New Writer? Old Writer? 10 Things You Should Know.

[found on missourireview.com; by Michael]

“10 Things Emerging Writers Need To Learn

…You’re Talented, But Talented is Overrated. For better or worse, there is a sense of competition among writers. This happens naturally in the writing workshop environment. But it also happens long after the MFA degree is over. Thanks to social media, we see what other writers are doing all the time. Someone, somewhere, is publishing something new and wonderful. The writers achieving success are hard working. Being the most talented writer doesn’t necessarily translate into publishing success, which really comes from methodical and consistent work rather than raw talent.

Ignore the Clock. I’ve yet to meet the writer who was, in hindsight, happy with her/his first publication. In the rush to get things published, in whatever venue, it’s easy to forget publishing isn’t the ultimate goal. Publishing your best work is the goal. Anyone can publish. No one is waiting for your next great masterpiece. You might as well take the time to make your work the best it possibly can be.

Put Down The Phone. One of the biggest challenges for writers, a group of people (broadly) who are more introverted than most, is being social. Making it to readings, talks, and other community events, is an important step but you also need to be socially engaged. Hey, you already left your home to be out in public anyway, right? Take a moment to speak to the writer, the organizer, the other attendees. Believe me, this is not easy to do: I know I really struggle to say hello and shake hands too. But these small bits of engagement and consideration are not soon forgotten. Save the texting for another time.

Don’t Wait To Be Told What (or When) To Write. There comes a point where no one is going to tell what you should read, what you should write, and moreover, no one is going to point this out for you. Making time to write is not easy, but until we all get crowned with Guggenheims, we all need to carve out a few hours each week to focus on our writing. Protect this time with your life.”

To read more from MissouriReview, click HERE

[found on http://www.missourireview.com/tmr-blog/2013/08/10-things-emerging-writers-need-to-learn]

Calling All Fiction Authors — Platform Up!

[found on thewritepractice.com by Joe Bunting]

“What Fiction Authors Really Need to Know About Their Platform

“…Several times a month, writers  ask me, “How can I balance blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Goodreading, and all the other stuff I’m supposed to do to build myplatform, while also focusing on my writing? I have a full time job, a family, and a cat. I just don’t have time for all that other stuff.”

Writers today are overwhelmed, frustrated, and let’s be honest, a little pissed off.Why do we have to build a platform anyway? Can’t we just focus on writing? 

It all came to a head for me when I read Michael Hyatt’s bestselling book Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy WorldThe book was interesting enough, but when I looked for information that related to fiction writers, I found the only advice specifically focused on helping fiction writers was tossed into an appendix in the back of the book.

An appendix! 

That’s when I realized most of the so-called “experts” who said every author needs a platform were really just speaking to non-fiction authors. They didn’t have a clue what a fiction platform would even look like.

Meanwhile, thousands of fiction writers followed their advice, creating blogs they resented, Twitter accounts that overwhelmed them, and Facebook pages with thirty-seven likes. For most creative writers, this whole platform experiment has been a waste of time.

That’s when I decided I needed to learn everything I could about how to build a platform specifically designed for fiction writers.”

There is too much excellent information on this, to put it here. To learn more about Fiction Writer’s Platforms from TheWritePractice, click HERE.

[found on http://thewritepractice.com/fiction-platform]

Social Media How To for Writers/Authors

[found on pbs.org/mediashift]

“Wrap your mind around this: One of the most important factors that traditional publishers use to decide whether to acquire a book is the marketing platform of its author. You’d think that the main reason for approaching a traditional publisher is to reap the benefits of the publisher’s marketing, and you wouldn’t have to bring your own.

Life is full of mysteries, and whether you’re working with a traditional publisher or you are an artisanal publisher (a.k.a., “self-publisher”), the potency of your marketing platform can determine your success.

There is no scenario under which thousands of social-media followers is not a good thing, so here are 10 social-media tips for authors of any kind.

1. START YESTERDAY

You must make progress along two fronts at the same time: writing your book and building your marketing platform. You cannot wait until you’re done writing, because a platform takes nine months to a year to build. Ideally, you started building your platform before you even began to write your book.

2. SEGMENT THE SERVICES

There are five social-media services to choose from. You need not use them all, but each serves a different purpose. I call this the five Ps of social media: Facebook is for people — people who you went to high school or college with and your family. Twitter is for perceptions — perceptions such as “I feel an earthquake and I’m in Chile.” Google+ is for passions — passions such as photography that you cannot share with your Facebook people. Pinterest is for pinning — pinning pictures with little interaction. LinkedIn is for pimping — as in making business connections or finding a job. You can use each of these to build a platform, but your relationships on them are apt to differ.

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3. MAKE A GREAT PROFILE

Your profile page is an ad. Its purpose is to convince people to circle, follow, subscribe, or like you. It should communicate that you are a likeable, trustworthy, and competent person. Two details: First, ensure that your profile has a high-quality picture of your face (and only your face, not your spouse, dog, kids, and car). Second, use the text areas to simply and humbly describe who you are and tell your personal story. For example, Peggy Fitzpatrick has a great Google+ profile. (See image above.)

4. CURATE, DON’T CREATE

It’s hard enough to write a book, much less create content for social-media sites at the same time. So give yourself a break and focus on curating the content of others while you are writing. Link to articles, pictures, and videos that are relevant to your genre in order to establish your expertise. Power tip: Go to Alltop.com, a site I co-founded, to find content on more than 1,000 topics. For example, the followers of a science-fiction writer would find “How to Deflect Killer Asteroids With Spray Paint“ interesting (found via Science.Alltop.com).

5. ACT LIKE NPR

NPR provides great content 365 days a year. A few days a year it runs pledge drives. No one I know likes the pledge drives, but we tolerate them — and some of us even give money. Why? Because NPR has earned the right to promote its pledge drives by providing such great content. This is a good model for authors too: Provide such great content that you can promote your book when it’s done. If you do this very well, people may want to reciprocate for the value you’ve added to their lives by buying your book. So just imagine you are the producer of “Fresh Air” or “All Things Considered” and look for interesting content.

6. RESTRAIN YOURSELF

NPR provides another excellent example for book marketing: It doesn’t run pledge drives very often. Less than 10 percent of your social-media posts should promote your book or other commercial endeavors. It’s OK to pour it on when your book launches, but back off on the promotion after the first four weeks and do educational things like free webinars and Hangouts on Air. You need to make a transition from salesman to teacher.

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7. CANDY-FY

Social-media sites are busy places, so people don’t notice all-text posts or posts with small pictures. Every post should include a picture that’s at least 400 to 500 pixels wide or an embedded video from YouTube or Vimeo. Eye candy counts in the constant contest for attention — if you’re old enough to remember, it’s like the difference between a Yellow Pages ad and a Yellow Pages listing. Check my posts on Google+ to see what I mean. (See image at right.)

8. RESPOND

Social media is a conversation, not a one-way broadcast. Every time you share a post, respond to the comments that it generates. (If it generates no comments, you’re doing something wrong.) A big mistake that most authors make is that they think they are delivering a sermon when a conversation is what’s appropriate.

9. STAY POSITIVE OR STAY SILENT

Even if the topic is an issue that perturbs the core of your soul such as gun control, women’s rights, or ObamaCare, don’t show anger. On a practical level, if you only want to sell books to people who agree with your sensibilities, you should prepare for a life of poverty. If people attack you, ignore them. If they attack you twice, block them from seeing your posts. And don’t look back.

10. REPEAT

Social-media “experts” disagree with me on this, but I’m telling you it works: Repeat your posts. I repeat my tweets four times every eight hours — you don’t get 1,240,000 Twitter followers by not taking risks. This is pushing the edge, but the assumption that everyone who is interested in your posts will see it the first time is naïve. CNN doesn’t run a story once and hope that everyone has seen it or recorded it to see later. At least try sharing a post when your audience is awake, then 12 hours later, and see what happens.

One last tip: Do, don’t plan. Social-media experts will tell you that the first step is to develop a plan that includes highfalutin elements such as goals, strategies, and tactics. Let me simplify the process of building a platform. The goal is to get 5,000 followers by the time your book comes out. End. Of. Discussion. There is little “right” and “wrong” in social media — even what I say here! There is only what works for you and what doesn’t, so jump in and get going. You’ll figure it out along the way.

Guy Kawasaki has 3,821,000 million Google+ followers, 286,000 Facebook subscribers, and 1,240,000 Twitter followers. He is the co-author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book, which explains self-publishing, and has written eleven other books, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Enchantment. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College.”

[found on http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2013/02/guy-kawasakis-10-social-media-tips-for-authors045]

Blogging Legalities for Writers

[found on weblogs.about.com]
“Regardless of the type of blog you write or the size of your blog audience, there are legal issues all bloggers need to understand and follow. These legal issues are in addition to the blogging rules that bloggers should follow if they want to be accepted into the blogging community and have a chance for their blogs to grow.
 
If your blog is public and you don’t want to get into legal trouble, then you need to keep reading and learn about the legal issues for bloggers listed below. Ignorance isn’t a viable defense in a court of law. The onus is on the blogger to learn and follow laws related to online publishing. Therefore, follow the suggestions listed below, and always check with an attorney if you’re not sure if it’s legal to publish specific content or not. When in doubt, don’t publish it.”  
 
For more information on the legalities of blogging, see the link below.
 [found on http://weblogs.about.com/od/bloggingethics/tp/Legal-Issues-Bloggers-Must-Understand.htm]