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And The Title Goes To…

The first Wednesday of every month is officially:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group day #IWSG

IWSG badge

Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your writing doubts and the fears you have or have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

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Mind your Social Media Manners…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Social Media Manners

What in the world did we do with our time before social media? I for one was definitely more productive writing wise and my house was much cleaner than it is now. I have a feeling that social media caused the cancelling of most daytime soap operas. Why watch scripted on T.V. when we can scroll through non-stop reality.

Whatever negative side effects social media might have it does have equal and opposite positive effects as well. For me I have never felt so much a part of so many completely different communities as I do now. Writers/Bloggers truly are the most supportive, genuine and friendly people I have ever known.

Because it is the start of a new season I thought this would be a good time to share some social media etiquette and tips that I have learned over the years, some of them the hard way.

Young and the Restless

It is social media not sell media. There are many companies out there that will take your money and instruct you to auto post the same posts across all of your social media platforms. Posts like ‘BUY my book’ ‘Must Read’ 500- 5 star reviews.’ Then there are those direct messages you receive thirty seconds after you follow someone. The requests to, buy my book, like my page, follow my blog and don’t forget to favorite and share this message. These companies will fill your head with numbers that sound important but they are useless. Social media is about being social and making real connections. Automatic cross posting and constant selling will leave people thinking you are lazy and unapproachable and they will keep scrolling.

money lock box

Once you post it, it cannot be erased. In 2015 this is still important. If you are not sure about posting or responding to something take the time to think about it before you post or respond.

Ignore Posts that offend you. It would be great if we never had to lay eyes on or hear anything that offends us but when it comes to social media we are going to see plenty. It always feels good to be part of a ‘do good’ mob but choose your mobs wisely. Don’t take someone’s dislike of children or pets so personally and just scroll on. Trust me your mood will be better if you just ignore and scroll on. If they persist and you have trouble ignoring the offensive posts you can hide them, disable notifications from that person or un-friend them.

You owe no one an explanation to unfriend/unfollow. There is never a need to post things like ‘I am cleaning up my friend list.’ Just unfollow quietly and move on.

In 2015 it is still a bad idea to vague post, chronically complain, over share and post in clumps, frequently. ‘I am so upset’ ‘Some people need to just shut up and you know who you are.’(My personal least favorite) If you share someone’s post or article always write something personal about it such as why you liked it or didn’t like it. I can’t believe people still get upset when someone shares what they have posted. That is the gold people. It is all about the sharing.

Social Media

Do not post spoilers. Be considerate of our friends in different time zones. If you cannot wait to talk about that winner or scene, take it private.

Limit rants. Sometimes a good rant can be healthy and prompt positive conversation. It is a good idea to only post them occasionally.

Never use more than two hashtags in one post.

The buzz about you, your book or your blog should NEVER come from you. This is simple; you only gain credibility when other people post, talk about or share your work. That doesn’t mean you cannot share exciting information or big news. There is a difference between good news and overselling.

If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person don’t say it on social media. It is a good idea to stop and think before reacting on social media. There is a way to say and mean what you want to say without being mean. We are writers, right?

It is okay to discuss politics and religion. Discuss is the key word here. We should always respect each other’s views or beliefs even if they are different from our own, especially if we have no idea what is behind those views. Discussion and debate are healthy. Headlines, talking points and surveys are annoying. Most people have their minds made up when it comes to religion and politics. Your post will not ever change their mind so stick to reality, discussion and healthy debate.

Do you have any to add to this list?

Happy writing,

Doreen

Quotes Writing

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Wednesday/ Marketing Part 2 PR

 

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesdays I like to share bits of information that I picked up on my journey to publication and preparing to be published again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me.

 

 

 

 

 

MARKETING PART 2

You can find part 1 here:

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5230

Marketing is composed of Advertising and Public Relations (PR.)

This week I want to talk about PR. It is the communication that is created to show you and your business (book) in the best light possible. Good PR does not just happen. It usually takes serious planning, a lot of effort and patience.

Press Releases fall under the PR category. They should be short, no more than one page and should answer the questions who; what; where; when and why. They should be e-mailed to editors of print media and producers for radio and TV. Editors and producers are extremely busy. Chances are you won’t hear from them but your release could possibly appear in their publication or be mentioned in a community information spot on radio, TV or the stations websites. If you don’t hear from them and your release does not appear chances are they were not interested. Remember lead times if you are submitting to magazines or TV. Many of them plan their publications well in advance. It is never a good idea to call these people. If you put your contact information on your press release they will contact you if they want more information.

Reasons to send a press release for a book:

  1. To announce the release of a book
  2. To announce book readings/signings

Press Releases should not be sent for reviews. They should never contain links or buying information. That is advertising.

Newspaper photo

Talk show hosts, radio announcers and news anchors rarely have authors on to discuss their books. They are more interested in ‘experts’ on a particular current topic. This is where you need to get creative and prepare a pitch sheet. What has the research and the writing of your book taught you? As an example, my first book Bristol boyz Stomp is about the random road rage murder of my younger brother. That loss has made me an expert in road rage statistics, grief and victim services. When a road rage assault occurs, a producer or journalist (because I sent them a pitch sheet) may request an interview with me to discuss road rage statistics, give the victims view or to give listeners tips on how not to become a victim. Your pitch should include a very brief bio (related to your topic,) the reason you are the best person to discuss your topic and a list of talking points (what you are able to comfortably discuss on the topic.) Again make sure there is no advertising in your pitch. In your bio you can mention you wrote a book on the subject.

An agent or publisher is likely to Google your name before they decide to offer you a contract. Make sure there is something for them to see. Is your blog consistent? Is your Twitter page interesting and engaging?

Google Logo

A quick way to increase your online presence is to write letters to the editors of local newspapers on current events. Most papers are quick to post these online. This type of letter, once in print also gives you publishing credibility.

Another part of PR is public speaking and events. If the thought scares you find a way to get past your fear. Approach your local library, your church and your bookstore with a pitch for a writing or blogging workshop, author panel, reading etc… Do these for free until you have established a name for yourself. The first people you should invite to your release party is the media.

Remember, the buzz about your book should always come from readers, reviewers and the media, not from you.

Social media is a clever tool for marketing and PR if used correctly. You must be human, chat about stuff other than your book. Be interesting and relevant. If you start or join interesting conversations with people they will want to know more about you, realize you are a writer and seek out your books.

The success of your book hinges on having a book that has heart; is a compelling story and is professionally produced.

Word of mouth is still an effective PR and advertizing tool however; that word of mouth can snowball if you have a good PR plan. PR can be much more effective than advertising. One mention of you and your book by the media can quickly legitimize you as an author.  PR works best in conjunction with a good advertising plan.

PhillySnaps5

After being cooped up in my office writing for eight months, in my pajamas the thought of going out and actually speaking to people terrified me. What would I wear? Would I sound like I knew what I was talking about? With each book signing and each media event my confidence grew. I actually enjoy it now. The key is being practiced and prepared.

Happy writing!

Doreen

 

 

Team Bethenny, Healthcare, a chapel and Hotdogs…

 

Welcome to November, everyone and how nice it arrived on a Friday! Personally, I still want July back. That does not help with my goal of living in the moment. I need to work on that.

On most Fridays, I am visiting, reading and commenting on the blogs of some of the best virtual friends a blogger could ever have. The little group is called Friday Fragments and it was started by the oh so lovely Mrs. 4444.

You can find out all about it here and you are most welcome to join us. We would love to have you.

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