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Happy 4th of July

July 4th, Carolyn M. Bowen AuthorQuote of the Day: You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  Erma Bombeck

July 4th, Carolyn M. Bowen Author

Wishing you a fun and safe holiday weekend. Carolyn Bowen  Cross-Ties

New Book Coming Soon

Quote of the Today: “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” Ernest Hemingway

New BookI can’t hardly type this morning from the excitement about the progress on my new suspense book. It won’t be much longer before I can announce a launch date and party plans. I’ll be posting the latest news here and on my social media sites. Hope you’ll follow and talk to me on  Facebook, Google PlusTwitterAmazon Author’s Page, and other favorite sites.

Toker my cat, Carolyn M. Bowen Author

Today is National Camera Day which is fitting in my case. It’s time for a new head shot for the book. Usually, I welcome such occasions but on a bad hair day not so much. My cat Toker seems to agree a do over is merited. Wish me the best!

I appreciate your following my blog and connecting on social media. Thank you! Wishing you a wonderful day! Carolyn Bowen

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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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Spring 2016: New Beginnings

Quote of the Day: It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! Mark Twain

spring3

Spring has arrived. I am tickled pink about this colorful season and the launching of my new murder mystery novel. I’ll keep you posted about this upcoming event on this web-site and via my social media accounts.

The writing of this book flowed like a raging waterfall. The editing was a different story. The experience has taught me more about the craft of writing. Being a lifelong learner, my attention has been peaked to learn more. I can’t wait to share my latest novel with you. Check out my Amazon author page for more of my books.

I hope this spring brings you peace and joy. Carolyn Bowen

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Reflections on 2015

Quote of the Day: “Its hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but its harder to give up when you know its everything you want.” Unknown

Reflections on 2015

The year 2015 was fast and furious. It’s amazing to reflect on the number of goals accomplished during the year. As a life-long learner, I have endeavored to learn more about writing and publishing while keeping up with marketing trends. Some lessons were difficult while others easier. Below are my top five writing tips from 2015.

Top 5 Writing Tips

1) Write often – set a schedule and keep it.

2) Continue learning your craft through study and observation. Don’t be too quick in ruling out self-publishing. Many authors have followed this path and enjoy having control over their work and finances. Note, it doesn’t rule out traditional publishing at a later date. There’s more than an handful of authors today who began their career this way. While other independent authors prefer self-publishing and are quite successful.

3) Choose your editor wisely: They’re many excellent editors available for hire. Find one who meets your publication schedule. Do your research and don’t mistake a shiny web-site for competence. For example, one of my best editors was not in the spotlight with a huge number of followers. I was worried at first because as a social media person my expectations were to see him flying across the universe. He wasn’t. What I found was someone living in the backwoods of the South, with Internet connection and the knowledge and skills to take my work to the next level. After reading his thirty page review and a line by line critique, I knew I’d found the right editor for my new book.

4) Brand yourself on social media: Whether you have an agent or not, you still need to know how to publicize your work.

5) Learn the business: Ask questions, establish and grow relationships

Christmas PlainI hope that my adventure in publishing will help you. I’m look forward to 2016 and the endless possibilities for cultivating new fans. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  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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