Category Archives: Twitter

What Happens at a Writing Conference?


Why attend a writers’ conference?

  1. You will learn more than you thought possible about the publishing community.
  2. You will learn how to improve your writing.
  3. You will learn what is new in the industry.
  4. You will learn how to sell books.
  5. You will meet interesting people.

It is that last item that I want to emphasize. I met world class authors and could ask them questions directly about the field, about their experiences, both good and bad, and about what advice they could offer to me as a new author.

Moreover, I made professional contacts, leading to my being interviewed on video and on audio recording for a podcast, allowing me to promote my book to a new audience.

Finally, I made new friends who sent me the lovely messages below:

Fay,

 It was great meeting you at the C3 Conference. Thanks for doing the podcast. I’ll let you know when it’s up and send you the link.

 Larry Matthews Author of The Dave Haggard Thrillers http://www.larrymatthews.net

Was soooo thrilled to meet you in person Fay–you are such a lovely person! XXXOOO

Cindy McDonald

@MooreFay, you are such a delight, and I can’t wait to read your novel. Thanks for coming and enjoy the kindle.

Author Sandra Webster @BSwanginWebster

(Oh, yes! And I won a Kindle Fire at the Crime, Creatures & Creativity conference!  So surprising things can happen, too!)

Anyway, for these reasons and more, I urge you to sign up for the October 5th From Writer to Published Author conference in Harpers Ferry, WV (a suburb of Washington, DC). The closing day to register is just a few days away—September 22. The link to register is below.

http://acornbookservices.com/Writer_to_Published_Author.html

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013

8:45 am-5:00 pm

Place: Oakland Church

70 Oakland Terrace Charles Town, WV

Cost: $60 (lunch included)

Panel Discussions on Writing, Publishing, Illustrating, Writing Children’s BooksSponsored by Acorn Book Services

The From Writers to Published Authors Conference offers writers the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of writing and publishing directly from those who have gone before them. At this first annual event, authors and publishers will gather together to spend the day helping new writers to reach their goal of not only publishing their books, but doing it right.

Attendees have a choice of panel discussions to attend based on where they are in their journey toward authorship. The forty-five minute panel discussions will cover writing tips (getting your books done/research), publishing (social media/cover design).

Currently Scheduled to Appear: Lauren Carr (publisher and mystery author)

Austin Camacho (publisher and mystery/thriller author) Beth Rowland (publisher) Tim Rowland (columnist/author) Cindy McDonald (author) Ed Steers (historian and author) Thomas L. Trumble (author/playwright) B.Swangin Webster (author) Michael T. (children’s author) Joe Santoro (illustrator) Malcolm Ater (young adult/middle school author) Penny Clover Petersen (author of children’s and adult books) H.L. Grandin (author) Mary-Ellen Low (author) Victor Nieves (author) Fay Moore (author) Daniel Claggett (illustrator) Debbie Brenneman (author) George Johnson (author) S.J. Brown (author/photographer) Todd Aune (cover designer) D.B. Corey (author)
This conference also includes two Super Panel discussions which are foremost on most writers and published authors’ minds: The Future of Books and Using Social Media for Book Promotion.

Three publishers are schedule to appear: Lauren Carr of Acorn Book Services, Austin Camacho of Intrigue Publishing, and Beth Rowland of  Black Walnut Corner Book Production.

The fee for attendees is $60. Lunch is included. We encourage attendees to not be shy. We encourage writers to feel free to talk to authors and publishers about their projects and ask any questions they may have about completing their books and advice on publishing.
But Wait! There’s More! Intrigue Publishing will have a special presentation during lunch:

Working With a Small Press – A Reality Check.

Writers won’t want to miss this interactive presentation that will answer many questions about the differences between a big press, and also how a small press differs from self-publishing.

*Schedule Panel Topics *Topics may change due to author’s schedules before the conference

Writing

Get ’er Done: Committing to your book to complete it.

Let’s Get Personal: This panel is made up of authors who have successfully put pen to paper to tell their stories.

Research: Get it Right: Even in fiction, nothing can kill a book like having your facts wrong.

Laughing It Up: Writing humor.

Publishing

Judging a Book By Its Cover: Cover Design.

Picture My Book: Working with Illustrators.

Who’s Going to Read It:  As much as we like to think everyone will want to read our book, that is just not the case. This panel will discuss determining your readers so that you may focus your book and your marketing toward drawing them in.

How to Sell It: Different from the Social Media Super Panel, this panel discussion will focus on basic marketing techniques that every author should know.

Children’s Books

Kiddie Lit I: Writing for Children. Writing for children is not as easy as it may appear. This panel will discuss the basics to know when it comes to writing a children’s book.

Kiddlie Lit II: Where’s the Line? Is your book appropriate for your age group? Does your middle school book have too much romance? Is it appropriate to have your grade-school-aged protagonist curse? This promises to be a hot discussion.

Space is limited for the From Writers to Published Authors Conference. So don’t delay. Sign up today!

Guest Post from Author M. S. Fowle


WordPress has allowed me to meet wonderful people. One example is author M. S. Fowle. She not only is a prolific author, but also is proficient in technical skills. 

 Today she has agreed to show us how to add a Twitter Feed to our blogs. Thank you for guest posting here today!

Blogging Tip: Twitter Power!

Let’s face it – just because we’re blogging, it doesn’t mean we always know what we’re doing. A lot of us just learn as we go. But I’m here to tell all you “not-so internet savvy” folks that it’s not as difficult as it looks.

Today, let’s talk Twitter. If you’re on Twitter and you’re blogging, the two should be playing off each other. When you blog, you tweet about it. But you should also make it easier for your blog readers to find you on Twitter. So I’ve provided two helpful visual aids to walk you through it.

The first image will explain how to add a Twitter feed to your blog, by far the easiest way to go about intertwining the two social media worlds.

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Melchelle designs TwitterFeedTutorial_msfowle_2013

The next tutorial will explain how to add clickable links to the sidebar of your blog. Now, to some, this one can seem a bit intimidating. But I will gladly explain a few things in a moment…

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Melchelle designs TextWidgetTutorial_msfowle_2013

I know, I know – you’re looking at that last step, shaking your fist in the air and cursing my name. Please, just simmer down and listen. Have a look at the text below:

<p><a href=”###”>XXX</a></p>

Simply copy and paste that into your “Text Widget” as it is. THEN, open a new window or tab to your social media profile, Twitter for example.

Click and hold to select the link, aka website address, to your profile

Right-click and ‘copy’ your link

Now, select the ### (NOT the quotations) from the text I provided above

Right-click and ‘paste’ in your link

Next, click and hold to select the XXX

Type in Twitter, or Follow Me on Twitter, or whatever you want it to say

Click ‘Save’

DONE!

You can do this again and again, right in the same widget with multiple links, such as Facebook, Linkdin, Goodreads, etc. Wherever you want your readers to find you, you can now give them the ability to do so in one easy click.

So, get to it! Nothing can stop you now! 😉

 To learn more about our Guest Author M. S. Fowle, please visit the links below.

Blog – http://msfowle.wordpress.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/msfowle

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ms_fowle

Converting Twitter Followers into Readers of Your Books


Quotation from author Jonathan Gunson:

      Converting your Twitter followers into buyers only happens if you interact with them the right way.  Twitter is all about engagement.   You need to become familiar to them, so they feel connected with you and your work, because you both love the same things…  and then they buy your books.

Isn’t this exactly the same sentiment shared here by author and graphic artist Karen Gadient just a few days ago?

The lesson for us is that all social media is exactly that: SOCIAL media. An author is successful in using social media to market books when the author makes the connection to the reader first, then markets as an afterthought or by-product of the personal connection.

It’s a tough balancing act. The emphasis needs to be on making new acquaintances or connections with another human being surrounding shared interests. Otherwise, we abuse our readers. Get pushy with the selling, and we may send our readers to other websites.

Since I will soon have a novel to sell, it’s a personal lesson I need to remember. And if I forget and start selling more than “friending,” please kick me in the seat of the pants rather than silently disappearing.

Using Twitter to Find New Readers for Your Book


Best selling author Jonathan Gunson offers the best advice I found today on using Twitter to find readers. As Gunson says, the technique is “smack your forehead” simple.

After you have read an excerpt of Gunson’s advice below, you will want to see what else he has to offer, so go here:

http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-find-readers-on-twitter/

 re-blogged from Jonathan Gunson (with permission)

Readers Can Be Found By Using Twitter Search

The method is to type into Twitter’s search panel certain words and phrases that readers of your fiction genre might be using in their Tweets.  Doing a few of these searches will start to reveal readers of that fiction genre in significant numbers.

Then just go through the search results and follow those readers that you feel belong to your book genre, based on what they say in their Tweets.  Many of them will follow you back.

Here are three suggested search methods: 1:  Search using the names of successful authors in your fiction genre.

Hostile Hospital By Lemony Snickett This approach finds the readers of successful authors in the same genre as you.

For example, if you’re a YA author, you might search for author “Lemony Snicket”, who writes the hugely popular YA series ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’.

This search will reveal readers in the YA fiction genre, because many of the Tweets will clearly be from people Tweeting about their “Lemony Snicket” reading experience.

lemony snicket readers

Simply go through the search results and pick out the users who are obviously YA readers in your genre.   Click on the names you like, and their profile will pop up – then click each one to follow them.  (The idea being that many of them will follow you back.)

Note:  When searching, remember to click the “All” link at the top so you can see all the Tweets that include a particular phrase, not just the most popular.

For more on this subject, visit Jonathan Gunson’s website.

Good Twitter Stuff for New Tweeters


Rarasaur turned me on to this post by braithanlithe.wordpress.com. It shares the author’s personal trials and triumphs in the Twitter world. It’s a good Twitter tutorial for new Tweeters. (Sorry. I just couldn’t resist the alliteration, for according to T, I am a writer.)

Here’s the link: And dipping a toe in Twitter. I’ve pasted a large excerpt below to give you the meat of it. Braitanlithe gives helpful guidance–and the “why” behind it. I skimmed her post, thinking I’d pick up a kernel or two, then decided to re-post it here because there is a feast: it’s too much for my feeble mind to hold onto in one reading. I want to read and re-read it.

Rarasaur, as always, I love you for your helpful ways. XOXO.

Just the other day, Rarasaur posted about how she was planning to use her Twitter account (you can find out at her blog or on Twitter @rarasaur).  I got interested in the discussion as lots of folk were saying the exact same things as I had, before I tried it.  Stuff along the lines of ‘hmm, I can’t say anything in less than 140 characters’ or ‘I can’t/don’t want to be constantly online looking at a Twitter stream’, or ‘I just don’t get the point of it’.  I posted a comment summarising my thoughts after trying Twitter out for a couple of months and Rara (bless her, much smarter than me!) suggested it could be the basis of a blog post that might be helpful for others who are contemplating whether they want to use Twitter or not.  So here it is.

I completely agree with the brevity thing. I’m pretty long-winded, and it’s a whole art form in itself, learning to say a lot in a few words.  You could think of it like haiku…

Another option is you don’t have to say anything at all.  There is no obligation to send a certain amount of Tweets, or indeed any.  My ‘real-life-non-virtual’ friend who persuaded me to try Twitter doesn’t write Tweets.  She just follows news and other organisations and people she is interested in.

After two months using it, I am still ambivalent about Twitter, but then that’s true of blogging too – if I pause to think, I am freaked out at the idea anyone, anywhere, could read what I write.  I feel vulnerable about that and, as I said in the last post, I also felt vulnerable about starting out in Twitter knowing nobody who would want to ‘follow’ or chat to me.  I moved schools a few times as a young child, and it brought back all those feelings of standing on the edge of the classroom or playground thinking ‘will anyone talk to me?  will anyone like me?’  Ugh.  I still hate going to actual parties, unless I know lots of the people there.

But even though I felt like that, and I’m still ambivalent, I say:  give Twitter a try.  It has benefits, and if you don’t like it – you can just stop.

If you’re thinking about using Twitter, a really helpful guide is ‘Tweet Right’ by author Nicola Morgan.  She has a website and blog at http://www.nicolamorgan.com.  ‘Tweet Right’ and her other e-books such as ‘Write to be Published’ developed out of her earlier website, http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.co.uk/.  If you don’t have an e-book reader, or you want to get a flavour of her writing voice, all the archived posts are still there.

‘Tweet Right’ contains lots of useful information and tips, including etiquette.  Here, I’m only going to flag up one important thing that Morgan rightly emphasises is vital: remember to use your normal social skills.

If a friend invited you to dinner at her house with a group of her other friends you hadn’t met before, you wouldn’t walk in yelling ‘Read my blog post about diamonds and zen!’  Or at least I hope not. You’d get chatting, show interest in people, listen – then perhaps later in the evening when someone asked you how you spent your time, you might say ‘I work in a diamond mine / I’m a monk / I write …’ and if they were interested, you’d tell them about your blog/book.  I think Nicola Morgan and others refer to it as the 80/20 rule – i.e. at least 80% of your tweets should not be self-promotion or product selling.  Ideally, I think almost none of them should be self-promotion.  But then, I’m Scottish.

Having hung out in Twitter for just two months, I have already ‘unfollowed’ an author who did nothing but Tweet several times a day about her own books and where you could buy them. Whereas, to take another author example, Joanne Harris (Chocolat, blueeyedboy, etc.) rarely does that – she tells you things she’s up to, Tweets stories in instalments, and sets little fun writing challenges that she wants you to contribute to.

Once you’ve set up the Publicize function in WordPress to link your blog to Twitter (and, if you wish, to other social media sites like Facebook), my tip would be not to let it send automatic Tweets.

When you are in the Dashboard, writing a post, there is a box at the right titled ‘Publish’, with the buttons ‘save draft’, ‘preview’, etc.  It also has:

Publicize: Twitter: @CatCattanach  Edit Settings

Well, obviously that’s my own one – you won’t be publicising your posts on my Twitter!  But the crucial thing is that ‘Edit’ button.  If you don’t click that and put your own words in, all that anyone who follows you on Twitter will see is the title of your blog post and a clickable link which always begins ‘wp.me’  So if I forget to click my Edit button and change that, this post would simply be publicised as a Tweet that said ‘And dipping a toe in Twitter wp.me,blahblah’.

I have noticed that when I am looking down my Twitter home page, I am more inclined to read and be interested in things that are a little more detailed and personal.  So, when I’m ready to publish this post, I’ll click Edit and change it a little – perhaps something as simple as ‘I just wrote a post about how I’m getting on as a Twitter newbie.  Thanks for the suggestion, @rarasaur!’

I don’t have a smartphone, the time, or the inclination to be looking at my Twitter feed constantly or even often.  I just vowed to myself I would have Twitter on for at least half an hour a day while checking my email or blog, and dip into it to read bits, and send at least one Tweet a day myself. Most of those Tweets are just replies to someone.  You can show Tweets and your Twitter link on the sidebar of your Home page by going into the WordPress Dashboard, then Appearance, then Widgets.  I think the options vary with different themes – mine lets me show a minimum of my three most recent Tweets (I’d prefer it to show just one, which some themes seem to allow).

It does feel hard to get started if you don’t know anyone who uses Twitter, but I’m glad I did. I’m working at home in a remote rural area – and there are lots of writers on Twitter, so it’s a bit like having a wee chat in the corridor if you work in an office. Sure, it might just be trivia, but trivia can take you some unexpected places, and it can be nice making a little connection with someone you’d never bump into in the normal course of things.  Even famous folk with eleventy-million followers are human beings who sometimes enjoy interacting with other human beings.

Twitter can also bring new people to your blog – for example, a sighthound rescue organisation, that I had been following since I joined up, Retweeted the link for my greyhound post to all their Facebook followers, and I got more readers in a day than I ever had before.

It’s definitely a good way of news-gathering.  You can ‘follow’ newspapers and magazines and you will get Tweet summaries of things in the headlines.  If you want to know more, you can click on the link in the Tweet to go straight to the relevant article.

My final benefit is that Twitter can sometimes fling a bit of unexpected, heartwarming positivity into your day. For example:

Joanne Harris was having a daily advent calendar writing event.  On the 17th of December, it was:

‘Door 17: The best Christmas present you ever had, rescued from the archives of time and tied with a scarlet ribbon’

I replied with:

‘Age 8 – stilts AND striped socks with separate toes. Magic legs & the giddy feeling of being taller than Daddy’

Joanne Harris liked it enough to Retweet it to all her 9,000 followers. Which was enough in itself to make me smile. Then not long after that, I got a Tweet from someone I’d never met, saying it had inspired her to buy stilts for her 8 year old daughter’s Christmas. Which completely made my day – although I was a bit nervous her daughter might either think they were boring, or fall off them and end up in Casualty on Boxing Day! However, all’s well that ends well – I heard yesterday that they were ‘the best present ever’ and the little girl can go forwards and backwards on them already, though she hasn’t tried stairs yet. Thankfully.

That’s the kind of thing that can really put on a smile on your face when you are sitting alone on a chilly, wet January day, slogging through to the end of an interminable first draft. So, I’ll be keeping up my Twitter account for the forseeable future.

Writer Karen Gadient on Twitter and Marketing


Karen Gadient, who is both an author and graphic designer, has been a Twitter user for five years. She has watched the evolution of Twitter into a marketing madhouse and shares a thought on how to make your Twitter presence more meaningful to your readers. She says:

 Too many people just push their work. True marketing is about YOU more than what you do. When people like a person, they begin to like their work. By the ocean of BUY MY BOOK spam out there in the Twitterverse, I wonder if others even see Twitter like I do.

Hints for Using Twitter by Guest Author Shelton Keys Dunning


My recent remarks about learning to use Twitter sparked a terrific response from author  Shelton Keys Dunning (https://twitter.com/SheltonKDunning). Thank you, Shelton, for sharing helpful information for writers everywhere:

When my editor told me I needed to do the Twitter thing, I thought, what’s she smoking? I made fun of Twitter, calling those that used it twits. But she introduced me to another platform Tweetdeck (Twitter, only better) and I actually find I like the format better: http://www.tweetdeck.com

There’s also a Tweetdeck app for your smartphone that is set up the same way. You can break up your follows and topics into handy-dandy columns and set up alerts and what not. It’s fairly user friendly, but if you run into any trouble let me know. A good hashtag to follow for writers if you haven’t already come across it is #amwriting

I’m happy to see you in the Tweetsphere. I’ve only been here for a year so I’m not an expert, but it is fun if you know what to look for.