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Posts tagged “Social media

TIED (Fire Born #1) Book Blog Tour Recap Wk 2

 A big Thank You to everyone who participated in the second week of the TIED blog tour.

Got some awesome reviews, and had some great conversations. ūüėČ

Here’s how the week went:

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September 15:

Cremona over at¬†Mythical Books¬†had an incredible 4/5 Star review of TIED, and she’s shouting out the word of the continued Group Giveaway.

September 16:

Julie and I talked about daydreams and pizza toppings at Bookarooju

Aimee knows that I don’t eat Ben and Jerry’s and who in the world, dead or alive, I’d like to meet most and why.¬†Aimee Laine’s Blog

Julie and I talked about TIED and writing, and the GIveaway continues over on her blog:¬†Julie Reece’s Blog

September 17:

The YA Book Addict had another great 4 STAR review of TIED.

Crazy Four Books had another awesome review of TIED!

September 18:

The super cool, Juliette Cross and I talked Books, Baubles and Bad Boys in her guest post.

September 19:

The Reading Diaries¬†gave TIED 5 beautifully enthusiastic STARS. ūüôā Plus an interview and the GIVEAWAY continues.

TIED earned 5 STARS from¬†Happy Tails and Tales Blog¬†and I am seriously humbled now. ūüėČ

September 20:

J Keller Ford¬†and I talked PJ’s and Quidditch. Which position would you play?

Emi Gayle knows why I never snuck out of the house in High School and what color my prom dress was.

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AGAIN, Thank You so, so much to everyone who hosted, shouted, tweeted, liked, reviewed, and interviewed this week for the blog tour.

You guys are sooo awesome!

See everyone next week for round three!


You’re Not Working Hard Enough.

Via Warriorforum.com

Like many writers, I have spent the last few years trying to ‘do it all.’ Whether I’m drafting another blog post, tinkering with Twitter, shouting out to writers on Triberr, checking my Facebook profile, posting on my Facebook author page, pinning on Pinterest, reading the dozens of emails I receive daily, or finishing my novel revisions, everyday is filled to the rim.¬†In my mind, the most important of these is my novel. It’s the reason for everything else. Yet everything else seems to overwhelm it most of the time.

I¬†read¬†all day long, in one form or another. In order to write well, you must read. A lot. Preferably in your genre, although reading in general is the point. I try to stay current with the latest books, all the advice on book marketing, social media reach, blog hits, and on and on. It’s endless.

via pinterest.com

Yesterday I read an article that stated people aren’t reading less in the digital age, instead people are actually reading more. Wanting more. More to download. More, more, more. Readers want books NOW. How are they reading them all? Who knows.

What it means for writers is what concerns me. Many authors are now attempting to hammer out three….four, five books a year to stay in the game.

WHAT?!

The industry standard has¬†forever¬†been…one book per year.

ONE. Maybe.

But with the introduction, and popularity, of ereaders the standard is changing. Rapidly.

For me, and many others, that’s an issue. Besides the fact that I¬†write at turtle speed, and revise at snail,¬†I’ve worked myself to near exhaustion trying to do everything, and be everywhere. How are we supposed to do it all? We can’t. And we shouldn’t try to either.

Balance is the key.

I’ve talked about balance a lot in prior posts, but I didn’t know how to attain it. I’ve had to force myself to step back, and breathe. Step back and realize that NO ONE can do it all, and do it well. Not going to happen. Not for long anyway. I still believe that through all the chatter and advice, all the constant information flying everywhere, that our main goal as writers should be creating good content.

We can market until we are blue in the face and crawling. Put our names out everywhere and brand until everyone knows it. But none of that will matter if our books suck. Writing is hard enough without trying to master social media.

W. Somerset Maugham
Via zazzle.com

I know we as writers are a helpful and supportive group. We want to help each other succeed. We want to feel like someone else¬†gets it,¬†and we aren’t wandering around alone searching for answers in the dark. So we read everything, follow a hundred blogs, and basically overwhelm ourselves with information. Not the best mindset to have when we are trying to write an 80,000 word novel.

Slow down. Really.

I don’t have this thing figured out either, but it occurs to me that a few things are obvious.

**Write your books and write them well. No good book—no reason for social media.

**Write your blog posts, tweet your shout outs, engage. But put a time limit on it.

**Back to writing.

Remember the reason why you are doing all of this. Is it to write stories? To get lost in those worlds? Yeah? Go get lost then, and create the best worlds you can.

The other stuff at the end of the day is secondary. Important, yes, but still secondary.

So tell me, what part of this industry have you found the most difficult?

**first posted in May 2012¬†before¬†I landed the book contract, so let’s add that once thrown into the mix, things got busier. The difference? Now, I feel like everything else finally matters. ūüėČ


You’re Actually Writing, Right?

You wrote your first book. Now you’re marketing it on every social media site you can think of. Or maybe you’re on submission and you’ve chewed your fingernails to bits with nervous energy at the thought of rejection. Either way, you’ve started your second book right? Right?

The tale goes that most writers need to have between three and five books in the marketplace before they will take off and be seen. If they do at all. There are exceptions, of course.  So are you writing those three to five books and beyond, or are you putting all your efforts toward promoting your first, and only, book?

I won’t lie and say that I didn’t go into a state of panic when I went on submission, or that I didn’t freeze into a no writing phase for about a week afterwards. I did panic. I did freeze. Then I realized I was wasting both time and energy, and I continued on with TORN, the sequel to my first book, TIED, ¬†now on submission. I realized that regardless of what happens with TIED, I needed to move forward with writing. It was the only thing I could control. And if everything did work out with book one, I would need to have book two in the wings, finished, ready and waiting to go live.

The turnover with e-book technology is simply too quick. What I learned when I continued on with book two was that my anxiety decreased, my reason for writing in the first place resumed, and I fell back in love with my story. For me, that in itself is all I can ever ask for. To love what I’m doing regardless of where it leads.

Now, I won’t lie and say that marketing doesn’t scare me to death, or make me uncomfortable. It does. And I am only doing a fraction of marketing now compared to what I know will be required of me when I do publish. But even then, a balance will need to be struck. Because in order to sell books, you have to continue writing them. ¬†There needs to be something to buy within a reasonable amount of time after you’ve created a buzz with your first masterpiece.¬†So market away, submit away, but remember, this is a writing game we’re in. We need not forget that.

books

books (Photo credit: brody4)

So, what about you? Are you in a terrified state on submission? Marketing your Indie book? How’s it going?


Letting Go Of Your Novel

Bird in Flight

Bird in Flight (Photo credit: SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent))

Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity (Thank You!) knows that I’ve been working on my novel for two years. Two years full of a wide swing of emotions.¬†Now, as I am officially on submission, I feel…uneasy. Anxious. A little bit afraid.

For the first time, I’m nervous about simply letting it go.

When I started working on my cover art, I felt excited. When I received the first layout, my heart skipped. Mine. My words. My name.

The second layout was similar. The fourth and fifth layouts had me feeling downright overwhelmed.

When my first wave of edits rolled in, I thought, okay, this is doable. Not so bad. When the second wave of fine toothed edits came over with suggestions and corrections everywhere, I panicked.

Oh my god. I’m actually doing this?¬†

All those little insecurities welled up again and sat there on my shoulder, taunting me.

This wasn’t the plan, you know. You were just writing….just writing. Like always. Are you sure you want to do this? You can back out. Keep this story tucked away like all the other ones. No one has to know!

Overreacting. All part of the process. I get it. I am supposed to be putting all my efforts toward TORN, the second book in the series. I am supposed to submit the first book, forget about it, and move to the next. I know.

But…this is hard.

Just saying.


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.

Author Joanna Penn, creator of The Creative Penn, has a wonderfully inspiring post on her blog this week. Recommended Book For Creatives: Turning Pro By Steven Pressfield This is a must read post by Joanna as well as a must read book, The Art of War being the prequel.

Anne R. Allen’s blog this week features a post by her co-blogger Ruth Harris. An interesting and humorous read.¬†11 Reasons Writers Get Rejected—And Why Only 3 Of Them Matter

Indie Author Lindsay Buroker has an informative post up on her blog.¬†Is It Harder Today for Self-Published Authors to “Break-in” at Amazon?


The Indie/Trad Debate. Why Are We Still Talking About This?

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

It occurs to me after reading yet another scalding blog post by another¬†author who is upset by the current state of the publishing industry, that we as a whole of writers need to stop engaging in the ‘who’s on the right or left side of the fence’ argument.

I know that we all get emotional and heated up and mad. It keeps the fire burning. It fuels the “I’ll show¬†them!”¬†mentality on both sides. By my god, this topic is OLD. And frustrating. And Petty.

So why, why are we still talking about it? Why are we still reading scathing posts that are meant to infuriate?

You wanna go Trad? GO TRAD!

You wanna go Indie? GO INDIE!

Who cares? Other than you, the author, it’s no one’s concern. No one’s business. People will always judge. Fact of life.

Your choices in publishing don’t need to be defended. Nor should anyone’s choices be ridiculed.

So let’s all shut up about who’s wrong and who’s right. Not all trad books are glazed in gold and not all indie books suck. Stop drawing an imaginary line in the imaginary sands of no where land. It doesn’t exist. Stop with the professional vs. amateur argument about indies ‘settling’ for second best because it’s all they could get vs. trads clinging to their sinking ship waving their credentials high above their heads.

Readers don’t care. This is a writers argument.

Readers want good stories. That’s it.

Self-pubbed, trad-pubbed. They don’t care.

Writers need to write good books and channel them in whatever direction they choose. Fact is, some writers are control freaks and the thought of giving up rights throws them into a backward tail spin. Others cannot fathom the idea of going it alone. They want the support that trad publishers provide.  There is no right choice. There is no wrong choice.

Are we all really going through the headaches of creating worlds and characters and plot lines to turn around and¬†waste our precious time and energy demeaning other writers for the choices they make regarding how to publish? Really? That train of thought boils down to envy, jealousy… and FEAR. Let it go.

Write good books and leave the complaints at home. Spill them out there. To your dog. Or your cat. We are all wasting time yapping and pointing fingers. Not to mention making asses out of ourselves.

Our little blogosphere of writers here online—it’s not so small. We have a world-wide reach and those who are always gripping make the lot of us look bad.

Good day my fellow writers. Write On. Publish On. And remember the wise words of Author Chuck Wendig, “Try not to suck.”


Still Focused On The Quantity? Quality Is Where It’s At.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Are they your social media goal? Build higher numbers (fans, followers) and hope they equate to higher book sales?

Friendship.

Friendship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m raising my kids by a few beliefs I hold true. One of the biggest: Quality over Quantity. Every time. For my kids I relate it to friendships. A few real friends trump a lot of fake ones.

Social media is no different. It isn’t about the numbers, it’s about the connections. I believe a lot of writers have become too focused on the wrong side of the coin. Stats.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone that I’m miss social. I’m the opposite of that. So it’s difficult for me to reach out to everyone who friends or follows me. But I always reach back to the ones who speak up and draw me out. And to those people, I am extremely thankful.

And here in lies my point. Connections equal friendships. And friendships reward us as writers and as people.

I make it a point to support the friends I’ve made online. I shout out to them on Twitter, I retweet their tweets, ¬†and support their books. I don’t do it because I feel I have to as part of my daily social media routine. I do it because I¬†want¬†to. And it’s reciprocal. It feeds those quality connections and comes back to me as a reward. It’s karmic.

Engagement is the key to real connections. If you read a blog post that resonates, say something. Like it, comment, tweet it, ping it, whatever, but engage. It matters.

Us writers, we’re a needy breed. We like pats on the back. And we aren’t generally telepathic, so we need to be told we’re saying the right things. It gives a sense of accomplishment and reminds us that we are on the right path.

Communicate. With words. We like that.

Pay it forward. Right?

How about you? What do you need from your writing community to keep you moving forward?

Links you may be interested in:


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.

Here are this week’s links on writing and social media.

Author Kristen Lamb’s Blog,¬†Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage?

Author Chuck Wendig,¬†25 Ways To Fight Your Story’s Mushy Middle

Author Lindsay Buroker, What Does It Take to Become a Full Time Indie Author?

Author Anne R. Allen,¬†Slow Blog Manifesto…and 8 Reasons Why Slow Blogging Will Help Your Career


Don’t Listen To The HYPE. (It’s All In Your Head)

After I posted my novel cover, and publication target date, to all of my social media sites, I felt a combination of relief, trepidation, and…naseau.

Truth — Besides the writing community and my very close friends and family–No One knew what I’ve been doing for the last two years. Why?

Fear.

Fear of what people will think, what they’ll say.

All that crap that means absolutely nothing. 

I mustered the courage to send my cover photo to a few friends and family, and went ahead and bit the bullet and posted it on my personal facebook page. Sad thing—that scared me more than anything else. Great thing—the response was overwhelmingly positive. And still somehow, I’m uncomfortable when my friends say, “I can’t wait to read your book!” or “That is so awesome, Laney!!”

I love them. Every one of them, for supporting me. But… I also understand what it feels like to put your soul into something and have that little devil sitting on your shoulder. The one who says, What are you thinking? You really think you can pull this off? Seriously?

As a former classical dancer, I know what it means to walk on stage and swallow fear. I’ve done it more times than I can count. After a while, it becomes old hat.

As a Chef, I know the feeling you get when someone sends something back to the kitchen because they hated it, or it was under cooked, or over cooked, or who the hell knows why. It stabs you a little.

And as the daughter of a Fine Artist—I know what it feels like from the other side of the street too. My mom has always said, “Not everyone will like, or even understand what I do. I don’t care. I’m not painting for them.” ¬†And she’s right.

Grab support where you stumble upon it, but don’t expect to find it if you go looking. That’s not what this is about. If you’re writing for the hopes of fame and fortune, pats on the back and great reviews, you’re writing for the wrong reasons. Write for¬†you.¬†Dance for¬†you.¬†Paint for¬†you.

The ONLY person you need to convince of your talent, your drive, your passion—is¬†you.

Just don’t buy into the hype.


A Week in Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. The talk is swinging back around to the topic of Publishing. Here are this weeks links:

Author Nathan Bransford talks about The Biggest Challenges in the New Era of Publishing

Author Anne R. Allen once again has a fantastic post¬†Indie or Traditional Publishing? Don’t Take Sides Take Your Time

Author Kristen Lamb¬†Big Six Publishing is Dead — Welcome the Massive Three

Author Bob Mayer Aggressive vs. Obnoxious in the Land of Publishing

WRITE ON, WRITERS!