Tag Archive: Social media



I love the paranormal…it’s a fascinating part of our world and the life we live.  This strange love of mine leads me to the most engrossing books, the best movies, quite a few interesting experiences and some really great people!  One of those people is Beth Dolgner!  She not only writes paranormal fiction, she is also a paranormal investigator!  She goes on real ghost hunts and even conducts ghost tours!  I read Beth’s first book “Ghost of a Threat” and found her on Twitter (click here to follow!) to let her know how much I enjoyed it.  I also went looking for her on Facebook.  Yeah, I sort of stalk authors whose works I really like…but I do it with the best of intentions!  I love that the world of Social Media can connect me to the authors of all those wonderful books I do so enjoy reading!  Besides, they always have the option of not accepting my Facebook friend request if they feel so inclined or to not follow back on Twitter.  Most authors, however, LOVE connecting with their readers! (I totally enjoy the interaction).  Beth also has a great website where you can keep up with her and the services she offers!

So anyway!  I contacted Beth on Facebook and asked her if she’d be willing to guest on my blog.  She not only agreed, she offered to write a post!  So, without further ado…I present to you for your reading pleasure:

Truth is Stranger than Fiction, Paranormally Speaking

A few weeks ago, I made my debut as a guide with the Roswell Ghost Tour (that’s Roswell, Georgia, not UFO territory). When we got to one of the stops, I turned my back to the circa-1840s building I was talking about and addressed my group. As I spoke, I felt someone walk up behind me.

But there was no one there.

A friend of mine was on the tour, and she is a sensitive. As soon as we left for the next stop on the tour, I asked her who had been standing behind me. Without hesitation, my friend answered, “The little girl who haunts that building. She liked your energy, and she was curious about the two little boys on the tour.”

I’m a writer by trade, but I’m also a ghost tour guide, a paranormal investigator, and a volunteer at a historic cemetery. The experiences I’ve had add greatly to my Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series: I can inject some realism into my heroine’s paranormal investigating.

The series, which began with Ghost of a Threat, follows Betty “Boo” Boorman, a ghost hunter in Savannah, Georgia. Even my choice of city was influenced by real life: my mom lives there, and I’ve heard plenty of first-hand experiences from people who live alongside Savannah’s spirits. Betty’s team, The Savannah Spirit Seekers, find themselves dealing with everything from the spirits of children to revenants, which bear a strong resemblance to zombies.

Along the way, Betty meets a handsome demon named Maxwell, and she falls hard for him. That, understandably, comes with a whole new set of adventures and challenges for Betty.

While I don’t have any experience dating a demon, I have been able to draw on firsthand experience when it comes to writing about paranormal investigations. I’ve even included some brief scenes where there is no evidence of paranormal activity. If you’ve ever been on an investigation, you know it can involve sitting around for hours, only to have nothing happen.

Thankfully, my very first investigation was far from boring. I was researching stories for my first book, a non-fiction collection of Georgia ghost stories called Georgia Spirits and Specters. Ghost Riders Investigation Team invited me to come on an investigation of an abandoned mill, and my night was full of experiences. I was touched on the arm, I saw bright lights in my peripheral vision, and we got knocking sounds in answer to our questions.

I’ve also drawn on some humorous moments for my writing. I admit to mistaking an inanimate object for something otherworldly, and I’ve certainly made myself jumpy on occasion. I could relate to Betty’s rival investigator Carter when he mistook a dog for some menacing specter in Ghost of a Threat.

Sometimes, even paranormal events can be funny. In 2011, I got to investigate the St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida. We were in the basement of the light keeper’s house, and I was sitting on the floor while a few others led us in an EVP session. I leaned back and bumped up against my husband’s legs. When I glanced back, I realized that my husband was about six feet away! I did a double take, and everyone cracked up. I still have no idea who or what I leaned back against.

I am preparing for the July debut of Ghost of a Hope, the fourth and final book in the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series. In that book, I have a slightly different tie to real events: there is a heavy metal band involved in a haunting at a club. They’re a real band, and they gladly gave their permission to appear in my book…even though they wind up on the wrong side of an angry ghost.

Things are wrapping up for Betty, Maxwell, and The Seekers, but I’m sure some of my personal experiences will wind up in future stories. The next time something unseen brushes my hand, I’ll just smile and consider it “research.”

Beth Dolgner is the author of the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series. Ghost of a Threat is the first book in the series and is available in print and digital formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. Beth is also the author of Manifest, a young adult steampunk novel. Keep up with Beth at http://www.BethDolgner.com.

  


A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Бе...

A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it’s been three months since I self-published my first book “Be Still, My Love” and it’s been quite an experience for me!  I’ve learned so much since that fateful night on December 13th, 2010.  I had less than 100 followers on Twitter and was still trying to figure how best to use that particular social media outlet.  I didn’t have an author page on Facebook, just a personal page with only just over 100 “friends”.  I didn’t have a website (still working on this one!) and I’d just started blogging “Deborah J Hughes, Traipsing Through the Twilight Zone” in late August.  In three short months (that seemed liked very long ones at the time), I’ve come quite a long way!

In late January, I decided to join Amazon’s KDP Select program.  I’d only sold about ten book on Smashwords and none to Barnes & Noble so I figured it wasn’t going to hurt.  Without any thought to marketing and getting the word out, I put my book up for free for three days and had 1,700 downloads.  I thought that was pretty amazing.  Then I saw the numbers other authors were getting downloaded on their free days and realized I had nothing to brag about!  My book made it to #54 for the Ghost and Occult categories and didn’t get below 1,600 overall.  For an unknown author trying to make my own way in the unknown territories of publishing, I was not disappointed with those numbers.  I was excited at the thought that almost 1,800 people (counting book sales) had my book!

When my book was no longer being offered for free, it fell down the charts pretty fast.  I knew something had to be done.  I needed to learn more about marketing and publishing.  So, I started reading the books I’d already bought on the subject but hadn’t given the time to read.  Of course I bought John Locke’s book “How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months“.  Seriously, who in the Indie world hasn’t?  The thing is, he was already a well-known individual and he had what I don’t…money!  Still, I took what I could use from that guide and I try to keep it in mind as I plug along.  I’ve a LONG way to go to reach that 1 million.  (sigh)  The next guide I bought was “Dollar & Sense: the Definitive Guide to Self-publishing Success” written by Carolyn McCray, Amber Scott and Rachel Thompson.  I picked up some more nuggets of advice.  Another book I found helpful was “How to Make Market and Sell Ebooks all for Free” by Jason Matthews.  For a person with little capitol to invest in a career I was most serious about, the title grabbed my attention.  I also bought “Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, And Why You Should” by David Gaughran.  More great nuggets of advice!  I really enjoyed “We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” by Kristen Lamb.  She also has a great blog “Kristen Lamb’s Blog“!  I really started learning how to grow my on-line presence with her book.  Joining her “MyWANA” (We Are Not Alone) community has been very helpful.  I now have over 3,000 Twitter friends, good folks who interact with me and Tweet my Tweets while I reciprocate in kind!  It’s all about scratching each other’s social media backs!! The more you help others, the more they help you.  It’s a great system.  Everyone wins!

So, even with all I was learning, I’ve lingered most in the 40,000 range on the Amazon seller’s listing.  I was averaging a whopping 1 to 3 book sales a day.  Yeah, not so impressive.  Even so, I was grateful for those sales!!  Then I happened upon a blog called “The Writing Bomb” by Jeff Bennington.  I’d found him through a Twitter post.  He was offering to take three fledgling authors under his wing and put his marketing strategy to work for them.   I figured, what the heck, it can’t hurt to enter myself and see what happens.  Jeff picked me and my book “Be Still, My Love“!  He also chose Bert Carson’s book “Fourth and Forever” and Robbi Bryant’s book “The Beautiful Evil“.  So, he had his three “guinea pigs” on this marketing experiment of his.  I can’t tell you how excited I was!  In the meantime, I’m getting emails from bloggers asking for interviews!  My first ever interview was with Cege Smith on her blog “Cege Smith’s Books” (interview here).

So anyway, back to Jeff Bennington and his experiment.  His three “apprentices” as we were (sounds so much better than guinea pigs doesn’t it?) were given an advanced copy of his awesome “The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe“.  Jeff shares his own writing journey and some of the things he’s learned along the way to help him gain publishing success.  Most important, his marketing strategy was contained with the pages of this very informative book!

Armed with all the knowledge I’ve gained over the last three months, I put my book up for FREE again.  It went FREE yesterday (25 March) and today is it’s last day as a FREE offering.  Remember, the last time I tried this, I made it as high as 1,600 or so on the Best Seller List.  This time?  The last I checked, I was sitting at number #5 overall and #1 for the “Ghost” and “Occult” categories!!  Not bad!!  What a difference a little bit of knowledge makes!  I know that Bert Carson’s book “Fourth and Forever” and Robbi Bryant’s book “The Beautiful Evil” have done awesome as well!  How to thank Jeff Bennington for believing in me and taking me on?  He’s “the Bomb”, that’s all I can say!  Not only that but he brought Bert and Robbi into my life and I know they’ll remain friends.  By the way, I’ve read their books…LOVED them!  And I can’t praise Jeff’s book “The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe” enough either.  That isn’t the only book he’s written, however!  I picked up a copy of  “Twisted Vengeance” and really enjoyed it (though horror isn’t my usual reading preference).  He’s as gifted a writer as he is a giving, generous person.

A few other great things I did:  Joined Triberr.  If you are a serious blogger and are not part of this site already, you need to be!  You join “tribes” which are blogging communities and everyone Tweets each other’s stuff.  It’s a great system.  I also joined “The World Literary Cafe“.  Now here’s a site for authors and readers alike.  It’s a very supportive community and offers an amazing array of programs to help both authors and readers get what they want…books marketed and books read!  I’m still wading the waters of “Goodreads” but it’s another great place to be part of if you are an author and a reader!  Lastly, but not least, I’ve discovered the joys of Pinterest!  This site I resisted joining because I was having a hard enough time keeping up with everything else, but boy am I glad I finally saw the light on this one!  Now I have a place to “pin” the URLs of all the great sites I find as I explore the internet on my quest to learn about writing, publishing and socializing.  It helps me with organization and it offers another way to grow a community of friends.  When I “pin” something to one of my boards, everyone following me gets notified.  So, of course I “pin” my books and my blog posts!  What a great connected world we have.

I could go on and on about other things that I’ve learned and maybe in other posts I will, but this one is long enough and it’s pretty jam packed with stuff already!  If you have some more great advice and are willing to share it…PLEASE DO!  So, until next time…many blessings to you all and Peace Out!

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