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Amazon.com has launched a social networking site for Kindle users to discuss and share notes on e-books.
The site, called kindle.amazon.com, allows users to set up profile pages, make notes on the e-books they read and share them with other users, as well as “follow” other readers. It also calculates the percentage of how near others users’ reading tastes are to your own, based on the books they have said they read.
Here’s a first—a post I wrote on Google+ first and am crossposting here instead of the other way around. Just some musings about my love of meta-discussion and about introverts vs. extroverts. (The fact that I can write a 600-word post there is one of the many reasons I am loving it.)
A Twitter conversation yesterday got me thinking about why I’ve had such an urge to write about Google+ both [there] and elsewhere—both how-to kinds of posts and meta-discussion about the nature and uses of [that] platform vs. others. Two reasons struck me:
1) Some people, and I’m one of them, enjoy puzzles. When I dive into a new app, platform, or network, I get a charge out of poking around, trying to figure out the tricks, puzzling out the easiest way to do things. I enjoy reading other people’s puzzle solutions; I like the challenge of putting my own hacks into words. The puzzle itself is part of what attracts the early-adopter in me.
But I have plenty of friends who don’t enjoy the puzzle stage. My husband—a brilliant guy; this isn’t about brains—will be the first to tell you he gets irritated when faced with a new platform to figure out. Change energizes me; it annoys him. And if he clicks onto a new site and discovers it’s going to take a little time to find his way around, meh, who has time for that? He’s a busy guy.
He’s not alone; I have many friends who are turned off by the baffled-newbie stage that I myself find so exhilarating. (Of course you know this means THEY are the folks who stick things out, who finish what they start. Some of us are explorers and some of us are homesteaders. Both kinds of people help build a civilization.)
Well, here I am in love with this new terrain, and I want my friends to settle in here and help build a culture. If I can help make it more appealing to them by helping other explorers make clear paths, I stand to benefit by the arrival of excellent neighbors.
2) Thinking about this, it hit me that for me, liking something is a social act. I enjoy everything more when I can talk about it with others. I don’t think all people are wired that way—actually, I think this may be a chief distinction between introverts and extroverts. For some people (again I hold +Scott Peterson up as an example), liking something is a private, inner experience, not at all dependent on the involvement of others. In fact, if too many other people start enthusing over the thing too, that can actually diminish the introvert’s enjoyment. For the extrovert, it’s the more, the merrier.
(Let me make it clear that I LOVE and admire introverts. I married one, didn’t I! And my passel of vert offspring is pretty evenly divided between intro and extro. I have shared Jonathan Rauch’s Atlantic Monthly article, “Caring for Your Introvert,” far and wide.)
For years I have looked at the introvert/extrovert distinction as having mostly to do with what drains you & recharges your batteries (as described in Raising Your Spirited Child). Some people get recharged by social contact with others; some people get recharged by time alone. In the past I have described myself as an extrovert with a strong introvert streak because I do need a fair amount of time alone to read and think and write.
But what struck me yesterday, pondering the G+ meta-urge, was that even in my alone time, what I do is social. I read—but even as I&rs
By: Anastasia Goodstein,
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All that talk about the movie industry being in trouble (seems to have vanished over the weekend with news that “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” became the eighth movie ever to pass the $1 billion worldwide box office mark.... Read the rest of this post
Having an online presence is critical for writers to market their work. In a recent blog post, author John Scalzi urged writers to purchase their own domain name online.
Scalzi (pictured, via) reminded readers that before Facebook, Internet users migrated between AOL, Friendster, MySpace and other sites. He encouraged writers to use trendy tools to connect with readers, but stressed the importance of owning a steady domain like “www.yourname.com.”
Here’s an excerpt from his blog post: “If you’re going to be online, it’s best to have a site that isn’t at the whims of stock evaluation, or a corporate merger, or an ambitious executive’s ‘content strategy,’ or whatever. Ultimately, your online home should be something you control, and something you can point the people at Facebook (or MySpace, or Friendster, etc) to. Having one’s own domain isn’t always simple and has its own share of headaches (as you will find if you ever have the need to change your ISP), but at the end of the day what it has is stability.”
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
If you decide to open a Twitter account or a Facebook account with the intent of building your brand, then you need to let people know you're there. Add in your signature line a link to one or both and make sure to cross reference your accounts on your blog, your website, and in your book's bio. You aren't going to build a social network if no one can find you.
I was watching this show on TV about social networking and how much it’s changed our every day lives. It is amazing how different things are than just even two years ago. However, there is a downside to all of this new stuff like lower productivity and ironically more isolation and loneliness.
Being a software geek, I delve in all things technology but there are some things that I’m still lagging behind. Like for instance, I think I’m like one of the last eight people on Earth who doesn’t have a Facebook account.
I do understand the value of social networking. Blogging can be considered part of the medium. Without blogging, I wouldn’t have met nearly half of the writer friends that I know today. And I’ve definitely have seen the effect of Twitter. I have learned a lot of things and even met some great writers using that tool as well.
But sometimes, ugh, it can just get so overwhelming. A total time-suck. Then it starts to feel more like an obligation rather than something fun.
When it gets like this, at least for me, I know I need a social timeout. Just a disconnection from all things social networky for a period of time.
This is what I did this weekend and it was really nice — although I did sort of miss Twitter. Did anything happen? Ha.
Writer friends, do you take social timeouts? How do you manage the balance between life, writing projects, and social networking?
By: Kristi Holl
Blog: Writers First Aid
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Some terrific reading is waiting for you this weekend! The articles below from around the Web will give you writing and marketing help, help you see through the current publishing confusion, and even show you ways to get your kids to read through the summer.
“Is Publishing Turning into the Wild West?” The publishing world has changed radically in the last couple of years, thanks to those pesky e-books. Do the old rules still apply? Does chaos rule? Or are there ways to survive and thrive in the new environment? [Terrific article here by Randy Ingermanson, plus interesting comments.]
“A Dozen Ways to Get Your Child to Read Over the Summer and Have Fun Doing It!” Every year student assessments show that when kids take a break from school over the summer and they don’t read or have any reading instruction during that time, their reading skills are adversely affected. But this doesn’t HAVE to happen. Encouraging children to read during the summer will not only sustain their current reading achievement, it will also contribute to their success in reading proficiency. [Here you'll find suggestions for early primary grades, middle grades, and teens.]
“6 Query Tips from a Publishing Insider” To help you write a query letter (or submission letter) so that an agent will give your manuscript the time of day here are the top 3 Do’s and Don’ts from our head Acquisitions Editor. [The first tip was even a surprise to me, although just last week I sent a proposal to a publisher and got an email suggesting that I add more marketing stuff-even though this publisher has published nine of my previous books! She said there was also talk of adding a marketing clause in new author contracts.]
“Twitter-patted” Twittering gave the world a fast way to communicate and also a new tool for marketing. Marketing with only a few words takes planning and focus. [Read this article for a brilliant way to plan and write your Tweets while you are working on your book/story/article/ebook to be released later.]
“Ways to Improve Your Writing Style” Newer authors struggle with writing technique, and long time writers still find elements in writing that are their nemesis. Being aware of problem areas in your writing can help you move ahead as a writer when you focus on them and find ways to improve those techniques. Here are a few tips on become a better writer. [Gail Gaymer Martin's blog posts are meaty and almost a mini-workshop. Don't stop with this post, but go through her whole Writing Fiction Right blog site.]
I ran across an interesting article online from the Wall Street Journal regarding things that are said in social media circles and how it can effect one's employment status. Check it out.
My dear old dad always told me growing up, "Don't put in writing what you wouldn't want the whole world to see." He's right. I've always tried to operate this way in my life. However, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging changed everything.
We are a society of immediacy. We drive through to get our food. We Red Box our movies. We file our income tax online. We don't like to think things over too long or wait for results. Has this resulted in stifling our own internal sensor as to what is and isn't appropriate to say?
(This teacher said she was fired because of a Facebook photo of her on her European vacation holding alcohol. Let's remember...she's of age and it's legal to drink. So why was she fired for that?)
My friend, Pam, is an executive recruiter and she tells me that not only do employers look people up online (website, blog, Twitter, FB) before interviewing them, but schools also look at potential students' sites to see what kind of addition they'll be to campus life.
Is this right? Is Freedom of Speech gone wild? Or is it an infrigement of your rights to have to be accountable for everything you say online.
Just because we CAN say whatever we want, does that mean we SHOULD?
Sure, we've all encountered the school beyotch who made life unbearable at times. We've all had the fat cat of a boss who manages you with a heavy hand. Is it appropriate to Tweet or FB every emotion related to dealing with these people?
It's a slippery slope and one that it seems the courts will start hashing out.
What do you think? What does your "digital" or "virtual social footstep" say about you?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Marley = )
Ghosts don't hang up their sheets after Halloween!
GHOST HUNTRESS series - The Awakening, The Guidance,
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My son, Bryce, is profoundly hearing impaired. Recently, I was searching online for related information and stumbled upon Stephen Parrish's blog and Jan. 14th, 2011 post "The Sound of Running Water." It was a very interesting post on his sudden deafness (from a virus), which doctors have told him is temporary.
I then saw that Parrish is the author of The Tavernier's Stones. Being interested in all things book- and writer-related, I contacted him on Facebook and asked to be his FB friend. This morning, his acceptance greeted me, while the collosal winter storm "enemied" Chicago.
I clicked on Parrish's profile page on Facebook and found my way to his website. Listed there are many reviews of his novel and this description:
When the well preserved body of a seventeenth century cartographer suddenly floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany, a 57 carat ruby clenched in his fist, the grisly discovery ignites a global race to find the Lost Tavernier Stones of popular European folklore.
I've been wanting to read something outside of the genres I typically favor...and I love maps and stones...so I'm going to put The Tavernier's Stones
on my to-buy list and look forward to reading it. Here is a link to his book on Amazon
But wait! That's not all!
I went back to Parrish's blog to see if there was a new post, and then noticed the bookcovers along the right margin. There, at the top, was 41 Things to Know About Autism (Good Things)
by Chantal Sicile-Kira. Hmmm.... autism is a subject near and dear to my heart, as many of you know, so I traveled over to Amazon to look up Sicile-Kira's book, which just came out last year in March (one month after Lucky Press published There Are No Words
by Mary Calhoun Brown, which features a young girl with autism who travels back in time to save her grandfather's friend).
So, as I now return to Facebook to check the status of a dear new friend who recently had oral surgery, I am struck by the serendipity already in place in this morning. To those who discount social networking as irrelevant and a waste of time (and who may not, I suppose, even be reading my blog), I want to tell them, "No, it isn't. Not for me."
Facebook has brought me in contact with Kim Austin, a wonderful photographer in Austrialia. (Feast your eyes on some beautiful seaside photos here
.) It has connected me, better than my initial mailed letter ever could have, with Rachel Simon, a wonderful author I've appreciated for many years but now have gotten to know even better as I read her posts and blogs about the pre-release tour Grand Central Publishing launched her on for the May 2011 release of The Story of Beautiful Girl
. I've learned so much from her, much of it through her FB page, which alerts me to her blog posts
Thanks to social networking I've met so many wonderful artists and writers and readers and people with a connection to the subjects I'm interested in: books, writing, publishing, disabilities, dogs, painting, altered arts, museums, restaurants, photography, creativity, scrapbooking/journaling, and crafts. I've also been able to share information about my business, Lucky Press,
You may have heard the breaking news that Facebook
is rolling out changes and upgrades on March 1, 2011. But do you understand how these changes impact your social marketing program? The Social Marketing team at IMRE
has been on top of the Facebook
rollout, testing and finalizing solutions for our clients. We’d like to help you break through the cluttered news and give you a quick and valuable tutorial on what these updates actually mean.
Please join us on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST
to learn about:
- New Facebook page features and the marketing implications
- How Facebook will now allow brands to engage online influencers
- Overview of new moderation tools
- What's next for Facebook: Additional opportunities for reaching and engaging new fans
To register for this free event, simply send your name, company name, email address and phone number to emilyr[at]imre[dot]com
. We will send confirmation and log-in instructions to you.IMRE
is an agency of marketing experts serving the Healthcare, Home & Building and Financial Services industries. Our social marketing team counsels many well known companies and brands, including John Deere
. Our services include marketing, public relations, social marketing, advertising, emerging media and sustainabilityTo find out how to submit your news to Illustration Pages click here.
This month we’ve seen a lot of interesting talk about different technologies and how they affect teens here at the YALSA blog. Now that we’re wrapping things up, I thought it might be interesting to pull back a little and look at the larger social effect of the Internet on society. There are two reports by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in particular that can tell us how the Internet has changed our social lives.
A 2006 study published in the American Sociological Review contented that over the previous 20 years, Americans had become more socially isolated as the number of people with whom they discussed things declined and the diversity of those groups of people decreased.
While a 2009 Pew Research Center report corroborated some of the findings of the 2006 study, it also cast some of the findings of that study in doubt. Here are some of their findings:
- It was true that “an increasing number of Americans have no one with whom they can discuss important matters, but that “compared to 1985, there has been a small-to-modest change, rather than a large drop in the number of people who report that they have no one with whom they can discuss important matters.” In fact, 12% of subjects said they didn’t have such a person, but only 6% of adults said they had no one “especially significant” in their lives.
- Again, it’s true that the size of core discussion networks has declined–by about 1/3, or about one person. And diversity had declined as well, with discussion networks now mostly centered around family members.
- However! The Pew study determined that these shrinking, homogenizing social networks weren’t due to mobile phone use. Having a mobile phone–as well as using the Internet for sharing digital photos and for IMing–was correlated with having a large discussion network, and Internet users were more likely to discuss things with non-family and were less likely to rely exclusively on spouses or partners for discussion. Additionally, blogging was linked with a 95% higher likelihood of having a discussion partner of a different race.
- Face-to-face communication is still the most common means of having contact with people in our discussion networks. Mobile phones come in second; texting and landline phones tied for third; email, IM, and social networking websites came next (in that order); and sending cards and letters was the least frequent method of communication.
- Owners of a mobile phone, people who used the Internet frequently at work, and bloggers were more likely to belong to some sort of “local voluntary group,” which includes things like neighborhood associations, sports leagues, youth groups, and church or social clubs.
- And lest you think Internet users are just holed up at home, the report also found that Internet users were 42% more likely to visit a public park or plaza than non-users, and were 45% more likely to visit a coffee shop or cafe. Being a blogger made you even more likely to visit a public park.
- Those who use the Internet and use a social networking website had social networks that were about 20% more diverse than non-Internet users.
So in short, the average American does have fewer peop
Last week (well, I think it was last week) the hashtag "YAmafia" started appearing on Twitter. (see some of the #YAmafia tweets here) I was having a particularly busy week and wasn't online that much, and so didn't have time to figure out what it was referring to, but when someone tweeted this wrap-up of the whole "controversy," I was able to get a handle on what was being discussed.
I just wanted to touch on the fact that it's the nature of social media that furthers things like this. In an age where "one in five U.S. divorces are fueled by Facebook" and Facebook and social media is making it harder to get over your ex, when people's interactions are more public than ever before, it's perhaps unfortunate but somewhat natural that suspicions and jealousy and paranoia increases as well. When I first got on Twitter, I remember feeling a little weird and jealous eavesdropping on authors and editors and agents banter and reply to each other. Are they really such good friends? I wondered. Of course, as I got more in the swing of how Twitter worked, and I "bantered" with other Tweeps myself, I realized that in some cases, yes, and other cases, no--in many cases, people only know each other via Twitter.
Anyway, to my knowledge, there is no YA Mafia (and yes, I know personally and have worked with many of the authors who have been mentioned as possible "members"). There are, however, authors who are friends, and these friendships can seem cliquey on occasion, especially from the outside. Just as friendships in the workplace can seem cliquey. And yes, authors (and editors and agents and, well, people) can be thin-skinned and sensitive, and sometimes hold grudges. But that's just part of the business. Any business.
As it is with pretty much every other industry, networking is important, and relationships matter. However, just as in every industry, it's not the end all, be all.
I don't want honest, negative reviews to go away. I read bad reviews of the books I edit all the time. I have Google alerts for my books, after all. Bad reviews don't really bother me all that much any more, although of course any kind of bad review can sting, and a mean-spirited review, whether it's from Kirkus or on a blog, stings even more. But negative reviews can be helpful in terms of editing--if I'm seeing the same criticism over and over, I know what to watch out for in future books. When I'm trying to acquire a book, if a colleague on our acquisitions meeting isn't in support, I do have to hear them criticize the book--but of course the criticism is said in such a way because they're telling it to my face. And at that stage, it's constructive criticism, because if I do end up acquiring the book, I can work towards addressing the concerns. Anyway, if for whatever reason it's your mission to review books, for better or for worse, then by all means, be honest. You don't have to be especially nice about it, but you don't have to be mean about it either.But keep in mind that more likely than not, the author, editor, and agent of the book will read your review.
The problem with social media is that it's public, but people don't seem to remember that. If I discuss a book in my book group and criticize it, that's where it
By: Anastasia Goodstein,
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Lady Gaga sticks to her guns (by dissolving her exclusive relationship with Target. The retailer was set to release an exclusive deluxe edition of the singer’s “Born This Way” album, but the agreement was dissolved because Target... Read the rest of this post
I'm not here.
There are a few deadlines for anthlogies/magazines looming that I promised myself I'd write for and I'm so far behind, I'm not even certain how many there are or if I'm too late for some. There's a mound of printed sheets on top of my printer--I see guidelines, interesting writing posts, I press print, I forget about them--and I need to get to.
I also need to bury myself in the Barbed Wire Heart edit and stop allowing distractions to lead me astray.
Normally, if I'm at home and manage to ignore twitter for an hour I call that a result. I'm aiming for a week's silence. It's going to be hard. I've turned off the comment section at the bottom of this post or I'll be tempted to come by and see if anyone's spoken and then I'll reply and in a heartbeat I'll be cruising along to twitter.
I've cleared my google reader of all but one post (that has a link to a short story I want to read and guidelines for a magazine I may be interested in submitting to), but otherwise, I've read everything, and commented where I had something to say. It'll be interesting (and fun) to see how full my google reader is when I return to the web. I think it'll have about 271 blog posts to read. If you fancy guessing how many blog posts you think my google reader will have amassed in my break (which may be 7 days, may be one hour or may even be a month--yeah right), then shoot me an email - catephoenix(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll send the person who gets the closest a prize on my return.
If you need me for anything, send me an email. I'll be checking my mailbox regularly (though, hopefully not too regularly :D)
Here I go...
I’ve been thinking a lot about social networking and how authors can best use it. One of my thoughts lately has been about the photos we use on Facebook and Twitter. As many of you know, it’s not uncommon for users to change their profile photo now and then. You might have gotten an amazing new shot of yourself over the holidays, or maybe that new haircut is so stunning it’s time to show it off, but is there a problem when we change the photo too much? Are we failing to brand ourselves?
Remember, as an author, the purpose of your Facebook or Twitter account is to keep in touch with your readers and connect with them on a personal level. Unfortunately, I think a lot of authors think of social networking as a way to constantly remind the reader to buy, buy, buy (a mistake, by the way) and think that way with every post and every picture they post.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is the use of your book’s cover as your profile picture. I don’t think I like it. I get it. You want to have recognition so when readers go into stores they recognize the cover and remember to buy it. But could that backfire? Could it instead mean that they’ve seen the cover so much that they think they already own it? Or do they fail to immediately connect you, the author, with the cover because the cover is constantly changing? I think there’s a very real possibility that by constantly bombarding “friends” or followers with your cover they’re going to quickly forget they haven’t read the book.
Most important, are you losing the connection you could be making with your readers? Instead of identifying with their new “friend” Jessica Faust, are they not able to see beyond your cover or your book? I think, personally, this is the biggest problem. If you’re trying to become friends with your readers and connect with them, then really let them know who you are. Use a real picture, or fun picture, of you. Or maybe a picture of your protagonist, but I don’t think the ever-changing cover shots work. But that’s just me.
I’m not an expert, but I do tend to know what I like in this world, and when it comes to Twitter I like to follow people who are interesting. Unfortunately, I see far too many authors who use Twitter as a way to inundate readers with their name or simply remind everyone to read their blog. I don’t think that works. It doesn’t work for me and I imagine it doesn’t work for others. Twitter is supposed to be interesting and, frankly, that’s just not interesting.
There’s no doubt social media is important in publishing. Heck, it’s important in all business these days, but if you’re going to do it do it well or don’t do it at all. The last thing any author needs is for people to think they’re not interesting. Trust me, you aren’t going to sell books that way.
Missy and Claire are cousins who look more and more alike as they become older. The official parent line is that Missy was born 2 week after Claire
and was near death often. But as they grow, their mother-sisters, start confusing the photographs of the girls, and end up hiding all their photos and
plans of scrapbooking. Missy listens to a radio show that explains the phenomena of stronger and weaker twins, and she hatches an idea to introduce
her cousin Claire as her long-lost twin on the school news show. The show goes viral and is seen by a young man in New York who shows it to his
friend. The Pandora’s box is flung wide open! “Black swans” is a reference to events that are hugely important, rare and unpredictable, and explainable only
after the fact. Let’s just say that Missy and Claire make a trip to New York.
ENDERS' Rating: ****
A must-read article by Media Bistro. Read carefully. I think we could all learn a lot.
The only thing I would add is to have fun with it. Twitter is supposed to be fun. Join in a conversation, share random thoughts and laugh while you’re doing it. The more fun you have the more successful you’ll be.
As you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about social networking and how authors can best use it for promotion, and one of the things I have been dwelling on is Twitter v. Facebook and which is really the more powerful when it comes to building a readership because, let’s be honest, that’s our ultimate goal.
As many of you know I’m on both Twitter and Facebook. I Tweet fairly frequently, especially in the wee hours of the morning and, of course, depending on how busy my schedule is. All of my Tweets are connected to Facebook and automatically update my Facebook status. My blog is also connected to Facebook, so each new blog post appears on my profile page. I have about 5,500 Twitter followers and roughly 1,700 Facebook friends. I think it’s pretty obvious where I’m going to create the most buzz.
Beyond the number of followers, though, is the ability to find followers. On Facebook you either have to request friendships or search someone out. In other words, most of the people who will find you on Facebook are already fans. Don’t get me wrong, fans are your most important marketing tool. When you announce on Facebook that a new book is available for pre-order, they are the people ordering and spreading the word to others about how much they love your work. However, it’s unlikely that these fans are going to make that news known to all of their Facebook friends. That’s not typically the way Facebook works. Twitter, however, is all about spreading the word. The infamous retweet is how you find new readers and a new audience, and it’s not just about announcing the release of your new book, it’s about telling your followers that this other person you’re following is incredibly clever, informative, and worth following.
In Twitter people might find your books because they loved your tweets first. In Facebook they are likely to find your books first.
If you ask me, Twitter is the place to be right now, the place where you’re likely to create the most buzz. Facebook is the place you want to be when honing and building those already established relationships. Both are important, but both will do very different things for you.
Gagdets, and gizmos, and apps! Oh, my! Keeping up with technology trends and incorporating new tools into library programming and promotion can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be.
Join us at the 2011 YALSA Preconference: The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens, where Jesse Vieau will share his experiences using technology in teen programming and library promotion. Jesse is the Teen Services Librarian at the Madison (WI) Public Library. Formerly a Teen Services Librarian in the Loft @ ImaginOn, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Jesse’s work with teens includes collaborating with teen interns using Google Docs, facilitating digital projects in teen detention centers, and hosting a digital petting zoo in which teens mentor senior citizens as they explore new technology.
At The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens, Jesse will deliver ideas for practical, inexpensive ways you can use technology as you work with teens. You will discover new tools, gadgets, hardware, and software that are easy to use and appealing to teens. Jesse will also share his tips for using technology to manage your heavy workload and to promote library services to teens. You will leave the event with a list of user-friendly tools, and will be ready to implement new programs or services at your library.
The preconference will also include presentations on core competencies for teen librarians, collection management, teen behavior, and developing relationships between your library and teens, and is scheduled for 12:30-4:30 PM on June 24 in New Orleans.
To add The Nuts & Bolts of Serving Teens to your 2011 ALA Annual Conference Registration, visit http://www.alaannual.org/ or call 1-800-974-3084. Registration for 2011 ALA Annual Conference is not necessary to participate in the preconference. Tickets for the event cost $129 and include light refreshments.
When it comes to Twitter, one of the most powerful tools is the hashtag, or number sign, for those not familiar with Twitter. In other words: #
If you really want to use Twitter to connect with others, don't be afraid of the hashtag. It's not something that's written down somewhere, it's something you create. For example, let's say you want to take a poll to see which title might be strongest for your next book. Instead of simply polling your followers, poll all of Twitter. By allowing others to retweet and adding a hashtag, like #Fausttitle, you'll be able to see the chain of anyone who has an opinion on the title, even if they don't use your name in the Tweet.
I was checking my Twitter account recently and thinking about the multiple personalities of authors, those who write under two (or sometimes more) names, and wondering what that means for social networking. Obviously if you write under both Jane Doe and Janet Buck you’re going to need two different Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts so that readers of Jane can find Jane and readers of Janet can find Janet. But does that mean you need to also update two different statuses each time you update one, or can you simply link all of your accounts together and only post once for all accounts?
My theory? If your fans are only fans of one of your personalities, then go ahead and link all of your accounts together, but if your fans are fans of both personalities or tend to be attracted to both personalities (let’s say you write the same genre under both names), I think you need to handle them separately, as if they’re two different people. Otherwise you’re going to end up taking over everyone’s Twitter or Facebook with the same status two, three, four, or however many times it posts.
What do you think?
A Twitter follower recently asked me if I would ever consider digital media submissions and sent a link to a YouTube video about her book. Honestly, I can’t see many agents embracing this type of query. For one reason, it takes way too long. Watching a video, or just getting to the part of a video that actually tells you anything, takes far longer than reading a query. For a second reason, unless the book is an “enhanced ebook” and contains a lot of video, a YouTube video doesn’t really tell me what I want to know about your book, which is what your story is about, not how you can sell it later.
Over Thanksgiving weekend last year I had an email crash. In the grand scheme of crashes it wasn’t that bad. I only lost a week of email, nothing else. I do have Time Machine backup, which thankfully keeps everything backed up and me less fearful of crashes.
Once my email was back up and running I did three things immediately.
I emailed all my clients to tell them about the crash and ask them to resend anything they had sent during that week that I hadn’t answered.
I did a blog post about the crash, alerting as many people as possible and explaining how lost queries would be handled (since I was closed to queries I simply asked that they requery in January). The other problem was that I had responded to and deleted queries that were now showing up in my in-box, so I did have to rework my response to explain why some people might be getting the same reply twice.
And last, I tweeted multiple times about the situation to spread the word as much as possible.
And it worked. While I’m sure there are plenty who missed the news, plenty more retweeted my announcement and requeried or resent material I had requested based on my tweets.
Social networking can be a truly amazing thing.
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I know. You’re shocked, but hear me out.
We’ve often talked about the necessity to be careful on the Internet and to remember when writing your blog or tweets that people are watching and it’s important to keep things as professional as possible, and for each of us the meaning of that is different. Certainly if you read the tweets of a handful of agents you’ll very obviously see how different we are. I like to keep my personal and professional lives separate, and I tend to have separate accounts for those things. That being said, after a while on Twitter I can see how easy it is to get comfortable and let some of your inhibitions go. I’ve been chatting with more than a few people and I’ve gotten to know others. So it’s easy to forget the 5,000 or so other followers I have.
But thanks to the “trolls” (I could think of no other name for those who like to pop into the blog for the sole purpose of bad-mouthing me) I am reminded to keep it simple and keep it professional.
So thank you, “trolls,” for reminding me to scale it back whenever I think of letting go.