Q&A with…me, Jenn Nixon!

I asked for some questions to answer. Feel free to add more questions in the comments and I’ll update. 🙂

Here you go!

Chet C asks: How much emphasis do you put on research when you write?

Great question. I try to make my characters and plot as realistic as possible despite the genre. When writing something like Lucky’s Charm, I want to make sure everything is believable, so I did a lot of research on guns, locations, and the psychology of someone who kills for a living. If I’m writing Sci-Fi or something based outside of our normal reality, I tend to stay away from too many scientific or technical jargon since I’m never sure if I’m using it correctly, but I research just enough to be able to explain it truthfully within the story.

Sue V asks: What is your worst timesuck (i.e., what makes you facepalm when you realize you just wasted X number of hrs instead of writing)?

Ha! The EVIL Timesuck! There are SO many. Usually, when I’m writing, I try to avoid the timesuck that is social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I do, however, have a bad habit of getting timesucked into reading more than I need to when researching. Sometimes I have to research in the middle of a paragraph because my character says something or goes somewhere that I’m cluesless about. That’s always fun!

Andrea N asks: How do you get your creative juices to produce great stories?

Love this question! Many of my ideas come from brainstorming with friends. I give them a general idea of what I’m thinking about writing and we play around with it until it sounds even better! Sometimes I’ll be inspired by another book, movie, TV show, sometimes a character or even an actor.

Adam T asks: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

The answer is 42. Right?

Dauna M asks: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve been “writing” in one form or another since about 10-11 years old when I started off with poetry. I eventually started writing Fan Fiction in High School and College! Lots of fun. I didn’t decided to take it seriously until I finished my first original story and shared it with friends. They LOVED the story and kept asking me for more, so I did, and I haven’t stopped yet!

Luanne T asks: When is your birthday?

April 23rd! I’m a Taurus!

How about you, do you have a question? I’m game, are you?

Facebook Promos. What I’ve learned and paying it forward!

I have a great mix of people reading my blog. Some of you are authors, musicians, artists, models, others are fellow pop culture geeks, readers, friends, family…you get the idea.

This post is probably more for authors, but anyone who uses the internet to advertise can probably pick up a tip or two.

As you know, I’ve been promoting a few books hardcore the last couple of months on Facebook. I don’t have a large budget, so this should be helpful to people in similar circumstance.

Here’s what I used, how it works, and the results I got.

Facebook –Events, Ads, and Groups:

Hosting an Event on Facebook is a great way to make new friends, promote your brand, and even make some sales depending on what you have to offer.

Two weeks before my latest book release, I set up an Event Party. I invited lots of friends and family, and ask my fellow publishing house authors and author friends to help me spread the word. 172 people, half of which I didn’t know prior, clicked to “Join the Event”. For my first ever event, I thought I did rather well.

One week before the book release, I had a daily giveaway via donated ebooks from author friends. This helped to generate buzz and readers invited other readers. Awesome!

On the day of the Event, I had a 4 hour window of giveaways, with a new prize every half hour, and promoted my grand prize drawing. Anyone who wanted the grand prize was asked to leave their purchase code for the book in the comments! I was skeptical about doing this, but it generated more sales that I ever imagined! The party was a lot of fun, I sold books, and gained new readers. Win-Win!

During the Event Day and several days after I ran two different Facebook promotion. One was a sponsored ad and the other boosted specific posts I had on my Author page to gain visibility among my followers.

The minimum magic budget seems to be $5 per day for me. The good thing about Facebook is that you can set daily and lifetime limits so you won’t go over a certain amount. Facebook will also bill you at a specific dollar point if you ask them to. Learning Facebook ads can take some time, but there are help sections, videos on the internet, and friends out there who can help you, but it’s best to learn the basics it on your own first. The main thing to know is you can BID for Impressions, Engagements, and Clicks.

Impressions are usually by the thousand and are basically a fly by advertisement, it will show up 1000 times on a web page. This helps you show up more, but not necessarily get the attention you want.

Engagements are when people like, comment, or share the post.

Clicks are for when people physically click the link you have in the ad, which usually takes you to another webpage where someone can buy your product.

Each product and ad are different. Getting clicks is more expensive but so far in my experience more effective, but on occasion I do change it up to get it in front of different people. You can change the add constantly, switching from Impression to Engagements to Clicks and back. You can also keep track of this on your own with trackable url links. I use smart url. It will show you the number of time each link you set up is clicked. I highly recommend it to help keep track of any promos you do.

Lastly, posting in Facebook Groups can be helpful, too, if done right. The key is to find promotion or advertising groups for your products. There are many out there and most are open to everyone.

Facebook puts all your groups in a list with the most recently accessed ones up top. If you are posting multiple posts, pay attention to this list. Start on the bottom and work your way up.

When you get to each group, READ THE ABOUT SECTION FIRST! Make sure they allow promotions and advertising. Some groups are just for networking and not promotion. Next, scroll down a for a few seconds to make sure you haven’t posted recently. If you spam groups multiple times a day for days in a row they may kick you out. They are trying to help all authors and don’t want any one person clogging up the groups with multiple posts.

Above and beyond the promotions listed above on Facebook, you also have your personal profile and Fan Page to help you promote with no additional costs. Branching out beyond Facebook to Twitter, Google+, and other social media outlets may be right for you, too, and if you’re just getting started, check out my helpful guide here: http://www.jennnixon.com/facebook-twitter-pinterest-oh-my-socia/

Hope this helps a bit and remember to pay it forward. 🙂

BEST Weekend EVER!

After a ten year journey I was able to bring Tiva’s story to life with the help of the amazing team over at Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly, an awesome publisher with awesome authors!!

Tiva’s book hit #2 on the UK Sci-Fi Genre list!!

And #5 in the US!!

I’ve probably thanked and over-thanked everyone a million times already, but it never hurts to say it again.