Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: G+

The #SocialEra Is Much More Than Just “Social Media” . . .

[ this post is directed to writers but it can help Anyone who needs to overhaul their ideas about “business”…]

Regular readers have become aware of my difficulties with Social Media as a means of helping folks find my books

This blog is my main Author Platform and, as far as “doing social media”, I’m down to Google Plus; and, it never helps as much as attracting people through simple Internet searches

Some people Love using social media and I’ve worked to provide information here to help them —> past posts on social media, social networking, and author platform. [ You’ll see this post at all those links since I’m tagging it with all those terms :-)  Just scroll a bit to see all the other posts ]

However, there are issues and considerations far beyond posting updates on Facebook or Twitter for a self-published author like me (not to mention the issues and considerations of the harried authors who traditionally publish).

There are more books then ever before in human history and more of them will be completely forgotten then ever before, in spite of the long-term memory of the ‘Net

But there’s a woman referred to as the “The Jane Bond of Innovation”—Nilofer Merchant—and I posted a video of her talking about businesses going beyond just social media in the post, #SocialEra ~ The New Model for Book Promotion.

I focused that post on book promotion but Nilofer is proposing ideas for any business (and, yes, these days, sorry but, authors have to think about business).

So, to give you a hint for how to approach her ideas for business from the perspective of an author, hold on to your image of traditional publishing versus self-publishing and check out this quote:

“These organizations don’t operate like the powerful ‘800-pound gorillas’ of yesteryear—but instead act more like a herd of 800 gazelles, moving together across a savannah, outrunning the competition.”

And, even though she uses the word competition, her ideas are nowhere near the cut-throat competitiveness of the Traditional 800-pound-gorilla Publishers

I recently read Nilofer’s book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, and will share some of my favorite quotes:

[You can almost always plug in the word “author” for “company” and “reader” for “customer” and “book” for “product” and “publishing” for “manufacturing”…]

“…communities ‘made up of singularly unique individuals’ create value.”

“You no longer need to have a budget to deliver value.”

“Social purpose is a fundamental way to create value in the Social Era.”

“When a clear purpose is coupled with shared power, people can self-organize to reach a goal.”

“However much I’d like them to be, these ideas are not 100 percent neat and tidy; they are certainly not a formulaic or even a prescriptive set of ideas.”

“Connected people with shared interests and goals…create ‘virtuous circles’ that can produce returns for any company that serves their needs.”

“…a person or team anywhere in the world can create scale without being big.”

“…what makes a company great: customer insights and the ability to serve those via its own unique strategy (what only it can uniquely do through a combination of talent, culture, and purpose).”

“Social gives companies more control to operationally adjust their offers and create zealots by better collecting and amplifying even weak signals.”

“…platforms exist to allow community to fund expansion. When no one funds you, you know there’s no market for your idea. This changes more than the economic source. When a community invests in an idea, it also co-owns its success. In other words, it’s not just socially funded; it’s socially meaningful. And when products are crowdfunded, the ‘return’ is not just financial. When people are emotionally invested, they also want to contribute to the value equation.”

“When companies figure out how to shape their design, production, and manufacturing cycle from rigid planning and production systems to unique customer-driven experiences, they’ll design a way to respond in smaller bursts of more profitable cycles.”

“Organizations can be in a constant conversation to learn what is working and what is not, and adapt on the fly.”

“What is interesting about this approach is that no company has to get it right the first time; it just has to know how to learn and discover what works for growth. A firm that waits until it gets it right will actually be at a disadvantage.”

“The Social Era rewards those that can bring together a herd of gazelles by which they can be fast, fluid, and flexible. What we reward in the Social Era is being connected to customer insights and acting with relevance in what we produce and deliver.”

That last quote could be misinterpreted as authors communicating with their “herd” of readers and swiftly producing a series of formulaic genre books.

However, it’s possible for an author to work with readers and still produce unique and valuable literature; and, if you visit Nilofer’s site or read her book, you’ll see that she’s far from proposing we suck up to enervated consumers

Here’s a link to a Webinar of Nilofer talking about The Social Rules: Communication That Will Change Your Company.

And, here’s a short video with her talking about some of the human barriers to innovation:

To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

GRAB A FREE COPY of Notes from An Alien

Select as many as you like:

Fictional Geography ~ Alien Worlds

This post is part of the Friday series: Behind The Scenes of the story Notes from An Alien.

If you want to avoid having “spoilers” intrude on your enjoyment of the book, just grab a free copy and read it before you dive deeply into this series of posts—the book is short and, deep

You can also ask Any questions about the book in Any of these Friday posts :-)

Today’s article was prompted by a post on Google Plus by John DeNardo which linked to a post on SF Signal called Love Them Landscapes: The Unique Geography of Speculative Fiction.

He begins that article with: “It’s almost a given these days, especially with fantasy books–you open up the front cover and an enormous map sprawls out before you, denoting various continents, kingdoms, murky forests, coastal ports, and all the other bits and jots composing the world.”

When I was writing Notes from An Alien, a number of people said I needed a map of the Worlds to reduce confusion since the names were so similar.

I made an executive decision and didn’t include any maps

Here’s a diagram I considered using:


The names are all hyphenated—the first name is what the people on the closest World to the star, Angi, use—the second name is what the people on the next planet out use—all the A-names are used on Anga, all the P-names are used on Purum :-)

It’s probably a bit confusing even with the diagram, eh?—all part of the alienness of the story

So, the book has no charts or maps but, before I wrote it, I created all the Worlds in a 3-D Space Simulator called Celestia.

Using Celestia, I could move around in my Star-System and get used to living there

I even packaged up all the files I used to create my Worlds so folks could use Celestia (free) and visit the Worlds of Notes from An Alien. ( Download and install Celestia then drop me a note at and I’ll send you the files and help you get them installed :-)

Now, I’ll show you the flat maps of the three primary Worlds (since they’re flat, areas at the top and bottom are distorted):







And, since Angla-Palli orbits Beli-Pallos, I’ll include a picture taken inside the Celestia Simulator, from one of the Created Worlds, of that Gas-Giant planet, with its streams of Plasma…


Now, two excerpts from the book with close-up shots of the areas mentioned…

The farming family sat in their kitchen in the hills of Beselima, forty miles from Babur, overlooking the Vesun River.
Helmos, the father, said to his wife, Murlum:
“We can’t make the quota.”
“But, we must or the children will suffer.”
The children—Nesur, twelve; Albes, six; and Iti, five—sat with intense interest in the conversation.
“Murlum, if we can’t, we can’t. So, we must find a way to transfer the children to a safer place.”
“What place? Anla, with its religious idiots?”
“No. A place on Anga. A place I’ve heard of, with a family of Harians.”
“Oh, so dump them with local rather than alien religious idiots, eh?”


Not long after the dispatch of transfer pods paused, to give ShipOne time to return to the proper place in its orbit, a single pod prepared for descent. It contained Akla, Rednaxela, and Morna.
“Morna, check Akla’s coordinates again please.”
“They are fine. We’ll be landing in a deeply forested region of what the Anlans call the Unholy Lands in a country called Ceia-Abi, 50 miles from the main city, Oaur.”
“Yes, yes, I know. Sometimes you’re too consummate in your responses.”
“Thank you, Rednaxela…”
Akla returned from his lengthy meditation and said, “The Nari in this region are anxious for my arrival.”
Rednaxela countered, “Their knowing the time of your arrival is the one part of this plan that I truly don’t understand.”
“It is simple. I told them.”
“Yes, you’ve told me you told them but communicating through plasma waves can only convey general principles and emotions—  Why am I repeating myself?”
“You are trying to convince yourself that what I have done is impossible.”
Morna chimed in with, “Detach.”

CeiaThere ya have it—Fictional Geography ~ Alien Worlds………
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Poetry and Painting on Google Plus :-)

You can check out my thoughts and feelings about social media on this blog.

As it stands now, I’m only utilizing Google Plus, though I do consider blogging a form of “social media” :-)

I met a woman on G+ named Lena Levin—eagerly look forward to her posts and the Luscious images of her paintings

This image, from the Sonnets In Colour portion of Lena Levin’s blog, is her rendition of
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 10: Sonnet 10: Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?

For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thy self art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lov’st is most evident:
For thou art so possessed with murderous hate,
That ‘gainst thy self thou stick’st not to conspire,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O! change thy thought, that I may change my mind:
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another self for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

This woman is quite prolific and doesn’t just paint Shakespeare; though, she does have a separate site called Shakespeare in colour.

She recently wrote a post called, Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet.

Let me give you a few excerpts (which I, personally, feel relate to All writers):

“…I want to focus on one particular thought, which appears in the very first letter… Quite a common situation, played out a gazillion of times both in real life and in literature: a young artist addresses an older one with the ultimate question, ‘Am I a poet? Should I be doing this? Am I any good?'”

“…Rilke gives what seems like the only possible answer: don’t seek the answer to this question from the outward world; rather, look deep inside yourself.

“…this obviously presupposes the existence of some other you, different from the you who asks; this other you knows the answer, you just have to listen to it.”

“Why should one take its ‘answer’ as the ultimate truth?”

I’ll leave her argument there

She expounds some fascinating ideas in the full post and I do hope you click through and read it :-)

One last thing I’ll do is share another of her paintings:
Lily buds
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

More On Why Google Plus Is Important for Writers . . .

Did you know that only 7% of word-of-mouth buzz happens on Social Networks?

Check out the video on my post called, How Can An Author Make Their Book Go Viral?, for the facts :-)

But, even if that’s true, wouldn’t you want to use a social network that gave you the most bang for your buck?

I think it’s Google Plus

Two previous posts that explore why are:

Google Plus and The Author Platform

Why All Writers “Should” Consider Having A Google Plus Account . . .

The main reason is what’s called Google Authorship which basically let’s you “tag” all your on-line content and makes it improve your search profile on the Web

The most comprehensive article I’ve read (so far) about how Authorship can help is Mark Traphagen‘s Your Google Plus Network Is More Powerful Than You Know on WindMill Networking.

Here are the main topics in that article:

The Effect of Your Network on Personalized Search

What About Facebook Graph Search?

Why Google+ and Google Personalized Search Are a Better Recommendation Engine

Why Your Google Network Is So Important to You As a Marketer

Google Networking Strategies

If you’re a writer who wants to create buzz in the ‘Net’s Social Arena, I strongly urge you to go read Mark’s article :-)

Here are two brief excerpts:

“If you’re in any aspect of marketing, I shouldn’t have to explain to you the value of a well-crafted network. My value proposition to you today, though, is that of all the networks you could build online, your Google+ network may be the most valuable. Why? Because the larger and more influential your Google network is, the more search results you affect.

“As you gain following and influence on Google+, that power spreads exponentially. That’s because the personalizing effect can reach into your extended network (the Google contacts of the people who are your Google contacts). That means that if one person who has 10,000 Google+ followers (and/or other Google contacts, such as people in her Gmail contacts) follows you, you’ve gained the ability to potentially influence the search of not just one, but 10,000 other people, most of whom don’t even know you exist!”


If you read the article, please, do come back and let us know what you think in the Comments :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

%d bloggers like this: