‘Social’ Media: ‘Sharing’ our Narcissism

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, Tools of Change, O'Reilly Media, author platform, blog, blogging, journalism, Authors Launch, TOC Authors, Author (R)evolution Day, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, FutureBook, Writer Unboxed

Even our photos of a church group, or a friend’s birthday, or exercise at the YMCA are, if we admit it, about us. Every photo is a “selfie.”

Alex Miller Jr., The Myth of Narcissus Goes Social

If you donated money to a hurricane relief charity via a website, you may have been asked if you wanted to share news of your donation with your Facebook friends. You may have said yes.
Jeff BercoviciCongratulations, You Voted: How Social Media Makes Us All Approval Whores

Narcissism is a solution that a terrified person takes in the face of the fear of realizing his dreams. Narcissism works. I’ve lived it myself, for many years.
Steven Pressfield,  Narcissism and Resistance


Every few months, is it? At least. Maybe every few weeks.

Somebody comes around talking narcissism and the Net, right?

The three articles referenced above — Miller, Bercovici, Pressfield — were floated out onto the glassy pond of our digital self-regard within six days of each other. Between November 2 and 8. [Read more…]


‘Social’ Media: Your Shadow Career?

 Porter Anderson, Writing on the Ether, Jane Friedman, author, publisher, agent, books, publishing, digital, ebooks, Joanna Penn, J.F. Penn, Prophecy, ARKANE Thriller, The Creative Penn, TheCreativePenn, Steven Pressfield, Steve Pressfield, The War of Art

Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead.

And how does a shadow career relate to a real career?

That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career.

Something that supports what I meant to do. Good training? Yes, it sure is. This will come in handy. After all, I have to prepare, lay some groundwork, ramp up, get my eye on the prize, reach out, share, connect, engage, interact, throw around some more clichés. Because it wasn’t built in a day, was it?

Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same.

Doing it. Getting it done. Hitting my marks. As good as.

But a shadow career entails no real risk.

So I can fail at it. You can, too. No problem. We’re all supportive. And you know how much they talk about the value of failure. Best thing that could happen, from the sounds of it.

Are you pursuing a shadow career?

Steven Pressfield is a favorite of mine. That’s him I’m quoting, from his new book.

But he may have written an even more elusive, eloquent adumbration into his new book than he knew.

About us. His fellow writers.

Porter Anderson, Writing on the Ether, Jane Friedman, author, publisher, agent, books, publishing, digital, ebooks, Joanna Penn, J.F. Penn, Prophecy, ARKANE Thriller, The Creative Penn, TheCreativePenn, Steven Pressfield, Steve Pressfield, The War of ArtPressfield’s new book is Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, just out this summer. I’ve listed it in Reading on the Ether for a while. It’s not coming off that list any time soon.

I wish I liked the title better. Sounds like one of those Brian Tracy biz books, doesn’t it? Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed. Or Reinvention: How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. Always with the subtitles. Always with the inspi-vational implication that you have to belieeeeeeeeve in yourself, Lena Horne.

Nothing against Brian Tracy, by the way. I just counted 25 different success-o-rama books to his name on Amazon before I stopped. And he’s not bad, have you ever read him? When that’s what you need, Brian’s your guy.

Steve Pressfield? Very different animal.

[Read more…]


Marketing Mash-up

I’m in the throes this week of at long last putting the final, finishing touches on The Impossible Book (insert huge, slightly crazy-eyed sigh of relief here) so my post this month is a bit of a mash-up.  Part news bulletin, part platform/marketing advice, part philosophical reflection.  Have I scared everyone off yet?  Well, if not (and I really don’t hold it against you if so!) a little background:

I think I’ve mentioned before on other WU posts that the relentless cries of Platform! Platform! Platform! in today’s publishing world more or less make me break out in a cold sweat.  I am  totally in sympathy with everything our own Robin LeFevers says about introverted writers on her Shrinking Violets blog.  Of course, part of my platform reluctance is just a simple time thing.  My kids are little (5 and 2) and I homeschool them.  I just plain do not have the time to both write books I’m proud of and devote huge (or even small to medium size) chunks of my workday to platform-building.  And (probably like most WU readers/authors here) when it comes to a choice between marketing and craft, I choose craft every time.  I just have to.

But in part it is just about me.  Jane Friedman  had a great post here awhile back about how any marketing/platform efforts have to be tailored to fit the individual, otherwise they won’t be authentic.  What is right for one author simply won’t work for another.   And for me . . . I blog here (which I love!) and I have my own website and (really infrequently updated) blog, but apart from that, I just hadn’t yet hit on any marketing strategies that felt both unique and right to me.

However–some of you may remember that about 6 months ago I went the indie-publishing route for my urban fantasy book Demon Hunter and Baby.  Which means, of course, that I’m totally responsible for any marketing efforts on its behalf.  Now, I’m not generally speaking a huge fan of love triangles, but one just sort of wrote itself into this book.  A particular character stepped up and suddenly my heroine–whom I’d thought was absolutely certain to end up with the love interest I’d picked out for her–was torn between two love interests.  And so was I.  I was starting to think about writing the next book in the series (and thank you so much to anyone who bought a copy of book 1 and made it a viable option to write book 2 in the series!) and trying to sketch out where the series was going and which of  the two men Aisling, my heroine, was ultimately going to choose.  I didn’t actually reach a conclusion (still haven’t), but one night while going to bed I looked at my husband and said, “You know what would be fun?  A survey on my website where readers could cast their votes about who THEY think Aisling should end up with.” [Read more…]


A Comic About The P-Word

The comic above was inspired by a recent discussion in Writer Unboxed as well as Juliet Marillier’s recent post.

Last time, I posted a cartoon caption challenge for an image featuring an editor at a desk and an Easter bunny. Lots of great responses! John Monahan‘s caption suggestion got the most thumbs up:

“We’ve had some complaints, so from now on you’re going to be called The Non-denominational Spring Festival Lagomorph-American.”


Also, some big news in my life since last time. I just got two new book contracts with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, woohoo! Details here. Have a great weekend, all.


Seven Out-of-the-Box Author Blogging Ideas

PhotobucketTherese here. Please welcome today’s guest, Shari Stauch. Shari is the CEO of Shark Marketing Co. and has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 33 years. As president of Charleston’s Center for Women, she moderates the Women Writers Forum, and conducts seminars on website marketing and image branding. Under her leadership the Center for Women now heads the federally funded Women’s Business Center for the entire state of South Carolina. Stauch also serves as Secretary for LILA: Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, and Co-Director of Programming for Words & Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans–an annual writers conference that brings together the nation’s best editors, agents and aspiring authors, with panel discussions revolving around socially relevant themes.

Stauch–also an an award-winning essayist, fiction writer, and editor–continues to work with agents, editors, and emerging authors, using her marketing and PR experience to help them put their passion in print and broaden their audiences. She is the author of four non-fiction books and has recently completed a novel set in her hometown of Chicago, IL. She’s with us today to talk about unboxed blogging–one of our favorite topics. Enjoy!

Seven Out-of-the-Box Author Blogging Ideas

Sure, there’s plenty of blogging advice out there. Keep it short; build sassy headlines; include photos and bullet points, etc. But the greater issue with which most writers struggle is to find that elusive blog “hook” that will continue to resonate with the niche of readers you’re trying to attract and engage.

It’s not always easy, I know. But I can tell you this: If your book/writing has a platform (and they ALL do – sometimes you just have to dig for it) then hey, you have something to blog about!

The Bigger Picture

Even if you believe your story is “small,” it’s not. There’s always a bigger picture/issue lurking around the corner. So think about widening your lens where your own work is concerned. Ask yourself these two questions: “To whom does my writing speak?” and “What can I share with those people that matters?”

Here are seven examples from clients that may help get you thinking about your blog focus: [Read more…]