21 February 2014

Second thoughts on Social Networks

I've been seeing a lot of blog posts and such about the value of Social Networks, i.e. Facebook, Google+ etc.  I use both, along with Twitter and Pinterest. Course I don't really check the dates of the posts, so some of them might be like, one or two years out of date.  Yikes.

The only thing I don't do is send email lists out.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  It's been advised to send out a mailing list.  Well, I've never done that.  Nor do I have any plans to do so.  One, emails are so hard to work through when one gets a few hundred of them a day.  I dread checking my email because I have a few thousand that must be deleted before I can even get to the ones I want to read-such as a notification that some editor has liked my submission and wants more details.  Thus I try not to sign up for such things as mailing lists.

Two-There are feed readers available, which is something I prefer to sign up for.  I also look for one of the above mentioned Social Network buttons.

I actually prefer Facebook pages.  Google+ doesn't have the linking down.  For instance I never really know if my posts are going to be on my Google+ page or my profile page, you know the one where the circles show up.  One has to sign up directly for the +page and not everyone knows that.

Three-The dreaded spamming.  A couple years ago or so, I clicked on a comment on one of my posts.  Then had the dubious pleasure of trying to stay one step ahead of a hacker whilst unlinking my accounts.  Still dealing with the aftermath of that little escapade. Trying not to link my accounts anymore despite the ease of getting from one to another.

Despite the negative stuff about Facebook pages, I prefer it.  I have followers who are not my personal friends, which is what I like.  I don't have a lot of "friends" on my personal page.  They are mostly family, and "real life" friends.  I prefer to keep it that way.

So how does that affect my marketing plan?

Just as in real life, one needs introductions.  Those few friends, readers who've stuck by me all these years are willing to help me promote when I get my books published.  And one reason why I jumped off the self publishing bandwagon, at least for the time being, was marketing is a full time job.  I wanted to have most of my books ready for publishing as I wouldn't have time to make them the best they could be before sending them out to play.  Well, least til I sell enough to pay someone to do such things.

And how does one go about getting those introductions in the 'Net world?  Posting on pages and other sites boosts readership.  One thing I've never counted on was the comments number.  I've always looked at the number of views.  That's a priority with me.  On Facebook, one has to understand what that graph hoopla is about.  What it does is show posts to people based on what they click-like, comment or share.

Thus, if one isn't getting the views one thinks one should be getting on that author page, one needs to comment, like or share, as that page.  Which is something I do quite a bit.  I also post photos as a help to writers who need prompts.  And while it is a public page, if a reader has their settings set to private, not everyone can view their private profile.  I've checked it out.  I can't always see someone's wall because they aren't my "friend."  Which is fine.  They like my page and that is good enough for me.

If I get a comment on the page, well, I get notified right away and can reply.  Google+ is my professional page and will come into it's own.  Soon, I hope.  I'm just learning how to use Twitter, even though I've had an account for years.  And Pinterest.  Ahhh.  Now there's something I could spend hours, if not days, looking at, so I limit my time on that site.

Well that's my thoughts on Social Networks.

12 February 2014

NaNoWriMo Aftermath

All of my fellow NaNoWriMo'ers and I happily wrote our novels during that short month of November.  Now comes the part which many don't have any real notion of what happens next.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know there is (are?) a plethora of tips out there.  However.

I have finished a flash fiction piece.  I submitted it.

Yes, I've got the jitters.  Yes, I'm in the throes of revision thinking.  I am a perfectionist, after all.

When I first started writing, I dutifully bought the pages upon pages long Writer's Market Deluxe Edition.  Signed up, looked it over, checked out some of the submissions guidelines.  Howsomever, like most of us in this age of computers, I was a bit leery of all the requirements, not understanding what they really meant.  I quit buying that book after the second, or was it the third book?

What I did was continue to write during the month of November, faithfully.  Drove my family nuts because they've been waiting so long for me to get published.  Those pages of small print kept making my eyes water.  I lost my sticky notes.  I will be forever grateful to my son for encouraging me.  He just read the background info and part of the first chapter and told me he didn't want to read it til I was finished.  This of course was back in 2003 when I seriously decided to write a book, one of my childhood dreams.

Since I first saw the SFWA's website and checked out the eligibility requirements, those requirements have been in the back of my mind.  Guiding me on my uncertain path in the publishing world.  I checked out some of the venues over at their website.

I came upon the venue Strange Horizons.  I dutifully checked out the page and came upon this article entitled "Stories We've Seen Too Often." Yeah.  I get tired of some of the same types of stories.  I am posting a link here because I'd have liked a list back in the day.  Teehee.

Now why?  Why would I have liked such a list?  Because there in one summary was what I've been trying to articulate for myself all these years.  I've pretty much stayed away from looking over the established publishers during my writing journey.  Still have my visions of the lonely writer sitting in a drafty attic typing out his manuscript while sipping hot water, huddling under a blanket to keep warm.  Not sure where I picked up that idea.  Might have been because I was a child in the 'Sixties, we didn't have inside plumbing and no electricity and this is when my idea of writers formed.  In those long ago days.

Ahh memories.  Well, that is all I want to say at this time.  I am going back to finding something else to do whilst I wait to hear back from the editor.  Toodleloo.  (Hmm.)