Writerly Life No. 1

I want to explain what I am doing here at andi-lea.com. This website is not just about my writing, it is also about the journey I take as I experience the highs and lows of publishing.

It's been a long day in Andi-land. The majority of today's business involved marketing and connecting the dots with all of my social media. There is a serious learning curve to social media. Technology changes so fast the learning curve keeps curving. I am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. My stats for this blog are astounding. I am getting about 150 hits a day. Some of those are bots, but for the most part the hits are individual people. In just over a week my name is beginning to show up on all the search engines in one of the top five spots. I don't want anyone to think I am tooting my own horn here. I really want to lay out my journey as clearly as I can for future reference. If you want to get noticed you've got to put yourself out there, everyday, to the point of obsession.

I have an extensive background in public relations and marketing One would think this would make my life easier. Hah! I am working hard every day to get my name out there and network. I push myself hard, as I would for any client. I have always been an entrepreneur and I don't think I've done much of anything in a conventional way. Sometimes that works against me. Sometimes my ignorance of how things are done "traditionally" works in my favor. In the end, being kind and honest is always the best way to go. (you know all that don't look a gift horse in the mouth or don't bite off your nose to spite your face stuff-- it's true) Treat others the way you would like to be treated. With that I also say, don't be a doormat.

Anyway, to get back on track... some days the writing just isn't happening. I refuse to sit around and worry about it. I've always written. As a child my mother often said she should have invested in a paper company due to the amount of paper I consumed writing. This was pre-computer days. With adult help,  I self-published my first book when I was eleven years old.  I think my mom knew before anyone else what I should be doing with my life. I received my first electric typewriter for my eighth grade graduation. For some reason though I had other ideas about what to do, had kids, and got caught up with raising them. All through that I kept writing. (more on that for another time)

So for those who want a breakdown. Here is what I have been doing since I launched the website:

  • I blog every day. Even if it's a small post.
  • I twitter everyday.
  • I check in at Goodreads everyday and try to post something or network with someone.
  • I have built a Facebook author page and asked everyone I know to "like" it. 
  • I follow other author's blogs and leave comments.
  • I follow several book review blogs.
  • I check in with all the industry news to see what is happening with e-publishing, print, self publishing, etc.
  • I have contacted everyone I know who knows anything or anyone and asked for help in any form.
  • I have made sure all of my media cross references one another and that my picture is the same one everywhere.

Even though I am new to M/M romance I am not new to the entertainment industry or to marketing. So I do have a leg up on some of my colleagues. I am still naive and green enough that I look to authors, editors, agents, and publishers  in this genre for advice. I cannot thank those people enough who have been kind with their time and advice.The M/M romance community is tight knit and look out for one another. It's a really nice place to be.

I will end with one of my favorite recent pictures from the Rip & Roll campaign in Australia, which promotes safe sex. If you don't know about the controversy check it out.