All posts by Elizabeth Spann Craig

About Elizabeth Spann Craig

Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series (as Riley Adams) and the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin and writes the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She also has a blog, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. There she posts on the writing craft, finding inspiration in everyday life, and fitting writing into a busy schedule.

9 Lessons from Book Signings

Black and white photo of a crowded second-hand bookstore with the post title, "9 Lessons from Book Signings" superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S.  Craig, @elizabethscraig 

Book signings come in different shapes and sizes.  Signing books after a conference panel is one thing.  Signing them in a bookstore is something else. Signing them after a luncheon or book club meeting is again a different animal entirely.

Unless you have a large local network, signings in bookstores can be tricky.  I’ve found that signings at conferences are mediocre, too. The times I’ve done best were signings right after book clubs or book-related luncheons/events.

Here are my tips for a better book signing: 

Make sure there will be books there.  While this sounds like a no-brainer, you’d be amazed how much miscommunication can happen between bookstores/conference organizers and the writer. Who is responsible for making sure books are there? If it’s the bookstore, you might want to remind them again in enough time to ensure the books are ordered and at the store. Continue reading 9 Lessons from Book Signings

Calendars for Productivity

Woman in a blue top holds a monthly calendar and the post title, "Calendars for Productivity" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Happy 2018!

I’m never much of a fan of resolutions, but I do like making sure at the beginning of each year that I’m organized.

With that in mind, here are the calendars that help me stay organized and on top of everything for the year.  Since a writer’s life intersects with their homelife, there are also calendars listed that help organize my personal life.  If both parts of my life are organized, there’s a hope of retaining writing life-personal life balance.

Production calendar for publishing

You don’t have to overthink this, and it can always be changed!  Plan what you want to accomplish for the year: one book?  More?  Then pencil in those dates on your calendar for completion.  Even better, get on your cover designer’s, freelance editor’s, and formatter’s calendars.  Now you have something to work toward.

My cover designer always designs a book ahead for me.  This ensures that I don’t run into any scheduling snags.  (I do have to write back cover copy for a book that I haven’t written yet.)

Editorial calendar for blog (I use OneNote)

I used to put my blog’s editorial calendar on my Google calendar, but I found it more difficult to see upcoming posts and to make date changes.  Now I use a page in OneNote (you could just as easily use Word).

Again, try not to overthink this.  This is simply a place where I can list ideas for posts and resources to write them (or at least a note as to where my mind was going when I came up with the idea in the first place).  I list all the dates that I blog and then put the ideas/blog titles beside them.  This way I never feel as if I’m at a loss for what to post. Continue reading Calendars for Productivity

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open and 'Twitterific Writing Links' by ElizabethSCraig superimposed on the image

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 43,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Have you visited the WKB lately?  Check out the new redesign where you can browse by category, and sign up for free writing articles, on topics you choose, delivered to your email inbox!  Sign up for the Hiveword newsletter here.

Happy New Year!

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open and 'Twitterific Writing Links' by ElizabethSCraig superimposed on the image

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 43,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Have you visited the WKB lately?  Check out the new redesign where you can browse by category, and sign up for free writing articles, on topics you choose, delivered to your email inbox!  Sign up for the Hiveword newsletter here.

Happy Holidays to all who celebrate.   I will be taking a blog break until I return two weeks from today for an especially long Twitterific that will include my top shared links for 2017.

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Creating ‘Best of 2017 Tweets’ Posts

Man standing on mountain top with arms stretched out and post title, "Creating 'Best of 2017 Tweets' Posts" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I posted on this last year, but I thought it was worth another mention.  If you’re on Twitter, it’s pretty easy to find your best-performing tweets of the year and retweet them (I like to add a hashtag like ‘TopTweets2017′).

There are a few good things about doing this.  For one,  you can revisit content that’s proven popular for your followers on Twitter.  For another, if you share other authors’ posts, it gives you the opportunity to highlight their content again, providing networking, along with goodwill.  It can also be nice to stay active on social media during the holidays without being constantly online…simply schedule your top tweets using a service like Hootsuite or Buffer. Continue reading Creating ‘Best of 2017 Tweets’ Posts