Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist




Do Writers Take Summer Vacation?

Do Writers Take Summer Vacation?
Jul 13, 2017 by Victoria Noe

Remember summer vacation?

Back in the days when I was a fundraising consultant, the period from Thanksgiving to mid-January was my slow time. End of the year direct mail appears had already gone out, events were wrapped up, grant proposal deadlines met. I don’t remember taking time off, though. I used those weeks to create my marketing plan for the coming year and try to get my paperwork in order for taxes. Just how long that down time lasted depended on how good a year my clients had:  the worse their end-of-year numbers, the earlier they called me in January.

Now that I’m writing, I don’t have a clear down time. There are a lot of writing conferences,...

How This Writer Found Her Street Team

How This Writer Found Her Street Team
Jun 29, 2017 by Victoria Noe

I knew next to nothing when I seriously committed to writing. An impulsive idea - to write a book about people grieving their friends - led to a series of six small books. The writers I knew all wrote romance or historical fiction, not nonfiction. I had no contacts. So I did what I’d done in my previous careers: I researched online and off. I attended my first writing conference. I took online courses. I joined a writing group. And all of that helped. But the thing that helped the most was not deliberate, not part of any grandiose career plan: I built a street team.

I had to push any ego aside, which was easier than...

The Ripples of Our Audience

The Ripples of Our Audience
May 24, 2017 by Victoria Noe
Writers are always aware that we have an audience, and not just when we’re writing. We all - no matter how we publish - create marketing plans. Often, when asked who our audience is, insist it’s ‘everyone’. But that’s not realistic or workable as a plan.

We debate the effectiveness of Facebook ads vs. newsletter offers, Amazon promotions vs. Goodreads giveaways. We have at least a pretty good idea of who our audience is: gender, age, geographic location, interests. But sometimes we can still be surprised.

I was in Boston earlier this month, speaking at The Muse and the Marketplace writing conference. It was a cold, dreary, rain-soaked weekend outside the Park Plaza Hotel, but energetic and stimulating inside.

Towards the end of the...

Public Speaking for Shy Authors - Part 2

Public Speaking for Shy Authors - Part 2
May 18, 2017 by Victoria Noe
I recently gave a presentation at The Muse and the Marketplace writing conference in Boston: "Public Speaking for Painfully Shy Authors". It’s a terrific weekend that I highly recommend to any author committed to improving their craft and career.

My presentation was in the first block after the opening keynote, which turned out to be great. Everyone was awake and energized and eager to learn. I greeted everyone as they arrived and asked if there was anything specific they were interested in learning. That gave me a chance to figure out ways to make sure the presentation met their needs.

The description in the program promised that there would be time for two or three people to be guinea pigs: stand in...

Self-Care for Writers: Put Yourself First

Self-Care for Writers: Put Yourself First
Apr 26, 2017 by Victoria Noe

When I started writing, I was determined to not be afraid to ask for help. I’m sure I was beyond annoying, asking about conferences to attend, software to use, metadata. But there was one thing I did not ask about: how to take care of myself.

On the surface, one would think it’s unnecessary to do anything different just because you’re a writer. Everyone should get a decent amount of sleep, eat healthy, stay active. Writing is solitary and easily isolating, so social contact is important, online or in person. I asked a number of writers how they do it.

Environmental: Most surprising to me was that self-care to some meant the act of writing itself. They created...

How Authors Are Rewarded

How Authors Are Rewarded
Mar 01, 2017 by Victoria Noe
Last Saturday I was part of “Path to Published”, a panel discussion put together by Chicago Writers Association. I think I can say that all of us on the panel had a great time talking about our various experiences: self-publishing, traditional and hybrid publishing.

One of the questions has really stuck with me since then. It was one that’s fairly common, one that everyone is asked eventually:

“What’s the most rewarding thing about being a writer?”

There are the obvious things: lots of people buying your books, great reviews, awards, crowds at your book signings. But that’s not what I talked about. My answer was in two parts.

With my Friend Grief series, I knew I had a hard sell. Grief is not a...

How Can You Write at a Time Like This?

How Can You Write at a Time Like This?
Feb 01, 2017 by Victoria Noe
A lot of writers I know have been struggling these past few months. Their fears about the future are on display, in their online posts and in their writing. Anxiety is rampant. So is insomnia. The news of the past two weeks has only heightened their concerns.

They are a diverse group: men and women, all the major religions, every race and generation. They live in the US and other countries. They write fiction and nonfiction, memoir and science fiction/fantasy, poetry and children’s literature.

And every one of them seems to be asking themselves the same question: How can you write at a time like this?

Writing almost seems superfluous, a luxury we can’t afford. We have to keep our eye on the...