July 30, 2012

Facebook Tips Will Start Up Again

I haven't spent much time on this blog since February, and I apologize. I allowed one writer's comments in a Facebook Indie group to drive me away from it. We each have our own opinions and I thought I'd developed a thick skin regarding my peers, but apparently I hadn't. His reaction made me throw my hands up in frustration and walk away from the project. Hell, I should have been writing anyway.

I can't promise not to sound bitchy in this blog occasionally, after all tone is very hard to discern in a blog post and it might be that my attempts at humor fall flat and fail miserably. I swear I am not purposefully trying to put anyone down in my posts, but am genuinely attempting to write with snark to make people smile. If you perceive it as an attack, then go take a stiff couple of drinks and come back and read the post again. This time try reading it out loud, with a high pitch and a smile, and maybe some of the humor will come through ;-)

Instead of sharing what I've learned, I poured more time into writing and released my third novel on deadline. I'm writing again but have noticed I've missed blogging (but only a little, I swear). I think it is a nice way to babble and get some creative thoughts out without the pressure of every damn word must be "golden".

I returned from RWA yesterday and several things made me want to start blogging again. A few experts on the panels gave wrong information, or perhaps they were mis-informed to begin with. So, for any of you who attended them, I'd like to clear some things up.

I went to a PAN (PAN stands for the Published Author Network) presentation on Digital Marketing and learned almost nothing. Aside from the incredibly rude moderator who acted like an em-cee and tried to inject humor when reading the panelist's bios, I did feel the panelists were an interesting group.

One woman, Laura Reeth who is Nora Roberts' Publicist, shared what she felt was a humorous tale of a reader commenting on Nora's wall, asking when the next book was out. She expressed frustration that the commenter didn't even read the pretty banner on the FB page, which showed the cover and the date of the next release.

People in the audience laughed, everyone commiserating on the laziness and slight stupidity of the aforementioned commenter. But you know what? Ms. Reeth doesn't know that of her client's 480k followers almost half access Facebook via their mobile phone. A phone which does not include cover banners when they stop by to comment on an author's Page. It could very well have been a genuine inquiry from an actual reader, a reader eager to buy the next book the moment it comes out.

Her ignorance on how that reader was interacting with her client's Page lead her to believe they were just dumb or lazy, an attitude she passed on with her retelling of the anecdote to over 200+ authors. I did not raise my hand and correct her, to do so would have embarrassed her and the rude moderator from PAN already made us look like sarcastic bitches, so I wisely shut my mouth.

I also attended a 360 Degrees of Promotion panel, where again, people were told the wrong information regarding some Facebook details. The first of which was Facebook friend lists (aka smart lists) and how to utilize them properly, even to interact with their readers. It was downright scary how the people on the panel knew a little, but not enough, to really help the people in the audience. I wanted to raise my hand on that one, but my best friend Boone was sitting next to me and she kept telling me not to.

Hey, it was the beginning of the convention and she was right I shouldn't rock the boat too much. But it did prompt me to go directly to the workshop booth and offer to teach a class for next year -- three classes actually. Facebook for beginners, intermediate, and advanced level stuff. After attending some other workshops I'm adding a fourth -- how to promote cheaply on a limited budget.

I have to apply to teach these workshops and then the powers that be will decide. I'll keep you posted. I did speak up at the Digital Marketing panel I mentioned before, it was regarding how to utilize Facebook Author Pages and increase reader interaction so there are more "people talking about this" numbers on your page.

It wasn't my intention to speak up, but the handsome Harper Collins guy on the panel saw me muttering under my breath when a panelist gave a wrong answer on why an author's posts weren't being shown in people's newsfeeds. I started to answer from my chair (after he asked me to) and then the moderator called me up to speak in front of the whole group of 200+ people.

I almost peed myself. I've done a lot of public speaking, but normally I'm prepared and have some notes. Right when I opened my mouth over the mic, there was a loud chorus of "Who Are You?" from dozens of writers.

I was proudly able to answer, "I'm C.J. Ellisson. The first self-published author to be accepted into PAN in RWA's history." Lots of them clapped and then I gave my answer. I think I answered it well, I may have babbled, I'm not sure. I get like that sometimes when I speak in front of a crowd, I kind of blank on certain parts of it later and can't recall WTF I said.

Apparently, I did well. I had lots of people waiting to talk to me after the panel and more who sought me out during the rest of the conference. People even said "Oh, hey, we were talking about you at dinner last night." Which really freaked me out. I had to hold back from the obvious response of, "all good things, I hope." :-D

Overall, the RWA experience really was amazing. Speaking with so many nice people who wanted to learn, were eager to support one another, and always had a kind thing to say really impressed me. It also impressed upon me how much I've learned, too. Hours and hours of which I should have been writing, but damn, I did it and I taught myself.

I'll start with more tips each week and hopefully some of you will find me at RWA teaching a workshop next year. Please stop by and say hi if you're there.


0 comments:

See? Not Talkin' Out My Ass!

About this blog:

"Who the heck is this C.J. chick?"

Sure, you may not have heard of me and that's okay. I may not have heard of you either ;-) But ask yourself this one simple question -- What were you doing in January 2009 and had you ever written one word of fiction?

I can tell you where I was and what I was doing. I spent days in doctor's offices and sitting at home the rest of the time, wondering what I was going to do with my time now that my property management and Realtor business was on hold for the foreseeable future.

That's right, I never wrote a fictional piece before and I never thought I could be a writer. My background is Art, Chemistry and Business… not English, Journalism, or Creative Writing.

Now, I'm an award-winning bestselling author of contemporary fantasy. In under three years. And I have over 10,000 followers on facebook. Do you? 'Cause if you do then you probably don't need my help. ;-)

Side Note: I use an editor for all my books (several in fact), but not on my blog posts. So if you see errors, try to be nice and overlook them.

Please comment on the posts you find helpful -- I look forward to getting to know you!

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