Tools (Mad Monday)

You know why I’m mad on this lovely Monday night?

Tools!

I’m not actually mad at tools (and I’m not talking about arse holes) — I am annoyed at myself.  

Me, the one who preaches to work smarter, not harder and to use the tools available and– guess what?

I completely forgot I had a tiny little story enrolled in KDP select at Amazon.

What’s the big deal?  Well [as writers will know] part of the allure and benefit of KDP select is the benefit of promoting —  it is a valuable tool.

 

So, Sam & Sally Scarecrow have sat on the digital shelf (for nearly a year) gathering dust because I forgot they were there and I failed to use my tools. What a waste!

The moral of this madness is, “use your tools but don’t be a tool.”

Oh, and Amazon patrons can get a free copy of Sam & Sally Scarecrow on Friday, every Friday in October.

This indie stuff is hard. 😉

Let’s play a game… #GameOn #WinMoney #PlayFree #VideoStar

Let’s play a game.
This #justforfun video on FaceBook sparked some debate over The Real Janna Hill. Some say I am an imposter. Maybe I am 😉
Post a video clip IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENTS SECTION below my hot mess crazy recording declaring YOU are The Real Janna and amuse me. e.g .  “I am the real Janna Hill….”
If you have trouble posting on the Facebook page  get a friend to help or send me your video direct and I will see that it gets posted .
I believe in #GenderEquality so men — feel free to have a go at it.

There is no limit on entries.

Have fun. 😀
Oh and [drum roll] The video with the most likes/reactions wins a $50 gift card of your choice.  Encourage your friends to like your video. Game ends May 31st 2018

P.S. Use #TheRealJannaHill for easy tracking.

#GameOn #WinMoney #PlayFree #VideoStar

Is it Enough to Just Show Up?

Is it Enough to Just Show Up?

We all need to do a little soul searching from time to time but you should do a little self-searching too.
Don’t just google yourself.

Sure Google is probably the most widely used search engine in the USA but it is not the only one.

Take a swing at Bing and Ask yourself; Yahoo you and waddle over to DuckDuckGo.
Hopefully you are showing up somewhere on the first page of each search provider.

I have to admit I was quite happy to see that Janna Hill (that’s me) was easily discoverable and was going to talk more about discoverability until the husband’s grumbling caught my attention. You see, he was helping by browsing “images”.
So the focus veered off track.

train-wreck
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Hmm.” He said as he shook his head, “Um-um-um. This is not good.”
I spun around and nearly broke my neck, tripped over a chair getting up and I’m sure I had an arrhythmia too.

“You took those ridiculous pictures!” I griped as I hobbled closer. “And now you’ve made me break my foot!”

Sometimes I think the husband is trying to rain on my parade and wreck my crazy train.
“Oh, it’ll be okay.” He grinned at the feet he has no sympathy for before he assumed a more serious tone, “Have you ever heard of Dogpile?”

“Nope — never heard of`em.” I truly wanted to reply with a festering, “Yes. I stepped in something like that when I married you” but I didn’t because: A. that is not true, and B. I noticed some of the images were… well they weren’t bad but…
Example: this post from 2015, Winter Makes Me CRaZy also makes me look crazy. It (and a few other things we found in searching Janna Hill) left me pondering…

I had to ask myself, “Self, is it enough to just show up on the first page of these search engines? Should you reconsider the books/material you have published as well as the images that pop up on page 1? Maybe clean up your act?”
And then I answered myself as honestly as I could, “Self – suck it up. Heck yeah it’s enough! It’s not an arrest record or nude photos so go with it.”

Whoo-whoo all aboard! Even the husband concurred.

Crazy Train
After all, I am just living out loud and flinging cake against the wall.

  • This should not be construed as advice to be reckless with your career or your future but to hopefully find you are present in your career and future.
  • Photos compliments of Pixabay.com

Cyber Monday Starts NOW!

Clan Destiny Series BIG savings at Amazon
Amazon Clan Destiny
Clan Destiny Series- take a bite out of the big Apple
Apple

Keep a cyber eye out at Barnes & Noble

B&N

ALL books! Google [don’t] Play 25¢, 33¢, 54¢ and 99¢

google screenshot1

Hoping you all had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

We will get back writing about writing later this week but for now The Real Janna Hill has got to pay the [real] bills.

Write on!!

How’d You Do That?

I posted a kindle preview test Friday night when I was blitzed and blogging (that’s like drunk and dialing) but I neglected to link to the fellow blogger who shared that helpful info. Sorry Harmony and all of you good people at Story Empire. My bad. I’m sober now.

Click this link and let Harmony explain the steps of embedding a kindle preview while I practice with Clan Destiny II, the book we’re offering free today (Sunday April 23rd). Fascinating. Uh-oh. I think Amazon has a glitch. Maybe I’ll have a drink and dial them up.

The First Year as an Indie (Lessons Learned)

Part I

Can you believe I have a solid year behind me in this adventure as an independent author/publisher? My how time flies when you’re having fun.

So what have I learned other than how to type while holding fried chicken in one hand and a biscuit in the other? A lot!

Do I have any advice for beginners? Oh yes indeed I do and my first pearl of wisdom is this: cut the biscuit in half, strip the chicken and make a sandwich. It will be much easier to handle. I would also suggest turning the keyboard over and gently shaking the crumbs loose verses picking between the keys. That tip will save you time and keep your proofreader from returning your manuscript un-proofed with a note that says Get back to me when you’re sober!

I don’t have any real pearls but if you’re interested I’ll be happy to share a handful of pebbles and opinions.

#1 Support: Get some! No man is an island. Editing, proofreading and polishing don’t necessarily mean stripping away your authenticity. Surround yourself with people you can trust, people who are willing to encourage you, offer constructive criticism and be brutally honest when necessary. If your book is your baby prepare it to face the world and get that baby some child support. Lesson: Keep it real even in fiction. Find people you can trust (paid or voluntary) and listen to them.

#2 Reviews: Good reviews are fabulous but they don’t guarantee massive sales. On the other hand bad reviews definitely hurt sales. Responding to bad reviews and personal insults is a no-no. Lighten up, insults can be funny. Learn from the constructive ones and laugh at the assholish ones. Yes, I just made assholish a real word. Not everyone likes spaghetti so what makes you think everyone will like what you dish out? Lesson: There will be haters. Get used to it.

#3 Social Media: I firmly believe in building an online presence and interacting. I said in- ter-act-ing. That means relating to people,not only networking and connecting but talking and occasionally having a conversation. I tend to avoid a couple of the most popular media sites for that very reason. How do you respond to “Buy my book! My book’s on sale!” You say something like “I see you’re from Manhattan. How is the weather there?” And they respond with “Here’s a link to Amazon. Be sure to leave a review.” Lesson: In-ter-act.

I like blogging. I’m not sure how many book sales it has garnered (if any) but I enjoy it. It’s like bloggers are… wow, I don’t know… like they are real human beings or something. Lesson: Blog away. Blogging has zero calories and you meet great people from all over the world. It’s an inexpensive means of travel and sometimes you find the inspiration needed for your next story.

While we are on the topic of blogging allow me to weave in an experience related to marketing. I recently consulted with a couple of PR firms who shall remain nameless. One suggested I buy their book (argh). Um, no. I am looking for someone to create “the buzz” for me — just do it okay?! The only buzz I am motivated to create comes in the aftermath of consuming liquor.

The second person (much more helpful) looked at my social media sites and informed me I was not promoting myself enough. The conversation went like this:

“You’re just there” she explained while politely pointing out I was not utilizing said media properly.

“I’m sorry but one more ‘buy my book-my book’s on sale’ and I may rip the arm off of this chair. I can’t do it that’s why I contacted you special magic guru lady.”

“It’s not that easy anymore. What about your blogger account?” She was scanning search results as we spoke, “Do you have one?”

“Well sure. I posted something about 2013 releases but I’m more comfortable at WordPress.”

“Let me see what you are doing on WordPress…  It seems your focus is on photography and just hanging out?”

“Yeah, it’s like a bar/library/art gallery, cool huh? Except they don’t serve drinks. It’s  BYOB.”

“That’s fine but you need to squeeze in a pitch directing readers to buy your books.”

“I have a website listing most published works. Just google Janna Hill and you’ll find me.”

“That’s not enough. You’re going to have to get more involved in promoting yourself. You have to get out of your comfort zone.”

“Oops my macaroni is burning. I’ll have to get back to you.”

Lesson: Even for a fee no one will do it all for you. I need to “get out of my comfort zone.”  Hell no Maybe I will but if I ever respond to a greeting with “Buy my book. Leave me a review” somebody shoot me please.

*BYOB: bring your own bottle could now mean bring your own book.