I've just finished taking an amazing social media class with Kristen Lamb via Candace Havens website. I've learned a thing or two about branding myself (ouch, that could hurt) and social networking because of this class. And, ouch again, I have decided to retool my blog space to reflect the lessons.
Super ouch again because I am also going to *gulp* learn more about social media and branding myself via a book I ordered. Kristen Lamb's book WE ARE NOT ALONE: The Writer's Guide to Social Media is recommended by editors and agents to newly contracted authors.
I'm not contracted yet. But I had better learn how to use social media to sell my books and my name if I want to make it in this business. The writing world is huge, the business is changing every day, and I need to get savvy about utilizing this FREE network.
I have dabbled in it before, but never pushed too hard because social media can suck up a lot of time. Facebook is not for playing farmer games or finding treasure. Well, in a way it is. I'm farming for future readers and digging for future treasure in sales when the day after my book hits shelves finally arrives.
Yes, dear readers, the MILLS & BOON contest definitely brought the concept of self-promotion home to me. If I want to sell books, sell novels, sell my stories I have to be bold, fearless and courageous about marketing.
I'm not in Kansas anymore. And Oz is a bit frightening. There are a lot of wild characters and new lands to explore. There are wild colors, terms I don't understand, witches and wizards of writing promotion to conquer. Oh, I am nervous. But I am not going to crawl back into the back corner of the house I just flew in to get here and hide from the experience. I'm going to embrace it.
During his workshop at the Georgia Romance Writers of America Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, Michael Hauge asked each writer to examine her/himself in terms of this question: I'll do anything to be a published writer except ??? because THAT'S NOT ME.
Well, I can fill in that blank. Before that workshop, I could say, I'LL DO ANYTHING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR EXCEPT SELF-PROMOTE BECAUSE THAT'S NOT ME. It's not. Not totally. After all, that's called "drawing attention to oneself" and I have my own reasons for not wanting to do that to myself. Sure, those who know me will say I am outgoing and gregarious. But if you really spend time with me and get to know me, you'll notice that what I am actually doing is getting people to TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES. I'm PROMOTING OTHER PEOPLE to draw attention away from myself.
Good self-preservation trick, eh?
Now all this eye-opening self-awareness at a deeper level than I had ever examined of myself before isn't going to stop me from continuing to motivate and encourage the people I love and admire to achieve their goals as writers, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, husbands, students.... ah the list goes on. It's an amazing feeling to see the people around me grow and become who they have the potential to be in this great glorious life. I'm just adding one more person to the list. Me.
Don't worry if you see your blogs falling off the sidebar and little nuances of change in the blog. All will be redone and done well (hiring the darling teen to help me out with this!). I'm tweaking my blog and reworking the layout while following my own Yellow Brick Road to publication.