Monday, 30 November 2015

An Authors life and Social Media

A children's book and toy giveaway!

Hosted by Sondra Robbins Rymer 
has kindly put out a giveaway rafflecopter,
 so you can enter if you wish to win
 Teeny Pheeny book and a plush owl, plus three colouring pages.
In this article you get to see the name of the new colouring book.
Thank you Sondra!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An authors story about the Social media commitment~By Karen Emma Hall 

Why I headed for twitter after writing a book and starting a blog site.

After writing a book what next?
Even before I had edited my stories I was researching the best way for my book to be seen, so it was research, research, research. From googling a few words about how best to promote your own book, I discovered quite a bit and found would-be authors and established authors on twitter. It all looked rather confusing but I wanted to know how people got their followers and how to get retweeted. So hold onto your seats as you are about to go on a social media journey and it is a bit of a crazy rollercoaster with all of the fun, frights, and the odd bumper car thrown in.

I had no idea about hashtags or their purpose before heading to twitter, so I learned most of my skills from twitter I would say. I wanted to learn the highs and lows of the indie author and set out to research and see what worked and what didn't. I now believe one day something works so well, the next day it may not. It can all depend on so many factors. I soon discovered ebooks on Amazon kindle had really starting to take off and I was looking forward to putting my book out there. So it was twitter that was my only social media site at the time and that was where I met like-minded people who were wanting to make a way in the 'twittersphere' with their book. I also enjoy writing blogs about literature, reading, books, authors, and various other topics of interest. I get a staggering amount of hits on my blog and sometimes it still takes me by surprise and it is so good to know this kid literature blog and the sites from this blog spot go straight to the first page of google searches very regularly when words like Kid Literature, writing children's books, children's author are put into google.
As my twitter account grew, I was pulling in more tweets. And this is the thing. 
We all love activity with retweets or likes, this is our interaction, we strive for it and try to maintain this. 
But this is not the most important thing. DO NOT think about the amount of tweets you have, or likes. The majority of people who are clicking on your link and reading or checking out wherever that link takes them will not have even stopped to like or retweet, no, they have gone straight to the link. The ones who click 'like' or the new heart favourite (as Twitter now has) on your link can generally be the folk who support you. I have found out that the majority of people who can see your post from twitter or Facebook bypass the 'likes' and go straight onto reading your post which is after all the object of intention. 
 So they still leave their print when you see stats charts. Now you may not agree with this, after all everyone is different, but after working Twitter for so long I have found in my experience this is the case. Even if it is just my case.

So when you have built up your followers, and that takes real commitment you will start to see results, and hopefully before you reach this point you hadn't thrown the towel in, walked away, therefore not hanging around to find out.
 Commitment as in you are on there every day like a job, you are retweeting, putting tweets out, and eventually working a scheduled app like hootsuite for example. Now with hootsuite and similar apps you can schedule posts in to come out for the times you are not around. Some people put them on all the time, they don't get the time to hang around twitter or whatever social media place they prefer. 
 I worked twitter manually because I wanted to, I had the passion for it, others do it only because they feel they must.. its a chore to them.  Some people prefer to post or to retweet scantily. This is worth trying, but doesn't necessarily mean it is better. You may have read that engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet. I have found this works on Facebook but not on Twitter, so I post less on Facebook and more on Twitter.This is what works for me. It took a year before I learned this. Also it's worth following a group hashtag, and you have to make sure you retweet them. Keep searching for the hashtag in twitter on the day you retweet as it is a lot easier and takes up less time. Try to make sure you always retweet them. It is heavy work, but you either get their slowly, or get there quicker with the hours you put into it. Some days, what works one day, doesn't always work the next. One day you have worked hours on a blog or a sketch for example and you can't wait to show it off! You put it out then, bang, nothing.
The next day you put it out at the same time and hey bingo! 20 tweets in a a few minutes. so you just have to go make a cup of tea/coffee put some music on, or whatever soothes the soul, and then take it all as it comes. 
  So view it as a chore and it will become a chore, and view it with pleasure and it will become a pleasurable place to be. Positivity grows positivity and the same with negativity. Which leads me onto negative people. You must not allow negativity or green monsters to bring you down. It happens, but you have to move away and steer towards the positive ones. There are more positive supporters who will always be with you, and you have to group together and embrace the writers life.

I didn't really have a structure at first. And I can tell you now it is not for the faint hearted. Many lessons were learned, and also many positive things came out of making mistakes. I believe making mistakes is a good thing. Making mistakes allows you to learn and grow and become more knowledgeable. Then there are times you'd happily go back for more even though you have worn the T-shirt out. 
Life does tend to get in the way though, as I found, and before long I had to take a long break. It was such a long break, I didn't feel like coming back, I had got so used to being outdoors most days, concentrating on my health and my family. When I did come back after a break I wanted to concentrate on my art for my next book, maybe squeeze a bit of writing in, and definitely make sure I had me time and plenty of family time. 
The challenging part was learning not to take on too much at once when I had already set a schedule. It is so easy done. Everyone wants to support each other in the author community,  and the challenge is not to feel bad if you say you can't do an extra task for yourself or someone that week.  Just do what you can easily manage, otherwise you may feel guilty if someone is disappointed or let down. Know it is ok to say you have a full workload on and you can't take on any more for the time being. It is essential to take time out for anything to work and have direction.
So I set out a schedule, checked it over with some friends and decided if I stuck to it it would work.

Write down the things you wish to achieve with your stories then research them. I started off on twitter first, but some people prefer Facebook, or other social media site. Everyone is different. 
Even if you have done a few words and they don't make much sense, just keep at it, keep on writing.
File things carefully so you can refer to anything if needed. There is nothing worse than spending half the day looking for a notepad, or piece of paper you had quickly jotted down the items you had intended on ticking off that day! So organise yourself. You will be chilled and relaxed with things in the correct place and that means a better frame of soothed mind to work with!
Give yourself a big teacher tick when you do this.

Me time.

Definitely take breaks and do something different that you enjoy.  Spend time with family, go out for walks, catch up with people or have a  pamper day to yourself.
And if needs must do what I did once and take a three month break during which I travelled round Italy. It takes a little while to come down from writing or working at full tilt, so one or two days off sometimes isn't enough. When you know your mind is not going back over your writing or editing, or what emails need answering, then you know you are more relaxed and the mind thinks clearer again. You need to think clearly if you are at a block, or are overwhelmed with tasks, so it is important to take breaks. I can't stress this enough, so I did a blog about it.  Writing   Are you meant to be a writer   

When I opened a kid literature authors page on Facebook it became an exciting and very demanding job. Many people wanted to support, so there was so much daily retweeting, sharing, reviewing, blogging, logs to keep, updates to do, meeting people, chatting to people, working with passionate people to support a kidlit community.
You will find them on twitter, I tweet them! Tweet tweet!

A passion

Once you have a passion to try anything new and to have the audacity to feel it will work, to know it in your bones you're onto a winner.  I felt it strongly so I simply went with it. If I am passionate about any one thing I will see it out and give it my all. That's what I did with the colouring group. So it is definitely the want and the passion that keep me going. If what you are doing inspires just one person, then you know you're doing something right. Be grateful for everything, and then whatever comes along is enough. 
 I decided to open a group for colouring art therapy as it is such a stress-relieving pastime, and I was surprised by how many wanted to join up and post their colouring pages and photos. It just grew in a moment, and many love to post their art or their photos and links.  Everyone is welcome to join and see what all the fuss is about. People have been picking up a pen or pencil for the first time and colour in from a variety of pages and books. Once you discover adult colouring it is very addictive and relaxing.
Now Teeny Pheeny is to be in a colouring book! This is to go out very soon. The link will be on my author page and all my other sites later in December. You must look out for it, and see it for the first time! Author page 
Teeny Pheeny loves to bring teeny bits of teeny magic, follow his hashtag  #Teenypheeny
Teeny Pheeny also has two twitter accounts and two Facebook accounts! 

It is very important to grow a group support. It offers advice, moral, and even on occasions good friends.  who you can share things with and have complete trust. You need these basic things for any author relations and when building a community. It can also be overwhelming and everyone has their own schedules and you find life gets in the way on occasions. But that's ok, as long as you have support from like minded people you know you can take a break, and come back and if they are there for you that is very securing to know. I have supported so many wonderful folk, and I know they would do the same for me. 

About 'Hello Teeny Pheeny'

The first thing you have to know is that Teeny Pheeny is an owl.
A magic owl, who captures hearts and he is the main character in a series of tales. In the first  book  'Hello Teeny Pheeny' you are introduced to some of the other owl characters who reside in Boohoo  village.  This series brings you teeny bits of teeny magic. The owls are almost living and breathing as they're very endearing, funny and even a bit grumpy! It's all about the owls!
 The idea for Teeny Pheeny came about all of a sudden. I have a passion for owls as we used to visit rescue owls and still support wildlife. One day I came across a beautiful owl called Phoenix and an idea formed. I wanted a special name for the main character, a baby owl, so my children named it Teeny Phoenix. Later I changed it to Teeny Pheeny, and his mother became Mrs. Phoenix.
While writing the first few stories in the series I found that I just sat down one day and wrote and wrote. It was as if the idea had been there all along, waiting for me to put it down on paper. Teeny Pheeny books on Amazon 
Click here for details to win Teeny Pheeny plush like owl and book plus three colouring pages.…/enter-to-win-…

 As well as facebook here and twitter  Owlsnbooks  I also have social media sites on pinterest, instagram, google+, goodreads,  blogspot website and This website has various links and blogs from kid lit authors and inspiring people, as well as art games and typing fun for kids! But at the moment I'm not in a position to update this website as my work load is to the max. I am sticking to that schedule I mentioned! If anyone wishes to contact me to offer support feel free, I am always happy to chat.

Thank you for taking the time to read this as I know how precious time is. 

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