Something horrible happened a few days before Christmas.
My Kindle Fire died!
Of the 104 books I read during 2021, I enjoyed most of them from my Kindle. So, opening my Kindle to the dreaded blank screen (no matter how long and hard I pushed the power button) was serious cause for concern.
Since I hadn’t asked Santa for anything for Christmas (other than a frying pan, which doesn’t really count), I treated myself to a Fire 10 tablet, along with a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime.
I ordered my new Fire at midnight, and it arrived at 6:15 the next morning (thank you, Amazon Prime quick shipping!), which saved me from going into withdrawals, panic, and major depression.
In addition to receiving my Fire lightning fast, I discovered that my purchase netted me a free three-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited. SCORE!
I didn’t wait around; I downloaded 10 novels by several of my favorite authors. I’m giggling my way through Alexander McCall Smith’s latest No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel, The Joy and Light Bus Company.
I also downloaded titles by Fiona Valpy, Robert Dugoni, and Sarah Sundin (I have eclectic tastes in fiction; I love everything from cozy mysteries to courtroom dramas to British historicals to anything WW II to contemporary suspense.)
You can probably guess how I’ll be spending my spare time in 2022!
Here are some of the novels I thoroughly enjoyed in 2021:
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
The Skylark’s Secret by Fiona Valpy
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The Sound of Glass by Karen White
The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox
The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (what would a “favorites” list be without at least one James Patterson thriller?)
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (In honor of season 1 of the PBS remake of the book, I broke out my old paperbacks and re-read the series. My favorite, though, is still All Creatures Great and Small. Can’t wait for season 2, which begins Sunday, January 9 on PBS Masterpiece.
How to ⬆️ UP ⬆️ Your Readership or Listenership
Authors often ask me what they can do to increase the number of people who sign up for their email list, read their blog, listen to their podcast, and buy their books. I recommend guesting on the podcasts and blogs of others who share a similar audience with you.
How do you prepare to be a podcast guest?
Check out 6 Tips to Sound Your Best as a Podcast Guest, my guest article in The Write Life (Tracy Crump’s e-newsletter).
Tracy was my guest on episode 62, How to Submit Stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul Anthologies.
I reciprocated by submitting a guest column for her e-newsletter. My article was a shorter version of content I had already created for my own podcast guest guidelines.
Before Tracy guested on The Professional Writer, she saw my guidelines and thought, “My audience could use these tips.” She asked me to adapt my tips for her audience, and this guest column is the result.
Tracy and I were not acquainted before we guested on each other’s platforms. She saw my podcast promo in a Facebook group for podcasters that we’re both members of and cold-pitched me.
Since then, Tracy and I have kept in touch. Because we both believe in community over competition, we mutually promote each other’s services to our respective (and closely related) audiences.
Links to Kick Off Your 2022 Writing Life
Should We Make New Year’s Resolutions?
I listen to several marketing and writing podcasts. I also enjoy podcasts that stimulate my creativity. One of my faves is Hidden Brain. The episode, Creatures of Habit, resonated with me, because it examines the New Year’s resolutions people make, and why we abandon those resolutions within a few weeks, days, or even hours. The episode examines how to break bad habits and build good ones.
Tips to Judge Whether a Writing Contest is a Scam or Legit
In episode 67 of The Professional Writer, I climbed on my soapbox to rail about The Problem With Vanity Numbers, Half-Truths, and Swollen Egos.
One topic I addressed was the myriad of questionable writing contests that authors often get suckered into entering.
If you need guidance discerning what’s legit and what’s not, check out Crystal Bowman’s column on The Write Conversation blog.
How to Set up The Amazon Associates Affiliate Program to Earn Website Revenue
We all enjoy earning a little extra income while we sleep. Joining the Amazon Associates affiliate program is a no-brainer way to do that.
I’ve been a member for years (it’s free). This Christmas, my modest commission allowed me to reduce the cost of my new Fire 10 tablet.
Amazon Associates is a fantastic way for authors to promote your own books, and to promote the books of other authors you love.
Neil Patel, one of my favorite bloggers, explains the program.
Today’s article contains Amazon Associates affiliate links. When you purchase an item via one of my links, I receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting my blog and podcast!