Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

Day Four of Armchair BEA: When you wish you had access to a private jet and unlimited cash ... so you could attend a Book Expo America! Then you could quit your job and read books all day. Ahhh, the life.

Make sure to check out the twitter hashtag #ArmchairBEA today. They will help you sort through the massive amounts of promo info being dumped into the twitter-verse from the biggest publishing expo around. It's almost better than waiting in line for three hours to see Stephen Colbert talk about his not-quite-for-children kids book I Am a Pole. Ok, maybe not. It would be awesome to see him.

Reaching Beyond the Blog

Have you ever wanted to reach beyond your little Blogger or Wordpress world with your writing? The host blog has some great tips today. Also, check out the other participating blogs.

As for me, I have a few stories to share as well:

Use Twitter To Your Advantage:
As wannabe published writers, we're frequently told to use twitter for networking. Following great advice from the prolific Kristen Lamb (check out her very active blog and the #MyWANA hashtag on twitter, which stands for: My We-Are-Not-Alone (as writers)) she suggests -- can you believe this  -- to have fun with twitter by following interests outside of publishing. It's smart because the more you use twitter, the more fun and worthwhile it is, and when it comes to promoting your own work, you'll have a wider audience to promote to (as long as you keep it genuine and don't spam everyone).

One day saw a tweet about a blogger looking for writers for her pop culture website. This led to a 9 month gig writing TV feature articles. I connected with other writers and loads of people read my posts, commented, and followed me back. Writing for deadlines strengthened me as a writer, and I pushed myself to create opinionated articles.

Use Those Outside Interests In Your Blog:
I delved deeper by following TV blogs and review sites on twitter, just having fun with it. I did a TV theme on my blog for the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April and connected with a wider audience of bloggers that way. Watching TV is often an escape for people, and it's easy to talk about. The A to Z hosts asked for contributors to their blog for the remainder of the year. Another great opportunity!

Network With People Already In Your Life:
I have an acquaintance from another corner of life who I met online 12 years ago (back when people thought you were weird for chatting online with strangers). I wrote one little article for his site, and it turns out, he sold his site to a company with significant resources. I have that foot in the door, which may lead to more writing opportunities, given they want me and it works out with my schedule. Who knew?! Sometimes the people in your life already have opportunities. Ask if you can write a blog post for another blogger and start there. Find something that has nothing to do with books and offer to write a blog post or an article for a site devoted to what you already like.

Professional Groups Can Connect You Further:
From local writing groups to SCBWI and RWA chapters, finding people already devoted to writing can connect you to larger resources. Some SCBWI folk I know also publish articles in children's magazines or freelance for newspapers. You can actually get paid for these!

Have you written for sources other than your blog? How did you find them?


  1. Yes, you are on your way. I do not have a lot of time to devote to anything outside of the blog, but hopefully someday I can reach for the opportunities as you have.
    Today's post.
    Take care!

  2. Thanks for posting your link, I'll go check it out!

  3. All excellent examples of ways to expand your horizons. Great post.

  4. I like the suggestion of talking about TV. There are SO MANY SHOWS I'm watching right now, maybe I should start doing season reviews or something on my blog.

    Happy ABEA!

  5. Good advice for twitter - keep it genuine. Love twitter btw.

    Thanks for participating!

    Here's my beyond my blog post


  6. Thanks for the advice. I always wondered if it was alright to mix genres on a blog (books, TV, movies etc) and you've answered that question for me. It's all doable. Great blog!

  7. Great list of tips =) I think it's really smart to incorporate other interests into the blog to mix things up a bit. TV is great too because books and TV shows are all just stories!

  8. Hey Steph! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Great tips there. I guess I forgot to mention I write horoscopes for LivePerson (they found out I could write and hunted me down) And I've been to Wizard World and San Diego in the past. C4 is the second largest con in Canada, with like 25,000 attendees. Chicago is about the same time, same with New York. DragonCon in Atlanta is 40k, Toronto's FanExpo is 50K and then San Diego with its 100+K attendance. I was lucky enough to score free passes for my staff this year. (Because they're considered industry professionals.) Anyway not to write a book on your blog but glad you're into comic con too!

  9. LOVE these tips. Sounds like you are doing some wonderful things!

  10. Good tips! Thank you! And thanks for stoppig by my blog and recommending Psych to me! I've been looking for a new show, and I read about this one and it sounds like lots of fun! I'm going to order season #1. :)

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  11. Great post!

    Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!


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