Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 1 – Get Ready #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 1 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Content Themes

Day 6 – Inform your followers (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 7 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 8 – It’s not all about you

Day 9 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Today I want you to take some time to think about what you want to accomplish on Social Media:

  • What are your goals? (Audience building? Networking? Sharing information? Making sales?)
  • Why are you spending the time you do on Social Media? (Do you get lost chasing rabbit trails? Do you need to set a timer?)
  • How much time do you want to spend on Social Media? (You should be able to do what you need to do in 30 minutes or LESS per day. This will leave you time to write or do other important things that need to be done.)
  • Which sites work best for the audience you want to reach?

Which Social Media Networks Are Best? (From The Best Social Media Networks for Authors by Shari Stauch)

Your other social media networks of choice (in addition to the aforementioned Facebook and Goodreads, which are mandatory!) will depend somewhat on your readership:

  • Twitter trends towards a younger crowd, though more and more folks are exposed to Twitter streams every day through mainstream media.
  • LinkedIn may seem to towards the more serious social media user (think non-fiction and business books) though we’re finding that LinkedIn’s groups are connecting our authors with both new individual readers and the opportunities to put their books in front of larger groups, i.e. associations and clubs.
  • Google+ is an overall great site, though still confusing to new users. The “power” of the site of course is that what you post there, because, well, it’s Google, is also indexed by Google, which makes what you post (i.e. the link to your latest blog) that much easier to discover.

Some additional resources:

Day 1 Assignment:

  1. Write out your social media goals (Share them in our Facebook Group!)
  2. Let me know what you want to accomplish through this challenge. Do you have questions you want answered? What do you struggle with the most? Let me know in the comments below.

For more specific help with Twitter, purchase my e-book, Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps.

Twitter Intermediate1


What I Learned at Write Canada 2015 – Part 2: Indie Writer Continuing Class

The continuing class, Five Keys to Becoming a Successful Indie Author/Publisher with Linda Hall especially fascinated me since I began the process of publishing my own books this year. (My next book – Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps is launching July 15, 2015.)

Linda started out by describing different ways to get books published (Traditional, Independent, and Small Indie Presses) and shared a brief history of Indie publishing (e.g. Benjamin Franklin, 1732-1758, wrote and published Poor Richard’s Almanac). She also reviewed the reasons people decide to go the Indie publishing route:

  • Because I can’t get an agent or a traditional publishing deal
  • Because I want to be in control of my own business

  • Because I enjoy the challenge of being in business for myself

  • Because I want to write what I want to write

  • Traditional houses don’t publish my genre

  • My publisher closed its fiction line

  • I need flexible deadlines

  • As a speaker, I need books to sell at events (business card book)

“If you have 1,000 faithful fans, you can make a living as an Indie writer.” @WriterHall #Indies #quote #writer

Key #1 Pre-book Planning

Is pre-planning different for the Indie Author?

You have to do MORE pre-planning:

  • If fiction: Will it be a series? Length?
  • If nonfiction – Do you have a platform to share your work from? A blog or website?

TIPS:

  • Get involved with communities where your readers spend time
  • Make sure you have a website and blog

Key #2 Writing the book

Your book should be the absolute best book you can write

How many books should I publish in a year? As many as you can write well

Should I format as I write?

  • Only one space after a period
  • Don’t use tabs; use paragraph formatting
  • Use Times New Roman (Serif) (For overheads, use non-serif)
  • Paragraphs should be fairly short

Resources:

1. Why is everyone talking about Scrivener?

  • Trash doesn’t erase.
  • Character name generator
  • Snap Shot – copies your screen so that you can go back if you want.

2. Simple Note – an easy way to keep notes

3. How to format your novel for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Smashwords, and CreateSpace…in One Afternoon (for Mac) by Ed Ditto

4. The ebook design and development guide by Paul Salvette

5. Gwen Hernandez – Scrivener course (NOTE: Registration is now open for classes in the fall of 2015.)

Key #3 – Editing

  • Read your piece out loud (Google Play Books reads out loud)
  • Find Beta readers – friends, family members, and readers who will give you honest feedback about your writing.
  • Get an outside editor!

The four types of editing:

1. Concept or Developmental

2. Substantive

3. Copy-editing

4. Proofreading

Key #4 – Covers and Finishing

Go to Amazon and search the genre to get ideas about the style of cover you want and what’s popular.

eBook covers are different than print book covers

3 step judging for covers:

  1. Can you read it from 10 feet
  2. Can your grandmother read it from 10 feet
  3. Title should be in top 1/3 of cover

Formats:

  • Amazon – mobi
  • Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and others – epub
  • CreateSpace – PDF

Styles (eBooks)

  • Full (left/right) justified
  • Indent or space between paragraphs
  • Fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, Geneva) eReaders often use their own fonts
  • Copyright, TOC, end stuff, front stuff, graphics

TIP: Draft2digital – Use instead of Smashwords

Styles (Print Books)

  • Full (left/right) justified
  • Indent all but first paragraph of new chapters
  • First letter or each first paragraph of each new chapter – larger and bolder
  • Fonts your choice (serif)
  • Copyright, TOC, end stuff, front stuff
  • Any graphics must be at least 300 dpi
  • No header or footer on first page of each new chapter or in end stuff or front stuff
  • Start on right side (odd numbered page)
  • Headers – odd numbered page is the title, even number is the author

Publishing

ISBNs are free in Canada – go to CISS

Turn your book into audio – acx.com (Only available in the U.S.)

Key #5 – Marketing 

The Indie Reviewers List (theindieview.com); DO NOT pay for reviews!

Do a Google search for the many sites which list bloggers and book reviewers.

More Information:

Linda gave me permission to share the link to a special page she set up for this class. Check it out at rikhall.com/Linda.

My two previous posts about Write Canada were: 5 Things I appreciated about Write Canada  and the Magazine Editor Panel.