Tuesday, March 28, 2017

If You Aren't Using These Two Social Sites for Promoting Your Book, You Are Doing It Wrong.

The two biggest social networking sites that you NEED to be active on to drive traffic for your website (and book sales) are Twitter and Pinterest.

By active I mean posting things every day, at least 10x a day. Sounds like a lot, but it really isn't.


It takes less than an hour to set up daily scheduled Tweets on Tweetdeck (which is free by the way). You can start by scheduling one to be sent out at every hour of the day. Or, if you're like me, you can do one on the hour, and on the half hour marks, like 2pm and 2:30pm.

I also mix in between those promo tweets links to my FaceBook pages, and links to posts I made on my blog here, and on my website www.bloodywhisper.com.

The difference appeared right away. Look at this huge spike in traffic. Over 1,000 more page views in a day!

Before I started actively using Twitter and Pinterest, I was lucky to get over 100 page views in a single day.

One of the main reasons why the traffic spiked so much, is well...it's a secret, but I'm going to tell you, because I can.

As your Twitter account popularity raises (i.e. how often you tweet, the amount of followers you have, and how often they like and retweet your tweets), your Google rank raises. Meaning your posts will appear in people's searches closer to the top of the front page.

Blogger is a Google site. Raise in Rank thanks to Twitter and Pinterest driving page hits, means that traffic will spike. It's as simple as that.

But how do I Write Tweets?

Tweets are super short and don't require a lot of text. Like 2 sentences tops. Super easy.

For instance, the scheduled Tweets I made for today can be seen in the pic below. See how short they are?

Here's an example:

WE ARE ALL MONSTERS ebook on sale now $1 #horror #iartg http://bit.ly/waam11

The smart thing to do, is make a whole bunch of Tweets ahead of time to promote your book. Do the atypical sales ones, such as the one above with the price in it. And then write twelve quotes or short summaries of what your book is about.

Since WE ARE ALL MONSTERS is a story collection, I made fast, one to three sentence descriptions of each story in the book.

This is the one I wrote for HER ROTTEN EMBRACE:

What the swamp takes, she also gives back. #horror #monsters #iartg #ebook #ghosts http://bit.ly/waam11 

Simple. Effective. Fast to write, fast to read, fast to catch your follower's attention. Slap a few hashtags on it, and you're good to go!

Check out Hastagify to research hashtags commonly used for topics related to your posts and book subjects. It's stupid fast to use, and simple enough for anyone to figure out during their first try at it. (Oh, and it's FREE!)

I highly recommend researching self published retweet groups for your genre, as they are super helpful for getting instant retweets and new daily followers.

Also, since you have limited space in the Tweet text box, use a URL shortener, such as bitly to save space. Sign up for a free account. Choose the name of the shortened URL wisely- something related to your book or site that will be easy to remember, and make your shortened link for Twitter!


Pins on Pinterest just require a click on a picture to add to your boards. Put a description and a link when you go to add the picture and voila- instant traffic boost. I kid you not, it's that easy. You can add the Pinterest Plug in to your web browser, and just click on the icon when you are on a page you want to share. It lets you pick the picture you want, and select the board you want to put it in.

Easy Peasy.

Under the picture on the left there's a text field. Just type in the name of the post and copy/paste the URL and then click on the board you want it to go on.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions on how to get started with Tweetdeck or Pinterest, please feel free to ask in the comments below!

Follow my boards on Pinterest here. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sensitivity Readers or Censorship Tools?

The other day I came across this complete and utter bullshit: 

"Publishers are hiring 'sensitivity readers' to flag potentially offensive content."


You can read the post here if you want, but I'll give you a quick rundown of the details. 

Essentially, Veronica Roth was called a racist when her book "Carve the Mark" came out- because reasons (the post really doesn't spell it out for the reader). Oh and people bitched her for her "incorrect" portrayal of someone living/suffering with chronic pain. (Which may or may not be true)

Add to this a bunch of writers that are so freaked out about bad press and not writing a character that is a minority or a special interest group correctly, and you get opportunistic vultures knocking on your digital door.

"Oh, hey there writer friend. It's OK. Don't be scared. I'm an EXPERT because I am (insert SJW LABEL HERE). Let me read your book and EDUCATE YOU on what you are DOING WRONG YOU MISOGYNISTIC RACIST HOMOPHOBE (etc etc etc). This will ensure more sales!"

(No. No it won't. Hint: Bad publicity will increase sales. People love to gossip about books, and word of them will spread like wildfire. Other people will buy the taboo book of the day, just to see what it is all about. Instant multiplication of revenue!)

Publishers and authors think that this is a great idea. It's all good because you can PAY  SENSITIVITY READERS RANSOMS (I mean, FEES) to ensure that your book doesn't OFFEND anyone. Plus you get to fork over $250+ per sensitivity reader!

Wow what a deal...I mean rip off.

*gasp* You mean people are out there trying to exploit writer's fears and get money for it?

You're darn skippy they are, and they want you to pay them to censor your own voice in the process.


This is CENSORSHIP.  And if I want to get hyperbolic- it is a form of  blackmail- write this the way we say you should write it or we'll trash you and end your career. (Oh and you have to pay us to make sure you do it right.)

Yeah. Fuck that shit.

All of the bullshit these writers are utterly terrified of doing wrong in their books can easily be avoided if they do this one simple thing.

It's crazy. You don't even have to pay anyone for it. You can do it yourself! Yes! You!

It's called:

There's forums, support groups, Wikipedia, expert columns, websites, other BOOKS, and so on that you can read. Places you can visit to contact people and make sure it's legit before you finish your manuscript. Even...the LIBRARY! Whaaaaaat?!

FFS, you guys. You can even put a request up on Craig's List asking for anonymous interviews with people that have experienced the subject you wish to write about.

It's not that hard. Come on now.

Do yourself a HUGE favor. Don't hire a sensitivity reader. They just want to take your money and run. 

Oh...and just to give you a visual on what the current culture and political climate is right now, and where the idea of the sensitivity reader comes from:

Yeahhhh... I hope that helps.

Don't let them silence you. Don't let them invalidate your worldview just because it doesn't fit into their little box of blind authoritarianism.

Need help protecting your freedom of speech? Have any thoughts on this subject? Please, feel free to comment below. 😉

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Dying Light: A Free Preview

Frank and I had shared spooky stories ever since our families when camping together when we were seven. It was our thing—each of us tried to tell a scarier story than the other guy.

The last one he told me kept me up for a week. I had to sleep with a flashlight. Neither of us would ever admit just how scared we got.

But that was part of the fun.

“A long time ago, when the Finnish and Welsh settlers first came here, there was this Ojibwe tribe that worked the original copper mines. One clever tribesman managed to win the deed from the owner in a poker game. They’d been trying to get the property rights to it for years, saying the mine was made by their ancestors and rightfully belonged to them. So it was a big deal for them to get it back.

“A whole group of tribesmen goes down in the mine to survey and map out the oldest, deepest parts of the mine. Things seemed to be going fine, but none of them came back up at the end of the shift. They sent down a search party to see what happened, and there was blood and body parts everywhere. Like, people were just torn apart by something stupid strong.

“The day after, the tribe just up and left; they practically handed the mine deed back over to the settlers. The last Indian to leave told them not to go down too deep, as certain parts of the ancient mine was guarded by an evil great spirit called Gaaway Manidoo. He said that the miners accidentally found a sacred cave, and paid for it with their lives.

“Seeing how dead serious the Ojibwe were, they boarded off the area that lead down to the section where the murders happened.”

“What? That’s it? That’s your story?”

“No. Shut up, I’m not done yet.”

I laughed and he sucker punched my shoulder.

“You wanna hear the rest or no?”

“OK, OK keep going. Sheesh.”

“Anyways, years later this miner, a young Finnish immigrant, comes across an old section of tunnels and decides to go in them. Then one day he comes up all excited ‘cause he found something.”

“What’d he find?”

“I’m getting to that part. Just wait for it. So the Finn, he gets some guy from the mine museum over in Marquette to come over with a newspaper reporter and they take all kinds of pictures. Turns out the Indians used that section of the mine for human sacrifices. It was a big controversy. My dad says he remembers it happening when he was a kid.”

“No way.”

“Ya way. They took lots of artifacts out of the mine for display; bones of the victims, sacrificial flint-stone daggers with beaded handles, the works. The miner sees that these things have value, so he decides he’s going to find something for himself. You know, like a souvenir or something that he could sell for a lot of money.

“He explores the whole mine system for months, searching for the perfect treasure.

“One day he comes up all pale and scared out of his mind. He’s got this clay pot in his hands, it’s an old oil lamp made by the Indians. His hands are gripped on it, like white-knuckled. He won’t let anyone touch it. He keeps it with him all the time, and starts getting really weird and jumpy. He stops working, he can’t handle being in the mines anymore. It made him a nervous wreck to be down there.

“That winter, he heads out to his cabin in the woods to go hunting. Just so happens that his cabin was over by the mines where he found the lamp.

“A bad storm hit. Like, total white-out blizzard. Howling winds, the works. The roads were closed for the season and the guy gets cabin fever real bad. His neighbor goes and visits him, because he was worried, seeing as how he was living there by himself and all, and he finds that the guy had boarded himself inside the cabin. Took him a while to open the door, and once he let him in, he kept going on an on about lamp oil, ‘cause he was running out.

“A few days later, the miner guy goes from one end of the town to the other, pounding on doors, screaming and carrying on about needing lamp oil and something hunting him from the shadows in the woods. People wanted to help, but no one had any lamp oil. By then most people had switched over to kerosene. So he was shit out of luck.

“His neighbor invited him to come stay at his house a few days, seeing as how he was all alone and it was a real bad snowstorm. He didn’t want the guy to freeze to death or anything, you know? But the dude refused. Even though it would have been in his best interest to spend a few days with people just so he shook off the cabin fever. But…he didn’t. He went home, dejected, scared out of his mind. Boarded up everything. Didn’t light a fire in the fireplace or anything, like he was trying to hide that he was there.

“That night, the locals heard something heavy running across their rooftops. My dad says that his uncle swears that he heard them himself. After the thumping on the roof, a man screamed, and over the wailing winds of the blizzard, they heard several gun shots. His neighbor’s wife rounded up her boys and they went over to the guy’s cabin. They find the boarded-over door on the ground, ripped off its hinges. Snow had drifted inside. The guy was nowhere to be found. All they saw was two deep bloody hoof prints in the snow, the other footprints around the cabin had filled in already by the snow drifts. The guy was never heard from again.”

“Shut up.”

“It’s true. I asked my dad. His cousin has a cabin over there. It happened.”

“Sure. Try another one.”

“OK. You hear the one about the snipe hunter?”

I hit him hard. “Shut up. Snipes aren’t real.”

“You know, Brad, I know where the cabin is. We should go up there.”

“Sure. Why not?”

You can get The Dying Light at all major online eBook retailers!