Christmas gifts for the writer – 2016

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It’s that time of year again! Of course, with all of the stores having Christmas decorations put up the day after Halloween, you probably already knew that. Every year I do a blog post with gift ideas for the writer in your life, which is just a thinly veiled post of things I want for Christmas! This year I’ve chosen some great things and it’s been really hard not adding them all to my cart and buying them immediately.

These gifts would be great for any writer in your life, or for yourself if you’re like me and buy yourself presents to ensure that you get exactly what you want for the holidays. ūüėČ

Click the images to find how to buy them!
 Shakespearean Insult Bandages. Quirky insults in bandage form to cover all those blisters you got from typing so fast!

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know I’m totally in love with my Passion Planner. I would recommend this a million times to any writer or aspiring writer. This thing has changed my writing life! Also, only get the Passion Planner, because it’s owned by this kickass twenty-something woman who invented it and after her planners took off, I’ve seen TONS of copycat planners on the market. Support the original! http://www.PassionPlanner.com

Is this NOT the cutest thing EVER! Ugh, I need it so bad! I love all of Out of Print’s designs and this one just makes me smile. I don’t exactly need more totebags in my life, but this one can’t be passed up.

 

Library card socks. It’s nostalgic and cute and practical because most people wear socks all the time. I personally don’t, because here in Texas it’s always flip flop season, but I’d make an exception for these adorable things.

Novel teas! Each tea bag has a literary quote on it. Perfect for the tea drinker! Although I’d personally prefer coffee, I haven’t found any literary coffee yet. Maybe next year!

A Jane Austen candle! This company has several literary candles, including Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson. As I am a classic Jane Austen fan, I’d most like to receive this one, but you can choose the author/candle match up that best suits your writer friend.

 

That’s all for now! (To see how to purchase the items, click their photos!) Let me know what kind of writerly and bookish gifts you’d love to receive this Christmas!

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Friday Five

I haven’t done one of these in a while because I’m too busy writing and staring at the keyboard, wishing I was writing. ¬†Between procrastinating cleaning my house and watching too much Netflix, these two things take up A LOT of my time. But I have info and exciting things for today!

  1. Cover reveal sign ups for THE BREAKUP SUPPORT GROUP have been posted! Head over to Xpressobooktours.com¬†and sign up if you have a blog or social media account you’d like to use to help me spread the ULTRA CUTE cover for my new YA Romance which is being published 11/22 by Swoon Romance! (You can also add it on Goodreads here)
  2. Did you see the new cover for my YA romance UNDERSTUDY? I am in love! You can get it wherever ebooks are sold, or also find it on audiobooks. Links available on the books section of my website.
  3. Giveaways galore! There are currently 3 giveaways running on my blog for Blog-0-ween! You can win ebooks by other Swoon Romance authors and all you have to do is comment to win. Find them here: Natalie DeckerPatricia B. TigheRebekah L. Purdy 
  4. Did you know there’s a section of my website dedicate to writing tips? You can find it under the EXTRAS link above, or just click here.
  5. Did you see the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 poster reveal! I am so excited for this movie and can we all take a minute to squee at adorable baby Groot?mv5bmtu5ntgxmzq1of5bml5banbnxkftztgwnja3mtczmdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

Inspiration Collages and Writing

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Collage of inspiration photos for The Breakup Support Group

As the days are slowly passing until the release of my next book, The Breakup Support Group, I thought I’d share my inspiration collage for it. I used to make inspiration boards after¬†I’d written a book, as a way for the reader to see some images that relate to the book as I imagined it in my head. When I was plotting The Breakup Support Group, I made an inspiration board before I started writing. It ended up being really fun to look back on the pictures while I worked on the story.

I decided to make a board for my current WIP and I saved it as my computer wallpaper. It’s a great way to help me stay motivated while working on the manuscript! I think I’m definitely hooked on inspiration collages.

If you’re a writer, do you use inspiration photos? Let me know in the comments!

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PS- The Breakup Support Group releases on 11/22/16! You can add it to Goodreads here. And make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter because I’ll be giving away paperbacks, gift cards, and a compass bracelet to celebrate release day!

Get a free eBook!

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As a special offer when signing up for my newsletter, you’ll now get to download an eBook of my teen novel Somewhere Only We Know for FREE! This book is very close to my heart and deals with mental illness, romance, and a secret world that cures every ailment. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter, which is super awesome because I only send them every couple of months or so, so know you won’t get spammed!

Check out this link to get your copy, or click on it from the EXTRAS link up above.

PS- As always, anyone who reads it and wants to leave a review online will instantly become my best friend for life.

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2016 Goals Update

This morning I did the very noble task of going through all my old posts and changing them from “uncategorized” into posts with real tags and categories! Why yes, I am procrastinating my real work of the day, how did you guess?

Along the way, I found my 2016 Goals blog post, written back in January. Can you believe it’s already been 8 months since the year started? WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE? I’ll tell you where my time has gone: into accomplishing a ton of goals. I should really aim higher.

So here’s where I started with my writing goals, and where I am now:

 

Writing Goals:

  • Write and publish Supercross Me, the sequel to Motocross Me.¬† Done and done! Supercross Me is available now!
  • Promote the hell out of City of Legends, which releases in a month! Done! City of Legends has been out in the world for 6 months now.
  • Get an agent. Yep, this is very scary but I am jumping back on the query train this year and hoping to find a literary agent as I pursue my career as a hybrid author. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, I ACTUALLY DID IT! I worked hard writing a new book and I landed my dream agent with it. I’m still on Cloud 9 from it. (And I don’t mean the Cloud 9 from the show Superstore, which btw is hilarious and I love it.)
  • Finish BUSG (the secret YA project) and pitch it for traditional publishing. Not only did I finish Break Up Support Group, I also got a deal with Swoon Romance it’ll be published November 1st! So, another goal done and done.
  • Plot, Outline, and write SDS, another secret YA project. > This is the only goal not yet attained, but I’m currently doing the research for it and I’ll begin plotting and outing SDS very soon! I have the rest of the year to get it done, so I think there’s a very good possibility this year’s goals will all be achieved.

How about you? Did you set goals at the start of the year? Now is a great time to reflect back on them and see what you’ve accomplished so far. If you’re not where you want to be, guess what? There’s still over 4 months left to get it done! So get to work!

Twitter Etiquette from yours truly

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Let’s talk about Twitter.

As always, this particular post is geared toward writers, since that’s what I am and that’s why I use Twitter. But some of the advice is good for everyone, so stick around even if you aren’t a writer.

Twitter is a social media platform, and one of the only ones I regularly use. (The other is Instagram. Count me out of the rest of them because a girl only has so much time for social media, writing, reading, and watching unhealthy amounts of Gossip Girl on Netflix.) The point of Twitter is to communicate with others and shout out your 140 characters of insight into the world.

The thing is, some people use Twitter in a total jerk way, whether they realize it or not. I’m here to give you some Twitter Etiquette in the form of a thinly veiled rant.

Twitter¬†Etiquette¬†rule¬†number¬†1:¬†DO NOT EVER, for any reason, under any circumstance, send an automatic DM when someone follows you. I’m not even sure how you do this, but some people have a thing set up to where when I follow you, I will instantly get a Direct Message from “you”, but it’s an auto generated robot message you send to everyone. Something stupid like “Hi, thanks for following! Make sure to buy my book at [Amazon link]!”

Uh, no. Everyone hates this. No one likes it. PLEASE DO NOT SEND AUTO DMs. In fact, I immediately unfollow a person who does that to me. Chances are, if you send auto DMs, you also break the rest of these rules and I can’t follow people who treat Twitter in this way.

Twitter¬†Etiquette¬†rule¬†number 2:¬†Twitter is not your never-ending advertisement feed. As authors, we have promotional links to share with the world. Our books go on sale, our books release into the world, our books need more reviews, etc. At the very most, I’ll allow ONE promo tweet a day. Anything more is excessive and gets you either unfollowed or muted. No one follows an author online because they want to be asked to buy the same book 50 times a day. They follow an author because they like the author, and that means they already know about your books. PLEASE, be a decent person and keep the promotions to a minimum.

When it’s acceptable to promote on Twitter:

You have a new book deal! Heck yeah, tweet about it!

It’s release day for your book! ABSOLUTELY! Let us know! We follow you because we like you and we want to know when your book is out.

Your book is on SALE! YAY! Tell us! Unless your book is perpetually on sale and several years old, in which case, we already own it, we don’t need to know. One tweet a day, folks. That’s all we need.

It’s your book’s cover reveal day! Everyone loves a cover reveal. Let us see it.

You have book signings coming up! Definitely let us know.

You have a new Pinterest inspiration board/cute Instagram photo from a blogger/picture of your book next to a puppy/etc. Tweet it! It’s unique and not the same old crap.

Someone uber-famous in the writing world left you a great review. Show us! Let me be jealous of you and your 5 star review from a NYT bestselling author.

What’s not okay to do on Twitter:¬†

That cute quote image of your book with the best line you’ve written, posted 10 times a day, every day. NO.

Just an Amazon link to your book with some line about how we should totally buy it. NO.

The same same same same same cover image every day, all day,  repeatedly asking me to buy your book. NO.

Twitter¬†Etiquette¬†rule¬†number 3:¬†Keep religion and politics off your feed. Unless you are a religious or political writer and that is your brand, please spare us your commentary on the topics. Regardless of if you’re voting for Thing 1 or Thing 2, no one cares. You’ll either A) be voting for the same person your followers are, in which case, who cares? You’re already alike, or B) be voting for the candidate your follower hates, thus making them dislike you. If people dislike you, they won’t read your books, they won’t connect with you, and you’ll lose out on potential readers. This is a real thing. I’ve read some pretty idiotic political commentary and have been so turned off I had to unfollow several people. At the very least, I have about 25 people muted for this election period because I can’t stand reading their constant political drivel when I’m on twitter specifically to talk about writing and teen books.

Save the politics for Thanksgiving dinner with family members and for that guy down the street who loves discussing this with you. Please keep it off Twitter.

Twitter¬†Etiquette¬†rule¬†number 4: Always be nice. Honestly, this is the Golden Rule here, but it needs to be expanded for online use. Words don’t translate well in written form when you can’t tell if someone is joking or being a jerk. I happen to be insanely sarcastic, and while I think the¬†deadpan delivery of my sarcasm in real life usually hits home and people find it funny, it doesn’t necessary work online.

If someone tweets you “Happy Book Release day!” and you simply reply “thanks” … no capitals, no exclamation mark, no fun emoji or dancing gif, it could come off as rude. That’s just one example, and I’m sure you’ve seen many more online. If you’re being sarcastic, use an emoji. Otherwise, you could alienate people who think you’re just rude. It’s always helpful to be overly nice in your comments and tweets, that way no one gets the wrong impression.

I’ve learned this lesson several times by tweeting something I think is funny, but someone else thinks I’m being literal/serious and gets upset. Not everyone understands¬†sarcasm, and it’s always better to err on the side of being polite and friendly anyway.

Twitter¬†Etiquette¬†rule¬†number 5:¬†Only follow people because you want to. There’s this fairly new trend in Twitter, and I blame all of those outside websites that promise to “build followers” and make you “Twitter famous” and that trend is this: Follow hundreds of writers on Twitter and then in 48 hours, if they haven’t followed you back, unfollow them and follow them again.

WHY IS THIS A THING, PEOPLE????

Do you think I don’t notice??

I am someone who actually uses Twitter the way it was intended, by making friends and chatting about common interests in the writing world. I do not simply follow every single person ever, because then I’d have a cluttered feed and would have no good content to read as I scroll through Twitter, procrastinating my work for the day. I know the point of this follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow repeatedly thing is in the hopes that someone will follow you back. But it doesn’t work on me.

I check out every person who follows me. If you’re a YA reader/writer/blogger, I’ll follow back happily. If you write adult horror books (something I don’t read) and your feed is 100% promo tweets, then I don’t follow back. I don’t care what you’ve read in marketing books, doing this doesn’t get you friends and it doesn’t get you readers. I will NEVER see someone following me every other day for 2 weeks and then say, “You know what? I think I’ll buy that person’s book!” It doesn’t work that way. I buy books of authors I care about, and it’s usually after getting to know them online for months.

That also leads me to:

Twitter¬†Etiquette¬†rule¬†number 6:¬†Fill out your bio. Let people know who you are. Sure, it’s funny to put “I live in lala land” on your Twitter bio, but if that’s all it says, I don’t know anything about you. Are you a reader? Writer? Blogger? Did you add me by mistake because you think I’m that other Cheyanne Young who’s big into yoga and fitness? I check out everyone’s bio before I follow them, and it’s helpful (especially if you’re a writer) who let us know you’re a writer. Same goes for your website. If you have one, put it in your bio. I visit everyone’s website when I first follow¬†them, and I actually have purchased their books because of it.

I’m on Twitter to make connections with other writerly people, just like you are. What better way to connect with someone than to communicate with the REAL them, via fun tweets and book talk? I don’t want to follow robot accounts that only update with pre-written promotional tweets. No one does. If you plan on using Twitter in this way, I urge you to reconsider. Try being a REAL human being on there, having REAL conversations, and joining in on the fun. People pay attention to real people. They skim over promotional tweets and unfollow people who only want to talk about their own book.

That wraps it up for today. Let me know what you think in the comments, and I’d love to hear your other Twitter Etiquette rules!

 

New website design

You may have noticed my blog and website have changed lately. That’s because I finally switched over to WordPress and now, maybe, possibly, I might start blogging more.

(That’s a big maybe.)

But I wanted to make this quick post to thank my author friend Cassandra Giovanni, who designed the beautiful sparkly banner up top. ISN’T IT TOTALLY ME?

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