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Twitter isn’t the only option, and for some authors, it isn’t the platform for them. If you find that Twitter isn’t the appropriate venue to build an online presence, you should look into the following options:
Pinterest is HUGE. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular search engines in the world. In 2015, Pinterest released that it had 100,000,000 monthly active members in September. That’s one-hundred MILLION, with a big ‘M’.
Imagine if you only reached 1% of those users, you would still have face time with 1,000,000 users. Pinterest is still behind Facebook and Twitter in the number of users, but it is continually growing. Instead of being a straightforward social network, like Facebook and Twitter, where users access the content shared by friends, Pinterest prides itself on being both a social network and a portal to discover new ideas/products. Pinterest is ideal for super visual writers and writers who are operating a blog that offers advice, tutorials, and other great things via their websites/blogs.
Users search for ideas and can “pin” them or save them to a board for later. Each board is focused on an idea, for example: food, clothes, writing, or to be read. Each pin is a picture along with a description that links to an external website. Pinterest is the second best at sending users to new websites, behind Facebook. Meaning it is an amazing platform to advertise writers as people and their books.
Create a profile on pinterest. Don’t make a profile for your books, make one using a professional picture, your name, and that reflects your interests as well. Creating one for books can make it difficult when if you write others down the road. Boards can be created for books.
In the “About You” section create a background that makes you a real person to readers, describing who you are along with your interests. Links can be added that go to a website, a Facebook account, and a Twitter account. This allows users to find and follow other social media accounts. Writing an interesting “About You”, creates the potential of attracting users who are not your typical followers.
Don’t forget to turn off the “search privacy” feature. To reach this feature, go to “account settings” and under “account basics” click “on” under search privacy. This allows Google to find your profile when users are searching for you or ideas related to you.
Make sure that you download the Pinterest Browser Button, so that you can pin new content from your website, blog, or even amazon. This makes it easy to create links to your own website for your followers to see.
Make Your Website or Blog Pinterest Friendly
There are several factors that can make a blog Pinterest friendly. First, you want to include pictures for all of your blog posts. Pinterest focuses on images. Every pin has an image and the better your image, the more people that will be attracted to your posts.
Create Your Boards and Start Following Others
Start a few boards based off of your interests, some easy ones are: food, diy, and animals. You might even start a board dedicated to a TV show, book series, or fandom that you are obsessed with. If you are writing a fictitious book, maybe create a couple of boards dedicated to ideas or concepts in your books. These are fun for readers to stumble upon .
Don’t forget to follow other pinners who have the same interests as you: writing, reading, food. This brings pins into your feed, so you don’t have to always search for them and helps you gain new followers.
Pin posts from your blog/website or from where you order your book on Amazon, along with content that you like. The more you pin, the more followers you will get. Just remember to be consistent and do not flood them with a lot of content at once. Happy pinning!
Like Pinterest, this is perfect for authors who want to engage with readers in an intimate and photographic way. I believe that travel and food writers have the upper hand on Instagram, but any writer can make it work for them.
For poets or fiction writers, and Instagram account can be a great way to share your ideas, your writing space, or just give readers and inside look at your life. In the same breath, it doesn’t have to be about your personal life; you can build a professional Instagram profile as a poet or fiction writer…maybe you post images of readings, or the books you’re reading at the moment, or about a topic that really fascinates you. You will definitely generate buzz and conversation this way.
Widgets are available to integrate into your website, which will make it easier for your readers to follow you on Instagram. Remember, connectivity that is seamless and simple is the key.
While I don’t have a ton of experience with Google+, many of our writers thrive on the platform. Google+ allows for hangouts, which are virtual conference calls…that means that you can hold a virtual reading and send out invitations.
Writers can hold personal Q+As with a select group of journalists, bloggers, and fans to generate buzz. And the best part is that the hangouts can be recorded, so you can post them to your website or upload them onto YouTube.
Whether or not you choose to utilize Google+, you should sign up for Google Authorship, a Google service that helps you connect all of your writing into a portfolio. How can this help you? Well, it helps readers see everything you’ve written, and I know that an old book that nobody read is more likely to get purchased by a reader who has read your newest work.
Amazon Author Central
Every single author needs to sign up for an Amazon Author Central account. This profile requires minimal effort and maintenance. Simply sign up and find your books on Amazon. Then your author profile on Amazon.com will show readers everything that you have written.
And the best part about the service is the fact that you can generate an RSS feed from your blog to your Amazon Author account. Once you provide the link, Amazon automatically updates your account to show your latest post. You don’t have to do anything after that. Yay!
A lyrical short story revolves around a recurring image or symbol with minimal focus on the plot. The image recurs in order to give readers an understanding of the plot; the image itself is usually static throughout the story. A plot line does exist, but in conjunction with the development of the symbol throughout the narrative, and it is not the central focus of the story.
Lyrical short stories are open-ended with no definite resolution. The loose ending allows for malleable readings of the central image. Reader can reinterpret the image's meaning during and beyond the reading of the story.
An example of a lyrical short story is Katherine Mansfield’s ‘‘The Fly,’’ a story about a man who tortures a fly after being reminded of his dead son. The fly is the central image of the story and the development of the narrative revolves around it. The torturing of the fly and the man’s feelings after he throws it away have multiple, open-ended readings. The image could symbolize the man’s inability to accept death, his previous relationship with his son, or his repression of grief. No one reading is correct and many interpretations lend to the complexity of the lyrical short story.
Flash fiction is a short story that has less than 2,000 words (and sometimes less according to certain editors). Flash fiction is a radical distillation of plot, character, setting, and exposition. Brevity requires writers to attend to every word.
Flash fiction starts in the middle of the conflict, as there is no time to set up action. During the story, a focus on one or two main images, such as a deserted building, a broken watch functions synergistically with the plot. As fast as the story begins, flash fiction stories end with a bang. Many flash fiction stories leave the reader at an emotional pivot or an open-ended resolution.
Examples of flash fiction can be read in Robert Olen Butler’s collection ‘‘Severance,’’ a collection of 62 flash fiction pieces. Each piece spans the 90 seconds after a person has been decapitated. The stories come from the perspectives of famous people such as Yukio Mishima, John the Baptist, and Jayne Mansfield. The stories are an effort to examine historical and cultural atmospheres through the imagined subjectivity of each character during his or her time.
Another well-known flash fiction writer is Lydia Davis. Her short story ‘‘The Mice’’ comes in around 275 words and contains all of the elements of short story. The story begins with ‘Mice live in our walls but do not trouble our kitchen’ and focuses on the image of a messy kitchen and mice that do not eat in it.
Unlike a flash fiction that has plot, character, setting, conflict, and some form of resolution, a vignette is an illustration detailing a specific moment or the mood surrounding a character, object, setting, or idea. A vignette does not have a full plot, nor does it develop a complete narrative. It may be part of a series of vignettes or stand on its own.
Ernest Hemingway’s ‘‘In Our Time’’ is an example of a vignette. The vignette describes the character Maera, a bullfighter who dies after a bullfight. The vignette relies on rich sensory imagery and motion to convey the mood surrounding the death of the character.