Author Archives: Erika Beebe

Artificial Intelligence Marketing #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

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Technology is like human imagination

Whenever I think of a new year, I think of new chances, new goals and renewing my faith in where I really want to be with my work, my writing. Having thought about new starts, I’ve been reading articles on marketing trends for 2019 and I must say, I am amazed with some of the statistics on books and what we as authors should consider.

Did you know the average time a person chooses to read in free moments of life has dropped a third since 2004? I didn’t. But I do realize how social media, movies, and game apps tend to steal more free time than most, and if we’re not careful even as authors, we might not be reading either.

For this month’s post, I’m targeting one of several marketing strategies to consider in an article I found from Aerio—Chatbots. Heard of them for authors? I hadn’t. I do know I am annoyed by all the Chatbots on car service websites, help bubbles that appear too soon, and especially the new Chatbot on my bank app, Erica.

Aerio claims though, this year “Chatbots will become more prevalent.”

How might they be helpful to authors?

Aerio suggests they can help solicit book reviews, manage contests and giveaways, and even increase social media. In further reading on Chatbots, one article suggested they are becoming the new form of email with zero lag time due to the automated process. The average person receives 140 emails in a day. It’s easy not to look. I know I’m one of those some days.

Further yet, I read how the younger generations love Chatbot quirkiness. Considering what I see on twitter with engagement, I believe it.

If you’re looking for a few past publishing chatbots to check out, I sampled Harper Collins Epicreads bot. I must say, it didn’t give me the books I was really hoping to get or hadn’t seen. Maybe I was expecting an instant book connection. I don’t know.

I did engage in the following message as a test:

 

And I did keep going until I found a book I could consider. I’ll let you know if it’s a true match 🙂

Interested in created your Bot? Check out links to the following resources:

Have you thought of using a Chatbot in your marketing strategy? Seen an author using it? I’d love to hear it.

Reclaim Your Greater Story #IWSG #amwriting #Newyear

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts:  J.H. Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

Check out our IWSG homepage.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

You can find a new flow

As a writer, I’ve often questioned where I am. I’ve wondered if I can compete when I really haven’t gotten my feet off the ground very far. And now faced with another new year with more distance between my goals and the time, I admit, my heart has weighed in a little heavier than I’ve wanted it to weigh.

This past Sunday, something drew me to hustle the children out of bed, compelled to get them to church. Drained from a severe flu, I finally felt an ounce of energy, and my heart said get up, now is the time to leave the house.

We made it to church. I sat on the bench with my hands crossed in my lap, staring up at the pastor on the stage while my children colored on worksheets next to me. Then the pastor held out his hands, looked straight out at all of us and said, “You can find a new flow from an old well.”

I sat up straight and grabbed a pen. I wrote down every word thereafter and I haven’t stopped thinking about his words of hope since. Thus, I’m sharing them today because of what they mean, and how much they mean to me.

“Dig. Unearth. Take care of the well you already have. Reclaim that greater story. Hope again. Allow yourself to dream.”

I don’t often write about religion, but the words seemed timely, and they touched me in a force of inspiration.

So this year, I’ve decided to hold on to my writing dreams. And out of my brainstorming, I reached out to one of my great writing friends, happy to learn she recently moved back to town. We’re meeting for coffee this Sunday and I’m super excited to have someone to talk to face-to-face again about books, my first quiet prayer come true, already this year.

On another fun note, I saw a great movie with the kids: Bumblebee. It sure amazed the heck out of me. The soundtrack seemed really great too. And a new book? I found one! I went to Half Price Books the other day and picked up the murmurings by Carly Anne West. So far, I’m incredibly intrigued.

Lesson learned, not every minute will shine like you want. Love the minutes that shine as they come. Have faith the road you choose to walk will continue to show you brighter, shinier minutes along the way.

Question: Have you come across something recently that revived your spirit, your heart? A great new book or movie?  I’d love to hear it.

C.S. Lewis Quote

Creative Spaces and Writing Places #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts:  J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey!

Check out our IWSG homepage.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

Special spaces and places elicit certain mind frames and energies. Special items in these spaces create mood and comfort. Back when I was a child, my places swayed with wind, smelled of fir and green leafier things. Bark tended to prickle along my back or my hands, sometimes sticky with sap. I lived for exploring the great outdoors and finding perfect forts and branch swings. I’d lie back for hours and day-dream, or at least what felt like hours because time is different for kids. But I let my mind wander and wonder of different worlds and people. I think I was 7-years old when I started to write myself into magical worlds.

Later a favorite place became a bathtub filled with old couch cushions. I had a lamp, a notebook and pens. I didn’t need much else.

View of my working writing space

Now my favorite place is the corner of my kitchen. Chaos doesn’t matter, has never mattered I guess. Being a mom, a younger sister, a college girl at one time with three roommates and working in a busy architect or illustration studio, I’ve learned to block out sounds. I’ve learned to disappear quietly in my mind no matter what is going on around me. Except for one thing: vibration, the tap of soft fingers on the countertop, or my chair. I’m not sure why.

This month’s IWSG question asks: “What are five objects we’d find in your writing space?”

  • An owl drawing my 8-year old daughter made me, props up against my monitor.
  • I have a special painted rock from my 10-year old son.
  • My top two favorite books lie against the tiled kitchen wall where right above it, hang several inspiration cards and postcards from my writer friend.
  • My green spiral portfolio notebook which contains my current work in progress; lastly,
  • My computer. I can’t live without it and it’s networked to all of my other Mac devices, my phone and my I-pad so I can take my work every where I go.

Do you have a favorite creative or special place? What was it like as a child? And now? Does vibration rattle you?

Happy IWSG Day.

Focused Distraction Is A Creative Technique #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts:  Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

Check out our IWSG homepage.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

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Have you ever watched a child in an art room digging fingers in a ball of clay, smoothing water over a shape she’s trying to create with her own two hands?

Have you ever listened to a teen recite lines for a speech or a play, eyes lost on some space on the wall, hugging her arms in while the words slip out just as she hoped?

Have you ever sat at a desk and stared at a blank screen or piece of paper, wondered where to start and why it isn’t starting right now when you have the time, and maybe too much time to think?

Creativity is a beautiful science. Images. Voices. Blank screens of possibility. Puzzled thoughts and making choices. Learning basic formulas and mixing and matching the right ones for you.

This month’s IWSG question asks, “How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I might have digressed in this post this month, thinking more of what I use to get through the evolution of creativity. I guess in remembering my own journey, I focused on what helped me work through the process, to keep going.

For me, distraction has kept me on track through time. How to use sensations to get past that chunk of clay, the cool water slipping through your fingers. The hugging motion I didn’t realize I used to get the words out.  And when I’m stuck on a thought or a blank screen, I always go to the gym. I solve everything on a stair climber or a spin bike in the spin room. Maybe it’s my busy mind unable to let go. So when I distract myself with other motions, sensations, I free the block. I’m able to start again.

Distraction has taught me to use my eyes and hands, to search with additional senses. Study expressions. Memorize color. Smile at the detail in eye lashes and dimples. Wonder, or wander. Over time my distractions have evolved into smarter, doable things I am choosing to use because they work.

We can’t always control a thought or where we are, but we can change our surroundings and what we see to dream again.

A few last thoughts on creativity by some creative writers:

Have a lovely rest of your week 🙂