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Replying to Comments with a Video on TikTok

So someone writes a lovely comment on one of your TikTok posts. Or writes something that you feel the need to respond to with your own tiktok. There’s a very easy way to do this.

Step one, first, go to the tiktok in question and click on the comments. Then, find the comment that you want to respond to.

Step Two: Then press your finger ON the comment and hold it down. Up will pop a list of options and the top one is “Reply with Video.” You will see a fresh tiktok pop up now with the comment on the screen. Simply press the big fat red button to start recording and it will stay there!

Easy Peasy. What are some tiktok obstacles you’re facing? Let me know and I’ll do some research to the best of my ability. Happy Posting!

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.

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!

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

Why Followers are so Important

Hi everyone,
As most of you know, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have some of my novels with publishing houses, and some represented by agents. Unfortunately, the way the industry has changed has really made it difficult to sell books. That’s okay, life is challenging, but the question is, how do we attack this head-on to get exposure?

One way is to promote our books. Every month, for nearly two years, I’ve been actively trying to get my books promoted on a site called BookBub. It’s been accepted twice and I believe rejected over 70X! Talk about perseverance!

That said, they have a new option where you can follow an author and if a new release comes out, you can get an alert. So, my ask is this. Would my followers on here please follow me on BookBub as well? I’m not asking you to buy a thing. You may need to sign up, but it’s a wonderful site for free and bargain books and if you love to read, you’ll see amazing authors on there.

So please go here: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elyse-salpeter

Really, really appreciate it! My hope is that with more people following me on there, they’ll accept my submissions more often.

For those authors who want to learn more about gaining followers on BookBub, you may enjoy reading this article by Christina Dodd who was a guest blogger for BookBub.

Thank you again!

The Day my Novel Got on Jeopardy!

jeopardy-full“I’ll take Thrillers & Mysteries for $200, Alex…”

So, on October 25th I get an IM out of the blue, from a friend. It goes something like this (shortened it a bit – but you’ll get the point):

Jen: Umm were you a question just now on Jeopardy???? A woman hunts for the murderer of her parents… in the mythical home of Kubla Khan…answer what is The Hunt for Xanadu !!!!
Me: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? That’s impossible… You’re joking with me…
Seriously, stop. There’s no way, they are supposed to be questions that are mainstream.

Jen: I recorded it. I will try to show you give me a few
Me: How is that possible?! You’re pulling my leg. (I completely don’t believe her. Thinking she is entirely joking with me)

Jen: I Googled The Hunt For Xanadu and yours is only one I saw! I don’t care I’m telling all my friends that I have a friend whose book was the answer/question on Jeopardy just like Lincoln Child. Lol you are mainstream now!
Me: Hmmmmmm, I’ll believe it when I see it (this conversation went on in this vein for a while – still not buying it, but man that is a great joke)

But then, I sort of freaked out. Could this be possible? So I start searching and then contacting friends who are good at finding things. Frank Tuttle (a genius at stuff like this), found a fan site that keeps track of every answer and clue. And guess what? IT WAS THERE. Not a little there. Not “could it be my book?” It WAS my book. After I caught my breath, I had to track down my California friends and family to see if they could tape it for me, since Jen’s tape didn’t work, and sure enough, it was the first question of the night. The icing on the cake would have been if Alex Trebek had additionally said my name, but it’s still okay. I mean, MY NOVEL WAS ON JEOPARDY! Here’s the video clip. Thank you Lisa Jey Davis!

So folks, “I’ll take Thrillers & Mysteries for $200, Alex.” And they got it right.

I’ve been wanting to get my books to Hollywood, so I guess you can say, I made it! 🙂

Feel like grabbing the book for yourself? It’s part of a series if you love spiritual thrillers.

Book #1 THE HUNT FOR XANADU
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1CEvEab
UK Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Cp2awz

Book #2 THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1EvXExO
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1JSRNqT

Book #3 THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1SUskAv
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1nPF6TO

Amazingly, many of my friends watched the show, saw the question, but didn’t immediately connect it was my book. It was a “why do I know this answer?” sort of thing. Though my lovely Aunt Trudy told me she knew the answer right away!

So, Enjoy! (and Jennifer – you are the bomb! Thank you for catching this for me, or I never would have known!)

Taking a Facebook Book Promo idea to WordPress

So the other day I opened up my personal Facebook Feed to allow my writer friends to put up one of their books in the comments of that day’s post. You see, I try to keep my FB feed relatively free of constant promotional book posts. Not that I won’t tell my family and friends about my writing life, but I don’t want it to be filled with that. I use twitter, my author page, google+ and other social media means when I want to post more often. For FB, I really just love to keep my regular feed filled with poignant, slice of life events for all my friends and family to chat about.

Now, I happen to have a lot of friends that love to read, and with all the millions of books in the world, it’s just so hard for people to sometimes find these little gems. Especially when I know how hard everyone has worked on these. (though I will admit, I have not read them all) Still, these authors were keen on letting the world know about their work, so I wanted to showcase them a bit more. I’ll start with mine:

THE HUNT FOR XANADU Doug CoverTHE HUNT FOR XANADU by Elyse Salpeter
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
A girl on a quest for revenge to find her parent’s killers. Book #1 of 3.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ahjL12

H.E.R.O. – METAMORPHOSIS by Kevin Rau
This is a FREE, full-length ebook and kicks off the most extensive superhero novel (not comic book) series in existence!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aUHy74

TRUST by Pamela Kelley
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
What do you do when your fiancée becomes a murder suspect 3 weeks before the wedding?
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a7kBR4

ardenARDEN’S ACT by Elizabeth Thomas
Genre: Historical Romance.
In the time of Charles II, the first women are allowed to act in plays. Arden West comes to London to do this, and finds romance and adventure along the way.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHlyjD

A TIME TO TELL by Maria Savva
Genre: Family saga
A story about love and family relationships – history repeating itself.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aJpddT

BLUEWATER DRONE by Charles Dougherty
Eleventh book in the series about the adventures of two young women running a charter yacht in the Caribbean.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aqzHzP

THOMAS TALKS TO ME by Denise Vitola
Need a Writing Muse who has great ideas and tips? Let an angel help you.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aob6sT

chrissieAMONG THE OLIVE GROVES by Chrissie Parker
Genre: Historical fiction.
Love bravery and sacrifice on a Greek island during World War II.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aJoFos

An Anthology of Pet Tales with Ann Swann’s story SNAKEMAN
It’s an anthology of true pet tales.
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/gu7mmzw

BATS by Fred Barnett
Protecting their all dead habitat from tourists. PLUS The Black Friday Shoppers
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ak4oFm

BREATHE by Christine Grey
Genre: Fantasy Adventure with plenty of Romance
The Destiny Series, Book 1 Fantasy, PG-13 Girl meets boy while trying to kill boy.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHnokR

jessieJESSIE by Rebekah Lyn
Genre: Young Adult.
Jessie is the 2014 winner of the Patrick D. Smith Literary Award for Florida Fiction. Jessie’s boyish ambition is to ride a rocket into space and he has plans to make it happen.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2an0nUK

darkTHE DARK by David C. Cassidy
Genre: Supernatural Horror
IT KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT. IT KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED. Don’t miss this two-time award-winning novel.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aDgsnL

Want to check out some lovely poems by Tracy Meyerhoffer? She enjoys writing poems about the life experience. There is something there for everyone to identify with. Funny, thoughtful or quirky, my poems are like snapshots of someone’s soul.
Check out her website: http://www.TracyMeyerhofer.com

lisaMs. Cheevious In Hollywood: My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town by Lisa Jey Davis
It’s my memoir of my fun time as a single mom pursuing a job working in Television… and landing said job!! It’s filled with funny stories and foibles ala newly single mom… and also tons of a-list celebrity dish as well… I hope people enjoy! It’s available in paperback, hard cover and eBook:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/lisajeyd-book

BITE SIZE READS by Roseanne Baxter Frank
Slightly twisted, deliciously dark really short stories for people with very little time or very short attentions spans.” Sometimes what you read depends on how much time you have.
Amazon: Bit.ly/BiteSizeReads

Please feel free to check these out and if you get a chance to read any of the books above, there is no greater favor to an author than leaving an honest review. It means so much more than you know.

Happy Reading!

The Quickest Amazon Giveaway on the Planet….

giveawaySo, Book #3 in the Kelsey Porter series launched. Right before this I decided to try out the new Amazon giveaway for Book #2. I’ll be honest, most times trying to get people to enter giveaways is so hard, that I wonder if it’s even worth it to do them.

I’ve done Goodreads giveaways and gotten possibly 600 people to enter. I’ve done FB, instagram and twitter giveaways and maybe 20 come in. This give-away you can pick how you want it to run. I gave away five books with a one in ten chance. I thought it would take all day for this to go. I put it out on twitter, Facebook, google+ and by the time it hit my newsletter folks, the giveaway was already over!

Yes, over. And here’s what’s weird. Four of the people that won were “A” names, the last name I couldn’t even pronounce, and I knew none of them. You’d think if I were first promoting to my own people, I’d know at least one of the winners, but I didn’t.

Next time I do this I’ll do a 1 in 100 chance to win. (or 1 in 300) As of now, I basically only engaged 50 people in this. Not efficient at all, and I had to pay for five ebooks, full price. (yes, I’ll get the royalties, and yes, it helped in my rankings for a spell, but it was roughly $20 for what seemed like a five minute giveaway and not even one review from it.)

I just thought I’d share my experience. Definitely something I’d do again, but I’d up the amount of people that need to enter to win the books, and play around with how many books to give away. I think the sweet spot is at least 500 entrants. Worst thing that happens is people don’t enter and you have a few books leftover you simply can gift to other people. They’re ebooks, so it’s not like the outlay is that huge.

Have you done one to great success? Love to hear.

Priorities – Picking the Most Important Ones Can be Difficult…

prioritiesPriorities: According to the dictionary this means “a thing that is regarded as more important than another” or “the right to take precedence or to proceed before others.” I’d like to talk about this.

I have two kids. I work all week. When I’m home, they are both vying for my attention and the issue is, neither of them wants to share me because they want me for themselves. If I try to do a dinner together, they balk, try to go somewhere together, they complain. So, I’m stretched. I get it, I really do, but with time being so limited I wish I could be with both of them together and have them be happy about it, but they’re not. So what I try to do is carve out alone time with each of them, a few hours here and there with just one at a time. Neither of them is completely satisfied with this arrangement because as soon as I’m home and switch kids, the other one gets mad at me again. Sigh…

Today is a tough one. One kid just got braces and he’s been miserable for days. The other has a martial arts tournament today. This tournament is about 30 minutes away and I would be sitting most likely in a gym for 6 hours to watch one minute of performing. The fact is, I wanted to go to the tournament to support her and she wanted me to watch her, but the one miserable at home wanted me to stay with him. If I choose one kid over the other, the other child is most definitely going to feel slighted. One will feel that I don’t value them enough to take the time to watch them, and the other is upset because mommy is not there to make them feel better.

So, what do you do? After much grappling, I chose to stay with the kid that wasn’t feeling well and now I’m in the dog house with the other. Her dad went instead and she’s annoyed with me. I feel like I can never win. I truly believe illness trumps all. My son needs comfort today, meds given on time so he feels better, soft foods. Priority made, but I’m still upset that I can’t be in two places at once.

It’s like that with my writing life, too. What are my priorities? Building my Social Media platform? Tweeting, Facebooking, Google+ing, Blogging regularly? Finding an agent? Querying contests? Learning how to do a mailing list? Making a treatment for Hollywood? Advertising? Book Store appearances? Creating give-a-ways? Creating Pinterest boards for your books? Signing up for a Conference? Querying media? Getting reviews?

Do you see a problem with anything in this list above? Where is “writing?” It’s not even there because as indies we are required to do everything else to gain any modem of success. I can’t tell you how many writers feel like there is so much to do, that writing has not become the main priority any longer. And they’re pained by it. They miss it, but they’re trying so hard to be successful, there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

So I go back to the definition of priorities above and realize that what is most important in my writing life has to be the writing. I find I get mired in all the rest of the conversation and marketing minutia and have to step back to basics or I’ll never get projects out.

In life, in lieu of time, hard choices are going to have to be made. Decisions are going to have to be brought down to basic needs. For family it will be “which kid needs me most at this time” and in writing it has to be “getting the words down on paper.” No matter what I do, someone is going to be unhappy and some project is going to get put on the back burner. Both are important, but I have to make a decision. In these cases, it simply means that “for that moment in time” I had to make the priority to get what had to be done first.

Tonight I’ll take kid #2, who is unhappy I didn’t go to her tournament, out to dinner alone to celebrate, and maybe later today I’ll work on social media, but for now, I’m with my sick kid and after this blog, as my son is on the computer, I’ll work on Book #3 in my Kelsey Porter Series.

It’s all about priorities and nothing about them is ever easy. Love to hear your thoughts on this.

Authors, Really, Don’t Do These Things….

postNow, before I begin this post, I need to declare that I’ve probably committed a few of these less blatant faux pas myself during my start in publishing. To a new author, you think it’s not quite a big deal, but they really are. The more you’re immersed in the publishing social media industry, the more you learn the do’s and dont’s. What irks me are not the newbies, but the people who have been publishing for years who continue to make these mistakes or these “not cool” actions. I’ve spoken to authors directly about it and many of them have listed why they do them. One told me “they were too lazy to do anything else.” Another told me that they were too desperate and figured “why not?”

Well, the why not and too lazy won’t help any of us be successful and more than that, it won’t help us with our other fellow authors helping us. So here are some things I see, some of my biggest pet peeves. If you see yourself consistently doing any of these, please just take a moment and rethink them.

#1) For goodness sake, on your author page, please don’t guilt readers, friends or family to buy your book. Please don’t tell everyone you’re broke and that you need to pay your bills and it would really help if you could purchase a book for them. This is your public author page. Be professional and respectful. It’s one thing to suggest they buy your book and explain you’ve just launched it and would love their support, or ask for reviews, promote blogs and other things, but when you start resorting to guilt to purchase? Not cool and you certainly won’t get a fan base invested in your work.

#2) Please don’t go to another author’s page and promote YOUR book or services. (someone did it to me yesterday – an author I actually know on social media) You want to tell an author you now do book covers? Then email them or IM them – don’t go to their author page and put a big photo of YOUR book or services on their page. Just not cool and you can be sure I’ll delete it pronto. That page is mine. Meaning, if I want to promote another author, I do it because “I” want to, not because someone else used my platform to meet new people.

#3) Please don’t spam your twitter followers with ONLY “Buy my book” tweets or a post about your book. Or for that matter, just post other people’s book tweets. It’s lovely of you to do that to support them, but you want to be known for more than just being a book spammer. Follow some conversations, ask questions, retweet other people. Work with the hashtags. Anything, but just spamming. Talk to people. You must do this if you wish to have more engaged fans.

#4) Please don’t ask someone to retweet your book if you’ve NEVER once done anything for them. If you don’t speak to these people ever, you don’t buy their book, you don’t promote them, you don’t do a review, don’t expect them to just do a dedicated campaign for you. And then if they don’t do this “dedicated campaign,” don’t then stalk them on social media and ask them WHY they haven’t looked at your book yet. Trust me, my reading list for author friends, which is 15 deep, comes first. And another thing, when I read a friend’s book, I do not expect them to buy and read mine just out of courtesy. I chose to read that book. My time is so limited between work, family, commuting, and my own writing that I simply have no time.

#5) In the same vein, please don’t ask another author to do anything for you on twitter if you don’t even follow them back. I have so many authors asking me to do things for them, retweet their books, BUY a book, review a book, yet they don’t follow me and have never once engaged me, promoted me or listed me. Am I petty? No, it’s a courtesy. IM me on the side, go to my web page and seek me out and email me if you have a question – but tagging me so my followers see you just to promote yourself? Not cool. I’ll respond much better privately, trust me.

#6) Please don’t send me publicly anything dirty, racist or ultra religious. Even if it’s a joke and you think the joke is funny and I’ll enjoy it. I have a great sense of humor… but PRIVATELY. But, if it’s on my public feed, I’ll delete or block it. My son saw something really lewd on my feed last night as I was doing a tweet and when I checked it, this photo was right below it. He was appalled and fled the room. I was utterly embarrassed as I stared at the blatant close-up of a woman’s naked “hooha” being “serviced.” I had to assure my son that it wasn’t my post. He didn’t quite believe me thinking that if it was on my computer, it must be mine. BLOCKED and REPORTED.

#5) Lastly, this is a biggie on Facebook and it bothers me the most: FOLLOW THE RULES ON A PAGE. If it is a tweeting page, please make sure MOST of your requests are tweets. If it is a likes page, make sure most of the requests are likes. If it is a horror blog and they don’t allow book promotions – DON’T PROMOTE YOUR HORROR BOOK. It’s one thing if authors ask other authors on those pages occasionally to help them do something because they’ve become friends and they’ve all supported each other, but it’s something else when people continually abuse the rules on a page for their own self promotion yet the admins are too kind to do anything about it.

Maybe I’m just overly sensitive. Maybe I’m a just a stickler for rules. But, I do think with the internet being so impersonal we must put the “personal” back into it.

Thoughts?