Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Thoughts on Social Media Marketing for Authors

Check all the social media sites this great book is on.

Social media marketing is crammed full of potential for authors wanting to get their books/projects noticed. BUT, to manage social media properly takes so damn much time! Especially if you don’t develop an operational plan.

So, in order to use social media marketing effectively, you must plan out how you are going to use it while incorporating as many time saving tricks as you can muster, make a commitment of the necessary time and strip down naked (in other words lose all inhibitions to using social media) and jump in 🙂

Tonight, Darcie Carsner Torres, a professional writer and editor with over 20 years of experience, who provides editing and critiquing services through CanAm Author Services, and editing and ghostwriting services through Pen & Pestle is going to shed some helpful light on this topic for us.

This by Darcie as published in Wordpreneur:


Lessons in Social Media Marketing for Authors


I thought I knew a lot about social media. I really did. When I started a few years back, I thought, how hard can this be? Post something now and again that sounds cool and intellectual and “experty”… and BAM… you’ve got yourself a marketing campaign.




Here’s what I’ve learned after a little over two years dabbling in the art and science of social media for authors.

Lessons in Twitter

Check your stupid inbox and direct mentions! It took me forever to realize that there is great stuff in there. Also, some spam, but digging through that is worth the real nuggets. There is also an etiquette that I have a tendency to ignore – actually thanking the people who follow you. Directly. By name. Personally. I’m not rude out of ungratefulness, but rather out of ignorance and lack of time. My New Year’s resolution is to start remembering to give thanks to the people who might actually listen and read from time to time. Finally — don’t Tweet indiscriminately. Promiscuous Tweeting may get you caught with your pants down if you don’t read what’s at the end of those links.


The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that Facebook is worse than a crack addiction. Half the reason I get behind on writing and marketing is because I get busy messing around on this silly site. The wealth of information on publishing, writing and design is mind-boggling! And I’m easily distracted… squirrel!… by the politics and humor. Second, Facebook is busy developing capabilities and changes faster than I can keep up with them. The marketing potential for authors is overwhelming. In my experience, authors haven’t even BEGUN to tap this potential.

Time & Consistency

Managing your social media is time consuming if you want to do it right. Social media managers such as Hootsuite and Social Oomph can help out a lot. Yet, there’s still so much you need to do. You have to go and add relevant people to follow and Like, thank people personally, publish all of your events and the reminders that go with them, post/Tweet original content (not just re-Tweet and Share), answer messages… get the picture? More than once over the past year my social media has gone very quiet. I don’t mean to; I simply forget. If you use a social media management program, you forget when your pre-programmed announcements end. I originally thought, “Hey, I can do three months of this stuff at once and be done!”

Not so.

You really should be going into your social media every week whether you have the time to do it or not. But keep in mind it’s all very addicting. Keep it consistent — don’t try to set a goal of five or more Tweets per day unless you’re willing to give up having a real life. You need to have something at least once per day, ideally, so that you pop up in your follower’s stream, but try to be realistic about what you can and can’t do.


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What Could Make Your Book Go Viral?

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make all your books go viral on the internet? To have a secret formula, so to speak.

Well, tonight I have a little research that just might give us all more insight into arriving at this secret formula … and have a little fun along the way.

Sam Leith writes this in the Financial Times:

What does it all meme? 

From Star Wars Kid to Maru the cat, what causes videos to go viral? And what does the success of the ephemera that washes across the internet say about us?
'Disaster Girl'
Have you met Maru? No? Maru is a cat. A cute cat. Is there anything special about Maru, apart from the cuteness, which, if we’re honest, he has in common with quite a few other cats?

He lives in Japan. He’s a straight-haired Scottish Fold, four years old, slightly rotund (his name means “round” in Japanese). Otherwise? Well, there’s this thing he does where he jumps into an empty cardboard box. He jumps into all sorts of cardboard boxes. And out. Sometimes he climbs in a bin. Just for fun!

And Maru is famous. At the time of writing, YouTube videos of Maru have been viewed 100m times. He’s the subject of a recent hardback book, I Am Maru. It consists of 95 glossy pages of photographs of Maru being a cat. In August, three weeks before its publication date, it was the number one cat book on Amazon UK.

Maru is just a cat. But he’s also more than just a cat. Maru is a bellwether of the state of the culture. Maru is a meme.

If you have an email inbox you will, even if the term is unfamiliar, have come across what it denotes: the viral ephemera that washes across the internet, proliferates on Facebook walls and trends on Twitter. The internet is the most potent medium of mass communication in human history but we use it to exchange videos of cats jumping through cardboard boxes, old Rick Astley songs and pictures of a rabbit with a pancake balanced on its head.

The success of these memes prompts certain questions. Not least, what’s wrong with us? But also, what do they tell us about our relationships with each other? And what is it that makes certain memes catch fire?

Maru the cat

Maru the cat

“That’s the million-dollar question,” says Don Caldwell, a reporter for the website Know Your Meme. “There’s not an easy answer. I see them as filling ecological niches. There’s the funny niche, the weird niche and the cuteness niche: Maru the cat has filled that section of the internet pretty well for himself.

“The success of a meme is like the reproductive success of an organism,” he adds. “They have to be really well suited to their environment, and the environment of a meme is the cultural zeitgeist.”

The word “meme” was originally minted in the analogue age by the scientist Richard Dawkins. In The Selfish Gene (1976), he proposed that natural selection could work on ideas (which would flourish or fail with us as their ecosystem) as well as genetic material, and chose the term as a counterpart to “gene”: a meme as a unit of cultural transmission. Essentially, this means a contagious idea. The term is broad. Limericks can be a meme. The late 18th-century epidemic of copycat suicides by men in yellow trousers after the publication of Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther is a meme. Rioting is a meme. So memes, in this extended sense, existed before the internet and continue to exist outside it.

Latin tags and rhetorical commonplaces were memes; “Kilroy was here” was a meme; chain letters, before the arrival of the internet, were memes that behaved in a recognisably viral way. There were fax memes and email memes, such as the smutty private email sent by one Claire Swire that ended up being viewed by millions in 2000.

But internet culture, and the exceptional speed and ease of transmission online, represents a step-change. Early geneticists were attracted to fruit flies as research subjects because their extreme fecundity and short lifecycles meant many generations could be studied in a space of months. When it comes to memes, the internet is an immense colony of fruit flies living in fast-forward – with all the experimental data widely and instantly available.

Looking at this data, the one distinguishing feature would seem to be downright frivolity. Memes support the idea that the online world has blurred the distinction between work and play – that media has given way to social media. A giant culture of messing about has found its perfect technology. It’s no coincidence that the biennial convention on internet meme culture, held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2008, is called ROFLCon, after the common online acronym for “Rolling On the Floor Laughing”.

In line with the evolutionary analogy, the memes that live longest tend to be those that are most adaptable. If the defining art form of the first part of the 20th century was collage, from the constellations of fragments in modernist poetry to the collided images of the plastic arts, that of the digital age is surely the remix or the mash-up. Video clips are spliced together; sound is sampled and repurposed; public domain images are overdubbed with catchphrases. Downfall, a German film made in 2004 showing the last days of Hitler, is appropriated to have the Führer ranting about Oasis splitting up; a sample of Gregg Wallace from Masterchef provides the hook for a techno track (“I like the base, base, biscuit base”). The term “exploitable” is, in this context, often used as a noun by those who make memes and describe their behaviour.

Read and learn more

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Can Social Media Be a Revenue Generating Business for Publishers ?

Social media is a rapidly growing phenomenon…And literally ALL publishing business decision makers are involved; however, they are struggling with just how to monetize the vast potential offered by these sites…As are the little guys, like myself !…But they have a good strategy formulating…

Matt Kinsman, Executive Editor of FOLIO magazine, wrote this insightful analysis in the May 2010 issue of FOLIO:

According to a 2009 Forrester Research study called “The Social Technographics of Business Buyers,” b-to-b buyers and decision makers are among the most active groups in social media. However, monetizing around that participation has been a struggle for b-to-b publishers.

Still, turning social media into a revenue-generating business is a priority for many publishers in 2010. As Cygnus Business Media looks to build value after emerging from its Chapter 11 restructuring last year, one of its top priorities will be harnessing what CEO John French calls “social business media.”

“Social media is the buzz word du jour but just like how everyone talked about Webinars and e-newsletters a couple years ago, everybody finds a new horse to ride,” he says. “We think social business media is as important as those previous developments but it’s a lot bigger. Business-to-business is a form of social media. The difference was in years past, it was done in print. We’ve gone from magazines delivering push content to getting the people out there to get together and talk.”

The next step is figuring out how to monetize social media around communities such as, and As part of the relaunch of its brand, Demers Ambulances wanted to create a social business media “buzz” and purchased an integrated package in order to reach a targeted group of EMS professionals that included ads, e-blasts, blogs booth space, podcasts and Webcasts on EMS Garage.

“Getting manufacturers involved is one of the things we’re working on now, and we don’t have the perfect answer,” says French. “We’re trying to figure out the next best step. Our experience has been, it’s OK for a reader to see advertising from a manufacturer, they know they’re getting the magazine for nothing. The precedent has already been set. If there is an ad message in an online community it’s going to be OK, users realize without this the medium wouldn’t exist. Take the 50,000 people who got a magazine for the last 20 years. They didn’t know at the time but they were the beginnings of the community.”

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The New World of Book Publicists

Book publicists are having to change their MO (modus operandi) in todays publishing atmosphere. They’ve always had to establish trust with clients but today the methods have changed. The following post from Yen Cheong spotlights publicists and how they have to establish trust using todays tools:

How book publicists can be Trust Agents
Posted: 23 Sep 2009 08:00 PM PDT

Back when I started The Book Publicity Blog about a year and a half ago, I looked around to find interesting and informative marketing / PR / social networking blogs from which I could draw information that would be of use to book publicists. Every so often, I’d link to Chris Brogan’s blog, which provided a trove of handy information.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Brogan’s publicist, @cincindypat, asked if I’d be open to a guest post from him. (Brogan is now also the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling co-author of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust.) Who better to talk about how to successfully publicize a book? Voila.

As you struggle to survive the attention wars, finding ways to connect your authors to valuable audiences has changed. This isn’t easy. Working with bloggers isn’t the same as traditional journalists, but connecting with journalists isn’t all it used to be, either. Getting mainstream coverage is more and more difficult. Budgets are tight. What’s a book publicist to do?

I’m writing this from a strange perspective. My book, Trust Agents reached the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal lists within two days of release. We speak about trust and how to use online tools to build relationships using new tools and new channels, and in the process, we had two publicists helping us as well. So, I have two sides of the coin in mind when I write this, or maybe three. I write it as an author, as a professional blogger, and as someone thinking on how the publicist might develop their efforts. Here’s what I have for you.

Find The Audience You Need – The easiest way to start on this is to grow bigger ears. Use tools like and to find who’s writing in the space your author is trying to reach. Don’t be swayed by big numbers, but instead, pay attention to the people who might connect with the work, and get to know them. Don’t reach out yet. We have more to do.

Do Your Homework – Use sites like to find out if the bloggers you’ve picked have a decent audience. Check their blogs for numbers of comments and level of engagement overall. Determine whether the blogger has done book reviews in the past (though don’t let this sway you).

Comments Come First – Leave comments about other posts over a week or so. Make them relevant, and never pitch your author at these points. Just connect on posts that make sense. Don’t ever hide that you’re a professional publicist. This is the art of building relationships before you need anything. It sounds like work. It is work. And yet, the yield is much better.

Break the Big Lie – Want to earn my respect forever? Acknowledge that there are other books from other publishers that are well done and/or that complement your author’s work. Stun people with your grasp of the real world. I say this with a bit of sarcasm, but realize that media makers like bloggers and podcasters know that there are other books out there, and we’ve maybe even read them before.

Build Non-Book Relationships With People – By getting to know people on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, on blogs, you’ve got to talk about non-book things from time to time. This is part of the whole relationship-building experience we’ve written about in Trust Agents. People don’t want to hang out with promoters. They want to spend time on online social networks with friends who interact with them, ask them questions, and talk about things beyond their business interests. It’s not wrong to talk about your author or authors. It’s wrong to make that the primary thrust of what you talk about.
This all adds up. Over time, it’s connecting in these human-shaped ways that will make all the difference in the world. People connect with those they know and who make them feel comfortable. Earning trust before you need something for business is a fast track to getting the kinds of coverage your authors deserve. This is how we’re seeing it done. There’s more to it than just showing up and typing, but these are some of the ways I feel you’ll be able to do business in the new social space. I hope they work for you.

Chris Brogan is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling co-author of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. He writes about social media and how human business works at


I Got A Nibble!

I got a question on Ebay regarding my book today! 26 days and two re-lists later. Not a sale yet, but an interest shown and a “watcher” bidder on Ebay. I feel like celebrating!

The question: “What is this? A book, CD, DVD, online data, what???? Thank you in advance. Bill”

Answer: “It’s a downloadable ebook in PDF format. So you can get it immediately!”

I just hope that Ebay doesn’t make me sell this as a CD and not allow me to sell it as an ebook…

Have a lot to learn yet, BUT, today I have re-learned that patience is something that a newbie marketeer MUST possess.

Stay tuned to see if I can learn to sell half-way successfully with a zero budget.

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