So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label facebook. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Do You have to be High Tech to Build a Brand?

What a great time I had at the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference in Blue Ridge Georgia. Carol Crawford and her staff including Caroline Mann make it seem effortless to host over 80 people all day long and move them from room to room as needed, keep all the presenters moving toward their posts, and feed them lunch.
Glenda B. and Carol Crawford   

Although I was deliberately late, needing to pace myself for energy, and because I had suffered from the overload of fragrance at the reception on Friday night, the day was quite long for me. 

Eager writers filled almost every seat in the room for my 11:00 a.m. session waiting to learn something that would help them to become published writers. Even now, at my age and with my experience, I am still honored and pleased when others look to me for expertise. I was there to help all the wanna-be writers and those who considered themselves writers already, but needed a boost to get their name out there, to be known to the readers they want to reach. 

I have been going to this conference for seventeen years. Never missed one. I know who attends this event in the beautiful little tourist town in the North Georgia mountains. I have walked in their shoes and know what they want to know. I know that most of them are not into high tech marketing. 

I asked how many had a website and then how many had a blog. As I expected, a few hands shot into the air. Many of the folks in the room were over fifty. I relaxed and felt right at home. These were my people. 

We talked about building relationships with readers, building a name as a writer at home in our own community and I told them the many ways I had done that before finding the Internet in 2007. 

In another room a professional writer with a movie contract and ten novels to her name explained her method of building her career - Facebook and Twitter mostly - it seemed. I suggested to my group that they set up a free blog and "dip their toe into the water of the web." I did this because I know that most of them are scared to death of jumping into cyberspace in the way many do today to promote yourself and your work.

I like blogs because the writer has the opportunity to show her writing ability, show her readers who she is, what she likes, and what she expects and wants people to think about her. My theory is that a writer must first think about her readers and give them some reason to choose her words over others, to buy her book if she has one. I have favorite authors who blog and I like to know them through these weekly posts. I had some author's blogs I followed and enjoyed until those authors decided to go to FB and Twitter and leave their blogs. Now I don't follow them.

It is just not the same on FB or Twitter. If one is a famous author, he has a staff that plops up promotion material for him or he tells where he will appear next week. But an author, like our own Vicki Lane, author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell keeps her readers with her every step as she writes and publishes her next book. We read her blog and we know the ups and downs she faces just as we do. We learn to care about her as a regular person as well as the author of the series. We worried about her when she had a car accident recently.

This quote from Seth Godin says what I think about depending on Twitter to build your writing platform.
How many eyeballs are passing by is a useless measure. All that matters is,
"how many people want to hear from you tomorrow?"

I had planned to go on with more information on building a brand, but our 45 minutes flew by once the audience became interactive with the discussion of blogging. I will be most interested to see if anyone there will set up a blog and I hope, if they do, they will let me know. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Critics Abound - But do they matter?

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
                                    Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)

I understand what Eleanor Roosevelt meant in this quote about criticism. We are all criticised at one time or another, and it can be painful. Unwarranted criticism makes us question ourselves. But if we do what we feel in our heart is right, and we know that we don't deserve what the critics say about us, it is somewhat easier to take. 

Recently I read a post by a well-liked poet who writes the best blog on poetry and was shocked to find that since his new poetry book came out, critics have crawled from under the rocks to defame him. These critics, of course, have the power of the Internet, the anonymity of Facebook and Twitter as a forum to spew hurtful comments upon this fine young man.

We have always had mean-spirited people in the world and the Internet has provided them a platform to vent their anger and jealousy. Jealousy is a major reason that unqualified critics take potshots at others. 

Often we have no idea that others are jealous of us. When we hear their hateful remarks or when they whisper gossip they know will upset us, we are dumbfounded at first. Later as it all sinks in, we have to talk to ourselves and realize that this is just a part of life.

We want to believe in people, we want to think that our friends are happy for our success, not resentful. This reminds me of another quote I have found to be so, so true.

In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.    John Churton Collins

Have you ever been hurt by criticism? How did you respond?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Too Busy for Facebook

Tonight I deactivated my Facebook page. I just don't have time to keep it up with all that is happening in my life these days.

We have sent the manuscript of Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, the anthology of NCWN West, to the printer. On some days it seemed we'd never reach this day. Our editor and her close assistant have toiled many hours to bring this book project to fruition. As marketing director for the book, my work is just beginning.
I had hoped we would have the book by June 4 for the Blue Ridge Bookfest in Flat Rock, NC, but now it seems we might not make the deadline. I will be at the bookfest, however, and we will have books to sell including my poetry book and Joyce Foster's book, Painted Leaves. Of Joyce's book, Kathryn Byer said it was the most beautiful poetry book she had ever seen. I agree.

Next weekend, May 15, we will have a table at the Candy Maier Scholarship Foundation Book Fair in Asheville. The Candy Fund was set up in memory of Candy Maier, a writer who passed away from breast cancer. In the first few years they had more money than they could give away. But as they have become known throughout the western NC mountains, their scholarships have paid for a number of western NC women to attend workshops and conferences on writing.

Few realize that the Candy Fund can help western NC women who want to attend writing classes at John C. Campbell Folk School. Visit the Candy Fund website and see if you might qualify for financial help to attend a class there.