Tag Archives: Twitter

Wittering on about Twitter by Sheila Deeth

My sons used to complain that I “wittered on” about things. I thought of that this morning when my husband asked me why I “waste so much time” on Twitter. This inspired me to ask google for the meaning of “wittering on;” I learned it’s an English phrase, meaning “to talk for a long time about things that are not important.” Does that make Twitter a way to talk for a short time about things that are important?

Not knowing for sure, I decided to look at a file I keep of my random tweets. They don’t seem terribly important to be honest, but what do you think? This one comes fairly early in the file; I guess I was just learning to count my characters…

The twittering twerp has tweeted,

Work defeated,

Waits for twime,

While twiters twirl ‘n twype their twales.

This twit is falling off the rails.

Later there’s this:

I can’t believe you ran out of characters for your next novel. And don’t blame the birds. 140’s surely enough for any well-feathered romance

Hmmm–spot the missing character. I wax poetic again a few tweets later in the file:

If risk-averse, will write in verse, of risk averted. Dream.

Then numbers tell, the risk done well, is better than it seems.

Acrrual’s cruelty.

Then it’s back to prose (missing punctuation) with:

Brain the size of a planet, imagination like Magellanic clouds, and they tell me to brew tea and write the teapot’s biography: signed Marvin

But these are my everyday tweets–the ones I write when one or the other side of my brain needs a rest.

Which side of my brain writes & which is right, or is the other wrong? Right writing rights wrong dreams perhaps; a rite for writers? Write!

And these are the tweets I’m preparing for Infinite Sum, coming soon from Second Wind Publishing. They’re not 140 characters, but that’s because I’m leaving space for links and hashtags as when the novel’s released.

  • If you paint in red and black, will the truth be black and white?
  • Will yesterday’s song play forever in the paintings of your mind?
  • Who is the hardest person of all to forgive?
  • Is it easier to give up, or move on and live?
  • Why does the man in the painting have no face?
  • Depression for 1 year in 10? Get me out of that place!

Can you suggest any hashtags I might use, or tell me which tweets are more likely to make you click on a link? And if you’ve already read the book, I’d really appreciate any more tweets you’d care to suggest.


Sheila Deeth is the author of Divide by Zero, published by Second Wind Publishing. Her second novel, Infinite Sum, will come out soon. Meanwhile she’s working on numbers three and four–Subtraction, and Imaginary Numbers.



Filed under fiction, musings, Sheila Deeth, writing

Cross-pollination Marketing by Christine Husom

The Twin Cities Sisters in Crime put together an Internet marketing workshop for crime writers, which I attended last Saturday. We were able to list ahead of time the various topics we were interested in, ie., websites, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

We discussed the value of an effective website, and whether or not to have a blog feature on it. Some authors have a  blogsite, but don’t have an official website. I had read some time ago that the important thing about a blog is to be regular with it–whether it is once a day, or week, or month–something I have failed to do on my own website.

One of the participants said having a particular theme, or subject matter, is a way to bring readers in. Another way is to read others’ blogs and to leave comments. I mentioned the importance of attaching tags to your blog, containing keywords that will be appear on a search of a variety of topics. If you are quoting Charles Dickens, add him as a tag, and someone doing a search on him may visit your blog.

All of us were familiar with Facebook. Of course. Some of us were more active than others. One woman said it was important to change your privacy settings about every six weeks because Facebook is constantly upgrading. The question was, how do we connect with readers? I suggested joining groups of people with common interests. Another way is holding a give-away contest for your books. And share the link to your blog when you have a new post.

I had been at a training session two weeks before and the facilitator said you can post something on Facebook once or twice a day before people start ignoring you, but you can post on Twitter every fifteen minutes because it is so dynamic. People tweet for different reasons, business and personal. As authors, we want to build a readership for our books. So tweet and  retweet others’ tweets that you like.

WordPress is a wonderful place to read and post blogs, and Goodreads is a great site to connect with writers and readers alike. Many authors are active on Gather and/or Crimespace. Pinterest is being used by libraries more and more.

Somewhere in the middle of the workshop, as my head was spinning with information, I searched for a word to describe how authors could connect with readers. It turned out to be two words joined to make one: Cross-pollination. Be active on as many sites, and with as many people, as your schedule allows.

One man (yes, we have brothers in our group, too) came to the workshop later in the day, after he finished teaching a morning class. We summarized the topics we had discussed and he said, “Cross-pollination.” Maybe there was a spirit in that library meeting room who had whispered the word in both our ears that day.

When I got home, I looked up cross-pollination. The basic definition, according to the on-line Free Dictionary is, “Cross-pollination is the fertilization by transfer of pollen from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of another.” The antonym is self-pollination. Hmm. That got me thinking. As authors and readers, it’s a win-win situation to promote the works of other authors along with our own–we want people to continue to read books. We do this when we write reviews, add books and ratings to our bookshelves, or interview others on our blogs. This is certainly not a new concept in marketing, but one that bears repeating. Let’s all practice some cross-pollination.

Christine Husom is the author of the Winnebago County Mystery Thriller Series, Murder in Winnebago County, Buried in Wolf Lake, and An Altar by the River. 


Filed under internet, marketing, writing

How to Get More Readers for Your Blog

Ever wonder why so few people read your blogs? The number of bloggers on WordPress alone is increasing by 900,000 a month. Yep. Lots and lots and lots of blogs.

So, how do you find a place in the blogosphere despite all those bloggers screaming for you to read their bloggeries?

First, write articles that are interesting to you. If you’re interested, there’s a good chance others will be, too. If you’re a published author talk about your book, explaining why you wrote it and how you got the idea. You can tell about the things you learned while researching the book. You can write about your work-in-progress, especially if you are having difficulty with a scene. People love to help, and they will feel they have a stake in you and your work. Write about your daily life or things that make you angry. Write about the books you read. Write about anything and everything.

Second, add a catchy title, something that will attract attention and hook a reader even before they begin reading your post. With so many bloggers, people seldom get beyond a title, so make sure you give them a reason to read further. The title of this post is not very original, but it does tell what the post is about.

Third, add an image. People today seem to be visually oriented, and an image will often catch their attention more than your picturesque prose.

Fourth, add tags that people might Google to get to your article. If you tag add a tag such as “Uncle Bob”, it might end up as the one millionth “Uncle Bob” on Google, and no one will ever find your article. I would have thought tagging an article with “Cheetos” would be the same, but one blogger reported that she got more than a thousand hits because of it. So, be sure to add plenty of tags!

Fifth, link to everything. If you’re an author, link your book title to a site with a buy link. Link to your web page. If you refer to another article, link to that article. (To make a clickable link, select the word or phrase you’d like to contain the link, then click on the icon of a chain on the tool bar — it should be the tenth icon — and fill in the URL of the site you’d like to link to.) The clickable link will look like this: Bertram’s Blog

Sixth, be sure to make use of the social networking tools available on WordPress. To activate these tools, go to your dashboard, and under where it says “Dashboard” click on “my blogs.” Under the heading “publicize”, check whichever sites you belong to, and follow the instructions for linking your blog to Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Messenger. Once that is done, you’re set. Whenever you post a blog, WordPress will automatically notify those sites.

Seventh, link your name to your blog. The internet is all about links, and the most important link is the link attached to your name. If you make a comment, and your name is not linked to anything, you become a dead end. To link your name to your WordPress blog, go to your dashboard, and find “Users” on the left sidebar, beneath that you will find “personal settings.” Click on “personal setting.” Scroll down to “account details” at the bottom of the page. In the blank for “website” put in your entire blog address, including the http:// Then click save. Now when you leave a comment on a WordPress blog, and someone wants to know more about you, all they have to do is click on your name.

That isn’t all there is to becoming a major blogger, but it’s a start.


Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fire,  and Daughter Am I.


Filed under internet, marketing, Pat Bertram, writing

Social Media: Scary Stuff

I went to a seminar on social media recently, put on by Social MediU, and it made me feel a bit stupid. For instance, I was only able to turn the above name, Social MediU, into a link for this blog because I cheated. I searched the web until I found the name already linked and cut and paste it into my blog. I do not know how to make the blue links myself yet.

Something I took away from the seminar is that I should be using Twitter. Twitter was very interestingly described as “the wild west,” and that’s the problem: I’m an east coast gal. Give me the tried, the true, the stable. Twitter seems unknown and scary. Who are the “right” people to follow? How do you know which tweets to retweet? How do you know that your very original comment isn’t going to throw you into a state of oblivion, rather than generate followers? You don’t know for sure, and that’s what’s so frightening.

Another piece of advice was to open a g-mail account, which I recently did. I might never have changed from comfortable hotmail, if a hijacker hadn’t forced the issue, but now I have a gmail account, and I can barely figure out how to use it past sending and receiving email (and even then, I think I accidentally archived some e-mails. They disappeared.) How to learn? Even if I could find the hours needed, it would be like a ten year old poring over a calculus book, trying to learn calculus. The brain function simply isn’t there. I’m hoping I’ll have a lightbulb moment regarding computers, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The seminar took place at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA. The owner, Kelly Justice passed on a worthwhile piece of advice: make sure your give/ask ratio is much heavier on the give side. Go as high as 8:1 or 10:1. The one thing you don’t want to be doing is constantly asking for things. Get involved and show interest. Give praise and then give more. Finally, when something is really important, ask graciously for support. Never join Twitter simply to promote yourself, without taking interest in anyone else. Look up tweet chats, find conversations that interest you, and begin interacting. Avoid redundancy on your various sites. And blog often! If you’re running out of ideas for blogging, answer a question off of http://www.formspring.me.

The ladies who ran the seminar, Rebecca Joines-Schinsky of The Book Lady’s Blog and Michelle Franz of Galleysmith, recommend jumping in and getting started. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes. For the normal person, “getting it” will happen if you hang in there. For someone computer-challenged, such as myself, I may be hiring Social MediU for help.

I’d love to hear more about social media. Please write back if you have any gems to share!

Lucy Balch

Love Trumps Logic


Filed under writing