Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I’ve been on Twitter for a while but haven’t really spent the time to use it effectively. At the Northern Colorado Writers Conference last weekend, I attended a session on Twitter and received some good recommendations. Then this morning I participated in a webinar put on by Harlequin on Twitter (I’m a Harlequin author since my two geezer-lit mysteries are out in a book club edition through Worldwide Mysteries, an imprint of Harlequin). Once again I learned that I need to be more proactive with my Twitter usage. They also recommended using your real name as a username in Twitter. I used to have my user name as geezerlit in Twitter but I’ve changed it to mikebefeler so readers can find me more easily. One of the useful recommendations for social media is to follow the 12:1 rule. Put out twelve messages with information for every message that promotes yourself. I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Twitter. Look out. I’m going to really learn how to tweet one of these days.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Social Media

I attended a teleconference put on by Harlequin earlier this week on the subject of social media. I was invited because my two books, Retirement Homes Are Murder and Living With Your Kids Is Murder, have been released by a Harlequin imprint, Worldwide Mysteries, for direct to book club editions. The session covered an overview of the various forms of social media including web sites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. One of the interesting statements made concerned the 12:1 rule, which is, post information that is useful to others twelve times for every self-promotion post. This makes all the sense in the world. If we engage and are active in whatever forms of social media we choose, then it’s perfectly acceptable to do blatant self-promotion (BSP) once in a while.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Northern Colorado Writers Conference

Next Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, 2010, I’ll be attending the Northern Colorado Writers Conference at the Hilton Fort Collins. One of the things I like about writers conferences is that they offer three types of workshops: 1. Improving your craft, 2. Selling your manuscript, and 3. Promoting your book. When I attended my first writers conference in 2002, I was solely focused on developing my writing skills. Then over time I gravitated to learning how to pitch to agents and editors. Once I sold my first novel, then promotion became the highest priority for me. Still, I always attend sessions on honing writing skills. No matter where we are in the writing/selling/promoting cycle, we can all benefit from learning more on how to write. At the upcoming conference I’ll be teaching two workshops titled, “Establishing a Marketing Platform” and “Mixing Humor, Mystery and Older Characters.” This looks to be an excellent conference with a keynote given by Stephen Cannell. I heard him speak at the Left Coast Crime Conference last weekend, and the audience is in for a treat. Also, for anyone attending who wants to learn more about Mystery Writers of America, I’ll be buying coffee at the Starbucks in the Hilton lobby at 2 P.M. on Friday, so stop by.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Left Coast Crime Conference Wraps up in Los Angeles

I just got back from the Left Coast Crime Conference in Los Angeles, in addition to an enjoyable conference I had a chance to see my kids and grandkids who live in the area. I didn’t win the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery novel, but Rita Lakin who did, is a good friend and deserves the award. I had the opportunity to introduce nineteen new authors (two more added at the last minute), moderate a Freshman Panel and moderate a Geezer Lit Panel. I always come away from mystery conference inspired and ready to jump back into writing. I had a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Next year Left Coast Crime will be in Santa Fe. The program committee is already working ideas for a wide variety of interesting panels. I’ve signed up and will be attending again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Authors at the Left Coast Crime Conference

At the Left Coast Crime Conference in Los Angeles I’ll be introducing seventeen debut authors at a breakfast on Friday, March 12. These are all writers whose first mystery/crime book appeared between January 1, 2009 and March 1, 2010. Their work represents the spectrum from cozy to noir; mystery, suspense and thriller; and take place all over the world. The authors and their debut books are:
Annamaria Alfieri - City of Silver
Eric Beetner - One Too Many Blows to the Head
Rachel Brady - Final Approach
Graham Brown - Black Rain
Teresa Burrell - The Advocate
Kate Carlisle - Homicide in Hardcover
Rebecca Cantrell - A Trace of Smoke
Adam Eisenberg - A Different Shade of Blue
Jamie Freveletti - Running from the Devil
Lenny Kleinfeld - Shooters and Chasers
Deborah Ledford - Staccato
Sophie Littlefield - A Bad Day For Sorry
George Mastras - Fidali’s Way
Ken Mercer - Slow Fire
Diana Orgain - Bundle of Trouble
Linda Reid - Dead Air
Stephen Jay Schwartz - Boulevard
If you’re looking for a good read, you can pick up any on this list.