Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

A Big OOPS! and the Shameless Seagulls are Back

Ok, sometimes the simple things are the most confusing. I have a Facebook account and I had an Author’s Page in Facebook. Months ago, I canceled the Author’s Page, thinking that it would be the same as my Facebook account and I don’t like duplicates. I thought it was just like Twitter. I thought, “why not just have the Facebook account; why do I need a page?” So I closed the page. Little did I know that no one can reach my Facebook account without being invited first, not the case with a FB Page. Therefore, all my links were not working (a big Ha, ha), and no one could reach the account. It was only after clicking on my links and getting the message of “This content is unavailable, that I asked my Aunt (a Facebook connoisseur and avid FB user) that she told me what was wrong. I laughed out loud (no pun intended).

So, despite liking simplicity, not duplicating, I recognize the need for a Facebook Page, so I reopened it and was able to change the links on this blog and add the widget. Ha, nothing is as easy as it seems. Just wanted to share in case any of you ( I doubt that) made the same mistake.

On an unrelated topic, here is a picture of the Shameless Seagulls, an example of shameless (or shameful) promo for your novels.

photo by MAD

photo by MAD

 

In addition, I wanted to let you know that I am giving away an e-book (Bits of Inspiration for Indies) on my website. If you would like it, click here and it will take you there. Click on the About/contact tab and request it.

And last, I want to thank all the readers and followers of this blog; I never take anything for granted and truly enjoy the WordPress family.  Every time I see a new click or a new follow it brings a smile. I think that this is such an amazing venue to share and meet bits of someone’s world, and I enjoy doing so. So a big Hooray to that. That is all I had to say today.

Indie Exhaustion and Social Media Fatigue

"I Am Tired" - NARA - 558861

“I Am Tired” – NARA – 558861 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a topic that most independent authors know very well. Our society has changed much and continues to evolve. The way we do things, the way we work and communicate, the way we live and handle time – all this has changed dramatically over the past decades. The old models don’t seem to be working anymore, and new generations find themselves in the middle of an old system and the emerging of another.

Social media and internet communication/socialization is growing at high speeds. For independent authors it is the best of times, however it is all happening so fast, and it might be exhausting for many. Indies do it all, but they also want to keep up with social media trends.  I have read advice about “becoming involved in everything, in as many sites and social media venues as possible.” I think that this is advice that I cannot take to heart, at least in my case. Why? Because it leads to exhaustion, mental chaos/fatigue, and worry (in the sense of having to keep up with all those social media sites).

I keep things to a minimum. I cannot write under exhaustion or mental chaos, neither will I be able to do much of my work, if I was to follow that advice. I keep this blog that I enjoy immensely, an author website (that I am developing slowly), a Facebook page (that I don’t visit as much as I’d like because I truly enjoy Facebook), and a Twitter account, which I plug-in with this blog, and might visit from time to time (and I have considered removing the Twitter account since I am not very active in it, other than posting through this blog).  I do have other work related websites that I keep up as well. I was tempted to join Goodreads and Shelfari (and almost did), but realized that doing so would add a layer of fatigue, and more sites to worry about keeping up. I believe that I am not involved in as many sites as other authors are, and I know my limitations. I believe in being involved in fewer sites and being active than in too many that I cannot keep up with them. That is why I decided not to join Goodreads and other sites that interest me (at least for now). I love interacting with people through social media, but need to keep a balance on what I can truly handle. I believe in answering posts and emails, as well as visiting other sites and sharing. I believe that it is not possible to do this on too many sites at once. I also believe that belonging to too many sites at once would impact the quality of the interaction, and the enjoyment of it as well.  Therefore my need to keep it as simple as I can.  I’ve seen blogs were the blogger limits himself/herself to post and does not answer comments or interact with readers. To me, it defies the purpose of blogging and social media in general. Why would I want to post/write something if I am not going to answer a comment about it? That would be as talking to myself in the mirror. Communication, sharing of ideas … is the purpose of social media, among other things.

My point to all this rambling is that if you (as an indie) are feeling a bit exhausted only from your social media interaction, and feel that you cannot keep up with it, and it is affecting you (and possibly your work), maybe it is time to cut some of it, and only become active on the sites you truly enjoy.

I would love to hear from you on this topic.

Smashing my Words and Other Vicissitudes

I decided to offer Moonlit Valley via Smashwords because it offers a wide distribution option for electronic books.  In a way, it was like killing many birds with one stone (ouch).  It offers the ePub format (nook, apple,kobo…) and others like the Sony reader, Palm, pdf, rtf, and of course plain text, as well as library lending.  This seems the perfect all-in-one, one-stop-shopping deal.  For someone like me, who gets easily overwhelmed by too many sites to keep track of, and too many profiles, joining Smashwords was a plus.  There is only one thing I did not like – the look of the end product of an electronic book.  Unlike Amazon Kindle, it is a bit messy and limited on what you can do with font type and font size.  Your chapters might end anywhere in the page, and the worst is that when you are trying to fix it, your book is out there available to the public – there is no in-between or prelude to the publishing button.  I was so worried that I could not get Moonlit Valley as spiffy as in the Amazon Kindle, that I became frustrated.  However, I hadn’t finish fixing my file when I already had three downloads for a sample of the novel – I guess a good thing.  How I dealt with this feeling?  It was easy.  I searched for the books of famous and best-selling authors, then looked at their file – they were having the same issues and troubles with how the novel looked.  Then,  I guessed that there was no way getting around that – Smashwords electronic books will never look as perfect as Amazon Kindle, but at least will offer readers who use the e-formats mentioned above the opportunity to find my books, and sample them.

I find that offering Moonlit Valley through Amazon in paperback and kindle format, as well as offering it through Smashwords in various e-formats covers pretty much everything (check the Novels tab in this blog).  So I am sticking with this way of doing things.  I advice that you  create profiles in Amazon USA, UK, France, EU, and that you do it in the main language (use goggle translator) as well as follow-up with an English description underneath (just in case).  Making use of the forums on Amazon/CS from time to time is a good idea as well. One thing I wish I could do is to manage all the Amazon stuff from one Hub, meaning the CS, Kindle, and Author Central – it would save much back and forth.

As far as social networking goes, I love Facebook because it offers so much, and although I don’t love twitter’s format that much, I am trying to get used to it.  To me, FB is more geared to follow-up in conversation, while Twitter feels like a bunch of birds chirping at the same time, with little or no interaction between them.  I will give it some time. One word of advice to new authors trying to get into social media, “it is not that easy to transfer all your people from your personal FB account into your Author Page – most of them will not click to join the new page, but they are more than happy to interact with you through your personal FB account.  So my advice is that if you are like me, who cannot bother with too many profiles and accounts (hence why I condensed two blogs into this one and this one will serve as my author blog as well), the best thing is to start your FB or Twitter accounts with your author name – it will be much easier in the long run.  I made that mistake, so now I share on both. I guess if you are using a pen name, then you have to keep multiples of everything, and to me that translates into nightmare.

For me, keeping it simple works best, despite all the advice out there saying that you  have to be in every format/platform available.  For me, doing that would be contra productive because I would end up tired, overwhelmed, and dreading the whole thing, and with no desire to write, which is the main purpose – writing novels.  For me this is what works:  Amazon +Kindle + Author Central + Smashwords + Facebook + Twitter + WordPress = A happy writer.

In the end, we want to be happy writers and enjoy the process.  Too much of anything gets in the way, that is how I feel.

MOONLIT VALLEY

MOONLIT VALLEY

I am adding this link as I think it is important news about the battle between Amazon and bookstores – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/20/drm-lawsuit-independent-bookstores-amazon_n_2727519.html

I FaceBooked My Way Through Irene

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

Well, the worst of Irene in Cliffwood Beach, NJ is over.  We had some trees down, and some flooding, but overall, better than what we expected.  I decided to keep aware and did not sleep until the worst of the hurricane was over.  Facebook helped me cope with Irene, and in a way, it helped ease my nerves.  I talked to family and friends while the winds were hitting the house, and this proved to be good storm therapy for me.  This proves once more that FB is more than a networking site, it extends to much more.  It has become a way for us to communicate during hard times, and many times the only way when phones and other ways of communication don’t work.

Irene scared the heck out of many people; I Facebooked my way through Irene.

Sleep Your Way

Sleeping, male baby cat. Red hair.

Image via Wikipedia

One of the areas that we seem to neglect the most is having a good night sleep.  One of the biggest culprits –  chores, TV, PC, and all our favorite shows and movies.  It is truly hard to dedicate the proper amount of hours to sleeping.  However, I have found that when I go to bed earlier, I am more productive the next day and my mind seems more clear.  For me, eight hours seems to be the perfect amount, others need more, others less. 

Sleeping well makes me less grouchy and it actually helps my writing.  I can write more in less amount of time, and it also helps my inspiration – ideas flow more fluently.  I recommend sleeping as a tool for better writing – it does sound funny, but true, at least in my case.

When I feel less tired and more refreshed/awake the tone set for the day is totally different and I can carry out many things that have been put aside for lack of energy or “time.”  Somehow, suddenly there is time for more …

Give it a try, and see if it helps your writing and your day, overall.