Thursday, August 29, 2013

What's new, sell more books online & everywhere else, social fiction

In this week's social media news for writers: new and improved at Twitter and Facebook; the state of blogging; sell more books online; and is the day coming when books will be sold everywhere?

State of the blogosphere (I used to love those Technorati reports): Many writers ask, 'should I blog'? Here's my answer: probably not. Blogging today is not at all like it was even a couple years ago. While there are tons of bloggers, internet users' reading habits have changed dramatically (see 'the link economy'.) It is harder than ever to gain traction with readers. That said, there are still a few times when having a serious blog makes sense--for instance, if you write non-fiction, it can help establish your bona fides. If you are interested in who is blogging these days, their motivations and, most importantly, if they make any money at it, you might want to see the entire infographic here.  The photo above captures the part of the infographic that talks about the highest-earning blogs, which translates into those with the most eyeballs on screens, which means maybe blogs on which you want to consider advertising or getting mentioned. Just a thought.

Sell more books online: Beth Bacon wrote a good article for Digital Book World on how to sell more books online and her advice is (1) brand curation, (2) relationship marketing, and (3) produce a quality book. Good basic advice here for self- and traditionally pubbed authors alike.

Marketing is a costume: Seth Godin on the function of artifice: "costumes are an artifice designed to remind us of something else. So packaging is a costume. The experience of entering a store is a costume." If you feel like your book's integrity--or even your own integrity--is on the line whenever you talk about marketing or promotion, you might appreciate Mr. Godin's advice.

Facebook allowing shared albums: Facebook just announced that they've created shared albums, where you can allow up to 50 friends to post up to 2000 photos in an album. I can think of one way to use this, maybe for events, you could invite people who attended to post pictures. It might be a nice way to share the magic of live events with a wider audience and improve engagement. More short Facebook links:

In case you were wondering why you're seeing these ribbons connecting some of your posts on Twitter, Twitter just introduced this way to track conversations. Do you like it, or find it annoying? Twitter links:

  • Another story on fake Twitter followers and what it does to your credibility.
  • Three things companies do on Twitter to brand themselves that people hate.
  • We've talked about Twitter lists before, but if you still don't get the concept, this article should explain it all to you.
  • I'm often asked by Twitter newbies, 'what do I say on Twitter?' This article talks about the five styles commonly seen on Twitter that should clear up the mystery.

Any store can be a book store: Is the day coming where any store will be selling books? So says new company Book Shout! "The day is coming where anytime you spend $100 or more on Nike shoes, you’ll get an ebook on Lebron James or Tim Tebow. When you buy lumber at Home Depot, you’ll receive Tim “Tool Time” Taylor’s ebook on “How to Build a Military-Grade Tree House.” If you get your hair “done” or buy monthly facial products at Aveda, you’ll automatically become part of their Book of the Month Club where you can dish with other fans about 50 Shades of Grey or Desperate Housewives. When you buy your Hunger Games movie ticket, you’ll be asked if you want to bundle the associated ebook." Read more about this initiatives here.

Social fiction: A new form of storytelling? Why shouldn't a story be more like our real lives, our social media lives? Why can't a story be told episodically through a character's Facebook page or Twitter feed? that's just what this company proposes to do and they call their invention social fiction.

Why this author isn't self-publishing right now. This video from Bookbaby explains why that might be: bestselling indie author says she writes 90 mins a day, does online promotion for 10-12 hours.

Instagram: Trying to figure out how to market on Instagram? Here's what these companies are doing.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Alma, for another great post, especially for the information on the ability to embed Facebook posts in blogs. I love the convenience, but that also makes me wonder ...

    I imagine for Pages, people might be delighted to have a post embedded elsewhere, but with Personal Timelines? I'd think we'd have to ask permission of the Facebooker in question.

    Also, what if the image in the FB post is the product of an artist's work, like a painting or a photograph? I suspect this could be another loss of control of their work, even though the promo might be good. I know some who install watermarks on their images, but it's still usage. I guess the best course of action, no matter who or what, Page or Personal Timeline, is to always ask permission first.

    Anyway, thanks!

    Rhonda Lane