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Summer Fun: Waiting to Launch

Summer Fun

Quote of the Day: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Panama Ciy Beach FL
Panama Ciy Beach FL

Good morning! I hope you’re enjoying this summer season. It’s a great time to kick-back with family and friends. I’ve enjoyed time with my family and look forward to more magical moments.

I’ve also been editing and preparing for the launch of my new mystery-suspense book. I’ll be posting more details on social media. Hope you’ll join the fun and excitement. Carolyn M. Bowen, Author

For your relaxation: The waves lapping the beaches of NW FL

Today’s Inspiration

Quote for Today: If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. David Brin

Shellman's Bluff GA

Spring is in the air making my days even more wonderful. I love the distinct seasonal changes in the US. The number of entertainment opportunities are enormous. The timing is perfect for me to take a short break before the launch of my new book. This means spending time with friends and family. I hope you’re taking a spring break, too.

I look forward to sharing new information about my book soon. If you haven’t read my previous books, please check them out on Amazon.com.

Thank you! Carolyn Bowen Book Trailer for Cross-Ties Novel

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Easter 2016

Quote of the Day: Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless. Charles M. Crowe

Easter21

History Notes

Today is Good Friday which honors the day of the crucifixion of Jesus. Holy Saturday follows with remembrance of the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. The 50-day period after Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Check out the History Channel for more information.

What does Easter mean to you?

Easter means different things to people based on their individual values and beliefs. To some, pictures of fuzzy bunnies and Easter Egg hunts come to mind. These can be fun things to do in observing the holiday. My wish for you is the exploration of the meaning behind this holiday. I hope this Easter will be a time of personal reflection on the spiritual blessings of the season. Happy Easter! 

Cross-Ties Book Carolyn Bowen If you have a chance over the weekend, check out my  profile. I will be posting the launch date for my new suspense mystery coming out soon. Thank you! Carolyn Bowen

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New Blog in 2015?

Quote for Today: “A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.” Lee Odden

December is traditionally a time when we reflect on our achievements and highlights from the previous year. Along with reflections from the past comes fresh ideas about the possibilities in the new year. It is an exciting time to ponder new business possibilities and begin setting goals for the new year.

There has been much hype about blogging as a business in the past year. So much, that you would think everyone needs a space in the blogosphere. From brick and mortar store (brand) blogs to the sharing of journals and diaries, it seems everyone should have a web presence.

The Popularity of Blogs

According to Wikipedia, “On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide. According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today, however Blogger does not offer public statistics. Technorati has 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014.” The number of new blogs has continued climbing throughout the year. For an idea of the number of posts made daily, check Worldometers for some calculations in real time.

Today, it is common for business web-sites to include a blog to inform the public about their offerings, special events, brand and etc. These are the exception to the business of a blog website. If the idea of starting your own blog is crossing your mind – this post is for you.

My New Blog, Carolyn Bowen, The Writing LifeBusiness Planning

First, ask the question, Why do you want to write a blog? When the idea surfaces its common to think that it will be easy writing about something you enjoy doing and you will make lots of money sharing your knowledge plus there’s always affiliate or other marketing options – right? Although there are web-sites that do generate substantial revenue, the masses fall at the other end of the spectrum. However, if you are satisfied with your reasons for creating a blog, it’s time to move forward.

Treat your blog the same as if it was any other new business you are opening. I know it’s easy to think, well I’ll be doing it all and from anywhere I choose. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers. For this, you need a well researched business plan that will help you find your niche, know your competition, costs for delivery, maintenance, domain and social media marketing as well as expansion.

 The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen, BloggingYou will need to consider which platform you will use to establish your web domain. Hosted vs standalone blog platforms? Hosted blog platforms like Blogger, WordPress, GoDaddy and many more or whether you should go for a stand alone platform that you host on your own domain and server like WordPress.org or others. I have tried it both ways, hosted and standalone and the greatest difference for two of the web-sites was a standalone using BlueHost with WordPress for creating posts. However, with the right SEO and content any of the above will accomplish the same results. You can always start with the basics like this web-site and work your way up. It’s all about how much time and money you want to put into it. And, for me and hopefully for you – time is money.

Social Media Icons, The Writng Life
Social Media

There are platforms that provide free hosting to help get you started. However, if you want your posts to be seen by the masses you are going to need some SEO help whether you do it yourself or hire someone else. In addition, to help your posts fly and enjoy higher visibility you need social media sites where potential readers hang-out. Check the demographics and the interests of major social sites before creating a profile. Make sure it will be a good fit with folks of common interests in your topics. Then take it slowly, building your following on 2-3 major social sites at the time. The key here is building relationships and engaging with your followers. For business planning, consider your time and budget for promoting your social media site.

Pictures are worth a thousand words

The Writing Life, CMBowenWhether or not you snap your own pictures for your blog and social media posts you will need to have an idea about the costs for apps to help you customize your designs unless you are an accomplished graphic artists. Although I do enjoy using some apps like Canva for they provide an assortment of photos to select from, I have also purchased photos from stock companies and then customized them using another source. Key thought – know what you should budget for marketing your new business.

This is not at all an inclusive listing for planning your blog start-up, but rather some notes to direct you in making decisions. The year 2015 could be your breakthrough year, I hope you will use your time, energy and money wisely. Wishing you the success you deserve. Carolyn

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When Less Is More: Social Media

Quote for Today: I continue to be drawn to clarity and simplicity. ‘Less is more’ remains my mantra. Stephane Rolland

The holiday season is in our wake and it seems everywhere we look there are some fantastic gifts starring us in the face. Everyone today is marketing something. It is just the way the world operates now from authors promoting their books, companies branding their product lines to non-profits creating awareness about their mission. What are we to do if we want our own offerings available for the world to see? Get more visible with a planned strategy to target our market.

Black Friday, Books

What is one to do when first starting out promoting their products or services? We question what platforms will deliver the greatest results for our efforts and pocketbook. Looking around the Internet there is a huge array of selections for posting on social media. It is tempting to say “I want to use them all and receive the most for my start-up.” I’ve been in that mind-set too and learned that sometimes less is more. Clue: Fresh content, visuals, supporting apps are just a few of the commodities needed for each site.

My suggestion is to use the social media sites where your potential customers already are active. It is best to begin with two or three sites and as you build your community expand your reach to others or use your talent and energy to continue improving your existing sites.

My favorites for ease of use, targeting folks interested in my products and building a community that enjoys the same things are as follows: Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.   And, I did not do these all at once. Each site is a work in progress that has been expanded as resources became available. It is a good to have a budget for paid advertisements on your social media sites. It is generally agreed that it is a better option than buying followers who may or may not be interested in your offerings.

Another option this holiday season is partnering with a company that already markets similar products or services. For example holiday specials in the hospitality industry, an established blog that promotes travel, food and entertainment would be a bonus. Note: This is one of my companies.  However, for Cross-Ties
the search is on for a partner (book seller) that will help my young adult novel go viral.

Keep it simple, know your audience and market accordingly.  Special note  for companies marketing to businesses, it’s hard to beat Linkedin for news and growing your network.

I look forward to your comments about what’s working for your marketing program. Hope to see you on social media. Cordially, Carolyn

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Cross-Ties Book Trailer

Thought for Today: “Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

Good morning everyone!
Today I want to talk about Cross-Ties, the Book. Cross-Ties, a young adult fiction, is full of visuals from the Pirates of the Caribbean, the beautiful Antigua and frontier America just to name a few. It was a treat to release the Cross-Ties book trailer that provides a peek into the journey of the main character Leah coming of age in the 18th Century.

Every young person proceeds through a rite of passage into adulthood. In Leah’s case, it was a stormy transition in finding true love and purpose in life. For many, this still holds true today. In Leah’s early adulthood, she had the mistaken belief that a man loved her only to find that it was a different kind of love. A love between friends, not the romantic love she had visualized in her dreams. Yet, she did find different kinds of love during her lifetime. Read Cross-Ties today and enjoy Leah’s adventure as she learns to love again – and again.

Cross-Ties Book, Carolyn M. Bowen, The Writing LifeHope to see you on Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter. Let me know your experiences in finding true love and purpose in life. It’s a never ending story. Carolyn

 

 

 

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Social Media Tips for Writers

Thought for today: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou

http://www.postplanner.com/

I am a writer and have a passion for writing. Today’s writer wears more than one hat for it is important to know how to market your books too. In addition, it is not uncommon for many writers to hold other employment as well. Marketing is my other passion. So, time is of the essence.

For marketing, many hours of a day are spent on a variety of social media sites updating fans with latest writing news, inspiring others to achieve their dreams, and connecting on a personal basis. So when do you have time to work on new material?

I have found that prioritizing my goals for the day is helpful. I like to wake early in the morning and work on my manuscripts for new books. It’s a great time when my mind is fresh and thoughts come together easier for stories. Even though I have an urge to check my email’s and tune in to my social network, I attempt to stay focused on my writing. When my mind is set – most times I win.

In the search for social media applications that will make my life run smoother, I found two that standout for their easy use and refreshing content – Canva and Post Planner. What’s so great about both of them is that you can try them for free. Once you see the results you can subscribe or not. I enjoy the benefits of using my own content or theirs from pictures, quotes to relevant articles. These applications provide me with the opportunity to do more of what I love – writing and forming relationships with those of similar interests. Yes, I love content writing that is pertinent within the scope of my interests. And, you can see I do a lot of it. Yet, a little help is always welcome when wearing several hats. You may want to try these too.

Do you have favorite digital applications for sharing on social media? Share your time saving tips with me. Streamlining frees us to focus on what’s more important in life. I’d like to get to know you. Let’s connect on Google Plus,  Facebook and Twitter. Carolyn 

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Summer Is Here!

Quote for Today:   “Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.  Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.  Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”  Yoko Ono

Summer,CM Bowen Author, The Writing Life

Today is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The day of the solstice has the longest period of sunlight in the calendar year. The lazy days of Summer time are here at last.  I have to admit to longing for the changes of the season.  I can spend hours admiring the beauty of nature outside my window as I work on my writing or enjoy outdoor events that can only be found in the Summer months.  What are some of your favorite things to do?

Check out this young adult fiction for a summer reading adventure. Cross-Ties
Thank you!  Carolyn M. Bowen

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