Link of the Week – Click To Tweet

September 27, 2016

twitter-bird-1366218_960_720In this digital age, authors and entrepreneurs are tasked with marketing themselves on social media. Love it or hate it, Twitter is a big part of our society. In our community of authors, we often request that our peers throw us a bone and tweet about our latest book, a discounted price, a giveaway, or other general news. But even when we create the perfect tweet to share, our peers have to take the time to go to their accounts to do the sharing, meaning they just might not do it.

There is an easier way. Click to Tweet is so simple, there really is no excuse for not sharing. At Click to Tweet, write a tweet and the site will generate a clickable link. Once someone clicks the link, it will share your tweet to their Twitter status box. It literally takes mere seconds. Click to Tweet also tracks the activity of the link, too.

For giggles, here’s one for you to try.

See…super easy! And thanks for the share!

MuseTracks Link of the Week – Just Unfollow

September 4, 2012

Do you Twitter?

Need a way to manage your followers?

Just Unfollow is a tool that allows you to see who you follow on Twitter, who follows you, who has unfollowed you, who you follow but is an inactive Twtiter user, and more. Just Unfollow gives you the option to either unfollow or follow back. You can whitelist Twitter users (a list of non-followers you do not want to unfollow) or black list (followers do not not want to follow). Another feature includes copying followers of any Twitter user to your own follow list.  You can even Friend Check your Twitter relationship with any Twitter user.

It’s a handy way to keep your Twitter account clean, especially is you are looking to downsize. 😉



Paying the TimeKeeper – Social Media Debts

July 13, 2011

Song of the Day:  Breathe into Me by Red

I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say time is at a premium. Whether you work full time, manage a household, volunteer, rear children, or all of the above, finding time to write is a challenge. Sure, I have all sorts of tricks I use to squeeze in some writing time. With young children, including a much too smart, much too active toddler, this is no easy feat. Still, the stories get written, albeit slower than I’d like. Darn it all. (raises arms above head and shakes fists in frustration)

But my job as an author doesn’t stop there.

With so little time on our hands, when, and how, do we make our presence as authors known to the outside world? What’s with all the social media? Shouldn’t time be spent writing instead of hanging out on the internet? I’d say yes. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, darn it all. (raises arms above head again and shakes fists in frustration) Published, unpublished, traditionally published, e-published, or self published, we still have to market ourselves, our name. We have to squeeze a little more blood from the turnip, er, I mean, time from our day. I admit, I’m still working on this one.

Conundrum.  But here are some tidbits I learned that I hope are useful.

First, foremost and the most obvious, every author should have a website, a place all your own, a little slice of the internet pie. (Boston crème pie, if you please)  It doesn’t matter whether or not you are published. If your goal is to someday be published, you need a website. The website should fit your personality or the theme of your books. It should be kept up to date, not left to stagnate. Share news, links, and/or blog.

Now what?

It is essential to develop a presence in the world of social media. The two most popular social media sites are Twitter and Facebook. I will specifically address these two mediums. Many swear by these sites, and many favor one over the other. But these sites can be time sucks, especially when getting involved in a juicy conversation. (raises arms above head yet again and shakes fists in frustration)

So how do you manage them? I have picked up some advice and listened in on workshop over the matter.

Twitter is immediate. It’s like watching the ticker rolling at the New York Stock Exchange, complete with the excitement. The feed continues. What’s being tweeted now will be replaced by the next tweet.  Keeping up with and sharing in conversations, news, articles, and links can be distracting. One way to manage Twitter is to dedicate 30 minutes a day in 3 chunks. Twit, I mean, tweet, read, and comment for 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, and 10 minutes in the evening. This will help keep you in the know and an active participator without bleeding you dry.

Facebook is also a constant stream of communication. It can also be the site a writer can reach more people and exchange interactions. A good rule for Facebook users is to add at least 4 bits of content per day. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. You can follow the same time guidelines as Twitter. Allow yourself small blocks of time to browse and comment on other people’s wall, links, and posts. And always respond to those who comment on your pages. This is important when building relationships with readers or potential readers. Also, and this goes for any social media network, don’t blatantly self-promote yourself or your product. Yup, this is equivalent to telemarketing callers.

These tips can work for the many, many other sites, such as Goodreads, MySpace, or Kindle Boards, as well.

When time is lacking, you may not be able to visit all the networking places daily. Perhaps, allot yourself time every other day for the sites you may not visit as often. Only you can decide where your time is better spent. (raises arms above head…wait…I have control of this)

Do you Tweet or Facebook? Love them or hate them? How about other social networking sites? Which tool do you prefer to use? Let me hear from you.

Next up … blogging: essential or erroneous?

Agents & Editors are people too… Some you like, some you don’t.

September 27, 2010

One of the things we all love is to read the comments of agents and editors. Come on. We’ve all done it. Laughed and groaned at the list of their worst received queries? Chuckled when another author makes such a heinous mistake or is sooooooo sure of their own talent that they say something that lands them an immediate rejection? Of course we come away from these stories a little bit smarter for having done our research and followed the A/E to see if we would be a good fit. We’re essentially – getting to know them.

The Agents and Editors are well aware of their reading public. Their stories are crafted to make us laugh, shake our heads, or want to cry. They know we secretly thank these authors who refuse to do their homework and clear a bigger path for us. They also know we cringe to know that these same authors make it that much harder for us to get in because the A/E are continually frustrated by these people who refuse to follow the rules.

I mean, let’s face it. Writing is hard work. You continue to learn, perfect, revise. You attend conferences and workshops and network until your eyes hurt to get your name out there. And there are those who refuse to even try. Makes us kinda crazy right?

I bet it does the A/E’s as well.

BUT – and yep, this is a big BUT.

No matter how badly we want this, and no matter how hard it is to get published, we all have to remember that Agents and Editors are people too. People just like we run into every day of our lives. The guy on the bus that stinks every morning? The opinionated PTA member who makes everyone crazy by being too demanding? The neighbor that refuses to move his six broken down cars away from the beautifully landscaped border of your property?

Yeah, we’ve all met them, and even if they offered to help us gain something incredible, we just have to agree to share it, would we take the offer?

Now think about this. You don’t enter a contract with anyone without doing your homework. Checking their background, their contacts, their actual qualifications, right? And if that all passes muster, do you just jump right in?

I think sometimes writers forget they are entering into a very personal, intimate contract with an agent. Do some REAL research on them. Follow their blog, Twitter, Facebook, anywhere they might post opinions or comments. And no I’m not giving you the green light to become a stalker. Eeeeek. (I’ve heard of A/E’s complaining of this too.) You can usually read the archives on an Agent or Editor to learn a huge amount about what they are like and what kind of personality they have. Just researching the basics to make sure they are qualified isn’t enough.

Case in point, I follow numerous agents and editors, on any of the media networking venues. I do so because in researching them as a potential A/E, I found that I liked their style. I also found any number of A/E’s that I took off my query list for one reason or another. That’s not to say they weren’t nice people, or even professional, they just didn’t fit me. And I assumed, if they don’t fit me, I won’t fit them either. At least – not the way I want.

I recently updated my To Be Queried list for a new YA novel I’ve completed. Near the top of my research list was an agent I had heard good things about, but not a ton. I did some digging. At first, I thought maybe I’d caught her on a bad day, so I read further into her archives. It quickly became clear that she got a good laugh out of making fun of – what I thought sounded like simple mistakes anyone could make. She continued to pick apart EVERYTHING, in detail, an author could do that would earn them a form rejection. Right down to the Mrs, Ms, or Dear.

Too picky? Yeah, me thinks so too!

Really? As aspiring or published writers, aren’t we up against enough without having to know that one A/E liked to be addressed Dear, while another wants to be addresses Ms???? I certainly wouldn’t boot an agent from my list on one little pet-peeve, but this agent was unhappy with everything.

Just as an A/E can decide not to work with someone because of their personality, so too can we. Agents and Editors are people too. Don’t forget to get to know them a little before you hop into a relationship that you could have easily determined was doomed!

The saying goes: ‘No agent is better than a bad agent.’

So – You tell me. Any horror stories?

Followed an A/E and were shocked by something they posted/tweeted?

Share so all can be aware.

(Of course, names should be and will be redacted. We’re not here to put anyone down. Just to learn what to watch for.)