Reviews, Views and Adventures in Content Creation

Friday, March 28, 2014

Follow Friday - and Why!

Twitter's "Follow Friday" concept, where users post a small list of their most appreciated followers, tends to be annoying after a while.  Some, if they're mentioned in a #FollowFriday post, will retweet that post, thereby sharing all others on the list as well. If just two or three followers repost, everyone else on the list is flooded with multiple notifications.

I thought I would try something that might provide a little more value in the spirit of Follow Friday. Instead of simply listing users in a tweet, I'll tweet a Follow Friday link, and bring any interested Twitter users here, where they can see not only who I'm recognizing this week, but why. For all concerned, this might be a more productive approach to sharing and generating followers.

So, here is my list for Friday, March 28, 2014 - along with their Twitter Profiles - and a comment or two from me!

I make short movies promoting animal shelters because it's the badass thing to do
[My nephew and partner in RoadTrip crime - and a writer of award-winning screenplays]

I edit, therefore I am.
[My niece and owner of this editing/proofreading service - without her, my book wouldn't have seen the light of day!]

Hudson County's last & only bookstore! We sponsor community events and buy/sell used books. Our space is available for rental. Support our mission
[I'm on the other side of the country from SymposiaBooks, but I appreciate that they will retweet my book news!]

#USAF Vet, Ret #EMS, #indieuthor of Trauma Junkie, #scifi Shades of Amber, Screenwriter & Future #showrunner, Join KM & I will tweet the SH&T outta your books.
[Another faithful retweeter of my book news!]

Entrepreneur, veggie food junkie, and owner of Bollywood Step Dance! Kinda nice, sorta naughty!
[Good Friend, has appeared in one of my documentaries, and sometime collaborator]

[The Flores Family provided some great feedback as I wrote my first book! I call them my Canadian Contingent]

Author of the middle grade novel, The Dragonlord's Heir, and the Ascalon Trilogy. Cosplayer, gamer, and lover of all things Batman.
[I think I last met Christina when she was about a year old. Thanks to Facebook (and her grandmother), I can follow the emergence of this YA author!]

Managing Editor of The Stinger magazine, Co-founder of Pierless Music, Radio DJ, vlogger, blogger, music lover, ex-Drummer, blah, blah, blah.
[Resident of Hastings UK, I first met Andy during a Santa Monica YouTube meet-up in 2010, and caught up with him in Hastings in 2013]

Just a guy who spends too much time online
[We go WAY back. I could tell ya stories. An old high school friend and YouTube/social media veteran]

[I keep threatening to make a documentary about a certain Florida family that's dedicated to YouTube - here they are!]

People know me as FUR's mom - But I make videos too! :) Love GOD, my family, YouTube, the Keys and Disney!
[The Mom. These kids have incredibly cool parents that fully support YouTube madness- one of the reasons I'd still like to make the documentary]

I'm FUR! Yes, MY NAME IS FUR! :) I'm a 16 yr old who shares my life and personality making content for YouTube - so... WHAT THE FUR!?! - JOIN ME! :)
[Aspiring filmmaker, writer, and dedicated YouTuber]

I am me, you are you, and we are in my world now. Welcome to My World!
Look behind you  ·
[YouTuber, Musician - and he wrote a fantastic review of my book. I quote him]

I LOVE making Youtube videos, playing video games, doing art, watching TOBUSCUS, CRUSHING ON JENNIFER LAWRENCE, Spending time with God and my family! :)
[11 years old, emerging YouTubers - and he bears a striking physical resemblance to Alexander, the main character in my novel - if I can afford to get down to Florida, he just might be in a book trailer...]

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Short Story Ebook Published: Now What?

As of today, my ebook-only short story Why Do You Think They Call It a Ghost Town is available on Amazon sites worldwide (including the US, UK and Canada). It's already available from other popular ebook retailers, as well.

While this short story helps me to establish a slightly larger presence as a writer - one of my prime objectives as I continue to work toward completion of my second novel, I'm still considering how I might promote this work.

This short story is simply entertainment - it doesn't pretend to be anything else. While "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain" addresses aspects of bullying, and the second book in the series will address self-image issues, Ghost Town places Alexander in a real-life ghost town of Bodie, California for a creepy little adventure. It developed out of visits my nephew and I made to Bodie a couple of years ago.

Here are a few questions I'm pondering:

  1. How can I promote short, light entertainment?
  2. How can I encourage readers to port reviews for a short, light entertainment? 
  3. Since my primary audience are likely to be middle-grade readers (extending to about thirteen or so), how can I reach that age group effectively - and, will they be interested in this sort of short fiction?
  4. Should I consider a fully illustrated physical edition of this book, perhaps offered in time for Halloween? It might prove to be a major undertaking, but could be an attractive platform for this particular story.
Meanwhile, I continue work on my second novel, obsessively check my Amazon and Bookbaby stats, experiment with promotional tools, and contemplate my path forward as a writer.

As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.

Follow me on Twitter, @rickflix

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Short Story Eyeballs

I'm still waiting for Why Do You Thing They Call it a Ghost Town? to turn up on Amazon - though BookBaby's stats show that it should be showing up any moment now. In the meantime, I remain puzzled as to how to effectively promote a short story. While there are extensive resources online to help an author promote a novel or  non-fiction book (resources I haven't yet learned how to use too effectively, by the way), I haven't yet discovered a strategy to raise awareness of my short story.

Of course, this short story doesn't have the same "heft" as "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain." The novel is about Alexander's wildly outlandish fears of bullying, while Ghost Town is, really, a simple tall tale about Alexander's experience in a wild west ghost town.  While I think it's fun, (though I'm still waiting for reviews - insert serious-face emoticon here), I'm really not sure how to encourage readers to purchase a short story. To be perfectly honest, I've rarely purchased a short story online.

Actually, selling the short story was never the primary objective. Since the follow up to "Food Chain" has taken longer than anticipated, I wanted to make certain I maintained some level of creative output as I build my presence as an author. I also saw the idea of creating a series of "Alexander's Shorts" as a good way of cross promoting the "franchise." Ideally, I'd like to be publishing a new story every couple of months, and a new book every year.  To reach that goal, I need to find a way to build awareness and readership.

Alexander needs eyeballs.

Remember, you can follow me @rickflix