Yes, Agents Google Writers

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Earlier this week, I met up with a fellow writer to discuss the importance of building their author platform (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). As we chatted, I explained to him how nowadays most literary agents expect writers to have these social media sites up and running before they’re published.

twitter-icon-with-books-230x299Ironically, the day I went to meet my friend to discuss this topic, I came upon an article by literary agent, Carly Watters. In it, she explains why building an author platform is so important. She also offers excellent tips for how to approach and handle various social media websites.

Yes, Agents Google Writers

Agents have changed their mind about an author after searching them online. Yikes! How do you avoid that? Making sure you don’t have websites or blogs that are ghost towns. Post regularly. And regularly can mean whatever works for you (once per week or once a day, but no less than a couple times a month!).

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Carly Watters on Twitter!

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A proud sister today – Colorado Marketing Education Teacher of the Year

Oh, boo. It’s Monday. Why is it Monday? Why, why, why?

Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, I’m on the cranky side today. However, I’m also on the proud side. The VERY proud side.

Last night, my amazing sister received a prestigious honor at the Colorado DECA state competition. She was named the “Colorado Marketing Education Teacher of the Year”. (For those of you who don’t know, DECA is a highly competitive business marketing club for secondary and post-secondary students).

1959774_10101442256478443_1975669596_nWhat made it extra special was my brother-in-law also received the Friends of DECA award for being such an outstanding supporter of the organization. And what made it extra-extra special was neither of them knew they were going to receive these awards. Well, my brother-in-law knew about my sister’s, which was why he secretly asked me and my parents to drive down with their two kids to The Broadmoor (where DECA state is taking place) to surprise her.

Not wanting to let the cat out of the bag early, my family and I hid in the very back of the conference room, way, way out of my sister’s eyesight. (Thank God the auditorium was so big, so dark, and so loud, otherwise I’m sure she would’ve heard my 4-year old nephew’s constant stream of, “Where’s mommy?” haha). Once her name was called and she made her way up to the stage, my family and I hurried forward to where she’d been sitting with her 52 DECA students to surprise/hug/congratulate her upon her return.

Listening to the 3,000 students, advisors, and other educational supporters cheer for my sister as she walked up on stage was overwhelming to say the least. I was so happy and so proud to see her hard work pay off. For years, she has poured herself–her heart–into her job, and she has always gone beyond the call of duty to teach and prepare her students for the real world. She truly deserved to be named the “Colorado Marketing Education Teacher of the Year”.

By the time my sister made her way back to her seat, she was crying (not a huge shock considering she’s eight months pregnant 😉 ). And when she saw us waiting for her (especially her two little boys), she cried even more. We all got a little weepy. It was hard not to. The tears, however, were worth it (as was the super late night and the grouchy Monday morning, haha.)

Congrats, “Sista”! You’re an amazing teacher, and your students are so lucky to have you in their lives. And I’m so proud to call you my sister!


Confession: I Judge Books By Their Covers

Guilty, guilty, guilty! I’m absolutely and undeniably one of those people who judges a book by its cover.


Look, this is how I see it: if a cover doesn’t capture my attention, then what are the chances the story will? Boring cover must mean boring story line, right?

Yes, I fully admit this is a horrible attitude. But it’s the truth. I don’t have the patience to sit and read every synopsis. I need to know immediately whether a book is worth my time. I want bright colors that pop, gloomy colors that haunt, flashy fonts, intricate designs, breathless imagery…All of it plays a key role in my decision to purchase, check out, or even borrow a book.

And, whether you know it or not, those seemingly shallow things play a key role in your decision too.

One of my favorite college courses was Consumer Behavior Studies (Don’t roll your eyes or yawn. That class rocked!). It was fascinating to discover the intricacies of the human psyche and comprehend the various factors that people consider during their decision-making process. Well, guess what? Imagery is a HUGE factor! Colors. Artwork. Wording! Each tiny, but significant detail triggers emotions and memories and desires in our brains, driving us to reach out and pick up a product. In this case, a book.

Think of it this way: Books are like flowers. The prettier they are, the more likely they’ll be plucked.


I own more books than I can count (11 shelves, one mantle, and plenty of floor space worth). And out of all those hundreds of books, over 85% of them were purchased because of their cover. The other 15% were chosen because of the author’s name/reputation, social media hype, or a reliable recommendation. So, clearly–at least for this particularly consumer–the cover is what sells a book. It’s not the title. It’s not the synopsis (I hardly even read those anymore). It’s all, all, all about that vital design and whether or not it grabs my attention.

Here is my book “plucking” process:


  1. I scan a shelf/box/table, noting all colors and fonts. Nothing else matters at this point.
  2. A book JUMPS out at me. I eagerly pick it up and inspect it closer.
  3. The author. Yes, this is important to me. If I see an author that I’m not fan of, then I’ll forsake the eye-catching cover and move on. For example, after reading Gone Girl (don’t yell at me!) I know I’ll never buy another book by Gillian Flynn. It’s nothing personal whatsoever. I’m simply not a fan of her genre and style.
  4. Next on the inspection list: The title. To me, it’s better than a synopsis. A title gives me my first taste of the story. It teases, it taunts and, hopefully, it intrigues. If not, well…bye bye book.
  5. By this point, I’m usually sold. Yep, you heard me. Pretty cover? Check! Acceptable author name? Check! Good title? Check! However, if I still have doubts, I glance at the blurbs on the front/back.
  6. And if I’m still not sold after the blurbs–but the cover is just too cool to give up on it–then I swiftly skim the synopsis.
  7. At last, I make my final decision: get the book, or not? And, yes, as I debate, I stare at the cover! Gasp!

Believe it or not, this entire process takes me less than a minute. It’s quick, it’s dirty and it’s harsh. And, yeah, it’s unfair. But it’s reality.


Now, is this a wonderful, winning strategy? No. Just like anything that’s judged by its outer beauty, a dazzling book cover doesn’t always mean a dazzling story. Ahem…


And have I missed out on some great stories? Definitely. However, if I read every synopsis of every book on a shelf, I’d literally never leave the bookstore or library.

So that’s my confession today. I believe that if a book wants to be “plucked”, it better have a cover with a “come hither” look–of course, a wink and shimmy wouldn’t hurt either ;-). Otherwise, it’s bound to get lost amongst the papery masses.