There’s a very special group on Facebook, if I do say so myself. The #CharmedWriters group. You may or may not have heard of it. It’s a semisecret group but it has a lot of power, at least within its members and special guests.
It started a couple of years ago at this very time. Many of our local writer friends were getting ready to attend the annual Romantic Times Convention. For those of you not familiar with it, Romantic Times is a magazine for romance readers. Every year they put together an amazing convention that connects romance readers with the authors that they love.
Anyway, many of us were “stuck at home, while our friends were at RT 2016”. And thus, a Facebook event titled Stuck at Home While My Friends are at RT was born. I invited all of my writer friends, at the time mostly romance writers. And they invited some of their friends. About 25 authors participated. It was basically a Butt in Chair event, where our goal was to keep our butts in our desk chairs, and see how many words we could write while our friends were partying at Romantic Times. We had word count challenges, we talked about promo, we had online happy hours for networking. All in all, I think those who attended had a great time, I know I did.
Many of the writers broke their highest daily and weekly word counts that week, individually writing 10, 20 and more than 30,000 words. We got a lot of work done, learned from each other, made new friends, and motivated and inspired each other.
And I gave out charms. Lots and lots of charms. When the week ended, we didn’t want this special week to just fizzle and go away, and the #CharmedWriters group was formed, named for the charms we earned while writing. We continued writing together regularly in what we call Office Hours, and had a few more Butt in Chair events in 2016.
Last year I added speakers to the Stuck at Home event, making it more of an online conference, and the most amazing people stepped up and hosted online Ask an Authors and Workshops, and the event has continued to evolve including not just authors, but industry experts. Members get access to some highly successful and incredibly brilliant people.
Next week we have a special line up of speakers including the wildly talented romance author Megan Hart (I’m a huge fan!). Author, and book coach the inspiring Ara Grigorian. The multi-talented romance author, editor and cover designer Judi Fennell. Award winning YA author, marketing wiz, and my former playgroup friend, Elena Dillon. Romance author and historical fashion designer/seamstress Victoria Vane, I’ve seen her gowns in person and they are amazing! And publicist and career coach Robin Blakely, who works with my friend, author of my favorite legal thrillers, Rebecca Forster…who has previously been a presenter for #CharmedWriters, and if you haven’t read her books you should! Not that she needs me to promo for her, she’s a brilliant writer…and she has Robin Blakely! And you probably know both Rebecca and Robin from right here on Slice of Orange.
Do you wish you were a member now? Keep reading!
A couple of weeks ago we hit 100 members when a friend of mine from middle school, author Christine Simolke, joined the group.
Our membership is made up of authors at various stages in their writing journey, but all are seriously pursuing a writing career. We share our work, give and receive help, share experience and knowledge, help each other promote, and even more. Many of us have become friends, we share a passion that even if our friends and family support us, they don’t always understand. It’s truly a #CharmedPlace.
To be included you need to be invited by a member of the group, and you need to be actively writing. So, if you’re actively writing, and you’d like to be a #CharmedWriter, consider this an invitation! Friend me on Facebook and if we’re already friends just send me a message!
So, being Stuck at Home While My Friends are at RT is no longer such a bad thing! And now you know why I titled my column Charmed Writer. Because I am!!
Elena Dillon from the Confused &Terrified Writer has launched a FREE Scrivener class. The above links to a quick video overview of the free class! Just click the “watch promo” button.
[tweetshare tweet=”Free! Scrivener Basics for the Confused & Terrified Writer” username=”A_SliceofOrange”]
We’re coming up on NaNoWriMo like a freight train and I know everyone is getting nervous and excited. In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I’ve launched a free Scrivener class to help get your first document either set up or exported into Scrivener along with tips and tricks on that make Scrivener a powerful productivity tool.
Along with this if you sign up for the class you will have access to my free Confused and Terrified Writer Facebook Group where you can ask questions, get help with your writing projects and we support each other through this fabulous but difficult journey!
It covers how to set up your first document along with tips and tricks on that make Scrivener a powerful productivity tool.
The course is “on demand” which means you can watch each video lesson when you want and as often as you want.
I’m Elena Dillon, an author of the award winning Young Adult “Breathe” series. When I’m not writing, I love to help my author friends with technology and social media. I’ve taught the Social Media for the Confused and Terrified, Pinterest for the Confused and Terrified, Visual Content for Authors and spoken at numerous conferences, chapters and groups about social media and indie publishing.
Most of the time, I’m busy being a wife to my husband of twenty-six years, mom to my two grown kids and servant to my high-maintenance English bulldog, Brutus while I wait, not so patiently, for grandbabies.
And the link again is: https://confused-and-terrified-writer.teachable.com/p/scrivener-basics
Your brand is your author name. Everything we post on our website, social media or blogs help add content to that author brand. For someone like me, still unpublished, I want to create posts that are worthwhile even if I’m not selling books yet. Figuring out what to do can be overwhelming and time-intensive. Here I share with you three website/apps I use that have helped save me time and mental energy.
I love the WordSwag App. For $4.99 in the app store, you can create memes for your social media fast and easy. You can use any photo from your phone and customize the text using either the given quotes or writing your own. I love to quote scripture this way using a nature pic I’ve taken. There’s even a way to enter a watermark so you can have your website listed at the bottom, branding your memes.
One of the websites I like to use is design-seeds.com. There, you will find blends of colors that make a variety of color palettes. You can select the colors you like and write down the color codes. Color codes are universal. In different design software programs you can type in a color code and it will match. So anyone you hire for cover designs or creating materials can use these codes and you can have a consistent look.
Having a recognizable color scheme with your author brand is a great way to build awareness and identity across your books, website and social media. Take a look at the books you read and notice the fonts and colors used on the covers. Then go to their website and social media and see if you see a connection.
So what are the colors you want to associate with your author name? You can select 5-6 colors from light to dark and use them in everything you create. Your website, memes for your social media, and yes, even to incorporate into your book cover designs. (You can then select additional colors for that specific series or book).
I would recommend creating a Pinterest board where you save the photos of the color schemes you like and reference back to them.
Once you’ve selected a palette of colors for your brand, write down the color numbers to use in your graphics.
Another website I love using is Canva. This website lets you create all sorts of media, including banners and social media sized for any app, to flyers, postcards and more. I created the image for this blog by uploading an image I purchased through a photo website. You can upload your own pictures that you take or buy and you can use the color codes selected from design-seeds.com (the brown in the image is one of my colors). You have the choice to use existing designs or create your own. I use this program to create memes. I even used it to design my son’s high school graduation announcement.
If you would like to learn more about these and other programs, I would highly recommend signing up for the teachable class Author Elena Dillon has created titled Visual Content Marketing for Authors. Take a look at http://confused-and-terrified-writer.teachable.com/ Her videos offer step by step instructions and she provides written out lessons explaining things in detail. (More information here.)
Although new to the writing fiction world, Denise Colby has over 20+ years experience in marketing, creating different forms of content and copy for promotional materials. Taking the lessons learned from creating her own author brand Denise M. Colby, Denise enjoys sharing her combined knowledge with other authors.
If you are interested in a marketing evaluation and would like help in developing a strategy for your author brand you can find out more here http://denisemcolby.com/marketing-for-authors/
The answer is simple.
Visual content is anything that uses pictures, graphics, video, etc. When you see a GIF of cats falling off tables? That’s visual content. A pretty graphic with a quote from a book? Visual Content. Those fabulous cooking videos where they make a cinnamon roll apple pie in twenty seconds? Visual content.
It’s what will get your content seen. As a matter of fact, statistically your readers are 44% more likely to engage with visual content. Hmmm. 44%? Hard to ignore. We all want to work smarter not harder, right? In this class, you will learn:
This class for you if you’ve never created any kind of graphics on your own. It’s for authors who need to learn how to create visual content for their author business and are unsure about using new technology. We will go over:
And believe it or not? I’ll make it fun. I’ll teach you how to create a graphic while you’re standing in line for coffee. =)
Who Am I?
I’m Elena Dillon, an author of the award winning Young Adult Breathe series. When I’m not writing, I love to help my author friends with technology and social media. I’ve taught Social Media for the Confused and Terrified, Pinterest for the Confused and Terrified, Visual Content for Authors and spoken at numerous conferences, chapters, and groups about social media and indie publishing.
Most of the time, I’m a wife to my husband of twenty-six years, mom to my two grown kids and servant to my high-maintenance English bulldog, Brutus, while I wait, not so patiently, for grandbabies.
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