#authortoolboxbloghop, For Writers

Connecting With Your Readers Through Instagram – #authortoolboxbloghop

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My past two bloghop posts have been about different ways to connect with your readers. (If you missed them, you can check them out here and here. )

So this month, I wanted to share some tips on how to connect with readers on Instagram. (And again, I find Instagram is really effective for me as I write YA and there are a lot of YA readers who use Instagram. It might not be as effective for those who write in other genres.)

As with all social media platforms, you want to be commenting on and liking posts from your readers. In addition to that, you can use hashtags to connect with your readers. With Instagram, hashtags are key. Hashtags are how you find people with similar interests. There are several ways you can use hashtags to connect with your readers.

  1. Use several hashtags when you post. (Ten is considered the optimum number.) Some good hashtags for connecting with readers include: #bookstagram, #yabookstagram, #bookworm, #booknerd, #yalit (or whatever genre you write in), #bookdragon #toberead #currentlyreading
  2. Hashtag challenges – There are always plenty of monthly challenges you can participate in.  Each day of the month you are given a prompt which you use to stage your picture for that day. One example of the monthly challenge is #octlitwrit. There are also some challenges where you only post weekly.  My current favorite weekly challenge is #fantasyonfriday
  3. Daily hashtag themes – Similar to the challenges, you use a theme on a particular day like #mondaymotivation, #throwbackthursday or #fridayreads. There is no prompt, you just use the day’s theme to post something.
  4. Tagging games – In the tagging games, you take something like #spellmynameinbooks to complete and then tag several friends to do so as well.

Also, just a note on hashtags – Don’t use hashtags that don’t apply to the picture you’ve posted just to try to get more likes.

What about you? Do you have a favorite hashtag on Instagram? What’s your favorite thing about Instagram? Let me know in the comments. And you can connect with me on Instagram here.

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This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop. It’s hosted by Raimey Gallant. For more details and to join in the fun, go here.

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Reading Challenge, The Great American Read

PBS’s The Great American Read

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So if you saw my post about the National Book Festival, then you know I found out all about the Great American Read there. I had heard of it before, but didn’t really know what it was, and I can’t believe it took me this long to check it out.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, you’re going to want to check it out: https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

PBS hosts the event. The first show aired in May, and there will be seven more shows starting on Septemeber 11th. PBS created a list of the top 100 books Americans love after conducting surveys.

There are so many great books on the list! Some I’ve read, some are on my TBR list, and a few were books I’d never heard of.  Each day until the end of October, you can cast one vote for your favorite book(s).

If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram, then you’ve may have guessed my first vote went to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This book has been a great inspiration in my life, so I had to cast my first vote for this novel. But there are a few other books I’ll have to vote for too – The Outsiders, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, Frankenstein, and Charlotte’s Web – to name a few.

Also, since I’ve only read 30 of the 100 books, I’m planning to read several more before the finale airs. I’m starting with books in the YA genre since that’s my favored genre, both to read and write.

Here are the books I’m starting with:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Hachet by Gary Paulsen

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

What about you? Are you participating in the Great Read? What book(s) are you voting for? Are you reading any books from the 100? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Binge-Worthy Shows – Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

I love to read but I also love a good TV show or movie series. And this week’s top ten theme is binge-worthy shows. It was hard to decide exactly what I wanted to include on this list, but I narrowed it down to the ones I think are best for bingeing. Also, I have to warn you my tastes are wide! I like comedies, dramas, mysteries, and some supernatural stuff.

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1. Pretty Little Liars – I had to include this one since it’s based on a book series. I love this show because it’s full of mystery and drama. It’s no longer airing on TV, but is available on Netflix or DVD.

2. Gilmore Girls – Any reader can appreciate Rory’s bookish references and nature. This is such a watchable show, no matter how many times you’ve seen the episodes you can always watch them again. And hopefully Netflix will make more revival shows!

3. I Love Lucy – Okay, I know I’m going way back with this one, but I love this show. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen certain episodes, they still make me laugh! This is classic television at its best.

4. Superstore – This is a sitcom that airs on Thursday nights on NBC, and it’s hilarious. I love it! And America Ferrera is in it, so there’s that. I’m pschyed for the new season. 🙂

5. The Originals – This is a vampire series that airs on the CW. However, I mainly watch it on Netflix, so I’m not sure what night it’s on. Lots of drama and historical flashbacks. It’s a spinoff of Vampire Diaries (which I also enjoy), but I like this one more.

6. Hawaii Five-0 – This is the revival show that currently airs on CBS. Again I mainly Netflix this, so I’m not sure what night it airs.  I like the crime-solving of course, but I also love the beautiful tropical setting. (I enjoy CSI: Miami for the same reason. It’s my favorite CSI.)

A side note here too – I like a  lot of crime-solving shows that didn’t make the list but am giving honorable mention – The Mentalist, Elementary, NCIS (it was better before all the actors started leaving the show), and all the Law and Order shows.

7. The Harry Potter movies – I couldn’t leave these movies out. The books are great but so are the movies.

8. The Marvel Avenger movies (including each Avenger’s own movies like Thor and Iron Man) – I’ve been watching these lately, in chronological order, and it’s kind of cool to see how everything fits in.

9. The Twilight movies – I know some people don’t like these, but I enjoyed the books and the movies. I think you either like them or hate them.

10. Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea – Again movies based on books. I’ve watched these movies a million times. I’ve also watched the Netflix series, Anne with an E, and it was interesting. I’ll probably keep watching it, but it’s hard for anybody to match Megan Follows in embodying Anne.

What about you? What tv shows and movies fo you love to binge? What shows are you excited to see this season?

Uncategorized

The National Book Festival

This past Saturday, my husband and I went to the National Book Festival, and it was so cool! They are now hosting it in the convention center rather than on the National Mall. It’s a lot easier to move around and it’s air-conditioned. 🙂

We got there right when the doors opened, so we were able to visit all the exhibits before it got really crowded. I loved the Parade of States exhibit.  Each state had its own table and there was a state booklet you took around to get stamped by each state. The people there from Indiana actually knew of the little town I grew up in, and the people from Illinois knew the tiny town I was born in, so that was cool.

Also, PBS had booth for The Great American Read that was fun. They had a wheel you could spin to win a prize. I landed on the special space that allowed me to pick a prize from a box. I got a journal.

I had heard about The Great American Read, but didn’t know exactly what it was about, so I was glad I was able to find out more about it, because now I’m participating in the event. (More to come about The Great American Read in a later post, so if you’re interested, be on the lookout for that.)

There were three authors I was hoping to meet and get books signed by, and I was able to meet all three and get my books signed.

I got When Dimple Met Rishi signed by Sandhya Menon,  Wonder Woman and The Language of Thorns signed by Leigh Bardugo, and The Darkest Minds signed by Alexandra Bracken.

All in all, it was a great day, and if you ever have the chance to check out The National Book Festival, I’d highly recommend it!

What about you? Have you been to any book festivals?  What did you like best about it?

#authortoolboxbloghop

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform to Connect With Your Readers – #authortoolboxbloghop

Connecting With Your Readers#authortoolboxbloghop (2)

For last month’s bloghop, I posted about connecting with readers through your blog. If you missed it, you can read about it here. I want to share some tips about connecting with readers through social media, but first, I’d thought I’d share some tips on how to determine the best social media sites for you to use.

There are so many social media platforms out there, it’s hard to know which ones are best. There are some things you want to consider before choosing which ones you want to use.

1. First, find the sites your readers are always on. For me, I primarily use Instagram and Twitter. I’ve found a lot of YA readers on both.  Snapchat is another site YA readers hang out on, but your audience is limited to those you are already friends with, so I don’t use it much. Other options include Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Wattpad, and Goodreads.

2. Choose only two or three sites to manage. If you try to use all the sites, you’re going to be eating up a lot of your time. You can be much more effective if you choose just a couple of sites to focus on. Twitter and Instagram are my main focus. I also have accounts with Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, but I use them far less.

3. Set realistic goals for using your chosen sites. Now that you’ve determined the sites you’re going to use, it’s time to set goals. You want to have goals for posting, interacting with and gaining followers, and promoting your books. I’ll share more about these in my next couple of posts.

While it can seem challenging and confusing at first, using social media can really help you build relationships with your readers. I have found it to be rewarding and enjoyable, and I have made a lot of great friends.

How about you? Do you use social media to connect with readers? Which sites to do you use? What do you like best about social media?  Let me know in the comments!

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This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop. It’s hosted by Raimey Gallant. For more details and to join in the fun, go here.

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Mermaid Sidekicks

Today’s blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaids challenge is hosted by Chelcie at booknerdchelcie. And her challenge is to share what kind of fish you think your favorite YA sidekick would be.

I chose Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I love his relationship with Audrey Rose.  If he were a sea creature, I think he would be a dolphin because he likes to have fun, but he is also always there for Audrey Rose.

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If you haven’t read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, I highly recommend it. The series is so good!

What kind of sea creature do you think your favorite sidekick would be? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Little Mermaid Retellings

Today’s blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaid’s Read-a-thon (details about read-a-thon here) is hosted by Ashten at wonderlandianbooks. The challenge for today is to recommend some Little Mermaid retellings.

I haven’t read as many Little Mermaid retellings as some other retellings, but here are some I really enjoyed:

I’ve read a lot of  mermaid books, but many of them were not actual little mermaid retellings. To Kill a Kingdom was my favorite of these three.

What Little Mermaid retellings have you read? Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!