Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How To Build Your Fire When Your Wood's Still Wet

with guest Cynthia Herron.

Hi Friends ~ 

I’m delighted to join you today! Thanks so much for inviting me as your guest.

To kick off our fun, I fired up the stove. Scoot close. You can almost smell it! We have chicken fried steak with lots of “crispies,” hash brown potatoes, omelets made to order, and of course, angel biscuits with country style gravy. Oh, and there’s coffee, tea, and juice to wash down all the deliciousness. (And don’t worry about calories. I prayed those suckers right out. 😊)

Now, let’s get started!

When I jumped back into writing several years ago, a lot had changed. My craft was a tad rusty, but even more daunting? Social media. Tribe-building. Blogging. Branding. Website-wrangling. All those crazy, wonderful things that comprise a writer’s platform.

What on Earth did I know about THAT? In addition, I’m pre-published. Just how did one build something like platform from scratch? How did I start? What to do first?

As I toyed with various ideas, I remembered a funny analogy. (Except…not so funny at the time.)

Growing up, Sis and I had chores while our parents worked. Since she was several years younger, she got the easier tasks (isn’t that always the way?) My responsibilities included supper prep, laundry, and general housekeeping odds and ends. Also, in the winter, if the fire was lit, it was my job to keep it going.

Daddy schooled me in safety measures, but of course, he didn’t really have to because I was a teenager. And you and I both know, teenagers know everything.

That’s exactly why, when the wood box got low, I tramped outside in the snow and gathered a few more logs. But I didn’t use the dry logs—the ones underneath the covered tarp out back. Nope. I collected some logs in a different pile because it was closest. Easiest. Also, wettest.

Well, drat.

I hauled the wood indoors and tossed a few of those wet logs on the dying fire. Kerplunk. 

Well, wouldn’t you know it. Those buggers all but doused what was left of the fire. 

“But Daddy said you should use the other wood. I’m telling!”

“You won’t have to, Miss Know-It-All.” I glanced at my sister. “I have everything under control.”

I poked and prodded the remaining embers until, wonder of wonders, new flames sparked to life.

Hallelujah! I raised a fire from the dead! *cue the cymbals*

“See? Not so hard.” 

And then, God smiled. And…probably shook His head.

A few hours later when my eyelids started to swell and my skin broke out in a mottled, pink rash, Daddy didn’t mince words.

“Cindy, you didn’t use that wood out back I set aside? The wood I told you not to use?”

For crying-out-loud, how’d my beloved daddy know? It had taken a while, but I’d brought that measly fire back to life—and the house was toasty warm due to my efforts.

“…Because there was a reason I told you not to use that wet firewood. Besides being wet, those are the logs I wasn’t going to use. The ones with the poison ivy vines still attached.”

Oops. Should have listened. 

Little did I know, one day, that lesson would serve me well as I built my author platform.

It’s possible to build a fire from wet wood, but it takes time to catch. Usually, you first have to arrange dryer pieces of kindling beneath the wet logs. The idea, of course, is to dry out the wet ones, creating the ideal environment for a successful burn.

Let’s equate this to writing.

In this technologically-minded world, bells and whistles abound. For those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy or social-media competent, life’s an adventure. Add writer to that (especially one who’s still a little wet behind the ears and in the initial platform-building stages) and it’s an emotional roller coaster. 



Here’s what I did:
  • I followed experts in various fields and gained confidence through knowledge. A word here. Many refer to themselves as “experts” and aren’t. My rule of thumb is to always choose three or four reliable sources and see if their recommendations are similar and factual. 
  • I joined professional writing organizations such as ACFW, ACFW MozArks, and RWA.  Connecting with other writers is important as we advance our craft and grow our sea legs.  
  • Because every writer needs an online home, I initially built a simple WordPress site. I’m not too proud to admit I bought WordPress for Dummies to help me with this. (Later, I partnered with Jones House Creative who designed a fresh, new website with a whiter, cleaner presentation.)
  • I purchased my domain name. If yours is already taken, use a variation that lets the world know you’re Jane Doe Author. (For instance, mine is authorcynthiaherron.com, not to be confused with another Cynthia who is an artist.)
  • I started a blog. At first, my topics were all over the map. When I nailed down Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction as my tagline, I shifted my thoughts to encouragement-focused content. Ozarks trivia, slice-of-life vignettes, and motivation remain near and dear to my heart. No—blogging isn’t a must and you don’t have to do it. Writers write books, so that trumps blogging, however, be aware your online home is yours. Not some other medium’s whose algorithms are ever-changing. 
  • I started a Facebook author page. Many writers feel comfortable with just enabling the “follow” button on their personal profile. This allows your fans to follow your public updates so that’s an option if you’d rather do that. 
  • I opened a Twitter account and set up TweetDeck (to better organize my connections). 
  • I created a LinkedIn profile (which lends a sense of professionalism) and I connected with authors, editors, agents, and industry contacts. Let me add—I don’t accept every invitation that comes my way. Call me a meanie, but a “professional clown” and I don’t share the same goals and objectives. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn isn’t the place to post personal updates. It’s a tool best used to showcase your attributes, accomplishments, work experience, publishing credits, etc. We might share blog posts or encouraging graphics, as well.
  • I joined Pinterest. Since my tagline is Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction I create boards and I pin with that in mind. Some of my boards are fun and creative, while many provide story inspiration and motivation. And yes—I do use secret boards for story ideas. So. Much. Fun! 
  • I entered writing contests. Contests are a wonderful (unbiased) way to improve our writing and boost our self-confidence.


Now, let me just say, these are ways I chose to build a platform from scratch—things I felt I could successfully navigate without wrecking my writing time and without being a total slave to social media. You may choose other avenues that better suit your needs and personality. Totally okay. (As of July 2017, here’s a list of the Top 15 Most Popular Social Media Sites via Dreamgrow.)




As other Seekerville guests have mentioned, writers needn’t (and shouldn’t) feel like we must master it all. If our heart’s not in it, it shows. Dazzling Dinah may be all that and a bag of pork rinds, but some of us have different tastes and that’s where we’ll excel. 

Here’s what I learned:


  • Listen to those we trust, those with a little more expertise. 
  • Ask questions. 
  • Learn from our mistakes. 
  • Increase our odds of success by trying proven methods.
  • Embrace what works. Discard what doesn’t. 
  • Create something new.
  • Adjust as we grow. 
  • Reinvent as necessary.
  • Don’t try to be Wonder Woman.


Here are some additional insights: 




Here’s the bottom line:


  • As with anything worthwhile, a writer’s platform isn’t built overnight. Rarely, do we burst on the scene with an immediate following. Connections, real connections (not just numbers) take time. No worries! We’ve all been there. We grow our presence by blessing others first. 
  • My personal motto? Dedicate→encourage→serve→ bless. 
  • And remember—there is no dumb question. (Over the years, I’ve asked a ton of questions!)


What about you? How did you build your platform and grow your presence? What tips would you share? Any pet peeves concerning social media? What things can we help with you with today? 

If you’re a reader, what draws you to an author? Besides great stories, what makes you want to know them better? 


Leave a comment for a chance to win lunch, coffee, and books on me!
(Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.)



***
Original Image Credits: Pixabay
***

Author Cynthia Herron writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. A hopeless romantic at heart, she enjoys penning stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. 

Cynthia has a degree in psychology and a background in social work. She is a member of ACFW, ACFW MozArks, and RWA. 

She is a 2017 ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2016 ACFW Genesis (Double) Finalist, and a 2015 ACFW First Impressions Winner. Her short story Words from the Heart appears in The Story Anthology (Karen Kingsbury/Family Fiction) via Salem Publications, 2014. 

Besides writing, Cynthia enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a fondness for gingerbread men, miniature teapots, and all things apple. She also adores a great cup of coffee and she never met a sticky note she didn’t like.

“Cindy” loves to connect with friends at: http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/

She also hangs out here:

http://www.twitter.com/C_Herronauthor
http://www.facebook.com/authorcynthiaherron
http://www.pinterest.com/cynthia_herron/

For love, fun, and encouragement ~


Sign up for Cynthia’s monthly e-NEWSLETTERS 

161 comments :

  1. The most important thing first...do you prefer to be called Cynthia or Cindy?

    You have my utmost respect for sharing that story, btw.

    And I am a super duper fan of your newsletter. I encourage all to sign up.

    Welcome to Seekerville! I did bring Apple Fritters. (Tracey Hagwood, can you smell them?) And we have lots of iced coffee and iced tea.

    Let the fun begin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I write under "Cynthia," but everyone calls me Cindy. Either is just fine. :)

      THANK YOU, SEEKERVILLE friends, for having me today!

      Yes, the poison ivy story is one I'll never forget. A trip to the doctor, a few shots, and a prescription made sure of that! Lol

      So happy you like my newsletter, Tina! I love yours, too! Newsletters are the most underused tool in a writer's toolbox. I think of mine as an extension of me - as a way I can encourage others through personal stories, humor, and other fun tidbits.

      Delete
    2. I'm sending out my first newsletter this week. But truth be told, it feels a bit indulgent for a pre-pubbed author, know what I mean?

      Delete
    3. Josee, you'll get over that! :) The trick is to always add something of value for your newsletter family.

      Go-go-go!

      Delete
    4. Yes Tina, I can! I was sitting here with my coffee when this tantalizing aroma wafted into the room. I should have known it was you bringing the treats to add to Cindy's delicious meal, yum!

      Delete
    5. I agree with Josee. Maybe I'll get over it, but a newsletter at this stage seems kind of look-at-me when there's nothing to look at.
      That said, Josee, I would love to receive YOUR newsletter!
      Kathy Bailey

      Delete
    6. Don't think of it as "look at me," KAYBEE. Think of it as, "I have something of value to offer my subscribers - something that will benefit and bless them." It will totally change your mindset. :)

      Delete
    7. Indulgent. That made me stop. What a beautiful word. I am using it today in my WIP.

      It is not indulgent..it is marketing savvy.

      Indulgent. Hmmm. Really good word.

      Got any others to share??

      Delete
    8. hahaha. The joke around here is that I'm a walking thesaurus. I WISH!

      Delete
    9. JOSEE, I subscribed to your newsletter! Looking forward to it, my friend!

      Delete
    10. Josee, how can I subscribe to your newsletter?

      Marcia

      Delete
    11. MARCIA, you can subscribe to JOSEE's lovely newsletter at her website --> http://www.joseetelfer.com/blog (In the sidebar is her blog sign-up. At the bottom, I believe, is her newsletter sigh-up.)

      Delete
    12. Thanks, Cynthia. I like to support as many writers/authors as my time allows. I will get to yours, too!!!

      Marcia

      Delete
  2. Another Chik Fil A fan! OH, YES. Have you tried the diet Frozen Lemonade? OHHHHH, like a creamsicle in a glass. Yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chick-fil-A's about the only "fast food" place I'll eat at.

      Yes, I have tried the lemonade...and about everything else on the menu, too. Haha

      Delete
    2. We are slated to get our first Chick-fil-A in this area. I am PSYCHED. I might eat there every night. I'm not kidding. I am over the moon HAPPY!!!! :)

      The site has been cleared and I'm hopeful that by 2018, Chick-fil-A is US!!!

      Delete
    3. Clearing my throat and hitching my pants a little higher--My son works at Chick-fil-A. Another son used to be manager there. LOL. Both still say, "My pleasure" instead of "thank you".

      Delete
    4. LOL. Connie. Ask them why they don't give out mints anymore. I loved those mints.

      Delete
    5. I LOVE hearing, "My pleasure." Has a nicer ring to it than "no problem."

      Delete
    6. Did I hear "frozen lemonade" from Chick-fil-A??? My absolute favorite summertime treat!!!!

      One of our grandsons also worked at Chick-fil-A for a while. A great experience for him!

      Delete
    7. How have I never tried the frozen lemonade when I live in Chick-fil-a land?! Must do so asap!!

      Delete
    8. Connie, every single time we get such a kick out of the "my pleasure," even though we've been there hundreds of times! :)

      Delete
    9. I didn't realize My Pleasure was a Chick-Fil-A thing. They say it here and I just thought it was something they said. I love that!

      Delete
    10. I love "my pleasure..." and I've never had the frozen lemonade or mints.

      Delete
  3. I love the title to this post.

    As a reader it's always fun to discover how an author's travel influences their work and vice versa. Any travel connection to their work makes me want to explore the books more.

    Count me in thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MARY, I enjoy seeing how authors connect their research to their stories. I especially like seeing other cultures through authors' eyes. It makes their stories come alive.

      You're in the drawing!

      Delete
  4. Good morning, Cynthia!

    I love your motto! Dedicate, serves, encourage, bless.

    I've been working on a platform for a little over a year. It takes time and patience, for sure. Thanks for sharing these tips today. It's overwhelming when you think about doing everything all at once. But like what you said, we're not Super Women. It really helps to remember that.

    ~ Renee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renee, a platform does take time and it can overwhelm us if we let it. Don't! You'll suffer burnout far too soon.

      Just strive for "small," initially. Your platform will naturally grow as you dig your feet in and concentrate on those areas that you find the most satisfying. :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Cynthia, I had to giggle when I read that your father knew you had used the wrong wood based on the way you looked. It must have been a sight and you must have been miserable.

    I loved your phrase, "We grow our presence by blessing others first". I believe if we put others first we will always be blessed.

    Thank you for the insightful post and I would love to have my name tossed into the giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CINDY, you're right - I WAS miserable! I'd only had poison ivy once before and I'd forgotten I was highly allergic to it. My face and eyes swelled up like a balloon and I was a sight! I'd worn gloves, but it was the SMOKE! (It affected my dad, too, but not my sis!)

      You're name's tossed in!

      Delete
  6. Welcome, Cynthia! It's so nice to see you here. Thank you for this great post and the helpful links. My favorite form of social media is blogging. When I started my blog, almost five years ago, I felt as though I was talking to myself, until the persistence paid off. I've connected with so many wonderful and encouraging people, who supported me during my road to publication. The problem is, it's extremely time consuming, but for me the pay-off is worth it. My question to you, what are your thoughts on having an Author Facebook page only? Keeping up with two has proven to be difficult. With a full-time job and caring for aging parents, squeezing in time for writing is a challenge. Thanks for visiting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JILL, I love blogging, too! I do take short sabbaticals throughout the year to avoid burnout, but again, blogging, like newsletters, are a great way to connect with our friends and readers.

      I do have a FB author page and a small following there. I, personally, like it. An option a lot of authors choose is to allow folks to "follow" their profile. No worries - your adoring fans will only see what you set as "public" in your updates. It's probably a good idea to check who your followers are so you can weed out spam.

      I understand with a full-time job and caring for aging parents, writing time can really be hard to come by. I've done both, too, and I empathize. {{{HUG}}}

      Delete
  7. Cynthia, I'm blown away by all you do to build your platform on social media!! And smiling at your poison ivy story. Sounds like you're as sensitive to it as I am. Since then, you definitely have figured out how to dry out the wood and keep that fire blazing! I've got work to do!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, that poison ivy story lives in infamy! Lol Our family often talks about it. Funny now, but boy, at the time? *shudders*

      Social media is fun and I enjoy it, but I think the trick for me is to not do it all. Only those things I enjoy and do well, and even then I give myself a time limit. :)

      Delete
    2. Time is always the issue! Everything takes me longer than it should.

      Janet

      Delete
  8. Great post, Cindy!! Very informative. I write, but also post book reviews, so I have a blog,twitter, and other accounts. As a writer, i also have a website, Facebook author page, and LinkedIn account. I also use Klout to schedule posts. I have not started a newsletter. Thanks for sharing your insight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SALLY, you're a busy gal! Sounds like your social media presence is right on target. I have a Klout account, too, but I honestly haven't visited it in a while. Thanks for the reminder!

      Delete
    2. Wow, I haven't checked out Klout in a while though I do use analytics for most of my social media sites.

      Delete
    3. Sally, I check in on Klout every few months as well. But I haven't ever scheduled posts. Do you get interactions on Klout or does it just post to other sites for you?

      Delete
    4. I had actually forgotten about Klout until this month's ACFW course loop. It's Candee Fick's Author Toolbox, talking about social media, going where the readers are, tools you currently use to get the words onto the page, etc. One lesson was scheduling posts ahead of time. It reminded me I had a Klout account. It was so old I forgot the name of it. I had to search through emails until I found it. But there it was, sitting patiently, awaiting me to come back. Without Candee, I might have totally forgotten about it. I like the "score" it gives you. The more "active" you are, the higher the score. I noticed when I was there, there's a bunch of posts you can share, or followers you can like for their content, but it's links to go their posts if you want to comment or follow or like. I don't see any interactions, just sharing of posts to your accounts you have linked to Klout.

      Delete
  9. Good Morning! I'd like to be entered in contest. I haven't ate at Chick-fil-a yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI, CATHY ANN! Chick-fil-A is my FAVE fast food place, but it doesn't really feel "fast-food." The breakfast chicken biscuits are delish. :)

      You're in!

      Delete
  10. Cynthia, I loved your tip about watching/studying others... I do that all the time. I'm a copycat of the highest order, and I watched industry professionals close up and from a distance... I followed the examples of successful and KIND writers/authors and it worked! I also am very selective about industry professionals who may or may not represent my Christian values and beliefs... my success can't mean hitching my wagon to crude or crass people, so I'm careful. While noisy by nature, I'm really good at studying people online (oh, facebook, what an instructor you are!) and picking and choosing who works sincerely. The old saying of "Actions speak louder than words" is true throughout publishing.

    It's our job to check things out and choose wisely. And when we don't, we can always make changes!

    Writing is a great profession, but I've learned to trust my instincts... that way there's no one to blame but myself if things go wrong.

    Great post, Cynthia! Absolutely marvelous! Thank you so much for being here today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RUTHY, not sure why my comment to you appeared below... but I did respond!!! xo

      Delete
    2. Ruthy, you are right, it's important to choose good role models.
      KB

      Delete
  11. Hi Cindy
    I'm nowhere near ready to begin to build a platform, but this is a great post on what to focus on. It's chock full of wisdom. I agree with the others who like your motto. I think Seekerville is living proof of your phrase of "we grow our presence by blessing others first" - 'cuz we get blessed with all kinds of folk, like you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DEB, SEEKERVILLE's all about community and I love them for it! I'm blessed to join this super bunch today!

      Platform-building takes time, but when done with the right goals, it flows a little more naturally and seems less daunting. Best wishes as you move forward!

      Delete
  12. Hi Cindy! I loved that story you told. It's amazing the stuff that sticks out in our memories, isn't it?

    Your post was chock-full of info. Regarding FB, I found it really tough to manage two pages when I owned an Etsy shop so I'll be in the "Follow" category.

    I'm going to check out your post on Twitter because that's one place I need to hang out more and for some reason find totally overwhelming. Thanks, Cindy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, an Etsy shop, JOSEE, AND a writer, and mama and wife. Yes, the "follow" category on FB would definitely be beneficial. No Etsy shop here, but I may eventually allow folks to follow my public updates on FB.

      Yes, that Twitter post is one of my FAVES. I addressed a lot of things there that I wish I'd known in the beginning. :)

      Delete
    2. Oh, I wish I'd known about Josee's Etsy shop. LOOOOVE Etsy. How come so many writers are crafters too? I used to have a craft booth at a local craft mall.

      Sadly, you cannot do crafting and writing..one or the other. Although I did some good plotting while sewing. But in the end it had to go.

      Delete
    3. I admire people who sew. My experience with that? Well, I sewed two dress sleeves together once for a Home Ec fashion show... that was slated for that evening. Mama to the rescue!!!!! Haha

      Delete
    4. I love Etsy, too! And I did all the craft shows every fall. It was fun but SO time consuming.

      I read an article of an interview with Nora Roberts and she said something that resonated, BIG TIME. That for years, she had persued a ton of creative hobbies, sewing, art, crafting, etc etc and when she discovered writing, she realized THAT was THE thing she'd been "searching" for while she tried everything else. That's me! 100%.

      Delete
    5. I was a crafter for years, then I discovered quilting. I immediately gave away all my paints, brushes, surfaces, and what-not, and immersed myself with quilting. Same with writing...I sew/quilt sporadically, (only because I own a very expensive Bernina), but I am a slave to the written word.

      Marcia

      Delete
    6. I think a lot of us have an inborn need to create. We just have to discover the best way to do that! My dad painted. My sister had a loom and wove fabrics, then got started into quilting. I used to do cross stitch, then made beaded jewelry. Then found writing!

      Delete
  13. I've had trouble with my comments disappearing lately, so I've got my fingers crossed (makes typing so difficult) that you see this, Cynthia. Thank you for such an informative post! I'm still working on my social media presence, and hope to launch a newsletter by the end of the year. I have an author Facebook page, and a website, and a Twitter account (as of a couple months ago). They all need a lot of work. I'm impressed by what you've accomplished. I subscribe to your newsletter and love it! Thanks again for such a helpful post.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LAURA, so glad to "see" you this morning! *clink* (Careful! Coffee's piping hot today!)

      Whenever I'm afraid a comment will disappear or get eaten, I select "copy" beforehand so all I'll have to do is "paste" if that happens. ;)

      THANK YOU for being a member of my newsletter family! I'll always remember when our names were announced at last year's ACFW awards gala. Can you imagine if we'd sat together??? (I'm sure we could've alleviated some of the stress for each other. *giggle*)

      Delete
    2. I'm heading now to sign up for Cindy's newsletter!

      Delete
    3. MISSY, thanks so much! WELCOME to my family! {{{HUGS}}}

      Delete
  14. Good Morning, CINDY! Thank you for this informative post.

    I brought Earl Grey and cranberry scones to share.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CARYL, I responded, but it's down below! (Blogger's a tad cantankerous it seems.) :)

      Delete
  15. Wet wood. I think we've all been there. Thanks for the tips on building and keeping that fire burning, Cynthia!

    I'm reminded of the days when people travelled and slept outdoors in all kinds of weather. Amazing the tricks they knew to build and keep a fire going even in a downpour.

    One thing I think I remember reading is to keep feeding wet wood into the fire, or at the very least place wet wood close to the fire so that it starts to dry out and is ready when you need more wood....

    I think if we keep feeding the fire a little at the time, all the time, we can keep the ... uh ... temperature regulated.

    Now, I need to go take my own advice. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, PAM! I remember reading about pioneers out in the wilderness - if all they had was wet wood, they'd whittle it down a ways to the dryer, inner part so it would light better, too.

      I like this: I think if we keep feeding the fire a little at the time, all the time, we can keep the ... uh ... temperature regulated. GREAT point!

      Delete
  16. Well done, Cynthia! Love your motto "Dedicate→encourage→serve→ bless"

    Please enter me in your most excellent drawing.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PHYLLIS, so happy you enjoyed the post!

      You're entered! :)

      Delete
  17. RUTHY, so true about watching others! (And I'm not too proud to admit...I was a SEEKERVILLE stalker for a lonnnng time prior to commenting the first time!) I "knew" who everyone was here and your warmth drew me right in. And OUT! Lol

    I enjoy making friends from all walks of life. That being said, it saddens me when I have to disconnect with someone. Rants, anger, and general discord hold no appeal. ...But after a while, if diplomacy doesn't work? Sometimes, it's all about good choices. You're right!

    Yes, I AM a HUGE people-watcher. So true about trusting our instincts.

    I'm SO blessed by YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cynthia, I agree about the rants and discord, and they come from both sides. I went off Facebook for Lent. It was either that or tell someone off and risk my Christian witness. Honestly, I haven't seen the country this polarized since the 1960s, and it's worse now because we have Social Media. Which is a tool for good or ill, depends on how we use it.
      KB

      Delete
    2. Exactly! And I never comment publicly on politics. :)

      Delete
  18. CARYL, you're so kind to share your scones and Earl Grey! *nom nom nom*

    So glad you found my thoughts helpful, and you're entered!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Cindy,,
    Your poison ivy story had me cringing, for you, and for my daughter Noelle. She went camping with her kids and a youth group last year and there were lots of campfires going. Out hiking with a group, she walked through one area with particularly dense smoke. You guessed it, she broke out with the pink rash and started swelling, but not only that, she obviously had inhaled it as her throat started tightening and she had to be treated with steroids. Just awful, and that rash was horrible too, all around her face and throat! I never knew such a thing was possible!

    You asked readers what draws you to an author and makes you want to know them better. Well, as you can see by my comment, your sharing this childhood experience was something I could identify with. Now I want to hop on over to your blog and see what other interesting things are there to uncover.
    So the answer is, just be yourself and share real life, most everyone will identify with one thing or another, and that will draw readers in.

    Would love to be in the drawing, thanks for your generosity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, poor Noelle! (And beautiful name, BTW!) Yes, those yucky steroids. I had the same thing, I think, and some shots. I couldn't return to school for several days.

      I identify with folks, too, when they share stories about themselves. ...And you might guess - I have a bunch of stories. You might as well know, too - I most definitely don't put on airs. Lol :)

      Thanks for commenting and you are in the drawing!

      Delete
    2. Ewwww...Tracey! Who knew? I never thought of that.

      Delete
    3. Her full name is Andrea Noelle, she was born on Christmas day, 1978! (lots of stories about that experience!)

      Delete
    4. It was a learning experience for me to Tina!

      Delete
    5. A Christmas Baby, TRACEY! How fun! (And the perfect gift.)

      Delete
    6. Ok, I hopped on over and subscribed to your newsletter and followed you on pinterest too. Yo have some great boards and I'm looking forward to exploring them!

      Delete
    7. TRACEY, thank you! I add pins daily. And thanks so much for joining my newsletter family! *smoosh* (THAT's a hug!) Expect one at the beginning of each month.

      Delete
    8. A newsletter AND a cyber hug! Lol

      Delete
  20. Hi Cynthia, thank you for a good post and the encouragement. Right now I'm building my platform by encouraging others and networking through blogs. I'm on here almost every day, chat on Writer Alley and comment on the ACFW blog. I review on Amazon and Goodreads. I'm on LinkedIn and have a personal Facebook page. I use LinkedIn for professional networking, while the FB page is mostly fun. I'll do things there that I won't do on LinkedIn, although I stay away from political commentary on both. These are perilous times, and the country is polarized enough without me adding to it.
    I do a lot of modeling after published writers, so I'll know how to behave When.
    Don't have a blog, tried it a couple of times and nobody visited, but maybe I didn't have it set up right. Do have a Web site, but it needs to be updated. Both of these are retirement projects.
    I agree with Josee about putting out a newsletter, although I'm glad she's still doing one. Sometimes I think it would be presumptuous for me to have either a newsletter or an FB author page when I have nothing to promote. I don't know, I think it's New England and the 1950s talking, "Don't push yourself forward" etc. We're like Midwesterners, only ruder.
    You've given me a lot to think about! And some goals to work toward.
    KB

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    1. Hi KAYBEE! WOW - You have a FABULOUS platform. Sounds like you're well on your way. Blog comments, I've noticed, wax and wane over the years. This is true for everyone from time to time. As long as your analytics show your traffic's still moving and folks are still visiting, no worries!

      As for your newsletter? Don't sweat that. I gathered ideas and thoughts long before I started one. (Take a look at the link above regarding the newsletter post I wrote for ACFW. It may provide some insight.) Pre-pubbed or not, it's all in your approach.

      Offer something of value, either an incentive or super-duper content, and your newsletter will blossom and grow. :)

      Delete
  21. Very nice post Cynthia. It makes me feel like maybe I CAN do this. Thanks for all your help and encouragement. The Seekers are wonderful role models for all us hope-to-bes and I am so grateful for them and their heart for helping others off the island. What an inspiration. Many blessing to you, sister.

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    1. CINDY, thrilled my thoughts encouraged you! THAT is what it's all about for me!

      Hear-hear on fabulous SEEKERVILLE role models!

      Blessings to YOU, too, sister!!!!!!

      Delete
  22. Social media. The thing between me and infamy. Except... my family doesn't really do social media. Oh, well .

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LOLOLOL. Yeah, that whole no infamy thing can be a bummer. Instead, just be a best selling author. It's a good trade. I know you can do it.

      Delete
    2. I knoooow. It does take us out of our comfort zones, but it gets easier. Promise!

      Delete
    3. TINA, you, my friend, are an awesome example of someone who does it right.

      Delete
  23. Great post, Cynthia. It's a great reminder that building our platform isn't a way to waste time but another building block to publication. Thanks for the tips!
    And what a creative prize, coffee, Chik Fil A and wonderful books!

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    Replies
    1. JACKIE, yes! You're right. And one building block at a time. :)

      I've received so many wonderful gifts from SEEKERVILLE, myself, so I wanted to pass along the blessing. Can't go wrong with coffee, food, and books.

      Delete
  24. Good morning Cynthia.
    I'm one of those who lean back and dig my feet in. Social media can be exhausting. I try to connect only to positive people. I love, love Seekerville. But I may never be one of those people who enjoys dipping my toes into everything. Facebook, Twitter, and an author page for now. (Must get my author page published.) Hopefully as I grow I may try more.

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    1. CONNIE, sounds like you're choosing wisely. And absolutely - we grow as we try new things. :)

      Delete
  25. Really great tips, Cynthia. I think it can be so overwhelming and you've narrowed it down to small, doable steps. Thanks for all the info and a chance to win a prize!

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    1. GLYNIS, so happy it was helpful to you!

      Delete
  26. Oh, I love this post, CYNTHIA! So much good information in here! Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. PRESLAYSA, you are absolutely entered! :)

      Delete
  27. Good morning Cynthia, What a great and informative post today. Thank you for joining us here in Seekerville and sharing your experiences. It really is important to have that platform and you did a great job showing us where and how to start. I love the analogy of a wet wood fire. It surely applies to me as my social media skills equate to a lot of wet wood. LOL Have fun today and thanks again for joining us.

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    1. SANDRA, it's a pleasure to join you today!

      I enjoy hearing about your travel experiences. :)

      I think we're all gifted in different areas. And I firmly believe that doing it ALL isn't for me, so I just concentrate on those things I like and where I can add value.

      Delete
  28. Tips to share- Love how you jumped in and started your social media even before publication. It sure helps to get that under your belt before you actually publish. It is very time consuming and you will have much to do after you get that call. I wish I had started Facebook sooner. And Twitter. It is all so mind-boggling. LOL

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    1. It IS mind boggling initially. I had a plan, and I worked my plan. I was intentional, but no so much that it seemed like work because that zaps the fun right out of it.

      Yes, I think, too, a platform's helpful before publication. I've learned to budget my time and still write as I go. And I will say, blogging regularly, along with my newsletter, has helped me meet deadlines so I'll be better prepared for that aspect.

      Delete
  29. So glad to have you as our guest today, Cynthia! Really insightful and encouraging tips about platforms and social media. I confess, even after all these years, the word "platform" still makes me shudder. That's my introversion showing, and if it weren't for social media, I'd be even more of a hermit than I am.

    BTW, after avoiding it for 65 years, I may be having my first ever experience with poison ivy. I think my dogs found patches in our "natural" backyard, got some on their fur, and then spread it to me. We've since fenced off that area, and Project Guy has sprayed to kill the poison ivy and is waiting for the best time to go clear it out.

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    1. Ohhh, Myra...so sorry you had a nasty "brush" with poison ivy. Oatmeal baths may help.

      Great to be with you today!

      Delete
  30. Cindy, these are great tips. I have bookmarked this post. I am just working on my first book and don't feel ready to do anything like start a newsletter. I am with some of the others in that I can't imagine why anyone would want a newsletter from me when I haven't done anything. But hopefully I will be there someday.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy, congratulations on pursuing your dream!

      Remember, it's not a race. Start slow. Work toward other goals. There's no shame in baby steps.

      One of my key reasons in launching a newsletter was encouraging others. When we focus on something other than just self-promotion, that gives us a renewed sense of direction and purpose. Yes, newsletters are part of our platform, but sole focus can't/shouldn't be non-stop "selling." I think when readers sense we care about them, they naturally want to know more. In other words, they sense our heart and they connect with our "voice."

      You're entered! :)

      Delete
  31. Good to see you here, Cynthia! Thanks for such a great post! DH has had experiences with poison ivy...some the dog spread to him!
    Love hearing CFA comments...they are the best. Started in Atlanta (90 mi. from me); Mr. C. spoke at our church. Have had personal tour.
    I will be signing up for your newsletter!
    Thanks for your generous giveaways...please count me in.

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    1. JACKIE, wonderful to be here!

      Poison ivy is the bane. The BANE! That was the worst case I ever had. Ugh.

      Chick-fil-A's a big hit in our area. Love the people, the atmosphere, and of course, the food. :)

      You're entered in the drawing! THANKS so much for joining my newsletter family! (Pssst...I have monthly giveaways there, too. JUST for my subscribers!)

      Delete
  32. Hi Cynthia:

    I can relate to your firewood story because I did the same thing as a kid but I had a different outcome. The wood was more frozen than wet and I knew I had to put the frozen log on the fire long before the fire got low. What I didn't know was that frozen logs, like stones, can explode in a fire! (Especially river stones). I also bypassed the dry logs that were right out the front door on the porch to get the frozen logs by the detached garage. I wanted to save the close logs for nighttime. Well, about an hour after putting that frozen log in the middle of the fire, it exploded like a shotgun. Hot glowing embers were scattered all over the living room rug. Funny now but it could have burned the house down. The rug was a huge thing my mother braded from old fabrics and clothiers. As such she was able to repair all the burnt out sections. After that I never put frozen logs on a fire again.

    As a reader I'll tell you want I like in a newsletter. I want the newsletter to have news and not be a 'poster' for the author's new book. I want the newsletter to look like a letter and not something also used as art on websites. I want news about the author's work and personal life as it relates to work. I want to get news of deals and releases and cover reveals before the general public. I want to feel like an insider. I want the letter to seem like a personal letter to me because I am one of the author's friends. I also do not want the newsletter to tell me that the book I bought when it first came out for 9.99 is now just 99 cents! Are you really trying to teach me to wait a few months before buying your new releases?

    I also like it when an author takes me on location of her WIP, shares some of her research, and even more so, asks my opinion on character names and what I think of 'edgy' situations. I found reader involvement is very important in getting news letters read. If possible it can be very powerful to put readers' names in the newsletter, in bold type of course, because the first thing readers do when this is a practice, is scan the whole newsletter looking for their names. I know for a fact this works like a charm.

    BTW: J. A. Jance writes a newsletter much like this.

    I have tons of newsletter experience but I'd trade it all for a published novel. : )

    Vince

    Please put my in the drawing. You sure have lots of prizes! Brava!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VINCE, LOVED your comment!

      We think alike regarding newsletters. I'm SO with you on likes/dislikes, and that's exactly what drove me to launch my own over a year ago.

      My focus is to uplift and encourage. I do have a section where I share about my writing, but again, it's less about self-promo and more about sharing from my heart. You have wonderful insight and I so appreciate your thoughts!

      Your wood story had me cringing. Oh. My. Word!!! As you were sharing, I thought what a great opening for a novel that would be. Slow Burn. And, of course, it would be a romance. Or maybe a suspense... Lol

      You are in the drawing... I wish everyone could win!!!!!!

      Delete
  33. CINDY!!! What a FABULOUS blog, my friend, as meaty as they get and sooooooo spot-on!! You had me at "build your fire" ... ;)

    LOL on the poison ivy story -- too cute!!

    LOVE the new website, too, my friend! Matt Jones is one of the best out there and incredibly nice as well!

    As far as I can tell, you are well on your way, girl, so go get 'em!!

    HUGS!!
    Julie

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    Replies
    1. JULIE, you make me smile! (Yes. You ARE Miss Fire-Starter. Well...your books, I mean. In a good way. A very good way. :) )

      I've been blessed by so many wonderful cheerleaders. Thank you for your kind words!

      Delete
  34. Cindy, this is such GREAT information!!! (Of course I'm sharing it on my social media). And I was so humbled to be mentioned. You're doing everything right, keep building! Blessings, Edie

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    1. EDIE, YOU are a fantastic teacher! I love your heart. I'm such a big fan!

      Thank you for commenting and sharing!

      Delete
  35. Cynthia, I'm smitten! Love your voice and your blogpost!!!

    Yes to all you mentioned. You're rockin' and rollin', girlfriend! Oh my stars! (as Ruthy would say) You're doing it all and doing it so well. You've outdistanced me by a mile, maybe two or three!

    So proud of you!!! I'm hearing your phone ring soon because anyone with this many ducks in a row is in line for The Call!!!

    Praying you to publication!!!

    Hugs and love with cheese grits on the side!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DEBBY, you make me blush. You are too kind! I always remember how you let me fan-girl all over you at ACFW last year. You are as gracious as you are lovely.

      About voice... I am so totally me. Good or bad, I share the stories of my heart just like I think them ... and say them aloud! Lol

      *raises my bowl of cheese grits to you*

      Thank you for your prayers! {{{HUGS}}}

      Delete
  36. Five stars for this excellent post, Cynthia!!!(I'm so happy we can use as many exclamation points here in Seekerville, and not one usage police in sight.)

    As a budding novelist working on my first three chapters and synopsis, I am so thankful for all the links, and I love your "Here's what I learned" bullets. I think what frightens me most is putting myself out there on so many social medias when I'm such an introvert. Yes, I can talk your socks off in person, but letting someone in on my inner thoughts...well.

    But, with all the encouragement I get from other authors and writer friends I'm slowly coming out of my shell. As soon as I get my 3 chaps and synopsis polished, I'm going to jump in with the "full monty"!!!

    Thanks again for such an inspiring post.

    Sticky Notes rock!!!

    Blessings,

    Marcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MARCIA, I'm so thrilled my thoughts encouraged you! And as for exclamation points, they don't count on SEEKERVILLE. ;)

      Congrats on moving forward with your writing career! Rah - Rah - Rah!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
  37. Cynthia, what great advice!! I absolutely love your motto! I may just steal it. :)

    By the way, your website is beautiful!

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    1. MISSY, thank you! And go ahead and share the love! :)

      Delete
  38. Cindy, you are AMAZING and this post today is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing with us. One line in particular really touched me, so I've written it down and it's beside my computer: We grow our presence by blessing others first. ~ Yes! Love that!! Sending you hugs and a warm peach cobbler from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Patti Jo, hugging you right back! *squish* Thanks for the peach cobbler - SO delish!

      You know, I get a big kick out of helping others. I've had so many encouragers along the way, and I firmly believe in paying it forward.

      Delete
  39. Wow Cynthia! Great post!! I've got some social skills but am terrified of the newsletter. Like it was mentioned before, it seems "indulgent" when I don't have a lot to say. And LinkedIn? I don't get it at all. lol

    Small steps. I like that, and all the great tips you shared. You rocked it!

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    1. SHERRINDA, baby steps. Just do what you're comfortable doing for now. Hint: ...Then tiptoe beyond your comfort zone and try one new thing a month. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what you accomplish!

      I use LinkedIn mainly for maintaining professional contacts. It's a different animal than the more "social" FB, Twitter, and Instagram mediums. (NOT the place for posting...oh, say...swimsuit memes from the beach. LOL

      Delete
    2. Yeah, LinkedIn feels very different to me. I'm a little scared of it! LOL I just signed on last year, I think. So I'm late to the game. But I have to say it's pretty amazing the job opportunities that show up in my email notifications. If I'm ever looking, that'll be a great place to start.

      Delete
  40. Excellent post, Cynthia! Thanks for sharing your insights and offering encouragement. I've invested some time, money and effort in growing my platform and still have lots of room to grow and ways to improve. I'll echo what you've said already: learn by watching others who have had success in this area (follow their social media accounts and subscribe to their newsletters), but also don't devote so much time to platform growth that you don't have time to write. It doesn't all have to be done at once and an author needs to interact with their readers, so try to figure out where they hang out and channel your efforts there. Thanks again for writing such a great post.

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    1. HEIDI, wise thoughts! I'm always in awe of people who can do it all AND still write. I can't, so I choose only those things I feel I can do well, because above all else, writing novels trumps writing FB updates, etc.

      Delete
    2. Heidi! Welcome to Seekerville. Glad to have you in the Village. Let's share the calories. Pass the apple fritters!

      Delete
  41. Bless you! This post shares so much information for many of us trying to get the social media under control and "build our fire slowly." Thank you so much.

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    Replies
    1. Darlene, so happy you found it helpful! Social media can seem so overwhelming. I wanted to share everything I wish I'd known in the beginning.

      Delete
  42. Cynthia, such a great post! You give so many suggestions that are fabulous! I've learned to ask for help/wisdom from those who have gone before me. Like you, I've started slowly into social media. I was already on Facebook when I began trying to build a platform, so that wasn't terribly difficult. Twitter intimidated me, but I'm getting a handle on how to engage there. Then I started a blog, which has seen slow but steady growth. And then there's Pinterest and Instagram. I haven't been as intentional about using those as part of my platform. :) I have a Facebook Author page, but I've been inconsistent there as well. I'm working to be better about posting and engaging there. :)

    Loved your post, Cynthia!

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    Replies
    1. And can I just say? I have been fortunate to have people along the way who have helped me figure things out. I really believe part of platform building comes from those who have gone before us (A huge shout-out to Jill Kemerer for answering my TONS of questions when I was setting up my blog!). I'm grateful for the people here and elsewhere who pour into those of us coming up behind them. :)

      Delete
    2. JEANNE, I asked a TON of questions, too! JILL K. helped me figure out Twitter in 2011. Love her!

      I'm not jumping on Instagram yet. Not sure if I will with everything else I have on my plate just now. Again, I think focusing on three or four things is plenty in the beginning. Anything more than that can simply overwhelm - especially when it's cutting into our writing time.

      So glad you stopped by!

      Delete
  43. I'm squealing in (can you hear the tires and frantic footsteps as I rush to my computer?)

    Cynthia, this post ROCKS! I love, love, love what you’ve shared today. And I must say, your newsletter is one of the best I’ve seen…EVER…so I’m totally taking your sound wisdom on all counts.
    I think the best advice is what you’ve said: “We grow our presence by blessing others first.”
    It’s one of the reasons I do book review blogging and participate in launch teams. Blessing another author by helping them in any way possible is one of the best parts of being a reader.
    Social media can be very overwhelming and scary. There’s so much to learn! And I’m always concerned with keeping safe first and foremost.
    Tell me more about author pages on Facebook. They’re public so everyone and anyone can see them right? What sorts of things do you recommend sharing there?

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    1. SHAREE, thanks so much for your sweet words. I LOVE sharing updates in my monthly newsletters. That's where I really let it all hang out. (Well, just like in real life...only moreso! Lol)

      On my FB author page, I usually ask one question a day, post an encouraging quote, or an inspirational meme. Since only a very small percentage of our followers ever see our posts (thanks to FB's ever-changing algorithms), that's why a lot of authors are enabling the "follow" setting on their personal profiles. A TON more folks can follow you there, and in some ways, it feels more "personal" to them. Your "followers" on your FB profile are only able to see what you post publicly, so no worries about followers seeing your photos or additional updates. Hint: You should probably check every now and then who's following you to cull out spam, etc.

      Now, on author pages, yes - those are public, but you still have options. You can still block/ban individuals who seem like spam. You can also adjust settings to detect certain kinds of content. For instance, mine profanity filter's set to strong. Not a prude, but that's just not the kind of stuff I want to promote or be known for.

      Another thing when setting up your FB author page, make sure you link to your social media accounts from there so your readers can easily connect with you. Oh, and if you have a newsletter, make sure you include an easy sign-up option for them there, as well. :)

      Delete
  44. Cynthia, you offer great direction to those of us working on the early phase of our writing careers. Some of the steps you suggest I have done, but I need to fine tune my website and someday start a newsletter.

    I especially love your thought, "We grow our presence by blessings others first." Your blog and newsletter do this by offering information and advice to others. Your encouragement to others is always a blessing! Thank you!

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    1. SHERIDA, I love, love, love encouraging others. I've trudged the path of utter brokenness. I firmly believe if God gives us a gift, we should use it for Him.

      And I might add, heavy-handed preachiness just isn't me. I like to meet people where they are, and Miss Perfect I'm not. (Shocking, isn't it? Lol)

      Delete
  45. Thanks Cynthia for this post. I loved the part of not being a superwoman. I am continuing to learn things as I slowly prepare for that goat of publication. As a result of a post a couple weeks ago I purchased the book Wordpress for Beginners. Now to just find time to read it and figure out how to fix the problems.

    I have a lot going on health wise at the moment which is slowing everything down. In addition to the vertigo problems and being pre-diabetic. The doctor called last night to add Hypoglycemia and sleep apnea to the mix. Hopefully getting oxygen at night will help. Doctor appointments and tests seem to be overtaking my life at the moment. So glad the Lord is with me through all the trials.

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    1. WILANI, I'm so sorry you're experiencing health issues.. Lifting you in prayer as I type this!

      We weren't meant to be Wonder Woman. Our bodies crave rest and attention, something I'm still working on.

      If you ever have a WP question, I'll try to answer it for you, or I bet someone here can.

      Be gentle with yourself. :)

      Delete
  46. What a wonderful post Cynthia! I had poison ivy once. It was horrible. I loved your advice on building your platform and taking it slow. Fabulous post!

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    Replies
    1. I had poison oak once, and got blisters so big they burst.

      It wasn't fun.

      Delete
    2. Poison ivy IS horrible. You're so right, LeAnne.

      Glad you liked the post!

      Delete
  47. I'm working on building up my platform, but it's slow going. There's only so much you can do when you're underage (you would be surprised the amount of things you have to be 18+ for), also not having a steady income, well that's a curb too. So until I turn eighteen and get a job, I've really just focused on writing the books and building up my platform later.

    My pet peeve with social media is probably that my parents hate it so much. That makes it yet another thing that I have to be 18+ for. But hey, it's only about half a year and then, hello, cold cruel world.

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    1. NICKI, yes, your platform will wait. You're absolutely on track with focusing on your craft and stories.

      I understand your desire in wanting to push things along at a quicker pace - I well remember feeling that way, but think of it like this - God's timing is perfect. Our grooming season's necessary for bigger blessings to come. :)

      Delete
  48. Thanks so much, SEEKERVILLE, for letting me hang out with you today! You've been most gracious and I've enjoyed my time here.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Love your bio, Cynthia. :D

    Curious about the poison ivy and fire. Were there any after effects? A friend's Mom ended up with lesions in her lungs after burning some wood with poison ivy. Perhaps that wasn't a problem for you. Sure HOPE NOT! Gracious!

    Ah platform.

    You have some good suggestions here. Still need to work on aspects of mine.

    Congrats on all your success!

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    Replies
    1. Hi KC, when the swelling continued, my parents took me to the doctor who gave me two shots and a prescription for a steroid of some sort. They were most concerned about my eyes, but eventually, I improved. No lung issues, thankfully!

      Platform-building takes time. And like our stories, it's okay to be a work-in-progress. :)

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

      Delete
  50. Cynthia, I stilll don't have a platform and definitely need to work on building one. Thanks for sharing the links, they look so helpful! I have a website, now I need to get busy on my newsletter. Wonderful ideas and I'll probably be hitting you up for help. I love your online presence and you seem so at ease. Very admirable.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And I just hopped on over to your website and signed up for your newsletter!

      Delete
    2. TERRI, so thankful to have you join my newsletter family! Welcome!

      By all means, if I can help you with anything in any way, let me know. If I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to find out! :)

      Delete
  51. Cynthia the Cindy! Thank you for being such a wonderful hostess. Don't think I didn't notice you tidying up earlier. WE LOVE YOU!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Cynthia, Wow! Thank you so much for sharing the poison ivy story, which packed a huge wallop. So glad you are comfortable now sharing the story as it was such a great lead in to your social media pointers.

    The only things I have to add are the following. Some people say Tumblr and some other media sites are good if you are trying to attract a younger demographic of readers. I have also heard that if you are more comfortable with either FB or Twitter to concentrate on the one you like more, but as with all marketing tools, and as you point out, if you like both, you will eventually reach more readers and they will get to know you.

    I have been using a Wordpress book to get my website up and running. Once I get back in the habit of blogging, then I will try to get a newsletter established.

    Thanks for the great tips. Your dedication really shone through!

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    Replies
    1. Tanya, I heard that about Tumbler and started a blog on there several years ago. I think I blogged 3 times. LOL

      Delete
    2. OMGosh, and I even spelled Tumblr wrong above. Please excuse my non-hipness. :)

      Delete
  53. Hi TANYA! Absolutely agree that we should connect with folks at whatever medium we're comfortable with.

    Oh, and BTW - I really like WP as a blogging platform, while I'm sure others prefer Blogger. It's whatever you're most comfortable with. :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Cynthia! I really enjoyed reading your post today. I'm building my platform pretty slowly but it grows little by litte so something is working. :)

    I have my own blog and newsletter. I love to share the books I've read by having giveaways of them. That helps build my platform as well.

    I am on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. I find that much of my platform building comes from sharing other peoples book giveaways and writing tips that I find.

    I also try to respond to everyone who comments on my blog or tags me in social media. It makes me feel good when someone takes the time to read my blog or share something with me.

    I love learning new things and I just heard about Klout this past week so I think I know what I am going to check out next.

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  55. So sorry to be late commenting, Cynthia. My husband and I are currently on a mini-vacation with my dad and my uncle.

    I loved this article. However, I have to admit the thought of Poison Ivy had me itching. I'm highly allergic to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak. When Mountain Man and I were first married, he worked for a tree trimming service, and I broke out from Poison Ivy just from washing his clothes. Fortunately for him, he's not allergic. Unfortunately, since I was, he had to start doing his own laundry when it was his work clothes being washed. lol

    I'm slowly building my social media platform. I've purposely tried to be more active on Twitter and Instagram this year. I do have a blog, but it's still an area of weakness for me. I seem to do okay posting once a week or so for a few months, but then I get distracted/lazy and don't post for long periods of time. Sigh. I must do better.

    Thanks, again, for all the great info. I plan to put some of it into practice to help build my platform.


    I

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  56. Hi Cynthia, very sorry to be SO late to the party :( I have a heap of excuses...but I won't share...(aren't you glad?)

    Love your post! I wish you could make an infographic for all this info..is anyone doing that anymore?

    I'd like to share this post with my writer's group. We have so many "newbies" and they are FULL of questions, especially about Social Media and how to go about building that ever-scary "platform!"

    Your newsletters are delightful and you are such an encourager!

    Thanks again for a wonderful post!

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  57. Thanks for sharing the story. Lots of lessons learned there. I'm not very tech-savvy but I'm also not a writer, just an avid reader. I tend to shy away from social media.
    I love reading about authors' lives and what motivated them to write.

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  58. As an avid reader, I enjoy connecting with my favorite authors via social media. Getting to know them through social media makes me feel more connected so that, when I read their books, it's more like reading the words of a friend. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity! :)

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  59. Thanks for the blog post, Cynthia. As a reader, I love learning more about authors and interacting with them on social media. If I love their books and feel like I "know" them, I enjoy helping to promote their books by reading/reviewing or being on their street team.

    I'd love to be entered in the drawing. What a fun giveaway!

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