davidseah-progress-trackerLawrence Kasdan said ‘being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.

For self publishers this even more true–not only are we constantly writing but we’re on Twitter or Facebook or Goodreads connecting with readers and promoting our books.

I’ve been doing a lot of productivity research lately, mostly listening to podcasts because I can do that while cleaning or folding laundry.  I’ve learned a lot, particularly that an author is only as good as her tools!

Using software like Scrivener or Hootsuite can really help with writing and managing social media but only if you use them! Unfortunately using them is the hard part. I’ve tried a lot of to-do list software while excellent and somewhat fun to use, they didn’t work for me.

‘Write Book’ was way too big of an item for me (even when broken down into word count goals) because it was mixed in with the laundry, dinner and helping my kids with their homework.

Enter the Progress Tracker

I found something that works better: The Task Progress Tracker.

This is basically a worksheet created by David Seah that breaks a big job down into small pieces and then lets you track your time spent on each project. When you’ve completed a project, you’ll also know how much time you spent on it which helps you plan better for the future–so double bonus there!

Here’s how I use it:

1. Print out a worksheet and staple it to a folder. I keep all associated materials to the project in the folder.

2. Then I take my book outline and transfer each chapter to a line. Alternatively, you could use this to track how much time you are spending on Social Media or book promotion. Showing up on Twitter and Facebook is half the battle!

3. Use Online Stopwatch to time 15 minute increments of work on a project. (You can do anything for 15 minutes!)

Not only does this make me a better planner, on days when my only option is to grab 15 minutes, I get the stuff that needs doing done.

Do you have any productivity tools that help you to focus?



How to Market Your Book on Twitter

How to Win with TwitterAre you tired of authors who tweet constant links to buy their book? Yeah, me too.

Some days, though, when your sales numbers on the KDP dashboard are stagnating, desperation kicks in and those buy my book posts look pretty full movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2017 onlineThe Fate of the Furious 2017 live streaming film onlineSleepless 2017 live streaming movie


There are other, much more effective ways to sell books and that’s what I’m going to cover in this post.

I’ll give you four easy to implement ways to get your books in front of your Twitter followers.  (If you need more followers, see Getting Twitter Followers.)

Write a Blog Post

If you need something to Tweet,  write up a quick post and then tweet it out a few times throughout the day. You can use HootSuite (free)  to schedule your tweets after you’ve written your post. Make sure you vary the text of your tweet, rather than sending out the same message over and over.

The benefit of this is that you are driving traffic to your website or blog where people can engage with your site. (Bonus points if you have a mailing list set up. If not, stayed tuned. I’m going to cover that in the not too distant future.) Make sure that you have your social media buttons set up so that they can follow you on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google +.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I know that writing a blog post takes time away from your regular writing schedule, but it’s worth it. Your post doesn’t have to be ultra deep and could be as simple as a photo you find inspirational. Take a moment to think about your books–what could you write about that relates to your book or your genre? Remember you are creating engaging content that helps people get comfortable with you and your writing. And when they like what they see, they’ll buy your book.

Writing blog posts also has the additional benefit of contributing to your site’s SEO. The more content you have on your site, the more Google love you Logan 2017

Create a Book Bubble

Bublish is a new service for authors that allows you to create an attractive book sample that you can share wit your Twitter followers. (See one of mine here.) You can send notifications to both Twitter and Facebook directly from Bublish. Bubbles are very quick and easy to create and the best part is that Bublish tweets your bubbles out to their followers as well. So it’s win/win.

You can also use your book bubbles to participate in #samplesunday on Twitter, so creating a couple of bubbles is a great investment of your time. (You’ll need an .epub version of your book. If you don’t have one, you can convert your file in Calibre, which is free.)Beautiful Accident streaming

Retweet Your Followers

This is a great way to create good will. Retweet or respond to some tweets in your Twitter stream. You know how happy you get when someone retweets you? Exactly. This only takes a few minutes to do, so go ahead and pay it forward. You’re bound to make someone’s day!

Create a Contest

Contests give you lots of chances to tweet as well as drive traffic to your blog and encourage retweets. You can use Rafflecopter (free)to set up your contests and manage the entries. I would advise that you do not give you book away. You want people to buy your book, so think up something else to give away. You could give out a few Amazon gift cards (which is a great way to get them to buy your book) or the chance to name a character in your next book. You could also do a ‘favorite things’ giveaway and list a few of your favorite things that you’ll send to the lucky winner.

Rafflecopter only takes minutes to set up and you can use it as an incentive to get Facebook likes or retweets from your Twitter followers.

See how easy that was?

How do you win with Twitter? Add your tips in the comments below!


Getting Twitter Followers

Get More Twitter FollowersAre you getting the most out of your Twitter experience?  Followers are key to getting the word out about you and your books. When I first started tweeting, I thought that the followers would come to me. I am sure you can guess how well that worked out! I was amazed to discover that finding followers was easy, once I went looking for streaming movie The Bye Bye Man 2017 online

Follow Readers

Twitter can be a valuable marketing tool–but only if you have people who are seeing what you have to offer. As I mentioned above, follow other people first, don’t wait for them to find you! You have to go out and find your audience and Twitter offers you a super easy way to do that. Do you write paranormal romance? Use the #paranormal hashtag to find Twitter users to follow. No matter what your genre, there are hashtags for it, so spend a few minutes  and find your audience. (Keep a list of those hashtags as well so you can use them in future tweets.) You can combine hashtags to narrow your search.

Make sure you seek out readers, not other authors. Following authors is great, but they aren’t your target audience. So focus on finding readers first, then once you’ve built up your follower base, work on connecting with other authors in your genre.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Fill Out Your Profile

A lot of authors waste the space in their Twitter profile, filling it out with information that is irrelevant to their books. Don’t make this mistake! When you follow someone (and they have notifications turned on), they get an email announcing the fact and Twitter includes your profile information. Make sure you’ve listed the books that you’ve written, their genre and where to find them. Include a link to your website as well so potential followers can check you out.

Make Following You Easy

Stay away from validation services like True Twit. True Twit claims to keep spammers from following you, but what they are really doing is keeping legitimate people from following you. Do you care if a spammer is following you? You don’t see their tweets and they can’t direct message you unless you follow them back. So don’t annoy your potential followers (and readers!) by making them fill out a CAPTCHA to follow you. Twitter makes communication fun and easy, so don’t complicate it unnecessarily.

Get HootSuite

I’ve said this many times before, mostly because I am so impressed with how easy HootSuite makes Twitter. You can use it for free, so there is no reason not to get an account.  HootSuite lets you see all of your Tweets, your Direct Messages, Mentions and any other searches you want to add. (Keep track of your genre hashtags and participate in Twitter chats.) You’ll spend less time managing your Twitter experience and more time writing, which is what this is all about! HootSuite will also manage your Facebook profile as well as any other social media sites you are on.

Twitter is all about connecting with people who have similar interests and sharing information. It’s not about direct sales, so don’t think that you can Tweet a constant stream of ‘buy my books’ to your new followers. Focus on sharing content and driving potential readers to your website to pique their interest further.

Do you have a tip for getting more followers? Add it to the comments and thanks for sharing!

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Twitter Made Easy

Twitter Made EasyYesterday there was a bit of discussion in the Writer’s Cafe (on KindleBoards) about using Twitter for KDP Select Promos, as well as its general use, so I thought I would write up a quick post on how to use Twitter effectively.

Get HootSuite

I’m not kidding, go download it right now. HootSuite will make sense of Twitter for you and it’s free so there is no reason not to use it.  After you have it all set up, take a minute to look around. In addition to your Home Feed, you’ll get columns for Mentions and Direct Messages which makes it super easy to respond to any one who has tweeted to you or about you. If you click Add Stream just above Home Feed, you can add searches. I like to keep an eye on my genre related hashtags, so I can see what people are talking about.

HootSuite allows you to import up to five Social Media account for free. It is so much easier to keep track of everything if it is all in once place. If you have more than five accounts (or want access to analytics and extra fuctions), you’ll need to upgrade to HootSuite Pro. (HootSuite will give you a 30 day free trial of the pro version.)

How to Tweet

At the very top left corner of your HootSuite Window, you’ll see a ‘Compose Message’ box. That’s where you type your tweet. Whenever you type another user’s handle before your tweet content, the tweet appears in that individual’s stream. For example, if you start your message with @d_dangerlove, your tweet will go directly to me, as well as anyone who follows both of us. If you do not mention anyone at the beginning of your tweet, it will go out to all of your followers. So if you are doing a KDP promotion, make sure to put the account you want to retweet you prior to your message about your book.

Once you’ve got your message, just select which account you want to tweet from (if you have more than one). You can also schedule your tweet to go out at a later time, which is a good idea. Instead of sending out ten tweets all at once because you are in front your computer, schedule them to go out through the day so that you reach a broader range of your followers. When I did my last KDP Promo, I spent 30 minutes setting up my tweets for 2 days, this made it a lot easier to concentrate on the rest of my promotion.

Tweeting ‘Buy My Book’ Over and Over Will Not Get You Anywhere but Unfollowed

Sending out the same ‘buy my book’ tweet over and over (even if you reword it) is not going to sell books. Mix it up–retweet your followers, tweet a note when you update your blog, host a contest (don’t give away your book–you want people to buy that), send out an update on your work-in-progress. If someone sends you a tweet saying they loved your book, retweet that with a link to buy your book.  Tweet when you get a great review or are about to break into the Top 100 on Amazon. If you don’t know what to tweet, scan some hashtags to find interesting links to retweet or go look around on Pinterest and find something related to your genre to share. Get creative, you are a writer!

There are a lot of authors on Twitter who tweet a constant stream of buy my book tweets. Personally, I don’t get that strategy because not only is it annoying, but seeing so many of the same tweets means that I don’t even bother to read them when I am skimming my Twitter stream.


Let me have them. And if you want more information on how to use Twitter effectively (including how to get a lot of followers painlessly), head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of The Self Publishing Toolkit.