Social Network Platform

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Image by wonder_j

Social Network Platform

What It Is and Why You Need One

By Tasha Turner

What is a Social Network Platform?

Think of it as your virtual house. Thank you to DeAnna Troupe for this analogy.

It is made up of all the places you might be online:

  • Blog (main house)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Website/blog
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LiveJournal
  • Glue
  • Instagram
  • And more

Why do you want a Platform?

  • To build relationships
  • To have followers
  • To sell books, other products, or services

Is being on a Social Network Automatically Networking?

  • No it could be wasting time
  • No it could be having fun
  • No it could be play time

None of the above is necessarily bad just keep in mind that it is NOT networking. Networking is only happening when you are interacting with your target market or others who will help you reach your target market.

Networking – Who to Reach?

  • Authors/others in your business
  • Readers / others that will buy your product / service
  • Others who might share your blog/product/service with your target market

When might you want to network with others in your business?

  • Make contacts
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Learn from each other

Your Target Market

  • Know who your target market is:
    • o Income
    • o Age range
    • o Education level
    • o Generally married/single/kids
    • o What do they do with their leisure time
    • o What are their worries
    • o What social networks are they most likely to be on

You need to know the above to make sure you pick the right social networks to be on. You also need to make sure you are blogging and talking about topics of interest to them. You need to make sure your language is appropriate to your audience. You don’t want to be talking down to them but you also don’t want to be talking below their level.

What steps can you take to reach your target market using social networking?

  • Blogging – topics that are appropriate to your target market
  • FB – what to talk about/share
  • Twitter – what to talk about/share

What do you want from your Followers?

  • For them to share your blog
  • To suggest people follow you
  • For them to spread word of mouth about your book/product/service
  • For them to buy your product/service

What Don’t you want to do when Networking?

  • Spam people
    • o Don’t send out tweets about your product every 15-60 minutes
    • o Don’t post messages on your wall about your product constantly
    • o On FB don’t post the same thing in a number of groups all at the same time – it shows on your wall and annoys your friends and many of the same people are in the groups with you so it annoys them to and you start being ignored
  • Make your 1st contact about you
    • o Your 1st post should not be “hi thanks for friending/following me check out my page/website/book” – this immediately turns people off – instead ask about them or just say thanks for friending/following
  • Make most of your contact about you
    • o This is just beyond tacky– you may think you are the best thing to come along since sliced bread but frankly since I don’t know you from a jack and it is your job to initiate contact and get to know the other person – share information that might be of interest to the person based on their profile and their wall.

Rules to Follow

  • 80/20 80% of what you should post should not be about you it should be something of interest to your followers and/or helping promote others
  • Do not argue with critics– learn to ignore them – do NOT vent about them anywhere publicly this could lead to the destruction of your career
  • Be able to describe your book/product/service using a few quick/short sentences. write them down/practice them so you can say them in your sleep but don’t sound like you are bored when you are talking about them to people .
  • You need a blog/website –geared towards your target market, blog regularly (same days of the week)
  • Pick 2 other social network tools in addition to your blog and focus on those for your platform – more than 2 and you cannot give them the attention you need
  • Be aware of when you are networking and when you are hanging with your friends
  • Set a schedule for various things – writing time, networking time, socializing time, family time, chores time, “me” time. It may take a few months of playing with the schedule until you find one that works for you.

What do You Think?

  • Do you agree or disagree with this
  • How is your platform going?
  • What have you found easy to do?
  • What do you find difficult to do?

Other helpful posts

  1. Building Online Relationships
  2. Blogging for your Audience
  3. Target Market Research
  4. Creating an author platform recorded webinar

Image by wonder_j under creative commons licence

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Reputation and Recommendations

TashaTurner 100x150 Reputation and RecommendationsReputation and Recommendations

If you recommend a person, service, or blog you put your reputation on the line. While we may want to help our friends there may be times when referring them to someone… Or someone to them is not worth the damage it will do to our reputations and ultimately our friendships. Take a moment before making a referral and ask yourself if its the right thing for both parties or are you just trying to be nice. If its not the right thing to do for both parties do NOT make the referral as it hurts all parties involved.

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Celebrating 1 year anniversary since being hit by Mack truck

TashaTurner 100x150 Celebrating 1 year anniversary since being hit by Mack truck

Survived Mack Truck

Celebrating 1 year anniversary since being hit by Mack truck

Do you know where you were a year ago at this time (March 12, 2012 3-6pm)? I do. I was in the ER following being hit by a Mack truck, with a collapsed lung, major concussion, 2 broken ribs, a broken scapula, covered in glass and bruises, no real memories starting from right before the accident and for almost a week afterwards, and a totaled vehicle.


This past Sunday I went out to dinner with Larry Lennhoff (husband) and a few close friends to celebrate my birthday and being alive. I’m mostly recovered. I still have some pain in my right shoulder and my ribs occasionally. I’ve had glass pop out 6+ months after the accident from my legs and face. My emotions are still a bit screwed up but 90% back to normal. I’m still having mild memory problems and reading, writing, and comprehension is down about 70-80% of what it was the month before the accident. The chronic fatigue is fully back.


For those that have been in a severe accident have you done anything special on the anniversary of the accident or do you try to forget it? I’d love to hear from you.


I am extremely thankful to still be alive and to have recovered more than the doctors had expected.

In May I wrote 2012

Kristen Lamb and WANA

Kristen Lamb wrote 2 books “We Are Not Alone” (frequently referred to as WANA) and “Are You There Blog? Its Me Writer“.  There is even a hashtag for people to connect with Kristen and other WANA writers on twitter, #mywana . Her blog and the above mentioned books are required reading for anyone who trains with me as a social media intern or who comes on board as a client wanting to learn how to use social media to sell their books. I try to keep up with her blog regularly. One of my social media coaches, Lisa Alford, keeps up with her #mywana twitter group. My other social media coach, Jess Williams, keeps up with her blog. Both  can look at what clients and others are doing and easily tell me when they are not following the WANA rules. A lot of what I was doing before I read Kristen’s books turned out to be part of WANA, but I did not have the right terminology until Beth-Ann Mason told me “Read her books or… ” I don’t remember what threat she used some 6 months ago, but I do know that I went online and bought both books right away and devoured them both within a week.

My Car Accident

As a number of my readers know, on March 12, 2012 I was hit by an 18-wheel truck and spent about 4 weeks in the hospital and a rehab facility; I am still recovering. My business had only been up and running for about 2 full months at the time of my accident. I expected, when I started checking in on my website and Facebook page after the accident, to find that my business was gone and that I was going to find that I was pretty much starting over from scratch. Instead, I discovered that my assistants, my husband, and even friends, had posted articles of interest on my FB wall and my FB business page. I found my clients had stayed with me. Contests were run by various groups to improve the number of likes on my FB fan/business page. The main thing I attribute this to is Kristen’s WANA principles. By following them, promoting others, sharing useful information, people, in turn, wanted to do something for me. So thank you, Kristen, for giving me such a great tool to pass on to others, a fantastic blog to continue sharing on my wall, and a fantastic Twitter group for people to be a part of.


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I have been tagged

I have been tagged

Thanks to Kim Curley at Cupcake’s corner I’ve been tagged.

Your 11 Question’s to the theme, “If You Could…”

  1. If you could speak to a famous author, who would it be and why? Lousia May Alcott. I loved how she did not bend to the ways of her world but I also want to know how she survived the crazy upbringing she had and how she would feel about her books still being in print today and what she would think of Little Women and Werewolves.
  1. If you could quit your day job, would you write professionally? I already do. My day job for many years was as a technical writer. Then when I quit working I took to the internet giving advice and mentoring people on different fora. I have continued to do that with my new “day” job as a social media coach and I love it. I don’t think I want to write fiction full-time. I like the mix of blogs, other social media, non-fiction books based on social media, and fiction.
  2. If you could write a series of books, would you? It looks like my Jewish vampire book is turning into a series of short stories before I write the full novel so yes.
  3. If you could have one of your stories made into a movie, which one would it be? No clue on this one. I’m not sure how I’d feel about my stories being turned into a movie or TV series.
  4. If you could change any story you’ve read, i.e. classics to something recent, what story would it be and why? I just don’t have an answer for this. So many stories that I’d probably change but then they would not be the story the author wrote they would be a different story.
  5. If you could go anywhere in the world to get inspiration to write a story, where would it be? To be closer to my co-author Beth-Ann Mason. It would be so much easier to write if we were near by.
  6. If you could have an unlimited supply of something to help you with your writing projects, what would it be? Good health. To be over the chronic fatigue and have my mind and body fully functional.

Now for some fun!

  1. If you could be a Muppet, which one would you be? Oscar the grouch
  2. If you could go back in time, which era would you visit? Regency time period but only if I can be a part of the aristocracy and not be a servant or lower class person starving on the streets.
  3. If you could have a wild animal as a pet, what would it be? Koala bear – but I want it to be a soft and cuddly as they look.
  4. If you could be a super hero, who would you want to be? Wonder Woman

There you have it everyone. Post the link to your responses in a comment or just in a comment itself. Either is fine with me.

Taggee’s are as follow:

pick 5 people:

Elizabeth Delana Rosa

Natalie Starr

Ed Griffin

Ellie Mack

Linda Bowers Bolton

 Your 11 Question’s to the theme, what would you do if… ?

  1. Your house were on fire what would you grab 1st to rescue?
  2. You could vacation anywhere, money no object, where would you go?
  3. Your book became #1 New York Times best seller, who would you tell 1st?
  4. You could go back in time, would you change anything in your life?
  5. You won a large lottery what would be the 1st thing you would do?
  6. You could travel in space. Would you?
  7. You could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

And for fun

  1. What’s your favorite flavor ice cream?
  2. What is your favorite musician?
  3. Who is your favorite movie star?
  4. What’s your favorite all time movie?

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Dealing with Rumors

communication 1370568382 100x150 Dealing with Rumors

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

What should you do when you find out people online are talking badly about you?

Oh no someone on the internet is saying something bad about me I must respond NOW. Before responding you may want to read my rules for appearing intelligent on the internet. Below are some of the ways to respond… or not.

1. I must correct them NOW or Maybe I need to respond.

  • Can you respond calmly without harming your reputation?
  • Will not responding hurt my reputation?
  • Will responding hurt my reputation more?
  • Does what they’ve said make any sense?
  • Would a sane person believe what they are saying?

If you can respond calmly and feel a response is needed make sure to have a couple of people read the original statements in context (i.e. full post) and then have them review your response. It is critical if you decide to respond that you do so carefully so as not to harm your reputation more. Sometimes this is needed just do it correctly.

2. Who cares?

  • Seriously people who know you are not going to believe what is said & those who know the other person may know not to trust what they say
  • By ignoring what is said you make sure you do end up down at their level

I’ve used this method a few times. Each time I’ve come out ahead as people look at what I do and say and what is being said about me and see that it does not add up. Yes I may lose some potential clients and followers but not as many as I would have if I’d responded directly. In the end the person attacking me looked either vindictive or stupid. This can be surprisingly satisfying but I will admit I write the response I really want to and then put it away and re-read my rules on appearing intelligent on the internet after sleeping on it for 24 hours.

3. Would responding indirectly make more sense?

  • Can you write a blog post about the topic without it seeming aimed at anyone in particular?
  • Can you post on Facebook or other social media about “proper internet behavior” without it being too obvious that you are responding to the accusations?

I’ve used this method a number of times. Posting either on my blog or on FB about internet behavior as well as ethical behavior without the person who attacked me (and others) realizing I’m responding to the attack. By appearing to ignore the attack while posting useful information you create a win-win.

What do you think?

  • How do you deal with attacks on you or your business? 
  • What has worked?
  • What has backfired?

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Target Marketing Increases Creativity

Target Marketing Increases Creativity

Does writing for your target market increase or decrease your creativity?

Many authors think it decreases creativity. I disagree and think it increases creativity.

What is a Target Market?

Your target market is who you are aiming to sell your book or any other product to. No product is aimed at everyone.

I’ve talked previously about how to do Target Market Research in a way that benefits both the person selling a product and the person being targeted on social media.

Writing a Book based on the Target Market

In this post I’ll be talking about writing books and how knowing your target market increases your creativity and makes your book easier to sell and more fun for the reader. I will use fairly simplified examples. Please forgive me for any stereotyping.

If you don’t know who your target market is you don’t know what kind of language to use when writing a book. This may hamper your creativity. How do you know how much sex to include? How much swearing? Which characters to focus on? Whether to describe clothing and settings in detail? How much to focus on explosions and bloody bodies? You can only go by your gut and hope your editor has enough knowledge of your genre to catch any mistakes you are writing.

But you are a 1st time author and are hoping to get picked up by a publishing firm. Or maybe you have decided to self-publish. How do you know which editor to hire if you don’t know your target market? How do you make sure your work is appropriate for your genre?

Yep you got it you need to know your target market. Once you know your target market you know what language to use. And you may realize you don’t want to write that book but something a bit different.

Genre & Target Market

If I’m writing a police procedural I know the readers are going to expect a mystery, dead bodies, swearing, bullets, some sex, not much romance, mystery solved

  • If I’m writing a romance people are going to expect romance, softer language, some swearing but not lots, probably sex, readers like descriptions of people and scenes, eating/food, a pair that fall in love, frequently one of the pair will be rich, there will be misunderstandings, and a happy ending.
  • If I’m writing chick-lit there will probably be mentions of designer clothing, fancy coffee, women, romance, sex, humor, happy ending
  • If I’m writing men’s adventure (have you read one its … fascinating), lots of swearing, descriptions of women, sex, action, things exploding, action, more things exploding, more women, more swearing, an ending (I’ve only read a few I might be stereotyping too much here)

Are you seeing a trend yet? Ok but you are saying that is genre NOT target market.

But the more you know about your target market the more you are able to appeal to them in what you write. If you know 60% of romance readers have pets (NO this is NOT a valid stat I just made it up) then you might want to include pets in your books. If you know a majority of your readers are single/divorced/have kids/etc. it helps you with little details and ways to reach out to them. Either by including things that comfort them or things they long for or things they want to be scared by.

What do you think?

Agree or disagree?

Additional thoughts?

Have you written with your target market in mind?


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Harnessing Goodreads

Harnessing Goodreads

Many authors hear they should go where readers are. They think this means go promote their books. This is because no one properly explains what you should be doing when you go to places like Goodreads and kindle boards to interact with readers. Here I’m going to talk exclusively about Goodreads and what your interaction should be there. This topic came up on my Facebook wall and a few authors gave me permission to share their comments on my blog.

Before we get to their comments let me give you my 2 cents.

Target Market Research

How many of my regular readers saw that one coming?

Why are you talking to readers? To learn more about what they like and what is important to them. On a Goodreads discussion group specific to a book or genre you can learn invaluable information about the kinds of characters and behaviors the readers you want to attract to your book are looking for as well as the things to avoid. You also learn more about their personal lives which lets you blog better. Worth more than just dropping promotions in. Worth way more.

  • Any questions about how to collect and use the target market data?

Building Relationships

I know my regular readers saw this one coming. If someone likes what they are seeing of your comments on Goodreads they may friend you. Know what their next step frequently is? Checking out your profile. If you have properly linked your regular profile to your author profile they see your author profile.

What is on your author profile? Your website link, a short bio, your blog feed (if not, why not? get it there), and most importantly your books, the ones you wrote. If they have enjoyed your input in discussions they may add a book to their TBR or even buy it. They may read a post or two from your blog and click the link to go to your blog and subscribe to/follow your blog. Again this is worth more than dropping promotions in. These are the people that if they do read your book and like it are going to review it and tell their friends about it. Why? Because they are book lovers. Chances are their friends look to them for “what to read” advice. So you don’t want to tick them off by trying to promote your book.

  • Has anyone done this successfully?
  • Do people agree or disagree?

Keep Your Profile Up-to-Date

Make sure you are keeping your profile up-to-date. If you don’t know how to add your books, make sure the proper covers are added, all editions are links, etc. find someone who can help you or read through the help files. I was able to add the basic information of someone’s kindle edition, message them, they just had to go to the right librarians thread, drop a link to the 2 editions and ask that they be linked and mention the covers and blurbs were identical and it was done for them. Took less than 15 minutes of both our time.

  • Any questions about author profiles?
  • Do you understand the difference between a personal profile and an author profile?
  • Did you know you have both an author and personal profile?

Writing Book Reviews

If you decide to do book reviews on Goodreads keep in mind that your readers and your critics are reading your reviews. Do NOT use inflammatory language. Give honest reviews worded respectfully and make sure to include positive points as well as negative. Only review books in a genre you like. Do not appear to bash “competitor” books.

  • Any questions on writing book reviews?
  • Do you worry about reviewing other people’s books?

Reviews of Your Books

Don’t respond to reviews of your book. If it is a close friend or someone who told you they would review the book go ahead and thank them for the review although even then I’d recommend doing it privately so the review’s validity is not viewed as “well friend did it so ignore this review”. Never, ever, ever, did I mention NEVER respond to bad reviews of your book publicly. Only respond to negative reviews privately if by a friend if you are hoping to get clarification that will help you with future writing and are NOT responding in a defensive manner. Responding to a negative review does a few things:

  • Calls attention to the review
  • Creates a scene
  • Makes you look worse
  • Frequently turns your supporters against you as things rarely end at a single response
  • May permanently end your writing career and make you the talk of the internet with parodies and even news stories written about your behavior
  • Stops sales of your book in its tracks

Just in case I was not clear enough above. It may be career suicide to respond to negative reviews of your book. I will be doing a full post later on how to deal with negative reviews.

  • Any questions on responding to reviews?


Terry Simpson


Here’s the misconception with Goodreads. Not everyone uses star ratings the same way. It took me a while to find that out. Some people’s rating have NOTHING to do with what they think of the book. For some people it’s where that book stands in their TBR list. For some each star represents a section of the month they want to start a book in. For some, it’s how much they are looking forward to a book. There are so many different reasons, that many star ratings should be ignored.

The Key to Goodreads is not to go on there with the intention of promoting your work. Go on there with the mindset of a reader. Generally readers don’t want to be spammed or sold to.


Nicola Jaffe


That is true about readers not wanting to be spammed. I learnt that lately from some reader groups, they designate specific threads for authors and they don’t want authors spamming anywhere else. The good thing is you can go into threads and read what they are discussing to get an idea of how they think and what they are looking for. What they want and what they detest, it is all there in the threads of discussion. By entering the discussions sincerely, you can get their attention, become interested in their topics etc and maybe they will follow you up. #mytwocents.

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Tara Fox Hall on Handling Rejection & Introducing Her Latest Book: Shadow Man

We are very excited to have Tara Fox Hall visiting today. Take it away Tara!

A huge thank you to Tasha Turner. for having me here today! I’m here today to promote Shadow Man, the second book in my paranormal action adventure Lash series.



The harsh truth is that if you are a writer, you are going to have to come to terms with rejection. It happens to the best of us on a regular basis. Here are some do and don’t tips for handling that “Sorry, but No” answer in your inbox or mailbox. Best of all, this advice can be applied to ALL kinds of rejections, not just for artistic creations.


  • Do not take rejection personally. Sure, it’s possible that the editor or other publisher representative hates you, your work, and your pet snake. But it’s more likely that your work—for whatever reason—is just not a good fit for them. This could be anything from the publisher having already accepted a story similar to yours, not liking your voice or the tense or the POV, thinking the story sounds too much like an excerpt from a novel, or simply being so swamped with submissions that they are currently full of your genre. I’ve heard all these reasons at one time or another. Be prepared though to get no reason, just the “no” answer.


  • Consider all feedback and apply. What appears to be a “No thank you” is not always a “no, thank you.” Did the rejection include suggestions for making the submission longer? Shorter? Submitting for a future issue, or to a sister publication? Give thought to any suggestions, as they may hold the keys to a yes answer next time.


  • Look for other avenues and submit ASAP. So you weren’t accepted there, AND you’ve gone over your story once more and confirmed it’s well written, typo free, and formatted correctly.Search out another avenue and try again as soon as possible. Personally, I find this is the best salve for rejection.


  • Don’t give up, a.k.a, repeat above steps as needed. Promise Me was rejected by all the agents in the industry, as was Lash. All that Remains, Take the Chance, and other short stories of mine were rejected on average four times before finding a home. Keep submitting! All you need is one editor to say yes!


The same advice above holds true in all rejections, be they blind dates, a job, or maybe even friendship. If someone doesn’t know you personally, they are judging you solely on the basis of the little that they DO know about you. And even if they are—-in worst case scenario—-mean in their rejection, do your best to shrug it off. Their opinion is not the whole world’s opinion. Don’t let that stop you from making your dreams come true!


TaraFoxHall ShadowMan 100x150 Tara Fox Hall on Handling Rejection & Introducing Her Latest Book: Shadow Man

Blurb from Shadow Man:


A renegade vampire begins amassing a flock of true believers, threatening America’s vampire hierarchy. Weresnake Lash partners with old enemy Danial and new allies Burl and Spiderboy to track down and annihilate them. Betrayed and left for dead, Lash reemerges the victor, edging ever upward in the Assassin’s Ranking, and catching the eye of the sultry nightclub singer Cassandra Nile. Drawn into drugs by Cassie, Lash begins to doubt himself, yearning to leave his life of violence, even as enemies close in from every side.


Excerpt from Shadow Man:


“What’s that smoke?” Spiderboy asked, changing back as he pulled on his clothes as fast as he could. “Something’s burning, and it’s huge!”

My gut clenched like a fist, and I hit the accelerator, swearing to myself.


            I drove up to the small town outside Lafayette at dusk. It was smoking, and the grocery store and the diner were partly burned. There was no one in their homes, and no pets to be seen. The old man I’d spoken to years ago was gone, his house empty, the lights on. But something made me curious. By the breakfast plates set out in the kitchen, it was clear that he’d been fixing breakfast this very morning. So how had the vampires come for him in daylight?

We checked the other houses, our guns out and ready. Everyone was gone, though some, by the blood and mess left in the houses, had not gone willingly. By the time we were done, it was full dark.

When we went to the church, we found that it was burned too, to the ground. Standing in the still-smoldering ashes was a three-foot-tall pole, the top covered with a black bag. Spiderboy’s eyes were very wide as he stood, staring, but I just walked up to the pole, and gently took the bag off. As soon as I did, Spiderboy threw up behind me, making mewling sounds.

Stuck on the end of the pole was Jeanna’s head, her mouth lolling open to reveal a tongue that had been split by a knife so it was forked. Her fangs had been pulled out, and her eyes burnt to cinders. The word ‘traitor’ had been deeply burned into the flesh of her forehead.

I stood for a moment, considering the message. The forked tongue meant Eli knew I was spying on him, or that I’d been working with her. The brand of ‘traitor’ and the pulled fangs meant he knew it was Jacob behind this, that Jeanna hadn’t been working just with me. She’d been covered to ensure that the sun wouldn’t be able to erase what she’d suffered before I got a chance to see it.

I didn’t know who’d killed her or tortured her, but someone had come for the humans here in the day, to take them. And there was only one group I knew of that worked for Eli who could walk in daylight: the members of the werecreature church.

Buy Shadow Man at the following locations

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Bradley Publishing

Barnes And Noble

About Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Meseries. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Connect with Tara online:TaraFoxHall Tara Fox Hall on Handling Rejection & Introducing Her Latest Book: Shadow Man


Email: tarafoxhallATgmailDOTcom

Tara’s Blog:

Tara’s Facebook Page:


Amazon Webpage:

Tara also runs a monthly contest on her website where one lucky winner will win any of her latest release in eBook form. To take part email her to join her mailing list.

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The Home for Halloween Giveaway Author Scott Nicholson

Welcome Author Scott Nicholson with his

The Home for Halloween Giveaway

Tasha: I’m very excited to have one of indie’s top 100 best selling authors Scott Nicholson as a guest on my blog today. I’ve read The Home, it is certainly a thriller to keep you on the edge of your chair while reading. Now over to Scott to share about his giveaway as well as an excerpt.

Scott: Enter the Rafflecopter to win your choice of a Kindle Fire, Nook HD, or Kobo Glo, as well as signed books and audiobooks in the Home for Halloween giveaway from author Scott Nicholson.

The giveaway celebrates the launch of paranormal thriller The Home. Experiments at a group home for troubled children lead to paranormal activity—and the ghosts are from the home’s dark past as an insane asylum. In development as a feature film, it’s available in ebook at Amazon US, Amazon UK,, Kobo, and Smashwords.

The Home 300blue 104x150 The Home for Halloween Giveaway Author Scott NicholsonEXCERPT: THE HOME

By Scott Nicholson

(From Chapter Four)


The janitor drew closer, pale lips quivering. The man’s hands trembled. There was something odd about his gait. His bare feet protruded beneath the ragged hem of his trousers, making no sound on the tiled floor.

What kind of a janitor goes barefoot?

“Do you work here?” Freeman looked up the hallway to see if Starlene was coming back.

The man didn’t answer. He was close enough now that Freeman could see the pores on the waxy face. Dark half-moons lurked in the shadows beneath the staring eyes. A strand of drool hung from one wrinkled corner of his mouth. The legs moved on, the arms limp at the man’s side. The smell of dusty old meat wafted over Freeman.

The man passed Freeman, close enough to reach out and touch, but Freeman didn’t dare. You never knew which of these home employees would snap, which one was important, which one you might need to impress at some time or another. You never knew which of them held your future in his hands. True, this dried-up geezer didn’t look like a counselor, but you also never knew which little game was actually one of their staged tests.

And if this guy was with the Trust, he definitely had games behind his eyes.

Freeman waited to be asked why he wasn’t in class with the others. But the man shambled past, staring ahead as if Freeman didn’t exist. The feet were creased with a mapwork of turgid purple veins, the bones knotted and calcified, but they rose and fell steadily. The man walked as if he had a destination just beyond the wall and didn’t realize that the wall stood in the way.

Freeman had another thought. Maybe this man wasn’t an employee of the home. Maybe he was somebody who’d never left, never found a permanent placement. Maybe this was what happened to unwanted people when they grew old. For a moment, Freeman imagined himself in that soiled uniform, condemned to a lifetime of directionless trudging.

Freeman thought about triptrapping him, getting into the geezer’s brain, but the manic buzz of an hour ago had faded to zilch. Plus every read came at a price, in headaches and confusion and loss of identity. For one thing, he’d learned that everybody was screwed up, everybody’s thoughts and emotions were strange and twisted. One voice in his head was plenty enough, and maybe even one was too many.

The old man disappeared around the corner. Freeman stepped back into the Blue Room and let the door slip closed with a whisper of air. He felt more alone than he had in years. It was almost as bad as the closet Dad used to lock him in, where the wires and weird lights and pain first caused him to triptrap. And caused him to do bad things, think bad thoughts.

He went to his cot and sat quietly, like a death camp inmate, until the other kids arrived.
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About Scott Nicholson

ScottStanding300 103x150 The Home for Halloween Giveaway Author Scott NicholsonAuthor Scott Nicholson has written 15 thrillers, 60 short stories, four comics series, and six screenplays. He lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where he tends an organic garden, successfully eludes stalkers, and generally lives the dream. He’s online at

Finalist, 1998 Writers of the Future
1999 Hubbard Gold Award
1999 First Runner-Up for Darrell Award
Honorable Mentions, 1999,2000, and 2002 Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror
Locus Magazine new & notable list, 2002
Semifinals, 2002 Chesterfield Film Writers Competition
Finalist, Stoker Award for Best First Novel, 2003
Semifinals, 2003 Chesterfield Film Writers Competition
2006 Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror

Stalk… I mean Follow/Friend Scott :


Twitter @eScottNicholson

Goodreads – don’t forget reviews are a great way to let your favorite authors know you liked their book

Website to keep up on the latest news about books, comics, appearances, and more

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Promote when You are a Guest

Promote when You are a Guest

By Tasha Turner

Always say thanks when someone guests you on their blog (tweet this)

If you are a guest on someone’s website/blog it is really important that you promote your appearance and thank them for having you. Otherwise they are unlikely to be interested in having you again. For example: If I post a link on your page saying “hey I got your post up” it is not hard for you to comment “hey thanks looks great”. Nor is it hard for you to comment on the post or share it from there. This is the same for author spotlights, interviews, anything except a review (well if I post it to your page you could say thanks).

ThankYou 300x107 Promote when You are a Guest

When I’m hosted on someone’s blog I do a quick except on my blog and link over to their blog in addition to FB and tweeting about it and tagging them in the shares and tweets. Why? To drive traffic to them as a thanks for having me.

Remember social networking is about building relationships. This means thanking people when they do something nice for us and when we can helping their visibility as well as our own.

  • Anyone have other thoughts on this?
  • Does anyone do anything to make their host feel special for having them on their blog?
  • If you don’t do this why not?

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It’s the Digital Age Take Advantage

It’s the Digital Age Take Advantage

Some days I wonder; who am I giving advice to authors? I don’t have a book published. Then I read a blog or a book by a major best-selling author giving advice to newbies … or realize I’m shooting the breeze sharing advice with one on twitter and I realize all these years of being on the fringes of hanging out with big 6 editors, authors, and others in the biz has taught me a lot. Do they know me by name? No but their friends do, and some might think I look familiar… that has to count for something right?

Books rarely sell right after you’ve taken an action but your name gets out there. (tweet this)

BookWatch Cellar Door Films 150x99 Its the Digital Age Take Advantage

photo by cellar_door_films from Flickr

Branding yourself takes time. You need a marketing plan that covers the next year (or more). Know your target market. In the digital age books can stay on the shelves longer than ever before so take advantage of the time. Get your name out there. Be friendly. Be helpful. Be interesting to your target market.

Promote yourself more than your books. (tweet this)

And never, ever forget: WRITE A GOOD BOOK. Write another book. Rinse and repeat. The above is true whether you are going traditional publishing or self-publishing.

  • Thoughts?
  • Comments?
photo courtesy of cellar_door_films creative commons licence thanks to Wana Commons set up by Kristen Lamb

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Sweet Aromas 4U

Blog Guest Serena doesn’t want you to miss out on this great sale!

Half Off Store Wide Sale This Week 9/24/2012 to 9/28/2012

 Sweet Aromas 4U: Where Creativity and Aromatherapy Meets ~Serena (tweet this)

parishiltonsugar 300x159 Sweet Aromas 4U
You may never want to get out the shower, with Sweet Aruomas 4u moisturizing and exfoliating sugar scrub! It leaves your skin feeling moisturized, soft, silky and smooth, and not to mention smelling amazing! You can also have them customize your sugar scrub in your favorite scent! at no additional charge! check them out at Sweet Aromas 4U

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Help a Writer Pictures – Good or Bad?

Help a Writer Pictures – Good or Bad?

by Tasha Turner

Are we asking our fans to work for us and forgetting to thank them for buying our books? (tweet this)

HelpAnAuthor Help a Writer Pictures   Good or Bad?

I like points 1 and 2 for sure. Points 3 and 4 are nice and like the way they are worded here without pressure or guilt and acknowledging the reader’s time.


My issue with many of these “help a writer” pictures is that they ignore the fact that the reader has helped the writer by purchasing the book. I feel like they should say “additional ways to support your favorite writers” or “another way to show love to a writer” but I’m concerned that we are starting to devalue in my mind the biggest thing people do for us writers… Buy our books.

HelpAnAuthor2 Help a Writer Pictures   Good or Bad?

This one bothers me more. It seems more demanding on the reader. I do like the last line. But I’m concerned the last line is lost in the demands above it.

One of the signs floating around also accidentally offend book reviewers so before posting a sign we need to look at the wording carefully and think about who will see it and how it might sound to them. I can’t find the one that had a number of book reviewers talking about and being upset about it. I hope one of my readers has it and shares it with us.

  • Do you have other “help a writer/show love to an author” pictures? If so please include a link/share the picture in the comments. And your thoughts about it.
  • Thoughts on the ones you’ve seen?
    • Did you like them? why?
    • Did you not like them? why?
  • Do you think these are good ways to educate and motivate our readers?
    • if so why?
    • if not why?
  • Readers what are your thoughts?
    • Have you seen these?
    • How do they make you feel?

Don’t make me fell like a loser please comment…. or you know don’t I’ll survive… Is the guilt working? Yeah I didn’t think so.


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Creating an Author Platform

This is a presentation Tasha Turner gave at a MasterKoda webinar in April 2012. I covered the basics of creating a social media platform for authors. What a platform is. Why you need one. How to go after your target market. How to use your time wisely. This was done less than a month after my car accident.

  • What do you think?
  • What questions do you have?
  • What did I forget?
  • What do you want to know more about?

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Creating a Book Review Policy

Creating a Book Review Policy

As mentioned during the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour we are finally creating a book review policy. Ritesh Kala and Natalie Star helped us draft this policy. During the time of the tour there were a lot of discussions on the web between book reviewers and authors.

What Makes for a Good Book Review Policy?

Good book review policies make life easier on everyone ~Tasha Turner   (tweet this)

  • Easy to find on website
  • Clear on what kinds of books are accepted
  • Names and how to contact
  • What to include when contacting the 1st time
  • How long to expect a response to take
  • Not a lot of other information on the review page that is NOT necessary for the author to know

Our policy

We have a bit of a backlist so it may be a a while before we get to your book. Please let us know if the book you are asking us to review has an upcoming release date or a special promo date and we will do our best to accommodate it.

Reviews will be posted here on Tasha Turner Coaching’s blog, Goodreads, Amazon and linked to our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

What to Send to the Appropriate Reviewer

Send an email with the following information

  1. Subject line: Review Request for >name of reviewer
  2. Book name
  3. Book blurb / synopsis
  4. Book cover
  5. A link to Amazon or any other place your book is available for purchase
  6. A link to your website / blog
  7. Publisher name and link to their website
  8. Author bio
  11. Be patient we will get back to you as soon as we can

If we accept your book please send it to the Appropriate Reviewer

  1. In a separate file: A bio and links to where you can be found online will be put at the end of the review on our site ONLY. Your bio should be short with links for where you can be found on the web – your blog, link to your amazon author page (or book), FB, Twitter, – where ever you WANT people to find you/friend you/follow you. You do NOT have to include every link to every place you are as that is overwhelming to readers.
  2. Paperback, epub, mobi and pdf copies will be accepted for review. Mobi is the preferred format.

Reviews we will Post and Ones we Will Not

If your book received a good rating, we will most certainly promote you, as an author, as well as your book. We are happy to host giveaways, blog tours, guest posts and interviews. We expect YOU to promote your posts as well as to comment on any post. If we do a review you should promote the review but not comment. For books that we do not feel are up to snuff we will talk with the author to discuss whether to post or not.

Tasha reads the following kinds of books

  •  Sweet romances (heat levels 1-3) . I do not read heat levels 4+ (no erotica, no porn, no really graphic sex scenes)
  • Mystery
  • Historical fiction/mystery/romance
  • Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
  • Thrillers/suspense/spy
  • Cookbooks (except for seafood only – tasha also keeps kosher which limits what recipes she can try)
  • Jewish fiction (NO holocaust, I do NOT read hebrew/yiddish/ladino/etc. ENGLISH only books)
  • Does not read: technical material, political material, non-fiction in general, biography’s/autobiography’s/memoirs, history, religious material (except Jewish as mentioned above), poetry, erotica, graphic violence, graphic sex, rape, incest, books where anyone is abused except in special circumstances (book is to highlight the problem with said things and is NOT graphic in its descriptions abuse) …

Jess Reads

  • All Romance including erotica (NOT porn)
  • Mystery
  • Horror
  • Crime
  • Paranormal/Urban fantasy
  • Historical Fiction/Mystery
  • Thrillers/Suspense
  • Action/Adventure
  • Cookbooks (excl. seafood specific)
  • Young Adult
  • Does not read: technical material, religious material, poetry, political material


Lisa Reads

Lisa will update her info in a few months when she is back from personal leave.

pixel Creating a Book Review Policy

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