Thursday, April 17, 2014

Party on Facebook with @MFRW_ORG... Here's How!


Participate in MFRW's First Facebook Party!
A facebook party is an event hosted through a facebook page. It has a determined amount of time, a theme and involves multiple posts by the participating authors. Many times, a facebook party is used by authors to celebrate a new book's release.

MFRW is now using facebook parties as a fun new marketing tool for our members. We hope you'll join us!

This first MFRW facebook party is scheduled for May 1st and is specifically for our contemporary romance authors, all heat levels welcome including GLBT. Throughout the year, each genre will be featured to be sure every MFRW author gets the opportunity to participate.

Upcoming MFRW facebook EVENTS (coming in future months): Historical Romance | Romantic Suspense | Science Fiction | Paranormal Romance

MFRW facebook parties will be hosted on the MFRW facebook page. Join the MFRW facebook page NOW if you aren't already a member. It's best to be a member of the page to participate but it won't be necessary for the readers you invite.

Are You Ready To Party?
As a participating author in a facebook party, you'll be expected to advertise on your blog/ website using the party badge, invite your facebook friends and share in as many other social outlets as possible. Our twitter hashtags are #MFRWorg and #MFRWauthor. Include these for bonus re-tweets! *When sharing the badge, include party link: https://www.facebook.com/events/239565416167458*

Participating authors will sign up to host for one or two hours. During that time, you'll be expected to post up to two excerpts, PG-13 or below, share cover art, give away at least one free book using a contest format and otherwise interact with attendees through the posts.

More Details will be provided to those who sign up as it gets closer to the event.

Questions?
Just Ask Paloma. Leave A Comment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Newbie's World #MFRWorg @AuthorErinMoore What is my brand?

Branding. It’s a question that new authors have a lot. And it should be one that we can define
easily for others. But how do we know what it is? And what do we do about it once we know?

credit to Miguel Anxo at deviantart.com
First, a definition, for which I give heartfelt thanks to Theresa Myer’s amazing white paper: Today when we talk about an author brand we are talking about building an image, perception or identity that is used to create "emotional Velcro" first, a perception of higher quality second and that little "something special" that no one else can offer third.

If you happened to read my article on a similar topic on Savvy Authors (of course you did!), we discussed getting readers to 1. Know us, then 2. Like us, and 3. Love us. This is the same concept. The example Theresa gives is a reader walking into a bookstore and asking for the latest Nora Roberts book. They are not asking for the title – they are asking for the brand, Nora Roberts.

So how do we get the Nora Roberts brand?

1. Define your own brand.
Writing Exercise: (some my own, some stolen from Ali Cross’ amazing post). Answer any or all.
  • Look up your favorite authors, musicians, artists and see what resonates. What emotions are they evoking, and is it something that grabs you, or turns you off?
  • List out seven adjectives for your books.
  • List out seven adjectives for your ideal reader. 
  • Determine what makes you unique – everyone can be hot, smexy, playful – let’s dig a little deeper. 
  • What message do you hope that your readers will walk away from their interactions with you and/or your books? 
  • What do you bring to the world – not just to writing, but to the world? 
  • Do you need one brand, or multiple? Perhaps an umbrella brand could work, keeping in mind keeping up with various brands. (Though, if you write in many different and distinct genres, trying to keep it all together may be even harder…)
2. Refine your brand.
a. Tagline – this should be the synthesis of everything you went through in the exercises. Short, different, and easy to remember.

b. Website/blog—blogging on your topic, at least 25% of the time, will help readers come to trust you on your expert subject.

c. Logo—what images define you/your brand? This may be something you need some help with, in which case, experiment by yourself first so that you have an idea of what you do and don’t want before paying someone else.

d. Twitter/Facebook—Again, talking about your expert knowledge at least 25% of the time will bring readers back to you. They will come to know and expect your advice/insight/humorous take on whatever subject(s) you have chosen.

This will be a continually evolving process, one that will always need refinement. But the core of your brand should not change drastically. And if you find that it needs to, then it’s possible that you will need to create a different brand entirely (with all of the same work involved) for that new brand.

In closing, I would like to say “please do as I say, not as I do” on this topic. I’m a WIP. Now, talk to me... let me know about your brand! What has worked for you?

Erin
Erin writes paranormal romances as Erin Moore and has only just begun to learn all about marketing them! She contributes to the MFRW Marketing Blog with her monthly column, A Newbie's World.

She is usually found on Twitter, but may soon be on an Amazon binge, so look out! She manages two monsters and one unruly husband in Atlanta, main-lining chocolate and tea. Look her up on www.AuthorErinMoore.com or, of course, on Twitter: @AuthorErinMoore.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Group E-Mail Etiquette: How to win friends and avoid scolding while staying in touch with your group #MFRWOrg

E-mail is a great method of communicating, giving us instant communication with minimal expense. In a group setting, e-mail helps you get in touch with a large audience with no more effort than you would expend contacting a single recipient.
This wonderful opportunity to communicate can also be a wonderful opportunity to irritate. Following a few guidelines can avoid irritation from your fellow posters and list moderators. You see the requests to please trim, please change the subject line, please please please... Sometimes the impression is one of nannies fussing about table manners, and you might wonder what difference does it make if you don’t trim your post. Having the whole conversation in one place just makes it easier for someone to follow.
    Doesn’t it?
    It certainly seems like it would be easier, and it’s absolutely faster to dash off a reply and hit send.
    Except: not everyone in a discussion group receives messages as individual e-mails. So when you write: “Does anyone know where the pearl is?” And someone answers “The pearl is in the river” it comes out on e-mail:

***
The pearl is in the river
Cindy Lou Who Whoville Seussland

Does anyone know where the pearl is?
Sandy Paws, Beach City Ozland

Then another writer joins the conversation with :

What kind of pearls are you finding in the river?
Furry Fawcet, Happyland South Branch

The pearl is in the river
Cindy Lou Who Whoville Seussland

Does anyone know where the pearl is?
Sandy Paws, Beach City Ozland

***
And so on. Each successive message includes the entire train of preceding messages. For someone on digest, this becomes a never ending mass of missives. This example includes one line messages. Imagine how this would read with longer messages and complex signature lines. Yeah, it can get really messy.
Trimming messages depends on your mail program, but you can generally block out the extra verbiage and then click control and X (cntrl+X) If necessary you can leave in one or two lines from the original post. Your loop companions will thank you fervently.

SUBJECT LINES:
Often a group discussion segues into multiple other topics. The initial discussion might concern formatting e-books and by the time the posters finish every facet of contracts and agents and rights might have been covered. If the subject line is still “E-book Formatting in Traditional Romance” then some valuable information might be missed by readers who are not interested in formatting their e-books. It helps to add a word or two relating to the added information. “E-book Formatting in Traditional Romance/agent contracts” will let readers know additional information is available.
However if there is a radical change in subjects it might be a good idea to start an entirely new subject, which will establish a new message trail and make it easier to follow the new subject. This also makes it easier to find and follow subjects of interest in the Yahoo group.

How, you might wonder, do we get to the Yahoo group? Glad you asked.. If you scroll down to the bottom of your loop message, you’ll see:

Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/
Website: http://marketingforromancewriters.org/

Visit Your Group

By clicking on the Group link, or on Visit Your Group, you’ll go directly to the Yahoo group home page, where you can search messages and follow the message trails. Kind of nifty, isn’t it?

Following these few simple suggestions will ensure good communication and uncomplicated messages. Even better, you won’t receive moderator messages imploring you to PLEASE trim. This might not be all sunshine and roses but it will make everyone involved much happier!
---
Posted by Mona Karel, Bloghop Coordinator and Moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Moderating the MFRW Facebook Group—Pinning Posts (and a Membership Landmark!) #MFRWorg

First, a short announcement: since my last post here about moderating the MFRW Facebook group, the group reached (and passed) 3,000 members! The Facebook group has seen considerable growth since I started moderating it not quite a year ago. At that time, there were several hundred members. We reached 1,000 last June, if I remember correctly, 2,000 sometime late last fall, and now here we are at (as of this writing) 3,147 members!

In messaging with potential members during the request moderation process, I’ve often found myself suggesting that they consider joining the Yahoo Group as well. Since many potential members have mentioned where they are in their careers and what kind of marketing help they’re seeking or why, the conversation has often segued naturally into this invitation. MFRW’s Yahoo and Facebook groups serve notably different purposes at this point—since promotion is allowed on the Facebook group, it is used mostly for that right now, whereas the Yahoo Group (where no promotion is allowed) is where most of the group’s discussions about promotion, marketing, resources, etc., take place. So I personally see it as well worthwhile to be a part of both.

Which brings me (slightly indirectly) to the main topic of this post: pinning posts. A pinned post is a post on a group page that remains anchored to the top of the page irrespective of other posts. It is thus very useful as a reference point or to impart evergreen information that you’d like everyone who visits the group page to see, since it always appears as the first post on the group page.

In this case, since I found myself writing similar things over and over in private messages about the Yahoo Group and including the link to join, it eventually occurred to me that it would be much easier if I could just put this announcement somewhere and send people to it. Even better if it were somewhere group members and the public could see it.

Enter the pinned post. I wrote a short summary of MFRW’s Yahoo Group and other resources (such as its website), included links to all of them, added a note summarizing the process I use to moderate join requests, and pinned the post to the top of the group page. Now when I am in touch with potential members, I simply say something like, "Please see my pinned post at the top of the group page for information about MFRW’s Yahoo Group.” I have found this much more efficient. ;)

Only the moderator(s) of a group can pin a post, though any post on a group page may be pinned (i.e., the moderator doesn’t have to be the author of it). To pin a post, locate the post in question, hover over the upper-right corner of it until the little drop-down arrow appears, click on the arrow, and choose “Pin Post.” If at any point you want to unpin the post, follow the same directions and click “Unpin Post.”

Facebook currently only allows one pinned post at a time on group pages. Sometimes my post has been unpinned on the MFRW group in favor of special-event pins, such as when Summer Camp took place last year or when MFRW was up for several awards in the 2013 Preditors & Editors poll (the MFRW newsletter won for “Best Writers’ Resource”!). In these cases, Kayelle composed alternate posts that she pinned with these announcements, and the introductory post was unpinned and thus automatically returned to its original place in the group’s timeline. When it was time to put it back, I simply located it again and repinned it. Pinning and repinning may be done to any post that exists anywhere on a group's timeline. The “Likes” and comments remain intact, as pinning and unpinning don't actually alter a post in any way but rather just move it to a different place on the page.

Please note that the pinned post functionality is also available on “Pages,” so in the same way I described above to pin a post on the group page, you may pin a given post on your author page. This post will remain the first post listed on your page until you unpin it or replace it with another pinned post (the “one pin at a time” rule also applies to pages). To see an example of a pinned post and how it appears on the page, just visit the MFRW Facebook group and see mine (under my legal name, Emily McCay) at the top of the group page. :)

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!


Emerald
Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Find out more about her at her website, The Green Light District.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#AuthorTips: What to Keep on Your Calendar by Kayelle Allen #MFRWorg #author

What kinds of things do authors need to keep on their calendars? How can they stay organized and on top of things? There are two basic types of info to track on a calendar -- personal and professional. To be sure they're included and planned for, list personal and family items first. They are your priority, aren't they?

Personal

  • Personal items such as family events, like picking up the kids from practice
  • Date night with that special person in your life
  • Birthdays of friends and family
  • Personal time off - TV shows that you don't want to miss; a movie you want to see. For eight years, I had the TV show 24 on my regular schedule and never missed an episode. It was a big event in my household and we all gathered to watch it.
  • Vacation. If you don't rest, your mind won't be clear. Carpal tunnel syndrome is real -- overwork can injure your hands. You'll end up needing more time off than you would have than if you'd simply allowed your body to rest properly. Your body will thank you.

Professional

  • Clearly indicate deadlines for long term projects (books, articles, drafts, edits)
  • The release dates of your next books, if you know them.
  • Contests for which you are either entering material or are serving as a judge
  • Conventions
  • Book signings or other appearances
  • Workshops and training
  • Birthdays of fellow authors, friends, and fans
  • Work backwards from book release dates to plan pre-publicity, advertising, guest spots, interviews, blog tours, and submissions to review sites
  • Plan as many events in the three months following your book's release as possible.
  • Assuming you'll have at least one book release per year, request guest blog spots throughout the year. Try to be a guest on other authors' sites every month. It will keep your name in front of readers. If you release books more often, this is doubly important.
  • Release day events
  • Follow up events for a new book
  • Chat dates
  • Guests on your blog - other authors will bring fresh readers to your site. Take advantage of that by inviting others to share material you think your readers will enjoy.

The Last Vhalgenn 
Set up your calendar with a routine reminder period for scheduled items. For example, being reminded four days prior to a chat or blog so you have time to do last minute work and promo. Be flexible in your planning. The only thing in life that's permanent is change. Accept life as it comes along. Some things can't be avoided. Deal with them and move on.
---

The Last Vhalgenn

By Kayelle Allen
Duty to king and country has shaped Raik's life since birth, but to protect them, she must perform a ritual that betrays all she holds sacred.

About the Author

Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, award-winning author, and the founder of Marketing for
Romance Writers. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WWoW! Use Tweepi with Twitter.

Post reblogged from Writer's WoW Blog with permission.

Tweepi is my favorite tool to use with Twitter.
Tweepi helps you make sense of your Twitter social graph with stats. You will be able to learn about the number of people you haven't followed back, the number of people who aren't following you, search people who your friends follow and much more. It makes it simple to manage your account by doing the following things much easier than manually through twitter...

FLUSH UNFOLLOWERS
This tool allows you to unfollow users who aren't following you back. Sometimes there are people we've followed that are no longer relevant and if they aren't following you, you may choose not to follow them.


RECIPROCATE
This tool helps you find all the users that follow you, but you don't follow back. Then you can follow them back with a click of a button.

CLEAN UP INACTIVE FOLLOWERS
This feature allows you to unfollow users who no longer keep active twitter accounts. It's likely that you're following more than a few hundred people on Twitter. You must've noticed that many of these users either don't engage in conversations, never retweet anybody, or simply just ramble about nonsense stuff all day long (no links to useful content whatsoever!). You can use Tweepi cleanup tool to filter these people out and unfollow them. The Clean-up tool enables you to filter out those inactive and unwanted tweeps by letting you check out their details and decide for yourself!

FIND NEW FOLLOWERS
This feature gives you a resource for finding users with similar interests. The most common way to find and add people with the same interests as you, is to find a popular user within your area of interest and add people who follow these known users.


Tweepi helps you analyze and filter tweeps out -the geeky way,
with numbers in a table- based on their activity and sociability. 

How do you start using Tweepi?
It's only 5 simple steps.
  1. Go to http://tweepi.com/
  2. Choose "login" (to start using Tweepi for free which is all you need)
  3. Enter your username/email with your password and click "Authorize app"
  4. Create a Tweepi account with your first and last name and your e-mail
  5. Start using Tweepi!
The first time you go through your account, it may take awhile but as you then update it every few weeks, it
becomes less of a chore. You'll find it worthwhile to create a SAFE LIST so you never accidentally unfollow someone you want to follow regardless of any stats. For example, you might be following a celebrity who doesn't follow people but you won't want to unfollow them. You might be surprised though at how many people you follow that aren't  following you and vice versa. Tweepi gives you the tools to make your Twitter account be exactly what you want. Make it work for you using Tweepi.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Triberr, The Basics for #MFRWorg

What I know about Triberr – The Real Basics
Putting it simply Triberr is a platform for blogs. It helps get your blog out to people who otherwise might not find it. Once you join Triberr and find the proper tribe your tribe members will upload your feed – your blog – to their twitter account.

I’m not going to go into detail on how to get started. Triberr has lots of documents that are easy to understand to help you understand the way it works. I’ve used them and they’re great, I found Triberr very easy to understand. If I had a question they had a tutorial for it. Anyway, once you load your RSS feed to Triberr, and there is a tutorial depending on the blog web site you use, you now have your blog programmed to go out via Triberr and your tribe mates. These tutorials can be found in the little drop down box labeled account, then help.

If everything goes smoothly, and most of the time it does, your blog will load to your stream within a few hours. I give it about a half hour and normally it is there, but every once in a while I have to give it a helping hand. You do need to know enough to know how to check your feed from time to time. I check for my blog and if I don’t see on my stream I go to my settings, then my blogs. There you’ll see the details of your blog, your rss feed and the opportunity to check and make sure it’s working.

Now your stream is the list of blogs waiting for you to release to your twitter account. I try to check mine twice a day and release the ones waiting for me. It doesn’t take long. I belong to ten tribes and can work my way through my list in about five minutes, but I don’t stop and read the blogs when I do that. My main goal is to make sure I release the blogs waiting for me. My tribe mates are kind enough to release mine, I should reciprocate. If I don’t release the blogs of my tribemates why should they release mine?

Since I joined triberr I have had a lot more visits to my blog. It has been a wonderful investment for me and it could be one for you too.

Want more information on Triberr?
Try these other INFORMATIVE ARTICLES...

This Post was provided by MFRW Staff Member, Barbara Bradley.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MFRW Monthly Quote - March 2014 #MFRWorg

“The more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
 -Vincent Van Gogh








Emerald
Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Find out more about her at her website, The Green Light District.

Monday, March 17, 2014

#MFRWorg Authors Secret Weapon: Street Teams

Author Street Teams. Likely, you've heard this term before. They're popping up all over the place as authors take advantage of their most valuable resource - their readers. Readers -especially bloggers/ reviewers- are vital to a book's success because their opinion goes a long way. Some readers have an established reputation as being a person to turn to for book recommendations. Why not partner with them if they love your books/ series?

That's exactly what creating a street team is... partnering with readers who like your books so much, they want to share them with other readers.

A Street Team is an author's secret weapon. In this article at Kobo Writing Life, an in-depth description of one author's experience puts it all into perspective. Read it here.

A Street Team is a group of readers/bloggers that are fans of a particular author and want to spread the word about books they love. They're just doing what they already do - reading what they like and telling their friends. There's no recipe as to how many members per street team, benefits to offer or rules to follow. Each author has their own style.

Here are some Basic Guidelines:

  • Provide a central place/ method to communicate. Many authors use a private facebook group, google+ group or yahoo group. Regardless what you use, be sure to interact. Place a reminder on your calendar to post an update weekly.
  • Choose a creative name that suits your branding. Google "author street teams" to see what others are already doing.
  • Share WIP previews, excerpts and cover reveals.
  • Ask if any are interested in serving as beta readers/ proofreaders. DO NOT use them in place of editors!
  • Chat and give updates often, and always in advance, to the group.
  • Honor and recognize their commitment by commenting when they post on their blogs or other social media sites.
  • Have target tasks that you'd like members to help with... ask them to host a blog stop, like your books at on-line sites, place reviews on goodreads, share cover reveals, pin on Pinterest, post updates on facebook or tweet about your new releases. In general, you want them to spread the love for your book.
  • Have contests just for your street team. Be creative: winner chooses a name for a character in your next book!
  • Create perks. Provide swag and ARCs. Blog badges that members can display on their own blogs or social sites are great too. Not only do bloggers love them but it also increases your visibility.
  • Allow your street team members more "personal" on-line access to you. Answer their requests quickly. Group them for ease and then interact with them on facebook, google+, twitter,etc.

There are a lot of books in the world and authors need help to spread the word. A street team is a fun way to interact with fans while asking them to do what many already do … and it has added perks (for you both).

Here's a list of links to some author's street teams for ideas on how to begin your own:

I began my own street team after a few readers requested it. I keep it small and simple. There's no gimmicks or contests. Each member gets an ARC as soon as they're available in exchange for honest reviews on as many on-line sites as possible. And every week, I post an update and try to engage on facebook mostly. For the details, CLICK THIS LINK

Talk to me.
Do you have a street team? Post it in a comment to share. Do you want to know more about creating a street team? Just Ask. - Paloma

Saturday, March 15, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: Do I Need A Blog?

Newbie’s Corner: Do I need a blog?

Big question. There are as many opinions on this one as there are, well, you know how that adage ends…

The question always comes down to, will this bring me more readers? Will more people buy my books if I’m blogging?
Let’s explore.

Advantages:
  • Trust: In order for readers to buy your books, they want to trust you, the author. So if you are continually serving up great content on your blog, then a potential reader might e more willing to buy your books. 
  • Writing skills and time management: blogs are a great way to get out short, great messages, as well as a way to improve your dedication. 
  • SEO: You want to be on the first page of Google, right? Well, blogs are liked by the magical Google spiders because they are updated more regularly than a static site. 
Disadvantages:
  • Time: Ah, if only we had days and days filled with nothing but time to do what we wanted. But in our crazy writer lives, we are limited. So in between Facebook, Twitter, updates to our regular website, and actually writing, do you need another weekly commitment? 
  • Platform: what are you writing about? It’s great that you have kids, recipes, and writing in your life. But do others want to read about that? (this is not meant sarcastically at all – some people have great blogs on all of the above. But is that your platform?)
  • Reciprocity: A big part of blogging is the reciprocal aspect. Blog hops, sharing other’s posts, gaining new followers by posting comments to others’ blogs, linking to Google+ and Goodreads blogs, Triberr…it’s a long list, once you go down the rabbit hole of blogging. Do you have the time and energy for it? 
There is no easy answer for this question. For me, personally, I know that my readers like to read paranormal romances. But I don’t feel that I read enough in this genre in order to generate new content on a weekly basis.

My compromise with myself has been to write for others’ blogs or group blogs (like Heroes and Heartbreakers). This way, I’m reaching a larger viewership with established readers. And, the pressure is off for a weekly (or monthly) commitment.

However, I still need to relate everything back to Erin Moore, the author. That means keeping my messaging consistent – any of my readers could read anything I wrote. Here are some other general rules for writing for others:

1. Google Authorship: You want to make sure that you own your content so that Google searches for your name or books will link back to you. Here’s a very detailed explanation of how to do this.

2. Search for blogs in your genre with a large readership, but don’t neglect the small or medium blogs, either. These may have very dedicated followings. Trying to land a big blog? Try these tips.

3. Promote your guest post as you would for your own blog.

I know, I know…I still haven’t answered the essential question. Unfortunately, hard data on whether blogging promotes sales seems extremely hard to come by. If anyone has seen any real numbers on blogs increasing book sales, would love to hear about it!

For authors with their own blogs, the only way to determine if it is truly bringing in readers is by measuring traffic. Do blog readers click on buy links after finding your post?

In the end, like everything, it is a personal decision. Hope some of this information has been helpful.

Tell us what you think!
Is a blog necessary, or not? How do you negotiate the world of blogging?

Sources: Small Blue Dog  |  Jane Friedman  |  Savvy Book Writers  |  Boost Blog Traffic  |  Weblogs  |  Pushing Social

POSTED BY ERIN MOORE
Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world.

She's an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing. Fantasy, historical fiction, and romance are her inspirations.

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