Thursday, February 28, 2013

Make Facebook work for you

Now, Facebook... and other social medias. Though I like to call it "Internet". For me it's more Pinterest than Facebook. Anyway.
Most authors say to quit internet all together. But those who know the skill of marketing oneself knows that internet presence and activity is pretty important... so - Facebook.

10 quick, dirty Facebook tips for writers


5 ways to improve your Facebook News Feed exposure
- about mastering your Facebook Edgerank.

It's a bit bothersome, but take the time to read this, understand this and master this. It is worth it. After the initial work, you won't even need to think much to do this, and it does work.

Remember that YOU are your product. YOU and YOUR WORK. The beautiful, hard and frustrating work of writing. Your product is the only one of its kind. You are the only one who can provide your product to the audience. So don't get all bashful now. Promote yourself. Advertise yourself. Show yourself. Make noise.

But, remember, be nice about it. Really... you should read Dale Carnegie's "How to make friends and gain influence" and really understand the principles and follow them. He knows what he's talking about. He's right.
People will not care about you because YOU need them to care about you. They will care about you, if you make them feel you care about them.
People will not remember what you said or did. They will remember HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL. You are a writer. Your JOB is to make people FEEL! You already have an upper hand.
Just remember that not all people want or need to feel the same thing. So - most people will read books written by someone else. But those people who want to feel what YOU and ONLY YOU can make them feel, they NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU.

So - have a writer's blog, twitter account, facebook account, social media accounts. Update them regularly. Just a couple of words, words that are sincerely yours. They don't need to be important, meaningful, lovely, impressive... people like to "fan" things. Your readers want to be your fans, they want to know about YOU, such stupid, irrelevant things like your favorite food or color. And you do eat. You do drink. Talk about that. Talk about writing. Talk about your characters. Talk about the things happening around you and your thoughts about that. Talk about your experiences and sensations. Write a letter to your #1 Fan once a week. They will all believe you mean them...

So - back to the list. "Post links to facebook groups". So - what are you talking about in your personal space? Find those issues, topics, and post a link to your blog entry or tweet or what ever it is.
Oh, and use a Facebook profile photo that gets the attention of people who are interested of the same things you are. How do you know what gets their interest? Look at different Facebook profile photos. What gets YOUR attention. Use something similar.

Auto Post Feature exists on your FAN PAGE profile, not your PERSONAL profile. So, you need to create a page for you.
Also, the scheduling your posts work for blog writing as well. Write several posts every time you write, so that you have a couple ready for the busier future, so that your fans won't feel neglected.

Post pictures.
It would be good if you learned to use a camera and actually post PHOTOS of YOUR WORLD. Your fans ARE interested in what you see. ALL you see.
It would be good if you learned to draw. Simple cartoons and stick figures can be enough to illustrate your words and draw attention to it. It really isn't that difficult to draw and I know how I reacted on Tolkien's or Rowling's own drafts and illustrations to their writing. Awesome :-D
And the thing is that making this kind of illustrated quotes or quote images, like the following with Carl Sagan is not difficult. All you need is a picture processing program, like Paint. There are some free online... I think. I have PSP8, and I'm used to it and happy about it, and not afraid to use it ;-)

I have been talking about the fan base and branding yourself earlier... I think...
I can't find any references though... Hmm...
So - let's say it again.

1000 true fans
"A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living."

Branding for Writers: An Essential Step to Building Your Author Platform

A couple of things to remember about creating a fan base is:

- your work is your product and you are your most influential PR person...
A lot of people have stopped reading books because they can't stand the author. So be a nice person. No, you don't need to be available, you don't need to be servile and submissive, absolutely not. But be kind, polite and think before you speak. I know this is an advice that comes too late for me, because I'm a sarcastic, opinionated bitch who talks too much ;-) I have already said things I know I shouldn't have, and alienated people that could have been my fans had I not thought it more important to express my opinion at the moment, in a less functional, productive, constructive and thought-through manner. *blush* Well, well... water under the bridge, now.

- people want to be entertained and people love habits, routines, traditions, customs... we get used to reading a blog, a newspaper, a magazine, a newsletter... we "can't wait" for "the next episode". We love our soap operas and never-ending stories. This entertainment doesn't need to have body, message, life changing influence... it just needs to be there.
So get serious about your blog, Facebook updates, tweeting, newsletter... There are actually newsletter programs available for free online. All you need to do is to write the newsletter. Write one once a month and be reliable.

- make it easy to get in contact with you, but don't keep your professional and personal lives apart. Create a fan page, fan email address, fan snail mail address, give your fans an opportunity to get in touch with you. Make it easy to "like" your Facebook page, to follow your blog, to sign for the newsmail.
And respond to fan mail. Respond to comments, tweets and feedback. Dedicate one day in a week for correspondence.
Notify your audience about this, and tell them that it might take some time before you get time to get back at them, but you will.
Remind them also of the fact that you ARE a writer, which is the reason why they love you, so you MUST use your time to write, not to manage your relations.

- You could start giving away signed photos of you, like the actors :-D I know I would appreciate such things about my favorite authors. Take these photos to book signings.
- Take also a clipboard where people can sign up for your newsletter, and have visit cards with the addresses to your Facebook fan page, your blog, your mailing list etc.

- People love lotteries and raffles. Organize a giveaway a couple of times a year. Have a sweepstake. Have the participants follow your Facebook fan page, your blog, join the mailing list. Also, people love gifts. People love getting things. People love being rewarded for "being there and doing that" by getting something other people who were not "there" and didn't do "that"... People like "exclusive" stuff... People like to feel special.
So reward your fans by giving them time limited opportunities to read your new book first, or to get a preview before everyone else, or being able to read a short story written for loyal fans only... remember that they are your fans because you write. So your gift to them is your writing, and you don't need to pay one cent for that gift.

- Learn a little advertising, learn a little about how to make commercials. Your book is your product and can be advertised as any other product... What are your favorite ads/commercials? Adjust them to your product/brand... and think about Disney, movie franchise and merchandise and other such things.

- follow people on Twitter and Facebook.
- keep an eye on your followers and fans. Reward your most engaged fans by personal messages... make it pay to be active.
- It is very much appreciated, if you wish your fans "happy birthday"...

- Practice Random Acts of Kindness online. Promote other writers. Introduce people to each other. Inform about events and giveaways. Etc. Find RAKs you can 

- start a podcast or a vodcast (or both) and let your fans hear your voice and/or see your face.

- ask your fans to review your work, at, at all the book readers' sites, like Goodreads, LibraryThing and Shelfari. Ask them to make lists where they can include your work, like Listmania! or If you liked... lists on Keep an eye on fan pages and forums, and reward them with your presence. 

There's this site called where you can link all your social media sites, so that you can easily and quickly post on all of them.

Oh... and I really think an author can use both Polyvore and Pinterest to get interest.

This is my Pinterest board "writing inspiration". I was inspired to create it by having seen that done by some other writers at Pinterest, and I actually looked up those writers, what they had written, their blogs etc. Besides, photos and articles ARE writing inspiration :-D For those "writer's block" days...

This is my Polyvore collection "Stories". There's a story in every set... and just as at Pinterest, I have seen other writer's sets and got interested.

Here's some good ideas from the "5 ways to improve..:" There's more in the article, so go and read it.
Try one of these four kinds of posts to generate engagement:

* Caption contest: Use a photo where someone appears to be talking, or a photo that features several people who might talk to each other.

* Multiple choice: The comments here might only be single letters, but they still count just as much as any other Facebook comment. To come up with multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank posts, get a few people together to brainstorm.

* Fill in the blank: Rather than asking for trivia or general answers, make the question someone or something personal, so that fans will get excited to share something about themselves.

* Inspirational quotes: There are dozens of websites that feature famous quotes. These combine very well with images and captioning.

5 ways to improve your Facebook News Feed exposure

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Third Annual Fairy Tale Fortnight

Never heard of that.


Now I have... and I plan on participating.

I really need to get a good grip of the back of my neck and shake me properly and start DOING things.

(I have an evil, evil revenge plotted... Oh... so evil. And pleasant for me. Because no-one will ever know... except the object of the revenge. And, oh, he'll know.)

So, I'm planning on starting my guest blogger career with FTF3.

I'll be giving away a book associated with fairytales... I'm not 100% sure of which book, but... I'll come up with something.

And I'll write about fairytales in my blog, here...



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh, dear... was it that long ago?

Well, I'm back now. For how long, I don't know. I wish it's for longer that this post.

I have had heartache. Yes, I, a middle-aged, married woman, got my heart broken because I was foolish enough to take attention for interest.
Yeah... one would think I'd know better than that.
I don't.
I do hope I learned something, though. Because it has been a hard and heavy year.

And yesterday was the first day I looked at his picture without feeling the pain... the raw, acute, tearing pain...

Yesterday was the first day when I looked at his picture and thought "how could I ever think he was handsome?" I remember thinking already while I was deeply in love with him how weak his jaw is. At that point I just waved the thought away, after all, he's already over 50, people get sacking skin under their jaw and such, that mellows down the impression. It's just that. He probably had a nice, chiseled, manly jaw when he was 25. Or something.
He probably didn't. He was probably born with a weak chin.
No, it's not that weak... it's probably quite normal chin. I think my husband might have a weaker chin in reality, but I have never, ever looked at my husband and thought how weak the lines around his mouth and jaw look. It's probably just an impression... but one should listen to one's impressions.
I should have acknowledged the thought and known that this guy will betray me.
This guy will abandon me and leave me alone to deal with the whole issue.
This guy will just go and not look behind and live happily ever after his spineless life.
Which is exactly what he did.
Selfish, cowardly... weak.
And yesterday I saw the weakness of his mouth and chin and jawline clearly for what it is.

And I sat down and finished a job that has been waiting for me for a month or so. I wrote down all the things I'm good at and/or interested in, all the things I want to do, try or get better at, and I wrote those things on rainbow colored post-its, and stuck them on a piece of construction paper I have on my wall for that purpose. All my talents and gifts...
and the picture is amazing... The paper is covered with bright post-its, layer upon layer...

Yes, I may say so! :-D I AM!

Looking at that board makes me happy.
Not being obsessed and heartbroken by an idiot makes me happy.
The days are again filled with possibilities, options and chances, adventures, new things to discover, enterprises and excursions, things to learn, things to do... things to write.

I'm happy.
And it makes me happy :-)