Category Archives: Social Networking

Will you be remembered after the writers’ conference?

fargoI am attending a writer/blogger conference in Fargo, North Dakota, this month.

I looked back on my writers’ conference tips, written last year. I also wrote about “branding” back in 2013 – you can see that link here.

For this conference, I thought…

How do I want to present myself? (The Word Shark, editor extraordinaire)

How do I want to dress? (professionally, in colors to match my website and blog)

What do I need to have? (biz cards, a name tag, give-away pens)

People are going to remember me because

I dressed like a professional editor – sensible shoes, a blazer, neat hairdo, spare make-up. And everything about me is going to scream, “Shark!”

Personalize

I’m not going to use any entry-table name tag, no way. I made my own. You guessed it – it has a shark on it.

Hand outsDSC02485

I will have The Word Shark biz cards and give-a-way pens with a shark charm (people will take me home with them).

North Dakota bloggers on FB

I discovered and joined the FB group, North Dakota Bloggers. There has been some chit-chat about the conference, and I have connected with a handful of attendees as well as presenters.

Research the presenters

Before any conference, you get a who’s-presenting email. Do look up these people, connect with them on social networking, follow their blogs ahead of conference time.

Magazine articles

One of the presenters at this conference is the editor of a local, regional magazine. Will I have a couple of articles to hand her? You bet your dorsal fin!

DSC02496Engage

Don’t just show up at the conference – engage. Talk to people, ask questions about their projects, and participate in discussions. Exchange cards so you can send a follow up email, “Nice to meet and you at the conference…”

When all the conference-goers go home

They will pick up my shark pen and say, “Hey, maybe I do need an editor.”

 

Conference ready!

Got the shark name tag

Got shark-pen give-away swag

Got a flashy shark shirt for downtown Fargo walk-about

Got a quiet shark tee and blazer for the conference crowd

Got the biz cards, ready to hand out

It’s all conference I’m about!

 

How do you prepare for a writers’ conference?

What’s your favorite thing about attending a writers’ conference?

 

Cool shark-charm pens custom made by The English Rose.

 

15 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, Social Networking

Less blogging leads to more procrastinating

DSC01134You may have noticed – I’ve been blogging a lot less. Or maybe you didn’t notice – eek!

Poetry collection

My original intent was to work less on blogging and more on my poetry collection (for self-publication). Although I have been doing more poetry writing and editing, I’ve not been doing as much as I originally intended.

Procrastination

It’s a scourge. I do more procrastinating every day. Though I am making little dents in my “to do” list.

Blogging

So you may see some repeat blogs (I do want to refresh my content – search engines like that), but it might not be fresh.

Other fabulous blogs

With me not blogging as much, you have more time to check out these fabulous blogs –

Shawn MacKENZIE

Shawn MacKenzie – She’s my editor and is providing loads of great advice on the poetry collection. She SO gets me! Find her blog at MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest. Her Editor’s Corner is especially awesome.

***

Elizabeth Cottrell

Elizabeth H. Cottrell – Find her blogging at Heartspoken, where you will discover wise advice for connecting with God, nature, others, and self. See her new tab for The Nature Store. Elizabeth is also helping me slog through CreateSpace.

***

Linda Boulanger

Linda Boulanger – Wait til you see her book covers! I’m going to tap her when I get my poetry collection together, and I have the artwork done (yes, I’m doing it myself). She creates striking covers! She can design a cover for you – no matter the genre. Check out her site. 

***

pamela wight

Pamela Wight – She writes over at Rough Wighting, a blog of daily living. She’s a relatively new gal pal, and I think we were separated at birth – we are so in sync! Pamela has two published novels and teaches creative writing.

***

Susannah Friis

Susannah Friis – She and her hubs write articles and publish in Brisbane, Australia. Find Susannah at Personally Speaking. She blogs to “explore life in such a way as to enlighten and broaden my own thoughts and perspectives.” She is a breath of fresh air.

***

Vaugh Roycroft

Vaughn Roycroft – He does not blog a lot, but when he does, they are significant. He is a gentleman and a scholar, and he writes darn good blogs. Find Vaughn at Seeking the Inner Ancient.

***
Eboch credit Sonya Sones
Chris Eboch – Funny I didn’t “meet” her until after I moved away from NM – she’s in NM! Chris is a writer of MG, YA, and adult fiction. And she edits too. See her awesome blog at Write Like a Pro!

***

Cyndi Briggs

Cyndi Briggs – She blogs over yonder at The Sophia Project. Her blogs address and tackle serious stuff in a fun, sometimes introspective, way. A joy of a blog.

***

What fabulous blogs do you follow? Feel free to mention them here and provide links so we can all find them.

20 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking

Writers’ conference tips

Lara and Stacy at a great conference (not in Vegas).

Lara and Stacy at a great conference (not in Vegas).

I attended a conference in Vegas a few years ago, and I was appalled at how people were dressed. T-shirts, shorts, flip flops. The chick at the greeting table wore a blouse cut down to her navel. I didn’t need my imagination.

Fifty percent of the people I met didn’t have a card.

Most of the people I met were dressed like beach bums.

Unfortunately, about 50% of the people I met and mingled with were drunk most of the time (okay, it was Vegas, but still!).

A bad impression? You bet!

Where to start?

If a huge conference in Vegas or NYC scares the heck out of you, look for a smaller, local conference. Better to flex your conference muscles when you’re not too overwhelmed.

What do you wear?

I wear a blazer and nice blouses over new jeans. Wear comfortable shoes – my comfortable shoes are dress Oxfords.

What do you have?

Have cards or bookmarks to hand out. If you don’t have a publication, you can still print your name, blog address, Twitter handle, etc., on a card. Collect cards from everybody and follow up with these people when you get home with a simple note.

After you collect a card or bookmark, remember a few specifics about that person (editorial chat, historic book chat, where you met, we laughed over the buffet). Jot these notes on the back of their card.

One-sheet

Also helpful, a one-sheet. Suzanne Hartmann has a great article (with her own example) on her blog. Click here for Suzanne’s example of a one-sheet.

Who do you talk to?

Try to talk to as many people as possible. Even if the first few people you meet are crazy-fun, hop around. Participate in as many activities as you can.

imagesCA1H24ZQWhat do you carry?

I suggest a carry-all for what you collect along the way – books, bookmarks, brochures. Consider a satchel with a shoulder strap in case you need two hands (one for coffee, one for shaking hands).

Since electronic devices are not 100% dependable, carry a small pad and a few pens.

Hydrate!

Carry water and a few small snack bars. It may be hours before you get a decent meal.

How should you behave?

Show up on time for sessions. Turn off your cell phone. Pay attention and participate in discussions.

What do you talk about?

Don’t talk only about yourself, your blog, your book, your this and that, but do have a sentence memorized about your book or project, in case you are asked. Don’t be pitching all the time – ask others what they are working on.

Know the presenters

Before the conference, Google the scheduled presenters and write a few small facts about them on note cards. I did this for the Vegas conference and consulted these cards before each session – it was helpful in a few cases when I got to talk one-on-one with a presenter.

At the bar Beer-Bottles-

With most conferences, alcohol gets introduced into the equation. My advice – don’t drink too much. One glass of something then switch to bottled water. You don’t want to leave a bad impression because you made a fool of yourself.

Find the right genre

It would be silly if you wrote only horror and went to a women’s lit writing conference or if you wrote only poetry and attended a mystery writers’ conference. Check out these conference lists and you are bound to find the right conference, in a good area (close to home), and for the right price.

Poets & Writers, conferences and residencies

NewPages.com, writing conferences

Association of Writers and Writing Programs, programs and conferences

Opening photo from Stacy Stenberg Jensen. Stacy is a writer and blogger in Colorado. Her new website goes live in September.

Lara Schiffbauer is a writer and blogger. Her first book, Finding Meara, is available on Amazon.

***

Have you attended any writers’ conferences? What advice would you add?

13 Comments

Filed under Branding & Platform, Publishing, Social Networking

Avoiding blog burn-out

burnEven if you love blogging, there will come a day when you are near burn-out. Or maybe you have already crashed and burned.

Try to notice the signs of an imminent burn out. Intervention time!

I see it in myself. I sometimes agonize over what to write for my next blog.

***

Same ole, same ole

Are you blogging only about writing? Or editing? Or social networking woes?

Try something different!

Do a blog of inspirational quotes (make your own with
background and script at Quozio).A-poet-can-survive

Post inspirational artwork.

Take pictures and then post your photos.

Invite guest bloggers.

Tell a funny story about your childhood.

Genre rut

You write sci fi so you follow sci fi blogs exclusively. No, nada, niet!

Go look for poetry, women’s lit, romance, horror, or western blogs! Yes, western!

Try something different, pilgrim.john_wayne

SSDD

“Same shit, different day.”

Have you been following the same blogs for months and months?

A good way to find new blogs is to connect with other commenters on the great blogs you follow or via guest writers on these blogs.

Go outside writing

If you are following a poo-pile of writing blogs, go look for blogs that are non-writing.

Try art blogs or yoga blogs or hiking blogs.

How about photography or watercolor or pottery?

What about cooking or dance?

Or better yet, take a class in art, yoga, photography, cooking, or dance.

danceAsk a question

On your Facebook page, ask a question like, “What do you do when you have writer’s block?” or “What one thing must I remember for a book signing?” or “What do you do when you have no idea for your next blog?”

You will probably get enough comments to create your next blog post (save the FB comments!).

Fun, fun, fun

Stop worrying about your blog and go out and have some fun!

See Susannah Friis’s blog post about having Fun Fun Fun.

Take a vacationst thomas

I’m not talking to Maui or St. Thomas (though those would be nice).

I’m talking a vacation from blogging. Just decide to take a month off and then stick to it.

Have you ever experienced blog burn out? What do you do to avoid burn out or get over burn out?

19 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Social Networking

The name my mother gave me

Hi. I'm Karen. This beautiful woman with me in my Mommy.

Hi. I’m Karen. This beautiful woman with me in my Mommy.

Karen who?

I am going back to my maiden name – Sanderson.

Publishing

I will publish a collection of poetry (hopefully this year) with the name that Lois Jane Holmes Sanderson gave me – Karen R. Sanderson.

Karen Sanderson being silly...circa 1960-something.

Karen Sanderson being silly…circa 1960-something.

After the poetry, I plan on pubbing a book of historical/familial short stories, after that a collection of horror.

Realization

I realized I didn’t want my ex’s name on any of my work. Especially since he was no cheerleader or even tolerant of my dreams to write or publish or edit.

Six freaking months old...I'm on the typewriter already! And I have an audience!

Six freaking months old…I’m on the typewriter already! And I have an audience!

Same stuff, different name

The Word Shark blog will be the same, and the website will be the same. And FB, and LI, and Google+ plus, and Twitter, and email…

Except where you used to see Elliott, you will start to see Sanderson.

Moving forward

Over the next few weeks I’ll morph from Karen S. Elliott, The Word Shark, to Karen R. Sanderson, The Word Shark!

img003

24 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, E-books & E-publishing, Editing & Proofreading, Personal Articles, Social Networking, Special Events

Trading favors and your integrity

chain linksDang if I wasn’t chatting online with Lara Schiffbauer (of Motivation for Creation fame) about being uninspired (me), when another LinkedIn endorsement from a stranger popped up in my inbox.

LinkedIn

My LinkedIn profile (what I wrote) is all true. And many people are endorsing me for skills that I have.

But I wonder why strangers endorse me. I have never met these people, have never edited or proofread them, have never seen them comment on my blog, am not connected with them on FB or Twitter. Do they expect a return endorsement?

Stranger Danger!

Why endorse someone who is a stranger, a person you know nothing about? Why endorse a person for editing if you have never seen the fruits of their editing labors? I just don’t get it (and don’t do it either).

Selling out, trading favors

If Jane Doe endorses a book (trading an I’ll promote your book if you promote my book), I look at that book and other books she’s endorsed. If she endorsed a stone-cold-loser book, then I can’t trust her any more. Or if she is endorsing five books a day, I wonder.

See also The line in the social media sand – that’s your integrity, with guest Therese Pope of Zenful Communications.

Facebook Fan Pages70s-platform-shoes

People trade likes – you like my page, I’ll like yours. All good.

But after I like your page, you’d better give me something of substance. Post after post of quotes from your Amazon reviews or how your book is doing in the ratings (mememememe), and I’m strapping on my boogie shoes. I’ve been a little lax on my FB page lately – need to put on my boogie shoes!

See also Is your fan page a little flat?

tweetTwitter

I find myself spending less and less time here, because it seems that many people are, 1) promoting only themselves, 2) tweeting quotes from their book reviews over and over, 3) boring me to tears.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I, 1) post my blog links, many of which are guests, 2) tweet vocabulary, 3) re-tweet what I find helpful or inspiring.

What are you tweeting?

See also Twitter-quette – it’s my turn.

Liar-liar-pants-on-fire promotions fire

Do you want to be known as sincere, believable, someone with integrity?

Or do you want to be for sale, cheap?

***

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb

A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. ~Edgar J. Mohn

All quotes from Quote Garden.

31 Comments

Filed under Social Networking

TrustCloud: Harness Technology to Build a Reputation, by Elizabeth H. Cottrell

cloudsI am always on the lookout for ways to connect meaningfully with others, and the new online world makes that both easier and more challenging: 1) Easier because social media tools enable me to connect with hundreds of people in a fraction of the time it would take offline; 2) More challenging because it’s harder to know much about someone you haven’t met, especially when you want to know whether they can be trusted with your money or your reputation.

You’re undoubtedly familiar with the goal of having potential clients know, like, and trust you. As in offline communities, you build a solid reputation by being friendly, generous, helpful, and reliable. You consistently provide value, and you do what you say you’re going to do (when you say you’re going to do it).

You’ve established a track record with those clients or associates who have known you awhile, but is there a way to shorten that process?

I’ve just discovered a service trying to do just that: TrustCloud. It is relatively new, and I learned about it from Michael Martine, Remarkablogger.  Much like a FICO score for credit-worthiness or an eBay score for seller reliability, TrustCloud aims to create a similar score that carries substance and meaning in what the company calls the “Sharing Economy.”

What is the Sharing Economy?

“Sharing Economy” was derived from “Collaborative Consumption,” a concept coined by Rachel Botsman, writing in 2011 for Wired magazine. It consists of “an economic model based on sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting access to products as opposed to ownership.” Businesses based on this concept include apartment, car, and house-swapping operations and more.

Most online businesses require a similar kind of trust. When you buy a used book from one of Amazon’s resellers or a product from eBay, you rely on the seller’s reputation and track record for describing their products accurately and shipping in a timely manner.

What can TrustCloud do for you?

Whether you are an author promoting your books, an artist or craftsperson selling your work, or a consultant selling your services, you can benefit from giving potential customers a reliable measure of your past track record and what others have learned about you from their personal experience.

In its own words, “TrustCloud helps you leverage the good behavior you’ve earned in [the] Sharing Economy—and gauge the trustworthiness of others in your sharing community.” Instead of a potential client having to visit several social media platforms to put get a feeling for your trustworthiness, TrustCloud pulls the data from those platforms and, using a proprietary algorithm, creates a portable representation of all the data in the form of a TrustCard and score.

I was intrigued and decided to try it. You can see my TrustCard reflecting my TrustScore in the sidebar of my blogs at RiverwoodWriter.com and Heartspoken.com. On a scale of 1 to 1,000, my first score of 752 was considered “Good.” That’s better than Average but not yet Very Good or Excellent. I hope it will go up once TrustCloud has verified my mailing address.

Will TrustCloud become a meaningful measure of trustworthiness?

Two things will have a lot to do with the future influence of TrustCloud.

  1. One will be how effective it is in its ability to integrate more social networking platforms where activities are based on integrity and truthfulness. Right now, the main social media platforms are included, plus eBay, TripAdvisor, Klout, Xeeme, and StackOverflow. Others such as Quora, Ask.com, Yelp, and Yahoo Answers are “coming soon.”
  2. The second will be whether TrustCloud members use discretion when they endorse others. If it is used only to swap votes, it will dilute the significance.  TrustCloud is attempting to control this by limiting the points you get for endorsing others.

I recommend you take a look at TrustCloud even if you decide not to display the TrustCard. Besides being a feather in your cap, it will help you understand more about how an online reputation is made.

NOTE: In keeping with Karen’s “New Stuff” theme on her blog this week, you might find further inspiration for trying new things in my recent article published in our local paper Northern Virginia Daily  “Never be afraid to try something new.”

***

Elizabeth CottrellElizabeth H. Cottrell, a.k.a. RiverwoodWriter, conceals her analytical side by artistically blogging at RiverwoodWriter.com for small business owners and solopreneurs. Turbo-charge your ability to connect, create, and communicate with prospects and clients. Elizabeth can craft your compelling content, help you get that book out of your head and published at last, or teach you how to use social media sensibly and effectively. Stop struggling and call to see if she can help!

Elizabeth also blogs about connecting with God, with self, with nature, and with others at Heartspoken.com. See what she’s up to on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

See her TrustScore on TrustCloud

10 Comments

Filed under Social Networking