Sunday Surf: Reposting old posts & Facebook giveaways update

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

Blogging Basics: How to Revive Old Blog Posts

Check your analytics & follow a few simple steps to boost your archive views.
blogging blogging tips
Blogging Workflow
Blogging Workflow (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)

Facebook Promotion Guidelines Update: What You Need To Know

It’s less restrictive now if you want to host or promote a giveaway on Facebook.
facebook giveaways

The Other Side of the Story: How Do You Feel About Re-Posting Old Blog Posts?

Rules on reruns
blogging tutorials writing 1 note


Sunday Surf: Pinterest, moms writing, & book signing pressure

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

Validating for Rich Pins for Pinterest: Blogger Xpertise

Make your pins stand out.
Pinterest recently announced new functionality for “Rich Pins” for Pinterest for different types of pins (product, recipe, movie, or article).
Pinterest + iPad = Love
Pinterest + iPad = Love (Photo credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina})


Sunday Surf: Google dos & don'ts for bloggers and bad romance novels

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

The Top Ten Signs You're Reading a Very Bad Romance Novel | Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Hilarious list that goes all the way to 11. I particularly appreciated this one:
Number 2.5: There’s a widow who is still a virgin, despite being married to Lord Humperslut for years and years.

How is this possible? Well, sit back and we’ll tell you. The heroine married Humperslut just before he started introducing his bloodstream to metric tons of opium, and his penis was lost shortly thereafter in a tragic riding accident. His young bride is sworn to secrecy lest his reputation suffer, leaving her to misery and, of course, sexual unfulfillment.

OK, fine, we’re exaggerating a little — but only a little. Yet again, the Sacred Virginity of the Heroine rears its ugly maidenhead, and the heroine’s validity as a woman is tied up in the sanctity of her love canal. Virgin widows may have been novel plot devices back in the day, but Romancelandia is lousy with those beasts. We say it’s time to put this particular cash cow out to pasture.
5 MONTHS AGO -  60
novel writing romance novels novels genre novels writing reading 60 notes


Olympic, side-splitting cozy: Murder on Ice, by Alina Adams

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

PRODUCTWant some novel reading to go along with your Olympics watching? As the women's figure skating finals come into view, read up on the world behind the scenes in Alina Adams' hilarious and entertaining mystery, Murder on Ice.

Granted, Murder on Ice is set at the world championships, but close enough. For those of us who follow figure skating once every four years, this is all a fun new experience.

Full disclosure up front: I happened to tell Alina Adams on Twitter (I think? It was awhile ago — I am anything but prompt!) that I loved her book (the paperback version) and was going to review it on my blog, and she offered to send me the multimedia Kindle version as well. So this isn't a sponsored post, but I did get a free enhanced e-book out of it!

So, this all makes me want to review Murder on Ice first as a reader — and then as a writer. It's an inspiring book in both categories!

Reader's review

Bex Levy is a researcher for the TV series 24/7, and she's in charge of knowing everything — absolutely everything — about the figure skating competition that the famous commentators might need for their patter and that the show might need for choosing camera angles and interview opportunities.

I came across the term micro-niche, and I love it. As a reader, it means you can find something written specifically to your interests: In this case, you can enjoy a peek into the world of figure skating and the world of being a professional TV researcher, as well as enjoy a cozy mystery along the way. I suppose some readers choose interests that already align with what they know; I actually love opportunities like this, where I get to see into a life I've never led.

It's not enough just to have an intriguing setting, though — fortunately, the book comes through with a clever mystery and plenty of funny. An Italian judge is murdered — and Bex's boss decides that, as a researcher, Bex is the perfect person to find the killer in time to reveal on air at the finale! But no pressure.

Bex, underpaid and generally beleaguered, sees no choice but to agree. She does already know all the players and quickly becomes adept at nosily sussing out their secrets.

One of my favorite passages is when Bex considers the lengthy and detailed descriptive travel passages in mystery fiction. I've often wondered about the same thing.

"As a reader, Bex had assumed the technique was nothing more than filler. […] However, now that she was a sleuth herself, Bex decided to give all those poor, maligned writers the benefit of the doubt and guess that the interminable itinerary listing was actually a sensible way of organizing their thoughts in a linear fashion, the better to make sense of the knotty puzzle before them."

She decides to give it a go:
"She noted that they seemed to be driving down Nineteenth Avenue. The street was … street colored. Concrete colored. Gray.
[… ]

And, anyway, now they had left Nineteenth Avenue and were driving through Golden Gate Park, which was pretty and green, as parks are wont to be. Finally, they pulled out of the park and alongside the Pacific Ocean. It was blue and big and, presumably wet."


How to increase your Facebook page fans and interaction

How to increase your Facebook page fans and interaction == LaurenWayne.com
In the past year, I increased my fan count on Hobo Mama by over 1,000 fans, from 3,500 to more than 4,900. (Don't bother looking at my Lauren Wayne page. I'm concentrating on one page at a time. Yeah, that's it.)

Here are my ideas for increasing your Facebook page fan count and interactions, for what that's worth (with all the Facebook changes making it harder for pages to get views, it might be worth less and less…). I'm indebted with gratitude to Jennifer of Hybrid Rasta Mama and Laura of Authentic Parenting, who have a gazillion followers each (ok, 11,000+) and mentored me, passing along most of the following tips.

  • Post at least daily. Some people post every hour, some once a day. When I am being hardcore at building my fan base, I post about 4 times a day, with at least 2 hours in between posts if possible, and keeping them all within daytime hours in U.S. timezones. (This depends on your audience, of course, so you can experiment and see what your FB insights tell you about when the most engagement happens on your page.)

  • Ask questions! Ask silly, goofy things, like "What did you have for lunch?" I kid you not. I thought this was so dumb, but I swear you'll get a million people responding. Ok, maybe I don't swear it since I'm exaggerating. But it's funny how the banal questions tend to get the biggest response.

  • Do roll calls: "Where do you live?" "How old are your kids?" "I'm looking for new pages to follow. If you have a Facebook page for your blog, tag your page in the comments!"


Shop through a blogger's affiliate link to support your favorite writers!

Shopping this holiday season? Do it through a blogger's affiliate link! -- SpiritGrooves & Hobo MamaAs you buy the items on your holiday list this year, keep your favorite bloggers in mind!

If you're shopping online, particularly at Amazon.com, you can shop through your favorite writers' affiliate links and give them a little holiday gift, too!

Buying through an affiliate link works just the same for you as shopping by going directly to the Amazon (or another shop's) site. You don't pay any more than you would otherwise, but the store itself funnels a few cents over to the blogger as a thanks for the referral.

Do you know bloggers who are struggling this season to make ends meet? Are there writers you'd love to reward for being particularly timely and touching in what they share with readers? Do you just want to spread the holiday love and cheer?

Then make it a point to shop through an affiliate link this season and throughout the year!

To make it easy for you, we have a linky list of bloggers' Amazon affiliate links, as well as a linky of affiliate links to other popular online stores.

If you're a blogger, sign up with your links!

To help you remember to shop through an affiliate link, bookmark a few! Teresa shows how in her innovative tutorial. Simply drag two or three into your bookmarks bar, and name them "Amazon." Now anytime you want to go to Amazon, click on one, and you'll be set to give that blogger a little tip for being awesome!

Shopping this holiday season? Do it through a blogger's affiliate link! -- SpiritGrooves & Hobo Mama


#NaNoProgMo Profile: Crackerdog Sam

#NaNoProgMo Profile: Crackerdog SamThis is one in a series of profiles of our National Novel Progress Month authors and their works in progress. If you'd like to submit your own interview, please fill out the form, and I'll be in touch!

Today's author is Crackerdog Sam (that's his hobo name), my own dear partner and co-parent and a fabulous writer. I interviewed him over pizza with the kids — any insight and hilarity in wording are his, and any errors in transcription are mine.

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

#NaNoProgMo Profile: Crackerdog Sam
Sam hopes he finishes his WIP in time to read it to the kids.

What project are you working on?

I am attempting to flesh out or "write" [quote marks his!] the second half of my novel that is currently only outlined. Basically, I'm trying to get a draft out of it. It will be spotty with chunks missing or places that are rambling on too long, but just to get something concrete on the page.

What's the tentative title?

I'm not telling.

What's the genre?

I guess it's a mashup of old-time high adventure with modern conveniences. It follows the same rules as The Princess Bride, but it's set in modern day, which is to say it's romantic and adventurous and has a lot of fantastical creatures, but it doesn't have magic or the paranormal. I don't know what genre that is. There is also no villain, so it's kind of a mix of The Princess Bride and Spirited Away.

What's the target audience?

It's for 8- to 14-year-olds.
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