Workshop with Kimberly Kincaid

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So it’s been a quiet week! I didn’t blog on Wednesday because life got in the way. Well, to be perfectly honest… sushi got in the way. A local all you can eat sushi place had its grand opening last week, and we went, but it took us 3 hours to get in and out, and by the time we were home it was way past my bedtime.

That said, I would count my re-release blitz last Monday as a great success. I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve had quite a few new readers join my newsletter (ahem), and follow me on social media.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the Young Spades series, hitting up some marketing strategies with Marie Cole, and (drumroll please)… this weekend I attended another Virginia Romance Writers meeting! This one was with Kimberly Kincaid, and she covered a TON of material. I’ll do my best to sum it up.

The first part of the day covered the “building blocks of writing.” Basically, the things we all need to do to make sure our books are successful stories. I’ll confess, even though I’m mostly a plotter, I don’t do all of these things, and I definitely need to work on them.

One big thing she talked about was making sure that as a writer, we know who ALL of our characters are (primary and secondary), before we start writing (or, for pantsers, by the time we’re editing). Especially if one is writing a series. (I’ll confess – I didn’t know that I was creating a series when I did NaNo this year, so I didn’t do this before I started writing Pulling Strings, Young Spades book 1. Ah well… into the editing phase we go!)

Another thing she really stressed is making sure their personalities are unique, compelling, and organic. That characters should change as the story goes on, definitely. And that things about them should be unique in a way that makes them not just a stereotype, but also not so outrageous that they are unbelievable.

The afternoon session was called “marketing like a boss” and was more about how indie authors can market themselves. The first, very most important marketing tip was: Write a good book! Without a good book, it doesn’t matter how you market yourself, nobody will care.

Then, of course, she talked about social media platforms. What’s hot, what’s not, and what a writer is good at – all different things, but something every writer should consider when marketing themselves.

Of course I have my Facebook profile, but I’ll also be creating a fan group soon, so that you guys can follow my goings-on without having to “friend” me. And of course I’m on Twitter as you probably know.

You may or may not know that I have giveaways going on at InstaFreebie pretty much always.

She also recommended Instagram, which I’m not yet on, and Pinterest, which I have an account on but it’s been so long since I’ve used it that I can’t remember the password. I’ll work on both of those soon. And of course there’s the aforementioned newsletter. I plan to send that out once a month, around the beginning of each month, with giveaways, news, exclusives, that kind of thing.

So that’s the workshop in a nutshell! It was great – lots to digest and learn!

Another bit of news is that I’m working now on turning my website into a static landing page with a blog as a click-through. I’ll still Facebook and Tweet out my blog posts, but this way there will be something up for everyone to see when they visit, without seeing, “Oh, she hasn’t blogged in HOW long?!” if that happens. Also, that way there’s less pressure on me to blog 2x a week (or so), and that means more time writing the books you guys want to read!

How about you guys? Any of my writer friends have brilliant marketing tips? For those of you who are “just” readers (not that there’s any such thing as “just” a reader!), are there marketing tricks that authors use that make you annoyed? Or that you love?

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