We all have our favorite child when it comes to social media: I have a Facebook page (along with a group I haven’t had a chance to play with), a Twitter account, a Snapchat I open once a month or so, plus Goodreads and my beloved blog…but my true love is Instagram. Photography has been a passion of mine for a long time, and I love the (kinda) straightforward nature of it, so I decided to make Instagram my #1 focus when it came to social media and Twintype Books (username: twintypebooks).
Being a bookish-type person (both writers and readers) poses a particular challenge when you decide to make a dedicated Instagram account. My account is devoted 100% to my books, reviews of other’s books, book-y things like the newest Scribbler box (OMG!), book signing events, etc. There is absolutely no personal content (and by that, I mean having nothing to do with books) on my account. It’s truly a business account dedicated solely to a) marketing Twintype Books and b) connecting with a community I love. I took an online Instagram class that I truly attribute to cleaning up my act, and I was off! One thing I didn’t know about were the challenges that face all us book fiends on IG.
It’s amazing how fate can sometimes do you a major favor and save you from yourself. Just the other day, I was mournfully contemplating how I was probably going to have to end up paying for a 3-D rendering of my book cover, when I came a site created by Derek Murphy. And there it was…a 3-D book cover generator. “Something Good” from The Sound of Music began playing in the background as I clicked in, uploaded the cover for Sub Rosa, and BOOM, my world changed!
To quote the site itself: “Finally, an easy-to-use tool for making book mockups and 3D covers. It’s about damn time.”
One of the unexpectedly cool things about being an author is that your autograph is suddenly a prized thing. I have a shelf dedicated only to books that are signed by the author, with bonus points if it’s not just autographed, but personalized. Being asked to sign one of my books has never stopped being a major thrill, and a big part of why I love book signings so much…it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being a celebrity!
You can extend this magical touch into other media as well, and my hands-down favorite are bookplates and bookmarks. I’ve talked about bookplates before (and have another post planned coming soon), so now let’s talk about bookmarks!
Yesterday was the spring Books & Authors event at Leon & Lulu! Despite the gnarly road construction and the lure of a gorgeous spring Sunday, people turned out in droves to support their local authors!
I will be the first one to admit I am very lucky…my day job requires me to do presentations and trainings on a daily basis, so I learned a long time ago how to turn nerves over public speaking and interaction into excited energy. I’m one of the few people I know that LOVES public speaking. I make eye contact and have no problem talking to total strangers that wander past. I’d intended to put up a post before B&A about book signings and the tips and tricks I’ve learned, but the past few days were unbelievably hectic, so keep an eye out for that to come!
Now…on with the topic at hand!
I had someone ask me the other day on Instagram if I recommended publishing on Smashwords. I’m going to cut right to the chase and tell you that my answer was a straightforward unabashed unqualified YES! YES YES YES! I’ll be honest…right now I’m selling more books through Smashwords than through Amazon.
So what IS Smashwords? It is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks! They distribute to Barnes&Noble, eBooks and Kobo (and technically to Amazon, but you don’t want to go that route since Amazon “isn’t able” to receive Smashwords’ entire catalog, uh-huh), in addition to many other channels AND libraries. If you’d like to read Smashwords’ About Us, you can find it here!
Yes, it’s that time of year again! Time for the spring half of Leon & Lulu’s biannual Books & Authors event! This juried book signing has become a fixture in Metro Detroit, and I’m honored and thrilled to announce that I’ll be there for the second time, signing copies of both Pistils AND Sub Rosa!
Books & Authors is insanely cool on so many levels. The store that hosts it, Leon & Lulu, is my favorite local business in all of Metro Detroit. It takes “awesome” and cranks it up to eleven. If you’re stuck buying a gift for someone who’s impossible to buy for, I promise you it’ll be in stock here. They give back to the community on a non-stop basis. The merchandise is…I can’t even describe it. Eclectic, beautiful, varied…it’s like that one friend who is so unbelievably cool on every level but wears it with the ultimate je ne sais quoi. If I were a baby store, I’d want to grow up to be just like Leon & Lulu.
All right friends, I’m feeling a bit more lucky this time around! I was derailed off the regular NaNoWriMo last November by ill health, but Camp NaNo is a bit less intense. And to say I’m excited about my planned project is an understatement.
Working title is Snapdragons, and in the series chronology, it’s a novella that takes place just before the beginning of Pistils. What I’m most excited about, though, is that I intend to publish and offer it permanently for free…if you or a friend haven’t read any of the Pistils series, this will give you a good-sized sample and introduction to our gals Vivian and Parker!
If you’d like to keep track of my progress (and believe me, any support will be truly appreciated!), head over to Camp Nano-land and check out how I’m doing. If you’re participating, add me as a friend so we can cheer each other on!