Steal My SMART Self-Publishing Marketing Plan (Really!) #MondayBlogs

By Lori Culwell

by Rachel Brookhart Once upon a time I met Lori in a writing class, and she has been my book guru ever since. I was a baby then and hadn’t done much more than read books, but have moved on to become an editor, an author, and a Marketing & Communications professional.1 When it came time to publish my book, I went straight to self-publishing. It’s a viable avenue for authors these days, and I didn’t want to deal with the hullabaloo of trying to… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: I don’t give a Hoot(suite)

By Cait Reynolds

I really tried. I really gave it the old college try. But, I just cannot get into HootSuite. I know it’s supposed to make life easier for me, but frankly, it just gives me anxiety. Setting it up was a pain, and I’m still not sure I have it right. But, more than that, it makes me feel disconnected. It makes the social media experience feel impersonal, which is the opposite of what I think it should be. Seeing all the lists and tabs and everything… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real Wo: Social Media Mornings

By Cait Reynolds

I am not a morning person. I used to be. There was a time when I was up chirping with the birds and vigorously, joyously jostling for a place on the train by 7:00 a.m. Then, I turned 30, and my dad’s night owl genetics kicked in. Of course, it didn’t help that my health was in decline as I rapidly approached needing a kidney transplant. It didn’t get much better after the transplant as the meds left me sleepy and sick every morning. Even… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: Viral is as Viral Does

By Cait Reynolds

I feel like I haven’t left my computer since Friday morning. I’ve been averaging 12-14 hours a day at the computer. And, I haven’t been writing. I have been 100% engaged with people online. Last Friday, we announced the cover reveal for my upcoming book, Downcast. The ARC and cover went up on NetGalley. It was tweeted, facebooked, and blogged. And then…it caught fire. In some ways, this is a continuation of last week’s post about how I’ve decided to use social media for marketing. As… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: Beginning as I mean to go on

By Cait Reynolds

So, here I am. I’ve got a book that is signed, sealed, and done. It has been edited and proofread. We have a blurb. We have a cover. My baby is now in the tender hands of the layout artists, and I will have an official release date soon, but I know it’s going to be in May. In some ways, this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting to share with you since I started writing for This is my first book as myself,… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: When the Real World Strikes Back

By Cait Reynolds

You haven’t seen me for a while. Life got in the way. First, for a very happy reason in that I got pregnant, but then for a very sad reason in that I lost my baby at five months right before Thanksgiving. I am okay. It’s not in my nature to give up, though I will admit a blow like this takes a while to recover from. The last two months have been a blur, but not without progress of a kind. I got back… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: A Real World Writers Conference

By Cait Reynolds

This summer, I finished a book that has been 4 years, 4 drafts, 33 pages of typewritten notes, and 3 closet doors full of handwritten plotting notes. Writing “Downcast” (coming Late Fall 2014 – woo hoo!) turned me into an anti-social little monster. I failed at practically everything except writing, from seeing my family and friends to blogging. (Failing at blogging is an entirely different conversation we’re going to be having at some point, as well.) However, I found it beneficial in the middle of… Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: Duh. Or, Classic Marketing 101 Mistake

By Cait Reynolds

Um, yeah. I feel really dumb right now, and I’m cringing just a little at the thought of the “I-trained-you-better-than-this” amused look Carol – my lifelong public relations and marketing mentor, friend, honorary Mom – will give me when she reads this. Carol was the toughest, smartest marketing professional I’ve ever known. When I worked for her, she drilled strategic thinking into me like a marine corps sergeant, and she showed me not the just how of publicity, but the why which is the key to everything…. Continue Reading

Letters from the Real World: Where is the Money?!?!?!

By Cait Reynolds

I’m five months into this whole full-time writer gig. I’m…not panicked. Not exactly. Not yet. I’m not ready for a Valium, but I wouldn’t mind a drink. Or two. I’m working really hard. I’m trying to find the “best practices” (ugh, shoot me now for using that phrase) for working from home and balancing life. I’m trying my best to sort out – QUICKLY – what social media venues are best and most productive and efficient for me. Unfortunately, trial and error take time because… Continue Reading

Letters from the real world: How many planks in a platform?

By Cait Reynolds

There are days when I am relatively on top of things. Then, there are days that start like today, where I tried to put my lipstick in the dishwasher, because my brain was thinking about blogging, whether I should try to incorporate Wattpad into my promo work, and was Reddit really an option for me? Okay fine, maybe it’s just my brain. But, can you blame me? I’ve got a mothership website now. I’m blogging semi-regularly. I’m active on Twitter. I’m still trying to motivate… Continue Reading