Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LISA & LAURA TAKE OVER!!! (And you can win some stuff)

In our second guest post (and your second chance to score some points to win that sweet prize pack!), we’re welcoming Lisa and Laura Roecker, who are commonly referred to around the internets as LiLa! (I feel the need to use jazz-hands hands when I say that: LiLa)

The Roecker girls are known for their snarky take on authorhood (to which they’ve joined the ranks with their upcoming release: LIAR SOCIETY), celebrity, and parenting. And they do it with the absolute right amount of self-deprecation and tongue-in-cheek good humor.

Let me just break that down for you: These. Ladies. Rock!

So, on your feet, people, as we welcome LiLa!!! *jazz-hands and rainbow sparkles*


How to Make Friends and (hopefully) NOT Alienate People On-Line (by LiLa)

A couple of years ago we decided to start writing books together. You know, to keep life interesting. The very first thing we did (after copious amounts of online research and cyberstalking) was start a blog. We figured every writer needed a blog. Plus we were absolutely, positively sure that our book would be selling at auction within a month or two, so we really needed to develop some kind of on-line presence.

HA!

That was the sound of the publishing industry laughing in our faces. Turns out our manuscript sucked, so instead of a million dollar book deal, we ended up with (what felt like) a million rejections.

Ouch.

But it turns out the blog was actually a good idea. Sure, no one commented on the thing except for our mom and our other sister, but writing random posts on a daily basis really helped us create a voice. And eventually we started connecting with other writers who actually knew what they were doing. And then a year later, we sold a book. Without the blog there almost certainly wouldn't be a book and here's why:

1. The blog holds you accountable. Sure we could have given up writing after the endless rejections, but then what the hell would we say on the blog? How could we admit to all of our amazing readers (all five of them) that we'd given up? So we kept writing. What choice did we have?

2. You usually end up meeting people who are smarter than you. This guy I used to work with always told me that the secret to success is surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you are. He was kind of a douche, but he was SO right. A lot of really amazing writers blog and usually if you comment on their blogs, they'll stop by and comment on yours. Pretty soon you're friends and if you're really lucky your new, crazy smart writer friend offers to read your manuscript or critique your query or whatever. We have met all of our genius beta readers via our blog and I can say with 100% certainty that we would never have gotten an agent or book deal without them.

3. Your blog helps you develop that all-important, ever elusive voice. A lot of agents were worried about our voice being inconsistent in our first doomed manuscript. We wrote together, but we hadn't developed a unified voice. Enter the blog. Posting our random thoughts on a daily basis helped us develop a unified voice. When we eventually started querying our second manuscript, agents were shocked that two people had written the book. Success!

4. It's easy to be a social butterfly on the interwebs. Commenting on blogs is easy. Replying to someone on Twitter is fun. And you can learn a lot from writers, agents and editors by simply making an effort to connect with them. The key is not to be afraid or intimidated by the publishing peeps who dominate the blogosphere. It took us a LONG time to learn that lesson which is probably why we averaged 0 comments on our blog posts for the first year or so. But once we stopped being the on-line equivalent of wall flowers, we met a TON of really cool people.

5. Rejections don't sting quite as much when someone comments on your blog. This sounds random, but it's totally true. Publishing is a tough business and we had (er...have) A LOT of really tough days. It's amazing how a fun comment from a new blog reader or a nice tweet from a fellow writer can make it all better. Okay, fine, maybe it doesn't make it ALL better, but it really does help. Blogs and Twitter provide writers with a way to "publish" their thoughts and get instant feedback from friends and peers. With all the waiting and e-mail refreshing we do it's really nice to get a little positive reinforcement every once in a while.

So, fellow writers and friends, don't be afraid to dive head first into social networking. The water might be a little cold in the beginning, but we promise you'll warm up in no time at all. Plus all the dicking around on the internet really DOES make you a better writer. At least that's what we keep telling ourselves...


*standing ovation*

Another great guest post, and now it’s your turn! Leave a comment (that’s all you have to do!) and you’ll be entered to win a bunch of really cool stuff (including an ARC of FIRELIGHT!).

And, GO…

85 comments:

Lisa and Laura said...

OMG, jazz hands? You've just made my day!

Cass said...

Hahahaha that's clever-- LiLa. Nice little thingies (I don't know what to call them), all of them are true and have a funniness to them.

Blogging is a whole lot of fun. I'm no writer, so I can't say much on the rejections thing. Being an outsider, I can say with certainty that no matter what, keep on trying! [I liked the first point!]

Being able to communicate with great people in this community that is such a step back from reality, but is just so chilling.

Cass
cc932005[at]hotmail[dot]com

Christa said...

Oh, fun post! : ) Thanks for sharing your points. And making me smile before I head to work. I totally agree that blogging can help you find a voice & can only image how well it worked to help 2 people learn to share a voice (lol)... blogging is always for others to read but it's still more relaxed that writing on "the" novel, you know, the one that's *going* to sell. ; )

And congratulations on selling your book! I think that's something that should be congratulated/celebrated as often as possible. : )

Christa
ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

April (BooksandWine) said...

Totally a HUGE HUGE fan of LiLa! Seriously, I can't read their blog and NOT smile!

Elie said...

I agree about the social butterfly thing, in quick emails, no one expects (or wants you) to make conversation for two hours or look like a beauty queen.

Kate said...

I have always heard that success comes from surrounding yourself with those who you want to emulate. I think this is great advice! Love the post!

sithereandread (at) gmail (dot) com

Little Ms J said...

We still have to work out this whole Lee-la v. Ly-la pronunciation debacle. Jazz hands. Great post, ladies.

GBU Book Reviews said...

That's awesome that blogging helped you get your book published. I'm a new blogger on the road to become a book publisher (I know its kinda backwards). But authors that write books together just wow me. I mean how does that even work? And I love my sister to death but to work with her every day!?! You guys have some serious skill!

Cara said...

I love this post! I've been hearing about Liar Society for a while and didn't even realize Lisa & Laura had a blog. Definitely looking into that. (:

Oh, & I thought the rainbow sparkles were a nice touch.

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

LOL! Great post ladies!

Kailia Sage said...

Love this post. Totally made me smile! And great thoughts too!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Yay, LiLa!

Celeste said...

Great advice I never saw it that way, but I guess you're kind of right, I've wanted to start a blog from sometime now and now I maybe start doing it. Thanks!

vicky216n@gmail.com

Mariah said...

I love their blog! it is so funny and real! I need to listen to them and stop being intimidated and start communication with people in the blogosphere!

Larissa said...

LiLa are one of my absolute favorite online presences! LOVE THEM!!!

Christina Lee said...

I've got my *jazz hands* going over here for LiLa!

Samanthajo_322 said...

I actually laughed pretty hard reading this. I like the jazz hands first of all, how clever =p.

Also I really enjoyed the section about how rejection does'nt sting as much if someone comments on your blog. I think that If you have been hurt and someone goes out of thier way to talk to you, it has a healing power of its own. It makes you feel special, and I'm sure someone commenting about something nice on a blog has the same effect. =]

-Samantha

sslager1@niu.edu

lostinbelieving said...

Ugh, it seems so hard to get a book published. I've heard from like a bajillion authors that got a bajillion rejections. And I want to publish a book when I'm older :/

But anyways, this was a really amusing interview !

~Alison
lostinbelieving(at)yahoo(dot)com

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

LiLa rocks!!!!!!! They were some of the first bloggers I became friends with AND got to meet in person! :D

Catie S (Book Bound) said...

Social networking makes life a little brighter most days I think. Twitter is probably one of my favorites.

Anne said...

Great post! Thanks for the tips. I am new to the blogger world myself. I just started my blog a few months back. http://bringmeanotherbook.blogspot.com/

Writing/reading is a passion of mine and hopefully someday soon I will have something worth sending out for "rejection" lol

Until then I am just enjoying meeting all these new people and getting more comforable in my blogging skin :) lol

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love these two, they really are great! What a wonderful post. :)

-lauren

dramaqueen55 said...

Awesome! Great post girls!

BrittLit said...

It is easy to be a social butterfly online even if you were shy in real life. Great post, thanks for sharing!

Laura Marcella said...

Great post (as usual)! I was a blogosphere lurker before I started my own blog, so I was already aware that commenting and replying to comments was key to connecting with other blog writers!

I'm glad you're reaching success! Your hard work, perseverance, and fabulous humor is an inspiration, LiLa!

Thanks for the interview!

Bianca said...

This was a great and fun post! Very helpful advice!

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Candyland said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE LILA! And yeah. Total jazz hands. Good call.

bookaholic said...

This is one great post! Lila is so absolutely true!
Blogging helps one communicate with so many different people and helps one grow in an all-round perspective.

Beverly said...

I like the LiLa thing - I tend to combine names too when people are always together - it makes me feel good knowing that I am not the only one. Thanks for the great post about positives of blogging. I will never be a writer, but every once in awhile I hope. Congrats on the book! Thanks for the contest! bevsharp@desch.org

Katie said...

fabtastic post you guys! So fun!

Erika Lynn said...

I am convinced comments are little presents every day so I understand that they must help with rejection!
sports[dot]erikalynn[at]gmail[dot]com

Jessy said...

Thanks for all the great tips!

Okapi said...

Thanks for the great tips! Haha jazz hands :)

xicecreamsjx@aol.com

Chloe said...

Great post! It's definitely a lot of fun getting to know people so enthusiastic about reading and writing through blogs and twitter!

Chloe
lookaftermyheart1901(at)gmail(dot)com

donnas said...

Awesome post. Thanks!!

Jazz Hands and Sparkles, cant get much funner than that!

Nalazul said...

Great Post. I see how hard it is to get a book published.

Marsha Sigman said...

From now on everytime I say 'LiLa' in my head...I am going to use jazz hands. Sure, peeps will think I'm crazy but thats nothing new.

I also noticed you managed to slide in the phrase 'dicking around'. Not an easy thing to do in casual conversation, I have learned in the last few weeks.

Awesome Post!!!And I would like to say that The Body Finder is the best book I have read all year, and I'm not just sucking up...ok I am but I have said it before on my blog and others. The book is freakin' awesome. I would totally be a cougar for Jay.lol

Dani. said...

I love Lisa and Laura- they're so funny! Thanks for this post it made me smile a lot! :)


Dani
lightningstreak123[at]comcast[dot]net

ally said...

Hahahaha XD! I love 'em & have been following their blog for a while now! Awesome guest post girls :)! Count me in for the giveaway:
alannahjavier@gmail.com

MannaB said...

Everything can use a little Jazz Hands!

A Rick said...

Thanks for the tips, they are really great! Interesting to read too.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Lila is the madonna of blogging :)

Sharli said...

Great post! You had me nodding at most of what you said. My best jazz hands to you! :D

Anonymous said...

Loved your voice and story. I dream of publishing. Some days I think it's a dream other days I work to make it a reality. Today I revised 40 pages and wrote 4. So today I am a writer. Thanks for the smile. Tomorrow I think I'll be a writer too. Thanks for that!
Angel
vonmorgan@yahoo.com

Erica Chapman said...

Fabulous post! I just love me some LiLa and on Kimberly's blog!! OMG super double awesome ;o) Lila has one of the best blogs out there. I ALWAYS look forward to reading it.

Thanks for sharing some more about ya, ladies. And big thanks to Kimberly too ;o)

L8BloomerOnline said...

LOVE this post! Such good, fun advice!
Congrats LiLa!

Jen
jennlynn77@gmail.com

Llehn said...

What an awesome and hilarious post! Thanks ladies for sharing your wisdom :D

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Emma Kate "Coops" @ Whats Cracking Coops said...

This is GREAT!!! I completely, 100$ agree with surrounding yourself with people smarter than you. In primary school, I wanted my main occupation to be horse riding. In fact, I would have gone one better and BECOME a horse if I could (I was so horse crazy its kinda sad!). But then I got into high school and about year 9 I transitioned into this group of SUPER smart people. What they did for me was amazing. Not only did it help my intelligence emerge A LOT but it brought me to realise that there are going to be a lot of people much more accomplished/smarter than me wherever I go! Was good to learn that really early on.

LOVE the LiLa name!!! genius, great post!

misha1989 said...

Great Post! Please enter me if the contest is international. Thank you!

Misha
mishamary@gmail.com

Lisa and Laura said...

OK, so Kimberly's stat counter is probably revealing that we're stalking this post. The comments are just amazing. Thank you so much for the kind words and thanks for giving us the chance to meet all your amazing followers, Kimberly!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

LOVE these two! Great stuff - jazz hands indeed!

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I can't even remember by what chance I stumbled upon LiLa's blog, but I know I became a follower immediately! These two are a riot and their funny and incredible posts always make me chuckle or laugh out loud! They are the best cure for any gray Monday morning :-)

Girsl, please keep up being you, so that we can be entertained ;-D

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Meredith said...

Yay for jazz hands and standing ovation! I'm new to the whole blogging thing, and these two have been so welcoming. Great post!

Candace said...

Love it! And once Kim said jazz hands and I could just see her clear as day doing jazz hands! lol. You guys sound great and I LOVE the points made! I'm a writer that hasn't wrote in years but I really feel like writing my blog helps me find my voice and keeps me practicing my writing skills so one day when I'm ready I can hopefully get back to writing and not have lost TOO much.
I LOVE social networking. I love feeling like I 'know' the authors I read just because we tweet back and forth a bit or posted on each other's facebook wall. And reading authors blogs is so fun! It's our chance to 'hear' their voice in between the books we are waiting (dying) for.
Love this post!
candace_redinger(at)yahoo(dot)com

Froggy said...

awesome post LiLa!! :)

Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

Thanks girls. I love author blogs for all the reasons you mentioned, especially the accountability. I think more budding authors should try them.

Miles McG said...

Wow! Those little tidbits were definitely nice to know considering I, in fact, just started a blog roughly a week ago. I too feel like the little intimidated blogger with all these menacing huge bloggers around me, but I know they're not all so crazy and scary. :) Great job!

Anne said...

This is awesome! Love it!

Jamie said...

Great post!....doubt I could work so closely with any of my sisters, so kudos to you two!

Trini said...

I've heard of a couple of authors who say they hate blogging and bloggers. I was in total shock and almost cried for them. I think I'm goint to forward this post to them. Blogging can be so much fun and you meet so many different people it's so worth the effort.

Trini A Book Lovers Review
abookloversreview@gmail.com

ferretvamp14 said...

Great advice! I'm more of a loner b/c it seems no one is interested in what I'm interested in, but on the internet I can be a social butterfly! There is almost always a site that shares in your passions.

Mariana said...

Great post!!!
Thanks for all the great tips
;)
maryflorido(at)hotmail(dot)com

Maggie said...

Aw, LiLa are my heroessssss. They're hilarious, and pretty much make my life. And that is all I have to say about that!

Jenny N. said...

They have a great blog and I enjoyed reading this post.

Jessica @ Confessions of a Bookaholic said...

Great post. And that all seems very true :)..and very funny! lol I'm a new blogger but it has been one of the best decisions I have made. Talking to different people every day is so amazing!

totalbookaholic[at]hotmail[dot]com

Malbebe said...

This is probably my favorite guest post yet on here! The things LiLa had to say were real. Everyone suffers hard times as a writer. I mean even if you are an amateur writer. Great story!

cupidgurl411(at)aol(dot)com

EVA SB said...

I still think it is amazing that people can write a book together!
But going by this guest post you obviously have a lot of fun.

Vivien said...

How hard it must be to be able to co-author something. I couldn't do it. At least I can sit back and enjoy what you produce :)

Sweet Lady Jess said...

While I'm not on my way to be a writer, I feel like I know what Lisa and Laura mean by connections. I only have about 18 followers in my blog, but I'm happy to have those few readers that take the time to read my posts. I use it to express myself since not everyone can listen to my gushing or ranting. Blogs= Awesomeness!

-Jessica T.

jessicatapia_afuel07(at)hotmail(dot)com

jpetroroy said...

I love the blogging community.

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Liz. R said...

I totally agree that the internet can make you a better writer. Not that I write, but I've found that spending my days practically living on the internet has improved my vocabulary, my research skills and my patience (waiting for things to load...torture)! So I'm backing the whole "the internet is educational" argument :P.

Rainbow sparkles; better than you since 1960.

Lynsey Newton said...

That post made for very interesting reading and the internet is definitely a great place to make friends, improve your writing and learn your craft.

Tere Kirkland said...

My blog has definitely helped me find my voice, that's for sure. And boy, does it ever hold you accountable! ;)

Thanks for the fun post!

Chick Lit Teens said...

This is an excellent post! I agree with absolutely everything LiLa -- *jazz hands* -- pointed out.

I've been blogging for two years now, and have been blown away by how blogging has changed my life. When I first started I never would've imagined I'd meet so many great people (or that anyone would actually read what I wrote). The people I've met through the blogosphere and Twitter have given me an inside look at publishing. It continues to amaze me every day that I've made all these fabulous connections.

Jessica
chicklitteens(at)gmail(dot)com

kermit4110 said...

Love the blog! Blogging is definitely the best way to keep everyone up to date all at once!

A Simple Love of Reading said...

It's so very true about blogs being a great way to meet people! I started mine on New Year's eve of 2009, and it has been growing by leaps and bounds. There are times when I feel that I am letting my followers down by not always having enough to say, but they are always there to encourage me. And I have met so many kind people through the world of blogging!

rachelpatrick93 said...

For quite some time I've been interested in writing books, and I find those few points of advice very helpful. I've never really been sure where I should start, what I should do.

Thanks for being such great help Lisa and Laura!

Sandy said...

This was great! I love blogging it's become my new obsession but I've learned something here about how to maybe get more comments. I try to comment on other people's blogs and tweets but I am mostly a wall blog flower even when people are miles and miles away from me I'm still intimidated. I'll try to be more of a social butterfly.

Vivien said...

LOL great post guys. Very.. informative :)

Christinabean said...

Thanks for sharing! I just started a blog and I like being able to get my ideas out there but being ok if someone likes them or disagrees. It's been great meeting other bloggers and learning from everyone else.

Christina
clderwee at gmail dot com

Cassay said...

great post thanks!

cassandra c
cassandra dot crouser at yahoo dot ca

Cougar said...

G'day again...I am loving all this information which I pass on to my friends.
Thanks!! From a very happy fuzzy wombat.

WulfLuva said...

Sweesome post!!!

Kimberly Derting said...

I'LL BE ANNOUNCING THE WINNER LATER TODAY... STAY TUNED!!!!!

Lora Wiedenheft said...

I want to win a copy of firelight please

Lora Wiedenheft
chaarmedone1512@aol.com