Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Into the Abyss…Does Social Media Work..?

October 13, 2014
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We all struggle to promote our work and turn to the numerous social media sites as avenues of interaction. We can spend hours posting book links, reviews, book cover art, links to our blog etc. When it comes to determining the success of all this activity, we can feel despondent. A tweet is lost in a multitude of other tweets within seconds, a face book page post may last slightly longer but its place is taken once the feed renews. Now you may feel such random and spasmodic promotion does little to help you become known but take heart in the fact that these efforts are not in vain. Re-tweets and shares are confirmation that someone has seen your post and it spreads to other media sites in the process.

There are analytic pages for most media sites, where you are able to track the success of a particular promotion. You can focus on specific groups or locations as well, giving your promotion an advantage and ensuring the ‘right’ people view the information you supply. I utilize all the usual social media sites but have to confess I am not an everyday user so ‘miss’ whole days or even weeks of potential promotional opportunities.

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That is why I was so thrilled to find a site called Co-Promote last year. At the time most of the users were involved in the music business. Once I read how the site worked I was intrigued but thought there was no room for authors. I wrote an email asking if they would be expanding their reach to other enterprises. The reply was quick and favorable. Anyone was welcome to join no matter what their trade, business or creative genre. I was informed new options would be added for books, magazines and blogs. Encouraged by this willingness to accommodate, I joined up and have found this site to be excellent. You can join for free or register for a sliding scale of options.  More here: https://copromote.com/about.php  The added bonus is that whenever there is a share you are sent an email advising you of who has shared. Each email also shows you new shares, new engagements and the reach of your promotion has achieved. Each promotion can be run for a few days or a few weeks, whichever is preferable to your requirements. My current promotion began on 12th October – so far it has reached 27.5K  people! I could not have done that with any other site in such a short time.

What promotional sites do you use?

Which is the most successful for you?

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Extolling Your Novel…

October 17, 2013
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Extol – definition: to praise highly; laud; eulogize

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As writers we have to wear many hats. Author, editor, researcher, social media promoter, public speaker and many more. To plunge into the marketeer role can be daunting, we have to leave our comfort zone and reach out to the public at large. Extolling our novels to others seems uncouth from the safety of our solitary endeavors. We have nurtured and cherished our characters throughout their story. What if others do not love them as we do?

We test the waters, so to speak, with friends, family and beta readers. Favorable reviews boost our confidence in the work. Then comes the promotional plan. Where do we promote? How do we extol our work without spamming social media? Where are the best places to promote for our genre?

I am sharing some useful links, as each author’s preferences are different as well as comfort level in promoting.

Take from these the information relevant to you and your genre. I hope they help demystify the process a little.

Links:

http://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/effective-book-marketing-part-1/

http://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/effective-book-marketing-part-2/

http://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/effective-book-marketing-part-3/

http://mixtusmedia.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-promoting-a-book-part-one-the-essentials

http://mixtusmedia.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-promoting-a-book-part-two-timeline

http://www.liferichpublishing.com/AuthorResources/General/Beginners-Guide-Book-Marketing.aspx

http://www.authormedia.com/89-book-marketing-ideas-that-will-change-your-life/

http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/promote-and-market-your-book/

Can Social Media Damage your Reputation…?

March 24, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Interdict – definition: 1) prohibit by law or decree; 2) to destroy, cut off, or damage

Today I am sharing an interesting and insightful article with you by Dave Thomas.

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Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes.

With that being said, what kind of business owner are you? Do you have trouble sleeping at night when it comes to meeting the needs of your customers, worrying about the people you hire, or what your rivals may be up to?

Those are all legitimate concerns, but what about your reputation? Specifically, what about your online reputation as both a person and an entrepreneur?

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs wait until something negative happens that they then turn their attention to their online reputation. By that point and time, the damage to their business may very well already be done.

So, what are some things as an entrepreneur that you need to do to better protect what is said about you online?

Among the items to zero in on:

Social footprints

First and foremost, make sure you don’t make any major gaffes when it comes to social media. While there are some entrepreneurs who have failed to engage in and reap the rewards of social media, others have dove into it. While participating is great, there is always the chance that a mistake or two will be made, mistakes that can damage your online reputation.

For example, let’s say you get into a beef with an angry customer who has taken to Facebook, Twitter or another social venue. Next thing you know, they have called you and your business out. In order to provide your side of the story, you respond, with the dialogue going back-and-forth, sometimes in a negative tone.

The unfortunate part for you is that current and potential customers see you in a less positive light, meaning their business could very well go elsewhere. If you feel you can’t answer the customer in an efficient and professional manner, by all means do not engage publically with them. Take the conversation to private channels, allowing you and the customer to hash out a solution. You also want to make sure that any comments you or your team make on social media come across as professional. While it is okay to have a little fun with SM, posting inappropriate office party photos or comments should never even be considered;

Know what others are saying

With all you have to do as an entrepreneur, you probably do not have time to do periodic online checks of your name and your business. The problem here is that there are companies out there that post information you may choose not to go public, including personal addresses, income levels, divorce information, court documents and more. By doing a Google search of both your name and your company’s name, you can stay abreast of what others are seeing when they do likewise;

Make your Internet experience a positive one

Finally, there are many different ways you and your company can come out looking like stars on the Internet. Make sure you promote things like blog posts that make you out to be an authority in your field, customer testimonials, press releases about the interesting things your business is doing, videos and podcasts that assist customers and much more.

In the event there is some negative information floating around online that puts you and/or your business in a bad light, projecting all the good things you are doing will lower the bad stuff on the search engines.

From social media to your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and more, make sure the time you and your employees spend on the Internet is productive.

Remember, your online reputation is at stake.

Here is the link:

http://socialmouths.com/blog/2013/01/31/dont-allow-social-media-to-damage-your-reputation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Socialmouths+%28SocialMouths%29

Inept – now there’s a word that resonates…

January 23, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Inept – Definition: 1) not suited for the occasion: inappropriate 2) lacking in skill or ability: incompetent

No matter at which point we are in our writing journeys, feelings of being inept plaque us. We can all make a long list of insecurities and worries about our style, skill level and current Work in Progress. My question is – if we didn’t have these uncertainties would we be a ‘better’ writer or not?

Striving for perfection can easily become an obsession and our work will suffer for it. There is a fine balance between a polished piece of work and a ‘ruined’ one. On the other hand expecting an agent or publisher to over-look editing and grammatical errors because we feel our manuscript is unique is a major flaw. Reading as a professional would, is the key, although this in itself is a difficult task after spending months if not years creating our story. We are engaged with the characters and their conflicts and struggles. They have become ‘real’ to us and the story runs in our minds rather than on the page. This is the crux of the problem – are we actually reading the words or playing out the story?

Delete

The Internet is full of writing tips as we all know but some recurring ones on tightening up a manuscript have commonalities.

  1. Leave the manuscript unread for a period of time.
  2. Read the story from back to front – chapter by chapter.
  3. Focus on one aspect of editing at a time. i.e. grammar, plot lines etc. (I’ve even heard of one author printing her manuscripts on different colored paper for each revision!)
  4. Have other people read it and critique (honestly).
  5. Send a section to a professional editor.
  6. Take advantage of a local Writer in Residence for feedback.
  7. Read a section out loud to your writer’s circle and ask for comments.

Author Reading

However, feelings of being inept are not just limited to our written work. Are you confident in public speaking? It is one thing reading to a group of people you know but what about in the public domain? Author readings are a great way to present your work and create interest in your stories.

  1. Practice the piece you are going to read in front of a mirror.
  2. Take care in your selection of clothing, depending on the venue and audience age.
  3. Choose a section or chapter with lots of action or intrigue.
  4. Remember to look up at your audience and gesticulate.
  5. Project your voice and don’t mumble.
  6. Don’t rush – this is the hardest!
  7. Be prepared to answer questions at the end.

The above tips work well for live interviews as well, either on radio or television. You may have some flexibility with these if they are not ‘live’ and can re-take the whole interview or a part of it.

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Social media is another avenue of uncertainty for many writers and authors. Cherishing your work in a desk drawer is great but if you are serious about releasing it into the public domain you need to invest some time into this resource.

  1. Research what type of social media, authors in the same genre are using.
  2. Carefully investigate the multitude of options available. There is not a ‘one fits all’.
  3.  Pick the sites that best suit your level of commitment. (How much time you are willingly to put into them as it can take over your life if you let it!)
  4. A blog is a useful tool to increase your profile. Decide on what theme, style, subject and frequency you can fulfill.
  5. Link to similar genre writers on web sites such as Twitter.
  6. Utilize your personal sites to connect to groups.
  7. Utilize ‘sharing’ sites, such as Networked Blogs and options on other web sites. i.e. WordPress.com links to face book, twitter and Google +

Conquer your feelings of ineptitude with your ‘writing’ support system, whatever that entails. Whether a writing circle, close friends or family that encourage you or virtual supporters – reach out – you’ll be surprised. Remember to offer support back too – it is not only very rewarding but expands your writing ‘community’.

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