Are you LinkedIn?

A writer never needs to feel alone any more. The web offers loads of opportunities for you to get connected with other writers on LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter get all the attention but they are not superior to the serious connections you can make on LinkedIn. There are hundreds of writing groups at LinkedIn, and this morning, I’ll share one that might interest you; a Women’s Memoir group.

Here is the description (for those of you not logged in):

While having a personal story to tell is critical to writing a memoir, there is so much more to writing a GOOD memoir:
– Having a compelling point of view
– Avoiding the pity party
– Engaging readers with your attention to sensory detail
– Creating a universal message out of your personal story
– Using the many conventions of good writing effectively
– Considering a memoir organizational device
– And more

We would like this group to be a gathering place for memoir writers of all skill levels and experience and become a resource for sharing ideas, asking/answering questions, discussing writing, publishing, marketing and sales issue, and anything else about memoir that comes to a member’s mind.

The Women’s Memoir group has over 1000 members. If you’re already a LinkedIn member, you can search Groups and join this memoir writing group. Otherwise, search the groups and find another group that is a good match for your motivation,  whether you’re working on fiction or making your first million dollars on ebooks.

If you’re more interested in non-fiction or publishing groups, drop me a line and I’ll send you a group invitation.

Helen Gallagher
helen@releaseyourwriting.com

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Social Media in 20 minutes a day

I’m speaking in Lake Zurich this morning, on how to enjoy Social Media in 20 minutes a day. Today’s generation gathers around Facebook instead of the family table, tweets instead of calling on the phone, and uses the new Google 1+ instead of going to a networking meeting. Make it a part of your author visibility, but don’t give it more time than you can afford.

Enjoy October,

Helen

Social media tips via free webinar

We all love seminars, especially free ones. Webinars are seminars you can watch on your computer, at your convenience.

Cision, a company with a forward-thinking look at new media, has posted a good collection of marketing videos on social media, and a deep dive into the “Twitterverse.” Whether you need to boost your online visibility or just gather background information, it’s a good investment in your understanding of digital publishing.

Have a great Saturday.

Helen – who tweets at twitter.com/cclarity

More from J. Konrath

On his blog, J. Konrath talks about how the rules of publishing have changed. No more book tours, sitting in the sun all day waiting to sell a book to the next person who walks by. We live and work online today. Read his full post here, or take a minute to scan my paraphrased summary of the actions he describes as essential for an author today:

Here are his thoughts. “Again, none of these will guarantee huge sales. And none of them work all the time for all books. But doing these things will help to sell more books than doing nothing at all, and I’ve found them to be the best use of my time,” says Jay

1. Use Your Fans. Send  free advance ebooks to fans or offer a freebie in exchange for an honest review.

2. Social Network. Being active on Twitter and Facebook beats not being active. But remember it is about what you have to offer, not what you have to sell. No one likes ads, or being sold.

3. Change Your Price. I’ve become a fan of putting ebooks on sale. The more books you have available, the easier this is to do without hurting your pocketbook. Keep in mind that you may not see instant results.

4. Write More. The best advertisement for your writing is your writing. The larger your virtual shelf space, the more you’ll be discovered.

5. Diversify and Experiment.  I have no idea why some sell better than others, but I’m continuing to explore new genres and experiment with formats.

6. Use Your Peers. Do guest blogs. Trade back matter excerpts. Review each other. Buy each other. Support one another. We’re all in the same boat, and we all need to row.

Social media: How much is enough?

There’s an interesting interview over at CreativePenn.com with Marian Schembari, on making effective use of our time on social media. There are loads of good tips there, including:

What if twitter/facebook disappear? Is it worth the time spent on these platforms if they then disappear? Yes, it takes time but these platforms take years to get going and will take years to disappear. BUT it’s important not to rely on the platforms entirely, so don’t just have a facebook page and nothing else. Drive people back to your own site and your own list.

Take a look and see what resonates with you. At a minimum, you’ll banish your twitter guilt.

Isn’t writing enough? Do we also have to tweet?

Here’s an analysis on Huffington Post by Fauzia Burke about using Twitter to promote your book. I know, you’d think it would be enough that we wrote a book, but to hawk it on Twitter???

Burke, of FSB Associates, makes some good points, though, which are true in general about Twitter… Not just filling the air with mindless chatter but engaging with people and offering something of value.

The trick to their success may lie in the community building which is so crucial to Twitter. Taeckens explains his three point plan for engagement: “First, be pro-active about interacting with other people; you have to engage in conversations, not merely post as if you’re reporting to a captive public. Second, display your sense of personality; use wit, humor, creativity, and have fun. Third, post and comment on topics you know and care about–not just literature and publishing, but all topics in the cultural dialogue.”

Burke also invites readers to take a poll on LinkedIn and look at the results of which social media sites are considered effective for selling books?

Full HuffPo article here

Watch this space: Time Management tips coming soon…

I just received, for review, Bob Bly’s new book: Make Every Second Count: Time Management Tips and Techniques for More Success with Less Stress. Its an update of a book he wrote ten years ago. Imagine all the challenges we have in time management today – major annoyances that didn’t even exist ten years ago!

So as not to stress my weary self after a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll review Make Every Second Count in a week or so. But go ahead and put it on your Holiday Wish List now. You know you want it… time management tips come from no better source that the esteemed Bob Bly, author of The Copywriter’s Handbook as well as 75 other books, and hundreds of articles.

Get some rest!

Helen

Use “Blog Power” to boost your platform

Ever since my book Blog Power & Social Media Handbook came out in August 2010, I’ve noticed more and more organizations stressing the value of online visibility for authors.

This week, Writer’s Relief shared several targeted strategies to use social media for mingling with literary agents and editors. they all involve spending time on the important avenues for online visibility. Read the full post here, and see if you can apply at least three suggested approaches. Widen your net a little and you might catch the big book deal we dream of.

New book available now…

Well – Saturday’s post was a bit premature (see below). The link for the new book was not up yet. Here it is.

In the meantime, never one to waste a good blog post, my first phone call of the day, this summery Monday morning was a book client, who has wanted to get started on a second book. We spoke a few months ago because she had no idea where/how to start, and is still stuck. Rather than abandon the project, she phoned, asking for a face-to-face meeting. To get unstuck, she said: “You’re the door I need to open.”

I’m honored, to say the least.

My latest book, “Blog Power & Social Media Handbook” is now will soon be available.  If you’re wondering how to get started with your blog, or need to understand the hype over social media, you can order the book here.  Use it to move your author marketing strategies online.

Helen Gallagher

Five good Twitter habits for writers

A few things I’ve learned in the three months since I got busy on Twitter.

1. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Twitter has its place in my day; not my life, but my day. Once you ‘follow’ the people, sites, and blogs of interest, you’re almost creating a personalized newspaper for yourself, which you can check once or twice a day.

2. There are loads of tools and apps but my favorite find is echofon, to quickly scan from a small dot in my Firefox browser. It keeps me from visiting my Twitter page #cclarity or the pages of friends where I’m likely to lose track of time. With echofon, I’m following the New York Times, New Yorker essays, a dozen tech sites, my favorite writing mags, publishers, and sages from all walks of life. I can comment, retweet, or stop following someone if they start posting too frequently.

3. When you want to retweet something you see on a web page, and the site doesn’t have a Twitter button, you can use tiny.url or bit.ly to shorten the web address to something manageable.

Here’s one I did this morning. This was the actual link: http://anthologiesonline.com/Articles/Best_Writing_Tips.html\. I pasted the link aqnd at bit.ly I shortened it to http://bit.ly/cF6S6J.

(click to enlarge image if you want clarification of how this looks on echofon)

The next two tips come from Scott Stratten, of Un-Marketing.com spoke at Writers & Editors 1-on-1 conference in Chicago last month. These last two habits came from him:

4. “Write retweetable content every single day.” Just commenting on other people’s posts won’t get you very far. But write something of value, that has impact, and it may be retweeted around the world.

5. “Be brief.” Stratten keeps his tweet posts under 120 characters, well within the 140 character limit. Why? It allows the retweeter to add a few words of their own, like: “This guy is good. Follow him.”

That’s it – keep it simple, and be on Twitter just enough to know what’s out there. You can check my page at twitter.com/#cclarity, or follow  me for a while. but do try ecofon, so you can read the twitter stream in your browser’s pop-up window, as shown above. Otherwise, you’ll never get any writing done!

Have a great Saturday,

Helen