Friday, September 30, 2011

Facebook Friday: Get yourself stalked

A few weeks ago I likened FB to high school. (Remember that?) Since then I've set about telling you what that means to you as an author here and here.

Today I continue this discussion with stalking. You know what I'm talking about. Reading everything someone has posted on FB but never interacting so that person is completely oblivious to your interest in him or her. We've all done it. And as I said in my FB is like HS post, when you stalk someone else, it has no bearing on the popularity of your own posts.


If people stalk you, your posts do become more popular. So if you want to be popular, get yourself stalked.

Ok, ok, that sounds like a great sentiment, but how do you do that, you ask. Here's a few ideas:

  1. Pull people to FB through your other social media.  For example, let's say I have a picture I want you all to look at of me signing my book contract (and believe me, if I had a book contract I would have a picture). Maybe I post one on my blog and then, because I don't want to clutter my blog and I want you to visit my FB page, I say, "Come see more of my pics here" and then link to more photos on FB.I'm inviting people to stalk me. And lots of times, they will. 
  2. Post status updates that have a past. Nothing draws me into someone's FB profile than a status like, "Remember when I told you that cool thing might happen? Well it happened!" Yes, it's annoying, but it makes me wanna know more. Suddenly I'm spending all day looking through someone's FB profile for the cool thing. Ok, that example is mean and lame, but I'm trying to illustrate a point. If you can find a way to connect your FB statuses in an unannoying way, then totally go for it. Like tell a story over several statuses. People who missed parts of it will go to your profile and go back. Automatic stalking.
  3. Get other people to do the work for you.  Creating ways to draw other people to post to your FB page can also draw other people to read. Hold a contest, for example, asking people to post pictures to your page of their favorite book covers. Or ask people to write tag lines for your book. You are correct - that isn't stalking, but other people will come to read them. Especially if you ask for something that might draw witty or humorous posts. And that's stalking.
And there are so many other ways to draw people to stalk your FB page. Do you have some you'd like to share? Do you have any examples of authors who have drawn people to stalk? What makes you stalk?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tweet Chat With Ease with TweetChat

I haven't addressed Twitter in awhile, and the truth is it's because I don't find myself tweeting very often.  But there is a very handy Twitter tool that I love to use when I am following or participating in a chat via Twitter. (If you visited my Guest Blog at Michelle Fayard's blog last week, you already read about this.)

You know when you're trying to follow a conversation with hashtags via Twitter - like a round of ask an agent, for example, or just chatting about Rachel Harrie's campaign.  And tweets come and go so quickly that it's hard  to keep up.  Especially when you have to type #blah blah blah in every tweet.

Well, make it all so much simpler with TweetChat. If you haven't used it and are a Twitterer, you are missing out.

TweetChat is one of the simplest apps ever made.  All you do is login with your Twitter log-in and then enter the hashtag you want to follow. Suddenly all you have on the screen is that conversation. Plus, each tweet you post automatically includes the hashtag.  Try it out right now with the campaign hashtag: #writecampaign

Did you know about TweetChat? What do you think about it?

Monday, September 26, 2011

FAMP: Call for Blogs

Ok, folks. I've given you my basics on blogging from a marketing perspective. Yes, I have more to deliver and I will continue, but I think we have enough to begin the blogging critique I mentioned before. So starting now, From A Marketing Perspective is being turned on any of you willing souls who would like to offer up your beautiful blogs for critique and feedback.


To submit your blog for feedback, email me at with FAMP as the subject. Notice there is an "R" between Laura and Barnes in my email. If you don't include that R, it will go to some other Laura Barnes who is also in marketing and is really cool because she forwards some of my mail to me, but I don't think she'd help out in this instance.

Blogs that are submitted for critique will be given a scheduled day (a Monday) where I will share my thoughts (and sometimes other guest marketers) on the blog From A Marketing Perspective and then I will turn it over to the readers to remark in comments.

It doesn't sound too painful, does it? Come on, you guys submit your writing for critique all the time. This is a piece of cake.

I'm looking forward to this next phase of FAMP! How about you?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Deirdra Eden Coppel

Today's Savvy Sensation is Deirdra Eden Coppel.  She has experience in both the digital and print world, and is both an author and an illustrator. Just visit her blog to get a sense of her visual creativity.

LB: First, who are you?
My name is Deirdra Eden Coppel I write MG and YA paranormal and historical fantasy.

I am also an illustrator and graphic designer specializing in the publishing industry (book covers, book marks etc.)  I teach at writer’s workshops and at writers conferences. I love working with authors!

LB: Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
People can connect to my Facebook and Twitter via my blog.

LB: When did you begin your online platform building?
Deirdra: I started promoting myself as an author in 2001, through T.V., radio and tours.

In 2010 I began a blog just for fun and my followers hit over a 1000 in less than a year.

LB: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?

Deirdra: I want to help other writer’s succeed. It’s hard being a writer, not as hard as being married to one, but it’s still hard. I believe that if we are going to succeed we as authors must support each other.

My blog is a “self help” blog for authors. When I say self help I don’t mean “editing” I mean, emotional encouragement. I have other authors come on and share their publication stories.

With the many opportunities available for publication, every author must find their own path to publishing. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Whether you self-publish, get an agent, indie publish, etc. every author needs to decide what will work best for them. There are pros and cons to every type of publishing. Its wise to learn what they are and hear other's experiences before you decide how to publish.
I also bring on literary agents, editors, promotion specialists and other literary professionals that give advice to authors, both published and unpublished.

LB: How have you built your followers -
What have you done that has been the most successful?
What have you done that has failed?
Its easy. I read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
It works for getting blog followers too.
You really need to be the one to initiate. I go to other blogs similar to mine or blogs by authors and avid readers and compliment them on something I found interesting on their blog.  I usually will follow them to show my support. I tell them a little about my blog and how it will help them, and then I send them the link.

What else should we know about you?
I love people and love making new friends.

Any additional advice for our readers?
Just don’t give up fighting for your dreams. We can do this!

What makes you unique?
LOL! Well, I can shoot a bow and arrow while standing upside down and bending over backwards.

Thank you so much for this interview. It’s been great!
Please come by and say hi at

Thank YOU, Deirdra! Feel free to pass on your Savvy Sensation award. Everyone else, stop by her blog and say hello. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Facebook Friday: It's cool to have friends who don't have friends

I scheduled the following article before FB rolled out the latest news feed changes.  Though there are some definite new features, the following still applies.  For really excellent information about the newest news feed look and subscribe feature, read this blog entry here from  I couldn't say it any better myself.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how FB is like highschool.  Now little by little I've been expanding on what that means for us author types. The first explanation can be found here.

The second way I likened FB to HS was by stating the obvious: You show up more on the news streams of people with fewer friends then you do on people with tons of friends.

Of course. My friend who has 1000 friends has a lot more status updates to read than my friend who has 26 friends. Which one is guaranteed to read my post?

There's actually even more to it than that.

Let's say that I am an author who is just about to publish my first book.  I have just made a book trailer and I want people to see it so I post it on Facebook. The friends who are most likely to see this book trailer are my friends who don't have a lot of other news in their streams - the friends who don't have a lot of friends. If these friends see my trailer and start to respond to it, then suddenly my story becomes rated higher by FB and now my friends who have lots of FB friends are more likely to see it.  Now they start to comment and I'm even more popular so my friends who have lots and lots of FB friends are more likely to see it.

This shows the benefits of having FB friends with lots of friends and those with very few. This may sound manipulative, but I'm kind of saying it's a good idea to make friends with the newbies as well as the FB giants just so that when you have something to say, it's more likely to get around.

And here's a variation of my usual disclaimer: I don't mean to say that Facebook is all about promoting yourself. (It certainly isn't for me). But there's nothing wrong with that being one component of your FB interactions. It really isn't any different from those of you who have blogs in order to build community AND build your platform. These are just tips on how to use FB the same way.

How many friends do you have? Are you friends with the giants and the newbies? Do you use FB for promotion or community or both? I always enjoy your comments.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Doing a Top Ten At Bird's Eye View.

Yep, I'm over at Michelle Fayard's Blog, Bird's-Eye View, giving my top ten social media tools for authors.

And it's AWESOME.

Some of them I haven't even talked about here yet, 'cause I get distracted and stuff and just haven't gotten to them.  So get over and learn some cool tools.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blog Awards Passed On

So last week I was a winner of two awards and today I am passing it on. Part of the award process is passing it on.  One award was to go to 5 people and the other to 15.  Man, with all the new logs I've found through WrAHM and Rachel Harrie's campaign, coming up with 20 winners was difficult, but here we go:

  1. Bethany at Bethany Hagen's Blog
  2. Amber at amberafterglow
  3. Melissa at Chasing the Dream
  4. Mindy at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire
  5. Robin at Robyn Lucas, Writer
  6. Anita at A Still and Quiet Madness
  7. Jessica at BookingIt
  8. Leigh Ann at The Naptime Novelist
  9. Caitlin at All About Growing up and Becoming a Famous Author
  10. Susanna at Susanna Leonard Hill
  11. Julianna at I Aspire to Be
  12. Kathi at Kathi's Writing Nook
  13. Callie at Callie Kingston
  14. Joanna at Miss Marple's Musings
  15. Coleen at Coleen Patrick
  16. Stacy at Stacy S. Jensen
  17. Freya at A Writer's Endeavour
  18. Brenda at Brenda Sills
  19. Sher at Fantasy Writer's Fancies
  20. Kathy at Imagine Today
Congratulations winners! As part of these awards please list seven facts about you and pass the awards on to five other people. 

Please take a moment to visit each of these blogs. You will be glad you did!

Monday, September 19, 2011

FAMP: Darkness Overwhelms

In the past we've talked about color on blogs and how it draws attention, but we haven't really talked about dark blogs. I know, some of you LOVE your dark blogs. And, actually, I'm sort of attracted to them myself. But from a marketing perspective, they don't speak to the majority.  In fact, the majority of readers are turned off by dark blogs.  Especially if the blog has white writing on a dark background.  Again, I admit, looks cool, but hard to read.

You don't have to take my word for it though. A blog poll taken by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger showed the following results:

Safest choice is light, as you can see.

BUT you do notice the 36% that says it depends, right? This is true. If you can justify your dark background, I'll buy it. If you make it more than just "I like to be cool so I have darkness around me" then I'll support you with all my marketing background even.

And it's not just my marketing opinion. Have I mentioned one of my longest marketing client relationships is with an eye doctor? I used to work in the office full time, actually, and have become quite skilled on what bugs the eyes. Black backgrounds are a no-no. They contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome (yes, it's a real thing) and automatically the majority of people feel uncomfortable staring at them for long.

So if your blog is dark, I just challenge you to think about why it's dark. If you can't think of a reason besides, "I like it" then I'd reconsider.  The same goes for really busy patterned backgrounds, btw. You want plain white or light colored background for optimal reading comfort.

What's your opinion on dark colored blogs? Is this poll accurate? Do you care about backgrounds when you blog hop?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Misha Gericke

Today's Savvy Sensation comes from South Africa. Misha Gericke is very entertaining, very friendly, and an ambitious writer. Take it away Misha...

LB: Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?

Hi all! I'm Misha. It's been about four hours since I've last revised. Yep, I'm currently revising my main Work in Progress, a YA Fantasy epic called Doorways. I'm finally past 300/500 pages on the first round.

LB: Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?

You can find me at My First Book or follow my tweets @MishaMFB. In fact, I'd love you to. 

LB: When did you begin your online platform building?

I started on 2 August, 2010 after many months of contemplating the move. I put it off for months until one day I impulsively decided to start. After that, though, I always tried to blog as smart as possible. 

LB: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?

My First Book is about my experiences with writing Doorways. Because of that it's a combination between a writing blog and my diary. As such, most of what I think or feel go into what I post, because if I'm not honest about who I am, what would be the point of "inviting" people into that part in my life? 

LB: How have you built your followers -
What have you done that has been the most successful?

Well, I can safely say that my ticket to success was putting myself out there. I have 616 followers right now, but I personally follow almost 1400 blogs. Most of the people who followed me were follow-backs, but others came from me making a point of reading their posts and making meaningful comments. Everyone (me included) loves feeling as if what they wrote is actually being read. 

LB: What have you done that has failed?

I was advised to share my blogs on all the social networks I had and at that time it was just Facebook. But I thought that heck, I have about 300 friends. Surely some of them would check out my blog if I posted the link. Uh... no. Unfortunately, Blogger had just released Blogger stats so I could see how few hits I was getting from South Africa (which is where I'm from). So after about two weeks I decided that I'd just have to do it without "friendly" support. One exception is my best friend Theresa, who was also my first follower. 

LB: What else should we know about you?

Ooh lots, but I think that I'll leave you in suspense. Anything you'll ever need to know about me goes up on my blog eventually. One thing I might mention is that I have another blog that isn't strictly about platform building, but rather a diary about me going after my other two big dreams. It's called Taking Charge of My Life.

LB: Any additional advice for our readers?

When it comes to blogging: 1) When people say that blogging is about platform building, they either don't have a clue or they're lying. Blogging is about building relationships with people. 2) Think about your reader. Make your lay-out flow naturally. Remove things like captcha codes that just annoy everyone and serve almost no other valid purpose. 3) Comment a lot, but meaningfully.  

LB: What makes you unique?

The fact that I'm me, of course. ;-) Thanks so much for this fun interview, Laura!

Misha, I truly admire your blog and your philosophies on building an online presence. You are sensationally savvy.  Enjoy your award and feel free to pass it on to others!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Facebook Friday: Don't be the newbie

Last week I told you how Facebook is like high school. It's really popularity we're talking about. This week I promised to tell you how this information relates to you as an author. And I am going to tell you. But I'd like to break this down into several posts. That means if you want the fullness of this subject, you're going to have to come back. (Wait, is that a marketing ploy? Hmm...)

First, we need to chat just a bit on why it's important that you're popular on Facebook. Because I know that many of us, particularly those of us who maybe weren't ever so popular in high school, have learned to not give a flying Frito about who likes us and who doesn't like us. Or we've learned to pretend anyway.

But here's the thing: Eventually we're going to have a book. We are. I know it. And when we do, we are going to have to work to sell our books so that we can have the fortunate experience of getting paid to write another. Whether we like it or not, that means we have to sell a little bit. Selling doesn't have to be painful. And it doesn't have to be pushy car salesman like either. The easiest sell is to people who already know and like you. So the more friends you have before you sell your book, the better. Hence, popularity is your friend.

And Facebook is where our focus of popularity is in this series of posts.

Now, back to last week's post:
The first way in which I likened Facebook to high school was that, just like in HS, FB doesn't like the newbie. Even if you manage to make a ton of friends overnight, FB won't put your posts in very many news streams until you have been around awhile.  (Remember, you need to be in people's news streams to be popular).

How do you counteract this?

Simple. Don't be new.

Of course you have to be new when you are new to FB, but don't be new when it counts. Establish an FB account, make friends, interact, LONG before your book gets published so that when it is published, you don't have to start then.

I have to give my usual disclaimer that you don't have to use FB to market your book and I won't judge you (too much) if you don't choose to participate. But it's free. And it's easy. And a lot of agent's expect it. So just think about it.

I've heard from a lot of you that you don't like Facebook.  Are you using it anyway? What do you dislike the most? I love hearing the whys from you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm a Winner!

My undergrad degree was in musical theater and I have to tell you, no offense to you acting folk, the writing community is much more eager to share in your wins than the theater community was. At least for me. Of course, an author getting a book deal doesn't mean anything for her fellow authors but an actor getting a part means one less part for her fellow actor. Essentially you're always competing. Makes it harder to bond without undertones of jealousy.

So when I entered the world of writers I had no idea it was going to be so warm and welcoming. But, wow, it truly is.

And proof of that, on the heels of my last week's win, I am again a winner this week! Not once, not twice, but three times!

  • First, the lovely author of four published books, Kathi Oram Peterson drew my name for her weekly book giveaway. Soon I will receive a copy of Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen's book Trapped.  Yay, me! It looks like just my type of story, too. Stop by her blog and check her out.
  • Next, the awesome Gail Shepherd of the blog Paradoxy gave me TWO blog awards: The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award and The Versatile Blogger (which I've won before from Michelle Fayard.) 
  • AND I won the Versatile blogger award from Elizabeth Stillborn of As a recipient of these awards I must:
    1. Thank and link to the person who gave me the awards. Thank you so much, Gail!!
    2. Share 7 random facts about you. I did that here.
    3. Pass the award to 5 blogger friends. (Though Elizabeth says I need to pass to 15 blogger friends.) I will do that next Wednesday, so return and see who I pass them on to.
    4. Contact and congratulate the nominated blogs.
Hmm, so many great blogs out there. Especially new ones I'm discovering through the campaign. Wonder who I'll choose...

Meanwhile, since I've previously shared my random facts, I'd like to hear from you. If you've stopped by, please leave a random fact about you in the comments. I can't wait to read!

Monday, September 12, 2011

FAMP: Link Up

A few short months ago when I began blogging I posted a comment on another person's blog and clicked to follow her.  The next day I returned to her blog and found her post was directed at me (without saying my name).  She informed her readers that she was super irritated with people who left comments but didn't have their own blog on their profile so she could follow back. I hung my head in embarrassment and quickly rectified the situation.

Through the last few weeks I have read comments that reveal I was not alone in this mistake. Others of you have made it.  This recent blogging campaign has shown me that others of you are doing it now. So this post will teach you how to make things right.

Please know that if you don't have your blog linked to your Google profile, I am not irritated or full of judgment. I simply want to help those who want to learn.

And From A Marketing Perspective, you should always have your link in your profile to make it easy for people to find you.

1. Open your blog.
2. Click on the "View My Complete Profile" under "About Me"
3. Select "Edit Profile"
4. By "Show My Blogs" hit "Select blogs to display"
5. Choose your options and save

Now when you follow someone or comment on another blog, anyone can click on your profile and see hyperlinks to your blog(s) under the heading My Blogs. (See below). Tip: Don't keep out-of-date or private blogs on this list. It's irritating to your followers to not know which blog they should follow.

I hope this was helpful and less pointed than the way I learned.

Are you linked up? How long did it take you to learn? How did you finally figure it out or were you always completely on top of it?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Elana Johnson

Today's Savvy Sensation is, wait for it, Elana Johnson, author of Possession!!  I know can you believe it? Sqwee!! If you don't know anything about Elana then I have to first say, where the heck have you been?? And follow that with: go and read every blog she's ever written plus her books (especially From the Query to the Call if you are or ever will be querying) because she knows her stuff. Oh, and here's some random trivia for ya: I went to school with her husband (who I considered a very good friend) and her older sister (yes, that means I'm older than Elana Johnson) so I kinda feel cool to be only 2 degrees away from her on the whole separation stuff.  

LB: Who are you?
My name is Elana Johnson. I write angsty teen girl novels, mostly. My debut, published by Simon & Schuster in June 2011, is called POSSESSION. I blog at and I also co-organize WriteOnCon (, teach elementary school, and enjoy bacon.

LB: Um, like all of those things are SUPER AWESOME. Who missed WriteOnCon? Cuz you shouldn't of.  I digress...Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
Oh, I put that up there! Ha! Okay, here’s the rest of my online endeavors:
Author website:

LB:When did you begin your online platform building?
I started blogging for the QueryTracker blog in January 2009. That’s a full 2 ½ years before my book came out, 11 months before I had an agent, and 14 months before I sold my first book.

LB: What is your message, if any?
Hmm, I’m not sure I have a message. I just like to interact with people online. My blog motto is “Navigating the publishing world with splashes of real life.” That’s basically what you’ll get on my blog.

LB: How have you built your followers -
What have you done that has been the most successful?
Comment on and follow other blogs. This is almost always reciprocal. You want more people to comment on your blog? Comment on theirs. I’ve also found that giving away free stuff brings people to your blog, as well as participating in promotions with other authors that reach outside your network.
LB: What have you done that has failed?
Organize very complicated giveaways. They’re a headache for me, and everyone else.

LB: What else should we know about you?
I enjoy reality TV, sleeping in, and laughing.

LB: Any additional advice for our readers?
Write the best book you can, and then be brave and submit it!

LB: What makes you unique?
I’m double jointed in my hands, which means I can bend the first knuckle on all my fingers without bending any of the others. It’s quite freaky.

No,Elana, freaky is that you are on my blog because I think I'm a super fan (is that a little weird? ok, pretend I didn't say it).  And everyone else, I have to say from what I have seen Elana is one of the hardest working, most genuine, and generous authors out there.  There is much to learn and admire from her.  Not that you need an award, but here it is, Elana. Feel free to share it if you like and thanks so much for being here today!! :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Facebook Friday: Why Facebook's Like High School

Popularity still matters.  Especially if you are trying to promote yourself or connect with people through Facebook.  Your Facebook is through status updates that are then streamed to your friends or fans news feeds.  If you want people to interact with you, you need to show up on their news stream Have you ever wondered how Facebook decides what goes in the news feed and what doesn't? Well, they won't tell us, because they're all secretive like that, but some studies have been done and the findings seem much like high school:
  1. FB doesn't love the newbie.  If you are new on FB, you won't show up in as many people's news feeds until you build up a some coolness.
  2. You show up more on news feeds of people with fewer friends.  Well, duh. That's just math. If your friends all have 600 friends or more, you're like a needle in a haystack with your posts. So having some friends with less friends will equal more quality friendships. Just like high school
  3. Lots of interactions doesn't guarantee you're the top.  FB has two options of viewing your news feed: Top News (default) and Most Recent.  You would think that the more interactions the more your status would be top news.  Well, yes, but like high school, the quality of your interactions is more important than the quantity. Keep reading.
  4. Stalking doesn't make you popular. And it never did in high school either. If you lurk on other's FB pages or keep your news feed open at all hours, it means nothing. You have to do the posting to be cool.
  5. Being stalked does make you cool. Of course. The more you are stalked, the more FB thinks you matter. 
  6. Links are cooler than status updates. Because just like in high school, gossip is king. When you post a link in your status update, you're doing the FB equivalent of gossip. You're saying, "Guess what I just read!" And that ups your popularity.
  7. Videos and Photos are cooler than links. Because photos and videos are proof of gossip, right? Think about high school - a great story was better with pics. 
  8. If people talk about you, you're cool.  The more other readers comment on your status, photos, links, etc., the cooler you are. The more people tag you, the cooler you are.  Coolness = you showing up in their news feed.
And FYI, Most Recent news doesn't always just show the most recent news. It likes links and videos better too. 

Think about these facts as you decide how you want to interact on FB. Next week we'll talk a little more about what these tips mean for you as an author.

Do you think FB is like high school? How's your popularity? Do you post lots of links? photos? videos? Or just say "hi" cuz that's cool too :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Importance of Image

I have been listening to a YA audiobook in my car whenever I travel.  I don't want to name the title of the book because I'm not enjoying it. Ok, that isn't true.  I'm starting to enjoy it, but I've had a real difficult time getting into it. And it's not because of the actual story, which is really quite cute.

It's because of the actress reading the story.

She's AWFUL.

She reads with sort of a whine in her voice that makes this supposedly level-headed sophmore sound more like my whiny 6-year-old. And that's not what the story should sound like, IMHO. I probably would have stopped reading it because of this actress except that I needed to read this novel for a whole other set of reasons that really aren't the point.

So what is the point?

The point is that even a really good story can lose its readers because it isn't showing them what the story really is . And it got me thinking about image in general. Your image that you are so diligently building (maybe) on your blog may help you in so many ways, but if it isn't an honest portrayal of who you are, it can hurt you.  It can hurt you enough to turn away a potential reader, or even more specifically, a potential agent reader. Say an agent reads your query and then glances at your blog (as I have read many interviews of agents that say they do) and he or she sees that you only post really sporadically even though the sidebar says you post MWF.

What does that say to the agent?

Possibly they will think, "This writer isn't diligent or committed. What will this writer be like when I ask for edits? Will this writer turn in the next book on time?"

It could happen. For real.  Why else do you think those agents are looking at your blog? To see what you look like? No, they want to see who you are.  And if you aren't who they want, the agent may not request your book after all.

They might also think, "Ooh, fun and whimsical author who doesn't waste her time conforming to rules." And that's cool if that's who you are. (But I'd make sure you don't say you post MWF then, because it's that false advertising thing again).

This isn't really meant to be a high-pressure post. I'm not telling you to be someone you're not. This is just the type of conversation I have with my clients. I ask them, who do you want your customers to see when they look at you? Do you show it in every message you put out there? It's ok if your customers come to your website and leave if they realize you really aren't what they are looking for. Like if they come looking for YA and find you write Adult Mystery. But it's devastating if they come to your website and leave not realizing that you are exactly what they are looking for because you didn't tell them.

So now I'm asking you: Who do you want agents to see when they come to your blog? Do you show that?

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm back!

...Because I'm a winner!!! I entered my finished middle grade manuscript, S.P.Y. Mission: Princess Protection into Gabriela Lessa's Get Your Foot in the Door one sentence pitch and I was an honorable mention!

Thank you so much, Gabriela. I'm really excited and honored!

FAMP: Take a Break

From a marketing perspective, you should never take a day off.  But from a real-life perspective, sometimes you need a day to rest. Well, I'm going to work on my WIP.  And catch up on my new campaign friends.

How about you? What are you doing for Labor Day? Anything fun? Productive? 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Deana Barnhart

Today's Savvy Sensation is a blogger who really helped me get my own blogging going.  I entered Deana's Gearin' Up to Get an Agent Blog-o-rama this past summer and though I didn't get an agent, I got a lot of blogging friends that will always be special to me.  Deana can tell you her story much better than me so with no further hullabaloo, here she is...

LB: Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
Laura, first off I wanted to say a big THANKS for the interview. You are making little ole me feel all big and coolJ As for who I am…well, I am Deana, married with two kids living in horse country (that would be Kentucky). I write YA. I am not bias about what  subgenre, just whatever moves me at the moment I suppose. I do love the idea of unnatural things being in my work though. My first MS was an Urban Fantasy and I am now writing a Dystopian.

I have loved writing since high school, but was too wrapped up in being a teenager to take it anywhere. It wasn’t until I was prego with my second child that I started doing it instead of thinking about it. That was about four years ago.

LB: Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
Those are the places I roam. I guess I do hit up Goodreads every now and again, but mainly to update my reads.

LB: When did you begin your online platform building?
I will have had my blog for a year next month. I don’t know that you would call what I do platform building really. I would like to say so, but I often think I am silly for thinking that. I usually ask my Firsts Fridays interview guests about their take on platform building and I get so many mixed answers on if it works or not. So I just say I am doing it for the connection of like minded writers like myself. I guess that in and of itself is platform building but honestly blogging really is soooo much fun! I think I might do it even if I didn’t writeJ Yea, all that to say I’ve been blogging a year next month. HA!

LB: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
My blog is for anyone who has a love for writing or the industry. I like to focus it on newbies, by bringing them in and making them feel like they are more than the new kid on the block. That there are so many others out there learning the ropes and together us newbies can really learn, grow and make something of ourselves in this industry--whatever that may be for us as individuals.

LB:How have you built your followers -
What have you done that has been the most successful?
Well I just had my first blogfest. It was a month long blogfest geared toward writers who would like to eventually land an agent. Trying to get that around the blogosphere and just having fun with it really boosted my followers.

In addition to that, I visit people. If someone visits my blog I try to return the favor. I also sometimes reply to them personally if they have left a comment on my blog. But more than that I read their posts, I grow to know them and like them and I think when you build friendships through your blog, naturally, they will keep coming back.

I also try to visit about 10 blogs a day during the week (that doesn’t always happen). I really read what they have to say and give a meaningful comment, not just ‘Great job!’ or something like that.

Elana Johnson has some great tips on her blog about this exact thing. I got a lot of my ideas from her.

LB: Come back soon, Deana, and you just might find Elana in a Savvy Sensation interview.  What have you done that has failed?
This may sound silly, but I don’t like to think of anything I’ve done with my blog as failing. It has all taught me something no matter if it worked as good as I thought it would or not. Honestly though, I try to play it safe so nothing really has been a failure in my eyes. I have heard that talking about your work a lot is not always a good thing. But we don’t have to worry about that for me because I am so freaked out about putting my work out there that I keep it to my critique group and contests. So far.

LB:That's an excellent answer!  What else should we know about you?
Hmm, I have a crazy fear of spiders. I know that probably isn’t what you meant, but I was bit by a Brown Recluse when I was a teenager and almost lost my leg. Crazy stuff.

LB:That was exactly the kind of answer I was going for. Pretty freaky! Any additional advice for our readers?
Have fun. The moment I start getting so stressed it isn’t fun (in my writing, blogging, whatever) I have to start cutting back or else I become the devil and no one, not even me, likes to see that person.

But isn’t that why we started this all in the first place? For our love of writing? I get all fuzzy content when I write and the moment I stop feeling that way is the moment I need to check myself before I wreck myself.

Laura, you are a gem for having me! Thanks so muchJ

No, Deana, you're the gem. And seriously, I owe a lot of my fans to your fest. Plus it was truly fun. Thanks for all you've given me. You sincerely deserve this award. Feel free to pass it on.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Facebook Friday: How the heck do you get those little badges on the side of your blog?

Someone asked me recently, I forget who, how to put those handy dandy Facebook badges and social plug-ins on the side of your blog that pull Facebook info directly to your blog. I have one to the side (are you looking to your right?) for The Write Advice Facebook page.  See it? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

Well, it's easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy as my daughter would say.

For badges...
For social plug-ins...
  • Like button lets a user share your content with friends on Facebook (this is the button over there to the right above The Write Advice stuff)
  • Send button allows readers to easily send your content to others (also to the right)
  • Comments button allows readers to comment on your site 
  • Activity feed displays the most interesting recent activity taking place on your site
  • Like box enables FB page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website (The Write Advice box to your right)
  • Recommendations shows personalized recommendations to your users
  • Registration allows users to easily sign up for your website with their Facebook account 
  • Facepile displays the FB pics of people who have liked your page
  • Live stream lets users visiting your site or application share activity and comment in real time
Word of warning: many of these badges and plug-ins are so cool you'll think you need to add them all.  Don't do it! You will totally clutter your site. Think stream-lined.

So which cool FB badges have you added/or are you adding? What about the social plug-ins? Or do you think they're all just too much Facebook (cuz that's cool too)?
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