The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: (sign-ups are closed)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Google + and Google Profiles

By M. J. Joachim
There’s almost nothing worse than receiving a comment from someone whose blog you can’t find, so you can return the favor. Since Google launched its Google + feature, this happens quite a lot to me, especially since a lot of blogger profiles switched to Google + pages.

Google +

Google + is a lot like Facebook. It’s the status room, where you share what’s on your mind, interesting links (yours and others), and photos etc. It’s also the chat room, where you can engage in conversations with people.

It’s easy to link individual blog posts there, but this is not the place to permanently link your blogs, so people know where to find you, especially if you’re sharing other links from all over the web, and updating your status from time to time.

Google Profiles

Google Profiles are where you share permanent information – everything from your birthday, marital status, education history and permanent links to your blogs, websites, what have you.

People get to your Google Profile by clicking on your Google +. Once on your Google +, they have the option to click on your “About” section, which is where your blog links and other information is shared.

So be sure and fill out your Google Profile, complete with all your blog links, so people can easily find your blog, and thus be able to comment on it! You never know, it might be you who needs to return the favor if they do.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on A – Z Blog today! We look forward to seeing you again real soon!

The A – Z Blogging Team

©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: Google, Google + (does not meet threshold of originality - Wikicommons), Public Domain

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Internet Nation – d’Verse Open Link Night

By M. J. Joachim

Linking up with d’Verse Open Link Night.

Blog away, blog away
That’s what we do
Sharing a thought
Inspiration too

Never you mind
Of your passion or station
That’s how we roll
In this Internet Nation

Captured by blog hops
Oh, so much fun
Posts overflowing
We’re never quite done

Like laundry and dishes
They keep coming back
Addicting and challenging
As we build up our stack

Thank you for visiting and commenting on the A – Z Blog today! We look forward to seeing you again real soon!

The A – Z Blog Team

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Jeff Ogden, Internet Users by Language Pie Chart (April 2012), CCA – Share Alike 3.0

Monday, January 6, 2014

From Challenge Theme to Profession – A Challenge Participant’s Unique Opportunity!

Today I have the honor of interviewing a man of many talents and an awesome friends, Michael Di Gesu! His theme for last year’s Challenge was introducing fellow bloggers’ novels in his own, original way – through flash fiction. What began as something fun morphed into an opportunity though, as he is now doing them professionally.

Your theme became more than just a fun thing to do, didn’t it?

Yes. For over a year I had witnessed cover reveals and thought they lacked imagination. A cover reveal should be special, exciting. Something EVERYONE will remember. When yours had come up I decided to have a bit of fun with it. Create a FlASH FICTION intro to make it special. That’s how it all began. After those first few, blogger buddies approached me. That is when I decided to use my “intros” for the A-Z theme.

What was the response of the authors you featured?

When I “announced” my theme and asked for books to feature, the response was OVERWHELMING. After the featured authors' intros were published, their responses where almost one in the same … they were excited. Many even wrote me and told they had wished the scene I had created was part of their books. I was very humbled and touched by their gratitude.

How difficult was it to find books to fit all of the letters?

As I had mentioned before, the response was “OVERWHELMING.” I received many requests for the same letters, so I picked those who had contacted me first for their choice. Only two letters I had no books, so I had created a “Joker’s wild” pick. The two authors I had featured were picked randomly from those who wished to be featured whose letters were already taken.

Which book was the most challenging?

That is hard to say. Each intro created had to be in the style of the author, so it would be believable. But one particular book’s subject matter was a tough challenge. Kittie Howard’s, RINGS OF TRUST. The subject matter catapults the reader into a world which sadly is still part of our society. White supremacy.

Which book was your favorite?

Oh, man, Alex …. you are sooo bad. You really want me to choose only ONE! Well, if I must … I’d have to say Nicki Elson’s “D” Double header. Since I had the exclusive for her cover reveal with DIVINE TEMPTATION before the A=Z Challenge, I had created an intro for her first book, THREE DAVES. This book brought me back to the 80’s which was a very special time in my life. The music. The fashion. The people. It was the most fun intro I wrote for the challenge.

How long did it take to prepare each post?

As most of my blogger friends know, I usually escape to Florida in March and April. Once I arrived to my usual destination, there was NO INTERNET SERVICE. So, for the first time I HAD to write many of the posts in March and schedule them. I am usually a pantser, so this almost killed me. I HAD to PLAN ahead. LOL. Something I rarely do. Each post took several hours. First I had to read each author’s blurb/synopsis and study the cover. I take my intros very seriously and each must be unique and special. I don’t just rush through them. On average, I would say about four - five hours to research and write, then another hour to post to blogger. Many I had used special fonts and colors which took additional time.

Where did you get the idea to introduce novels?

As I had said in my answer. I was bored with the usual cover reveals. I totally understand the time restraints of writers, but if a an author asks me to reveal their cover, I couldn’t just slap up the cover and the author’s blurb and info. Many of the reveals I feature are the author’s first books. This is a VERY exciting time for an author, so a reveal has to be memorable!.

If you do the Challenge again this year, what theme will you tackle next?

If I decide to do this year’s challenge, my fourth … I honestly don’t know. I know my theme was very successful, but since the challenge, I now offer intros as part of my author services for hire. So I would have to come up with another unique and exiting theme. If I commit, I want to give 150 percent to the challenge. We’ll just have to see where my life is in April. I am currently working on rewriting my second novel with an editor from a publisher. But I hope to have that all wrapped up before April 1st.

Thank you so much Alex for the interview. This challenge in all honesty changed my life. It opened up new opportunities for me.

Thank YOU for doing the interview, Michael. You rock!!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of Amazon Best Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. He is the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and his blog can be found HERE