How crazy is this? I spend all my time writing, blogging and update www.ReadCloud10.com and Emmaburns.net some how comes up on the first page on Bing.com when you type "Emma Burns". I realize it is not Google but not bad nonetheless.
Over the past few weeks, I have used this time and opportunity to not only re-design the Cloud 10 website, but also to re-design the front cover of my novel Cloud 10 on Amazon.com. Originally, I was using a stock photo of New York City. And although it was a pretty decent black and white photo, considering the plot takes place in Toronto, I realized I needed to change the photo.
I am proud to say that I shot the photo and designed the cover for Cloud 10 myself.
This past week I published my novel on Amazon. You can click on the green button above which will link you directly to my Amazon Page where you can purchase the Ebook. Now I just have to get the word out it is available. That should be easy. LOL.
Why I started this website for Cloud 10, my plan was to have my book edits finished by the end of February and start moving on to the next phase in my master plan (still not sure what my master plan is...)
Today is May 9th and I am still a few edit sessions away from my goal. The good news is that next week is a long weekend in Canada. So while the days may be filled with sunshine and the outdoors, my evenings can be filled with completing my project. I hope that the next post I write will be about my next step.
After being pretty diligent in the first few weeks after I launched ReadCloud10, I have been focusing my attention on some of my other social media project of late, to continue to increase my site traffic.
In earlier posts, I talked about my Fantasy Sports writing, and the traffic it was generating here and even to EmmaBurns.net. Over the past two weeks, I have also started blogging for the Huffington Post in an attempt to broaden my readership. And while my first blog was related Fantasy Sports, my follow up post centered around exactly what I am trying to do with Social Media overall. Build an audience. Sports or otherwise.
What has also been great the past few months, has been to talk to others about what they are doing in similar spaces - their own Cloud 10. And while some of these discussions have been with other aspiring authors, some have had nothing to do with writing at all. For example, one of my good friends is working towards opening his own Barber Shop.
If he want to read his story you can find the Huff Post blog here.
So while in the weeks to come, I will continue blogging about Fantasy Sports and at Huff Post, I will be making a conscious effort to continue to add more content here, now that people are steadily finding there way here daily.
I am also nearing the end of my final edit of Cloud10, so I will also be providing an update soon on how things are going.
It's been over a week since I have written here since I am on Holiday in the Dom. Rep. I have be able to do some writing, but not a ton to be honest. I had hoped to be able to put up a few posts here but the internet connection has been spotty at best. Even today's post, is more about keeping up with my routine then it is, having something insightful to say. So I will say goodbye for now, and I will be back here on Sunday when I am back in Toronto and it a better position to contribute something other than an inspiring weather forecast, or the list of fruity drinks I have consumed today.
Most of us - yes myself included - who are on Twitter probably follow 10x, or even 100x as many people who follow us. In the past two weeks however, since I have started writing my fantasy sports columns, I have been averaging 3-5 new twitter followers per article. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but considering I only had about 30 followers before I started this journey, that is an increase of more than 50%.
I must admit, it is very humbling having someone who is not a friend, or relative add you to Twitter and then even reach out and ask you a question. I can imagine it is the same feeling a new teacher must have, in their first few weeks of teaching. They remember back to when they were in school and were asking their teachers their own questions. Only a few weeks ago, I was that student asking other people I followed on Twitter questions about all sorts of topics.
Anyway, as I have continued to stress in this blog, my Fantasy Sports writing side project was not meant to highjack the content of this space. But what it does keeps showing me, is that with hard work and a little discipline, that social media can be a great way of getting yourself out there. To promote whatever it is you want to do. Myself, I want to be a writer. One day I want to see Cloud 10 in print on the shelves in bookstores and available everywhere books are sold online. And while I am still miles away from becoming a novelist, I can take pride in the satisfaction that there are people out there, who are enjoying reading my work. And you know what? That is pretty satisfying.
I look forward to the time when I start finding an audience on this platform and I have the same interaction as I do with my new band of Twitter followers.
My second article focuses on why fantasy sports players should consider taking their own fan opinions, out of their fantasy decision making.
I promise that is as much as I will discuss about my article in this Blog, as I realize that Fantasy Sports has nothing to do with Cloud 10. Instead I want to talk about the process I used to get my words in front of the world. A few weeks I hadn't even considered I would be doing anything like this at all. Even this website and blog was only a thought buried in the back of my mind even a month ago.
Now let's fast forward to two weeks ago. At the time I was work, listening to an interview on satellite radio when I heard a guest talk about ways to break into the business of Fantasy Sports which is exploding in North America right now. (There was a 6 page story about the industry in Sports Illustrated last week). The easiest way, the guest and host discussed, was to contact websites and ask to volunteer your time writing articles. If you are any good, there are lots of opportunities for new writers, they discussed. So that's what I did. I literally send the guest who hadn't recently launched his own new site, an email and asked to write an article. A day later I sent him my first submission, and he liked it. Then within 48 hrs I was part of his daily writer's distro email list.
Unlike back in the day, when you used to have go head to head with a newspaper editor in order to get your start in writing, nowadays, new websites are are popping up daily, on every conceivable subject. In the weeks to come, I expect to make my book available on Amazon or maybe even through this website somehow. If I have manage to build up a small, but loyal following of readers who enjoy my work, I think that can only improve my chances of eventually selling copies of my novel. And who knows, one of my readers might even have a publishing connection.
In my continuing effort to build an audience for Cloud 10, I have started writing for a new Fantasy Sports website to try and get my name out there as a writer - of any kind. Today my first article was published.
If you have ever watched the television series The League or have any interest in fantasy sports take a peak. Don't worry I don't have any intention of trying to convert someone who might be interested in Cloud 10 into a fantasy sports diehard, but hoping that someone interested in fantasy sports might just enjoy Cloud 10.
5 Tips to get your 'Taco' out of your Fantasy keeper league
Thanks to the team at Firefly Creative Writing for posting a link on their facebook fan page! My unique visitors chart actually had it's first spike!
So readcloud10.com has been live for about 2 weeks now and Weebly (who I use to host and support my website) is telling me I have some real life visitors from a few different sources. One being Facebook. Not sure how that is possible since I have decided to wait to post a link to this site on my news feed until a bit more content. Who knows...
I do have an update this week. Not on Cloud 10 specifically. (I will wait until I actually have readers before I start doing that.) Last week I reached out to the owner of www.socalledfantasyexpert.com to apply to be a writer for their website, which launched around the same time as Cloud 10.
Other than writing, my other love is sports. Playing sports, watching sports, reading about sports...and now hopefully writing about sports. Unlike the other stat heavy articles that are abundant across the web, I am hoping to provide a more lifestyle or human opinion to SCFE.com. My articles won't just be about "who to select in your next fantasy baseball draft." Instead I plan to have them focused around the lighter side of fantasy sports. One article I am thinking of writing - just in time for Valentine's Day - is "How to convince your wife that Fantasy sports will improve your marriage." Or something to that effect.
Anyway, supposedly my first article about why fantasy players should keep their inner "fan" out of fantasy baseball should be live tomorrow. Once it is, I will post a link and hopefully traffic will start flowing between sites. No, I don't have any illusions that people who arrive at my site via other methods, will all be Fantasy Baseball players, but my hope is that Fantasy Players who read my articles, might also enjoy Cloud 10. We'll see...
Thanks again for stopping by.
Since you've managed to find your way to my blog, I also hope you've had a quick look around my website. In case you haven't - which means my minor league SEO (search engine optimization) talents are actually working and you've reached this blog directly from Google - this is the blog for my debut novel, Cloud 10.
What I am hoping to accomplish with this blog is to create an audience of creative thinkers. Writers are of course welcome to participate, but really anyone who has a voice and is passionate about anything should also apply. Myself, I got hooked on writing not because I wanted to be novelist, but rather because I had a creative itch that need scratching.
If you haven't read my prologue yet, I invite you to. I would love to hear your feedback. But more than that, I would also love to learn more about what other writers are doing in similar spaces. Part of the reason I built this website was just to see if I could...but also to try and find an audience to ask the question - "So...I have written a book, now what...?"
I realize that in these first few weeks, even months, it will be tough when little (or no) audience will be reading my words. I imagine I will feel like one of the those earlier radio enthusiasts, who used to sit at their desk or kitchen table, talking into the microphone of an old CB radio to see if anyone listening. "Is anybody out there...?"
What I can promise from this forum is that I won't pretend I have an audience i.e. write fake replies so that it appears there's a party going on. If I never receive a single comment, that's fine. Well not really, but I will deal with it.
So that being said, feel free to comment and tell me about yourself, what topics you love to write about. What are your passions? Myself, I have been writing "creatively" for about 15 years. Unlike many who consider writing a hobby, I wasn't a big writer, or reader for that matter, in high school. Instead, it was something I found after I graduated university when reading was no longer a requirement. I've always had a creative side, but never an outlet. My father and grandfather were both amateur painters. And while I can draw quite a bit more than stick man, it was never anything I ever cared to pursue.
Writing on the other hand, has always been something that I feel has come relatively easily to me. NOT the syntax mind you, but the creative process it takes to churn out prose, which is probably why I love to write so much - even more than I do reading. We all enjoy doing the things that we are proficient at, right? That is, in fact a question I have wanted to ask other writers. What do they enjoy more? When I think about it, I guess it is a selfish way of thinking. Like, what do you enjoy more in a conversation, speaking or listening? I believe listening is what any sophisticated person should answer. Yet with my analogy, I am answering speaking. I guess I just love how writing offers me the chance to turn random thoughts into physical words. Make sense of a dream I had, for instance.
It's funny I write that last sentence because this is exactly how I came up with my prologue and what started me down this path. My prologue was the expansion of a dream. I literally woke up one morning and said, "I should try and write that idea down and see where it leads me..." Ninety thousand words, and countless edits later, here I am.
Anyway, to provide a little context, I am currently working with an editor from Firefly Creative Writing. This amazing group of individuals is helping me to refine my collection of jumbled thoughts into a completed project. So I want to give a big thanks to the team at Firefly for giving me the inspiration to challenge myself to finish my book. Where this journey leads, I have no idea, but I'm excited as hell to find out!
Don't be a stranger.