2018 New Year’s Special! (January 2018)

Happy 2018!

This month, each of us founders stole some time away from the holidays to record a quick video talking about what we’re drinking this holiday season, what we’re reading, what we’re looking forward to in the new year– including the word each of us has picked to guide our year.

Watch us here:

or listen in on iTunes or SoundCloud. When you’re done- we’d love to know what your word for 2018 is (or, you know, what you’re drinking, that’s cool too) – leave us a comment below or come chat on our Facebook page.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe for Julia’s fabulous cocktail:

Winter Aviator

  • Juice of 1 clementine or juice of 1/2 orange
  • 40 ml gin
  • 10 ml creme de cassis 
  • 5ml Campari

Squeeze the juice over cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour in the liquors. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass or a rocks glass

And a few beer suggestions from Mary Chris (in case you can’t find the giant bottle of hyper-local beer she’s drinking, but want something similar):

And links to a couple other things we mention on the show:

As always, thanks for listening/watching, and generally being a part of our lives for this coming year and every year. Here’s to a authentically connected year of living fearlessly!

 

Want to support our show? Check out our Patreon page for info, and fun bonuses!

The One Where We Talk About E-mail Lists (October 2017)

This month we’re adding our voices to the topic “du jour” in the world of book marketing (drumroll, please) … The Email List. Listen in as we cover the who, what, when, where, why of this massively popular way to connect with readers:

  • Who to target with your newsletters
  • What to send them
  • When (i.e. how often) to send messages
  • Where to find readers
  • Why e-mail is the gold-standard in communicating with them
  • How to go about getting into readers inboxes (hint: by asking nicely and adding value to their lives)
  • Plus, a few tricks of the trade to make this all seem a little less overwhelming

Grab your drinks and join us!

Or listen in via iTunes or Soundcloud.

The two e-mail marketing services we mentioned in the show are MailChimp and MailerLite. They aren’t buying us any drinks for mentioning them, we just wanted you to have the links right here in case you’re curious.

As a bonus for Patreon subscribers this month Alexis Anne created a video demo about how to set up automation in MailerLite. Check out the subscription information here.

Finally, as always, if you want more details on what we’re drinking, you can find them here (including Julia’s French 75 recipe this month). It’s fitting that Julia’s drinking a fancy cocktail with sparkling wine this month, since her new Scottish historical series, The Matchmaker of Edinburgh, launches this month with the first title The Look of Love out October 9. Congrats!

Thanks so much for supporting First Draught and spending time with us each month!

Cheers!

 

Author Collaborations (May 2017)

Writing can be a really solitary endeavor — just you and your laptop and your words. Even the most introverted of writers (which lets be honest, is mostly all of us) occasionally wish we had someone to bounce that crazy story idea around with. Or someone to talk to about trends in marketing or publishing. Or someone who simply just understands how crazy/exhilarating/exhausting/thrilling this business is.

Which is where collaboration comes in! Whether it’s working on a monthly podcast, or writing an anthology. Planning a local happy hour, or hosting an online community — it can be hugely beneficial to collaborate with other authors. This month, we’re talking about all the ways in which authors are creating their own little teams of awesome and the benefits of collaboration, as well as how to set yourself up for success.

You can also listen to us on iTunes or SoundCloud, and if you’d like to share a drink, all the details are here.

This month we’re also toasting a new collaboration of our own! Julia, Alexis, and Mary Chris along with the amazing Alexandra Haughton, Lindsay Emory, and Laura von Holt just launched HBIC Nation last week. We’re thrilled to share our online community and our Dream. Do. Dominate. philosophy with you. Check out our exciting new adventure over at hbicnation.com or on the HBIC Nation Facebook group!

As always, thank you so much for watching/listening/reading! Sign up for our newsletter, and please let us know what topics you’d love to see us tackle in the future in the comments below. And if you enjoy our show we’d so appreciate you sharing it with others you think might like it.

How to Tackle Revisions (February 2017)

You’ve written the draft, sent it to beta readers or a critique partner, and now you’ve got a bunch of notes on your manuscript. What next?

In this month’s First Draught we tackle how to sort through all those suggestions, a few different ways to organize the editing process, and what to do when you think you’ve gotten some bad advice. We also debate how much whiskey is really in Alexis’ glass, and whether Julia has a future as a telemarketer with her new headset.

Grab a whiskey, wine, or beer (we have recommendations for all three) and join us:

If you prefer to listen, you can find this episode on Soundcloud and iTunes.

Huge thanks to Jess L. for suggesting this topic on Twitter. Have a topic you’d like us to take on– leave a comment here, drop us a line at firstdraughtwriters@gmail.com, or catch any of us on Twitter (@AlexisAnneBooks, @The_Julia_Kelly, @marychris_e).

Show Notes: Finding Your Own Truth in the World of Publishing (May 2016)

There are a lot of messages out there about what you need to do to insure your success in publishing. You must have 793 followers, post at least a photo an hour on Instagram, and NEVER, ever, EVER design your own covers… you get the point. This month we’re offering our tips on how to wade through all this advice and figure out what is best for you and your career. Sometimes this includes breaking all the “rules”.

The show is also available as a podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud.

Here’s the awesome article that Alexis references in the show: Self-Publishing Myths– Busted. (Umm.. does that title make anyone else sing “tin roof– rusted” in their head, No, just me?). And here’s another one Mary-Chris likes a lot about one author’s publishing journey (see especially her “takeaways” and comment about fairy dust near the end).

And what was First Draught drinking, this month? Alexis and Mary-Chris opted for beer and Julia made herself a Negroni. Check out all the details on the Drink of the Month Page.

Finally, we’d love to deliver First Draught right to your inbox every month. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter with links to the show. And if you love listening to us as a podcast we’d be so appreciative if you would leave us a review to help other authors find us!

Cheers!

 

First Draught is on Spring Break in March

RWA 2015 PartyOkay, we’re not actually sitting on a beach somewhere together (but how fun would that be!). However, we are taking tiny little rest in March and will be back in April with all the awesome things!

Speaking of which, if you have any suggestions for upcoming show topics, just drop them in the comments below. We’d love to know what you’re curious about these days.

See you in April!

Cheers,

Alexis, Julia, & Mary Chris

PS – Here’s a fun spring break cocktail (or 10) to tide you over until April’s drink of the month!

 

Drink of the Month (January): Belgian Beers

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2016 by talking about the books that have inspired us in our writing careers. We’ll talk everything from those early books we read that made us think maybe (just maybe) we could be a writers, to the books that help kick-start our creativity, keep our spirits up, or give us brilliant ideas for the publishing/marketing/selling part of the business. These are the books that inspire us. That we come back to again and again.

For our drink this month, I’m going with the beers that inspired my love of craft beer. The ones I go back to again and again. It wasn’t so much that a Belgian beer was the FIRST craft beer I ever had, as it was the style that made me realize how much I LOVED beer.  Witbiers and saisons/ farmhouse ales are my favorites, but honestly I haven’t met a style that I don’t like. I could elaborate a lot more, but I’m trying to keep this post from becoming dissertation length. However, if you’re super curious Belgian beers this post covers it all very nicely.

Here are just a few of my favorite Belgian style beers from craft breweries in the United States (again, this post would get way too long if I didn’t give myself some constraints): Allagash, White (witbier); Goose Island, Sofie (saison/farmhouse); Brookyln Brewery, Sorachi Ace (saison/farmhouse);  Ommegang, Three Philosophers (quadrupel).

IMG_1468Grab a delicious pint and join us this coming Tuesday, January 5, at 8:30pm EST (RSVP here to get a reminder). We’re beyond thrilled to have Laura Von Holt join us again. In addition to talking about her favorite inspirational books, she’ll also be filling us in on the exciting details about the Creative Insight Journey classes she’s leading this month!

Cheers!

RSVP: Decoding Social Media

First DraughtIt’s back to school for the kids, and it’s back to the writing classroom for First Draught this September! This month we’re tackling a big topic: social media.

We’re always looking for new strategies to use social media in our writing lives, so we thought we’d talk to three people we think are particularly social media savvy. This month, Molly O’Keefe, Codi Gary, and Julie Valerie are joining us to share their strategies, tips, and tricks for tackling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and more.

The show hits the air at 8:30 PM EST on Tuesday, September 1st. You can RSVP on Google Hangouts and then check back to watch it live with your favorite drink!

If you can’t make it to the live broadcast, you can watch all of our back episodes in our video archive. Also, don’t forget that you can get our podcast feed on iTunes or Soundcloud. Subscribe to listen to our entire audio archive!

Get It Together Blog Hop BannerAlso, we strongly recommend checking out the Get It Together Blog Hop going on August 31-September 4. It’s five days of organization tips, tricks, and advice to get your writing routine in shape for the fall. Plus there are plenty of prizes! Alexis, Mary Chris, and Julia will all be participating in the hop. You can find the full hop schedule at Alexandra Haughton or Lindsay Emory‘s blogs. You can also follow #GetItTogetherBlogHop

RSVP: Hooking Readers with Gripping First Chapters

We are back from RWA and (mostly) recovered. We had an incredible time meeting a bunch of you who watched the show to prep for the big conference, and we wanted to say again how thankful we were for all of your kind words!

We’ve been talking a lot about career-related topics in the last few months, so we thought we’d switch it up for August. This month, we’re tacking how to write first chapters that hook readers.

Alyssa Cole will be joining us. She’s written some beautiful books, but we thought of her for this month’s topic in particular because of her novella “Be Not Afraid” in the anthology For Love & Liberty. It features the only “the main characters met over a dead body” meet cute in a historical romance that Julia can think of off the top of her head. If you have a chance to give “Be Not Afraid” a read before the show, we highly recommend it.

And Lindsay Emory is coming back to First Draught to talk about the beginning of her fantastic cozy mystery Sisterhood is Deadly. We also recommend reading the first chapter of this one before the show (you’ll understand why when you do).

The show hits the air at 8:30 PM EST on Tuesday, August 4th. You can RSVP on Google Hangouts and then check back to watch it live with your favorite drink!

If you can’t make it to the live broadcast, you can watch all of our back episodes in our video archive. Also, don’t forget that you can get our podcast feed on iTunes or Soundcloud. Subscribe to listen to our entire audio archive!