No One Will See You – Part 1

Todays world is crazy. In order to be an author, agents and publishers alike want to see a platform. They want to see you out there promoting. This is fun, when as a new author or writer, you don’t always have something to promote.

I’m not here to talk about how to promote yourself when you have nothing, but rather hidden risks or details to different places we as authors or writers run to to build a platform.  Such as Facebook.

Facebook is a go to, and dare I say a must have. Everyone is on Facebook. Even authors who have held out, seem to end up there. Did you know you can have a page or an account as an author? Do you know the difference?

A page is an account linked to your original personal account. The negatives are that you can’t friend anyone, but fans can like you. You can run giveaways on your page as well, which is nice. The issue? Facebook doesn’t always show your posts to everyone. If they think it is a sales ploy they hide them. One tip is to attach photos to posts. This seems to help the posts get seen more. You can however, like other pages from this account and still keep a writing life separate to some degree. You can also see your updates from the pages app as well as the Facebook app no matter who you are logged in as.

Take Charge of your writingAn account can be nice since it acts just like your personal account. You can have friends and everything. The negatives? Well, you have to log in and out of this account and any other account. You live two separate lives. This can be cumbersome if you stay logged in as one on your aps. There are  also no options for giveaway tabs. Not the end of the world, but nice if you use a free WordPress account, or other accounts that won’t support HTML for giveaways. That being said, this makes your author life completely independent from that of your personal life.

Please comment below what method you like and why. Our lessons learned can be very helpful to new and upcoming writers.

 

Advertisements

The Pains of Helping Others Market

Marketing is a pain in my behind. Ask any author out there. Marketing isn’t generally why anyone went into writing. Turns out writing, although a lonely profession, requires lots and lots and lots and lots of networking. Why you ask? Well simple. You are one voice and unless you know millions you will need others help.

In return for others help, it is expected that you would help them. This is the hard part. Obviously not everything out there is going to fit your blog. You have an environment that you worked hard to get. You branded yourself. You branded your blog. So the tough choices are now who and what do you allow on your blog?media

I have someone close to me start selling health products. Some are weight loss. Some are general natural vitamins. I really, really want to help him out. It’s hard to make a living making sales. The issue is I don’t blog about health products. I don’t have the audience for this. Well maybe I do? I am not a health expert though and regardless if I attract mom’s attempting to take baby weight off, or some men looking to resemble some of the alphas in romance novels, I don’t really want to brand myself as someone pushing products.

So what about other books and authors? They are all the same right? No not really. Although I like YA books and some science-fiction, most people who read my blog came to me for romance. I want to recommend books that would appeal to those that have come to trust me as a romance author and a romance genre junkie. I want to support as many authors out there, but I have a brand to uphold so I find that I have to say no. It’s hard though. I hate letting people down.

So networking is huge, but be careful about making good choices. It is just as important for you to advertise to the correct target market as it is for you to share pertinent information to your personal network.

(My dog is currently blowing bubbles in her water making it really hard to write a serious post.)

For those starting out, have you picked your niche or are you still finding your way in marketing? For those with experience, do you find it hard to turn away people with the wrong message for your audience? If you have great advice or another blog that has helped you with marketing, please leave that information for others!

One in a Million Snowflakes Celebration – Oh and My Birthday

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.  Although, I have no reason to cry.  So let’s celebrate my birthday and One in a Million Snowflakes, part of the Winter’s Sweet Kiss anthology.  Cover

The weekend for Winter’s Sweet Kiss was quiet for promotions, so I thought I’d warm things up with a giveaway.  Plus, what better way to celebrate your birthday.

So here are the super simple ways to enter.

Leave a comment about your favorite scene from my story, One in a Million Snowflakes (try not to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet. Just something simple, like ‘When Angela makes hot chocolate’.)

OR tell me which story you look forward to reading first.  I never read anthologies in order.

Or thirdly, if you can’t make up your mind, tell me what your favorite kind of romance is, such as contemporary.Nuttypam giveaway9

What do you win you ask? A wonderful sampler of Nutty Pam’s granola, handmade right here in Colorado.  It’s cold and currently snowing.  Think it might have had something to do with the setting in the story? Anyway, that’s not all.  You also get Nick’s favorite drink, hot chocolate.  Now that you are all snuggled up with your book you’ll need a bookmark.  I’m also adding an autographed bookmark.  (please note, this giveaway is only eligible to those in the USA for various reasons.  One is international food laws and two, shipping costs.).

So leave me a comment and your email so I can contact the winner.  Happy Holidays and happy reading.  You have until midnight MST on the 24th to enter.

Don’t forget the giveaway for Winter’s Sweet Kiss.  A paper copy of the book and a gift card!

Fun Fact Friday – Stalking Made Easy

author

Yes, thats right. Stalking made easy.  I was listening to the radio on my way to work and heard a song called “Crush”.  Okay.  In itself it sounded cute.  That was until I heard the refrain. “I follow you on Twitter. I follow you on Instagram.  Where else can I find you?” 

Alrighty. So it’s a song on stalking. Got it!

                                                    author

This made me think though.  It is a lot easier to get information on people.  It is a lot easier to hear of new authors and a lot easier to follow them.  Suddenly I can get insider info from agents and publishers by simply following them on some social network. That being said – when is it too much?  When am I being the creepy person?  I’d gamble and say, when you forget you aren’t really friends desipite what facebook says. 

The point of my rant is that technology has made being a fan and getting fans a whole lot easier.  All the social network platforms out there allow even the most shy author or fan the ability to interact.  Sure there are arguments on how much is too much, but in the end as long as no one is getting a restraining order, i’d say you are doing just fine. 

Fun Fact. It is not creepy to follow your favorite people’s blogs, tweets, posts, photos, and book lists.  It might however be cross ing a line to look up their house on Google maps.

Happy Friday!!!!!

Do you need help with social networking?  Let me know and I might be able to help.

Thoughful Tuesday – My Affair with Social Media

As I settled into bed, shimmying beneath my plush comforter, I proceeded to tap at the screen of my phone.  The little blue icon, Facebook, looked back at me as I pressed on it and waited to see what all my friends had done for the weekend.media

What times we live in to realize that getting in touch with our friends involves social media instead of a phone call.  You no longer just drop by – which to me and my chaos filled home is a good thing.  But really when did the transition happen?  For the social introverts social media might be a great way for them to branch out to people they might have otherwise shied away from, but to the remainder of the world is this good or bad?

I think I have a better relationship with my phone and computer then I do with people.  I do know what everyone is up to though.  It does occur to me that social media has done a favor for humanity.  Those that are on a rampage post – therefore you know who to avoid.

What about you?  How are your human interactions coming along?

 Writing Status – Restarted my last manuscript.  Complete re-write and a million times improved.  Granted I am only 400 words in. 

Thankful on Thursday

The etiquette for blogs, twitter,  Facebook, and other social media is hard to pin down.  Do I thank each follower personally?  I would love to… but I have to admit that I am very bad about this.

I do what all my followers to know that I truly appreciate their faith in my blog and their willingness to listen to me ramble on.  I do visit each of your blogs when I have down time to make sure I see what you find important too.

So  although I have yet to figure out the best way to thank everyone who has and will follow me please know that I am very appreciative of you and your interests.  Maybe I should have said thanks during the Thanksgiving Holiday in the US; I suppose it is better late than never.

So thank you.

Does anyone have tips of how they thank their followers on any of the popular social media platforms?

The Illuminating Blogger Award

This weekend wasn’t the most productive or the most exciting until I opened my email and saw that I had been nominated for the Illuminating Blogger Award.  I have to say a HUGE thank you to Katherine Checkley – The Intrinsic Writer .  I love her blog for its ‘old school Sundays’, where I learn about books that I desperately need to read.  Of course she shares some great writing information too, such as killing off characters.  You need to go check out her blog!   Thank you Katherine.

So here is a rules recap:

  • The nominee should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
  • Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  • Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favorites.

 ___________________________________________________________________

A Random fact:  Hmmm… My downfall in life is Chocolate milk.  If Chocolate milk were considered an addiction I would be president of CA (Chocoholics anonymous.) My addiction, oddly enough, does not actually go into other types of chocolate though.  Oh and at the moment I am stuck eating fajitas without the tortilla – too bad I don’t have Chocolate milk to make that problem improve.

Now to nominate five others:

  1.  Bottled Worder  Great information in terms we can all understand. Lots and lots to learn from.
  2. Prolific Novelista   Great opinions and points – plus who doesn’t love Calico Critters and bad Twilight video’s.
  3. Tab Writer Great writing points and interesting books reviewed. She has a blog roll for industry blogs also.
  4. Fiona J Phillips  Enjoy Tuesday’s Choice Words
  5. Eva Rieder  Thorough – when she has something on the art of writing to say, you get the full take.

Follow Me on Facebook and Twitter

Sorry for my abundance of posts this week.  I promise to stop.  I wanted to get the word out there though.  I am on Facebook and twitter.  Come follow me.  I plan to post helpful advice, contests, new market information, writing information, and maybe meet more of my fellow writers in the process.  Not everything belongs in a blog… right?

https://www.facebook.com/MichelleZieglerWriter

https://twitter.com/MZiegler_Writer

 

Building a Platform and Social Media

Yesterday I spent time with some friends that discussed the importance of platform building.  For small businesses to writers, a lot of marketing lands on the shoulders of the individuals that make up the company.

Since I am gearing my blogs to writers, authors, and fans of books I am focusing on this profession for the remainder of this post. Branding yourself can be the most important thing you ever do especially as a writer.  How does one start?

Well if you look up the statistics of what social media has the largest piece in the pie of Social Media you need to get in on Facebook.  Start an author OR writer page.  If you aren’t published yet don’t worry.  It doesn’t hurt to start early.  Start to follow agents, authors, and anyone else who might speak on topics of interest to you.

Next, supposedly is Twitter. Now I am behind on this too.  I will need to sign up soon, which sounds rather painful since I don’t get twitter yet.  But the same rules apply.  If you are a known author publicize your account on your web page or blog.  If you are a writer, who is still waiting for publication, sign up anyway.  Follow people and get yourself out there.

For the above social media examples, make meaningful comments so that people are interested in finding your site.

There are about 10 other forms of Social Media that all share a small piece of the publicity pie; start with the first two and you can branch out later.

The truth is that publishers want to see some kind of platform.  Sure everyone wants to see 10,000 followers but anything is better then nothing.

Next, start a blog or webpage.  This can be considered your “Home.”  WordPress and Blogspot are the two most known for doing so.  An author, Carla Laureano, gave me this analogy.  You have to be able to direct people to somewhere from everywhere.  Meaning, use Twitter and Facebook to drum up visits to your site.

The above ways can all be free.  Maybe later I will talk about what you can and should pay for at some point in your career. For now try not to spend more then 10% of your time networking.  At some point you need to write.

What do you do for social networking?  What have you found are the best ways to drum up a following?