invite others. Share your event on your page multiple times.

Personal Profile

Always share your Page posts to your Personal Profile page. Use both to market your blog and engage readers. If you feel uncomfortable posting to your personal profile, create a Facebook profile that is just for your blog.

Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement
Increase Facebook Engagement with Visuals
Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement

Get Personal

Your Facebook page shouldn’t just be about blog-related stuff, you can also showcase personal things. Show off YOU, the voice behind your blog. Show off your favorite hobbies, or just what you are doing at the moment. It doesn’t have to epic, it just has to be interesting.

Focus on What You Have

Have 1000 likes, but really only about 5 or so “True Fans?” These are the people that are always liking and commenting on your posts. Focus on those 5 people, respond to EVERY comment. Like their comments, post stuff that they seem to like. With those 5 people, you’ll increase it to even more. Those engaged fans will actually bring more people because the more they engage, the more your post gets pushed up.

Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement
Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement

Targeted Content

Know what works for your fans. Get to know who you are targetting, what do they want to see, post, share and comment on? This is a process of learning. Note things that work, things that don’t. Repeat the things that work. You might start with “known” Facebook winners and go from there:

  1. Inspirational Quotes
  2. Positive Thinking Posts
  3. Fun + Forced Like & Share (You may hate these but people do them)
    Like & Share if You Like Big Books…
  4. Bucket List Posts – I Want etc.

Timed Perfectly

Schedule posts in advance and DON’T just post haphazardly. You definitely want to post during lunchtime. And don’t disappear on the weekends. Blog post clicks might go down on weekends, but Facebook engagement goes WAY up. Statistics recently have shown that the best time to post is on Saturday, followed by Thursday and Friday. Noon, 1pm and 3pm posts increase engagement during the week. Remember that the majority of population centers are in the Eastern time zone, followed by Central. If you are on Pacific, you might want to focus on your East Coast & Central brethren, they make up 80% of the U.S. population.  You can post anytime you want, but make sure you have something good to post at these HOT times.

Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement

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Bad Cover Reveals for JUNE 2015

Bad Cover Reveals for JUNE 2015

Bad Covers Happen. They sometimes even happen without the Author or the Designer even realizing it. On today’s post we have the obvious…and the not so obvious. I tried to go for the subtle, instead of the crazy bad which we love to focus on.

Design, of course, is a matter of style and tastes, but there are some “rules” of good and bad design.

Here’s my two cents…


1. Function vs. Form – Before you design a cover, you should understand what you are designing, what the book is about, what to convey and IMPORTANTLY the books around that particular book. You don’t want to appear too similar to another design…or…maybe you do.

This one jumped right out at me. A Beautiful Bastard by J.L. Perry. Who do I give the stink eye to? The author or the cover designer? Who is to blame for this?

Bad Cover Design

This is another example of Function and Form – know your subject. This new cover reveal for Karen Marie Moning’s Feverborn had twitter going WTF? No really, WTF?

Bad Cover Design 2015

2. Simplicity –  When you go to design your cover, simplicity is always a great fall-back.

This one is like a Monet, just when you start paying attention you are all like, what?  Raven Pirate Assassin Spy by Landra Graf (no buy links available)


3. Align – Use a Grid –  Objects have to relate to other objects in a specific way. If you center align one thing, but left align others, at least make sure it all follows a grid based pattern.

A beautiful cover, but my eye is continually drawn to the title…not in a good way. My eye gets draw there and then rejects it. What is going there? I have no idea…run away. This style actually worked on Knights other covers when the font was horizontal, but the moment it was turned on its side…the style didn’t make sense. Corrupted by Sapphire Knight.

Bad Cover Design

4. Matchy Mathy – Finally, design should make sense.

When stitching covers together, using different backgrounds, adding a person, adding a horse, the THING that makes it look fake is the lighting. It is obvious that it is too different times of the day, that two different cameras were used…the focus is off etc. Take a look at Addison by Jennifer Foor, revealed only a few days ago. The designer should have at least dropped a lighting filter on top of the spread – to make the tone match. But, then it wouldn’t have fixed the unfocused look of the girl – who looks like she wants to hump the horse or at least give it a strip tease.


And now for the PRETTY! I couldn’t be all negative. This is a self-published novel that managed to WOW me.

clap. clap. clap.

Beneath Blood and Bone by Claire C. Riley  Madeline Sheehan, the cover is designed by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. Hey lady – you are more than okay.

Great Cover Design.

Organize Your Blogging Life with the Updated Book Blogger Organizer!

Organize Your Blogging Life with the Updated Book Blogger Organizer!

The Book Blogger Organizer Has Been Updated!


The organizer is also now available in a spiral bound printed look of awesome, from Lulu.com


The 2015-2016 Book Blogger Organizer & Blogger Resources is designed for Book Bloggers and only Book Bloggers. The Organizer is comprised of  224 pages of calendars, weekly organizers, charts and cheat sheets. Also included is a file FULL Of spreadsheets. Yes, spreadsheets just for you to get YOU ORGANIZED! Spreadsheets that track your stats, track your review requests, track your TBR and track your blog posts. You name it – it’s in here! And if you think it’s missing something – just email me and I’ll add it.


Full List of Includes in the Book Blogger Organizer:

  • Year at a Glance (Printable)
  • Printable Monthly Calendar – Jul 2015 to December 2016
    Each month displayed in a calendar format, with months and stat tracker at bottom
  •  ➡ NEW – Event/Promotion Tracker
  • By Month – Day by Day Post Schedules (Printable & XLS File)
    Daily chart to catalog your posts
  • Ideas, Posts & Book Schedule Chart (Printable & XLS File)
    Chart to list reviews, ideas and features
  • Monthly Books Read (Printable & XLS File)
    Chart to track your reading schedule for that month
  • Week at a Glance (Printable)
    Weekly schedule that you can print as needed
  • Stat Tracker (Printable & XLS File)
    Track your followers, Analytics, Pageviews and much more
  • Advertiser Tracker (Printable & XLS File)
    Want to place advertising on your site? Track advertisers and their dates
  • Publisher Tracker (Printable & XLS File)
    Track your publisher contacts
  • Publisher Contact Sheet (XLS File – FILLED IN with Publisher Emails)
    A spreadsheet with publisher emails already listed
  • Reading Log (Printable & XLS File)
    Track your yearly reading
  • TBR List (Printable & XLS File)
    Track your review books
  • Daily Blogger Checklist (Printable & XLS File)
    A checklist for daily blogger tasks
  • Book Review Cheat Sheet (Printable & XLS File)
    A cheat sheet to use when setting up your review
  • Grammar Cheat Sheet (Printable)
    Affect or Effect? Your or You’re – keep a handy cheat sheet readily available
  • HTML Cheat Sheet (Printable)
    Quick reference HTML Cheat sheet
  • Idea Log (Printable)
    Track your ideas!

The Digital Version of the Book Blogger Organizer is on sale for $7.99 for a limited time! 

Purchase a PRINTED version through Lulu! Only $19.98

Five Free Blogging Resources to Perfect Your Perfect Post

Five Free Blogging Resources to Perfect Your Perfect Post

Free Blogging Resources are the best. Especially when it comes to blogging. Most of us don’t make any money in this gig, so we have to pinch pennies where we can. 

Perfect Posts

1. Grammarly

Grammarly.com is a free plugin for Chrome and a website for writers, it corrects grammar issues, within your browser. You can also upload word documents onto the site. This is a rudamentary tool, which just checks for spelling and small grammar issues, but you can upgrade for a more intense version.

2. Google Docs

Free, free and more free stuff from Google. Google Apps has everything from shareable Word type documents, so you can collaborate with other authors.

3. Canva

Create the perfect title card, promo graphic and inner post graphics with Canva – a free tool for creating graphics. They are putting me out of business.

4. Hemmingway

Similar to grammarly.com but this one has a desktop version. It also is good to use both, just in case. I also find Hemmingway not as finicky as Grammarly, which always wants me to install the plugin over and over again. Another plus, it will give you suggestions, like too many adverbs, or sentence structure needs work.

5. Word 2 clean html

You know what annoys me? When I write my blog post in Word and then I copy and paste it into WordPress and suddenly I have all these styles and divs and extra stuff that I just didn’t want, so when I got to preview my post it looks like fonts threw up on my page. Word 2 Clean fixes that. Paste it in there and it cleans it all up and makes it nice and easy to read.


Do you use any other free resources when writing your posts? Please share.


Credit: Banner Image – Photo: Markus Spiske / raumrot.com

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