Tag Archives: social media

Published: Behind the Scenes (Jan 2017)


Published- Behind The Scenes.png

Yeesh, writing “2017” is still weird. But anyway. Welcome to the first segment of my new series, where I talk about the behind-the-scenes action of being published!

So in October 2016 I signed the contract to sell my Initium series to Glass House Press. Pretty much the very first thing that happened:

“Let’s look at your author platform!”

How did I know this was going to happen? Oh right, the entire writing world tells you about it. So, things started happening, like social media calendars, starting up a FaceBook author page (which I don’t hate as much as I thought — hey, if you want to like it and follow my updates more in detail, here it is), and discussing how many pictures of my freaking goats I post on Instagram (heheh).

The past couple months have been about setting goals and thinking about branding as a whole. The holidays took up a lot of time and headspace, so that was mostly easy, fun stuff. When 2017 hit, it was time to get serious (<– I almost wrote that ‘series’, ha!). Anyway. *cracks knuckles*

The part I’m struggling with the most is finding and actually utilizing my ‘keywords’ in a natural way. The whole point of social media as an author is to be able to connect with potential readers, to find them and make connections before the actual book comes out. So if you want the right people to connect with you, who are interested in the concepts/themes in your story… you have to effectively find/attract them through keywords.

So while I can tweet/post indefinitely like #fantasy #alternatehistory #strongwomen #solarpunk etc etc etc — I definitely feel that it’s the bare minimum of what to do, and there has to be a better way to do it. It needs to feel natural, not like I’m awkwardly waving off in the corner and nobody really knows what I’m doing there.

Do I know the answer to that yet? Not really.

(Though I am having a lot of fun finding really cool pictures to post on Instagram. Seriously, I feel like a image hoarder right now.)

Another aspect of it — as you probably know — is that you want people to make connections to you as a writer. They’ll hopefully want to buy your book when it arrives, but that’s not the point. You’re supposed to make connections and build relationships as your primary goal.

So there’s this balance between ‘keywords my book is about’ (AKA finding the right people) and ‘being naturally you’ (being genuine so people don’t think you’re a robot). I’d like to say I’m pretty good at that last part, and am working to incorporate the first part… but we’ll see.


As for what’s happening with the actual manuscript… the first thing to tackle is developmental editing. Basically, my editor wants to make sure that the whole series fits together and is pushed to it’s best possible potential. Big picture stuff. Does-what-happens-in-book-four-make-sense-with-what-happens-in-book-two. Etc.

I haven’t gotten the letter with developmental edits yet, because my editor has been slammed getting authors ready with books coming out here shortly. But we have been talking informally about basics.

Liiiiiiike — big reveals that happen in book four must be foreshadowed in the previous books if it’s a big freaking plot hole. If it’s a plot hole that’s supposed to be there, you’ve got to let the reader know YOU know it’s supposed to be there.

Which, apparently, I did well with Fairian’s whole obsession with finding secrets. I reveal to there readers that HEY LOOK THERE’S SOMETHING REALLY WRONG WITH GEOGRAPHY I KNOW IT’S WRONG JUST BEAR WITH ME without giving them answers. And then drag out allllll the secrets for several books…

Eh-hem. It’s good to know I did that part right, because the waiting in strangling anticipation for the edits letter is only killing me slowly. I am so ready to tackle to this thing and turn it into an even better beauteous creation of awesome.

So. Moral of the story: publishing really does take a long time, for various reasons. Use the time to beef up your author platform. And meanwhile, write more books!

I feel like there should be a lot more to tell, but that’s all I can think of for now. It ought to get more exciting as things progress; stayed tuned for the end of February update!


Happy writing,

R. K. Brainerd

Organic IS Better (for book marketing)

This article has some great points, though part of me despairs by asking “then what AM I supposed to be doing to convince people to come see me?” It seems connected to the “pull not push” element that was discussed in these two posts here: https://awakedragon.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/two-great-articles-about-writers-on-social-media/

The Reblog button seems broken, so, to read this article by Author Chris McMullen, click on the link or image below: organic-is-better-for-book-marketing/

Source: Organic IS Better (for book marketing)

Two Great Articles About Writers on Social Media

In my research on developing a kick-ass author platform, as dictated by one of my New Year Goals (https://awakedragon.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/beginning-the-new-year-with-sand/), I have been reading about this subject lot. Now, these two articles are not necessarily a “how to” of being an author on social media and developing a platform, but are geared more towards etiquette and how not to annoy everyone in the universe.

Mostly, it struck a cord in me how much I related. I thought I would direct your attention towards them for our shared ruminations – tell me what you think!

Please Shut Up: Why Self-Promotion as an Author Doesn’t Work

And her rebuttal to her own self:

Wait, Keep Talking: Author Self Promotion that Actually Works

I love these articles mostly because of how well they fit into my experiences on social media as of yet. But she’s also making a lot of sense.

What do you think? Have you been noticing something like this?

WordPress Identity


When I first started up blogging here I actually had a different URL address. About three weeks in I changed it to what it is currently; now I want to change it again. I keep looking at my URL and my blog title and wondering: does this really represent me. And I’m having trouble putting myself behind it.

Also, I can’t get over the fact that “Aspirations of flight” ends up looking like “Aspirations off light.” And it sounds hokey anyway. I keep seeing blogs that have a common theme and an awesome tagline/URL that are pretty inspiring and seems to represent and help that blogger. I’m not finding the same with my own.

It’s probably ridiculous, and changing to something new causes a bunch of problems with hyperlinks and rerouting and such. But as I told myself when I changed it over the first time: I don’t have that many followers. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s better to do it now rather than later, when more people could possibly get confused.

I want something I can really feel and get behind, but unfortunately I’m probably looking for something that doesn’t exist. In the world of social media, you really only have a few minutes to capture someone’s short attention span and get across what you’re all about. Not to sound arrogant, but there are a lot of different sides of myself that really can’t be conveyed in one URL address or “About” page or even really one blog post. (As is probably the case for most people) But I’d really like to find something that represents at least one part of me. I don’t want to use a URL that’s my name, because I’m pretty dang sure I want to publish under a pen-name anyway, and I want something more original.

So I’ve been looking around. My first thought went to anything related to dragons – firstly, because I’m completely nuts about them (I mean really, who isn’t?), and secondly, because my grandfather always jokes that our family are dragons. I was thinking, What about “A Dragon’s Life” or “Dragon Heart” but of course that’s taken, etc, etc.

(Can I just briefly bitch here and say that dragonslife.wordpress.com is NOT EVEN BEING USED but someone is just camped on top of it? I mean seriously, you can’t have a cool blog URL and NOT use it.)

Basically it all leads back to an identity problem. All the really neat blogs out there are by confident people who really seem to know what the drive of their story is (or at least they seem that way). I’m still a baby trying to figure out which direction in life is up. What am I doing writing here? Trying to find some sort of direction in these random rambles. Maybe the greater issue is not so much that I don’t like my URL because it’s not me, but that I’m not sure what is me in the first place.

Thoughts? Advice? Suggestions? What helped you find your blog name, and what inspired it?