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How to be effective on Twitter – and a game!

It seems like the number of writers considering self-publishing an e-book is rising. And the number of writers following me on Twitter with a self-published book is rising too.

That’s wonderful. I don’t mind at all. Nice to meet you. I absolutely love that this opportunity is available for writers.

But please don’t send me an automated DM that says, ‘welcome and check out my book.’

Don’t start spamming the Twitterverse with links to your book – not if that’s the only thing you tweet about. Seriously. That won’t encourage me to buy your book at all.  And if you do it too much, I’ll unfollow you. Enough is enough.

Don’t keep linking reviews of your book every hour, announcing where you are on the ranking list because I don’t care.  #itsnothingpersonal #really

But I do care about you. I want to get to know you. Your personality. What do you blog about? I might check it out if it seems interesting. Tweet about a funny thing that happened to you. Interact with people. Comment on their blogs. Encourage them. Promote others. Retweet people.

Then I might be interested in your book and your rankings.

Twitter is not all about YOU. Or your book.  #sorry  #truthhurts

That being said, Heather Kelly created a fun new Twitter game. Right now, it’s called The Twitter Game.  #sooriginal We use different fun hashtags and anyone and everyone can join in. If you belong to Tweetdeck, you can click on the hashtag and create a column just for that hashtag. So you won’t miss any of the tweets. Here’s Heather’s original post introducing the game.

It’s a great icebreaker. People will see you and get to know you. And maybe follow you. But don’t do it just to sell your book or promote your blog. Do it to have fun and meet people. Because in this crazy journey to publishing filled with rejection we all need to laugh.

So join in the fun. Last week one hashtag was: #thingsiletmykidsdosoicanwrite

Today’s game and hashtag is #badquerytips

See you in the Twitterverse! And have fun!

How to survive Twitter – part oneHow to survive Twitter – part two , Must-know Twitter hashtags

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Swearing and social media – is it professional?

S is for swearing and social media.

So many blog posts have been given to the topic of swearing in YA books – when is it appropriate? Should we do it? Can certain words be in MG books?

But what about casual swearing on Twitter? Or in blog posts?

As an editor, an agent, an author, a writer – is it professional?

I don’t naturally cuss at all. Expressions like ‘oh my gosh’ and ‘darn’ left my vocabulary when my 2 year old started repeating me. Some words just don’t sound right coming from the mouths of preschoolers. Ya know?

I write both MG and YA, so I don’t swear on Twitter, FB, Goodreads, or my blog. It wouldn’t make sense. For me, it’s unprofessional.

But what about the writer who writes older YA? Or the industry professional for whom swearing is as easy as eating that sixth chocolate chip cookie? Or the writer who writes gritty adult novels and their targeted readers probably swear?

We all know to stay away from politics and religion. But what about profanity?

You tell me. Where do we draw the line between being ourselves in social media and being professional? Especially when we hope to be considered a professional some day. (Please keep the comments clean. Thanks.)

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Tips on blog reading and commenting.

G is for Google Reader and why did I wait so long? I have no freaking clue.

I’ve separated blogs that I follow into categories and I know right away when there are new posts, instead of trying to find their tweets or their links. Talk about a time saver.

Seriously? I go through and comment on about double the blogs I used to in the same amount of time.

I used to think that I could only read with Google Reader, and I comment on blogs too. Then I learned that by pressing the v key – the blog would open up so I could comment.

Pretty incredible and convenient. Now I don’t miss any posts.

And this is where the important part comes in. I might end up falling away from your blog if you don’t have an RSS feed button. I could drag the link over and I will. But if your RSS button works – it saves people a lot of time.

Read this enlightening post by Rachael Harrie that explains it all.

How do you keep up with your blog reading and commenting? Any other tricks I’ve missed?

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Must-know Twitter hashtags for writers.

I know many of you balk at the idea of Twitter. Or you signed up but felt like a wallflower so didn’t click on it much. Or you just plain old didn’t get it and didn’t appreciate all the authors that tweeted over and over again about their books without contributing much else.

Or it could be that the well-known hashtags could never quite capture what you were feeling or the exact stage you were at in the writing or revision process.

Well, no more.

You can slide into Twitter with these new and improved hashtags that are sure to go viral.

#amwritingfirstdraftcrap
#amwritingwhilemykidsarescreaminginthebackground
#amwritingeventhoughIneedtofoldlaundry
#amwritinganditfeelslikethewordsarebeingpriedfrommybrainwithaspoon
#amwritingandthewordsareflowinglikemoltonlava

#amrevisingbutihavenocluewhati’mdoing
#amrevisingandamdoubtingmyentirepurposeinlife
#amrevisingandthisisthebeststoryeverandwillsignanagentwithindays
#amrevisingbutcan’tfigureoutwherethiscommashouldgo
#amrevisinganddonaldmaasstipskeepoverwhelmingme

#askagentbutican’taskaboutqueries
#askagentbutiwilllooklikeakissupstalker
#askagentbutaren’tagentslikemeanscarypeoplethatjustwanttoinflictpain
#askagentiaskedbutnooneansweredthequestion
#askagentgotagreatquestionbutforgotthehashtag

#yachitchat?
#yatitfortat?
#yadothesepantsmakemelookfat?
#yaiswhereit’sat
#yai’mawriterdoesmybuttlookflat?

Okay, you get the point. So now you have absolutely no excuses. Just use some of these hashtags and you will have hordes of followers within days.

What hashtags did I miss that should be on this must know list?

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Friday 5 – What I learned from the marketing of LIAR SOCIETY.

Last night, I decided to change my blog and start writing about pop culture and all the wacky mistakes I make each day. I’ll start ripping on myself, and act like I know nothing. It worked for Lisa and Laura, right? And on a sudden flash of inspiration, my main character now sports pink hair.

Everyone’s writing and marketing journey is different. But let’s look at why their marketing succeeded.

1. Write a great book that is you – not a reflection of someone else.

Lisa and Laura present themselves as fun and quirky. And that’s the kind of book they wrote. When it came to their writing, they didn’t try and be someone else. No, it doesn’t mean we all have to be fun and quirky on our blogs and in our book, but we should be ourselves. Be vulnerable.

2. Marketing starts before you sign with an agent.

Even before snagging an awesome agent and landing a book deal, Lisa and Laura Roecker were approachable and likeable. It didn’t matter who you were – they were nice.

3. Be friendly after you land a book deal.

What made me want to support these sisters, outside of the fact they write the kind of book I love to read, is that even after they got the book deal, they weren’t exclusive. They still interacted with the aspiring writers on Twitter. They didn’t care. And I LOVED that.

4. Brainstorm, but let the marketing spring organically from your book.

Lisa and Laura shared how at first they were devastated by Kate’s pink hair on the cover of their book. Who knew it would turn into their greatest marketing tool. And that marketing didn’t cost a penny. Just time. At this point, I wonder how much swag really affects sales. They combined the pink hair with giving away signed copies. Who cares about a bookmark and a mug– I want the book!

5. Include your supporters in the marketing. (No spam!)

Not once, did Lisa and Laura send out tweets five times a day saying, ‘Buy my teen book.’  They didn’t go on and on, week after week, talking about their book on their blog once they got the deal. They kept being themselves. And I appreciate that. And they didn’t ask of people without offering something in return. They made it all about their followers, not themselves. Brilliance.

We can’t all approach our blog and our marketing like Lisa and Laura. Or can we? We can be true to ourselves in our writing and our interactions with people. We can be vulnerable. We can be friendly.

And yes, I’m anxiously awaiting my copy of LIAR SOCIETY in the mail. No Kindle version for me.

Has the marketing of LIAR SOCIETY changed your view of marketing at all? Or reaffirmed what you already knew?

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