Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Jessie Harrell

Last night my husband and I put together our new treadmill. It's in our office and we had to move things around so we disconnected all the computer stuff. Then we had a helluva time getting the internet back up! This is why you should schedule your posts in advance... 

Anyway, I'm late with today's interview, but she's worth the wait. Jessie is an appellate attorney and a YA author. Plus she's a wife and mother of two.  Without further ado, here is the fabulous Jessie Harrell of The Daily Harrell.

Thanks for having me on your blog today, Laura! I'm super-excited to make an appearance on your Savvy Sensations feature.

Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
I'm Jessie, a mother, wife, attorney and author, who adores all things YA lit. I've just crossed the 900 follower mark on my blog and 1000 follower mark on twitter.

I see you're at 1171 followers as I post this. You are amazing! Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?

I'm just me basically anywhere you go. @JessieHarrell JessieHarrell_Author on Facebook. Can you sense a theme???

Themes are an awesome strategy. When did you begin your online platform building?
After attending a winter SCBWI conference several years ago, everyone was saying "you have to get on twitter" and I was like "WTF is twitter?" Since then, I've become a tweeting fool, you can find me blogging on my own blog and with the ladies at Oasis for YA ( and I'm on Facebook. Meeting folks in the online community has been a blast. I had no idea that people I've never met in person could be so supportive!

What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
My blog revolves around YA lit. I do a feature every Tuesday called Happy Debut YA Book Birthday, where I feature new titles by debut authors. I picked Tuesday since most books release on that day (odd, I know). I also post reviews, YA-related giveaways, and an occasional post about my own debut YA novel, Destined.

How have you built your followers? What have you done that has been the most successful?
Participating in the giveaway blog hops hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer, has been huge for me. You can make the only requirement for entering that someone follow your blog and for a $10 investment (cost to buy a book through the Book Depository), you'll grow your followers by at least 100. Note to authors: I've seen far less astounding success rates if you're only offering to give away your own book.

What have you done that has failed?
Well, on Oasis for YA, I decided we should create a Thankful for Thursday meme. We created a neat little badge and asked folks just to post what they're grateful for that week. A couple people really liked the idea, but for the most part, it flopped. Where's your silver lining, people???

How much time do you spend blogging? Reading blogs? Commenting on blogs?
Not as much as I should... I generally blog Saturday mornings, creating my posts for the week for both the blogs in advance. Tracking down the debut YA novels coming out takes a little time, but I enjoy it. The only downside is how big my TBR pile has gotten! I wish I had more time to go around to others' blogs and comment. Generally, if someone leaves a comment in the blogger nation forum of #yalitchat, I'll swing by. Or if I have some free time at work, I'll scroll through my GFC updates. I have to be honest though: just like I judge a book by its cover, I just a blog by the picture posted. If the picture doesn't interest me, chances are really low that I'll read the post. So that's my best blogging advice -- find really cool pictures to use on your post.

What else should we know about you?
Like most bloggers, I didn't think I had anything new or unique to add to the conversation when I started blogging. So I've tried to use the blog just to show my personality when it comes to YA lit. Anyone who reads my reviews knows I love paranormal romance and romantic contemporaries, but shy away from high fantasy and dystopians. I try to always find the good in a book because I know that everyone's tastes are different. So basically, I think if you like the same types of books that I do you'll enjoy my blog.

Any additional advice for our readers?
Don't broadcast your own message constantly. I had a really hard time reeling myself in when I was launching my book, but people don't want to hear it all the time. They come to read what you have to offer, not to read about your publishing journey bit by painful little bit.

Try to respond when readers leave comments. You should have a give and take on your blog.

What makes you unique?
No one else is going to approach books from my exact perspective. Whatever it is you're blogging about, you have a unique opinion. I stay true to myself and my opinions, while at the same time trying to broadcast the successes of others. I like my blog to be a happy place.

Jessie, thanks so much for stopping by. You are truly savvy with sensational advice. Well done!


AlexJCavanaugh said...

See, someone else who is everywhere!
I've never heard of I Am A Reader. Will have to check it out. My biggest boost ever came from last year's A to Z Challenge - about three hundred and fifty new followers.

Jessie Harrell said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today! I'm sorry I'm late getting to the post -- I was busy with my daughter's 7th birthday party all day. Phew! Birthday parties take a lot out of you!

Laura Barnes said...

Are you serious? My daughter had her 7th birthday party today too!

Bonnie Way said...

Great interview with lots of tips - thanks! Now I want to go check out Jessie's blog. :) I love YA novels and wrote a series of YA fantasy novels when I was in my teens... someday, I'd like to resurrect them and share them with some readers. :)

Jessie Harrell said...

You should do it! Never give up on your dreams.

Iamhrsinclair said...

Really nice interview, it had me chuckling a few times too. Now, I'm off to find better pictures. ;)

Southpaw said...

Hum, it's really me Southpaw.

Laura Barnes said...

Ha ha! You have a secret identity :)

Laura Barnes said...

One of these days I'll have to commit to that. Maybe this year....

Laura Barnes said...

You SHOULD resurrect them! And you should check out Jessie. She's totally cool :)

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