Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Google Plus

Finding a Social Network I Can Truly Engage With ~~~ #Wattpad


I’ve been engaged in a social media endeavor for 4 years, 10 months, and 18 days—right here on this blog… Wattpad

Naturally, since I’m a writer (and, naturally, a reader, too…), I tried the “social networks”:

Facebook—a raucous place for writers (or, readers)—folks standing up on platforms, shouting about their wares

Google Plus—more mature than Facebook but still not geared, specifically, toward writers (or, readers)

LinkedIn—hmmm… Sure, writing can be a “business”; but

Twitter—broke up with it numerous times—worked out a functioning, minimal relationship

I do, however, have WordPress automatically sending links of all my blog posts to all those networks

Feel free to check out more of my social media opinions.

However, 5 years ago I signed up with Wattpad.

I was deep into writing my first novel and didn’t see Wattpad’s value (for writers or for readers)

14 days ago, I wrote a post about my reunion with Wattpad and I linked to that post in another one I wrote 2 days ago—Very Short, Very Powerful Review of My Book on #Wattpad . . .

In that post, PAHughes said (about my novel):

“Picked this up and could not put it down. Astoundingly gripping , your words just dance on the page and every little bit comes to life. 

“I have downloaded a full copy of the book and will read it to the end. A brilliant book, well done sir.”

Then, yesterday, PAHughes told their over 1,100 followers the following:

“‘Notes from an Alien’ is Beautifully written with immense description and powerful undertones. It is the view of a world from strange but familiar eyes. Seriously go check it out.”

So, the reads of my novel have gone up and so have the reads of my poetry book and my collection of fantasy shorts. I’ve also had quite a few more folks follow me

But, I’m finding out that Wattpad isn’t just about me getting readers of my works

It’s also a wonderful place to read others’ writing—some great, some struggling, some amateurish—making comments on that writing (usually greatly appreciated, even if I’ve been a bit critical).

This was something I tried to do through other social media channels but never got used to

Perhaps, as I prepare for my next book (I’m in no hurry…), I finally can take the time to appreciate others’ writing (even if it’s a bit poorly done…)—perhaps it’s the ambiance in Wattpad—perhaps it’s knowing that about 80% of my readers are mobile (my writing is traveling while being read…)—perhaps it’s that around 85% are under 30

Perhaps it’s that I may be helping some stressed-out kid, on the streets ’cause home is a tragedy, slowly, incrementally improve their reading.

It’s possible to upload a full book or story but the Wattpad community has evolved in a serialization world (they even recommend keeping each portion of your work below 2,000 words...)—many Wattpaders are obviously writing a serial first draft and begging for comments so they can improve it.

I discovered Katherine A. Ganzel the other day and profited from reading her, How To Get Reads, Votes, and Comments – A Guide.

Katherine recommended another guide that I haven’t yet read—MichaelLimjoco‘s, Cracking the Wattpad Code: Insider Secrets the Pros don’t want you to know!

Wondering who those “pros” are or if Michael is just trying to draw in readers

But, Katherine’s guide is comprehensive and extremely helpful and she really likes Michael’s guide

Wattpad also has a Club (Forum) called Improve Your Writing and within that Club there’s a special place with a multitude of links to other aids and resources for aspiring writers plus what I’d call their Community Library

Plus, they’re rolling out Multimedia Storytelling.

And, for any writers out there who still feel hesitant to, at least, explore Wattpad’s possibilities, here’s an interesting blurb from a writer with more entrepreneurial spirit then me:

“Drawing on her own success story, indie author Dianne Greenlay explains why she thinks all self-published writers should try using Wattpad to increase the discoverability of their books.”

She’s written this article—How Wattpad Gained My Self-Published Novel 500,000 Reads.

So, whether you’re a reader looking for mobile-joy or a high-powered Indie author, I feel fairly certain Wattpad has something for you
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Advertisements

Friday Poll ~ What’s Your Favorite Social Network?


Just before this week’s poll, here are the results from last week—where folks buy books:

No one said they don’t buy books online.

25% buy books online.

12.5% said they buy books online and offline.

25% buy their books on Amazon.

12.5% buy books online from Book Depository.

12.5% buy books offline—places mentioned were Dymocks and Readings bookshops, both in Australia.

The other 12.5% was folks using the “Other” space to write things in…

So…

This Week’s Poll—What’s Your Favorite Social Network?

There is a choice for no favorite and another for using no social networks…

And, even if you check “I don’t have a favorite”, you can still select a few social networks you like…

Also, the “Other” Space can be used for writing-in networks not mentioned…

And, if you need more space than “Other” gives, fill-in “Other”, then Vote, then click on “Comments” at the bottom…

And, here’s a Very Long list of Social Networks :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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:

“What IS An Indie Author?”


Yesterday, I published the post, Why Would An Author Want To Be Independent?, which had two videos exploring the benefits of “self-publishing”.

Today, I’ll let you in on something that turned my interest strongly toward an organization mentioned yesterday—The Alliance of Independent Authors—better known as ALLi.

As some of you know, I’ve focused my “social networking” on Google Plus (though I consider this blog to be a social network).

I’d circled ALLi to see their posts and discovered one called What IS An Indie Author <— That link is to the post on G+ –> here’s one to their blog post on the same topic

That blog post listed ALLi’s qualifiers for calling oneself an Indie.

In the G+ post, I made this comment:

“I notice the first ‘definitive’ statement is:
‘You have self-published at least one book.’
What is ALLi’s definition of ‘self-published’?”

Orna Ross, the Founder of ALLi, made this reply:

“Essentially, that the author paid and was the creative director of the book.”

I thanked her, then received this reply:

“You’ve actually sparked an entire debate in the office, Alexander, which led to this: Put The Author At The Centre, Not The Publisher.”

The Comments on that blog post, that my simple question apparently spawned, are interesting and quite varied

I do recommend reading both blog posts on the ALLi site but here’s a bit of that last one:

“Let’s talk terminology — a subject that’s been exercising minds around ALLi Towers of late.  And for the purposes of this post, three particular terms.

“* What to call authors who publish their own work?

“* What to call those who publish the work of others?

“* What to call those who help authors to publish?”

Before the terms for those categories are revealed, an interesting definition of “Publishing” is given.

Then comes their new, defining terminology:

“* An author who publishes his or her own work = Author-Publisher.

“* An individual or company that invests in work they haven’t written themselves with a view to making a profit = Trade-Publisher.

“* An individual/company that provides services — jacket & page design; editorial & proofing; printing & formatting; marketing & promotion for an upfront fee = Author-Service.”

Then, they get back to the term “Independent Author” and direct you to ALLi’s FAQ

As I said, the Comments on that post are varied

Orna shows great skill in her responses to a few comments that, less wisely handled, could have started a CommentWar :-)

My TakeAway (besides that ALLi is a fine organization) is an acute awareness that my comments, though seemingly neutral, can fuel another’s deep thought
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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:

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