Monday, July 23, 2018

Living in a Virtual World by Mary Manners

Living in a Virtual World

by Mary Manners

Writers tend to be solitary creatures and I can certainly attest to that. Nearly a decade ago, when I first got 'the call' to enter the publishing world, all I knew about writing was exactly that--to write. Facebook was barely and entity, Twitter stood virtually non-existent, and other social media outlets that are so popular today were merely a vision. I actually wrote my books with pen and paper, then reluctantly transferred the words to my laptop. I had never (gasp) heard of blogs or book trailers (I thought they only applied to movies), Bookbub or Goodreads. Newsletters were something I sent home weekly to communicate with parents of the students in my classroom.
I've come a long way, baby! And coming this far has taught me one important thing--I still have a long way to go. Miles. An ultra marathon worth of miles.
Writers have to wear many hats, and besides actually writing the story, one of the most important is marketing. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Intagram, newsletters, Website, street team, reviews, reviews, reviews...just to name a few. I don't know about you, but for me it's so easy to get swallowed up in marketing and, in the process, lose focus of what made me dream of becoming a writer in the first place--the joy of writing. The pleasure of sharing stories of my heart. Honestly, I'd rather put my energy into crafting the next story than planning Facebook parties, booking blog tours, or studying Amazon's logarithms. Yet, the hard truth is this: It's great to have a story, but unless you get the word out, you'll merely have a nice dust collector for your bookshelf.
So I did a little research (yes, I did) and found a knowledgeable virtual assistant that's a great fit for my needs. She's more valuable than gold and great at all of the things I am not. We work together like apples and cinnamon to spread the sweet word about my books. I am not ashamed to say she's taught me so much, and is patient with knowing I have so much more to learn. Hiring her is the best decision, writing wise, that I ever made. With a skilled virtual assistant to carry the bulk of the marketing load, my joy of writing has been restored.
Whew...when it comes to the ins and out of the writing world I'll never stop learning and growing. The industry is simply too vast to ever learn everything out there. But it's nice to know I'm not alone in the journey.
Now, I'm off to write!


Claire Mulvaney’s benevolent spirit has her biting off more than she can chew when she spearheads a charity fishing event to raise funds for Winding Ridge’s overcrowded animal shelter and is forced to call on fishing expert Sean Maguire.
Hollywood agent Cass Townsend makes a more-than-satisfactory living helping talented “wannabe” actors become stars.
Receiving a Dear Rand email while serving his country didn’t douse the fire in Rand Tenneson’s heart for his high school sweetheart.
Still reeling from the loss of her husband, young widow Roni Marsden resolves to be strong for her precocious daughter.
Two years after her husband’s tragic death, middle-aged widow Rylie Thornton struggles to raise her three sons while keeping the family business in the black.
Mary Manners is a country girl at heart who has spent a lifetime sharing her joy of writing. She lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and their rescue dog Axel, mischievous cats Colby and Rascal, 8 rambunctious chickens, and 13 fish.
Mary writes stories full of faith and hope. Her books have earned multiple accolades including two Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
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