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?

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