One Writer’s Journey

October 4, 2018

Online Presence: Should You or Shouldn’t You

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:47 am
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Should you take time from your writing life to have an online presence?  The short answer – yes.

Understandably, your first job as a writer should be your writing.  Whether you write poetry, early readers or young adult novels, you need to write.  Most of us have to squeeze writing in between work and our families.  And that can be tough.

But before you start to submit, you need to have an online presence.  Why?  Several times, I’ve had editors admit that they Googled my name before giving me an assignment.  Obviously, I blog.  I’m on Facebook and Twitter.  What I post as a writer let’s these editors know that I’m a professional.  I’ve been around for a while.  I’m not likely to flake out and disappear.

After you start to sell your work, you really need an online presence.  When someone reads something you’ve written, they are likely to search on your name.  Do you want them to find you writing about your work or someone else writing about your work?

There’s also the fact that you want other writers to be able to find you.  When I write articles about writing and books, I frequently interview agents, editors and authors.  Agents and editors are easy to find.  If nothing else, I call the main switchboard where they work.  Sometimes they even answer the phone.

You would probably be surprised how many authors I would love to interview if only I could find them.  A Google search locates their book on Amazon or in a library but the actual author? AWOL.  There is no website, no Amazon Author page, no Facebook, no blog, no Twitter.  This means there is also no interview which would have translated into free advertising for their book.

Your online presence doesn’t have to be huge.  I get it.  Time is a factor.  But set up a Facebook author page where people can message you.  Or set up a super simple web site.  There will come a time that you need to be found or you are going to miss out.




December 15, 2016

Online Marketing: Who Has Time to Do It All?

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:30 am
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social-media-1233873_1920Its no great secret.  I make my living as a writer.  Like a lot of writers, I find the vast array of possible online markting options overwhelming. I know one writer who edits anthologies, spends scads of time on Facebook.  She hosts events on Twitter as well as book give-aways on Goodreads.  I watch her and wonder “what if you can’t do it all?  Is it worth the bother?”

Imagine my delight when I came across this Digital Book World post by Chris Syme – Why You Only Need to Sell Your Book on One Social Media Channel.  I’m all giddy at the prospect.  I can focus on — one.

Syme’s idea is that it is better to promote via one social media outlet and do a really good job than it is to do a mediocre job over many.  Focus your attention and get results.  The key is to discover which is best for contacting your audience.  If you audience is on Facebook on and off all day, Facebook is the way to go.  If your readers, Tweet, Tweet and Tweet come more, than use Twitter.  Maybe you’ve got photo savvy readers on Snapchat.  Which doesn’t matter as much as knowing that it is where your readers “hang out.”

Not that Syme’s gives you the all clear to ignore the other forms of social media.  The key is to find one to use to market your writing.  You should still update the others on a regular basis.  You need to have an extended presence because it makes you easier to find.  But your selling efforts?  That’s all in one place.

You just have to figure out which place is where your readers hang out.  One vs many.  That sounds much more doable to me.



December 1, 2016

Twitter: A Game of Roulette

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:20 am
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rouletteSocial media and marketing are two book related things that closely resemble roulette.  You know that there’s a small chance that you may win. You have to believe this or you wouldn’t bother to play.  You place your bet, making the pick you think will be a winner, and then you spin.  Where that bouncing silver ball will land is anyone’s guess.

I’ve been fiddling around with Twitter since some time this summer.  I have an account (@SueBEdwards) and for months I would post about once a week.  I knew that wasn’t enough but between blogging and having an author page on Facebook, the thought of finding enough brilliant articles and blog posts to post more often than that was daunting.

Then someone said something that caught my attention.  People view their Twitter feeds on their phones.  They don’t want to do a lot of lengthy reading.  This is the place for quirky quips and visuals.  Thus the escalation of the selfie.

I’ve taken one selfie in my entire life.  One.  Where to point the camera (aka phone), how to angle my big fat head . . . ack!

But I can do visual.  I’m actually getting pretty handy at snapping photos of other things with my phone.  And I can always visuals online that  draw attention — in a good way, people!  In a good way!

I am now ten days into posting daily images.  I’d love to say that I’ve caught the hang of what will be popular and what won’t.

A post about the SCBWI Winter Reading List (no image) brought 426 impressions (seen by) and 12 engagements (took an action).

“What I’m Reading” plus the cover of Anything but Ordinary Addie by Mara Rockliff with a link to my review brought 218 impressions and 6 engagements.

“What I’m Reading” plus a photo of my reading pile and compliment for my local library system complete with their twitter name, 540 impressions and 15 engagements.

These are my three most popular posts to date in spite of the fact that I once strayed into politics (hot button issue? not necessarily) and once posted about professional gaming.  Given the number of people who game, I thought that would be a hit.  Not so much.

Suffice it to say, that although I see trends — post something you can link to an organization — I am definitely still trying to figure out what will be popular and what won’t.




September 19, 2016

MSWL Day: The Best Thing About Twitter

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:04 am
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twitter-848528_1920-croppedYes, I participate in social media.  Yes, I get why it is important.  But I also see it as a great big, gigantic time suck.  That’s not someone with a straw that you hear.  That’s social media sucking down your time.

But, like I said, there are also pluses and one of the big ones for Twitter is #MSWL Day.  For those of you who aren’t twitter savy, MSWL stands for Manuscript Wish List. On manuscript wish list day, editors and agents post about the dream manuscripts they would love to receive.

Here are some of the tweets I spotted on the last #MSWL Day (9/13) that are relevent to children’s writers.  I’ll provide a link to each complete post.

Hannah Fergesen Amelia Peabody-esque YA series brimming over with archaeology and murder (Tweet).

Moe Ferrara is on the lookout for MG and YA fantasy and science fiction (Tweet).

Stephanie Stein wants YA and MG fantasy where the magic is 100% essential to the story (Tweet).

She is also on the look out for YA and MG with snarky, sassy characters (Tweet).

Jill Corcoran wants picture books, MG and YA. She wants story and voice that leave her with a feeling of peace and love.  And yes, she got that all into one tweet!  See it here (Tweet).


There were more but these were the ones that caught my attention.  Read the tweet.  Read up on the agent.  Maybe one of them will be right for you and your work.



May 31, 2016

Social Media: The Down Side

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:47 am
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wwwSocial  Media for Writers.

How to Use Social Media.

Social Media, the Author’s Way.

Everywhere I turn, there seems to be someone telling me how important social media is for me as a writer.  They’re willing to tell me how and why and just how little time it will take.  And I have to admit that I’d bought into it.  I blog — obviously.  I’m on Facebook.  And I recently joined Twitter.

Maybe it’s because I added one thing and then another, but I never realized just how time-consuming it could be.  But last weekend we were out of town.  Yes, where we were staying had wi-fi.  I should have been able to get on, but our particular room was one of a block that gets iffy reception, especially when the place is booked solid and every room has a device or two linked in.

I knew I was going to have some time to myself and I had looked ahead at my deadlines so I had my laptop with me.  I had already drafted the next three chapters of the NASA book but this was a really rough draft created before the present outline with our editor and publisher.  Needless to say, I lot had changed.  Instead of trying to find a place I could get on and check my e-mail or Facebook, I popped open my laptop and got to work.  Ninety minutes later, I had a draft of Chapter 5.  Sure, there were a couple of blanks that I could only fill in once I could Google but I had a solid draft.  The next morning, I had an hour to myself and before everyone got back I had drafted Chapter 6. Again, there were blanks but still.

Two chapters drafted in a couple of hours.  Yes, I had bit and pieces already written, but I think a lot of what I accomplished was thanks to the fact that I could check e-mail.  I could pop over to Facebook.  No one could IM me.  That’s a big one for me.  If it pings, I have to look to see if it is something I need to read immediately.

I’m going to try an experiment this week.  School  is out, people are home, swim season has started.  My writing time is at a premium.  I’m going to write for several hours this week after closing down my internet connection.  I have a feeling it will be time well spent.


March 23, 2015

Social Media: How to use it to market you and your book

Social Media Explained with CoffeeWhen I attended the March 14th Missouri SCBWI workshop on marketing and social media, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’d probably learn something but these events tend to leave me overwhelmed.  There’s just so much to do and I can’t possibley do it all, so why bother?

First things first, Kristi and Casey both explained the “why bother” of various types of social media.  Amazingly, each type of media from Facebook to Youtube is used in a different way.  You know that and I know that, but knowing how they are used is another situation.  Fortunately, Kristi shared the graphic at right.

Kristi also encouraged us to personalise our book marketing.  For Penguin Cha Cha, she takes a penguin photo board to her events.  Readers pose behind the board and have their photo taken as a dancing penguin.  She also taught them how to cha cha complete with lovely Latin dance hands!

Of course, since my book is on the Ancient Maya, this too gave me the giggles.  Get your photo taken as a Mayan king standing on the backs of your foes!   Here is a lovely book mark shaped like an obsidian knife!

Casey went on to reinforce how to create a platfrom that suits your pesonality.  Granted, I got the giggles when he talked about not trying to be cute if your books aren’t cute.  Rest assured, World.  I will NOT try to be cute.

He also emphasized the importance of creating a consistent online personality.  Part of this is using the same photo or image as the profile photo in each and every form of social media.  Not only did I not have a photo in the SCBWI Speakers’ Listing, the photo I had on Facebook doesn’t match the photo on my site.

Perhaps the most important idea was that we shouldn’t try to do it all.  Pick one or two things to do and do them well.  Otherwise, your list will be as long as the coffee graphic and you won’t do any of it.

If you ever have the chance to hear Kristi or Casey speak, do it! They are highly inspirational.  You will note – I may have not have an obsidian knife book mark, but I do have a photo linked to my SCBWI profile.

Special thanks to Marketplace Maven for creating this informative image.






December 13, 2012

What kind of an Presence Do You Have?

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:58 am
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Obviously, I blog.  After all, you’re reading it.  I have a web site.   And for a long time that was it.

But I also blog over at the Muffin, part of the Women on Writing web site.  Various columns for them have led to my presence on both Facebook and Pinterest.

I can’t say I’m the most driven person on Facebook.  I post at least once a week.  I comment on a couple of posts a day.  Politics and religion, Facebook hot topics, aren’t absent but they aren’t the be-all-and-end-all of my Facebook existence.  I am, after all, on there for business and I don’t think rants would help that along unless of course I write a book in defense of ranting.  Hint:  Not going to happen.

I’m not on Pinterest as often as Facebook in part because it is an extraordinary time suck.  Click, click, click, and the next thing I know I’ve lost 30 or 40 minutes to cute kittens, adorable puppies and tons of posts on how to braid my hair.  Seriously — no one else in this house can braid so anything too complicated just isn’t in the cards, folks.

That said, I do use Pinterest both for research and to draw new readers.  To find out how, check out my blog post today on the Muffin.

What e-media do you use?


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