Monday Musings: Enhancing Web Presence

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by Kathleen Valentine

We’ve all heard it before, you need a strong web presence in order to market anything. Especially books, it seems. Over the past two months I’ve been working to connect my social media accounts with my web site and blog, and am trying out a few ideas to get more readers. Here are a few with some links I hope will be helpful.

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Make sure your social media buttons are on your web site and blog. Right at the top where you can’t miss them. I always had the full roster of my buttons across the bottom of the page but recently I moved the most important ones to the top of the page, too. There are lots of places on the internet with instructions on how to add these buttons, Simple Share Buttons is one.

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Add your Twitter feed to your web site. Adding a Twitter feed is easy and it lets visitors to your web site see what is new with you. There are lots of ways to do this. Probably the easiest is Twitter’s own code How To Embed a Timeline. Not only can visitors see what you are Tweeting but they can Share and Follow.

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Add your Facebook page to your web site. Like adding Twitter, Facebook Plugins can let people see what you are posting on Facebook. They can Share and Like without leaving your web site. Facebook actually provides a lot of Social Plugins that are easy to install.

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Entice readers to join your email list by offering a free ebook. Recently I was part of an anthology of short stories by 9 women authors. We decided that we would give the books away through book retailers but also on our sites. I’m offering a free copy to anyone who joins my email list. I used the widget provided by my email service.

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Sponsor a giveaway. Because I am an avid knitter I always have lots of pretty “goodies” I can give away but you can give away books, swag, anything you like. I am running this giveaway on my blog by asking people to help promote one of my books. I created Tweets, Facebook Shares, Pinterest Pins, and Google+ Shares using a Share Link Generator and participants get a an entry for every time they share.

I’m not kidding–this all takes a lot of work but I have seen a jump in my traffic already so I’m going to keep trying. I hope this gives you some good ideas, too.

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Thursday Teaser: Insatiable

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By Emily Kimelman

InsatiableShadedSunshine on a sunny day

Carlos was the one who felt my phone vibrating; it was under one of the napkins we’d used for our picnic lunch. I found it, and glancing quickly at the “UNKNOWN” on the caller ID, picked it up. While used to calls from unknown places, I was not used to calls from this guy.

“Sydney, how are you?”

I didn’t actually recognize his voice right away. I rolled away from Carlos, sitting up. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know who this is.” It was when he laughed that I recognized him. “Bobby?”

He laughed again. “I’m glad you remember me. My heart would be broken if I could be so easily forgotten.”

I stood up, Carlos looked up at me, a question in his eyes. I shook my head and stepped away from our blanket. My dog, Blue, a huge wolf-like creature with one blue eye and one brown followed me, keeping at a heel. “Forget you, Bobby Maxim? In order to do that I’d need a lobotomy.”

“With your penchant for revenge, I half expect to see you bursting through my closet doors some day, guns blazing.”

I laughed. “Who says I’m not in there right now?”

“I know exactly where you are. I’ve been keeping very good track of you.”

I looked around the park. Gentle green hills spotted with couples and groups of friends lounging on blankets dominated the landscape. On a field below me a soccer match was beginning to form. A woman ran by in a skin-tight suit, nothing on her jiggled.

“Are you here now?”

“No, no. I’m calling to ask a favor.”

“That’s rich.”

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I spun around and stepped back. Blue let out a growl. Carlos stood behind me, his hands out, palms forward in a sign of peace. “I just wanted to let you know I’m going to join some mates for a game of football.”

“Sorry, that’s great. I’ll see you in a bit,” I said, covering the mouth piece. Carlos smiled and jogged off down the hill.

“Does he know about you?” Bobby asked. I didn’t answer as I watched Carlos join a group of other men on the field below. “Sydney, are you there?”

“I’m not doing you any favors. I don’t know if you’re totally clear on the fact that you took something from me.”

“Sydney, I don’t understand this animosity. I was just doing you a favor.”

“A favor!” I heard myself yelling. Looking around I saw that I’d attracted the attention of several of the groups of Londoners trying to enjoy their first day of sun. “You bastard,” I hissed quietly. “I hope you rot in hell.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner, darling.”

“Call me darling again and I will make it my life’s mission to take your ball sack. Are we clear?”

“Anything you’d do with my ball sack would be very welcome.”

“I forgot what a sick fuck you are.”

“A sick fuck who did you a favor and is now looking for one in return.”

“You’re insane!” I heard myself yelling again. I took a deep breath. In through my nose, out through my mouth. Blue tapped his muzzle against my hip to let me know he was still there.

“Sydney, I didn’t know what you two had planned. I would have killed Kurt long before you showed up. Remember, I’m not the one who left my fingerprints behind; whose blood was spilled all over the floor. You took yourself down, it had nothing to do with me.” He said it in an off-hand way. Like I was being petty and missing the big picture.

“You killed him,” I whispered, trying to control my anger, but I could feel myself shaking. “That was my right. Kurt Jessup murdered my brother and I should have been the one to end him.”

“At the time I had no idea about that. Mulberry didn’t tell me what you were planning, just that we had a problem. I had no intention of stifling your little revenge act. If anyone should be pissed it’s me. At least you got the treasure.”

I stood on the green feeling lightheaded. It was like Bobby Maxim was taking the world and flipping it upside down. “What are you talking about? Mulberry told you that?”

“Oh Cher, you didn’t know?” Maxim’s voice rose an octave, teasing and dripping with syrup. A cold knowledge traveled from my toes right up to my brain, my best friend betrayed me, our relationship was built on a lie. I walked toward the shade of a tree, reaching out to rest a hand against the rough trunk. “Mulberry called me, told me about Kurt. About him killing Tate and Joseph,” Bobby paused, “about how he killed your brother, James.” I picked at the tree in front of me, breaking off a piece of the bark. I looked at the white underneath, the exposed inner branch. “Now don’t get all upset and quiet on me, dear. He only did it to save you.”

“Save me?”

“From becoming a killer.”

“You think someone can be saved from that?” I heard sadness in my voice and hated myself for it.

“No, I don’t. I think you are what you are, Sydney. And I think it’s amazing. I want you on my team.” He sounded upbeat and excited about our future together.

I didn’t answer.

About Insatiable — Sydney Rye Mystery # 3

When a dangerous man from her past calls, Sydney Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.

About the author

Emily (author photo)Emily is the author of eight mysteries in her best selling Sydney Rye Series about a brave female protagonist and her giant dog, Blue. She also writes dystopian, paranormal romances under the name E.J. Kimelman.

A traveler, mother and all around badass chick, Emily is always happy to hear from readers. Connect with her on Twitter @ejkimelman, Facebook, and at her website www.emilykimelman.com. Visit Emily’s website and sign up for her Readers’ Group to receive four FREE ebooks including the first book in her Sydney Rye Series, Unleashed. You’ll also get special offers, new release announcements and more. 

Emily can be found:

Website   |   Facebook    |   Twitter

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Monday Musings: Some Thoughts On Anthologies

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by Kathleen Valentine Throughout my years as a writer I have been invited to participate in a number of anthologies and I try to take advantage whenever such an offer is made. In fact this week the latest anthology I participated in was released. … [Continue reading]

Thursday Teaser: Once Upon a [Stolen] Time

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By Samreen Ahsan She is standing in my courtyard. Everything in nature surrounds her—hugs her and is dazzled by her…including me. Beautiful flowers of every hue and aroma are grown in this majestic garden. My eyes are burning; I’m simultaneously … [Continue reading]

Monday Musings: To Thine Own self Be True

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by Kathleen Valentine In January 2012 I sold 10,000 ebooks. I was in the midst of an unimaginable sales run and between October 2011 and May 2012, I sold so many copies of one 99¢ (The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic) book that I was able to pay cash … [Continue reading]

Thursday teaser: Memory’s Edge

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This week, the Thursday teaser is a real teaser — a peek at a yet-to-be published book. DelSheree Gladden will release her new series in July. Followers of BestSelling Reads, you're among the first to see this! By DelSheree Gladden “How’s Coma … [Continue reading]

Monday Musings: Let Me Be Graphic

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by Kathleen Valentine As I continue to navigate the torturous path of using social media to improve my book marketing, I am finding that a lot of advice sites talk a lot about using graphics to capture attention. For me this is a good thing because … [Continue reading]

Monday Musings: From Walt Whitman on Memorial Day

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In the United States this is Memorial Day. So, in honor of the day, I thought I would post Walt Whitman's beautiful Dirge for Two Veterans. Dirge for Two Veterans Walt Whitman (1867) THE last sunbeam Lightly falls from the finish'd … [Continue reading]

Thursday Teaser: Under the Nazi Heel

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Read this sample to win a paperback copy of Book 2 of Scott Bury's Walking Out of War trilogy. Chapter 1: Back home Ternopyl, December 1941 A rooster crowed and Maurice bolted up in bed, wondering where he was. Where is the bugle? He looked … [Continue reading]

Monday Musings: A Gold Mine on My Hard Drive

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by Kathleen Valentine Over the last few weeks I've written about using social media to connect with potential readers and to promote our work. Believe me, this has been as challenging for me as it is for you. I am always astonished by the things I … [Continue reading]