New Hootsuite Facebook and Twitter Features for Your Social Media Plan

Assuming you use social media to market your books or products or services, there are some new features and changes you should be aware of for your plan.

Facebook

  • Facebook Workplace Free Version is available until September 30. It has limited abilities and features but it’s good enough for small teams that work and communicate together. Paid or free, Facebook Workplace also offers some great resources for building a business.
  • Facebook Pages Cover Video. Instead of a cover image, you can add a short video. The specs are: 20-90 seconds of video uploaded in the same manner you upload a photo. Video footage can be looped any way you’d like. And the size of the video must be 820 x 312 pixels. Visitors can manually cut on the sound. Need an example? Visit Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ page.
  • Facebook Live Chat and Live With. You can create a private chat room now with Facebook Live. The feature allows the person on Facebook Live to pull viewing friends into a private room. Live With enables you to go live on Facebook with a friend in the form of FaceTime in a picture-in-picture mode.
  • Facebook Event Cover. If you create Facebook events, then the old size is no longer, and the new size is wider and more compact. The dimensions are 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Twitter

  • The typography has changed. It is subtle but the fonts on their buttons are bolder and overall all fonts are easier on the eyes.
  • Twitter for Business accounts can create call-to-action buttons in the DM (direct message) center.
  • Though it is not new, the Moments feature is really nice for curating hashtags & tweets to tell a story. Each Moment once published creates its own link for you to share on any social site.

Hootsuite

  • The dashboard has changed. You logout from the upper left hand corner. Also, they are beta testing a feature for you to create your posts before putting them in the scheduling applet.
  • As of June 30, 2017, Hootsuite is no longer accommodating scheduled posts to LinkedIn Groups.

These are the most useful updates to each of these tools. Hopefully, you will be able to incorporate some of the changes into your social media plan. If you have, please share in a comment.

July is Freedom Month: 7 Challenges

Technically, July 4 is Independence Day and the only official freedom day of the month. However, we can commemorate our personal freedoms too. Here are 7 challenges to push towards more personal and professional freedom.

  1. Admit or confess a dream that you want to come true. Confession often pushes us to action. Tell someone what you want to do.
  2. Give away something you’ve been hanging on to just because… Make room for something new.
  3. Wear a color that you’d never consider. Wear it as an article of clothing, lipstick, or as an accessory.
  4. Go somewhere by yourself. Maybe it’s a concert, play, the movies… Go alone and enjoy your own company.
  5. Be a kid again. Buy a squirt gun and have a blast shooting the water. Play jacks. Jump rope. Run through the sprinkler. Let go.
  6. Play Secret Santa in July. Do something for someone without telling a soul. It can be something as simple as leaving a gift card on a co-worker’s desk or dropping off groceries at the home of someone in need and going through a tough time. Do it in secret.
  7. Pick one day and wake up without the alarm. Let your body rest and receive the benefits of sleep.

These challenges don’t have to be yours. Create your own. The point of the challenge is to do some things differently and enjoy life more. Have you made any plans to do something out side of your comfort zone? If so, share in the comments.

 

Writing Sensation July 2017 – Donya Fenner

Happy July and welcome to my blog site! As many of you know, I am a firm believer in promoting my fellow authors’ books. And throughout the summer, I will invite a few guest bloggers to share their book(s). As writers, we all know that marketing and promotion, social media involvement, networking, and so much more, are important to spread the word about our work. Sometimes, we have to jump outside the box and be bold, brave, and persistent in our efforts to solicit the attention of our readers.

So, I would like to introduce my first guest writer, Donya Fenner.

DONYA FENNER
AUTHOR, SINGER,
STELLAR-AWARD WINNER

About Donya

Donya Fenner was born in Hearne, Texas where she discovered at the tender age of eight that she had a gift and a passion for singing. She also discovered her love for writing as well. Donya’s grandmother, who was her legal guardian, encouraged her and introduced her to all kinds of music, like country, classical, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues.

Donya is an author and a motivational speaker. She has two published books. Her first book, “A Creative Creature’s Testimony,” and “Second Chances,” which was re-released by Redemption Press on May 19, 2017. “Second Chances” is also being considered for adaptation into a screenplay for filming.

Donya is also a Stellar Award-winning gospel singer. Her Group LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers), led by Oxygen Network’s Preachers of L.A. gospel sensation Deitrick Haddon, won their first Stellar Award for Best Contemporary Choir of the Year at the 2015 Stellar Gospel Music Awards, hosted by Taraji P. Henson at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Music ministry has provided unique opportunities, and Donya has shared stages and made television appearances with some of the industry’s renown artists. Some of the artists included Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, Shirley Caesar, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Donny Mc Clurkin, Hezekiah Walker, KiKi Sheard, Tasha Cobbs, Mary Mary, Dottie Peeples, Beyonce Knowles, Brandy Norwood, Ray J, Destiny’s Child and a host of others.

In addition, Donya is the founder of Creative Creature’s Women’s Organization in Torrance, California, and is currently the Program Medical Secretary for the National University Nurse Managed Clinic. The clinics, located in Watts, Compton, and Inglewood, CA, provide free healthcare services for under-resourced communities. On March 16, 2017, the Nurse Managed Clinic entered into a partnership with The Salvation Army – Southern California Division, and Donya was very instrumental in helping this collaboration come to fruition.

Donya resides in Torrance, California with her husband and daughter.

For Booking Donya Contact:
James Fenner
310-405-9900/310-904-2127
j.fenner77@gmail.com 

Please connect with Donya on LinkedIn and Facebook.

“Second Chances” is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com

“A Creative Creature’s Testimony” is available on Amazon.com

 

7 Links to Seven Must-Visit Sections of Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is considered the publishing industry’s bible. Goodness knows there are tons of features on their site to glean information of all kinds. Below are seven linked sections on their site that are absolutely fascinating, and they are also chock-filled with information to help writers, publishers, and even readers.

Industry News

This is where you can learn what other authors are doing to market their books and anything publishing and news. They even cover media and books.

The Tip Sheet

Like short-reads and lists? The Tip Sheet provides just that for readers and authors. Catch a glimpse of what their staff thinks in this section.

Industry Deals

This section is an extension of Industry News (see above), but it reports the money side of things. Remember the $60 million dollar deal former president Obama made? Well, details are in this section.

Awards & Prizes

This section both announces winners of awards and prizes as well as award and prize competitions.

Bookselling

This is another extension of Industry News that features trends, bestsellers, and bookstore news. Try this article in this section: Amazon Starts Weekly Bestseller Lists.

Interviews

Great section to read interviews with authors, publishing influencers, and other industry people PW finds fascinating and newsworthy.

Conferences

This section reports on conferences important to publishers and writers.

Publishers Weekly is one of the greatest resources for writers and publishers, including self-publishers. Subscribe to the site or to individual newsletters. Or take some quiet time at your local library to read a hard copy.

Summer 2017 Reading Lists

It’s June and it’s time to find out who has published what for us to read this summer. This list of reading lists is by no means exhaustive, but each met a criteria or two. It must feature African, African American and Diaspora authors and religious (Christian). All lists contain fiction and non-fiction. Ready?

Publishers Weekly Summer 2017 List – Staff Picks

Publishers Weekly Summer 2017 List – Children’s

22 Books … to Add to Your Beach Bag 2017 – Blavity

ALSC Summer 2017 Reading Lists from Birth to 8th Grade

Goodreads Summer 2017 Reading List (You can add your pick.)

Forbes Creative Leadership Summer 2017 Reading List

Buzzfeed’s Summer 2017 List

Amazon Summer 2017 Reading Lists

Barnes and Noble Summer 2017 Reading Lists

Check your local libraries and independent booksellers to see what they are recommending this summer. Are there any releases you’re looking forward to reading at the beach or on your porch this summer? Tell us in the comments.

The Latest News on Writing Apps

Apps (applications) for smartphones, tablets, and even desktops are increasing in their numbers and usability. Apps for writers are increasing in their number and function as well. Below are five articles that will give you the skinny (news) on the latest apps and their features.

PC Magazine, The Best Writing Apps of 2017

The Best Free Software for Writers 2017, TechRadar

7 Best Writing Apps for Content Creators, Elegant Themes

110 Best Apps, Tools, Resources for Writers, Global English Editing

9 Best Writing Apps for iPhone and iPad 2017 (Updated), Apps Dose

Why are apps so important? Convenience and fast access for when your muse strikes and you have to jot down an idea fast or you just want to write without the constraint of a desktop word-processing program.

Do you use apps? If so, give us your feedback on a favorite and one you did not like using in the comments.

5 Beta Reader Resources for Authors

Are you an emerging, new, or veteran author seeking to learn more about Beta Readers? If so, maybe this post will provide you with the resources to learn more, and even utilize beta readers for your work. First off, let’s define beta reader. According to Wikipedia:

An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption.[1] Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.

Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.[2]

That’s a pretty long definition, but at the heart of it is this: beta readers are people who represent your book’s audience or general readership. They are un-paid and they are volunteers. Here is a list of online resources to help you understand their role better as well as assist you in the process of working with them.

How to Find a Beta Reader, SmallBlueDog.com

The Ultimate Guide to Working with Beta Readers, TheWriteLife.com

How to Find and Work with Beta Readers…, JaneFriedman.com

What to Expect from Beta Readers, Reedsy.com

Goodreads.com Beta Reader Group

Speaking of feedback, tell us in the comments if you’ve ever been a beta reader or have utilized them in your work. What worked for you? What did not? Write us if you have questions too.