Guest post from Kristan Higgins: Organic Marketing

 

We’re thrilled to have an article from Kristan Higgins, New York Times Bestselling author. It was originally published on Romance University, but she’s letting us share it with you here!

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Please no, you’re saying. Not another article on marketing! I know, I know. They’re such a drag (except THIS one, of course). And we authors do so much already. We’re tired!

 

Don’t worry, my lambs. Organic marketing is different and in some respects, easier, because all it requires is authenticity, an eye for why your readers reach for your books and a little time.

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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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We made #RWchat stuff!

We wanted #RWchat stuff to wear, drink out of and write in, so we thought we’d share them with you. (Including the ones that say “Romance Writers do it on Sundays.”) There’s over a dozen different styles of shirts and tank tops for women and men.

The Zazzle store happens to be 25% off today.  (Tip: to see all the products, you’ll need to change the content filter from “safe” to “off”.)

Enjoy!

Writing Without Fear: Having the Courage to Write What You Believe

Originally published on DIYMFA.com

When shit goes down in our lives, how do we keep writing? At best, we lose our ability to focus on our work. Sometimes it makes us question our work—question whether what we have to say will be relevant. Or at worst, become afraid to write what we write.

There’s no more tragic fear for an author than being afraid to give voice to her story because she fears persecution for it. And that’s what one of my friends said to me recently. She was terrified that her work would be misinterpreted or even ridiculed.

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Guest Post: Romancing the Blog

Four Ways Blogging Can Boost Your Author Brand

by Eliza David

Writing romance is time consuming. The drafts, the revisions, the writer blocks, the plot bunnies – it can take over your life.  So why should you invest more time writing in a blog?

Although writing diverse romantic fiction is my first priority, my blog is a crucial component of my platform.  I consider it my space beyond my novels. It supports my brand and boosts my profile.  Here are four ways to make blogging an integral part of your author arsenal as well: Continue reading

Guest Post: How to Write a Workshop Proposal

By Kate McMurray

At RT in 2017, I’m going to be teaching as part of the pre-conference writing workshop, which I’m pretty excited about. I’ve been teaching at conferences for a few years now, and I really enjoy it. Presenting a panel or workshop at a conference is a great way to get in front of readers or share knowledge. I got my start at small conferences and have worked by way up to panels and workshops at the big conventions like RT and RWA.

So here’s how you put together a stellar workshop proposal.

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NaNoWriMo Made Me A Professional Writer

It may sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but I don’t think it is. Writing 50,000 words in the month of November for the last three years, with the help and support of the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) community has made me the writer I am, and it’s not just because my 2014 NaNo book became my debut published novel this summer.

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My NaNoWriMo stickers on the back of my old laptop from the three years I won.

The discipline to commit and write a novel in 30 days is a daunting but very professional task. The respect it shows one’s work with a specific goal and a hard fast deadline along with the accountability of the whole NaNo community is the mark of a budding professional writer.

The number one thing NaNoWriMo did for me was teach me to turn off my overcritical, often debilitating inner editor. I have a tendency to over analyze everything, often making it hard to achieve a goal because perfection gives me writer’s block. But the NaNo philosophy of Don’t-Edit-Just-Write helped me learn to write for the pure enjoyment and pleasure of it.

In the midst of achieving deadlines this year, I’ve been losing sight of that – the joy of writing. I can’t wait until November 1st. NaNoWriMo is fast becoming my yearly commitment to myself to remember I LOVE TO WRITE!

We’re two weeks out from the start of NaNo. The perfect time to start planning your novel for the month. Alexis Daria, NaNo veteran and municipal liaison for over ten years, will have lots of provoking questions and info for us on what NaNo is all about – this Sunday 4pm PST / 7pm EST.

Until then, think about what it is you would love to write next.

~Robin Lovett

 

A Simple Plan (shame if something happened to it…)

What goals do you have for the autumn season? According to my bullet journal, mine are simple:

  • Don’t touch the MS for Project Arcade until Oct. 1!
    Research methods for revising novels (Sep 30)
    Read Story Genius
    Re-Read 2k-10k
    Google search for blog posts (Fiction University)
    Play Dragon Age: Inquisition for background and feel for Project Arcade (no deadline)
    READ PROJECT ARCADE (Oct 1)
    Make a revision plan for Project Arcade (Oct 4)
    Ask 3 people to be critical readers for Project Arcade (October 15)
    Make it up to 50 queries submitted for WITCHMARK (october 15)
    Revise Project Arcade, round 1 (November 15)
    Revise and edit Project Arcade, round 2 (December 15)
    Plan Winter 2017 goals (December 22)
    Reading Break (December 31)

This is pretty much in order. It also focuses exclusively on stuff I can control. For example, I wrote “query more agents to a goal of 50” because I can do that myself. “Find an agent to represent me” depends on other people.

I also have a lot of freedom with my plan. I have set deadlines, but they’re just for me, as I’m not under contract for anything. I am super comfortable with my deadlines, and if nothing happens to disrupt my plan, I’m going to have a contemporary romance ready to query when publishing re-opens in January.

The only problem is if something happens to wreck my beautiful plan, like say getting a response on WITCHMARK that means I have to hold off on Project Arcade. Then I’ll have to do it over, but honestly, that would be a nice problem to have.

How do you plan ahead for writing?