Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Social Media Balancing Act: Author Bri Clark Chimes In!

So I'm always either being applauded or spanked for utilizing social media for selling my novels like The Remains or The Innocent (see how I just did that?) But then, how else can one get the word out about one's new book? Rather, what better, more efficient medium is there to help spread the word? Yet authors who utilize this all important if not miraculous tool must realize that specific written and unwritten rules of engagement must be adhered to. Or else, you're nothing more than a spamaholic.

It is with this marriage of marketing and internet magic that I give you a guest post by up and coming writer, Bri Clark.

Bri or, Brick, is a young (not even 30 young), talented, energetic, new author. Wife, Mom, businesswoman, former repo chick, advice giver, and all around literary tyro, there's pretty much nothing she can't do. She hails from Boise, Idaho. That's right, Boise, which these days is emerging to be the new literary Paris or maybe New York of the early 21st century. Maybe the aforementioned destinations still reign as a romantic ideal, but consider this: in Boise you can purchase a three bedroom house with some land and a majestic mountain backdrop for less than the price of renting a space in a parking garage for your Beemer in Manhattan. No wonder writers are flocking there in droves. But then, I've been ordered not to tell anyone about "the secret!" Oops, cats our of the bag so to speak.

Bri has books coming out from both StoneHouse Ink and Astrea Press and promises a brilliant literary future. She's also got her finger on the social marketing pulse as demonstrated by the following guest blog (P.S. The Golden Girl Pic was her idea!):

How do you find a balance between being social and genuine when having dual interests in social media?

The same way the women of Steel Magnolias balanced gossip and friendship.

Now I don't really have the answer to this...although I am very good at gossip...any reputable southern belle is.

Here are some experiences and examples of how I have balanced my established relationships with my budding fan base of supporters.

1. Interest--I glance at links and post as time allows. I read blogs, skim comments and respond as I feel compelled to. I absolutely do not care about football of any kind...yet here I am in the heart of Bronco nation. One of my closest online friends is a total NY Giants fan and when they are having a bad game I can't even talk to them. While I empathize with their frustration I have no interest in football therefore I won't fake it.

2. Reciprocation-- If I read something I feel that is worthwhile or interesting I will retweet it or post a link or email a link to those that I think would appreciate it. In exchange my friends do the same for me. However, I have never asked someone to repost something of mine. That should be their own desire.

3.Manners-- I am often asked to comment or give feedback on stuff that people send me links to...poems, blogs, and novels. There are times that I am not really into what they have done. However, that could only be me. I have always found something positive to say about all those works so far. Even if they say brutal honesty....noone really wants that kind of truth unless its from someone close or a professional...even then you tread lightly.
4.Boundaries--Most of this information pertains to facebook...I do have pictures of my children and my family on my page. However on my blog I don't use my family's real names. I use nicknames. I feel like I will probably end up setting up a separate fan page for my stuff. For now I will stick to the one page.I do not post deeply personal thoughts or feelings...there is a message feature or just plain email for that. There are customizable features that you can use in privacy settings on most websites. And lets just tell it how it is people....Common sense....use it...if you don't have it I'm sure there is a book on it...read it.

So these are a few of my own personal experiences and feelings on the whole social media network. We all love gossip, humor and scandal...when it comes down to real people and their struggles great or small like the ladies of Steel Magnolias we in the publishing industry are there for each other.

Well so far in my experiences...

Friday, December 24, 2010

X-Mas Day is D-Day (Digital Download Day)!

" 'Should old acquaintance be forgot?'"

It's Christmas Eve 2010.

D-Day for the digital E-Book Revolution. On this day and in particular, tomorrow, Christmas Day, more Kindle, Nooks, E-Readers and more will be unwrapped and put to use than on any other single previous day. Not only will there be a rush to purchase E-Books, but more will be sold tomorrow than ever before.

The good news for authors: there is an infinite supply of your books on the virtual shelf. Even if thousands of them get uploaded tonight and tomorrow and during the week, your book will always be available to the reader. And even if it doesn't sell all that well, it won't be pulled off the shelf to make room for the new Patterson or Brown. It will always be there, right beside the new Patterson and Brown. Not only do authors make more money on the e-book sales, but so do the publishers. Not only are independent publishers pushing sales on Xmas, so are the majors like my former NYC boss, Random House. Check out this article in PC Speed:


The bad news for bookstores: once a reader owns a Kindle or whatever device he or she prefers, it's probable if not likely they will shy away from new paper purchases, at least for a while. This is due both the novelty of the device and the more the than relative “one click” ease it offers for purchasing e-books. In fact, according to this blog by Dr. Syntax, many readers will now simply forgo purchasing books not available for E-Readers.


So how do I feel about D-Day?!
I'm published in both paper and E-Reader, most notably, The Kindle!
But I feel badly for bookstores because I don't want to see them suffer or go out of business. My gut tells me that even though D-Day will bring about huge E-Book sales, I think the dust will eventually settle and paper will pick up again. However, and this is the catch: never again will paper sales match digital sales anymore than CDs or vinyl record sales will match digital music downloads. It's the reality of the times.

But it's also a very exciting thing to see someone get up on X-Mas morning, frantic to unwrap the new Kindle and then, that to witness that first moment when the first book is downloaded.

Maybe the first book will be The Remains, or The Innocent, or Moonlight Falls.
But my guess, is that first book will be a classic. Maybe A Christmas Carrol or perhaps A Farewell To Arms. But no matter what books you download tomorrow, remember, it's a good thing that people are excited about books and reading again.

We will always remember D-Day (Digital Download Day), Christmas December 25, 2010, as the day that changed everything.

For more downloadable bestselling Books and Digital Shorts, go to www.vincentzandri.com