Wednesday, October 6, 2010

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday: Deserted Island

Ok, so I couldn't resist answering this fun question from YA Highway:

You're packing for a month on a deserted island. What, as a reader and writer, must be in your backpack?

Not in my backpack, but my husband would be coming along with me. This lovely deserted island just wouldn't be paradise without him. With him, it would be. Yeah, so maybe this is supposed to be our getaway alone, but I wouldn't have to be alone to still get a lot of reading and writing done.

Sunscreen. And aloe after sun care. Wouldn't want to spend the time sore and uncomfortable, right?

Swimsuit. We'd be spending a lot of time out in the water.

Some clothes. I'd pack light, but would pack the essentials.


Lots of books. To save space I'd love to bring my Kindle, but I'd have to have a way of charging it and any electronics.

Forget the laptop. Wouldn't want anything to happen to it. So, instead I'd pack a few notebooks and plenty of pens for writing.

IPod. Gotta have my music!

A few assorted snacks for when we need a little something different from fish and coconuts. (Including sweets...thanks, Jen for the idea! Hmm...maybe with all that coconut around there'd be a way to make yummy coconut cookies...)

Ok, that pretty much covers it! I'd love to hear what others would bring.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lessons From The Social Network

This weekend, my husband and I saw The Social Network. Awesome movie! Not only was it cool to learn the story behind Facebook's creation, but what really stuck with me was the way the company was built from the ground up. It was like a planned grassroots movement once Mark Zuckerberg created it and got it going, starting at Harvard and later deliberately expanding to other colleges and universities across the country. And then it went international!

I think there must be a lesson in that for us as writers.

Awesomeness Will Catch On.
Of course, we have to have an awesome product that people will want to read, packaged with an eye-catching cover and a great blurb on the back jacket to entice readers. The same also applies to blogs, and I've come across some really great author blogs!

Take it To Your Target Market.
But beyond that, we need to go directly to the people who will most want to read it. So for example, I'll be spending more time on YA forums and the Harry Potter sites I frequent to let people know about The MirrorMasters. I'll even make a pretty banner for it as my signature, including a link to my website. I've been starting to comment on blogs. And whenever I'm in a library or bookstore, maybe I'll start making it a point to check out the shelves in the YA section. Can't hurt to scope out what's current in the YA market, and to let potential readers there know about my book if it comes up in conversation.

Expand a Step at a Time
I can only imagine how easy it could be to get overwhelmed by having to keep up with a lot of social media. There's only so much a person can do in a day, and still keep up with writing and everything else. So ultimately it's about getting the word out incrementally, in stages, but keeping it manageable by focusing on maybe one or two different sites at a time as you rotate among a variety of website. Also, add in guest blogging and interviews, and you can get a lot of exposure online for free. Ultimately, you want to draw readers to your website and/or blog, and facebook page to keep things manageable. Developing a contact list for your readership and putting together a newsletter could be another great idea.

Ok, so our efforts may not catch on nearly as quickly as Facebook, and it takes a lot more effort. But it'll so be worth it! If you have some specific tips or suggestions that have worked for you, I'd love to hear them!