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Offline jamielakenovels

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My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« on: July 13, 2014, 01:19:09 PM »
Although there are exceptions to the rules, from reading as many KBoards threads as I can, there are some consistent things people who are selling well are saying over and over again.  This is what I've learned and I'm sure there are exceptions but here's the list.

CRAFT
* Outline or don't outline (pantser or not), doesn't seem to matter, just write
* Write beginning of the day or end of the day, doesn't matter
* Pick a genre that sells but a story you're passionate about so you have the steam to finish what you start
* Consider using the Heinlein technique to write faster (Google it)
* Use the Pomodoro technique (aka write for 25 minutes, take a 5-10 minute break, then write for 25 minutes more, etc.) Free app here: http://www.focusboosterapp.com/
* Block all Internet or websites that distract you. Tons of free apps that can do this but the best way is to unplug the internet when you're writing.
* Write under a different pen name for each genre that you write so you don't confuse the reader

FAVORITE WRITER WEBSITES (BESIDES KBOARDS) (AKA MORE PROCRASTINATION TOOLS)
* Passive Voice (if you're going to choose one, this one consolidates all the best in one site) - thepassivevoice.com
* Dean Wesley Smith - http://www.deanwesleysmith.com
* Writer Unboxed - http://www.writerunboxed.com
* Hugh Howey - http://www.hughhowey.com
* JA Konrath - http://www.jakonrath.blogspot.com
* Seth Godin - http://www.sethgodin.typepad.com
* Gary Vaynerchuk - http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com
* Russell Blake - http://www.russellblake.com
* Beverley Kendall's Self Publishing Survey Results: http://theseasonforromance.com/wordpress/2014/01/the-self-publishing-survey-results-its-a-brave-new-world/
* Hugh's Author Earnings Website: http://authorearnings.com/
* Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast - http://rockingselfpublishing.com/
* The Self-Publishing Podcast - https://selfpublishingpodcast.com/
* Joanna Penn - http://www.thecreativepenn.com/



BOOKS PEOPLE RECOMMEND OVER AND OVER AGAIN:
* 2000 to 10,000: Writing faster: http://www.amazon.com/2k-10k-Writing-Faster-Better-ebook/dp/B009NKXAWS/
* Write, Publish Repeat: http://www.amazon.com/Publish-Repeat-No-Luck-Required-Self-Publishing-Success-ebook/dp/B00H26IFJS/
* Your First 1000 copies: http://www.amazon.com/Your-First-Copies-Step---Step-ebook/dp/B00DMIWAIC/
* Goodreads for Authors: http://www.amazon.com/Goodreads-For-Authors-Promote-Books-ebook/dp/B00BKE039I/
* How I Made Over $42,000: http://www.amazon.com/Made-Month-Selling-Kindle-eBooks-ebook/dp/B0080USSYW/
* How I Sold 1 Million Books: http://www.amazon.com/How-Sold-Million-eBooks-Months-ebook/dp/B0056BMK6K/
* Million Dollar Outlines: http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Outlines-Writing-ebook/dp/B00L7UT850/
* How to Sell Fiction on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Fiction-Kindle-Marketing-Amazons-Ecosystem-ebook/dp/B00BR6G3ZW/
* Let's get Digital http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Get-Digital-Self-Publish-Publishing-ebook/dp/B005DC68NI
* APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book - http://www.amazon.com/APE-Author-Publisher-Entrepreneur-How-Publish-ebook/dp/B00AGFU5VS


WRITING FOR THE MARKET
* Write in genres that sell (ie: scifi, paranormal, erotica, romance - and their subgenres)
* Great cover (not homemade - though I've seen some homemade-looking ones that sell well too)
* Great description
* Great first 5 pages
* Decent book (it's best to have an amazing book but even decent books in the right genre can sell)
* Expect to make sales in volume rather than hoping your book will be a breakout hit (in other words it's a numbers game)
* Write in a series (stand alone books don't sell as well as series)
* Make the first book perma-free
* Get your book at least copyedited (if not edited too) so there won't be complaints about the quality of the book
* You don't need a lot or really any reviews to sell decently and consistently
* Don't respond to bad reviews, instead consider contacting that person to ask them to beta-read your next book
* Write publish repeat
* Erotica audience is tolerant of shorter books sold at full price
* 99 cents may not always be the best price for your market
* You can be successful in non-popular genres, it just takes longer
* If you're going to do audio books use ACX.com and do the 50/50 split with the voice over artist so you don't have to spend any out of pocket money
* Perma-free may or may not give you the bounce back you want on sales. Don't expect it to. If you do it, do it for exposure, possible mailing list build ups, getting in the Also Read section, etc.

PROMOTION
* Use Bookbub to promote the first perma-free book
   and if you can't get into that, use BKnights on fiverr.com or any of the many other options
* A mailing list is essential to getting you at least that initial burst of sales that might help Amazon's algorithm's kick in (doesn't have to be huge list either)
* Writing the next book is always the best promotion because this gets you in Amazon's Hot New Books
* To Kindle Select or no Kindle Select? that is the question. Some love it, others hate it but if you have more than one book, it's worth a try. It can at least get you in the Also Read section
* Others say put the books on all platforms. Do it directly Kobo, BN, KDP, AllRomance, iBooks, Google Play <-- you can do those yourself but if you want them perma-free consider using Draft2Digital (seems to be preferred over Smashwords)
* add an excerpt of your next book at the end of the book
* add a link to your other books at the end of your book
* add a link to sign up for your mailing list
* Don't chase after literary agents. If you sell well enough, they'll come after you and so will the editors at major publishing houses.  They are searching the Amazon bestsellers list every day looking for people.  No need to look for them. And before you sign with them, do the math. Can you make more money if you continued on your own? Ask others who have crossed over what they think. Otherwise, continue indie publishing.
* Literary Agents may only good for selling ancillary rights, foreign rights and film rights. Otherwise, if you need someone to negotiate a deal, consider an entertainment or publishing attorney like PassiveVoice.com or Lloyd Jassin.
* The stigma against indie or "self-publishing" is 90% gone. There will always be the "elite" publishing snobs but most have faced reality.  Fans don't care.
* Don't put too much front matter in your eBooks. It irritates potential Amazon Kindle readers.
* Save money on covers by getting pre-made covers.
* Save money on getting your books formatted by using fiverr.com or buy pre-made templates.

TIME WASTERS
* Facebook, Twitter and all other social media is great for identifying potential readers, engaging with your fans but don't expect huge sales from them. Based on what I've read, they're not saying pull the plug on your social media, just use it when you need to.
*  If you are going to use social media, don't just post or tweet when you want people to buy a book, talk about things THEY are interested in and respond to their comments and tweets
* Giveaways will build your mailing list but you don't know if they only want your giveaway item or because they love your books.

Well, the above is the compiled list. Can you think of anything else that people say pretty consistently?  I'm sure there are exceptions to all these but these seem to be the general consensus.

These are my favorite threads on KDP:

Serialized Romance
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,184087.0.html

15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189435.0.html

A very quick, short, and dirty guide to slowly building sales
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,124433.0.html

How I write so many books: A system, some theories, and a few random thoughts.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,150274.0.html

1 Year, 100 Titles = My Results
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,162157.0.html

Book Bombs, Release Days, & Other Good Free Marketing Tips Update
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,152565.0.html

The Fiverr Ad Experiment
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,185970.0.html

Milestone: 2 Million Books Sold (now 5 million) & A Few Tips
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,160043.0.html

50 Titles = 1,000 Sales...The DWS Way
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,121594.0.html

54 Titles - My Results
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,136127.0.html

[SM Reine's] How I Sold Lots of Books this Year (and had fun doing it)
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,171330.0.html

Lester Dent Master Plot Formula + Heinlein's Rules = Full Time Writer
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,168965.0.html

[Hugh Howey's] The self-published authors I want to hear from - Pretty much sold me on self publishing forever.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,134236.0.html

Time Will Pass: Encouragement for our Lurkers and Noobies
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,177588.0.html

[Rosalind James'] What Worked For Me
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,182329.0.html

[Viola Rivard's] 4 Months | 100,000 Sales | $50,000 | and Advice
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,187610.0.html
Also Results So Far / Advice for Aspiring Authors
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,182600.0.html

[Elle Casey's] 6-month perma-free sales results on YA Urban Fantasy series for those interested - Elle Casey's analysis of the value of each permafree download
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,164086.0.html

[Edward W. Robertson's] 100,000 (Sales)
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,168959.0.html

[Elle Casey's] My 2-year anniversary today. Some ramblings and Top 10 Tips. :)
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,172980.0.html

[Russell Blake's] Sell Loads of Books - My System Spelled Out
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,150526.0.html

**UPDATE***

* Tip courtesy of VydorScope - Remember the 80/20 rule - spend 80 percent of your time WRITING, and 20 percent of your time doing all other activities. This also applies to your fans 20% of your fans are your super fans, engage with them the most. Those are the ones that will buy anything and everything you write, even if you wrote it on toilet paper. The other 80% will be happy with a monthly email or newsletter and they may or may not buy.

* Tip courtesy of ThePete - FB is building relationships with the admins of pages/groups in your niche and crafting relevant postings that tie your book to the audience.

* Thanks for the "Kindle Select" / KDP correction Jan Strnad

Additional tips courtesy of:
* Thanks Dalia
* DianaGabriel
* Rich Amooi
* Mark E. Cooper
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 05:13:06 PM by jamielakenovels »
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Joliedupre

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 01:26:35 PM »
Cool!  Thanks!  I'll save this thread.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 02:46:18 PM by Joliedupre »

Offline ThePete

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 01:30:50 PM »
Good stuff and great job compiling it all into one list. This is a valuable thread for everyone to bookmark. My only point is don't be so quick to write off Facebook as a timesink.

Building your fan page is a waste of time, sure, but FB is a marketer's wet dream with a little effort. The real "secret" to FB is building relationships with the admins of pages/groups in your niche and crafting relevant postings that tie your book to the audience.
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Online anniejocoby

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 01:31:25 PM »
Bookmarked! Thanks for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
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Offline deanna c

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 01:33:02 PM »
Bookmarked. Thank you!

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Offline VydorScope

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 01:36:33 PM »
The only thing that jumps out that I think you missed is the 80/20 or 70/30 split "rule of thumb" - Which says spend 80 (or 70) percent of your time WRITING, and put all other activities (Marketing, etc) in the 20/30 percent of your time bucket. 

Related it "Set aside 20-30% of your gross every month for for future marketing."
Vincent 
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Offline Victoria LK

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 02:19:29 PM »
 ;D  Wow!  Great post-thanks for all the work you put behind it.  Added it to my bookmarks

Offline Dalia Daudelin

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 02:38:48 PM »
Good set of tips. I do my own covers with my fiance, but we both wanted to do some kind of graphic design when we were in high school so it's a bit better than homemade I suppose.

Another tip: Tumblr is a great place to sell your books. You just need to make sure to use five tags that are relevant and will be looked at fairly often. It's also a great place to make and interact with fans and potential fans, especially if you're a part of a fandom- so if you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and write paranormal YA, or if you like Star Trek and write sci fi? Join Tumblr, like, immediately.
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Offline jjholden

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 03:16:11 PM »
This is an excellent list of helpful tips! I use the Pomodoro technique, and it works wonders on my daily word output. Thanks for this list!  :)

Offline jamielakenovels

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 03:19:08 PM »
Dalia Daudelin, tell us more about the success you've personally had with Tumblr and the steps for success, please.
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Offline Dalia Daudelin

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2014, 03:51:55 PM »
Dalia Daudelin, tell us more about the success you've personally had with Tumblr and the steps for success, please.

You can easily gain thousands of followers just by reblogging fanart, following and interacting with bigger blogs, and posting art from Deviantart (properly sourced) in the tags. For instance, if you like Supernatural, you can find fanart on Deviantart and tag it with #supernatural #spn #dean winchester #sam winchester #castiel and so on, depending on who is in the art. This will get people to follow you, because you like the same show they do. Once you gain enough followers, you can say "by the way I have this book you all might be interested in."

That's based on my experience using Tumblr for 4 years now. If you're a multifandom blog, meaning you blog about multiple things like Welcome to Night Vale, Supernatural, Doctor Who and Teen Wolf? You could gain a lot of followers and many friends that can be turned into fans.

It's not for everyone, but I like that I can actually blog about stuff that I enjoy rather than just talking about my own books, and still see a ROI. It means it's enjoyable and profitable, whereas Twitter and Facebook can be very boring.
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Offline Jan Strnad

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 04:02:08 PM »
Great list! Thanks for compiling!

Quote
* To KDP or not KDP? that is the question. Some love it, others hate it but if you have more than one book, it's worth a try. It can at least get you in the Also Read section.

I believe you mean "Kindle Select" instead of KDP.

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Online Jenny Schwartz

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2014, 04:14:57 PM »
Thanks for this thread!

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Offline Heather Hamilton-Senter

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 04:36:03 PM »
Bookmarked!!

Offline ゴジラ

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2014, 04:49:15 PM »
What a lovely collection of resources and suggestions. Thank you for sharing!

Offline heynonny

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2014, 04:49:53 PM »
Thank you, this is amazing. Clicking the bookmark...
going incognito for now

Offline dianasg

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2014, 04:55:12 PM »
Such a great thread! Decided to piggyback onto this thread with some additions. I hope that's okay!

Other Cool/Useful Websites:
Beverley Kendall's Self Publishing Survey Results: http://theseasonforromance.com/wordpress/2014/01/the-self-publishing-survey-results-its-a-brave-new-world/
Hugh's Author Earnings Website: http://authorearnings.com/
Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast - http://rockingselfpublishing.com/ - I love Simon!  :D
The Self Publishing Podcast - https://selfpublishingpodcast.com/

Some other great threads:
[SM Reine's] How I Sold Lots of Books this Year (and had fun doing it)
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,171330.0.html

Lester Dent Master Plot Formula + Heinlein's Rules = Full Time Writer
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,168965.0.html

[Hugh Howey's] The self-published authors I want to hear from - Pretty much sold me on self publishing forever.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,134236.0.html

Time Will Pass: Encouragement for our Lurkers and Noobies
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,177588.0.html

[Rosalind James'] What Worked For Me
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,182329.0.html

[Viola Rivard's] 4 Months | 100,000 Sales | $50,000 | and Advice
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,187610.0.html
Also Results So Far / Advice for Aspiring Authors
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,182600.0.html

[Elle Casey's] 6-month perma-free sales results on YA Urban Fantasy series for those interested - Elle Casey's analysis of the value of each permafree download
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,164086.0.html

[Edward W. Robertson's] 100,000 (Sales)
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,168959.0.html

[Elle Casey's] My 2-year anniversary today. Some ramblings and Top 10 Tips. :)
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,172980.0.html

[Russell Blake's] Sell Loads of Books - My System Spelled Out
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,150526.0.html
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 11:37:21 PM by DianaGabriel »

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2014, 05:31:47 PM »
Great list, Jamie. Impressive synthesis!

Offline Michael Coorlim

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2014, 05:35:34 PM »
The real "secret" to FB is building relationships with the admins of pages/groups in your niche and crafting relevant postings that tie your book to the audience.

Could you expand on this?

Offline Rich Amooi

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2014, 06:02:50 PM »
Great post!  :) Thanks so much for sharing. I would like to add one of my favorite writer/self publishing websites, if you don't mind. Joanna Penn has a zillion posts, interviews, and videos on her blog and I've learned so much from her since I subscribed to her blog postings. http://www.thecreativepenn.com/


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Offline bonbon foofoo

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2014, 07:15:18 PM »
I just made an account at Tumblr. I've never used it, but it looks pretty cool. It's like Pinterest but without the crafting and home decor. Nice.

Offline Dalia Daudelin

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2014, 08:05:38 PM »
I just made an account at Tumblr. I've never used it, but it looks pretty cool. It's like Pinterest but without the crafting and home decor. Nice.

Awesome! Just be aware that the members can be quite political sometimes. It's better to ignore it than to get into too many fights! A good way to get followers and possible friends quick is to post something like

I'm new and looking to follow people from my fandom!
Reblog or like this if you post about any of the following things:
[list of stuff you like]


And then tag it with some of the fandoms. Don't do this for 48 or so hours, though, or it won't show up in the tags. New accounts have a tag block for some amount of time.

In that time, you can go through and follow people by going through the tags or search box. That'll put them on your "dashboard" so you'll see posts by them all in one place.[/list]
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Offline jamielakenovels

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2014, 08:26:17 PM »
Awesome! Just be aware that the members can be quite political sometimes. It's better to ignore it than to get into too many fights! A good way to get followers and possible friends quick is to post something like

Dalia, I have so many questions about Tumblr, maybe you can help. OK, so I'm following a bunch of blogs of people that seem to like the same thing and I can <3 heart them and I can reblog them but there seems to be no way to comment on their posts.  How can you engage with people? 

And after you've reblogged people, followed people, tagged your blogs with keywords they might be looking for, how to you convert that into a real relationship?  There doesn't seem to be a way to directly converse with people.

I was thinking about writing short fan flash fiction for popular books/TV shows in my genre.
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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2014, 09:14:08 PM »
Awesome! Just be aware that the members can be quite political sometimes. It's better to ignore it than to get into too many fights! A good way to get followers and possible friends quick is to post something like

I'm new and looking to follow people from my fandom!
Reblog or like this if you post about any of the following things:
[list of stuff you like]


And then tag it with some of the fandoms. Don't do this for 48 or so hours, though, or it won't show up in the tags. New accounts have a tag block for some amount of time.

In that time, you can go through and follow people by going through the tags or search box. That'll put them on your "dashboard" so you'll see posts by them all in one place.[/list]

Thank you for the tip. I'll do that.

Offline dianasg

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Re: My Favorite Tips from KBoards Combined!
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2014, 09:48:26 PM »
Dalia, I have so many questions about Tumblr, maybe you can help. OK, so I'm following a bunch of blogs of people that seem to like the same thing and I can <3 heart them and I can reblog them but there seems to be no way to comment on their posts.  How can you engage with people? 

And after you've reblogged people, followed people, tagged your blogs with keywords they might be looking for, how to you convert that into a real relationship?  There doesn't seem to be a way to directly converse with people.

I was thinking about writing short fan flash fiction for popular books/TV shows in my genre.

Jamie, on tumblr the main way to reply to someone's post is to reblog it and type your comment. Posts only have a specific comment button if the poster enables them, and last I checked, commenting is still restricted to people who've been followers for a certain length of time.