Monday, November 30, 2009

Social Networking Blues



I haven't blogged in awhile. I think it's because I started tweeting a little over a month ago. That means posting at Twitter.com, if you weren't already familiar with the lingo. It's a good thing for an author to do, apparently, and should help get the word out about me and Dreaming of Deliverance.

But while I have found some good information from others' tweets, and have connected with a few listeners to the podcast novel version of DoD (which is SO fabulous!) for the most part Twitter is completely stressing me out!

There are people who tweet all the time. Funny tweets. Informative tweets. Tweets that promote their work.

I'm trying, but it's hard not to feel like the little awkward girl at a party who jumps up and down in the corner and squeals, "Notice me! Notice me!"

I respond to the tweets that pique my interest or make me laugh. I congratulate people who tweet about their accomplishments. I try to self-promote in a way that will attract potential readers/listeners and not annoy or worse repel them. But often I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and not doing enough.

My calmer, more logical side says these things take time. The majority of the people I follow on Twitter are new to me--podcast novel people mostly. I'm guessing the longer I'm there, the more real connections I'll make. And I have had some great interactions! One of the tweets I responded to last week, led to a new listener, who just wrote a great review a podiobooks.com. (Thanks, Kenn!) I get to communicate with people from all over the world, and gain insights into the minds and experiences of veteran writers and podcasters. All of that is really, really positive.

But still...to me Twitter is a microcosm of the internet as a whole. It can be very useful and entertaining, but it can also be super-stressful and a huge time suck.

And now that I've written about this here, I have to decide: Do I tweet about it? Is this something I want to admit to my 100+ followers?

It's why I haven't blogged lately, because most Twitter users tweet about their blog entries and I'm not sure my blog ramblings are tweet worthy--especially one about Twitter insecurity. I don't even have a "Follow me on Twitter" button here on Pointed Squiggle or at REChambliss.com.

Guess I'd better get going on that! I'll add it to my chronically lengthening to-do list.

But in the meantime, if you want to follow me on Twitter, search for "reneechambliss". I'm there. Trying to get to know people. Trying to connect about reading, writing, podcasting, and independent authordom. I see the value to Twitter, I really do.

So I'll also try to stop jumping up and down in the corner.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Well, duh! Post an excerpt!



So while perusing information on self-promotion yesterday I came across something so obvious, I can't believe I never thought of it myself.

When you're in a bookstore, or in the library and you see an appealing book, what do you do? You pick it up and open it and see if the writing style and tone appeal to you.

But when you're shopping online you can't do that. So an author with a book for sale online needs to have an excerpt available, so that online shoppers can virtually pick up the book and flip through it. Duh!

So, I've put up Chapters 1-3 on my author web site. You can either read them right there at the site, or download a .pdf version. And I'm hoping to get an excerpt at the Amazon listing too.

I'm slow sometimes, but I can be taught!

(And yes my neck still hurts! I need to find a good masseuse, I think!)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Pain in the neck



I have such a pain in my neck. It's from sitting hunched over my laptop. Writing? A little. But mostly it's surfing and tweeting and trying to figure out how much promotion to do for Dreaming of Deliverance.

I remember when my former boss introduced me and my co-workers to the web. It was back in the mid-90s and he was telling us what we could do with it and all of the information we could find. "But you have to be careful," he said. "It's a real time suck." No kidding! I could explore self-promotion non-stop. There are so many options. Facebook fan pages. Twitter. Good Reads. Amazon author pages. Creating an on line presence in various forums. It's hard to know what to focus on, and where to stop. Because, although I know marketing and promotion are necessary--for any author, really, but especially for an independent author--I have other things I want and need to do. Like write, for example! Aren't I supposed to be a writer? So we're back to trying to find a balance again.

I'm going to podcast about this--today, maybe--at Unpublishednotdead.

Oh and if you want to check out Dreaming of Deliverance at podiobooks.com, you can! It's up here--episodes 1-7, anyway. And I had my first comment the other day from a podiobooks.com listener. Thanks so much, Gail!