Weekly Instagram Challenge (6/11) Location Hashtags

Hey Bookish People,

Sorry about not posting this weekend but I had some things to celebrate. My birthday and my younger brother’s graduation from college were worth taking a short break for but I’m back and ready to talk writing and social media. So, what is my Instagram experiment for the week?

I’m going to try a tip that I’ve seen around and rarely use myself: This week I’m going to add  location hashtags in my Instagram captions. It’s a small change, and I already tag most of my posts with my city, but I think it’s worth trying out. I do think that there are probably two groups of people on Instagram when it comes to searching out posts: those that search the location tags, and those that search hashtags. Covering both bases will probably reach a wider audience.

I haven’t talked too much about hashtags on this blog yet but this week we’ll start to explore them a little more. I do think that hashtags are critically important to growing a following and throughout the week I’ll talk about the strategies I’m already using.

Don’t forget to follow the blog to make sure you see those posts! I hope you all have a fantastic week full of fulfilling work.

Happy Creating!

Goodbye 28!

Hey Bookish People,

Tomorrow is my birthday and so I wanted to let you know that I probably won’t be posting much until Monday. I’m going away for the weekend to celebrate and to see my little brother graduate college (YAY!!!!!!). If I have the time I’ll be sure to post something but just know that I’ll be thinking about blog posts in my spare moments and missing writing.

I need some time to disconnect and step out of the space of waiting that I feel like I’m in. I’m waiting to see if I’ll get an interview for a job I really want, I’m waiting to hear back about full manuscripts in the hands of agents, I’m waiting to see how #Pitmad turns out… So I’m excited to step into celebration instead. Besides, I feel like 29 is going to be a really fantastic year.

Happy Birthday to all the other June birthday’s out there and Happy Creating!

This week’s Instagram experiment (5/28)

Hey Bookish People,

This post will be really brief because I hosted a karaoke party last night for a friend’s birthday and I’m still recovering. This week’s Instagram experiment is to see how commenting on posts from accounts I don’t already follow impacts my own following and engagement. I found commenting on posts of people that I follow did increase my own engagement, but I found that liking posts from Instagram accounts I didn’t follow didn’t provide any noticeable effects, so I’m interested to see how it works out. I’ll be back with a proper post tomorrow. 🙂

Happy Creating!

A Quick Writing Update

Hey Bookish People,

While I talk a lot here about using Instagram as an author and a little bit about the craft of writing, I realized I haven’t given an update on my own writing! The last few weeks have a been crazy busy so I’m finally settling into what might be a calmer few weeks.

A couple of months ago I wrapped up edits on a middle grade fiction novel that I’m really fond of and I decided to jump right into pitching the manuscript to agents. Around that time I listened to a podcast, and I’m so annoyed that I can’t remember if it was an episode of I Should be Writing or Ditch Diggers, that mentioned a Twitter pitching event that I’d never heard of before called #DVPit. It was a couple of weeks away and was a pitching event for diverse authors to find agents who are looking for books featuring diverse characters and to represent diverse talent. The timing and topic were a good fit so I spent some time preparing my 280 word pitches and was ready the day of the event.

The rules are that you can pitch your novel 6 times during the event and only once an hour. I was ready at 5:30 in the morning (8:30 Eastern time). During the pitch if an agent is interested in seeing pages of a manuscript and a query they ‘like’ your tweet. At the end of the day I was at 14 and completely blown away that I had received any interest at all.

Of course, personal life events were also ramping up the next week as I prepared and sent out my query letters and first few pages of my book. By the time I had sent out half of my queries I had 2 requests for a full manuscript. One was rejected shortly after but I currently have all my query letters sent out and I’m waiting to hear back about two full manuscripts (I just had a request for one yesterday). I’ve had a total of 4 responses from my queries so far and 1 has been an outright rejection while 3 have been requests for full manuscripts. It’s going better than I could have hoped.

I’m really excited, incredibly nervous, and feel even more strongly that it’s in my best interest to keep growing my social media following and increasing my engagement. I’m hoping this is all the beginning of some amazing opportunities.

Any advice about keeping calm while waiting for query responses would be deeply appreciated :).

I won’t bore you with more details than that but I’d be happy to answer any additional questions you have in the comments. Don’t forget to follow the blog so that you can see my Instagram experiments and my social media strategy as I continue.

Happy Creating!