The New and Improved Reade and Write!

I’ve spent some time in the past week working on the blog to make it easier to read and easier for readers to find my books. I’ve updated the “About Me” page and I’ve added a page listing my books with links to my website and/or Amazon. I’ve also changed the font and, more importantly, the font size, to make the title of the blog and the different pages more user-friendly.

One of my goals is to use the blog more effectively to invite people to sign up for my newsletter. If you haven’t already signed up, click the tab that says “Website and Newsletter” at the top of the blog’s home page and you’ll be redirected to my sign-up form. I’m always trying to grow the newsletter, so I invite you to join us!

One of these days I intend to include some short stories on the blog (and duplicated on the website) that readers can peruse, too.

I hope you like the new look! Let me know what you think and if there’s anything else I could do to make visiting Reade and Write a pleasant experience!

Until  next time,

Amy

 

Farewell to 2014

I have mixed feelings about leaving 2014 behind. There were times when it was great and times when it really wasn’t. I guess every year is like that.

So what were the highlights?

1. My first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, was published in July. Woo hoo!

2. I finished my second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and started a third.

3. Our family went to Europe over the summer. All things considered, it was an amazing experience and I want to go again!

4. Two of my kids started new schools and love them.

5. My third child got a great score on her first attempt at the SAT.

6. Kayaking!

7. I got a little more involved with Facebook and Twitter.

8. I completed a few of my New Year’s resolutions (more about that next week).

9. I had my first book signing! Thank you again, Corbin’s River Heritage!

10. I ran my first 5K and got to watch my husband finish the Maui Warrior Challenge in September.

And what were the not-so-highlights?

1. I have learned that having a book published isn’t all fun. It’s hard work, very time consuming, and each book, even after it’s published, is a long-term commitment.

2. Our family went to Europe over the summer. Someday, when the memories aren’t so raw and I can laugh at them, I’ll tell you some of my stories.

3. One of our children was hit by a car in August and is still recovering.

I would like to thank all of you for your support over the past year. I have enjoyed blogging and love reading your comments and hearing your thoughts. Let’s grow it in 2015!

Social Media Primer

When my editor called me in August, 2013, with the good news that Kensington wanted to publish my first novel, one of the things he told me was that I should have a presence on Facebook as a writer. It would allow readers to find me online easily and also allow them to interact with me and with each other. So I got a Facebook author page. The publisher also wanted me to be accessible to readers not on Facebook, so I started my blog, got myself a website, and signed up for Twitter, too.

I’m supposed to update the status of my author Facebook page at least once a day, but frankly, sometimes I find that a little forced. Even boring. And I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. For any of you who may be unfamiliar with Facebook, it is common for authors to dedicate a Facebook/social media page to news about their work, their author events, their publicity, etc. And it’s important to keep it updated so people know what an author is currently working on or promoting.

I like to use my author Facebook page to introduce readers to the places I write about. It’s common for a reader to find pictures of Boldt Castle, Singer Castle, the Thousand Islands, and other upstate New York locales on my author page. As I move into 2015 with a book out in April, I’ll be posting photos of South Carolina, the Lowcountry, and Charleston more frequently, since that area of the U.S. is the setting for my new book, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor.

I also like to post funny things I find online that might be of interest to readers, such as grammar puns, literary cartoons, and jokes about books.

I try to limit bald-faced promotion on Facebook and Twitter to one day a week, usually on Tuesdays, when I invite people to have a look at my blog post for the week. As a release date gets closer, I do have to do more outright promotion, so those posts become more frequent. The same is true for this blog. As you know, I often mention my books in my blog posts, but it’s almost always in connection with another point I’m trying to make. And as the release date nears, I point my blog readers to the places online where my new book is being featured. You are free to check out those sites, or you don’t have to. It’s completely up to you.

If readers aren’t on Facebook (and believe me, there are plenty of reasons not to be part of Facebook) or Twitter or they don’t follow my blog, they can always go to my website, where they can send me an email to contact me. They can also read more in-depth about my books and find music and wines that I suggest for a nice evening of reading.

Here are the links to the places you can find me online:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor
Website: http://www.amymreade.com
Twitter: @readeandwrite

Are there things you’d like to see on my author page, my blog, my website, or in my tweets? I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts with me.

Until next week,

Amy

P.S. If you’ve read Secrets of Hallstead House, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon, bn.com, or Goodreads? I never realized until I wrote my first book how important it is for readers to leave book reviews on these sites. Reviews help drive traffic to authors and businesses, and the reviews are very much appreciated. Thanks!

New Year’s Resolutions: Breaking News

I am happy to announce that I have completed one of my New Year’s resolutions: this past weekend I ran my first 5K! I was on Maui to watch my husband compete in the ‘Ulalena Warrior Challenge (10K, followed by a mile race, then a full marathon the next morning) and he convinced me to give the 5K a try. I was passed by everyone from a 5-year-old to an octogenarian, but I managed to finish the race and I am very happy with my results. I even plan to do another one someday! My training for this race consisted of walking a 5K on the treadmill exactly three times before the race, so I figure that I can do even better in the next race if I actually do a bit of training! At some point I will post pictures of the 5K, but I haven’t quite gotten around to doing that yet.

If you remember my list of resolutions for 2014 (not that I expect you to), I also wanted to improve my writing. I don’t think that kind of resolution can be quantified, but I do know that I’ve done a lot more writing this year than last year, and that’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’ve also spent more time this year reading what other authors have to say about writing and hopefully learning from them.

I’ve also increased the number of Twitter and Facebook posts that I put up, so those resolutions are being fulfilled, too. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, I invite (is “beg” too strong a word?) you to follow me and “like” my posts!

I am not as happy to announce that some of my other New Year’s resolutions have gone largely ignored for the first two-thirds of the year. My kids do not yet have new closet doors and my garage and attic are still nothing short of dangerous. But it’s only September, so I’m optimistic!

I know I’ve been remiss the past couple of weeks getting blog posts up on time, but I intend to be back on track next Tuesday.

In the meantime, I’d love it if you would share with me the status of your 2014 resolutions!

Until next week,

Amy