Last week Maureen shared a great post about reading and hibernation. Living in northeast Ohio we’ve had 7 snow (cold) days, thundersnow, rolling snow, and two visits from something called the polar vortex. It’s been a long January and like Maureen, I’ve taken advantage of a lot of home time with reading.
January typically is a tough month, our area is known for lack of sun and I have to be intentional to find positive things in the winter, especially one as relentless as this. So, I decided to make good use of the cold and snow and work on projects and try new things.
I thought I’d share some of my accomplishments.
- Updated my website. When I looked at it as a reader, I noticed a few things. I’d recently received feedback that the font was hard to read because it was dark. Although I wasn’t sure I could change it because I use a template, I tried anyway. I was able to change everything but the font in the title (it’s a gamer template I completely made my own.) I changed my contributing author credit page to a slideshow, and added on my sidebar a slideshow of upcoming book reviews. I also added to the sidebar a way to sign up for my free newsletter.
- Read up on ways to improve newsletters. Rob Eager from Wildfire Marketing and Jeff Goins are great information sources. I realized as great as social media is, it’s always evolving and if you count on it as the main way to keep in contact with readers/followers, you’re going to lose a lot from the changes. Email is a way that doesn’t change, and newsletters are a great way I didn’t pay a lot of attention to. I read up on Mailchimp ways to improve and decided to offer a story throughout 2014 that gives readers something no one else can get, and it shows them my writing style, Upstate NY settings, and hopefully engages them while we all wait for me to announce that first author contract.
- Created the first chapter of the story exclusive to the Julie Arduini newsletter. Match Made in Heaven.
Beth Prescott didn’t know part of her new job working with senior citizens was the constant matchmaking with their grandsons. She’s focused on making a positive change in their lives and the stream of men showing up in her office are a disruption. Dean Kellerman returns to Hammondsport to help his grandfather and regroup after a heartbreak. The two have a run-in and learn helping Walt Kellerman is the one thing they’re both passionate about. With Beth’s secrets and Dean’s past, can the two fight the obstacles and realize they’re a match made in heaven?
- Read. Read. Read. I love reviewing books and somehow I scheduled 15 between mid-January and February. Check them out!
I also cleaned the kitchen grout, but that wasn’t as much fun as the things above. Tip, vinegar and baking soda do wonders to make grout look brand new.
Has winter been brutal for you? If so, what have you done to stay sane?
By the way, I’d love for you to sign up for my newsletter. Visit my right sidebar or click here. Make sure you check your folders for a confirmation email from Mailchimp/Julie Arduini. I don’t want you to miss the first chapter in Match Made in Heaven, and it’s releasing in February.