One of the great things about attending a writer’s conference is the wonderful people you encounter. I was blessed to meet Edie Melson at my first visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2010. She was teaching classes for beginning writers on the nuts and bolts of the industry, and I found the information she provided invaluable. But the best thing about Edie was her willingness to help. Since meeting her at Blue Ridge, I’ve picked her brain numerous times regarding aspects of writing. And even though she certainly stays busy, she takes the time to share what she’s learned. She has recently published an eBook on social media marketing and was gracious enough to grant me an interview to discuss her latest work, a recent Amazon.com #1 Best Seller in two categories.
Edie is a freelance writer and editor with over 16 years experience in the publishing industry. She’s a prolific writer, publishing over 700 articles in 2010. She also has a popular writing blog (http://www.thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/) and is a frequent contributor to many others. In keeping up with the leading edge of all things digital Edie has become known as one of the go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers wanting to learn how to plug in. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, Social Media Marketing for Writers, is available on Kindle and Nook.
As a sought after writing instructor, her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s the Co-Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Southwest Christian Writers Studio, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. Edie is also the Assistant Acquisitions Editor for Christian Devotions (http://christiandevotions.us/).
Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home, is one of Edie’s latest projects. This devotional book for those with family members in the military will debut in fall of 2011 with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (http://www.christiandevotionsbooks.com/).
She’s a member of numerous professional writing organizations, including The Christian Pen, The Christian Writer’s View I and ACFW. She’s also an assistant copy editor for the Voices E-zine, a publication of My Book Therapy and a part of the My Book Therapy Special Teams Blog.
Married 30 years to husband, Kirk, they have raised three sons.
Q & A
Why did you write Social Media Marketing for Writers?
This book wasn’t originally my idea. My publisher, Eddie Jones (http://www.eddiejones.org/) with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (http://www.christiandevotionsbooks.com/) came up with this idea. They are also publishing my devotional book, Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home, (http://www.winningthewarathome.blogspot.com/) later this year.
Eddie knew I taught Social Media Marketing to writers at conferences all over the country and he asked me to send him my notes so he could evaluate the possibility of doing a book. The rest, as they say, is history.
What is the book’s purpose? What insights do you have that are important to writers trying to use social media?
I got into social networking by accident. It was truly a sink or swim situation. In 2009 I got a job as managing editor at a Christian Magazine for College age guys. (http://issuu.com/centeredmag/docs/october-novembervol2) Everyone I worked with was young enough to be my son—and social media is the only way to reach that audience. I had to become an expert or quit my job.
With my success came a huge sense of accomplishment. It’s become one of my passions to show others that social networking is NOTHING to be afraid of. Believe me, if I can do it, ANYONE can!
Why is social media important to writers?
Writing is all about building relationships—with readers, editors, agents, other writers—and what better vehicle than social media? It’s tailor made for writers. After all, we communicate best through the written word. And it gives us an unprecedented opportunity to connect with our readers.
How is your book different from similar social media books on the market?
My book takes the novice by the hand and leads them step by step through the process. I give hints to help beginners feel more comfortable with the process. I also make sure people know it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with social networking. Things are changing so quickly it’s almost impossible for anyone to stay on top of everything. Once you accept that you’ll feel a little behind it’s easier to relax and enjoy the process.
Do you have plans to update the book as newer social media become available?
Absolutely! That’s the beauty of an eBook over a print book. It’s much easier to update and stays relevant much longer.
Thank you, Edie! I appreciate you taking the time to share some insights on your latest project.