Tag Archives: Social media

Don’t Undermine Your Comment with a Plug

I just read a great post by At WordPress.com. It is about not putting a link in your tweet or comment because you are trying to market yourself. I’m sure I’m guilty of this. I’ve been very enthusiastic about posting my URL for my book all over the place.

There is a time and place for this. I am not trying to be boring but doing anything repeatedly is boring.

At any rate, this is a great post if you take time to read it you’ll see what I mean. Plus, if you are trying to promote a business or a book, follow me on twitter – @rlnolen to see the tweets I’m finding about social media and author platform.

Don’t Undermine Your Comment with a Plug.

Author Platform, how to know if you “Got It”

messy art roomI was reading a blog the other day about author platform and one thing this author said struck me as doable. If you google yourself (go ahead), and you find your name and your novel, business, etc. at the top of the page, you “got it”. You have struck gold and you have the proverbial “platform”. You have answered the bridge troll’s three questions…you get to go across the bridge to …ummmm. Okay, you get to go across. Be happy.

Okay, I’m all for easy, so I googled Rebecca Nolen. I find my name up at the top of the page, several links to me at my “social media” sites and about half-way down the page there it is again… “The Real Rebecca Nolen”.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

The link goes nowhere, meaning that there is no information of what and who this “real” Rebecca Nolen is except that she is a total mystery. The only nugget of gold information that can be scraped up is that she lives in Dallas. I should pay her a visit.

Knocking on door…woman opens door, “Yes?”

Me. “Are you the real Rebecca Nolen?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’ve been researching Rebecca Nolen and I see that you are the real one, or so it says on Google.”

Door slams.

Well, and that’s as far as I got trying to figure her out on Google, too.

So, I scroll down the Rebecca Nolen google page and find a lot of obituaries. There are a lot of dead Rebecca Nolens. Sad.

And more scrolling, Rebecca Nolen’s arrest record in Ohio. Hmmm. Haven’t been there in thirty years, no worries. Wait! What’s this??? Rebecca Nolen arrested in Galveston. Whoa! That’s too close to home. Ouch, she even looks a tad bit like me … if I had no teeth… and red hair. Okay, she doesn’t look much like me.

And more scrolling –  found lots of references for The Dry. That’s fantastic!! The Dry is showing up, people! Get it while its hot. And what’s this? A link to Rundstedt’s flicker page…where… he is showing all his friends my novel THE DRY!!!! Wow! Bing. Bing. Bing. Jackpot! Rundstedt is the WASP photographer who lives in Australia and kindly, I say KINDLY let me use his amazing photo for the book cover. Wow. He is showing everyone the book. Wow.

Who cares about platform when you have a world-famous photographer showing his friends your book?

Taking Control of Your Social Media

me and amyWhat a joy to be able to connect with readers through social media. One junior high boy wrote to me  yesterday that he loved The Dry. He said it was “awesome”. A girl wrote recently on FB that she was enjoying The Dry.

Social Media is a buzzy set of words. Without social media how do we connect with people that we know now? Or how do we meet new people who share our interests? I don’t know the answer. The world is not necessarily friendly. There are few opportunities to connect to people we would want to hang out with daily.

With social media such as Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest you can at least view those trying to connect with you. I don’t connect with people with no photo for instance unless I do know that person already. When someone tries to connect to you, wanting you to “accept” them, you can check out their page first. This would be difficult to do in the physical world. It’s not as if you can ask a person who wants to meet you walking past on the street all the pertinent questions within a few seconds. I think if someone stopped me on the street, I’d be apt to run away. Unless I’m walking the dog and they have a baby in a carriage.

Meeting people on Facebook is a snap. You can see where they’re from, where they live now, what they do for a living, if they own a dog… all in the comfort and time period that you wish, before accepting them as “friends”. It seems safe.

Are computer “friends” the same as friends? There are pros and cons about the “friendships” we have on the computer. Our FB friends are there as we share troubles, have a birthday, or celebrate a book launch. They might live on the other side of the world, but they are able to press “like”, type “Congratulations!” or “LOL” just as if they lived nearby and will be meeting up for lunch later in the week. The cons are that some FB friends are friends in a disconnected way.

Fortunately, you can control how much and to what extent FB friends, twitter friends, or LinkedIn friends/associates can see of you and what they can see of your other FB friends. The part about “your other friends” is important. I have marked on my security controls that friends except acquaintances can see my posts on my personal FB page. This is important. I may not know my friends’ friends so I don’t actually want them to see pictures of my family.

We all get the occasional repeat repeat of announcements in our news feed. An example from back when it was popular is Farmville. I never wanted to get on Farmville, but Farmville under the guise of being posted by friends would send me invite after invite to join. To the far right and upper corner of every post you can scroll your mouse over and see a little drop down box. In that box you can “mark as read” or “turn off”. In other words, you can turn off those annoying “please join such ‘n’ such” bits that turn up every other hour.

Another way you can control what shows up on your actual FB page is that you can delete and even edit what appears or what you’ve added. There have been things that I did not solicit or want to appear on my page. The occasional old photo where someone has “tagged” me I enjoy seeing. I don’t enjoy seeing ads to enter contests, or buy products. In a post, you can run your mouse over the top right hand corner and you will see a drop-down box that asks if you want to: change date, add location, highlight, hide from timeline, delete, or report/mark as spam.

Any post you post to your own timeline or to someone else’s you can go back and edit later, or immediately. Just like my writing, I often see mistakes in a post that I’ve posted when I read it again the next day. And just like my writing gets edited often more than once, so a post gets edited. You can do this, too.

Not seeing much on FB? If you click on “Home” at the top of the page you will see a long list/feed of what everyone on your friend’s list has posted. Poignant, sad, hilarious, scary, morbid, encouraging, and interesting stuff gets said every day. Scroll down and engage in fun, happy events. Leave a short comment or click “like”. Spend a little time doing this every day. You may see someone whose opinion makes you smile and think “I wonder if they would join my friend’s list?” Do it. But not often and not many. Facebook does not encourage mass “friending”. In fact, you can get booted off.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas about how you can control what kind of FB experience you have. Give yourself an enjoyable fifteen minutes a day on your FB visiting friends.

Briefly, I want to share the one thing I’ve learned of value from Twitter. There is a lot of information being passed around on twitter in the form of “how-to’s”. Check out what interests you. If you find something you like or have found very informative, retweet it. You can scroll over the top right hand corner of a tweet and see your options appear.

Control your social media so that it doesn’t control you. Enjoy getting to know others in shared business or interests. Have fun and be careful. Navigating the internet is like walking down the street. For your own safety you need to know what’s going on around you.

Social Me

The La Salle Hotel located at 30.6730° -96.373...
Image via Wikipedia

Today I’m just back from a long weekend in Bryan, Texas. Such a great old hotel on Main street. A night’s stay at the La Salle includes a glass of wine, cookies and milk, and breakfast. The beds are quite comfortable, the sheets just the right sort of “smooth”. I love cool, smooth sheets. They feel rich. I was there for a novel revisions conference with Darcy Pattison who wrote a book called “Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise After the First Draft”. I’m on draft twenty-seven but who is counting, right? I found the conference incorporated just the right amount of work, social interaction, and food.

One subject outside of the subject of revision was social media. It’s a huge topic at writing conferences, it seems. Building the writer’s platform is something I’m hearing now and I wonder just how long I have been out of touch. It feels like a new subject. It’s not. A writer’s platform is not just about social media. Social media is all things internet such as Facebook, blogs and twitter. Add to this now the idea of “platform”. Michael Larsen in his book “How to Write a Book Proposal” states that “Your platform is what you have done and are doing to give your ideas and yourself continuing visibility around the country in the media or through talks — ideally both.”

Apparently it used to be that publishers created an author’s platform with scheduled book tours, book signings, and even school visits. It was an invisible and unspoken agreement. That hasn’t been the case for a long time. Even I, the out of touch one, knew that. Hence the huge surge in self-published books especially in recent years. After all, why wait for a publisher to publish your book when you can do it now? Especially if  the book’s author will ultimately be in control of the book’s market and advertising buzz anyway.

I understand the frustration of going the traditional route because it can take years of rejections for a manuscript to find its publisher. I will not be self-publishing, though because despite recent upgraded avenues of self-publishing where the book is expertly edited, there are still self-published books which have not been. It’s hard to tell which are which at first glance. This is not an indictment of self-published books. There are excellent ones. I’ve read a few. I’ll still be working my way through more and more manuscript revisions so that the product I send to an editor is the best I can make it. So I plow forward for what it’s worth.

I’m at that waiting in hopes space now with one manuscript getting tighter and another nudging an agent. This is that glorious space between high hopes and getting dashed to terrible bits by a rejection.

Here’s looking at ya.