Author of Dark Fiction
Tag Archives: Sally Bosco reviews
Platform-Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt is a really excellent book about developing your platform, and though it’s not specifically geared toward writers, I found that there were a lot of ideas I could use for my writing.
For example, he has an interesting take on writing blog posts. Use a blog post template, with the following elements: Lead paragraph, Relevant image, Personal experience, Main body, and end with a Discussion question in order to encourage responses.
He recommends making video interviews of other authors and post them to your blog. Send the interview ahead of time, and record the interview through Skype.
Post your own videos in which you speak about various aspects of writing or of your books.
Create a public speaking tab on your website:
- Have a “check my availability” button. This is less presumptuous than a “book me” button.
- Post a one-minute welcome video.
- Did you know that there is iPad teleprompter software? It is HDi Pro2.
- Include a photo of yourself speaking
Hyatt tells us to Kiss Marketing Goodbye. Marketing is dead. Tribe-building is the new marketing. It’s about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers and building relationships.
- Discover your passion.
- Volunteer to lead.
- Be generous. When you lead by serving and giving, people follow.
- Provide a way to communicate.
Write informative guest posts on other people’s blogs.
Offer to give away a free e-book in exchange for people signing your mailing list.
He emphasizes the importance of using Twitter to build your brand. Some useful tips are:
- Customize your Twitter page with your photo, info about you and a link to your blog or web page.
- Comment on and re-tweet other people’s posts.
- Keep your posts short enough to re-tweet.
- Post often, but don’t over-promote. Offer interesting content to your readers
Become an Amazon Associate and use an affiliate code in links to your own books. This generates extra income every time someone buys one of your books through your link.
Hyatt offered some ideas for novelists, such as:
- Post excerpts from your novels.
- Backstory your novel: why you wrote it, how did you settle on the story, did you do any research.
- Behind the scenes look at what the life of a novelist is like.
- Write “directors notes” for your book: why you chose to start with a particular scene, did you have to delete or add scenes to improve the story
- Interview your editor: Ask your editor what her day-to-day job is like, what’s it like to work with writers, get stories about best and worst experiences, what prompted her to get into the business
Hyatt has many more ideas and recommendations that are applicable to writers. This book is a great read for anyone interested in developing and building a platform, and I’d highly recommend it.
The mark of a good book to me is how much it sweeps me up into its world. Leslie Davis Guccione does this powerfully as she brings the people and settings of Lake Allamuchy to life and gives insight into human nature in the process. She brings back memories of the endless summers of youth spent on boats, at lakes, in little cottages. Perhaps she brings back memories we wish we had.
Long time friends, Lily and Johanna, who both find themselves at crossroads in their lives, spend a week at their Lake Allamuchy houses. Johanna’s is a huge house that has been in her family for generations, and Lily’s is a bungalow that she shares on alternate weekends with her ex-ex and his new trophy girlfriend. They both find refuge in each other’s friendship. When Johanna encounters an old summer fling, former lifeguard and “bad boy” Dean, she feels like a teenager again. Lily keeps her grounded throughout the whole experience. Johanna in turn helps her through her crisis with ex-ex. They rename Johanna’s grown son’s tree house “The Chick Palace,” which they use as their home base for camaraderie—morning coffee, evening dinner and margaritas, along with deep discussions.
Sensory details of the lake, the town and the houses are delightful. The writing is overall smooth and graceful, accented by subtle humor. Guccione has a special talent for effortless and natural dialogue.
Having never married or had children, I have little in common with these characters, yet I could relate because the author made them so human with depth of personality and intelligence. I could literally feel Johanna’s elation coupled with misgivings at being reunited with her former summer fling. All characters grow and change over the course of the story, and they have realistic flaws. Even Dean is well-drawn as a three-dimensional character. The two women finally realize how important solid, warm friendship is in getting through the rough spots in life. I think this is the main message of the book and one to which I can definitely relate.
The Chick Palace is a delightful read, and I’d highly recommend it.
Romance that weaves a spell and makes you think.
When Leigh Cameron goes back to her hometown of Watford Maine to attend her father’s funeral, she doesn’t expect to inherit his small-town newspaper. She also doesn’t expect to fall for her father’s protégé, the hot and handsome, David Stone. David resents her being there, and she really wants to sell the paper and go back to her Arts and Entertainment job at a big paper in New York. But as she gets more and more enmeshed in life in the small town, she begins to think she might want to stay.
I can’t say enough good about this book. Meline Nadeau weaves a spell around the reader that starts at page one and doesn’t quit until the end. It has everything a romance should have without the irritating things a lot of romances do have.
The characters are well-drawn and multi-dimensional to the point that we truly care about them. Leigh is a high-spirited, kick ass heroine who’s witty and can hold her own in any conversation. David is strong and determined with a sensitive side. His background as a poor, native American, son of a prisoner makes us admire and like him for of the rough beginnings he was able to overcome. Minor characters that could have easily become stereotyped, such as the mean stepmother and gay best friend, come to life as individuals.
Nadeau builds the tension between Leigh and David so masterfully that by the time the sex scenes happen we’re really ready for them. The romance and chemistry between the characters is tense and engaging, and their erotic encounters are that much hotter for the emotional relationship between them.
The plot is well-constructed and believable. Events that happen at the end were foreshadowed in the beginning, leading to a satisfying resolution. There was suspense, not only in the relationship between the characters, but in the interesting and tense sub-plot of the Native American uprising at the local prison.
In some romances, the devices that keep the male and female protagonists apart can seem silly and contrived, but in Stop the Presses, the reasons seem real and natural, not forced.
Meline Nadeau draws a locale so picturesque and warmhearted it makes me want to visit Watford, Maine. The descriptions of the settings are so vivid, the town becomes a character in the book.
Her style is easy and natural, her words rhythmic, her dialogue witty and smart. She’s able to evoke genuine emotion through her writing.
For a fun, feel-good read, there’s nothing better. I can’t wait to read more of her books.