Fun Fact Friday – Stalking Made Easy

author

Yes, thats right. Stalking made easy.  I was listening to the radio on my way to work and heard a song called “Crush”.  Okay.  In itself it sounded cute.  That was until I heard the refrain. “I follow you on Twitter. I follow you on Instagram.  Where else can I find you?” 

Alrighty. So it’s a song on stalking. Got it!

                                                    author

This made me think though.  It is a lot easier to get information on people.  It is a lot easier to hear of new authors and a lot easier to follow them.  Suddenly I can get insider info from agents and publishers by simply following them on some social network. That being said – when is it too much?  When am I being the creepy person?  I’d gamble and say, when you forget you aren’t really friends desipite what facebook says. 

The point of my rant is that technology has made being a fan and getting fans a whole lot easier.  All the social network platforms out there allow even the most shy author or fan the ability to interact.  Sure there are arguments on how much is too much, but in the end as long as no one is getting a restraining order, i’d say you are doing just fine. 

Fun Fact. It is not creepy to follow your favorite people’s blogs, tweets, posts, photos, and book lists.  It might however be cross ing a line to look up their house on Google maps.

Happy Friday!!!!!

Do you need help with social networking?  Let me know and I might be able to help.

Thoughful Tuesday – The Cynic’s Opinion

Has anyone ever noticed that those with too many, mostly negative, opinions are the ones that feel that they have the right to tell you what you are doing wrong in your life? I would like to point out that they come across as cynics.

I went to my writers group Sunday and in case I forgot why I don’t go religiously anymore one of the regulars reminded me. How you ask? By pointing out the errors to blogging. The reasons to not get to know others, whether they be readers or writers. I got to hear plenty about his platform – which does not exist yet.

It’s okay he hates the idea of blogging. He is fine with not having a platform. But just because he believes something, due to reasons that I can’t wrap my head around, does not mean anyone else is wrong.

So thank you rude person for taking up an hour of my life I can’t get back. Thank you for criticizing something I enjoy doing regardless of who reads it. I hope that my readers do enjoy some of my posts and please tell me if you think that I post too often. I am going to curb my writing tips to once a month – unless there is a massive demand. Otherwise I plan to keep on doing what I do. Why? Because I love getting to know new people and hearing different opinions.

So to all the loud people out there with a negative opinion – unless you are being constructive and willing to listen to others point of views – shut it. Mister you know who you are. Oh and he also actually starting yelling at another group of people for their belief on another publishing industry change. <Sigh> You can’t win.banana

So how about all my loyal and new followers? Anything exciting to add? Or do you have any suggestions on how often you want to hear from a blog?

Thankful on Thursday

The etiquette for blogs, twitter,  Facebook, and other social media is hard to pin down.  Do I thank each follower personally?  I would love to… but I have to admit that I am very bad about this.

I do what all my followers to know that I truly appreciate their faith in my blog and their willingness to listen to me ramble on.  I do visit each of your blogs when I have down time to make sure I see what you find important too.

So  although I have yet to figure out the best way to thank everyone who has and will follow me please know that I am very appreciative of you and your interests.  Maybe I should have said thanks during the Thanksgiving Holiday in the US; I suppose it is better late than never.

So thank you.

Does anyone have tips of how they thank their followers on any of the popular social media platforms?

The Illuminating Blogger Award

This weekend wasn’t the most productive or the most exciting until I opened my email and saw that I had been nominated for the Illuminating Blogger Award.  I have to say a HUGE thank you to Katherine Checkley – The Intrinsic Writer .  I love her blog for its ‘old school Sundays’, where I learn about books that I desperately need to read.  Of course she shares some great writing information too, such as killing off characters.  You need to go check out her blog!   Thank you Katherine.

So here is a rules recap:

  • The nominee should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
  • Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  • Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favorites.

 ___________________________________________________________________

A Random fact:  Hmmm… My downfall in life is Chocolate milk.  If Chocolate milk were considered an addiction I would be president of CA (Chocoholics anonymous.) My addiction, oddly enough, does not actually go into other types of chocolate though.  Oh and at the moment I am stuck eating fajitas without the tortilla – too bad I don’t have Chocolate milk to make that problem improve.

Now to nominate five others:

  1.  Bottled Worder  Great information in terms we can all understand. Lots and lots to learn from.
  2. Prolific Novelista   Great opinions and points – plus who doesn’t love Calico Critters and bad Twilight video’s.
  3. Tab Writer Great writing points and interesting books reviewed. She has a blog roll for industry blogs also.
  4. Fiona J Phillips  Enjoy Tuesday’s Choice Words
  5. Eva Rieder  Thorough – when she has something on the art of writing to say, you get the full take.

Follow Me on Facebook and Twitter

Sorry for my abundance of posts this week.  I promise to stop.  I wanted to get the word out there though.  I am on Facebook and twitter.  Come follow me.  I plan to post helpful advice, contests, new market information, writing information, and maybe meet more of my fellow writers in the process.  Not everything belongs in a blog… right?

https://www.facebook.com/MichelleZieglerWriter

https://twitter.com/MZiegler_Writer

 

What Happened Wednesday

Daughter to bed, dinner leftovers put away, dogs have been fed, and maybe a load of laundry got done.  Now time to #write.  Hot chocolate in hand I am editing my story – uh, well actually I am writing a post then the story.  I have a short story that might have some promise, so that is taking precedent over my novel length manuscript.  I am working on showing and removing most of my tell. So maybe the post should read like this:

The murmurs of my sleeping baby girl accompany the snores of content dogs as I settle down for a few moments of being productive.  Steam rises from the small green mug that was last-year’s mothers day gift.  Small smiles from my daughters photo great me with each sip.  The aroma of the nights lasagna still linger, permeating the house and reaching me in my office. I tab away at each key forming a word that will change  my entire sentence.

I’m working on it.  I still think there is some tell in there but I have a hard time finding them all.

Building a Platform and Social Media

Yesterday I spent time with some friends that discussed the importance of platform building.  For small businesses to writers, a lot of marketing lands on the shoulders of the individuals that make up the company.

Since I am gearing my blogs to writers, authors, and fans of books I am focusing on this profession for the remainder of this post. Branding yourself can be the most important thing you ever do especially as a writer.  How does one start?

Well if you look up the statistics of what social media has the largest piece in the pie of Social Media you need to get in on Facebook.  Start an author OR writer page.  If you aren’t published yet don’t worry.  It doesn’t hurt to start early.  Start to follow agents, authors, and anyone else who might speak on topics of interest to you.

Next, supposedly is Twitter. Now I am behind on this too.  I will need to sign up soon, which sounds rather painful since I don’t get twitter yet.  But the same rules apply.  If you are a known author publicize your account on your web page or blog.  If you are a writer, who is still waiting for publication, sign up anyway.  Follow people and get yourself out there.

For the above social media examples, make meaningful comments so that people are interested in finding your site.

There are about 10 other forms of Social Media that all share a small piece of the publicity pie; start with the first two and you can branch out later.

The truth is that publishers want to see some kind of platform.  Sure everyone wants to see 10,000 followers but anything is better then nothing.

Next, start a blog or webpage.  This can be considered your “Home.”  WordPress and Blogspot are the two most known for doing so.  An author, Carla Laureano, gave me this analogy.  You have to be able to direct people to somewhere from everywhere.  Meaning, use Twitter and Facebook to drum up visits to your site.

The above ways can all be free.  Maybe later I will talk about what you can and should pay for at some point in your career. For now try not to spend more then 10% of your time networking.  At some point you need to write.

What do you do for social networking?  What have you found are the best ways to drum up a following?

I’d Rather be Blogging

I’d rather blog than write.  Why?  Well blogging is short, simple, and to the point.  But this isn’t helping me finish my manuscript.  I think every person can find a hundred reasons and ways to avoid doing something they don’t want to do.  Don’t get me wrong. I want to write but I hate having to edit and I hate having to worry about failure.

Blogging has a lot of good options and great opportunities. It is great for networking and building up some sort of platform.  A blog is a great way to gain valuable advice, opinions, and information.  Too bad it can also be a time suck and not for all the reasons that most people think.

Everyone knows it’s easier to write a short whatever rather than a long something but in the end it isn’t getting me anywhere.

How do you beat the excuses? I think I am going to start imposing a specific blogging schedule and from there find a way to jot down blog ideas without having to type them up on the spot.  The goal is to finish the manuscript by the end of September.

 

Is ‘blogging’ officially a verb?

Carol Hedges! Guest Blog On Her New Ebook-Jigsaw Pieces

Starting out as a writer there is one big trick in order to learn the trade; branch out and meet new people.

One person I have had the pleasure to meet is published author Carol Hedges. Carol has several traditionally published books but is expanding and trying out self-publication.

Carol calls it “reinventing herself.”  In todays publishing world things are rapidly changing.  New complications, new challenges and hurdles, and new platforms to explore.  Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks?  I am not calling Carol old mind you, I am simply saying that for a woman who has had several traditionally published books and is agented, it might be hard to try something new.  Granted, if you get to know Carol I doubt you can say she see’s anything as a challenge, just more of a new beginning.

Carol has been a guest blogger on several other occasions.  She gave some great insight into her inspiration for Jigsaw Pieces.  Please feel free to visit her guest blog at Juliet Greenwood, Guest Blog from Carol.  I think this sentence says a lot for Carol’s book:  Jigsaw Pieces, my first ebook, is so chockfull of personal stuff that I had to put the line “Not all the characters and events in this story are fictitious” at the beginning.

Carol is proud of her new book and happy with her choice of an ebook.  She is happy for her new book to see a broad new fan-base.  Without further babbling here is Carol’s new ebook.

Jigsaw Pieces

‘He had been part of my everyday life. I hadn’t liked him much, nobody had liked him much, but he’d been there. Now, I’d never see him again.’
Annie Skjaerstad had been searching for her identity since being uprooted from her native country of Norway. With a spiky personality winning her no friends, and family members suddenly torn out of her life, she is left seeking comfort from a growing intrigue into the stories of fallen war heroes.
But one day, a boy from her school unexpectedly commits suicide, changing things forever. Confused by the tragic tale of someone she knew, Annie soon finds herself conducting her own investigation into his death.
What she uncovers will bring her to a dark and dangerous place, as suddenly – her own life is put at risk.
A tense, coming of age crime thriller by the author of ‘Dead Man Talking’.

Download Jigsaw Pieces here

Visit Carol at her Blog here

To Blog or not to Blog

Well being that i am writing this on a blog i think that answers that!

Or does it? I write because I like to share information that I am learning with others but the truth is it takes a lot of time. I have an friend who is a newly published author and she refuses to blog. In my opinion I think her website is very boring and doesn’t give me a feel for who she is as an author or person. Is this bad? Well to me it is. I will read a book if someone’s site entertains me, I think it indicates a lot.

Some agents are claiming the same thing, that blogging helps the reader connect to their audience but the flip side is they also claim that blog tours aren’t all that beneficial. I’m not sure I agree or not. Blog tours are new to me. I am just now finding fellow authors and book reviewers…although its slow going for me since I am limited on time right now, so I try to spend it writing.

So at the moment one agent says boo to blog tours and doesn’t push blogging where as another says to go for it. Two friends of my that are writers both are against blogging…I’m not sure if it hurts sales or really frees up that much more time to write. I am curious to hear others experiences and what they have chosen to do and why.

Maybe it matters where the blog tour is and who the bloggers are?