This has been the month from I-don’t-know-where. I missed my regular blog date of the 16th, due to not having any wi-fi. Long story that culminated with having to return our 7-week-old iPad 4 and pick up a new one. Thankfully, the new one works fine (so far) but it threw me completely off schedule.
The rights to a bunch of my short stories reverted this summer and I’m struggling to get them revised and reissued, not anywhere as quickly as I’d like while also writing new material. I feel like a juggler with two many balls in the air.
I’m also continuing my forays into various social networking sites. I joined Facebook this year, finally, thanks to Debra Holland. So now I have a personal profile and two pages, one for Linda and one for Lyndi. Facebook has been more fun than I anticipated, for the most part, and not as absorbing as I feared.OCC member, Lex Valentine of Winterheart Design, created two really pretty page covers for me. She’s so talented. Lex also created the cover for my upcoming re-release, Marooned, currently on sale at Smashwords, but coming soon to Amazon & other retailers. She said hopefully.
Apparently, I’ve also managed to accidentally activate a Google+ account for Lyndi, by clicking on something in my gmail account that I didn’t intend to click. I feel like such an idiot some time. Maybe I’ll have that one somewhat figured out by next month’s blog. Pretty sure I am going to delete my Pinterest account since I never use it and can’t afford to spare the broadband such a graphics intense site requires.
Still using Buffer app to schedule tweets and now Facebook shares and liking it more and more. You can now custom schedule a message to go out a day or more in advance, which really helps with planning. Using their analytics also clued me in to the fact that adding the hashtag #Author to a tweet really ups the potential for viewing from my app. 790 followers to several thousand possibilities. Potentially useful information.
Feel free to share any useful social media tips in the comments section. I can use all the help I can get!
While most everyone else was getting ready for this week’s RWA Conference in Atlanta, I went to camp instead. Well, MFRW (Marketing For Romance Writers) online Summer Camp.
If you’re not familiar with MFRW, I recommend checking it out. We have a dynamic group of writers led by the amazing Kayelle Allen, and ably assisted by Paloma Beck, Karen Cote, Kristyn Phipps, OCC’s own Monica Stoner, and a host of other generous volunteers. I’ve learned a lot from reading the MFRW Digests that come into my inbox.
At camp, I focused mostly on the social media classes, since I’ve been taking baby steps into that arena for over a year now. One of the classes was Buffer for the Hard-Pressed Writer, taught by Kristyn Phipps. I’ve had a Twitter account for over a year now, but hadn’t gone so far as to sign up for HootSuite or TweetDeck to manage my tweets, though there were times when I wished I had a way to space them out more. So I figured why not give Buffer a try, esp. since it’s also available as a smart phone app. It seemed like a good solution: a simple app that lets a user schedule tweets and FaceBook shares for release at specified times of the day.
You can sign in using your Twitter or Facebook account, then add a Buffer email and password. You have to authorize Buffer to access your Twitter, FB, Linked In or App.net account.
Buffer also has a section called Analytics that shows you the number of times someone Retweets, Favorites, Mentions, or Clicks your message and the Potential number of users that could be reached.
The Buffer staff is good at answering question via Twitter and the app will also email you to let you know when your buffer is empty. I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but expect it will be quite useful.
Have you ever tried Buffer, and if so, what was your impression? Or do you use a different program to schedule your social media?
To those who are traveling to Atlanta, be safe and have a wonderful conference!
I’ve been avoiding much of the social network sites for a while now, mainly concerned about being so overwhelmed by it all that I won’t get any writing done. But this year, I’ve been taking baby steps to get involved. I have joined Shelfari, Twitter and now Goodreads, though I am still resisting Facebook.
Now seemed like a good time to join, with RWA Nationals coming up next week and featuring workshops like:
What I’ve learned so far:
Twitter intimidates me. It’s such a simple idea, but with so many people tweeting all over the world, how do you not get lost in the shuffle? This one is going to take some time and patience, and it will not come before my writing time. It can’t. I can’t let it.
I’m more comfortable with the reader sites, Shelfari and Goodreads and wish I’d joined them sooner. Do you need to join both? No, many people pick one and stick with it. Goodreads is most popular, I believe.
As a consumer, what I like about Shelfari is that it’s owned by Amazon and you can sign in using your Amazon account username and password, which is why I used my real name instead of my pseudonym. Amazon ownership also means it’s very easy to fill up your bookshelf in a matter of minutes with the books you’ve bought from them. I’ve apparently been an Amazon customer since 1997, so I had a full bookshelf in record time. At Goodreads, I will have to add the books one at a time.
As an author, I like the fact that items added to the Shelfari pages, like character descriptions, will also appear on the Amazon pages of your book. I’ve done a little of that already, but there is a lot more to do. I have yet to set up my Author Page at Goodreads, but I will get to that. Then I can make a better comparison between the two sites.
In the meantime, I will be following the #occrwa12 feed on Twitter during the conference. (I’m taking my iPad so I can check anywhere.) I’ve joined the OCC/RWA Virtual Reading Lounge at Goodreads set up by Deanna Cameron, and plan to check out the OCC members pages.
Any tips for effective use of any of these sites would be appreciated. Use the comment section below or tweet me @LyndiLamont. Leave a comment and I will follow/friend you at any of these sites.
Linda McLaughlin / Lyndi Lamont
Are you capitalizing on the sexy little bit of free Techie gadgetry that’s currently all the rage? I’m talking about QR Codes, those little black squares you’re seeing on your television, in magazines and on the mail coming into your house.
I know, I know…QR just doesn’t sound sexy and, unless you’re more the nerdy type, “code” probably doesn’t either. But QR Codes are getting me hot these days. Seriously.
QR Codes are one of the EASIEST marketing tricks you’re not taking advantage of, especially if you’re a self-published author or a small business person.
Click here for the other 8 no-to-low cost social media tips we talked about last month and sit back to bask in the warmth of a new piece of technology fun that doesn’t cost a thing!
What is a QR Code?
QR stands for Quick Response and was created by the automotive industry to help track vehicles during the manufacturing process. How is this sexy, Jenny? you might be thinking…
Well, I’ll tell you. A QR Code is a barcode that stores a web address of your choosing. As an example, if you scan the one above, you’ll go to a cool place on OCC’s website that you might not visit very often. There are free apps available in both the Android and the iPhone that let you scan a QR code to quickly go to a website.
Uses for QR Codes…just think about this, folks:
Are you juiced up yet? Cause I am.
Can I get a QR Code of my very own?
But of course! There are tons of free spots to generate a QR code. Bit.ly and Social Oomph are the two I use the most often.
To use Bit.ly:
UPDATE: In the last few weeks since I wrote this post, viruses have targeted QR Codes here and there. That doesn’t mean they aren’t safe but, just like email, watch where you click. More details here on how to avoid viruses.
Does this give you any new marketing ideas for your books, businesses or advertising? Are you already using QR Codes? What has your experience been?
Jenny Hansen fills her nights with humor: writing memoir, women’s fiction, chick lit, short stories (and chasing after the newly walking Baby Girl). By day, she provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. After 15 years as a stand-up corporate software trainer, she’s digging this “sit down and write” thing.
A Slice of Orange is an affiliate with some of the booksellers listed on this website, including Barnes & Nobel, Books A Million, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. This means A Slice of Orange may earn a small advertising fee from sales made through the links used on this website. There are reminders of these affiliate links on the pages for individual books.
With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.More info →
A ghost story, love story, and a search for a missing masterpiece.More info →
Detective Gabriel McRay investigates a cold case from 1988 involving a missing teenager named Nancy Lewicki.More info →
When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to the prom.More info →