Archive for February, 2012

Today’s Author: Building a platform, Part II- Networking

Posted on: February 26th, 2012 by Carrick Publishing 1 Comment

So, you’ve got your blog running at full steam… (See Today’s Author: Part I at Carrick Publishing — Blogging.)

You’ve been toiling for weeks, churning out your most interesting thoughts, spinning tales into cyber-space.

What’s that you say? Your site had three hits yesterday? Two of them were your mother?

How do we entice readers? You’ve got a great topic. You’ve used images to heighten the visual appeal of your page.

With today’s Social Media tools as close as your nearest WiFi connection, there’s no excuse for toiling in isolation.

Some of the popular outlets for writers include: StumbledUpon, DIGG, CrimeSpace, GrapeVine and GoodReads.

In our experience, there are 4 primary Social Media forums that can help you connect with people who share your passion:

1- Twitter is loaded with potential connections who are waiting to hear from you. They won’t all share your interest in WollySprocket Handbooks, but Twitter offers easy-to-use tools to find your fellow WollySprocket enthusiasts.

The key advantage Twitter offers is its fast, fluid nature. In 140 characters or less, you can josh, share a blog link with your followers, post a photo of your new grandchild or ask for advice.

2- FaceBook is another great forum for finding friends who read, write, publish and are eager to discuss books and e-books.

One of the things I like most about FaceBook is the ability to easily check in on family members, friends and fellow-artists/writers to see what they’re up to.

3- Google + is a newcomer to the Social Media whirlwind, but is quickly making a name for itself, especially among the younger crowd.

One of Google +’s claims to fame is its easy access and connectivity throughout the Google Empire.

4- LinkedIn is a quieter and often overlooked forum. We think of LinkedIn as a professional network, where we can connect with colleagues in our “day jobs”.

For writers, LinkedIn is so much more. It’s full of Writing and Publishing Industry groups, where seasoned professionals gather to chew the fat on the hottest topics of the day.

Joseph Konrath hit the nail on the head with his recent blog post: The Value Of Publicity (A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, Wednesday, January 18, 2012). Konrath points out that, despite our best efforts, it’s tough selling books.

Even the hottest publicity does not always pan out in terms of heightened book sales.

Social Media may not drive high volume sales. However, it will start your sales-engine. And, more important, it can connect you with others in our industry. These people talk ‘books’, all day every day.

If we ever hope to master this industry of ours, it will be through the friends we make as we build our platform.


In Today’s Author: Building a platform, Part III, we’ll focus our discussion on one of the most beloved and writer-friendly forums out there: Twitter. We’ll look at using its Search capabilities to find folks who share our passion.

Join me for this series at: .

Attending Bloody Words 2012? Hope to see you at our workshop on Building A Writer’s Platform through Social Media.

Donna is an executive member of CrimeWriters of Canada and the author of three mystery novels as well as a short story anthology. Her titles include: The First Excellence (winner of the 2011 Indie Book Event Award), Gold And Fishes, The Noon God, Sept-Iles and other places and Knowing Penelope.

Donna blogs regularly at , , and .

Author Mariam Kobras ~ The Distant Shore: Guest Post February 8, 2012

Posted on: February 8th, 2012 by Carrick Publishing 1 Comment

This week, in the spirit of St. Valentine, Carrick Publishing is proud to feature debut author Mariam Kobras. (The Distant Shore, Buddhapuss Ink LLC, January 2012).

I had the honour of being asked to read this story in its pre-publication stage. To my delight, my thoughts found their way onto the beautifully designed back cover: “Kobras delivers a story of love that transcends time and crosses continents. poignant and beautiful . . . Fans of romance will appreciate her fresh voice.”

And now, in the author’s own words…

Today, it began to snow.

It’s the end of January, and this is the first snow this winter. The world looks quieter, prettier, almost as if nature is taking a break, catching a breath before the riot of spring.

The cat has curled up on his favorite plaid blanket, right here beside me on the couch, and I have my favorite mug filled with fresh coffee close by. It’s so peaceful in the house, no one else, no movement, no noise.

I’m feeling a bit like Naomi right now—Naomi from The Distant Shore—who has run away from her life and love, to live in a small fishing town in Norway.

She spends hours sitting at her desk, staring out at the bay, and the changing weather, dreaming of what she might have had, could have had, if those cops had not stormed into her house and destroyed everything for her.

She dreams of Jon, the one love of her life, who was arrested that night, dragged from their bed and taken away. It was the last time she saw him before she fled Hollywood, and the glamour of his stardom. She dreams of hearing his voice, hearing him whisper to her in the still of the night, feeling his arms around her, even while she knows she will never return to him, or share his life again.

While for me the stillness of the snow goes on, Naomi is woken from her reverie one day in February, when the door of her hotel opens, and Jon walks in from a winter storm. Imagine the turmoil, imagine how she feels, seeing him again after so many years, so many lonely nights later.

There is no choice for her. She loved him before, and she still loves him now.

What she thought had been lost forever is within reach, and she grabs it without a second thought.

For a while, Jon becomes part of the winter stillness of her slow, ordered life, until Hollywood and his fame claim him back. Naomi follows him back to Los Angeles and to the house where they were once lovers. Now, older, wiser, she can see that there are good things here, a new life, a new chance for them. It takes them a while to grow into a couple, into a family with their son, Joshua, but they manage to transport the peace they found in tranquil Norway, to sunny, chaotic California.

Maybe Naomi should have turned Jon around on his heels and kicked him out the moment he appeared in Halmar. Maybe she should never have let him into her apartment, her bed, or her heart again. Her life would certainly have been easier.

As easy and smooth as the world looks under the cover of a blanket of snow, soft, silent, undisturbed. No upheaval, no stalking fans, no worries.

But also, no passion, no love, no music, and no songs. Naomi has no choice.

The moment Jon opens that door to her hotel, he opens her door to freedom, to creativity and to finding her own self. He is her way of finding herself, freeing her from the burden of her family, and heritage, and allowing her to be a different person, the one she really wants to be.

So, she doesn’t hesitate. She wants it all: the love, the excitement, the new life with the creative work.

Looking out at the snow right now, I have to admit that I’m with Naomi. I’d step out into the light too, I’d reach for the stars.

Oh wait – I did.

I left behind my boring housewife life to be a writer, and now an author.

Only it wasn’t a rock star like Jon Stone who opened that door for me, but a NJ publisher.

Rock star, publisher—same thing, at least they are in this case—door openers, both of them. You need someone, at that moment in your life when you decide to commit to living a creative life, someone who will give you the validation.

Someone who will tell you that, yes, it’s worth the time, the effort, the work.

Someone who will tell you that they want you to go on, who will assure you that yes, you really are good at what you’re doing, and please don’t give up, and to learn to value yourself.

Maybe even someone who—like rock star Jon Stone—will make you lunch and put it in front of you when you forget to eat.

So you see, The Distant Shore is not just a romance.
It is, in the truest sense of the word, a love story. It’s a story about love.
The love for a person, for a child, for music, and for creativity.
It’s even about a love for the sea.
If this makes it a romance, I’m fine with being called a romance writer.
And I’ll keep on being one.

This was the twelfth stop on Mariam’s “Love is in the Air” Blog Hop & Giveaway. We hope you enjoyed this post and will join us Thursday at Jane Traver’s Tweet Treats for a review of The Distant Shore.

Buddhapuss Ink is giving away copies of Mariam’s book, along with some pretty terrific (and very romantic) gifts, as we count down to that most romantic day of the year—Valentine’s Day!

Want to enter the giveaway?

Leave a comment for this post for one entry. We also encourage you to “Like” this blog and follow it! Tweet a link to this blog including the hashtag #TDSBlogHop for another chance to win.

Want more chances to win? Visit for all the info!