Hashtags—A Writer’s Best Buddy. No, really.

If you’re new to writing, you may think being an author means focusing on the words. Crafting stories. Tucking away in that haven of letting others do the heavy lifting of marketing your genius.

That used to be me. That still is me when I allow myself fantasy time. The words are the most important. But regular breaks are necessary to keep fresh. Garbage words—or rather the hideous arrangement of innocents—won’t get a writer very far.

Not for long.

But good writing, like loving, is often not enough. Dirty laundry still needs doing. For a writer that means developing a social media platform.

Sounds nasty. So does marketing. (Too Right brained. Or is that Left?) Whatever region, the notion made me sick.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are a few venues to get the word out. So many choices. Too many. The excess of social media channels makes some people shrink.

Writers aren’t immune, especially those who have a 9-5 job, spouse, kids, and a life.

Authors can’t afford to shrink from challenges, though. We must fight for our babies. Right? Maybe not to brag on them. Bragging parents are annoying. And, yes, I often annoy myself. (You’ll see the occasional Mom Brag: That’s When I Go Off. But going off helps me achieve balance, so please disregard my being a total hypocrite.)

But books aren’t babies.

Did I just say that? I feel so dirty. Heartless. And yet our words, despite our attachment to them, are a product. Something we want to sell. (Hopefully, you’re not planning that for your kiddos no matter how darling they are ;^) And book selling requires promotion. A business plan. A marketing effort.

So, crass as advertising is, we MUST DO IT. That goes for advertising ourselves. Getting out there, being vulnerable, and learning the ropes. This brings me to hashtags. I hadn’t a clue what they were until younger daughter, Gwendolyn, schooled me. I hate having to admit that to, but it happens. Thank goodness for me. (Younger daughter’s value added is insurance against any future sale! She’s no dummy ;^)

I now get what a hashtag is and what it’s for.

Bing tells it this way:

hash·tag

[ˈhaSHtaɡ]

NOUN

  1. a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.

“spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them”

 

Got that? A hashtag (#) is the means by which we writers target out messages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Hashtags are how we find fellowship, potentially pitch our work, blow off steam, etc.

Here are a few hashtags that writer’s MUST know according to Author Media :

Want Industry Info:

#WritingTip, #WriteTip, #GetPublished, #BookMarket, #BookMarketing, #PromoTip, #SelfPublishing, #SelfPub, #Publishing, #AskAgent, #AskAuthor, #AskEditor, #EBooks, #IndiePub (or #IndiePublishing), #BookMarketing, #PubTip

Need a kick in the creative pants:

#WritingPrompt, #StoryStarter, #WordAThon, #Creativity, #WIP (work in progress), #1K1H (write one thousand words in one hour)

Want to tempt readers?

#FridayReads, #BookGiveaway, #MustRead, #LitChat, #StoryFrida, #MustRead, #TeaserTues, #BookGiveaway, #FreeBook, #FreeDownload, #Kindle, #Nook

Here are a few gems plucked from the bumper crop provided by Romantic Suspense author, Kat Mellon:

Authors Doing Authorly Things:

#AmWriting, #AmBlogging, #AmEditing, #AmRevising, #campnanowrimo, #nanowrimo, #WordCount, #WriteGoal, #WritersLife, #WriteSpace, #WroteToday, #WW / #WriterWednesday

Then there’s the pitch hashtags (Tool around google to find more!):

#Pitmad, #Pitchmas (December pitching), #PitchWars

And if you don’t know what a hashtag means, visit Tag Def. Just plug in the hashtag and they’ll tell you. See? Not so bad.

Want to start your own hashtag?

Hashtag Generator has you covered.

Social media is the Wild West to be roped, tied, and used to fuel our fantasies. Just not the one that has us writers—especially aspiring ones—hiding out in our favorite writing holes. Meanwhile, #amwriting #amblogging #amwritingromance #Christianfiction, #inspysuspense, and #writerslife are waiting.

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you’d like to witness the many mistakes that will likely make yours seem like nothing. I’m adding Instagram so stay tuned. And always…

#WriteOn

 

 

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