Friday, February 22, 2013

Guest Post: Natasha Hanova

Today, I'm excited to host Natasha Hanova. Natasha writes paranormal romance, dark fantasy, and dystopian fiction for both YA and adult audiences. As a wife and mother of twins plus one, she loves to read paranormal romance, savors anything chocolate, and is addicted to Pinterest.

Her debut novel, EDGE OF TRUTH (coming June 6, 2013, from Sapphire Star Publishing) draws the reader into a dystopian world with a supernatural twist – a headstrong teen whose emotions trigger earthquakes. The story explores suppression, greed, and revenge, while testing the boundaries of loyalty and integrity. Find it on GoodReads here.

 
First, I’d like to thank Sarah for hosting me here on Sarah Nego Writes. I appreciate this opportunity to share a few tips for managing social media.

Today’s authors can’t solely depend on an agent or a publishing house for marketing their work. We are expected to have a social media presence. Luckily, there are a number of opportunities for writer’s to connect with a broader range of readers, and vice versa. The Internet allows us to communicate with one another across the state, across the country, across the ocean.

We have a buffet of social media options: blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google+, Digg, Reddit, GoodReads, etc. So, how do you manage it all and still find time to write?

Here are five tips for managing social media that have worked for me:
  1. Explore the different options. Then, decide which one(s) best fit your technical skills and personal preferences. I’m the kind of person who likes pizza with everything on it, but I’m more discerning with social media. Of the fourteen mentioned above, I only actively use five.
  2. Determine how much time you’re able to designate for social media. Networking is a time consuming activity, but totally worth the investment. I’ve met a number of wonderful people in the blogosphere, who I’ve then connected with on Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest, which is addictive, yet useful, see 13 Things Writers Should Know. Pinterest is my double fudge brownie. Sometimes, I gorge on it, but then I feel guilty for not spending the time writing/revising. Moderation is key.
  3. Create a daily schedule of which sites to visit and for how long. Think of this as planning a healthy, well-balanced meal. Many bloggers state right up front which days they update, which makes planning those visits a little easier. Sites like Twitter and Facebook update by the minute. It’s too easy to loose track of time there. Do yourself a favor when you visit them, set a timer. And no hitting snooze.
  4. Don’t feel pressured to be everywhere all the time. It's good manners to acknowledge someone who tweets your post, retweets your tweets, mentions you, comments on your blog, etc. It's also important to return the favor by (re)tweeting and leaving comments. However, there are times when participating in social media has to take the back burner. Some days, I spend quality time networking and others when I focus solely on my WiP, which leads to my last tip.
  5. Keep writing. As writer’s this must be the top priority. We must continue exercising our creativity daily, or as often as possible. Networking is a good thing, but not to the detriment of writing.

How about you? Which social media sites do you use? Do you have any tips for maintaining a balance?

Thanks, Natasha! Be sure to check out all of her social media sites: Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Pinterest

Add EDGE OF TRUTH to your TBR list
Edge of Truth
Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden ability that marks her as Other. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Are you an author? Do you have marketing advice to share? Check out my guest post guidelines here.

24 comments:

  1. Feeling pressured to be everywhere online is something I struggle with. I have that "I want to do it all" mentality, and it's just not realistic. Plus, it's tiring! LOL

    Great post, Natasha!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. I struggle with this too. I worry about miss something, but have to let that be okay. Like you said, it's tiring trying to keep up with it all.

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  2. I get sucked into the social networking machine, and am only just learning to limit my time on Blogger, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter. Great post, Natasha, and congratulations on Edge of Truth, it sounds great!

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    1. Thank you, Katja! Setting limits to time with social media is a good approach.

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  3. I lost that "writing is #1" perspective and social networking sucked up all of my time. It was a big newbie author mistake.

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    1. It's so easy to get sucked into social media, especially during that last third of the book when writer's block sometimes sets in. It's an easy place procrastination under the guise of 'networking'. When I slip up, I tell myself, "Work first, play later."

      I've even used extra "Time on Pinterest" as a reward for reaching word count goals.

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  4. Great post, Natasha.

    I'm getting to the point of being so involved in social media that it's cutting into my writing time. But that social media platform will be invaluable when I finally publish. Finding a balance is hard.

    I've decided I need to be realistic about how much I can do, then choose a few select social media venues and manage them well.

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  5. That sounds like a great idea, Melissa. We have to lay out realistic goals.

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  6. Good tips. I don't do nearly as much as I should. Facebook and my blogs mostly. Twitter and Linked some. Belong to lots of other sites but seldom visit them. I'd rather write. :)

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    1. I hear you Beverly. It sounds like you have it narrowed down to the ones that work for you. Great job!

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  7. Great tips, Natasha! It's very hard to find balance, and easy o get sucked into social media and feel like you're being productive (because you're networking, right? - building up that platform you're supposed to be building, right?) but you're not actually writing which is ultimately what it's all about. 5, huh? I can't say I'm really very good with more than 3 :)

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    1. This is so true Susanna. We can't loose focus of the goal: Words On The Page.

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  8. A great guest post, thanks for the tips Natasha! I think the focus on writing is the key element. I mean, we can network until we're blue in the face, but if we're not generating new content on a - relatively - frequent basis it seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. You've reminded me that I have to stop hitting the snooze button. It's so easy to lose track of time in the vortex of social media (oh Pinterest...).

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    1. Pinterest…I know, right! It's my "candy" social media site. I use this as a reward sometimes. Once I reach a word count goal, I get to spend extra time on Pinterest.

      And I agree 100% about the need to generate new content.

      p.s. I found you on Pinterest and am following your boards. :-)

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  9. I've stuck wit twitter, blogging and pinterest BUT I recently heard that teens are hanging out on Tumblur, and then there's instagram. I've tried tumblur but haven't gotten into it. If that's where the kids are hanging out, I think it's important, but someone needs to give me a class on it!

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    1. I haven't spread my wings there yet either, but I know I need to. Stop by here next Wednesday for a "best of the web" lesson on Tumblr. :)

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    2. Eliza, I'm gonna have to jump into the Tumblr pool, too! I'm looking forward to Sarah's post next week.

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  10. Hey there. I don't tweet much, and I do facebook or anything else even less. ;) But thanks for the tips! Right now I think I need to figure out a new strategy for networking with fellow bloggers.

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    1. Commenting on new blogs is a great start! ;)

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  11. It's easy to get sucked in and lose precious writing time. While I'm working hard on my sequel, I've cut way down on marketing and Net time, but I'll soon get into it again to spread word on my latest work. It's an ebb and flow situation. Congrats, Natasha, I look forward to featuring your novel on my Idea City blog!

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