Nocturnal Journal

Paranormal Romance Author
Mandy M. Roth
Vampires, Werewolves & Faeries...Oh My!
Friday, March 30, 2007
BLOG HAS MOVED
http://mandyroth.com/blog/
posted by mandymroth @ 7:51 AM   0 comments

Saturday, March 17, 2007
NEW BLOG!
Sorry to do this to everyone but I'm getting sick and tired of the new blogger. It's limiting what I can and can't do with my posts (who can comment and so on). For the sake of my sanity, I enlisted the help of Melani Blazer. She got me up and running on Word press! Whoohoo! Melani needs an award for putting up with me.

Angie W has gone in and started the widget/plug in/ tweaks for me there! Big thanks to her too!

new blog addy http://mandyroth.com/blog/

Please change your links/bookmarks to the new one. I have smiles now too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(that is like the coolest thing evvaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!)

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posted by mandymroth @ 9:14 AM   0 comments

Friday, March 16, 2007
Marketing with Mandy: Link you might want
My post today is super short. Sorry for that (damn deadlines).

Jaci Burton did a fabulous write up for AuthorMBA. I wanted to link to it because I think it will help anyone interested in marketing/promotions greatly!

Taking Your Career Seriously


As always... if you have comments or links you want to see posted up in the Marketing with Mandy sections of my blog please email me or post them in the comments section. I know that blogger is a pain the arse so I understand if you need to email instead. My email addy is mandy@mandyroth.com

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posted by mandymroth @ 6:49 PM   2 comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Marketing with Mandy: Websites—Getting Started

Since my education and background are in the art/marketing end of things I thought I'd start a little something extra on my blog. I'll call it Marketing with Mandy mostly because it lets me talk about myself in third person and feel really important. *grin*. These will pop up on my blog as I have time to get them out and will deal with topics/questions I see popping up on the net from other authors. I hope you find them helpful.

Q: I'm an author. Do I really need a website?

A: Yes. This will be one of your most powerful and affordable marketing tools. I know it can seem overwhelming at first but trust me, it's worth it in the end.

Q: I'm a new author and I don't have a website yet. How do I go about getting one?

A: There are many ways to do it. I suggest finding a hosting site. Here are some I recommend.

Go Daddy
They have hosting plans starting at 3.99 a month. Used them when I first started. At the time they just didn't have enough space to offer me (I'm a webspace hog… if you ever use as much as me I'll be shocked LOL) This has since changed and they're now offering plenty of space.

Yahoo.com

They have an easy to use template and interface for those who are a bit nervous.

Dot 5

They offer Frontpage extensions (this is something those of you building in front page will want to have to make it easy on uploading) They start at 4.95 a month and are saying that they'll give you're your domain name free.

IX Web Hosting --PC World Mag rated them #1 so I guess that's saying something

1and1.com---
I use them and I love them, they offer packages as low as 2.99 a month linux and MS hosting servers to host on (if you don't know the diff, don't worry but I'm guessing you'll want to host on MS hosting ones. I use linux ones but it's your call. If you don't know which, ASK THEM. They are nice people. Also, they have front page extensions too. The others ones might but I didn't go digging to find out. You get one free domain name with the 2.99 package.

Q: I don't really have the extra money to spend on a .com or .net/my own domain. Can't I just use a free service?

A: You can. I would HIGHLY advise against it. For one, you get what you pay for when it comes to these. I really don't think it's a good idea to have your homepage cluttered with ads and popups. I also think it's impossible for anyone to remember your web addy if it's longer than The Faces' number 12 hit You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings).

I think you see what I'm getting at here *snicker* It's much easier to remember www.yourname.com or .net than it is something long with a lot of backslashes in it. In addition to all of this, you're very limited on what you can do on the free sites.

Q: I don't have any skills when it comes to building webpages. Is there an easy way to do it?

A: Most of the places I listed have website creator programs that they offer for quick set up. Microsoft Frontpage is a great program that comes with templates built into it. There are many places that sell website templates some are even for free. Just read everything they say. Some require you to have certain programs loaded on your computer to use. Like Frontpage or Dreamweaver.

Templatemonsters

Freewebsitetemplates

There are also a good number of people/companies out there that market web design to authors. (I know nothing about these places but some of the authors they have listed are names I'm familiar with… if you use someone or offer this service be sure to post your/their link in comments section!)

Dream Forge Media
( I lied I know a little about them. Several authors I'm very close to use them and love them)

Romance Designs

Author Avenue

Q: What should I have on my website?

A: You need to have your books there/easy to find (Make sure you have BUY links for your books—make it easy for the reader to find them). Trust me when I say making them go on a hunt in search of how to buy your book will NOT result in a sale. It will leave them clicking the close button and moving onto to something else.

Excerpts from your contracted works is always nice. Be sure to put your copyright info on there.

An author bio.

A little bit about your coming soon books/projects (remember not to post WIPs on the web).

Email/Contact -- a way for readers to contact you.

Those are the basics of what you should have on your site. If you offer more, WONDERFUL! If not, you'll at least have the barebones of what you should have.

Q: What should I NOT have on my website?

A: This represents you in the writing world. Use caution as to how you present yourself. I've seen author sites that have pictures of their cleavage and nothing else (not a head shot either, just breast one). While having a nice rack is an admirable quality, it's not really going to put your best foot forward. Yes, it's putting something forward but I don't think it's what you'll want in the end.

Avoiding hard to load images (ones that are too big) is another biggie. Text that can't be read because it's either too small, too big or too bright. Keep in mind, not everyone will have the same fonts you have loaded on your computer, loaded onto theirs. It's best to stick with fonts that are preset on both PC and Macs. If you have something special you want to show up with different text, like your header/banner, you'll need to make this in a picture/photo program and save as either a jpeg or a gif.

When designing for the web the resolution needs to be lower than it would be for printing. So, 72dpi-150dpi tops (I do almost all of my graphics at 72 dpi for faster load times).


I'll get more into this in the coming weeks, giving you a glimpse at how to create graphics for the web. In addition to this, I'll be talking about various tools/outlets for marketing yourself and your books (banner ads, print ads, cover ads, blogs, more about websites, name branding, bookmarks, brochures, press kits, book videos, and just about anything else I can think of to toss at you) in future Marketing with Mandy posts.

I also plan on having guest bloggers on to talk about various aspects of marketing in the world of writing. Look for posts in the coming weeks from Jaci Burton, Michelle Pillow and Shannon Stacey just to name a few. I'll also be linking to blogs and sites discussing valuable marketing information for authors. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. In the meantime if you have any marketing questions specific to writing (or not) please ask away. If I can't answer it, I'll do my best to find someone who can.


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posted by mandymroth @ 3:13 PM   6 comments

Sick ‘puter mommy?


Yesterday, my youngest son comes to me and asks to play the computer. At the time, I was doing scheduled maintenance on the machine I put him on and wasn’t about to let him on my work computers. I explained that I was checking the computer for viruses. His eyes glossed over and he stood there staring at me like…what are you talking about, lady? I then launch into how sometimes a computer can catch a cold too. Just like him.

He leaves well enough alone and runs off to play. So, this morning, I’m in the kitchen making breakfast for them and he asks me if I think what he did will help the computer feel better so he can play it. Of course I’m like…WHAT DID YOU DO?

I head down to find the computer covered in a thick blanket. Under the blanket is a box of tissues and a bottle of water. I turn to my youngest who is grinning from ear to ear. He proudly tells me he gave it what it would need to feel better and wanted to know if I wanted to give it the medicine that tastes like bubble gum.

Life at the Roth house is never dull.

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posted by mandymroth @ 7:16 AM   1 comments

Sunday, March 11, 2007
The way of the Mac....
Moving into the MacBook Pro has been different to say the least. I used to work on nothing but macs when I was in the world of marketing/graphic design. Seems like 4 years ago was a lifetime ago now. I'm still trying to doublclick everything and its brother in here. I still have issues navigating around the system and WTH is up with the yahoo messenger for mac...I can't find anything. LOL. That being said, I'm loving the computer. It runs VERY smooth and packs as much punch as its desktop buddies, if not more.

I owe a big thanks to two very nice gentlemen who helped in my decision making process. One, worked at the store I was buying it from--he was VERY helpful and it wasn't because he was going to make anything off the sale (he wasn't). Just general nice guy who was swamped with people but who kept taking time out with me while I heehawed back and forth about getting another Sony laptop or going to a MacBook Pro.

The other man who helped in my decision was a customer walking past the computer section. He stopped and talked with me about macs. He's in the military and prior to that was in the field of education. We discussed how he was a recent mac convert (in the last couple of years I think) and how he couldn't rave enough about everything they offered to make my life easier.

Their enthusiasm and knowledge sealed the deal for me. It didn't hurt that my husband was buying an iMac 20inch at the same time. He'd already had it in his head that he was going the way of the mac. He too started on HPs, moved to SONY (which I have to say I have a soft spot for SONY computers), cycled through several of those and decided he'd had enough of the viruses, spyware and registry issues...he was going the way of the mac.

It also didn't hurt that I totally adore the commercials Mac is putting out with the kid from Galaxy Quest (Brandon on there, unsure what actors name is but he's so adorable) stands and talks with the man who is a "PC". Those things crack me up. I loved the newest Vista one. They hit the nail on the head with that one!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I'm here, mostly moved into my new computer and so far I'm loving it. I figure if it survives me, its a keeper and everyone should have one. I need to beta test computers. People would come from far just to say..."that survived Mandy".

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posted by mandymroth @ 8:17 AM   2 comments

Friday, March 09, 2007
You’ve got the Look…

It must have took… a whole 6 hours just to make your links finally show in the right place. Okay, I'll stop singing now. I gave my blog a facelift and I'm trying to decide if I like it or not. For the amount of work I had to put into it I'm thinking of just keeping it but I'm not sure. Any thoughts?

I've been doing some more reading during my forced break. Nothing else has leapt out at me just yet… not enough I'd want to share but I will post as soon as some does. My TBR pile looks delicious and I plan on devouring some of it later today/tonight. I'll be running out of break time soon and it will be back to the writing grind with me. I thought I might share some fun research sites/books with you when I get back into the swing of things.

Take care and have a great weekend!


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posted by mandymroth @ 10:03 AM   11 comments

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Safety Dance…

How do you know you have an obsession with the 80's? Oooo, I got this one! You find yourself making a pot of coffee at seven in the morning, swaying in the kitchen while humming "It's safe to dance". Yeah, that almost sums it up. But, if you want to take it further, you realize you're not only swaying but doing the *gasp* 80's version of dancing. I'd describe it but really, you'd all just end up with upset stomachs.






Onto a less depressing topic…what I read last night. Suffer in Silence by David Reid. GREAT BOOK! It gives you a glimpse into SEAL training. I really don't know how those men do it. They are amazing! It's an intense story for an intense training.

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posted by mandymroth @ 8:34 AM   3 comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
BLAZE...
So, I took some time off to catch up on my reading. I'd never read any of the BLAZE books before and grabbed a handful when I was at the store. I won't take up a lot of your time. I'll just post the covers of two I really enjoyed!

If you get some free time be sure to check out Alison Kent and Jill Monroe.



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posted by mandymroth @ 7:22 PM   1 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2007
Oh Mandy!



Happy Birthday, darling.


Since blognapping seems to be the fad (brilliant Idea, Angie) I thought for this wonderful event, a la Mandy's birthday, we'd celebrate by redecorating in brilliant pink.


Beautiful, ain't it?


Here's a pic of Mandy to go with it. Please stop and wish her wonderful birthday wishes!!!


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posted by Melani Blazer @ 9:40 AM   30 comments

Friday, March 02, 2007
Bitch –napped Blog


This was cute so I wanted to share. Angie has bitch-napped Jaci Burton's blog for the day! Stop by and tease J about it.


http://jaciburton.com/blog/?p=481#comment-4849


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posted by mandymroth @ 9:16 AM   2 comments

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Oh, Mandy, you came and you talked for an hour...
Didn’t think you’d be getting another one so soon, did you? *wink* We’d continue to brag, but we’d only jinx ourselves….

So without further ado, come over to the Raven where secrets will be revealed!
http://www.ravenhappyhour.com/raven.htm

Also, if you haven’t heard the latest Raven Podcast! Take a listen!



Thanks!
M&M

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posted by mandymroth @ 10:17 AM   0 comments

 
 


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