Where are my OCC peeps conspicuously absent?
It's pretty rare for me to see more than a few OCC'ers in my hashtag chats, with the possible exception of #myWANA. Either you're hanging out somewhere else (that you'll hopefully mention in the comments section) or you're not using Twitter as fully as you could be.
Note: If you're scratching your head over this hashtag business, please read this post on what Twitter hashtags are and why we need them.
OCC authors are very in-the-know about the changes sweeping through the publishing industry. I am so thankful to belong to a chapter with such amazing resources, and so many generous authors. We're lucky to be on the cutting edge of this upheaval, so I'll skip over that part since you all are pretty up to date.
If you don't feel "up to date" and want to read more about the changing state of publishing, it's hard to find a better resource than Kristine Kathryn Rusch and her publishing industry blogs.
This brave new world of publishing demands that an author build a brand.
What does that mean exactly? Simply put, your brand is the picture that pops into people’s mind when they hear your name.
For established authors, this picture is usually tied to one (or many) of your books. For the new or unpublished author, you need to get started on forming that picture in people's mind as soon as possible. Participation in social media is one of the easiest ways to do this.
For more detailed information on branding, here are some of the best blogs I’ve found on the subject from people who say it far better than I do.
- Jami Gold’s How Do You Decide On Your Author Brand? – Part 1 and Part 2
- Jami has another wonderful post on Branding 101 – Online Brand vs. Author Brand
- An older post from leadership guru Michael Hyatt that still applies – 7 Ways to Build Your Author Brand Online
- Kristen Lamb’s must-read post on Bob Mayer’s Blog: Building An Author Brand.
- Bob Mayer discusses Social Media and the Writer in his Publishing Lessons series.
Particularly now that so many authors are going the Indie route with smaller independent publishers or even venturing into self-publishing for their first book, author branding is no longer a “nice to have.”
My personal observation is that people are seeking authentic connections and that, by branding themselves, an author is opening themselves up for connecting.
In my own experience on Twitter and both of my blogs, your Followers and your Tweeps become your friends. We spend time with these people, whether it’s chatting on Facebook, having a Worldwide Book Launch Party or sharing Sunday morning coffee.
Seemingly disparate people throughout the world are connecting through social media and enjoying the hell out of each other. It’s a beautiful thing.
Perhaps you don’t know where people are gathering on Twitter.
Fret no more…here’s the list of where my Tweeps and I hang out. This is your invitation to hang out with us. If you are hanging out somewhere else online, we want to know where that is!
Note: If I’ve missed any really cool hashtags, please let me know in the comments.
#myWANA – This love revolution started on Kristen Lamb’s blog (WANA stands for We Are Not Alone…I’ve linked to the book above)
#weWRITE – Hashtag started by Anna DeStefano and Jenni Talty based on their How We Write Wednesday Series. Note: There are no links allowed in this group – conversation on writing only…you’ll have to post your links elsewhere.
#PubWrite – these tweeps enjoy writing, sharing ideas and frustrations, and the occasional adult beverage.
#amwriting – writers from everywhere hang out here and encourage each other as they write. If this is your hangout, you might also enjoy http://amwriting.org/.
#amediting – writers from everywhere hang out here and encourage each other as they edit their works-in-progress.
#wordmongering – writers do timed sprints of 30 mins at :00 and/or :30 every hour. This is fun 24/7 and participants say they get so much writing done.
#Row80 – Hashtag started by Kait Nolan that I’m participating in. This is a writing challenge that lasts 80 days and requires that you publicly post your goal. For more details go here.
#nanowrimo - When November rolls around, the agony and the ecstacy of National Novel Writing Month can be found here. (Until then, we have Row80!)
What about you? Where do you commune with people on Twitter or Facebook (and why)? Are there groups of writers that you recommend above all others? Please share your discoveries with the rest of us!