Tag Archives: twitter

We are a nation of scrollers not readers, and tech billionaires are to blame

An article in The Guardian’s opinion section argues that we (in the UK) are a nation of scrollers rather than readers, and that the blame for this lies at the door of the tech billionaires, (see https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/may/08/nation-scrollers-readers-read-netflix-twitter-books-mark-zuckerberg).

Its very easy to blame others for one’s own shortcomings methinks . . .

There was a young lady called Glitter

There was a young lady called Glitter
Who spent all her time on Twitter.
Her boyfriend named Jack
Said “your love I lack.
I feel so incredibly bitter!”

There was a young lady called Glitter
Who spent all her time on Twitter.
Her boyfriend named Luke
Was obsessed with Facebook.
It made Glitter incredibly bitter!”

My Experience of Organising A Book Launch

As many of you will be aware, I held a book launch for my recently published collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind” on the evening of 5 July.

I am pleased to report that the evening went well.

There were, however a number of “lessons learned”, which I have set-out below.

I hope this post proves helpful to others considering a physical (as opposed to a virtual) book launch.

Pros:

1. The venue (a pub called the Railway Bell) is within easy reach of Gipsy Hill station, making it simple for those attending the launch (and using public transport) to access it.

2. The venue being a pub, meant that it was easy to arrange for the provision of alcohol (and other drinks) to my guests. I provided wine and orange juice, while my guests had the option to purchase additional refreshments at the bar.

3. The management where extremely obliging and went that extra mile ensuring that things ran smoothly.

4. There was good audience interaction with a number of interesting questions being addressed to me.

5. I sold (and signed) a number of copies of “My Old Clock”.

6. People stayed on afterwards for a drink in the pub garden which was most convivial.

Cons:

1. I advertised the event on my blog and Facebook. In addition a number of bloggers, friends and acquaintences very kindly shared the launch on social media including Twitter, Facebook and reblogs on WordPress.

This was all very much appreciated and I would like to send a big thank you to everyone who took the time to share the event.

However, despite all the publicity (including the news releases sent out by the publisher to local poetry/literary groups), those attending where all known to me either as friends or acquaintences.

It was, of course wonderful to have the support of close friends, however having new faces at the event would have been the iceing on the cake.

WordPress provides an effective platform for building and cementing a following and I greatly appreciate every single person who takes the time to follow, like and comment on my poetry and other posts.

My blog has enabled me to reach out to people all over the world and form valued connections with those with whom I would never otherwise have become connected.

However the vast majority of my followers are not in the UK so (although many of them generously shared the event) they could not (for obvious reasons) attend.

Consequently while WordPress is a wonderful platform it possesses limitations as regards getting “bums on seats”.

Facebook didn’t yield any new faces at the event (despite it having been advertised on local Facebook groups), which appears to further underline the limits of social media as a means of drumming up support for events.

2. I scheduled the event at too early an hour (6:30).

Given the London rush hour and issues with transport, I decided to hold off until approximately 7:20, which meant that most people had then arrived.

In retrospect I should have specified a starting time of 7 pm (with the expectation that most people would arrive between 7 and 7:15) and I will certainly do so the next time I organise such an event.

3. While beer and books are a fantastic combination, beer on books is not!

On entering the pub I enjoyed a quick pint prior to the event starting.

I had hung my bag of books on a hook under the bar (they where in a padded envelope within a carrier bag).

I managed to spill some of my drink into the envelope but luckily (and much to my surprise) none of my Fosters got onto my books.

Next time I shall keep my books well away from alcohol or any other liquids!

4. Any profits made from the sale of books require to be balanced against money expended in the provision of refreshments.

However even where spending on refreshments comes close (or even eats into any profit made), one has to consider the benefits obtained from the publicity generated by the event.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the event was a success.

People enjoyed my reading, there ensued an interesting discussion following the reading and a number of books were signed and sold.

While it was wonderful to see so many old friends there, it would have further enhanced the event where new faces to have appeared alongside them.

As previously stated, I possess a loyal blog following and I’m grateful to all my followers for their ongoing support.

However given that most of my followers are located outside of the UK they can not (for obvious reasons) attend book launches and other similar events.

I will look into streaming events live the next time I launch a book enabling the event to be seen by as broad a range of people as possible.

(“My Old Clock I Wind” is published by Moyhill in paperback and ebook formats and can be found here, http://moyhill.com/clock/

My Interview on Roberta Pimentel’s Blog

Thank you to Roberta Pimentel for interviewing me about why I began my blog and other aspects of the blogging experience. For my interview please visit

http://robertapimentel.com/2017/02/03/todays-special-guest-4/.

Kevin

Webcam

Being blind
I wry amusement find
When a webcam
(a wam, bam)
Girl follows me on Twitter.
She may dance in a costume of glitter
Bright
For other men at night,
Or, more probably perform in the nude
Acts most crude.
I am no prude
But as I can not see
Thee
Oh tempting nymph, I will not follow back
So you will another follower lack!

Dry your eyes my dear,
Though I fear
You may have nothing to wipe away your tears.
With. Perhaps your lipstick smears
At the thought of wasted years
As you bat your eyes
For lustful guys,
But not for me
Who strictly sticks to poetry …!

How to Promote Your Books

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Free Image Licensed from 123RF Stock Photo – Copyright amasterpics123

How best to promote one’s literary masterpiece, is an issue which exercises the mind of many an author, including my own. In the spirit of reaching out to my fellow authors I thought it was high time for me to set out my thoughts on this most important of topics. Below are some suggestions which will, I hope prove helpful to those who labour over smoking hot keyboards:

1. Climb Nelson’s column and recite passages, from your books with the aid of a loud hailer from that vantage point. You will, no doubt attract a crowd of curious onlookers together with a fair quantity of pigeon droppings for Trafalgar Square is a magnet to which our feathered friends flock. If it’s a nice sunny day you might also wish to don colourful swimming attire thereby further delighting the audience who will be listening, with rapt attention to your every word.
2. Hide behind the bookshelves in W. H. Smiths or some other purveyor of books and jump out on potential readers shouting at the top of your voice, “buy my book, buy my book” and if they are so ungracious as to refuse to avail themselves of your literary masterpiece, belabour them around the head with a copy of same.
3. Remove other authors books from the shelves in public libraries (for they are mere dross when compared to your scribblings) and replace their works wwith copies of your worthy tomes.
4. When talking to potential dates, regail them with chapter and verse as to why they should purchase your books. I find it helps to back them into a corner and (if at all possible) to ensure there is no easy means of exit. You may well not find the love of your life by employing such a stratagem. However your ex date will, very probably buy your book in order to effect his/her escape!
5. Send out automated tweets, every 5 seconds or so saying “please, please, please buy my book”. Your Twitter followers will be so impressed with your efforts they will show their appreciation by purchasing your book in droves or, just possibly deserting you in droves …!
6. If all else fails, repeat and repeat again!

Why Is No One Sharing My Content?

 

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In the below post references to sharing do not include copying content (unless, of course you have the content owner’s permission to do so). By sharing I mean utilising options such as Twitter and the WordPress reblogging facility.

Your blog is full of great content but no one is sharing it. That is wholly inexplicable, right? Well in some cases you may be unlucky and, if you fall into this category I wish you the very best of luck in future for there is nothing more frustrating than one’s content being ignored.
Most blogs and/or sites have buttons allowing content to be easily shared. For example my blog (newauthoronline.com) allows sharing via a number of channels including Twitter, Facebook and, of course reblogging. I have, however come across blogs lacking any facility to share content. In such instances the person wishing to share has no option other than to copy the link into a post on their own site and share in this manner. This can be time consuming and in many instances can lead to a blogger who would otherwise have shared content deciding not to do so.
It is, of course a matter for site owners to determine what sharing buttons (if any) appear on their site. However the absence of easy options to share can (and often does) prevent informative and/or entertaining content from being shared. Shares can equal new readers so by not utilising sharing buttons site owners are limiting the growth of their site’’s readership.

Kevin

New Sharing Buttons Added To Newauthoronline

Thanks to a suggestion from Chris Graham (http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/), I have now added several buttons to my blog allowing readers to share content more easily. Twitter and Facebook are now joined by Pocket, Reddit, print and email. Thank you Chris for the great suggestion!

For information on how to add sharing buttons to your WordPress site please visit (https://en.support.wordpress.com/sharing/).

Driven Potty

As an author I do understand the need to promote my books. From time to time this site carries posts doing precisely that. In addition I am very happy to help spread the word regarding my fellow authors. To this end I have published a number of guest posts by other writers on a variety of topics mainly, but not limited to their literary work. If you are interested in guest posting please email me at newauthoronline (at) gmail dot com.

All of the above is part of being an author. However what drives me barmy is constant automated requests to promote other writer’s work. Recently I have received automated posts, every few hours from one person who shall remain nameless asking me (together with their other followers/readers) to retweet the fact they have a new book out. This is annoying as it clogs up my inbox which is already groaning under the weight of WordPress notifications. Where I to retweet every time this blogger sent out their automated post asking me to do so my own readers would, quite naturally become irritated with me and I wouldn’t blame them for doing so.

 

This is the first time I have come across this practice and I sincerely hope it will be the last. The vast majority of bloggers do not engage in this behaviour and demonstrate respect for their followers. I suspect the person who is driving me potty is not aware of the effect of their actions so I have not followed my inclination to unfollow (what an ugly word that is) them. However if they persist I will do just that – unfollow them.

I did think long and hard regarding whether to post this. However, on reflection I think the above points do require to be made.

 

Kevin