The 12 Most Important Twitter Hashtags for Promoting Your Book

Some good tips for how to use twitter in a responsible (non spammy) fashion 🙂

readers+writers journal

The Twelve Most Important Twitter Hashtags for Promoting Your Book

Hashtags are, arguably, the most important part of tweeting.  Without these keywords that categorize the subject of your tweet, you’re never going to reach your target audience. If you’re using Twitter to promote your book, it’s crucial that you use hashtags wisely.

How, How Often, How Much

Social media is, ideally, about reciprocity, connecting and interacting.  It works best when it’s a two way street, but too many marketers see it as just another venue for repeating their message over and over and over, regardless of the appropriateness of the audience.  These folks are what are affectionately known as spammers.  And they get blocked very quickly.

Your goal should be to provide useful information to people who are interested in what you’re interested in.  With that in mind, you should try to limit your book promotion tweets to 1 or 2 a day.

Sharing helpful articles or re-tweeting videos that…

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Tips For New Indie Authors

A post by Lindsay Buroker that I would like to share.

For New Indie Authors: What I Would Do if I Were Starting Today

I-love-IndieSometimes when you give publishing and marketing advice on your blog, you get a little resistance from new self publishers. But you’ve been doing this for 3+ years. You have a fan base already. You have heaps of books out already, so you’re not a nobody. It’s way different for people starting now!

I’m not going to argue that it’s not different. There are more ebooks in the Kindle store than ever. The gaming-the-system tricks that might have worked in the past aren’t working now. For self published books, the blurbs, cover art, and sample chapters are, on average, more professional than they were a few years ago. It is harder to stand out.

But…

If you would like to read the rest of the article, click Here

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Virtual Book Tour – The Enclave

the enclave tour bannerI am about to embark on a Virtual Book Tour – So I had better start packing my virtual luggage and carry on 🙂

I will be touring from the 22nd July 2014 to the 29th July 2014.

When the dates get closer, I will post a schedule so people can follow along 🙂

NB: here is the link   – The Enclave Book Tour

I hope you will come join me

-HMC

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Small Excerpt from THE ENCLAVE

HMClarke_TheEnclave

Here is a small Excerpt from my book THE ENCLAVE.  I hope you enjoy it

Gunfire flew from the cars behind and Katherine turned tail and leapt up the stairs.  Joshua was crouched waiting at the top of the last tier and had managed to get hold of a pistol.  Around them the NHSIO security from the front foyer was now positioned around the portico columns and returning fire to the attackers below.   The defenders controlled the high ground and the people in those cars had no hope of getting them now.

So why were they still attacking?

Katherine dragged Josh away from the stairs back into the foyer as more security personnel streamed passed them.  No one spared them much of a glance but Katherine did not care.  Something was not right.  Inexperience (or stupidity), would be the only reason someone would even consider committing to a frontal assault on Federation House.  The place was just too well protected.

“Are they Alliance Katherine?” Josh asked as she checked the magazine on her pistol.  Thirty HC rounds remaining.  Hopefully it would do.

“The Alliance isn’t this stupid,” she shouted over the sound of fresh gunfire.  But I would bet a year’s pay that they are involved somehow.  “Whoever they are; I think we should retreat back to my brother’s office.  At least I can guarantee that we’ll be well defended there if anything untoward happens.”

Joshua nodded.  Katherine then noted the ease with which he held his weapon.  “You’ve had weapons training?”

“I served with the Alliance Infantry.  Every citizen owes three years service.”

Katherine nodded impressed.  Leading families were known for finding loopholes to stop their members from meeting their obligations.  Nice to see the Val Myrans did not use it.  “Then you can cover my back.”

Both entered the stairwell at a run; taking the lifts would have been risky if the power went; and climbed several flights before Katherine was sure they were on the right floor.  As they climbed Katherine open a comm link to the Adelaide.

Adelaide do you read me?” no one answered her and Katherine repeated herself another three times.  “Come on damn you – somebody talk to me!” she half shouted as they reached the landing she wanted.

‘Skipper?’  A burst of static broke over the comm unit.

“Sue, is that you?”  Abruptly the static disappeared and the musical voice of Susan Mayer came over the wire.

‘-interference is shocking, like someone is jamming-‘

“Sue, is Steve on the bridge?”  Katherine cut across her.

‘Yes Ma’am.’

There was a click and then Steven Tran’s voice came over the link.

‘Skipper?’

“Steve, I want you and two squads to suit up and get your arses over to Federation House ASAP.  We are under heavy fire and I think the idiots outside will break off if they see some extra persuasion coming up behind them.”

There was a pause and then, ‘Yes Ma’am,’ and the link went silent as Steve cut his connection.  “Sue, has Tom returned to the ship?” Katherine asked hoping for an affirmative but knowing that not enough time had gone by since he had left from lunch.

‘No ma’am’

‘Katherine?’ A new voice cut into the line.

“Richard?  I thought you were taking shore leave – it doesn’t matter.  We’ve got an incident here and I’m afraid that it might splash over to the Adelaide.  Steve is bringing two squads here to me and I want whatever personnel remaining on board to protect the ship and the port in that order.”

‘How bad is it Kath?’ Richard asked.

“Ask me again in another hour, I might have an answer by then.”  She cut the connection and turned to Joshua.  She may be overreacting but there was something in her gut telling her that she was right.  But first they both had to get back to John’s office.

“Ready?”

“Ready.”  Joshua’s voice was firm and there was a look in his eyes that Katherine recognized, she had seen it enough times in her own crew when the situation was tight.

She palmed the stairwell door open and checked that the corridor was clear, then she and Joshua came out, pistols raised to line of sight.  They moved down the empty corridors seeing nothing out of place except for the obvious signs of a hurried evacuation of office personnel.

“They wouldn’t be able to penetrate this far into the building?” Joshua flexed his fingers over the grip on his handgun.

“Not from the frontal assault, but I have a bad feel-”

Katherine stopped speaking as the sounds of gunfire echoed down the corridor ahead of them.

Get The Enclave for Kindle 

-HMC

Don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter here to get access to extra goodies, giveaways and contests!  This months newsletter will have exclusive access and information to my upcoming book – Winter’s Magic

Is Crowdfunding the Key for future space missions?

inspiration-mars-red-planetBy Jeff Foust

Time Capsule to Mars, a student-led project supported by the advocacy group Explore Mars and several aerospace companies, plans to launch in the next five years a cubesat-class spacecraft to Mars carrying photos and other digital media. The spacecraft would burn up in the martian atmosphere except for a section carrying the media that is designed to survive to the martian surface.

“We’ve got a lot of firsts, and it’s very exciting,” said Emily Briere, a senior at Duke University who is mission director for Time Capsule to Mars, during a press conference announcing the mission here June 23. Besides being the first student-built interplanetary mission, she said, the project hopes to fly the first cubesat mission beyond Earth orbit, as well as be the first interplanetary mission to use a new type of electric propulsion, called ion electrospray thrusters, under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The most unique aspect of the mission, however, may be its funding. The project plans to raise most of the $25 million needed to fly the mission through a self-hosted crowdfunding campaign. Individuals can upload a photo to be included on the mission for $0.99 each, and the project plans to later allow uploads of video, music and other files.

A project to send the first student-built small spacecraft to Mars plans to raise the bulk of its $25 million budget through crowdfunding, an effort that would make the mission among the largest such efforts in history.

Time Capsule to Mars, a student-led project supported by the advocacy group Explore Mars and several aerospace companies, plans to launch in the next five years a cubesat-class spacecraft to Mars carrying photos and other digital media. The spacecraft would burn up in the martian atmosphere except for a section carrying the media that is designed to survive to the martian surface.

“We’ve got a lot of firsts, and it’s very exciting,” said Emily Briere, a senior at Duke University who is mission director for Time Capsule to Mars, during a press conference announcing the mission. Besides being the first student-built interplanetary mission, she said, the project hopes to fly the first cubesat mission beyond Earth orbit, as well as be the first interplanetary mission to use a new type of electric propulsion, called ion electrospray thrusters, under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The most unique aspect of the mission, however, may be its funding. The project plans to raise most of the $25 million needed to fly the mission through a self-hosted crowdfunding campaign. Individuals can upload a photo to be included on the mission for $0.99 each, and the project plans to later allow uploads of video, music and other files.

“We were looking for opportunities to fund this mission in a way that would involve as many people as possible,” said Jon Tidd, a graduate student at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and director of fundraising and marketing for Time Capsule to Mars. “We came up with the idea of a simplified 99-cent upload for a single digital photo.”

While most crowdfunding efforts use services such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter to collect donations, Tidd said technical limitations associated with the uploading of photos led the project to host the campaign on its website, at least in the initial phases. “We’ll look to potentially move to another partner down the line,” he said, as well as provide rewards for larger donations. Tidd added that the team is working to add more capabilities to its crowdfunding system, including the ability to see the images uploaded by others.

Briere said the $25 million fundraising goal comes from a feasibility study for the mission performed at MIT. “We want the primary mode of contribution to be through crowdfunding,” she said, although they have also received some corporate donations. Among the companies represented at Time Capsule to Mars press event were Aerojet, ATK and Lockheed Martin.

While Briere said she hopes Time Capsule to Mars will be the largest crowdfunded project of any kind in history, there is at least one such project that has raised more than $25 million. A video game called Star Citizen initially raised $2.1 million through Kickstarter in 2012, but has since solicited donations through the website of its developer, Cloud Imperium Games. As of June 27, that project had raised a total of $47.2 million.

Time Capsule to Mars, though, would dwarf any space-related crowdfunding campaign. The largest such effort to date was by Planetary Resources Inc., which a year ago raised $1.5 million through Kickstarter to fund a space telescope based on the company’s Arkyd series of spacecraft that would be accessible to the public. The campaign exceeded its original goal by 50 percent.

However, the success of Planetary Resources’ crowdfunding effort is tempered by the failure of other efforts. Last year, Golden Spike Company, a venture planning to perform commercial human missions to the surface of the Moon, attempted to raise $240,000 on Indiegogo to support mission studies and outreach activities. The campaign ended in April 2013 with the company raising only $19,450.

Raising large amounts of money through crowdfunding requires a lot of work, and some luck, said one of the people behind Planetary Resources’ campaign. “It basically took our entire team” of about 30 employees to plan for the Kickstarter effort, some working for months in advance, said Caitlin O’Keefe, director of marketing for the company, in a presentation at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles in May. “We prepared really well for this event.”

Time Capsule to Mars currently has 25 to 30 students working on the project at four universities, Briere said, but the project expects to increase that number once classes resume in the fall.

Initially published on http://www.spacenews.com/

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Book Review – Forgotten Roots

Forgotten RootsForgotten Roots – by Roger Whitten Barnes

Forgotten Roots  is a ‘sort of’ murder mystery told through different timelines set in both the modern-day Canadian Province of Ontario and the area of Ohio and Ontario of the 1800’s.  I liked the idea behind this story, but had issues following the three different storylines.  For the first two thirds of the book, the storylines did not really mesh with each other and the time devoted to each was not evenly distributed.  But for the last third of the story, they merged and flowed seamlessly with each other.

The book is basically about a woman finding out the history of her early colonial family when an old barn is demolished on her family property on St Joseph Island.  That is one of the storylines.  The other two are based two hundred years in the past and follow the lives of two people until they converge at one point on St Joseph Island.

I loved the descriptions of the Canadian wilderness and the historical backgrounds behind cities and settlements in Ohio – especially in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.  (I would never have thought that river piracy was a common crime along the Ohio River).

There are a few aspects of the modern storyline that I would have liked to have seen developed more.  And in the early part of the novel I had a hard time reading through some of the storylines.  There was too much time devoted to certain stories and that gave me a disconnect to what was happening in the others.

Overall, this was still a good novel and an entertaining way of learning a little about the early history of Ohio and Ontario.

-HMC

Get the book from Amazon here

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THE HAMMER OF THOR

Thors hammer
Both sides of the Hammer Amulet (runes on left hand). Image: National Museum of Denmark

A small hammer dating to the 10th century was found recently on the Danish Island of Lolland. Over 1000 of these amulets have been found across Northern Europe but the pendant from Lolland is the only one with a runic inscription.

This particular torshammere (Thor’s Hammer Amulet) was found at Købelev and reported to the Museum Lolland-Falster archaeologist Anders Rasmussen by detectorist Torben Christjansen.

 Worn for protection

Hammer pendants are interpreted as amulets shaped like Mjölnir, the hammer owned by the Norse god, Thor. Viking men and women often wore Thor’s hammer for protection.  “It was the amulet’s protective power that counted, and often we see torshammere and Christian crosses appearing together, providing double protection”, said Peter Pentz, an archaeologist at the National Museum of Denmark.

This object is cast in bronze and has traces of silver or tin plating as well as gold plating, and is the first ever to be found with runes inscribed. Pentz is grateful to the unknown rune writer who is at last confirming that these amulets actually do depict Thor’s hammer. Over the years there had been doubt cast on whether these small amulets indeed represent a hammer. Some believe that the shaft is too short, while others believe that the hammer would not have had a symmetrical head such as this one. Perhaps this find will place this particular debate to rest, as the runic inscription clearly reads: “Hmar x is” (“This is a Hammer”).

However, the person who inscribed these runes was not a skilled writer, as the proper spelling should have been Hamar. Also the S-rune was reversed.

 Less formal

The find is also interesting, because Viking age written culture is dominated by the approximately 260 rune stones found throughout Denmark and southern Sweden. Other inscribed items although quite rare can give a different impression of the writing culture than the often rather formally bound runic texts found on monuments.

The small Thor’s hammer from Købelev has interlacing ornament on one side of the hammer head and the short runic inscription on the other. The runes range in height from 3 to 7 mm, so it required precision to inscribe them onto the object. It took some time to comprehend the actual meaning of the inscription; partly because the runes are so small, partly due to surface corrosion on the 1100 years year old amulet and also because of the imperfect runic inscription itself.

The runes translate into modern English as ‘Hammer is‘ where the x indicates the separator between the two words. This translates more properly into ‘This is a hammer‘.  This could indicate that the inscriber wasn’t totally literate, but nevertheless still managed to make an inscription fit into a tiny space.

This find does point to a society where written literacy was respected, so the fact that the creator of the amulet was able to write at all probably provided him/her with extra status.

In addition to the torshammere, the detectorist also recovered  fragments of silver needles and a mould for making brooches.- These additional findings indicate that there may have been a workshop producing jewellery nearby and Anders Rasmussen does not rule out that the hammer was made by a local craftsperson.

Museum Lolland-Falster has no plans to excavate the Viking site at Købelev, but instead are working with the finder to continue detailed detector surveys on site.

Source: National Museum of Denmark  – The Hammer of ThorPast Horizons. June 29, 2014, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/06/2014/the-hammer-of-thor

Did you know:

  • There are over 1000 amulets shaped like Thor’s Hammer found in across Scandinavia, the British Isles, Russia and the Baltic.
  • The vast majority of Thor’s Hammer amulets are simple undecorated pieces made of iron or silver,  although 100 decorated ones are known.
  • The Amulet served to protect the wearer.
  • The hammer Mjolnir was forged by the dwarves Brok and Sindri and had the magical property to always hit what it was thrown at and then return to Thor’s hand.
  • According to the “Trymskvadet” the giant Trym stole the hammer of Thor and would only give it back if he got Freyja as his wife. Thor disguised himself as Freyja by wearing her clothes, and during the wedding reception he took back Mjolnir and then killed Trym and his whole family.

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Them’s Writing Words!

Van-Wilder-Has-No-Fear-of-Melodic-Dictation

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they say something that sparks a story idea in your head?

then you miss the rest of the conversation because you are desperately trying to imprint the idea in your brain so you can get it down on paper at a later time…

This tends to happen a lot to me and usually I can’t get to a piece of paper (or my phone) in time to get the idea, and the emotion behind it, down.

…immediately grabbing your phone in mid conversation can be seen as a little rude…

I also get story ideas from news articles, history books/sites, and through things that happen around me.  Because of this I have a large collection of paper slips that get tucked into my idea book when I get home.  I have been storing my ideas like this for years and have several notebooks full of stuff that I go back to when I need inspiration.

Nowadays there are a lot of places online where you can share snippets of information that can then be accessed from any where, at anytime.  For me though, I still like the act of physically picking up a pen and writing it.  This helps my thoughts flow better.  This is why I always write my first drafts by hand.  I then start my editing drafts when I ‘transcribe’ it on a word processor.

How do others find and store their ideas?  Please share your thoughts in the comment’s section.  I really would like to know what works for you 🙂

-HMC

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