Although I am a historical romance author, I produce my books in the twenty-first century. This means using technology instead of a quill pen. The lockdown has shown authors need more technology than the traditional social media platforms. They also need to meet others in a safe fashion.
Many apps connect people across the miles without them ever leaving home. Some of the more popular ones are FaceTime, Google Meeting, Google Duo, and Webex. I’ve participated in gatherings using most of these, but the one I downloaded for meetings I set up was Zoom.
I chose Zoom because it was the one I was most familiar with. My RWA chapter meetings for the past two months have been successfully run with this. Also, my critique group is meeting weekly on Zoom. Because we review a chapter a week, we have learned how to share our notes on the screen for everyone to view.
To set up an account, go to https://zoom.us/and click on the link. You will need to enter your e-mail and birthday and create a password. They will send an e-mail to your address, asking if you want to activate the account. Click Yes.
Once you have an account, it is easy to set up your first meeting. You just click on the link at the top of the page that says Host a Meeting. Fill out the specifics for your event and schedule it.
Zoom will ask if you want to copy the invitation into your clipboard. Answer Yes again. Now you can e-mail the meeting link and info to invite your requested attendees. Just Paste the saved clipboard data into the body of your e-mail. (The Control-V command in a PC.)
Be sure to test your computer’s audio and video set up is working before your meeting to make sure everything is connected. Zoom has links you can use to test. (Ask me how I know this step is important!)
Like the other companies, Zoom offers paid plans with extras. I registered for just the Basic Plan, which is free. Its features meet my current needs. You can have an unlimited number of one-on-one meetings, and there is no expiration date to the plan. The one-on-one meetings have no time limit. There is a 40 minute time limit, if the meeting has 3 to 100 participants. This means during critique group, we have to immediately get down to business and reduce the chit chat. Not necessarily a bad thing.
This historical romance author has expanded her technological reach. I still enjoy writing about the past, but I’m glad I can connect with people in the present.