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Hashtags 101: What They Are and How to Use Them

Over the past eight years, I have attended four presentations for writers and publishers about how best to use social media. Each time, the presenter has hit a stumbling block in the first 10 minutes: hashtags.     Most people who give presentations about Twitter assume the audience has some knowledge of hashtags. The truth is, for many people hashtags are still a mystery. As presenters breeze by this ubiquitous term, several in the audience raise their hands looking for clarification. What is a hashtag exactly? Why is it important? How do I use it and why would I want to?   These are important questions. Let me see if I can answer them in a clear, concise way.     What is a hashtag?   A hashtag is this symbol: #   A hashtag is also the term that follows that...

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5 Tips for Successful Networking at Conferences

Conferences are an excellent place to meet people and make business connections. Yet the idea of networking at a large venue like a conference makes some people sweat. Often it seems people place undue stress on themselves to do it right and never show their flaws. If you approach it as a human being and not just a marketer, however, it becomes much easier.   The following five tips will help you make the most of a conference.   1. Go to learn. This is a big one. Conferences of all kinds offer valuable information for attendees. If you are a writer at a writer's conference, this fact is obvious. If you are an editor at a writer's conference or business leaders conference and you're attending because you want to meet new clients, it might not be...

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What I Know About Book Signings

In Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro, I sum up my thoughts on book signings and their usefulness to an author in just a couple of paragraphs:   On Book Signings Arranging a book signing can take a lot of time and effort, and you aren’t likely to sell more than a few books. That is why traditional publishers have lost interest. Self-publishers, however, still like to work this angle. Whether these authors receive adequate return on investment is up for debate, but with the right book in the right location, it might be. If nothing else, it gets your name out there and keeps you engaged with marketing.   Some independent bookstores and cafés like to host these events for local authors, whether they are independently or...

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