Got Promo?

RWchat giveaway and promo graphicMay is Marketing Month on RWchat, and this week we’re talking about giveaways and promo. Check out Kimberly Bell’s take on giveaways, and read on for promo tips compiled by Alexis Daria.

I’m kind of a conference junkie. It’s fun to hang out with other authors, readers, and industry professionals, swapping book recs and writing advice. But as much as I love the social aspect, that’s not the only reason why I’m there. I’m there to learn. My favorite thing about writing conferences is the opportunity to attend workshops and classes led by people who have built up a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of the life and business of being a writer, either through formal education or trial and error. Yes, a lot of this info can be found online, but there’s something special about being in the same room with an author whose career you admire, hearing them speak about their own experiences, and then getting to ask questions.

Before I attend a conference, I set a goal for what I want to learn. In March, I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers’ “Create Something Magical” Conference with the goal of learning about marketing and promotion. The workshops did not disappoint. Last week, I posted what I learned about newsletters. This week, I’ve compiled some tips on promo from two workshops: “Buzzing Your Book & Building Your Brand,” led by Jillian Stein and Liz Berry (1001 Dark Nights), and “The Six Goals of Online Book Promotions (& the Tools to Achieve Them)” led by Laura Kaye (Raven Riders series).

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Okay, I need a newsletter. Now what?

RWchat newsletter graphicMay is Marketing Month on #RWchat! Our latest post combines newsletter advice collected by guest contributor Sofia Tate and #RWchat co-host Alexis Daria. And be sure to check out Robin Lovett’s earlier post, “Do I have to have a newsletter?

At the LSFW conference in March, I attended the “Buzzing Your Book & Building Your Brand” workshop led by Liz Berry and Jillian Stein from 1001 Dark Nights. They had a ton of great advice on newsletters, and the session dispelled a lot of the fear I felt about starting one. On top of that, RT is going on this week, and Sofia Tate (author of the Davison & Allegra series) was kind enough to share her notes from the newsletter session led by Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) and Mel Jolly (Author’s Atlas). I’ve combined our notes below to give you a double helping of tips and tricks to make your newsletter shine. Continue reading

5 Things to Include on Your Author Website If You’re Not Yet Published

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When I started building websites in the 90s, it was hard. Now, we’re living in a golden age where anyone can turn a free theme into a functional author page. My intention when I started querying was to turn my online art portfolio into an author site—but a hacker wiped it! Rather than rebuild from scratch, I gave my rarely-used WordPress blog a fresh layout. But one question remained: If you aren’t published yet, what do you include on an author website? Below, I’ll give you some easy elements to add to your site, including the one that netted me several comments from agents. 

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Ruining the Moment

Our upcoming chat is about writing humor! Check out Robin Lovett’s post on the struggle to be funny.

I think I’m pretty funny. I don’t know if others would agree or not, but I think I am. Or at the very least, I’m silly, which is close enough. When writing, I try to imbue a light-hearted sense of fun into my stories, to balance out the deeper feelings that come up for the characters. The ability to infuse your writing with humor is all well and good, but alas, this is where killing your darlings comes in.

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Hey Jealousyyy

This week’s #RWchat topic is all about jealousy. (And yes, this post title comes from a Gin Blossoms song.)

Envy is real. We look over at someone else getting the book deal, winning the award, hitting the bestseller list, and we think, “I want that.” But envy can be useful. It can guide us toward new goals, and allow us to study how other people got to where we want to go. Envy can push us to work harder and smarter. But if left unchecked, or allowed to run rampant in the mind, envy can quickly turn to jealousy, which is far more insidious.

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The dictionary defines jealousy as, “jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.” The key word here is resentment. Resentment can fester and grow, sapping creativity and damaging personal and professional relationships.

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Last month, I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers’ “Create Something Magical” conference with fellow RWchat co-host Robin Lovett. On a whim, we went to a session called “I Want What She’s Got: How to Cope with Professional Jealousy” led by Avery Flynn and Kimberly Kincaid. Normally I’m a compulsive note-taker, and I live-tweet workshops and panels, but this felt too personal to live-tweet.

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The Road to the Book Deal

alexis_fb_picIn honor of Sunday’s topic, this week the hosts of #RWchat are telling our own publishing origin stories. Here’s Alexis Daria’s journey.

Where to begin? It would be easy to start last month, when everything happened at once. Or in January, when I sent out the first queries and fulls, and entered the Golden Heart®. November, when I finished the first draft. July, when I developed the proposal. Or even the last days of May 2016, when I got the first inkling for the idea and jotted down notes.

But really, this has been a long road, and I have to go back even further. Not all the way back, to when I was a pre-teen just starting to experiment with long-form stories, although even then I knew I wanted to be a published writer. But a few years, at least, to when I decided to take writing seriously and give it the same fair shot I’d given art.

::cue flashback screen wipe::

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Coming March 19th… Mining Your Past

RWchat 3-19-17The first time you sit down to write, and every time thereafter, you’re not showing up to the page empty handed. You bring all your past experiences, jobs, relationships, and skills with you. Sometimes they work their way onto the page, but other times, they help your career in more subtle ways.

Opera singer. Photographer. Sales superstar. Butterfly pinner. And that’s just us over here at RWchat HQ! In the next chat, we’re going to talk about using the skills you’ve picked up in the past to help you in your present and future as authors.

Come join us Sunday 4pm PST / 7pm EST!

~Alexis Daria

COMING OCT. 30th… CONFERENCE PROPOSALS

RWchat conference proposals october 30

Graphic by Alexis Daria

Writing conferences are a great way to get our names out there and meet other writers. But what if we could not only go to conferences but present at them? Having the bravery to get in front of a room of writers and talk to them about what you know – it’s a hallmark career moment. How do we get there?

If you’ve been on a panel before, come share your experience. If you’ve never done it or even thought about it, come learn how it’s done.

See you Sunday 4pm PST / 7pm EST.

~Robin Lovett

Reading as Research

DeathtoStock_Clementine2You know the feeling. You’re reading a book, and for some indefinable reason it completely sucks you in. When you finish, you seek out the rest of the author’s backlist, and devour them. Wow, you think. This is a really good book!

Great. We all love good books. But as authors, we also want to write really good books. The problem is, a really good book will make you forget you’re reading a story created in the imagination of someone who labored over a laptop for months at their kitchen table. It takes a lot of work to make a book read effortlessly. At the end of such a book, you’re left wondering, how did they do it?

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