Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Still More Rambling through Social Media – Twitter Etiquette Pointers

Still More Rambling through Social Media – Twitter Etiquette Pointers

Last blog of this type, I veered into Twitter etiquette, here are some additional suggestions.

When someone follows you, thank them in a tweet. I know there are automated services that will do this, but I much prefer to at least cursorily check those following me before I follow in return. Then I personally type out some iteration of “thank you for following me.”

I also check on suggestions from Twitter when I do follow a person or entity. I have seven lists: Potential Followers, Authors I Follow, Information Sources, YA Authors, #SciFi Authors, #Mystery Authors, Just Followers, and Resources. The first list is where I place those whom I’ve followed, hoping for a follow-back in return. I also check one of the other lists as well. When one of these Potential Followers does follow me, they remove them from that list and leave whichever other list was checked. Whether you choose to use this type of list arrangement, you need to figure out some way to keep track of whom you are following and trying to follow. Look for more on this idea after my blog on #SciFacts.

In addition to the generic thank you for following me tweet, for those I choose to place in any of the author lists, I’m now including some comment about one of their books, their twitter information, or other tidbit I found on their website (if listed) or their full twitter profile page. See my final etiquette comment

I tweet #SciFacts Mondays-Fridays and #APBioAnswers on Wednesdays. Since those #’s provide valid, researched information, my third list, Information Sources, helps speed the search for material for them.

Final etiquette comment. Spend some time each day checking your followers. When they tweet something appropriate, FAVOR it, or RETWEET IT. Both of those actions indicate you are involved with your followers. The chances are good that my doing those actions, your name/handle will get out to more people as others favor and retweet. More exposure is a good thing when you’re trying to sell books!!

#APBioAnswers. I’ve added this hashtag to my weekly postings. I taught AP Biology for twenty years, with more than a modicum of success. Again, at the suggestion of SherryFrazier I began posting a question that my AP students would have asked on Wednesdays. At the same time on the next day, Thursday, I post a “twitter sized answer and a link to a resource with more information. Most of the links are to my own PPT or PDF of content, but sometimes the link is to a university website where I know the information will be legit.

Sample:
#apbioanswers Q1 Why do only certain bases pair in a DNA molecule? Answer tomorrow same time @SherryFrazier
#apbioanswers A1 "3 rings in a rung" & 2 or 3 H-bonds For details:  http://ow.ly/NiG6H @SherryFrazier

So, what’s been the result of this social media push?

In the months of April and May and June, the first three months I really emphasized my Twitter account, my followers increased by over 1000 to nearly the 1200 follower level. I have a new goal of 2000 followers. This is attainable, but it won’t happen on its own.

I would be remiss if I did not include the motivation for vast majority of this emphasis on social media to increase my presence as an author. My publicist, Sherry Frazier is an outstanding motivator and works very hard for me. Thanks for the applying tarsals to tushie as required.


 Frazier Public Relations


Next blog: Penultimate (maybe!) Ramblings through Social Media – Thursdays

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor

My website is: www.crdowning.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

Upcoming Series in The Day of the Life of a Science Fiction Writer

If you have been following this blog, or if you just found it, you are most likely aware that the title is A day in the Life of a Science Fiction Writer.

In my last blog, I announced an additional blog type will be added beginning in July.

This blog is to inform you that I'll be adding a third blog type in July as well.

Looking a week of blogs as of July, 2015, here's what you'll see from me.

On the1st & 3rd Monday of each month, my blogs are part of a continuing series. I’ve titled the series A Science Guy’s Almanac—mostly because each post will focus on a specific day and year. Almanac posts are significantly different in content and style from the other posts in A Day In The Life Of A Science Fiction WriterAlmanac postings are an eclectic collection of short articles on life—mine and life in general.

On the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month, my blogs are Day In The Life postings deal with issues of authorship, writing as a profession, and related topics. Those posts appear on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Those posts will continue on those days. I suspect they will be shorter in length starting than in the past, but the content will not change. 


On every Friday, my blogs will be spiritual in content. This is a series of series of short devotionals I've titled, Expressions of Faith. The first series, which will last past New Year's Day 2016, are from the New Testament book: Paul's Letter to the Colossians. Expressions of Faith blogs are designed to make you think. Averaging 100 words, these very short combinations of thoughts, observations, admonitions, and prayers are formatted like this: 

All or part of one or more Scripture verses are first--followed by the reference for that verse. 
Next is a single Key Word. Its purpose is to focus you on that concept before you read, so your brain will automatically look for connections to that idea while you read. BTW: That is one of the ways your brain works. 
The last part of the devotional is the combinations of thoughts, observations, admonitions, and prayers.

I hope you enjoy the expanded version of A Day in the Life of a Science Fiction Writer--and will tell your friends about it.

Until next Tuesday...
                               ... and the following Friday...
                                                                           ---to infinity and beyond!


Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
 My website is: www.crdowning.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More Rambling through Social Media – Wednesday Tweets

More Rambling through Social Media – Wednesday Tweets

Thank you for taking your time to read my blog. Starting July 6, 2015, I’ll be adding a Monday blog post on the 1st and 3rd Monday’s of the month. The Day in the Life of a Science Fiction Writer posts will continued on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of them month.

This newly series of post is titled: A Science Guy’s Almanac. The posts do not focus on writing. Their focus is on the writer--that'd be me. You'll find out more about my background and points of inspiration in my life. 

Today’s blog is the second of a series of rambling posts on how I’m dealing with Social Media. It’s more than 85% hints and information. That percentage of hints/information is much higher than it would have been in the past—when I looked at Social Media as a burden. But, the reality in the self-publishing/indie publishing world is this: You need to work social media to be successful!



If you don’t have your Twitter account linked to your Amazon author page, why not? Here’s what it looks like. This blog also automatically links to my Author Page as well.

In my last blog I wrote about how facilitate my social media posting by using a free version of a service called Hootsuite. Check my last blog for specifics.

To recap very briefly, I divide my weekly social media interaction into days of the week. Mondays are #SciFiB’days. Tuesdays are #SciFact days.

Wednesdays are shameless book promotion days. I alternate weeks with fiction and non-fiction books. Each Wednesday I pull a quote from each book in either fiction or non-fiction category. Starting at around 7:30AM PDT, I schedule on book quote every two hours on Twitter. Thanks to Hootsuite, the same post goes at the same time on LinkedIn. I change the posting time on my FB page so it’s opposite in the day from the original Tweet – morning to afternoon and vice versa. Since my FB posts from Hootsuite also go to Twitter, each post I put up ends up twice on Twitter and different times of the day.

Here are samples of my book postings for this month:

Fiction: #MixerMurder @SherryFrazier http://ow.ly/Mz19m I asked if ya were a copper. ya loike ya might be, but I’d fin' a copper’d kna 'a ter purchase tickets

Non-Fiction: #BookCreation @SherryFrazier http://ow.ly/MBcDe Do at least one proofreading of a physical copy during production.

No more than one of these links provided each week in the book promotions go to Amazon. Instead, book link is to my webpage. There the interested party can find a description of the book and a link to Amazon. While shameless self-promotion is not a bad thing on Twitter, overtly trying to sell books all the time is considered untoward behavior—something with which I agree.

Since I’ve veered into Twitter etiquette, I’ll follow that detour in two weeks.
Next blog: Ramblings through Social Media – Twitter Etiquette Pointers

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor


My website is: www.crdowning.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Social Media on a Tuesday in June

Social Media on a Tuesday in June

Today’s blog is the first of three rambling posts on how I’m dealing with Social Media. This blog is about 40% grumbling and 60% hints and information. That percentage of hints/information is much higher than it’s been in the past. But, the reality in the self-publishing/indie publishing world is this: You need to work social media to be successful!

I still don’t have much of a love affair with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but my feelings are far less negative than they were six months ago. If you don’t use Twitter, you should. If you do use Twitter and don’t have your Twitter account linked to your Amazon author page, why not?

It order to position myself in the social media world without driving myself crazy, I have developed a strategy for frontloading the nuts and bolts of each month’s posts during one long morning of work. To facilitate this, I use the free version of a service called Hootsuite.

Hootsuite allows me to schedule an entire month of tweets, fb posts, and LinkedIn posts from one location. I can customize times of delivery. And, I’ve linked my author’s fb page to tweet my posts there as well.

One of the very important features of Hootsuite is the url shrinking it does. Since Twitter has the 140 character limit, and urls can be L-O-N-G, this is a very important feature. Here’s a example:

My Amazon Author Page link:


The Hootsuite Shrink version of that url:


Works just the same but only uses 22 characters in a tweet.

Since I’m using only what Hootsuite provides as a free service, I am limited to three social media addresses. I also have no analytics available. But, the program does what I want it to very well at this point in time. And, if I choose to upgrade to “Pro” at some point, features I now can’t access will be unlocked.

I divide my weekly social media interaction into days of the week. Mondays are #SciFiB’days. Each week I select a scifi author with whom I’m familiar. The birthday person listed celebrates her/his birthday on one of the seven days in that week. I post the name, number of the birthday, something about the author’s work, and link to their website, Amazon author page, or some source of information about them that’s not Wikipedia. Here’s the post from 6/1/15: #SciFiBdays Kristine Rusch 55 Campbell Award Winner @SherryFrazier http://ow.ly/NBWyf http://ow.ly/NBWHu

Tuesdays are #SciFact days. Having taught science for nearly 40 years and written four text books, three lab books, several laboratory oriented kits for student use, along with dozens of other creative activities, I have an abundance of “golly gee whiz, Mr. Science” factoids from which to draw. Along with the information I try to provide a visual or link to more explanation. Here’s the post from 6/2/15: #SciFact Owl pellets are balls of fur and bone regurgitated after owl meals @SherryFrazier http://ow.ly/NC8dN

Sherry Frazier, my publicist is a big fan of those #SciFacts. At her urging, I have included at least one #SciFact every M-F. I include her Twitter handle so she’s alerted to my Tweets. She frequently re-tweets them. Retweeting is something that multiplies your impact. More exposure = Better!

Enough rambling for this week.

Next blog: More Rambling through Social Media – Wednesday Tweets and Etiquette Pointers

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor


My website is: www.crdowning.com

Follow A Day in the Life of a Science Fiction Writer by Email