Yesterday I helped out at an event called Savor Strathcona, this incorporates local restaurants and artisans. There are numerous foods from across the globe to try and arts of all sorts, including pottery, painting, books and jewelry. The event also included live music and food demonstrations throughout the afternoon and evening, it was extremely popular, which seems to always be the case when food is offered.
I helped out at two tables – one with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing (where we also incorporated information on my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County) and also with the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona Council.
We saw friends, family and interested attendees and gave out postcards for our next big event Words in the Park – 1st October. Books were browsed and bought, connections made.
I feel that the more exposure to the public an organization or company gets the better. Many local people did not know about their local publisher, writing foundation or indeed their Arts and Culture Council.
My books are on the front edge of the table – Rumble’s First Scare, Ockleberries to the Rescue and The Rython Kingdom.
I am often asked why go to so many events, when they are not always a huge success in terms of book sales. My answer is that if I am not there, how will anyone know about me or the books I write? It is more about making connections and exploiting the event to showcase my work. On subsequent events people will approach me saying they met me before, bought a book before or they buy a book because last time they did not have a special occasion to buy it for. Being recognized helps as well as always being friendly and forthcoming and informative.
Do you attend events regularly?
What is your impression of them?
Is there a reason you limit or do not attend events?
This post was created due to the fact I was worrying about what to write for today’s post while perusing my Facebook and finally noticing two hours had ‘disappeared’ – without me really understanding where that time went! As this study shows it is not an uncommon problem.
So how do we market, connect and sell our books without being sucked into the social media vacuum? We all know we should be writing not viewing cute videos or scrolling down page after page of posts. Yes, we need to interact and promote but how can we balance our time?
Many sites promote keeping to a schedule – even putting a timer on to force a switch off time or using an app that shuts down the media page. We can be overwhelmed with too many sites – but if we choose carefully and link the actions to the most relevant ones to our specific theme we can save time. A blog post can automatically be shared to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. this saves us precious writing time.So also setting our social media sites with sharing options cuts down our physical interaction time without reducing its effectiveness. The trick is to identify which sites work best for your particular message and keep to them.
Here’s a great link about that very subject : http://www.webdesignrelief.com/social-networking-sites-for-writers/
I tend to burst on social media early morning and late afternoon (interspersed during the day when possible). My ‘bad’ time is weekend mornings when I am catching up. This is my danger time and the one I have to forcibly limit myself. If not, I am berating myself for ‘lost’ time writing. Avoiding the lure of social media results in a project started, revised or finished and that is worth any writers time.
The writing life need not be a solitary one anymore. With today’s technology, we have the ability to connect with other writers around the globe. Some may say it is not a ‘real’ connection but as with any relationship, it’s what you put into it that makes the difference. I am a strong believer in ‘sharing’ – hence my bi-line, because I am open to this resource, I have met some wonderful people. Some are at the beginning of their writing life and others established and published.
However, the sheer abundance of web sites can overwhelm us. It is not possible to link to them all without detriment to our craft. The answer? Select sites and blogs that not only appeal to you but have a common thread or instruction to your particular interest, genre, style, skill level or indeed fancy. With careful selection you will be able to cultivate a rapport with the chosen authors. This in turn grows into a support system. Don’t think that your views or opinions are not worthy because everyone can derive something from them. Fresh eyes can see what experienced ones may overlook.
Careful selection also means you are not overloaded with notifications and a sense of guilt for not commenting or responding. Thus you can balance actual writing time with ‘socializing’. Yes I understand that once you click it is very difficult to leave but leave you must – I have found limiting my time on social media has helped a lot and because I have spent more time writing I feel good about myself and the body of work achieved. Choose your own period of social time and keep to it. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule. If you happen to link up with someone who needs your help or whose help you need then logging off is not productive or well mannered.
My desk calendar word for today is : Endemic. The definition is 1) belonging or native to a country or people 2) characteristic of a certain area, region or environment.
Our writing community makes us all endemic to this ‘world of words’. We may sit at our desks, in a comfy chair or under a tree to write but our characteristic as a ‘weaver of words’ makes us a member of a unique country – even if it is largely in cyber-space. The more we share, support and encourage each other the better our own writing will become – it’s a win, win situation.