Infographic – Timing is Everything

Best Times to Post on Social Media

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
Source – Fannit

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Value in Facebook

I thought this was interesting.

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Source: Infographic by Minter Dial (The Myndset), Renaud Ramaud (designer) & YOPPS Agency.  First published here on The Myndset.

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Time to say No?

DSCF1232 When I made the move from working in insurance to working with authors, it took a bit to get used to.  I had to remember that I was working for myself.  The authors are my clients, not my employers.  There’s a subtle difference there, but an important one.  With accepting that difference, I had to learn the art of saying no.

It’s incredibly hard to say ‘no’ when you work for yourself and have a small but growing list of clients.  Turning business away seems like a counter-productive concept, and what that you can’t afford to do.  The truth is you can’t afford ‘not’ to say ‘no’.

I run through a mental checklist when I’m considering saying no:

– Are the client’s demands unrealistic?  If yes: Are they willing to change them?  If they aren’t, time to say no.

– Do I have time for this task?  If the answer is no, it’s definitely time to turn the project down.

– Am I uncomfortable with the task or project? If you’re uncomfortable with what you are doing, you aren’t going to give 100%, time to say no.

– Do I have the skills to  complete the task? If no, can I learn them in time? If I can’t, time to say no.

– Is this something that falls into my current contract with the client? If no, either expand the contract, accept that it’s work you won’t technically get paid for, or say no.

What do you consider before saying yes or no to a project?

 

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Ten More Twitter Mistakes

…you should break immediately.

Just a few more that I thought about but didn’t fit in to my last post.  I apologize in advance for typos, I’m functioning on two hours of sleep. =)

Social Media

1. Overusing Hashtags:

If you do this, it’s annoying, stop it.  For Example: I #published a #book #Read it. #author #publishing #writer

How about. #No

2.  Klout:

I’m sure it’s all very fascinating to you what your klout score is, I just don’t think anyone else gives a monkey’s behind.

3. Retweeting a hundred posts in the space of a few seconds.

Don’t flood your readers, space out your posts, particularly promo posts or retweets.

4. Assuming that someone will follow you because you followed them, then getting irate about it when they don’t.

Just. Don’t.

5. Airing your dirty laundry in public.

Personal drama between you and another author, blogger, reviewer, agent should be kept personal.

6. Failing to fact check.

A simple google search or snopes check will easily tell you if a cry for help, sob story, heroic story or call to action are legitimate or fake.

7. Don’t be passive aggressive.

Passive aggressive posts about ‘not getting comments, reviews, etc’ turn everyone off.  If you wouldn’t want your mother in-law to passive aggressively guilt you into something, don’t do it to your followers.

8(or 7a). Don’t be a jerk.

I think I said this in the last post, but it should be repeated.  If you couldn’t say to someone’s face what you’re typing to someone on twitter, don’t do it.  Frankly, this is more a general rule of thumb than a business/author specific one.

9. Plagiarism.

It’s bad in school, college, life and life in general.  You’ll get busted for it, and you’ll look like a fool, and on one wants that.

Unless you do, and…you have bigger problems.

10.  Things to do:

– have a conversation.

– share parts of your life, story, writing process.

– pet photos….everyone loves pet photos.

 

 

 

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The value of a dollar.

05312009-003wbThere are a few things that are truly pet peeves for me when it comes to books and reading.  Poor grammar, spelling, formatting, etc are certainly high on my list. But lately, there is one thing that has truly been annoying me about ebooks.  There is this trend of super, super short ebooks.  So short that it feels insulting to call it a complete book that are way overpriced.

I see all these 5,000 word books for $2.99 on amazon. I’m amazed. Like really? That’s barely two or three chapters at most. $1.00 a chapter? That feels like robbery to me.

And these aren’t from publishing houses, so the authors do have some control over the pricing.  Here’s the thing.  You shouldn’t under-price your work, but you also shouldn’t overprice it.  I can get a full paperback novel for $6.99.  Why would I voluntarily pay half of that for a book that has three chapters in it?

I’m not certain if there’s a rule book or a list for book pricing, but if there was it should look something like this:

for Ebooks:

< – 10,000 words = $.99 – $1.50

10,000 words – 30,000 = $2.00 – 3.99

30,000 – 50,000 = $4.00+

Paperbacks:

I think 6.99 is a fair price.

Don’t get me started on how overpriced hardbacks can be.

I’m curious, what do other readers and authors think about the fluctuating prices of the ebook world right now??

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Ten Twitter Mistakes.

Social MediaThat you might be making, but shouldn’t.  Things that in general will do nothing but annoy your followers:

1. Posting your follow/unfollow stats.

No one cares about this but you, seriously, no one.

2. Daily horoscopes.

3. Sending automatic direct messages when someone follows you.

Technically speaking, that is considered spam and could get you blocked & banned.

4. Posting nothing but sales pitches.

Twitter is a conversation. Slamming someone in the head with your product is not engaging in conversation.

5. Devolving into an argument with someone who disagrees with you on something.

Just walk away, ignore the person.  If you’re using Twitter to promote yourself as an author or a business, engaging with a troll or even just a regular follower who disagrees with you only makes you look bad.

6.  Sending individual tweets to every single follower with a link to buy your book/product.

It’s spam. Stop it.

7.  Using all caps, or alternating cApS.

It’s annoying. Stop it.

8. Being a robot.

It’s important to have a personality, unless you are a robot, then I can’t help you.

9.  Not mixing it up.

If you post the same things every single day, it gets repetitive and incredibly boring.

10. Taking without giving.

If you want people to share your posts, you have to engage with them and share theirs.  Quid pro quo.

 

 

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Review: Social Media going Zen?

Book reviewI’ve read a variety of books on social media in general and twitter specifically in the past few months.  They tend to fall into a couple of categories.  They are either incredibly boring filled with buzzwords that only half make sense or are somewhat fascinating with useful tips but weighed down by unnecessary tech-speak.  ‘The Tao of Twitter’  by Mark Schaefer doesn’t really fall into either of those categories.

It’s a brilliant book with an equally brilliant, yet simple concept.  The basic premise boils down  to the power of making personal connections.  It’s filled with practical advice, easy to understand explanations and interesting anecdotes.

It’s also a quick read, which is always a plus in this busy world.

I picked the book up with a slight worry that it would be filled with nonsensical information that wouldn’t work for me, and was pleasantly surprised when I was wrong.  I highly recommend it.

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Tell Me a Story: The first crush.

tell your story Hi! I’m Dahlia Donovan, a new indie author.  My debut novel, Ivy, is scheduled for release sometimes this month, hopefully.

I thought I’d tell the story of a crush.

My first crush.

I was five years old when I had my first fluttering when I looked at someone.  My memories are a little fuzzy, it was almost thirty years ago.  My family had traveled through Europe over the summer.  We stayed at a little hostel in Paris, France.  It was in an old building that had massive wooden double doors.  The dining room was home to two very old, wooden tables that were incredibly long.  They covered the length of the room with benches for seats.

Every morning, we’d head downstairs for breakfast of fresh baguettes, butter and jam with yoghurt and hot chocolate.  It was simply divine.

 

The part that I remember most about the hostel was the young man who was staying there. I think he was in school.  He was French, always called me, ma petite.  I’d run down the stairs and he’d swing me around until I was dizzy and giggling.  I never knew his name.  I don’t remember his face.  I have a vague recollection of a shock of brown hair.  It was silly and  I was five, and he was definitely my first crush. =)

Here’s a little teaser for Ivy:

IvyTeaser3

Find Dahlia on:

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

 

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Coffee Mugs, Commiseration and Chihuahuas.

2012-02-26-028wb I’m cheating, this is actually a tea cup.  I hunted for it an an antique shop in Denver.  I was looking for one with blue roses, but found this delicate little cup instead.  I’m still hunting for the blue one.  Ahh well.

Things I’m not looking forward to this week:

– pollen

– pollen

– more pollen

– see my pollen problem?

Things I am looking forward to:

– working with a new client

– cadbury caramello ice cream

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Tell Me a Story: The Best “Mistake” that Ever Happened To Me

tell your storyAllie Boniface stopped over to tell us a story:

Once upon a time, I lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Now, Cleveland gets a bad rap a lot of the time; in fact, its nickname is still “the mistake on the lake.” I don’t know whether the bad rap is because of the city’s brutal winters, or its perpetually losing sports teams, or perhaps because the Cuyahoga River, that runs right through downtown, was so polluted that it caught on fire back in 1969.

But me? I ended up loving the four years I spent there. I was a graduate student for two of those years and a community college instructor for another two after that. This was in the mid-1990s, when both The Flats and the Indians were at their zenith. My friends and I would dance until dawn at the nightclubs that had grown up in the old factory buildings along the river, and we would try our best to get tickets to the sold-out baseball games in the summers of 1995 and 1996. The city was alive, beautiful, and bustling; it had (still has) an amazing orchestra, research university, and cutting-edge hospitals. It has suburbs as different in nature as any you’ll find outside of any major city, and I learned more about diversity from living there than anywhere else in my life.

But what really happened while I lived in Cleveland was the slow evolution of what would become the author inside me. I didn’t write while I lived there. But in the years since, I have found time and time again that many of my story ideas come from that time spent in northern Ohio.

Eddie, my hero from The Promise of Paradise, is based on a real-life close friend who went to graduate school with me and who was, in fact, involved in a serious car accident that left him with facial scars.

The haunted lighthouse in Beacon of Love had its first inklings of thought during a day trip to Put-in-Bay, a lovely little town about an hour away from Cleveland with – of course – a lighthouse!

Finally, the idea for one of the sub-plots in Inferno of Love, the restaurant fire that turns Finn into a reluctant hero, came from the many nights my girlfriends and I spent at The Basement, a popular dance club down in The Flats. The place was always crowded, and we got there early so we didn’t have to wait outside in line.

One night I remember thinking, “This place is packed. Wonder where the back exit is? Wonder if they even have a back exit?” And that turned into the classic writer’s ‘what if” that became “What would happen if this place caught fire?” There was a bouncer inside who always stood in the same spot near the dance floor, a big burly guy who came to know us after a while, and around the same time that I was wondering about fires, I pictured him being the one to drag people out. He was that hero type. (By the way, Finn’s name is an adaptation of Phoenix, a reference to the mythical creature that rises from the ashes, since he saves seven people from a burning building. I’ve never mentioned that piece of trivia anywhere before, so you heard it here first!)

It wasn’t until five or six years after leaving Cleveland that I started writing in earnest, with an eye on publication, but those moments and memories were stored away in my head, just waiting for the right story to make an appearance. Fascinating, isn’t it?

infernooflove_300

Thank you so much for having me here today! If you’d like to know more about Inferno of Love (or any of my books!) stop by www.allieboniface.com/books. And to whet your appetite, here’s the blurb and trailer for Inferno of Love:

What happens when your soul mate returns after twelve long years — and has no idea who you are?

One teenage summer, Finn and Aubrey fell in love in the tiny coastal town of Lindsey Point. But that was before a local fire turned him into a hero and a horrific accident stole her memory. When they finally reunite years later, sparks fly and memories return — but so do long-lost secrets and locals who want them to stay buried. Now Finn and Aubrey must come to terms with the past if they have any chance of building a future together… 

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