The Art of Publishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest round of NEW BIG NEWS in publishing is The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. Speculation is that Harbach got $650,000 for his first-time novel, and yes it will actually be printed in real book form. Gasp!

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter proposed what this novel, and this deal, says about the direction, or lack thereof, of the publishing industry in this month’s editor’s letter in his magazine. What are your thoughts about the state of the industry? Agree with Carter or disagree? To the keyboards! 

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Advertisements

The Best Social Media Tips Ever! Part II and a stiff one to beat the Texas heat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You ever have that time when you know you published your blog and then it shows up in the “draft” column, not the “published” section? Turns out the Tools for Tuesday blog of the ‘Best Social Media Tips Ever!’ did just that. So, I published the Part I yesterday. That means today is a “two-fer-Thursday.” Here’s the link to Part II of The Best Social Media Tips Ever!” and a great recipe for a “Mojito Fresco.” If you don’t know what Mojitos are, they are drinks that combine muddled limes, mint leaves and rum to leave you in a South Florida state of mind. At around 150 calories a serving, you can have a few Mojito Frescos to help you deal with any last remaining bits of summer that may be lingering in your area this weekend. In Texas, we’ve had a nice break from the triple digits this past week with weather in the 80s and low 90s, but this weekend summer is going to kick us in the ass again with temps back up in the high 90s. Not good for our firefighters battling historic wildfires out West and down in central Texas. If you see reports of a naked man doing a rain dance in Dallas this weekend, you know I at least tried to make it rain. Oh, and that I’ve had too many mojito frescos. Recipe is below. Enjoy your weekend!

Mojito Fresco
2 large limes
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Ice Cubes
1/4 to 1/2 cup light rum
a handful of mint leaves
Quartered limes (optional)
 
 
Directions
1. Cut the 2 large limes into pieces; combine with the 2 cups water, and the 1 cup of sugar, and the mint leaves in a blender container. Cover tightly; blend with several on-off motions for 30 seconds or until limes are coarsely chopped. Do not puree. Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher. Dilute mixture with 1 to 2 cups water to taste. Cover and chill.

2. Wet the rims of 4 to 6 tall glasses; dip rims in sugar. Fill sugar-rimmed glasses with ice. Add 1/2 to 1 ounce rum to each glass. Pour chilled lime mixture over rum. Add extra quartered limes, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

The Best 25 Social Media Tips Ever!

I hope everyone’s Labor Day weekend was fantastic. Here in North Texas, although our brothers and sisters to the west and south are battling unprecedented wildfires, we also FINALLY got a break from 60+ days of triple digit heat. It was actually in the mid 80s on Labor Day…I know! mid 80s!

If you follow this blog, you’ve heard me sing Vocus’s praises before. For this Tools for Tuesday, I am forwarding their “25 Top Tips for Social Media Success.” Some are obvious (Be nice, use your manners.) others will leave you scratching your head (Why didn’t I think to be a content curator?)

I hope you enjoy the 25 Top Tips for Social Media Success. And if you’re keeping track, you only get half tonight. This is a two-parter, so I’m leaving you in delicious suspense until tomorrow’s post for the other half. Have a great night!

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Artic Freeze – the “adult” snow cone

 

 

Have you every seen anything more delicious in your life?

On this September 1 edition of Thirsty Thursday, we here in the scorched Earth section of the US known as the DFW Metroplex are celebrating the 10 degree drop in temps this coming weekend, when a “cold front” will take us from 104 to 94 highs. Also, to our brothers and sisters out west battling yet another round of wildfires, we are praying for them and hope that once all is quiet on the western front, they too can enjoy this tasty frozen beverage and help slam the lid on the Summer from Hell.

Without further ado, I give you the Arctic Freeze, make it up and sip on it as you enjoy, oh I don’t know, Fahrenheit 451? Enjoy!

Arctic freeze

11/2 ounces Bacardi Arctic Grape rum

1/2 ounce blue curacao

2 ounces concentrated margarita mix

1 ounce cranberry juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend with ice until smooth and creamy. Pour into a serving glass and garnish with a cherry.

— Bacardi

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/08/30/3323595/drink-of-the-week-the-arctic-freeze.html#tvg#ixzz1WjM7NCe8

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Vocus Social Media Strategy Tool – Day 2, The Results

So, how’d y’all do with the homework assignment? If you remember from yesterday, we talked about the Vocus Social Media Strategy App, the cool (and free!) tool that will hopefully help us writers craft our social media strategy. During the 6 step process, I learned that I need to concentrate on the following goals from my SM campaign:

IMPROVE BRAND OR PRODUCT AWARENESS

IMPROVE BRAND OR PRODUCT REPUTATION

INCREASE SALES REVENUE

IMPROVE PUBLIC RELATIONS

IMPROVE SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS

INCREASE WEBSITE TRAFFIC

And, here are the challenges I face to reach those goals:

IMPROVING SEARCH ENGINE RANKING POSITIONS

IMPROVING BRAND AWARENESS OR REPUTATION

INCREASING WEBSITE TRAFFIC THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION

ACHIEVING OR INCREASING MEASURABLE ROI FROM SOCIAL MARKETING

PROGRAMS

CONVERTING SOCIAL MEDIA MEMBERS, FOLLOWERS, ETC. INTO PAYING

CUSTOMERS

DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE AND METHODICAL SOCIAL MARKETING STRATEGY

Here are some of the questions that the Vocus app asked me about why I may not be reaching my goals:

Why aren’t audiences engaging? Are you using social media channels for “push marketing/PR?” Are you sharing information that isn’t timely or relevant?

Why can’t you convert fans?Are you selling a commodity or an experience?

Why do you have an ineffective social media strategy?Have you completed audience research? Do you understand how your market uses social media channels? Have you tried to align your social media planning with organizational goals and objectives? 

Why can’t you measure ROI? Did you set up proper metrics for each tactic and/or campaign? Do you have analytics set up properly?

And while my Vocus SM Strategy Assessment went through several pages of how Vocus could help me maximize SM to sell books, which also included links to several articles/blogs/etc that pertain to my SM goals. If you haven’t taken 10 minutes to go through the 6 steps of the Vocus SM strategy app, I highly recommend you doing so. Whether you are a Self-pubbed author or you are traditionally published, SM is something that’s up to you. Having a better understanding of how it works, and a better understanding of your SM goals will pay off time and again in the years to come.

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Vocus Social Media Strategy App – very Cool and very Free

Social media is perhaps the only way that we unsung heroes of our own life stories, aka the novel writer, has a chance to shout out our worthiness to the world. “Here I am! Here’s my book! It’s won awards! It is worthy of your time, trust me!” Dallas/Fort Worth’s own social media guru Kristen Lamb, who is the writer’s best friend when it comes to social media, probably put it best about SM for writers: “Another key tactic to managing social media is to create friendships and community. When we all work together, creating a platform is far easier. We can rely on others to help us if we actively seek to help and support them. I liken it to a barn-raising. When we all do a little for each other, big jobs suddenly become more manageable. Since we aren’t doing everything alone, we need to spend far less time on social media to still be effective.This is one of the reasons that using traditional marketing tactics on social media is so ineffective.”

Because understanding SM and using it effectively is such a HUGE deal for us writers, I wanted to take these next two days to talk about the VOCUS social media strategy App. Vocus took the best of their social media research, including their 2010-2011 benchmark reports and turned it into an interactive tool that lets the user create a custom strategy tailored exactly to our needs. Here’s a description of the app in a nutshell: “In just six steps, you drag–and–drop your goals, answer questions and select the route and resources that are right for you. The tool does the rest, building you a 35–page workbook with a detailed plan based on your choices. You’ll find insight, next steps, worksheets, links to resources, and data that shows you where you stand compared to your industry peers.”

I’ve already done this and it gave me multiple articles and pdfs to research for my specific goals. So, go ahead and try it out, it takes about 10 minutes and its free. Like me, you may be surprised at what your SM goals are versus what they should be. We’ll go over my results in tomorrow’s post. Happy strategizing!

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

The “Baffling” Case of Katelyn Markham

As writers, we are also researchers. To make our stories come to life, jump off the page and resonate with readers, we must make the details as real as possible. That means we must contend with current events that are often disturbing, but nonetheless captivating. 

On this Mystery Monday, let’s look at the current case of Katelyn Markham, a girl that’s been missing without a trace for two weeks now. While we need to respect the fact that this is a case about a missing human being, we can also use the details of this case to enrich our own stories, which may actually help our readers deal with similar tragedies in their own lives, or help them explain the inexplicable.

Here are some of the details of Katelyn’s case so far:

1. There’s no evidence of foul play, not one scrap. Police have searched on foot, on ATVs and even from airplanes and have found nothing.

2. Authorities have gone through Katelyn’s cell phone and computer records. There’s nothing to indicate any reason why she would leave or any evidence that something bad has happened to her. In fact, the only thing missing is her cell phone.

3. Investigators and family members and friends alike are “baffled” by her disappearance. Said Police Chief Mike Dickey in  a TV interview, “I’ve been doing this for 40 plus years, and I can’t recall a case where there’s simply no evidence whatsoever. It’s almost like she just vanished.”

4. It’s only a month before she was going to get her college degree, and family members said there’s no way she would have run away before she completed that important goal.

So where is Katelyn Markham? And, for us writers, how can we use the details of this baffling case to influence our writing? Most times, when writers construct mysteries, there’s a certain sequence, however twisty is may be, for readers to follow. But at least there’s a sequence. What if the story was about a case like this one? Where there seems to be no rhyme or reason? And what about the details of the case? No evidence of wrong doing, no evidence of even a struggle. The boyfriend and family members, the first ones that are typically checked out by police, seem to be clean. If you were writing a story from the boyfriend’s or father’s perspective about a case like this one, would you have them moving heaven and earth to try to find her? But if a police chief with 40+ years experience can’t figure out where to start, where would that character start? Finally, what do you think happened to Katelyn Markham? And do you think that it’s right to use such tragic cases to help formulate the novels or short stories that you write? Should there be a “grace period” before mining these news stories and possibly turn news nuggets into novel gold?  

To the keyboards!

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com