Friday, December 27, 2013

The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media

Marketing.  It used to be such a benign, friendly term, a necessary program used by people to spread the word about products.  Then over time, as technology exploded and the world turned global, and metadata became a word we actually understood, marketing became a four-letter word.  Well, it’s still nine.  But when marketing morphed into social media, I used a lot more four letter words.


Suddenly, social media was everywhere, and for writers it was both good and bad. Thanks to social media authors could connect with readers in various arenas.  For some it was addicting, for others an absolute chore.  But for most, if not all, establishing a social presence while maintaining a writing career became the ultimate challenge.  I mean, when an author markets more than she writes, why does she need social media? 


I’ve read the industry blogs, consulted with marketing gurus, and still social media was not my friend.  But in October, Colorado Romance Writers offered a social media program that they touted as different.  And me skeptical, but desperate enough to try one more thing, I traveled the 160-mile round trip to northern Colorado to meet workshop presenter, Amy Denim.  In Ms. Denim’s hour-and-a-half class, she gave me and a room full of socially back-assword writers, hope.  That’s why I’m so pleased to introduce The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media.  ~ Donnell


If you’re spending more time on Facebook, tweeting, pinning and blogging than on writing your book, let The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media help break that cycle.  In this book you'll learn:
·        How to choose the right social media platforms to use for you and how to use them successfully
·        What social media networks work well together
·        Tools to make using social media easier and faster
·        What to post that will interest your readers and fans
·        And most importantly, how to be present engaging social media topics in only a few 5-15 minute breaks a day.
"- a must read for writers." ~Jennifer Maitlen, author of Rachel's Redemption. "
“-an effective tool for writers who want to spend more time writing and less on social media." ~ Larie Brannick, author of Her Desert Treasure, coming in April 2014  

The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media is common sense actually, but compiled in one convenient handout, Amy Denim helps writers research and choose the best media avenues that work for them.  Check out this book, and stay tuned as Amy returns in January to discuss The Author Business Plan.      


Five Scribe Readers:  Leave your e-mail address and your comment to win a free consultation on YOUR Business Plan from Marketing guru Amy Denim.  Also, Amy wants to know:  What's your favorite or least favorite social media site to use?  

As time allows, Amy will get back to you.  We’ll draw the winner on January 2nd.    How’s that for a great start for 2014? 
Happy New Year!
~ Donnell

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Annual Reminder: This Could Be One of The Most Important Posts of The Year

Nope it's not a writing tip, it's a career saving tip.

A friend just wrote that her computer crashed and she hadn’t backed up in a while and she
was so sick to her stomach, unsure if her work could be retrieved.

And more than once, I couldn’t find two of my folders, which concerned me enough to run a scan on my computer, then reboot. I know I had backups, but still I was nervous.

So I decided this post was going to be an annual reminder to all of us...

...Several years ago, I read a post by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles about the importance of multiple or redundant back-up systems. (The original post in full was here on Dec 5. 2011 )

This is what she says:

Have you ever had your heart sink? Feel the sting of tears streaming down your face as you realized all your files had disappeared?

I have. In a total panic I searched my computer looking for any sign of hope, I shook my head trying to awaken out of what had to be a nightmare.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone reading this, other than LA, her buddy and me?

Or were you one of the few lucky ones that had backups of all your files on another EHD (external hard drive) or DVD's?

Or perhaps it's just been another thing on your ‘to do’ list?

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to backup your files, but it can be so time consuming and overwhelming. Like so many of you I am stretched to the limits of available time so after trying at least a dozen different strategies for backing up I finally hit upon something that really works for me.

Now, I use the ‘triple threat’, not just having a single backup copy but two so that you have three copies of all your important files.

For instance I have the following:

1- Original files: all my business files like documents are kept on my computers built-in hard drive. My original design files are kept on my main External Hard Drive.

2- Backup 1: I try to make copies of all my important files as I create them to a second EHD that I keep hooked up to my computer. I try to back this up at least once a week.

3- Backup 2: This is where the online backup service comes in. I LOVE this! I use Backblaze which just runs in the background whenever my computer is on saving all my files for me! My files are backed up to a secure offsite server so if something were to happen to my computer I can still get to my files from another computer!

Online Backup Services:


This service was easy to install and was backing up my files in minutes! One of the best things about this company is that it features unlimited storage. I was using Mozy before and they changed their pricing structure so much that it priced them right out of my budget. have been so happy with this service, I totally forget it’s running on my computer!

(LA) This is what I use. It took over 45 days to get all my data uploaded, but it was done everyday behind the scenes, I really didn't notice it at all.


I have heard good things about Carbonite. The biggest drawback is that they do not offer backups of your EHD’s, which is something I can’t live without. But if you are not using any EHD’s they are worth looking in to.


I had trouble installing Mozy on my Mac when I switched over from a PC, and when I contacted customer support and followed the instructions they gave me it still did not work. It was around the same time they changed the pricing structure so I cancelled my account and signed up with Backblaze.

(LA) I have friends who swear by Mozy, so check them out.

Keep in mind that these online backup services are not meant to be an addition storage system, if you delete the files off your computer these companies will delete those same files after 30 days.

Thank you Syndee for your research!!

Back up your career, and have a wonderful and hopefully now, a worry free Holiday Season.