New York, the City I Love

There are 8 days left to vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout.  CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

As the days for my Kindle Scout campaign wind down, I want to write about a place that inspires me to write.

NEW YORK

I love the city that never sleeps.  I have fond memories of taking the LIRR into the city with my mom to see our favorite shows.  We get a kick out of trying new restaurants and shopping on Fifth Avenue.

I spent my college years at New York University, where the city was my playground, particularly around Washington Square Park.  My friends and I took dance classes and drank beers at dive bars.

My working years introduced me to the financial district and TriBeCa as I crunched numbers at Goldman Sachs while the financial world crumbled around us.

Now, I sit on the opposite coast, dreaming about the Big Apple as I write fantasy fiction.  My main character’s favorite city is always New York, and you can see why.  It’s perfect.

Jules Winklevoss, the confident protagonist of my novel, has fond memories as well.  She dreams of kickball games in Central Park….

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…riding the subway with her best friend…

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…and visiting the New York Public Library with her sister.

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Want to know some of her other favorite spots?  Vote for The Light of Supremazia and find out!

What places inspire you to #write ?  Join #author @alanasiegel ‘s discussion (click to tweet)

#BookMarketing and #TagsForLikes.com and #Einstein

Book marketing is not a clear cut task.  There are no guaranteed marketing plans, and there’s lots of advice out there that might not work for you.

Ensure you have a solid product, because content is king.  Otherwise, the rest is up in the air.

Since there are no foolproof promises, I thought I would try as many techniques as I could. One friend’s blog advised to jump on the newest trends and try to ride the wave.

I liked that advice, so when another friend told me about #TagsForLikes.com, I went for it.

IMG_0556.PNGOnce you download the app, you search for the topic you will be instagramming about, and the app provides all the trending hashtags.  Copy those hashtags into your post and voila!  My post below tripled the amount of likes I had been receiving.

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So far, it seems to be working pretty well.

Perhaps it’s a stupid trend, but as Einstein says:

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Speaking of Einstein, want to hear more of his witty quotes?  Vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout.  It’s about a school run by spirits, and Einstein’s a teacher!

How do you stay on top of the latest #bookmarketing ? Join @alanasiegel in the discussion (click to tweet)

A Cast of #Actors for Your #Book

I think coming up with a cast for your book is a great exercise.  Just like pinning ideas on a pinterest page, it helps you determine qualities of your characters and brainstorm traits you didn’t think about.

I put together a cast for my book currently posted on Kindle Scout, The Light of Supremazia!  It’s about kids who can see spirits and attend a high school run by famous dead people.

Jules Winklevoss would be played by Kiernan Shipka, also known as Sally Draper from the Mad Men series.  Just like Jules Winklevoss, she can be tough, brave, snotty, and vulnerable at the same time.

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Jules has two best friends at Vita Post Mortem Academy.  Dahlia Langdon is the shy and awkward friend who grew up in a prestigious, broken family.  She would be played by Ariel Winter from Modern Family.

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Jules’s other best friend, Logan Klomp, is a know-it-all, lovesick half-Asian dude who doesn’t care about fitting in.  He would be played by Nickelodeon’s Ryan Potter.

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Jules’s equally brazen, but less approachable, sister, Sharpee Winklevoss would be played by Emma Watson.  Honestly, I picked Emma because she looks a bit like Kiernan, and of course I loved her as Hermione.

Emma-Watson

Sharpee’s best (and only) friend is Chase Hastings, a rich kid, living in his older brother Ryder Hastings the Third‘s perfect shadow.  Chase and Ryder would be played by Nash Overstreet (from the band Hot Chelle Rae) and Chord Overstreet (Glee).

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Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

What exercises do you use to understand your #characters better? Share with #author @alanasiegel (click to tweet)

Managing Your Social Media Presence – #twitter #facebook #youtube #pinterest #wordpress #tumblr

That’s a ton of hashtags!

As a millennial, it isn’t surprising that I LOVE social media.  I am the person walking down the street with her phone in her hand.  I guess I don’t need to “disconnect.”  It’s fun to catch up with friends, or read local news, or post my favorite cat meme.

However, as an author, the task of sharing on social media is daunting.  I don’t mind if my Aunt Sally doesn’t comment on my picture of dinner last night, but there is a negative outcome if people don’t like my author posts…they won’t read my books!  The trick is to ensure the information you share is interesting and useful for the reader.  Keep ’em coming back for more!

Today’s post is an example.  I prepared the picture below, which is a setting for my book called The Light of Supremazia, and I’m going to write this blog post on managing your social media and post it on all my sites.  The picture might be intriguing for a potential reader, but if not, at least they got some value out of my post on social media presence.

Merciless Necropolis

Here are all the sites today’s theme will be posted on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlanaSiegel

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfterlifeLessons

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd7P2UhtpCMBLajIDOlYH6A

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/

Tumblr: http://makeeverymisadventureanadventure.tumblr.com/

Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

How do u manage ur social media? #twitter #facebook #youtube #pinterest #wordpress #tumblr share with @alanasiegel (click to tweet)

Ensuring the Proper Sequence of Events for Your #Book

In my view, ensuring proper sequence of events in a book includes two parts.

1) The flow of events has to make sense and connect the pieces of the story.

2) And perhaps more importantly, unnecessary events that do not add to the story should be left out.

For example, your character has to turn the appropriate age to drive before they can take their driving test. A birthday and then a drivers test is a sensible order.

However, we may not need to know she turned the appropriate age, then she chatted with her Mom, then she walked to the coffee shop, then she stepped in the DMV, and then she failed her driving test.

Tell the reader what they need to know in an order that makes sense.

For my book, The Light of Supremazia, students attend a school run by spirits.  Here’s a calendar depiction of the events the students participate in:

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Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

How do you ensure the proper sequence of events in your #book ? Share your story with #author @alanasiegel (click to tweet)

3 Qualities of a Great #English #Teacher

As a writer, I am always looking for great mentors who will inspire me to work smarter and harder.  Having a natural way with words, of course, the number one quality I look for in a writing mentor, but there are other traits that I find just as important.

Engaging Personality

Not all extroverts are great writers, but the ability to engage an audience while weaving a story is mind-blowing.  A person’s innate talent to know their audience is astounding to watch.

Knowledge of Subject Matter

A great teacher is an expert in their subject matter.  They have mastered the topic and fought against its boundaries.

Passion

Lastly, a hunger for more knowledge, to share what they know, to read more, to write more.  It’s not just a subject, but a way of life.

 

This post has relevance as an author, but I have touched on the topic once before. My latest book series, (after)life lessons is about a girl who goes to a school where the teachers are famous and deceased. I played a fun game that brings back the most brilliant minds through out history and let’s them teach high school as a spirit.

If you had the ability to see spirits, who would you choose as your English teacher?

English teacherVote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

What qualities do you look for in a #writing #mentor ? Join author @alanasiegel and her discussion (click to tweet)

Would you want #JaneAusten or #Tolkien as a #teacher ? Tell writer @alanasiegel what you think (click to tweet)

#BookMarketing for my #KindleScout Campaign

Marketing and engaging readers is a lot of work!

For months, I have been planning to post my book on Kindle Scout and run a campaign, in the hopes that Amazon would publish the book. Two weeks ago, I posted my book.

I haven’t sat around with my fingers crossed, hoping that people would vote for me. I emailed everyone I knew. I posted the link on all my social media sites, and I came up with a blog marketing campaign.  Here’s a sneak peak:

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The plan was twofold.

First, to give readers what they want – a glimpse into the world of another writer and self-publisher. I wrote tidbits about my experience.

Second, to invite readers into my next novel, The Light of Supremazia.

Have I been successful?

Yes and no. My Kindle Scout campaign had 6 days trending as “hot,” and I received feedback on my blog. However, I have more content to post and more readers to reach.

Hopefully, the following blurbs from my novel invite you in:

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Vote for the Kindle Scout Campaign of The Light of Supremazia!

How do you market your #book ? Join author @alanasiegel ‘s discussion (Click to tweet)