Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Authorial Decisions ~ WebSite, Social Media, Blogging…?

I haven’t featured Jane Friedman (author, digital media strategist, editor, publisher, professor, speaker) for quite some time… Authors, Websites, Social Media

I’ll be sharing excerpts from two of her articles…

The first one leans toward author websites, the second toward social media…

Jane tends to conflate blogs with websites, which is perfectly understandable; yet, be aware, a blog can be considered “social media”…

And, I must emphasize that no matter how much help any of the excerpts may be, not reading her full articles will be a great loss (especially if you’re a writer…).


The first article is, What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media?


“These days, I get more noticeable results from my website and blogging efforts, email newsletters, and in-person networking than I do from social media. Not that I want to give up social media—quite the contrary—but I could walk away from Facebook and still earn a living. Not so with my website—it’s absolutely fundamental.”

Then, there are these bullet topics, as reasons a website is important (each Ripe with juicy info.…):

* Being more discoverable through search
* Offering the media (and influencers) the official story on you and your work
* Securing high-quality email newsletter subscribers
* Understanding what social media use is effective
* Monetizing the audience you have

Then (especially for those folks who won’t read her full article):

“Thankfully, you don’t (or shouldn’t) have to choose between having an author website or participating on social media. Nurture both. Choose to make your website a proud and strong showcase for your work and what you want to be known for, and don’t expect social media to always be the hub for all your branding or reader discovery. You’ll be stronger if you have a multi-faceted approach, especially if and when social media fails you.”

Article twoSocial Media for Authors: The Toughest Topic to Advise On

Excerpts (again, stressing that there’s much more meat to chew at the full article):

“Of all the topics I teach, social media is the most vexed. Even in a small class of writers, I find varying skill levels and experience, and a mix of attitudes—and these two factors play a strong role in what people need to hear or learn. I believe a successful social media strategy is driven by one’s personality and strengths, as well as the qualities of the work produced—leading to a unique approach for each writer.”

Then, she throws a critical bombshell of Truth:

“Because social media is widely considered essential to book marketing and promotion, yet it’s constantly changing, it’s become a burden and source of anxiety for beginners and advanced authors alike.”

And, the following bullet points (again, each Ripe with juicy info….):

* Your social media following grows mostly when you produce more work.
* Use social media to micro-publish or to share your work.
* People break social media “rules” all the time and succeed.

So, I’ll leave you with Jane’s summation on social media; and, one last time, urge you to read her full articles:

“So what can I possibly say to writers to help them become better at it [social media]? Well, first, don’t take it all so seriously. Look for what you enjoy. Have a spirit of questioning and discovery. Follow a daily routine that works for you. Sustainable and meaningful social media practice isn’t so different from getting your ‘real’ writing done.”

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Language, Literacy, Imagination, and Reading-Aloud

Do you have children?
Are you friends with a child?

In today’s re-blog, an immensely experienced teacher says:
“Reading aloud is a strong part of my classroom curriculum, and children love it! The more you read aloud at home increases your child’s development!”

I have the intuition that it helps the adult, too :-)

A Teacher's Reflections


People often ask why I chapter read.  After all, many of the children in my classroom are are three-years-old.  When we chapter read, the children don’t have an image from a picture book.  They have to make the pictures in their head.  That requires language development.  The more they hear, the more they learn.  Even the youngest children benefit enormously.  For example, they may not ‘get’ the humor of the goose repeating everything three times in Charlotte’s Web, but they are still getting a huge dose of language.  And, that language is sparking their imagination.  No pictures; just words pouring into eager, young minds and creating their own images.

I read picture books as well, at least twice a day.  That’s a given!  As in chapter books, we stop to ask questions.  That’s how we learn.  Remember the five W’s and the H?  Who, what, where, when, why and…

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On publishing another book when there are already so many

Today’s re-blog is a reflection on my posts of Oct 9th – 11th — it’s also the reason I was able to write those posts…

Nail Your Novel

Didn’t I say in January that I had a book I would write quickly? A book based on my travel diaries. A book that should have required a quick spit and polish, then out of the nest it would go.

But no, the months have passed, and if you followed my newsletter you’ll have seen the progress through rough edits, reconcepting, purge of darlings, second purge of darlings, beta reader 1, beta reader 2, reader 3, reader 4, final polish, snapshots of typesetting on Facebook and final sigh of relief.

January to July: seven months to take a book from personal notes to publicly presentable. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but still quite fast by my usual standards.

I haven’t been doing it full time, of course. My usual freelance editing gigs have snowballed, and sometimes I’ve been fighting to protect a…

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Five

When Will It Stop?

Alexander M Zoltai
Dedicated to
Nathanael William Kee


Faurn was tired; but, he knew he had to finish his work…

Facts had stopped being facts; and Faurn had to try to make people wake up…

The trip back through the Belm system from Senju had brought many things to his mind…

Now, he must offload them all into his MemBot…

He wrote:

The Retributive Calamity

“We’re dealing with a calamity that seems designed to purge our race from the impurity of its age-long corruptions, and bond its constituent parts into a world-embracing Fellowship.”

Faurn carefully considered the title and opening statement…

He wrote on:

“We must consider a bit of history:

“The violent instabilities in our planetary system’s attempts to maintain cultural equilibrium…

“The quaking that has seized the vitals of Belm-kind…

“The deep-seated and unexpected transformation of Belm society…

“The inexorable and maddeningly slow collapse of the past, accepted Order…

“The foundational changes affecting the fabric of our governments…”

He paused, considered what had been written—wrote on:

“The dwindling of the desire for the support of spirituality…

“The rise of despotism…

“The diffusion of injustice…

“The collapse of empires…

“The weakening of ministerial institutions…

“The increase of rebellion and disruption…

“The broadening and strengthening of the Movement of the Unchangeable Prerogative…

“The stimulation into conflagration of the festering fire of racial animosity…

“The development of diabolical tools of war…

“The destruction of cities…

“The befoulment of the air on the majority of our planets…

“The obscene and villainous subjection and molestation of children; including, the rape of their youth from violently enforced warmongering…”

Faurn considered his list—changed a few modifiers—considered again…

Then, he wrote:

“Circumstances like these have continued to worsen because of the linkage between the component parts of our systems of civilization—because, every minor part has connection with every major part, and what upsets one upsets the other, in ever-repeating cycles…”

Again, Faurn considered his words…

Then, he finished:

“I feel we can only call on the Spirit of our Reality to heal the sicknesses, the imbalances that have assailed us all, on every side.

“We need Monumental Unity.”

Faurn reproduced his Message thousands of times, packed each one into its digital wrapper, addressed the wrappers, activated the programs for system-wide dissemination, and packed for his trip to the outpost on the minor planet, Deszm—willing to continue sending waves of his Message, for as long as his body remained alive………


Read More Story Bazaar Tales

If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Slow-burn books, publishing misfits and separation anxiety – interview at Henry Hyde’s blog

Back to my regular schedule here…

Though, today’s re-blog carries on the “theme” of the last three days :-)

Nail Your Novel

My friend Henry Hyde is kicking off a series on his blog called Writing Insights, and I’m honoured to be his first guinea pig. He asked me questions about my writing methods, publishing decisions and advice I would have given myself as a beginner, which led to discussions of separation anxiety, misfit books and novels that take their sweet long time to develop. Do come over.

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