Friday, July 31, 2015

The Week in Links 7/31/15 Diversity in Fiction, Agents of Shield,The Power of Fiction


Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
Writers of Color in SFF: Recommendation Time
Black Women Horror Writers: Interview with Jayde Brooks
Will It Get Better For Black People In the Horror Genre?
The “Adult” HARRY POTTER Books Look Fantastic

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror by Eden Royce

"Eden Royce delivers a sultry and spicy dose of Southern Gothic. The stories are rich in flavor and clever in metaphor, the horrors completely surreal or—far more unnerving—all too possible." —B.D. Bruns, author of The Gothic Shift

"Dark corners and sensual horrors greet you in the latest from Eden Royce. Spook Lights will seduce you with its facade of gothic charm and ruin you with monstrous intent."  —Mark Taylor, author of The Devil’s Hand series


Pull up a rocking chair and sit a spell. Soak in these twelve tales of Southern Gothic horror:

A woman’s search for her mother drags her into the binding embrace of a monster, a witchdoctor’s young niece tells him a life-altering secret, a man’s beachfront home becomes the site of his worst nightmare, an investigator who knows how to keep a 100% confession rate….

These are stories where the setting itself becomes a character—fog laced cemeteries, sulfur rich salt marshes—places housing creatures that defy understanding and where the grotesque and macabre are celebrated.

Spook Lights is a collection of short horror stories by Eden Royce, who was inspired by the rootworkers—Southern hoodoo magic users—she grew up around.

Those interested in travelling to Charleston, South Carolina, ranked #2 in the World’s Best Places to Visit in 2015, will appreciate these tales of the Holy City at its darkest. Many readers will find the descriptions of the lives of the under represented in horror fiction—African-Americans and Native Indians—a refreshing take on the genre.


Wind came, strong through the curtains and the hovering shadows coalesced into a swirling ash grey mass.

“She here. Be ready with the salt.”

The grey cloud moved around the calling space, stopping at each candle, before it slunk between the two women to examine its sacrifice. Satisfied, it slid over to Frieda and swayed like a cobra. She could feel its presence inside her mind, inside her chest and she gasped as it probed at her most tender heartaches. Crushing memories rushed to the surface of her psyche: Henry’s countless betrayals, looks of pity from the local women, laughter from the men. Frieda’s heart seized. She gasped for breath as scabs, new and old, tore from each emotional wound. It delved deeper in its search, picking curiously, while tears grew behind Frieda’s fluttering eyelids. Her chest heaved and quivered with impending sobs.

“The salt. Throw the salt!” Big Mama yelled, breaking through the creature’s trance-inducing sway.

Frieda’s arm shook with the effort of tossing a small handful of salt over her left shoulder. While most of the salt found its way down the front of her dress, enough landed behind her to end the Hag’s internal quest. The smoky funnel whirled and spun with its newfound knowledge.

Brought to the surface again, her pain crystallized into diamond hard resolve, but it eased enough for her to gasp her request. “Make Henry stay with me.”

The whirlwind roiled with fervor, covering the wine-soaked crab carcass in its dervish. When it finally moved, only the switchblade remained. The coil of ash rose in the thick, muggy air and hovered above the women. One word came from the twisting center eye.

“Agreed.”

It extinguished each candle, then dissipated to leave the women surrounded by darkness and the scent of charred sulfur.


Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror is now available on Amazon

Eden Royce is descended from women who practiced root, a type of conjure magic in her native Charleston, South Carolina. She currently lives in Kent, The Garden of England, with her husband and a maniacal black cat named Samurai. 

Eden’s stories have been called “a fist in a velvet glove” (Roma Gray, author of Gray Shadows Under a Harvest Moon), “atmospheric, unforgettable, and haunting” (Crystal Connor, author of The Spectrum Trilogy) and she has been praised for bringing “a refreshing perspective to the table that paranormal lovers are sure to enjoy.” (B.D. Bruns, author of The Gothic Shift). When she’s not writing, Eden loves roller-skating, watching quiz shows, and perfecting her signature dish for Masterchef. Learn more about Eden’s brand of horror at darkgeisha.wordpress.com and at edenroyce.com.

Find her on:
Facebook: Eden Royce- The Dark Geisha



If you want your fantasy or horror book featured, email me at audendjohnson(at)gmail(.)com

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tomorrow!!! The Marked Hosts is Coming



Tomorrow my novella, The Marked Hosts, will be available on Amazon!! I always feel this huge sense of relief when I finish a story. I love them, but they're a lot of work. 


Contessa Torain's job was simple. Talk humans out of blowing up her world because of a few rogue Brevia. A moment of pure insanity leads her to save a child, Asamee Banks. The brat follows her home. He smells like her kind, only different. His existence creates a mystery it's her responsibility to solve.

She should've let his soul get eaten. The brat is an aggravation. All she wants is a quiet life.

More Brevia invade the human world, feeding off the residents. Contessa, Cezon-her childhood friend and husband-to-be, Sarisha- her half-sister and four brats escape to their homeland, Devortus, in another world.

Devortus is empty. Her family is missing. The Sencil, dragon-like guardians of the land, are dying. Contessa only wants to find her family. The Sencil care only about getting another body.


Fresh air flowed into her lungs. The area cleaned out her body. Contessa spread out on the floor. The nice cold ground.

She acted strange ever since she became friends with Cezon. Nobles never put anything except their feet on the ground.

She was the first Noble to marry outside their Class. 

Cezon’s presence covered her. His finger brushed her cheek.

“They wouldn’t leave you,” she said. 

Contessa didn’t mean for that to come out.

He pressed his lips to hers. “I know.”

He brushed his other hand down her side. 

I really want you. Cezon spoke to her mind.

Don’t use such filthy words around me.

You want me to.

He pulled back. “My family probably thought I’d be fine since I’m with you.”

“What a moronic sentiment.”

That didn’t make any sense. 

Cezon chuckled as he stood.

“Stay with her, Asamee. Don’t get too close. I’m going to check on the triplets and see if there’s anything important I need to pack.”

Cezon left.

Asamee pinched his eyebrows together as he sat on the nearby ice rock. He looked more worried than afraid. He was a strange child.

Contessa closed her eyes.

Asamee gasped.

A building sized shadow rose. Icy air blew over her.

“Conta.”

“Don’t be a child.”

Sencil Thir’s tail tapped the top of her head.

You wouldn’t know he was made of ice by appearance. His body looked more like crystals. The ice blue under his stomach and wings showed him for what he was. Chilling fog wrapped around her. His arctic power cleared her head.

He rarely appeared in his physical form. Sencil Thir didn’t fit inside the Draior cavern. He didn’t enjoy sunlight. He never roamed the surface.

A deep growling chuckle shook the ground.

“You let that child offend your family Lady Draior. Why does he still breathe after shortening your name?”

Sencil Thir was teasing her. She didn’t need to answer. Couldn’t answer. Mom and Dad would kill Asamee if they heard him wreck the name they gave her. He was no better than Sencil Thir who never called her Torain. She was Contessa Draior or Lady Draior to him, even before she and Cezon became engaged. She corrected the Sencil. He laughed it off.

She understood the name now. She and Cezon were together for so long they called each other husband and wife even though they weren’t married yet.

“Why did they leave him?” she asked.

A rush of cold air blasted across her as Sencil Thir sighed.

“A sickness ate through the land many lights ago. It was particularly effective against the Draiors. Many became ill. A few died. They abandoned their home.” Sencil Thir pointed an arm-length claw at the cracks down his chest. “I will have to find a new home too. I am too old to move. They thought of warning Cezon but since he was with you, they instead focused on warning family members across the land. I believe they left some things here for him.”

“They didn’t say where they were going?”

“I don’t believe they knew.”

Add to Goodreads!
The Marked Hosts

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Week in Links 7/24/15 Writing Antiheroes, Heroines &Villains; Marvel After Phase 2


Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
9 Diverse Fantasy Books That Will Challenge Your Idea of Fantasy
Five SFF Novels with Perfect Opening Lines
The Importance of Research
13 Instagram Marketing Tips From the Experts
5 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Email Newsletter Performance

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Three Great Lies by Vanessa MacLellan

Three Great Lies by Vanessa MacLellan

"A strong conclusion sets this light fantasy a notch above its peers" Publisher's Weekly


While vacationing in Egypt. . .
Jeannette Walker, a cynical scientist jaded by swarms of tour groups and knick-knack shacks, is lured by a teenage tour guide to visit a newly discovered tomb. No other tourists there! Inside the chamber, she tumbles down a shaft and 3000 years back in time.

Now, in a world where deities walk the streets and prophecy stinks up the air, Jeannette is desperate for normal and the simple pleasures of sanitation and refrigeration. However, a slave master hawking a cat-headed girl derails her homebound mission, and Jeannette—penniless in this ancient world—steals the girl, bringing down the tireless fury of the slaver.

Saddled with a newly awakened mummy and the cat-headed girl, Jeannette, through her unparalleled experience gained from watching spy movies, contrives a plan to free them from the slaver's ire, but will she have to dive into the belly of the beast to succeed?


Trips were designed to be fun, a bit of adventure, a bit of pampering. She was ready for the spa treatment now. The tour planners had touted it as part of the package deal. She’d never had a spa treatment: no foot rubs, no facials. The knowledge that a hot bath and massage waited for her spurred her forward, though all she really wanted to do was close her eyes and open them again to her hotel room, the soft bed and bowl of fruit, the funky scent of the detergent that tickled her nose to the edge of a sneeze.

Damn it. This wasn’t what she wanted.

Frustrated, she stomped across the floor, her hard-soled hiking boots clomping as her mind soldiered through her options to make it back to El-Balyana, let alone Luxor. With her thoughts leap-frogging from walking miles, to hijacking a camel, to the cost in dog lives of a taxi trip to her hotel, she didn’t see the figure standing near the opened sarcophagus as she rounded the corner.

When she did, she froze.

Within the eon caught between one blink and the next, she absorbed details of the monster from a bad B movie: short, about her height, wrapped in linen gauze. Arms bound to its sides, it twisted and writhed, struggling to free itself from the linen embrace.

Then it moaned, a noise tapped straight from its slim chest, desperate and hungry, and Jeannette couldn’t contain her own scream.

Three Great Lies will be available August 6. Find it on Amazon.


Vanessa MacLellan was born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist, gamer, and runner living in Portland, Oregon. Her website is vanmaclellan.com.

Find her on: 





If you want your fantasy or horror book featured, email me at audendjohnson(at)gmail(.)com

Monday, July 20, 2015

Signing Books at the Harlem Book Fair!!


On Saturday, I signed The Sciell and Chains of the Sciell at the Harlem Book Fair. It was awesome! I sold so many books.
The morning, however, didn't start out so great. It was raining buckets. The fair's outside. Fortunately, it stopped raining by the time the fair started.
That wasn't the only irritation. Our table number was R79 but we didn't see any numbers when we got there. The rain washed them away and no one working at the fair knew where R79 was. Fortunately, the first exhibitor we asked table number was R76. We figure things out soon after.

Our space didn't have a table or chairs. Those were pretty easy to grab. We were supposed to have a tent but another author said she was told you had to pay extra for a tent. My mom/publisher had the agreement that said a tent was included.

Then, we were told they were out of tents even though people around us were still putting up recently acquired tents. They pulled some tents from Narnia and told us we might have to share. Those tents were only large enough for one table. We were looking at the real possibility of not having a tent. When that sun was up, it was up.

Fortunately, we eventually got a tent. Glorious shade!!
After that, it was smooth sailing. I was interviewed by someone working with the book fair!

The fair had a good flow of traffic and my book covers caught many eyes. The sun turned the blue on the cover into a nice spotlight. We talked to a lot people.
We put out flyers for The Marked Hosts and people ate those up. Well that cover worked! We almost ran out of my business cards.

Then, we had another irritation. The booth across from us started playing music, loud, At first, it made the atmosphere extra fun. Felt like a party. After about an hour, the music was a hammer to my temple.

It was just loud and drum-y and endless. On top of that, it was hot- even in the shade. I had to shout so people at our table could hear me which meant my throat was sore. Water and a mint fixed that right up. Too bad it couldn't cure me of that music.

The fair had also author talks and workshops, but I was there to sign books. Didn't do any walking around. Despite the annoyances, it was a fun days. It's always nice to talk to people about writing and my books.
Check out my Facebook Page for more pics.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Week in Links 7/17/15 The Octavia Project, New Movie Trailers, X-Men, X-Files


Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
Dystopia is done, fantasy is finished: why realism is on the rise in YA fiction
Meeting Readers Where They Are

My first book singing of Chains of the Sciell is tomorrow! Find more info on my Facebook page.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mythical Creature: The Color of Dragons

I haven't done one of these in a while. Learning about different mythical creatures is fun. I need to get back to this.

My upcoming book, The Marked Hosts (Update: Now Available), gave me a new appreciation for dragons.

I didn't know dragons were broken down by colors. I've done some research into the meaning of colors for my Merging Worlds Series. For dragons, pretty much black is evil, green means it's a forest dragon and white is...a bit interesting. Usually white means pure and/or intelligent. Not always the case with dragons.

White dragons favor chilly or cold regions as their home. They live in icy caves or deep subterranean places. Although not as intelligent as other dragons, they are as greedy as any. They breathe frost and are often smaller than the other dragon types. They have white scales and a crest on their head. They like to collect gemstones and are particularly fond of diamonds.

You'd think the blue dragons would be the frost ones. It looks like white dragons usually have ice powers.
Blue dragons live in temperate and warm desert environments. They can also be found underground. Blue dragons are very territorial. They protect their territory from outsiders, going as far as to distrust everyone who even comes close to their borders.They are well adapted for digging into sand and soft soils. Blue dragons have frilled ears and a large single horn on their snout.

Black dragons, though, are kind of obvious.

Black dragons can be found in marshes and underground cave networks. They're cunning and evil tempered. Black dragons are sometimes known as skull dragons due to their deeply set eye sockets. They have black or very dark grey scales that are glossy when young, becoming duller as they age. Black dragon's smell of rotting vegetation and stagnant water. They usually have destructive powers like the ability to cause darkness and plagues.

I might add a Darkness causing dragon to my Merging World Series. Sounds like a badass. It won't be evil in my story though and it won't reek. 

Since I love silver, let's see look at the silver dragon.

Silver dragons live in mountainous regions as well as in underground caverns. They are cheerful creatures and can assume shapes of other animals. They use this skill to often disgust themselves as kind humans. Young Silver dragons start out with blue-grey skin tones and scales, which become silver with age. Silver dragons possess powerful healing abilities. They have a strong connection to the moon and live by the lunar cycle. They can also have ice breath.

It seems there's no hard and fast rules when it comes to dragon colors. One resources says a white dragon typically has ice powers while another says they have solar powers. Same with blue dragons. Another site said blue is a common color for water dragons.

Researching the different colors has given me ideas for new powers. After so many stories, you kind run out of ideas for powers. Dragons are fascinating.

Follow Auden's board Dragon on Pinterest.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finding the Right Keywords for your Book


Keywords are important in getting your book found online. I first talked about this in the post Getting Your Book Noticed.

I shared this Excel sheet with you. Funny enough, I first created this chart to layout my audience's characteristics.


I looked at books similar to mine and made a note of their categories on Amazon and LiraryThing. I also went through the reviews and typed in the sheet words people commonly use to describe the book. 

Recently, I started reading Joanne Penn's How to Market a Book. I also found the post Demystifying Keywords, Categories, and Themes For Amazon Indie Authors. Penn talks about how changing her book's metadata increased sales. She also gives tips on how to find the right keywords. From these resources, I took my keyword research a step further. 

In a new Excel sheet, same document, I gave each of my books a column and started typing themes. I often refereed to keywords I added to the first chart. 

Like Google, Amazon search has auto-complete. As you type, Amazon gives you search suggestions. I started typing a word (a theme) on Amazon. Searching Books and Kindle Store, I examined suggestions and used them for my books' keywords.
"You want the most commonly used keywords in your metadata." Joanne Penn 
In my initial keyword research, I found readers often described books as twisted, in a good way. My books are totally twisted. 

The post I mentioned above says there's a difference between Amazon Books
 and Kindle Store.

Books is mostly for print. 
"It’s not a bad thing to have different book categories in both “Books” and the “Kindle Store,” by the way. It’s sort of like the old saying: The rising tide floats all boats. If you end up getting a lot of eyes on your book through a Kindle Store category, that can raise the exposure of your books in categories across the board." Demystifying Keywords, Categories, and Themes For Amazon Indie Authors
As I found search terms on Amazon, I replaced the theme on my Excel sheet. Twisted became Twisted Fate.
I always used magic and powers in my keywords because I thought that's what people care about when they search for books. I was so wrong. Searching for magic and power didn't bring up any categories related to my book.

What you think should be your book's keywords usually isn't something readers search for. I also learned keywords are rarely one word. Gritty became gritty fantasy. Romance became fantasy romance. Family is now family life.

So far, I haven't seen any changes in sales. In book marketing, you rarely see cause and effect. It's more like, you get a spike in sales and you can't figure out what marketing/promotion effort did that. I'm still doing keyword research. Maybe I chose the wrong phrases or maybe it takes awhile to see any results. I changed the metadata last week. I love research so this is fun for me! I'll keep you posted. I'm sure I can fall farther down this rabbit hole.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Week in Links 7/10/15 Amazon Reviews & Keywords, Sense8, Power Rangers, Goosebumps


Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror
Should You Create Plants and Animals in Your Fantasy Setting?
Concentric-Ringed Fortresses: Crazy Things I Learned Researching Books
Influential Fantasy for Heroines

Writing Life and Publishing
Why Writing is like Yoga
Amazon's "Personal Connection" Review Policies are Nothing New 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Writing #Dystopian Fiction

I mentioned awhile ago that I'm taking my world building posts and putting them into a Dark Fantasy World Building book. I've been researching new topics for the book. Dystopian fiction is one of those topics. It's dark and it's similar to a post-apocalyptic world- the book addresses both topics.

I've been struggling with whether I should include this section. Adding a chapter on dystopias mean I need to tweak other parts of the book.

Dystopian fiction straddles sci-fi and fantasy with it leaning heavily towards sci-fi. My current WIP focuses on building fantasy worlds with technology, but it doesn't dive too far into the sci-fi realm. We'll see if I can make it work.

Dystopia (n): a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia.

Study 
All genres have characteristic. Start by finding out the traits of a dystopian novel. You don't have to just read . TV shows and movies are great sources of information.

Goodreads: Dystopia
Dystopian Anime (TV & Movies)

Think of the real world
Watch the news, read articles and follow current events. Dystopian fiction plays on our current fears like technology enslaving humanity or the wealthy running the world while the poor become their entertainment. If you’re afraid of government overreach, tell a story where the ruling body brainwashes people into perfect citizens. If you fear the government stepping back too much, write a world in which society is run by corporations who only care about making money.

Create realistic and relatable characters
"Remember that, although the characters have an emotional tie to contemporary readers, their thoughts and actions must be consistent with the society in which they live." Writing a Dystopian Novel: Balancing World-Building with Character-Building
This is true for any world. The characters need to be relatable for the readers to care about them. They also need to be realistic to the world.

It's not always ugly on the surface
When you think of a dystopian world, it may look like this:

It can also look like this:
Image Credit: Seed - Environment 7 
by Justinoaksford
A society that seems perfect on the outside but is rotten at its core is still a dystopia. I watched this one anime where all senior citizens were sent to this beautiful center to be killed for being old. Most citizens thought their grandparents/parents died peacefully.

It'll make an interesting story-- throwing a person who lives in this "perfect" world into the ugly part of society.

The world doesn't have to be power-less
The world can have people with powers.They will probably be the oppressed. They suffer prejudices because of their powers or they're forced to fight in wars. Or, you can switch it up. The people with power can be the majority and non-magic folk are the oppressed. 

What can go wrong?
People's lives in a dystopian world may be terrible but they've used to it. Depending on what side of the fence the character(s) are on, terrible can be their everyday life. So, where's the conflict? Something happens to interrupt the character's way of life. A missing sibling. They're charge for a crime they didn't commit and are on the run.


Defining The End of the World As We Know It: Apocalyptic vs. Dystopia vs. Spec Fic
Writing Dystopian Fiction: 7 Tips
Goodreads- Dystopian Versus Post-Apocalyptic Literature

Monday, July 6, 2015

Advanced Facebook Tips for Authors


I did Twitter. Now, on to Facebook! My page is struggling. I have 549 likes but I lose one or two likes each week. My posts reach about 10 people on average. Engagement is 2 likes-no comments.

I keep hearing how Facebook is still the number 1 social network and how authors need to be on it. Facebook isn't working for me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

5 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Facebook Engagement Starting TODAY!
"Ask Thought-Provoking Questions: To gain audience attention & get them interacting with your page, you need to give people something to talk about."
11 Ways to Boost Facebook Engagement for Small Businesses
"Show PersonalityThrough a Dog’s Ear is a small 7-year-old company that makes music to help calm anxious dogs. Their Facebook page is filled with personal photos of the founder and her dogs."
7 Ways to Increase Engagement With Facebook Image Posts
"Most people don’t have the time, energy, or desire to provide lengthy responses to complicated questions. But if they can comment in just a few short seconds, there’s a higher likelihood that they will. By asking simple questions that require just one- or two-word responses, you are sure to increase engagement."

The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Top Social Networks [Infographic]
"86% of posts are published during the work week with engagement peeking on Thursday and Friday"
How Often Should You Post on Facebook? [New Benchmark Data]
"Don't overwhelm your customers with content on Facebook, and be selective about what you're publishing. In other words, spend more time crafting better Facebook posts, and less time crafting a lot of Facebook posts."
... 
It looks like Facebook is still "the place" to reach readers. It just requires a lot of work and creativity. You should find authors on Facebook and like their pages. If you've done your research, you should know what authors write books similar yours and/or what authors represent where you want to be in the future. I've noticed,though, many authors who write books similar to mine aren't on Facebook or they're on it but they don't post regularly.

This could mean something. I need to study Facebook more.

Social media marketing is about studying what others have done and making it your own.

Anne Rice is a Facebook champ. I'm a little known author so I can't expect to match her engagement numbers. She does something really interesting. She posts articles her fans send her, mentioning the fan. So simple. Great way to get people invested in your page.


Note: When you're searching for social media tips, look at articles posted within the last year.--better if the article was published the same year. Social media changes all the time. What worked in 2013 will probably not work in 2015. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Week in Links 7/3/15 Giant Robot Battle,Strong Female Characters, Instagram


Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
Feature: “strong female characters”? no thanks
MIND MELD: Gods & Mythology in Speculative Fiction
Creating a Fantasy City, Part 1
Comic-Con, Defending Fantasy Culture and, Now, Its Brand
Whaaaat? Why? LAKE PLACID VS. ANACONDA – Need We say More?
Animated R-Rated Harry Potter Short Film

Writing Life and Publishing
Amazon Makes It Easier to Share Passages From E-Books
The Secret Behind Making me Care About Your Characters
How to Punch Up Your Action Scenes
Updating Your Ebook After Publication
The Comments for this article are worth looking at Up the Amazon with the BS Machine
Batman v Superman First Look Pictures are Here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Advanced Twitter Tips for Authors


I've been working to increase engagement across all my social networks. I've been seeing the most change with Twitter, which is awesome. Still, it can be better.

Social Networking For Authors: Tips For Using Twitter Effectively

Who to Follow
You should know which authors write books similar to yours. If not, spend some time on Goodreads and Amazon. I'm also finding Amazon email recommendations helpful. I get recommendations emails with my own books at the top of the list. When that happens, I look at the other books in that email.

On Twitter, find those authors similar to you or authors who represent where you want to be in the future. Look at their followers and start following people. Don't blindly follow everyone. I ignore accounts with no bio, no header image and those that are clearly selling some service. Don't avoid writers. For my genre, fantasy, I learned most passionate readers are also writers.

If the author isn't on Twitter, search for the book title and follow people who talk about the book.

How to Build an Awesome and Relevant Twitter Following in 6 Minutes a Day

When to Tweet & How Often
Some say you only need to tweet 3 times a day while others say to tweet 10+ times a day. Who is right?

It depends. It seems there's no right or wrong answer to this question? The best answer is test and observe.

I tweet about 5 times a day- on weekdays. Maybe more if an interesting hashtag is trending.

The Social Media Frequency Guide: How Often to Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn And More
How many times should brands Tweet per day?

Most agree you should tweet important things like blog posts and book related info more than once to ensure more of your followers see them.

When is the best time to tweet? Again, it depends. I use Tweriod to find out. It examines your followers and gives you times most are on Twitter. I've been using it for a while now. Still effective.

3 Tips On How To Find The Best Times To Tweet
Top 5 Tools to Better Time Your Tweets

Tweet Scheduler/Manager
I've been using Tweetdeck. It's awesome. I kept hearing about Hootsuite. So, I tried it out. I like how you can manage more than one social network account in Hootsuite. The tweet creator has a built-in link shortener. However, Hootsuite limits the amount of columns you can create. Not a fan of that. Columns can be feeds from your lists, hashtags, scheduled posts and notifications.
Hootsuite

Tweetdeck lets me have more columns. My lists plus hashtags I want to keep an eye on such as #darkfantasy and #amwriting all have a column. Tweetdeck Notifications make a sound so I know each time I get a retweet, follower or mention.
Tweetdeck
Hootsuite is kind of a beast. Tweetdeck is so much easier to use. It isn't nearly as robust as Hootsuite, though.

You've probably noticed that Twitter changed the quote retweet format. The quoted tweet is turned into an image, giving us more characters. I love this! Tweetdeck's quote retweet follows this new style. Hootsuite does not and it irritates me. But, I like Hootsuite's Apps. Demographic Pro gives me a breakdown of my audience. SocialBro gives a different breakdown.


A Twitter webinar and another article talked about Socialoomph. First impression, I'm not a fan. I like feed style managers. I think I'll stick with Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.

Lists are your friends
I'm a Library School graduate so I'm probably hardwired to organize info. I barely look at my Home feed on Twitter. As I mentioned before, lists and hashtags take up my Tweetdeck and Hootsuite account pages. I go through my lists everyday. They make finding content to retweet so much easier. I don't know about you but I like getting that notification that someone's added me to a list.


Don't Auto DM
You've probably come across this many times but it needs to be repeated. The "Thanks for the follow. Find me on (other social network)" is spammy. It doesn't work. I don't read my direct messages anymore. If you want to thank new followers, mention them or retweet one of their tweets.

Cross Posting
I don't make a habit of having a post on one social network published on another. The only time I see that working is with Tumblr. I post on Tumblr and have it sent to Twitter. Even then, it's not something I do often. Each network has its own rules. It's own culture. Tumblr posts sent to my Facebook page had little reach and no engagement.

Sometimes people will follow you across several social networks. You don't want them to keep getting the same content. I've read case studies for and against linking accounts. It's not something I do. Even if I'm posting the same content, book cover or blog post, on Twitter and Facebook, I find different ways of presenting the content.

Images Work
When I'm scrolling through my feed, tweets with images catch my attention the most. I'm not reading every tweet. I'm scanning. A cool image usually gets me interact with the tweet. How does this work  for my own content? It depends. Having an image doesn't guarantee a retweet or favorite. It increases your chances.

The Follow Wall
You've probably encountered this. You hit 2,000 accounts you're following and Twitter won't let you follow anyone else.
"Every account can follow 2,000 users total. Once you’ve followed 2,000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow. This number is different for each account and is based on your ratio of followers to following; this ratio is not published. Follow limits cannot be lifted by Twitter and everyone is subject to limits, even high profile and API accounts." Twitter Help
What do you do? At first, instead of following those who follow me, I added them to a list. My follower numbers stayed the same, engagements didn't increase.

Next, I went through the accounts I follow and started unfollowing people. Going through 2,000 accounts, not recommended.

Then I found Crowdfire and Tweepi. They list your unfollowers and inactive followers. On Crowdfire, I started unfollowing those who've been inactive for a couple of months. Some were inactive for a year or more. That really cleaned my account.

Hashtags
Please don't include hashtags in your bio. It looks way too desperate to me. Unless the person follows me first, I usually don't follow people with hashtags in their bio. You don't need to do that.

Recently, I'm been using hashtags more. How many is too many? If your entire tweet is nothing but hashtags, that's too many. Two is enough.

You can create your own. It's easy. Just add # in front of anything. My book titles are also hashtags.
How Twitter Hashtags Help Authors Find Readers

It's not about selling
You want people to buy your books. Twitter, or any social network, is more for engaging readers and making connections. Readers like to feel as if they "know" the author. Social media helps with that.