The #StoryWords winner for the Spring 2017 edition is…
FATIMA FAKIER DERIA! (aka @famitafderia)
Fatima wrote a thriller about a man following a trail of clues and intent on saving a woman who has been hung by a rope . Can he save her? Or will he be too late?
Read her Twitter Thriller here: https://twitter.com/i/moments/859209779209797633
And check out her website where she writes short stories and flash fiction: https://www.ffdwrites.wordpress.com/
If you enjoyed Fatima's story and would like to read mine too, you'll find my Noir-style thriller "Alien Kidnapping" here:
I'm very pleased with the success of my first Twitter challenge! I had four fairly steady participants and a good handful of people who tweeted out lines from their works in progress on random days when the word prompt for the day was advertised.
I know what you're thinking. "Wow, Richelle. Really? Four participants? You think that was successful?"
I do! And it's because it all depends on how do you define success when running a Twitter contest (or anything else, for that matter). Is it getting retweets? Having a lot of participants? Getting enough attention to garner new followers?
The question of success came up in a Twitter author chat I participated in last week. The question was, when you publish a book indie-style, how do you know if, or when, you've been successful? I think success actually depends on what the initial goal was, because you cannot measure success without measuring against the goal. To compound the matter, we tend change our goal as we start to reach it and we also often set our goals against highly successful people with the idea of, "if they can do it, why can't I?"
And the problem with that is, we rarely know what "their" goals were or what ultimately went into "their" success. My suggestion for writers new to the authoring game is NOT to set your goals against what you see happening around you. Unless, of course, you've only surrounded yourself with people who have the same author experiences as you, started their authoring journey just when you did, and have the same exact connections as you. Which basically means, you've both either been living in a bubble together or are conjoined at the hip (only the last one of which could bring you instant fame since you probably have an amazing "own voices" story to share).
So, if you shouldn't set your goals based on all the successful people around you, how should you set them? Well, that is the question, isn't it? Unfortunately, there's no magical answer. There is no exact science that says, if you do these ten things before, during, and after you write your book, you will find whatever you think success is. Well, there are, but I promise you, they're charlatans. Your success is going to depend on your quality of work; the time you spend perfecting your craft, writing and editing your piece of art, building your social media platform, and marketing yourself; and also, who your current and future connections are.
Those are a lot of moving pieces you need in order to "find success" and we all fall on these scales of ability related to each of those cogs in the machine. I might score high on writing ability, but very poorly on marketing, whereas the next person needs a lot of editing help, but makes social connections every time they walk into a new room. You need to be honest with yourself. How good are you at each of these pieces? And, how much time are you willing or able to commit to each of them.
So, back to your earlier question. Richelle, how can you think your Twitter challenge was successful if you only had four participants? And the answer is, my goal was to get 200 new followers in the month I ran the challenge knowing I would not do much marketing (because frankly, I hate that part of being an author – I'd rather be writing). I had 106 new followers by April 5, and I continued to average about 100 followers every five days. I doubled my goal.
Of course, all those followers can't possibly be attributed to my contest (you have to take into consideration that I picked up a lot of random followers which is the nature of twitter, as well as people who saw me participating in twitter chats – I have no way, without some deeper analysis to determine why people followed me and I don't care to take the time because I'm just not that motivated), but I met the goal I set for myself. Now it's time to reevaluate the goal.
If I had spent more time marketing my contest, I probably could have gotten A LOT more followers. So, in a couple months, when I run my Summer edition of the contest, I'm going to plan to do more marketing. I'm going to set a couple higher goals:
Five times the participants in the contest – 20
More followers throughout the contest – 1000
Until then, I'm going to do a little research on Marketing. In between writing, editing, my day job, shuffling kids to soccer practices and games, making dinners…you get the idea!