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.

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Authors, No Agent/Publisher? Get Social Media-It’s Better and Free!

Filed under: Lori Culwell,self-publishing,social media book marketing — gator1965 @ 7:42 pm

Non-famous, first-time writers…you know, the talented ones that actually write their own stuff…have been literally shut out by traditional publishing interested only in the fast buck for the more-than-recent-past!

But, technology has blown a lifeboat their way and one of the big oars that come with that lifeboat is social media…Social media can be their agent, book tour and publicist all rolled into one AND it’s free!

Lori Culwell , a published writer and expert in Search Engine Optimization, posted this in the Huffington Post RE her own experience getting published for the first time (a wake-up read):

I think if there’s one trait about me that has served me the best while at the same time annoying the most people, it is that I will absolutely not tolerate being told that I cannot do something. “No” is the one word that makes me almost pathologically have to find a way, if for no other reason than to go back to the original nay-sayer and proclaim “See! It could be done — you just lacked the vision!”

Yes, it is richly ironic that I chose to be a writer and yet I find rejection so odious. I get it.

Now you’re wondering how this applies to you.

A couple of years ago, I decided I was going to write a novel. Was I a celebrity, did I have a book deal, or did I once date Hugh Hefner?

No. I just wanted to write a novel. Is that so wrong? I had hope when I started. And yet, even before I was done, the chorus of “that’s so hard” was upon me. “It’s impossible for an unknown writer to sell a novel these days” turned into a cascade of rejection letters and emails from interns at agents’ offices, then editors, publishers, even well-meaning writer friends. The manuscript was barely even done before it was finished, as they say.

But, here’s the thing — I knew the novel was good, and I knew it would sell, and even though I didn’t relish the idea of self-publishing, by then I was on a mission, not only to put the book out, but to convince the world, one person at a time if necessary, that my book belonged on their summer reading lists.

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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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Twitter Connections For Writers, Authors And Publishers

The Book Publicity Blog at is one of my favorite sources for up-to-date info on the publishing and book industry. Today The Book Publicity Blog had a great post about Twitter, and since I am also on Twitter (as well as Facebook and Myspace) learning “social media” and how I might use these type sites for book marketing, I am extracting it below for my readers info. WARNING: This post has great contacts and connections to experts in the
writing and publishing field!

“Twitter is possibly the most robust network to link readers and the publishing community since Gutenberg built his printing press. I realize Twitter doesn’t work for everybody and I’m not suggesting that everyone use it — there are days when even I don’t have the time (or simply can’t be bothered) to type even 140-character status updates — but what must be recognized is that Twitter is no longer the latest fad among tweens; it has since evolved into an incredibly powerful communications tool (and it can be fun, too). I realize I’m pretty much preaching to the choir with this post, but please feel free to share the following with colleagues/authors.”
Most people now know the Twitter basics: you have a 140 characters to update your status and you have a list of people whose status updates you follow and a list of people who follow your status updates. But for all practical purposes, what does that mean? Why should authors and people in the publishing industry use Twitter? Here are some reasons why:
– Networking: Although most publishing houses, literary agencies and book publicity firms are in New York — which means many of us see each other in person — many are not. And of course, media exist all over, as do readers. Twitter is how we meet. Publisher @artepublico uses Twitter to connect authors with the media. @calli526, a book publicist, uses it to connect with the media.
– Promotion: Twitter can be used to talk up a book, blog, event, author, giveaway or pretty much anything else.
– Feedback: For example, @benrubinstein polls his followers for ideas and suggestions.
And here are some specific examples of how Twitter works:
#followreader is a weekly publishing discussion conducted on Twitter on Thursdays at 4 p.m. ET and moderated by @charabbott and @katmeyerwho also blog at Follow the Reader. (Summaries of the discussions are posted on the blog for people who miss the Twitter conversation.)
@RustyShelton and his colleagues at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicity developed a Tweet the Author service.
– Author Anastasia Ashman posts about how she uses Twitter.
@meredithkessler points out that Robert Olen Butler’s @TweetsFromHell was picked up by @LATimesbooks and followed by major critics and Butler fans.
– Literary agent @janet_reid found a panelist for a publishing conference via Twitter and has also used it to fact check some locations/spellings/customs.
– When I write a blog post, I try to tweet about it (and include a link to the post). That means my post could potentially be seen by the 1,267 people who follow me. Realistically, a tweet won’t be seen by all of one’s followers, but even if only a fraction of those people see an update and click through to the link, that still amounts to a lot of eyeballs. (And certainly a lot more eyeballs than if you’re not using Twitter.) Similarly, some authors will tweet about upcoming events to let readers know where and when they will be speaking or about reviews and interviews.
– And lastly, how do you think I found the examples for this post? Yup, you guessed it.

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