Tag Archives: social media

Weekly Writing Workout: Get Your Purpose Straight

How many times have you heard the phrase “I have to get my priorities straight”?

I worked off of that idea for years without consistent success. I had trouble discerning through the daze of “to do” what exactly my priorities should be, especially when it came to social media. I thought maybe if I only had more discipline I would be able to prioritize action items more effectively. I was the QUEEN of To Do Lists, but every action swam in front of me with no clear purpose attached.

I eventually realized that I can’t get my priorities straight if I don’t have my purpose straight first. How can I even make priorities without purpose? I learned that getting my purpose straight practically wrote my priorities for me, and that it was perfectly fine to drop actions that didn’t serve this purpose.

For instance, this idea of “rethinking social media” came from going back to what my purpose is around social media. If my purpose is to build an audience, then I need to think of actions to build that audience. Should I hang out in online forums? Many forums are great places to exchange information, but not really audience builders. Perhaps I should limit how much time I spend in them.

If my time is really limited, it would serve me better to simply find the one thing I can do that best serves this purpose and focus my energy on that one thing rather than using a scattershot approach.

76574c90c8ac850e29883802086e7fb8

by Gizem Vural

On a grander scale, I can create purpose for my entire life. My purpose on that scale might be: to be joyful in my creative endeavors or to share my creative expression with others. If that’s the case, perhaps I decide to spend less time on social media in general and more time expressing myself creatively, since that brings more joy into my life. Or, simply become more creative in my expression thru social media.

It doesn’t matter if my purpose is to “sell books” or “have fun.” It’s MY purpose. It’s just that my actions will look different accordingly, and I can prioritize by asking myself if that action serves my purpose. Whenever I go to a conference now, for instance, I create a purpose around it. I might decide my purpose is to have fun. I might decide it’s to have meaningful dialogue. I might decide it’s simply to sit back, listen, and learn.

In the book The One Thing by Gary Keller (with Jay Papasan) “The most productive people start with purpose and use it like a compass. They allow purpose to be the guiding force in determining the priority that drives their actions . . . The prescription for extraordinary results is knowing what matters to you and taking daily doses of actions in alignment with it.”

“Purpose provides the ultimate glue that can help you stick to the path you’ve set.” ~Gary Keller, The One Thing

Note that doing something because you think it will make you happy is different than doing something because it serves your purpose, which, ironically, will help you find happiness.

 

YOUR WORKOUT

Several weeks ago I wrote about what a character “needs” vs. what a character “wants.” On the other side of need is where the “better self” lies. I think the same thing goes for purpose.

When your character’s purpose becomes clear, it becomes a driving force. Through the trials and tribulations of your character doing what she “must” and going after what she “wants” her purpose eventually becomes clear.

At the beginning of your story, your character might think a specific thing will make her happy. But what she thinks will make her happy might not be what she needs to actually live a more fulfilled life. If along the way she finds purpose, this will lead to what she needs. It will also drive her actions. As her actions are thwarted and things get in her way, she reacts in order to stay on purpose.

And presto, your story moves forward.

1) SET YOUR TIMER for 7-10 minutes.

Start with the line: At the beginning of my story, My Character thinks she’ll only be happy once…

Write without stopping, crossing out, rereading, or editing.

2) SET YOUR TIMER for 10-12 minutes.

Start with the line: My Character realizes her purpose on her life journey is really…

3) SET YOUR TIMER for 12-15 minutes.

Start with the line:  Driven by this purpose, she can now confront…

Write without stopping, crossing out, rereading, or editing.

And have a great week!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under weekly workout, writing exercises, writing life

KDP and Book Launch Social Media Campaign Hoohah

A few of you asked if I would post about what I did to promote my free ebook campaign, which I thought was pretty successful. It exceeded my expectations, to say the least. There were a total of 2,848 downloads and we hit #1 in free fantasy ebooks that day.

It was done through Amazon’s KDP program. I’m not entirely sure how it all works as I did not set this up, my publisher did (if you want to know about THAT process, I could probably get him or author Jennifer Munro to do a guest post about it).

I know KDP / Amazon wants exclusive ebook distribution for 3 months. I know you can get up to 5 free days in those 3 months. We had some technical difficulties the week our book was uploaded, so figure this out early if you’re set on a specific free day.

I think a lot of factors go into the success of your campaign, from what day of the week you schedule your freebie to the genre of your book.  I would not have gotten the same response if I had done this at the launch of my first book. I didn’t know as much about the industry, I didn’t have as much internet presence back then, didn’t have as many fans or as many FB followers . . . you get the picture. So be patient and let your presence grow. (BE the sunflower)

Here are some advantages you can give yourself
leading UP to your freebie day.

1) If you are working with a small press, they’re ultimately the ones who have to see the benefit of a free day.  My publisher is getting to be pretty savvy in this new age of publishing – it was actually HIS idea and I was the hesitant one. So if it’s something you have to present to your publisher, do your research (Read Chris Anderson’s essay on The Economy of Free). If you’re self-publishing, then just create the best possible book you can. There’s no advantage to giving a free book out before it’s ready. You want people to say, holy cow, I just got this amazing book for free!

2) Create an online presence. If you haven’t published a book yet, you can still create a facebook page for yourself as an author. Your friends and family will like the page and you can keep them abreast of anything like conferences you attend or readings you’re doing. If the book is ready to publish, create a page for the book in advance of publication. Always be gracious and thoughtful about how many announcements your post and to whom.

If you have a blog, join a blog community. Join one of the Platform Campaigns or a review group like Middle Grade Mondays or any other friendly space. Widen your circle of blog friends.

With both FB and blogging, you need to participate in the community for your own site to grow. Throwing words up on a virtual page does nothing for anyone else. Invest time in finding like-minded bloggers, exchange experiences and advice. Be of service to each other.

3) Other sites: GoodReads, Amazon, Yahoo Groups, LinkedIn, WAE, NaNoWriMo – all these sites have forums for writers. One of my pet peeves is when people only jump in on forums to advertise their books and don’t invest in other people. Join and participate in a few forums before your books come out.

You don’t have to use them all. Join the forums that interest you so it’s fun. I use GoodReads and Yahoo Groups more than the others and am in four different Sci Fi / Fantasy forums and three children’s authors groups. I try to check in as much as possible, but it’s easy to get distracted!

In the Months before Free Day

-My publisher used Lightning Book Promotions to create a blog tour that spanned the week before and after my launch. Stormi is fairly new and very energetic about the work she does for writers. You can set up your own blog tour, of course, but I’m so glad I didn’t have to do that on top of everything else. The blog tour started the buzz going about the book.

I did add on three more bloggers of my own to the tour after Stormi had booked the first 10 or so. If there are blogs your love or frequently visit, go ahead and ask them if they’d like to be a stop on your tour. Most bloggers are looking for things to write about or for fun guests on their blogs.

-If I had my act together, I would have advertised on these sites: Pixel of Ink, Ereader News Today, and ebookswag.com (unfortunately, I learned about them too late)

5 DAYS before Free Day:

-I created an “event” on Brigitta’s FaceBook page and invited all the people I thought not only might be interested in a free ebook, but might help me pass along the message. Some people don’t realize that an “event” can be virtual. I listed my FREE EBOOK DAY EVENT with a link to the book’s Amazon page.

-I checked in with GoodReads and Amazon forums to find appropriate places to post a free ebook note. Search GoodReads groups and Amazon’s forums. There actually groups and forums that are specifically for authors to advertise their free ebooks.

-I sent an email newsletter to my teacher/librarian list telling them about the free day.

-I had a note sent to all the bloggers on my blog tour and asked if they would please post something about the free day and share the info elsewhere (some did on FB, twitter, and GoodReads)

Day Before Free Day

-I posted announcements in my regular forums in GoodReads (YA and Sci-fi / fantasy forums) that I was offering the book for free the next day. Be careful in your GoodReads forums that you post in the appropriate section or you’ll irk the moderators. Things are usually pretty well marked, but you can always ask someone.

-I posted on my own blog, my yahoo group, and my LinkedIn group about the freebie. My publisher loaned me his Twitter account and I did a #freeebook tweet.

Free Day!

-I sent personal notes to my FB friends and family asking them if they would post the free book announcement on their own pages. I told them my goal was to get in the top 100 on the Fantasy downloads. My friends are great – I’m sure a few dozen of them forwarded my announcement and several mentioned me in FB posts. My friends are awesome. We all support each other this way.

-I kept a watch on the Amazon stats… which is a little obsessive, but it’s exciting and fun. I posted updates on Brigitta’s FB page.

REMEMBER – you have to find the balance between promoting yourself and being intrusive. There’s nothing wrong with promotion. People DO want to support you. Your friends and family and colleagues want to help. Just be aware of your intentions, participate, and be inclusive.

from Mike Howell @ constantly risking obscurity

I think that’s it. If you have any questions I’ll try to answer them. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. But we’ve been selling 2-3 Ruins of Noe ebooks per day since the free ebook day, so I think, in the end, it will be worth it.

7 Comments

Filed under Book Launch, novel adventures, writing life

Day Two Women in Film Festival

I had the romantic notion that I would live-blog some of the events at the Fourth Annual Women In Film Festival, but I’ve been too busy!

Yesterday was the festival’s first New Media Day and I was one of the principle organizers. (Here’s a tip if you’re ever organizing an event… don’t put yourself as the moderator on the first panel of the morning! Leave that to someone with a fresh brain.)

The Media Day included four panel discussions, an interactive exhibit, application demos, and a networking party with free beer from Molsens. Yay free beer! We had a social media team who actually DID live blog and tweet the event, so if you want to hear more… check out these links from:

miss604

hummingbird604 – twitter feed on monetization panel
hummingbird604 – ” ” social media how to
humingbird604 – ” ” getting your feet wired

Monica Hamburg’s Me Like the Interweb

Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun tech-blogger

As well as our NMD BLOG

After New Media day was over, and we were all buzzed, we transitioned into the opening night’s film, the Vancouver premiere of The Baby Formula, a mocumentary about a lesbian couple who, through an experimental scientific process, make sperm from their own stem cells and get pregnant with each others’ babies.

Although a few supporting characters bordered on cliche, the great performances, dialogue, and direction made them work. It’s a really fun film. I laughed, I cried. And the crazy part is that the actresses were actually pregnant  during the filming… one of them had their water break on set.

Leave a comment

Filed under do something different, film biz, industry poop, new media