Authors and Social Media: the Great Automation Question

When it comes to authors and their social media, you may have heard two different schools of thought. One side of the argument promotes social media automation tools to save you the time and mental energy of having to post every day. The other side says that automation removes the “social” aspect of social media and turns your online presence into nothing more than an impersonal robot.

Both points have merit. So let’s look at the pros and cons.

Social Media Automation Saves Time

The main benefit of scheduling out social media posts in advance is to save time. With a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Facebook scheduler, you can sit down for an hour once a week and prepare all of your posts. Now you can have an active social media presence without having to be online all the time, every single day. Continue reading

Cover Reveal for a New Dieselpunk Story!

I’m excited to introduce to you my newest character and her world!

The character is Mrs. John G. Jones – Cornelia to her friends. The world is Los Angeles during the Roaring 20s – with a little magic thrown in. Cornelia Jones will be the headliner for a new series of dieselpunk short stories.

So what’s dieselpunk? Here’s a post I wrote where I give a few different common definitions of this fast-growing genre. Think historical fantasy, retro-futurism, steampunk set in the 1920s, or classic pulp adventure stories. The Mrs. Jones adventures will encompass a little bit of all of that. Continue reading

The One Thing They Never Tell You About the Freelance Life

Well, maybe this point has been covered by freelancers and entrepreneurs before. But if it is covered, then I don’t think it’s addressed enough. So what is this elusive, ill-addressed yet important factor of the freelance life?

The fact that it’s all in your head.

What I mean by that is that to be a successful freelancer or independent creative, you’ve got to have your brain in the game. And I don’t mean just for the knowledge of your industry – though obviously that’s important.

I’ve read dozens of blogs and articles about how to organize your time by setting timers, calendar notifications, or special apps. The same with organizing your budget to having an irregular income stream. Again, these are vital skills if you want to be a freelancer or otherwise self-employed.

But few people discuss the mental aspect of all of this. The organization and discipline really starts in your head. Continue reading

Freedom to Write

Not much of a blog post this week, because I’m writing this on the 4th of July (very late), and I’m feeling lazy.

But as I was trying to decide what I could write in my tired and lazy state, I reflected on how blessed I am to live in a place and time where I have the freedom to write what I want, when I want.

Of course America is not the only country with a freedom of press. But on this American holiday, when we celebrate our freedoms, I’m grateful for the freedom to write. I can write whatever I want, and publish it in any format I want, whenever I want. The freedom to write, publish, and distribute should not be taken for granted. And I do not want to squander that freedom that I have.

No matter where you might live, if you have the freedom to write, do so. Celebrate your freedom and write!

Used Book Stores – Good or Bad?

I personally am a big fan of used book stores. I even worked at a used book store after college.

Used book stores are great for readers, because you can get books cheap. A lot of used bookstores have a trade-in program, so you can treat the store kind of like a library; if you bring books to trade, you can basically get new books for free. Used books stores often have a selection of out of print or other hard-to-find books that you can’t get at Barnes and Noble or even on Amazon. In short, used book stores are a book lover’s heaven. 

But what about the other side of the coin? Do writers love used book stores as much as readers do? Now that I’m a writer with published books for sale, I have to think about this from the business side of things. (Granted, my books are currently only available as ebooks on Amazon, so the used book store debate doesn’t directly affect me at the moment.) But still, I’m thinking about this from an author’s perspective. Continue reading