Wednesday, December 6, 2017

#IWSG for December 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

Before this month's question, I wanted to share with you an exciting event coming next month. It's a fabulous way to start off 2018.



Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 18, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. Read the rules HERE.

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.

Our first #IWSGPit was amazing!
We had about 2300 Tweets and became a trending topic on Twitter.

The next #IWSGPit will be Thursday, January 18, 2018!
8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time


December's IWSG Optional Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I would spend less time worrying about marketing and more time writing. At the beginning of the year, I was determined to improve my marketing skills. I don't know if I did that, but I now know what doesn't work for me. I spent half my days just on marketing alone, and that's way too much. What I did learn is that writing your next book is the best thing you can do.

I'm a book behind where I want to be right now, but I'm trying not to stress out about it. I didn't set any deadlines for publication. Being my own boss is sometimes nice, but I'm hard on myself often.

2018 will be about writing and publishing novels. Two at the very least. I don't know which project I'll go on to after I finish my Of Blood and Sorrow trilogy, but I have a lot of ideas!

Have a fantastic holiday season, IWSG!

P.S. If you have any news you'd like me to share in the IWSG newsletter, please send me an email at christinerains.writer@gmail.com. We love to celebrate with our members. And if you haven't signed up for the IWSG newsletter yet, click here to do so. We have great articles and writing resources in it. This month we have a top book cover designer sharing a few tips, and in January, our industry guest is New York Times best selling author, Jennifer Estep.

68 comments:

  1. Yes! Less time worrying! That's exactly what I would do. Write more. Worry less. A lot less.

    Glad you've figured out your marketing. I'm still working on mine, obviously, but I'm only about 7 months in, so it's okay. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every marketing journey is different. Good luck with it! Here's hoping next year is less stressful. :)

      Delete
  2. Learning what doesn't work for you in marketing is just as important as finding out what works. That's time and money you can spend on more productive work. Hope you have a great holiday season too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's good to know that it's okay to limit the marketing and write more. The marketing fears are what are holding me back these days. And awesome about the Twitter pitch contest. Wish I was ready to try it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marketing is tough for me. All it has proved to me is that I need to write more.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for the heads up on the pitch fest! Hope you find the balance between writing and marketing. Two books next year? I'm impressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Liza! I'm almost finished with writing one. So it doesn't seem too far fetched for me to get two out next year.

      Delete
  5. Yes - more writing, less worrying about marketing! I believe that was basically what Mr. Bell said in his book, the one we read for the IWSG Book Club. Great advice, and something I need to put into practice, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for all of your hard work on the newsletter. I look forward to reading it each month :-)

    I think it's interesting that you wished you had focused less on marketing and more on writing over the past year. I wish I had spent more time learning about marketing. I feel like I'm trying to catch up with everything I should be doing on that front.

    Cheers - Ellen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I'm having lots of fun with the newsletter. Marketing is a tricky thing. It's different for each writer, and that makes it hard to figure out.

      Delete
  7. Hooray for a year of writing and publishing. As always I'll be anxious to read what you put out. Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday, Christine!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. And yet despite all the time we spend on marketing, we keep spending more, trying to find those things that do work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. More writing - that is my plan for 2018 too, with focus.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think marketing is a lot of trial and error, and in the end, they say the best marketing is writing another book. I'm sure you'll get out the rest of trilogy next year, and I'm excited to see what you'll work on after it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm almost reading to send OGaS to you. Just have to figure out how the heroes will survive! *LOL*

      Delete
  11. I agree! More time writing and less time worrying. I think last month I got a handle on this. Let's write!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just write and tell your boss to take a hike.
    Next year's #IWSGPit will be awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My boss is easily bribed with chocolate and cookies. ;)

      Delete
  13. Marketing. Bah! Humbug! LOL. But it's so important too, and now you know what doesn't work, so that's progress. Yay for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe! Yes, it's progress and hopefully there will be more on the writing front next year.

      Delete
  14. I fully support the more writing and less marketing plan. The world needs more books by Christine Rains!

    ReplyDelete
  15. So true about writing being the most important thing. As crucial as marketing is, it's kind of pointless if it consumes our time to the point where nothing new comes out. Best of luck with all the writing you plan to do in 2018--can't wait to see what you release! ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yeah, writing the next book is the best marketing (is what I'm learning). Too bad I don't write faster!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hurrah! Marketing is important but it is not the ultimate of anything. In order to market anything, you have to have an outstanding project. Writing is the ultimate goal.
    Wishing you a successful crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree that writing your next book is the best promotional plan ever. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
  19. Keep those ideas flowing! And I think the next Twitter Pitch is going to rock the Tweetdecks everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm glad you did learn things from your marketing efforts, but writing the next book has to be the top priority. Here's to a great publishing year for you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've often heard the best marketing is publishing another book. I need to focus on that advice as well!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I actually didn't spend as much time on marketing as I had planned this year. I kept procrastinating at it because it never seemed to do much good. I did find a couple things that have worked well, so I'm hoping to expand on them next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I love hearing what you're trying and what works and what doesn't.

      Delete
  23. Christine, so true!!! I feel like I spend way, way too much time on marketing, when all I want to do is write. Social Media is the worst!

    Enjoy the coming holiday season with your family!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm also a book behind. I did a lot of different marketing things this year. They didn't result in sales but my name got out there more often, which is a good thing. I try not to look at my sales or ranks anymore, because I realized I wasn't selling at all, despite many efforts. So now, instead of looking and getting upset about that, I don't look at all. I'll be blissfully ignorant. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often tell myself to do the same thing, because even if no one was reading, I'd still be writing. :)

      Delete
  25. Less time worrying, and feeling guilty about the lack of progress, would be good resolutions for 2018 for me as well! You seem to be very busy writing and dealing with everything that comes with it. All your efforts learning about marketing might pay off in the long run. Happy writing and happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Learning what works and what doesn't is so important. But why do we have to learn the hard way??? I wish there was this magic button we could push for the perfect promotion. If it was only that easy, right? Hope you & your family enjoy the holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I struggle with that balance, too, although this year it's mainly been a struggle with health and balance of a different sort.
    I have found that setting up hootsuite tweets in advance combined with retweets, one newsletter once every six weeks or so, and throwing myself out into the real world of a vendor fair (even a super inexpensive one that has no other booksellers) once every few months is my best combination so far. The nice thing about that marketing combo is that it takes me only four hours to set it up all up and plan it, then about 8 hours to execute all of it over six weeks. I can do that.
    Now, I just have to figure out how to stop myself from over-posting on facebook ...
    Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for Christmas!
    Have fun writing into 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a great plan set! Happy holidays to you too. :)

      Delete
  28. Marketing is so important thought (drag) but now you have all that information in your brain for the future. Happy Holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  29. All the best with your writing and publishing next year!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Marketing is a strange beast. I always wind up thinking I did something wrong along the way. Or maybe I've only ever learnt what doesn't work...
    I'm a book behind, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way. Hopefully eventually we'll figure out what works for us. :)

      Delete
  31. Hi, Christine! I'm still making my IWSG rounds today. It's fun to touch bases with members. I think 2018 is going to resolve a big life decision my husband and I have been examining; and once that is done, I hope I will have a more settled writing schedule. We shall see. Happy holidays to you, and all the best in the coming year, personally and with your writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck in 2018, and here's to a great year for all of us!

      Delete
  32. I'm with you on the spending less time worrying about marketing. Actually doing some might be wise in my case, but just worrying that I'm not isn't doing any good at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, doing some is wise, but not worrying so much that you don't get anything new written! =P

      Delete
  33. It's amazing how much of a time sink marketing can be, isn't it? Wishing you all kinds of luck with the new year and all your awesome endeavors! :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Christine - there's a lot of really useful information via the IWSG and you're always busy writing ... that's probably the most important - write and publish, then followers will read and come along - good luck for 2018 - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete