Carrbridge in Winter - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Great Minds Think Alike....

Great minds think alike this week, following on from Jennifer's Social Butterfly post, I come to add my experience of social media.
I started off many moons ago on Twitter, followed by Instagram and then more recently Facebook. I like to take the time to interact with my follower's by commenting back and engaging in conversation. However the more you post on different platforms the more time consuming it becomes and with a young family it's certainly a juggling act.

I try to limit my time and only go on once or twice a day but this never works as the lure of the Fb ping or the vibration of another notification is too hard to resist.
So for me I have decided to only post to my accounts/pages,  I no longer share my work with other groups as it then becomes a 24hr job replying to the comments. This may seem odd or foolish as one of the great aspects of social media is that it gets your work seen and out there and if asked by a particular page to post or share I will, but it's not the norm for me any more.
Fortunately I have great followers that will share my work and the majority ask if they can post it or share it which is great.
One of the upsides of social media for me is that I quite often receive messages asking about equipment, techniques and tips from people just starting their photography journey and I am always honest with them and will refer them on if I don't have the expertise. This is what is great about social media the contact with your audience.
So if you find yourself on an creative persons page leave a comment, send a message, we love to hear from you.
And to temp you across, here's one of my recent posts to my Facebook page.

Loch Morlich earlier this year.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Life as a Butterfly!

This week I’m going to talk about butterflies. A tenuous link to writing but trust me, a link nevertheless!

I love butterflies and try and plant flowers in the garden that will attract them. Sitting in the garden watching them flit around the several buddleia bushes is always a pleasure and an uplifting experience as they swarm over them. Buddleia is not known as the Butterfly Bush for nothing.

My latest book, Rosie’s Little Cafe on the Riviera, came out a fortnight ago and since then I’ve had to be seen to be here, there, and everywhere on social media. In other words I’ve had to become ‘a showy person: a social butterfly’. I am so not a natural social butterfly - even in real life - let alone on the internet.

Networking on social media has become my ‘butterfly bush’ where I flit from FaceBook page, to Twitter, to blogs, to anywhere that will help me to spread the word about my book. Being seen swarming all over the internet certainly doesn’t have the same uplifting experience as watching butterflies on a real bush! Although seeing the book climb the charts is certainly uplifting! 

My dictionary gives a definition of butterfly as a verb : 

verb ( -flies, -flied) [ trans. ]
split (a piece of meat) almost in two and spread it out flat : [as adj. ] ( butterflied) butterflied shrimp.

I can identify with that! After a couple of hours in front of the computer networking I definitely feel like a butterflied shrimp!!

Does any writer really enjoy the hours spent on the internet trying to garner attention for their books? Because it does take hours to do it properly. I’m extremely grateful to friends and everyone else who allow me to promote my book in their corner of the internet, but it’s still a necessity that gives me butterflies in the tummy! 

And now a final photograph - just because I love it!

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Musings on Marketing - and a Bargain or Two

Special offers are like buses. You wait for weeks (or sometimes months) and then two come along at once. 

As it happens, I have two special offers on at the same time this weekend, not through any inspired marketing but purely through my own lack of organisation. They’re both linked to something to celebrate (in my view, anyway) and one of them, at least, is out of my hands and probably all the better for that; but hey, here they are. 

First up, my own. After Eden, the second book in my self-published Dangerous Friends series goes on sale in June — and I have a gorgeous cover for it. (see left) It seems a good enough cause for celebration, so I thought I’d reduce the first book, Blank Space, along with it. So — you can pick up Blank Space for just 99p or 99c until Tuesday. (Try it. You might enjoy it.)

Meanwhile, in a rather more organised world, my publishers, Tirgearr, were approaching their fifth anniversary. Tirgearr is a great place to be, a small epublisher with some print runs, friendly, approachable and fun. And they like a party. So there’s a birthday bash on there at the moment. There’s a free-to-enter competition with prizes of print and e-books and a Kindle Fire. 

Participating authors have nominated a book to be reduced to 99p/99c. My book is Thank You For The Music, which has a special place in my heart as my first published book. I’ll always be grateful to Tirgearr for taking me on with it. And this birthday bash also goes on until the Tuesday (8 March).

Of course, the free/cheap books argument is a tricky one for many authors and readers. In many — most — cases, the full price of a book that lasts as long as you want and can be read and reread as often as you want is less than a cup of coffee and a cake that are gone in half an hour. That’s not a huge amount, and giving books away for nothing or charging only pennies for them on a permanent basis is (it’s argued) devaluing the enormous effort that authors put in to them. But readers are used to free and cheap books, so why not reduce them?

I never say never, but I don’t plan to make my books permanently free — I’ve put too much time and effort in to them for that. In the meantime, who doesn’t like a bargain? When all the March madness has died down, the books go back to normal price. Grab ‘em while you can!