Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: social media

Continuing Even More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?


Gateway Book Promotion This conversation has had posts on August 31stSeptember 3rd, September 5th; and, September 7th.

If social media and its related search activities are important to you, I encourage your reading all those past posts…

For those who heartily remain in the moment, permit me to briefly indicate the recent focus of this discussion on the book, Be the Gateway, by Dan Blank.

I referred to this book as:

“…the Revelation of an organic and unifying approach to Creative Promotion that is, in my mind (which has stumbled through vast tracts of the ‘Net’s jungle of shoulds and shouldn’ts), the most fruitful way to work at attracting readers to a book…”

And, right after listing links to a few Amazon reviews (in the September 7th post), I said:

“Two things I should point out:

  • 97% of this book’s reviews are 5-star, the remaining 3%, 4-star…
  • I’m recommending it for writers; but, as one of those review titles says, “…for Creatives of All Stripes”…

“Something else to ponder about this book is that each reader will be able to create their own Personalized Approach to Creative Promotion…”

Also, the comment that let this conversation continue came from an accomplished author from Australia:

“I found ‘Be The Gateway’ one of the most amazing books about not just a new way of spreading word about your book, but also about actually helping you, the writer, work out the meaning of your own work. This line: ‘…you become the gateway for how your work can shape the world for others, and inspire them…’ says it all. It inspired me so much to find the meaning in my work that mattered to me. No writer can afford not to read this book.”

If becoming a Gateway sounds a bit daunting, (“Can’t I just Tweet a lot…?”) do remember our author friend from Australia saying, “It inspired me so much to find the meaning in my work…”; and, that Dan’s book, by helping you dig in and discover your deepest motivations, shows you how to use that Deep-Knowledge to create a Gateway for others to experience that Meaning and Motivation—this is So much more than writing blurbs that reveal your characters “selling points”; or, saying things like, “This book is very Stephen King if he wrote like J. K. Rowling”…

If you had a lovely living room, your front door and vestibule would be its “gateway”—your book’s gateway is much more than a cover, title, and blurb—it needs a stronger, magnetic, personal attractiveness in the frenzy of current market conditions…

Do remember this, from our author in Australia: “‘…you become the gateway for how your work can shape the world for others, and inspire them…’ says it all.”

Listen to these excerpts from two of the Amazon reviews I linked to:

“…if the reader will have the courage to be vulnerable, even in spurts, it becomes clear that this heartfelt book is written with a sincere desire to help and to change the role of social media, websites, and even bios to become something that encourages real engagement….”

“I love the approach of thinking of sharing our creative work, rather than ‘pushing’ or ‘marketing’ it, and it’s helping me keep front-of-mind why I do it, which in turn makes me feel more motivated to do it, and to enjoy the process more.”

Lest you think this discussion is just an excuse to praise Be the Gateway, all I did was mention it as an alternative a few posts ago—two other authors encouraged this closer consideration… :-)

If you’ve found some other particular approach to promotion valuable, do, please, share in the Comments…

If you have your own unique methods of promoting books, do, please, share in the Comments…

Even if all you have is a desire to discuss some other topic in the realms of Reading, Writing, and Publishing, do, please, share in the Comments…

As I always remind my readers, it takes only one comment to ensure this particular discussion about “promotion” (social media/search) continues…
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message
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Even More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?


This conversation has had posts on August 31st, September 3rd, and September 5th… Book Promotion

I’ll admit, again, that the main part of the title of these posts (Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?) has been intended to provoke discussion; yet, I’m of the mind that Social Media (which includes blogging...) and Internet Search are best used when attached, interactively.

If that concept eludes your understanding, I’d encourage you to read the three previous posts

The last post in this conversation centered on my encouraging an author/publisher from Germany to read a certain book—Be the Gateway.

My German friend responded with:

“I will read the book. I had a look at it when it came out but I never came round to buying it.”

That book is the Revelation of an organic and unifying approach to Creative Promotion that is, in my mind (which has stumbled through vast tracts of the ‘Net’s jungle of shoulds and shouldn’ts), the most fruitful way to work at attracting readers to a book…

I’ll now list the title/links of just the first page of Amazon reader reviews of the book:

Shifts the focus to sharing our creative work, rather than “pushing” or “marketing” it—inspiring and refreshing

A Practical & Smart Must-Read

Simple and open book every artist should read

Strongly recommend !

Wisdom to Reflect on Often

Must Read for Real Engagement

Great Advice for Creatives of All Stripes

Two things I should point out:

  • 97% of this book’s reviews are 5-star, the remaining 3%, 4-star…
  • I’m recommending it for writers; but, as one of those review titles says, “…for Creatives of All Stripes”…

Something else to ponder about this book is that each reader will be able to create their own Personalized Approach to Creative Promotion

If you wonder why I’m paying such attention to this book, do remember I’d said my mind has stumbled through vast tracts of the ‘Net’s jungle of shoulds and shouldn’ts about book promotion; and, that stumbling lasted 7 years…

And, to let the author of the book, Dan Blank, have his say, I’ll grab a few quotes from an interview, shortly after the book’s release last year, in a post on Writer Unboxed:

“You can take clear actions day by day, week by week, to reach the people who care about your writing. Be the Gateway outlines a step-by-step plan to craft your gateway, open it up to others, and help lead others through.”

Be the Gateway is the antidote to every frustrated author who is drowning amidst an unending list of things they “have to do,” but never seem to work.”

“Instead of selling a product in a marketplace, you become the gateway for how your work can shape the world for others, and inspire them.”

“The people I see who succeed focus on one-on-one engagement success by focusing on the human side of that which engages people, what it means to have your work truly shape the lives of others, and what it means to feel fulfilled as a creator.”

“When I received the first proof of the print version back, I showed it to my 6 year old son Owen. He looked through it and was clearly impressed that his dad had written a book. But when he saw his name in print in the Acknowledgments, he was in complete awe. He didn’t realize that this power was possible — that his own name could be printed in a book.

“In that moment, he realized that he too has this capacity — to share his ideas and see his name in print.

“This moment with Owen wasn’t just about me being a proud father. His reaction resonated with the drive that has fueled every author I have ever worked with, and even my own pride in reaching this milestone.”

So…

It only takes one comment to have this discussion continue… :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Still More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?


Connections for Writers This discussion began August 31st with my attempt to encourage conversation by explaining a bit about my own use of Social Media and its intersection with Search…

It continued on September 3rd with comments from authors in the United Kingdom, the USA, and Germany…

And, because of a comment on that last post by the same author from Germany (who’s also a publisher), I’ll begin by reproducing a comment, in that same post, from Dan Blank, artist, poet, musician, writer, publisher, teacher, designer, and entrepreneur:

“You are told that in order to succeed, you need a website, newsletter, social media and the like.

“It’s not true.

“What you need is clarity on what you create, how to do it, and how to ensure it reaches your ideal audience of readers and supporters. Without these things, all the social media updates in the world won’t help you.”

And, here is our German author/publisher’s response to that quote:

“I remember reading Dan Blank’s words about clarity. I still find it difficult to understand how he thinks I can reach my ideal audience without a blog, a website or social media. Have you got an answer?”

My understanding of Mr. Blank’s words, “It’s not true.”, is that he counsels all kinds of creative folk and many of them are very in-the-real-moment with their work to ensure that their creation, “…reaches [their] ideal audience of readers and supporters.” Some folks never use “a blog, a website, or social media”.

And, when he says, “Without these things, all the social media updates in the world won’t help you.”, he’s indicating the possibility that the necessary Clarity-about-Creation can well be followed by the use of social media; yet, using social media without Clarity won’t help…

I heartily recommend any artistic creator (but, especially writers…) read Dan’s book, Be the Gateway.

Here’s his blurb:

“If you feel the drive to do creative work, but get overwhelmed by the process of connecting with an audience, then this book is for you. If you want to share your voice and inspire people with your writing, art, craft, or creative idea, you have to be the gateway for them. Be the Gateway shows you how to use your gift with joy and confidence.”

My reading of Dan’s book proved to be a long overdue accentuation of a principle I already had but nearly buried under the Internet’s “coercion” to social media-ize my work.

I do use social media; but with Dan’s help in clarifying what I’d already known to be true—art and its promotion should be an organic, holistic endeavor—I’m Way less tense about what I choose to do to encourage folks to read my work.

I hope I’ve answered our German friend’s question…

And, I hope this portion of our discussion has given you something of value…

All it takes is one comment to make this conversation continue; and, if you have no comment on this post, perhaps you could share a topic you’d like to discuss in the realms of Writing, Reading, or Publishing :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?


Connections for Writers In the first post in this discussion, on August 31st, I shared some of my practices with social media and its potential intersections with Internet search.

However, those were my opinions on the topics and a mere attempt to engage others in the conversation.

And, I’m grateful to the three individuals who responded in the comments—from the United Kingdom, the USA, and Germany—three quite different takes on the subject…

But, just before I share those comments, I should indicate my purpose in wording the topic like I have: Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?

There is a confliction in those words… Yet, I stayed with them rather than settling on something like, How Should a Writer Balance the Benefits of Social Media and Its Intersections with Search

In that first post, I actually did emphasize balancing the potential of both and how they can aid each other; yet, I’ve kept the “Which Is Better” to stir up discussion:-)

In fact, if you read my views about using these tools, you’ll see that I do contrast their benefits and also show their capacity to work together…

So…

Here’s the comment from an author in the United Kingdom:

“This is a real can of worms! I find Google useful for research but I could live without social media, even without my own website, as long as I could contact people somehow, whether it be phone or emails.

“I have been nagged constantly to join Facebook and find there are contacts I could only access if I did so; but, so far, I have resisted. It depends how desperate one is to market one’s work. If all my books were ebooks, I might find the need to try other outlets; but, as most of them are only paperbacks, I rely on word of mouth rather than the computer – but then, I’m a dinosaur! However, I always wished I had an encyclopedia to hand and Google is more than that. Search engines will get my vote.”

Remarkable to me, in the social-app climate that exists, to hear an author talk about using the phone and emails—even though there are many urgings on the ‘Net to have email newsletters, I feel this author’s mention of emails is more personal, possibly because of the word “contact”…

Yes, this author certainly seems well-settled in her personal choices—something that could well-serve many more authors struggling to do what all the “Internet Gurus” are demanding is The Way

Now, some ideas from an author in the USA:

“I think a personal website is one the most important things for a writer. It can have a blog with it and search engines can find it. It contains all the information about current books and a little something about the writer. Other forms of social media don’t seem to yield many results for book sales no matter the format of the book.”

One thing in particular stands out for me in this comment—there are certain estimates of sales attributable to social media vs search directed at authors’ websites and blogs—seems social media, by itself, garners somewhere in the 10% region…

Still… Many folks don’t count on social media for sales—in fact, there are many warnings against spamming people on social media with calls to buy books; using those channels, instead, to show others the author’s interests and values—inviting folks, through their links on their profiles, to visit their Home on the ‘Net…

Finally, the comment from an author in Germany:

“I think a personal website or blog is important for authors. It’s a kind of public shelf where visitors can read old and new thoughts and start one-sided or two-sided conversations. Blogging helps clearing the mind – at least it helps me – and it does this in a somewhat different way than a diary. Maybe the possibility of other people reading forces me to use a clearer language than I would have done scribbling just for my own amusement.

“Facebook is mere marketing. I sometimes chat with friends there, but few posts are interesting enough to click on. Twitter can be a source of information – at least for writers. I’m not sure if others can profit.”

Even though the authors from the USA and Germany recommend a website or blog for writers, I still feel the author from the United Kingdom has an important perspective—especially when there are so many authors who aren’t really trying to sell tons of books…

Plus, the comment from the German author does stress the “public self” nature of a blog or website…

To wrap up this portion of our conversation, I’ll quote Dan Blank ( <— take that link) talking about the tools our discussion is exploring…

“You are told that in order to succeed, you need a website, newsletter, social media and the like.

“It’s not true.

“What you need is clarity on what you create, how to do it, and how to ensure it reaches your ideal audience of readers and supporters. Without these things, all the social media updates in the world won’t help you.”

What are Your thoughts and feelings about all this…?

All it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Blog Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?


Our last conversation, about Beginning to Write a Book, began on August 22nd, continued on August 24th, and persisted on August 26th and August 29thSocial Networking for Writers

And, since there were no comments on the 29th, I’m choosing this new discussion about Social Media and Search.

So, the words, “Which Is Better for a Writer”, in the title means to me that social media and search can both help a writer promote their work (and, I firmly believe that blogging is a form of social media...).

Plus, I wrote “Search Engines” because there are other connections for Search besides Google; but, I’d guess Google gets something over 80% of the queries.

As far as forms of social media besides blogging, I’ll only talk about what I’ve done and leave it to others to comment about what they might find useful…

So…

I’ve been blogging for a little over 20 years; but, my most persistent application of the art began January 1st, 2011 (with the blog you’re in right now), in preparation for the publication of my novel in May of that year.

And, if you doubt blogging can be used as social media, give Google a search; and, for those who don’t take links out of blogs, consider that a blog could be thought of as “longform” tweeting…

Now, the other forms of social media that a person could use include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr; and, an indeterminate set of other platforms.

I’ve never used Whatsapp, Instagram, or Tumblr; and, I only use YouTube to passively watch stuff.

I’ve struggled with Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

LinkedIn got firmly dropped due to its seeming non-intuitive nature…

Facebook died in my eyes after Mr. Zuckerberg double-talked the U. S. Senate…

So, I’m now happily left with Google+ and Twitter; and, it takes me about two hours a day to share various articles and posts from others (plus, just a few of my own…)—using an RSS ReaderWriter’s Knowledge Base, News360, and various important feeds in TweetDeck to find those posts and articles…

Also, because, in the most visited posts on this blog, I said, “…these posts were found, predominantly, with a search engine, not social media links…”, I’ll stress the importance of “tagging” blog posts (adding keywords) to help folks find stuff…

However, a search engine can lead to a particular social media expression from sources other than a blog, which could then lead to a blog………

And, for clarity’s sake, many writers maintain a website that has no blogging functions; so, search becomes absolutely critical for helping folks find them…

Plus, in my own personal “dictionary”, the much used term Social Networking means everything I use to connect with others on the Internet; though, folks younger or in better health than I am actually connect face-to-face…

And, as I type the words, “Sure hope a few of you will join this discussion in the Comments.”, I’m vitally aware that I, personally, feel social media and search engines are Equally and Inextricably Valuable for promoting who I am (which might draw folks to my writing…); yet, I realize that others could well see things differently…

It only takes one comment to have this discussion continue… :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message