One Writer’s Journey

September 6, 2017

Going Off-Line to Work

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:57 am
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I’ve got two big projects ongoing. I’m writing the first draft of a fiction chapter book. I’m thinking series but, as you know, I have to finish it and make a sale before that becomes an issue.  I’m also working on my next piece of teen nonfiction for Abdo.

Since I also have blog posts to write, books to review, a class I’m prepping to teach, and a class I’m taking, I decided that my work time needed to be über productive.  So I went offline to write.  No Facebook tabs open.  No e-mail.  No Google.  I closed Chrome completely.  After all, I could open it again if I needed to look something up.

I even left my cell phone in my purse in the entry way.  There was nothing to do but write.

It worked great. I powered through a chapter in about 40 minutes.  That was only about 3 pages which would be embarrassing if this was nonfiction but with fiction is pretty good for me.  Yay!  I wrote and stayed offline!

I stopped and had lunch and was all set to write another chapter when my son got home from school.  “How come you didn’t answer the phone? I called four times. It went straight to voicemail.” It seems that while I was busy congratulating myself for avoiding distractions, our phone and internet went out.

It can be hard to avoid the temptation of popping over to see if you’ve gotten a response from that biologist you want to interview or a response to your query.  Maybe that agent you submitted a chapter to has had a chance to read it.  Maybe.

But I’m here to tell you that you’re going to get a whole lot more done if you close your browser and just write.  Set a timer and don’t let yourself do anything but write for an hour or 1/2 an hour.  Even fifteen minutes is good.  The internet and your phone will be there when you’re done.

I’m almost sure of it.  If not, you can always read a book or get a bit more writing done.

–SueBE

 

 

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May 22, 2017

Writer’s Web Site: Let People Find You

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:43 am
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Help readers find you!

Recently, I read a Writer’s Digest post on writer’s websites.  One quote from editor Robert Lee Brewer really stood out.  “My two most important rules for building a platform: 1. Be easy to find,” said Brewer,” and 2. Be easy to contact.”

When I was writing for Children’s Writer newsletter, I wrote articles based on interviews with agents. Sometimes it took me multiple tries to find an agent who had a moment to answer my questions.  But that was still easier than the problem I’ve faced lately.

More recently, I’m writing Writer’s Market articles based on interviews with writers.  The latest one was on co-authored books.  Easy peasy, right?  Just find a handful of books that are co-authored, Google the authors’ names and drop them an e-mail, right?

If only.

I can’t even tell you how many people I searched for only to find a profile on LinkedIn that might be the right person, but I couldn’t be sure.  It never mentioned their book.  Website?  This is just a guess because I didn’t keep track but approximately 75% of the authors I was looking for had no web sites.  None!  Two or three of these people had a Facebook page but that was it.

These people missed out on the free publicity that being in a Writer’s Market article would bring because I couldn’t find them.  Please oh please oh please, have a web site with your book, your name and an e-mail address.  You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.  Huge!

Other things that you might consider:

About page.  This let’s your readers find out about you.

Press page.  This is a version of the “about” page that includes a publishable head shot.  Brewer mentioned that a lot of writers have this page as part of their site.  When he asks for a bio and head shot, they send him here.

Blog.  Another way to help your readers find out about you.

Social Media Directory.  Where else can you be found online? This helpful list gives people what they need to know.

Book list.  They’ve read one of your books and loved it.  Give them a way to find the others.  Sales are not a bad thing.

Other services:  Do you teach a class or critique?  Maybe you do school visits.  Any and all of these things should/could be covered on your site.

Don’t short change your readers or yourself.  At the least, help people find you and your work.  Please!

–SueBE

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