Tags: twitter

Blood Will Tell

Tweets - what’s good and what’s not

It seems like Twitter has supplanted blogs (to my sorrow, I like blogging quite a bit). And for all I know maybe Tumblr and Pinterest are the cool things now.

I don't have either of those, although I do have a GoodReads account, a Facebook, and a FB author page. And a Twitter account, @aprilhenrybooks. If it weren't for Twitter, I wouldn't have found out some most excellent news a couple of nights ago. I'm waiting for more official confirmation, but until then, here's an article I just read about Twitter.

The Harvard Business Review looked at what makes for a good tweet.

- Random thought
- Self promo
- Question
- Info

Not so good:
- Opinion/complaint
- What I’m doing
- Presence maintenance
- Conversation

Read more about what works best with Twitter here.

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Blood Will Tell

What really sells books - you've got to read this post

Back in 2008, I took a terrific PASIC (Published Authors Special Interest Chapter of Romance Writers of America) class (which you didn’t need to write romances or even be a member of RWA to take) about promotion from Allison Brennan.

Now she’s got a great blog post about all the pressure that publishers put on authors - and authors put on themselves - to promote their books.

As she says:

Twitter does not sell books.

Facebook does not sell books.

And unless you have a blog that’s read by tens of thousands of unique visitors a day, blogging does not sell books.

What does?

Read her essay here.

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Blood Will Tell

Want to know what your kids are up to?

TrueCare is a web-monitoring system that tracks your child’s social networks for any words that might set off a red flag.Once you install the program, it will alert you any time one of the 500 “warning words” comes across your child’s social network. One catch is that costs $9.99 a month, and it only works if you already know your kids’s passwords.

According to TrueCare, the 500 words cover categories such as: "Sex, Depression, Bullying, Suicide, Drugs, Alcohol and Racism."

When a Washington Post reporter set it up, it caught everything from a story about Hugh Hefner's ex (because of the word "Crystal" which could refer to meth) to an Ernest Hemingway quote (“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools”).

A review I read said some of the words were: "40, drink, trees and party." Trees? Am I old now, because what does "trees" mean?

Oh, wait, I guess it means drugs. Here are top 20 words generating parental notifications:
1. HATE (bullying/racism)
2. PARTY (alcohol/drugs)
3. STUPID (bullying)
4. UGLY (bullying)
5. X (alcohol/drugs)
6. DAMN (bullying)
7. KILL (bullying/racism)
8. FIRE (drugs)
9. A** (bullying/racism)
10. TREES (drugs)
11. SH*T (drugs/bullying/racism)
12. BUSTED (drugs)
13. FREAK (bullying)
14. POSER (bullying)
15. DRINK (alcohol/drugs
16. ICE (drugs)
17 LOVE (sex)
18. BITCH (bullying)
19. LOSER (bullying)
20. MONKEY (sex/bullying)
20. HOMO (bullying)
20 SEX (sex)

Too bad that love is one of the trigger words.

The Washington Post also says, "For checking cellphones, My Mobile Watchdog and Mobile Spy track text messages. My Mobile Watchdog, which costs $9.95 a month and does not work for iPhones, is not spyware. The telephone user knows he or she is being monitored. Mobile Spy, which costs $99.97 for the year, can be put on a phone without the user knowing about it."

I don't know. I think I would just rather talk to Teen.

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Blood Will Tell

Why do so many people on Twitter have bios like this one?

From my latest follower: "Film / TV Actor, Group X instructor, Personal Trainer, Motivational Positive Believer, Accountability Partner & The Next A-List Celebrity"

A. Can you really be all those things all the time?
B. What does "Motivational Positive Believer" mean?
C. If I had an Accountability Partner would I not have had cold pizza for breakfast?
D. I thought I was the next A-list celebrity.

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Blood Will Tell

A stranger calls - to remind you that death can find you anywhere

Imagine you are at a bar or restaurant and you tweet about it, not even naming the place. A little while later, an employee says there's a call for you. When you answer, a voice calls you by name and says, "Like this phone call, death can catch you anywhere, anytime. Don't you want to leave a last message before it's too late?"

This is actually really happening. Ad age reports: This is "an actual scenario, being played out again and again, in the service of a web app called If I Die from a startup called Willook. Two Israeli boutique agencies have collaborated in the effort, which chooses prospects from the Twittersphere, follows their feeds and -- using the geolocation metadata embedded in the tweets to ascertain the prospect's whereabouts -- phones them there to recommend If I Die. Yes, the marketer just appears, like the Grim Reaper, to warn you that the Grim Reaper can just appear. The offer is to leave a farewell (or parting shot) for friends, enemies or loved ones via your iPhone or whatever."

Read more about this rather creepy use of technology and social media.

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Blood Will Tell

I don't think so

I'm changing this slightly (but not making it any worse), but I just saw a bio on Twitter that reads in part: ""Im A Author have Written 4 Book's"

Just bitchy today, I guess.

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Blood Will Tell

Build relationships

A couple of thing have landed in my inbox lately that made me think.

One was a Sisters in Crime survey showing that blogging led to very few book sales.

Another was an offer from someone who was looking to be my social media consultant: “We all know that social media is a huge resource for obtaining buzz about our books - but keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, online book tours, etc can be a lot of work! Especially when you're smack in the middle of edits, out doing book signings, or busy writing your next manuscript. That's where I can help. I've been a blogger for almost 9 years now. I've been on Twitter for several years - having joined when it was still in its infancy. I've ghost blogged and ghost Twittered for a variety of companies. I know how to grow your followers. I know who to follow, who to talk to, and how to do it.”

Here’s what I see wrong with both of those scenarios.

You shouldn’t blog because you think it will lead to more sales. You should blog because you love it. If you don’t love it, it’s going to show. If you hire someone else to do it, that’s going to show, too.

And don’t hire someone to ghost Tweet for you. Yes, if you are a company, you might hire someone to be your voice. But if you are a real person, only you can be you.

Sure, I think it’s fine to have someone help you get up to speed on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. I think it’s more than fine to hire someone to design your website - a website that reflects your personality.

But at the end of the day, I want to have real conversations with real people - not their paid mouthpieces. And I tune out people who are clearly all about selling their books.

Back when I worked in PR full time, our department had a slogan: “We build relationships.” That’s what it all comes down to, I think, when thinking about blogging and Facebook and Twitter and whatever else: you build relationships. And if you’re too busy, give your real life and your real writing priority. If you find you don’t enjoy it, stop.

Build relationships. Don’t buy them. Don’t frantically try to turn a relationship into a purchase decision. Build relationships.

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Who would Jesus shoot?

I'm on Twitter - @aprilhenrybooks. So I got a new follower today. Her Tweets are mostly Biblical quotes and then this: "Hey Louisvillians -- have you checked out the new gun shop on Hurstbourne Parkway yet? 111 Gun Shop. Nice selection, good prices. FYI."

The juxtaposition seems a tad jarring.

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Tweeting even after you're dead

I don’t care if it was with his family’s blessing, this just feels a bit creepy

I can still remember exactly how I felt reading Sophie's Choice back in 1979. There was a book that blew me away!

Now, despite having been dead for the past four years, Styron is Tweeting . It seems to basically be a series of quotes from his books, and announcements of upcoming ebooks.

I wonder if after I’m dead Teen will agree for them to hologram me to shill my own work?

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