My Geek*Kon Schedule

Geek Kon

I’ll be a guest at Geek*Kon this weekend. Here’s my fabulous schedule! You’ll hear more about my upcoming book, The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Dictionary in the ‘Verse, and other stories in the pipe.

Friday, August 21
7:00 to 7:50 – Spooky Scary Awesome Action
8:00 to 10:00 – Gaming with the Guests

Saturday, August 22
1:00 to 1:50 – The Shiniest Things in the Gorramn ‘Verse
3:00 to 3:50 – Fiction Writing 101 – Mendota
5:00 to 5:50 – Vampires in Fiction – Green Bay/Milwaukee

Sunday, August 23
1:30 to 2:50 – Build-a-World Game Show

Wizard’s Guidance. A New Guest Post for Dice Castle!

This month I return to the Village of No-No’s in my continuing series at Geek’s Dream Girl.

“Well, it’s a good thing you know how to do that at least.” The wizard quips as he unrolls the parchment. “Now, here’s something you might be interested in. Why don’t you go ahead and read this version of events.”
Not wanting to piss off an all-powerful wizard, you take the document off his hands and begin to read a familiar, yet slightly different, version of events. As you engross yourself in the story, the room begins to spin.

You adjust your shoulder bag and stroll into a village nestled in a lush valley. The first thing you see is a man and a woman arguing at the top of their lungs. From what you can make out, they’re pissed off about coin. The woman turns to you and says: “Don’t work for that guy, he’ll never pay you.” The man, who happens to be wearing a jerkin with an embroidered logo on the back, rolls his eyes and drones: “Don’t hire that freelancer, she’ll never hand anything in on time and it’s full of typos, too.” — SOURCE: Wizard’s Guidance, Adventure to Dice Castle

I hope you’ll drop by the site and give Wizard’s Guidance, Adventure to Dice Castle a read!

[Guest Post] Tools and Equipment for Dice Castle Adventure

My second installment in the Adventure to Dice Castle went live on Geeks Dream Girl recently. It’s dubbed Tools and Equipment: Adventure to Dice Castle.

Here’s one of the items I recommend:

8. Business Cards – You can find inexpensive business cards almost anywhere for first time buyers or through special deals. I wouldn’t order a lot of them right off the bat, but having a business card is definitely better than not having one. When you give them out, try to get the business card of the person you’re networking with. — SOURCE: Tools and Equipment: Adventure to Dice Castle

I really love writing this series because it’s giving me the chance to put freelance writing for the hobby games industry in a fun context. While today’s post is less of a parody than the one I’ll write for next month, it’s necessary in the sense that there are tools you’ll need to write, play and design hobby games.

‘Til next time!

The Value of Micro-Communities

So, right after I get back online, Google+ launches. (Yes, I did slurp up an account.) The whole concept of Google+ is very similar to how we interact in real life, because it effectively creates cliques. Yes, putting people into circles is a form of cliques, whether we want to admit it or not.

Quite frankly, I don’t have time to do the deep dive into Google+ because I am taking a wildly different approach to what I want to do online. It has been a lot of fun connecting (and re-connecting) with other authors and whatnot, but the bulk of my marketing efforts are going to start taking on a much, different shape in a longer-term fashion.

I’ve been willy nilly on Facebook, Twitter and whatnot the last week, and while my project management is firmly in place, I know I’m going to have to cut back from being a frequent butterfly-er to something a little more manageable.

One of the points I talked about, was how content was more valuable than interaction. This post entitled Book Blog Tours and Review Sites with Adrian Phoenix is a great example of how an author used content marketing to attract fans. If you want to know why I guest blog and guest write for so many different sites, this would be the reason. It’s a good article and I’d recommend giving it a read.

The other interesting thing, though, was that this article reminded me of something I neglected to mention. That is: micro-communities have been extremely beneficial to me. When I’m on social media, I’m there to either a) share or b) broadcast. It’s one or the other, and I never know who I’m going to reach at the time. The more followers I add? The less confidence I have of reaching them. After managing social media for so many businesses, the data is really all over the place. Not only do you have to worry about what you post — but when.

Micro-communities, which for me have taken the form of a publisher’s website or forum, have made one of the best impacts on my career because I’ve gotten to know people and have been more comfortable with the readers that are engaged there. I feel that writing guest blog posts (or doing book tours, etc.) is a form of tapping into these micro-communities. It’s not a generic: “Oh hey, buy my book.” It’s the action of establishing a connection with a pre-existing audience that has a vested interest in that website’s (or forum’s) content.

We started offering guest blog posts on FlamesRising.com a few years ago, and these types of posts really help our readers get to know an author. On the flip side, when I release a game that fits the darker genres, I often blog about my game design notes there, too, because that audience is engaged. (Our door is open to authors/game designers who want to write a guest post, provided the book/game is an editorial match for the website.

With the over-saturation of the market, some authors are developing micro-communities around their work BEFORE they do any more marketing. I think this tactic is pretty smart, though, I’m pulling back on assertively marketing my own work until early next year. I am still going to guest blog, but I’m not ready to pull the trigger on a full-scale marketing plan right now. There are some things I’m doing behind-the-scenes, so if you want to get the skinny on that be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter.

If anything, though, micro-communities is where an author will have to eventually go — unless they are lightning in a bottle. I’m not banking on Thor helping me out in that arena (Though, if he wanted to… I certainly wouldn’t complain… Would you?), so my world is getting smaller to balance original with tie-in work and other forms of income.

Micro-communities are also valuable for me in the sense that I have a place I feel at home. I have a sense of humor, albeit dry, and humor isn’t always received well online. The more you get to know someone, the better you’ll be received.

[My New Column] Dice Castle: From Commoner to Freelancer…

I am pleased to announce that my first column has been published at Geek’s Dream Girl. Since the site already had articles written about the topic, I decided to take a different approach and turn a commoner into a freelancer. For once-a-month we’ll be headed to Dice Castle.

This first column talks about character creation.

Before we head out on our quest to Dice Castle, there are a couple of things we need to figure out. First? We’re going to take a look at your character sheet to see what’s already there. Oh, and for those of you who decide to min/max this process? There will be some opportunities for that, too. You’re a Commoner at the moment, but with any luck you’ll be a Freelancer in no time. So sayeth the GM, so shall it be done. — SOURCE: Calling All Freelancers! Adventure to Dice Castle at Geek’s Dream Girl

Then, I go on to provide some tips and insight into the industry to help a budding freelancer dispel some of the myths and figure out what they want to do.

Things like:

  • Penning fiction is not the same thing like writing flavor text.
  • I think this series will be good for people who need something a little more hands-on when they’re thinking about freelancing. By turning it into a workshop, I hope I’ll be able to reach a few writers and help them plan for their future.

    Check it out!

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    Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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