INDIE PUBLISHED AND DARNED PROUD OF IT! #RRBC @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA @RRBC_RWISA

It looks like we made it out of 2020 alive – all in one piece – none of our teeth are missing – and we still have all our hair (albeit whiter than it was in 2019).  I will bet my bottom dollar that we all welcomed 2021 with open arms.  

RRBC has landed in its 8th year of formation and we are so PROUD to say that!  Talk about staying power!  Well, clearly it lives here!

As we usher in a new year, we’d like to take this opportunity to first welcome Indie Authors from around the globe to join us.  There is no other community quite like ours, and our loyal and dedicated membership will attest to that.

Today marks the first of many posts that we will be sharing for you throughout the year, to learn from, and take the information and implement into your writing life, if you so choose.  We hope that every post proves to be beneficial to you in some way.

I received an email notification the other day from a forum that I subscribed to years ago, where someone inquired as to why Indie publishing was so frowned upon by the traditionally published industry.  I didn’t respond (as I sometimes do) because I wanted to tackle this topic here within RRBC.  One young lady did respond and I have posted her reply to that question below…

“You’re right that self-publishing is still looked down on by a lot of people. There are many reasons why—not all of them justified or accurate I might add. Common reasons I’ve noticed include:

  • The perception that self-published authors couldn’t get a traditional book contract (rather than they didn’t try), and therefore that their book isn’t good enough to be published.
  • The low barrier to entry for self-publishing, meaning that people can publish practically anything, and not all of it is of high quality.
  • The fact that many self-publishing authors don’t hire editors, proofreaders, or designers (because they can’t afford to or didn’t realise they needed to), leading to issues with content, language, formatting, and typos.
  • The reputation of traditional publishers—in having a very long and respected history—while self-publishing is still relatively new to the party and so is seen as the poor man’s publishing.
  • The marketing clout of traditional publishers in promoting their books, vs. self-publishing authors who struggle to market their book, and therefore it goes unnoticed by readers, awards panels, and so on.
  • The notion that you’ve made it as an author when you can physically see your book on a shelf in a bookshop, vs. when you can only download an e-pub version.

That said, as a nonfiction book editor, I’ve noticed that self-publishing seems to be looked down far less in the world of nonfiction than fiction. There’s plenty of respected self-published nonfiction books. I also think the tide is turning a little, and self-publishing will become accepted as the norm.

The sad thing is that I’ve worked with many nonfiction authors who have self-published brilliant books, but they still fail to get many readers due to lack of knowledge about marketing—while some traditionally published nonfiction books catch on with the public despite being pretty average.”

The comments to her response and also to the original poster’s question, were varied and wide-ranging.  Some were credible… while others were just plain ludicrous.

I’d like to make something crystal clear.  The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB began as, and will end as, an Indie Author organization.  When we began back in 2013, traditionally published authors came knocking on our door and we decided to accept their requests to join, because I knew then, just as I know now, that they have to work just as hard (if not harder) than we do to get their work promoted, noticed, acknowledged, and read.

I quite often complain about the fact that Amazon gave everyone the right to publish anything – and that is where the problem lies – ANY AND EVERYTHING is being published.  It doesn’t matter if the book is riddled with typos or errors of every imaginable (and clearly noticeable) kind, Amazon says, “Hey, we can make money off of you, so, of course you can become an Author here,” which ignites the trickling of litter being repeatedly dumped on our literary horizon.  I take issue with this.

It is for that very reason that the traditionally published world looks down upon Indie publishing and doesn’t take it seriously.  It’s not because they are better, because nothing about being traditionally published speaks to that, and nothing could be farther from the truth.

Some of us are Indie because we choose to be.  I personally have never sought out a publisher or dreamed of having a publishing contract, and although I can’t speak to what I might dream in the future, I know for a fact that I’ll never go seeking a publishing contract.  That is by choice, not by chance.  Do I think I’m good enough to be traditionally published?  Well, since I don’t put the same amount of credibility or stock behind being traditionally published as others might,  I’ll just say this – I am good enough to be tagged as, and do proudly wear the label of being a Professional Author.  That’s a “real” author, Indie or traditionally published,  with writing talent.  A Professional Author cares about their contributions to the reading public as well as their reputation as a writer.  

Now, here’s my two-cents on the question that was posed on that forum (and we all know just how much I love sharing my two-cents):

Contrary to what some might believe, being traditionally published does not promise you a more thorough edit.  There are thousands of traditionally published books that sit on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and the virtual shelves of Amazon, that are proof of that.  I also know this first-hand because many of those books are in my own home library (that I’ve purchased from the shelves of Barnes and Noble, poorly edited and all.)

Being traditionally published won’t make your book covers any better than the ones I design on my own, and being traditionally published doesn’t mean that your books will sell better than any of mine.  Lastly, that coveted marker – being traditionally published is not the only way to get your books onto the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores.  In the past, two of my books have graced the shelves of Barnes and Noble, and of course, I am and have always been, an extremely PROUD INDIE AUTHOR.  (By the way, I didn’t go looking to get my books into Barnes and Noble.  Someone on the inside felt that’s where they belonged.)

There is one thing that stands out that separates my coveted Indie Author status from that of the traditionally published – I have TOTAL AND COMPLETE CONTROL over my entire body of work.  I make every decision just the way I want, down to where I’d like my commas to go, or how I’d like my paragraphs to be spaced, what I want my titles to be, and especially how I want my covers to look.  I also establish the costs of my books and  can sell them anywhere, at anytime, and however I please.  I’m not locked in under someone else’s thumb for something that I put in hard (mind) labor to create. 

So there!  Those are the reasons I am an Indie Author and I suspect my reasons are the same for many of you awesome writers.

RRBC is Indie-land!

We don’t promote traditional publishing here.  Now, listen carefully – I did not say that we don’t promote traditionally published authors, because we do.  We don’t promote traditional publishing.  If it is your desire to be traditionally published, we wish you well on that journey and stand behind your desires 100%, but what we will not allow, is for Indie publishing to be trashed, dismissed or diminished in any manner.  It is our way and it is our way by choice.  The traditionally published world has enough backing out there, so here in RRBC is where you can find that Indie backing and support that all authors, Indie and traditional, seem to rest and rely upon.  We have traditionally published authors who have been on our roster since the very beginning and they will share with you, they receive the same amazing treatment and support as our Indie published authors.

When I started this post, I invited Indie Authors from around the world to join us.  Now, since I have made our position clear, I invite more of those authors who are traditionally published to join us.

We are well aware that your struggle is equally as real as ours.

Until next time…

#RRBC … More Than Just A #Book Club & Heaps of #Gratitude

Happy belated Christmas, RRBC-ians and friends! The following post is personal but since it’s related to RRBC and also includes a peek at the newest release of one of our most awesomely supportive members, I thought I’d place it here on the RRBC site where it would get maximum exposure.

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is, as of 12/13/20, moving into its 8th year of formation. We started out as a small community of literary like-minds and quickly morphed into the huge family of writers and readers you see blanketing the airwaves of social media.  

We hear quite often that we are unlike any community ever seen before.  We love hearing that, but, if we never hear the words spoken, it is something we already know.

When I formed this amazing community, standing out in an already crowded arena of literary clubs was part of my plan, and it was clear from day one, that we would be that community where you would find more than just a place to list and discuss books.  RRBC has always been more than just a book club; it started out as, and remains today, in a class all by itself.  

We are a family (not the dysfunctional kind, by the way) and that shines through with:  every bit of support given via social media, supportive book purchases, reviews posted, relationships formed, and every shoulder extended when one of us is riding the waves of  a “personal” storm.  What you find here, you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.  Why is that?  Well, although many have attempted to model their clubs/groups after us, there is so much more that they need to even remotely resemble who we are.  I don’t need to say it – we all know what those special ingredients are, and we ain’t going anywhere.  We, the most loyal and dedicated members of RRBC, who strive to ensure that our organization is the most unique, and also the best there ever was, we are staunchly planted right here, proudly and joyfully roaming the halls of RRBC.  What we bring to this smooth sailing vessel is a spirit of giving, decency, loyalty, dedication to the service of others, and oneness – that strong feeling of closeness that you miss when you’re away from it for too long, which none of us ever are.

It should come as no surprise that during this season of continual service to others and giving, that I’d be blessed with the amazing gift below! 

It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?  Designed in the shape of a heart,  it embodies all the special and unique avenues RRBC & RWISA implements to push our members along on their constant journey to success.  It was too beautiful for me not to share with you.  As a matter of fact, I believe it was designed for all of us!

This beautiful monument of all things RRBC & RWISA, will house your books that you’ve sent to me, your coffee mugs that you’ve gifted me (because you know I collect coffee mugs), and all those extra special treasures you’ve lovingly sent my way – yes, they’ll all be on display in my home-office very soon.  I’ve received some beautiful gifts from you all throughout the years, and one day, when I decide it’s time to hang up my RRBC/RWISA handbag, I’ll get to enjoy this beautiful display of treasures, with memories you helped create.   (And when you become rich and famous, I’ll already have my very own copy of your autographed book, to show off when I’m boasting how we’re such old friends!)

I’ve received many special “gifts” this Christmas from my wonderful members, but I was moved most by your words of gratitude and simply knowing  you care.  Your kind messages brought tears to my eyes, and in one moment, I stood and said aloud, “It’s just so nice to feel appreciated.”  It truly is the most special feeling there is, second to knowing you’re loved.  So, thank you Phil Stephens, Maura Beth Brennan, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Peggy Hattendorf, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Robbie Cheadle (who was also my VIP Lounge Secret Santa this year),  PTL Perrin, Linda Mims, Karl Morgan, Pat Garcia,  Eichin Chang-Lim, Linnea Tanner, Randall Krzak, John Podlaski, John Fioravanti, Bette A. Stevens, Yvette M. Calleiro, Guy Worthey, Rox Burkey, Joy Gerken, Susanne Leist and Marian Beaman.   At the end of a most difficult year, each of you made it so much better, and there are no words to truly express the depth of my gratitude for you. 

 

Robbie Cheadle in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/@NonnieJules – #RRBC @bakeandwrite @RobertaEaton17

Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC  member,  Author, ROBBIE CHEADLE! 

NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We updated it in 2017 and in all honesty, I can’t recall any accidents lately, so I think this redesign is working.  Are you comfy?

Robbie:  I love the design of the eagle carrying a book. The eagle signifies inspiration, victory, speed and pride, all of which are important qualities for writers.

NJ:  Well, thank you.  I’m glad you like our new logo.  I designed it myself!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name.

Robbie:  I write under the name of Robbie Cheadle for my children’s books and Roberta Eaton Cheadle for my adult books. Most people, including my work colleagues, know me as Robbie Cheadle. Roberta is my full name and Eaton is my maiden name. I use to variations of my name to clearly separate my children’s fiction from my adult fiction.

NJ:  Wendy Scott uses that technique, as well.  Good for you all!  I don’t think I’d be able to keep it all straight.  Robbie, tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Robbie:  I was born in Knightsbridge in the UK. My father died when I was three months old and my mother moved to South Africa. Her sister, my aunt, offered to take care of my while my mother worked. I still live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have lived in George, a small town in the Western Cape for two years and in Cape Town for two years, both in South Africa.

NJ:  Robbie, I like to ask the hard questions here and I look forward to the honest answers.  Since you mentioned being from South Africa, I must say that I’ve found South African women to be a tad difficult.  You, on the other hand, appear to be such a gentle sweetheart, but, we know that there are those times when the folks behind the keyboard aren’t what they appear to be.  I mean, I’m not as nice as I seem (when I’m forced to go in another direction, if you know what I mean).   Is the picture that I have of you in my head accurate or would you fall into that category of those others I have encountered that I found to be difficult?  

Robbie:   I think how one develops as a person depends a lot on upbringing, position in society, economic standing, and your own character. As with all countries, South African women vary and there are some who are difficult and demanding. I suspect this is to do with being brought up to think they are entitled. This, of course, is not the case with all, or even most, South African women and there are lots of wonderful, kind, and caring women out there. I work in a multi-cultural environment and there are representatives from all eleven of our national language and cultural groups, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, and the other seven main African ethnic groups in South Africa. There are also Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian people and foreigners from other African countries including Ghana, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Everyone I work with is nice and most people are helpful and committed to their jobs. I like to believe I am a kind and helpful person. I know that my colleagues, friends, and family all rely on me to help them with difficult situations and personal problems. I am a good listener and don’t offer unwanted advice, so people often confide in me. I also don’t break confidences. I hope this answers your question.

NJ:  Interesting.  Robbie,  are you married or single?

Robbie:  I will have been married for twenty years in February 2021. My husband and I are both chartered accountants and met at work in 1997.

NJ:  That’s amazing!  I love February for weddings.  I’m not sure why, though.  So, do you two lovebirds have any kids?  If so, what kind? And, more importantly, do you like them?

Robbie:  I have two sons, Gregory and Michael. They are both great lads and they both help me with my books and marketing. Michael is my co-author for the Sir Chocolate series of children’s books. Sir Chocolate, a little man made of chocolate, and Chocolate World, where you can eat everything was his idea. We wrote the first book together when he was six years old and later added the fondant, cake and biscuit illustrations and the recipes. These additions were at the suggestion of my brother-in-law who is in advertising.  I am proud of my boys and I do like them … most of the time.

NJ:  Robbie, they sound like awesome ‘lads!’ If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?

Robbie:  My parents live in a cottage on our premises. Both my sons think this is the norm and seem to have a plan to live in the house and move my husband and I out to the cottage in the future. They make me smile when they discuss their future plans.

NJ:  Uh, not sure that I’d be smiling while they were discussing putting me outside in the outhouse and taking over my house.  Any pets?  What kind?  They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question…do you like them?

Robbie:  I have two cats which I share with my dad. Smudge is more his cat and Push-Push is more mine. She comes to visit me for cuddles every morning. I do like my cats but when they bring dead rodent or bird gifts into the house, I’m not very grateful.

NJ:  What cute names! (But I still don’t like cats.)  Robbie, what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?

Robbie:  Oooh, that’s tough. I’m not a big foodie even though I bake a lot. That started as an endeavor to give my boys healthier food that wasn’t full of chemicals and where I could control the sugar content. I always reduce the sugar in recipes.

I do like prawns but don’t eat them often because they are on the orange list – partially endangered.

NJ:  I love prawns and eat them as much as I can!  Sorry.  What’s your favorite color, Robbie?

Robbie:  I like yellow, pink and orange in that order.

NJ:  I love to attach colors to people and you look like a yellow, pink and orange kind of girl!  Love it!  Favorite sport?

Robbie:  I am not sporty and never watch sport. My boys play tennis so I’ll pick that as my favourite sport.

NJ:  Oh, but your photo above … I imagined you hiking through the mountains.  Oh, well, do you have a favorite TV show?

Robbie:  I never watch TV. I watched The Addam’s Family [movie], two weeks ago with my sons at their request. This is the first movie I’ve watched in two years. I do like to read.

NJ:  No … No … No  TV?  Like, no Housewives of anything?  No BRAVO of any kind?  Uh, how does that work?  Robbie, that’s almost sacrilegious.  OK, let me move on from that place of absolutely no understanding.  Do you have a favorite Actress or Actor?

Robbie:  As mentioned, I haven’t watched a movie for a while, but I do like Helen Bonham Carter. I think she is a great actress.

NJ:  Yeah, I get it, but I still don’t understand it.  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?

Robbie:  Haha, no beer bellies for me. I’m not much of a foodie and sometimes forget meals. I don’t do organized exercise in a gym or sports facility but I walk every day and I do housework and gardening. I’m a bit obsessive about cleanliness.

NJ:  Cleanliness!!!  Now, I like you even more!  So, during this pandemic which we are all living through right now, what is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit?

Robbie:  I like to keep to my routines. It is part of my obsessive personality. Lack of routine is very tough for me and makes me distressed. I have done my best to keep to my work and home routines as much as possible during this pandemic. My workload has been enormous due to the financial fallout created by the lockdowns, but I have tried to keep work boxed within its hours and not let it take over my life. I have been moderately successful with that, but have still had to delay the publication of my new adult paranormal historical novel because of timing issues.

NJ:  OK.  I wish you success in completing that next book baby.  In 15 words or less, what is the most common thing that the people who really know you,  ALWAYS say about you?  For instance, everyone who knows me all says:  “You always know where she stands on things. You’re never left to wonder with her.”

Robbie:  Haha, People always say to me that they don’t know how I do everything I do with working full time, raising a family, writing and blogging. I’m always left wondering what other people do with their time.

NJ:  I’m with you – where do people get so much free time and down time?  Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest, so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

Robbie:  I also can’t abide dishonesty. It can cause so much heartache and pain to other people when someone lies. Lies can be very destructive.

NJ:  Lies are deadly at times, Robbie.  So, are you neat or messy?

Robbie:  I am neat.

NJ:  Yes, I know … I just wanted to hear you say it again!  I love it!

Are you nice or mean?  And, is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?

Robbie:  I believe I am nice, and I often overcommit myself as a result. I can take a hard line in my work environment thought. It is necessary to get the correct outcome.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Robbie:  Facebook

NJ:  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

Robbie:  I am only vaguely familiar with Wonder Woman, but I do know Nonnie Jules and how hard she works to support other writers. I’ll definitely go with Nonnie.

NJ:  Robbie, I knew I liked you for various reasons!  LOL!  Seriously, thank you for your kind words.  We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has … well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Robbie:  I am a big believer in the truth and the need for people to acknowledge the truth of situations. That is one of the reasons I write historical fiction, so that people can remember and appreciate the truth of historical events. Here again, I have to go with Nonnie and her belief in the truth.

NJ:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members:

Robbie:  No Pedigree: A Really Short Story by Nonnie Jules

Vanished by Mark Bierman

I enjoyed these books because they both highlighted a specific issue in society and they both had good outcomes which, although not always the case, allows the reader to believe people can make a difference.

NJ:  Why, thank you, Robbie!  So happy you enjoyed NO PEDIGREE.  It is one of my personal favorites.  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Robbie:  Yes, I post a review of every book I read.

NJ:  Good for you!  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Robbie:  I have a formula for my reviews. I comment on the overall plot and story line. I comment on my favourite, or least favourite, characters and the character development by the author. Depending on the nature of the book, I may quote a few lines or stanza’s if the book is a poetry book. I try to appreciate a book based on its nature. For example, I am not a reader of self help books, but if I do read one, I will analyse it from the perspective of a self-help book and not let my personal genre likes and dislikes influence the review. In other words, I try to be fair and balanced when reviewing a book.

NJ:  How interesting.  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Robbie:  I believe I am honest in my reviews. I do look for the best in a book as well as the weaker elements. A book may have a great plot idea but be badly written. In a case like this, I will mention both points i.e. that the plot has a lot of potential but the book needs editing.

NJ:  Hmmmm, ok.  Read any poorly written books lately?

Robbie:  No, if a book is really poor, I will put it aside and not finish it. I don’t review books I haven’t finished reading.

NJ:  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews when you knew they were horrible reads?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Robbie:  I don’t do that. I usually read books that are written by people whose blogs I’ve followed and read for a while, so I know I like their writing style. Most of the Indie or small publisher books I read are well edited. There is usually the odd error but I find errors in books published by large publishing houses too.

NJ:  There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look.  Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes?  And, how have they changed the field for us?

Robbie:  I have only been in the writing world for a few years so I can’t really comment extensively on this. I am fortunate as organisations like RRBC have always existed since I started writing so I only have to make the effort to find people like you and embrace the help and advice offered. I know it hasn’t always been like that and I realise that I have benefited from other people’s efforts to gain recognition for Indie and small publisher authors.

The author community on WordPress has been welcoming and helpful and I have learned a lot from posts about writing, marketing and publishing. I have recently started attending on-line sessions and workshops to improve my writing skills.

NJ:  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Robbie:  I am an author. I believe I have good story ideas, but I am still learning how to convey them well and to use the available writing tools to build tension and provide for a professionally written story. I attended a few of the sessions at the recent RRBC writing conference and I learned some new things, especially around filter words and composing short stories.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Robbie:  I have always written, but I’ve only been writing fiction for four years. As a girl I wrote poems and descriptive passages and I have written several non-fiction publications about investing in Africa. The most difficult challenge I had with moving from non-fiction writing to fiction, was learning to show and not tell. In non-fiction writing you mainly share facts so it is a different mindset.

NJ:  Robbie, are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Robbie:  Yes, I get feedback from my mother and she is a surpringly good critic. She is a huge reader and is good at picking up areas where I get to bogged down in detail or to convoluted in my story telling. She also picks up typos and that sort of thing for me.

My last two books, as well as my work in progress, have gone through a developmental editing processes which has been hugely useful to me. I have tried to ensure I implement previous advice in my new work and I think I am starting to get it right as the feedback in respect of my new book was much less invasive than the two previous books.

I work with public documents in my day job, so I am used to having a number of people, including lawyers, work through my sections with a fine-tooth comb and send back a lot of changes and edits. I am used to criticism but prefer it to be constructive rather than just negative.

NJ:  Usually when I ask questions like the last one I asked above, I close it off with “…and don’t include your mother.”  LOL.  Name two books that you’ve written? 

While the Bombs Fell 

Through the Nethergate written under Roberta Eaton Cheadle

My books are all available from Amazon US here: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Robbie:  They are very different genres so I can’t really say which is better. They are also aimed at different age groups.

While the Bombs Fell is a fictionalized autobiography of my mom’s life, growing up as a small child in an English town during World War II. The idea for the book was a cross between the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards. Each chapter in the book tells of a different event in my mother’s life such as Christmas Day or going swimming in the manner of My Naughty Little Sister.

Through the Nethergate is a supernatural fantasy and is my first darker novel. It followed on the heels of a number of horror and paranormal stories I wrote for various anthologies. Writing these short stories planted the seed that I could write a supernatural book and so I did. It also includes historical and political elements all tied together by a common thread.

NJ:  And who didn’t love the LITTLE HOUSE series?  They sound interesting.  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

Robbie:  I have two blogs.

Robbie’s Inspiration shares posts about baking, poetry and fondant art as well as reviews of poetry and children’s books.

Robertawrites shares posts about writing, extracts from my adult and young adult books, photographs of places my family has visited and reviews of classic and adult books.

I often do things in a rush and sometimes run out of time when writing posts. When this happens, I make typing and other errors. I am trying to slow down and read my posts over more critically before publishing them.

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Robbie:  RRBC has helped me and also a number of my blogging friends.  Blogs like  Nonnie Jules’ three blogs and several others all share writing tips and ideas for marketing books. It all helps and I read as many as I can.

NJ:  Robbie, I’m happy that you find my blogs helpful.  My apologies that I’m behind on my publishing schedule.   Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

Robbie:  I enjoy being part of an on-line book club and I especially enjoy the live sessions especially when they are on a Saturday and I can easily join them. I like interacting with other writers and reviewers and hearing their views about books. I learn a lot that way. 

I am more of a listener than a speaker when I attend but that works for me and I gain a lot from hearing what others have to say.

NJ:  That’s good to hear.  Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Robbie:  I have not come across another organization like RRBC. It is a huge undertaking to run an organization like RRBC and for Nonnie to have her fingers in so many pies. I know there are a limited number of people involved. I can see how much hard work it is, and I don’t think there are many others who would be willing to do this. Or who would be able to organize it all as successfully.

NJ:  Thank you for noticing the hard work that goes into running such  a huge, well-oiled machine like RRBC – and you’re right, I haven’t found any who would be willing to do what I do here (believe me, I’ve looked and tried to recruit them to take over!) but although many have tried to mimic the successful growth and organized processes of RRBC, none have come close to scratching the surface of what goes on here. (Even when they were entrusted with the RRBC kitchen sink and then ran off with it, they still couldn’t do what we do here.)  I’m so grateful to my right-hand Paula, who is the absolute greatest at what she does, to John F. who handles Membership and helps me with anything I need help with daily, to the hosts of RAVE WAVES (Shirley, Joy, Rox, and Guy) who are the ultimate show hosts and who we look forward to getting “good show” from every month – we are grateful to all of them.  Lastly, we wouldn’t be who we are without the amazingly supportive “core” group of members who have taken up residence here within RRBC.  I could go on and on about those dedicated and committed members who proudly wear the label of  RRBC Author, but, this is your interview and I’ve taken up enough of it, Robbie.   Yes, very few hands keep this huge machine going, but you wouldn’t know it unless I told you, because it all flows so well together.  Robbie, would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Robbie:  Yes, I would recommend RRBC to other authors and writers. I do try to participate in promotions and blog posts that tell others about its benefits when I can. I also juggle a lot of balls so I can’t always do everything.

NJ:  That’s awesome.  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES Shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Robbie:  I have only been a member for nine months, so I am still learning about all the things on offer in the club. I really did enjoy the writing conference and I like the live sessions and join when I can. I also have a six-hour time difference which makes evening sessions difficult for me.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our reading audience today?

Robbie:  I’d like to thank you, Nonnie, for this opportunity to showcase my books and thank you for all the hard work that goes into running RRBC.  I appreciate the time and effort the team goes to under her leadership.

NJ:  You’re too kind, Robbie, and it was such a pleasure to have you join me today .  Visitors, I ask that you pick up a copy of either of Robbie’s books above. Please be sure to leave her a comment below as she loves to chat!  

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Robbie was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.

Until next time, take care.  We’ll see you in November, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!

***

DISCLAIMER:  RRBC does not alter the writing of any guest who has participated in our interviews.  We post material exactly as it is submitted to us.

 

Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community & #Support, Pt. 9 #RRBC #RWISA

During our 4th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, I was scheduled to present a session on my “15 Pearls” of Literature on Marketing, Blogging, Community, and Support.  

This session on my “PEARLS…” will be shared here for all our members, in hopes that it will help in our quest to become more successful and better at marketing our work as we make connections that will benefit us professionally as well as personally.  These will be posted in separate parts.

Welcome to Part 9!

ARE WE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE?

Being a writer, you automatically belong to a wonderful, very elite club of “like minds.”  How exciting!  Then there are those times, you may feel that this private club is really made up of just a bunch of regular Joes.  (Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a regular Joe, but, I’d much rather be an extraordinary Joe … know what I mean?)  Writers have creative minds and can spin a story out of very little:  a person standing on a street corner, a homeless person sleeping on a bench, a dog running across the grass to greet its master, or, even clouds rolling across a blue sky.  Yes, each of these brief scenarios, catching the eye of a writer, could one day yield a wonderfully written story or a beautiful piece of poetry.  We (writers) see a story in almost everything we see.

Everyone wasn’t born with a creative gene, so those of us who were should feel blessed to be in such good company. Having the ability to create, even with words, makes those of us who do it and do it well, literary technicians. Where others use words to tear down, or, even to build up someone’s self-esteem, we use words to create magic.  So, why is it that quite often I feel as if I’m in a village of my brothers and sisters, but we’re all speaking a different language?

Some of us take our time to write and turn out the most awesome works of art. But on the other side of that, there are those who simply put out words on paper, literally or virtually.  From what I’ve seen,  it’s almost like … in their minds, those words don’t have to make sense, they don’t have to be spelled correctly, and they don’t even have to be used in the proper context of a sentence.  They were simply … put out. When I see writing like this, I ask myself, “Is this the impression they want to leave me (the reader) with?  Do they really want me to believe that they are a writer?”

I can tell a “professional” writer (published or not) simply by the email messages they write or the blog posts they publish.  I’m grateful that I was blessed with the gift of the eye, so, I don’t need you to write a whole book, for me to sum up your writing talent (or lack thereof).  I strive to always give my very best in anything I write, whether it’s an email message, a blog post, or even something as small as a tweet, so it’s foreign to me when others throw slovenly work out into the universe, hoping that it’s going to stick somewhere and be viewed as serious writing.  That’s when I know for sure that some of my brothers and sisters in my village are not speaking the same language I am.

Those of us who take our creativity in the writing department seriously, are unfortunately sometimes lumped in with those “writers” who have only come out to “play.”  Well, this is not playtime for me and maybe you feel the same – this is real life, and I hope that one day it will evolve into the same for everyone who dons the title of Author. 

Let’s all strive to speak the same language – the language of always putting our BEST FOOT FORWARD with everything we share with the world in written form.

So, are you on the playground, or are you in the classroom earning those literary credits? 

***

Before you leave, would you mind hitting the LIKE button above, leaving a comment, and sharing the page onto social media?  Thanks in advance!

Looking to belong to an awesome community of support where HONESTY and DECENCY in all things are strongly encouraged and highly valued?  Then, JOIN the Rave Reviews Book Club where you’ll never feel alone on your writing journey, the place always feels like home, and your professional reputation doesn’t decline by association!

#RRBC Celebrates and Honors Their Most Loyal and Dedicated Members!

Since our inception 7 years ago, RRBC quickly became, and still remains known for the amazing support of our members. Our “core” group of members are dedicated, loyal, and committed to our mission and our goals – and, they always lead by example.

These are the members you’ll find showing up to support other members on tour, on their blog sites, in their RAVE WAVES interview slots, their Book of the Month and Member of the Month spots, they participate in club activities and other club events, and they are the members you’ll find consistently purchasing, reading and reviewing the books of their fellow members. Those are the members who stand out here.

The late Kathryn C. Treat was so committed to our club that when she passed away, folks were still joining, listing her name on their membership applications as their referring source.  This continued long after she was gone.  I truly believe that Kathryn was still recruiting for us from Heaven. 

There are many ways that we continue to honor Kathryn here.  Our VIP lounge houses her name, our treasury of books that we give away, is named in her honor, and the KCT Int’l Literary Awards Contest  – our largest contest, is also named in her honor.  I only wish that Kathryn could be “physically” here to see how much she meant to us.  I’m confident, though, that she’s watching us from above.

Our dearly departed, Jan Hawke, who would go out of her way to help any and everyone, also has an event named in her honor here:  The “JAN HAWKE” RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS Day that we love to celebrate so much!  Showing kindness to others was what she did best.

After Kathryn and Jan’s passing, I decided that I would no longer wait for another of our beloved human treasures here at RRBC, to pass on without us giving them their flowers.  There’s an old gospel song that goes, “Give me my flowers now, while I can still enjoy the view.”  And, giving those flowers that are so richly deserved right now, is what I am committed to doing. 

 

Not many of you know this, but our Membership Director, John J. Fioravanti, was one of our very first “SPOTLIGHT” Authors, and this program is extremely dear to his heart.  Today, that program has been renamed the “JOHN J. FIORAVANTI” #RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR Program!

Last, but certainly not least, no one loves paying it forward more than Shirley Harris-Slaughter.  As of today, this special day has been renamed in her honor, the #RRBC “SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER” #PIF (PAY-IT-FORWARD) DAY!

It should not be surprising to learn that each of these awesome members also hold LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP status here at RRBC!  Their dedication, loyalty and support have earned them that awesome status!  How exciting to know that no matter how long you live and no matter how things might change in your life, and, even long after you’re gone, you will still be recognized as a LIFETIME MEMBER of this amazing organization, that has given name recognition to EVERYONE that has ever sat on its roster.  And I do mean EVERYONE.  I mean, c’mon, who knew you before you were on RRBC’s roster?  Your mom doesn’t count.

CONGRATULATIONS to each of you listed here!  Thank you for being solid RRBC citizens and not being as fickle as the wind – going in whatever direction it blows.   You are admired for your high standards of decency, and above all, your commitment and loyalty to the one organization that has given you so much!  (Not many can boast of that, so pat yourselves on the back for being part of a rare class of people).  On both ends of the pole, it’s true when said that birds of a feather flock together.  That’s why you’re here on RRBC’s roster!  You’re a treasure and… 

SIMPLY THE BEST!

I can’t wait to honor more of our awesome members in this manner so stay tuned!

 

 

Susanne Leist in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/@Nonnie Jules – #RRBC #RRBCAuthor @SusanneLeist

Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC  member, and September’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author, SUSANNE LEIST! We celebrated her all last month and today she gets to sit on the shelf with me!

NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We updated it in 2017 and all honesty, I can’t recall any accidents lately, so I think this redesign is working.  Are you comfy?

Susanne:  The design is easy to follow. The instructions are clear. If there were a flaw in the system, I would have fallen into it.

NJ:  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name:

Susanne:  My author name, Leist, is my maiden name. I have used it in the past for my family’s legal documents. Schwartz is my married name.

NJ:  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Susanne:  I was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. I now live in Woodmere, New York.

NJ:  Married or single?

Susanne:  Married.

NJ:  Any kids?  What kind? Do you like them?

Susanne:  Two daughters. They are my best friends, and I love them.

NJ:  If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?

Susanne:  I try not to think about this. My older daughter calls me every day. I’m hoping she’d care for me. But, then there is her husband to consider.

NJ:  Susanne, how thoughtful of you to consider the husbands.  I’m not taking anyone into considerations.  My children had better take care of me or there will be consequences!  (Nonnie composes herself again).  Now, any pets?  What kind?  They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question…do you like them?

Susanne:  I have a Maltese dog called Nounous. I bought him for my younger daughter, but he’s mine. He follows me everywhere. I almost forgot the dwarf bunny, Thumper. The same daughter bought him and then deserted him. I’m allergic to him, but I take care of him. I guess I love my animals.

NJ:  Your house sounds like mine – filled with every brand of animal.  What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?

Susanne:  I drew a blank. I don’t have one food I love best.

NJ:  You don’t?  OK, well, let’s move right along.  What’s your favorite color?

Susanne:  Brown looks the best on me, but it’s not my favorite color. Purple is also suitable for my coloring, and I like it better. I’ll pick purple.

NJ:  Always remember that purple is a sign of royalty.  You can’t go wrong with that.  Why do you think I selected that color for RWISA?  Do you have a favorite sport:

Susanne:  Swimming. Before the virus, I swam every week.

NJ:  Favorite TV Show:

Susanne:  Murder She Wrote. Wait, no. Supernatural. It’s a tie.

Photo by Charles on Pexels.com

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

Susanne:  I’ll pick Angela Lansbury. I loved her in Murder She Wrote.

NJ:  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?

Susanne:  I try to stay fit. I can’t walk as much as in the past since I have lymphedema. Swimming is best for my swollen legs.

NJ:  During this pandemic which we are all living through right now, what is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit

Susanne:  Writing. I can escape for hours inside my imagination and stories.

NJ:  In 15 words or less, what is the most common thing that the people who really know you,  ALWAYS say about you?  For instance, everyone who knows me all say:  “You always know where she stands on things. You’re never left to wonder.”

Susanne:  A few of my friends call me for advice on sales and where to buy products. (Not impressive).

NJ:  So, they say:  “Want a discount?  Call Susanne?”  OK, what is your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest, so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

Susanne:  I’ve yelled at people who have walked too close without wearing masks.

NJ:  That’s a pet peeve of mine right now, too,.  So, are you neat or messy?

Susanne:  Neat. And if there’s too much stuff, it’s a tidy mess.

NJ:  Are you nice or mean?  Is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?

Susanne:  I’m loyal and supportive of my friends and family. But since I get hurt easily, I can snap at people. (I’ve been spending too much time with my dog.)

NJ:  Yeah, you might want to work on that “snapping at people” thing.  Facebook or Twitter?

Susanne:  I use them to promote my books and author platform. If I didn’t write, I doubt I’d use either one.

NJ:  OK.  I’m like  you in that regards.  If it wasn’t for work – I wouldn’t be on it.  Too much nonsense.  Susanne, we’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

Susanne:  I don’t have one person but groups of authors. We promote each other’s books.

NJ:  Who’s the one person that you’ve met online who makes you laugh the hardest?

Susanne:  Many people share funny posts on Facebook.  I’m awful at remembering names.

NJ:  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

Susanne:  I’ll pick Nonnie Jules. I’ve always found Wonder Woman intimidating. She’s too perfect.

NJ:  {So, is Nonnie Jules … too perfect and intimidating, but I digress.}  We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Susanne:  Wonder Woman is a great role model for women across the world, while Nonnie is a great role model for authors.

NJ:  Uh, thanks (I think).  But, FYI, Nonnie is also a great role model for all women around the world.  Ask anybody who really knows her.  She’s even designed a magical crown for all the women of the world to wear, and you know what?  Once it sits atop their heads, they immediately feel powerful!  Get yours today on Amazon or other online retailers where books are sold legally!  Hahaha!

Now that I’m done entertaining myself, Susanne, please name a favorite INDIE book that you’ve read by a fellow RRBC member.

Susanne:  Circus Tarot by Charles W Jones

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read written by an RRBC member that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:

Susanne:  Satin & Cinders by Jan Sikes is the sweetest book I’ve read.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Susanne:  It reminded me of the books I enjoyed in my childhood like Irish Red and Black Velvet.

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Susanne:  I always post reviews for indie authors but not always for mainstream authors.

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Susanne:  Readers should base their reviews on their opinions and not the previous reviews for the book. Some reviews sound like carbon-copies of each other.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Susanne:  I am always honest in my reviews. I emphasize a book’s best points and briefly mention any issues I had. I don’t want to discourage others from reading the book.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Susanne:  Yes. In the last few months, I’ve read many variations on Pride and Prejudice. They are feel-good books, similar to watching Hallmark movies. Most are enjoyable and relaxing. A few have been so awful that Jane Austen would roll over in her grave.

NJ:  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews when you knew they were horrible reads?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Susanne:  I don’t give five stars unless I enjoy the writing, and I don’t like giving ratings below three stars unless the book is awful. If it’s an indie book I was asked to rate, I’ll post three stars but not a glowing review.

NJ:  There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look.  Can you name an INDIE author who has done this in your eyes?  And, how have they changed the field for us?

Susanne:  Charles W Jonas brings horror to a new creepy level.

NJ:  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Susanne:  I’m an author whose writing improved over the last ten years. I’ve rewritten my first book, The Dead Game, three times. It will never be as good as my third book, The Dead At Heart, but it’s grammatically and structurally sound. (I don’t use adverbs in my books as I did here.)

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Susanne:  Ten years.

NJ:  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Susanne:  I Facebook groups to get criticism of my books. Over the years, my skin has grown thicker and tougher. I’ve learned from my reviews and proofreaders. The reviews of my books are better each year.

NJ:  Name two books that you’ve written? (Please include the purchase links to these books):

Susanne:  Prey for The Dead (Book Two of the Dead Game Series)  https://amzn.to/321DKuP

The Dead At Heart (Book Three of the Dead Game Series)  https://amzn.to/3gzul3E

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Susanne:  The Dead At Heart is my best one so far. Not only has my writing improved, but the plot is more complicated with twists and turns that leave the reader unsure who are the good and bad guys.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

Susanne:  I have a website that showcases my books. I don’t use it often since I find WIX confusing. That’s my next challenge. I’m proud of my blog on WordPress, where I post poetry. I began writing poetry as a way to promote my books. Now, I also write poetry because I love it.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

Susanne:  I love the club. I’m in awe of the number of books some of the authors have produced. Now that my writing has improved, I hope to write more than three books a decade. Instead of worrying about my technique, I can now focus on new stories.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Susanne:  Grammarly is helpful. It spots typos, missed commas, and so on.

NJ:  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

Susanne:  Yes. I don’t belong to any other groups as helpful as RRBC.

NJ:  Susanne, I can definitely believe that!  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES Shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Susanne:  I enjoy the Writers’ Conference & Book Expo the most. I can meet and speak with new authors. I also like sharing RRBC posts and authors’ posts on Twitter.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our reading audience today?

Susanne:  {Silence}

NJ:  Well, I guess not.   Susanne, it was a pleasure to have you join me today and I hope you have enjoyed your time in our “Spotlight” during the month of September!  By the way, your BRING ON THE SPOTLIGHT interview was so entertaining – it was one of my faves!  {Guests:  Please visit our PAST RAVE WAVES GUEST INTERVIEWS forum to check out Susanne’s interview from 9/26/20).  Also, we ask that you pick up a copy of either of Susanne’s books above. Please be sure to leave her a comment below as she loves to chat!  

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Susanne was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.

Until next time, take care.  We’ll see you in November, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!

***

DISCLAIMER:  RRBC does not alter the writing of any guest who has participated in our interviews.  We post material exactly as it is submitted to us.

#RRBC Beware of Suspicious Activity and Shady Characters on Twitter #RRBC_Community

Hello, RRBC!

It seems that a ring of suspicious Tweeters are including our hashtag in their messages.  Now, these messages are in a foreign language so I’m not sure what they mean or what this group is attempting to do, but Tamara, our Social Media Director has cleverly tagged them as SPAMMERS/HACKERS/NO-GOODERS.  Some of you have been notifying us that they are appearing on your feeds as well but you don’t know how to block or report them, so I have put together this step by step guide so that you’re able to block them and report them to Twitter at the same time.

You will notice my little hand symbol/pointer over most of the areas that you’ll need to click on.

Step 1:  Click on the name of the tweeter.  Per the diagram below, that name would be HimanshuDO NOT CLICK FOLLOW!

Step 2:  Once you’re on their page, in the top right hand corner you will see a circle with 3 dots in it.  This is located to the left of the Follow button.  Click the circle with 3 dots.  DO NOT CLICK FOLLOW!

Step 3:  Once you click that circle with the 3 dots, a drop down window appears and down at the bottom of it you should click REPORT @whatever the name is.  

Step 4:  When you click REPORT, another window opens and you should click  It’s suspicious or spam.

Step 5:  Another window opens and you will click It’s posting spam to a trend or hashtag.

Step 6:  Another window opens and you will click Block @whatever the name is.  This is in red.

Step 7:  In the top right-hand corner of that page, Click DONE.

Members, we don’t want anything to negatively impact you, and a great majority of our members are older and extremely vulnerable to all sorts of hacks and those who seek to cause harm. 

Again, I don’t know what this group is or what their intentions are, but, what is most concerning, is I don’t know what the message is that they are spreading.  Whatever it is, we don’t want any part of it.  It appears that this group is from India as I’ve seen India in many of the tweets that have come across our feeds and the names on the twitter handles appear to also be out of India.

I know that it may be time-consuming, but, better that you take the time to perform these steps now than risk being hacked or otherwise taken advantage of by this group that appears to be unscrupulous.  All of the accounts appear to be very new accounts, with only a handful of followers.  I think the most followers I’ve seen one have was 9 – some had 3, some had 0.  Another red flag is that none of our followers are following these people.  They, on the other hand, appear to be following a ton of folks.

This particular activity is a prime reason you should read every tweet before you retweet it and you should also be careful of who you follow.  Following and retweeting randomly and blindly, could get you into big trouble and also cost you big in the long run if these are experienced hackers.

I hope this information has been helpful and if you have encountered any of this suspicious activity yet, please let us know in the comments below.