Help save Rupert DeVille.
Join us in our campaign to publicise Ruperts dilemma.
I am counting on your support. Thank you
on @Daycause | @fluffybunnypj
Help save Rupert DeVille.
Join us in our campaign to publicise Ruperts dilemma.
I am counting on your support. Thank you
on @Daycause | @fluffybunnypj
This year I have only two stories destined for anthologies. One is for a summer anthology, due out soon, another a children’s book scheduled for Christmas.
This is the lowest number of stories I have given for inclusion into collective tomes for several years.
I know some writers stay away from this form of publication. There are many reasons.
Some do not write short fiction, others focus on just one genre, some believe these books a waste of effort, while others only give licence if the book is a charitable or fundraising edition.
I appreciate everyone’s point of view on this matter.
To give a story away, even secured by a simple first serial rights licence, is a big thing. To take time out to write a specific tale for one is a commitment. Then, there is the fact of finding the extra time to write in the first instance.
If someone does not wish to commit to an anthology, so be it.
I, however, am a sucker for these books.
Partly, it is because I am a prolific writer of short stories and flash fiction. I always have some unpublished works on hand which need a good home. Another reason is, I enjoy writing from simple, given prompts. I belong to some writer’s groups, such as ‘500 – Iron writer’s spin-off‘ who regularly exercise their quills by doing just so.
I find scribbling a short tale a fantastic writing exercise, as I do with poetry and blog writing, even this post you are reading now is teaching me something about my trade as a wordsmith.
It is called, gaining experience.
I believe we can and should always strive to become better writers and, like modern athletes and sportsmen, we should ‘cross -train’. That may mean writing poetry and short stories, trying our hand with a genre we have never approached before, writing non-fiction too. Whatever it takes, we should often step outside of our comfort zone, we should do it to improve ourselves.
For me, committing to someone as a guest blogger, or agreeing to contribute a piece to an anthology, encompasses that training; it allows me to be creative, try something ‘new to me’, or come at a subject from an alternative perspective. It also allows me to get my work in front of readers who may not have found me otherwise.
It is not something I do for a direct reward. I have, where there have been shared royalties, had my allocation directed to charity.
Which brings me nicely to this point.
Many collections of short stories are put together as fundraisers, or for creating awareness for worthwhile causes. ‘Looking into the Abyss: Saving the Rhinoceros one story at a time’ an anthology designed to spread the word about the Rhino’s fight for survival, and ‘Sticks & Stones and Words that Hurt Me’ which supports anti-domestic violence, along with ‘Storybook, Individually together, Vo 1‘ (no longer available) are three charitable books I have close association with.
However, not all anthologies have to be for charitable causes.
The ‘Awethors’, a group of likeminded indie authors from across the globe, have created three anthologies crammed with a wealth of wonderful tales. These books, The Awethology Dark, The Awethology Light and the December Awethology Dark & December Awethology Light, were produced for several reasons.
These books are to show what an alliance of indie authors, living in various countries around the world, can achieve when working in unison.
The Awethors collective produced not one, but Four great works, proving such co-operative action can be repeated and maintained.
These anthologies also bring the contributing authors closer together, it strengthens the collective and in some cases, creates new, long lasting, genuine friendships.
If you have never contributed to an anthology before, I ask you to consider doing so. I am certain you will know at least one other writer who has a link with at least one. Do it for yourself, for a literary exercise, for learning, for betterment, but most of all do it for fun.
To finish, I quite fancy contributing to a Sci-Fi collection, (I don’t write Sci-Fi), or something from a female perspective perhaps?
Any offers, contact me.
Thank you once again for reading my Ramblings, Paul.
Looking for something different, a gift with thought? Take a look at the Pussers Cook Book.
This blog, as its sub-title states, is where I write about writing for writers.
When I do so, I want to make it clear what each of my posts are about, so you can choose to indulge in my words, or skip on to something else which blows your frock up in the moment.
The point is ‘CLARITY’.
Allow me to explain where my thoughts are…
I read an awful lot of stuff about writing and being an indie author; articles, blogs, books, newspapers, social media posts, written by other writers, authors and publishers with the intent of giving advice or insight into the ‘black art‘ of a writer’s life.
Generally… and I know one should not generalise by right, but on this occasion, I shall… Generally, all these posts are written with a single perception in mind, that of fiction writer.
It is assumed, by most authors of these posts, articles and essays that ‘writing’ or being a ‘writer’ means you are working on a fictional novel.
Do not simply take my word, browse away all you like, look for yourself.
I can understand why.
Most of these articles are written, with good intent, by authors of fiction, reaching out to help others. Sharing knowledge and accumulated wisdom. Something which is rarely done in other areas where another person could be perceived as being and often is your competition.
This is one matter where the indie writer’s community excels. It is supportive and encouraging to all whom venture within the dark realms of the quill.
Yet the terms writer means so much more and covers a far wider sphere, than fiction alone.
I try to be as inclusive as possible in my own posts.
If I am not writing directly about a particular aspect of fiction, I try to make my posts content as equally applicable to those writing a blog, a historical article, poetry, or a non-fictional account, as I am to the writers of fiction alone.
A writer could be a reporting journalist, a diarist, a playwright, or engaged in composing a technical manuscript as well as engaging in stories of fantasy and fiction.
So, come on all you other bloggers who tap away on your keyboards. Make it clear from the outset of you post if it is about something which affects all forms of writing, such as grammar, or your view on the loneliness a writer may endure.
Please alert people if it is specific to a certain genre or area of writing, like romantic fiction, historical recording, technical manuscripts or horror.
Well, I for one do not want to start reading your post, which I am sure you will have made as interesting and comprehensive as possible, to find, a few paragraphs in, it is covering a subject which I have no connection with and is therefore of absolutely no interest to me.
Being unnecessarily drawn into such, will only make me disregard any future article you post, even if it then covers a subject I am concerned about.
You can still have a ‘catchy’ headline or title if you don’t want a fully descriptive header. Just ensure, for those browsing a subject they want to read, that you clarify, in the first few lines, the subject matter of the post.
It will help the reader find what they want and it will help you gain followers who like your subject matter.
That’s all I have to say for now.
Enjoy the rest of your day, Paul.
I have moved my travel blog ‘Wild Geese’ to WordPress.
I am busy re-writing and re-posting all that was on the old site and I have a shed-load of new stuff, from my recent travels to share with you too.
I welcome any comments on how the blog is looking so far.
Oh yes, feel free to follow/subscribe if you will https://wildgeesetravel.wordpress.com
Many thanks, Paul
Unlike many of my Ramblings, this post is written in a far more focused manner, giving a clue to the importance I place on this content.
Recently I have seen a large number of indie authors discounting their books, or giving them away freely, offering a plethora of ‘giveaways’, from the humble bookmark to expensive looking jewellery, even a combination of all the above.
Whilst this form of promotion is not unusual by itself, the number of offers has increased to such a degree, that it seems no one is selling a book at full value price.
In fact, a quick scan of the internet shows very few books, (in relative context), for sale above zero, naught, nil, zilch, nothing.
This is excellent if you are a reader. You have the largest and widest choice of reading material ever produced in the history of human life, being offer to you at no cost; even incentivised, bribed, to take up such offers, by the additional giving of gifts.
Life has never been so cosy.
This recent explosion of free books has been boosted by the hundreds of book promotion sites, offering authors the service of marketing their works to millions of potential readers, for a small fee.
The sales gist of this is, should the author give away books, each person receiving a free book may like it so much, they will buy more of that authors works.
This seems a viable strategy… in principle.
BUT… there is always a but!
This form of book marketing was, for want of a better word, pioneered by Amazon when they were quite a young organisation selling only books.
At that time, the indie authors publishing phenomenon had not established, making it a very different market place; one where the novelty of being offered a free book was the exception not the rule.
Furthermore, add this marketing fee to the cost of production, editing, proofreading, formatting, cover designer, advertising, etc. Now, work out your royalties per-sale, because that is what must pay for your books production costs.
From this simple equation, you will see how many books you must sell to break even.
NOTE: This figure is cost based only. It does not include a budget for your time, your internet bill, your software licence fees, office space offsets (even if ‘the office’ is a table in your lounge) and other associated costs, which as a business person you need to consider. If you do not, whatever monies you think you have made form that book, will be demanded from you by those wonderful, friendly folks at the Inland Revenue.
So…how much do your royalties add up too…oh, nothing… because you gave it all away, with the bookmarks and coasters you paid for to boost your sales.
Not very business minded, are you?
Let’s fast forward to today.
The indie publishing business is a global industry, with hundreds of thousands of books being self-published each month, in every country and every language on earth.
This is a world where an adage I loth, ‘A victim of our own success’, has the hollow ring of truth.
Because computer technology has allowed the growth of, what was once referred to as ‘desk top publishing’ to grow in such an unprecedented way, the competition in the indie publishing scene is immense.
However,… there is always a however, too!
While the market place for book sales has undergone change akin to continental drift, the methods used by indie authors is still as primitive as the those used in the embryonic days of Amazon’s birth.
You see, Amazon has outgrown the indie author world. It has outgrown many, if not all the established mainstream publishing companies and, by doing so, has irrevocably altered the landscape of publishing in general.
Neither is this giant called Amazon about to offer indie authors a helping hand.
It does not have to and does not want to. Not only has it outgrown the publishers, but it has established itself as the master of sales opportunities. Basically, as an independent writer, if you want to sell a lot of books you must factor Amazon into your marketing mix. What is more, Amazon will need to be your prime ingredient in the clear majority of cases.
Which brings us back to the reader, those illusive, almost mythical creatures who may, one day, if you are extremely lucky, buy one of your books.
BUT… yes another but!
BUT… it is getting less and less likely any reader will put their hand into their pocket and pull out some money, simply to get hold of a copy of your book.
You see, they don’t have too.
There are hundreds and thousands of books available for free. The reader can order any of these, or simply download an eBook version, which they can add to the hundred unread books waiting on their Kindles and E-readers, without ever spending a single penny.
Oh, that fleeting promise of maybe’s, the one the book marketing sites sold you, you know, the one that goes… “if they like your style they will buy the rest of your series/books….”
You didn’t fall for that old spangle, did you?
Because they will not.
Please do not dismiss the reader thus. Like all of us, our readers must be canny when it comes to spending, whether buying packet of sausages in a supermarket, or buying a good book to curl up with in front of the fire.
These folks will:
A, wait until another of your series is offered for free.
B, read another free book. (They may enjoy it better than yours.)
C, Both, of the above.
This is a reader’s market. It has got this way because of several factors, but (another but!), it is you, the indie author who has brought this situation upon yourself.
By publishing your book at a ridiculous low price, then lowering that price and eventually giving your book away, you are part of the overall problem affecting many, if not most indie authors.
You are simply adding to the situation you are moaning about. You know the one, about having too many free books on Amazon. That the competition is too great, because the market is flooded with cheap books, 99 cents and below.
This WILL NOT CHANGE until you…yes, YOU do something about it.
Ideally, for me. As of tomorrow morning, there would not be one book, not a single novelette being given away.
Novella’s and the such would be priced at around £2.00/$2.40 for the shortest book and escalating up from there.
Novels would kick in at a minimum of £10.00. Book prices would be back to a decent level, a level not too dissimilar to that before Amazon muscled in.
We all, from time to time, often with good reason, knock the major publishing houses who controlled publishing, much as DeBeers control the diamond market. Yet they ensured authors got a fair return for the time and effort involved in creating a book.
That cannot be said of Amazon, or any book promotion site encouraging free and 99c priced book sales.
I know there is a movement within the indie community, one which is trying to discourage the giving away of books.
I am part of that movement.
I believe, if ALL indie authors removed ALL free books, re-priced their books to reflect true value for authors, we would see a major shift change within the industry almost overnight.
People will not stop reading.
They never have and they never will. They shall simply be paying a fair price for the goods they receive.
Authors will start earning a fair return for their creativity, effort and investment. The quality of books will increase.
The world will be full, once again, of wild unicorns running free in green woodlands full of Tinkerbelle fairies… well, I may be pushing it a bit too far now; but the facts are, indie authors will be better served without cheap and free books…. FACT.
Which brings me to the title of this post, ‘ Bucking the trend’
What give me the right to state such?
Firstly, this is not me simply making a vortex of hot air.
I stand by my convictions. I do not have any FREE books. I shall not be giving any books away. I do not have gifts of incentives. I have no bookmarks or jewellery.
In fact, I am deliberately ‘Bucking the trend‘.
Recently, I have increased the price of all my books, both Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.
One of which, is an Amazon No.1 bestseller.
The coveted No1 position, is something I doubt would have occurred, if the book was priced undervalue.
You see, perception plays a large part in decision making.
What value you initially consider an item, is easily disputed once furnished with a low price. Hence altering perception.
With that in mind, a low cost, or free book will hold little or no perceived value to the reader.
If the same book is viewed at a higher price, the value is assumed to be greater.
In association, the assumption of quality is also presumed higher or lower in direct proportion the estimated value implicit.
This is my view and the principles I adhere too.
I shall charge a fair price for my books. Not a penny less.
Readers can buy them, or not.
BUT…. (The last one I promise), consider this:
Should I just sell one copy of one of my books this year, I would have made more money than you, giving a thousand copies away.
I’ll leave you to muse over this.
I have, at last, found enough time to catch my breath and write a new, long overdue post for this blog.
You see, I have had a busy start to this year.
First was the publication, in January, of my first children’s book, The Rabbit Joke, which is designed primarily as a ‘read to me‘ book.
A book for parents or older siblings, to read to the younger ones. The Rabbit Joke lends itself to being read to groups in schools and kindergartens too.
The Rabbit Joke is an outsized, hardcover, fully illustrated, perfect bound, landscape book, from https://www.peecho.com/print/en/263512
In February, I released ‘Life in the War Zone’ a collection of stories, based on true accounts, of what life is like living between warring factions in an area of conflict.
Life in the War Zone takes a serious, no holds barred look at the devastation and trauma of life in the battlefields of the Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Israel, Palestine, Libya, Lebanon and El Salvador.
Ebooks are available direct from me, via my website. http://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white
Paperbacks from Amazon.
Also during February, I published a ‘Coffee Table’ book called ICONIC, or to give it its full title, Iconic – Legends of music immortalised in art.
Iconic is an 8 x 8 inch, hardcover, perfect bound, glossy, book, containing a number of my own artworks, portraits of some of the most well-loved musical talent ever known, such as David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis and many more.
With each portrait is an abridged biography of each artist, covering their life and times. https://www.peecho.com/checkout/14716200169619823/279042
March saw the publication of The Pussers Cook Book.
This became an instant hit and an Amazon bestseller. It is still, as I write this over a month after the books launch, at number three in its Amazon category.
The Pussers Cook Book details twenty-two of the best loved dishes, served on Royal Naval ships circa 1960’s to 1980’s. Along with the recipes, there are plenty of jokes and tall stories, some legendary myths are also dispelled!
You do not have to be a sailor to enjoy the Pussers Cook Book. It makes the perfect gift for a freind or loved one.
Paperbacks from Amazon. goo.gl/eTwfWN
Hardcover from my printers. www.peecho.com/print/en/282666
You will see by this, why my time this year has been at a premium.
Now, I have touched on art, as in the title of this post, by mentioning my tribute to the great musicians in the book, ICONIC. Which clearly shows the link between writing, books and art.
As do all those millions of books with illustrations, photographs, pictures and images inside. Let alone the amazing and wonderful artistry shown by many book cover designers.
In that respect, books and art are almost inseparable, and never exclusive.
Art has always been a ‘go to‘ place for me, when I need to rest my mind from concentrating on writing. Whilst my form of art, digital painting, is still a creative discipline, it is creative in a totally differing way to the mindful concentration needed for writing.
In that respect, I find creating digital art relaxing, even ‘freeing up‘ the subconscious mind to continue its own creative endeavours, whilst I take my consciousness on a holiday of colour and form.
The problem arises, much as it does when writing, or I should say, when one has finished writing and has published their book.
Who will see it, who will read it, who will buy it?
It is all well and dandy to have a book, three books, ten? Sitting on the shelves getting dusty and covered in cobwebs. What we want, what we need is someone (Many someones) to come along and actually read our words.
The same is true of art. What is the point of creating wonderful, thought provoking, stimulating images if they are simply going to be stored as a digital code on a memory stick. If they are never going to be made onto a canvass, or a poster, or even printed onto a tee-shirt or coffee mug?
Both of those scenarios are, in my humble opinion, a total waste of time, effort and creative energy.
So…what to do about it all?
Firstly, I have made a Facebook page to help direct people to my works.
The main site is my artwork website, where you can browse through a selection of works albums and find links to the other places my work is available. https://goo.gl/pyPI7i
Thanks for reading this…if you have read this far!
I will be back to posting my normal Ramblings from now on.
A simple title, but one containing much truth. How many time have you sat and started to write, or at least tried to scribble out some rudimentary sentences, when your energy is not there?
No, this is NOT a post about writer’s block.
This is a post about being drained. Being drained mentally, physically, intellectually, when even the most basic concepts evade simple thought. All of which can be emotionally exhausting.
I know. I have been there, as I suspect have you.
This is the bane, the curse of a writer’s life. This is our penance for shutting ourselves away for hours upon hours, for living our lives with one foot in the fantasy world of fiction, of sharing our days, even our dreams, with fictitious characters, those illusory, invisibles who inhabit our secret worlds, worlds which we never divulge to the others, at least, not until we are certain that they are ready to be revealed.
Considering this, it comes as no surprise that stress and anxiety often effect our temperament. We are, after all, artists and creatives. As such, why should our general disposition be any different to that of the most prima-donna of actors, or a highly volatile chef?
What is more, unlike the actor or chef, who have a surrounding cast or brigade onto whom they can cast their wrath and vent their spleen, we, the solitary, the secluded and oft isolated writer only have our keyboards and, maybe, a cat or dog. Neither of which deserve to suffer the brunt of our derision.
Now, that brings me to where my head is today, to what stimulated me to start writing on this particular topic.
Of course I am using that term as a general. What I mean is that I am ‘connected’, my social media is up and running, notifications, messages, hangouts, emails, chat and whatsupps and talktomes and haveyouseens are flashing and popping up every Nano-second, calling out my name, vying for my attention, from just about every social media platform that has been created.
Like you, as an author, an independent, self-published writer, I want to sell my books (hint!). Not having millions of pounds in my bank account means I do not have the wherewithal to pay for Saatchi & Saatchi to advertise and market my books. I do not have the distribution power of WH Smiths, Barnes & Nobel, Waterstones or indeed Walmart and Amazon.
I am one man, not a corporate host of many. As such my reach and capabilities are somewhat limited to what is physically possible. I have limits I cannot exceed alone.
To try and combat this disproportion, my being of David to the conglomerates Goliath, I have spread myself widely over this wonderful, glorious and most obnoxious of modern invention, the internet. I have, often with much reserve, spread myself over the world wide web by way of social media platforms in an attempt to attract at least one person who will purchase at least one of my books, who will read my words, share my fantasy and, hopefully, enjoy that netherworld I created.
Perhaps they may even return, buy another one of my books and re-join my journey? Maybe.
Yet to get to that point, where someone may actually want to own a copy of your work, a copy of that book you have spent all your spare time writing, for the past two years, means that you have to talk and communicate with thousands. You have to build relationships, acquaintances and associations. You have to make connexions and affiliations, create rapport, bonds and liaisons.
For the greater part this works fine. There may be the odd and occasional idiot you come in contact with, but that is no different to the ‘real world’, the meat space that we inhabit in natural form. At rare times you might encounter some who take pleasure in belittling others purely because they derive some sick pleasure from doing so. But you can turn a blind eye to these, block, delete, report and so on. Again this is only a digital interpretation of today’s world. One only has to watch a single new bulletin to make that simple comparison.
Yet it is those you choose to communicate with, those you classify as ‘friends’ who can flick that switch and send you plummeting into the deep pit of depression. A simple word, a throw away sentence, a wrongly worded, or indeed wrongly interpreted text, can combine with the isolation, the frustrations and become that final once of pressure that sends you spiralling into darkness, or rage or both.
This is where things get bad!
Once you are there, at the base of that gloomy depression of despondency, it all becomes a vicious circle of seemingly hopeless misery. Each time you type out a word it is wrong, you have nothing to say, nothing to add, you cannot think of anything to write, nothing at all. The last chapter you wrote is crap, I mean total, pathetic, amateur crap with a capitol ‘c’.
What on earth were you thinking about. Best scrap it, delete it…in fact why not delete everything? It’s all crap anyway and you know it. You will never make it as a writer. You are pathetic, your writing is woeful, ridiculous and nobody will ever want to read it anyway, so you are just wasting your time.
Now you have ‘writers block’ on top of everything.
Have you been there?
You sit and stare at the keyboard, the walls, the window. Your head is pounding, not with a headache, not yet anyway, but with frustration. You are trying to think, inspiration, a plot, nothing works, nothings coming. That is what hurts. You can’t even read Facebook. Your eyes wont focus on the screen.
Your teeth are clenched. Those words keep flashing in your mind. How dare she say that. What a senseless dickhead he really is. How come so many liked my cartoon of the dog and the Vicar, but all I got for that insight was one like and a truck full of insults and derision.
The truth is that YOU are making too much of it all.
You have taken your exhaustion and converted it to emotions…not the shrewdest move you could have made.
All the mental, physical, creative and intellectual output has drained you. Each and every event surrounding you seems enhanced, seems far greater than it is. You need to rest from writing, let your mind relax a little, slow it down…schuush….rest.
We lone writers do not have a gauge to tell us when we are getting low on that energy. We do not have an entourage to bounce our frustrations off. We do not have a colleague to share annoyances or vexations with.
We just have us (and, possibly, that cat or dog!)
But we need to learn how charged we are, we need to know when we have used our stock of vigour and are eating into pure emotion.
We need to know when we are running on empty.
Thank you for reading.
Please visit my author page and take a look at my books.
Twitter can be an amazing tool to brand yourself as author, connect with your readers and fellow authors, if used correctly.
Be Yourself, Not Your Book
Present yourself as person and not as your book. It might seem a great idea to take the book title as a Twitter name – but what are going to do when writing your second book. You would need to open a second account for this book, the third book, etc.
Followers are also more likely talking to a person than a book.
Choose your Author-Name as Twitter-handle
To brand yourself as author choose your author-name as Twitter handle. If it is not available anymore extend it with ‘Author’, ‘Writer’ or an underscore ‘First_Last’.
Provide a Bio, a Photo and the ‘URL’ to your own Website/blog.
Take your time to draft a good sentence for your Bio. Nothing too crazy or too fancy – just a great line so followers have an idea who you are and what you write.
A photo is a must, but if you like to keep your anonymity you can use a cartoon-ish picture or a manipulated picture of yourself.
Do not use your book as profile picture. (Followers get the impression that you ‘only’ want to sell your book).
The URL could be to your blog, your Facebook page, or other social media sites where followers can learn more about you.
Do not use your book link at Amazon. (Same reason as with the picture – new followers won’t buy your book anyway. They might do later when knowing more about you.)
Tweet-Out some Tweets before start following others
Post your first tweets even if you have no followers. Your new followers will read them soon.
Start following your first Tweeps (Twitter Users). Follow only Tweeps you are interested in. They might be fellow authors, readers, book bloggers, book sites, news sites, people with the same hobbies you share, etc. Follow Tweeps who are posting (by your definition) interesting tweets or have an interesting Bio or are people you know.
Do not follow everybody you see on Twitter
At first, you are limited to 2,000 people to follow. So, choose your Tweeps as described before. Once you have 2,000 followers yourself you can follow more Tweeps.
It’s all about Quality
If one of your goals is to brand yourself as author and build your own Twitter community where you discuss topics you’re interested in – the more it is important to have quality followers.
Not just thousands of followers who give you every morning a quote of the day, do the ‘follow you, follow me game’, or are just tweeting out their links to their eBay, Amazon, or other e-commerce sites.
It sounds great to have 100,000 followers but these before mentioned users will never communicate with you or have even a look at your tweets.
Do not sell your book!
Nothing annoys your followers more than asking them “Please buy my book”, “Please, read my book”, “Now only 99 cents” etc.
Followers are quickly annoyed and will call this ‘shameless’ self-promotion. You might think the same when reading only these kinds of tweets from people you are following and might decide to not follow these Tweeps anymore.
Make yourself ‘Author interesting’
Tweet about your writing and the progress of your new book project. Having received an amazing review, award, etc. Share the publishing process, provide tips for others. Share sale success etc.
If you make yourself interesting enough your followers will probably investigate your book and/or reviewing your book. (soft sale)
Do let your followers know if your book has been featured, or you have an Interview or a guest-post. Let them know about reading or signings, how to get freebies, etc.
Get involved in discussions
You’re seeing your followers discussing interesting topics, get involved, ask a question to start a conversation.
If you see interesting or helpful tweets from others you’d like to share, RT (Re-Tweet) it to your own followers.
This helps interesting posts to get a wider audience. Your followers will RT your Tweets as well if they are interesting for them.
Don’t ask for RT’s
Your followers will re-tweet your tweets if your posts are good (interesting, helpful) enough for a RT.
Using Hashtags (#)
Use Hashtags – so Tweeps who search for a certain category, or genre, can easier find your tweets, like #thriller #para #ya #WritingTip etc.
Do not overuse Hastags.
Tweets can be more difficult to read with to many hashtags.
Build relationships with other writers
“Thanks for the RT” doesn’t exactly build relationships.
If someone retweets your tweet or mentions you, take the extra two minutes to check out their Twitter profile, see what they write, comment on it in a tweet with a ‘Thank you’ included.
Fellow writers are mostly also readers and are great to have relationships with to share tweets, writing tips, found a beta reader group, etc.
Do NOT use these relationships trying to sell them your books.
Even more Quick Twitter Tips (not only for Authors)
Be honest. Have fun. Don’t try to sell anything.
Twitter about stuff that has to do with your blog, but also Twitter stuff that has nothing to do with your blog.
Share links, share ideas, ask questions, answer questions — anything but “what are you doing?” unless it’s really interesting
Write each word like it matters, because it does.
Respect the people you follow. Be interesting. Listen first, tweet second. Don’t waste words.
Don’t follow more people than you can handle. If you’ve got too much going on, you miss a lot of the good stuff.
Stop thinking that twitter is pointless and just try it. It’s all about community, reach out and be a part of it.
Send out interesting, funny, resourceful and insightful tweets and this will earn you more followers.
Tweet often and experiment with different times of day and night, weekday/weekend. You never know who is ready to surf Twitter.
Make tweeting a two-way dialogue. Comment/respond to the tweets of others.
It’s OK to push out links to your latest blog entry but don’t overly sell anything in your tweet.
Better to be friendly and positive than negative and critical in your Tweets
Feel free to comment on current events, hot trends, news, cool individuals, relevant issues, unique ideas, and things you find of value.
Talk, don’t sell. Twitter is not a marketplace – it’s more like a community room. Pull up a chair and make friends.
Find the official Twitter Glossary here
The @ sign is used to call out usernames in Tweets, like this: Hello @Twitter! When a username is preceded by the @ sign, it becomes a link to a Twitter profile.
A short personal description of 160 characters or fewer used to define who you are on Twitter.
The Connect tab lets you view interactions, mentions, recent follows and Retweets. Using the Connect tab you’re able to view who has favorited or retweeted your Tweets, who has recently followed you, and all of your @replies and @mentions.
DM = Direct Message
Also called a DM and most recently called simply a “message,” these Tweets are private between the sender and recipient. Tweets sent over SMS become DMs when they begin with “d username” to specify who the message is for.
#FF stands for “Follow Friday.” Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with the hashtag #FF.
A follower is another Twitter user who has followed you.
Your following number reflects the quantity of other Twitter users you have chosen to follow on the site.
A user’s “Twitter handle” is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL, like so: http://twitter.com/username.
Curated groups of other Twitter users. Used to tie specific individuals into a group on your Twitter account.
Similar to RT, an abbreviation for “Modified Tweet.” Placed before the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message with modifications, for example shortening a Tweet.
Mentioning another user in your Tweet by including the @ sign followed directly by their username is called a “mention”. Also refers to Tweets in which your username was included.
A Twitter page displaying information about a user, as well as all the Tweets they have posted from their account
A Tweet posted in reply to another user’s message, usually posted by clicking the “reply” button next to their Tweet in your timeline. Always begins with @username.
A Tweet by another user, forwarded to you by someone you follow. Often used to spread news or share valuable findings on Twitter.
Abbreviated version of “retweet.” Placed before the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message.
A message posted via Twitter containing 140 characters or fewer.
Twitterer (offcial Twitter User – others say Tweep)
An account holder on Twitter who posts and reads Tweets. Also known as “Twitter user”
URL shorteners are used to turn long URLs into shorter URLs. Shortening services can be found online.
There are some great Twitter Tips on these sites too.
Here is something that has crossed my mind recently (on several occasions).
So much can be read into that single word, can it not?
Honestly, how many people do you actually trust?
It would be passé for me to ask who you would trust with your life.
Firstly, because that could take so many forms; from combat, to saving you choking on a chicken bone and because we trust people with our lives each and every day.
When you fly you are trusting the pilot, when you take a cab you are trusting the driver; there are doctors, surgeons, police and such like; so in the grand scheme of things trusting someone with your life is not so alien, in fact it is most common.
But let me ask you this:
Who would you lend your last few dollars to?
I mean your last dollars; the money you depend on; the money you need to live by. Who would you trust to repay that money on time?
Who would you let house sit, or house swap with you? Who would you trust not to pry into your private closets, or rummage through your underwear drawer?
To whom would you show your browsing history, or private files, without the fear of being judged?
I guess you could count those people on one hand?
Maybe I am wrong; maybe you are lucky. Or maybe you have more fingers on your hand than I do!
Okay, so trust can be considered on many levels, I agree.
But I have a feeling that you may trust someone you have not met, or have never seen, a little less than you might trust your neighbor, or a work colleague, even an acquaintance; you know, one of those people who are almost your friend!
Am I right?
Generally, I think I am.
Which brings me here, to the point of this rambling.
I often ask people, complete and total strangers to trust me every day. I ask many of them for money, in return for promises.
Because I offer some services. You see, apart from being a writer and an author, I design books covers, I have an online magazine and a book promotion site.
When it comes to designing covers I promise I shall do my best to create an eye-catching cover, one that will attract people to take a look, to ‘pick the book up and investigate’. Initially I only have my word to give.
I rely on a person’s trust.
The same is true of my magazine.
People buy features and advertising, often two or three months in advance. They are trusting me to produce the magazine, to distribute it, to hold up my end of the bargain.
On my book promotion website, the trust is, that I will provide information as promised, list books as agreed, market the site and so on.
I know I am honest. I know I will do everything within my abilities to ensure I deliver, to keep my promises. Yet many of those who place their trust in me do not know that, not initially, not the first time we make an agreement.
Luckily, I have a track record of successfully completing the tasks I undertake.
I have lots of happy clients and that, in a strange way, turns the tables. You see, once I have done business with someone, once I have done ‘a good job’, I trust them to return to me. I trust that they shall, at some point in the future ask me to help again.
Thankfully, most do.
Now that may, at this point, sound like standard business practice. But what makes all this stand-out for me is, that most of what I do is with people who are, in the physical world, (the Meat-Space), strangers.
I may belong to the same social media ‘groups’ as they. I may have ‘messaged’ or emailed them many times, over many months or even years. I may know (vaguely) what they look like, at least in the best photograph they have, even if it was taken twenty-years ago!
BUT…I have never met them, never heard their voice naturally, or felt their flesh, smelt their scent, seen how they walk, talk and laugh, not in the real world. Yet some I consider to be friends, not the i-space, ethereal electronic type of friend, but Friend with a capitol ‘F’.
And I trust them.
As, (hopefully!), they do me.
Please, do not deceive yourself by thinking that I am a product of this technological age. I am not.
I am far older than that. But I accept it, even somewhat embrace it; although with a certain amount of mistrust and caution as to its future influence and where it may eventually lead us.
But a little vigilance is no bad thing.
So, here I am, connected tentively to un-met people around the globe, via fiber-optics and satellites, yet conducting business on less than a physical handshake; often simply on a few keystrokes that spell out the word ‘Yes’, or even the lesser ‘OK’.
I suggest that is a form of true trust?
If it is, then in my world that is not a bad thing.
If something that can be isolating, even as divisive as the internet, can bring ‘people who have never met’ (we used to term this as ‘strangers’ when I was a child), together by the bond of trust my fear for the future of mankind is somewhat diminished.
All we need now is for those who in power to take note, for those who print ‘In God We Trust’ on our banknotes to realise that, in an ideal world those words would actually read ‘In Us We Trust’.
Just a thought that was running through my mind.
Please feel free to comment, like, share or ‘whatever blows your frock-up’
Find out more about me, my writings, books & Cover design
Go to SNEAK PEEK – Books & Authors site