8. Short and Sweets

(Pas de version en français cette fois.
Mais
contactez-moi si vous en souhaitez une!)

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I don’t know if others are like me, but when I open a blog, it is usually after reading the headline and feeling convinced that this particular topic will be exciting for me. Sometimes it is because of an image, or a name that pops. Anyways… Once I have landed on the page, it takes a few seconds before I figure out if I will actually read. And there are several factors that come into play:

 – Too long, oh, God, way too long!
I read long articles for my studies, I read them when I am forced to do so. Never by choice. So, if it’s too long, it’s too bad!

No bullet points
Immediately related to the point above. I am staring at an endless page (and you know what I mean, Internet pages can go on for a lifetime) of black characters on a white background. Bullet points help me find out if I am actually interested in what is written. You don’t have them, I won’t waste my time.

 – Anti-climax
Also following the above. Something was promised — you know what I mean: “Loose 10Kg in a month in 5 easy steps” kind of promise– and I just can’t see it materializing. So, major turn-off, and bye bye birdy!

As a result, I want to keep my posts short (400 words) and with sweets (images I like).

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What about you? Do you prefer short or long articles? What makes you click? What chases you away? Let me know below or write to me.

#writingebooks #sellingebooks #write #sellbooks #selfpublish #makemoney #writer #blog #reading #blogger

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7. No one reads!

(Pas de version en français cette fois.
Mais
contactez-moi si vous en souhaitez une!)

Maybe it is truly so. Maybe there is so much information out on the web that readers are content just waiting for (good or not) stuff to hit them on the head without going out to search for it. Maybe they are just passively using the platform until something hits the charts, something they should not miss. Maybe, maybe.

As I wrote before, I am done waiting for my books to become best-sellers, for my posts to make the buzz. I am just a tear in the ocean. It is time that I accept this reality.
On Instagram, I get a lot of “like”s but no comments. I guess a lot of people just browse down and click on the picture, maybe don’t even read the words beside it. I am guilty of doing that sometimes when I do not have the possibility to read every post.

I want to change my Instagram strategy. I want to have the clicks that count. Am I being overzealous? Maybe or maybe not. I realized that quite a few people follow me to have one more follower, and I follow them in return, even if they are not really in my area of action. They are not writers, designers, editors, publishers etc. So, we really don’t have much in common.

When I tell people I write, I get the same reaction from most of them. People don’t buy books anymore. People are bombarded with information. People don’t read like they used to. If you ask me, this is all BS. People read and books are sold. Just like before . Just like before too, people read best-sellers, people watch the videos that make the buzz.

Nothing has changed. Just because you and I can now self-publish a book and have it accessible does not mean that readers will access it. It needs a little bit more than that.

I am still looking for what it is that is needed for my books to be bought and read (at least bought, so I can be a full-time writer!), so bear with me.

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What about you? What do you think? How do you advertise your ebooks? How many do you sell? Is it profitable? Let me know below or write to me.

#writingebooks #sellingebooks #write #sellbooks #selfpublish #makemoney #writer

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6. Darn Logline!

 

franceVersion en français ici

A logline is a one line sum up of a story. Yes, you read it right 1 (ONE!) line!

I am reading, re-reading, writing notes on Save the Cat, Blake Snyder’s masterpiece for some. Count me in! In Chapter one, I read about the “logline” for the first time. What is a darn logline?
My thoughts exactly!

BS goes on explaining it simply. Allow me a timid imitation. There you are, it’s Saturday night and you are engaged in a reconnaissance mission. Newspaper in hand, you have been tasked with finding THE movie. Finally, you explode:

 – I’ve got it! Black Panther!42820fd94a7201d2b72cbaef3e1aa33b

Instead of a “Hooray!” or a “Let’s go!” that would signal you hit home and the crowds will follow, you get a general pout:

 – Yeaaaahhhh…. Don’t know… Not sure… What’s it about?

And they present you with a fifteen-second window to convince them. Not half-an-hour, not ten minutes… FIFTEEN SECONDS before they sit back on the couch and munch on these carrot sticks again. You know very well that if you just blurt out “Super hero… bla-bla … Super villain… bla-bla…,”  you will lose half of them and get frustrated, and if you slam your fist on the table, and claim “MCU, for crying out loud, show some res-pect!” they will be throwing those carrot sticks at your face.

So, logline it is. You have a voucher for a one-sentence plot that is supposed to make their jaws drop.

Blake Snyder offers a cheat-sheet, the famous BS2. And once the BS2 is squeezed into a one-sentence format, it goes like that:

On the verge of a stasis = Death moment, a flawed protagonist has a Catalyst and Breaks Into Two with the B Story; but when the midpoint happens, he / she must read the theme Stated, before the All Is Lost, to defeat (or stop) the flawed antagonist (from getting away with his / her plan).

Sounds like jibber jabber to you? Hang on, let me do the work for you:

On the verge of losing his throne, a young African king, challenged by an estranged cousin, gathers the powers of the Black Panther to defeat his enemy; but when he is overpowered by his adversary’s rage and loses the battle, he joins forces with friendly and former-unfriendly local tribes to save his family and his people.

And that, my readers, is the logline! Scene!

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Did you have a better logline for the Black Panther? Leave a comment if you dare. Some people make the main theme “unleashing the panther” and not “joining forces“, but I sincerely prefer to see a lesson in there, rather than just the superhero stuff (even though it might be way cooler, I give you that!).

6. Foutue accroche!

en  English version here

Le pitch, l’accroche d’un scénario ou un roman, c’est un résumé en une ligne du synopsis. Vous avez bien lu: 1 (UNE) ligne!

Je lis, je relis, je prends des notes sur le livre de Blake Snyder, Save the Cat. Certains le considèrent comme le gourou des scénaristes, je me joins à eux! C’est dans le chapitre 1 que j’ai vu apparaitre le mot “accroche” pour la première fois. Mais, cette accroche, qu’es acò?
Vous lisez dans mes pensées!

BS l’explique très simplement. Permettez-moi de faire un humble essai à mon tour. La scène se passe un samedi soir et vous êtes chargé de la périlleuse mission de choisir le film que votre petit groupe va aller voir au cinéma. Journal en main, vous vous exclamez:

 – Je l’ai! … Black Panther!

Vous vous attendiez à des cris de joie, une explosion de leur approbation, mais vous ne récoltez que quelques moues sceptiques:

– Mouais… Sais pas… Bof… C’est quoi l’histoire au juste?

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Et ils vous offrent une marge de quinze secondes pour les convaincre. Pas une demi-heure, ni même dix minutes, non, quinze toutes petites secondes avant qu’ils ne se vautrent à nouveau sur le canapé à machouiller leurs bâtonnets de carottes.
Vous êtes conscient que si vous vous lancez dans un simple “Super héro… bla-bla-bla… Super méchants… Bla-bla-bla,” vous allez foirer grave, et si en plus, à bout de frustration, vous tapez sur la table en couinant, “MCU, bordel, un peu de res-pect, quand même!” ils vont vous balancer les crudités à la tronche.

Alors, une seule solution: l’accroche qui tue. Vous avez une chance, une seule, de balancer votre pitch d’une ligne et faire pencher la balance du côté de la panthère.

Blake Snyder a une anti-sèche efficace, la fameuse BS2 (NDLR: Blake Snyder Beat Sheet), qui, une fois pressée pour rentrer dans une (seule) ligne, donne ceci:

Sur le point de catastrophe/changement, un protagoniste à problèmes a une epiphanie et se sépare (2ème chapitre) avec l’histoire secondaire; mais au milieu de l’histoire, il doit se rallier au thème principal, avant de tout perdre, pour déjouer les plans de l’antagoniste à problèmes.

C’est du chinois? Un instant, je vais faire le travail pour vous:

Sur le point de perdre son trône, un jeune roi africain, défié par un cousin sorti des oubliettes, rassemble les pouvoirs de la Panthère Noire pour se défendre; mais  vaincu par la rage de son ennemi, il perd la bataille, et doit s’unir à des tribus amies et anciennement ennemies afin de sauver sa famille et son peuple.

Accroche, dans la poche!

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Avez-vous une meilleure accroche pour le film Black Panther? Laissez-moi un commentaire, ne vous génez pas. Certains préfèrent que le thème principal soit “rassembler les pouvoirs de la panthère.” Personnellement, je préfère “s’unir aux tribus”, qui insiste davantage sur la leçon que sur le superhéro (même si ce serait plus cool, je vous l’accorde!).

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5. Une nouvelle identité digitale

Mon blog doit être à mon image. Je souhaite aussi écrire sur un format qui me plait esthétiquement.

en  English version here

Les réseaux sociaux permettent de s’exposer. L’expression individuelle se démocratise ainsi. Plus besoin d’être célébre pour avoir une image publique. En prenant conscience de cela, j’en suis venue à me demander quelle image je voulais donner à mon blog. Il est clair pour moi que je dois faire ce travail avant même d’aller plus loin.

La plupart de mes histoires sont des histoires d’amour qui vont intéresser des femmes qui me ressembleront peut-être. Il est également important pour moi d’écrire sur un support qui me plait et qui me fait vibrer. J’aime les couleurs gaies, mais aussi les pastels. J’aime la peinture à l’eau et le romantisme.

Mon blog fait donc peau neuve. Je crée des images avec Canva parce que j’aime ce site que je connais bien et me permet de gagner du temps. J’ai créé une signature et des bannières que je vais utiliser sur mes posts, et j’espère qu’elles vous plairont tout autant qu’elles me plaisent.

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Liens vers des sites utiles à la création pour site Internet:

http://www.canva.com/ — pour faire des bannières, des pages de couverture, des couvertures de livres même.
http://www.onlygfx.com/ — graphiques gratuits, sans inscription
https://www.kisspng.com — graphiques gratuits avec captcha, mais c’est pas un monde!

3. I have a strategy, then what?

Once a clear strategy is in place, it is crucial to setup an editorial calendar, so that I know where I am going anf how I plan to get there.

franceVersion en français ici

Everything is in place. I have set up the four accounts I planned on each of the social media networks: TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK and also my blog here on WORDPRESS. I have set up a rule for each network and a generic goal in tune with my overall communication campaign. So, I am clearly stating that, at the moment, my marketing efforts will focus on social media, where I will showcase my work, establish a presence, exchange with other writers and readers, build a community of sorts.

Step number one: calm down! Easy!
I have an issue: I always go too fast or want to go too fast. I am aware of this fact, so I want to take my time, look for a way and chose the right path. Whatever I do has to make sense in the big picture of my development project.

Step number two: hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
The most exciting part is done: setting the strategy, deciding. Now, it’s time for work, real work. Now, I will have to write posts, and not to forget my books because, without them, this blog and my entire communication strategy make no sense.

Step number three: I need a plan!
I need a set publishing plan. Just like a magazine of a newspaper, my strategy must be supported with an concrete and strict editorial plan which follows seasons, holidays, annual events etc. My favorite tools are GOOGLE SHEETS et TRELLO. There is a plethora of apps and sites to chose from, but this would mean spending some hours understanding their interface and I just do not wish to invest my time in this at the moment. Google Sheets is for me right now the easiest one to use (it is in French, but I am sure one exists in English somewhere. I just edited the tabs at the bottom, because I prefer a monthly view. Trello offers the possibility to set alarms, but this is a bit of a luxury for me at the moment.

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On each month, I wrote (at the moment, still only in my paper journal, because I need to organize it) the holidays (Easter, Christmas etc.), and the seasons. I also stated when I want to publish micro-stories and the topic for each one. The non-fiction stories are also noted but since many of them are evergreen, I have just randomly placed them on the calendar. I will adjust later on. The goal of these articles is to change them into 30 page-booklets eventually.

Having a plan does not mean that there is no leeway for punctual creativity, of course, but now that I have an idea of the topics I will be researching, I have a reassuring frame.

What do you think of this? Which calendar do you use? Do you find it useful to have a clear plan for the year? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or write me.

3. J’ai une stratégie, et maintenant?

Une fois mise en place une stratégie claire, il est temps de passer au calendrier éditorial, histoire de savoir où je vais et comment j’y vais.

en  English version here

Tout est donc bien en place. J’ai mis en place les comptes de réseaux sociaux que j’ai planifiés: TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK et ici mon blog sur WORDPRESS. J’ai défini une règle pour chaque réseau et un but général qui est approprié pour l’ensemble de ma campagne. J’annonce donc que, pour le moment, mes efforts en marketing sont uniquement sur les média-sociaux. Je les utilise pour montrer mon travail, établir une présence, échanger avec d’autres auteurs et des lecteurs, construire une communauté en quelque sorte.

Premier pas: on se calme!
Mon principal problème, maintenant que j’y pense, c’est que je veux toujours aller trop vite. J’en suis consciente donc à partir d’aujourd’hui, pas de hâte, je prends mon temps, je cherche et je décide du chemin à suivre. il faut que cela ait du sens pour moi et mon projet de développement.

Deuxième pas: on s’accroche!
Le plus intéressant est fait, le plus excitant, la mise en place, la décision. Maintenant le travail commence, le vrai travail. Il va falloir écrire les posts, mais surtout aussi écrire mes romans, car sans eux, ce blog ou ma stratégie de communication n’ont aucune raison d’être.

Troisième pas: on a un plan!
Il me faut un plan de publications. Tout comme un journal, ma stratégie doit être soutenue par un calendrier éditorial concrêt et strict qui s’accorde aux saisons, aux fêtes, aux occasions annuelles diverses. Mes outils préférés sont GOOGLE SHEETS et TRELLO. Il y a d’autres services, mais cela demande encore quelques heures de familiarisation et je ne souhaite pas investir dans cela en ce moment. Google Sheets est, à mon avis, le plus simple et le plus parlant pour des publications et thèmes mensuels. J’ai simplement édité l’exemple en rajoutant un onglet pour chaque mois. Trello offre la possibilité d’ajouter des alarmes, mais c’est un luxe dont je vais me passer au début.

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Pour chaque mois, j’ai noté les fêtes incontournables (Pâques, Noël etc.) puis les changements saisonniers. J’ai inscrit les historiettes que je vais publier en épisode, ainsi que le sujet principal. J’ai aussi noté le petit guide général que je vais publier tous les mois et le sujet de mes recherches. Ainsi, en étant déjà fixée sur le sujet, il me suffit de suivre scrupuleusement le plan. Le but est de compiler ces articles dans un mini-guide d’une trentaine de pages lorsque j’aurais assez de matériel.

Avoir un plan ne veut pas dire qu’il n’y a pas de place pour une créativité ponctuelle, bien entendu, mais au moins, je possède un cadre rassurant.

Qu’en pensez-vous? Quel calendrier préférez-vous? Pensez-vous qu’il est nécessaire d’avoir un plan défini pour l’année? N’hésitez pas, laissez-moi un commentaire ou écrivez-moi.

1. A Social Media Strategy

Welcome to my Writer’s Journal where you will find my step-by-step journey as I write Something about Hera.

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I spent the last past days researching the Net to find all I could about a strategy that would make my efforts worthwhile.  Before today, I wrote short stories, novels, and non-fiction books that I published myself on KDP. Once a book published, I was naturally overcome by joy as I sat and watched the results of my work. Each solitary sale was truly exhilarating and I saw each and every one of them as a special victory giving me a proof that I did not waste my time and someone somewhere purchased my work of art.

Months turned into years, and I suffered. I started to spend money to have beautiful covers for my books, making them look like “real books”, whatever that means. I took classes, attended seminars, read books and watched countless hours of videos to understand how things worked. Seven years down the road, I sell even fewer books that I did when I first started and did not know what I was doing.

I decided it was high time to change something. The Internet is a web of possibilities, sites, blogs, and vlogs, which are madly interesting. When I fire up my surface, I get lost in reading, watching, I get easily overwhelmed by all the available information. One click after the other, I slowly lose my focus. Before I can realize it, it is midnight already, and the day ends without my having taken one single step forward.

So, this is it, I am done procrastinating. I am going to focus on my goal, only one goal: to put in place a viable Internet presence strategy. I realized that this could only be achieved through a strict plan for my online activities as a writer. I will give you my detailed thoughts and plans here since this is my journal. Here are 4 steps I followed to decide on my strategy:

Identify my goal:
Sell more books.

Put down foundations / Blog: 
Use my Writer’s Journal (Blog) to reach potential readers, improve my skills and be focused on my work as a writer.

Expand my audience:
This is probably what will come last in my strategy. Maybe with a Newsletter or a Mailing list. At the moment this is not a priority.

Engage my readers:
There are so many possibilities, but after having spent many days navigating the web, I have come to accept that I cannot be everywhere and I do not want to be everywhere. I will be using TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK. I have tried REDDIT and TUMBLR, but they are not for me.

In clear, now that I have my strategy, I will be keeping it in sight to guide me as it is a list of actions for each of the social media platform I have chosen.

TWITTER: I will inspire my readers, I will write about other writers, alternating those who write in French and those who write in English. I will review books, which will also motivate me to read more. I will make sure I stay in my genre: Fantasy / Romance / Gay Romance / Erotica / some YA. I will post from a professional standpoint but also from a personal point of view since I will be giving my opinion on the books I read.

INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK: my two elected social media networks. Personal (Instagram) and professional (Facebook and Instagram). On Instagram, I will reach out to other authors, other professionals in entertainment. I will reach out to readers, people who review books in my genre. Now and then, I will also post personal stuff, because I want people to see me as a normal person too, not just someone trying to sell books. On Facebook, I will present my books, my achievements. I will follow “one” group specialized in commercial promotion for writers and I will be active on that page as long as the page is popular. With one lively group, this means about 50 posts to read daily, and a possibility to be noticed while answering to other people in the group.

WORDPRESS: My Writer’s Journal in French for the novel La malédiction des Corr, and in English for Something about Hera. My goal here is to develop loyalty in my readers and bring them to my social network posts.

What do you think of this article? Did it inspire you? Leave a comment or write me.