Friday, February 8, 2013

Author Mistakes with L. Diane Wolfe, Ninja News, A to Z Challenge Needs Minions, and CassaStorm Cover Reveal!

Today I welcome author and professional speaker, L. Diane Wolfe! Her new book, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now has some great tips in it for both unpublished writers and seasoned authors. If you haven’t picked it up, you need to!

Common Writer/Author Mistakes

I’ve been involved in the publishing industry for almost ten years now and given my publishing and promoting seminars for almost six years. I’ve seen many writers and authors make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. But, I’d like to keep YOU from making mistakes.

I have to get an agent!
No, you don’t! If you are aiming at the Big Five or one of the top mid-sized publishers, you need an agent. But there are tens of thousands of publishers who accept direct submissions without an agent. Remember, getting an agent is only part of the process, and 9 out of 10 agented manuscripts never find a home.

Rushing a book
“I just finished writing my book - it will be out next month.”
WHAT?!
You’ll miss many key steps that way - professional editing, sending review copies, early promotions, cover and interior design, etc. Once you finish writing your book, allow 4-12 months before public consumption.

No editor
The reason self-publishing has such a bad rap is poor editing. Don’t be part of the problem! If you are self-publishing your work, you MUST hire a professional book editor. It is YOUR reputation on the line. If you skip this step, it will show.

Review bribing
We’ve all seen what happens when an author pays for reviews. But there are other ways to make payments, such as giving five star reviews to other authors in exchange for similar reviews on your book. (Or threatening to turn them into one star reviews if not reciprocated.) Don’t do it. (Or fall for it.)

Double booking blog tour dates
Guest posts are a win-win - the host wins when the guest brings his or her followers to the site and the guest wins with exposure to the host’s followers. When you double-book, that dilutes your followers and shortchanges the hosts. Only one major stop each day.

Comment counts
There are many ways to respond to blog comments. Look carefully at potential hosts and your own. Responding to individual comments with a comment is often viewed as “Padding the Comments.” Thus, a site that appears to have 50 comments might really only have 20-25 unique comments. Responding to comments via email or in batches with one comment is better

Please, avoid the pitfalls. Your book is your dream - give it the best chance!

Find Diane - Blog, Website, Twitter, and Facebook
Find her book - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, and Powell’s
$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0

Ninja News

Thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group! So many touching and inspiring posts – you guys amaze me. BIG thanks to my co-hosts, Stephen Tremp and Julie Flanders. The group is over three hundred strong now, and despite my best efforts on Wednesday, I only visited half that number. So I really appreciate my co-hosts for helping me make everyone feel welcome.

March 14 is the National Wormhole Day Blogfest! Hosted by Stephen Tremp, Laura Eno, and LG Smith. What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once?

And… Julie Flanders’ book, Polar Nights, is available now! Congratulations, Julie.

A to Z Challenge is Looking for Minions!!

The thirteen hosts of the Challenge are looking for helpers. Some need help before the Challenge, some during, and some both. For full details and to volunteer, got to the A to Z Blog.

I’ve already asked (or rather called dibs on) Elise Fallson and JL Campbell to help me.


But I need three more people to assist during the Challenge. (It involves visiting approximately twenty blogs during the month – easy!) So if you would like to be a Ninja Minion, just say so in the comments!

CassaStorm Cover Reveal!

The cover for my third book, CassaStorm, is supposed to be ready by the end of next week and I am stoked to see it!

I’d mentioned doing a cover reveal earlier and many of you said you’d like to help. February 22 will be the reveal date, so if you can post it that day for me, I’d be grateful and humbled. Sign up below and I will send you the cover image on February 21. Thanks for everyone’s support – you guys ROCK!

And knowing I’ll get to see the cover soon (and that I have awesome friends who are also excited) definitely fits VikLit’s “Celebrate the Small Things!”






Ever made any of those author mistakes or have questions for Diane? Did you find support and inspiration in this week’s IWSG posts? Ready for Wormhole Day? And how would you like to be an A to Z Ninja Minion? (I might even be able to hook you up with some clones.) And can you help with my cover reveal on February 22?

160 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

Hmm... well, I'll try to finish CassaFire before then and run my review of it instead of doing the cover reveal.
How does that sound?

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Congrats, Diane. HTPAPYB looks like a great little book. Best of luck.

And Alex, I'm #2 -- I'm so excited. Wow, number TWO!!!

I can't participate in the blog, but I can visit 20 blogs if you need me to. Let me know. I'll even brush my hair and dress in something other than my pjs!

Kyra Lennon said...

Great tips from Diane!

I'm all signed up for your cover reveal! :D

Annalisa Crawford said...

Congratulations to Diane on her book - great tips.

T. Drecker said...

Wonderful tips! I like the term 'padding' :)

Mark Means said...

Alex, if you need another Ninja Minion to help with the A to Z blogfest, let me know!

Medeia Sharif said...

I'd love to post your cover.

Diane's everywhere. Congrats to her on her release.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great tips from Diane! I'm excited for your cover reveal Alex!
Yay for Julie, and Polar Night!

Elise Fallson said...

Great advice Diane and congrats again on your book, it looks like a wonderful source of information. It's on my list, as is Julie's book Polar Night! Lots of great books coming out these last couple of weeks! (:

Francis Lee said...

I believe I've read a few books that ignored those tips!

rebeccabradleycrime.com said...

Put me down for the cover reveal Alex!

Elena - Adriana Dascalu said...

I've found another good piece of info in Diane's article. I'm a beginner so advice helps. If I can avoid mistakes, I'll try to do so!

Thanks again!

Elena - Adriana Dascalu said...

Now, about A to Z Challenge... I have a question and can't get an answer: I have just one blog but I want to have 2 entries per day: one prose (detective story) and one poetry with a special twist. Can I use only one blog and do two posts per day, specifying that in my Blog post Name?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Andrew, which is better?

Joylene, thank you!

Thanks, Mark!!

Fran, that's funny.

Elena, that is a good question! Let me find out for you.

Thanks, guys!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Diane's book has been getting a lot of positive attention so it must have great tips. Glad you enjoyed the IWSG posts and I'm certain the A-Z blog challenge will be amazing. So in for your cover reveal. Enjoy your weekend Alex.

Ciara said...

Diane, I've witnessed the rush syndrome of new authors more than once. It's sad.
I'll be a helper, Alex.
Of course I'll shout out for your cover reveal. I signed up. We share a big week. ;)

Laura Marcella said...

Thanks for the great tips, Diane!

Looking forward to your book cover reveal, Alex! Woohoo!!

michelle said...

Count me in for the cover reveal Alex!

A to Z minion? I could do that if you still need somebody... plus I do have an official week's holiday the first week in April!

"Padding the comments"? Oh dear, I often respond to each comment individually... thanks for pointing this out...

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

Diane, thank you... very helpful advice... I am not an editor, my biggest problem... I should ask you about if you offered me and my service for cover design? Wink...

Alex, I am so looking forward to your cover, maybe working in the t-shirt angle... Double Wink... and I left space in your header, I think for more ships...

I need help with the minions... I am not sure how lottery is going, but I am the little last picked fat kid... on the team... Triple Wink...

Lots of Winks this Week!

Have a great day!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Francis, I wouldn't doubt that.

Elana, thank you.

Ciara, it's just so easy to do now.

Thank you so much, Alex.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats Diane. Your book sounds great.

Oh Alex, I thought I was going to see the cover today. Sigh. I guess I have no choice but to wait. Can't wait!

Yvonnes Poetry Corner said...

Congrats to Diane on her book and good luck with it.

Also looking forward to see your new book cover. It goes without saying all the good luck with the sales when published.

Have a great week-end.
Yvonne.

mooderino said...

Excellent advice from Diane.

Huntress said...

I was so wrapped up in Diane's post that I forgot whose blog I was reading. Excellent,excellent.

Once again, Alex, your blog flooded my mind with info. Great post!

Laura Eno said...

Sounds like great tips in Diane's book!
All signed up for your cover reveal, Alex.

I can be an A to Z minion for you. Can I order clones that look like Nathan Fillion? :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Diane always has great advice! Can't wait to see your cover! :)

kmckendry said...

Great tips Diane!
I'd love to be a ninja minion for the A-Z!
Can't wait til your cover reveal!

baygirl32 said...

Jumping up and down with my hand in the air - minion!

Donna K. Weaver said...

February 22nd? Awesome.

Seriously? Nine our of ten agented books never find a home? That's discouraging.

randi lee said...

Diane offers some GREAT advice. And I'm pumped to see your new cover!!!

Terri Rochenski said...

I hate to say it, but there are lots of self pub & indie pubs that could have used an editor. Nothing worse than sitting down with what I hope is a great book, only to be taken out of the story by grammatical errors.

I have the 22nd free & clear, so I signed up for the reveal. Congrats, & looking forward to seeing it!

Sarah McCabe said...

Actually, even if you're aiming at the "Big 5" you don't need an agent. There is literally nothing they can do for you that you can't do yourself and without sacrificing income forever.

Al Diaz said...

I'm all signed up for the cover reveal. And 20 blogs I can visit, it is easier than writing 26 entries.

Juliana Haygert said...

Just signed up for the cover reveal! Can't wait!

Em-Musing said...

Clones? I KNEW it! And yes, I'll help with your cover reveal. Have a weekend.

Tonja said...

I think I need some minions of my own. Or just a cleaning service. :)

Can't wait to see your book cover.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Huntress, why thank you.

Donna, that is a sad fact.

Terri, that's why an editor is so necessary.

Sarah, very true.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Alex,
Interesting article from Diane. From the perspective of a personal blog, I try to respond to each person that comments. Didn't view it as padding, but responding in one batch does save time. I've seen double and triple booking and def. understand how that can dilute readers. Good stuff!

Gotta get Polar Nights!

Miranda Hardy said...

I've seen Wolfe's book all over this week. Looks great!

Can't wait to see that cover!

Louise Bates said...

Thanks for the tips, Diane! I've never heard about "comment padding" - I always respond individually to comments because #1, I only have a handful of followers so I CAN, #2, it keeps the blog more personal and friendly, with the comments more of a conversation, and #3, it just seemed courteous to me to do that if I could! I'll have to look further into that now.

Excited about the cover reveal, Alex!

Rusty Webb said...

Great tips, I've been guilty of most of those sins at one time or another.

Thanks for the tip on the book release, I got all excited about Polar Night a few weeks ago and then forgot about it. I'll be checking that one out.

And what else? I'm signed up for your cover reveal. Um, I don't know. Happy Friday!

A.J. Walker said...

I'm getting sick of all the fake reviews on Amazon. You especially see it with new indie releases. Um, your book has been out three days and you already have ten five-star reviews? No, I don't think so.

Susan Fields said...

Great info, Diane! Nine out of ten agented books never finds a home? Now that's a depressing statistic.

L.G. Smith said...

I think rushing to publish is probably the biggest mistake I see people do in self-publishing. Somehow people have the impression the world can't wait one more month for their story, but the extra time can make all the difference in sorting out the manuscripts little flaws so it really shines.

Congrats to Julie on her release, and thanks for mentioning the blog hop too!

jaybird said...

Oy, I am a writer accident waiting to happen. Thanks for all the tips Diane- it's nice to know someone is looking out for us newbies.

Hmm, National Worm Hole day. I'd have to go back in time and hear Jesus preach. Could you imagine hearing the word of God, straight from the source? Yep. I would definitely like to be there for that.

Congrats on the new book/cover release. You can count on my support in revealing it!

Have a great weekend Alex.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michelle, don't stress!

Jeremy, the ones who volunteered on the A to Z blog went fast.

Natalie, sorry for the tease.

Huntress, that's funny.

Laura, yes you can.

Donna, it sure is.

Al, it is easier.

JL, it does make sense.

AJ, those are suspect.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be a Ninja Minion!! I need all the help I can get.

Suze said...

Nine out of ten agented manuscripts don't find a home? Is this an exaggeration for effect or is this really true? Where's the source for this figure?

Sorry to fixate but I'd love to know.

Melissa said...

Oo. Never heard of 'padding the comments.' I thought I was being polite. I'll keep that lesson in mind next time I guest post. ;)

Candilynn Fite said...

Ack! 9 out of 10?? Scary thought. Best of luck to Diane with her book. I've seen it all over this week!

Count me in to reveal your new cover, Alex. Guess I missed where to sign up. I'll go back and look.

IWSG posts were fabulous & inspiring, as always. :)

Candilynn Fite said...

Found the sign up! Done.

Teresa Coltrin said...

Diane, your post is super awesome. I have been corresponding with a professional editor for a short story compilation.

Alex, I'm excited to see your cover. Can't wait.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. lots going on - I'm minioning for the Tina lady!

Diane's book does look really helpful and I'll definitely be ordering it -

I think I got nobbled for the padding comment aspect bit - but as far as I was concerned I'd only just started getting 20-25+ comments at at time .. when I was still building those relationships ...but now I reply as a batch ...

I do like receiving email reply comments but they then don't show on the blog - so it looks like the owner isn't interacting - if you're a new blogger I'd have noticed that and thought well if they're not replying to anyone's comment - why am I taking my time here. I like to learn from blogger's questions - via the blog owners response ...

Sorry - this has got long .. looking forward to the reveal ...

Cheers Hilary

Yolanda Renee said...

Congrat's on the cover reveal.

Diane's suggestions are wonderful thanks for sharing.

As far as comments and padding. I think that depending on the blog subject that individual comments are sometimes important, I've done both, but to be honest when I first started I didn't know you were supposed to respond. I lost some very nice folks because I was a newbie and didn't know the rules.

Seems that's the only way I learn is through mistakes. I have a very bad habit of jumping without looking! :) Or screaming without acting! :(

Julie Luek said...

As usual, great list of good things going on. Love seeing Diane's book getting this kind of attention. Great advice.

Anne said...

I just heard about your book over at Melissa's place Diane and I think it should go over very well with the writers on the blogosphere.

Alex, I'm paying the price for being late to your blog. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, take a rest, have a cup of tea, scroll, scroll, scroll. Ahhh comment.

I'll have to think carefully about the wormhole question. With my luck, I'd probably wind up in Cromwell's England and have to kill myself. (I'm Irish and that would be a dreadful thing)

Heather Gardner said...

L. Diane - Great post and great information. Those are some mistakes I might not thought of. Your doing great work!

Alex - You always have the best peeps on here.
I'm sure you've gotten all the offers of help that you need but I would be happy to offer mine as well. Let me know if I'm too late and I'll go put my name on the A to Z minion list. :)

I would love to help with the cover reveal!!!

HMG

~Sia McKye~ said...

Alex, while I can't fully participate in the A-Z, I can help you with the 20 blogs. I usually read many of the blogs during that period. If you need me, I'm there. I'll be sure to schedule time for it.

Diane, all timely reminders and ones I agree with wholeheartedly!

As for padding...I've always looked at my blog as being the hostess and a good hostess pays attention to her guests and commenters are guests too. Most of the time I'll do several in one comment. Depends upon what I'm doing when the comments come in.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Summer Ross said...

I signed up for the cover reveal- So exciting! L. Diane gives a lot of great information.

Have a wonderful day!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LG, so true!

Hilary, I like to see interaction as well and always reply here in batches.

As we read in your post today, Yolanda!

Anne, you could be scrolling farther, so you're actually early.

Heather, never too late to be a minion.

Thanks, everyone! And here I was worried about finding minions and my cover reveal...

J. A. Bennett said...

Great tips from Diane, I see those mistakes made all too often :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I wish I could help with the A to Z challenge, Alex, but I'll still be doing a lot of traveling this spring and won't always have a lot of online time. Maybe next year...

Leovi said...

  Yes, I'm definitely looking forward to reading the literature on the cover of CassaStorm.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Diane give great advice. IWSG always rocks with encouragement! Almost ready for Wormhole Day and I'll help with your cover reveal - although I'll also be blog touring then. I might be willing to be a Ninja clone if it's light duty.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, that is wonderful about your cover. I'll be glad to post whenever you want me to. I am not sure I will be participating in A-Z this year. Just can't summon the energy.
Blessings,
Karen

ilima said...

Those were great tips. I never thought of not double booking blog tour dates,and review bribing--yikes. I'm all signed up for the cover reveal. Yay!

M. J. Joachim said...

Signed up to help with A - Z...been thinking about it for a while anyway...finally got around to doing it. You're better than me on the IWSG - only visited about 1/3, but plan to keep on visiting this weekend. Having a really good time with that one:)Celebrating today...lots to celebrate, actually:) Have a great weekend, Alex!

roe2me said...

Might try the Wormhole one and definitely in for your cover reveal. Happy to have taken part in IWSG for the first time.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

JL, double-booking short changes the hosts.

Louie, some people do use it to make their blog look more popular.

LG, the world can wait for an author to get it right.

Suze, I would have to dig up my source, but it was an accurate figure quoted last year.

Teresa, very wise.

Hilary, emails do mean it looks like there's no interaction. And if you're like me, you already get hundreds a day!

Thank you, Anne.

Robyn Campbell said...

Diane, this book is EVERYWHERE! I loved what you said about agents. They're good, but we don't have to have 'em! :-) I've heard folks say that they avoid self publishing like the plague. I say, "Never say never!"

Captain, I wanna see that cover! I will help with the cover reveal. Yes!

Have a great and super bodaciously fun weekend. :-)

Jamie Burch said...

Big thanks to Diane for sharing her great advice! Really looking forward to the cover reveal, Alex!

Matthew MacNish said...

Glad to see someone talking about commenting on your own posts! This is why I use email to reply.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tyrean, it's like light cleaning.

MJ, it's just so big now!

Thanks, guys!!!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I signed up for the cover reveal. Can't wait to see CassaStorm in all it's color!

Charles Gramlich said...

Good advice. I'm glad to see that I have typically been doing these things.

Nancy Thompson said...

Yeah, I double booked a few blog tour dates, but in my defense, they were requested by people who joined the tour late. What could I say? And yes, I agree on the policy about padding comments. I'm sure you'll get a few more minions. I'd join except my April is already booked twice over. But I did sign up for your cover reveal. I wouldn't miss that!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Can't wait to see the cover! I hope it will rock just like the previous two.

DMS said...

What great advice! The book sounds like one that can help writers who are new and ones who have been around the block a few times. I totally agree about the editing process. I hadn't ever heard about "padding comments". I tend to comment back to each of the comments on my blog, as it has seemed like a fast and easy way to respond to readers. :) I also try to stop by and see if bloggers comment back to me on their blogs. Something for me to think about!

Thanks for sharing all the awesome news.
~Jess

Arlee Bird said...

Of course I'll help with the cover reveal. Can you make it controversial? Be sure to have a gun in there somewhere.

Diane is just filled with all sorts of great advice. Although I'm working on something similar to the Shades of Gray book so I won't be needing any sort of editor.

Lee
A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Good advice from Diane. I've already committed a few oops, but que sera sera I suppose. (She could have published this advice sooner, ya know?)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nancy, I appreciate that. You've been missed around here.

George, so do I!

Lee - funny!!!

Elizabeth, better late than never.

Thanks, everyone!

Carrie-Anne said...

This probably wasn't so much a mistake as youthful naïveté, but I once thought I'd for sure be published by age fourteen, and that I'd immediately become rich and famous. When I finally began querying (too briefly) in 2000-01, I also thought I'd quickly get an agent and wasn't prepared to have materials returned to sender unopened and to get form rejections. There was also a time when I didn't think I needed to edit or change anything.

Elsie The Writer said...

Great advice! I never heard of comment padding either and it's something I'm guilty of myself. I comment individually because I like to be able to go back to a blog I've commented on and find my name and match up the response in kind. I guess I never thought of it as a way to boost numbers. Hmmm, now I'll have to reconsider....

Julie Flanders said...

Thank you so much for the shout-out, Alex! And thanks for sharing this great interview with Diane, I can't wait to read her book.
I had a great time co-hosting the IWSG and would be happy to do it again, just say the word if you need a co-host in the coming months.

Can't wait for the cover reveal, congratulations!!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Diane nailed it! Every writer should read this.

I just realized it's been awhile since I've checked in with you, Alex! I've missed you!

S.K. Anthony said...

Thanks for the tips, they are great!

Hey, I'm in for posting the cover reveal ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carrie, we all start out like that I think.

Elsie, food for thought.

Julie, you're welcome, and you and Stephen did an awesome job with the IWSG.

Jennifer, I've missed you! So happy to read your post today.

M Pax said...

Some great tips from Diane. Congrats to her and Julie!

Luckily you picked a day I'm not quite jam packed. :D So I can do your reveal that day.

E. Arroyo said...

Congrats on your cover! Can't wait to see it. And Congrats to Diane. These are some great tips. If you still need minions, I'm open. The distraction will help me keep sane. =)

LD Masterson said...

Uh oh. Diane says I'm doing a no-no. I always respond in a separate comment to each of my commenters. Never thought of it as padding. Just meant to give everyone my individual attention.

VikLit said...

How exciting that you soon have a COVER! WOOOO.

Johanna Garth said...

Great info Diane! I had no idea 9 out of 10 agented ms's never find a home.

And Alex, I wish I could help. Feeling guilty about not raising my hand, but we're going to be away a big chunk of that time so I won't be blogging at all.

Tara Tyler said...

so much greatness!
if you still need help, i'm available =)

yay for your cover & i am so glad you have a new story idea percolating!

Tina said...

My minions are doing great already! I finally finished my first section (thank you Hilary Melton-Butcher) and will post what she found (not much).

I already bought Diane's book.

Of course I'll promote your cover reveal!

Would never miss a chance to chance to travel a worm-hole...

Think that answers most of your questions...


Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Livia Peterson said...

I'm so in to help with your cover reveal! I can't wait to see the cover! I know it will be awesome! Love supporting my Ninja Captain! :)

And I'm looking forward to the National Wormhole Day Blogfest! It will be so much fun!

Powdered Toast Man said...

wow I made it hear before 100 comments. That is hard for me to do. I don't have a book coming out but I already email back comments.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Okay, Alex, you get way too many comments!

Robyn, we don't have to have them!

Jess, I wrote it for writers at all stages of the process.

Lee - LOL!

Elizabeth, I was working on it as fast as I could.

Jennifer, thank you.

LD, that's okay.

Tina, thank you for buying my book.

Stephen Tremp said...

Diane is a wealth of experience and information. I'm glad I'm postponing my book and not rushing into it. She makes great points with this one.

And editing is so essential to the success of a book. All too often I have to delete an eBook because of poor or no editing.

I thought Julie Flanders postponed the release of Polar Nights. Good to see its out!

Stephen Tremp said...

And thanks for the shout out for National Wormhole Day!

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats to Diane and Julie! And I can't wait to see your new cover :)

Happy Weekend!

Belle said...

I can certainly put your cover on my blog on Feb.22. I'd be glad to do it. That was a good article on author mistakes.

Cindy said...

Wow, I never thought I'd reach the bottom of all these comments. I'm looking forward to your cover reveal. Good advice from Diane too. Unfortunately, there are several authors who got away with a lot when it comes to reviews.

Maryann Miller said...

Glad I came over to read the blog. Great tips for authors, and I can see I will not be disappointed with Diane's book.

If you still need help with the A-Z challenge, let me know, Alex. I could manage to visit 20 blogs that month.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I can also help with the cover reveal on Feb 22!

Melissa Sugar said...

Great article and the book sounds like a necessary purchase . I would love to help with cover reveal

Azara said...

The last tip really shocked me. I've never heard a blogger being criticized before for giving a personal reply. I strongly believe in replying to each comment both on my blog and by e-mail (if it's set up) and will continue to do so, regardless of whatever sinister motivations may be attributed to me as a result.

I prefer to visit blogs where the author personally replies as well. I've formed some of my most meaningful connections this way.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Honored to help with your cover reveal. L.Diane has some great advice.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, I really had to think hard on a day where there wasn't something major happening around here.

Johanna, I think I'm covered for minions, so don't worry!

Tina, I'd already run through my section, so mine will help when the Challenge begins. (And that's when I will really need help!)

PTM, well done sir!

Stephen, you're welcome!

Azara, I reply, but in batches. The comment box is long enough.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

Lots of great advice here, Alex. Some to keep in mind and not forget, while others have already become lessons learned!

Yay for your book cover!

Chuck said...

Alex I would love to be a minion but since I will be vacationing in Honduras during the third week of the month, I know I would overwhelm myself so I can't throw my name in the hat.

I am really excited about the cover reveal and will post about it today. I signed up to get the cover on the 21st and I will have a post already to plug it into!

And I am ready to read the book!

Christine Rains said...

I'm excited to see your new cover! I signed up and I have you in my calendar now. Great IWSG posts this week. Have a good weekend. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Great tips!

I'm signed up for the wormhole blogfest; it sounds like it will be great.

Just offered to volunteer over at the A-Z blog.

I'm ready for the cover reveal February 22! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, Stephen.

Azara, replies can be grouped or direct emails sent, either of which is just as effective. But it's when a site is being judged (for a tour, etc.) and visitors, followers, and comments count that the padding is a problem.

Ella said...

Great job Diane! I haven't forgotten to mention you-will soon!

Congrats Diane and Julie...

I'm looking forward to the cover reveal ;D


Happy Friday :D

klahanie said...

Hi Alex and Diane,

Diane brings up some excellent points to ponder. However, because my logistics dictate I can give a personal response to each person on my site, it creates positive interaction and banter. The comments section, whether it may seem like mine is being 'padded' is an integral part of my site. I've had a lot of positive feedback regarding that.

At to Z, um good luck :)

All these links and the cover reveal is an exciting time. I'm very pleased for you, my good friend.

Cathy Keaton said...

Can't wait to see the cover of your book, Alex! ;)

SC Author said...

I wanna see the cover!!! And those misconceptions are awesome; definitely thought-provoking.

Tamara said...

I'm sure you've already had tons of volunteers, but I'd love to be one of your minions if you still need help! :) And I'm definitely in for the cover reveal.

Great tips by Diane--I never realized responding to each comment individually was kinda frowned upon--good to know!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, L.Diane,

THANKS for the great tips. I knew most of these, but it's nice to have them all on one list! Your book sounds like a great help to ANY writer at ANY stage in their writing journey.

ALEX,

Congrats on you new cover.

As for the IWSG this week, PLEASE allow me to THANK you and EVERYONE who had left comments. They meant so much to me ....

Have a great weekend.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great post from L. Diane! I do my comments in chunks, but try not to have more than 10 responses per post, so it ends up being 2-3 responses.

So exciting to have your cover on the way!

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Donna Hole said...

I read as many of the IWSG as I could, but I find my blogging falling into about 5th place lately. I take a blog break during A-Z as I'm not able to keep up with all the blog reading during that month, which makes me a no for a minion, though I consider it a worthy cause.

I have a movie quote for you Alex, a two parter. And no cheating by googling . .
Q: You're gonna use these weapons of mass destruction against men and women who uphold the law?
A: I use these guns to go grocery shopping.

I'd never remember this all the way to your next movie quote day so I'm leaving it here for you. Hopefully it will stump you :)

.....dhole

C.M.Brown said...

I am all signed up for your cover reveal! Can't wait!

I can see that you have enough helpers for A-Z, but if anyone of the other hosts need a hand, I'd be happy to help!

Some great tips from L.Dianne, she will be visiting my site for her Blog Tour for the 22nd February! I am looking forward to her post!

Patsy said...

Regarding the mistakes ... yes, I did start out thinking I needed an agent but have come to see that isn't always the case.

I'm not sure about the email comments though - isn't it friendlier to respond to everyone individually? I can see that if there are hundreds of comments that's not possible, but when there are just a few I think it's the right thing to do.

Nick Wilford said...

Of course I'll help with your cover reveal! Can't wait to see it.

Interesting post from Diane. "9 out of 10 agented manuscripts never get published" - that's quite shocking! No, not the be all and end all at all...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chuck, the book is just seven months away!

Gary, you're just doing your site for you, not to host blog tours or as an author or anything, so it's cool.

Michael, sounds like you really needed the support this week.

Shannon, I try to do the same.

Donna, I can hear Stallone, although I don't think he said either line. Demolition Man?

Carolyn, Jeremy needs help!!

Patsy, you're probably all right.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up to help with my cover release!!!

DL Hammons said...

I just received Diane's book in the mail yesterday!! *Giggle* :)

Martha said...

Hey Alex,
Great tips from Diane! I left a comment over on the A-Z saying I'm up for being a mini-minion. Have a great weekend :)

Leovi said...

If I could go through a wormhole in space or time once again to start my life again but keeping what we have learned, my teenage sure would not be so silly.

Allison said...

I was like "Shoot, I can't help reveal the cover, cause I have a guest post on the 22nd." And then I realized you were the guest poster! I think revealing the cover at the end of your post will work fine :)

Shaharizan Perez said...

Hi Alex,

I found Ms. Wolfe's tips really useful.

Congrats on the cover design of your new book. Can't wait to see it!

Jo said...

Not being a writer Diane, I won't be buying your book, but the tips you gave today seemed like they would be very helpful.

I personally cannot wait for the new book. Have signed on for the cover reveal. I really hope you won't take too long before you write something else Alex.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Gary, it does depend on what you are using your site for.

Tamara, not frowned upon as much as misleading.

Michael, it does.

Shannon, that's a good way to handle it.

CM, looking forward to you visiting my blog, too.

Patsy, it just depends on how you are using your blog.

DL, did you just giggle?

Jo, that's okay!

Tammy Theriault said...

can't wait for the reveal..and just decided, yes, to go for the movie bloghop! can't wait!

Brinda said...

Wow, you are popular. I think my comment is #510.

Anyway, I think L. is right. Double-booking is blog tours is a bad idea.

Also, I signed up for your cover reveal. Yay!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

DL, very cool!

Martha, thanks for volunteering.

Allison, that's right! It will work out perfectly.

Jo, we'll see...

Tammy, thanks - very cool!

Brinda, thank you.

Rhonda said...

Thanks for this guest post. It was really useful - although I first need to get my book out of my head and onto paper (computer).

I volunteered at the official site, but I can do it again here. I am happy to be a helper for AtoZ

Maria said...

Good advice, not sure I agree with not leaving replies to blog comments individually though, as I think it's polite to reply, as well as friendlier.

Trisha F said...

Diane gives great advice, and I can't wait to get my hands on her book.

Lots of releases happening right now, and some really nice cover art! I look forward to seeing yours too!

Milo James Fowler said...

I'd sure like to know the names of those publishers who take unagented submissions -- but I'd probably have to buy the book! Looking forward to your cover reveal, Alex. Your blog header seriously rocks.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Looking forward to seeing the cover Alex!!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I have made many author mistakes, so many that I cringe a lot when I think of it. Looking forward to your cover reveal.

Karen Elizabeth Brown said...

Yes... I'm guilty of making mistakes. Cringe. I'm learning as I go with help from others.

Can't wait to see your cover!

Susanne Drazic said...

CONGRATS, Diane! Great tips.

Alex, just signed up to participate in the cover reveal. : )

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, that's great!

Thanks, Milo!

Rachna, haven't we all?

Thanks, Suzanne!

Monti said...

Thanks for the great post Diane put up, Alex. I'm afraid many new, self-published authors do not realize how essential a good editor is for their books. I didn't know about the comments and thought you were supposed to reply to each one individually! I will have to check out Diane's book...

Monti

Sherry Ellis said...

This was a great interview with Spunk on a Stick! I'm looking forward to your cover reveal!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Brinda, it's easier on us when we don't, too.

Thank you, Trisha.

Milo, I don't list them, but I have links to many directories.

Thank you again so much, Alex.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Thanks for the tips. Responding to comments in batches is a great suggestion--and a time saver.

Lynda R Young said...

Not getting a professioanl editor--especially if you're self-publishing--is a massive mistake.

I'm super excited about your cover reveal.

Theresa Milstein said...

Great suggestions, L. Diane Wolfe. I'd only disagree about blog comments. I comment back on my blog because sometimes it leads to conversation and I've used the option so the commenter receives the emails as well. I never think of it as padding. My favorite piece of advice you gave is about not double-booking. When I visit a blog that has 2 links, I often just visit 1.

Good luck with your book!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Monti, and editor is essential.

Donna, saves me time anyway.

Thanks, Lynda!

Theresa, I usually only visit one link as well.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Diane's book looks like just what the doctor ordered in this day and age. Thanks for sharing.

Cassie Mae said...

Very sound advice! I may have to print it out and keep it handy :)

tfwalsh said...

Oh, I've made some of those mistakes... like rushing out a story before it was finished... did not turn out well:( Great post.

Donna Hole said...

Curse you Ninja Captain! You are right, it is Stallone, and he said neither quote. Yep, Demolition Man. It played on all weekend and I love the movie and hoped I could stump you.

I'll have to be more cryptic in the future . ..

.......dhole

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Cassie!!! Good to hear from you.

Donna, I've seen way too many movies...

msmariah said...

Alex, as always great tips. I think the editor advice is key! Edit, edit, edit, and then edit again.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Your cover reveal is welcome on Feb 22 at The Write Game.

Melissa Bradley said...

Great post and advice from Diane. Love Spunk on a Stick.

All signed up for the big cover reveal. I can't wait to see it.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Great post and advice. One piece of Diane's advice in particular stands out: the bit about getting an editor. As a reader (never mind reviewer) there is nothing more painful than struggling through a book that is full of great ideas and obviously has potential but has not been edited.

kmckendry said...

Can't wait til Friday! :)