Business

Language Versus Tone – Conveying Your Message and Brand on Social Media

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by Carrie De SimasArticle Categories: ,

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Language is what you say. Tone is how you say it. The two together is communication.  When you’re standing in front of someone, they listen to the words you are saying, hear your tone, and observe your body language. These three work together to create a complete understanding of the message you are communicating. When you are sending out one-directional communications, such as on social media, you lose two of those three components. The question for social media marketers becomes: How do you convey all the unspoken communication on the page or computer screen? The simplest way is through the use of font embellishments. Take the scenario of two friends exchanging gossip over lunch: “I can’t believe he had an affair with her.” What part of that is unbelievable to the speaker? We can’t tell from that. Add a font embellishment and the tone becomes clearer. So one woman says […]

Writers. Use #HASHTAGS.

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by Rudy DeesArticle Categories: ,

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Great hashtags help you organize your tweets and increase exposure by providing searchable content for your followers. Hashtags are a great tool to strengthen your social media strategy.  What are hashtags?  According to Twitter the symbol #, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. This symbol turns the word or phrase into a link that makes it easier to find and follow a conversation about that topic. Find out if the subject you are tweeting about already exists as a hashtag and join that conversation, or create your own. How do hashtags work? Hashtags can appear anywhere in your Tweet—at the beginning, middle, or end. Place the # symbol before a word or phrase (no spaces) in your Tweet to categorize those tweets and make it searchable within the network. When other users click on a hashtag word or phrase Twitter displays all other […]

Twitter Tips for Writers

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by Rudy DeesArticle Categories: ,

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According to Twitter there are 255 million users generating more than 500 million tweets per day. So how do you stand out? Social media is a crowded enterprise. Twitter might be the most challenging social media platform. With 140 characters in a fast paced environment you will need every competitive advantage possible to stand out. Here are five key strategies to make your tweets more effective: Symbols and emoticons. Use symbols to shorten your tweets and make them more dynamic. You have 140 characters to convey your message, make each character count.  Remember: A picture is worth a thousand…retweets. Keep it short. According to Track Social the sweet spot for Tweet length is about 100 characters, where as, Buffer suggests that tweets get more traction between 120-130 characters. When the character counter turns RED (when 20 characters remain) stop typing. Aim for 100-120 characters leaving room for your readers to interact with […]

How Awareness of Personal Branding Can Help Make You Psychic

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by Carrie De Simas Article Categories: ,

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Years ago, I attended a dinner party with some friends at their apartment. Both were intellectuals whose brand included great conversation, fantastic insights into human behavior and a simple, no-frills lifestyle. When I arrived, I was shocked by the appearance of my friend’s wife. Gone were the well-worn jeans and t-shirt. Her simple ponytail was now artistically styled into a pixie cut. Her clean-scrubbed face now had makeup coloring from eyes to lips. This dramatic change was never discussed, but I knew something was up. She had changed her image, her style…and ultimately, her brand. Personal brand is how you present yourself to the world and differentiate yourself in a crowd. Are you the party girl? The guy who knows how to fix everything from broken gadgets to relationships? Your brand is the culmination how you and others perceive who you are at your core. My friend’s wife used to […]

Build a Network WITHOUT Networking

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by Carrie De SimasArticle Categories: ,

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It’s not a surprise that many fiction writers are introverts. We choose to sit behind computers for long stretches of time, lost in our thoughts, having conversations (and sometimes arguments!) with characters who are only real to us. Well, at least until we publish anyway. If you aren’t a social media guru or just plain don’t like trying to schmooze on the myriad of social sites and events, how do you increase your following, get your name out there and—ultimately—increase book sales? People will follow you if you appeal to them on an intellectual, creative or emotional level. If you can appeal to them on all three—then you have the makings of social media success. But how do you accomplish this? Here are some tips: Generate an emotional impact. Share some personal information. You don’t need to surf and schmooze to do this. Just share some of the quirky or […]

The Uncommon Courtesy, Networking Tips for Authors by BookChick BlogReviews

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by Carrie De SimasArticle Categories: ,

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How do you respond when an author ignores your query offering to assist them or promote them via your blog?   BC: I’m human just like the next person so I dislike being ignored. I understand and respect the fact that author’s have lives and responsibilities outside of their author personas.  However, a simple “Thanks, but no thanks” would suffice for most promoters, bloggers,  readers,  who are offering their free support,  time,  talent,  and resources to an author.   Some editors, agents, etc., have blacklists of authors who have been rude, unprofessional or negligent in their social media communications. Do bloggers, such as yourself, keep track of these types of actions or people?  BC: I do not keep a blacklist. I remember an author’s actions and proceed with caution should I have an opportunity to have future dealings with them. Sometimes people have a bad day so I allow for that.  However, […]

How to Use Multiple Point of Views in Fiction—Tips by Author Lesley James

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by Karyn Connor Article Category:

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What gave you the idea to write the same story twice—one from each of the two main point-of-view characters?  LJ: I first had the Blueprint idea in 2012 while on holiday and watching all the women lying round the pool reading a certain bestselling erotic novel and thinking to myself that it was a shame that their partners were missing out on it. Many of my girlfriends told me that their male partners had tried to read their erotica but got bored after a few pages of ‘typical plot-less chick lit’ and gave up before the ‘good bits’ So I wanted to create a piece of writing that would be fast-paced and exciting for the men to enjoy yet balanced with a good old fashioned love story. When I first began to write Blueprint it was one traditional single novel, written in the third person, but I found it challenging […]

Branding By Bunny: Easter Versus Playboy

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by Carrie De SimasArticle Categories: ,

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Whether you celebrate Easter or not, you cannot help but be familiar with the tradition of the Easter Bunny: cute rabbit who clucks like a chicken and lays chocolate eggs for children to find on Easter morning. Yet, Easter has nothing to do with bunnies. So, how did the bunny become the dominant branded icon of the holiday.  According to the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture, the Easter Bunny can be traced back to 13th-century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped Eostra, the goddess of spring and fertility. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate. Other sources claim that the bunny first hopped into North America in the 1700s with German immigrants who brought their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” During this festivity, children made nests in which the rabbit could lay its colored eggs. Over time, […]

Transhumanism Versus Religion: How to Create Fiction From Controversy, an Interview with Zoltan Istvan

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by Fred E. Whyte Article Categories: ,

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Author Zoltan Istvan, author of The Transhumanist Wager, has brought the Transhumanist movement into the fiction world and is turning the controversy into book sales. What is Transhumanism? ZI: To be a Transhumanist means to be someone who wants to use science and technology to move beyond human, to conquer human mortality. What inspired you to create a story around the Transhumanist movement?  ZI: I am a Transhumanist and want to live indefinitely. I once almost stepped on a landmine in Vietnam while working for National Geographic and the incident really affected me. I wanted then to write something that would contribute towards a better world where people didn’t have to die. How were you able to take such a complicated and controversial topic as the Transhumanist movement, with all its political, religious and emotional triggers and create a novel?  ZI: I think many writers approach a problem like your […]

Website Essentials: Tips by Website Developer and Designer Ken Chase

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by Rudy DeesArticle Categories: ,

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A website is essential to authors. How do you help your clients make sure their website doesn’t get lost in the Internet ether? Ken Chase: There are a number of techniques and web coding standards that I adopt to ensure that the sites that I develop are more search engine friendly: Setup Google Analytics to monitor site usage and performance. Develop a well organized navigation structure that is both human and SEO-friendly. Make use of effective design choices (white space, clean lines, etc.) that make sites easy to read. What are the key elements of every great website? KC: High quality content is by far the most important element of a great website. With vast amounts of information available on the Internet, audiences are drawn to websites that provide valuable content that is easily accessed, clearly organized, well written, and attractively presented. Other important elements are appearance, usability and functionality. […]