Time for a Giveaway!

With only a month until the release of Bellanok as a full book, available for both Kindle and paperback, it’s time for a giveaway!

WHAT I AM GIVING AWAY:

One lucky winner will win a copy of Heir of Hope by my sister-at-heart, my critique partner, and all around snazzy fantasy author, Morgan Busse. (Don’t you just love the cover?)

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AND

Another luck winner will receive 9 Strategies to Build and Grow Your Author Platform by Shelley Hitz! (Great place to start if you’re trying to grow your platform.)

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AND

A final winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. (Yes, I’m feeling generous–it’s the fall air.) This winner will be based solely on social media sharing.

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HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Sign up for my newsletter. If you’ve already signed up, no worries, you have an automatic entry!
  2. Comment below, letting me know you are signed up for the newsletter. AND let me know which book you would prefer.
  3. While you don’t get extra points for sharing on Facebook and Twitter and anywhere else you feel like, you DO get entered into the sweepstakes for the $20 Amazon gift card! Winner for this will be chosen by the most creative/fun post. Be sure to tag me so that I’ll see it!

DEADLINE:

This contest will run until Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. I will announce the winner in another special Monday post.

3 K’s of Social Media for Writers

3 K'S OFSocial media has become a staple in the marketing plan for almost every business these days. More and more people are flocking to Facebook, Twitter, and all the others in an effort to connect with family and friends or network with colleagues and potential clients. Online is THE place to be these days.

And it’s no different for writers either.

We should be on social media–not to sell our books (though that is hopefully a byproduct)–to connect with our fans, to seek out new potential readers, and to learn from both sets.

If every writer is out there on social media, though, how do we get ourselves out in the spotlight? How do we get heard above the din?

Whenever I have a client looking for help in starting or growing their social media platforms, I always send them a questionnaire to fill out, which covers the 3 K’s of Social Media. (While the questionnaire and this blog post are geared toward writers, much of the information can apply to any business.)

Know Yourself: It is important to explore your own reasons, goals, and likes/dislikes when it comes to social media. Social media strategy and inspiration will develop from your answers. Who are you as a person? As a writer? Why are you on social media? What do you hope to accomplish? Time, effort, and knowledge are also factors. There’s a lot to explore inside your own mind as you develop your personal strategy!

Know Your Target Audience: Developing a target audience will help you to ascertain what kinds of information and entertainment to share on your social media profiles. Is your target reader male/female? How old? What do they do? Likes/dislikes? Being able to picture that ONE person will help to build a loyal following that will sell your books for you. Finding that sweet spot where who you are and who they are converges is what it’s all about!

Know Your Tools: While I recommend that all writers be on Facebook and Twitter at minimum, there’s a lot of other social media websites out there with target readers just waiting to be found! It’s important to know which sites to be on because you can’t run them all efficiently (at least not by yourself). Know HOW and WHEN to use them is just part of the battle. It’s better to be great at using 1-2 sites than to be ineffective on all of them.

When we combine the 3 K’s of Social Media effectively, we start to see growth in our numbers and, more importantly, our engagement. As our reach broadens, we should see a steady growth in our sales. And as our sales grow, more potential readers are being reached, which then grows our platforms just a little more. The circle of marketing.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be expanding on these 3 steps to help writers find their spot in the social media world. I invite you to sign up for my newsletter so that you don’t miss a post!

Tea with Me: ToDoIst and Inspiration

file9951347375728It’s a bright and sunny day here with a tad too much humidity for my liking. Heat indexes over 100 are no fun! So let’s move on to something more fun while I drink some lovely iced tea.

 

Teddi: What’s a  tool/software/strategy that you found useful in the past week?

Me: Well, Teddi, I’m glad you asked. I found a new to-do list app/program! ToDoIst is flexible to-do list program that can be as easy or as complex as you need it to be. It has a free membership and a paid membership ($29/yr). While I probably could have “made do” with the free option, I sprung for the paid version. Now I have all sorts of options to divide up my various to-do lists (personal, writing, editing, social media, Realm Makers, KCWC, ACFW . . .). I’ve only been using it for a few days, but it’s been fantastic! I love that it integrates into all my computers/phones AND into my G-mail and Chrome. Yay!

 

Cindy: Best cure for insomnia?

Me: A sledgehammer.

Or, I’ve heard that having a bedtime routine and tranquil surroundings help to trigger your brain that it is “sleep” time. Develop a routine that starts 30 mins. to an hour before bedtime and get into the habit. It may take a few days or a couple of weeks, but your body should come into routine. Also, no caffeine after noon–but that would never work for me! I’d be asleep by 4.

 

Cindy: If you’ve tried everything the experts said to do and ROI was abysmal, whaddya do next? 

Me: I’m going to assume you’re talking social media/marketing and answer from that perspective.

The first thing I would do with a client is to go back and reevaluate who their target audience is, what their greatest need is (in relation to the service the client is offering), and what the client is doing to meet that need. 90% of issues lie in that alone. OK, I made up the percentage, but it is one of the most common mistakes.

Time is also a factor. If you try something for a week and then evaluate ROI, it’s not likely going to look like it’s working. Success in social media (and often in marketing) does not happen overnight. I would ensure the client had been trying what the experts recommend–consistently–for at least a month . . . longer if they were starting from nothing.

Personality also has an impact. Social media and marketing require a bit of “go out there and get it.” You don’t have to be a bubbly extrovert, but you do have to show passion and knowledge in your field. If you’re a writer, that means being excited about books/reading/etc. in your genre (and in general). It means being knowledgeable about topics and having a passion for themes addressed in your books. If you don’t have passion, readers/followers won’t care.

If, after the evaluation, I determine the client really was doing everything right for a good amount of time, then it’s a new ballgame! Time to the think outside of the box. It becomes a total “individual” brainstorming session that doesn’t have a list of steps yet–a lot of trial and error until we find what works!

 

Thanks for hanging out with me today. I’m about to go snuggle with some kiddos before I dive into my critique partners latest novel–a steampunk! Bring on the day!

Do you have any questions for me? They can be about anything–doesn’t even have to be writing or marketing related (as you can tell from Cindy’s question). These are just supposed to be fun, quirky, sometimes helpful/informative posts! Ask away!

What are your plans for the weekend? 

June Goals

PIC1068506062We’re already a few days into the month of June, but what a month it looks to be! I’m finally caught up after being sick off and on for 6 weeks. I’ve sat down and scheduled things out so hopefully I can stay on task!

So, what are my goals for June?

1. Write 20K on Bellanock–that’s 20 days of 1,000 words! Bellanock was originally going to be a stand alone novel, but now my agent and I are discussing either doing 3-4 novellas or some other sort of series of shorts. I’m really excited. But mostly, I’m just thrilled to be writing something NEW!

2. Prepare my social media for writers workshop for the KY Christian Writers Conference (last Saturday of June). I have most of it outlined in my head. I just need to sit down and jot it all out and develop the handout.

3. Finish the free content for my website. I’m excited to offer my newsletter subscribers some awesome handouts and other fun stuff over the next few months.

4. Exercise at least 3 times a week. I’m slowly figuring out ways/times to work exercise into my schedule. I know it’s important, and it really should be a priority. I’m just so busy! (That’s what everyone says, I know.) But even if I just get up earlier in the morning, I could work in a short walk, right?

So, there’s my main focuses this month. I have a lot going on schedule-wise, but I’m excited about all the opportunities God is placing in my path. God is good–all the time.

What about you? What are your goals for June? Let’s keep each other accountable!

Blog Launch and Sweepstakes!

file0001024202589Oh goodness! It feels odd to be typing up a post for MY blog again. A warning to all you good people out there: if you have a website, make sure you have a backup somewhere. This isn’t just for your files, people. Your entire website should be backed up. Don’t know how? Contact your webmaster or web-hosting company, they can tell you.

Back to the FUN!

May was quite the exciting month for me.

  • I celebrated my birthday!
  • I semi-finaled in the ACFW Genesis contest.
  • I bought a new van.
  • I ran a birthday sale for my editing and social media services and found a few new clients I am excited to work with.
  • I reached 5,000 followers on Twitter and 1,500 followers on my Facebook page.
  • The couple that designed my website last year helped me to fix my new website so I can now relaunch everything! (Need website help, go visit Master Design Solutions!)

I’m so tickled that my birthday month was such a success, that I don’t even mind that allergies had me down for half of it and then had me scrambling to get work done before the end of the month.

I’m even more grateful for all the love and support you all have shown me over the last couple of years. 

Even though May is gone, I’m still in the mood to celebrate. What better reason to celebrate than all of you guys? So it’s my turn to give back to YOU.

BLOG LAUNCH AND SWEEPSTAKES

So, here’s the deal:

One person will receive a FULL COPYEDIT on one of their projects

AND

Another person will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card

To be eligible, you must sign up for my newsletter! (Anyone already on the newsletter list will be given 1 entry.)

 

 

You can earn an additional entry by leaving a blog comment, telling me where in the writing process you are and what you hope to accomplish in your writing before the end of 2015.

You can also earn an additional entry by filling out the quick survey below. (Leave a blog comment letting me know you filled out the survey!) If you can’t see the survey, click here to take it.
Create your own user feedback survey

The sweepstakes will run from today (Monday, June 1) thru Friday, June 5. I will announce the winner on Monday, June 8.