Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Author-to-Author Tip: SAID IS DEAD @MSKosciuszko

"Said" is Dead
I recently saw a Facebook post that claimed “said is dead.” It went on to list all the other “better” options to use, along with the emotion that correlates to each word.
I do agree that sometimes yelled, demanded, or murmured are the best words for the job, showing how the dialogue is being said, especially if it’s difficult to show the emotion through the particular dialogue. However, most of the time, “said” is exactly what I want.
Said is dead, huh? Of course it is. That’s the whole point!
Readers barely even notice it. It serves its purpose of clarifying the speaker and then shuts up and stands in the corner like it’s supposed to. Dialogue tags remind the reader of the author’s presence, so when you have to use a tag, why not use the one that’s almost invisible?

Author-to-Author Tip from Author M.S. Kaye
M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband, Corey, in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |  Google+

M.S. Kaye most recently released Kindling the Past, a romantic suspense, with Liquid Silver Books.
Kindle is fighting to survive on her own, to break free from her possessive and violent ex-
boyfriend, not to let her best friend Anna know she’s in love with her husband. Most of all, she fights the visions she sees of the past—she doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff.

Then Anna is shot and killed.

In their grief, Kindle and Ty, Anna’s husband and Kindle’s Taekwondo instructor, grow closer. Although Kindle is careful never to let him too close, he helps her learn to accept her visions are real. Eventually, the truth about Anna’s death breaks through into Kindle’s visions, and she must find a way not to let it destroy her.


Monday, June 23, 2014

What do all those MFRW hashtags mean? #MFRWauthor #MFRWorg #MFRWave

MFRW is Marketing for Romance Writers 
MFRW stands for Marketing for Romance Writers. The group motto is "seek, teach, share, learn, succeed." MFRW is a peer-oriented mentoring group open to the entire literary community. Ask your marketing-related questions, or request help, advice, or opinions. You can learn how to create a professional image and use it effectively, as well as ask for opportunities to join other authors in promotional efforts. You can learn the business aspects of writing.
News about pitch sessions and calls for submission are posted on the Yahoo group. As a member, you can attend exclusive, member-only pitch events with publishers. Members can attend free, online workshops and seminars.
MFRW promotes for its members on most social media. You can get your book cover pinned on one of the MFRW Pinterest boards, and show off your cover models, even if you don't have a Pinterest account yourself. You can get interviewed on BlogTalkRadio. Link your blog to a community hop via a unique software "ribbon" with exciting themes, and draw readers to your site. There are many other opportunities as well. All writers and genres are welcome. We break all promotional opportunities into four main categories, to better reach the right audiences for our members' books. The categories* are: Mainstream, Erotic, Young Adult, and GLBT.

MFRW Costs

Services and membership are free. There are limited costs for a few unique items (blog hops, advertising opportunities) that range from 50 cents to about $3. If you have questions about marketing your books, join us.

Peer Mentoring and Calls for Submission

You are welcome to post your questions on the Yahoo group. Another member will answer. Because we are peer-mentored, you will benefit from many viewpoints. Many publishers are members of the Yahoo group, and we allow calls for submission. Although we do monitor these calls, and attempt to ensure all are legitimate, we do not endorse any publishers. We sponsor an annual pitch event exclusively for members. We average about twenty publishers who take part. Visit our website for more information. http://marketingforromancewriters.org

Twitter and Hashtags

The hashtags #MFRWorg #MFRWauthor #MFRWave help you promote. Here's what each stands for:
#MFRWorg - anything to do with the organization. A catchall for anything and everything, and used when you need to save space with a longer tweet.
#MFRWauthor - Having to do with one of our authors. We often use it to identify ourselves to one another online.
#MFRWave - this refers to our ribbon - or "wave" type hops. The software is unique. Click the following link and you will see it in action. A hop is ending as of 6/22/14, but the ribbon will be visible for a few more days. http://is.gd/mfrwave
FYI -- the hashtag #MFRW by itself stands for Maryland Federal Republican Women. It is not associated with Marketing for Romance Writers.

MFRW History

MFRW was founded in 2006 by author Kayelle Allen for a few friends. Members now number in the thousands. Kayelle heads the group to this day, guiding its direction and overseeing the numerous volunteer staff members that help it run.
Newsletter Editor-in-Chief Rochelle Weber
Assistant Editor Emerald
Assistant Editor Barbara Donlon Bradley
Blog Director Paloma Beck
Bloghop Coordinator Mona Karel

Where to find MFRW online

Yahoo group (core site) http://is.gd/mfrwgroup
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MFRW_ORG
Facebook Author group http://is.gd/mfrwfb
MFRW Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mfrworg

MFRW Newsletters

MFRW Blogs

Marketing Blog: http://mfrw.blogspot.com/

MFRW Blog Hops

MFRW Bloghoppers Author Workspace https://www.facebook.com/groups/mfrwbloghoppers/

*Authors alone determine where their books fit, with the caveat that for Young Adult blog hops only, we check to ensure the site is at or below a PG13 rating. Otherwise, the author determines heat level (erotic vs mainstream).

Membership is open to anyone in the literary community, and is free. Why not join us? Begin with the core group, found here. Yahoo group (core site) https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MarketingForRomanceWriters/info
edited 02/15/15 to update links

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#MFRWorg Monthly Quote - June 2014

"From the age of six to fourteen I took violin lessons but had no luck with my teachers, for whom music did not transcend mechanical practicing. I really began to learn only after I had fallen in love with Mozart’s sonatas. The attempt to reproduce their singular grace compelled me to improve my technique. I believe, on the whole, that love is a better teacher than sense of duty."
-Albert Einstein

Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Find out more about her at her website, The Green Light District.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Creating Solid Blog Content. #MFRWorg Talks Memes.

Blog Content can be a challenge for authors. It's important to post with some regularity but coming up with new ideas for your posts can pose a challenge. Why not participate in a blog meme? It gives you a weekly blog feature with the benefit of a group of people interested in the mutual success of your blogs.

Blog Memes
Memes are weekly blog features posted across multiple blogs centered on a common theme. A blogger can choose weekly to participate so if you need a break, you take a week off. One of the most recognized memes was Six Sentence Sunday. The organizers discontinued it - it grew huge - but several off-shoots have now taken root in the blogging community. There is power behind a group and memes are driven by the group.

Sexy Snippets
In Sexy Snippets, participants select seven sentences from a WIP or published manuscript. This gives you the chance to feature a piece of your work, along with a short book promo weekly. See a sample of my Sexy Snippets. This meme operates out of a facebook group. You can sign up weekly at the Nuthouse Scribbler's website. The heat level in this meme runs across the board from sweet to spicy. As a participant, you are encouraged to read and comment on as many others as possible.

Tantalizing Tuesdays
Participants select a photo of their choice and write an original 200-word story to post every Tuesday. It's an awesome way to keep your writing sharp because telling a story in 200-words is not always as easy as it sounds. See a sample of my Tantalizing Tuesday post. This meme operates out of a facebook group where you can sign up weekly and also has a website. Erotic Authors will be most comfortable with this group. A special note about this group is that as a participant, you're expected to read and comment on the other stories - they extend you the same courtesy. Hey, it's guaranteed blog traffic!

Thursday 13
This meme is not exclusive to authors. But it's easy and can be fun if you get creative. Participants simply post a list of any 13 things. You include your link on the group's website and others will pop around from blog to blog reading the lists. Here's a sample of one of my more creative Thursday 13 posts. I've hosted other authors as guests for this feature. I've also posted 13 sentences from one of my books, listed 13 character names, quotes, super heroes, chick flicks, romantic places, etc, etc... the list is endless and can always be used in a way to promo your writing. MFRW uses this feature on our Author's blog!

This meme is fun and promoted on the MFRW Yahoo group. It also allows authors to post the longest excerpt. Participants post 6 paragraphs (no more, no less) from either a WIP or a published work. It's every Sunday, open to both unpublished and published authors. Just sign up at their website and include the link code in your post so readers can hop around from blog to blog.

This is MFRW's own weekly meme. MFRW authors are invited to participate by signing up on our blog each week. It's a chance to hook readers on your current WIP or any previously published book. Then you include the link code in your post and readers will have the chance to jump from one author to another. FIND MORE DETAILS HERE.

So... Do You Meme? Share other memes you like.

Paloma Beck is a Romance Author living a life of contradiction... she's a happily married carpooling mom writing erotic romance. It's almost naughty! Paloma writes full-time and has three series in the works with others on the fringes. Her books span both the contemporary and paranormal romance genres.

Paloma serves as MFRW's Blog Director.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: Why Authors Need Facebook @AuthorErinMoore

Facebook: Why we need it, even if it drives us crazy.

Facebook. It’s awesome for our personal lives, letting us share pictures with others, keep up with our schools and communities, find people with common interests, stalk our ex-boyfriends…oh, wait.

But as an author, it can sometimes be a little daunting and confusing. For starters, what type of page should we choose? And then, once we have it, how do we go about liking other pages – some pages wants us to switch back to our “personal” page before we can like them, and I am not entirely sure I want everyone to know when I’ve liked something like “Sex With Romance.”  And once we’ve figured that out, how do we get those cool little tabbies for our blogs and other stuff on there?

And yet, it’s worth it to figure it out. Most of our readers are on Facebook, and Facebook also brings in new readers; a lot of inbound traffic to Amazon and other ebook sites comes directly from Facebook. So we need to be on there, and we need to be on there in a professional manner.

As some of you already know, I’m a big fan of “do as I say, not as I do” on this blog. So some of the advice below will be recommendations from knowledgeable sources that I may or may not have already implemented myself (just in case anyone is checking my Facebook page –which, if you do, make sure to like it).

Ahem. Now, first things first: What type of page should you have?  Well, really, as an author, there is really only one for your author self.  I will put gold stars there in case you are in doubt.  And you will need to start from your personal profile in order to do this – don’t create a whole new page (with a separate email address) from the initial FB log-in page.  Main reason: you can’t usually like another page as your author page, otherwise. 

Types of pages:
Local Business or Place
Company, Organization, or Institution
Brand or Product
Artist, Band, or Public Figure
Cause or Community

Adding a page for individual books:
If you are already sort of big time, you may want to consider adding pages for each of your books. The downside to this is that you may split your audience – people may miss updates if you post to the book, or miss them if you post only to your author page. However, if the book does blow up (in a good way), someone may make that page for you, and you don’t necessarily want to cede that control.  Food for thought.

Now, onto the fun (read: complicated) stuff.
Yes, you can like other authors’ pages. You may have to go to their page and then click on the down-arrow near the like button. Then there should be a line that says “like as my page.” That’s it! But it seems that most authors have gotten with the program – if it’s set up as an author page, then you should be able to like it with the “like” button. 

Help with Facebook Tabbies (aka apps, aka sort of a pain);
So, most of us would like our blogs to be linked to Facebook. The best way is to use an app – you know, those cute little buttons. There are a few different apps to use for blogs: RSS Graffiti, Networked Blogs (though this will now direct you to their spin-off, Symphony), and Social RSS

They all work essentially the same way. They are going to ask you for a lot of permissions from Facebook (you can’t escape The Man), and then import your blog (or blogs) to the pages you direct. I used Symphony and found it pretty self-explanatory. And then I got this awesome new tab called “blog” on my page.  It will also post updates to my FB newsfeed any time I post on my blog.  

What else do you need as an app? You can also load in Goodreads, Pinterest, or Youtube videos – entirely up to you.  Goodreads is an easy one – you can do it from Goodreads, and then it magically loads the app onto FB.

For Pinterest, it’s a a little bit trickier. If you use the link here, then only follow steps through #7 – looks like Facebook has had a few changes since 2012 (ya’ think?) and it loads up a little “Pinterest” link fairly nicely with only the first seven.

YouTube: There is either Woobox (which I used for my Pinterest tab, very helpful) or YoutubeApp. Again, make sure to accept all permissions and then edit later.

All in all, Facebook for businesses is not necessarily a walk in the park, but with a little bit of help, it can (and should) be done. Happy Facebooking! Let me know what you think – what do you see on others’ pages and wish you had on yours? What has worked well for you?

Just in case you want more to read:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Format for MFRW Newsletter

Big changes are coming to the Newsletter in July. They're laid out clearly in the June issue, but here is a brief summary along with the new submissions form and a mock-up of the new format so you can see how the new featured author pages, book pages and advertising pages will look. Here is the link to the files:

Sorry I couldn't do this as a Bitly link, but for some reason it wouldn't open in a third tab.

Also, with all the new work we'll be doing, we need to expand our staff. My current assistant editors will format the book pages and I will handle the Featured Author, advertising, and final layout, but now I need at least three more proofers, possibly more since the newsletter will likely be more than 100 pages. If you'd like to become a member of the newsletter staff, please contact me at:

I think that's about it. Be sure to read the June Newsletter and check out the mock-up and ad-rate breakdown in the files. Grab the new submissions form if you had a book come out in May, June or if you have one coming out in July and your publisher has a "Coming Soon" page with pre-order links to your books. If you have no buy-links, you may want to wait until August to submit your July releases. Each book runs for three months.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Moderating the MFRW Facebook Group: Technical Functionalities #MFRWorg #MFRWauthor

I’m going to get a little technical today and discuss a few of the functions and features of groups on Facebook and how both members and moderators may use them or how they may affect how groups operate. I’ve mentioned in this series how much the MFRW Facebook group has grown over the last year (to sum up: when I started moderating last May, we had several hundred members. We reached 1,000 sometime that summer, and our current count is at 3,658). To be clear, I myself don’t personally do anything that influences this growth. I, as I have described in my other posts, receive and moderate the join requests, but I have no control over how many people ask to join.

A big contributor to that, I suspect, is the addition last year of Facebook’s “Suggested Groups” feature. If you’re on Facebook, you may have noticed the appearance of this list along the right side your profile. I noticed a significant upsurge in join requests when this happened, and I have no doubt this feature has resulted in far more members' learning of MFRW and joining the group than would have otherwise. I have a feeling it also, however, means people request to join without even looking at the group or having much of an idea what it’s for (which, in MFRW’s case, affirms the importance of member screening). If you’re a moderator, you may just want to be aware that people may be clicking on a suggested group without ever having visited the group’s actual page.

As far as I’ve determined, there isn’t a way to control or influence how much or where one’s group shows up in the “Suggested Groups” list. There is, however, a functionality called “Tags” that moderators can utilize. If you moderate a group, there is a link on the right side of the group page just below the “About” section that says, “Set Tags.”

Tags do not get to be whatever you want them to be. Rather, only words/phrases that Facebook provides via auto-fill may be selected. For example, I wanted to tag the MFRW group “Author Resources,” but Facebook didn’t have a category option for that, so it simply erased the tag when I saved it. I thus settled on the less specific categories of “Writing,” “Marketing,” and “Books.” This will at least give someone who glances at them an idea about the group’s focus. As far as how tags might affect a group’s popularity, we’re new enough to using this feature that I haven’t had a chance to observe any potential outcomes yet. I’ll report back if I see anything notable. ;)

Search functions are another area both members and moderators may find helpful at times. If you’re a group member, you can pull up a list of your activity (including posts and comments—“Likes” are not included in the search results) on a particular group by clicking on the magnifying glass icon all the way to the bottom right of the group page’s header (it’s just to the right of the “Notifications”/“Create Group”/settings buttons and icons) and entering your profile name. All the things you’ve posted, as well as posts on which you’ve commented or in which you’ve been tagged, will be brought up for display. This feature may seem useful if, like myself, you’ve been known to forget from time to time whether you’ve already posted something on the group page (lol). You can also do similar searches for other members’ activity.

If you want to simply see whether someone is a member of a group (who may or may not have performed activity in the group, making the above search method not helpful), you can do that by going to the “Members” tab along the horizontal menu bar beneath a group’s header photo. With this function, you can sort the members by name (alphabetically by first name/word of profile name) or by join date. As a moderator, I like the sort-by-join-date feature because it allows me to keep track of how many members have joined within a certain time period (though this is not exact in that the labels don’t have actual dates but rather indicate that someone was added “a month ago,” 8 months ago,” “2 weeks ago,” etc. When I want to keep track month by month, I make a note of the last name I approved on the last day of a month and then use that as the cutoff when I check the list the next month). For example, since my last post here about moderating this group, about 325 members have joined.

If you’re a group moderator, this search function also gives you the option of viewing your list of blocked members. Mine isn’t very long, but I have blocked a few profiles I determined to be spam, etc. On this list, there is a link associated with each profile that says “Remove Ban” if you change your mind about blocking someone or allowing someone to join.

And thus ends this tour of Facebook group technical characteristics. ;) Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Find out more about her at her website, The Green Light District.