A new one for me: I spent a few bucks (a very few) and ordered a one day social media promotion through Books & the Bear. I’d read and heard good things about their editing and marketing services, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Here’s what I know so far. First, their website looks great and is very easy to navigate, which is a big plus in my book. Second, they have a range of marketing services from blog tours on the high end of the price scale, to book promotion packages and social media promotions on the lower end of the spectrum. Being cheap by nature (and wanting to do an audition, of sorts), I bought the social media promotion, which was only $5. For that, you get a one-day social media blast. I’m not expecting miracles, but Books & the Bear has a very strong social media presence (about 221K on twitter), and they even provide stats for the social media promotion: reach an audience of 210,00+ with an average of 458+ clicks. Whether this will translate into any sales, who knows? But it should, I hope, provide some exposure for ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS LOVE CAN FEEL.
Max Everhart’s latest book is a collection of short stories called All the Different Ways Love Can Feel. It is available on his Createspace storeand Amazon. Find him on Facebook and twitter.
Last week, I received a very helpful email from The Story Plant–the publisher of Portable Magic: The Authors First Anthology. (Pick it up here if interested). The email was all about best practices for using social media, and I thought I’d share some of the tips about twitter that were included. Most of these “rules” I was breaking, and ever since I started abiding by them I’ve gotten much better results using twitter (i.e. more followers, more retweets and favorites, etc.). Below are some tips, but be sure to check out The Story Plant’s website here for more.
- Post multiple times a day. I recommend using Hootsuite to schedule tweets, that way you will not have to spend all day tweeting and scanning tweeter. Spend thirty minutes a week scheduling out tweets, and you’re all set for seven days.
- Content should be 80/20 ratio between posts that entertain and/or add value to your followers (promotions of other authors/books, funny tweets, writer advice, etc.) and promotional stuff of your own (your books/writing). I was, until recently, breaking this rule.
- Create lists within twitter. I was overwhelmed and, frankly, annoyed by twitter, until I created lists, which allowed me to categorize favorite tweeter feeds. Here is a link on how to create lists. Very helpful.
Now that you’ve not only read and applied the advice I outlined in Part 1, but you’ve also vowed to name your firstborn child after me for providing such sage-like wisdom, it’s time to do the hardest part of writing: apply ass to chair and write. But because I teach for a living, I will try to be more specific. Hope the bullet list below is helpful.
WHILE WRITING THE NOVEL
- Stick to your writing routine…no matter what. In Part 1, I suggested that every first-time novelist should create a writing schedule, a set time and place where and when he or she writes every single day. The trick to this is sticking with it…because there will be days when the words come easily and days when they don’t. Either way, keep writing. And don’t take days off to go fish. Or to the movies. This is a job, so treat it as such.
- Eliminate distractions. By this I mean do not listen to music, watch TV, or have any electronic device in the room while you write. At most, have your laptop and your beverage of choice. (I’d advice against alcohol; too distracting). I also recommend getting rid of the Internet on the computer you write on; this will limit the temptation to check Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer to write your stories out by pen, that’s cool, but make sure you store your manuscript in a safe place. For anyone out there who likes to work in a coffee shop or other public location, I suggest you try my solitary approach and see how much more efficiently you write.
- Have your detailed plot summary and character bios handy. If you want, you can condense these documents down even further to make it easy to keep track of scenes and basic character information. Try putting the condensed character bios on index cards and taping them above your work station. Ditto the scene by scene plot outline. Again, this level of organization is incredibly helpful, and it pacifies my OCD.
- When not writing, read! More specifically, you should read novels in the genre you write. This will provide you with an idea of what’s being published, and it will serve as inspiration. And remember: good writers borrow; great writers steal. My advice: dare to be great.
- Carry a journal with you wherever you go. Throughout your work day, you will undoubtedly think about your novel, so keep the journal handy to record any ideas. This might include images, descriptions, plot points, settings, etc.
Below are links to excellent websites for mystery writers. In them you will find information on writing, revising, editing, marketing, and promoting your novel. Check them out.
The Weekend Novelist Writes A Mystery