Saturday, May 31, 2014

Flash Fiction: The Mission

A glance at the tower clock said it was almost time. Fingers drummed nervously on the cafĂ© table. Stop, he admonished himself mentally. He couldn’t afford to draw attention to himself. Not now.

The mission was about to take place, delivery was crucial. Crucial to national security, maybe even global from the impressions he got during briefing.

After one last sip of the pungent tea, he pulled a few dollars from his wallet and tossed them on the bill. Standing, the young man glanced again at the clock in the square. It was time.

Knowing the importance of this meeting made it difficult to keep a strolling pace to the park. He wanted to hurry and be a hero to his country. An unknown hero, since he was one of the “men in black”.

Focus man, focus. To keep his concentration on the task at hand he began to sing the instructions in his head.

Near a tree by a river, there’s a hole in the ground. Where an old man of Aran goes around and around.

It had taken him a bit to decipher the cryptic message. It all snapped into place once he found the tree. Behind it a river gently flowed with children on the bank skipping rocks along the water’s surface.

An old man with a thick Irish accent called out to them in the shade of that great oak. The table in font of him filled with all sorts of whirly gigs to catch the wind and spin around.

The young man took a deep breath. This was it, the moment he’d been training for.  Hand around a small pistol in his pocket, he approached the table of wares. “Good afternoon.”

The old man gave him a slight nod. “Afternoon. See anything you like there?”

He picked up a bird shaped pinwheel. “This one I think. Reminds me of something.” He gave a pause and made eye contact with the old man. “The blackbird sings on bluebird hill.”

The old man nodded and took the offered money for the trinket and doled out the spy’s change. “Thanks to the calling of the wild. You must be a wise man’s child.”

His heart sped, this was it. The old man knew the code phrase. The hand in his pocket moved away from the gun to a key ring. “Indeed, thank you.”

Blood thumped in his ears as he pulled the ring from his pocket slowly.  Without breaking his pace as he walked away, dropped the keys into the hole by the great oak tree.

It was hard to keep the grin off his face until he’d exited the park. Success, he’d done it.

The old man pulled the keys from the hole and sighed. Why did H.Q. insist on testing the rookies like this? The wig came off, revealing jet black hair. This was the last time he’d forget his keys in the office.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Amazon introduces a new way to buy books without leaving Twitter

Amazon has a new way to shop for books with out leaving Twitter.  All you have to do is connect your Twitter and Amazon accounts.

Then, when an author tweets an Amazon link for their book all you have to do is reply to the tweet and include #amazoncart. The book will be added to the cart on your Amazon account. When you’re ready to check out, go to your Amazon account and sign in all your fictional finds will be in your shopping cart waiting.

Okay, #amazoncart can be used for more than just books. As long as the tweet contains an Amazon link you can add it to your account’s cart with this magical new hashtag without leaving twitter.  

This simple little tool is going to be a great way for authors, and other vendors to sell their wares. Our marketing on Twitter usually includes a link to our books, now if a reader thinks it’s interesting they can toss it right into their #amazoncart.

When tweeting your books for potential readers, be cautious of which link you’re using. The link must be the full Amazon link or link automatically shortened by Twitter. Not a bitly or other shortened link by an outside source. Remember don’t include #amazoncart in your own tweet unless your book added to your own Amazon cart a zillion times. :)

So what do you include in a book tweet to tease shoppers?

Book title
Brief teaser such as: Tag line, brief snipit of dialog or text
Book Cover (you can upload the cover to your tweet directly on Twitter or Tweetdeck                     
                     and it will show in Twitter streams as an image and not a link to the image)
Amazon link

Here is an example of one of my book tweets…

How cool is that! Amazon has made things easier for their customers to make purchases but also has given authors an awesome new marketing tool!

So what are you waiting for go HERE to link your Twitter account with your Amazon account then get to twitter and add some books to your #amazoncart!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

7 Great Ways to Market Yourself Online on a Shoestring Budget guest post by Meet Advisors

7 Great Ways To Market Yourself Online On a Shoestring Budget (via Meet Advisors)
There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur than now. Unless you have a winning lottery ticket, you still won’t have the mega bucks a mega corporation spends for marketing. But what you do have is the Internet, with marketing possibilities…