Thursday, July 4, 2013

How celebrities use social media & more

So much news this week: how to use social media like a celebrity; the future of the book from a publisher and an author (think "cross-media"); how to reach beyond your fans; more on Facebook hashtags and RSS reader replacements; and much much more on this week's social media news for writers.

How celebrities use social media: Shy when it comes to self-promotion? If you've ever wondered with envy how celebrities are able to pull off some outrageous stunt on Twitter and Facebook, take a look at this article, which might give you some ideas of how to use your social media. 

And if you’re still shy, this article from a political consultant explains how politicians use social media: if you don’t ask people for their support, you won’t get it. Here’s how to ask and still preserve your integrity.

And if you’re into creating a really deep fan experience around your writing, this Fast Co article describes how bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse do just that.

Do books need to be 'innovated': Fast Co interviewed Ana Maria Allessi, vice-president of HarperCollins for innovation, and she had a lot to say about what book publishers need to do and where the future might be headed. "'Publishers need to be thinking like technology companies'...How can a book be made into something more--or other?" She talks about the Book Smash Challenge and other things HarperCollins (probably one of the most forward thinking publishers) is doing to engage 21st century readers.

Authors as well as publishers have tried different things to get their books noticed both by fans and the media, including creating online games for an immersive experience, but in this Mashable article, Goran Racic talks about the “cross-media” promotion he’s developed for his latest novel, Loud Evolution. Besides having a thrillerque book trailer and tweeting as the main character, he’s developed a Minecraft-based game environment tied to the book. His philosophy? " ‘The overall idea is to have a story that's unfolding in real life,’ Racic tells Mashable.’There's so much technology available for storytelling. It just feels natural to combine everything’."
The company responsible for some of the most viral content on the web gives you three easy steps to capturing people’s hearts (and eyeballs) online. If you click on only one link on this page, click on this one.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make the jump from getting the attention only of your known fans to reaching people who don’t know you (or your books), you might gather some insight from Seth Godin’s post on the cycle of media attention, or how buzz builds.

Two weeks ago, we announced that Facebook has instituted hashtags, and that this might help you get posts before the eyes of people who search on those terms, kind of like the way you can search on hashtags in Twitter and see all the posts that have that hashtag, whether you follow the people who posted’em or not. This article provides a bit details as to what’s going on and, if you’re still not clear on what hastags are exactly, read this article.

If you, like me, are still in denial over the demise of Google Reader and struggling to adjust to a new RSS reader, you might enjoy this article with tips on how to make your new reader work for you, and some alternatives in case isn’t cutting it for you.

Fast and furious links:
  • For newbie writers: this article on how to break into the music industry can be applied to starting out in book publishing.
  • Going to be on television? Congratulations. This article from Quartz tells you how to make every second count.
  • End of advertising as we know it: If you haven’t stopped thinking in terms of traditional advertising yet, this article will explain the new paradigm to you. (And even though you hate the word paradigm, you should read the article.)
  • With disappearing photos on Snapchat and 6-second video loops on Vine, this article in Techcrunch asks if social media is entering the time of the ephemeral?
  • Looking for visual inspiration or alternatives to Pinterest to grow your audience? This article lists 14 alternatives to the popular photo-pinning site.
  • Need help staying focused while writing? There’s an app for that.

 Happy Fourth of July!


  1. Wow. I've been clicking through this meaty post all weekend and I still have more to enjoy. Thank you for gathering all these goodies, Alma.

    Network TV has learned that it has to deepen a show's audience experience through the so-called "second screen." Live tweeting during air, especially with the actors, is just the beginning. I've seen additional games or content on websites, like USA Network does with its series. The BURN NOTICE website had a comic of Michael and Fiona's missions in Ireland. The NECESSARY ROUGHNESS website has a reality webseries with its playboy football player TK. Last year, NR had sort of "security training" podcasts with its man of mystery Nico.

    As an author, I find it both exciting and a wee bit $cary (note the dollar sign.) I'd love to turn my series characters loose on different platforms, but that also feels like a bigger gamble than writing a novel on spec. :)

    Thanks again for these informative posts.

    1. Rhonda, yeah, it seems TV and movies have learned how to engage viewers across media. How this will translate to books--not so clear. Rachel Caine has launched a Kickstarter project to produce her own webseries for her Morganville Vampire books. Very exciting. You can read more about it here:

      It will be interesting to see if a webseries can help a book series gain a new audience.

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