TikTok Goes Tick Tock

Yes, I have gone over to TikTok. But it’s all for a good cause — to win over readers.  I will admit it has been a bit of a learning curve but I’m game for new challenges. Here’s how to find me: @joanlivingston_author. Are you on TikTok? Let me know.

But now, I’m going to back up a bit about connecting with the internet. I can recall when I knew only two people who had email — my daughter, Sarah, and a friend from college, Fred. In those days I got internet that came over my phone line and I paid the local university $25 a year. Even the newspaper I worked for then didn’t have a website. But that whole scene certainly has changed.

My first social media efforts: I signed up for  Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve kept the first and recently dropped the second since I’m not looking for a job. Next was Twitter and more recently, Instagram. After a fellow author did a zoom class this fall on TikTok, specifically the benefits of BookTok, I joined but didn’t do much.

But fortunately our son, Ezra, who was visiting one the holidays from California, knows a lot about Instagram and TikTok, specifically how to make livelier posts via videos. As an artist and a Burner — as in Burning Man — he is far more skilled. It was time for the son to teach the mother the ins and outs, which he did patiently over the course of a few days. So thank you, Ezra.

Since signing on with darkstroke books five years ago, I’ve learned about promotion. Some of it I pay for, like Fussy Librarian and Written Word Media. On Jan. 10, BookBub will be spreading the word about my new release The Sacred Dog

Then there is the free stuff like posts on the above-mentioned social media plus what I write on my website. I try not to bore people with the “buy my book” mantra. Yes, there is some of that but I want readers to enjoy my observations about life. It’s part of my writing day.

My latest posts? Videos about a secret door in my childhood home, my talking about The Sacred Dog on release day, plus Little Libraries, trains, and waterfalls in my village. By the way, the trains and waterfalls sure has a lot of fans. I just found out the video I posted about the mini-fridge turned into a Little Library had over a thousand views and over a hundred likes. (That’s a photo of it above.) A good start, I would say.

LINKS TO BOOKS: During the past four months, I have had two book releases: Following the Lead, no. 6 in my Isabel Long Mystery Series, and The Sacred Dog, which is an independent novel although I am thinking of a sequel.

Following the Lead: https://mybook.to/followingthelead

The Sacred Dog: https://mybook.to/thesacreddog https://mybook.to/thesacreddog

Isabel Long Series, Launch party, Redneck's Revenge

The Party Is Over

Thanks to those who could make it from wherever they are in the world to the Facebook launch of my new mystery, Redneck’s Revenge. Yeah, such virtual launches are a new concept for me — one that I learned from my fellow authors at Crooked Cat Books. I held mine Thursday (Sept. 26) for two active hours although I kept the discussion up for 24 hours to allow people to pop in whenever they wanted. Fortunately, no food, drink, or a clean house was necessary.

I had a great deal of fun coming up with six contests all related to characters and scenes in Redneck’s Revenge. Just a brief recap: Isabel Long, my amateur sleuth, has her second case: a daughter is convinced her father’s death wasn’t an accident. He didn’t die in a fire at his junkyard. He was murdered. The case means Isabel gets to meet a whole new group of people, many of them on the country rough side, and hang out in unfamiliar places.

Among the contests: come up with a name for a junkyard you might own and one for a country convenience store (it is the Pit Stop in Redneck’s Revenge). Give me the name of a fictional band that might play at a country bar and graffiti you might find on a bathroom wall there. How about your secret nickname? (Isabel and her mother come up with some doozies.) And finally, if you were the newly departed, what would be an appropriate toast to you?

The prizes range from having your name used as a character in the fourth Isabel Long book — yes, there will be one after the next, Checking the Traps — and signed copies of my books.

We also had a couple of discussion prompts with no prizes involved.

I am chuffed, as my UK friends say, at who showed up. Partygoers came from all parts of my life: family, people I knew in high school and college, fellow authors, and friends. It was a worldly group with people from the U.S., all over Europe, and Australia. Thank you all.

Now for the prizes: I’ve been going over the entries. I am down to the finalists in each category. It’s hard choosing the winners. Dang, people were so smart.

BUY THE BOOK: If you love mysteries, you might love mine. Here’s the link to buy it in Kindle or paperback. http://mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

And if you do, please leave a review on Amazon (and GoodReads) to help get the word out. I would be so thankful.

A REAL PARTY: I will be doing a reading in person Saturday, Sept. 29, 4 p.m. at the Worthington Library, Worthington, MA. I am planning an event for Shelburne Falls, MA, sometime in the near future. Stay tuned.


Launch party, Redneck's Revenge

Real Book, Virtual Party

Redneck’s Revenge, the next book in my Isabel Long mystery series, gets its official launch Sept. 26. That calls for a celebration. Yes, once again, I will have a launch party on Facebook.

Those who participated in the one May 18 for the first, Chasing the Case, had a lot of fun — honest, that’s what they told me — being a part of the discussion and contests. I know I did, going back and forth with people who dropped in. Here’s a post about that: https://www.joanlivingston.net/isabel-long-series/virtual-party-real-fun/

The party starts 2 p.m. in the eastern time zone in the U.S. But I will leave everything up for 24 hours for friends living in other parts of the world and those who have a boss looking over their shoulder. I will pop in as well.

This is a public event. The more the merrier. Here is the link to say you are interested or plan to go: Redneck’s Revenge Facebook launch party

But back to those contests: I will be giving away signed editions of Chasing the Case, plus a couple of lucky winners will have their names used in the fourth Isabel Long book I will start after I finish the third — Checking the Traps. (The names of few winners from May’s party appear in Checking the Traps.)

Don’t worry if you haven’t done this before. It’s easy to catch on. It’s not really different than commenting on regular Facebook posts. And I will be giving info and reminders as we get closer.

To put you in the mood, here is the synopsis of Redneck’s Revenge:

Her next case. She’s in it for good.

Isabel Long is in a funk months after solving her first case. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then cops say she must work for a licensed P.I. before working solo.

 Encouraged by her Watson — her 92-year-old mother  — Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case.

 The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.

Could the man’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

NOW A LITTLE BUSINESS: The Kindle version of Redneck’s Revenge is available to pre-order for $2.99 on Amazon. It will pop into your device Sept. 26. Paperback fans and those who can’t wait can order the book for $10.99. Here is the link: http://mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

Haven’t read the first? Here’s the link to Chasing the Case on Amazon: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

ANOTHER THING: There is absolutely plenty of room for everyone. Don’t be shy.