Monday, December 19, 2011

Morrill's Monday Morning Mashup - 12/19/11

MASH-UP

creative combination
or mixing of content
from different sources.

I hope this week's mashup will take your mind off the fact that there are only five shopping days. Oh. Sorry for reminding you of that.


Grub Street Daily posted an excellent blog called "Reaching Readers via Social Media: Hot Tips for Authors." This post is contains a good mix of things to blog about, as well as resources to help you not be a social media wallflower.

Anne R. Allen's blog post, "How to Blog: Beginner's Guide for Authors" is also on social media. Though she gives a lot of good "how-to" advice, I thought the most eye-opening piece of information she gave came from Oak Tree Press acquisitions editor, Sunny Frazier:

“I don't read the query (sorry aspiring writers!) I look for two things:  genre and word count. I then Google the author. I'm looking for the number of times the writer's name appears on the Internet. I'm searching for a website or any attempt to build a platform.”




ProBlogger.net is a blog solely dedicated to helping you improve your blog. I especially liked "How to Run Two Blogs in the Midst of a Busy Life." Does that not apply to all of us? Once I started using Tip #1, "Keep a clean list of post ideas and update it frequently," I rarely run out of things to blog about.


And finally, I'm adding a new feature to my weekly mashup. Often, simply reading a quote will inspire me to write. Each week, I'll post a quote that inspired me, or at least made me reflect.



QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

"Do not wait until all the conditions are perfect for you to begin.
Beginning makes the conditions perfect."
-- Alan Cohen

31 comments:

  1. These are good, especially the one on blogging for me. I need all the help I can get! Thanks!

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  2. Thank you, Jan. I need all the help I can get on blogging. I know I'm not the only writer who's frustrated by the need to maintain a high Klout score. I want to write! So, I'm thrilled to find ways to make blogging and social media less time consuming.

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  3. @mgmillerbooks - Thanks, Mike. My problem is not the blogging part - it's the balance part. Hey - maybe I should do a blog on balance. First, I have to manage it myself.

    @ClaireCroxton - You need help on blogging? I dare say not. Maybe like me, it's balance you need help with. :)

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  4. Jan,

    I'm going to pour over all the information you provided- I feel as though social media is consuming my life! Not what I want at all...balance, Grasshopper, balance. :-)

    I LOVE the Quote of the day!
    ~Linda Joyce

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  5. Sunny Frazier here. My statement raised a few hackles in the writing world, but I'm being up front about the needs of publisher.

    I'd love a publisher to come forward and say, "We take authors who show no inclination or ability to market and we will publish their books simply because they are well-written, not profitable."

    The truth might hurt, but I deal with reality. With so much competition, OF COURSE I'm going to choose authors who make an effort.

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  6. Yes, this blogging business can be quite time consuming. But I really enjoy the interaction with other writers/bloggers.

    I love the quote. It reminds me of planning a family. If people waited until they could afford children none would ever be born.

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  7. Sunny, you put it so well and your advice is astute. Why would any publisher not want authors to make a marketing effort? (And for the record, Sunny is not my publisher - she is an industry colleague I greatly admire and respect.)

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  8. As an aspiring writer, I do a "slow" blog, and have developed a decent readership. I believe in building a platform prior to publication, so when my book comes out, there will be readers eagerly awaiting its release. Social media is great, but it's becoming overused. I'm afraid that any social media marketing efforts will be lost in the clamor or treated as spam.

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  9. I'm zeroing in on Sunny's comments. I think today an author must learn to market and promote. There's a lot of competition out there, and the publisher's aren't doing as much as they used to in order to help. That includes both large and small publishers. Authors need to get their name out there and keep it front and center in order to sell books.

    If you're writing in order to entertain readers, then they need to know you exist. Otherwise your books are like a leaf blowing around in the wind. If you believe you're a good writer, then toot your own horn. Just my opinion.

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  10. Thanks much for the shout-out, Jan! Sunny's comment did get some of my readers upset. A lot of writers are still in denial about the realities of 21st century publishing.

    @G.Thomas--Good for you for going the slow blog route. It works. We have to budget a certain amount of time for social media, but not go overboard. Choose one or two platforms for your focus. Then be very, very careful to make real connections with people and not spam them. It's a fine line, I realize.

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  11. The days when a publisher did all the marketing (if that ever existed) are gone. Sunny's right. Promoting may be time-consuming. But the writer who doesn't make the effort will be lost in the shuffle.

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  12. @Linda Joyce - yes, balance is definitely the key. I'm still in the process of trying to find it!

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  13. @Sunny Frazier - First of all, I apologize for spelling your name incorrectly! Your comment about the importance of an internet presence has stimulated a lot of good discussion on my blog and on Facebook. I appreciate your candid opinion on the matter, and your comment on my blog. I agree, it's a new world for writers, and we'd better open our eyes to it. Thank you, Sunny!

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  14. Event though good promotion is time consuming, it's the most important thing we do after writing a good book. I'm still learning more tricks to using social media properly. I follow Sunny's advice and appreciate all the links she provides. Thanks Jan for hour good links too.

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  15. @Russell - I agree. Though time consuming, I enjoy the interactions. I've "met" some interesting people, and have learned a lot.

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  16. @Melodie Campbell - Thank you for your comment. I think the fact that writers have to make the effort makes us more involved in our careers, and not just our writing.

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  17. @G Thomas Gill - I agree, that these days social media is overused. It makes "getting out there" in a unique way, even more of a challenge. There is certainly a lot of "stuff" (to be nice) to filter through.

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  18. Somebody said it -- only fifty percent of marketing is effective. Trouble is, nobody knows which fifty percent that is.

    Sunny is right. Building a platform (I prefer "brand;" I write westerns) takes constant attention. If you don't do it - nobody will.

    -- Dac

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  19. @Marja McGraw - Thank you for commenting. I guess part of the resistance is that "tooting our own horn" is not in a writer's DNA. But, I agree, we all need to learn how.

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  20. @Anne R. Allen - I'm so glad I found your blog. You provide a lot of good information for writers, and I've quoted your blog in the past. Thank you for your helpful posts and for commenting on my blog!

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  21. @J.R. Lindermuth - I agree. We need to take the time we may sit around wishing for the good old days and blog instead. :)

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  22. @Velda Brotherton - You are my mentor, not only in writing, but also in promotion! You're an inspiration!

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  23. @Dac - Yes, "brand" is good, too. Thank goodness the Internet provides us a good means of promotion, whether we call it brand or platform. Thanks for commenting!

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  24. Sunny is right. My publisher won't even consider writers who don't at least show they are willing to market themselves via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It's a new age and if we want to sell books, we must embrace it.

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  25. I think Sunny is absolutely right. Long gone are the days of cash-fat marketing departments and expense-account rich book tours. It's a brave new world for writers; no place for the meek or socially unconnected. I've learned a lot from Sunny Frazier's posts. Thanks to her, I now have more networked connections than Skynet.

    William Doonan
    www.williamdoonan.com

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  26. Great post today Jan! I love blogging and marketing and writing so I don't have any complaints about our current writerly conditions, LOL. Hearing the comments from agents and publishers who appreciate such qualities in a writer gives me a little more confidence, but I still have to get the book edited and ready to submit. And that's where the struggle to balance tasks comes in.

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  27. Jan I too am a Posse member, Sunny's advice has blazed through each one of our lives and she is still going...but we as writers must do our part, and we need to carry ourselves too. I thought that the greatest thing that would put the butter on the spouts was to have some NY agency begging for more work, but now I see that life has changed (thanks to the internet, FB, Twitters etc) and we are in control of what we want to put out to the world, but it has to be honest, worth reading about and grammar correct as well as interesting...this Sunny has taught her Posse as well as we must market ourselves, I'm like Dac, 'brand' ourselves, we can not just sit and wait for the butter to drizzle down the sprouts, we have to stick a fork into our careers and chew on the rejections as well as the acceptance. augie

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  28. I haven't ventured into blogging yet. This may help me. I agree with Sunny too. Building a brand, platform or whatever you want to call it, it is necessary to have a presence on the internet.

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  29. There are so many good writers out there. It takes a platform to raise us high enough to be seen. I believe it was Linda Apple who drew that image for me. I love to write, but I am beginning to enjoy the blogging too. Still, I agree, it's all about balance. Sometimes it feels like this writing business has me in some weird yoga pose I know darn and good and well I'm not going to be able to maintain for much longer.

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  30. Good information, Jan.

    Celebrities have always been able to get a book published by a New York Publishing House.

    It won't be long before there will be a market for ghost bloggers, if a platform becomes the main focus for literary agents and publishers, instead of the quality of the stories submitted.

    Looks like I'll need three full time ghost bloggers. One for romance, one for suspense, and one for humor. Otherwise, I won't have time to write.

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