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Friday, July 8, 2011

Using the Web as a Platform (ConCarolinas Writing Panel)

The title of this in the program was "Writing for the Web", but it was quickly made clear that this was a misnomer, hence the title you see above. This was a discussion mostly about what and what not to do as a writer using the the Internet, and how to harness the power of the web for your career.

As for why it's a.k.a. the Magical Words panel? This was the first panel of the con to feature only Magical Words authors. 

As always, the disclaimer: These are my scribbles, and how I best learn at panels. If anything is vague and you'd like me to elaborate, just ask in the comments.

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Writing for the Web (a.k.a. the Magical Words panel #1)
Authors: Carrie Ryan, Edmund Schubert, Faith Hunter, David B. Coe, A.J. Hartley

Magical Words began as the brainchild of David and Faith, and others were brought on board

- Began podcasting The Eclectic Review: random topic and reviews
- The podcast has helped him build the fanbase

The title of this panel is a misnomer. Really, this panel is all about the Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs).

Social media is selling yourself as a personality.

You should have a platform.

Twitter is about connecting with people online and finding opportunities. With short statements you can get out info and pass things on

Social media is not just about networking; it's about community and access to your tribe.

Don'ts and Other Words of Caution:
- Remember: The Internet Never Forgets.
- Don't share negative stuff at all
- Don't vent
- Don't post negative stuff about other people
- Be careful about what  you share
- If thinking about positng something personal: is that information already basically public?
- Online, you can share the title of your book. Do NOT share rejections and complaints.
- Remember, the publisher is always right: they sign the paychecks!

Using the Internet as a Platform:
- Limit yourself! Pick no more than 5 things to participate in to create your platform. i.e. of Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blog, website, etc.)
- Use platforms you understand.
- Best to do it yourself so that you maintain control.
- On your website, incorporate a "last updated".
- Use multitasking tools such as feeds to simplify your life.
- The best way to publicize? Write the best damn book you can.
- Remember that there is a difference between your author persona and your real-life persona.
- Simulating intimacy helps to create a conversation.
- Goodreads - can be useful
- Building a platform takes time, but word gets out.
- You need to be consistent, constantly active, and not just promotional; don't just network with the intent/vibes of selling yourself.
- Find people you like and opportunities will arise. The rest will come organically.
- Don't be pushy.
- Your blog/website should reflect your genre.
- You should include a brief bio.
- Never forget: your platform is your name.

* * *

Three more panels to go! I'll be out of town all weekend and probably not back until late Tuesday, so you can look forward to the rest after that.

And then I might go quiet. A bit. Or at least not post daily!

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