Tag Archives: advice

Episode #31: Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Blog Tour (with Nick & Stacia Kelly)

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What a grand time we had in studio! If you remember from a previous Shared Desk, we enjoyed good panel with Stacia Kelly & Nick Kelly, another husband and wife team in the Science Fiction and Fantasy market. We finally got them over at Imagine That! Studios, enjoyed the last of the gas in the grill, and got them on mic. In this first in-studio appearance (and something tells me, far from the last) we talk about the recent Endless Possibilities Book Tour, lessons learned, and where we are going from here.

00:00 — Introduction

  • We’ve got alcohol introduced into the system which means the drops-in’s are leaning towards the ruder side of things. Even with guests in-studio.
  • Welcome for the first time in-studio our special guests, Nick and Stacia Kelly.
  • Bitching about the winter that shows no signing of ending…
  • Good things about Trinity Episcopal: We meet awesome people!
  • What do you do when you’re about to have a book released?
    • Tee — Goes on a CLEANING BINGE!
    • Pip — Drinks. (But Tee has other opinions as to what she does…)
    • Stacia — When she is nervous, she dances! Then cleans up after herself….
    • Nick — Channels his inner-Jaeger pilot. (He tends to cave to peer pressure from the show host, too.)
  • Go out and get Dawn’s Early Light! NOW!!!
    • A lot is riding on this new book.
    • There’s been a lot of hype around the book.
    • Our blog traffic is up by 300% (Now 400%….)
  • No one touches the bell!
  • A lot has been happening across all our blogs… 

08:47 — Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Blog Tour 

  • Blog Tours
    • What did we learn?
    • How do they happen?
    • How do you organize one?
  • Stacia — “This was my idea.”
    • WbtR wanted to try something new with book promotions!
    • First time with the blog tour — Sixteen participants! (Yikes!)
  • Nick admits there was a learning curve, but there were some challenges ahead.
  • Tee had a problem: The traffic during the blog tour dropped. Oooops…
  • Is there a strategy at composing blogposts?
  • What are tips for participants new to blog touring?
    • A “How to Blog 101” blogpost or “class” for those involved
    • Understanding a commitment level
    • Advantages: a new pool of content for my blog
  • Rules for repurposing blogpost and creating content
    • Nick — Ask yourself “What makes you want to read a blogpost?”
    • Tee — Ask your blog host “What would you like?” and pitch ideas.
    • Pip — On evergreen content
    • Stacia — Change more than 20% of a blogpost before you think it is a repurposed blogpost
    • Nick — On a blogpost’s exclusivity
  • Timing on topics does matter.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  — does it really work?
  • What Tee has to deal with on a daily basis…
  • So someone is intimated by Tee? For what exactly?!
  • Oh MySpace’s Tom, where are you now?
  • Tee builds up a joke about DC (Comics) but Nick thinks it’s about (Washington) DC…
  • Another resource for blogposts — Writers…who behave like idiots
  • A tangent on SFWA…
  • Another tangent — albeit a much longer one — on Kickstarter…
  • If you are going to blog about something out there or controversial, own it.   
  • Other bits of advice for writers new to a blog tour
    •  Know the works of the authors
    • Look for a sweet spot for blogpost length

35:30 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • So much stuff to choose from for this week’s section…
  • Pip reads the web, and Nick is happy.
  • A threat that that is creeping up on established authors of the Empire: The Loss of their Cushy Offices in London!
  • Are these writers serious?!
  • Nick and Stacia take the blame for what happening to toad’s professional author.
  • Stacia shares an opinion on those who rely solely on traditional house publishing.
  • Your obligatory Doctor Who reference…
  • What you, as an author, need to do to survive in today’s modern publishing world.
  • Do authors really need a downtown metropolitan office?!
  • Nick Kelly steps up and knocks it out of the park!

46:04 — The Wrap-Up

  • Now THAT’S a segue!!!
  • Pip and Tee have an jam packed week this week between…
  • Later on this Spring…
    • RavenCon, April 25-27
    • A quick cameo from Sonic Boom who wants S’mores and feels the need to plug America’s Funniest Home Videos
    • DemiCon 25, May 1-5
  • What Nick and Stacia have on their plates…
    • Finishing and releasing Gian in time for Earth Day
    • “Catwalk: Jericho” coming
    • Catwalk: Lineage coming this Halloween
  • Remember: Always honor Rule #34!
  • Nick Kelly gushes for a moment about James Langton…while explaining the moment he figured out why Pip and Tee call this podcast The Shared Desk

  50:57 — The Outtake

cover art by J.R. Blackwell 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #28: Reflections on #SmokyWriters2014

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Recorded on the final night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, writers of different backgrounds, interests, and works waiting to become works-in-progess gather around the microphones and look back on an amazing five days of food, booze, words, and hut tub soakings.

Welcome to the Smoky Mountains Writers’ Retreat of 2014.

Wear earbuds or send the kids and your mom out of the room. The authors are hitting the sauce, so we get saucy…

00:00 — Introduction

  • Yes, two shows in a week! How about that?
  • Tee’s appetite is still adjusting to realistic standards.
  • Trust me — Chuck Wendig is right about living a lifestyle
  • The Shared Desk steps back to the last night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee…
02:36 — Reflections on the Smokey Mountain Writers’ Retreat
  • And here is the origins of The Shared Desk and getting Pip to the mic
  • The participants of #SmokyWriters2014 and what they were working on…
    • Philippa Ballantine (Y.A. novel entitled The Silver Pharaoh)
    • Rosemary Tizledoun (short story entitled “Snap Dragons”)
    • Lauren “Scribe” Harris (high fantasy novel entitled Song of the Heretic)
    • Hugh O’Donnell (urban fantasy novel entitled Changeling and superhero short story)
    • Bryan Lincoln (high fantasy audio script)
    • Tee Morris (urban fantasy novel entitled Wolf in the Fold) who gives a special “thank you” to his eight-day employer…
    • AWKWARD MOMENT [REDACTED]
    • Alex White (the man behind the long weekend and dark comedy novel entitled Domains.)
      • Picture The Office set on Mount Olympus.
      • We call it CubicalPunk.
  • The goal in getting writers together under one roof
    • Alex wanted to have a setting where people would get along.
    • Alex wanted people to produce.
    • Rules were set to maximize productivity.
    • Meals were seen to.
  • Hopes & Realities for Rosemary
  • Hopes & Realities for Lauren
  • A break in Lauren’s assessment to quote our mantra: Food. Booze. Words.
  • Hopes & Realities for Lauren (continued)
  • Hopes & Realities for Hugh
    • Feeling as if he was stepping in the house of the “Big Dogs” in his mind.
    • In praise of Hugh’s short story featuring the Spirit Animal of Smoky Mountain Writers’ Retreat
    • Meeting expectations and intimidating those around them…
  • Hopes & Realities for Bryan
    • “Drinkin’ Lincoln” in college…and in the Smoky Mountains
    • Writing audio scripts and the challenges within.
  • Hopes & Realities for Tee…and putting his put in his mouth in the process.
  • And now…THE FOOD.
    • OMNOMNOMNOMNOM!
    • Alex White…a sneaky culinary bastard…
  • Eating like Mother F-ing Rock Stars
    • Bryan’s favorite meal — The Salmon with Spinach Artichoke Orzo
    • Meet Cookie! (His favorite meal — the Steaks. Those fantastic steaks…)
    • Hugh’s favorite meal — the Ruben with Butternut Squash
    • Lauren’s favorite meal — the French Toast and Bacon (with strawberry compote)
    • “I don’t usually like [insert dish here] but this…”
    • Rosemary’s favorite meal — the Strata (with props to the Flan dessert)
    • Alex’s favorite meal — Okonomiaki (Japanese Pancakes)
    • Cookie’s favorite dessert — the Jameson Bread Puuding
    • Pip’s favorite meal — the Salmon dinner
    • Tee’s favorite meal — the Ruben with Butternut Squash
  • Pip offers the most awesome segue to the weirdest conversation we had…
    • Tee’s going on the grill.
    • Pip’s a lovely rack…
    • Hugh Stew
  • Pip’s survival instinct kicks in with an interrupting stinkbug.
  • Improving #SmokyWriters2015
    • Planning around con season…
    • More people?
    • Lauren asks for more time.
    • Planning the trip
    • Will Hugh dare to stay with the Morris clan?
    • Tee proposes a full week with a field trip set aside one day.
    • Gatlinburg, Tennessee — “Myrtle Beach in the Mountains”
    • Pip’s concerns about the number of participants.
    • Tee also suggests more games, especially Cards Against Humanity and Poker Night.
    • Breaking up into other Reading Groups and Brainstorming sessions
  • Congratulations, Alex White — you did it. And he totally brain-dumps his heart on the retreat…
  • …and Tee goes for Pip’s jugular….
  • Returning to Alex’s heart-felt reflection.
  • How do you throw a writers’ retreat?
    • Look for a place.
      • SmokyMountains.com
      • HomeAway.com
        • Consider hiring a chef.
        • Find people who will pay their share.
        • Be prepared to use the credit card.
        • Lay down Rules and Expectations for the weekend. Get. Work. Done.
  • Pip’s expectations for next year…

1:02:41  — The Wrap-Up

  • Congratulations, Alex White — you did it. And he totally brain-dumps his heart on the retreat…
  • …and Tee goes for Pip’s jugular….
  • Returning to Alex’s heart-felt reflection.
  • How do you throw a writers’ retreat?
    • Look for a place.
      • SmokyMountains.com
      • HomeAway.com
    • Consider hiring a chef.
    • Find people who will pay their share.
    • Be prepared to use the credit card.
    • Lay down Rules and Expectations for the weekend. Get. Work. Done.
  • Pip’s expectations for next year…
  • And yes, Tee’s got his ending memorized and ready for this remote recording…
RELATED LINKS
 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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