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Vicki M. Taylor
June 16th, 2008, 09:11 AM
NETWORKING!

It's all about getting the word out about you and your writing. And, learning from other writers. See what works and what doesn't with their promotional campaigns.

Network with other writers and readers, joining discussions, e-groups, etc.
http://www.shortstorygroup.com/
http://www.forwriters.com/
http://www.writers.com/
http://coffeeandcritique.blogspot.com/
http://heartlandwritersgroupomaha.com/blog/
http://www.southernhumorists.com/
http://atlantawriters.org/
http://www.hodrw.com/
http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/index.php

These are just an example of what's out there. There are groups for every region and every genre. Google is your friend!

Activity: Name the writers groups you are currently actively participating in.

StephanieC
June 17th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I find there are so many sites, it's hard to know where to start. I'm a long-standing member of critiquecircle, which I find really useful, and I love romance divas, but there are so many other sites I haven't even begun to explore, and surfing can take so much time!

Does anyone have any tips for whittling down the long list from google to more manageable proportions?

Stephanie

Writer and Coach
www.stephaniecage.co.uk (http://www.stephaniecage.co.uk)
Because life is for the loving...

rgraham666
June 17th, 2008, 12:45 PM
My two major networking places are The Author's Hangout (http://forum.literotica.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3) at Literotica and the bulletin board at Romance Divas (http://forums.romancedivas.com/).

Vicki M. Taylor
June 17th, 2008, 01:43 PM
I find there are so many sites, it's hard to know where to start. I'm a long-standing member of critiquecircle, which I find really useful, and I love romance divas, but there are so many other sites I haven't even begun to explore, and surfing can take so much time!

Does anyone have any tips for whittling down the long list from google to more manageable proportions?

Stephanie

Writer and Coach
www.stephaniecage.co.uk (http://www.stephaniecage.co.uk)
Because life is for the loving...

Stephanie, what key words are you using to search Google?

Dee Brice
June 18th, 2008, 08:49 AM
Good morning all,
I currently (sorta) participate on ECChats (EC authors only) and Joyfully Reviewed and, of course, Coffee Time loop. My local RWA chapter also has a loop which is great for sharing info, etc.
Dee

StephanieC
June 25th, 2008, 05:25 PM
'online writers forum' nets 9 million citations.
'romance writers forum' gets down to 3 million.
But to be honest, I rarely bother googling because I have enough trouble keeping up with all the links from romancedivas, the RNA UK e-group, and coffeetimeromance!

Sometimes I think the Internet really is too much of a good thing!

racheldthompson
June 25th, 2008, 09:06 PM
I don't have enough time for all the sites there are out there, but when I find the time I like to spend it on www.writing.com (http://www.writing.com). My critique friends gave me the push I needed to get published.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 26th, 2008, 07:42 AM
'online writers forum' nets 9 million citations.
'romance writers forum' gets down to 3 million.
But to be honest, I rarely bother googling because I have enough trouble keeping up with all the links from romancedivas, the RNA UK e-group, and coffeetimeromance!

Sometimes I think the Internet really is too much of a good thing!

You may be right about that. It has grown so much that even I can get overwhelmed at times!!!

Vicki M. Taylor
June 28th, 2008, 07:42 AM
Network

Tell everyone about your book. Talk to anyone who will listen about your book.
Senior citizen groups
Teach a class
Write columns for newsletters
Judge contests
Get involved with a writing group
Contact the Friends of the Library and give a talk
Donate a book to the library

**Find niche markets for your books. What is the topic or topics of your book? What audience are you reaching out to? Research where you can sell your books in other bookstores online and off.**

** Discover unique places other than bookstores. These may be restaurants, gift stores, insurance offices, senior citizen centers, children's clothing and toy stores, kitchen gadget stores. Use your creativity and see what outlets would be interested in your book.**

If you have friends and family in different towns, get them to go to their local library and bookstore and ask them to stock your book

If you travel to see friends and families; get addresses of bookstores and libraries on your route. Stop in. Make a contact!

** excerpt from Mary Emma Allen writes and publishes from her multi-generational home in New Hampshire. She's a blogger at www.quiltingandpatchwork.com,
www.alzheimersnotes.com, www.homebiznotes.com and
http://maryemmallen.blogspot.com and writes a weekly newspaper
column, "Country Kitchen."

b.Not everything is perfect, and there are some promotional obstacles

Friends (fiends?) and family
Some may not be supportive or may even be envious
Lots of misconceptions about being an author and getting a book published.
They may assume that you have lots of $ now
They may assume there are dozens of resources at your beck and call to promote and market, so why should you, and why should they?
Books just magically appear on a bookshelf
Little marketing fairies are flitting about doing good deeds

Vicki M. Taylor
June 28th, 2008, 07:45 AM
NETWORKING!
It's all about getting the word out about you and your writing. And, learning from other writers. See what works and what doesn't with their promotional campaigns.

Network with other writers and readers, joining discussions, e-groups, etc.
http://www.shortstorygroup.com/
http://www.forwriters.com/
http://www.writers.com/
http://coffeeandcritique.blogspot.com/
http://heartlandwritersgroupomaha.com/blog/
http://www.southernhumorists.com/
http://atlantawriters.org/
http://www.hodrw.com/
http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/index.php

These are just an example of what's out there. There are groups for every region and every genre. Google is your friend!

Activity: Name the writers groups you are currently actively participating in.


The Biggest Mistakes Bloggers Make
All right, so you have a blog, now it's time to get serious. There are ways to grab traffic (readers) and there are ways to lose them. Once you have someone's attention you want to keep it, right? Of course you do. So abide by the Golden Rules of Blogging and don't (inadvertently) show readers the door before you've had a chance to engage them and, of course sell your book. Also, the idea of having a blog is gaining traffic, yes? These Golden Rules will cover that too, and then some.
1)Letting someone else host their blog. Why? Because the idea behind blogging is getting traffic, momentum, exposure and all the great benefits of blogging. If you don't have your own URL and your identity, you're really only using half of your blogging ability. Also, if you utilize a blog platform like, let's say Wordpress, and you are blogging on something controversial they can pull you if they don't like it. Now they don't often do this but it has happened. Yes, it's free and it's great. You can still use the blogging software but incorporate it and host it on your own URL.
2)Your blog is like everyone else's blog. A friend of mine just bought a silver Toyota Corolla. Great car, but it's nondescript. Not that there's anything wrong with being nondescript, but if you apply the same principles to your blog you'll vanish in cyberspace. Get a custom blog or customize your blog somehow. Don't settle for what the blogging service gives you (standard templates and settings), create your own, unique message and look of your blog. If you don't have the skill to do this on your own hire someone, it'll be worth whatever you pay and you don't have to pay much. Most highly-custom blogs cost less than $2,000.
3)You don't allow people to post or comment on your blog. All comments and posting should be welcome. Comments mean someone's actually reading your blog and thinks enough of it to offer a comment. Then when folks do comment, respond back and let them know you appreciate them taking time to read your blog.
4)There's a saying about chefs that goes: even the best chefs eat at other restaurants. Why do they do this? They want to know what the competition is doing. The message here is: read other blogs in your genre. Get to know these bloggers, post on their sites and invite them to blog on yours. Not only will you be able to keep up with the “chatter” out there on your topic, but it's a great way to network.
5)How you say it is almost as important as what you say. Don't talk down to people, blogs are conversational – as though you were talking to your reader over a latte. And please, don't talk about yourself. Yes, you can talk about what you're doing, share your life (as long as it relates to your topic) but if you do it all the time it will get boring. It's ok to talk about your book, your book signing, or what you're up to – just remember it needs to be about your reader. Help them, guide them, offer them advice, insight and make your blog worth reading.
Blogging can be fun and certainly a great way to build your audience. By following these simple rules you'll not only be a better blogger, but be able to use this astonishingly easy platform to its greatest advantage.

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com


Activity – Design your blog – Think of 10 topics relating to your book or your genre that you could blog about – think of 10 topics you can blog about relating to social networking (topics you are interested in that you might find an audience for – baby boomers, wine, politics, children, etc.) that you can blog about


a.Online Blogs – Social Networking
Customize your blog so it matches your website, add your book covers
advertise your blog
have contests on your blog and promote your blog on contests websites You can offer simple rewards such as gift cards or if you want to get fancier, go with items from Victoria's Secrets, Bath & Body, try some Candles, Chocolate, Food baskets, or deliveries from The Popcorn Factory or Hersheys, etc.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 28th, 2008, 07:45 AM
Micro-Blogging on Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There's a hot new trend going on right now and it's called micro-blogging. So what's a micro-blog? And moreover, what's Twitter? Twitter is a micro-blogger platform that allows users to create entries that are only 140 characters in length. These entries are referred to as "tweets." Originally designed to keep friends and family up to date on what you're doing, Twitter can also be a great place to share your latest book project, promotional ideas as well as interacting with fellow tweets (folks who twitter) and writers. And yes, you can have a blog and a Twitter page. I have both but I feed my blog into my Twitter site so that my Twitter page gets updated each time I add new content to my blog. There's an easy application to add your blog feed to Twitter, it takes just minutes to do. Head on over to: Twitterfeed, http://twitterfeed.com/.

To sign up for a Twitter account just go to www.twitter.com and complete their short sign up form. Remember to brand yourself! This is important. Once you create a Twitter account you can't go back and change your name so find something that works for you. Maybe it's fictionwriter or businesswriter or whatever you want. My Twitter page is bookgal, www.twitter.com/bookgal, which is a fun play on words for what I do (and what I love). Once you have a Twitter account you can immediately start tweeting. The service is completely free and you can also keep up with other people's tweets by "following" them. Their micro-blog entries will show up on your Twitter home page so you can easily keep track of them. You can also be notified by phone when they add a tweet. You can twitter from anywhere, even your phone. I've been known to twitter from my blackberry.

Why on Earth Would You Want to Twitter?

When Twitter first started, people were a little perplexed. I mean why on earth would you want to blog in 140 characters? Well, since the site emerged in 2006, it's grown enormously in popularity. With Twitter pages from sites like CNN and every one of the political candidates, the site's popularity can't be overstated. Nor can its applications for the future. Also, even if you don't have a ton of people following your tweets, keep in mind that Twitter search sites are popping up everywhere. This means that if you tweet using keywords that matter to your reader/market, you could be found and followed! For one such search site check out: http://summize.com/. Also, if you're trying to gauge the popularity of a certain word or phrase and how often it's being used or referred to, you can head on over to Tweet Volume and find out: http://www.tweetvolume.com/. Just plug in your search term or terms and up will pop a list of results!

Most Well-Known Twitter Users

· Many organizations (such as the Los Angeles Fire Department) have embraced the technology and put it to use in situations such as the October 2007 California wildfires.

· Higher education is also using the technology to relay important information to students in a more timely manner. The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering is one such example.

· Several U.S. presidential campaigns use Twitter as a publicity mechanism: Ron Paul, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton all have Twitter pages.

· Media outlets such as CNN have also started using Twitter to break news.

· Editor-at-Large of Star magazine, Julia Allison, maintains a Twitter account.

How to Use Twitter Effectively

If you've pondered using Twitter but aren't sure how to use it effectively, here are some quick tips to give you some great twittering ideas:

· Teach stuff - teach a little mini-lesson on Twitter. Delve into your area of expertise or just talk about book publishing and how to get published.

· Showcase your book - don't do this in a "my book is so fabulous" kind of way but offer to give advice (like I mention in Teach Stuff) or share with your Twitter followers how the promotion of the book is going.

· Use Twitter as a news source: you can easily announce news both from your world (as long as it relates to your topic) and from the world of your expertise. So for example I've done tweets on book industry stuff, breaking news, etc.

· Widen your network - follow other Twitter folk, this will not only give you some ideas for your own "tweets" but it's a great way to network with other writers or professionals.

· Keep the buzz going when you're on the move - it's hard to keep blogging when you're on the road (trust me, I know this first hand) - so when I travel, I tweet. I share what I'm doing, what's happening in my world and try to offer insight and advice.

· Market yourself - remember that while Twitter may seem like a fun little tool, it's also a great way to market yourself. Just like the ideas we mention above, there are a hundred+ more things you can do.

Golden Rules of Twitter:

Here are a few rules to live by when tweeting:

· Be Original, useful and helpful.

· Every Tweet counts (don't tell people you're washing your cat), don't just tweet on useless stuff or you'll lose followers.

· Ask questions: you've got a network (or you want one) now use it! Ask questions, take surveys, get your followers involved in your message and marketing!

· It's not all about you (again, back to the cat) people want to know useful stuff, I know, it's getting repetitive but there's a reason: it's important.

· Promote your Twitter account in your email signature line and on your blog.

· Network: don't expect your followers to grow if you're not following other people. Network, search for others in your area and follow them.

· Personal is ok. Even though I said not to post useless information it's still not a bad idea to (from time to time) post a personal Tweet or two. Provide value and twitter-followers will beat a path to your door.

· Keep Twittering, followers will come if you keep updating your Twitter account.

Not sure what to Twitter About? Check out these creative Twitter sites!

http://twitter.com/celebritygossip
http://twitter.com/cookbook
http://twitter.com/books

More on Twitter

Twitter, the little micro-blogging site that has seen an enormous growth lately. Traffic to the site has nearly doubled in the last two months, seeing 1.2 million unique visitors per month. If you're not on Twitter you might want to consider it. Twittering or micro-blogging (as it's commonly referred to) is getting bigger each day as applications for this form of promotion continue to grow. Don't believe me? http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/16/traffic-to-twitter-nearly-doubles-in-two-months.

Fun Twitter Stuff

If you're still confused about what Twitter is, check out this easy-to-understand YouTube video: Twitter in Plain English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o

Ready for more fun Twitter applications?

TwitterMail: http://twittermail.com/ - supplies you with a personal email address. If you send an email to that address it will be posted to Twitter.

Is Twitter a popularity contest? Yes, without a doubt. Find out how you rank in the grand scheme of Twitter fame: Twitter Quotient http://web.forret.com/tools/twitter-tq.asp. Find out if you're a Twitter hero or BIG zero.

Addicted to Twitter? You're not the only one. Check out the most popular micro-blogs on Twitter: http://www.twitterholic.com/.

Ready to update Twitter from your phone? Check out Twitter Fone: http://www.twitterfone.com/

Wanna write now and Tweet later? You can do that with Tweetlater.com, http://www.tweetlater.com/, store up your tweets for delivery at a later date!

Ready to follow some other Twitters but not sure who you should be following? Head on over to Who Should I Follow, http://www.whoshouldifollow.com/, plug in your Twitter user name and it'll pop up results appropriate to your Tweets.

Ready to make some quick cash? Twitter me this, http://www.twittermethis.com/, is a site that will ask a random question, if you're the first one to answer you win $5. Just enough for a latte. Not bad. I haven't won anything yet but I'm still hopeful.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com



Check Out These Social Networking Sites
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* http://www.MiGente.com - for the Latino community - 5.4 million users per month

* http://www.Snooth.com - social shopping site for wine lovers - 200,000 users per month

* http://www.Imeem.com - for iTunes lovers - streaming free music and video - 1.7 million users per month

i.* http://www.Asmallworld.net - an invitation only network for global jetsetters - 160,000 users per month

Assignment: Find 5 – 10 web sites where you can socialize