6 Tips for Writers for Dealing with Icky Technological Stuff

 techThere are a lot of talented, creative writers out there who are great with all that left-brained, complicated, technological stuff.

I am not one of those writers….

As an indie author, I still have to deal with graphic design for book covers and advertisements, formatting for eBooks and paperbacks, and lots of other icky techy stuff like that. I’m serious about self-publishing, so I’m doing my best to attack that kind of thing head-on, rather than try to avoid it. I truly believe that embracing the business side of self-publishing means the difference between success and failure.

I am generally a fairly patient person, but when it comes to dealing with technology, it takes precious little for me to absolutely lose my damn mind. I am just no good at it! Give me a cooking recipe, I can follow it and make a delicious meal. However, if you give me plain, step-by-step instructions on how to use a computer program, I just do not get it. Not the first time. Not the second time. Sometimes not even the third or fourth of fifth. This usually results in a lot of yelling things like “I am so STUPID!! I just CAN’T DO THIS!”

Believe it or not, I’ve found that completely flipping out and screaming doesn’t usually make me understand the technology any better. However, I have developed some coping mechanisms that I have found helpful, and maybe you will, too.

  1. Give Yourself A Damn Break – If you’re like me, you’re just not good with technical stuff. Well, guess what? You’re not good at it, and you’re tackling it anyway. Good for you. Good for me. Anybody can do what comes naturally to them, but it takes hard-working folks to master things that are difficult. Give yourself a cookie and a pat on the back.

  1. Decide You Can Do It – You already know it’s not going to be easy, but you need to make a conscious decision that you can and will do it.

  1. Baby Steps – Yes, you should decide that you can do it, but you shouldn’t give yourself a super-short timeframe. My recent frustration was in learning how to do a Facebook Ad. I really wanted to sit down for an hour or two, learn how to do an ad, and have it up and running before I got up from my desk. It didn’t quite work out that way… I needed, once again, to remind myself that this is tough for my airy-fairy right-brainy self. It works best for me to learn anything technological with one or two steps at a time.

  1. Ask Yourself – Do I Know More Today Than I Did Yesterday? If the answer is yes, give yourself another cookie. Sometimes my baby-steps learning sessions still end in tears, but I’ve learned to ask myself that question. It’s incredibly frustrating to spend an hour trying to learn how to do something, only to run out of time before you get it figured out. Still, I take a deep breath and ask – do I know more than I did when I started? The answer is almost always YES, even if I only learned what didn’t work…

  1. Stop When You’ve Hit a Brick Wall –There were many times when I was trying to figure out how to put together an ad that I got to a point when I was totally stuck. I just didn’t know the answer. I’ve learned that that is the time to stop for the time being. Now is the time to ask for help. If you don’t have a technology expert in your house, ask fellow writers on KBoards, Facebook groups, or other message boards. Yes, you might have to wait a few hours to get a response, but it’s likely that somebody else has a quick answer, thus saving you hours of frustration. It’s not admitting defeat to admit you need help. It’s a lot wiser than banging your head against that brick wall.

  1. Don’t Give Up – This is simple, not easy, advice. It’s great to say Rah-rah! You can do it! But it’s hard to keep going when you feel like you’re never going to get it. If you give yourself reasonable time to accomplish a goal, ask for help when you get stuck, and just keep going until you get it, you really can do it. You’ve worked so hard on your books, and you really owe it to yourself to master the business side so you get the word out about your stories.

Remember, each time you master something, you own that knowledge forever. Be sure to take ample notes – notes in plain language that you can understand – so you can refer to them time and time again. It’s taking me forever to figure out the tech aspects of preparing a Facebook ad – but once I master it, I will use that knowledge for every book I write and publish for the rest of my life. Plus, the more I master techniques that once seemed impossible, the more confident I become.

What’s most difficult for you? What are some of your coping techniques?

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BE MY LOVE – Wannabe Pride’s Book Pick of the Week

This week’s Pick of the Week is:

Be My Love

Come for a visit to Walker Island where you’ll find stunning Pacific Northwest ocean views, men too intriguing to resist…and five close-knit sisters who are each about to find their one true love.

After four years on the Seattle mainland, when Hanna Walker returns to Walker Island to make a documentary about the infamous Peterson-Walker feud from the early 1950s, she’s shocked to realize that passions still run high. Especially when it comes to Joel Peterson, the one man who is totally off-limits…but that she’s never been able to stop dreaming about.

The last thing Joel wants is for Hanna to dredge up the past, but when he realizes she’s determined to follow through with her documentary no matter what, he knows he has no choice but to join her. But despite vowing to hold back his growing feelings for her, as Joel works with Hanna to unravel the mystery of what really happened between their two families, he soon begins to see that love is an unstoppable force…and that sometimes two people are meant to be.

Be My Love is the first fun, sweet, and emotional contemporary romance in the Walker Island series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lucy Kevin.
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Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Love-Walker-Island-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B00IPYDXJS

Author Website – http://lucykevin.com/books/be-my-love/

Join the Wannabe Pride Writing Network Facebook Page!

Look

As you probably know by now, Facebook’s algorithms have changed and they love to hide things from your newsfeed. I’ve found that it’s not enough to have a Facebook page anymore, and I think it’s best to have a Closed Facebook Page. The “closed” part isn’t an effort to keep the group super-secret and inclusive, but rather to ensure that the posts and links shared are actually seen by group members.

So! I invite my fellow writers to join the Wannabe Pride Writing Network Facebook page at:

WPWN Facebook

The mission of the writing network is to:

  • Support ALL writers, particularly indie / self-published ones

  • Share both success and failure stories

  • Share book and blog links – self-promotion is encouraged!

This is OUR writing network, not MINE, so let’s make it great! Post anything you feel that will be helpful to the group and to you as a writer.

PLEASE promote your own book and blog links!

SHARE your mistakes and your triumphs so we can all learn.

DISCUSS anything that may be on your mind.

TOGETHER, we can help each other be successful writers.

Welcome, and Happy Writing!

  • Linda Fausnet

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The Empowerment of Self-Publishing

 strong

This week I was reminded of why I love self-publishing and why I do not miss the elusive chase that was pursuing traditional publishing.

I recently self- published a middle-grade novel. It’s harder to promote a self-published middle-grade book online than a genre book for adults. One hurdle I’m facing now is that it’s difficult to get book bloggers to review a middle-grade novel on their websites.

My first book was LGBT fiction, and it wasn’t too hard to get book bloggers to review it. I suspect that for my next two books, chick lit and paranormal romance respectively, it might be even easier. There are lots of open-minded, book-loving bloggers who readily review quality, self-published works.

Not so much for middle-grade books. I wasn’t sure if there were too many middle-grade bloggers out there, but I did find a whole list of them online. When I started looking over the review policies on the websites, I found that the vast majority of them specifically refuse to consider self-published works.

The more I read through these sites, the worse I felt. Each one felt like a rejection, and it reminded me so much of the hopelessness of the traditional publishing query process. I remember reviewing site after site of literary agents whose submission policies said things like:

  • We will ONLY considered previously published writers

  • Submissions accepted by referral ONLY.

  • Please contact us ONLY if you have met us personally at a writer’s conference.

These agents and MG bloggers seemed to say: If we don’t already know you, we’re not about to give you a chance to prove yourself. One of the bloggers even stated “I am not interested in any books you had to publish yourself.”

Ouch.

It didn’t feel good to read all those depressing NOs. The whole experience left me with that icky, helpless, degraded feeling I used to get when contacting agents. I know most of agents are probably nice in person, but the websites always seemed to say GO AWAY. YOU SMELL LIKE DESPERATION AND FAILURE.

Look, I get that many pros in the business have been burned by self-published authors who waste their valuable time by submitting sub-par, poorly written, and/or badly formatted manuscripts, but I am not one of those authors. It’s unfair to lump us all into one category.

I almost didn’t finish the blogger’s list, but I forced myself to. So far, I did get one “yes” to a review and another lovely pro-indie blogger said I could do a guest post.

Anyway, I was glad to get that done and get back to my regularly scheduled indie writer life. As a self-published author, I get to call the shots. I can try all sorts of marketing strategies – social media, paid ads, emails, etc. Some will work, some won’t, but they’ll all up to me to try.

I don’t have to wait for a Yes.

I’m the writer and I approve this message. Thankfully, that’s all I need!

– Linda Fausnet

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