Is social media killing your author website?

I must admit that alot of the fodder for recent posts have been from the CBS business site bnet. It’s just as writers, authors, and general creative types, we sometimes get so caught up in character arcs, plot lines, sub plots, and general how to pull off a ripping whodunit, that we rarely think about how the heck we gonna sell it?
 
With so many folks praising Social Media these days as the answer to selling anything and everything, especially as a way for us, the great unwashed authors toiling away in near obscurity, to get our books into the laps of our readers, I came across a bnet article on how SM may just be keeping us from paying attention to that other technological thingy that is the true closer in our corner – our websites. 
 
The article makes a great case for having, and managing, a great site. For us writers, tweeting and blogging may get a message out there, but it is our websites that allow us a space on the web where we can share sample chapters, post a book trailer, and even sell our books. Websites are still our storefronts and we must keep the windows clean and the front stoop swept, or else no matter how many flyers we post in the neighborhood, or ads we take out in the local paper, ain’t no one gonna come by to take a look or buy a book. How’s that for ending with a little poetry?  
 
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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

Failing our way to the bestseller list

“Failure is priceless.” I agree wholeheartedly with the above caption. I also agree with the interesting BNET article I read about, “Why Failure is the Secret of Your Success.” I agree with the article’s main point that our kids don’t know how to fail. Some of our generation don’t know how to fail. It is the coveted ability to deal with failure that assures our true, long term success. As Michael Caine (playing Alfred the Butler) told Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins after Wayne tells him he’s a failure, “Master Wayne, why do we fall? So we learn to pick ourselves up.”

We’ve all heard the stories of how JK Rowling, Stephen King, and John Grisham toiled for years in obscurity, received enough rejection letters to wallpaper his entire office, and resorted to self-publishing after numerous rejections and had to sell copies out of the trunk of his car. Without these short term failures, they wouldn’t be the same writers. If they had received success after the first book they ever attempted, do you think they would be just one hit wonders and not the reliable authors who continue to pump out best seller after best seller? I think so.

I’ve been writing for almost 10 years, and I’ve had numerous failures. After receiving a heap of rejection letters, I’ve self-published two novels.  But, my second novel was better than the first. My next novel will be better than the second. I’m working on both nonfiction and fiction right now, I network with the writing community through this blog, on twitter, I belong to a writing group, I attend the annual writers conference in my area every year and I have an agent. I am learning from my mistakes. If something doesn’t work, I try something else to get my name out there. But all the while, my writing is getting better and better. Someone once said that the definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. I’ll take being called a failure or being called stupid any day.

What about you? Tell us about your failures in writing. And tell us what you’re doing differently to overcome them.

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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

First come ads, then come books?

Have you heard about the latest viral video phenomenon, Nyan Cat? If you haven’t, then you are not one of the 40 million people that have downloaded the video of a poptart cat who flies through space leaving behind a rainbow trail while a most annoying song plays in the background.  

I know. I know. The video is three minutes long and I have no explanation for its popularity. But, as you can read in this Bnet article, the phenomenon has everyone in the marketing world continuing to think that old marketing is dead. As part of the “new marketing” paradigm where businesses must create a relationship with the customer, the argument in the Bnet article is ” It’s a bizarre world in which the marketing timeline runs backwards — ads come first, and products follow only if the ads are successful.”

But that got me thinking about using viral videos for book marketing campaigns. The ABC series Castle has done something similar – they created a character, the show was a success, and now they have several books out in the real world that have been penned by Richard Castle. And they are best sellers!

But, alas, we are not ABC. But we do have Movie Maker software at our disposal and we can create “book trailers.” And if our trailer is clever enough, funny enough, suspenseful enough, then maybe it can go viral as well. I mean, when was the last time you saw a movie trailer and you had to go see that movie based upon that trailer?

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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

Do readers even like suspense?

 

No matter what you write, it seems that we all have been told to build some degree of suspense in our stories. Could we have been wrong this whole time? As a reader, do you have the urge to flip to the back of a mystery to see whodunit? After you finish a thriller, do you reread it over again? And do you get the same amount, or even more satisfaction from it even though you know how it wil turn out?

If you believe a recent University of California at San Diego study, most readers like stories more if they know how it will end. The study concludes that a good story has “far more to do with the quality of the writing and character development than with a nail-biting plot.”

I admit that when I craft a story, I tend to spend a far greater amount of time struggling with the finer points of assembling a suspenseful plot than I do with developing the characters. But it seems like I should change up that formula. I mean, we all know that the good guys always win. Rocky will always triumph in the ring, and we all knew that sooner or later, Harry Potter would ultimately beat Lord Voldemort. But it’s the characters, isn’t it? We want to see how Rocky changes over time, how he deals with going from a brawling wannabe to the trials and tribulations he has to deal with as champ. We want to see how Harry not only grows up with the added stresses of being a wizard, but how he will save the world. Like political strategist James Carville told Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid”, for us writers, “Is it the characters, stupid?”  

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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

Got a novel in you?

 

 

 

Ever heard of NANOWRIMO? I know what you’re thinking. “Sounds like something you could catch by drinking the water in some third world country.” Actually, NANOWRIMO is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, many thousands of authors attempt what seems to be impossible: writing a 50,000 word novel from scratch in a month. Why? Well, why do people climb Everest or run 26 mile races? To see if they can.

I’m part of a small group here in Texas that will be attempting the impossible. We meet in person once a month and also have online chat sessions every day where people can discuss plots, characters, etc. with other members to get prepared for Nov 1. In the days leading up to NANOWRIMO, I will be discussing how some of the ideas, hurdles, plot points, character arcs, etc. for my novel have changed due to simply spending some time working on them and how they have changed based on the group’s input. Hopefully, if you also have a novel in you and you want to be a fellow Nanowrimo-er, this information might help you out as well.

If you are throwing around the idea of doing NANOWRIMO, and 50,000 words seems to daunting, it’s basically 6 pages a day. If you’ve got everything in place, like the outline, character back stories, etc, then the writing should flow pretty well. Like your local Boy Scouts say, be prepared. Indeed for NANOWRIMO, it’s all about the preparation. I hope you will join us for the month of madness in November!  

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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 real reality of ebooks and their impact

In continuing the talk about the state of the publishing world from yesterday’s blog post, I’d like to ask this question to my fellow writers: what does separate reality from fiction these days? For writers, the fiction about the future of books could, and does, fill page after page of magazines, blog posts, and twitter feeds. Well, maybe here’s something that can help us all out. And best, of all, it’s free.

Digital Book World is offering this free webinar on Sept 20 entitled, “Ebooks’ Real Impact on the Book Publishing Market: 2009 – 2011.” Here’s the skinny on it from the DBW website:

In this free WEBcast, we’ll reveal the results, trends, and best practices of ebook publishers as uncovered over the past two years in a three survey series conducted by Aptara – the findings from the third, of which, were just released.  What works and what doesn’t?  From production techniques, preferred file formats and distribution channels, to enhanced ebooks and apps strategies, we’ll discuss how the findings correspond and differ across publishing market segments.  In addition to sharing insight collected from over 1,300 publishers, we’ll talk with digital experts from both sides of the Atlantic to understand how digital publishing is evolving in the United States and Europe.”

It certainly looks like there will be some important discussions going on. Hope y’all can make it!

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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 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! 

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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 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.

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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

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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.

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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