8 Online Rules Writers Need To Know

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

The Laws of the (Amazon) Jungle—Eight Rules Authors Need to Know to Stay Safe

Via http://annerallen.blogspot.com

Update: This is probably now the longest blogpost in history, so I apologize. But I’ve had important updates from commenters that I’m incorporating into the post. An intellectual property lawyer has enlightened me on a lot of things I had wrong. (Scroll down to Rule #5). And South African romance writer Niki Savage has an update on Amazon’s rules for reviewing authors in your own genre (Rule #2) Thanks for all the helpful comments!Everybody tells authors we must use social media to have successful careers in the E-age, but nobody talks much about the dangers that lurk here.

Here’s the thing: the Internet is still the wild frontier. And it’s so huge nobody’s quite sure how to police it.  Big, loosely regulated social media sites seem to encourage the worst in human behavior. Facebook allows people to make hate pages for celebrities with happy abandon, and the comments on news sites and You Tube can make you want to wash your eyeballs.You Tube is making some sweeping changes to try to curb some of the more horrifying comments. You’ll soon need a Google+ account to log in. (Google+ is set to become the most important player for business in social media. We’ll have a post on that in a few weeks.)Online nastiness is so pervasive that even some literary sites have become more like a jungle full of feces-throwing monkeys than a place for civilized discourse. READ MORE HERE.

Social Media Overload

Social media usage is now a need. It’s the fastest, easiest, hardest, and most time-consuming method for self-expression and business marketing tool there is today. Whew! Where do you begin? Which social media tool will be best for you? How many should you sign up for? These are the questions that new writers are asking themselves as they begin the journey of building an author platform. I came across and article that will help you sort out some of the conundrum. I will also be writing some articles on the various social media outlets to tell you about what their purpose is and who is utilizing these free services.

Social Media Marketing – Why You Need to Join the Conversation

by Collyn Floyd

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Digg, blogging…with so many social media possibilities, what’s a marketer to do? New social media websites are popping up on a seemingly daily basis, and it can be overwhelming just trying to keep up with all of them, much less determining which ones will make the most sense for your business. The good news is that you don’t have to – and shouldn’t – do it all.

Because social media is so vast and varied, you’re better off picking a few types of social media that are the best fit for your business and then doing those well. But you may need to be convinced that social media is a worthwhile endeavor in the first place… Benefits of Social Media Marketing Social media is a “must” in any marketing strategy, but especially in a down economy when your marketing budget may be tight or even nonexistent. Most social media sites are free, so while they’ll definitely require an investment of your time and energy, they won’t require any cash. Plus, social media marketing is interactive, so you’ll be able to target your demographic in new and interesting ways outside of traditional marketing techniques. In other words, you may actually be able to catch someone’s attention! Many social media websites actually rank well in the search engines, so you may get the added bonus of increased search engine visibility.

If you’re still not convinced to give social media a try, consider that social media marketing can help you:

  • Save money. It’s ridiculously inexpensive!
  • Increase visitor traffic to your site
  • Increase your website’s link popularity
  • Increase your company’s brand awareness
  • Increase your website’s search engine rankings
  • Connect to throngs of people
  • Build an online community
  • Find out what your customers are thinking

Can you say all these things about billboards, radio spots, or other traditional marketing techniques? From blogging to photo-sharing to article distribution, social media gives you a platform to connect with potential customers, build your brand, and drive new sources of traffic to your site. Read more here.

No Fear Public Speaking Tips for Writers

English: Rajagopal speaking on October 2, 2007...

Image via Wikipedia

Writing isn’t just about putting your story to paper, finding an agent, publisher or even self-publishing. It’s about sharing your work with others. And with that comes public speaking. Yes indeed, it’s the old “I gotta get out in front of people and talk about my book” ploy. It’s not easy for a lot of writers to do. Surprisingly enough, many writers don’t even think about it until they get in front of a group of people for the soul purpose of talking to their target audience about their beloved project that has taken them a long time or even a short time to produce.

Cat Woods offers up some great tips on how you can feel comfortable and confident sharing your writing in front of others.

Connect the Dots for a Successful Public Presentation

by Cat WoodsFast Fact: Public speaking is not high school speech class.Evidence: Me

During my demonstration speech (you know, the one where you can’t even hang on to your note cards because you have to SHOW how something is done?), I crushed the eggshell I was supposed to decorate.

After another I shook so badly, I couldn’t walk back to my seat in a straight line.  If a cop had been present, I’d have landed a DWI for sure.

As far as I was concerned, the word speech should have been reserved for tenth grade English and diagramming sentences.  Since that time, however, I’ve presented at social organizations, professional organizations and Young Writers’ Conferences.  I’ve found myself at the front of the room in libraries, schools and churches.

The moral of this story: If I can speak in public, so can you.  It’s as simple as connecting the dots.

  1. Connect with your topic.  You’re a writer.  You’re passionate about the process, the business, literacy, your book, your genre, your audience, etc….  Whatever you are speaking about, make sure you are engaged in the topic.  You must first believe before you can ask others to do the same.
  2. Connect with yourself. Before entering a room, take a deep breath. Give yourself a pep talk. You are smart, funny, warm and compassionate. You know this topic like the road map of veins on the top of your hand.  Stand confidently, no matter how uncertain you feel.  And for heaven’s sake, wear clothes you like.  If your new suit is stiff, you’ll be stiff.
  3. Connect with your audience.  Right off the bat, you must personalize your presence with the guests in the room.  Smile—the kind that reaches your eyes and not just turns the corners of your mouth.  Maintain solid eye contact.  Make each individual in your audience feel as if you notice them and are personally thrilled that s/he is here.  Your audience’s comfort level has a direct impact on your comfort level.  Breaking the ice is your job.
  4. Connect your audience to your topic.  This could be the single most important connection you make in a presentation.  To keep audience members from memorizing the vein patterns on the backs of their hands, you must engage them immediately and make them feel as if they have a stake in the presentation.  Give them a reason to be there and a reason to listen.  Make it personal.
  5. Connect with the energy and use it to guide your presentation.  Watch your audience for cues on when to elaborate or when to gloss over something.  Presentations are not about you.  They are personal experiences between your audience and your topic.  You are the messenger.
So, how do we connect the dots in a way that draws a cohesive picture and would garner A’s from our English teachers of high school past?We must do a little research.  We must know our audience and the reason behind our presentations.  We must have clear goals.  We must care so deeply about our topics that we can allow our presentations to meander within the confines of our expectations.Last week I spoke to a fourth grade class.  January was the teacher’s month to help her students make a real world connection between what they learn in school and how this knowledge is necessary and applicable into adulthood. Read more here.

It’s Free: Why Not Use It?

Free 108 Glossy Waxed Wood Social Media Icons

Image by webtreats via Flickr

Utilizing social media tools is extremely important for anyone who is looking to network and connect with others. The great thing about using social media tools is that most of them are free. When we look at the most popular social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogger or WordPress, we find that they are popular because they are free but also because they are easy to navigate and establish a profile.

There are so many tools that can be used to network and find others who have similar interest, but where do you begin to find them? And how do you know which ones are free and which ones cost? I recently found a site that tracks all of the great social media tools that are out there, Social Media Examiner. This site has case studies, how-to, research and videos on all things social media. You can sign up for their newsletter and keep up with current trends.

Check out these popular posts from their site!





It takes time to build an online platform. There is a lot of help out there and the Social Media Examiner is just one way to help you get started and keep up. Have fun building your online presence, especially if you are getting all the tools you’ll need for free.

Twitter Conversations: Have You Visited The Directory?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

There are a lot of writers out there who have had their noses in front of a PC, laptop or typewriter. Yes, there are some who willing punch keys on a typewriter. So when the manuscript is finished, they look up and realize that they’re not sure what to do next. Some have been busy setting up an online presence others have not. I’m just wondering if anyone has heard about Twitter Directory? I am just discovering it myself. I would like to share what I have learned thus far.

From what I gather its an online directory called “We Follow” for anyone who has a Twitter account. It’s organized by categories each person has selected in regards to interest. You can add yourself quickly and easily. You are able to search categories like book reviewer, blogger, books, writer or whatever niche you have selected. We Follow makes it easy for anyone to search a category and review others to follow or even checkout their websites.

We you visit the site it is colorful and inviting. The top searches are displayed right up front along with the top cities. If you are looking for the best and most followed participants this directory makes it simple to find whatever interest peeks your curiosity. I have added myself and hope that many will find me. Have you signed up for a Twitter account? If so, I’ll follow you if you follow me.