Author Archives: Kristin Luna

About Kristin Luna

Kristin Luna has been making up stories and getting in trouble for them since elementary school. She especially loves young adult literature, fantasy, Nic Cage, literary fiction, magical realism, and wouldn’t even be opposed to reading yeti erotica. She has written book reviews for Urban Fantasy Magazine, writes for this very blog your eyes are glued to at this very moment, and her short stories have appeared on Pseudopod and in anthologies about unicorns and dragons published by WordFire Press. She lives in San Diego with her husband Nic and eats way too much Taco Bell. Learn more about Kristin at her website

Taking Care of Business

For creative types, learning the business of writing and implementing marketing campaigns can be a pain. It takes years to cultivate the knowledge, and we learn it from multiple sources. At first, it may be difficult to latch on to certain things, such as legal jargon in a contract, but with practice and more exposure, the business side of writing can become as second nature as the creative side of writing.

This month, we’ve read some great posts about marketing, attending conventions, writing while working a consuming full-time job, choosing pen names, networking, cover artists, and more. Here are the links to each post this month if you missed a post, or would like to revisit some of the great information in a post:

  1. For the Love of Words by Lisa Mangum
  2. Get on the Train by Evan Braun
  3. The Business of Promotion: When the Hero Comes Home 2 by Mary Pletsch
  4. Blogs and Your Cash by Stephan McLeroy
  5. Working with Editors by Frank Morin
  6. Beta Reading: The Book Report You Trick Your Friends and Family Into by Gregory Little
  7. Networking: Friends with Benefits by Mary Pletsch
  8. How Writing Badly Can Help Your Career by Leigh Galbreath
  9. Commissioning an Artist by Collette Black
  10. The Choosing of Names by Nathan Barra
  11. World Fantasy Convention 2013 by Nancy Green
  12. Business Plans for Writers by Ace Jordyn
  13. Being Creative While Working a Full-Time Job by Nick Ruva
  14. Get Your Fanny Out There! by Quincy Allen
  15. The Solitary Life of a Writer by Heidi Wilde
  16. Information about Superstars Writing Seminars by Kristin Luna
  17. Cultivating Fanaticism by Sam Sykes
  18. The Editing Hit List by Joshua Essoe
  19. Happy Thanksgiving by Nancy Green

Reading over the posts this month, I was thankful for every piece of information presented. Some items were new to me, and others were important for me to revisit and reevaluate. I hope you felt the same way.

I hope you continue reading next month as we continue this discussion of thanksgiving. Stay tuned!

Information about Superstars Writing Seminars

You may have noticed that quite a few of the posts this month have mentioned Superstars Writing Seminars. There’s a good reason we keep bring up this particular seminar, other than it’s because what all of the Fictorians have in common (we have all attended at least once). It’s because it’s a darn good conference.

Superstars is a 3-day conference that happens once a year about the business of writing. Kevin J. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta organize the events and are part of the faculty. Brandon Sanderson, James A. Owen, David Farland, and Eric Flint are also faculty and partners. All will be instructors at the upcoming Superstars in February 2014.

What you need to know about Superstars Writing Seminars 2014:

And most importantly, if you are serious your writing career, this seminar is for you.

Click here to register now.


November is The Business of Writing Month

Hello, faithful readers and new readers alike!

Ah, November. For most people, it’s just… November. For writers, it can be one of the busiest months of the year. It’s got Thanksgiving in there, it’s the month before some big holidays in December, and it’s National Novel Writing Month. November is a great month for writing, but it’s also good for going a little insane trying to juggle all of these commitments as a writer and still trying to be real live person.

Bear with us, dear readers, as we try to not go insane this November. In fact, we’re keeping our left-brains in check this month by diving into the business side of writing. You’ll read posts about some of the more logical and analytical aspects of being a writer, such as:

  • Working with an editor
  • Beta-readers
  • Hiring a cover artist
  • Marketing vs. advertising
  • Networking
  • And more!

As a special treat, we also have guest posts from the likes of Lisa Mangum, Stephan McLeroy, Nick Ruva, Heidi Wilde, and Sam Sykes.

Help keep us sane by commenting on our posts and sharing them with your friends!

Happy reading!


Effective Twitter Marketing: It’s Not All About You

It’s an age-old adage that you never thought would apply to social media: you get what you give. Let me explain.

You may not hear this often, but I love my day job. While I’d love for writing to become my full-time gig, for now, I’m loving social media marketing. I work for a good company, have a good boss, and have learned fantastic skills that also carry over into my writing career.

Going into the job, I had a bit of an advantage. Myspace and Facebook were originally marketed to my generation. Contacting friends, making plans, maintaining friendships and asking questions on Facebook walls and feeds is second nature.

However, using social media for marketing purposes seemed quite daunting. Thankfully, it only took a few weeks on the job to realize how wonderful and intuitive marketing on Twitter can be. Let’s work through it.

When I say ‘Twitter marketing’, what’s your first thought? Sponsored ads? Shameless self-promotion? What does marketing on your own Twitter feed look like? I can imagine you’ve seen all of the above (and question your own Twitter strategy from time to time), and it annoys you as much as it does everyone else.

But I guarantee you this: the most effective marketing you’ll ever see on Twitter is a tweet that you don’t even know is marketing.

Here’s an example. Well three of them, actually.

Check out these three authors’ Twitter feeds. You don’t need an account in order to see their tweets:

Jonathan Carroll:

Margaret Attwood:

Amanda Hocking:

The first thing you’ll notice is that all three of these authors are very active on Twitter. Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 3.30.17 PMAmanda Hocking has almost as many followers (nearly 25k) as she does actual tweets (over 27k). Not only do these authors post often, but they also re-tweet others and interact with their Twitter followers. These authors are building a relationship with each of their fan bases at large. They are building trust. This should be our first lesson.

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 3.29.28 PM

Next, you may find it curious that they don’t constantly tweet about their books, signings, when their books are on sale, etc. They tweet about their days, they tweet fun pictures, they tweet quotes. Only every now and again do these authors tweet about a book coming out, or a book signing. This is the second lesson: Twitter should not be primarily used for self-promotion.

So how should we use Twitter?

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 3.32.38 PMIf we could learn just one lesson from studying these three authors’ Twitter pages, it’s this: you get what you give. This is what most people don’t quite get – at least not right away. The secret to a successful Twitter identity is giving value to those who follow you. Interacting with, encouraging, and accepting your followers as part of your tribe is how you add value to their lives, and how you build a loyal fan base. You appear to be accessible and approachable, which is the key.

Twitter and other social media sites should only be a part of your overall marketing plan, but it can become your secret weapon. The more you interact – the more you give – the more you will receive in return.


74350Kristin Luna is a Marketing Consultant by day and writer by break of dawn. She is currently moving to a house with a swimming pool. Kristin, a descendant of the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts, is working on a Young Adult fantasy trilogy. When she isn’t contemplating marketing campaigns or writing, she’s vacuuming, playing board games, tasting craft beers, watching Homeland, reading, or pushing her clingy cat off of her lap.