Tag Archives: Facebook

Where I hangout when I want to be #social; #MFRWauthors

Until I became a professional writer ( and by that I mean, one who writes full time and actually gets paid! Yippie!) the biggest social media presence I had was on Facebook, and then it was only because my daughter was away at college and on it, and I wanted to ensure she was okay. And of course by okay I mean that I stalked her posts! She knows this so I’m not worried she’ll be mad at me.

But when my first book was contracted, the publisher suggested – heavily and often! – that all their authors needed to have a very visible social media presence to garner sales and book promo, since they did relatively little in the way of book promotion. It was all on my back. If I wanted my books to sell, I had to get the word out there, so I became a social media junkie.

I joined Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, Google+, LInkedIn, and of course I made my own Facebook author page in addition to my personal page I use for friends and family. In addition to Instagram and Snapchat. Oh, and how could I forget? My own website that I use for announcements and blogging 4-5 times per week.

And with the arrival of Tribber, well, I’m there, too.

Keeping these sites updated takes a lot of time… a lot of  time. Let’s read that again so you get it: A LOT OF TIME.

Time I could spending, well, writing!

One of these days I’m going to be rich and successful enough to hire a publicist and let her take care of all the updating. Ahhh….. to dream.

Here’s where you can find me most of the time when I should be writing books and not updating you on my life:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

and since this is week 15 of the #MFRWauthors 52 week blog challenge, click on some of the names below and see how they’re faring with all this social media stuff.


 

2 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research

Lessons I’ve learned about being a published author.

I found out my first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, had been contracted for publication while I was attending the 2014 RWA conference in San Antonio, TX. Shocked, thrilled, and terrified, I thought the hard part – finding someone willing to publish my novel – was over.

Yeah, not so much.

Lesson one: it’s not over when you type THE END. It’s just the beginning…

the end

After I signed on the dotted line, the real work began. I’d been published for years in literary fiction anthologies and in non-fiction magazines and periodicals. The literary magazines accepted the work as is, the non-fiction articles were sometimes reworked and refined by editors to allow for spacing considerations. My point is that it was someone else’s job to get the piece publishing presentable.

Not anymore. Welcome to the world of book fiction.

Lesson two : the hard work starts after you contract for publication…

the end2

My first book went through 3 rounds of edits between my editor and myself before it was sent to galleys for actual publication. And even after it went out to the copy editor, there were still some changes that needed to be made. I was ready to rip my hair out at one point. All I kept thinking as more and more edit suggestions came my way was, “Why the heck did they want this if it needs so much work??”

Lesson three: Editors are the most underrated and undervalued people on the publishing food chain…

the end3

All editors are good at their job – they have to be. But the ones who are truly great make a good book even better. They find the little twists and turns of a phrase, or a word change, or a sentence deletion that is key to making the reader want to read more.

My editor is one of the great ones.

Lesson four: you should have taken marketing classes in college…

I will admit this freely – I was unbelievably naïve when I signed that first contract. I thought the publisher was going to do all the marketing necessary to promote my book, get it on a best-seller list, and generally skyrocket me to fame.

Yeah, AGAIN, not so much!

The minute your book is contracted and the editing begins, you need to start promoting it. Often and everywhere. FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, your website, blog tours, newspaper press releases, your Aunt Maimie’s bridge club. Anywhere, everywhere, and as often as you can, so that when you finally have a release date, the buzz about the book will have started, grown to fever pitch and resulted in so many pre-orders your head spins.

Lesson five: before the first book hits the shelves you’d better be working on, or done with, book #2…the end5

As a writer you can never – NEVER – rest on your laurels. It is a true axiom of publishing: you are only as good as your next book. So while you are doing all that dreaded marketing, take time each day and write…write…write. I had book two on my editor’s desk before book one was released. Same for book 3. Keep ‘em coming.

Lesson six: you need to take time to breathe and enjoy…

 Yes, I was overwhelmed, naïve, frustrated and generally anxious with the release of my first book. But I was also thrilled at having my dream – finally – come true. It was a long road for me to book publication. I was 54 years old when the first one came out, a time when most people are starting to look toward the end of their working life. Not me. Mine was just beginning and I wanted to savor every moment of how it felt to hold my first book in my hands; see my name in print on the cover of a book I’d penned; sign my first autograph on a copy someone had actually paid cash-money for! Don’t let anything ever take away or overwhelm you from that sense of wonderful, soul-soaring achievement you’ve accomplished.

the end 4

My fourth book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS was released on March 11. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed this time because I knew the basics. Promotion and marketing were all lined up and ready to go, I pre-ordered by print copies so I had them ready, and a book signing was waiting for me.

But the anticipation, the soul-empowering elation of having a book actually published was as spine tingling and heart-stopping as with that first one. And I think it will continue to be that way each and every time.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Family Saga, First Impressions, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Power = Social Media

I freely admit to all who ask that I am no  techie-savant. I don’t have the gene instilled in my DNA like the kids these days do; I find most factors related to computer knowledge NOT to be intuitive to me; and the term “User Friendly” has no baring on my capabilities. So when I entered this wonderful world of  published author-dom I had to learn how to be effective on social media in order to self-promote myself and my book.

It has been a loooooooooooog journey.

Initially when my website went live I – in my naivete –  thought, “If you build it, they will come.” Yeah, no. You not only have to possess the site, you must introduce it to the masses and keep doing so in order for your site to have traffic and stay relevant. This is the cyber sphere’s version of Word of Mouth.  Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. So, to do this I started listing my recent blog entries on facebook .This helped…some. It was my daughter who suggested I start using Twitter, google+ and Pinterest to broaden my approach. This is one of the reasons I keep her around: her marketing brilliance.

Again, this only went so far because you can’t tweet/face/post/pin/google just ONCE during the day. You have to do so repeatedly to compete with the nine gazilliongillion other posting/tweets/etc uploading every millisecond. One of my New Hampshire RWA sistahs likens Twitter to a  “drive by shooting.” Kids, I just don’t have time to stop what I’m doing every hour and post something new. Not only is it time sucking to do this, my memory isn’t what it used to be ( frickin’ menopause!)  and I forgot more times than I remembered to post.

Again, brilliant baby told me about a program that could help called HootSuite which allows you to schedule all your postings on social media sights so you can basically click it and forget it. ( Ron Popeil reference, anyone?)

Again, who knew??

I use Hootsuite everyday. It’s one of the first things I do when my insomnia drags me from bed. I set up Twitter, Facebook author page, Instagram and Pinterest post/alerts for alternating hours of the day. I spend from 15-20 minutes doing this in the morning and then basically forget about it the rest of the day, enabling me to devote my time to what I want to do, namely, writing.

My life is so much better now since I don’t have to worry about getting on my social media sites every 30 minutes. Don’t get me wrong – I still check stuff during the day. I love to retweet posts from authors I know, and God help me, I need to see what’s going on on facebook, but as far as my marketing promos go, Hootsuite has been such a blessing.

Check it out and see if it’s for you. It’s free, easy ( must be if I can do it!), convenient and non-time sucking.

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, RWA, Strong Women

A new experience…

I’ve said many times on this blog how taking a risk or having a new experience is a worthwhile endeavor and yesterday I talked the talk, walked the walk. I participated in my very first Facebook release party. It was last minute thing. I was asked because one of the authors couldn’t make it so, my NHRWA sistah Susan A. Wall asked me to fill in and I was happy to.

Those 30 minutes went by faster than a speeding bullet (a head nod to Superman here!)

Apparently, a very large group of readers, fans, and fb followers attend these sort of things. Who knew? 

I had to ask a few questions, answer a few, and give something away, because we all know folks like freebies and giveaways. ( Shameless self promotion coming) I’m actually doing a giveaway right now of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME on Goodreads. Here’s the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/138470-there-s-no-place-like-home

So, anyway. It felt good to connect with some new people and to experience this new fangled way of promoting my work. This just solidifies in my mind that Social Media has changed the world. And the future. I simply can’t imagine ever going back to the old fashioned ways of promoting things like sending out postoffice mailers, flyers, postcards. Having book premier cocktail parties ( expensive!!) seem to be a thing of the past as well.

One thing that will never go out of style is meeting the fans, the readers, the people you write for. Giving a talk at a local library, visiting a book group, volunteering to be a guest lecturer at a school, even doing a physical book signing at an actual book store are all things I want to keep doing to promote my work, and will.

That’s a promise from me to the people who read  and support what I like.

But this virtual stuff is pretty cool, no?

9 Comments

Filed under Characters, Dialogue, New Hampshire

I need more time and less interruptions…

I never seem to have enough time in a day to write the way I want to write.  Make that, write the volume I want to write.

When I’m in the zone, I can sit at my laptop in my writing loft for the entire day and not do anything else but compose. If I am uninterrupted by phone calls, tweets and email announcements, I can pretty much chug along for the whole day. The longest I’ve ever gone is a solid 12 hours with a bathroom break every 2 hours to rid myself of the Diet Mountain Dew I imbibed like it was water.

Kinesiologists will tell you I am probably doing severe  damage to my legs, spinal cord, and butt from sitting in a dependent position all day, and there’s probably some truth to that. When I do get up I tend to be uberstiff and need to stretch all my long muscles to keep them from cramping.

But after I see the volume I’ve typed – the page count that’s been birthed – I know I can live with some muscle cramps if it means I am producing good work.

I hate to be interrupted.

I. Hate. It.

Especially when I am going along a great clip and the dialogue is flowing like pearls from my lips – yes, I speak aloud my dialogue when I write to make sure it sounds correct and like english – the descriptions are all dead on and the exposition isn’t filled with purple prose and platitudes. The plot is moving forward, the characters are growing appropriately and learning from scene to scene.  It feels good, this sense of accomplishment I get when the pages are racking up. I feel like I am putting together a coherent story  that can be followed by the reader, and – hopefully – liked.

But then reality sets in.

The door bell rings and it’s the hot UPS guy with a delivery. The phone pings and it’s a caller I have to talk to, not a telemarketer I can ignore. Dinner time rolls around and I have to cook for the family, not make reservations again for takeout or going out.

Twenty-four hours seems like a lot of time to a writer, but consider the time used in sleeping, eating, working ( if writing is not your means of support) family obligations, and anything else that can literally remove you from your word program. After all that, 24 hours isn’t so much.

If I get a solid hour or two on a working day, at least it’s something. On my days off, I strive for much more.

Sometimes I hit that goal, most times, not.

So, since I can’t wring out more than 24 hours in any given day, let’s try this instead: I won’t answer the phone – in fact I’ll put my cell to silent and then just check on it periodically. I’ll get all the chores of daily life done first and then devote the rest of my freedom to writing. I won’t answer emails, troll Facebook, or update my Twitter feed while I am writing. I will let it all go sideways, and straighten it out when I am done creating.

Sound like a plan?
Yeah, a really hard one to carryout…..sigh….

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges

Effective Habit IV: Marketing wisely

If you listen to anyone under the age of say, 25, they will tell you Social Media rules the world. People meet, date one another, share info – personal and not – buy things, and generally live by their media outlets. Most of these outlets are as easy to get to as typing in a few keystrokes into a cell phone, which is, literally, at the ready and with you all the time now. Words like Retweet, Like, PinIt, Hash-tag, are all now vital parts of our vocabulary. Using social media is also a way writers can get the word out about their most recent creations.

In multi-published author Barbara Wallace‘s article Seven Habits of Effective Writers in the June 2014 RWA magazine Romance Writers Report, habit no. 4 makes the case that writers who write effectively – meaning they get a lot of writing work done – use social media tools and marketing judiciously. They don’t jump on every band wagon out there and send off daily updates on blogs, websites, Pinterest, Twitter and GoodReads, to name a few. They aren’t trolling  review sites, writer blogs or shopping on Ebay.

No. Effective writers WRITE. They use their time to put words on the page. Yes, they market what they’ve written. When the bottom line for publishing houses and even self publishers is sales, you have to get the word out about your new opus. But the point is, you don’t need to be doing this as a full time job. Your job is to write.

Some mega-published authors are lucky enough to have people who work for them who will do all this marketing/media for them. From my mouth to God’s ears this happens to me someday. Establishing some sort of presence on social media appears to be a very effective way to drive buzz about your work. Even if two or three friends “share” your news with their other hundreds of “friends” – friends you don’t necessary have – that’s a few hundred more people who know about your book then did this morning. If you send out twitter alerts on a regular basis and ask followers  to retweet to their followers, well, there’s that domino effect again.

Before cell phones ruled the world, marketing consisted of advertising in magazines, on tv, on the radio. Authors were sent on multi-city book tours to promote, talk about and sell their books. Now, you can do several web interviews in a day from the privacy of your living room, or even guest host on a blog site, which I did just last weekend. The opportunities to get the word out about your writing is so much easier than it ever was due to the advent of Social Media.

Using it in a wise and shrewd manner is another effective habit that I am going to adopt, because really, my job is to write! An I would rather be doing that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, research, Romance, Strong Women