Tag Archives: Social Media Engagement

Something new…part 2

Last week I wrote a blog post about a new marketing strategy  I’ve adopted to connect with new readers ( and old ones, too!). Facebook Live Videos. 

If you know one thing about me, you know that I absolutely cringe when I see myself on film and hear myself on audiotape. A perpetually scratchy, whiney voice plus a really crooked face are the reasons I never went into the performing/visual arts. In all honesty, people would have paid me to NOT speak.

But….

In this ever-changing-by-the-minute publishing industry I am now immersed in, I need to not only frequently connect with the people who are already reading my books, but with new readers who haven’t heard of me yet. To that end I’ve been taking a month long author marketing class. It was here I first heard about author facebook live videos for promotion.

 

Now that I’ve started doing the videos, the next step, according to the marketing guru I’ve been listening to, is to find alternate ways of promoting them. Facebook is great, but you want to increase traffic to those videos, and not have them seen by just the people who are already your “friends” nor do you want to solely depend on those friends to share the vids with their friends who might not be your friends.

Confused? Think how I feel.

Next step, then, is to offer them on a bigger, wider, platform. Well, what platform for videos is bigger and wider than You Tube?

Yup, peeps. I’ve become a You-Tube queen. I actually, freely, and of my own volition, put my crooked mug – my videoed crooked mug – on display for all the world to view and comment on. Butterflies have nothing on the nerves flapping in my stomach.

But I’ll be honest and tell you that first video I did had more hits, likes, and shares than any  post I’ve written or put up in over a year, so yay for that!

I’ve added the youtube link to my “find me here” spiel at the bottom of most of my blog pieces and I’m hoping that people who have no idea who I am click on that link if they read one of my  posts.

It seems that the marketing and promo end of the publishing-a-book-business is never going to end for me, so I’m trying to embrace it as best  I can. And I’m smiling while I do it. Well….trying to smile and not cry, at least.

 

If you’re looking for me, here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Romance

Introducing…..

Okay, that was a fake-out! You probably thought I was introducing you to someone, didn’t you.

Sorry, not sorry. I just couldn’t figure out a way to do this without having to post. Anyhoo.

I have another social media site that just went live where you can follow me and get deals on my books and order them quickly. It’s called BookGorilla, and you can follow me by clicking this link: my profile.

I’m going to include it in the myriad of other follow sites I’ve got listed here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me

Hee  hee!

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The Demise….

I figured I’d get your attention with that title! Did it work? Hee hee.

So I decided to stop sending out a newsletter. It never really took off, subscription-wise anyway, and it was a lot of work for not a lot of return on the work involved. The other reason I decided to render it defunct had to do with a workshop I attended over the weekend on writing newsletters.

I’m pretty sure the person who gave the workshop didn’t have as one of her objectives that the writers in the class will kill their newsletters! But that was my decision.

Let me ‘esplain. 

There are a few new privacy rules involved in sending emails with newsletters to people. The reason is for something called GDRP.

This rule requires you to show proof that a person actually wants you to send them your email/newsletter, plus you have to give them an easy out if they want to unsubscribe, all to protect the privacy of person you are sending stuff to.  It’s kinda like  publishing HIPPA. Today, with the surge in blogs, and internet sites, protecting privacy is a huge factor in how companies deal with their customers. I put my newsletter together before this edict came down and when I tried to rework the form to sign up to include all the new GDRP verbage, I screwed it up six ways from Sunday and it became a huge pain in the a** to fix.

Then, when I did fix it, I was worried I hadn’t done it correctly, which led me to trying to fix it even more, and the whole thing snowballed into an afternoon spent frustrated and now afraid I was going to be sued by the GDRP powers-that-be.

In addition to this dilemma, the workshop speaker had a list of things you should and shouldn’t be doing in your newsletter.

Can I just tell you I did every single one of the things you shouldn’t  be doing? Yeah. Who knew??

Any hoo.

The newsletter was just one more thing I thought – and kept getting told by other writers – I needed to connect with readers. Well, you know what? I blog 4-5 times per week, I tweet dozens of times daily, I share Triberr feeds, I live on facebook and my Instagram is burning up. I don’t need a newsletter to connect with people because everyone knows everything about me anyway from one of those other sites. So, bye bye newsletter and GDRP worries, hello more time to….do everything else!!

heehee.

When I’m not worrying and obsessing, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

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Filed under Author, Author newsletter, author promotion, monthly newsletter

Hashtags to live by….maybe.

The other day I as talking about marketing with one of my non-writing fringe friends and she asked me why I always insert hashtags with random words after them on my social media sites. I have to tell you, it made me feel good knowing I knew the answer to this question. My ego also went up a few notches because I knew something about social media that she didn’t – and she has young kids. I add that part because we all know anyone born after the millennials have media stuff encoded into their DNA!

But I digress…

I answered her question and after I did she said, “I still don’t get it. If people are following  you anyway, why keep putting those tags on things?” I had to then explain the theory of GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS AND WHY I NEED THEM/WANT THEM.

Okay, the reason I put that in capitals is because this fringe friend doesn’t use social media in a business sense, but strictly for personal reasons. She finally “got” why I use hashtags with my postings, instagram pix, tweets, etc. People follow certain hashtags across their social sites and even pre-program their sites to upload ( Download? I always get these two confused!!!) any new postings that feature these tags when they are put up. I used the #amwriting hashtag on an instagram post a few weeks ago and the next day I had 25 new follows based on that one alone!

Since I was born waaaaaaaaaay before the millennials ruled the world, I had to learn all this stuff the old fashioned way: by reading about it and asking tons of questions to people who knew what the heck they were doing as far as marketing, branding, and making their businesses grow. One of the best blogs ( and nicest people!)I’ve found is Stacy Nachajski and her blog Great Brook Media .   You can click on the previous link and find some absolutely fab articles/blogs she’s written and posted, along with tutorials about all things media related. Frog around on her website. You’re sure to find something you didn’t think you needed to know!

SO, most of my hashtags are writing related. I mean, duh! What else would they be?? Hee Hee.Some of my favorite hashtags to add when I’ve written blog posts or put up instagram pix are the following:

These are all for Twitter:

#5amwritersclub

#behonestin4words

#tagabookbloggerTuesday

#tagyourfavauthorthursday

#worstsadviceeverin5words

#worstpickuplines

#amwriting

These are for blog posts and Instagram posts:

#amwriting

#amediting

#readromance

#romancewriter

#romance #contemporaryromance

#goodreadsreaders

#romancereaders

Every day on Instagram I do a positive, spiritual, or self affirming quote using these hashtags:

#morningmotivation  #Personalgrowth #believeinyourself

One thing I always try to do when I post to Instagram and Twitter is to include an actual person if I’ve referenced them. For instance, when I post this blog I will make sure I cite @greatbrookmedia   in the posting so people who follow Stacy can see the post and share, like or retweet it. This helps her by having some new people see her site through my contacts, and it helps me by potentially garnering new viewers to me via her link.

Got it??
So that’s why the right hashtags mean so much when you want to grow your followers, business, and on-line presence.

When you finish reading this, look down below at the section marked: categories and tags. You’ll see all the hashtags I assigned to this post.

Here’s another great post I found just as I was writing this post on what to do and not do with hashtags.

And as always, you can find me – with and without hashtags – here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Filed under Author Branding, branding

So, I took a little break….

I’m back.

Did you hear Arnold’s voice when you read that last line? Hee hee

My self imposed break from all social media that I told you about a bit ago (A different track) has officially ended. I was so stressed with everything that had been going on in my life of late – personally, professionally, medically, and spiritually – that I needed a little time to decompress and re-evaluate. Some sleep wouldn’t have hurt, either, but alas, I never sleep.

So. How did my little social media exile go?
Well, the first few days were hard. And by hard, I mean EXCRUCIATING! I had a real issue with FOMO ( Fear of Missing out!)


I seriously was concerned I was missing out on EVERYTHING and that I’d miss something crucial to my career or LIFE that I’d need to know. That lasted about four days. Seriously. I had hives.

Day five something happened. I woke up and the first thing I did wasn’t reach for my phone like I typically do. The first thing I did was kiss my husband good morning. The fact that it was three o’clock in the morning didn’t faze him a whit. He’s used to my insomnia.

And, no. My hubby isn’t Ryan Gossling. Just clarifyin’

Any hoo.

Days 6-10, no social media checks at all. Nada. In fact, I was cut off completely from news of the world on all counts: cyberspace, social media, and world, because I was in  the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise and no wifi. Oh, I could have had it if I wanted to pay $20.00 a day to hook it up, but seriously! Have you met me? Calling me cheap is the best compliment you can give me!

Day 11 was a travel home day. When we pulled in NYC port, I turned my phone on for the first time in 5 days. It didn’t stop pinging for almost an hour. When all was quiet again I had 1596 emails, 620 spam mails, 42 texts, 122 facebook updates, 501 twitter notifications, over 200 updates on Instagram and those were just the ones I checked. The good Lord above knows how many Pinterest, Book Bub, Goodreads and TRiberr notifications I had!

It took me almost 2 entire days to go through all the emails because a great deal of them required responses.  I found out – via FB and Twitter that  two people I knew had babies, one was admitted to the hospital, had emergency surgery and was now, once again,  home.  The world was still spinning, the day was still breaking every 24 hours, and my life as I’d known it before my imposed exile was still the same.

Was I, though?
Was I any less stressed after unplugging for 14 days?

It’s a conundrum. I was happy while I wasn’t checking my phone every two minutes and living in the moment of the exile, but all the work I had to catch up on when I got back home was a little overwhelming. But, I’ll admit, since I was so relaxed, it didn’t feel insurmountable like it had before I decided to go social media-less.

So. What’s the takeaway with all this? What did I learn about myself from unplugging and stepping away from all my technology and social media platforms?

First, that’s it’s possible and I can do it again if I need to.

Second, the world still spins without you knowing what’s going on 24/7.

Third, immediate knowledge and hearing about realtime events, while a good thing, can make you blind, deaf and dumb to your own life and the events and people surrounding you.

Fourth, while unplugging totally can be a good thing, you still need to be locked in to certain things – like emails from editors who request FULL MANUSCRIPTS of your latest work! Yeah. Happened to me while I was unplugged. Le sigh. That was the first email I answered when I was on-line again, with an apology for the time delay in responding because I was out at sea.

Fingers crossed, peeps!
And last, while social media may rule the world, you can rule your own little part of it by limiting what you allow into you life everyday. I don’t need to check on all my SM accounts daily ( or even hourly, like I was doing!). I don’t need to respond to every single tweet or FB comment I receive. And I don’t need to check my phone the moment I wake up and the last thing I do before going to bed.

So, overall, I have to say, unplugging and going in a different track for a few weeks proved to be a good thing. For me, anyway.

These are the places you can find me if you’re looking. I may or may not be checking them hourly anymore, though! hee hee

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Social Media and the Quest for Name Recognition…

That’s a wordy title, but it’s an accurate one for what I’ve been mulling over lately.

I’m a household name. In MY household…no other. This is tantamount to the Kiss of Death for a writer, because no one is going to read your books if they don’t know who the heck you are.

True ‘dat, right?

In the past, publishers have had entire teams of people who diligently took steps to make sure their writers’ names were recognized easily. Marketing campaigns, publicity tours, multi-city book signings. Any and every effort the team could get the author’s name to be recognized by the general book reading public was made. With the advent of less traditional publishing avenues, most of the tried and true publishers now are only moving their advertising dollars toward their already recognizable, big-name, authors.

What’s the relatively unknown writer to do?

I’m traditionally published by two presses, Kensington/Lyrical Shine and The Wild Rose Press. Both love their authors, make no mistake about that. They are in the business of selling books and they need authors to  achieve their goal. But taking a chance on a relatively new author  – and by chance I mean throwing advertising and marketing dollars  behind them to promote them – is something both of them are reluctant to do. In the WRP case, they do minimal to no marketing for their authors – the authors and the other writers associated with the company do the bulk share of getting the word out  about a new book release. Lyrical Shine has a marketing department, but with so many authors on their docket, those dollars are stretched thin.

So, what’s an author like me – unknown, no advertising or marketing background – to do, you ask?
Well, of course I’ll tell ya.

When my first book was scheduled for publication I frantically tried to learn whatever I could about marketing and how to promote myself on a nearly non-existent budget. It was hard, peeps. Real hard.

I joined TWITTER, had my best friend set-up my WEBSITE, and made a Facebook Professional Page. I didn’t go out and employ any book-tour companies via the web because I didn’t know they existed back then!!! I garnered several hundred new followers from all this, but it wasn’t enough to make me more well known as an author ( and you know that ultimately means – no sales!)

When the second and third books rolled around and were ready to be published, I had discovered on-line book tours, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM, and Goodreads.

I got even more followers and saw a tiny uptick in sales, so a good thing, but still, my name is not showing up on any bestseller lists, or on any “Watch for the next book from this fab author” lists.

By the time I got my Lyrical contract, I had joined Triberr, BookBub,  and  Google + and started entering more and more contests. My thought was if I finaled in any of them, that will introduce my name to more people. If I, GOD-PLEASE! – won any of them,  my name and my work would be more accessible and known.

Haven’t won any yet, but have finaled in a bunch, so that’s a positive thing, right?

My first book was published in 2015. Since then, 3 years later, I’ve got 2,260 Twitter followers, 1343 people on my FB author account, on Triberr I have a personal reach of 183K and on BookBub I have 281 followers.

Now, those numbers are…okay. But they need to be waaaaaaaaaaay more to have any kind of impact on the romance reading world.

So…

I have a favor to ask ( you saw that coming, didn’t you?!)

If you aren’t already following me across my media, please take this opportunity to do so. At the end of most of my blog pieces I usually list all my Social Media sites and beg, er, ask you to find me. Well, please continue to do that, but could you also please follow me? Here’s the list:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

And if you are already following me across my SM sites – #BLESSYOU and #ILOVEYOU

It’s so humbling to beg!

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

When did this become my life?

There’s an old expression: If you want something done fast, give it to a busy person?

Story of my current life. Let me ‘esplain.

When I retired to write full time I thought, “Yippie! Now I get to spend all my time during my days writing down the stories that have been swirling in my head.”

That jubilation lasted about a year. With the advent of more books published, I had to start doing other things than write to ensure that my writing got seen by people so they could, you know…buy the books. ( It’s all about sales, peeps).

First came a website, then social media accounts that needed postings, then book signings, author appearances, conference presentations, media appearances, all to get my name and my work “out there.”

 

Soon, it wasn’t so much about the writing as it was about the selling, and my desire to write all day long the stories that had been swirling around inside me started to become secondary.

This is an example of what I’ve been working on the for the past week when I should have been concentrating on finishing a book with a July 1 deadline – a deadline that can’t be moved or added to. (And let’s remember, I’m traditionally published. If I had to do the self publishing of my work I’d probably quit because I’d have no time. Make that definitely quit because I had not time.)

  1. Listen to auditions for a new book going to audio.
  2. Listen to a completed book on audio for mistakes, changes, etc. and edit.
  3. Galley edits on a Christmas 2018 release.
  4. second round of edits for the first book in my new small town bridal series.
  5. work on writing the second book in my new small town bridal series.
  6. outline 3rd book in the new small town bridal series.
  7. promote ( via sm)my current book release
  8. promote ( via sm) my current audio relase
  9. finish first draft of book due COMPLETED july 1.
  10. blogs posts for the week for the website.
  11. MFRWauthor blog post for next friday.
  12. create sale posters for books to promote on sm
  13. a face book party
  14. read and write reviews for 3 friends’ new book releases.
  15. query letters to agents and editors
  16. sm posts to keep my name in the public eye, daily.

All of that in addition to the normal every day stuff like bathing, eating, laundry and trying to slip in a gym workout everyday. Plus, some very real and personal issues that have cropped up during the past few weeks and that are extremely time consuming, time sensitive, and soul sucking.

I don’t know how I would handle all this if I didn’t have chronic insomnia.

I’m not telling you this so you’ll feel sorry for me ( Well, maybe a smidge ***holds index finger and thumb up, almost touching!**) I’m simply lamenting that my desire to just write the stories that have been swirling around in me ( 3rd mention!! heehee)have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Another old saying? Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it.

Now you tell me!

In addition to everything else, you can usually find me hanging out here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance

A new day…a busy week…a hectic life

My life has been a bit…on the constant go…of late. A new book release, a new audio book release, edits for my Christmas release, an author appearance, and two virtual book tours. All in the past 2 weeks. Plus, all the social media promotion involved in each and every one of those things so I can get the word out my work and, you know….make a living! HeeHee. Add in the book reviews I need to get done for Netgalley and then the 3 personal friend reviews I’ve been asked to do for soon-to-be-released books AND the judging I need to get done for a romance writing contest I’m involved in, and…Yikes!!

When I set out to write full time three years ago after the publication of my first book, I thought I’d spend my days happily inventing new characters and situations that would bring them together, pull them apart, and then reconnect them for their HEA. And I have done that, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved every millisecond of being able to devote myself to writing.

But….

It’s all the OTHER stuff that goes along with wanting to be a published author that’s starting to make my life a little harried. Strained. Busy. Swamped. You get the idea.

 

The social media stuff alone is mind boggling at times. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m actually grateful for my menopause insomnia because I’m typically awake and out of bed by 3:30 every morning. From the moment after I get myself situated with a cup of tea, I’m at my desk, posting my SM stuff for the day through the scheduling app HOOTSUITE. There’s even a group of other insomniac writers like me on Twitter  with the Hashtag (#) 5amwritersclub. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone when the rest of the nation is still slumbering!

If I was a million-seller author by now, I’d have a publicist and a media consultant do all this for me. Can you imagine how much writing work I could done in those 3 hours in the middle of the night every day? I can tell you how much: my first book was written between the hours of 1 am and 3 am for 3 solid months when I first hit menopause and was afflicted with this sleeping disturbance. Now that I’m a seasoned writer and edit as I go, I could turn out another book every 45 days just by writing during the hours I am usually doing the media stuff! Mind boggling!

There’s an old saying that, if you want to get something done in a hurry, give it to a busy person. While that may be true more times than not, it also makes the busy person feel overwhelmed, stressed, and – in my case – sleep deprived.

And I just realized how this sounds like I’m a whining 3 year old. I’m not ( well, maybe just a titch!) Before the advent of social media ruling the world, I really wonder how authors did it. How did they get the word out effectively about their work? How did they get new readers? Who helped them?

All questions that will, for now, remain unanswered, as I need to go and schedule today’s posts.

And if you’re looking for me, here’s where I am ( see? I told you I was busy!! Heehee)

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges

Facebook….turns out, it’s a good thing

Yesterday I extolled some of the wisdom Jane Friedman imparted last weekend at Fiction Fest 2017 in her master class. One of the biggest takeaways from the workshop for me was how powerful Facebook can be for an author.

When I first began my journey as a published author in 2015 I had the typical Facebook page where I trolled the news feed for posted info on family and friends. It was my then-editor who suggested I make myself a professional FB page for my author career. The thought of now having to manage and keep track of 2 things on FB, not to mention Twitter, Pinterest, my website, my Amazon page,  yada yada yada was a little daunting and a whole lot of nauseating.

But I heeded her advice and did it. The one thing I was adamant about though, was that the professional author page was  going to be for anybody who wanted to follow me as an author. I was going to keep my personal page just that – private. The reason was an easy one for me because I have small children in my family and friends circle and their parents post pictures of them frequently. I didn’t want some wackjob creepy person to see those pictures. There are a lot of undesirables on the Internet, hunting for innocent prey. And I know that sounds dramatic, but have you read the news lately??? Not dramatic at all.. simply proactive.

So. Two pages. Two separate entities. Double the work. More to keep track of. But you know what? it was a good thing. I have waaaaaaay more “friends” on my professional page than my personal one. I don’t post anything on the professional page I wouldn’t want everyone in the cyber world to see, but I’m able to keep private what needs to be kept private on the personal page. One of the good things about Facebook is that you can set up protection and privacy settings on posts.

Jane is a big proponent of reader and follower engagement on her FB page. She uses her page as a tool to interact with readers, answer questions, make announcements, show her blog postings. She feels authors should use the Professional page as their number one tool for marketing and acquiring new followers who then become readers. I always felt that Twitter gave me my biggest bang for engagement, and in reality, I have more twitter followers than I do FB followers (not many more, but a few). One of the drawbacks, Jane says about Twitter, is that it is very much a right here- right now thing. In other words, once you post something you have about 17 minutes or so for people to see it. After that, it gets lost in the quagmire of a hundred billion other tweets and the scroll shoves you waaaaaaay down low. Makes sense. On Facebook, your postings get added to the newsfeed, your followers get notified you’ve posted something, and if you come back to the post a few hours later and simply “like” it, it brings it back up in the current scroll. That’s genius in my mind. Plus, everytime someone likes or comments on your post you get a notification and respond in kind.

Facebook parties are a fabulous markteting tool for new readers and engagement as well. Facebook ads can be a tool to drive people to your page, but be careful. Don’t go crazy and spend more than you think you really need on an ad.

So. Facebook. I will now be using it a great deal more than Twitter. Still love to tweet though!

When I’m not Facebook-ing or Tweeting, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance Books