Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Between a Blog and a Hard News Cycle

How Do You Know If You Can Say No to NaNo?

The Internet has mutated reasonable people into wannabe writers…We are blind to the harsh truth-light-radiating facts such as ‘half of self-published authors earn less than $500’, facts written about in newspapers by professional writers.

That’s Tom Mitchell (@tommycm on Twitter) writing an essay at Medium, War on #amwriting. I must thank my colleague in London, Sheila Bounford, for reminding me of it. It could have been lost in the Bavarian Ether: [...]

Everything You Need to Know About the @Reply

photo by Steve Snodgrass

Okay, tweeps and future tweeps! So far in my column we’ve covered getting started on Twitter, the retweet, the #hashtag, and basic Twitter etiquette. Today I’m going to go over the ins and outs of another Twitter staple: the @reply, also known as a mention. (Still not sure if this whole Twitter thing is even for you? This post might help you decide.)

Terminology

First and foremost, what’s that at symbol for? The at symbol (@: read as [...]

The Dozen New Digital Rules Authors Need to Know

“Choosing anonymity is choosing irrelevance.” Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, author of The New Digital Age.

Today’s guest is Carole Jelen, an author, former publishing editor, and literary agent for Waterside Productions. She is a former editor for major publishers including Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall and Sybex, an imprint of Wileyholds, and she has two degrees in English from UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles. She also holds a California teaching credential, and trains and consults in publishing and audience building. Carole is [...]

How to Make Social Media Worth Your Time: When Is Enough Enough?

via Flickr / by Thomas Hawk

A writer recently asked me to comment on whether there is anything to be gained from being active on more than two or three social media accounts. How extensive should you really get—and is it possible that “less is more”?

I interpret this question to mean: When is enough enough? And how do I make any effort worth my time?

Answering this question requires stepping back—waaaay back—and looking at how and why authors use social media in the [...]

Twitter Etiquette 101

photo by Ron Mead

It might (or might not) come as a surprise to you that many writers hate Twitter. I confess that I’ve had my own “die, Twitter, die” moments over the years, and it’s usually due to discourtesy. The character limit, the flood of information, the time drain: those I can stomach. But people being rude or obnoxious? Well, I think we’ve all had moments where we wanted to jump ship.

Unfortunately, we can’t make everyone else use Twitter [...]

Concocting Fiction from Fact: Using Research to Tell Better Stories

We’ve all heard the “write what you know” mantra. To be honest, that has never resonated with me. I prefer to write what I want to know about.

This leaves things wide open in terms of storytelling, but it also creates an additional responsibility for the writer, because it requires us to do the R word.

No, not riverdancing. I’m talking about research.

Some writers I know absolutely dread the idea of research. Perhaps for them the word conjures up images of cobweb-draped [...]

Getting Started on Twitter

photo by RuffLife

After weighing the pros and cons of Twitter last time, maybe you’ve decided to take the leap. But you’re understandably overwhelmed, because Twitter is a strange and mysterious land to the uninitiated. Never fear! I’m here with the basics of what you need to do to start off your Twitter life with a bang. And even if this Twitter thing is old hat to you, I hope you’ll give it a quick glance, because there are tips [...]

Provocations in Publishing: “Engineering Serendipity”

Coined by the British aristocrat Horace Walpole in a 1754 letter, [serendipity] long referred to a fortunate accidental discovery. Today serendipity is regarded as close kin to creativity — the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world. But are hallway collisions really the best way to stoke innovation?

− Engineering Serendipity, April 5, 2013, New York Times, by Greg Lindsay

Here at the new PubSmart Conference, seated this week in an unseasonably chilly Charleston, South Carolina, the term [...]

Envy: a Lesson in What Not to Do

A couple of weeks ago, an author in the UK named Lynn Shepherd made one of the more bafflingly boneheaded moves I’ve seen in a long time, by posting a blog on the Huffington Post entitled “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It.”

Many of you probably read it, and/or saw the resulting kerfuffle as it spread across Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet at large.

At this point the cyber-flames have ebbed and the dust has settled, [...]

Should You Be On Twitter?

photo by Rosaura Ochoa

In my last post here at Writer Unboxed, I mentioned that – despite what the “build a platform” drones might chant outside your bedroom window at night – writers don’t have to be on Twitter. It is not required. Believe it or not, we are all grown-up people here (or let’s pretend we are), and we have the right to pick and choose which things we participate in. Shocking, right?

I resisted the siren call of Twitter [...]

Everything You Really Need to Know About Twitter

photo by Ian Muttoo

This post probably isn’t what you’re expecting. If you’re looking for guidelines and tips on how to use and get the most out of Twitter, you can view a list of my past posts here. But before you get overwhelmed, don’t worry. This is not a crash-course on everything you could possible learn about the art of Twitter. This post is about what you really need to know about Twitter, and that boils down to five [...]

Twitter: Are You Taking the Lazy Way Out?

Photo by Krawlings95.

Every once in a while, I’ll be on Twitter and start feeling glum. No one is talking to me, I think. No one new is following me. No one’s replying to my tweets. There’s a problem here, and that problem is me.

It never fails that if I notice a Twitter slump, it’s my own fault. Whenever I start feeling left out, I know it’s because I’ve gotten lazy. Twitter is not always the priority, so there’s nothing [...]