Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger: Veronica Del Rosa

VeronicaWhen I first started my writing adventure, it was a lonely one. I have a few friends who are avid readers, but none of them write. They didn’t understand the pressure to find the perfect word or turn of phrase and the strange self-doubt that plague a writer.

One of them encouraged me to join Goodreads as an author to help get exposure. She also told me I needed to website, a facebook page and a twitter account. My first thought was, “That’s a lot of work! I just want to write.”

It was slow going, let me tell you. I didn’t know what to write about, or what to share. I didn’t want to bore people, and I certainly didn’t want to spam just my book(s). I joined Goodreads, hoping to meet a few like-minded people could give me some tips. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how helpful many have been.

They shared resources on how to build a Twitter presence, such as retweeting others, having a genuine conversation with your followers and the importance of hashtags. A valuable tip when retweeting is to change the hashtags to other relevant ones so you don’t post to the same channels. This just clogs it up and irritates others.

I learned early on how important reviews are for indie writers. We don’t have a lot of money to put towards marketing, and word of mouth helps build a readership. At first I did a few like-for-like review swaps, but felt guilty if I didn’t like the book. Thankfully it didn’t happen often, but enough to be uncomfortable. I decided to seek out books that appealed to me the same way I normally did, only focus on it coming from an indie writer instead of traditionally published. To help increase exposure for those writers, I post a review on my personal author’s blog, a review blog that has two other reviewers and a personal thread within a large group on Goodreads. Part of it is for good karma, the other part because I enjoy it. I know how excited I am to read reviews and I want to pass that along.

Soon after joining Goodreads, one of my favourite groups needed two more moderators. I agonized over volunteering. I love this group and the people. Would it change the dynamics? After a few days, one spot was still empty. I waited, wondering if anyone else wanted to be a mod. Nope. With great hesitation, I threw my hat in and hoped for the best. So very glad I did. While it didn’t change how I interacted with the other members, it did allow me to feel comfortable voicing my opinions. I hate being pushy, a personality trait, so this gave me the avenue to suggest some changes.

I’ve met a few authors that I now consider friends. We discuss our writing and encourage each other to better ourselves. I’ve learned that many of the highs and lows that I experience is normal. Before I thought I was mental. *laughs* I am, but that’s another story. We’ve held each other’s hands metaphorically through edits, re-writes, blurb writing and publishing dates.

Soon I realized that writing isn’t the lonely profession as I once thought. It’s full of great friends, confidants and fans. Even better, they’ve help make me a better writer, one willing to take criticism when needed and accept compliments with grace.

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18 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Veronica Del Rosa

  1. It’s funny because this sounds a lot like the situation I’m in right now. None of my friends are writers, and only read, which really doesn’t help the situation at all lol. You feel like screaming at them “Words don’t just magically appear on those pages!” If you have any advice, I would love to hear it. My main problem right now is that I’m about halfway through my book, and I keep getting stuck in scenes. I just wish someone could read my work before it’s even fully written so that I can make sure it’s not lame haha. I’m one of those writers who really second-guess themselves.

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  2. I spent so much time second-guessing my writing that I’m surprised I’ve written anything. *laughs* It’s amazing how much better you feel with another author says, “Wow, I really like that. I want to read more.”
    I’ve also had the pleasure of completely ripping apart and re-writing two of my books now. It’s not fun, but seeing it mold into a story you love is incredible.

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        1. Oh okay. I just find it so much easier to work with a novel in it, because you’re able to separate out the scenes and find places that need to be rewritten so much faster lol. I tried using word and found it actually much more difficult. Plus you can compile it into different formats like epub, mobi, etc. Do you use Word then? I can’t imagine it all on 3 different computers ^_^

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          1. I like scrivener, but I’m still learning it. I like word for editing because i can see every change in red, which reminds me, Heather: I read your prologue and most of the first chapter. I should have it back to you in the next week or so. Keep writing! Don’t stop, girl, and don’t be discouraged.

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            1. Oh awesome! I wasn’t sure if you received it or not lol And thank you 😉 I actually got a whole chapter done today! *feeling accomplished* And I’ve never edited in Word before hmm….

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          2. Yeah, I use word. I’ve found I need the linear approach when it comes to edits. Helps me keep the flow of the characters. 🙂
            I use a computer at work (where I get most of my writing done), my main desktop at home and a laptop for when I need to hide from my husband and kid. *laughs *
            I’d love to try Scrivner if I could find a way to mesh it on 3 systems.

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            1. Oh I see! I understand that. You find yourself constantly going back and re-reading everything to find the flow, and scrivener can be a bit choppy with the scene breaks. Jen is reading my first bit of my book so hopefully she’ll let me know if the transition in my scenes is horrible hahhaha. For formatting what do you use? I just use Courier 12, double spaced.

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  3. For the formatting, I do Times New Roman 12 single spaced which is what Smashwords recommends. It works best on all the different ebook devices. My books go to all the major retailers and some of the smaller ones too through Smashwords. I publish to Amazon directly using the same manuscript, just change the copywrite info.

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