Monday, April 25, 2016

RT Booklovers Con!

Hey all! I'm back from RT Booklovers Con in Las Vegas!

Here are a few snapshots from the trip. My badge read Published Author which was a first for me! It was a worlds colliding type conference where I met writers and book fans from all corners of my online writer life: Pitch Wars mentors, writers who found agents from the contest, fellow Sweet Sixteens debut authors, YARWA members, bloggers, and pubbed authors through three different Facebook groups. I met ALL THE PEOPLE!

And more authors signing!

And though I'm not a gambler, I did play slots twice and won money both times! The hubz was with me for this trip visiting family, so I had some time away from the conference to do other stuff around town, like eat seriously good food (including a ramen bar which sadly I do not have back home), visited a comics shop, and saw the mountains. The hubz got to hike Red Rocks but I was busy getting my conference on!

Do you have any favorite conferences? Or favorite cities to visit? Which do you like and why?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG April: Are You Suffering Social Media Overload?

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers and find your tribe. For more regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support.

Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!

Are You Suffering Social Media Overload?

If you're a writer, chances are you've heard you need a social media presence. Since the idea of social media is SOCIAL, having a presence means more than phoning it in with auto-tweets, buy my book links, or other impersonal posts that can't be differentiated between a highly competent robot.

We are writers after all--communicating should be the easy part, right?

The best way to avoid social media burnout is to not become overwhelmed in the first place. 

You don't have to do every social media platform.

What, you say? But so-and-so Top Marketing Insider told me I MUST be on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Linked In, Goodreads, Tumblr and twitter and post every single day on all of them or my book will FAIL!

Nope. If you try to engage in everything all the time then
1.) it leaves you no time to write books which is the biggest factor to selling books (writing them and then writing more of them)
2.) you will lose steam and become frustrated because your efforts are watered down across too many platforms.

However, it is a good idea to register your username on all the big social media sites to secure the name in case you decide to use it. You will find the platforms you like best and use those the most. It does not mean you need to be on ten platforms daily spending all of your time churning out content.

But you do have to invest somewhere

Photo: Stephanie Scott

Where do your readers/potential readers hang out online? Where do YOU go to find updates on the books you like? Romance writers and readers tend to use Facebook heavily. You'll see tons of reader groups, Facebook parties and plenty of interaction because the age demographic fits who writes and reads romance. 

Teen readers? Not so much. Know your niche and then go where your people are! Spend your time where it counts.

Regardless of platform, you want to point back to your home base: your website or blog. If someone looks you up on twitter and barely sees a pulse, but your website is linked in your profile--that's a win. The person looking for you will find your website and ideally what they need.

I don't know where to start. I'm already overwhelmed!

*Cue up your best Al Pacino Scarface impression*: Welcome to my Google Friend 
(see what I did there?)

GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. If you have a question about something, chances are someone else already had the same question and someone other than that already blogged about it. Search things like:

"What's the best social media for indie writers?"
"How do I created a kick-butt Pinterest account?"
"What's the best way to get started on twitter?"

There are dozens and hundreds and zillions of resources out there. Save yourself frustration and read up on social media trends to better focus your efforts.

Thanks for reading! And just for you awesomely awesome Insecure Writer Support Groupers, if you're curious on how to more effectively use Instagram as an author, join the Facebook group I started called Instagram for Authors. The group is exactly as named: we are working together on how to best use Instagram as an author.

*In approving members, I look for some identifying feature in your profile that indicates you are a writer--seeking publication or published.

Don't forget to leave a comment! Which social media platform do you like best? Which do you wish you had a better handle over?