Survive

I’m stronger than the storm,

Survival for me is simply the norm.

No matter what life throws,

Or how dark this path grows.

My passion is sometimes all I can give,

But in the end, that’s how I live.

Even when those odds take a dive,

You’ll always find me being able to survive.

The Impeccable Guide to being an Impeccable Social Media Author

IMPECCABILITY is what you need to become an IMPECCABLE social media author like me and this guide contains everything you need to get there. Let the impeculation flow through you as this guide will avoid the same old repetition you’ve been reading online for years. You won’t find the same old repetition here because that impeculation will help you sell books, get social media fame and overall success on this path. We’re not even sure impeculation is a word but this is a space for creatives, not snarky editors. Let’s rock!

1. Definitions

In order to achieve IMPECCABILITY first you need to know the definitions of what social media is. So take what you think you know and tear it to pieces because social media is only one place, Twitter! Throw away the hundreds of followers you’ve earned elsewhere apart from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and any blog you might have and focus on the place where the real party is happening.

Followers: Followers are what make up the audience in which you’ve got to throw every ounce of content you have all the time. When it comes to followers, their actual opinion, needs, and tastes don’t really matter but the number does so just focus on collecting more of them. Talk at them and they will listen, in fact keep talking at them until they buy your stuff. If they don’t buy your stuff then don’t waste your time on them. Block Block Block! Make sure you appear as if you are the only person in the world they have to follow. Don’t give them an opportunity to be included, just make them want to be you!

Engagement: This is the stuff you want to avoid on social media because engagement zaps up valuable time when you could be posting links into the void. Top Tip: Stay away from the replies on any platform where someone is engaging in you. Engagement is the enemy.

DM’s: Direct Messages, this is the tool where you can really hone that IMPECCABILITY by directly targeting followers into submission until they buy your crap. More on this below, probably but all good platforms Twitter allows you to directly message anyone. That is if they haven’t got those pesky privacy settings meaning you can only send them a message request. Block them if they have this. Don’t waste that time.

B) Twitter

Now we’ve looked at the definitions lets look at the real definition of social media, and the only place you can really sell books, Twitter!

The true power on Twitter is the personal connections you can make through DM’s. There’s a plethora of spammy unofficial add ons you can install onto your twitter that will do the work for you. And by work I mean bothering new followers into submission with information – this really works to sell things. So I recommend you set up a function that DM’s new followers instantaneously with a message of your choice. This message must be at least 7 paragraphs of your stuff. Links, blurbs, a not so sincere blanket thank you. And remember the more pretentious your message, the bigger you will appear to the lemmings so if you really want to appear big-time make sure you mention that a social media PR firm are handling all your endeavours. This will show you really care about personally connecting with others.

In terms of being a successful social media author you need two things and then you need to do one thing.

  1. Grow a social media following;
  2. Write a book.
  1. Share it to your social media following for instant sales.

That is it. And before you ask, yes it is that simple but the real challenge is conducting yourself to get sales.

iii) Conduct

There are a bunch of things you must do everyday to secure dominance and then IMPECCABILITY by using Twitter.

Tweeting:

Firstly and most importantly when considering tweeting you must include several hashtags and a link – you’ll find specifics below as to what to actually tweet but the basics are having hashtags and links. This way, the algorithms will favor you every time over everyone else. Only losers really attempt anything other than sharing links and using hashtags. Keep away from conversation and focus on flinging links and making tweets more readable by making #at least #every other #word a #hashtag because this doesn’t look desperate for attention, its the tweet conduct of someone who is goal driven!

Got to tag them all:

If there’s one thing that will help you gain traction and visibility it is to tag those with larger followings than you. They have spent many years carving their engagement and following so its time to use that to your advantage plus they are on twitter so they cant be busy. In order to really get someone’s attention, you want to tag these folks at least three times in a day. Maybe more if you’ve never ever interacted with them. Negative attention you ask? There is only such thing as positive attention online. They will love the overabundance of notifications, trust me.

Drop those links:

Just as you’ll be tagging those higher profile accounts it is also important to drop your book links on their tweets. Even if it is entirely unrelated because this is seen as an entrepreneur move. Everyone and their following will notice your sharp marketing skills and instantly buy your stuff. Drop those links everywhere. Twitter will totally not notice and tell you off. There is a rumour that dropping links all the time will bury your visibility, this is pure myth. Drop that link!

Keep it current, Keep it political:

The best way an author can become IMPECCABLE is to comment on current political events that everyone will forget next week but they won’t forget how you reacted. Jump the gun as they say and throw your one sided opinion into the void. Guaranteed followers and good natured engagement, especially if you move into the trending side of twitter. Much like the bone yard seen in the Lion King, you’ll find a Hyena or two willing to listen and engage with you. This will also show your true colours and reactionist mentality that everyone loves these days. Mud will stick here but this is the type of mud you can use as the foundation for that empire you’ll be creating.

Stay Mysterious:

Twitter is a wonderfully designed platform where it is very easy for your cryptical replies to be misunderstood and ill received. This can only be a good thing because people love a puzzle and conundrum – Sudoku is still huge and so consider this your opportunity to be puzzle master. Let your replies come across weird and give them a tone that cannot be gauged, this will guarantee IMPECCABILITY over time.

Enforce the rules:

Let’s face it, most of us have always had a boner for authority so on Twitter where the catchment of rule breakers is wide, it is important to shout from the hills that everyone should follow your story telling rules. It’s okay that you break them, but everyone else must get in line. Be that bullish borderline narcissistic bully and everyone will follow you in fear. Fear is your friend and leads to sales. Project your nonesense onto others until they love you. They really will.

Enable Trolls:

The Writing community has a weird way of attracting trolls. The best thing you can do is block them and move on engage them. Exchange gifs and give these haters a platform. You’ve got time right and remember everything you tweet will be seen by your followers who will love to see you enabling these worthless fucks good people.

Section 4: But What to Tweet about?

The question of all questions and only now am I going to answer it because you need all the information above to have a fighting chance of wading and then floating through the sheer deluge of words scrolling by per minute on Twitter.

These things are great to tweet about:

If you’re a newbie the best thing you can do is say you are new to the writing community and that you are looking to connect with others. These tweets normally blow up so seize the moment and even if you are not new, it’s okay to say you are. Twitter traction is all based on exploitation and small lies non-truths;

Another great way to get everyone’s attention is to say that Twitter is quiet today. This normally brings in the droves right to your profile. Of course Twitter isn’t quiet, you’re just using it wrong because the platform is open all the time;

Not knowing what to Tweet is also a great advantage. If you were to tweet that, again you’ll get some great levels of attention and remember taking attention away from everyone else is the key to success on the platform;

Of course if you’re looking for answers then ask questions. Asking inane questions all day everyday will guarantee to move the needle in your favor and you’ll notice how much your follows and activity rises when you try something other than inane questions. Remember the more obscure the better, like what would the milk taste like if your main character was a dairy farmer. That’s the real nitty gritty right there.

Sub tweeting – now I might have got this completely wrong but sub tweeting is a great way to show that you’re on track in terms of diet. So next time you eat fresh and grab yourself a subway footlong, tweet about it. This post is not affiliated with Subway in anyway.

Running your own writers lifts. For some reason everyone loves these, even years after the fact most have realised they mean nothing and get your nowhere. You can really build up a huge following of thousands and then be left pondering why none of them bought your book.

Conclusion

With the sections above you can tell I pretty much have a Doctorate in Twitter, social media, subway and IMPECCABILITY and now you can too!

I reckon you are set for pure social media IMPECCABILTIY like no other. That competition of yours will be crushed but there is one final part that is imperative to all of this. The general consensus from some truly IMPECCABLE social media authors. I put the subject of this post to the very best and we shall finish with their answers.

Thank you for reading and for the love of god please treat this post as satire, I wrote it for fun and I’ve had a difficult month/year and my go-to coping strategy is comedy/satire, stay IMPECCABLE!

Lee Hall is an indie author and blogger who spends much of his time putting together awesome guides like this. You can read more serious ones via his patreon and if you sign up, you get a free book, exclusive first access to future guides and his general love.

Twenty Years on and the Dream Remains Strong

It can take a lifetime to put together and finally complete a story. But to me, the journey, the work and the dream is worth that time.

Some of you know my journey started back in the early 2000’s on a rainy Sunday in front of a windows 98 computer. I was twelve years old and the dreamer in me then is still the same only now I have a completed manuscript for that first story I began then. A story about robots in the future that would stretch generations of characters and time, that world known as the ‘Future’ full of lore that has grown with me and now that book is 130,000 words strong and 500 pages of writing destiny. This legacy story was and always is the plan and the truth is, I was only ready to complete it now because I love it so much, I held this story so dear and I care for it so much that I wanted to be the very best I can be to tell it. This story has always deserved the best and even though I am always learning and honing this craft, there’s a bunch of road behind me full of experience, books, readers and life. Now I stand in a position I have never been. A completed story that is my destiny facing the journey of what could be next.

Anyone can call hindsight here but this has always been my plan. To spend my years learning and honing. Convincing myself and others I can do this and I can do it well enough to inspire, inform and entertain others. The 900 plus followers on here and the 16,000 plus Twitter followers will tell you everything you need to know about that. The connections, oh the wonderful connections that have secured me a fantastic exciting future, all because I started writing on that rainy day.

I have carved this path for that book, for that story I love so dear and because it matters to me, a story about robots in the future that is really a ballad for humanity. Yes there is action, fighting, gadgets, lore and so much more but there is also that message about finding your own destiny, finding others to help you and seeking out the truth in life. Fighting for what you believe in stands at the very core of this book and this is also my own belief. The first original attempt at this book contains all of that but that was just the seeds being dropped into plain earth and now we stand in a garden blossoming with life and all of it driven by love. Those plants of destiny reaching high towards the stars.

So what is the message here and what is the real point to this? I hope you grasp the fact that your story, no matter how long it takes to find and bring to the world matters. It really matters and it is okay to love those characters, their struggles and their journey. For so many years this book of mine has kept me going knowing I have it as an ace up my sleeve and it is ready to throw onto the table. But its also more than that because they give me an escape to in life, when life does come crashing down around you, we as writers do have somewhere to go and I’ve always had this hand of cards but I have the knowhow to use it now. I loved this story so much that I used it as fuel to improve everything I am as an author and blogger. Words and writing are still the most romantic way anyone can communicate in this world and they will always be around in some fashion so maybe I am just an old fashioned romantic who has a love for stories. But that love is powerful, and that love is purpose. Let those stories of yours guide you, they have guided me since I was very young.

‘The Right Thing’ by Kelsey Kupitz – Review

An easy-to-read mystery full of intrigue, atmosphere and chills…

I managed to read this in just a few sittings as Kelsey Kupitz delivers an easy-to-read story filled with imagination, atmosphere and originality. There’s a chilling mystery that drives a creepy but unexpected series of events from the past all the way to the present that keeps pages turning.

We meet ‘Astrid’ who spends her days haunted by what unfolded fifteen years ago when her friend ‘Peter’ went missing in a forest and now someone else has befallen to a similar fate. Even after escaping her home town, having a career and time going by, ‘Astrid’ struggles with alcohol and leaves the reader wanting to know what happened. This mystery drives the story which becomes a two in one kind of deal as we slowly find out and its very much unexpected. That is also whilst she is approached by a private detective looking to solve the more recent missing person case. Those events from the past collide with the present in a cleverly executed story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Atmosphere, originality and intrigue take the reader to the depths of the unexpected with some great twists at the end because ‘everyone has a secret’.

5 Stars

Weekly Ramble #126

For all that life can be, it is also incredibly short and the unexpected of both good and bad are always around that corner. To me, that is why chasing your passions and dreams is so incredibly important. With the plethora of crap life tries to throw your way, those who can overcome even the adversity of the mundane deserve a huge amount of credit. To stay afloat in life with your dreams and you still intact takes effort and even talent.

Life is sacred and to me it is also too precious not to try and chase those passions and dreams, to try and make strides towards getting better at your craft, your art and anything else you hold dear with passion is living in my eyes. To live in this world that is always trying to pull you below the surface is a challenge at times and those miniature battles seem to appear out of nowhere. The results, while they could yield near enough anything, they don’t always matter, but the passion does, the creativity does, the living does. If we can do those things then we would have lived well and can stand proud of our achievements even if it can feel like they are far and few, its all down to you.

So keep chasing, keep creating, keep making strides to be better than yesterday and let that passion carry you to heights you might never knew existed. Those words, those creations of yours will go further than anyone can imagine, even you. The battles and the mundane will always be there, but that passion, its a completely different force, its bigger, stronger and way more powerful than anything else life will throw at you from the mundane. Keep going.

Perfect Reads For Spooky Season 2

We’re back again with more perfect reads for spooky season. From slashers to clowns to ghostly things to strange small towns. Here are some indie books that I think are perfect for spooky season.

‘The Four Before Me’ by E.H. Night

the 4

Like last time we shall start with a slasher that has a unique voice and chilling story full of twists. It’s a little more than a slasher and really feels like an early Stephen King novel. A new lady in town realizes she has a lot of similarities to four others who have gone missing. Thrills, chills and spills ensue. Full Review here.

‘Dead End (Clown Conspiracy Book 1): A Short Thriller’ by Mallory Kelly

dead end

‘Dead End’ certainly doesn’t hold back with the creepiness when it comes to clowns and the wider conspiracy that unfolds in a short read following two detectives as they try to hunt down a killer. The writing style plays with the reader’s imagination perfectly in what is the first of a great series. Full Review Here.

‘The Ghost of Whitmore Manor’ by Sarah Jayne Harry

We’re sticking with the shorter read formula here with a breezy paranormal romance that carries a slight adult edge. A para-sceptic is dared to spend the night in an abandoned manor house which then turns into a friendship story that becomes a little more. Perfect for spooky season. Full Review here.

‘Building 51’ by Jenifer L. Place

51

An urban exploration horror based on a real place? Sign me up because this chilling story was both terrifying and awesome. The whole abandoned asylum horror sub-genre is one of my favorites and this one has a kind of found footage feel. Defintley worth a look for spooky season chills. Full Review here.

‘Darke Blood: You’ve never known true darkness’ by Lee Hall

There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.”

And if you’re looking for your shadow filled mystery intertwined vampire fix then look no further than ‘Darke Blood’. A new guy arrives in town, he soon finds out what lurks within those shadows then he aligns with some forces for good and together they must save the day. There’s action, twists, turns and a whole load of spooky season atmosphere.

‘Raven Woman’s Tavern’ by Laura Koerber

After seeing the title of this book and then reading the first line of the blurb, I was hooked and I also wasn’t disappointed in this atmospheric, slightly dystopian small town tale. There’s some elements of darkness and good use of metaphor about life and survival while also being perfect for spooky season.

That wraps things up for part 2 of Perfect Reads for Spooky Season. Have you read any of the above? Thanks for stopping by and feel free to drop any recommendations below!

5 Great Author Tools Worth Trying At Least Once by Savannah Cordova

Great writers deserve worthy tools — and if you want to publish a book, you’re going to need a lot more than just pen and paper! Luckily, there’s an author tool out there for every step of the publishing process, from organizing your initial ideas to formatting your final product.

This list avoids the obvious word processors like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, instead focusing on author tools that fit into more specific niches. They’re all either free or offer free trials, so you can test each one and decide which tools work best for you!

1. Plottr

First on my list is a fantastic tool to help you jump-start your story. Plottr, as the name suggests, allows you to plot and organize your work in detail. You can chart character arcs and subplots scene-by-scene, with color-coded lines for easy visual comparison. Additionally, you can create separate notes for character traits, settings, and more. And if you’re not sure where to start, Plottr also offers over a dozen reliable story structure templates to help!

Pricing: Free trial for 30 days, yearly subscriptions ranging $25 to $65 (depending on the number of devices you use).

Lay out characters’ individual arcs with color-coded threads, referring to the upper-hand
chapter headings to keep track of when each plot point occurs. (via Plottr)

2. Evernote

Evernote is another excellent tool to help you stay organized. Gone are the days of messy drafts and random thoughts crowding up your phone’s notes app — with features like to-do lists, PDFs, and voice notes, Evernote will lend structure to your thoughts for optimal organization and productivity. You can even sync your notes across devices so you’ve got your best-selling ideas with you at all times! It’s not just for writers, either; whether you’re jotting down a grocery list or brainstorming for a book, Evernote will ensure you never lose the plot.

Pricing: Free basic plan, $7.99/month for the Personal plan, $9.99 for the Professional plan.

3. Reedsy Book Editor

The Reedsy Book Editor is a free online production tool which formats your book as you write, producing a ready-to-print PDF (or an EPUB if you’re writing an ebook). With built-in goal reminders and the ability to work collaboratively with an editor, the RBE will help you stay on top of your writing schedule and keep all your work in one place. It’s the perfect author tool to try out if you’re looking for a clean, distraction-free interface to solve all your formatting woes.

Pricing: Free with email signup.

Formatyour book with chapter headings, an auto-generated table of contents,
and even front and back matter for when you publish. (via Reedsy Book Editor)

4. Grammarly

Before you find an editor, you’ll want your manuscript to be as polished as possible — otherwise you’ll end up paying for edits you could have done yourself. Grammarly is just the tool you need to nip these errors in the bud. Not only will it check your spelling and grammar, but the Premium version also gives tips on style, tone, and clarity. All this should make your self-edit go much more smoothly — and like Evernote, you can use Grammarly across devices and purposes, for everything from your personal manuscript to work emails.

Pricing: Free basic plan, $12/month for Premium plan.

5. Cold Turkey

Finally, if you’re easily distracted and need a little external discipline to help you focus (don’t we all sometimes?), Cold Turkey is your new best friend. It lets you block different websites and apps when you want to stay focused; this could be just Twitter, or the entire internet. Compared to similar tools, Cold Turkey makes it much harder for you to stop the block once you turn it on, so you’ll be forced to stay on task — which is honestly a godsend on days when you have to write, but feel like you’d rather do anything else.

Pricing: Free basic plan, $39 for lifetime Blocker Pro.

Cold Turkey also provides stats on which websites and apps you use the most,
so you know which platforms are most important to block. (via Cold Turkey)

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with needing a little help with your creative process. With these varied new additions to your toolkit, you’ll be one step closer to finishing — and publishing! — your next amazing book.


Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best resources and professionals. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories.

Featured Image via: by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Weekly Ramble #125

Even I run out of steam sometimes. For everything this busy social media author blogger machine can be, it can also be exhausting. This is especially so when life seemingly unfolds. From the bullshit of paying bills to a busy work environment, for what is supposed to be a hobby writing can be a surprisingly difficult ocean to stay afloat in.

I’ve come to realize you can only do what you can in life. Battles and hills worth dying on are everywhere so pick them well. Good things can take time and I have the highest respect for those who do keep going, even through hiatuses, mental health breaks, absences , rebrands and whatever you need to rejuvenate that engine of yours. That also includes life. We are always learning and as a story teller or writer, I may not be at a laptop all the time but in my mind I am writing. That can be enough sometimes.

The pandemic era stripped a majority of busy things away and while that provided an opportunity then, that stuff is creeping back in and so the balancing act is becoming a rebalancing act. Writing books in this busy world is hard, blogging is hard, tweeting is hard, finding time to do anything other than exist always has been hard. My go-to process has always been to stop if the enjoyment stops. Take breaks, pull away, think deep and go for a walk to process. Remember, we’re humans and even when we are amongst all this technology, our systems are organic.

This past weekend I hit a milestone. A personal goal that is also a personal pillar holding a majority of my wider dream up. Some stories take a lifetime to tell but the satisfaction of reaching the end, well that’s where the real journey begins.

‘Deceit of the Earth – Heavy Metal’ by Henry Cox – Review

A thrilling jet-setting tale of deception stretching further than anyone can imagine…

Henry Cox returns with his thrilling brand of reality style storytelling for Deceit of the Earth which pairs a satisfying personal tale to modern fiction diving deep into the subject of our planet’s resources and those trying to control them.

Kansas Attorney Benjamin Oliver finds himself tasked by US intelligence or so he believes to find a unique treasure that dates back to WW2 and carries a power and influence nobody could possibly imagine. Why him? Well, that’s what readers will spend the story finding out and it is delivered with depth as technology, military and government secrets all combine for an excellent reading experience that is along with a good old fashioned slice of romance and even some feel-good family moments. Cox does a great job of merging real-life concepts from his wealth of knowledge to those of his own imagination – a style that is both original and immersive. From military aircraft to world geography, the delivery of his knowledge and imagination merging makes everything believable and the final verdict may even be out of this world.  

The several twists in the latter stages will creep up on readers as the culmination will provoke your own thoughts on this planet’s mineral resources and how we handle them. Just who really is in control? Readers will certainly feel like they are no longer in Kansas after reading this one and that’s a good thing.  

5 Stars – A cracking read with a modern Crichton meets Dan Brown feel.

‘We Watch You’ By N.S. Ford – Review

Cleverly plotted British mystery thriller with darker psychological tones and twists…

N.S. Ford has cleverly put together a mystery thriller that feels like a multi-layered puzzle which twists and turns as the story unfolds. We are firstly introduced to three friends who all have their own secrets while they try to deal another friend being missing – the circumstances and how it effects them slowly unfolds with a story told mainly from ‘Lauren’s’ point of view but there is some good variety here in the execution of how its delivered. We get snippets of the missing ‘Tina’ by way of her blog entries which map out potential clues and really engulf the reader into this mystery although only by so much as everyone appears to give key information at key unfolding moments adding to the layers of this puzzle. It’s modern and gritty in places while much deeper in the background something is watching – a revelation that comes much later.

These three friends all succumb to different events of misfortune and we get this sense that perhaps a greater power is controlling things from afar, as I said watching. Just what did they do and how does it effect the missing person? Who is this mysterious man seemingly following ‘Lauren’ around? Questions of course lead to revelations and answers which you’ll eventually find here with a plot that unfolds throughout.

The essence of small town England is captured well along with the underworld crime element that you could easily imagine being the next modern crime-thriller show one could binge in a weekend. The darker moments carry impact and overall there is some real power in this story that continually goes to unexpected places and even strange places. As the title suggests, there is a speculative twist that some will probably use as a point of contention but for how the story unfolds it makes sense and I enjoyed it. For anyone looking to read a dark psychological mystery with unpredictable elements this is definitely the read for you. Although there were dark moments there were never any dull moments and I found myself turning pages quickly.

5 Stars – An interesting end to a great read.

You can read an exclusive excerpt of ‘We Watch You’ here.