Hidden Traps - Pre-order Now

Hidden Traps is now available to pre-orders.

The road to publication is a long one, and as my faithful readers will know, there are no shortcuts. Publication requires countless hours of editing, development, and, in many cases, tears. Then you have all the public aspects of the process: social media, websites, conferences, and the list goes on.

The whole process can be incredibly overwhelming. To make matters worse, the real, solid advice about what it is we really face is scarce. So many of us hear about this beast known as a writer's platform, but it seems to be covered in this shroud of secrecy. As a consequence, many writers are prone to fall into one of the many hidden traps out there, learning lessons the hard way.

It's incredibly cruel of an industry to leave those new to it to flounder their way through life.

For the past six month, I have been writing, and editing, a book that I feel ALL writers could benefit from, looking at the various hidden traps associated with an online platform. I'm please to announce that the book is now available for pre-orders through a variety of retailers.

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What is a Platform?

The whole concept of building a following can be overwhelming at times, and there really isn’t much solid advice out there. However, a writer’s platform is not the complicated concept that many turn it into.

A writer’s platform is NOT marketing, promotion, or publicity. It’s not just a website or social media — for that matter, it’s not just your books. A writer’s platform is everything that you do to connect with readers.

It’s your local writers’ group that you attend once a month, or more frequently, as the case may be. It’s those conferences and book festivals that you save your pennies for so you can afford the registration. It’s your participation in special events that have nothing to do with writing and your books.

Yes, a writer’s platform includes your books, website, and social medial, and yes, this online component in today’s market is important, but it’s not everything.

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Email Accounts for Writers

Within today’s society where almost all communications is done through email, a single email is not enough. To help tame the crazies, a writer will want 4/5 emails just for their writing-related activities. No specific detail is provided in this document as it is meant to be used in tandem with Hidden Traps: A Writer’s Guild to Protecting Your Online Platform, due to be released August 2017.

Other related posts and resources:

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Social Media

Hidden Private Messages on Facebook

Most users of Facebook are very much aware that the site developers are constantly changing things to improve the end-user experience. However, sometimes the changes mean that things go missing or unseen.

One of the changes means that random users can send you private messages (PM), even those who are not listed on your Friends list, however, you don’t necessarily receive them. How many times has someone said they sent you a PM and you have spent hours digging through your old messages trying to find the elusive message but to no avail? How many of those message requests has Facebook filtered such that you don’t see them?

Well, here’s how you can access your missing Facebook PMs.

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Bios: One Size Won’t Fit Me

While writers are often into their own worlds of fire-breathing dragons or sexual encounters with that dark knight, there is one topic that many writers struggle to write about: themselves. It's ironic... Here we are, words flow easily on the page when discussing some fictional character, but writing about the one person that we know the best... You have got to be kidding.

However, writing a bio is not something that a writer should shy away from. There are so many ways to spinning what might seem like a boring hum-drum life and making it sound glamorous. We're writers. We can do this, right?

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Bios Checklist

Bios have different lengths for different purposes, but there will be common elements across all forms. This checklist will remind you of the differences between the micro, short and long bios. No specific detail is provided in this document as it is meant to be used in tandem with Hidden Traps: A Writer’s Guild to Protecting Your Online Platform, due to be released August 2017.

Other related posts and resources:

High School English: It’s Now Social Media

Things have changed so much since I was in high school. I distinctively remember being incredibly bored during English classes and challenging the teacher when she insisted that a particular Shakespearean passage was intended to reflect some ideology.

"How do you know? Did you know Shakespeare personally?"

Yeah, I was always a little too forthright for my own good.

However, in seeing what my teenage son now faces, I have found myself in a unique position to help him and other teenagers who might be in a similar position.

I don't normally write about personal things on this blog, but if you'll just bear with me for a moment, everything will become clear.

My 15-year-old son has just started NZQA Level 1. As one of his courses, he has elected to take English with Media. Gone are the days of analysing that Shakespearean text. Instead, they assess how various forms of media has influenced our written and spoken language. I must admit that I probably would have found English in high school much more interesting if I was watching movies and TV and listening to radio. But in today's world, media also includes the Internet.

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Checklist for Basic Online Platform Setup

This checklist is a starting point for a basic online platform. It is intended just as a reminder of the core elements common to most writer’s platforms. No specific detail is provided in this document as it is meant to be used in tandem with Hidden Traps: A Writer’s Guild to Protecting Your Online Platform, due to be released August 2017.

Other related posts and resources:

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: A writer’s platform is really about connections.

Yes, all writers who are serious about publication need to build a platform, but it’s not something the be afraid of. A writer’s platform is really about building connections with others. There are many different ways to forge those connections and not all of them are on-line. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how those connections came to exist, just as long as you foster them and help them grow.
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Facebook and a Writer’s Platform

I frequently find myself in the middle of a conversation on some forum about Facebook and how one might include that particular social media site into their writer's platform. There are a lot of things to consider.

Unlike Twitter, where you can have as many accounts as you do email addresses, on Facebook, you are meant to have only the one account. Yes, there are some writers out there who have two accounts: one for personal use and the other for their writing persona. For those that get away with it, good on you. However, for those considering doing this themselves, be warned. There have been reported cases where writers have been locked out of their accounts by Facebook because of this. This is a standing policy of Facebook: one account per user. If they discover that you have multiple accounts, they can and will put you in Facebook Jail. It's a real thing, people. Considered yourself warned.

So let's carry on and assume that you've joined the masses in Facebook with only one account. So now what?

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