Author Interview: CJ Milacci

SP: Hi CJ! So glad to chat with you today! When did you start writing and what are your favorite genres?

CJ: Thank you so much for having me! I started on my writing journey about eight years ago. I wanted a story I could hand to the teen and young adult girls I was talking to, who needed a reprieve from the pain they were facing in their lives, but also a way to learn deeper truths. 

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Confessions of an Editor: Katie S. Williams

Why I Really Do What I Do (and Why It Matters to You)

Let’s try a little experiment. What comes to mind when I say, “It’s time to edit your story”?

For many writers, the notion of editing conjures an unwelcome memory of brutal critique or derision—a time you offered your story to a peer or mentor only to be shot down.

Maybe for you, it was a stern English teacher in grade school who filled your papers with inky red hieroglyphics. Or perhaps that college critique group who ripped your idea to shreds and laughed about it—right in front of you. Maybe you’re visualizing the relative who scorned your dream of becoming a writer and told you to find “real” aspirations instead.

Or perhaps—if you’re lucky—you don’t have any specific negative memories of critique; there’s just a general tightening in your midsection at the thought of sending your story child off to a total stranger who probably collects red pens and blogs about comma abuse.

Whatever the source of your apprehension, I get it. Writing stories—even fictional ones—is a deeply personal endeavor, and there’s something terrifying about revealing your creation to another human being, especially when that human’s job (and possibly joy in life) seems to be identifying all of your flaws and weaknesses.

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Social Media and Writing

Do you have social media? What’s your favorite platform? Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? TikTok? Snapchat? Other? How do you balance your time between social media and writing time? Is it possible to do both well?  I think the answer is yes.

For this article, I’m going to focus on Instagram or my Bookstagram, as I call my account. This means it’s an Instagram that focuses on books. It is one of the highlights of my day meeting other readers, writers, and authors. The people on Instagram remind me that I’m not the only one that struggles with mental health or is in the query trenches. It’s a great way to make connections. Instagram is a lot of fun, but it can take a lot of time.

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Three Things You Need to Plan an Awesome Book Launch

You’ve written a book! That’s fantastic. And now you’re at the point where it’s all polished and shiny and ready to be out in the world.


Which means you’re facing one of two scenarios: you’ve signed a contract with a publisher who will be releasing your book, or you’re getting ready to self-publish your book baby. Either way, you’ve got a Launch Season ahead of you, and that’s both exciting and scary!

So, what do you need to have a successful launch? Aside from an awesome story (which we know you have since you’re at this point), you need a plan. But don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds!

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Social Media – Our Best Frenemy

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Today we have Jenni Claar, a social media manager, sharing a very basic, go-to, take on Social Media–the pros and functions on how to use the major ones like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Take a look!

  1. If you want to….

GATHER YOUR COMMUNITY, use:

Facebook

It is useful for:

Business/Author Page (affected by algorithms – will only reach roughly 10% of your audience without paying for more…don’t waste your money!)

Algorithm tips:
Post daily (mornings and evenings have the highest audience traffic)

Comments, likes, and shares increase audience.

1/3 Audience Engagement Posts, 1/3 Self-Promotion/Product Promotion, 1/3 Audience Care

*Images carry more weight in Facebook algorithms than links – share links in comments

Other ideas for Facebook-

*Facebook Groups Street Teams

*Launch Teams

*Book Clubs Personal Blogs/Newsletter

2. If you want to….

FIND YOUR READERS use:

Instagram – #bookstagram

or

YouTube – BookTube

3. If you want to….

NETWORK, FIND YOUR PEERS, MENTORS, AND ROLE MODELS use:

Twitter

Lots of community happens here, be kind, active, and engage. Twitter circles grow quickly.

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Marketing & Social Media Tips Part 2

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Thanks for coming back to read “Marketing Tips Part Two!” (Find part one on Social Media here if you haven’t read it yet!)

The tips I have below have come from different authors I’ve met, or agents who gave certain advice, or just research itself. Hope they help!

What the Pros have done: 

One night I went to an event to listen to an indie author talk about marketing. She is a cozy mystery writer, who was determined to be such a good author that Amazon would knock on her door and make her an offer. And they did. Did that get your attention?

What she told the audience about marketing was very gripping.

Her first story recounted the author of the DaVinci Code. Dan Brown and his publicist decided to take a risk and send copies of his book to over 300 major newspaper-book reviewers. Well, the risky strategy paid off! It was reviewed and he became a best-seller overnight!   Continue reading

Marketing & Social Media Tips Part 1

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Last week I attended a Writers Meet-Up with a fantastic group of authors who ranged from traditionally published to indie authors.

Throughout the night, the selected authors talked about Social Media, Marketing, & Publicity! In part one, I will summarize and expand on a few of the topics they taught on!

Kim Vandel, Indie author of Into the Fire series, was the first to share. She talked about the need for authors to be active on social media–to create a presence, a following, marketing, and an availability to readers and fellow writers, and to be in community. Well, what if social media isn’t your game or wondering what to post doesn’t come natural? Kim gave her helpful tips and ideas, and then had the group hold a brainstorming session on things they could post. It was super useful–so I asked her if I could share her tips!

Here are a few ideas of what to post on social media sites: Continue reading

Book Marketing & Promotion Tips from Writer’s Edit’s Founder, Helen Scheuerer

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“Promote your upcoming or already published book with these tips!”

Here are some very helpful tips from Helen Scheuerer– author of the Oremere Chronicles and the founder of Writer’s Edit and Talem PressHelen also has a Bachelor in Creative Writing, a Masters in Publishing and has always been focused on writing. *We pulled all of her marketing tips from our latest interview. Read the full interview here.  Continue reading