11 January 2018

A Facebook Update

I now have an author Facebook page. For those of you who would like to follow me, you can find it here. One of the benefits of having a page on Facebook is that there is a shop tab that takes you directly to Amazon to purchase my books. That is pretty convenient!

I've been doing a lot of research on marketing, and I've picked up some inside information. I have a few new things in the works, and I'll be back blogging to fill you in on everything.

A quick update on Incorruptible . . . it is formatted and ready for proofing. I am just waiting for my proof copy to come in the mail. This is a hard copy of the book as it will be printed. I've seen the formatting in electronic form, and I must say, it is going to be beautiful. One last read-through, and it is on to publication.

05 January 2018

The Naming of Books, My Dilemma

I am struggling with a title for book 4. That is nothing unusual. Vocation was the only book that had a title before the book was written. I struggled with A Future Spring and Incorruptible, until something finally clicked.

The problem with book 4 is, it will also be the first book in a series. So now I need a series title, too.

Just a bit of background. The main character in book 4 is a character who appears briefly in the novella Corruptible. I was so intrigued with him that I had to write his story.  Corruptible takes place in the 1930s, and book 4 begins in 1939. I am having so much fun writing my first historical novel that I want to make it into a series. Book 2 in the series is already forming in my mind, and all this is really exciting.

My character’s name is Michael Danvers. I want to write my series around his family—the Danvers family. So the Danvers Series sounds great. Doesn’t it? Well, there is already a series out there with that name. Then I thought of the Danvers Family Series. Again, that’s taken. Then there is the Danvers Chronicles, but that sounds generational, and I don’t plan to write something like Roots. I plan to stick with one generation. Besides there is already a Danvers Chronicles. I could use the Danvers Saga, but it sounds so boring, doesn’t it? Who wants to read a saga?

So this is my dilemma: I need to think of a title for book 1 in the series, book 2 in the series, and the series itself. 

I hope some inspiration comes soon.

02 January 2018

Social Media Etiquette

What is the proper etiquette on social media? Do manners apply in the same way they might apply in person? Is the etiquette on Facebook the same as it might be on Instagram or Twitter? All good questions, and I am about to answer them to the best of my ability.

Whenever I have a dilemma on how I want to project my professional image, I usually observe the people around me. I can see what I don’t like or how I don’t like to be treated, and that serves as a standard for my own behavior. I also have a few authors I use as my inspiration, and I follow their example.

I guess it’s a modification of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If I don’t like spam, why would I spam someone else? If I don’t like being added to someone’s personal group on Facebook, then I don’t imagine I would add someone to mine. If I don’t like personal messages from strangers, well, you get the picture.

I haven’t had too many problems on Instagram. Just the usual follow by a stranger, who then drops you the moment you follow back. I’ve learned if the person has an overwhelming number of followers, with a fraction of people they follow back, then most likely they are going to drop you as soon as you follow them. It’s polite to follow back, but I won’t, if I suspect I am being used to inflate their follow numbers. I have some pride, after all.

I also haven’t had too many problems on Twitter. Most people do follow back. You get an occasional problem with someone using you to inflate their numbers, but not as often as you find on Instagram. There is more spamming on Twitter, however. Follow me for a free book. Sign up for my newsletter for a free download. And I’ll let you in on a secret right here and now: It doesn’t work, not on me anyway. Sure I may give it a go, but once I get the free deal, I rarely stay interested. I guess they see it as a gamble. If you have 500 people sign up, maybe 1 or 2 will become loyal and stay. For me, I need to build a relationship, and I think that rule applies whether I know you in person or on social media.

Facebook is by far the worst. When I joined again in December I was inundated with indie authors friending me, then sending me invites to their business pages, and then adding me to their private reading groups—without my permission. I got so frustrated, I was ready to quit Facebook all over again. There aren’t as many safety features on Facebook. You can have a completely private account on Instagram and Twitter, but not on Facebook. Anyone can send you a friend request—or friends of friends. Those are the only settings. So I would get a friend request, accept it, and before I knew it, I had 50 people I did not know inviting me to pages I had absolutely no interest in and adding me to their private group pages. It finally stopped after I unfriended most of these authors. I must have found the source of the problem.

I am very particular about my feeds, as well. I don’t want certain things showing up there—like an atheist spewing about how stupid Christmas is, or semi-pornographic pictures posted by an author of erotica. I would hope, if you decide to friend me or follow me, you would first check my “about” section. But they don’t. They just want the followers.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have met a lot of great people on social media. They have become online friends, so I do accept friend requests from people I don’t know. But there has to be a commonality—for me it is writing, my faith, my hobbies, and Crohn’s Disease (or Ulcerative Colitis).  I have been supported in many ways over the years by people who where once online strangers. But don’t just friend me to get something out of me.