It’s Free: Why Not Use It?

Free 108 Glossy Waxed Wood Social Media Icons

Image by webtreats via Flickr

Utilizing social media tools is extremely important for anyone who is looking to network and connect with others. The great thing about using social media tools is that most of them are free. When we look at the most popular social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogger or WordPress, we find that they are popular because they are free but also because they are easy to navigate and establish a profile.

There are so many tools that can be used to network and find others who have similar interest, but where do you begin to find them? And how do you know which ones are free and which ones cost? I recently found a site that tracks all of the great social media tools that are out there, Social Media Examiner. This site has case studies, how-to, research and videos on all things social media. You can sign up for their newsletter and keep up with current trends.

Check out these popular posts from their site!

It takes time to build an online platform. There is a lot of help out there and the Social Media Examiner is just one way to help you get started and keep up. Have fun building your online presence, especially if you are getting all the tools you’ll need for free.

Will Your Book Have Velocity?

Writing Challenge

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Once you’ve written your book and found a publisher you’re going to want it to sell immediately. You want that book to literally fly off of the shelves. That’s velocity. So now, how do you achieve velocity?Is it a waste of time to worry about it? The answers are simple, build an online platform and let your followers do the rest.

Building an online platform is not a waste of time. Wanting velocity for your book is what all writers want. We want our book to be the talk of the town. We want to talk at speaking engagements. We want our publishers to sign us up for a second and third book deal. Getting online and making ourselves known before the book comes out should be a priority.

There are the obvious ways to get online such as Facebook, Twitter, and the various blogging platforms that are used. But what else is out there for you? Have you been writing any articles? Have you been sharing any tips to your visitors about cooking, gardening or parenting? As a blogger we know we have to stand out amongst the crowd. Instead of asking questions we as writers must do what we love. That will be the key to us standing out.

The start of your online platform and its networking success will be the start of velocity for your book when it’s ready. Start thinking of ways to get followers. Share information about your book project, but at the same time give your visitors information they can really use. Track your visitors by which posts are popular. Consider writing a newsletter. Share links on your site to articles you’ve written or other sites that have information your followers could use.

Join in conversations, find a forum that interests you. It doesn’t have to be about writing. If you like cooking and gardening or fishing find those forums and make some friends. Think outside the box when it comes to how you will network. Building an online platform isn’t just about a blog or website it’s about making friends and directing those connections back to your site. Velocity will be inevitable.

Twitter Conversations: Have You Visited The Directory?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

There are a lot of writers out there who have had their noses in front of a PC, laptop or typewriter. Yes, there are some who willing punch keys on a typewriter. So when the manuscript is finished, they look up and realize that they’re not sure what to do next. Some have been busy setting up an online presence others have not. I’m just wondering if anyone has heard about Twitter Directory? I am just discovering it myself. I would like to share what I have learned thus far.

From what I gather its an online directory called “We Follow” for anyone who has a Twitter account. It’s organized by categories each person has selected in regards to interest. You can add yourself quickly and easily. You are able to search categories like book reviewer, blogger, books, writer or whatever niche you have selected. We Follow makes it easy for anyone to search a category and review others to follow or even checkout their websites.

We you visit the site it is colorful and inviting. The top searches are displayed right up front along with the top cities. If you are looking for the best and most followed participants this directory makes it simple to find whatever interest peeks your curiosity. I have added myself and hope that many will find me. Have you signed up for a Twitter account? If so, I’ll follow you if you follow me.

The Writer’s Life with Author Mayra Calvani


Follow all 7 authors on their 6-day Virtual Book Tours and leave comments and you could win the Giftbox Giveaway from the National Writing for Children Center. Click here to keep following the tours.

Mayra Calvani

A typical writing day in my life…

7:00am: Get up, make breakfast, take kids to school.

8:00: Walk my dog, Amigo, while listening to podcasts on my iPod (I’m addicted to Book Bites for Kids and Publishing Insiders!)

8:30: Major dilemma! Should I make the beds, tidy up the kitchen, pass the vacuum… or WRITE??? Procrastination wins! Yeah, housework, my favourite! (Yeah, right.)

9:00: Sit at the computer. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Scowl at the sign on my desk that says: “A writer is someone who writes everyday.”

9:15: Go to kitchen. Make a cup of tea. Writers and tea go together, right? Or is it writers and coffee? Oh well… Fight urge to grab a mini Snickers bar… Will loses. Go to computer with tea and Snickers bar. A writer needs her nourishment, right?

9:30: Drink tea, eat Snickers bar, check email. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Scowl at the sign on my wall that says, “Leap, and the net will appear.” Starting to feel guilty. OK, that’s putting it mildly. Starting to HATE myself.

10:00: Just remembered: laundry, get dressed, buy toothpaste, brush Amigo… STOP! Take a deep breath. Tell my inner critic, Helga (I named her like that), to SHUT UP. Do a short meditation with affirmations. Yes, that’s it. Calm, calm. Write. Write. Write… Aaaah. Soothing. Time stops. The earth stops rotating. It’s the zone. No other place like it.

12:00: Happiness. Bliss. Get dressed and brush your teeth (finally!).

12:15-14:00: Lunch and errands, all the while listening to podcasts (otherwise they’re quite unbearable!).

14:00: Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook.

15:00: Call my mommy long distance (So I’m still a mama’s girl. Sue me.) Talk to her while critiquing somebody else’s manuscript. Talk to her while preparing interview questions for a guest author. Talk to her while editing my own story. She asks, “Are you listening to me? I hear the keyboard!”

16:00: Email, website, Twitter, Facebook. Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook. Head is spinning. Neck hurts. Shoulders stiff. Ouch!

16:30: Make dinner while listening to podcasts, get kids from school.

17:00: Back at the desk. Look at tower of books to be read. Ignore. Stared at mountain of books to be reviewed. Wince. Look at TO-DO list. Scream. Friend calls, “Want to do lunch tomorrow?” I say, “Nah. I’m a serious writer. I write. That’s what I do.” She says, “You’re antisocial. A hermit.” Email, website, Twitter, Facebook. Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook.

18:00: Dinner. After-dinner walk with hubby and Amigo (while planning scenes and hearing voices in my head). Hubby says, “Are you listening to me?”

19:00: Watch an episode of Columbo. I’m mesmerized. Sshh! No talking. Not even breathing, please!

20:30: Browse on eBay for Marc Jacobs bags, Chanel bags, Lauren Conrad’s clothes, Bare Minerals makeup I’ll never buy. Browse Amazon. Add a zillion new titles to my wish list.

21:30: Put kids to sleep, tidy up kitchen, take shower.

22:30: Cuddle up in bed with book and iPad. Email, Huffington Post, iTunes store.

23:00: Call my mommy. Exhausted. Fall asleep with scenes in my head… Mom says, “Mayra! Are you awake?”


How To Turn Your Book Club Into A Spectacular Event


 To learn about Mayra Calvani and her books please visit