Sunday 30 June 2013

If Best Selling Authors were self-published....

..... little known, and struggling to get themselves read - can you imagine how they might promote themselves on Twitter?

Jackie Collins @JackieC

Writer ~ sexually charged romantic suspense
Characters fictional, any similarity to real people
purely coincidental... honest...
No DMs, please.  

Beverly Hills, LA

@JackieC  Lazing in the sun today?  So much better with those HOLLYWOOD WIVES... #summerreads #BYNR


Jeffrey Archer @JArcherWrites

Amazon Bestselling Author of A MATTER OF HONOUR, KANE & ABEL
Award winning blagger (sorry, blogger)
Dramatist. Mediapreneur. Political animal

@JArcherWrites Get Amazon Bestseller A TIME WILL TELL #now! This wknd ONLY £2.99! #it's2.99allthetimereally #IndieBooksBeSeen


Bill Bryson @BillsTravels

Goes to lots of places and writes about them
All round nice guy (My wife says)
I've got one of those blog things too

@BillsTravels Hi Guys, sorry haven't RTd for 3 months - been hiking the Appalachian trail!


Sophie Kinsella @chicklitprincess

Author of the SHOPAHOLIC series on Amazon
Chocaholic, wineaholic 
Pretend to be @MadelineWickham when I get fed up with 
writing about totally brain dead women

@chicklitprincess YAY!  Booksigning was brill & met the lovely @MarianKeyes there! #goddesslit


Stephen King @ScaryGuy

Author.  Paranormal & all that shit
Hates self-promo. Schedules tweets so doesn't have to 
talk to anyone

@ScaryGuy What if you broke down in the snow and got rescued by.... your biggest fan?  MISERY #250morewhenyou'vefinishedthisone 


Jilly Cooper @PiscesWriterLady

Author of jolly romps Riders, Rivals, etc.  Wife, mother, proud Granny
Loves gardening, drinking wine, and common people;
they're so frightfully sweet and amusing!

A simply super house in rural Glos

@PiscesWriterLady Sitting in garden typing today.  Not getting hang of this Twitter lark.  Can someone tell me how to add links?


John Grisham @JohnGrisham

Amazon bestselling author of THE FIRM, THE CLIENT, etc.
Former lawyer and pretty cool guy.  
Totally gets all this branding stuff

@JohnGrisham Amazon Bestseller THE FIRM - soon to be made into a film starring that fish face lady and that mad short-arse puff bloke #MustRead


Emily Barr @Adventurer

Contemporary Fiction author
Former travel journalist, now dipping my toes into 
the water of self-publishing!
Wife, mother, teacher


@Adventurer Off abroad to escape horrendous trauma of my past life - oh, no, sorry, that's my character...


Douglas Kennedy @TheOtherMaineWriter

Contemporary Fiction/Thriller Writer
I observe, I plot, I write
Pretentious, moi?

Lone Beach house in Maine

@TheOtherMaineWriter New #blog post: Writing Women characters: just give them a female name and then write them as you would a man #sorted 


Danielle Steel @Superwoman

Prolific romance author living the American Dream, and then some :)
Published by $$DollarSigns Press
Wife and Mom
(I have my own perfume, too)

@Superwoman Morning Tweeps!  Edited one novel, researched another, fought law suit - phew, must be time for breakfast!  What have you guys got planned for today?


Jack Kerouac @JKerouac

Existentialist. Poet. Non-conformist.  
Hates Labels
Writes a bit

On The Road

@JKerouac New #Blog post: So what's all this #BeatGeneration shit about anyway? via #MondayBlogs


Enid Blyton @FarawayTree

Children's Author.
Tuck boxes filled with high cholesterol food,
delinquent schoolgirls,
girls who pretend to be boys, and men 
with saucepans on their heads...

@FarawayTree What happened when Dick met Fanny?  #kidlit #fantasy #MustRead


GRR Martin @Direwolf

Author of epic #fantasy series
Books 6 & 7 out in 2015... or 2016..... or ....


@Direwolf  Struggling with WIP.  Jon Snow - secret Targaryen?  Is Cold Hands Benjen Stark?  Could do with some more likes on my FB page


JK Rowling @Gryffindor

Author of Harry Potter series for children #fantasy
Also written adult (not erotica!) novel CASUAL VACANCY
Single Mum
Twitter Newbie - please be patient!

@Gryffindor Sitting in cafe (with baby!) writing another #HarryPotter book, dreaming of bestsellerdom!  via Blackberry


EL James @MeAndMrGrey

Author of erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey, series planned
Chasing that book deal, like everyone else...
I don't follow trends, I set them

Chained to the bed, NW1

@MeAndMrGrey Anyone fancy being knocked about by a misogynistic psycho? #ASMSG #BDSM

If you enjoyed this and would like to see some more, you can find part two HERE and part three HERE

Saturday 22 June 2013

When he's just not that into you....

Do you remember that episode of Sex And The City, when the four women are sitting around a table in a restaurant discussing the new man in Miranda's life, who is, she says, 'giving off mixed signals'?  When she can't decide what it means when he declines her offer of 'coffee'; they've been out a few times but she's not quite sure where it's going.  The others offer suggestions - perhaps he's been hurt recently, maybe he has issues with commitment - hey, perhaps he had an early meeting to go to next day... 

Also present at this lunch is Carrie's new boyfriend, Jack Berger.  The ladies turn to him and ask him for the man's point of view.  Why does he think Miranda's new man is holding back?  Berger looks a bit uncomfortable and says those words: "perhaps he's just not that into you."

The girls are horrified, but Miranda is the first to agree with what he's saying.

As you may know, there is not only a film, but also a book about all this stuff - how to tell if a guy is just not that into you - as if you really need telling! But sometimes we do, though, don't we?  Men and women both...

I touched upon this subject in my much read blog post entitled Love Truths ~  ~ and I was thinking about it today because of the various love conundrums in my current novel-in-progress.  We've all kidded ourselves at some point...  

Years ago, this girl I knew (I'll call her Sally) was telling me about this guy she'd been going out with for two months.  She was nuts about him.  It was all 'Adam said this' and 'Adam thinks that'.  I never actually saw him with her; when (carefully) questioned, she said that she'd met him at a party, then he'd phoned her a week later, and they'd gone out a week after that.   They'd spoken on the phone once or twice (I suspected it was once rather than twice), but then he went on holiday skiing with his friends.  They'd met up for lunch shortly after he got back, and he'd phoned her last week and talked about taking her out the next.  So, she reckoned she'd been going out with him for two months.  This sequence of events, during which she had met up with him precisely twice, had taken place over a period of two months, yes... He was very busy, she told me, which is why he couldn't see her very often.  I'd be willing to put money on the fact that Sally rarely cropped up in Adam's thoughts.

I've seen a fair few other friends, over the years, going through angst for months over some bloke who only wanted to see them once a week, and I've wanted to say to them, look, if the guy wanted to see you more than that, he would; but of course it's hard to say that, isn't it?  So I've trotted out all those platitudes, just like Miranda's friends: you know what he went through with Jane/Charlotte; perhaps he's scared of getting hurt again.  That football must take up a lot of his time.  His job's so demanding, he probably doesn't feel like going out during the week.  Etc, etc, etc.  

I've talked to male friends who've told me all about women they like who've kept them guessing with those wretched 'mixed signals'..... hell, I'll admit it, I've done it too, in me younger single days.  Kidded myself, I mean.  Spent one or two evenings with some chap, heard nothing, then made a point of going to the pub he was likely to be in.  It's all pointless.  If someone wants to spend time with you, you know about it.  If they don't, turning up in their local, rock chicked up to the nines, won't make them fancy you any more than they do already, which is probably not very much.  My theory is this: if you have to discuss with your friends whether or not he/she really cares for you, then it's likely he/she doesn't.

D'you remember that awful waiting-by-the-phone thing?  Before mobiles, before you could just text someone, before 'friending' them on Facebook before you even went out with them, when you had to sit in and wait for that wretched phone call?  There is no silence more deafening than a phone that refuses to ring!  Then there are those excuses you make ~

Maybe he had an emergency at work

Perhaps his phone is out of order

Hey, perhaps MY phone is out of order.  Operator?  Operator?

He might have lost my phone number

He might have had some terrible accident....

Wrong, wrong, wrong!  It doesn't matter how busy someone is, if phoning you is important, they'll make the time.  Even if they really have lost your number, they'll find SOME way of getting in touch.

There's something gruesomely intriguing about observing people who won't take that unsaid 'no' for an answer, isn't there?  Maybe it's a case of  "there but by the good sense God gave me, go I"!! I wrote about a Facebook stalker in the first book I published On Amazon, You Wish, and had great fun making Petra do some cringe-makingly awful things....

Then there's the other side - you know what it's like when someone's keener on you than you are on them? It's so hard to let them down, isn't it?   You keep hoping they'll get the message without you having to spell it out!  

Nobody wants to be that person, do they?

If you're waiting on someone's phone calls, wondering why he keeps putting you off, remember that if he doesn't call you, if he lets you down over and over again, it's probably just because he's not that into you. What to do about it?  Right, here's the solution!  I promise you, it works....

.... stop tearing your hair out over why he won't commit, and accept that maybe he just isn't bothered.  Guys, she perhaps just wants someone to take her out when she hasn't got anyone else around.  Once you realise that you can't make someone have that 'thing' for you when they just haven't, you'll be free to go out and find someone who will - and IS that into you!!!

Thursday 6 June 2013

The Twitterscope - what's your Twitter 'sign'??

I used to be very interested in astrology, trying to work out what sign someone was as soon as I met them.  I was known for saying tedious things like "of course you're sceptical about astrology, you're a Taurus" - and I would smile with satisfaction when an adventurous, travel loving Sagittarian told me how much she loved a wee flutter on the horses, or when I watched a Piscean stare dreamily out to sea.  

I'm a sucker for those quizzes that tell you if you're an extrovert idealist, or an introvert realist, too - and, with this categorising-of-psychological-types fetish I have, I've also noticed the way different types of personality are expressed by behaviour on social networking sites, particularly Twitter.  It doesn't matter whether you are a writer promoting your books, a musician promoting your band, someone who just enjoys these sites for the social side - whether you're a book reviewer, a businessperson or a Belieber, your basic Twitter personality will still shine through!

(My Twitter friend E L Lindley has written a good post on this sort of thing, too - she likened hers to the different characters you find in the school playground, which I liked very much - here is her post:

This is not an in depth psychological study, it's just a bit of fun! It also refers to the avid Twitterer, not people who tweet once or twice every other day...  I gotta have something to work with, right??!  So forget the 12 signs of the zodiac - here are my 12 Twitter personality types - which 'sign' (or combination of two/three) are you??!

(for ease of reading, I've called them all either 'she' or 'he', though of course they apply to both sexes)

~ ~ The Twitterscope ~ ~ 

1.  The Friend

The Friend likes to chat.  Her first post of the day is often a "Good morning Twitter!"  - and she says goodnight, too.  She follows people from the #FollowFriday lists, and says hello to them when they follow her back - and all her 'hellos' are genuine, not those ghastly auto tweet ones that look really matey but are actually just churned out via some app, to all followers.  She doesn't just retweet your blog post, she reads it, too, and maybe even comments.  She tweets about her life.  She helps you promote stuff.  If you met her in real life you'd be mates.
The other side ~ Sometimes the friend makes you feel guilty because you fear you don't give enough back.  However, this is not her intention - she just has a generous and amiable nature.  Mostly The Friend is all good.  Happily, there are many of these on Twitter!

2.  The Socialite

The Socialite is similar to The Friend, but is more self-interested.  Some of her friendly overtures are to do with networking, rather than genuine interest in people, but she'll still be a fun Twitter friend, spreading herself far and wide. She probably has Twitter and Facebook and Goodreads and whatever else all connected, but is savvy enough to make her posts relevant to all sites.  She tweets less about her life than The Friend, more just social comment.  She understands the importance of social networking in today's online world, and will pass on useful connections to you, too, so can be a good person to have in your circle of virtual friends - it's not all about her!  
The other side ~ She will forget about you if you don't communicate with her.  She works from her interactions screen, not her news feed, so unless you tag her into a post she will probably never see it... or you...

3.  The Cynic 

The Cynic usually has one of those bios that says something like:  "Writer.  Blogger. Not as funny as he thinks he is", etc etc - one word descriptions, a bit dry, maybe even including some suggestion that he doesn't do bullshit.  If he thinks something you've posted is crap/pretentious/naive, he will tell you so, most articulately.  If you post a great deal of those so-called 'profound' quotes ('dance like no-one is watching', etc etc) he'll probably ask you how many times a day you visit the Profound Quotes website, then unfollow you.  He says things you think but don't dare say.  He makes you laugh.  If he's reading this, his comment will be "How come The Friend and The Socialite are female, but The Cynic is male?"  
The other side ~ Not for the faint-hearted - but at least you know that if he is telling you he likes something, he means it.  And you don't have to wade through any bullshit with him, either

4.  The Activist

The Activist may have started her Twitter profile to promote some cause, or she may not.  She does, however, click on the links to new articles about dead important stuff, and comment about it.  She'll retweet your article about the closure of libraries, the rise of UKIP, the endangerment of the world bee population, whatever, and find a few of her own, too.  She tweets for signatures for petitions, or even starts them, or looks for sponsors for charities.  She uses Twitter to spread her own message and those of others - she cares.  She really does, and she tries to do something about it, too.
The other side ~ The Activist's pathetic cousin is The 'Clicktivist' - she copies & pastes those 'raise awareness about autism/Alzheimers/bad hair days' posts on Facebook, but doesn't actually do anything at all. The Activist, however, is too often busy to join in with your larking about type Twitter conversations.  She won't give you a whole lot of virtual hugs, either - but I reckon that's a good thing....

5.  The Star

When The Star posts stuff on Twitter, people read, comment, 'favourite' and retweet.  He may be well-known in real life or he may be plain old Joe or Jane Bloggs, but his charisma breathes its way into your computer screen, somehow.  He knows that people will listen to him, and want to hear what he has to say, so his posts come across as confident.  It's not a big-headed thing, it just is.  His profile photo remains the same; it's his brand, but this probably isn't even a conscious decision; he's much too confident to worry about looking for a picture that will appeal to people.  He doesn't need to. He's good to follow because he's interesting and entertaining.  
The other side ~ You may not get a whole load of interaction from him, because you're competing with so many others.

6.  The Tutor

The Tutor wants to help everyone.  She posts articles that will help her Twitter friends with anything from book marketing to job interview tips, to being a social networking star to blog writing to gardening hints.  She knows her stuff, and will help anyone who wants to learn from her.  She starts off hashtags to bring Tweeters together for greater effect, new profiles to spread her word further.  She talks sense.  Does she just do all this because she likes to feel important/needed?  Probably not, but even if she does, so what?  Her desire to impart knowledge and help everyone to 'step up their game' benefits everyone who cares to listen.
The other side ~ Some may find her a tad dictatorial, offering opinions about the 'wrong' ways people use Twitter, for instance, and making you feel like crap because you're guilty of some of these alleged sins... but, hey, you want to learn, don't you?  Or you wouldn't be following her, reading her posts, signing up to her blog....

7.  The Entertainer 

The Entertainer is always worth following.  He posts not only informative, helpful articles about whatever subject most of his Tweep circle are into, but also funny stuff, cartoons, interesting news items.  He appears to have no other agenda, aside from the desire to amuse and entertain.  He probably spends a lot of time at home and doesn't have a lot to do, has a genuine love for the online life and loads of interesting sites on his desk top shortcuts from where he pulls all these posts. He's the host with the most - he takes an interest in what you're doing, too, taking an active part in the #FF scene, getting people together.  
The other side ~ Is he just building up this great Twitter following because he's got a book coming out soon and wants you all to buy it?  Or because he wants to sell his editing services?  Fair enough, if he is - there are worse Twitter sins!  Most Entertainers just do it because they like to share stuff, that's all - "hey, I've just watched this brilliant film, you've got to see it" ~ !!

8.  The Busy Person

The Busy Person doesn't have much time for Twitter, but wants to use it as best she can, because she wants to promote something.  She's probably got a very demanding job, maybe only actually tweeting 'live' once a week - she schedules most of her tweets on a weekly basis - this will probably include tweets to help promote her Twitter friends, too.  Once she's done a nice little tweet about your book or your blog or your business, you can be sure that it will appear twice a week for the rest of your life - she knows that marketing is not a one way street and wants to help her friends, too.  She'd talk to you all if she could, she just doesn't have the time!  
The other side ~ It can all seem a little robotic, can't it?  You might want to comment on something in her tweet, but of course she probably doesn't even have the time to look at her interactions.  She's not ignoring you...honest!

9.  The Wounded Soul

He wears his heart on his sleeve.  He may even have something in his bio that reflects some hardship in his life, so that you know where he's coming from - and I don't mean his physical location.  Sometimes his tweets say things like "Wish people would mean what they say..." - then, of course, some of his tweeps will say, "What's up?", which may be the reaction he was after.  When he's feeling strong, he posts things like "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  He will be sympathetic to all your plights, too, ready with a virtual listening ear.  He chats to people a lot, and becomes bosom buddies with them pretty quickly, sending them virtual {{hugs}} and all the rest of it. Sometimes he sends you {{hugs}} when you haven't even interacted.  
The other side ~ Sometimes you just want to have a bit of a laugh, that's all....

10.  The Loner

The Loner doesn't chat.  He tweets about his book, or his poems, or his blog, or his model railway magazine, but he doesn't communicate.  He may well retweet you on a regular basis, but that is his only form of interaction, apart from the odd 'thank you' - if you do something for him (put him an #FF list, do a tweet about his model railway magazine), this is all he will say. Nothing that will give you an opening to chat further - if indeed he reacts at all.  He doesn't really like social networking, but accepts that he must do it a bit to promote whatever it is.  He's had the same profile photo for the last four years, but this isn't because he's building a brand, it's just because he knew he had to have one, that's all, so dug one up from somewhere.  Probably a nice chap, but you'll never know, will you?
The other side ~ When the loner disappears from Twitter - which he will, eventually - few people even notice.  He disappears because he finds that promotion via social media has not 'worked' for him.  He doesn't realise this is because he has never communicated with anyone...

11.  The Saddo

The Saddo appears in two forms.  The first uses social networking in an effort to get laid, albeit virtually.  His overtures might be overtly sexual, or just a bit pathetic. He will tweet things like 'hello how are you' with no punctuation, and without you having followed him.  He will try this many times, then move his attentions elsewhere when you fail to respond.  He's the sweaty Billy No Mates in the pub, the one who leers at you from across the room but daren't come across to talk to you.  His profile picture might be a section of torso or (in the more extreme form) the male genitalia, neither of which belong to him.  The less overtly sexual Saddo will use a blurry self-portrait taken on his mobile phone, or just the Twitter egg.  
The second type of Twitter Saddo sends spam-style tweets to both followers and non-followers in a desperate attempt to sell you something; this will be his only form of interaction.  He is very, very strange
The other side ~ You might feel sorry for him and want to befriend him, particularly if you are The  Friend.  The best thing about The Saddo is that he's not too hard to get rid of - a simple BLOCK usually works.

12.  The Robot

Whatever category you fit into, or whatever combination of categories, I can guarantee this one won't be included.  Why not?  Because the percentage of Robots reading this article will be zero.  The Robot is rarely actually on Twitter, and therefore rarely sees anyone else's posts.  She does everything via hootsuite and other apps that schedules tweets - and auto follow back, auto unfollow and probably auto wipe her backside; she's the one who sends those infuriating 'thanks for following, here's my website' DMs that we all hate. She auto retweets, too - yes, it's her and her mates who RT all your random conversation!  You know, 'contributed tweets from @TheRobot are provided by @SomeCrapApp', etc.  She is not like The Busy Person, who gets the best out of scheduling; she knows nothing about any of her followers, because she never sees their tweets.  She churns the same things out, mostly links to whatever she is promoting.  Occasionally, though, you will see one that says something like "How is everyone today?"  This, too, will be a scheduled tweet.  She thinks Hootsuite is Twitter.  Sometimes The Robot realises she doesn't interact enough to make Twitter 'work' for her, so she gets one of those apps that add your name into the tweet, too: "Love your blog, Jane! Thanks for following".  Don't be fooled; she hasn't read your blog at all.  
The other sideI think I've said it all, really....

So what's your sign???  I'm not sure ~ I think I might be The Cynic with The Entertainer rising, and possibly Moon in The Tutor....!!

And finally.....

In some cases, it does need saying...!!