You know when you get those realllllly great ideas that are SO brilliant it’s as if somebody turned on a floodlight in a realllllly dark room? I mean, come on, we’re talking Thomas Edison brilliant when you blink … sit up … and smile, a low and reverent whisper breezing across your lips that sounds like: Whoa!!!
Well, I had one of those this week when a guest blogger I scheduled for today was unable to post, so you got me today instead. Now, mind you, I’m not a Ruthy or Mary who can come up with ideas/blogs at the click of switch, so I immediately went into deer-in-headlight mode and prayed. And, yes, as always when I invoke the Almighty, a shaft of light from heaven streamed into my mind accompanied by the celestial sound of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing … Hallelujah!
Ba-da-bing ba a boom!
You see, contemporary author extraordinaire Becky Wade (her debut book My Stubborn Heart was up for a Rita this year along with our own Missy Tippens' A House Full of Hope ) and I are running a big promotion right now called “Fall in Love … Texas Style.” It’s a down-home Texas-style contest where you can win a Kindle Fire loaded with both Becky’s new book Undeniably Yours and my new release; Love at Any Cost, a Texas gift basket with both books, or one of two book bundles with both books. The contest, which ends Wednesday, 7/31 at midnight, has been a lot of fun with six different posts featuring lots of chatter, hunky heroes, excerpts, Texas lingo, and recipes! I hope you give it a shot because every three days there are new bonus questions for additional points, so I encourage you to enter HERE!! and GOOD LUCK!
So … back to my light-bulb moment. All of a sudden, I thought—why not kill two armadillos with one horseshoe by promoting our contest today as “Becky’s light-bulb moment” and how it all came about. But don’t worry, at the tail end, I plan to give you a short list of hodgepodge “light-bulb moments” I’ve stolen or had (it’s short because the old bulb doesn’t go off quite as often as it used to!) to help shed light on your road to publication and beyond.
First of all, I’ll tell you right off the old cattle prod that this ingenious idea to promote Becky’s May release and my April release was all Becky’s, but from the moment that girl pulled the cord on that overhead light—BING!!! The light bulbs were popping all over the place, let me tell you.
It all started when a dear friend of mine, Casey Herringshaw, FB messaged me, asking if I had read My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade yet. “No,” I said, since I am primarily a historical romance reader and writer. “Well, you need to,” Casey said (paraphrased), “because Becky Wade is the contemporary Julie Lessman.”
Whoa. “This I gotta read,” I say to myself and proceeded to purchase the book, devour it (yes, it’s THAT good!), then immediately contacted Becky Wade on Facebook (never met or talked to the woman before). I congratulated her on the Rita nomination for what I thought was one of the BEST books I’ve read in the CBA. That FB message mushroomed into a wonderful friendship (even though she is WAY younger than me … grrrrr!) and she said something like, “Hey, I understand your book is a historical with a Texas oil heiress as the heroine, which, coincidentally, mine is too. Maybe we could do a promotion together.”
Ballpark floodlights started popping in my brain so fast, I had a tic in my eye, and my creative juices were gushing like Texas oil. In my mind’s eye I saw Becky and I back-to-back with cowboy hats on and our books cocked in front of us. I envisioned FB banter about a whole array of post titles like “Talkin’ Texas” where we not only provide our readers with HOW to talk like a Texan, but we show ‘em with excerpts from our book too. Next post would be “Hats Off to our Heroes,” and I imagined pix of the celebrities who resembled our guys and excerpts showcasing them, from the most romantic to the most spiritual. My mouth was salivating, so naturally the next thing I saw was “A Taste of Texas,” where we not only feature excerpts with food in them, but the recipes to back ‘em up.
Okay, cowboy hat—I needed a cowboy hat! So I borrowed one from my neighbor and then pestered Keith to take lots and lots of pix. Not pretty. Then I sent the pix to Becky so she could pose in the same manner.
So I badgered Keith some more. Can you trim my waist? How ‘bout my butt? Can you make my tank top more burgundy to match Becky’s pink? What about that frizz in my hair—can you do anything about that?
Pause here for a moment of prayer for my husband.
And speaking of “bright ideas,” I thought it would be fun to show you what Becky and Christy nominee Katie Ganshert (Wildflowers from Winter ... whose book, by the way, is $2.50 cheaper on Deeper Shopping Christian Books and Bibles than on Amazon!) did on a recent Pinterest Challenge they had to promote their books. Both decided it would be fun to replicate Becky's cover, so check out their fun attempts!
Here’s Becky trying to take the shot with kiddos around.
Here’s the final "Pinterest Challenge” pic with Becky and hubby in the middle and Katie and hubby on the right.
Thanks for bearing with me today on this impromptu post, and as promised, here are some “light-bulb moments” I had or stole from someone else. No matter how dim they may be, somebody out there is gonna need them!
Bright Ideas to Illuminate the Path
to Publication & Beyond
* For more bang for your promotion buck and for those important posts that you want to reach the most people, click “Promote” at the bottom of your post, and the cost can be anywhere from $5.00 on up. Tina Radcliffe turned me on to this bright idea, and I am SO grateful! My promoted posts always cost me $6.99, and FB estimates that 5.2 times as many people had seen my post because I had paid the company to promote it.
In the following article, Nick Bilton saw a 1,000 percent increase in the interaction on a post he promoted because apparently not only is Facebook promoting our posts on news feeds when we pay for them, but also possibly suppressing the ones we do not pay for. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/disruptions-when-sharing-on-facebook-comes-at-a-cost/?_r=0
For more information, is a video that explains promoted posts and a website link:
*Another way to reach MORE people on Facebook is to always post your own pic. NEVER use the link picture that comes up when you post a link. Instead, click on the X in the top right-hand corner of the link pic to delete it. Then post your own picture instead.
*If ever there was a light-bulb idea, it’s Rafflecopter!! I stayed away from it for years because it scared me—looked too complicated, but it honestly is one of the easiest technical services out there. If I can do it, anybody can!
When I took part in last year’s Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, I had 337 comments on pages and pages of links that I had to wade through to pick winners. For every entry option the entrant did, I had to manually (copy & paste) their name in over and over to arrive at their total entries. It was a pain in posterior. So I gave Rafflecopter a try this year and WHAT A BREEZE!! You set it up and literally do nothing until it’s over, then Rafflecopter picks the winner or you can, and you have all the stats. And the best part?? It’s FREE!! Check out our “Fall in Love … Texas Style” Contest Rafflecopter box to see all the options you can set up and Rafflecopter tallies does everything else! Here’s the Rafflecopter home-page link—check it out for your next contest:
*Okay I’m probably the only out there who was still asking her hubby to pick a number when I had to draw a name for one of my Seeker blogs. Well, no more! Randomizer is even eaiser than Rafflecopter. Just click on your number of contest entrants and click Randomize!! Here’s the link:
BITLY OR TINYURL:
*Long URLs are no fun when you’re tweeting and look unsightly when you post them on FB or anywhere else. The solution is either BITLY (https://bitly.com/) OR TINY URL (http://tiny.cc/), both of which can take a link the one below for Gibson Girl hairstyles and pics:
And reduce it to:
(Tiny URL) http://tiny.cc/w4ct0w
GREAT PLACE TO BUY CHRISTIAN BOOKS FOR LESS & EARN MONEY!
*Deeper Shopping Christian Books and Bibles is now affiliated with The Bookclub Netork and not only are most prices cheaper than Amazon or elsewhere by as much as 20-40%, but if you become an affiliate with Deeper Shopping, you earn 6% from all sales as a result of purchases made from your blog site connection. Check the affiliate information at http://www.deepershopping.com/affiliate/
*SCREEN SHOT!!! One a pic of any Internet screen you’re looking at to keep (like Pammy did when she and I were # 1 on Amazon at the same time below or to send something to somebody: COMMAND, SHIFT 3.
*BOLD OR ITALICS IN COMMENTS (compliments of Deb Giusti):
Just FYI, I cannot post the formula for bolding or italicizing or posting links into blog comments because it will create a link. SOOOO ... to show you how to do it in this block, you need to know that these (< or >) are "angle brackets." The one pointing right is the right, the one pointing left is the left:
FORMULA TO BOLD COPY IN A BLOG-POST COMMENT:
Left-angle bracket, plus B, plus right-angle bracket, insert copy you want to bold, plus left-angle bracket, plus right-angle bracket.
FORMULA TO ITALICIZE COPY IN A BLOG-POST COMMENT:
Left-angle bracket, plus I, plus right-angle bracket, insert copy you want to bold, plus left-angle bracket, plus right-angle bracket.
*TO POST A LINK IN A BLOG: I kept trying to put the formula in, but Blogger kept turning it into a link (DUH!), so anybody who wants this, let me know in your comment with your spam-free email, okay?
OVERUSED WRITING PHRASES THAT DRIVE ME CRAZY:
*There are two phrases that I run into in almost EVERY book I read, no joke. The first one is a variation of:
His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.
*And the second I have seen in at least four historicals, which drives me nutty because it is as modern a statement as you can find.
He couldn’t wrap his mind around it.
Okay, there you have it, my hodgepodge of bright ideas and tips I hope help you as much as they’ve helped me!
CONTEST WITH THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK:
*Oh. My. Goodness! If there's one contest you do not want to miss entering, it's OKRWA's International Digital Awards. As a winner in the 2013 IDA, I can honestly say that I have never gotten more bang for my contest buck than I have with the IDA: a website winner's icon, a paperweight award, Facebook and Twitter promotion, reviews posted on Amazon and Goodreads by judges and IDA personnel along with Twitter and FB postings, plus a list of review links. Are you kidding me? No other contest does this and the icing on the cake? The IDA coordinators are AWESOME!! Here's the link: http://okrwa.com/contests/international-digital-awards/
Share a light-bulb moment of your own or just leave a comment to be entered to win your choice of any of my books including my January 2014 release Dare to Love Again or a spiral-bound signed copy of A Light in the Window.
ABOUT BECKY WADE:
Becky's a California native who attended Baylor University, met a Texas boy, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the ABA, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves the kind of books she's writing now! Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, has been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award. Her new contemporary romance, Undeniably Yours, is available now. You can contact Becky at http://www.beckywade.com/home.html.
ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN:
Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 15 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her eBook A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Finalist. You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com.