Posts tagged with: social media
Posted by Kim Law Feb 11 2013, 12:01 am in Facebook, goodreads, promo, social media, Twitter
Book promo…author promo…just jab a needle in my eye and make it stop
OK, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but promo is a necessary evil, right? We all have to do it! And who of use really likes it? I would venture to guess, very few of us. So…since it’s likely very few people’s favorite part of the job (possibly NO ONE’S favorite part of the job), I would like to know What Really Works?
I’m sure you would, too!
Posted by Jeannie Lin Nov 6 2012, 12:01 am in blog tours, blogging, social media
You know how it goes…
- You spend hours writing a thoughtful post and no one sees it
- You’re giving away free books, gift cards, candy and your first born child, and there are only two comments
- You’re guest blogging somewhere and you have to BEG your friends and family to go over and comment so you don’t look like a LOSER
- You blog with a group of people and every week you find yourselves scrounging around and to fill empty slots
There was a time when blogging was supposed to be the thang. Everyone was doing it. Publishers were holding seminars on how to blog effectively. Unpublished authors were told it was important to blog and build a platform even before selling. But now, more and more of us are wondering, is it really worth it?
“Is blogging dead?”
Posted by Tamara Hogan Oct 26 2012, 12:01 am in agita, CHASE ME, social media, tamara hogan, Technology
For authors, it’s pretty much de rigueur to promote our work, and engage with our readers, using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. But for many people in the information technology field, willingly supplying personal information to any third party unless it’s absolutely required is…unthinkable. Anathema. Gets you sprinkled with loser dust.
Being both an author and a technologist, social media is a subject of massive personal agita for me.
My native mindset is that of the technologist: security and risk focused. I have an innate personal desire for silence and privacy, near-zero socialization needs, am massively introverted, and have an ongoing challenge with digital overload…add growing up Scandanavian and Lutheran in Minnesota, where, as Garrison Keillor says about Lake Wobegon on A Prairie Home Companion, every child is above average, so there’s no need to go tooting your horn, little missy. Is it any wonder social media and promotion are not exactly natural fits for me?
And then there’s the physical safety issue.
There was an unfortunate incident recently that brought all this agita to the forefront: a literary agent recently reported having been assaulted by a disgruntled author. As an assault and stalking victim myself, reading this story made my stomach plummet to my feet like an elevator in free-fall. As a technologist, I found the divergent attitudes toward social media to be rather eye-opening. From the story:
Van Hylckama Vlieg said the incident taught her to be more cautious about her job and social media usage. Until the incident, she had been a keen user of the location-based social networking service Foursquare, often sharing her location in and around her daughter’s school, where the attack took place.
“My husband works for Yahoo,” van Hylckama Vlieg says. “A lot of people who work in tech[nology] circles tend to be more open [with their information].”
I found this comment startling. It doesn’t align with my experience of technologists at all. Several commenters expressed similar views:
The IT people in my family are absolutely paranoid about the internet…constantly warning us all not to put anything out there at all. They don’t use any social media – no Facebook, no Tweet, no nothing. They even refuse to order stuff online using credit cards and each have several email addresses not using any variation of their names. -- Susan of Wales
Same with mine. My father’s in Information Security…he’s the most paranoid person in my family about sharing information over the internet. No addresses, alias when I post something (sometimes) and never do things like tell my age and stuff… I know very few IT people that are open with their information on the Web. – Mercy Grant
Being a successful author today pretty much requires that you reach out to readers, reviewers, and other writers using digital means. But what do you do when the requirements of the author’s job utterly collide with beliefs and behaviors forged by decades of professional experience and personal inclination? From the technologist’s perspective, I’m a clueless loser if I willingly feed the digital maw with likes, tags, tweets and clicks, or provide more personal data than I absolutely must. From an author’s or publisher’s perspective, I’m a paranoid loser if I don’t.
Sometimes my brain feels utterly cleaved in two.
It’s a struggle for me to try to explain to friends and loved ones exactly why so many technologists are so rabid about data privacy. It’s challenging to talk about such a complex subject in a meaningful way without a shared vocabulary. How do you condense a career’s worth of knowledge, experience, research and concern into a casual conversation, or into a blog post? Where do you even start? (I tried: “Ten Things You Can Do To Reduce Hack Risk” Part 1 and Part 2) Technologists are concerned because we simply don’t know who can access, use, buy or sell our personal data, now or into the future. We don’t know how our personal data might be used. The law is about fifteen years behind technology here – the last significant update to the Telecommunications Act was made in 1996 – so in the absence of meaningful and appropriate consumer protections, we choose to protect ourselves.
I try to make what I hope are informed compromises. Writing under a pseudonym has been very helpful for this purpose. Tamara has a Facebook account and fan page; Tammy doesn’t. Tamara has a Twitter feed; Tammy doesn’t. Yes, Tamara and Tammy share computers, ISPs, IP addresses, and other technological trackables, but the risk of any one individual having enough interest, time and skill to connect the digital dots between Tamara and Tammy is relatively low—not zero, mind you, but low. Making a mental distinction between Tamara and Tammy helps me navigate this risk more productively.
Like the children of Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, I want to be above average in everything I do, but when push comes to shove, Tammy’s concerns will always trump Tamara’s. Always. This means that Tamara, who writes and sells books, pays a price. She doesn’t always hold up her end of the bargain, promotion-wise. She isn’t above average – at least as far as sales go.
And that realization really, really stings.
Do you ever experience social media agita? If so, what do you do about it?
Award-winning author Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis with her partner Mark and two naughty cats. When she’s not telecommuting to Silicon Valley, she enjoys writing edgy urban fantasy romance with a sci-fi twist. A feral reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tammy is forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots.
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“Gabe. Where can I get me one of him? Sexy and smart? That is a diabolical combination that left me wanting to hunt down this man and make him my own.” – Redheads Review It Better
“It’s sweet. It’s fun. It’s downright naughty. I can’t wait to see what pairing gets their book next.” – Pure Textuality
Posted by Hope Ramsay Dec 16 2011, 12:01 am in author promotion, Facebook, social media, Twitter
Whether you are a published or soon-to-be published author, the chances are pretty good that you’ve already been thinking about social networking. If you’re a published author, your publisher has probably insisted that you do this. If you’re an indie author, knowing this stuff can make a huge difference in building readership. If you’re pre-published, learning this stuff before you sell can be a huge time saver.
So, like it or not, we right-brained authors need to learn a few left-brain tricks.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t learned any of this stuff before I sold my first book, so I had to do a lot of catching up while simultaneously trying to meet killer book deadlines. I would not recommend this method of learning.
And so, in the interest of sparing you some of the pain I’ve gone through, I thought I would pass along a few helpful tricks that might give you a running head start in trying to stay “social.”
How to have a blog delivered to your email account.
Let’s start with something really simple, like having the content of the blogs you want to follow, including the Ruby Sister blog, delivered to your email. To do this, you’ll need to learn about something called a “Real Simple Syndication Feed,” otherwise known as an RSS feed. (And, no, that is not short for Ruby Slippered Sisterhood.)
Every WordPress and Blogger site has an RSS feed that contains the content of the blog. An RSS feed looks like an Internet URL address, but it’s not the address for the blog — just for the blog’s content. Here is the URL address for the Ruby Sister blog feed.
If you follow this feed, you’ll see all of the blogs posted on the Ruby Sister Blog, displayed in a webpage without our site’s navigation buttons and graphics.
Using an RSS feed, you can have just the content of the Ruby Sister blog delivered to your email account on a daily basis. All you have to do is visit “Feed My Inbox” (http://www.feedmyinbox.com/). At this site, you simply enter the URL for the Ruby Sister blog and your email address and voila you’re done. Every day you’ll get an email containing the blog posted here on the Ruby Sister blog.
Obviously if there are other blogs you want to follow, you’ll need to get their blog feed. Luckily there are specific naming rules for WordPress and Blogger RSS feeds. Below you’ll find a link to more information about this, so you can figure out the feed for each of your favorite blogs and have them delivered to you, instead of having to go onto the Internet and search for them.
For a full discourse on RSS feeds from WordPress blogs, follow this link: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds
For more information on Blogger RSS feeds, follow this link: http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=97933
Following blog comments
It turns out that WordPress and Blogger have RSS feeds that include more than just the content of the blog posts. You can also follow comments posted on a blog. So if you want to follow the comments that are posted on the Ruby Sister Blog, the URL would look like this:
Like any other RSS feed, you can have this one delivered to your email.
Following a specific blog author
It gets better — and more useful — because WordPress has a way of filtering an RSS feed. You can filter a feed in a number of ways, but for me the most useful is to filter the feed so that it provides only the posts of a specific blog author. So if, for example, you wanted to read blog posts that were submitted only by me, the RSS feed would look like this:
Using a blog feed on your own webpage
I use my own Ruby Sister author feed to build content on my own webpage. If you follow this link: http://hoperamsay.com/news-feeds/, you’ll see how my posts at the Ruby Sister blog show up on my own webpage. I don’t have to create these links by hand, using my RSS feed, they post automatically.
My webpage uses WordPress so I have a huge array of free software “plugins” that help me manage the page pretty effectively. The WordPress plugin to display my Ruby Sister author feed is called “Syndicate Press” (http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/), but there are others available. I am not familiar with Blogger webpages, but I’m sure there are methods that you could use to have your author RSS feed embedded on a blogger webpage. If your webpage is more traditionally built, you may have to check with your webpage designer for ways to have your author feed embedded into your webpage. But if you are blogging at other sites, you should not miss this opportunity to automatically keep your webpage content dynamic.
Using a blog feed to create Facebook content
Suppose you have a webpage like I do that includes a blog. I occasionally make posts on my own blog, as well as participating in multi-author blogs. Every time I blog, I want to make sure that I let my friends on Facebook know about it. If you visit my facebook author page, you’ll find my blogs posted in two different ways. I have a tab on my facebook page that shows the feed from various blogs that I participate in. In addition, every time I create a blog, a Facebook status update is created, with an automatic link to the blog.
I use an app called “Social RSS” to make this happen. The free version of social RSS will post the blog feed to your Facebook status timeline or author wall in about 24 to 48 hours after the initial blog post. Because I want my feeds to show up quicker than that, I pay for the premium version of this service.
I have to be honest, I like this app, but it sometimes malfunctions. I’ve been searching for a better way to do this, but I haven’t found it yet. If anyone has suggestions, please leave a comment. The point, though, is that it is possible to link your blog feeds to your Facebook page automatically, using an RSS feed. And anyone who regularly blogs, should be taking advantage of this connectivity.
What else can you do?
Well, it turns out that Facebook and twitter also have feeds. And with a little bit of research you can figure out ways to do some pretty interesting things. For instance:
- You can connect Facebook and twitter so that the feed for every one of your Facebook posts is automatically tweeted. There are two advantages to using twitter this way: 1) you don’t have to worry so much about the character count, and 2) you only have to post a status update or comment once. Follow this link to set this up: http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=123006872130#!/twitter/
- You can put your Facebook or twitter feed directly on your WordPress website. I embedded my Facebook feed on my own webpage by using a WordPress plug-in called “Simple Facebook Connect.” Not only does this plugin allow me to embed my Facebook feed on my webpage, but it also allows my readers to “like” posts and other content on my page. If I wanted to, I could allow users to post Facebook comments on my webpage content. If you visit my page (www.hoperamsay.com) you’ll see my Facebook feed on the right sidebar.
- I have also opted to use Constant Contact to manage my mailing list. This is a paid service, so it might not be for everyone. But one of the advantages of using Constant Contact is that the service provides a mailing list app that I can use on my Facebook page as well as my personal webpage. Facebook normally doesn’t have a mailing list option, so if you are an author and trying to build a mailing list, I strongly recommend that you find a service that will allow you to connect a mailing list option on your Facebook page. Constant Contact also has a way for people on my mailing list to tweet and to share my email messages to them, potentially broadening every mailing that I send to my mailing list.
- If you are using both twitter and Facebook to communicate with readers or friends, it can get really tiresome flipping from the Facebook interface to the twitter interface. There are two great solutions for this problem. You can download free software called “Tweetdeck.” Alternatively, you can visit www.hootsuite.com and set up a hootsuite account. Both of these solutions allow you to set up multiple twitter, Facebook, and linkedin accounts in one place. You can post to all of your accounts in a single post, instead of trying to post in multiple places. Using hootsuite has really saved me a lot of time.
I am only beginning to explore additional ways to connect my presence as an author on Goodreads and Amazon to my webpage and Facebook. So I can’t provide much help on those things right now. But I would sure be interested in hearing any other tips from readers and authors about connecting things up and staying social.
Posted by Joan Swan Mar 16 2011, 12:01 am in 2009, advanced twitter tips and tricks, authors, connecting, golden heart, Joan Swan, Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, rwa, social media, Twitter, writers
So we’re back to Twitter again, huh? If you missed the first post, you can find it HERE.
So much to know, so little time. In fact SO much to know, that I ended up cutting this post off at one topic, when I’d planned on covering several. But, the truth is, the almighty @ took up so much room, I didn’t want to totally bog you down with other things, too. I’ve chosen another date in April to finish it all up.
There is a lot of nitty gritty here, but it’s valuable nitty gritty. The kind of stuff that I wish I’d known early on, because I wouldn’t have learned by mistakes. It might look cluttered at first glance, but I’ve tried to par it down to digestable little snipits with examples.
It’s all about the @ on Twitter.
Posted by Joan Swan Mar 9 2011, 1:00 am in 2009, advanced twitter tips and tricks, authors, connecting, golden heart, Joan Swan, Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, rwa, social media, Twitter, writers
Okay, I’m no master, but this is not a how to beginners guide, either. We already know you’re on it and using it, but are you using it to your full advantage?
If you think you’re not interested in Twitter, if you hear Twitter and think, I don’t have time for that, or I have nothing to tweet, or what a waste of time…I have a couple of stories for you at the end of the tips section that may change your mind. If nothing else they are warm and fuzzy stories. We can all use a few more warm fuzzies in the world, no?
I haven’t always been a Twitter fan. I swear my first few weeks on Twitter killed thousands of braincells. What do you mean, no threads? How am I supposed to keep track of anything or anyone? What the hell is everyone talking about?
I felt like I’d been dropped in the middle of a cocktail party where I knew no one and kept picking up partial conversations of which I couldn’t quite elbow myself into.
I missed the organization of threads on Facebook, my original social media of choice, and eventually deleted my Twitter account. But then guess what happened? Yep, a few weeks later, I realized I missed the immediacy and intimacy and utter rampage of information on Twitter.
What was a girl to do? I got TweetDeck. But I’m not going to talk about TweetDeck today, I’m going to talk about Twitter and what I’ve learned about the nuances of that particular social media that made it more manageable and less chaotic.
Posted by Jamie Michele Jan 19 2011, 12:01 am in social media, Twitter
Tamara Hogan once described Twitter as a worldwide cocktail party (albeit a virtual one in which everyone is limited to writing messages no longer than 140 characters). Millions of people are registered users, so the trick is in filtering what you want out of all that nonsense.
Here are the nine basic steps you need to follow to get started with Twitter.
1. Establish your intentions.
Are you going to use Twitter to talk to your non-writing friends and post pictures of your kids? Or are you going to use it to connect with industry professionals and chat with your writing buddies? I like to keep my personal life separate from my professional life, but that’s a question each of you must answer for herself. Do answer it, though, before you register. Make it clear in your head what your boundaries are, and don’t cross them.