Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ASK PZM: Sept 2013 Bublish

You may or may not have noticed that apart from sharing ASK PZM posts, I haven't blogged since May. Dead Witness was published in 2008, Broken But Not Dead in 2011. Consequently, for the past 5 years, I've been blogging, hosting, promoting, and marketing 24/7. Prior to that I spent 25 plus years writing, editing, and querying. And if that wasn't enough, last March we put the house on the market.

Suffice to say, I'm worn out. Most days exhausted. On occasion, simply uninspired. Because today is IWSG day, it seemed a good time to say that if you find yourself in a similar situation... know that it's okay. Sometimes we just need to do something else, like garden (paint a faux granite finish on our counter-top); in other words: regroup, and remember that everything will eventually get back to normal. Or perhaps onward to resembling something even better.


Now, on with the show!  HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY IWSG!


Because today is the first Wednesday of the month, you know what that means -- YES, it's IWSG day, compliments of Alex J. Cavannaugh, our Ninja Captain! 


It's a simple process: 
 
"Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your
struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post." 


My IWSG aren't exactly words of encouragement as much as they're me sharing with you Phyllis' answers to questions about marketing.  They've helped me; hope they help you. 

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 


September co-hosts include Chemist Ken at My Hogwarts Sabbatical, Michelle Wallace at Writer in Transit, and S.L. Hennessy. Check them out!!!

Now for Phyllis's post... 

Q: Have you been trying out any book marketing options?

Bublish.com:
I have been trying out various book marketing opportunities, and one such unique concept that is free to join is Bublish.com – where authors can upload the ePub format of their books and create “bubbles” that allow authors
to share the stories behind the book.  


I have uploaded three ePubs so far – and you can see the first “bubble” for MRS. LIEUTENANT at http://bublish.com/bubble/view/1626 Plus I have spoken with Bublish founder Kathy Meis, and I am very impressed with her knowledge and her vision.  I expect this site, which is still in beta, to truly blossom with connection opportunities for authors and readers.


KDP Select:
I have also read Jeff Bennington’s ebook WINNING WITH KDP SELECT: 5 STEPS TO HIT #1 IN THE AMAZON FREE STORE and I have followed his steps for KDP Select free days for MRS. LIEUTENANT. Although I think his advice is very good, be warned that following the steps takes a financial investment as well as a time investment.





News flash: While it is generally believed at this time that each free download counts as 1/10 of a sale, I have just learned new information that seems to indicate the free downloads no longer count at all towards being considered as a sale.  If this info is now correct, it is important to keep in mind when reading the above book.  Perhaps the steps in the book recommended by Jeff Bennington will work for bargain book campaigns.

On the other hand, if you want your book to be discovered on Amazon, you do need to give it extra loving support. For example, I am assuming that you have recently reviewed your book’s keywords and categories as well as your Author Central profile on Amazon in order to make these the best they can be. (There are no more tags on Amazon.)





The perspective of Amazon reviewers:
I have also read Theo Rogers’ ebook HOW TO GET GOOD REVIEWS ON AMAZON: A GUIDE FOR INDEPENDENT AUTHORS & SELLERS. This book is a big eye-opener because it is from the other side of the aisle, so to speak. We authors have one perspective – active Amazon reviewers often have a different perspective.







Particularly interesting is his admonishment to restrain from commenting on a negative review your book might get on Amazon. While I know how difficult this is to do, I agree with his advice.


Wattpaid update:
In both the July Ask PZM and the August Ask PZM I mentioned my experiment with writing THE MOTHER SIEGE: A DYSTOPIAN THRILLER entirely on the free site Wattpad.  (Go to http://budurl.com/MSintro and click on the dropdown table of contents to read all the chapters written so far.)






I explained that to continue the experiment I created a “Mother Siege” blog on Tumblr at http://budurl.com/MStumblr for both the commentary posts I write in connection with THE MOTHER SIEGE and the automatic posts that I “share” from Wattpad each time I post a new chapter there. 

Now I have decided to extend the experiment by simultaneously writing a nonfiction project on Wattpad – TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY: A COLD WAR MEMOIR – at http://budurl.com/TAintro


I have also created a Tumblr blog for this project at http://budurl.com/TAtumblr







If you want to experiment with something you are currently writing, Wattpad may be a good option for you. Just be sure to click “All Rights Reserved” each time you upload a new chapter and be sure to add tags (think keywords).


Conclusion:
The truth is that we authors could spend all day every day trying out different marketing options for promoting our books. But we also have to write our books besides do all the other things in our lives. It is a balancing act, and one we can only hope to do well.









 


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON.   

You can see all her books at her author blog www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com and find her on Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/pzmiller

She is also the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com


 
TWEET #1   "Different marketing options for promoting our books"  (click to Tweet)
TWEET  #2   "Create “bubbles” that allow authors to share stories behind the book."  (click to Tweet)
TWEET  #3   "The perspective of Amazon reviewers"  (click to Tweet)

118 comments :

  1. A lot of info here, it must have taken some time to put it together.

    The experiment with Wattpad and blogs must have taken a lot of time. I was just thinking about using Wattpad for promotion, later, when I'm ready to publish.

    Have a great September!

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    1. Hope you have a great September too, Adriana. Good luck on your goals.

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  2. Can fully understand Joylene how you feel. Same process has happened to me, and I don't have a house move! But recently my husband, who already has so many health problems, has been diagnosed with skin cancer. Don't know yet if it has spread, but we are both trying to live a normal life, he is amazing, and thanks to my friends encouragement, and her insistence that I must send her the next chapter of my book, I keep writing. Much love, Carole.

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    1. They can do outstanding treatments these days, Carole. I'm praying that they remove the cancer and your husband is free of the disease. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts.

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  3. Joylene, so happy to hear you are taking a break and re-doing a countertop, etc, normal stuff. I have struggled too with whether to continue writing, but somehow my crit group keeps me inspired, so I write for the fun of it and no worries if I never sell it.

    As always, Phyllis has so much eye-opening info. I am going to investigate these places and books she suggests. I had heard the 1/10 sales ratio for free books, but now she says free won't be sales. That makes sense to me. Thanks so much for taking time to put this together for us!

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    1. Janet, thanks! I like your attitude! Have a great day.

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  4. I'll have to check out that book about Amazon reviews.
    Burnout? Now you know why I play a guitar. It helps me to keep my sanity.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. You're so welcome, Alex. Have a great day. Keep on trucking.

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  5. Thanks for all the great tips, and for co-hosting this month.

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  6. Wednesday September 4th, 2013
    Dear Joylene,
    Lots of interesting information here!
    It is also comforting to know that even one of the best of us [i.e. you] can be tired and wish to rest and do something different for a while!
    Best wishes,
    Anna
    Anna's ISWG for September

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  7. Hi Joylene, thanks for co-hosting and the marketing tips. I appreciate all that you shared here. I moved across country three years ago and still have stacks of boxes in the garage. That whole year we moved I was a burnt socket. Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Burnt socket, eh? LOL. Thanks, Molly, you found the description I was looking for.

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  8. Hello again!
    I am so curious about your novels! I hope I can find Dead Winess in printed form as I don't have a kindle. I'll let you know if I can find it.
    Best--
    Anna

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    1. Anna, it's on the Amazon.ca site. See what I mean. What a dear to ask. Thank you!

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  9. It definitely is a balance act. I've pushed the marketing part aside over the past year and concentrated on writing alone. It freed up a lot of my time. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG.

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    1. You're welcome, Marta. Thanks for taking time to visit.

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  10. Even we writers need breaks here and there. Thanks for co-hosting!

    Great learning more about marketing. :)

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  11. While very far from publishing myself I appreciate the tips and news. thanks so much for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Beverly. Much appreciated.

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  12. Thanks for being a co-host this month. It's extra work, but worth it!

    Play off the Page

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  13. Great tips! Seems you Nose what you're talking about!

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  14. Some interesting reading, and some nice tips. Thanks for co-hosting this month, and for lending your support to the rest of us. :)

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  15. Thanks for co-hosting,and for sharing. This is a great blog, in spite of how overwhelmed you are. Good work, and thank you for sharing such a wealth of information.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. Chris's guest spot on your blog was wonderful.

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  16. Thanks for all the info, Joylene. I was thinking of trying out Wattpad. I'll definitely look into it now! And I totally understand about the exhaustion. Sorry to hear you're going through it, too. An IWSG is an excellent idea. Hope you get back to writing soon!

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  17. And that final images sums it up pretty well. There have been so many times when I thought, "I should be doing that too!" But I've slowly come to the realization that I can only do as much as I can do--and you're totally right. We have to take breaks or risk utter burn out and total madness. Awesome post. Thank you!

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    1. Ah, what a nice thing to say, Crystal. Thanks!

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  18. Oh I've never tried Wattpad, but I might have to look into it. And I agree with those books being slightly outdated already (I read them too)... publishing in general is changing so quickly it's difficult to stay ahead or take advantage of the marketing golden nuggets before they change into chunks of coal!

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    1. That is so true, Shah. Except for Writing the Breakout Novel. Still referring back to it after all these years. Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. I have posted a few chapters of my novel on Wattpad. and I secretly love it. I don't have a lot of followers, but its incredibly motivating to have one commenter tell me how much she likes it. It makes me feel less alone while I write.

    I'm book marking this page for when I'm read to start marketing. ;-)

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    1. That is great to know, Constance. I'm off to find you at Wattpad.

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  20. Thank you for mentioning my book, Phyllis!

    I suppose now I'm officially a SPA myself, I have a foot in both worlds. So I'm glad if I can serve as a bridge between the SPA and Amazon reviewer communities!

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    1. Hey, Theo, thanks for stopping by. Nice to meet you.

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  21. Wow, I think I just experienced info overload...sigh. So much to learn! I'm glad I'm learning it now though, so when I do finally finish my novel, I'll know what the next steps are.
    Thanks for coming by today!
    Tina @ Life is Good

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    1. Boy, can I relate. I'm generally overloaded daily. Thanks for visiting, Tina. I enjoyed your blog.

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  22. Wise words: Sometimes we just need to do something else.

    I have been pushing myself toward exhaustion as well lately while planning on how to promote my upcoming eBook. What you said at the end, that we also have to write our books and that it is a balancing act is what I am learning. I haven't written much other than blog posts in months, and I am anxious to get back to my stories! :)

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    1. More power to you, Chrys. Good luck on your book. And thanks for stopping by.

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  23. You know, the advice and info from Phyllis are fantastic, but today, what really resonated with me was the quiet, honest insight into needing a break, and being strong enough to give yourself one. Thank you for sharing that, and for helping me remember to be kind to myself, and do the same :)

    I'll bookmark this, and come back to the great practical tips - after a break!

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    1. Having just gone thru the whole book release thing myself, I have to say I agree with you and Chrys... to say nothing of Joylene herself. Despite all the stuff you perpetually "should" be doing, there is also the human need for down time.

      To say nothing of moving forward in other areas of your life...

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    2. Thanks, Liz. That's the wonderful thing about our community. The support is unwavering.

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  24. You must be super busy being an IWSG co-host today!
    I'm looking forward to when I can do "something else" for a little while ... Starting to reach "worn out" stage!

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    1. Take care of yourself, Rachel. Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Phyllis! Love the support, and of course thanks for co-hosting IWSG. I LONG for the day where my troubles with writing revolve around marketing.... that would mean I've finally completed something! :)

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    1. Hi Dara. Actually it was me who stopped by. Phyllis hosts a Q&A column on my blog the 5th of every month. We've learned to coincide it with IWSG, so everyone gets to benefit. Thanks for visiting.

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  26. Yo Joylene!

    Oh yeah, time for another instalment of "I Was Seeking Gary." Thankin' yo kindly for thinkin' of my human!

    Yo Phyllis! Yo Theo, I always get good reviews. My human, well, that's another story!

    I know how busy you've been, human Joylene. Hopefully, the continuance of a new adventure in your life. In the meantime, your distractions that don't involve writing, may well be positive distractions. And my human, if he can get a clone, will be able to get back to your correspondence. He still awaits for your ninja hero to supply him with a clone. My human needs all the help he can get!

    Stay chillin',

    Snoop Bloggy Dog in da Gangsta's Pawadise!

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    1. Penny, you have a pseudonym! That is so kewl. Oh, are you incognito? Sorry, I shouldn't have used your name. It's okay. Your secret is safe with me ole Jack Russell dog and internet superstar!

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  27. These are great resources (I'm especially interested in Bublish). Thanks for sharing!

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  28. Thanks for the list of resources! I'm particularly intrigued by Bublish; that sounds like an interesting way of presenting a book.

    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG as well!

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    1. Thanks so much, little Eagle. Have a great day.

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  29. Greetings, co-host! Wow, your IWSG post was very positive and full of useful information. I'm definitely going to bookmark this page.

    I'm especially going to have to look into Bublish.

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    1. Thanks for co-hosting too, Ken. It was a great day.

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  30. I think it is good to take a break sometimes. Being creative all the time can be very draining. Although sounds like you have been super busy with moving and painting so that's a different sort of creativeness! Thanks for co-hosting IWSG.

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    1. I think I needed to do physical work for a change, Suzanne. Thanks for visiting.

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  31. So much information! Wonderful and overwhelming at the same time.

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  32. Hi, Joylene & Phyllis,
    Lots of useful information here on keeping our books visible.

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  33. Wow! Thank you for co hosting first of all....you have been going through a lot, and so happy you still have time for us with all of our little insecurities. I am a writer in progress, I am also a person looking for work! It isn't easy in this day and age! Stressed to the max about it! So...I haven't been painting, but I have been crocheting and knitting! I find it to take away the stress...and no my stitches are not tight! Ha Ha Ha!! This was not only a very helpful blog to visit, but I loved my visit here...thank you! www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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    1. You're so nice, Sandy. Hope you find the best job ever.

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  34. You sound way too busy. Your post made me feel better about this year's slump in writing. Editing has been my salvation. In my own post, I wondered if I'd get back to writing once our house sells and we've downsized. Then I saw your marketing info and thought how many of the indie authors I've featured would love to see your post. I recently told one about the small groups who formed co-ops to cross promote within their genre. I learned about the Indelibles for YA from Susan Kaye Quinn, and she got into the Emblazoners for tweens at the last minute. You sound like the kind of person to start a co-op for your own genre and tell us all how well it works.

    I'm off the IWSG list, waiting to find out why. If my editing did it, glub-glub, I'm off the IWSG ship but hopefully not going down.

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    1. You'll be back, I'm sure, Sher. And we'll all be glad. Thanks for stopping by. I'll check out your idea. Thanks.

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  35. Nice post, great blog, following :)

    Good Luck :)

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  36. I've never heard of Bubblish. Sound interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stephen. Happy IWSG.

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  37. Ha! love the elephant on the ball. That's life exactly.

    I'm glad you're trying to taking a break and recharging. We miss you but it's better than pushing too hard and having a break down. Hope you're well!

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  38. Taking a break after all that is very important for balance. Thanks for all the marketing tips - I feel so behind the eight ball here. Will check it all out!

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    1. Thanks, Yolanda. Luckily there's a lot of us behind the eight ball, but Phyllis and people like her are willing to share what they know. How kewl is that.

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  39. Nothing wrong with taking a break.
    Thanks for co-hosting. :)

    That bubbles thing sounds interesting; so does the book on Amazon reviews. Great post.

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  40. Marketing is a whole other set of skills, isn't it? Thanks for sharing the info. and for co-hosting IWSG!

    Kim Lajevardi
    (This Writer's Growing)

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    1. Hi Kim. Thanks for stopping by. I'm still dreaming of the day I no longer have to market. Haha. I know, I'm funny.

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  41. Okay, I love the pix of Captain Alex! Awesome.
    I've had to take breaks too. Life happens and all that.
    Thanks for sharing all this info too. Sometimes it helps to learn what others research when it comes to marketing. Have you tries any email marketing?

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    1. Never done the email marketing. I don't know enough readers. I hope they're contact me. I ask them to. But maybe they're shy.

      Thanks, Mina.

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  42. Thanks again for co-hosting.
    And I wish I looked like that.

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    1. It's my pleasure, Alex. And an honour. Really.

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  43. Hi Joylene
    Thanks for so many great links I've copied this post for future reference, just the link. I am a total failure at promotion and I haven't got an e-reader so I can't even check out the books you've recommended. The only thing I know to do is write the best I can and publish it. I hope that still works.
    Nancy

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    1. Nancy, you're on the right track. Writing the very best prose I can is what I strive to do too. Thanks, eh!

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  44. Wow, that's a fully packed post!

    I understand what its like to need to get away from the writing once in a while and remember there is a real world out there. I probably take too many writing breaks.

    Phyllis, wow, you are really doing well on Watpad. Excellent forum for writing and marketing.

    .......dhole

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I appreciate your support. You have a great weekend.

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  45. I'm sorry you're so exhausted, Joylene. I believe in listening to your gut about things. If it tells you to put on the brakes and take a sabbatical, then that's what you must do. I appreciated all the info from Phyllis. The books sounds great! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Lexa. Warms my heart to recive all the good wishes. Have a great weekend.

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  46. Thanks for the list of suggested books--and the updates on stuff. You're right. We could spend all our time marketing and leave no time for writing. Ugh

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    1. Ain't that the truth. And have you noticed how fast time goes by?
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  47. Thank you for sharing this valuable information and for co-hosting this month!! What exciting iwsg news this month

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  48. Great tips. I know what you mean about balancing things. I've let the marketing slide while writing, and have seen my sales affected, but going the other direction means very little writing and unhappy Nigel. Bublish looks pretty cool, will check out

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    1. I think writing will eventually make all the difference. Because the more books we publish, the more readers search for them. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Thanks, Nigel.

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  49. Welcome back! So very glad you took time out to nurture yourself. That is top priority, otherwise I believe our creative side runs dry. That's self-defeating.

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  50. Thanks so much for the info! I appreciate it. :) Good to see you back Joylene. Enjoy that upcoming conference!

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  51. So much great information here! I've never heard of Bublish. I'll check it out. Thanks!

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    1. That's great, Julie. Thanks for stopping by.

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  52. I completely understand. Sometimes you have to step away for a while. But don't worry. We're writers—meaning, we're a patient bunch! ;)

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    1. My son asked me the other day if we had a relative I've been hiding the rest of them. Haha. Hi Carrie! Thanks!

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  53. Joylene, Yes I've noticed you slacking. LOL. So a break, is that what I've been on for the last month! Well, I guess I should get back to work on that novel. Take care, best wishes.

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    1. Thanks, Cher. And thanks for the great tarot readings.

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  54. Thanks for all the advice! And I have to take a break from the writing life as well. It's so refreshing!

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  55. Hi Joylene .. you have done lots over the years .. and I (bad me) have yet to read Dead Witness, especially as I'm sure it's a good read and have been wanting to read, read, read ... but never settle to do that.

    I hope life is generally sorting itself out ..

    Interesting about the different opportunities out there .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, did I mention I love summer? There are so many things to be done outside, and so little time. Yes--things are sorthing themselves out nicely. Thanks!

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  56. Yes, like Hilary, I'm hoping life is sorting itself out for you. Wishing you happiness, Carole.

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    1. Ah, thanks, Carole. And btw, your excerpt was so wonderful!

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  57. Hey Joylene.
    I'm sorry that I've arrived at your place so late. Great co-hosting gig.
    Wonderful post, choc full of great info. And now I need to take note of your words... and pamper myself a little.
    Take care.
    Writer In Transit

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  58. I love the guest post, especially about Wattpad. I just signed up but haven't upload anything yet. I'm excited to, though! :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my IWSG post! I really appreciate your words of encouragement!

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    1. You're so very welcome, Jennifer. Thanks for visiting.

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