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View Full Version : Lesson 3 -Controlling a Live Chat



kayelle_allen
June 4th, 2007, 09:46 PM
Please scan and download the attachments for this lesson.

CHAT FOLDER

This is the folder I use for all my chats and author days. I keep a shortcut to it on my desktop. This makes it a breeze to jump between books during a chat. Organization will help you maintain control of a live chat.

EXCERPT FOLDER

This is a view inside one of the folders inside the chat folder. I name all the documents Excerpt and then the name of the book. I have one title that's far too long for this - At the Mercy of Her Pleasure - so I write that as ATMOHP.

The advantage of doing this is that if you need to put excerpts from several books together (say in a flash drive) all the books sort together by name. I may not be quick in some ways, but I make up for it by being organized.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

Who hasn't been to chats where the questions are flying so fast that you sit back in a daze and just watch it happen. You're thinking, "You know, I thought this was *my* chat, but I can't get a word in edgewise!"

There are some easy fixes for that, and please share if you have another one. We all need help with this. Here are three things I do to maintain control on a non-moderated chat.

1. Take a friend. Ask someone to join you who will ask specific questions. This is guiding the conversation and helps keep the group on track.

2. Have a personal agenda. Know which excerpts you're going to share (for promoting certain books, etc.) It doesn't hurt to announce up front that you are going to do a drawing at 9:45 (or whatever), and that you'll post 10 excerpts between now and then so is everyone ready? This gives them an idea of what's coming and how long to stick around. :)

3. Realize that in a live chat the conversations are lagging by several lines. You post a comment, then four other people post one - 3 of which might be in response to the comment made previously to the last. Because the program only feeds lines as it gets them, they come onto the screen out of sync. (NOTE: CAPS are for emphasis) THE KEY TO MAINTAINING CONTROL is watching for the person who is responding to YOU and PAYING THEM ATTENTION. Each person wants that attention.

You can't keep up with all the various private and off topic things and still be in control. So you ignore those (without being rude) and focus on the one or two who are still with you. Use their names - "Jan, when you read that book, what did you think of...." etc. It won't be long before everyone wants to know what's going on and is back on track.

So, to maintain control;

be organized and ready ahead of time
make an agenda and a plan
have a friend with you (or someone who'll be the moderator)
focus on those who are focusing on you


Tomorrow we'll talk about some innovative ways to hold contests during live chats that beat the "I'm thinking of a number" routine. =^_^=

Comments or questions welcome. Please share your success ideas!

deniserossetti
June 5th, 2007, 07:00 AM
One question, Kayelle. I've found that sometimes weird things happen with certain characters in Word - eg, dashes or apostrophes - when you post them in a plain text environment.

What about saving those excerpt files in Notepad as text files?

Denise
*listening to the rain on the roof, which is WONDERFUL because we're in a serious drought here* :clap:

kuroisama
June 5th, 2007, 01:01 PM
What about saving those excerpt files in Notepad as text files?

Denise

Notepad is a wonderful thing because you know if shows up there, then it'll show up anywhere (hopefully). Too many times I've sent out a post that read fine on my computer but went wonky on someone else's (same with getting posts from some people).


THE KEY TO MAINTAINING CONTROL is watching for the person who is responding to YOU and PAYING THEM ATTENTION. Each person wants that attention.

You can't keep up with all the various private and off topic things and still be in control. So you ignore those (without being rude) and focus on the one or two who are still with you.

What about setting up ground rules in the first post for modifying subject lines, if they are going off-topic, so people don't get confused? Like, "Chat with Author (off-topic)" or something like that?

Not to mention, wouldn't a ground rules post--to set everything up--just make things flow smoother? Just to remind people to delete the OLD quoted parts so the post isn't really long, put responses above the quote so it's easier to find, and other stuff like that. I know there will be people who aren't paying attention to that or just don't see the post, but most of them would, right? (Keep in mind I'm thinking in Yahoo!Group format here. For this type of forum, quoting isn't such a pain.)

Renee

Jude Mason
June 5th, 2007, 02:26 PM
I've found that there are always certain questions asked, or information you want to get across during chats. URL's for your website, newsletter, publisher(s) Yahoo group, and wherever else you can be found. Keep a page with those links on them in your chat folder.

The questions usually asked, 'how did you get into writing?' 'When did you begin?' 'Which is your favorite male character?' 'How long does it take to write a book?' There are dozens of them. Type out the question and highlight it in blue or red, then answer it in regular black.

I've done some of them and it saves tons of time.

kuroisama
June 5th, 2007, 03:27 PM
The questions usually asked, 'how did you get into writing?' 'When did you begin?' 'Which is your favorite male character?' 'How long does it take to write a book?' There are dozens of them. Type out the question and highlight it in blue or red, then answer it in regular black.

I've done some of them and it saves tons of time.

Ummm... "Favorite male character?" Do they mean period or of the books you've written/published? Or do they mean both?

How about I do a self-interview of the top asked questions and post that on my website? Then that should keep the generic stand-bys at bay, right? Probably not, huh?

Oh... can someone list off the questions that are usually asked (might as well plan to do a self-interview the next time I get blocked). :)

Karenne
June 5th, 2007, 04:10 PM
You know..that comment about controlling the room. That is a good one. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, readers/guest will get out of line.

We have found that having at least two moderators in our live chats help. One can concentrate on working with the authors while the other works with the readers/guests.

But it is a fine line. You want to control the room so the majority of individuals can enjoy the authors and their chat, but at the same time you don't want to offend a reader who is also a potential customer for the authors.

We let the authors know in advance that we will take care of the unruly visitors so that the author does not have to. Maybe if you are doing a chat of your own without a provided moderator, you could have a friend (who is not an author or who doesn't introduce themselves as an author) be the bad guy...so to speak.

kayelle_allen
June 5th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Oh... can someone list off the questions that are usually asked (might as well plan to do a self-interview the next time I get blocked). :)


I save interview questions for use on my own group with guest authors. This is a lot, but here you go. (I also attached it in .txt format)

===
Qs for chats and interviews

If one of your books could be made into a movie, which one would it be and what actors would play the characters?

What was the last movie you saw? Liked it, loved it, hated it?

What music do you enjoy?

Any hobbies?

What comes to mind when I say whipped cream?

What is more sexy to you in a person? The way they walk, the clothes they wear or the overall confidence they project?

If you could sit down with any of your characters for lunch, which would it be and why?

When new authors start out, I imagine it can be rather daunting and a bit stressful to fit in and get to know fellow writers. Have you found your writing career to be an easy adjustment?

How have the fellow writers and Liquid Silver as a whole, been to help you with learning the ropes, and have they been there for you as your books release?

Why (your genre) stories? What is the draw to them for you that compels you to write them?

What are your characters like in your books? To date, you write some very strong, determined yet equally sexy heros. What are they REALLY like?

What are the heroines like for these strong heros? What kind of women do they need to feel whole?

How has your experience with the staff and other authors, as well as readers, been at (your publisher)?

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

What do you hope readers take with them, after reading one of your stories? What do you hope they feel, or learn?

If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

What song would best describe you/your life?

If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Is there a place you have never been to that you always longed to go?

Is there a character that was the hardest to write? The easiest? Have you ever patterned a character after someone you knew?

If you weren't an author, what do you think you would be doing instead?

What makes you smile? sad? angry?

What do you think the level of sensuality/heat is in your books? What can readers expect from your books with respect to sensuality and sexual content?

What is your ideal romantic night out?

If we asked dh/friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think he/they would say?

If a biography was to be written about you, what do you think the title would read in 3-5 words?


How long did it take you to write your first book?

How hard is it to keep your ideas fresh in each new book?

Which of your females characters did you find the hardest to write about and why?

As above but male

Are any of your books serials?

As a first time reader which book would you recommend to start with and why?

Are any other of your family members artistic?

To date which is your favorite book you have written and why?

which genres are your least favorite in fiction and why?

Do you have a newsletter and or a chat-loop?

what makes you happy and why?

when writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you mainly start with? Eyes, age, hair color, etc?

On average which of your characters get the best lines and why,
hero, heroine, baddie, sidekick, etc.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?

What advice would you give to "would-be-closet-writers?" like me?

When writing a love / sex scene how satisfied are you that you made it (multiple choice - I didn't copy all of them)

Which of your books would you describe as
a) laugh-out-loud-sexy and full of fun
b) adventurous and wild
c) hot and steamy

Which of your books would give readers the best read?

I really hate the "meek and mild woman" in stories, what about you?

What about a woman is a turn-off for you when reading a book by another author?

I really hate the "know-it-all-male" in stories, what about you?

What about a man is a turn-off for you when reading a book by another author?

How difficult is it for you to have to re-write a whole scene / chapter because your editor does not agree with what you have written and they suggest changes?

What's your favorite color and why?

How long have you been writing?

What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?

What influenced you to get published?

How long did it take for your first book to get published?

What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction [OR OTHER GENRE]?

What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong? Can you describe them to us?

What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?

What about the heroines for these strong determined heros? What makes them equal to the heroes and capture the heart of one of these alpha males?

When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readersí reaction to it?

How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author?

What do you hope readers get from your books?

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Any advice for aspiring authors?

The editing process is an important aspect of an authorsí life. How do you define the editing process for any of your books? Do you have a routine you follow when in editing mode?

What is on tap for the rest of [YEAR]?

Do you have other WIPís you want to get published?

Can we get a taste of what is to come from you in the future?

Did you ever expect your books to be so popular and receive such great reader response when you first started writing?

You all have some great secondary characters in your books. Will we see spin offs in regards to them in their own storylines? Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

What can readers expect from your books with respect to sexual content and sensuality?

who is your hottest hero to date and why?

as above but female?

what is the funniest love scene you have written?

what is the hottest love scene written?

which of your characters would you most like to see in a series of books and why?

At the end of the day, what is the last thing you think of before sleeping? the first thing when you wake up?

Do you find it hard to balance work, school, home with writing?

What do you do to relax and let the cares of the world go away for a bit?

Do your characters live with you when writing? Have you ever had them take over for awhile when writing?

What is one thing that makes you excited?

What motto do you have that you say over and over when/if things get tough for you?

If you were an ice cream flavor, what one would you be and why?

If you were marooned on an island, what 5 things would you bring with you?

What inspires you with writing, in life to make you happy?

Do you have a writing partner to bounce ideas off of?

If you could time travel to any era, which one would you choose and why?

kayelle_allen
June 5th, 2007, 09:10 PM
I've found that there are always certain questions asked, or information you want to get across during chats. URL's for your website, newsletter, publisher(s) Yahoo group, and wherever else you can be found. Keep a page with those links on them in your chat folder.

The questions usually asked, 'how did you get into writing?' 'When did you begin?' 'Which is your favorite male character?' 'How long does it take to write a book?' There are dozens of them. Type out the question and highlight it in blue or red, then answer it in regular black.

I've done some of them and it saves tons of time.

Very proactive, and a great way to save yourself some time!

kayelle_allen
June 5th, 2007, 09:11 PM
You know..that comment about controlling the room. That is a good one. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, readers/guest will get out of line.

We have found that having at least two moderators in our live chats help. One can concentrate on working with the authors while the other works with the readers/guests.

But it is a fine line. You want to control the room so the majority of individuals can enjoy the authors and their chat, but at the same time you don't want to offend a reader who is also a potential customer for the authors.

We let the authors know in advance that we will take care of the unruly visitors so that the author does not have to. Maybe if you are doing a chat of your own without a provided moderator, you could have a friend (who is not an author or who doesn't introduce themselves as an author) be the bad guy...so to speak.

And that is why CTR is known for being a classy place to have a chat! Excellent suggestion too.

kayelle_allen
June 5th, 2007, 09:15 PM
What about setting up ground rules in the first post for modifying subject lines, if they are going off-topic, so people don't get confused? Like, "Chat with Author (off-topic)" or something like that?

Not to mention, wouldn't a ground rules post--to set everything up--just make things flow smoother? Just to remind people to delete the OLD quoted parts so the post isn't really long, put responses above the quote so it's easier to find, and other stuff like that. I know there will be people who aren't paying attention to that or just don't see the post, but most of them would, right? (Keep in mind I'm thinking in Yahoo!Group format here. For this type of forum, quoting isn't such a pain.)

True - in a live chat there is still a good opportunity for a ground rule post. If you are fortunate enough to have a moderator, which is ideal, that will (hopefully) be taken care of for you.

If you are going it alone, you can suggest things like "Please post ??? if you would like to ask a question, and I will call on you asap".

This is an inventive group! I like your ideas. *scribbles many notes*