Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group...AND A NEW WEBSITE!!!

Good morning and welcome to the February edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month to broadcast our insecurities and offer up support and encouragement to those in need. It's a wonderful little group; if you're not already a part, please consider joining us!

As always, a great, big, HUGE thank you to Alex for putting this group together and letting it run wild and free :).

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My insecurities this month are Everest. I am the world's worst self promoter. The IWSG Anthology: The Mysteries of Death and Life has been one huge lesson and one that I'm still grappling with. Let me say now with utmost sincerity: I am among giants! The other authors in this Anthology are amazing at marketing, at coming up with promotional ideas, and at getting balls rolling, whips cracking, and every other "forward moving" cliche you can think of. I am humbled and eternally grateful for their genius and their patience. The M.E. flared up the past two weeks with a vengeance and I've been couch bound every afternoon after work and each weekend. The pain is one thing: I can deal with that. It's the debilitating fatigue that keeps me from even getting online that is hard to handle. Along with feeling insecure, I've felt inadequate, frustrated, angry, and far, far behind.

TELL ME: How do you handle book promotions? Do you prefer the online to the personal or the other way around? What are your feelings on marketing and promotion? Is there a University for Clueless Writers? If so, send me the info :D.

ALSO: How do you handle setbacks due to health? If you have a chronic illness (or, God forbid, an Auto-Immune disease like me), how do you find the grace to allow yourself the room you need to get over the flare-ups and speed bumps?

I'm learning to have GRACE for myself. I'm learning to ASK this disease what it is trying to teach me. I'm also learning how to let others take the reigns and guide. Thank you, thank you, thank you EVERY ANTHOLOGY AUTHOR. You know who you are!

And with THAT said...

... WE HAVE A NEW WEBSITE!!!



The Insecure Writer's Support Group's soon to be anthology, The Mysteries of Death and Life now has it's very own website! On Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life you'll learn more about the authors, about our stories, and read up on topics pertaining to our theme. Join us as we count down to the publication of the Anthology in May!!

aaannd MORE confetti tacos!!!

Happy Writing, Dear Readers!

xo



45 comments:

  1. Hi,
    You made a good point. The other authors are giants at knowing what to do, so why not ask them to help you. Tell them your weakness, and I'm sure they will reach out to you.

    All the best for your marketing.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. Thank you so much, Pat. They have been wonderful at helping and instigating everything. I'm taking notes :)

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  2. I'm learning tons from everyone too about marketing. It can be a bit overwhelming at times as I'm so new to all of this, but we've got a great group of co-authors :-)

    Sorry you haven't been doing well physically. It must be so hard to want to be active, but unable to find the energy to do so. Take care. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Yes we do!
      Thank you so much. It's frustrating, especially when I do feel better but overdo it and end up back on the sofa. Le sigh...
      Take care!

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  3. Jen, you just do what you can.
    I prefer online promotions. I don't do as well in front of real people.
    Have you guys set up a Thunderclap yet?

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    1. Thank you, Alex.
      Yes, I much prefer the idea of online promotions but there is a part of me that understands the good old fashioned book signing better.
      I know there's been talk of a Thunderclap but grandma here has no idea what that entails. I have a Twitter account but I've only used it once!

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  4. Congrats on making it into the anthology! I have three kids. We have speed bumps daily. I allow myself to breath and break away. But i'm always thinking about writing and plotting and my scheming team of characters.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, breaks are so important! Regardless of where I am, even if I'm supposed to be on a break, I'm still writing in my head. Like you, I'm always plotting and scheming...for my books only, of course ;)

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  5. I'm still fumbling with what does and doesn't work promotion-wise. I know a lot of times you have to spend money to make money...and unfortunately, a great deal of it is luck. Hang in there!

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    1. Ah yes, the ever elusive concept of luck. And it depends on what kind of day the people you reach out to are having! I've heard so many stories of authors who tried for years and years to have their work picked up or looked and finally, when it happened, the editor/agent/publisher/whoever said, "Why didn't you send it to me first?" The answer is, inevitably, "I did." Thank you :)

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  6. Chronic illness? *raises hand* One day at a time, eh? You do lots on the days you feel good, and less on the days you don't. One great experienced author advised doing one thing a day on the marketing front. That continuous momentum builds over time.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. I try to cram everything into the days I feel good. Unfortunately, that usually results in another flare-up. Ah well...I get a lot done on those days :D. Thank you for that advice. One thing a day...kind of like writing one page a day. It might not look like much but after a year, you have a novel. Great advice :)

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  7. You just have to know your limits. What Crystal said is absolutely true. Just do one little think a day. It does add up.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. It's so true. I need to take a step back and look at it from that perspective. Everyone has been so gracious :D

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  8. Think of all you are going to learn from all of those authors! I have a chronic illness too and what I have learned is of course so much easier said than done but limiting stress and proper rest really help. I agree with Crystal if we can do one thing a day...

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    1. I'm learning so much from them! I'm sorry you deal with Chronic Illness, Doreen. Take care of yourself and have a great week! Thank you for stopping by.

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  9. I read a lovely piece by a writer I know, Allie Pleiter who writes inspirational romance, in the Romance Writers of America trade pub (sent to members so I am not able to share). The gist was how to move forward in a crisis when you have a public writer persona. She talked about assessing who needs to know your personal business and writing a short script--here's what happened, I will be offline etc. I can see this relating to personal illness. If you need to be offline to mend your health, people may wonder where you are, but they may not need to know all your details.

    As far as marketing and promo, I'm learning from author Facebook groups. There are tons of them. I'm in groups for YA writers, indie pub writers, romance writers. You should be able to see collections of groups your Facebook friends are in, so if some are writers, you may see some writing groups in there. One nugget I found helpful is to know the audience you are marketing to. It needs to be more focused than "readers." What platform is your target audience reading on? If it's a digital book, your audience is likely on Amazon Kindle. Then genre, then age groups. What similar books to your anthology content are bestsellers? Can you target those readers with Amazon or Facebook ads? There are TONS of resources on how to run ads and they are worth reading b/c the data is always changing.

    Best wishes!!

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    1. Thank you so much for this! I try not to get too detailed but at the same time I feel I "owe" people some sort of explanation. I really appreciate the encouragement to take steps back and do what I can, letting people know I just can't do it all!

      Thank you for this feed back in regards to marketing as well! It's very, very helpful :D Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by! <3

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  10. I'm still learning the self-promotion angle. I didn't do much when I put out my first book. Did one blog tour and contacted a few book reviewer sites and that was about it. I'm learning more this time around I'm aiming to do more. With so many books on the market it's hard to get yours seen. I've joined Facebook groups and I'm actually participating in them. In the past I'd join, but never really comment. I'm asking questions, I'm reading and doing research on other options. I'm working on using social media better. Something I struggle with. Until I make it big (yeah I'm dreaming) I know it's up to me to be the biggest cheerleader for my work so I can't let me down. :)

    Hope you start to feel better soon. I can't answer your health question. All I can offer is take care of yourself first. Everything else can wait. :)

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    1. You're right! The market is inundated with books and it is hard to make yours stand out. I believe the key is finding what really, really works for YOU and doing that, consistently and, of course, finding out that target market!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  11. I haven't quite figured out promotions just yet. It's been on the backburner, unfortunately. I would love to dive myself into it, and figure out what I need to in order to get my books out there, but my situation in life right now is too important for me to worry about that. I feel your struggle, and I wish you well in getting your work out there.

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    1. I completely understand, Chris. Take care of yourself and I hope things in life sort out soon for the best and you're able to step back into the writing/promotion game, if that's what you want! Sometimes being away from it can really help you sort things out. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I have setbacks due to health all the time. A simple cold will set me back a couple of weeks.

    I like to promote online, but I plan to do more face-to-face promoting this year with two book events. I'm signed up for one in June. We shall see how it goes. :)

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    1. Face-to-face promotion scares me BUT it makes more sense to me on so many levels. I appreciate the online arena but I also miss the days of the book tour via the publisher. They take care of everything and you just show up. Ah...the golden days of publishing :D

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    2. PS: best of luck on your promotion in June!

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  13. This is my first go at marketing and promoting, so I feel just as lost! We'll figure it out though! :)

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    1. Glad to know I'm not alone :) Thanks for the encouragement! I know it will all work out. I'm learning SO MUCH it's just so frustrating to be the one who doesn't know anything. I need to give myself more room for grace in this department :D

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  14. Hi Jen. We're here to support each other, right? I like marketing and promoting from all angles. It seems like the trend is going online though, sadly. I'll spend some time marketing and planning this weekend and send you my thoughts. Sending you happy and healthy thoughts. :)

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    1. Yes we are! Thank you for this <3 Oh that would be wonderful. You and the others are so full of wonderful ideas. I'm constantly thinking, "Gosh, where did they come up with that!" Thank you for your kindness and your help in everything :D

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  15. I prefer online marketing, but it's all hard for me, no matter what. I know people who can hand sell books wherever I go, and I envy them the ability to do it, but it's just not me. I hate to push things on people.

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    1. The idea of online marketing sounds better to me: none of that stressful meet and greet. But actually I think I'd prefer to have things scheduled...but have them set up FOR me not by me. I don't mind talking to a group, or even meeting other people. It's the initial introductions and "selling" myself that I don't do well.

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  16. It's not exactly health, but my schedule involves very early mornings, so I don't feel like I'm "sleeping in" if I sleep till six or seven. It takes time to recover, if I let my wake/sleep schedule swing too wildly, so I've become very meticulous about recording the time I got up (and what I ate for breakfast) in my "progress" journal. That way, I can see what I'm doing that works, and what doesn't.

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    1. That makes sense, Karen. I like the idea of being able to account for the time I spend and being able to see where it's going. I know I do an awful lot of time wasting but I also believe that some of the best ideas come when we are "wasting" time!

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  17. I use an excel sheet and track my blog, twitter and facebook posts. You don't want to over do it but you need promote where you feel most comfortable. (You can use your old sheets for future promotions as well.) Good Luck! :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Thanks so much, Anna! You sound very organized! I admire that :)

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  18. I've been dealing with health issues (just sick, really) that have kept me from being as active in January as well. :( Unfortunately, I don't have any book promotion suggestions for you, but it looks like there may be a few good ones in the above comments. I hope your health concerns die down a bit as the weather turns warmer this month and on into the spring. :)

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    1. Thank you! I do hope you're feeling better and are able to enjoy the winter season. Thank you for stopping by!

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  19. I do have some issues that give me bad fatigue. I think you are already doing it giving yourself grace and add some compassion in there. You do what you can when you. Don't set the goal so high it will hard to reach. Start with EASY goals you know you can do and go from there. Write them down and check them off as you get the done. Trick EASY I Know I can do goals and you will see the bigger ones slip in here and there marked as done because did them without thinking about it so hard.

    Clueless University here. I attend a lot of free webinars about this and you learn a lot for free. I read books too, but I think the free webinars are the most helpful sometimes. You don't have to buy what they are selling unless you want it but they are loaded with tons of free info, tricks and knowledge now a days.

    Happy IWSG Day!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit



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    1. Thank you so much, Juneta! I'll check out some webinars and some other online marketing tools. And thank you for the encouragement to take it easy and be easy on myself. :)

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  20. I'm sure we will all have things come up during promotion -- other obligations, etc, but that's one of the benefits of making it a group effort. :) I hope you are feeling better!

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    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne, and thank you for all you and the other authors have done. I'm learning so much from all of you :)

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  21. Promotion is almost a swear word for me. I'm terrible at it. I do try, but I suspect my feeble attempts at promotion are awkward at best, so you're not alone in this 'promotion bewilderment'. But we chug along anyway, right?
    Sorry you feel poorly. A chronic illness is a burden. I hope you'll be better soon. Don't push yourself too hard. Take care. I look forward to reading your story in our anthology.

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    1. Olga, I feel you and I are kindred souls. Thank you so much. I am feeling better. I just have to take it easy and not push myself when I feel well. I'm looking forward to reading your story as well! The more I get to know about each of the other authors, the more excited I am to read their work :D

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  22. I agree with Crystal and Diane - one thing a day.
    It makes me think of that saying: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I had a psychology professor years and years ago who told the class that about eating an elephant. Thanks for the reminder :D

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Well hello there! I'm happy you wandered by. Make yourself comfortable and I'll pour the tea. Cake? Chocolate? Take your time, meander, and don't forget to join in. Be sure and check back later! I respond to all comments here :)