Posts Tagged ‘networking’

The Pitfalls of Social Networking Sites

 

Good morning friends! I hope that life is treating you well. Things are great on my end. I want to thank all of you who have bought Ad Nauseam 13 Tales of Extreme Horror. Sales have been very good and I have all of you to thank for that. An extra special thanks to those who’ve taken the time to rate and review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads. And a super-duper-extra-sloppy-kissy thanks to those who have shared it on websites, blogs, twitter, facebook pages and the myriad of other social networking sites that are out there. You my friends, fans, and sometimes, kind strangers, are all rockstars to me.

Speaking of social networking sites, they have been on my mind a great deal lately. Promotion used to be something done by the publisher, allowing the writer the time necessary to just create, but unless you are Stephen King or Bentley Little, those days are gone. Your presence on social media, or lack thereof, can make or break a publishing deal. The big guys want you out there, building a fan-base and conversing with your readers. From what I’ve seen, most writers are really rising to the occasion. Unfortunately, a lot of new writers are going too far though. They don’t realize that how they present themselves is every bit as important as just being out there in the first place.

I have met some really great people through my adventures as a new writer on facebook and twitter. Some people that I count as true friends, as well as colleagues. I have also met some extremely strange and unstable individuals. Usually I am very good at picking the weirdos out of the line-up right away, but every once in awhile, one slips through. Now, I’m not going to rant at you about how you should behave on the internet. Common sense and simple manners say you already know, but I will tell you how your behavior is affecting you. If you are one of those sensationalist people who think that stirring up trouble and yelling from the mountaintops is the best way to sell your book? I will block you. If you post the same promo 5 times a day, every day? I will block you. If you regularly post about politics and religion? I will hide you. If you are a small press that doesn’t present yourself in a professional manner, engages in regular flame-wars, or is overly condescending? I will never submit to you.

And now you say C.W. why should I give a shit about your opinion? Why are you so important? Well, I’m a reader. And a fan. And  writer you may want to work with in the future. Did I mention I’m a READER? I used to deal with all of this shit because I thought it was a part of the social networking experience that just had to be dealt with. Not anymore. The majority of you are a true pleasure in my life, but the braggarts, crazies and promo-whores exhaust me. I won’t deal with it any more. As some unfortunate individuals have recently found out, I will simply block all contact and go on with my life. I am in this business to tell a story and hopefully entertain some of you. If you are a writer who thinks your novel is so great it will Change The World As We Know It, then you are probably a bit touched in the head and I don’t want to network with you. I’m tired. I have plenty of drama in my life and a full schedule. I don’t have time to become your biggest fan and spread the word of your revolution. Don’t bother.

Everything you do and say is being watched by potential readers and fans of your work. My advice? Scale back the promotion. Engage your friends as a FRIEND. Don’t pick fights with other writers and readers. Don’t act like an arrogant prick or a manic lunatic. Think before you type. I can pretty much sum this up in a few simple words for you…don’t be a dickhead.

Who Wants To Coffin Hop With Me?!!!

Hello friends! Here in the Midwest, we are enjoying some unseasonably warm and sunny weather, just before that fickle Mother Nature decides to bury us up to our asses in snow for the next 6 months. It’s okay though, we’ll take it! I have one week and one day in as a non-smoker and I’m feeling alright about it. 🙂 What that means is: I don’t feel like killing anyone yet today. Of course, there’s still a whole lot of today left!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook have probably already seen that I have been advertising a Coffin Hop for Halloween this year. I thought I might take a moment to explain this to you and how it would benefit all of us. For all my horror writing friends, this is an opportunity to climb aboard a blog hop with some very talented writers and drive each other’s web traffic up! I mean seriously, think about it. I have a following. You have a following. All the other authors have a following. Now is the time to mingle and share. Writing doesn’t have to be competitive-we are each other’s best allies. People who like to read, tend to read A LOT! There’s room for all of us. We already have around 30 signed on for the Coffin Hop, which means 30 faithful groups of followers that you can expose to your own blog or website! Seems like a winning situation to me. So if you’re interested, why not check out http://www.coffinhop.blogspot.com/, and sign up. It’s super easy and you will never meet a nicer group of writers! After you sign up, shoot me a message and I’ll give you the address to the private facebook group where we discuss things. Faithful fans, Coffin Hops, Private Groups-how Rockstar can you get!!!!

As for those of you who are readers, well you’re the ones that really stand a chance to benefit. Not only will you be getting to know some other great horror writers whom you might enjoy reading, all participants will be running contests at their blogs and giving away FREE STUFF! That’s right! Free, horror, halloweenish, uber-cool, freakishly fun stuff! Each contest will be different, but most will only require that you comment on their blog or follow them on facebook! Now that’s a pretty reasonable request for the chance at some cool swag! I plan to give away a signed magazine, a coffee mug with the cover of Ad Nauseam on it, and other Halloween doo-dads that are yet to be determined. It will be great fun, and all you have to do is check back the Monday before Halloween and spend the next week reading some blogs.

So that’s the low-down on the Coffin Hop-I really hope you will all join us for a great time! Any questions can be left in the comment section below, or sent directly to me at C.W.LaSart@hotmail.com. I’m off to enjoy this little bit of sunshine before it’s gone-have a wonderful week my friends!

The Importance of NOT Being an Asshole.

Alright, I will try to keep this from becoming a rant, but no promises! This post is mostly directed at other writers as sort of a cautionary tale. Take it or leave it. I recently participated in an amatuer contest for Cemetery Dance. The voting is still going on and I’m pretty sure I am making finals, but doubtful I will win one of the coveted three spots that would get me published in the chapbook. This has become a popularity contest, riddled with vote recruitment and outright cheating, though I must say that Cemetery Dance has done a fine job of policing the contest. Any time that you have reader voting instead of editor voting, this will happen-it’s inevitable. It doesn’t really matter either. I would like to win, but just the act of participating has gained me a TON of exposure and HUNDREDS of hits to my website! The networking has been fantastic, and I am still very happy that I participated. My caution is not against doing a contest like this, but rather about how to behave if you do.

The rules for this contest were clear from the beginning. The definition of “amatuer” was anyone that hadn’t been published in Cemetery Dance more than once or twice, regardless of how many times you had been published elsewhere. I double checked with the moderator and YES, I was eligible to participate. So I did. This contest has participants who have NEVER written before, all the way up to people who have multiple books under their name, the publisher of Shock Totem, and everything in between! Yet, it was little old me that became the first subject of controversy.

Early into the voting, another writer started bitching on my grouping thread that I was published and not an amatuer. He then went on to start a complete thread that stated the contest was rigged, and all but called me a ringer! I appreciate the compliment, asshole! I will say that the moderator was very swift about shutting down the thread and banning the crazy guy who was becoming abusive, but that bell can’t be unrung. This may very well affect whether people vote for my story. Since then, others have complained about the number of published authors in the contest, even singling out my friend Kevin McClintock-saying it wasn’t fair to have to compete against someone who has already gotten somewhere in their career. (What can I say Kevin, I guess we just attract attention! Let’s see if it helps when our books come out!) Once again, people were not reading the rules.

My advice to those of you who are trying to break into the business? If you are given the opportunity to meet writers who are farther along in the field, use it wisely. Be gracious, make connections, and try to be professional! In any area of life, you can learn from the experiences of others. I, for one, am very helpful in finding markets for other’s stories. I may have a word of advice on something you are doing wrong. I’m a networking monster and can definitely help you in that area! I’m not saying you should kiss my ass (far from it), but atleast try not to be an asshole! Don’t go out of your way to offend the very people who might be the most help to you. I have met some great people through this contest and connected with them in other places so we can continue the relationship after the contest ends. I have also met some assholes that I will never give the time of day. Which one seems more beneficial to you? Use the experience of others to your advantage. If you don’t, then you are slitting your own throat, for networking anyway.

Thank you to Cemetery Dance for this awesome opportunity for myself and other writers. The networking alone was worth the time! If you are a fan of horror and enjoy forums, why not check it out!

http://forum.cemeterydance.com/forum.php

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