Friday, May 23, 2014

Using Social Media As Your Author Persona

Lately, I've been hearing more and more people ask why it's important to have an author account and a regular account on their social media. Let me explain just a wee bit.

Let's say that I, Suzie Q. Homemaker, have a Facebook account.* I use it to share pictures of my kids with a select group, I post recipes, I share funny cat memes, and when my husband lost his job, my friends all commiserated with me and helped him find a new one. It's a tight group.

But then I get some amazing news. I'm going to be published! I share that with all my friends, and they're happy for me.

As I go through the publishing process, I post about signing my contact, editing the book, proofing the galleys, getting my cover, how exciting it all is, when my first book signing is, how great it was to see the book for the first time, pictures of my launch, selling my first book, getting my first great book review ... and all of a sudden, all my friends who were following me for my everyday-life stuff feel like all I can do anymore is talk about my book, my book, MY BOOK. They feel like I've changed, like I'm not the same person anymore, and they feel like I'm trying to sell to them all the time.

On the other hand, if I set up an author account and invite my regular friends to follow that page, that gives them the choice as to whether they want to follow each step of my career. On your author page, you *should* talk about editing and proofing and getting your cover. The people there are interested in those things. They want to see how the process works, and they want to cheer you on as you go through it. The fact that they have chosen to follow your author page indicates that those things are interesting to them.

This doesn't mean that I never talk about books on my regular account. I do. But I limit that to super-good news or huge announcements or the like. The lesser announcements go out on my author page for those who are interested in the process. I also remind my Facebook friends about once every quarter that I have an author page, if they'd like to follow it. I do that because I do get friend requests regularly and I don't want the new folks to miss that.

Having two accounts on your social media will help you target your posts to the right audience. It will also help you not annoy people. And trust me, not annoying people is good.

*There has been some debate over the effectiveness of Facebook with their new "we'll only show the posts we wanna show" policy, but I'm using it as my example because I know Facebook better than other forms of social media.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

To Review or Not to Review AND Retreat Registration Open

by Donna K. Weaver

Registration for the retreat is now open.
Check the blog post here for instructions.

About reviewing
Before I started writing, I'd never considered composing a book review. Yeah, that was something my teachers'd had us do a bazillion years ago when I was a kid, but it wasn't anything I'd done as an adult. Then I started reading a lot of book reviews and adding so many books to my to-be-read list that I had to open an account on Goodreads just to keep track of them. And I started doing my own book reviews.

But when you begin to meet people in the writing world and interact with published authors, you realize a few things.

One is that a book you loved isn't loved universally. It might have touched something deep inside you but to another person it's a piece of cliché drivel. *gasp* That book sang to your heart. There must be something wrong with those people who wrote negative reviews.

Or, the book just didn't connect with them. That whole subjectiveness of the reading experience is an eyeopener to you. You think back on the books you thoughtlessly dissed in reviews.

This comes especially close to home when you're published. You now understand just how very much time, effort, and emotion goes into creating a book. You think about the gut punch a negative review was for you. You wonder if anything you've ever said in a review had the same power to slice up that author's heart.

Did you trash someone's artistic baby?
Original picture via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of library_mistress
Authors/writers bring an interesting view to the books of others. We're usually part of critique groups, so we're being trained to look for what's wrong, something a regular reader is not. Sometimes it's easy to criticize and to forget to look for what works. 

By the same virtue, we're also frequently connected somehow to so many other authors in the writing community. How often do we love a book because we love its author?

I confess to coming closer and closer to not reviewing books. I'm very tempted to go so far as to take down all the reviews I've already written.

What do you think? Review or Not Review? Why?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Save The Date

We are having another retreat!
September 11-14, 2014
Our optional classes will be on Polishing Your Second Draft

Here's the run down:

  • Registration opens on the 13th. No sooner, No exceptions.
  •  The retreat is non-refundable. If for some reason you find yourself unable to attend, you may contact us and we can try to help sell your spot via waiting list or you can sell it on your own. Remember, shared rooms are all girl or all guy only, so sell to the like.
  • You may choose to pay in full or make up to three payments. 
  • Same awesome home in Heber, Utah! Check out the retreat tab for pictures.
To Register:

Send an email with your name, which room/bed you are interested in and how you want to be invoiced (in full or up to 3 payments) to

You have a room once you have been contacted, sent an invoice and made your first (or full) payment.

Available Rooms:

Room 1:  King: $275 Each
                King: $275 Each
Room 2:  Shared Queen Private Room: $225 each
                Shared Queen Private Room: $225 each
Room 3:  Shared Queen Private Room: $225 each
                Shared Queen Private Room: $225 each
Room 4:  Shared Queen Private Room Downstairs: $225 each
                Shared Queen Private Room Downstairs: $225 each
Room 5:  Shared Queens Upstairs: $200 each
                Shared Queens Upstairs: $200 each
                Shared Queens Upstairs: $200 each
                Shared Queens Upstairs: $200 each
Room 6:  Shared Queen with Bunk Downstairs: $200 each
                Shared Queen with Bunk Downstairs: $200 each
                Bunk with Queen:
                                Top: $150
                                Bottom: $175
Room 7:  Bunk room:
                     Top: $150
                     Top: $150
                     Top: $150
                     Bottom: $175
                     Bottom: $175
                     Bottom: $175

Check back to this page to see what is still available during registration. Beds that are reserved will be marked out.
Save your pennies, get a sitter, and request time off, you don't want to miss this! It'll be a blast! :)