Follow up Friday

Here’s how I got on with my targets this week – how has everyone else done?

Vanessa:

Finish my edits! I’ve set myself a target of sending the revised ms to my lovely agent by half term, which is w/c 15th Feb, so I’m hoping to finish the edits this week so I have a couple of weeks to polish it and make it all nice and shiny!

I’ve finished!!!!!! I got to the end mid-week so I’m still on target for sending to my agent on the 12th February – I’m just hoping I’m still happy with it as I read through over the next couple of weeks!

Polish first 3000 words of ms for a novel competition

I’ve put this back a bit – now the edit is done, I’ll be polishing soon anyway!

Finish a short story for a mid-Feb deadline

Didn’t manage this one – but I do have some scribbled ideas.

Non-writing related: make birthday cake for father-in-law’s birthday, calm nine year old’s nerves before her first youth theatre panto appearance next weekend!

The cake is baked and the 9yo is VERY excited about Saturday’s premiere!

Vanessa x

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Life Cycle Of A Writer – Face Palms, Facebook Adverts and PowerPoint Presentations

Keyboard

It’s been a challenging few weeks in the James household, with the male of the species succumbing to the awful flu virus, and the females under pressure to learn and relearn skills, be it for forthcoming exams in my daughter’s case, or me putting together a slide show for a talk.

I also had to contend with my PC being absent from my desk while Gajitman upgraded it, and my laptop throwing a hissy fit, presumably because it was brought out of hibernation. At one point, I wrote a blog post from my phone. Thank goodness for apps.  And thank goodness for a teen and an IT engineer husband who made everything all right.

Upon the return of my PC, I had to get to grips with Windows 10. For the first two days, my grasp was weak, but I’m pleased to report, it is acquiring strength. It is a matter of time, as one of my friends told me. I will get used to Windows 10 and everything being in a completely different place …

In the meantime, my second Choc Lit novel, Follow Me Follow You was, and still is (until 31st January), on promotion, so I thought I’d try my hand at creating a sponsored advert for Facebook.

Here’s what I learnt:

The advert cannot possess more than 20% text.

FOLLOW ME_front highresThis became a problem when primarily I wanted to promote my book by showing its cover. A cover which consists of my name, title, and the publishers name and logo. Needless to say, on my first few attempts, I fell foul of the 20% text limit imposed by the Facebook rules and received emails inviting me to examine why I’d failed.

I even failed that task.

Face palm.

So I asked Google.

Phrasing the question took several attempts, but eventually I put all the right words in the correct order and was led to this very informative blog: http://bit.ly/1pukRrO from Jon Loomer, where I learned it’s all about where the text is placed. I tried using the FB grid, as suggested in Mr Loomer’s post, but as I IMG_2308mentioned earlier, I was having all sorts of technical difficulties and the grid would not load, so I drew my own grid to fit my laptop screen, and later, another to fit my PC monitor.

IMG_2314Using Canva, and it’s template ‘Facebook Post 940px x 788px’, I created my adverts, ensuring text did not take up more than five boxes. I had to move the image and the text around until I’d got it right, but the advert was approved and accepted by Facebook.

The trick with the text/sales pitch is to write it in the status box, including the links to the product, leaving the space for your advert free for a clean, clear image.

My ad read:

SALE. Digital download 99p.
http://bit.ly/1OsLFCT
‘Follow Me Follow You’, the second novel in the Chesil Beach series is on sale at 99p.
‘Original, uplifting, poignant, it’s a must read.’

With the risk of them breaking, will Victoria Noble and Chris Frampton follow their hearts?

If you like your romantic reads darker and set firmly in reality, the Chesil Beach books are for you.
Second in the series, ‘Follow Me Follow You’, can be read as a standalone.
A 2014 lovereading.co.uk Editorial Selection.

99p (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was my first advert success! Whether or not it made an impact on sales remains to be seen.

My next challenge was to produce a PowerPoint Presentation for a talk a writer friend and I were to give at the Weymouth Civic Society. Our title was ‘Inspired by the Jurassic Coast’, and photographs were required to enhance our talk.

It had been some years since I last played with PowerPoint, but I volunteered my services to create a slide show.

Actually, truth be known, I volunteered my daughter’s services, as she’s far more knowledgeable than I about techy stuff. Thankfully she didn’t mind and came to the rescue, giving me a crash course on how to create slide shows. Between my daughter, with her patient teaching methods, and Gajitman showing me how to connect the laptop to the projector, slide show presentations are GO!

I’m available for gigs …

Laura.

 

 

Motivation Monday

Is it Monday again already?! It’s a new week and a new list of targets for some of us…

Vanessa:

  1. Finish my edits! I’ve set myself a target of sending the revised ms to my lovely agent by half term, which is w/c 15th Feb, so I’m hoping to finish the edits this week so I have a couple of weeks to polish it and make it all nice and shiny!
  2. Polish first 3000 words of ms for a novel competition
  3. Finish a short story for a mid-Feb deadline
  4. Non-writing related: make birthday cake for father-in-law’s birthday, calm nine year old’s nerves before her first youth theatre panto appearance next weekend!

What are everyone else’s plans for the week? I’ll let you know how I got on on Friday!

Vanessa x

Lucie: Wow, it’s Monday again – where did that weekend go?  I had better set my weekly targets then…

  1. Carrying over from last week, write up a plan for my contemporary series.
  2. Complete more of my Autism training.
  3. Write the blog posts that I need to do.
  4. Get some editing done!

Hopefully I’ll have a more successful week, writing wise, than last week. Good luck everyone! X

Follow-Up Friday

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How did your week go? Did the freezing temperatures spur you on or keep you tucked up in bed?

Here’s how the Romaniacs got on.

Laura:

1 – Attend my writing group on a more regular basis.

2 – Give a great talk at the Weymouth Civic Society, and sell some books.

3 – Write or type up 5000 words of the wip by the end of the weekend.

4 – Help my daughter with her photography studies.

5 – Restore my family’s health with good, wholesome food.

6 – Celebrate with Catherine Miller.

I’m still working on attending my writing group on a more regular basis, but the talk at the Weymouth Civic Society went well. It was a great evening, with the Power Point presentation well received, and I did sell some books.

I read through the wip from the beginning, and it was a wonderful feeling getting to know my characters again. As long as my current headache and dizziness remains at a low level, I should be able to type up my hand-written pages this morning, but I won’t hit 5000 new words. It’s a start.

DD and I discussed her ideas for her photography studies, and I did my best with the wholesome food, but cooking isn’t a natural talent of mine. DS is feeling better, but Gajitman is still poorly.

Boy, the celebrations with Catherine were great 😀 – see below.

 

Catherine:

1 – Have a fab day celebrating Don’t Wait for… Waiting for You promo day

2- Collapse in a heap and wonder why I didn’t wait until the twins were at least in school full time

3- Get a couple more quotes for having a new heating system put in

4 – Get back to the WIP after Monday’s excitement

Catherine's WFY Cover Pic

After a successful promo day, Catherine is now hibernating.Catherine's WFY Promo Day Chart

 

 

 

Lucie:

1/ Complete the writing related tasks that I am doing for other authors and send back the work required.

2/ Write up a first draft blurb for the two new ideas that I have had for my adult and children’s series.

3/ Clear my ironing pile (I don’t like this one AT ALL, but it has to be done :-()

4/ Consolidate the plan for my book series ideas and have a clear focus of where I am going with them.

5/ Speak to my agent with an update.

6/ Continue work on my Autism course.( I’d really like to complete this before I return to Uni next month)

7/ Sleep…at some point.

Well, lets see how I got on this week. I did lose a day from being ill with a migraine which wasn’t in the least bit helpful, but hey ho!

1/ I completed the tasks I needed to and sent back my feedback – before my deadline! Get me!

Don’t get too excited, this is about the extent of my achieving…

I have written up VERY simple blurbs for the two new ideas but not in enough detail for me to even call them first drafts. I am hoping to complete these over the coming weekend. Number 4 just did not happen AT ALL! I spoke with my agent and am hopefully meeting up with her soon, so that’s good and I did get some sleep – always good. I didn’t do any work on my Autism course (not good) and nor did my ironing pile get done (you didn’t actually expect me to have done it, did you?) So on the whole, I achieved some things… and some just roll over on to next week. Here’s hoping I have a productive weekend!

All round, not a bad week, and certainly worth celebrating with a bun or two.

We’d love to hear about your weekly celebrations – every one counts.

xx

Open Season!

Open Season!

This February, we Romaniacs will be celebrating our 4th birthday, and we’d love for you to join in with the fun.

Here’s what we’d like you to do …

Ways to contact us:

email: romaniacgroup@yahoo.co.uk with your videos and/or questions

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

or by leaving a comment below on this page.

Remember, the 1st of February is the deadline, and we know how much you all love a deadline 😀

We look forward to answering your questions …

The Romaniacs

Don’t Wait For… The Paperback (A guide to turning your phone into a kindle)

My publisher Carina UK is a digital imprint and as one of it’s digital first authors I need you to not wait for the paperback. Partly because if you wait for that, there is a chance you’ll be waiting a lifetime, but mostly because the only way I get any future books in a paper form is if this book (and the next and the next) prove popular enough to warrant it.

I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they’d love to read Waiting for You, but they don’t have a kindle. So unless you were lucky enough to get one for Christmas it’s impossible to get hold of, right?

Well, fortunately for anyone with a smart phone or tablet, the Kindle app makes it easy. I’ve done a very quick demo to show you how easy it is to discover a whole host of authors who currently are only available as a digital read.

 

I’m not an especially tech savvy person so if I can manage it, hopefully for anyone without a kindle, this is a way of getting hold of Waiting for You (other excellent books are available, but go on, you know you want to!)

If you haven’t joined already, today I’m hosting a special Don’t Wait For… Waiting for You day over on Facebook. Please click on the link and join in the fun…

Catherine x

Motivation Monday

It’s the beginning of a whole new week. A new chapter? Certainly a fresh page.

Here’s what a few of we Romaniacs wish to achieve in the next five days.

Laura: Last week was a little disjointed for me, with a poorly lad at home and a sick husband to boot – not literally – I didn’t kick the man when he was down. Writing took a back seat, but I put together a slide show for this week’s talk, and I managed some promo. This week, all things being equal and all family members being well and going about their business, I intend to get back to work.

IMG_9374

Here’s the plan:

1 – Attend my writing group on a more regular basis.

2 – Give a great talk at the Weymouth Civic Society, and sell some books.

3 – Write or type up 5000 words of the wip by the end of the weekend.

4 – Help my daughter with her photography studies.

5 – Restore my family’s health with good, wholesome food.

6 – Celebrate with Catherine Miller.

 

Catherine: Yay to Laura’s last goal for the week! Mine are:

1 – Have a fab day celebrating Don’t Wait for… Waiting for You promo day

2- Collapse in a heap and wonder why I didn’t wait until the twins were at least in school full time

3- Get a couple more quotes for having a new heating system put in

4 – Get back to the WIP after Monday’s excitement

Lucie: Well, what a start to 2016 I have had. I started the New Year vowing to focus down on my writing and start moving forward. A week into 2016 and my mum was rushed into hospital and I have spent the last 14 days rushing back and forth to the hospital (3 hour round trip) whilst trying to fit in the day job, household duties, parenting duties, pet owner duties (3 dogs – brave or mad?) as well as trying to get my writing back on track. So to say things have been a bit hectic would be an understatement – thank goodness I am currently on a 4 week break from University, Imagine that!

So with the good news that Mum is improving, I can try to get back to my original goal of moving my writing onto the next level. So with this in mind, along with some general life goals, here are my goals for this week:

1/ Complete the writing related tasks that I am doing for other authors and send back the work required.

2/ Write up a first draft blurb for the two new ideas that I have had for my adult and children’s series.

3/ Clear my ironing pile (I don’t like this one AT ALL, but it has to be done :-()

4/ Consolidate the plan for my book series ideas and have a clear focus of where I am going with them.

5/ Speak to my agent with an update.

6/ Continue work on my Autism course.( I’d really like to complete this before I return to Uni next month)

7/ Sleep…at some point.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing where I am at with it all on Friday. Wish me luck!

 

How is your week looking? What are your goals? We’d love for you to comment below and come back on Friday for our Follow-Up post and let us know how you got on.

We celebrate every success, small or huge 😀