Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1st, 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! What is it about 3:38 am? For the past twelve days I have woken up at exactly 3:38 - not 3:30, not 3:45, 3:38 on the dot. On a few of the mornings, I have been able to fall back to sleep; but for the most part, at 3:38 the invisible rooster has crowed, and I have been wide awake.

Needless to say, this new predawn ritual has left me a bit foggy come late afternoon early evening. I have tried taking an afternoon nap (but that’s nothing new – it is a well-known fact that I love my naps), but I’m even finding it difficult to sleep then. Last night, I was so tired, I went to bed shortly after dinner, around 8:30ish. I did well. I think I fell asleep around 10:30, which is an hour to an hour and a half earlier than I have been. So, when 3:38 rolled around this morning I had actually gotten five hours of sleep. Not optimal, but I should be able to function today.

Function, ha, I need to do a whole lot more than function today. I have around twenty people coming to my house today at five to watch the Superbowl. I have to finish cleaning up the house, bake brownies, make the chili, the wings, and the various dips.

Now this next confession will probably have you rolling your eyes at me, but I also have to take down our Christmas tree. Yeah, yeah, I know. Normally it would have been down by January 15th, sometimes even sooner if I get sick of looking at it, but this year, for some reason, I still haven’t gotten to it. I asked Paulie to bring the ornament boxes up from the basement so I could take the tree apart this morning before he woke up, but he forgot, and with my back, I can’t carry boxes up and down the stairs. Then again, last night Dani did ask if we could keep the tree up until her birthday… It’s on Wednesday… LOL. I don’t know, we’ll see.

I have admitted many times before that I am a total Twitsaster. I don’t know why, but Twitter baffles me, and if I’m being honest, intimidates me. However, I do know it is a necessary evil as far as marketing my books goes. I am trying.

Yesterday I learned how to shorten the links to my books. For example, here’s what the Kindle link to Taking Chances looked like before:

Wow! I’m pretty sure I’m over the 140 Twitter limit before I even typed a word. That just won’t work.

Now through this site called Bitly, the link to Taking Chances looks like this: Infinitely more manageable. Now the trick was to, in the remaining 118 characters, include the appropriate #hashtags and something catchy or witty as well. Considering I have been told the following #hashtags are the ones I should be using - #IARTG #SNRTG #amwriting #tw4rw #romance #IAN1 #WW #RT – I had to put my thinking cap on, because I only had 14 characters left.

My first Tweet was pathetic. I put in all the #hashtags, the Bitly link and the words “Now only $2.99”. Seriously, who cares? Nothing makes that stand out from the pack, but at least I got something out there. I gave it considerable more thought this morning, and I came up with this:

Snow’s on its way. Stay toasty with a warm romance. #TakingChances

You might say, “Wait, that’s almost all of your characters. What about the #hashtags?” I split them into three tweets. It’s a little more work, and if you follow me, you’ll see nine tweets from me in a clump, but I have got to do something to boost sales.

Taking Chances has fallen to its lowest ranking ever, and I can’t fathom why. Honestly, in my opinion, it’s the best of the three books I’ve written so far. The mystery is more intricate, the historical detail is more in-depth, there are more twists and turns, and the sex is much hotter. The book holds elements which would appeal to a much broader audience.

Because of this, I know it must be because of something I’m not doing marketing wise. So, for 2015, my goal is to get more marketing savvy. I have expanded my books to Nook, and hopefully soon Kobo. I’ve also gotten involved with sites like, and I am going to look into advertising with bookbub (if they’ll have me).

Okay, enough confessing for one day. I hope you have a spectacular day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.