#AUTHORS, WHAT’S YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION AND DO YOU EVEN CARE? #RRBC #RWISA

Reputation is everything

…and if it isn’t to you, then Houston, we have a problem.  Your reputation – is it reputable or is it dishonorable?  Well, so that you have a clear understanding of what a reputation is, let me give you a little refresher on the word.

The estimation in which a person or thing is held, especially by the community or the general public;  the way in which people think of someone or something.

As an author, regardless of what others think or how I am perceived, my reputation is of extreme importance to me.  I have worked hard to build my name and standing in the literary community, therefore, I guard it, and the perception of it, with great care.

Because we interact with our peers and our “communities” without the comfort of solidarity, yet, in an anonymous world behind keyboards, there are those that feel these situations offer a green light to behave poorly and recklessly.

We’re all familiar with online “trolls,” aren’t we?  The ones who go around the web wreaking havoc on everyone’s lives and enjoying every moment of it?  These people tend to hide behind fictitious names so that no one knows who they are, and their steps can’t be easily traced.  After the demise of those fake identities, they simply create new ones to continue along their senseless paths of destruction.  (Wait – let’s not focus on these trolls too much, as I have not the time or the energy to spend on them, even in my writing.  So, moving right along …).  And then, there are those who cause similar chaos online under their real names or Pen names…they just don’t care what others think about their poor behavior, and truth be told, these are the ones I worry about most. The fact that they DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR REPUTATION OR HOW THEY ARE PERCEIVED, is a very scary thing.  Trust me when I say that if they don’t care about their own, they will lose no sleep over trying to destroy or taint yours.

You see, when I hear someone say that they are an Author, I tend to hold them to a certain level of esteem, and I’ll admit, I also expect a certain amount of professionalism and decorum from Authors.  Why?  Because although change is good, there are some things (in my mind) that should never change.

I remember as a child, dreaming and wishing that I could one day meet my favorite Author (Louisa May Alcott), but deep down, knowing that would never be possible.  Not because she died in the 1800’s, but, when I was but a young lass, Authors just weren’t so “accessible,” and there was this mystery surrounding them.  (And in my opinion, a little mystery always makes life more interesting – wouldn’t you agree?)  We didn’t have the luxury of interacting with them on Facebook and Twitter the way it’s done now, and you know, that wasn’t such a bad thing.  The way they carried and conducted themselves, it was clear the Authors of old cared about their reputations and how they were perceived.  (Kind of reminds you of the Authors on the current RWISA roster, as well as those members of RRBC who also greatly value their professional reputations in this literary arena.)

Today, we have many who display attitudes of nonchalance of decent behavior all over social media.  This is evident when you see the kinds of conversations they carry on on Twitter, the types of images and videos they choose to share on Facebook, and lastly, the behavior they choose to exhibit publicly, period.  Sadly, I’m not only referencing the younger generation. I’ve seen the most unprofessional behavior recently from those who are in grandparent and great-grandparent seasons, that have shown me exactly the behavior TO NOT EXHIBIT when I’m in that same season of life.  I’ve witnessed with my own eyes, two adult women (Authors) in knock-down-drag-out cat fights (aka … war of words) on social media, and as an adult, a mom of daughters, and a professional Author … I was embarrassed for them.  Never in a million years, would I behave in such a manner!

In my embarrassment for these adults, I wondered, Do they not care that others are watching them?  Watching this?  Who would want to run out and purchase their books after witnessing such disgraceful behavior?  I surely wouldn’t.  I imagined seeing the both of them (in the real world) standing outside of a bar, brawling, pulling each other’s hair.  I experienced such embarrassment for them, just watching this play out online – because clearly, they weren’t embarrassed at all.

Engaging in this type of back and forth war-of-words publicly, seals the deal on your online reputation.  People who were friendly with you before, start to become quiet in your midst.  You’re now noticing the ones who once called you “friend,” are now moving away from your inner circle.   Still confused as to why?  People who hold themselves in high esteem, are smart enough to know that you can quickly be tagged as “the company you keep,” and I’ve never once heard that reference used in a good way. These people, professionals who care about their reputations, do not want to be aligned with amateurs who are clearly not in their league, nor are they on the same level.  I personally, tend to quickly move away from people who display such volatile and indecent behavior, as you just never know what they’ll do next.   When it’s displayed once, once is enough for me.  {Note to readers:  I’m the lady who believes what people show me … not so much what they tell me}.

As I wrap things up here, my advice to you is this: Think before you speak and think even harder before you act, lest you do or say something which you might regret later.  If, in the past, you have found yourself guilty of any form of public juvenile behavior, you can still turn things around, if you work hard enough.  Your online reputation is and should be, just as important as your reputation in the real world.  Let what yours say about you, be a true reflection of who you are and how you want to be perceived and received.  And, when others are behaving at a level that you would never stoop to, please, decline their invitation to that party.  There are some who have nothing better to do but spend their time “attempting” to bring others down and ruin lives, and that’s because their lives are so sad, they can’t stand the thought of others living in happy-land.  (FYI, Nonnie is the Mayor of Happy-land – just in case anyone wants to move closer to me … LOL)

What does your online reputation say about you? Is it reputable or is it deplorable?  What do you think others are saying about you, based on this kind of reputation?  We’d love to hear from you via the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

~Anonymous

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RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

Building Your #Author Platform #RRBC #RWISA

We are 18 days away from our 5th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo and if you haven’t registered to take part in any of the planned book promotions, sessions, games, etc. for this event, you are really doing yourself a grand disservice.

We have 23 sessions being presented in this year’s conference and you still have time to register for them.

Today, I’m giving you a FREE sample of the quality of the sessions and information that will be presented at this year’s #WC&BE20.  This session is in blog form format and I hope that the information contained within proves to be super-beneficial to you and your writing career!

BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM

Nonnie Jules, Presenter

NJ Logo1 (1)

As writers, we blog about many different things. We blog about our family and friends, how much we do (or don’t) exercise, politics, and even the food we eat. But, unless you’re a family therapist, a fitness guru, a politician or a foodie, none of these are your platforms UNLESS they are all you speak about, the majority of the time.

Many writers pop onto the scene and want the world to know them as being “good at everything,” and although there is a strong possibility they are, readers don’t care to know this. Readers want to believe that they are reading material from EXPERTS, and although we’d love to be, we can’t be EXPERTS at everything. So, that is when you need to establish your author platform.

I actually have two main platforms:  CHILDREN & SUPPORT (although I must admit, that I’m pretty good at writing about a multitude of things). If you were to mention my name to any number of people and ask: “What is her platform?” they would probably respond with “Parenting and children, but she’s always trying to teach the importance of support, as well.”  Now, although they might name one as my main platform, notice how the other is also tied into their response.   WHY? Because these two areas are what I write about, talk about and live the most.  (I should also add Living Decently to my platform, as that is an issue that I tend to lend a ton of focus to, as well).

I am known as THE GOOD MOMMIES’ Mommy.  Its typical for me to stand in line at the market and a parent or someone who recognizes me, walks over and asks:  “Aren’t you the good mommies’ mommy?” My first book, THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS, placed me in that position online.  What everyone may not know is, I am also that mommy in the real world. Raising great kids is typically ALL that I talk about;  it is what I am passionate about, it is what I live and breathe, and so, it is my main platform.  Of course, there are other things I tend to go on and on about, but not as much as this!

Now established, I am consulted by parents, print media outlets, parenting bloggers, and other organizations who recognize me as an “expert” in my field, and wish to use my advice for articles, interviews, and speaking engagements.  Parenting organizations in schools use my parenting guide as a fundraiser in their communities, and humbly, when I speak on the subject, many ears listen.

It’s an art to be able to write well under more than one genre, but first, become known for that one area that solidifies your place in our writing culture, so that readers are easily able to recognize and identify with you.  You’re not being put into a hole or a box, you are just carving out that special place, where your name recognition keeps your foot in the door for a wider range of opportunities.

Here are just a few tips to get you started on the road to building your author platform:

  1.  Pick a subject and become knowledgeable on the topic;
  2. Blog on your subject matter and build a following.  If your content is interesting, it will keep them coming back for more and they’ll also begin spreading the word of your blog to others;
  3. On social media, ensure that you use the appropriately dedicated hashtags for your main area of interest.  I tend to use #Parenting, #Kids, #Children in all of my tweets related to the subject of parenting.  For my blog posts on #support, that is the hashtag that I use. This draws those searching for information on these topics, to my info-filled tweets;
  4. Network with other entities, agencies, and bloggers, etc. in your field, so that you are able to offer guest contributions to their successful websites, blogs, and periodicals.  It’s OK to ask if you may contribute via guest articles and blog posts;
  5. Register and reach out to organizations in your area of interest so that they know who you are, and will keep you in mind when they need authors to speak at their engagements;
  6. Never turn down any media invitations, whether they are in print, radio or television;
  7. Join organizations in the area of your platform focus.  You will learn more from those who are traveling the same road as you are;
  8. Lastly, spend time sharing interesting material on your platform, via your social media forums.  This will increase your following, as well as pique the interest of those who find your social media content worth reading.  They’ll want more and will begin seeking out other areas of your writing, such as your books, blogs, etc.  They will also begin to associate you with that particular field.

If you’re not already, I’d like for you to follow me at WATCH NONNIE WRITE as I will continue to offer more tips to help you begin establishing and building a strong author platform.  What is it that you’re most passionate about? What is the one thing you’re actually KNOWN for? That could very easily serve as the medium you need, to establish your credibility with your new-found platform.

Thanks for spending this time with us.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at nonniejules@gmail.com.

***

SESSION ACCOMPANIMENT
(Here is a list of 7 questions you should ask yourself, to ensure that you are serious about building your author platform).

  •  What am I good at or what am I most interested in?
  • Am I passionate about this field or subject matter?
  • Am I willing to work hard to increase my knowledge of this subject matter?
  • Am I willing to further my education on the subject at an institution of higher learning?
  • Do I feel comfortable speaking intelligently on this subject matter to individuals and organizations, if asked?
  • Am I willing to spend the time building a blog which is focused on my platform?  This would include posting scheduled content, as well as growing my followers;
  • Am I willing to go beyond social media contact to reach out to those in my field who might be able to help grow awareness of my platform?  This means, am I willing to actually pick up the phone and make direct contact?

This is the quality of information you’ll find at our upcoming WC&BE.  Information that will help you to grow in your writing and the marketing of your books and blogs, etc.

Have you registered for the 2020 5th Annual RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO yet?

Have you JOINED RRBC?

Let us know your thoughts on this content and thanks for dropping by!  Please share and LIKE the page before leaving!

Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community & #Support, Pt. 6 #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.  As it has worked out in the past (but won’t be the case anymore), I wasn’t able to get this session up in time but did get it done eventually – just not published.  Those who registered for that session will be getting 3 new sessions FREE during our upcoming 2020 WC&BE! 

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 under our posting schedule of Mondays & Thursdays each week, in separate parts.

Welcome to Part 6!

ARE YOU PLAYING BY THE RULES OF PUBLISHING?

So, how did you fare in English 101? Did you get that evasive “A” that every overachiever chases or did you get that devilish “D” that scares most of us horribly? Well, fortunately, I am a self-proclaimed English major so we know what I was after.  I love English – I love words, and the dictionary is a book that I grew up reading as if it was my favorite novel. That being said, there is that part of English where (in my old age) I sometimes get stuck.

I admit to being a little too friendly with commas. I love commas! That’s obvious in my over-use of them sometimes. (Not very often, but, I willfully admit to having my moments).  Now, in defense of my use of commas, they keep us from running red lights, bumping head-first into each other, and, they tend to save lives – reading lives, that is, as they give us a chance to pause and breathe during those stories written by long-winded writers.  I won’t call your names, you know who you are.

When I ask are you playing by the rules of publishing, I’m referring to more than just your punctuation usage, though;  the rules of publishing go far beyond that. I mean, there are unwritten laws that, if broken, could send you spiraling straight into writers’ hell. (Yes, that’s a real place because I READ it somewhere.)

Do you write in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person consistently through-out one story, or, do you mix it up? Do you like to NOT use that comma in a salutation, such as “Hi, Harry?”  You know, there are people who are sticklers for things like that.  

But, there are those of us who go too far in breaking the rules of publishing and if you don’t know who you are, I’m pointing at you.  When you make huge mistakes and then say, “I did that intentionally,” or, “I like the way that looks,” you might be in trouble; not with the industry, but you’re making trouble for yourself. Let’s face it, some of those rules we can get away with breaking, but, others are a no-no and a definite book-kill.

Take the time to learn that which is most important in this industry, and sometimes what’s most important isn’t written in a manual – it’s listening to others and taking their good advice without defending your broken rules. Trust me, if those broken rules don’t bring you down, this industry surely will!

What rules do you tend to break in your writing?

~Nonnie Jules

***

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, #RRBC #RWISA!

To all the RRBC Dads who are the fearless anchors, teachers, and heroes of their children’s lives.  This is for you…

F.A.T.H.E.R.

F is for you being Fearless = For all the times you showed up in defense of me and fearlessly stared down any and every obstacle that threatened to block my path to safety and greatness

A is for you being the Anchor = For always being the mainstay that kept our family firmly secured, in place, and together

T is for you being the Teacher = For all the things you’ve taught me that guided me to the awesome adult I am today

H is for you being the Hero = For all the times you came to my rescue; even in those times when you were protecting me from myself

E is for you being the Everything = For all the safety, security, and love that you have provided me with throughout my life and for always being the glue that kept our family together 

R is for you being Responsible = For modeling and thereby teaching me the meaning of responsibility, and the importance of owning up to my wrongs as well as standing firmly in my rights.

Father, you are the most Responsible and Fearless Teacher, Anchor, Hero I know … you are my Everything

Thank you for all that you’ve shown me. 

Thank you for all that you’ve taught me.

Thank you for all the love you’ve given me! 

Father, thank you for EVERYTHING!

~Nonnie Jules

What does your FATHER mean to you?

Here’s My Shoulder … Lean On Me #RRBC #RRBC_Community #Sunday #Inspiration @KirkFranklin @NYGovCuomo

It’s a beautiful Sunday outside my window and I was overwhelmed with a desire to share some inspiration today.

Listening to Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier, he made reference, that when you walk around in this pandemic, as if it can’t touch you (i.e. you’re not wearing masks, you’re having huge parties in your home, your gathering in large groups on the beach, etc.), you disrespect him, your neighbors, and your community.  I agree with him whole-heartedly.

His take on this compounded what I have felt all along – this pandemic is not a me thing, it’s not a you thing, it’s not a them thing – it’s an Us thing – a community thing. But, imagine the entire world as that community right now – our community.

For those of you in the RRBC/RWISA community, here’s my shoulder, you can lean on me.  If you need, let us know.

If you’ve never met Kirk Franklin, let me introduce you to him.  This is a #MustListen.  If it doesn’t force you to take the focus off of YOU and pay attention to your neighbor, there’s something going wrong on your insides.  (Ignore R. Kelly in the video, please – insert *eye roll*)

Let me tell you a story…

There’s a man, standing on the corner
He has no home, he has no food, and his blue skies are gone 
Can you hear him crying out?
And there’s a girl, searching for a father and a friend
Praying that the storm some day will end
But instead of walking away
Open up your heart and say
{I am here, you don’t have to worry I can see your tears
I’ll be there in a hurry when you call (Yes, I will)
Friends are there to catch you when you fall
Here’s my shoulder you can lean on me}
Oh, there’s a child, who is sick and begging to be free
But there is no cure for his disease
He looks up to his mother as (she holds his hands)
Praying that some day the sun will shine again
And the pain will end
{I am here, you don’t have to worry I can see your tears
I’ll be there in a hurry when you call
Friends are there to catch you when you fall
Here’s my shoulder you can lean on me}
Tell me how can I, how can I love Jesus
When I’ve never seen his face?
Yea I see you’re dying and I turn and walk away
So, hold my hand
Let me take you to a friend of mine
He’s waiting just to ease your troubled mind
Instead of walking away
Open up your heart and say
{I am here, you don’t have to worry I can see your tears
I’ll be there in a hurry when you call
Friends will be there to catch you when, catch you when you fall
Here’s my shoulder you can lean on me}

***

#StayHome #StaySafe #ReadBooks from the #RRBC Catalog!

~Nonnie Jules

The #RRBC #Community Shows Up! That’s What We Do! #AloneTogether

For those of you who missed out on attending today’s RATERS NOT HATERS Show, you missed a treat on so many levels.

This month’s show was held in our Zoom studio and the sense of community felt throughout the entire segment was so powerful.  As one of our members in attendance put it, “It felt just like a real book club setting.”  19 of us sat in a virtual room and did what we all love to do – we talked books!  And, with the author present, that made it even better!

The Coronavirus pandemic has us all locked away from the world – some of us more so than others (because some of us are actually obeying the laws of human decency and staying home so that we don’t hurt ourselves or anyone else around us).  But, as goes the commercials we’ve all been seeing on television since this crisis began, we’re not alone, we’re #AloneTogether.

This segment of RATERS NOT HATERS made us all feel powerfully alone together – face to face, with some of us connected via only our voices, but yet, the collectiveness of community resounded loudly.

RRBC is unlike any other organization around.  We’re not here to just park our books in the catalog and take support without ever giving it.  No, that’s not why I created this amazing organization.  We’re here to help push and propel each other to the highest of heights, and we can’t do that if we’re not showing up.  We can’t do that by sitting on the sidelines – taking and taking and taking, without ever giving.  And how do we give here at RRBC?  We show up for each other!

This is a special THANK YOU, first, to our co-hosts who made the show amazing (JOY NWOSU LO-BAMIJOKO & SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER);  secondly,  for those members from around the globe who set their alarms to get up early and join us (Wendy Scott and Robbie Cheadle), we’re so appreciative of you for that, by the way; and last but certainly not least, to those who just couldn’t wait to get into the studio with us today (Karl Morgan, Bette Stevens, Yvette Calleiro, Maura Beth Brennan, Rox Burkey, Jan Sikes, Flossie Benton-Rogers, Wanda Fischer & Linda Mims), I offer a heartfelt hug of gratitude to each of you!

These members took the time to help make the RATERS NOT HATERS show an awesome event!  Since it was the first time these co-hosts broadcast live via our Zoom studio, these members made that experience extra, extra special and memorable for them.

Now, sometimes it just pays to show up.  Not just because you know there will be a giveaway, but, because a supportive spirit is truly part of your spirit. 

During the month of May, we have 9 hot seats to fill between the RRBC & RWISA houses (BOOKS OF THE MONTH, “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, MEMBER OF THE MONTH, RWISA “RISING” WRITER, #PUSHTUESDAY, guest interview on EYES ON THE BOOK, and let’s not forget to mention the many areas that will be profiled in the May issue of THE PIPELINE MAGAZINE)  and every single one of these members who “showed up” will have a hot seat.

But wait, I’m not finished.  Two of these lucky members will also receive an Amazon gift card (courtesy of Joy).

There are major changes coming to RRBC & RWISA as early as May 1st but the one thing that will never change here is our theme:  Those members who are the most SUPPORTIVE here, are the members who are the most SUPPORTED here!

They say to win you gotta play, but, today, you didn’t have to play at all – all you had to do was simply SHOW UP!

Thank you and CONGRATS to those who did!

***

If you joined us today in our Zoom studio, what was your experience?  

Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community, #Support, Pt. 4 #RRBC

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.  As it has worked out in the past (but won’t be the case anymore), I wasn’t able to get this session up in time but did get it done eventually – just not published.  Those who registered for that session will be getting 3 new sessions FREE during our upcoming 2020 WC&BE! 

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 under our posting schedule of Mondays & Thursdays each week, in separate parts.

Welcome to Part 4!

BUILDING YOUR BRAND AS AN AUTHOR

While processing membership applications for the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I come across so many authors who don’t have consistency in their brands, or, have given no thought to establishing a brand at all. If I have utilized someone’s email address for some reason, and then I go back to try and find them later, I can’t because their email address is different from their actual name.  This tells me that they have no established author brand.  But, the person whose name is “Lucy Lunchmeat” with an email address of lucylunchmeat@meatmarket.com, is easily found and makes my job a whole lot easier. (By the way, thanks, Lucy!)

In establishing your author brand, you have to be consistent across the board, no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, and no matter who you’re talking to.

This is a prime example of someone without an established author brand:
Name: Laurie Primer
Email: readabookgirl@yahoo.com
Twitter Handle: @DontBotherMe
Facebook: L. Psssst
Blog: Come On Over

Now, take notice of someone with an established author brand:
Name: Nonnie Jules
Email: NonnieJules@
Twitter Handle: @NonnieJules
Facebook: Nonnie Jules – Author
Blog: WATCH NONNIE WRITE!

Did you pick up on the recurring theme in the example where the author has established her brand? My name (Nonnie Jules or Nonnie) is the glue that holds my brand together. Anytime someone is seeking me out, they can probably find me based on one factor: MY NAME!

The example above without an established brand is a person all over the place. You’d have to pick up the phone and call them if you wanted to follow them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, read their blog, or even send them an email. And, what if you don’t have their phone number (which you probably won’t) – then what? Well, that author has missed out on a possible fan, follower, or reader.  That’s pretty unfortunate in my book.

If you’ve hopped onto the writing scene and your twitter handle is still @CharliesMoma, unless the name of your book is “CHARLIE’S MOMA,” and unless you’re planning on being a one-book-author, I’d look towards creating a bit of consistency (and professionalism, for that matter) …. as some of you have Twitter handles and email addresses that are good for one thing – tickling our funny bones.

I’m an author and I pride myself on my professionalism in this industry, therefore, I want to be taken seriously at all times. It’s never too late, or too early as I mentioned above, to start working on establishing your author brand. 

By the way, when I met awesome RRBC member, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, her Twitter handle was @motorcitywriter, her blog site’s name was Gallery By Leslie (who is Leslie?) and don’t even ask me what her email address was at the time, but it wasn’t even close to anything having to do with her name.

After I had a conversation with Shirley about the importance of her establishing a brand with consistency and one that was easily recognizable and tied to her, she ran with the advice she was given.  Now, there is no mistaking who this beautiful face belongs to and it’s not because she owns so many RRBC tee-shirts:

RRBCPhoto2

Her brand is crystal clear today!

Author Name:  Shirley Harris-Slaughter
Email: sharrislaughter@
Twitter: @sharrislaughter
Website: Shirley Harris-Slaughter

So, what does your brand say about you?  Does it lead readers straight to your door or does it send them on a scavenger hunt just to find bits and pieces of you everywhere? 

Get your brand established and in order.  You’ll be so glad you did!

~Nonnie Jules

***

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