philip stephen rowlands


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What A Plonker!

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By: philip stephen rowlands
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In the immortal words ofDel Boy "What a plonker! " If you arewondering who I'm talking about wonder no longer, to quote Miss Piggy, "It's moi!". By the middle of last week I was feeling really despondant. I thought my idea of exploring the possibility of using the Google+ Community feature to create a generic template all others can use to do the same thing (a la G.H.Gaines)was one that some of you might find worth considering. Apparently not. While my good friend Eiry and Mickey Peluso both supported the idea they didn't actually join the Community. What hadI done wrong?

If you want people to come to your party you have to send them an invite right? For some reason my invites were not sent. I looked up Google+ Help, whichI find a bit techie to be truthful, and eventually arrived at this solution. It may be the way you want to go also.

I discovered that if you have a Google+ Page that Page can create its own Community.
If you haven't got a Google+ Page it's easy enough to create one. I decided to opt for my Kindle Authors Page as it encompassed writers in general and not one specific genre.

Next I created a Community - all the links for creating communities and pages are on the left hand side. It's a very simple process. Just make sure when you are creating your Community you select whether you want it to be available to everyone or just a select group as this cannot be changed afterwards.

At the last count the Billy and The Pit of Shadows Community has 13 members. I am starting to feel better already!

There is little point in establishing a community if you do not engage with your members and encourage them to engage with each other. Keeping in mind our primary purpose is to promote our book. How do we start?

IDENTIFY POINTS OF CONTACT - As Billy and The Pit of Shadows has a child as its central character there arepotentially many commonthemes we can explore from within the story.

  • School Assemblies.
  • School Trips
  • Playground Games
  • Bullying
  • Schools and Teachers.
  • Relatives I loved.
  • Childhood Myths
  • Subjects I Hated etc.
  • FriendsI Remember

There is enough common ground there to hopefully inspire engagement and involvement. Although you are essentially promoting your book you are also helping to create a dynamic community that you will genuinely enjoy being part of for its own sake.

We have all suffered , endured or enjoyed school assemblies at one time or another. Chapter Two of Billy and The Pit of Shadows is entitled The Best Assembly Ever . This affords me the opportunity to showcase some of my work and get other members involved. First I post the chapter to the community andask them to post an account of a particular memorable school assembly for whatever reason.

Eiry, bless her , has already emailed an account of what must have been an excruciatingly embarassing experience for one child. Once she has joined the CommunityEiry can post it direct. Later I will also showcase some of the posts on this blog.

There are other ways we can engage and we shall consider and develop these over the coming weeks. So if you have not already joined Billy and The Pit of Shadows why not pop over to Kindle Authors and accept the invite? I look forward to welcoming you.

"Billy stooped down, picked up a handful of gravel and flung it at Nan's window. It clattered against the glass echoing down the narrow street. Billy half expected to see the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse come charging wildly out of the night just like the Visiting Speaker had told them in assembly. Lots of children complained of nightmares for weeks after. Mr Meredith didn't ask him back, which disappointed Billy. It had been much better than normal assemblies, especially when Kayleigh Williams started to cry."

From Chapter Two: The Best Assembly Ever

Thecomplete chapter is now available in the Billy and The Pit of Shadows Community.

Next Week we consider how we go about planning our novels.