Category Archives: Social Networking

The Loyalist Trilogy Newsletter Has Broken Out!

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Newsletter Header

Have you ever wondered just how you are going to get yet another writing/marketing idea to come to fruition? I mean you already cram your writing bits into two-hour sessions where the world goes dark (you hope!) and you immerse yourself in the lives of those other family members, the ones in your writing.

And those hours are precious, hard to find, hard to hold tight, and put upon by all sorts of things, not the least of which is yourself playing hooky.

Yes, you just need another idea for connecting with your readers about your fictional world, don’t you?

And then along comes the suggestion that authors need to have an email list of their followers. You know, those who have bought your books and are clamoring for more. An email list? I already have a huge list on my Outlook.

Bit by bit the idea sinks in to my crowded brain that this list is something different. I start asking for email addresses from those who buy my books, from my reader friends, my ever-supportive family, the lady who recognized me as the writer on that TV show. These people love historical fiction. Gradually I collect these bits of paper until the pile starts demanding notice.

I research mail-out programs and decide on MailChimp. Just the name makes me wonder if this is really a serious venture but it is and I enter the names, decide on a newsletter format, and work my way through setting up all the details both of the newsletter and of actually working the program.

I take lots of breaks. Some a couple of weeks. Rome wasn’t…well, you know. Then one day, I have 205 names and the newsletter is done and I can’t dilly dally any longer. I push send.

Then I check my husband’s computer to see if it really worked. He didn’t know he was on the list till then. All the other names were people who had opted to be there. My husband just got lucky, I guess, as I needed a test name. He gets the newsletter! And it works. And I can see a few improvements to make next time but I am pretty happy.

You can get this 3-4 times a year update, too.

Sign up for my email list to receive my quarterly newsletter, the next issue of which will be February!


Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Marketing Books, Social Networking


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Fruitful Hours of Blog Trolling

Do you have trouble checking out all the links, email post announcements and Twitter suggestions which you get in a day or a week?

I certainly do.

And just now, I’m having more trouble than usual what with all the posts I’m creating for my book launch, the reading of proofs for The Loyalist’s Wife, and a zillion other must-do items which are all converging in my brain. That being said I have some great links for my readers today.

Lorrie Porter’s blog post, which I finally got around to reading (having been on a 3-day holiday), is a trove of writing-related blog addresses and blog awards which she has received. She chose to answer them all together to the benefit of all of us who enjoy seeing other writers’ links.

Note: When you start clicking on the links you’ll lose Lorrie’s site as she has forgotten to have each one open in a new page. Not to worry. Just use the back button on your browser to go back to Lorrie’s list.

very inspiring blogger award

Lorrie mentioned my blog here and invited all of us whom she mentioned to pick an award or all of them and participate.

Here, then, are my responses to the Very Inspirational Blogger Award, the name of which sets pretty well in my brain and I’ll refer to it over and over, particularly on those days when I myself need inspiration.

Favourite colour: Blue. Royal blue to be specific.

Favourite animal: The human animal who married me

Favourite number: The ones with dollar signs in front of them on cheques. Just kidding.

Favourite non-alcoholic drink: My own version of hot chocolate: 1/2 tsp. Quik in a mug of steaming skim milk.

Favourite alcoholic drink: Crown Royal, Diet Coke and 2 slices of lime

Facebook or Twitter: LinkedIn writing groups although I do think there are a lot of amazing writing gurus on Twitter. That’s where I found a lot of wonderful web wizards.

My passions: My family, my writing, my jewelry making

Giving or receiving gifts: Giving, although receiving is pretty intoxicating at times, too

Favourite city: Quebec City dans la belle province au Canada

Favourite TV shows: West Wing, anything which is historical and well done, such as Downton Abbey.

Here are some blogs which I follow at the moment:

The Maiden’s Court

Peeking Between the Pages

Let Them Read Books

Passages to the Past

Live Write Thrive

Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

This Craft Called Writing

Market Your Book by Jan Bear

I do tend to change sites I follow based upon what I need to learn about the book business at any given moment.

Consider leaving a comment with favorite sites you’ve found. I do love the sharing aspects of the web, don’t you?

Download your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing from the link in the side column!

Coming Soon!

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler


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3 Things For Which I, as a Writer, am Thankful

Thanksgiving in Canada

On this lovely November day when our Canadian Thanksgiving is long past for this year, I pause to think of all the notices I’ve received about the American Thanksgiving. And I am thankful for my writer’s life.

While there are many aspects of writing which I love  (and a few I don’t!), here are three jewels in my writing life.

  1. First and foremost, the absolute JOY of feeling  wondrous words tumbling off the ends of my fingers and forming themselves into settings and scenes, into people and problems, and into worlds until now undiscovered. Sometimes I feel like an explorer paddling up the French River in this wonderful ‘new world’ here in Canada. And I see the curve in the distance and wonder what I will find there.
  2. Second, the Internet world which, as much as those early rivers and oceans, teems with not fish but writers, and readers, and writers, and editors, and writers, and agents, and more writers. And I have learned so much from all of these people: LinkedIn writing-oriented groups, Twitter similar groups and followers, Facebook folk, and even a few Google+ hardy writing souls.
  3. Third, my writing friends, most of whom, I know in person. Conferences, workshops, and chance happenings have all contributed to my lovely list of like-minded writing friends. I treasure them all, for what they teach me, for their varied views across the conference table, and for knowing that these other amazing, intuitive, struggling writers really understand my frustrations. And my joys.

And so I am thankful for the American Thanksgiving added to my Canadian one. In so doing it gives me twice the time to contemplate my life.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Note To Self: Remember to put titles on my posts before publishing them as they just don’t work so well without. Last week’s guest post with the amazing Barbara Kyle went out first without my title. Dah! If you missed it, here is the link.

Consider leaving a comment on writing, on living in a country other than the United States, or on anything prompted by this post.


Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Authors, General, Social Networking


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7 Ways for Writers to Use the Internet to Boost Profiles and Sales

Are you a writer who just wants to write and let someone else do the marketing?

Is your favorite writing day made of up of hours sitting at the computer oblivious to the rest of the world while your characters shock and amaze you and scenes just appear on the screen? There is a certain freedom in doing this, for sure, but somewhere along the line you’ll probably want to share your writing with the world.

Along comes the biggest three-letter word in your writer’s world.


You’re probably wondering how you tear yourself away from your writing and use your computer to actually sell your writing. Writers have special talents which can be put to good use in promoting their products but they must remember their need to market their writing every bit as much as if they were selling mouse pads made out of real mice.

We need to let people know what it is we have and how it will fulfill one of their needs or desires. A how-to book on making fabulous jewelry, a fantastic sci-fi novel, or the story of a young couple thrown apart by the Revolutionary War–which will appeal to our audience so that they will buy? And how do we reach those who are clamoring to read books similar to ours?

Well. Volumes have been written on this very subject by many knowledgeable people but here are just a few ways to get started building your tribe on the Internet. (tribe=those who follow you and/or your books.)

7 Ways for Writers to Use the Internet to Boost Profiles and Sales.

1. Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads to find groups who are interested in either your product or the making of that product, (readers and writers) and interact. Get to know your people.

2. Do blog hops to widen your readership and to find others who might be interested in your blog and your writing niche. I did a blog hop about chocolate, of all things, purely to find out how a blog hop worked. You can see my post about it here. (Hmm. Maybe I’ll have to do one centred around historical fiction.)

3. Guest post on blogs whose readership dovetails with your own and widen your follower group. This is a cornerstone of Danny Iny’s Firepole Marketing platform.

4. Find other blogs and post insightful comments on them. Such phrases as “Great job!” are not enough. The key here is insightful. Leave comments which show that you have engaged with the post and which actually add value to what has come before. ( “I agree with what you’ve said but think another point might be….”

5. Give, give, and give again before asking for anything from your readers. This is a tricky one as most people, when they’re selling, feel they’re in a horse race and charge out of the gate at full gallop with their sales pitch. And of course the reader clicks on to the next blog, email or site, never to return. What might you give? That depends on your expertise and the length of time you’ve been doing this. Some suggestions: a download of collected posts on a particular subject, a download of a short e-book full of how-to information (most writers start out as deer-in-the-headlight newbies and are delighted to find free sources of on-point, valuable information about the publishing world.) Just make sure it is valuable to your audience.

6. Take courses. Writing, writing, and more writing but also related ones such as marketing, finding your niche, finding your audience, choosing between traditional publishing, self publishing and ebooks or combinations of these formats. Learn. I’ve been to several free marketing courses in person and on the Internet and also have paid to take a few. I always learn and a side benefit is talking to the instructors afterwards. Pick their brains. These contacts can be the most valuable part of a course.

7. Don’t put things on the Internet that are too private or not in line with your goal. Goal: to establish yourself as a writer in a certain area, and sell books, articles, short stories, or whatever it is you write. (Rewrite this to personalize it for your own purposes.) Your cousin’s spoiled kid is not a topic for your online presence. Keep it all about you as a writer.

This list is by no means exhaustive but simply reflects some of the strategies I’ve learned so far. We each need to map out our personal Internet strategy, starting today. Choose just one thing to enhance your own online presence with a view to selling your writing. Today I am going to be working on a new FREE download which writers might use to help on the long journey to publication. Coming soon, I promise.

Consider leaving a comment below and adding to the conversation.


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Writers Have To Be Like Frankenstein’s Monster–Made Up of a Million Parts

Photo Credit: Street art depicting Frankenstein in Berlin, 2008. Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (cc by-sa) Wikipedia user Jotquadrat.

Sometimes you just can’t get your writing done.

You know what to do. You’re just out of time what with your regular 9 to 5, your kid’s homework that needs your help, and someone has to cook if the family is going to eat.

You feel like you’re being pulled by your ‘to-do’ list which hasn’t been, ah, done in 22 days, or you’ve missed the deadline for yet another short story contest. Or the few minutes you do have, you spend at your desk stressed to the max playing computer games, all the while thinking back to when you first started creating. That halcyon time when all you had to do was write. No emails glided into the lower right corner of your screen. You turned the phone off, closed your door to the world, and lost yourself in a protracted date with your characters, putting them through their paces as surely as drivers of six-horse hitches do their fine Belgian horses at every fall fair.

Writing isn’t like that anymore. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 5, 2012 in General, Social Networking, Writing Tips


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Thoughts on Blog Awards

One of many blog awards on the web.

Anyone who maintains a blog will understand my post today. You get an email from a known and respected fellow blogger and smile to see you’ve been nominated for an award. Wow! Me? Little old me? You sit back in your chair and think, Yes! Though I can’t see that I deserve this, I’ll accept any tribute to my talents! And you read on. You’ve been awarded the Absolutely Splendiferous Blog Award.  A prize ribbon or trophy accompanies the award.

And then you read on.

You have to answer 41 personal questions about your life, your food, your likes, your dislikes (you don’t have any, do you?) and the guy who kissed you on the lips behind the school-house in Grade 5. (How exactly did that feel, in 13 words or less.)

You must nominate 50 of your closest blogger friends on whom you will bestow this prestigious Absolutely Splendiferous Blog Award, too. Yikes! I don’t know 50 other bloggers. I must be a loser. How did I get this award? Yada yada yada. You suck it up and start checking. You can only come up with 10 but dutifully send out the instruction-bearing emails although a little voice inside keeps saying, this isn’t writing, this isn’t editing, this isn’t research, this isn’t even fun. The clock ticks on.

And yet you love your fellow bloggers and respect them. You are so happy to be a winner in their eyes that you forge ahead and post the award-winning notice on your blog. And inside your head–is this a new version of a chain letter?

Has this happened to you? What are your thoughts on blog awards? I know they make me happy that someone has noticed my blog but that little voice keeps whispering into my left ear about all the time this takes. And not just my time but that of the other bloggers on whom I bestow this amazing honor. In the comments section below, feel free to tell us how you really feel about this topic.

And now I must get back to my writing.


Posted by on July 10, 2012 in General, Social Networking


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People Keep Recommending Writing Books!

Books on writing abound for the novice, mid-ground, and even the seasoned writer. Everywhere I turn, every workshop I attend, weekend course I take, or email from places like Writer’s Digest, my attention turns to another book which will help with my writing. I’m a book person, so wanting to learn more from others’ books is just natural. And I am happy that wonderful, knowledgeable people  have gone before and written about the experience to help me in  my journey.

For today’s post, I give you a few names on my desk waiting for me to get to them. Some are on my iPad2, others more visible because they’re  paper.  Whichever format you prefer, books will most likely help you.

The Writer’s Manifesto by Jeff Goins, short but Read the rest of this entry »


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