Writing changed my relationship with social media

lights MFYears ago, when MySpace was a thing, I contemplated creating an account. I can’t remember if I ever did. Facebook was next and I signed up. I used it to share photos with my long distance friends, but not for much else. Twitter was something I didn’t understand at all and stayed away from for years.

Then I became a business owner. I created a website and created events on FB to share upcoming events happening at the business. This was before I even knew I could have a business page, and so I just shared them from my personal page.

Fast forward a couple years later and I was no longer a business owner and only logging onto Facebook once every few months.

Then I became a writer. Good GOD! I can now officially say that I spend more time on social media than anyone I know, including my 22 year old daughter.

I discovered a whole network of writers online and have been engaged with them ever since. I use social media every day. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest have all become tools I use for my writing. I now have complete understanding of what the term “Social Networking” means.

Facebook is where I’ve met all my writer friends. It’s where my writing group meets. Twitter is great for following hashtags like #youknowyouareawriter #amwriting #amediting etc. and engaging in conversations. Pinterest is an awesome visual tool and useful to use as an idea board and for research.

I’ve also used social media to spread the word about my books. When a book releases, I post. When I run a sale, I post sneak peeks and teasers. But I also know when enough is enough. Lately, my Twitter feed has become an endless stream of advertisements. This is unfortunate, because even though I use Twitter and Facebook to advertise my book releases and sales, that’s not all I do there. I want to engage with other writers. I want to network with other readers. I want to hear the latest and greatest from bloggers.

Social Networking is like networking in person. You don’t walk around the event saying, buy my product, hire me, or pay me and I’ll tell you something interesting to every person you meet. No. You engage with people and discuss common interests. You make connections. These connections may lead to business in the future, but the goal in networking is the connection. When that connection comes to you, looking for your product, that’s when you make the sale.

So, notwithstanding my occasional slip ups during sales or releases, my goal is to make connections on social media. I’ve made some invaluable writer friends and connections so far. Social media is how I network.

What about you? How do you use social media?
Author PicI was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

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Find me and my books at http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/


Twitter, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.


140 characters. That’s not much. You have to keep your message short and sweet. People, in general, these days do not have the time or the inclination to read tons of long diatribes online. Their attention is already being pulled in a thousand different directions. It’s a miracle you’re reading this post now.

So in the spirit of keep things to the point, here’s a list of reasons I love Twitter.

  • Connecting with friends- With people I already know, this is an easy way to share a thought they could be interested in or comment on something they post.
  • One degree of separation- Yep. I’ve had twitter exchanges with authors and celebrities way outside my friend circle. It’s a squee worthy moment when someone you admire from afar comments on something you’ve said.
  • Extending my reach- Mixed in with conversations is the opportunity to market. Yes, I use twitter to market. It’s not all I do, but if I have a book releasing, you can be sure to see those notifications on my feed as well.
  • Linking up- There are days on Twitter like #MondayBlogs, #WWWBlogs, #WriterWednesday, where you can find content linked to headlines that you want to read.
  • Hashtags- This is where those hashtags actually work. Type in #amwriting and see every post that includes that. Type in #Romance and find every post including that hashtag. Type in #JaneTheVirgin and you may find yourself exchanging quips with the awesome Rogelio De La Vega.

As a writer, in my opinion, the key is to make the primary use of Twitter a way to engage and interact. Marketing secondary. You may say, “Well this week there were an awful lot of links to your books on Twitter.” Yes. This week I released a new book. I would be remiss to not get that news out there. But normally, I’m there to chat, share a laugh, link up to writing tips, and hopefully entertain.

You can find me, my social links, and all my books on my website at http://www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com/

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and access to my sweet and spicy tips.


Author Pic

Online Book Parties and Author Events


Online Events and Parties

Online parties… What are they? How much do they cost? What do I wear? Where do I go?

The goal of this post is to provide a little clarification for readers, new writers, or those who are just new to this aspect of social networking as to what an online event or party is and why you keep getting invites.

Facebook parties, Facebook Events, Twitter Chats, Google + Hangouts, Goodreads Events, etc, are all basically real time gatherings of hosts and attendees to support or discuss a specific topic. It’s like being in an old school chat room.

  • They are free.
  • They are accessed from your computer, tablet, or phone on the specific app you are using.
  • You can join in from anywhere.
  • No one cares what you wear because unless you post a selfie during the event, we can’t see you.

To keep it simple, I will go over Twitter and Facebook, since these are the ones I most attend or participate in.

Twitter Chats– These you will most likely find by accident unless you belong to an online group that sends you a reminder that one is coming up. I attend a few regularly on Thursdays that are writing and reading related. I also join discussions based on random subjects I’m interested in, but one thing at a time.

On Thursdays, I usually follow and participate in at least two writing related chats; #PageCurlChat and #10MinuteNovelists

Ah, the hashtag (#) this is what we use on Twitter to find a specific topic instead of just browsing through our newsfeed. At anytime, you can go on Twitter and use a hashtag to find your topic. The two above are chats that happen on Thursday evenings, and anyone is welcome to join who’s interested in the topic for that evening. People will also use a hashtag to discuss a topic that is an ongoing discussion and happening constantly. I often use #amwriting or #amediting to see what people are talking about that share my interests. Another way, is to use the hashtag during an event. While I’m watching my current favorite show, I will use #JanetheVirgin if I want to comment on something funny Rogelio said, or chat about the cliff hanger with other viewers.

You search the hashtag and you follow the tweets. To join in, you tweet using the hashtag as well so others will see your comments. That’s it. Try it. It’s easy.

Facebook Parties and Events- These are the ones that confuse a lot of people. I admit, they confused me too when I was first invited to them. Lots of people use Facebook to invite people to in-person events on location, like a baby shower, a birthday party, or a nightclub or show. The difference is an online party is something that happens online. When you click that Join button, it means you will receive notifications in your newsfeed when people post in the event. So if you would like to see the posts, comments, or updates in your newsfeed during the event time, that is when you Join.

For example, I’ve been attending a lot of author hosted events lately. I’m publishing two books this summer, and I want to be in the middle of where the action is so I can socialize with readers and other authors. The really cool thing about attending an author release party or cover reveal party, is that as a guest, I get to interact with the authors in real time. I also know that there will be games, prizes, and giveaways (like free ebooks) that I can participate in during the event. I have six books in my Kindle right now waiting for me to read that I won at parties recently.

Typically, an author will host a 30 minute or 60 minute slot during the event at which time they will introduce themselves, tell the guests a little bit about their writing, and then host a giveaway. Most authors will offer a chance to win a free copy of their book by liking their Facebook page or signing up for their newsletter. It’s a way for them to find new followers that may enjoy their posts and hopefully turn into future fans and customers. At the end of the event, they randomly select people who participated in the event, ask them to private message them on Facebook with an email address for delivery, and send the winners out their prizes by email. Most of the time, the prizes are free ebooks. Sometimes, authors will offer Amazon gift cards, and others will offer themed gifts (book marks, bracelets, key chains, etc) that can be delivered by mail.

In between the giveaways, the host will usually ask a question of the guests and the guests are encouraged to respond. Sometimes, a comical photo is posted with a “Caption This” tag to which everyone is encouraged to come up with their best one-liners. Other times, it could be a sexy inspirational picture for a book and the host will ask the guests’ opinion and/or for samples of their own inspirational photos. The possibilities are endless and can be really fun.

Again, the goal for the host or author that is working the event, is to interact with potential future readers. To reach people they are not already friends with online. There is never any obligation to buy anything. You can lurk and just watch from the sidelines, but it’s more fun to participate.

I have several Facebook events I’m attending coming up, including two I’m hosting. The first is hosted by a blog as a reader appreciation event. I will be hosting today, Wednesday, 4/29/2015 at 7pm Pacific, but the event is going to be happening all day long. If you’ve never been to one, click Join in the link and check it out. https://www.facebook.com/events/1631483840431089/

The other is a Release Day Event for a fellow author to celebrate the release of her latest novel. I’ll be hosting at 12pm Pacific on Sunday, 5/17/2015. Join me, and you could win an ARC of my upcoming release, Sea Breeze.  https://www.facebook.com/events/348681845327523/

In between those, I’ll be attending quite a few other parties and events as well. Since my book, Sea Breeze, is scheduled to release at the end of May, I may even be hosting one of my own. Stay tuned.

I hope that has clarified a few things for those of you that were unsure what these events really were. I admit, I didn’t know either until I started accepting the invites. Now, I’m addicted. I hope to see you at one of the events above.  Feel free to comment with questions.

Author Pic You can find me and all my other social links on my website at  www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com

For sneak peeks at upcoming releases and access to my sweet and spicy tips, join my Dream Team. http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1




Marketing Plans-Be Organized


With multiple titles coming out this summer, I have a million and one things to do before both books are released.

I have a spreadsheet with my marketing plan for my novel.

I have a calendar I keep all my events and important dates in.

I have an idea of what I need to do to market my novella.

I now have two marketing plans from my publicist/marketing guru, Samantha over at PageCurl Publishing and Promotion.

Arghhhh. So, with two titles coming out, how in the heck am I going to keep it straight?

I’m creating a massive summer marketing plan calendar. It begins today and ends…well, it may be an ongoing forever thing, but I am filling in everything from now through August, for now.

I’m positive there are fancy templates that are available somewhere, but I created mine as a table in Microsoft Word. Yep, a table, days and dates filled in, and then each day, what I need to do for each book, and on what platforms.

Let me give you an example. My square labeled 4/27 is filled with the following;  send out ARCs for my novella, secure endorsements, post my Monday blog, host a takeover during a Facebook Release Party for one of my favorite authors, Tami Lund (feel free to join us), do a fair amount of social networking, and several other things all while working at the day job. Say what?

Yep. Add in all the other stuff I’m doing; blogging, updating my website, Facebook posts, Twitter, networking, blog touring, finalizing blurbs, creating trailers, creating teasers, I know I’m forgetting loads of other stuff, thank goodness Samantha will keep me straight, and I’m a busy woman.

Staying organized is a must. There is no choice. There is no trying to remember what I have to do. Nope. It will be written down and followed. My regular social networking and blogging calendar will remain the same, but I’m adding a whole bunch of stuff to it.

So if you find yourself with an upcoming release, or just want to organize your marketing efforts, make a calendar. Write down your important dates; commitments for blogs, teaser distribution, formatting, editing, website updates, cover reveals, preorder deadlines, blog tour dates, thunderclap dates, release dates, and anything else you are doing on that calendar.

Be organized. Stay organized. Make a plan.

If you are looking for professional help…er…marketing, editing, formatting, cover design, and the like, I highly recommend the professionals at PageCurl Publishing and Promotion.

What are your tips for setting up a marketing plan?

Author Pic You can find me and all my links online at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com

You can sign up for my mailing list here.

By the way, the picture I chose for my blog today, is a building that existed in downtown San Francisco for several years, that I used to drive by on almost a daily basis. I recently heard it had been torn down, and even though I think the inside had been abandoned for a long time, it was such a cool piece of art, it’s a shame it’s gone. This picture doesn’t show the bathtub hanging out an upper floor window, or any of the other cool pieces that made it almost an ode to wonderland.