A writer’s guide to social media #writing #amwriting

Four and a half years ago I decided to publish a book. It took me nearly four years to make it happen. One of the first things I did at the beginning of this journey was to start a blog…and so began a separate journey into the delights of social media!

Over the four + years I have learnt an awful lot about social media and I thought I would share my insights in regards to writing. Some of the things I dabbled in have worked and some have not, and some are just no brainers that every writer should do.

My top 4 Social Media essentials for a writer!

  1. A blog or Book website: You don’t need to go crazy or even spend money. You can get a great blog (or book website) set up for free using either WordPress or Blogger. There are a few other freebies out there but these two are the big hitters and I have used both. I started blogging life on Blogger but switched over to WordPress soon after. I just found WordPress easier to use and more elegant in design, but that’s just my personal preference. It really doesn’t matter what you use as long as you start something. Blogging should be reasonably frequent. I used to be far more prolific, but once a week at least is fine. I find blogging a great way to get my creative brain working, and it’s a nice way to write about your thoughts and feelings independent to your book. If you are published, plan to publish, or just enjoy writing, I definitely recommend a blog. If you prefer not to deliver articles then you can  still recommend you have a site of some kind to share and showcase you book or writing. You can easily set up WordPress to have a statice front page (like a website) rather than the typical scrolling blog posts, and there are plenty of other options for free sites such as Wix.com. See: http://www.top10bestwebsitebuilders.com
  2. Twitter: Love it or loathe it, twitter is an awesome social media tool for writers. Whether it is building a following who share your interest, or finding great articles, twitter has it all. I have met some wonderful writers through twitter. On twitter sharing is caring, so don’t be afraid to retweet other posts, comments, and books.
  3. Goodreads: If you are a writer and you don’t know what Goodreads is…you are seriously missing out. I was a member ages ago, but I never made much use of it, and I really wish I had! If you are thinking of publishing my advice would be get active on Goodreads. Start sharing what you read and what you thought of it, and you will soon connect with other people who love the same books and genres. By the time you do come to publish, you have a list of connections who already share a common interest, and so it’s not unreasonable to assume they might just give your book a go. Even if they don’t, Goodreads has a whole heap of forums to find beta readers, ways to share free copies of your book for reviews, and critique groups. Once you are published, you can set up an Author dashboard where you can share your blog posts and connect your books. Goodreads members can flag your book as ‘To read’ and ‘Rate it’ once they are done. Because Goodreads is global, you get reviews from all over the world, unlike Amazon which is related to your particular store. And your friends are free to leave reviews, they just show up as a friend review.
  4. Facebook page: This is the last of my top social media. It’s pretty easy to set up a Facebook page, and you can share your blog posts and book news in one handy place. And everyone loves Facebook!

So, if you are a writer and serious about sharing your work you need to present your book related information in a media that appeals to a wide audience. A blog, Twitter, Goodreads and a Facebook page are a great start. Blogging is a weekly thing for me, but I generally post to Facebook and Twitter most days. And I pop onto Goodreads a couple of times a week to see what books my friends have read and any recommendations.

Top Supplementary media

Facebook groups: If you have not yet discovered Facebook writing and reading groups you are missing out. Facebook groups are like a online forums that conveniently sit inside Facebook. I love Facebook groups! Most groups contain support documents to help, for example the indie author group below has lists of book cover artists, editors, tips etc. Some examples of groups:

  1. Fantasy Writing Fanatics: Some great folks chewing the fat on all things related to fantasy writing
  2. Book Clubs: Folks who just plain love reading and share their favourite books and recommendations. There are hundreds of reader book clubs on Facebook.
  3. Indie Author Group: If you are an indie author and have a question someone here will have the answer. A great place to ask newbie questions about writing, editing, publishing, advertising, and anything else related to writing.
  4. Books go social readers group: There are hundreds of book sharing groups on Facebook for every genre you can imagine. I like this one because it doesn’t over spam as you can only promote your book once a month. For more book sharing groups See http://www.trainingauthors.com/facebook-groups-for-authors/

Other media options and what I thought

  1. Tumblr: I have a tumblr account, and my blog automatically posts to this for me so I still share that way. Tumblr feels a little like picture based blogging and so since I already have wordpress, I prefer to stick to that. There are some absolutely awesome Tumblr writer blogs though, but it’s just not a big or active option for me. If you are looking around for a blog tool it’s worth checking out as an alternative to Blogger or WordPress.
  2. Stumbleupon: I have an account and did dabble for a while. It’s useful to drive traffic to your blog, i.e. you can share your blog posts here. It’s also useful to find good articles. I have probably under utilised this myself and some people swear by it!
  3. Instagram: Is all about pictures so not necessarily the highest priority for a writer…I mostly post pictures of my cats! Not very writerly of me I know 🙂
  4. Pinterest: I quite like Pinterest, and it is a fun picture based way to find writing articles and to share. Not a big social media account for me, but it definitely has a good writing community and you can find some great articles here.

If I have missed a social media account that you love please let me know. Or if you have other recommendations or feedback on the above I would also love to hear.

Want to connect on social media? 

Find me on Goodreads : G.L. Cromarty (Author)

Find me on Facebook: G.L. Cromarty (TheWritingChimp)

Find me on Twitter: @TheLittlebod

Find me on Instagram TheWritingChimp

Sharing is caring! Drop a link to your social media accounts in the comments below!

You know you’re a writer when you’ve found a million ways to procrastinate #writer #writing

You know you’re a writer when you’ve found a million ways to procrastinate…here are a few tips to help you spot the procrastination pitfalls.

Reading really is the perfect excuse for any writer because you can convince yourself that it is actually helping you to become a better writer. Yes, it certainly is, but sometimes you do need to put the book down and get back to your keyboard and write.

Snacks. If you want to keep your writing brain in tip-top working order you need a snack, right? Yes, until you realise you’ve eaten enough food for a small party, and then it’s time to explore the possibility that you might be letting procrastination creep in.

Daydreaming is the birthplace of all good plot ideas. But maybe if you’re daydreaming about ‘fetching another snack’, it’s time to get on with actually writing the book!

Editing! Is the worst form of writer procrastination. You know you need to start the next chapter, but it’s so enticing to pop back to what you did yesterday . . . just for a quick check. The next thing you know, you’ve taken a bulldozer to it . . . and you’re not making any new progress on the book!

Desk tidy. Yes, we have all been there and done that, but after your 23rd pencil readjustment, you know you really need to get back to your book!

What’s your favourite procrastination habit? 🙂

When to Kill Off a Character?

A question I have considered a time or to myself…I’m not averse to killing a character off  🙂

I’ve been working on one of my short stories lately, because I want to at least try to get something published this year…and I ran into a little snag. On Sunday, I finished a rough draft for it, but it didn’t seem complete. I had alluded to the idea that one of the characters does […]

https://amandagreyfiction.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/when-to-kill-off-a-character/

When you are a writer you explore everything #amwriting

I think as a writer, you have a naturally curious mind about all things, but in particular people. And when I say people, it is all people, both the real ones, and the fictitious ones we meet within the pages of a book or on the screen.

Before I became a writer, I would read the book on only one level. Aware of the story and the flow, and the characters and their adventure.

When I first began writing, I found myself paying greater attention to word choice and style. Later, it was some of the technical aspects of sentence structure that captured my attention. I explored what I liked, or what I felt worked particularly well, and then I would ask myself why this was so. I would often pause reading so I could consider a phrase rather than simply enjoying it and skipping straight past as a reader might.

Then I found yet another level in the character development, and the way that their journey plays out. I have always loved character arcs, and have always enjoyed the change a good arc brings in a holistic sense. Recently though, I have found myself studying the nuances of the character in a much greater detail. The common word choice certain characters have, or perhaps the way they rub their brow when they hear interesting news. A character who plays their cards close to their chest is most interesting when they  finally reveal a personal detail— and a sharer is most interesting when they choose not the share. These micro-levels of the arc are just as important. I review each aspect of their personality under a microscope, testing it, seeing what I like about it, or even what I don’t. I try to unravel all the reasons behind their actions, and again, find myself testing the arc—does each piece fit in with the greater whole? What works? Why does it work? And how can I use this knowledge myself.

Not all writers are equal, and not all draw us into the story as deeply. There are times, when despite my best efforts to read a book on every level, I lose myself and I am simply a reader. These are the best books, and the ones I return to so I can study them again with a writers eye.

There are, of course, many more layers to a story and to writing, some that I am aware of, and others that I am not. Our ignorance reveals itself during those times when you just feel joy in reading a book, yet the formula or ingredient that makes it so enjoyable eludes you. These moments have a magical quality, and you know there is some hidden aspect of the craft at work. You wish desperately to know what it is.

This ever evolving lens through which we view writing is what makes it so interesting, and I hope that I never stop learning.