Author Archives: Andrea R Huelsenbeck

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

Guest Post: Why You Need an Author News Page on Your Website

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This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief.  Whether you’re just starting out or a best-selling author, Web Design Relief will improve your existing website or build you an affordable, custom author website to support your author platform, boost your online presence, and act as a hub for your social media outreach. Web Design Relief is a division of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. Sign up for their free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit the site today to learn more.

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Have you considered creating a News Page on your author website? Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea, even if you’re not a famous writer (yet!). Web Design Relief knows that all writers—from newbies to best-selling authors—can benefit from having an Author News Page on their websites.

But what if you think you don’t have any news to post? You may be surprised how much you really do have to share, and how much a News Page can help you!

What Is Considered “Newsworthy” For Your Author Website?

New publications. Do you have a new book about to hit shelves? Did a literary journal pick up one of your poems, stories, or essays? Announce this to your fans! We know authors tend to be more on the shy side and not naturally inclined to brag. But think of it less as bragging and more as sharing your good news—your readers are sure to be just as happy as you are! And they’ll want to celebrate with you.

Updates on your publication journey. There may be a long gap between when you announce your poem, story, essay, or book is going to be published and when it is actually published. So when publication finally happens, be sure to update your readers. You can also share important steps on your path to publication. Some ideas: signing your contract, learning your publication date, revealing your book cover—all newsworthy moments!

Book signings and readings. Giving public readings from your book and having book signing events are great ways to boost your sales and build your fan base. Plus, they’re fun (once you get the hang of them)! Of course you want as many fans—and potential new fans—as possible to attend your events, so get the word out on your Author News Page as soon as you know the details. You can also promote the event again as it gets closer.

Speaking engagements. You can also build your reputation as an author by sitting on panels, speaking at writing conferences and seminars, and so forth. These events let you use your expertise as a writer, and they’re excellent fodder for your author website’s News Page too! Just like book signings, nudge readers about the event as it gets closer—and remember to post the details as early as possible so that everyone interested can put it on their calendars.

Social media posts. If you’re worried about having enough “news” to regularly post on your author website’s News Page, consider integrating a social media feed or two into the page. Depending on which programs and widgets you choose, this could also ease some pressure on you—especially if you’re busy or not totally comfortable with social media. You’ll be posting updates in fewer places because your pages will sync automatically!

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How To Keep Your Information Safe On Your News Page

Host events only in public places. Bookstores, libraries, and even venues like cafés are perfect for author events. Once you plan them, definitely announce these events on your author website’s News Page right away—but be sure to only share the address of the event, not your own home address or contact info.

Be careful when you post photos. If you’re going to share photos of yourself at home—signing a contract, for example!—make sure the location can’t be accessed. Though geotagging can be incredibly helpful in the modern age for public events, it’s just not a good idea concerning your home address. To protect your safety, you shouldn’t post the town your home is in. This is something to also be careful about when using social media sites. Some social media sites strip out location info, but some do not. For example: Be sure to turn off Tweet Location if tweeting from home! 

For more tips on protecting your personal information on your author website—such as your email address, phone number, and legal name—check out this article! 

And Remember—You Have More News Than You Think!

Sure, a handful of best-selling authors will have national tours and fancy awards to post about—but literary agents and literary journal editors won’t expect that from every writer. Even smaller news is worth sharing—genuine connections and fan interactions matter so much more in the long run! Plus, these news items make readers feel like they’re really getting to know you.

Ready to build an author website with a News Page? Don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy—Web Design Relief is always here to help! Reach out for your free consultation to talk us through your vision and get a price quote today.

 

Question: Would you consider adding a News Page to your author website? What would your first post be?

Video of the Week #215: This Artist’s Medium is Rocks

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Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Purple Sage

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Visit Cee’s Flower of the Day for more flowers.

Three More Little Quilts Finished

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my quilting projects. I’m a member of a quilting ministry at one of the churches in town. We make baptism quilts (Lutherans baptize infants), baby quilts for the Crisis Pregnancy Center, and comfort quilts for parishioners experiencing challenges or transitioning into assisted care.

You may have seen some of these in progress if you follow me on Instagram.

This one is for the CPC. The focus fabric features chameleons.

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I mixed 6″ chameleon blocks with four-patches.

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After I had it all pieced, I regretted the layout. The way the yellows and reds are lined up, they draw your eye away from the chameleons. Oh, well. Chameleons do like to blend in.

 

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I had some donated fabric in kind of a Frank Lloyd Wright-ish print in odd colors that I didn’t know what I was going to do with; obviously, it was meant to be a backing.

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And this one is a baptism quilt. It started as an x’s and o’s quilt, but I could not get those x blocks together. I even recut the pieces, and it still didn’t work. So it became a crosses and snowballs quilt. The background of the blocks is a white-on-white; the sashing is a white floral print on pale lavender.

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I pieced together a backing from some odds and ends.

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Close-up of the center panel. (Pardon the shadow.)

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We like to use sheep fabric for baptism quilts, because the congregation usually sings “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb” during the service.

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And here is my newest quilt, just completed Sunday morning for a baptism this coming Sunday.

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The sheep block is a design from Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt.

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The other blocks are 36-patches.

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I forgot to take a picture of the backing before I turned the quilt in. I used some donated fabric featuring blue gingham teddy bears.

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I have two more quilts in progress, but I won’t post them until they’re done.

Monday Morning Wisdom #220

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From the Creator’s Heart #216

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From the Creator’s Heart #216

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).

Quiz: Are You 65+ Years Old And Cool?

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Quiz: Are You 65+ Years Old And Cool?

Are you one of the cool seniors, or are you lame regardless of your mobility status? Answer these questions truthfully and total your score to discover your coolness quotient.

  1. How many grandchildren do you have?
    1. Heck, I don’t even have kids!
    2. Maybe someday.
    3. One.
    4. Two or more.
  2. How many of these musicians are you familiar with: Jonas Brothers, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Panic! At the Disco, Drake, Khalid, Tool, Skillet, Post Malone, BTS?
    1. Zero to three.
    2. Four or five.
    3. Six or seven.
    4. Eight to ten.
  3. How many of these superheroes are you familiar with: Green Lantern, Flash, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Wolverine, Superman, Iron Man, Spiderman, Batman?
    1. Zero.
    2. One to five.
    3. Six or seven.
    4. Eight to ten.
  4. How do you watch movies?
    1. On VHS.
    2. On network television.
    3. I rent DVDs from Red Box, borrow them from the library, or buy them.
    4. I stream them (Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc.) or go to the movie theater.
  5. Do you have an iPhone?
    1. I only have a land line.
    2. I have a flip phone, a Jitterbug, a Blackberry, or some other non-smart phone.
    3. I have a Pixel, a Moto, a Nokia, an LG, an Android, or some other non-Apple phone.
    4. Yes.
  6. What year was your car made?
    1. I don’t have a car.
    2. Before 2000.
    3. 2000-2018.
    4. 2019-2020.
  7. How do you connect with your friends?
    1. Snail mail.
    2. Text, email, or social media.
    3. Telephone, FaceTime, or Skype.
    4. In person.
  8. Do you know all the restaurants with senior discounts and only go there during those designated days and times?
    1. I prefer to eat at home.
    2. Of course. I tip based on the discount price.
    3. Of course. But I tip based on the full-amount price.
    4. No, I go when I can pay full-price.
  9. What time do you go to bed?
    1. 8:00.
    2. 9:00.
    3. 10:00.
    4. 11:00.
  10. What would you like people to remember about you?
    1. To stay the heck off my lawn.
    2. That I made lots of money.
    3. That I have lots of friends.
    4. That I am kind and generous.

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How to Score

Question If you answered: Give yourself: Rationale
1 a or b 3 points Even though it’s cooler to have grandkids, if you don’t, it’s not your fault.
c or d 4 points Super cool!
2 a 1 point Pathetic.
b 2 points Not bad.
c 3 points Pretty cool.
d 4 points Super cool!
3 a 4 points Obviously, you have better uses for your time.
b 1 point A little bit cool.
c 2 points A little more cool.
d 3 points Very cool (in some circles).
4 a 1 point You get one point because your VCR is still working.
b 1 point Super old-school.
c 3 points A little bit old-school.
d 4 points This is what the cool people do.
5 a 1 point You are invited to join the 21st century.
b 2 points You are also invited to join the 21st century.
c 3 points Pretty cool.
d 4 points Super cool.
6 a 4 points At your age, not driving but using public transportation could be the sexiest alternative.
b 3 points There are some way cool classic cars in that range.
c 2 points Boring.
d 4 points Super cool.
7 a 3 points Thank you for keeping letter-writing from being a lost art.
b 3 points Way to be tech-savvy.
c 3 points There’s something special about a human voice.
d 4 points Coolest of all.
8 a 3 points There are health and financial benefits to eating at home.
b 1 point Too cheap to be cool.
c 4 points Super cool!
d 1 point Why would you do that?
9 a, b, c, or d, if you get less than 8 hours of sleep 1 point You’re not getting optimum rest.
a, b, c, or d, if you get at least 8 hours of sleep 4 points Well-rested is super cool.
10 a 1 point Not cool.
b 1 point Cool people don’t care about that.
c 3 points Being friendly is cool.
d 4 points If it’s true, that’s super cool.

What Your Score Reveals About Your Coolness Quotient 

Score What it means:
1-15 Dude, you’re just not trying.
16-23 You’re sort of cool.
24-31 You’re cooler than most.
32-40 You’re beyond cool—you’re awesome!

Now it’s your turn. Did you learn something new about yourself? Are there other criteria for coolness that you would take into account? Share in the comments below.

If you enjoyed taking this quiz, please make my day by clicking the “Like” button and by sharing on all your social media. Thanks!