“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
― Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Today’s prompt is to choose an impossible statement to compose a poem about.
a circle can’t have corners
in a forgotten corner she sits invisible
observing the popular girls
their circle an impenetrable wall
keeping her out uninvited
in first grade they were all friends
in seventh they are not
she is excluded
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem that plays with the myth of Narcissus.
I hear those blasted pipes, pipes
I turn and see Pan, Pan
With his horny head, head
And his hairy legs, legs
With their cloven hooves, hooves
I turn away and gaze at my love, love
His handsome face mirrored in the water, ter
Why don’t you return my feelings, lings
Your eyes seek only your own face, face
Could it be there’s nothing there, there
Just a shallow reflection, tion
A gift for all of you of a certain age.
You’re welcome. You might want to bookmark this post so you can listen to this great music any time you’re working on your computer.
Imaginative creations by artistic people:
- You may never have seen some of these animals before, and there is a reason why—they’re on the brink of extinction.
- Altered cats.
- Pretty tangles.
- Venice or Shanghai?
- Traditional quilts you can make—six free patterns!
- Common phrases that have nautical origins.
- I love the work of illustrator Helen Cann. What an interesting life she’s led!
- If I’m understanding this correctly, these mylar balloons are not balloons but flat paintings.
- How graphic design shapes/reflects Canadian identity.
- Prize-winning short story. It’s not what you think.
- New directions in stained glass.
- These photographs would be beautiful if they weren’t garbage.
I’m off-prompt today.
The last rays of light barely illuminate the stained glass windows.
It’s not a Sunday; no one is required to attend tonight.
Nevertheless, a crowd of hushed worshippers sit expectantly.
I’m blessed to be among them.
I belong here.
I’ll be ringing in the handbell choir.
The choir will sing.
The sanctuary will peal with praise.
The Good News will be proclaimed.
Six boys will experience the Lord’s Supper for the first time.
At the close of the service, we’ll each light a candle and place it in the holders on the altar.
Our prayers will rise to the throne of God.
Remember all the buzz about video app Periscope in early 2015? Marketing gurus were bombarding us on social media with videos they created with the new tool from Twitter. In my late 2015 blog post, “Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome,” I warned about investing a lot of time and energy into using new tools until you were confident they could help you reach your book’s target audience.
We might finally have a video app that can do that in Facebook Live. In fact, authors and Facebook Live could be quite compatible.
I’m not going to explain how to use Facebook Live here — you can find lots of helpful information about that online, including this article on the Social Media Examiner site.
My goal with this article is to help you think about how you might useFacebook Live for book promotion and marketing. This piece of it is just important as the technology. You don’t need to spend any time learning about the app until you better understand what you want to accomplish with this marketing tool — and how you’ll do that.
11 ideas for authors and Facebook Live
Here are some ideas to get you thinking. Would a few of them work for your goals, personality, and book? You don’t need to limit yourself to one!
1. Do a cover reveal: You’ve finally selected your cover? Share it with your followers! Or, show them three options and ask them to pick their favorite and tell you why.
2. Solicit reader input: Noodling around ideas for a new character or plot twist? Tell fans and ask them for their feedback.
3. Show a bookstore or other event appearance: If you’re talking about your book before a signing at a store or other venue, recruit a friend to broadcast your event from your phone.
4. Offer advice: Give your followers helpful information that will help them do something better, smarter, or faster. That’s when Tenita Johnson does. The author of Grammatically Incorrect: When Commas Save Your Sentences & Your Reputation nudges people to write their books and offers editing advice.
5. Ask a friend to interview you: Oh, sure, you could talk about your book forever, right? But a Q&A format with a friend who is off camera, or starts in front of the camera then flips it to show you, is so much more interesting visually then you sharing the same information yourself, talking to the camera all by your lonesome.
6. Demonstrate something: This works especially well for cookbooks and how-to nonfiction. Food historian Amy Riolo, author of The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer, uses it to give people a glimpse into her cooking classes.
7. Broadcast from your book’s setting: Written a novel set in a real place? Take your readers there!
8. Flip through a family photo album: Written a memoir? Flip through the pages of an old family photo album so fans can put faces to the names.
9. Show your workspace: Readers are often curious about where writers work. Whether it’s your kitchen table or a neighborhood coffee shop, show where you produced the book they love so much.
10. Change people’s minds: After Linda Cohen, author of 1,000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire, and Change Your Life, noticed people complaining about the inconveniences caused by a crippling snowfall in Portland, Ore., she hopped on Facebook Live to help adjust attitudes by asking followers about the acts of kindness they were seeing.
11. Host interviews with thought leaders: Arrange to do a series of short interviews with people who influence your audience while you’re at a conference.
Which idea will work for you?
Whether you’re a novelist or a nonfiction author, I’ll bet there’s an approach on this list that will work for you. You can also let it inspire you to think about other approaches you might try. I’ve seen authors host weekly “office hours” where followers can ask questions while others are more spontaneous, pulling out the camera to share an inspirational thought.
Still need more inspiration? Watch the videos on the Harper Collins Book Studio 16 Facebook page.
Just make sure you’re comfortable with the approach you decide to use. For example, you’ll never catch me trying to inspire or motivate you — it’s just not how I roll. I’m more likely to take you into a cool indie bookstore or interview an author or expert at a conference. Be true to yourself.
Once you know what you want to share on Facebook Live, explore how it works. The more you know about best practices and what’s working for other authors, the more confident you’ll feel when you try it yourself.
If you know an author who’s trying to figure out what to share on Facebook Live, be sure to share this post with them.
How are you using Facebook Live for book promotion? Tell us in a comment.