Authors doing TikTok – Use the Inverted Filter

I have joined a few author groups on TikTok that support each other by liking and commenting on posts, along with sharing tips and tricks to help each other gain exposure on this platform. After being on TikTok for a few months, I’ve learned a few things. Not that I have a huge following right now – I have all of 1795 followers, but I have learned some tricks authors should do. Tip for Today:

USE THE INVERTED FILTER. I can’t tell you how many authors are doing these really amazing videos but don’t take that extra step to allow us to see their covers properly. When you do a tiktok, it shows the mirror image, which means your book cover is backwards. I’ve gone on and mentioned it to some authors that their video is great, but they should invert their video. Some have told me it’s “no big deal.” I beg to differ and think it’s really a bit lazy, if I may be so bold to say so. If someone can’t read your title, or read your name, how have you helped gain exposure for your work? All you have to do is use the “inverted filter” on TikTok. You do that, and you’re golden. We have to do everything in our power to make our work shine.

@jera.bean has a great video that teaches us how to do this and I implore everyone to take a peek to make your videos better.

Click Here to view it: I’m going to be posting little tips and tricks that I think can help people. If you have any that you think would be helpful, please let me know! I love to learn!

Why in the World am I on TikTok?

It seems like every few months there is a new form of social media technology to conquer. I made a deal with myself that I would never shy away from technology and have made a promise to at least get on and try to use whatever platform was now trending.

My goal is not to go viral. I mean, I’m lucky I can figure out the user face of each platform. I never figured out Tumblr. I couldn’t even get myself past the home page!

But I’m on Facebook, with an author page, too. I have two Instagram accounts, one for my “life” and the other about paleo-ish recipes I make. Then there’s snapchat, which I hardly ever use, unless I want to play with funny filters. Pinterest was big with me for a long time. I have so many boards, but now I only go on occasionally. Twitter and I have a love/hate relationship. I have over 29,000 followers but get very little engagement on there. What’s the point of that many followers if no one is responding?

If you’d like to follow me on any of the above platforms, check out my http://www.Linktr.ee/elysesalpeter and you’ll be able to get to all of them.

So now there’s tiktok. My daughter is pretty big on TikTok, having gotten verified a few months ago, so I thought why not learn how to make videos? I’ve done a few that I thought were good. (though my kids roll their eyes at me). My issue, as is my issue on every social media platform I do, is that I’m not focused on one thing. I love to write, to cook, to do triathlons, to travel, to be with family and friends. It’s like my writing. I don’t write in one genre, but five!

That said, I’ve made a few tiktoks that have gotten a few hundred views and hit 1K followers, which allows me to “Go Live.” I have made a decision that on Thursday nights, at 8 EST, I am going to do a horror read. That’s where I’ll chat with anyone that comes on and after a few minutes I’ll read a short flash fiction story from my short story horror collection, Ricket Row. I did it last Thursday and read AWAKE. I have to say, the two people that were there were kind! LOL! Hopefully I’ll get a larger audience this week. I’ll report.

What kind of social media do you focus on? Have you tried TikTok yet? Love to hear.

You Don’t Have to be Perfect

I am one of those people who strives to be a perfectionist. I say strive, because I’m clearly not. I have to hire amazing editors to check my novels because my grammar is pretty terrible, I strive to “place” in any race I enter and I usually don’t, I try to create videos that go viral and I’m lucky I get a few people to like them.

BUT THAT IS OK. At least I tried. I was fortunate to take a class my job offered me, by Brian Parsley, who is a motivational speaker. Something he said really stuck with me. It was all about communication and perceptions, but there was one thing he said that stood out. “Stop trying to be perfect.”

You see, I’ll write a letter to a client for my job and I’ll obsess over it. I’ll check the wording over and over. Let it sit sometimes for a spell and then finally, after another eyeball, I will finally send it out. Well, if this letter is not a proposal, does not have rates or anything that will bite me in the tush, I now will give it maybe a “two eyeball” review and launch it to the world. I’m not going to obsess over a comma any longer. My goal and intention is there, clear as a bell.

I’m trying to use this philosophy in other aspects of my life right now. I just started taking an amazing free class on how to place ads on Amazon. I sort of stumbled upon it and in the first few days of viewing the first video, I made and published three Amazon ads for THE HUNT FOR XANADU. I’ve done some amazon ads before, completely failing at them, and after this class I learned every selection I did, was wrong. I bid wrong. I wrote the wrong type of copy, the wrong type of ad, the wrong targeting! Fingers crossed this one shows some promise. I’ll do some future posts about my experience once I learn enough to speak with a bit of educated clarity on it.

So I leave you with this. Stop always trying to be perfect. Keep trying, but don’t let that idea of perfection be what stops you from trying something new. Every single person started out as a beginner. Every single person has their own path, their own goals, and their own abilities. You be you. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others.

We are winners for just getting out there.

I Set No Goals for 2021, But the Universe Answered Anyway

When 2020 ended, I was a little worried. Every single year I set goals. My friends and family will tell you that I’m constantly striving to do things, be it train for a sprint triathlon, or write and finish a book, or do a book event, go on a trip, learn something new, take a class… you get the idea.

But January 1st came and went and all I did was go for a walk and play on my phone. But then I had a conversation with one of my amazing aunts who said, “Just stop. Forget goals – forget about putting all that stress on yourself and just let the universe answer you.” I took that to heart… for a day, because the NEXT day two writer friends who I know but don’t speak to often, contacted me on IM’s. Those conversations morphed and took me in a brand new direction that two days before I hadn’t even thought about. It was like the universe really did have plans for me, just sitting off to the side and waiting to present itself until I was ready.

So what did I do? I decided to embrace the unknown. I’ve done twitter and google+ and FB and all those social media outlets for years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop them, as they’re awesome for conversation and I’ve met some fantastic people. But the world is changing. New readers are jumping on other platforms. I have decided to learn tiktok better. I’ve decided to learn instagram reels and how to use them. I joined a private writing group that only days before I didn’t even know existed. So here is one of my TikToks where the well-know author Douglas Preston is actually promoting my book on his youtube channel. I just had to share. I’m going to try to mix the topics of my tiktoks up, between book promo posts, slice of life vignettes, food and exercising. Please feel free to follow me on tiktok here.

2021 is going to be all about doing things differently. Something new. I’m only a few days into it and going to just do things one day at a time and let the universe reach out to me to guide me. Step one will be to focus on my supernatural thriller Kelsey Porter series, starting with a “relaunch” of Book #1, THE HUNT FOR XANADU. It’s time I let Kelsey come forward again and reach new readers interested in a super sexy, brilliant woman who is more than she appears.

I’m also going to be doing a push for my YA Series, FLYING TO THE LIGHT and FLYING TO THE FIRE. I’d actually like to change the covers – I think that will really help the series get some more exposure.

Wish me luck on my journey folks, and I wish you luck on yours! Happy and safe 2021 and let me know what your plans are as well this year. I’d love to hear!

2020 The Lost Year

Hi everyone. I don’t know about you, but 2020 was probably the most challenging year of my life, both mentally, emotionally and physically. I started the year like I always do, with so many goals. I was going to train and sign up for an Olympic distance triathlon, I was going to publish a book, travel, join some new social groups.

And then the Pandemic hit. In early March everyone in NY was in a tizzy about grocery stores doing away with plastic bags. People were so upset about that, and then Covid hit. Quarantine. Life absolutely changed.

As a Gen X girl, I handled quarantine really well. My generation is super good at keeping ourselves busy. I spent quarantine outside – most times by myself, biking, swimming, jogging. I was able to keep my brain busy exercising.

I also published Book 6 in my Kelsey Porter series, called THE JOURNEY BACK. I love this book. For those invested in the series, it gives you insight into the characters that you didn’t see in the other books. One note of caution – don’t read book 6 unless you read book 5, THE SEARCH FOR STARLIGHT. Just trust me on this.

Probably the biggest and saddest part for me for 2020, was the friendships that seemed to go by the wayside. I learned the true nature of so many people. It was as if a blinder was pulled off my eyes and you could see that the values of many people were clearly not my own. I had to decide how I felt about that. Did I want to interact with people that said derogatory things? That made racist comments as if it meant nothing. That didn’t believe science? That said hateful things about the LGBT community? And don’t get me started on politics. I refuse to go into it. It’s just too darn sad. It was like 2020 said, “Let it rip folks and I simply don’t care anymore.”

AND THEN… to end this horrible year, my family of four got Covid. We are diligent folks. For 10 months we wore our masks everywhere and anytime we did anything it was with the conscious thought of safety. And yet, all it takes is one person to take down a family. This virus is rough, folks. My children thankfully breezed through it like rockstars, but me and my husband are struggling a bit. Weeks out I still have congestion and exhaustion at times. But I am taking it one day at a time and have incorporated some herbal inhalation treatments (filled with everything from cinnamon sticks and red onions and other fruits and veggies) along with juicing. It seems to be helping a little bit every day.

I have never been so glad for a new year in my life. 2021, please be gentle with us. We could use it. Be safe my friends.

Training for Triathlons – Thank you Lifetime Gym

In March, 2018, I joined Lifetime Gym. I was actually at the time looking for a place that had great wi-fi, a cafe and a place for me to work since I was working from home for my job and was getting way “too distracted.” Kids calling from school: “Can you bring me my backpack, my homework, food…” to “is dinner ready? Can you bring up the laundry,” etc. So, I needed to get out of the house and I thought maybe I’d take some classes, too, while I’m there. Figured a monthly membership was cheaper than renting an office!

It turned out to be GREAT. I’d go super early, take a cycle class, or workout class, go to the café and eat breakfast and then work for a few hours and then take a lunch class, shower and then head home, where I’d work for the rest of the day.

While there, I heard about Lifetime’s indoor triathlon and I so wanted to try it. I’d never attempted three events for a race and I was intrigued. It’s a sprint tri and all indoors, so I felt safe starting with that. I started cycling and running and (gulp) getting myself in the pool. I got a swim instructor lesson to test my stroke. Well, it was pathetic. I could not go ONE lap in the pool without gasping for air and having to stop to rest. Not one. She fixed a few things and told me to just do a lap at a time and build strength.

Fast forward 2+ years and the other night I just swam 1 mile in open water with a swim group. I can cycle 20 miles easily and can run about 3-4 pretty consistently. I’ll be honest, my sciatica flares up when I run, but I can do it. Everything is hard, but like life, anything you want to do takes work. I really don’t like to hear the word “no.” I hate more hearing “you’re getting too old to do this.” And while it might take me longer to get out of bed in the morning, and there are days my back is screaming, I try to tell this body to give me one more push. I refuse to go into old age quietly.

It’s like my writing. I’ve been working it for 14 years. It’s been so hard getting my books out to the world with the sheer amount of content out there, but hey, you don’t try, you will never win. So, to end this, if you are interested in a smart, female driven thriller series that I worked incredibly hard on, please give THE HUNT FOR XANADU a look. It’s just 99 cents on ebook. It was actually a Jeopardy! question back in October 2016 and the amazing author Douglas Preston wrote a review on Amazon for it – look under Editorial Reviews. Purchase here or even just read the first few pages for free! https://amzn.to/2EKG8fk

Ok, off to play tennis! Where’s my ibuprofen?? LOL!

How Invested My Family is in ASL from Writing a YA Book

Millneck Book Talk

When I was in college at Stony Brook University, I took American Sign Language, for two years. It was just something that always fascinated me and I thought the language was beautiful.

Many years later, I had the idea to write a book with a young deaf boy as the main lead. That is how FLYING TO THE LIGHT was born. It is about a deaf child who knows a secret so big that everyone in the country is after him. I then began to do school talks about the novel and had the good fortune to be able to sit with students at a few different deaf schools. But, I didn’t want to just go into the school and have an interpreter. I wanted to be able to speak to the students myself. So I started classes at The Sign Language Center in NYC to refresh what I had learned so many years ago.

I did a few talks, some at Millneck Manor and St Joseph’s School for the Deaf. I did have an interpreter at

Me and my wonderful interpreter at St Joseph’s School for the Deaf

both events, but I did try my best to use my skills when I could. Both of those visits were eye opening for me. While in my novel the young boy, named Danny, is deaf and does not speak, I have his entire family using sign language to communicate with him. It didn’t occur to me that a parent would not learn sign language to speak to their child. Unfortunately, I heard from the students that most families DO NOT learn sign language to speak to their deaf children. We spoke about a lot of other things, but this really hit home. The conversations really helped me in writing the sequel called, FLYING TO THE FIRE. I changed some content of that novel specifically because of my conversations with the students at these schools.

FLYING – Young Adult Series

But what is really interesting is now my children are interested in ASL and both took the language for four years in high school. And now my son is continuing his education in Deaf Studies with the hope to either be an ASL Interpreter one day or perhaps work in a Deaf School.

I’ve been written up by so many different deaf websites and I thought it might be nice to list some here so you can learn about them. Please click on each one and it will take you right to the articles.

Sharon Pajka’s Blog – a professor at Gallaudet
able2uk
DeafNetwork
Michael Thal Review

Could You Survive a Zombie Attack?

Ha! I bet that title sucked you in! But really, could you survive a zombie attack? I train for triathlons and sometimes it’s so hard mentally to keep running, keep biking, keep swimming, that I play this little scenario in my head (well, I am a writer) that goes like this, “Ok, there are zombies about a mile behind me, how fast and how far do I need to run that I can put enough distance between us that a) they don’t smell me any longer and b) I can sleep for a few hours before they lumber up to my camp?”

Swimming on the bay

I know it’s crazy, but it makes me at times go just one more step, one mile more. Another scenario goes like this… “I live on Long Island and there’s been an apocalypse and I need to get to the west side of NYC to get some medicine for someone in my family. Roads are closed to cars, bridges are down.” The fact is, I’m confidant RIGHT NOW that I can do this. I can bike the 20 miles to the East River, swim across it and then run to the west side of NYC, get the medicine and do the trek back home. I’m also pretty confidant I can do this in a good amount of time.

Creepy Horror Collection

Do you play any scenarios in your head as you’re training? For some reason, my brain always goes to the macabre. I actually wrote so many short stories this way and you may like my horror short story collection called RICKET ROW. It’s a compilation of horror tales for just $0.99. Here’s one of the reviews I just love:

DeeDiDee
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepiest Horror Compilation Out There!

I became a fan of Ms. Salpeter’s when I picked up her full length novel, The Mannequins, so I picked up a copy of Ricket Row almost as soon as it came out! Ricket Row is a compilation of horror vignettes and short stories that promises a little something for every horror reader. It is so crazily good that I read it in two short sittings, and had bedtime not been calling I would have devoured the whole thing in a sitting!

As a serious Poe fan, I couldn’t resist The Pilgrimage to Poe. It was a seriously cool take on the mystery person who is famous for leaving a remembrance in honor of Poe at his grave every year. As a devotee of Chinese food, I ate up Mr. Wong’s Amazing Wok and the sinister reason why the heroine can’t quit eating his house special dumplings. And Mr. and Mrs. Odd got inside my head and is haunting me hours later.

Ms. Salpeter writes horror with the best of authors, carefully constructing creepy, chilling, vivid atmospheres with a fast pace that takes you from shivering to hiding under the blankets in a handful of page turns. She takes the horror genre and preys on your psyche, delivering epic blows without the gore factor. Looking for a horror anthology to shake your nerves? This is it!

My next goal is to be able to run a 10K. That’s 6.2 miles. To be honest, I start to lose it at 4 miles. My sciatica acts up, but I’m determined to do this. I think I’m going to actually start the Galloway method where you run and walk at times. Hopefully I can build it up to get to that.

Please tell me some of your goals? Do they involve surviving an apocolypse or some kind? Would you survive? Love to hear!

Keeping Busy during the Pandemic

Hi everyone,
It’s been so very long since I posted. I don’t know about you, but when the world seemed to close up in March, it was as if a part of my brain closed off, too. It seemed all I could do was try to keep my family safe and happy, keep my job from combusting, and simply put one foot in front of the other.

Open Water Swimming

As the weeks went by, my kids came home from college and online classes began, I told myself I needed to set some goals, get active and keep myself busy. I had to get back to life. So, I decided I was going to finish THE JOURNEY BACK, Book #6 in the Kelsey Porter series, train for triathlon races as if they were still happening, and lose 20 lbs. Ok, I know I don’t quite need to lose that much weight, but some of the Pandemic carb load would have been nice to take off.

While I didn’t lose 20 lbs, I did lose 6, which allowed me BACK into a pair of jeans I’ve not worn in quite some time, I published THE JOURNEY BACK to great fanfare and I started Open Water Swimming at the local beach (on the bay side, not the ocean – no sharks for me!). (all social distancing in effect) In fact, this very weekend I swam my first one mile mock race in under 40 minutes. And it was raining. And there were waves going over my head. I won’t lie, I’d been scared to do that race, but I did it. The nice part was there were kayakers and paddleboarders watching us, so I felt relatively safe. I’m a “face my fears” type of person for sure. Next? A 10K run… we shall see!

Now, for those who have read the first 5 books in the Kelsey Porter thriller series, THE JOURNEY BACK will allow you a peek into Kelsey’s teen years. If you are invested in this character, I guarantee you that you will enjoy this. But, trust me – don’t read this until you’ve read the first 5 books. Too many spoilers.

I’ll start posting more, I promise. So tell me, what have you been doing this summer to keep busy? I’d love to hear.

Douglas Preston Supports Lesser Known Authors

Hi, everyone! I’ve got some exciting news. Douglas Preston, the co-author with Lincoln Child of the Aloysius Pendergast series, just did a youtube video on why it’s so important to support lesser known authors. Now that we are all stuck inside from this crazy virus, he’s touting the importance of reading…. And… he gave THE HUNT FOR XANADU a fantastic shout-out! I thought you’d like to see the video:

Check out the two other books he suggested. They sound amazing. And, please feel free to purchase The Hunt for Xanadu here! It’s just 99 cents for ebook on Amazon.