Target your reader audience

A lot of authors don’t understand Twitter and sadly shy away from using this platform. But, when you know how to use it, you will open a whole new world of readership. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. All you have to do is open up a Twitter account if you haven’t already. Then, the first thing you do is post your Twitter link in the groups you belong to and ask if anyone wants to follow you and you will follow back. Make sure the groups you post in allow this. To find your link on Twitter click on your name at the  top left. It will take you to your own page. Then that will be the link you copy/paste.

Now, to follow people on Twitter. Type in names in the search box. A lot of people will use their own name to make it easier to be found. Click on their name and click follow. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Follow a few authors who write similar genres to you. Go to (their followers) and then scroll through the people who follow them. This is like a job, so don’t think 5 mins will do it. Check to see if the person is active by going to their page and looking at how often or when the last tweet was that they tweeted. Give them a few days to follow you back. If they don’t follow you back, then unfollow them. I say this because you are allowed to follow and X amount of people in stages. So if you instantly follow 2,000 people and only have 300 followers, Twitter will put a cap on you following until you get more followers. This figure might have changed in recent years, but it is a good indication. So always unfollow non-followers, as you and your followers will see their tweets, but they won’t see yours, or their followers. This ends up wasting your time. Always be on top of Twitter. Throw in some tweets about other things than your books. Like and re-tweet other tweets. Be active. Be friendly. Never rant. Never post political if you want to keep your readership.

Other authors are your friends. Their readers are your readers. Re-tweet them, and they’ll re-tweet you.

I actually made friends with a famous movie screenwriter through Twitter, and yes, you’ve watched the movies on the big screen. So you never now who you’ll come across.

Make Twitter fun. Post something inspiring.

Hashtags…# when you hashtag you are sending your tweet to more potential followers and fans of your books. It’s not just #book, #paperback #eBook. You need to think of the contents of the book. Example: Marine: Outside the Wire. (Based in Afghanistan) I would #…#Afghanistan #Jelawur #Marine #dog #soldier #brothers #sisters #k9unit #outsidethewire #deployed #IED #doghandler #patrol #greenzone #firefight #reporter ##base #risk #battle #ambush…and so on. Now, these don’t all have to be used in the same tweet, take a few and change them each day.

Another great way to get your message across when you only have a certain amount of word usage on Twitter is to make a cover banner with a message on it.

Here is one I made for my 2 book series The Process and The Crucifix Murders. It tells the reader about the book and there’s no penalty word count when you post, so the box is freed up to say a little something, add the book link and then hashtag the heck out of it.

Here’s another

So remember, think outside the box, not just what you see. If you struggle with hashtags, read your book blurb and pick out words. Then look inside your book, and pick out descriptive words.

But most of all HAVE FUN!!!!!

I hope this helps 🙂

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Reviews! The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The ongoing struggle with writing and publishing a book continues across the board, no matter what genre you write in. But, there is a growing concern that reviews are adding more controversy than actually doing what they are supposed to be doing. Honest reviews should contain the person’s opinion about the book they have read. Now we are seeing 5 star reviews from review exchange sites. 1 and 2 star reviews from attackers. Somewhere in the middle (3 and 4 star reviews) seem so far to be mixed into the norm. These are the reviews I tend to go by if I see an astounding amount of 5 stars and attacks of 1 stars with hatred. We can see for ourselves that when someone spews enough BS in their review, that this isn’t going to be taken seriously.

There are plenty of 5 star reviews that are honest, but now I feel I have to check out that person doing the review to see if they are in someway connected to the said author and just throwing a review in to push that book up in the ranks. But then, where does this all end?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly reviews will always be there as long as the website they’re posted on allows them. I’ve often said that rather than writing a review, sites like Amazon should have a marking system where you tick a box next to a question. Like: How good was the editing? and then you tick a box next to a number you think would be the rank you’d like to give it. This would stop the crap being written at least. The system would be fishy if every number 1 box was ticked and Amazon could have a system in place where it would be between the reviewer and them why they felt the book deserved all 1 stars iin every question. They would have to approve the reason. A book could be poorly edited, but the story great. Or the story average. So the marks for these questions would be all over the place, then Amazon could gather the average score at the bottom of the questions.

This is just an idea, and I think anything else they can come up with other than the system in place, would be good to try, as they only remove the good reviews, and leave the bad ones, even though an author can prove they know that person, or that they are another author in competition. I was lucky enough to get a review removed not so long ago, when the reviewer went on attack of lesbian books. I reported to Amazon that she stated she hadn’t bought the book, she hadn’t read the book, and that she was not into lesbian books anymore. This was not an acceptable review, and thankfully they removed it.

A recent conversation with a fellow author got me thinking about why I hadn’t been writing for over a year. My last book was published in January 2017, and along with a few other reasons, one of them was that I had become fed up with the attacks in reviews, and so many authors were posting about them. It got depressing. But, I put on my big girl pants, and a few weeks ago I found myself again, and spent several days finishing off a book I’d started. It went to Beta readers, a proof reader, and then an editor. I then hit publish. I can tell you, it felt good. I now have 2 other books I’ll be publishing this year. But when I spoke to this fellow author, I found she was going through a hard time with spiteful reviewers. We can’t make someone not want to give up writing, all we can do is be there, and listen to them.

Now I don’t concentrate on reviews as much, even though I get excited when someone genuinely loves my book. That’s a natural feeling to have. So, all I want to say is, hang in there, because we, as lesbian authors have become a strength that wasn’t there a few years ago. I should know, I’ve been writing since 2011, and I had no one helping me back then.

This blog is just my opinion, and anyone can agree or disagree, but please, do it with class if you happen to disagree.

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Lesbian drama is growing

Lesbian drama is on the rise, and I’m delighted. At first, when I began writing back in 2010, my searches for lesbian drama came up short. I love detective stories, military, thrillers, murders. I write these themes as well as erotica and romance. But when I tried to find my favourite categories, they came up short. Most lesbian books were in the romance genre, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But when you have a want…no, a need, to read more than a girl gets a girl story, you start to crave for it. My first book was a romcom, my second, a little different, more romantic drama, then my third book changed me. I could see where I was going with my writing style and genres. I wrote several books, then went sideways with a BDSM series. “Oh WOW,” was all my wife Janice could say, followed by, “Where did my wife go?” At first I thought she was ashamed of this writing I’d suddenly found myself loving, but when she finished the series, she said, “Where have you been all my life?” I knew I’d hit the approval button.

But forward to today. 8 years later. More than 36 books written. Not all published yet. I feel like I’ve lived the life of someone on a rollercoaster ride. I’ve lived in the 1800s, WW1, WW2, 1920s, I’ve been a spy, a killer, a footballer, a cowgirl, a rancher, a Marine. I’ve invested myself in each of these characters. When you write a story, it doesn’t always mean you’re writing that story. Sometimes, that story writes you a life you’d never experience in reality, but you get to have the next best thing.

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and to see just how far I’ve come has absolutely amazed me. And the friends I’ve made are awesome. I even got to meet a few a the 2017 GCLS Con in Chicago. Never did I think that would happen. So today, I sit at my computer with a heart filled with gratefulness. Because I’ve lived this life, and it’s all thanks to you X

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News Release: Cricket by Barbara Dennis

A brand new author has written her debut story. Cricket. A cute story that will draw you in from the start. Published through Wicked Publishing.

Wicked Publishing

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Now Available
Paperback
Ebook

See what the Advanced Reviewers have said about Cricket.

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‘couldn’t put it down’   Couldn't-put-it-down

I just read Cricket by Barbara Dennis which is due out on May 20, 2016
What an awesome story, the character’s are fantastic. Well written story, had me laughing. The book just pulls you in, I myself couldn’t put it down. Cricket is awesome so is Monkey. I’m trying not to let out any spoilers. I have no problem giving it five stars and will recommend it to my friend. I would also like to see more from Barbara Dennis.
Tinna Webb

*****

‘drew me in very quickly’    sucked in

Cricket is just a really sweet, gentle story of a widow who is ready to move ahead with her life a few years after her wife dies. With the support of her best friend Mar and her dog Monkey by her…

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Coming soon

Cricket, by Barbara Dennis. Release date mid-May. Published through Wicked Publishing at wickedpublishing.net

Wicked Publishing

A May release,  Cricket by Barbara Dennis.

Now in her mid-forties, Cricket has found herself existing with the unexpected loss of her long-time lover Gerry. With the support of her circle of friends and the love of her Bernese dog, Monkey, she continues to live, breathe, and hope for the emptiness to fade.

Resigned to believing the hurt will stay, an unforeseen possibility of a new love interest breezes into her life through meeting new friends.

Can Cricket lower her guard and allow another person into her heart, or will she push them away and forever struggle with the constant heartbreak?

A touching story that portrays every day struggles with unpredictable scenarios.

Cricket book Trailer

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We are proud to announce, Barbara Dennis has joined the Wicked Publishing family

Barbara Dennis has joined the Wicked Publishing family

Wicked Publishing

Barb for wp

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http://www.wickedpublishing.net/index.html

Wicked Publishing are proud to announce the addition of Ronni Meyrick to their united publishing company

Ronni Press

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