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Winter Author Blog Challenge – Writing Prompt #14 and Recap of Day 13

Master of the Social Network Universe!

We’re winding down the Winter Author Blog Challenge, and I’m very pleased to announce that there are 7 people in the race for the overall grand prize: ALL of the giveaways for all 15 days + a $25 gift card to the bookstore of your choice. On a pro-rated basis, I think we’re ahead of last year, in terms of people completing. Of course, it’s about half the duration of last year’s Challenge! TIA BACH, please check your postings if you want in on a chance to win – I show you missing a couple.

HELP! I NEED YOUR INPUT. We’ve still got 2 days to go in the Winter Author Blog Challenge (by the way, Old Man Winter decided he was need your thoughtsfinished with Arizona today. We went from 57 on Saturday to 74 on Monday to 89 on Wednesday!) and I’m already starting to get questions about the NEXT Author Blog Challenge. So I need your input. My plan is to host it in August – this will be a REAL Challenge: 31 days! I am inclined to reprise the questions from the inaugural ABC last summer – but they will be repeats for a good number of you.

Please comment below (or email me) to offer your input.

(1) Would you participate if we reprised the prompts from last year?

(2) Would you prefer a 26-day challenge where the prompt each day is simply to focus on a word for that day’s letter of the alphabet? For example, on the 7th day of the challenge, your post would have to focus on a word that started with the letter G.

(3) Do you have suggestions for prompts related to authoring, writing, or publishing that we haven’t covered yet? If you are new this time around (or are just watching but not participating yet), what kinds of prompts would you like to see for the next Author Blog Challenge? If you’d like to review the prompts for the inaugural Author Blog Challenge, you can find them under the FILES tab on the ABC Facebook page.

Thanks, in advance, for your feedback!

So we had a very mixed response about the prompt concerning Ning. Here it is:


What if you could create your very own Facebook? A social networking site that you run, based on your interests and whose members must abide by your vision, goals, and rules? Guess what, WABCers – you can do just that through Ning.com! I know – it’s crazy. Here we’ve spent the last 12 days talking about other social media platforms, and now your kooky leader is bringing up the idea of hosting your own network. There are drawbacks to be sure. T-I-M-E being chief among them. But if you have a special interest and haven’t found the perfect social site yet, Ning offers you the mechanism by which to create your very own social network. Ning has other benefits, though – chief among them being numerous sites on all sorts of topics that may attract your target readers. Are there any circumstances under which you could see yourself creating your own social network? Take a spin around the Ning Directory just to see what else is out there. Much like blogs, you’ll find half-abandoned Ning sites (ahem … I have one of those) and thriving sites. Are you inspired? Could you find time to visit one or two in your genre just to see if hanging out might be worthwhile? And by all means, if you already have a Ning site, share the link with us!


MELISSA KHALINSKY. If you’ve known me for years, then you’ll know I used to run my own forum. It was a lot of time and it’s put me off a lot of forums… I don’t participate much in the ones I’m a member of, though I know this will need to change.

Since I’ve been a forum owner, I know how valuable forums of all sorts can be for promotion. There is quiet promotion through filling out your profile and your signature, and louder promotion by posting about your book, website or business. READ MORE HERE.

KEBBA BUCKLEY BUTTON. But Sabrina ran the seminar as [a series of] webinars, with all the practice on Ning.com. We learned to post photos and construct bios of all different lengths. We learned to design our own page and edit photos. We learned to define our brand and how to be friendly with people in our Ning community without talking business. We learned about blogging and blog posts. We learned to organize our bios, photos, and social media to-do’s on our desktops, in a Social Media folder. We read topics on the Ning site and did homework and posted our creations. READ MORE HERE.

SANDI TUTTLE. [Ning] is a BUSINESS. It is not a part-time hobby. You can easily spend 80 hours a week building and growing a site like this. You will encounter needy people who suck the life out of you that you have to cut loose. You will encounter selfish people with no boundaries who will have to be blocked for the good of the rest of your network. You will get venomous emails about things you consider trivial, and you will spend hours dealing with these details – all while the real work of your site is sitting waiting to be done. It will take every drop of your energy, imagination and time. You will end up meeting amazing, magical, wonderful people and you will meet representatives of the Evil Empire. Your site will become the Dictator of Your Universe. IF your site is a success. READ MORE HERE.


Revisit the Mister Linky site to see links to ALL of DAY 13 posts.


Congratulations to Kebba Buckley Button, winner for Day 13 of the Winter Author Blog Challenge. Kebba has won the special report, “29+ Places to Market Your Webinars, Teleseminars and Live Events” from Teresa Beeman . This directory lists, in alphabetical order, more than 29 places to submit your events, along with information about the sites themselves. You will: Save time spent on market research Get in front of more potential buyers Promote the easy way Increase your attendance by leaps and bounds Learn the requirements set out by each site; get the details on whether each service is free or bee-based; and get a listing of what each service provides. The Directory has been endorsed by well-known internet professionals like Kathleen Gage, D’vorah Lansky, Terri Z of Solo-E, Sue Painter, and others.

Thanks to Teresa for this donation! We’ll email Kebba with info about claiming her prize.


Just a few more posts to go. Onward, with the Day 13 writing prompt for the Winter Author Blog Challenge…


OK, some might compare today’s prompt to yesterday’s – but they are different. This one is a little more creative than necessarily practical. Your answer doesn’t even have to be physically plausible – the goal is just to have a little fun, now that you’ve worked so hard for nearly 2 straight weeks! Here’s the question: If you could create a social media platform that doesn’t exist yet, what would it look like? What would it do? How would you use it to promote your books as well as those of other authors you know/like?


In order to qualify for today’s drawing, you MUST post your link on our Linky. Click the image below to access it. In the field that says YOUR NAME, you write your name AND the name of your post (not the title of your blog). In the field that says YOUR URL, include your link to TODAY’s post. Your post will not count for drawings and toward overall winner if you do not add your link to the Linky page. However, we still encourage you to share your posts on the wall for the Author Blog Challenge Facebook group.

As we near the WABC finish line, we continue to encourage you to read each others’ blogs. The Author Blog Challenge works because you support each other by reading, promoting, sharing, and talking up the great posts you come across from your fellow participants.

Let the blogging continue!

Laura & Marcie


The Winter Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Feel free to download your copy of the Write | Market | Design special report, “Social Media for Authors.”

SM for authors special report