Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IWSG, Writerly Wednesday, Reviews, and Giveaways

Happy IWSG day! I'm excited for our first meeting of 2014. As always, the group is hosted by the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month's co-hosts are Bob Milne, River Fairchild, Julie Dao, and Sarah Foster.

This month I'm insecure about something I seem to always be insecure about - social media. I've mentioned before that I really want to work on expanding my social media presence, but mentioning it seems to be about as far as I ever go. The truth is that blogging is the only type of social media that I genuinely enjoy and feel comfortable doing. 

I have several friends who have worked hard to build a great following on Twitter and really love that medium, and that is the one I would most like to master. But every time I swear I am going to dive in and work on it, I end up right back in the same spot. A writing friend mentioned to me last month that she always feels awkward when she tweets about her book and I agreed 100%. I enjoy lurking and reading what others are up to but I really feel awkward trying to tweet myself.

But I know how important social media is to marketing so I am going to give it another go and once again set a goal for myself to get more active on Twitter and other sites. Maybe this time I will actually stick to my plan. 

I'm super excited to extend my blog tour for The Ghosts of Aquinnah just a bit today with a visit to the amazing Crystal Collier. Crystal is featuring me on her Writerly Wednesday series, so please come over and visit with Crystal and me! Odds are good there will be cheese there. :D 

Also, I had some unexpected stress this past week and I can't say I'm a fan of 2014 so far, but my spirits got a huge boost from two wonderful ladies who reviewed my book on their blogs. T.B. Markinson and Susan Oloier shared their reviews of The Ghosts of Aquinnah this week and of course I'm beyond thrilled that they both enjoyed the book. Thanks, Susan and TB!

T.B. is hosting a giveaway as part of her post and I will be giving away two ebook copies of the book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here.  

And speaking of giveaways, I'm holding one at Goodreads as well. Two paperback copies of the book are up for grabs and the giveaway runs until January 21. Click below to enter!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ghosts of Aquinnah by Julie Flanders

The Ghosts of Aquinnah

by Julie Flanders

Giveaway ends January 21, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


  1. My blog and Facebook are where I feel most comfortable - I do tweet, but sporadically, and I find it hard to make the same level of connections that I've made on Facebook. I find retweeting other people, sharing newspaper articles etc is an easy way to get started on Twitter. Good luck!

  2. I keep saying I'm going to join Twitter, and I end up never doing it. I really enjoy blogging, though, so that's where I put my energy. I'm not sure it's the best plan in terms of marketing etc but it's what I'm sticking with for now. Unless, you know, I actually, finally, get on Twitter…. :)

    Sorry to hear about your stressful start to the New Year. Hang in there!

  3. Blogging is where I feel most comfortable. I do use Twitter, but I know I'm not using it to its full potential. Moving beyond those comfort zones is difficult.

  4. Hi, Julie. Sir Poops and Hair Ball will do something for you. They're still thinking. They want to do something with Clancy. It's been crazy at our house since Thanksgiving.

  5. Wait, you have writer friends who aren't insecure about social media? Who are they and how do they do it???

    Seriously, I really hear you. It's hard to figure all of these platforms out, AND to make sure they don't take up too much time! As far as I can tell, you're doing great. And I entered the contest! Woo-hoo!

  6. I've pulled back a bit on social presence. I like blogging and FB but's not as well developed as it should be. It's coming up with a sound byte plan and that's not always easy for me. I know HOW to do it just haven't had the gumption to do it. I do have a few people I keep track of and comment. I really need to bring my focus on social media back up.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  7. @Annalisa, I agree, I try to retweet, etc, on Twitter. But then I worry that gets boring LOL. I just can't get comfortable with it at all but will keep trying.

    @Madeline, yeah, I still want to focus on blogging because I really do enjoy it. If you join Twitter let me know! Thanks too about the new year, I'm definitely thinking 2014 is not my friend so far.

    @Alex, agreed, I am not good at it, that's for sure.

    @Shelly, oh, thanks! Clancy will be excited to hear that. I know what you mean, it's been crazy here too.

    @Liz, LOL, yeah, I do know a few people who really enjoy Twitter and do great with it. I admire them! Thanks for entering my giveaway. :)

    @Sia, I'm with you, that's what I'm hoping to do but so far I haven't gone any farther than that. I haven't had the gumption either!

  8. I struggle with social media too. I make an effort but it can be overwhelming. I tend to lurk on Facebook and Twitter because I feel I don't have much to say.

  9. Ugh, I too have an awkward relationship with social media. It either sucks way too much of my time and attention, or I'm neglecting it. Finding the balance is so important. I think it's a good thing, a tool, but not the end all. Happy New Year to you!

  10. Marketing doesn't go with the solitude of a writer's life it seems to me. I would love the writing part, but the rest seems way too hard. Good luck with Twitter, I understand it is a necessary tool to use when marketing books these days.

  11. In my opinion, twitter is all about personal connections, conversing with people, and then following things you want to keep up on. It fails as a marketing platform.

  12. Social Media can be daunting and so time consuming that it's easy to say, "Enough!" Here's to success in whatever media you do tackle. Congrats on your book again. I'm sure it is being well received.

  13. @Elizabeth, that's exactly how I am.

    @Julie, thanks and Happy New Year to you as well. :)

    @Inger, that's what people seem to say and it does seem like lots of people have success with it. But I agree with you and think it's too hard LOL.

    @Michael, maybe you're right. That is what I like about blogging though, I feel like it is about personal connection which I enjoy. I can't seem to figure out how to get that on Twitter.

    @Lee, so far people like it, thanks so much. :)

  14. Like you, I feel most comfortable on my blog. I feel comfortable liking/commenting on Facebook, but I don't post there much. And on Twitter, I mainly post other people's stuff and rarely anything of my own. I have nothing interesting going on in my life beyond what goes on in my characters' lives, so I'm often stuck on what to post about. Good luck, Julie!

  15. I know how you feel, I'm dreading the marketing side of writing. It's hard to put yourself out there like that, but I guess it has to be done. Good luck!

  16. Good one. Yes, there are road blocks, but we need to keep going...

  17. Blogging is also the most comfortable platform for me!
    I think there's a specific way in which to get maximum usage out of Twitter, via Hootsuite (whatever that is...?) Don't know too much about it, but I've heard that it's a great marketing tool?
    I think you have to spend lots of time on Facebook and Twitter, to see results.

  18. Social Media is such a time consuming thing. I think of its as a necessary evil. I take my time with Twitter and blogging while being more comfortable on FB. For now at least, I think my social media brain changes favorites every month or so. Best of luck!

  19. Julie, you write and comment so beautifully, I would never think you had a problem with social media. I started reading Ghosts last night and couldn't put it down. So Good.

  20. Social media is tricky. I don't use Twitter, but I do use Facebook and every time I post something I think long and hard about it before I do. And even though it's important to promote our books on social media, I do find it awkward. I often worry that people who follow me may not like to be reminded of my book all the time, so I try to keep it at a minimum.

    Good luck with Twitter! And with The Ghosts of Aquinnah!

  21. @Cherie, yeah, I am fine with commenting on FB but just don't do well with posting my own stuff. Same thing with Twitter. I also don't feel like I have anything interesting going on to post about LOL.

    @Laura, thanks! I definitely need it LOL.

    @Weekend, we do, no question. Thanks!

    @Michelle, yeah, I know lots of people use Hootsuite or whatever but every time I think about using one of those things I feel overwhelmed at trying yet another thing LOL. I need to get over that though.

    @SK, yeah, necessary evil is a good way to look at it. I know I have to keep trying with it. Thanks!

    @Cathy, oh, I'm so glad you like the book so far, thanks!

  22. @Chrys, yeah, I think that too, I don't want to overdo it with talking about my book. I see some people who post over and over again about their books and I find that boring so I have to think others do too. I don't want to be that person LOL. Thanks!

  23. I have a problem with social media too. I have come to the conclusion that we need to be highly proficient in one form of social media and dabble in the rest because otherwise we spend all of our time on being social instead of writing. In the end it's our writing that will promote us best, at least that's what I keep reading from the experts. Happy New Year and have fun with Twitter - talk about your books more if that's what you want.

  24. @Nana, I think you're right, it's easy to try to use all of them and then end up not using any effectively. They definitely take time! Thanks!

  25. Goodness! You are one generous lady today. =) So many giveaways... *munching on cheese* Here's to being generous and the destined returns! I'm hoping 2014 turns up for you in unexpected and delightful ways.

  26. I'm always happy to chit chat with you on Twitter. For some reason I find it easier because it's more of an on-the-go social media. One I can do while waiting on line at the grocery store.

  27. Blogging is my favourite place. I am on twitter but I too find it hard to really get into. I don't do Facebook. It can all be so confusing!

  28. I'm with you on this one. I know social media is important, and I know I should be better at it. But I don't know HOW to!
    Good luck! :)

  29. Hope your early stress is finished and it's all the stress you have all year.

    Happy 2014!

  30. Blogging is my jam! Social Media is a...yeah. I'm rocking Pinterest and trying with Facebook.'ll tweet something. Best of luck and remember the book comes first.

  31. I'm the same. I don't like talking about my books (on Twitter, blog, FB, etc.) unless I have something very specific going on. Like a tour, free book promotion, and such. And even then I don't care for it.

    Maybe this is why folks set up accounts for their characters or specific books? idk

  32. I'm the same. I don't like talking about my books (on Twitter, blog, FB, etc.) unless I have something very specific going on. Like a tour, free book promotion, and such. And even then I don't care for it.

    Maybe this is why folks set up accounts for their characters or specific books? idk

  33. Oog, I'm right there with you on social media. @_@ My blogging usually feels awkward to me, and I feel like I'm doing something wrong on Twitter if no one responds, which is most of the time. I'm actually looking forward to being able to just talk about a published book (someday...), because I'm almost certain I can make that interesting and worth reading. Eh heh heh...

  34. Social media is a tough place to figure out sometimes. I had a very lax twitter account until I noticed something last year in the midst of a giveaway. Every time I tweeted about the giveaway, 10 more kindle copies went out. Now, it was a giveaway, and I haven't noticed anything like that with paid copies, but I figured it was a start. I try to counter every tweet about my stuff with a tweet about someone else or something else. It makes me feel a little less uncomfortable - but that part is still there.

    Happy interviews and happy writing!

  35. I've never seen a GR giveaway like that before. It's very cool. I guess I'll have to poke around and see if I can find how to do one since it looks like it would be a fun way to get books into readers' hands. Wishing you a more comfortable social media presence and lots of sales, interviews, and giveaways!

  36. Twitter still baffles me, but I'm hoping to get more involved this year. It's one of my goals. I'm more comfortable with blogging, but that is more time consuming. I wish you luck and it was my pleasure to read and review your novel. I loved it!

  37. twitter is weird - most of my tweets end up in the oblivion pile... hard to stand out in twitter!
    i get new followers all the time and i barely use it
    i like to post quotes from my books while i'm editing
    most of my posts get no response unless i'm boosting other tweeters.... so i do that the most

    the best book tweets for my book are usually associated with a giveaway - i love seeing those.

    good luck! let me know if you figure it out!

  38. @Crystal, you are the generous one - thanks again for featuring me. I loved the cheese! :D

    @Johanna, that's a good point, LOL. I do enjoy chatting with friends like you and others but I think my problem is I usually feel like my feed is just one long stream of noise and I can't pick anyone out. I know the lists are good for this and I need to make better use of them.

    @Suzanne, it can! I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem LOL.

    @Rachel, maybe we can learn together LOL. Thanks!

    @Carol, thanks! And Happy 2014 to you as well.

    @Sheena-kay, oh, I was enjoying Pinterest and then lost track of it. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

    @EJ, oh, I thought you were one of the Twitter success stories! I think you do a great job with it, especially with the NA chats, etc.

    @Mason, LOL, that's how I am usually, I feel like I am just shouting out into nothing on Twitter most of the time.

    @Tyrean, oh, that's interesting to know! I'm glad you saw that jump on Kindle, definitely makes it worthwhile then.

    @Lexa, the GR giveaways are pretty simple to set up from your dashboard, but they are only for print copies. I would love if they would also allow ebook copies but as far as I know they don't. Thanks for your wishes - I wish the same for you!

    @TB, glad to find another one who is baffled LOL. Maybe we can get more involved together. Thanks again about my novel!

    @Tara, LOL, yeah the oblivion pile is my Twitter home, I'm surprised we haven't run into each other there. Good luck to you too!

  39. Maybe you could give us updates on how well your attempts at social media work. I also need to jump into that arena, but I'll admit I don't really know what I'm doing. Good luck!

  40. I know exactly what you mean as I don't do much more as tweeting links to my latest blog posts and reading what others are up to ;-)

  41. I completely understand the social media insecurity. It's really scary to put yourself out there. I find it a challenge also and I find balancing on social media an even bigger difficulty. But, it's good your going to be giving it a try on Twitter. I think the biggest trick for making a push on any social media platform is devoting some time to it. For the most part, if you talk to people, they talk back and if you follow people they follow back. But you just have to find time in the schedule to keep up with it (something I'm only good at it spurts, lol). I'm really excited for your twitter efforts and wish you good luck. =-)

  42. I still haven't broken into twitter. Just blogging and doing Facebook seem all I can manage. Good luck and please let us know how it goes for you.

  43. It just so happens that I talked about Twitter on my IWSG post this month. I think you should just have fun with it, and don't put any pressure on yourself to have things be a certain way. Good luck!

  44. HI, Julie,

    Don't worry. You'll get more comfortable with Twitter... Just BE YOURSELF.

    You are a kind, caring, gifted writer. Let EVERYONE see that and you'll be gold!

    Congrats on the great reviews. As soon as I have a moment to BREATHE, I will sit down and read your amazing book. Life is just so crazy lately.

    My arthritis is really kicking in from this insanely cold weather, so holding a book is actually painful for me. It kills me, because I prefer to read real books. But even my kindle is too heavy for reading. Temps should warm up by the weekend,so I hope to start reading after I take down my tree... Yes, it's still up. LOL.

    I finally finished to badge for my COFFEE HOP! So please drop by and sign up when you get a chance.

  45. Julie, I am one of those people who doesn't use social media to its full potential. OK I am not a writer, but as I am part of the cat blogosphere, I try to give Austin a high(ish) profile. However, despite the fact I have two twitter accounts, I really have never been able to get into it. I just don't GET it!! Facebook I use mostly for connecting with friends and family, though Austin does have a page! I do think that for you, though social media is brilliant if you can get to make it WORK for you and get your name known! Caro xx

  46. You are so supportive of other writers that you shouldn't be self conscious when it comes to talking about your own books. I know that it's a lot easier said than done. Hope your stressful situation is better, and congrats on your great reviews!


  47. Blogging is my favorite form of social media, too. I also like Twitter, but other things like Facebook have just never clicked with me. Good luck becoming more active with social media! Those things are always so time-consuming...

  48. @Ken, I will try to do that, maybe having a plan to share like that will actually give me motivation to get started! Thanks for the good luck wishes.

    @Vanessa, it seems there are a lot of us who feel this way, at least we are not alone. :)

    @Emilyann, yeah, I think you are definitely right there, you have to make the time to put work into it and can't expect it to happen on its own. Thank you!

    @LD, I will, thanks!

    @Cynthia, oh, I need to read your post, thanks for letting me know. :)

    @Michael, you're so kind, thanks! And I'm sorry the cold temps are causing your arthritis to act up, I hope we can get back to normal winter temps at least and you will feel better.

    @Caro, I don't get it either, a big agree! LOL Austin is such a star though that he already commands attention even without it. :)

    @Julie, thanks so much, you are so supportive yourself!

    @Heather, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if a few months from now I am whining about the same thing and haven't actually done it LOL. I will try this time though. Thanks!

  49. I'm a little timid with social media too. It's hard to keep up sometimes. Blogging is my biggest social media outlet. It's where all my online friends are, and I truly enjoy hanging out with them :)

  50. Personally, I figure if you can give full focus to what you're comfortable with, it's better than putting half focus on a bunch of things. Of course, I'm no expert! Part of me envies writers back in the day, ones who didn't have to worry about social media. But was probably harder to get published back then. Sigh.

    The Warrior Muse

  51. @MJ, that's exactly how I feel.

    @Shannon, yeah, I think that is part of my problem, I try to do all of them and end up not really focusing on any. I definitely still want to give the majority of my focus to the blog simply because that's what I actually enjoy. :)

  52. I am new to twitter myself, so I know where you are coming from with this post. The thing I see is that most people do not post about their books all the time. It seems like they are just chatting and then slip in an, oh book is launching.

    Good luck in twittering!
    Leanne ( )

  53. I never bothered joining Twitter just because it seemed such a hassle to manage another account, but after giving it a try it actually fits so seamlessly with my blogging and the ease of connecting is great! Though I am still in the awkward tweet phase when it comes to new posts ;)

  54. @readfaced, yeah, I think you are totally right. I think my problem is I can't really ever think of anything to chat about LOL. Great to meet you, thanks for coming by!

    @sjp, oh, that's great it is working out for you! I need to somehow progress beyond that awkward phase LOL.


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