Reblogging; Social Media…….Why It’s the Bane of My Existance

Before I share this post, I want to just put it out there.  We know I’m not really that versed in social media and I’ve blogged about it sooooooooooo many times I should have had it on repeat.  I try, I get frustrated, I get no interaction even when I put a prompt out there for open discussion.  Waxing and Waning it seems.  I also feel very terrible if I’m always throwing things in people’s face.  As much as I would love to sell my book, I also don’t want to be the author that get’s on people’s nerves by virtually jumping up in the air waving my hands screaming “pick me! pick me!”  It may work for other’s but apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that it’s just not for everyone and I totally feel the pain.

 

I’m leaving snippets but feel free to link over to the article…..one that I have no cross promotion involved in AT ALL (not even a WordPress)

Please shut up: Why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.

Let’s talk about marketing, shall we?

It’s 2012. I’m sitting at a table in the front of the room, a microphone poised to capture my every word. At this local writing conference, I am considered a rock star. Everyone in the audience wants what I have–a three-book contract with a traditional publishing company. Their eyes are hungry, their pens poised over notebooks. We take a question from the crowd.

“How do I build a platform and make money with my blog?” a woman asks.

“Build a time machine and go back to 2005 and start your blog then,” I say.

Because it’s the truth. In this oversaturated market, the only ways to build a following and profit from it are to have been around for 5-10 years already or to already be famous. The woman sits down, unhappy with my answer. But no one else on the panel has a better one. Because there is no easy answer, no secret to building a following.

Scary, right?

It scares me, too.

From the very beginning of my writing career, I’ve been told that publishers want a writer to have a brand, a platform, a blog, a built-in army of fans. But that was 2009, and now it’s 2015, and that doesn’t work anymore. Book blogs become paid services, giveaways become chum pits, conference-goers dump purses full of business cards out in the trash to make room for more free books that they won’t read. It is virtually impossible to get your blog seen or your book discovered. We are glutted with information, and yet our answer to “How do I get people to buy my book?” is social media marketing, which is basically throwing more information out into the void.

Why?

1. Because Twitter doesn’t sell books.

2. Because Facebook hides posts for blackmail purposes.

3. Because people aren’t on Instagram to find new books.

4. Because tumblr is not a spectator sport.

5. Because book reviews are not a place for the author.

6. Because I hate newsletters and hashtag parties too much to inflict them on anyone else.

 

……………………..Would fishing be fun if the fish jumped out of the ocean and smacked you in the face?

Nope.

And that’s what a lot of social media by authors is starting to look like, to feel like: being smacked in the face, repeatedly, by hundreds of fish. Being pushed. Being assaulted and yelled at and chased. Being manipulated and prodded and possibly tricked. ………

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Hear ye! Hear ye! An Announcement of upcoming Announcements

image courtesy of dan/ / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How else am I supposed to grab your attention?  Yes, I’m being vague because I’m pretty good at it.  I’ve got a lot coming up and I just wanted to give you a little heads up.

How many of you have been chomping at the bits to know about the follow-up to Rise of a Queen? Curious to know what Tessa has been up to? Dying to see how she fares as a strong leader to her Lev Empire?

Coming up very soon I’m going to do a name reveal and kick out the synopsis of the next adventure that await in The Vampire Realm, so stay tuned. Keep a close watch on my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and of course this blog for announcements, clues, and even a few Easter eggs here and there.

All I can say is that I am completely excited to move forward with this project and am glad that you’re along for the ride.

 

Things are changing…..and that’s a good thing!

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photo courtesy of federico stevanin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So here I am starting fresh and new. Spring has opened up the petals of my hibernating soul and soon I will blossom once again for the world to see. What does that mean exactly? It’s an answer that is beneficial to you, my readers and fans, and to me regarding inspiration and communication.

For you all I have decided that I am going to attempt to communicate more. This means those things I fear most, Twitter, Facebook, anything social media I will be more vocal on. So pull your boot straps up because this chick is going to start to talk. I’m really excited about my upcoming work and I am making a push for completion. I want to interact with all of you more on any level that I can. We thrive on the interaction of each other and nothing would make me happier than to be talking to you! I might be an introvert at heart but I love to socialize. I do see the irony in that. I like to socialize but I don’t know how to deal with social media much.

What’s going to happen with me is that I am going to show more of my process. The steps that I’m taking, I’m not going to hide away as a deep dark secret. Maybe that’s what has been holding me back. What I do know is that I am working hard to connect with the inspiration from the world and with the reality that it takes work to get things done and not just hope that it will settle itself. I want to blog more, I want to express my process, I want to share the human part of me while trying to push the too-humble persona out of the way and be a bit more hands on with everything involving my work. Everyone knows that I write because I love it and without it I don’t feel complete. The thing everyone DOESN’T know is that I also write for people, the fans, and without fans(you) I’m only doing a portion of what I love and cannot feel complete.

Finding the right balance between everything will be tricky, but I’m sure that it can be done with help all around. So I will be seeing you soon and you will no doubt be hearing more from and about me. Let’s embrace this spring change together and go for a very wonderful ride.

Has marketing through social media turned this Gen X’er into a Millennial?

That’s what the survey says!  Honest.  Pew Research Center has a quiz that says:

“Take our 14 item quiz and we’ll tell you how “Millennial” you are, on a scale from 0 to 100, by comparing your answers with those of respondents to a scientific nationwide survey. You can also find out how you stack up against others your age.”

The article that goes along with it is here that says a little, but I’m sure you’ll just scroll down to scratch your head as to why the scores matter and so forth.  You can’t say I didn’t offer though.  It really attempts to explain the importance of things in our lives by generations.

So for funsies I plugged ahead.  We’ll just say that I turned out to be a Millennial.  A very high Millennial.  I’m not about to go about saying that score because I’m not sure how I want to take that answer.  You see, I’m a Gen X’er.  That’s what I’m labelled.  I’m closer to the end of it, so maybe that’s why I’m a little different.  I think it’s great for the attitude that I carry around to NOT act my age.  Sometimes this lady right here can be the youngest most animated person in the room rushing about like superman on speed.  Other times I’m like that old lady in the comic who is crabby and complains about everything especially her aching bones to just sour apple attitude.  So why am I a little off kilter about being called a Millennial?  I’m not hating, I’m really not; I cringe as the assumption on X’ers too.  I wish there was something that was called the OTHER generation.  You know, the ones who use technology, but don’t twitch too bad if you don’t use it (okay I do a little, but I need my coffee first so that could be where the twitch comes from).  I’m also looking forward in life and have a strong empathetic feel for people and humanity is quite important to me.  Pretty funny considering the first chapter of my first published book sticks humans as slaves or cattle, right?

Okay, so maybe I’m babbling and making no sense; it wouldn’t be the first time.  I think I know a little reason why my answer, and “age” happens to be skewed.  Marketing.  Social Media.  Remember all my issues trying to get the formula right about how to get my information, and my book, out to as many people as possible?  I did everything I was told to do and BOOM I had so many things online that exposed me as an author that I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to utilize them.  So I still slave away scratching my head trying to figure it out which means I’m spending a lot more time doing exactly what my scores revealed for me.  I blog, I tweet, I have an author page for Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon that goes with my book Rise of a Queen that is on sale in all Amazon countries that carry Kindle, (a few links: US, UK, CA).  I even have the physical book. I have an about.me page (one of the first things I did that I will more than likely have to update) which I have no clue what to do with unless its something like a virtual business card.  Oh I have a Google+ but guess what?  Its bone dry and I’m figuring that out.  I interact with other bloggers, message boards, actual people, all the things I need to do marketing.  The thing is that most of it is online.  Why?  Because that’s where the people are.  I can’t camp outside bookstores screaming to read my book for a few reasons. The main one is it’s an e-book.  Can you imagine a nice little sign I carry saying buy my book…..but not here you have to go online instead of this nice bookstore I’m in front of.  The second reason is that it’s NOT in bookstores because B&N is a turd and it’s easier to do taxes than to get your physical copy there and the local bookstore is dwindling to an almost fearful drip of death.  There are used bookstores, but hardly any real ones.  You know the kind, it wasn’t too long people frequented themselves scanning the shelves for the newest treasure.  They didn’t go in for books that were on the best seller list; they went in for a book to read that interested them and it didn’t matter when it was written or by whom.  

This brings us back to online.  Oh the ever loving yet hated internet.  Digital is everywhere and sometimes surrounds a person in their sleep.  Plugging things here and there to remind people that yes, you really do exist and that you did something that you wanted to share with them.  It doesn’t put a hole in ones pocket and is quite painless, except that is seems like a full time job.  I’ve attempted backing away but how can I?  It honestly played with my sales at that point.  As we all know I’m not planning on being super rich, heck the reality is that I hope to have enough money to put back into each book I work on.  The tough part when doing all the marketing I have to keep up?  NOT WRITING.  I had spent so much time working on the business end that my creative one seemed to suffer.  I actually am quite thankful I’m not one to sit in front of the computer writing things down first thing.  I feel more comfortable with paper and pen, even more so.  I have to make sure I don’t have a wifi signal or connection to be able to get things done or the endless cycle happens once more.  The joys of being an Indie author I know.  I’m not ashamed to call myself that.  I’m proud.  I honestly look at the traditional publishing world and shake in fear of how much control I wouldn’t have.  In the same breath I mutter how I wish things could be easier on the promoting and marketing end.  I know some authors who spend a lot of time and money (which I do not have much of the latter) to get their work out there.  For most of them they are successful.  They have done this rodeo before.  I had nobody to guide me.  I have no idea about conventions and the like.  They do.  I applaud them.  I want to learn from them, but it takes time……..and technology.  *sigh*

So, back to the original reason I started this post before veering off into a jumbled mess from my brain to the page; I’m labeled younger when I’m older yet the reason for that specifically is sucking the life out of me because of my struggles to keep up and not fall behind.  I’m going to create an OTHER generation category where I feel more comfortable.  Anybody else with me?

I need an explaination

Google + and its many uses.  Help?

Twitter:  I speak and promote but what benefit does it have?

FB page:  what are its benefits?

My author page is informative but I have noticed a difference between those that like my blogs and those who like/read my books.  How should I mesh these in together?

I see many an author do video’s.  What are the points to this?  Does it have to be that high tech?  I’m trying to get to the next gen without feeling like a dinosaur.  Input.  I see over 100 fans, I’d like more than just a few responses please.

Day 2 in full swing – Don’t forget your free e-copy of Rise of a Queen

Day one has been a great eye opener and a wonderful social mixer if I may add.  I’m still new at this media thing, but those who have watched me take those first baby steps into the scary world of social media, especially blogging, will tell you that I have come a long way and still have a lot to learn.

And with that, I’m giving the last day of my promotion my gift of word.  Rise of a Queen is still up on Amazon for anybody to download for free, my treat.  Just read, share with friends, please write any kind of review you want (I am not fluent in Klingon so I don’t think that would help anybody that much) whether good or bad; I got big girl britches on so I’m ready for the punches.  In a perfect world I’d live with 5 star reviews, millions of readers, author interviews lined up for the next few months……but yeah who are we kidding?  Lets go for any review, get the word out if you like what I write about and keep it going.  

You can get your copy of Rise of a Queen on Amazon

direct links to US and UK 

They have an app/site for what now?

Seriously, there are so many bloody apps I can’t even wrap my hand around it.  When I think I’ve gotten a hold of something through all my stumbling, here comes along something new.  I mean seriously, I’m not old.  I’m not a teenager either though.  I so need someone to walk me through every media there is out there.  Even the ones that have nothing to do with marketing (although while I’m thinking about it HEY ANYONE WANNA MARKET ME? I can only pay in sarcasm witty banter.  It’d be wonderful on not having to focus on that).

Lets do the lineup and see what i think I may have gotten used to.

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WordPress: Blogging, author site…..I’m doing okay, don’t you think?

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Facebook…..my bff, and the author page is a nice touch

ImageMyspace: that sucker I gave up a while ago, meander there every now and then.  Went there the other day and its totally changed.  I freaked out when I thought I lost my pictures, but it let me retrieve them only once.  I kind of like Facebook better, especially now.

ImageGoogle +: all I can say is I don’t have one for my author account.  In all honesty why would I?  I went there with my personal page a while back in an attempt to veer from FB and all its changing but the whole flow of it just felt wrong.  Not saying I won’t give it another try, but until I can figure out how to utilize it I see no real purpose.

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Twitter: Well we all know how well I am at at that (NOT!) Still don’t know what to say and usually end up feeling like I’m talking to myself or a select few.  Would love to hear what people want me to say that’s even worthwhile.  So I’m still in need for twitter school.

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Goodreads: I haven’t been on there a bit.  The message boards are good, finding other books and their reviews are good, but what else could I possibly do?  I’ve run a promotion and, well, no feedback, review, anything. Am I missing something? .

ImagePinterest: OMG I am a pinaholic on a personal level.  I used to be worse.  The geek and humor sections alone have me pinning like crazy.  But that is my personal page.  They say authors have one for just them? Why? What would one do?  I would think you could only go so far.  I try my hardest to keep my personal life and work life separate although they tend to blend at times.

ImageInstagram: First things first.  Pictures?  I’m okay with pictures, but does a person really want to see stupid images of a self-conscious me or my food?  Don’t people take tons of pictures of food?

ImageSkype: sure  Its great to call dad or grandma. lol.

 

ImageYoutube: on a personal level I use it okay, as long as I’m looking up something, but how would I utilize this as an author?  I have nothing to really contribute. I hear people making trailers or something, but for a book?  I’m so missing that point.  It may be a good one, but I’m not a techie and have no clue what to do.

ImageThis brings me to a new one I was introduced to the other day.  Vine.  What in the world?  Its youtube for ADD I think.  Not in a bad way cause my attention veers quite quickly.  But silly stuff in an 8 second format?  What in the world? Please navigate me through this.

I think I have a few things I attempted but have abandoned due to the “no clue” issue and got frustrated.

I am sure I have missed many.  I can guarantee it.  I have omitted entertainment or reading apps because those really have nothing to do with my biz.  If you think something is important that I HAVEN’T mentioned, by all means let me know.  If you can walk me through some of the other stuff, let me know.  If you want to take on the task and market for me….I’ll be your best friend cause I seriously am fumbling in the dark on that one.

Even as Social Media Eludes Me……a point was proven that it does have a positive impact

I gripe and groan and drag my knuckles through the dirt as I grumble under my breath about all the marketing that has to be done and why in this green earth does it have to be a million different social media outlets.

Mind you, I still have a love-hate relationship with it all.  Honestly, when did I stop “getting it”?  I’m a Facebook guru (not author page, thats a new one to me) and I could walk you through almost anything and explain ever bell and whistle, even the moment it arrives.  Its a quick befuddlement and then I grasp the concept and go on.  Wordpress blogging.  All I can say is WOW at how it has grown.  From the very first post where you could tell I was a tadpole in the waters to this very day.  I have grown and my relationship with other bloggers have grown along with it and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I honestly don’t anything special to contribute but my thoughts and obviously news or information about my book(s) because, you know, I still am an author.  My website itself has grown as I add more insight into Rise of a Queen helping each and every reader get an insight into the characters and the clans, adding more each day.  I don’t do book reviews (I wish I could, its just so tough and my heart goes out to those who work so very hard to get everything they can done), I don’t do fashion, I don’t do celebrities.  I just do me.

I’m still at a standstill regarding my Facebook author page because honestly, Facebook has it where unless its constantly liked or shared or commented on it falls off everyone’s radar.  I’m working on that one.

Twitter……I’m kinda sorta maybe possibly getting the point of it, on my end that is.  I’m working more on it and I find it was a great way for me to get a surprise short term book giveaway.  It wasn’t planned, I just felt the need to show the twitter followers my love.  And I do hope the winner enjoys the book as well as I enjoyed writing it.

Don’t think I have an Instagram, do I?  I have an about.me but not sure what the use for that is except just to tell you….well about me.  That is what everything is going towards nowadays right?  Me, me, me, me, me, hey look something sparkly, something I might be interested in, me, me, me again.  It’s like going tops on the bullet train never getting a chance to really catch a glimpse of what really is going on.

WHAT THIS POST IS REALLY ABOUT.  Through all of that, through all of the confusion I deal with and pushed on all of you, I realized that it at least serves a few good purposes, yesterday being a perfect example.  Obviously I am talking about the incident in Boston.  It was amazing on how quick the information came at me.  I had twitter open and I have to say it was amazing to see who was tweeting what with updated information, the questions that came about, and yes I do follow the Writer/Director/Actor Kevin Smith and I would say he was the one that gave the best info out.  As I had twitter open, I watched site after site being posted on facebook and peoples thoughts, prayers, anger, all of that.  I streamed from a great news source that didn’t report something they didn’t understand or speculate but as it went and what info they had so no panic or assumptions.I was hearing people pouring in information on site from cell phones and tablets, which they shared with the police and everything was instant.  I would say we, as media was concerned, were more on the ball than we had ever been in the past.  

So as much as I complain, and I do have that right because I’m still hanging upside down in the tree of social media scratching my head like a monkey, I do agree there is a big need for it in the right situations.  Hopefully in the future those situations will not be devastating and we will all be Jedi’s of the web.  A girl can dream, right?

For those who have read Rise of a Queen

Let me know what character you liked the best, the one you despised the most. What would you like to see in the up and coming books? As the times change, so does the book, but phenomenal it will be if you enjoyed the first.

If you haven’t, it breaks my heart because I think if you like the non Young adult vampire fiction that doesn’t lean toward erotica, you will enjoy this book. It isn’t just about vampires.  It is about the growth of someone let with a huge task to take on.  She holds all the elements that we each hold inside ourselves. I would suggest this book for someone who enjoys depth.

Check here for where you can get the links for your favorite store and format HERE

With enough suggestions, through twitter, Face, and this blog, my page, my email I am certain I can compile enough to satisfy everyone’s needs and desires in one form or another.

Feeling around in the Dark

Here I am back on my blog, coffee in hand and NOT late at night.

I believe tech has beaten my.  It’s made me addicted and flogged the living crud outta me.  I go a while not able to check something and I’m twitching like I’ve got a bad habit.  I get upset beyond upset when I can’t find my laptop case or the memory stick with my life’s work on it.  How has this come to be?  I can’t even master my smart phone (which I think they call it that because it’s smarter than me).  I can be perfectly fine with my most recent editing of the next book I’m working on, red ink all over the page all so I can type it up later……on tech.  Maybe I’m just stubborn, maybe I’m too reliant yet in denial?

No matter what…..you can find me on the floor looking like a turtle on its’s back.  It’s kicked me and won.  Facebook author page…..yay fans but heck if nobody interacts that goes down the tubes.  Fail.  How do I fix, who the heck knows, not me.  I have no money, starving artist remember?  Twitter, I STILL don’t know how to figure that one out.  Strictly business or a little bit of fun stuff in there?  I never understood twitter, but hey there are fans…..once again no interaction.  I swear I have electronic cooties.

Amazon, smashwords, goodreads (and that place is a minefield of confusion let me tell you that, plus so many books to catch up on), and oh crap I forgot there was a Tumblr I started ONLY about the books that changed or influenced my life.  Oops.  And an about.me.  Now that’s been updated, whew; fixed. Where in the word am I supposed to have that much time for it?  For someone who is so self-conscious seems to really be busy messing around in things she doesn’t know all too well.  Mama bird threw me outta the nest with no concrete instructions.  I like instructions. I like formats. Organization, all that.  I like people. Not one sided conversations of course.

Living in the deep south, well that doesn’t help at all.  Not for what I do, or what I write.  Pretty genre specific and the young adult world has taken it by storm.  That’s the problem.  Thank you friggin young adult.  It’s everywhere and no matter how much people probably think it should be young adult, adult situations happen in what I write.  It happens, I can’t change that.  so I get a choice of hanging out with a bunch of twi-hards, That’s a no-go for me.  I read the original Vampire Diaries, when I was a teen.  That was much better before it became a t.v. show and made it big.  And the YA seems to have claimed it as new and all their all. HA SUCKERS BEAT YOU TO IT!!!! There aren’t many independent bookstores let alone ones that cater to my special needs. Writer’s groups?  Um, the only one local is Romance.  Now I admit there is some in there, but its not written from a point of view that mean I have to have the tag Romance Writers of America sticker stuck to my name.  Those workshop, table reads, are the most awkward. Oh but it would be wonderful to find just the right kind of coffee shop or back street bookstore or something for the occult (no that’s not a scary word, it really isn’t) where my book can sit on its shelves or I can talk with ones who are like me; stuck.  Coffee, reading (even as a speaker, now that would be awesome), discussing, and just enjoying other people with my same interests in the written world.  Radio time would be great, of course my physical copy would be good to pedal my wares and that is coming very soon.  Once that proof is in my hands I’m golden on that aspect.  But where in the world would I go? Who would I talk to? Good ol’ Confederates still live here so that doesn’t happen here. *sigh*  Oh well right? Soooooooo……

Back to online media.  Woohoo. Fail. Fail. Fail.  Oh wait there’s a little bit of something, but mostly fail.  I can’t work it properly.  I so wish I could hire someone to do it for me. Or even beg and plead to get it done. I’m all good with the barter system, just somebody take over for me before I turn the whole thing into a train-wreck.  

I’m not negative, don’t take me the wrong way. I’m a realist. So none of it is a shock.  I just think that if people would just slow down and really pay attention things would get done a bit better.  Too many 0’s and 1’s stuck in their brain’s they don’t know how to do anything else. I can’t accept that.  I won’t accept that.  Big old shot of adrenaline maybe I can jump right in there.  It’s the double dutch jump rope of life quite possibly; watch the ropes, wait for the right time, jump right in and try to keep up.  Isn’t that what we all have to do from time to time?