Friday, June 23, 2017

WEEKEND INSPIRATION!

The work week is behind you. Each Friday I will post a picture to help get the creative juices flowing. If you post on-line somewhere, please share a link in the comments section so we may stop by and enjoy your process.  Creative Blessings! Angela


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CONFERENCES & CONTESTS - Thrillerfest!

NOTE from my desk: While I have not attended most of the conferences I showcase, I have heard excellent comments regarding their offerings. Please check their website thoroughly and if you have any questions, use the contact information on their page. 

Also, keep in mind that by the time you see the conference info here, hotels may be already filling up. When you call the hotel for reservations, check to see what hotels are within walking or uber distance if you need to stay off sight. Being on location always offer the best conference experience but sometimes it's just about being there when you can. 

If you attend any of the conferences or enter the contests I list, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share your review in the comments section of that conference's post.

Know of a great conference you'd like me to share? Please use the contact form on the right to drop me a note.

Thank you!




This is the premiere writers conference for anyone who writes horror or gritty mystery. Thrillerfest offers a wide range of workshops with top notch speakers in the genre such as Lee Child and Heather Graham. 

Thrillerfest is one of those conferences that have earned the reputation they carry, and their prices reflect that. Their schedule and pricing allow you to pick and choose the experience that fits your needs. 

By the time you see this the schedule for 2017 should be posted. If not, contact: kimberleyhowe@thrillerwriters.org

Remember, if you attend this or any conference, come back and share your experience. Maybe next year we will join you!

Happy Writing!
Angela



Monday, June 19, 2017

MARKET MONDAY - Twitter Part 3





How are you doing with your Twitter account? Are you failing to post? Finding the task too time-consuming.  Yeah.. that can happen.

Like any other Social Media, you can get lost of the swirl of stuff. Either the stuff is so boring you can't look away, or you can't stop reading.  Face it, even in 140 characters people can talk about absolutely nothing.

So how do you avoid Twitter becoming just another time-suck and not a productive tool in your Marketing arsenal?



As with anything else, to be productive you have to set limits. I start each morning with a list of what I need to do each day on my social media accounts. 


I've changed this up a bit from when this picture was taken back in January. I now only have the first two columns. I've also turned this into a laminated bookmark and use a wet-erase marker to check off my tasks as I go through them.

FYI - the first column is all short-coded with Email accounts/ FB accounts and Blogs that I have to attend to at least every other day, if not daily.

Email: I have 5 accounts. Ogham Creative Media, Country Angel (music), author account, Stampin' Up business and my art account.

FB: These pretty much coordinate with my Email accounts.

Blogs: Again, an email account associated with each one in some form, with the exception of my weightloss journal and the Ozarks Journal. You'll also notice a new acronym at the very bottom. That is my Shawna Kelley blog should I choose to stay with writing erotica or some heat level. I've not decided yet, but it's there for now. Being at the end of the list, easy enough to chop off. Everything else is a constant.

Oh, Twitter - I only have three accounts - Author, Music, Publisher. The publisher one I take care of up front after I've done FB. I pull info from our FB account on our authors and make sure they're plugged into Twitter. My music and my author one are on my phone all the time. I've not been very good about the author one in the past, but I'm trying to get better. Just haven't been able to get a footing on anything this year with so many changes in our household. I feel like I've been on a roller coaster - and I HATE roller coasters LOL.. There - a fact about me I bet you didn't know... And a good thing for a tweet. 

So how long does it take me to go through that check off list? About 90 minutes. But keep in mind... that's not just one account. You should  be able to hit your author account for both Twitter and FB in 30 min. 

For this week, set a timer when you get on any of your social media accounts. Start with 45 minutes and wean yourself down to 30 minutes or less. 

A great on-line timer is - Countdown Timer

The KEY thing to remember is this:

Every minute you spend doing the useless stuff on Social Media (like those silly dog/ cat videos) you are not taking care of business. Not taking care of business is costing you $$$$$.  

Another fun fact... Did you know that most of the top-earning CEO's only check their email twice a day? Once in the morning as they are making their To-Do list for the day then again near the close of day for anything pressing they need to follow up on and to start their list for the next day. 

CEO's know TIME IS MONEY.  

Don't short your check over a cat video and call it research. 

So this week, make sure you're following me... @AngelaDrakeA. Let's network to make each of us more productive.

Creative Blessings!
Angela

Friday, June 16, 2017

WEEKEND INSPIRATION!

The work week is behind you. Each Friday I will post a picture to help get the creative juices flowing. If you post on-line somewhere, please share a link in the comments section so we may stop by and enjoy your process.  Creative Blessings! Angela



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

CONFERENCE & CONTESTS - Tennessee Writing Workshop

NOTE from my desk: While I have not attended most of the conferences I showcase, I have heard excellent comments regarding their offerings. Please check their website thoroughly and if you have any questions, use the contact information on their page. 

If you attend any of the conferences or enter the contests I list, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share your review in the comments section of that conference's post.

Know of a great conference you'd like me to share? Please use the contact form on the right to drop me a note. 

Thank you!


Between Sessions
Stock Photo courtesy of Angela Drake


Get Your Writing Published!
Nashville TN

July 22, 2017

From the website:
     This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (150 total)

Because of limited space at the venue, the workshop can only allow 150 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

This looks a packed one-day event with a lot of opportunity for networking and learning. The site boasts a minimum of ELEVEN literary agents in attendance. Wow!

Click the link above and jump in! When you've come back from what appears to be a very busy day, please come back here and leave a comment to let us know your thoughts!

Creative Blessings!
Angela


Monday, June 12, 2017

MARKET MONDAY - Twitter Part 2


Did you get your page set up? I'd love to be one of your followers. Leave your Twitter handle in the comments so I can.

This week we're going to talk about content. You have 140 characters to tell people something about your book. Before we get to what you're going to write, let's talk about the SOCIAL part of Social Media.

Think of this like going to a dinner party. You visit with the people who are there. You make new acquaintances/ contacts and LISTEN to what they have to say. Only after you've played the gracious guest, or they ask about you do you share your story. ALL social media platforms work the same way. The content should not be all about you.

Start by seeing what your followers, and those you follow are talking about. LIKE/ RETWEET ones you feel other people would get something from.

Next, add your own tweets about various topics. While they do not have to match your interests, they should. This helps to build a relationship between you and your followers. Either they are other authors or they are potential readers. Some things you might share are links to blog posts that have great writing tips or news updates from publishers. From a reader point of view, share links to pages that connect to you either they book you are promoting or your current work in progress. Sci-Fi fantasy might include links to weaponry or an interesting fact of what ever sub-genre of Sci-Fi you're writing in. Whether you are writing Historical or Contemporary, there should always be something that ties to your story that you can share. You are subliminally promoting your book without flashing the 'BUY MY BOOK' sign in their face.


After you have been SOCIAL, add no more than 10% of self-promotion for your own work. These might include a link to a blog hop you are participating in, a FB launch, announcing a special sale on your release or 'hook' lines from your book.

And you're going to do this all in 140 characters or less per post. If a link is really long, Use bitly or tinyurl to shorten the length of your post. These programs allow you to input a long url and they will give you a condensed version that will work the same as the longer link but with less characters.

When promoting your stuff, add a photo. Graphics get things noticed. The ideal size for tweet-inclusive photos is 440x220


For more great information on working with Twitter, check out Get Twitter-pated by Jen Nipps


Friday, June 9, 2017

WEEKEND INSPIRATION!

The work week is behind you. Each Friday I will post a picture to help get the creative juices flowing. If you post on-line somewhere, please share a link in the comments section so we may stop by and enjoy your process.  Creative Blessings! Angela


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CONFERENCES & CONTESTS - Western Writers of America

NOTE from my desk: While I have not attended most of the conferences I showcase, I have heard excellent comments regarding their offerings. Please check their website thoroughly and if you have any questions, use the contact information on their page. 

If you attend any of the conferences or enter the contests I list, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share your review in the comments section of that conference's post.

Know of a great conference you'd like me to share? Please use the contact form on the right to drop me a note. 

Thank you!



June 21 - 24, 2017

I have networked with the several folks connected with Western Writers of America. I count some of the members as close friends. The amount of talent fostered from this organization is amazing! Can you imagine being able to spend four days networking with some of the top names in the Western genre. Folks like Dusty Richards, Mike Blakely, Johnny D. Boggs, Linda Jacobs,... and the list goes on.

This year's conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel Country Club Plaza in Kansas City MO. 

The conference also includes presentation of the acclaimed SPUR Award for various categories. You can see a complete list of winners by past years, HERE

There are a couple of great tours connected with this year's conference. Keep in mind some of these tours may require an extra fee or ticket admission.

          Tour Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
                    Recognized internationally as one of the finest general art museums in the United States,                           and currently maintains collections of nearly 40,000 works of art 

           Tour Arabia Steamboat Museum 
                  Learn about the story of the ship and her recovery, and view the everyday objects that                              made life possible for pioneers in the 1800s. It is the largest single collection of pre-                            Civil War artifacts in the world. 

Deadline to register is fast approaching so hurry over to the website and enjoy the conference!



            

Monday, June 5, 2017

MARKET MONDAY - Twitter Part 1


Twitter is one of those Social Media platforms... you either get it or you don't. I have to ask. Have you given Twitter a chance? Do you know how to use Twitter effectively? Speaking from personal experience, my music business grew exponentially within six months thanks to connections I made on this particular platform. Let's start with your page.

If you have a branding platform in place, this step is super easy. The header on your page should be your current release. The inset photo should be yours. You want to bring a personal approach to your page. Build your fan base while letting them get to know the face behind the author name.

The second is the information on your page. Cluttering the space up with #s is not effective marketing. Give a brief - I love writing sweet stories with happy endings. When not writing, I enjoy....  That's it. 20 words or less should be plenty.

The other thing you want is a website link. Give them a landing page to find out more about you, your bodies of work and however else you have your website/ blog configured.

That's it! Your Twitter page is complete. Well, almost. READ THIS before going any further in creating your Twitter page.

Twitter is going to ask to ADD everyone from your contact list. Don't Do This! This is a business page.. not a family reunion. Sure, you want some of your family and friends to follow you BUT you get to choose. Some of those people on your contact list were probably auto-added at some point or another and could care less.

This is your opportunity for a fresh start.

So, let's make friends.
First -  People you want to network with
        Authors
        Publishers
        Editors/ Agents
        Organizations

Second - Do a search for people with similar interests. In the search bar type #(insert one of the interests from your introduction. You will get a HUGE list. Don't follow them all at once. Pick 4-5 then type in the next interest and repeat. If you follow too many at one time, Twitter will think you're spamming and could lock you out of your account for a set period of time. That's not how you want to start ;-)

Work on that this week. Next week we'll talk content.

Creative Blessings!
Angela


Friday, June 2, 2017

WEEKEND INSPIRATION!

The work week is behind you. Each Friday I will post a picture to help get the creative juices flowing. If you post on-line somewhere, please share a link in the comments section so we may stop by and enjoy your process.  Creative Blessings! Angela